Freedom Trip

Apologies… my last post was on more than 6 months back.

Just an excuse that I am running an IT company since April 2018 and as happens with any business, there are ups and downs. We don’t get time when its up but get plenty when its down :D.  Being busy I missed posting a few important events and trips. But don’t want to miss this one as this is very special :).

I was fortunate to get a chance to work overseas and spend 7 years in a very beautiful country like Singapore, got many opportunities to travel to various countries of southeast Asia like Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, and others.

On the other side, when people fascinate about traveling these countries I have developed a fascination to travel and explore India. Since I came back in 2013, I keep on traveling wherever I could on holidays, though my limits are only 500KM around Delhi.

Once a year I keep everything aside and go on a road trip with friends, I call it freedom trip when everyone in the group is free to live (eat, drink or sleep) as they want to. My group is very limited to the old and close friends only in which one is Dr. Sharad and other my brother Bal Krishna. This freedom trips are happening every year since 2008, but 2018 was an exception when it did not happen. This year again, February had the perfect weather to hit the road with friends, leave the concrete jungle, noise, pollution, and the crowd behind and go to some remote area of the country.

Staying in the wilderness gives me a feeling of immense peace and happiness. MP is always our most favorite state, it has the lowest population density and has large (very large) nature reserves, where else you want to go when you wish absolute peace!

I went to Lucknow for a business trip, decided to stretch this into a vacation, called Sharad and BK and we were good. We have started from Allahabad (Now Prayag). The travel itinerary was as below –

Prayagraj -> Sagar ->  Sanchi -> Bhopal -> Panna Tiger Reserve -> Khajuraho -> Prayagraj

There was a night halt on each destination. Posting a few pics of the trip.

Scarecrow sighted on the way to Sagar
Scarecrow sighted on the way to Sagar
A ruin in Sanchi
A ruin in Sanchi
Rain water harvesting of 300 BC
Rainwater harvesting of 300 BC
We 3 at Sanchi
We 3 at Sanchi
BK enjoying nature in Panna Tiger Reserve
BK enjoying nature in Panna Tiger Reserve
Ken river in Panna Tiger Reserve
Dawn at Ken river in Panna Tiger Reserve
Dew on a flower
Dew on a flower
A bird (possible Bulbul) at Panna Tiger Reserve
A bird (possible Bulbul) at Panna Tiger Reserve
A flower and a bee at Khajuraho
A flower and a bee at Khajuraho
BK at Ghat of Vindyachal, plains of Himalaya on backdrop
BK at Ghat of Vindyachal, plains of Himalaya on the backdrop
A migratory bird at Sangam, Prayag
A migratory bird at Sangam, Prayag
Sharad feeding bird from hand
Sharad feeding bird from the hand
A Sadhu drawing something on sands at beach of Ganga, Prayag
A Sadhu drawing something on sands at the beach of Ganga, Prayag
Golden hour at Sangam
Golden hour at Sangam

Tirthan Valley

Visited Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh on a camping trip during the long weekend of 15-18 August 2019. Sagar a tracker and young friend has joined me on this trip. We have also covered Serlosar Lake and Rewalsar in this trip.

This place gives a heavenly feeling during monsoon but equally dangerous too. Posting a few photos of that trip, these are a mix of DSLR and mobile. Hoping you will enjoy it… 

 

 

Prayag

I am in my hometown Prayag (earlier Allahabad) for 3 days visit. Went on a short drive with Dr. Sharad. Tried to capture few unique things about this city, posting here –

First 2 photos are of a snake charmer and after that, there is a series of photo of a very popular still side food (snack) of this city which is healthy and always prepared fresh known as Chabaina.

A snake charmer with a Cobra
A snake charmer with a Cobra
A snake charmer with Cobra
A snake charmer with Cobra

Recipe of this snack is very simple, brown rice, dried grams, dried peas, and dried peanuts are showered with little water in advance and then roasted in raw salt. Then mixed with mustard oil, onion, salt, lemon, and green chili paste. It is consumed hot when it’s crispy.

