Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A Traveller's Train of Thoughts


"What I am:", Jaipur
"If I am not for myself,who will be for me?And if I am not for others,
what am I?
And if not now, when?" ~ Ganga Descends
Faint landscapes - Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani - Anukriti Sharma Photography
Trees blur into the inky, violet-blue sky as I pour over the pages of Ruskin Bond's picturesque writing. I travel with him through the alleys of Landour Bazaar visualizing in my mindscape the 'livid purple' clocktower. Walking hand in hand we reach the market's dark, windy corner, where an old man sits 'hunched up over his charcoal fire, roasting peanuts'. Faint landscapes greet my eyes as I quietly sip piping hot ginger-tea.

Ginger-Tea - Anukriti Sharma Photography
My life has been a montage of experiences. Having lived in seven different cities, I have met a variety of people and travelling has always been a fascinating experience for me...
Rail experiences - Anukriti Sharma Photography
With each sip I think of people who have made my travels worthwhile... Would my trip to Lonavala be the same if there was no Lalita to bring me corn pakoras and 'cutting chai'? 
Lalita in Lonavala - Picture Credit - Aakriti Sharma
Would Kerala be as exotic, if there was no "Baby" to drive us through the land of spices? Wouldn't Varanasi's ghats seem morose, if "Mishraji's" Hindi poetry didn't enchant me while sailing through the Ganges? 
Sailing through Varanasi - Amarnath Sharma Photography
Would my trip to Goa be as musical, if I hadn't met "Prashant Malhotra" - a talented singer from Dehradun? Would Badrinath's majestic Himalayas seem so beautiful, if I hadn't met "Mamta Kulkarni", the little girl who sold beads to travellers? Would Kota-Delhi Jan Shatabdi seem the same if a newly wed couple (Ashu and Sangeeta) didn't narrate to me their romantic love-story?Every traveller I have come across shared something with me... something that connected me to him/her... And that something was - love for life. 
Me travelling in Train; Goa - Picture Credit - Rushali Khandelwal
A little three-year old peeps from the adjacent berth. He smiles at me and happiness spreads over my lips. A charming, cherubic face - beautiful smile juxtaposed against small dewy eyes. I play with him from a distance. The baby claps his hands and chuckles with glee. All I want is to make friends with him - talk to him, and let this interaction last forever... But a black coat comes in between and my train of thoughts comes to a standstill. He asks for ticket...I show him mine. It reads - Date - 26 February, 2012
Time of departure- 16:40
Train - Mumbai - Delhi Rajdhani Express
Class - 3AC
Passenger Details - Anukriti Sharma, 25F
Coach/Seat no. - B3, 32 (Side Upper)
The spotless white pillows - Anukriti Sharma Photography
I take my bag and climb over to my seat. Lying down on the spotless white pillow,I close my eyes and plug in the earphones."Anand" - Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye (Somewhere faraway when the day ends...) plays on my phone. The last few lines go deep within my heart - 
Sunset at Aksa Beach - Anukriti Sharma Photography
"Kahin To Yeh Dil Kabhi Mil Nahin Paate,
Kahin Pe Nikal Aaye Janmon Ke Naate"
(In some cases, hearts in love never meet,
and in others,old relations awaken to life..)
Wave-like memories - Anukriti Sharma Photography
Like a movie, thoughts flicker in the depths of my mind - Meandering down memory lane, I see an archive of fragments...forgotten tales, lost memories, beautiful people and enriching experiences...
....
....
.... .... ....
In conversation with myself - Anukriti Sharma Photography
July, 2010
I am back in Malabar Hills... At home
Mumbai...the city is drenched...swept by a ceaseless cloudburst...its drizzling since morning...the roads are jammed...high tide has anchored the sea...the temperature has ebbed... raindrops slip between my fingers...
the earth is wet... its smell is intoxicating, invigorating, inspiring...a cup of soup revives a few forgotten tales, poetry that was consigned to oblivion comes to life... I wish to compose them again...!
With Radha in Maharashtra - Picture Credit - Abha Sharma
December 5, 2011
I am in a scenic village near Nashik...
Tiny Tots - Gayatri, Omkar, Pappu and Amu - Anukriti Sharma Photography
Sharing chocolates with four tiny tots, who live in an unknown, sleepy village of Maharashtra... Omkar, Gayatri, Pappu and Amu... Having awesome dinner - home-made chicken curry garnished with love... cooked by a boatman's mother and served in a countryside hut... Pure bliss! What better way to celebrate my 25th birthday! Amidst innocent children, my country's tomorrow... In rustic villages... The essence of India. For most birthday means 5-star hotels and late night parties... But there are somethings money can't buy... the memories, smiles and happiness I take back with me to Mumbai - priceless!
