CINEFORUM: “Fai bei sogni”

words and music and stories

fai bei sogni

Massimo ha nove anni quando muore la sua adorata madre, a causa di un ‘ infarto improvviso ‘,  gli dicono i parenti, che sembrano tuttavia tenergli celato qualcosa.
Prima di diventare un giornalista affermato, Massimo trascorre un’infanzia solitaria e un’adolescenza difficile, segnato da quella perdita e sempre avvolto in una cortina di sofferenza.
Solo alla fine di un doloroso percorso di avvicinamento alla verità scoprirà com’erano andate esattamente le cose, e troverà il modo di ritrovare la serenità.
All’inizio, il contesto è quello di una Torino dei tardi anni ’60, con immagini in bianco e nero della Tv di quel periodo, quasi a fornire un supporto al tessuto della memoria. Appare spesso il personaggio di Belfagor, protagonista dello sceneggiato che Massimo guardava insieme alla madre, e che diventa una specie di amico, una voce interiore da cui si sente protetto. Per non lasciarsi risucchiare in un tunnel di angoscia, si…

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Krishna’s Dwarkadhish temple to Sudama Setu: Pictorial tour of Dwarka

Road to Divinity...

After becoming a Krishna devotee since last few years, I, obviously, developed a keen interest to visit Dwarka. It so happened that just recently I told my parents about my wish to visit the holy place at least once. And just one or two days later, I get a mail informing that I, along with few other bloggers, was selected for a trip to Dwarka. Was this a mere co-incidence?

The trip was a part of a bloggers’ review program for Mercure Dwarka hotel, which was inaugurated in the town of Gujarat in August this year. We landed at Porbandar airport and reached Dwarka in a drive of around 90 minutes. The place can also be reached from Jamnagar airport in little over two hours.

Sudama-Setu Sunset captured from Sudama Setu in Dwarka

Dwarka is located at the western end of Gujarat on the shore of Arabian Sea. It is…

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Working remotely and WordPress VIP: WordPress Meet

IMG_20170921_180214.jpg21st September, 2017 WordPress Meet at Blue Host/ Endurance International

Iam just 2 meetings old in the WordPress community and if you ask me how has it been so far? I would say it’s been resourceful and an enjoyable experience. The best part of these meets is that they are voluntarily organized by some WordPress enthusiasts like Alexander Gounder, Jayman Pandya and others.

So what was in store at this meet, which was held at Endurance International office at Nesco, Goregaon West, Mumbai, India? We had two speakers Mussanif (who replaced Stephane Boisvert – Lead of VIP Support for Automattic, as he couldn’t make it) and Karen Arnold, Head of Happiness Hiring for Automattic.

He discussed about the present and future scope of WordPress. Why it is referred to as the operating system of the web?

He discussed about WordPress VIP Services .

This service is meant for a particular category of businesses and people. When the traffic on the website is massive, often security becomes an issue. For such blogs or websites WordPress has introduced with VIP services. Some of their clients are Indian Express and Justine Trudeau, the honourable Prime Minister of Canada.

This service can be used by Product and Services’ companies and for personal branding purpose too. It also breaks the perception of WordPress being a blog host company. WordPress is primarily known as a platform for blogging but, this service makes efforts to convey to its audience that WP is more than just a blogging platform.

It gives opportunity to big corporates to have their website on WordPress.

The discussion then digressed a bit to Gutenberg- an editor/ plugin that aims at building and adding more flexibility and customization while writing posts. It is an opensource, built by contributors / volunteers.

Then Karen Arnold took over the discussion; she spoke about the challenges and opportunities of working remotely. As a matter of fact the entire Automattic team works remotely.

Karen said that according to research studies if people work remotely there are lesser chances of them quitting their jobs. It may seem that working remotely is fine for a team of less than 50 people. But, surprisingly Automattic team constitutes of 611 people and everyone works remotely. I found that totally exciting since I am a freelancer I work remotely too.

It has its pros and cons, which Karen spoke about and I could relate to the entire presentation.

Challenges of working remotely

1)Business challenges:

  • Communication:

You don’t communicate much with your team in person.

  • Culture and value:

It’s tough to define the culture of a company where the team is working remotely (the team doesn’t meet and interact in person).

