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The Coffee Bean

When you say 'Coorg', I smell coffee! How pretty these coffee beans looked, swaying in the gentle breeze with the soft morning light playing tricks on them. I had to resist hard from actually plucking a few!
Coorg or Kodagu, is Mother Nature personified. Sharing three photographs here that I shot at the TamaraCoorg more than a year ago. The experience of staying here is something that will remain special and very close to my heart, for it was the first vacation we went on as a married couple. 
I shall put up a detailed report a bit later, for the time being sharing two more pictures that I shot on one of our long walks during our stay.

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Ten Reasons to Love the World

Well, what is there to not #LoveTheWorld?
I know the title is quite a cliche. You would think this is just another one of those ten things to do this... and 25 things to do that... kind of post. Not really. Though it may appear to be. 
Though I'm not yet a #WorldTraveller, I aspire to be one, some day. This is a collection of my personal #Exploration and experiences; these photographs have been collated to put together ten reasons, why I love MY world! The reasons to love the world we live in may be different for each person. For me, it's about the rich experience gained from meeting people. It's about learning new cultures and ways of life. It's about looking at Mother Nature's creation around us, marvellous, serene and picturesque. It's about various forts and palaces and places of worship, created by gifted craftsmen, hundreds of years ago. It's about the rich flora and fauna, unique to each locale. And of course, it's about the delectable cuisine t…

Water Water Everywhere, NOT a Drop to Drink!

H2O: Two letters and a Number: the very Essence of Life. Potable water. As a child, I always confused this term with ‘portable’ water. Which is why I wondered what the fuss was all about, when articles highlighted how drinking water was precious- I mean just put some water in a bottle- doesn’t it become portable? How I wish it were to be, that simple!
Cut to the present day. We hear reports giving Doom’s Day predictions, routinely. In fact, such predictions have become so routine, that we have become immune to the horrifying details they carry, and we have learnt to conveniently brush it under the carpet. We have become thick-skinned to the pictures that highlight the plight of people in drought-hit areas. We have become apathetic to the grave situation of farmer suicides due to crop failure, a direct result of water shortage.
Recently a report highlighted how grave the situation is and went on to list twenty cities across the world which would be the first to go dry. And guess what? Ban…

Showers of Blessings

Hello folks! I'm back from an enriching, soulful experience called Kashi.

The past week has been an exhilarating one. Five years ago, if I felt Hardwar was chaos, then, Kashi is Madness. And yet, there is an order to the madness. It was the chaos experienced in Haridwar that prompted me to put down my thoughts on this space, to write my First Post on the Ganges. And it this Madness, that has yet again, given me that push to resume writing!

There is a rush of ideas, mix of thoughts, umpteen things to be written about. And yet, I face a block. I'm unable to find the right words to express what I want to. And I'm afraid, I will not do justice to Kashi. Which is why, I shall be a little slow. I want to do this systematically. 

For now, I leave you with one picture among the 2k-odd pictures that I shot. This is the last bit of the beautiful Aarti ceremony, held each evening at the ghats, to pay homage to the River Goddess, Maa Ganga. 



Gun Hill, Mussoorie

Mussoorie is a sleepy little town, clean and fresh. Gun Hill is a popular view point in Mussoorie. One has to take the rope-way to get up there.
The view is marvellous; on a clear day, you can have a gorgeous view of the lower Himalayan ranges, including the enigmatic Gangotri, where Maa Ganga descends from. The view as you go up and down the ropeway is fantastic too, and quite steep. Avoid looking down if you're scared of heights, you might feel a little dizzy. We finished the day with a 'lovely' omelette at the Lovely Omelette Centre, washed down with an Oreo Shake at Chick Chocolate on Mall Road.
Have you been to these places? Do share your experience.
Related Post: Lovely Omelette Centre, Mussoorie

Soul-food: Fried Fish

A simple recipe to beat the Monday blues. Though there are multiple recipes to fry fish followed across various regions, this one is my favorite, for it is Grandmum's.  The aroma wafting through the lane that led to our home, as we rushed from school to have lunch during the lunch break- those are some fond memories.
What you need: Soaked rice (about 3 Tsps) Small chillies - about 12-14 (Harekal/ Ramnad variety) Long chillies - about 5-6, mainly for colour (Byadgi variety) Coriander seeds - 1 Tsp Turrneric powder - 1 Tsp Hing (asafoetida) - one fairly big lump  Salt to taste
Method: Grind the above to a fine, thick paste. Add just enough water to make the paste moist. Apply evenly on the cut fish, and let it sit for at-least an hour, so that the flavours are well absorbed. Fry in oil. You can fry it as is, or by lightly rolling it in a mix of rice flour + rice rawa (4:1). I used coconut oil, as the flavour is altogether different. This is something we make very rarely, as the chole…

Magic by Sudarsan Patnaik

Well, who hasn't heard of Shri Sudarsan Patnaik?
A self-made man and a sand artist par excellence, quite literally, the world is his canvas. He creates masterpieces at the Puri Beach, which very often relate to current events too.
I shot this at the Bhubaneswar Airport, near the exit. I must say there would be no better way than this, to welcome one to Bhubaneswar. Just look at the craftsmanship. 
Isn't it just amazing?

Oh Honey! It's a Bee!

Shot on one of our many roadtrips to Goa. We'd stopped by the road, just to take in the nice views of the heavy dark clouds that hung over the bright green fields. And this is what I spotted.

Dream Project of the City of Dreams!

Bombay is a city that's very close to my heart. Some of my fondest childhood memories were created here, as every Summer vacation was spent here with my cousins. This Mega City fascinates me with its charm.
One thing that strikes me about Bombay is how it continues to grow, and yet retain its inherent charm. The very essence of Bombay is intact, despite all the changes that happen.
I shot these pictures in the Summer of 2012, as we drove over the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The drive is a breeze, and the diamond shaped diamond towers look classy. And the fresh sea breeze leaves your face flushed.
See more 'Bombay' posts: Shivaji Maharaj Tendulkar Spotted Nana Chudasama's Pearls Sunset, Marine Drive

Wah Taj!

The Taj Mahal. THE Taj Mahal.
I will not waste my time (and yours'), writing an essay on the Taj- I'll do that on some other day. For today, I shall just share these three shots of the Taj, shot more than six years ago, on my second visit to the Taj. 
I will not be a hypocrite, and sing paeans as to how this is THE most beautiful monument in our country. Well, I find many other monuments, even older than the Taj, to deserve this tag. But definitely, this is one of the most beautiful monuments in the country- no doubt about that.
I was definitely lucky that particular day, as the sky appeared imperially blue, providing the perfect backdrop for this 17th century marble elegance. 
Behold, the Taj.

Related Post: Western Gate, Taj Mahal

Chasing Feathered F(r)iends

Birder's paradise, they said. 
Mangalajodi is a village located on the banks of the Chilika Lake, about 70 km outside Bhubaneswar city, on the highway that goes to Berhampur. The waters are marshy and brackish. The area basically consists of water with marshy vegetation, spread over a large area- basically as far as one can see. 
The 'tourist' crowd here is very less, compared to Lake Chilika. The road is not tarred; it is a rough mud road that leads you into the area. The focus is to conserve and promote ecotourism, with least disturbance to the feathered beings. When I had planned to visit Bhubaneswar, though I had heard of Manglajodi, I didn't think I would actually visit it, owing to little information available about the place. So how did we end up here?
Like normal tourists who visit Odisha, we set off to Chilika early morning. However, on reaching there and realising that you have to take a ride of a few kilometers on the water, I chickened out. Try as I might, m…

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