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Adventures from Here and There

Champals April 15, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 11:48 am
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Champals means sandals. These cab drivers were relaxing with each other by the sea front in Mumbai. 

 

The Best Butt in Mumbai April 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 1:55 pm
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The Best Butt in Mumbai

So, as I was hanging around the Gate of India, my eyes met with a fantastic behind. I then looked further up from the back up to the head and realized that it was a man’s. I was so fixated on it that I took numerous shots of a scene from behind, which also captured his backside. At one point, I decided to have some fun! See if you notice what is going on in this picture. Enjoy the best butt of Mumbai!

 

Street Photography in Mumbai April 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 8:55 am
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I have always had a keen interest in photography, but never really explored it, other then taking travel shots mostly. I decided that since I had some time, I would head to India to learn more about photography, and practice shooting. I was not sure what I really wanted to focus on. I like taking pictures of buildings, food, people…so I was open to any genre almost within this area. Mumbai would be a good place. I always liked Mumbai and had only spent a few days there here and there. My friends Sans and Mike were also there, they live there, so it made sense. I started to look up photographers in Mumbai and came up with a list of about 18. I wanted someone to help me ‘open my eyes’ and see better. In addition to that, learning a bit about my camera would be useful. I had several people write back to me but it was important for me that the type of work they did fit within what I was looking to do. I was not keen on fashion for example. I was thinking more along the lines of travel or portrait but then I came across something called Street Photography.  I mean I have taken pictures of people on the streets, but this is much different than that.

What is Street photography? Well, I would have to say that it involves capturing people or animals that are involved in an activity of some sort – capturing elevated moments, without asking people for permission and without them really stopping doing what they are doing. You really do not want posed pictures. It can be challenging and scary at times. I had to take my camera right up to people’s faces to take some of the shots that I did within the 5 days of shooting. What would they say I thought? What if someone hit me or yelled at me in Hindi?! I had 2 people say ‘no’ to me during those 5 days and strangely enough, they were both children! Good for them I say! The rest were quite friendly. Some of them asked what was going on…”Media hai”?

Street is about getting really close to people to tell a story. You have to think about framing and layering and making sure that you do not cut people’s legs or arms off. Sometimes it is fine but it really depends on the story you are trying to tell. One must take multiple shots of the same event and even then, you may not get what you are looking for. I went to about 6 different areas within South Mumbai with my mentor, Kaushal Parikh. It was great fun. In terms of knowing my camera’s functions, we did not really focus on that. I actually used Kaushal’s Olympus on the first day and my Canon on subsequent days. I think it really is about the eye, though I would like to know more about reading graphs and ISOs etc. at some point. Right now though, I rather focus on ‘seeing better’ and just taking pictures. I am not so sure how this would work in North America. I mean I cannot imagine people in NYC being okay with me taking a picture of their child randomly. There are people there that do this though, so I will just have to give it a try!

Some famous street photographers include: Vivian Maier, Eugene Atget and Henri Cartier-Bresson. 

These are a few of my favourite shots…I am still thinking about titles to give to each photo.Image

 

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The Depths of A Person February 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 2:42 pm

The meeting, and even the beginnings of a relationship are merely a starting point of a journey of plumbing the depths of a person. Sometimes a life-long journey; but, nevertheless, if pursued honestly, an exciting journey. The innermost depths of a person (one’s personality) is not unveiled swiftly. The journey itself is the end. Humans are complex and personalities are revealed over time. Very similar to gold or diamond mining: some people are diamonds in the rough.

Author: My Dad

 
 

No Superbowl….agh! February 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 1:17 am

Cannot stream the Superbowl in Geneva. Not cool. It’s 215am, so instead, Private Practice and a chocolate muffin.

 

Intolerance to Rape January 13, 2013

Filed under: Travel,Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 8:44 am

Someone left their laptop at security and no one seems to want to claim it. What a great way to start the flying in the New Year, a new bottle of champagne being popped open on KLM…my first in flight drink of 2013.

I have read quite a few articles posted about the rapes in Delhi, the rape capital of India, during the holiday. I spent 3 months there, wandering on my own, as if I were invincible. Rape is common in many of the countries that I work in, and if you compare it to the population of Nairobi and rape cases there for example, I’m not sure which is worse. Of course, either way it is an incomprehensible crime and should not be tolerated. And these are only the reported cases of rape. In many countries, women are still blamed for this horrific act and are made to feel shameful and therefore, many cases go unreported. I read an article that insinuated that the Delhi police feel that some women deserve it. Now would you as a woman living there, want to report this crime when almost the entire police force is comprised of males?? But do not look down on India, for rape happens out West too. And even in countries where there are laws that are followed against this crime, many still go unreported.

