Wednesday

Do You Know Chomolungma?

As usual, this time too I have brought back several paperback novels from T-Nagar Pondy Bazar at unbelievable rates:) I have started reading Paths of Glory, by Jeffery Archer. The story is about a British mountaieeer George Mallory, who lived in early 20th century. The hero's main goal in life is to conquer Chomolungma. 

How many of us are aware of Chomolungma? It is none other than the Himalayas! What a shame, even in schools, when we were taught Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world, we were never told about its original name. I wonder why no effort is taken to popularize Chomolungma instead of Everest! 

Saturday

Fiery Clouds

After all the traveling, everything at home seems to be messy and there is always things that I need to attend to. But not making any post has been nagging me a lot. So to sooth my conscience and at the same time spend very little time online, I decided to share these fiery beauties...




Sunday

Snowy Clouds

On the way back from the Uni, happened to meet this beauty and I was compelled to stop on the deserted road and capture her:)


Thursday

Travelling Wheelbarrow!

See how this new wheelbarrow is treated royally...


When I saw this at the traffic light, I was thinking of a Tamil saying, "oodamum oru naal kappalil yerum", (ஓடமும் ஒரு நாள் கப்பலில் ஏறும்), which means that even a boat gets to travel by ship!

Wednesday

Goose Goose Gander

Just when we turned in the lane that leads to my kid's school (in Klebang, Melaka), I had to stop and give way to a flock of gaggling geese. After taking a couple of shots, I shot a short video and here we go...


video

Thursday

Photo - A Touching Experience

During my last visit to India, we went to Sri Rengam, a Hindu holy temple. After our prayers, as usual I was capturing whatever caught my fancy. I will share that in another post.

I heard someone meekly calling "akka akka" from behind. I had to stop focusing and turn around to see if I was the one called for...there stood this chap longingly looking at my puny camera and asking if I would take a picture of him. When I agreed, he gave a dazzling smile and posed without even putting down the basket from his head!

Thankful-Thursday Challenge
After that he moved away and I had to stop and show his picture on my LCD. He stood in awed silence and then broke in a large grin and sprinted away.
Every time I see this picture, I wonder here is a NEXTER who doesn't know a thing about the current hi-tech stuff. I should have printed this photo and given it to him for keepsake...

Wednesday

Wavy...

It was only 7.50 AM when I reached my kid's school today. After waving bye to her, I was in a mood to explore around. As the school faces the sea, I was sure that there must be some calm beach within few kms. I decided to follow the signboard Pantai Putrei. After taking a couple of left and right turns from the highway, and passing through kampungs (villages), I arrived at the beach.

Well, I was not too sure if I could find my way back that too with my "pasar malam" Malay. Um, thinking philosophically to live for that moment, I cheered up and started walking in the beach sand. It was soothing to watch the waves at that time of the day.

Tireless waves trying to reach their target...look at the oncoming cheerful waves and the subdued receding waves...didn't they reach their goals?

Sunday

Parking Ticket

It was just gonna take about 5 minutes to buy the stuff from the stores, so as usual I didn't put the parking ticket and I did come back as expected. But, this time fate was against me and there was that slip, with RM30 as fine;

Someone nearby suggested that if I go and settle the fine immediately, the amount would be reduced. To my surprise, it was true!

At the counter, the assistant said that as am paying within 24 hours, the fine is reduced to just RM5! I had to thank my lucky stars:)

However, next time, would I take the risk of not putting 20 sen parking ticket? Well, thatz a million dollar question^^.

Friday

Love Hate Graphic

Every time I saw this advertisement in London buses, I was attracted by this powerful, yet simple graphic.

It is amazing to see how same graphic, with different angle can change the perception. Kudos to the creative designer who had come up with this! Come to think of it, everything in life too is like this. When you change your attitude, things too take a different color.

Shadow

No rattling to disturb this shot!
Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Relaxing...

Happened to go to Ayer Khero Lake and this is what attracted me at first sight!

