Vizag – A bouquet of whistle podu moments

A big grin is apparent when you arrive at the Vizag airport. The mountains afar and gardens around give it a real picturesque feel. The grin however turns into grimace when local cab (taxi) and rickshaw (tuk-tuk) drivers recognise you as the ‘outsider’. Being an outsider in your own country is a strange feeling, but such is the nature of our motherland, you don’t always have to be from the North-East to be an outsider! Language and appearance are enough giveaways, and they ensure you don’t have to be robbed at gunpoint; unpleasantly as it may be, you are left with no choice.

The city is laid back but noisy and surprisingly spotless. Clean and pothole free tar roads, huge banners with Tollywood (south Indian) actors looming large and heavy lighting characterise the main roads. The narrow lanes too are surprisingly smooth and every home is charecterised by a hand drawn rangoli at its entrance . Our cab driver proclaimed, chief minister Chandra Babu Naidu gets all the credit for the surprisingly decent roads in the city.  Well, regardless of whoever gets the credit, i sure wish Maharashtra and in turn Mumbai learns a few things from Andhra Pradesh.

The rickshaw drivers were wearing three different colours of clothes; either full black, full red or the normal khaki. Took me a while to understand those (black and red) were not really uniforms, but were based on the gods they worshiped. Another interesting facet of the city are the innumerable hospitals that it occupies. I later learnt that there is a well planned medical town built very close from the city, but Vizag itself boosts of incredibly high number of hospitals. The area where we stayed was dominated by the huge and beautiful structure of King George Hospital but sheer amount of smaller hospitals and pharmacies around the place astonished us. That wasn’t the only thing though. We were also surprised by some of the stalls specifically set up across public places to provide music, videos, apps and other mobile services. We have seen such services disappear from Mumbai a long time ago.

Vizag also has some unique gastronomy treats! Popular among them are the sweets Potrekelu, Kaja and Bobbatlu. Potrekelu is like rolled pan cakes of rice flour and sugar, which we didn’t particularly enjoy. However, Kaja made from wheat flour was delicious. Bobbatlu was very similar to a maharashtrian delicacy (Sanja Poli) and showcased the similarities in differences, a characteristic that epitomises India. As we walked in search of delicacies we noticed the use of ash-gourd (one of my favourite vegetable for its juice) on the doors of every store to keep away bad omen.

One begins to breathe freely and enjoy Vizag when they walk towards the beach. The view of the sea stands out from a distance as the narrow lanes roll down in curves towards the promenade. The sun shines through the reflection, and the sea grows on you even from a fair distance. My heart began to whistle at the sheer beauty of the sea and the sheer fun of this elevation. From the well spaced out promenade, i could see the buildings lining up like Marine Drive (Queen’s necklace), however the small stairs and curved lanes between the buildings made the view even cuter. We wondered if there was ever a time, when the beach was upto those steps near each building and if the road bordering the sea along with the promenade was built much later. Maybe someone from Vizag can confirm. The absolutely stunning beach is still a few steps down from the promenade, and makes you wonder how Vizag is so elevated from the sea level.

The beach was probably more clean due to the preparations from the Navy day, which was just two days prior to our visit. Unsurprisingly cricket seemed to be the most popular sport of the weekend, and the beach was decorated by silhouettes of cricket players thronging the beach early morning. My lens managed to catch a few glimpses of the truly whistle podu moments we had during our time at Vizag.

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Mumbai’s Chowpatty must have looked the same in 80s
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absolutely breathtaking evening at the beach
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Sunrise at the east coast

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early morning cricket

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Argh! if only had a female model on the other side ūüėČ

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Vizag is indeed full of art
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Ramakrishna beach

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early morning cricket

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rishikonda beach
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chasing the pigeon

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another of those silhouettes
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one of my favourite shots, nothing comes close to a fathers love.

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Write to me if you need any guidance on stay or places to visit, as well as your experience of this truly unique and beautiful city.

Isar – life is here.

Every city has a character of its own, could be its rich history with old unesco heritage buildings, museums, sculptures around the city, shopping malls, plazas, dancing fountains, gardens, beautifully constructed bridges, famous hotels or restaurants, tall sky scrapers or just short buildings preserving the heritage and of-course the people that make the city.

On our recent visit to Munich we had a beautiful view of the park on the sides of river Isar. Its a great place to relax, socialise, read a book, have a beer, experience the evening wind and the cold water gushing your feet. If you are in Munich, make sure to pack a quick snack and visit this beautiful place.

As the sun sets down Muncheners return to the serene part of their daily lives.¬†And we realised this was an inseparable¬†part of Munich’s culture.

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Consolation Pictures

The enthusiast photographer in me would have liked to picture the supermoon, the world has been talking about since last 14 hours. Unfortunately, i only got wind of it at about 8:30 pm last night. I jumped out to my terrace but by then Mr. Moon had decided to get back to being “normal”.

The skies of Mumbai looked the usual and it was only from social sites that i realised the gravity of my miss. I have assigned Siri with a crucial task yesterday, to remind me of the supermoon in 2034!

I decided to walk my disappointment with a stroll on a nearby lake. With an iPhone 5s as my only camera i did run into some consolation pictures.

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Dog on wheels

The way from Neuschwanstein Castle is a steep one and you need to sprint since there is limited time to catch the bus to Hohenschwangau.

While i was catching my breath i noticed an old man walk¬†past me, dragging his suitcase¬†along. As i looked down at the suitcase, i couldn’t control my smile. Here was a cute dog popping out as if to say, “dude, u suck! Look at my friend here!”

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Photo tour through Kreuzberg

Kreuzberg, happening they said! Well, we walked along on a Sunday morning and didn’t see much moving. But then again, our purpose was to see the graffiti more than the clubs. Here is a photo tour..

 

Such beautiful portraits!
Such beautiful portraits!

Graffiti

The three monkeys? Not naming them but the representation?! Hilarious!
The three monkeys? Not naming them but the representation?! Hilarious!

Continue reading “Photo tour through Kreuzberg”

A view from my window!

A room is incomplete;
without a window, its just four walls of concrete.

A window in the wall,
are our eyes, no matter how small.
To a city that rolls on, or that peaceful serene dawn.

Continue reading “A view from my window!”

La Pedrera – Gaudi’s final piece

Recently i was going through some old images that i had taken in Barcelona and came across the ones taken in Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera. This happens to be the last civil building completed by Gaudi and is a masterclass in architecture.

It is said Gaudi was disappointed with Barcelona’s skyline – with ugly chimneys over every single home. He decided to use it as inspiration and built one of the most amazing roofs you will ever come across.

Continue reading “La Pedrera – Gaudi’s final piece”

Schwarzwald – Serene & Stunning!

After spending three days in the beautiful valley of lauterbrunnen we moved on to deutschland. Our first stop in Germany was Blackforest. For years i had been yearning to experience blackforest Рnot just their cakes but the dense green schwarzwald region that was so beautiful in every single picture i had seen.

We stayed at a 150 year old ancestral home of a beautiful german lady in gengenbach.

Continue reading “Schwarzwald – Serene & Stunning!”