Archive for the ‘Hyderabad’ tag
Faith and frenzy go hand in hand in a country like ours. We, as people, feel the need to believe. In a higher power. In a God that is often cruel, but has a ‘plan’.
That’s what we keep saying to ourselves. There is a plan for us. A role in a grander scheme of things. And we have to believe this illusion because not believing it is scarier. Not believing it makes all the bad things around us seem pointless. Like everything is happening for no reason and is actually nothing but a sorry accident. And that idea of truth terrifies us. So we believe. With fervour. With blind faith. With a madness that is always unexplainable, but sometimes understandable.
We are a sea of people. Hungry, not for happiness, but approval.
Approval from that one divine presence. One that we have to please at all costs.
So we do everything it takes to appease this entity. This magical creature. Who is an apparition to some. A daydream to others, but an idol to us.
He sits on our heads and watches our every move so that we don’t err.
But err, we do. We err and pray for instant forgiveness. We hold our ears and break coconuts. And then we err some more.
We wait patiently for our prayers to come true. We watch and do nothing as everything around us burns, self-destructs and disappears. But we keep waiting. For miracles. Every single day.
And when we look back, we don’t see what we lost when we were busy being blinded. But we see stories. Of how our faith actually changed our lives and made us better people.
And we truly believe those stories.
Because it’s these stories of hope and the promise of redemption that make us want to keep hanging on.
Because believing in these stories is easier than believing in ourselves.
After all, we say, we are mere mortals. Helpless at the hand of fate and the mercy of divine power.
Faceless devotees of that Omnipresent being.
We are actually just floating along our lives powerlessly like a piece of debris. With no control over anything. With no free will.
But we don’t know this yet. Because in our subconscious battle between faith and free will, it’s faith that wins.
But maybe, that isn’t so bad. Maybe this kind of faith is not all that blind and baffling. While some believe in magic, love and happiness, others believe in God.
But either way, at the end of it all, we are all just hanging on to abstract ideas.
So yes, the truth and the reality may be two different things for us. But till the day we keep believing, we can live unafraid. Reassured.
We live knowing that our actions – our very mortal deeds and human failings – will be evaluated fairly someday.
Not evaluated anytime in this life maybe, but in the afterlife by an all-seeing God who will divide the rights from the wrongs. The goods from the bads. No matter how many masks we wear in our lifetime, we believe, he will see right through us.
So, we hang on dearly to the idea of him.
Sometimes because of love.
Sometimes because of fear.
Sometimes because of innocence.
And most times, because we think we have to.
Seeing is not believing for us.
Believing is seeing.
But if we are stripped of all pretense, all our conditioning and all that faith has drilled into us, we are in reality, just lost souls. We believe in the idea called God, but we stopped believing in goodness and humanity. In compassion and tolerance.
We hurt, plunder and kill everyone around us. Destroy everything around us with self-created weapons till it bleeds dry.
And when it’s all done and when we are standing alone.
We don’t even stop to look at the empty shell of rubble and ruins we leave behind.
We just turn our backs on everything and walk away like clean slates. Like nothing ever happened. Because it’s all in the name of God. And God forgives, doesn’t he?
Introducing the boys/men from Upper Basement. A bunch of clowns who play some decent music. On March 16, 2012 they locked horns with a couple of bands from around the country at Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad.
Here are a bunch of photos from that night.
We have here Mr. Kaustubh Kende. That guy who sits across my cubicle and when not working, can be found playing guitar and wooing the ladies. This is him, making sure food reaches our table.
This young man goes by the name Raj Kiran. All I know is that he plays the drums and is good at it. Other than making duck faces, he acts as the metronome.
This shoe belongs to the foot of Nikhil Dev. You will see more of his shoes later.
Some of you might have seen this chap before. He is none other than Ferdinand D’souza. No, we are not related. There just happen to be a lot of D’souzas around the world and a few of us landed up in Hyderabad.
Ferdinand’s love for RHCP.
The man with the fever that night. Samuel Joseph. He battled on.
Now that we got to know all the chums of UB, I shall leave you with some more photos. Haffun.
