Posted by: Sunil Mohapatra | September 30, 2018

100 KMs Cycling (Earth Day Special)

Sunday, 22-April, 2 AM in the morning. I woke up with a different level of anxiety and excitement in mind. The day was Earth day. I was committed to do something which look relevant on that day. What could have been more earth friendly than riding cycling for 100 Kms?

“Can I do it?” was the question in my mind. This was my first Century ride. My motivation was the riders of Indirapuram Cycling Club (ICC).  People are amazing in that group. I couldn’t believe few people did 1200 Kms cycling at a stretch. hats off to them! For them 100 kms is just a child’s play. But for me,  I was getting butterflies in my stomach for my 100 Kms ride 🙂

The meeting time was at Decathlon at sharp 4 AM.

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I started from Home at 3 AM and reached at 3:45 AM at Decathlon, Indirapuram. I was the first person to reach in our meeting point. Within 5-10 Mins, I have seen multiple bikers coming towards me. At 4 AM, We waved at each other and started our journey towards 100 Kms cycling. At Vaishali, we met few other members of the group and continued our journey.

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Below was our route for Centure Ride.

Decathlon Indirapuram to India Gate : 18.4 Kms
Indirapuram to Ambience Mall Gurgaon : 21.6 Kms
Ambience Mall Gurgaon to Surajkund : 36.1 Kms
Surajkund to GIP Mall, Sec-18 : 16.5 Kms
GIP to Decathlon Indirapuram : 13.9 Kms
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Total Cycling : 106.3 Kms
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100 kms

The group ride was full of fun. I have experienced the awesomeness of group ride for the first time. The ride from Ambience mall Gurgaon to Surajkund via FGR (Faridabad-Gurgaon Road) was amazing. The up and down slopes of FGR were simply superb to ride our bicycles.

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Finally, the 100 Kms ride was completed in 4 hours 40 minutes of ride time. Total time takes was approx. 6 hours (including breaks). In Google, I could notice, car takes 2 hours 50 mins to cover the same distance. If I consider that, our riding performance was not bad considering most of the bikers were riding their first 100Kms. For us, we were least bothered about the time duration, what mattered most was that we could complete our 100 Kms ride without any issue.

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The 100 Kms cycle ride was memorable. Overall experience was awesome. That was a small gesture from our team to say “Thank You” to our mother earth for providing us such a beautiful place to live in. Looking forward for more activities like this. Till then, bye bye and take care.

SAVE EARTH, SAVE LIFE.
NO EARTH, NO LIFE.

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Posted by: Sunil Mohapatra | August 26, 2018

Dpauls China trip review

Being a travel buff and completed already 5 wonders of the world(i.e India’s TajMahal, Paris’s Eiffel Tower, Italy’s Leaning tower of Pisa, Cairo’s Pyramids of Giza and Rome’s Colosseum) , I thought to visit to “Great wall of China” as my next vacation. Once, that thought clicked in my mind, my journey for searching a better itinerary and better package started.

Google was the starting point. I checked for almost all the popular travel sites like MakeMytrip, Yatra, Cox n Kings, Thomas Cook, Kesari and bunch of other sites with china in their URL. I got a fair idea that I had to spend approx 1 Lac  INR per person to cover 6N7D china trip( be it 3N Shanghai and 3N Beijing or 2N Shanghai, 2N Xian and 2N Beijing).

Then, one of my friend recently completed his Singapore, Malaysia trip with Dpauls.com and he advised me to check once in their site as well. First thing, which I noticed in Dpauls website is their attractive tour price. It was quoted as just INR 69,999. This price was inclusive of both way flight tickets + visa +4 Star hotels + Shanghai City Tour + Beijing City tour + Bullet train Ride. Lunch was not included. Dinner was in Indian restaurants.

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I could not believe my eyes. Straight away given a call to Dpauls customer care and left a message on their site (But unfortunately, message through their site never works ). I was more than happy to know that there was no hidden charges and the deal was real. In fact, they offered 3K more as additional discount. They were offering the same places as other tour companies with 30K less. I thought to book the package then and there.

