Whats on your life’s Canvas?

True that!
True that!

Have you ever wondered how magically enchanting this creation we live in is? The more you ponder over it, the more there is to ponder about it. Giving into this pondering every now and then, on long airplanes, trains and even haystack tongas is where the real education happens.

I spent a reasonable amount of time in my teenage years, thinking what would I be painting on this canvas of my life, threshold of which I was standing on; I stuck to the family tradition of a business degree; secured my first job;  so at the age 20, I had a good degree, a cushy job and my family was overjoyed – their son is “settled”, now, let’s get him married.

However, my banking career did not keep me happy, I made money, I had the fancy stuff but no, I could not see pictures of excel sheets, graphs and all that financial warfare on my canvas. So even though I came from a traditional orthodox Indian family, whose son was “settled”; I QUIT.
Clocked my first air mile on a maiden trip to the United Kingdom in 2006 at the age of 21, for around 40 days, on a tight budget and no experience of International travel. This trip later turned out to be an experience I was to remember. The lessons learnt were rather incomparable to any that were taught in traditional learning modules. I was sold, to the beauty of travel, people, cultures, food and the civilization we live in. This is all it took to convince me that I was a biophile, I knew that the fear that I grew up with during my teenage years that my life could end up as an intimidating blank canvas, or worse with financial jargon I would only memorize not understand, was now leaving me. I thought I got access to the brush that I needed, and the first touch of colors are now visible, albeit far.

Today, almost 10 years later, having added some grey hair, a few extra passports, some failed businesses, some successful businesses and a lot more air miles, I have managed to crisscross around 40 countries of the world in an attempt to learn more about our people, places, cuisines and cultures. My journey has taken me distant countries like Kenya, Japan, UAE, Thailand, Cambodia, Australia, United States, Sri Lanka, Scotland, China, Malaysia to name a few. I know the primary hues of my canvas are just how I wanted it.

After having traveled to these countries, the experience had been so overwhelming that I even questioned the relevance of traditional education techniques. Real education for me, was when I got out, met people, saw things and learned cultures. Human Beings according to me are natures wisest, most complete species, but we are at war. War with ourselves, our societies, countries and a general discontent among majority of people. This discontent has a potent answer in travel; knowledge and wisdom that is attained from exploring cultures and people. It’s not until you see how people live in a faraway land with greater or fewer resources than you back home, that you realize, how much you already have or how much you need to achieve; put in a word, inspiration. I learned, I travel to get inspired; and now try to spread this inspiration as much as I can.

Making the shift from thinking that being inspired was about sitting around waiting for ideas to come to you, to now with many flights and a myriad of colors and more to come on my canvas; I have realized spending time in your own head is important. To be truly inspired, you must learn to trust your instinct, enable your creative empathy, and channelize the flow.

Pondering in Mayfair!
Pondering in Mayfair!

To take this endeavor forward, I started a company after some other successful and unsuccessful businesses, and I guess as they say, if you are going to do it with all heart and passion, it’s only going to give you good in return. We are trying to setup backpacking hostels which will nurture the local culture, art, history and cuisine to the traveler that come from far and wide. We have successfully setup the first eco-friendly, art friendly backpackers hostel in Bangalore and the second one should be running shortly in the temple town of Hampi; after which three more are planned. We aim at recruiting local artisans and artists to teach local crafts, food crafts and other specifics to show their culture and let every traveler take a piece of this geography with them. The second vertical of creative/Inspirational tourism is underway and itineraries are being made with the help of historians, professors and local guides. Once these two verticals are ready, a traveler will have low cost access which will make travelling costs and other related costs like boarding and lodging really nominal, so that a traveler can focus on the real reason for his travel, which for me is gaining knowledge, experience and most importantly inspiration. We have been really successful with our Bangalore branch and have already serviced travelers from around 51 countries in 11 months of operations, but the goal will only be met where small hostels are put up in all major cultural extractions, where every traveler will hear the tales of the local folklore, play strings of the local instruments and taste the flavors of the local spices, and with each of these experiences he is going to create a stroke, and with several such strokes, he is going to paint what is going to be his life’s canvas.

