Dargah Nizamuddin : A soulful journey within!

As part of my journey of life, I endeavor to contribute to movements and organizations in the spaces of education and culture, which are close to my heart, due to the impact they can leave on the values and character of an individual. One such organization that I mentor, facilitate and contribute to is ITIHAAS. ITIHAAS works with school going children predominantly taking them through heritage walks that awaken the sense of social responsibility in them. It helps children in understanding their current context with a perspective of past and future.

Recently a large delegation of about 50+ historians and curators from the museums of the US were visiting India and ITIHAAS was chosen to take this delegation on a heritage walk to help them understand the secular fabric of our nation. ITIHAAS took them to Nizamuddin Dargah, final resting place of Sufi saint Kwaza Nizamuddin Aulia, which is a place of worship that attracts followers of all faiths. Though India as a nation allows individuals to follow their own faith and also respect other faiths, not many would venture to step into the wsrohipping places of other faiths. This walk of historians from the US generated curiosity in me and I decided to join them on the walk.

I managed to capture elements from that walk, and stitched a short delightful video. Here is one for you.

You would have noticed a delegation of 175 brethren from our neighboring Pakistan in the Dargah premises, actively interacting, singing and dancing. It was heart-warming to meet them and interact with them. Hope both nations will throw open their borders for free flow of each other’s citizens.

The US delegation was in awe of the place and the walk. India with a written history that dates back to over 10000 years, for sure, can wow a nation that is just a 400 years old!

I was glad that I made it to the walk.

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SreeniOnRoad features, Incredible India!’s awe-inspiring Ellora caves (700 AD)

Awe inspiring and Jaw dropping, simply said! Every visit to these magnificent monolith caves inspires me and goads me to dwell much deeper within! What a human being can make if only one believes in his ideas and pursues it with all his vigour.

  • How was it possible to create such a large cluster of cave architectural marvels in 700AD?
  • How was it conceived? How the thought of chiseling from the top to the bottom must have occurred?
  • How could they imagine creating a cave hall measuring 55m X 36m?

I shot a few short clips with my ipad and did a simple edit and uploaded it on Youtube with an intention of including in this article. Then I realized that there are many beautiful videos already on youtube, in a few of which it has been assumed that such a creation 2000-1500 years ago is not humanely possible and it has to be only a creation of aliens. I have included a few videos in the end!

for the complete story with amazing photo-spreads head to sreenionroad

Sreeni’s humble journey – In Media, Books, publications, collaborations

I feel very elated and humbled at the same time, looking back at my journey as an edupreneur (educationist + entrepreneur) in the last eighteen years. This journey took me to many countries in the world, met many inspiring personalities, gave opportunity to create new businesses, initiate new endeavours that would facilitate thousands of children and youth realize their dreams, yet the most important thing has been that of discovering many more dimensions of my own journey of infinity (discovering the infinite potential within).

Ever since I returned to Delhi in 2008 after a five year stint abroad and then setting up schools in Hyderabad and Indore, I seriously started working on my passions – performing arts, fine arts, introspecting and writing, facilitating passionate artists who need support, apart from motivating youth to excel and young parents on parenting, creating exciting learning environments. I am inspired by all near and dear who have changed their gears in multiple-areas – brothers, Satya in Urdu poetry and lyrics, Param in holistic healing; My colleagues at Career Launcher : Shivku, GP, Nikhil, Sujit have been role models in many ways for their steadfastness in the endeavours they espouse; My friends who have created their own enterprises, eminent personalities and artists who are excelling in their passions have also been prodding me unbeknown to them. When I was taking stock of the outcome of these endeavours, I feel really charged and motivated to change the gears to do so much more.

The outcomes of this passionate journey has been varied, unexpectedly – publishing of my work in media, books magazines, online portals; invitations to programs, workshops on various media; eminent personalities co-opting me in their work and so on. I thought of showcasing it as a way of keeping myself motivated, apart from being a source of inspiration for many more who wish to excel. This reiterates my thought that, “If I am passionate about my work and dedicatedly persevere then the world will conspire to make it much more meaningful; and take me to places that I have never known.”

