Monday, January 19, 2009

Sanjukta Sinha @ Natrani

Surprisingly a junior (Manjri, PD) actually asked me if I would write about it on my blog, and I thought it was too premature then to even ask such a thing. Anyway, here I am doing exactly that!

It was after a long time that I went for a live dance performance and the experience would be treasured for long. It was a Kathak performance by Sanjukta Sinha and took place at Natrani. I also had Nidhi and Pogo for company.

Not only was the performance sensual and graceful, it also enthralled me to the core. I could feel the music and a current actually passed through me, not just once but many a times during the performance. There is little that I can write (with my limited writing skills) to express the feel, so I shall leave that to be seen from the images and the video attached below.

A near-perfect Sunday (except for the big dressing down I got today late afternoon)!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dhmakedaar Dholka!

For a more detailed version of this article, visit my other blog The Wanderer.

We started with getting lost around Ahmedabad, amongst it numerous highways and ring roads! However after 20 km of aimless riding, we did find the right road and were soon on our way to Dholka on the NH8A.

Most of the journey was on the highway and so riding was fun. Surprisingly, it wasn't even cold! Reaching the main area of attraction - the mosque at the Khan Talav was a shock in itself. The mosque is almost made like an impregnable fort. Most of the motifs and other beautifying elements (including the main entrance arches) are missing now and what remains is a solid base structure. The mosque is flanked by two smaller highly decorative structures which house a few graves. There was no one to tell us more, so we are also a bit clueless about their significance. It was a pleasure to climb up the two tall towers on either side. The light was beautiful and we (Bhavin, Poorva and me) took many pictures. Even with my almost-dead camera I was busy clicking!

The mosque has a pond right behind the main structure. It more of a Dhobi Ghat now, with many washerwomen washing cloths there.

There are many more places to see, namely the Malao Talav, Tanka Masjid (also known as Bheem no Rasodo), Jumma Masjid (also known as Panch Pandavo Ni Shala) and Alif Khan's mosque! The last mosque actually was the most beautiful and the best preserved. We were granted entry at all places, we could even climb up on the top of some mosques.

Malao Talav was a bit of a shock as we expected the place to be really something. Its now a functioning Dhobi Ghat but nothing more. A few remains of the old carvings can also be seen. A small temple like structure in the center remains unreachable.

Tanka Masjid required some major searching operation and convincing o enter; we were not allowed to photograph the place from inside still. It has interesting wooden pillars inside, but we have no images to show.

Jumma Masjid is also exquisitely carved and also a functioning one. Met the maulvi also there but were again not allowed to take pictures. I think Poorva still managed a few though. A must see for everyone!

And finally the Alif Khan's mosque, which is also a functioning one, but still more open to public and much more welcoming. We could climb to the rooftop and take many pictures there. There were about 10 kids and it was an experience to watch them play. Perhaps the original domes are missing and now we have very conical domes on top, which also make interesting places to play hide and seek, to slide down and sojavascript:void(0) on.

I think by the time we finished everyone was tired, but I was rejuvenated to the core and could've explored more.

Also another blog about the same place.

I completely recommend the place to anyone looking for some fun on a winter Sunday!
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