Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Ooty Photo Diary

I wrote a post about Ooty before but I'm not going to link it here because I'm not particularly proud of it. I keep going back there because it is one of my favourite places to visit. It is a much smaller town than Bangalore, yet doesn't make me feel like I'm so far away from civilization. It's much quieter and life is slower and that's what I love most. I can easily forget about everything when I'm there.

Set in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, Ooty provides an escape unlike any other. With spectacular views, clean, fresh air, and tea estates all around, this is the ultimate getaway in my books. Not to mention the abundance of pine trees and cold air that I would prefer over sunshine any day!

The sucky part of the trip was that my camera battery died on the way there. I had to rely on my phone alone so all of the pictures featured in this post were shot on my phone camera. All I can say is "I am so grateful for that software update that brought the battery save option! I cannot imagine life without it!"

Also, this trip happened way back in October which just goes to show how much I'm lagging behind with my blog posts. Blame it on real life and the taxing life that I live that involves waking up at 2pm and watching movies up until 4am with short breaks in between to order food. It's stressful. Don't judge me.

Monday, 7 December 2015

November Playlist

The only thing I remember from November (even though it was literally 7 days ago) are beaches and sunshine and heat and that's because I was holidaying by the sea. That post is coming up soon. I hope. No promises.

As for music, I general prefer mellow indie tunes when I'm by the sea. Something to go with the flow of the waves and something that goes against the blazing sun. Here are my top 6 most played songs from my holiday.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

October Playlist

It wasn't too long ago that I published my September playlist, which goes to show that I'm very inconsistent. I can make a tonne of excuses about how busy I was but in all honesty, I've been so free that I've reached the point of lazy boredom. I went on holiday last week, to Ooty again because I love it there. For the most part, though, I've been following my moods and doing what I feel like doing at that point in time. That's the curse of having too many hobbies!

Musically, October was a month of covers. It was mostly coincidental. I didn't go about hunting for covers of songs I loved. I did listen to a lot of original music but I've never had such a large number of covers sneak into a playlist before so I thought I'd share a few here.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

September Playlist

If you've kept up with this series, you'll know that each playlist has a backstory. Every month is different from the previous. Not just in terms of season but, for me, in terms of the experiences I've had and my mindset during that time of the year. September was a bit of a jumble for me. I tossed all my cards in the air, tried my best not to plan too into the future which made me worry a bit extra, which added more stress into my life. Overall I was big emotional mess, coming to terms with the fact that maybe I wouldn't achieve all the big goals I had set for myself since I was little and trying to enjoy the little things in life. This spurred on a little weekend vacation in the hills of Coorg, my safe haven where nothing can touch me. Coorg is one place where you will see people working as much as they can and being happy with what they have. They are content with what they have. Must be the clean mountain air and home grown coffee that brings that level of peace to a person's heart. 

This month, I was in need of an emotional cleanse. I still haven't completely accepted the fact that life hasn't turned out the way I've wanted it to and maybe that has been my fault in some way. Maybe there has been something holding me back, keeping me for going places and realising my worth. Until that day, I'll have the music and the memories of fresh coffee, clean mountain air and the daydreams that I refuse to let go of when faced with harsh reality. 

After that rather long life update, I'm going to move on to the music. If you think I'm insane. remember that someone quite smart and famous once said that most great people are. There's some hope for people like me after all!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

August Playlist

Took me long enough to get this post together, mostly because I couldn't decide on which songs to feature. My mood fluctuated with the bipolar weather last month! I went from pensive to doubtful to down right depressed to content to being an eccentric hippy on an acid trip (not that I've ever done acid). 

