Devotion is … Flower Market, Dadar

Dadar Flower Market under the bridge by the Dadar Railway Station is one of my favorite places to visit in #Mumbai. It is verily a street photographer’s paradise. Stall owners are super nice, and the flowers are fresh heaped, fragrant and colorful. Loads of #Champae #plumeria (?) delicately woven, melt even the stingiest of heart. I surprised M’s family with a champae stringer.

Entire families of flower weavers live under this bridge. Many generations eat, sleep and weave here.

I love the symbolism in this pic.

What adorns the head of the greatest of Gods is woven on the dusty feet of the street women. She toils away her entire life, but knows deep down that her work is her most cherished offering.

She needn’t climb any mountains, needn’t enter any temple, she needn’t offer any prayers; her work is her most heartfelt and greatest offering. This is Bhakti, and not what cheap, two-bit, fame seeking activists peddle.

Thank you.

Dev barae karo.

#Bazaar #FlowerMarket #BestofMumbai #IncredibleIndia


#Devotion #Bhakti


Meera with a head full of flowers

pic of Meera with a head full of flowers by Arun Shanbhag

At a recent ‘munji’ Meera got an opportunity to have her head decked with this woven flower buds. Those are Jaai buds from a village called Shankarā-pur near Karkala. One of M’s cousins brought those flowers. Another relative spent nearly an hour carefully covering Meera’s hair with the flowers.

She was one happy kiddo.

Owl and a Winter Flower

photo of Eurasian Eagle Owl basking in the winter sun in Boston by Arun Shanbhag
Eurasian Eagle Owl basking in the winter sun

We have had so much snow in Boston, I’ve stopped complaining. After an early morning snow removal workout, we (sa kutumb) went for a much needed walk, … to see an owl. This Eurasian Eagle Owl (?) had found a cozy hole in a tree and was enjoying the sun. Continue reading “Owl and a Winter Flower”

Meera and Sleeping Phlox

Pics of Meera posing in front of a phlox garden flowers by Arun Shanbhag

I have the good fortune to walk Meera to her pre-school every morning. We walk by our neighborhood and cross a park on her way to school. It’s Meera’s field trip (picnic) everyday, and I am her lucky guide. Continue reading “Meera and Sleeping Phlox”

Charyl Weissbach: Balsam Poplars

Paintings by Charyl Weissbach Balsam Poplars by Arun Shanbhag

Something about artists, they just blow me away. Look at this beautiful piece called Balsam Poplars! Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but as you dwell on the image, it draws you in. Did you notice the depth created by different media the artist uses? As I look carefully, I see more fascinating details. The colors play games with my eyes, and soon, I am in the midst of this psychedelic forest. I am expecting a tiny bird to take flight from amongst the trees and I watch intently to catch it flit away. Continue reading “Charyl Weissbach: Balsam Poplars”

Spring in Boston

spring crocus Boston

The days that used to lie
curled up,
by penetrating frost,
bit by bit
stretch out
their limbs
now that winter’s past.

~ Sri Dharanidhara

from Vidyadhara’s Subhaashita Ratnakosha
Translated from the Sanskrit by Daniel HH Ingalls, Harvard University Press

The original verses were composed between the 8th and 10th century. Vidyadhara probably compiled these before the year 1100, when he had access to the library housed in the ancient monastery of Jagaddala.
Continue reading “Spring in Boston”

Tulip Mania

pictures of Tulips by Arun Shanbhag
It was a dreary weekend; overcast, drizzly and cold. Perfect time to snuggle under the goose down and sip warm almond milk.

After putzing around the house for a few hours, I realized the rains had stopped – whatdayaknow. An overcast day is perfect to take flower pics. In the diffuse light, the subtle colors get well saturated. So what the rains over the last weeks had washed out the sakura blossoms. So what all the daffodils wilted in this cold blanketing us. So what we haven’t see the shiny orb in the sky since …whenevah. The tulips cloaked in misty droplets, swayed proud. Enjoy this parade. Continue reading “Tulip Mania”

Azaleas Blooms: Pink Madness!

Azalea blooms pics by Arun Shanbhag

Its the long Memorial Day weekend and we are at home!!! The last three years, we were always away on holidays at this time.

This was a great time to work in the garden. Many bushes are blooming and others are just sprouting. A good time to clean, trim, add compost, de-weed and general maintenance. This morning was very overcast with an intermittent light drizzle; perfect weather to shoot pics of these blooming azaleas. This one must be a variant, coz the blooms on the others are very different. This one looks more like tiny roses. Verily, pink madness! Oh, the droplets on the flowers are from the drizzle.
Azalea blooms pics by Arun Shanbhag

Enjoy the week!

My Flower posts:

A few Tulips

pics of tulips in Boston Public Garden by Arun Shanbhag
I promised a few tulips from the Public Gardens here. But work, and life in general, have been exceptionally busy. A major deadline looms at the end of the month, delaying even my India trip. M leaves a week earlier and I complete the project and join the festivities later.

When I finally made it to the gardens on monday, the blooms had already started to wilt. 😦 So, here is Plan B: Tulip pics from last year. … and when I arrive in Mumbai in june, the mangoes better not all be gone.