Beth at home - Anukriti Sharma Photography
25 February, 2012
I travel through the fascinating streets of Mumbai's Colaba Causeway - a colourful place, dotted with shops of artificial jewellery, handicrafts, scarves and whatnot. I stop at Leopold Cafe, a well-known joint for foodies in Mumbai. I'm with Beth - who has come to India for the first time...  she is from my sister's University. I discuss a lot of things with her over huge glasses of Mango Lassi.
Cloudy land, Lonavala - Anukriti Sharma Photography
She has been a traveller... She takes me places through her narration... From the clear blue waters of Fiji I travel to the magnificient monuments of Rome... The cold snow of Rapid City brush under my feet as Japan's volcanoes come to life...
Golden Crimson Sunset - Anukriti Sharma Photography
Her kaleidoscopic description reminds me of a short story by Anton Chekhov. I feel like the young lawyer of "The Bet" who discovers the world's beauty through words written in books - "I have climbed to the peaks of Elburz and Mont Blanc, and from there I have seen the sun rise and have watched it at evening flood the sky, the ocean, and the mountain-tops with gold and crimson."
December 4, 2011
Bhandardhara, Maharashtra
Green Maharashtra, Clean Maharashtra - Anukriti Sharma Photography
Having Tea in Bhandardhara - Picture Credit - Abha Sharma
I am with my parents at a tea-stall... An old woman clad in tattered clothes walks by... Her saree is tied tightly across her waist... thighs are bare. She carries a huge vessel on top of her head... she seems older than history... wrinkles obscure her indistinct facial features... people fondly call her "mad". They say she waters the plants in the area - from early morning till late at night... incessantly... Climatic changes can't weather her spirit... Nobody pays her a paisa for what she does... Nobody pays any attention to what she does.
Even Gods reside here, Maharashtra - Anukriti Sharma Photography
She is insane for the world. But for me, she is a role model... A woman who serves the humanity... If I ever go to Bhandardhara again and find green plants blossoming in the area...I will think about this old woman... her perseverance has germinated the seed of life in the area...
Nurturing the seed of life - Anukriti Sharma Photography
The train halts at Surat. I put a neatly folded fawn-coloured blanket on my lap. The satin edges seem like my experiences - beautiful against a rough life.
I take out a pen and paper from my bag and write down:
Tales of the open Road
Har reh-guzar pe chalne wale...
Mahv-e-safar hain hum.
(The one who walks on every path...
Such a traveller am I.)
Ahl-e-duniyaa hai badi khoobsoorat...
Gar waqt-e-karam hai kam.
(The people of this world are extremely beautiful...
But time for benevolence is less.)
~ Anukriti
Soon dinner is served... Chicken curry mixed with dal and rice reminds me of the delicious tales of Satyajit Ray. I think about all the people I have met so far... They have been such wonderful companions... I wish I could talk to them forever... Learn new things from them...
But then I realize...
Seeking permanence in a temporary life - Anukriti Sharma Photography
Isn't it strange-all our lives we strive for permanence - a permanent residence, permanent career, permanent happiness, permanent love... Not realizing that we are mere travellers traversing this world. Why do we seek permanence when life itself is temporary?The cries of the cherubic boy jerks me to reality. He is crying with affliction... I look at him trying to do my best to lessen his pain... His parents seem distraught. The family sitting opposite me, nudge one another and mutter in hushed tones, "Don't you see, that child is mentally challenged... "
A cherubic boy at India Gate - Anukriti Sharma Photography
Ruskin Bond's lines resound in my ears again as a tear trickles down my cheeks -
"If I am not for myself,
who will be for me?
And if I am not for others,
what am I?
And if not now, when?"
A tear trickles down my cheek; Picture Credit - Sambuddha Jash
This post has been written for Indiblogger's Around the World with Expedia Contest - Tell us about the interesting people you've met when you've travelled.
To participate click on the picture below:
You can see my post and vote for it here... Click on the picture below:
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73 comments/suggestions:

Dee........ said...

Picture speaks :)
loved the post...
Life itself a travel, where we meet more amazing and different breed of people :D

Anukriti Sharma said...

