Mysore Dussera

Yes! i know I have been away for really long, but I almost haven’t had any time on my hands. But, mom, dad and I, did sneak out some time to head to Mysore for the festival of Dussehra.

Now what is Dussehra and where is Mysore? You may ask.

Dussehra is a festival celebrated widely in India in almost all the states. The main essence of Dussehra is the triumph of good over evil as the Hindu Lord Rama had defeated Ravan, a king known for his wisdom who misused his powers for the evil. The funny thing though is, the Dussehra of the North India as compared to the Dussehra of the South India are so different. (they don’t call India the land of diversity for nothing).

Mysore is a historical city around 150 kms of Bangalore in Karnataka. The city has a royal family and although the royal titles have been abolished in India, the family is still widely recognized in the region and the beautiful palace remains. Now Mysore Dussehra really is something to see. The whole city is lit up and the palace has week-long celebrations, both public and private. Thanks to a friend of a dad’s friend, we scored some passes to see some private functions of the king on two days.

Our first night, we went for the king’s darabar, the king holds court that is. Now I’m not too sure what really happens here, but I do know he gives out gifts to the people who work for him. This is a private affair and like I said, we were really lucky to go in.

See photos below:

Below is the rituals taking place at the durbar. I couldn’t get to click a good photo minus the cover as I preferred to watch the scene in content rather than clicking photos. But sitting behind the curtain is the king. Under that golden umbrella.

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Below you can see the long shot of the durbar (where the king sits and holds court). This was done after the king left and we had some time to look around.

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Below you can see the Mysore palace, all lit up. Putting pictures from two different cameras.

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Day Two, the function was in the morning. It starts with a wrestling game (which we sadly missed because we were late), and then a procession. The procession took so loooong to start that honestly, it did get a little boring. While waiting, we did see the king coming in again and the elephants saluting him and then he went in. And then we waited again. I wasn’t that keen on the procession, but we got to see a different side of the palace this time. :) The procession is open to the regular public but the seating is in the pen in the heat. We on the other hand got to sit in the palace and watch.

Below is the venue of the wrestling match.

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See below the venue where we were seated. One side was just pillars, and right next to it were steps where we could sit and watch the procession from. Sort of like a balcony.

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The gorgeous ceilings.

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And some more pictures of the palace.

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No, I didn’t dare to touch these animals. I know they’ve been dead for years, but no.

Below you can see thr oyal lift, complete with it’s own mini chandelier which is hard to see because it was so bright, that it just came out as a blob of light in the photo. ( We didn’t really have much time to change settings and then click photos)

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And finally, the festivities end with a ceremony where the throne is tied on the lead elephant, who then salutes the king and after around 45 mins to 1 hour, the throne is taken off. What disturbed me a little was the condition of the poor elephant. Why? Because that throne is 850 kilograms of pure gold!! Yes. 850 KILOGRAMS OF PURE GOLD! But a lot of locals told me, these elephants are trained by specialists.

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I hope you enjoyed these pictures. :) And I promise to post more from now on. :)

I Have Been Surrounded By 2 Cute Dogs

I haven’t been around lately, I know, and I’m sorry. But I’m working on a little business of my own and work was on, in full swing.

Now that I have a little breathing time, I have dropped in to say hi and introduce two cute dogs.

1. The Boy’s Dog. 

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B and I were taking a lunch break and watching an episode of Homeland and he did not want to be left out. So he hops on the bed, puts his head on my legs and I kid you not, he watched that entire episode of Homeland with us like that. While eating our lunch with us, of course.

2. The Rescued Little Girl

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Just look at how adorable she is! And she’s so tiny. She’s currently at B’s house and his boy hates it. So jealous. And she, like the little cutie she is, runs like a crazy little girl around the house. 

For the time being, I am in dog heaven and loving it! :)

I Have News!

It’s not really that big, but I’m so excited to share!

A few days ago, I came across an article on a blog where the writer spoke up about copyright issues regarding photographs. She shared her experience of how when she started a blog, she read a lot of blogs that used other’s images without permission but credited the photograph with the name and a back link.

She figured that was fine and started doing the same until one day a photographer asked her to take down a photo that belonged to him. After doing so immediately, the photographer chose to sue her. And he succeeded. The fact that she is a blogger, and using the photos for non commercial purposes does not take away the fact that what she was doing was wrong. And she ended up having to pay.

A quick Google researched showed me that such cases are happening more frequently now. So guess what I did?

