We’ll Cross That Bridge

My commute to the factory (about twice a week) usually takes the inner ring road (going clockwise), which means that I get to see the construction of the new Delhi Metro line as it happens. Last week, I saw that the Delhi Metro was getting ready to build one of the challenging parts: the viaduct would no longer just run along the road, but skirt a cloverleaf flyover, and this is the really good bit, go over another Delhi Metro viaduct (of the Airport Express line).

Delhi Metro themselves put out a press release about how challenging this is.

On Wednesday, I was in a rush to get to the factory and inspect conveyor belts, so I didn’t stop to take photos with my phone. But I really wanted to get photos, so today I cycled down to Dhaula Kuan with a proper camera to get some.

I skipped two possible vantage points (taking the Gurgaon exit, and then again pulling my cycle on to lawn that separates the Gurgaon exit and the Northbound carriageway, and then looped back southwards. I then pulled my cycle onto a bit of foliage-free sidewalk (which unfortunately had also been used by multiple people to relieve themselves), and took shots from there. From that vantage point, you can’t really see that the new viaduct has now completely crossed the old one, so if I wake up early tomorrow, maybe I’ll go try taking photos from other possible vantage points.

For now, here are the photos.

The Ring Road Line crosses the Airport Express Line. The Ring Road Line crosses the Airport Express Line. The launcher has now got the segments of the viaduct into place, and over the next few weeks, they’ll integrate them into a single span.

And here’s a closeup of the span segments hanging from the launcher.

A closeup of the Delhi Metro Ring Road Line viaduct, right as its being built over the Airport Express viaduct. Precast viaduct segments suspended from a launcher. Over the next few days, the construction contractor will join them together into a single span.

There are two more of these further along the ring road, which aren’t quite as ready yet. Cycling there will take significantly longer, so it’ll be more of a challenge to take photos there as and when the DMRC gets ready to cross.

Tribhanga Here, There and Everywhere

So about two years ago I had linked to the blog of a guy called Anil Menon, where I had got a whole bunch of fundaes which I used to make questions for my KQA quiz. This year, I found out that Anil Menon is actually a sci-fi writer. Here is an interview of Anil Menon by Vandana Singh.

I found the blog because I had been searching for more information on the Tribhanga pose, which it provided in great detail. If you didn’t read that post when I first linked to it in 2007, read it now. It’s brilliant.

The tribhanga is a pose in which the body twists or flexes thrice – on the leg, the waist, and the upper body. Because this pose comes more naturally to women than men, Chola sculptors used it in their statues of Parvati to emphasise her feminity, something I learnt in V Ramachandran’s Rieth lecture on the neurological basis for art appreciation. I found the Reith lecture (and then decided to set a question on the funda) in a link from Ravages, who had been photographing the Chola bronzes. I can’t find the original photos he had posted then, but here’s one he posted more recently: 

Parvati

And here is a photo of a lady in Raffles City mall who is checking her iPhone while standing in tribhanga:
Tribhanga

Her face is obscured, so there are fortunately no privacy issues. It’s also a happy coincidence that I got this snap – I was practicing manual focus on the awesome 50 mm f/1.8 lens while waiting for a friend to join me at lunch, and didn’t notice that I had got this tribhanga snap until I came home and transferred my pics.

Incidentally, the Wii Fit – in sharp contrast to Anil Menon – insists that the tribhanga is a terrible thing and that standing in this pose is the road to ruined posture, upper body weakness, and spinal injury. In a shocking display of Nipponese hypocrisy, the animations for the yoga and stength exercises show the trainers standing with their bodies flexed before the routine actually starts.

Urban Decay Photography

A year or two ago, this photo-essay on abandoned school buildings in Detroit was quite popular on the internet. It’s very scary and depressing, while simultaneously being very cool.

Then in September or October last year I came across this forum post about half-constructed buildings in Bangkok that were never completed because the East Asian Crisis left the builders bankrupt. Again, many awesome photos of crumbling buildings and fixtures.

Today I discovered (via the LJ Steampunk Community) that photographing urban blight is pretty widespread – and there’s an LJ Community dedicated to it. This post on an abandoned Zil factory in Moscow is really cool.

A quick search revealed two Flickr groups devoted to urban blight as well – Abandoned Urban Decay and Some Urban Decay. This promises to be good stuff for whenever I have some free time for passive reading or photoviewing.

When Doves Invade

So this morning, a little bird decided to fly through the open window into our living room. Once inside, it perched on our cordless phone’s base station.

 Dove Perching on Phone

It eventually decided it didn’t like the phone, so it went on to the network hard disk. Over here, I got off a shot which shows off its blue feathers.

 Dove Perching on Hard Disk

By this time, I was squeezing off lots of shots and the bird got nervous. So it crapped on the hard disk and flew away.

Nice bit of weirdness to start the day.

शुभारंभ

So thanks to airfares going down again, I had enough money spare to buy the awesome Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 lens, which Chandru and Nega have been praising and taking awesome photos with. It seemed appropriate to inaugurate the lens by taking photos of my mum’s many Ganesh idols.

Unfortunately, my first few attempts didn’t quite work out and the first decent photo that I took on the lens was one of my mum, not of Ganapati. A day later, I did get this awesome shot of a painted Ganapati in front of a stone one.

Sriganesh

The photo was cropped to squareness in Picasa, but the soft focus on the background is entirely the lens’s good work.

Bangalore Photowalk 2

The second Bangalore photowalk will take place on the first of June. Skimpy has the complete details but here’re the salient points:

  1. Date and Time: 1st of June, 7.30 a.m.
  2. Route: Ravindra Kalakshetra to Central Jail

I won’t be there since I’m moving to Bombay (I’m typing this in BIAL’s swanky new departure terminal), but please do go if you’re there in Bangalore. Please RSVP at the post I’ve linked. You may also want to join the Bangalore photowalk yahoogroup.

As is usual for photowalks – nothing is required except a willingness to turn up and walk in the morning. Cameras are axshully optional (though desirable). No specific skill level is required either. Just RSVP please, it’s polite.

The First Bangalore Photowalk

After the grand success of the Sennai potowalks, Skimpy is organising the first ever Bangalore photowalk. Details below:

Time and Date: 8 a.m., on Sunday 27 April
Venue: K R Road, from K R Market to Gandhi Bazaar

All are welcome, regardless of city, caste, or camera. You can show up if you have a cameraphone, a DSLR, a point-and-shoot, or even if you just want to hang around and listen to Wimp put fundaes on Bangalore history. This is a photowalk. So there are no admission fees. No entry charges. No registration formalities. However, do leave a comment at this post or Skimpy’s, so that we know if you’re coming or not. It’ll make co-ordinating the walk simpler on Sunday.

Why Hinduism Rocks

I had gone to the Sri Rangaswamy (or is it Sri Ranganathan?) temple at Srirangapatnam (Tipu Sultan’s capital near Mysore) with my family a couple of months ago. There was a a massive temple chariot outside. To give you an idea of how massive it is, look at how it towers over the Zen Estilo parked next to it:

Temple Chariot: Head On

Zoom in closer, and you can see that there has been carving done all across the chariot:

Temple Chariot: Long Shot

Such as this (Warning: extremely graphic and Not-Safe-For-Work photo follows after the fold):

Continue reading “Why Hinduism Rocks”