Initially i started this blog as a photoblog depicting pictures from all my travels. But lately i've realized that i need to share some of my travel experiences too. So here it goes.. celebrating Life and its wonderful experiences.

Welcoming 2012 - A new hope in life!

31st Dec 2011, New Delhi

Its not the end. A lots of beautiful, precious and unforgettable moments are waiting for us ahead in 2012. Lets welcome 2012 with a smile!

Happy new year to all of you. I hope you have a great year ahead with your loved ones.

The pic is a macro shot which i had taken in Majkhali in Uttrakhand.

BTW its also my last post for the year.
Lots more to come, lots more to learn. Keeping finger crossed so that i get all the time to create and capture all those precious moments through my lens.

Happy New Year - 2012

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The unknown surprise !!

25th Dec 2011

We took a long walk through the woods (through Jones estate) searching for one of the smaller lake (Nal Damyanti Lake) in Bhimtal. It was quite an adventure as the narrow lanes were unknown to us. Once the woods were over we saw some settlements. We asked few people for the way to the lake.

After almost an hour walk we did reach the lake. I didn’t like the view of the lake. It was more looking like a pond than a lake. So we went further searching for some better places. We were aware that there is a church somewhere near by the lake. We searched for it. And at last what we found was a beautiful small church amidst the trees. The view of the church was much better than the lake. And watching at the church we found that we were the only tourist at its premises.

Anyway I was pleased to find it out. I clicked numerous pictures but could not find out the name of the church. I tried searching on internet also, but hardly got any info about the church.

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Baijnath group of temples

18th Dec 2011, New Delhi

Baijnath is situated near the hill town of Kasauni in Uttrakhand. Its a 15 km drive downhill to the valley of Garur. Once known as Kartikyapura, Baijnath was the capital of the Katyuri dynasty of kings who ruled Uttaranchal during 12th and 13th centuries.

The groups of temples constructed in the 12th century are also popularly known as Baijnath. These temples hold significance as according to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva and Parvati were married at the confluence of River Gomati and Garur Ganga.

The view around the temples is quite picturesque. At one side the Gomti flows through the valley while on other side one can view a range of Himalaya’s peaks.

The best day to visit this place would be on a clear day. Then only one can enjoy the beauty of this place.

There are few more interesting things apart from the temples at Baijnath temples (which we got to know from our driver). While approaching the temples, on the right side (Along the bank of the Gomti River) there is an oval stone (approx 1 feet in diameter) which accordingly to people has significance. Though the stone is not big enough, but due to its shape hardly anyone can lift it beyond waist. Do give it a try. I tried but failed.

The other interesting things are the fishes in the Gomti River. They are in abundance and can be seen clearly through naked eyes. If you want to have a closer look at them, then feed them with nuts (Nuts can be purchased there itself). It’s a fun sitting there and watching the fishes as close as a foot away from you.

The other good thing about this place is that there are hardly any tourists coming to this place so you will always have a relaxing time around the place.

P.S: Similar types of temples are there in Jageshwar in Almora district which are more popular than Baijnath. The Jageshwar group consist of 124 such smaller temples.

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Ray of Beauty

19th November 2011, New Delhi

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world…. By Ralph Waldo Emerson                                               

The picture was taken in Majkhali in Uttaranchal. I choose to share the monochrome version cause it focuses more on  the curves and symmetry of the petals rather than on the color of the rose.

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25th September, 2011, New Delhi

Looking at the grim face I wonder how much effort he has to put just to sustain life for a day. There are millions of people in the streets of India who face the same challenge every minute of their life.

On the other hand people sitting in the comfort of government offices say that anyone earning Rs 32 or above is not a poor. I hope they know what they are upto..?

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Small is Beautiful - The world of Macros

17th September 2011, New Delhi

Just another step in fulfilling my wish list…Just got my 100 mm macro lens which was due for long.
The above picture is the one of the first few click I got out of it… though it’s not a great one but it’s worth uploading because of the sentiments. 

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Moments of Joy!

14th August 2011

There are instances in life when you can see joy in people’s face at the spur-of-the-moment and these moments are so spontaneous that it can hardly be kept unnoticed. They become a part of our memories forever.

I tried to capture the same feeling in this picture though I’ve given more importance to the activity rather than on the expression. The activity takes the lead because it’s the moment/instance which brings the spontaneous joy to the subject.

