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Posts Tagged ‘Series’

Photography – Camera modes

Cameras are wonderful objects with a all the assortment of wonderful features. In order to get the best from your camera it becomes important that you know what your camera features. Every time I discovered the usage of some new feature on my camera and told my mother about it, she used to say, ‘That’s why i always tell read the manual first’. So here is a sort of basic manual about the different kinds of shooting options available in almost all the digital cameras.

Broadly classifying, there are two categories into which the camera modes can be put under. Automatic and manual. As the words go, those modes that come under the automatic mode are preset to perform certain functions and you will have nothing to do with the controls whereas those modes that come under the manual include some or almost all controls requiring adjustment by you.

Automatic Modes:

Automatic Mode

I suspect no one will need any introduction to this mode (as it seems everybody use this to the maximum extent). Auto mode tells your camera to use it’s best judgement to select shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, focus and flash to take the best shot that it can. With some cameras auto mode lets you override flash or change it to red eye reduction. This mode will give you nice results in many shooting conditions, however you need to keep in mind that you’re not telling your camera any extra information about the type of shot you’re taking so it will be ‘guessing’ as to what you want. As a result there might chances when you wanted to focus on one thing but the camera had a mind of its own, where you wanted twilight, the camera thought ambient light better and so on.. Having said that, you would only be a fool to not use it at all, for in times of urgency, you wouldn’t have time for all the settings and by the time you are done, the shot is gone.

Portrait Mode

What the portrait mode does is, it sets a large aperture(small number, in case you find the terms confusing) which will help to keep your background out of focus, thus giving attention to your subject. This mode works best when you’re photographing a single subject so get in close enough to your subject so that your photographing the head and shoulders of them. Also if you’re shooting into the sun you might want to trigger your flash to add a little light onto their face.

Macro Mode

How many times have you tried to shoot a heavy close up shot and found that the focus wasn’t as you wished it to be. Macro mode lets you move your closer into your subject to take a close up picture. It’s great for shooting flowers, insects or other small objects. When you use macro mode you’ll notice that focusing is more difficult as at short distances the depth of field is very narrow (just millimeters at times). Keep your camera and the object you’re photographing parallel if possible or you’ll find a lot of it will be out of focus. You’ll probably also find that you won’t want to use your camera’s built in flash when photographing close up objects or they’ll be burnt out.

Landscape Mode

This mode is almost the exact opposite of portrait mode in that it sets the camera up with a small aperture (large number) to make sure as much of the scene you’re photographing will be in focus as much as possible. It’s therefore ideal for capturing shots of wide scenes, particularly those with points of interest at different distances from the camera. As it uses a small aperture, you might also want to use this feature to shoot images in which you want the whole of picture in sharp focus.

Sports Mode

Photographing moving objects is what sports mode is designed for. It is ideal for photographing any moving objects including people playing sports, pets, cars, wildlife etc. Sports mode attempts to freeze the action by increasing the shutter speed. When photographing fast moving subjects you can also increase your chances of capturing them with panning of your camera along with the subject and/or by attempting to pre focus your camera on a spot where the subject will be when you want to photograph it. In other words, you can use this mode for all purposes which need a fast shutter speed.

Night Mode

Probably the most innovative of the automatic modes, this is a really fun mode to play around with and can create some wonderfully colorful and interesting shots. Night mode (a technique also called ’slow shutter sync’) is for shooting in low light situations and sets your camera to use a longer shutter speed to help capture details of the background but it also fires off a flash to illuminate the foreground (and subject). If you use this mode for a ’serious’ or well balanced shot you should use a tripod or your background will be blurred – however it’s also fun to take shots with this handheld to purposely blur your backgrounds – especially when there is a situation with lights behind your subject as it can give a fun and experimental look.

Movie Mode

This mode extends your digital camera from just capturing still images to capturing moving ones. Most new digital cameras these days come with a movie mode that records both video but also sound. The quality is generally not up to video camera standards but it’s a handy mode to have when you come across that perfect subject that just can’t be captured with a still image. Keep in mind that moving images take up significantly more space on your memory storage than still images.

There might be those other modes too, such as sunrise mode, sunset mode, fireworks mode, snow mode, food mode etc. etc.

Semi-automatic Modes: What they basically do is, give you control on a certain feature and adjust the other features accordingly. Semi-automatic coz, in spite of having some control, you still don’t actually control the exposure.

Aperture Priority Mode

This mode is really a semi-automatic mode where you choose the aperture and your camera chooses the other settings (shutter speed, white balance, ISO etc) so as to ensure you have a well balanced exposure. Aperture priority mode is useful when you’re looking to control the depth of field in a shot (usually a stationary object where you don’t need to control shutter speed). Choosing a larger number aperture means the aperture (or the opening in your camera when shooting) is smaller and lets less light in. This means you’ll have a larger depth of field (more of the scene will be in focus) but that your camera will choose a slower shutter speed. Small numbers means the opposite (ie your aperture is large, depth of field will be small and your camera will probably choose a faster shutter speed).

