Category Archives: Photo Diaries

Photo Walk – Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

We reached the entry gate of Keoladeo National Park at 7 am, after completing breakfast. When we eventually stepped out, the clock showed 4 pm. Surviving only on 2 bottles of water and a packet of Haldiram’s Namkeen, we spent 9 hours inside the sanctuary. That’s how engrossed the birds kept us.

Sunrise at Bharatpur

Sunrise at Bharatpur

Samarth, Sidharth and I were mere novices in DSLR Photography, barely figuring out the right combination of ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture to get a decent click. We were stunned to say the least, on how many bird enthusiasts had turned up on a Saturday morning, and more so, by the size of their lenses. There were lenses as big as 2 to 3 feet long that could probably zoom into the eyes of a Grey Heron sitting half a mile away.

That's a big lens!

That’s a big lens!

The National Park has a main road that’s 5.5 km in length, one way. After walking around for a couple of hours early in the morning, we hired cycles to cover more ground. There were innumerous detours one could take, to explore the park. In one such detour down soggy roads, we spotted this beauty.

Isn't she beautiful?

Isn’t she beautiful?

It took me around 15-20 minutes to click this. She wouldn’t stay in one place. When you start slowly approaching her, she’d fly to some other branch. Look at her expression. Truly an Angry Bird.

Bigger birds were easier targets. One, they’re big. Two, they don’t move much.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

One of the detours in pursuit of the Indian Saras Crane didn’t yield any result. On advise of one of the guards, we took a detour and walked for 20 minutes one way in pursuit of the Saras. She was playing Hide & Seek 500 metre away from us. With 250 mm lens, you can only do so much. On the way back to the main road, we spotted this.

Python at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Python at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

I was scared of it. I just clicked this pic and vacated the area in a minute. There were others who spent 30 minutes around this snake, out in the open, to get a good click.

The following three clicks were easily done. Biscuit crumbs were the bait.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

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Some other clicks from the Photo Walk, below.

If only we were birds, we could fly across countries and continents without Passport, Visa

If only we were birds, we could fly across countries and continents without Passport, Visa

Photo Courtesy: Samarth Dargan

Photo Courtesy: Samarth Dargan

Coots

Coots

At the end of the trip, this was my reaction! Paisa Vasool.

Clicked at Deeg Palace, Rajasthan

Clicked at Deeg Palace, Rajasthan

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Photo Diaries #8: Fork You Too

Work hard. Party harder!

It’s not just a quote. It’s a way of life!

The pics below were clicked at “Fork You Too”, Sector 29, Gurgaon during a recent company organized party.

With Parkavi Vasan @ Fork You Too!

With Parkavi Vasan @ Fork You Too!

Fork You Too, Sector 29, Gurgaon

Fork You Too, Sector 29, Gurgaon

Photo Diaries #7: IIM Shillong night life

Of late, due to work, I have had to stay awake for nights together to get things done. But it wasn’t (hasn’t been) tiring. In fact, I’ve been loving it, burning the late night oil, relishing the calm of the night. It’s a great time to work; or do anything for that matter.

This whole thing made me recollect/relive my days in IIM Shillong, where the day (for many of us) started after dinner. It was a great feeling, working with friends, bonding over business cases or a cup of room-made tea. In fact in the last term when things were light, more often than not, we hit the bed only after breaking fast in the Nongthymmai Poori shop which used to open at 6 am.

This pic was taken on the night before our presentation to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who was a visiting Professor at our Institute.

Those were the days

Those were the days

I cannot forget those moments (20 odd minutes) when we were presenting to Dr. APJ. Great feeling. 83 then, he was still as curious as a front bencher in School, taking notes eagerly. That thirst to learn had never faded.

Those were the days.

Photo Diaries #6: Amer Fort

What do you see in this beautiful picture?

Amer Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Amer Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Happy parents? The majestic Amer fort? Herd of elephants?
Did you notice the guy pissing inside the fort premises towards the bottom left of the photograph?

Truly Incredible India!

Photo Diaries #5: Shillong, again!

I recently got an opportunity to visit Shillong; small but memorable trip it was. The feeling of entering that campus (IIM Shillong Campus)  again after 19 months, cannot be explained in words.

Remember that strange but beautiful feeling you have on the build-up to going “home”? I had that feeling on the Guwahati-Shillong highway. The road has changed a lot. It takes just 2 hours now to reach Shillong from Guwahati; used to take at least 3.5 hours back then.

Five minutes into the campus, my colleague from Office asked me, “How are you even staying in Gurgaon, after staying here for two years?!?!?!”

She had a fair point. But, life has to move on. Memories last forever.

Some pictures from within the campus and from Shillong:

The main building, during Sunrise!

The main building, during Sunrise!

Lawn area, within campus

Lawn area, within campus

The Fireplace

The Fireplace

Sit-out within campus

Sit-out within campus

Dipen Da

Dipen Da

View of Barapani (or Umiam Lake)

View of Barapani (or Umiam Lake)

Guwahati-Shillong highway

Guwahati-Shillong highway

Chota boat in Barapani

Chota boat in Barapani

Photo Diaries #4: La Pondicherry

The perfect weekend getaway.