I took public transportation each day for 3 months. The metro stations were always packed and there was no order. As people get off the train, others are trying to get on at the same time. I lost a shoe twice, but found it both times once the crowd dispersed. There is a compartment just for women on the metro. I think it was a wonderful idea, as more women are probably using public transport now, however, i do wonder how men will come to accepting and seeing women as equals, if such a seperation exists. Women can ride in the ‘both sex’ compartments, but if you were a woman there, would you? I rather not ride with all those men, just staring. In the women’s compartment I was also stared at, but probably because I looked hideous according to them. I was no doubt the only woman with my wet hair tied up. All others showed off their gorgeous locks. I did not mind my hairy arms or unruly eyebrows. And I love to tan, yes, in a place where fair and lovely is beautiful.

I still have to say that being there was a wonderful experience overall and I’m glad I had the opportunity to get to know some of India in more depth. I do hope to go back to India someday soon and see places other than Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat and Bihar. Years ago I also ventured to Agra, Jaiper, Udaipur, Goa and Kerala. Still so much of it to see!

 

Interaction of Human Souls December 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 3:23 pm

In our lifetime we meet many persons from different walks of life.
Some we like, some we become fond of, with some we feel comfortable,
with some we feel affectionate, some we want them to stay around with us,
with some we strike meaningful conversation, with some we feel the warmth
and sincerity, some become life long friends after having met the first time,
some become loyal and trust worthy
BUT there are some we don’t seem to like even during our first meeting, without assigning any genuine reason we would like to keep away from,
some people we meet quite frankly, we seem to develop a dislike for, and there are some we don’t want to know.

The Question is : Why this happens.
This is due to interaction between different souls.
I came across this in a newsgroup and found it profound, it sheds some
light on why we react to some people and why we sometimes feel that we
have known that person even though we have never met them.
With each person who passes through your life, you have a soul agreement.
What this means is that, long ago in the realm of the soul, you promised
to have some special encounter, share some life-shaping experience,
complete some soul-honing work with that particular soul in this life.
Soul agreements are commitments to the evolution of our individual souls
in conjunction with one another, as one by one we make the journey to
that state of seamless awareness that the mystics call Enlightenment.
It is because of these agreements on a soul level that at times you may
feel a mysterious strange connection with some other person, why
difficult people may at times inexplicably inhabit your life, why you may
find yourself on a journey with a particular person – as if you had an
unwritteen contract to fulfill – and then discover that, as if by
amputation, your association is suddenly over.

As the community of souls who have gathered together in life on Earth, we
have agreed not only to remember for each other the pure state that was
our origin, but also to act out whatever portion of the needlessly
changing tableau of human experience. We have been called upon to play to
ensure our own souls growth, And that of the souls to whom we have made
these deep promises.

Some of us are here to be beautiful and strong, others to be cranky and
difficult, some teach us through the searing heartbreak others to
But no matter what role we are playing, we are all enacting a part in
that one great spiritual destiny, which is to remember our eternal
essence and move toward ultimate union. So it is that every person you
meet, each soul who crosses your path and affects you- wonderfully and
terribly, briefly, or for a lifetime- is here for that reason, and every
relatioonship you engage in is but a small scene in the vast,
ever-unfolding human panoply that is being endlessly enacted for the purpose of your souls development.

When you recognize this, you will suddenly, breathtakingly see that each
person has been brought to you with a high and elegant purpose, that each
soul has come to touch your soul and teach it, and that each relationship
exists to hasten your own souls beautiful awakening. No longer is anyone a stranger, no longer can any of your relationships be seen as failures to mistakes. In the light of the Spirit, we see that we are all playing out roles that are the fulfillment of an exquisite and all-encompassing plan.
To recognize this is to step out of conflict, and into Grace. For when we
realize that life has been so beautifully designed, we will bask in the light of the Spirit we will live in absolute Peace.

