Weekly Photo Challenge:Launch

In the beginning of the year I missed out on the Photo challenge “winter”, not only because there wasn’t much cold that week but also because we were “launching” ourselves on a ten days vacation to north-eastern parts of the country, mainly the Kaziranga Reserve forest and Shillong. Had I known the next topic would be ” launch” I would have clicked some pictures of airport and the plane.

In that part of the country the internet connectivity was almost nil and I could not really know about the new challenge till yesterday after returning back to New Delhi. And then I didn’t want to miss this one but I really was stumped as to what to include in this challenge.

I came across this one photo taken on the beaches of Andaman Islands two years back. My daughter along with her father wanted to make a hut of her own from the leaves of palm and the vines lying on the beach. With hardly any know-how of hut making, this simplest wish seemed a herculean task to meet. But they “launched” themselves any way because the holidays are meant for all sorts of adventures…..

Having posted this picture, I thought of sorting the photographs of our latest vacation trip and I sure came across some pictures which could fit the photo challenge of this week. We were excited to begin our early morning jungle safari in search of the one horned rhino and what is better than ride on the great Indian Tusker to launch on this adventure….

The Indian elephant though smaller than its African cousin but it still demands  lot of respect and no animal dares to cross its path. One loud trumpet by the beast makes all animals back off…. This one Rhino was lazing around and did not pay heed to the visitors atop the elephant. The trainer of our elephant coaxed it to trumpet and the rhino launched itself finally to move away from the tusker and our prying eyes …..

The elephants, rhinos and their babies were a treat to the eyes and our trip to the national reserve was a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

I guess that is what holidays are supposed to be…. enjoyable, adventurous and relaxing!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between


To sleep or to guard?????????

While trying to find an apt pic from my collection for this year’s last photo challenge I caught our dog yawning as if caught between the dilemma of sleeping or staying awake…..

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Weekly Photo Challenge:Self Portrait

I am…
Like the gentle breeze,
zestful and fresh…

Like the zealous ocean,
wild and free…
Like the bubbling river,
gay and sprightly…
Like the golden fire,
burning bright…
Like a solid rock,
vigilant and protecting…

Like a fragrant flower,   
sweet and delicate….
I blossom, 
with love and passion
But ..
Like a fragile glass,
I shatter,
if deprived of affection…
Yes, that is all in me….
I am a woman in love, 
And I just love, love and love

Reflections of love

Weekly Photo Challenge:Celebration

Why do we celebrate…….When a child is born, we succeed, we win, we are happy, our wish is granted, we are thankful…..so many occasions to celebrate.  Yes, we celebrate!! We celebrate to show our respect to the Life and its ups and downs!

According to Hindu religion all celebrations must begin with the prayer to Lord Ganesha(the elephant head God). Many temples across the country have miracle stories associated to them and people have immense faith and belief in such stories.

The religious festivities and celebration of faith is a way of life in our country……there are festivals all the year round and so many gods to thank ( associated to various forces of nature: sun God, Indra the rain God, goddess of health and wealth Lakshmi, goddess of knowledge Saraswati and many more).

In this temple the custom is to ring as many bells as possible to thank the Lord and celebrate. Also people tie bells throughout the temple complex when pray for a new wish . This is truly the celebration of faith…

As with festivals , so it is with many dance forms in India. The Bharatnatyam was earlier performed in temples as a prayer offering to God. Almost all dances  are linked to mythological stories and celebrate the love and faith for almighty.

Indian movies however have introduced dance forms which have nothing to do with God but have become the most wanted in any sort of non-religious celebration! This little street dancer dances away to film music in celebration of her freedom to dance  when ever she wishes to…..

Reasons may be many and even if the day seems bleak we must celebrate life and thank lord for letting us feel hundreds of emotions …… at least feeling something is better than being lifeless.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

As kids each one of us plans a hundred things to do when we grow up and unawares of the responsibilities and duties that come with growing up we still desperately wait and wait and wait to grow up! Every generation goes through the same process….

My daughter is no different and she is forever planning what she wants to be when she grows up. One day she wants to be a painter and next she wants to be a teacher like her favorite one in school. She wants to be a doctor like her grandmother and wants to go to an office like somebody else too.

Her father is her hero. And though she changes her plans many times, one thing has always been constant….. she wants to be a Fighter Pilot like her dad! She has seen him dress up in his flying attire since she was born and has been forever trying to salute the right way!

Yes!! She is waiting to grow up and fly, fly and fly….

And till she waits to grow up ……Our pilots and their fighters are ever ready and just waiting to take off!!

