Bangkok: New People and First Perceptions

bangkok buildings, bangkok tourism, bangkok sky train
Buildings, sky train and the intersection | Bangkok ‘ www.anirbansaha.com

Bangkok, a city slightly more than high-rises, busy corporate life, go-go bars and active night life has been my home for the last one week. It would be unfair to the city and it’s people if I don’t acknowledge the beautiful skyline, the culture , the food and of course the super fast life that mesmerised me in the few days that I’ve been here.

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Explore the elements – Earth, Water, Fire and Air

Different cultures, folk tales and their festivals intrigue me. Travelling is no more just a passion, it has become a habit. Exploring is a necessary to keep me alive and breathing. This Photo-Blogging contest by Thomas Cook, really interested me and thus, I make this blog post.

In this blog post, I shall explore the four vital elements – Earth, Water, Fire and Air.

 

Earth

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta, Gregory diengdoh, Meghalaya adventure tourism
Closer to the core  | Caving in Meghalaya, 2014 September

The earth seems strong, ruthless and the mighty, when you are exploring the depths of the largest caves in north eastern India. Within it’s folds.. at times, it is scary. This photograph was taken in Krem Mumluh, a 7 km long cave in Meghalaya. Find more Meghalaya caving photographs here.

Adventure tourism apart, the earth seems soft, benign, caring and religiously significant when it is taken from the banks of the river Ganga and moulded into different Hindu Gods and Goddesses for worship.

Kumartuli, Calcutta, Narayan Pal
The Earth being moulded and shaped into Goddess | Shot in Kumartuli, Calcutta

 

Water

Talking about religious significance and river Ganga, we dare not forget the significance of water while praying. Our offers to the Sun God during Chhat or when we pray for our ancestors’ soul, the water of the river Ganges is regarded the holy.

 

Mahalaya, significance of water
Offering water to the ancestors | Mahalaya, Kolkata.
Mahalaya, Tarpan
Religious activities on the river banks

Not just river Ganges, any river forms an integral part of the folk stories woven around in the region. The next photograph is shot in a tribal festival, Tusu.

Tusu Parab, Tusu song, Tusu festival
Folk festival – Tusu, is celebrated in parts of Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Cultural tourism apart, how often did you cross a bridge made of iron strings? Let me share a photograph where I was thrilled and scared in equal measures.

Meghalaya, nongriat trek
Iron string bridge | Guess where this is ?

 

Fire

gajan
The game of Fire | Gajan festival

Talking about being scared and of fear, one of my weirdest experiences ever was during Gajan/Charak. This is a folk festival where young men conduct plays depicting folk stories based on Hindu mythology. From the late evening, starts the sacrifices and the dangerous games of fire, thorns, piercing different body parts. They believe such act of sacrifice and penance will help them reduce the sin they committed.

Fire is the source of energy that gives  us life and helps us grow. Fire – the unbound energy, can cause death and destruction. Fire is feared and revered equally in India.

Wait, I’ll show you another photograph I shot in Ravangla Sikkim during their Kayged festival:

Kayged festival, black hat dance, ravangla, Ralang monastery
The Black Hat Dance while the Mahakala idol was burnt | Sikkim, India

mother teresa, missionaries of charity, diwali celebrationDebarshi Duttagupta, flying lantern, fanush, phanush

Fire and Wind : The festivities of existence. 

Left: Nuns of Missionaries of Charity celebrate Diwali. || Right: Flying lanterns being released praying for departed souls.

Talking about Sikkim, one of the best memories I have of the place is when I was sitting on the edge of a mountain looking at some distant point, not thinking about anything in particular, looking back at my own life. It was a windy and cold afternoon.

 

Air

Sikkim, wind, blue sky
During one windy afternoon | Himalayas

The mountain breeze is always relaxing and invigorating filling our body with energy. But when the air is full of colours, it fills our minds with sheer joy and happiness.

basant utsav
Holi celebrations | Shantiniktan

 

While we talk about the air, let me share a photograph, which is not a travel photograph but shot in the room where I stay. Please be informed, it is replicated 4 times and made into a symmetry using Photoshop.

Air: It grows, expands and enjoys the freedom of movement… Ladies and Gentlemen, one of my shots of the smoke.

smoke photography
Dark Designs | Smoke Photography (Anirban Saha 2012)

 

I hope, you’ve enjoyed seeing this blog post. Please do share it with your friends over the social media and leave for me an honest comment.