When he saw me focusing from that angle, he thought it better to give a proper pose...


Tuesday

Sound Sleep

While visiting relatives in my hometown, I happened to capture him in his deep slumber...

Relaxing like a baby!

Thursday

Flying Alone

At the London Heathrow, after completing the formalities, I entered the departure terminal which was not impressive. I was carrying a couple of books that I had bought at The Works in London to entertain myself for the three-legged journey, first to Abu Dhabi, then to Chennai and finally to Madurai.

The food and the service in the first leg of the journey were plausible, so I was quite comfortable. I was busy chatting up with the American sitting next to me or by watching the interactive TV in front of my seat. I watched Aa Dekhen Zara (Hindi movie) and I liked the concept, where an ancient camera captures the future picture of whatever is being shot! After the movie, I was fiddling with the menus available in the touch screen TV and ended up in Flight Specific Views screen...


From one of the screens I gathered that we were flying somewhere in Arabia and until then I had my shutters down to avoid glaring daylight. Now, I dared to open the shutter, just in the hope of capturing few good shots AND I was rewarded:)

 

I guess these could be a part of the desert.

Abu Dhabi Airport was too small and was filled with people filing to the Prayer rooms, as it was time to break the fast. As I was hungry I was looking for available choices, but I could get only plain croissant and so called Veg-puff.

Except coke, the other 2 items were too dry and tasted like wood pulp, but had no choice I had to pacify my growling tummy. I was sitting by myself in that airport cafe to kill 2 hours of transit time, so I was a bit self-conscious.

After a while, I felt that someone was staring behind my back and I immediately turned around and noticed that a middle aged Arabian was indeed staring at me and he too noticed that I was aware of his glance and he started moving. At first, I thought that he was going away, but to my dismay, he crossed my table, sat in a comfortable location facing me, and smiled at me! I panicked and lot of unwanted thoughts were swarming in my head and I looked around to see if I can find any familiar face in this strange land. Finally, I thought that the age-old trick of pretending to talk on the mobile would help me. I just punched a number, was listening to the mobile message and started answering cheerfully in sourashtra:) The trick did not work out. At that time an Indian family entered the cafe and sat in the next table. Normally, I wouldn't bother to talk, but I went out of the way and started to make small talk. After watching for a while, the arrogant watcher finally left the cafe and I sighed.

Shaken by this, I was too tired in the second leg of my journey. Though I was occupying a window seat I had two laborers as my co-passengers and the thought of spending another 5 hours in that cramped space was sickening. Moreover, when the flight was in the runway, it stopped, the overhead speaker crackled and the captain announced that there would be an hour's delay due to heavy air-traffic in Katar. Grr, I couldn't digest this delay, because at any cost I didn't want to miss my flight to Madurai. Just to unwind I got up from my seat and noticed that there were few empty rows at the tail end of the flight. Immediately, I requested the air-hostess to relocate me in one of those rows, so that I could at least lie down. They did oblige. Finally, I had a peaceful rest.

The third leg of the journey was ok, because I was already in a familiar turf. But, the security screening was maddening. This was compensated when I boarded the flight. To my pleasant surprise, we were welcomed with a choice of tender coconut or buttermilk:) I told my-self "welcome home".

Friday

A Visit to London Harrods

When I told my friends that I wanted to go to London Harrods, one of the world's famous luxury departmental stores, they joked that I must be super rich to go there as it belonged to Princess Diana's boy friend Dodi's family! After hearing this, I was even more tempted to go and visit this shop, and at least do one of my favourite time pass, window shopping^^:)


From Wellington Arch we asked for directions to go to Harrods and we were told that it was about 10 minutes walk. Well, if a Londoner says, "10 minutes walk" then for my speed it should be at least 20 minutes! As the weather was pleasant, we headed towards the Knightsbridge underground station, next to which Harrods is situated.



