Tag Archives: India

Writing 101 Two, A Cafe With a View

Take me to Pushkar, drop me down in the sunset café. You already did? Ahh yes, here I am, the sky is still bright and very pink. Inside people, locals and travellers begin to gather, for the nightly spectacle that is sunset over the lake. Neat rows of Formica tables are placed so that as many diners as possible get a good view. The best seats are right on the patio, and I’ve got one, under the curved and ornately painted arches, slightly raised from the pavement. I sink into a rattan bucket seat with a cushion made from recycled saris, red, orange and pink to match the sky. Babu comes to take my order, a mint lassi while I’m waiting for a masala omelette, ‘but that is breakfast madam’ he says giving me that look he gives to crazy English women, a sort of half grin as if he feels sorry for me. I add an ice cold cobra beer, Pushkar is so dry and so is my throat.

The smell of spice is suddenly challenged when two young women arrive, laden with backpacks big enough for their tiny frames to climb into, and with grubby salwar kameez. I don’t like myself for saying it, but I’m glad there wasn’t space for them. In contrast the musicians rock up, clothes gleaming as white as the Persil ads, and making a racket like the dustbin men at 7am. Now I realise why these seats were empty. Two drummers, a sitar player and another with an instrument that looks like a sack, a hosepipe and some bits of rope, sit crossed legged beside me.

The drumming begins, starting slowly and with little tune. It’s only when I look around and see people swaying that I realise I’m doing the same thing. For too long the drums continue, my lassi and omelette are both consumed and I’m on my second bottle of Cobra. They’re twice the size of the bottles at home and a few nights ago Muggan, our driver was horrified and amazed that I could contain one, never mind two.

The drumming is hypnotic and I’ve lost some time, pulling myself together, I put the music to the back of my mind and focus instead on the sky. Taking a photo wasn’t working, heads kept bobbing up and down between me and the view. Stay in the now G, stay in the now and imprint it on your soul. It is every bit as magical as promised. Every warm, glowing colour, that nature can create, is up there in the heavens. There might be sound but all I can hear is the noise of the universe, not even a sound, but a vibration, a distant echo that began light years ago. I’m standing now, we all are. With fairy lights around our heads, we watch as the sun slowly falls on the horizon behind the temple.

I am changed by India.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top

Sara Rosso at the Daily Post says that ‘On top can be a feeling, a perspective, or a physical location’ and asks us to share photos that express On Top this week for the photo challenge.

My photos were taken On Top in Bikaner, Rajasthan,

from the roof of a temple.

This is a photo that I’ve posted before. O don’t what it is about it but it’s one of my all time favourite photos, so I’m sharing it again. It’s the same place as the gallery facing a different direction.

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Join in at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/on-top/

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

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‘A place reveals itself on its streets, from pedestrians strolling during lunch time, to performers entertaining tourists on sidewalks, to the bustle of local markets, and more. Whether you’re shoveling snow from your own driveway or walking a familiar route to work or getting lost in a foreign city, a snapshot of a street (or road or path) can tell a tale.’ So says Cheri Lucas Rowlands over at the Daily Post.

I’ve chosen street life from four different countries, each with many tales to tell.

The first is my own city, Exeter, in England.

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Fiumefredo in Sicily.

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Okohia, my ancestral village in Nigeria

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The last one is in New Delhi.

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Click for a bigger view and join in with the challenge at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/street-life/

Travel Theme: Big

I don’t seem to have many pictures to fit the theme this week, I guess I’m not drawn to big. Perhaps its because the UK just isn’t very big, or maybe big is difficult to capture. Anyway a few years ago I went to India and I’ve always remembered this big Hanuman along the road. I hope he’s big enough!

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Big is Ailsa’s theme, join in at http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/08/16/travel-theme-big/

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

This weeks challenge is ‘From Above’.

Sara Rosso says ‘Change your perspective on something. Share a photo of a subject which you shot from directly above. This plate of cheese from the Langhe region in Italy was interesting when I tried to take a picture of it, but when I took it from above, it became even more clear how the honey laid in a neat pile in the center of this circle of cheese and how each wedge had its own identity. For those interested, you started going clockwise with the cheese at 12, and they were all delicious.
Find a subject and instead of taking a picture from in front of, at an angle, to the side, or from behind, take it directly from above!
In a new post specifically created for this challenge, share a picture which means FROM ABOVE to you!’

I have chosen some views from above from several countries, hope you like them and maybe join in?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/weekly-photo-challenge-from-above/

CBBH Photo Challenge: Knobs and Knockers

Marianne has bright colourful door furniture to show you, whereas mine are a bit brown! She can be found at http://eastofmalaga.net/2013/05/01/cbbh-photo-challenge-knobs-and-knockers/ and you can also join the challenge there.
Add some photos, introduce two blogs you like and you’re done!

The first blog I’m bringing you this month is Melanie’s http://sugarandspiceandallthingslife.com/ where she writes about ‘recipes and life in general’. She posts easy recipes for no nonsense wholesome food (cake cake cake!) and she is another Devon girl. She also posts photos of England, mainly the beautiful south, check her out.
Next is Lily, http://lilymugford.com/ She likes to write, takes part in several challenges and if you like orange you’ll like her blog. Lily is a survivor with a great attitude to life, choosing to rise above circumstances. She is a relative newbie to the blogosphere.
I hope you visit, enjoy and that these two blgs are new to you!