Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Joy Of Taking Micro Shots With ‘ZenFone 2 Laser’

Did you always wonder how to take those stunning micro shots with a simple camera? Well, I did until I came across ‘ZenFone 2 Laser’ – a sleek camera phone that makes photography such an easy job!  

Some of its camera features that I really like are ‘Zero Shutter Lag’, which captures every eye-blinking moment with clarity. I also like its ‘Low light mode’ that increases 4X light sensitivity, for both front and rear camera, and not to mention its ‘super resolution mode’, which reveals extraordinary details and clarity.

Well, don’t believe me, just check out some random photos that I have clicked with ZenFone 2 Laser –

So when are you picking up your 'ZenFone 2 Laser'?

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The 'Ordinary' Moments Of Travel Through My Lens

Travel is about awe-inspiring landscapes, interesting art and culture, variety of cuisines, adventure and so much more. I definitely enjoy all of that. But, what I have really learnt to savour in the last few years as a traveller are the ordinary moments – the everyday life in a new place, the little nuances and the unruffled faces. I believe the usual stuff that just whizzes by without demanding your attention has the real magic that fosters the curiosity of a traveller. What do you think?

I have tried to compile such ordinary, yet impressive moments that I have captured on my travels –

Morning scene in Goa - A bread-man on his bicycle
Life on Dal Lake in Srinagar - Brewing tea on a boat
An evening at a dargah in Bhuj
Fish market in Murud
Bhujodi village, Kutch - A cows stable at a house
A typical fish shop in South Goa
One of the street-side restaurants in Srinagar
Flower vendors at Fatehpur Sikri, Agra
Devpur Yaksh village, Kutch - one of the homes
Young boys playing cricket - one of the villages in Udupi
One of the streets in Srinagar
A vegetable vendor on Dal Lake
Do 'ordinary' moments on your travels amaze you?

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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Why I’m Not Blogging?

I have apparently been away from blogging and social media for quite a while now. I miss being at it vehemently. I miss the magic. I really want to get back to my ‘real’ self. I want to express my thoughts, share my experiences and inspire people the way I have been doing for the past three years. But, I don’t know what’s happening to me. I feel like something is slipping away from my hands.

Blogging is hard work. I mean serious blogging is serious hard work. I realise that my blog and my social media presence are at a certain level and I can bounce back quite quickly. I don’t really have to worry too much about numbers or rankings. I have never thought on those lines anyway. But, what really pinches me is my own lack of discipline as a blogger. I don’t want to be resting on my laurels. I want to keep getting better at what I’m doing.

So why I’m not blogging?
Though I don’t have a particular answer to this question, I’d just say that there’s a lot happening in my life at the moment. But, I’m not putting it here as an excuse for not blogging. I know that my blog is my dream, which I have created on my own. I have to keep nurturing it. So, whatsoever it is – writer’s block, lack of focus or anything else, I have to get back to blogging.

Yes, even travel has taken a backseat in my life for now. I had to cancel my Ladakh trip due to some personal reasons. I don’t foresee funds for any travel plan to materialise in the next couple of months. I’m kind of laying low. I have to get back to doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

Dear readers, I need your support.

My readers are my backbone. It gives me immense joy when I receive messages and emails from my readers thanking me for inspiring them. There’s nothing more valuable to me than the words of praise and encouragement from the people whom I have never met. That’s why I miss my ‘real’ self – the one who always has some idea or the other taking shape inside her mind.

I hope to get over this ‘not-so-happening’ phase of my blogging life and start churning out great, inspiring and invigorating blog posts. The purpose of writing this self-critical post was to share my honest self with my readers. Honesty is the essence of my blog. I want to be truthful to my audience. I don’t want to pretend to be doing fine when I’m struggling with something. I think I have formed a relationship with my readers and it’s my responsibility to let them know if I’m going through something.

So, bear with me as I bounce back. In the meantime, do let me know what you want to read about. I would like to write something that’s fresh and helpful.

I’m aware that this lull will be over soon. I’ll be back to where I belong.

Do you have a tip for me that would rekindle the blogger in me?    

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Saturday, 10 October 2015

Why I Loved Being In Agra And Lucknow

LUCKNOW, the city where I spent my gawky teenage years honoured me as a ‘travel writer’. It could only be a dream! But, what really thrilled me about the UP Tourism Travel Writers’ Conclave 2015 was that Lucknow, ‘the city of great architecture and food’, finally got its due. I always wanted it to be recognised as a tourist destination on a world podium. So, when UP Tourism took the grand initiative of promoting it (along with Varanasi and Agra) through travel writers across the country and the world, I couldn’t be happier.

Since Lucknow had been my city for a decade, I chose to explore AGRA – a city that I hadn’t set foot in before. Yes, I hadn’t been to Agra ever in my life. So, when I was given the privilege to see Taj Mahal at the sunrise, I simply couldn’t resist it.

Besides the beguiling heritage and food, there’s a certain aura about the cities of Uttar Pradesh – the hues of religion, the shadows of traditions and the blends of beliefs, which is truly enamouring. I’d recommend slow travel in Uttar Pradesh. You can’t really do justice to its nonchalant vibe in a hurried trip.

So, why should you explore Uttar Pradesh?

The Taj Mahal

Of course, the Taj Mahal is your first bait to visit Uttar Pradesh. I was fortunate to witness its unfading glory in the fresh morning glow. However, I’d like to admit that I wish I had more time to linger around this iconic monument and take some epic shots.

Unique glimpses of history at Fatehpur Sikri

Although I’m not much of a history lover, I was intrigued by Fatehpur Sikri’s wall carvings that hinted at different faiths and religions. It was amazing to see gothic church arches, grapevines and Persian verses on the walls.  

The Chambal Ghati and the river

The dusty drive through the Chambal Ghati led us to the calming Chambal River, which connects Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The water is beautifully blue and a boat ride introduces you to quite a few unique birds and crocodiles.

Rustic properties

We got to spend a night at Chambal Safari Lodge, an eco-friendly haven in a village near Agra. I found this property a perfect way to chew on the rural charms of Uttar Pradesh. Besides the property being soaked in verdure, the surrounds are also bucolic and earthy.

Plush hotels

To be honest, staying at luxurious hotels is not my personal travel style, but I enjoyed the hotels in Agra and Lucknow, as they really live up to their royal legacy. I personally loved my stay at Renaissance Hotel of Lucknow, which had stunning views of the city, delectable food and an immaculate hospitality. I particularly loved the lamb kebabs, which was the chef’s specialty.

Amazing shopping

Both Lucknow and Agra are great places for shopping. You can pick up some daintily beautiful marble products from the showroom at Kalakriti auditorium in Agra, while Lucknow has an abundance of chikan embroidered clothes.  

Diverse wildlife

My visit to Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary introduced me to cute sloth bears, who have been rescued from the pain and agony of being dancing bears. They played and roamed around like carefree children and their eyes longed for love.  

Mohabbat The Taj show

There couldn’t have been a better way to wind up a hectic day than with a show like Mohabbat The Taj, which narrates the love story behind the Taj Mahal. You can sit back and relax, while the delicate romance of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz enraptures you.

The scrumptious street food

The best way to taste Uttar Pradesh is through its street food – the gol gappas, the chats, the dahi bades and the lassis. Make sure you stop by to gorge on at least some of them to get that authentic UP essence. I can promise you that the taste will not just linger on your tongue, but it will stay in your heart forever.

The classical dance show

We had a treat in the form of some spectacular classical dances at Taj Hotel in Lucknow. I’d say it was one of the best glimpses of UP’s cultural heritage.

So are you ready to explore Uttar Pradesh?

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