The Small Yellow Star of the Fiery Rose ‘Mosanda’

The Mussaenda Erythrophylla is a flowering plant found in tropical areas, also known as Ashanti Blood, Red Flag Bush or Dogwood, and is naive to West Africa. It is very widely found in Kerala both as a decorative plant and in the wild, and sports flowery leaves which may be red, rose pink or white, but the actual flower is the little yellow star that blooms in the middle of the “flowery leaves”. I have a lot of nostalgia surrounding this plant and its flowers as I grew up among them. The plant and flower is called “Mosanda” which is actually derived from its scientific name 🙂

The Legendary Karnataka Express with the MLY ALCO Twins!

On a heavily overcast day, the local superstar and king of SWR, the legendary 12628 Karnataka Express from New Delhi to Bangalore  City rolls onto home stretch from the YNK-KJM branch line onto the KJM-SBC mainline to finish the last 7 km of her epic 2400 km journey at Channasandra Bypass cabin, Bangalore. As it is with tradition, she is famously hauled by twin ALCO diesel locomotives to and from Bangalore. The KK, as the train is popularly known, is one of the last popular “double-headed” (hauled by two engines) trains and here are the two WDM3As #16017 and #16201R of the Maula Ali (MLY) shed Hyderabad on duty, providing a whopping 7200 bhp to haul the 24 Coach load of the KK.

Inside a First Class AC “Honeymoon” Coupe :)

The interiors of a First Class AC (air conditioned) Coupe on Indian Railways’ trains (new LHB aluminium coach type with bigger windows). First Class is divided into Coupes (seating/sleeping for two) and Cabins (seating/sleeping for four) and have lockable doors ensuring complete privacy. This shot if from the “E” Coupe on the 16561/2 Bangalore Yeshwantpur – Trivandrum Kochuveli AC Express. The same rake is used to run the 12214/3 Bangalore – Yeshwantpur – Delhi Sarai Rohilla Duronto Express as well, so this will work for that also. The berths are very wide and the window ensures great visibility. These coupes are also called “Honeymoon Coupes” 🙂 Read here the full review of the AC First Class on Indian Railways. Also, click here to see a cabin (older ICF type).

The Yellow Bell Flower in all its Yellow Glory!

They beautiful Yellow Bell flower or Allamanda Cartharica seen in its yellow glory. This flower is one of the most beautiful too look at when it blooms in summer with its bright yellow color contrasting against the deep green of its flowering bush.

Golden Sunset at Kuttanad in Kerala

On a calm and lovely evening, a golden sun sets over the famed backwaters in Kuttanad in Kerala. Kuttanad in Alappuzha (Alleppey) district is the location of most of the famed backwaters of Kerala, accentuating the natural beauty of the region. This photo is from one end of those backwaters near Kavalam. A row of coconut palm trees stand on a fringe of land (varambu) between two water bodies, their reflections playing on the water painted gold by the sunset. The cheapest way to enjoy these backwaters is by the government boat service.

Fiery Red WAP4 #22269 Fresh Out of the Paint Shop!

Fresh out of the paint shop and looking fiery red and drop-dead gorgeous, Erode’s veteran Superstar WAP4 #22269 stands at Ernakulam Town with the 12677 Bangalore – Ernakulam Intercity Express and a dead WAP4 #22390 in tow. 22269 was just out of POH (Periodic Overhaul) which all locomotives and coaches have to undergo periodically for complete repair and overhaul. Spotting freshly POH-ed locomotives is considered to be rare luck!

This is the actual photo and how the loco really looks. The photo was not enhanced in any way.