Saturday, May 19, 2007

Postcards from Mysore

Srirangapatna, famous for being the capital of Tipu Sultan's kingdom which stood valiantly against the British Raj, is not that well known for it's rustic charm and natural beauty. The river Cauvery's tributaries flow through this idyllic town and has reverside temples unchanged, just as they were since historic times. One of my favourite places in the world is this place called Gosai Ghat. Sitting on those steps on the banks of Cauvery as the cool waters flow by, under the shade of mango tree, beside the ancient temple, is an experience I would seriously recommend!

This time I tried some HDR imaging. And I got this image.

And of course, I had promised Mysorean that I would give him a better panorama of this spot.
Here it is, Mysorean!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Postcards from Bengalooru

Auto drivers in Bangalore... er, Bengalooru, are becoming very well known for their ruthless fleecing of customers. Still, an autoride is always fun as you zip through Bengalooru traffic. Especially if you know you are going to MG Road or Brigade Road! :-) One autodriver told me that the government allows them to increase the metering charges only about once every 2 years! So, in the meanwhile they are only allowed to mug the customers! There are also plans of completely removing autos from bangalore roads once the metro, according to one driver that I talked to. Well, they do came across as the predators but they are not that high up in the 'food chain'.


There is this island of greenery just off MG Road that a lot of us do not seem to know about. The green and yellow lines are MG Road and Brigade respectively in this snapshot from Wikimapia. The park is marked in red.

Someone on Wikimapia has labeled this park as a 'useless park'. But if you see the number of couples putting this place to good use, you'll think otherwise! ;-) Now, before you let your imagination run wild about what I was upto there: I was just having a photoshoot there with a friend. So there...

Here is how green the trees are there:

Snapshot from Wikimapia:

Friday, May 04, 2007

Regis Givazo

The accordion somehow made famous by Raj Kapoor in Mera Nam Joker is almost unheard of in present-day India. I have always been a fan of the accordion for the pleasantness of its sound. The movie Amelie had a generous dose of background score consisting of a lively accordion. If you heard Rahman's song for the movie Guru, Ei Hairathein (Ok, my Hindi spellings are not good), it starts with an accordion (or at least I think so) leisurely playing a melody, immediately bringing to my mind images of some quiet European city with cobble-stoned streets and street cafes! The morning sun casting a silver light on the cobble stones and.... and now let me get back to what I was going to say...

This Wednesday, I attended this accordion concert by Regis Givazo hosted by the Poona music club. "Regis who?", was my response too. He is supposedly a world famous (Yes! and WE don't know!) accordionist who is originally from Madagascar. Regis teams up with Mirandon a percussionist/drummer, and together they create magic! He sang with his rich Malagasy (language of Madagascar) voice while his accordion provided the rhythm and bass along with a
complex interplay of notes that simply mesmerised us! His style had a very ethnic touch to it but at the same time incorporated a strong European flavour. Having been in Paris for about 10 years, he had beautifully assimilated various sounds.

I did not know that an accordion is such a versatile instrument, or is it the greatness of the artiste? I would think the latter would be closer to truth. You can listen to his tracks at this National Geographic World Music link . Do try the song Aia Rose at this link.

Now that I hear the tracks on the little CPU speakers in my grey cubicle, it does not sound like it's a big deal. When you are in front of the artist while he is passionately playing his instrument into the amplified hi-fi sound system, each sound crisp and clear with energy, it's a different experience altogether!

That evening I went home and had the perfect hangover :-)