23 June 2006,4:01 am
Come back herewhy ?Be with usI am with youCome stand with all of uswhy ? What are you doing there ?I am counting the trains passing byWe'll count the trains for you, stay with usI am staying with you my roots are with you, I just want to have a better view of the bridge and the passing trains.You can have a good view from here tooNo its not the same. I get good sunshine and good breeze here.You'll get knocked off by a strong windI'll die, no problem.Thats my life. Some criticise, some are envious and many are kind to me and want me to enjoy my life. I am grateful to my family and friends for their love and support. I love them too.Shot the picture from a train, don't remember where I was going.
Going away again to silent valley, leaving in a couple of hours, taking an early morning train.I'll be back on 29th and reply to all your mail and commentsLove you all.Owee, Have to pack, traveling light.Blunt knife
19 June 2006,11:10 am
MY MESSAGE OF PEACE TO MANKIND AND OTHER KIND
We have problems here, This is cattle egret in normal peaceful state, I have posted their pictures of the amazing colours of their beak, starts with purple around the eye, turns to orange and then to yellow at the tip. Please notice the feathers, all at rest. No problems here. Please click on the pictures for full screen view,you'll understand the story better.
Ah! tension mounting, Grrrrrr.... don't know what is the dispute, perhaps the other chap has hacked into his account cracked his password and reading his mail ? They both are angry, feathers are up, stiff. Signs of problems coming. Expression not too happy.
Hey Hey Calm down ! Back off man back off ! I said back off !!Whats your problem ?
Hey this is not good, you are raising your claw to attack him. Now the feathers are outstretched stiff. you can see the anger in both of them. you can see the violence
hey Hey back off ! You raise your claw you are dead, be careful be careful I said.I am in a boat right under them, this is happening on a twig joining two brances. How dare you read my mail ?Mail ? What mail ? who is interested in your trash ?see see ?? unless you've read how do you know its trash ?? back off ! I said back off !!
You are coming too close, I am warning you I am warning you, stay away man
Look at the feathers on their heads, all up and stiff.this is when I stood up in my boat to deliver my message of peaceShanti Shanti my cheeeldren ! Pleeese be peeeecefool, I raised both my hands like a Guru or a Swamiji'May all beings be happeeee, may all beings be peeeecefool'fighteeeng is not gooood my cheeeldren, calm down be peeeecefulwho is this clown with a camera ? Abey hoye ! Chal phut, get lost Look who's talking ??, you people are killing each other and you are telling us to be peaceful ?
No no no my cheeeeldren This is not gooood, every body has problames, pleeeese calm down, don't be angreeeee, theeeese problames can be peeecefully settalled. pleeeese give up violaaance.Ha ! give up violence ? what are you talking about ? Go tell l that to the eagle. go drown yourself with your camera, be useful to the crocodiles, why don't you be their breakfast ? Get lost.Forgot to post crocodile pictures I'll post them in Blunt knife soon
.One is still sulking, the other is still talking, tell me who is male and who is female ? I don't know, they both could be males or females. but their feathers are still up they both are still very angry.Well ! my message of peace backfired, it did not work, with all the messages of peace we have at hand, things are not looking too good. I have not heard of any swamiji or guruji going to Daffur, somalia Ruwanda Iraq or Afghanistan, they go only to western europe or the US where there are Dollars and Euros.
This is how my message of peace ended. not a picture of harmony. they are looking away, no chance of a meaningful dialogue, you can't bring them to sign any agreement any treaty.
14 June 2006,7:51 am
MY LOVE AND BEST WISHES
The waiting is over the day arrives, 28th of May, Guruvayur temple in Kerala. We are all there to be with Nirmal and Sindu, to share their joy, and to bless the couple.This is a crowd of devotees who come to the temple from far and wide, Guruvayur is one of the most popular temple destinations of India. There are some rules to be followed like removing the shirt before entering the temple.
