Pictorial Randomness

Pictorial snippets from our lives. Not a chronicle, not a diary, bunch of photos in random order. No theme, no pattern, only pictures of things here and there. Not daily, not weekly, as often as we feel like it.

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Location: Pune, India

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Watchmen Movie

My favorite graphic novel (thick comic-book ;-), Alan Moore's seminal Watchmen, is being made into a movie; twenty years after it was first printed and after two failed attempts to screenplay it (both screenplays were extremely hated by fans). This movie will be a hard thing to do, with all the expectations built around it for 20 years and of course because of the fact that Watchmen is considered by most to be the best graphic novel ever. The book is very symbollic and multi-layered, and then we also have a long good-book-but-bad-movie history in Hollywood. I hope it turns out to be good and must say I'm very eagerly looking forward to it. Good luck to the team :-).

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


The road from Kolhapur (the connecting city) to Dajipur sanctuary was half yellow ... with these sunflowers. So many of them, everywhere and anywhere you could see. Looking out of the bus any time was looking into a patch of sunflowers.

Tarkarli Beach

Wide view of the Tarkarli beach. Its around 8 kms from Sindhudurg. The route goes through small villages with cashew and mango trees filling their compounds. Mangoes were abundant and we could also see ripe cashews on some trees. Sadly, most trees were inside private properties :-(.

The entrance to the beach is through a pine forest, where you can find local students doing their homework or one-off picknickers drying themselves after a dip. Once you step into the sun you see a loooong, wide, white, clean and deserted beach. A stream of clear water runs down twistingly into the sea, with fine sand blowing over it with the wind. Even in 38 degrees celsius, the breeze is strong enough to dry off the sweat and keep you cool. The sea water is clear for a depth of more than 10 feet and is quite cold. The waves are good enough for a 6-footer like me to have a big splash. Deep into the distance you can also see Sindhudurg and the town of Malvan.

It was Sanju's first foray into the sea-waters and although she was a bit afraid at first, by the end she was not willing to come out :-). Definitely one of the best beaches I've ever seen.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Images from Sindhudurg: Aerial View

An aerial photo of Sindhudurg fort. Not taken by me, but I digged it out from an email I had got few months back.

You can see the tiny cluster of houses in the center. The entrance is at the top, from where the straight (white) cement road originates and goes down into the cluster. From there, the road continues right to the topmost point on the fort. The U-shaped part at the bottom is from where the British navy breached the fort walls to conquer it. The king's prints are near the entrance, to its left; they are shrined.

Images from Sindhudurg: Holi Hai!

The day we went to Sindhudurg was Holi day. Holi is festival of colors and we could see many colorful faces everywhere. People were playing with colors and water on the road, and we were stopped three times for putting color on us. We happily obliged.

Here you can see local kids washing their colors off on the jetty beach in late afternoon. I remember the days when I used to be so soaked in color that I had to bathe for more than an hour to get it off. And that too after using soaps and scrubs and detergent and oil and what not. And the next day people could still see red patches behind my ears :-).

Monday, March 28, 2005

Images from Sindhudurg: Looking out to the coast

Picture taken from atop the fort entrance. Clear waters and shallow sea. In the distance, you can see the coast and the deep-green palm trees characteristic of Konkan region. Deep into the distance you can also see the Sahyadri mountains, from where we came down in the morning (from Dajipur). Also notice the fort wall, big and sturdy even after 400 years of sea and weather. Very very impressive.

Images from Sindhudurg: Fort Panorama

Panoramic view from the topmost point on the Sindhudurg fort. Towards right is the coast, the town of Malvan; and left is the Arabian sea.

Images from Sindhudurg: The Fort Itself

On the second day of our trip (saturday), we visited Sindhudurg sea-fort and Tarkarli beach. About 75 kilometers from Dajipur, the road goes through mountains, valleys, cashew farms and tiny villages. The moutain road was lined with mango trees in full bloom, resulting in our bags full of kairis (green mangoes) :-).

