Archive for clairobscur

“But my Soul”

Posted in Dreams in Disorder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2010 by designldg

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“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.
It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”
(Judy Garland – American actress and singer, 1922–1969)

This was shot from the Chaturbhuj Temple situated in Orchha, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
This spacious Temple, enormous as any European cathedral was almost empty.
There was a young couple inside, they were engaged, not married yet but obviously deeply in love.
When they saw me coming they stopped holding their hands and whispering to each other.
They asked for a picture and took stricking formal poses.
A few minutes later as they were leaving the sanctuary, I saw the young lady standing at the gate, she was ajusting her sari with grace, like a fairy.
All around seemed to look a Bollywood set, even the “love” graffitis on the wall added an unreal touch to this dreamy atmosphere and it became a moment of magic framed in an everlasting sunset…

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Mystery at Dusk

Posted in Dreams in Disorder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by designldg

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“Mystery is a resource, like coal or gold, and its preservation is a fine thing.”
(Tim Cahill – American writer, b. 1944)

This is a view from the Chaturbhuj Temple in Orchha which is located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
This unusual Hindu temple built between the years 1558 and 1573 is dedicated to the four-armed deity, Chaturbhuj (chaturbhuj literally means four-armed).
Maharani Ganesh Kunwar, wife of Orchha’s ruler, Raja Madhukar, constructed the temple to specifically house an idol of Lord Rama.
While she was persuading the Lord to travel from his abode in Ayodhya to Orchha, he expressed the desire not to be displaced from the place he’d made his home.
The queen already had an idol of Rama installed in Rani Niwas (her private apartments), and when the Chaturbhuj Temple was completed, she decided to move the deity there.
According to Orchha folklore, Lord Rama refused to move.
The king immediately realised that his wife was honour-bound not to move the idol, and saved the day by installing the idol of Chaturbhuj (Lord Vishnu with four arms) in the temple instead.
That is how the shrine became the Chaturbhuj Temple.
Raja Madhukar Shah provided a kalasha or horn-shaped crown, made of over 100 pounds of pure gold, on top of the temple.
However a few years later robbers made off with the kalasha.
This is the legend associated with the Chaturbhuj Temple…

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A Static Idea of Life

Posted in Dreams in Disorder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by designldg

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“There are men whose idea of life is tactic, who long for its continuation after death only because of their wish for permanence and not perfection; they love to imagine that the things to which they are accustomed will persist for ever.
They complete.”
(Rabindranath Tagore – Indian author, Nobel Prize of Literature in 1913, 1861-1941)

This is a view from a window of the Jahangiri Mahal in Orchha which is located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The Jahangir Mahal is an example of Rajput Bundela architecture, it was built by the Bundela king Bir Singh Deo and named after the Mughal emperor Jahangir who spent one night here.
It was during this period that Orchha reaches its height and the many extant palaces are a reminder of its architectural glory.

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Blessings for Every One

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2010 by designldg

Blessings for Every One

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“You are invited to the festival of this world and your life is blessed”
(Rabindranath Tagore – Indian Poet and writer, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, 1861-1941)

This was shot before sunset at the tomb of Mohammad Ghaus in Gwalior in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh as I was walking in the galleries surrounding the Sufi saint mazaar (tomb).
The building, built in the late 16th century in the typical Mughal style, is enclosed on all sides by delicately carved lattices over which rises a large dome.
This place is a pilgrimage centre for both the Hindus and the Muslims and this is why I selected this picture in order to celebrate the happy coincidence which makes today Eid-ul-fitr, Ganesh Chaturthi and Rosh Hashanah happen in the same time.
This place of devotion is a symbol of brotherhood to my eyes, this is where anyone can express his faith.

