Tag Archives: Delhi

Frames from Sikkim || 2017

Sikkim has always been on my travel diary but somehow it eluded me for years.

Finally, during the month of June 2017, I finally could visit this amazing state. And what I saw literally blew me away. Sikkim is green, clean and all organic (the first & only state in this country!). It is so easy to fall in love with the place that one can’t help but marvel at the amazing natural beauty and the lush sub-tropical woodlands. Words will never be able to do justice to the place.

So, I present a few frames from Sikkim. I hope this gives you the motivation to pack your bags and leave. Sikkim is love. Sikkim is pure magic.

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I failed. Again!

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Tonight, I had slept early. Maybe I was tired or just wanted to rest, I am not sure. But, I fell asleep with the phone in my hand as is generally the case. If I am home, the phone is my friend and gives me constant company when I am not working. And then, an email notification suddenly woke me about 15 minutes back.

I failed tonight. Again. For the Nth time in my life, and each time I fail I lose a little bit of me. You see, a big project that I was working on and was absolutely sure I shall get to do, slipped through my hand tonight. Those 5 lines of email jolted me out of my peaceful sleep like an earthquake would! It’s not that such things haven’t happened in the past. Being in the creative industry, I have faced such failures time & again, but each time it happens, it feels like the first time. The result, essentially, is always the same – every time you fall short of achieving your goal, I fall back and go into deep self-critical role. And THEN, it becomes absolutely impossible and difficult to let go of all that negativity – the negative energy that I feel right at this moment about it all as I pen these words down (or rather, type this down).

As demotivated as I am right now, I think I need to boost my morale by building self-acceptance and through this blog post, I want to help everyone who has ever been through failure in their respective lives. I think, when we hold a negative perception of ourselves,  it is not surprising to feel lost, defeated and like a huge failure in life. Each obstacle, mistake or failure can seem like proof of what we already know, that we won’t succeed and that it is not okay. What we need to do when we feel demotivated or depressed is we need to learn to give priority to ourselves and value ourselves We need to focus on valuing who we are and NOT what you do.

During all these years working as a creative professional, I’ve also come to realize that when we look to our accomplishments for validations of whether we are “worthy” or not, our sense of feeling good about ourselves depends completely on those achievements of life, which, frankly speaking, is a little too harsh.

Yes, I feel terribly upset tonight, yes, I feel dejected & like I’ve failed big time but I also know that with self-acceptance and identifying the issues, I will be fine. I would, at this point in time, love to brag about having truly supportive & compassionate friends but truth be told – they are more like ‘acquaintances’ than friends; I have absolutely NO true friends whom I can fully trust or be open with about my issues. It’s not that I don’t have “friends”. But, those who really care are only a few (less than the number of fingers I have on one hand!). 🙂

At the end of the day, after some thought, self-pity and what not, I have come to realize that persistence is the key to anything in life, and each time I fail, I somehow motivate myself by different means after I am done feeling dejected. This time too, I need to do the same. I need to be persistent. With persistence, no matter what my goals are, I shall increase my chances of achieving them in life…

Royal Enfield Himalayan – 2 weeks of ownership

I would be pretty frank here; I am not that big a fan of the brand Royal Enfield. I’ve always thought about them as heavy & slow motorcycles which require a lot of maintenance, something which I do not quite understand. I am someone who needs his motorcycle to be ‘ready to ride’ whenever, wherever I’d want to.

So, when I got a call from Royal Enfield about riding the Himalayan and keeping her for a period of almost 4 weeks or 1 month, I was taken a little aback, but accepted the offer happily. You see, the Himalayan is unlike any other motorcycle that RE has ever created. It looks smashing, undoubtedly, and the 411cc engine as I discovered is really nice.

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It has now been 14 days (give or take a day or two) that I’ve been riding her, and in this period, I have ridden close to 550kms in city. I am yet to check her highway capabilities, but I think even on the highways, the bike should perform beautifully. On papers, 24.5bhp might not sound too much, especially given the fact that it has got a ‘big’ 400cc engine, but don’t let the figures fool you. The torque is fantastic, and it makes sure you can putter around town at 40km/hr. in 5th gear. On top of that, the commanding view that you get while on that super comfy saddle of the Himalayan is something that one needs to experience to be able to really appreciate. The front sports a big 19-inch wheel while the rear does with 17. But, the most important question which I’ve been getting all through these 2 weeks of riding from people all around me is, “kitna deti hai” (What is the fuel efficiency?). Well, I’ve been getting anywhere between 22 and 27km/litre depending on how I ride the Himalayan, which for me is more than satisfactory.

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Yes, there are certain niggles which I am not too happy about, like the gear-box is one of the worst ‘boxes I’ve ever come across. Shifting from 1st to 2nd is a pain, and I completely believe finding an oasis in the middle of a vast desert would be much easier than finding neutral on the Royal Enfield Himalayan. Also, it has started leaking oil, and that is something which disappoints me BIG time, especially because I’ve had her for hardly 500kms. When I picked up the bike from RE office, it had 2700kms on the odo. So, I don’t see any reason whatsoever for a brand new machine to start leaking oil. But then again, it’s an RE thing, I guess.

