Pink Twins

Pink Twins
Gangtok

Yellow Villa

Yellow Villa
Gangtok

Sparkling Rai Saag

Sparkling Rai Saag
Gangtok

Lovely Poppy Flowers

Lovely Poppy Flowers
Gangtok

A Different type of Seasonal Flower

A Different type of Seasonal Flower
Gangtok

Blue Flavour

Blue Flavour
Gangtok

Pink & White Combination

Pink & White Combination

Dark Pink Flavour

Dark Pink Flavour
Gangtok 6th March 16

Purple Charm

Purple Charm
CS Quarter Gangtok

Magnificent Yellow and Red Tulip

Magnificent Yellow and Red Tulip
Conservatory Near Selep Tank

Charm of Red Tulips

Charm of Red Tulips
Conservatory near Selep Tank

Lord Buddha

Lord Buddha
1-D Terminal New Delhi

Attraction of Red Panda

Attraction of Red Panda
Saramsa Garden

Lord Ganesh made of oranges

Lord Ganesh made of oranges
Saramsa Garden

Charm of Seasonal Flower

Charm of Seasonal Flower
Gaurds Ground Gangtok

Unmatched beauty

Unmatched beauty
Sikkim Organic Festival

Green is always soothing

Green is always soothing
Sikkim Organic Festival 2016

Yellow Orchid

Yellow Orchid
Somewhere in Gangtok

White Orchid

White Orchid
Manan Kendra

Purple Orchid

Purple Orchid
Manan Kendra, 31-10-2015

Gift of Nature

Gift of Nature
Near Cherry Building

Majestic View of Sea

Majestic View of Sea
Marina, Chennai, 19-10-15

Typical Sikkim Pillar Carving and painting

Typical Sikkim Pillar Carving and painting
Hotel Nork Hill

Mirror Reflection, Changed Angle

Mirror Reflection, Changed Angle
Nork Hill, 24-11-2015

Mirror Trick

Mirror Trick
Hotel Nork Hill, Gtok, 24-11-2015

Yes we have the power

Yes we have the power
Qtr at Devt Area, 25-11-2015

Majestic View of K.jenga from SLA

Majestic View of K.jenga from SLA
Gangtok dt 20-11-2015

MIRROR IMAGE OR COMPUTER TRICK

MIRROR IMAGE OR COMPUTER TRICK
NEW DELHI 22-10-15

BRILLIANT KATHAK PERFORMANCE

BRILLIANT KATHAK PERFORMANCE
MRS MALI SMU 13-10-2015

SAROD RECITAL

SAROD RECITAL
SMU CONVOCATION 13-10-15

SHOWCASING SIKKIM CULTURE

SHOWCASING SIKKIM CULTURE
ITM GANGTOK 14-10-15

RED BEAUTY

RED BEAUTY
GANGTOK

ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL

ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL
MAYFAIR GANGTOK

OM NAMAH SHIVAY

OM NAMAH SHIVAY
MAYFAIR GANGTOK 02-11-15

Smile and Joy

Smile and Joy
24th September Delhi

Catelia Orchid

Catelia Orchid
Gangtok

Beautiful Chinaware Lampshed

Beautiful Chinaware Lampshed
Gangtok

Catelia Orchid

Catelia Orchid
Gangtok on 7-10-15

Morning Glow

Morning Glow
Denzong Regency- Gangtok on 7-10-15

Pink Orchid

Pink Orchid
Pakyong Area

Green Orchid

Green Orchid
Bojeytar Pakyong 26 Feb 15

Tabla or Log Piece

Tabla or Log Piece
HMI Darjeeling Nov 2014

Hand can do anything

Hand can do anything
Birla Science Museum Kolkata

Legacy and Heritage

Legacy and Heritage
Indian Museum Kolkata

Queen Nephretus of Egypt

Queen Nephretus of Egypt
India Museum Kolkata 4th Mar 15

A Buddhist Stone Art Piece

A Buddhist Stone Art Piece
Tashi Delek June 2014

Foot Print of Bason

Foot Print of Bason
Satpura Forest

Foot Print of Tiger

Foot Print of Tiger
Satpura Forest (MP) March 14

Unique Piece of Pine Wood

Unique Piece of Pine Wood

Lovely Twins

Lovely Twins

Pink,Pink,Pink

Pink,Pink,Pink
Orchid,not only Spl ,It lasts longer Also

Clean Water has a Different Impact

Clean Water has a Different Impact
Rangeet at Jorethang ,24-11-14

What a Ravishing Beauty ?