After weeks of categorizing all the music I listened to last month based on genre and time and place that they were played most, I picked my favourite of the favourites to share with anyone interested. Hope you like them!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Story Time: The Job Interview that Wasn't Meant to Be

This is going to be another short story/diary entry-esque epiphany which have been quite absent from my blog in the past couple of months. Some of you might think I'm downright immature and stupid at the end of this post, some of you may even think I'm shitting out of my mouth and trying to cook up something that would give Sophie Kinsella a run for her money, but I'm hoping that some of you will understand where I'm coming from and maybe even find a way to relate. Whatever your reasons are for diving head first into my fucked up soup of thoughts, I hope you get what you're looking for. If not, I hope it makes you laugh and forget your worries for a bit.

So, kids, get comfy, because this post may be a bit unsettling.

I'll try to tell it best so that the young ones can relate because in this post I'm pretending to have over 40 years of life experience. I refuse to picture myself any older than 40. 40 itself is cringe worthy!

So, kids, a time comes in everyone's life when they must move out of their comfort zone and get a job and earn their keep in this world. Some do it willingly and are quite eager to start saving some green for all their materialistic goals (no judgement). I, on the other hand, took my time trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life and when I decided to finally start looking for a job, I was 23. Some say that's late, I say it was the right time for me.

I knew art would always be a vital part of my existence. My need to question everything and form my own opinion of every aspect of life is a clear depiction of that. The trouble I've had with expressing myself in the past is erased with a blank sheet of paper and a pencil, whether I use it for pictures or words is irreverent. After delving into the world of academics for a while and realizing that it wasn't for me, I opted for some art therapy and decided to apply for jobs in the field of designing at the end of last month.

Friday, 14 August 2015

July Playlist

As of last month, I've decided to do a different kind of monthly favourites post on the blog as my playlist is the only thing that changes from month to month.

July has been pretty eclectic for me. There have been some new discoveries and some old favourites popping up, some of which have been a surprise to me as I never in million years would've thought of adding them to my playlists!

I've picked a couple of tunes that I felt were best suited for this feature and here they are!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

June Playlist

I thought I'd try out an alternative to the monthly favourites thing that everyone does. My favourites don't change all that much from one month to another, but my favourites do. I thought I'd share a couple of the songs I liked on my blog here. Usually I put it up on my Music Blog but I thought it would be a good idea to share it here as well as a lot of people may want some music recommendations.

June has been an adventure in terms of band hunting. I've found some bands that I've had on repeat and a couple that were sub-standard, in my opinion. On top of that, I got a LOT of suggestions an submissions on my music blog so I had a lot of research and listening to do this month. There have been a couple of tunes that I absolutely must recommend to the populace so here I am, in my jammes, being more productive than I am at my day job!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Life in India: What It's Really Like

A couple of weeks ago, Katie (from Paperback Planes) and I did a cross cultural collaboration expressing our perception on life on the other side of the world. For those who don't know, Katie lives in America whereas I live in India. Neither of us have ever visited the other's home country, although we do really want to. We thought it would be interesting to share our assumptions of what the other country would be like, more to each other than the rest of the world. A lot of our assumptions is based on this awful thing called the media and it's obsession with everything wrong in the world.

Read the first part of our collab here (mine) and here (Katie's).

In the second part of our collab, we thought we'd clear out someone of the doubts expressed in our first post. So here I am, responding to all the things that Katie expressed in her post.

This post is basically going to be me responding to Katie's post and not going over every little detail as that would take me ages to write, and would probably bore you to death. Also, India is filled with so many intricacies associated with different sub-cultures and parts of the country. Each state/city/town differs from the other in so many ways, and I can't say I know them all very well. What I know best is the city where I live which is called Bangalore. All that I say in this post is with reference to Bangalore alone, unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Out With My Camera: Ooty (Day 2)

After the exciting Day 1 of my holiday (which you can read about here) I was more than eager to get started on day 2. More than anything, I looked forward to the drive, which was so much better than what I expected it to be. 

Our plan was to go to Emarald Dam (not a typo) and Avalanchi Lake. These were breathtaking locations that weren't previously allowed access to for tourists as it is said to be quite dangerous. Quite recently, the Government of India has started allowing tourists to visit these spots so as to prevent people from illegally travelling there, sometimes resulting in accidents. 

