Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bangalore to Bengaluru

 I just can’t believe that I am looking at a piece of wood which is actually twenty million years old. But that is what the sign board says. Technically known as Tree Fossil, it is right now placed at the Lalbagh Botanical Garden in Bangalore.

Had been in and out of Bangalore many times but this is the first time I actually paid a visit to the famous Lalbagh.
Had been there in the morning, but not early enough to see the morning birds.
The only one I could click was this one who seem to be looking back at me with his beady eyes. 

The early morning joggers were relaxed and they looked like the regulars over here.

The statue of Sri Chamrajendra Odeyar is slowly taking its toll, after all its been standing for more than a century.   

Had to click this as the contrast of the old and new can be seen here. The bandstand in the fore front could be from the British era as every public place had a bandstand in those days.  In contrast the steeple in the background is supposed to be the building owned by Vijaya Mallya. 

Enjoyed some authentic Korean food at a prominent outlet in Kalyan Nagar. I was fascinated by the small figurines kept at the hotel. 

There is a lot of change happening in the city including the fact that the name has been changed from Bangalore to Bengaluru. With the addition of the metro rail, the charm of walking down M G road is not the same. One has to pay the price for development I suppose. 
                                                                             pic source

On the way back home, I had some time to kill at the airport and tried the tea from this outlet known as Chai Point.  

You can pick up a chai as per your choice, and they have a variety to choose from.

I was impressed by their efficiency and cleanliness

It’s a pity that they don’t have an outlet in Pune.

I picked up a Dum Chai and sipped it watching our tricolour lazily swaying in the dusk.  

Come to think of it, there is a flag in front of every airport but we barely notice it in the scramble to catch that flight.

At the airport, I met an acquaintance with whom I had worked with in Pune. He is now busy shuttling between Germany and Bangalore.  While chatting with him I couldn’t help recollect the fact that some decades ago, I had worked with his father too in the same organization.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Party dresses at Smitten

The above picture is of an aspiring pageant model who hopes to make it to the top.
To start at the beginning, my friend Xavier told me about this place known as Smitten and said that I must see it. So one day I stepped in and found the proprietor Ms Nutan busy taking down the Christmas decorations. 

I had a look around and found that the items on display were not the usual stuff that one sees in a Boutique. 

As I was browsing around, Nutan joined me and explained that she deals mostly in party dresses and accessories. 

What is unique about the store is that all the dresses on display is one off.
Another interesting fact about the store is that it has only three branches. They are at Pune, Kanpur and New York.
The one at Pune is at Bizzbay Mall, off NIBM road. 

I asked Nutan “so where do you source all these dresses from?” She said “all the stuff in Kanpur and Pune comes from New York. People prefer to buy the dresses from here than get it from abroad. The advantage is that one can actually try out the clothes for fitting and then buy. Moreover the prices are also comparable and affordable”
“So who are your usual clientele?”
“Girls who want something special for a party, or for an occasion. And then there are these aspiring models. In fact Ms Ritika who is a Pageant coach in Pune and runs The Tiara brings her batch of students to try out our dresses”
I said I would like to write about this place as many don’t know that such a place exists in Pune. 
So there I was in the shop with my camera clicking away the dresses and the students from The Tiara.

The girls listening attentively to Ritika on the finer points of selecting  the proper dress   

    The girls were happy to pose for me

Notice what is common in the two pictures above?  
The cow bell. Just love cow bells and the sound it makes. 

The one below has the Mona Lisa look. When I told her this she said "you are the second person who is telling me this"

But I liked the pictures where they were caught off guard  

When they were not posing for me they were either helping each other to dress up or busy taking pictures of each other. 

Nutan was always around giving suggestions and helping them select the appropriate dress. 

While processing the pictures, I isolated the background to give it a punch . .  . . . . can be an additional leaf in their portfolio.

Made a short video with movie snippets and 100+ pictures (wow . . . . did I click that many?) 

While watching on YouTube, ensure that you keep the setting on 720pHD for clarity.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Republic Day Eve

I was invited by my friends to attend the republic day celebrations in their housing society. I thought I would carry my camera along as they had mentioned that it was going to be a variety entertainment programme, including walking the ramp.
For a change they had included participants from all age groups for walking the ramp.

The best part of the whole programme was that practically every member of the society (or at least one from each family) took part in the events. 

A sure shot way of pulling in the crowd, but then I suppose that is the best way to get the attention of the whole family. 

Even though it stretched for more than three hours, things were moving at a good pace with no time wasted.   

Children getting the final touch before the call for the next item. 

There was no let-up in the costumes and that made it all the more colourful.   

I liked the skit by these guys in the police uniform, some dancing very well and some not so well but everyone enjoyed the spirit of the performance.   

These girls were in perfect sync

And so was the lavani team (got to see a lavni after a long time) 

Some kids did not want to give up the seats close to the ramp even if it meant enduring the blast from the speakers. 

I remember the hola-hoop being a real craze during the sixties, and I too could hold on for about a minute, but then that was more than five decades ago. This girl did a good job with two hoops

After watching the whole programme, I think we can make things work if there is teamwork.
You can see them in action in the videos.  
I have just added glimpses of each item to keep the video short. If anyone wants the longer version just drop in a mail to 

(If watching on YouTube, do keep the setting on 720pHD for clarity)