Life goes on..

365photos 2011, photography

the young guy was texting..probably to some girl friend
he has a whole life ahead..
with lots of dreams..
the elderly gentleman was begging for change outside the temple
his life is pretty much behind him..
I see him everyday on my way to work..
he doesn’t smile..
life doesn’t stop for either of them..


sunshine to rain again..

365photos 2011, Life in India

life keeps taking somersaults..
one of my friends maintains that life is a series of repeated events or processes. I vehemently argued with him the first time..because I wanted to believe in a purpose..of some highly romantic idea..
but I guess he was right..
in the mean while exciting or repetitive, life is still beautiful..

friends sharing an umbrella..

some leaves soaked in the rain..

a day’s work

365photos 2011, Life in India, photography

kids at a traffic intersection. They are made to beg by families or by some ‘benefactor’ who takes care of them in return if they are orphans. They have a daily quota which they need to earn else their miserable lives face further misery. I try offering them food but they rarely accept in fear of a beating no matter how hungry they are.

These two were chatting happily like any other kids their age. Then the light went red and they had to be off to work..

PS: Pardon the picture quality since I carry my point and shoot to work and they were a bit beyond the range of its zoom.

Vaastu Puja

Life in India, photography, Self

I had written about symbolism in culture here and here
Had been meaning to get a full post on the house warming ritual but never got around to it. Yesterday’s bad photos gave the impetus.

Vaastu means abode and puja means worship in Sanskrit. So literally, any new house is to be worshipped. According to Hindu scriptures at least. There is also a guardian angel named ‘Vaastu Purush’ who is the one the ritual is for and then his tiny replica is buried in the foundation (traditionally but nowadays we just drill a hole in the flooring). It’s an interesting ceremony with lots of colors and symbols and details. Going into that might take forever. So for now I can show you in the best way I can, visually.

Fire is considered one of the deities and is also used as a means to appease good spirits and drive away bad ones. That’s my dad on the right pouring clarified butter into the flame as an offering while the two priests chant ‘mantras’ to the effect..

dad wearing the traditional garb of Brahmins, a dhoti with a scarf. Not sure why he looked so happy though.

Fresh flower garland at the entrance to mark the auspiciousness of the event

Various symbols used for the ritual. Most of them signify health, prosperity, safe guarding of the family and the abode.

My aunt’s hand as she makes lamps from flour which are later filled with oil and lighted with cotton wicks as part of the ritual.

offering holy water to one of the deities..there were too many for me to remember

My sister’s hand as she fries cashews in butter as part of the sweet (oh yes health food) offered to God. The gold bangles she is wearing are a symbol of a married woman. One of the symbols at least..

The priest who performs the whole worship ritual. He is almost 80 and has been part of our family rituals for years.

Just another day..

365photos 2011, Life in India, randomness

This post a day project makes it glaringly and painfully obvious how humdrum our daily life really is..
Trying to inject a little bit of change, novelty or even wonder in each day by means of this project also is really hard sometimes. But at the same time, I have started noticing so many things around me. Yes, it gets annoying to people who are with me that I look at everything as a photo op but in my mind, I am looking at it as something worth matter how minor it seems..

This guy was tied to two ropes around his back and legs and he was cleaning the glass panes of my office building. Usually motor trolleys are used to carry these guys alongside the buildings, but maybe they were on strike..

This particular image was in my head for a few days now. Looking down from my office space in the lobby below.. this scene always makes me feel warm inside. Around 10.30 am people start gathering for a snack..a little read the newspaper..the morning sunlight, the orange chairs, the aroma of coffee and the comfortable atmosphere always has a calming effect on me. Feels like all iz well with the world..

Eastman Color

365photos 2011, Life in India

This is the inside of an auto rickshaw and as you can guess what attracted me to take this photo was the colors. Especially because they reminded me of the movies of the 60s and 70s. Something about those decades holds a fascination to me..the music, movies, people, the fashions..everything… I would have loved to be around during those times. It sounds more exciting because those were times when things were changing on a broader level.

PS: For those who don’t know her, she is a popular Bollywood actress.