Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

III stop : Railla


Author: Anupam Maurya

           I saw her

              Ascending slowly  in morning gown 

     She slipped, she gripped, casting silence down 

   And out she came opening the veil of silhouettes

            Singing and dancing to morning rhyme

 Out from my hood, I saw her, igniting young desires

                 As her smile engulfed all mires

     Refreshed  my soul woke up from slumber

                Raring to roar shredding lumber

          I saw her grazing out past the curves of hut 

               Whispering her secrets in her eyes

So profane was the whisper shattering corrupt ghouls

               Causing them to rumble  true souls

                  I outgrew my hand and clasped

                     But she slipped like a dream

                  Oh yes!, I saw her in my dreams.


Thats how I woke up to a cold winter morning sweating under my blanket. As I pondered and tried to recollect the beautiful dream it was as foggy as the morning outside. Nevertheless out of my bed I was and smiled into the mirror as I splashed water on my visage. The day was going to be as beautiful as the dream. It was day for the 3 rural visit to Railla, a village 5 km from Pilani.

We started from the campus in our Phatphatiya Auto with rumbling noise and obnoxious smoke. It asphyxiated me and Harry as we sat behind. This time it was not just our coterie Photomaniacs but other enthusiasts too who accompanied us. We were around 12 people so we dispatched in one Phatphatiya and one red Swift carrying all girls except the driver- Chotu aka Piyush. Piyush, the A.B.S is a skilled driver who bumped over the speed breaker and skidded into a ditch on the way back. No casualtites though. 

In the Phatphatiya I realised I was in the company of some amazing characters. To mention one – Harjeet, a typical ‘sardar’, the one who illustrate why all jokes are made on them ( P.S. – no offence to any community, hold them in high esteem). I simply couldn’t comprehend  how does anyone let him speak and why of all people on earth he was on the journey with me. Nevertheless, we arrived at the village to be greeted by familiar cheers and  hysterical children. It is so delightful to look at their beaming faces. We then carried out our routine survey of the village to get good photographs. With girls along the women folk were more comfortable around us. The usual scenario being women running into houses the moment they see the big camera.

Then suddenly each one of us had an insatiable desire for the Chai, the guilty temptation, and we asked our Autowaala to  arrange some free Goan ki Chai. He took us to a farm house. On the way we were amazed to see delicate gals jumping off into field through the shrubs. As it is exemplified they turned out to be not so delicate, after all. Whatever, we then waited for our chai on the Khats ( bed). Curiously there was a weigh balance hanging by a branch in the courtyard. Each one of us compared who was heavier and even girls played it and pretty soon the secret was out. Finally our Chai arrived and we sipped and sipped wishing it to never end but it did, and so did our trip.




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Jumping-off point – Jhareli

Author: Anupam Maurya

Our very first rural  trip was a prelude to our scheduled trip for the next day early morining. The plan was to take some newbies to a rural trip as part of clicking sessions for Photog’s exhibhition. But, I couldn’t contain my excitement as I haven’t touched my camera for a long time, then. So I pounced up  the moment Soumit suggested for a trip along with Abhinav. We asked the Auto Waala to take us to a nearby  village.

In Soumit’s words-

” Jaha aourte matki ke sath, bachhe kichad mein in short just take us to a proper Gaon waala Gaon”.

Essentially he was bang on the mark but the Auto Waala was bemused and he took us to his own village. I said-” Whatever Dude!, just fucking go somewhere .”

So there we were on the soil where true India lives, they say,  being  unaware what lay ahead.

Our first village was Jhareli, the  Auto Waala’s home. On the very first trip Soumit got his coveted shot. He captured ( in camera ) a sepherdess girl whose pose was quite glamourous. 

One aspect of rural life that we learned is how old folks play games like Cards, Chaurang and other games in evening on the streets  to amuse themselves. I froze that very routine. Just look up. 
Next we  discovered a cool sand dune and had huge fun wrestling and chasing each other. It was perfect location to do a fashion shoot. Pity we didn’t had any female with us. Atop those dunes I acheived the remarkable feat. I captured N. Dot aka Abhinav, known to be Camera Phobic.Then on our way back we were treated with ‘Chai’ which became a coveted item on our subsequent trips. Serioulsy, Chai was the highpoint of all our trips and a huge reason which drew us to all the trips. Its amazing how sips of tea-” Chai ki Chuski” could be a guilty temptation.

