Serene


This isn’t the first time that a Chennai beach forms the setting for a post. And it probably won’t be the last. And every time I have written about the waves, it has always been with fondness, and serenity.

This week’s photo challenge, Serene comes at the most appropriate time. It has been a month of blogging madness—and a deeply fulfilling creative extravaganza. It’s perhaps most fitting, that NaBloPoMo culminates in that experience, which it perhaps the closest to me.

I wrote previously about the rather sad state of the Marina beach in Chennai. The Elliot’s beach, more popularly called the Besant Nagar beach, fortunately, does not share the same fate, and is my favourite place to visit early in the morning for relaxing—especially during Margazhi.

Besant Nagar Beach
A quiet stretch of sun, sand, and the sea, next to Arupadai Veedu Murugan Temple, Besant Nagar

Photo taken with a Moto G3, edited with Befunky.


This is the 30th, and last post of this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano. Tomorrow, I won’t have the pressure of posting something. A chance to put my blogging feet up for a while, take a short break, and try to put myself back into a more sane routine.

Throughout this month, on most days I had absolutely no clue what I would post about, often till the moment I began typing. And every time, I surprised myself. I almost didn’t participate, because I am still recovering from the health crisis I put myself into last year. But it has been an absolutely amazing journey, and you, my friends, have been the best part of this journey. To each and every one of you, who has read, liked, rated, shared and commented, thank you.

A happy reader makes it all worthwhile.


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Read more posts about Chennai (hint: it mostly revolves around the sea)

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Oars


Conflicting thoughts dance around his head.
He shakes them off to go earn his bread.

At the river bank he picks up his oars
And ferries people across the shore.

As he rows he feels happy
His hands and body move in perfect harmony.

He breaks into a smile
And forgets his problems for a while.

The happy customers will pay up the fare.
But the contractor will take the lion’s share.

He sighs and consoles himself
After all, his dream won’t come true by itself.

His simple heart plays its own beat
One day, he’ll have his own fleet.

Oars


Photo taken with a Moto G3, edited with Befunky.


This is post #27 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging


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Waiting in the cold


It’s still early winter and there are some brave ones roaming the streets around without woollens. But we’re not taking any chances. As I write this post, sitting snugly in the warm blanket, my mind wanders to our freezing experience in Sikkim last year.

At the Tsomgo lake in Sikkim, we rented extra woollens and boots to help combat the extreme mountain weather. We had three layers of jackets on, but our feet were virtually freezing inside the boots. The yaks, though, were pretty cool and comfortable standing barefoot. Brrr!

Waiting in the cold
A yak owner waits for tourists, who will be allowed to sit on the yak and pose for photographs—for a fee, of course!

This is post #24 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging


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Holiday


It’s a Saturday, and I’m in the mood for enjoying a holiday 🙂 Winter has pretty much set in around where we stay. The warmth of the sun will be most welcome now.

It's all fun 'n' floric in the sea
Fun in the sun. Palolem beach, Goa

This is post #18 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

Resilience


It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.

–David Allan Coe

The Gwalior Fort, constructed atop a hill, is a mammoth structure. Legends say its construction began in the 3rd Century, while historical accounts put it anywhere between the 8th and 14th Century. This Fort has seen numerous rulers and severe onslaughts across the centuries and withstood all that has been thrown at it.

As with many of the places we have visited, it is extremely difficult to paint a true picture of the scale of the structure. I could write about the long trek to the top, and the sweeping views of the city, but the closest that I can get to explaining it, is to point to the size of the people in this (incomplete) picture below.

A long way to the top
The entrance of Gwalior Fort

Photo taken with a Moto G3, edited with Image Composite Editor and Befunky. Click/tap to enter my Flickr Photostream


This is post #12 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

The White Palace


The Jai Vilas Palace in Gwalior combines three European architectural styles—the first storey is Tuscan, the second Italian-Doric and the third Corinthian.

There is an eclectic collection of items housed inside the museum, which can be visited by the public. One section still serves as the residence of the heirs of this Palace.

