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The Journey Begins…

This is the post excerpt.

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  • Thanks to my parents I caught the travel bug in my teens. This traveling created a interest in photography to record my experiences.
  • The bug of photography took me nearer to nature and wildlife.
  • It gives me immense pleasure to trek and photograph the varied varieties of flora and fauna in India.
  • India is host to one of the largest biodiversity on the globe. This is the only place where snow capped mountains, fast flowing rivers, tropical forest, serene beaches along with desert and lush green cultivated fields, exquisite orchids, and wide range of fauna both avian and terrestrial live near by in a single geography.

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  • The history of India is said to be more than five thousand years old offering wide choice of architecture, from Indus valley civilization to British period.
  • This continues history has resulted in India being the original melting pot of civilization’s globally. This melting of different cultures has given unique identity to India.
  • The clothes, the food, the religious beliefs in India are most diversified and unique globally.
  • As Mark Twain said ” India is the cradle of the human race, the birth place of human speech the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great-grandmother of tradition. Are most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” 

     

     

 

A Documentary On Vanishing Wetlands Of Delhi-NCR

This is my first attempt at creating a documentary.

Through this documentary I have tried to highlight environmental degradation through disappearance of water-bodies particularly wetlands.

The documentary is named Vanishing Wetlands Of Delhi NCR to view the documentary kindly visit my YouTube channel here

The synopsis of the documentary is as follows

Vanishing Wetlands Of Delhi/NCR  

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Introduction: 

It is increasingly realized that the planet earth is facing Grave environmental problems with fast depleting  natural resources ,threatening the very existence of most of the ecosystems. One of the difficulties most frequently faced for decision making is lack of scientific data of our natural resources. 

 What are Wetlands?  

 Wetlands are one of the crucial natural resources. Wetlands are areas of land that are either temporarily or  permanently covered by water. This means that a wetland is neither truly aquatic nor terrestrial; it is possible  that wetlands can be both at the same time depending on seasonal variability. 

 Wetlands support a large variety of plant and animal species  adapted to fluctuating water levels, making the wetlands of critical ecological significance. 

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 Wetlands directly and indirectly support millions of people in providing services such as food, fiber and raw materials, storm and flood control, clean water supply, scenic beauty and educational and recreational benefits. 

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Natural ecosystem sustain human and animal life in many ways 

 Provisioning services: The resources or products provided by ecosystems, such as food, raw materials (wood), genetic resources, medicinal resources, ornamental resources (skin, shells, flowers).  

 Regulating services: Ecosystems maintain the essential ecological processes and life support systems, like  gas and climate regulation, water supply and regulation, waste treatment, pollination, etc.  

 Supporting services: Ecosystems provide habitat for flora and fauna in order to maintain biological and  genetic diversity.  

 Wetlands are an important component of natural ecosystems. 

 Despite these benefits, wetlands are the first target of human interference and are among the most threatened of all natural resources. 

 Around 50% of the earth’s wetlands is estimated to already have disappeared worldwide over the last hundred years through conversion to industrial, agricultural and residential developments.  

 Types Of Wetland: MARSH ,Dams ,Freshwater Lake ,Water Storage Reservoir ,Salt Pans  ,Sea Beaches ETC. 

 Is there any International convention to save wetlands? 

The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971. 

 India is very significant to Ramsar Convention and declaration of more Ramsar sites would help the country to garner global recognition. 

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 It can also promote the conservation of the wetlands in saving varied biodiversity and ensuring water security of many parts of the surrounding regions.  

 How wetlands act as Carbon Sink? 

Wetlands are usually known for mass carbon storage and sequestration in form of biomass, however they are also a prominent source of Greenhouse Gases.  

 This dual nature of wetlands is a very peculiar property and not so well understood, even though it is very clear that under certain circumstances same wetlands could either be net sink or net source of greenhouse gases 

 The circumstances are usually improper wetland management, ignorance of wetlands etc., which lead to their degradation. 

 Factors threatening Wetlands? 

 There are many factors threatening the existence of wetlands. Some of the major ones which are usually caused by human actions are agriculture, encroachments, mining, dumping, global warming, dam constructions, draining, and development of springs etc. 