The most unexpected of the outcomes has been featuring in a book, “Young Leaders Success Code,” published by National HRD network and IMI. This chapter, dedicated to my leadership style, traces my journey from childhood to 2011…


Book - Young leaders Success Code - features R.SreenivasanBook - Young leaders Success Code - features R.SreenivasanBook - Young leaders Success Code - features R.SreenivasanBook - Young leaders Success Code - features R.SreenivasanBook - Young leaders Success Code - features R.Sreenivasan

Media – Both electronic and print have been kind enough to co-opt me, invite me to be a speaker or panelist on various programmes that address the needs of youth : Education, Careers, Parenting; Also covering my motivational tours and workshops – ‘Dream It, Do It’; ‘Think Big, Start Small’

Sreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni in DD News Charcha mein Sept 03, 2011Find the leader and winner in your child - Motivational sessionEarly Childhood Education - School Leadership Conference2013 posters of Dream It, Do It! tour across the country

As I kept traveling around the world, my constant companion ‘the camera’ did enable me to capture India and the world in its kaleidoscopic spirit and colors; These splendid captures have attracted many publishers to embellish their works across the media – books, magazines, online-works etc from adorning their covers to centre-spreads!

– coffee table book by Ministry of External affairs – “The India Idea” dedicated to Indian Innovation spirit
– Three coffee table travel books published by Parragon on Jaisalmer, Rajasthan and golden triangle
– The cover of a book by Cambridge University Press
– Special issues of Femina; IIMB Alumni magazine
– Penguin’s best five – ‘India – A portrait through your lens’
– Overseas : Online magazines and their offline publications in Singapore (STORM); French publication – Linternaute; Las Vegas city guide

The India Idea – BookThe India Idea – BookThe Golden Triangle - Travel Guide features Sreeni's imagesJaisalmerRajasthan, the land of colors - Travel guidCambridge university press features Sreeni's photo on the cover of the book Devotion and Dissent in Indian HistoryLiving in Two Worlds - Femina Anniversary Issue 2011Living in Two Worlds - Femina Anniversary Issue 2011IIMB Alumni Magazine covers SPANDANIIMB Alumni Magazine covers SPANDANFrench website features my holi photos - LinternautePenguin India : 'India: A Portrait Through Your Lens' - Best 5

My passionate pursuit of performing arts – in front of and also behind the camera – yielded such a rich collection that, in 2013, I initiated my own dance photography exhibition and world dance festival, SPANDAN, that coincides with world dance day; and my annual SPANDAN calendar of Dance – a tribute to Indian dance forms emerged… glad to see the second year taking off in a very auspicious note. I owe my sincere gratitude to India Habitat Centre for being my hospitality partner for my annual exhibition and dance festival. My humble salutations to every artist who has allowed me, encouraged me to capture their performances and participated in my dance endeavours.

SPANDAN in FIRST CITYCalendars 2014 - Spandan and AIDSSpandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Blogged select captures

I am indebted to many eminent critiques and writers, movements like SPIC MACAY, SRISTI for co-opting me to capture their work and contribute to their cause, and also for embellishing their work in dailies and magazines…

Celebrating selfless service - THE HINDU - June 28, Three photosMedia : SPIC MACAY Coverages feature my photosSPIC MACAY 25th National Convention, in MediaSPIC MACAY 25th National Convention, in MediaMedia : SPIC MACAY Coverages feature my photos
Media : SPIC MACAY Coverages feature my photosSPIC MACAY - 27th National Convention, NITK SurathkalSPIC MACAY - 27th National Convention, NITK SurathkalSPIC MACAY - 27th National Convention, NITK SurathkalSPIC MACAY - 27th National Convention, NITK SurathkalSPIC MACAY - 27th National Convention, NITK Surathkal

Books, publications and Media, a set on Flickr.

In offing, in early 2014 : A couple of books on Indian Classical Dance forms, embellished with my photo-captures, by

a. An eminent dance critique of our country, who is a SNA Awardee and regular columnist,
b. A brilliant young dancer, SNA Yuva puraskar awardee, with an eminent culture ambassador.
c. SPANDAN dance festival and photography exhibition in April

Third in the series : Travel guide on Rajasthan, the land of colors captured by sreeni

This book is third in the series of Travel guides of this year that feature quite a few images from my vast captures of colorful Rajasthan. Here is the link on FLICKR to The collection of my captures from the length and breadth of Rajasthan

Rajasthan, the land of colors - Travel guid

This book is a handy tool to convince your friends that Rajasthan is one of the most beautiful and exotic travel destinations ever. It’s not all about camels, though there are camel safaris and camel fairs galore. Rajasthan, the land of kings; an arid land tamed by a valorous people. It is the land of Rajputs, a people quick to take offence and generous with forgiveness. Their annals are written in blood and fire and every grain of sand has been drenched in blood at least once. The people are attired in all colours and hues of a rainbow, fluorescent colours being favoured for turbans. Their ghagra-cholis have beautiful applique patterns, a flash of glass here, a bead there. Jewellery and tattoos are sported by men and women alike. Most men take pride in their lustrous moustaches and beards, combed with great care. It is the sturdy forts, airy palaces, lavish havelis and the vitality of the people that still attract tourists by the hordes.

