This is the road we traveled on our way to Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India. This route to the beautiful Hill city is less traveled and not recommended for tourists. However, for crazy travelers like us, it is a challenge! The photograph was taken after we crossed this particular landslide point and we were startled when we could not actually see which way we traveled!
We happened to cross this biker and was delighted to see him take this cute family on a ride. See the three boxes of chicks! The rooster is indeed the guard. What better way can there be to describe love and affection for ones family?
The first thought that crossed our mind when we read about the topic for this week’s Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge:Open Topicwas that, we can select any topic of our choice with no restriction. But then, this is just one way of looking at this topic. The word “Open” carries other profound meanings as well.
This is indeed a challenge!
Photo shops can easily create a black and white picture. What we preferred to bring to our viewers was something original. We finally collected some of our photographs that were in Black and White and that could be related to the word ‘Open’.
The photographs we have shared were not edited and are in their original form.
Enjoy the real and original beauty of Black and White as we make an effort to relate it to the Open Topic.
1. The Passage
( open: adjective- allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked)
Clouds give a passage to the final rays of the Sun to reach the Earth before dusk.
This photograph was taken in Bhimtal, Uttarakhand, India. An evening in Bhimtal. Very light shades of the blue and orange is also visible.
2. Spread the Light
(open: verb- unfold or be unfolded; spread out)
Sunrays unfolds and spreads out as the Earth starts a new day.
This photograph was clicked in a cloudy morning, from Almora Uttarakhand, India. We could not resist sharing this picture. Observe how a red ball of fire can open itself turning white and spreading light. Cannot think of a better way to represent ‘Open’.
3. The Truth
(open: adjective- exposed to the air or to view; not covered)
We are open minded when we have the courage to face the truth or accept the truth. So, what is the truth about life?
The truth is revealed by Nature- “there is light after every darkness.”
This photograph was taken in Munsiyari. The sun is seen rising behind the Panchachulli peaks. It was an awesome view as we observed the Himalayan peaks turn black as the Earth was giving way to sunshine.
(open: noun- outdoors or in the countryside.)
This is a view of a beautiful evening of Connaught Place, New Delhi, India. Many of the buildings in this area are white and the evening makes it a perfect view of black and white. The Sun is visible as a white ball.
5. The Open Challenge
(open: noun- a championship or competition with no restrictions on who may compete)
Black mountains and White patches of clouds in the sky with the white ball makes a perfect picture for The Open Black and White Challenge !
Hope you had a wonderful journey as you traveled through the immense beauty of Nature and could listen to what Nature had to Open up with. :-)
In response to the Challenges, we share below few of our photographs that actually describes the Way Of Life!
Here they are:
Our life is sometimes beautiful, straight, smooth, supportive (represented by the green tress, if you could not guess that) and with available directions to show us the way to our destination.
In many instances life puts us in a situation where we are not sure which way to go; whom to follow, whom not to follow. The choice is ultimately ours!
3. Twists and turns
Sometimes our life changes its direction as we climb up the path of growth. This is seen through the changes we undergo, in our thoughts, behaviour and way of living as we cross childhood, adulthood and old age.
Our life offers us many hurdles. These hurdles may be in the form of depression, rejection, fear or failure. It is up to us if we wish to go back, wait or go ahead and face the challenges.
Life is not always smooth. (represented by the gravels on the road). Though we know the way, it demands hard work and patience as we move ahead.
6. Unsolved Mystery
Finally, life is an unsolved mystery. However smooth or straight the way is, or far it may stretch, after a point it goes out of view. To relate, we are heading towards infinity, towards the unknown!
The Challenge : We’ve all been asked what five objects we’d take with us to a desert island. Now it’s your best friend’s (or close relative’s) turn to be stranded: what five objects would you send him/her off with?
The word that drew our attention is ‘stranded’. Interesting! Send our best friend or close relative to a desert island so he/she has no means to move from it? Is it a boon or a bane? And for how long?
Unless he/she is adventurous why would he/she wish to be stranded for no reason? And if he/she is adventurous, that would be a planned journey for him/her. So, assuming the journey to the desert island as one by choice, the necessary and sufficient things would already be taken care of by him/her. What we need to take care of are those things that may be missed out.
On a funny note, even we are not aware what we would send him/her with. So, let us find out together as we type down to come up with a post worth reading! Here it goes,
1. Set of papers sufficient to write down his/her experiences. So, the next time someone is stranded on a desert island, they would know how to deal with such experiences.
2. A box of pen to write down his/her “Island Diary”.
3. Numerable air tight bottles to keep his/her diaries safe from air and water.
4. A bestseller joke book. It is said that a book is one’s best friend. So what can be a better gift than a book to someone we love. Now we could give him/her any book. But what is the use of giving philosophical books to teach him/her lessons of life? He/she would not get out alive anyway! (We are not making fun of him/her. Remember? It was their choice! ) So we would rather choose a best seller joke book so that he/she can spend the rest of his/her life with laughing colours, not regretting the loneliness.
5. Finally, a traveler’s bag to fit in all the above mentioned things! Quite many, isn’t it? He/she will definitely have no idea about these things with which we would bid him/her adieu. So, a bag is a must.
We wish him/her a safe journey and a safe and happy life ahead in the island. Looking forward to those letters in the bottles, so we can come up with yet another post to share his/her experiences! 😉
(This was indeed interesting and we had fun playing the challenge!)
Since childhood we have been hearing about meteorite attacks on mother earth. The thought of a huge rock hitting the surface of the earth with immense impact always left us with an awesome feeling and multitude of questions wandering in our minds. The thought of space always left us spell bounded with a hope to travel to space sometime and experience the darkness; before bidding farewell to mother earth.
