Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Sunday, 25 November 2007
It was a typical late November morning in Madras. Dark and cold. One may wonder what I was doing up and about at such an early hour, instead of staying back in my comfy bed. I had gone to photograph the finals of The Tournament and the third-place decider before the finals. The Tournament refers to the frisbee tournament held by the CUF (Chennai Ultimate Frisbee). These aren't the ones we used to get free with Complan. Remember? The round , flying saucer miniature with a cone in the middle available in red and blue?? No? Well that frisbee does not look like this... neither did it cost as much.
Mama 8-4 Sukrit
Sukrit 8-4 Shankar
Manu 9-7 Mama
Mama 8-0 Shankar
Sukrit 8-6 Manu
After some professional analysis, it was decided that Manu and Mama's teams would fight it out in the finals while Shankar and Sukrith's teams would vie for the third place.
After about 45 minutes of flying frisbee, the match was decided. It ended the Reds-8 and the Greens-4.
In the interval between the two matches, the players were served Red Bull free of charge by a couple of pretty representatives for the company. For some strange reason, people about to play the final game decided against drinking it, eventhough its supposed to be an energy drink....
The match started pretty evenly. Both teams playing fluently and committing few mistakes. For a final, the match was strangely free of loud abuses. The sort you hear when you let a bunch of people who have known each other for quite a while run around in the sand chasing a frisbee. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that Mama's geared up to go to Sabarimalai. But the onfield action more than made up for the lack of verbal action.
But with the sun coming up the players were getting a little tired and with some strategic substitutions, the Blues gained the upper hand and the bling Yellows were beginning to look a little harried.
The Winning Team
Once the bling Yellows were convinced that they did not loose because of their jersey's blinginess, all the participants gathered for another customary group photo. I must say, they looked a very colourful bunch indeed.
Monday, 5 November 2007
I shot this from my cousin's terrace. We got so bored watching TV, that we ended up on the terrace with my camera. Shot about 20 photos before realising that I could use the camera bag as a tripod to avoid camera shake. Shot this after the realisation.
Shutter Speed: 20 s
Aperture Value: f/16
Program Mode: M
Focal Length: 59 mm (96 mm in 35 mm equivalent)
Sunday, 28 October 2007
The first sign that something's different about this came as I was trying to open the packing. A small, semi-circular piece has to been torn off one of the corners before it can be opened. Inside, there was a slim bar of dark chocolate surgically divided into 2 columns having 5 considerable sized pieces each, covered in a wonderfully textured silver foil. It was all so beautifuuly done, I almost didn't feel like tearing it open.
Almost. As I ripped open the foil, as aesthetically as possible, one single piece of chocolate peeked out. It wasn't as black as I expected it to be. Actually, it wasn't black at all. It was brown!!! It looked a lot like good old Diary Milk, except for the brand name on the chocolate.
But looks can be exceptionally deceptive. As soon as i broke one piece off and put it in my mouth, I realised 3 things-
1) The piece is too big
2) That was the most bitter piece of chocolate I have ever tasted!!
God bless the Pre-Columbian-Mesoamerican Maya for introducing to the world the greatest eatable west of the Dosa Line!! Wonder how a Chocolate Dosa would taste???
Shutter Speed: 1/6 s
Exposure Program: M
Focal Length: 200 mm (325 mm in 35mm equivalent)
Saturday, 20 October 2007
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Thursday, 11 October 2007
Friday, 28 September 2007
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Friday, 21 September 2007
I finally have a DSLR!!! An eos 350d with a sigma 18-200mm lens to boot. I havent yet figured out how to shoot in the RAW format yet but still, all i can say is.......
