Conference Beneath a Bus Tire

October 17, 2006

Hmm. I thought this snap was just okay, but if Ravages favourited it, it must be really good. Which is good. I like surprising myself.

Conference Below a Bus Tire

Signs which make no sense (but rock)

October 16, 2006

Breast Beauty

This is the signboard for a shop that you can see on one of the overhead bridges at Dadar local station. I have no clue about what the shop actually sells. But the sign is surreally brilliant.

The Best Photo I’ve Ever Taken

June 26, 2006

Time To Begin Work

Thanks to a little experimentation (maximum optical zoom, macro closeup enabled, exposure down to -0.7) and a lot of luck. This one came out all right, but I had to discard ten shots.

If you’ve got the bandwidth, do click the photo and then see the original size as well. You’ll get a stunning view of the pollen sacs on her back legs.

Gorilla Meets Gawaar

June 10, 2006

Gorilla Meets Gawaar

If I had a huge gorilla behind me, I’d be screaming with terror and running away with my valuables too. And the gorilla might be angry because he’s next to a Himesh Reshammiya poster.

Getting Offended By Ads

June 10, 2006

I saw a TV commercial that enraged me. The first time I didn’t pay a great deal of attention.

A little boy, a well-fed kid, is by himself and finds his shoelace his undone. He decides then and there to learn how to tie it by himself. The camera lingers on him, on his intense look of concentration. He experiments, draws diagrams in the mud. It goes on and on; it looks inspiring. Finally the punchline of the card comes up. I thought it was going to be for a breakfast cereal or a milk additive for your children.

But then, besides his look of triumph you see a message for Surf Excel- “When kids set their mind on something, dirt gets in everywhere. So use Surf Excel to get dirt out of tough corners.” My jaw actually dropped. What was the message of this ad? That no matter what a kid’s learnings are, all that matters is that his clothes are clean? How crass, even cruel can you get?

Am I missing out on something here? I’m still angry- was it meant to be funny? Millions of boys and girls in this country spend their childhood in a school system that discourages self-learning and creative thinking- while we lucky few can write blogposts. Let’s subordinate their creativity to washing powder while we’re at it. Surf Excel is owned by Hindustan Lever. Shame on it, and on its advertising agency.

Home Improvement

May 13, 2006

In this post, I had mentioned that I had found a market which deserved a post all by itself. Well, here’s the post.

I had walked up and down Zhoujiazui Road in search of a cheap and clean place to have lunch. I’d seen what looked like a florist while wakling up and while walking down, and while walking down made a mental note to go inside and take a closer look.

So, after lunch, I walked up again and did take a closer look.

I entered, and discovered to my pleasant surprise that it wasn’t just a florist- well, it was, but the florist was just one of the many shops that were built into a sort of indoor market.

Unlike a regular minimarket, this one had no grocery stores, or courier shops, or PCOs. It was built around a theme: home decoration. Only that it took quite an extensive view of what counted as home decoration. Sure, there were shops for sculpture, porcelain, and paintings. But most of the shops were dedicated to pets.

And not just cats and dogs (though those were there too), but also birds:

Cockatoos of Some Sort

A Lovebird, I think

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

There were also several small furry animals:




… and squirrels.

There were also lots of turtles.

Turtle Power

Go Green Machine

Hero in a half-shell

I've run out of TMNT references

There was also an entire lane dedicated to aquariums, fish, and fish food. It was impossible to photograph any of the acquariums without getting a reflection of either myself or the flash, so I did the next best thing and photographed the fish tanks the fish were kept in before being put into the aquariums:

Fish tanks.

Towards the more exotic side of the scale, there was a pair of iguanas.


There was also a box of frogs, but I have no idea whether they were meant to be pets or pet food:


But the most interesting pets in the market were to be found at a shop that sold nothing but crickets.

Crickets in Glass Boxes

Most of the crickets were kept in glass boxes.


Crickets Redux

But for the final sale, they were shifted to little cane cages.

Nobody over there spoke English, so I couldn’t figure out why crickets were so much in demand, but I’m guessing that the idea is to hand the little cage in your garden so that when it starts making its noise, your garden sounds natural. Of course, I could be wrong.

There weren’t only pets, as I’d mentioned earlier. There were also shops for porcelain (especially tea sets), paintings and scrolls, sculpture, and drawings on the sides of dried-out gourds. Unfortunately, their owners weren’t too enthusiastic about me taking photographs- especially as I pottered about the sculpture shop for ten minutes, asked about various items in a mixture of sign language and punching in numbers on a calculator, and finally refused to buy a bust with a different Buddha (frowning, smiling, laughing, and blissful) on each side.

I was able to get some photos of Bonsai and Bonsai mountains, though.

Bonsai Mountain

A bonsai mountain (though I doubt it was grown the way Lu-tze did it in Thief of Time).

Bonsai mountain range

And an entire bonsai mountain range. If you look closely (or follow the link and check the orginal size), you can make out the pagoda and the boatmen and the foot of the mountains.

And finally, what had pulled me into the shop to begin with: bonsai itself.


An afternoon well spent, it was.

The Joy of Literal Translations

May 8, 2006

Please Forgive Us
God’s Final Message to All His Creation has absolutely nothing on this most excellent of apology signs.

Careful Landslip Attention Security

Now, isn’t that so much cooler than just saying “Careful: Wet Floor”?

Civilized Service Model Channel

If only Indian Railways had Civilized Service Model Channels. Or any Civilized Service.

The Lingdom of Foods

Perhaps it’s an aphrodisiac.

Buy Down Wear

If I have to Buy Down Wear, shouldn’t I Down The Stairs?

Information Toilet

Don’t even ask.

Drinking Cashier

Why doesn’t he join Alcoholics Anonymous then?

Fashional Coffee

A place full of Orientalism as well as Occidentalism; a spiritual paradise for enjoying yourself. Unless you’re Edward Said, of course. And he’s dead, so it’s all good.

Photoblogging a Protest March

April 17, 2006

United Students conducted a protest march against the extension of OBC reservations to central universities last week. I was there to photograph it. Sorry about the delay in putting the photos up, I’ve not always been at home since then.

Photos and commentary follow below the cut.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Futility of Regulation

April 8, 2006

Duck Pond Sign

बतखों को छेड़-छाड़ करना मना है: Harassing the ducks is forbidden.

Read the rest of this entry »

Duck, Duck, Goose

April 5, 2006

or, Travels through Hauz Khas Park with Camera in Hand.

Hauz Khas literally means ‘Special Tank’. It’s a neighbourhood in Delhi named after a small lake built for the Sultan of Delhi’s wife to have her bath (I’m a little hazy on the exact historical details).

There are actually three Hauz Khas neighbourhoods today. Hauz Khas, which has genteel middle class homes. Hauz Khas Enclave, which is also residential, but much richer. And Hauz Khas Village: the old village, which is now a tourist destination where rich (and perhaps gullible) tourists come to spend money on designer clothes and eat at fancy restaraunts.

Hauz Khas Village is right next to Hauz Khas Park, which is lots of parkland surrounding the old lake, and the tombs and palaces built next to it. I took an evening walk in the park today, and had my camera along.

(Photos below the cut)

Read the rest of this entry »