Thursday, 31 December 2015

Dilli - मेरी जान

I want to tell you a story,
and express my love for my home;
a home where streetlights dance,
where the buildings sway,
but you have to give me a chance!

I mean, come on, it's not easy,
describing my home;
it's a hub of diversity,
a metropolitan city,
and it's called New Delhi.


Inderprastha, Shahjahanabad और Mehrauli,
थे इसके कुछ नाम, 
ये दिल्ली है, ये दिल्ली है, ये दिल्ली है, मेरे यार!


It attracted all the kings and queens,
and all the other dynasties.
People fought to rule,
along came the Mughals;
the strategic location was a tool.

I'm not saying it's perfect,
every place has it's flaws;
Population, crime rate at an all time high,
oh and let's not forget,
the pollution, the smog, which makes me want to cry.


Siri, Tughlakabad और Rai Pithora,
थे इसके कुछ नाम, 
ये दिल्ली है, ये दिल्ली है, ये दिल्ली है, मेरे यार!

We've got the tomb of Humanyu,
the monument of perfect symmetry;
We've got Sarojini nagar, INA,
Dilli Haat and Janpath, covered with the tarpaulin so blue,
for a spree of shoppery!

The people here are many
and really diverse too,
It's like all of India is in the capital,
irrespective of amount of owned penny,
or boundaries that are cultural

Jahanpanah, Ferozabad और Dinpanah
थे इसके कुछ नाम,
ये दिल्ली है, ये दिल्ली है, ये दिल्ली है, मेरी जान!


- Ragini Zutshi Anand

Check out my Delhi photography here :)




















Sunday, 27 December 2015

Guest Post - Plain Jane

http://www.plainjane98.com/2014/09/the-girl-in-corridor.html?m=1

The Girl in the Corridor

Yes, that's exactly who I'm pointing at, 
maybe unfortunate for you, but it IS HER only whom I'm talking about. Displeased? So is it the first time you turned around to look at her? Yes? Well make it your last because just as you think she's not worthy enough to be friends with you because of your high status, even you don't deserve her attention. Maybe you won't care enough to look again and before I pointed out at her, you wouldn't have even bothered to acknowledge her mere existence.
Or maybe you knew and you along with your friends must have viewed her as a laughing stock. No, I'm not accusing you of bullying or anything. A random thought, have you ever wondered why she agreed to help you with your homework and assignments? Well, it wasn't because of some silly, stupid reason. Perhaps she genuinely wanted to be your friend. But everyone including you wanted to call her a name, maybe an attention-seeker or what's that new slang word in Hindi which refers to someone with extra adhesive? You got the point, right? Of course not, I don't want you to go and make friends with her just to spite me. But could you just show a little humanity by not making a joke out of everything she does?
Maybe she has a dark side, a story which you might not be aware of. I agree, she maybe a little weird, always glued to her seat in the corner with a book, unable to make sense of the fact that the school uniform is meant to be worn with style. Low waist, tight fittings, ankle socks, low slung bags, you name it, she DOESN'T have it. So we come to the conclusion that she doesn't belong to the cheerleader group(not sure whether they exist in our various campuses, but since the IPL has made a huge impact, let's dream on), nor the studious group and not even the sports club. How about average? I hope she fills in the category you felt apt for her.
But you know what? That's exactly where she doesn't want to fit in. Oh, I see...She doesn't have a say in this, right? Okay no worries. Just to let you know she wanted to sit at the writer's desk. Hahaha-no that's not me laughing, it's you who is and was and will forever go on until you get a dosage of the same treatment. I know you think she's not capable of even dreaming about that, but my friend(I hope it's safe to call you that), you might be reading her post that's actually about you and you are still staring at the screen, scratching your head(dandruff, I suppose), unable to figure out who she's referring to!
Hahaha- now there, that's her laughing!




You need to see my friend and mini mentor's blog.
IT'S AMAZING


- Ragini Zutshi Anand

Friday, 18 December 2015

WINTERS AND PHOTOGRAPHY

Apart from the reason that I absolutely LOVE Delhi winters, the season and weather during the months of October to Mid-March are, according to me, the best for monument photography
The lighting is brilliant, with the sun tilted at a beautiful angle. 
The amazing heritage sites are less crowded, as most people prefer to have some extra sleep in their cosy, heated blankets, and the surrounding trees are colourful, and the ground underneath the tree too is littered with vivid and vibrant shades of red, all because of the Gulmohar trees.


When the sun does shine down hard, the glowing light seeps through the white, fluffy clouds which look like they've come out of a movie, and once you have that photograph, you hardly need any touch ups in processing.

In other parts of the world, the monuments look absolutely stunning, with the pearl white snow all around.

