Monday, 29 February 2016

Golconda A Fort with a soul

Do forts have a soul?
Can the forts speak to you?
Even though in ruins for last 400 years, can a fort still inspire you?

This is precisely what Golconda Fort does to you. Located in Hyderabad, it leaves you mesmerised during the day and spell-bound during the night! For those who haven't been there, it is a 450-year old fort built during the Qutab Shahi dynasty during 1518-1687 AD. Known for its amazing acoustics engineering, a hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance 
reverberates and can be heard clearly at the 'Bala Hissar' pavilion

the highest point almost a kilometer away. This worked as a 

warning note to the royals in case of an attack.

Ghumakkad visited the fort after a decade or so. But the magic remains. Let the picture story convey the impact.

Thank you Syed bhai for your immense knowledge and fantastic sense of humour.

The fort has been made disabled-friendly by constructing ramps and walkways for visitors in wheel chair. See the picture below. Of course, visitors without any disability prefer to take the ramp instead of stairs, as you can see!

Fateh Darwaza फतह दरवाज़ा - the Victory Gate stands tall even today with intricate carvings made by both Hindu and Muslim artisans!

The ruins at the fort reminds us of Elizabeth Gilbert's lines, "Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation".

Here is a short 15-seconds video clip recorded after the sound and light show just to capture the mood there. Have a look.

The four grand parents who relished every bit of the Fort together. 

Hope you enjoyed the picture story. If you haven't been there, do it sooner! All you need is a pair of walking shoes and a sun hat. Happy walking!

If you want to see more pictures of Golconda fort, click Eshaan Girri's story here.

Thanks for browsing,

    -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 29th Feb 2016

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Magic of the Sun

Sunsets are fascinating and most photographed. But sunlight creates magic even otherwise.
Pictures below tell their own story of Sun's magic.
Shot across two tiger reserves and a hill station in India, each picture shows the magic of the Sun!

Ghumakkad avoided pictures of sunset as these are most common.
Hope you enjoyed and felt the magic of the Sun-- in all its splendour.

Thanks for browsing

   Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 13th Feb 2016

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Like wildflowers allow yourself to grow

Flowers growing in the wild have inspired many poets and authors. Like our earlier posts in the PQ- Picturesque Quotes- series:
Where flowers bloom so does hope
Rose petals and life
Nature and patience

This time of the year when mild winter of Hyderabad recedes, a wild creeper shows up with its bright violet flowers. One such creeper climbed our garden wall and showed up one morning. It's violet-and-white flowers in full bloom caught my eye. Out came the DSLR and am sharing the result with you. EV Thompson's quote appeared tailor made for the picture. Here is the PQ for you- use it for your talks or presentations.

Thanks for browsing

    - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 10th Feb 2016

Postscript: A reader and a close friend from Kolkata, Commander (Retd) Ranjit Deb wrote: 
"Dear Harsh
This Blue Flower's name is APARAJITA अपराजित meaning 'One who never gets defeated- invincible'. In Bengal people wear a small piece of  the creeper's branch on Dassera after Devi Durga's immersion to make them invincible. 
Love Ranjit"

Thanks much Cdr Deb. In fact after the flowers withered away, I wanted to crop the creeper by hand. It was so strong that both hands had to be used to break and untangle the creeper branch. This validates Cdr Deb's mention of the creeper as a necklace.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

RSI Golf 2016

Rajendra Sinhji Institute (RSI) is the name of defence officers' clubs across India. RSI Secunderabad, RSI Bangalore, RSI Pune and so on. RSIs conduct annual sports competitions in all categories for its members and dependents. Some of the RSIs like RSI Pune have an integral golf course. RSI Secunderabad does not have one. Therefore, over last 60 years or so, RSI Secunderabad never conducted a golf tournament for its members. 2016 was a different year though.
Four of us mooted the idea and it was quickly accepted by the management. Next challenge was to hammer out the details. That done, the posters were up on the notice board along with the slides during weekly movies. In addition, SMS' reached every member. Cantonment was abuzz.
Entires started pouring in. Count kept going up and we could not accommodate all players in one day. So, the tournament had to be extended over two days: 23rd and 24th Jan 2016. Credit goes to EEPTA-- Eagle Environment Park and Training Area- for preparing and earmarking the course for the tournament. For a picture tour of EEPTA through an earlier story titled 'Why I love golfing?', click here.
A record 180 golfers entered the tournament. Competition categories in stableford format included the following:

  • Juniors (Age 15 and below)- 9 holes only
  • Super seniors (75 years and above)- 9 holes
  • Seniors (Age 65-75)
  • Ladies
  • Open category

Before you get bored with further write up, let the pictures do the talking. On both days, registration desk opened in the darkness at 6 AM.

Golf Championships are won or lost on the greens. Here are few actions shots on EEPTA greens.

Here is an action shot of a near perfect golf swing!
Around the golf course, you can catch a glimpse of happy foursomes!

Whether you play well or not-so-well on any day, golfers look forward to a hearty breakfast. A picture:
Caddy is the real partner of a golfer on the course. Four caddies in this picture for you.
There were ten prize winners in five categories as listed earlier. Here are six of the prize winners, four not in the picture.

Although four of us worked as an organising team, but the credit goes to Brig TV Ramakrishnan for being the anchor. It is a coincidence that all four of us are CDM alumni (College of Defence Management Secunderabad) from different courses (LDMC-21 to LDMC-27). See the power of alumni bonding!

Should any of you have more action shots of the tournament-- specially the second day, please share with us at . We would be happy to append it as postscript.

Those who have played golf in Coorg would love the story 'Go Golfers Go' (click here). And if you haven't had a chance to play in Coorg, read the story.

Thank you all the golfers of Secunderabad for making the inaugural tournament a grand success!

Thanks for browsing

  Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 2nd Feb 2016
 along with Lt Gen BK Chengapa, Air Vice Marshal Anup K      Shyam and Brig TV Ramakrishnan