My Nahargad

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Mighty, Lavish, Majestic, grandure and adjective would be short and less to describe this magnificent fortified Nahargad palace. The palace built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1734. A man who has built some of the finest architectures in the pink city, Jaipur.

MayaOur guides, had stated a sad affair of saying nothing much to see but added that it would be great to see the overall city and that too at evening. Well the last statement did make a good relevance to us and we happened to reach Nahargad by around 4.30 pm exhausted after the fun & exploratory walk at Jaigarh. One thing for sure, that do pick your food pack and bottles of water unless you really want to explore.

Well, hey we were there for some fun and exploring and the fort did not disappoint. Off course like any of the forts in Rajasthan, the entry is through the huge doors and it then opens up to the huge courtyard… wow!! awestruck would be an understatement.The courtyard

The colours of the walls are nostalgic and does take you to the realm of past and the lavishness tagged to it… As you move from the courtyard to the various rooms, we are into the beautiful alleys of rooms and arches. Jaipur-394

The walls are so so smooth that one could see their reflection in it. Must say, the archeological department is doing a great job in maintaining it. Inspite of so many people walking around, you can happily sit down and get some amazing photographs. Now I understand why these places could be a photographers paradise.

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One lead to the other and started climbing the stairs. The most amazing aspect was the roof of the palace. A must place especially in the evenings. The breathtaking view of the whole Jaipur city below to that of the setting sun against the backdrop of the architectural domes.

Do make sure that you spend time on the roof and see the sun setting against the magnificent domes. A good place for some quite time as the breeze hits you along with the last brightness… Jaipur-443

Well I wished that the time never stopped. It had to when we heard the hart whistle of our khakhi dressed policeman man pushing every one to move down as it was almost 6 pm.

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As we stepped down and came back to the courtyard, I waited for all folks to leave and then requested the security for a few more minutes, they obliged and rather helped me. It is really nice of them.

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My last shot

There is a beautiful restaurant for those who want to spend the evening after the sun goes down. And we chose to move on and spend the day..

It was indeed a great decision to not miss this lovely piece of history, I wished I had more time to spend and explore this beautiful palace…

Indeed Incredible India and #MyRajasthan…Jaipur-493

 

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Chuk Chuk…

A traveler am I and a navigator, and ever day I discover a new region within my soul
– Kahlil Gibran

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The multi wheel carriages running on two tracks carrying many dreams, ambitions, sadness, love, apprehensions and what not that a human being could go through has always been a fascination for me even in this flight era. Someone recently at office asked me as I shared that I will not be at Office for the following week,

He: oh!! so you are flying off on Friday??
Me: No.. Catching the train in the evening..
He: Really, it is a long journey.. 20 hours.. It will be tiresome. You should have caught the flight, save time.
Me: (Smiling) Oh, I did not think it that way. Yeah it would take time but I would love every moment of it with my family. It is full “FAMILY TIME!!”.

He was not sure, what to say after that and we both had a good laugh..

It’s really a treasure trove for me every time I get started with my train travel plans.

Right from the moment, I book the train tickets, the wait and the anticipation is on the rise. Anticipation for the remembrance of childhood memories, a sense of freedom and a desire to meet and talk to strangers.

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The Indian Railways, is one of the longest and the most complicated rail networks of the world. From the first train that got launched in 1853 when am sure, people would have been looking at it with awe and admiration then to the latest high speed trains that are getting experimented from Delhi to Mumbai and many. The awe and admiration still remains the same. The network today runs over 115,000 Kms across carrying millions of passengers daily. There are many known and unknown interesting facts that the Indian Railways throws up.

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Technology todays has helped us avoid the jammed up railway ticketing counters but the fight to booking the tickets still runs high. Can’t complain when you have more than 13 lakh tickets being booked in a day through IRCTC portal. Just imagine the amount of traffic that IRCTC would be facing for these bookings.

As I have grown over the years the accessibility to AC coaches have become a part of life and the travels are becoming more and more comfortable. Having said so, I do miss those lovely moments when I would wake up to the sound of a chia wala (Tea vendor) or the smell of a hot snack at any railway platform. The beauty is that, each station has its own brand and popularity. I remember once catching a local train from Sambalpur to Bhubaneswar years back, and the train stopped at Boinda station. People jumped off the train as it came to a halt to have the very famous local bara and Aloo chop (Vada & Potato balls). (I am already  salivating as I share this.) This station is a junction and people literally have their breakfast in the morning as the train halts for 15 – 20 mins. Post the breakfast is the hot cup of tea on those small clay pots which are now very common in the Eastern part of the country.

Or the Bread Omlet at Vijaywada station as the train to east from Chennai halts in the morning hours. Am sure, each of us have a wonderful connection with many of these stations. It makes you feel closer to home.

