Recollections 2015 – Travel Photo Essay

It all began with a dream to touch the skies, to live closer to nature, to be a mountain child. It all began in 2014, but 2015 is where it came true. 2015's biggest gift to me was shifting to Dharamsala, and for that, I will be forever grateful!
It all began with a dream to touch the skies, to live closer to nature, to be a mountain child. It all began in 2014, but 2015 is where it came true. 2015’s biggest gift to me was shifting to Dharamsala, and I’m grateful to the universe for making that happen!

New Years Eve! That time of the year when we’re all getting ready (some reluctantly) to turn over a new leaf, start a new chapter, initiate a new cycle. Of the much-awaited countdown, the name-sake resolutions, the promises and the hopes, and the most-elusive midnight kiss. But amidst all this excitement, a word of caution – the past is not something to be left behind like a forgotten friend; stepping into anything new without accumulating all our experiences and learnings from the past just doesn’t feel right. So here I am, looking back at the year that was, how it changed my life, and how I can look forward to a brighter 2016 filled with many more adventures!

PS: I haven’t edited the pics below because I want to remember them without any filter (#TooMuchEmo)! But I do hope y’all like it that way too 🙂

The year began with an impromptu trip to Jaipur, primarily for the (over-hyped) Jaipur Lit Fest - something I've been trying to attend since 4 years. With the fest being a total bummer, encountering a rather disturbing eve-teasing incident, and gate-crashing a lavish Indian wedding - Jaipur was a sweet and sour experience, marking the perfect path for the year to come.
The year began with an impromptu trip to Jaipur, primarily for the (over-hyped) Jaipur Lit Fest – something I’ve been trying to attend since 4 years. With the fest being a total bummer, encountering a rather disturbing eve-teasing incident, and gate-crashing a lavish Indian wedding – Jaipur was a sweet and sour experience, marking the perfect path for the year to come.

 

Being someone who feels uncomfortable in a room filled with more than 5 unknown people, attending the Hampi Rath Yatra was a learning experience for me. I had to push myself to not run away from the crowd, to enjoy the furor, be a part of it even. Traveling alone does make you push your personal boundaries, this was one of those for me.
Being someone who feels uncomfortable in a room filled with more than 5 unknown people, attending the Hampi Rath Yatra was a learning experience for me. I had to push myself to not run away from the crowd, to enjoy the furor, be a part of it even. Traveling alone does make you push your personal boundaries, this was one of those for me.

 

Men perform a ceremonial dance at a local temple in Hampi. I was shy at first, being the only non-local around, a girl at that, dressed in weird hippie clothes, but then the pujari of the temple walked up to me, put tikka on my forehead, and invited me in for the ceremony.
Men performing a ceremonial dance at a local temple in Hampi. I was shy at first, being the only non-local around, a girl at that, dressed in weird hippie clothes, but then the pujari of the temple walked up to me, put tikka on my forehead, and invited me in for the ceremony. Mischief managed!

 

Spiti Valley - Check!
Travel to Spiti Valley – CHECK!

 

Spiti topped my travel bucket-list since 2014, and 2015 finally made the dream come true. As mesmerized as I was with the gorgeous landscape, the one memory of Spiti I hold close to my heart is is the warmth, compassion and love I received from the Spitians. I met some truly beautiful souls here, who make Spiti stay on top of my bucket-list, still :)
Spiti topped my travel bucket-list since 2014, and 2015 finally made the dream come true. As mesmerized as I was with the gorgeous landscape, the one memory of Spiti I hold close to my heart is the warmth, compassion and love I received from the Spitians. I met some truly beautiful souls here, who make Spiti stay on top of my bucket-list, still 🙂

 

We've grown up listening to tales of the grandeur of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai and Durga Puja in Kolkata. Having seen the former every year since childhood, checking off Durga Puja in Kolkata from my bucketlist sure was a plus! I loved how vibrant, festive and embracing the city was, didn't feel like a tourist for a bit.
We grow up listening to tales of the grandeur of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai and Durga Puja in Kolkata. Having seen the former every year since childhood, checking off Durga Puja in Kolkata from my bucketlist sure was a plus! I loved how vibrant, festive and embracing the city was, didn’t feel like a tourist for a bit.

 

Visiting the ancient pottery town of Kolkata - Komurtulli, has hands down been the most picturesque experience for me. Even the glorious valley of Spiti did not excite me as much as this little village did. Every nook and corner of Komurtulli is a photographers delight, and if you care to sit with the potters and hear their stories - that'll be the icing on the cake!
Visiting the ancient pottery town of Kolkata – Komurtulli, has hands down been the most picturesque experience for me. Even the glorious valley of Spiti did not excite me as much as this little village did. Every nook and corner of Komurtulli is a photographers delight. The place also inspired me to fulfill my age-old dream of being a journalist, as I traveled across the city to find a particular potter and interviewed him for my blog (which I still have to transcribe – good thing I never became a journalist!)

 

The best part about India is that everyone is always ready for a photograph. Just a smile and a please (for the tough ones!) does the trick.
The best part about India is that everyone is always ready for a photograph. Just a smile and a please (for the tough ones!) does the trick.

 

Many call Kolkata as a city with a soul - I think it's because of how intimately attached the city is to its culture. Exploring Kolkata with Kathleen was a blessing!
Many call Kolkata a city with a soul – I think it’s because of how intimately attached the city is to its culture. Exploring Kolkata with Kathleen was a blessing!

 

Be grateful, always. Choose happiness, always! A slum kid playing football barefoot on the street, using slippers to mark the goal-post.
Be grateful, always. Choose happiness, always! A slum kid playing football barefeet on the street, using slippers to mark the goal-post.

 

Sunderbans Chalo - check! A fisherman wades through the low tide at moon-rise with his fishing net
Sunderbans Chalo – check! A fisherman wades through the low tide at moon-rise with his fishing net

 

Watching a special folk dance performance at our humble Sunderban homestay
Watching a special folk dance performance at our humble Sunderban homestay

 

Wish you all a very happy and dazzling 2016 filled with lots of travel and adventures!
Wish you all a very happy and dazzling 2016 filled with lots of travel and adventures!

 

 

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