Thursday, 21 May 2015

Maa- You Are The World To Me

You’re the world to me
Having you around
Eases all anxiety, howsoever strong it may be,
I am nothing but a fragment of you,
Like your shadow against the sun,
Without you; I would go askew

Your love; purest in this world,
Your smile; the most angelic,
In your arms, I love to lay curled,
Even today, I am your little one
Only you can make me feel loved
And always forgive; whatever is said and done

You taught me to stand up
Each time I fell on my knees,
You instilled the faith of never giving up,
And always stood by, like my pillar
When everything seemed to go haywire,
You were my ultimate rescuer

You are my protector, from dangers and darkness
My teacher, for all life lessons
My secret-keeper, for everytime I wished to break free
My confidant, in whom I confide all my thoughts
Your patience knows no bounds,
And you would listen to all my rants

You are my first touch, my first love
You are the solution to all my problems,
You are the tissue to wipe away my tears,
You are my shield;
You are my first expert
Maa- You are the world to me


"Mothers are the experts. The multi-taskers. No other love can ever overcome the love mothers hold for their children". 

While we’re celebrating moms, it’s also time to celebrate the most widely trusted expert when it comes to hair colour. Click here to read more.

Linking with Godrej Expert and Indiblogger

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Friday, 15 May 2015

Over To You. Dear Reader.


Surreal and subjective,
Elates hearts and desires,
Flames dreams and passion,
Reverberates emotions,
Glides high when new and happy
With scintillating eyes  
And a radiant beam.

Wrapped in the bubble,
Of loyalty and benevolence,
Of faith and honesty,
Of blinded trust,
What a virtue it is
Can it ever die, once ignited?

……………Over to you, dear reader.


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Friday, 8 May 2015

Happiness At The Peak- Night Trek To Kalawantin Fort with TMI

Top post on, the community of Indian Bloggers

A full moon night and 22 crazy freaks, backpacked together to conquer the heights, the night, the dark and every bit of fear.

It was a quick decision to go for this trek. We had a 3 day long weekend, with no plans, nothing to do and nowhere to go. While I was browsing through the Trek Mates India website, trying to schedule my weekends for monsoon treks, I came across their "Full Moon Special" Night Trek to Kalawantin Fort. One look through the itinerary and I was sold. And most of all, it was in my wishlist since long.

Like enthusiasm sprang up all of a sudden with unforseen gush of happiness and excitement. A quick call to all friends and to my disappointment, no one agreed to the last minute decision. One of them not available, one had left for Bangkok, one wary of the heat. So Madhu and I decided to go ahead. I wasn’t sure if there were seats available but satisfied after receiving a positive response from Vikram (our trek leader).

I never knew more surprises would await me enroute. The plan was to meet at Panvel station (or rather Panvel S.T Bus Depot) at 11:00 PM.

Kalawantin as seen from Prabalgarh. Picture Credit-Abhineet Prakash.

Kalawantin Fort is located in the outskirts of Mumbai, very close to Panvel (approx 17 kms). It is situated next to Prabalgarh fort. The fort is at an elevation of 2330 ft in the Western Ghats.

The Western Ghats (Sahyadris, Nilgiris, Annamalais) are also mentioned as The Great Escarpment of India and run almost parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (western coast of the Indian peninsula). In terms of size, stature and grandeur, it is only second to the majestic Himalayan Mountains in the Indian Subcontinent. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight “Hottest Hotspots” of biological diversity in the world. Source

The trek to Kalawantin is an easy one and takes around 3 hours to reach the pinnacle.
We reached the base village, Thakurwadi at around 11:50 pm. Once everyone managed to settle down, we gathered for a quick round of introduction in the traditional “straight” circle. 

Vikram was our leader. We had 3 co-leads, Ranjita, Arun and Vinayak (VG). We had 3 first timers including my friend Madhu, the Wipro Infotech “Copy-Paste” gang including PK (The Selfie Star), the newly married couple- Aditya and Geetika, the "Sarpaas" guys . And the rest of us. Maaza and Bourbon biscuits were distributed after the introduction.

We started at around 12:15 am. Did not need to turn on our headlamps since the moon was wide-eyed and bloated with it’s silvery light making the forest land glow. Since it is May and summer at its peak, we pined for the wind to blow but all in vain. No regrets though.

VG was our front lead and Arun leading from back. Vikram and Ranjita coordinated in between. We began walking on the mud road. It would be followed by climbing the rocky terrain that starts after we cross the plateau, which is at 1500 ft. The plateau homes a village named Prabalmachi which consists of very less number of families accompanied by plenty of dogs. Our plan was to take 30mins break once we reach the plateau (machi).

However, everyone was exhausted till we reached the “big rock” (10mins away from machi) and decided to rest for a while. So our first break happened to be near the rock. Vikas had got packets of "Tang" with him. We could regain some energy back after having the energy drink. Bless you Vikas.

