Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate


Luxury hotels tend to have a rather extravagant décor. Here are a few pictures I snapped using my phone a few months back at a couple of Delhi hotels. Click on the images to view larger size.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Ornate.”


nanopoblano2015lightThis is post #8 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

WPC: Today Was a Good Day


A photo story…

Waking up to the smell of fresh filter kaapi

Filter Kaapi
Perhaps the best coffee I have tasted – in Vaideeswaran Koil, Tamil Nadu

The sight of beautiful flowers on my way to work

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea growing wild

Getting hands-on experience at work

Independence Day Decor
Lending a hand for the office decoration

Attending productive meetings, seminars and conferences

Meeting Boats
A conference note-boat (how I wish I had thought of it!)

Coming home to see a dream come to life

Kolam T-Shirt
T-shirt with my mom’s kolam, printed by MyDreamStore

And to end a day on a sweet note, a cake — or two!

Two Cakes
Celebrating my dad’s birthday with a cake baked at home, and one from the bakery

To see what a good day means to other bloggers, visit the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge

War and Peace


Guns and roses
Guns and roses

Large brass cylinders holding flowers — they were always unique vases to me. It wasn’t until several years had gone by, that I discovered that they were bombshells.


I was talking to a friend of mine, when our discussion meandered towards the differences between our country and that of corruption-free nations. ‘Those people out there,’ she said, ‘they do not even know the meaning of the word bribe!’ And I recalled at that time that corruption, and every form that it takes, is quite literally a part of the curriculum of our education system.

Why are we taught these things? Nothing good would ever come out of it.

If I hadn’t accidentally found out, the brass casings would have always looked like vases, never like ammunition.

Inspired by this week’s Photo Challenge: Half and Half

Portrait of a Bouquet


She was a gem. And to capture her beauty was not something that was easy for me. She could hardly stand still. She kept running and tripping over herself just to avoid me. And in the end I gave up trying to take her picture. And instead just admired her.

One Bouquet – Three Views (Two were simply not enough!)

Weekly Photo Challenge – One Shot, Two Ways

The Bouquet


She had been uprooted from her home, decorated to highlight her appealing petals, and given away to indifferent people. In her new ‘home’, she sat quietly in a corner, waiting to be noticed.

Her new family did not appreciate her. They had seen many more like her, and like all the others, she would be abandoned. The garbage collector would pick her up, and she would spend the rest of her short life along with plastics and other alien creatures.

She looked absolutely beautiful. And at the same time, she looked sad. We noticed her head looking towards the ground. She was tired, and disappointed. We decided to adopt her.

We peeled away the pins and wires that surrounded her, and even as I offered her water, some of her delicate petals gave way.

Free from the shackles, and getting a little care, she felt lighter. Was there a hint of a smile? She still missed her home. Nothing could replace that, but now, she hoped she could spend the rest of her days in peace.

Teacher’s Day Out


Today is Teachers’ Day in India – in honour of Dr S Radhakrishnan. In the small primary school that my mother volunteers, the children come from poor* families, and are often ill behaved. While most of the other teachers resort to beating the children into being quiet, she doesn’t believe in beating the kids. As a result, managing them, is a nightmare for my mother. Along with the politics of the management and back-biting from other teachers, the kids were at least partially responsible for my mother falling sick this past week.

After a prolonged absence from work, when she went back to school, the children greeted her with flowers and cards. One little present stood out. The most mischievous child had made a box out of paper. Coloured with crayons, decorated with ‘chamki‘ **, complete with a ‘ribbon’ – it was simple and charming.

When I was in school, one of my teacher’s  said,  “Every person I meet, is a teacher to me…”
Here’s wishing all my teachers, a happy Teachers’ Day!

*poor – the term poor here refers not merely to the financial status of the students.  Most of the families earn a decent income. They live in bad localities, and their behaviour is often unruly.

** chamki – sequins

Flaming Flowers!


A few posts back I had written about spring and flowers. I had sketched out a hibiscus bud a few months back, and this month I drew the ‘loudspeaker lily’.

