Friday, February 21, 2014

Hoisting the Flag

It’s a special feeling when you see your national flag being hoisted and it must be a totally exhilarating experience for the school children.
Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Republic Day parade of a school and it brought back memories of my school days.
In those days Republic Day was celebrated with great fanfare throughout the country. Not only were the government offices illuminated, but a bus, a tram, and a train was fully illuminated in every city (yes there were trams in those days in Bombay – now Mumbai) There were processions of colourful floats taken out in the night and it had a real festive mood. It was a real happy happy day.  But good things don’t last. This was called off after the 1962 China war and was never revived after that. Now as a token we have the Republic Day Parade only in the capitol.
Coming back to the school it was nice to see the girls smartly turned out in their RSP uniform (Road Safety Patrol)

The young ones keenly watched the dance skit performed by the senior girls.

I was amazed at these two girls who danced bare foot. I could see pebbles on the ground and was wondering how they could move around with such grace on those stones.

In comparison this tiny tot had some footwear and tried her best to synchronize with the music.

These seniors must be feeling good with some awards and prizes coming their way.

Then we had these school peons with tension written on their face as they were a part of the team who ensured the smooth flow of the programme.

The children in this school should consider themselves lucky as it is very rare where you see so many tall trees and greenery surrounding the school. 
What I liked best with the music group was that everyone who could play some instrument pitched in. So we have these two girls on the small  synthesizers and one on the key board. I wondered why this boy was standing and playing the drum, could be because there is no bass drum pedal to operate.

Then we had the school leader who doubled up to play the Congo with two budding guitarists next to him.

And they picked the right song for the occasion, Vande Matram by A R Rehman.
So I used the same song to string up this seven minute video and put in all still and video clips that I had.

Enjoy  J

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Drum Circle

Had been for the Shamrock Festival that was held in Pune this month. Even though it was a two day affair, the turnout was more on the second day, being a Sunday.
Songs were played on request by different band groups.

There were many stalls for games, but the eatery stalls were competing with each other (I found a lot of Chicken Lollipop counters)

Attractions for kids were in all shapes and sizes.

Children enjoyed playing their own games – sort of custom made as per their age.

I liked this display of paintings. It looked kind of fluorescent. It was encouraging to see people buying them.

There was even a Photo Booth where you could pick up the props, get decorated and get clicked.

The outcome is some fancy and colourful photographs.

One of the counters: A game for married couples. As the poster says, it will give you a fairly good idea of how well you know your partner.

But what fascinated me the most were these drums.

This was the first time I witnessed the “Drum Circle”

It was conducted by Arthur Fernandes. He says that he is just a facilitator for the people who play the drums. 
The people sitting in the circle are no expert drummers but housewives, college students, school teachers, a real motley crowd.
I even spotted a Clergy and a Sardarji. I am sure all of them are holding a drum in their hands for the first time.

Arthur believes in the therapeutic power of music. He gave up his HR Executive’s job in an IT company and started with music therapy. His Masters in Psychology helped him to understand people and their needs.

What I liked about Arthur is that he enjoyed what he was doing.
His enthusiasm and involvement was contagious and that was reason enough for all participants to be “in sync” with the beat of the drums.

Some of the keen observers were the young and the very young.

On the first day I was a part of the circle, but it was difficult to click and play the drums simultaneously. So I visited again on the second day to get some good pictures, and to listen to the drums. (anything to do with music is OK with me)
I found that the seats were getting overbooked and extra chairs had to be arranged.

Managed to get some good footage and edited and compiled it to a small video.
Hope you enjoy the Djembe as much as I did. (when you see the video you will know what a Djembe is)

You can see the video by clicking on this link or on the picture below:

Thursday, February 6, 2014


There are many things in the above picture that looks appealing, it could be the greenery, or the hanging nest or the vermicompost khamba.
But what interests me here is the saree that is hanging on the clothesline. Not that it was washed or dried but I hung it there to click a good picture showing the complete saree with the pallu. Some like smaller block prints while others go in for bigger bold ones. But this is no print.

All the colours and designs that you see in the saree is hand painted.  And it was done by a young lady who is 93 years old. Yes the same “Lata’s mummy” about whom I wrote a few years ago.
When I had been to her place recently she was busy painting one of these. She says that people are buying plain sarees and giving it to her to get it custom painted. She is running short of time as there are many sarees to be completed.
I picked up two sarees of different colours and got it home to be photographed in daylight.

If you look at the border you will notice that each pattern is different though it may look the same from far.

I was just marveling at the patience and skill of this lady who could come out with different ideas and artistry skills.

Earlier I had seen her doing table cloths with figures painted all around the border.

The colour combinations are also appealing whether it is a peacock or a pharaoh

One of the pillow cases that she painted. 

A picture that I clicked on her 90th Birthday. 

And a recent one.

clicked in June 2014

A real inspiration for all I say.