The blessed minar – Jama Masjid

jama masjid, delhi, islam, mosque, mughal architecture, anirban saha, anirban saha photography
Shot by Sony DSC H10
Aperture: 6
F number: f/8
Exposure time: 1/2000
ISO : 100

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I had no plans that day. My entire Delhi trip was hapazard, unplanned. It served the purpose though. That day, I went to Jama Masjid. I wanted to feel it.. wanted to stay there for few moments, experiencing what it feels like to be inside the mughal magnificent architecture, that has endured centuries of sword slashing.

It was hot yet so peaceful. People, strolled the area, the guides helping the foreign tourists knowing the place. I made it a point to stay there till my heart wished. Was at the sanctum, sitting quietly noticing people. Loved it… few kids assumed me to be an “Angrez” 😛 But never the less, I had to dissapoint them. The place where the pigeons are fed is superb serene. The place for the ladies to pray, infront of the memorial of the fakir that conceptualised the Jama Masjid is peaceful, overlooking the busy street downways.

After few minutes of total calmness, I started taking photographs, once trying to overhear a guide only to discover that he spoke in Italian. The Italian guy was very friendly, didnot know much of English. The french girl who studies her masters in IIT Delhi and her entire family was very generous and friendly 😉 Met and interacted with few other tourists.

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The note worthy meeting shall be that with the fakir and 2 young kids. Photography wasnt allowed inside Jama Masjid, one has to buy a ticket of Rs 200 for allowance. I was unaware of it. I was caught and a bit harassed. A Fair came in, took me out, saw my photographs… the above being one of them, and instructed them not to take any fine from me 😉 He was very good and a curious person. I told him about Bengal and Bengalis, about poverty, about muslims here and how they live together. He told me how the Jama Masjid was made, the child who drew it, the fakir who conceptualised it, and Shah Jahan who approved it after having seen it in his dreams. The later part of the story said that the fakir, donated his life to fix Jama Masjid’s allignment which initially was not exactly as was planned. He is said to have pushed it by his feet and made it straight. This part of the story was something hard to believe.

Met two incredible broad hearted kids- Salman and Asif. Asif wants to be an IITian while Salman is working hard to be an IAS officer. It was great interacting with them, and being with them pulling other localites legs! 😛 We lunched at the Karim’s. With time , the two kids faded away, only to stay in my memory… along with the incredible peaceful Jama Masjid.

Some street shots!

Three night shots that were taken very recently in the last few days!

night photography, traffic, light painting This photograph was shot by Pratik Shivagunde, a close friend of mine.. using Sony DSC H10. Place : National Highway, Solapur (near Mumbai). I love this shot, and Pratik is good as a person also, which adds more value to the photograph.
night photography, traffic, light painting This shot was taken by me, on the busy streets of Esplanade, Kolkata. In the photograph is the Metro Cinema Hall – near Heritage now 😉 Esplanade is a place, I have known, loved in the last 4 years. Always busy as it may seem, one needs to feel the undercurrent of the place.
night photography, traffic, light painting This shot was taken by Arko Sen dada, on the busy Park Street, Kolkata. Park street – a nerve point of the city, hang out…a place frequented by the entire cross section of the society and ever busy and under protection.

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Light painting: just an attempt.

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While explaining few stuff to Pratik Shivagunde, we decided upon trying something out: Light painting.

The concept was relatively easy. All that were required were, a camera with a manual mode where ISO was set at the minimum value, the “f” (1/f is the aperture , correct me if I am wrong) value was put to the maximum. A dark room and lots of patience were required. Now the only other thing that were left was  : Shutter speed. Slow shutter means, the camera will be exposed to the outside light for long. Fast shutter means, the shutter opens and closes very fast, freezing the moment, while slow shutter speed meant, it will go on accepting light.  Now when its a dark room, and theres no other light than the light source, it tracks the source of light. Which ever way you move the light, the path of the light gets traced resulting in patterns created by the source of light. This was the concept, and it was way after midnight.
I tried out hearts, stars with candles. The shutter speed I used ranged from 3 seconds to 30 seconds (thats the max permissible in my camera) You can view them at the facebook album : here.

Then I bought a torch to try out neater sketches. I tried out making the Trinamool congress logo 😛 for I believed it to be tougher than the rest.
trinamool, trinamul, congress, west bengal, politics

Well then struck the idea to make something really tough. This is what I have come up with :
rabindranath tagore, rabindranath tagore line sketch, rabindranath tagore light painting, rabindranath tagore books, rabindranath tagore painting, rabindranath tagore love, shantiniketan, bengal, india, tagore, thakur, nobel prize literature
It took me around 2 hours and numberless attempts to make this, and people appreciated my efforts :) I am trying newer things. Well to check more light paintings you might like to visit or check the light painting page at the Facebook 😉  Give me more ideas friends, ideas of what can be sketched in the dark with a white light.. and leave your views also.