 I must mention, hospitality of Rajasthan folks is terrific and unparalled. They just don’t welcome you to their house but to their hearts. They aren’t swarmy like Urban crowd who welcome you with a motive and are suspicious of even their neighbours. On the flipside these people treat every child of their village as their own. This was evident by men fretting over mischeives of  other’s children under their close scrutiny. A man won’t fight other man for hitting his child as he knows it is out of fatherly affection which compelled him to do it. By coincidence our first host worked at our college’s workshop. He instantaneously recognized Soumit and then we were really at home away from home. A chance we get once in 5 months.  Before I go on anymore it appears fulsome to some I better stop here. On our way back to college we had dinner at the Dhaba opposite of Bus Stand and trust me it was good despite being just roti and soyabeen  sabji. We guzzled like famished dogs and left the shopkeeper fretting…

After the trip we were so tired that Soumit slept in my room and the next day we set out for our 2nd adventure with the day-break.


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The Story Board

The story of our journey is not a tale but an unfinished saga which has just begun. That is why it deserves one whole blog. Like a saga it has many chapters to it. Relying on my memory, it can be arranged chronlogically as follows:

1: Jumping-off point- Jhareli
2: : Second Journey- 2nd village- Banghotli, Pilani, Rajasthan
3: Third Journey- 3rd village-  Railla, Pilani, Rajasthan
4: Fourth Journey- 4th village- Dhindwa,Pilani, Rajasthan
5: Fifth Journey- 5th village-Tripaalibadi, Pilani, Rajasthan
6: Sixth Journey- 6th village-
7: NSS ( National Service Scheme ) Project
8: Photog, BITS Pilani  Exhibhition
9: Phookaas Chapter
10: The 7th trip- lined for future….. Continue reading

My First Trip…….


Author:  Sandeep

I share with you my first ever true outdoor clicking session and it couldn’t had been better. It happened by chance. I was just asked after getting up in the morning by my senior and I said yes, obligingly. It was my first but second rural trip of Photomaniacs.

They say India lives in villages.With this rural project at hand we set out to explore the truth behind it.Given below is an account of my first trip as I go down the memory lane………..

Accustomed to laying asleep in our cozy beds in the wee hours of dawn, we broke the habit and set out for a new adventure .The soothing breeze, the chirping birds, chimes of the temple bells, made the perfect setting for a rustic expedition.The subtle pace of our ‘phat-phatiya'(the three-wheeler auto-rickshaw) on the bumpy roads made it even more adventurous !!!!!! After a few kilometers of travelling,we drifted from the main road into a by-lane that marked the beginning of our destination-Banghotliwadi,Pilani,Rajasthan.

We stood there, fixing our cameras, waiting to go on a clicking spree.Photography in essence isn’t just about pressing the button at what you see, it’s about trying to capture the essence, the aura of the ambience around you. As soon as you click the button and freeze the frame,you capture a moment in it,a moment that speaks for itself and tells a different story eachtime. One thing that separates the village folk from the urban people is the lack of sofistication.Their simplicity of approach towards the quotidian activities of life left us astounded at times.But this posed a serious problem as well. As soon as people get a hint that a camera is around there is drastic change in their expression and then you get a couple of artificial poses.As photographers we took this as a challenge and the outcome was tremendous.We had a plethora of portraits capturing people at its bests. The most memorable part was the number of cute little faces that had come greet us. These little friends had lots of enthusiasm and never lost an opportunity of announcing our arrival among their friends. The transition towards modern technology with the passage of time was seen, but with camels ploughing the fields, and the puffy rotis cooked on earthen chulhas(stoves) – the villages definitely present a silent retreat from the complexity of modern life…


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Banghotli – II adventure

Author: Anupam Maurya

I woke up to find Soumit  lying in my cosy bed in deep slumber and I stretched my back due to pain from sleeping on the floor. This ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’ shit came very hard on my back.  Then we all jumped out of our beds and as I went out in the corridor I saw Sandeep rubbing his eyes on the other end. I asked him to join us and he, eagerly, agreed. Then we gathered other newbies and started for our destination Banghotli. The journey was marked with sun grazing out lazily tearing the horizon and casting beautiful reflection in the dirty sewage pond with ducks rippling its surface.

