Posts Tagged ‘differences’

Blue Mormon, Common Mormon

July 17, 2018

The Common Mormon does not have blue
Whether it’s the UP or UN you view.
The female Common Mormon can pose
An appearance like the Crimson Rose.
But if the UP of the Blue Mormon you view
And look at that pattern of blue
The larger size will make you stare
As this beauty floats through the air.
These differences are, I tell you, true
Between the Mormon, Common and the Mormon, Blue!

Blue Mormon


Common Mormon


Common Mormon female mimicking Crimson Rose


Rudyard Kipling: Words that make sense across the centuries

February 2, 2013

Rudyard Kipling
We and They
“A Friend of the Family”
From “Debits and Credits”(1919-1923)

Father and Mother, and Me,
Sister and Auntie say
All the people like us are We,
And every one else is They.
And They live over the sea,
While We live over the way,
But-would you believe it? –They look upon We
As only a sort of They!

We eat pork and beef
With cow-horn-handled knives.
They who gobble Their rice off a leaf,
Are horrified out of Their lives;
While they who live up a tree,
And feast on grubs and clay,
(Isn’t it scandalous? ) look upon We
As a simply disgusting They!

We shoot birds with a gun.
They stick lions with spears.
Their full-dress is un-.
We dress up to Our ears.
They like Their friends for tea.
We like Our friends to stay;
And, after all that, They look upon We
As an utterly ignorant They!

We eat kitcheny food.
We have doors that latch.
They drink milk or blood,
Under an open thatch.
We have Doctors to fee.
They have Wizards to pay.
And (impudent heathen!) They look upon We
As a quite impossible They!

All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They!

The eternal debate….

November 4, 2011

Photography…is it documentation, or is it art? Now that the enhancement or manipulation of images is in the hands of the photographer,in these days of digital photography, rather than the faceless “colour laboratory” that used to process film, the question arises with unfailing regularity.

I think that the two are equally valid types of photography…much like realism and impressionism (or any other branch of abstract) in art. One type of photography seeks only to document, to present the reality of the moment that was captured on camera. The other seeks to enhance the impact of the image, by manipulating the image itself. Both are valid in their own spheres.

Here is the image of the silhouette of the Black Bulbul, that I took at Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand, on 291011:

blk blbl 291011 dhnlti

And my good friend Sethu, who is an excellent photographer and possesses great post-processing skills as well, decided to make something more creative out of it, and here is the image he sent me:

L sethu's artwork of blck blbl 021111

One can clearly see that the image that has the lovely sky background is far more appealing than the simpler image, for which the value is its veracity. So, rather than classify them as “real” and “fake”, a classification which implies a value judgement, I’d call them “real” and “art” photographs.

It’s up to the photographer, I feel, to decide what each image should be. I personally like to document what I have seen and experienced, and use my images to illustrate my narrative, or show things through my eyes; and I also save a lot of time by not post-processing. I like clicking images so much that if I started enhancing them, I would never post much….I click to share, and am not bothered too much about a perfect or an artisitic photograph.

But others differ; they would, even in a realistic photograph, enhance the image a bit to make an excellent image out of one that is good to begin with. And, in the case of many of the images that one gets in internet forwards, the images are manipulated to get the maximum artistic impact out of them, so the extent of post-processing could be quite high.

So…I feel that there need not be any comparison of the two types of images; I’m happy to look at wonderful images that I know have been post-processed, and equally happy to see a delightful image of two kittens playing, taken by someone’s first camera. It’s only when I am asked to compare the two (or, as happened today) asked if I can “match” these images, that I feel the need to state my viewpoint….vive le difference, is what I say.

However, if a set of parameters includes even an implicit requirement for “unprocessed” images, then a good photographer would mention the fact that the images are processed, if it has been done. This will avoid all difficulties and difficulties….such as the photographer’s work being disqualified, and the reputation besmirched.


May 7, 2009

Systems work differently in the US and in India, and when one gets used to them,life becomes easier. A simple point of illustration is driving in both countries.

Everywhere, one must have information for driving…how do I get to where I am going? What’s the best route to take?

In India, information is almost always oral. Yes, perhaps Google maps has now covered many cities, but still, most drivers use their window for information…by putting their hands out of it, waving down passers-by, and asking for information. Of course, very often, this information could be wrong…but in the absence of signposting or reliable maps, this is the only kind of information source that one relies on as one drives to a new destination.But this also allows one to take off for totally unknown destinations quite blithely! “Alli kEL bhavuthu” or “ange kEttukkalAm” (we can ask there)is our refrain!

In the US, however, a lot of information (accurate) is there…but it needs tremendous discipline and alertness to be able to get it. If one casually drives off the way one would do in India, finding one’s way to the destination would be impossible. But of course, one would usually look up one’s destination, or get a set of navigation instructions from the person-at-the-destination

But even with this information, it can be quite daunting to find one’s way. A little inattention, and one can miss the correct exit, and will have to loop back for miles, wasting a lot of time, instead of the convenient U-turn one can often take in India! (Well,that’s happening less these days, with the new highways.)

Even as one drives, there is a lot of information that has to be picked up and followed on, on the road….speed limit signs, “yield” signs, lane closure signs….the locals are totally used to doing this, but it requires a fair amount of training for someone newly driving here.

But when one HAS got used to the fact that there will be NO “asking the passerby”, and starts picking up the information, one realizes what an extraordinarily good sytem is in place. Exits, merging lanes, signposting…these are all very good.