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07th August 2011, New Delhi
The most common image which comes to mind on hearing Rajasthan is a huge stress of desert and camels... And most of the people will always think like that for life until they come and visit Rajasthan.
It's a cultural bliss.
I took these pictures on my way to Jaipur. I noticed these cattle breeders along the highway where they were busy handling their herd. Our vehicle almost could not find the way out of them and that was the opportunity I was looking for.
These herdsmen are settled in parts of Rajasthan adjoining Delhi and are predominantly belongs to the Gujjars community. They earn their living through being cultivators, cattle breeders and herdsmen.

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Celebrating Life!!

31st July 2011, New Delhi
There are thousands of way to celebrate life and we as human should try to get most out of each moment of life..Its important to live upto that spirit so as to make our existence meaningful..
@Agrawal Sweets, Central Market, Lajpat Nagar
I Saw these posters outside the shop and thought of sharing it to all. These posters clearly discribes one of the  sweetest way of celebrating Life!
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The unspoken expectations

23rd July 2011, New Delhi

I notice the guy sitting at one of the hot tourist destination in Jaipur and playing the ektara (with an expectation!). When I approached him and clicked his picture he asked for money. And I thought this might be how he earns his living hood in all probability.

There was a deprived look on his face but occasionally he used to smile (Not a forced one but a complete natural one) to the people around. I went to a distance and started clicking him. [The above picture is one of those clicks.]

I observed that occasionally he also used to rent out his turban and ektara for cash. People around him were finding it quite amusing to click themselves with him and his stuff. He was not at all shy. I tried reading his mind but didn’t succeed much. The only thing I could clearly see was his unspoken expectations from each of us.

@Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

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17th July 2011, New Delhi

For ages, many civilizations had flourished within these structures but with time it has just become another dilapidated structure from the past. The heritage and the history carried by these grandeur structures have been ignored completely. For native people it’s another mean of earning living-hood and for tourist it’s just another stop in their journey.

It really feels sad to see all these structures falling to the present...

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Grooving on to the past!

03rd July 2010, New Delhi

Being part of a generation which grew with the open economy, has given me a chance to be part of the great transition instead of just being a mere spectator.
The transition has seen memories changing with each passing years. And with my memories the biggest change I can see is on how we entertain our self. Entertainment for us has changed – from rarity to an integral part of the life, from playing at the courtyard to chat over webcam, from B&W TV to 3D LCD TV with millions of colors, from monochrome cellphones to retina display.
Looking back I still ponder over all those sweet memories and wish if I could paint them all in present colors.
There are many - the moment when I saw the first show on a B&W TV, the moment when i use to get out of the home with excitement to play, when i got out of home all alone for the first time, when I started staying away from home with a dream in mind, the moment when I got the first job and still unaware what’s coming next… and yes there are many!
Those were the moments and I know it would take years to fill them up again with colors. But I still wish to make it happen one day.
Now days there are lots of mean to capture every second of life but we still cherish those sweet old days.
Watching the above picture I reckon that I (and may be the new generation) still get excited with things from the past – may be because they bear the colors of the past. J

This post has been submitted for the contest 'Take flight with colour' on IndiBlogger sponsored by HP LaserJet. My submission can be found here.

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The Falcon that kept me luring

19th June 2011, New Delhi

Looking out of the Hospital room I noticed this Falcon/Hawk sitting atop the antenna receiver. It used to sit there for hours and that too without much movement. After a long wait it would move a bit, and then take off for a smooth flight before coming back to the same place. I wanted to capture it… I used my mobile but in vain. The falcon was quite far off.

Now I desperately wanted my gear. Unfortunately cameras are not allowed inside the hospital. I waited for 4 days and on the last day somehow I manage to slip in my gear with an excuse. I almost clicked 100 snaps but could not get better snaps as I was clicking from quite far and from behind the glass window.

Anyway I’m posting one of the snap which I managed to click after a long wait…not of great quality but still worth posting..

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Remembering a rustic morning

22nd May 2011, New Delhi

Waking up to the sun and sitting in an open space with a cup of tea in one hand and reading the morning newspaper for hours. The rustic life has its own charm. You had so much of time with you to do so many things.

Now that i'm miles away from it and running every day of the week to catch up things in time i hardly get time to read the newspaper, that too with a relaxed mind.. its just one of the many things i miss now a days. And i'm sure if i sit down and start thinking there would countless such moments.

The metropolitan life and its ever growing pace has deprived us from living such a rustic, peaceful and relaxed LIFE! I hope one day i'll go back to that life...

