Little Stories

Hi everyone,

During my time here at the New School, we have had to engage with numerous innovative and experimental concepts while doing our assignments and projects. Today, I wanted to share with you one such series of photographs that I did for my Media Design class. When it comes to street photography, photographing close ups of faces of people on the streets with snippets of their stories has become a huge trend now (Especially with the huge success of Humans of New York). I decided to take a twist on that concept and as a series photographed the mundanity of everyday life through hands. Even though all these photographs were taken within a few hours in one day at one location, I thought it was interesting to weave out a story of intersecting narratives and themes just by focusing on one body part: the hand.

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Udaipur through my lens: Top Five

Hey guys!

I always share travelogues and details itineraries of my travels but this time I thought I’d let my lens do the talking. Here’s a short photo diary of my trip in Udaipur a few months ago. I know this post is really delayed but if you’re planning a trip to Udaipur, hopefully these photographs will give you an idea of the city. However, having said that if you ask me my top 5 places to see, visit or eat at in Udaipur, here you go

1. Badi Lake: A lake not too many people visit, this should be you go-to spot to just absorb the beauty of the city of lakes. This lake transports you to a different world all together and has to be one of the most spectacular places you’ll visit. You’ll find little to no tourists here and actually enjoy the scenery without the crowds and noise.

2. Ambrai Restaurant: One of the most talked about restaurants in the city, Ambari is a must visit place. The food in this restaurant is very good but not amazing. However, what makes this restaurant an absolute must visit is the ambience in itself. Located at the lake, it’s really as beautiful as it gets. Whether it’s a perfect winter brunch or a cool summer evening, Ambarai offers you the most lovely candle lit evening at the Lake with views to die for. If you’re not staying at a “lake-side” hotel, visiting this restaurant will give you a similar feel to actually living in those hotels!

3. Vintage Car Museum: If youre a vintage lover, car lover or a vintage car fanatic, this is the place for you. This car museum is a private collection of cars of the Maharaja of Udaipur and it’s totally worth going gaga over. Once you’re done being in awe, you can enjoy a lovely at the Garden restaurant serving traditional Rajasthani food. Oh, the laal maas was AMAZING.

4. City Palace Udaipur: This is for all those history lovers out there. Udaipur’s City palace is absolutely beautiful and should be checked out if you want to learn about the history and culture of the city. The place is absolutely beautifully done up and the history of the space is just mesmerizing. I would recommend getting an audio guide or an in-person guide to enjoy the experience a bit more. Be prepared for the space to be very crowded since this is the most visited touristic destination in the city.

5.  Panchwati: An area hardly anyone talks about, Panchwati is a must visit if you want to take a step out of the luxury and experience the city in it’s true essence. With tons of lit up chaat and lcoal food stalls, this area is so “happening” in the evenings that it can really uplift anyone’s mood. You must try out some authentic Rajasthani chaat with Kulfi for an ultimate #foodporn experience

Regarding Accommodation: Accommodation in Udaipur is definitely not cheap and it really depends on the type of hotels you’re looking for. If you’re going backpacking, I am so sure youll be able to find hostels to bunk up in. However, Udaipur is known for its opulence so finding a beautiful hotel in the lap of luxury is very easy. We stayed at the Lalit Laxmi Vilas and it was absolutely stunning. I had NO complaints from the hotel whatsoever and would highly, highly recommend it. Unlike the Taj Lake Palace or the Oberoi Udaivilas, The Lalit Laxmi Vilas is located on lake Fateh Sagar, hence being slightly secluded from the hustle bustle of the main city which we absolutely loved.

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The Lalit Laxmi Vilas, Balcony

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The Laxmi Vilas, Suite

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The Lalit Laxmi Vilas, Evening Band

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The Lalit Laxmi Vilas, Balcony View

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The Lalit Laxmi Vilas, Corridors

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The Lalit Laxmi Vilas, details

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The Lalit Laxmi Vilas, details

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 The Lalit Laxmi Vilas, Reception

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Badi Lake (must visit)

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The Lake Palace Hotel

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The City Palace

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Cafe in Udaipur City Palace

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The Vintage Car Museum

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Garden Hotel, Vintage Car Museum

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Panchwati (For Chaat)

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Authentic Rajasthani Chaat

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Ambrai (HIGHLY RECOMMEND)

IMG_2994As  always, if you have any queries, you can comment here or ask me on Instagram! Untill next time, xx