Shutter Priority Mode

Shutter priority is very similar to aperture priority mode but is the mode where you select a shutter speed and the camera then chooses all of the other settings. You would use this mode where you want to control over shutter speed (obviously). For example when photographing moving subjects (like sports) you might want to choose a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion. On the flip-side of this you might want to capture the movement as a blur of a subject like a waterfall and choose a slow shutter speed. You might also choose a slow shutter speed in lower light situations.

Program Mode

Some digital cameras have this priority mode in addition to auto mode (in a few cameras Program mode IS full Auto mode… confusing isn’t it!). In those cameras that have both, Program mode is similar to Auto but gives you a little more control over some other features including flash, white balance, ISO etc. What it basically has is some pre-determined exposure programs. A certain aperture value with a certain shutter speed. There are different combinations available for choice of your liking.

Manual Mode:

Manual Mode

As the name goes, in this mode you have full control over your camera and need to think about all settings including shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, flash etc. It gives you the flexibility to set your shots up as you wish. Of course you also need to have some idea of what you’re doing in manual mode so most digital camera owners that I have anything to do with tend to stick to one of the priority modes.

This is in brief what the camera mode does. Even though your camera does not feature manual control, you could use the automatic modes to your advantage. For example where you need shallow depth of field, you could use the portrait mode, while a wide depth of field would mean landscape mode. If you wish for fast shutter speeds, you could go for sports mode, while for slower ones you could go with the night mode. Thus its about using the control to your advantage that matters in the end. You could even get wacky and try different moods for different other purposes and see the effect they bear on your final image.

Hope the next time you are out shooting, you will find these modes more flexible to use and end up giving you better shots. Until next time, enzoi shooting.

Photography – Choice of camera

What does one require to be a photographer? A camera, an eye and a finger.

Its as simple as that. All you need to create photographs is a camera. With the advent of competition, there are various companies in the market which produce digital cameras with various controls functions and all the stuff. So for a person who wishes to take up photography the first problem comes in the form of the choice of camera model. To make it easy, here are a few notes to consider:

Budget: Its a key and plays a major role in the choice of model. In other words it helps cut down the choices to a minimum. So if my budget were to be rs.10,000 I would not be required to look at cameras costing above it. Hence the first step in deciding on a camera is to fix your budget.

Requirements: Once the budget is set, decide on what you require. In today’s competitive market, the cameras are filled with so many options, most of which you may not need or never use. So deciding on your requirement becomes quite important.
1) Control: The amount of control that you wish to have helps cut down your choices by more than half. If you wish to take up fine art photography, then you will require manual controls such as aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual mode in your camera. Most of today’s point and shoots dont offer manual control so you might need to search for the one that does.
2) Genre: You would probably not know what interests you right now, but know it could help in the choice of your camera.
3) Usage: Today most of the camera come with Li-ion batteries which have longer life as compared to the AA where in you will be required to have back-up. So if you intend to shoot for longer period choose the ones that use li-ion battery. Having said that AA is nowhere a don’t pick choice. One of my favourite point and shoots canon Sx120IS uses AA and the back-up is pretty good.
4)Brand: Strictly speaking its not an option, but liking towards certain brands can definitely have a say on your choice of model. Say, you need manual control, the nikon coolpix doesn’t have any model which offers it, so you will be required to look out for canon or fuji or some other brands which do.

The best camera: How many times have you felt that moment when you thought, I wish I had my camera right now. There isn’t a single day when I don’t feel it (Don’t judge me by that statement. We will deal with it some other day). Its of no use if you have the best in the field when you hardly take it out. The best one is the one which suits your style and more importantly the one which you bother to take along with you almost everywhere. There is no reason the tiny camera in your cell phone could not be the best one for you. As the famous saying goes, It ain’t the camera, but the man behind it that matters. (women folk, no offence, you are included in it. *wink*)

Here are a few cameras reviewed as best in their range by the team of BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY.

Below Rs.20,000

1) Fujifilm FinePix AV100 – Rs.4,499 (12.2MP)
Who: Casual users and families who want to shoot a lot of video too.

2)Canon PowerShot A495 – Rs.4,995 (10MP)
Who: For hobbyist and families who are tight on budget.

3) Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 – Rs.14,990 (12.1MP)
Who: Point and shoot users who do not need manual control, but want a fast AF system and great image quality.

4) Fujifilm FinePix JZ300 – Rs.9,999 (14MP)
Who: Serious hobbyists who want an all-in-one budget camera.

5) Fujifilm FinePix S2500HD – Rs.14,999 (12.2MP)
Who: Those who want extra zoom but do not mind carrying some extra weight.

6) Samsung WB650 – Rs.17,990 (12MP)
Who: Travel enthusiasts and wanderers.

7) Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 – Rs.17,990 (10.2MP)
Who: Fashion-conscious youngsters who love to shoot video and panoramas.

8) Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR – Rs.17,999 (12MP)
Who: Hobbyists who want the advantages of a compact body, but need better results in contrasty light.

9) Olympus STYLUS TOUGH-8010 – Rs.18,995 (14MP)
Who: Adventure enthusiasts who indulge in a lot of trekking, mountaineering, rafting or swimming.

