The road trip to Hyderabad

Hyderabad Diaries

The trip to Hyderabad was a long pending one – husband’s aunt who has been there for 3 years had been inviting us to pay a visit. Also, recently, the daughter at school got a small comprehension worksheet about the Laad bazaar and its bangles. The last question in the sheet was to find out about points of interest in Hyderabad. When she was working on the project, I helped her look up Hyderabad on wikipedia. We listed out a few things for her write-up, but read up about everything else. There was one thing that fascinated her – the Salar Jung museum; the fact that there was a museum simply to house one man’s collection!

So, anyway, come Christmas vacations, and I was very clear about taking the kids to Hyderabad. The husband loves to drive and the 2 of us love road trips. Hyderabad seemed far fetched with the kids, considering the distance. But one of my friends had done this and said that it was easily doable. So, off we went at the start of the vacations …

Will do more posts in the days to come about each of our stops and things we did. Do watch this space.

For you, a thousand times over

Just finished watching the movie, ‘The Kite Runner’. What a well made movie. While I have read the book and enjoyed the book too, the movie really made an impression on me. Beautiful narration, pace, cinematography, cast, and lovely, lovely picture tones. Overall, awesome.

I enjoyed the book too – especially the first half. Loved reading about Kabul, how it was, the lives people led, and the overall narration. But the book kind of got too windy and dramatic in the second half and sort of lost me. However, the movie keeps a good pace and weans away from the over-dramatisation, keeping things almost to the minimal and I loved that. Beautiful direction of such a famous book – not an easy thing to do.

The casting was near perfect. Every scene was perfect too.

The loyalty in the story is what is really touching. As is the pride and self respect. I really liked the character of Amir’s father. Very old school and yet very loving. Amir was really blessed to have been surrounded by such nice people though out. It is also sad that he didnt stand up for anything or anybody until the end. It was very heart-breaking to have his friend/servant boy turn back and say, “for you, a thousand times over” when he had to run and bring back the kite, the kite that they had cut during the kite flying competition.

The best thing about the book and the movie too is the peek that we get into the old Kabul, the Kabul that is now gone. One of the best things about the movie is the picturisation of the flying kites. Really amazing. Wonder how they managed the camera work.

And to learn that the Russians cut off all the tress – and for the heck of it! Russians keep making it harder and harder to be liked, and I dont mean just in this story.

For Kabul and its people, I wish they get to go back to how they lived. To their past glory and peace. Too much to ask?

Bangalore from inside a Vayu Vajra

Recently, I was riding in the Volvo Vayu Vajra to reach the venue of a photography assignment. When I saw the city whizz by, I took a few pics. As I was looking at the city, the city I grew up in, through the viewfinder, I was left with different feelings – nostalgia, a feeling of life having rushed past, placidity, a sense of silence …

Sharing here some of them pics.

Bangalore - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Bangalore - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Bangalore - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Bangalore - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Bangalore - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Bangalore - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Bangalore - Chitra Aiyer Photography

What is your relationship with Bangalore, if you have any? How do feel towards the city now … in 2011?

Elephant Training Center; Aana Kota

During our Kerala trip, while we were at the Guruvayur temple, to visit the Punnathur Kota or the Aana Kota was on the cards. ‘Aana’ means elephant and ‘Kota’ means fort. Punnathur is the name of the place. This was once the palace of a local ruler, but the palace grounds are now used to house the elephants belonging to the Guruvayur temple, and has been renamed Anakkota.

Elephants are an integral part of the daily life in Kerala. During all my childhood summer vacations, to run into temple elephants was a very common thing. These elephants are loved, revered, groomed and given a prestigious place in the state’s culture. The elephant is also the state animal of Kerala.

Aana Kota - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Right at the entrance, were many elephants. This was the first one, we ran into …

When we visited, we were told that there were 65 elephants there. At the AanaKotta, elephants are trained to participate in temple festivals that happen through the year. The legendary elephant “Guruvayur Keshavan” used to be here too.

Aana Kota - Chitra Aiyer Photography

We strolled through the campus, and the kids saw how the elephants were bathed and groomed. In fact, the elephants are given pedicures and manicures of sorts.

Aana Kota - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Aana Kota - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Aana Kota - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Aana Kota - Chitra Aiyer Photography

There is the traditional naalu kettu, a building with a central courtyard inside. This used to belong to the king of Punnathur. It is beautiful; however is poorly maintained. It right now serves as a training school for Mahouts.

The pics below were shot inside the naalu kettu.

Aana Kota - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Aana Kota - Chitra Aiyer Photography

The kids loved meeting the elephants at such close quarters and the walk in the campus.

Aana Kota - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Aana Kota - Chitra Aiyer Photography

My photography work featured in the Sunday Bangalore Mirror

Christmas Fun

My wedding photography work was featured in this Sunday’s Bangalore Mirror paper. The online article is in the ‘Times of India’ e-version – http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=QkdNSVIvMjAxMC8xMS8xNCNBcjAwODAw

A big thank you to ‘Aparna Chandra’ and the ‘Bangalore Mirror’ team.

Other mentions of my work and a few minutes of fame are all here – http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=384112&id=339653500270