Presenting a talk at the Fotocamp this weekend

Hello folks, I am presenting a talk at the Fotocamp. Fotocamp is taking place at Frames of Mind 2010, Bangalore Photography Club’s fifth annual exhibition.

FoM 2010 is this weekend at the ChitraKala Parishat, Bangalore. Fotocamp is on the 23rd, Saturday.

I am scheduled to present my talk at 12.45 pm on the 23rd, that is … this Saturday. My presentation will be about my photography philosophy, that of finding something interesting to click …. just about anywhere. In other words, to see something beautiful and art worthy in all people, in all things, and in all places.

If you are interested, do please attend. There will be other talks and presentations too that day. Do check out the below poster. Hope to see you there – thanks in advance.

Entry free.

Talk at the Fotocamp, FoM 2010 - Chitra Aiyer Photography

The beautiful and forceful waterfalls at Athirapally – our experience

When we were looking at places to cover in the Trichur surrounds, my cousin’s husband mentioned the Athirapally falls. I have known of the falls – thanks to the internet, also thanks to director Mani Ratnam’s fascination with the spot. And well, it got into our itinerary almost immediately. (We have taken the kids to quite a few waterfalls  – will write about them all here … someday!)

At Trichur, when we mentioned of our plans to my uncle and aunt, with whom we stayed, my uncle said we could cover Kalady and Athirapally together. More about Kalady in another post. While, you can reach the falls from  Chalakudy, we went to the falls from Kalady. The drive through the forests is beautiful and it was also raining that day – so needless to say, everything was pristine and green.

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As we approached the falls, the rains subsided a little. After buying the tickets, we reached a vista point from where you get the first view of the falls. When we caught a glimpse of the falls, we were glad we were visiting in October. The river was swollen and the fall, boisterous. A cloud of beautiful mist rose from the force of all that water hitting the rocks.Seeing the falls from a distance, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

We reached the entrance gate and started the trek down amidst the mild drizzle. The kids held their own umbrellas and walked. The trek to the top of the falls is pretty gradual and the path is well laid. The spot is also very well maintained. As we neared the falls, the roar greeted us and it was hard to not be impressed by the force and the might of the water.

The security shack, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

The kids were completely taken in by the amount of water gushing down and with such vengeance. We stood there for a long time, enjoying the beauty, the big sound, and under our umbrellas.

The kids enjoying the splendour, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Forceful, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

I typically only load still pics on my blog, but this, I had to upload a couple of videos too…


Tourists, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Some visitors closer to the river, just before the waterfalls.

From the top of the fall, it was then time to trek down to see the might of the waterfalls from its base. We could only imagine how the view would be considering how wide the fall is. This trek is a little more strenuous than the previous stretch. However, nothing too bad. Our 5 year old could do it for the most part by himself also. This stretch was also mostly done under umbrellas. Just that as we neared the base, we didnt know if it was the rains or if it was the showers from the forceful waterfalls. The sound of the fall by now being quite loud. After all the monsoons, deep in this forest, the vegetation is thick and beautiful.

You can access the base of the falls only to a certain extent. The rest is cordoned off and the security personnel even made sure the college kids who had crossed the safety limits return to where it was safe.

The view from here at this time of the year is really quite something. You can see the top of the falls, and the water just falls down without a care and with such ferocity. Absolutely lovely. Here’s a video through all the vegetation.


This view kind of scared our 5 year old a little. He didnt want to see it too much. :) However, the daughter, the 7 year old, enjoyed the view. And after we had stood there for a while, with the water drenching our clothes, we started on our trek up. The weather was cool and we were wet; we all had tea when we reached the gate – the typical Kerala ‘kuppi glass chaaya’.

Hot tea after the trek in the rain, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Typically, the kids dont get to drink tea or coffee. This experience, I think, called for a little change to the norm. :)

Oblivious to the immense beauty, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

While returning, we took the view in again from the vista. Spotted this little monkey, who seemed so oblivious to the drama right behind him.

As we got comfortable in our warm, dry car, the rains had stopped; but the roads and the surrounds were bathed and beautiful. The kids fell asleep right away, and the husband and I enjoyed the beautiful drive back to Trichur.

Awash roads on the way back, Athirapally, Chitra Aiyer Photography

My daughter’s spirit

We just got back from our road trip to my native place, a little place deep within the western ghats in Kerala, and a bunch of places, also in Kerala. It was beautiful trip – brought me close to my childhood, touched many layers of my emotions, and helped me share little things from my childhood with the kids. I have spent many long summer vacations in my native place and consider it home in many respects. I truly get a sense of belonging with this little village from where my dad hails. More pics and posts about the trip itself later. Hopefully, I will get down to writing. (I still have many posts pending from our earlier trips and outings.)

Amongst the many stops, we also went to the Chavakkad beach, near Guruvayoor, after the temple visit. This beach isnt touristy in any sense of the word. We also went there in the mid-morning, when there were just some fishermen and boys on the beach.

Map picture

The kids love the beach and any given opportunity to take them there, we do. The daughter especially comes absolutely alive when she is at the beach – there isnt a single moment when she stands still.

Here are some pics that I have captured just of her spirit. Hope you enjoy them. Nothing’s changed from when she was little and I had captured her free spirit here.

I love how tiny she is here – without a care, and one with it all….

I love the beach myself, but now as a mom, the joy is in simply watching her in the waters. Yes, I have a son too. Will post more pics from the beach later that will have more of him too. :)

Considering how much she loves the waters, I wonder if Bangalore really is where she should be growing up. It is a different thing that we manage to take the kids to some beach or the other at least 5 times a year….

PS: All pics used here are mine. Please do not copy them in any form.