Whenever we plan for a holiday we usually try to cover those areas less covered by tourists. With an adventurous spirit and the mind of an explorer, we started to Google for amazing and strange places in India. And lo and behold- we found one! The Lonar Crater!
Crater? Are we dreaming? A crater in India? Does it really exist? We were curious. The curiosity and the childhood dream dragged us to Lonar crater.
As we sit to pen down our experience, we are not sure if you are wondering or just thinking- what is the big deal? It is just a crater. Indeed. The cab driver also responded in a similar way. He said, “There is nothing to see in Lonar Crater. It is just a large and deep hole, (about 150 metres deep and approx. 1.8 km in diameter !) on earth with water at the bottom.”
But as we already did some homework before the visit we were destined to go. We were excited to take a close look at this ‘hole on earth with water at the bottom’.
We started off early morning at 6:30 am ready for the 160 km drive from Aurangabad in Maharashtra, India, to see the wonder created on earth by space. Finally we were there! Though we could not make to the dark space above our head, this was as close as being lost in space.
We stood speechless and wondered how the asteroid must have hit the earth! What could have been the impact?
Honestly this feeling cannot be expressed in words.
We provide below few pictures of Lonar crater and give you few moments of silence to feel the impact of this huge event.
Lonar Crater in Buldhana District of Maharashtra, India is the world’s third most impressive impact crater formed more than 50000 years ago when a 2 million tonne meteorite impacted the earth. The Lonar lake’s salinity is 10.5 times that of sea water making it difficult for any species to survive. Yet scientists have found various living organisms here.
India’s Lonar Crater began causing confusion soon after it was identified in 1823 by a British officer named C.J.E. Alexander. Lonar Crater sits inside the Deccan Plateau—a massive plain of volcanic basalt rock leftover from eruptions some 65 million years ago. Its location in this basalt field suggested to some geologists that it was a volcanic crater. Today, however, Lonar Crater is understood to result from a meteorite impact that occurred between 35,000 and 50,000 years ago.
The advent of summer carries with it the chain of holiday packages to the hills. The mighty hills that stand silent and melancholic for months also seem to await the hubbub of the obsessive holidaymaker. The enthralling snow-peaked mountains, natural picturesque beauty, chirping of the birds, the rhythmic melody of the forest and the pleasant weather quenches the thirst of the sundry tourists.
Tourists visiting these hills extensively spend on travel, hotels, restaurants and adventure. Fortunately, shopping is an unavoidable part of a vacationer. Decorating the living room with unique pieces of art and craft and wearing unique dress materials specific to a region is the desire of every rational traveller. But least to the tourists’ realisation, the local people from different tribes in these hilly areas abound with silent astounding skills and proficiency impassively look forward to an earning for their livelihood amidst the hustle and bustle of tourist and pilgrimage traffic.
We tried to evaluate the impact of our holiday expenses. Our refreshed mind after a vacation nullifies the lavish spending during the vacation and we eagerly look forward to plan for the next holiday ignorant of the fact that our poor counterpart in the remote parts of the hills is waiting for the next season with moist eyes.
A visit to few of the hill stations in India showed us this bitter truth. We made an endeavour to study the local culture and traditions and the bona fide man-made beauty lying quiescent in the remote areas of this Himalayan jewel. There is a ‘hidden treasure’ veiled by the breath-taking natural picturesque views and spiritual incarnation. A few in-depth interviews with the local people amplified our search to discover this undisputed ‘hidden treasure’ of the Kumaon region.
Hills are an all time travellers’ paradise with lesser-known diverse culture that is reflected in the traditional and novel crafts. Hand-made products by the people with a unique touch of local skills are appealing to the eye. Fancy and decorative products arranged in the shops and roadside stalls enhance the magnificence of shopping. Bamboo products like baskets; kitchen utility items, mats and furniture made from typical species of bamboo found in the hills try to jog our memory of a classic traditional society lying beneath a contemporary society. Miscellaneous art forms in local languages that once found way only in holy places today demands the tourists’ attention towards the emblematic and stylish designs that unearths itself in the common products like coasters, vases, greeting cards, jewellery boxes, key rings, bookmarks, wall tiles and terracotta products.
Woollen and traditional textiles specific to these regions undoubtedly accomplish our desire to look traditional and different.
Food products and local cuisine
Long drives through the snake-like lanes offer a magnificent view of wild flowers and fruits in the lush green forest. Food products with medicinal effects locally made from these wild flowers and fruits are unheard of but are common to these solitary places. The local appetizing dishes also satisfy an appetite for home-cooked food but with a local taste. Bal- mithai, a popular sweet of Kumaon kept us licking our fingers.
Other similar products lying dormant in the lap of the hills call for an exploration. For those demanding new-fangled products, hilly areas endows the travellers the opportunity to embrace the original and natural hand-made products that is a source of livelihood for the local tribes, beyond our imagination. There are abundant socio-economic activities spilling over the hilly regions that have the power to absorb the enticing wayfarers. However, information on the shopping items is available by a hair’s breadth.
The socio-economic activities of tourist interest of the hills call for full-blown recognition. User-friendly technologies providing intelligent guidance to the tourists can unveil this treasure and accelerate the development of the socio-economic condition of these areas. Focused and group efforts supported by the government are called for by the local communities to develop new initiatives for better and higher quality products to attract more and more tourists.
We generally try to overlook this hidden beauty whenever we are on a vacation. So the next time we plan for our summer holiday let us not leave behind this ‘hidden treasure’ that means bread and butter for our unfortunate counterpart.