Tag Archives: Photo

Mawlynnong – A Model Village for “Swachh Bharat” Revolution

It was a pitch-dark night, I could only sense the jungle around me. It was the monsoon of 2014 when I first visited Mawlynnong, a tiny village in Meghalaya. Huts with thatched roofs were the only sign of establishment that could be spotted. I wished there were more street lights.

I was looking for a woman named Carol, whom I contacted on the phone for accommodation which she advertised on the internet with the name of “Bamboo Huts”. I doubted the whole arrangement since she neither noted my name nor demanded an advance, just confirmed the dates. On probing with locals, I was pointed to the Bamboo Huts and saw a man standing, looked like he was waiting for me.

“Hi, I am looking for Carol. I made a booking with her.” I said. I didn’t know if it was a right pitch because I didn’t have any confirmation to show.

“I don’t know any Carol”, he said sternly.

He looked pissed. I was puzzled.

“Do you have any availability?”, I asked sheepishly.

“No.” again a stern reply.

The clock already struck midnight. With the population of only 500, I wasn’t sure if I’ll find a guest house other than this.

“My name is Henry. Carol is my agent. I am angry because she did not communicate with me for this booking”, he said.

“Oh, I see. I called her twice to confirm. That’s very irresponsible on her part.” I said sympathetically.

Soon, he got warm and assured me there is an available hut and offered me dinner, which was music to my ears because I was starving from my 6 hours drive from Guwahati. The night couldn’t have been more eventful than this, and soon, I retired to bed.

Next morning, my eyes opened to another world. At around 7 a.m., it was drizzling and a bit foggy. The local women were already out cleaning the streets of the village. Suddenly, the reality hit me, another reason for me to visit this village was because of its identity of being the cleanest village in Asia. I looked around with the inspecting look, and noticed conical bamboo bins all along the street. The cleaning exercise is repeated on the evening. I was impressed and greatly surprised. Impressed, with the natural beauty of the village and surprised, by the natural consciousness of the people to make it clean.

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Living deep in the jungle, in a world still to be permeated by modern technology, the people of Mawlynnong have naturally come to understand the importance of keeping their surroundings clean and garbage proof. Two years after the trip, when I now reflect as a city dweller, I fail to understand why we despite all that we know haven’t come to the same conclusion? Isn’t it something which should come naturally to us?

Prayer bells in India

Photo Credits: A. Mittal
Photo Credits: A. Mittal

While browsing through my old pics, I stopped at these bell pics and wondered what was I thinking when I took pictures of these bells.  Sure, the dense clustered bells must have been an intriguing  factor, but the presence of so many bells in a temple not so heavily crowded was a little surprising.  These pictures are from some temple in a small hilly town of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh, India.

Bell sounds can be commonly heard in India.  And when you hear it, it is apparent that there must be a temple nearby.  In India, you will never come across any temple without a bell, it is a ritual here to ring the bell before praying.  After much thought on why it’s a norm for every temple to have at least one bell, I read somewhere that these bells are made of different metals in different ratios that gives them a distinct sound. It is said that when the tongue of the bell is struck against the outer cap it produces the divine sound of ‘Om’.   In Hinduism, ‘Om’ is considered as the holy syllable which encompasses all the sounds of our universe.  So, the theory is  by striking the bell before praying, you are inviting the virtual energy or vibes to engulf your surroundings while diminishing the negative ones at the same time.

Remember to ring a bell in temples in India. 🙂

Photo Credits: A. Mittal

 

Little learning on the back of a tuktuk

I was thinking of some good subject from quite some time and Voila I found it today.. at the back of a tuktuk :-). You’ll find all sorts of funny phrases written on trucks and tuktuks in India, but for once I found something so cogitative. I was impressed so much so that I chased the tuktuk to take a picture.

Thought
Photo Credits: A. Mittal

 Translation (It wasn’t easy):

Had man been the embodiment of Love

Had he been a little more selfless

Had he been more conscious of someone else’s pain

He would have been a healer rather than a venomous snake.

Serenity unquestioned

1466197_10151726508145146_1970929285_n Chilling has never been so real before. The picture says it all.

This picture was taken somewhere near Balicasung Island in Bohol, Philippines 2013. Those feet are mine by the way. Tanned I know. It was taken just after a successful scuba dive in the Pacific.

Enjoying the Island life, I was watching those Filipinos on my ferry, fooling with each other, cracking jokes and taking deliberate dips in water acting like they are drowning.

Only if life was that simple, we wouldn’t need breaks.

In the moment of peace

Shared from Facebook. A peace activity in Israel showing two Israelis and two Palestinians hugging each other. How I wish this activity gets spread to other parts of the world. Religion or Land is secondary, we are humans first. Respect each other’s lives before their religion.

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