Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good old days!

About a month back, I wandered into a Hallmark store looking for a greeting card because I wanted to keep a tradition alive, and I was shocked and disturbed by the standard of cards on display in the store. I had to go to four different stores before I found one that I liked enough to pick up. I also found that I was one of the only dinosaurs walking through the greeting card aisles in these stores.

It got me thinking of how life and our expression of it has changed with the advancement of technology. Much as I love my Blackberry and worship the internet, there are a few things I miss from life before the 'great leap of technology'.
  • Greeting Cards: There was a time when I had just fallen in love that I would want to buy a card but would find three that conveyed so beautifully what I wanted to say. Ones that did not have garish red hearts with gold trimmings. Well, now there are e-cards which can sing and dance like my humble little paper cards could never, but I miss them. I miss sending them and I miss receiving them! Same is true for emails substituting postcards and letters. Its definitely not as much fun to kiss the computer screen as it is to kiss the letter your lover wrote to you.

  • Non- digital photography: Its true that digital cameras have made photographers of every one and lots more wonderful memories are being captured, but remember the time when you only got one shot at a particular pose, when you had to take your reel to a studio, wait for it to be developed and then hold the pictures in your hand and pass them around for everyone to see and make little notes on them to detailing where and when it was taken and who was in it. This is something I love so much that even today, my favourite pictures get printed and framed.

  • Phone calls on landlines: They were just called phones back call drops, no call waiting, no checking who smsed you in the middle of the call, wondering if your girlfriend's mum will answer the phone when you call, remembering all your friends phone numbers by heart...

  • Board games: Sunday afternoons meant scrabble, ludo or pictionary which slowly gave way to Super Mario, who slowly gave way to the current era of the Counter Strike. Will our grandkids not recognise a carrom board I wondered, as I watched my parents beat us hollow at a game of carrom.

  • Paper: Novels, official documents, recipe books, encyclopaedias,every thing now has an e-version. I loved reaching for the World Book on the high shelf and then leafing through it to find the pictures needed for a school project, having to cut out and keep nice recipes you found in magazines, buying beautiful diaries to pour out your heart, holding an old classic in your hand and enjoying how it smells as much as the beauty of its content.
Would love to hear if any of you have similar thoughts or any thoughts you have on the subject!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Of Palaces, Lakes and Lal maas.

Udaipur..a trip that was dreamed up by two friends over coffee, which turned into some of the most heart warming memories.

  • The Aravallis covered in a carpet of lush green, altering my perceptions of Rajasthan and making me question my high school geography books. 
  • Thamla Haveli, our cosy hotel, with a window overlooking the lake and the little naked revellers splashing around in it. 
  • The little step near the window on which we sat for long hours, chatted, laughed heartily, clicked a million pictures, drank beer and 'got a life'!
  • The 'delicious' pink spagetti which would have made any Italian proud!
  • Long walks through the winding streets, trying to dodge the cows and the digested remains of their food.
  • City palace-remarkably well maintained and a photographers delight in many ways!
  • A vibrant display of colour everywhere you look..the intricate pattern on the jutis to the bohemian charm of the harem pants.
  • Every other restaurant screening the famous Octopussy because their beloved Udaipur is the star of the movie.
  • The delectable, lipsmacking, fingerlicking fabulousness of the Lal Maas. The undisputed God of all mutton ever cooked or eaten.
  • Udaipur, like an eagle would see it, from the SajjanGarh Fort. Breathtaking!!
  • Discovering a tiny bakery that served the most delicious apple pie I have ever eaten..
  • Wonderful little Yashoda, who makes little stone figurines to pay her school fees.
  • Sitting on a lake side restaurant for hours, with the gentle rain and endless conversation for company.
  •  Looking around you and realising how lucky you are to have such genuine warm relationships in your life.
This post is dedicated to Misha, Minnu, Philippe, Aishu and Zubin. Love you all and thanks for making Udaipur magical for me.

All lovely images courtesy the fantastic Philippe Martin.