Today I feel like writing for that very moment just before I intended to let go off my flip flops and run through the sand. It is an amazing feeling with the waves of the ocean slipping all the sand between your feet. It all felt like a game to me. No matter how hard you try, there are times when you definitely feel off balance with everything slipping from your grip. Just like life. Just like the sand on the beach. My mind leaps to days gone by when I spent my time by the ocean with the beautiful melody of waves crashing on the shore. It is a feeling quite unexplained with that clueless feeling of solitude and warmth. It goes without saying that I simply adore the beach, the fact being that I don’t often get to visit often. May be that is why it all seems so magical. Just like most other things in life, this one is the rarest and one of the finest experiences that I feel is really close to my heart.
Many would debate on choosing hills over beaches but I am definitely a water person. I would anytime vouch for beaches over hills. That feeling simply is awesome when you are on a beach relaxing, listening to the symphony of the waves, with a million thoughts in mind. It resonates with life. Calm and peaceful at times but an entire mess in itself. The feeling differs from beach to beach depending on the beach you presently are and your inner self which is rejoicing in the moment.
May be that is what I simply love about an island. You get to witness an entire continent, only water no land, an experience that I can still remember vividly today and I will always. These times have a special place in my heart not just because they are rare, but because I cherish each and every second of that very moment.
Mansa Devi is one of the most popular and most visited temple in the holy city of Haridwar. Generally Mansa is worshipped without any image. A branch of a tree, an earthen pot or an earthen snake image is worshipped as the Goddess. As it is rightly said, “everything is sacred, or nothing is.” If you have faith, it is God, if you are an atheist, it is just a stone.
I, being a monotheist, have a strong belief in God. Standing in long queues for hours hardly matter when you get to see a glimpse of the divine shrine. I was a religious kid since my childhood and I have always been keen to visit the Holy abodes. Last weekend, I headed out to Haridwar and then to the Mansa Devi Temple (you can read more about my Haridwar visit here).
Paying a visit to the Mansa Devi temple in itself is a sacred experience which enlightens the body, mind and soul. It is a temple with lots of positive energy indeed and you can also enjoy an eagle’s eye view of the Haridwar town in the cable car. Going up to meet the deity who sits high on the mountain is a thrilling and one of its kind of experience in itself. No wonder why this place is considered to be the most sacred and spiritual hub where one can find the purity even in the chants, peace in every flow of water and prosperity in every bright light of lamps. Sights of hundreds of pilgrims patiently waiting for their turn with a hope that their prayers will be heard, sounds of mantras, hymns and ringing bells and smell of incense sticks; all this at the Mansa Devi Temple. You would see a vast expanse of concrete jungle lurking behind the mountains during dusk when you are at the premises of the temple. So many years and this view never gets old.
When there is so much bedlam all around you, all you need is some peace of mind and this is the very reason I headed to Haridwar last weekend. A sacred place filled with devotion, Haridwar is consider a sacred city because of the River Ganges. A holy dip in the river Ganges is all you need to wash out your sins and be blessed. Gita and Ganga in fact constitute between themselves, the essence of Hinduism – one is theory and the other is practice.
When an ocean of humans turn up to pay respect to a river, this has to be the Ganga arti at Haridwar. Believe me, a mesmerising view, purity in the air, sound of ringing bells all at the Holy place Haridwar. This is how you see the Ganga arti at Haridwar. Reach early, a little before sunset so that you find yourself an apt place to be seated on the steps of the Ghat closest to the river. While you are seated people will approach you for diyas and flowers which you can give as an offering to the river. While there is still a streak of Sun in the sky, the priests will begin chanting prayers. Then before realising that the Sun has set, they pull out their large multi-storeyed oil lamps. You simply sit in awe, drop your jaws and admire the beauty of it all.
The synchronous rotation of the oil filled lamps by the priests, the chanting of mantras, the background arti song, the diyas floating in the river, the reflection of the setting Sun and the diyas in the swift lowing water leave you amazed. It feels like everything just freezes. The soul comes to life and just dazzles you.
