April 2018 -

Special Soul Spots of Pondicherry, the Mecca of Meditation

30 Apr, 2018
Special Soul Spots of Pondicherry, the Mecca of Meditation

The Serene, the Marine and the Green…nothing is amiss in Pondicherry. A journey to these 6 special soul spots of Pondicherry has all the ingredients of a Spirit Drive!

Serenity Beach













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The virgin shoreline and peaceful surroundings of the beach live up to its name. Perfect for hours of undisturbed meditation.

Shri Aurobindo Ashram














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Savour your inner silence at the Samadhi or in the large meditation hall in the Ashram. Revel in group energies of the Collective meditation held in the early hours of the night in the Ashram Playground (check timings and other details here http://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/visitors/faqs/

Bharati Government Park












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Anytime from 6am to 9pm, seek a sanctuary under the lush trees and go Home to your inner Source.

Botanical Garden












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1500 plants spread over 22 acres of well-laid-out garden area will provide you a quiet niche as you oxygenate and rejuvenate your soul.












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Immerse yourself in the Sound bath even as the sound waves harmonize with your inner landscape to leave you relaxed and transformed.









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The Mother described Matrimandir, the beautiful Golden Sphere, as “the Force, the central Force of Auroville, the cohesive Force of Auroville.” The spacious Inner Chamber of the Matrimandir invites you to sit in silence and concentration, in search of your consciousness.

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  1. After reaching that destination one can feel the tranquil holiness of the place with its enormous stretches of untouched and unharmed beaches, the serene backwaters, and the uncomplicated but stylish resorts, shrines, cathedrals and the Ashrams hotels in pondicherry His dwelling at Perumal Koil road has also been transformed into a museum


Wild Wild Country – A Review

24 Apr, 2018
Wild Wild Country – A Review

A spiritual movement gone wrong? By Madhulika Arya
Wild Wild Country, a Netflix original series, is one of the best documentaries of all time. Added to that, the subject is the person responsible for the most controversial movement of modern times – the Indian spiritual Guru – Bhagwan Rajneesh also known as Osho by his followers all over the world.
The struggle of a self-sustained global spiritual movement trapped between conspiracy theories, assassination plots, bio-terror attacks, corruption, violence, murder, utopia, charges of illegal occupation, anti-establishment, of moral, social and sexual decadence, to name a few, is a must-watch.
Directed by brothers McLain and Chapman Way, the series, spread over six episodes of about 60 -70 minutes each, was released on 16th March 2018.
Watch the ironical saga of struggle between Rajneeshpuram (Oregon), a global settlement of the seekers of Freedom, and America, the land of the Free. In 1981, a large number of Rajneesh followers, who called themselves the Rajneeshees, bought huge chunks of lands in faraway ghost lands of America and in doing so, these settlers unsettled the social status quo. Watch every narrative triggered from fear, hate, suspicion and anger to love, desire, peace and freedom.  Nothing has immunity from Power and the struggles leading to it – not even spirituality!
The most striking feature of this well-crafted documentary is that it will make the viewer on either side understand and ponder the perspective of the other side. It therefore delivers a picture in totality – a wholesome perspective on the entire happenings of that time and the people caught in it. The Wikipedia page puts it under the genre, “crime documentaries”! Ironical indeed that a worldwide movement of spiritual awakening has to be described thus – no matter which side you’re on!
Take away for Perspective One: “Power corrupts, and absolute Power corrupts absolutely?”
Take away for Perspective Two: “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed!”
And so, the struggle between creation and destruction continues…do we sustain on its friction?