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Then, somewhere corner of my mind, got a message, why shouldn’t I book the flight,visa, hotels on my own? After all, I am a traveller. I spent around 3-4 days planning for the same. End result? I could see my budget going more than 1 Lac per person 😦

And obviously, I need to arrange everything on my own, from visa’s to flights to local sight seeing in China (a place where I couldn’t read,write or speak the language). Even, Google wouldn’t work there. Then I stopped the crazy idea fo self arrangement. Why spend more and get engaged unnecessarily in a vacation. Then, I booked my China trip with Dpauls.com.

Sales Staff: 

Pros- They were clear on the package and they could clear all my doubts

Cons- No customization is allowed. The itinerary is fixed and we cant do even a small correction.

For example, I wanted to add 1 Day Disneyland Shanghai trip with 2N Shanghai, 2n Xian and 2N Beijing trip. They said- Not possible.

I said, I will reach one day earlier in Shanghai to cover Disneyland and bear the cost of 1 day and then join the package. They said- Not possible.

Finally, I had to sacrifice Xian sightseeing to cover Disneyland Shanghai Trip.

6N7D Package (With Xian or without Xian Package)

Disneyland was must for me as I have a 9 year girl and she wanted to meet the princesses at any cost. Afterall, this was her 9 year birthday wish and birthday was falling during this trip. This is when I finalized the 6N7D package (with 3N Shanghai and 3N Beijing) over 6N7D package with Xian (2N Shanghai, 2N Xian and 2N Beijing )Package. For the people who is not interested for Disneyland can opt for 6N7D (with Xian) package to cover Xian terracotta warriors. I would have done that if I had no Disneyland plans.

Food

First thing people worry about china trip is due to food. But, luckily we didn’t have to worry on this aspect as Indian food was provided for dinner. Breakfast in Hotel was good as per Indian standards. Lunch was left to us to explore. There were many KFC outlets in both shanghai and Beijing. Few carried Cup noodle for their lunch. We tried KFC, Pizza, Rice and few juices in our lunch through out the trip.

Dinner was full Indian Buffet. Timing was around 6 PM to 7 PM. So, dinner was filling our stomach more than any other meal for the day. As Breakfast was also good in Holiday Inn, we didn’t face much issue on food perspective.

Chinese VISA

My experience was better than my expectation. I didn’t have to visit any embassy, i didn’t have to maintain any bank balance. I had to just provide the scanned copies to Dpauls and they send the scanned visa copy to me 3-4 days before the trip without having any issues. I would rate- 5 Stars for the service.

Accommodations/Hotels

Accommodations were provided in 4 Star Holiday Inn hotels in both Shanghai and Beijing. I couldn’t complain anything for the hotels. Thumbs up from my side.

Flights

Flights were provided in Singapore Airlines with Hindu meals. This was on the expected lines. So, again no complains. I was more than happy. Only issue I faced is, we couldn’t book the seats in advanced as seats were booked for the whole group. But, I think, you go with any group, this will be same.

Forex Arrangements

These were smoothest arrangements as I received call from Dpauls for my requirement. Next day, Dpauls person visited my place and provided me the committed forex. I was happy to see their cover with proper printouts of Flights, visas, hotels, itinerary etc. This was good gesture.

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Sight Seeings/Tour Guides

All places mentioned in itinerary were covered without any issue. The tour guides were English speaking. We could learn many things about china while interacting with the guides. They were good and capable enough to answer our queries.

Additional sight seeings/shows

Tour guide has entertained us with additional shows like Golden Mask show, Night Shanghai River cruise, Maglev Train Ride with 431 KM/hour with additional money. These were not included in itinerary, but we didn’t want to miss it when in China. So, additional money was justified.

Great Wall of China

This was one of the most important reason why people visit to china. But, lot of confusion on deciding which side of Great wall of China is better. By googling around before the trip, I could know that Mutiyanu section is beautiful with cable cars and toboggan down ride is awesome.