This fellow here is waiting too…. for his food! On one of our trips we happened to visit a crocodile farm where these beasts are bred in captivity before rehabilitation in natural environment.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

I missed out on the last week photo challenge “Breakfast” though my kitchen was  most active during last few days. Everyday the clank of many pots and pans made the neighbors wonder what we were up to? Pickles and jams of Indian Gooseberry, jaggery filled Indian breads, khus-khus halwa(sweet made from opium seeds…..nothing illegal about it!!), aata-laddoo(wheat flour balls with a hell lot of roasted dry fruits and clarified butter), khandvi, gulab jamuns and lot many things…….all were miraculously appearing from the kitchen. The last fortnight was indeed an overdose of delicacies which normally was made throughout the year to keep us hooked to home cooked food when we were kids. So why squeeze it all in few days? Ah, that is what grandmothers do, I guess, when they come visiting….

Yep, my parents visited us. The love for their granddaughter and inability of their daughter(to make all these traditional dishes) made them to step in the kitchen instead of resting and relaxing!

So what is family?  A place where one is extremely comfortable is home. And the people with whom we can laugh, cry, scream, play, get annoyed, talk, share secrets, tease, hug, have worst hair day and if a stray FART escapes it becomes a matter of roaring laughter instead of embarrassment then that is family!!

I have had hundreds of arguments with my parents since teenage and I still argue on lot of things even today but that doesn’t stop them from loving me unselfishly. Every time they return back to their place after visiting us, there is this emptiness and a nagging feeling of not doing enough for them….

I hope to be of use when their feet are so tired that they need my shoulder to lean on to…. And this feeling is Family!!

And they say a man’s best friend is the dog! My daughter has always been keen to have a younger brother or sister. However, I don’t see that happening for whatever reason God has in store for me. To get over the guilt of not being able to give a sibling to her I got her a pet to play with… And what love do they shower on each other!! She is there to defend him if I happen to scold him and he is there to seek all her attention on her return from school.  He has become an inseparable member of the family. Though I do grumble on finding dog hair sticking to the curtains, bed, clothes and my carpets but nothing can make me to stop loving him because he is Family too!


In-laws are family too whether you get along with them or not! Nobody can take place of one’s own parent but spouse’s parents should be given their due place in the family too( you don’t want to get into sticky situation !!). They are there to lend a helping hand if the need ever arises and they love their grandchildren as much too….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wonder

I was busy watering my precious plants, answering my daughter’s numerous whys and why-nots when we saw this beautiful leaf green caterpillar happily eating away all the leaves. And sure enough the new set of questions started bubbling in her mind. She had recently read about the life cycle of butterfly in her science class and her questions came flooding–

“Mom, is this a caterpillar?”


“Will it eat away all the leaves?”

“Well, I won’t let it do that to my plants…”

“Will it turn into a butterfly?”

“I think so..”

“Which color, Mommy?”

Now, I did not know the answer to her question  and  that was what made me wonder too….  wonder what the caterpillar changed to, what size or shape and color!!

Nature is full of many more of such things. There is this plant which blooms only at night and it sure is worth staying awake to see the bud waking up to smile when the human kind prepares to sleep…We drove all the way at 10 pm to my sister-in-law’s place to witness its blooming!

The botanical name of this plant is “Saussurea Obvallata”(I do not know the English name). In India it is known as “Brahm Kamal” and  is the state flower of the state of Uttarakhand and Uttarpradesh. I do wonder, why the flower blooms at night and not like other flowers in daylight?

I wonder about a lot of things… My daughter wonders about the aliens! Unfortunately there is no photograph I could use for aliens!!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

For this challenge I wanted to have some thing different besides the regular photographs showing “windows” that I had selected.

I think that our “Eyes” are the first ever windows to the world outside the womb….God’s gift to peek in the world he created!

For me however this God’s gift functions well only with the added windows……my spectacles because without those my view as good as a curtained window!!

Another window to world is our dear “idiot box”. How else would we see the rest of the world?

Some other windows I found worth clicking :

Weekly Photo challenge:Hidden

Guess what is hidden behind this beautiful bloom……?

Voila!! a cactus…..

Can you spot the farmer ???? Hidden for sure !!!

Spider-man, spider-man
Does whatever a spider can;
Friendly neighborhood Spider-man,
Look out ! here comes the spider-man !! 
Wonder who is hidden : man in a spider or spider in a man ???

Weekly Photo Challenge: Opportunity

The woods implore,
To travel and explore,
To find what awaits,
on this road to infinity….?
grab the OPPORTUNITY….
Hunger drives away all fear,
And I let humans come near!
For want of this morsel,
I forget all enmity,
and grab the opportunity!!
A best friend,
always has an ear to lend!
Sharing something witty…
We grab this opportunity!!