An open letter to Aron Ralston

It’s 2016 and I picked up your book only last year, 13 years after your miraculous escape or as you put it, your ‘rebirth’, 5 years after Danny Boyle made a movie about it. Like so many others who have said earlier, when your story broke out, everything you did inspired, inspired to live, and not just live ordinarily but beyond it. Thanks to the movie, at least a quarter of my generation knows about you but I sincerely feel its not enough. When the movie came out, I didn’t quite dig further to find out more about you, I wonder why. Reading about your attempts to solo-climb all of the 59, 14000 ft plus peaks in Colorado, before and even after the incident, in winter, is not just inspiring but a testament to the infallible human spirit. The movie can never do justice to your inspirational tale and I am happy I started reading your book at the most opportune moment in my life.

My left hand is in a sling right now. This is the 3rd week post a small biking accident which left me with a radial fracture. Though it has not been a very painful experience, I know I tend to play down my own suffering, not so much for the benefit of others, but rather to fool myself. I had just started reading your book, when in a few weeks I found myself in an emergency room. The doctors said 6–8 weeks to heal and a rod would be inserted to correct the bone. Just moments before I had broken down looking at the x-ray. My very first question was “when can I go trekking and rock climbing?”. I was carrying your book with me that day, from which I read excerpts to the nurses. To me, my pain and suffering seemed minuscule compared to what you had to endure. I kept looking at the pictures of the crude tools that had been your lifeline and pictures that have you climbing a snow clad peak after the incident.

I have more respect for my parents who had to equally suffer due to my accident, my friends, without whose help and concern it would have been a more painful recovery process. Still sometimes my steely coldness towards my situation, waivers. I fear I won’t be able to do the kind of intensive climbing I have always been wanting to do. In times like these I hear a small voice, your picture flashes in front of my eyes and I know that anything is possible.

I thank you for being an inspiration and I sincerely wish, rather I know that, sometime in my lifetime I can look back and say that I have inspired too.

In parting I would like to quote from your book, just one of the many things that will guide and inspire me in my life.

“For all that has happened and the opportunities still developing in my life, I feel blessed. I was part of a miracle that has touched a great number of people in the world and and I wouldn’t trade that for anything, not even to have my hand back. My accident in and rescue from Blue John Canyon were the most beautifully spiritual experiences of my life, and knowing that, were I travel back in time, I would still say ‘see you later’ to Megan and Kristi and take off into that lower slot canyon by myself. While I’ve learned much, I have no regrets about that choice. Indeed, it has affirmed my belief that our purpose as spiritual beings is to follow our bliss, seek our passions, and live our lives as inspirations to each other. Everything else flows from that. When we find inspiration, we need to take action for ourselves and for our communities. Even if it means making a hard choice, or cutting out something and leaving it in your path.

Saying farewell is also a bold and powerful beginning.”


Project 365: Day 184, Man with a turban

184 street photographer

Udaipur diaries: Man with a turban

It’s exactly a year since I started with Project 365. How’s that possible if my entry for today says Day 184 you ask? Those of you who have followed the project since day 1, would know that, something is not right. I anyway think my followers deserve an explanation.

Posting a photograph everyday has been tough and many a times my other engagements have got more priority. After starting with the project, the first few months have been exciting and more than often I have ended up with more pictures than I can share at a time! There are no excuses for being inconsistent, but  these 365 days have been an incredible learning experience.

So though my project remains to be completed, even after a year has passed, I hope that you will overlook this fact and show the same appreciation, that you have show in the past year, as I continue posting my stories. I am just half way through and hope to complete this journey with you in the next few months!

Me Myself and Mardaani(Manliness)…

Me: Why can’t I just stay home or hang out with friends, talk sense, over good food? No I have to ruin it all and go watch Mardaani. I mean which woman would like being called a man??

Myself: Going by what is trending in the media, be it social media, radio, tv or print, the movie seems to have hit the right chord among the youth. That is what marketing, packaging and commercial exploitation of an idea, cause or a public sentiment is all about I guess.

