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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Andamans - I

Sorry to the regular readers of this blog. I have been busy with two trips in last two months and some family functions due to which I couldn’t get time to update my blog. While the former trip was to Pune- a city in Maharashtra, the latter one was to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Since the Latter one is as fresh as morning dew in my mind, I would like to write about it first. This was my first trip ever to an Island. If anybody is interested to plan one to this place- I would say plan it ASAP. I’ll help you out with it with whatever information I have gathered about the places to see.

Andaman and Nicobar Isles have 572 Islands out of which only 36 are inhabited. Our halt was at Port Blair and from there we explored various other islands. Going to various pieces of green land with white sand on shores, surrounded by beautiful clear turquoise water was an enchanting affair. We reached Port Blair, the capital of Andaman at around 7.30 am. via Chennai as there is no direct flight from Delhi. 
Our first day was spent in local sight seeing in Port Blair - once famous or infamous as Kalapani, i.e. Black waters. A beautiful place which British exploited as the penalty imprisonment or exile for the Indian political prisoners giving it a mournful and heartbreaking history. Here after sunset the heroic saga of Indian freedom struggles and life of imprisoned is brought alive through light and sound show.
front side of one jail facing the back of another.
Back Side of the Jail
Interior of Cellular Jail
Isolated damp cells behind, The red shade is where the political prisoners were made to work on oil mill..if compare them to ox, an ox had a luxurious standard of living-more humanely treated, better fed, less worked, better kept.... the statue is where the prisoners were caned and the path leads to the gallows as indicated, all in sight, the screams audible everwhere...
 To read More about it visit here:Wiki-cellular Jail

Other Places we covered were- Samudrika Museum- where one finds beautiful Coral collection and marine life and Anthropological museum where one finds valuable information about the islands and the tribes living there.

Our second day visit was to three islands- Ross Island, North Bay Island and Viper Island. Ross Island once used to house British administrative quaters. One can see reminiscents of church, hospital, commissioner's house, swimming pool, graveyard etc, along with the beautiful beaches, birds and animals freely roaming around the ruins of old buildings, giving it an exceptional beauty.
 


Ross Island 

A lady comes here, by name of Ms Anuradha Rao, a freelance guide. This spirited lady we were told, captivates you with her narrative of events especially the part where she communicates with animals of the island, calling out deers, peacocks, squirrels, ducks and birds by names she's given them and feeding them, and they actually respond. We did not have the good fortune of her presence when we visited, but I would recommend everyone to ask for her whenever they visit.
 North Bay Island Offers water sports activities like sofa ride, jet ski, motor boat, scuba dive, snorkeling. However I would personally advice if one is interested in diving in Andamans, Elephanta Beach in Havelock Island is much better. Though one can find corals, and a few fishes here in North Bay as well, and the rates are cheaper here.

Scuba Diving @ North Bay Island
There was not much to see at viper.  Except for the sunset- the only sunset we saw during our trip (it was cloudy during rest of our stay). Guides take you there strictly for ten minutes whereby you fail to explore the island. One can skip it-recommended.
Sun Set at Viper Island.
Our third Day was scheduled for Baratang Island which included 8 hours long road drive, crossing the grand Andaman Trunk Road, covered with dense forests on both the side, from Port Blair. After crossing two islands passages via ferry boats, came one of the most beautiful part of the journey; mesmerising mangrove creeks on both the sides by boat leading to the Limestone Caves.
Mangrove creek- due to fast moving boats I could manage this blurred version. For the rest of the time I was awstruck and lost in it.
Limestone caves- hard to capture their real beauty!
Shot taken at Baratang

way to the waiting ferry- coming back from Limestone caves

Chameleon -Baratang
 From there we went to a short trip to Mud volcano. It was quite a bit of an anticlimax actually. You might be awed by it only if when it errupts, but pray it doesn't. On our way back through Grand Trunk Road, we caught a glimpse of the Andaman tribal people- the Jarawas. (I would like to write about them in a different post.)
Mud Volcano- Baratang
Hotel used:
Portblair-----------Hotel Hill top International

-For next three days click here: Andamans-II

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Shubh Deepawali


Wishing a very HAPPY DEEPAWALI (belated) to everyone. :)

 (click on image to Enlarge)
This year's Rangoli this Deepawali (made by me)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Broken Moon!

