Weekly Photo Challenge: Okra in the ‘Fray’

In a traditional village market of India, often called bazaar, haat or hatia in local dialects, where bargains are done very competitively, a number of buyers and sellers are in the fray. Bargains are done so competitively sometimes that it resonates with a war-pitch often. Farmers wait for the day to sell their local produce in the market, directly to the end customer. These are mostly small, retail markets, mostly very colorful and crowded. And despite having a competitive atmosphere, you will find plenty of reasons to smile and pass on the smile, and invariably small chats either with your fellow buyers or with the thick-skinned, hard-nosed seller.

Okra in Fray in India

This photo is shot in a weekly village market in Bihar – one of the eastern states of India. Here in this photo, evidently there are two aspects of ‘fray’. Firstly, both the buyer and the seller are in the fray as to who makes a better deal during the bargaining process. Both of them are busy now. Let me mention here that in India, bargaining is very common in local fruit and vegetable market.

Secondly and most importantly, there is a competition among the best ( or the better) and the average-looking okra (or Ladies’ Finger or Bhindi, as called in India). All shapes, sizes and quality of okra are in the fray here. One cannot but pity the state of these ‘poor’ Okra , which are being jostled for by both buyer and the seller, so that best okras can be picked up. How about the fate of other unlucky okras? Sad. Some of the not-so-good-and-glamorous okras may be lamenting over their fate because they will be rejected by many buyers before they are picked up. Sorry Okras, some of you do not have a choice to climb up the podium of the weight balance! Only option left for you is to retain your freshness as long as possible, with a smile on your ‘crown’ and wait for your next suitor :-)

This post was part of Weekly Photo Challenge and the topic is Fray. More photos here.


Read another post on India, from Delhi, titled Flutes here.

Wanna know about a great mathematician and cybernetician, Norbert Wiener? Read  more about him here.


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette at the Banks of River Ganges

River Ganga

I was sitting on the banks of the River Ganges in my hometown, Bhagalpur, deep in my thoughts, admiring the beauty of one of the most sacred rivers of India. It seemed the water flowed at times, and paused for next few seconds, taking a nap during her long course from the Himalayas before embracing the sea – Bay of Bengal. She must be tired with this perpetual journey. Thousands of people come to her, taking a holy dip in the water to wash off the sins of their life. Definitely, it took lot of courage, wisdom and kindness to forgive the vices of lesser mortals. What does it take humans to make allowance at the misdeeds of others? Do we possess those virtues to bear no malice against them?

And then, I was nudged from my musings. At a distance, there was this group of five youngsters who had come to enjoy the sunset and to pose for photographs. It is difficult most of the times for a photographer to defy his inner conscience and not take a shot at such a beautiful moment. River Ganges and the setting sun formed the background and the five human forms completed my sight. Reflection of the sun made it more vivid.

This was part of Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Silhouette. More posts here.


Check more photos of evening twilight when I visited New York and Madrid.


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture of Qutub Shahi Tombs, Hyderabad

Qutub Shahi Tombs HyderabadBeautiful, dazzling and colorful lights fell on the historic Qutub Shahi Tombs of Hyderabad, illuminating the intricate architecture of the tombs. The dancing formations of light not only enthralled the audience during the light and sound show that evening, but, I am sure, it would have hypnotized the Tombs and its habitats. The ornate exhibition of luminescence transformed the tomb building into the multitude of texture, every second, sometimes so bewildering that eyes often disobeyed distinguishing the building. This is one of the texture that I captured and present for this week’s challenge.

Do you recognize the building, sans its dome? Or do you visualize something else – anything enigmatic or intriguing? Do share with us.

More posts of Weekly Photo Challenge here.


Do check for the colors of life in the light of Spanish summer.

Have you enjoyed the twilight colors of NewYork – Manhattan, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and others bathed in them?

Or Does the bright colors of Mexico bedazzle you? Do let me know.


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag in Yumthang Valley

It had been a long cherished dream for my wife and me to view the mighty Himalayas in its full glory. The untamed, gorgeous, awe inspiring and picturesque – THE Himalayas, with the highest mountain peak of the world, Mount Everest. To accomplish this, we planned a trip just before the peak summer season – the most crowded tourist part of the year – set in.

We traveled to the north-eastern state of India, Sikkim. It is a small state with vast natural beauty – meandering streams, majestic snow-capped mountain peaks, deep ravines, breath-taking waterfalls, and amidst all these, the zigzag roads built around them. After soaking in the beauty of the Himalayas from the Yumthang Valley, we drove up on the zigzag road, flanked by snow on both sides, towards the vantage point, closer to the peak from where the Yumthang Valley was down below us, with its arms wide open embracing us. It was the sight of a lifetime, so ethereal and pleasing, and the experience so magical.

