Category Archives: Vijisha Kannambath

Indulge yourself in smart phone games to treat depression

Depression and anxiety can be huge obstacles for many of us. Whether you are struggling with mild depression or anxiety, or you feel yourself buried by it, for one it’s challenging to deal with it. To find a way out can seem nearly impossible for the victim. People with late –life depressions generally have trouble focusing their attention on personal goals due to worries.

Luckily, things are changing and more and more methods of treatment are being developed for depression, anxiety and other mental health related issues. What’s even more exciting is that people have started to realize how helpful video candy-crush-saga-screenshot-01games or smartphone games can be for those people who struggle with mood disorders or mental illness.  That’s right! Scientists and doctors are seeing medically beneficial reasons for people to play electronic games.

A recent study proves that playing mobile –based video games may help to treat depression by targeting underlying cognitive issues associated with the disorder, rather than just managing the symptoms. The study enrolled older adults diagnosed with late life depression into a treatment trial where they were randomized to receive either a mobile, tablet based treatment technology called Project EVO or an in person therapy technique known as problem solving therapy.  Project EVO runs on phones and tablets and is designed to improve focus and attention at a basic neurological level.

It’s an amazing fact that science is starting to understand how to use video games to help people struggling with mental illness.  Almost above 1.2 billion people play games in the world. Smartphone gaming is currently growing in popularity in how fun addictive and accessible they are.

So now in this era of inventions, it’s a great thing to know that, playing the occasional mobile game for fun is typically harmless. It is after all, just one of many recreational activities one can enjoy during their leisure time. Besides social entertainment, some games even come with further benefits as they can build decision making skills, give education and help the general well-being of a person.  So they are not only to entertain and a way to kill time but it also relieves stress in great extent.

As with anything, moderation is the key mantra to be followed, one should not get fully immersed in their games. So while you indulge yourself in smartphone game therapy to overcome anxiety or depression, it’s important to keep your gadget games for a moderate time.

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A dog who captured the man’s heart

dog_mans-best-friendA long challenging journey which could be exhausting went like a breeze for Naveen, when a stray dog whom he later named Malu joined the devotee on his walk from Mookambika temple in Kollur, Karnataka to Sabarimala in Kerala -the abode of lord Ayyappa.

The incident followed, reminds us why dogs are called a man’s best friend. 38-year old Naveen from Kozhikode district in Kerala was accompanied by an extraordinary dog who undertook a 600-kms journey, which is 17 days trip on foot to Sabarimala. At first Naveen tried to shoo the dog away but Malu was adamant on accompanying him to his destination and throughout she guarded his belongings like a helpful companion.

The journey earned her the name – Malu, which resembles “Malikappuram”, a term used to address female Sabarimala devotees. Naveen made her wore a black belt and Rudraksh necklace around her neck and allowed to follow him to Sabarimala. After reaching the temple, Naveen lost Malu, but soon he got informed from the fellow devotees that she had been waiting for him on the stairs leading to the shrine for one and a half days, sniffing every devotee passing by. The reunion was even more memorable, when Malu joyfully jumped at Naveen when he arrived. While returning, Naveen took special permission from KSRTC special officer to make arrangements to bring Malu back home with him.

Malu now has a large cardboard box that she calls her home in Naveen’s house in Beypore, Kozhikode. And also wears a brown-beaded necklace around her neck to remind herself and all those around her of her incredible journey.

Pets are the most adorable companions a person could have in life, and among these dogs are known to be the most loyal. The story of Malu and Naveen conveys the same. A stray dog who walked 600 Km to a shrine to keep the pilgrim company and finding a forever home, will make every one smile and reaffirm once faith in the loyalty of animals towards human beings. It’s indeed a whiff of fresh air, when the state is gripped with the fear of stray dog’s terror on the door.dog_mans-best-friend

Gods Own Country – Desserts Of Rajasthan: An Incredible Road Trip

rickshaw_1332042fHave you ever thought of taking up the laymen’s vehicle, Rickshaw, from Kerala to Rajasthan?? A big No, Right!!..

The UK based adventure company has again come up this year with the Rickshaw Run, a 3 –wheeler run from Fort Kochi, a water- bound region towards the south-west of the mainland Kochi to Rajasthan. The adventure race with charity in mind started from Fort Kochi and will end at Mount Abu, Rajasthan after a two weeks’ time.  A total of 82 autos are taking part in the event and in this 35 participants are Ladies.