A couple of shots of Head Motif.
These guys won the competition that night.
And now back to UB.
Ferdie suddenly gives us directions.
And then the night was wrapped up.
The band would like to thank all those who turned up to support and cheer them on that night. The might have not won, but were glad to put on a performance for you all.
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We were welcomed by the organized chaos. Vendors wide awake, business going on as usual. From a distance we could see the Charminar, well lit up and welcoming us to the old city.
We squeezed pass the crowd and made our way towards it.
And there it was, the Charminar. The beauty of the Old City.
We carried on.
Here is a short video of Sharmila zipping past the chaos.
Ah, don’t worry about this fellow, he was with us.
We stopped at a store selling bangles and other jewelry while we waited for some more folks to catch up with us.
And then, to the streets.
There were a lot of bangles for sale.
And this old man, although the stern angry look on this face, he was very happy to have his photo clicked. Once I showed him his photograph on the LCD, he gave a nod of approval and then I was back on the street.
Walking along the road was getting us nowhere, so we decided to use the divider instead. Saved us a lot of time.
This man was selling bread. He was very happy to see us and gave us his best pose.
Then we passed by a shoe store.
Kapur found a kid at the shoe store who was all too excited to have his photo clicked.
And then we did some more waiting.
Kapur got some more shots.
Somewhere hidden in all this was is the Charminar College.
This young fellow was in two minds whether to let me click his photo or not. I asked him if he was cool with me getting his headshot. First he went, “No.” But then he got his cup of tea, started to sip on it and was like, “Okay, click now.”
Sharmila also wanted her photo clicked, but she ain’t had no cup of tea!
More shots from the street.
Kapur’s toothache started to get worse. Wisdom teeth are only for a gifted few I guess. The rest of em just gotta get it taken off!
We went in search of a medical store. And passed by a Nikon outlet!
More street shots.
This chap saw me walking past him with my camera in hand and went, “Hey you. Are you from some newspaper or magazine?” And before I could reply, he asked me to click his photograph. I obliged.
He made sure I got a photograph of the guy next door too. And then asked me if his photograph will be published in the next days newspaper. I said, “No, I’m just clicking for fun.” He was a bit surprised, and then asked me if I was going to be passing this way tomorrow. And, if I was, he would like to have his photograph. I replied, “No, but in case I do, I shall get you a print.”
We exchanged pleasantries and then I carried on.
We then passed by a chicken shop.
I stopped. And, the guys there we all to happy to see me. Once again, the “Am I from the newspaper” conversation propped up.
I passed by another shop and got this simple shot of the price.
The chap there asked me to get a shot of him.
It then suddenly occurred that people don’t really mind having their photos clicked. Something I’m very careful of. I normally always ask before clicking anyone’s photo on the street, which is very rare. But all the folks at the Old City were happy to have their photos clicked.
The walk went on. And we made our pit stop for the night. Shah Ghouse it was, for some good biryani.
Here is a scene of what was going on outside the restaurant. The guys are serving Haleem.
We went up and grabbed our grub.
Stomachs full, and we where back down. No change in the scene. Madness as usual. Haleem was selling like Hot..er..Haleem!!
Found this video on YouTube, look at these human machines go!
Everyone was up for some Irani Chai. So we headed to a restaurant next door.
And we were done! Plans were to finish off the whole Old City experience by having ice cream at Famous Ice-cream. So we made our way to the Mozamjahi Market.
Everyone got a taste of the ice cream.
And a view of the clock tower.
Then it was pretty late and exhaustion started to show.
It was almost 1:30 am, so we all headed home after that. And that was it. Old City during Ramadan was great!
It all started on the 14th of December 2010. Our good friend Daniel Peddity aka Saniel aka Sanny Beta aka Peddity aka Peddity Bhai (the list goes on) was to marry his beautiful bride Rebyl Pinto. So it was! Off we were to the hide out. This is a short recollection of a little bit of what went on behind the scenes and got captured.
