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The photos cannot be sold. For commercial purposes other than the web, pay as specified here. Select photos by using the SEARCH function under the Archives, found at the bottom of page (my email id is there too) or labels at bottom of each post. To see original image, click on image or ask me for a bigger and better one.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Homeless in India - Photographs

Here are some photos showing homelessness in India. Poverty and India are two words which are synonymous for foreigners. While it is true that many Indians are poor, most of them do have a roof above their heads, even if it is a thin tin one. However a certain percentage of the population doesn't even have a tarpaulin over their heads. They are totally homeless and helpless, and often land in this situation as they have left their villages (where they are starving) to try and make ends meet in the city. Accommodation here is beyond their means.

While homelessness is prevalent in all countries of the world, it is more acute in countries like India.

The first photograph is of a poignant image of a toddler playing on the pavement with a baby fast asleep next to her. Household belongings are strewn around and a pole and the wall are used as wardrobes. A dog sleeps next to the playing child. Homeless people often keep stray dogs as pets.

homeless child on pavement

The photograph below is of tents put up on the pavement on a busy highway in Mumbai.

tents on pavement by homeless

Two women and a girl in their makeshift home on the road. Their clothes are hung in public view.

homeless women and girls

It's amazing how we pass by the homeless and not blink an eye.

homeless man sleeping on street

The second picture is taken in Thane, a city near Mumbai, under a flyover.

homeless people under a flyover

This last image is taken in Pune city and has migrants from the villages who have come to eke out a living.

people sleeping on pavement

Most of the images above were shot in Mumbai and Pune.

Related Images: Check out another post on Slums in India - Aerial View which has images of slums in Mumbai, in Dharavi and Andheri.

The blue ink voting mark used in India

This is a photo of a middle finger which shows the permanent blue ink vote mark. Usually it is the index finger which is marked thus but if two elections come close together then the middle finger is used.
I liked this photograph because the netting symbolized prison and the finger pressed against it meant that the voter is a prisoner of sorts. He is forced to vote for a candidate whom he knows is useless and/or corrupt because there is none other. The other option is a no-vote.

finger with indelible ink mark used for voting

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mumbai Central Railway Station

Mumbai Central is a railway station used for both the suburban as well as the national railways. Thus, it is the busiest railway station in Mumbai. The station is in central Mumbai and that is what gives it the name. However today this station is no more in the center of Mumbai. People have to travel from the distant suburbs to reach this station as long-distance trains start from here. Even people from smaller satellite cities like Thane, Vashi and Navi Mumbai have to travel several hours through heavy traffic to catch a train to a long-distance destination. This station has innumerable platforms.
The first photograph is of a train at a railway platform.

mumbai railway station

The other two pictures are close-up pictures of the railway station platform.
view of Mumbai train platform

birds eye view of mumbai train platform

Click the label "Mumbai" for more photos of Mumbai.

Colourful Bangles from Hyderabad

These are photographs of decorative and fancy bangles from the bangle market in old Hyderabad city, in Andhra Pradesh in India. This is a famous bangle market of the old city.

display of decorative bangles

display of decorative bangles

display of decorative bangles

I almost didn't post this last photo as the lighting is bad. However, I liked the composition.

display of decorative bangles

These photographs have been given to this blog by Purpler.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Puducherry or Pondycherry

Puducherry, once known as Pondicherry, is a small sea-side town in the state of Tamil Nadu, but it is a Union territory. It was once a French colony. It is a beautiful little city near the sea-side and is affection called Pondy. There is still a "French Quarter" where the foreigners mostly live. Inexpensive French food is available here and delicious baked goods.

This first photograph is a shot of the beach at Pondicherry which has a large pavement to walk on as well as a coffee-shop to hang out in.

view of Pondycherry beach and town

This is a view of Puducherry buildings and the sea.

view of Puducherry town from terrace

This is a street in the French Quarter of Puducherry. It's a good place to visit for some peace and quiet. There are some lovely beaches around Puducherry.

view of quiet Puducherry street

You might also like Auroville of Pondicherry or check out all the posts on Puducherry or any of the labels below this post.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bullock Carts in the country and in the city

Bullock carts are a common mode of transport in rural and semi-urban India. While motor-cycles have become popular they can never replace the bullock cart or bailgadi as this cart carries several people and also luggage/goods.

