Friday, June 26, 2009


When I walk around with my camera around my neck and trying to figure out something to be clicked. Am usually gawked by the kids who play around and have no clue what weapon am hanging around my neck.

One of the days I was walking by the lanes Malabar hills and came across a kid who kept staring at me. I smiled at him and he smiled back at me, to make him feel a little easy to my strange face I started a conversation with him and asked for his name.
He said “Nanu” his mom came out from the house and told me that his name was “Dipesh”
On that I asked the kid What “Dipesh” meant, he very candidly said “Nanu”
His reply got me the broadest smile. Very rarely one gets to see so much of innocence.

The University Called as "EXPERIENCE"

With the passage of time with my photographer shoes on, I have learnt lessons that every photographer should.
Only a photographer can produce an unadulterated human expression furthermore the rude and sweet varieties of nature. A poet, cinematographer or a painter can be biased but a photographer cannot.
The poet benefits from the obedience of the pen; the painter takes pleasure in the conformity of the brush, cinematographer enjoys the obedience of the cast and crew and Photographers basks in the obedience of thE camera too, but unfortunate that the subject doesn’t stay still for the camera to catch them.
“A moment lost is a moment lost forever”.
To justify the lines which I have written above I will back you up with an example because of which I am writing this piece and also a reason to why this blog of mine is without a picture.
I was shooting in Jaisalmer. Dancing on the dunes was a small girl grooving on the tunes of Rajasthani notes. She caught my attention as she danced and sang in a typical Rajasthani way. She did what she was doing, so gracefully that I forgot to click, instead I started jotting the lyrics of the song she was singing. It said, “Saath kos se daudi aayi hu, jarasi dab re babua thadi raale gaadi, thari meethi rale gaadi”
But was late to pick my camera and turn to the right mode, settings and focus and then click. By that time she was done with her piece of art and was collecting money from the tourists who were feasting on the Rajasthani culture she displayed for them.
I got the song translated from one of the local boys over there, it meant “I Have come running from seven miles to catch this train, oh! Driver kindly stop your train for a moment your sweet train.
Had I been a painter I would have been able to produce the replica of the event with the same expression even after few years.
A poet could have been able to describe her expression, her dance, grace etc with the help of words even after decades.
A cinematographer can recreate the scene by umpteen numbers of takes and retakes and could have reproduced the girls dance.
But “I” as a Photographer lost the opportunity. I could have asked her to do it once again but the consciousness of being clicked would have killed the natural and innocent look in her.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Hoping that it would shower I hit off for a shoot around Mumbai and captured a place where I had never been, Banganga; it is in the heart of Malabar hill, a plush area in south Mumbai. I studied nothing about the place before I invaded it, wanted to know the insight of the place from the people living there. The first vista of the place wasn’t really capturable; I took in that there wasn’t much to click. Thought of talking to people in the region of Banganga and get to know the place and spend some time with them. First thing that caught my sight was lot of ducks of all colors and looks. I approached a local guy who was sweeping the courtyard of his house and got the information about the place. He bagged me with the information that, Banganga is a water tank surrounded by old temples. As mentioned in mythology, Rama the exiled king in the Ramayana is believed to have stopped at this spot 5000years ago looking for his wife sita. Exhausted and thirsty he asked his brother Lakshman to get him some water to drink. Lakshman shot an arrow into the ground from which water sprouted out. Till date there is continuous flow of water from that spot where Lakshman had shot an arrow to quench his beloved brother, Rama’s thirst. But no one knows where it comes from. This water is believed to have healing powers and is a holy place for loads of people who flock here to have a dip on sacred days like Maha Shiv Ratra etc.
After giving me this piece of information parab kaka got me introduced to his turtle with no name but indeed he treated him well and gave him good food and comfort as he believed he was the symbol of lord Shiva.
I observed one thing that animals around in Banganga were given a lot of respect as they were believed to be symbol of god. The ducks there were very healthy, well fed and had a lovely shine on there skin. I was told that the ducks were got here by the devotees as a kind of donation to the god and were given a lot of freedom. Every house had a cat as a part of family.

