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Saturday, 28 May 2016

Aaji aakaase ki ranga laagila

In not-so-verbatim, the title, which is a song from a movie in Odia language, means that "today, what color did the sky take". The following photos of sky, on different days in a span of 3 months (April-June), bear symbolism to nature's mood. One is an eagle eye view of the blue azure and rest are perched eye views.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

A solo-cruise into spirituality and natural beauty

2 days. Cruising on road for 12 hours in those 2 days on my bike. My trip started from Thane (Mumbai), via Shirdi, Sani Shingnapur, Malshej Ghat and back to Thane.

May 1st, 2015. 6 AM. Took me about 4 and half hours to reach my 1st destination, Shirdi. Most of that

road is good. Most of it is National Highway (NH-3) and about a place which happens to be near Devalali AF station, a right turn from NH-3 takes one to Shirdi. Now, this 2nd leg of the road is cranky for about 25 kms. Still, a rider's religion is to cruise past all these. Pleasantly otherwise, the scenery on both sides of the road is that of good ol' countryside, which invites one with open hands and is downright heart-warming. My energy was constantly replenished by the energy of those walking devotees, in hot-parched road, in bare-feet.

At Shirdi, the place is so commercialized, that in 1st look it looks devoid of anything called spirituality. Everyone is caring to cater, only, if money in good amounts is brought to the table. However, as they say, if you look enough and deep you may find the unthinkable. Met some kind people who instantly offered me help without any exchange of favor, while I was lost to spot the shop where I parked my bike and luggage at. Out here, some people still care for those who travel miles to visit Shirdi.

Stayed about 4 hours at Shirdi to visit the temple and attend the archana, and to consume life-saving curd rice. I also happened to find out from locals that it is best to travel and stay in Sani Shingnapur the same day and visit the temple there next day morning (which happens to be a Saturday). Without any further ado, I started for Sani Shinganapur. The road was again smooth in most of its portion; construction, on top of plying of heavy vehicles, delayed carving it to all smoothness. On the way, this time, it was the celebration of mother nature that took my heart. Under the shade of trees,  men wearing, mostly, white-colored garments and supported by the ladies of their families were attending to their bullocks to carry out some work; so different from the temperature controlled offices. One can also see aplenty Rashwanti or sugar-cane juice vendors to quash your thirst from the risen mercury.

I reached and found a place to stay for overnight. Very economical with reasonable offerings. It was, however, something else that was different about this place. No doors in most of the houses; the rest had only sliding doors without any locks. Also, not to mention the innocence in conduct of the locals. I felt like I belonged to the place. The locals have a very deep belief in their grama-devta, Lord Sani. Local dialect, typical of that place, sounds so different from the usual marathi, I have heard,  in Mumbai or Pune. Sugar-cane seemed like the crop for this season and place, and sugar is the main produce out of it. With the help of the house-keeping person, I rode through the place for having a sumptuous supper of dal and roti. The place is so calm at night, in contrast to the usually noisy cities.

I fell asleep easily and woke up early to the usual business of a religious place. Devotees from all around the places thronging to visit the deity. I visited the temple; here the deity doesn't stay inside doors. He is out in the open, in the middle of temple's premises. I spent some time, appreciating the soothing calmness of the place. About 9 AM, after having my breakfast of poha, I set off for back to Thane; however, I took a different road, which is directly led from Sani Shingnapur. This route is through Ghodegaon, from where one reaches Ahmednagar bypass that leads to Kalyan, i.e. the outskirts of Mumbai.

This road is comprising of State Highways and village roads. It meets at Kalyan, but not before the long and strenuous journey through the beautiful ghats, most amazingly the Malshej Ghat.  A 30 kms ride through this ghat would take you passing by beautiful gorges, through which river Pushpati (as told by locals; name, as found, on internet is Kukdi) flows. A bifurcated road, in opposite direction (to my destination), also leads one to Fort Shivneri, which is the birth place of great Shivaji Maharaj. Also, on this ghat's road, one would see local tribes selling forest's outputs to earn their livelihood; around this time, most of them were selling karwale (more popularly called as jamun or Indian blackberry). The topography on both sides of the road is a beautiful sight for any passer-by.

