Wednesday, October 14, 2015

If its October it is Oktoberfest

For all those who missed out on this year’s Pune Oktoberfest, here are a few snaps clicked on the three day event. The snaps are of two days as I was there only on Saturday and Sunday. 

As usual the beer counter was always full with no elbow room.

The difference I found (when compared to last year) was that the band was a wee bit better and they came up with a variety of songs played perfectly by the group. It was sad that I could not get a perfect ‘group photo’ of the band. The nearest I could get was this: 

Now who is missing in this? Oh yes the drummer boy, so here you have one of him 

And another one of the crooner: 

The guy on the key board was multi-tasking (without missing a note) You can actually see it in the video on YouTube

This year I had more video footage than still pictures. Will keep adding more videos as and when they are edited and processed.The second video is on Mamma Mia by Abba

Meanwhile our beer counter is still full 

For a change I found many Germans who had turned up and they were really enjoying the evening 

The food was good and I found that the service at the counter was very pretty fast and efficient: 

On the down side, space was a problem. I mean in a crowd like this how do you expect people to dance. 

But still I found many making room for themselves and enjoying the day

It was difficult manoeuvring through the crowd to get some good shots, but I managed to get a few 

These two (above) were really having some fun. Later on while adding the watermark on the pic I realised that the figure on his Tee shirt had some significance as it was the year when I landed in Pune. 

The scramble is still going on at the Beer counter. I think the design of the counter opening was too small, or was it that they were not expecting such a big crowd?  

This guy just saw me clicking as he was singing along, and I caught him with his full energy. 

Later there was a repeat, this time along with his friends. Each one with a different pose, but it clearly sends across the message – they were enjoying. 

I think I ended up clicking many pictures with their mouth open, a good indication of participation.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Two days in New Delhi

Half your battle is won if you get the right material to complete a handicraft project. We made this “quiet book” from fabric and felt material.  (mostly hand stitched) 

Had been to Delhi recently and went scouting for some good fabric. We were advised to go to the Paharaganj market or the Connaught Place for fabrics. Finally we got some good stuff from Shanker market. 

It is one of the oldest local markets in Central Delhi and was set up a few years before Indian Independence.
While walking down the street, this sign caught my eye. A real good idea to attract customers. 

This guy sitting outside his shop was busy with his alteration work. 

Some shops had some good display along with their products. Proper lighting is the key factor here. 

At Connaught Place we went into this shop by the name of Wenger’s.  Later on I realised that it is the oldest Bakery in New Delhi (started  way back in 1933) 

Their displays were really tempting especially the pastries and the cakes. 

But what I liked best was their shemi kebab and the chicken patty. 

One thing that I observed at Wenger’s is the efficiency of the people behind the counter. By the time you pay your bill and get to the next counter, your stuff is packed and ready. 

Wenger’s is located right opposite Rajiv Chowk. The Chowk which has a huge flag in the middle. Don’t go by the picture below. You can see its actual size in the first video.

Rajiv chowk also has a huge metro station below the garden (by the same name) Talking of metro trains, I think the Delhi metro is the best thing that has happened to Delhi. The ticket rates are affordable and people use it extensively. Considering the lateral spread of Delhi, this is the best mode of transport. 
I heard that the rates of the second metro line (the Airport Metro) were further slashed by 50% 

This was a picture that I clicked at the starting point at Dwarka. After a few stations it was so jam packed that there was no way I could click again. 

While driving around New Delhi, I was impressed by the green on both sides.  I wonder if it is like this all over Delhi. (maybe Delhites can comment on this)

In the evening we had been to the newly opened Vivanta by Taj. (the one at Dwarka) The food was good (as expected from a five star hotel) but what I liked better was the music by Mario - the multi-lingual singer.  
It is always interesting to have live music (see second video) than piped music when you are eating out.

A special mention should be made about the ambiance especially the write up and the paintings of Kabir.

Kabir was a weaver, a simple and unlettered man, who earned his living at the loom. 

I remember learning a few of his “dohe” (verse) during my school days. Like the write up says, each doha is an aphorism in itself, a perspective that rings true, at times seemingly obscure yet profound. 

Ahead of his times, he moved about with his disciples, continuing in exile, the life of an apostle of love. . . . . . . . something very much required in the present strife torn world.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Farmers Market in San Jose

Had been to this Farmer’s market in San Jose on 24th June. Most of the Farmers’ markets are held on weekends but this one is held every Wednesday evening. 

  One good thing about these markets is that you are assured of getting some good fresh food, and you also get to taste the product before buying them. 

Blenheim Apricots are grown mostly by small, local farmers, have a more complex flavour than other apricots. They have a tangy, thick flesh, yet their acid content is balanced beautifully by a high sugar content that rounds out the tartness. They have a pretty apricot colour with a rosy blush outside, but their flesh is richer and darker orange. It is perfect for preserves as well as for drying, in addition to being a treat to eat out of hand. 

I noticed that the vegetables too looked fresh and a little bigger than what you get in India. 

As the board says, no water, no sugar, straight from the farm. 

We picked up some Strawberries and Blackberries

There was a pretty long line for the “shave ice” Reminded me of the baraf ki gola that we used to have during our school days. 

A group of children from a learning centre. Good idea with the T-shirt. If a child is lost you know whom to call. 

There was an ice cream counter too. Got some cones from them and found that their scoops were generous. 

At the end of the line there was this grilled chicken truck which was served with chunks of roast potatoes. Good to have them hot.  

Compare this with a 1934 picture of a market in LA where some musicians kept everyone entertained.

Talking of music, there was this lady who kept everyone happy with her guitar. I liked the way she plucked the guitar (you can see it in the video) While filming her I realised that she was actually blind.