It was a warm Saturday afternoon in February, and I was spending the day wandering about in the Churchgate-Fort-Kala Ghoda area in south Mumbai and photographing anything that caught my fancy. After a nice lunch at the Tea Centre in Churchgate, I decided to cross the Oval Maidan from the Churchgate side to the University of Mumbai side.
As I walked along Oval Maidan, the iconic Rajabhai Tower and Bombay Stock Exchange Building stood tall with their contrasting architectural styles. Once I entered the Oval Maidan it was the cricket matches being played that caught my attention. It was only after a while that I looked up and saw this.
A couple of months back, my Appa (father) was unwell enough to require hospitalisation. It was a very stressful period for all us, but the stress factor came not so much from his illness or hospitalisation or treatment or care and recovery, but from an unexpected source—his health insurance’s Third Party Administrator (TPA), who created delays and blocks at every step, making the actual hospital stay seem almost like a vacation in comparison.
Both my parents are covered in the health insurance plan offered by the organisation I work in, and this was the first time I was availing of medical insurance, which is administered by a well-known TPA. The insurance plan I am covered under offers a “cashless” hospitalisation facility in most of the well-known hospitals in Mumbai. A reason to feel relaxed about and not have palpitations. Right? Wrong !
Appa had been having fever, which showed no signs of abating in spite of medication and care at home, as well as his doctor’s supervision. After a week of battling with the fever, his doctor advised hospitalisation for investigations and focussed treatment at a well-known hospital, close to our house. Once this decision was taken, my brothers and I got into action—while they would get him ready for the hospitalisation, I would get the insurance and TPA formalities sorted out.
I had just got my first digital camera when I arrived in London and the iconic Tower Bridge was the subject of my first few photographs. Quite pleased with the results, I never lost an opportunity to photograph this London icon. This meant that by the time I left London a year later, I had quite a few photographs of the Tower Bridge. Presenting a selection from that collection, beginning with that first photograph.
I love seeing students in their graduation/convocation gowns, robes, cloaks, shawls, what-have-yous that makes me go all part-sentimental, part envious. That’s because I never got to attend either of my two post-graduate convocation ceremonies—the first because the University only invited the prize winners and I wasn’t one; and the second was a degree awarded by a London-based university, and I had already returned to India by then.
So it’s no wonder then, that 3 of my favourite photographs from my collection are around the theme of graduation day in Cambridge, when I visited this University town in April 2009. Cambridge was buzzing with excited and serious students, proud and happy parents, beaming teachers, and in the midst of all this bewildered tourists arriving by the busload every minute.
I was all set to hit the “sights” of Cambridge when I came across the graduates, dressed in their robes. And I slowed down immediately just to watch them. And yes, photograph them, too, from the ground and from the air. 😀
Do you ever have a song, an idea, a storyline, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least. I have this with music—it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, etc. This becomes my ‘now’ song, and the ‘nowness’ (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.
My now song is “Jithe sagara”, a Marathi film song based on Raga Yaman.
I am in the mood for Raga Yaman—though not something from either Hindustani or Karnatic repertoire. I want it to be mellow and frothy and simple and nuanced at the same time. In other words, I want to listen to a film song.
My “now” song, which is a Marathi film song, illustrates this evergreen raga and my requirements beautifully. Jithe sagara dharani milte, which can be loosely translated as ‘the place where the sea and the earth meet’ or in other words the horizon, was composed by Vasant Prabhu and sung by Suman Kalyanpur.
In my opinion, this is one of the best examples of Yaman from Indian film music. Enjoy 🙂