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Showing posts from June, 2014

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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

Ghost Crabs at Cherai

Walking on the sands of Cherai Beach in the rain, our attention was captured by what appeared, at first sight, to be a ripple on the sand. A closer look revealed a tiny crab scuttling into its hole. Can you spot the crab in this photograph?

Discovering my roots - At the Arjuneswarar Temple, Kadathur

A temple on the banks of a river is not an unusual sight. However, this one is special, because the village this temple is located in, is the village my ancestors belonged to. I first visited this temple in 2001, after years of searching for my roots. I can only describe as indescribable – the curious feeling of finally coming home – that I felt on setting foot in this village. This is the village of Kadathur, located between Udumalaipettai (Udumalpet) and Palani, home to the Arjuneswarar Temple.

Walking through Bassein Fort - a Glimpse into the era of the Portuguese

For a very long time , the only fort I knew of in and around Mumbai was the Vasai Fort. That was before I learnt about the 8 forts within the city … Nevertheless, knowing about the fort wasn’t of much use, since I couldn’t visit it anyway. It was too far off for one thing, and somehow I didn’t know anyone interested enough to join me on a trip, just to see an old crumbling fort. After years of patient waiting, I finally visited the Vasai fort last week, with Breakfree Journeys , and a group of people after my own heart! The arched colonnade in the Church of the Holy Name or Gonsalo Garcia Church

Photo story - Fishermen in the rain at Cherai

On our recent summer vacation, we woke up at Cherai to heavy rains. These weren't the usual summer rains where it rained now and then, but the skies opened up with a vengeance, and made it impossible for us go explore the area. I opted instead, for exploring the resort, and enjoying the peace, since most people were enjoying the cosy comforts of the resort, indoors! Walking towards the backwaters, the sight of these lone fishermen made me stop and watch them for a while, appreciating their hard work, and their perseverance. This isn't a black and white photo, but the dark clouds and the fog make it appear so

Armchair Birdwatching - Hoopoe at Ooty

The Hoopoe is a common bird, but not so common where we live. Thus, its always a pleasure to watch one, whenever we do get to see it. Like at Ooty, when, sitting on the lawn outside our cottage, I spotted this pair, busy catching worms for their breakfast!

Florentine Renaissance - The Gates of Paradise at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai

Gilded doors with panels depicting scenes from religious lore – I have so far seen them only in temples. Therefore, it came as a surprise to know that churches in Europe had gilded doors too, representing scenes from the Bible! Thankfully, I didn’t need to make a trip to Europe to see them, but just had to make a visit to our very own Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai, to get a glimpse of the ‘Gates of Paradise’, as this particular one is called!

Skywatch Friday - The Photo Story of a Spectacular Sunset on Cherai Beach

Cherai is a beautiful beach near Kochi, relatively clean, and not too crowded. We spent a few days there during our summer vacation, and, instead of the simmering heat and calm sea, we found heavy rain and huge waves that lashed at the shore! While this did restrict our time in the water, the sky put up a beautiful show for us every day...a different one each day. Here is one of the most spectacular sunsets we saw. Honestly, I didn't know where to look.... At the clouds as they gathered, or at the sun which changed its look every minute, or at the sea, with its frothy reflections of the sun and the clouds, or at the changing colours in the sky.. Let me leave the descriptions aside, and allow you to see for yourself, one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen! It all began with the clouds gathering...

Faces in the Crowd - Shell Seller

He Sells Sea Shells by the Sea Shore .. yes I know its only a modified version of the tongue twister, but I couldn't resist it! We saw him outside the St. Francis Church in Kochi. Yes, there were women around too, selling their wares, but I clicked this chap and his stall, simply because I liked the way he had organised it! Besides, he let his display as well as his wares, speak for themselves, because he didn't hound us! Or maybe he just realized that I wasn't interested in buying anything, just clicking away!

Nalknad Palace, Coorg - A Story of Royal Love!

The car came to a halt, and all I could see ahead was a small, local school. “Where is the palace?” I asked and the driver pointed to a compound wall on the left. I had been expecting an impressive structure, fit for kings. After all, this was once the retreat for the royal family of Coorg! The surroundings were impressive enough, situated as it was amidst forests, quite dense even today, but the school was all that was visible from where we had alighted, and I decided to hold on to my thoughts till I actually saw the palace!

The saga of my really long summer vacation!

It was a summer vacation with a difference. .... it rained wherever we went! Yes, we traveled across three of the southern states, but the rains seemed to follow us, making sure we enjoyed the weather, as much as we did the sights! Let me show you some glimpses of our memorable vacation, through photographs - not of the sights, but the moments!  Fog, mist and rain! We didn't expect to see sights like this in peak summer!