Posts Tagged ‘delhi’

Celebrating life, 101214

December 17, 2014

I just posted about the death of children, so I must definitely post about the celebration of life and a return to good health.

I went to Delhi to celebrate the 50th birthday of

(who doesn’t have the time to blog any more…)

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She is a true survivor,who’s battled loss and grief, adversity and obstacles, and done it with grace and a smile.

For both KM and me, she’s the only immediate family in India.

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She had one big party for her colleagues at work, and her actual birthday was a quiet day, with a visit to an old Shiva temple.

At week’s end, she was able to get together with many of her friends, including several people whom she’s known from childhood and had recently connected up with on FaceBook; it was a Loreto Convent Kindergarten reunion!

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The cake, organized by her brother Ravi and her cousin Nishu, was a wonderful concoction

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with edible photographs printed along the side!

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By the end of the evening, she was loaded with love and good wishes:

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And quite tired out, but still with that ever-present smile, even through the yawn!

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“AdhA hai chandramA, rAt Adhi” (the moon and the night are both half gone) we sang, as we went home…

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Economic development and its dependencies: different lifestyles

December 15, 2014

Visiting any large city,and observing the different worlds that co-exist, is always a thought-provoking experience. Gurgaon is no different.

Here’s the view of one of the thousands of high-rise apartments that have come up in this was-a-sleepy-village:

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To me, however, what gives character to this photograph is not the high-rise..but that cluster of buildings nestling below it, with the spire of a temple as well.

In those homes live the people who make life convenient for the occupants of the high-rises; the faceless people who provide so many services: maids, ironing-wallahs, drivers, security guards, gardeners, the innumerable tasks that the relatively cheap labour in India takes on.T The prosperous middle-class would collapse without these services that take away some of the strife of daily living in this country, rendered by people who do not have other people to take away their own strife.

Motorized fossil-fuel transport, of course, is the backbone of this kind of residential area, but right next to the motorized transport in this photo, is a greener option: the cycle rickshaw, which does not depend on electricity or fossil fuel. I was happy to see many plying everywhere.

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Here’s someone delivering large PVC pipes somewhere by cycle rickshaw, this one modified for cargo:

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In fact, I was tickled to see some motorized transportation being consigned to a dusty oblivion:

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Here’s someone who fills mattresses with cotton (or is it some artificial filler, I wonder) and then sells them:

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Some provide services by carting away the deteritus of a consumer lifestyle:

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Some get excellent exercise while commuting:

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Here’s a “chik” (bamboo-slat blind) maker, whose blinds will add to the ambience of so many “ethnically” decorated apartments:

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Other people provide services for those who provide services. Everywhere, mobile carts catered to the needs of those less financially well-endowed than their high-rise brethren:

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Here are the people who tend to the the little greenery that surrounds each high-rise:

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Here, a mobile cycle-rickshaw, so ingeniously fitted with a pressure pump,that allows car, van and truck tyres to be inflated:

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This is Indian

jugaad

at its best…no more waiting at petrol pumps to inflate one’s tyres!

The urban scenario is not a pretty one for the lower economic strata:

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Pollution and litter seem to be part of their lot, and yet they manage to exist…and thrive, and have a blue-eyed vision of their future:

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Here’s a night view, with the building (in the first photograph) to the left:

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Fascinating to see how, in the same space, so many different lifestyles go on!

Another unexpected hunting scene, Gurgaon, 131214

December 13, 2014

I have made

this post

about taking an infant for a walk in her stroller, and coming upon a raptor with a kill.

Little did I know that history would repeat itself!

It is cloudy and gloomy at Gurgaon, and instead of sitting idly in the 19th floor, apartment, I decided to get some exercise by climbing down, walking around the building, and then climbing back.

As I walked on the pathway around the building, which is shaded by small tree, I was thrilled to see a Shikra which had just made a pigeon kill!

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I dared not go too close.

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It looked around for a bit, and then carried the pigeon across the barbed wire fence to the ground of the adjacent apartment building. In the process, it dropped its prey.

