Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The most colorful & Instagram-worthy streets of Delhi.

Looking out for local art on travels is something that excites me more than often. Every time I am visiting a place, I would try and search up for their local arts & crafts and more details about it. When I planned my trip to Delhi last year, I was looking forward to witness the on-road canvases at the LODHI ART DISTRICT.

More than the historical monuments, street food, chaos & pollution, Delhi has this one thing to offer that absolutely left me speechless. Thanks to Start India, in 2016, Lodhi Colony emerged as India's first open air art museum. The facades of the public housing showcase some amazing and elaborate murals with each artwork carrying a concept behind it.

The larger than life painting had to make me awestruck. Moreover because it was like this one grand exhibition of various art forms from Indian Tribal Gond Art, Shekhawati Paintings, Typographic Art and some international elements. A lot of the art works also have been inspired from the local places & people and then there were some that spoke about global issues like environment, genders etc.

In addition to all of the above, there's one more reason you don't want to miss this place - It makes for one the best backgrounds to be pictured, take my word. 

Here are some of my favorites : 

1. How is Global Warming by Gaia.
  Photo by St+art India

This juxtaposed representation of the inflated and the deflated globes touches upon the most pressuring issue of today - Global Warming. 
This is one topic where people have elaborate discussions about but the conscious efforts are never taken. It kind of scares me to think if the glass dome showcased by the artist is going to be our only escape & if we could never really experience what fresh air feels like, smells like after a certain period of time!
2. From your strength, I weave beauty by Shilo Shiv Suleman with The Fearless Collective

In the soft pink corridors, the elderly woman who's just walked out of the mist, the lines of struggle showing every inch of her pain stands on one side while a woman from the next generation pulls out all of the mist (pain) from her and transforms it into gold.
This piece is truly empowering in a lot of ways. It kind of reminded me of the Japanese technique -
Kintsukuroi (the golden mend). Also, I think I'm inspired to work around the thought that says
'From your strength, I weave beauty'.
3. Lavanya by Hendrik

Lavanya meaning Grace is a portrait of a local woman spotted by the artist.
Even after all the hardships & struggles that a woman has to go through in her daily life, she maintains a certain grace about her at the end of the day. This woman here is an ordinary aged woman with too many lines on her face. Sure, her hair must not be in place. I don't think she has done her eyebrows either. She nothing of the beauty that we think beauty is. And I can easily say that she is carrying more grace than we can even look beyond!
Also, I like that it's done in the old school sketch medium.
4. Colours of the soul by Senkoe.

  Photo by St+art India

I would love to add this in my favs list for the thought behind this art work. The artist wanted people from around to get together and talk about their daily lives, make friends with each other and share happiness just like the birds would. Time to set aside all our inhibitions, eh?!
Something that we don't do much often these days, me included. I personally love talking too much but at the same time hate the hush-hush that is a part of this society. I have always thought that may be I'd like to be friends with my neighbors if they stopped poking nose in my business and having judgements about it. I can pull off an easy conversations with them then. But then my friend reminded of something that I am consciously putting efforts into these days & that is trying to change my perspective towards things. I think this artwork is a great encouragement for me to keep my practice of 'Charity begins at home'.
5. We love Delhi by Lek & Sowat with Hanif Kureshi

This is such an interesting collaboration where the french artists Lek & Sowat decided to use Sanskrit, rains & Holi as their inspiration. The colorful Sanskrit words were half erased with water once painted. And to this solid background, Hanif Kureshi has hand painted the typo - 'We Love Delhi' above it. Now c'mon, everybody's is going to relate to it. 
The other day I read a question that asked 'What am I most proud of about my culture?' & the instant answer was the diversity. The diversity of the colors shown here speaks so much of INDIA for me. Kudos to Hanif to choose the Devanagari font to state an English statement. #DESISWAG

Pro TIP : Walk through the streets.

When I was walking down the streets I noticed that the neighborhood was really really quiet compared to the Indian standards. I thought it must be because it was drizzling that day but later I found out that even otherwise the locality is very quiet. How I would love to stay in such a neighborhood, I mean just imagine - exceptionally brilliant art murals all over, quiet lanes, no honking, clean streets. This allowed me to spend a lot of time without having a track of it and a better understanding of the consequences of having the city lanes painted all over. 

