Friday, December 24, 2010

why, reason three

One of the beauties of getting addicted to photography is the places that it takes you to ..

This place: Ashokan Reservoir, New York state.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

taking off

How much better it would be, if, instead of running away from our problems, we could fly away from them ?

Can't be too sure though. Problems have a knack of flocking up with other abandoned kin, and then you find that you always have a big horde on the horizon behind you ..

Seems unfair to compare a visual treat to a problem :D Can't wait for the snow geese to come in !

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

and when time stands still ..

And then, some things never change. Like how beautiful this part of New Hampshire is, come summer or winter, spring or fall. She just gets into new clothes ! And so it goes on and on for ever .. and you want to hold on to each moment for an eternity.

I read a story about eternity that I particularly liked:

In a country up north, there's a big boulder a hundred miles long and a hundred miles high. Once in every thousand years, a small bird comes to sharpen its beak on this rock.

When this rock will have completely worn away, a single day of eternity will have gone by.

Courtesy: Hendrick Van Loon, The Story of Mankind.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

times of change

It's the start of the fall, and nowhere else does nature announce change with such unrestrained flourish.

Already a few trees are carrot-tops, in a few days the whole belt will be aflame in red, yellow and orange. (oh, what a sight that will be !). A sight to be treasured, for half a month later all that remain are gaunt tree trunks with bare branches, standing as sentinels - silent, unmoving, with not so much as a flutter to acknowledge the raging northern wind.

The few gulls at the bottom of the pic will probably linger around, but will be lost among the thousands of snow geese that will descend on the lake, hibernating from northern Canada, transforming the lake - from a placid mirror, to a cacophony of frenzied activity.

Picture this: In the heart of the winter, over the nearly frozen surface, a white cloud of birds takes flight against the background of the silent sentinels.

A picture that makes it a trip to look forward to.

Seasons change, but each brings with itself new wonders. The amazement never ends.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

i ♥ nyc

Went museum-hopping this weekend.

Ended up admiring more than the exhibits.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

friday run

Loop around playground behind office

1.8 km * 4


Beautiful weather - with a clear blue sky and a soft breeze. Temperature: just perfect. Working off a delicious pasta lunch :)
Met on the ground: rabbits, squirrels and umm .. a groundhog ?

But the best part: beating 10:00 on the last lap :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010


We were probably the last batch that performed dissection on toads as part of the high-school zoology curriculum. Years down the line, I do not remember much of the amphibian internal physiology, but this I do - the scene at the end of the class could well be described by Toad News as another despicable terrorist attack. Bits and pieces strewn everywhere, with no way of knowing which was whose. It was a yucky business. Curiosity had most comprehensively killed the toad.

This frog looks curious, but is very safe though. It stays in a specially made pond in the Schoering-Hoffman wildlife preserve.

Monday, July 5, 2010

a fresh start

I found a light, and it was perfect, but it was just a flame being at its brightest before going out.

Now to investigate some of those bokeh blobs on the the horizon.
And some beyond.
Its all glow-worms and stars, and no perspective to tell apart .Wonder which of them is true ?

Monday, May 31, 2010

admiring central park

A thing that can be done in all seasons !

Monday, May 17, 2010

on more awesome places to take a snooze in ..

Granted, I was reading a book there, and reading about Ironman finishers is as anti-snooze as can be, but it was all the same thing. This is certainly how Sundays were made to be - a perfect combination of warm sun and cool breeze !

Saturday, May 15, 2010

on more awesome places to take a snooze in

This place: the Mall, Washington DC.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

.. and the b-fish

A blowfish is actually a very puffed up creature, full of air, and sometimes, deadly poisonous. That's starting to sound like someone from office.

Quite unlike the one above in the picture. I just named it so because I didn't know its real name, and it appeared to be blowing something all the time, and google goggles works on only mobile phones yet, of the non-apple type.

Blowing kisses, I believe.
For all the thousands of visitors that come to see him and his fellow mates, every day.

For, as Harte said,
"Never a lip is curved with pain
That can't be kissed into smile again."

Actually, I had never heard of Bret Harte before, came to know of him through his quote.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

that canal park again

What a gorgeous day its been !

Explored a few more miles of the Delaware & Raritan canal state park .. did you see ever see such an inviting route ?

Spring has wielded its magic on the very ground beneath the feet, and all sorts of flowers are out to greet the sun which had been playing truant most of winter.

A nice cool breeze sets them a-dance, and the joy of being free from all that snow is quite palpable. Really, you must know winter to properly enjoy the spring !

Met some turtles (in the natural habitat this time), and some very fiercely protective canadian geese. Found out that while all nature is beaming the goose I met was pretty cross about something. Must be a she-goose :P

I also found out that I can record the exact walk I took and tweet it from my phone, even before I reach home... talk about instant gratification !!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

leap of faith

Wonder if the turtle was wondering what was beyond the ledge ?