As I walked around the place I made friends with the kids who were playing cricket. When I was clicking and talking to the kids who were playing cricket a sweet kid of around 8 years, from the pond called for me and addressed me as “Aunty” said dat he wanted me to click him. But I couldn’t as he was in middle of the pond and was far for my clixy to reach. So when he neared the banks of Banganga I came forward to click him. And he didn't let me click him. He just kept disappearing in the water. He dipped at one end of the bank and popped out from the other. If I was focusing on the right he would appear on the left in no time. Looking at the amused expression I had on my face, a kid next

to me who was trying to fetch his ball, fallen in the pond, said to me that though his name is Mohit we call him Mogli for his crazy speed in swimming. Just because I didn’t click him at first he started showing me his amazing tricks of diving and catching hold of fishes, to impress me. He would hunt a fish with his hand and at times with his foot. I was very impressed. Within no time all the kids entered the pool and joined Mogli to hunt fishes and showed them all to me so that I could get the clicks.
One of the senior person told that some 5 years back few kids had passed away while swimming in this tank. That’s why the village kids had a swimming trainer who trained all the kids in the village. It was one thing the kids in Banganga had to learn.
Who ever I told that I had been to Banganga I got an reply “Oh even I had been there, its such a boring place” and I smiled and thought, I liked the place a lot because I saw it through the eyes of these small kids who made the place so interesting for me. They did everything to keep me entertained with whatever little they had. I bagged more memories than pictures here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Flower that never Died

The days when I was shooting in Dalhousie, himachal, one of the mornings me and my photographer bunch hit off to khajiyar. We had a very informative driver who drove us through the ghats and showed us places around and my bunch being photographers too, had there ears to the information doled out. We never sat up playing antakshri or some travel games. I absorbed every little information he gave, soaked the air which had a pretty smell of the pine trees and my ear druns percussed to the tunes of the beautiful birds who sang.
In scorching heat The way you would fill up your water bottles till brim, the same way I filled up my lungs with the cleanest and coolest air, till I though they would explode.
Though the car I was traveling was a local tourist TATA sumo, it felt better than traveling in an Audi or a Porsche. Never got such a peace of mind. The scene passing by us as our car moved ahead with maple and pine trees on the side, a carpet of maple leaves which made boulevard for us as our car rolled over them and they flew in the air. We halted at a spot which was absolutely breath taking. A beautiful tree with orange leaves and lovely blue sky to compliment. Pheew!! I just wanted to sit there and stare at the lovely painting god has painted for us. God is a hell of an artist. As we moved ahead our driver stopped at a point and mapped a way for us through the wood to the point where everyone was reaching by the car. It would have taken extra thirty minutes. This was totally worth it. We got down and followed the route which probably was marked by nature lovers like us. As we walked it was something I had seen in wallpapers and a pretty wooden bridge which was made by a huge tree which might have fallen because of some wild wind some years back. There was pin drop silence none of us talked much to each other as everyone was busy soaking this beauty in our systems perpetually. This is how our hearts must look when we are in love or when we are blissful. Not like the broken and dug up roads garnished with pollution. We rambled down for another thirty minutes and saw something that took our breath away.
This was a total ecstasy to our cameras.
One of my friend from the bunch wasn’t with us was still making his way through the woods. He was last to join us on the khajiyar ground. We were all rolling on the green carpet lawn and getting our foot relaxed. Mean while my dear friend tawde urf Pratik came from the woods and joined us. he gathered our bunch and asked me to stand in front of him. He caught me off guard he went down on his knees and gave me the most memorable gift ever. Somehow I had never like the concept of gifting flowers to each other, coz eventually they die and the sight of those dead flowers makes me hate the person who has gifted me those flowers. But this incident totally changed the way I look at flowers. While we walked ahead Pratik waited up in the wood and picked up a flower of dry wood and attached a stem to it and presented it to me. I was joyful because I had done something that fetched such a gift which will in no way die nor will the friendship that I share with him.
I love to travel coz it’s on my travel that I meet people who fill my bag of memories. This was the best token of friendship anyone has ever given me. I will never be able to have a high regard for any other gift other than this one, be it a diamond. For the reason that, this gift was given to me by a person who didn't invest money in it but invested his heart, mind and emotions in it.

