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Old 17th December 2013, 19:52   #1
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Default Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

Oh yes, it happened exactly a year ago, on this very day, my birthday. Owing to an incredible opportunity that my sister got, to perform in the International Odissi Dance Festival last December, the entire family decided to unite for the occasion and make some of the fondest memories of our lives. So, "Odisha" it was!

Destination #1 : Puri

Having landed at Bhubaneshwar on the 17th of Dec 2012, the plan was to catch the 4AM train to Puri, on which my family had already set sail from my hometown. A couple of calls to the taxi operators the previous evening for a next day drop to the Railway Station at 3.30AM, all I got was disappointment. Some quoted exorbitant fares, and some bluntly refused saying it's too early to get out in the chilling cold. Next hope was the Autorickshaw. To my luck, one of the guys agreed, but on one condition that I will have to call him and wake him up. Too much uncertainty isn't it? Well, read on.

12AM - I'm a happy birthday boy, sitting in my hotel room, where somehow I had this feeling that there were ghosts lurking around
Anyways, after almost 50 phone calls and messages from friends and relatives, I plan to doze off for an hour.

3AM - Alarm rings. Train is at 4AM. I pick up the phone and dial the Autorickshaw guy's number.
"Not Reachable"
"Network Busy"
"Tring Tring"
Finally, the call gets connected. But hey, why isn't anyone answering the call?

3:10AM - Still no answer.

3:15AM - Call gets answered. Me : Hello! Please wake up for God's sake. Him : Yes sir, I will be there in 10 minutes. Me : A sigh of relief

3:20AM - I rush down to the reception. Next duty : To wake up the guy sleeping there so that he opens the main gate. Duty fulfilled.

3:25AM - Now, here I am standing in a completely unfamiliar city, chilling cold, empty streets, luggage hanging down from all of my limbs, and with no sight of the autorickshaw guy.

3:30AM - I call him again. Me : Where are you? Him : Sir, my auto ain't starting because of the cold. Me : (to myself) I'm a dead rat today

3:35AM - Still no sight of him. I had to take a decision now. The Railway station was 2.5Kms from the hotel. Decided to walk it up. Pretty bold decision eh? Valuables in the luggage, walking alone on the empty streets at the dead of the night, I made a very tasty prey of myself. Called up the auto guy, and told that I have started walking down, and if his auto starts, he should trace me on the road to the station.

3:40AM - Having walked some 300 meters, got attacked by streets dogs. Somehow escaped that mess (God knows how). God might have vested some superpower inside me at that moment.

3:50AM - Had walked almost a kilometer by now. But hey, what do I see ahead? A bunch of unruly guys, with their bikes, on the sidewalk. My prayers start again! Just as I keep walking at full pace, the autorickshaw comes and stops ahead of me. I almost burst into tears of joy.

3:55AM - Finally I reach the railway station.

3:57AM - I run to the platform. The train is already there, the engine whistling, ready to depart. The coach in which my family was, was at the rear. "Marathon run" mode initiated, I run at full throttle.

3:59AM - I finally get into the train. Family embraces me. Hugs & more hugs exchanged.

4:00AM - Train departs Bhubaneshwar junction

What a start to the day it has been for the birthday boy

Last edited by RevvMusic : 18th December 2013 at 01:10.
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Old 17th December 2013, 20:37   #2
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

The day starts to break in. And here's what I see from the train

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0004.jpg

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_00013.jpg



The first rays of the sun

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0019.jpg


And here's the first view of the Bay of Bengal. A newly married couple overlooks the horizon

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0033.jpg


Picture perfect

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_00463.jpg


There is so much joy in being carefree

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_00522.jpg


A camel ride on the beach, instead of the desert? Well, that has it's own charm too

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0125.jpg

Last edited by RevvMusic : 17th December 2013 at 22:03.
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Old 17th December 2013, 22:15   #3
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

Incidentally, it was the first time, that I had cut my birthday cake on the beach with all my loved ones by my side. It's an experience that goes beyond words.
With all the emotions rolling in full swing, it was time to head back to our hotel and savor some mouthwatering bengali cuisine, take a nap, and head to the famous Lord Jagannath temple for the puja in the evening.

Nonetheless, it was a wonderful experience at the temple. That entire vibe in the air was simply amazing! It was really interesting to watch the man climbing all the way up to the apex of the temple and change the flag. Boy, that requires some serious skill and practice.

With the blessings of Lord Jagannath, we again head to the beach market. I really wanted to capture the mood of vibrancy that prevailed in the makeshift vendor stalls. Plenty of opportunities for candid photographs. And I took advantage of all of the opportunities thrown at me.

Here they go :

Cotton candies anyone?

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0030.jpg


I wanted to have some Meetha Pan, but the majority resorted to elaichi tea

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0059.jpg


It was quite an adventure capturing a candid of him from behind the bushes

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0039.jpg


He sells happiness to others. Agreed! But does happiness knock his door? Compels me to think

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0011.jpg


Having Pani Puri on the beach on a moonlit night, with the sound of the waves in the background. Magic!

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0034.jpg


The Beach Market

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0027.jpg

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_00212.jpg

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0047.jpg


Mouth Watering. Ain't it?

