It’s raining jackfruits!

It was quite some time since I touched my camera. I yearned for a photo walk. After a lot of thought I zeroed in on Lal Bagh. It was quite late in the day when I made up my mind so I thought I wouldn’t be able to take many pictures. How wrong I was! There were photo ops aplenty at one of my favourite jaunts in the city even that late in the afternoon. And there were huge crowds. People were dressed at their colourful best especially women and girls. Fashions galore were on view. IMG_8340 I first entered the Japanese Garden. A lot of children were going gaga over a tall brown structure. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was about. IMG_8367 IMG_8341 I never knew about the existence of this algae-covered pond.  Nearby, a group of women were lost in thoughts. IMG_8345 IMG_8346 This fella went on scratch scratch scratch. Woof! I walked on. IMG_8347 There was also a lotus tank in the vicinity! Sadly, there weren’t any lotuses (: I have been to Lal Bagh so many times and had never seen it. How could I have missed out on such a pretty spot! IMG_8348 IMG_8349 A shrine in the garden was another surprise discovery. IMG_8352 I noticed the Cassia javanica trees had started flowering. The blooms looked lovely! IMG_8353 There were a lot of picnickers on the lawns most of them children. There was fun in the air with many playing ‘Blind Man’s Bluff’, Frisbee, cricket, chess and ‘Hide & Seek’. IMG_8357 IMG_8363 IMG_8364 The ugly side of having so many people around surfaced with the sight of this overflowing bin. IMG_8361 Vandals seemed to have had a field day around this palm-tree trunk. IMG_8369 The recent rains in the city had brought down many trees here. There were a lot of bundles of wood lying around. IMG_8370 I was awestruck with the sight of this beautiful tree. I loved the hangings! IMG_8375 Bees were buzzing around these pretty little flowers. IMG_8379 I found it difficult to take my eyes off these peach-hued blooms outside the Dr. M.H. Marigowda National Horticulture Library. IMG_8382 IMG_8411 The age-old building had definitely seen better days. It lies in a sad state today. Save for some portions of the bungalow, this was a picture of neglect. Tiles had been removed from a large part of the sloping roof. Hopefully, the authorities are planning a renovation.

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There are a lot of jackfruit trees around the bungalow laden with fruit. Yum yum! And a mango tree too! A lone dog was the only sign of life around the bungalow.

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IMG_8394 IMG_8400 IMG_8414 A beautiful gate offered some solace from the picture of ruin around. A closer look revealed it was of British make and had a locking system.

The walls around the bungalow were adorned with artistic flower pots. IMG_8416 As I walked on I noticed another flowering tree covered with little flowers. There were a lot of bees buzzing around it. IMG_8417 IMG_8421 This unique palm tree made me stop. The name plate says it is a Bread Palm. The trunk looked interesting.

This was undoubtedly a day of discoveries. Here’s another one. IMG_8426 An arch covered with heart-shaped leaves looked artistic. IMG_8428 More flowers 🙂 IMG_8431 I guess this is an equipment to reach for the fruits. IMG_8432 The sculpture of the lion looked so similar to the one in Cubbon Park. Perhaps they were created around the same time. IMG_8433 Grass on some of the lawns was being trimmed. IMG_8434 Amidst all the noise, this man was engrossed in reading a book. IMG_8436 And two little ones were paying obeisance to Nandi. Awww! IMG_8441...... As the sun set, it was time to leave. IMG_8445

Trodding on wet grass

With the last few days having seen a hailstorm, thunderstorm and all sorts of storms visiting a park was the last thing on my mind. For one, I don’t particularly enjoy walking through slush. But my niece was adamant. I had promised her a few days back that I would take her to Cubbon Park the following Saturday or Sunday not knowing that rains would play spoilsport. Also, it is difficult to say “No” to a child especially when she is in the midst of her holidays.

We began early Saturday morning. As expected, the rains that lasted till late last night had rendered the lawns wet and soggy. There were a lot of mini-lakes and ponds. This one was the biggest of them all.

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My niece wanted to sketch but all the benches were damp. We kept walking. ‘The Silent Lady of Cubbon Park’ was there with her five Golden Retrievers. There was also a group of fans surrounding her oh-so-adorable dogs including a baby in a pram. How cute can that be 🙂  My niece joined in the fun and had a whale of a time.

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We next moved to the pigeon-feeding spot near the rocks. Like always, there were endless pigeon-feeders emptying huge bags of grains. And of course the birds were there in hundreds. Not surprisingly, by the time we left the place there was bird poop on my head.

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At a distance, a rag-picker was on his rounds. He was carrying an incredibly huge sack full of trash.

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We settled ourselves on a somewhat dry bench. While my niece immersed herself in sketching and then reading a book, I looked around for possible subjects to capture. Sadly, there weren’t any interesting ones.

As we packed up to leave we noticed a Labrador racing up the lawn. There was no one with him. He appeared to be in distress. We looked around to see if his owner was in sight. One man who we thought was his owner turned out to be a worker in the park. I asked around to see if anyone had any clues about his owner. Sadly, no one had any idea. To make things worse I had left my mobile at home. At least if had got it I would have been able to inform an animal welfare organization. We followed the Lab for some distance. Finally, he rested on a footpath. We sought help from a gentleman walking his dog. Though he had some numbers of some rescue organizations calling them didn’t help. We again sighted the Silent Lady of Cubbon Park. This time she was on her way back home. We approached her to see she could help. To our surprise, she knew the fella quite well. And he responded with a hearty wag of the tail. She gestured that his name is Casper. He happened to be a frequent visitor to the park. His owner leaves him to wander in the park all alone and then picks him up after a period of time. Woof!!! Casper you are a brave-heart! I thanked heavens that I forgot my mobile.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: “Intricate”

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Intricate.”

A highlight of most Indian handicrafts and art forms is the high degree of intricacy involved. Here are some exceptional pieces of art that I captured at an edition of the Dastkar Handicraft Fair, one of the most popular handicraft fairs in India:

The Phad paintings are a Rajasthani art form. They stand out for their intricacy and use of myriad colours. IMG_2989

This one is an applique and mirror work parasol. This kind of applique work is an art-form of Orissa:

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The epic Ramayana re-told with exquisite applique work:

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A carpet adorned with a large sun-motif done in Madhubani style:

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A painting of the deities of the Jagannath Temple at Puri, Orissa :

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Art on bottles:

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An exquisite elephant mask:IMG_3037

Jungle on a bottle:IMG_3041