I look at moon in the night,
broken down into pieces
as it touches the lake downside.

does it love the night with passion
or isolated in the night sky above
it subsides down in deep depression.

when I look at the lake
inside it ablaze

when I look that high
cloaked behind the clouds
it escapes my gaze

pondering over it's two different sides
I wonder why it is broken
underneath the lake downside...

Photo courtesy: adamdorman.com

Friday, October 5, 2012

Gangtok in Photographs

 I am sharing here some of the photographs I shot in my recent two day trip to Gangtok, capital of Sikkim.
Click on photographs to enlarge them.
Cloudy Morning at Gangtok

Maximum temperature was between 18-22°C and minimum was between 10-11°C


 Gangtok view from Tashi View point.
 



Governor of Sikkim's Residence!

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT)


Buddhists Manuscripts @NIT

Indian Leopards are the real beauty!

Himalayan Palm Civet

Red Panda
I have heard Pandas are lazy beings. After tracking through an obscure and muddy path to reach the backside of the pandas habitat, we saw these inside their hide resting in shade. Our guide poked it with a soft tree branch, it looked back and moved a bit away and slept again! 

Snow Leopard in full aggression behind the bars

Flora at Gangtok








Ubiquitous butterflies which are very rare in metro cities
 

Capturing the details


I missed Nathula More after this
Due to heavy rainfalls we didnt get a chance to visit Nathula Pass and Tsmongo Lake which are famous tourist attractions.

A waterfall at Gangtok- Me with my Father

 Rumtek Monastery



Buddhists Prayer wheels
Traditionally, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Sanskrit on the outside of the wheel. The benefits attributed to the practice of turning the wheel are vast. Not only does it help wisdom, compassion and bodhichitta arise in the practitioner, it also enhances siddhis (spiritual powers such as clairvoyance, precognition, reading others thoughts, etc.). Ref: Wikipedia here.


Buddhists believe when Gyana (knowledge) combines with Karuna (compassion), it leads to Bodhi i.e. enlightenment.

Prayer Flags- all around the city.

People following Buddhism tie these prayer flags in different areas. It is believed that when winds pass though these multicolored flags, it spreads mantras written on them in the environment. Thus making it sacred compassing good luck, good wishes and compassion for all. Every color has a different meaning. All white flags with mantras on them are tied as the prayers for dead. The colorful ones are for good luck to the people studying or starting some work or stepping into some other phase of their lives. - as told by the locals there.
To read more about them click here.

MG (Mahatma Gandhi) Road Market
This market offers branded commodities to local Sikkimese articles like masks, bamboo articles, small purses etc. and various eye-catching products from China and Tibet. (being a lady most of the displayed things were worth my attention-hard to resist)


A view from our Hotel's Room

Breath-taking misty world

I enjoyed this short trip. Thanks for dropping by. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Why do women get attracted to bad men?

According to a common notion women knowingly or unknowing get attracted to bad ones in the lot. Many of them do, especially the ones who have lived it all decent life till now. Is this a myth or a fact?

He is bad who is:
A rebel, haughty, does what he feels without caring about the world around him, prioritize himself in everything, takes everyone else for granted, abuse a lot, not emotionally vulnerable, unmindful to woman’s need, doesn’t treat her nicely and uses her for sex with no emotional strings attached.

On the other hand Good man is the one who takes good care of a lady, who is decent and devoted, helpful, meeting almost all her demands. In a nutshell he is like a 'gilt fund' with expected returns, no loss and no risk.
A guy, for the matter of fact any person, with all good and no bad- Does Not Exists.

Are we women Gamblers? Are bad guys really bad and good ones really good? Or good guys are trying to make them look bad? Do women like to be used and abused? No sane woman would want a life full of uncertainty, getting abused with no expected returns on her emotional investment. May be the attraction can work for a while but in long run if taken a wrong path, relationship may not work! Hence, there are other reasons that are working behind their fatal attractions. Let us find out.

What is good about Bad Folks?
Girls tend to get attracted to somebody who has a strong personality, an opinion of his own and has confidence- this portrays an unabashed masculinity. The same way in which men get attracted to  femininity.