Other walls in pictures.

Katha-Crazy Twins by Harsh Raman.
Rani Laxmibai represented by Lady Aiko.
Shekhawati painting by Mahendra Pawar
Tribal Gond Art by Rakesh Memrot
Picture by The Better India
Padma Mudra by Chifumi. Picture from Deccan Chronicle

There was some sense of respect that was developing for the artists who have volunteered to transform these lanes. It's not your regular canvas paintings that can be auctioned in the grand art galleries to make tons of money. Somebody has to think beyond the regular norms so that we make a better place for tomorrow and these artists took it upon themselves. Suddenly, the dull residential areas in the center of the capital, with their typical box-shaped, whitewashed government housing, have come to life.

Original Aboriginal by Reko Rennie

The Tourist by Avinash and Kanesh

These and many many more artworks are on display at India's first open air museum. Artists from & outside India have come together as a collective under the non profit organization - StArt India to make the locality a very interestingly habitable space.

This project is in association with Urban Development Ministry and an initiative like this is going to promote quality lifestyle, clean cities & street art in India. Delhi has set a very high benchmark for the rest of India to take an inspiration from. While it has surely made art accessible to everybody, the subjects chosen are going to break the invisible socio-economical & religious lines that generally divides the society. 
Some murals in the city are also painted along with prison inmates giving them a platform to tell their stories, I read somewhere.

Thank you Delhi for showing me your most beautiful side


Lodhi Art Distrcit | General Tips

- Take a walk through the lanes. I say this again, and again.

- There's a good chance that you might not be able to catch up with all the murals in one go. But you can always come back and see the rest of them.

- If you want to take good pictures, get upstairs on the building opposite. Wide angle could help capture the walls better.

- A little bit of research can help you understand the details about the artworks.

- Try and interact with the locals if possible, some of them have helped paint these walls. And as mentioned above, it's a quiet neighborhood and we should respect that!

Lodhi Art District | Getting there  

Lodhi Art District is located in the Lodhi Colony between Meherchand market and Khanna Market. Nearest Metro Station is Jor Bagh or INA Market. 
You also have good number of auto rickshaws and buses going this route.

Note : Not all pictures belong to me. Since I was there on a rainy day, some walls couldn't be captured the way I would have liked to. Nevertheless, I have picked up the best pictures from the mentioned sources.

Join me on Instagram & Facebook for the real time updates about my travel stores, art and much more.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

I Miss You Gyp.

This day, last year I was playing around with one of the most precious gift I could ever think of. I had been wanting to pet a cat and I spoke about this to my friends. I was very excited about the idea of being a cat-mom but at the same time I was freaked out by the responsibility that would naturally fall upon me. When on my birthday night, I saw this little furr-ball I didn't think twice to accept the responsibility.

Few months into it and I quite got adapted to being a cat-mom to Gypsy. She was such a curious cat, exactly opposite to what I thought she would be. She was always energetic, ever ready to play, she kept everybody on their toes in the house. She never slept during the night and slept through the day instead. She felt so much of energy at night that my dad always complained about her not letting him sleep. She was so playful and smart at the same time. She used to jump and run and hide  and what not. And after shes done all the uthal-puthal here and there in the house, she'd easily sneak away in some random corner of the house (that is not so easy to guess) and pretend as the most innocent being in the world. Sounds so much similar to having a toddler in the house right? She was like one.