 

 

 

 

 

Neemrana – A Memory

Design should never say, “Look at me!” It should always say, “Look at this!”David Craib

Few years back I went on excursion trip with Panasonic group to Neemrana Fort. There I captured excellent glimpse of architecture built in ancient times.

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Neemrana is an ancient historical town in Alwar district of Rajasthan, India, situated at 122 km from Delhi and 150 km from Jaipur on the Delhi-Jaipur highway in Behror tehsil.

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It is the site of a 16th-century hill-fort occupied by Chauhans till 1947. The erstwhile ruling family is considered to be of the direct lineage of Prithviraj Chauhan.

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Neemrana Fort has been converted into a heritage resort where tourist can experience the royal living when they stay here.

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Morning Street Walk In Old Delhi

“A place reveals itself on its streets, from pedestrians strolling during lunch time, to performers entertaining tourists on sidewalks, to the bustle of local markets, and more.”

Today, morning I planned a small walk in streets of Delhi with my two friends. In the cold winter morning where the temperature was around 8 degree I started from my home to HUDA Metro Station on my two wheeler and than I took metro to Chawri Bazaar. At Chawri Bazar Metro Station I met my friends and we began our walk towards the streets.

Firstly, we stopped at the nearest tea stall where we had hot cup in breezy winters.

“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.”
― Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living

Than we moved in silence of morning streets where everyone were getting ready for their work. As we were observing streets we got to see people taking bath,sleeping on footpaths in such a cold climate. We captured all the vision which we were watching by our naked eyes. Also there were some morning barbers on streets with their first customer of the day. People were selling their home made products. There were products which we saw in our childhood like marbles etc.

Street Photography is what we use to capture the life and living of people on streets. Photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places.

Thereafter sometime later market started opening people started putting their stalls of vegetables, spices, morning breakfast etc. We enjoyed the scene and started capturing the scenario.

“The main thing I love about street photography is that you find the answers you don’t see at the fashion shows. You find information for readers so they can visualize themselves.”

If we talk about morning street we can’t leave street food which is one of the important part of our morning street walk. We enjoyed Rabri, Kachori, Puri Sabji, daulat ki chat which is one of the specialty of Delhi in winters.
We walked till “Chandni chowk paranthe wali gali”  where we were surprised to see crowd of parantha lovers so early in the morning.
After this we again went backwards to search for morning famous non-veg breakfast Nihari but we didn’t got chance to try that delicacy as we were late as per morning breakfast timing. So we ate  Chana Dal Gosht (Mutton with Lentils) which was also very good and than we started moving towards Jama-Masjid in between one of my friend purchased Rusk from one of the bakery shops and we tried a Sheermal (A mughlai bread).
As we were running late we didn’t make till Jama-Masjid and returned to Chawri Bazaar metro station and kept the left over sighting for next weekend.
Chana Dal Gosht Recipe click here

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is known as symbol of love across the globe and is also considered one of the seven wonders.

Many poets have described Taj in their own way most of them glorify it as eternal symbol of love. The white marble facade  generally symbolizes purity of love.

Some days ago I visited Taj and remembered a poetry by Sahir Ludhianvi which I feel is the unique interpretation of the Monument. This interpretation proves Sahir to be a peoples poet who held a view which was more realist. I would like to share the original poetry in English script and its English translation and request all my readers to appreciate an alternate view and interpretation of Taj Mahal.

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This poetry can be listened  in voice of   Mohammad Rafi for the Film Ghazal

Meri Mehboob Kahin Aur Mila Kar Mujh Se

Taaj tere liye ik mazhar-e-ulfat hi sahii
tujh ko is vaadii-e-rangeeN se aqeedat hii sahii
merii mehboob kahiiN aur milaa kar mujh se!