@National Aquarium, Baltimore.

On first sight, the aquarium rang me a faint resemblance to the Louvre Pyramid, made so famous by Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. Or maybe it was famous in its own right before, I just came to know of it from the book :)

So the "Pyramid" tops of the third, fourth and fifth floors of the aquarium - and they house an entire rainforest in there ! A very well maintained rainforest, I must say, with large trees and creepers and shrubs, and birds flying free, or at least not kept inside a chained cage. Somewhat like a modern hanging gardens ...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

by the way,

this - is what I had gone to Washington to see. Multiplied a million times over.

Turned out that the journey was even more memorable than the destination.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I knew this guy ever since I was a kid and our house was stocked with painted Russian books. However, even then, and later too, I knew that he was an imaginary character, brought to life by an artist overdosed with the happy potion.
It necessiated a trip to the National Aquarium, Baltimore , to find out that he was for real, after all !

Blowfish pics to follow.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ek, ek se bhale do ..

Well, one is very well and all, and its still a pretty thing, you know, but really there's nothing like two to balance out things in the bigger picture !

Random allusions to life aside, I caught on to a little tulip exhibition that quite took my breath away. Really, it was just about a dozen of tiny scattered plots, and if that has this kind of effect, I wonder what visiting a festival in Holland could do for spirits. Time to fix another date, methinks, now that I have fulfilled this one !

Thursday, April 1, 2010

seasons ..

.. all taken with my cell-phone.

What a lovely feeling to know that something will be always there for you, come rain, sun or snow ! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

the best things in life are (....) ?

A free ride in the land of the free ..

One of the best attractions of NYC, there is nothing as grand as the approaching city's sky-scraper-line. Add the torquoise blue waters, the Statue of Liberty, and the Verrazano-Narrows bridge to complete a panorama that you just can't have enough of !

Thursday, March 25, 2010

a painted house

The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is a uniqueness. It runs along the length of the Delaware-Raritan canal for all of seventy miles. Also, in the matter of less than a century it has come full circle - once the highway for heavy river-traffic, now it is the sliver of calm running between major freeways. It is now in fact an unbroken trail on which you can cycle all day and more, or stop over for canoeing or fishing.

Tough job to cycle for any length of time though, with sights like these all along the way imploring you to stop and catch your breath, which you find being taken away from you at regular intervals !

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Wordsworth was right.

I did not see an entire field of them, there was just this one plant.

But it did touch me in a way that the poet so beautifully put to words:

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee.
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company.

Company is just the little something that gives you the final push, making the difference between a day spent lolling in bed and a day out, soaking up the warm spring sun. I was lucky to get the second option !

Saturday, March 20, 2010

it's in the air

Friday was the first time this year that I managed a run outside. Ages of snow and rain, and then in a matter of a week suddenly everything has switched to warm and woozy. From a weekend spent being stuck in an icy flood to a picnic on the next one, its been a long journey in a short time ! Its terribly difficult to stay awake in office though :).

The trees are still bare, but nature is trying to catch up with a vengeance. The bulbs are opening up super-fast, and its like watching things on a slo-mo camera.

Friday, March 19, 2010

who wants them anyway ?

Its strange, but orange juice in the US tastes much, much better than the medicine that they dish out in India.

There was a scene in "To Sir with Love" in which Sidney Poitier declares that he would have an orange for lunch.

An orange !? Him not exactly being a crash-dieting bimbo, the concept was really hard for me to grasp at that time..

Till I came here and was faced with the option of sirloin steak or meatloaf for lunch. Or some crazy thing they label as calzone, which is in fact the most unwholesome combination of a pocket bread, lots of sticky cheese and tomato gravy, and stuffed with fried eggplant.

There's nothing like a foren-treep to open up your mind.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NY, i ♥ u

There are situations where you fall in love at first sight...

Here's a city which I fell in love with even before I met her !

This place: Times Square, NY. Taken at a time when I had more reason than ever before to love the New York minute ..

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

in bullet points

. This place: Old man's cave trail, Ohio.

Most of the "treks" that I have been on around here, are more aptly, walks around the parks. Literally. Neat paths through national parks, offering picturesque views and solitude with nature; with none of the huff-puff of trekking.

Things that I found to be much better here:

> Well marked trails, with distance markers
> Dogs on leashes
> Benches, drinking water and toilets at regular intervals
> Joggers (inspirational !)
> Low humidity, mostly pleasant weather throughout the day.

Things that I miss from India:

> Neembu paani wala.

Monday, March 15, 2010



#There are times when you simply have to pack the camera away and just imbibe the awesomeness.

#Continuously looking at the world through an eyepiece only narrows your vision

But then, #memories fade, photographs don't !

Golden rays of the setting sun on an overcast wintry day, highlighting a scene like this ? Lasts for all of twelve minutes. Make the most of it !