Ganga is said to wash out all the sins of life and death. Ganga Arti is a ceremony to thank and praise the river. Truly an unmatched, purely divine and one of its kind of experience when you witness the divisonal flames at Har ki Paudi, Haridwar.
PC – Me, I regret that I could only capture the light, and I failed to capture the aroma and essence of that place.
Train journeys have always been quite a fascinating thing for me since childhood. I remember those days vividly when I used to go to my Granny’s place with Mom for spending the vacations.
Those were the golden days! Only fun and no tension for two months. Such a carefree soul I was! The journey was amazing with my mom taking all the tensions and I feeling like a free bird.
Everything was so easy back then! I only knew one thing. I had my mother by my side and what else do I need to worry about. Everything for sorted, and so was my life!
Today, on the platform, waiting for my train, those memories are sweeping past my thoughts, kindling the nostalgia of those golden old days. Today, I am alone, and I feel I miss those days. Those were the days that Will never return. And I feel I have lived my life in the real sense in those days.
One of my favorite places in the national capital, Connaught Place. This place has a lot to offer you. You relive the moments time and again whenever u visit this place. “The world keeps moving n d city never sleeps”holds true at this place. The colonial white of the buildings, magnificent eating joints and hotels, branded outlets and the Indian flag held high at the Central Park never fail to mesmerize you!
–Shades of Life
The Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project brings together global wisdom and best practices to revive the river as a public sanctuary for the people of Ahmedabad. Riverfront upgrades 18 precincts located adjacent to the Riverfront land, revitalizing the heart of Ahmedabad and leading the city’s future growth.
Everybody is trying to leave their mark on the world and that is why there is Graffiti. Delhi never fails to surprise you. Evey lane has something to hook you up. The capital has a facelift with graffiti, art, and murals coming up all over the city in 2017.
Street graffiti will always be my favorite. A handstyle so flawless makes the graffiti look unreal. I am most impressed by such small detailing and perfection.
Rightly said – “Art could be as creative as the mind allows it to be“. In that case, the transformation of Shankar Market deserves a thumbs up.
Some amazing walls to admire here! The tentacles of street art have made their way into the nation and have found their road to make it big. Whosoever is making these walls beautiful, Kudos to you!
-Shades of Life
Every brick, every corner, every building and every monument in Delhi has a story to tell. This truly majestic mausoleum of Safdarjung built in 1754 under the rule of Mohammad Shah depicts its own saga. It is the last enclosed garden tomb in Delhi in the tradition of Humayun’s Tomb.
With a vast spacious area and an imposing presence with its domed and arched red, brown and white colored structures, this building has its own history written on the sands of time. Safdarjung was made the prime minister of the Mughal Empire when Ahmed Shah Bahadur ascended the throne in 1748.
While taking a click the monument said, ” I am in front of you yet you appreciate my picture.” I replied, ” I keep every picture of you with me so that you do not disappear from my memories.”
–Shades of Life
Purana qila or the oldest Fort of Delhi is just like the most perennial themes of our movies that never seem to lose its charm. On a personal note, broken walls and battle stories have never disappointed me. Within its walls lies history, stories and myths.The pleasure of being alone in such a quiet place and simultaneously letting your mind roam and feel the eloquence is amazing. If you love art and history, you cannot ignore the artistic calligraphy. This 700 year old structure is the testimony to love. Watch this unsung hero stand high since times immemorial, beautiful and well kept!
Take a bow before the 73 meter high tower of victory built in 1193 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak. What a marvelous piece of architecture by the great king! Get ready to touch the sky with this ethereal and majestic heritage of engraved Beauty right from the capital of the country. The end of sight. Magnificent stone carved pillars making a mysterious way through it. The structurally solid classics from Islamic architecture are way too profound. Numerous photographs of same places by different photographers give different shades of life!!