– Eid Mubarak, I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Eid. May Allah accept your good deeds, forgive your transgressions and ease the suffering of all peoples around the globe.
– Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah! I wish good luck and good fortune to every one on Ganesh Chaturthi.
– Shana Tova, wishing you all a New Year blessed with new biginnings, new hopes and joys…

“A Lamp Placed in Darkness”

Posted in Christianity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2010 by designldg

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“Thomas was a lamp placed in darkness to illuminate the earth filled with the smoke of false sacrifices.
It was to a land of dark people he was sent, to clothe them by Baptism in white robes.
His grateful dawn dispelled India’s painful darkness.
He, one of the Twelve, like a great lamp with oil from the Cross replenished, flooded India’s dark night with light.It was his mission to espouse India to the One-Begotten…
Edessa thus became the blessed city by possessing the greatest pearl India could yield.
Thomas works miracles in India, and at Edessa Thomas is destined to baptize peoples perverse and steeped in darkness, and that in the land of India.”
(From the “Hymns of Saint Ephraem (Ephrem) the Syrian, on Apostle Thomas and India” – Ephr. Hymni et Sermones, IV)

Christianity is India’s third-largest religion, with approximately 24 million followers, constituting 2.3% of India’s population.
The works of scholars and Eastern Christian writings state that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who visited Muziris (Kodungallur ) in Kerala in 52 CE to proselytize amongst Kerala’s Jewish settlements.
As with early Christianity in the Roman Empire, it is assumed that the initial converts were largely Jewish proselytes among the Cochin Jews who are believed to have arrived in India around 562BC, after the destruction of the First Temple.
Many of these Jews presumably spoke Aramaic like St. Thomas, also a Jew by birth, who is credited by tradition with evangelizing India.
Therefore Christianity in India is almost as old as Christianity itself and spread in India even before it spread in many predominantly Christian nations of Europe.
Today most Christians in India are Catholic following the Latin rite.
The Christian Church runs thousands of educational institutions and hospitals contributing significantly to the development of the nation.

This picture was shot at All Saints Cathedral ( known as Patthar Girja Ghar) in Allahabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, it was built in the 19th century in Gothic style and designed by Sir William Emerson, the eminent architect who designed the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata and it figures among the finest Cathedrals of India.

With Heart and Soul

Posted in Some of me with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2010 by designldg

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“Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
heart and soul”
(George Harrison – Member of The Beatles, 1943-2001)

I didn’t upload any picture of me since a while even though I used to do it in order to celebrate each time you were 10 000 new more viewers on my photostream.
Today you have been 301,546 Flickr viewers, 204,622 Worpress viewers and 79 033 Ipernity viewers to visit my photostreams.
Once again I want to thank you all for your kind comments and mails.
I really appreciate your support even if I can’t answer you as much as I would like because of the bad internet connection in Benaras, the many power cuts that we have to handle during summers and the lack of time due to all my activities.
However I read everything you write which gives me an amazing energy to carry on my work in photography and which brings me strength to fulfill my commitment to those causes for Human Rights where I am involved.
Thank you all for those gifts.
Thank you, Dhanyavad, Shukriya…

This picture was shot recently by my brother Manish Gupta in the ruins of a Madrasa from the fourteenth century which stands at Hauz Khas village in South Delhi.
It was at the end of the afternoon and the weather became cool with a few raindrops, auspicious signs of the end of summer and the forthwith begining of the rainy season.

Secret Places of the Soul

Posted in Music, the Universal language with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2010 by designldg

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All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul”.
(Plato – Ancient Greek Philosopher, 428 BC-348 BC)

Into the ruins of a Madrasa from the fourteenth century which stands at Hauz Khas village in South Delhi, I met Jatin who was playing guitar with three of his friends.
They were sitting at a window in front of the large water tank.
Their music was echoing in several rooms of the Mughal building and bringing a pleasant atmosphere.
There was a storm like those we have at the end of summer forthwithing the begining of the rainy season.
I took several pictures, it was a nice break in my busy day, this place is so peaceful that I almost forgot I was in Delhi…