Hyderabad

I’m fascinated by the attempts at doing western fast food outlets.

 

Our second last stop was Hyderabad.  Walking to the Mecca Masjid one day, it was 35.  I know that these women are probably used to it but I can’t imagine how hot the Indian style burqas must be.

What I love about the markets is the incredible characters we encounter, like the sweet woman below enjoying her coconut juice.

Or the fierce determination that is not uncommon for the women of India.

On our way to a favourite eating spot we came across these two handicapped men by the side of the road. I asked if I could photograph them and they nodded their OK with big smiles.

As I moved in closer, one of them asked for a close up and I of course obliged. They were delighted with what they saw on the LCD monitor and again with big smiles.

I very rarely offer money to street people and not only did they not ask, but when I did offer they would not take anything. As I started to walk away the one in the close up pulled out a few rupees and offered them to me with a big laugh. These guys made my day. Two handicapped street people full of joy.

From here it was off to Rishikesh to revisit the Ashram we attended on our last trip. The camera stayed in the bag. Thanks to all for allowing me to share these thoughts and images and for your comments and well wishes.

 

 

The Surprise of Bhopal

When Margaret first suggested Bhopal, all I could think of was the terrible 1984 Union Carbide disaster, that poisoned and killed so many. What could we possibly find there? There is a large Muslim population and we’ve had such wonderful experiences with that culture, so I was all for it. We were very taken with the unbelievable friendliness in Old Bhopal. “Welcome to India” “What country?” “Hello Sir, Hello Madam” were said to us everywhere we went.

Women in Niqabs can seem very remote and mysterious, but when you engage with them, as Margaret did with the woman holding the baby, they are anything but.

The Taj ul Masajid (mosque) shown here is an example of typical Mughal architecture. It can hold up to 175,000 people.

The real attraction for us however is the markets. I love the narrow laneways and bustle of activity.

At a park one day, we met 6 year old Simra (meaning heaven) and had a long conversation with her mother and father.

  

Old buildings with funky Indian wiring.

The food markets are the noisiest, with the vendors announcing their fresh produce and haggling for the best price.

I’m always looking into alleyways. It’s where surprises are often found.

Remember you can enlarge these by clicking on them.

 

 

Happy Holi 2018 Part 3

I have often argued that the type of camera one uses has little to do with how good a photographer you are. However, as in the opening shot here, my Nikon d800 came through big time. As I pointed the camera at this man, I could see that he was going to colour bomb me. I waited for the throw, clicked, and turned. Later, I was amazed to see that I got the shot.

Here are some final thoughts and images from the Holi celebrations:

Around any corner, this is what could be waiting for you. In the image below they are using water rifles but it could just as easily be someone tossing buckets of coloured water off rooftops.

Hands reaching to touch Ganesh, a deity looked to for good luck and prosperity.  And, “Please put off your shoes” says the sign outside the Bankey Bahari. Not exactly a trusted shoe storage.

 

I have no words for these three boys, just a big smile whenever I look at them.

The beauty of happiness.

My next blog will be from Bhopal. 

 

Happy Holi 2018 part 2

Entering the Bankey Bihari Temple during Holi was beyond anything I could have imagined. Bihari means enjoyer, or Krishna the enjoyer, and there is tremendous joy and worship to be found. The first image here is my favourite. When I looked at it later, there was something about the reaching. In this case they are reaching toward Krishna for a blessing. It evoked for me the idea that we are all in our own way reaching out, be it for blessing, acceptance, or maybe love.

The crush of people and the bursts of colour are so amazing.

It’s not just coloured dye that is being thrown, from time to time it’s flower petals that come raining down.

A handful of dye creates an explosion of colour.

As much as this is a festival of colour that welcomes springtime, here in particular it is also a time of great devotion. The man in the middle of the image below illustrates this.

 

I was privileged to get the vantage point I did on an upper balcony. Cameras in the temple are not welcome and to point one at Krishna is totally unacceptable.

In the next shot you see worshipers holding up various objects. These are offerings that they will attempt, through great effort, to lay at the feet of the icon.

In our travels over the years there have been few peak experiences. Walking the Kora at sacred Mt. Kailash in Tibet and being at the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad are two. I will now have to add celebrating Holi in Vrindavan.

I’ll be posting some additional street scenes in part 3 of the Holi blogs. Remember you can enlarge these by clicking.

All the best.

 

 

Happy Holi 2018, part 1

Two years ago, we accidentally encountered the Hindu festival of Holi. We were in Rishikesh, enroute to Delhi and home, when on the way to the taxi stand we were bombarded with colour and surrounded by shouts of “Happy Holi”!  Not being prepared with a cover for my camera, I knew I would have to return to experience the festival again. Nothing can prepare you for the blasts of colour, the happiness, and the reverence.

 

 

Mathura, the birth place of Krishna, and the temple town of Vrindavan are two of the best places to celebrate Holi. This blog shows how it was to make our way to the Bankey Bahari Temple in Vrindavan, which prepared us for the magic to be found once inside (that will be part 2).  There are stalls everywhere selling dye (gulal) which you’ll eventually be covered in.

 

 

 

Along the way, we’re greeted with intense joy and playfulness.

 

 

And the wonderment of children.

 

 

This time I was prepared with a cover on the camera. And Margaret, as always, brought her intrepid spirit and big smile.

 

 

 

A reminder that you can click on each photo to enlarge it!  Happy Holi!

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