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OUR BEAUTIFUL EARTH

 

Life would not have been possible if the core of the Earth was not encrusted with lighter material – rocks (basalt and granite), alongwith water bodies.

 

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THE GOLDEN TEMPLE, AMRITSAR

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‘I’m just a face in the crowd

You probably don’t know me

As I don’t stand out……”

Sang Lionel Richie. How most of us wish that we were some one special to someone or to our society. All our lives we work hard to achieve fame. Hard work, talent and  Lady Luck helped in changing a face in the crowd to the face in the crowd.

Thanks to the social media, some people are getting recognition, not only in their society but even globally _ politicians, Youtubers, Instagrammers……

In a large gathering, each person has his own story, own motive and mood.

 

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Caught in the traffic

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Rain is routine for some and romance for others

 

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Courtship

A day out

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Waiting

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Preening

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Concentrating

Cesar in different moods

 

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Observing

WATER, WATER, ANYWHERE, NOT ANY DROP TO DRINK

Fresh water resources are now becoming insufficient to meet the demand. About 1/3 of the global population faces water scarcity for at least one month in an year and about 1/ 2 million face water scarcity all year around. The main cause of this water scarcity is pollution, population explosion, mismanagement of water resources, excessive use of ground water.

The authorities, the social organisations,the social media advise,plead and warn the public against wastage of even a drop of water. It is the responsibility of the authorities to regularly assay the water supply to ensure that the water is potable so that huge quantities of water is not wasted by water purifiers and ROs.DSCN5844

ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL

All things bright and beautiful

All things great and small

 

………

 

The Lord God made them all

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But unfortunately, human beings consider themselves to be better than the rest of God’s creations and have little regard for the others.

Last year, a stray dog, who was a lively and affectionate bitch was badly injured by a speeding vehicle. Some of the people who saw her regularly on their walks tried to help by contacting different Animal Rescue Societies but no help was forthcoming. Her survival seemed impossible in view of the Monsoon season (mosquitoes, flies,ticks) and no shelter for the helpless creature.

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Help came in the form of an unknown benefactor, who would apply some medicine on the wounds. Despite the pain and stiffness, the dog remained active and cheerful.

Now, less than an year later, she is a mother with 2 pups (surviving).IMG_20190619_060220

SHOULD THERE BE ZOOS?

In older times, animals and birds were kept in cages- menageries for combat sporting and also as a status symbols. Slaves were also sometimes caged along with the animals.

The term Zoo comes from Zoology, the study of animals – the animals being kept in parks, in a habitat similar to their own. Also, since humans have and continue to destroy their habitats- jungles, wetlands and hunt and destroy several species, many of these are now extinct or on the endangered list. The surviving members are kept in the zoo to safeguard them and allow them to breed in relative safety. Zoos also serve to sensitize people to the plight of the animals.

However, it has been found that animals in the zoos are highly stressed, breed with difficulty, have a shorter life and their normal instincts are blunted. These captive animals, whose instinct is to hunt and eat, sometimes, refuse the provided food. Because of the restricted movement, they can become bored, aggressive or develop abnormal behaviour- often harming themselves. Coming in contact with humans, they may also develop human diseases and spread organisms harmful to humans which results in these animals being culled. The standard of care provided to these animals depends on the honesty and dedication of those responsible for their welfare.

Some visitors to the zoo treat the animals as voyeuristic objects despite strict warnings.

These days we have Safari Parks,Animal Theme Parks and Petting Zoos.

A few years ago we visited the National Zoological Park in New Delhi, situated near the Old Fort. Inaugurated in 1959, it  houses 130 species of birds and animals. It was a beautiful foggy morning in December, so most of the animals were hibernating but we were lucky to watch the migratory birds. Majority of the visitors were appreciative of the privilege of seeing these magnificent creatures but a few thought their trip was wasted because they couldn’t see the animals ‘in action’.

I had forgotten to charge the batteries of my camera, the battery ran down exactly at the moment that the sleeping python decided to poke its head out of his hiding place. I did get some lovely pics and the memories are sweet-  crows and mynahs taking their share from the feed of the inmates!

The reality show on television seem more a Zoo, especially the show Big Boss.

 

 

SECRET OF SUCCESS

via SECRET OF SUCCESS

SECRET OF SUCCESS

Early morning, when the birds begin to wake up and fly around looking for food,calling to each other, it is so relaxing. Watering the plants, feeding the birds is the best part of the day.

A Full Moon nightDSCN0358DSCN0375Peace and joy can be found in a crowded market.

