MG Marg at night


One of the things that we found particularly nice about Gangtok, was how clean the city was—despite the extreme weather, the huge influx of tourists, and the logistical challenges of a mountainous terrain.

In the three days we spent, the constant rain may have dampened our hopes of seeing the snow-capped Himalayas, but the stone paths of MG Marg raised them up, and how! In the light pitter patter of the rain, the smooth tiled paths transformed into a beautiful kaleidoscope, reflecting the colourful lights of the shops on either side.

Here’s a sampler:

MG Road, Gangtok
Welcome to MG Marg
Benches in the rain
Benches waiting for company
Gangtok at night
Vibrant nightfall
MG Road in the rain
Shopping

In response to this week’s Photo Challenge: Transformation
This is post #26 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging


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Rain Dance


One of the jokes we’ve been cracking about Gurgaon for many years, is that just pouring a glass of water on the road is enough to cause a traffic snarl. So when the clouds above rained down, it came as no surprise that the city of Gurgaon virtually came to a standstill. With vehicles stuck in jams for well over 12 hours, walking seemed to be the only way to go anywhere.

Walk…

Or rather, with half-covered drains overflowing well on to the main road, we had to…

Jump over puddles
Climb over fences
Swing around car mirrors
Limbo under branches
Crawl sideways on narrow high ground
And when someone came splashing water
Quickly turn around!

…no, in the middle of the main road, we were not walking, we weren’t wading, and we weren’t weaving… we were dancing!

Drops of water streaming down narrow channels of a Spider Lily

To see what the blogosphere is picturising, narrow your focus on to the Weekly Photo Challenge

A city enveloped


The sky was overcast and a gentle wind greeted us as we stepped out to buy a mango shake.

‘It won’t rain, ma’am. These clouds do not bear water,’ the office boy said.

We were going to return within 10 minutes. But I took my umbrella, to be safe.

As we soon found out, it wasn’t the umbrella we needed, but goggles.

On our way back, the wind grew stronger, kicking up dust all around us. I covered my glass of mango shake with a lid the juice vendor gave.

We couldn’t see much around us. Partly because the air was saturated, but mostly because we could barely keep our own eyes open.

With the dust coming straight at us, we tried to shield ourselves with our palms and narrowed our eyes as much as we could.

Only a short distance to go, we walked as fast as we could with our eyes closed and turned into the street in front of the office building. The dust storm ended a little while later, with a light drizzle cleaning the air.

That evening, we headed home covered by a fine layer of dust from head to toe. The evening sky though, was a treat for our dust-laden sore eyes.

Enveloped
Enveloped

We later found out that the wind speed was around 80 kmph. Tree branches had fallen all over the city. A streetlight had fallen on a metro power line, crippling the public transport system.

More fascinating images here: Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped

After the storm


After the storm

Aftermath

Rain


‘The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.’ – Chuck Close

If I were a professional writer, I would have said I’ve got the writer’s block. But I’d rather put it down to a lack of inspiration. After all, amateurs need inspiration! Here’s a little piece I wrote some time back, when I was inspired to write. It is the only piece of fiction I have managed to write so far. Hope you enjoy!

2 May 2010, Sunday

I was sitting at my desk, getting frustrated over a problem regarding my work, when my niece stormed into the room.

“How can you be sitting here cramped up in this little space? Look at the weather outside!”

“Oh damn! There goes my concentration! I almost had it figured out!”, I cried out.

“Serves you right! You keep cribbing about everything. Now look at the weather. It is just so amazing, and you are ignoring it! Take a break will you!”, she retorted.

I knew it would be pointless to argue with her. She would beat me hands down. So I sighed and gave in.
“I suppose I could take five minutes off”
“Much better! Now stop being grumpy.”

She grabbed my hand and led me to our verandah.

Our verandah was a place unlike any other. It was the largest room in the house, and it provided a beautiful view of the forest which was a little distance from the residential complex. It was what I called a slice of heaven. It was my escape – from work, from the desk and most importantly, from people.

The verandah was, as always, beautiful. But today, it was even more radiant. I leaned on the railing and looked up. The sky was heavy with low-lying dark clouds. The trees were gently swaying to the rhythm of the wind. The air was full of the intoxicating fragrance of moist earth. I took a deep breath and sank into the chair.

In an instant, I forgot all about my work. I had been transported into another world.
“There are hot pakoras in the kitchen. Available only on first-come, first-served basis! Hurry up, or there won’t be any left.” And my niece disappeared, leaving me with the elements. I was grateful to her for bringing me out, and I was happy, that I did not have to share this space with anyone.

I closed my eyes and felt the cool breeze on my face. It was not long before little drops of water came crashing down, like pet dogs rushing to owners to lick them. As the first drops struck me, a chill ran down my spine. I felt like I was on a dangerous adventure. I was afraid, of what, I do not know. And I was thrilled. Only a few drops of water had released a range of emotions. I sat there, mesmerised, oblivious of my surroundings.

Little drops became larger, and the breeze gained velocity. I took shelter under the roof. But I could still feel the raindrops. I felt like I was meeting old friends in a coffee shop. Longing to meet them, screaming with joy on seeing them, but sad that the moment will not last for long.

I lost track of time. For a long time, I only heard the breeze and felt the rain. Until someone splashed a glass of water on my face.

“What’s wrong with you? Your boss is on the phone. We’ve been calling out for so long. Didn’t you hear?”