Yumthang Valley

At the center of this photograph, you can see the grandeur of Yumthang Valley, in the zigzag pattern between the mountains. Towards the bottom of the photo, you can marvel at the zigzag roads which we traversed to reach the peak.

Do let us know if you had been to Yumthang Valley or the Himalayas or any other such snow-capped mountain ranges. How was the experience, do share with us.

This post was part of Weekly Photo Challenge – Zigzag. Read more posts here.


Read about my trip to another beautiful valley of India – Araku Valleyhere.

Check out photos of summers in Spain here under Weekly Photo Challenge.


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’ in the Madrid Park

Summer brings out the best among everyone and also ‘forces’ everyone out of their homes.


In the summer of 2012, I was roaming the streets of one of the most beautifully decorated and ornate cities of Europe, Madrid (Spain). Truly, a majestic city. Long days meant sun would set around 10 pm. Before I headed for the famous Tapas bars of Madrid, I decided to relax in the Parque del Oeste, where famous Egyptian temple, Temple of Debod, is also located. This park was laid out by the landscape artist Celedonio Rodriganez.


Life ran at its own pace in this park. Some had come to meet their friends; some had their jogging shoes on. There was a group of college students practicing their music instruments. Elderly enjoyed the setting sun. One gentleman was trying his balancing acts on the rope, while the canines were attempting their own whimsical games. Many had NOTHING to do in the lovely summer of Madrid, except lazing around. I had my task cut-out. Because I had to capture shots for weekly photo challenge :-)






This photo blog was part of Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’.


Read the post on Araku Valley with photos of rainy season here.


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers of Bali

These photos are part of Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Containers.

Containers of Bali (Indonesia) provide a glimpse into the local culture, faith and beliefs of the population and their daily life. Here I present few photos clicked in Bali, suitable to this week’s theme. Read more about Bali here.

Bali Culture


Bali Shop

Bali Morning


Bali Coffee

Bali Locals

Posted in Art & Culture, Indonesia, Life, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic of Mindless Tradition in Madrid

Word of Caution: Very Sensitive readers may want to avoid few photos depicting cruelty on animals.

Plaza de Toros Madrid

Not all relics should be preserved. Nor every tradition and culture are a matter of pride, always.

Matador and Bull

I was a witness to the death of three bulls in the Plaza de Toros – the main bullfighting arena of Madrid. Before i was there, i had no inkling of what exactly transpires in the bullring. Quite oblivious, and fascinated with the misinformation and misguided by videos and TV clips that bullfighting is just a sport between man and animals to prove one’s superiority, i was sitting in the ‘famous’ bullring of Madrid, dating back to 1929. Interestingly, this bloody sport is also regarded as an example of fine art where matadors exhibit their skills.


Bulls were baited by the matadors. They were chased by them and finally drained off their energies. And then started the most cruel aspect of this bloody sport. Spears with sharp barbs were stabbed in the neck of bulls repeatedly, so as to attempt piercing through their heart. And thus, these powerful bulls were tamed and finally, bled to their slow and torturous death, in the grandeur of tradition and culture.

Death of Bull

Any such sport which cannot let men and animals co-exist on this earth are not worthy of applause and cheer. These animals are not for the purpose of your entertainment. Taming and killing animals does not prove the superiority of humans. It is not something to be proud of. Rather it demonstrates the cowardly side – how vulnerable humans are.



With this week’s theme and photos, i would like to create an awareness among many ignorant enthusiasts like me, who visit these rings for the first time, unconsciously, and return back heaving a sigh. Let us put an end to such relics!

Do let us know your thoughts on such cruelty to animals. Shouldn’t these traditions be banned? Will you make the mistake which I committed? Help me in promoting this cause towards animals against such barbaric and mindless killings.

Read my poem Wings on freedom and the better future. I Long to is another such poem with similar theme.


This blog is part of Daily Post – Weekly Photo Challenge and this week’s theme is Relics.

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A Grammy Awaits Norbert Wiener in 21st Century

This article was first published in the newsletter (February) of IEEE 2014 Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century, Boston (USA). Read newsletter here.

This article was also cited by Jim Siegelman, journalist and author of several books which includes the book on Norbert Wiener, during his keynote address at the Boston Conference in June, 2014

Norbert Wiener

Photo Courtesy: IEEE 2014 Conference on Norbert Wiener in 21st Century Website

How many times have we heard this ‘we are living in the age of information’? Many a times, you would listen ‘Hey, if you have information in this era of cyber world, you are the king. But how many of us really know about the original king of ‘information? Probably, the history needs to be kinder enough to this genius. Whatever is the reason for not having a Nobel Prize for mathematics, the fact remains that Norbert Wiener, one of the greatest mathematicians of all times, would have been the perfect recipient of one such prize. While reading New York Times recently, I came across this article on Norbert Wiener. The author mentions that a truly, famous scientist needs to have a single hit, like the Grammy’s or Oscars. If we talk of the research and science fraternity, it could be like Einstein being synonymous with theory of relativity, Newton attached with gravitational or the Niels Bohr’s theory of atom. And then I wondered, isn’t Wiener synonymous with cybernetics or Information?