Some of these pictures have been taken near Kamshet and some near Diwekarwadi, areas around Mumbai, India. The first one is shot near Diwerkadi, in a rural area. A man is using a whip to drive the bulls and another man is sitting at the back. The cart is carrying long sticks as well.

two men riding bullock cart on country road

This picture of a young boy riding a bullock cart was shot near Kamshet, a semi-urban area in Maharashtra, India. The bullock cart appears to be carrying some other material as well.

boy riding a bullock cart with father

This is a couple with another man near Diwekarwadi. It is in a rural area where this can become the main mode of transport. If a family owns one, why travel in a bus? For short distances a bullock cart is fine!

family on bullock cart in India

This picture was taken on a country road. A man sitting in his bullock cart, ferrying some wood to a destination. Another village nearby perhaps. Or to his own home.

man on bullock cart

Bullock carts are also visible in Indian cities, but mostly for transporting goods, not people. The image below is taken in Pune where everyone is waiting patiently for the bullock cart to pass.

bullock cart on city streets

Related Images: Camel cart and Bullock cart  where you will see these carts transporting goods in cities.
For other forms of transport: Hand-Pulled Rickshaws or Cycle Rickshaws in India or Wooden hand carts with four wheels - Photos and Sketches or for a hand-cart with two wheels try this post: Wooden Handcart on a crowded city street


Friday, November 26, 2010

Indian Thali - typical Indian vegetarian meal

These two images are of a typical Indian vegetarian meal. It has most of the items in a typical Indian meal. There is kadhi, which is made of gram flour and buttermilk, dal which is made of lentils, as well as several types of vegetables. The white coloured dish is dahi wada which is a fried lentil crouton in curd, chopped tomato and cucumber salad, roasted papad and rotis. One of the vegetable dishes comprises of a paneer (cottage cheese which is popular in Indian vegetarian meals) and green peas curry. Green chutney and a slice of lemon is provided as an accompaniment. Rice is usually served separately. Buttermilk is usually given as an additional dish.

Typical Indian vegetarian meal

Indian thali meal

More pictures of Indian food: Masala Dosa and Sambar from South India.

Nubian Village of Egypt

These are pictures of a Nubian Village. Nubia lies along the Nile and is partly in Egypt and partly in northern Sudan. Tourists are often taken to see a typical Nubian village because of its different architectural style. The Nubian culture has existed since ancient times.

This particular village is meant for tourists to see and the houses are show-cased.

Nubian village huts

This is the living room in a Nubian hut. It has wall paintings and other decorations.

a Nubian village hut with wall paintings

Another picture of the living area.

living room nubian village

This is a Nubian kitchen, a mix of the ancient decorations on the walls and  modern plastics. The hut belongs to a poor family.

Nubian village hut kitchen

Related Images: Nubian Boatman from Egypt
For pictures of Egypt's capital city try this post: Cairo City Photographs
For a photograph of men smoking hookah in Cairo try this one: Smoking hookah on the streets of Cairo or to know more about Ancient Egypt try this one: Temple and statues of Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt


Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Palace is a five-star hotel in the Colaba area in South Mumbai. It came into world news when it was attacked by Pakistani terrorists on 26th of November 2008. Jamsedji Tata built it in 1903 during the British Raj. At the time there were no decent hotels that Indians could go to in their own country as Indians were not allowed by the British rulers into the good hotels. This hotel fulfilled a strong need amongst the rich and the elite Indians of the time.

This photo is of both the old and new Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. The Taj is iconic for the Taj hotel chain as it was the first for them. It is also an icon of Mumbai, and a heritage building. The building you see on the right of the photograph is the new wing of the Taj Mahal Hotel.

Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, India

Both these photographs were taken at dusk and therefore the dull lighting. The people around the hotel are tourists but they have not come to see the hotel. They have come to visit the Gateway of India, a monument directly in front of the Taj bordering the sea.

Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, India

Related Images: Sketch and Silhouettes of the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai or
If you want to see pictures of Mumbai skylines and skycrapers try these posts: Mumbai Skylines - Nariman Point and Malabar Hillor Mumbai Skylines - Worli. 

For an heritage building try this one: VT or CST railway station in Mumbai or just click the label "Mumbai" for more photos of Mumbai.

Swastika graphics from India

The Swastika is an Indian sacred symbol with a positive meaning and dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization (a 3000 year civilization) of the sub-continent. It is a sacred symbol and motif of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. It is also used by other eastern civilizations in the positive sense. The word "swastika" is Sanskrit in origin, and means a lucky or auspicious object, and denotes good luck. It is unfortunate that the evil people in the west distorted the symbol and used it for nefarious ends.

This has not changed the positive significance of the symbol for other cultures. For Hindus, it's almost like the Cross is to Christians.

Indian swastika

The image of the Swastika has been given different style in the photos below.

swastika graphic art

The Swastika motif against a dark background.
swastika graphic art

A red swastika symbol portrayed as if it were etched into stone.
swastika graphic art

The photo below has a textured look.
swastika graphic art

This Swastika looks like neon sign.
swastika graphic art

swastika graphic art

A light greenish blue Swastika symbol against a blue background.
swastika graphic art

This Swastika is another one to give the impression that it is carved in stone.
swastika graphic art

I think western civilisation should learn to respect this symbol, because if one looks carefully it is quite different from the Nazi symbol. Education is the key.

For more religious symbols from Hinduism: Paduka or Guru's feet or Shiva Pindi or Lingam
More related viewing: Priest performing a Pooja or Hanuman Temple

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Beijing Photographs and Skyline

These pictures are of Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China. The pictures are of Beijing buildings and skyscrapers against the sky.

Beijing is a clean and organised city with wide walkways, broad roads and state of the art flyovers. There are cycle tracks and bus lanes and the traffic is organised. It is considered the political, educational, and cultural center of China, unlike Shanghai which is the economic capital.
Beijing is beautiful and the only problem is the pollution.

This first photo was taken as we were speeding on a flyover. A manual camera was used for this picture.

Beijing city view

This is another shot of the same scene, this time from a digital camera and a different angle.
beijing buildings

Another picture of the smart buildings in Beijing city. They look to be in the commercial district of the city.

beijing commercial buildings

The photograph below is that of a bridge or flyover in Beijing with buildings as the background. In the foreground you can see a road curving towards the right. The cleanliness of the city is visible.

Beijing flyover

These are three commercial complexes in Beijing city. Two cranes in the foreground show that construction activity is in full swing. Beijing is relatively a new city, and it is growing.
construction activity on Beijing streets

The image below is Beijing by night. One can say it's the  Beijing skyline. All the rest of the pictures were taken with a Canon digital camera.
Beijing by night

The picture below was taken from a flyover, from a taxi. In the background you can see the buildings of Beijing and in the foreground the railings of a bridge. To the extreme left of the picture you can see a part of the Birds Nest, the building that China built for the Olympics. This photograph was taken almost a year before the Beijing Olympics.

Beijing buildings from bridge

Related Images: Streets of Beijing with people, traffic, cyclists, pavements and buildings or the Shanghai Skyline by day and Shanghai Skyline by night or Hong Kong Skyscrapers

Clouds, the Sun and Trees

Clouds make interesting patterns and as children we often stare and see shapes in them. As adults we forget the beauty of the clouds, the sun, the trees and the sky. In these images I captured all these elements together, with the trees as silhouettes.

In the first three images I see the clouds and the trees looking up to the sun, surrounding it, almost as if they are paying homage. In the photos I also see the trees holding up the clouds.

sun through the clouds and tree silhouettes

sun blinking and trees holding up the clouds

In the image below I see the clouds lined up in order, and they seem to be heading somewhere...towards the trees?
row of clouds in sky with sun

The photo below shows the clouds lined up again, this time to meet the sun. The trees are silhouetted and so is a hoarding. For once a hoarding seems to have merged with nature.
scene of sun, clouds and earth silhouette

Related Images: Clouds with a silver lining or Clouds as seen from an airplane or for pictures of some more rolling clouds: Swiss Alps from the air