Pics of our tulips from previous years here and here; and a recent ipad sketch of tulips.

pics of tulips in Boston Public Garden by Arun Shanbhag

Crocuses: Blush of Spring

Last week, winter's icy claws loosened. The frozen ground yielded; and like butterflies from an underground vault, these golden crocuses burst forth! Passing strangers paused and held their breath. Kids pointed to this burst of color, in an otherwise forlorn landscape, and their eyes gleamed in joy.

For how much longer will dogwoods, cherries and maples hold their blooms. How much longer before blue jays dance on japanese maple boughs? How much longer before freshly painted toes grace open sandals, and mini-skirts rim slender legs? The blush of spring is spreading!

Continue reading “Crocuses: Blush of Spring”

From Montreal – Bouquets of Joy

Bouquets of flowers from Montreal pics by Arun Shanbhag
(click image for larger version)

A couple of weeks ago we drove up to Montreal, Canada for a short holiday. What a beautiful city and a beautiful people! Oh, those restaurants! Certainly more about those in a separate post. Strolling on the heavily walked, St Catherine's Ave, we saw a little stall surrounded by buckets of flowers for sale. The guy had very simple, yet colorful bouquets in his bucket and gladly agreed to let me shoot. There was no rearrangement of the flowers. I just pointed to the bunches he had placed in the bucket and shot! Spectacular! Spectacular!

Merci Montreal!
Bouquets of flowers from Montreal pics by Arun Shanbhag

Bouquets of flowers from Montreal pics by Arun Shanbhag

My Other Montreal Related Posts:

My Flower Posts:

On Flower Sellers:

Mumbai coming, LJ on hiatus

Trying out this new lens for my India trip. Its a beauty. Very sharp, but a bit bulky. The second pic is a closer crop and you may notice the slightest shake. Hand held, of course.

We leave for Mumbai in a few hours. Panicking and packing till the last minute. If anyone wants to get together in Mumbai, send me an e-mail. Traveling out of Mumbai till June 10th. Heard its sweltering! Limcaaaaaaah!

Swan in the Boston Public Garden!

Planted this rhododendron in our garden last year. WoW! Never looked closely at the blooms. So pretty! I cut a bunch and placed them in a vase in my kitchen. A swarm of ants followed 😦 The ants completely ate the nectarine base of each flower :-(( Next time I see these rascals on the road, I'm gonna run them over.

Nikon D70, Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8;
© Arun Shanbhag

Magnolia Blooms!

Magnolias are blooming all over town. Pandemonium in pink! This is right outside my health club in downtown Boston.

Looks like the Muse has been visiting all my friends. So when she knocked, I let her in:
Cupid shoots
Scarlett tips
Of quivering maiden lips

Nikon D70, Nikon 50mm (75mm effective) f/1.8
© Arun Shanbhag

Boston Public Garden in the Spring – A panorama

Boston Public Garden in the Spring pics by Arun Shanbhag
click image for larger version

On Friday, I stopped by the Boston Public Garden. Blooming cherry trees, and sprouting willows, chestnuts and maples left me breathless. Like if I stepped into a magical world. Spring leaves are lighter and so much more enjoyable than the dark greens of late summer. The SwanBoats paddle tourists around the gardens and are a historic feature of the Gardens since 1877. On the right, notice the Park Rangers patrol the garden on horseback!

Previous pics from the Boston Public Garden:

Hyacinths and a Daffodil

A few white hyacinths in the foreground. Note the leftover little yellow crocuses on the right, and daffodils in the background.

An Hyacinth pod is made of nearly 50 distinct blooms. WoW!

I blame the long winter for the mediocre daffodils this season. This one turned out picture perfect!

Nikon D70, Nikon 50mm (75mm effective) f/1.8
© Arun Shanbhag

Crocuses: Spring's first sigh

With the last snow just melted, crocuses are the first spots of color in an otherwise bleak landscape. These tiny bundles of joy have blooms barely an inch tall. At night, crocuses bundle-up. At first light, these are getting ready to lazily unfurl.

An hour later, they are in full bloom! *sigh* Yes, there is a God!

Which orientation did you like? In the background, you may notice the daffodils still a few weeks away from blooming.

And a few more closeups. Note, the blooms are an inch across, or less! Enjoy!

Blossoms of Joy

Rising from the earth,
A life takes birth
From seeds sown
by loving hands,

In sun it flowers
Kissed by dew,
Caressed by wind,
Blossoms of joy!

In a collaborative effort, Shri graciously agreed to pen these lines to go with the flowers from my garden. The delicate mango color of the petals, combined with the deep purple of the center, needed her words to do justice. Here is Shri's corresponding post.

My Flower Posts:

On Flower Sellers:

Flower Sellers at the Ramnathi Temple, Goa

photos of women selling flowers at the Ramnathi Devasthan Temple Goa by Arun Shanbhag

In March, I posted a photo essay on the Flower Sellers at the Dadar Flower Market. These beautiful people, with little material belongings, seemed so content with their lives. That left a lasting impression. Continue reading “Flower Sellers at the Ramnathi Temple, Goa”

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