Posted by: deblinaganguli | January 5, 2016

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by: deblinaganguli | June 10, 2015

Jabalpur: A Land of Marble or Marvel?

IMG_20150605_125039636

A land of hills? A land of rivers? A land of waterfalls? Or a land of historical significance? Assigning only one title may not be justified when we talk of Jabalpur, M.P. One of the most favourite tourist destinations of Central India, Jabalpur has attracted people from all over the world since time immemorial. A place gifted with natural beauty, Jabalpur will simply leave you awestruck. I have always been looking for an opportunity to explore this treasure trove. Finally this summer vacation we could make it to the city of marble rocks.

We reached Jabalpur early in the morning and started exploring the city after relaxing for a while at hotel Roopa. It is a pocket-friendly hotel with satisfactory services. But as far as food is concerned, M.P. as a state may disappoint you.

Our first destination was Balancing Rock, which is situated on a small hill. The picture below will tell you why it is considered as a natural wonder. Quite close to this spot you will find a fort called Madan Mahal which was found in the 11th century AD by Rani Durgavati who fought against the Mughals to protect her subjects. However, due to unfavourable climate we could not dare to climb up the stairs to reach the fort on the hill top.

Balancing Rock

Balancing Rock

We headed for the Jain Temple from this location. This temple is dedicated to 108 Tirthankars (Jain Teachers). All the idols are made of white marble and the most interesting thing about this temple is the ceiling which is painted like sky with small blue spotlights which one may consider as stars by mistake if they visit the temple in the evening. Photography was not allowed at this place. So I am unable to share the pic with you all.

The next spot we planned to visit was Dhuandhar Waterfall. I have always been very fond of waterfalls and trust me this one was a real treat for my eyes. Narmada River doesn’t fall from great height to create this fall. However, there is no doubt that Dhuandhar Waterfall will simply fascinate you. Don’t forget to carry extra clothes when you visit this place because a trip to Dhuandhar Waterfall will be incomplete without enjoying a bath in the river water. It is quite safe even for non-swimmers. You can also enjoy a rope way ride here to get an aerial view of the fall. This spot is also the right place for shopping. Various artefacts made of marble are available for a reasonable rate.

Dhuandhar Waterfall

Dhuandhar Waterfall Our next destination was Chousat Yogini Temple. Located on a hill top, this temple got its name from the 64 beautifully carved statues of Yoginis. Built by the Kalchuri rulers in the 11th century, this temple is yet another example of the marvellous Indian architecture. Lord Shiva and Parvati are the presiding deities of this temple. Other than appreciating the architectural excellence of this temple, you can also get a lovely view of Bheda Ghat from the hill top. The peaceful ambiance of the surroundings will compel you to sit inside the temple for a while.

Chousat Yogini Temple

Chousat Yogini Temple The final and the most rewarding location we headed for was Bheda Ghat. This is a must see spot of Jabalpur, M.P. River Narmada flowing between the marble rocks is a scene not to be missed at any cost. The major attraction here is boating in the river and the gleaming marble rocks on both sides will simply take your breath away (Boating is not allowed from July to September). If you are gifted with an imaginative mind, you may notice several figures on the rocks. This spot has served as a location for many films like Ashoka, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain etc.  The boat ride may take you near Dhuandhar Waterfall if you are ready to pay a little extra.  It is said that enjoying a boat ride in Bheda Ghat on a full moon night is a life time experience. The white marble rocks bathed in silver moonlight create a heavenly scene. The unparallel beauty of this place will compel you to nurture a secret desire to visit this place again and again.

Bheda Ghat

Bheda Ghat Our Jabalpur trip came to an end with sweet memories and refreshed soul.    

Posted by: deblinaganguli | March 19, 2015

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES (Part II)– A REVOLUTIONARY ACT

rich-beggar

Childhood memories are something, you cherish throughout your life. The innocent thoughts, the simple wishes, the even simpler demands, the silent tears when no one pays attention to the desire of your tender heart – this story travels back to that time of my childhood when my logic didn’t seem to be reasonable at all to my elders. The poor ‘I’ could only blame God for not making the grownups a little sensitive to the thoughts (which seemed to be superb logic to me) of a young mind.

This story will take you back to that era when 5 paisa or 10 paisa existed. When getting 25 paisa as pocket money meant, you could easily fulfil your dream of having a Kesar Kulfi. And guess what? The Kulfiwalas were even kind hearted enough to give you the Kulfi for 20 paisa which means your savings could earn you a Hajmola. Those simple things used to given us immense pleasure and asking for something more was beyond our imagination.