I along with our group asked the tour guide to go for “Mutiyanu” section rather than Juyong Pass section which was mentioned in our itinerary. But, they refused as that was not in our itinerary. End result? only 5 members out of 15 members could reach to the top of Juyong Pass section. Others just stayed downside waiting for us. There were no cable cars in Juyong Pass section and most of them could not dare to stare up on the great wall. Me and my wife, being occasional trekkers went to the top and came back. A little customization would have helped all of members to explore great wall of china fully.

Bullet Train from Shanghai to Beijing

The ride was awesome. Everything was planned properly. We got good seats.

Disneyland Shanghai

This was optional in the trip. Dpauls was asking INR 15K/person for this trip. But, when I checked in the website, it was just INR 4K/person. So, I have booked the tickets online from India itself. I took the Shanghai Metro station to reach to Disneyland station. I faced no issues as the announcements were both in Chinese and English language.

I missed the dinner for the day as me and my family continued till 10 PM at Disneyland. We left disneyland after the last light and cracker show. We went back by Metro station. All was under budget than Dpauls proposed budget of 15K/person.

SUMMARY

Overall, I would strongly recommed Dpauls for 6N7D China Trip due to their price advantage and no hidden surprise factor. Overall, me, my wife, My mother in-law(Age-59) and my kid (Age-9) thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

My overall ratings for the trip ( Out of 5 Stars)

Food – 4 Stars
Accommodation – 4 Stars
Visa arrangements – 5 Stars
Forex arrangements – 5 Stars
Flights arrangements – 4 Stars
Pre-Trip arrangements – 4 Stars
Trip Arrangements – 4 Stars
Overall Trip rating – 4 Stars

One star less is due to Dpauls limitation to customize the dates/itinerary as per our requirement.

If they had agreed for small customization like going to better section of Great wall of China or Adding 1 more day for Disneyland in Shanghai, Xian and Beijing package, then I would have rated them 5 Stars.

Hope this review helps you to plan your china vacations.

Few of My Chinese Memories:

At Indira Gandhi Internal Airport, Delhi

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At Disneyland Shanghai

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Riding Maglev Train at Shanghai with 431 Kms/Hour

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At people’s square, Beijing

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Our Group for the China Trip

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Me at Great wall of china (Juyong section)c8

Our family with our Beijing Tour Guide (Mary)

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Me, riding the bullet train 🙂

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Posted by: Sunil Mohapatra | August 16, 2018

Khushi’s First blog- Disneyland

DISNEYLAND by Moksha Mohapatra (Original)

I was so excited to go to Disneyland. When I Gone there was so many rides like- Tron, buzz light-year Etc. There were many princesses like-Elsa, Snowwhite, Bell Etc And the main mickey and Minnie mouse. There was a Disney castle. It was so so big, the biggest Disney castle in the world. All Disney characters all invented by Walt Disney creation. My dream is to go to Disneyland. I ate mickey shape ice cream. It was chocolate flavor. It is my favorite flavor. We have seen Disney parade. In that there were many characters who handshake with me. I felt so nice to meet the princesses. And at night there was a light show. It was fantastic. I love Disneyland. But, we have gone India to shanghai as it is in china. We reached there by Singapore airlines. It was very nice trip. When I was in Disneyland, I was surprised that Elsa was also singing in Chinese. But, it is some some understanding. The trip was very nice. My dream was to go to Disneyland. So I requested my father to go to Disneyland. So he said OK. I was very happy to go to Disneyland.

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Disneyland By Moksha Mohapatra

It was always my dream to go to Disneyland. I have watched Disney characters on television since my childhood. I wanted to meet Disney princesses-Elsa, Anna and other characters like Mickey, Minnie and Winnie-the-pooh personally.

When my father asked me for my 9 years birthday gift, I requested him to take me to Disneyland. I was excited when my father agreed to take me to Disneyland Shanghai on my birthday. I started packing my Disney themed frozen trolley bag. I took an autograph book to take autograph from Disney characters.

I was lucky to get a window seat in Singapore airlines flight. Outside view from the window was amazing. I was able to see clouds, oceans and tiny rooftops from my window seat. Air hostesses were very friendly and very beautiful.  Meals inside the flight were tasty. I watched “My little pony” movie on flight.