For the love of Old School

Hey guys,

If you know me by now, there’s one thing that I absolutely cannot forego and thats comfort. By comfort  I dont simply mean comfortable clothing, but also the little things that keep us in a happy place. Ever since I was a kid, I would go to the Delhi Gymkhana Club and Delhi Golf Club with my parents every weekend and sometimes more often. There’s something about these clubs that lets me eat my cup of tea, yummy chicken sandwiches or even the endless array of sumptuous food {Sunday buffets YUM} without feeling guilty. Both these clubs being a century or less old are quaint and magnificient at the same time. Whether it may be the formal winter lunches, the simple relaxed tea hour or the crazy thursday/saturday nights, I can see my self spending hours there and not keeping any track of time {#truegrannyatheart}

Recently, Madhavi and I decided to visit the Delhi Gymkhana Club {a good place to go when the pocket is a little light}. Though we couldn’t make it for the lunch hour, we decided to sit down in the lawns have some tea with ‘snacks’ {Ofcourse!}. We ordered two cups of tea, my favorite- chicken sandwiches and one portion of cheese balls. Now, we cant go wrong with the former too, but if you’ve had the cheese balls then you know they exemplify addiction+weirdness in a whole. Though they taste strange, you can’t just more than one. Maybe its only me, but I have always felt that way since I can remember.

On an ideal situation , especially if it was a Thursday, we would have stayed on and moved to the bar by 7 pm, but since time wasn’t really in our favour, we decided to stick to tea and conversations. However, we did manage to go to the bakery (within the club) and pack some bread! {granny moment again} Trust me when I tell you that it’s some of the yummiest bread, ever!

Moving on to the outfit, I kept it as classic as possible with a white midi dress and moccasins. What I loved about this look is it’s versatility.  With a couple of accessories and a bright lip, one could easily transform this look from day-to-night. Now that its getting a little chilly, I can also imagine my self adding a leather jacket {to make it a  little edgier} or adding a blazer to keep it formal! A midi dress such as this should definitely be on the list of top 10 must haves. The moccasins on the other hand need no introduction. Yet another classic pair, you just cannot go wrong with them. Though these particular pair arent everyone’s cup of tea cause of their androgynous element, I just cannot get enough of them.

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Details: Dress and Shoes- Zara, Rings- Forever 21, Bag- Found in mom’s closet.

Eidi {Photo diary}

We all have a bucket list and experiencing Eid at Jama Masjid was a part of mine. Though I have lived in Delhi all my life and have been to Jama Masjid multiple times, I just never managed to go there on Eid. This year however, I kept my commitment and headed to the Walled City with a friend of mine. Both of us were extremely excited (especially for the food) and couldn’t wait to try out all that the streets had to offer. We knew that we may not have time to go to Matia Mahal and hence our plan consisted of visiting the Mosque itself and devouring the Biryani, Haleem, Kebabs and ofcourse sevaiyaan. We visited this Masjid during the afternoon and though it was crowded and oozing of vibrance, there was still an overarching sense of serenity. One could see a sea of people wading their way through the streets leading to the Masjid. Others, just enjoyed the festivities outside while they shopped and ate to their hearts content. 

So here’s my Eidi; the very experience itself. It was truly a synesthesic moment, as we sat one of the balcony’s of the Mosque and saw time sweep by. 

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I really hope you liked the photographs. They’re more than simply photographs for me and are instead memories etched out on paper. Though these photographs may not do justice to the experience and I really recommend you too visit the Masjid during this time, if you havn’t already. I would love to do a part two of this post where I share with you some of my favorite places to eat around this part of the city. So stay tuned 🙂

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more photographs.

Travel with me feat BrownBoy

Hey everyone!

Today, I have something extremely exciting for you! If you have been following me on Facebook, you would have seen me talk about a contest that I would be posting on my blog: It’s finally here! {All the details would be at the end of the post }

I am constantly on the look out for comfortable yet chic outfits and recently, tshirts have been a big YES for me. I love wearing printed T-shirts which are perfect for summer since I can dress them up if I want to or simply lounge in them all day.

A while back I came across the website BrownBoy while online shopping (proven guilty). I instantly fell in love with every single item but what stood out the most for me was their New York Tshirt. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to have it in my closet.

brownboyfeatureThough I haven’t spent too much time in New York, there’s something about that city that makes me so happy each time I visit. This year (till now) has been extremely dull for me on the travel front but nonetheless, the wanderlust bug wouldn’t let go and all I can think about is planning my next trip. Whether it may be while I’m traveling or otherwise, the key element of all my outfits has to be comfort. For me personally, I don’t think I can enjoy my self doing whatever it is if I don’t feel comfortable in my skin.

