Color me Red

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Another Pondicherry early morning shot. Taken from the Le Cafe using the same setup as the previous post.

Pondicherry has great eating places, specifically the French cuisine. One of the places we really liked was the Hotel de l'Orient. Though the food was pretty expensive by Pondicherry standards, it was really good. Most of the lanes in the French part of town have boutique French restaurants which lend an old world charm to the place. Be sure to check the lovely cuisines the town has to offer, if you happen to visit.

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Dead Calm !

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An early morning before sunrise in Pondicherry. I remember highlighting in my previous post that Pondicherry is a laid back place. The star attraction for me was perhaps, Le Cafe. This is a small cafeteria just by the beach, rather the only one along the beach, on this side of the Beach Road. One can simple grab a table and sit there for hours, even the entire day, reading a book, chatting, or simply just gazing at the choppy waters and enjoing the stillness.
This one was taken early morning before sunrise. A rather long exposure using a tripod with the Pentax K200D and the Pentax 18-250mm lens. While I took some long exposures before heading to Le Cafe to catch the sunrise, the Mrs., my friend and his Mrs. were wondering 'What the hell is this guy upto now?'

Shining Glory

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There have been too many things going on lately. No matter how much I would like to get down to my blog, there are other pressing things. The end of January saw Mrs. and I heading off for a long weekend break to Pondicherry or ‘Puducherry’ as the locals would now have it.

Actually it was a last minute plan and we gave it a go. The place turned out to be more of a French experience rather than one of a coastal South Indian town. The town is still inhabited by a large number of French and other European foreign nationals who prefer to call Pondicherry thier home. A nice place by the sea, Pondicherry is as lazy as you can get.

The trip was planned with another colleague from work and his Mrs. All four of us decided to hit the beach early morning for the sunrise. I know landscapes generally don’t go well vertically but thought I would give it a shot as a future magazine cover. Shot with the Pentax K200D with the Pentax 18-250mm on the Tripod

The Ride !

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The Indian Wedding season and the wedding infrastructure and supporting capabilities are in great demand. The party halls are booked months in advance, DJ’s are the flavor of the ‘generation’ and are a must have at all weddings and numerous, wedding caterers are lapped up within the blink of any eye and countless other skills which are otherwise less sought after.

One such item in great demand is the ‘Ghodi’, or the Mare. According to Punjabi Traditional weddings, the Groom arrives for the wedding ceremony on a mare. The mare is dressed up in ceremonial robes and adorned with ‘bling’ before the Groom mounts the mare to proceed for the marriage ceremony. This one of the mare was taken as the groom was on way to the ceremony. Taken with the Pentax 35mm f2.4 on the K200D on an overcast winter day.

Consecrated

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Back to Belgium, where I visited the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral. This picture is of a separate space in one corner of the church away from the main alter, I am assuming designed to be a place to be at peace with oneself, to meditate and to be in harmony with the supreme being.

Shot handheld with the Pentax 18-250mm on the Pentax K200D, it was tricky to get it correct without any camera shake, but a couple of shots and finally managed to get it right.

Ghadoli (The Ceremonial Water Pot)

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Back from Delhi and still recuperating from the ill health. Meanwhile, I thought I will revisit the cultural nuances which we have left behind. The ceremony of Ghadoli, where the Sister-in-Law draws water from the nearby well (it’s only a tap these days) and the bride / groom is required to bathe using this water in the morning before the marriage.

We had reached late for the ceremony at this time, just when the Sister-In-Law was returning after filling up the ceremonial pot. Shot with the Pentax 35mm f2.4, against the light, I had to switch to manual focus as the autofocus did not have sufficient light to focus properly.

Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles in a thundering typhoon !

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Dig this. As always, I develop stomach flu after four continuous days of imbibing exotic foods, as part of the marriage ceremonies in Delhi and finally miss the fifth, The Grand Finale L . I had to cancel my trip to the Taj Mahal as well, and rather than perambulating around the streets of Agra, I am sitting in the balcony in the warm winter sun cursing my blessed luck, while drawing inspiration from Captain Haddock.

During my visit to Belgium last month, I happened to visit the Comic Museum. They had miniatures of most of the popular cartoon characters on display for sale. I went to the sales lady, gestured towards my big long camera lens, trying to communicate in the local Flemish language, ‘OK to take pictures?’ She nodded in the affirmative and then there was no looking back. Tintin, Captain Haddock, Asterix and Obelix, you name it, all were imprisoned on the camera sensor in a matter of minutes. I also bought Tintin and Captain Haddock coffee mugs as souvenirs for ‘The Mrs.’.  You should always keep your better half happy, especially when you are off gallivanting alone. And so, the Wise Man speaketh. Ahem! Ahem!

Ki aj mera ji karda (My heart yearns…)

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It is the wedding season in North India and we are in Delhi this week for some family weddings. As always, I could not resist the temptation to leave my photography paraphernalia back home. The vibrant colors of the Indian weddings, augmented by the nearest and dearest meeting after years at these joyous occasions, add to the spirit of festivities.

Pictured above is ‘The Mrs.’ 🙂 with her cousin on the occasion of  his ‘Shagun’, a day before the marriage. I pushed my 18-250mm to check if I could shoot without flash in the low light, but finally gave up to the 35mm f 2.4.  This was one of the most vivacious pictures of the lot from this morning’s ceremony. Off late, I have started portraits and have a number of them to showcase, but need the consent of the ‘subjects’ before I post them online. This was family, so I took the liberty. Many more to come.

 

Grandiose

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Another one from the La Grand-Place. This one from a different angle. Since I could not fit the entire scene into my 35mm for want of length and breadth of the courtyard, I had little option but to capture the place in all its glory from different angles.

Chocoholics

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Another one from the visit to Belgium taken with the Pentax 35mm f2.4. Belgium, as many of you know is famous for Chocolates. In and around “Da Grand-Place”, you see chocolatiers lined up and their shopfronts showcasing the greatest of chocolate based goodies. This is one of the many famous chocolatiers around “Da Grand-Place”. While “Godiva” is perhaps one of the most well known ones outside of Belgium, I was surprised to find that this is not the case within Belgium. Not very different from “Fosters”, Australian for Beer 🙂 which is hardly preferred inside Australia.