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By: Rajiv Chopra

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Saturday, 12-Aug-2006 15:58 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Faces Through The Ages - 17. There's a model in all of us.

The Young Model!
I am really very sleepy so, this entry will be sans the blah! I took this in October 2004, at the Forbidden City, the Gu Gong, the home of the Ming and Qing Emperors. The place has amazing history. Today, of course, history blends with modernity. This shot was taken at one of the exits. As you can see, the walls are covered with colourful posters, in front of which, we have our young model!

Should I start a short series on the Forbidden City? Maybe, yes.

But, the young lady! She did not see me, as I was shooting her. Yes, there is a model in all/most of us!

Friday, 4-Aug-2006 15:47 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Cold Birds
Here goes! I don't know if this entry is going to work!

Friday, 4-Aug-2006 13:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
This is India - 5. Panvel

A hillside hut.
Was this our hotel?
An Abandoned Well
View all 6 photos...
This entry should have come first, actulayy and, my tale of hanging out of the train, later. But, that is the life! As I mentioned the last time around, we started walking up the hill at around 1 am or 1:30 am. Quite something! And, I think we reached Panvel at around 4:30 am or 5:00 am. Naturally, we were dead on our feet at the end of it all, And, we had to find a hotel. Since we had no reservations, we had to walk around a bit, before we finally found one. And, we did get quite a shabby hotel, actually. Really quite shabby. I am not too sure if the hotel that is in the picture is the hotel we stayed in for a few hours but, it may well have been.

Those days, the little town was quite run down but, very natural, as you will see from the pics. The old well, the hut. And, it had some wonderful, wooded walkways. Nice, cute little landscape as you can see, as well.

I am quite sure that all this has long disappeared by now, in the relentless march of commercial tourism. I should go back one day and, take some pics. Then, I can put up a then and now kind of series! If it were not for photography, these places would disappear even from our memories. The impotant historical role we play! Wow.

By the time we got down to the plains, we were pooped. Really knocked out. As you can see from the shot that I took of my sleeping pal! I wonder where he is now. Good thing I was the only one with the camera. I am sure that I went off to sleep, with my mouth wide open. Not a pretty sight, I am sure!

Saturday, 29-Jul-2006 05:10 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Hanging Out Of A Toy Train!

The Train 1
The Train 2
The Trees
These are photos from a long time ago, when I was still young and sexy. I am no longer young but, I still like to think I am sexy! I used to live in Bombay those days. It's called Mumbai nowadays but, old fogies like me still call it Bombay. Correction: old, sexy fogies like me!!

Oh yes, before I carry on, I must say that this entry is, kind of inspired by an old entry by JP Harr, one where he took some pics out of a moving car window!

Anyway, we went up to this lovely little hill station called Panvel, near Bombay. My pals and me. We took one of those local trains to a town near Bombay. We took the train at 1 o'clock at night. We reached the suburban town at about 2:30 at night, and walked up to Panvel. I am forgetting the name of that town but, it will come back to me later.

We did'nt have any hotel bookings so, we convinced one of the local hoteliers to give us a room to wash up. Then, we went off to explore the town. By 4 in the evening, we were all to sleepy to walk down so, we took this "toy train" down.

And, there was me, like some young Indian stud, hanging out of the train! I was clinging to the handle with one hand and, was handling me beloved Olympus OM2n with the other. One foot in the train and, my body out of the train. Well, you see one of the results of that trip down.

Okay, next time I will put up some pictures of the place.

And, I must give you a small word of where I have been lurking. I went off to Inner Mongolia for a week. I stayed in the grassland, which was fantastic. I then went off to a place called Xining, in Qinghai province. I drove of to see the Qinghai Lake. At 3,500 metres above sea level.

I was also in the South of China, in a beautiful place called Jiu Zhai Gou. Very high. And, stunning.
I have switched to shooting digital in RAW so, it may take some time before I can figure out how to convert them. Till then, a bit of Panvel will have to do!

Monday, 17-Jul-2006 02:44 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Faces Through The Ages - 16. The Theory Of Relativity Part 2.

Relativity Part 2
I have been away for some time and, will be away for some more time. I was shifting house. Quite a task. Then, I went to an awesome place called JiuZhaiGou in South China. It will be some time before I put up pictures of that place because, digital wise, I have decided to switch to the RAW mode. I also want to save for a scanner, so that I can scan all my black & white negatives. I leave, this evening, for Inner Mongolia and, a place called Qinghai/Xining. Also, to be shot in RAW mode. Wish me luck! I'll be away for a week.

This is a photo I took last year, in Shanghai. It's not a well focussed snap but, I saw this scene and, quickly clicked. There is a man with all appendages intact, pushing a lady in a wheel chair. We take our limbs for granted until we lose the use of them. I don't always know why. And, for some of the people who do lose the use of their legs, they at least, have someone to push them around. Not the best situation but, better than some.

And, there are those of us, like the unfortunate person in the far left of the corner, who not only have lost their arms and legs but, have to fend for themselves, begging on the street. And, we often pass them by. Funny how we will spend money on trinkets but, a few bucks to these people hurt.

And of course, there are those who make a living out of this. In my younger days, I have seen people with no legs ( I have seen worse sights than this as well), but on small wheel carts. They would have to push themselves around to beg. These people were often the victims of ganglords, who would cut their legs off and, put the people on to the street to beg. Probably they could not repay a loan.

This begs the question - how do you know, when you give a few coins to these unfortunate souls, that you are feeding a gangster's lust? Or, does a bit of the money go back to feed these poor people? Maybe, the Lord knows. I don't.

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