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Summer colors

16th May 2011, New Delhi

Sometime you like a click the way it is, without any edits. You fall in love with it and feels like staring it for hours.
This is one such click which i like the most.
The yellow leaves in Delhi’s extremely hot weather are really a mesmerizing sight. :-)

Picture taken from my balcony using Canon 1000D and EF S55-250 mm f/4 - 5.6 IS lens

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Anxious moments

07th May 2011, New Delhi

There are many anxious moments in life when one sits down and whole life passes in a flash in front of you. This might be one such moment when she was quite restless thinking of the new life ahead of her.
Leaving behind the comfort of a known city, friends, parents for a completely unknown life must have been a tough time. I could clearly see the restlessness of the moment by her body language, and her hands were the perfect thing to capture the moment.
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Roadtrip to cherish - Guwahati to Jorhat

1st May 2011, New Delhi

It is rare that a road trip starts from plains and suddenly you find yourself driving around  the labyrinth of hills…as you pass through the hills you are driving  along one of the largest river in the country …It’s not over yet! During the Journey you cross one of the world’s renowned wild life sanctuaries, and as you just start pondering about the vast stretch of green you find yourself in-between never ending stretch of tea gardens (Remember your morning Tea?)… Then at last, you finish your journey in a city which is few miles away from world’s largest river island.
Don’t you think it’s an amazing road trip? Yes it is. The road trip from Guwahati to Jorhat is such an unforgettable experience.
This time we took a different route from Guwahati – via Chandrapur (Otherwise people drive straight to Nogoan), basically because of two reasons – one the main highway was under construction as such the pace of covering distance was slow. Secondly it’s a worth taking route with scenic beauty all around.
Our driver was well versed with this route. We drove through the narrow road which was a bit frustrating but I never complained as I could live up my passion.
To brief up my journey - Within half an hour, after leaving Guwahati, hills were all around us. We drove through the hills till we reached a stretch of road running parallel to the mighty river Brahmaputra. The huge river at one side and hills on the other side was splendid.

This road took us directly to Nogoan District and that too, flat in 2 and half hours.
From Nogoan we took the usual route… stopped at Aamoni for a break. (P.S: This place is meant for a halt only with roadside dhabas across the road).

After taking off from Aamoni I was excited as I knew within an hour we would be crossing the Kaziranga wild life sanctuary. Kaziranga wild life sanctuary is famous for its one horn Indian Rhino. While approaching Kaziranga you will find yourself again amidst hills. And down below you can see the huge stretch of grassland.
Next stoppage was at a place called Burapahar (Literary means Old Hill) within Kaziranga to have a glimpse of the grassland. We also went to a small temple for darshan (it is considered a good omen to visit one of these temples during the road journey).

After a good half an hour break we took off from there and headed straight towards the plains. Soon we could see tea estates on both sides of the roads. The lush green cover on both sides will surely grasp your attention. These are the estates from where you get your world famous Assam tea.

Now for miles and miles there were only tea estates. For me the view of the stretch has become monotonous (being born and bought up there) and as such I dozed off for rest of my journey. When I wake up I was already in Jorhat and Sun was just disappearing down the horizon.

There has been numerous occasion when I travelled from Guwahati to Jorhat and back to Jorhat, but for the first time I thought of jotting down the experience. Next time (for sure) I’ll be more prepared and will click some great pictures to share.
Till then just enjoy the click that I could manage from my road trip.
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An Idea - On the highway

17th April 2011, New Delhi

Waking up early in the morning for a long road journey can be a frustrating one… But for me it is the other way round… I find it fascinating when I know I’m loaded with my ammunition.
This time around it was not only early morning that would be killing me but a week long scarcity of sleep was the other factor… still I was excited. A journey to Jorhat from Guwahati can take upto 7-8 hours - all depends on the driver.
I was on the front sit and looking all around for new stuff to click… It was all not stop. Everyone else was fast asleep to catch up the lost sleep hours. I tried my best to keep myself engaged and awake… still tiredness and scarcity of sleep was prevailing over me.
Suddenly I thought of clicking something unusual… Kept the subject out of focus with slower stutter speed … and to my surprise I got some good results…

Now a day it’s a part of my each photo shoot...
Will share them from time to time…

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Chasing the Sun

15th April 2011, New Delhi

Sun set is one of the most clicked themes in this world. So how can I miss it?
These are 2 sets – one clicked in Guwahati while other in Delhi.

 i spent almost half an hour chasing the sun on our rooftop... clicking at different angles, changing exposure, focus, lenses etc.. i was suprise to observe how fast the mind worked during those 30 minutes..

