Monday, November 30, 2009

Being Boring

Life in a window.
Life in a Window. Devrukh

Inspired by a post by enbiem I looked up a song I used to listen when much younger - "Being Boring" by the Pet Shop Boys. (who, BTW, I was introduced to, by Alok Tiwari). Being Boring has never been more relevant then ... now().

BEING BORING - Pet Shop Boys

I came across a cache of old photos
And invitations to teenage parties
"Dress in white" one said, with quotations
From someone's wife, a famous writer
In the nineteen-twenties
When you're young you find inspiration
In anyone who's ever gone
And opened up a closing door

She said: "We were never feeling bored

'Cause we were never being boring
We had too much time to find for ourselves
And we were never being boring
We dressed up and fought, then thought: "Make amends"
And we were never holding back or worried that
Time would come to an end

When I went I left from the station
With a haversack and some trepidation
Someone said: "If you're not careful
You'll have nothing left and nothing to care for
In the nineteen-seventies"
But I sat back and looking forward
My shoes were high and I had scored
I'd bolted through a closing door
I would never find myself feeling bored

'Cause we were never being boring
We had too much time to find for ourselves
And we were never being boring
We dressed up and fought, then thought: "Make amends"
And we were never holding back or worried that
Time would come to an end
We were always hoping that, looking back
You could always rely on a friend

Now I sit with different faces
In rented rooms and foreign places
All the people I was kissing
Some are here and some are missing
In the nineteen-nineties
I never dreamt that I would get to be
The creature that I always meant to be
But I thought in spite of dreams
You'd be sitting somewhere here with me

'Cause we were never being boring
We had too much time to find for ourselves
And we were never being boring
We dressed up and fought, then thought: "Make amends"
And we were never holding back or worried that
Time would come to an end
We were always hoping that, looking back
You could always rely on a friend

And we were never being boring
We had too much time to find for ourselves
And we were never being boring
We dressed up and fought, then thought: "Make amends"
And we were never being boring
We were never being bored
'Cause we were never being boring
We were never being bored

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bhairavgad, Malshej

Bhairavgad, Malshej

The beautiful dyke of Bhairavgad in the Malshej.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A slice of life

A slice of life

The back side of Dindoshi. I have been trapped in a room with a window. I see life far below, jostling for breathing space. Life in the city. Tightly packed. On first thought one wonders why people choose this over the fresh air of their villages. But I guess the buzz of life and excitement of being amidst the multitudes here cannot compare to the boredom and lethargy of some remote spot.

I crave that for I have scarce had it. We all want what we have not. The dark lords of the city lure many here, with glamorous and exciting illusions, to be trapped willingly. Others, unwilling, see fleeting glimpses of various exits only to not be able to reach them or to be dragged back from the very brink.

We all are trapped. Only the brave and the blessed escape.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pathanwadi etc.

DSC08646

Slums. Tightly packed 1,2,3 storied shacks. The hill is taken. A massive population has invaded. Up to 10 people sometimes live in tiny rooms of 60sqft with ceilings so low that you have to stoop when you stand up. The lanes reaching the remotest of remote living spaces are also the paths for the sewers and pipe carrying water to internet bandwidth. The irony is that in this sordid space, of top of these 'buildings', you will see satellite TV dishes galore.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Layers of the city

DSC08648

The concrete jungle and shanties on the encroached hills.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stone quarries on the Mahape - Shil Phata road

Stone quarries on the Mahape - Shil Phata road

Our short bike trip took us on the erstwhile scenic road towards the Kalyan. These low rolling hills surrounding Mumbai were very beautiful - until the time when the whole area became an industrial zone. Especially chemical industries. Now the industries too have moved to greener pastures, so to speak, leaving behind a stench in the air, a collection of old factories, ugly urbanized and heavily populated 'worker' towns and the remains of the rollings hills in the background.

Here large parts of the hill side are being eaten away to feed the construction demon created because of the new industries coming up amongst the old. The Parsic hills were the first to be eaten. Now all the other surrounding rolling hills.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Powai Lake past sunset.

Powai Lake past sunset.
Powai Lake past sunset

We were returning from the short bike trip to shil fata... accompanied by sundry drops of cold November rain. The sun had long set - when we were on the Airoli bridge - but the sky still held some light. So while passing the Powai lake, suddenly I took a U-turn and clicked these. About 30 minutes past sunset.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vashi Bridge

Vashi Bridge

I have been stuck at home for far too long. I want to go to Bhandardhara. I want to go to Devrukh. I want to go to Kaas. And I also want to go to Matheran. But none is happening.