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Basanta Utsav at Shantiniketan.

It has been long, since it happened. Sorry friends, couldnt really manage time to write a blogpost for it, due to weak health, college and my madness 😀

After my Bishnupur trip, I was looking forward to spending some more time outdoors… experiencing life, and clicking photographs. It is when Aninya and Tanushree suggested me to go to Shantiniketan during the festival of Holi. Holi, or Basanta Utsav as it is known to Shantiniketan, is the celebration of the festival of colours, in the Tagore style. Shantiniketan (meaning – abode of peace) has been the seat of international studies for over decades, it is also the seat of studies of Bengali and Tagore’s work.

basanta utsav, shantiniketan, holi, india, colours, festival of colours

I put up at Koustavs’ place. Monami asked me to be at the place as early as possible… but we really couldnt make it that early. Soumik sir was very helpful, suggesting me places to visit there at shantiniketan and about the basanta ustav.
With Koustav and me, we had Koustavs’ friends from Sainthia. After reaching Shantiniketan, I was so happily lost 😛
The procession had already started by then and was mid way to its completion.

“ওরে গৃহবাসী , খোল দ্বার খোল , লাগলো যে দোল … জলে স্থলে বন তলে লাগলো যে দোল.. দ্বার খোল … দ্বার খোল ”


basanta utsav, shantiniketan, holi, india basanta utsav, shantiniketan, holi, india

The field was extreme crowded, so were the streets. I had to literally push through people, climb tree, walls to get a glimpse.. and yes photographs. The cultural programme continued with all the rabindrasangeets of the season of Spring being performed and danced to in the purist forms. I was fortunate enough to make my way across extremes.. from the extreme end to the front row. Thanks to the old man, the aunty, the two incredible kids, 2 students of viswa bharati, and the accounts manager of the viswa bharati university, not to forget the professional photographer.. who gave me tips of shooting while the colours are in the air!

The old man whom I mentioned earlier was an extremely kind person. He assumed me to be a student of Viswa Bharati university (I was wearing a white kurta, pajama – traditional set) and enquired of my identity. I didnt lie, told him that I am from Kolkata and that I went to Shantiniketan for the first time during Basanta Utsav and I wished to be up there in front of the stage, experiencing it. He asked me whether it was the craze of colours or my love for Tagore that had brought me to the place. I was blatant (stupid but true) enough to answer him, that i loved tagore’s song, I read about Tagore in my history books and that I felt I can learn much about the Tagore culture and can take good photographs, that had taken me there. He smiled, put his hand on my head… I didnot know how to react, I felt the safest would be to touch his feet, which I did  (and I think that did the trick). He took me from the extreme end and brought me to the middle of the field (amidst students) and put me there and left for some work back stage. I stood there astounded, thanking my luck 😀 but knew that the road to the front row was tougher than that… so tried concentrating on that 😀 The students there, few kids helped me a lot 😀

Taking photographs there, saving my camera and its lens was a bit strangely difficult. Strangely difficult because, I didnot know how to react when the colours were falling from no where, and difficult, because I wanted to capture every moment any how, and I didnt really stop… caring less for my camera.. It was weirdly beautiful feeling, playing colours there.

NB: This is the only 2nd time in my life, I played holi. The first time being in the hostel the last year 😀

Well, the crowd erupted to joy, throwing colours into the air above… when the song ” Rangiye diye jaao” (lets colour them) was being performed…. within moments, the entire air was filled with colours, all happy people around, came and coloured me, while I excused myself for a while and photographed them.. 😀 It was an incredible and extreme experience of joy and happiness, when the entire place, was playing holi with dry colours, treating each others like brothers and sisters… like they have been living together for years till then !

basanta utsav, shantiniketan, holi, bengal, India

Having being lost, I met numerous other people and I loved interacting with them. Made a new friend – Nilabha, who is another fantastic person to meet and to work with. In shantiniketan, I met with many of my college folks, including Ritabrata, samik, souvick, antarip, anindya, sreyasi and many other friends from college.

The entire atmosphere went electric after that, people formed groups, playing musical instruments, dancing to it.. all free of the worldly tension. It was a moment of fun! Few groups performed rabindrasangeet while at some place, people were performing Rupam Islam numbers… and all were so readily acceptable there, all absorbed in the atmosphere… all so colourful.

Shall end this post with two photographs, I love the most from the days’ work. If you like my clicked photographs, show your support:

basanta utsav, shantiniketan, kolkata, india, holi, bengal, tagorebasanta utsav, shantiniketan, kolkata, india, holi, bengal, tagore