One day my mom was talking to our watchman or somebody at the door and it was slightly open. We knew that gypsy used to always find ways to run outside whenever we opened the door so she was being cautious but  I don't know what happened, within a matter of seconds she sneaked her way out and ran to the ground floor (We stayed on the first floor). My mom rushed behind her but she was so quick to hide somewhere that my mom couldn't find her. I was at work that time but my mom called me immediately. Even though I was scared I tried to calm her down. Once I reached home, me, my mom and my dad, we tried and checked every possible corner where she could have gone but we couldn't find her. the next day, my mom spotted her underneath some car parked in the building. She got her home and everybody had a sigh of relief. Since that day, we observed her going to the window and calling out for somebody again and again. It happened repetitively and one day I saw a male cat loitering under our window. I immediately got her to the doctor to get her checked. The doctor suggested we wait for a few days to get a confirmation if she was pregnant or not. Few weeks later, when we got her sonography done, the doctor confirmed that she was pregnant. It was very surprising because it was only one time she went out and probably was with that male cat the whole time. The doctor told us that cats could be highly fertile as well.

It was only a few days that we got used to her routine, especially my mom. I was working and was hardly able to spend time at home to be responsible to take care of Gypsy. I never spoke it out, but I am really thankful to my mom for taking the responsibility unknowingly and she did so well :) Even Gypsy had become a part of mom's routine. We didn't know what to do when we were told to let her pregnancy pass and then get her operated if we wished. We still started her nourishment diet and looking after her more.

We then shifted our house to some other locality and within few days, Gypsy got acquainted with the house well. But we never took her much in the outdoors after shifting. I was on a very tight work schedule and mom was worried that she can't handle her outdoors. And one day, she again sneaked out of the house. Again, within a fraction of seconds. Though our apartment was on the fifth floor, she climbed down the stairs till the ground floor and hid herself somewhere again. We chased her, kept looking for her but we couldn't find her. We expected her to come back but how could we? It was a new place, she didn't know it at all. It was that day, 2 months ago & it's today. She hasn't returned yet.

I don't know where must she be wandering, what she must be doing, what she must be eating? And all of this while she's carrying babies inside her? Imagine what a  woman (human) would do if she was this helpless while carrying a child in her womb? Though cats are able to take care of themselves and they somehow find their way, how can I convince myself to not feel the guilt? The guilt of being so irresponsible? The guilt of not being there to comfort her through the pregnancy? The guilt of not realizing what it means to take up somebody's responsibility? But I didn't do it on purpose. It was an accident. I tried my best to look for her.

So now what am I supposed to label myself as? An irresponsible cat-mom or an unfortunate one?

I am still waiting to see her someday trying to find her way back home. I am hoping she's fine. She must have had babies by now. I missed witnessing a miracle. I miss coming home to a energized furr-ball. I miss the meow-ing. I miss her.

Stay safe and happy wherever you are Gyp.

Thank you visiting.
You can find me on Instagram as @patakaaguddii_

P.S.: Please make sure to give the picture credits if used anywhere.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

3 Things to do before entering 2017.

It is that time of the year when we reflect back on how the entire year has been for us and start cribbing about not achieving what we wanted to. It's happened to everybody, I'm sure. But it's possibly a wrong attitude to have while entering the New Year. There's going to be a whole new lot of opportunities waiting out there for us and we need to have a realization of it. These thoughts are only preparing us for more and more disappointment.

Personally speaking, I consider 2016 to be the worst year of my life till date. But now when the year is ending I would like to thank it for showing me exactly what I don't need. I came to a conclusion that the negative chaos going on inside of my head has to go. And why just me, I think there are so many of us feeling the same at this moment. Letting go of anything in life can be a little scary, but it can also be an amazing act of self-love.

I am listing down 3 things that (are helping me) could help you to have a new beginning with positivity. ◕‿◕

1. Forgive yourself (& others) for all the mess ups.

Remember everybody messes up and so did you. It's absolutely fine and there's no need to dwell on that thought. Let go off anything that isn't working for you right away.
And just like you did, someone else can too. Probably they were just being humans and everybody deserves another chance.

2. Pick 3 (max) things to focus on in 2017.

I say 3 because I don't want you to think about too many things at a time. That is only going to confuse you more. Pick your 3 priorities and focus on making the most of them. I would like to stress on one of the priorities among these to be yourself because at the end of the day, it is really important to feel happy about the way you are.

3. Be grateful.

Thank people who have been there for you regardless of everything. A warm appreciation towards them is really going to brighten them up. I know, not all things can be put into words but a small 'Thank You' is not going to harm anybody. They deserve it.