If every individual would include Yoga, Meditation and Travel in their formative years, I think we would have a lot more Picasso’s and Da Vinci’s made out of an individual’s canvas. I’m going to go forward and continue my passion to spill some more paint around the world and make this world a more colorful place for all of us and after.

Spotted in Social Rehab Bangalore
Spotted in Social Rehab Bangalore

Setup backpacking hostels nurturing local culture, art, history and cuisine to the travelers. Successfully setup the first eco-friendly, art friendly budget travel hostel in Bangalore, more planned soon, after my experience of 40 countries; where local artisans and artists teach local crafts, food crafts and other specifics to show their culture and let every traveler take a piece of this geography with them. Second vertical of creative/Inspirational experiential itineraries are being made with the help of historians, professors and guides. With two verticals being ready, travelling, boarding/lodging really nominal, the focus of a travel plan can shift to gaining knowledge, experience and most importantly inspiration. Successful in Bangalore, and serviced travelers from 51 countries, but passion will be fueled in until hostels are put up in major cultural extractions, where every traveler will hear the tales of the local folklore, play strings of the local instruments and taste the flavors of the local spices; with each of these experiences creating a stroke, and with several such strokes, creating a masterpiece on what is going to be their life’s canvas.


HAMPI – A sapiosexual Hookup.

So hows your India experience been so far? Most of our travelers who come visiting always have a black and white answer when we ask them the most pertinent question; They either “love it” or they don’t.

Then Hampi happens to them.

Exactly, Hampi a quaint little historical town tucked away equi-distance between Hyderabad and Bangalore the two Tech cities of India, isn’t a town that’s on every body’s list, but for those who do make it there, positively ‘upgrade their opinion of India’.

You are mostly likely to get in here in the wee hours of the morning and reach Hospet first, a town from where u need a tuk tuk ride for about 30 minutes before you reach Hampi. As any other tourist town, here too you are likely to be greeted by touts outside your bus stand selling you anything from tuk tuk rides, guest house rooms, tourist guide services or even marijuana. However, you’ve probably travelled around India enough by now to navigate through these ‘value added services’.

Farmlands morphed into a landscape that looked as though it had rained boulders, all perched on top of each other as far as the eye could see, glowing bright orangish in the morning sun now stare at you as though, they have been expecting you.

“You are likely to make an instant connection with Hampi, just like the random guy/girl you meet only once in a while and know that can’t be with them forever but you know you are up for a fulfilling time while youre with them, in a sapiosexual kind of a way.”

The town of Hampi is located on the ruins of Vijayanagara, the capital of the former Vijayanagara Empire, the village itself isn’t much to write home about – it’s the surrounding natural and historical beauty that’s the draw. Towering over the village is the tower of Virupaksha Temple which stands at the end of what used to be a long bazaar filled with vendors and shops. The bazaar however is today more of a ‘touristy’ nature. Virupaksha Temple, due to its location, is sort of a home-base-landmark of the ruins, but it’s just a fraction of what remains of the former empire. The the surrounding area is extremely expansive, teeming with ruins from the former civilization, and allegedly home to over 1,000 temples (some large, some tiny). Additionally, the topography of this region served as a natural fortress; giant boulders form ridges, mountains, and walls for kilometer after kilometer, filled in by lush green jungle as far as the eye can see. Even without the fascinating ruins, the natural beauty of this place is itself enough to make a trip very worthwhile.

Hampi is one of those places where two days could be enough, and at the same time two months may not do justice to it, it reminds you immediately of Siam Reap (Cambodia) for those of you who have been there. You will meet a good bunch of people from all corners of the world, who are individually looking to ignite and spark the connection they have made with this temple town. Curious onlookers, cattle, constant ferry rides to and fro to the other side of the Island, and locals visiting the temple, bathing in the river are all features that complete the natural connection. You cannot miss ‘Lakshmi’ the elephant that bathes every day in the river and is not camera shy, she even blesses you around the main temple during the day for anywhere between Re.1 to Rs 10 depending upon her mood! Also part of the romance will be your encounters with our distant cousins the monkeys! Yes they are omnipresent and not shy at all, they love your food, your camera and your water bottles as well, stay strong urban dwellers.


