Inside the (G)Old City.

From being the lord Ram’s city for 14 years to being the Wine capital, Nasik has tremendously progressed and is progressing since decades. From city of pilgrimage to city of grapes (recently Missal has joined the race).Nasik has always been most peaceful and pleasant place to stay. Population is directly proportional to this. The city has been considered a holy place as it is stitched on the river banks of Godavari and based on the mythological incidences of origin of the ‘Maha-Kumbh’ and Ramayana.
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When we think of the cultural backgrounds and the roots of the city, you will always find them in the heart of the city, these are the most sensitive and culture-rich locations where you can relate the new city with the old one and get a feel of how the city has transformed all together along with preserving the values. Be it the Crispiest jelebis in the town or the best tea stall since years, they still taste the same.
When you visit the old areas, you get an instinct of the rich history of the city. The busiest streets of Dahi Pull, never-ending queues at Budha halwai, old (standing since 18th century) yet strong architectures, river banks of Godavari, and of course the Temples.
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The ‘ful-bazaar’ Fuels up the city streets every misty morning with the fluorescent colours. The pleasant aroma compels you to take the flowers along as you cross the streets.
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As the technology strikes in,at some point of time the emotional connect is striked out and when it comes to postcards..it surely does!The red oval boxes are delivering real ’emoticons’ since decades and continue to do the same. The e-messengers have created a thorough revolution with free texting stapled with hollowness.Do we really feel happy when we ‘type’ messages?The wait/excitement for the letters compared with the ‘last seens’ and ‘blue ticks’ contradict to a great extent.In the age of Email, the dark red post boxes stand out and it is funny that they are photographed as they appear to be rear for the new generation.

A “whatsapp emoticon” can never replace a post card might be the message which these boxes are trying to convey.

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Tea has been one of the most popular energizing beverages across the country and is being consumed on a large scale. It’s a stress buster over an exhausting day for many.You will find best ‘chai’ in the old streets of the city who have been serving it since decades with a ‘quality assurance’.It has smoothly evolved from a ‘cutting’ to ‘takkar’ and more but stays to be the best in its own way.


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When we compare the old areas of various cities in the country, we can proudly state that the streets of Nasik are one of perfectly clean and well-organized ones. Once you visit Nasik, Don’t forget to meet these areas at least once before you reach out the vineyards and malls. We are sure you would make these places a part of your SELFIES!
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Even after hitting Barbeque Nations and Baristas around the city you will still find the same person enjoying breakfast at the old food stalls. It is all about the bonding that keeps us glued to these places.

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This is just a small attempt to showcase our few of many old culture-rich areas of Nashik city through a small photography blog.
Looking forward to your reviews and suggestions.

-Nashik,November 2016.

Godmakers of Kumartuli.

        Godmakers may sound over-exaggerated here but trust me,they literally make gods and pour in life into the ‘hay & clay’.The word Kumartuli basically originates from the word kumar/kumbhar(people who make clay idols) and Toli means group. Now every Indian can guess the meaning. Geographically, kumartuli is stitched to the river banks of Hugli river at Ward no 9 of Kolkata near sovabazar (You will start pronouncing the ‘bha’ as ‘va’) That happens when you are in Kolkata for a considerable amout of time.
Historically, Kumartuli, one of Kolkata’s oldest neighbourhoods, provides the city its greatest source of joy — idols of Durga. There are dedicated and prolonged efforts that transforms from a crude structure of clay-and-hay to a beautiful, bedecked Bengali bride and reaches the countless pandals of Kolkata. Kumartuli came into existence when British East India company decided to build there colonies at Fort William in 17th century. 
The workers(based on there skillsets) were distributed into locations and the Kumars/Potters then dwelled at Kumartuli. The potters, along with the pots, started creating the clay images which were worshipped across the mansions,cities and across the country eventually. 
Lets ride to the present tense now,There are different stages to the whole process of making Idols. On Akshaya Tritiya, clay for the sculptures is collected from the banks of Ganges. A handful of soil (punya mati) is collected from the nishiddho pallis of Calcutta, and added to the clay mixture which goes into the making of the Durga sculpture. The above four lines are literally insufficient to describe the idol making process.It is way beyond this. All I can say is that the kumars pour in there lives into the idols by working day in day out to finish the job before it reaches the date of deployment. Yes,they too have deadlines and clients!
As you enter the ‘bazaars of the gods’, you as a photographer need to pay some fees to have a hassle-free ride and then you are officially eligible to capture the photographs or watch them work. May be that’s how the demand & supply concept works.Fair enough from our end. Because what you witness inside is priceless. You may still be the victim of some criticism from the workers if you are being a distraction for them but there concentration is appreciable. Around 500 workshops supply the idols to 90+ countries worldwide. Distractions, therefore, are not welcome. The hay is covered up with the clay followed by multiple layers of ‘x’ materials and glue to keep the idols intact, said one of the worker. The hay drastically reduces the weight of the idol and makes the portability easy.
Once you visit this place,you can witness a lot many things other than idol making.You will come across the lifestyle of these creators.These are the families where the generations are into pottery business,They are simple people clad in soiled lungi but trust me,they are disguised magicians! These iconic idols will be proudly standing in the huge pandals across the world with lakhs of praying hands.
The city of Kolkata has a rich historic background being the capital of india pre independence and these compartmentalized historic locations in and around the old city are the results of the British East India company and the marwaris in 17th century. 
This is one of the must visit place for the photographers and enthusiasts and you will find best candid shots of idols and the artists in the bazaars. As you depart from the lanes of kumartuli,You will find some touch of old Kolkata with RD Burman and Manna dey songs reaching your ear,the sweet Bengali conversations,people selling almost everything at almost every possible corner of the street,the heartsinking manually pulled cycles and carts,and the tram lines with very less frequent trams,a perfect package for every photographer at the cost of nothing.
Basically it’s a paradise for every photographer and artist to feel the rich and incredible indian culture.
-Kolkata,13th September 2016. 