I folded a ‘half-imperial’ sized sheet and drew these on each half. They’re approximately 24 cm in width and 33 cm in height.

Loudspeaker Lily
Loudspeaker Lily
Budding Hibiscus
Budding Hibiscus

The Taste Of Life


The summer has already set in and the heat is becoming unbearable. If its this hot in April, I fear to even think about May and June.

The past couple of days, have been a little different though.

Today, the wind is blowing hard. The sky is overcast, but there are some rays of light, which have managed to sneak past the clouds to get a glimpse of the world.

In the balcony, the plants are having a ball. For the past few weeks, they’ve gone crazy. Everyday they’ve been dressing up in their best outfits. The Nandiyavattai*, the common purple Flowers*, Hibiscuses, Loudspeaker* Lilies, and even Jasmine flowers, have come out in large numbers after a long, long time.

Today, also happens to be the Tamil New Year. Although there isn’t much we do to celebrate the new year, our mother draws a special kolam** at the entrance of the house, and prepares a special dish.

This dish has all flavours – sweet, salty, sour, bitter, spice, and pungent. The dish represents life, and its ingredients, its different flavours. In life, some moments are sweet, others, bitter. We experience a wide variety of emotions. On the first day of the year, this dish is prepared to remind us, that the future will be filled with varying emotions. We must, not only prepare ourselves to face life, but also learn to enjoy its different flavours.

Puthandu vazthukal (happy new year), and a happy Baisakhi to all.

* * *

Nandiyavattai – The Tamil name of a plant, whose name I did not know – till now. Called ‘Moonbeam’ or ‘Wax Flower’ in English, ‘Chandni’ in Hindi and ‘Tabernaemontana coronaria’ in Science.

The Common purple Flowers – Another plant whose name I found out today. Called ‘Madagascar Periwinkle’ in English,  ‘Sadabahar’ in Hindi and ‘Cantharanthus roseus’ in Science.

Loudspeaker Lilies – They look like a pair of loudspeakers, hence we call them that. The internet world does not seem to recognise that name. So its just plain old lilies.

**Kolam – Patterns drawn with stone powder at the entrance of the house.

The friends I made during the year


The last few hours of the year are here, and I find myself sitting alone… In search for company, I decided to rummage through some of the things I’ve been up to over the past few months… The end of yet another year… Here’s wishing everyone a great year ahead… better than the year gone by…

Lucky Charm From Sikkim
Lucky Charm From Sikkim

In the beginning of the year, my brother had the opportunity to visit Sikkim, a small state in the Himalayas. Among the many souvenirs he brought back were lucky charms (I’m assuming they have something to do with feng shui, but I really can’t say for sure). Here’s one that posed for me on the table…

Pendant
Pendant

The table is always a work-in-progress. Sometimes its squeaky clean, but mostly, its got some odd objects visiting it. While I was looking around the rather cluttered table, I noticed this pendent… My mother and I purchased it from a street seller on an impulse. It’s one of my favourites… and we bought it really really cheap…

The First Of Many Seashells
The First Of Many Seashells

Looking for a familiar face in the sketching file, I found this photograph of a really old sketch… The first of many seashells… It’s perhaps been the best too…

There’s something about sea shells that never ceases to fascinate me. The different shapes, sizes, colours, textures, designs and patterns. And the strangest thing is, that the creature that makes these magnificent works of art, is a slimy creature which no one would want.

Shell On Velvet
Shell On Velvet

This is the latest seashell that was gracious enough to pose for me (also a key chain). I kind of got fed up with the chains. I assumed the shell too would want to be free for a while. So I unchained it and allowed it to rest on a velvet blanket. I hope it felt good.

3D model of shoes - Ambient Occlusion
3D model of shoes - Ambient Occlusion

Talking of feeling good, the doctor told me to catch some sun…

3D model of a toy train - Ambient Occlusion
3D model of a toy train - Ambient Occlusion

and what better way to catch the sun, than with a few flowers.

So I put on a pair of shoes, caught the train, and paid a visit to some flowers…

Flowers
Flowers