Bright Lights – story

I take the 8:43 bus to work every morning. It’s the same bus each day, the same driver, same people, I even take the same seat. The people who wait for the bus at my stop, are the same as well. Once I’m on the bus, I quietly observe as the monotony unfolds. There’s an old man who greets me every morning, a kid who gets on at my stop and hopes that his friend gets in at the next stop, the kid’s friend who’s always running late and is seen sprinting across the road towards the bus, every single day! A pretty girl who sits across me and never once moves her gaze away from the phone, and an old lady who wouldn’t sit next to me even if the bus is full. These people right here, are my daily companions on the bus journey to work; well on the first part of my journey actually. Then the bus stops, and I’ve to run two hundred meters in 3 minutes if I want to catch the connecting bus, and hope not to die of a heart attack doing this. The next bus is pretty dull, it fills up quickly and once it does, every human on the bus looks down at the bright lights in their palms, and never once looks up. But yesterday, everything changed! There was a girl, looked around 25, she was tall and had a slender form, she wore black jeans and a blue sweater, her glasses made her look like an owl. She held a black handbag, her hair was brown and was tied up like a fountain. She didn’t have earphones plugged into her ears, didn’t look once at her phone. I thought she didn’t even have a phone. She just stared at the different faces consumed by bright lights. As my stop arrived, I thought to myself ‘what a beautiful day it has been’ and prepared to get off, and something unexpected happened. The pretty girl reached into her coat pocket and pulled out one of the bright light devices, plugged in her earphones, and in an instant she too was gone. I didn’t even know her name, yet I felt sad as I got off the bus; plugged in my earphones and started walking, looking at the bright lights in my palm.

The French Holiday – Travel video

Cycling in French villages

The place I live in (Chasseneuil) is a small commune, surrounded by vast farmlands in all directions. The view resembles Microsoft Windows wallpapers. Beauty in every direction! My friends and I bought used bicycles recently and have been going crazy riding them everywhere.

Here are some pictures,

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The lone ranger

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The Shawshank redemption

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Interstellar

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Goodfellas

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Fight club

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Saving private Ryan

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Motorcycle diaries

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Hachiko

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Four brothers

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Into the wild

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Gone with the wind

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Paths of glory

French countryside

I live in Chasseneuil du Poitou. I don’t have to go around looking for villages, because I live in one! My friend Jayanth and I hike around the place a lot. Sometimes we end up going on really long hikes, and since the region we live in, is small, we’ve hiked out of the chasseneuil region in almost all directions. One evening (like many other evenings) Jayanth and I decided to go for a small jog. We were about to enter the elevator when I stopped him and went back to the apartment, to get my camera and tripod. Then we grabbed some snacks, shoved them into our bags and were off. We knew it in our heads that we were going on a really long hike!

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The road towards Martigny. The board indicating that we are leaving Chasseneuil.

There’s a tree all by itself in the middle of farmlands. I call it the lonely tree. Its on my jogging route, and sometimes when I’m lazy to get up in the morning, the thought of this tree inspires me to run. I really like this tree a lot!

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My friend and I headed towards the lonely tree

This time we were headed towards the lonely tree which is 2 kms from our place. Both of us started walking with lollipops (chupa chups – a type of candy) in our mouth. We walked past the tree and then realised that we should have taken a picture. Walked back, set the tripod and *click*. We were on our way once again, on the path between farmlands which looked like a desert. We reached another lonely tree, which we named “Mystery mara” (mystery tree), because there can’t be two trees with the same name right? On one of our previous hikes, we saw a small forest (not really a forest, more like a plantation) in the middle of nowhere, and hiked towards it.

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The forbidden forest (Picture by Jayanth)

This place looks exactly like the old forest in Lord of the rings, so we decided to call it “the forbidden forest”. We walked for about 5 kms and found vast cornfields equipped with giant sprinklers. We spent some time running through the water blanket made by the sprinkler, and made a few videos of our stupid actions.

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Chasseneuil du poitou is engulfed by vast farmlands in all directions. It really is a beautiful place.

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The lonely tower – reminds me of the tower from the movie “Lord of the rings – the two towers”

We were 8 kms from home when it was starting to get dark. It was almost 9 pm but there was still plenty of light (We have longer days now). We decided to sit down and eat the snacks we had shoved into our bags. One biscuit after another, we finished the whole pack. Some water to drown it and we were heading back home.

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Snack time, at the farthest point of our hike

We had to walk all the way back, through the desolate farmlands. And nowhere did we spot a single human. The thought of such empty places coupled with the eeriness of the night was scary as well as exciting. We had interesting conversations about random subjects to avoid getting freaked out about fictitious supernatural elements. When it got really dark, we clicked some more pictures, tried out light painting in front of the camera, but never stopped to rest.

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M for Mayur, and J for Jayanth

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Experiments with light

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The two brothers

When we reached the lonely tree, we didn’t speak until we had passed the tree. The sound of crickets, whistling winds, and cloudy skies, it was the perfect setting for a scary atmosphere. Once we passed the tree, we were brave and courageous once again. We talked about horror movies, scary ghosts, and were not afraid at all! We could also see the road ahead, and had gotten brave all of a sudden. The last 2 kms was filled with brave talk about ghosts. My friend even quoted a weird theory from the television series, “Supernatural”. Something about urinating, to ward off spirits (:D)

When we reached the apartment it was almost 12 am, we had food waiting for us (prepared by our friends), which we devoured quietly. When I finally went to bed, I just had one thought on my mind, “Where do we hike next?”.

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The lonely tree, at night

Experiencing the French Culture

I’ve been in Poitiers(France) for a month and have met many amazing people here. I want to introduce you to an amazing couple, Jeannie and Joel. Jeannie was a primary school teacher and Joel, a supervisor/Manager in a shop. They’re both retired now and they just travel to different parts of the world to make pictures and experience new cultures and learn from them. Yesterday, they invited my friend and I to spend a day with them. We visited a really nice photo festival based on the theme “Humanity”, after which we were offered a traditional French dinner. I must say the food was pretty delicious, and their hospitality, amazing! 
They have a simple home filled with a lot of plants, which are souvenirs from various parts of the world, and also a camping car to go on bold adventures across Europe. We look forward to meeting them again soon.

When you are thousands of miles from home and a stranger makes an effort to make your stay comfortable, it is very heartwarming!

Here are some pictures.

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Jeannie and Joel in their beautiful garden

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A delicious meal