The nauka


“Do you want to make a boat?” There was a hint of concern in the man’s voice – he seemed to have mistaken our behaviour as a threat to his livelihood.

Up until then, the nawik was quite cheerful. He encouraged us to feed the birds. Another man on another boat sailed by, selling goodies to be fed to the birds. “Don’t worry about polluting the river – the birds will swoop down before it soils the water”, he said, gently steering the boat across the remarkably clean Ganges. The Magh Mela had ended only a fortnight ago, and the temporary docks were still up – being taken down one nail, one plank at a time.

Seeing our keenness to photograph everything around us, and the special attention his boat was getting, he was at first amused, and then a little worried.

We couldn’t help laugh a little and reassured him that we were just fascinated and enjoyed getting up close to the many textures in front of us. We had no intention of making a boat.

Somewhat reassured, he returned to his usual cheery self and continued to row gently. “The other nawiks were interested in showing their muscle and speed at rowing. What’s the point? Why rush? I enjoy myself. Don’t you? You’ve clearly come from far just to see the Sangam*. You would want to spend more time, won’t you?”

We nodded our approval of his thoughts. He offered if we’d like to try our hand at rowing. Of course! He taught us to row and the technique for steering. We both took one oar each and rowed for a while. “I’ll take a picture of you two! You would want to keep this memory.”

We taught him how to use the phone camera and continued to row. He was a good teacher. And rowing was actually fun! After a while he took back the oars. It was, of course, his job!

We soaked in the glow of the golden sun as it began diving into the river and once docked at the ghat, we paid our nauka a tip for the memorable trip.

Here’s one of the many close-up pictures of our nawik’s prized possession – his nauka

Captain hook? One of the metal loops along the edge of the boat.

To see what details other bloggers around the world are clicking, zoom in to this week’s Photo Challenge


Glossary

Nauka: boat
Nawik: boatman
*Sangam: the confluence of three rivers at Allahabad: the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati

Looking up


lookin_up
Looking straight up at one of the towers of the cable-stayed Naini bridge in Allahabad

We look up –
When we yearn for rain,
Or rays of sunshine
And for a silver lining.

We look up –
When we dream,
Or think of the struggle ahead,
And when we succeed.

We look up –
Whether for strength,
Or for hope,
And in glory.


To see what other people around the world are looking up to this week, head up to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.

Transition


From established comforts
To starting anew

From being a part of one family,
To belonging to two

From the yearly hop between two cities
To a traveling spree

From figuring out two cultures
To switching between three!

From the spoilt n lazy brat
To greater responsibility

From an individual
To managing a team and a family


The image featured above is of “Lovers Meet” – the confluence of the rivers Teesta and Rangeet. The viewpoint is located somewhere between Darjeeling and Gangtok.

The time machine


This week, the guest at the Daily Post asks us to tell time. The challenge had me all excited and geared up!

I have a fascination for gears and enjoy watching them at work. The way the individual pieces interlock; their movement harmonious and in-sync; and that rugged metallic look! These simple machines have stood the test of time (pun unintended!) and can work reliably even after years of use, unlike modern digital goods. And so, for this week’s Photo Challenge, I decided to photograph the inner mechanisms of a mechanical clock. Until next time…

time_machine.jpg
A look inside a clock

Vibrant Chennai


Along one of the ends of Eliot’s beach in Chennai is a long colourful mural depicting city life in Chennai. Here’s one portion of the mural for this week’s Photo Challenge.

image
So how many of you folks in Chennai have taken a selfie here?

For more vibrant images, visit the Daily Post.

PS. I haven’t been able to catch up with posts from you for a while – I’m a bit caught up in the offline world. I’ll be away for some more time, although I’ll attempt a blog post now and then. Hope to catch up with everyone once I return to regular routine.

If winter is here…


Delhi’s winters used to be chilly*, with icy weather in the peak season of mid December to mid January. But over the past few years, the winter season has become shorter and shorter – no thanks to global warming. This year was a huge disappointment. The New Year was exceptionally warm with many people giving woollens a pass.

The harvest festivals (Lohri/Makar Sankranti/Pongal etc), which usually fall on the 13th-15th of January every year, mark the end of winter and the beginning of Spring. Even as we prepared to celebrate, the lack of a proper winter was a bit sad.

Perhaps the thick air carried our dejection, and precisely one day prior to the ‘official’ beginning of spring, winter finally showed up in full swing. The cold wave has been here for well over two weeks now, and seems in no mood to leave in a hurry!

Meanwhile, the bougainvillea plant in our balcony seems to follow a different calendar altogether. Even as the other plants geared up to brace the winter chill, this plant began flowering for the first time in our home last autumn. Throughout the season, there hasn’t been a single day without a shade of pink amid the grey haze and fog.


On a lazy Sunday morning, I peep out from under the rajaai**. The curtains are only half drawn – there’s no need for them. The fog and frosted glass guarantee privacy. And the sun hasn’t been showing up for work for a few days. I coerce myself to get up, if only to wish my friend. I walk up to the balcony door. It’s all white and grey. A few plants are struggling to keep warm. Most of their leaves have dried and fallen. But one thorny plant stands there defiantly. I step out gingerly and wish her a good morning.

She wishes me in her own way. It’s cold for both of us and she doesn’t mind me going back inside. As I turn around, she smiles knowingly.

If winter is here, can spring be far behind?

bougainvillea
Hope ‘springs’ eternal – even at 5 degrees C!

* No, we don’t have snowfall or blizzards but day time temperatures of 7 degrees C are quite ‘normal’

** a thick blanket, usually stuffed with cotton

For more optimistic pictures, gather around the cozy fireplace of The Daily Post.

Alphabet


Several years ago, my uncle gifted me a bead loom kit. Seeing the actual tools used to make bead jewellery got me excited. I couldn’t wait for my holidays to start using it. My mother and I read through the manual and she assembled the loom. I drew out an elaborate design on the drafting paper provided with the kit and had begun imagining a bracelet on my wrist!

It was only once I had drawn the grid for the design of my bracelet and begun weaving each individual bead into the loom that I realised the effort that is involved in beading.

I have always found it difficult to haggle with street vendors selling these kinds of bracelets. Having tried it out myself, I don’t even think of negotiating.

This one with my initial is one of the handful of bracelets I weaved on the loom.

alphabet_k

Explore all the alphabets over at the Daily Post

Weight(less)


This week’s weighty photo challenge had me jumping with delight. A perfect excuse to share this picture I took at Anandagram last month.

Anandagram offers a beautiful and serene environment to visitors. It houses 3 private museums housing traditional Indian household objects, terracotta and textiles from across the country. The buildings, styled like traditional houses, are surrounded by vast manicured lawns with discarded objects turned into art installations! Kept spotlessly clean, this leaf was about the only item which ‘littered’ the place – and it too was pretty:)

leaf_on_the_ground