Sometimes good guys turn out to be the people with lack of self-confidence, and lack of life in them. They, at times, act like eccentrics not ready to think about something they are not familiar with. On the other hand so called bad guys seem strong, fun, confident, fighters in adversities and non-judgmental (I don’t care attitude). Remember Rhet Butler in a famous classic novel “Gone with the Wind”? (He is a perfect example of a bad guy who turns out to be a fighter in adversities). Sub consciously women want to explore it all and yet want to be safe from the cruel world. They tend to get attracted to the bad ones.
So a good man may not be that good to live with, with his fickle mind, eccentric temperaments and non-experimenting attitude.
Hence, gentlemen can take the above mentioned attractive traits of bad ones to win their lady’s love interest. Women work with their subconscious mind while selecting their mates. Survival of the fittest works here best!

P.S. There may be some disagreements. You are invited to post your views with reasonable explanations.
Question: Why do guys tend to run after the ladies they can't get, leaving the accessible ones?

Note: Not all women get Attracted to Bad ones! Author of this post has tried to dig out the reason behind the ones who do!
Image courtesy: Google

The Washing struggles!

While playing a game introduced by a fellow blogger on indivine, I thought the time is ripe for sharing ‘Soaking’ experiences.  I decided to give an entry at least for the game and see how well I play it.  Game was to change one letter at a time and reach from Soak to Soak. eg. SOAK>SOCK>SOAK

My First attempt: SOAK>SOAP>SOAR>SOUR>POUR>HOUR>Whats next?
For some reason this sequence of words seemed appealing!
 
I hate to wash clothes. I can play with JHAG(foams)-  creating large bubbles but washing clothes especially rubbing them is a pain. I usually try to procrastinate during such distressful times.  Though this pain does not feature often in the era of advanced fully automatic machines. However, it hurts when somebody accidentally spills the gravy  or soils clothes while walking on wet muddy paths during monsoons. Sometimes we don't place the towels over the pillows before resting our oily heads out of forgetfulness or sheer laziness. When the time comes to fight those stiff, stubborn stains, especially from the new or favorite dresses, I feel like cursing the time when such unfortunate casualties happened. I wished washing clothes was as easy and as enjoyable like taking bath.


To fight these stains one has to Soak clothes in Soap for hours - waiting for the lipophillic interior of the micelle to surround the layer of grease, and then rubbing them with the brush to make the stains less stubborn. The actual story is not that simple as it looks. A person like me busy in different things forgets her responsibility towards clothes after that. So the poor cloth, who has been soaking in for long(sometimes more than 4-5 hours) wishes to die, to commit suicide, may be cursing me for not taking it out and shortening it’s life. Further stabbing the cloth with brush weakening its threads and killing it brutally makes my heart ache. My neck tells me that it is tired of hanging down in the same position for so long during the process. In addition, the spine craves for a rest. What else, my hands turn hard and rough begging a manicure. My dad often laughs looking at me while I massage the cream on my palms after the hard labor.
Since I heard about Surf Excel Matic’s new invention with the Tag ‘Soak no More’, I really wonder if God has answered my prayers during those those hardships! No more murdering of clothes nor any more neck pain or backache. I realize how life can turn easy with new inventions.
Few days back I really smiled when my niece accidently dropped her chocolate ice cream over my shirt, I cared no more!
I decided to take reverse steps with some addtions:
> HOUR No More > POUR NO More>SOUR No More> SOAP No More>SOAK NO MORE :)


Image Courtesy : squidoo.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Tag!

Few days back, a fellow blogger Ritvik tagged me with some questions. I would like to answer them here. I am sorry Ritwik for not being able to answer them before. Here I go:

  1.  Would you rather go to an urban place or a deserted place for a vacation?
    Answer: I would rather go to a deserted place, an escape from the Urban area I already
    am living in.
  2. One thing which you think is most unique to you?
    Answer: My DNA & finger prints.