First we needed a practice shot of what was to become Rebyl and Daniel. Thats our man sipping on some coke while he attacked his Mac D burger at the same time. Which reminds me, I did not get one. 😛
And whats a groom if he isn’t well groomed. So off he was to clean up the mane. We did try to get him to take off the crazy side burn, but he was like, “No, Rebyl likes it”.
Luckily on site was our very own Mukesh Mukhi. Taking calls, running around, and doing what he does best. That is, keeping himself busy.
The weapon of choice for the day was the Canon Rebel T2i. Yeah, I know I gotta upgrade to a full frame sometime soon. I’m on that, though it may take a while. If anyone knows anyone else who wants to gift me a Canon 5D Mark II, then you know where to find me.
Then the boys got ready.
While the dude recording the video did his thing.
Time flew by. And then arrived the bride’s bouquet. It was heavy indeed. Must have weighed more than a kilo surely. I handed it over to Rebyl and she went, “This is heavy!”
And off we were for the ceremony. There were other photographers too. Who made sure that they were in the thick of action. I lurked in the background not wanting to disrupt the proceedings. Which reminds me, this is the only wedding which I made it to without having a bath! I wouldn’t have had a suit either. But thanks to my good friend’s John Paul, Mukesh Mukhi and Vignesh Anand my shoes and shirt somehow landed up in a car at the venue. Now how I landed up not having a bath is a whole different story. Lets blame the groom for that!
Now, now! Please draw your attention back to wedding.
The bride’s brother stood at a side watching his sister get into good hands.
The Pastor on the other hand was fooling around a lot. Popping into the frame while I tried to get some shots. This one is for you Pastor.
And then they were married. We headed off to a studio since the other photographer wanted to get some studio shots of the couple.
So off I was to the studio. Answering a number of calls asking why are the newly weds absconding while I watched the two of them indulge in some funny poses. I got a whole bunch of photos of this action. But I’ll share those sometime in the future.
Finally all that jazz was done. And off we were to the reception.
We had a few minutes to take some shots. This one went all wrong.
This is the best fail moment from the wedding. We just got out of the lift. All the guests was present at the reception waiting for the bride and groom. The lighting at the lift was perfect. The mirrored wall played well with the light, bouncing it all over the place. I went, “we gotta get a shot”. But some unknown folks were getting out of the other lift. Rebyl goes, “get those people to wait”. I look into the viewfinder and had a split second to decide whether I should get a shot of some strangers with the bride or me with the bride. I won.
The reception commenced. Got this photo of me clicking the couple thanks to Paul. And then the reception ended.
A bunch of us stayed back since it was Daniel’s birthday. We decided to sing for the groom.
So it was done.
Mr. Krupakar Peddity had some thoughts to share. I did not get any close to him. (Photo by Emmanuel Peddity)
And yes, I managed to get the couple to take their rings off. Woohoo, thats a first! And, Saniel Beta if you are reading this, I’m still waiting for the rings. Need those close up shots.
And thats them. Mr and Mrs Peddity. And they lived happily ever after.
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The day started off pretty early. By early I mean, I had to wake up at 5.30 am. We had a team outing and Anantgiri hills, Vikarabad was the destination. We were supposed to take the bus along with the rest of the team, but then decided to hitch a ride with the man himself, Vivaik Baradwaaj in his new Volkswagen Polo.
And off we were! I had the pleasure of being the navigator, all because there is never enough place for fat guys on the back seat. But in my defense, I’m really good at navigating and reading Google Maps. Which of course, did come handy later that morning.
A foggy morning it was. The visibility was very bad and we could hardly see a few meters up front. Our fate lied in the the hands of the ex – Air force guy at the drivers wheel. The roads were a complete mess bearing much resemblance to that of the moon’s surface. A couple of times the base of the car took a complete beating. But somehow we reached out destination in one piece.
We stopped at a temple. The man stepped out to survey the surrounding. I guess it is something you learn to do at the armed forces. We four on the other hand stood with the car, cracked some jokes and acted suspicious.
Manasa got in touch with the rest of the folks and found out that they were quite far back. We had enough of time in our hands to move around and check the place out. It was decided to that we visit the Kotepalli reservoir nearby.
To be continued…