Rs.20,000 – Rs.50,000

1) Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR – Rs.20,999 (12MP)
Who: Enthusiasts who want the flexibilty of zoom with the advantages of the EXR sensor.

2) Canon EOS 1000D (Kit) – Rs.25,295 (14.2MP)
Who: Advanced amateurs who on a tight budget.

3) Canon PowerShot S95 – Rs.26,995 (10MP)
Who: Pros who want a pocket-able camera that produces high-quality images.

4) Nikon D3100 – Rs.27,250 (14.2MP)
Who: Anyone who needs a fantastic entry-level DSLR for shooting stills and video.

5) Canon PowerShot SX30IS – Rs.28,995 (14.2MP)
Who: Wildlife lovers who do not mind compromising on quality for additional zoom.

6) Olympus PEN E-PL1 (Kit) – Rs.29,995 (12.3MP)
Who: Those who need superb, high-quality photos but do not like the bulk of a DSLR.

7) Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ100 – Rs.34,990 (14.1MP)
Who: Those who want a super zoom camera with every possible still and video frame.

8) Sony Alpha NEX-5 (Kit) – Rs.34,999 (14.2MP)
Who: For those who want an efficient still-video DSLR in a small size.

9) Fuji Real 3D W3 – Rs.39,000 (10MP)
Who: Those who are willing to pay a premium to use 3D technology.

10) Nikon D90 – Rs.43,450 (12.3MP)
Who: Serious hobbyists who lay equal emphasis on both handling and performance.

11) Canon EOS 550D – Rs.45,295 (18MP)
Who: Pros who need a light backup body and film-makers.

12) Sony Alpha 55 (Kit) – Rs.49,990 (16.2MP)
Who: Anyone who wants to shoot high-quality action photography on a budget.

Rs.50,000 – Rs.1,50,000

1) Canon EOS 60D – Rs.65,295 (18MP)
Who: Film-makers who want tilt-and swivel LCD for shooting videos.

2) Nikon D7000 – Rs.74,450 (16.2MP)
Who: Hobbyists who want tons of still and video features, or pros who want an excellent backup body.

3) Canon EOS 7D – Rs.87,995 (18MP)
Who:  Sports and wildlife photographers.

4) Nikon D700 – Rs.1,39,950 (12.1MP)
Who: Pro shooters who want outstanding quality in low light.

5) Canon EOS 5D Mark II – Rs.1,41,995 (21.1MP)
Who: Landscape photographers and videographers.

Above Rs.1,50,000

1) Canon EOS 1D Mark IV – Rs.2,59,995 (16.1MP)
Who: Sports and action shooters who want the extended reach of a 1.3x sensor.

2) Nikon D3S – Rs.2,89,950 (12.1MP)
Who: Sports photographers, photojournalists and wildlife photographers.

3) Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III – Rs.4,12,995 (21.1MP)
Who: Those who wish to use canon glass to make wall-sized prints, but also need pro-level autofocus and built.

4) Nikon D3X – Rs.5,24,950 (24.5MP)
Who:  Professionals who need to make giant-sized prints with incredible detail.

Having said that, there are other great models out there which you might need to look out before you make your choice.
I hope it helps you choose better. In case you have any queries kindly contact me so that I can be of some help.

Get that camera ready so that we can get down to some shooting stuff soon.

Re-living destination Sirsi! (Part-III)

Day 3: Sunday, 28th February, 2010.

09:30 am “My legs are on fire! Damn! Looks like all plans are going to be cancelled taking into consideration the current situation we are in.”

From about 8, lay on the bed doing nothing but assessing the pain.. don’t know how many times I heard myself saying, kal itne josh dikhane ki kya zaroorat thi. Well covering 15-20 kms in a matter of few hours can be tiresome even for the fittest, after all we stiff people were bound to fall a prey to it.

Breakfast consisted of dosa with something called as jhula, if I got it right. I was beginning to see ghee and liquid gur was a habit there. After breakfast were lazing around deciding whether or not to go out. Then decided to visit a nearby lake, and a falls further along the way. The way to the place was no less than a track for bike racing, with extra bit of ups and downs, a steep curve here and there. Reached the place. Walking was tough. The water was low, so waded through the water for a while, then went down stream where the others got down to swim while relaxed.

We found a sturdy tree bark to sit upon, with our legs in the water, it was really soothing. Also got free pedicure thingy from fishes down there 😉 WE then went further to the place of falls. Its named keppajoga. Its supposed to be the place where the pandavas stayed during their exile. There are a lot of clear signs of it. Everything out there be it carved scriptures, or space to have lunch, or offering to god, everything was in fives. It was a great place, very serene, must say it would make an excellent place for meditation and for seekers of peace. Wanted to go further, but walking downwards was such a pain that gave up on it.

The return journey was rather interesting. Myself and @nits4ever were on one bike, and we were far ahead of the others. This fella, don’t know what got into him, suddenly took a left at the first opportunity and we waited there for the others to pass by. I thought he was going to go full on force once they passed and surprise them but as it happened he had other plans. We waited for about five minutes after they left and then started. That was no the end of it. Soon after he began some sort of spiritual discourse, and I had no other option but be its victim. Finally we reached home, and I was saved from the lecture 😉 Was about 4 on the evening when we reached back. Had lunch and then it was time to relax. Needed it as much as possible. Watched TV all the while. Gotta know that network was available uphill a little ahead of the house. So went up the hill in search of the network. Had tea after returning back, chit chatted with our guide friend’s father and mother. Real great village gossip it was, that we never realised how it was already time for dinner. Had dinner, all filled, which meant it was time to relax yet again.