I tried and tried to go for a day biking trip. zilch. not happened. Finally I got fed up and just left at 4pm on Sunday. Me and Percy on the Avenger. We went up to shil-phata and came back. It was better than ajibat nothing. :)

This is the Vashi bridge as seen from the Airoli bridge. Clicked with the old Minolta S414. The weather was heavily overcast. We got a few drops of cold rain on us most of our way back.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cauliflower in white gravy

cauliflower-in-white-gravy


Today I thought I will make some bhaji without the usual masalas. I have been cooking with chilli power and 'kala' masal for the past week .. gavari, dodki, tondli, batata and their various mixes. So this one was totally experimental. I did not refer to any recipe for tips. :) I had a box of coconut milk, so I decided to do this white. It turned out pretty OK. 7.5/10 from percy and 7.5/10 from me. We finished 12 fulkas and the whole bhaji in between the 3 of us - the third being PR who also liked it and probably will give it a 8/10. Because he ate his second dinner. :P

250 gm cut cauliflower
1 finely chopped onion (ground will also do, in retrospect)
2 teaspoonful ginger garlic paste
6 black peppers
1 clove
2 kokum
4 green chillies
100ml coconut milk.
a pinch of hing and salt to taste.

procedure is pretty simple:
heat oil in kadai
add hing
add the pepper and clove and let them crackle
add onion and saute for a couple of minutes
add ginger garlic paste and saute for a couple of minutes
add the slit chillies and the kokum and saute for couple of minutes
add salt to taste
add the chopped cauliflower, mix and cook for a minute or so
add a little water, cover and cook for a 5-10 minutes till flower done
taste, if all ok then you can remove the chillies and kokum, else leave it. It should be on the spicier side as we are yet to add coconut milk which is sweetish and will blunt the heat of the chilly.
add the coconut milk and let it simmer for a few minutes.

done. :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Late Diwali lights


Late Diwali lights, originally uploaded by quasi's mobile.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

on Post Processing

P6210020-orig
This one is the original as it came out of my Olympus SW850.

For all the heads who believe that doing PP is bad. "this is as-is from the camera" they claim, with pride. There is nothing wrong with only in-camera as equally as there is nothing wrong with photographic PP.

Getting the composition and exposure right as much as possible in the camera is a good ploy. But the camera sensors (and films emulsions) have severe limitations in the way they capture light. They rarely, if ever capture the scene as the eye sees and the heart feels ... the post processing gives the image the feel .. the thing you felt when you clicked it. Post processing is the next 50% of image making - after the capture. You can do better PP in the digital darkroom then what PP the camera can do in-camera.


P6210020-ppd
This was more like the mood that day. The dramatic clouds were overpowering, dominating the scene. The sun-burned grass and landscape was drab and desolate.

Monday, November 02, 2009

High on Music, Listening to the Booze

I started following a very interesting blog recently : High on Music, Listening to the Booze. He inspires me to listen to my music with a little bit more heart. His recent Steely Dan number reminded me of one of those I used to like of Steely.



Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Ranthambhore National Park

Jungle view, Ranthambhore National Park
Jungle view, Ranthambhore National Park

(continued from here: Traveling to Ranthambhore)

I got down at Sawai Madhopur Stn. Unknown to me there was another set of travelers, 2 ladies and their 3 kids, who were part of our 'group', who were on the train with me. I was watching out for a man with a board with my name on it. When I met him I met these fellow travelers too. The station was abuzz with lots of people, a large majority of whom were firangs, all heading for the park.

The 4x4 gypsy took us to our hotel which was nice. As we were a day late the rest of the gang were already out for a safari. We had a nice lunch and relaxed as the April heat was terrible with 40+ in the shade.

I visited the park in the evening. And the next 2-3 days. I was amazed by it. It's a wonderful land, full of wildlife and maintained well. We were lucky that we had a guide who was driving around the park for the past 24 years and knew all the spots. He knew more about the animals than many researchers.

Here is the general look and feel of the park with some of it's less famous denizens. We were fortunate enough to sight the Tigress T-17 twice, the photos of which deserve an independent post.

Sambar grazing in open grassland forest, Ranthambhore National Park
Sambar grazing in open grassland forest

Open grassland, Ranthambhore National Park
Open grassland, core off-limits area.


Sambar, Ranthambhore National Park
Sambar


Shikra bird of prey, Ranthambhore National Park
Shikra bird of prey


King Vulture, Ranthambhore National Park
King Vulture


Grey Partridge
Grey Partridge