What a Ravishing Beauty ?
Teesta near Kalijhora, 19-12-14

Pre Dawn Captivating Beauty

Pre Dawn Captivating Beauty
K.JUNGA, 6:20 AM 18 -12-14

Another Dawn View -Different Angle

Another Dawn View -Different Angle
K.JUNGA, 18-12-14

View at Dawn in Biting Cold

View at Dawn in Biting Cold
K.JUNGA 18-12

Dawn Scene-2

Dawn Scene-2
V Awas 18 -12-14

Dawn Scenario

Dawn Scenario
K.JUNGA

Morning Means End of Night

Morning Means End of Night
K. JUNGA,

View at Dawn

View at Dawn
K.JUNGA 2 ,18-12-14

Early Morning Freshness

Early Morning Freshness
K.JUNGA, 18-12-14

What an eye opener early in the day?

What an eye opener early in the day?
View of 17-12-2014 from Terrace of V. Awas

Another view of full snow around Mt Kanchendzonga

Another view of full snow around  Mt Kanchendzonga
17-12-2014

Magnificent view after bone chilling night

Magnificent view after bone chilling night
17-12-2014

Beauty of Kachendzonga after a cold night

Beauty of Kachendzonga after a cold night
Vidhayak Awas Gangtok

Amazing charm of Green Orchid

Amazing charm of Green Orchid
HMI Darjeeling

Green Orchid

Green Orchid
HMI DARJEELING (13-11-14)

Bell Flower in full bloom

Bell Flower in full bloom

Yellow Orchid

Yellow Orchid
Dec 14 Circuit House

View of Kanchendzonga always inspires

View of Kanchendzonga always inspires
Vidhayak Aawas Gangtok

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom
November 14 Ganesh Tok Gangtok

What a view after getting up ?

What a view after getting up ?
B-1 Vidhayak Aawas Gangtok

Chanda Mama looking at Kanchendzonga

Chanda Mama looking at Kanchendzonga
11-11-2014 VIP COLONY

Red Rose

Red Rose
Gangtok

Cranes having Gala Time

Cranes having Gala Time
Tigaon, Faridabad (2nd Oct 14)

Yes I am from Faridabad

Yes I am from Faridabad
Tiny, Beautiful Bird at NTPC, Ballabgarh (29.9.14)

Water Vital for Life

Water Vital for Life
Awesome view of Teesta near Kalijhora

Yes I had a Bath

Yes I had a Bath
Gladiola at 6200 ft.

Soothing Morning View

Soothing Morning View
Mt. Khangchendzonga from C.House (April, 14)

Natural Yellow Fascinates

Natural Yellow Fascinates
Gangtok (April, 2014)

Flowery Bell ?

Flowery Bell ?
Circuit House (May 14)

Riot of Colour in Monsoon

Riot of Colour in Monsoon
Circuit House, Gangtok(May 14)

Blushing orange

Blushing orange
Circuit House Gangtok (May 14)

Magnificent Taj

Magnificent Taj
Sept 2013

I can lift Taj Mahal

I can lift Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal,Sept end 2013

Natural fan to beat the heat

Natural fan to beat the heat
India Gate (24.08.14)

Engineering Marvel

Engineering Marvel
Coronation Bridge (22.08.2014)

Cascading water, soothing to eyes

Cascading water, soothing to eyes
Scene near Teesta Baazar (22.8.14)

Teesta attracts at every bend

Teesta attracts at every bend
16.7.2014

Monkey jump

Monkey jump
Teesta River, Birik(22.8.14)

Onset of Night

Onset of Night
Qutub,Sept.13

Qutub,Dusk Scene

Qutub,Dusk Scene
Sept.13

Together we take a Plunge

Together we take a Plunge
Clean Calicut Beach, Feb-2013

Setting Sun, always soothing

Setting Sun, always soothing
Dusk at a Gaya village(15.5.13)

Green Paradise in Concrete Jungle

Green Paradise in Concrete Jungle
Lake surrounding Purana Quila(20.10.13)