The outfit that I have worn here defines my perfect ‘Travel in a city’ outfit. This is exactly what I would wear while exploring town all day. The t-shirt is really casual but I absolutely love the font and of course the text itself. On the other hand, the skirt adds the glam element on the outfit. Initially I wasn’t too confident about the length of this skirt, however, it falls beautifully and even though it’s sheer, the slip attached is of the perfect length. I usually never wear heels but these flatforms are perfect to add some height in spite of being as comfortable as wearing fat sandals.

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Outfit details: New York T-shirt – BrownBoy , Flatforms – Clarks, Sheer Skirt – Sher Singh (Myntra.com), Belt- From mom’s closet, attached midi rings – Forever21, Watch- Michael Kors Rose Gold Runway Edition, Specs- Thrifted from new york! (By Madhavi Singh!)

I really hope you liked this post! All the credit goes to Madhavi Singh from conceptualizing to photography! She’s brilliant, isn’t she? 🙂

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THE GIVEAWAY

Now coming to the fun bit! BrownBoy and Melange of Musings has come together to bring to you a super fun contest!

Since this New York Tshirt reminds me of my favorite city (New York!) and brings a smile to my face each time I put it on, we want YOU to take a photograph one something/someone that reminds you of your favorite city! Whether it may be a picture of bhel puri reminding you of Bombay or Fish and Chips reminding you of London!

Upload the picture on INSTAGRAM and simply do the following:

1. FOLLOW @melangeofmusings and @brownonyou

2. TAG @melangeofmusings @brownonyou in the photograph you upload

3. TAG ATLEAST 2 friends on the same photo you upload

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH TO UPLOAD, DONT WORRY! YOU CAN USE A PHOTOGRAPH THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN UPLOADED ON INSTAGRAM! If you think that’s appropriate and reminds you of your favorite city, simply go ahead and tag 2 friends, tag us and follow us! 🙂

This contest is open till Next Monday (28th of July, 5 pm)

The prize: The NEW YORK TSHIRT! {that I’m wearing in this post}

{Open all across India}

What are you waiting for? Let the fun begin!

Delhi Haat: Quintessentially Indian

My relationship with Delhi Haat is a long one filled with childhood memories and everlasting charm.I used to visit Delhi Haat as a little girl every Sunday evening with mum and dad to enjoy some Momos and Thukpa from the ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ Stall. As I grew older, I found my self drifting apart from this space until I so happened to have pursue my Undergrad degree from LSR leading to myself coming here very, very often. Delhi Haat is a space where one can pass time for hours without really doing anything concretely.

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It opened as an aircraft bazaar and food plaza  run by Delhi tourism and transportation development corporation (DTTDC) in 1994. The idea was pretty simple and it was that this space should break even for government and provide a marketing platform and better incomes and livelihood for small craft producers. Crafts persons were to have the opportunity of engaging directly with customers, getting a fair price, acquiring the confidence to compete in a city.

Delhi Haat is definitely a place that screams out defining itself as quintessentially Indian. For having been established by the government, it does ensure that its antithetical to anything ‘Western’ or mall like. There are tons of stalls each show casing the ‘best out of the best’ of Pashmina Shawls from Kashmir, Chanderi Sarees from Madhya Pradesh or Phulkari Duppattas from Punjab. Other than going to the State Emporiums, Delhi Haat is one space in this city where you can find anything and everything Indian- handicrafts, rugs, fabrics, leather pieces, puppets. You name it and youll find it.

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Being a self proclaimed food, I love going back to Delhi Haat and trying out the different state food stalls that it has. My favorite food stall is hands down ‘Nagaland’. I used to love going to Arunchal Pradesh stall called ‘Momo Mia’ for its Momos and still do occasionally, but the Nagaland stall really does satiate my hunger pangs. The grilled fish at Bijoli Grill is almost a part of my guilt pleasure list. Last time I visited Delhi Haat, we ordered the Pork Ribs, Fried Chicken Momos, Steamed Veg Momos, Chicken Fried Rice, Chilly Chicken and their ever so famous Fruit Beer.The pork ribs are by far one the nicest I’ve had and even though Delhi Haat is not known for it’s consistency in food quality and flavour, these pork ribs are cooked to perfect each time I visit.  The other items were as good as it gets, filled with flavour and authencity. The food is not extremely cheap as one would imagine it to be but it is surely great value for money.