bazm-e-shaahii mein ghariibon kaa guzar kyaa ma’anii
sabt jis raah pe hon satwat-e-shaahii ke nishaan
us pe ulfat bharii ruuhon kaa safar kyaa ma’anii
merii mehboob pas-e-pardaa-e-tash_heer-e-vafaa
tu ne satwat ke nishaanon ko to dekhaa hotaa
murdaa shaahon ke maqaabir se behalne vaalii
apne taareek makaanon ko to dekhaa hotaa

anginat logon ne duniyaa mein muhabbat kii hai
kaun kahtaa hai ki saadiq na the jazbe un ke
lekin un ke liye tash_heer kaa saamaan nahiin
kyuun ke vo log bhii apnii hii tarah muflis the

ye imaaraat-o-maqaabir ye faseeleN, ye hisaar
mutla-qulhukm shahanshaahon kii azmat ke sutuun
daaman-e-dahar pe us rang kii gulkaarii hai
jis mein shaamil hai tire aur mire ajdaad kaa Khuun

merii mehboob! unhein bhii to muhabbat hogii
jinakii sannaa_ii ne baKhshii hai ise shakl-e-jameel
un ke pyaaron ke maqaabir rahe benaam-o-namuud
aaj tak un pe jalaa_ii na kisii ne qandeel

ye chamanzaar ye jamunaa kaa kinaaraa ye mahal
ye munaqqash dar-o-deevaar, ye mehraab ye taaq
ik shahanshaah ne daulat ka sahaaraa le kar
ham ghariibon kii muhabbat kaa uRaayaa hai mazaaq
meri mehboob kahiiN aur milaa kar mujh se!

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Translated by: Riz Rahim.

For you, the Taj may be a monument of love;
you may adore this lovely spot
but, darling,
let’s meet somewhere else!

In such royal places,
we– the poor?
Regal opulence seen every which way,
two poor lovers– here?
Really out-of-place!
Sweetheart, under this so-called symbol of love,
if only you’d seen the vulgar splurge of opulence.
Charmed you may be by royal mausoleums,
if only you’d thought
of our own dismal homes!

Countless millions are in love;
who can say their emotions aren’t real
just because they, like us, have no means
to put up an advertisement?

These mausoleums, these arrogant forts,
these pillars of royal eminence, these lush gardens:
In these very flowers and vines
runs the blood of our own ancestors, my love.

Don’t you think they must also have been in love,
the people whose art and skill
made this monument so beautiful?
They and their loved ones now lie nameless,
in unmarked graves,without a single candle
yet lit for them.

These gardens, by the Jamuna [River],
this palace, the embroidered doors, walls and niches–
that’s just how an emperor,
using his wealth and power,
mocks the love between us poor people,

Could we meet somewhere else, darling ?

 

A Small Expedition To Spot Gangetic Dolphin

Introduction:

The Gangetic Dolphin or South Asian River Dolphin is a freshwater or river dolphin found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan which is split into two subspecies, the Ganges River Dolphin (1,200-1,800 individuals) and the Indus river Dolphin .

Conservation Status: Endangered (IUCN 3.1)

The Ganges River Dolphin or commonly known as Susu, lives in one of the most densely populated regions of the world. One of the main threats to the species is loss of habitat due in large part to the creation of dams and irrigation projects.
The Featured Image is Credited to River Dolphin Trust

 

My Expedition:

On my research and discussions with other wildlife enthusiasts  I found out that the nearest place from Gurugram where I can spot Gangetic Dolphins is Stretch of River Ganga at Mukteshwar popularly known as Garh or Brij Ghat.

Distance between Gurugram and Garh Mukteshwar is approximately 130kms.

Last weekend I drove to Garh Mukteshwar from Gurugram, the journey became a experience in itself as we took a wrong turn around Ghaziabad and left NH-24 and went towards Meerut and criss-crossed  the lanes and by lanes of Meerut town to reach two lane state highway which took us through lust green sugarcane farms. So a journey which ordinarily would have taken 90min from Ghaziabad was completed in 3 hours.

At Brij Ghat Garh Mukteshwar we hired a motor boat and requested the boatman to help us spot Gangetic Dolphins.

We spent more than two hours cruising the river upstream and spotted around 5-6  Dolphins. One of them looked fully matured animal rest seemed to be juvenile. It was experience to be remembered when i saw the National Aquatic Animal jumping out of water to breathe.

