Scavenger

Today evening as I was checking the world outside from my balcony, I see this worker rummaging through the garbage dumpster near my building. I quickly grabbed my camera to capture some shots. This is a fairly common occurrence and it always leaves me with an empty feeling. What some people have to put up with to get through this cycle of life.

IMG_6607

He seems to be thoroughly checking, I dont know since how long.

IMG_6615

He has gotten a load of junk, I just hope its not food.

IMG_6619

While leaving, he stops to check the second dumpster!

IMG_6623

Onam

Onam was 10 days ago this year. It is a harvest festival celebrated in the state of Kerala-  India and is the most celebrated festival of the state, generally amongst all Keralites irrespective of religion though it is a Hindu festival. Onam in Kerala lasts for 10 days and celebrations are often grand with intricate flowers decorations, dances, boat races and of course the elaborate lunch banquet which can have items ranging from 15 or more. This is a good time to visit Kerala to have an understanding of the beautiful cultural heritage of the state, and participating in any part of the festivities can be a memorable experience. Onam is rooted in the legend of the mythical King Mahabali who once ruled Kerala. The festival celebrates the visit of the King to check on his people in Kerala to see if they are happy and prosperous since his reign. As a child I have memories of elders telling me to eat well for the lunch as the King will come to check on me while I am sleeping, to see if I am full and satisfied gastronomically. The idea is to eat till you are exhausted which is not too hard as the feast is truly delicious. And yes, it is vegetarian.

Living abroad, our celebrations are limited to the ‘athapookalam’ or the flower decorations and the elaborate ‘sadya’ or the lunch. The flower design is of course done with flowers, however, we decided to try something new this year and used coloured salts. Plain salt was mixed with food colour and was used on the design which is first drawn out.

The various coloured salts

The final design

Sadly, I lost most of my pictures and hence do not have the shots of the lunch.

View from the window

Random shots on a lazy weekday.

The river

The first thing that strikes you about Kerala is the green. I always make sure to get a good aerial view of the place in my flight, just to experience the sea of green and the swaying coconut trees. I dread the day when Kerala will be so urbanised that I  have to go to nature ‘parks’ to remind myself of the olden days.

Went went to view a river in our district, the area and place I cannot remember due to its complicated name. It is a tourist spot, with a lot of people dropping by to see the view as well as probably to get some respite from the heat. The heat was unbearable in Kerala, so bad that it was normal to take 2-3 showers each day. I took more pictures of the family than the place unfortunately. As I was taking some shots I noticed ladies washing their clothes in the river and children happily playing in the water. This was their routine life and I was happy to  get an insight into it.

The children were happy to oblige for a pose.

Cooling in the river from the intense heat.

Black & white wrinkles

I have been obsessed with wrinkles. Maybe it is due to the fact that I have started getting a FEW myself. Old people fascinate me, I try to envision how I would look like at their age. Will I even live to their age and if I do what would I have done with my life until then? A simple talk with an elderly leads to many interesting perspectives in life such as relationships with spouse, children, experiences, advises and lastly the regrets. Also a reminder that time is flying. Fast.

Smile

He was happy at being photographed and readily agreed to pose when I asked him to. There are some people who give you a certain vibe when meet them. His was of hard work. Dont usually see him sit idle even at his age.

Mangoes

Its the season for mangoes in Kerala, India. In my village, nearly every home has a mango and a jack fruit tree in its yard.  Lot of childhood memories associated with eating mangoes, trying to climb the tree and watching my father pluck the fruit from the trees. It was raining in Kerala last month which turned the earth a brighter hue of green. Surprising how the country never really leaves you, even though the city is home.