  Banghotli, an unauthorised hamlet on waste land is a simple village with rows of huts and various  kuchha makans . It is here we got some of our best rural shots. A beautiful small girl holding his even small brother in her grasp gave us stunning photographs. We all were astounded at her comfort level with the camera. See wasn’t bothered with our presence, a situation constantly desired.
There we met a local folk artist who played amazing traditional  guitar and was member of a troop, frequently invited to perform at Rajasthan Palaces cum Hotel to entertain VIP’s and foreigners. 
The mukhiya of the settlement served us Chai and this was even better than before. He was a gregarious and sincere man.We had  intriguing and enlightening conversation with him . He told us how Villagers help each other in the time of crisis and told us about their beliefs and creed.
Agar kisi ke ghar anaz ka dan nahi hai to use koi anaaz mana nahi karta. Jholi bhar anaz ya patila bhar dudh to dena hi hai. Rah chalte rahi ko lassi to puchna dharma hai”,
are the words of mukhiya, if I recall correctly. On asking whether their children go to schools he proudly announced -“Yes”. He was also aware of the difficulties and prejudices faced by girl child and he apprised us with  the difficulties for sending girl child to school.
Ladka ho to kahi bhi chala jaye par agar bachi ko peshab karna ho to kaha jaye? ” 
The question might appear misogynist to some but so is the harsh reality.
The proximity of school is huge issue. The environment is not sound for girls to go so far away from thier parent’s supervision and care. 
We were apprised that barter system is still prevalent. He told us how they harvest rain water to meet water requirements. Then we hit upon random topics like Bishnois, Sekhawati, etc to graze out the time in the shade on khatolas. We talked on for some more time and then I slipped into dreams with no dreams to disturb my sleep just the tranquil emptiness and I remember fading slowly into the peaceful abyss…
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IV stop: Dhindwa, birthplace of Phookaas

Warrior Poet

I  am a ranger in the lonely woods ,
wriggling for a pass on the untrodden path.
Life is trying to ripp my ass 
But i m a warrior ,a warrior poet 
I will sing you to the dangers that awaits u 
For there is no one better 
No one insurgent enough to break the ties
the ties that hold e’m back.

I  am a ranger in the lonely woods ,
wriggling for a pass on the untrodden path.
Life is trying to ripp my ass 
But i m a warrior, a warrior poet 
I will sing you to the dangers that awaits u 
For there is no one better 
No one insurgent enough to break the ties
the ties that hold e’m back.


The Beginning

It all started with a desire to break free from the shackles of  banal and bland Urban Life.  In our hearts each one of us  knew that we wanted, something different, rather a drastic change from the cacophony of urban life to find solace in the symphony of nature. The much needed and desired opportunity came to us when we stumbled over the idea of Rural Photography as our new project for the Photomaniacs a.k.a Phookaas ( recently invented). Every one was delighted with the idea and started hemming dreams of the unchartered territory. The dreams didn’t dismay anyone, as it is usually the case, but turned out to be even more beautiful. Our rendezvous with rural life engendered a new persona by mirroring our alter ego before our eyes. We have loads of experience to cherish and here we share some of them with you.
From the hot strong Tea to namkeen Lassi, from fresh air to smoke of Hukka and from generous hospitality to bashful ladies, we were just smitten by every quality of the rural life. Never ever I had so many tea than what I guzzled during our village trips. To read on click arrow…
This blog is an episode in  ” Experiments with Photography-a journey begins” –

Photomaniacs is an initiative by budding group of young photographers who are exploring the exciting and marvellous world and documenting it with their skills in Photography.

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