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Hobbies

Lighting up Diwali with colourful candles


Wishing you all a very happy Deepavali and a prosperous year ahead!


nanopoblano2015lightThis is post #11 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

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Hobbies

WPC – From Every Angle: Spiral Staircase


A few months back, we paid a visit to an old bungalow in Old Delhi, and I couldn’t take my camera off this beautiful spiral staircase!

And here’s yet another angle beneath my feet.

Many thanks to the kind landlady for tolerating this shutter-bug 🙂

More angles of everything under the sun over at the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: From Every Angle

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Hobbies

Happy!


The theme for this week’s ‘Weekly Photo Challenge‘ is happy. The gallery below includes photographs of the bag I bought at a handicrafts bazaar, and an assortment of pencils and brushes – some unused, and some very old!

Unfortunately, the photographs didn’t quite turn out to be the way I wanted them. Here are some images I managed to salvage. Hope you enjoy!

Categories
Hobbies Stories

From Grandfather, With Love


My grandfather was the eldest in his family. We were his youngest grandchildren. The age difference between us is almost nine decades!

My grandfather’s life was very eventful. It could be said, that he lead a full life. He was a professor in the Burmese University, joined the Army during the world war, served in the foreign service thereafter. Then he helped establish one of the leading heart institutes of the country, where he worked till his last breath.

He had several hobbies. He occasionally undertook carpentry, and even tried his hand at bee-keeping. But the one hobby that lasted the longest, was photography.

None of his photographs prior to the second world war survived – the family had to leave Burma (modern Myanmar), and several possessions were lost.

All his photographs from 1945 onwards, however, were carefully pasted in a book – thick black pages bound together, with beautiful photographs chronicling the life of his children, and even some important people of the times . He developed most of his photographs himself. And he took great pains arranging them in the album, and putting captions for them. He had the foresight to know that other people will one day look at the album with no clue as to who’s in the pictures! The album is showing signs of ageing, and rarely comes out of the cupboard. But when it does, it takes us back in time, to another world.

My grandfather’s love for photography was inherited by my father, who bought a range-finder – spending almost a month’s salary on it. Point-and-shoot or compact cameras never entered our house. From our father, that passion passed onto us. Like our father and grandfather, my brother’s love for photography is serious.

Digital photography had begun entering the market by the time I was old enough to be trusted with the film camera. And my father’s old range-finder was the only one I ever used before my brother’s DSLR entered our lives.

“Extend your palm,” said my aunt to my brother during one of our visits. “I’ve been wanting to give this to you for a long time. It might be useful to you. It belonged to your grandfather,” she said.

She placed a cylindrical leather pouch in his outstretched palm. Like a child unwrapping his gift, my brother’s face lit up with excitement, when he realised, what it was, that he had inherited.

It was my grandfather’s tripod.

“It looks absolutely new!”

No one knows how old the tripod is, but it is, at the very least, seventy years old! And we know that only because the tripod features in one of the pictures my grandfather took of his youngest son – our father.

I have no living memory of my grandfather, and I often wish I had been born earlier – or he had lived longer – so that I may have been able to converse with him. But every time I take a picture, or look at that tripod, I can’t help but think he’s around us – always encouraging us to continue documenting life.

Related links:
Free Bird – A story I wrote in memory of my grandmother (featured in the SHEROES #SheWrites Anthology on Juggernaut)
R. Karthik’s Flickr Photostream

Categories
Hobbies Stories

The Lamps Are Lit


The dust has finally settled – quite literally. Here are the sights (no sounds, since we’ve gone cracker-free) from this year’s Diwali.

Deepavali (Diwali) is a time when people celebrate. Reasons and ways of celebrating vary.

Lighting the stairs
Lighting the stairs

But the lights are the main features of the festival. In the place where I live, the festivities begin only in the evening, whereas in the place where our ancestors lived, the festivities are over even before the day begins. Its complicated, and I’ll save that for another post.

Decorative Earthen Lamp
Decorative Earthen Lamp

So while the whole society around us celebrates, we have nothing to do. A feeling of loneliness, and isolation, inevitably begins to creep in. Something I term festive blues (okay, there may be others who’ll claim to have termed it thus).

This year, to fight the festive blues, I decided watch our neighbours making a rangoli outside their house.

Traditional Peacock Lamp
A Traditional Brass Peacock Lamp

Again, in the place I live in, rangolis are made only on very special occasions, and are a form of recreation. In the culture we belong to, new rangolis are made daily. So when we see people making a big deal about rangolis, I really can’t understand it.

Small Decorative Clay Lamp
Small Decorative Clay Lamp

Since our rangoli had been made early morning, there wasn’t much to do. So yet again, I picked up the very intimidating camera and captured some sights of this diwali.

* * * * * *

Fighting against darkness
Fighting against darkness

If you intend visiting India during Diwali, it could either be the best, or the worst experience of your life. All the bazaars are flooded with the most beautiful lamps and idols and what not. All houses are decorated with lights – both electric as well as oil lamps/candles. And since The Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, enters only clean houses, all houses are squeaky clean and colourful rangolis are drawn. Of course, all the shops are crowded and everything is expensive. So you have to have great bargaining skills. And if you don’t like crackers or loud noises, well, then nothing can protect you against them!

Pots of flame
Pots of Flame

Cheers!

PS. The photos here are free for anyone wanting to use them for non-commercial purposes. A link would be appreciated 🙂


‘The Lamp Is Lit’ is a book authored by Ruskin Bond.

Lighting up the path
Lighting up the path
Welcoming the Goddess
Welcoming the Goddess
Categories
Hobbies Musings

Beads!


I love my gypsy-like, bead bracelet. I love it so much, I’m dedicating an entire blog page and several photographs to it!

A few days back I was fiddling around with a bead necklace… err… bracelet… Its just a really long piece of thread with lots of tiny beads.

We belong together!

All the beads are unique in their own way… Some are broken, some have cracks, some which have holes in weird places, and some which have strange shapes. In short, its made up of rejected stuff a.k.a junk!

A few of us in college had gone to a local market and we found a hawker selling these, dirt cheap…

Up close and personal

One look at those beads, and it was hard to resist… I immediately wrapped it around my wrist.

I loved it!

And then it broke – what else could you expect from a piece of junk.

In search of the next bead

But then, I loved it so much! So I repaired it, adding a few other beads from another broken bracelet.

Since then, the bracelet has been my constant companion. Wherever I have gone, its been with me. I’ve lost count of the number of times its broken. And the number of times

She strings sea shells...

its been repaired. But every time it’s been repaired, a little bit has been added to it – a few forgotten beads lying in the corner of the cupboard, beads that had fallen out of old dresses, and beads that had even been ripped out of fancy wedding invitations!

Standing out of the crowd

Not all of them were old, some were new, like sea shells, bright seeds collected during one of our holidays…

Panchayat

There is nothing orderly, symmetrical, or perfect about the bracelet, yet, to me, it looks beautiful…

As it was being repaired for the umpteenth time, I decided to photograph the imperfect, pretty little beads. I’d borrowed my brother’scamera. I don’t know much, except that it had a special lens, which had a fixed focal length. I clicked a few times, and the result was horrible! That was enough to scare me.

Odd one out

If the camera wasn’t intimidating enough, I realised I had no clue how to go about taking the pictures. So I just switched to the auto mode and let the camera decide everything else!

Galaxy

All the photographs here were taken by the camera! Hope you enjoy the photographs.

Cheers!

Imperfectly perfect!

Since I rely on material distributed over the internet, it is only appropriate that I do the same… The photographs here may be used for non-commercial purposes. A simple credit would be appreciated 🙂