Saturday, February 28, 2015

Post Sunset glimpses of the Haldi River

Post Sunset glimpses of the Haldi River
Pollution knows no bound and it has no shame! The warm tone of the sky somehow masked it.
Haldi, a tributary of the Hooghly River, is the center of natural recreation for visitors as well as health conscious local population of the industrial town of Haldia. Being in close proximity to Haldia township and Coast guard colony, this river bank is fairly maintained, safe and ideal place for evening jogging or, simply to laze around and absorb the ethereal post-sunset river breeze on a warm day. Head on to a fast-food/tea wheeler, occupy an empty bench by the bank of Haldi River, watch hurrying villagers going back to their respective villages in overcrowded boats, turn your head to left to get a glimpse of some unknown ship leaving the Haldia dock or, just keep staring at right till the sun dissolves down the horizon! Wherever I go I am lucky enough to find a river bank that makes up for the one at my hometown. Basically, I am a "post sunset river-centric" person. Do you have similar affinity towards river? Doesn't matter even if it is a 'no' as anyway I'll share more riverscapes with you.
Post Sunset glimpses of the Haldi River
A fleet of sleeping fishing boats. Either they have called it a day or their day is yet to start.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Glimpses of Tajpur Beach

Glimpses of Tajpur Beach
The shack-owner's boy revising his school lessons. What an apt backdrop for mundane studies!
My sincere apologies to my blog viewers for the delayed update. Although non-cooperating net connection and professional workload are never excusable excuses from a blogger, I must confess of my poor management skills and deep seated trait of procrastination. Skipping my personal analysis I better talk about Tajpur, my last weekend destination! Travelers (read as 'Bengali' or 'Bongs') who are fed up with the tourist congestion at popular sea-towns such as Digha, they opt for relatively pristine seaside destinations of West Bengal like- Mandarmani, Bakkhali, Tajpur, Shankarpur etc. Map-wise, Mandarmani, Tajpur, Shankarpur and Digha fall on the same route, barely 10-15 kilometers away from each other.
Glimpses of Tajpur Beach
If you're late you can only catch the moon instead of a setting sun!
Tajpur is not even a town, it is a fisherman's village by the Bay of Bengal with an uncommonly inverted-crescent shaped beach. Except the secluded nature Tajpur beach has nothing extra to offer to its tourists. You'll find the same sober waves, fine sand and millions of red crabs like any other beach of Bengal. I spent my afternoon watching the India Vs South Africa cricket match and like every other cricket fanatic I lost track of time. Consequently I missed capturing sunset shots. When I ran to the beach with head full of self reproach all I could spot were fading hues of the dusk and a slice of moon peeping overhead.
Glimpses of Tajpur Beach
A typical shack over Tajpur beach. Did you notice the dark guy managing the counter?
Although there will be plenty of sea fishes, crabs and roasted chicken to entertain you with drinks in those beach shacks, if you're an enthusiast photographer, the ugly truth is- nothing can cheer you up after missing the sunset over beach. I tried all options/distractions that night but waiting for following sunrise hour turned out to be the only solacing factor. Alas, next morning was least merciful with her foggy veil. Anyway, I found Tajpur as a cool weekend seaside destination with ample accommodation options. Do not forget to bargain hard with the resort/hotel people as their tariffs are not fixed. Another statutory warning: do not load your tummy with hotel food/drinks as there are cooler stuffs waiting for you on Tajpur beach.
Glimpses of Tajpur Beach
Starfish imprints over the wet sand. Truly, nothing lasts forever!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Zero Visibility on the Way to Kasauli

Zero Visibility on the Way to Kasauli
We thank Saru Singhal for sharing this mystic foggy hill-scape with us. We know Saru as a blogger and of course as a talented poet, but, her passion for point and shoot photography is not something everyone is aware of. She clicked it with a Sony DSC-W7 camera. As you know every photo has something to say, here's the story behind this foggy landscape in Saru's words:
"This photo was taken in August 2008 during a long drive from Ambala to Kasauli. It was raining incessantly in the plains and as we started driving uphills, it was foggy and we had to stop our car many a times. This was taken on one such halt in Kasauli-Parwanoo road. With zero visibility and cold weather, this place felt like heaven."
Do you have a photo (more the merrier) to share? Mail your photographs to: anunoy(at)clickingphotos(dot)com and before that please click here to read the brief submission guidelines.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sexual Perversions behind Erotic Sculptures of Konark

Sexual Perversions behind Erotic Sculptures of Konark
First of all a gentle disclaimer for the greater good- the purpose of this photo post is not to criticize any ancient form of art and this topic is obviously not for minors. Now let me give a personal background intro of the Sun Temple of Konark. Unless a Bong travels at least half a dozen times to Puri (a coastal town of Odisha) he is not considered to be a true wanderer. The ideal Bong travels to Puri at different phases of his life and majority of those trips do essentially include Konark sight seeing too. Yes, the mighty Sun Temple, built in 1250 AD, designed in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of marvelously carved wheels is the prime tourist attraction of the tiny town of Konark. The Bong kid/boy (a pre-adolescent one) gets bored when his parents drag him for this monument sight seeing as he finds the roaring sea at Puri much more captivating. After few years, the same boy (the adolescent one) savors the sexual part of guide's narrations and shuffles his curious yet swift gaze between an erotic sculpture and an adjoining simple one so that the accompanying parents fail to discover his heinous thought process. Then, after another few years, the young man with his friends appreciate the beauty of Konark sculptures in much more explicit way which goes beyond the level of acceptability of surrounding elderly tourists. This is how the travel-cycle of a Bong to Konark Sun Temple continues till his grandkid astounds him with, "Grandpa, why all of these Gods and Goddesses are dancing without clothes?"
Sexual Perversions behind Erotic Sculptures of Konark
I am a Bong and presently I belong to that part of the cycle where over-exaggerated sexual depictions or erotic arts do no longer entice me. If I go to the Sun Temple of Konark, reasons would be its artistic grandeur on stone and its massiveness as a monument. Most of its depictions on walls are either eroded, half-broken or totally lost. Out of twenty four wheels, only one is fully intact. The ongoing restoration work undertaken by Archaeological Survey of India which I had noted also in my last visit around six years back seemed to be static like the mummified tyre of a vintage car. To me, the Sun Temple resembles more like the remains to a lost civilization! I can still recall my guide's briefing on the sensuous depictions of this temple (from my boyhood archive):- There was a time when Buddhism was spreading like a bonfire and the people of that region were turning too religious to lead a family life. Renunciation of marriage was becoming a common occurrence. This made the king seriously worried. So, erotic sculptures were carved with a noble motive to woo all deviating subjects of the kingdom! Well, I never bothered to study and verify this tale though. Today when I look at those vivacious human anatomies superbly carved on the stone walls of the Sun Temple, their sensuous modeling pulsating with earthly emotions absorbed in a variety of gestures and rhythmic actions, fail to justify the portrayal of sexual perversions on the walls of a Godly abode.
Sexual Perversions behind Erotic Sculptures of Konark
By definition, sexual perversions are consistent sexual acts or fantasies in which complete sexual gratification is sought and obtained without sexual intercourse. I refrained from captioning these photos individually with their respective perversions due to the fear of getting my photo-blog tagged as an adult website by the search engine. Here I'll mention them in short to help you identify each condition specifically, instead of tagging the whole thing as erotic art. Common among all of these photographs is Exhibitionism, i.e. sexual urges or behavior of exposing of one's genitals to an unsuspecting stranger. As of now, exhibitionism in India is an obscene act punishable under Section 294 of I.P.C. with imprisonment up to three months or fine! Other forms of sexual perversions shown in these photos are- Cunnilingus (kissing, licking and sucking of a female's genital by her partner), Fellatio (stimulation of the penis by partner's mouth), Masturbation (deliberate stimulation of genitals which effects sexual arousal), Troilism (sexual practice involving three persons, two of one sex and one of the opposite), Pedophilia, sexual stimulation by lower animals and Lesbianism (female homosexuality). I think this is enough for one day and if you find any justification of sculpting sexual perversions in the name of erotic arts on the walls of a temple kindly enlighten me. Keep an eye over this spot as I'll be soon publishing photos of the Sun Temple with all its glory and also few photos of the illuminated Sun Temple in the evening!
Sexual Perversions behind Erotic Sculptures of Konark