In India, we certainly need to take our signposting more seriously….we tend to assume that someone, somewhere, will have the information we need to guide us to our destination; or that everyone knows the route!

In Bangalore, at one point, on Bannerghatta Road, there are signs to “Koramangala” or “Banashankari” etc, but no detailed signposting at all, no information on closed or dug up roads, no indication of approaching speed bumps….it’s so chaotic that some of my American friends have asked me HOW I drive there!

What tickles me the most is the sign, when we are driving in south India, from Chennai to Bangalore, that says, “Ahmedabad” (in the state of Gujarat) and gives the distance..over 1100 km! 🙂

Getting information is a very different process in the two largest democracies in the world…and it’s good that we are comfortable with both!

Thoughts, because we are driving to Indianapolis today to fetch a Bangalore friend. Now even this, I would say, was an impulsive decision by KM. It’s a 4.5 to 5 hour drive each way, and we are coming back the same day…not a great idea on these monotonous highways…particularly when there is an excellent bus service from Indianapolis to St Louis!

So, I decided that I would also go along, and spell KM with the driving (navigating is no big deal, it’s a single highway all the way.) I only wish highway driving was like India, where there’s always something interesting and unexpected to see…the freeways here are sooooo monotonous, with cars and trucks speeding past, and the added danger of one’s being lulled into a moment of drowsiness, that could be deadly dangerous….

OK, I better go to catch some sleep now…

The Artist and the Artisan

February 20, 2009

A comment from birdonthewire appreciating my “alphabet verse” set me thinking about the difference between art and artisanship…

Artisanship…is clever,excites sometimes fleeting admiration….can be replicated,is not necessarily creative.

Art…is wise,excites longer-lasting feelings and really moves one… is unique, and is always creative.

But I agree that there are lots of things which straddle the border between these two….

So, I am still wondering…is word-play art? or artisanship? Do I somehow seem as if I think of artisanship (eg, painting a copy of an Old Master) rather less than a work of art? Is it not valuable in its own right? Is a beautifully executed copy of a Holbein less than a daub of original brushstrokes? How should I rate my abcd verse…well, I just said it, it’s verse! …if what distinguishes verse from poetry is the emotion it evokes, does that difference hold true for all art?

I find the music in the “India” ads and even the Airtel signature tune so haunting, is it the same as the majesty of a rAgam treated in a Carnatic music concert?

Would like your thoughts on this. I am not very articulate about this right now, and would like to think it through.

A lotus and a lily….

August 12, 2008

I find, very often, that people get a lotus mixed up with a lily, so I am making this post to illustrate the difference…

This…is a lily:

Lily at Lalbagh 7 Feb 07

And this…is a lotus:

Here are the typical lotus buds and leaves:

The lotus also can be white; these are rarer to find:

Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning is supposed to be sitting on a white lotus. (even though, in the picture by Raja Ravi Varma in that wiki link, she is depicted sitting on a rock!)

Lilies (not the water lilies, but the “land” flowers…remember the phrase, white as a lily?) are generally associated with being white, and that’s why, I think, pink lilies are confused with the lotus. But the shape differentiates them from lotuses:

But lilies can be this beautiful mauve, too….

lily in the evening kodai 240508

The more pointed petals, the more angular shape of the flower, distinguishes lilies from lotuses. The leaves are different, too; lily leaves have the characteristic “slice” out of the circumference of the leaf. Lotus leaves are more fleshy-looking too.

OK, Mr SS, I guess THAT answers your question….

Friends on LJ….

November 21, 2007

I do *lurrrrv* reading the comments on my LJ as much as I like reading my friends’ posts.

I make a post, obviously, with just one thought, or point of view…but my friends’ comments show me so many facets of thinking and opinions. I am taken out of my own narrow view and can see how the same thing, opinion, or fact appears from another perspective. The best way to improve as a human being is to at least try and understand points of views other than one’s own.

And many times, friends are SUCH a source of support and comfort. They say simple, sensible things…the e-shoulders they offer sometimes are every bit as consoling as physically real ones.

Let me not forget to mention the innumerable times that my friends’ comments brings a quick smile, a laugh, and sometimes rolling mirth to me….

LJ has been one of the very nice things that has happened to me.

But that doesn’t mean that I am going in for a paid account! ;-D Letting ads on my page is about as far as I will go!


October 25, 2005

Halloween is approaching in the US….though I think that,mostly, people are the same everywhere, differences in customs do interest me. Here, the dust everywhere ensures that all too often, we have actual “websites” hanging greyly from various corners in our houses, and it is a chore to clean the cobwebs off…and in the US, in banks and offices and I don’t know how many homes, it is such an unknown entity that they actually use artificial webspray to create cobwebs to set the scene for Halloween decorations!

In the same way, when my daughter invited someone home for dinner, she came wearing a brooch in the shape and form of a lizard. To us, this is a sometimes-tolerated (it eats cockroaches) and sometimes-hated, but very common, domestic creature…we would not dream of wearing jewellery in its shape. Though one of the most popular of the very beautiful mud-sculptures in West Bengal when I grew up was an intensely realistic one of a lizard eating up a cockroach, I would never have actually bought one of those, either!

Makes me think, though…why would the shape of a cobra be so commonly used in jewellery when that, too, was quite common some decades ago? The ways of human beings are unendingly interesting!