MUSIC

via MUSIC

MUSIC

DSCN2086 Traditional wind chimes made by craftsmen from Rajasthan.

Wind chimes are placed in different directions according to the elements from which these are made. Metal wind chime in the West, Northwest and North, wood wind chime in the East, Southeast and South direction.

Wind chimes are used to enhance  the flow of life’s energy.DSCN2003Blast from the past

 

KNIT PURL

I learnt to knit at a very young age and it became one of my hobbies. Living in a city like Ludhiana- the hub of the hosiery industry, one really didn't need to knit. Every kind of knitted garment was available at reasonable price but what fascinated me was that with a single strand of yarn and a pair of knitting needles, one could create wonders. Cast on stitches, knit, purl, knit 2 together, yarn over, make 1, knit 2 together, cast off, increase, decrease, cable... all done by simply manipulating the wool. Add another colour or 2, one could make pretty designs.
The winter season is now limited to few weeks.I still knit but it is limited to 1 garment each winter

.My daughter loves wearing hand knitted sweaters even though these are not in fashion. She says that these give her the warmth of her mother’s love.

 My aunts loved knitting for Red Cross Charity. I have fond memories of them knitting at all occasions ( even at weddings).DSCN1534

WATER- THE ELIXIR OF LIFE

One can survive without love but not without water. We need to conserve fresh water. Our ground water is being depleted and the rains are erratic, the polar ice is melting and the glaciers in the m…

Source: WATER- THE ELIXIR OF LIFE

WATER- THE ELIXIR OF LIFE

img_20161012_081706Lord Krishna plays Divine Music

This painting made with mixed media uses motifs from different forms of Indian art predominantly Madhubani form of art. When Krishna makes enchanting music with His flute, the entire creation is spellbound. The Sun brightens the world with its golden rays, the trees bloom and sway, the peacocks dance, the waves of river Yamuna dance alongwith the fish and the calf stops grazing and cuddles with Krishna looking adoringly at Him.img_20160830_062258Sunrise on a Cloudy Morning

In this part of India, the rainfall during monsoon was deficit.Every time dark clouds gathered in the sky, we prayed for rain.

On the other hand, many parts of India received so much rain that there were floods, even in areas which had been facing droughts for so many years. There was death and destruction. Villages and cities were washed away. People lost their homes and livelihoods. With the flooding of Sanctuaries and jungles, the wild animals had no place to go. With the flooding of fields not only was the crop lost but also the fields are now useless for agriculture long after the waters recede.

Those without means had to undergo hardships. People carried their sick loved ones on their backs for long, long distances to the hospitals and other  carried their dead to perform their last rites,in the absence of ambulances and funeral vans.

Water borne diseases and those caused by mosquito bites are on the rise.img_20160713_183655Rains At Last!

Yes, we did get occasional showers……

UP and CLOSE

DSCN4374A nest discarded by Red vented Bulbul pair. Difficult to believe that the pair raised three young ones in this nest. The pair kept it absolutely neat when the fledglings were in the nest.

 

 

IMG_20150515_185542 Fungus in the cosmetic testers  of a leading cosmetic company

 

 

IMG_20150520_052956 A hole in the ground made by a person, rodent or……..

BONUS

My lab. Cesar and I go for a walk very early in the morning, just as the Sun is lighting up the eastern sky. The sound of the night birds and the songs of the waking birds is so pleasant but the cherry on the cake is when just ahead of you, suddenly from the bushes a peacock takes flight to cross the road or you watch a crow teaching navigation to its young one. Simply amazing!

Friday morning which was the 2nd morning after full moon night was  cloudy. Suddenly 2 white lined clouds parted to reveal a sliver of the white Moon. Slowly the clouds drew apart to reveal the entire Moon. It was such a wonderful, almost divine experience.

Not all sights can be captured n the camera. The poem ‘Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth says it all:

 

For oft,when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

DSCN4239 Cherry on the cake for the thirsty squirrel was the piece of bread it found in the water dish

AND or OR

Light and DarkDSCN5284

 

 

Before and After. The mango that fell from the tree was eaten away by the ants.DSCN0948

 

Young and Old. Everyone enjoying themselves at the fair

WHEN WILL THE RAIN GODS OBLIGE?

