Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A little bit of Malgudi...

Like RK Narayan says, Malgudi could be any little village in India. This Pujari looked straight out of Malgudi immortalised by RK Laxman's cartoons... thought the sepia tone would make it look pre-independence! :D

And a passerby on the street...

Then, there was this trio looking like they were not particularly sure about what to do next...

A ritual in progress...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Smiles to Remember

My cousin and I went to the nearby villages to distribute wedding cards to all our relatives in the nearby villages. One of our relatives is a teacher in a little village school. Here is her entire school:

Yes, that's the ENTIRE school. It has two teachers!

It was a long time since I had seen school kids who looked stress-free!!

I told them to show all their teeth... :D

Friday, September 05, 2008

Coconut Land

The Godavari Delta of Andhra Pradesh has some beautiful landscapes. This place is about half an hour from Amalapuram and has rich clay soil. What you see in the foreground is a pond used for fish farming. Some fish apparently grow upto 2-3 feet in length!

Tried an HDR with a single RAW image file...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Granny

While my niece is the youngest in the family, my granny is the eldest. My mom's mom. One of the most beautiful people I know. She has beautiful eyes. Her wrinkles tell a thousand stories. She is more than eighty and some say ninety, as it seems some people did not really have birth certificates then. She still reads the newspaper and can discuss politics :) Quite a lady!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Niece update

Just a couple of months ago she was too small to recognize human faces. She's now ready to start crawling.

She sleeps ever so peacefully and then wakes up with a big smile! She lets anyone carry her without a tantrum! During my cousin's marriage there was a lot of disturbance while this girl is a light sleeper. The day after all the celebrations were over, she was peacefully sleeping when I took the first snap... You say anything to her and she gives her big toothless smile!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Just back from a trip to the Godavari delta area, coastal Andhra Pradesh. It is a land of abundance, whether you are into farming or photography! ;) I have updates of my little niece and
a lot more images coming soon...

We had stopped our hired ambassador car (I realize they still make them!) to ask this man for directions. His rolled cigar in his mouth and looks made a for a nice photo-op... People are so vary of offending others there, he removed the cigar when talking to us. I had to persuade him to put it back in for the snap :) after telling him it looks stylish :)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Shepherd's Banquet

After about two weeks of camping, the shepherds decide it is time to leave. On the last day they sit together for dinner. Women, a flurry of activity preparing bhakri on firewood stoves. Men chat, passing around a small bottle of liquor, taking occasional sips. The kids sit with them and listen to them under the cool afterglow of the twilight sky....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a Wonderful World :)

He was a security person at the gates of the little campus in which our office is situated. Being a senior citizen, he had a nearly toothless smile. What set him apart was that he used to salaam everyone who passed by. Initially, I did not acknowledge his salaam as I just wasn't used to strangers greeting me so cheerfully, as if I were an old friend. But then one day I thought, 'What the heck!' and started saluting him back! That was fun! This man was always so happy each morning I saw him. He greeted the world that went by and the fact that no one seemed to wave back at him never discouraged him.

Now I don't see him anymore, standing there, waving. He was so old and frail, I wonder where he is now. The strange part is that he looked well beyond the age of retirement.
He reminds me of one of my favorite songs, Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World':

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And i think to myself:"What a wonderful world!"

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to my self:"What a wonderful world!"

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying "How do you do."
They really say: "I love you!"

I hear babies crying I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself:"What a wonderful world!"
Yes, I think to myself:"What a wonderful world!"

I have seen some people say that this song is too happy for our times. You might ask that if people everywhere are hating and killing each other, how can someone be so happy? There may or may not be an answer for this depending on how you look at it. A part of the answer might lie in the fact that this song was written when racial discrimination was high. When equal rights seemed to be a distant dream. A dream that is now reality...

Watch him sing! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sigur Rós

The new face of rock. The saviors of rock. Taking rock music into the new millennium. Overtly melodramatic (actually, I like melodrama!!). These are the things being said about Sigur Rós. I am completely entranced by their music and learnt this when I started searching information on these people out of curiosity. I think the only reason for their not being as popular as they should be could be due to the fact that the music scene is simply dominated by the US.

Interestingly, one of their albums is an abstract work. It is simply named ( ) and the songs have no names and no lyrics. Essentially meaningless gibberish that the singer sings with the music and we just have to make of it what we want to. Abstract music...

About three of their tracks were featured in the Tom Cruise starrer 'Vanilla Sky'...

Sigur Rós - "Heima" Trailer (Hoppipolla Version):

Make sure you watch the ending of this music video:

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Baby and a Goldfish

Met my 2 month old niece for the first time. I realized it was ages since I felt a tiny little hand in mine. She still does not recognize faces yet but cries very little. She actually does not know how to cry even when she's hungry! LOL! She just makes 'skawking' sounds with a painful expression on the face! Teeny hands and teeny feet! Mother nature is the master designer of cuteness!!

They also have a pretty goldfish gracefully swimming in its glass bowl. I realized to my surprise that if anyone stands close to the bowl, it immediately swims towards them and hovers around there. Even more surprising was that if you put your hand close to the glass the goldfish gets distracted by the hand only for a moment and then starts looking at your face again!! It felt as if it can recognize the face! Maybe we humans grossly underestimate the intelligence of other creatures.

I can imagine! At night when everyone is asleep the goldfish pulls out a little laptop from under one of the pebbles and starts wondering on its blog: 'Today I saw a human showing signs of intelligence. He did not tap my glass bowl (How I hate it when they do that!!). He actually seemed to look into my eyes. Maybe humans are not as dumb as previously thought...'

...Obviously, I had a very tiresome overnight bus journey back to Pune, its Wednesday morning but am still short of some sleep...

Of course, I also met my two year old nephew. It is impossible to track down fast moving two year olds and take a pic when indoors... all I could get was his doggy toy...

(posted this a day later...)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It Takes So Little

The mesmerized smile was imprinted on his face. His eyes were fixed on the ice-cream cone in his hand. Probably 3-4yrs old. You had to probably watch your step to not step on his little feet as you hurried across to catch your bus at the other end of the bus terminal. A woman, probably his mom, walked ahead unaware that the kid might not exactly be paying attention to which way she is going. It was that little smile. It would make you realize you too are smiling a while after it unconsciously appears on your face. It stays with you long after. Reminds you it takes so little to make a kid happy...

This post if for you, Lucky!! :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Letting Go

He looked at the road ahead, negotiating the potholes while avoiding oncoming traffic at the same time. Our conversation drifted to the topic of trees.

He asked me, "Do you know why I love trees?" I said that I didn't. He said, "I was driving down the highway more than a year ago when my eyes were clouded with tears and I stopped on the side. Those were the days when I was really giving up on life. Nothing seemed to be really worth it. What I had lost seemed to be unbearable and unfair."

I had come to know he had lost a loved one. I knew what he was talking about. He continued, "Up ahead on the roadside, something caught my eye. It was a tree. A very huge one. Probably a couple of hundred years old. What I noticed was that one branch which was leaning dangerously onto the traffic was damaged. Now and then tall vehicles would brush against it and finally the branch had no life left in it. It was barren. But did the tree stop growing? Did it give up? No. Another large branch continued growing in another direction. It was green and it was blooming flowers. Birds sat on it and built nests. That day I realised I need to be like that tree. Willing to let go and to not stop growing. I am grateful to that tree for having taught me how to live..."

As he said this tears welled up in his eyes. His voice chocked. For a second he leaned closer to the steering as if to rest his head on it. Then he regained composure, held his head high, and drove on...

Some related quotes that I found here:

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
-- Havelock Ellis

As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don't try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Now is not the time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break.
-- Julia Butterfly Hill

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.
-- Oprah Winfrey

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.
-- Lao Tzu

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
-- Raymond Lindquist

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties,
-- Gail Sheehy

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.
-- Author Unknown

Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.
-- Gerald Jampolsky

Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?
-- Leo Buscaglia

Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be.
-- Anon

Loving someone is setting them free, letting them go.
-- Kate Winslet

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go.
-- Sylvia Robinson

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.
-- Gloria Naylor

Think about any attachments that are depleting your emotional reserves. Consider letting them go.
-- Oprah Winfrey

True love doesn't have a happy ending, because true love never ends. Letting go is one way of saying I love you.
-- Author Unknown

There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.
-- Author Unknown

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.
-- Joseph Campbell

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
-- Lao Tzu

You have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.
-- James Matthew Barrie

You never leave someone behind, you take a part of them with you and leave a part of yourself behind.
-- Author Unknown

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Quirk Tag

Thanks lively for the tag. The tag is to list down the quirky behavior that I tend to show every once in a while.

The Rules:- Link to the person that tagged you.- Post the rules on your blog.- Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.- Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.- Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

1. I tend to be so 'in my own world' when I am in my building society I rarely look up at faces. Of the three neighbours in my floor, I know only two of them. I won't recognise the others even if they walk by. I guess this should change. Otherwise, I would not know even if George Bush moved in next door!

2. I don't think the pug they show for the hutch (now vodafone) ad is really as cute as it is made out to be.

3. I don't like coffee or tea. The cold coffee I have about twice or thrice a year gives me such a high I can't sleep.

4. I don't really hate Himesh Reshamiyya. I really envy him for being able to rule the airwaves more than anyone was able to (But where is he now??).

5. This is in the back of my mind almost everyday ( Population uncontrolled, tiger dissappearing... they say one of the tipping points of the climate change could be the dissappearance of the monsoon. Maybe this would wake us up.

6. I like to observe interesting little quirks in people (I am sure I have mine too!) especially regarding their walking style. Some examples:

Today I saw this guy walking along the roadside and he had this amusing and stylish swagger as if he is walking to some live music. There was none, neither was he wearing headphones. But you could see that the music playing in his head :).

I knew this girl in school who always cat-walked. You would always see her sashaying away even if she were in a hurry!

I knew a guy in college who always had his mouth open. Even while riding his moped!! My brother always wondered if the lives of many flies and mosquitoes would have a sticky ending as he rode by!! I bet the world was a constant source of wonder and amazement, rendering his mouth continuously open!

One of my rules was to NOT make this a personal blog. But then, when tags come by and they are usually all about YOU (or me in this case) and I felt I was a little too harsh not posting on the tag that pixie had given me long ago. And when this tag came by, I thought, 'Oh well, I have nothing much to write these days, anyway. Let's do that tag'... :)

Relationships lately have been giving me a lot of food for thought. A post has been brewing in my mind for some time now on relationships but still needs lots of processing... coming soon :)

By the way, I tag none.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

What's up?

Yes, I have been meeting a lot of interesting people. Here is little chunnu-munnu trying to find out what the camera lens smells like. Ok, I don't know the real name of this little guy. But wouldn't chunnu-munnu make a great name? And do make sure you put your suggestions in the comments ;).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Come Away With Me

More than a year ago when I searched for it at PlanetM they were out of stock. Yesterday, while browsing through the music folders copied from my bro's computer, I found this song!

Listening to this song is like lying in the cool grass on a summer evening while the you hear the gentle sound of leaves rustling in the breeze...

Come Away With Me
-Norah Jones

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song
Come away with me on a bus
Come away where they can't tempt us
With their lies
I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won't you try to come
Come away with me and we'll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I'll never stop loving you
And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I'm safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me