Thanks a ton dear! :)
You are right... life is a journey and we are all travellers :)

CYNOSURE said...

lovely post throughout...
pictures are equally suited... :)

Deepak Bagwari said...

excellent analysis with travel experience
with my best wishes to you

Farila said...

Back with a bang Anukriti.. we should all learn from you to create excellent posts. Lots of pictures to help us walk the journey with you

Vaish said...

Loved each and every picture! Beautiful account of travelling!

Barney said...

I loved the title :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Cynosure
Thank you dear... Keep writing Haiku :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Deepak Bagwari
That is such a heart warming comment... Thank you so much :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Farida Aunty
I am really thankful to writers like you, who appreciate my work and encourage me to write more... Your life itself is an inspiration... I had many more amazing pictures to go with the post but forgot to tranfer them on my laptop... and since I am in Delhi till 5th March, can't even get a copy of the pics from Mumbai.
Anyways, thank you for your beautiful comment...
Like always, you made my day! :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Vaish
I am glad you did! Thanks a ton! :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Barney
Thank you dear... Does it create an impulse?

vivek joshi said...

Awesome Post...

Distinct Thoughts......

Rahul Bhatia said...

unaA post which was like a ride through the spirit of India and stunning visuals! An outright winner:)Best of luck, Anukriti!

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

Hi Anukriti,
very nice blog.Excellent photos..Keep blogging..All the best..:-)

Cheers,
Your new follower,
Nagini.

Priya Baskaran said...

Loved the pictures and the post...good luck for the contest!

Samik... said...

I have always adored ur posts... is there anything new to tell u? i wonder...and i keep wondering :)...

Sudhagee said...

A beautiful basket of memoirs, Anukriti.

Good luck for the contest !

Abhyudaya Shrivastava said...

Heart warming. Come see my posts someday. Would love to have you over

Arti said...

AWESOME! What more do I say? You leave me speechless with each creation of yours :) Best wishes for the contest, Anukriti :)

Jen..The Butterfly Effect said...

Your shots are just awesome!!! Mighty AWESOME!!! :) I wish I reach an age where I could travel a lot too!Can't wait to graduate this year!!! :)

saikat mbka ghosh said...

Lovely pictures , they speak a lot , d warmth and d scenic beauty captured in dese snaps are really great...........:)

http://campbuzzz.blogspot.in

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Vivek Joshi
Thanks a ton! Means a lot! :)

Bikramjit said...

wow a simple wow.. such beautiful pictures , they so speak out for themselves

enjoyed seeing and reading

Bikram's

Neha said...

Hi Anukriti, truly beautiful and heart-warming post. Loved all your pictures and poems alike :)

desh said...

Seems like we can compete in terms of cities lived and traveled :)

all the best!

http://beingdesh.com

Barney said...

:)
I have completely forgotten how to comment on blogs...

Neeraj Kumar said...

A winning Post!!!

Punit Dubey said...

such a colorful and beautifully written post :)

Akshay Kumar G said...

Beautiful and heart-warming post. Loved the pictures. :)

Ruhani said...

Love the pictures! Specially the first and the last one! You look really pretty in them :)

debajyoti said...

brilliantly narrated. all the best for the contest. and yes i loved ur last post as well. it was a masterpiece.

shubham said...

lovely words with lovely presentation..my I wish moment..

Asif said...

liked the second pic on the post..faint landscapes..a lot. not sure why. great post, with some amazing pictures and all the best for the contest.

Deguide said...

Nice travel down the memory lane

jigar said...

beautiful read :)

loved the first and the last pics..
nice lines/thoughts after every pic too :)

all the best :)

pramod said...

Real amazing narrative with pictures really superb. Excellence at it's best is all I can say.

Santa said...

Beautiful pics... and really well written....

r_Phoenix said...

Superb post... wow! :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Rahul Bhatia
Wow! What an awesome comment! :) It delighted me... coming from an ex Navy man means a lot. Thank you sir :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

A Homemaker's Utopia - Nagini
Thanks dear for your lovely comment... Thank you for following my blog and liking the post... God bless :)

@Priya Baskaran
Thanks a ton for liking the post and photographs... Your best wishes made my day :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

A Homemaker's Utopia - Nagini
Thanks dear for your lovely comment... Thank you for following my blog and liking the post... God bless :)

@Priya Baskaran
Thanks a ton for liking the post and photographs... Your best wishes made my day :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Samik
And I have always loved your work... I wonder how can anyone be as talented as you are! God bless you dear :)