We are sure you will know by now that there thousands of temples in Hampi, big and small, so spend your time wisely, specially if u have limited of it in Hampi. The big ones which are usually seen in awe are: The most famous attraction is undeniably the Virupaksha Temple. The area around is the most crowded as well. It is, however, worth the visit because the temple is well preserved in most parts.

Again, be careful of our distant cousins, the playful monkeys around.

Thers’s a Krishna temple which is pretty big and worth a visit.

With an amazing monolithic statue, the small Lakshmi Narasimha temple is next to the equally small Badaviling Temple. Size is no measure of their magnificence though, do check them out if you like monoliths. Being small, you will need to push around a bit to get your way to the front.

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Badaviling Temple, visit the Underground Siva Temple, in the Zanana Enclosure, you can visit the Lotus Mahal and the Elephant Stables. Visit the pyramidal Mahanavami Dibba. Walk up the steep steps to the roof for good views. Just don’t fall off, slippery when wet! Mahanavami Dibba

One of the most famous attractions besides the Virupaksha Temple is the Vitthala Temple.

There are several other smaller and widespread attractions around here, you would need a lot more time to witness those. A special shout out however, must go to the believed birthplace of Lord Hanuman (Kishkinta) which is barely 10 kms from the island side of Hampi. A must do if you have the time, also you will have to climb close to 600 steps going up one way (worth it).

Summing it up in a nutshell, Hampi is connecting with an era that whose grandeur and opulence is still visible in these epic ruins. Go, to make a connection with the past, reflect on your life journey, meeting fellow travelers from around the world, and chilling.


Contact your manager at Social Rehab to organise a tour of Hampi and give you the information that you require when you stay with us. Social Rehab: www.facebook.com/socialrehahostel   :: 9845869969

Important Notes: Good connectivity (Rail/Road) from Bangalore, Goa and Hyderabad. Most trains buses will drop you to Hospet and then you need to tuk tuk it to Hampi. (30 mins)

Where to stay: Tons of guest houses depending upon your budget and requirements. Do check Out Social Rehab, The Goan Corner.

From/To: Can go or come from Goa, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mangalore and Mysore(via Bangalore)

Convenience tip: Drink loads of tender coconut. If you can afford a bike rental, rent it.

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Social Rehab Going Places!!!

Its Been only one year that the Social Rehab Journey Started. With all the highs and lows throughout the period, we manged to give all our guests a homely feel, parties to enjoy, opportunities to make friends for life, Share travel stories with everyone, and much more.

With our superior location and friendly staff we managed to stay in Top 3 list of Specialty Accommodations in Bangalore for one year. We would continue doing our Part to make it the most happening place of Bangalore. 

For Those who Are still wondering what “”SOCIAL REHAB HOSTEL” is, we recommend you paying us a visit and show you our hospitality.

If Not Stay, just stop by for a coffee or drink, we don’t mind!!

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Why Travel? Well, Why Not.

#Go Explore #Wander #Try #Challenge #Change #Learn #Ask #Meet #Indulge #Inspect #Endure #Climb #Conquer #Connect #Give #Share #Translate #Iterate #Improvise #Venture #Plan #Unplan #Get Lost #Find Yourself

Austrian Abstract Street Art!
Austrian Abstract Street Art!