Everyone resting near the "Big Rock"

We reached the plateau clearing at around 2:00 AM and had rest for another 15mins. The cool breeze on the plateau gratified our need of fresh air on a hot summer night. Anyone would almost fall asleep after such a long walk. But not us, since we were the greedy bunch and wanted more pleasure for our eyes and anxious to be more nearer to the sky freckled with stars.

We started ascending the terrain after everyone had their share of rest. Starting this point, the headlamps came bustling since the terrain was a bit dark and moonlight struggled to reach into it’s depths. The scree was treacherous and we had to make sure not to step on any loose stone as it could send many layers of stone downwards, hurting our mates who followed us.

Finally, after half an hour’s climb, we reached the V point and waited for everyone to reach. After a short break, we started again. This time, it was real thrill, the climb till Pinnacle. There are steps carved on the mountain with exposure at one side. So, one has to be real careful while negotiating one's moves. The last patch is a 10-12 ft vertical patch, which is almost 900 steep.

Steps carved on the mountain
The last patch- 10-12 ft vertical patch almost 90 degrees steep

Vikram was ready with the ropes but all trekmates were so enthusiastic, we insisted on ascending the patch without ropes. With VG and Arun at the bottom and Vikram on top of the patch, everyone was able to ascend and reach the pinnacle safely. Except TWO. Rashmita and Madhusmita (Madhu), both first timers plainly refused to ascend as they found it too scary. Madhu was already inside her sleeping bag. It took loads of cajoling and pleading on our part for them to finally agree. We reached the Pinnacle at 3:00 AM.

Once atop, we could now savour the beauty of a full moon night to it’s fullest. It was like ascending towards heaven and talking to the moon. No-one could resist taking pictures of the full moon and citylights. It was an absolute delight to be there, on top and feel the sereneness.

The Full Moon and Citylights- Pic Credit- VG

The Breathtaking view from the Pinnacle- Pic Credit- VG

Some among us went to sleep straight away, some of us kept chatting for sometime and few mates still busy taking pictures of the moon.

It’s a distinct feeling that cannot be expressed in words until one experiences on his own….Sleeping under the canopy of the luminous moon and twinkling stars.

Everyone woke up with the first rays of light followed by resurfacing of cameras and mobile phones, each one waiting to witness the sunrise. After waiting for quite sometime, the mighty sun finally started to rise. All cameras went alive.

Waiting to see the sun to Rise and Shine

The Mighty Sun Rising Over The Horizon

Rise And Shine

We could spot Matheran, Irshalgarh, Chanderi, Peb (Vikatgarh), Shrimallang to name a few. The view from the top was breathtakingly beautiful. One feels very close to mother nature and a sense of belonging arises.

After a brief session of selfies, groupies and DPs, we started our descend at around 7:30 AM. We had breakfast and tea at the local village. How can one forget the taste of piping hot delectable “Kaande Pohe” (a famous Maharashtrian breakfast dish made out of flattened rice) and extremely refreshing ginger tea. We also played two rounds of 1up 1down, 2up 2down. It was total fun.

Myriad Moods

Feeling Selfie-ish

A DSLR Groupie
Packing- Getting ready to return

Passing The Parcel
One by One We Return To Our Nests


A Selfie with Kalawantin

Once done with breakfast, we started our second leg of descend. We reached the base by 11:15 AM and back to Panvel and our respective homes.

We take back many things with us after each trek. New memories, New love, New friends, New names, New games, New dreams, New wishlist to be checked 

Few highlights from the trek:

# Madhu got renamed as Madhumakkhi (Honey Bee) 
Madhu- Holding the Flag
# Kritika – The girl without brakes (She was the fastest one to reach everywhere)
Kritika- All set to descend fast
# PK- The Selfie Star (He is famous for taking 3000 selfies during one of his earlier treks) The Ashleel One (He doubted that the game, 1up 1down, 2up 2down was an Ashleel (vulgar) one) 
Pratik Kadam aka PK
# Enjoyed dialogues from Marathi movie Timepass 2 
# Vikram’s astonishment captured (Awwww……DSLR?
Awwwww DSLR?

# Teen vivaahit purush ek dusre ki sahayata kar rahe hai (3 recently married guys helping each other) - Arun, VG and Aditya
Teen vivahit purush ek dusre ki sahayata kar rahe hai!!! Arun, VG and Aditya

They say, “Time Flies”. True that. Even before we realized, we were on top of Kalawantin and it was like, the next moment, we were set to return.

Thank you Trek Mates India for gifting us with so many inexpensive and dear memories and experiences. Thank you Kritika, VG and PK for the beautiful pictures.

The 21 crazy freaks and 22nd (Kritika) behind the camera

I had a gala time and these memories are like golden threads, very special, very dear. We have planned many more treks together this monsoon. So, many more trekilicious (that’s not a word) stories coming up in near future.