Disneyland shanghai was a huge place with many fun places like Fantasy-land, Toy story land, tomorrow-land and Adventure land in it. I have done many fun rides like Peter pans flight, Tron ride, Buzz Light Year, Pirates of the Caribbean etc. I have met with Disney Princesses Elsa, Anna, Rapunzel, Snow-white and Cinderella. I have met Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy and Goofy inside the park.

There was a large Disney Castle inside Disneyland. My father told me that this is the largest castle in the world. I have taken many photos with Disney castle. I ate mickey shape ice cream. It was of my favorite flavor i.e. chocolate flavor.

Disney parade was the highlight of the day with all the characters dancing, singing and waving their hands towards us. It was fantastic. The day finished with the spectacular light and crackers show on the Castle. I brought few key chains of Disney characters as a souvenir.

The day in Disneyland was full of fun and excitement. This was the best birthday present I got until today. The Disneyland experience will remain with me forever.

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Posted by: Sunil Mohapatra | August 11, 2018

A Little Boy with a big dream

“Dreams fulfill to those who treat their dreams as their priority”

There was a little boy in far remote village of India. He loved to see new places since his childhood. His father used to take him to new places during his school vacations. The more he went to the places, the more he wanted to see more places. Slowly, school vacations became an eagerly awaited event for the boy.

On one summer vacation, due to some urgent official work, his father was not able to take him to any places. The boy was disheartened and cried in front of her mother. Her mother explained him that not everything goes as planned in life. Sometimes, we have other priorities comes up in life. We should act as per our priorities.

Mother explained to the boy that study is his current priority and he should focus on study. However, he can set up his own priorities when he grows up as an adult.

By listening to her mother’s advice, he made up his mind to focus only on Studies first, vacations next. However, the boy decided that irrespective of anything, when he grows up, he will make travelling to new places as his main priority in life.

Slowly, the time passed by. The boy grown up as an adult. Due to his good focus on studies, he got a good job in his hand. After he settled down in his job, he started exploring all the interesting places he set in his mind. Travelling made him very happy. He continued his travelling across the world.

He covered many Wonders of the World i.e Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Pyramids of Giza, Leaning tower of Pisa, Rome colosseum, great wall of China etc. He travelled around 30 countries of the world from all the continents. He trekked to many expeditions like Everest Base Camp at 18500 feet, walked on Zanskar Frozen River in extreme -250 Celsius.

Now, the boy is happily married with a kid. When the school vacations are scheduled for his kid, he never misses any opportunity to take his family and kid to new places.

The boy remained passionate towards his dream and set a dream to see all the countries of the world. Do you think the boy would accomplish his dream to see all the countries of the world? I think YES, because if we take our dreams seriously, they no longer remains a dream; Dreams come true.

Do you know who the boy is? I am that boy and my name is Sunil Mohapatra 🙂

Moral- Take your dreams seriously. If you do not take your dreams seriously, who else will?

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Posted by: Sunil Mohapatra | August 11, 2018

Life lessons from a kid

When I stuck with something complex and I am not sure how to take it forward, do you know what I do? I just spend some time with my 9 years daughter. Then, some kind of magic happens. The complexity disappears and a simple solution appears out of nowhere. That is the magic, a kid injects into the life of an adult.

Kids are special. In fact, they are the best teachers for adults. Kids have a different approach to life and they see the world from a different perspective. Result is something so spectacular that we just blown away by the gifts a kid can bring into the life of an adult.

Being a father, I have the privilege to learn a lot from my daughter. Below are few lessons I would like to highlight here:

  1. Keep it Simple

We as an adult, tend to make everything complicated. As a result, we often find ourselves standing at a cross road looking for the right direction. If we see it clearly through a kid’s perspective, we could realize that we always have a simple solution available to a complex problem.

After all, Life is simple, unless we make it complicated.

Below is just an example:

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  1. Don’t worry, be happy

As a kid, I used to sing this song a lot. As an adult, I ended up with “More worries and less Happy”. I would blame it on 2 days i.e yesterday and tomorrow. I focused more on these days and hardly lived on “Today”.

By looking at my kid, my perception changed towards my life. Kids tend to remain happy in their present moment without bothering about Past or Future. This aspect made me to rethink about my life priorities. Like a kid, I set “being happy” as the top most priority in life.

