Monday, August 31, 2009

Lakhon ki Pasand

Chai Bun

Chai Bun.

What would I do without chai.

Now what would I do without chai-bun.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Moody Portraits

Truck Driver

I am shooting portraits after a really long time and over the next few posts I will be posting some of them here.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

And the zebra crossed...

And the Zebra crossed...

I have always wanted to take panning shots. Though I was well aware of the technique and have tried it a few times before, today I tried a lot more.

It is very difficult to find a street to be filled in exactly the way you want it to be. So patience is the key. I tried for quite a while, before I could get the position of people, an appropriately moving vehicle, and of course decide on the timing when I wanted to press the shutter.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The wait....

The wait for Independence

...for freedom.
...for sanity.
...for peace.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Independence Beat

Independence Beat

Independence Day beats are so different across the country.
Maybe it is also with the time.

I remember when I was a kid, the colony used to be full of patriotic songs, and flavor. Jalebis and boondi ke laddoos being distributed all around. Flags being hoisted at all corners and intersections almost.

I miss it. Maybe its just a different independence beat these days.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why is he smiling?

Why is he posing?

Have you ever asked that question when you saw someone smiling?
Or did you just smile in return and move on.

The other day at the Bangalore airport, I saw a person wearing a t shirt, that said, "If you Smile, I will Smile."

I did ...
and then She did.

I had a good flight after that!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Get well soon...

In the times of the swine flu...

All those infected with Swine Flu.

Those who are not, please take care.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Portrait of Independence

Portait of Independence

I often wonder, whether Independence Day means the same to these kids, as it did to us when we were kids. I could not speak with the kids this time, as I do not know Kannada, but I will definitely ask the kids next time I meet them. I might just have to find a school where they interact in languages that I know.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is there a better reason to come to India

Is there a better reason to come to India

When someone asks me, Why did I come to India,
I just say because 'I Love India'.

Simple three words. Means a lot to me.

Monday, August 17, 2009



My grandma's diet comprises mostly of chapatis, due to her illness. She has limitations in the things she is allowed to eat.

However the cravings for the things she likes is always there. This time, I spent a lot of time with her and talking about such things. Things that she misses.

She mentioned how in her heydays she used to thrive on milk, milk products, a non vegetarian diet, fresh food from the fields and gardens and an avid sweets eater.

Of all the the things she misses eating the most is rice. She has been diabetic for over ten years now and is constantly on medicines.

Sunday, August 16, 2009



Most of my childhood was spent at my grandparents house, as my parents were in college. From the stories of my childhood that I hear, I constantly traveled between my maternal and paternal grandparents. I have been literally been brought up by them, till I understood things. And the year i started to do so, I went to a boarding school.

This is my father's mother, who does not want to leave the village home and come and settle with her sons in the town.

After I went to boarding school, my stay at home was very limited. I used to go there only during holidays, which was never much. So whenever I went home, my grandma used to come from the village to meet me. She never comes empty handed. It could be either fresh corn, sugarcane from the fields, or home made fish curry, or rotis made of rice flour, or guavas and papayas from the garden in the village home.

Now her visit to the town is very limited. But mine to the village is not. I make it a point to go to the village every time I go home.

And I do not go empty hand either.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I See Me

I See Me

In the pillars that bear testimony to the time that has passed.
The steps that it has born, without a word being said.
Of the hopping from one pillar to the other,
The uncountable number of rounds and rounds around it.
I see me.

In the next generation kids, who stop by to see a stranger,
A stranger to his own home, his motherland,
Little knowing that where he stands,
Stood that very stranger who just appears larger.
And I see me.

In his eyes, in the shorts, in the slipper-less feet,
In the desires, the dreams and the ambitions.
In his inability to go to a school in the village,
And a life that resembles after effect of a carnage.
I see me.

-Kshitiz, August 2009.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Like and Miss

Heaven is here...

Someone asked me, Do I miss the USA?.
I said Yes I do.

Then he asked me, Do I want to go back?.
I said No I don't.

Then he asked , why do you miss it then?

I miss my Friends.
I miss the Ocean.
I miss the Roads.

One day perhaps I will be back.
Maybe as a tourist, or visiting some of those friends.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The other side of the aangan...

The Other Side....

Most of the village homes have a concept of an aangan . This place has got multiple usages. A few of them being, place to keep the crops after the harvest, a place for family meals, where grandma would cook fresh on the chulha and serve us, who waited hungrily sitting on the floors, a place for learning how to walk, how to ride a cycle, a place to dry clothes, a place to hop around on the bricks when it rained and one had to put bricks to go to the other side....

The other side of the aangan is a non-pakka makaan, made of mud and bricks. This rooms on this side also served as a place to play hide and seek to the kids.

Now these rooms lie empty, perhaps filled with cobwebs only.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Space Utilization

Fill in the store...

I have always been amazed at the way the space is utilized in Indian homes. It is even more surprising in the village homes. One of the common features in village homes are the multi utilization of a room. This room shown here served as a store room and a puja room.

The puja room often called the "Gosain Ghar" contained the idols that used to be particular to specific households. Often one would see plain stones, that served at idols too.

The structure on which you see the pumpkin (which again was home grown) contains the crops from the season. My grandfather was a farmer, and the structure was always full of either rice or wheat.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Listen to the grief

Listen to the grief...

One of the things that I always face when I visit the village home is when the neighbors come and sit around me. News of my arrival travels to almost every corner of the village faster than forest fire. There are faces that i recognize, some tell me who they are and then I try to make the connection with how they look today and how they looked 20 years ago, the time when I left the villages. They are surprised to see me, and so am I. There are some who according to neighbors will be my nephews or nieces. They all have a hope in their eyes. A hope of me doing something good for the village, for their children, for them.

Some tell their stories, some shed a tear or two at their misfortunes. Some tell of their lost children. Children who have left them at their miseries, and moved on to greener pastures.

I listen to them aghast. I am loss of words. I do not know what to say.

I make up my mind of doing something for the village. I decide that the next school that I am going to work on through my child education project is the school in my native village. The building is there. Unfortunately it's a cowshed presently.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tapping into the lifestyle ...

Tap into the potential...

In order to make life easier for my grandma, my uncle had this tap system installed in the village home. But when he moved out of there to the town, the system stopped working and no one really reinstalled it.

The people in the village too did not really find a use for it. I wonder if it was an intrusion into their lifestyle and trying to introduce something new in the first place which they did not like.

Should life in the villages be left in its pristine beauty, or should there be a scope for introducing things that apparently make like easier (atleast that's what we in the towns think so) ?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Home is where ...


...the heart is.

I guess that's the reason why my grandma does not want to leave the village home and come to the town to live with us.

Friday, August 7, 2009



I am often amazed at the level of faith that people in India have in their Gods (me included).
Worshipping the Tulsi plant is a common thing in a lot of homes across India.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Unique Flavor


One of the things that I miss, is the food cooked on these earthen chulhas. Whenever I am at my village, grandma makes food on these. It's something with the smoke, or the firewood, that the food gets a unique flavor.

And its pleasant.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Towards light

Towards Light

I recently visited my native village. Smelt the earth on which I played, roamed around the pillars on which I hopped, plucked leaves from the garden, and realized what I have missed all these years. I will be uploading pictures from this trip on Flickr and here now.

I had left my village some 24 years ago for education. I was surprised to see that not many things had changed since then.