Thank you so much.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hurly & Burly

Hurly and burly are the two people who live within me. They are the once who create a bizarre chaos and colorful happiness in me. Devoid of hurly and burly I wouldn’t have been the person who I am today. They keep me on my toes. They have this crazy tempo which shows that there is too much inside me because of which I can’t think of one thing at a time. But this tempo is maintained only if hurly and burly are together. If hurly goes on a leave or has an stomach ache or anything that’s keeps hurly’s spirit low burly is low to and the scene inside me is just as blank as an empty dark room and vice versa. Hurly burly have been a part of me ever since I started understanding, reasoning and questioning things around.

The upshots that hurly and burly create when they in the highest spirits, my clixy helped me to get a click of it, to enhance this write up.
The bubble inside me is where Hurly burly have lived happily and will continue to do so. There bubble has everything they want to make them happy, music, colors, fun, food, dance, passion, talking, endless walks, gossiping, love, care and comfort. I have known them grow in me and the relationship they share is something a car shares with the fuel. One of them is useless if the other is not there.
Hurly and Burly even if they go far away from each other they manage to weave the distance very easily with the most powerful thing anyone is gifted “WORDS”. People say friends are always a phase in your life. But Hurly Burly has always been a part of my life and will always be in future.
Just a few days back when I clicked this picture I realized that hurly and burly are not some imaginative things inside me who create a difference in me and help me learn. Hurly is the woman who gets a fresh wave of air in my day and life and the Burly is me. The woman being the gift I was gifted when I was a kid and I still fancy this gift called Asha!!
You may replace hurly and burly by Asha and me respectively.
Though Asha and I were disconnected physically for educational purposes, as she studied in Bombay and me in Panchagani. I still had her in me as Hurly. Though she was hours away from me I have always had her in me as Hurly.
When we were reunited after a long time, we danced away to happiness, where we didn't even care if any eyes were watching us or any nose smelled us. All we heeded was each others company and rock and rolled in the bubble we had created.
Though so many years we were apart, after leather lounge (a place where we went clubbing) I felt like nothing had changed coz our foot “CYCLONED” in the same way. I could connect to her with no trouble. There was no awkwardness or a moment where we had to put in plain words to each other what we hunted from each other. We were factually each others mirror image.
It was real fun to join back someone after a long without even worrying if I would be able to match up with the other person, we just clicked will keep clicking. There was no awkwardness or connecting issues only coz hurly burly were always within me We coordinated with the shadows which fell on the pretty royal pink wall and were sunk in the joy of dancing.. This picture has the sweetest taste of the relation I share with this woman, Asha!! Love you loads, you have always been within me.

Moral: Physical presence is not that essential. What’s more important is, the emotion, picture and the world you built within your heart for the person.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Friday is a holiday for my dad. Though he works through the week round the clock he shows enthusiasm on Fridays if I talk of a trek. As soon as am up from my bed I go cuddle my dad every morning and tell him what I dreamt last night and what I want to do the day ahead. So on a Friday told him that I wanted to go trekking and bag some pictures, he without a hitch was up from his bed,made few calls and made himself free for the day.
. My entertainment set Asha and Swa tagged along. We geared up and left arnd 12. Though we weren’t hungry the luring food of Shree Dutta snacks heaved us towards the mouth watering maharashtrian delicacies they serve. We had the best Wada pav, pimply Sabudana Wada. Green Kothimbir Wadi and Spicy Misal pav and to quench the thirst some buttermilk and Kokum Sarbat and to sweeten our tooth we had there specialty that indeed is “Kharvas”
After fueling our tummies we hit off directly to Lohagad asking for direction we reached Lohagad crossing real bad roads. Some places,the three of us actually had to get off coz the roads were too bad and the rude stones scraped my chevy’s tummy.