  1. Explore new things

Kids never hesitate to explore and experiment new things. Be it combining colors on their drawing sheet or putting one toy’s head over another toys body, every experiment is an excitement for them. They love exploring areas out of their comfortable zone.

Being an adult, we want to be in our comfortable zone all the time. We are little hesitant in trying new things. Slowly, over the period, we move in a fixed pattern and wonder why we are not getting different results. The fix is here- Try new things, new adventures and move out of that “comfortable” trap. When life is getting too monotonous, just be curious and explore something new.

  1. Let it go

My daughter loves this song from Disney’s Frozen movie. The message is very clear- Let it go; do not keep it in your heart for a long time. What is “it”? It is the regrets of the past. This can be anything like an unpleasant experience, unpleasant relation or unpleasant situation.

If you ask a kid, their answer would be – Just let it go. Life is too short to focus on past unpleasant moments. Focus on the present, which is in front of us. Learn from a kid to forgive everyone and move on without any burdens of the past. Observe a kid, they fight in a moment and becomes friend in next moment.

If a kid can live freely like a bird, why not an adult?

  1. Laugh a lot

When you are around a group of kids, what is the first thing you get in your ears? It is straightforward- kids shouting, giggling and laughing aloud throughout the play. The ambiance feels like a celebration. The positive vibes floats around and gifts a happy smile on everyone’s face.

Blame it on day-to-day stress or other factors, adults reserve their laugh for special occasions. Adults find laughing aloud as a childish behavior and try to avoid it. However, if you ask me, I would love to be a kid again and laugh aloud with other kids. Believe me; it is much easier than writing LOL on WhatsApp 🙂

Posted by: Sunil Mohapatra | July 21, 2018

10th Wedding Anniversary

May the love and affection that brought us together stay in our hearts forever.

Happy 10th Wedding Anniversary !

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Decoration

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Moments of Celebration

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My sweet daughter- Khushi(The Photographer)

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Cake Cutting Video

 

Posted by: Sunil Mohapatra | July 21, 2018

9th Happy Birthday Khushi

Like a cherished memory, you become even sweeter, more precious and lovelier with time.

May your year 9 be full of fun, friends, love, laughter and fairy cakes.

— From Your Mom and Dad

9TH BIRTHDAY CAKE

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9TH BIRTHDAY DECORATION

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THE BIRTHDAY GIRL

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FRIENDS

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MORE FRIENDS

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FEW MORE FRIENDS

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MOM N DAD

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CAKE CUTTING VIDEO

Posted by: Sunil Mohapatra | June 3, 2018

39th Happy Birthday Celebration

Cake

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Decoration

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Birthday Boy

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Lots of wishes

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Lots of Beers and Cheers 🙂

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Lots of family and friends get together

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This was really a special Birthday celebration with so many smiling faces around and so many best wishes flying around.

Thank you everyone for your best wishes 🙂

You can find my birthday blog here –

https://sunilmoksha.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/fabulous-39/

You can find my 1 minute video for my last 1-year adventures here:

 

 

Posted by: Sunil Mohapatra | May 31, 2018

Fabulous 39

Let’s be little casual, little adventurous and little carefree. Listen to the softest music offered by the heart, add that special ingredient “Passion” into it. Then, you’ll have that perfect recipe of “awesomeness” ready to serve. Mix this awesomeness in the life’s journey. End result? 39 years of EXCITING and EXHILARATING moments throughout the journey. That’s how I can sum up my journey so far on my 39th birthday.

Be it, Bungy jumping from 273 feet height or Sky diving from 10000 feet or trekking to the Everest base camp at 18500 feet or skiing at the snowy slopes of Auli or scuba diving at Goan beach or completing the 100 kms cycling ride or winning 5 Km running race, these are the few moments when I felt the adrenaline rush flowing throughout the body. That is when I felt ALIVE, leaving the worries behind and feeling the pumped heartbeat and boundless energy within. On this special day, I would wish more such experiences and excitements in my life.

