The mythical Samosas of Chhattisgarh

Samosas India's favourite street food
Samosas!

I have never really quite liked Samosas. I remember as a kid the only samosas I ate were the ones that were made at home by amma. This was ages ago when I was growing up in the villages of Northern Bihar and the Eastern and Central Uttar Pradesh. We never ate out because, of course, there were no restaurants. It was only much later when we started visiting relatives in Lucknow that I was exposed to samosa as street food to be consumed in its spicy avatar, and really didn’t taste anything like the ones I ate at home. Coming to the point, the fact is that I never liked the samosas sold on the streets as they never matched up to the samosas that I grew up eating at home.

So it was rather odd that I was leading a brigade of travellers in Raipur on an early winter morning, trying to locate a sweets shop which possibly made the best samosas in town. I also suspect that most of were actually not samosa fans, we were simply curious travellers to a new city and were keen on trying out something which we were told was the best in the whole of Chhattisgarh - the humble, triangular Samosa!


Raipur Chhattisgarh Street photography morning
Enjoying the morning sun
Raipur Chhattisgarh Street photography morning cycle rickshaw
Getting the wheel working while Madam waits...
I think the first samosa conversation happened at the Sirpur Music and Dance Festival when a couple who had been doing a road-trip across the state mentioned this to us. I would like to believe that we were all very hungry at that point of time and the memory of our saliva filled mouths convinced us the next morning that the best thing that can happen to us in the day was eating samosas.

Elaborate meeting plans were made in the night before using high technology available - whatsapp, and promises were made (some were broken later) of meeting at the hotel reception for a short walk at the break of dawn. Google search didn’t help in identifying the best samosa place in town so I asked the hotel staff and almost everyone unanimously agreed that the best morning samosa was to be found at Khodiyar Sweets.

Raipur Chhattisgarh Street photography morning
Gaurav and Ruchkia in deep conversation
Raipur Chhattisgarh Street photography morning
When everyone found a model :)
From the discussion about the place it seems pretty close by and so we carried on! The morning was beautiful and I was very easily distracted by the gorgeous images that only morning light allows you to make and was soon engulfed by a desire to indulge in street photography! Alas, that didn’t happen and after about twenty minutes of walking we were right outside Khodiyar Sweets. We were finally at the best samosa place and soon our mouths were going to be filled with the freshly fried (mind you, deep) delicacy…this was getting just too exciting for us! We had been waiting for it for so long that we already knew that the climax would be nothing but phenomenal.


Raipur Chhattisgarh Street photography morning Khodiyar sweets
Finally at the Khodiyar Sweets!
Raipur Chhattisgarh Street photography morning
My subject for a chat :)
It actually came as little bit of a surprise when the shopkeeper said that there samosa was not yet ready and we could eat jalebi and bhajiya instead. I love jalebi any day, but today was meant to be my samosa day.  While I lamented about the unfairness of food Gods (I am not sure who that is), the smell of sizzling hot jalebis was filling up the space and I soon forgot all my misgivings about the place and jumped right into it. Food soon turned into conversations and I even managed to collect a story for my Tell Me Your Dream project. 

Epilogue:

We did get to eat samosa later, but not in Raipur. Sirpur is a tiny town located about 85 kilometres from Raipur and we spent about three days there. Since we were all so in love with the mythical samosas already, we ate it at all possible times. I must confess that didn’t actually find them too different from the other samosas in life, but the story around it made it rather amazing.

Raipur Chhattisgarh Street photography morning
Amrita with Samosas. Finally! :)


Do give it a try if you are in the state and tell me if you found them great as well :)

Comments

  1. Nice to see some post from Uttar Pradesh....

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  2. Tourist Just love Indian Spicy Stuffs.......

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  3. Thanks to share some memorable Pics....

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  4. Surely This information very helpful for new emerging Photographers.....

