Monochrome Madness – Abandonment

Abandonment

Abandonment

I spent Sunday evening in a small section of a field with abandoned pipes. Each pipe was about 1 metre in diameter, and I was on top of them. In some sections of the ground, the wild grasses had risen to about 1.8 metres, and so I decided not to walk amongst the thick undergrowth.

With the monsoons around – even though the rain is scanty – this area is full of stray dogs, pigs and snakes. Yes, snakes do come out during the monsoon rains, and I was not looking forward to a nip in the ankles!

However, this field was – is – fascinating. Thank you, Municipal Corporation! I shall return in September, when the quality of sun will be a wee bit different, to photograph this area again!

My Years In China 1. Sunset In Shanghai

Shanghai

This section is really my own trip down memory lane. I lived in China – in Shanghai & Beijing – for five years, between 2002 and 2006. I learned the language somewhat, and was starting to learn to read when I left.

Our countries have had many political differences, and still do. Yet, when I went to live there, with some trepidation, I met some of the best friends that I have ever made.

I often said that China is my second home, and I still feel this way.

The above photograph, by the way, was taken from the rooftop of our little row house.

Sunset in October.

Wonderful land, wonderful people when you get to know them.

I may pop by now and then with photographs and memories of my time in China.

Indulge me!

Monochrome Madness – The Old Fakir

The Old Fakir

The Old Fakir

My contribution for this week’s Monochrome Madness Challenge, hosted by Leanne Cole

I took this shot of the Old Fakir in Pushkar last November.

Quite a cool dude, yes?

Monochrome Madness – Faith & Piety

Faith

 

I hope that I am on time for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness Week!

Anyway, this one tops off the morning we spent driving around the Kurukshetra Region. I probably will not post everything that I saw, else it will be a season of posts on Kurukshetra!

We do have some rather large temples in India, particularly in the Southern part of the country. They are almost like business houses in themselves, and to get a ‘darshan’ ( a chance to see the God ) at Tirupati, you can (I have been told) book your spot online. Not bad! God has an online booking system! I went to Tirupati many years back, and was in the premium line, and that was 6 hours in the line. Almost like taking a Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios. You stand in the line for 4 hours, for a one minute ride!

This photo was taken at the very spot where Krishna is said to have recited the Gita to Arjuna. The Gita is the book that comes closest to being our holy book, and this is the book on which we take an oath in court.

The spot, however, is simple. Very simple, with a little pond, shady trees, a priest (not a rapacious priest) and a few shops. Almost nondescript, and I like it, I must say!

The feet are supposed to represent the soles of Krishna’s feet, and the markings on the feet. Celestial marking.

You need faith to believe in this. I am agnostic, but I respect the faith of those who believe.

Faith and piety, when genuine, are beautiful. They can be pure.

What I like about this spot, is that it gives you the space to experience that – at least, on the day that we were there.

What else is there to say?

The Duster Trails 1 – And now, that’s an Angelic Smile!

An Angel's Smile!

An Angel’s Smile!

Well, this dude has a great smile. I had gone to Kuruskshetra, using my Renault Duster for the first time. That’s the car you see on the ‘header’ of this blog. Shall I change the format of the blog, I wonder…

Anyhow, Kurukshetra is about 3.5 hours from Delhi, by road. The highway is actually quite decent, and while this was a short, two day trip, it was all about discovering the epic, The Mahabharatha, to some extent. The epic, in very brief blogger brief, is about the relationship between two sets of cousins – the Pandava brothers and the Kaurava brothers. There were five Pandavas and one hundred Kauravas. At the climax of sorts, the armies of the cousins square off at Kurukshetra, and have an 18 day battle. On the first day of the battle, Arjun, the third brother of the Pandavs had some doubts, and asked Krishn (Krishna) to wheel his chariot to the front. This is when Krishn recited the Bhagwat Geet (or, the Gita) to Arjun.

I had always thought that there was some sort of a mythical battle field, and I discovered that Kurukshetra is a whole religious region, measuring 45 kos ( no idea what that is in kilometres), sort of dedicated to the epic.

Anyway, we reached this place called Peepli. You turn in through the Gita Dwar (Gita Gate), and you are in the Kurukshetra region. We drove 26 km to a town called Pehowa (called Pitrudat about 2000 years ago), where you go to pray for your ancestors.

Anyhow, we stopped for a cuppa chai. And then, I noticed this strange looking taxi made by the Tatas

A Strange Cab Indeed

A Strange Cab Indeed

I photographed it, walked around, and chatted with the driver. He wanted me to photograph his friend, who wanted me to photograph him. I did. The conversation went like this. I have shortened it, and translate it from the Hindi!

Driver: “Photograph my friend”

Me: “Shall I? Sure?”

Friend” “No, photograph him.”

Me, to the driver:” Come on, you are a handsome dude….”

After some badgering, he gave me a serious look and I clicked.

Me” C’Mon dude, give me those pearly 32! I want those teeth, man!!”

I poked him on the shoulder, and he laughed.

And, I clicked.

Now, doesn’t he simply have the most angelic smile? Better than a film star’s smile, yes?

Say yessss!!

Monochrome Madness – The Acute Angle

Acute And Black

Acute And Black

 

You, who have seen this blog, may remember this photo from a few weeks ago. I have sent this across to Leanne Cole for the weekly Monochrome Madness Challenge

Some photos look good in colour (multi-hue) as well as in shades of black and white.

Black, and white – are colours!

Shot in North Delhi, in Daryaganj. Hot day. Me sitting in shade. Tongue lolling out, sweat dripping.

Well, it’s still hot, and I think we will have a drought this year. No rain.

Meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen, I present “Acute and Black”.

Zakhir Nagar. Delhi. At The Post-Fasting

The Kebab

The Kebab

 

Last night, we went walking in the South Delhi area of Zakhir Nagar. This is a Muslim dominated area, near the Jamia Milla University. What muck on the streets!

The monsoon rains are playing hide and seek with us, but it had rained. So, I ruined my nice, suede blue shoes walking in the slush. We call the mixture of mud and rain – keechar. It’s an easy enough word to pronounce, except for the ‘r’. Trust us to make it tough for you!

The Muslims fast from 3 am to 7:30 pm, and after that, they eat. Boy, do they eat, and amidst the slush and the muck and my mud-splattered jeans and shoes (And sweat pouring down my manly chest!), there were the bits of heaven that we found and wolfed down. Chicken tikka, Reshmi Kabab, Shammi Kabab, Biryani, Quorma….. A delight to the taste buds and woe to the waist-line!

Yet, there are those who toil to make this delightful stuff for us. I lost my group half-way through, and this was cool! I wandered around, chatted with the people, took their shots and generally had a blast. There are some really nice and friendly folk to be found on the street!

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