Saturday, March 27, 2010

Its Tomorrow already :)

I have no idea, what I am doing this late, sitting up on my cosy bed for the night, waiting to smoke one last time before I crash. I would be leaving for the mountains tomorrow, early in the morning. My bags are already packed. Camera, Lenses, Clothes and my cigarettes, they're all there. Dinner was majestic. An open-air eatery and the best Kebabs that you can find in Delhi.

The Green dot on my GTalk has turned Orange some time back, and most people in the GMT +5.30 region are doing justice to their tired nerves. The next two days are going to be solitary, time for a lot of introspection. Time to fill up the memory cards, and empty my memories.

Good night world. I'll see you next when mortal passions have lost their fizz, and I'm all set for a little less oxygen, and a lot more solitude. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Throne !

Question :

Which is the best place to learn Photography ?

Answer :

The Loo !

A couple of days back, a friend of mine wanted to know which Photography Magazine is the best. He gave me two options. Unfortunately I was in a hurry and could not conclude the conversation. I now take this opportunity to conclude (again, because this is my Blog :P).

If you think my answer above is ridiculous, do so at your own peril. Take my word, the Loo is the best place to learn photography. I'll tell you how.
When the month begins, I grab the latest issues of all the photography magazines that I can get hold of. Its usually limited to 3, sometimes 4 different magazines. I stack them up in the Loo. I read them whenever I am there :P. Trust me, its the best place to read those mags. Nobody in the world can see you (they better not !). You have all the time to go through each and every line, every photograph, every letter, and even every advertisement. When you finally come out, you're not just a relieved man, you're a better-informed one too !

Every magazine will tell you at least one thing that you didn't know before. Trust me when I say this. So the next time you're visiting any of the photography forums and you find a post which says "Where can I learn Photography ?", you know what the answer should be ! Scroll up, if you're still not sure :)

P.S. :- This post is NOT sponsored by any of the following publications : Worse Photography, Micronesian Photography, Unsmart Photography, Unpopular Photography etc.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Manic Monday - snapshot

The financial year is drawing to a close, and all my deeds and misdeeds need to be covered up asap ! My bank, my tax consultant, and all other partners in crime are busy designing glossy covers for the yearbook. The Laptop just got busier : Folders being archived / renamed / deleted, and much more.

 Its a weird feeling when you open facebook in the morning and it advises you to suggest a Profile picture for a friend who passed away a couple of weeks ago. Of course facebook wouldn't know that, but it really gives you a bitter taste in your mouth. One thing leads to another, and I ended up visiting his profile on Orkut. There he was, with all his profile information, likes & dislikes, photos and scraps.

I simply can't resist talking about KKR (:P). Last time KKR played, I was at Fame, watching the misery unfold on the big screen. Worse, I tagged a friend along. Two fools make a better picture than just one, I guess. Still, highly recommended for the visuals and audio quality. Just don't bother about KKR, that's all. However, I wonder who planned the home-bred cheer-leading. Utterly disgusting and unnecessary. Also, keeping in line with the home team's performance, there were a couple of enthusiasts with a microphone each, and a dearth of ideas on how to use it. Sometimes they would shout "Korbo Lorbo.....blah blah blah" (already termed as the joke of the century), and once they played the theme song on their mobile phones and held the microphone close to it so that others could listen in................ and Die. The moment of glory arrived when they started showing a replay of one of the dismissals that happened an hour back, and the cheerleaders raced to the Dais to celebrate, and someone had to jump in and stop the circus !

KKR would be playing tonight. I have no money left to waste. Alas ! 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Santa in Summer ?

Global Warming has finally taken it's toll, it seems !... Santa has been forced to come down for a quick shower. He was somewhere around when I took my wife shopping. Apparently, my prayers (when Santa failed to show up some 30 years ago) have finally worked. I got this wonderful watch as a gift from Wifey dear !

Well, being the jerk that I am, all I could think of while choosing the watch was - which one would be the nicest to photograph ?... This one finally made it !

Saturday, March 20, 2010

KKR wins IPL 3 !

And 5 minutes later, I woke up.

I know this piece of text might annoy quite a few. But I still feel the need to point a finger at certain things (and its my Blog anyway :P), which I'm sure will haunt all you KKR fans by the time IPL 3 ends.

