Beyond The Horizon

The World Through Our Lens

Posts by pinakeep

Hey Everyone!

“Its been a while”, that’s what they say to describe absence; doesn’t matter whether its in weeks or months or years! I thought of starting this blog with the same line when I realized the irony of the phrase but I guess I was smart enough to do it anyways!

Its been a very long time since I last wrote.

From my childhood, I had always loved reading, everything except my study books of course! May be that’s why I always wanted to write. May be that’s why I started this page. But staying ‘busy’ with life, I was never able to get this through.

Last one and half year, I had stayed real busy. It was an eventful year, I travelled a lot, moved back and forth between US and India and yes, I GOT MARRIED! Yes, that’s my big excuse 🙂

Well, I was fortunate enough to fall in love with the most beautiful and smart girl and eventually marry her. I could not have asked for anything more. And hence, the start of a brand new life. Introducing my better half – Liza.

It has been an exciting journey so far. The best thing about Liza is that apart from a lot of other things, we share the love for travelling! She is an avid traveller herself, loves photography, a big instagram user and has proved herself to be an ultimate partner in crime. In the past year we have travelled a lot, made a lot of good memories and together have taken some wonderful photographs. There are a lot of travelogue to share and so many more to come.

Now time for yet another change; This blog now belongs to Liza and Pinakee – “Beyond The Horizon: The World Through Our Lens”. I hope we both would bring forward and share our experiences as we travel and explore this world has to offer.




Dear Satchi,

Many many happy returns of the day.

Its been 5 years. We haven’t celebrated your birthday all these years. I remember so many birthdays we celebrated together starting from college, at Mysore and at Infosys.

Your birthdays from the last 5 years has somehow started so many new traditions.

Amar and me talk for hours remembering each and every incident from college days. There are just so many of them. We tell each other stories that we both know and are part of, but still telling them never gets old. I bet you remember them too. We laugh our asses off and then after our call is over I get all nostalgic and sad. I know Amar feels the same way too.
Then there is Arpita, she pings me on facebook every year or I do; we talk about you a bit and then catch up a little. She misses you too.
Every year, this day, I go through your facebook page; read each and every post from start to end, even the comments on every post. Each year, there are people who wish you on facebook, some of them do it every year – Amit, Saptanshu, Abhijit, Bijon, Ram Sir and many others. I know for a fact that there are so many other people who remember you on your birthday. I feel good knowing that there are so many people friends, family who love you so much.

Its been 5 years. Things have changed so much since then. There are so many things I want to tell you, share with you. There are people in my life now who I would like you to meet. But I know, sitting where you are, you know it all. Hope you also know how we all feel about you and hope you know how much we miss you.

This is the most difficult thing I have ever written in my life. You will always be an integral part of my life, my best friend, my brother.

From all of us,Mamuni, Mum, Amar, Chandu, Satya, Rajdeep, Ipsita, we miss u a lot.

May your soul rest in peace.


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Social media these days have become a window to so many heart warming stories of love between humans and animals; this is one such story which I was lucky enough to encounter and wanted to share with everyone.

Northeast United States, otherwise known as New England is fascinating in many ways. Be its four distinct weather, its natural beauty, beautiful big and small cities or the people itself, every time, exploring each of its different facet enlightens me more. I have been fortunate enough to travel and explore a lot of New England.

A couple of weeks ago, in one such trips, by serendipity I came across a unique gift shop. How was it serendipitous you ask; well, my friend’s parents are visiting the states and we had spent the day at Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire. On our way back, they wanted to buy a souvenir. Every gift and souvenir shops on the way were closed and I was frantically searching for one on the google maps. That is when the pin on google map dropped on “Twin Designs Gift Shop”. The store hours didn’t show up and it was about 5 mile divIMG_4696ersion. We decided to take a chance and thus reached the store and were glad to see that they were open.
It is situated in a town called Bristol in New Hampshire. The first thing I noticed when I entered the store was how well organized it was. As I browsed through the stuff, I found a lot of big and small turtle models made of all kind of materials like glass, ceramic, wood and even a few crystal ones. While I was looking around I was greeted by the store owners, brothers definitely, may be twins, I thought to myself. They are probably the nicest and genuinely warmest store owners I have ever met!

As I looked more, there were photographs and illustrated cards referring the turtle as Diane! Now I was curious, before asking about it, I started looking more and found a children book called “The Story of Diane the Turtle and the boy who grew up with her” and read through it. Its written by Jim Tonner who turns out to be the boy who grew up with Diane and its illustrated by his twin brother, (yeah! I was right!) Brad Tonner. And they happen to be the cool store owners! They invited me inside to meet Diane.

IMG_4694Diane is 46 years old and has been with the Tonner family since the beginning. The brothers celebrated her 45th birthday last year by throwing a big party. She has her own room in the store and it is filled with photographs of people who visited Diane (and a hell lot of them), messages for Diane and a wall full of birthday messages along with her big aquarium.






What moved me to write about it, is besides the fact that I was impressed by the things the brothers have done, one could literally feel the love of the brothers towards their turtle. They published books about her story, they have made impressive merchandise; not only they have nurtured and taken care of the turtle for all these years but they have turned her to a local legend.

I was lucky and fortunate enough to stumble upon the shop and meet the amazing brothers and their turtle. Next time you are around the area in New Hampshire, definitely drop in and have a look yourself how amazing the feeling is.

