Monday, September 27, 2010

"Rakhi" Roads - Raksha Bandhan - Old Delhi "Rakhi" 2010

India is abundant with festivals, traditions, celebrations and gods.............and one of the benefits of working in India is that it affords you the opportunity to involve yourself in the culture...regardless of your beliefs......holidays are abundant....and sometimes in the middle of the week......

This is my second Rakhi celebration while being in India.......and how did I choose to celebrate walking the wet streets of Old Delhi to witness the beginning of the day and to capture some interesting photographs.

Man Catching Up on the News

Ramesh and I had just dropped Preston off at school when he drew my attention to the odometer reading of our car...........

Odometer Reading on Indy

Rakhi is basically a sacred thread of protection embellished with the love and affection of a sister for her brother. This day is also known as Raksha Bandhan and celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana in India. This frail of thread of Rakhi is considered as stronger than iron chains as it binds the most beautiful relationship in an inseparable bond of love and trust. The Rakhi festival also has a social significance because it underlines the notion that everybody should live in harmonious coexistence with each other.

Young Woman Purchasing Rakhi Gifts

In the US, we have no such celebration........while I am confident that my sister is overflowing with love and affection for both of her brothers.........she has never tied a string around our wrists to mark such an occasion.

Morning Jasmine Flowers at the Chandni Chowk Flower Market

Flower Vendors

I fondly remember the response I received from my mother and father when I was a child.......on the occasional Mother's or Father's Day when I asked........."When is Children's Day?".......the response was always ...."Children's Day is everyday!" I am sure that my sister would respond in a similar fashion if I even suggested that she celebrate "Rakhi".

Cat seeking Shelter

However......on this day....I did my best to "coexist in harmony" with those who make up the wonder of Old Delhi on this special day......

Dogs on Carts

Dog in a Doorway

As I walked the streets.......I did my best to capture Old Delhi as it awakens......before the hustle and bustle of the crowds in the Flower Market............before the deafening horns of motorcycles and auto rickshaws (tuk-tuks) and before the shop owners hoist the metal shield's that protect their goods and wares from pilfering in the night.......

Boys Bathing on and Old Delhi Street

Girl with Umbrella

I wanted to experience Old Delhi as very few "natives" most start their day much later.....that is of course the exception of  those that I shared this morning with.......the street vendors fixing chaat of all types.............the vendors of the vegetable market arranging their fresh deliveries....

Potato Lady

......those with carts moving to their favorite spot on the street to set up shop for the day.......
Stacking Pears
the cows slowly making their way in the streets in reverence to those who worship them and are blessed by their presence........the dogs on their make shift beds..........young men bathing at the side of the street................young girls with umbrella's, a man reading the newspaper, cats finding shelter from the drizzle........cows being fed day old chapatti's...

Cow Chapati

I hope you enjoy a small peek into how Old Delhi awakens.....and the faces of those who make this an Incredible place to experience.

Chile Walla

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Visakhapatnam Beach

September 16, 2010

I am not sure that I can explain to you what motivates me to set the alarm at 4:30am..... to wake up and leave the comfort of the bed..... to catch the rising of the sun when I am near the ocean. Any ocean!

The beaches at Visakhapatnam have captivated me since I first walked on them two years ago during my first visit to India..........I immediately fell in love with their awesomeness, beauty and calming effect that they have on my soul.

What made this visit to the beach even more special was my mode of transportation......a Royal Enfield motorcycle, arranged for me to cruise along the beach road in search of the perfect isolated place to catch the first rays of the sun over the Bay of Bengal.

I snapped more that 230 pictures while I was at the edge of the water this morning.....I chose only six to share with you.

I am confident that the pictures will do more justice to what I witnessed, rather than the few lines of prose I have written in an attempt to describe the magic that unfolded before me. I hope that you enjoy both!

The Beach - Visakhapatnam 2010

When I am at the beach
time for me is measured by the rise
and setting of the sun

The thunder of waves crashing in the surf
slowing, calmingly as the edge of the water
eases its way up on the golden sand

The water’s edge cutting knife like
sea foam and bubbles clinging to the grains
receding back, pulling and tugging all within its path

The sunlight accentuating the abstract art
left behind along with exposed rocks and shells
repeating its rhythmic dance time and again

Between dawn and dusk
time disappears, vanishes
when I am at the beach

Beautiful......don't you agree?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mirabai's Clouds - A tribute to Janmashtami

I stumbled upon the poetry of arguably India's best known poets of today; though she lived some 400 years ago.

Born to a noble Rajput family in what is known today as Rajasthan, she married the heir apparent the ruler of Mewar. Unfortunately, her husband died before he could take the throne and he left no heir.

During a battle against Muslim invasion on the year 1527, both her father and her father in law died as a result of the fighting. A new child king, and his mother, took the throne and then made life difficult for Mirabai to remain in the royal court.

At approximately the age of 30, she left and began writing poetry, much of which is devoted to Lord Krishna.

The birth date of Krishna was recently celebrated during a festival called Janmashtami.......and while I would have enjoyed the day off like many, I found myself on a business trip to Visakhapatnam (Vizag).

Still the season of monsoon, the clouds from the plane were magnificent, and I grabbed my camera to capture the ever changing scenery from my view from the plane.

This poem by Mirabai seemed perfect to share along with my photographs......enjoy the poem and the scenes from above India on my recent journey to Vizag on Janmashtami.

Thick overhead
clouds of the monsoon,
a delight to this feverish heart.
Season of rain,
season of uncontrolled whispers---the Dark One’s returning!
O swollen heart,
O sky brimming with moisture---
tongued lightning first
and then thunder,
convulsive spatters of rain
and the wind, chasing the summertime heat

Sarah Palin in India? Help Define three new words!

Just two short months ago,Sarah Palin, "created" an new word while on National TV. in the United States.

She has been criticized for this gaffe and has become quite the fodder for humorists and late night talk show hosts; and probably will be for a very long time.

She has also earned the new nickname...."The Shakespeare of Twitter".

The word........refudiate!

Until I began researching this topic for my blog, I didn't realize that there is actually a title for someone that creates new words.

A person who creates or "makes up" new words is called a neologist.

The new word is called a neologism.......and it seems like we are surrounded by such "made up words" all over India.

Here are a few that we have seen around Delhi recently:




I thought it would be fun to open up to all of the readers of my blog, the opportunity to help define these new words..........

I welcome all of you to submit your suggestions on a definition for these new words.

And in the recent words of George W. Bush, another famous neologist, never "misunderestimate" your creativeness when you are attempting to define these new words.

Have fun!