(Madhulika Arya is the Content Manager at Thriive Art & Soul)

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Nature Farms: Harmonizing the inner energy body and outer environment

23 Apr, 2018
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Nature Farms: Harmonizing the inner energy body and outer environment

Pure food gives the body pure energy. Harmonize your inner energy body and outer environment with life-affirming, organic produce from these Nature farms:

Vrindavan Farms:

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Mangoes, moringa and masti. The trio of organics does not end here: get naturally grown fruit, herb, spice, produce & a host of infusions, including holistic tisanes, fruit preserves, and brines inspired by the five Great Elements (Pancha Mahabhuta). Spend a day at the Farm learning how Slow Food is grown or else just order in your weekly quota of fruits and veggies. 

Sankalp Farms: 

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You’ve not eaten mangoes till you’ve eaten the ones from this farm. Grown with holistic methods that protect the soil as well as the environment while providing a decent livelihood to locals. Spend a day here, gaze at the lake after a delicious lunch made by locals, or join in for cooking sessions by experts chefs.

Under the Mango Tree: Pic Source
Honey is called the food of the Gods. It’s easy to channel your inner God at breakfast with the wide variants of this 100% pure, ethically purchased, community-empowering honey.

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  1. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

    Health Fitness Food


Looking for the latest, exhilarating, art and soul experiences to please the hidden explorer within?

20 Apr, 2018
Looking for the latest, exhilarating, art and soul experiences to please the hidden explorer within?

Thriive lists the 4 most happening festivals around the world:
Hay House U Live!:

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A comprehensive conference that gives you more time with your fave authors with intensive workshops and in-depth explorative learning. Bring family and friends along for added fun.
19-20 May 2018 | Toronto, Ontario

The MindBodySpirit Festival:

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Rejuvenate your body and soul with inspirational seminars, body pampering, stage performances, meditation and some delicious health foods!
24 – 27 May 2018 | ICC Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales
08 – 11 June 2018 | MCEC South Wharf, Melbourne, Victoria

Burning Man 2018:

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All are invited to this crucible of creativity dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. Theme for 2018: I, Robot.
26 August – 3 September 2018 | Black Rock City, Nevada

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Watching the Whirling Dervishes will expose you to the power of devotion and show you that spinning can do more than just make you dizzy.
December 2018 | Konya, Turkey

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If Music Be The Food of Love, Play On!

16 Apr, 2018
If Music Be The Food of Love, Play On!

65% Off! And ‘tis no SALE! (*hint: it’s music that reduces stress)
Shakespeare said, “If music be the food of love, play on!” So, if you’re feeling out of love, it’s time to tune into inner love! Immerse yourself in soothing music and just open up your heart! Yes, music of certain frequencies can resonate with our brain and heart cells and have an empowering, rejuvenating effect.

And we have research to prove it! In an experiment, Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International attached sensors to a few participants and asked them to solve difficult puzzles. Different kinds of music was played throughout. Of course, their brain initially registered a lot of stress.

But amazingly, 10 songs and music switched the brain to relaxation mode and resulted in the participants solving the puzzles faster and more correctly.  BY 65%!!!

Yes, the list of those songs is here!

Wait, there’s a warning, though!!!!

This particular music is soooo relaxing that one is forbidden to hear it while driving.  But, if insomnia and mood swings are your constant companions, you know which song’s gotta be in that pod, right? For the aficionados, we’ve got 10 hours of that song:

Weightless By Marconi Union

Here are the other 9:

9. We Can Fly by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)

8. Canzonetta Sull’aria by Mozart

7. Someone Like You by Adele

6. Pure Shores by All Saints

5. Please Don’t Go by Barcelona

4. Strawberry Swing by Coldplay

3. Watermark by Enya

2. Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix) by DJ Shah

1. Electra by Airstream

Enjoy! Mood-uplift, guaranteed!

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  1. Toblay live Indian songs are actually online collection of tunes. You can get any kind of song you would like. Mostly all new film songs get outlined very first right here. Best benefit is that you could obtain either individual song or download file containing all tunes together of the film.