I would like to invite for this contest:

1. Rangan Datta

2. Saimantick Bhadra

3. Indrajit Lahiri

4. Asmita Nandy

5. Arjyak Bhattacharya

Why do I use social media and how Hootsuite helps

Social media usage

Social Media (“M” in capital letter, bold) is the way we communicate today. And that is perhaps the easiest way to have put it. What and how we communicate, is entirely our prerogative. Effective communication is the key to a healthy existence of life !

During various phases of my life, I’ve connected to people based on my requirements. During school days, my English was not very presentable. I used social media to learn English, Blog post and send them to different people for their feedback and thus improve. Later I used the social media to promote my college events and discuss ideas.

Standing today, I use the social media for various purposes. While my blog posts discuss ideas, travelling experiences or promote my work, I use Facebook to converse and stay connected to people.

 

social media
Anirban Saha | Social Media numbers

When I share ideas with people over Facebook, they often get trashed. At times, people are convinced and that leads to some good work. But these conversations over the social media shape views and opinions and help me ideate further. That is precisely why I use the social media.

1. Ideating & Promoting: I started promoting “Kolkata Bloggers” on my blog, gathering opinions and spreading the word. When we had to conduct “Social Media in Photography”, the entire coordination and promotion was done using social media. We sold 191 out of 195 seats.

2. Conversing: Be it discussing good ideas or Mohan Bhagawat’s comments. At times, conversations go personal with younger friends asking personal questions and solving various coming-of-age problems. When extremely jobless, conversation starters can be “First 3 likes get a TBH…”. Extremely stupid but serves the purpose!

3. Showcasing: My blog has been the only platform where I’ve been posting my photographs. I generally do not take part in competition, exhibition and I’ve never submitted photographs for any Salon or news agency. All my publications and invites to academic institutions has been my Blog’s exposure and people’s love. Click here to know my journey so far.

Example:

Anirban Saha, the telegraph, sunday metro
Publication and mention in Sunday Metro | The Telegraph.

How did “The Telegraph” get to know me?

After my workshop in Loreto College, a student is in touch with me and follows my blog. She is now in The Telegraph and got me connected to the writer of the story. The writer went through the blog post and contacted me later.

anirban saha, the times of india
Featured as a Blogger | The Times of India

About this mention in The Times of India:

After Kolkata Bloggers’ work with “The Times of India”, one very senior writer wanted to know more about blogging and make a story on it. He asked me to get him connected to a few bloggers in Kolkata and a week later, we had a one page story on bloggers based in Kolkata, I am featured by default.

 

 

Over the years, my online profile’s reach has expanded even when I am inactive in various forums like Google+, Twitter. I use Instagram very infrequently and have not yet learned the art of hashtagging there. There are more forums like Pinterest, Linkedin which I do not even use. The probable reason for such inactivity over other social media platforms is my lack of time.

This might be a hindrance to effective communication. If I want to post the same content to various forums for it to reach maximum number of people connected with me, to not post it in different forums only decreases my reach.

This is where applications like Hootsuite chip in and is useful. Applications like Hootsuite lets you manage multiple services at one place without you investing time separately for different services.

Not only does Hootsuite save your time, it also helps you in the following ways :

1. Detailed report of the number of clicks your link had during a week, popular links shared, the user data like location and reference.

2. Once you start using it, you can always use it as it is available on iOS, Android app and is compatible with all of the  newer web browsers.

3. Hootsuite is perhaps the only app that allows you to post content from an app to Google+ page. If you are aware of any other service, please let me know!

4. You can make and save a draft or even schedule it for more than one network. It will take care of the posting.

It also has a feature to enable teams to use it, assigning people different roles and responsibilities but it is of no help to me.  Perhaps the only negative about Hootsuite is the price. But I believe if I win this contest run by Hootsuite and Sourav Ghosh, I’ll get to use the premium version of it.

If you have any questions regarding why and how I use the social media, please do leave a comment.

 

Cycle stunts and the “Happy Streets” in Kolkata

Happy Streets Kolkata, Park Street, Wazid, Infinity riders, anamitra ghosh
Horn not ok, please | Happy streets. Photograph: Anamitra Ghosh, Anirban Saha (Kolkata Bloggers)

Wazid had the most content and satisfied smile on his face, when the rest of us broke into a thunderous applause. He looked at me and I noticed him pant as the sweat dripped down by the side of his eye brows.

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