Making sense of these times using shōganai

At the beginning of the lockdown (what now seems ages ago), there was a sense of optimism accompanying the dread. Social media posts kept reminding us of how to turn it into a positive experience – ‘Go within’ they said. Countless advertisements glorified what we had been ignoring for years – slowing down. And so people, armed with the fervour of new-age pop-positivity, seeked yoga classes, read books, made green tea and worked in their pyjamas. News of swans swimming in the canals of Venice and wild animals crossing pedestrian streets made us feel like there was some meaning to the madness – something good amidst all the chaos. 

Until days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. Before we knew it, half the year was gone. Replacing the positivity and the honeymoon period with our spouses, was frustration and restlessness. Productivity dipped and we forgot about the animals. We stopped dreaming about a clean, new world and desperately wanted our old one back.

Now, how do we make sense of this ‘new normal’? How do we keep calm and carry on? The Japanese word shōganai meaning ‘there is no means or method’ is a reminder that sometimes we have to accept things as they are, whether we understand the reasons or not.


Here are some ways to make your peace with these trying times :

1. Close your eyes and breathe in deep. Often. Sometimes all you need is a pause, a momentary break.

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2. Maintain a routine. Working from home is the easiest way to ditch exercise, work out of your bed and binge on packaged food. Create a holistic routine with clearly demarcated slots. Work out, eat clean, set up a pretty work desk and drink those 3 litres of water. Everyday!

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3. Call the people you love. Use the time to catch up with long-lost friends, play ludo with your family, video call and really take out the time to talk. We need a semblance of human contact and while we remain confined to our homes, our interpersonal relationships can take flight.

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4. Be inspired. So what if you don’t have an angry boss setting the tone for your day’s work? Make work easier by finding inspiration. Be better at what you do. Upgrade yourself – personally or professionally. Start your day with your favourite music, watch a travel video of a place you love, read motivational quotes by people in your industry. Don’t stagnate!

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5. Seek help. Reach out to people if you feel restless or lonely. Depression has become a real side-effect of the pandemic. Don’t take the full brunt of it yourself. Seek professional help, talk to friends. Find a way to let out the steam.

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Another thing that we forget to do is to rest. Allow yourself to enjoy the free time, the alone time. Try to do as much as is possible but forgive yourself if you haven’t been too productive. Spend time doing what you love and use the time to really rest the body and mind that have been at work for years. These are trying times for sure, but the above tips should help. Remind yourself of the calmness of the Japanese and why the word shōganai exists. Until then, stay home, stay safe.


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Thank you very much to you and your team for arranging this fantastic tour. One of the best pick from this tour was your meticulous planning and promptness of service. All arrangements were fantastic, be it a delivery of vehicle at Chandigarh airport, hotels particularly at Chandigarh, Leh, Nubra, Pangong. However the best was at Jispa, Kargil and Srinagar for different reasons. Jispa was simple but authentic with very tasty food.

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Rajesh & Gauri Natu

Graphic Designer, Apple

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Sunil, after I ran 21k Marathon I bragged about it for years. The same is being repeated again, with my ambition to drive across the Himalayas, which was almost faded with Srinagar under curfew. You and Chetan were the spark to our fire that we could do this drive and without a single trouble. Driving is a passion but driving thru places where there are no roads is trouble, but your breakup of program and awesome car condition helped us actually sail thru. Three cheers and five stars.

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Jignesh Shah

Absolute Networks, Mumbai

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Wow. wow, wow. What a experience! We took the route of Delhi - Jammu - Srinagar - Leh - Sarchu - Manali - Delhi.  Sunil Kapoor gave us excellent service which includes his next to new 4WD in immaculate condition and all hotels were top class. Coming from Australia, we were bit nervous in start but when we met Sunil, we had full trust and all went very positive. Sunil gave us perfect instructions and everything was according to plan. Thank you Sunil and your team for our one of the best experience in life you have provided us. 

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Jignesh Patel

Director, Webential, Australia

Sumudu Fernando Manali Leh Trip


Eight of us from Sri Lanka got Sunil to arrange a self driven tour to Leh and we are very happy with our decision. He was punctual, trustworthy and met our expectations. The service provided was very professional. As foreigners it’s hard to arrange such a tour by ourselves and Unwind outdoor filled in the gap perfectly. All places we stayed were nice and decent. Should specifically mention about the two Scorpios which we instantly fell in love with. They were very well maintained ... 

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Sumudu Fernando

Friends from SriLanka

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After days of research, we finally came across a facebook page called ‘Unwind Outdoors’. It seemed like our dream was going to be finally true. Very reasonably priced and Sunil from Unwind was like a know-it-all person.

The itinerary was so crisp and so very well laid out that there was no reason for us to worry other than coping up with nature’s fury. 

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Priyadatta Prabhavalkar

Clifford Chance, Delhi

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We did a SUV self drive trip from Chandigarh to Ladakh and back organized by Unwind Outdoor.
Highly recommend Unwind Outdoor as Sunil and Manpreet took care of everything we needed (car, hotel bookings, sightseeing and food recommendations, permits) and everything was organized seamlessly. Sunil was very patient with all our queries, giving suggestions and options to suit our preferences.

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Ashish & Neha Thadani

KPMG, Bangalore

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Great to see the know-how of the Unwind Outdoor team regarding every aspect of the Srinagar - Leh - Chandigarh self drive trip. From weather conditions, to road conditions, to health/clothing requirements, and also driving instructions - Sunil and Manpreet are warm, meticulous and knowledgable. Villa Himalaya in Sonamarg surpassed all our expectations and ensured that our expected standards for the rest of the trip were extremely high. 

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Parth Deshmukh

Symbiosis Law School, Mumbai

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Thanks Sunil for arranging a wonderful trip. Everything went well and we were in good hands with friendly and competent drivers. Accommodation was good and tents were comfortable beyond our expectations. We didn't have problem with food choices. It was a totally rejuvenating vacation and experience for us. Thanks from us in Singapore!

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Lilian Chan


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We had an amazing 9-day from Manali to Leh. Serene, breathless and picturesque. High altitude sickness was a big issue for us but we were in good hands.

Unwind Outdoor was superb in arranging and coordinating the trip. Taking care of all arrangements and checking-in on us. Kudos to Sunil and his team.

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Alvin Chia

Assistant Director, Jurong Town Corporation, Singapore

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We travelled as a couple & completed a self drive trip from Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Nubra-Pangong-Tso Moriri-Sarchu-Manali-Delhi. Itinerary was meticulously designed to be a mix of adventure and comfort. Hotel choices were best. Support was available at all points in case of emergency.Vehicle provided was top notch. Thanks to Mr. Sunil Kapoor for personally putting in efforts to maintain such high standards. 

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Nikhil & Neha Mazumdar

Manager L&T, Mumbai

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Six of us (two families) travelled to Leh in Jul / Aug 2015 and we had an excellent experience with Unwind Outdoor. From the very beginning of our excited planning phase, Sunil has been willingly suggesting us options, number of days, places to visit etc. He has all the knowledge of the terrain, passionate about trekking and traveling himself, so he understands travel-crazy people such as me and my quirks.
We landed in Leh in time for cloudbursts and flashfloods and landslides (along with mud and rocks sliding too). Despite Nature's fury, Sunil and Skarma made sure we were utmost safe and comfortable. These guys are just not into travel business, they help people fulfil their travel dreams. Truly! Go guys!!

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Kamala Aithal

Barclays Bank, Bangalore

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