Early January this year, I was in India, we were all preparing to visit Kumbh, the largest assemblage. Delhi was the coldest in 40 years, but still fuming over the tragedy of Delhi rape victim, whose life was thrashed by a monster herd on loose.
Not 6 months have gone, and India is wrapped up in another tragedy again, the flash floods in Uttrakhand, appropriately named as Himalayan Tsunami. thousands have lost their lives, hundreds of villages no longer in existence, I do not have heart to look at the devastation videos and pictures, sitting here I can only imagine How beautiful it used to be.
For us trekkers, Nature lovers or travelers, the Himalaya is Heaven alike. But we, through times, have seen crazy developments, ever increasing tourists inflow and the normal men's quests to conquer the heights from up close. Not to avoid an elephantine stretch in number of trekking and touring companies in the mountains, who are ready to cash and sell himalayas. I however, have no altercation to put up here, in such a quandary but only a supplication to all of you dreaming to make it big in himalayas, to save it by extending your support, to those in need, also continue with the plans but ONLY travel more responsibly this time. Because we can not let himalaya vanish, whose lap would we run in to otherwise? [ - A Note ]
If you've not yet read about first 3 months of the year 2013 here it is "2013 First Quarter Roundup"
Summer in USA is full of adventures, and specially water sports and music festivals, But I am here busy setting up my small Studio. Past three months I have mostly been indoors and hence This update will be drastically different, Nope no new adventures yet, they needed to wait till July and oh Now that the 3rd quarter is already here, I am out all weekends. So just before I begin posting stories from my new wanderings, Here goes a quick round up of last 3 months activities.
Buying Print is easier now -
First comes the most of important of all. In the midst of all chaos, I have managed to have smugmug all set and running. which means if you want a print, you are able to order it directly through the easy interface of the website. the galleries have printing options of all sizes and kinds of good quality papers and the best part, the shipping is worldwide. Also, you can always request me for the images, if you don't find 'em there. trust me, Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing a piece of art I created hanging in your living room wall and in achieving that these efforts and time I spent, is all well worth it.
Better Pre-Post Navigation on the blog -
By post-navigation I meant the Header Navigation. It took me a little time to come up w/ the design which truly matched my template style, but It seemed like its a great addition as a site-map in overall , Thank a ton for your feedback. I am yet to add a plenty of links up there, so you might find some secondary menus empty, But they'll all be up as time goes and many old and new stories unfold.
Pre-Navigation, sounds like a weird new word, but look on your right top of the blog page, and you'd realize It can not be more helpful than this for you and me. The Idea is not only to put up my upcoming plans but also try to list out upcoming calendar events around the world, that both you and I can attend. This is very helpful as a reminder to since many times I have tried to post them in a new post, but couldn't.
Years of Yes's & No's after deleting my "Butterfly Flutter-by Flutter-by, The blog is finally back and active on Facebook. I never said it before but seriously, thank you for 5000+ Likes, really appreciate all the love and encouragement, including the one liners i receive in FB messages :) Keep it rolling.
Before the update, one more thank you note for Everyone on my twitter friends list. I personally do not believe in followers and following. the term is such a turn-off for me. But I am Just glad to have a good number of people, who pay attention to my thoughts no matter what, and also very pleased to discover so many like-minded people who inspire me with their 140chars almost everyday.
Travel Chats - I discovered #TTOT early this year, and since then I've been hooked to live chatting on twitter. IMHO its a best way of having a conversation on varied number of topics, be it travel which is the most popular I am guessing, to extending the range of topics up to anything from life, to books and photography.