Clive Thompson mentions in his NY Times article, that there is a different category of scientist “who never breaks through, usually because while his discovery is revolutionary it’s also maddeningly hard to summarize in a simple sentence or two. He never produces a catchy hit single. He’s more like a back-room influencer: his work inspires dozens of other innovators who absorb the idea, produce more easily comprehensible innovations and become more famous than their mentor could have dreamed.” Incidentally, Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman titled their book as ‘Dark Hero of the Information Age: In Search of Norbert Wiener, the Father of Cybernetics‘, which probably hints at the stark reality that the scientific community owe a lot to Wiener and he is still due for his name in the annals of history. 

Book by Jim Siegelman

Photo Courtesy: Stillpointpress website of Flo Conway & Jim Siegelman

Norbert Wiener may be a figure of extreme sorts. On one hand, he was a genius par excellence, a great mathematician, who contributed in the areas of electrical engineering, physics and biophysics. Otherwise how would you explain a man who started his college at the age of 11 and successfully completed his PhD from Harvard when he was only 18. He had once said, with disappointment writ large on his face that his father spoke seventeen languages fluently but he spoke only twelve. On the other extreme, he was an absent-minded, heavy built, professor, who it seems, forgot where his new house was. Once his memory failed him, it is said, and he did not remember that he came all the way to the conference, driving his own car and hence returned back in a bus. It seems in the morning when he could not locate his car in his garage, he complained to the police that someone had stolen his car. There are numerous such interesting anecdotes told by his students and colleagues. But whatever be the case, it is more important today than ever that the current world, growing and thriving on the over-dose of information should not forget the contributions of this 300 pound plus mathematician who regularly puffed his cigar at an angle of 45 degrees to the ground.

Not accepting any research funding from the military establishments and participating in those has often been cited as the reason for his poor and often no positioning in the history. He was not invited to participate in the Manhattan project which ultimately created the atomic bombs. His good relationship with researchers from erstwhile Soviet Union was always suspected during the Cold War era. He often voiced his concerns over the interference of the political establishments in the research works and in the application of science and technology to wage wars and develop weapons of mass destruction.

Norbert Wiener was an interesting figure. And in the 21st century, it is more than relevant to bestow what has been long overdue to him. Let us give him his Grammy. To conclude, I would like to quote one of the songs of Brian Eno, an English composer, musician, and singer. “Although variety’s the spice of life / A steady rhythm is the source / Simplicity’s the crucial thing / Systemically of course (work it all out like Norbert Wiener)”.


Did you know about Wiener? Share with us about your piece of information on Wiener and Cybernetics. Do let me know if you will be interested to know more about Wiener and his works on Cybernetics. Also, visit conference website here.


Read about my experience at SEPG (Software Excellence Process Group) Europe Conference 2012, Madrid (Spain), conducted by Carnegie Mellon University.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts in Seattle

Before I flew for Seattle in the October of 2012, everyone told me to enjoy and immerse myself in the fall colors of Seattle – one of the best places in USA to witness Fall. And so did I. As expected the weather of Seattle was predictably unpredictable with light drizzle reaching the earth, just at any time of the day. And sunlight at the very next moment behind the clouds. Some say, its kind of depressing weather there due to the rain and months of low sunlight.

Elliot Bay Seattle

I was at the top of the Space Needle, enjoying the majestic view of the city and its suburbs, cloaked in fall colors. And then I saw this contrast where sunlight falling on the waters of Elliot Bay made a portion of the bay so bright, whereas rest of the bay was under the spell of the dark clouds. This contrast was made even more remarkable by the ferries dotting the Bay area. It seemed to me that apart from Seattle Mariners, the city was also the home ground for sun, with its ‘unusual’ game of hide-and-seek.

This is part of DailyPost – Weekly Photo Challenge.


Read posts on two cities of USA with contrasting weather conditions prevailing there.

First the photo story on the city ofMinneapolis, covered in white linen of snow – another USA city with extreme weather conditions.

And second on how the strong sun rays can give a different hue to the city of New York and its monuments.


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Room full of Mummies

Guanajuato Mummies Museum


Looks scared, right? You feel jittery?

Hmmm….I can understand. It is not everyday that we find ourselves in such a ‘room’.

This was one of the rooms of Museo de las Momias de Guanajuato (Guanajuato Mummies Museum) in Guanajuato, Mexico. My wife and I had visited it in March this year. We were stunned to know that these are the real mummies of Guanajuato citizens, formed by the natural process, unlike Egyptian mummies. There are over a hundred mummies kept in over half a dozen rooms of the museum. When in Mexico, you must definitely visit Guanajuato to experience this yourself.

Read more about this museum here.

This post is part of Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

Posted in Mexico, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments