Mirroring

  Two men, sleeping in front of the sleeping Buddha. Two merchants, sitting in front of the sitting Buddha. Two monks, praying in front of the praying Buddha.   Unknowingly, in thought and action, we end up emulating our role models. At the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon (Myanmar), I turned my camera to capture people who were unknowingly posed similar to the statues...

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Multitude of forms, yet no form

Multitude of forms, yet no form.   This simple philosophy holds the key to all inclusiveness. It has the power to make one focus on living a value based lifestyle, moving away from the un-thoughtful practice of anchoring on physical phenomena as the gateway to self-realization.   It was in the year 1505 AD, Nanak (first Sikh Guru) visited Jagannath Temple in Orissa...

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New book “THE QUEST CONTINUES: LOST HERITAGE The Sikh legacy in Pakistan”

“THE QUEST CONTINUES: LOST HERITAGE The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan”, the sequel book explores Sikh legacy in 90 cities & villages across Sindh, Balochistan, West Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan Administered Kashmir. It’s inception started from a field research in Jan-Feb 2017 and by the time it is delivered by the press, it would have been a nine month...

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I am a liar

During a photo shoot, where my focus was to bring out the intensity of her watchful eyes, I also had an opportunity to delve deeper into philosophy of Creation and Creators act of observing Himself through mortals eyes.   Ponder over the statement “I am a liar” – If I am really a liar, them I am telling the truth, so how can I be a liar? If am telling...

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Siachen – “Place of Wild Roses”

  Descending from 19,000 feet to 12,000 feet, over a length of 70 km, Siachen glacier (“place of wild roses”) is the worlds highest battleground since the year 1984. India controls its entire glacial length, adjoining peaks and the three passes, which are the gateway between Karakoram and  Ladakh. On the other hand, Pakistan controls its western glacial...

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Absurdity fuels creativity

In this world that is boxed in the path of replicating the actions of the masses, to look elsewhere is generally perceived as being ‘absurd’. However, it is in this absurdity of approaching a situation from an alternate angle where lies the essence of creativity!   In the caldera of Mount Merapi, I noticed the excitement of other visitors who were all...

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Mirror Mind

“Capture these moments”, exclaimed my wife, as we moved through Suru Valley in our journey towards Padum. I could sense the moment of disappointment when I chose not to pick the camera. I had a vision to showcase the beauty of Suru, not directly but through reflections in the still water clusters. That would mean, photographing the valley would have to be put...

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Waiting for Godot

So often we come across people who seem to be living a life of ‘nothing’. Observing them, I have often wondered, if they are the victims of destiny or circumstances? Is their existence reeling under the drama of ’cause and effect’, the law of karma – ‘As one sows, so shall one reap’? When the entire creation seems to have a...

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Thirty years in search of General Zorawar Singh

Not all who wander are lost!   Hundreds of human skeletons, some with frozen flesh attached to them, can still be found around Roopkund (16,500 feet), a remote glacial lake in the lap of Trishul massif in Himalayas. The presence of these skeletons was first discovered in 1942 by the Himalayan ranger H K Madhwal.   Roopkund lake, India Human Skeletons at...

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Decay & transformation

Decay, a journey to death Transformation, a journey of youth   As she played the violin, a shimmering candlelight  created the moment of ecstasy, proclaiming that the next phase of transformation is awaiting to happen.   Death is the least understood and most emotional phenomena, mostly cloaked in stories from our perception. When it happens to humans, we don’t...

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Never without other

Bromo is a perpetual reminder that the beauty is transient and never without its other. Like any volcanic heap of earth, it is a story of fertility and death, tranquility and disaster.   A misty morning spent in tracing the tragic in the serenity of the Indonesian highlands reminded me of Nanak’s profoundness about life, as expressed in a simple verse.   Tis siu...

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Humps of Nubra

The journey from Singapore to Leh (Ladakh, India) meant going from sea level to 3,505 metres in less than 24 hours. I had not had time to acclimatize and my heart was pumping hard to maximize the intake of every molecule of oxygen in the rarefied air.     Early morning I drove in a multi-utility vehicle to one of the world’s highest motorable roads,...

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Kashmir – The Afghanistan Frontier

Kashmir, the land of shawls, snow and sun, Was being eaten by Afghans like a bun. excerpt from “History of Sikhs (Vol V)” by Hari Ram Gupta   A little known fact is that if not for the ambition of Maharajah Ranjit Singh (Lion of Punjab, who ruled from 1799 AD – 1839 AD), to expand his empire into Kashmir, today this region would be part of...

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Tumult of existence

A journey across the salt range in Pakistan enabled me to reflect on the tumult of human existence, our daily battles between the realms of spiritual and existential desires!   From the abandoned remains of Choa Baba Nanak Gurdwara (left picture), where Nanak spread the message of spiritual love, as I looked towards the Rohtas Fort, it’s past use as a military might...

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White Cloud

A white summer cloud once arose, in harmony with heaven and earth, to freely float in the blue sky from horizon to horizon following the breath of the atmosphere. It abandoned himself to the breath of the greater life, allowing it to lead him beyond the farthest horizons to an aim that was already present within him, though yet hidden from his sight.   In the...

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Mind Horse

Mind is a stubborn horse. It always does what it is supposed to do, leading naturally to the path of least resistance. This mind horse can however be directed on a constructive path by riding the saddle of self-reflection, holding the reins of patience and balancing on the stirrups of experience.   Observing the Tengger horsemen riding at ease on the volcanic ash of the...

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You are not

I have wandered in search of your existence! In the midst of the glamour of this world to the fringes of solitude but you have remained a mere perception!   I have been taught to believe that you are a reality and this worldly existence a mere perception! However in your elusiveness, I now perceive that “YOU ARE NOT”.   The believers hail me a radical but I still...

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It is ME

In Pakistan at Mansehra, as I peered into the hall of the Mansehra Municipal library, in front of the marble structure in which once the scripture of the Sikhs would be kept, now there were tables placed with newspapers! In the hall where the community would once attentively sit on the floor to hear the verses from the Guru Granth Sahib, now the people were seated on...

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Illuminate

Nanak sang the songs of love to ‘illuminate’ the hearts of mortals! However today, ironically, at a short distance from the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan where Nanak breathed his last, a barbed wire along the Indo-Pak border remains ‘illuminated’ with high powered lights even during the bright daylight! Nanak’s lamps to ‘illuminate’ the...

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Kafir

If we all can passionately advocate that this world is a bouquet of coexistence then differentiating words like ‘Kafir’ that breed one-upmanship can hopefully lose relevance? ‘Kafir’, a derogatory word has its origins in the Arabic culture and applies to anyone who holds a different view about the Creator and the Creation!   In search for the remains of the...

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