The unmistakable crowd taking photos in front of the Harrods signboard shows that it is one of those "must see places". At the same time, I was pleased that am not the only person to go there for just seeing it.


As soon as we entered the shop, we were stopped by the security guards and they asked us to take off our backpacks and carry it in our hands, as it would disturb the other shoppers. Though, I was first irritated by this request, I did realize it was for our own good, only after being hit by a careless backpacker who was gazing at the ceiling :( The ambiance was too good to be true, and it felt like Alice in Wonderland. After much hesitation, I took out my camera and clicked it.



We wandered through various departments and ended up in the watches section. Most of the models that I liked was priced in 5 digits...well, might as well buy a piece of property in India or Malaysia.


Then, we thought that at least we could buy something in the food and drinks section. But, unfortunately, I couldn't get veggie stuff. Then biscuit tins and chocolates looked attractive but prices were scary...




We saw a signboard "Dodi and Diana Memorial" and followed it...



The shiny board set in this splendid store reminds me about the mortality of the human beings. I did sign in the guest book to pay homage to that great lady and left the shop with a rather heavy heart.

Wednesday

Scratching Woks!

Although, most of the stuff is in place at my new residence, am still trying to settle down. As am working from home, that too, on a leisurely pace, I have ample time at my hands. Therefore, I pick up each chore and do it with passion. Yesterday, I was trying to clean up a blackened wok that my hub was using when I was in London. Halfway through, suddenly, I remembered a standing family joke and immediately took this snap:)


When I took BA English Literature, one of my uncles teased that I had chosen this subject because I was destined to "scratch woks" (meaning get married and lead a lethargic life) and am going to college only for time-pass until I get married!

Now, my uncle is no more. I still wonder why he made such comments, probably, in those days my profession was unknown. Whatever, his comment has come true today!

Air Show from Beachy Head

We had to drive up hill on a narrow road to reach the Beachy Head. What a peculiar name for a beach! It is off-beat yet truly romantic beach.

I can sit on the gentle slopes and gaze at the azure sky and water for hours together:)

The breeze was strong and it was slightly cold, but all of us were eagerly awaiting the red arrows to arrive and perform. 

At first, we heard the deafening roar behind us and in fraction of a second the red arrows zoomed above us...

The fighter performed mind boggling aerobic actions on the air.

They were forming patterns using colorful smoke and making dives and free-falls. Locals say that every year this show is performed by the Royal Air Force to attract candidates for joining the air force.

Tuesday

Airbourne at Eastbourne

My first thought when I was asked to visit Eastbourne Air Show was ah I don't have a powerful camera to capture the gimmicks. What a way to think!

The weather was pleasant and people were relaxing at the pebbled beach and waiting for the metal birds to sore...

The show was awesome, with my skills I was not able to capture the entire excitement, but still, here are some shots that I managed to capture...

 

However, the seagulls didn' t seem to like it. Every time the jets roared, the birds fluttered frighteningly, it was pathetic to see them.

On the first day, my friend lost her new Nokia 5800, so we missed out on the Red Arrows show. Next day we went to the Beachy Head to catch that event and I will be sharing it in my next post.

Friday

Black by Day Red by Night - A Glimpse into Black Country!

When I first heard, I was surprised by the term "Black Country". So I was tempted to visit the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, which is about 20 minutes drive from Birmingham.

There seems to be no geographical or political boundaries that mark the Black Country. After reading the clippings in the museum, it seems that this district got its name since 18th century because of coal mining and industrialization. 

Painting that depicts a mining scene.

The museum was a blend of traditional display stuff and also they had re-created Black Country as described in the above quote. In fact, the village, cottages, shops, barns, and even people roaming the streets were dressed in period costumes. Walking through the museum was like stepping back in time.

Here is a local confectionary...

We bought some hard boiled sweets and the shopkeeper too started to chat with us like a typical friendly villager. In those days, it seems that they were using beetle blood to make pink icing, of which she showed us the sample...aiyk

Menswear specialist - the corduroy in display was of very high quality...