Both of these places are around 50 kilometers from Ooty city and, in this case, the journey is far more memorable than the destination. The road takes you pasts endless tea plantations and spectacular views of what lies below. Definitely a must for nature lovers and people in need of a good dose of fresh air and relaxation!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Out With My Camera: Ooty (Day 1)

To be honest, it’s actually day 2. Day 1 was pretty much uneventful so I didn’t feel the need to blog about it.

April and May had been pretty hectic for me, and as soon as I could get a few days off, I decided to go on Holiday to Ooty, a tiny town up in the hills in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. This place is popular for its homemade chocolates and the various varieties of tea that is grown, processed, packaged and sold here.

Last night, we walked around the city and took in the city life. Being so small in area and population, this city starts to shut down at around  9.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Out with My Camera: Palaces In Karnataka

It's been more than two weeks since I was last seen on this blog. I've been super busy with my classes and gym to find the time and energy to blog. I hate that I wasn't able to blog sooner but real life is top priority for me and I have to focus on that the most.

That being said, during the time that I was away, I've been focusing on improving my photography. I have been going around the city a lot and snapping ten pictures for every two steps I take. A lot of these pictures have made it onto my Instagram feed and the folks on Instagram have been so kind to me by liking and leaving positive comments.

This weekend, I went on a little trip to a small heritage town about 100 kilometers from Bangalore called Srirangapatna. Before the British invasion, a king named Tipu Sultan used to rule over this area and was well loved by the locals. After the British invasion, he was the only king in the area who refused to sign any sort of treaty with the British rulers. As a result, he was killed in his own home by one of his own soldiers who had been bought over by the British.

Another interesting thing about this part of the country is that a lot of migratory birds fly in during the summer to lay their eggs and avoid the cold temperatures in their home country. We got to see a lot of Siberian pelicans which were bigger than any birds I'd ever seen.

Needless to say, I had a field day snapping pictures at an alarming speed. Some of them didn't turn out so well, but I thought I'd share the ones that turned out okay.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Out With My Camera: Coorg (Day 2)

I know this is nearly two weeks overdue, but it's exam season and the stress has completely taken over my mind and every bit of spare time is spent on retail therapy.

Nearly two weeks ago, I went away to Coorg for the weekend and in the first part of this blog post (which you can read here!) I took you with me through the amazing mountain roads of the western ghats and to many tourists sites of Coorg.

On the second day, we were meant to return to Bangalore, but upon my insistence, we stopped at Kushalnagar on the way. A few kilometers from Kushalnagar is a place called Bylakuppe, which is a place that I always visit when I head towards Coorg. Years ago, Tibetan refugees settled on this piece of land, which was completely barren at the time. Over the years, they have turned it into a tiny piece of Tibet on Indian soil. They have managed to turn the barren lands into agricultural fields and have found a way to sustain themselves here. It may be quite surprising to know that most of the older generation of Tibetan settlers can only speak their mother tongue to this day and cannot speak the local language at all. However, they are still extremely friendly and helpful and all round peace loving people.

One of the main attractions here is the Golden Temple. I love visiting the temple as the architecture and the ambiance takes me to another world completely. I won't talk too much about it. Instead, I will let my pictures do the talking.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Out with my Camera: Coorg (Day 1)

It had been nearly a month since my last holiday and that did not sit well with me. I needed an escape from reality and an overdose of inspiration. What better than fresh mountain air to cure all my sores and blues?

I decided to split this post into two parts as I have so much to share and so many pictures to include. I didn't have the heart to cut any of them out.

This time I went away from the coasts I've been frequenting and took to the hills. Coorg is only about four hours away from Bangalore, and although one weekend is never enough to discover the hills, I didn't think too much of it as this is one place that I have visited so many times in my life. I knew I'd be back soon. Hopefully with a bigger crowd. Always more the merrier on holidays!