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  5. Good clicks but I am stopping myself from commenting further. ;P
    Kindly made more women look good. You shall be blessed.

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  6. Haha...I shall continue doing that, though its not a tough job at all, they make life easier :) More challenging with male subjects :|

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  7. Excellent images.
    Water always is part of life.
    Greetings from Catalonia

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  8. Hey Siddhartha,...we are so used to see men in printing ads and commercials who are always muscle men with good body.... here its nice to see young men with whom we actually can relate.... with we share our daily lives :) Btw the man looks complete pro in wearing langot !!! Good job !

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  9. Thanks Josep, always great to hear from you :)

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  10. Yes Shilpa, that's really very true...we do get very influenced by the media. I guess that's why I enjoy clicking the normal people way more than the gods that we see in all ads :)


    And yes, the man looks like an expert at wearing the langot. Had it been me, it would have fallen all apart :(

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  11. Great, honey! I like it very much!!!!
    Hugs from Brasil. :)

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  12. Bien tratado el movimiento en la segunda fotografĂ­a, en la que has conseguido detenerlo en el momento preciso anterior al salto. Un salud,

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  13. Absolutely Indian Orlando Bloom :) Also the blank expressions of him he is carrying :)

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  14. I love the rich colors in your photographs.

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  15. Hey Siddhartha, Jack fruit pic is mouthwatering. some times your post including today's finishes very soon wanting more....
    Why its so challenging in Pune? Btw from today you have lot of scope as very famous Palakhi Procession is starting..... hope you know about it.

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  16. I guess I am still getting used to the place...but I do really like it :)
    Missed the Palakhi procession...have been travelling for the past 8 days...

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  17. That second photograph is a work of art.

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  18. beautiful photographs.
    It takes something to capture the real things.

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  19. Lovely images and colors.

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  20. Thanks buddy! I agree it does take some bit of courage to do this...

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  21. Hey there

    I'm new to your travel blog and I already love it.
    Talking of you looking Kashmiri, I wouldn't disagree. I visited the beautiful valley early this year and you do remind me of locals there. :D

    Keep sharing interesting travel stories.

    Mirage
    http://beguiling-life.blogspot.in/

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  22. WHAT? YOU IS NOT A KASHMIRI? YOU IS NOT? :P

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  23. interesting for sure!!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com/

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  24. Thanks Woody..I also really like the lines in that pic! :)

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  25. This is heaven! Your pictures are delicious. I was supposed to travel to Kashmir, but it didn't work out. Will be heading there soon...

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  26. :) I think you do look like a Kashmiri in that photo.

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  27. Thanks Renuka! This was my third visit to the state and every time I fall in love with it even more...

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  28. Yes Saanya...the view from top is stunningly awesome! It was pretty sunny and morning light when I jumped...best views ever! :)

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  29. Great pictures!
    Greetings

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  30. WOW, the view from up there was great! I wish i get to do it next time :)

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  31. Haha...I was actually super happy to be mistaken to be a local :)

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  32. I will take that as a huge compliment!

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  33. Wow… sounds like it was super fun. Interesting photos...

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  34. Shilpa Avate couldn't post here so am posting her comment on her behalf :) Many thanks to her for such useful information here...

    "I was very happy and excited to see and read your experience of Paragliding. The aerial view is exceptionally good. Loved those short videos too.

    Could see your excitement from your smile in the video. And do not tell me that you brushed your bum while landing…….. that is what I can make out from the landing video.

    Do you know Pune has few of the world famous paragliding sites. Kamshet, Tower hill at old Pune-Mumbai Highway, Pavana to name few.

    Having done my basic paragliding course from Pune, mentioning two good schools in Pune if you want to learn it someday…

    www.templepilots.com, www.indusparagliding.in."

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  35. Interesting travel story.. if I'm lucky enough to visit the valley again, I will definitely do paragliding. Thanks for the tips. =]

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  36. Very cool, thanks for sharing. I really like the lines ansd colors in the photo just be fore landing

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  37. Its wonderful to glide over these majestic hills with wonderful vistas. Nice images, Sid.