You must be wondering why am I emphasizing so much on ‘chillars’? Here is the answer. I think there must have been some strong connections between me and beggars or they must have strongly believed that I was the right person to be hoodwinked. But what they didn’t know was that my master mind could have easily resulted into more misery than what they were already facing.

I was busy watering the plants infront of my house when a beggar came to me and asked for some alms. This time I didn’t make the mistake of bringing misfortune by annoying my mother. So, grandfather seemed to be a better choice for me. I went to him directly and snatched away his newspaper (without doing so, he would have never paid attention to what I was saying). Then I told him the reason for which I had taken away his paper. He readily gave me a few pennies to give the beggar and again dived into the day’s news.

I was cherishing my victory but as soon as I went forward to keep the alms in the bowl of the beggar, my innocent heart protested strongly and my hand resisted the action of giving alms to a person who was already so rich. His bowl was full of coins? How could he make me fool? How could he ask for money when he already had so much of it in his bowl? I was upset. But, this could not be the end. “He should learn a lesson”, my mind told me. Yes, I would distribute his money among other beggars and this would be his punishment for cheating me.

Before he could understand what was happening, I took a hand full of coins from his bowl and ran inside the home. He started complaining to my grandfather who by the time was aware of the fact that something went terribly wrong. He called me and tried to explain things. But I denied to return those coins absolutely convinced that the beggar has succeeded deceiving my grandpa as well. All my efforts of convincing my grandpa seemed to have wasted as no one appreciated the little revolutionary soul. Rather they condemned me for my action. My heart knew I was absolutely right. God knows why the grownups always fail to understand the logic of the young minds. 😉

Posted by: deblinaganguli | March 19, 2015

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES (Part I) – AN INNOCENT QUESTION

beggar 1

Can you tell what the greatest mystery of human nature is? It is probably their unwillingness to live in the present condition (Until and unless you are in love ;-). When we are kids we long to grow up and when the much awaited phase of our life comes with all its challenges, we tend to escape by having a strong desire to return to our childhood, which is MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (as of now, till the Time Machine is invented J).

Well, returning to childhood may not be a practical option but one can relive the moments in their thoughts and memories. Some memories always remain fresh and when you look back at your past, certain things seem to have happened just the other day.

So, here I am to pen down a few stories of my childhood. I had always been a very naughty child with weird thoughts that had always created troubles for my parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, teachers, friends, roadside vendors, cobblers and whom not? (Why I said vendors and cobblers, you will come to know in my next posts.)

I remember clearly that one day a beggar approached me while I was playing in front of my house. My grandfather used to occupy the living room and for some unknown reason, he would never let anybody close the main door of our house until night. Whenever an elder reminded him about the safety of the children (me, my sister and my brother) of the house, he would assure them that he would keep a watch on us which was no more than a myth as he always remained lost in the newspaper and we ‘youngsters’ would always make the most of the opportunities.

So when the beggar approached me instead of my grandfather, I thought I should act like a grownup, responsible person. Kindness ruled my heart. I rushed into the house only to discover that my mom went to take a shower and there is no hope of getting money for the beggar. My God! What would I do now? How could I return the beggar empty handed? I had to do something and suddenly I caught sight of the Alna (a piece of furniture to keep clothes). There were sarees, trousers, shirts, frocks etc. I knew immediately what my next course of action would be. I took everything and handed over to the beggar. He was more surprised or shall I say shocked than happy and I was satisfied to accomplish my mission escaping the eyes of my grandfather who was as usual lost in his newspaper.

When my mother entered the bedroom, her expression was remarkable. She frowned her eyebrow and looked straight into my eyes knowing fully well that my master mind was behind that empty Alna. I told her the truth and how my act of kindness had benefitted the beggar. When she was about to scream at me, I left her awestruck with my explanation that she only had told me the story of Vivekananda and how he gave away everything he had to help a poor. Now, what could be the answer to such an innocent question? 😉

Posted by: deblinaganguli | June 10, 2013

Jagdalpur – The Land of Waterfalls

The vastness of the blue sky above, the soothing greenery around, the narrow lanes through the jungle – set me free once again, free from the clusters of concrete walls. It was a much desired break. Life has taken sudden turns. It was not easy to leave my city, leave the place that is so familiar to me, so dear to me. Coming to a new city and starting life afresh was quite a challenge but the trip to Jagdalpur set me free from all anxieties.