Although there was not much of activity that day, it was still tiring more because of the back log of the previous day! A bit of music, little idle chat, some bollywood movie, saw us wrap up another day. Peace.

Day4: Monday, 1st March, 2010

Dint realize what time the day began. Lay on the bed for a long time, very long time. Breakfast was idli and bhaji. After that roamed around the place for a while and it was time to get packing. Had cane juice before beginning, had all the exchange of pleasures with them after which it was time to leave. There was only one bike and we were four of us, so decided would go in twos, but as luck would have a little ahead the bike got punctured! We had not other means of transport and had to walk all the way until the bus stop in the hot afternoon! Found a bus to back to the city, couldn’t find a seat though. Having reached the city, caught a bus to Kumta. That took another few hours, most of which was slept sleeping, and the rest on a hungry stomach. Caught an auto to the railway station, found the train was scheduled for 4.45 which meant we had two hours before the train was due. So went to nearby hotel to have lunch. Lunch was good. Went back to the station at about 4 and more than that it was simply great to be back with network. *bliss*

The journey back was great. We found seats this time round, but still preferred the the seat by the door. The wonderful feeling was back. Even had sugarcane…

Reached Udupi at about 7.15pm, thus putting an end to the wonderful Sirsi outing!

I feel there was still a lot of things we could have done, lot more places we could have visited, but we had our constraints, and making the best of it was all we could have done, which I believe we certainly. Maybe the next time I go there, I am sure I can visit those places all by myself. Within a few days the place had become so close, and as I am writing this, I still can feel the wonderful time we spent there. Looking forward to a visit there as soon as time permits. Until such times, wrapping up the series. Cheers!

Re-living destination Sirsi! (Part-II)

Day 2: Sunday, 28th February 2010.

Day two saw me up at five. It was damn cold and I couldn’t imagine my state had there been a fan, switched on of course. Had a tour around the place. Got a feeling I could certainly spend a few weeks exploring the place without any repetition for sure. The urge for a documentary was trying it best, but had to be suppressed for the time being.
Breakfast consisted of a combination liquid gur & ghee, chutney, chutney powder, along with dosa. If I continued with the food for a week I would be sure to put on some weight. And it was a grand beginning to the first day Sirsi!

The first stop happened to be at a place called Sahasralinga, and as the name suggests it was a place with lot of “lingas” carved upon stones, amidst a flowing river. Its an awesome place, can say a very popular tourist spot. Fortunately for us there was hardly any crowd on the day of our visit. We reached there sometime in the early mid-morning and the first thing we did on reaching there was call @nits4ever, for he was join us that day, and guess what the idiot was already nearing Kumta when we contacted him. He was planning to surprise us. I am still curious as to how he had planned to surprise us without knowing where to go, what with no network at all. So having giving him directions we went down to explore the place a bit. The current was high and the river bed consisted mostly of pebbles and as I tried to cross, I almost had a fall. Thank goodness I didn’t or would have given @akshay’s cam a holy wash!. From there we went on to some old temple. The architecture out there was really commendable. No repetition anywhere around the temple. It also happened to be a incomplete one, a incomplete one it would remain too. There was a average sized pond nearby it, fully covered by lotus plants, making it look a green patch of land. Interestingly the temple seemed totally uninhabited, and i was busy clicking pics around the place, it was only when I clicked the picture of the deity there did I realise the priest was actually there and within moments of our arrival, a pooja was on! Luckily we had network out there and got to know that @nits4ever was almost at Sirsi, so one of our friend went down to pick him up while we stayed back. We had lunch at a modest roadside hotel. Lunch for me was Idli with chutney. Now that the missing dude was in, the journey begun again, this time to destination Shivaganga falls.