Well, the pantry services is no different experience which one goes with. Now the services have improved and are way better off, though a long way to go. Train journeys tend to become gastronomic journeys too. Remember my childhood days when my mom would pack up tiffin boxes and snack packs for the travel to last for 18 hours. The moment the train leaves the station, there is an auto trigger for the hunger to kick in. So what, if I had had my breakfast or lunch or dinner just before we left home. 🙂

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Enjoying the breeze

The longer the journeys is towards home, the more the impatience as the destination gets closer. I tend to move myself away from my seat and stand at the door. The fresh breeze hits harder as the train chugs along. My mind pushes the train harder to fly on those lovely tracks as the rice fields fly past me. During this month’s travel, I was standing with my son at the door (who was there for the first time) and I could see the excitement in him and the nostalgia that it created for me. Off course one needs to be cautious and careful but this today has become a part of life no matter if the train is long distance or local train. The freshness that this experience leaves is heavenly.

As a child going in the sleeper class coach during rainy season was a delight. I would be chasing the rain drops as they would crash against the shut glass window pane and run down to meet the other water droplets. Dreams get created and smiles tend to appear at the corner of the lips.. then and even now it does so, no matter how old one gets.
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Indian Railways, with what ever shortfalls that it has.. it does not matter once you are on the train. Someone rightly said and I have seen it happening, “It is a beautiful journey where strangers meet and become friends to part again and may be to meet again”.

There are so many stories that one can go on and on. There is an unending list one shares in these journeys with not only the passengers but also the caterers, the TT, vendors at the station. All hoping to have a moment of fleeting emotion to be shared with.

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Train Bridge over River Godavari

Rightly said and with all love, I do connect with the same tag line of Indian Railways,
“Lifeline to the nation”

Every journey is worth living for!!! … Can’t wait for the next trip….

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Stallions!!

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Flip around & laugh
Double jump & giggle
Hip hop & roll
Fly high & a high five

Early morning at the beach is like a recharge for the fluttering soul. It was a beautiful bright morning on the Quilon beach when we had just settled down to the serenity around. Quilon beach has one of the choppiest beach, and one could still find calmness to recharge 16 - 1oneself. As I turned around, I found two friends lying down on the beach with one holding a piece of paper which looked like a letter.. This fellow would fold it and keep it in the pocket and then again remove it to read it.. It took me back to the times when some of these papers were a treasure to hold on to, unlike today.

As the time went by, we got up and started walking towards the other end of the beach to feel the expanses of Arabian sea. With every step we felt the sea was welcoming us with a bigger roar.. One could just soak it all in. We walked almost close to the ship that had broken down five years back and now is docked on the beach. the waves were splashing against it giggling at the fate that this beast of the sea was at. It was a beautiful sight.. Having walked for more than a kilometre we decided to do an about turn and return..Kollam-86

A high flip at a distant that caught my eye and I turned to my partner to share a point of admiration just to realise that she was already walking up to that group of people doing the flips and summersaults. With me and my camera, the actions began to rise and I started my shoots. With her discussions, got to know that these bunch of people were just kids. The youngest of all was 15 years while the eldest being that of 19 years..

When asked what they are doing, none of them hesitated to state that they were practicing dance and wanted to be “Back Stage Dancers”

That made us more curious and asked, why back stage, why not in the front.. Pat came the response, “Sir, there is more dance in the back stage and we love to dance. Yes we do participate in dance competitions”.

That statement intrigued us more and we went questioning..

Us: So who is your coach?? where is your master?
Kids: We do not have a coach, we train ourselves

Us: Train Ourselves!! mean?
Kids: Madam, we believe in team work. No boss here, anyone has good idea and we take that up”
(And here in office, we are creating structures to have work done with fun.. The kids were pushing me to think beyond now!!)

Us: Where do you compete and perform?
Kids: We perform on TV, many a times and we participate in local competitions. You should come during Onam, it is lots of fun. Do come and see us perform!!

The beauty was that, two would answer and the others would be doing their practice.. This photo and discussions were like normal thing. We continued and the kids kept coming back to respond 🙂

Us: You all stay close by?
kids: No sir, most of stay in atleast 2 kms away. All are from different places. None of us from Quilon area. Some of us work too, so early morning practice and then we are off to our work or school.
(They are teaching me what hard work and passion means!!! I was stunned!!)

Us: So what do you call your gang as?
Kids: STALLIONS!!

Impressed we asked them can you do a small show for us they all giggled and said, “Sir, there is no music”..

“So what ever you guys can do, would love to do a small video”, we asked and they were more than glad to show their moves… A beautiful practice.. https://youtu.be/E5UJtwqlq3U

At the end we said, we would love to have a selfie with you all. So that when you get famous we could remember you all..

One of them ran and grabbed his shirt for the pic… “So far all practice.. now the time to do the branding and that should be done well”..16 - 1-2

As we moved from that high energy place, I learned a lot and more so was running high on our energy levels.. Fully charged and were carrying extra batteries 🙂

They were really the Stallions, filled with Passion and energy to go beyond they current situation. Live the moment and share the energy that could ignite anyone…

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