 

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Overall though, I cannot help but be satisfied with the overall experience till now. Yes, the niggles does irritate me at times, but when I look at the Himalayan as a package, it brings a smile on my face for sure. I am not sure I can suggest anyone the Himalayan with all my heart, but if you are looking for a motorcycle which is super-comfortable and does what it is pretty much meant to do, then, by all means go with the Himalayan.

I shall share a small vlog and more pictures as I spend more time with the white beauty…

Ladakh – A Romantic Saga ||Episode 1 || Delhi – Sonmarg (Kashmir)

Day-1 (Delhi – Sonmarg) route details: Delhi – Sonipat-Panipat-Karnal-Ambala-Ludhiana-Phagwara-Jalandhar-Mukerian-Pathankot-Sujanpur-Kathua-Ghagwal-Samba-Jammu-Pulwara-Sringar-Ganderbal-Kullan-Sonmarg.
Total distance: 990kms.

The plan was pretty simple, really, or atleast so it seemed. Start driving late night and drive as far as we possibly could so that the 2nd day could be a relatively easy drive to Leh from wherever we would be at the end of 1st day’s drive. And since we were four guys and we all know how to drive, it pretty much should turn out to be an easy affair or atleast that’s how we thought it should be.

Now, the vehicle of choice was a SUV since we pretty much knew the terrains we would encounter woudn’t really be what you call ‘smooth’ in real sense. Yes, there would ofcourse be stretches where we would find some awesome tarmac to go “crazy” on, but then there would also be roads (or the lack thereof!), where we would pretty much crawl, to put it mildly. The stuff that we had packed for this 6-day long expedition to #Ladakh were:

  1. Camera gear (first & foremost, and for ME, most important)
  2. Warm clothes, although it turned out to be pretty much not needed (more on that later)
  3. Engine oil & a 5 litre extra jerry-can filled with diesel for the vehicle since finding diesel might just be an issue enroute
  4. Cash and bank ATM cards
  5. Snacks & chocolate bars for instant energy
  6. Miscellaneous knick-knacks.

We met at the now famous Taj CCD around 1am from where we were supposed to begin this journey. Now, driving on the straight stretches of highway is pretty much something which anyone with a sense of judgement and a patient and cool mind can easily do all night. Getting out of the Capital at that time of the night was a no-brainer and we were cruising happily on the National Highway-1 (or rather AH-1, as it is now officially known) in about 30 minutes time after leaving Delhi. Now, I am what everyone calls, a very patient driver and somebody who would NEVER take a risk while on the road, and since it was well past midnight, I decided to take it real easy and we took a couple of breaks here and there to pick up some energy drinks and just generally relieve ourselves and stuff.

The night was pretty much uneventful and with a driver change in between somewhere passed Chandigarh, we were in the hills by dawn. Now, once you cross into Jammu & Kashmir (at the Lakhanpur border), the prepaid mobile connections seize to work and that is because of the security concerns. Out of the four guys, two (me & another friend) had prepaid connections while the other two had postpaid ones. So, essentially, once we entered J&K after paying the toll-tax at the Lakhanpur border, the prepaid mobile networks were gone, and I pretty much switched off my mobile phone and kept it inside my camera bag, both, to conserve the battery (as if I’d need it in the next 6 days, except, perhaps, to surf the internet & check for emails/ whatsapp/ Facebook/ Instagram/ Twitter over hotel wifi at different locations) and also, I just wanted to feel light. I wanted to feel free.

You see, mobile phones are good; I am not against them. But, there are days when you wish you wouldn’t have them but you cannot help it. So, Ladakh presented me an opportunity to be without my cell-phone for a period of 6 days at a stretch and somewhere deep down, I was pretty satisfied with this.

Nonetheless, this – the first day’s drive was pretty much uneventful, and although we had to drive constantly for more than 18 hours, we finally reached Sonmarg (which is about 990kms from Delhi) by night; if I remember, it was around 9:30pm or so that we checked into a nice, small, cozy hotel and relaxed for the night.

Kashmir Valley

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As tired as we were, while eating our dinner and even after going to bed, I constantly kept thinking and visualizing about the kind of high-passes & the terrains that we would encounter the next day. I had been to Ladakh on earlier occasions but the sheer excitement just doesn’t abate, no matter how many times you visit that magical place. I had also pretty much visualized the kind of shots that I wanted – both for my still album and for the film that I was there to shoot.

With all that excitement and adrenaline flowing through my veins, even at 2 in the night, I couldn’t really fall asleep while everyone else was fast asleep. Finally, after calming my nerves down, I went to sleep, for the next day had some amazing stories which were to unfold…

 

…to be continued.