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  38. Great you dd this, I am scared of heights

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  39. Hey thanks a lot...I take any resemblance with Kashmiris to be a compliment :) :) :)

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  40. Hmmm...I guess it might feel odd if you afraid of heights. I won't recommend it to you then Sudhir!

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  41. Absolutely Niranjan...its unlike any other feeling! So good...

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  42. Of course you will visit the valley again...no one can go there just once! ;)

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  43. Chilling to be caught in the midst of firing! Requires lots of guts to cover these protest !

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  44. We also got caught not in protests but riots, and everyone was acting very cool aboit it. They act as if nothing has happened

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  45. I think you are right...I did have to brace my guts and get in the middle of it all. The idea then was not really to cover anything but just go and talk to people...

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  46. Riots are much worse I think...people do not check much before they react! Where was this? Kashmir? I remember getting stuck in Gujarat riots in 2002 when I was a student...it was quite bad...despite the police protection we were scared like hell!

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  47. In Srinagar, they knew beforehand but told us last minute after we had checked out. And the shikara wala was acting as if its like a few shops would be closed, if you try to get to jammu on your bike, you might get pelted with stones and that's all, no big deal no.

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  48. Haha :) I heard another traveller tell me about her tryst with stone pelting near Gulmarg...I guess one gets used to these things when they happen often. For tourists, of course, its very unusual....

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  49. Thrilling… nice captures. I like these photos as it really brings in the Kashmir of today (even though this was a situation of local tension)… people protesting for their rights… Admirable that you jumped into the action to get these photos, guess that's what makes photojournalism so challenging.

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  50. Sounds like a lovely experience. Pahalgam looks beautiful through your lens.

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  51. It seems getting around anywhere in the North always comes with it's little surprises we saw 4 or 5 flat tyres from Srinagar to Leh yesterday. Shame about the lack of rowing and high grade rapids, I had a great rafting experience in Rishikesh and they even let us swim through one of the rapids which was really cool.

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  52. Yes Pahalgam is great...make sure you go when its not full of tourists, it gets really crowded! I too would love to do a mountaineering course there...

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  53. Its actually not very challenging, you just need to get over the initial hesitation. Also its important to know if its safe or not. I went in asking questions and telling people that I write about things when I travel...and they were generally receptive, except one girl who threw her placard and walked off. Others actually scolded her for talking badly to me :)

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  54. Thanks Siddhartha for taking the effort :)

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  55. White water rafting is on my list from long time..... the last pic is very serene. Each mountain ridge showcasing different colour.

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  56. We had a mountaineering course booked in pahalgam which we cancelled last minute, this place looks great. Definitely doing the course this time around

    Nice post, thanks for sharing

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  57. You must do it! I have heard of some good places in Maharashtra also...

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  58. Pahalgam is a beautiful place...unfortunately this time I was there only briefly and hardly took any pictures...

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  59. Its full of surprises even for a North Indian like me :| From what I know, they do have grade 4-5 rapids, but they are only getting tested and certified as safe right now...so not open to the travellers!

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  60. Waiting for your houseboat story too! :D

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  61. Yes Mridula! I need to write that one sometime in this week...

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  62. Gorgeous captures!!

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  63. The views are breathtaking and I'm sure, so was the paragliding :-)

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  64. Oh yes Purba! The flight was fantastic...

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  65. Hari Om
    Wow! Great to 'meet' you Siddhartha and thanks for dropping by My Take and your comments. I have signed up here (great little promo 'book' BTW!)...but why have you let your other blog become silent? I spent some time reading random posts there and loved what I found. I also have the wordy blog, which has many more pics than ever appear on the photoblog; so I do know it takes time and effort to keep things running. But I like your thinking! YAM xx

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  66. Thanks so much Yamini for such a wonderful comment! There was a time when I was really keen on writing short stories and publishing them here, but then I moved cities and somehow I could never get back to it...you have inspired me now to look at it again! :)

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  67. Do not ask me :( Still through my Gmail I can not.... so somehow i reactivated my 5-6 years old rediff account, bingo..the password for that old account , i remembered :) and at last I could post.... It was annoying for last few days being not able to post ....