  • Monitoring the team:

It’s a challenge to monitor the team and how would you know the productivity of each team member? Employees need to be self-motivated if they are working remotely.

So, Automattic has a six-week long trial process before hiring anyone.

2) Challenges faced by the team:

  • The team doesn’t meet at all:

So, they don’t see each other working; they need to be self-motivated.

  • Focusing:

How would you focus on your work as there are so many things that tend to distract you while wroking from home? But, at Automattic everyone is catching up with timelines as there is a system where teams discuss their progress through different tools.

  • Language barrier:

Most of the communication happens in English but, it might be tough for some people who don’t speak English.

  • Feeling alone:

When you work remotely; may be from home or in a travel van like Karen does, you tend to feel alone. You miss the excitement that is a part of offices where colleagues meet everyday and bond.

  • Never leaving the house:

You might feel irritable and less excited while working as your are bound to your home all day. You don’t leave your house environment and step out. That could be a challenge, isn’t it and can be called as ‘Cabin fever’.

You don’t know if you, ‘Work at home or live at work’.

I could relate to each of these challenges but, let me tell you if you are passionate about your work and the projects that you work on, these things don’t matter. Yes, at times you may feel bogged down by these challenges but, as Karen suggested you can make it a habit to go out for strolls in the morning, evening and take a tiny break in the afternoon to watch TV or read something. All in all, its different kind of fun.


  • Ideal work environment:

Employees are happy because they can work from preferred location; home, coffee shop, while travelling, co-working space, etc.

  • Flexibility:

You can change what you want in the environment where you work unlike, when you work from the office.

  • Diversity:

People from across the globe form the team. There are no boundaries; you have a diverse team to work with, isn’t that exciting?

  • Menos Gastos:

It might seem you are saving on lot of resources especially financial resources, yes, that is true. But, when you meet once in a year, to get together the entire team at one place is quite a cost. So, eventually it’s a trade-off between spending money on an office or on better things like meeting up with your colleagues once a year, communicating and having fun.

How to make remote working a success?

  • Communication:

To improve your communication with the team use a lot of tools, share what you have been working on regularly (atleast once a week), skills what you have been working on and the challenges faced.

  • Location:

Choose the right place to work depending on the work at hand. If you have a conference call or skype call be prepared for it a day in advance. You cannot be travelling or be in a noisy place if you are on a call.

  • Preparation for the day:

Be prepared for the day, use a notebook to make notes about the day’s schedule. Karen said something interesting, she notes down things that she has finished doing so she knows her progress and how much more she got to work on. Iam doing this today and I think it works well 😊

  • Movement:

Get up and move away from your laptop, take breaks; this refreshes you.

List of companies that provide opportunities for freelancers:

The next WordPress Meet is happening on 30th September, 2017 at Endurance International from 10am to 5pm. Its called the WordPress Global Translation Day #GWTD3. Its an opportunity where you can translate for WordPress from English to regional Indian languages.

© Copyright 2017 Rashmi S. Malapur. All rights reserved




Inspiring stories: Sai Kaustuv Dasgupta

Interview of Sai Kaustuv – Questions by Rashmi Malpur, Mumbai


Please tell us a bit about your life till now.

Hi friends, Sai Kaustuv Dasgupta here. I am an International Graphic Designer, Motivational Speaker, Happiness Coach, a Singer & a Music Composer. From my childhood, I am suffering from a rare ‘Brittle Bone Disease’ called Osteogenesis Imperfecta. I have already gone through more than 50 fractures and at present all my joints are fully fixed. I cannot walk, so I use an Electric Wheelchair to commute in the outer world.

I was a dancer. I used to imitate all the steps just by witnessing the dance forms. Then one day doctor suggested my parents that dance is not for me. So, I came to know for the first time that ‘I am different’. I was too immature to understand that I am having a rare kind of disease, which is going to restrict me from leading a normal life. I originally belong to Siliguri, West Bengal, so I always had a creative bent of mind. My family shifted to Andhra Pradesh for the betterment of my health in 2004.

After I restrained myself from dancing at the age of 5 years, I thought about doing something by staying in a safe zone as I was realizing that my bones are fragile just like glass. Then I started singing. I was inspired by my mother, who was also my first teacher as she is a trained classical singer herself. I knew the issues that I was facing with dancing so I took to singing as a platform to express my emotions.

