(Pur)² – Bharatpur and Fatehpur

By Kabir Bhargava

My parents and I decided to welcome 2009 by counting birds in Bharatpur’s Keoladeo National Park and, once back home, by barbecuing and bonding over hot coals and food.

We started our trip to Bharatpur on the foggy morning of 29th December 2008 around 7:15 am. We couldn’t see beyond one or two vehicles ahead of us, and driving his slowest best, my dad decided to stay on the traffic-prone Mehrauli Gurgaon Road instead of taking the new and infrequently used Gurgaon-Faridabad highway. The drive was slow, worrying and, in my case, still full of sleep. As soon as we left behind Haryana and entered Uttar Pradesh, we thought of great paranthas and puris the state was known for, and stopped at a dhaba for breakfast. It was around 9 am but felt very early due to the fog so it felt strange that some people should be eating channas, dal and roti. Instead we decided to celebrate the morning out by having stuffed tandoori paranthas with sweet tea in glasses. The paranthas were delicious with tons of butter on them. I surprised myself by sharing yet another with my father and he by asking for yet another glass of tea (he is a strict coffee drinker). In another hour or so, we reached the temple city Mathura from where we could either take the broken Mathura-Bharatpur road which was only 34 km long or go straight ahead till Fatehpur Sikri and take a wide road to Bharatpur. So, we decided to do the latter and went straight on. The road was reasonable but meant driving for a couple of hours till we reached a railway crossing where we were forced to wait for almost an hour for several trains to pass. The road beyond the crossing got us to Fatehpur Sikri, where about 50 young men alarmed us by crowding around us and insisting that we stopped there, took one of them for Rs100 to see the monuments. It was a sudden attack and almost scary. All of them screamed some rupee amount or other and we played it safe by keeping our doors and windows shut, and moving on to Bharatpur. We were booked at the Birders Inn for two days, and made our entrance there somewhat late in the day at 3 pm but the rest was cool as the restaurant’s club sandwiches and paneer pakodas helped forget the delay.

After about 15 minutes of eating, our guide Brijendra Singh arrived to take us for a walk to the park. We were told that he was one of the experienced guides of the Park. Quite soon we agreed that he was one of the best because he was carrying a spotting scope which he was very quickly able to focus onto birds. He took us to the part of the park we hadn’t seen before and made us understand the characteristics of various water birds. Not only that, he often tested us on the new knowledge he was giving us. Birding through the scope was very much more fun as one didn’t just see the form clearly, one also saw the shiny eyebrow of Common Teal, the colorful beak of the Spot-Billed Duck and the raised beak of Comb Duck. We wound up the evening by sitting around a bonfire with the other hotel guests, having a buffet dinner and crashing for the day.

The next day also started with a heavy fog that ended up delaying our bird watching. I was excited about the experience of birding that day because we had decided that I would bike around on a hired cycle while my parents and the guide would walk. Our guide got me a well sized atlas cycle that surprisingly ran quite smooth. I used to zoom ahead and then cycle back to join my folks. Birding this way proved to be fun. We started with some forest birds in the form of Grey Nightjar, Orange-headed Thrush and a Red-throated Flycatcher. We moved to the water birds that were many and the walk for my parents was quite long. So long that we stayed in the sanctuary for 8 hours and towards the end my Mom would just sit some place or another when she couldn’t stand it anymore (pun intended!). Although I didn’t note down the bird names, I became aware of a lot of new names and I believe our species count was 80+. We returned too late for lunch so had a snack of grilled chicken sandwiches, more pakodas and fresh lime soda at the next door Hotel Sunbird. We ended this day too by enjoying the bonfire before and after our dinner.

The next day we found ourselves at Fatehpur Sikri but this time we were prepared for the guides. We took on a guide who was less aggressive than the rest and didn’t appear to fleece us. After a 10 minute uphill walk he took us inside that part of Fatehpur Sikri that had Saint Salim Chishti’s tomb and a few impressive gates. This whole area was full of people and looked very dirty. I was glad I had kept my socks on. Soon I was glad to be out of it and into the nicer part of Sikri that was controlled by ASI and had the known monuments that I had read about just this year. There were Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, Panch Mahal and other well kept buildings on a wide stretch of sandstone platform. There were also well maintained gardens that came as a surprise.

We left for Delhi around 1:30pm, took a shorter route, tried the Faridabad road for the first time and made it to Gurgaon by 5 pm. We quickly did our shopping for the New Year eve barbeque, and I even managed to play soccer with my friends for an hour before settling down to light the fire and celebrate the beginning of 2009 over juicy kebabs and Snapple. It was a tiring but satisfying way to invite the New Year.

Here are some pictures I took to record these two days.

For more pictures click Here

My Funny Signboards

By Kabir Bhargava

Recently, I saw my Dad collected and taking pictures of some funny sign he came across. I decided to do the same. Till now I have got only two but I will keep my eyes open for more. The first one says ‘Always Wear A Helmet While Driving.’ I didn’t quite get whether one should wear a helmet while driving a car too.

Both images seem to be “Powered by Su-Kam”.

I will continue taking more of these funny pictures and show them to you.

Cheers Kabir.


By Kabir Bhargava

When we reached Baga in Goa, and saw the beaches, the main thing that happened on the beaches were the water sports. There was a Water Scooter which went really fast and was really bumpy. Then there was a Boat Ride and of course the Para Sailing. At first I thought it was really scary and that I wanted to stay away from it. So when we left Baga, the next beach place we went to was called Sernabetam. We just happened to go to the beach on the first day. On this beach there were even more people going for water sports. I wasn’t at all prepared for this, I was being forced to go Para Sailing. People were telling me I would want to go again if I went.

And my Dad told me I wouldn’t be allowed to. So I thought I may as well just experience it and see for myself. I was very scared. I went with my Dad. They hooked me and then the boat we were tied to, took off. We were airborne, for a moment I thought I would fall down, but then I thought, why would people make this sport and why is it so popular if people fall down. Then I was actually enjoying myself. For about 7 seconds I enjoyed it and then we came down. It was so short, only 20 seconds, and they charged 500 rupees. They were right, I did feel like going again (still do). It was really a lot of fun.

So I learnt, that one should always try new things otherwise I would always have had a negative point on Parasailing. But there is one thing you have to agree with, that is that the water scooter is dangerous!


PS: Photos taken by Mom.

Indira Gandhi Bus Stop a.k.a. The Airport

By Kabir Bhargava

Confusion in the DTC bus stop, sorry, Delhi airport. Many first time flyers that are completely clueless and are wondering what’s going on. Seriously it looks like a bus stop.


So many people, all seats occupied, so much of noise, I have never seen this in any airport before. This place really feels like a future bus stop.

Cheers, Kabir

Me, Myself and I

Me as in Kabir Bhargava who is 11 years old.I study in the Shri Ram School Aravali which is in Gurgaon DLF Phase 4. I live in messy Gurgaon but in a quiet, good and clean place called Green Woods City (Sector 46). I love Soccer, it is my favourite sport too. I am also pretty good at it. In food, I love all sorts of junk food (Pizzas, Burgers, Hot Dogs, Salami Sandwiches and other sandwiches and all sorts of chips, and lots of other yummy junkfood). But I do not eat all that so often, because I have to eat healthy food which I do not like and consider it a waste of time. I also like Italian food and Chinese food.

I love playing video games too. My favourite colour is Red. In soccer I have lots of favourite players, teams and clubs but my favourite ones are-



Club-F.C. Barcelona.

Thats all about Me, Myself and I. Watch this space about other things that are awesome.

 Written By Kabir Bhargava