Sunday, October 29, 2006


Himalayan Peaks as seen from Kausani, India

Rain clouds gather and the temperature drops.....there is an excited anticipation in the, men, birds, animals; all are eagerly awaiting for the water to succumb to gravity.....will it rain?? will, but only, WHEN ITS TIME.....if it is NOT, a gentle breeze will be sufficient to carry the rain clouds far far away.....and WHEN ITS TIME the rain clouds will be summoned from their abode even on a hot sunny day and rain it will, even though you least expected keep in mind this 'lil mantra..."WHEN ITS TIME".. :)....and then you will realise that denials are just delays...

Herez a song that says just this....To Everything Turn Turn Turn

Njoy!! :)

Saturday, October 28, 2006


"If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite." - 18th century artist and poet William Blake

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


This was taken at a pit stop on our way to Kausani, Uttaranchal....The lady's costume and jewellery got me interested....we got talking.....she took out a beedi (cigarette) and started smoking as we were speaking.....I loved her look then....sitting erect, chatting and smoking a beedi nonchalantly....thats the image I wanted to capture...oh, well.....heres what I got....I am glad that it captures the details of her jewellery and attire....I also like the look on her boy's face.....a lost, dreamy look...(I offered him candy and thats what he is chewing on)


You are probably thinking...."Whats so great about this pic?"....I see a dancer in this dead tree; standing erect w/ arms outstretched, ready to take a twirl.....nature teaches us so many things if we care to observe and ponder....the lesson I learnt from this tree is 'celebrate life'.....another line that comes to mind when I look at this picture is.."Don't cry because its over, smile because it happened".....

Anyhoo....herez wishing you a very Happy Diwali!

Cheers! :)

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Mountains surrounding Logan, UT

A new place and the start of a new race....bewildering yet exciting....a perfect setting to take me tumbling down....but these mountains made me home at once...their constant towering presence; like the watchful eyes of the friend who is always there to dad's smile that says.."ain't no mountain high enough"....O lovely Mountains, I miss you!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006


This picture was taken during a trip to Konkan (coastal Maharashtra) early this year...What drew me towards these ladies was their walk...a steady rhythmic pace and peculiar crossing of the feet; like models walking the ramp....and I thought in my mind "boy, they could give the catwalk gals a run for their money!"....Some smiled shyly as I clicked their pictures...while some, like the duo in this picture seemed be saying......"this is the life of some!...while you pleasure cruise miles in your SUVs....we walk miles just to earn our daily meals.....this is our life; a life of hardship!".....I salute their will and hope life gets better for them...

Monday, October 02, 2006


Vinchu Kata point - Lohagad Fort
I massage my legs, trying to comfort the sore muscles and wish I had a personal masseur. “This pain is temporary; it will go away after a day”, I tell myself. To divert my attention from the pain, I close my eyes and reminisce the pastoral yellow-green of the wild flowers atop the fort (Lohagad) and the bliss I felt as rain clouds swept past and engulfed us in a heavenly mist…..
A day trek had been the next activity on the agenda of the girl-gang at my workplace. I was keeping my fingers crossed that this would materialize and not be dropped off the list due to lack of numbers. It is my experience that such activities do not find many takers. Lately I have been keen on doing some serious trekking; there are so many places around Maharashtra to do so, however lack of time and association with like-minded individuals are my (lame?) excuses for not having been able to do so. So anyways, at the end of Friday there were 7 of us who were still game for a trek to Lohagad (Loha = iron, gad = fort). I only had a brief acquaintance with majority of the group and so was a bit skeptical about spending the whole day with such a bunch. All for the trek, I convinced myself and tagged my sister along as a fallback. I must admit that my spirits were dampened more than they were enthused as I was packing gear late into Friday night.
We decided to take the early local (train) upto Malavli. As we ware about to leave for the station, I was informed that the group had missed the local. The next one was almost an hour and a half away. My skepticism surged, but I decided to make the most of the time by building my energy reserve with wholesome homemade breakfast. Hot methi parathas did the trick and I was smiling and chatting all through the local journey. Wild orange flowers and lush green mountains zoomed past us all the way to Malavli.
A board at the railway station mentioned that Lohagad was a 9 km walk from Malavli. This was probably my 4th journey to the fort. All my previous visits had been during the simmering summer months and I hoped to see the fort in a different light at this time of the year. Here the monsoons are almost over and the weather is really hot on most days, however this is also the time for short but big showers. We were praying that the sun would stay behind the clouds for the most part and bless us with a drizzle just when we needed it.
We started the climb at about 9:30 am; a late and slow start and I tried to build the group’s tempo so we could reach our destination before tiring ourselves by our own breaks and lazy speed. The hike is an easy walk along a wide gravel road for the most part. The sun was hiding but there was a lot of humidity in the air. I tried to look for old signs as we made our way up. After almost two hours of walking the twin forts of Lohagad and Visapur came into view. Wild yellow flowers were in full bloom and their color contrasted beautifully with the greens of the mountains and the brown earth. We couldn’t resist taking pictures and resumed our walk refreshed, after this short break.

Monument on Lohagad fort
Cool breeze and the yellow-greens atop the fort greeted us; none of us were really hungry, however the prospect of shedding some weight from our backpacks was reason enough for having lunch. A family of monkeys arrived just as we opened our packed lunches. Although we bribed a stray dog and some local kids with food, to chase the monkeys away, we were forced to have a hasty lunch. I think I am going to hold it against the monkeys for a long time. They are definitely off my favorite animal list!
We decided to explore the fort further, but couldn’t resist the cool water in the numerous water tanks that were along our exploration path. Chatting, singing, fish-spotting, we forgot all about the monkeys. Groups of teenagers suddenly appeared and soon the fort seemed like a vibrant youth hang-out rather than an historic artifact.
We continued our exploration after the water-play and soon the Vinchu (Scorpion) Kata (tail) point came into view. There is a tricky rock patch that one has to tackle before getting on the Vinchu Kata walk. Going down might have been easy, but we weren’t sure about making it up. Confused we sat there taking in the view of the valley. Soon misty clouds made way towards us and a cheer rose in the crowd.
Most of us had convinced ourselves that this was good enough. But S couldn’t go back after coming this far. She insisted on finding an alternative route and that she did. She urged us to look at the alternative path; a walk along the ledge below; it appeared simple and we decided to give it a shot. Suddenly a monkey appeared and edged close to S. The rest of us were at a distance above, and all we could do was scream in panic. S tried to shoo the monkey away, but the creature hissed closer. I was scared and confused at the same time. Our canine ally appeared on the scene just in time and drove the monkey away. I heaved a sigh of relief and tried not to think of what would have happened had the dog not appeared on the scene.
The walk along the ledge was the most exciting part of the trek. We seemed to walk in the clouds as we made our way to the furthest part of the Vinchu Kata point. We thanked S for insisting on coming to this point and not giving-in to our excuses.
We stopped for chai and kanda-bhaji before we began our walk downhill. The air was cooler than morning and clouds floated in the distance. We took a final stop that we had promised ourselves in the morning, at a waterfall and tried to speed up to make it in time for our local back.
Tired, sweaty and grimy we boarded the local and cheered each other for the wonderful time together. I silently chided myself for my earlier skepticism and wished for more of such times in the future.
I have but one regret – of making the exploration a mere physical activity rather than a studied tour. I hope I get better the next time on.

Lohagad fort - Trekkers climbing down