Tuesday, March 30, 2010


From the time I started clicking I realized that there is lot of life in pictures taken candidly.
This is a picture of the “boy” (with his uncle and aunt) coming to see the “girl” A poignant moment where the elders are giving him the last minute advice as to what to do and what not to do (or say) when he is with the girl’s family.

The Black and White  frame above (clicked in 1974) was appreciated by all the three in the picture. The “boy” is now a grandfather and this is a picture of his daughter and grand daughter (again a candid one)

The picture below may not fall under the category of candid pictures as the lady is posing. She asked me to click as she pretends to post a letter. But just before I could click her husband accidentally walked into the frame. And that gives this a different dimension. What better way to show the contrast between the good old way of communication with the snail mail and the modern day communication through cell phone (both in the same frame)
The old and the new

Weddings are a good place to click candid pictures where everyone is enjoying, except may be the bride and the groom who are sweating it out. The dance floor is a good place to capture some real good moves.
Life is . . . . dancing away to glory
And if it’s a wooden floor then some foot movements in synchronization can be captured. What you see below is a father and daughter duo doing the Boogie Woogie.
Put your left leg in. . . . put your left leg out. . . .  .

The photograph below is of one among the seven Jewish families left behind in Cochin (Kochi) in South India.
I managed to click this as she was narrating her life, and how each one chips in for the upkeep of the Jewish synagogue in Cochin. It was interesting to see how she was sewing the sequins on to a skull cap.
Fine art

Here was a lady who first refused to climb the slide. Then she reluctantly agreed and gingerly climbed it to give it a try. But once the deed was done she said “ good you made me do it, I really enjoyed it”
It is obvious that all of us has done this in our child hood, so I thought the apt title for this would be “Aaaaaaaaaaah, I can still do it”.
Aaaaaaaaah. . . . .  .I can still do it.

Children are the best subject for photography. They may feel a little awkward initially but after some time they loose interest in the camera and tend to be their natural self. Compare the pictures above and below. The kids are the same, the only difference being a gap of 18 years.

Some times photographing the photographer is fun, especially if you can keep the subject in the frame. We had been to the zoo (in Pune) and my colleagues were busy shooting the white tiger which was the center of attraction.
white tiger

Took a picture of some ants having a gate meeting. These guys have a daily conference here on the gate during the day time. They just gossip and hang around. I am still trying to find the reason of their fascination for the gate. Once its dusk they slowly slink away to the nearby mango tree.
Gate meeting
I wonder if this falls under the category of candid shots. Maybe the ants were discussing “look at that guy, he is going on clicking, if only he would get a little closer”
Those who have experienced the sting of these "mishir" ant, will know what I mean.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A novel way to protest

Today is World water day.
And that reminds me of some banners that I saw recently in a famous housing complex here in Pune.
The banner read “we drink well water in space age

Another one "After 15 years we don’t have conveyance, good water, car parking, playgrounds, tennis court, sport centre"

I think this is a novel way of protest.
I mean we have builders and builders and then there are good builders and not so good builders.
Some do up the whole place with beautiful huge gardens to attract customers and when the flats / bungalows are filled up they dig up the garden to build up a multistory building. And the hapless residents just look on as nothing can be done because they have already paid for it and moved in.
But wait a minute, nothing can be done ?
Look at these banners. I am sure that these are a good deterrent for future customers.

This was even published in a local news paper.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The arteries of Life.

Taken at my home town Alleppey (now Alepuzha)
Last time when I had been to my home town, as I was approaching my ancestral house, I looked up to see if the mango tree was still there and found this wonderful sight. The leaves shimmering in the afternoon light. Later while looking at the photograph I was wondering if my grandfather too looked at the same tree early in the morning while dipping his hand in the uri. (an uri is a pot that is hung in the courtyard which contains coarse coal particles. This was used for brushing the teeth - before people could afford toothpaste)

Rarely do we stop and gaze at the trees. There is a lot of history written there. Its the mute spectator to all that's happened under its shade.
Recently while passing through one of the roads in Pune, I had to stop at a signal. A sideways glance showed this huge Canopy covering a huge space. Welcome shade for many. (the title of this post was derived from this picture)

Nature's own Canopy
Imagine if your city is covered by trees like these it could reduce the threat of global warming. (will it? I am no authority on that)
Luckily for Pune city, we still have many of them (and hope it remains that way)
The best is the road connecting the Kirkee War cemetery and the Holkar bridge. The trees on either side are huge and it is just wonderful to drive down. I clicked this on a rainy day.

Another place is the entrance road to the Agriculture college in Pune.
Very few know that this was used as a War Hospital from 1916 to 1919

Way to the Agriculture Collage, Pune

On my way back from an overnight picnic near the Khadakwasla Dam I saw this lone Banyan tree, with its prop roots almost kissing the water. It made a perfect frame.
Incidentally this picture is used in the Wikipedia with proper credit.

Close to the Dam (also in Explorer)

Other one on the way up to the Singahad fort. With greenery like this around, I though its better to be at the foothills than climb the fort.


Then there are these trees with roots and roots hanging (you can hardly see the tree) These are the ones lining the race course road. Must have witnessed a lot of betting I suppose.


With the onset of spring in Pune, one can see some trees beautifully decorated with golden coloured flowers. This tree (Tabebuia Aurea) is a native of Argentina and Brazil in South America and it was brought to Bangalore, Calcutta and Pune. To know more about this tree, click on the picture below.

Tabebuia Aurea

Rubber trees are seen mostly in the south and the procedure of extracting rubber is lengthy but its good to know.(click on picture)


A trip to the Vineyard is a must for those who visit Nasik which is about 190 kms from Pune. You get to learn a lot about Grapes and wine and Table Grapes. We had a good time there, apart from tashting a lot of...... hic, a lot of . . . . . . .hic, you know those colourful things in the colourful wine glass......hic.