It was a long journey, the weather out was scorching and the tears coming down the eyes due to the speed got evaporated burring the skin. It was terrible, that. Had to park our bike and walk due to roughness of the road, a kilometre or two before we were at the mouth of the mountain. Our destination lay at the feet of the mountain opposite to where we currently were. Simply put, the journey down was fast and furious. The path of approximately five kms, was steep, slippery at places, rocky 90% of the time. Was as good as literally getting down a mountain. Got down the mountain only to see that the falls was still another mile away! There was that walk which was rather an acrobatic ride, before we finally reached to the base of the falls. It was only after about fifteen minutes after I and another friend, Vinayak reached, that the rest of the party joined in. Must say the troop was really exhausted. But there was the falls in all its beauty to make it up. We were there for maybe an hour and half or two. Then came the point of going back up. The water supply was done with. No sooner did we begin climbing the mountain, than our @nits4ever and @akshay felt their throat shout for water. For that matter, I believe it was so with each of us, only that a few could bear it while the others couldn’t. The thirst was such that they even drank the water that was falling off from various places. We met a troop of college students who asked us how further down it was to the falls, and having told the directions the one question I had was if they had enough supply of water. They did. Half way up we realised that we would have a real hard time getting back up and looking at @akshay’s state we knew it was going to be easier said than done. So myself and vinayak sped ahead to get some water or anything available nearby. Walking back up I felt maybe this was one task the roadies should be asked to do. We could feel the dehydration doing its thing. To add to it, I had my bag along, adding to my weight. Somehow we reached our bikes and sped ahead in search of the nearest hotel. Maybe about 10kms or so away we finally found a hotel. Stopped by had our fill of water, filled the water bottles we had, got some soft drink and got back to our waiting friends. Carrying 7 bottles wasn’t an easy task to do on a bumpy road when the rider was riding at no less than 50-60kms/hr. When we reached, the others were near the bike all set to ride back. Seeing the cold drinks was maybe the best feeling they would have for a very long time. The bottle was gone within few seconds. Life was back. Rode back. Stopped at the hotel once more for another round of drinks, soft of course. The tiredness was settling… Set back home. Needed a long rest before setting out again, but that was not to happen.

“Toggu rullavu kartasanchi. Bhari pormbolu yettas. (They are preparing a snack down stairs and its smelling great!) @nits4ever here has gone nuts. He is practising a mixture of ballet and item number 😉 #nowplaying My happy ending.”

After a round of snacks, headed to Sirsi again. Rode from half way down. The bike, a real specimen it was. No idling at all. Got switched off every time you slowed down. The weather was cool, the ride was good. Was it the road, was the bike, I wouldn’t know, but the bikes really ran fast, at 100-120kms/hr we were at ease, rather the bike was too. Reached the city, roamed around for a while, clicking few pics here and there. Then tiredness began taking its toll. Decided to go for dinner. Two hotels and nothing available. As luck would have it, our guide friend didn’t know his city too well. It was getting close to midnight and options were running out. So we asked him to enjoy, saying we would find dinner and would meet him later. So the trio set out in search of a hotel providing dinner, anything edible for that matter, in a stranger city. I still remember the banana we had before setting out. A few minutes later we found a hotel. Chef’s special it was. Whew! that was really a huge relief, for apples were back at home, miles away! Had burger, for nothing else seemed good enough. Was okay. Had some idle chat for about and hour and returned. Reaching the place where we were supposed to meet, we found that guy was still out enjoying somewhere and it was only about half an hour later that he returned. The mid night ride was splendid. Clocking more than 100kms/hr most of the times we were freezing in the cold weather. Yet there was a thrill to it.

“2:30 in the morning now. Still feeling wide awake. But the situation calls for sleep. Need to be up early. Wrapping up maybe one of the longest days in my life. Until sunrise, peace it shalt be.”

Re-living destination Sirsi! (Part-I)

“Its been a very tiresome day. 12.50 in the morning now. Started @ 4.15 in the evening. Dint know what I was thinking when I expected to find a seat, maybe I was expecting a reservation. All the same, you don’t get a seat in the general compartment, surely not on the train to Goa, never ever on a Friday, unless of course you got lucky. So it had to be standing journey. All I had since evening was a masala dosa which I had at a hotel nearby the railway station and a cool drink to wash it down.”

So it was, Friday, the 26th of February, 2010, De-Day. Had been planning for the trip, from quite sometime and finally it was taking life. There I was sitting in the doorway, ear phones plugged in, enjoying the tune of Linkin Park. Winds lashing on my face, my feet inches away from the ground when the stations passed by, darkness hitting hard at the sight of tunnels, kids waving from open fields, passing by life at several miles/hour, those little things always make my day. Always as in from dreams to reality. Never realized hour the four hour journey went by, or was it three? I am not sure.
As we reached the Kumta station, the sun had long set. We had to walk maybe a kilometre, or so I felt, before we caught sight of a hotel to hear the call of our stomachs. To think that was a short cut, I don’t want to think about the other route. With the baggage it was certainly more tiring. With hunger put to sleep, we had another journey to make before we could reach our destination. According to our guide friend, it was festival time and hence there would be buses very frequently, but as it happened, it was a theoretical statement. The buses to a destination was houseful and we were in the least mood to take another two hour standing journey. There were about 10-15 of us all together, and somebody said we hire a cab, but it was easier said than done. We found cabs, but the drivers were missing. And not everybody was keen to go together, so few left, and finally we were only five or six when we found seats. Its a different point that it was in the last row.

“Its twilight all around me. The temperature is down considerably. Can’t deny I am feeling the chill. My hungry eyes are feasting upon the twilight magic hungrily. In moments of glimpses that my eyes are able to catch, I was a witness to a photo-shopped alchemy. Every now and then my guide friend is butting in with the worldly description while I am lost in the other part of it. Sleep is hard to come with the bumpy ride I am on, yet a power nap would be a good idea. Btw on a govt bus on the way to Sirsi from Kumta. Going to lose myself in the twilight again..”

So it was maybe after almost 45 minutes after leaving the hotel, we were on another journey aboard a government bus which didn’t know what speed meant. No, better put, it could only dream of speed.