Delhi Haat is definitely something far beyond just a market place for it not only reinforces the bazaar culture but also satisfies that constant need for humans feeling connected to their soil. It’s that space where you will relive your culture, simply by eating the food that you have eaten all your childhood cooked by your grandmother or by buying that little puppet wall hanging for your room. It is surely a part of the State’s constant effort to in a way bind us into ‘one imagined community’ and creating a ‘Mini India’. There are no doubts that most of the  items are overly priced where one may be cheated if one doesn’t haggle,  but then I can’t deny that it does cheer me up for whenever I have visited and revisited it.

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IMG_4335For me, more than the food or the overpriced goods, Delhi Haat is a space where I feel like a little girl tugging around my dad’s arms for my weekly momo treat. It’s about the little pink elephant wall hangings and the junk jewelry that I used when I became older. It’s about the retro boom box, the patang wala and  the potters that give it life ; a sense of continuity.IMG_4304

#FoodPorn: Di Ghent

Hello Everyone!

I was really craving for a hearty breakfast at Di Ghent and since a couple of  friends are in town, we thought what could be better than catching up while devouring some waffles and coffee.Di Ghent has been my favorite café ever since it opened up in Gurgaon. Co-owned by a Belgian Lady and an Indo-Australian gentleman and located on the second floor of Cross Point Building, right across Galleria Market in DLF Phase 4, this café exports you right to the middle of an a-historical European experience with it’s French windows and the clever use of wood, Di Ghent (From Ghent – a city in Belgium). This café offers quick bites like Bruschetta and Paninis as hors d’oeuvres with Koffie along with a decent fare of mains for a meal.

Café Di Ghent also has a Boulangerie and a Pâtisserie just is just a couple of steps outside the main cafe. The Boulangerie opens up a 8 am whereas the café  opens at 9 in the morning. The boulangerie is absolutely gorgeous with it’s vintage accents along with being really charming and pretty. I also love the fact that one can pick up freshly baked breads for home ( I do that really often). Their cakes, cupcakes and desserts too are divine. I highly recommend visiting this cafe if you want to have one of the BEST breakfasts in town. From Pancakes, Waffles , Smoothies to Poached Eggs; they have it all. If you’re not in the mood for breakfast which is served till 12:30 pm, you must try the Buck (Tomato, Basil and Mozrella Bruchetta), Claus (Parma Ham, parmesan cheese, rucola and mayonnaise Panini – with your choice of bread) and any of their freshly brewed coffees served with a biscotti. Di Ghent is hidden gem bursting with flavors that truly offers a #foodporn moment.

I won’t talk about it further but will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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– Belgian Waffles with StrawberryChocolate Sauce, Maple Syrup, Whipped Cream. {It was ABSOLUTELY divine}photo 2 (4)

– Beer Poached Eggs on a muffin with Parmesan Cheese and Mushrooms. {The eggs were poached perfectly and the mushrooms stole the show}

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– Egg white Omelet filled with Parmesan Cheese, Parma Hama and Sun Dried tomatoes. Served with two slices of Brioche and some Marmalade.

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– A full egg Omelet with Bell peppers, Cheddar Cheese and Ham Shredding

Note If you opt for ‘The breakfast’ which gives you tea/coffee + Pancakes/Waffles/Eggs +Smoothie/Juice it would cost you about Rs.650 per head. However, you can also go ahead and order any of these items separately. If you’re planning to go for a lunch or dinner, then the cafe would cost you about Rs.850 for two.

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You must go ahead and try out their Breakfast Menu incase you haven’t already. All of the dishes were simply perfect and were oozing with flavors.Can’t wait my exams to get over and indulge there again. Sigh 🙂

Fête de la photo Delhi: My visual diary

Hello Everyone,

Public art in Delhi has been at it’s peak, whether it may be with the Street Art Festival that happened a while back and colored the walls of Shahpur Jat and Hauz Khas Village or the Fête de la photo Delhi- photography exhibition across public spaces all across Delhi (Cannaught Place, Dilli Haat, IGI Airport, National Museum, Jantar Mantar). Fête de la photo as the name suggests is an  encourage initiatives in public spaces by drawing attention to the medium of photography. The idea is to take photography out of the gallery spaces and bring it on the street reclaiming the space it once had.  In an attempt to reach out to the audiences on the street, this festival will be held in public places. (Fête de la photo). This public exhibition is on till the 31st of March and I highly recommend you catching the last few glimpses of it tomorrow! The schedule is available here. Without talking about it too much here, I want to share some of the photographs I clicked while I walked around CP and witnessed this mesmerizing display of art that truly enraptured me.