The participants representing 29 countries shall be riding, rolling and wiggling their way across in their tinny steeds covering approximately 26,000 on their way to Rajasthan.   What makes the journey even more memorable is the fact that the amount collected during this 12 days trip will be used for a noble course.

For many of the participants it will be their first experience – whether it’s travelling to India, driving a rickshaw or just experiencing the enthusiasm and love that the people of our country are so famous for.

However, the brave team members from around the world have gathered in Kochi, for the carnival and met their marvelously painted rickshaws. After a magnificent celebration to mark the beginning of the New Year, they are about to embark on an epic journey to the vast desserts of Rajasthan.

Couple drives all the way from Kerala to Holland – Tie their knot ‘en-route

9506161_1456564348-4362Life is always unpredictable. For some people, life is meant for adventures, Passion, and dedication and thrill to make their dream real and amazing. A Road trip from Kerala to Holland covering 13,500Kms sounds crazy for most of us. But when I heard about this adventures couple Joerik and Pauline, I really felt amazed and proud for these lovely pair. Hailing from Netherlands they travelled all the way from Kerala to Holland in an ordinary van.

They had many options to choose for their journey from Kerala the southernmost state in India to Holland. Checking out the craziest choices available, the couple finally decided for a road trip. It wasn’t an attempt to create records, but it was a journey to make an awesome book of memories which the couple wanted to cherish forever. It was a journey to travel to their hearts content and earn experience of a lifetime.

Joerik and Pauline, who had been travelling for over six months decided to make India a long stopover and took a relaxing break in an Asharam in Kerala. It was during this break that they decided to return to Holland with their travel companion a 2004 model Mahindra Maxi Van. They never hesitated and were super excited to make it possible. The planning procedure started in parallel to their awesome trip as they gave away few hours of each day for some research online.

They took all the details that could give them sound knowledge on buying a car, visa and to plan the route. They also spent time for collecting the necessities like gas stoves, bed linen, pots, and pans and also worked on crowd funding, Facebook page, logo etc. Travelling is a way of rejuvenating for some, for others it’s a lifestyle. I have come across lots of people who toil hard all their lives, save penny by penny and secure their lives post their retirement life.

But there are people like these young couples who live life at the fullest like there’s no tomorrow. Joerik and Pauline crossed all the hurdles and enjoyed the beautiful climate, places they visited, their lifestyle, food and went into the nook and corners of the different nations for a total of seven months. Some people follow their dreams and prove that life could be lived to the fullest with adventure and passion. Joerick and Pauline is a true inspiration to the travelers across the world.

 

Pic Credit: GoFundMe.com

e-wallets marking its foot in micro retailing in Kerala villages

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PM Narendra Modi’s announcement to scrap the existing Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes came as a surprise to all. Average Indian spent a sleepless night with trepidation about their savings in currency of those denominations. By next morning, it became a new topic for troll and jokes and social media witnessed an avalanche of funny messages. Amidst the chaos regarding long queues and closed ATMs, most of us started resorting to e-wallets such as Paytm for our daily transactions.

With shortage of lower denomination currency, digital money is the king now. Even way side tea stalls, vegetable vendors and neighborhood grocery stores are unzipping their e-wallets.

The latest feedback from Kakkanad, a small time Kerala village in the outskirts of Kochi, is enlightening, even the small tea shops functioning here using e-wallets, more specifically Paytm, when the current ban affected them reversely. A note was put up on the facia “we don’t accept Rs.500, Rs.1000 notes”, next to which was another note with a logo of paytm, which read “Make payment through Paytm”. Surprisingly, the groceries in the neighborhood and even the daily wage labor also have started using e-wallets post the ban.

Today, across regions, nationally hundreds of such small vendors and businesses have switched to mobile and online payment services. While a number of payment gateways, such as Paytm, Mobikwik and Citrus are already in big demand, mobile wallet companies have started offering e-wallet transactions at physical outlets as well.

The wide acceptance of e-wallets and in–app wallets has finally begun marking the beginning of a digital revolution. When e-wallets first hit the market, they had limited scope. For instance, if you load money in your Paytm wallet to use taxi service, one cannot use that money elsewhere, but this has changed now. Slowly restrictions on e-wallets are starting to fade enabling the same being accepted across all major retailers across the country.
Text: Vijisha Kannambath | vijisha@respublica.in
Photographs: Joy Xavier | joy@respublica.in