Wednesday, May 05, 2010

3 Monkeys : Lake Palace Hotel : Udaipur : Rajasthan : India 2001

View from my Art Studio. Udaipur : Rajasthan : India 2001

View from my studio. India 2001

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  • Friday, September 22, 2006

    Traffic Indian Style

    For the benefit of people visiting India and daring to drive on Indian roads, here a few hints for survival. This is applicable to every place in India except Bihar, where life outside a vehicle is only marginally safer. Indian road rules broadly operate within the domain of karma where you do your best and leave the results to your insurance company. The hints are as follows: Do we drive on the left or right of the road? The answer is both". Basically you start on the left side of the road, unless it is occupied. In that case, go to the right, unless that is also occupied. Then proceed by occupying the next available gap, as in chess. Just trust your instincts, ascertain the direction, and proceed. Most drivers don't drive, but just aim their vehicles in the intended direction. Don't you get discouraged or underestimate yourself. Except for a belief in reincarnation, the other drivers are not in any better position. Don't stop at pedestrian crossings just because some fool wants to cross the road. You may do so only if you enjoy being bumped in the back. Pedestrians have been strictly instructed to cross only when traffic is moving slowly or has come to a dead stop because some minister is in town. Still, some idiot may try to wade across, but then, let us not talk ill of the dead. Blowing your horn is not a sign of protest as in some countries where we honk to express joy, romance or just bare lust (two brisk blasts). Here, it may be to show your resentment, frustration, or just to mobilize a dozing cow in the middle of the bazaar. Keep informative books in the glove compartment. You may read them during traffic jams, while awaiting the Chief Minister's motorcade, or waiting for the rain waters to recede. Night driving on Indian roads can be an exhilarating experience. The roads do not have shoulders, but occasional boulders. Truck drivers are the James Bonds of India and are licensed to kill. Often you may encounter a single powerful beam of light about six feet above the ground. This is not a super motorbike, but a truck approaching you with a single light on; usually the left one. It could be the right one, but never get too close to investigate. You may prove your point posthumously. During the daytime, trucks are more visible, except that the drivers will never signal. Often you will observe that the cleaner who sits next to the driver, will project his hand and wave hysterically. Occasionally you might see what looks like a UFO with blinking colored lights and weird sounds emanating from within. This is an illuminated bus, full of happy pilgrims singing bhajans. These pilgrims go at breakneck speed, seeking contact with the Almighty and often meeting with success. I must add a positive point also. Rash and fast driving in residential areas has been prevented by providing a "speed breaker" which is two for each house. This mound, incidentally, covers the water and drainage pipes for that residence and is left untraced for easy identification by the corporation authorities, should they want to recover the pipe for year-end accounting. Good Luck.

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  • Sunday, July 23, 2006

    Mohandas Gandhi and Charlie Chaplin are playing a new game

    A new game is born. Mohandas and Charlie are the instructors. Enjoy and speak soon!

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  • Rupee Man - Introduction

    Introducing Rupee Man

    Machinima Production

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  • Rupee Man - Coming Your Way!

    Machinima Production

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  • Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    Smiling Indian Baby Elephant

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  • Here a picture i took of a baby elephant i came across on regularly.

    The Indian Elephant goes back to the mythologies. As the Gods "Deva" and the demons "Asura"churned the oceans during ‘sagar manthan’ ( sagar = sea ; manthan = churning ) for the elixir of life - ‘amrit’ ( nectar ) that would make them immortal , there surfaced the ‘navratnas’ ( nine jewels ). One of these jewels was the elephant. The elephant is, therefore, considered absolutely precious to be preserved and protected like the way jewels are.

    There are other mythological stories. For example, in one of her dreams, Buddha’s mother dreamt of a white elephant. And then the prophet of peace Gautam Buddha was born. Obviously, therefore, a white elephant in India’s cultural context can never connotate redundancy, as it would in the West.

    And then comes the greatest of all ‘vahanas’ (carriages for Gods) - the "Airavat" ( elephant ). The Airavat was the chosen carriage for the God of all Gods "Indra". There were other Gods as well riding on elephants as well, but Indra’s airavat was special. It was regal in size and had ten tusks, not just the usual two.