  2. Hi,

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Spiritual Backpacking: Travel To the Centre of Your Soul by Neeta Jhaveri

9 Apr, 2018
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Spiritual Backpacking: Travel To the Centre of Your Soul by Neeta Jhaveri

Even when everything’s going well in life, if you feel something is missing or you need to do more with your life, a spiritual journey could be what the doc prescribed… a journey of evolution, a journey into yourself. Thriive WSP and Tarot Card Reader Neeta Jhaveri also organizes spiritual journeys and one evening we decided to ask her to tell us more about them, especially for first-timers.

Thriive: Neeta, what is a spiritual journey?
Neeta Jhaveri: It’s about energy. When we go on vacations, we are used to a form of travelling which mostly involves a hectic spree of sight-seeing and shopping. This is completely the opposite. There is a lot of energy but it is focused within. You meditate, a lot. You travel, meet like-minded people, imbibe the culture of the place but most of the time is spent in silence. Much of it involves letting go of the clutter that’s in the mind. Also, you kind of find your own self with so many people. You feel that you belong. And the best thing is that one can undertake these journeys even with one’s family.

Thriive: What is the difference between a religious journey and a spiritual one?
Neeta Jhaveri: In India, religion is deeply entwined with a person’s daily life. One of the things they recommend very highly is religious journeys or what we often call as pilgrimages. These are mostly ritual-centric with well-defined rules and regulations. Washing off of sins seems to be an overriding aspect of these visits. Spiritual journeys, on the other hand, are more about going with the flow and finding your own answers. The long periods of silence and contemplation, that characterize a spiritual journey, help you to connect with your Higher Self.

Thriive: For someone who feels they’re not yet ready for spirituality, how can they prepare for such a journey?
Neeta Jhaveri: Go with an open mind. This is the best way of approaching anything new in life, and that includes spiritual journeys. If you feel you’re not ready to go alone, go with a group of people. Check out the organized tours which include your primary interest: If you are a water person, you might want to go a tour near a beach. If you are an adventurous person, explore the possibilities of a trip to the mountains. Rock climbing can be meditative as you bring in all your attention to the act. Take baby steps. Go with your personality, your health and your physical strength. Build yourself up a little more every time you undertake such a journey. Begin with guided tours that include guided seminars and meditations as part of the package. In the beginning you need not even travel out of the city. Start with a nearby place. Do it for two days. Like a warm up. Inculcate patience and easy-going-ness. Some things might work for you or they might not. But one always comes out with some benefits. You might go with pre-conceived notions but might come back with totally different insights and experiences. Once you go through a few of them, you can then seek off on your own.

Thriive: What according to you is “open-mindedness”?
Neeta: Respecting the other person and their choices. You will see a lot of it in the case of food choices.  If you are vegetarian and uncomfortable to be in a place where non-vegetarian food too is served, don’t join that retreat. Choose what works for you but if you don’t get what you want, accept the alternatives as the free will of the other person.
Thriive: Are there any physical and non-physical preparations that one can make before embarking on a trip of this sort?
Neeta: The most important thing is comfortable attire. You are going to spend a lot of time in Nature. If you feel too hot or too cold, or your footwear is uncomfortable, you will not be able to concentrate. Check out the place for availability of the food you eat. Organised tours take care of everything. Prepare to eat light food. Not just your body but even your energy-body will feel lighter and aid you in meditation.

Thriive: Which are the places in India which are popular for such spiritual journeys?
Neeta: It depends on what you are inclined towards. Goa is a very popular retreat. Once upon a time it was the hub of hippie culture. Today it has many yoga retreats that provide a soothing experience. As I mentioned above, if you have an adventurous streak you can attend retreats in Ladakh and Rishikesh. Bhutan is wonderful as are the monasteries in North India.

