taking a walk in india and beyond: photos | stories | essays
May 23, 2011
May 18, 2011
From Numaligarh in Assam to Moreh near the Indo-Myanmar border, covering approximately 430 kilometres, runs the National Highway 39. It is one of the most dangerous roads in India's north-east. Political armed groups are quite active along the highway from the outskirts of Imphal till all the way to neighbouring Nagaland. The so-called parallel government is no longer a theory in these parts; it's the reality.
Truckers pay multiple taxes to several armed groups. And because of the ceasefire agreement signed between the Indian government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), it is common to see armed groups walking casually on deserted stretches of the highway.
Still, there are times when violence is low, usually in the November-January period. These are months of festivities when everyone takes a break in this bandit country. It is during such a window that a quick dash from Guwahati to Moreh via Imphal can be done.
Then tick that off the bucket list.
May 9, 2011
The white mausoleum Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Pollution has stained the white marbles.
And on foggy mornings the monument acquires a sinister, darker avatar. After all it is a tomb. It is about death and losing someone.
Miniatures of the Taj Mahal are sold on the streets of Agra. Tourists like them, but some people believe the replicas should not be kept in the living room—many don't prefer a grave for decoration.
labels: agra uttar pradesh
May 7, 2011
May 5, 2011
Sandakphu is the highest point in West Bengal, near the Indo-Nepal border. The trek route goes zigzag in and out of Nepal, so the experience is unique — one trek, two countries. From the highest point one can see Mt Everest just before the sun comes up. The entire area comes under Singalila National Park, and some trekkers have spotted the Himalayan red bear.
Rhododendron is a species of woody flower that occurs mainly in the Sikkim region. Singalila national park has a riot of rhododendrons.
People living in the area walk a lot. Most carry their household needs (oil, vegetables, etc) on their back and trek up and down everyday. Supplies come from Darjeeling, 58 kilometres away.
(Shot with Nikon F55 film SLR camera, 2002 model. Developed at GK Vale, Bangalore)
labels: sandakphu west bengal
May 4, 2011
Chitra Santhe is an annual art and craft festival held in Bangalore's melting pot of creativity, the Chitrakala Parishath.
This is an important venue for creators of traditional art because they find a good market here. The place also runs several courses in art and related fields, and the sprawling green campus is a good retreat for any serious student.
(Shot with a Nikon F55 film SLR camera, 2002 model, developed at G.K. Vale, Bangalore)
May 3, 2011
Bandipur National Park in Karnataka is partly a tiger reserve. The park's management comes under the government's Project Tiger programme.
Forest guards in Bandipur—underpaid and overworked—are the people who are trying to stop skilled poachers armed with better weapons. Without argument they deserve a nice cottage, ample supply of good food and higher salaries.
The tigers have gone to their resting place, and it's time for humans to go home too—except for the forest guards.
labels: bandipur karnataka
Lansdowne is the nearest natural air-conditioner from Delhi where you can easily flee from the peak summer heat. It takes ...
A scooter ride to Morjim beach just before the sun comes up will freshen you up. While approaching the beach off the main...
Life is not a walk in the forest for the tribal women of Bataguda village in Kandhamal district, Odisha. Though their livelihood ...
It takes a village to raise a child, and to prepare unforgettable rossogulas .
Sandakphu is the highest point in West Bengal, near the Indo-Nepal border. The trek route goes zigzag in and out of Nepal, so the ex...
Meira Paibi – translated as ‘someone who holds the torch’ in Meiteilon, the language of the Meitei community – is a female-only vigilant...
Khub Chand & Bros at Connaught Place. That's where you get the best pork in Delhi. Cassettes that used to ...
Not a soul in sight. The gardeners have left. The park is empty. Newspapers remain unread on the balcony. It's the kille...
There is a 200-year-old house in Haa Valley, west Bhutan. It has three spacious rooms under a very tall ceiling, a dormitory, t...
The Indian Coffee House on College Street, Kolkata, has got style. No need for a time machine. The ghosts of yest...
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