Tag Archives: Travel

Delhi Diaries: Waste to Wonder

If you live in India and have a desire to visit all the seven “Wonders of the World” and are finding it difficult to travel across the globe then Delhi is the place where your desire will be fulfilled. Waste to Wonder Park in Delhi  is a theme park which is the first of its kind in the entire world to have replicas of all the wonders of the world. These are made from 150 tonnes of industrial waste, automobile waste and other scrap materials.The park has replicas of Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal, Colosseum, Pyramid of Giza and Christ the redeemer. Scrap metal pipes, car wheels, cycle chains, bike chains, disposed off park benches have been creatively used by designers to create these artistic monuments. These beautiful architectural monuments will mesmerise you especially during evenings when they are lit up. The park uses solar and wind energy for all its electricity needs.

There is an entry ticket of Rs 25 for children and Rs 50 for adults during weekdays and Rs 100 on Sundays.

How to reach: Waste to Wonder Park is in Sarai Kale Khan which is in South East Delhi. The nearest metro station is Nizamuddin from where it is a 10 minute walk. Auto rickshaws, Ola and Uber cabs can directly drop you at the theme park.

Deepika Pawar is a native of New Delhi, India. She is a Counsellor and Family Therapist in private practice. She is ‘a gypsy at heart’, a wanderer and travel enthusiast, who loves to explore new places.

The Duomo (An Architectural Marvel).

The Duomo of the Florence Cathedral

The Duomo, as Florence’s cathedral is fondly called, sports the largest masonry dome in the world. It sits across the Baptistry- the oldest religious site in Florence. Florence is a city in central Italy and the capital of Tuscany region.

The construction of the cathedral was begun by Arnolfo di Cambio at the end of the13th century, while the dome was added in the 15th century. It was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1146). Unlike designers and builders nowadays, Brunelleschi did not go to architecture school, rather he was trained to become a goldsmith. But thanks to the Renaissance, which encouraged and patronized art of all kinds, he became interested in architecture, and worked to enhance his knowledge and skills. He designed and invented an array of sophisticated hoists and tools in order to bring his ambitious design to fruition. It is even more astonishing to note that the cathedral dome is entirely self-supporting. It is actually made of two domes. An inner dome made of sandstone and marble and outer dome made of brick and mortar. A copper clad, two ton stone ball that sits on top of the dome provided the finishing touch in 1469. It was built by Verucchio and his students, among whom happened to be the incomparable Leonardo Da Vinci.

To see this and many other wonders visit Florence or Firenze, Italy- the cradle of Renaissance.

Keepsakes for Old Age

I’m not old, I think. Not yet. But I’m getting there. Everyone is getting there. Maybe I’m a little ahead in the line because I’m thinking about it. About getting old. 

Am I sad? Not really. Maybe, just a little disappointed. Because I really didn’t have much of a youth. Because I spent most of it preparing for the future– for getting old. 

I don’t think I’m old because I’m still a productive member of society. People still seek my opinion and try to take it seriously (I hope). My opinion still counts for something. I’m not just someone to be tolerated. But then what is ‘old’? It is a state of mind. There are people who are old in their youth and others who are young when they are old. 

I think I’m at the best time of my life. There is still a skip in my step and I’m not preoccupied with the condition of my joints. I still get excited to see new things, experience new places.

I don’t have any regrets. I’ve dealt with them all. In fact, I’ve dealt with them so well I don’t even recall what they were.  My desires are limited to traveling, reading, assimilating new ideas, and perhaps guiding others to live a better, more informed life. I’ve reconciled with my ambitions and disappointments.

But a day will come when I won’t matter any more; my opinions will be just that–opinions. So, I’m collecting keepsakes. Little memories– that’ll keep me company and help me pass the time. It could be anything– like the flavor of something delicious– from a long time ago–that perhaps I’d never get the chance to taste again. It could be a bird call; a chance conversation with a stranger; timeless streets through which I walked and walked but wasn’t afraid of getting lost because I had wonderful company. It could be the brilliant blue of the sky, the soothing silence of the forest, the dust on my shoes as I embarked eagerly on a different trail.

I hope that time will be short. I hope I won’t become bitter. I hope when you think of me it’ll be with a smile.

Eternal Quest

quest

 

And then I want to walk down this path

That goes on and on

From my town to the next

Across cities and states

And countries

Oceans and seas

Continents

I want to see faces different from mine

Speak languages I haven’t heard

I want to feel

I want to know

Words and Images: Ancient Giants

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It wasn’t just a grove. It was a magical, mystical jungle of living, breathing giants that left Shaan awe struck. Neither of them spoke as they ambled slowly on the well-worn dirt paths and listened to the trees, some almost two thousand years old, as they related tales of times gone by. Of emperors, and kings and queens, and of battles fought for love and for greed.

A sudden transformation came over Ruhi when they came upon a fallen tree. She leaned against the dead trunk; her frame dwarfed by its girth, then closed her eyes and whispered in a voice rife with melancholy. “Who am I but a speck of dust this poor soul can’t even see?”

Shaan couldn’t keep his emotions in check. He hauled her into his arms and they wept together as they grieved for their mutual loss.

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Musafir: San Francisco. Go Ahead Gawk, it’s Free

San Francisco: China town, Street Performer, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf

Yes! You don’t need a ton of moolah to see this eclectic art, all you need is a pair of good walking shoes and curiosity in your heart.

Gargoyles

History is my hobby. And art and architecture is it’s most telling representation. I find modern buildings staid, lacking in variety– they are utilitarian, of course, but singularly boring. Some do make it out of the mould, but those are few and far between. Hence, whenever I travel I seek out old buildings. They are so much more attractive and compelling and come in so many styles– each narrating the story of the place and the era when they were built. And they seem so solid and permanent. So, when I heard about the Notre Dame fire, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it until I saw the live images on the news. That building besides being n invaluable example of gothic art, is a prominent part of history. It has witnessed the French Revolution and survived it and who is not aquainted with the famous Hugo classic ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’ or it’s English translation ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’.

At first, there was fear the entire structure would be destroyed. Fortunately, that didn’t occur but I understand most of the roof and the spire are gone. Now, I can say how lucky I was to have visited the place a few years ago and trudged up the narrow spiral staircase to get up close to the cathedral’s famous gargoyles which happened to be the favorite part of my visit. For those who aren’t aware, gargoyles are grotesque creatures that act as spouts to direct water away from the building. Apparently they are also supposed to ward off the evil eye. But were they able to protect themselves — I hope so…  Below I share some precious snaps from my visit :–

Roam to your Heart’s Content- Street Joy (Spain)


 

 

 

 

 

 

Along ancient streets

and by-lanes

alien sounds ebb and flow

With familiar inflections

passions don’t simmer

they explode

Stirring smiles

on drab countenances

The air vibrates with soul

 

Inspired by the ancient streets of Cordoba, Toledo, Seville, Granada, in Spain. Walk on!  More poems in my soon to be released book ‘Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree’.

Musafir #Arches National Park

 

Delicate Arch

God is a sculptor and Arches National Park is his workshop.

Head to Moab,Utah to see one of the most unusual landscapes in the world; a unique collection of more than 2000 natural sandstone arches. Prepare to be stunned!

Landscape arch

Watch your step! (Way to Delicate arch)

Window rock

The Sun adds its own show

Petroglyphs carved by native tribes