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  68. Haha...rediff!! Really? Thanks so much for taking such efforts...its always great to have your voice on this space :)

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  69. Fantastic face! Great portrait.

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  70. A reminds me of that story by Rabindranath Tagore!

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  71. Those lines on his forehead, near the eyes giving the portrait an intense feel.....just curious what was the colour of his eyes?

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  72. Mareta KusumaningrumFebruary 10, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    amazing photos, i will fly to rajashtan next month :)

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  73. I like the last pic very much! I have had many experiences being caught in the communal riots! I don't even want to think about any one of them!

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  74. Thanks a lot...Rajasthan is quite a place and I am sure you will love it :) Where are you coming in from? Ping me if you need any help/ suggestions, I will do my best to help you out :)

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  75. Lovely pictures! Rafting is one of my favorites!

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  76. Mareta KusumaningrumFebruary 10, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    indonesia :)
    here is my blog thecinnamonjourney.blogspot.com :)

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  77. Stunning! Absolutely beautiful man. Did you ask his permission before photographing?

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  78. Thanks Kal :) I didn't exactly asked him for permission, but I spoke to him for a while before clicking him. He quite enjoyed looking at the pics later on my camera...

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  79. Oh yes I just saw your blog a while back...you have some lovely pictures :)

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  80. Mareta KusumaningrumFebruary 10, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    thank you,

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  81. I completely agree...the lines speak a lot. His eyes were brown...with a hint of dull green...

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  82. That's awesome! I also exactly thought of the same story at the time of clicking this...

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  83. Nice shot. Such an interesting face and such expressive eyes.

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  84. Lovely compositions and great colors… visually very appealing.

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  85. Very nice photos! We live in such a different world. I like yours:-)

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  86. You are absolutely right Archana...its a huge boon for us. I can always see people c;eating up and watering the plants. I wonder what would have happened had this not been there..

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  87. Great photos! Pune's tekdi's are easily accessible and a huge boon for us. The 'lungs' of the city as it were! Some citizens' groups have been volunteering to clean up parts of the tekdi which has made a huge difference.

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  88. India tour And Travel Service
    www.southdelhitravel.com

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  89. Thanks so much. I like mine, but I love yours as well...you live in a gorgeous country! :)

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  90. Nice photos ! I did Kashmir too and Ladakh in the month of June.

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  91. On the transportation front we provide services to various multinational companies in New Delhi, Gurgaon & Noida on daily and contract basis. This apart we also provide Tourist and Pilgrimage Luxury Bus services. We have our own parking space along with three well-equipped service centers, which provide all round maintenance and repair services, which ensure smooth running of all our vehicles.

    www.southdelhitravel.com

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  92. On the transportation front we provide services to various multinational companies in New Delhi, Gurgaon & Noida on daily and contract basis. This apart we also provide Tourist and Pilgrimage Luxury Bus services. We have our own parking space along with three well-equipped service centers, which provide all round maintenance and repair services, which ensure smooth running of all our vehicles.

    www.southdelhitravel.com

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  93. It's like a picture postcard...beautiful.. :-) in "kadal' with the 'kadal' ..:-D ..

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  94. Nice! Looking forward to seeing all the seven kadals. :)

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  95. Wow !! you did have a super exciting experience... !

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  96. great info for me (Y) ...

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  97. imteresting for sure!!...time to cash in that govt ltc of my hubby!!

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  98. The wooden bridge survived this long!! Thanks for sharing the history behind it. The view looks fabulous.