Vineyard in Nasik
OK coming back to Pune, nothing like having a view of a tree from the kitchen window.

(one of the reasons why we did not put up a frilly curtain there) but there is an added bonus when you have a good view of an eagle's nest from the kitchen window.
But more on that later in my next post (hope the eggs will hatch by then)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


If only we could get past our fear of being involved in police cases, and pluck up our courage to do what is right, we might be able to save a life.
Many a time we drive past an accident thinking “this is nothing to do with me”. Sometimes, the people injured may be critical, but we don’t want to get “involved” with the entailing hassles, at other times we salve our conscience with the argument “who has the time?”
This reminds me of the story where a doctor drove past a crowd gathered around a seriously injured boy. It was only later that he discovered that the boy was his own son and he could have saved him had he stopped.
But there are some people who work hard to ensure that the injured get immediate medical assistance. Bharat Pawar, a young boy working in my office is one such person.
On December 10 he was traveling back by bus from his home town. At Wai, the bus tried to overtake a milk tanker, and unfortunately crashed into its rear. A passenger sitting in the front seat bore the brunt of the accident and was badly crushed. The other passengers were relatively unhurt, except for the shock. As the door was jammed, Bharat and his friend jumped out of the window and assessed the situation. When he saw the injured person, he was initially paralysed with shock , but realised that something has to be done to save him.
In the stillness of the night, he tried ringing the bus depot and the police station but there was no response. With the help of his friend and the driver (who was miraculously unhurt) they managed to extract the injured passenger from the mangled twisted metal. It was unfortunate that none of the other passengers came out of the bus to help. He tried to flag down passing cars, but none would stop, while the ones who did stop took in the scene and fled. Finally a good Samaritan stopped and agreed to ferry Bharat to the nearest police station. There he had a tough time convincing the police to call an ambulance and accompany him. He says “I realized that the only way to save the passenger was to get the police involved and move him quickly to a hospital”
The injured passenger was in the ICU for about a week before he was moved out, when we last heard.

If we could only overcome our initial fear of getting involved, then the mortality rate due to road accidents can be reduced.
The above picture is a silhouette of Bharat.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Woman's day

This picture should bring a smile on everyone's face.
It's a photograph of the alumni of 1944 which was clicked in 2004. I have no idea which school or college they are from, but to be together once again after 60 years is a big achievement. (just pause and look at the expression on each one's face, and then let your imagination take you back to how that face would have looked sixty years ago)

Today is International Woman's Day. In many countries it's a national holiday (in China it's a holiday only for women )

The 1932 Soviet poster below is dedicated to the 8th of March. The text reads: "8th of March is the day of rebellion of the working women against kitchen slavery" and "Down with the oppression and narrow-mindedness of household work!".

A granny takes a penalty during a training session in Nkowankowa Township, about 600 km outside Johannesburg. World Cup fever has spread to South African grannies, with hundreds of poor, elderly women in aprons and skirts fighting for the ball in township games. Twice a week they swap domestic chores for football, donning soccer boots instead of their usual rubber sandals to play in local matches.

But the photograph that takes the cake is that of Dorothy De Low, 99, from Australia who participates in table tennis practice at the World Masters Games at Sydney Olympic Park October 15, 2009.

(All the pictures in this post has been picked from the net)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wheat Grass

Came across a small cartoon which said “of course I use fowl language, what other language do you want me to use?”

Talking of Fowls, Schnabel, an agricultural chemist, conducted his first experiments with young grass in 1930, when he used fresh cut grass in an attempt to nurse dying hens back to health. The hens not only recovered, but they produced eggs at a higher rate than healthy hens. Encouraged by his results, he began drying and powdering grass for his family and neighbors to supplement their diets. The following year, Schnabel reproduced his experiment and achieved the same results. Hens consuming rations supplemented with grass doubled their egg production. Schnabel started promoting his discovery to feed mills, chemists and the food industry. Two large corporations, Quaker Oats and American Dairies Inc., invested millions of dollars in further research, development and production of products for animals and humans. By 1940, cans of Schnabel's powdered grass were on sale in major drug stores throughout the United States and Canada. This is as per what is mentioned in the Wikipedia
From what I have read , the three most important effects of wheat grass on the human body are: blood purification, liver detoxification and colon cleansing.
Some have even done studies on this to claim that it enhances the Hb level in your blood.
I have been extracting the wheat grass juice and using it at home
The procedure is simple.
Take a handful of wheat, tie it in a cloth and hang it for a day till it starts sprouting. (ensure that the cloth is always moist but not water logged)
The next day sprinkle these seeds in a shallow pot with ¾ mud (like the one in the picture) and cover it with a thin layer of mud so that the sprouted wheat is not visible.
On the seventh day cut the grass (which will be about 3 to 4 inches long) wash it and grind it in a mixer (with a little water)
Squeeze out the juice and it is ready to be consumed.
If you want to have it on a daily basis, have seven similar pots so that you can keep repeating the cycle.
Recently I realized that the wheat looses its nutritional property 72 hrs after it is planted.

Off late a pigeon has been troubling me. It started like this. After I water the plants in the morning, this bird used to come down, (when he was sure that the coast is clear) and have his fill of water. One day he discovered the wheat grains in the shallow pot and started weeding out more. Now he swoops down with his whole extended family !!
I don’t mind them using my place as a watering hole, but having the wheat as breakfast is putting a wrench in my cycle of extracting wheat grass juice.
I am trying ways and means of keeping them away.

Funny, I started this post with a bird and ended with a bird.