Above, you see the Sindhudurg fort in the background. A 15-minute ride on a dingy boat takes you to this big fort (45 acres) in the middle of the sea. The walls of the fort are wide and still in good shape (as wide as being able to walk the whole perimeter on the walls). Apparently, it was unconquered for 200 years before the British came in. A walk around the fort gives you only one impression: grandness. It is smartly designed (traps and good defences everywhere) and at its time had full ameneties (there are fresh-water wells and biiig store-rooms). People still live inside the fort and sell lime juice.

The most popular points of the fort are, of course, the footprint and handprint of Shivaji, the first maratha king (the man who broke the 200-year Islamic supremacy in India). The fort also has the only temple dedicated to Shivaji, which holds many of his belongings.

On the day, the place was windy and hot, as is the coastal region in summer; and so we were sweating profusely. But the grandness of the fort made up well for it. It was also Sanju's first boat ride and her first time at sea. And she was quite sturdy, although I can say she's not very good at hiding emotions ;-).

Images from Dajipur: Konkan Darshan

The view to Konkan is in the middle of the jungle; a small clearing which springs out of nowhere on the road. Dajipur is approximately where the Sahyadri mountain range ends giving way to the flatlands of Karnataka in the south and coastal region of Konkan in the west.

Images from Dajipur: Walking through the Jungle

Walking deep into the jungle, which is dense and lush in Dajipur. Also quite green even in these high tempratures, when trees in the village were going brown. Many types of wild flowers were there in exotic colours.

Images from Dajipur: Watch Tower

The watch tower looking down upon the valley and onwards to Konkan. There were 3 of these in the jungle, of which one is this, the second is on a plateau (where the bisons were supposed to come for water, but didn't) and the third is much much deeper. We climbed the first two and the view from both is spectacular.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Images from Dajipur: Jungle Panorama

We went to Dajipur wildlife sanctuary this weekend. We had to travel 15 kilometers through dense and lush green forest to reach this point. There was a watch tower and this is what you see from there: a breath-taking view of the mountains and the jungle. The wind was wild, shaking the tower slightly. The valley below was covered with light fog and one could see a river and few villages. This is the Sahyadri mountain range and deep in the distance is the coastal region of Konkan and then the Arabian sea. We walked down a bit to the edge of a cliff where a stream went down into the dense trees of the valley.


Now you know why people love Lucy :-). Or her namesake anyway ;-).

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Furniture Saga: That Sleeping Thing

Umm, the bed. Around 6 feet wide by 7 feet tall. Its shaped like a squarey bowl with a plate on top. The holes at the bottom are where the trolleys will roll. The back-rest is also not yet fixed. The mistri says this should be finished within a day or so. Thats, on schedule.

We are leaving for Dajipur bison sanctuary tonight, around 300 kilometers from here. Also plan to visit a sea-fort and few beaches. This should be a nice break from the routine, what with all the furnitury noises and saw dust and high tempratures around. Back monday morning.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Pear and Pencil

Still life. Objects, shapes, curves, surfaces, colors and their shades.

I wish I could draw them ... no time.

There will be no comments here on.


Sinhagadh Fort

Oh, and thats the Sinhagadh fort. You can see the transmission towers on the top. Top left, the straight road cutting the mountain can be seen (if you can ;-).

Road up Sinhagadh

Here's a point on the road that has valley on both sides, beautiful place. Its 6 in the morning and the sun is just about awake. The road you see in this pic is probably the best condition it is in on the whole route.

Sanju had to wear a helmet, for the first time :-). She found the thing stuffy, which it is. But the early morning mountain air made up well for it. The place (like all forts around here) was very windy. It got very hot when we started back, but thankfully we got back home before it could peak at its afternoon best (it should soon touch 40 degrees celsius).

Furniture Saga: Wardrobe...

Oooookay, so this is how the wardrobe looks right now. Its yet to be polished and the mirror has to be added. That should happen within a week or so. Bed and book-case should have final shape within 2-3 days.

