The Outback

of Maharashtra! ….. Title is a bit over the top, yeah? Sorry it was delibrate. Amid the titles posted by my facebook friends who travel to Australia, New Zealand and Europe, this was my way to get hits or rather Likes! These pictures are taken through our drive-journey to Igatpuri, Bhandardhara, Deolali and Nashik. Just two and a half hours away from Mumbai and will not cost you much.

As you drive away you will hardly find people on the road. The roads are fine and completely pot-hole free, unless you are driving in the interiors. For lack of understanding or the use of it, some women dry clothes and crops on the roads. You can find them beating the dry hay to get the grains out. The striking thing is so much land for so less people and here you are living in a pressure cooker.

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This is somewhere along the State Highway 44. An irrigation canal which abuts acres and acres of paddy fields which just turned golden.

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This is a combine harvester. Thanks to K’s book “On the Farm“. These are huge and go chugging through the field. They sweep an average size field in couple of hours which probably take men and women days with their backs bent under the sun.

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More paddy fields ready for the harvester, either man or machine 

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Aah! now you know where all the money goes!

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Somewhere along National Highway no. 3

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White Storks

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Onlookers probably belonging to the women who was drying clothes on the road.

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Along National Highway no. 3

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On the way to Bhandardara dam

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I attempted to count, guessed about 25 people in this jeep. No don’t conclude on the population density by looking at this, jeeps are probably a rare resource here.

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My husband wants to start a company that will provide helicopter rides around here

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Very ancient Champa tree near the Pandav-leni caves

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Entrance to one of the caves

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Gangasagar dam reservoir, Nashik

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Bhandardara dam

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Bhandardara dam

Would be happy to share info if you are interested in exploring these areas. Hopefully the next trip will be soon!

 

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K in Kerala

This post I write from my hometown, Taliparamba in Kannur district of Kerala. This is our annual trip to celebrate Onam and spend some time with family. We are here in the thick of the monsoon and it is as green as it can get. Like my husband says there is life in every square inch around you. It is a very smallish town for the city dwellers. But in no sense makes you feel disconnected with the 21st century. People have iphones, 24X7 internet connection, supermarkets flush with cartons of milk (soy, regular and skim), boxes of ferrero rocher and Ragu pizza sauce to name a few.

Though I was not worried but was wondering how she will spend her day here. I had packed none of her toys except for few books and planned to leave her exploring nature.

7. Buzzing Dragonfly

They are the busiest creatures I have seen so far. Spotting them and holding them in your vision itself can be a game. I saw pink and white/black striped which I had never seen before.

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8. Flowers everywhere

She would collect a handful when she’s back from her walk with Ammama.

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9. Birdwatching

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10. Last but not the least

There is no Kerala visit without seeing an elephant. Isn’t it?

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She finds this place new everytime we come here. In a few days we pack and leave only to return again!

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Follow up on H.B.Shivdasani Udyan, Sion West, Mumbai

I submitted the signed letter at the BJP office in Matunga. I could not meet the corporator, Mrs. Rajshree Shrivadkar but met the BJP head from Wadala Mr. Gupta. I explained to him the situation of the park and showed him various photographs that I had taken at the park. I requested him that the least we demand is a clean place.

Later during last week since I could not meet Mrs. Corporator I called her up and emailed the copy of the petition to her. Monday of this week I called her again and spoke to her about what she was thinking. She said that BMC is planning on a theme park in Sion and so expending money right now seems not so feasible. There are no funds right now, so they may have to borrow from the MLA’s Funds. I asked her how long will it take, to which she said “Two years”. How many of you believe this? But in my mind’s eye I started seeing the slideshow of Disneyland already. I asked her where is the place for such a park in Sion, she didn’t seem to have an answer. “Are you planning to combine all the parks in Sion?” I asked. I know this is a stupid question how can you physically combine them all, to which I got a stupid answer “No every park will have its own theme”. I did not delve more into the word “theme”. But what I understand from this is that she is completely clueless. I requested her again that the minimum she could do is clean up the place. and I am sure there must be already someone on the BMC payroll who is assigned this job.

I discussed about this with a friend of mine who gave me some nice ideas and this is what we are going to do:

1. Let us all  plan to call the corporator on the same day and ask her about this issue.

2. I plan to call her every monday till she gives me a convincing answer or till I get tired…:(

The call day is 3rd Aug (Friday) and her cell no. is 9869852149. I request you all to call her on this day and request her to take some action.

Thanks,

Rajitha