You can see some people have already removed their shirts, thankfully only men have to do it, ladies can walk in with casuals or designer clothes, no problems there.
It has been a tradition to conduct weddings in the temple for the well being, health and prosperity of the couple. Now most weddings are conducted in wedding halls for the sake of convenience.
Over 300 weddings are performed per day and they have to be performed within one hour of the auspecious time. There is crowd there is chaos, there is confusion, its all a part of the wedding fun. No chaos confusion there is no wedding fun. One thing great about temple weddings is that there is no difference between rich and the poor, all are treated alike.
Now it is difficult to locate your own people, but all are assembled there, The bride Sindu's brother Ranjith and cousin Unni in the foreground in the picture below.
No hurry, you have to wait, first come first serve. No preferences or recommendations, the bride and the groom's name would be called, it has already been registered, tokes are issued, Our couple is third in the waiting line.The bride arrives, escorted by Seema, and Mahua. gorgeous she looks. No make up, simple silk sari, very little jewelry. gorgeous she looks.
Ah! lovely Sindu giving me a smile,
I am here I am here don't worry Sindu.
Believe me I was worried how to reach the wedding Mandap. I am not strong and well built. Here she is escorted by elders to reach the mandap, No worries about the groom, he needs no escort, after all he has been waiting for so long to find a right girl and God is rewarding him with a beautiful lovely caring loving wife, he will wade his way through the crowd no problems.
the ceremony. involves simple wedding rituals, tying of knot, sometimes exchange of rings. the bride and the groom garland each other and go around the deepam 3 times.
Please don't ask me how I reached and where i am standing, perhaps my foot was on some poor guy's shoulder, no one protests, they all know the problems, Some one from behind was supporting me. I couldn't even turn to thank him.
The ceremony is very short , receiving blessings from the priests. All done very fast as more than 200 couples to come. the ceremony is over. Sindu and Nirmal are husband and wife now.EEEEEEEEEEYAAAAAA !!
I got my girl, I got my girl, his heart is jumping, Nirmal holding Sindu's hands escorting her, now it is his responsibility. Ah! happy couple smiling for me. Now all the relatives will come to congradulate the happy couple.
Groom holding an umbrella, It is his responsibility to protect his wife, here from the rain, luckily it stopped raining for some time.Members of the family congradulating the couple.
Seema, Mahua, Priya, Chikkoo, The happy couple, Vijay, Ravi. Rest of them are somewhere in the crowd. they all will assemble in the wedding hall close by.
In the wedding hall, the ritual is repeated, for the relatives. After this they all come and bless the couple. no priests, elders perform the ceremony.
Here the Bride's mother is blessing the couple. Lot of people, they all came and individually blessed the couple, only the elders, me too went up to bless them.
the family group picture.
now the most important, there was a long wait and I was hungry, i sat down with my friends Shankar and Asokan.
Rice Sambaar, three kinds of side dishes and two payasams (sweet) I had a second helping of the payasams both were terrific. I had a full tumber of rasam, drank it, don't like eating with rice. I love rasam. After this I went to the hotel room and slept well.Took some pictures of other brides who got married that day. this is little out of ordinary, she is a walking fort knox. the brides usually hate wearing so much of gold causing discomfort. it is the parents and relatives who insist on the bride wearing this much of gold. Not very safe. She wouldn't know if one piece of jewelry snaps and falls
.Blunt KnifeTravel and photography blog
9 June 2006,4:50 pm
PROGRESS - DEVELOPMENT
These kind of roads are disappearing in a fast developing country like India, you are not going to see them any more.Once Bangalore Mysore road looked like the above picture, the road was a bit broader, thick Shady trees lined up all the way to Bangalore. It was a joy ride in my childhood, until a few years ago. The picture below is Bangalore Mysore highway now. Took this picture last month, the work is still going on. All the trees are gone. Beauty completely destroyed.
I am not against development. As Chinna suggested, the old road could have been left untouched and declared a heritage road. there is plenty of land available for a new road. Karnataka is a big state. Still the bull dozers are working.