These set of picture (last three) were clicked from my place in Delhi. The sun going down against the concrete.

Personally i don't like sun set against concrete... it takes away the beauty from the whole composition. The frame should be naturally flowing..

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19th March 2011, New Delhi

With the festival of color round the corner I often recollect how important colors mean to an Indian. The importance of color can be seen in every aspect of life – right from costumes to homes to festivals to even smaller things in life.

One aspect where one can notice variance (and hence the importance) in the use of colors across the country is how a woman dresses or do her sringaar? In northern or western part of the country it’s full of color while down south or east it’s the belief in the purity – white.

But whatever be the cultural difference few things are constant across the country – the eagerness and love of a woman for sringaar and mehandi (Henna).

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The rituals..

5th March 2011, New Delhi

There are things which we are supposed to do (in India being an Hindu) but we as a new generation does not understand why we need to follow this? We just do it for the sake of it or completely ignore it. We hardly try to understand the logic behind it. Maybe it’s not our fault at all because we were never told about it. Why? May be because people themselves are ignorant so they never tried to tell us or maybe we never took interest in it.

Anyway I’m not writing here to argue but in fact I’m trying to find some answers for myself.

So the question is how to get an answer to all the tradition/rituals which we follow? It’s easy when we are living in the digital world.

In today’s’ digital world there is an answer to everything…just google it.  So that’s what I did… I tried looking out for answers and to my surprise there are people who are online putting together all the logic behind our rituals. It’s not propaganda from them but an honest effort to keep our traditions alive.

As I sit back and relate all our rituals to the age old civilization then I can really correlate the logic. Though in today’s world a lot of them become insignificant but on a true note these rituals helps one to relate to the energies which controls the earth. These rituals are nothing but a respect to the mighty nature. It signifies how important role nature plays in our life on which we do not have any control.

This post depicts pictures of 2 types of Kalash. The one made on the clay pot was kept at the entrance while the kalash made over brass pot was used in various other rituals.

Kalash? My search say – Kalash is not a pot as most of the people claim to know. In fact it is a pot (Made of Clay, brass or copper) with mango leaves and coconut on top of it. So it more than just a pot, right? In lot of tradition people also fills the pot with rice or water. When filled with rice (or grains) or water it is known as Purnakumbha.

A kalash represents creation. The vacant pot, symbolizes earth, and the water filled symbolizes the primordial water from which life began on earth. The mango leaves represent the life forms. And coconut a product from the life forms is again filled with water symbolically representing endless cycle and the single thread that runs in all of us.

It also symbolizes immorality. We in Hindu culture uses the Kalash is numerous occasion right from house warming, weddings and festivals. It is mainly kept at the entrance. Its other forms are also used in a number of rituals.

To read more you can get into my source by clicking here.

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04th March 2011, New Delhi

The atmosphere is totally energizing, with chants in Sanskrit and the fragrance of fresh flowers, Agarbatti / Dhup and Diyas all around. You are lost in the spiritual world with nothing in the mind – a state of Passaddhi (or Tranquility)

I’m not sure how many people feel like that but for me it works… I was totally out of the pressure of chasing the unknown, at least for those few hours. 

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The preparation

28th Feb 2011, New Delhi

As said earlier it has been a very hectic start to the year… and after almost a month I got some time to look at my blog… Hope to be here very frequently..
A lot of stuff to update – an experience through my lenses!
It was a big occasion (yeah I got married) and I tried my best to keep my lenses beside me  to capture some moments… will try to share as many pictures as possible…
For last few days I was just thinking of one single picture to kick start my updates (After a long gap) and after giving a lot of thought I choose this picture… 

....during the week long ceremony I realized that every customs in Hindu culture is make us aware of the importance of  the five elements - how life is dependent on them and how they make a complete cycle of life?
This picture depicts how we as human still worship the earth in different form… The diyas and pot, made of clay, are integral part of all Hindu worship and festivals too (Diwali). The first prayer goes to the lord in the form fire using different form of diyas while a pot is used for various depictions (To be described in a later post)

P.S: Diyas/pots are kept is water overnight so that the clay can observe as much water (Till saturation). This makes sure that the diyas does not observe oil while lighting up and thus last longer.

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