In Pursuit of Happiness..!

What is happiness? The antonym of sadness? I wish it was so easy to answer that 1 mark english objective question in class III but (almost) all of us answered it correctly. Then why is it so difficult to answer it in real life? May be the practical exams are tricky than theory ones.
The count is colossal when it comes to books on how to cease this happiness thing.I really wish we all read them with exactly same interest that we gather on day 1 and rather find time to correlate and implement the bulleted ‘To Dos’ usually summarized on the last page. Ok, so before we miss it, let’s get back to the class III question.
Happiness and all its synonyms are really not so easy to achieve they say because it is actually tied up with YOU. Let’s hunt for the why !
Now that we all know that our minds are no less complex than the word
 hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. And we exactly overlook it just as you avoided reading the entire word above. Trust me, the word exists. So yes, our happiness is glued with no one but ourselves. All we need to do in life is try reading those (appearing to be) complex words and not to overlook them because they are the only ones that will set you free from something called sadness/and all its synonyms. There are many other ‘Catalysts’ to ruin your pursuit towards happiness which are unfortunately unavoidable. Eg.  Your own death. You just can’t avoid it, Can you? so why not get rid of all the evitables before we meet up with the only inevitable?
Happiness can be broadly classified into 2 categories-Mental and physical. Before it starts sounding more like a traditional physics text-book paragraph. Let’s keep it simple. Recently a category for sadness called ‘I don’t know why but..’ has emerged too whose catalysts are unidentified(But they exist).Let’s not focus on them for now. The above categories are closely related because it is really important to be mentally healthy and physically stable. Fair enough. So if you are not physically sound, life seems like an unpaid weekend job. That’s because you don’t work as expected. Fair enough again. Are we really so lazy(we sophisticatedly confuse it with busy) that we don’t have time for our own self? We unknowingly forget that we too have a life beyond a lab assignment, a semester project, a presentation, a deadline of deployment and the inevitable. Let’s not focus on the last one because we have ample time to make the most of the present i.e Life.
It takes around 3600 seconds of exercise to stay fit and healthy and when you are healthy you are automatically happy. That’s scientifically proven. But we really limit ourselves with this most popularized and yet to rise “Kal se pakka” day. We are actually postponing happiness here.Why not today? Who knows if you again get a presentation to be done tomorrow that will boost up your career. May be it will. But what if you fall sick on the exact day? Also imagine the vice versa scenario where you don’t.
That is may be something called as mental happiness because of physical one! Today in this fast-moving world, we really find it a bit tough to do something other than the daily ‘TO Dos’ which are followed by some highly motivated exceptional people for not more than 7 days. Exceptions exist though. Why not be the exception?
There are a lot of sensible reasons pipelined to a Happy life . Sometimes, we are questioned if our happiness has become virtual/Digital. Today, are we happier with the number of YouTube video hits or (mostly fake)likes on Facebook . This is not about ‘pros and cons of technology’ but it’s about the mental attachment/sometimes more than wanted towards this technology and being the victim of Internet addiction disorder (IAD), Indirectly affecting our type 1 happiness category. We are slowly losing contacts with people in the hunt of the virtual happiness. It is too disastrous to see people compromising with their sensible reasons of happiness. So it is very important to sometimes unplug yourself and live.
The next major catalyst is Comparison. 
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We literally forget that we are always ‘someone else’ to others and we are perfectly unique.Sometimes it’s all ok to score less,earn less initially,sleep more,forget the diet chart,skip a lower body session in the gym ..sometimes!repeated intentionally.
Have we become more keen to impress the external world and lose our originality? Basically/Surprisingly,no one gives a damn about it because everyone is busy doing the same.We keep comparing and transcript others. The day when we realize our own capabilities is the day we start walking towards mental happiness.
And here comes our last catalyst amongst many and that is impatience.
It is really important to be patient with your impatience.Something similar to what we are told since childhood-Kill your anger before it kills you.We want the tree to yield fruits the next minute we sow the seed.This has been observed recently where people are so upset with their very first job just because it’s not exactly the way they want it to be.The less positive things are highlighted more. May be that’s human nature. We mostly want something that we don’t have (temporarily).That is really an insult of what you have today.Imagine yourself in an autobiography of an old bicycle that we wrote in school for that matter.We are doing nothing different with life.Objects vary plus the list goes on and on.
Nothing is permanent.Not even the sorrows and everything we crave for ultimately lands up in our hand but just not today.Then let’s not give the chance to any of the catalyst to ruin our pursuit towards H A P P I N E S S.  Thus,in an attempt of finding the catalysts and the consequences, let’s give it a try and  meet yourself..Again!!
I am sure you will fall in love!