As the sun was hot and blazing, the clutch of my bike, which was coming into contact with my skin, gave me an indication of how high the fahrenheit is; everything else was well-shielded against the razing sun. I rode till Kalyan without any long pauses. At Kalyan, about 3:30 in the afternoon, I took a break for lunch, where I relished curd-rice one more time. About 5 in the evening, I started again for the rest of 25 kms, which the city traffic caused me to take about an hour and quarter to cover.

This trip was a re-affirmation to the fact that countryside of any Indian state that I have seen, most specifically in the deccan plateau (Maharashtra, united AP, Odisha), have the same topography and set-ups; the difference is just in terms of the wearings and food-habits, not to mention the language and dialects. I also happened to have some time, while on this trip, to self-discover and introspect into life from a spiritual stand-point.

Last, but not the least, I thank to my lovely partner, my Avenger 220, without whom this whole trip wouldn't have been possible; didn't ever give me the usual strains from a long journey in the toughest of all climates.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Do you know me? But, I don’t know myself

It was a usual evening, when some people met at a place. 

What intrigues me is that how connects happen in this universe. More importantly, what keeps alive these connects? It is, absolutely, not in our hands and can’t be controlled. How does the energy travel through us in the journey of knowing people? How important are the external factors, which impact such energy? Why we mortals happen to be in awe of such energy, and also feel defeated by the
same at other times? Why heart weighs different at different levels of such energy – does that mean theory of relativity decide the weight of heart?

Not to complicate this post further, and just to mellow down the heightened curiosity by the seemingly difficult questions above, I have penned down this rendezvous in the form a poem. The same can be visited at

Awaiting your comments on both.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Some bygones die hard - Part 2

The noises were getting louder now. Could it be the end?, was what Manish wondering.

Jayant was the last among the fighting slum dwellers to have met a tragic end, in a road accident. Yes, it was labelled as an accident only. Some went missing, and their files followed the suit too.
When a person died, he was accompanied by the entire family; so, no one were left to file an FIR also. Manish had to take back the case against the builder as no protestants were left; even the charity group, he was supporting along with his wife, insisted to take the case back - they never wanted harm to their reputation and lives.

Manish was not be spared either. Raghu had him pay ransom, by threatening against his and family's life; but Raghu was also coming increasingly under the scanner of narcotics department of the crime branch. Manish couldn't see a better way to escape Raghu's constant extortion threats and slipped a tip to the authority, which led to the ambush at Raghu's safe haven.

Now, who is calling Manish for more extortion money? And from the same number! It was getting dark, but his adrenaline levels had gone past his fear of the dreaded place, that once used to be
Raghu's den. What can hurt him more than wrenching sounds of those calls, overwhelming his ability to think?

So, you came?, Manish was startled, hearing a similar voice behind the silhouette of a door near his old residence. Raghu, is that you? How can it be? I heard you were dead. Eerie silence followed for a whole minute, while Manish thought he was hallucinating. Freeze, you chicken! Or, I will roast you like one. Yes, I am alive. Does that sorrow you? What brings you here, old buddy, huh? Manish couldn't believe his luck. He had thought his days of woe are over.  I couldn't pay more to your demands. I am done with it. Do whatever you want to do! Finally, Manish could conjure up strength to say that.

Ok! Here is a pact. Never mention to anyone about our rendezvous today, ever! Not even your wife. Now, go back to your world and never return to this place.

Manish was pacing back, still thinking that it was all a hallucination.

You were right about him, Dhruv. Investigating officer Kailash said to his partner. It was brilliant of you to record Raghu's statement, before his death, and use it to confirm your belief. 

Some bygones, die hard.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Some bygones die hard - Part 1

Lot of noises in the head!!!

What was happening to Manish? He could not hold it down since he learnt about it. An evil pharaoh was ruling on his fate, it seemed. He just had managed to escape from his most dreaded enemy, Raghu, the local mafia leader and his childhood buddy. Raghu was gunned down during a police raid at his notorious gang's hideout. It just had felt like the end of 100 years of agony. Life was still unforgiving.

How his lifeline kept on running short against his life's traumas? He went back to his old neighbourhood to find some clues.