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However, I was able to click it, waiting for several unheeding people to go past before it dropped down out of my sight, presumably to pick up its food and go off.

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That was quite an unexpected bonus of the walk, and I never felt the 19 floors I climbed up, afterwards!

The photos are on my FB album

here

The persist-ant…

March 31, 2014

Scurrying across the path
I saw this little ant.
It bore a heavy burden,
Its legs were all aslant.

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It stopped every now and then
And shifted the mouthful it had.
But never gave up on the task:
A persistent lady…or lad.

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The prey in its jaws
Was about its own size.
But the long-legged ant
Seemed found it tasty and nice.

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I never did find out
How the story ended.
Did the ant succeed,
As its way it wended?

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Did the other ants in the nest
Cheer at a successful chore?
Or did the ant abandon
Its task, and drag it no more?

I left it a mystery
As I consigned the moment to history.

Banjaran, and name-bracelets, India Gate, Delhi, 260314

March 27, 2014

First my daughter had two Banjara girls, whom she asked to thread together various name beads for all of KTB’s friends at Urban Sprouts, the daycare back home:

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The threads they used were so colourful:

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As were the ornaments on the girls’ hands:

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The beads cost Rs.2 each, and though the girls were illiterate, they asked for our help in stringing them together the right way:

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You can see “ABIGAIL” being spelt out here:

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While they did their work, corn-on-the-cob was shared:

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Soon, word seemed to spread that here was a person who would pay well, and she seemed to be running an ethnic cottage industry on the lawns of India Gate!

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My daughter finally had to walk away with others pestering her, but she was happy that she’d given them employment, at least for a while.

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These Banjarans were so colourful…I wish their lives were as colourful, too!

A walk and a climb in Highrisegaon, 260314

March 26, 2014

Yesterday I was far too knocked out by the migraine, but this morning, I did wake up in time to leave for my walk by 5.45 am. It was the lovely “ushat kAlam” ..the pre-dawn darkness slowly glowing into ambient light.

I went down the stairs…and it was dark enough that after a few floors, I had to go back to the lift and take that down to the ground floor. Out I walked, and with the tall buildings looming on every side, I walked along, being careful to get my various co-ordinates so that I would be able to find my way back through the Redwood Sequioas of Gurgaon.

Several things caught my eye. One thinks, perhaps, that each building is a compact “village”…but that is not so…most people living in the apartments are strangers to each other…they just share the cocoon, and the sense of camaraderie is pretty fragile. After I got no response to my third or fourth “good morning”, I stopped wishing anyone.

I went out of the apartment building I was staying in, and walked out to the “downmarket” area that I could see from the 19th floor balcony…from which the maid, who works in the apartment, comes. The area is divided by a “nullah” (sewage canal), with all sorts of filth in it, in which several huge-looking pigs (some actually having back-bristles like boars) were rooting around. What a difference between economic strata, separated by a road and a ditch! And yet, the residents of the building depend deeply on the denizens of this “pocket sector” (as one of Anjana’s banker friends in this area described it) meant for the “EWS” (Economically Weaker Sections). The drivers, the maids, the “ironwallahs”, the many domestic and menial services provided to the residents…they come from these “pockets”.

I noticed the early morning services in operation. Milk, in plastic sachets that were stacked in hard plastic crates, was being unstacked after being unloaded from the vans, and being delivered. Newspaper vendors sat in groups, with the day’s several papers in front of them, folding deftly, and inserting the various leaflets that make them a few extra rupees every morning, as well as the supplements of each newspaper. Maids and servants were walking to work, some with a shawl over their torsos, against the early morning’s slight nip. I was cheered to see some maids (yes) on cycles. In fact, at one place, I found several cycles, and the security told me that I could borrow a cycle if I wished, and return it after going around. That made me very happy!

I came back from the open road, and decided to walk along the buildings themselves. Between the high-rises were some even more opulent “low rises”…in this region of high real estate values, to have a bungalow or a low-rise building with just two or three floors must mean sky-high cost!

