Photostory: The crow and the dung cake

Have you seen a crow with its food?

The way it looks at the food and then examines it before eating — be it leftover food thrown away in a dustbin or rotting meat or even fresh rice that many Hindus serve as offerings to ancestors.

Their behaviour is more or less the same… A sudden flapping of wings as they land near the food, then an examination of what the food is, then a quick look around, a tiny sampling, and then gobbling it all up. And sometimes, just sometimes, a caw and then some more of appreciation. 🙂

Last year, during a visit to the Hatu Mata Temple at Himachal Pradesh, I came across a crow and its intense deliberation of a dried up pile of dung. I was photographing flowers when I heard a caw and looked up to see and then photograph an entire sequence with the crow.

I had kind of forgotten about these set of photographs and found them while I backing up the photographs. And voilà, an entire narrative emerged. In the crow’s words of course. 😉

Well… what do we have here?
Crow, Bird. dung

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Photostory: How to tie a turban

The Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur is one of the most impressive forts in Rajasthan and easily the best maintained and managed of all the Forts I visited during my Rajasthan trip in February this year.

It caters to all to all kinds of tourists and does it rather well without letting anyone feel left out. Quiet spots for contemplation; fantastic photo-ops for the serious or click-happy photographer; architecture, history and a jaw dropping collection of objets d’art on display for those interested in culture, design and history … the Fort has it all. But the activities that are the most popular and draw the tourists are the fun ones like ‘how to tie a turban’, ‘how to play chess’, having your palm read, etc.

That afternoon in February, I had just finished walking though one part of the museum at the Fort and was crossing one of the many courtyards there, when I saw a couple of international tourists requesting some Fort’s ‘volunteers’ to show them how a turban was tied. And within seconds, it was showtime.

Presenting the story of how a turban is tied in the words of the “demonstrator” 🙂

First we spread out the turban cloth to show how looooooong it is.

How to Tie a turban, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

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Photostory: A red-canopied welcome

“I think someone important is coming.”

“Do you think it is SRK?”

“No, it must be the Maharaja himself.”

“I’m telling you it must be some firang (foreigner).”

I can’t help overhearing this excited chatter and squeals of anticipation as I step out of the Museum of the Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur. A group of 20 somethings is standing to one side and craning their necks over a barricade to see something that I cannot. I am intrigued and join them as do some other tourists. And soon we are looking at the entrance to the Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, which was abuzz with some activity. What happened next is not really an unusual sight in a 5-star hotel, but as a tourist in a touristy place, I couldn’t help be one myself. 😀

A bright red silken canopy is being unfurled and readied.Who is the visitor, I wonder? So do others and the guesses are flowing fast and thick.

Umaid Bhavan Palace Hotel, Jodhpur

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