  3. Blogspot or Wordpress?
    Answer: Blogspot, I have become comfortable with it now. Wordpress would mean starting it from the scratch.
  4. One thing which India needs urgently.
    Answer: Loyalty & empathy of Indians to fellow Indians. (it includes loyalty and empathy of politicians to Aam-Janta as well)
  5. Do you believe that Anna Hazare's lokpal bill is the ultimate solution to corruption?
    Answer: Can't Comment. But it has to start from somewhere.
  6. What is God for you? Do you believe in idols?
    Answer: I believe in everything that is not harming me or any other living being. I do believe in God and my belief makes me fight the adversities, if any, and keep me Positive.
    Again I have my own theory of worshiping the idols. We sometimes need to give structure to our thoughts and a place to meditate. Positive auras of people in temple make it a pleasant place. Though I worship Him in either way. (Did I over-answer it?)
  7. What kind of blogs do you like to read?
    Answer: I pick blogs randomly. Fictions, poems, life previews, cartoon strips, social issues anything. They just  need to feed me with a good time, while reading them. Good ones of course win my Loyalty.
  8. One word that would describe you?
    Answer: Random!
  9. Your favorite movie. And why?
    Answer: Pinjar. It finely portrays the struggle (social/physical/mental) of a girl before and at the time of partition. (Such mishappenings and struggles can be observed during any disaster).
  10. Person you admire the most?
    Answer: My parents (I see them as a single entity)
  11. Will you follow me? ;-)
    Answer: LOL. I already am!!!!

    These were interesting questions. No need to say, your views on the above are welcome. :)

    This time I would like to tag all my visitors/fellow-bloggers here. If you can Answer these ten questions, please do:
    a.  "Forget and forgive" or "Remember and plot your revenge"?
    b. Greatest thing that has happened to you till now?
    c. Do you really laugh/smile, when you write lol/haha/rofl on chat?


    d. Do you believe in Life after death?
    e. Hollywood or Bollywood or any other -wood?
    f. Whom do you trust more with your secrets- Family/Friend/Stranger?
    g. Your views on Gay marriages- can you accept it in your family or in case of your son/daughter?
    h. One of the most interesting things about you?
    i. How important is money? "Live today" or save for the "D-day"?
    j. Mind over heart or heart over mind?

    P.s. If you feel like answering these in your blog, do that. Post it's link here!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

एड्स पीड़ित (AIDs Patient)

घूमती पृथ्वी
गिरता आकाश
जीवन से भयभीत
हर दिन का प्रकाश
शक्तिहीन तन
रुचिहीन मन
अदृश्य मृत्यु
समक्ष खड़ी
टूट रही
संबंधों की कड़ी
चीखते मुंह
सूखी नींद 
आक्रामक स्वप्न
तिरस्कृत शब्द
और कांपता अंतर्मन
झुके सर
सकुचाते नैन
कुछ चीरते ह्रदय को
कुछ कटाक्ष करने को बेचैन
त्यागता समाज
दैत्य बना 
हर कल से बड़ा
मेरा यह आज
इस शहर में छुपी
एक रहस्यात्मक गली
जहां खोते हैं सुख-चैन
क्या मेरे कदम वहाँ भूले ही पहुंचे
किसी भटकी बेहोश रैन
या किसी ने अज्ञानतावश मारीं
मुझ पर ये खरोंचें  
इस जलते लहू में
पिघलते प्राण
मुझे भेदते  हुए
अनगिनत बाण
मेरी अज्ञानता
व  इस लहू की
असमानता ने
मुझे प्रदान करी 
दंडाज्ञा
कौन सोच सकता था कि
मेरा जीवन 

और मेरा अंत
इतना विनाशपूर्ण होगा...


(This poem portrays mental, physical and social condition (stigma & discrimination) of AIDs Patient!!!)

Image Courtesy: africanimpact.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marriages in India- Arranged or Love?


Marriage is one of the most important steps in our lives that decides our long term happiness. However, with one wrong move it can turn out to be total blunder. As I said before in one of my early posts, marriage is all about growing old together. It is believed people who are married tend to be happier than those living alone.

“Marriage is a gamble.”
Years ago one of my friends said it over a discussion.  He was right. You can fall for the right person or else you can fall in a trap. Trap, for instance may be marrying somebody who is in love with you for all the wrong reasons, or who thinks you will be a great thing at home, one can meanwhile explore the world and one’s options, when you are in so much love with him/her. Or else somebody who was denied of love marriage and was emotionally blackmailed by one's parents to take a step further for the guy of their choice. (They always feel they have seen the world more than their kids.) The only thing that sometimes they don’t know is they saw the world during their times and we are living in our times. My mom says this is an old age all time problem between parents and children. (Thank God, my parents are cool!). I heard one really pathetic case where the families of both knew each other and girl and boy were in courtship for one year. After marriage the girl ran away with someone else.
Marriage is certainly a game of gamble, irrespective of any theme- arranged or love.