In 2009 my body started deteriorating. Any place of my body, which used to get fractured became de-formative. My shoulders also became stiff and my father was unable to move me from my cot to the wheelchair. I was breaking down from within and outside too and finally I became totally confined to my small bed and was not able to move at all. We a have one room flat. So, I was restricted to the same environment each day. Same walls, same colours, same light, same people made my life mundane. In the beginning, I used to get depressed all the time as I was not able to accept this pathetic situation of my life.

Life taught me how to smile after my confinement of 6 years! I made myself a Wheelchair Warrior who defeated all the obstacles and came out of the room to motivate all other differently abled people who are still fighting to come out and lead a barrier free life.


What are you presently doing?

I am an international designer, so I do freelance designing for my global clients, project wise. I do designing by operating a mouse with my left hand, which works now and that too with two fingers only. I hold the mouse with my thumb and click with my index finger. My hands can’t reach the keyboard, but I can type quite fast by using a virtual keyboard. I discovered that there is a virtual keyboard in my laptop, which is a common feature in every system. But, people rarely use it because, they don’t need it. I have penned down my book and have completed typing it in two months. I chat with people and type all write ups in the same manner. All these answers have also been typed by me with just one finger by clicking through the mouse.

DSC_4790Beside graphic designing, I love to give motivational speeches. My wish is to become a top Motivational Speaker whose own life is a living inspiration. I have already inspired millions of people, especially, global leaders, scholars, students & young professionals with live & online sessions through my pep talks. I have conducted motivational sessions for PhD scholars of various institutes in different states of India, as well as those in countries like the US, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia & Nepal to name a few.

Motivational Session with Singapore Youth.jpg

What is Sai Kaustuv’s Call for Action!

As I’m a motivational speaker & a happiness coach, many organisations invite me for conducting inspiring sessions. I cannot travel by air as my physical condition (Brittle Bone Disease) does not support that. I cannot sit or enter into a normal car. I travel by wheelchair friendly cars. There is a company in Bangalore and they provide modified wheelchair friendly cars for hiring. They have modified Tata Winger, Nissan Evelia, Wagon R, Tavera, Maruti Suzuki Eeco etc as these are the suitable cars which can be modified.

So, every time I go outside to give motivational talks, I hire them. Now a days this company’s hiring cost is getting higher. There are no other companies around so they travel up & down empty from Bangalore to pick me up. For that they charge Rs 6,000 extra. And this is quite expensive for my family. The total expenses of one such journey comes to around Rs 25k – Rs 45k. Also, the organisations, which are inviting me, find it difficult to bear my communication charges as they too high for them. That’s why it’s difficult for me to continue my journey further which may make me confined to one place once again!

I took some time and did some research on this. I concluded that it would be wiser to make a permanent arrangement by having my own wheelchair modified car. Then I can travel long distance with comfort and less expenses.

But it’s a big challenge for my family to get an accessible car for me as we are going through tough financial crisis. I don’t have any permanent job and we don’t have sound financial background. We don’t know how to proceed. If I get a wheelchair friendly car of my own, I can give it to a company for modification as per my physical requirements. Then I can avail all invitations for delivering inspiring talks. That will help me in my noble mission of making all people happy & stress free.

Mastery Award 2017

I am humbly requesting all my well-wishers & readers to help me. Only then can I travel around India for people and for mankind. Your helping hand will benefit thousands through my inspiring journey, where I went through tremendous turmoil, but I ultimately won the race. Even a small contribution will play a big role to reach my goal.

Please go through this link to know more details:

You have faced innumerable challenges; what keeps you going? How can you always stay motivated?

I never felt I’m a differently abled even if Iam born with physical difficulties. It does not make me different from others. People with disability need empathy not sympathy!

I happen to have born with some sort of disability, but that does not mean I am disabled. I’ve proved my excellence in what I do. Before judging a differently abled person, I think we should give them a chance and you will be surprised to know what they can achieve. Many people ask me that how it is possible to smile after suffering so much? How do I motivate myself? What is that magical X factor in my life, which is driving me towards my destination.