PS:Thanks to dpreview.com for the pics. :)
Thursday, 30 August 2007
This picture was shot somewhere near Munnar. Don't quite remember the name of the place but it was a national park or forest or reserve or some such thing. Turns out the Kurinji flower blooms here once in 12 years. It is scheduled to bloom sometime around September 2008 I think. (Please do check up the information provided here. I'm not too sure if i remember the dates correctly and am too lazy to find out). Some of the pics they had on the buses showed the whole fooking mountain covered in purple!!! The whole fooking Mountain!!! And some Nilgiri Tahr loitering around. The only fauna we managed to see, apart from wheezing and obese homosapiens in garishly coloured dresses 2 sizes too small, was a kite (or a hawk) hovering over the valley in the wind. Pretty impressive sight, though capturing it clearly in the digicam was pretty difficult as the SLR didn't have enough zoom.
The above photograph was shot on a Pentax SLR, sometime in the evening in the panorama mode. Think the peak is Anamalai.... Anybody who actually knows, please confirm. Thought it would look nice in b & w and hence did just that in photoshop.
Sunday, 12 August 2007
After class got over at 5 pm, we picked up our luggage and went to the men’s hostel to pick our rooms. It turns out each room’s occupants had been predetermined, but since nobody even bothered to see that list and took any room they pleased, that hare brained scheme was done away with. We were under the impression that each room was to be shared by 4 people and hence were hoping to find 2 rooms side by side to accommodate 8 of us. Upon reaching the hostel, we discovered to our chagrin that each room had to accommodate 6 people and that every room allotted to our department was taken. Not quite every room. There was one room at the corner of two wings - Room Number 71 - which was used as a sort of dump yard for things such as broken beds, torn clothes, stolen sports equipment etc. Since that was the only room available, we took it and went about the tedious process of cleaning it. Cleaning took a lot of time, effort, and water. We decided to sleep on the floor as it would have been impossible to place 8 beds inside the room and have space to move around. We left the window open to aid in drying up of the floor. Little did we realise our folly then.
We then had to attend a programme designed to keep us entertained from 6.30 pm till around 9.30 pm when dinner would be officially served. The majority of the hostellers “chose” not to be entertained and stayed back in hostel. Out if curiosity and hoping to listen to some songs, I went for the programme. After a few cursory announcements, the programme began. It was an English movie - The Flight of The Phoenix. The moment I saw the title, I decided to head back to Room Number 71. I found my room mates heading for the mess hall to have dinner and I joined them. Dinner was almost identical to that day’s lunch. After dinner, we discussed the day’s happenings in various classes (we had 5 different companies training us in various aspects) in terms that one cannot use here without being flagged for inappropriate content. Sometime in the middle of that informative discussion, I fell asleep surrounded by hundreds of the second most feared creature on the planet...... the mosquito.
Thursday, 9 August 2007
Friday, 3 August 2007
Due to various delays such as going out for dinner with the family, tiredness from the Kerala trip etc. packing of my bags wasn’t completed as per schedule on the previous night. Hence I had to get up about an hour earlier than usual (usual being 5.30 am) to supervise the packing, not because my parents weren’t competent enough to do it themselves, but because I wouldn’t have remembered what was where if I hadn’t seen it being packed. Once everything was safely tucked away inside the 2 bags, one bearing the logo MARS and another SNICKERS, and after getting bored of double and triple checking their contents, it was time to head for the bus stop.
Saturday, 28 July 2007
That's the Cochin Harbour (some part of it anyway...) from behind my athimbaer(paternal aunt's husband)'s right ear. It was during this particular boat trip that I realised that he's got one of the most photogenic faces in the family...Did some cropping, and applied some curves to this particular snap. This was shot at around 3 or 3.30 in the afternoon... Wonder why people say that colours look washed out in photos shot when the sun's high in the sky?
Friday, 20 July 2007
This photograph was shot in Kumarakoam (hope the spelling's right) on one of the 5 days i spent touring God's own country, Kerala. This place is basically a huge lake-like, backwatery, sort of place, with a lot of birds and most importantly, WATER. The chaps here use the waterways like roads. Just like how every household has a cycle or bike in landlocked places, here, every house has a boat. Our oarsman (although ours was a motorised boat, i really like that term) actually pointed to a signboard in water that read "COCHIN 48KM"!!
