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Saturday, December 14, 2013

I wrote this poem long back, and I love it. I would like to dedicate this poem to all mothers, would-be mothers, those who recently became one and to their lovely daughters. Most importantly this poem is dedicated to the wonderful and unmatched relationship a mother and a daughter share with each other...

Special Dedication to My Mom and my late Nani (grandma)! As my mom says that our relationship is so much like she shared with her mom. And every mother goes through similar fears and dreams for her daughter irrespective of the era she is living in. Needless to say that I love mine a lot. Here is the write up:

मैं तेरे आँगन में
खेला करती थी माँ
मेरे आँगन में
अब खेल रही है
मेरी बिटिया.

तू जैसे भूख-प्यास
समझा करती थी मेरी
मैं भाग रही हूँ
चिंता में खाना लेकर
उसके पीछे

पाला तूने मुझको 
हर धूप में छाया देकर
मैं भी देकर 
छाया उसको
जी जाउंगी
वो ही जीवन.

देख रही हूँ अब
अपना अतीत 
और उसका भविष्य-
कैसे जाया करती थी
मैं पढ़ने
वापिस आकर
घंटों बतियाया करती
खेला करती थी
तेरे संग
वैसे ही पनपेगा उसका बचपन
थोड़ा-थोड़ा करके
समय चक्र दोहराएगा
वो ही सब
और देखते देखते
बड़ी हो जाएगी
मेरी भी बिटिया

हर रात डर से
मैं भी जागा करुँगी
और सुबह देखूंगी
फिर कुछ सपने
मैं उससे
और वो मुझसे
करेगी वो ही बातें
जैसे मैं और तू
बांटा करते थे
अपने कुछ डर और किस्से

हो जाएगी
वो भी एक दिन
आगे बढ़ने को तैयार
पीछे छोड़
अपना यह बचपन

इस ह्रदय को
करके कठोर
मैं फिर लडूंगी
अपने हर भय से
तेरी ही तरह माँ
और आगे उड़ जाएगी
मेरी बिटिया

Image courtesy:
पर प्रेम-डोर से
बंधी रहेगी वो
हमारी ही तरह
फिर एक दिन
उसके घर में
उसकी बिटिया

जैसे तू भी खेला
करती होगी माँ
अपनी माँ के आंगन में...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Delhi Elections, BJP or AAP- Who is Next?

Elections are over. Results are out and with that, a hazy picture of political orientation of Delhites has become clear. While a good majority of people in Delhi opted for BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party- winning 32 seats), AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) is leading on second position winning 28 seats and Congress with only 8 seats came third in the race; others won only 2 seats in the Vidhan Sabha elections held on 4th December.
Arvind Kejriwal emerged as a Giant Killer by defeating Sheila Dikshit (former chief minister of Delhi) from her constituency. Indian politics took an interesting turn in last two years. Constant news of corruptions by the ruling party followed by Anna Hazare’s Anshan (fast) – a non-violent movement of 'India Against Corruption' gathered people of Delhi out on streets. People from all over India supported the movement through social networking websites. Congress turning deaf to people's voices made the wrath much stronger. Cruel jokes by Congress leaders about mehengai i.e. a decent survival possible on Rs. 32/- a day for a person;  Shifting of blame by Sheila Dikshit during Nirbhaya’s Rape case on Delhi Police coming under union government and not under her elevated the rage in masses. The faulty policies of central government, 2G spectrum scam, Coal blocks allocation scam, and many other things ruined impression of the party further. These twists and turns took interests of many people who chose to keep their interests away from politics until now!
A vast majority of IT professionals, engineers, businessmen worked tirelessly as volunteers of AAP. Majority of people belonging to lower class and middle class marred by corruption and inflation started looking towards Kejriwal as their Messiah. Talk to your housemails, Autowalahs, Rikshawmen, and many others, everyone was canvassing for AAP. Even after all this surprisingly congress managed to win 8 seats in the state. This was for the first time in Indian politics that another party (AAP) emerged strongly before Congress and BJP.
Delhi has registered its highest voter turnout of 65.86%. NOTA (None of the above) option fetched 400 something votes. Not sure why people opted for that when they had three different parties (including the new one with a new agenda and ideology) to opt from. Probably they followed to the polling booths for the sake of it.

Since out of 70 seats a party needs 36 (half of 70 + one) to come in majority and select their candidate as next chief minister; none has reached the count. Hence AAP or BJP (the two leading parties) will have to seek for support from other parties. Both of them not ready for the same (as per their statements). Kejriwal if chooses to seek support from congress, it will breach trust of many voters favoring him. This is his only chance to stand firm as a unique identity and rise high. BJP will not take support from its old rival either. If situation remains like this, which will, elections will be re-held after 6 months and president will be the governing body till then. Things have become interesting as a game of chess.
Right now some RJ is playing a song on FM dedicating it to Dr. Harsh Vardhan, BJP's CM Candidate- ‘Ye dooriyaan’, from the movie ‘Love Ajkal’…
P.S. Any guesses on who is going to take C.M. post in Delhi?

Image credits: Google

Saturday, November 23, 2013


एक आदमी कब से खड़ा
नगाड़ा बजा रहा है
शायद बाहर मुझे बुला रहा है
मैं अभी गहरी नींद में हूँ
मुझ तक उसकी हर आवाज़ आ रही है
पर आँखें किसी सपने को
बहुत देर से चबा रहीं हैं

वह कुछ देर और चीखता है
बेबस होकर फिर थोडा झींकता है
मैं, अब भी अन्दर बंद हूँ
खुद को महफूज़ महसूस करते हुए
इस शोर से कभी कभी तंग हूँ

यहाँ अन्दर एक सांझ ढल रही है
कालिमां गहराती हुई आगे बढ़ रही है
इस कालिमां के ख़त्म होने पर
कुछ बेबस चलती बातों के कहीं खोने पर
मैं फिर जाउंगी बाहर
पता नहीं तब दिन होगा या होगी रात
कैसे होंगे वहाँ के हालात
क्या नगाड़ेवाला तब भी वहाँ खड़ा होगा
या निशानी के लिए बस एक नगाड़ा पड़ा होगा

मैं फिर कुछ देर सोचती हूँ
पर एक जकड़न महसूस करते हुए
खुद को भीतर रोकती हूँ..

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Almora, Uttarakhand

After spending two good days in Kausani, we started from there to explore Almora. On our way one of our travel mates shouted" wild fox" I was in dilemma whether to take out my camera lens or get a glimpse of that fox. I chose the latter. A red colored little animal with a long broom like tail was crossing the road into the forest. Our driver stopped the car giving us the opportunity to take in the scenic view of the landscape and then guess what we discovered? Marijuana leaves! Since our driver was a knowledgeable man, he shared some insights about that very plant with us-
Marijuana Leaves
The Cannabis plant's leaves share resemblance with the leaves of marigold plant. It is believed to be a native plant of India, where it possibly originated in a region just north of the Himalayan mountains. Interestingly all the parts of this plant are used as different type of drugs:  the female sativa cannabis plant.  Marijuana (weed, pot, ganja, etc.) is made from the dried flowering tops, leaves, stems and sometimes seeds of the plant, often mixed together. Hash is the pure resin separated and collected from the flowering tops of cannabis plants.  Hash, depending on the purity, varies from golden brown to black in color, and can be smoked, eaten or vaporized. The locals also put this as a herb as a garnish in their  food, to help fight the Himalayan cold.

Near Almora, in Jageshwar district, we visited another group of temples which were constructed in similar fashion  like Baijnath Temples in Bageshwar District.

I love the rays falling on the temple building making it looking more sacred and divine
An ancient huge bell outside the Jageshwar temples

A view outside Ramkrishna Mission, Almora
Next morning our plan was to visit Nanital and in afternoon catch the train for Delhi.
Another fantastic morning in Almora.

  The two photographs above are of the same place. While in the first one the valley was covered with a river like trail of clouds, an hour later it was all clean and we could see the houses beneath. It was magical.

Layers of differently colored mountains.
In Nainital, we saw Naini Lake, the mosque, Gurudwara and temple (all near to each other) and enjoyed a brief walk at mall road.
Mosque @ Nanital

The famous Naini Lake- start of boating
Municipal corporation has inhabited these ducks here. They take a round of the lake from time to time in the whole group, their way of greeting the visitors.

Naini Lake @ Nainital

     Curious Cow 
Cities like Nanital, Almora, Kausani, Mussoorie rather whole state of Uttarakhand is a nice place to explore. We missed Binsar, a wild life sanctuary near Almora due to lack of time, you could add that in your checklist.

I hope you have enjoyed the photo-journey of the place.
Keep smiling!

For other posts on Uttarakhand click here:
-Kausani, Uttarakhand- Bheemtal, Someshwar, Baijnath

-Rudradhari, Kausani

-Golu Devta Temple, Almora

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Golu Devta Temple, Almora

The temple of Golu Devta is one of the very intriguing places for a tourist in Almora. Golu Devta is believed to be the God of Justice. People of Uttarakhand have ample faith in their God and instead of talking to him, they make their wishes or complaints in writing. I haven't seen this method of praying anywhere else in India. If you are a devotee this may motivate you to write a letter to God, in your own language be it Hindi, English, Hinglish (a mix of both) or any other. If you are an atheist or agnostic, it can be one of the top 100 things in India that can amaze you. Most of the believers wrote their wishes on the affidavits of Rs. 20/- and hung them in the temple. If any wish comes true, the pilgrim ties a bell in the temple or in the temple's premise as a token of thanks. There were thousands and thousands of bells tied inside the temple and hawkers outside were selling loads of them outside the temple too.

Applications (left) and bells inside temple (right).

One of the application to God (on Rs. 20/- Affidavit)was as follows-

"Hi God,
I want to become a famous singer. Please make my voice beautiful and get me a chance into Bollywood."

There was another:
"Namaste Bhagwaan,
Mere bete ka IIT exam clear kara do. Main chahti hu wo engineer bane."
("Greetings God,
Please help my son through IIT exams. I want him to become an engineer.")

I don't know how well God listens to this but he must be really impressed by the people of Uttarakhand for their sanctified beliefs and sincere faith in him. God bless them all. If you are in Uttarakhand, this can be an interesting place to visit.

For other posts on Uttarakhand click here:
-Kausani, Uttarakhand- Bheemtal, Someshwar, Baijnath

-Rudradhari, Kausani

-Almora, Uttarakhand- Jageshwar Temples, Nanital

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rudradhari, Kausani

For the previous post on Kausani click here!
Luckily next morning at Kausani was beautiful with clouds seemingly performing a show and provided us a new view every ten minutes. A spectacular and mesmerizing view of some of the famous Himalayan peaks- Nanda Devi, Trishul and Panchachuli was treat to the eyes. Mahatma Gandhi termed this place as Switzerland of India- it indeed was beautiful.

Cloud waves rising from bottom

Trishul Mountain Range!

Loved the Sky Above

Our Halt, Sky, hidden mountain peaks and vegetation below!
 I found this bird hunting for small butterflies.
Little Pied Flycatcher @ 7.00 Am

Clock Flower and buds around

After taking breakfast we visited Anasakti Ashram (Mahatma Gandhi's Ashram), House of Late Sumitranandan Pant (famous poet)  (Only for the people who are genuinely interested in visiting it).
Name: Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly
Scientific Name: Aglais urticae
Ubiquitous Butterfly in the gardens of Anasakti Ashram, Kausani, Uttarakhand

The next plan of Action was to trek towards Rudradhari temples and falls (another temple of Lord Shiva). Going by reviews on internet, we were reluctant. According some people it was a disappointing affair while for some it was worth it. Anyway we decided to go for it.
As they say journey is better than destination. So was ours. Went went through dense forest, crossed a thin stream of river seven times. Normally when I see beetles and insects flying before my eyes here I scream petrified. Since it was jungle and insects were expected and common there, I didn't mind any unidentified flying objects. Before I share the photographs, here are somethings to keep in mind before you plan to go there:

-A guide is a must to show you the way, as without him one can not figure out the way in jungle. He can ask you anything between Rs. 200 -400.
- Keep something to eat and drink with yourself as there are no shops inside the forest.
- It is 1 hour track to reach the temple, 2-2.5 Kms approx. (One way)
- There are no mobile networks and no calls can be made once you are inside the forest.
- Falls are not that great as compared to falls in other places of India (especially falls in Pachmani, Madhya Pradesh), though if one is interested in trek, jungles, beetles etc. one should go for it. The temple seemed ancient from inside.

I couldn't locate the name of these...

Into the wilderness

Rudradhari temple

Rudradhari Falls

For all of us, the trek was enjoyable, the journey was wonderful and faces were smiling!
He was our guide Bacchiram, we found him waiting for his customers at the entrance of forest.

For other posts on Uttarakhand click here:
-Kausani, Uttarakhand- Bheemtal, Someshwar, Baijnath

-Golu Devta Temple, Almora

-Almora, Uttarakhand- Jageshwar Temples, Nanital

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy Deepawali

Wishing everyone a very Happy Deepawali.
This year instead of one, we had three Rangolis to flaunt. While I was busy in making one, my sister- in her Picasso Fits- created two wonderful Designs. So between three rangoli designs there was scarcity of space to walk but who wants to walk much in an Art Gallery! We all want to savor the artists' works in artists' paradise. Here are the photographs- the way I search for ideas each Deepawali, these may inspire you for the next one.

Happy Diwali
This is what I made this year!

 My Sister's Work
A modern and very creative Rangoli- I wish we had kids at home to really enjoy this one!

The Tribal Art
For last years' Rangoli click here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kausani, Uttarakhand

A week after Fatehpur Sikri, Uttarakhand happened. We explored 3 main places in Uttarakhand in our 4 day trip- Kausani, Almora and Nainital.

We got up in the wee hours of memory and got ready by 5 a.m in order to catch early morning Shatabdi from Anand Vihar (Delhi) to Kathgodam.

After reaching Kathgodam (at 11.30) we hired a cab and reached Almora (at 5.30 PM).
On our way to Almora we took in glimpses of Bheemtal lake and offered our devotions at Kainchidham.

Bheemtaal- Taal means Lake
We stayed at Almora for the night and next morning started for Kausani -a three hours road drive. It was a scenic journey- the serpentine road wrapped around lush green hills and with Kosi river flowing down in the valley. Weather was misty and cloudy  and green mountains looked golden due to sun beaming on them.
Misty Morning in Almora

Almora Morning @ 6 am

Enroute Kausani
Weather was wonderfully pleasant. On our way we saw huge cucumbers in local markets as compared to the ones we get in Delhi, apples on the other hand were cherries in comparison to what we get in Delhi. Talking further about sizes, mosquitoes were elephants!
Kausani is rich in flora and fauna. While our plan was to stay there for only a day but after seeing the place we planned to stay there for another day.

Temples in Uttarakhand are mainly of Lord Shiva. On first day in Kausani we visited Someshwar Temple and Baijnath Temple.
A statue in Someshwar Temple

Butterfly: Poweshiek Skipperling, Someshwar.

Baijnath Temple
 Baijnath Temple complex (Lord Shiva) is situated on the banks of the Gomti river in Bageshwar District.
Baijnath Temples
 It is a group of temples that have idols of Shiva, Ganesh, Parvati, Chandika, Kuber, Surya and Brahma.
 Mahaseer Fishes.
These fishes were in abundance in the river flowing adjacent to Baijnath temples. They are known as Mahasher, where Maha means big and Sher means Tiger- "Big Tigers" of water. Fishing is not allowed here though one can feed the fishes. (Source:
On our way back, we visited a tea factory and then to our halt. 

Second day in Kausani- -Rudradhari, Kausani
For other posts on Uttarakhand click here

-Golu Devta Temple, Almora

-Almora, Uttarakhand- Jageshwar Temples, Nanital

Monday, October 21, 2013

New Age War

 Doodle Diaries
Click on image to enlarge it!
Happy Monday People. Stay technologically advanced.

P.S. Oh I am not giving any Ideas!!! Have a great week ahead. ;)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fatehpur Sikri

It was 2nd of October, Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday and a national holiday. We planned to pay a visit to the city of Fatehpur Sikri near Agra, along with one of our cousin who was in Agra at that time.
Fatehpur Sikri (city of victory, Fateh means Victory) served as a capital of Mughal empire during Emperor Akbar's reign for 13 years. The construction started in 1571 and was completed in 1573 and is made of red stone. It is considered to be one of the best heritage of Mughal architecture.

I would recommend the place to those who enjoy beautiful architectures or have historical interests. Especially for people living around Agra- it can be an interesting weekend getaway.
Some of the monuments amongst many are Akbar's Palace, Palace of Jodha Bai (Hindu wife of the Mughal emperor-Akbar), Palace of Birbal, Deewan-e-Aam (hall of Public audience), Deewan-e-Khas (Hall of private Audience).  One of the best features that I found there was a mix of different cultures in the architecture. It has borrowings from  Hindu, Persian and Indo-Muslim traditions. One could see Rajasthani Patterns on the walls, a building with a triangular end and a cross atop placed in harmony with other Mughal tastes.

We left for the place early morning at around 6.30. It took us four hours to reach the place via expressway from Delhi.

This photograph is taken during a drive on express highway

Fatehpur Sikri

 Architecture at Fatehpur Sikri.

Reminiscent of huge earthen pot used for storing Grain.

Tansen (one of the 9 jewels in reign of Akbar) used to sing sitting at the center of the pool. (as told by our guide)

Beautifully crafted minaret with clouds in the backdrop
Entrance to another space of one of the wives of Akbar.
Jodha's Palace (One of the wives of Akbar)in the city of Fatehpur Sikri

Jama Mazjid
Jama Mazjid
The white monument is tomb of sufi saint Saleem chishti.

Tomb of Saleem Chisti (A sufi saint)
Scribbling in Farsi Inside Saleem Chishti's Dargah 

To the south there is Buland Darwaza which was completed in 1575, a memoir of the victories (the taking of Gujarat in 1572) to which the city, their monumental symbol, owes its existence and its name.

Inside view of Buland Darwaza

Vendors selling local products including models of Taj Mahal carved out of marble, beaded necklaces etc inside Buland Darwaza.

Buland Darwaza

View of the city from Buland Darwaza
Another View of the city from Buland Darwaza

There were many squirrel visitors too or perhaps residents.
An Exit from Fatehpur Sikri.
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