Have a plan, Break that plan, and Embrace the unforeseen. Get curious. Get a passport. Get lost. Only to find a new You.
Lean forward. Move forward. Be forward. Never regret. Always reminisce. Cherish. Don’t wish you did; be grateful you’ve done, and move ahead.
You have but one chance to check out the planet that cradles you; that has nurtured you. So go out, go forth, be grateful, go once more into the horizon and do something your 75-year-old self will thank you for before you hit the door up above. Because when you’re old and gray, you’ll smile fondly about the stories and experiences you have to tell, and those around you will smile because you’re the one telling them. Being interesting is your choice. Choose to dare. Choose to be. Choose to travel. Have the audacity to live the life you’ve been dying to. Make that move!
Travelling is one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. It’s also probably the only experience which will tingle all your five senses in the same experience. Open you heart and mind to the world out there and you will be forever happy and grateful you did. Going to new places, meeting new people and exploring natural and man-made wonders can be habit forming albeit a good habit! This is a golden opportunity for you, in your formative young years, to investigate, shape and broaden your mindset. It’s a chance that very few young people; not everyone has this opportunity, but if you do, embrace it. Traveling can develop a person’s character, being open minded, increasing adaptability and in general will broaden your horizons. You are enclosed in your bubble right now, in comfort; you need to get outside of your comfort zone. Traveling is something you can’t learn in a classroom.


Some reflections on the path:

Travel; to cherish your own present surroundings:

If you’ve been unfortunate not to travel, this may sound a little absurd. How could travel help me know the place I’m from? That’s the question that struck me a few years ago when I was told this would be the case. The reply I got was: ‘you’ll find out’. Well, now I do.

I’ve realised that we all to a certain degree – take things for granted; our emotions, relationships, parents, food, electricity, transport, safety everything. Going to a country where these basics are not always available is a real eye opener. Can you survive? Can you push your limits?

Get out, see how others live their life and you’ll be happy you even have that little infrastructure around you or you have caring families that do so much for you when you see people without them. We are complaining every day, about something or the other, venture out and you’ll return fuller and satisfied.
Of course, travel can enlighten you about so many other things in your environment, like the attitudes of people, quality of food, cultural behavior, cost of living, differences in fashion and much, much more.
As strange as it may sound, going far helps you understand what’s near can be a lot better.
Travel Helps you Know the most important person in your life, Better; YOU.

I travelled to Europe sometime back with the intention of a business deal. I expected to learn a lot about the product and service, but to my surprise, I ended up learning more about myself.

Most of us live life caught up in a routine, and this can make it difficult to find time for reflection. Dedicate yourself to becoming the best version of yourself, it’s essential for you to step back to look at yourself so that U can evaluate your strengths and weaknesses; life on the road will teach you that.

Albeit it’s not the only answer (or the cheapest) again, travel will help; in a way, no other will.
(It’s worth noting that I’m particularly talking about solo travel. )

The minute you Step into a new environment, life has a way a way of revealing things about yourself, which you never knew existed in you. Notice.

You may discover that you’re more reserved, more confident, more open, warm, apprehensive, friendly or more cautious than you thought you were.
In my case, I discovered that my very own short comings. This discovery helped me re-evaluate the way I approach some situations and as a result I made a big leap on my path of self discovery and growth.
In this article I’ve only mentioned a few points of how travel can help us grow. I’m certain there are countless ways how travel can help.

Take it with you!
Take it with you!

I’ve seen how people struggle in Africa, and it made me realise how much I took for granted. Compared to the millions living in poverty, my life is incredibly comfortable to say the least. Travel brought this to my attention in a way no one could, and because of this realisation I appreciate my life and am filled with gratitude a lot more today; I’ve seen a quality of life in the United Kingdom and the United States, and realized how my future should be charted and the quality of life I would want in my future bringing in Hope and Ambition; The Japanese have taught me a sense of perfection, which I try to replicate in my day to day endeavors. The Chinese have taught me the essence of time and utility, growing me further.
My encounters with the Greeks, Italians and Brazilians have me to the conclusion that no amount of money is enough for a man, so sit back and enjoy what you have and work towards what you don’t with no hope but lots of hard work, so when it comes the excitement is double and you’re enjoying your present.

So tell me, how has travel helped you on your journey of personal growth?