Amidst the heat and wither,
new life ushers in-
the glory of summers
is everlasting, bracing-
yet full of life.
Mehtab Bagh is situated on the opposite side of the river Yamuna, across, and parallel to the Taj Mahal, in Agra, India. It was built in the 16th century by the Mughal Emperor Babur, and reinvented by Emperor Shah Jahan as a moonlit delight garden, for viewing the Taj Mahal (and hence the name Mehtab- meaning moonlight). Ever since its restoration in the 1990s, the garden has been attracting a fair number of tourists each year.
Mehtab Bagh provides a beautiful view of the Taj, whether it be a foggy dawn, a clear summer afternoon, twilight with scarlet hue or a moonlit sky. It boosts a fair variety of vegetation and is a hub of colors year-round. Even so, it still remains an unknown site to most visitors and is struggling against a surge of ignorance, barely standing to sustain what little attention it captivates.
Experimenting in the dim light of diyas, trying to capture the subtle emotions of faith and reverence magnified midst the smoke of incense sticks , and stirring sound of prayer bells.
On the auspicious occasion of Dev Uthani Ekadashi, which is the 11th lunar day is celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartik (around october- november), when the gods (devata) wake up from their 4 month long sleep. It marks the end of Chaturmas (the period over which marriages are prohibited) and signifies the beginning of Hindu wedding season.
On this day, many traditions are observed, one of them being the ritual marriage of the sacred Tulsi (basil) plant with lord Shaligram (lord Vishnu). According to Hindu mythology, Tulsi (basil) is considered as the wife of lord Vishnu who is often worshipped in a rock form as lord Shaligram (sitting on the golden throne in the pictures below).
Summers in North India are usually very hot, leading to the obvious- drying out of most of the backyard garden. But then, there are some fighters everywhere, just like these tiny pink Crinum lilies.
And then, I realized something. I hadn’t picked my camera for a long time- maybe I almost forgot in practice why I loved clicking so much. But today, it all came back to me. Playing around with pictures is what lead me to love it so much. Like, how small things seem so mighty, and how every small memory can be preserved forever. But somewhere along the way, I guess the seriousness was taking me in. The hunger to learn was overpowering the will to explore. I have always known that the best way of learning, is experimenting- the stage where I am at- and it does leave me with a lot of images, thus a lot of work in sorting out, but also, a lot of colors and angels to pick from. And the best part – your pictures are a reminder of what you saw and how you were the only one to see it that way. Thats why I love clicking.
‘She lit a spark by a mere smile,
when the light was fading away;
and soon I could see fireworks
rising from the shades of her face.’
They say a smile is worth a thousand words, and laughter, the best medicine. A smile is sure a weapon to shove in the face of fear and trouble, a tool to tackle the toughest of situations and an ally to help us through the rough times. Yes, in course of life, while fighting too many battles, we might underestimate, or even forget the real strength of this old friend. Those are the times we need to remind ourselves how dawn follows the darkest of nights and spring overpowers the winter- every single time. Its hope that will keep the ship of life running, and smile is the fuel of that hope.
– Henry Ward Beecher
The palace city of Mysore in Karnataka state, India, as seen from the top of Chamundi Hills, about 13 km from the city.
Veiled behind a sheath of blooms
that rush past the speed of wheels,
revealing the pride of two ancient rocks
that stand tall, though beaten and tired.
The only comrade they have is each other
seen all these decades together;
keeping still, calm through the storms
fighting the winds of change,
striving to preserve their being.
Smooth edges- eroded and weary
time is, but a measure of nothing,
like day and night are just rituals,
rotations in the ever-lasting existence.
Sustained drops on a banana leaf after a night long rainfall.
The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world is constantly threatened by a number of unhealthy practices taking place around it. One of these include pollution (from vehicles & nearby industries), that react with the tomb’s marble, turning its shade to yellow. Other threats are poaching, neglection of rules, and ignorance in taking care of this world heritage site. Though the authorities have taken several steps to guard the monument’s beauty, a hole in the system every now and then poses threat to this miraculous creation.
(Picture taken in collaboration with my friend Aishwarya Sharma.)
Taken at Agra Fort, Agra, India
Govardhan puja is celebrated on the next day of diwali and is a prominent hindu festival of north India. Here in the picture, a child stares at the camera as adults are occupied in the prayer processions. Several food items are offered to lord Govardhan, an incarnation of lord Krishna (in the centre, made of cow dung- ‘govar’, which is considered ‘pure’ in India). The Govardhan hill is located in Mathura, India and has a great mythological significance.
Tilak said, “Freedom is my birth right.”
Having spent years in reflection,
I still can’t understand what freedom truely means.
They say, its absolute-
one is either free, or is not;
then what are we?
Our nation broke the chains of slavery
66 years ago;
and yet its citizens,
we the people, are bleeding-
as we lift the heavier chains
that enslaves us since birth.
The ignorant lives that are still living
in the protective shells of dreams-
the ones to whom reality
is a distant nightmare,
and illusion fills
their creative self-made world,
seem to be the only ones that are free.
In the realm of truth,
we are striving hard
to be rid of the ghosts
that possessed the past,
hovers over the present,
and haunts the future.
Though we struggle day by day
to satiate our hungry hearts,
the ray of hope which fills the present
is what our eyes constantly see,
not the dimmed glow of the past,
or the fuzzy future lights.
We stay strong, cause that is who we are-
Indians, who always smile
and rely on our faith to show us the way;
we never stop trying,
we keep fighting our own shadows;
we know one day we’ll conquer all.
(Due credits to my friend Aishwarya Sharma for taking the pictures in the gallery titled ’10’ and ’12’.)
The rear view of the Taj Mahal, as seen from Mehtaab Bagh, Agra. These three structure standing side by side gives a gigantic eye catching view- one which cannot be avoided from the camera at any time of the day.
Soaring high in the sky at sunset, in a hurry to return home to its nest- to its family- this bird instantly caught my attention.
Sikandra, the tomb of one of the greatest kings of Mughal dynasty, King Akbar.