Monthly Archives: November 2009

Miniature World: Tilt-Shift Photography

In a mistaken coincidence my post on the Chocolate trip was misquoted as an example of tilt-shift photography.

Tilt-Shift photography, in fact, refers to the use of tilt for selective focus, often for simulating a miniature scene. Source

This post will illustrate this technique which I have come to love. All  you need is a picture clicked from a high vantage point, and a focal point of interest in it.

Enter the wide world of littleness!

Hilly road

Research location

Mumbai Metro

Parking space

Charni Road

Dining with Grandad

Mini car

Mini house

Mini entrance

Mini boats

Mini church

Mini cemetary

Model village

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Little Manhattan: Film snapshot

Little manhattan

Most of the ‘feel-good’ films are those in which you can relate to what is happening on-screen. Little Manhattan is one of them

And this is one snapshot I take with me from the film:
This much I know firsthand – love hurts.
Love is an ugly, terrible business practiced by fools. It’ll trample your heart and leave you bleeding on the floor. And what does it really get you in the end? Nothing but a few incredible memories that you can’t ever shake. The truth is, there’s gonna be other girls out there. I mean, I hope. But I’m never gonna get another first love. That one is always gonna be her

Airtel angst

 

AIRTEL conspiracy

 

Am I being the target of a secret conspiracy of Airtel????

It’s Friday the 13th for me in all its glory!

I started off the day on a shoestring balance of Rs 52 and now it has come down to Rs. -3.00!!!

9:50 am

I get this message:

Your subscription to Audio Movies has been renewed! To enjoy call 505999555 or to deactivate call 505999555.

(please notice both the numbers are the same! So if you call to deactivate, you are still charged for enjoying the service!)… and can anybody tell me what are “audio movies”???

11:08 am

After an angry reprimand to the helpline people I got that deactivated (free of cost!!!)

11:12 am

Not less than 5 mins from that call, I get a message saying:

Welcome to Hello Tunes. You have been charged Rs. 20 for 20 days subscription. You will be charged Rs. 30/month on next renewal.

Hello!!! I HATE Hello tunes, both on my phone and on those who find they act as a signature of themselves!

11:13 am

To add salt to the injury

You have been charged Rs 15 and your callers will now hear Tadap tadap as your Hello Tune.

For those who understand Hindi, this song reflected my mood in all its entirety!

From then to now, I was trying to get in touch with the Customer Service at AirTel… no success!

Call me paranoid but all this stinks of a conspiracy!!!

Picture courtesy: India Broadband Forum

UPDATE!!!Airtel strikes again!

This time I got the unwanted “value added service” (which was not adding any value) removed in record time.

And so I thought of listing out the steps to get straight to a customer care executive

1. Call 121 (the *121# service is only namesake!)

2. Press 2… listen for a while and press 9

3. Press 1 to confirm immediately

4. Be patient and listen to ads placed for better tariffs and special offers… with the intermittant assurance that “Your call is important to us, our customer care executives are busy answering queries of other customers” (I sometimes wonder the number of irate calls they may be receiving every minute to keep them on so busy!)

NOTE: Calling customer care is charged! 50 paisa per 3 minutes… the choice is yours!

And then send feedback on your recent interaction with customer care… this sms is free! How generous of Airtel!

UPDATE: 12 October 2010

I made another discovery today. Here is a link to stop unwanted calls to your airtel mobile number.

You will be directed to the “Do Not Disturb” page on the official Airtel site. Enter your mobile number and rest assured that in 45 days you will not be disturbed… I am in the waiting period!

Night [Ellie Wiesel]

I owe this post to a student of mine who lent me this novel. The style is more poetry than prose, which makes the story all the more poignant and visual. These are two snippets which got me thinking:

Night - Ellie Wiesel

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself.
Never

Man comes closer to God through the questions he asks Him. Therein lies true dialogue. Man asks and God replies. But we don’t understand His replies. We cannot understand them. Because they dwell in the depths of our souls and remain there until we die. The real answers, you will find only within yourself.
“And why do you pray?” I asked him.
I pray to the God within me for the strength to ask Him the real questions.

Marvin’s Room: Film snapshot

Marvins Room blog copy

Open your heart! There’s room.

Sometimes the people you know the least…are the ones you need the most!
and that is what I would like to call – FAMILY…

Who is the ENEMY?

Childhood – The most cherished moments of life! No harm in visiting that age even later in life. That is what happened this weekend.

