Monthly Archives: June 2011

The joy of the self-timed photographs

Taken from a dining chair

Travelling as a couple has its own advantages.  You get a double room by default; you can send your wife/partner to buy a ticket without queuing up in a men’s queue; you can taste your partner’s vegetarian food without sharing your own non-veg food; the car/bus/train/plane ride is less boring; and finally, and most importantly, you are with someone you connect from home that makes you less homesick.

Taken from a garden chair

Travelling as a couple can be difficult also. Mainly, when you want to take a photograph. You are always on a lookout for similar couples and you end up approaching them with an ‘I’ll-take-your-photograph-if you’ll-take-ours’ sort of attitude.

A boulder can be the best tripod

You are constantly scanning your fellow travellers to see whether he/she has the same or equal make of camera (esctatic to see an upgraded version), so that you do not have to explain how to take your photograph properly.  We have ended up giving our camera to people who have, instead of taking our photo, have taken their friend’s photo.

Another stone wall balanced the camera

Or you even end up giving your camera to an over-enthusiastic neo-camera geek who thinks he/she knows everything about shutter speed and aperture size and as a result changes all the settings, taking a shot that is either over-exposed or under-exposed.

The solution: self-timed photographs.

A sub-shrine served our purpose

But self portraits are tough for a number of reasons; you can’t see yourself to know how you look. Setup can be more time consuming due to the running back and forth and getting it right.

A granite wall took our photo

Focus is difficult because, again, you can’t see where that focus point is resting and if you are using a timer mode, there is a chance you are not in focus as the camera found something else to focus on.

Don't focus on the tree trunk

And it can be dangerous too. There have been many occasions when our camera has tumbled to the ground or, as a matter of fact, the photographer (on most occasions my better half) has taken a tumble too! We have tried balancing our camera on rocks, bricks, trees, stairs, our car, even using the lid of a dustbin once (eww).

Our car served as a tripod

Our car served as a tripod

But the joy of  jumping in as part of a photo yourself? Priceless. Some of our best photographs were taken with the self-timer. Don’t you think so?

The dustbin @#$%


Dilli Haat

I live in Bangalore. Shifting to Bangalore from Delhi two years back was a hard decision. I miss a lot of things about Delhi. The lazy rajai-equipped winter mornings, the moomphali-littered battered Dadri buses, the weekly vegetable markets, the Surajkund mela, the steamy momos, the choicest punjabi gaalis, the trade fairs at Pragati Maidan, the bees that sting you when you clean your cooler for the first time before summers, the gol gappas, the chaats and gajar halwa, the fact that you can alter a dress for Rs. 20,  the milk vending machines at mother diary, the knitting aunties in the DTC buses, the  drive down Rajpath, the sapheda mangoes, the chickoos, the litchies,  the fact that you can see the Himalayas after an overnight train journey and the ever bargaining  Sarojini  market and Dilli Haat.

 

So when I visited Delhi in the scorching summer month of April, I had already mentally made a list of things I’d do about the things I’d missed. Winters were too far away, so were the trade fair and Suraj Kund mela, the Dadri buses still littered and battered, the vegetable markets still weekly and crowded, the momos, the gol gappas and  the chaats still steamy and tasty, the mother diary still vending milk, the aunties still knitting but in the metro, the coolers replaced by AC’s, the drive down Rajpath still breath taking, the Himalayas still an overnight journey away and the markets still temptingly tempting.

 

Promising myself another visit to Delhi in November during the International Trade fair and in February during the Suraj Kund mela, I decided to visit Dilli Haat, the place where I tasted my first momos and drank my first fruit beer.

 

Ticket Counters

Ticket Counters

 

Located on Aurobindo Marg, opposite to the bustling mallu-friendly INA market, Dilli Haat is a joint collaboration between the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Department. Dilli Haat was set up to promote the Indian handicrafts industry and cuisine. Spread across 6 acres of land, this bazaar showcases a variety of stalls selling handicraft items.

 

With more than 60 stalls in the bazaar, craftsmen from all over India come  here to showcase their products.

 

Welcome to Dilli Haat

Welcome to Dilli Haat

 

The stalls are allotted to the craftsmen  for 15 days and is then rotated so that other sellers get an opportunity to exhibit and sell their products. The different kinds of items that are sold in the Dilli Haat  include artificial flowers, footwear, earthernware, brassware, sandalwood and rosewood carvings, handloom items, jute, bamboo, wooden, woolen and silk items, and ornaments made out of stones and metal and many more.

 

Inside the bazaar
Inside the bazaar

 

One of the corridors

One of the corridors

 

And for the foodies,  Dilli Haat has a food plaza where you can get to taste the culinary delights from the different parts of India.

 

And the fun begins
And the fun begins

 

Paintings made out of goat skin !!

Paintings made out of goat skin !!

 

 

Who wants Jimmy Choo??
Who wants Jimmy Choo??

 

Skirting ideas
Skirting ideas

 

Artificial bloom
Artificial bloom

 

Shoppers paradise
Shoppers paradise

 

Kurta company
Kurta company

 

Bangles...
Bangles…

 

Bangles...
Bangles…

 

... and Bangles
… and Bangles

 

Fallen Gods!!
Fallen Gods!!

 

Momo Mia
Momo Mia

 

Momo
Momo

 

and Fruit beer

and Fruit beer

 

Getting to Dilli Haat is much more easier than the times when we had to catch a red line bus to INA market or had to haggle with auto rickshaw drivers or even worse had to find a parking space for your own car at the Dilli Haat parking space.  Now  you just need to hop onto the metro and enjoy the ride.

 

There is something about Dilli Haat that pulls you in. As somebody once sang “I keep coming back time after time”.

 

PS: Good news. A  vacant land near the metro station on S V Road is all set to turn into a permanent village fair selling interesting facets of rural Karnataka, that includes art works, handicrafts and food along the lines of Dilli Haat.

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