This was shot using my mama(mother's brother if you dont know)'s Pentax SLR. I was sitting on the prow of our boat, to the great consternation of my paatti (paternal grandmother), and looking into the water through the viewfinder wondering how the rippling water would look on film (not too good as it turned out) when my cousin (think its onnu-vitta-thambi in tamil...), Sriram, shouted at me to look up at the birds flying in formation. I did, focussed unto infinity, and released the shutter. This was the result.
The colour cast and artifacts, I think, are because the chaps at the studio screwed up while scanning the negatives. Any of you know a nice place where you can get your negatives scanned without major screwups, do let me know.
Monday, 16 July 2007
In the deathly silence that ensued, an incredulous voice spoke out, barely loud enough to be heard by the professor, “Could you repeat that please?”. Now with all our eyes boring into the professor, he/she re-read the announcement. We heard it alright, but it took a couple of minutes to fully register its implications. Once it sunk in, all hell broke loose. The ensuing scene was probably a lot like what the construction site of the Tower of Babel looked, and sounded, like after God cursed a united Humanity. The announcement went something like this – “The Management, Staff, and Students of St.Joseph’s College of Engineering would like to congratulate our men’s basketball ……..” Hold on. This isn’t it. Although I don’t quite remember the exact words, it went something like this – All students with less than 2 arrears had to attend a compulsory residential Placement Orientation Program (P.O.P.) to be held from 6.6.2007 till 19.6.2007. Those fortunate enough to have 3 or more arrears could enjoy life on the outside for those 14 days.
This announcement had the same effect a sledgehammer to the solar plexus would have had on most people. To me, it felt like a lobotomy. Without anaesthesia. This meant that I would have all of 5 days to spend with my dad. Someone up there definitely has grudge against me….
Those of us eligible were given forms to be filled and signed by our parents. After seriously contemplating boycotting the whole exercise, curiosity (the same trait that got the poor kitty killed) about life in the hostel got the better of us and a few forged signatures later, we were all set to enter hostel. After completing our semester exams, of course.
Number of days = 14.
Hence, number of clothes required for a chap who has never washed clothes in his short life = 14 pairs of trousers, 14 shirts, 14 sets of underwear, 14 pairs of socks (or 7 for the olfactorily challenged), 3 to 5 sets of casual wear (read tees and shorts) and assorted items such as towels, hankies, cosmetic equipment etc.
The number of clothes I carried = 5 pairs of trousers (a pair for 4 days + 1 for emergency situations), 9 shirts (one for 2 days + 2), 7 sets of underwear (washing clothes can’t be all that difficult…), 2 sets of casual wear (washing clothes can’t be all that difficult…can it?), and the assorted items as required. The above items were strategically divided into 2 parts and placed in separate bags to aid in mobility. Thus fully equipped (different people equipped themselves differently depending upon various factors like bag size, ability to learn the art of washing clothes, olfactory insensitivity etc.), we set out to face just about everything P.O.P. could throw at us (maybe not the kitchen sinks…).
This is the first of a series of posts relating to our 14 day stay in hostel. Hopefully, you'll find it to be at least half as much fun as we did.
There may be terms (like OD, JI, etc.) which a non-Josephite might find a little difficult to comprehend. For explanations, use the cbox or the comments.
Sunday, 15 July 2007
The Broken Bridge (real name unknown, at least to me), is located about a klick north of Elliot's (Besant Nagar) Beach. Once upon a time, it would have been a robust bridge used to cross the piece of beach, where one of the many pristine waterways of Madras joins the sea, without getting your feet wet. But now, its exactly what its name says- a broken bridge over a glorified and open sewer.
To get here, head to the northern most piece of road adjoining the beach. Once there, you should see a sandy road (more of a lane actually...) with a sign post reading "UROOR OLCOTT KUPPAM" (wonder where they got hold of such an aesthetically pleasing name??) and pointing vaguely towards a bunch of thatched huts. Drive on past these huts and you should find yourself at The Bridge, even if you are one of those directionally challenged chaps.
