Diwali Night – 2017

This Diwali, I was at Mumbai. Had just a day of holiday, so it was out of the question to go home then. Instead, I came to office that night, went to the terrace, which is on the 42nd floor for a view. Looked quite nice, I must say, the photos didn’t come out to be that amazing though.

But, I wanted good photos, so, I went to the Marine Drive to watch the fireworks. With the rounded curve of the road, it is always amazing to watch the light trails. The glow from the lights add to the beauty, and the occasional police van on a patrol, makes it an interesting picture.

Fire works on Diwali Night at Marine Drive Mumbai
Fire works on Diwali Night at Marine Drive Mumbai

This, here is a composite image of 5 to 6 photos, each of 30 seconds exposure, and then stacked on photoshop. While I am not very deft at photo manipulation, it does help to know bit of retouching.

A bit of advise dear readers, always use a tripod and remote while shooting long exposures for stacking. No matter how stable the surface is, each time you press the button, the position shifts just a tiny bit, and that shows up blurred in the final stacked image.

Cheers!!

TTL: Clean Beach, Clear Water ; Diveagar

Within the group, we had all joined our respective jobs in April, and by the time it was September, we were desperate for a break. So, when the Dusshera break presented an opportunity for 4 days of holidays, a trip was immediately planned and executed.

We had planned to go from Pune to Diveagar. About 150 kms drive west through the western ghats would take us to this beach. We had heard of it to be quite a picturesque and clean one, so we were quite interested about it. I was looking forward to the drive, it had been quite a few months since I had gone for a drive. The Google Maps screenshot depicts the route we had taken.

Route from Pune to Diveagar
We booked ourselves a self drive car from Zoomcar, a snappy Honda Jazz and we were away at the crack of dawn; at about 8 am.

Me posing with the Honda Jazz

The road we took, would take us through the scenic Tamhini ghat and then further on, we shall reach Mangaon and then on to the beach.

Clouds enroute to Diveagar

Random flowers by the street

Hillscape enroute Tamhini Ghat

Long open road

En route Tamhini Ghat

Natural beauty galore. The road is patchy at places, with ditches which needed us to creep over them, but over all, the road to the beach was kinda fine.

Once near the coast, there runs a parallel road to the beach, with multiple points of entry to the beach. Find the right fork and one can take the car directly to the beach.

The beach road to Diveagar Beach

The beach was quite amazing. Wide and clean. The slope is a gradual one, making it ideal for families consisting of kids to come over and have fun too. Options of water sports were present too. The water is clear and absolute fun to splash about it.

Horse drawn Tongas on DIveagar Beach

Water Scooter at Diveagar Beach

Diveagar Beach

Small waves at Diveagar beach

The wide Diveagar Beach

Quad bikes on the Diveagar Beach

Clear Water at the Diveagar Beach

Diveagar Beach

Diveagar Beach

The friends gang posing at the Diveagar Beach

In terms of crowd density, this is not a dense beach. One can find space to run about and play happily on the beach or have their own peaceful time. Be advised though, there is almost no shade on the beach and no provisions for chairs or umbrellas are present. Only a handful of shops selling water bottles and snacks could be found, so carry your food and water positively.

Once we had exhausted ourselves on the beach, running about  and splashing about in the water, we were on the ride back home. Instead of taking the route we had come by, we chose to take the alternate route, which would have us join the Mumbai- Pune expressway near Khopoli. On map, all we could see was a nice long almost straight road. What it actually turned out to be, was very close to a nightmare. The road is non existent for most of it and there are murderous ditches all along. Ditches the size of dustbins which would gobble up a wheel and some of the axle too. By the time we had reached the expressway, we were tired as hell and still had another hour and a half worth of travel left. So, take it from me, do not take the return route that we had taken, it was horrible.

We did make it safe and sound, albeit worn out and tired. Had a nice big meal at an old haunt of ours and we retired for the day.

When I look back, yes, it was tiresome; true, we could have gone to some other places too, but in the end, it was fun, and absolutely worth it.

Until next time!
Cheers!!

Meeting Mother!

It had always been a dream to meet “Mother”. She has taken care of her boys in rough weather and inhospitable conditions, gave them a deck to fly off and rain hell on enemies and hover back to safety of her hangars. She could carry 2100 men and supplies at 28knots and in wartime scenarios, she had commando transport facilities for 750 men and a fleet of 26 aircrafts, all ready to take the fight to the enemy. She is none other than the erstwhile INS Viraat.

The flight deck of INS Viraat

INS Viraat has served the Indian Navy since 1986 and has been formally decommissioned in 2017. After serving for 3 decades, now she is docked at the navy docks of Mumbai. 
Due to some friends, I got a rare opportunity to take a tour of the ship. The first thought was… she’s huge. HUGE! I haven’t been on any other carriers yet, so I can’t compare, but she’s bigger than any machine I have ever seen. True, there is rust on her LCVPs, and all armaments are gone, but it hasn’t done anything at all to reduce the grandiose of the ship. 

We climbed up to the deck and it was a feeling beyond expressions. For the first time, in a long time, I felt elated. I stood there, slowly gulping in the feeling, I was standing on the deck of one of biggest machines that exist in the world. We walked the entire length of the deck and then climbed down to the hangar. A single sea harrier adorns the floor today, but once upon a time, there would be a total of 26 aircrafts and helicopters. I was interested to go to the boiler rooms too but then, that takes quite a while, so the idea was parked for a later visit someday. 

I did not take my camera along, not knowing the permissions that I may be given. Had the mobile phone though đŸ™‚

Sea Harrier inside INS Viraat

This was an experience that shall be in my heart for ever.

Me and a few friends, we went on a trip a few weeks earlier. An account of that shall follow soon.

Till then, cheers and Happy Diwali to all.

The face of God

The phrase, seeing is believing holds true for the majority of the population. To believe, one needs to have an image, a face to relate it to.

To the thousands, who visited the Lokhandwala Pandal during the Durga Puja this year, god looked like this.

Idol of Durga vanquishing Asura

DSC_1017-8-01

Next up shall be one about a break from the daily grind and a breath of fresh air.

Cheers!!