“Eyes catch the sight of a wonderful couple of houses, the dream house of every artist, a thatched roof, blue hue… To add to it, the twilight.. hmm… The day today, is totally going to be consumed by the twilight, wonderfully for me to savour the beauty. The bus had stopped for a while. Back to the bumpy track now…”

The road mostly consisted to ghat section, the sky was bright, it was dense rows of trees on both sides of the road, or so it looked in the darkness, the weather was getting terribly cold. As luck would have it the window wouldn’t budge. So I was taking shelter behind my bag, enjoying the beauty around me. There was no network through out, so no tweeting. Most of the crew was fast asleep, and maybe I was the only one awake. Not that I could catch sleep with the cold, anyway. After what seemed like a few hours, we finally reached Sirsi. Its was considerably colder when compared to Udupi. A part of me was glad that the travelling came to an end while the other half still wanted the bus ride to continue. It was carnival time and the city was buzzing with activity with no time to take a peak at the clock. It was decided that we would roam around for a while before leaving, but with the luggage it was pathetic moving around. Gave up on roaming plans. Dinner was tough to find with all hotels filled. Decided was better to head back. On the way to the bus stop we found a small Chinese food stall. Stopped to have some food. Ordered a Gobi Manchurian, it tasted ok. Got noodles parcelled to save time. When we finally reached the bus stop, Surprise! no bus. Found there was going to be no more for the day. It was about 11 then. Found a cab, after negotiating for sometime hired it. The journey was nothing less than going into the jungles. I was so damn tired, I could hardly keep my eyes open, but finally when we reached I was rejuvenated, or maybe the writer within was. The house which stood in front of our eyes was just WOW! Almost amidst the jungle. The house is typical village house, too good to be true. Felt was surely going to etch it into my memory before I left. It was more than 12 in the morning when we reached. Had a few chickoos and Kshaya. The hospitality was touching.

“Maybe for the first time in my life I don’t have a fan over my head. Interestingly I am not feeling the need for one either. There is no network here. So I am alone. Time to call it a day.. A long day ahead tomorrow.”

I was staying at Ravindra’s house. It was just the duo now, myself and @akshay, @nits4ever couldn’t make it due to some work. The first day was only a warm up.

Art life – The beginning

A short boy, standing in the assembly of the Independence day celebration functions. The flag is hoisted, the rest of the formalities done, the various speeches delivered, it was now time for the prize distribution function where the prize winners in the various competitions conducted with regard to the day, would be receiving their prizes. The list of the winners in the various was being announced, while the boy was lost in his own thoughts. A part of him lost thinking wish my name also is called up now, so that I can go and get a prize too.. No matter what it is, it just doesn’t matter. It was the pride of winning that, he wanted or though he dint know it, that was what it was in a way.
His thoughts raced back to his pre-primary classes where during the various celebrations only the prize winners went down to the assembly while the others watched on the proceedings from their class itself. There was a place, rather a room which was the exit from the nursery section leading directly to the quadrangle, where the assembly took place. He remembered those times when he saw others walk through there while he along with others stood there besides one of the windows from where he could have a clear view of the assembly, or rather when everybody sat down once the formal function was done. Even back then it was the same thought that crossed his mind, wish his name would be called up so that he could go to the stage to receive the honours…
The funny fact was that he very was aware that he had to win the competitions in order for his name to be called, and to win he had to compete in the competitions, which he never did. Yet the childish part of him always thought one day his name would certainly be called out…
To think it would really happen a few years later was quite unbelievable and now, years later he still found it unbelievable to take it in.

This series is all about his journey in the field of art describing the various things that happened with him, trivial most of the times, yet certainly a step towards the unknown dream.. His realization of the fact that, it was all about learning, rather appreciating the art..

Times @ Maddy Kripa-V

Year 02-03
I believe this was one of my best years at Madava Kripa, even when I was in there it was certainly a fun filled year, beautifully wrapped with all the excitement and a whole wide range of activities to be looked upon. A bunch of my most memorable moments at the school were born in this year, so in spite of this post being held back due to a lot of reasons, let me try to share the same things that this year showed me.

Solomon teacher was our class teacher for the year. She was a special teacher, and when I say special it was for many reasons. She handled English and social studies for us. She used to conduct a test after each lesson and the best thing about it was that, it would always comprise just fill in the blanks, match the following, and such other one mark questions. It always saved the trouble of reading pages long question and answers.

In English, after each poem was dealt with, while writing notes, we were required to be drawing a scene which depicted something from the poem, maybe a overall picture if it was a poem concerning something in general, or a scene or line if it was some kind of story, and we would be given marks out of ten for it. It would always be an achievement for me when I used to get 9 on the average for it, and I would be on cloud 9 on the occasions when I got 10 on 10. It was the same case in social where we were required to maintain a map drawing book, and again I was happy to be getting 9 or 9.5 usually.

