Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Indian society, how weird are we

Last six months, we have had the terrace acess blocked by the Society secretary and president, at  Geetanjali complex in Kadma, Jamshedpur , because they found a used contraceptive. 
They don’t know who used it
They don’t know where it came from
( it could have been thrown from the building next door
 I shudder to think who they treat there children and partner, and those around them in there house

They are also scared someone might jump off the building,  though no such incident has ever happened here ( maybe they saw it on crime petrol )  or they themselves are crazy
and thus they decided LETS LOCK it UP.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Mount Kanchenjunga

Today we head down from the mountain and is the last day of our trip and opportunity to see Mt. Kanchenjunga, they say 3 day is a charm, some say the mountain appears when you are ready to leave, ( end your trip”

As she appears, Mt Kanchenjunga
AS usual I was up early & it looked soft and foggy, and then suddenly the Kanchenjunga appeared softly on the horizon, as she appeared it was a faint line that slowly grew and the magic started to happen, 

The glory of the mountain

the play of light and the snow and the mountain was mesmerizing for the next 20 minutes, The journey had come a full circle and we were ready to pack up from the trip

But hold on we are photographers and can never get enough so post Breakfast we were back at the Pine jungle along with violin n Alo our model.

We were not disappointed the sun God was kind and we managed to create some more memorable images, 
finally we were ready to head back to civilization in the planes, 

Lopchu Tea garden
we took a detour on the way back through the Lopchu tea garden and stopped at 2Tea point, named after a manager from the British times

On the way back

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Waiting for Kanchenjunga

Woke up at 0430, had been to bed early as is the norm for me, was lazing not wanting to be the early bird this day, but had a vision of Mt Kanchenjunga bathed in early morning Red/ golden light an vignette of fog, the vision was so clear I just had to jump out of bed grab my camera, I knew it was still dark outside but then photographers you know are crazy hopeful, but then There was only fog in the direction of The mountain, No chance of a peek of MT. Kanchenjunga viewing this morning, some of the other Photographers joined me on the balcony & slowly realized there was no chance of  Mt. Kanchenjunga viewing to be had this day either, It was best to get some coffee n enjoy the foggy morning as I sat and meditated on the lap of Himalayas. Our server Sundari appeared with coffee promptly and once warmed up with coffee I took a small walk around to scope the location around the place of stay, was pleasantly surprised to find 
 300 mtrs from our place a few lovely pine forest more of a pine glen, with an interesting steps leading up into the forest, which we visited post breakfast 

Pine Grove, yes really 

 We had a violin n a loooong scarf as prop for this session with Alo the model  (Alo- translates to Light) Dipankar Da’s find.

Shot By Dipankar  DasGupta

As luck would have it while I was handling a reflector 2 huge dogs ambled up to the model and posed oh so sweetly, it was amazing chemistry between the models & the dogs, yes she is a animal lover and the dogs picked up on it, and the triggers happy Image-makers had a blast making some amazing images.

Sound Of Music

The clock showed 1010 and we were off to find a pine forest once more, another 3 km or so en-route we came across a tea garden the tea plans had been pruned and made some interesting pattern, promptly we dispatched the model dressed in a white flowing dress with her violin on to a rock and pose for next 20 minutes, with pines and vines and such behind her.

Tea Shrubs, can be a trap 
Things were beginning to fall in place finally, folks were beginning to look happy and perky, and just as all seemed to be going very well, One of us “Supratik” managed to trip on a tree stump and hurt himself, why is it that the most fit usually get tangled and take a fall?   He is a trekker and is the lightest and one of the fittest amongst us who managed to fall face first on tea shrub n get a bloody nose, some blood & gore later his bleeding stopped and we all went back to making images, The light was changing and we wanted to get a few images in the camera, Three different ideas executed and 3 different location in One location look, and we were happy to break for lunch.

More chicken & daal & mixed vegetable & rice later and a little nap post lunch (it is just so nice to power nap after lunch) WE were headed for a bridge past the teagarden of Rangili Ravingli we came to the most amazing bridge at end of a pathway 

Alo the model and Me, ( Thank you Subir) 

A Quiet Moment 

which was by a cemetery, the mood of the images lent itself to the location too, and I found a headstone of one born in 1967 makes me wonder what am I looking at?  Is it a sign of a beginning for me, or is it mere coincidence

Born in 1967

We Started back at sunset and stopped at a small quaint village to snap a few and a teagarden on the way, even though it was stop just to stop, I am sure a bunch of us did manage to get some interesting images, this was followed by a Customary tea stop and then back to nawang, we reached back by 1800 hours and tucked into some Potato cutlets and tea and some Peach wine (home made)
Tea Garden 
As the sky opened up rain gods were being kind to us as it continued to pour n pour for 2 hours, Tomorrow morning there is hope for an amazing sunrise on the Kanchenjunga Mountains, will our prayers be answered?

