Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2010

Featured Post

2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Morachi Chincholi - Part 2 - Peacocks Galore!!!!

Please read the first part of this series at   Morachi Chincholi - Part 1 It was difficult to sleep considering how excited we were, but the wonderful weather and the sounds of the night lulled us to sleep, and we were soon lost to the world. Not for too long, however… we were awakened at the crack of dawn by the peacocks emerging from their hideouts and calling out to their mates. Rushikesh knocked on our door to tell us that there was one just outside our window and we rushed to peep out, scaring the poor fellow away! One by one we filed out of the room, cameras in hand, ready to spot and capture the birds on film. It wasn’t so easy, however….. The villagers were so used to them that they hardly paid any attention, going about their morning duties as usual. The peacocks therefore felt comfortable around them, and went about their feeding and other chores without any fear. A group of ten enthusiastic city dwellers was another matter, and they were rightfully scared of us. They r

Morachi Chincholi - Part 1

Can you imagine being woken up at 5 AM by the peacock calling out to its mate? This is just what we experienced when we visited Morachi Chincholi last weekend. No, this village is not somewhere deep inside a jungle, but is just a 4 hour drive from Mumbai, 50 Kms from Pune. I heard of this place more than a year back, through an article in the newspaper. It was amazing to hear that there were hundreds of peacocks in a place so close to the city, and I wanted to visit it at once. However, planning a holiday and going for it, are two different things, and the trip never materialized, though I passed Pune umpteen times during the last year. Every time I passed the city, I made a mental note to stop and visit this village, at least a short visit, but it never happened! Finally, a wonderful opportunity landed on my lap when Breakfree Journeys announced a trip to the village. Breakfree Journeys is a new adventure and rural tourism initiative, undertaken by a young, enthusiastic chap nam

Skywatch Friday - The sun and the fence.....

I clicked this photo last week on my way to the airport.... the setting sun against the barbed wire seemed somehow very poignant..... the pic quality is of course, not all that good, since this was clicked from a running car..... What do you think of it For more skies around the world, go to Sky Watch Friday

The advent of the creepy - crawlies....

Its pouring out there as I write these words, the windows tightly shut to prevent my computer getting wet! No words today, just pictures...... taken a couple of days back.. Yes, now that the rains have begun, I have started carrying my camera along as we wait for Samhith's bus, managing somehow to click pictures of creepy crawlies, juggling with my mobile and camera in one hand and an umbrella in the other, not to mention trying to stop Samhith from running off into the rain! Here's our first visitor - a beetle scuttling off in the water...... And these aren't visitors - these are permanent residents - centipedes - but they look a bit more attractive in the rains (If u can call them attractive, that is..) And if you were wondering how many of these were around, here's a glimpse... that's just one small patch of the wall!!! And here are a few mushroom s... they grow and disappear miraculously soon! That's all for now, but the monsoon has jus

Shirdi Temple Update - Speedy Darshan

I have been fortunate to have been able to visit Shirdi plenty of times. You can read about my experiences at I will therefore not waste more words talking about the temple and my experiences. This post is meant to be an update on the speedy darshan facility recently started at Shirdi during crowded weekends. The temple authorities have opened a paid darshan facility during the weekends, to cope with the huge crowds at that time. To avail of these passes, one has to approach the guards at Gate No.1. They will direct you to the person issuing the passes. a limited number of passes are available each day, starting at 7AM, and the rates are as follows: Only darshan : Rs. 100 per person All aartis except kakad aarti: Rs. 200 per person Kakad A

Nehru Centre, Nehru Planetarium and Nehru Science Centre

This year, everything seemed to conspire to keep us at home in the sweltering heat of May. Shankar hates to travel in the peak of vacation time, and says it is better to make the most of home then, and refused to step out even for a short trip. I therefore made some grand plans to take Samhith to places in Bombay, but then the heat dissuaded us from travelling and we ended up at home, Samhith mostly in front of the TV, and me in front of the computer! Towards the end of the vacations, I was frustrated enough to take Samhith out by myself, and we opted for a visit to the Nehru Science Centre and the Planetarium. These are two places I haven’t visited for ages, but have been meaning to take Samhith for some time. My memories of both places were flaky, but I thought Samhith would find it interesting, especially since he keeps asking so many questions…. The Nehru Centre We started our day out with the planetarium first , since we had to book tickets for the show, and I wanted the


Rows and rows of shops lined the road. Most of them sold items for puja, not surprising, considering that this was a temple town. Mounds of Kumkum , deep red in colour had been arranged carefully, resembling huge lingams . Each had an image of a deity fixed near the top. As I stopped to click a picture, I wondered how the shopkeeper managed to sell the Kumkum without destroying the shape, and then noticed that this was just the front of the mound. Behind, the Kumkum had been scooped out, carefully leaving the fa├žade intact! Apart from the usual flower and coconut sellers, there were also a huge number of shops selling photos of various gods and goddesses, all in old fashioned wooden and glass frames.Obviously, no one was interested in laminations! The most prominent among all these shops were those selling fancy articles for women – earrings, chains, and the like, but mainly bangles – glass bangles. I was sorely tempted to stop and buy some, but we had no time… there was much