Among other things, everyday after the prayers, one of us was required to read news and another was supposed to read a thought. I still remember those two occasions when it was my turn to read news, that after the normal few news items, I had spoken of those things that happened in our immediate surroundings. It was the time when signals were just installed in Manipal, and the time when they no longer worked!! My headlines went something like, Signals a waste investment in Manipal, or something like that, and I had received a merit for it. Another proud moment, among the many in that year…

For the first time in my life I heard of the concept of Friendship week, and it was because we celebrated it. It was usually in the afternoon sessions that we were indulged in these activities and I still remember that particular afternoon, when we made bookmarks for our friends. Our teacher provided us with a piece of nicely cut red colored ribbon which we used for our bookmark. We were required to give it to any of our friends, and I remember receiving one, and I am very much happy to say that I still have it with me. On the last day of the week, she had asked us to call our friends home and give them some snacks and anything else. I usually played in the evening and so I had no problem gathering friends. There were about twenty of us, and after a round of play, we enjoyed the snacks I had got along with other things. Back then it didn’t mean much, but thinking of it now, it really is a wonderful feeling to be with friends, enjoying as if there is nothing else more wonderful in this world….

We has three rows in our class, and usually whatever competition was conducted as a group, it would be between the three rows, which were named love, peace and joy. My row was “Love”, and like elsewhere, it was LOVE, our row, that won in most of the competitions. Once we had a kite flying competition, wherein each row was required to prepare a kite and then fly it during out P.T hour. Our kite was both the most beautiful and the one the touched the maximum heights. The other time that we worked together on something was, when we were required to prepare a model of, “The turtle beach”, which was a story of a turtle, which comes to the shore, to lay down its eggs. It faces a lot of difficulties on its way, which included stumbling through the bricks and other materials lying around, of a building being constructed nearby. But in the end it succeeds to lay its eggs safely, but dies in the process. It was really fun doing it, but it was more fun when children from 1st and 2nd standard came in a line, to see it and each group narrated the story of the turtle to them. Again we won it.

As I said above we received a merit for our good deeds and it goes without saying that we received a demerit for our misdeeds. On earning ten merits we got a silver star, and on earning five silver stars or twenty merits, we got a golden star. It was a very proud moment for every student to receive a star. At the end of the year, she had in fact presented us with those golden stars that we had earned. Its a pity to say that I misplaced it sometime ago, but those were really hard earned moments of happiness within those stars…

Once it so happened that our maths teacher was on leave and the class was in chaos, of course. At that time our class teacher was taking class for students of seventh standard, which was situated in the ground floor, unlike ours, which was in the first floor. She had asked a girl to make us do some work, and give her names of those who misbehaved, so that she could deal with them. It so happened that, we were having fun and that girl just for fun wrote my name as well as another guy’s name, and guess what? A few moments later the teacher comes to inspect the class!! There you go.. no excuses from her to anybody, so off we go. We had to sit in her class(seventh standard) and listen to her lecture, which happened to be the causes and results of the battle of Panipat. So for no fault of ours, we simply got punished…

Within no time we reach the end of the year, a year full of excitement, and memories that will be cherished through out. The various things that we did was mostly just for fun, back then, but now they really have paved the way for us to learn a lot things… Actually there were many more things that were a part of the year, but to pressurize my mind too much on those things would simply result in activating my tear glands. It might seem childish or whatever, but the very simple reason for it being those time will never come back, and that, they were among the best…..

Times @ Maddy Kripa-IV

Year 01-02
Another year at the old building, third in fact. I had three years at the old building only. Maybe that’s the reason I liked it a lot. Its a pity that its not there anymore. It is brought down to give way for a new building and the one we used to call new building has now become old..

We had Mrs. Vijayalaxmi as our class teacher for the year. We had a lesson in English titled, “The pie and the tramp”. The story goes somewhat like this – It was a story of two tramps, who are going through tough times and they can’t even beg to live as begging is forbidden in their place and they were already arrested a few times for begging. The play begins with them, sitting in the street, sharing their woes, when they hear a couple in a nearby house, speaking. The husband wants his wife to give the pie to a person he sends and when she asks how she would know the person who claimed the pie was genuine or not, they settle on the idea that the person coming to collect the pie has to kiss her hand. As soon as the husband goes out the two tramps who were over hearing the conversation decide to bring their hunger to an end by getting the pie. One of them goes and gets it the way the genuine person was intended to and they enjoy the pie thus fooling the couple…
We had enacted the play and I was one of the tramp. I still remember the first scene wherein I was to be looking glum but I was smiling.. I remember our teacher saying you shouldn’t be smiling. Change your expression… We spent two classes one fine afternoon enacting it and I believe we did a good job. Was a very memorable moment performing in front of the class..

The Magnetic field theory:
Every morning, as we used to reach early to the school we had about an hour before classes started and so we used to chit-chat sitting on the steps outside the class or else just roaming here and there. Once it so happened that one of us had got a pair of magnet and was just playing with it when someone said there was magnetic substance in the soil. We found quite a lot of small particles and by chance one of us found some iron nail. That inspired us to search more junk and soon we were on a junk search and every morning we searched with around our class and nearby, with a magnet to see what we would find. Within about a week or so we found a plastic full of rusted nails, pieces of iron etc, etc.. We had planned to give it to the junkyard and share whatever we got from it. We had kept it in the cupboard only to forget it. During exam time we remembered it but then we decided we would take it on the result day. Again it was forgotten only to be remembered when we got to know that it was thrown out, the next year…

Yet another year passed within no time.. It was a sad moment to be leaving.. One thing was that I was leaving behind my favourite part of the school, the old building block and also our class teacher was leaving the school…But then there was a new year to look forward to, new adventures to be faced..

