Kanyakumari to Kashmir

Here’s my journey, up-and-coming:

Day 0 (lasted for 2 days and 10 hours)

Delhi to Thiruvananthapuram  (train)

Every train has a loving mother!
A candy uncle.
The favorite staff guy.
A howling kid who fathoms the end of the world!
A random stranger you like.
A random stranger who likes you and takes all the train journey to effort a smile!
A random stranger you make some space for.
A family who shares their oranges with you.
A book you sleep with.
A toilet window you smoke with.
And a feeling of being at home!
(:

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Day 1:

It was 2 in the night, when I randomly told kittu that I wish to travel from Kanyakumari to Kashmir: solo and almost penniless!
She never laughs at such crazy ideas. Just smirks at the “what ifs”!
And here I am! At Kanyakumari, wading-jumping-strolling-rubbernecking, my way forward.
Cheers to the start of this journey!

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Day 2!
Catching the sunrise at Kanyakumari!
For those who know me, hope you enjoy the slow clap of morning paradox! Anyway, here’s how it felt!
The moment was bound by a strange kind of devotion. When you don’t think of life or death, problems or relief, Colgate or toothbrush and so on. But totally give in, to the sight of the fire that wakes up the world!
This is what I was thinking about, until an aunty almost trampled my camera and the janta enjoyed a cat-fight in the backdrop of eternal bliss!

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Day 3:

I am in kollam, kerala, now. And my host is really kind. I love her as much as I love food ❤

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This blog is a little disintegrated. There are a couple of reasons for that. Firstly, I am not carrying my laptop. And most of villages I am staying in, laptop or work stations aren’t easily accessible.

Secondly, these are my raw experiences. Mostly scribbled on a small notepad while on the go. Point is, I want you catch the live action and not a fancy looking perfect blog! Drama matters!

Concluding, I would like to thank you all for walking with me! Nobody really travels alone. By reading this, you too have become a part of this story! Thank you so much!

P.S: love you all!

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Midnight Bonfire Thoughts

 

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Shot by: Daastan-e-Musafir

I want to be one of those poems,

Indestructible by artless pain.

Un-Rhymed,

And Careless.

As if words fell on a bloody canvas of hope.

Heartless,

But soulful.

One of those poems

Un-metered

And scattered.

Not the ones you read,

But the ones you feel.

Ambika Bhardwaj

 

To Blogging!

Credit Indranil Kar
Shot by: Indranil Kar

It has been a tad more than 2 years that I have been wandering and wondering! Thanks to my “vagabond neurosis,” my sickness and my only redemption, I have found life in the soulful glimpses of: a local bus window seat, a freezing moment waiting for the sun to rise, the echo on the mountain top, the warmth of the first few sun rays, the calm of the last few…and an attachi full of memories.

2017 was as harsh as rewarding! Badass!

Nonetheless, that’s really not the point! Amidst all of this, I have been slightly away from my blog. Okay, a lot away! I have been blogging at several other portals but somehow not been able to find time to land up here much! Confession over!

I don’t intend to surrender my sword lightly! While I was away, I realised, how my blog, is like my home! Nobody here would tell me that I can’t throw words around, nobody rules my expressions, commas and style! I can honestly convey the feelings flowing right from my heart, reaching up to my finger tips and smashing keyboard, in the middle of the night! I don’t run for making this sound sane, neither does my reader expect that! My readers here, are also my fellow bloggers, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I love them! How they have been as strangers who now me better than anyone else.

I am free here and only in freedom, do we express ourselves the best! 

 

Paths and Poems

A poem was born,

When I saw this path:

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Years from now,
in the winter of our life,
when you come back,
we will walk here.
Hold hands, again.
Talk about the colour of our soul
or may be the texture of pain that kept us apart all these years.
We’ll talk about what happened to that little dream cafe of yours.
It wont be a “hey let’s get a beer” conversation!
We’ll talk about the shooting stars of our endless journey.
All this, without a word!
In the winter of our life.
When you come back.
© Daastan-e-Musafir
Place: Chitkul
October,2017

P.S: Romance sells!

A Bimbo’s guide to Photography

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Pre-Script (If that’s a thing, anyway) : It’s strange how I get an idea in the middle of the night and start writing. How throughout the unending hours of daylight, volcanic thoughts entangle with the mundane colours of life and splash into nothingness. And suddenly, like meeting a stranger on a rainy Paris street, it strikes you, that you have known this person even before discovering their existence.

