Teen budhdiman bandar

Gandhi's totem

Apologies. I don’t have time these days to blog. Research is good, but vork, vork, vork.

But every now and then I think back to my folders of unpublished photos. Here’s one to dwell on, whatever your interpretation. A favorite aphorism-turned-statuette for Gandhiji.

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Temporary Desi tattoo

Dying art

A visiting friend gets gussied up with mehndi at my local market. My U.S. friends were very excited at this old form of celebratory body art that uses henna to dye the skin.

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Artists in exiled residence

Hand woven

Dharamshala, as the political and religious center-in-exile for Tibet, draws refugees from all walks. NGOs and the like have accordingly sprung up hoping to provide transplants with opportunities in their new home.

Here’s a Tibetan carpet workshop on the main square. Fantastic crafts(wo)manship and absolute beauty.

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Cool marble, bare feet

Cute

What do you do when it’s hot outside and you have to remove your shoes before visiting a mosque?

Run like a little kid on the shaded marble floor!

These from an out of the way mosque at the beautiful Agra Fort.

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She really does steal the show

Even from a few kilometers away, the Taj Mahal is distracting

Agra Fort seems less interesting when there’s the world’s most beautiful building off in the background.

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Colors of diwali

Painting with flowers

A day after diwali, friends and I got together to make rangoli. Well, technically, they made rangoli while I read. And then took pictures of the process.

The girls created a design with flower petals, flour and colored talcum — all part of the diwali tradition. And they lit the final product with diyas — small tea lights in clay holder. See below.

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Perfect imperfect art

Traditions

Women paint the ground outside Mehrangarh Quila in Jodhpur.

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City in blue

Jodhpur, the blue city

Welcome to Jodhpur, the Blue City of Rajasthan.

It’s really not that blue, to be honest. The old quarter, nearest the towering fort are bluish, but even then, not every building pays homage to the city’s moniker.

And the reason for the blue paint? Jodhpuris themselves are uncertain. Some claim it’s to keep away the mosquitoes. Others say it’s religious. Still others just say that’s tradition. Who knows?

See below for more perspective on Jodhpur’s blues.

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Details, details….

Fantastic texture and color from Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, India’s “Blue City” in Rajasthan. The fort is spectacularly preserved as a museum and towers over the sprawling, grungy city. Inside are alcoves and hallways and galleries of marble and wood and ornament.

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Quito’s monumental basilica

A fun climb

On my first full day in Quito, I went for a walk around part of the old historic district and made my way to the Basilica del Voto Nacional, also known as the Basilica de San Juan.

It’s a huge church with twin fore-spires and a single rear tower with some of the best views over Quito. The stoic grey stone with subtle ornamentation outside, stained glass windows, and towering ceilings: it’s gothic beauty.

I spent most of an afternoon exploring where I could, taking pictures and hiding out from a hail storm. Enjoy the photos below.

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