Both have their own pros and cons. Being in Indian society caste, culture, traditions still hold priority and people marrying from different castes and religions are normally not appreciated and approved by parents and extended families.  So while the decision of marriage should be of the ones who are actually marrying, in reality the decision involves the approval of the whole clan, family, extended family, society etc. more than that of the main protagonists.
We never know when we will fall in love. It can happen today tomorrow or any day till we die. So while everybody talks about what are the boons I would go for the risks factors or banes involved in Arranged marriages or Love marriages.
 
Envision:

1. In love marriages, relatives are on your nerves, judging you on the basis of your choice, parents fearing what our child will be thought of by others (yes even in today’s era there are parents who fear that.)
While in Arranged marriages, relatives and parents are on your nerves, worrying about your Marriage Expiry Date ( it is a term I have recently invented). So when you’ll deny some good proposals (according to them) you’ll be given some not so good options (according to everybody else’s standards) to compromise before there is an Expiry Date. Of course next lot is of divorcees and widows/ers after that.

“Make the hay while sun shines.”

We all have read this and understand the deep meaning behind it now.

2. In Love marriages, nothing else may be according to you ( your family’s) standards except the girl/boy! (You know once you two will start a new life, you’ll be the one putting in all your efforts to make everything else will fall in place.)
In arranged marriages, everyone ensures you make minimum compromise, though probability of you falling in love with the girl/boy presented before you between so many options is low, one fears about chemistry and understanding with the other person.

3. You may end up making a wrong choice in arranged marriage, knowing that the person you married is in love with someone else. Or worst scenario, the guy you married has fallen in love with a girl at his work place. Poof!!!! You are out of picture!
On the other hand, you may end up in loss of feelings in love marriage after knowing the person you married is no more same and your expectations (over)may lead you into frustrations and feelings of denial.

4. Since, our Indian society is still not very open, one is forced to decide about a guy/girl without much conversations in few initial meetings. Your trust may be broken after learning a few things your spouse did not tell you or lied to you before the alliance. Wait a minute…. It happens in love marriages too –False promises, false claims, false hopes!

5. Because in Indian society one is ought to live with the whole family and not just with a girl or a boy, in love marriages, you may crave for acceptance by other family members. Belonging to different family settings may give you another nervous breakdown as the expectations from you are more. Parents would want to prove their little girl’s/boy’s choice wrong, they feel s/he is still not matured enough.

6. In some family settings, arranged marriages mean dowry. The family that can bid more for your son is the family that wins your son for their daughter. Boys feel proud knowing their worth in monetary terms, and girls like the purchasing power of their parents. Why shouldn’t they be proud, their parents have bought the best one for them? Love takes a secondary position in such cases.

Conclusion: Summing up what I heard, saw and learned the alliances of both types have their own charm and curse.  There are some screwed up love marriages and some very successful arranged marriages in the family and friends.  It’s all about your destiny.  Belonging from both the worlds, where my own parents had sort of love marriage and I, most probably, am  going to have the arranged (-cum love), I can only say one thing, “Let the fruit ripened with patience, endurance, respect for each other’s views and efforts to understand.  
In the end it’s about the one who can make you fall in love over and over again. We are here to celebrate life, let’s do it!

P.S. Love marriage or arranged marriage- decision should be yours. If you are of marriageable age, you should be matured enough to decide about what is wrong and right for you. So that you wont blame someone else for your screwed up life.

P.S. Post your views, if you have any on the same. Or else votes of approval will also make the effort worthwhile. All the best to the ones who are going to tie the knot! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

@ Dilli Haat

I clicked these photographs sometime back at Dilli haat. Sharing them here in a hope that they will be a pleasant watch for eyes. Enjoy!

Folk Dancers

Handicraft shops inside Dilli Haat
Faces Carved on a vase

Statues made by potters.

Colorful Lamps
Enlightened beads


Lovely necklaces
Masks

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