Cats and their complicated social lives!

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Thanks to the lockdown(s), my photography escapades have been reduced to zero. That left me with only some home photography to do. My favourite model was my dear cat Roller. A handsome 14-month-old ginger fluffball, his good looks were too difficult to digest for Shobith, the other Tom at home. Shobith is 4 years old and himself a good-looking dude. But the Alpha male in him got the better of everything else and he saw to it that Roller left the house. After a battle royale one night, Shobith sent Roller packing.

Roller and his poses:

 

The same Roller who gave me such adorable poses is now a nervous wreck and has relegated himself to a small portion of the tiled roof. He refuses to come down and has suddenly become camera shy. So with my favourite model in hiding, I have little or no photography to do. I miss Roller and I miss photographing him. Needless to say, I am terribly depressed. If only these feline hulks could go through some counselling! Sob sob! When I cry inconsolably my mom says I am mad and retorts, “You and your cats!”

Roller at his new home on the rooftop.

Movie Review: The Lion King

 

Cute, adorable, innocent, astonishing multiplied innumerable times is what would best describe Baby Simba as he makes his appearance on the screen in ‘The Lion King’. As if that overload of cuteness is not enough, Simba makes you want to have him in your arms as he tosses around in his mom Sarabi’s arms. Dad Mufasa is as majestic as his son is cute. The ideal copybook lion! Mufasa is handsome to the core with a magnificent mane and a classic roar that would bring life to a halt.

Mufasa is a great dad and Simba quite a brat! The equation between the father and son is great. The twosome makes such an adorable duo. Alas! Villains and cheats abound in the animal kingdom too. Simba’s Uncle Scar and his sidekicks, the pack of hyenas, are a testimony to this. There are old faithfuls who would go miles to help out their friends in times of catastrophe. Zazu, the hornbill, is one friend the likes of whom everyone would like to have. Nala and Sarabi turn out to be soul mates extraordinaire to Simba and Mufasa. Their love and affection are boundless!

The jungle is a hostile place, especially for little lion cubs. Predators are lurking everywhere, behind the bushes and rocks, on top of trees, and sometimes in your own midst. Adventurous youngsters like Simba and Nala can prove to be quite a handful to their parents.

The adventure through the African wilderness is a marvellous experience and quite intimidating. The laugh of the hyenas could knock the daylights out of you. Thanks to the great animation and special effects, watching ‘The Lion King’ is one armchair journey you shouldn’t miss. Waste no time! Head to the nearest movie hall, put on those 3D/4D glasses and make the best of the next two hours.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: “2017 Favorites”

Among my favorite pictures that I clicked in 2017 I would pick this one of a mother monkey grooming her child. This was clicked on a lovely February afternoon. I was strolling through Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens in quest of that one picture that would make my day when I came across a group of monkeys. I went on a clicking spree. Among the pictures that I took that afternoon, this one touched me most because it symbolises mother’s love.

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Hidden Gems from a Master

Image courtesy: NGMA

The National Gallery of Modern Art is host to a unique exhibition of cartoons numbering 96, by master cartoonist, the late Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Laxman (24 October 1921 to 26 January 2015) more popularly known as RK Laxman.

Image courtesy: NGMA

These cartoons are different from his usual cartoons, the ones most of us are familiar with, because they were created by Laxman at leisure when he was at his creative best. The works are a mixture of completed works and doodles. And they provide a fascinating insight to his creative prowess.

Image courtesy: NGMA

The exhibition was inaugurated by K Jairaj, Former Additional Secretary, Government of Karnataka, on 13 September 2017. During his address, Jairaj spoke of his meeting with Laxman and mentioned that he “drew without malice. His cartoons were always contemporary and vivid in the minds of the public”. Dr Sathyabhama Badhreenath, Director of NGMA, who also spoke on the occasion referred to Laxman’s works as stress busters.

Image courtesy: NGMA

Laxman was never in favour of displaying his doodles. The cartoons on display at NGMA have already been exhibited at the Indian Institute of Cartoonists.

Image courtesy: NGMA

VG Narendra of the Indian Institute of Cartoonists spoke at length about his long association with the cartoonist which dated back to the 1970s. He spoke of a memorable day in Bangalore when RK Laxman, Mario Miranda and Abu Abraham, all of them great cartoonists, together graced an event. Speaking about the current exhibition, Narendra said that the NGMA is an apt place to display the cartoons thanks to its sprawling space.

Image courtesy: NGMA

Among those present on the occasion was GS Krishnan, a proud owner of the largest collection of Laxman’s cartoons. Krishnan began collecting Laxman’s cartoons from a very young age. He first met Laxman in 2009 and showed him his collection. Laxman was very happy and rewarded GSK with his book ‘Laxman Rekha’.

Image courtesy: NGMA

On display are cartoons of a temple, birds, bicycles and planes. A very poignant nevertheless amusing one showing environmental destruction was my favourite. It has a group of people taking shelter from rain and floods on the stump of a felled tree with one umbrella over their heads. The story would have been different if the tree had not been felled.

 

Image courtesy: NGMA

Image courtesy: NGMA

Image courtesy: NGMA

There is one of a funny-looking crook with what seems to be a bundle of looted cash. While all the cartoons have Laxman’s unmistakable humour, there are many which stand out like that of a gigantic frog on whose back are a cluster of apartment complexes (perhaps a reference to the shaky foundations of these buildings), a king enjoying a lighter moment with his queen, the common man as William Tell, a man on a commode, a fight between two baddies, ghosts, a foot on an egg, the artist himself in a whirlpool, faces in the crowd, the artist as a judge (a take on the Shah commission), a politician indulging in a alcoholic drink adorned with pictures of nude women, Jagjivan Ram as a crocodile.

Image courtesy: NGMA

There’s a humorous one of the artist’s famous writer brother RK Narayan startled at the dead of the night by a ghost.

Image courtesy: NGMA

The exhibition is a must-visit for one and all. I really doubt there is anyone who is not a fan of RK Laxman, the God of Cartooning.

Image courtesy: NGMA

The exhibition is on till the 1st of October.

Image courtesy: NGMA

Image courtesy: NGMA

Image courtesy: NGMA

Image courtesy: NGMA

Image courtesy: NGMA

Image courtesy: NGMA

Image courtesy: NGMA

Image courtesy: NGMA

Image courtesy: NGMA