What made the trip heavenly was the company of my best friend [my husband 😉 ]. Being with him is fun. We enjoyed the trip thoroughly. Everything was fine except the day that we selected to visit a few places of Jagdalpur. It was Maha Shivratri which is celebrated with great vigor in Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh.  We couldn’t hire a car as all the cars were already booked. Initially I felt sad and thought that the sightseeing plan will be cancelled. However, my friend managed a bike from a localite. I was so excited because I just love bike rides.

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There was a small temple of Lord Shiva near our hotel. We started our day by paying a visit to that temple. The temple lacked the so called structure or grandeur of Indian temples. It was rather a simple one with no ornamental architecture, an incomplete construction made of bricks. What we liked the most about the temple was its pious and serene ambiance.

We came back to hotel, had a quick breakfast and got ready in no time. I was eagerly waiting to discover the beauty of the Kanger Valley National Park. Though it was quite hot, the journey was not troublesome because it was not humid and as soon as we entered the jungle the journey became comfortable.

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First we planned to visit a cave called Kutumsar, but when we reached there we were shocked to see the end number of people standing in a line near the entrance of the cave. We didn’t expect that the place would be so crowded. Then we came to know that the people waiting in the line were not at all tourists. They were devotees who have come to worship the Shiva Linga that has been naturally formed inside the cave. We decided to head for our next destination reluctantly because entering the cave on that particular day would have been a matter of luck.

We started for Tirathgarh Waterfalls. What a mesmerizing scene it was. I had seen the picture of this waterfall before but I couldn’t imagine that standing in front of the waterfall will take my heart away. The cascading fall rushing downwards made me forget the disappointments that I experienced for not being able to see Kutumsar. Water was not falling from great height but the waterfall was divided into sections. One needs to go to the bottom of the valley to see the small splendid pool that has been created by the waterfall. The flowing water was cooooooooooooooooool and we got as near as we can to enjoy the sprinkling water.

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We left the place and started our journey for another famous waterfall of Jagdalpur named Chitrakot. I have heard a lot about this waterfall as it is called the Niagara of India. I was feeling restless and wanted to reach the spot in no time. Off-course my childish wish couldn’t be fulfilled, but a surprise was awaiting us. We halted at a Dhaba for lunch. I always wanted to go to a late-night Dhaba and savour the tasty dishes as well as enjoy the ambiance. Well, my wish was half fulfilled. At least I could have an appetizing lunch at a Dhaba.

The way to Chitrakot was lovely. There was greenery all around. A Mela (fair) was going on at Chitrakot, but we were hardly interested in that. We rushed to see the waterfall and within a few minutes we reached the spot from where the waterfall has originated. The meandering Indravati river has taken a sudden leap to form the fascinating waterfall. The view from above was amazing and when we went down to see the waterfall from below the view simply stuck us speechless.  I am falling short of words to describe the beauty of the waterfall. Why don’t you take a look at it?

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I am pretty sure that you are also awestruck by seeing the magnificent Chitrakot Falls. We also enjoyed a boat ride in the lake that has been formed by the falls. The boat took us very close to the waterfall. On one side was the giant waterfall and on the other side was the setting sun. The soft light of dusk made the scene even more picturesque. Sometimes a picture can say a thousand words. So I am sharing a picture that will leave little for your imagination.

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We bid adieu to Chitrakot. I hated to leave the heaven but the setting sun reminded me that end only indicates a new commencement…… and this gave me hope for a new beginning of my life as well 🙂

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Posted by: deblinaganguli | December 31, 2012

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted by: deblinaganguli | June 1, 2012

The Call of The Mystic… The Mysterious… & The Magical…

Leaving the woods behind, the meandering roads were taking us to a world of beauty and tranquility. As we were moving through the tea gardens, I realized that once again my agility knows no boundary. My heart was filled with joy to know that within a few hours we (me and my parents) will reach the Queen of Hills, Darjeeling.

Darjeeling Mall

Darjeeling Mall

I have been to this place twice before, but this trip was different as I was going there with my parents. It was their dream to visit this place and nothing could be more rewarding for me to see them smiling all the time during the trip. What more? My father for some unknown reason was quite excited to see the lamas at the Ghum Monastery.

Lama

Lama

Mom and Dad were a little scared initially when the car started climbing up the hill, but as the car kept crossing valleys after valleys they started enjoying the ride thoroughly. What made me speechless is the view of the small villages that looked like paintings when viewed from a distance. The rivers at the foothills of Himalayas were also looking like thin silver strings as our car started moving up the mountain.