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Morning Fog

The Morning Fog
We thank Mr. Shishir Desai for sharing this beautiful scenery of a foggy morning from Surat. He's a dedicated Canon user and has chosen point and shoot photography as his passion. Fading tree trunks gradually behind the curtain of fog adds an element of mystery to this otherwise simple landscape. Do you have a photo (more the merrier) to share? Mail your photographs to: anunoy(at)clickingphotos(dot)com and before that please click here to read the brief submission guidelines.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Food for Thought - Today's Photo Theme

Food for Thought
A busy Aloo-tikki Seller at Swargadwar Beach, Puri
Pardon me, there's no philosophy or mindful thinking associated behind naming today's photo theme- "Food for Thought". The sight of food makes me always thoughtful- whether to go for it or to abstain? Unless my guts are distended like a freshly inflated balloon, generally I salivate (psychological watering of course) like Pavlov's dog at the sight of roadside food stuffs. You know I'm not greedy... just I consider food as always a subject of thought... it's all about respect and being consistent in character. See you guys with better photos in my next photo post and wish you a happy weekend in advance!
Food for Thought
A visitor indecisive about buying Prasad while coming out of the Ramachandi Temple, Konark Road.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mahishadal Rajbari - the new Palace

Mahishadal Rajbari - the new Palace
I've already introduced you with the old palace of Mahishadal with its brief history and today yours truly is back with the new palace (Phul Bagh Rajbari) which is popular among tourists as the Mahishadal Rajbari. Just like a posh bungalow the palace is situated at the center of a garden with innumerable palm trees. The ground floor houses a mini museum and the upper floor is not accessible to visitors, kept totally private as the residence of the existing members of the royal family who are presently settled in Kolkata. In a soothing afternoon the surrounding area remains occupied mostly by attention-shy young couples and the best bet for you would be to pay the nominal entry fee to explore the ground floor.
Mahishadal Rajbari - the new Palace
Date palm juice is collected inside the Mahishadal Rajbari complex. Taste this winter juice someday.
Unfortunately, photography is prohibited inside the palace but you can capture the photos of the palanquin, imported alloy canons hibernating over the corridor or a dozen of stag heads ornamenting the corridor walls. The central hall houses all photos, paintings, domestic articles, musical instruments and furnitures used by ancestors of the royal family. In peripheral rooms you can see billiard board, weapons, preserved hunted animals, a giant bed (perhaps used by the queen), miscellaneous furnitures and a small library. If you are interested in museums, the collection is not sufficient enough to impress you but for a person like me who gets bored by large museums, Mahishadal Rajbari museum can be pleasantly satisfying.
Mahishadal Rajbari - the new Palace
A marbled-top tea table at the backside corridor of the Mahishadal Rajbari.
Various movies have been shot in this palace and the caretaker informed me that a shooting had just concluded one day before my visit. Till date, three Hindu festivals- Durga-puja, Kali-puja and Ratha yatra are celebrated in this palace in the grandest possible way! The present 36-wheeled chariot is 75 feet high and every year its rope is first pulled by a representative of the royal family. It becomes quite obvious to us why a fortnight long fair is set up in Mahishadal in Ratha yatra festival... after all, time struggles to corrode traditions with deep rooted history. If you haven't read my last photo post on Mahishadal Singhaduar Palace, click here to check that out.
Mahishadal Rajbari - the new Palace
This upper floor of the palace is residence of the presently existing royal family members.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Darkness and Light do Coexist

Dakness and Light do Coexist
The plastic cover over the idol head prevents sticking of insects and dust particles on the wet paint.
Last year I had visited idol artisans' workshop several times before Durgapuja to capture making of those colorful and lively idols in several phases, from preparing the clay to painting those sculptures. If you have been to this photo blog before you must have viewed at least one photo story regarding the same. Otherwise also, you can access them anytime from the category menu or by clicking these links below:
Today's photographs are taken from my Durgapuja 2014 idol-making archive and the photo theme "Darkness and Light do Coexist" seems to fit both of them just perfectly. Darkness and light do coexist otherwise our characters would have been either black or white, instead of shades of gray. Leaving aside life and philosophy, without the harmonious coexistence of light and darkness even a photograph can not be born. Let them coexist in equilibrium for eternity...
Dakness and Light do Coexist
Idols are yet to get their vision, clothes and color. Yet they look lively and so powerful!