There are many gripping chats like #RATW, #untravel and #bootsnall and #TSBC, but because of time zone constraint, I haven't been regular. In Last 3-4 months I have co-hosted #travex, #seetheworld and #travelpics where I get to talk about travel photography, my second favorite topic. why second, because my most favorite topic is India :)
"We are starting a new chat on Twitter with hashtag #travelindia. The weekly chat on Monday 12PM EST, will feature Everything and anything India. India being such a diverse country and being the most colorful of all countries in the world, we will have a new topic to discuss every week, be it food, festival, dresses to dynamics. The idea is to provide a platform to all those travelers in love with the country and planning to visit it in near future to put across their queries, and also for those who have been there, for discussing their experiences and to love it even more.
If you're interested in co-hosting #travelindia or if you have any questions, or suggestions, you can post them in the comments here, or on the page dedicated to the chat http://blog.poonamparihar.com/p/travelindia.html
You can also post them on twitter with hashtag #travelindia and w/ my twitter handle @poonamparihar
Hope to see you there."
Featured on Flickr Blog
Perhaps the first image that I posted from Jersey City, and first serious shot of Monsoon, but still taken with nothing but iPhone made it to Flickr Blog on June 19th. Well, I'd like to remember it, since it doesn't happen everyday and also since I dont think they can feature me as an artist there, ever, since my stream has a crazy range, and they pick up only those, whose work has a certain dimension. shall be glad if I am proved wrong and end up on the page alone. How about that?
Failed Appalachian BUT-
Call it fail or pass, but It was great to discover a historic trail in my new backyard. In the process of attempting it, I studied the entire trail and came to understand a lot about east coast, which earlier I had no awareness of. Exclude appalachian, and there are still many trekking - hiking options in New York and Jersey and with fall season round the corner, there can not be a best time to explore this region.
I ordered a set of facebook business card for testing purpose and ended up ordering one more set with some of my personal favorite images. the quality or cards and print both, is great. the print is matte. the cards look really cute, so anyone you hand it to will be all smile. Moo also has portfolio options.
After moving back to united states and then to east coast, I was looking for some printing lab service, to get my client photos printed in different sizes and shipped directly to them. after much search I found LA based Bay Photo, the lab had very good reviews plus its arrangement with Smugmug made it easy for me to order large size images prints from them. their international shipping however slow, but the images are packaged well.
& Smugmug -
you can read Why I chose smugmug services here
( No review is sponsored and is, in 100%, my personal opinion.)
What'd I miss -
Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Coney Island in Brooklyn New ork is very inviting to enthusiasts of various theatrical work and cultural forms. with signature activities such as Mermaid Parade, which is an original of this place, the Circus Sideshow, and the Coney Island Museum. Laser shows, tattoo and Motorcycle festival, The Famous Nathan's Hot Dog challenge and of course, variety of Victorian Burlesque every night, the Summer at Coney Island is full of activities.
I moved to New York City a month back and could discover the place just 2 days back while researching, and hence missed the parade in June that was organized in last week of june. You know how much I love to shoot colorful processions. I think the only saving grace for me was, this years' dint look as wild & colorful as in 2011 which the above image is from, shot by Vivienne Gucwa. Still hats off to the donors who donated graciously and made this years parade possible. I hope to attend it next year and here's wishing it much more grandeur.
Firefly Music Festival
I can not remember planning for anything other than Appalachian and Firefly. and I managed to skip this one as well. with Dozens of Music festivals going on in all parts of US and hundreds of other very arresting events of every sort, happening all around me, I am sure, I will clock in a few of them in rest of the season.
Fall 2013 Plans : Whats Next?
More and More of New York and New Jersey Specially exploring Jersey City including many seasonal cultural and Art events is what seems to be in the card next. rest of all is laid on the side-bar (see on your top-right), w/ few surprises that will be unfolded by the time. (above image courtesy backpacker.com)
Looking forward taking you to the most alluring journeys these next six months and countdown begins tomorrow... Stay tuned.
Join me on Facebook and Twitter for more photography and travel stories and updates from around the world.
We are starting a new tweet chat #travelindia on twitter from July 29th to talk about India and share our love and experience for/of the country. Do check out the details here and spread the word