Panah Express: A Zenfone story

Very often, I have seen Myanmar. Mostly from the hills near the Indo- Myanmar border. But never have I crossed the border and set my feet on. The name Myanmar itself is mysterious. The country has lots of connection with the history of our fore-fathers. Our language is grouped under the Tibeto-Burman family. Our speculations about Myanmar on the other hand,  has been influenced by media reports, which are hardly the brighter side. Nothing was clear until I set my foot upon it.


Reverie: A rendition of my speculations about Myanmar.

Myanmar, the land of the golden pagoda, has undergone several transformation. The moment I set my foot on Yangon, I can feel that those speculations were negative.

A volunteer named Silas and Eleazar received me at the airport. At first, I thought Eleazar was a cab driver, his dress code was so similar to that of the cab drivers at the airport. He was wearing a ‘Longyi‘ and a panah.  Moreover, he doesn’t mention that he’s a pastor.

A panah

A panah, or a slipper in English, like all other South Asian countries is the most prevalent foot wears here in Yangon. And for a guy like me who often think that the invention of a panah, or a silipar or  vawthlep in Mizo, is one of the greatest invention, it makes me feel at home…hehe…

Cab driver at Yangon International Airport

The best thing about a panah is its ergonomy. It is easy to wear, easy to take off, easy to dry and easy to clean.

Panah Express

As you stand by the roadside, you can hear the sound of flip-flop there, a flip-flop here. The faster they walk, the pitch of the flip-flop increase.
Adjacent to the Minyekyawswar Street, there’s a narrow, yet busy street. Its dynamism is beyond words. They were so much engaged that a gentleman with a panah on his feet, wearing a sleeveless shirt and a short, with a zenfone3m on his hands, clicking random pictures also seems to remain unnoticed.

An old lady selling a badam on the road-side

The best thing about Yangon is the street food. For a guy like me, who loves a street food and a panah, it is Canaan.

Meat shop

Had they known that a panah express is passing through, these meat monger at the junction of narrow street bazaar would have pose themselves more proper.

A cycle rickshaw on duty

For a cycle-rickshaw driver, a panah is a must. There’s no other foot wear which has a better ergonomic!

panah of the driver, panah for the passenger and panah worn by the passer by

It’s my first time to see a cycle-rickshaw with a pillion rider on its side! Reminds me of a WW II  Nazi bike with a side car.

Roadside butcher

For a butcher, a panah is more feasible than other foot wear, and so is, for the lady. The Longyi worn by the lady looks like a Mizo puanzeh, and of course it is complimented by her panah.


What I have noticed during my short stay here is their love for flowers. I don’t know to which varieties do those flowers belong, but of course, they belonged to Asteraceae family (of course all the lovely flowers belong there :D). Working in the flower garden is so much a comfort with a pair of panah on the feet.

Nuts and beans

These two ladies were in deep conversation, may be about the panah that I wear. But my flip-flop sound didn’t distract them, either.

A rehab

While all the others were busy with their chores, a young man who seek for inner peace was confessing to the bante. Had it been a pagoda or a gompa, they would have removed their panah.

News stand

As I detour towards my hotel, may be the flip-flop was audible. I was spotted! And it makes me realise that my panah doesn’t support a silent mode!

A revisit

Since it was raining, the fear of my sneaker getting wet was making me in a dilemma, “What if i stay in my room and starve…” Then comes the thought of wearing a black panah which the hotel provided us. It fits me broad feet. The flip-flop sound slightly differs with my own panah. The cushion and the grip are however much much better, pity my old cushion-less panah.

Plastic capping

A quick re-visit in the evening amidst the rain offered me another sneak peek.  This lovely little girl was playing in the puddle. She was wearing a plastic bag on her head, may be to avoid getting wet. But on her tiny feet was a pair of tiny panah, that resist water!

Blending yourself into the scene is very effective while performing a street photography. Sometimes, carrying a big camera (DSLR etc) is often distracting to the subject, which often left us unable to make pictures as desired. Cellphone camera have lots of limitations, but sometimes, people are less distracted and it gives more chance of getting an emotional pictures. Being a photographer doesn’t mean that you have to dress and equipped yourself with apparels specially designed for a photographer. Blending into the scene by dressing like the locals is often effective. When the story is more important than the picture quality, cellphone camera is the best option.

[All images are shot with Asus Zenfone3Max]

Strollin’ the City of Joy

Sitting on a bench along the footpath, besides the chai-wala, he was waiting for a cup of tea and stared at the busy narrow street in front of him. [Asus Zenfone 3M]
For many years, Kolkata has been the destination for many street photography enthusiast. “The City of Joy,” a sobriquet given to Kolkata, is quite matching. The vibrancy and liveliness of the City is a thing worthy to be witnessed. The city’s rich cultural heritage and a highly diverse anthropogenic activities are so immense that every moment is a golden moment. Every street has its own uniqueness.

Zebra Crossing at AJC Bose Road, near Mother House. [Asus Zenfone 3M]
There are different modes of transportation in function. Some drove a luxurious cars, some ride on a cycle rickshaw. Some ride on a metro, some on a tram. The robust ambassador taxi ruled the streets of the city of joy. With the advent of online booking system, Uber and Ola marked their entry in the city’s traffic with a modern vehicles. Electric tram has still been one of the identity of Kolkata.

A young street barber taking care of his customer. [Asus Zenfone 3M]
Walking on the streets of Kolkata is like watching a timelapse video. Crossing each junction will lead you to a whole new different scene. The faster you walk, the faster you came across uniquely different things. From roadside barbers to roadside dentist. Almost everything happened on the roadside.

Muri Wala roasting chana. [Asus Zenfone 3M]
The best thing about Kolkata is the street food. Muri and chana are one of the finest, yet cheap fastfood available.

A Chai-wala at Chandni Chawk. [Asus Zenfone 3M]
The tea offered by the City’s roadside Chai Wala’s are far more tastier than those offered by hi-fi restaurants. Nothing beats the aroma of the freshly prepared tea, poured on an earthen cup.

Beef market, Alimuddin Street. [Asus Zenfone 3M]
Though the country is in dilemma over the abolition of beef, Kolkata offers you the finest beef. The amount of protein the city consumed through beef would definitely be enormous!

Besides the butcher, a bull was enjoying its last meal. [Asus Zenfone 3M]
Even though Kolkata is dominated by the non-beef eating sect, they do not impose any hindrances to the beef eating community.

Meat shop at Alimuddin Street. [Asus Zenfone 3M]
The way they display the meat is another fascinating thing about the meat shop here at Alimuddin street.

Fish seedlings seller at Howrah Train Station. [Asus Zenfone 3M]
Crowded but dynamic, the City of Joy never stops. The Howrah Junction Railway Station has 23 platforms, and is the busiest and most crowded train station in India.