These photos were taken at Lalbagh in Bangalore in 2010. An experiment in sepia…
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary – situated fairly close to Mysore in Karnataka state, is a bunch of small islets on the River Cauvery. Every year the sanctuary becomes an active nesting ground for thousands of migratory birds from various parts of the world. Photos from my visit.
Eberbach Abbey, Germany…photos of this former monastery with a rich history & some beautiful architecture.
Read the history of Eberbach Abbey
Seoul, South Korea some years ago. During my trip to Seoul, I visited Deoksugung Palace, also know as Deoksu Palace, with a history dating back to the 1400’s.
Key photographs below include Deoksu Palace, statue of King Sejong, the Heungcheonsa Bell & Water Clock. While I am no historian, there is a ton of history on the Palace available on the web.
Walking around town, I spotted a man, a real friend of sparrows – was amazed watching those birds eat from his hand.. see below.
Photographs apart & strictly for the stout-hearted only, I would recommend Sam Gae Tang, a form of soup which consists of a whole young chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng & other herbs…I know not what. It is an experience!
I was also able to attend a great service at the Yoido Full Gospel Church founded by Pastor David Yonggi Cho – it is the world’s largest congregation.
Korea has an efficient subway system to get you across the city – make sure you don’t lose your English-Korean map though! 🙂
Statue of King Sejong the Great
Notice the high rise buildings in the background
The Heungcheonsa Bell
Borugak Jagyeongnu , the Water Clock
Multiple Rocket Launcher
Friend of Sparrows
Calligrapher at work
Yoido Full Gospel Church
The things we may ask & do when you visit our beloved country – India.
I have taken the liberty of using ‘we’, though no generalisation is intended!
* * * * *
We will ask where your from.
We will ask about your country.
We will ask if you like our country.
We will ask if you like spicy food.
We will ask if you are married.
We will ask your age.
We will ask your spouse’s age.
We will ask how many children you have & won’t be embarrassed when you tell us you are not married to begin with.
We will ask if your home is your own or if it’s rented.
* * * * *
We will ask if you like our Bollywood.
We will get you hooked onto Kolaveri Di. (Holy Cow-u)
We will tell you we are an emerging superpower.
We will make sure you are enlightened that English words like mantra, avatar, guru, mulligatawny, juggernaut & catamaran have their roots in India.
We will show you how to calmly cross the road during mad traffic.
We will teach you to enjoy it as an adventure sport, which is free at that.
We will teach you to play kabaddi…the art of pulling leg.
We will ask you to take the auto rickshaw for local travel.
We will take you to Fabindia for shopping & hope you make your mind up in one shop.
* * * * *
We will teach you to say Namaste.
We will ask if you had tiffin.
We will ask if you prefer milk chai or filter kaapi & hope you will confirm you enjoy both.
We will take you home, give you idli & red chilli chutney & hope you can understand our fiery spirit of hospitality.
We will give you samosa to eat & forget to mention it has sharp green chillies within.
We will offer you cold water when you jump 5 feet in the air.
We will offer you ladoo or jalebi to cool the tongue.
We will recommend you try betel nut & paan.
We will not warn you not to smile after that.
* * * * *
We will tell you (without your asking) about our relatives – immediate, distant, in-between, mother’s side, father’s side …& watch you pass out.
We will discuss wines like there is a vineyard in our backyard.
We will tell you about our religious diversity.
We will patiently explain the meaning of Karma & Maya to you. Including the right pronunciation.
We will get you to join Yoga classes.
We will recommend a bout of Ayurveda.
We will not meet you during rahu kaal.
We will ask that you don’t meet us during rahu kaal.
We will insist on visiting you in hospital – does not matter that you have a headache & would prefer not to meet anyone – we have to show you we care.
* * * * *
We will take a photo with you to ensure we remember your visit.
We will ask that you do not gift us aromatic candles to express your appreciation of our hospitality.
We will show you the number of candles we have been gifted so far. Infact a candle shop is in plan.
If you insist on giving us a gift, a villa or two in the South of France or Hawaii (or both) should be fine.
* * * * *
We will do all this & more when you visit India.
Please do visit our country.
Else we may miss an opportunity to ask, tell & do all of the above.
Finally…it is a fact that you would be richer at the end of your visit with a taste of India’s openness, warmth & hospitality!
And…we would have taught you the true meaning of living. Indian style!