“There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't sit still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin, 
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest; 
Their's is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.”
― Robert W. Service

*Click on the pictures for better resolution

Picture Credits- Dipanwita, Kritika, Vinayak, Abhineet and Pratik

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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Rain And My Yellow Umbrella

“Innocent droplets of rain make almost all events quite natural.”
  -- Visar Zhiti

I love the rain...

When it hits the arid soil;
The mesmerising petrichor,
And my yellow umbrella.

When it washes away;
Everything that is old,
All that was, and all that could have been.

When it hides my tears,
And affliction;
Drenching my body and soul

When it tinkles on the roofs;
The sound of love,
And the curve of lips.

When it tries to touch me;
Playing peek-a-boo,
With my yellow umbrella.

When it floods the roads;
Kids swimming across,
With paper sailboats.

When I walk in it;
Every raindrop like a kiss,
Of the stars, amongst whom I wish to be.

Reminds me of all my firsts;
From flirts to fights,
And the thins and the thicks

It started with the rains,
And ended in the rain;
The story, from beginning, till the end.

I hated the rain
For the first time, with a broken heart;
But still, it helped me shroud my tears,
This time, beneath my yellow umbrella.

Today, I fell in love with the rain
All over again;
The mesmerising petrichor,
And my yellow umbrella.

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Saturday, 2 May 2015

कुछ कहती है मेरी खामोशियाँ

कुछ कहती है मेरी खामोशियाँ 
पर खामोश तो सारे है यहाँ 
खामोश ये ज़मीं 
खामोश सा है क्यूँ आसमाँ 

तुम समझ नहीं पाये 
मेरे दिल कि ज़ुबाँ 
सब कुछ कह गई तुमसे 
मेरी आँखे भीगी भीगी 
तुम ढूंढते रहे तब भि 
मतलब मेरे दिल की बातों का 

हर दर्द का एहसास जैसे मिटने लगा हो 
हर टीस इस दिल की जैसे सुकून 
खाली खाली सा मेरे दिल का मकान 
जैसे ढहने लगा है 
पथरायी सी आँखे 
और अँधेरे में डूबता ये समां 

एहसास है, अलफ़ाज़ नहीं 
गर समझ पाओ तो समझ जाओ 
मतलब मेरे दिल की बातो का 
मतलब मेरी खामोशियो का 
कुछ कहती है मेरी खामोशियाँ 


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Friday, 1 May 2015

The Blue Marble

(Disclaimer- This post is titled after the famous photograph of Earth taken during the Apollo 17 lunar mission in December 1972 from space just before landing on the moon. The photograph was named "The Blue Marble" )

Studio NH47 has made this beautiful and inspiring video no one should miss watching.

With 70% engulfed in water and 30% land
We named it Earth, Our Mother Earth, and it certainly is not bland
Rich in minerals and essential gases from core to crust
Serves every species perfectly as it must
With harmonious heterogeneity of flora and fauna
From Japan to Alaska and Africa to China
This is our home, Home to all
Regardless of species, color, ethnicity, beyond borders and wall
We, the humans, consider ourselves best than the rest
Standing tall, utilizing ecological services like pest
Yes, the truth that is, the fact which remains familiar
What have we done to make our home cleaner
And greener?

The Blue Marble- Photograph by Apollo 17 from space in Dec 1972

Deforestation, Industrialization
Technological inventions galvanized more revolutions
Rapid population ascend, stimulated more needs
Driven humanity to kill for feeds
What’s now on is a war
Between ego and eco, that has made relations sour
Soaring carbon and ecological footprints,
Inflated green house gases and depleted ozone are ample hints
Space curb led many lives to extinct
Fertile soil flooding away due to shrinking woodland
Leading the oceans to swell and expand

Our quench for more, will soon leave us with no more,
No more peaceful woods and trails to explore,
No more ravines
Neither any pines
And no more valleys to follow
Just a giant void and a deepening hollow
Surrounded with concrete and burning sunlight
Absolute devastation, and contrite
For lost biodiversity
And elevated aridity

Let’s come together before it’s too late
Help Mother Earth flourish again, without any wait
Plant one tree per person and paint the canopy green
Follow the mantra to keep milieu clean
Reuse, Recycle and Return
Stop fossils to burn
Let’s avoid excessive paper, fuel and electronics
Thus reducing the carbon footprints
Start farming to cosmetics, everything organic
Let’s reuse and recycle the wastewater
Return what’s utilized and let others imprint

Let’s plan better future
For younger generations to come
Let them also have the woods to chase and trails to follow
Not just a giant void and deepening hollow
Earth is our home
Let’s keep it clean and make it green
Ring the bells louder
See the enchanting blue marble smile wider  

This post is a part of the initiative taken by Green yatra ( Now you can gift and plant trees online too with the help of Green Yatra. Let's start from our homes the change that we wish to see in the world.

Image sources- 1, 2 (Google), 3, 4 and 5 (Google)

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