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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


If you ever go to the Gateway of India, you cant miss these guys.... they are everywhere!!

They roam around with a camera in hand, clicking photos of the multitudes of tourists.  They have been around for what seems forever!!! I remember a time when they used to work as a group - one clicking photos while the smaller boys ran to get the photos developed. The customer was asked to come back in an hour, and the photo would be ready. There was also a phase when the Polaroid was all the rage! Instant photos!! Customers lined up just for the thrill of seeing the developed image emerge from the camera!! Digital cameras and photo printers have made life easier for them. They simply take a pic, print it, and hand it over to you within a few minutes, and go on their way, looking for their next customer.

These guys are great at spotting prospective customers. I have never been accosted by them when I have been there alone..... but every time I go with Samhith, they are right there, promising the best photograph!! And they can get really pesky when we are there with the full family!!  This time, I was at the Gateway with my cousins and Samhith, and one of the chaps approached us. And then he spotted the DSLR hanging from my cousin's neck, and the high zoom camera hanging from mine, and turned away, but not before giving me a big smile!! 


  1. Well said Anu. In Mussoorie one of them told me, I will click your's from your SLR only. I just smiled and moved ahead!

    1. true Mridula, these guys are everywhere!! and most people do enjoy having their photo taken, so they manage to make a living too, i guess!! there are few of us completely uninterested in our own pics!

  2. I loved that last line!!! Could picture the scene so vividly!!!!


  3. How about offering them back to click their photo?

    1. Hmm yes, Shrinidhi,good idea, should do that sometime....

  4. It isnt easy to get away from them. :)

    1. absolutely!!! they can stick like leeches at times... which is why people like her are a refreshing sight!


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