    The Asian elephant is one of three species , the others being the Savanna elephant and the Forest elephant.
    The Indian elephant is larger, has longer front legs and a thinner body than the Asian elephant found in Thailand.

    The elephant plays an important part in the culture of the subcontinent and beyond featuring prominently in Jataka tales and the Panchatantra. It is also quite venerated and the "blessings" of a temple elephant is sought by Hindus as Lord Ganesha's head is made up of an elephant. It has been used in majestic processions in Kerala where the pachyderms are adorned with festive outfits. They were used by almost all armies in India as war elephants, terrifying opponents unused to the massive beast..

    In Kerala, south India for festivals and ceremonial rounds inside the Hindu temples, elephants are caparisoned with the head gears ('Netti pattam' in Malayalam language) which are gold plated.

    Seventeen elephants are engaged for the daily ceremonial rounds to the accomplishment of Panchari Melam in the Koodalmanikyam Temple in which the head gears of seven elephants are made of pure gold and rest of pure silver which is an uniqueness of this temple.

    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Vegetable Market : Udaipur

    Rajasthani Women often wear brightly coloured saris, walking with poise and grace.
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  • They have been renowned for their grace and beauty. Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, was so smitten by the beauty of the legendary Maharani Padmini Devi of Chittaurgarh that he waged a war -in vain - for her hand. In her heydays, the present day Rajmata of Jaipur, Maharani Gayatri Devi, was considered by Vogue to be amongst the Ten Most Beautiful Women in the World. And her charm hasn't diminished one bit till today!

    Rajasthan is a land of lively people and lively places, you'll be greeted by a riot of colours.

    Wednesday, November 30, 2005

    Beach Scene : Bay of Bengal

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  • The Bay of Bengal is a bay that forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered on the east by the Malay Peninsula, and on the west by the Indian subcontinent.
    On the northern tip of the "bay" lies the Indian state of West Bengal and the country of Bangladesh, thus the name.
    The southern extremes reach the island country of Sri Lanka, and the Indian Union Territory Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

    Many major rivers of India flow west to east into the Bay of Bengal: in the north, the Ganges River (or Ganga), Meghna and Brahmaputra rivers, and in the south Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri (sometimes written as Cauvery) rivers. The Sundarbans mangrove forest is formed at the delta of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. The Irrawaddy River of Burma also flows into the bay.

    Major Bangladeshi ports on the bay include Chittagong and Mongla. Major Indian ports on the bay inlude Chennai (formerly Madras), Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and Pondicherry.

    Cox's Bazar, on the northeastern coast of the bay, is one of the longest unbroken natural beaches of the world.

    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    Airmail : Sunset over Udaipur

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  • Sunset over Udaipur is truly gorgeous, gold, then ochre, then red, then brown and finally shadow. Udaipur is a cool oasis in the dry heart of Rajasthan,birds flock over the lake adding to the air of romance. Rajasthan is Indian desert at its most glorious.
    India is an multifunctional masterpiece. To the north Kashmir and the Himalayas, glaciers and frozen canyons. To the south the lush tropical green backwaters of Kerala. To the east beaches and towns like Pondicherry, rich with their French Heritage, matched on the West coast by Goa and its Portuguese history. The middle has mountains and flood plains, caves, hill stations and IT capitals galore.
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  • Thursday, November 10, 2005

    Beach Road Mahabalipuram

    A view from Issac's old shop.
    The shop was decorated with jasmin.Unfortunately it got destroyed in 2003 and is no more.
    Stone carving and masonry is very much alive in Mahabalipuram, and each shop shows off its artisans' work, from small soapstone paperweights to massive marble shrines of Hindu gods.
    it is impossible not to notice the constant chipping of stonemason's tools on rocks of all sizes.
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    Monday, November 07, 2005

    Holy Cow : You looking at me?

    Few people revere the cow like the adherents of Hinduism. Since the faith first evolved near Asia's Indus River more than 3,000 years ago, respect for animal life has been a central theme in Hindu life. While many scholars say early Hindus ate beef, most ultimately came to see the cow as a sacred animal to be esteemed, not eaten.
    Mahatma Gandhi, India's legendary nonviolent leader, once wrote.
    "If someone were to ask me what the most important outward manifestation of Hinduism was, I would suggest that it was the idea of cow protection,"

    Although Hindus follow no single set of rules, reverence for cows can be found throughout the religion's major texts. Some trace the cow's sacred status back to Lord Krishna, one of the faith's most important figures. He is said to have appeared 5,000 years ago as a cowherd, and is often described as bala-gopala, "the child who protects the cows."
    Another of Krishna's holy names, Govinda, means "one who brings satisfaction to the cows." Other scriptures identify the cow as the "mother" of all civilization, its milk nurturing the population.