And of course, how can I forget? After a long day of photography, you can rely on some warm, roasted and extremely addictive peanuts, available in the vicinity of most heritage sites, for just 10 bucks.



Thank you!
Ragini Zutshi Anand

I hope you liked this post, and please do suggest some topics regarding what you'd like to read from me next! Thanks for reading, please do comment and share!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

AMITAV - CARING FOR HISTORY

When you hear about three 11th grade girls who believe they can bring about a change in the world by preserving our "past" (quite literally), your first instinct will be to laugh. But not after you've seen how much these girls have accomplished already.


Kunalika Gautam (16), Lavanya Singh (15) and Siddhidatri Mishra (16) of Sanskriti School are humanities students, with a passion for history, and preserving it.



They've started an organisation called "Amitav", which I firmly believe they should boast about. Below is an exclusive interview with them: 

  • What is Amitav?

    "Our organisation aims at preserving the culture and heritage of the world, starting with Delhi. We have come to realise that historical topics are considered to be redundant by many. We hope to take history to it's former glory. Our passion for history and it's symbols is undying and we hope to translate this into reality through Amitav."

  • What is your inspiration?

    "I always wanted to start something related to history, and in class 11 the idea of Amitav dawned upon me. I felt that even though my passion was enough, the time an 11th grande student will get will not allow me to dedicate enough hours as Amitav would require.", says Kunalika, very matter-of-factly. "I roped in my 2 best friends and "directors" in crime, Lavanya and Siddhi, and the inspiration is ofcourse," ...... "Phineas and Ferb!" She laughed annoyingly. (They later clarified that their inspiration was the TV show only because of the kids, who did whatever they wanted.)

  • 16 (and 15, Lavanya) is a very young age to start an organisation... Tell us about some of the challenges faced by you.

    "A lot of people very genuinely thought that we started Amitav only for college applications and to impress the teachers and get into the Student Council, whereas that is far from our true objective," complained Siddhi. "What they don't understand is that Amitav is not just a hobby for us; it's something we would want to continue even during college, and after too! People don't take us seriously when we tell them about Amitav, they think we're joking."


  • How did you come up with the name Amitav?

    *Crazy amounts of laughter* "I had initially thought of the name Sabhyata, but after checking it turned out to be the name of a clothing line. Next option was Atulya, but I wanted to save that for my kid maybe?" Kunalika laughed and continued, "So me and Lavanya went to a site for baby names and searched for names that were related to history in any way, and we found Amitav." *so much laughter, I can't even*

  • So, how do you plan on changing people's views on history?

   "At the moment, we've launched a series of cleaning drives called P.U.R.E (Preserving Ubiquitous Remembrance) and the first one was held at the Purana Qila. We plan on starting historical tours at the Jama Masjid sometime soon."






  • You recently went to a competition regarding Amitav. What was that about?

     "We participated in the Young Ideation Challenge organised by IILM school of business. In the challenge, we had to identify a problem in society, suggest a solution to it and convert that solution into a business venture. We decided out problem was that many people don't take history seriously. Our solution was Amitav, and our solution was to start a historical fest twice a year called "Ek Dastan". Te top five teams were given an award and Rs. 11,000 to initiate the project. We were one of them!"























  • What are your future plans for Amitav?

    Our final aim is to be able to collaborate with world groups and protect civilisations all over the world. We wish to start with small scale programs within our school and Delhi and then slowly expand to other parts of the nations and then the world. We also wish to create a platform for all history enthusiasts who are reluctant to take up the subject due to lack of career opportunities by providing a base, which hopefully in the future will be a licensed and registered organisation." 





Photographs and answers provided by Amitav.

You can contact Amitav at amitavsabhyata@gmail.com and look out for their logo, to be launched soon, on their Facebook page!






Monday, 7 December 2015

Mysterious #4 Tears

The forest echoes with laughter
as we run through it's trees.

The sunlight;
the leaves,
flowing with the breeze.

My cold winter hands come up 
to my warm summer face.
Gasping for breath,
I felt salt water on my lips.

- Ragini Zutshi Anand

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Wanderlust.



Wanderlust can be defined, 
as a strong desire to travel. 
To not remain confined,
and to sometimes, unravel.

Wanderlust can be defined, 
as a state of wanting to wander. 
To not remain confined,
and to sometimes, ponder.

Wanderlust can be defined,
as something I'm into.

Chasing my dreams, 
across the seven seas; 
I want various countries to be places I've been to, 
not just in my sleep,
but hopefully in the future soon.

It's just that I want to meet people new,
and see their colours true.
Their culture, their heritage,
and their skies deep blue.

- Ragini Zutshi Anand

visit my website for more photography