The impetus to get up at 4.30 am and drive all the way to The Bridge to see the sun rise was provided by my cousin Sriram and for company, we had Rajesh 'The Elder' Madhini who had thoughtfully purloined his younger brother's W810i to have a photographic record of our visit.
The first hurdle we faced was of course getting up early enough to see the sun rise. Especially on a holiday. Once we managed to do it, the next problem was driving. Although I love driving, it can become quite a handful when you have shifting sand beneath your wheels and a not quite lissome pillion rider. After getting through that hurdle with nothing more than a few skipped heartbeats, we finally sighted The Bridge. That's when we faced our final and biggest hurdle. The full blooded assault on our olfactory senses. But having travelled over other Madrasi waterways and boarding trains at Central, we were well equipped to handle this situation. After a minute or so of discomfort, the receptors in our noses developed a sort of specific insensitivity and we smelt nothing for a while.
Then we saw it... The Sun rising out of the sea! Looked very surrealistic with a few scattered clouds and the orangish glow. I was pretty surprised that a mobile phone camera could produce pictures with this clarity and colour reproduction. And i still am.
Thursday, 12 July 2007
Good morning (or afternoon or evening) ladies and gentlemen. This is Srivatsan aka The Wats posting my first blog. One may wonder why I’m a little late in posting my first ever blog. There a good many reasons for that. Here are some of them….
Microsoft Word 2003. It may sound strange but that particular piece of software is what really pushed me away from working on my first blog. Imagine waiting for approximately 10 minutes for the computer to install the software, only to get the message that a piece of something is missing from somewhere and that installation is not possible. EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU CLICK ON THE FOOKIN’ ICON!! Pretty demoralising I must say.
Sometime later, I got to know the wonderful world of Torrents a little better. I had heard of it back in school, in hushed tones of course, from guys who had downloaded whole games for free. They tried explaining to me about how it worked. I didn’t understand it then and I still don’t. Using this little innovation, I proceeded to download Microsoft Enterprise 2007. After an uneventful download period, I began the tedious and time consuming process of installing it. As installation began, my insides began to churn. This was not the usual sinking feeling one experiences, the sort you get when you’ve flunked 5 out of your 6 internals and come home to see an open mark sheet from college and your mom watching professional wrestling. This was different, like you’ve just run over your girlfriend’s pet Chihuahua with your second hand Maruti 800... As installation began, I realised that I had spent over 800MB of my 1GB download limit and over 2 days sitting in front of the computer downloading the Polish version of Microsoft Enterprise 2007.Yes POLISH. Although it looked very humourous with its excessive use of Ws, Xs, Js, Cs and Zs, it wasn’t really funny once I realised that I actually had to use it. After seriously considering getting hold of an English-Polish dictionary, I decided to slug it out and proceeded to download the whole thing again (there goes my 1 GB limit...). This time making sure it was in English.
After another uneventful installation, I was ready to start blogging. Unfortunately, a 14 day residential (compulsory) placement training program was held in college and I had to say goodbye to my computer for a while. After the completion of the program, placements began and we had to prepare our CVs. Word 2007 came to our aid, like the proverbial knight in shining armour, and we managed to finish our CVs in time and mail them for printing at a ‘remote’ location. (Basically, we had no idea who was going to print them, so we mailed it to everyone on our list, including ourselves, to print it in college if the need arose.) The second I began to type my first blog, the computer crashed. After crashing it a few more times I realised that our knight in shining armour was really a sort of dark knight (or black knight or some such thing). The computer crashed every time I struck a key on the keyboard while in Word 2007. Someone up there really has a sense of humour….
By far the biggest and most significant of all the reasons I have given has to be my volatile memory and laziness. Most of the time, I just forgot that my computer wasn’t exactly fighting fit and in those rare instances when I actually remembered, I was just too lazy to do anything about it. Now that alls well with the computer, blogging can begin!! (Hopefully)