Saturday, August 18, 2007

The XMas Crib

Great X Mas eve. 2006 Dec. It was first XMas after my marriage. We all toiled all day to make this crib. It came out great and this photograph is a proof of that. So we won the parish level prize for this crib. My brother had been winning the prizes for the last few years. This time no exception that way (Exception is that I am home for X Mas this year !!)....
My mother has collected all the decorative items for the last 7-8 years.. and all those things like little stars, glitters, bells, small clay stuatues, decorative papers, all come out at this season... everytime there is something new in the design or decoration. This time there were several such - the Tall Palm leave brought at the back, Tall Clay pots filled with oil and serving as a lamp etc...
XMas is one of the cherished seasons for me.. all the memories of childhood come alive..those little cribs decorated at every house.. all the house fronts with a dangling polar star (various colors and patterns)... then midnight mass, then carole, cake, other festivities... I love these times...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bamboo Bed at Edamalayar Dam

From our ride to Edamalayar dam and its near by forest area. We saw these bamboo logs left in the water and we were curious to know why this is being done so..The bamboo harvested from the forest logged in water so that they dont use its moisture content while waiting for it to be transported to the factory. Its a beautiful scene with these bamboos spread across the dam water. You can actually walk across the water on top of bamboo logs...

Bamboo is known as “poor man’s timber”. Bamboo is currently being elevated to the status of “the timber of the 21st century”.

Besides bamboo shoot is supposed to be a nutritious food as well. A bamboo shoot is a young culm harvested at the time, or shortly after it appears above the soil surface. When the shoot pierces the ground, critical bio-chemical processes start. These lead to rapid growth, as well as concurrent hardening, as the shoot elongates and turns into a woody culm. Bamboo shoot have high nutritional value and low fat, and are a good source of fibre.Bamboo shoots are rich in vitamins, cellulose and amino acids. At harvesting, a shoot may contain as much as 90% water. The edible content of a newly harvested shoot is typically around 30%; the balance is made up of the sheath, and the extreme portions of the shoot.

Most bamboo species produce edible shoots. In many parts of India, bamboo shoots have formed a part of traditional cuisine – fresh, dried, shredded or pickled. There is however also a growing market for processed and packaged shoots, representing an opportunity for the establishment of commercially run processing units.

National Mission on Bamboo Applications website will tell more on the activities at the national level and at various bamboo producing states.

Now, they are being loaded on to the lorry from the water..

Abandoned Hut - Edamalayar Dam Site

From God's own country... the scenic beauty of the Edamalayar dam near my home town. One morning I and my brother decided to make a ride towards this dam area. The route is very scenic. The morning ride, fresh air and sunlight rejuvenates everything in you...

The hut in the scene should be one abandoned by some tea shop guy. You will find such way side tea shops operating as you travel along the country. You will get tea, breakfast and snacks (delicious local specialities). Sometimes even lunch. Since the construction of the dam was completed long back, i guess, there are few customers now.... Anyway the abandoned hut structure in midst of the dried bushes and trees, against the backdrop of western ghats gives a sense of abandonment.. at the same time a lonely beauty...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sunset in Dwarka :-)

I am after sun sets. I never get to see the sun rise anyway :-)... except for the barbe wires i think it was a good picture (its actually 220KV line, which I thought will not figure much in this long range photograph, but they do).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stained Glasses from St:Francis Church, Melbourne

From the western transcept of St Francis' Church located on the corner of Lonsdale Street and Elizabeth Street in Melbourne. St Francis' Church is the oldest Catholic church in Victoria.. Its just minutes away from my office, 360, ELizabeth street, It takes more time in the lift than to walk up to the church. It is one of only three buildings in central Melbourne which predates the Gold Rush of 1851. The church's was laid on 4 October 1841, the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, to whom the church is dedicated.
Western transcept is known as the Ladyes church. This transcept was later added to the church in 1858. What attracted me mpst is the beautiful paintings on the glass windows portraying important events from the life of Virgin Mary. I kindled a candle everyday at this place, not that I became devout suddenly, but somehow my wavering mind needed a solace in those days. A place to be calm and meditative. The atmosphere in the St:Francis chruch provided that. Its quiet different from what you saw outside....a divine sense prevailed. Of course it was easy to spend sometime there everyday as it was on my way to office.

More on this transcept and its features from the
website of the church itself.

Major news papers published detailed articles on the day of the blessing of the church. The Argus of the day reported,

"The new chapel present one of the most beautiful interiors of which our city can boast. It is situated on the western site of the cathedral, and contain several windows, all of which are intended to be filled with stained glass. At present two large windows and an oriel are so ornamented: the paintings respectively representing the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption of the Virgin, and the Descent of the Holy Ghost. The mural decorations are alike costly and tasteful, and reflect much credit on the artists who have been employed in their formation. The pillars are judiciously colored, and the carvings are of the most elaborate kind. The altar, when crowned with the lighted tapers, embellished with flowers, and surmounted by a gilded state of the Virgin Mary, presents an imposing appearance. Indeed, the only fault which can be found with the chapel is that it is too rich to harmonise with the rest of the buildings."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sunset at St:Kilda

A beautiful evening on St:Kilda beach, Melbourne. I didnt plan for this one.. it was just there for me to capture. A cloudy evening, still sun peeping in before leaving for the day. A band of boys playing on the beach adding spice to my photo.