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-Aditya Kulkarni
August 21,2016.

 

 

#Disconnect to Connect.

The # tag above has been deliberately mentioned as in recent days,it has become one of the inseperable parts of our lives.Now a days, we #tag the colour of the t-shirt we wear to the chocolate we eat.we have came across posts where the #tag was ‘hashtagged’.So now you can guess our social connect these days.The question is,has the ecstasy over social life’s satisfaction over-powered the real life?Have the social approvals become more important today? Let’s not blame the highly addictive and ‘must have’ technology with us.But in the end,it all starts(and ends) with you.The way we prioritize things arbitrate the consequences of the same.The way we disconnect with daily routine and connect with ourselves at the end of the day makes a difference.

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Every single problem of our life is glued with its solution which we unfortunately seek from others. But,it is so paradoxical that the answers are within us! It is, thus, literally indispensible to ‘ping’ yourself and start chatting.

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There are enormous ways to have self talks and connect with ourselves. From gazing at the moon to tuning up to your favorite music.Music is highly morale boosting in lot of situations. Music heals.Putting this in a simple way,when you are alone,your mind ‘overflows’ colossal number of thoughts.Thoughts about future,(mostly) the past,and hardly about present.It is really important to let these thoughts hit you but moreover, it is important how you prioritize them.Let’s disconnect with the virtual reality of life and meet the actual reality and find ourselves.

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Basically,the tough times are the most important and inevitable times of our lives because they are the ones that will free you up.It is all about how you face them.
It is necessary to jump into these less comfort zoned situations because you will fly eventually,if not immediately.In the end, the journey makes the difference than the destination.Make sure you jump next time..every single time!

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None of us are born with a perfect life unlike millions of others and we are agonized with the thought of peaceful life at the end of every single day.This is not an overnight process
but if we keep walking in this quandary,we will eventually find the balance of life.We need self talks and get rid of the comfort zone we dwell in everytime.After all life is all about balancing on the rope with a rod of hope.

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New Digha Beach,West Bengal

The excessive use of technology has made us L O N E L Y.we have been looking for the ‘notifications’ over the posts but usually fail to converse with the ‘physical’ species around.It is really contradictory to witness mobile apps which are developed to make you stay away from them.Do we really need the programmed code to take care of our minds?No we don’t!
It all starts with you.The feeling of being lonely to the feeling of fulfilment.Let’s ‘talk’ with ourselves to withdraw these feelings.

