I am not a photographer. I don’t have any training or expertise, but I do try to document the places I meet, with my camera. A result of this love of documenting also includes reminiscing about past events and travels. Over time, there are certain images that transport me to another time, and make me happy. They’re not amongst the best photos I have ever taken or profound. This post is me sharing a few such photographs, which take me to my happy
places, and instantly lift my mood when I am down. Hope you enjoy them!
1) This is the terrace of my university hostel- Nilgiris, where I’ve spent hours talking to friends, contemplating the universe, enjoying Bangalore weather. There is something reassuring about those solar panels.
2) This was the first view I saw when I woke up in my sleeping bag, at the Makallidurga peak, where my friends and I had gone on a trek.
3) In the middle of the concrete jungle that is metropolitan Singapore, is this small oasis of joy, the Chinese Garden. The silence and symmetry of the place was amazing.
4) The stilt houses in Trondheim, Norway are delightful in their Monopoly-like shapes and colours.
5) As someone who loves singing carols and hymns, mass at Christmas eve in Bangalore has been a ritual for the past five years. This is from my first time at St. Mark’s Cathedral; Christmas 2010.
6) The Himalayas have been the most beautiful and terrifying sight I have ever encountered. Terrifying because of the sheer nonchalance and power with which they exist. This is a shot of the famed Dronagiri mountain which features in the Ramayana, and this picture always gives me happy goosebumps.
7) The St. Cajetan’s Church, from my solo trip to Goa in 2011. My first trip with just a small knapsack and no itinerary whatsoever.
8) People lighting incense sticks at the Hazrat Nizammudin Dargah in Old Delhi.
9) Watching classical dance is a fantastic experience. A Bharatnatyam performace at the iconic Tilak Smarak Mandir in Pune.
10) I love Pune city. The seat of the Peshwas, and the place where I grew up, where my parents grew up. Home is where all your earliest and latest memories are. The temple on the Parvati hill in the city centre, offers breathtaking views of the city in all directions.
11) Bangalore is the place where I discovered adulthood. Every side street and filer coffee has a story. View of UB City, from the balcony of the 13th Floor restaurant.
12) Because awe inspiring wild moments are not the monopoly of predators alone. Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka.
13) This was probably one of the most enthralling moments of my life. A bright sunny day in Corbett National Park turned dark and cloudy within seconds, there was thunder, the river swelled with rain and a spotlight appeared in the sky.
14) A street full of bookstores. The City of Joy’s street of joy. College Street, Calcutta.
15) The most peaceful and beautiful corner of Paris. Père Lachaise Cemetery.
16) After two days of frugality, I treated myself to a fancy meal at the Villa Montmartre in Paris. Dining alone in a strange city can be fun.
17) I am a train geek. I love trains. Using metro trains is the highlight of my day. The Paris Metropolitan is a work of art.
18) The Hawa Mahal is a piece of magic in the middle of the busy city of Jaipur.
19) National Law School of India University has one place which has been the scene of drunk parties, judicial lectures, presidential debates, classical dance competitions and folk music performances. Quadrangle tales.
20) A random street in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The photo reminds of the sweet misty cold that morning, and cold temperatures make me happy.
21) As I said, I love trains. There is something lovely about a red train streaking through a green mountain, next to the Rhine., near Koblenz in Germany.
22) The Jet d’Eau fountain in Geneva at the Rhone river is a very satisfying vision. I can still taste the spray in the air.
These were some of my happy places.
– Mrinalini Shinde
Mrinalini is a recent graduate of NLSIU, Bangalore and gets her kicks from environmental justice with a heady dose of gender and media rights thrown in. When not channelling her angst in some way, she can be seen indulging in excellent vegetarian food.
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