Well, going forward, that is the plan- Stay Happy, Stay Young and Stay energetic. Target is to keep pushing hard and create new memories when I enter into the special new category called 40s.

People say- Earn respect, degrees and money in your 20s; Build career, a sweet home and a sweet family in your 30s; and just CHILL in your 40s.

Well, I completely agree with this view. That’s exactly how I’m gonna spend my 40s.

Riding to the worlds best rides at Disneyland Shanghai, a bullet train ride from Shanghai to Beijing, then going for a walk on great wall of china is the beginning of this exciting journey towards 40.

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Traveling to new places, trying new things and trekking to new heights would be always on the menu. After all, these are few things which gives me the much needed OXYGEN for the SOUL creating an aura of HAPPINESS in life. I am happy that I choose HAPPINESS over everything. I could realize, “Being Happy” is the ultimate goal of life.

So, I am set for that exciting ride towards “Pursuit of Happiness” for next 365 days. Stay Tuned !

Thank you for your best wishes and encouragements throughout my life’s journey.

Memories of last 365 days:

At Everest Base Camp on my last birthday

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Sky Dive

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Bungy Jumping

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Scuba Diving

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Skiing

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Jet Skiing

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Trekking

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Century Ride (100 Kms of cycling)

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And the Winning Trophy for my fabulous 39th year

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All activities in this 1 minute video:

 

 

Posted by: Sunil Mohapatra | April 1, 2018

365 days of Pure Fun- “Std-3”

Each day is little life. Who else can understand this fact better than a kid ? For them, even a day is too long. It’s the moments in each day which makes them excited and energetic throughout the day. The 365 days of the year just flies with all the good and fun memories without having a single dull moment.

Witness a kid in 1st week of April. They are just charged up for the new session in School. New books, new bags, new pencils and so many new things in her life to celebrate a brand new year in school. For the parents,  this might be just another year of watching their kids promoting from one class to another class. But, for the kids, it’s 365 days of pure fun awaiting for them in their next session.

Before my kid deep dive into a new world with full of fun, excitement and brand new activities, let me share few moments of her last 1 year in standard-3.

First day of her Standard-3 session

 

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A leisure afternoon after school with her toys and favorite Teddy bear

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Posing with her new dress made by Mom

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Experiencing the flying fun in indigo airlines (excitement is visible in her smile)

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Birthday party with local friends in Nani’s house

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Fun with mehandi decorated hands in Mousi’s wedding

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In a Bride look-alike dress made by mom

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With a short Hair Cut

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At Madam Tussauds, Delhi

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Independence day preparation for a school event

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Weekend Fun at Apartment Central park

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Spending quality time with princesses and Slime 🙂

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Jungle Safari at Rajaji National Park

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In Her fancy dress for School Annual Function

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At Sarson da Khet

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Her favorite Greeting card making style with quiz in it 🙂

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Posing at a school function

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Having fun in Bouncy play area

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Doing Para-Sailing adventure activity @ GOA

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Having fun in 3D- art gallery at Udaipur

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Enjoying skiing and snow-Trekking in Auli

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Enjoying the sea waves at GOA

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Encouraging Mummy and Daddy to go for Sky Diving 

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With friends, enjoying the color festival- HOLI

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Won Silver medal in Inter school Skating championship

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Celebrating Republic day in Apartment

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Friends waiting to perform in Yoga at School sports event

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Great to have Nani’s (mom’s mother and mousi) in school to see Yoga performance

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At Barbique nation kitchen with the head chef 

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At annual Flowers and chatkare show, Golf links

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Filling holy Ganga water at Haridwar

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Created self wax hands at Madam Tussauds, delhi

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Having Fun in Rishikesh

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My Fav- Camel Ride

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Having some good time in The Grand Venice mall, Greater Noida

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Enjoying Gondola ride with Nani

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With Friends in Skating Competition

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Principal Ma’am congratulating after  winning a silver medal in skating.

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Jet-ski ride in Goa

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Enjoying Fish SPA in a mall

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Free time enjoying sun, sand and waves at GOA

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Happy Father’s day

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Happy Mother’s Day

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Having fun with Piano

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Summary, a lot of fun throughout the year

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