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I met a lady who has been collecting sea shells from the beach every morning,creating some amazing jewellery out of it and selling them by evening.She doesn’t find this monotonous,morever she loves the satiating ‘entrepreneurship’ serving as a source of living as well .There were many others with different ‘skill sets’ all around the area.Doing something you love is something you don’t need a vacation from.Agreed.

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Udaipur beach,West Bengal

The results are the reflection of your thoughts.We usually tend to worry about the future and unknowingly overlook the present which is solely responsible for making up the same.It is never too late to start the postive self talks and wait for the results to reflect.

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Every ship is safe at the sea shore but that is not where it is meant to be.Even an inspirational movie,book,song has a some influence on us.Lets make an effort to amplify it and swim in the reverse flow .The reverese flow starts when you step out of your comfort zone.This is only going to make you stronger and wiser.

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Talsari ,Orrisa

You really don’t need an inspiration,you need a companion who will listen and sort things out for you and to your surprise,it resides within you.Make sure you meet one!

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Orissa,West bengal-21st Jan 2017.

City of Science!

When we talk about Science.Many of us might picturize the 200 pages soft bound textbook of school usually opened before exams or the Che(Mystery) labs which changed the colors of liquid in the glass testubes.The world moves on science.We breathe Science everyday.May be the way,the term ‘Science’ approached each one of us was different.Few found it cool while few took a ‘sigh’ of relief at the end of science ‘lecture’.As the technology dives in,the students today are most fortunate ones to carry science in a tiny gadget and access it in almost seconds.But at some point of time,the e-learnings lack the hands-on facility.what if we have a city of Science?
Let’s meet one..!

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Yes,it does exist!Science City, Kolkata is the largest science centre in the Indian subcontinent under National Council of Science Museums,Government of India, located at the crossing of Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, Kolkata.
Science city is basically aiming to popularize the importance of science in a highly ‘user-friendly’ and intellectual way
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If you hate testubes,or don’t understand momentum and h2So4 ,This is the place you need.But it is not confined to impart these concepts only.You can’t forcefully impose theory to anyone,but Science city welcomes you with open arms and gifts you knowledge at the cost of nothing when you leave.This city is not as geeky as it sounds to be,it is the most enjoyable place for a person irrespective of his age and interests(If nothing,the food stalls will never disappoint you).You will never find a kid being so joyful learning Science compared to a classroom learning.Science city succeeds to make theses kids busy getting productive and forget their family  for a while.I wish every city in the world has one Science city each in the era of e-learning today.

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Many a times we come across situations where a career chooses the kid while the opposite is expected to happen,In such a dilemma,it is really important to figure out what the kid loves.Stitching the word Career to kid at this age is an unfair equation where it is the age of exploring themselves.Thus making it very important to have such treasures in the city who help to solve this and let the kids peep into their own future.

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As you Enter the Science City,the Flora and fauna is waiting to welcome you symbolizing biodiversity.You will find the plants and creatures you have never heard of.

dscn9717The efforts taken up to maintain this nature is quite appreciable compared to the huge geographical area.There is a butterfly enclave with diverse butterflies dwelling in a controlled environment and pollen hunting bees around.dscn9723

‘All work no Play makes jack a dull boy’ they say and it is perfectly valid.In the age where even the gadgets are getting smarter and stronger, how can humans stay the same?
The massive gardens have an ample of ‘sci-rides’ all around and the Science on sphere is an amazing 3D dome theatre that takes you to a trip around the Grand canyons and the space.The topics vary and are rotating.

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The Dynamotion hall is a ‘one stop shop’ for uncountable activities and some scientific fun stuff (fulfilling the very intention of why it exists) where you can literally perform Hands-on with a lot of experiments that will drop you to the college days and their (Mysterious) laboratories.The aquarium is yet another ‘item’ in the list inside this dome.The Dynamotion hall is an encyclopedia to a lot of questions and leaves you amazed with the answers.

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As you are stepping out of Science city,You will be fueled up with satisfaction and surely..the love for Science irrespective of age and educational backgrounds.
Hoping to see more of Science cities around the world as a ropeway towards a unique Fun-And-Learn way to meet Science!
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Science City,Kolkata
31st December 2016.

PRESERVING OUR CULTURE(?)

            Ganpati Bappa ‘Moraya’. Seriously??How many of actually know what the word ‘Moraya’ means??Surely countable! We chant this day in day out during Ganesh festival. But it has been observed that many of us still don’t know what it actually means. So,Moraya actually means to come forward and bless us or source of greatest wisdom .Isn’t it really funny when we actually say a word and don’t understand and follow its meaning??