2016 Kawasaki Njnja ZX-10R || Superbike Feature

This week’s video is a short 2-minute feature of one of the most iconic motorcycles to have graced this planet, the Kawasaki ‪#‎Ninja‬ 10R, and in it’s 2016 avatar, it is more powerful and agile than ever. Thanks to the awesome ‪ Shiv Raj Singh‬ that I got to film this short 2-minute feature on him and about his new green devil.

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‪#‎Youtube‬ ‪#‎Kawasaki‬ ‪#‎10R‬ ‪#‎feature‬ ‪#‎Delhidiaries‬

 

 

 

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Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi are two wonderful people who are to get married very soon. I was fortunate enough to be chosen their photographer for the pre-wedding shoot which was done recently. It was fun, and the pictures have come out real nice. The couple absolutely LOVED these photographs, and I hope you all like these two. These are about 15 photographs from a set of 30+ pictures that I am sharing. Please do like, share & comment if you find these interesting.

For more of me & my body of work/ updates, please find me on the following social links:
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Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Harshit & Juhi || Pre-wedding shoot

Top Three Tips for Photography in the Himalayas – and a possible give-away with this blog post!

*Read the entire post (especially the last lines) to find something really interesting; yes, a possible give-away! Make sure you leave a comment or two regarding anything interesting (regarding travel – like your favorite city, any tips for fellow travellers, etc.) in the comment section below*

 

I’ve always been in love with the Himalayas ever since I can remember. As a child, I always used to get excited whenever the entire family would take vacations, especially anywhere in the Himalayas. As years passed by, I became heavily inclined  and got introduced to my creative side, and writing & photography took the front seat as far as my passion and profession was concerned.

Ever since then, I have been going back to the Himalayas to frame them, and to write more in-depth about them, each time a little more than the last time. And every time I go there, I feel I leave a part of my being there while coming back. They are just magical! Photography in the Himalayas has been a major turning point for me when it comes to falling head over heels in love with the beautiful mountains. And hence, I wanted to share 3 top tips that I could perhaps think of, at this point of time, for photography in the Himalayas. These are not really  “rules” or hard-wired tips as such; rather, these are the 3 points that I could think of right now w.r.t photography & the Himalayas.

  1. Golden Hour is good but don’t be afraid of the so called ‘hard light’ – Yes, we all know how all pictures (especially landscapes) can get that great depth and colors, if photographed during the so called “golden hours” (just before dawn & moments after dusk), but that should not stop you from photographing the mountains or the magical landscapes during the peak time of the day, afternoon, or when the light is not ideal. Impressive panoramic vistas of snow-capped peaks lining the horizon, multi-coloured rock layers and ridges poking through the deep blankets of snow which envelop the upper reaches of the mountains, violent winds whipping snow up in a plum as they strip the exposed peaks bare; All this set against customary deep blue skies sparsely populated with rising puffy cumulus clouds in the afternoon heat, coupled with a turquoise lake or two, it’s all about contrast and how could it not be photogenic under harsh light? In fact it’s at its most photogenic under the harsh midday sun!
  2. Black & White – Yes, I know how colors and everything related to colors look fantastic. But, trust me when I say, black & white has its own charm. Next time you are in the Himalayas, just try and photograph the snow-clad mountains with the dark blue sky and then eventually turn it into a pure black & white image. And you’ll see how amazing it actually looks.
  3. Well, explore! – This tip is not really related to photography per se, but it is true for travelling in general. When you are done travelling through the normal routes, try and explore. Try and find out different paths, get off the beaten path and  trust me, you’ll discover an entirely new world. I know I discovered such amazing vistas, met so many new and interesting people and got some great pictures, just because I took the ‘road less taken’.

If you have any other interesting tips to share with me, please do leave a comment below. Or maybe you can tell me about your favourite cities. Please share your views in the comment section, and I just might have something interesting to ‘give-away’ in my next blog post!

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A Free Day in a Photographer’s Life!

Well, today is Monday, and this week’s video is a short 3-minute walk-through of a free day in my life! There are days when I’m over-loaded with work (photo-shoots, client meetings, running errands, etc.) and then there are days like this. Please do “Subscribe” to my channel on ‪#‎YouTube‬ for weekly updates!

India Gate at first light

Unlike many, I am a morning person. I never had any problems getting up in the morning just so I could catch the first light of the day, for light like that and pictures like this one you see below can only be created during the ‘Golden Hours’.

India Gate at dawn

 

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#LifeofAPhotographer – a short insight (vlog) into my professional life…

 

#LifeofAPhotographer – As a part of this week’s video, I wanted to share a little glimpse of my life as a working full-time photographer. It is the general perception of public at large that all a photographer does is “click a button” apart from travelling to exotic locations, staying in 5-star properties, and just generally having fun. Well, ofcourse that is ALSO a part & parcel of such an amazing “job”, if I will. But, as you’d probably watch in this video, it is much more than just that. It is about travelling during odd hours, sleeping late nights (or in my case not sleeping at all!) and rushing back to the home-city for another shoot and client meet.

Do “Subscribe” to my YouTube channel for weekly updates, if you like the video or like what you see in my channel. 🙂

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