Friday, June 30, 2006,9:30 PM

This is the way to Silent Valley. The picture above and the last two pictures were taken the previous evening. I am posting Silent Valley pictures in Daylight Again
Please click on the pictures for a full screen view

This is how you reach Silent Valley
Coimbatore - Palakkad - Mannarkad - Mukkali
There is another way
Coimbatore - Anakatti - Aghali - Mukkali
I took the second route on my way up

Both the roads are beautiful and are in good condition, but there are too many speed breakers and there is no mark or any warning. This may break your car if you are not careful.

I took an early morning train from Chennai, had lunch with Suresh, took a bus to Anakatti. Had to change as Anakatti is the Tamil Nadu border. Had to cross the border on foot to take a Kerala Bus. It was drizzling. Suddenly it started pouring in buckets, no umbrella, had to rush and take shelter.

It was a tin shed tiny shop run by a lady who asked me to come inside as the rain was still falling on me, saw a man sitting inside having tea, which happend to be the shop keeper lady's residence also, just a tin shed. I was shivering with cold. tried to dry my hair with a towel.

I asked the lady if I can have a cup of tea. the man said this is not a tea shop. The lady darted inside and popped her head out and asked, no milk black tea ok ? I said splendid. The man said I'd have to wait for a couple of hours for the bus. they lady brought a glass of hot steaming tea.
It was a life saver. Just as I took a couple of sips, saw the bus coming.
I panicked.

Can't afford to miss the bus, discard the life saving tea, insult and hurt the lady who gave me shelter treated me as her guest and refused to accept money for the tea, and board the bus. In kerala you are not even sure if the next bus would come, more over another couple of hours wait in the pouring rain. I decided to miss the bus and enjoy the hospitality, Sat down comfortably, dried my hair taking small sips and enjoyed black tea peacefully.

Same thing happened in Plachimada a couple of weeks ago, there in the tea shop I was just a coustomer, I discared the tea and decided to grab the bus, but here I was a guest. It turned out to be a good decision, next bus came after a very long wait of more than an hour, Folded my hands, offered nameste' to the lady, She grabbed my bag and helped me into the bus which was not very crowded.

By that time the rain stopped. got a window seat and the sky was just more than my eyes could take, it was at its full glory, sun popping out and the sun rays falling out of the clouds like a waterfall.

I was sitting right above the wheel and the bus was tossing me up, half the time I was suspended in air and I was clicking pictures of the sky through the bus window. But I did not take my eyes off the sky.

Next day it was very misty, took a ride with my friend Sherji to Silent valley. I knew that I chose a wong time, the whole area was covered with mist.

I was not disappointed that I could not see much of Silent Valley, but the road was just too romantic for me, perhaps I may not get this misty atmosphere again, decided to make the best of it.

Couple of more stories to come, a unique Church experience, I'll post them in a few days. Please see what ever Silent valley forest pictures I could get in the misty atmosphere in Daylight again.

Daylight Again

Thursday, June 22, 2006,3:24 PM
Hi my dear friends
Going again, leaving in another couple of hours, silent Valley this time, I'll be back on 29th and reply to all the mail and comments. I think of you all the time
Love you all
Daylight Again
,2:39 PM

Hi ! Pleased to make your acquaintance sir !
I am weird but not that weird to extend my hand of friendship. Please don't think I was this close. I was in a boat, sitting not standing like always and at a pretty safe distance.

I waited for some action. I am just a skeleton, it was not interested in me. I mean I waited for it to move, turn its head or something, waited for five minutes, no movement, not even a wink.

Just as we turned, I heard a splash, My eyes were fixed on my boatman Murugan, he did not panic so I did not panic. I couldn't see where it was going, had to turn 180 to see. It was moving away.

They swim very fast, they can float, stay on water motionless, strange for its bulk.
If any guru or a swamiji claims to walk on water he must be a crocodile's son
these pictures were taken at two different times, on my next visit, my boatman was Lokesh, my friend. He said there's plenty of fish, they get good food and they don't bother any one. No cases of any attack on humans.

I was reading some book where the guy shoots a crocodile, no harm the bullet doesn't peneterate, don't know if its true don't know how thick the skin is.

This chap too was very lazy, hardly any movement. As I was clicking I heard the birds fight, posted in daylight again.

Daylight Again
Wake up Blog
Thursday, June 15, 2006,9:37 PM
This is a regular portrait session, everything is under control. I take my time, relax and they co-operate.

These are shot under artificial light, using a flash. controling the light is important, you have to make it like natural light, for me shadows are more important than the light. Shadows bring dimensions in a portrait.

Here comes a portrait session with a difference in the post below, nothing is in my control, I am at their mercy. There is nothing much to write here, but there's a lot to write in the post below.
Please scroll down.
Daylight Again
Wake up blog
,7:22 PM
Please click on the pictures for full screen view

Hello there !
AAAAIYEEEE ! a guy with a camera ? looking like me ? Wowwee !!
Can I take some portraits please ?
Sure sure ! What do you want me to do tell me, I am ready Is this ok ?

Don't you think its kind of a regular pose ? Its ok, stay still please don't move, would you stop swinging your legs please ?
Sure, do I cross my legs and sit like a philosopher? You people have those rare kind, here we are all philosophers. Is this ok ?
No No, no philosopher pose, its ok but not enough light on your face.

then Shall I'll give you a regular monkey pose ?

