Dahi Handi At My Mom’s

This was the exact same spot I’d stand along with a bunch of friends and watch young boys of our complex make a human pyramid. Amongst all that laughter and cheers and many many attempts of crashing and rising and crashing again, they’d manage to reach the top and finally break the handi. What a spectacle it used to be!
But, that was long long ago. Two decades ago.
Now, I was at the same spot… again… Everything was the same… the compound, the rains, the crowd, the euphoria. Except, there were smartphones. And, the boys who used to be a pyramid themselves, were now helping and cheering their kids in carrying the tradition forward. Time has moved on a great deal.

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Bandra-Worli Sealink

Evening drive has to be like this… Azure skies dotted with cottony, rain-soaked clouds and most importantly, traffic-less roads ūüôā

Weekend Fling With Mahabaleshwar – My Photostory

When the monsoons put on a show, trust me, Mahabaleshwar has got the best seats. And we waste no time in grabbing them every year.
There’s some sort of romance associated with those pattering rain-drops and this place. Verdant hills¬†seem¬†to¬†quiver in the freezing mist, which is why they keep¬†themselves warm in those velvetty green quilts. Singing of birds, shrieking of monkeys, fluttering of leaves when they leap, mooing of cows… is all what you see and hear. No screeching horns, no yelling alarms… just nature at her seductive best.
Greenery
A walk on these lone misty roads and Langoors suddenly prancing out of nowhere. Our romantic walk quickly turned into an adventure and we scampered towards our hotel with those bags full of goodies.
Doesn’t this look straight out of a horror movie…
Scenery bw
Venna Lake:

Uncle Patel, quiet a raconteur, took us for a wonderful long ride on the lake. Longer than the others did. With hair-raising tales of goats and dogs being kidnapped by leopards¬†at night, tigers been relocated and sinewy¬†bisons still inhabiting the place, it was a relief to know all these awaited the other side of the lake. Uncle Patel also took us to a place¬†right above a¬†house submerged 12 feet under water. He actually made us hit the oars on the roof…evidence corroborated! When I asked if I could click him, he beamed. Said this was the first time a tourist had asked him for his pic. Else he’d always been behind the lens. That sound when the oars whack those calm waters is so therapeutic.
Venna Patel uncle
Venna Lake is quiet generous with amateur photogs like me ūüôā
Venna Horses
Mahabaleshwar has some of the best and out-of-the-farm produce to offer.
Venna Fruits

Don’t dare miss the piping hot ginger tea
Venna Ginger tea

With corn pakodas and green chutney for company
Corn Patties

Roasted sweet corn is another option if you don’t mind those vampire teeth later… except for the burnt black hues instead of red ūüôā
Venna Corn

Shivneri Restaurant has an array of Maharashtrian dishes, including North Indian ones. We gorged on the fiery Malvani Chicken Curry, tender fried Kolhapuri Chicken, straight-out-of-the-pan Chapatis and steamed White Rice. Jowar and Bajra Bhakris are awesome. They take 30 minutes to come after the order is placed.

Shivneri Food
The gorgeous fresh pizza from the wood-fired oven and a mug of hot chocolate mocha at Mapro. It’s as touristy as it gets. They even have their own baked bread for their wide range of delectable sandwiches.¬†Now, that’s something you cant afford to miss. (visit¬†www.mapro.com)
Mapro pizza
This¬†is the time to lose yourself, get engulfed by the smell of wet earth and let the cold mist kiss the tip of your nose. Leave the city behind for those two¬†days of sheer rejuvenation… before the rains bid adieu.
Go, experience the beauty of monsoon in Mahabaleshwar…

Moment Of Pride

The moment when rapture exploded within and around, this one’s that moment.
I’d heard these guys¬†squawking in the mornings and evenings. But by the time I¬†scampered¬†with my cam to the balcony, they’d either be far off or¬†vanished.
Last evening I absolutely nailed it and how!
I was gleaming all the more when I zoomed the pic. It had “Indian Air Force” written right below the wings. I’ve been breathing Pride since then.¬†I clicked an¬†Indian Air Force baby in action…

Helicopter

My Name Is Arnold

Living at heights feels like heaven… or at least closer to it :). I¬†play¬†neighbor to bunch of these gorgeous Kites who¬†visit¬†my aerial neighborhood daily. One of these, somehow, has become a pal of mine. Although its kinda one-sided ūüôā¬†. Its that prominent “V” in his wings which makes him stand out from his family.
I named him Arnold… for his magnificence, strength, beauty and grace. Pet-name’s Arnie. Isn’t he gorgeous!
Arnie

Two To Tango:
That’s Arnie with his brother. Pat twice on my back for getting this bang on time with my buddy¬†in focus.
Two to Tango

That’s My Style Of Lunching:

Nah. That ain’t him. This picture however makes me happy whenever I look at it. Why? I’ve mostly seen these birds hovering for hours in the braising sun for food. And seeing this guy with his kill, tells¬†me there’s still something¬†left for these beautiful creatures¬†in this ruthless jungle of concrete.
Eating Eagle

B/W Is Beautiful

Irony And Ecstasy:
I clicked this picture on our visit to Mussoorie. We’d halted for a coffee¬†in a¬†tiny¬†restaurant. Through the backdoor, I could see a bright little temple plonked precariously¬†on a cliff. I couldn’t stop myself from requesting the manager to allow me get to the rear to click some pics. He gladly obliged. There was¬†this person, enjoying the chilling mountain breeze while puffing beedi. His eyes were beautifully old and skin countlessly wrinkled. Don’t miss the ad on the wall behind him.
Mussoorie uncle
I‘ll Be There For You:
Getting a perfect shot ain’t easy. There’s lot of stunts involved…well…sometimes…¬†This was one such, clicked¬†from my 16th floor balcony. I enjoy standing there with my chilled coffee, watching the grandparents bring the kids for a stroll every evening. What I love about this picture is the old, warm and protective hand of this aging grandad on the baby’s head. So much of love, so many¬†emotions, so¬†many promises!

Grandad

A Peek From My Window

I’d clicked these pics from our hotel room in Velankanni. We’d checked-in early morning around 6. After freshening up, I chose to ogle at the¬†beautiful morning scenery¬†rather than putting my tired body to rest before we could start our day.
I started off from our window, which opened to a clandestine lush landscape and the morning sun peeping through the branches as if trying to reach our room.

It was breakfast time for all of us…including these little marvels¬†of nature.

Wonder what this guy was thinking! May be he was deciding on where to take his next flight or what to eat or where did his friends go. I so envy him!
Bird 1
I loved the way this regal lady was resting her gorgeous bushy tail while gorging on her meal, oblivious to the surrounding, including me.
Squirrel1
This guy was sun-bathing and how! He had some sort of a calm and peaceful aura around him… and those colours were magnificent!
Chameleon