My biggest strength is my smile. I always love to smile in every situation as I believe smile is the signature line of positivity. And through so many adverse situations of my life, I have learnt to smile as it helps me overcome the situations and gives me the satisfaction of winning over it. My Smile also attract people towards me as they feel a positive vibe after meeting  me and they return back totally inspired. So, I use my positive energy and smile to motivate myself. These are my strengths to show the world that what a 90% differently abled guy can achieve and how he can prove his unique capabilities.


Why did you decide to be a motivational speaker?

DSC_00145 (1)

I was confined into a small room for 6 years. Those 6 years of my life taught me many things. It was a different journey for me and I was seeing my life from a different dimension. I came to know the real essence of my birth and my purpose of life. Also, it was a period where I found real happiness. So, naturally when I found happiness and peace without stepping outside, it became a cause of great inspiration. People started coming to me and I started motivating them. I thought about becoming a Motivational Speaker. I was delighted to see my happiness growing by sharing it amongst everyone. Slowly people started calling me at events through Skype and I started motivating audiences. Through this unique journey of my life, I started inspiring millions, who wanted to be happy and stress free. I love to inspire today’s youths and students, who want to discover the main purpose of their lives. Thus, I am a Happiness Coach too.

WhatsApp Image 2017-07-23 at 12

Would you like to pen down your experience? Do you plan to write another book?

I have penned down a book in English titled ‘My Life, My Love, My Dear Swami’, which has published in 2015, where I have expressed myself and delivered a message, by reflecting upon my life, the struggles and my learnings from it. The book has been translated in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Oriya, Hindi & Gujarati. Even our Prime Minister Narendra Modi loved and appreciated the book upon receiving a copy of it.

775154_374208659342387_28757090_o 2.jpgI have written the full book with one finger that is my index finger. I have typed down the full book with the help of virtual keyboard. I’ve completed 52 pages book in one month. It’s not an extraordinary skill. It’s only the power of positivity & will power.

Yes, I am planning to write another book, which will reflect all the shades of Sai Kaustuv. It will describe myself as a total personality, elaborating my daily chores and the journey which made me today’s Sai Kaustuv.

Often it’s a huge challenge to pull ourselves out from tough situations. Our mind enters into a negative mode. How do you suggest to get out of this mode?

It might sound unbelievable, but my belief made me travel beyond all boundaries and that belief became my main strength to fight against all odds. In spite of so many difficulties, I lead my life with positivity. I never entertained negativity in my life because, I dislike the word ‘NO’.

During my confinement of 6 years in a small room, I used to practice positivity. It’s not something that happened suddenly. It was a tough practice to keep myself motivated. In spite of being confined within four walls, I have broken all the walls of obstacles and soared outward on the wings of faith and self-confidence. Inspite of being unable to do regular chores, I have taught myself to do things, which even normal people are unable to do.

I feel sorry for people who say they are in negative situations. Societies, countries, neighbours, relatives are not allowing themsleves to excel. They are not getting enough opportunities to perform well. They have huge bundles of complains. I feel sympathy for them as they are surrounded by negative thoughts. I can undoubtedly tell people that my life is full of negativities because, I can’t move an inch on my own. I need 24/7 assistance from my parents to move, to shift into bed or to do anything.

Let me make it simpler. If I get thirsty while parents are outside, I need to stay thirsty for hours until they return back because, I am unable to take a glass of water on my own. So, if I start complaining about all these things, will it be possible to come out of this critical situation? If you cry, if you complain, if you criticise small things in your life, you will not have enough. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful always of what you have. If you desire success touches your feet; transform your adversities into your opportunities.

Please share with our readers about Wheelchair Wanderlust Competition.

Travelling outside is a part of our life as it gives us joy, happiness and a fresh essence of life, which is absolutely essential. It also helps us to find our passion by getting exposed to varied cultures and people from different backgrounds. But do you think travelling for a differently able person like me is so easy? That’s a million dollar question. Traveling by wheelchair does not have to be as difficult as we think. The secret is – plan way ahead!

My first accessible visit after a gap of six years when I was fully confined into a room, started by visiting nearby places to get accustomed with travelling. Then I visited Nandi Hills in Karnataka, Bangalore and Whitefield. It was a great start with my family who has sacrificed their joy for my sake because, they never used to plan any outing as I was not able to go out. Gradually, I started exploring more and more. The main thing was, every time I go out, I had to hire a special wheelchair accessible car which has a ramp behind. So, my motorised wheelchair can get into it easily. I can’t travel in ordinary cars as I can’t sit or enter into them.

