My Five memorable moments of 2017

I know its pretty early to be writing about year ending, but I believe that once the date crosses December 15th, we are left with a countdown till the next year starts. I actually wrote my top  and favourite ten moments on Pursuit of Imagination, but thought let me share those moments here too, being guilty of not being able to blog for majority of the year! So the Top Five of my top ten moments is selected and presented here.



The year’s hyped astronomical event was the total solar eclipse seen after a gap of a century in America. In Calcutta we had an episode of a partial lunar eclipse on a full moon night. I waited till 1 am to see the complete phenomena and tried to record it.



Then another star caught my eye one evening. Dusk had just descended on the quiet hazy evening. It blinked red, then green and appeared to give out flashes of light. Sirius is its name, the brightest star in our constellation. While my hand did shake to capture on manual mode, the colors it gives out are ethereal and almost unreal as if belonging to another dimension.



The Royal Bengal tiger looked directly towards me. He was half hidden behind the leaves camouflaging his stripes. They are known to be man eaters. But I saw him from the safety of a partition wall, in the zoo. Alipore Zoo was built in the late 1800’s. He also shares the zoo with a white tiger. A lion and a leopard are the new occupants. Can sometimes hear them roaring at night. (I stay close to the zoo.)



Whether it is the bakers, the Mughlai cuisine or the seafood, in abundance you find it all in Calcutta. If I wasn’t online much of the time this year, I was probably eating some Biryani, the Victoria Vada or savouring an English Tea with thin sandwiches.



(This picture is from Australian Stock horse society, but mine was rather similar.)

How difficult can it be reaching the race course at 5:15 every morning in early spring? Not very. The air is fresh, it’s peaceful and add to that a like minded riding group and you are all set. The breeches were bought, so were the strong leather shoes and a stiff round riding cap. The trotting was not painful and a horse with a very human name, “ Mr Vijay Kumar” was allocated to me. It was a fine majestic horse with a shiny dark brown body and a tall countenance. After a week of getting accustomed to the horse, I decided to call it quits. The reason? The pain. Not to me, but to the horse? Each horse is held with a harness attached on their mouth, all the way to their teeth and to make the horse “obey” you need to pull the muzzle tight or loose as required. I don’t know whether the poor creature felt the pain, but I felt it every time I wanted to make it “obey” me. One day my instructor told me to whip the poor thing. I decided that it was the last day for me.

I write this last line and then wish for God to make the next ones better. The Next year smoother. Wishing you and your loved ones well during the holidays! Peace on Earth.





The frenzy called Ganpati Visarjan Procession. In Bombay.

Today was the final day of the Immersion of the Ganpati which arrived in the neighborhood ten days back. While I probably didn’t document the entire mandal, today was hard to miss. The music for one. It almost resembled a punjabi wedding, which I’m more familiar with. So this is how it happens. All the Ganpatis of the various mandals are today lifted and with a lot of fan fare, music ( to the taste of thier devotees) and lights and are carried along thier specific routes for immersion into the sea. In Mumbai, the Girgaon chow-patty and Juhu chow patty are famous for this. Lakhs of devotees gather with the Ganpatis for the immersion. I was strongly dissuaded from a visit, given the frenzied crowd, but as it turned out, I was able to get a glimpse of the procession which is hard not to share.

Victoria Terminus : A Unesco World Heritage Monument


There are millions of people who pass through this building that is a railway terminus, each day to travel across Mumbai. I wonder how many know that this is a unesco world heritage site. This was designed in 1887 and is fairly reminiscent of Gothic revival style sprinkled with Mughal style.

This picture was taking from my Mumbai home at a time when I didn’t know the historical relevance of this building. It had struck to me only as a lovely building in the view that time. The closer I zoomed in, the more the details left me awed. That is the beauty of architecture. The vision of the architect, Frederick William Stevens stays forever as an inspiration to the city. And to me.

vt silhouette

The Background


We were stuck in a traffic jam up the hills. It was the backside of the Monastery at Dharamshala. People visiting the monastery were much more than those leaving it today. This Golden spire was visible to us and beyond it were visible the Dhauladhar mountains in different shades of blue and the lovely Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake within, which if you remember, was the home to migratory birds at Pong Dam.