Me: What irks me is the blatant use of clichéd visuals, dialogues and the portrayal of a larger than life character. At the end are we supposed to leave with the feeling that justice is served along with buckets of popcorn and supersized colas?

Myself:The movie has sensitized the public to the plight of the thousands of kids that are kidnapped and forced into sex trade.

Me: Really???By the time the movie is done portraying the manly heroics of our woman protagonist there isn’t anyone in the cinema hall left willing to watch random statistics about real world global issues which come 5 secs before the credits roll in.  Have we helped any kids in anyway by watching our heroine mouth obscenities at criminals for half the movie and the systematic abuse of children by the villains in the latter half of it?

Myself: Well now the obscene language and the raw visuals is what makes the cinema real! It’s a bold movie my friend..look it even got an A certificate from the Censors. So stop being cynical Mr. Pansare…This is anyway not a documentary!

Me:  Ofcourse…If it was a documentary it would not be going house-full!

Myself: It is what we call entertainment!

Me: What’s the difference between the News channels which air Comedy nights with Kapil when they don’t have public outcry over real world issues to cover?

Myself: Well this has better footage, crystal clear sound, it’s well packaged! We paid for it dude we have to have enjoyed it!

Me hangs Myself…feels Mardani(manly)

P.S: Save the trouble of sitting through the movie if the statistics at the end matter to you. Watch the trailer! 😛


Project 365: Day 3, Water droplets on a rainy day..

I must admit, it’s just the third day and it’s not easy! Trying to come up with a new photograph everyday. I remember when I first bought my SLR moving from a point and shoot, I was supper excited. Everyday I was up, exploring with it, getting used to the manual mode. Slowly but surely that interest faded and other things took priority like studies and more recently work! But there is always a way to do things what you love doing. So here I am, still sweating it out, trying to balance out my love of reading, watching movies or documentaries, eating, travelling and doing photography!

So today’s image is the reason I skipped breakfast and even got late for work. By the time I was ready to leave the house I realised I had forgotten to brush my teeth! So I went back getting more late. I didn’t think the day would get any worse with the rains suddenly coming in, but I was so wrong! Out of the house and I have no cash! Bless the people who thought of ATMs, I was saved!

My setup consisted of the mineral water bottle with a small cut to create the drops and a plastic container with water filled up to the brim. Shots were made handheld with built-in flash, although I tried using a small LED torch, which sadly didn’t workout. No editing except converting the shots to black and white and adjusting the contrast.

Has anyone tried doing this? Would be delighted to get some great ideas. Do share in the comments section!

Cheerio mates!


Project 365

It’s been more than a month since I have had something to say. Sometimes life just drags on and you lumber on, without any complains, untill you finally realise nothing is the way you dreamed off it.  There are so many things to do, places to see, things to experience and books to read, but so little time! I am currently reading 4 books, all half done, some lost, some forgotten during a flight in the plane, some too boring to go on, but I intend to finish them somehow!

Starting several things and not being able to see them finished is very disheartening for me. So today in front of all my readers, followers, friends, including those that don’t care, I declare the start of Project 365! What is project 365? Nothing new, googling it will give you about 46,500,000 results in just 0.19 seconds! So you may think everyone does it. Well yes, but then aren’t we all doing things that everyone else has been doing for years together? What matters is doing it differently!

Coming back to Project 365…the objective is to click a new picture everyday and post it for 365 days, starting from today! Sounds exciting? No? I have seen photographers all around the world doing this to learn, experiment and grow. Finally I have mustered up enough courage to take-up this little endeavour. What inspired me was the classic Meryl Streep movie Julie & Julia. Based on the life of the famous chef Julia Child and the life of Julie Powel, an New York based author who decides to cook all the french dishes from Julia Child’s first book in 365 days, this award wining movie is a must watch. Not only did Julie Powell succeed in cooking up 524 recipes in 365 days, but her blog on the experience went on to become a big hit!. It was made into a book and then the beautiful movie!

So on this note I leave you with a picture, not taken today but a couple of days back, early morning from my window! What I really want to say from this picture is that you can really find what you looking for, even in the most unlikely places, provided you look for it! Cheezy but I mean it!

Cheerio mates!


Through my window….A Peacock