In the vicinity of dockyard, a dilapidated slum was encroaching the walkway between the high-rises and the sea. It has been long in the radar of property builders and affluent classes, who bee-hived the tall residential buildings. To them, the slum always reminded of gutters. To an extent, it was right. Most of the shanties were not liveable and would house the pleasure-acts of mafia's army in the dark. They were so murky and filled with filth, that nobody from the neighbouring quarters would like to visit them without a suicidal mind; especially during dark hours. It was this very slum where Manish and Raghu spent their childhood, which doesn't house families anymore, but the satans of the city.

Manish and Raghu, 2 orphans and raised by a mafia-lord, Seth, had seen it all before one of them decided to not enter this world of evil. Manish, always wanted to lead a life like a babu and was inclined very early in his life towards books and the intellect class. Seth, would see in him as someone who he couldn't become and sent him to school. Seth sent Raghu to school too, though Raghu, diametrically opposite, was a heartless brat and would never settle for anything below his expectations - may be the reason behind being ousted from his school for writing outrageously abusing remarks on his teacher in her subject's paper. He decided to never go back to a place that sobers one down.

They must be around same age, and it must be about a decade and a half, when Seth got killed in an all gang-war. Manish was adopted by the generous board of the very school he was studying at; Manish, being a a brute animal from inside, could never find any adopting suitors and continued his path to mafia-dom. Manish went on to become a lawyer, a very successful one. He was never ever to lose a case; but, sometimes, some stigmata of the past never fade easily.

Manish' wife was a big socialite and supported a charity group. This would pull Manish into taking many cases and put him into Messaih kind of a fame. Manish always remembered the noble side of Seth and how it helped him grow popular among his aides. That would fillip Manish into so
many generous acts. One such case he took was a rehabilitation case for a group of dwellers, who were the last lineage of good Samaritans that ever stayed in that old slum's locality.

Raghu, the heir-apparent of Seth, had been working out of the broken dockyard area for his new
interest - drugs. He wouldn't let the place go out of his clutches and would not even part with a fair settlement with those poor dwellers. Behind the cover of a property dealer, he was fighting the case against Manish; directly, he was wiping out them, one after another. be continued

Monday, 13 April 2015

My thoughts, my words...Our thoughts, our words

Yikes! I saw a trailer with some transporter’s name (say Kailash) succeeded by Road-li-ness (breaking the word like this is important as I read it like this). Upon a bit careful observation, I saw the correct version which was the usual Roadlines. Now, I believe,
neologism is part personal too, like many other things in life. Let’s see if it really is.

Starting with this very example. To me, it went like “Kailash Roadliness”, which meant to my logical mind as something similar to friendliness to road, while reading it written on a road transporter’s trailer. As my mind wasn't exposed to an external influence (even the 2nd, and longer, observation on the word Roadline hadn't materialized) at that moment, but a gut feeling of existence of such word (Roadliness), I definitely put the origin of this word as personal.

I am sure there would go a lot of non-personal thoughts while giving birth a term, more essentially some of those basic terms, like Road per say. It is derived from a long usage of its ancient form in old languages like Latin, archaic Greek and even Sanskrit. Still, anyone following the World politics and Lexicology, hand-in-hand or separately, would not forget how one of the past governors of US riled up controversy by coining a term called refudiate (this, off course, seems like a mix-up, which was later hushed down by her by indicating it as her creation). Doesn't that sound a creation from her personal belief of existence of such a word, much before the same was deleted from her social network (only to be re-written later, a bit brashly, due to external voices)?

I am no pundit in Etymology (origin of words), but if the creation of word masses had befallen on me, as an observer of history, I would have given the credit of its origin to Moses (the Jewish Messiah), who was able to move a lot of people. If you ask me, I would still believe that way, just
because of my personal belief. Similarly, the actual creator of this word must have his/her personal reasons too to link with its real origin.

Now, personal reasons could also be derived from experience, rather than quick instinctive reactions. That experience could be similar for many individuals, either from the same era or from different. Due to constant buzz of this harmonious experience over a substantial time, it is taken as a common
belief – which should explain the etymology of words like Road.

Again, if you ask me, I would have my own personal reasons in deriving a word called Road. Something looking like a rod, but a lot more extended, hence the stretching effect in its