Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy ஹல்லோவீன் From India!

That's Tamil, in case you're boning up on your Dravidian languages. We jumped aboard the trick-or-treat train and handed out a lot of candy to a mosh pit of Consulate kids. Plenty of impressive costumes and bewildered eyes from the wee tots.

Our apartment door, with tombstones created by a friend's 11-year-old daughter. They become snarky so early now. Or is that from hanging around us?

A super hero with his super mom. A radiant pumpkin head.

A darling princess and her clown brother. Ghoulish monster parents with their angel daughter, pulling an identity switch, right, moms and dads?

Mama witch with timid bee. A lovely butterfly, graceful as expected.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Where A Sultan Suntans

Construction of the intricately-designed Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace in the heart of Bangalore was begun by Tipu's father Haidar Ali and finished by Tipu in 1789. Known as the "de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore," Tipu was a military man, who along with his father was a formidable opponent to the British.

The understated exterior of the palace, which is actually modeled on an earlier summer palace not far from nearby Mysore, balances the riot inside. The interior is mostly carved teak, painted in bright colors.

They know what you're thinking, even if you don't. So don't even think about it. The rain came and so did the romance - a rare capture of public affection. Maybe they'll need another sign.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Beasts Of Bangalore

On the way to Bangalore's Botanical Gardens, we ran into this wall of fauna.  What was lacking in technical accomplishment was compensated with style and happenstance.

Two birds with an important message.  Farmer walking his ox.  Exactly how is he walking his ox?

Jumbo gator. Or is it two gators or a really flexible gator? And a giant duck.

The cutest birds!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Rabbit At Recon

With the number of rabbit photo opportunities available here in India, we're beginning to feel like we've morphed into John Updike.

No rest for these rabbit chasers.  In case you're new to this blog, rabbit posts have bred like, well, you get the circular reference.  Our first rabbit post is here and the second one is here.

They're still cute, just like the guy on the right, now with a jumbo pouch.  He was hanging out at the Lalbagh Gardens, pretending to collect trash.

Or perhaps he was there as a diversion while his partner was.....

.....doing some heavy, deep cover reconnaissance work.  Beyond our silly, sleuth friend, there was other amusing action unfolding.  Indians love blondes, especially cute blond kids.  Since blond is a rare sight here, the cameras come out to capture the moment.  And then another camera comes out to capture what might seem rare to someone else....


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Botanical Guides

There were lots of signs at the Lal Bagh Gardens: some offering botanical descriptions, some directions.  A few signs made an impression.

Do NOT eatables the animals!

Playboy used to (still does?)(according to James) run pictorial series that were titled something like, "Women of the SEC" or "...Cantor Fitzgerald" or "...Frisbee International" ...  Since India used to be under British rule and "bird" is anglo slang for woman, girl, we found this sign amusing:

Finally, whatever you do, do NOT break into a Broadway number and attract an audience.  You will not only attract people, but fines will show up, too (sad fact:  the fine is about $1.10).

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

All I Want For Diwali...

...or Devali or Deepawali is Jewelry?

Or a huge action movie opening? And why would I want a gold-plated lamp if I came in for a nice bracelet?

No matter, it's a huge day in India today, Diwali. It's one of the biggest holidays of the year here. What's the celebration? It's the festival of lights, a time of celebration and huge amounts of fireworks blasting. What's behind the holiday? As usual in India, it's complicated and best left to a Wiki entry. Got it? Good. All we know is it's a loud party with family, friends, food and the exchange of lots of gifts and "popcorn movie" attending. Sound familiar? Christmas comes early for us here in India. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Topiary By Henry Moore

What would happen if noted English sculptor Henry Moore tried his hand at topiary?

On the right is a typical example of his work. Fluid, dynamic, elegant.  Sure, he could handle the prune and shape, the nip and tuck.  Why not?

It looks like the folks at Lalbagh Gardens looked to him for accidental admiration -- at least until their topiary creations grow in enough to enable more realistic shaping. Until that point, they're hosting an abstract, post-modern topiary festival.

The entrance to the garden.  T-Rex?  Giraffe?  Large Goose?  Bottle of ketchup?

A happy, blobby family.  It looks like the hand of Henry Moore on the left and a little inspiration from a "Hurt Locker" suit on the right.

We're open to any suggestions for the identity of the topiary in the photo on the left.  Anything...  An exoskeleton elephant.

Curious what happens when you take the "water" out of water buffalo?  A peacock(?) looking more like a blowup circus souvenir.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Please, Try To Be Receptacle

When you have to heave, hurl or dump, please make sure you use the right receptacle.  They're being polite and so should you!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Watching The Flowers Grow

There's a nice "flora" clock at the Lalbagh Gardens.  To add a little spice, the lawn in front of the clock is peppered with a mishmash of Disney-style dwarves and Bambi deer.  It makes for a curious juxtaposition -- with an added bonus of sponsorship of the clock.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Botanical Architecture

In addition to the expected flora, the Lalbagh Gardens feature a few architectural gems as well.  The structures are old, dating to the turn of the 20th century and earlier.

British influence is present, as in this building called The Glass House, taking its cues from Kew, the famous garden outside London.  A regal bench, protector of pocketbooks and handbags.

A water tower and meeting hall.  Look closely and you'll see both structures seem to be animal attractions.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Rocking The Bangalore Skyline

There's a nice rocky mount at Lalbagh Gardens where you get a good view of Bangalore's skyline.

The hill.  At the top is a watch tower built by Kempe Gowda.  It's a popular place to hang out, eat a snack and get your picture taken.

The view is lovely -- and from a certain angle, it looks just like a Robert Frank photograph.  Or at least that's James' comparison fantasy.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Use Me, Naturally

Located in parks around Bangalore are, shall we say, "natural" trash receptacles. It's admirable to try and blend into the surroundings.  If only it were so easy.

Our hero, eager to be used.  Sometimes, they've gone above and beyond to have the trashcan blend in.  Nice job with the stunt mud from the greensman.

The cans can be sociable, hanging with the dogs.  Big mouth strikes again?

Three is not a crowd, but perhaps a quorum.  Hanging with a monkey and a monument.  Bellying up to Mr. Cool.