Brown rice and dried peas are being roasted in raw salt
Brown rice, grams, peanuts and dried peas are roasted in raw salt
Filter of mix after roasting
Filteration of the mix after roasting
Collection of each ingredient of mix at one place
Collection of each ingredient of the mix at one place
Putting everything in a pot to mix spices and oil
Putting everything in a pot to mix spices and oil
finally adding mustard oil, onion, salt, lemon juice and green chili paste into mixture
finally adding mustard oil, onion, salt, lemon juice, and green chili paste into the mixture

HR 26 Triathlon

Friends dragged me to take their photos for the HR 26 Triathlon, Gurugram… posting a few of my choice

HR 26 Triathlon - Swimming
HR 26 Triathlon – Swimming
HR 26 Triathlon - Cycling
HR 26 Triathlon – Cycling
HR 26 Triathlon - Cycling
HR 26 Triathlon – Cycling
HR 26 Triathlon - Running
HR 26 Triathlon – Running
HR 26 Triathlon - Time Keeper
HR 26 Triathlon – Time Keeper
HR 26 Triathlon - An eye catching bike
HR 26 Triathlon – An eye-catching bike
HR 26 Triathlon - An inspiring finisher
HR 26 Triathlon – An inspiring finisher

Biking

Yup! I am still around, getting busier day by day though.

Covered Trek Founder’s Ride in Delhi recently (28 July 2019), got an opportunity to shoot the way I always wanted, posting few photos of that ride.

Trek Founder's Ride Participant
Trek Founder’s Ride Participant
Trek Founder's Ride Participant
Trek Founder’s Ride Participant
Trek Founder's Ride Participant
Trek Founder’s Ride Participant
Trek Founder's Ride Participants
Trek Founder’s Ride Participants
Trek Founder's Ride Participant
Trek Founder’s Ride Participants
Trek Founder's Ride Participant
Trek Founder’s Ride Participant
Trek Founder's Ride Participant
Trek Founder’s Ride Participant
Team from Trek Bike
Team from Trek Bike
All Participants
All Participants at Rajpath

 

Kids Golgappa Challenge

Golgappa (Plural Golgappe, AKA Water Balls in poor English) has many names in India and rest of world like Pani Puri, Puchka, Paani ke Patashe, Patashi, Gup Chup, Phulki etc. It has the more or less same taste of filling (Flavored water or Paani and boiled potato or boiled yellow peas), which may vary from sweet to sour to hot. 

Fundamental idea:

Kids, in general, are very choosy on their likes and dislikes of food, parents always have a tough time making them eat what is cooked in the kitchen or what they should eat for good.

The fundamental idea behind this challenge was to make kids try different tastes and get used to it. Other than 5 fillings (Paani) brought by the vendor, 15+ more flavors were created form juices, curd, lassi, chaach, chatni etc.

Challengers were divided into 2 teams on the basis of their school class, Aashi’s team has all her classmates and children above her class, while Ishu’s team has all her classmates and children below her class. 

To make it more challenging there were different levels and each level has difficult to eat taste of filling water (Paani).

Rules of challenge:

  • Challenge is only for kids, parents are welcome to enjoy different flavors of Golgappe after kids challenge.
  • Participant can choose either Aatta or Suji Golgappe.
  • Participant can choose either boiled potato or boiled yellow peas.
  • There will be 20+ flavors and tastes of filling (Paani) served. These will be
    prepared of traditional filling, different juices, curd, chaach, lassi, chatnis etc.
  • Participant will be out of challenge, if they refuse to eat any flavor (broken or dropped Golgappa will be served again, but avoid wastage of food).
  • Participant will be out of challenge, if their parents prevent them eat further out of
    concern of overeating.
  • The participant will be out of the challenge, if they can not eat further.

