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Old 28th October 2009, 15:02   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Gurudev...

Your "kutch kutch hota hai" story has become "Klutch Klutch hota hai".
Please release the clutch and step on the accelarator.

We're waiting for more!

And great photography there.

@Sen(sei)
Thanks for the compliment.

Unfortunately I am not in sales, with a boss I have convinced of high stress who needs to decompress.

Life slows down in the Rann. You dont want to race too fast and overheat do you?

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2 servings a day and maybe dessert at night is what the kitchen can produce!
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Old 28th October 2009, 15:17   #32
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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
The hut came with its own pet squirrel as well? ;-)
@sudev: You like squirrels? I have the perfect squirrel for you! It is the older brother of the one in front of the hut

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Old 28th October 2009, 15:18   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Gurudev...

Your "kutch kutch hota hai" story has become "Klutch Klutch hota hai".
Please release the clutch and step on the accelarator.

We're waiting for more!

And great photography there.
Sensaab i too agree with you!
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Old 28th October 2009, 15:46   #34
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Extremely good pics and a tour of an offbeat location. Nice narration Genesis. I just wish you could pick up the pace a little more than a few pics at a time.
Count on me for asking for info about doing this trip sometime shortly.

I like the perspective in your pics.. very similar to what I usually click.
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Old 28th October 2009, 18:43   #35
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Authors note: Given the public demand for more productivity, decided to leave work early and try to appease the demanding forum members.

Evening saw some other guests in the camp and a Ladakh connection. One of them was wearing a Stok Kangri t-shirt and turns out that he was Ladakhi named Tantar accompanying a oldish british guy by the name of John Hunt who sets up schools in remote parts of India. They had set up a school for children of salt workers in the area just like they had set up one in a remote village near Pangong Tso. To put my portly frame to shame, the guide also disclosed that the 68 year old John had also summited Stok Kangri. We were joined in by Dhanraj Malik who runs the camp and is the son of the erstwhile Nawab. Turns out that most of the profits from the camp were used by Dhanraj for running the school and an orphanage in that area.

After some spirited discussion about Ladakh and the Kutch, and some playing around with Dhanraj's saluki dogs, I took a walk to the village to meet the village guardians and their protectorate the village kids. Was cornered and interrogated about Mumbai, whether I knew Salman and Sharukh, got a demo of their playing card sets decorated with film heroes and had they showed me how to play solitaire on my windows mobile phone

Tantar and John
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Dhanraj Malik
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Saluki
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Saluki Pup
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Village Guardians
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Protectorate
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Returned back to camp, navigating through the darkness and making a mental note to get up early next morning to investigate the incessant bleating and mooing sounds which seemed to be emanating from the dense undergrowth...
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Old 28th October 2009, 19:33   #36
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Woke up in the wee hours, grabbed the camera and headed out to investigate the source of the sounds. The colors of sky were unique as was the sunrise.

Sunrise
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Turns out that the sounds were those of sheep and cattle from a 'Rabari' nomad herder camp. They are penned it at night, milked early morning and then taken out to pastures during the day. My smiles and camera got me into the camp where I could do a photo session with some models. Some willing, some unwilling, some haughty.

Canned and Organic Milk
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Rabari Camp
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Friendly Model
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Haughty Model
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Herdsman
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Headed back to camp for breakfast but not before stalking some birds at the local pond.

Birds On A Wire
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Green Day
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Mirror Image
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Had to beat a hasty retreat when the ladies at the pond thought I was stalking them.(to be continued...)
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Old 29th October 2009, 06:27   #37
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It had not taken much to convince me that an Innova was the wrong vehicle to take into the Rann. The soil was still soft in parts since the rains had receded, the suspension would take a beating in the ruts, but what I realized later was that sharp thorns of the bushes sticking out on both sides of the track would have left deep love scratches on the paint finish in no time.

We piled into a 4x4 belonging to the camp, and drove down some 10km to the Park Rangers office. Windshield knocked down, wind in my hair (atleast what is left of it), the whine of the old engine, the stares of villagers wondering why these people were heading out in the blazing sun... I could now see what jeepers keep talking about.

Carrier
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Villagers
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First stop was the Ranger office at Bhajana to obtain permits
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The road surface changed as we moved closer to the Rann from the camp

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As we lurched through the scrub, we saw some beautiful cranes take flight
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And then next to some distant bushes saw a faint outline
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Circled around to come into a clearing and see a family of wild asses at play
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And a sight which would have warmed the crustiest of all hearts
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We were now experiencing the true magic of the Rann...

Last edited by genesis : 29th October 2009 at 06:31.
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Old 29th October 2009, 07:41   #38
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Magic in wonderland. Having been there I wonder why it remains missing in itineraries of travellers. One of the wondrous things to do is drive right across the little rann.
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Old 29th October 2009, 08:36   #39
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Nice travelogue and beatiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 29th October 2009, 10:00   #40
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Lightbulb Go Guru...

"Gurudev" .. a worthy title for you.
I'm knocking your door soon for lessons.
Awesome photos.
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Old 29th October 2009, 10:07   #41
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Nice pics and narration! Keep them coming!
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Old 29th October 2009, 12:25   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Magic in wonderland. Having been there I wonder why it remains missing in itineraries of travellers. One of the wondrous things to do is drive right across the little rann.
One of the craziest things to do would be drive across the Little Rann into the Big Rann of Kutch. Dhanraj, the owner of Desert Coursers apparently did it once. And if you keep driving further, you will end up in Pakistan, but the Indian army will probably grab you before that

The other BIG realization was that it would be quite nuts to go into the Rann without a local guide/person, there are places with many tracks all going off some somewhere and then some with no tracks. Occasional white stones mark some trails, but what they signify requires local expertise.

Last edited by genesis : 29th October 2009 at 12:37.
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Old 29th October 2009, 19:46   #43
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We were now experiencing the true magic of the Rann...
We gingerly stepped onto the soft earth and delighted in the simple pleasure of crumbling it in our hands as it became sand and hung around watching the khur (as the asses are locally known). After a failed attempt at chasing a Nilgai which vamoosed into the scrub, Younus, our expert driver took us deeper into the ran following tracks, which to me seemed to go nowhere.

Suddenly he stopped and pointed in the horizon, a line of wild asses, lined up and posturing for us. As we got closer, they took off and thus began a cat and mouse session with me shooting the SLR (camera not rifle !) from the front well of the jeep being thrown around as we gave chase like a big white bwana (only the big part is probably appropriate) in the African plains.

Conscious not to do this for too long, we soon slowed down and the khurs too lined up to look at us in disdain. I was too engrossed in patting myself on the back for remembering to put the camera in sports mode and my investment in a zoom lens to pay any attention to their looks.

As far as the eye can see
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Spotting The Herd
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Herd Mentality
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Taking off
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Usain Bolt
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Playing To The Gallery
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A few swigs of water for ourselves and the jeep
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We called it a draw
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and headed off to newer adventures deeper in the Rann...
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Old 29th October 2009, 20:56   #44
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WOW ! What superb pictures ! Stunning is not the word.

Great going Genesis bhai - and now that I am hooked here, please post faster.

Am 5 *ing this one !
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Old 29th October 2009, 21:27   #45
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Great pics genesis....keep it going. Loved the "Playing to the Galley" shot.
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