India – Looking back

In the span of about a year, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to India a couple of times. Over these trips I’ve managed to take over two thousand pictures, out of which, several made it into this blog and a few others made it to my Flickr page. Not only did these trips provide an excellent opportunity for me to experiment with my camera and different lenses, it also gave me a chance to look at my home in a different light. While experimenting with all the ways you can take a single shot, it made me realize that there are a lot of things I’ve seen countless times as a child that I’ve always taken for granted. This time though, I was prepared to preserve these memories.

If I had to choose one photograph that described Kerala, it would be this one. Clouds and Coconut trees. That’s what I remember the most about Kerala. Every time I come here, I love the fact that there are coconut trees everywhere. You can go to any village or city and you’ll find these trees. Something you’ll realize when you land in Kerala is that as the airplane flies down for landing, the first thing you’ll notice is the thick blanket of green coconut trees sitting side-by-side with the mighty rivers.

Another typical sight in Kerala. The side of streets are filled with small hotels/restaurants that offers a passer-by a place to get some nice hot-tea which is a staple in anyones diet. These hotels can usually serve an entire meal for about Rs 50 (about $1.25).

You can find these cute trucks parked around busy areas all around town especially outside stores that sell furniture and large home-appliances. You can hire one for cheap and they’ll help you move your heavy cargo around. It always amazes me how resourceful these trucks are. Underneath the hood of one of these trucks, you’ll find an engine that’s smaller than what you’ll find in most cars in other modern countries. Yet people use them everyday to transport refrigerators, bookcases and sometimes even animals.

I was out taking photos of things around the house when I noticed a herd of goats casually walking into the yard looking for forage. Soon after, these two kids started head-butting each other while the other goats looked on. The one on the left seemed to have a migraine afterwards.

This photo was taken on the ride from the airport to my home. It just started raining and the windows were starting to fill up with water droplets. The trees in the background as we drove by created a nice colorful backdrop. I shot this using the Canon 50mm lens, and set the f-stop to 1.8 to get a nice blurry effect.

Scenes like this are pretty common in India during the monsoon season. Thick dark clouds covering the sky while the water in the lake slowly starts to become uneasy and restless. Clouds like these are usually a sign for everyone to find shelter and take their laundry off their clotheslines.

I love the beaches in India. This photo was taken from a spot on the beach which is about a 5 min walk from my grandparents live in Kerala. As you approach the beach, you can feel the wind slapping your body and the smell of salt in the air. Its a very distinct feeling that I’ve never felt anywhere else. As a child, I remember spending hours walking up and down this beach, collecting and comparing seashells with my cousins. I also distinctly remember getting in trouble for drenching my clothes in salt water.

This has to be my all time favorite times to visit Kerala. Mango season is an absolute joy. Theres nothing like walking outside into the yard at 7 in the morning to watch the morning dew trickle down these mangoes. Kids walking by after school take careful aim at these mangoes with rocks and pebbles while their friends stand under the tree waiting for a big mango to fall into their eager hands. I also love this time of year, because if nothing, in the end you know that you will leave with at least some old-fashioned mango pickle.

This shot was taken in Kannur, Kerala right next to a famous lighthouse. If the weather is right, you can spend hours here and watch as the tides hit the shore. The spot where I am standing is a peaceful and tranquil area which is popular among families for picnics and get-togethers.

With the heavy downpour that hits Kerala during the monsoon season, there usually comes a day every year when the rainfall just gets out of hand and water just seems to be everywhere. The sky gets dark and the roads get empty. This doesn’t necessarily stop us from having a good time though. When you’re younger, this is the time that the paper-boats usually come out.

I wanted to take capture a picture that reminded me of the serenity you feel while in Kerala. Even though the city life can be chaotic and busy, there are places like these in Kerala that makes you forget, even if temporarily, about your busy schedule, your meetings and your projects. I am come here often when the weather is nice and if I am in the mood for some ice cream.

Taken atop a tall hill thats popular in these parts, this photo represents the blanket of coconut trees I talked about earlier. The fog in the distance adds a nice two-tone effect to the photo. Whenever we get a visitor in-town, this hilltop is usually on the must-show-other-people list.

Simple shot here. The abundance of coconut trees, gives us an abundance of coconut leaves. An aunt of mine used to make these balls out of coconut leaves that we used to play cricket with. Also, the bark of the coconut tree provided us with an excellent cricket bat.

This particular photo is close to my heart. It was shot in my parents home in India where I’ve spent several summers. I remember as a child buying bouncy rubber balls and rolling them down the stairs to watch how high they would bounce. The bouncy rubber balls were later replaced by toy cars, tumblers, canisters and bottles. Its safe to say that we were more entertained than our parents were. This photo is also a bit exciting since this is one of the very few photos in my set where I’ve added some post-processing.

I like watching all the stray cats walk by in Kerala. Since a lot of kids loving feeding scraps of left-over food to them, these cats can sometimes be pretty comfortable around humans. This one clearly likes his portrait taken.

I took this shot later this year right after the monsoons kicked in. There are places in Kerala where the coast line extends for miles and all you see when you look out is the fishermen padding their canoes and little children throwing pebbles into the water and watch as the ripples creates waves that go on forever.