Thanks to the social media, you search for any person, make contact and keep in touch. I looked up for some of my friends from my school, university and other good friends whom I had lost contact.Some of my friends found me. Recently 2 of my friends from the University visited with their families (looked me up) when they were in the city. It was fun catching up and remembering the incidents from university days which was the best time of my life. The best part is that now you don’t have to wonder, you know how your friends are doing.IMG-20160611-WA0050

When we were children, we slept in the open, on the terrace under the canopy of stars. How many times we tried to pluck the shiny bright stars from the inky black sky.Our bodies smeared with Odomos  (mosquito repellant) or Mustard oil, we would lie on crisp white cotton sheets listening to stories from mythology, stories of the constellations,stories of  Chanda Mama (the Moon),the old woman on the moon spinning the wheel and so on.We had our favourite stars . We could hear the sounds of the night birds, insects and the trains from the railway station…..

Now when I look at the ceiling, I can see the fan whirring.IMG_20160710_180229

IMG_20160605_203019The photograph of the streetlight through a tree.

The wilting plants, birds, animals, men look up with hope at the burning Sun and the heavy clouds that promise rains but shed no water. Is this going to another failed monsoon?

The memorial of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur during the day and during the LASER show to celebrate the 300 years of his martrydom.

NOT IN A STRAIGHT LINE

The birds fly in the sky and the fish swim in the water because of their beautifully streamlined bodies. The parrot has a strong curved beak to be able to crack nuts and fruits and scoop out the edible part.

How boring the landscape would be if the plants grew in a straight line and if our eyebrows were absolutely straight, how would our eyes ‘speak’?

ASSOCIATES

DSCN3918 Train and TracksIMG_20150825_234158~2 Bird and Nectar

In pairsIMG_20150803_092513 Boat and Oars.Siblings100_1936 Flowers and Vases (4)

Women crushing spices in tandem

Candle/ Lamp and Wick/Light – Diya aur Batti

FROM THE WINDOW OF A TRAIN

The photographs are not perfect as the window glass was not clean and also because of the movement and the speed of the train.

JOY OF ACHIEVEMENT

It may not be a great achievement but when I harvested  onions grown from discarded onion bottoms in a flower pot, it was a moment of jubilation. The summer has been very hot and water supply limited.IMG_20160504_064327

Another photograph which is a special memory where my nephew is standing with his cousins ( my daughter and my sister- in- law’s nieces) are jubilantly holding the toy cars gifted to him on his ‘Mundan.’

All Hindu children have their head completely shaved to remove the hair they are born with.It is very happy occasion and celebrated with friends and family.IMG_20150803_093425

 

DONATE ORGANS – YOU CAN SPARE THESE

Spare a thought for all those people who make life easy for us – the newspaper boy, the men in uniform, the milkman…….

Indian hospitality is legendary for its warmth- feeding the guests but there is so much wastage of food. Spare a thought for the farmers’ hard work and all those who cannot afford a meal a day.

Spare a thought for the birds and save trees and leave some fruit on the trees for them. After all they help in seed dispersal, eat harmful insects…..

 

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Spare me the details of the lip colour of an actress in Cannes film fest……

We can donate blood when we are alive and spare organs for donation after we are deadDSCN0035 - Copy

And last but not the least,  shop selling spare parts for vehiclesDSCN3138

VIEWER’s INTERPRETATION

Photographs clicked from a moving vehicle, photographs of moving objects, photographs taken during storms, rain or very strong sunshine sometimes create very interesting abstracts. Out of focus pics or inadvertent movement of the camera are a photographer’s shame but a boon for artists. Photographing reflective and shiny objects add another dimension to the image.

Traffic photographed on an evening after the rains from a car and a pic of the Moon

Ants carrying eggs on a black granite slab and a ray of light on a computer screen

 

Out of focus shots of a Marigold flower and a bird on the tree.IMG_20151228_141252~2 Reverse side of a painting.

Photos clicked through a glass window.

A glass bowl on a table and a part of the chandelierDSCN0537A shot of a dog behind the wire screen.DSCN4337A black and white pic taken just before dawn

Part of a cloth bag I was carrying and moving lightsIMG_20150702_062305A moth next to a flower arrangement basket

Paintings made from photographs

KABHI KHUSHI KABHI GAM – STATE of MIND

These photographs were clicked in the old part of the city of Ludhiana where I spent my childhood days. The temple where I went with my mother and brothers, shops where we shopped and despite the haphazard traffic and the din, I relived my childhood.

Beautiful sunset, sunrise, rain, rainbow, birds, flowers always make me happy

The death of the Hibiscus tree, whose bright flowers never failed to cheer me and a subject of many of my drawings. It was the vantage point for the Purple Sunbird pair that had made their nest on the opposite wall,

ALBERT EINSTEIN SAID”TIME IS RELATIVE”- PACE ODDITY

When you are happy, interested and having fun, time flies and when you are in trouble, waiting for your results or for your turn to perform or bored, the time stops!!!!