When you have the company of your best friends (Q.W.E.R.T.Y in this case), the destination hardly matters.

We met after more than 500 days. Shows in our faces, doesn’t it?

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Photo Diaries #3: Happy Independence Day

My earliest memories of Independence Day go back 20 years in time, when I was a 5 year old kid. In my apartment, we used to begin the day with Flag hoisting by the Secretary of the apartment, followed by a one day trip to some place in Chennai. Most residents of the 45 flat apartment would join and we’d hire a bus for the day. I vaguely remember visiting VGP one year and Mahabalipuram, another.

In one of those trips, we also visited a swimming pool, of which I have a scary memory. I was piggybacking on one of the uncle’s back in the deeper side of the pool, when he did a 180 degree turn to put me into the water. It was a very funny moment for him, but a nightmare of 15-20 odd seconds for me, till I was pulled to the side of the pool and regained my breath.

August 15 is also the day “Roja” was released, 23 years ago, a film that never fails to arouse national pride, whenever you watch it!

And 18 years ago, Rahman came up with “Maa Tujhe Salaam” (“Thaai Manne Vanakkam” in Tamil), on the occasion of India celebrating 50 years as a free nation, again. Since then, this has literally been the nation’s second national anthem of sorts.

Will end the post with a picture I took with the Indian flag, 14000 feet above sea level.

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day

Humans of India #1: Thatha

Why look outside when you have inspiration within your house!

My Thatha (Grandfather) has had one of the most positive influences on me, all these 24 years, and still continues to.

He, in more ways than one, reminds me of all the traits Professor APJ Abdul Kalam stood for; loved by all, down to earth, treats everyone with an equal eye and extremely dedicated (to work, self and family).

In his prime, he can make even the most serious person in the room laugh out loud, with his funny one liners and jokes. Some of them make me laugh even now, after having heard them like a 1000 times.

He gifted me my first bicycle when I was in Class III (or IV).

He likes to see people around him happy and derives his own happiness out of it. For example, he would always keep a handful of chocolates in his front pocket. Whenever the newspaper boy, milkman, maid, kid from the opposite house or any guest comes, he would give them a chocolate to see their faces beaming with a smile from ear to ear. A man of few words, he uses such small gestures to show his love.

With an elephant-esque memory, he manages to remember every little detail possible. Some day, he’d come up to me and say, “Today is A’s brother’s friend’s husband’s birthday.”

Till a few years ago, he used to have a very rigorous and busy daily schedule, even in his retirement life. He would cut newspaper clippings of interesting tidbits and compile them in a book, read journals and books, call his friends and relatives or just sit and write “Sriramajayam” endlessly.

When I was a kid, I would wait for him to reach home at 6.45 pm sharp, to get hold of something he’d have bought for me that day.

These days, I don’t get to talk to him often, but when I go home after a hiatus of three months, nothing would have changed between us. He would jokingly ask me, “What have you bought for me this time?”, kiss my hand and then we’d chat our way to glory!

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If you’re new to my Photo Diaries Series, you could start here.

Photo Diaries Series #2: Day out with friends at Vandalur

My first memories of Vandalur Zoo date back almost 20 years ago, when our Class I teacher took us out for a picnic. I’ve been there 3 or 4 times since then. Last time I visited the beautiful place was in August last year with friends from College (Can’t believe it’s already a year, since then).

Remember Sayar Banerji (now a family man) taking 183 pictures of the same tiger to get the perfect shot (the shot worth 182 failed attempts).

The Zoo with an entry fee of Rs. 10 (or 20, I don’t remember), is an underestimated hangout destination among the youth of Chennai, mainly because of its distance from central Chennai. It takes about an hour form road if you’re lucky with the Traffic.

At Vandalur Zoo, with a few animals outside the cage.

At Vandalur Zoo, with a few animals outside the cage.

If you’re new to my Photo Diaries Series, you could start here.

Photo Diaries Series #1: BDM, the heart and soul of Amrita ECE 08-12

We could have survived 4 years in our UG hostel without Oxygen, Water, etc. but not without this (image below).

When I look at this pic, I remember all the fun we had in the open grounds of Ettimadai, all the inter-section rivalries, the early morning matches and a plethora of other stuff.

In our final year, we even staged a grand AECPL (Amrita ECE Cage Premier League) on the lines of IPL, with auctions being conducted to sort players in three teams.

BDM kit, the heart and soul of Amrita ECE batch of 2012

BDM kit, the heart and soul of Amrita ECE batch of 2012

Writer’s note: Read about the Photo Diaries Series here, if you haven’t already.

Photo Diaries Series Launch

Photos have great power. The power to bring back or relive your memories from the past. Nothing stimulates your brain to pause, relive and enjoy days from your past as photos do. One photo is all you need to go into #Throwback mode.

Today, while I was going through some pics from my good old college days, this idea struck me.

Why not document one photo at a time in my blog, that brings back awesome memories (good or bad) from the past?!

Photos in this series of blogs are going to be highly personal, but hey, I am sure there’ll be something in them that people in blogosphere can relate to, in their own small worlds!

With this, I pronounce the Photo Diaries Series open, with the hope of reliving moments from my past, one photo at a time 🙂