We weren’t allowed to carry bags inside (there is a provision of a locker), and strangely, we weren’t allowed to carry umbrellas inside either. While the museum itself is entirely indoor, to exit the Palace, one must pass through the central lawn. As luck would have it, it began pouring just before we were about to complete our tour.

If you plan to visit this Palace in Gwalior, make sure you have sufficient time—we spent over two hours (excluding the rain delay), as there is much to see. And if you are short on time, pace yourself to keep the maximum time for the last section—the opulent Durbar Hall. We had read about the extravagant decor and seen pictures of the massive chandeliers. But it was only when we saw the hall that the reality of its grandeur hit us.

In our limited exposure to exotic places, some places leave a lasting impression, some of romance, others of awe. The Jai Vilas Palace, even with all its magnificence, left a somewhat cold and distant feeling. It’s hard to tell why – perhaps it’s the excessive indulgences; or the exclusively European architecture; or perhaps it was the weather; or just maybe, the contrast between the lifestyles of the common people, and that of their representatives, that is so blatantly visible to the casual observer.

Jai Vilas Palace
Jai Vilas Palace, house of the Scindias. The imposing structure and all its extravagance is visible right from the entrance.

Photo taken with Moto G3. Click/tap to enter my Flickr Photostream.


This is post #11 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

Sunset at Monsoon Palace


As promised yesterday, here’s the view we saw atop the Monsoon Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Sunset at Monsoon Palace

Like I said, neither my words, nor my pictures could do justice to what we saw. This must suffice for now.


Photo taken with a Moto G3, edited Befunky. Click/tap to enter my Flickr Photostream


This is post #5 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

Sunset at Sangam


We’re in November! The year is fast ending. Now where did this year go? For those who know me, it’s been one heck of a roller coaster the past couple of years. And given all that’s going on right now, it would be madness to even think about participating in, what the blogosphere calls, the Nanos. So I’m not thinking about it. I’m jumping right in. If I can manage it, hurrah! And if I can’t, well, that’s okay too.

How about you? Are you going to blog every single day in the month of November? Are you planning to write a novel? Are you crazy enough to do both?! Let me know 🙂


I had previous written about our experience on the boat ride towards Sangam and the jolly boatman who thought we were out to steal his job! This is a picture of the boat on which we sailed. We reached Sangam—the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati—at Sunset, and it was breathtakingly beautiful!

Sunset at Sangam
Sunset at Sangam, Prayag (modern Allahabad)

Picture taken with Moto G3, edited with Befunky. Click/tap to view my Flickr Photostream

It appears that I have several photos with curves in them ;). That makes this boat my third post for the weekly photo challenge! Check out my previous responses Lamps in the sun and On the road: Gangtok to Darjeeling


This is post #1 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

Lamps in the sun


Diwali may have gone by, but that doesn’t stop me from posting about it 🙂

In this day of fairy lights and tea lights, the protagonist of Diwali, for me, is still the humble clay lamp, or the diya.

Diyas are usually soaked in water before oil is poured in. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it is to ensure that there are no air bubbles inside the earthen lamps, which would ‘drink’ a lot of oil!

This past Diwali, I caught dozens of diyas lazing on a weathered wooden table, drying under the sun after a nice soak. The contrasting colours and textures of the scene were quite different from what they would end up looking like at night!

Diyas drying in the sun
Diyas drying in the sun

In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Rounded

Picture captured with a Moto G3, edited with Befunky. Click/tap on the picture to enter my Flickr photostream

Scale


During our day trip to Mahabalipuram last winter, we reached ‘Krishna’s butter ball’ around that magical time when everything touched by sunlight gets a shower of gold dustincluding these huge boulders that stood silently admiring the profile of the more popular attractions nearby.

To get an idea of it’s scale, there’s a little child who managed to sneak into the view, and of course, those trees look quite dwarfed!

Beside the butter ball

Photo taken with Motorola Moto G3. Click / tap on the image to enter my Flickr photostream.

In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: show just how big, or little, the world can seem.