    Traditionally, Indians had cows in every household. They were part of the family, with names and personalities. Just like one would not hurt/eat their pets, the Indians did not hurt the cows and respected them.

    I got several pictures of the same cow, all with an enquiering expression, which i might post later.
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  • Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Rice Girls : Tamil Nadu

    Came across these rice field workers on morning while travelling from Mahabalipuram(Mammalapuram) to Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.
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    Giggles : Biggest Little Bookstore in Madras

    Giggles : Biggest Little Bookstore in Madras
    Bookworms should not miss the tiny Giggles Book Shop at the Connemara Hotel.A treasure trove the size of a couple of cupboards run by a chatty, intelligent lady.More Photos at the Apple Gallery

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Sleeping Beauty : Lemon Yellow

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  • Udaipur is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by fairy-tale palaces, lakes, bright stalls, gardens and temples.This romantic city of palaces and lakes in southeastern Rajasthan is often described as the Venice of the East.It still retains an easy small town athmosphere.
    James Tod in his Annals and Antiques of Rajasthan described Udaipur as the "most diversified and most romantic spot on the continent of India".

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  • Friday, October 28, 2005


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    The town of temples, sand and sea-Mamallapuram, formely known as Mahabalipuram is world renowned for its beautiful Shore Temple. It was once the main port and naval base of the great Pallava kingdom and was later made the capital of this Dynasty.

    'Mamall', meaning the great wrestler was the name given to king Narasimha Varman I. Most of the temples here is dedicated to the Lord Siva and Vishnu, were completed between 630 A.D and 728 A.D during the reign of Narasimha Varman II.

    At the annual Mamallapuram Dance Festival , sand , water and temples set the backdrop for the graceful and evocative dancers who celebrates the ancient Indian culture and tradition. This quaint little town of Mamallapuram is enriched with ancient and splendid sculptures. Each of the beautiful works of arts has a story to tell. Like the large bas relief that narrates the tale of Arjuna's Penance.
    Its picturesque location on a rocky outcrop between the beach and a lagoon is absolutely a great place to visit. The sea side town is a harmonious combination of history, good beaches, hassle-free tourism and fabulous sea food! Despite being crowded through out the year, the place is friendly, relaxed, and the villagers are remarkably undisturbed by their crowds of visitors.

    Mahabalipuram is well known for its series of impressive rathas,is full of sculpture workshops all around and many artisans thrive on this art here.

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    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    Tea Anyone ?

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    One of the most popular hill stations in India, Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 m above sea level, Munnar offers tourists beautiful landscape, cozy weather and sprawling tea estates. Once the favorite summer resorts of the British, Munnar is a popular hill resort in India and a must visit during travel to Kerala.

    Apart from being a popular hill station in India, Munnar is also one of the major centers for tea trade in Kerala. Surrounded by almost 30 tea gardens that give it a picturesque view, Munnar is near Anaimudi, the highest peak of the Kerala Western Ghats. The hills around Munnar are covered with the rare Neelakurunji plant giving it a wonderful look, especially when the flowers bloom to cover the entire mountain range. It is said that this exotic plant flowers every 12 years and the next scheduled flowering time is the year 2006.

    Munnar abound in beautiful landscapes and cool pleasant atmosphere. Besides tea and other plantations, the old-world charm of colonial establishments attracts visitors to this place all the year round. In and around Munnar, there are a lot of enchanting places to be discovered. All you got to do is give yourself a little time to discover life in its sweetest hues.

    Pichola Lake Udaipur

    Udaipur is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by fairy-tale palaces, lakes, bright stalls, gardens and temples.

    Known as the City of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land set on the edge of three lakes, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravalis. A study in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.

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    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    Blue Door

    Blue Door
    Photo taken in Udaipur Rajasthan India

    Thursday, July 21, 2005


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