Monthly Archives: March 2007

Photo Exposure 2

Not so very long ago I bought a Kodak camera (a very basic model) for around 1K. This was much after I started working and the sole reason was to photograph memories. I am pretty much a memories, nostalgia, keeping a record through visual/audio means kind of a person. That camera was used solely for the purpose of tackling the problem of time just fleeting by and my not having a record of it. Then came a desire to record memories in motion, audio and still pictures. An official Japan trip ensured that I didn’t feel the pinch that painfully, when buying a handycam from Tokyo – a Sony DCR TRV 740E (worth 30K INR then). It was the perfect gadget, clicked beautiful still shots and made beautiful movies in spite of being less than 1Mega pixel in resolution! Unfortunately it was way too bulky and I quickly lost the drive to use it for recording “day to day” memories. I ended up using it only when I was sure I would get good photo-ops or when I was sure that I would not want to miss recording certain time periods or events. Though I had gotten keen on photography by then, I couldnt have afforded to pursue this expensive hobby using Film SLR’s or even Digital SLR’s. I contemplated buying a simple point and shoot camera which would not be so bulky and would allow me my little indulgences of not only recording memories but also some composed shots or “serious photography”. Then came a Finland trip during which I managed to spill orange juice all over my Sony Handycam. It still clicks beautiful pictures but no movies and of course the pictures don’t go beyond 1 Mega Pixel resolution. Eventually I bought a Canon Powershot S2 IS.

Then started my affair with photography and Delhi heritage. I would often take off to some monument and soak in the experience of another era altogether while trying to capture some of it in pixels (as could be seen in some of my posts here as well). It’s time to brush aside this elaborate bhoomika and gear up for some shameless self promotion :p. There was a photography contest organised recently by Delhi times and Canon India. Since I already had some pictures clicked with me, I sent in a lot of entries to this contest. There was a shortlisting round in which 7 of my entries got shortlisted in the Delhi heritage category. Much glee followed with this “photo exposure”. After this 6 final pictures (none of them mine) were voted for, via sms’s. Later, a ceremony duly conducted in the Ashoka hotel, got me a 2nd runners up in the women photographer category as well. The prize … is yet another camera! A canon IXUS 750!

The pictures which got shortlisted are from Humayun’s tomb, Lodhi Garden and Qutub Minar.

More lightingHumayun's tombGoing up

The viewJharokha

Exquisite nakkashi in brick.Almost wooden looking

The grand prize winner’s winning shot (voted best in the sms round) is one of my personal favourites too. He gets a Canon EOS 350D.

Today's youth

Judgement of something like photography is always subjective. Personally some of my good shots got chosen, some of my mediocre ones did too and some of my personal favourites ones got left behind like this one.
A pearl in the lotus

One would never know the criteria for the eventual selection. Some of the shots which won some ppl prizes, invited a lot of skepticism from the rest of the participants as well. However, this was a great exposure, not only because this is the first time ever I have actually participated in a contest and actually even got something out of it; but also because I got to meet a lot of other photography enthusiasts who like me are amateurs who saunter off with their cameras in tow and get trigger happy. Much joy came in the company of such likeminded people. The memories of this particular event in my life have surely been captured well :).


Action Heroes

Soar High

Freedom lies in being bold – Robert Frost

Last year on Women’s day I had written this and this about my experiences which formed a part of the blank noise project blogathon. This year the blogathon is back. The theme this time is “Action heroes” where bloggers are expected to blog about the times when they fought back sexual harassment. Though I had already written those instances last time, I am reproducing them here in this post as well.

There are ways and means to tackle that colleague who talks to your breasts or that elderly relative who pretends to be fawning over you but is actually lusting (you can always tell). One sure shot way to ward of a starer is to stare back. It’s not so easy. Staring back. One feels disgusted merely by glancing at the eyes which seem to be ripping your clothes apart. But DO stare back and very piercingly at that. One’ll instantly feel the urge to cast ones glance in some other direction quickly but DON’T. KEEP at it. However obstinate a starer may be, his testosterone still does not surpass his selfconsciousnness (in almost all cases). He’ll instantly look down, beyond, or back whereever he’s supposed to be looking. Of course, one needs to weigh ones options and actions a little bit keeping in mind all odds. One does not go ahead and take pangas with a gang when one is alone. But one can definitely be alert and quick (not just physically but mentally as well).

