The Ground Nut Fair!

Published December 5th, 2013

Owing to an old local myth that existed in the state of Karnataka in India, every year around the month of December, when the first crop of ground nut (peanut) is harvested, the annual Ground Nut Fair takes place in Bangalore. The ground and roads around the famous Bull Temple in Bangalore lend themselves for a buzzing display of the ground nut harvest, wares, street food and trinkets.

The myth goes like this. In the lands that existed in a different era, when the Ground nut crops were getting ready for harvest, people in local villages around Bangalore faced the wrath of a raging bull. On every full moon night, the beast would raid the ground nut fields and destroy the crops. This left the farmers helpless, and all they could do is pray to their God. A temple was built with a deity of a bull and eventually the agony stopped. Ever since - the deity of the Bull in the temple is believed to be growing in size.

Read More →

Lifting the veil off Ramadan - Mosque Road, Ben...

Published August 19th, 2012

My story portrays the festivities of Ramadan on the eve of Eid - the prime festival for muslims across the world. Ramadan is celebrated as a holy month and marks the beginning of the fast. A muslim should fast without water and food from sunrise to sunset for a month - withholding hunger and worldly temptations. The fast begins just before sunrise with a meal and the morning prayer and ends just after sunset with a meal and the evening prayer. This month is the Christmas of muslims - it stands for gratitude, self control, selflessness, forgiveness and camaraderie.

My story focuses on 3 elements of Ramadan, though there are many more:

1) The Quran - most modern muslims who are lost at work and corporate life everyday, during this month usually make it a point to read and delve on the Holy Book. We make it a point to understand the religion better and devote more time than usual.

2) Namaaz - the Prayer - Charity, prayer and gratefulness is on everyones mind during the month. And the ...

Read More →

The Dhobi Ghat

Published June 16th, 2012

The Dhobi Ghat is an open air laundry pen mostly found in India. This laundry is hardly automated and what you would see there is a row of flogging stones on which soap-soaked clothes are beaten to remove stubborn dirt or stains. The biggest Dhobi Ghat is in Mumbai - what I have covered here is one of the some in Bangalore.

The Dhobi are a caste group whose main occupation is washing clothes. The word Dhobi is derived from Hindi word dhona, which means to wash. The Dhobi is likely to be of diverse origin, evolving over time into a distinct caste.

This vestigial industry thrives on the laborers (Dhobis) and one of the main driver is poverty and lack of education. They get most of its business now from hospitals and a few hotels and are now under pressure due to depleting infrastructure.

Read More →

G.O.A - Heaven is a place on earth!!

Published March 26th, 2012

This story is an attempt to showcase my favorite elements of a Goan holiday. Being in Goa is being in a different world altogether - its being FREE in every sense. Be it walking barefoot on the sand, riding a bike against the wind, sipping your favorite drinks under the shade in front of blue pristine waters, riding the waves or just reading a book. Everything feels different in Goa - and somethings just cannot be described in words, I hope my pictures do.

Read More →

Bharata Natyam by Rukmini Vijayakumar @ Bangalore

Published March 4th, 2012

This photo story illustrates the different stances of India's popular national dance - Bharata Natyam. This performance took place at the Bull Temple culture fest to reemphasize the greatness of Indian heritage. The Bull Temple is one of the oldest temples in Bangalore dedicated to the Bull God who was the savior for the local farmers for preventing bulls from destroying their crops.

Bharata Natyam is the manifestation of the ancient idea of the celebration of the eternal universe through the celebration of the beauty of the material body. A performance usually has a list of items (story lines) that a dancer performs.

This performance consisted of:

Varnam - with complex movements and positions of the hands and body that tell a story, usually of love and the longing for the lover.

Padam - One of the most lyrical section where the dancer "speaks" of love of mother for child

Thillana - The final section in which the virtuosity of the music is reflected in the complex footwork and capti ...

Read More →