Archive for sepia

Happy Divali – Happy New Year

Posted in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2013 by designldg

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Divali, or Deepavali (in Hindi – दिवाली or दीपावली), is a major Indian festival, significant in Hinduism , Jainism and Sikhism.
Celebrated by Hindus,Jains and Sikhs across the globe, as the “Festival of Light,” where the lights or lamps signify the uplighting of darkness and victory of good over the evil within.

The celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional dīpa or deeya (earthen lamp), and fireworks. Though colloquially called Divali in North India, in South India it is called Deepavali.
Divali is celebrated for five consecutive days at the end of Hindu month of Ashwayuja (amanta).
It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India.
Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships.
For Hindus it is one of the most important festivals, and beginning of the year in some Hindu calendars, especially in North India.

This image was shot in Sarnath in front of Lord Buddha’s tree (which was grown from a cutting of the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya) where he met his first five disciples.

On this auspicious day of Diwali and in the coming New year may you all be blessed with success, prosperity and happiness…

Divali ki shubhkamnayen.

 
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With A Sprinkle Of Golden Dreams

Posted in Reflections in a Golden Eye with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2013 by designldg

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“Are you looking for gold, friend?
Look around you; anything useful to you is pure gold, pure silver!”
(Mehmet Murat ildan – Turkish author, b.1965)

This picture was shot at Scindia ghat in Varanasi (Benaras).
Two friends were finishing their daily yoga exercises in the river.
It was at dawn when reality is still foggy with a sprinkle of dreams and allows the holy waters of the Ganges to become gold…

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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The Wizard of Gold

Posted in Reflections in a Golden Eye with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by designldg

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“What is magic?
There is the wizard’s explanation… wizards talk about candles, circles, planets, stars, bananas, chants, runes and the importance of having at least four good meals every day.”
(From “Lords and Ladies” by Terry Pratchett)

Sometimes in my enchanted dreams the eternal city is wrapped with a golden coat where fascinating people spread magic along the Ganges.
Some are palmists, others are fortunetellers, ice-cream sellers, sādhus or wizards.
Recently I met one at Shitla ghat, I still have stardust in my eyes…

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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The Desire to Fall

Posted in Reflections in a Golden Eye with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by designldg

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“Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo.
What is vertigo?
Fear of falling?
No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling.
It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”
(From ” The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera)

Sometimes daydreaming along the Ganges provides a sensory disorder or a sensation of being off-balance and then a strong desire to fall.
To fall and forget everything, to confide in the holy waters like this young man diving at Scindia ghat in Varanasi (Benaras)…

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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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With Gold At Both Ends

Posted in Reflections in a Golden Eye with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by designldg

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“Dare to love yourself
as if you were a rainbow
with gold at both ends.”
(From “The River of Winged Dreams” by Aberjhani)

This young man was diving in the river of golden dreams at Scindia ghat in Varanasi (Benaras)…

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Footprints of the Soul

Posted in In Search of Lost Time with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by designldg

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“The Ganges front is the supreme showplace of Benares.
Its tall bluffs are solidly caked from water to summit, along a stretch of three miles, with a splendid jumble of massive and picturesque masonry, a bewildering and beautiful confusion of stone platforms, temples, stair flights, rich and stately palaces….soaring stairways, sculptured temples, majestic palaces, softening away into the distances; and there is movement, motion, human life everywhere, and brilliantly costumed – streaming in rainbows up and down the lofty stairways, and massed in metaphorical gardens on the mile of great platforms at the river’s edge.”
(Mark Twain – American Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910)

This is a view of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras) from Ahilyabai ghat to Mansrowar Ghat.
Some dreams can never be lost, they become footprints of the soul…
The Eternal city belongs to these kind of dreams…

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The Absolute and The Particular

Posted in In Search of Lost Time with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by designldg

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“All forms of beauty, like all possible phenomena, contain an element of the eternal and an element of the transitory — of the absolute and of the particular.
Absolute and eternal beauty does not exist, or rather it is only an abstraction creamed from the general surface of different beauties.
The particular element in each manifestation comes from the emotions: and just as we have our own particular emotions, so we have our own beauty.”
(Charles Baudelaire – French Poet, 1821-1867)

I’ll never get tired of taking pictures of the Taj Mahal…
This is the absolute embodiment of everything on earth.

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One Eternal Sigh

Posted in In Search of Lost Time with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by designldg

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“Kingly power is like a cruel bolt of thunder,
Let that fade away like the blood-red sky at dusk,
Let just one eternal sigh remain like sadness in the sky
Wasn’t that all you’d ever asked for?
The glittering jewels cast their spell like an eternal magical mystery.
But even if that does vanish,
Let just one tear drop roll down the cheeks of Time;
The pure light of Taj Mahal.”
(Rabindranath Tagore – Indian Poet, Playwright and Essayist. Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, 1861–1941)

Endless passion, everlasting love, eternal sigh…the Taj Mahal should remain forever the essence of perfection…
However there is a threat over this image of Heaven as it could collapse within four years because wooden foundations are rotting.
( Read more at www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2045183/Taj-Mahal-collap… )
Nowadays it is almost impossible to take this picture anymore as the army doesn’t allow to go to this side of the Yamuna river.

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The Creators’ Glory

Posted in In Search of Lost Time with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by designldg

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“Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator’s glory.”
(Emperor Shah Jahan)

It is said that Shah Jahan wrote himself this poem about the Taj Mahal that he built for Mumtaz Mahal, his favorite wife (Original Source: Mahajan, Vidya Dhar (1970). Muslim Rule In India. p. 200).
The Taj Mahal seen from the banks of river Yamuna might be a common dream for many but truly this stunning architectural beauty is second to none and each time I come there I simply love it a little more…

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Accepting Decay

Posted in In Search of Lost Time with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by designldg

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“To accept civilization as it is practically means accepting decay.”

(George Orwell – English Novelist and Essayist, 1903-1950)

This is the back of the main building of the Sampurnanand Sanskrit University in Varanasi (Benaras) which was established in 1791 and this is a part of the jantar mantar (observatory).
Such an architecture wouldn’t be expected there and it is adding mystery to the oldest living city where the hours have definitely decided to stop.
Sometimes during summers I seat at the door of a classroom where flows a light breeze and I can listen to the French lessons at the end of the day.
This is how I met Himanshu who ever since always comes by chance to practice my mother tongue at my office which is nearby…

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