Monday, November 4, 2013

British October: Saga of Changing Norms and Emerging Patterns


It was by sheer accident and not by design that I had a pleasant interface with the British Council Library (BCL),after good 13 years. Located now in a tall building with an outlandish yet attractive fa├žade(reminds of chocolate spread) on KG Marg, New Delhi, the setting in a concrete jungle looks better than the crammed up accommodation 18 years ago at the AIFACS building, next to Red Cross & Parliament on Rafi Marg turning.
 Down Memory Lane
 I had the opportunity to visit both the locations a couple of times in the last 35 years. Though BCL was an integral part of my growing up years in Ranchi (one would cycle with joy a distance of 8 kms), it somehow never fulfilled my desire for reading, forget about learning. Apart from seeing, touching and turning a few classics (kept in spotlessly clean surroundings) on Economics, History, Political Science and Literature ( one could not make any head or tail out of them), it was a real fun to swiftly run through the innumerable illustrated and sports pages of Time, Economist, The Times, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph etc. Coming to Indian newspapers, if my ordinary memory does not fail me, only The Statesman of Calcutta was subscribed. Why? Because, it probably appealed to, if not acceded to the colonial British ethos and life styles. Sri Prasad, the ‘brown’ deputy librarian would attempt European accent at times, akin to our ‘Father Teachers’.
Ignored Motherland
No one would answer my, the, then justifiable query-‘Why the bulky overseas publications (some newspapers would run into almost 50 pages) did not carry any news/feature concerning India? Was it still a forbidden land? I was bestowed with an answer rather late, when I began truly ‘deciphering’ the meaning of the word ’bias’ during my splendid higher education opportunity in JNU. Perhaps, I understand it much better now as a fading, non-descript civil servant, entangled in the mystical web of hypocrisy in bureaucracy.
BCL In Present Setting
Shall we go back to the present BCL before we lose focus? My immediate impression was- what a change? At a first glance it resembles a jail, not a place of reading. Ostensibly,out of heightened security concerns. One struggles to find the reading room. Entry due to my institutional card was friendly. I carry the ‘Member card’ around my neck rather proudly, till I discover that all Tom,Dick and Harries too were prominently displaying it. My body & bag were, nevertheless, not spared from mechanical and manual checking.
Groups and pairs were thronging the small, well manicured lawn and the steps leading to the main pink coloured edifice.  One wrong step and I land up in the crowded Counselling area, to be politely guided to my ultimate destination on the first floor.
Variety Exposure & Entertainment
Once inside, it was going to be an amazing experience. Despite my willingness to get rid of my bag, the usual property counter was nowhere to be sighted. One of the busy attendants, explains, I could carry everything inside (also laptop, cell phone, make up kit etc.?), since they had a sensor at the exit gate. Strange,but true. I had to live with another security if not precaution related reality reflecting the changing times.
All kinds of dresses and attire of myriad sizes and shapes, strange hair styles, ear rings and footwear in vibrant colors were on display. One was tempted to get into a comparison mode. Readers were predominantly young, not forgetting to comb hairs in between, see display on cells and surf through net on laptops recklessly. Majority were studying & reading. Some were taking notes also in trying conditions. A few, romantic types were flicking through. Rest were pretending. O yes!, those found attempting a nap or showing inappropriate etiquettes, were politely & promptly cautioned from time to time.
Whispering Windows Reflecting Emerging Patterns
Whispers off and on involved both young girls & boys. Presumably, topic may have been, what the latest issue of India Today reports-using acronyms and code words(alien to parents) to bare souls to strangers on social networking websites of Facebook and Twitter, living in unreal world by forging friendships, without realizing that the perils of excessive social networking could harm them emotionally in the long run. The possible causes could be- strictly nuclear family environment, an urge to achieve something ahead of time by defying the prescribed and time tested laws of nature & gravity and purported lack of convenient sports and entertainment facilities.
I close my eyes and utter with bonafide intentions- “Unusual and unnatural conformity with the peer group by showing antagonism towards the elders could be traumatic as also counterproductive. Resultant state of non-function or dys-function should be resisted.”
A quick round follows. Afterall, the rhythm generated had to be sustained. At the same time, I could not possibly retain a standing posture for long. When I look for a seat, I cannot succeed. Not even a stool was available. As such, the colorful chairs looked casual, as if one was roaming in a picnic joint on a sea shore or about to hit floors in  a disco. The stereotyped library chairs or couches, meant to give support to back and enhance concentration were conspicuous by their absence. One of the active attendants added to my woes by stating “this was the rush time, so tolerance and patience on the part of  the deprived was advisable.”