There has happened a particular incident of ballooning around holi where the guy made the mistake of being visible while throwing the balloon. He happened to work at a local barber shop, which I immediately stormed into and gave him a piece of my mind and some of the choicest abuses I knew. A guy there (a client) egged me on to give him a tight slap as well. I quietly ignored him since I didn’t want the situation to get so heated up and that guy seemed to be egging me on just for kicks. I cant say that what I did, would have made the ballooning guy stop it for his life. But it’s always best to bring the “situation” into notice. The fear of embarrassment is enough for some to at least think twice about it next time. There was another guy who tried brushing past me on a main road while I was waiting to cross it. The whole damn road was empty, but he thought that he would have a piece of my butt before I reached the other side. That guy was unaware that he was going to get the shock of his life. Though I felt like killing him, I merely held his collar with both hands and shook him so badly that he didn’t know what hit him. He tried running for his life, but he couldn’t. I was surprised with my own grip. Eventually he managed to pull off and ran for his life. It was only when everything was over and done with, that the “crowd” asked me what happened and if he was trying to snatch my purse.

There are umpteen such situations in everyday life and they would perhaps never end. Not only is it difficult to try and give such sick men their due, it is very much a difficult thing when you are left in a doubt about the intention of someone. At times things happen accidentally and unintentionally too. But at most times they are obvious enough to be brought to public notice. Even if the “crowd” does not react (and only watches) one should definitely make sure that one does not ignore it. A confrontational attitude is certainly better than an escapist one. In public transport one can always request ppl politely to stop pushing or plainly to stand a little away. The way one does it makes sure that even the ones who did it accidentally aren’t offended by your request and the ones doing it intentionally can not just go scot free. When it happens repeatedly in spite of polite requests, it’s time to stomp that high heel onto his foot or to shove ones elbow into his balls.

The best way to actually try and reduce something like this is to spread awareness amongst women that they can actually protest against it. I have grown up watching things happen to me and around me and even though I knew it was wrong I didn’t know what to do about it (till some point in my life). One needs to ignore minor happenings but one also needs to make sure that the ones which can be avoided, are. Things can get as ugly as molestation of ones own children or marital rape. There is no dearth of the levels till which harassment can go. Be aware, be prepared, be alert and be proud to be a woman in spite of the shit that happens.

Tummy tiff 2

Worse than having a spat with your mummy,
is having to fight it out with your own tummy.
When with you, it just doesn’t agree;
and you find yourself on a never ending spree,
of belching out things that till last night you thought were yummy!

It’s bad to be on the wrong side of it,
that doesn’t make you a big mouth or an a$$hole u twit!
In this world of nefarious scheming,
when against you all other body parts seem to be teaming,
you have to tackle this fast – not bit by bit.

Ostensibly, the dinner, I had digested,
which consisted of what the local vendor had suggested.
But even after a whole night’s “foodless” sabbatical,
when dawn saw me becoming vertical,
Out came tumbling – everything I had ingested!!

A harrowing experience, I’ll not go on about.
For I am sure a gory tale you can do without.
Of how I was taken completely by surprise,
when I finally did realise,
the chicken nuggets I had had, gave tummy this clout.

Finally a stringent hunger strike,
was the only thing we thought on, alike.
Tummy – “I am not going to digest anything you gave“.
Me – “I am not going to *GIVE* you anything till you behave!”
With that I thought I finally had some control on the tyke.

But alas! This scheme failed too quickly,
and I bravely decided not to give in meekly.
After some frantic search, out came the “Raam baan“,
Needless to say – To Pudeen Hara’s pills I owe much “Ehsaan“,
For they eventually showed tummy that I wasnt gonna give in weakly.

Negotiating with your tummy is a dying art,
One should respect tummy right from the meal to the fart.
This is what I have learnt,
with fingers that are now burnt,
Well, at least I seem to have made a start!