28 April 2009
I wasn't tired, nor was i physically weak. I just didn't climb further up because i didn't want to let go. I was scared stiff of the height. Today, i went rock climbing. Even though this was her first experience in rock climbing, my sister seemed to have absolutely no fear of heights.
27 April 2009
When i was still in the academy , learning photography, i often used to hang out with my seniors while they were out working on their assignments. Tagging along with fellow photographers can be a great learning experience and also a lot of fun. This image was a result of one such trip to a tea factory in Ooty. The sky looked dark and sulky threatening to pour down any moment, the entire valley was shrouded in mist and my friends were struggling to complete their shoots (industrial photography, entails lugging around some heavy duty photographic equipments, co-ordinating work with the factory manager without interrupting their production, finishing the job on time and most importantly keeping your cool). After a mad afternoon of frenzied shoot, there i was, musing over how lovely the soft window light looked on the factory workers.
25 April 2009
When im not shooting, when im not reading, when im not hanging out with my friends, when i dont have long nails to paint over, basically, when i have nothing better to do; this is what i end up doing.. on a long lazy Saturday afternoon.
Somebody asked me, "Have you seen the Niagara Falls?" I said, "No." Pause. "But it is one of the best-est of experiences." We were at the American Falls (the American side of the Niagara Falls). But honestly, i had this feeling that i was suddenly transported to India. We, Indians, were all over the place. In all shapes and sizes. I could hear Telugu ( predominantly), Kanada, Punjabi, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi.. all floating in the air. With our parents, with friends, with kids... And of course, with the inevitable camera. The only testimony to our sojourns. Amercan Falls (left), Horseshoe Falls (seen at the end, its the fanciest fall in Niagra, the large one) and thats Canada seen on the right. The worst thing you could possibly do is travel up to the Niagra Falls and not go on that boat ride. "Maid in the Mist," its called. As the boat moves right into the misty mouth of the Niagra Falls, it will finally dawn on you that you are indeed staring at something TRULY spectacular. Its one of those experiences you take for granted simply cos the TV is overloaded with such scenes and will not really value until you experience it first hand. American Falls. This one is waaaaayyyy smaller than the Horseshoe Falls, but you can actually go down the cliff and stand right under the water. Oh, btw, did i mention how freezing cold it was? Even in summer!
23 April 2009
I have no clue what this fellow's scientific name is. He ( along with some of his friends) was busy inspecting the finer cracks on some dry cakes of cow dung that were lying around near a fern tree in the Botanical Garden, Ooty. My assignment was to do some macro shots on insects. I didn't have a macro lens (its on my wish list though). So there i was, lying flat on my tummy, struggling with a 70-200mm lens (the long, heavy kind) trying to get a macro shot of some blue-alien-flies (minding their own business) at least 30cm away!
22 April 2009
Click here to view this gallery. (Dont forget to look at the images in full screen mode) In normal circumstances, im not one who would take screen grabs from other sites. Especially if its something related to photography (i'd hate to be entangled in copy right issues). Im usually content with posting the links on Facebook, Twitter etc. But THIS particular collection of images deserved to be seen, i thought. So with all due credits to the site which hosted the original piece, i highly recommend any photography enthusiast who might be reading this post to take a look at this ode to our Exquisite Earth !
It was a crappy poster that first caught my attention. "Feeding a hungry child is not charity. It is your social responsibility." It yelled at me. And there was a picture or two of poverty stricken kids stuffing themselves up with rice from earthen pots. Apart from the distasteful design of the poster, the copy continued to stare at me in the face. A social responsibility? Well, everyone around me seemed to agree with the poster. "If you have the power to help, then it is your responsibility to help, " a friend said. So is it the 'responsibility' of the most powerful person on earth (say, the American President) to eradicate poverty from this planet? Is the rest of the population justified in not assuming 'responsibility' since they are not 'powerful enough' ? If this act of giving and helping is considered 'responsibility' , then what is charity ? And if you are indeed feeding the hungry so that the 'world' will be a better place for you and your kin to live in, isn't that an act of conscious selfishness? If yes, then why pretend like you are performing a sacred act for the sake of someone else? If not, then what is it? Somebody tells me that it is 'good' to feed a child and that nobody can say you are 'wrong' in doing so. Who decides what is right and what is wrong? How are we to say what is good and what is bad?
PS : Is it blasphemous to ask questions?