Thriive: What inspires somebody to seek out an experience of this sort?
Neeta: Usually when you are down and out, you feel like things are not working, you’re always seeking answers. You go to a Tarot card reader, and say, “Healer, help me! Help me!” They will help you as much as they can and then give you recommendations to go to the next level. You feel like, “Okay, there’s a group meditation, let me go for that.” You go and find it amazing and then you decide to sign up for a workshop. Maybe this workshop is somewhere abroad, or in another city in India. You feel motivated to give it a shot. And this is how the journey carries on.

Thriive: What has been your most memorable journey till now?
Neeta: Two of them stand out immediately in my mind. This was two years ago when three of my friends and I went to Sedona. We had our own van. We met a woman who would drive the van and also guide us for the meditations. We stayed at the hotel but every day we drove to the river where we would meditate. We participated in shamanistic rituals using fire energy. We climbed a mountain that was an energy vortex. We then drove to the Grand Canyon. At one time we were in the middle of nowhere, with only one Inn. We stayed there. Between travelling, manifestation, meditation and enjoying the place, with a schedule we had made ourselves, it has been a memorable experience.
At another time, I took my husband to Egypt and made him meditate in the middle of the Pyramid. The energy is the strongest there since it is considered to be the Centre of the Universe. From being a non-believer he turned into a hard-core believer. He still tells me, “Neeta, that was the best trip of my life.”

Thriive: Thank you, Neeta, for sharing your insights and knowledge. Much appreciated.
Neeta: It’s been a pleasure.

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  1. I am getting more stress in my work and i am facing more problems in my life. I have read more spiritual books and motivational books in online. I am collecting those types of books in my home. My friends and relations are read those books for their free time. I am getting to get some of real life stories and journals about particular research. I like religious journey also. I need more stories and energetic sources for my life. Your post is really given the great approach and peace for my mind also. I have chosen the best choice for my life style.
    I love myself and managing all problems as single. My husband gave great support for meet each and every issue. He is given good respects for me and my thoughts. I feel also comfortable and getting good health also. I like to eat the vegetarian foods. I have getting more interest in cooking. But i not able to cook in my home. I am getting more experience for reading the books. Taken exercise and meditation for my fresh mind of work. Your post is given good effects to me. Thanks for given wonderful post here. My blog is also covered my life moments and college days.
    I have made more types of blog post about my life. My friends are join with my for journey. It is really enjoyable moment. My friends are given good support and happiness for all time. Check the everything activities in your life and enjoy each and every seconds in your life. All activities are given something different experience. Good strong and energy sources are shared with this post. I like to read this and taken more sources also. Thanks for sharing strongest information to me. I have consider more group of people feedbacks here


Make sure these 5 Indian Superfoods are on your plate in 2-0-1-8

6 Apr, 2018
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Make sure these 5 Indian Superfoods are on your plate in 2-0-1-8

Your newsfeed might be full of ‘superfoods’ like acai berry, chia seeds and what-not, from around the world, each one promising a fitter body and a happier life if you consume them. But it’s actually better to think global but eat local. India is blessed with nutrition-dense, healthy foods, so make sure you’ve got them on your plate in 2-0-1-8. 

1) Buckwheat aka Kuttu: Vegetarians, rejoice! Here’s your alternative to egg white – containing 8 amino acids with magnesium and potassium. No wheat, only buckwheat! (for you, gluten-intolerants). Buy it here: https://sattvicfoods.in/

2) Lotus Seeds aka Makhana: Rockstar of snackfood. Dry-roasted, it makes a nice, low-cal, crave-buster. Can be added to curries and desserts for the added oomph. We get ours from here: http://healthyliving.natureloc.com/

3) Indian Gooseberry aka Amla: School days are memories of amla bits eaten with a mix of salt and red chili powder. It was the Vit. C in it that boosted our immune systems and now that they are older (slightly, hehehe) it helps us in our weightloss and anti-aging efforts. What’s not to like! Get it here: https://www.organicindiashop.com/

4) Drumstick Tree aka Moringa: Gifting flowers takes on a whole new meaning with morings flowers. A rich source of antioxidants, proteins and calcium, it can be eaten fried, roasted, curried or ‘raita’-ed. Yes, even as a tea. Buy it here: https://vrindavanfarm.com/