Sunday, March 14, 2010

alone ..

.. and startled. Click through to full size, and look into its eyes to see what I mean ..

I was debating over a write-up which included people while being part of a flock, getting too engrossed in their personal struggles and drifting away to a point where suddenly they look up and see they are alone, which is basically a non-likeable kind of suprise ...

But then I started thinking up of the effect that social groups have on your activities and interests, which are a big part of your life -certainly a very big part of the life that you control. (I will count the time that you spend poking at random keys in office outside the scope of that definition. Its a strange thing, this poking at keys. I keep doing that every day the way that I have done for five, six years now. Nothing's ever come out of it and I know probably nothing will, but I keep on slogging at it all the same. Maybe some mice somewhere are making an experiment to find out the point where people give up on the typing. That has not been determined yet, and I think that the study is going to be modified to be called "A Tribute to the Human Spirit")
Coming back, so - that is a big enough chunk of life to be defining what you were doing in a particular period of time, the winter of 2000, for example.

Or, the summer of 2008.

It was the time that I had discovered the pleasures of having a friend with a knack for cooking, a wide screen TV and an unlimited supply of movies in the heart of Mumbai, at a three-station distance ride from office. And said friend being a cricket junkie, I also discovered the thrills of IPL season one, which I would have otherwise kept track of through cursory glances at match reports in between random poking of keys. I - without a home team to root for, started cheering for the team of the city that we had begun to call home, escatic in its victories, crestfallen in its defeats, and generally super-optimistic about the prevalence of hopes and wishes over figures and probabilities. Unfortunately the celebrations were not many that year, but while we (WE!) did not win, that summer was the summer that we played cricket, each day for four hours after office, and then sometimes we played some replays too.

Switch to season three, away from appropriate society, I am back to glancing through match reports.

Err.. the thought of watching matches always makes me hungry for popcorn. Even though I am not really watching them. I think I will go fix something to eat. Stuck in a house alone over a weekend has a kind of non-constructive effect over regular eating habits..

Friday, March 12, 2010

boyz toyz

Notes to myself:
1) Need to add a reflector to minimise shadows, instead of having to dodge all over in post-processing
2) Use a tripod. For this shot with a convinient white background,the L lens does not have much advantage over the kit lens. Bokeh is not the point of every shot.

James Bond watches and Swiss Knives - the allure of these gadgets is in their versatility. The number of situations these can bail their owners out from. The sheer thrill of finding solution to something you need right there in your hands.

And where do you find these toys most ? Put up in glass showcases. Owners keeping them out of adverse "situations". :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

its coming !

I kept waiting for birdie to stand up and pose against the white background, but it did not oblige me for a long, long time.

Spring is coming, and it's putting a song on every lip and a dance on every step.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

looking back

When I look back on life, there are events I would like to forget, things that I would like to change - given another chance.
There are also things that I am thankful for, events whose memory leaves me with a warm afterglow each time I think of them. It is for these memories that I am a sucker, creating little bubbles of time in photographs, hoping to peep into these later a time when they would thrill me most.

Good or bad, these are the events that shaped my life. Would it be possible to take away the bad ones while leaving the good ones intact ? Maybe, or maybe not. Some of the events were good just because of the environment which they took place in. Others - are just so, neither good nor bad, but they mellow over time, ripening into what we call the good old times.

Life is just a tapestry. Trying to take out some of the things might make the whole thing fall apart. Or at least, introduce wrinkles in your beauty sleep.

On the whole, its been a fun thing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

my way

There's a serene loop around the lake in Columbus Park: with rustic benches, fountains and wood-ducks for accompaniment , you start to think that the route for your morning run cant get any better than this.

Then comes the Fall and takes your breath away.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Will Mondays ever be this ?


Sunday, February 28, 2010


Feeding kabootar at Central Park - any ideal Sunday should definitely include an hour of this. Bang in the center of the metropolis, its amazing how stepping into the park is like entering another world - one moment you are in the city that never sleeps - the next, you are steeped in serenity as if skyscrapers and traffic never existed!

Unfortunately, whenever I see a scene like this I am reminded of the scene introducing Amrish Puri in Hum Paanch - The one in which he is offering his morning prayers and feeding pigeons - then suddenly a cloth falls on one of them - and AP cool-ly collects it and passes it to the cook, saying one word - "Nashta".

Chilling, to say the least. That man single handedly terrorised millions of Indians, or at least that's what the 10 year-old me felt whenever we sat down to one of apna DD's Sunday evening movie fixtures. He had that effect on me that any Ramsay Brothers production could only hope to replicate..

Waiting for the chill to end - another walk around the park is long due !

Saturday, February 27, 2010

duck!, or - the ostrich way.

My attitude towards life:
If I bury my head, I will not see those problems of life.