You are indeed a philosopher my friend.
How about this ? Take a picture of my tail, you see ? Its very long and I am very very proud of my tail, look at this !

Yea its very long wow ! yea I took a picture of your tail, Happy ? Please please. you are not paying attention would you please look here, Hey common

Yea thats fine thank you, but still not enough light on your face, I can't see your eyes, I want to take your expressions.

Huh ? Expressions ?What expressions ? Take my profile, Hey ! take my profile, is it good ?

Sure sure very good

thats good thats good, stay there, keep still please.

not enough light on your face look up, would you please look up

Look up ! Hey are you listening ?, I said Look up
Wow thats better, Thank you, thats fine, thats very fine, good monkey you are

EEEEEEEEEEEE How about this ? would you like some action shots ?

no no no i can't be chasing you all over the forest,

How about a few jumps ??

No No, no jumps just expressions, Still I can't see your eyes

Yo Yo thats better

shall I show you some tricks ?

no tricks please just expressions

I am a monkey and I want to show some tricks

I said no tricks just expressions

Cool ! yes thats my boy, I can see your eyes now,

What ? no tricks ? I'm not good ? Am I not handsome ?

Wow what an expression ! Thank you , You ARE handsome my friend, Very very handsome

Ayeee Am I handsome ?

Sure you are !

Seriously ?

Yes Seriously,

Do I have a chance in the movies ? I can jump 30 feet y' know ! I can do a lot of stunts.

I am going to post your pictures on my blog, you may even have a fan club. Stay away from the movies, if you want to be happy, thank you so much my friend, I'll call you, You may have to sign some autographs, have a nice day

This is nothing different from the usual portraits I take, but I am not at their mercy. In the forest there is nothing in my control, I am at their mercy, they have to be kind to pose for me. I am an intruder there.

Daylight Again

Thursday, June 08, 2006,8:29 PM

Train journeys are pretty chaotic but exciting here in India, this one was quite peaceful, with some unusual dose of excitement as this was a pleasant discovery for me. I was annoyed with myself too for ignoring this part or Kerala and Tamilnadu for so long.

This boy is enjoying with keen eyes, they all are very environmentally conscious children. I showed him the his picture on the camera screen, but he wasn't very impressed, he just gave a shrug. I thought he would be very excited.

Thanks to e2dee, I went to Plachimada, Palakkad dist. Kerala, as I was loafing around, I found railway tracks, got pretty excited, made enquiries at a local grocery shop, before I could finished my cup of tea, bus came and rushed to the nearest railway station which was Meenakshipuram on Tamil Nadu side.

Do trains run on this track ?
Not very convincing answer. People hardly take these trains they prefer bus which they said is faster. I found myself in a lovely rustic Mennakshipuram Railway station. To my luck I saw a train coming.
Where is this train going ?
The chap in the ticket office just gaped at me. Saw his jaw dropping.
Where is this train going ?
where do you want to go ?
Want to go where ever this train is going.
Now I could see that he had doubts about my sanity and my looks helping him to decide, as I came running all the way, panting for breath and I am no George Cloony, the train was approaching the station.
Tell me fast where do you want to go, he was muttering something, poor guy was the station master, ticket collector, signal man all in one,
one man show railway station.
Tell me I have other things to do, the train is coming, He was getting annoyed with me.
where is the train coming from ?
Now he had no time to answer my questions. He would have thrown any thing at me.
I was making him mad.
Which side is Pollachi ?
Where do you want to go ?
I took a shot, give me a ticket to Pollachi, I saod.
'six rupees' he said without looking, grabbing a red and green flag.
He gave me a ticket, and rushed out, I gave him 6 rupees outside as he was waving the green flag. I jumped into the train.

Later, the fellow travellers told me that the train is going to Palani, a pilgrimage place passing through pollachi.. What a place, I wanted to get off at every station spend my evening have a cup of chaya there, I couldn't take my eyes off the window, cursing myself that I could see only one side. I was missing the other side completely.

I was hungry, the usual fun, the lady here on her way to Palani temple, has made a cradle out of her sari and her baby in it and train is rocking her baby to sleep. this makeshift cradle, is called jholee in Urdu.

This chap was selling some food stuff, others had brought their lunch with them, Please don't be scared seeing the picture below, the train was not over crowded, it is the hawker who is moving to the next coach in a running train. Plenty of room inside.

The train passes through some lush green country side. Both sides are beautiful.

I reached Pollachi and had lunch, and took a train back to Palakkad, leaving at 3.30 in the afternoon. 13 rupees ticket. and the joy priceless. I have preserved the ticket.

This is a railway station.
The most stunning feature of this journey were the Railway stations. The natural way, hardly any platforms or a building, shady trees, very very romantic atmosphere, wished I could spend time in every station.

Train runs on good old meter gauge, which is fast getting converted to regular broad gauge, but the conversions are made only on the routes fetching good revenue.

I could take pictures of only 10% of what I saw, most of the time I could not even remember that I was carrying a camera. I was just lost looking out the window.

On my return journey i sat right behind the engine which was a stupid idea. The engine horn was so loud that i almost dropped my camera twice.

This guy here was a problem, that is where I was standing and taking pictures, every time he would come and push me to the side. That is when I decided lets forget the pictures and enjoy the scenery.

Daylight Again
Wake up blog.