Friday 31 December 2010

Happy New Year 2011

I wish you all a very happy and peaceful 2011.

May you have fun and frolic as these ice skaters throughout 2011.

Friday 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Wish you all a Merry Christmas

(The above video was taken during a Christmas Fair in London)

Saturday 11 December 2010

Rural Life in Chakrata

Rural life in the hills has always enchanted me. Here are a few shots of the area in Uttarakhand near the town of Chakrata

A Village Beauty
While walking on a trek met this woman who was sitting outside her home and who invited me to sit and rest and chat with her for a while. She must have been in her fifties or even sixties but still retained the beauty of her earlier years. Look at her tattooed hand. Most women, and even men, in rural areas earlier had parts of their bodies tattooed. Only in the urban areas this is a new trend and that also once it caught their fancy because the western civilization was doing it.

Multi-tasking Hearth
The concept of multi-burner gas ovens is a recent phenomenon, at least in India. But five things can be cooked at the same time on the hearth in the picture above!

A local dish
The dish above is made after drying and grinding of 'khurmani' a dry fruit from the peach family which is then dried in the sun for several days. And it is grounded in this stone grinder lying out in the open.

A Stone Grinder

A Traditional Tile Roofed House
 Most houses in this area have slate tiled roofs and are normally at least two storied and sometimes more than two storied as well. The ground floor, normally, houses the animals like cows, goats, sheep and other such domestic animals and the first floor is used by the family for cooking, living and sleeping purposes. This serves two purposes. First the animals can be given good shelters as well as place for the fodder. Secondly, the heat generated by the animals also keeps the floor above warm in winters.

A Natural Storage Space
I noticed that several villagers keep the hay on the trees. This keeps the hay from getting spoilt if lying on the ground and also keeps it safe from stray animals eating it.