I was born and brought up in Kolkata, and I have lived here all my life. Hence, it is quite obvious that being a cricket lover, and a keen follower of the game, I would support KKR, and I have been doing so, ever since the team was formally announced.

We bengali's are an emotional bunch, myself included. We have seldom fought gruelling battles, but we love to listen to stories of gallant warriors, great victories and triumph of good over evil. It is due to this reason that we simply hate to lose, without even bothering to look back and find out why we lost. Failures, they say, are the pillars of success. But every time we fail, we just destroy the Pillars and move on.

I have no idea what SRK has done to the team after last year's debacle. If kicking the coach out and changing the captain is all that has been done, I'm afraid we're in for another bumpy ride this year. 

I watched KKR's last match against the Chennai Super Kings. I would ask a simple question to all you Dada-fans out there. Did your Dada (and mine), for even a second, look like he belonged to the 22 yards out there ? I'll tell you, he didn't. Now, before you pull out your "Long Live Dada" banners and clear your throats for the war-cry, stop and think. It's your team god damn it ! We need 11 good cricketers out there, who could win us matches, and Dada didn't look like he's going to win the match for us. But I'm not saying that KKR should get rid of him. Instead, why not use his years of experience, and help him find some good talent for the team ? Why not use him as a Batting Coach ? As a Mentor

I recently watched an ad on TV, wherein the Knight Riders are being coached by a boy who delivers newspapers, and apparently has a better throwing arm than the cricketers themselves. Nothing wrong with the ad, they just tried to make it funny, that's all. But what I don't like is SRK chilling out on a chair while the cricketers sweat it out. What kind of a message does that convey ? Come on, he's just an owner, the real job is done by the cricketers. The ad would give you a feeling of watching a Feudal Lord putting his feet up in the sun while his slaves do all that is needed. 

And, nobody says a word ! Nobody would, till one fine morning your dear SRK washes his hands off, and walks away, and all you are left with is a bunch of confused cricketers, a stadium where the lights blink like those in a disco, and snatched packs of smokes being sold by the police themselves.

This morning’s newspaper carried a photograph of the kids, holding posters which say “Gayle amaader bachao” (Gayle please save us). This is pretty much what KKR is all about. All emotions and zero common sense.

 P.S. :- I am going to spend my hard-earned money to watch KKR's match at Fame. I Love You K-K-K-K-K-K-KKR !

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dis is Da Drum !!

When I started this blog, it was assumed that I've found a way to beat my own drum. Not a bad idea eh ? How about this, I made one of my photos my desktop background ! Now I can sit and stare all day, huh ?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why I failed to "Learn" Photography !

The photo on the top was taken by me in 2005, and the one at the bottom was taken in 2010. 

Somewhere in between I started looking at Photography a bit seriously. 

In 2009, I suddenly felt the URGE to learn photography, from those who knew a lot. That urge led me to one of the well-known institutions, and this is what happened thereafter. 

The first couple of sessions went very well. Light, Filters, Shutterspeeds etc. and then trouble began. 

For 2 hours I had to look at a 40 year old SLR and understand the Remote trigger assembly which was basically a trigger wired to the shutter. Very relevant 40 years ago, but why now ? 

In each class, we got to see a bunch of very nice photographs, yes, seriously nice. We were encouraged to shoot more and more. Very noble thought indeed. So I started to shoot. Spiders, Tea-stalls, sleeping dogs, crying beggars, Grapes in a glass and even a very furious wife !

A couple of weeks later I turned up for the class on darkroom processing of B/W negatives (yes, that's right !). Before the turbulence, I decided to proudly showcase some of my photographs:

My teacher was kind enough to spend a few seconds on the 20 odd prints that I had handed over. He looked up. "What is the meaning of these photos ? Where's the story behind each of these ?" This is all he said.

That was the last time I saw him, and he saw me.

It was decided right then. I would never 'Learn" photography !

Monday, March 15, 2010

On Summer...

Due to some reason, my school was hugely obsessed with the Seasons. Hence, all summer vacations had to be followed by Essays about Summer, what I did (though there was never enough power to do anything), that trip to the mountains (which never actually happened), a day in the Zoo (just imagine!), and plenty more.