Winners:

Aashi team 1. Dristi 2. Anshika 3. Sanskriti
Ishu team 1. Cheenu 2. Fareeha 3. Sanvi

Some photos:

Challengers
Challengers and the Judge Shubhee
Too big Golgappa for small mouth
Too big Golgappa for small mouth
It taste funny
It tastes funny
The Judge Shubhee has a doubt on one of the challenger
The Judge Shubhee has a doubt on one of the challengers
A jam-packed stadium, spectators cheering all around
A jam-packed stadium, spectators cheering all around
Winners 🏆
Winners 🏆
Bigger consumers of Golgappa in the world - Moms
Bigger consumers of Golgappa in the world – Moms
How can dads leave behind
How can dads be left behind

 

We are Colored! (Holi 2019)

This should be celebrated as no-discrimination day internationally as this is the only day of the year when we know person in-front as a fellow human being and do not ask of his/her race, religion, cast or any other crap. Sometimes I wonder how much ahead of time our forefathers have thought before starting this festival and the way it is celebrated AMAZING!!!

Well on shooting Holi, this was my first time in the middle of the crowd and chaos all around me. Loud music, rain dance, colored powder, colored water, wet and colored people grabbing each other to color, hugs, smile, shout, laugh, spring breeze, you just name adversity and imagine me in the middle of that carrying a costly DSLR which is highly sensitive to powder and water. Luckily people were considerate and noticed the camera in my hand… phew!

Post processing was the most adventurous bit as my personal computer with Adobe Lightroom went kaput before downloading raw (CR2 in Canon) files, being a Linux expert I took up the challenge of post-processing photos on Linux (I use another Laptop for work with Ubuntu). Got a great tool for Linux – Darktable which has all most all features of Lightroom but being naive to this tool, I am not yet very satisfied with the outcome.

I think I should log more on my thoughts on discrimination bit – Proving ourselves superior to others is human nature, so until two people are different there will be discrimination. At the same time there is no possibility that any two people will be the same, not even monozygotic (identical) twins as they get different experience and influences in their own lives, this is how nature works and wants us to be different. Educating people on how they treat others is the only way to suppress (if not eradicate) the feeling of being superior.

Well enough! … take a look of few photos I have shortlisted and post-processed in Darktable on Ubuntu –

Holi 2019
Holi 2019

Holi 2019
Holi 2019

Holi 2019
Holi 2019

Holi 2019
Holi 2019

Holi 2019
Holi 2019

Holi 2019
Holi 2019

Holi 2019
Holi 2019

Holi 2019
Holi 2019

Redmi 6 Pro

I have lost my old phone few months back and bought a new one recently. Its Redmi 6 Pro. It has 2 lenses at the back and creates good quality Bokeh, though I have my doubt that it uses software as well. Posting few photos of our recent trip to Corbett National Park.

Aashi
Aashi

Ishu
Ishu the little photographer

Anshu
Anshu

Aashi and Ishu having fun in water
Kids having fun in water

Hathipaon, Mussoorie

Took family to a off-beat hill station of Uttarakhand, Hathipaon (translated in English as Elephant foot). Not sure why this name is given to that place, but the hill station is beautiful and very peaceful. Few pics which I have captured of this trip.

Dusk over Doon Valley (Dehradun)
Dusk over Doon Valley (Dehradun)

Family grouping
Family grouping

Family grouping
Family grouping

Family grouping
Family grouping

Aashi
Aashi

Ishu
Ishu

Anshu
Anshu

Anshu
Anshu

Anshu
Anshu

Anshu
Anshu

Anshu
Anshu

Morning At Rajpath (India Gate)

Went to cover a cycling event organised by Saksham Pedal Delhi (http://www.sakshampedaldelhi.com/) with Delhi Cyclists group … captured few photos of morning mood

Girls cycling towards India Gate
Girls cycling towards India Gate

Joggers at Rajpath
Joggers at Rajpath

Cyclists returning towards JLN Stadium from India Gate
Cyclists returning towards JLN Stadium from India Gate

Few lines few photographs