Monthly Archives: August 2011

Star Gazing

How did I spend my Sunday evening? Watching Aamir Khan live in action giving away the awards to the achievers of Sharada Mandir School!

I wondered what must be going on through the mind of a celebrity while he witnesses a a veritable display of young talent. Glimpses into the folk traditions of Goa, his own songs enacted before an enthralled audience, and listening to all the adulation about how he has made an impact with the music and dance of his films…

And does he wonder what is in the “token of appreciation” that required two helpers to carry!!!


The Resource Child

It’s a sad moment to see defeat in the eyes of a child.

While the whole class participated in the demo being conducted, she was alone in an the extreme corner of the class. When a question was directed to her, she eagerly stood up to answer. But words failed her. The rest of the class quickly came to her ‘rescue’ and labeled her, “Resource”. The teacher directed the question elsewhere and she was alone again.

The demo went on. Litmus papers turned from blue to red and red to blue. Inferences were drawn… but the girl was alone.

Ground Realities – Torangatti

A much awaited break was waiting for us on the long weekend of 13 – 15 August. And thanks to the planning of a good friend, Jimmy, we were off to our neighbouring state, Karnataka to a place called Torangatti.

The journey had its fine share of scenic waterfalls, landslides and dense fog.

and the hard to miss macaques that lined up the climb towards Amboli.

But Amboli was not our destination. We had to hit the Belgaum – Hyderabad highway to a surprise like I had never experienced before.

This highway is a born temptation for those who want to stretch the speed limits of their vehicles (both bikes and cars)… I am not going to mention the high speed I touched on this stretch… for fear of retribution on the home front 😉

This was our destination. It is a Jesuit Mission station in a village called Torangatti. Please note: Most of these pictures are clicked on day 2. We were lucky on day 1 to reach the right place in the pitch darkness!

The mission station of Torangatti boasts of a beautiful church which incorporates elements of Indian tradition.

The pictures will speak for themselves

There were lots of plans that we had chalked out, but faced with the enthusiasm of Fr Prakash SJ, the priest in Torangatti, everything else had to wait.

Fr Prakash, took us around the farm which he has cultivated and supervises. Vast stretches of maize fields are indeed a sight to behold

But looking closely there was a tiny world of its own in each leaf and under each stone

Besides maize there are also plots for vegetables, like the corriander below

This may appear to be a wild flower, but out there, everything had either a commercial or medicinal value !

This was one of the marvels of nature… a pumpkin growing on a papaya plant… or is it? 😉This is a “closer look” into the pumpkin flower…

Fr Prakash proudly showed us his organic farming techniques with large vermiculture pits that provide manure for the farm. There is a big difference between merely learning about organic farming and actually holding one of those red wrigglers in your hand!

These newly hatched birds were another one of those star attractions that we attempted to capture… through the camera lens of course..Karnataka is famous for sandalwood…. and I guess the trip would not be complete without a picture of that tree

This is one of those pictures I always wanted to take…

And on our way back, I attempted a bit of “street photography” and this shepherd was kind enough to strike a pose for the lens. Apparently, every herd of sheep has goats intermingled which actually lead the way for the sheep… thus quoted our expert on the area of shepherding 😉

The place is beginning to show signs of development… a new bridge is being constructed, but until then, the traffic has to follow the road less travelled 😉

450 kilometres of memories… Goa – Amboli – Belgaum – Torangatti and back. The tiny bug on my hand which refused to fly off for a long time was indeed a constant reminder of this grand journey!

Freedom Today

This was the poem I recited on Independence Day and for which I bagged the second prize 😉

It’s a poem by Maya Angelou titled: I know why the caged bird sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The Car-Cycle

Goa has got talent!

Was out on a trip with the family and had to make a brief stop to get the car tyre pressure checked.

Coincidentally, there was this young man out there to also get his car cycle tyre pressure done!

My Dad did not hesitate to stand in the frame beside the proud invention 😉

Lesson in Patience

Back again to Raia to spend a weekend and this time I took my nephew and niece along.

My niece, Megan, has begun to be an avid photographer in the recent past. This time, the task that I set before her was the capture the butterflies in the garden… through the camera lens of course.

She tried and tried and finally just gave up. “The butterflies are too quick” she said. And so began the lesson in patience. I had to take the camera from her and we both waited with bated breaths. The wait paid off well …

Look the other way

An important rule in photography is to break the rules!

And when a photographer is lost into composing a scene before him, there might  be something more interesting happening in the other direction…

This was my experience when Sunday evening saw my wife and me out on a leisurely drive. We landed at the quietest and most scenic place closest to home, the church on the mount. And while I was composing this picture, there was a sudden exclamation from her.

“Look the other way,” she said.  And behind me on a tiny branch, framed within the most breathtaking view of the river Mandovi was a very magnificent bird. I felt like kicking myself, because this was one day I had deliberately not taken the Sony H50 and was stuck with my cell phone camera… however I quite liked the output.

If you zoom in closer into the picture, you will just see the yellow bird right in the centre… 😉