Tuesday, January 27, 2009

That's how 26th January was...

The day was 26th January, a very important day for Indians as this was the day when we were declared a Republic in 1950. For me this day definitely evokes warm memories from my childhood. Those were days, when Republic Day meant going to school early in the morning in the cold winter to participate in the flag hoisting ceremony and making sure to collect chocolates, candies and sweets distributed at the end of the ceremony. Once back home, the Republic Day Parade broadcasted live on the idiot box from Rajpath, Delhi was unquestionably the program to watch. In present times, the day still holds its significance but I am sure the way we look at it has changed a hell lot.

For many it was nothing more than an extended weekend. For few others, it was a welcome break from steering their vehicles in the chaotic traffic. Instead it was a day marked by an air of relaxation, to sit and watch columns of soldiers marching in perfect harmony in different Republic Day events conducted across the nation in various television channels. Add to this, the display of tableaus showcasing the diversity and the varied cultural traditions of the nation.

But for me, this was another day to capture colors in the surroundings. I had been to Lalbagh Gardens, Bangalore early in the morning by 8:00AM to compose some frames from the Republic Day Flower Show organized at the glass house located in the center of the garden.


This flower exhibition dates back to the year 1922, when it was conducted for the first time, and since then this once-in-an-year event has seen a steady increase in entries for participation.

Spray of colors...

Lots of people had come with friends and families to see this exhibition, a carnival of colors. From whatever I saw there, my rough estimate is that around 200 flowering plants, mostly those that bloom in the winter season were on display.


Through my camera lens, I managed to capture some images, which had little to do with flowers and more to do with colors. It was as if everything were united by a riot of colors. Do you agree with me or you don't?

Give me RED...


Apart from this, there were a number of stalls related to gardening in which companies such as Indo-American Hybrid Seeds, Namdhari Seeds, the Department of Horticulture, Coconut Development Board, Coir Development Board, etc exhibited their products and technologies.

Colorful coir-chappals

Booths selling products from cottage industries also drew handsome crowd. The artisans displayed their rich crafts such as pots, vases, urns, molded images, trinkets, pottery and terracotta items, etc in the typical setting of a rural Indian marketplace

LOVEM..you complete the rest...


To ensure security when hooligans have turned moralistic leaders, when terrorists are recklessly determined to spew terror, special security arrangements had been put in place. Door frame metal detectors, hand metal detectors and cameras were deployed at several places for efficient tracking purposes.

All in all, it was two hours of time well spent.

Also, the day was noteworthy for another reason. It was the day, when Desicritics, turned three. A journey which started with around 75 bloggers in the desi blogosphere way back in 2006, today has grown into a family of 500, covering everything from nuclear deals to macaca-gate, from Bugti to Boston, from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to Slumdog Millionaire, from the US Economy Fears to the Satyam's Fraud case, from men's rights to reservation rights. RC is proud to be a member of that team, still miles to go.

So here goes the rest from the lot of my today’s clicks to my friends at Desicritics and to all my readers. Hope you liked it too.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Smell of an Indian Bazaar...

It was long since I had been out to shoot with my shutterbug friends. When I got an invite, if I could join them for a weekend shot at Russel Market, one of the prominent landmarks for the native Bangalorites, I thought why not. The reply was prompt because I have always preferred colder climes and at present winter is in full flourish. Also, wintertime mornings are usually marked with less activity and lots of freshness rules the air.

Brandy Shop

So all set and done and I reach the market place at 6:30AM. The market place was a melange of action, buying, selling, trading, chaffering, transporting, cleaning and lots more.

Posing amidst chaos

Russel Market is one of the oldest markets in Bangalore and it was built in 1927. The freshly painted minaret that stands across the road is a testimony that this place which was once the frequented by the memsahibs driven in their carriages is now replaced by the Marutis, the Fords and the Toyotas.

Sea of placidity

Even though the city today offers plenty of departmental stores from Sunday-to-Monday to Food World, from Reliance Fresh to Nilgiris, from Spencers to Spar but still there is a sizeable population that visits this bazaar for its weekly stock of fruits and vegetables and other requirements. The building that accommodates close to 100 vegetable shops and mandis today looks a bit jaded.


This place has narrow streets, filled with people unloading mini-trucks ladened with fresh vegetables and fruits. At one corner an old woman is selling a handful of vegetables, while at the other corner there is a middle-aged lady making a garland with different kinds of flowers, sipping hot tea from a glass. Even found a man who was so bitten by Bipasha Basu's 'Beedi Jalai le', that early in the morning he was puffing his jigar maan bari aag in a foolhardy way.

Smoking a Beedi

At this early hour of the day, there is action all around as vegetable vendors were busy sorting the vegetables into gunny bags which would be sent to various restaurants and hotels across the city. This place is a trading center for flowers, and florists can be seen exchanging their supply for cash. The topsy-turvyness here is more complex than what one would find in any stock exchange when in action.


As I was walked a little ahead, I saw the central courtyard, where there were neatly arranged rows of meat shops. Strung up were fresh cuts of mutton with hooks. Adjacent to the dark alleys of meat shops, dimly lit with bulbs is the street, which is a must visit place for any sea-food lover.

Fish Vendor

Variety of fish, prawn, crab, squid, etc of all sizes were available and the best part is it was all fresh stock unlike the refrigerated and preserved ones sold in department stores. This place is a beehive of activity and chances are high that a visitor would soil his/her clothes while purchasing sea-food here.

Prawn and Fish

It was 8:30AM by now and people returning from the early hours mass at the nearby church were indicative of city life about to get started in a while. I along with my friend, proceeded to a nearby shop, which offers chai 24/7 and while having the chai, a person rushed hurriedly towards me. Seeing, a camera in my hand he told, 'Saab ek photo aap jaldi se lea lo, abhi thodi deear maain guard ke naukri ke liye, ek interview hai' [Can you take a pic immediately because I have an interview for the post of a guard to attend]. I had to politely decline to his request as my camera, doesn't have the instant printing capabilities.

Don't be surprised when I saw, you can click and publish pictures instantly, infact you can do this something similar to the Polaroid cameras of the 70’s. This year PoGo, an Instant Digital Camera unveiled at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, allows one with a push of a button to take pictures, edit those and then print those on full-colour, 2x3-inch prints. Can someone gift me one of those :)

You can see the rest of the pics here.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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