Rajiv's FotoPage
By: Rajiv Chopra

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Tuesday, 30-Jan-2007 13:08 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Elephanta - One of my earliest photoshoots

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Fotopages is strange. I had written a nice long paragraph for this entry. And twice again and, the bloody thing got deleted three times.

I have not uploaded for a long time because we've had some lousy connectivity. The under sea cable snapped after the earthquake in Taiwan and, things are slowly returning to normal. Meanwhile, things have changed. Dotty seems to have changed the entry code as well!!

Well, a very brief write up this time. Elephanta is an island about an hour's boat ride south of Bombay. The temple and the temple carvings, done in approximately 600 AD, were carved out of solid rock. The main hall has the Trimurti, which literally means three statues. The three Hindu Gods - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv. Incidentally, in India the Vedic religion predates the Hindu religion.

The temple is dedicated to Shaivaite lore and, to the various forms of Shiva. When I went there, I was a callow young fellow, only about 3 years old and, was pretty insensitive to the myths behind the carvings.

One day, I will go back. With some more wisdom. And humility.

Saturday, 23-Dec-2006 16:43 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Faces Through The Ages - 18. Spare A Thought

Spare A Thought
It's Christmas. The New Year, as per the Gregorian Calendar, is coming around. It's the time for festivity and much cheer. And, fun, laughter, wine, song, good food and good cheer.

I believe that this is a time when we make our resolutions and, hope that the next year will be better.

I also believe that this is a time when we should count our blessings and, spare a thought for those whose economic or emotional or spiritual circumstances are less fortunate than ours. And, we should spare a thought for them and, thank the Good Lord who maketh us all for all the blessings we have.

This photo was taken in Haerbin, China. The temperature was about -15 degrees centigrade in the middle of the afternoon and, there was a strong wind blowing. I was coming out of my centrally heated hotel and, was about to get into my heated taxi. I was cribbing about the cold, when I noticed this woman and her companions sweeping the area outside the hotel, so that ungrateful duded like myself could have a comfortable drive.

Today, I spare a thought for this woman and, I wish her good cheer in her life.

Sunday, 10-Dec-2006 13:05 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Forbidden City. Part 4 of the series

In The Vast Pavilions
Looking Around
Stairways and Passageways
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The home of 24 Emperors over 500 years. The building started in 1406 AD, by the Ming Emperors and, modifications took place during the Qing Dynasty. Covering an area of 720,000 square metres; a construction area of 150,000 square metres; with 9,000 bays, halls and rooms; with walls 10 metres high and 3,428 metres long; with a moat 52 metres wide and 3,800 metres long, this was truly the home of a king. 24 of them across 500 years.

In the end, who was the king? The king, or the ministers. The autobiography of Pu Yi, the Last Emperor begs an answer to this question. The selection of Pu Yi as Emperor was the result of political intrigue by the Empress Dowager, who seemed to be the real power.

The king was the prisoner of ritual and, when he wanted a glimpse of the outside world, this was staged for him.

So, who was the King? The King or, the role that he had to follow?

And then one day, it was gone. 3,000 years of dynastic rule gone up in smoke and, the country's political system was changed in a flash. A king deposed and, a country transformed.

When you stand in the vast grounds of the Forbidden City, on a winter's morning, you look around and ask yourself - who were these kings who are now forgotten? Time consumes all before it.

Pomp, glory all bow down before time. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, dreams to dreams we pass on in the wide space of Eternity.

Tuesday, 5-Dec-2006 14:35 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Forbidden City. Part 3 of the Series

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It's late at night here in Shanghai and, I am not too inspired at the moment, in terms of finding names for the pictures. I am also a little disappointed that fotopages seems seems to have stopped sending e-mails to let me know when you guys are uploading your pictures, so I have been finding it a little hard to keep up.

These guys need to become a little more user friendly again.

Anyway, these are some small details in various parts of the Forbidden City. Some of them, numbers 1 and 2 ,are from the side areas of the city. Some are bang in the centre (number 3) and, there are parts of the roof (numbers 5 and 6). There is a tremendous amount of detail that went into the creation of the Gu Gong and, I have only put up a few of the pictures.

Would I have liked to be king? Yes. And, no.

A king theoretically had power. Especially in the early years of a dynasty. But, in the latter years of a dynasty, I think, that a king is a prisoner of protocol. What little I have read about Queen Elizabeth, the monarchy in Japan and, of the last years of the Qing Dynasty all point towards this. More of these random thoughts in my next entry. The last of this series. And, I promise that there will be a lot of blah in that entry!

Thursday, 23-Nov-2006 04:49 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Forbidden City - Part 2 of the Series

The Waterway
The Ancestors would never allow these posters.
A Grand View
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First of all, I have to say that I am pretty gratified that one of my pictures was chosen to be the Editor's Choice. And, a mite surprised as well. But, I am grateful to the editor's!

I had promised you some history and,some statistics with this entry but, I forgot to put them in. The next time around. The next entry may take some time, as the ethernet connection point on my Mac MIni seems to have gone kaput and, I have to give the computer for repairs. I also have to give my camera for servicing.

These pictures were taken on a sunny October afternoon in Beijing. I am sitting in Beijing now. It's overcast and, chilly.And, the heating in my room does not work at all. Rats. I was born in the year of the Rat. Which makes me 22 years old. Do you believe this?

Anyhow, look at all us tourists thronging the place. And, look at the posters. 500 years ago, this would never be allowed. The same goes for Bukhingham Palace, by the way. Tradition bows it's head to the mighty rush of consumerism. The consumer's waller is the King. Or, Queen as the case may be.

All Hail The Mighty Wallet!! May Your Majesty's Power live forever!

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