This is their website and this is their Facebook link in case you want to know more about them.
Until next time, cheers!

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Let me just say it aloud, I have been LAZY, or may be I am a firm believer of ‘there is always a tomorrow”. I haven’t updated my photography website in a while, my Facebook photography page has been dormant, this blog site never even started and on top of everything I have numeric sets of unedited photographs! Basically my photography is in shams.

And then….one fine day, just like that, I got enlightenment driving back home. Well, it wasn’t ‘just like that’, I just thought it will make the sentence interesting! It so happens that I have been following a photographer friend or more an acquaintance of mine who has been doing his own ‘project 365’. I always wanted to do it but may be never got the right amount of motivation to do it.

For those who may not know, ‘project 365’ or ‘photo project 365’ refers to the concept of creating a photo journal where you are committed to take a picture everyday and post it somewhere (Instagram, Facebook etc). There is a variety of reasons why one does that (a good read on the topic).

Now I thought to myself that if I start my own project 365 and instead of committing myself to take a picture everyday, I would rather edit one out of my 1 year backlog and post it, it would solve all my above mentioned problems or at least a step towards it!

So here it goes – I am committing myself, starting today, I would post a photograph each day on my Facebook Page, sometimes with a quick back story to it. Some of the back stories will definitely be accompanied with a lengthier (hopefully not boring) blog post on this site. In the mean time I have also been working my website which is used just for my fashion and beauty work but I am soon planning to add all my photography work it.

Last but not the least, I would require all of your support to keep me motivated and see this endeavor till the end. Feel free to comment, critique, bash, suggest and everything else that is applicable.


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As I prepare and look forward to my upcoming fall trip to the Baxter State Park, Maine, I would like to share some of the photographs I took when I was there last year.

Both Maine and the Baxter State Park are one of my favorite places. Its a 6-8 hours drive from where I live and I visit at least twice a year! The following photographs were taken during fall of 2013 in and around the Baxter State Park.

The following shot of Mt Kathadin was taken from the Abol Bridge on Golden Road

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The pond in this shot is called the Daicey Pond.

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On the Chimney Pond trail

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Basin Pond on the Chimney Pond Trail

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I am really looking forward to share the travelogue after I make my trip this year!



Although I do not backpack a lot, I do like going on overnight longer trails, especially if I have good company. As am prepping for an upcoming trip and like always trying to reach the deep ends of my mind to get that ‘List’, I thought of finally writing it down for good.

I am not a winter hiker, so this list is strictly a 3 season hike guide. I am also listing down my gears, so if you have questions about any of it, shoot a comment.

The Essentials – Even before getting into sleeping bags or cooking stuff, am going to list down absolute essentials which one should not forget at any cost.

  1. The Backpack: It is very important to select the right backpack in terms of weight and volume. I own a North Face Terra 65 pack, it’s big but light. You can find a good guide to select the right backpack here.
  2. Shelter
  • Tent – like the backpack, it is very important to select the right tent when backpacking. I own 2 backpacking tents – Koppen Maelstorm 2 person tent and Kelty TN3 3 person tent. Both have its own advantages but they fulfill all my trip requirements.
  1. Navigation
  • Map (with protective case)
  • Compass
  • GPS (optional)
  1. Insulation
  • Jacket, vest, pants, gloves, hat depending on weather condition.
  1. Illumination
  • Headlamp (won’t believe how necessary this becomes) or flashlight (plus spare)
  • Extra batteries
  1. First-aid supplies
  • First-aid kit
  1. Fire
  • Matches or lighter
  • Waterproof container
  • Fire starter (for emergency survival fire)
  1. Repair kit and tools
  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Ropes
  • Duct tape strips
  1. Hydration
  • Water bottles or hydration system
  • Water filter or other treatment system

The Additionals

  1. Sleeping Bag
  2. Sleeping Pad
  3. Sun protection – Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Cap/Hat
  4. Trekking Poles
  5. Food
  6. Energy Bars
  7. Stove (ultra-portable)
  8. Fuel for Stove
  9. Utensils and Dishes
  10. Packable Lantern
  11. Insect repellent

Clothing: Warm Weather

  • Wicking T-shirt (synthetic or wool)
  • Wicking underwear
  • Quick-drying pants or shorts
  • Long-sleeve shirt (for sun, bugs)
  • Sun-shielding hat
  • Bandana or Buff

Clothing: Cool Weather

  • Wicking long-sleeve T-shirt
  • Wicking long underwear (good sleepwear)
  • Hat, cap, skullcap, balaclava or headband
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Rainwear (jacket, pants)
  • Fleece jacket or vest, and pants

Footwear; Assorted Personal Items

  • Boots or shoes suited to terrain
  • Socks (synthetic or wool) plus spares
  • Gaiters
  • Sandals (for fording, in camp)

Optional and Personal Items

  • Camera and memory cards
  • Binoculars
  • Permits (based on your location)
  • Route description or guidebook
  • Field guide(s); star identifier
  • Notebook and pen or pencil
  • Credit card; small amount of cash
  • Earplugs and eye shade
  • Toilet paper
  • Sanitation trowel
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bear spray
  • Toothbrush and/or toiletry kit
  • Contact Lens Kit (necessary for me!)
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Cell phone/satellite communicator/2-way radios
  • Post-hike snacks, water, towel, clothing change
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