No matter how 2016 has been for you, let that go! Focus on what's coming up. I hope you all have a fantastic year ahead.

Thank you visiting.
You can find me on Instagram as @patakaaguddii_

P.S.: Please make sure to give the picture credits if used anywhere.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Hello new friend!

 It has been pouring continuously since a week and the weather seems pretty awesome. Now that coming from me is a little strange because honestly, I don’t like rains that much. But, surprisingly, I have been enjoying them lately. I am up early every morning and it has become a little routine to sit by the window watching the rains while I sip my ginger tea and there’s some morning music playing on my computer. There comes a point where I find myself completely lost in some thoughts varying from about life to myself to people existing in this world and outside too. It is such a mind chilling experience to watch the rains and I have noticed it to calm me down a little. When I plan the day ahead, I don’t feel like getting out of the house. My mind is only filled with these delightful images of curling up in the cozy blanket with some hot tea by the side and a good book to read in my hands. It feels more like living in the moment and experiencing the simple realities of life.

About 4 years back, I had visited the national park here in Bombay with my girlfriends to purely enjoy the scenic beauty of the forest during the monsoons. We walked on the path never explored before with not even the slightest of the idea that we were about to find a site that would mean just so much to us. It happened that, we were walking over the rail tracks and we could hear a little gush of a small rivulet flowing nearby. We followed the sound of it and in sometime the water became visible to us. To get till the rivulet, we had to hike a little which we were skeptical about in the start but T convinced us to take it up.  We were there and  MINDBLOWING !!!!!!

It was a reflection of the sceneries we wrote essays about while in school. We had never seen such a beautiful spot ever before.  I don’t know how but in a very small amount of time, that place had our hearts. We often come here in the monsoons and every time we come here we are mesmerized by the beauty of it. Nature holds so much power in itself that it is beyond anybody’s understanding how and when will it act! I came by to say a little hello to this place few days go and it has opened me and my mind so much. I have not seen much outdoors in recent weeks and when I was here I was only reminded of what I might be missing out on. It showed me how many opportunities are waiting out there for me and they would be gone if I don’t take any steps towards it. It felt like talking to a friend that afternoon. It said to me that things go wrong, terribly wrong. And it is good to experience the grief of it but not till it chokes you. I am teaching myself to look at the positive side of the happenings and I am very much at it. I have realized how really strong I can stand.  Surely it is tough as hell, but I think I can make through it. I have to. 

Thank you visiting.
You can find me on Instagram as @patakaaguddii_

P.S.: Please make sure to give the picture credits if used anywhere.

Monday, 4 July 2016

GOA - 10 offbeat experiences.

A lot has been said and written and seen and talked about Goa. I would just like to add one simple sentence to it - 'Goa is an experience'. Having visited over numerous times to this Paradise, it was only lately I experienced Goa outside the beaches and parties. The beaches are undoubtedly the most attracted locations over here but Goa is so much more than that. It has so much to offer and I feel sad that it mostly goes unnoticed.

I had been to all the major locations so I had to look for other things to do in Goa while I was there in April this year. That is when I realized that there are just so many other experience one can have and those are as good as relaxing yourself at the beach or getting sloshed with your friends at the night club. Here is my list of the 10 offbeat experiences in Goa:

1. Staying in the hostel.

The hostel culture is slowly growing in India and is proving to be in favor of the growing number of travelers in the country. It is a very good way to meet like minded people and know about their stories and at the same time it goes very easy on your pocket. Check out the options below:


Picture belongs to me.

 Cost : 400/- to 500/- per night

 Jungle by The Hostel Crowd

Cost : 400/- onwards

Prison by The Hostel Crowd

 Cost : 450/- onwards

2. Stay at a beach shack


The view I woke up to at 4.30 AM.

Location : Tantra Beach Shack, Anjuna
 If you are wanting to give yourself a total traveler's vibe, you might as well choose a beach shack to stay. It's a complete different experience in itself. Having said that, I'd also like to mention that it is not at all luxurious. You might as well have to choose to opt out of privacy. I stayed at a beach shack and it was a tree house. I had to climb up and there were no walls (it had curtains). But at the end of the day, it is going to be worth it because not everyday you get a chance to sleep to the sound of the waves and wake up to it. 