~anonymous~

 

Random Ramblings November 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 6:26 pm

Why do all second hand stores have that distinct smell? Do they use a special spray to get them to smell that way?? I find it odd that they smell different than first hand stores because my closets are second hand now. I mean once I wear the clothes for the first time, they become second hand. And my place certainly doesn’t smell like that. Perhaps they clean all the clothes in something that gives off that smell. But then wouldn’t you find a solution that smells a bit more inviting? Maybe I will just ask the second hand lady in the shop around the corner from me that sells everything from shoes to cutlery.

Today I went for an Excel training that I had signed up for 2 weeks ago. I’m not sure why I force myself to learn new things that I don’t need to know…well at least right now. I’ve rarely used it in my last…well, many years. And if I have, it’s just basics that I’ve needed to know. Today, we talked about….see I cannot even remember! I apologized to the trainer and left half way through. Shouldn’t I get a ‘half excel advanced training ‘certificate??

It never amazes me how I still cannot buy the right size shoes at this age. This time, I bought a pair of boots which were a tad big when I bought them and of course, since they are leather, they’ve stretched! And now my heels lift inside and move, scraping them during each step. How annoying and painful. If you look at my heels, you will see that they are not flat in the back. From years of wearing either too small or too big shoes, damage has been done. My uncle actually asked me this past summer what I had done to them. Maybe he’s too perceptive. I wish I could just always be in flip flops, or better yet, barefoot.

Geneva is beautiful right now.

 

Something Beautiful August 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 4:53 pm

I close my eyes and think of all the things i do not want. And visualize them rolling by, vacuum cleaners, 3D TVs, new phones and cars and handbags, a neat house  in the suburbs. I think of how unhappy these things would make me and then I am free. If you don’t want these things they can never truly have you. Then I think of wood and I think of my bones as wood, something slow and put here a long time ago.

Author Unknown

 

Madness in Geneva? August 9, 2012

Filed under: Random Stuff,Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 8:24 am
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Being back in Geneva has been alright. I was somewhat worried as to how I would feel after being in India for 3 months, surrounded by madness. This is a calm and quiet place. I guess a good one after 3 months in chaos. The Fete is on, which is the Geneva festival in the summer, so whenever I have the need for craziness, I just go there. It is 2 mins away from my place. The Middle Eastern folk are no longer here, as it is Ramadhan. Last year, the city was full of bhurkas and fabulous cars, which they fly down to Geneva for the summer. Strolling along the water, roller blading and biking have been somewhat tougher with all the people around, but still doable.

I have been getting more sleep than usual, which is good. Perhaps the days of insomnia are over? The energy is still there and it is difficult to find things to do at all hours. I work 9 to 14 hours a day, depending on where I am. I sleep for 4 to 5, which gives me 6 to 9 hours to play with! I read. I write stories. I blog. I facebook and now instagram! I watch movies. Go for walks. I meet with friends. I sometimes do scrapbooking. Tried knitting. Looking at online courses.  I think the next step might be meditation.

I had friends come into town the following day after I landed, and they continue to come. I went on a trampoline with visitors and fell many times. Farrah arrives this evening. My pregnant Farrah. More strolls along the lake and picnics at the waterfront. Cannot forget shopping and eating good food.

I am having many chai lattes again from Starbucks. Why do they call it chai tea latte? Isn’t chai and tea the same thing? Yesterday, a man was talking so loud on his phone and walking around, as though we all wanted to hear what he had to say. And then he complained about his drink twice about how watery it was, while he was still on the phone. Be nice. And get off the phone and explain to the person what the problem with the drink is. I felt like pouring it on his head. Did I say that out loud? I remember when my brother was about 6 years old. I was reading the famous Superfudge, by Judy Blume, which still happens to be one of my favourites. Fudge was being a pain in the butt and not eating. So his brother said…’eat it or wear it.’ I recall wanting to try that myself so I pushed my little brothers buttons and ended up creating a scenario where I could use that line too. Poor thing, he ended up with milk and cereal all over his head and lap. He pays me back now with carpet burns whenever I go home for a visit. He is much bigger than me now.

Dima left for Sri Lanka today. She was my noisy neighbour. She used to have parties through the night on weekdays too. One day before I met her, I banged on her wall with a broom very loudly. But I do not think she got the point. Then one day, I was watching a movie at 11pm at night and the girl had the audicity to knock on my door and ask me if I could keep it down…that she was trying to sleep! I did. Then some time later, I needed a bottle opener. I knocked on her door because I could not find mine. We became friends from that day onwards. I think we saw each other at least once a day ever since that day. I will miss that girl.

Time to go.