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By Puja Gupta
Rider and influencer Mohit Kharbanda has covered nearly 2 lakh kilometres across India and several other countries in his motorcycle since he started riding 18 years back.
With so many years of experience with different kinds of tourists and places, Kharbanda says the pandemic will “turn tourists into travellers”. Adding, “More people will develop an adventure streak with self-sustaining trips as a result of the pandemic.”
On World Tourism Day, IANSlife spoke to the Kharbanda to know more about the changes the industry is going to see, tips and tricks for riders to travel amid a pandemic and more. Excerpts:
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Q: How have you seen the tourism industry evolve given the situation?
Mohit: Places, communities and hospitality players have a new target audience – the cautious traveller. And what will set them apart is the level of hygiene, sanitation and the assurance of safety. Also, places that offer customised options – individual cottages, self-drive vehicles, private swimming pools – will be preferred by the apprehensive traveller. A tilt towards lesser-known destinations and ones that aren’t flocked by crowds is seen already, as travel is opening up. Far-off country sites will carry the label of safety more than a bustling city. Nature and adventure have always had their patrons and would continue to do so. Shorter distances, campings and road trips would be the most popular trips.
I have been travelling in my custom-built pick-up truck; carrying my own tent and other essentials. What I did as a passion for exploring the off-beat, will be the new norm. The situation will surely turn tourists into travellers.
Q: How do you foresee the industry evolve for influencers such as yourself?
Mohit: The OTT consumption is at an all-time high. Given that people are still apprehensive about venturing out too much, there is a scope for varied content such as educational and informative videos – DIY Videos are a huge hit! Regional language content has found more takers, which has given influencers the opportunity to create content in their local language for their regions. This has opened floodgates for anyone and anyone with a talent to land a message with innovation.
Q: How do you think the travelers will restart their adventurous journeys after the pandemic?
Mohit: Travellers will surely be wary of large groups and public means of transport. The road will have more companions than rail or airways. Caravans, pick-up trucks will be the new trendsetters. More people will develop an adventure streak – with self-sustaining trips, pitching their own tents and cooking their own food. Lesser known, far-flung places will have more visitors than before.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: किसानों के पक्ष में अकाली दल, तोड़ा 22 साल पुराना गठबंधन
Q: Any tips and tricks for riders to plan their next adventure?
Mohit: With the lockdown restrictions being lifted, we are beginning to believe that things are getting back to normal and we are taking a casual approach to travel as well. However, safety and hygiene should be of paramount importance to anyone wanting to embark on an adventure. The trick is to be smart, responsible and cognizant of the locals in the places that you will be visiting. While a lot of places are solely dependent on tourism, we must not compromise on the safety of the local communities, especially in areas where healthcare infrastructure isn’t optimal.
Q: When did motorcycling become more than a hobby for you?
Mohit: My love for motorcycles is a legacy that has been passed on to me by my father who was the first amongst his siblings to own a bike. As the pursuit of exploration grew to be my passion and my motorcycle became the ideal companion, I realised how it was more than just a hobby for me. I have been riding for the last 18 years and would have clocked close to 2 lakh kilometres across India and abroad.
Q: Why do you choose motorcycle excursion over other modes of exploring?
Mohit: Every shred of your body feels closer to nature from the seat of a saddle. The oneness with your surroundings that you feel while riding a motorcycle is unmatched. You merge with the terrain effortlessly and the sense of adventure is elevated to another level.
Q: Why do you think motorcycling as a genre has strong synergy with travelling and touring?
Mohit: A motorcyclist is always independent and at his own free will to explore and experience what he puts his heart at. Over the years, my motorcycle journeys have taken me around the world, to places few tread to, experiencing stories few have listened to. These journeys have evolved many riders and travellers like me.
Q: When did the love affair with Royal Enfield start?
Mohit: It was at 18 years of age when I first tried my hands on my father’s cast iron Bullet; it was love at first sight – as cliche as it may sound! The rawness, the rugged looks, that trademark thump made me a fan for life. I have tried expressing myself through this machine when it was passed on to me. I customised it as per my taste and riding style – that’s the beauty of Royal Enfield motorcycles. They are simple machines – you can strip them down to the last nut and bolt and they will never disappoint you.
Q: With this domestic boom in tourism, what is that one place in India that attracts you the most and why?
Mohit: Kashmir Valley has my heart! Even after visiting the place on almost all modes of transportation, I still get excited like a first-timer whenever I get a chance to visit. The snow-clad mountains, the painfully breathtaking view of the Dal, the floating Shikaras, the ever-smiling shepherds with their flock, the beautiful Chinar leaves strewn across paths as they shed from their trees in autumn, the old-men in Pherans and a Kangri welcoming you in their discussions, the Roganjosh and the Tabakmaaz – they keep calling me back. (IANS)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)