The spaces between the buildings were plentifully planted with trees and plants…and I was happy to see that not all of them were stunted and pruned to human domination…there were quite a few trees that supported a lot of squirrels, and birds…and as the sun rose, butterflies flitted along, too, as (did dragonflies. There were assigned walking paths, but I could walk along the entrances of the various grand apartments, and look up at the incredible variety of the architecture…some of which was pleasing to the eye, and some of which was…otherwise (“Neo-Gurgainyya”sums it up best for me.) The anonmyity of living in such apartments is, I suppose, both a comfort and a discomfort sometimes…but the greenery helps one in adjusting to this kind of city life.

I watched Bulbuls, Sunbirds, Pigeons and Wagtails; in the ditch, Lapwings looked incuriously at me; I saw a few Flowerpeckers in the Bottle-Brush trees, and did my chanting (108 names of Anjaneya, kanakadhArA stOtram, and some more slOkA), meditated in peace, watched some ladies doing yoga…by this time nearly two hours had elapsed.

The weather was just warming up by now, but I climbed the 19 floors to the terrace with ease, and was only slightly huffy and puffy when I reached the front door. I was happy with my morning walk, climb, observations and thoughts…

I walked into the apartment to greet everyone, especially the two children who are now the center of my universe. They ran to me and hugged me; the younger one showed his two teeth in a happy grin; the elder had some anecdote to relate….I was back in my present world..and I left behind the world of Gurgaon, the High-rise Village.

One of the birds on the Delhi trip…

April 4, 2007

Let me make a beginning about the various birds we saw on the trip to Delhi….

Here’s the Yellow-Footed Green Pigeon.

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon

For once, the name is not difficult to understand!

More pictures will follow as I post to Flickr.

KSTDC….

March 30, 2007

Hmm…first of all, I got to spend some time on the Net yesterday and had posted about my visiting our fair rajdhani, Delhi…I had to use the “date out of order” option….oh, the entries had got mixed and I had to rectify them…

And here’s what I posted today:

http://bangalore.metblogs.com/archives/2007/03/karnataka_tourism_counter_at_b.phtml

Karnataka State Tourism Discouragement Corporation…

Oh well….

I have been taking some pictures but finally, KM has ALSO decided to post to INW methinks…with the result that the camera was set to CR2 (the raw format for Canon) and the CF card, of course, got quickly full! Will download the pictures, and post a few of the decent ones (birding trips to both Okhla Bird Park and Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary)…and the campus where we stayed, the Anand Farm in Gudgaon, was a beautiful place with a wealth of birds. KM has taken the CF card today…tomorrow will be my turn!

Attended a Delhi wedding which, luckily, was not as glitzy as some weddings in that city can be…

Still wondering if the trip to Delhi was worth it…until I visited the home of someone I know, and found that their 13-year-old daughter writes beautifully. I tried opening a Live Journal account for her but the broadband connection in her home was down. She does nice anime sketching, too…a very creative child, I hope to introduce her in my LJ, at least, soon…..

The Punjabi-Sikh wedding we attended…LOTS of pics

November 11, 2006

….

Ah. I have got the photos onto Flickr and am all set….

First, the disclaimers, which I am very good at.

…there was no one to explain things to us, so much of what follows is my interpretation. The bride’s family are Hindu Punjabis, the grooms’ family are Sikhs, and this was the first time I have ever seen a Sikh wedding ceremony. So I don’t know what the ceremonies are called, etc.

Secondly, I was also doing a lot of rubber-necking because so many who’s who-s had to be gawked at, from Rahul Gandhi onwards…so I might have missed something, too, while I was looking at Politician A or Film Star B or TV Star C.

Here are the pics of the wedding, click on this

Another delight

November 7, 2006

Delhi is full of signboards where lots of liberty is taken with English As She Is Wrote.

Here’s a board :

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No, that’s not advertising spares which will sway (or swe) to the beat of a different drummer….Juki, Pegasus, Siruba, Brother and so on are brands of ….sewing machines.

But don’t miss the “Hero Honds” Chowk in GGN (that’s Gudgaon) either…not Hero Honda.

I was asleep for most of the ride back or I would have been able to get more gems for my collection…