Sinhagadh Visit

We went to Sinhagadh (The Lion Fort) last saturday. Here's how the valley down below looked in the morning. Its a panoramic picture, the first I've attempted: obtained by stitching together 4 individual pics. The Mutha river winds through the Sahyadri mountains towards the city of Pune (left).

The road goes to the top of the fort, which otherwise (i.e. by foot) is a tiring and sometimes hard climb. Although this is a 400 years old fort and more than 2000 feet high, its probably the most modern; there are numerous make-shift hotels that sell anything from buttermilk and yoghurt (in earthen vessels, yummy) to chicken curry and bad pizza.

The road up is not good and Sanju had a tough time since it was her first such ride on a bike. Many times the road touches the valley air and there are few boards dedicated to people who have died en-route. Not very encouraging, but the view of the valley helps. Sanju's nervousness was gone once she reached the top safely and saw the grand vistas.

More pics to follow.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Furniture Saga: After the break

The net in the office is so slow, it can put stories in soap-operas to shame. So could not post anything for a week or so. *sigh*

Anyway ... this is where the furniture saga is poised right now. They created the structure super-fast, max 3 days. But after that, its been a loooong process; just when you think you can hang your pants there, they start doing it nail by nail.

Once the plywood-only structure is ready, they will start putting the veneer on it. You see, veneer is a very smart thing: it creates an illusion that your furniture is made out of fine wood (with names that sound beeeautiful: mahogany, sapelle, macore, beech, oak, ash and so on), while at heart it is as plain as plywood. The alternative to veneer is laminate; but then the beauty is just not there: veneer is real wood with all its grains in full blow while laminate is just another man-made thing ;-). We got Macore veneer for the bedroom and American White-ash for the book-case. We should see how they look in few days, but the initial feeling is good.

We are planning to trek this weekend. The weekend after that is extended, so we will be off to the jungle and probably also a beach. I am also planning to revive my long lost love for still-life. Thats more photos and more ramblings here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Foggy Summer

Ooookay. So a few days back when I said that summer is almost here, you must understand that the key word was "almost". I can't help it when it snows in Kashmir, and some low pressure or something is created in the atmosphere, and rain comes calling on a summer day. As a result, yesterday night was cold and damp. And the morning was foggy and more cold but less damp. Then the "almost" part kicked in again, and the fog cleared in few minutes, as illustrated in the picture above. I think the time is nigh for crossing 40 degree celsius.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Stairs, The

Thats 11 floors full of stairs. We live on the 8th. We don't use these often, but I remember the days when the lift hadn't been installed and I had to trudge up eight f-floors. That is the only serious workout I've ever done in my life ;-).

Oh, and guess how they got the furniture and all the plywood into the house. :-).

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Summer nights are here

Views at night from our building's terrace. It's getting hot, with summer almost here. The days are see-roads-floating hot, but nights are decently cool. The area we live in is the first to receive the mountain breeze, fresh off the Sahyadri ranges flowing down the Deccan plateau.

Furniture Saga: Plying the wood

Work on the furniture will begin this tuesday. The mistri (carprenter) and I went to the plywood store this saturday for ... what else, plywood shopping. I didn't know there could be so many types of plywood: pine, gajjar, burma, block and what not. The mistri and the shop-dude wanted me to buy some stuff imported from Burma. I know where Burma is, but I didn't know they make such high-quality ply. But we have a budget, and so we settled for a ply called Woodpine, whatever that means. I knew of pine wood, but apparently this is ... different.

On a related note, I was reminded of how one of my sisters calls me Pine Cone, I never knew why; and I call her Strawberry :-), that too I don't know why.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Spring Time, Part II

More yellowness. Bright bright bright. There are so many of these yellow flowered trees around the place! And now they are in full bloom; no leaves, just yellow flowers.

Zero to Nine

0 to 9. These, very much used.

The order of numbers in the middle-one is different from other two.