Maybe they will go away.


Friday, February 26, 2010

sunset. it's time to go !

I was in Washington DC, watching the sun go down for the last time in 2009.

The one-in-three-minutes flights served to remind me what a long time it has been. Indeed, since leaving college, I do not remember having been stuck to one place for so long without travelling at all !
I realise I need to stretch out my wings. And make a New Year resolution to shake off this new-found "stability".

The sweet fact is, change comes on its own. You dont need resolutions for it.

Here's Johnny Cash with U2:

I went out walking
Through streets paved with gold
Lifted some stones
Saw the skin and bones
Of a city without a soul

I went out walking
Under an atomic sky
Where the ground won't turn
And the rain it burns
Like the tears when I said goodbye

Yeah I went with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering

Thursday, February 25, 2010

little drops of joy

The best thing you can do in a snow storm is go catch the snowflakes.

With your tongue.

And savour the sharp, tangy taste as the snow turns to water and sizzles down your throat, making you acutely aware of the feeling of being alive, of being one with the untamed nature all around you ..

Recommended to be tried without a hat on. And with the assurance of a hot bowl of soup waiting the end of your adventure.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

the hand that holds the string

In the olden days, if you were the most feared guy in the organisation, you well and truly belonged to the finance department. After the advent of the amorphous entity called Quality and Compliance, the borders are not so well drawn out any more, but this has nothing to do with the bean-counters loosing their sting. Or the strings.

Consider why: being in finance means having to weed out projects which are not profitable. To be ruthless in terminating ideas that are fluffy outside and continue to be filled with just fluff on the inside. Its only by a similar and brutal process of rigorous selection that Sparta had become the mighty warrior state that it was. Which is why the guy with the heart had no place in the finance department. A project is either profitable for the company in the long run, or it is not - there is nothing sentimental about money. A finance man who plays the good cop is either plain incompetent or is wearing kid gloves, and being a sneaky silent killer is several degrees higher in scariness than being a plain-jane kind of killer.

My fear of finance managers went on to extend well beyond the office. From the guy who refuses to pass my expense statements to credit card sharks to bank managers who sell me insurance that I don't need. I have been bitten each time, but have learnt the lesson: QnC may be the new devils on the block; but the original fearful person remains Mr. Finance.

You know what caused the mortgage meltdown ? People were not fearful of finance enough.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

spot the car

Another blizzardy day that leaves us two feet deep in snow. And no office. Yay !
The world is back to beautiful.

And quite like the buds of spring, in the deepest of the snow, a little thought grows in the confines of the mind - are we there yet ?

The snow's enchanting, the cold's invigorating, and the kebabs and soups take on an even more delectable taste, but the fact's there that the heart craves for -
give me some sunshine
spare me the rain
its time to run outside again

Its in the deepest of the winter that we love the summer the most ! Its in the loss of the familiar that we learn to count our blessings. The banal sparrow - it is only when it flies away that we ever notice it existed.
Turns out that the white breasted sparrow, to beat the banality, mixes it up with a couple of yellow streaks between the eyes. Neat.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

cornfields in the snow

After a snow blizzard lasting two days, Sunday woke up to a bright, bright sun. The world switched from dull to dazzling in the literal sense of the world..

Immediately after I pulled over on the side of the road to click this picture, a policeman pulled over and asked me what happened.
He was concerned if I was ok.
I was concerned that he would give me a ticket.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

bridges of great swamp national park

Hardly "bridges", these are more wooden walkways over extended parts of the swamp.

Doesnt take anything away from their being picturesque, though !

Saturday, January 30, 2010


looks like an indian bulbul, dont know what it is called over here ..

Visited the Great Swamp national park today, a delightful half an hour drive away through forested land, by twisting, undulating roads which reminded me of this song.

The swamp is all iced over at this time of the year, and the ground's all crunchy under the feet from Thursday's snow. Elevated walkways take you around the swamp - long bridges that dissapear into the white mist in the distance; over shallow streams that have frozen mid flow. On either side, stands guard the gaunt forest, patiently waiting for spring, the leafless heads of the trees high up in the air.

There's a nice bite in the air - it's easily the coldest day of the year so far. Air so clean that you gulp it down by the mouthful, air so fresh that you want it to caress the skin, raising goose pimples all over.There's no one around in sight, and the occasional walker quickly dissapears on one of the myriad trails, as if apologetic for the interruption . Its a feeling of oneness with nature that you never want to let go.

The freeze has driven the reptiles into hibernation; and most of the birds to migration. There were just of couple of small hardy ones twittering about near the birdhouse, including the one in the pic above. Spring should bring back a lot of activity, though; so have added up a visit in my calendar two months from now.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


the cold contiues on to the next day, bringing along this time a world draped in white ..

.. shot with camera phone from a moving car which was getting late to office. No, I wasnt driving.