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Missing Mcleod Ganj

Hello everyone! Mcleod Ganj is definitely one of my favorite hill stations in the country and I really, really miss it right now. Delhi’s summer’s back and nothing seems more inviting than a short trip to the hills. I wrote this teavelogue a while back and it was published in Emaho Magazine. Hope you enjoy it 🙂 mcleod5 Think Tibet, think dimsums, think McLeod Ganj. There was something about McLeod Ganj that put me into a state of blissful inertia and I felt as if I had entered a time capsule I didn’t want to leave. Dharamsala, a mere 11kms away seemed absolutely alien to McLeod Ganj in terms of the lifestyle, the people and the food amongst other things.   The drastic change in everything I observed made me ask myself if I was an outsider in my own country. McLeod Ganj was like a cocoon, with its own inhabitants- food, religion and culture. Maybe this why even those who aren’t from India fit in just as well if not better.   McLeod Ganj is the perfect hill station for any foodie and that’s why it suited me perfectly. One will find little cafes hidden in niches and by-lanes with cuisines from all around the world. This is probably due to the large number of travelers from around the world who settle here for months on an end. There are several options: from an authentic Canadian breakfast at the Green Hotel to Tibetan Thukpa for Lunch at the Lhasa Restaurant to mouth-watering Italian at Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen. McLeod Ganj felt like a gracious food genie. Cafés like Moonpeak Espresso and The French Café made me feel like I had been transported to another country all together.   Another thing that really intrigued me about McLeod Ganj was its fascinating religious aura. McLeod Ganj was offered to the Dalai Lama as his official residence, making it a refuge for several Tibetans. There is the Tsuglagkhang complex, which is the residence of HH the Dalai Lama. The complex contains a monastery, stupas and even a museum. Then there is the St. John’s Church located amidst the dense Deodar trees away from the bustling town. Visiting this unique town is not all about its eclectic bohemian vibe that draws so many of us in, it’s equally about its importance as a destination of refuge, pilgrimage and solace to several individuals.   Another thing that constantly caught my eye in McLeod Ganj was the abundance of flyers everywhere. On offer were courses in papermaking, yoga, cookery, writing, carpentry, handicraft making and probably anything else you could think of. One day I’d love to visit it again, maybe take up a month long course and actually try to be a part of this quaint town I was almost starting to fit into. mcleod1

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Exploring Delhi with National Geographic Channel India: A Photo Diary

Hello Everyone!

I was selected as one of the 20 people to be a part of National Geographic Channel’s (India) Insta-Walk 2014. The walk took place in Delhi’s Mehrauli’s Archeological Park – 200 acres of history and memory.

Mehrauli is the site of plethora of monuments, where the first legends, history and myths associate Mehrauli with the descendents of the Pandavas. Later it saw the building of Lal Kot, a bastion of the first real city of Delhi. Next,it became the dominion of legendary Rajput warrior prince Pritviraj Chauhan where the  Qila Rai Pithora was witness to the deafeat of his glory in the Second Battle of Tarain by Ghauri. Upon his death, his slave,  Qutubdin Aibak made Mehrauli his capital and the Sultans and emperors who followed him ruled from there.

The Qutub Minar was the crowning glory of Mamluks. Then Khiljis took over and build monuments such as Alai Darwaza, Madarsa and also laid foundation to the audacious Alai Minar which was supposed to be twice the size of Qutub Minar.

The Tughlaqs built their own capital in the vicinity and the Sayyids and Lodis also left behind their modest creations which are now nestled inside the sprawling Lodi Garden.

The Mughals too liked this place and built several monuments. They were great devotees of the saint Qutubdin Bakhtiar Kaki and build many structures to show their respect and reverence.

Finally, Mehrauli was also seen as a  picnic spot of the royal families residing in the Red Fort. Later with the arrival of British, things changed but the allure of Mehrauli remained strong and Metcalf’s Follies and Dil-Kusha are prime example of that British penchant with then scenic Mehrauli.

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IMG_3823 Grave of Khan Shaheed

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photo 2 (4)Jamali Kamali Mosque

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photo 3 (1)View of the Qutub Minar

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