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5) Indian Basil Seeds aka Sabja: They’ve got the cools! Soak them in water and see them fluff up into powerballs of vitamins and iron. Add them to your fave cold drink (we love khus) to relieve constipation and bloating. Get them at: https://www.organicgarden.co.in/

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  1. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

    Health Fitness Food


I’m A Thriiver – Shital Bhatkar

3 Apr, 2018
I’m A Thriiver  – Shital Bhatkar

When Shital Bhatkar lost her young son to a rare disease, it changed not just her life but also the life of a lot of other people. Shital’s story, in her own words…

The most unbearable fate that can befall a parent is that of losing their child. And the only way it can become bearable, in a small measure, is by helping to lessen the pain of others.

It began well, though.

When I held my beautiful baby boy in my arms, I felt contented. “Our family is now complete,” I said to my husband and my 5-year-old daughter as they stood around my bed at the maternity hospital.

Things were going well till Aarya, our son, was already one and half years old and not yet walking (a growth milestone which is generally achieved at one year). His tummy too seemed swollen.

A Rare Disorder

The paediatrician didn’t have much to say but referred me to a neurologist, Dr. Udani, who took one look at Aarya and said he suspected a storage disorder. This was a term we were hearing for the very first time in our lives. We did the tests suggested by the doctor but they only diagnosed Aarya as being anaemic. We heaved a sigh of relief. A few months later, he was admitted to hospital with typhoid. Dr. Udani was one of the doctors allocated to him and when he saw Aarya, he prescribed a bone marrow test. We got it done once Aarya was better.

The results confirmed that it was a storage disorder disease.

This is a rare, genetic disease in which one enzyme is missing and so the fat cells are not synthesized. They end up accumulating in the vital organs like liver, spleen, lungs, bone marrow and brain and can be fatal. This affects 1 in 100,000 people and around 500 cases have been diagnosed worldwide.

I had completely blanked out as the doctor explained this disease to us.

On the doctors’ advice we sent a skin sample to the world’s only NPC testing center that is in Netherlands. It took so long to reach that it got spoiled in transit. The result of the second sample confirmed it was storage disorder. And worse, it was the Niemann Pick C (NPC) type, which has no cure. The life-span of a child afflicted with NPC was not more than 6-7 years.

A Ray of Hope

This was earth-shattering for us. But we did not want to give in so easily. We showed him to many doctors and pursued many alternative therapies: homeopathy, ayurvedic, flower therapy. Nothing worked. We combed the internet for sources and information. One such search led us to a Switzerland company which manufactured capsules that were supposed to be a cure.

They were extremely expensive: Rs.5 lakh for 90 tablets. The company would give the medicines only to a hospital or pharmacy. We requested a pharmacist friend to help out. There were excise and import hassles too. But finally we got the capsules but nobody could tell us about the correct dosage. None of the doctors we spoke to had even heard of this disease. We were stuck.

Luckily, we connected to the doctor who was the inventor of the medicine and he began to guide us for the dosage. It was very bitter and I had to stop giving Aarya milk, sugar and such stuff for the medicine to have full effect.

Aarya was a foodie. Not letting him have cake and other sweets at birthday parties used to be heart-wrenching. But I persisted. Getting him to become well was the only goal in my mind.

At the end of six months of giving this medicine we saw there was absolutely no improvement in his condition.

If the medicine had worked we would have somehow managed to rustle up the resources to continue them. But with no results at all, we decided to stop the medicines.

Rapid Deterioration

In the meantime, Aarya’s limbs began turning. He began having difficulty in swallowing. We knew the deterioration had started and it was going to be rapid. He began having a lot of congestion in the lungs. By the time he was 3 he was completely bed-ridden. We were feeding him through a stomach peg and every few hours we had to suction out the congestion in the lungs. An oximeter attached to his forefinger became our lifeline as well as his. Oxygen had to be constantly supplied to the lungs and this oximeter told us if the oxygen levels were normal.

I was the primary caregiver. Though my husband took over Aarya’s care for 3-4 hours in the night, he had to go to work and the entire onus of taking care during the day was on me.

The pain of helplessness was taking its toll. That one could do NOTHING at all was always gnawing at my heart. I often felt my head would burst. I needed some time out and looked forward to visits from friends and family. My mother often chipped in to help with my daughter, which was a huge blessing.

But some visitors would say this was happening because of Karma: apparently because of a wrong Aarya or we might have done in previous lifetimes. And here was this child, a pure soul, lying helpless.

Seeking Solace

It got too much to bear. I stopped allowing such toxicity to come into our life.

Meditation came to my rescue. This gave me the strength to carry on and not go into depression. Even today I ask the question “Why”. When I think of God I can still see Aarya, my little baby and the injustice of it all still hurts me. Hopefully meditation will help me to come to terms with it.

Towards the end, when Aarya was just three months away from his 7th birthday, the oximeter readings began getting lower and lower. This was a sign that he was struggling but we could do nothing at all to help him. With monetary and other resources available to us, even then we were helpless. We admitted him to the ICU but we decided to be with him instead of leaving him alone inside the ICU. We shifted him to the room and we were with our Aarya when he passed on an hour later.

For me it was as if I was thrown into a void. For almost two weeks I could not come to grips with the loss. My husband and my daughter had been equal partners in facing this journey of pain together. The bond between my husband and me had strengthened through this adversity. My daughter had matured almost overnight over the five and half years of Aarya’s condition. But they needed me and I had to overcome my grief.

WithAarya – The NGO

Aarya had come to be known as the NPC child. All doctors began referring their NPC patients to us. When Aarya was four we began an NGO ‘WithAarya’ to help the ‘NPC families’. Most were from low income groups and often multiple kids in the family were afflicted. This caused a huge strain on their finances and they could not provide proper care. As the disease progresses, the amount of care required becomes very intense. We helped, as much as we could, with information and support. Going back after Aarya was almost traumatic and my husband told me to stop going to the hospital. But I knew I had to go back and help them. This is what helped me come out of the pain of losing Aarya.

I would visit the KEM hospital very often since it the only hospital in India where all genetic disorders are treated. Many of the patients and their attendants were from out of town. I would often see them sitting outside in the corridors or on the road, hungry, not able to afford even a single meal in the day. There was a tribal child who had been admitted for a heart illness. But he was so malnourished that it was unbearable to see his condition.

With my husband’s encouragement, I started distributing food packets at lunchtime to those in need. This is how Don Ghaas (Marathi word for Meal) came into being. Each packet contains roti-sabji, dal-khichdi and a banana for Rs.10/- each. We began with 50 packets and today we are distributing 250 packets, 100 at lunch and 150 at dinner.

Besides this, we also help with medical aid in terms of medicines and getting prescribed tests done, including CT Scan, MRI and so on.

In truth, it is doing this work that has stopped me from going into depression after losing Aarya. Many people have come forward to help us with this initiative and we hope we can continue to make a difference as much as possible. Through our association with Organisation For Rare Diseases India (ORDI) we are also trying to get the Government involved in a larger way.

A Message of Service and Hope

Aarya will never come back. But his short journey with us has so much more sensitive to what is going on around us. People feel that they will get depressed if they help those in hospitals. Even for me, going back to these hospitals after Aarya was initially traumatic and my husband requested me to stop. But I knew I had to go back and help others. And helping others is what helped me come out of the pain of losing Aarya.

You May Also Like:

I’m A Thriiver – Anamika Chakravarti
I’m A Thriiver – Sinjini Sengupta
I’m A Thriiver – Dr. Anil Suchak

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