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I asked the boatman to take us nearer so that I can get good photograph for my records. But he told that because of the noise made by engine of motorboat the Dolphins tend to keep distance from the boat. Before, when non-mechanized boats were there the Dolphins used to come near the boat and were easy to be photographed.

Alas, technology has reduced the chance to easily photograph this majestic water mammal which is also National Aquatic Animal Of India.

But the experience and joy in spotting this beautiful and endangered animal was immense and I am happy to share my experience with all.

Key Facts About Gangetic Dolphin
Common Name: Ganges river dolphin, blind dolphin, Ganges dolphin, Ganges susu, Gangetic dolphin, hihu, side-swimming dolphin, South Asian River Dolphin, Indus River Dolphin ; Plataniste du Gange (Fr); Delfín del Ganges (Sp)
Scientific Name: Platanista gangetica
Status: IUCN: Endangered
Population: 1,200-1,800 individuals
Habitat: Ganga and Brahmaputra river system
Length: About 2,5 m
Skin colour: Greyish brown

 

To Know more about Gangetic Dolphin Click Here

 

Corporate Health Camp Organized By KareAccess LLP

Today, I had an opportunity to cover my first corporate assignment.

KareAccess LLP had organized a specialized health camp for the employs of leading auto portal DROOM Technologies at their headquarter in Gurugram.

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KareAccesss had partnered with VIMHANS PrimaMed a leading super specialty hospital in New Delhi.

The Health Camp was co-ordinated by Mr. Chetan Rattan from KareAccess and Ms. Esha from DROOM Tech. conducted by Specialist NEURO PHYSICIAN Dr. Namita Kaul and NEURO SURGEON Dr. Vickram Singh From VIMHANS PrimaMed.

The camp mainly focused on PAIN management.

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The employs were screened for

Back pain

Neck Pain

Shoulder Pain

Migraine

Headache

Vertigo and other Neural Disorders.

Around 80 employs consulted the specialist of which around 60 were prescribed test and medicine and around 10 were requested to do a follow up consultation at the hospital.

 

Ajmer- “The Abode Of Khwaja Garib Nawaz”

Last month my father had some work at Ajmer so we planned a family road trip to Ajmer. On a cool November morning we started our trip from Gurugram. The route from Gurugram to Jaipur is more or less converted into six lane highway with flyovers through most towns on the way making the drive more easy and pleasant. Other than the flyover at IMT Manesar only three are under construction, the old bottle necks at Dharuhera, Bahroad, Kotputli etc have been removed and the car zips through the flyovers.

We reached Ajmer at around 14:30pm in the afternoon and we reached residence of our family friend who hosted us for the next two days. After resting for 2-3 hours we started to explore old known places in Ajmer.

The first place we visited was Anasagar Lake, its a man made lake supposedly dug by Annaoraj the Grandfather of  Prithviraj Chauhan. On its bank Shahjahan built a marble Baradari, and Jahangir laid down a Mughal Garden, the Baradari and the garden is protected monument under ASI. A few years ago an exhibition of Indian art was held at Queen Victoria and Albert Museum In London where the entrance of exhibition was through marble gates which were taken by the British from this Baradari.

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The lake has lost its size but the municipal corporation of Ajmer has tried to maintain water level in the lake. In lake I spotted my first Adult Night Heron.

Next day me and my cousin rode to Cantonment Town Of Naseerabad through rural areas the main village on the way was Rajgarh. Where ruins of an abandoned fortification  and battlements of yore along with temple mark the Geography.

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The reason of going to Naseerabad was to taste KACHORA a local specialty  made famous by Chavani Lal Halwai, a Kahora can described as rough tough robust male to a petite kachori.

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In evening we went to the Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti also known as Khwaja Garib Nawaz. The Dargah is deeply venerated by members of all communities and it has two unique and large cauldron (DEG) donated by Mughal Emperors which are said to be the largest cauldron used to cook Sweet Rice (ZARDA) which are ordered by people whose wished have fulfilled.

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The markets around Dargah Bazar are famous for a typical Sweet Dish known as Sohan Halwa , meat preparation and Indian street food.

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Lanes Of Ajmer

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