It’s a shame that I could never write about what I actually did during those days. Now that I’m out of school (the "now" spans 20 years), and my teachers don’t give a damn any more, I can finally write what I like. Growing up is so much fun !

Now that summer is here, the evenings are going to have a breezy feel about them. I hate Winter evenings, they are so depressing ! Winter evenings remind me that the Laluprasad’s and the Mayawati’s still exist, and life looks terrible thereafter ! But summer evenings are all about Green Mango Coolers, a quick shower, talcum powder and IPL matches. The lights in the room seem so much brighter, and taking pictures while the AC works overtime is bliss indeed.

Sundays in the summertime does remind me of last year. This was the time when I used to shoot on the streets of Kolkata with the Kolkata Weekend Shoots gang. It was fun on the whole. To sweat it out with your backpack and camera, and ditches and stink, and sweat and street food, and to come back and explore the pictures was a wonderful experience. Sadly, it’s not going to happen this year, as the equations have changed, and so has my tolerance level. But when I look back, I have no regrets. It was fun alright.

I also wanted to write about Spring, but I have no idea what it looks like. Can somebody help ?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunset on Concrete

I came home after traveling 300 kms to attend a meeting that lasted 45 minutes. I badly wanted to see the sun set. This is what was on offer. I guess I should have traveled another 300 to see the real thing !

24 hours in RGB

An eruption out of nowhere, passion duly celebrated, a couple of breezers downed for no reason, a microphone that didn't work, victory for the Knights, and a wake-up call due tomorrow... what a day !

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Of Coins, and a hole in my heart

Every morning, when the huge school gates opened to let me in, I used to feel the coins in my pocket, and I felt stronger and richer, every passing minute. A sense of power gripped my otherwise timid mind. In my pocket, lay the treasures of a lonely boy. The coins meant that I could be man for those 30 minutes, before the bell rang, and I had to run back to my class after the recess. There was a tree that relied heavily on one of the school's boundary walls. I'm sure it had been planted by someone who was about to walk out of the school gates for the last time, and wanted to leave his heart inside. That tree had the perfect height, balance and position to help a boy get a taste of the big bad world outside. Real People, Real Cars, Real abuses.....and real eatables !.. And man, what a royal spread !.. "Choto Kul", "aamshi", "tetuler aachar", "Aamra" and what not. The key to this grand kingdom lay in my pocket. As I reached for the coins, they would make the sweetest tinkling sound, of approval and joy !

Years have passed. My pocket got bigger, and so did the holes in the pocket. But the coins are nowhere to be found, and the sweet sound they would make.....its all gone. Plastic can buy you more, but not better....

Monday, March 8, 2010

This goes to you....


You've been by my side, through thick and thin, ups and downs and everything under the sun. Its been over 6 years now. As the rest of the world celebrates International Women's DayI choose to celebrate your existence instead......

Friday, March 5, 2010

I missed home


 I took this photograph on Charles' Bridge, in Prague. I wanted to watch the sun rise and shine on Prague's unmistakable skyline. It was summer, yet I shivered. The harsh river breeze reminded me that I was far from home. For a minute I felt glad that I didn't belong here. This couldn't be my country. My river can't be this harsh to me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Living between Days

I'm seldom busy. But I do a lot of things. Here's a list of what I've been  doing in the last few days. But before that, here's a picture that I clicked yesterday in ambient light.

And now, here comes the list :

  1. I've been planning a trip to Delhi and hoping that Indigo gives me complimentary tickets
  2. I'm thinking of raising a fund to buy Deo's...too many people stink too much !
  3. I've been staring at the March Issue of "Smart Photography" where they've published a photograph taken by me, and wondering why people aren't noticing yet !
  4. I've been trying to figure out what this "Youngistan" is all about.
  5. I've been watching Akshay Kumar in the Thums-Up ad, and trying to redefine the standard for REALLY awful advertising.
  6. I've been feeling sorry for all the "Bahu"s in all the soap operas (Sob)
  7. I have realized that Time is not always the best Healer. It can be a great Teaser too.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Holi Holiday

Had a fun-filled Holi. Its absolute fun to see others in a mess. Having a camera can be good for your cleanliness, as I discovered on the day. This is my "Choto-pishi"....having her share of the mess !