    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

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  99. Thanks Renuka! Unfortunately I do not have pictures of all bridges...

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  100. Thanks so much! I 'kadal'ed your comment :)

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  101. Yes the view throughout the old city is fabulous...I am not sure if this one is the same old bridge, it might have been rebuilt!

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  102. Thanks Stuti! Hope you to had a nice experience...

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  103. Very intriguing ... reminded me of "Kabuliwala" by Rabindranath Tagore.

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  104. Thanks a lot Namrota! I too was inspired by the same story :)

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  105. i can absolutely imagine Kusum! If I may ask, where were you?

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  106. I didn't expect this from you.... a person so fond of using his big camera! :D
    Nice captures BTW.

    I wasn't able to comment the other day on Kabuliwala. Any clue?

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  107. i have had a difficult time commenting on your blog due to pop-up ads, etc. i'm not certain this comment will be accepted, but i wanted to thank you for your visits.

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  108. :) That's nice to hear Nisha...I actually do take loads of pictures with my phone!


    Not sure why you couldn't comment on the other post? Maybe you can try again...it should work!

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  109. I am really sorry you had difficulty in posting a comment here! There is actually no ad on my blog...it might have been the subscription form!

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  110. Hari Om
    What a wonderful contrast...this is a superb shot!!! YAM xx

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  111. The moment is captured beautifully.

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  112. he is probably baffled by all the camera around!

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  113. That's likely Sudhir...later, however, the kids posed very happily for the camera though :)

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  114. I like such unexpected unprepared captures.

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  115. Thanks so much Yamini :) Btw I really love to see your comments here...

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  116. Hmmm...I do hope things are better for him...

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  117. Nice shot. He kind of looks like a war torn child who has had to toughen up quickly.

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  118. i think you are correct - it may have been a facebook 'like' request or something similar. when i came here to reply, it did not pop up this time. :)

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  119. Ah! Thank god for that :) Thank you for the patience...

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  120. I like the way you put the smile there after "waiting for the road to open". :)

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  121. Great pics, Siddhartha :) Clicking pics from an auto is safer than face-to-face as some people despise it, as you have rightly mentioned.

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  122. lovely light and shadow play!

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  123. wow. If this is just a preview, how else will!. I love it. Very good command of exposure. A spectacular photography.
    A hug Siddhartha :)

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  124. Wow what a photo! Looks absolutely gorgeous :-)

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  125. A beautiful shot indeed!
    It's in my wishlist since long :(

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  126. I loved the view...wonder why the carpets are folded :)

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  127. Nice pic, Siddhartha. Even the empty corridor has a story to tell :)

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  128. A thought of Steve McCurry's Afghan Girl's photo crossed when I saw this portrait and so the curiosity for his eye colours... he has dull green in his eyes ..wow..

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  129. wow I can only imagine how exciting it must :D Beautiful captures :)

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  130. Hari OM
    Oh, to explore! wonderful shot. YAM xx

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  131. Whats wrong with them and you????

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  132. Exactly Anita...some people do not like it, but if done well they do not mind also. I guess its often how you approach them. People are usually apprehensive of mobile photography...but open up much easily with a DSLR :)

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  133. Thanks a lot Becky :) Its a gorgeous place...

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  134. Thanks Anunoy! You should absolutely visit the place...

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  135. Thanks a lot Rajlakshmi...it was exciting and fun :)

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  136. Yes I agree...such spaces are always filled with whispers, untold stories...ready to be found...

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  137. Thank you so much Gumer! Coming from you its such a huge compliment...I a big fan of your pictures!

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  138. Thanks! At least I know the story behind the folded carpets :) It was early in the morning and an old woman was cleaning the place with sweepers...she was very through with work and also swept the dirt from under the carpet! :)

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  139. What a lovely and surreal image. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am happy to find yours as well! V

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  140. True :) I am yet to possess a DSLR though :)

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