@Sudhagee
What a beautiful comment :) Made me smile... Thank you for your best wishes and all the best to you too... Your Lalita Pawar post was mindblowing! :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Abhyudaya
Thanks a lot :) Would love to see your blog and the posts you pen down... Will be visiting you soon. :)

@Arti
Thank you dear for your beautiful comment... Like always you made my day... There can be nothing better than being admired by a fellow blogger who is as talented and gifted as you are... Loved your posts for Expedia as well as Kissan(grandpa one is really touching)... All the very best :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Jen...The Butterfly Effect
First of all I would like to thank you for liking my photographs... :)
Secondly, I really wish you the best in life so that you can achieve all you want... Graduate with flying colours and fly across the world :)

@Saikat mbka ghosh
Thank you for your appreciation. I am just a beginner in photography though...:) Thank you for your blog link... Shall visit you soon.

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Bikramjit
Thank you so much for seeing, liking and reading... :) Your comment brought a smile on my face :)

@Neha
Hi Neha. Glad that you visited my blog... Thanks a ton for liking the pictures and poem :) God bless you

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Desh
Wow! That's interesting... So where all have you stayed and travelled to?

Thanks for your wishes :)

@Barney
You'll learn with time... don't worry ;)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Neeraj Kumar
Thank you for always being so supportive and encouraging :) God bless you...

@Punit Dubey
I am glad you like it... thanks a ton dear! :)

@Akshay Kumar G
Thank you dear for liking the pictures and the post... :) :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Ruhani
Thank you dear... :) God bless you dear! :)

@Debajyoti
What a wonderful comment! Thank you for your love and appreciation... Glad that you visited my blog... :)You made my day

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Shubham...
Thanks dear for that lovely comment :)

@Asif
Thanks a ton for the beautiful comment... I love that pic too... took it from a moving train... Thanks for your wishes :)

@Deguide
Umeshji good to hear from you... Thank you for liking my travel down memory lane :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Jigar
Thank you for that heart-warming comment... :) Your words have been very encouraging :)

@Pramod ji
You are such a wonderful person... You keep appreciating people and bringing smiles on their faces... thank you for your encouragement... means a lot sir :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Santa
Thanks a ton dear :)

@r_Phoenix
Thank you dear :) Keep visiting

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Santa
Thanks a ton dear :)

@r_Phoenix
Thank you dear :) Keep visiting

shirin goel said...

Liked the post…
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Shilpi Dutta said...

to sum up the whole post in one word- It was mezmerisng! Good work ya! Keep it up

Ekta said...

Simply mesmerizing! Great work

Sunaina! said...

lovely pictures! :-)

One of the most beautiful blogs I've ever seen!

http://sunaina-patnaik.blogspot.in/

magiceye said...

beautifully narrated!

Saint Maverick said...

We're total strangers & I really don't remember how I came across your blog, but the only reason I'm following your posts, is because they are just so pleasant & soothing to the heart & mind! :)

God bless you!

Confused Soul said...

your pictures speak for themselves. you are one heck of an amazing writer and an even better human being .. through your words you took me to places, made me see and feel things .. Beautiful Anu :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Shirin Goel
Thanks a ton! :)|

@Shilpi Dutta
Thanks a lot dear :) You made me smile :)

@Ekta
Thank you :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Sunaina!
Thanks a lot dear :) That is one the most beautiful comments ever! God bless you! :)

@magiceye
Thank you dear! Love your photography! Brilliant!

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Saint Maverick
Thank you so much for that beautiful comment... the beauty of life lies in being strangers yet inclined towards similar things in life... I am blessed to have readers like you :)

@Confused Soul
Your comment made my day! Thank you so much dear! Glad to see you on my blog :) Bless you dear! :)

Indulge said...

You write so well. Glad that I found you on Indiblogger. Loved reading your experiences and your passion for writing.
Love Ash.

The Fool said...

Mesmerizing indeed! Every little experience collected like a little pearl from a dream and stringed together into a lovely necklace. Congrats on consolation prize from Expedia.

hyd said...

Good posts....keep going...
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kalyani said...

Awesome Photographs and great writing !! keep it up :)

SIDHU said...

very nice pictures and posts

shovonc said...

You should do more. Maybe a smile a bit too.

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yearful-of-sundays.com said...

What a fantastic post! And you write so well. :) Glad to have stumbled across this blog. It's incredible how aromas or sights have this ability to trigger memories. I loved reading not just your words but also the thought and intent behind the connections you shared. And hey to a fellow Ruskin Bond lover :)