Beaches and the city!

It was only few days after I decided that I would not travel for the next few months, I happened to plan a journey as soon as I thought of it. Tickets booked for the day after and packing done within an hour. I was on a trip to Mumbai. It is important to give some credit to my friend here who used all her rights to ‘force’ me to go for it. She proved to be a very good host and an inquisitive soul who too likes photography. It is certainly a different kind of pleasure to be surrounded by people who share your interests. Thanks dear friend! Here I get a chance to upload some of the ‘best’ shots that describe my journey and captured a sense of aesthetics as it weaved through my experience of the city.

Any discussion on Mumbai will take you to the houses of celebrities, Haji Ali, Taj Hotel, Gateway of India, Vada Pao, South Bombay and Hiranandani. However, what stood out for me was the water body i.e. the sea. We explored it from all possible directions and I enjoyed the essence of ‘Mumbai life’. We started with Bandra Bandstand and I observed one of the best sunsets of my life.

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As soon as the sun went down I got introduced to the famous ‘Chana Garam’ and I liked this spicy mixture with ground nuts and raw onion. I feel like having it again right now while writing about it 😉

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The word ‘Chaupati’ was almost akin to Mumbai in my mind. The second thing that you would certainly get at any chaupati after chana garam is colourful paper wind wheel. It acknowledges the presence of sea at every moment as the waves form and the wind blows.

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The timing of your visit also affects your experiences. We visited Bandra in the evening when the temperature was down and people were on their evening walks. Juhu, however, was little hot and slow in the afternoon. Since this was an unplanned trip, I did not plan even the places to visit and went wherever it was possible. Consequently, Elephanta Caves became our next destination. We left early in the morning to catch the morning ferry that leaves from Gateway of India. Ferry takes around an hour to reach the Island. The trip would have been boring without the company of Seagulls who followed us as they like the taste of masala wafers that tourists keep on feeding them. Out of about 65 shots, very few came out well, given both the ferry and seagulls were moving. Like Mumbai, this was my first encounter with these clean and friendly birds and I enjoyed capturing them.

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By the time we reached Elephanta Island, it was very hot. So we took the toy train that shortened our journey by about half a kilometre. You would observe small market as you enter the area and climb towards the caves. You get edibles like mango slices, dried mango candies, masala cucumber, Indian berries,  ground nuts, chips and star-fruit. There are other shops that sell fancy decorative items, clothes and souvenirs.

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On our way back after visiting the caves, we tried our tongue over some of the edibles (star of which was the star-fruit) and did some shopping of local art and craft products. It was little tiring by now and we did some rest at Gateway of India. Following is the standard view that you would get from Gateway of India. Certainly, Mumbai is incomplete without boats and ships.

IMG_0350 We spent some time here while photographing the Taj and ships and later moved to Nariman Point. My last sightseeing point in Mumbai. The beach at Nariman point is different from that of Bandra and Juhu. It is quite difficult to reach out to the sea and people can only sit on the concrete boundary and observe the sea. However, it has its own charm and beauty. This site perhaps best resembled the dominant image of Mumbai. Beach and the city!

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Celebrating with friends

For last few years, a ritual I seriously followed on my birthday was to paint. This was to ensure that I do my favorite activity at least once in a year. However, this time, I decided to do photography at a nearby bird sanctuary along with my husband. I had visited Sultanpur bird sanctuary earlier when I tried to take pictures of birds with my basic camera lens. Having birds as your subject at some distance is a challenge with 18-55mm  so I included a 70-300mm zoom lens in my repository. Here’s sharing with you some of the very first pictures taken by my new apparatus.

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Considering the ambiguity about the opening time of the sanctuary we reached there at about 10 Am and figured out that it opens at 7 am now a day. Although, I was fearing that we might not find the birds in variety, given the sun rays had entered in abundance inside their habitat, we got to see quite a variety of them. It was difficult to notice the minute physical attributes from a distance (they all looked brownish or greyish). I realised this even more, after looking at the pictures later.

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The purple or Western Swamphen, Bluethroat, Northern pintail, Gadwall and Eurasian teal were some of the migratory birds that were easily identifiable. Spot-billed duck, Greater coucal, Indian pond heron, Indian night heron, Grey heron, Red-wattled lapwing and Golden prinia were some Indian birds that I was able to capture, along with omnipresent Rose-ringed parakeet, Great egret, Indian cormorant and white-throated kingfisher.

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Domestic antelope was another unavoidable species residing in the park.

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The visit was incomplete without some shots of the park- the grass, the branches, the leaves and the decor.

This was my first trial with the new 70-300mm and I enjoyed celebrating my birthday with such lovely hosts and guests (domestic and migratory birds). Winters is the best time to visit a bird sanctuary, therefore, this is the time for all the bird lovers.

A visit becomes more interesting if you have a companion who shares your subject of interest. I would like to thank my companion for being there with me 😉

 

 

 

Representing the Golden city!

This one is one of my favorite from the trip- I see this as representing the golden city of Jaisalmer. The yellow structure accompanied by wind mills, yellow sand with a pinch of green and moving fans signaling towards the winds. This was our second last point to visit on the last day of trek but for me the trip ended here. Although this was my third visit to the place but I will go again, this time to get a send of the night life during the full moon, looking forward to it :)
This image is one of my favorites from the trip- I see this as representing the Golden city of Jaisalmer. The yellow structure accompanied by wind mills, yellow sand with a pinch of greenery and moving fans signaling towards the presence of winds. This was our second last point to visit on the last day of trek but for me the trip ended here. Although this was my third visit to Jaisalmer but I will go again, next time to get a sense of night life during the full moon. Looking forward to it 🙂

Cycle and the cyclist!

Sometimes the shot taken first becomes the best amongst the lot. I took this shot again and again in order to have that complete cycle tyre, but the flavor never came again. Although I wish to take this shot again after some practice, this still qualifies as sharing the essence of the trip- the cycle, the cyclist, the dessert, and the camera behind :)
Sometimes the shot taken first becomes the best amongst the lot. I took this shot again and again in order to have that complete cycle tyre, but the flavor never came again. Although I wish to take this shot again after some practice, this still qualifies as one sharing the essence of the trip- the cycle, the cyclist, the dessert, and the camera behind 🙂