It was time of St:Kilda music festival at St:Kilda. The beach is quiet far from Melbourne city centre, with about 30-40 minutes of tramming (its just 7km though). I went around seeing the beach, the music venues, adventure sports area, merry wheel kind of a place, inner lanes with lot of eateries and wine bars which were houseful with the crowd from the music festival. The beach is popular with swimmers and sunbathers during the summer months.

It is located beside Port Phillip Bay about 7 km south-east of the Melbourne's central business district. It has the largest population of any suburb in the City of Port Phillip. The suburb takes its name from a ship called The Lady of St Kilda, which visited Melbourne in 1841.

Kulin people lived in St:Kilda for up to 30,000 years which was known as Euroe Yroke before settlements came in. The settlements drove out the local population to further remote areas. The first half of the last century saw many palatial mansions being constructed as the merchant class arrived. Once the wealthy population moved out to southern suburbs of Melbourne the area became Melbourne's red-light district, with many of the large mansions converted into low-cost rooming houses. Now it trying to regain its glory with music festivals and theme parks and grand sea side hotels.

Friday, August 10, 2007

360, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

Yes, my office in melbourne was at 18th floor in 360, Elizabeth street. One summer afternoon in Feb this year when it is wet in the blue rays. One of the famous addresses in Melbourne with several other high tech, financial, consulting and government companies operating out of it. It has got a grand galleria and 3 storyied food court adjacent. You get some of the best views of the city from this 40 floor building.
My housing was just a 15 min walk away from this office at Elizabeth & Collins. At 161, Collins Street. My stay was much closer to the Federation Square and Flinder's street Railway station spot. This is the place where you cross the Yarra river bridge to go to the southern part of the city by tram. Flinders steet station happens to be one of the major rail stations in Melbourne .You will find an entrances to Botanical Gardens, walk streaks along Yarra river, approach walk to Melbourne Cricket Ground & Australian Open Tennis Arena etc. It was sort of weekend destination for us. There will be some or other music band playing or a huge TV screen showing a tennis or Rugby match. There is a bar in the square itself with great crowd and they play some good music in the evening.
Federation Square is built to commomerate the 100th anniversary of the formation of Common wealth of Australia. Federation square is in fact a cultural center with institutions like Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Australian Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, National Design Centre and the Melbourne Visitor Centre.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

View from my flat - Contrast

Marvellous view of Dwarka of my flat. A car coming and another leaving... a very special moment. I think I captured it pretty well.

The very green Dwarka showered in bright morning sunlight. Seen from my flat.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Forces in Struss - The Electric Grid

Whats so special about these power grids. A liking from the mechanical engineering (I still remember the days when we will work out the forces in these struss structures in Engineering Mechanics, from a book I remember as Shames) or larger than life steel structure or their Eiffel tower like skeletonous form or the simple fact that they can burn a whole neighbourhood if touched by mistake.... I simply like the fact that these ones stand by itself on a wide landscape stretching to thousands of miles.... carrying all the magnetism around it.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Metro Lane - 'to a different time and era'

One cloudy evening in Delhi. I was aiming for capturing this view for several days. Chose a rainy evening for the same. You are seeing Dwarka Sector 13 metro station in the scene (the blue fibre sheet in a tunnel form). Then the overhead rail track and electric cabling system powering the metro.

Slowly these overhead tracks have become synonymous with the ongoing infrastructure development in Delhi (aiming at CommonWealth Games 2009). Wherever you see this being constructed, you will know that, decent travel options will be in place soon.

The overhead rail network is a kind of abstraction of the ground realities for the more ambitious Delhiites. The asbstraction of the traffic jams, provoking rikshawallas, narrow lanes, frightening 'blue line' bus drivers, torn-worn beggars, awaiting traffic police chaps, nasty accidents, snailing traffic, shouting sardars, the dust, the heat, the sweat, the red lights.......Not to talk of myriads of unstructured construction taken place in the past few decades. Now in metro, you are riding on top of all that, ensconsed in an air-conditioned cabin. Through the metro car window you are seeing the stretching urban landscape of Delhi as if in a museum wall. The three storyied buildings, the brick extensions on top of that, bustling markets, street vendors, narrow alleyways, glass buildings, landmarks at distances, towering pyres of temples, the white Gurudwaras....all seen from a second story building (albiet a moving one). And then you are tramming in a whole different time and era to a different destination which looks so different from our previous generation had imagined.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Solo Cup

Just an experiment. Looked so cute at the end. Things so mundane around us, speaks its own story. With the light from the corner and in a B&W setting the photograph looked very special.