In true sense, it was a living museum in every aspect. At one point, we were standing in the middle of the road and looking at the map, trying to find our way to go to the boat canal. An old lady, of course, dressed in 18th century fashion came up to us and casually asked us if we needed help.

Canals were mainly used to transport coals from the mines...

Boat trips were available...

But we skipped the boat trip, as we had to rush to the mines as it was nearing closing time...

The trip was roughly for 30 minutes and it was a mock mine, but still the experience was awesome. We had to stoop low and walk in utter darkness and only one dimmed torch was given for every group of five. We had to walk closely and get used to darkness. The atmosphere was so thick that I was starting to get choked and was wondering how people slog in there for whole day!

Monday

Crystal Place Museum

Actually, Crystal Palace was a massive exhibition cum amusement park in the 19th and early 20th century. Originally, it was located in Hyde Park, London, for about 6 months and attracted around 6 million visitors and was relocated to Sydenham Hill in South West London. The Crystal Palace building was a mammoth glass and iron structure with two majestic towers on either side of the building.  In 1936, the entire structure was razed out by fire. Now, the Crystal Palace Museum holds the remnants of the glorious past.

Camera was allowed only in the entrance room and luckily, there were some interesting pictures and information, including this structural outline of the Crystal Palace.

Railway promotional material...

There were some interesting comments by the elite on this exhibition and here is a few that captured my interest:

  • The park is desecrated by the greatest trash, the greatest fraud, the greatest imposition ever attempted to be palmed upon the people of this country. Col.Sibthorp. MP. 4th June 1850
  • Whether the show will ever be of any use to anybody may be questioned, but of this I am certain nothing can be more successful. The Duke of Wellington May 7th 1851
  • I find I am 'used up' by the exhibition, I don't say there's nothing in it, there's too much. I have only been twice, so many things bewilder one. Charles Dickens, 17th August 1851

Looks like there has been mixed reaction on the entertainment and show business right from those days.

The exhibition displayed the courts of various countries and here is a depiction of a grand Indian Court:

Well, there were some paintings and photographs that captured the fun and entertainment of those days. The first "flying machine" concept was depicted there and it was merely a children's merry go round that we find in any parks. But, the picture had beautifully captured the excitement of the people who were flying on it, as it was their first true off the ground experience.

Above all, what attracted me the most was the passion for preserving the past glories. Now, I understand why only caucasians visit the forlorn museums and archeological sites in India. How often do we try to do this kind of things at home, in India? We too have a very rich heritage, but it is sad that we do not consider spending or learning about our past, which helps us to understand our roots and also appreciate the present day conveniences.

Friday

Wandering Alone

For quite some time, I wanted to go to the Crystal Palace Museum, which was a nearby attraction from Croydon. As usual, I tried to read up online, but there was little information on that. So, I decided to go there and see it for myself. Even in Malaysia I have never dared to venture out on my own, but now in UK since am all by myself I decided to explore alone. Well, every time I can't expect my friends to tag along where ever I wish to go.

Without any hustle I reached the location. Once inside, I was trying to figure out the museum location from the map and started walking in the direction, which I assumed to be right.

I went towards the sprawling lawns...

After walking for a while, I saw the children playing in the fields, and I had fresh pangs of loneliness. In the distance I saw this communication tower.

The headless statue reminded me of 'Headless Nick' of Harry Potter!

Majestic Sphinx...

Still, unable to find my way, I gave up my pride and approached a family who were relaxing under a tree to ask for directions. Immediately, the gentleman told that he was heading towards the museum to kill his time and asked me to follow him. Without second thoughts I followed, but when he turned towards the thick wooded path, suddenly I was thinking what kind of madness I am doing by just following some stranger! Luckily, within moments I saw the clearing and the old museum building:) The museum was small and deserted...

As this post is lengthy, I have split the museum details in the next post.

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