31 December 2012

Bangalore auto-rickshaw animation

FOR HIRE! – BANGALORE RICKSHAW from Xaver Xylophon on Vimeo.

To end the year, I bring you this brilliant animation by Xaver Xylophon. Thanks for looking with me through my window faithful readers, I'll continue to share the view as I embark on my 7th year in India in 2013.

I wish a wonderful New Year full of good surprises to all!

22 December 2012

Violence and injustice

The subject of this post is more sombre than usual and is prompted by recent acts of violence against women which have outraged many in India and caused a media frenzy.

First, I was shocked and upset by an incident that happened in Bangalore a few weeks ago. A woman was in her car, waiting at a stoplight, when she was rear-ended by a motorcycle. When she got out of her car to inspect the damage, she was verbally abused by the motorist who caused the accident. He was then joined by a crowd of men who joined in in taunting her, verbally and physically. When she tried to get help from a police officer, he made no effort to help her and even physically assaulted her. Despite filing an official complaint against the officer, he was back at work the next day. To add insult to injury, the police later declared that the incident was all her fault!

Then there was the horrific incident this week which happened in Delhi where a woman was gang raped and beaten in a moving bus. The male friend she was with was also beaten up, before both were thrown out of the bus onto the road. The whole country is up in arms, with demonstrations happening across India and people expressing their outrage at the horrendous violence which is perpetrated against women on a daily basis.

This incident got a lot of media attention but there are stories of rape every day in the paper, and often the victims are children.

This week I also read about a schoolgirl’s ordeal to seek justice which took her 6 YEARS. She had been sexually assaulted by her teacher and what was the sentence he was given? 2 years of imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 rupees. That’s the conviction a teacher gets for sexually abusing a minor?

No wonder women don’t try to go the police for help when they’re being hassled by men. No wonder they don’t bother reporting rape to the police. No wonder they don’t try to seek justice.

Something is seriously wrong.

14 December 2012

The fisherman

During my early morning walk along the beach in Visakhapatnam, I came across this man staring at the sea. It wasn’t a contemplative look, it was a look of concentration and complete attention. He held a net in his hands. He was obviously a fisherman.

I looked out to the sea to see if I could see any fish just beyond the shore. I didn’t see anything except surf and sand. I decided to stick around to watch him in action.

He suddenly dropped the net from his shoulder and looked like he was ready to react at any moment. Did he see a fish? I looked again into the surf and saw nothing at all...

Suddenly he ran into the sea, casting his net in a wide arc. He dragged it towards him. Sure enough, there were two fish caught in his net!

I was amazed the way he was able to fish from the shore with just a net. He must have a very sharp and trained eye to spot fish swimming in the shallow surf.

He removed the fish from the net and put them in the bag he carried on his back. He would sell the fish later in the market for 50 rupees each.

09 December 2012

On the beaches of Visakhapatnam

Recently I had the chance to visit Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag) in coastal Andhra Pradesh. This is a picturesque seaside city on the Bay of Bengal, surrounded by the rolling hills of the Eastern Ghats. Visakhapatnam is a city of beautiful, scenic and unspoilt beaches.

Here are a few shots of some of its beaches. First (above) is this big baby I came across on Ramakrishna beach.

Contemplation on Bheemili beach.

Rishikonda beach and a view of the hills.

Afternoon on Bheemili beach.

A view of the city from Ramakrishna beach.

Moments before sunrise on Ramakrishna beach.

Salutation to the rising sun.

Chhath puja at sunrise.