Sunday, December 21, 2008

India's Tryst with Christianity- St. Thomas Basilica, Chennai, India

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!!
India is a secular country. You will find people of all religions cohabiting peacefully side by side here in India. The general mass of people - the vast majority of people in India live side by side peacefully irrespective of their religions.

I, personally, like churches for two reasons-- anybody can enter without being pestered by the "Pandas" or the Touts of Gods as I will call them who will insist on your taking their help for a "Darshan" (View) of the God/ Goddess inside the temple and a conducted tour (Parikrama) AND the utter cleanliness.

Anyway without raising any hackles of anybody by comparing religions in India, which is not my main purpose I post here some photos of St Thomas Basilica at Chennai, India.

St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, came to India in AD 52, died as a Martyr in AD72 and was buried at Mylapore, San Thome, Chennai, India. [I am sure San Thome name of the locality came from his name only). The Basilica is built over the Tomb of St. Thomas. This is one of the Only Three Basilicas that have been built in the World over a Tomb of an Apostle of Jesus Christ.

This is also the shrinewhere the next mos famous Missionary to India, St Francis Xavier (whose body is venerated in Goa) spent four months in the year 1545 and used to pray before the Statue known as "Our Lady of Mylapore". Even Marco Polo is said to have visited this Shrine in the 13th century.

When the Apostles dispersed to preach in different parts of the world, St.Thomas left for Parthia and India. His stay and preaching in North and South India is mentioned in two well known thirteenth Century Books: The Acts of Thomas (Acta Thomae) an The Teaching of the Apostles (Didascalia Apostolorum).

The Syrian Christians of Kerala, India strongly maintain the tradition, handed down from generation to generation in their Churches and Families, that their forefathers were converts were converts of this Apostle. According to this tradition, the apostle landed in Kodungallur (Cranganore) in Kerala around the middle of the first century of the Christian era (probably AD52) and founded Christian Communities in several places like Kodungallur (Cranganore), Niranam, Kollam (Quilon), Palayur etc.

The stained glass window which you will probably find in every church was constructed in 1896!!

You can download this mini book on the Basilica here. [Please click the link given to get the pdf file] or the pamphlet giving brief information here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunset on the backwaters off ECR, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

Earlier also I have posted some scenic photos from East Coast Road (ECR) that connects Chennai to Pondycherry (Puducherry).The best ones, of course, are the ones where light plays with water. This is another one shot by me on 6th Dec 2008.

The photo below is from a slightly diferent angle and in Black and White.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fire in the Sky

We went driving on the ECR (East Coast Road) to Chennai looking for some photo Shoot Opportunities. I got one near Auroville. This is Bay of Bengal ocean, of course, and the boats are Indian Country Boats fishermen use to fish (what else!!)

This is a B&W rendering of a photo shot in a different direction at the same place.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chicken Biryani at Chennai

MGM Grand, 31, Santhome High Road, Mylapore, Chennai. Good food. The joint is in the basement. The ambience is not good, but the food is tasty. Cost? Well Beer costs Rs 160/- plus taxes. The chicken Biryani cost was Rs 80/- or so ..i am forgetting now.. [tsk tsk]

Ranikhet, Uttarkhand, India

Life: There is always light beyond darkness. Just keep walking.

Deep within nature

Fairy Tale House - I will live here in my next life.. far from the maddening crowd.
Beauty forever. ............................................................................Fire Purifies.
[I do not know how I missed posting some of these photos. These had been taken by me at Ranikhet Hills Uttarkhand 2/3 years ago.]

Friday, December 12, 2008

Honda Cars, India

This post is just to test my skills at shooting cars!! Next I will graduate to modelling portfolios... hmm.. ... The above is a conversion of two photos from below..
These cars do have something in them. The Hondas and Toyota prices are a bit on the higher side. But again it can be argued that one should pay for Quality. But a word of caution here. My experience with them is that the Japanese do not believe in communication with customers. Also it is a fad that Honda cars does not have complaints-- either that or their service people are not trained-- otherwise how can brake pads fail in 30,000 kms when same driver can get 80,000 kms on same roads in Santro? And then how can the EPS fail in 30,000 kms too? So do not think that just because it s Japanese the car will be fault proof! It is not so. And I have a theory. I think when they treat India differently than other countries because we do not have a Consumer Movement like Developed Countries have. .
In fact even Toyota seems to have complaints as I did a google search and discovered. However Honda and Toyota does have something in their cars. Grudgingly, I admit that. If you are lucky you will get some wonderful experience when you buy a honda or a Toyota, I believe... So here are some pictures, because I tried my hand in car photos...... not bad I think.. However I am trying to see how I can change the backgrounds to make the cars appear more prominent in adobe.. let's see.

The CRV is fantastic.. and of course price is too.. 22 lacs on road... it has motorised seat movement.. none of those muscle twisting movements!!... The automatic accord- new Honda city too comes with automatic transmission.. 10.5 lacs or so on road... do not ask me for technical specs.. like I do with other objects of my photos.. I leave the writing to other people.. who have already put up lots of details.. in this case you can visit the honda site itself. and since they have not given me commission I will also not say anything in their favour.

Remember one thing in India-- In India it is a  caveat emptor. situation.. it is a sellers' market here and even the Japanese forget their kaizen ad TQM etc when they sell cars here.. You may find to your chagrin.. if you are unlucky. Of course if you ask me what I like.. nothing beats a Ferrari... sighhhhhhhhhh I am dreaming .!! me with a Ferrari? Haha Next life maybe!! LOL !!

Image Map from some of my Photos - Click to visit the linked blogs

Colonial days at Calcutta, India Agra Fort Madurai Temple Architecture Fruits, India Silk Worm Cocoons, India Fish Market, India Happy Children, India Logging in Andaman Islands, India Tramcar, Calcutta, India Dharamshala, India Snowy Roads, India Painting by my wife, India Catwalk, India Fashion Show, India Beas River, Manali, India Autumn Leaves, Manali, India Snow in Manali, India Vagator Beach, Goa Mussoorie, India Mysore Palace Jaisalmer Desert, India Tamil Marriage Indian Market Scene Rajasthani Village Girl Birds of India Bay of Bengal, Pondycherry Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary Hogenakkal Water Falls, India Indian Roads Gulab Jamun, India Globalisation, India Indian Map Indian City from Sky Clay Pot Art, India Himalayas, India Benares, India Indian Palace