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0051.jpg


Priceless Expression

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0052.jpg

Last edited by RevvMusic : 18th December 2013 at 01:18.
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Old 17th December 2013, 23:21   #4
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

Destination #2 : Konark

So there comes the end to my special day. A birthday, that I would remember for a long time. Next morning, with fond memories, we leave Puri, with a promise to return again. The next destination? Konark Temple!

The single lane road from Puri to Konark is very scenic. For quite a distance, the road runs along the coastline, adorned by the Bay of Bengal. The idea of travelling in a hired cab along this route didn't appeal to me much, but we had no other choice. My S10 was taking it's much deserved rest in Bangalore.

Anyways, it was just about the perfect time when we reached Konark temple. The majestic hand carved gigantic structure, bathed in a sea of orange, flowing down from the setting sun, filled my senses.


The 13th century Konark Sun Temple, supposedly built by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty around 1250. It has been built in the shape of a gigantic chariot with elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A major part of the structure is now in ruins. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0028.jpg


One of the carved wheels of the chariot

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_00512.jpg


Romance on stone. Makes me wonder about the immense level of artistry of the artists and sculptors of that era

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0056.jpg

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0058.jpg


There is a beautiful green lawn behind the temple which the birds have chosen as their playground. So why not do some birding? Here I go

In flight :

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0109.jpg


Just about to land :

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0094.jpg


Touch down successful. Reverse thrust engaged. Halt!

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0072.jpg

Last edited by RevvMusic : 17th December 2013 at 23:41.
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Old 17th December 2013, 23:51   #5
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

Destination #3 : Bhubaneshwar (International Odissi Dance Festival)

Now, the occasion that was responsible in making us plan this get together, the "International Odissi Dance Festival", in which my sister was to perform, was just around the corner. Did I say "just around the corner"? Well, the festival just began with all the fanfare. The morning of 20th December, 2012, we walk into the venue. A proud moment for me, seeing my sister perform at such a prestigious platform. Grabbed one of the front row seats, and got soaked into the world of this magical dance form, Odissi.

Here are a few shots that I had shot during the festival

Famous Odissi exponent, Rajashi Praharaj, performing

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0130.jpg

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0132.jpg


A fantastic Odissi Dancer from Russia

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0146.jpg


Misc pics of other dancers at the festival

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0037.jpg

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0001.jpg

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0041.jpg

Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)-dsc_0023.jpg


With the commencement of this festival, a memorable trip came to an end. Since then, a year has gone by, but everything still remains fresh in my memory, as if it was just yesterday. Today I am one more year older. Rather, I should say, one more year younger . I can really feel it inside me. Lot of new things learnt, lot of knowledge gained, lot of blows faced, lot of new music written, lot of new acquaintances made. But when I look back, it feels so assuring to realize that everything eventually has contributed in making me a finer human being, an individual with values.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers,
Shubhodeep

Last edited by RevvMusic : 18th December 2013 at 01:23.
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Old 18th December 2013, 05:30   #6
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th December 2013, 07:44   #7
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

Beautifully crafted photographs. Made my morning as I looked upon the train landing and the rest followed up. What is your camera gear? Would be nice to know.
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Old 18th December 2013, 08:03   #8
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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Beautifully crafted photographs. Made my morning as I looked upon the train landing and the rest followed up. What is your camera gear? Would be nice to know.
Thank you so much sir.
My camera gear is pretty archaic though. I use a Nikon D5000, a 35mm prime, a 70-300 telephoto, and an additional ultrawide
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Old 18th December 2013, 08:15   #9
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevvMusic View Post
Thank you so much sir.
My camera gear is pretty archaic though. I use a Nikon D5000, a 35mm prime, a 70-300 telephoto, and an additional ultrawide
The prime is amazing!

Another question: For the dance poses I presume you used the 70-300. What was the typical exif? ISO 400, F4-F5.6 ?
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Old 18th December 2013, 08:29   #10
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
The prime is amazing!

Another question: For the dance poses I presume you used the 70-300. What was the typical exif? ISO 400, F4-F5.6 ?
Yes, the dance poses were taken through the 70-300. ISO 1600, F4-F5.6, 1/200 - 1/300
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Old 18th December 2013, 08:42   #11
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@Revvmusic

Simply fantastic pics, absolutely amazing. I liked the last 3 pics of the bird, nicely tagged too. Even the dancer's expressions have come so natural.
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Old 18th December 2013, 12:17   #12
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@Revvmusic

Simply fantastic pics, absolutely amazing. I liked the last 3 pics of the bird, nicely tagged too. Even the dancer's expressions have come so natural.
Thanks a lot sir. Glad you liked them. Means a lot
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Old 18th December 2013, 12:30   #13
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

Fantastic photographs Shubho! I must say that you are a very creative person having a passion for travelling, music & photography. Glad that you chose to share the experience.

And wish you a very happy birthday.

Regards,
Saket

Last edited by saket77 : 18th December 2013 at 12:38.
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Old 18th December 2013, 15:42   #14
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

What a wonderful collection of photographs, simply amazing especially the Bay of Bengal, how can I not compliment the expresssion of dancers and the beach vendors, simply superb. Happy clicking and thanks for sharing, enjoyed it thoroughly.
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Old 18th December 2013, 16:07   #15
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Default re: Birthday, Beachwalk, Dance Fest...and a nearly missed Train! (Odisha)

I have never thanked anybody in the forum for the quality of their pictures but you Sir have simply blown others away with these frames. Thank you for these wonderful pictures and do post more.
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