Started a blog with free to use images!! :) (I told you it wasn’t that big a news!)

http://simplefreephotos.blogspot.in/ (Used a different platform for certain reasons)

So anytime you need a photo in your article, stop by and find one. I’ve labelled all, so a quick search should tell you if there is a photo as per your requirements or not. Feel free to use it, as long as you are not posting it on objectionably content. There is no need to give a link, but a little credit would be nice. :)

See you guys around!

Stubborn Indian Arranged Weddings

Pardon me, as I move away from my regular kinds of posts and talk about something that started off as a regular conversation between me and mom but soon turned into something more intense.

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Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against arranged marriages. My parents had an arranged marriage, and the way it has progressed in today’s time, it’s actually quite fantastic! Say you are single and are looking out for serious love but aren’t able to find anyone. So you’re just set up. By your parents. Then you date for a while, and if all goes well, you get married.

But this is just the good side. Sadly, there are still so many people who haven’t graduated their thoughts and idea on arranged marriages. You see, in olden times, yeaaaars back, when dating was more of a taboo in our culture, the boy and girl would just meet 2-3 times ( in some cases, not even meet at all!!) and give a yes or no and get married soon. But as times progressed, people started giving it more time, to see if the boy and girl are truly compatible. I mean, come on! Anybody can put up their best behavior for a couple of dates.

Yesterday, I was speaking to mom about a lady, in her early 30s, get married for the third time. I asked my mom what happened to her previous marriages. Answer: the guys turned out to be jerks! The curious me inquired a little more, found out they were arranged marriages, where the guy and girl just met 2-3 times, ‘tsk-tsk-ed’ vigorously and went on to get a big shock. She was marrying the 3rd man, the same damn way!!! Arranged with only 2-3 meetings. What the—-? Did she not learn from the previous two times at all?

Then mom went onto say how in a lot of places, it isn’t done the new way. 2-3 meetings are considered enough. And how the lady couldn’t demand much as she was a two time divorcee which meant the groom had the upper hand. 

I was shocked beyond words. Now, I know many families consider 2-3 dates enough to say a yes or no and 2-3 months enough time to get married. I have also seen many girls after saying a more or less yes, finding out the guy is a a jerk and calling off the wedding. But getting married in a rush 2 times and repeating the same mistake for the 3rd time!!!

Now, marriage is a big deal in India. BIG BIG deal. And by 25-26, majority of the girls married – love or arranged. Guys by 27-28. But is that big deal bigger than your daughter’s happiness?

While in conversation, mom told me how parents now wanted to just get her married and settled and and finish that ‘responsibility’ before anything happens to them. Mind you its a 30-something, working woman we’re talking about her. Then I wondered, why isn’t she saying anything?? Turns out, she goes into bouts of depression. That the peers her age are happily married, many of them with children. That’s when I understood, she was a victim of the old-time thinking. Her depression isn’t only from the broken marriages. But also the fact that she should have been married with a family at this age like her friends but isn’t. Notice: ‘should’ have been. Had she been taught that marriage isn’t the ultimate goal, maybe she would be able to pick herself up better. 

And when will people here stop giving a damn about the society?

“Meeting 2-3 times is enough. Ok 4-5 maximum. After that, if you still need time to say a yes or no, it’s going to look so bad.”

Is it going to look worse than your daughter stuck in a ‘stable’, meaningless, marriage with someone who may be a nice guy, but is just not her type? Or worse, some guy who turns out to be a freak?

Please Indian parents stuck in the previous century, open your eyes. 

PS: At the end of this post, I’m just going to say I’m pretty damn lucky to have parents who are liberal and progressive thinkers. :D Thank god for that!

Srinagar, Jammu And Kashmir, India

Jammu And Kashmir, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful states in India. It’s even called ‘jannat’ which means paradise. And the irony is, this place is riddled with the most un-paradise-ey problems- violence and terrorism. Because of these reasons, many areas are not accessible to regular people. But it’s capital -Srinagar is. So when my best friend Mel took a trip to the place and sent me these photos, I was awestruck.

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Such a breathtakingly beautiful place! Thanks Mel, for the photos.

Little Big Excitement

Does that happen to you guys also? A small reason of happiness turns into big excitement? On my way for some work today, I broke my shoes. So I ended up going to the nearest store and picking up the cutest pair of purple flip flops which has turned into more than enough happiness for the day!

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I’m so kicked! I feel so ultimately cool wearing these and it’s almost unfair, the special attention my feet are getting.