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Dagdusheth halwai Ganpati,Pune

          Ganesh-utsav has been celebrated since the era of Shivaji Maharaj in 16th Century which was revived again in 18th century after the fall of peshwa by the freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak.Enough with the ‘history of Indian Festivals’.Let’s stick to the point now.The reason why history was mentioned was to understand how the definition of celebration of same festival changed eventually till today after centuries. The culture of ‘Dhol-Tasha’ and other traditional forms has its existence since pre-independence period and has been followed regularly in many parts of India even today,across India for the matter of the fact(And is not opposed). Coming to this point soon.
But since a decade things have changed.The concept of DJ’s which used to exist in a club has been copied and pasted on the streets. Literally pasted as is. There has been an observable drastic downfall in the number of people participating in the festivals,the reason why it all started has Vanished. Do we really need a high volumes of Dj to show our devotion towards the God? The type of songs being played should better be left unmentioned. I really wonder why any of the GOD would like his devotees to dance on a ‘yo yo honey singh’ number?But the funny part is, people want this.7 out of 10 heads wants this. Those 7 heads multiplied by the same number with same mentality and that’s how it goes. The real question is – WHY?                          
          ‘Odh tuzya Aagamanachi’ sounds really suspicious when there is confusion about what the excitement is all about.Is the excitement about getting drunk and dance on the Dj? Or make money and showcase politics via the festival? Or is it really about waiting to get Bappa’s first glimpse? Green ticks to the first two options as well. Sad but true. There is a real need to change the perspective towards looking at this. Today the teenagers are taking heavy efforts to inculcate the Dhol-Tasha culture in the city and unfortunately they have been opposed just because it is ‘noisy’ . Then DJ’s must be played on ‘mute’ mode since decades may be. The Dj concept is not opposed here. It is really not a Newshour debate about ‘DJ Vs Dhol tasha.’ It is all about the consequences resulting out from both that needs to be understood once and forever.

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             It is all about devotion towards God. Dhol-Tasha troops across locations work intensely hard with no other aim but to preserve our own culture and unite people and they are undoubtedly dedicated. I wonder how above things are complied by any other source of celebrations. They don’t,to be specific.
             The equation is quite simple. The Type of people participating in the ceremony will be directly proportional to the amount of crowd coming out on the streets. This crowd is really missing every year. For the obvious reasons mentioned above. It is really important to have a quality crowd which will be ultimately making the management smoother and safe for all. The Dhol-Tasha communities need to be uplifted and strongly supported by the authorities because they are the future and they are setting up a base for saving our tradition and aiming towards the aim of festive celebrations.
               It is mere question of most awaited 10 days of the year.Why can’t we make them most memorable?Together?The moral of the story is to have a hassle-free celebration,safeguarding our Indian traditional culture,making all sorts of people realize (and not impose) the true essence of our golden values,avoid the irrelevant music on the Dj, It is the real power of our youth to make this possible and stay united.
Our authorities are surely sensible and we will see the positive actions being reflected in coming years. This applies for all the festivals when it comes to a mass celebration. Bappa is coming with a lot of hopes this year,Let’s not disappoint him!
Ganpati Bappa..Moraya!

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Beyond Silence

At Peace
Beyond Silence

Sometimes our mind is “over saturated” and piled up with thoughts(both desirable and extremely undesirable).”Presentations”,”Sub(missions!)”,”IN sem and OUT sem Tests” or “why he/she disabled the READ-RECEIPTS on whatsapp” and alot more.Some 50k thoughts in 24 hours they say.Surprizingly alot of traffic for this brain.But in these 50 thousand thoughts we are hardly hit with a thought to find inner peace and talk with ourselves.We rarely think about what makes us happy.On the contrary we will Facebook this and ask out for someone else’s suggestion.Indirectly someone manipulating your mind.

I think SILENCE is the best solution for a peaceful mind.A silent mind creates extraordinary results.So ln this heavy traffic of thoughts,we should reserve some time and RE-SERVE our mind with some(rather alot of) positivity.. Because ‘Beyond Silence’ exists the Real YOU.i came across great thought-provoking line recently  which said ‘Only YOU are responsible for your current situation in life’.so take a deep breath,find the inner peace,walk few steps alone with your headphones tucked in,introspect and Act! Beacuse your mind has solution to almost everything you want.just Ask for it!.

Location-Someshwar,Nasik.