Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Rathas, Raattai and wheels in Lithuania

A tourist touches the feet of `Ardhanarishwara,' form of shiva at the five `rathas' complex at Mahabalipuram.
I happened to strike up a conversation with a tourist from Lithuania who was also interested in photography.
Here is a bit I thought was interesting.
What is a ratha, he wanted to know.
Chariot, I said.
In Lithuania, `ratha' means wheels, he said.
Wow. We have a word`Rattai,' which means a spinning wheel, I said.
In Lithuanian, ratha stands for all sorts of wheels. Also, the similarity could be because the root of Lithuanian is believed to be sanskrit, he added.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kaziranga, Assam

What are you staring at me for? He seemed to ask.

At Kaziranga wildlife sanctuary, Assam, my friends and I saw this guy -- wild buffalo -- munching on the greenery. As soon as he saw us he froze, stared at us for nearly a minute, giving us time to take as much pictures as we wanted, before moving away.
But not all the natives of Kaziranga were that considerate.
This pair below -- Red Jungle Fowl -- were strutting sedately along the forest track, a few feet ahead of our vehicle...
when suddenly one guy seemed to blow his top... the action was over in a flash.
It was lucky that I was just getting them into focus when the action happened. Sadly, I did not have time to fine tune the focus. Decided to post the pics anyway.
The two frames below happened in less than a second...

For those interested, the Red Jungle Fowl are the ancestors of the domesticated versions we see today.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Birds in Pallikaranai

This year there seems to be more than the usual numbers of birds -- especially pelicans and painted storks -- at the Pallikaranai Marsh. Here, flocks of grey pelicans and painted storks, are perched on the towers that carry power lines across the marsh. The grey background is the early morning mist and smoke from the garbage being burnt there.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Gotheborg in Chennai

The Swedish vessel, Gotheborg, moored off the Marina in Chennai.
A lovely sight awaited beach goers on Wednesday morning. This tall ship, a replica of an 18-century vessel, was anchored a few hundred metres from the shore. The view seemed to show an idea of what Madras Beach must have looked like a few hundred years back.
Took this pic at about 6.30 in the morning.
As I kept clicking away, the words from the song in Puratchi thalaivar's movie, Ayirathil Oruvan, `Adho andha paravai pola vazhavaendum...' came to mind.
Check out this interesting site for details about the ship and the voyage -