Another thing I have always loved about the mountains is its mystery. You never know what is awaiting you in the next turn. You were enjoying rain; suddenly as the car took a turn, you realize that your path is getting drenched in golden sun light.

Tea Garden

Tea Garden

The best part about Darjeeling and the way to this hill station is that you will be wrapped in clouds most of the times. Seeing the sun and clouds playing hide and seek is a wonderful experience in itself. Such beautiful natural settings have always inspired me to bring out the childish heart that rests within.

This time, like a child, I was really shouting and jumping in joy as something unexpected took place on our way to Darjeeling. We went to Darjeeling in April as it is comfortable to spend summer months in hill stations. We were simply stunned to see what was happening. We couldn’t believe our eyes at first. It was snowing during the hot summer months. Yes, it was snowing and we could hardly take our eyes off the unbelievable scene. Maa (mother) and baba (father) were happy like kids.

Snow Fall

Snow Fall

Within a few moments, the blanket of snow covered the road, the trees and the top of the houses. It was an amazing experience to see snow fall due to which the roads got blocked and we covered a half an hour journey in four hours, but no regret. You need to pay for every single achievement in life. Waiting inside the car didn’t seem to bore us as we were drinking the beauty of the picturesque surrounding. Since our car stopped at regular intervals, we could get a chance to get down from the car and play with ice balls. It was fun. 🙂

Toy Train

Toy Train

What made the trip even more memorable is the toy train ride. Though I have visited this place before, I couldn’t enjoy toy train ride. This time it was supposed to be the same as I could get only two tickets for my parents when I was making the reservation online. But I was lucky enough this time as the TT allowed me to board the train and share seat with my parents. It was a thrilling experience to enjoy joy ride in Toy Train which took us to Batasia Loop and Ghum Museum respectively.

Ghum Museum

Ghum Museum

Our next day sightseeing schedule included a few places like Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Zoo, Peace Pagoda and Japanese Temple. I have been to the Zoo and HMI with my trekking team. The other attractions were new to me. When we reached the spot both the Japanese Temple and the Buddhist Temple were wrapped in cloud.

Peace Pagoda

Peace Pagoda

Another place I just loved is the Rock Garden. The way to the garden was not safe as the road was damaged due to a land slide. But the fear and exhaustion of journey was vanished when we reached the beautiful garden. The fall and the colorful flowers around took us far away from the monotony of life.

Spring at Rock Garden

Spring at Rock Garden

When you are in Darjeeling, eating momo is a must. I bet, you will not get such tasty momos anywhere in the world. No need to mention, shopping was also an enjoyable experience.  Other than woolens, Buddhist bells and showpieces, tea and cookies, Darjeeling is also home to some of the finest silver jewelry shops.  Maa bought me two nice silver earrings without which probably my trip would have been incomplete. 😉 Even in my previous trips to Darjeeling I wanted to buy those earrings but couldn’t afford as I was only a student then. This time I could have bought them myself for sure, but receiving gifts is something all of us enjoy. My excitement was doubled when Maa told me that she wants to buy those earrings for me. Thanks Maa 🙂

On our way back to NJP we paid a visit to the famous Ghum Monastery that I have missed last time.

Ghum Monastry

Ghum Monastry

Our trip came to end as ever. It was time to go home. But the valleys flooded in sunlight… the sound of the rain drops falling on the leaves… the soft white blanket of snow…the cloud wrapping the mountain in mystery… once again brought back my true self.

Posted by: deblinaganguli | January 2, 2012

Deblina’s Blog in Review for 2011

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted by: deblinaganguli | October 25, 2011

Namchi, Sikkim: A Few Days in Paradise – Part II

The non-stop gurgling of River Rangeet… the chirping of birds… the green woods all around… the beautiful orchids… the blue autumn sky…. and me… Once again I met myself after a l-o-n-g time.

Namchi, Sikkim, India

I am talking about our Namchi Trip. Finally I have managed some time to move on to the next chapter (hope final chapter) of the trip. Reaching the deserted place gave me the much desired break. Though I was very hungry by the time we reached our cottage, I forgot everything after discovering that the place was much more beautiful than we have imagined.