Similarly a quirky mélange of ideas at the devil’s hour meets me and I pull the pencil off my hair bun and just-start-writing. My thoughts aren’t  processed much, they are raw and honest!

Quick downpour: Read this only if you are a willing shutterbug. Going to a photography school and learning photography are two very different realms.

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Remember, a camera never clicks a picture, a visionary does. If you are still there, you need to grow beyond the auto mode.

Here’s what it is:

That picture, up there, makes me feel that I am learning. You grow as a photographer, just like you grow as a person!

So here’s what I started with, the three pillars of photography:

1) Shutter-speed: That sound your camera makes, every time you click a picture is because of the camera shutter. The camera shutter opens and closes for a set interval of time (that you decide). The amount of time your camera shutter remains open is your shutter speed.

Example: I need to freeze the movement of fluttering prayer flags/birds. Since my subject is moving fast, I need my camera to capture the movement quickly, without blurring the picture. So I choose a higher shutter speed (let’s say 1/350). Now, 1/350 would mean 350th part of a second.

On the contrary, say, there’s dark room and I want more amount of light to enter my camera to click a well exposed picture. I will set a shutter speed of 1/30. Now, that means 30th part of a second.

Get that?

2) Aperture, the tricky F guy: It’s just a goddamn hole! No, don’t confuse! It’s a hole in the camera lens that allows light to enter the camera. The larger the aperture, the more light enters the camera. It is measured in “F stops”.

Example: It’s a bright sunny day in Paris, and you are out in one of those cafés. When you decide to click a picture keep the F around, say, 13, or so.

On the contrary, let’s say you are again in Paris, it’s raining and you are in one of those nostalgia shops with those hazy tungsten lights, keep the F around 4.5 or so

Also, if you are reading this carefully, by now you should have a question, how is F 4.5 bigger than F13. It’s like Phoebe, it works the other way around. You’ll get a hang of it!

Take a look at this, Photo Credit:  Wikipedia

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3) ISO: Helps create artificial light. In those dingy times, when you don’t have enough light to expose a frame, increase the ISO. But, life ain’t that easy, my friend, ISO increases the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO makes the available light more abundant to the camera. However, the higher the ISO, the grainier the picture!

Pro Tip: Composition matters! Never cut the feet or hands, be it a human subject or a monument! That’s not even amateur!

So I am saying: You’ve wasted good 10 minutes reading and understanding this, go play with your camera, only then can you understand photography!

 

 

I, write this!

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I write, as the last bidi finds it’s way into the ashtray. I write this at 04.30 in the morning.

Writing, because the backpack resting at the corner of my room, stares at me, with a little dust settled on the un-promised adventures.

Next to it lies a pair of trekking boots, yearning to go out there.

Aching of restfulness, lies a rugged camouflage jacket on the chair.

Next to the chair is a table full of maps.

Maps of hamlets and towns, sleeping at the moment.

Thus, sweet sleeps the travel journal, dreaming of the blank pages to be bloomed by the awaited adventures.

So, wakes up the wandering soul!

P.S : This is dedicated to all you travellers out there, aching of wanderlust! To all the mountain beasts caught in the concrete jungle. I love you all, I really do! And soon, we shall all embark on a new adventure! Until then, I know my pep talk doesn’t help much!

 

Auli, his childhood dream!

Quick downpour:

This story starts at an altitude of 10,000 ft.

498 km away from cabbage-head, Delhi

This is about the euphoria  of exploring a realm surrounded by the revered peaks of Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, Panch Chuli, Mana and Kamet.

This story is about, the dreamland called Auli bugyal!

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Here’s what happened:

Windows rolled down. involuntary, I craned my neck out like a happy dog. We were about to reach Rishikesh. When about Uttarakhand, Rishikesh always announces the beginning of an adventure.

Auli was sleeping when we reached, late at night. Heavy breathed, we climbed 56 stairs to get to our room in the GMVN guesthouse. Such a labyrinth!

If you are there:

– Ignore the caretaker, wearing a strange monkey cap

Auli  rained its way through the morning, slowly and calmly. It wasn’t a rebellious one, it was one of those rains that sweeps all the sorrows away. Stepping an octave down this philosophical tone, it was raining cats and dogs, plain and simple!

It washed away all my time-lapse dreams, at once.

But as a photographer you are a, stubborn soul! You lurk in the ambush like Satan, waiting for Eve to step in the garden. It did and how…

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