At last we reached the mouth of Lohagad. It was indeed a very pleasant place with lovely mud smelling and the smell of the burnt wood as the villagers cooked food on it and the hens chasing each other. Goats and cows moving around freely with the bells in there necks which gave the place even more of the holy feel and with the bell ringing it sent a wave of positivity in the air. Though my eyes were observing frames to be clicked these sounds made my heart and mind really calm. As we walked ahead Lohagad was unfolding it beauty piece by piece and clixy, kept going crazy as it already had 2 pretty women and the most handsome man on this earth, yes indeed my Dad and such breath taking frames of the fort on the way to the top of the fort.

With beautiful curvy outlines made of iron like stones which were used by the warriors back then to protect themselves and keep a watch.Lohagad is an iron fort in Marathi. When I climbed up the 2000 year old fort I felt my Maratha nerves acting up with the orange flag flattering in the air. I felt the reason why Marathas are proud. With the kind of forts Shivaji had conquered and owned he indeed had the power, no one had back then.
As the name suggest this fort was indeed strong built just the way iron is. it had five grant door the main portal being the “Ganesh Darwaza” followed by Maha Nana Trimbakeshwar and Hanuman Darwaza.the Ganesh darwaza had Ganeshji carved on the portal Hanuman Darwaza had Hanumanji.
In 1491 Nizam shah Ambar had power on this fort and later in1637 Adilshah took over the fort. These rulers are the probable reason why there is a Dargha when you reach the top of Lohagad. In 1648 Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj conquered the fort. in 1789 Nana Phadnis made a lot of improvements on the fort like the lake, the Ganesh Darwaza, Vinchu(scorpion) point, place for horses, water tanks etc.1751, Gaikwad and Dabhade family were incarcerated in this fort.
This place is a symbol of the proud history Marathas hold, me being a Maratha feel proud that we have such a lovely history behind.
The top of the fort gave an us a lovely air of freedom to breathe and blessings of Trimbakeshwar temple which was built my Nana Phadnis. the balcony view from the top was something i would want you all to see it.The different kind of culture or religion which ruled there was clearly seen as there was a Dargha next to the Mandir but none of it was destroyed. Though Dargha was made first and later came the Mandir.
As we started descending with the sunset our tummies started growling so we started moving towards the base where we parked our car. On the way I met a pretty blue friend, whom I as a kid use to tie a thread to its tail and run around. Yes it was an dragon fly urf Chatur resting on a branch and I got an colorful subject to be rested peacefully while I was clicking him.
With that I and my clixy were happy and content with wat clixy got to click and I got to see and learn at Lohagad
We hit of home real quick after sipping some tea at
Rajmachi as everyone dreadfully wanted to sleep

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chai connects people

Chai is something that I devour in all seasons. Chai is bliss in heavy rains and shrilly winters but I also take pleasure of Chai in scorching heat. One of the afternoons when I was shooting at jama masjid in Delhi, I came across something green and that caught my eye but as I went closer it came to my notice that it was a green portal to Baldev’s Chai ki Tapri. When I clicked the picture of his shop he gave a very warm smile and welcomed me and offered me a special Elaichi Chai which cost me nothing other than a one more lovely person whom I met on my travel. We exchanged few words about his venture and then I hit of for my work, I reached my hand in the bag to make the payment for the lovely Chai he doled out. But he didn't let me make the payment. On that I insisted to give something to his kids. He said he needed nothing and also added that I gave him something that none of his customer’s eva gave “A Smile”
Baldev: “Didi aapney aisi cheez di hai jo saalon mein hamey koi bhi customer ne nahi di”
These words ring my ears and heart to be a better person. Just a smile gave him immense happiness and it made me so content that I made someone’s day. Always smile and spread cheerfulness it will cost u nothing other than bagful of good memories.