Unlike a lot of people I know, I really like the drive to any destination. I'm a quiet traveler. I've always got my iPod in, creating playlists as I go, and my camera in my hands capturing the view through the windshield. I also like creating a Travel Gram on Instagram for every one of my holidays so I have my phone or iPad ready to use too. This time, I got so much love on Instagram for my snaps which kept me in a good mood throughout the trip.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Out with my Camera: Pondicherry

In the last couple of months, I have been hopping from place to place, snapping pictures and experiencing different cultures. In December, I visited Goa and Gokarna and even posted about my trip on my blog with a help of more than a dozen pictures and the response I got was unbelievable. I think coastal towns have grown on me as I was quite happy to go to Pondicherry.

One of the first things I noticed was that the weather was so much better than other coastal towns. It wasn't balmy at all! It was like Bangalore with a harsher sun. I absolutely hate the balmy weather so this was like a dream destination to me.

We were on the road all day and finally reached Pondicherry around late evening. I, for one, was ready to head out to get a feel of the city. After freshening up a bit, we took off for the Promenade. The roads of the town were quite small and maneuvering a large car through them was extremely stressful for our drivers as they were more afraid of scratches than of accidentally running someone over.

The Promenade is a long walkaway along the sea.  It was lit up really bright that night, with fairy lights everywhere as Republic Day was two days away.

The plus side of all the bright lights is the amazing light flares in my pictures. I couldn't get that effect even if I edited them on photoshop. Here are some of my favourites.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Out With My Camera: Gokarna!

I've been away from this blog for too long, or what seems like too long. I feel like I need to catch you up on everything that's happened since the last time I blogged, which was sometime around Christmas.

So, Christmas was pretty boring for me. I had my art class all day and nothing remotely Christmas-ey happened. It was hot and sunny in Bangalore, much to my distaste. Then again, it is like that most of the year and it's about time I come to terms with it.

Every year around Christmas, I get down because it never goes the way I want it to. I always dream of celebrating Christmas the way they do in the movies but since my family doesn't celebrate Christmas, I always end up disappointed.

A few days after Christmas, I had to go to Gokarna with my family (uncles and aunts and cousins and their kids included). I wouldn't like to travel with the whole family under normal circumstances (I refer to them as the Great Indian Circus but don't let my mother hear of it) as they are quite restrictive and I feel like letting loose completely when I'm on holiday. We never see eye-to-eye and that bothers me more than it should. This was a one-off as they wanted to do something special for my late grandfather's death anniversary at the temple at Gokarna. So we went. All of us. In a tiny bus. With my tiny, squealing nephew and niece running up and down the aisle. My tolerance had expired long before so I escaped from the Circus at Gokarna and went on my own little photography trip while everyone was at the temple.

I went off topic a bit but I did want to put in a bit of back story in there. I was only in Gokarna for two days (I joined the family three days into the trip. I tried ditching out completely but couldn't get away with it.) and this is all I got up to in the time. Mind you, no real fun came of it. Yes, I saw other tourists partying on the beach post sunset, buying and smoking cigarettes at a subsidy (and also other illegal substances that I dare not mention here), enjoying cheap alcohol, and hiking on the hills near the beach but I, to my great displeasure, could not partake in any of these activities. I vow that the next time I go there it will be with like minded people and I will holiday the way I dream of holidaying.

For those who don't know, Gokarna is a small coastal town on the western coast of Karnataka. It's frequented by tourists all year round. Around the time I went, there were mostly Russian tourists. International tourists love it there as they get away with doing things that are illegal in their country as the law is much less tighter in Gokarna.

Here's a look at what I got up to in Gokarna.

This is one of the first shots I took on the beach and also my favourite picture from the trip. I'm always taking pictures of the strays and I found this one so adorable. On a hot, balmy day, this guy quietly found a small patch of shade to nap in for a while. We had a pretty interesting conversation too. If you're ever in Gokarna, look him up!