#teagarden #rajatghoshphotography #editorial photography # ravangla #teagardenspirits #mood #mohabbat #love #violin 

Another day to go watch this space, the trip aint over year, the best is yet to come 

The himalaya is calling

15th Mar am away to Kolkata, headed with mom, for a trip to where I will carry on to Lamahata for a photography trip and mom and sis will hang out in Kolkata

for a week or so.  

trip to Kolkata starts with a train ride from 0600, which means one wakes up at 0430 hours, and one gets to sleep for a few hours on the train, Soon we are in Kolkata, and we cross the Howrah bridge to make it to Kolkata, now to rest this day and prepare for the journey ahead

Howrah Bridge

Day 2 will only see us  reach New Jalpaiguri, train tkt avability was a problem, n we lose a day as we travel all day in the train as opposed to taking a nigh train which would have helped us sleep at night and not have to spend the night in NJP in a Hotel ( I know it would have been a smarter decision) 

but this way we got to know each other better as we sat all day and chitchatted and time flew,
and We reached NewJalpaiguri station, at 2100 hours as opposed to 1855 hours, Indian railways still is bad, and will remain so in my life time it feels like, the train was late many a passenger suffered from anger and irritation as we covered the last 5 km in 95 min

Every one had a theory why it was late. N what railways should do for better efficiency, Finally our prayers were answered by the rail Gods and we reached NJP,

We put up at Hotel balajee 300meters from the station, Strongly advise against staying here, dirty, bathrooms small and even dirtier, sheets torn and soiled,  Would not recommend this hotel for stay , better to stay next door at Hotel Tirupathy,

 ( which we did on the way back ) I presume some hotel owners are driven by money to the highest level, and the famous India saying “ athiti devo Bhava” well that’s passé for them.

This night we had chow at a dhaba by the station Yummy all the way.
Tarka daal+ eggs + roti

Here we also met up with the last member of our team, Sanjukta who a photographer cum tour operator, was waiting for us and we called it a night early we were targeting to start at 0530 hours next day.

17th Morning : 

Up at dawn n by 545 we were on the way to lamahaTa, as we crossed Coronation bridge 

Coronation Bridge, built by the grist, Image by Subir

I was reminded of the lovely trip to arunachaL with Rik Bonny and Eda , only a few months back as we had ridden to NERM,

We covered some  30km before  we stopped for a round of teA.  There was a train crossing n as  I sat low by the road a mountain  dog came over n made herself  comfortable  near my feet  a selfie n 15 min break over we hit the road once more
Rajat+New buddy

We stopped for breakfast 40 km into the drive our car guy,Mr Dhandup lama
A very agreeable and  good looking chap stopped at too commercial a stop for  breakfast,  but were itchy trigger finger lot, we needed nature around us, we need to make some Images  We refused to get off & drove around onwards past  another hill before we chose a dhaba to stop for breakfast. Everyone was eager to start clicking a few images we had been on the road too long, 

Dhandup Lama and me 
First view of Teesta river from Up close

view point of 2 rivers  along with Alo n Me 

Bfast was roti sabji.   But then i asked for chicken momo all quickly changed there order to the same n we were a merry bunch of well fed folks n were only 30 km from 
Lamahata, We should be there in 90 minutes max, in time for lunch and then a round of Photography in the evening post lunch

We reached lamahata an hour later n another 10 km drive awaited us to out homestay which needed another 20 minutes to
Upper lamaHata though we seemed to climb down for most part, we drove into a tea estate “ tagada Tea estate “ to reach  “ Nawang homestay”

Nawang home stay with Sanjukta

A delightful place with very friendly staff, homestay was more like a homely resort built for guests and at a location that is opposite Sikkim and Mt Kanchenjunga, 
Mr. lama who is the owner of the homestay owns 30 acres of the land he claimed n the land was given to his grandfather by the British
Lamahata is named after his family

Once we heard about Mt Kanchenjunga some of us started to see the mountain, even though there was a thick layer of mist, it was clouds that we were imagining as The Mountain,

Subir Photographing his bed

The rooms had a lovely view n accommodated 3 to a room
Subir n me were supratik was sharing a room
We got the violin out n made a few images by the bed n window
Talk about room with a view

Lunch at Nawang set the tone of food to come
Rice, daal cauliflower chicken cooked to perfection
Not too spicy
Served with a smile.

Post lunch we headed out to Mamata park, a pine covered forest that we were sure would lend itself to some interesting images, unfortunately we  found the prime location of pine trees swarming with a film crew; not wanting to be a pesky lot who would potentially cause uneasiness amongst the film crew with so many photographers, we took off for alternate locations

first stop was a windy location with a small monument and mandala

The shooters ( Dipankar, Rana, Supratik) arrive at location One

A few minutes soon turn to an hour as we experiment with various shots with the model Alo warming up to the demands of 6 Photographers vying for her attention

Alo in Flight

once done at this location we went seeking sunset, on the way  we met  an 
 amazing mom with kid with an angelic smile 

Mom and Kid

the day was well rounded off as we stood and watched the sun go down, 

#hotelbalajee #hotelTirupati #oyorooms #indianrailways #pabel #alo #rajatghoshphotography #rajatghosh #darjeelingdistrict #lamahata #cutlight #eden

day 3- 4 follows