I was lost in my thoughts when my friend reminded me that we need to get fresh as soon as possible and go for lunch. Well, food was nothing unusual. But the dining place was nicely decorated, simple yet beautiful. The use of materials like bamboo, wood and cane ensured that the local flavour doesn’t get spoiled. You can also enjoy swimming in the pool just beside the dining area. Abundance of flowers is another thing that I liked about the cottage.

dining hall, Sheperd's Vacation Home

All of us were so overwhelmed that we decided to enjoy the beauty of the place and asked Vikram daju to leave with his car for that day. Sitting by the river was refreshing. The cool river waves touching my feet, the rustling leaves whispering in my ears and the air kissing my cheeks… transported me to an utopic world where nobody is aware of words like sorrow, anxiety or stress. Those few hours were unforgettable. Taking strolls by the river, collecting pebbles, running after butterflies and sometimes simply drinking the beauty of the setting sun – we could hardly realize how time passed away.

Rangit, Namchi

Gradually night came to cover the valley in its dark veil and light went off. But I was not at all upset as the candle light made the place even more mysterious. The feeling is hard to express. It was a mixed feeling. Probably eerie and ecstatic will be the right words to express what I felt at that moment.

Despite of the tiredness, I was thrilled enough to spend a sleepless night because I was eagerly waiting for dawn to grace the valley with its soft light. On one hand I was sad as time was passing away fast. On the other hand I was excited to discover what the next day has to offer us.

valley namchi sikkim

It was a lovely feeling to get up at the chirping of the birds, the warmth of the soft sun rays and the bubbling sound of the river. We roamed around aimlessly for some time. The river, the valley and the autumn sky filled my heart with joy.

Our first destination for that day was Samdruptse, a monastery. The huge statue of Guru Padmasabhava, the silent prayer hall, the flags, the candles and beautiful flowers around left us spellbound. We took many snaps and I am sharing some of those snaps with you in this collage.

Samdruptse

Then we moved on to Namchi Central Park. It was the heart of the small hill station housing lots of shops and restaurants. On our way to the central park Vikram Daju suggested that we pay a visit to the Namchi Rock Garden which offers a panoramic view of the entire town. Dotted with various flowers, the rock garden itself was also a nice place. I was eagerly waiting to reach the Central Park as I was dying to have the tasty momos prepared by the locals. Other than the food what I liked the most about the food kiosks is that they served the food in very colorful crockery.
rock garden

Our next destination was a place called Char Dham which is home to the replicas of the four major Hindu sanctums of India. Though the architecture was good, I could hardly concentrate on it. The surrounding was breathtakingly beautiful and I was completely lost. I am sure you will feel the same after seeing these snaps.

char dham, namchi, sikkim

Helipad was the final destination for that day. When we reached the place the dusk sky was beading good bye to the valley. The pink rays of the setting sun made the sky look like a canvas painted by the Creator. We were speechless.

helipad, namchi, sikkim

We came back to our cottage from Helipad and I was keeping my fingers crossed so that the night doesn’t pass away quickly. But time has never stopped for anyone and our trip to the dreamland came to an end.

But as it is said “end is a beginning”. So my search for a new dreamland begins…

Posted by: deblinaganguli | August 10, 2011

My Sincere Classmate

A cute and short story that I am gonna share with you people. Well, this story is about one of my classmates. During our Post Graduation, he was probably the most sincere student who had never missed a single class, especially “African Literature” classes. I was a student of Comparative Literature and I had thoroughly enjoyed studying the subject. I wish I could have attended all the classes. Alas! It remained a wish only. But Peet, our classmate was the one who would have got 100% attendance award, only if JU would have introduced such an award.

His good name was Pitambar, but we used to call him Peet. Now let me tell you a little about him. As I have said before Peet was very sincere, though it is a different story that he never took any notes the way we did. I think it was because he had a sound memory. He could remember everything said in the class. At times he used to sit right beside the table of our teacher and used to look at the teacher with an “expression” on his face as if he was internalizing each and every point made by the teacher. Peet was a little moody. At times he used to sit or even lay down on the last bench. He gave it a damn to what our teacher had to say, he hardly noticed the black board. But yes, he was very particular about one thing, about attending the class no matter whether he was in a mood of listening to the teacher or not.

At times Peet used to join us at “Bedi”, the famous tree shade of JU. He didn’t participate in any discussion but yes, he gave us company. He also used to accompany us to the canteen and we used to miss him a lot during holidays. I think the teachers also felt the same way.

Peet’s name was not there in the register but the teachers were simply impressed with his dedication. I remember what Epsita di, my favorite teacher used to say right after entering the class “Peet, achis to baba” (Peet are you there in the class). So you can imagine his popularity among teachers and students.

classmateNow let me introduce Peet to you. He was a “street dog”. We used to call him Peet because of his yellowish color (Pitambar in Bengali means someone who is wearing yellow dress). So that was Peet, our most sincere classmate and companion. :-p

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