3. Cycling to explore.


Picture taken at Assagao, Goa.
Ditch the car and experience Goa on a bicycle
Leave the car and two-wheeler behind, and cycle around Goa for a change. I booked myself a cycle and decided to watch life pass by in slow motion, visit places on the journey you wouldn’t normally get to and notice things that would usually get missed out at a faster pace. You’re bound to experience another side of Goa’s beauty when you slow down long enough to notice the birds darting around and the way the light filters through the lush foliage.

  4. Spice Plantations 


At the Sahakari Spice Plantations

 This was very, very surprising that I had been to go so many times & I didn't know about this at all. Visiting the Spice farms is one day activity and it's totally worth it. I visited the Sahakari Spice Farms in Ponda, North Goa. Apart from acquiring some knowledge about the spices, they also have one more fun activity that is totally worth a try - Bathing with elephants. Yes, you can actually enjoy a refreshing bath with the elephants.

5. Paragliding 


Well, I know Goa is all famous for it's water sports, but I give a thumbs up for the paragliding activity that happens here. Imagine yourself up in the air, over the beach, enjoying a bird's eye view of the shore and the city ! It happens at Arambol (I did there) & Anjuna. I would recommend Arambol because from up there you can see the Querim beach & the Querim village which is the last beach and the last village of Goa respectively.

6. Reis Magos Fort

I happened to visit this marvelous fort this year and I was absolutely stunned by the view it offers. It overlooks the Mandovi river and it is perfect location to relax yourself during the sunset (or sunrise). It also a has a small Mario Miranda art gallery. 

7. Talking to the locals


Yeah, it's your journey and your story and your experiences. But take out some time to actually listen to the locals while they narrate to you their stories. So many of them have such great and inspiring stories to tell. You never know, they might be capable of giving you a better tour of Goa trough their narrations.

  8. Explore a local village

Goa has hidden some of it's beauty in the local villages. Make a trip to these places and discover the locals and their day-to-day activities. And if you happen to be there around late June, you might as well get to experience their local fest called Sao Joao. I happened to spend sometime in and around Assagao, a coastal village, and trust me, it felt like straight out of the movies. Clean surroundings, pretty houses, home gardens, bougainvillea & their slow paced lifestyle. I will totally recommend this one. 

9. Trek to Dudhsagar Waterfalls


Okay now, overcome your beach hangover and take up the hiking route. Goa has some fabulous trekking routes and the route to the Dudhsagar Waterfalls is one of them. Staying true to it's name, the waterfall does appear like a 'Sea of Milk'. The best time to visit here is in monsoons for obvious reasons. And also, during the dry season you won't be able to see it's actual beauty.

10. Volunteering


I had saved the best for the last. Well, this is probably the best offbeat thing you can try out in Goa. There are a few NGOs in Goa that give you an opportunity to volunteer. So while I was staying at the hostel, I met Sarah, who was going to head to Arambol to volunteer to help save and treat the street dogs. Though I didn't really sign up for any particular program, I got to spend a few hours with a volunteering team who had got the street kids to enjoy the beautiful Ashvem Beach.
I am planning to undertake a program through Volunteering Goa but you can definitely look up for some more options over Google.

BONUS. Watch a local football match

Unlike the rest of India, Football is more popular and loved in Goa. If you see any match happening, stop. :D

Thank you visiting.
You can find me on Instagram as @patakaaguddii_

P.S.: Please make sure to give the picture credits if used anywhere.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Photo Story | Wandering Girlfriends

Rains are here and this is probably the best time to visit or trek in and around the Western Ghats. Around this time, last year, I and my friends decided to take up the trek to Tungareshwar. It was our very first outdoor activity in over 8-9 years. Unbelievable right ? It was to us as well and hence this trip was one of our most memorable trips. Have a look through :D

Thank you visiting.
You can find me on Instagram as @patakaaguddii_

P.S.: Please make sure to give the picture credits if used anywhere.