It was close to noon sometime last week. I was at work and wrestling with some pending bills, my least favourite task in the world.
“The morning mail’s here and there’s a packet for you,” announced G, my office assistant as she came into my room and handed a medium-sized envelope to me.
“Personal or official?” I asked, glad for the distraction.
“I think it is personal,” said G as she turned to leave.
“It is. And I know what’s inside too,” I said when I saw the return address on the envelope. “Go, get the others. I think all of you will like to see this.”
Within minutes my office team had gathered gathered around my table and the envelope had been cut open and its contents spread on the table — lots and lots of photographs of my family, many of which I was seeing for the first time.
“So many photographs!” exclaimed a team member. “Someone in your family must have been very fond of photography.”
As we went through the photographs, I told them of the two photographers in the family who had taken the bulk of the photos. I also shared the memories and stories behind the ones I could recognise, and how the photographs in the envelope came to be sent to me.
The Leeds Castle in the Kent county of England is a beautiful castle and located in very picturesque settings—the kind that’ll take your breath away. The extensive grounds offer opportunities for picnicking, playing golf, jousting tournaments, knight school, and so on.
The man at the ticket counter was very helpful in pointing out the various attractions at the Castle. So, when he told me not miss seeing the peacocks, I didn’t really believe him or pay much attention to this fact. Having seen many peacocks in India, they were not really on my priority list of things to “see” in the Castle.
But as it happened, I didn’t really have to go looking for the peacocks; they happened to be loitering near the path I was taking to the Castle. I actually heard the peacocks before I saw them, or rather I heard the “oohs” from the adoring tourists. It’s only when I saw the first one that, I couldn’t help “oohing” myself ! See for yourself:
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.
Sometime back, I came across a fantastic blog titled The Indian Memory Project and instantly fell in love with the blog’s aim—to “trace the history of India, its people, professions, development, traditions, cultures, settlements and cities through pictures found in personal family albums and archives”. So, recently, when I came across some old family photographs, I thought, why not create my own family’s memory project and share them with you on this blog. So read on…
But first a little geographical background of my family to set the context—we are originally from Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, a southern Indian state. My father’s side of the family is from Tharuvai, and my mother’s side of the family is from Narasinganallur—both villages in Tirunelveli district.
This family memory project begins with the story of my great-grandfather (my father’s paternal grandfather), T. Ganapati Sastri (1860–1926), a renowned Sanskrit scholar. Ganapati Sastri had very humble beginnings in Tharuvai—a place he left for Trivandrum (now Thiruvananthapuram) in his 16th year for economic reasons.
A visit to Cambridge is incomplete without punting on the river Cam. Usually an hour-long trip, it is a different way to experience Cambridge and, of course, to listen to some outrageous stories and gossip about the University town and its famous alumni from the punters. 😉
And that is exactly how I explored Cambridge on a beautiful, lazy April day.
During yet another attempt to organise my digital photographs into some sort of a library last weekend, I noticed one thing.
I had lots of photographs of doors. Yes, you read right. Doors. Wooden doors, painted doors, open doors, closed doors, doors in walls, even door exhibits in museums! All in all, I had 117 photographs of doors.
Here are some doors from my collection (obsession?)