20 April 2009
19 April 2009
18 April 2009
13 April 2009
I heard a faint crackling sound on the other end, a feeble "Hello" and the line went dead. I had cut the call. In a not-so-recent past, i had read somewhere that as social beings, we tend to carry truck loads of shit with us. We keep gathering it from everywhere. From work, from home, from good-gone-bad relationships... from everywhere. And then we reach a point were we could carry it no longer and we could move no longer. We decide to dump it. And we dump it on whoever comes first in our line of vision. For a long time, i thought i carried no garbage with me (i still like to think so). But it was the most unpleasant feeling to spill out a can of worms on an unsuspecting call centre employee and to realise (after you have hung up on him) there is not much you can do about it now. I felt like a meek version of the screaming Will Smith from the movie 7 Pounds. Not that I'm chivalrous by any standards, but i just dont like the idea of being a garbage truck!
About a year (and a half ) ago, i was at the Tibetan market in Ooty shooting for an assignment when i chanced upon this woman. She didn't speak English and i don't understand a word of Tibetan (but u would be surprised to see how fluent most of them are in Tamil). Nevertheless, i sat with her and she went on with her stories (of what, i honestly had no idea!). I have this habit of giving 6X4 prints of my images to the subjects. Its gives me a pretext to visit them again. Thus i set off, back on the track that led to the Tibetan market. Only, to find the place thronging with tourists. She was here, there, all around me. Well, honestly, i just couldnt find her again. They all looked sooo similar!! I hung around for some time. Asked around if someone knew her, and finally left the copy with the fellow who claimed to have known her. Ive made several visits to the market since. And i ve met several old Tibetan women there. They all had the same kind smile, the same sad eyes and the same amiable aura about them..but none who quite photographed like her and none who told me stories like her. What had happened to her? I dont know. I never saw her again...
12 April 2009
11 April 2009
Our guide had eerie stories to tell about Tippu's torture chambers @ Tippu Sultan's Fort, Srirangapattanam
If only walls could talk... (inside Tippu's Fort) We were on our way to the fort when we inadvertently landed in front of this beautiful mosque. Our all-knowing guide didn't wait for too long before he dished out his tall tales of how Tippu Sultan used to come to this Mosque for solitude. Whether his story was authentic or not, i couldn't help thinking that there is indeed something serene about the mosque which could capture anybody's imagination.
I'm not someone you would exactly describe as a nature enthusiast. But visiting a wildlife sanctuary is not a punishment to me either. These are some of my pictures from the Ranganthittu Wildlife & Bird Sanctuary (20km away from Mysore). I did end up having a lot of fun that day.
I do not quite know the name of this bird. But he sure was quite a funny fellow. He had made it his business to scratch his neck sitting right there for a good 5 mnts!!
The crocs in the sanctuary were sun bathing when we visited them. This particular one seemed to have chosen the Stork's backside to rest his massive head though. Not even the (toy) gun wielding unruly bunch of kids on the other boat could provoke him enough to move an eyelid.
I know quite a lot of trees can look menacing. But this one looked like Einstein's-hairdo-gone-worse to me!!A family that prays together stays together. Nope, I'm not exaggerating. I could swear by the Gods of the Great Storks, that this family was deep in meditation, dwelling in a feeling of oneness!! ;)
Dwaraiswami, Aarumugam and Maaddamma , the house keeping staff of the Dasprakash Hotel, Mysore strike a pose for me.His shop is right outside the famous Dasprakash hotel in Mysore. He is so much a part of his little shop that its difficult to imagine the space without him in it or to imagine him outside it. K. Hariprasad Rao has been living in Mysore for about 50 years now. He is 72yrs old. His son is in Kothamangalam (Kerala) and his daughter is a teacher in Bangalore. K. Kariprasad Rao on being alone - "Health is important not age. "
10 April 2009
08 April 2009
06 April 2009
The news channels were puking stories about the assets (ahem.. 'official' assets that is..) amassed by our dear politicians (see the top 10 wealthy politicians here) ahead of the 2009 elections, when i thought of the tailor shop i had visited a year ago in Tamil Nadu. It was a tiny shop, with the tailoring machine and a chair squeezed in it. The card board walls were plastered with random stuff, like a game of jigsaw puzzle. But it was none other than our great MGR who occupied the prime space on this busy wall. The hero of a humble Indian tailor.