I went to Goa by car only. I won the All India #WheelchairWanderlust Competition 2016 organised by an International Travel Portal Company and went for an accessible trip to Goa as part of the Grand Prize. It was my first long journey after so many years. I was privileged to meet the State Commissioner for Disabilities in the Government of Goa: Mrs. Anuradha Joshi. She took my feedback on how to make Goa more accessible for the differently abled.

Who has inspired you the most in your life? Why?

Throughout my life till now, my main inspiration has been my parents Kausik Dasgupta and Shila Dasgupta. They are like living angels for me. From morning to night, they assist me in each and everything. Without their help, I can’t move an inch too. In all my success, they are the main pillars and in all my sorrows they are my main consoles. They have sacrificed a lot for my well-being and happiness. They were supportive from the time I was diagnosed with this disease. When my parents came to know about my disease, instead of breaking down, they took me as a blessing. They never complained about me and always took it as a challenge to bring me up with all the needed support. They always felt that they are special parents and they treated me like a special child.

My parents inspired me always to choose what I love to do and it is their greatness, which made me see the world in my own way. Besides them my younger brother Kushal too motivated me a lot. Whenever I have decided to do something new, he always inspired me to go ahead for it. Because of them today’s Sai Kaustuv has come a long way and has been blessed with love from millions of people. They are my ideals.

Share with us your motto in life.

The main ambition of my life is to simply make people happy through my positive pep talks. In other sense, I would like to bring back the purity of heart and genuine happiness, which people have lost in today’s busy course of life. They have forgotten to smile naturally. They only smile while taking a selfie! They need to be motivated. They need to learn to give a pause in life and reflect about their life. So I want to inspire them in such a way that it will help them to regain their true nature and they will learn to smile wholeheartedly.

508e384c-75a2-4c86-a9e5-b12f0ac701f8 (1)I never felt I’m a differently abled as being born with physical difficulties, does not make me different than others. People with disability need empathy not sympathy! I happen to have been born with some sort of disability, but that does not mean I am disabled. I have excelled in many fields. So, before judging a differently abled person, I think we should give them a chance and you will be surprised to know what they can achieve. I might be in an Electric wheelchair now to move around but I have destroyed all the barriers and I soar high on the wings of will power and determination.

Being a 90% disable guy, I became the fourth global icon worldwide after Helen Keller, Stephen Hawking and Srikanth Bolla on the basis of my leadership quality, which has been acknowledged by millions in this world. My body may be limited to certain extent, but my mind is powered with UNLIMITED positivity! I’m trying my best to utilize my mind for the betterment of society & mankind.

Do you wish to share anything more with our readers, probably give a message to them?

For all my readers, I would like to tell that – We all are gifted with so many abilities. Please have faith that you too can fly high on the wings of self-confidence and courage. Have strong determination and have clear idea about your destination. Life is too short to celebrate it fully. So, value every moment. Know who you are and know that you are worthy of reaching your dreams. It is never too late to start creating that life, which you have always dreamt of.

Find a balance in your professional and personal life. Do every work with patience. Do not compare yourself ever with others.

Be positive, be inspirational and no matter who you are, what you are, how much capable or incapable you think you are. Just get up, throw your weakness and work towards something, which you are really good at. If I can smile after all these life-threatening hurdles, then you too can march forward with a broader smile. Being a 90% differently able guy, I have turned my disability into my specialty to make you all SMILE! So please smile and make others happy.




Quotable #20: Art Of Taxation

I like this!!!

Learn Fun Facts


“The art of taxation consists of plucking the goose to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing,” — Jean-Baptiste Colbert

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WordPress Casual Meet

On the dashboard of my WordPress blog I found something interesting; it was an informal WordPress meet to be held at IIDE (Indian Institute of Digital Education) based in Andheri- West, Mumbai, India on 2nd September, 2017. It was conducted by Alexander Gounder , a specialist in SEO and Open Source Enthusiast. Alexander runs a company called Ink My Web, where they focus on building websites using WordPress. .

alexander gounder

IIDE conducts courses on Digital Marketing, Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing. They have a lovely campus and a great team too . At the end of the meet, Parth from IIDE shared a bit about the upcoming digital marketing course .