If you happen to be in a book store, just pick this up and browse; you will love the vivid, colorful spreads…

Sreeni’s resplendent captures in the Travel Book : Jaisalmer, the golden city

Jaisalmer, the golden city

This book, by parragon publishing, is meant for armchair traveller and globetrotter alike. Stunning pictures transport you to the Golden Fort. It stands high upon a hill, painstakingly built and fought over by Bhati Rajputs. It has the distinction of being one of the few living forts in the world.

Within the Fort stands the palace of the erstwhile rulers and a number of Jain and Hindu temples with extensively carved interiors. The narrow lanes within the Fort throb with life, young artists dancing with castanets; ravanhattas laid against the golden wall accompanied by an artist playing some long lost tune; roof top cafes promising an amazing view of the city, and myriad handicrafts displayed on the walls; all awaiting a tourist’s eye.

In the burgeoning city outside are the havelis of old with overhanging balconies and extensively carved facades. Within, all is plush and leisurely, evidence of a prosperity derived from businesses overseas.

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Jaisalmer, the “Golden City”, is located on the westernmost frontier of India in the state of Rajasthan. Close to the border with Pakistan, the city is known for its proximity to the Thar Desert.

Desert Safari in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer is an unforgettable experience.

The city is dominated by the Jaisalmer Fort. Unlike most forts in India, the Jaisalmer Fort is a living fort. There are shops, hotels, age old havelis (homes) inside the fort area.

This set on my FLICKR covers extensively the ships of desert, Camel safaris, the life inside the fort and Havelis. I am sure you too will love it.

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Incredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful Jaisalmer
Incredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful Jaisalmer
Incredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful Jaisalmer
Incredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful JaisalmerIncredible India! - Royale Rajasthan : Joyful Jaisalmer

Sreeni’s stunning captures featured in the travel guide : The Golden Triangle – Delhi, Agra, Jaipur

It is raining! It gives me immense pleasure to share that three India-centric travel books that have been published by Parragon Publishing feature quite a few captures of mine from Rajasthan including Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, along with that of beautiful Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and that of Delhi.

The first of the series focuses on the much sought-after tourist circuit, Golden Triangle – Delhi, Agra, Jaipur.

The Golden Triangle – Delhi, Jaipur, Agra

A bustling metropolis, the capital of the world’s largest democracy, Delhi is visited by many. Within it are many ancient ruins, remnants of seven cities, of aspirations made and marred by time. Here marauders became emperors, installed themselves on opulent thrones on the strength of their armies. Even today people from many corners of the country and the world come here to study, transact business or to just travel. Of the many weekend destinations the favourites by a long haul are Jaipur and Agra.

by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The City Palace and Jaigarh and Amber forts buzz with sightseers throughout the year. Taj Mahal. Together the three cities form the Golden Triangle of India, a luscious dollop for those looking to do India in a hurry.

Some of the many reasons you might want to pick up this book : Travelling to Delhi for a short while and want to see some other places as well. No vacations in sight and need some respite from life in Delhi. Lived in Delhi, Agra or Jaipur since forever and still haven’t been inside any of its monuments. Just want to curl up with a book that has incredible visuals and lucid text.

It is a low-cost edition with stunning photographs and is priced an affordable Rs 295. If you happen to be in a book store, just browse and look for my captures. Looking forward to your feedback. Thanks.

A Photostory : Architectural Masterpieces of INDIA on SREENIViews

With a recorded history of over 30000 years, and first urban settlements recorded over 4500years ago, India has been and will continue to be a marvel to humanity.

I have just collated a few of the masterpieces that have been created in the last 3000 years, that I have clicked during my extensive travels across the length and breadth of the country.

Incredible India - Marvelous Madurai

The Marvelous 1000 pillar temple in the 3000 year old Madurai Meenakshi temple complex!

Check out the Photostory of Masterpieces that covers 20 such architectural marvels of India..

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