Did the watched pot ever boil?

 

Samay tu dheere dheere chal

sari duniya chhod ke mein to pichche

aage jaun nikal

pal pal…….

(O Time! move very slowly

I want to overtake this world)

DSCN2806When you are having fun! 🙂DSCN1881When you are  sitting on a hot stove   😦 Read more…

SHIV SHAKTI

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Car free day in Chandigarh is a good idea! | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

BY MEERA AHUJA CHANDIGARH: Having a car- free day in the City Beautiful is a good idea. It brings nostalgic memories of leisurely walks with friends- chatting and eating bhuttas (corn), the mad cycle races and walking to the Rose Garden or the Sukhna Lake for a picnic with family, ice cream at Yankee Doodles and meal at Mehfil or Ghazal in Sector 17. Judges at the district courts in Sector 43 here must be commended for taking the lead on March 1 by travelling to work in cycles,buses and auto-rickshaws. But in practical terms, the idea may not be all that feasible as there is not a strong and reliable public transport system in Chandigarh. The routes of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) do not cover all the sectors and one has to invariably take two or three buses to reach the destination. This is not only time-consuming but also expensive. The autos fleece the customers openly and brazenly as they do not use the electronic fare meters and demand exorbitant rates. Also the

Source: Car free day in Chandigarh is a good idea! | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

CAUGHT!

Cesar caught tearing up the curd container, relieving  himself or reaching up to lick my face just as I was clicking his photograph or his  friend caught rolling in the grass. Hands that hold the camera shake at the last moment or the object moves away. Child holding on to the fence of the animal enclosure in the Zoo. Fruit rotting on the tree. The terrifying social scenario.Huge beehive or the fallen tree. The reflection of the flash….

HAROOF OR AKSHAR

GET TOGETHER OR A CROWD

Animals live in packs,  humans live in societies. Birds and animals get together to feed.

Humans get together to celebrate or form a crowd to protest.

Saathi haath badana

ek akela thak jayega

mil kar bojh uthana…..

(friend(s) lend a hand. One person alone will tire soon, together we can carry the load.

aao jhoome gayein

mil kar dhoom machaayein

chun lein gam ke kaantein

khushion ke phool khilayein….

(come let us dance, sing and make merry together. Let us remove the thorns of sorrow and let the flowers of happiness bloom…)DSCN3162

THIS MOMENT

Past is history, future is mystery, present is a gift. Celebrate ‘Now’, ‘This Moment’.

Har ghadi badal rahi hai roop zindagi.

Chaav hai kabhi hai dhoop zindagi,

Har pal yahan jee bhar  jiyo,

Jo hai sama, kal ho na ho….

(Life is changing each moment, sometimes there is shade and sometimes it is sunshine. Live each moment of life to the fullest, it is possible there will be no tomorrow….)

 

The raindrop about to drop from the flower where it landed when it dropped from the sky.

The Jungle Babbler and the Bulbul taking turns to drink water.

Reflection of the setting Sun.

Fungi which appears when it rains and dries once the Sun shines.

White Hibiscus in bloom.

Celebrations

Gallery

ROUND AS MY MOM’S BINDI, ROUND AS THE SUN- MOON…

FLIGHT

Source: FLIGHT

Gallery

FLIGHT

Gallery

WHAT MY CAMERA SAW

CAGED

We shifted from a house with front lawn and a backyard to a flat. My poor baby Cesar’s boundaries have been restricted by the iron gate that had to be installed.

Source: CAGED

CAGED

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We shifted from a house with front lawn and a backyard to a flat. My poor baby Cesar’s boundaries have been restricted by the iron gate that had to be installed.

Chandigarh Administration on the job!

Photo and text by Meera Ahuja Chandigarh is being spruced up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the City Beautiful on September 11. Roads are being repaired and even constructed, weeds removed and wild grass trimmed, stray dogs have disappeared and the roadside vendors have been instructed to open shop after the visit.

Source: Chandigarh Administration on the job!

PROTEST

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ORANGE IS NOT JUST ANOTHER COLOR

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FLOWERS

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CROWD ENJOYING THE FAIR

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SPECTACULAR CLOUDY SKY

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FOUNTAIN IN THE NIGHT LIGHT

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WALKING THE DOG AT DAWN

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SUNRISE

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THE GREAT INDIAN WEDDING

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RANGOLI

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