Alexander spoke to a diverse audience about the best SEO practices you can use for your WordPress blog or website. This is something that I was itching to know, ‘How can I optimize my blog?’ The session turned out to be extremely useful as it was an interactive session; Alexander ensured that everyone participates in this informal meet.

Amongst the audiences were beginners, experienced SEOs, bloggers, entrepreneurs and social media marketers. Also, there was a lady who had been hired by WordPress lately. So, it was a diverse and lively audience. The session wasn’t too long and technical. Alexander discussed about easy and quick tips to optimize your blog and website.

Here is what he covered in the session.

How to optimize your blog/website:

  • Title, tags and meta tags: These are keywords related to your post.
  • Links- hyperlinking parts of the post to relatable websites. You cannot link your website to the one that doesn’t have any connect with the core / focus on your website or the topic that you are discussing on your blog or website.
  • Making a sitemap of your website and submitting it on Google. Here is how you can do it:
  • Page seed : Keep a tab on how much time your blog takes to open on varied devices like the mobile, tab or laptop. Make sure that your website opens quickly and doesn’t keep the audience waiting. Its best to design a mobile friendly website as most audiences today access information from their mobile phones.
  • Post original content: You just cannot compromise on the content. No matter how unique your SEO techniques are but, if the content isn’t original Google isn’t going treat your website well.
  • Create a form on your blog/website so that people can contact you.
  • Be a marketer and not only a website owner: You have a great website there but, if you don’t market it, how is it going to reach the audience? So, along with being a great blogger, also be a great marketer.
  • Be the best result for the keywords you are trying to rank. Remember Google is not out to get you, it is only trying to give the best search result to its audience. So your content should be relevant to the visitors.

At the end Alexander clarified doubts, some were technical, which I couldn’t grasp. But, all in all WP casual meet is a great platform to gather some practical knowledge, network with bloggers, website owners, SEO specialists and representatives from website creating companies.

Oh! How can I forget sharing about the WordPress mascot for the World Camp Mumbai which was held on 25th and 26th March, 2017. The mascot was called ‘Wambhau’. Read more about it and do catchup with these WordPress meets and Camps. They certainly are a great platform to network and get some guidance too.

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Alms- For peace

amit bose pataleshwar

Image by Amit Bose

From a distance, a cry,

The screech tears you apart,

A call for rescue doesn’t let you move,

Your feet is buried in the wet soil.

Unable to move your heart sinks;

In the voice that chains you from head to toe.

You turn around to see a soul buried in pain.

As you drag your feet,

You get stuck in the ground.

Trying to console the soul,

You reach out to her & she disappears.

Following the voice, you reach at the doors wide open,

Where there is mercy and solace.

The cry subsides and you are relieved.

Suddenly your feet seems light,

Now unchained by the melody of prayers.

The poem is inspired from the song (qawwali) sung by Atif Aslam in the video.

© Copyright 2017 Rashmi S. Malapur. All rights reserved



Hiking Red Top Mountain

Surely a great place to visit!!

Alexis Chateau

After spending a week on the other side of the country, and then pulling off 40 hours of work on the weekend, a sane person spends the Monday relaxing. Right?

Well… perhaps it is insanity, but Monday I was up early to go hiking an hour or two out of town at Red Top Mountain. Why? Well – why not?

In Retrospect 

1 Red Top Mountain.jpg

I’ve heard great things about Red Top Mountain for a while now, and passed the park quite a few times on my way to other Georgia trails. So when the opportunity arose for me to see it in the flesh, saying no was not an option.

Really, none of you should be surprised. If it’s one thing anyone should learn from my trip out westis that I will gladly give up sleep for adventure!

A Long Trek

2 Red Top Mountain.jpg

It was a long way, and the longer I…

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Travel Diaries – Goa Trip- Basilica of Bom Jesus

I have always been fascinated with churches; the monuments, the structure, the piety and ofcourse the choir. Everything is worth revering. So when we went to Goa we made it sure to visit Basilica of Bom Jesus. The most mesmerising and memorable thing about the visit was a lady singing holy songs in the praise of the Lord.

Here are some of the images: