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Showing posts from January, 2010

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Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

An interesting vehicle

We happened to see this vehicle, probably one of the new ones belonging to the police or the army. It drew all eyes towards it, and cameras and mobiles were pulled out, and the tourists went! I wondered if it would be all right to take pics, considering that these belong to our state security forces, but there were plenty of policemen around, and none of them seemed to care about the photography, so I decided to go for it too! It looks more like a tank than a van, right? I saw a couple more such vehicles at Mantralaya later, but did not dare take pics there!!!!!

Sunday evening in South Bombay- Museum and Nilambari

A visit to the Prince of Wales Museu m, or to give it its official name – Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalay - was long overdue, and I decided to take Samhith there on Sunday, as we were all alone in the house and there was nothing to be done at home. We started from home after lunch and took a train to VT (forgive me if I use the old names – the new ones don’t come all that easily to me). We were lucky to get one of the new trains, and Samhith was delighted, especially the announcements about the next station! I had planned to walk to the museum, but it was too hot, so I decided to indulge, and took a taxi to the Gateway of India, where we reserved seats on the Nilambari – the open deck bus which takes one around the heritage buildings of Fort and Colaba. We then headed to the Museum, which was something I was looking forward to, since I hadn’t been there in ages! I guess the last time I visited was when I was in school!! I used to think that maybe Samhith would

Paraphernalia for Indian rituals.. some of them.....

Our first outing of the year was to Jalgaon where we attended a havan and a puja. An auspicious beginning to the new year, wouldn't you say? Considering that we perform so many rituals ourselves at home, I have always been fascinated by all the paraphernalia that we use for them. I used the opportunity at Jalgaon to click pics, not of the puja itself, which everyone else was doing,  but of the preparations for the puja.......... Here is the puja site.. all ready and prepared.... That's the havan kund.. where the fire will be lit... Here are the essentials - water, haldi(turmeric), kumkum, chandan...etc. etc. etc... i love that kamadalu-like vessel with the spout.. Don't know its correct name.... look at the tiny different shaped wooden articles next to it. They are used for the havan for making the offerings... Fruits and flowers... and the spoons used for the havan... again, sorry, but the names elude me. The Kalash - the central item.... and fi

Where have all the other birds gone?

The two black kites in our colony are presently the most visible ones around. All the bulbuls, sunbirds and robins seem to have disappeared! I wonder why that is so. Meanwhile, the absence of birds has given me very little opportunity of using my camera, so I jumped at the chance when the kite came to sit on our terrace for a while, giving me some good pics... Here they are....

The Mumbai Marathon - A Gatecrashing Experience

The Standard chartered Mumbai Marathon took place yesterday, and the papers are full of Marathon News – about the celebrities, the figures, the statistics, the problems, the heroes… and so on and so forth. Here is an experience of none of the above – a group of young girls, who, unable to register for the marathon (the registrations were over even before we awoke to the fact that they were open!), decided to gate crash and participate in the event nevertheless! The group consisted of my sister Kanthi and her friends Manasi and Pranali . Here is their experience in their own words……….       The Mumbai Marathon - An unforgettable Experience This is the first time   I am trying to write my experience which will be posted on the net! Warning to all my sister’s blog friends: I am not as good writer as my sister, so bear with my English!!! The reason I am writing this article instead of my sis is that I participated in the Mumbai marathon which was held on 17 th  Jan ’10. Moreover

Rangolis - Maharashtrian style!

I have always been fascinated by the Maharashtrian way of drawing rangolis. While I love drawing the traditional ' kolams ' with rice paste, I am no good at using the kolam powder or rice flour. These are typical Maharashtrian patterns drawn at Jalgaon, where, as I mentioned earlier, we attended a puja. The girl was young, must have been younger than me, and she drew these two rangolis in a matter of minutes! Normally, when we use rice flour, we can only draw one line at a time. Here, in the next rangoli, she drew 4 at a time!!! It was fantastic to watch her, and I tried taking a pic of her drawing the rangoli. Unfortunately, it was dark and they did not come out well. These pix were taken the next day, and I wasn't able to locate her and ask her to pose next to her creations. A wonderful job,isn't it? what do you say????

Water Lily

Water Lily at Jalgaon

Partial Solar Eclipse in Mumbai

For the last hour,I have watching the partial solar eclipse, explaining the phenomenon to Samhith, and trying to get a reasonably good photograph.Success at last!!! Guess what I used to take these pics!!! Beautiful, isn't it??? (ANS. a double layer of film for the first 2 and 4 layers for the last 3!) For More pictures of the solar eclipse, check out the following blogs: Ashish Parmar's Nature's Imagery   (Bangalore) Mridula's Travel Tales from India  (Delhi) Quest's Quest beyond eternity (Thiruvananthapuram)


A few of the roses we saw at Jalgaon...... We had been to Jalgaon last weekend for a puja..... and were fascinated by these roses... more pics will follow..