This is a Railway station. Muthalamada, Kerala - Tamil Nadu border, but falls in Kerala. My recent discovery. Most romantic railway station I have seen. please click on the picture for a full screen view. I have posted Pollachi Pallakad train journey pictures in Blunt knife. please take a look at other stations on this route. To our bad luck if the local politician becomes a minister, he would think of developing his place, funds are allotted, this gives him a chance to make money. This peaceful railway station will get raped, hundreds of years old banyan trees will get chopped in no time, without a thought.Fortunately Indian Railways are very environmentally conscious, they will not allow any tree to be touched. but they give in to the political pressure. To leave the place untouched too requires a great deal of imagination while developing a place. Hope these stations don't become a victim to development.
Blunt KnifeTravel and Photography blog
5 June 2006,9:24 am
RAIN IN KERALA
Good to be back home, bag full of dirty and wet clothes, slept the whole day. Hi !How you've been ? Me fine, not sick after soaking myself in the rain, walking on the rain drenched streets of Kerala, I was not chasing the rain, the rain was chasing me. too many pictures to choose from.The wedding went of well in Guruvayur, I'll post the wedding pictures later, lot of mail piled up have to reply, and my room is in a mess, Have to reply to your mail and comments. I'll do that... I'll do that.Some very pleasant discoveries this time, I'll post them in Blunt knifeCovered a lot of distance, very stupid of me, not stopping anywhere just hopping from place to place, most of the pictures are either from a train or a bus window, or running in the middle of the road with my camera. This is not a very sensible way of traveling. You'd kill me if you travel with me.
One thing you have to remember in Kerala, the train or a bus ride is more pleasant than reaching a place.
I would give anything for a window seat. most of the time I was lucky. I would miss my food , rush early to get a window seat, just hoping I would get something to eat on the way. Went hungry most of the time, food is not my priority anyway.
This is Ernakulam South railway Station. As you can see I was sitting inside and had a window seat. This is my last day in Kerala.I never carry an umbrella, but this time after the wedding Nirmal and Sindu insisted on my carrying an umbrella as it was pouring in buckets on that day
.I would always forget and leave behind the umbrella in my cheap hotel room, no regrets getting wet. Early in the morning in Ernakulam I decided to carry it on a bright and sunny day. No rain. It satrted raining after I sat in the train. The umbrella is back home, brand new, not a drop of rain fell on it. This KSRTC bus driver in Manandavady says don't mess with me. You would enjoy the ride of you are inside. they make you scream if you are outside. These bus drivers have done something that all the priests in Kerala failed to do, putting fear of God in you.This is Kannur Railway station, I was wet and hungry on my way to Shornur, but I was getting a regular supply of Chaaya in the train. I kept my window open. Had a couple of Parapu vada, not very good, cold and hard like a rock, chewing was hard on my jaws, but I don't mind if I am hungry, can't afford to be very choosy, but I was enjoying the rain falling on me thru the window, people sitting near me were giving me funny looks, but I never care. The chap sitting next to me asked me how's the parpu vada, I said its terrific. He bought two for himself. Took one bite and gave me nerve rattling stare.
these pictures were taken last year on the way to Alleppy, You can take a boat from Kottayam, a very pleasant ride, it takes time, but you'd enjoy the ride. couldn't go this time.
Pretty dangerous to travel with me. I go off my rockers. I had to take a 6.40 train from Trichur to Chennai, I was still in Ernakulam at 4.30. I took a train hoping that it would reach Trichur by 6 giving me enough time to pick up my bag and get back to the station on time. It misfired. The train I was supposed to catch was coming right behind. just ten minutes difference. I was clicking pictures and I managed to buy 2 kilos of banana chips and one kilo of halwa before I boarded the train to get back home. The train was leaving the platform, got in to the moving train, went to my seat and scratched my head with both my hands like a monkey.
Blunt KnifeTravel and Photography Blog