These are pics of a photoshoot like never before. No fancy models, no humans… this time we were shooting TRANSFORMERS…

It’s a war out there!!!

Sideswipe

"Deploy the forces!!!"

Ransack & Jetfire

Launch Pad ready!

Sideswipe & Sideways

Forward march!!!

Bumblebee & Optimus Prime

Plan the strategy!

Depthcharge & Springer

Sea power

Sideways, Sideswipe, Jetfire

Mobile units... go go go!

Ransack

Mayday! Mayday!

Ransack & Optimus Prime

Mission Accomplished!

Fort Reis Magos – A walk around the perimeter

With the background information about the previous post of the fort on the opposite side of river Mandovi, Fort Gaspar Dias, I had to put these pics together and get this post going… This time I will not use prose to describe the fort, but instead use poetry…
reis magos fort

Reis Magos fort towers

Dark are the stones of this fort,
Dark they become in time’s cruel games,
Some stone couldn’t stand the test of time,
And on the ground they have fallen, long time back.
reis magos fort (1)

The path leading to nowhere

Once the fort guarded lives of dreams,
Now it stands as a monument of those dreams,
Dreams that outgrown time, Yet still lingered,
All around the fort, invisible, yet heartfelt.
reis magos fort (2)

The closed door - vertical panorama

reis magos fort (4)

Side tower

What magnificence once filled this fort,
Greatness never feared to distinguish,
But those who never felt the greatness,
All from the forces from outside extinguished.
reis magos fort (3)

reis magos fort (6)

Sole cannon

Though the fort stands empty from inside,
The lingering air, the very air one breathe,
Fills in those great feelings so wonderful,
But succumb to the understanding,
All that felt, just a waste of time.
reis magos fort (7)

Church associated with the fort

reis magos fort (8)

The Overseer

reis magos fort (9)

The reason why the fort was shut

reis magos satellite pic

Satellite pic of the Reis Magos fort

I found a detailed note about the fort on a website, which I include here:

The construction of the Reis Magos Fort in the North Goa taluka of Bardez, about two miles North-East of Aguada, began in 1551 and was probably completed in 1554 during the reign of Viceroy Dom Afonso de Noronha. Even before Afonso de Albuquerque could conquer Goa, Reis Magos was a Muslim stronghold, controlled by Adilshah of Bijapur. The fort was expanded on a number of occasions and re-erected in 1707 during the reign of Viceroy Caetano de Mello e Castro. In times gone by, the Gaspar Dias fort, which has since disappeared, was facing it from across the Mandovi river in Panjim.

The fort was defended by 33 guns and a small garrison. A spring, following a little way to the East, provided it with excellent, potable water. Adding importance and beauty to the emerald surroundings, is the Reis Magos church, which rises above a large flight of steps, at the foot of the hill, on which the fort stands. The church was built on the ruins of a pagoda in 1550 by the Franciscan missionaries and its façade, sanctuary and other places bear a crown and the royal coat of arms.

The Reis Magos fort cannot match the vastness and solidity of several other forts dotting Goa’s long coastline and the river mouths. But what no other fort can match is the splendid view, which it commands, its proximity to Panjim city and its ideal location at the gateway to North Goa’s resort belt. Moreover, while most of the forts have either kissed the dust or have been rendered unsuitable to habitation, Reis Magos is still in a shape amenable to conservation.

Known as the Royal Fort, it was where the political prisoners were jailed once, after its value as a defense structure had diminished. Came Liberation in 1961, and there was no political prisoner left as an inmate of the fortified structure. So the fort logically joined the 42 sites of ancient monuments in the list of the State Archives and Archaeology Department. Subsequently, the idea dawned that there wouldn’t be a fitter spot than Reis Magos for a heritage hotel, by virtue of its matchless view. This fact prompted the authorities to denotify it. The government even toyed with the plan to turn the fort into a heritage hotel but a High Court ruling stumped the proposal.

After Liberation, the Reis Magos fort was converted into a sub-jail, where under-trials were lodged. But on July 2, 1993, it remained a lock-up no more. The steep pathway to the fort, blocked by a corroded gate, is covered with weeds and bushes. Symbolically almost, there is a handcuff locking the gate, locking out curious visitors, many of whom are foreign tourists en route to Sinquerim-Candolim via the riverine road passing by the panoramic Quegdevelim beach.