Bias vis- a-vis India
Upon seeing and opening and seeing again a few eye catching books on Sociology, Psychology, Economics and International Affairs, I lay my hands on a handful of notable reference volumes. One such book was Whitakers’ World of Facts (claimed to have every subject) published from London in 2005(it had to be British). I was aghast to read the following lines on page 139, once again written about our motherland with a certain bias-“Indian economy is seriously weakened by overpopulation. About 25% of the Indians cannot (?) afford to feed themselves. Most people still live by farming but India has a booming I.T. Industry.
My hectic search for an authentic book on population policy or its stabilization resulted into utter failure. For, one could see only a few hundred books in physical form. It was gathered that majority were now available on line and that too in the several branches of BCL. Being computer illiterate, I , therefore, decide to give up & explore other available non-electronic options.
Experience of Reading Cross Legged
I resolve finally to turn truly Indian in an otherwise British setting. Look for some space on floor and manage also. A few trials and I make myself comfortable next to a corner shelf in the periodical section. The adjacent children section looks somewhat deserted. I feel dejected. It too did not have any seating arrangement.
Sitting cross legged with unpolished shoes on often propelled a change of posture. Due to backache, it could not carry me through for long. Right shoe was removed therefore first to be followed by socks. Soon the left leg too was going to be bereft of shoe. But good sense prevailed at the nick of time. My socks, being dirty and somewhat torn, were neither presentable nor suited to the alien, ‘sophisticated’ environment.
A Brush With Yoga
I could carry on for almost one and a half hours. No Deviation, no other thought except the ones provoked by the magazines in my lap………., very close to the suspected Glaucoma affected right eye. And it was nothing but on my favorite hobbies- yoga & photography. I settle first for getting engrossed in a ‘phoren’ mag on the time tested practice of ancient India. It was interesting if not amusing to pick up a perspective about facial yoga. Something one does,rather daily, without perhaps becoming familiar with the nomenclature. Following lines are worth recalling-“Without moving head look to left as far as possible for 5 seconds. Repeat  by looking towards right, upwards and downwards. Take note of the sensation of the tension in the muscles that move the eyeballs. Now close eyes and relax. Rub your palms together till they get warm and then gently place them over eyes to absorb the heat. Repeat a few times.”
Digital Photography
Next the ‘Digital photographer’ gave useful insights into looking at my hobby afresh and creating contrasts by showing old and new technologies together in a single frame, joys and sorrows of ‘capturing’ at dawn and dusk, water, sand & landscape photography, snow shots, attempting memorable & authentic newborn portraits etc. Following tips were futuristic- (a) Photoshop processing helps- processed from raw, an image can have greater contrast and be more tonally interesting,(b) sometimes one can have enough options while shooting…….. that you don’t need to do any physical alterations afterwards and (c) some colour correction and a bit of sharpening helps to bring out detail in an object, be it rock or a building.
What really impressed and  mattered to me, however, were the five highlighted merits of black &white photography:(i) it has a  timeless look, hard to conjure in color,(ii) it is ideal when shooting a series of images,(iii) by removing the color from the equation, black & white simplifies a scene, de cluttering it almost instantly,(iv)it enables you to emphasise shape, form & texture and (v) this format means that one can deal nicely with tricky and mixed lighting conditions, such as, inside a building, a temple or a church with a relative ease.
I haven’t finished as yet. For, the punchline that appealed to my inner self was- “I enjoy company, talking to people, sharing passions & creativity. When I am behind a camera, that’s me”.(something within, perhaps, finds expression).
Two Twenty PM
Once out of bounds of the air-conditioned ‘conditions’ of the BCL,I am destined to have a feel of the soothing air of October on a Tuesday, a day synonymous with Lord Hanuman. Also having read about photography, indulging into instant photography was going to be a natural corollary. A beginning was made with a close-up of tempting fried rice and tasty mixed vegetables (cooked & packed with meticulous care by Jaya) in the backdrop of the historic Jantar Mantar and the modern NDMC building. Which one leaves an impression, is anybody’s guess. Having a grub in the open air for a change, had its own advantages. One could delete and edit snaps, look back, contemplate, plan afresh.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race
Post-lunch, I relish taking a relaxed stroll on a surprisingly deserted but green avenue, to my next tentative destination. I resort purposely to this time consuming venture. I have no intention to add my bit to the pollution level of the capital by getting into a bus or a three wheeler. After all, it is slow and steady that should aspire to win the race in today’s fast global village.



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