Times @ Maddy Kripa-III

It is really an awesome feeling to be recalling all the old memories and it just takes you deeper and deeper into it, bringing out new dimensions to the already fixed memory. I was completely blank when I started with this series but now the images are clearing…

Year 99-2000

We had Janet teacher as our class teacher. I still remember her birthday ka din, when we had all planned to wish her and give her a surprise. We had prepared a card for her and kept it on the table. But when the period started and she dint come, everything went out of way. Soon everybody in the class started shouting and it was like a market place come alive. She came about fifteen to twenty minutes late and she was all fumed up while coming as the noise created by our class could have been heard until the staff room. We could see her coming down the corridor. Seeing her temper we got scared and took back the card kept on the table, rubbed the happy birthday written on the board.. As soon as she got in everybody got a solid lecture!! We planned to surprise her.. But she gave us one… Her voice had the ability to keep anybody listening and the power to induce fear to anybody who was being shouted at. Actually even if you weren’t the one being shouted at, you felt the fear going down your veins..

The moment every student feared in her class would be when our answer books were given back after a test was conducted. One never knew which way she attacked. Once a few days after a class test, she called a few students and got all the books brought to class from the staff room. Once she came to the class she asked everybody to stand up. We had to catch our books as she threw it from the table.. It was a moment when the student who hadn’t done well just knew what he was going to face… In fact, hearing her, you would get a doubt about your performance, even if you thought you were sure about it a moment ago. But then she always appreciated those who did well. I guess that was one reason she never lost her temper at me. If you were good, she would be gentle with you, else you just had it…

Annanu madida galipata
bannada haleya galipata
neeliya banali teluta sundara
balangoshiya nanna pata

Bidirina bettiya galipata
bedarada bettada galipata…

…dharava jaggi
dhooradi baggi
balangoshiya nanna pata

It was the first poem we learnt and I used to keep telling it very often. Soon our test arrived and we had to write the poem by heart and the practice was the teacher used to write the questions on the board and we wrote the answers in our answer book. Of all things, I failed to notice the question on the poem. I donno how I missed it, but I dint notice it and realised it only after I had submitted my paper. I got B+ in that particular test as I hadn’t written the poem. After that incident I always watch out for the question on poem first. Its been about 9 years now, but I still remember a little of the poem as a memory of the incident…

Year 2000-01

Padmavathi teacher was our class teacher. She was a very stern teacher and just her presence kept a class under pin drop silence. She had squint eyes and that increased to her sternness coz one never knew where she was seeing. You thought she was seeing the other way but oh! no.. she was looking at you. From three years I was watchful enough to escape from her but escaping from your class teacher was going to be a tough job… Anyways there was also the gentle side of her. She had a very good practice of teaching poems. She took up Kannada and since we had to by heart poems, before starting a poem she would first tell each line and make us repeat it. Once that was done she would put in a tune for it and then repeat the process again. That way we knew the poem and wouldn’t forget it easily.. Then she used to explain it.. I still remember the poem classes of hers. They were so much fun.

The year also marked another memorable event for me when I was selected for a state level drawing competition to be held at Manglore. One fine afternoon, I was called from the class and was told about the competition. It was first of its kind for me back then and that itself was a great sense of achievement… The competition was conducted by, “The Hindu” and I was proud to be among the few, representing our school. Two were to be selected from senior group and one from junior. So that was one of the reasons to be happy about. I was also happy coz I was among the likes of Uttam Bhat and Swathi C Prabhu who were the top artists in our school, back then. I still have the participation certificate with me, serving as a witness to this memory…

Times @ Maddy Kripa-II

Year 97-98

In my first standard I had change of class teachers quite often.. Like they changed every now and then.. Initially we had Sharada teacher and then there was a change twice before Revathi teacher came in finally. Coming into the higher primary our classes were in a different building. It was like we came into the outer section of the school.. The most wonderful thing about Madhav Kripa are the corridors. They run about the stretch of the building and i can never forget those times when we used to run along them and skid having so much of fun..

We once had a dictation test and just before the test my bench mateasked me whether I knew all the words which were supposed to be knowing and I said I did. He then said that he didn’t know and hence had written them on a paper and he would copy from it whenever he wasn’t sure. The test started and the fun was the teacher went on telling words and he dint know which was which!! He was totally confused and finally gave up seeing the sheet and just went about writing what he knew. Its funny to see the simplicity of his behaviour. He thought it was easy to copy down but didn’t think he would have the difficulty of recognising what he had to write..

Our class had four rows and hence there were four leaders appointed and I was one among them. There was a chubby girl in our row and every now and then she used to pull my cheeks!! It used to irritate me so much.. I could control the entire class but for her. Couldn’t stop her from pulling my cheeks.. I remember that when I would be the most irritated, I would complain to the teacher that she was disturbing me and the teacher would ask what was she doing. The first time when I said that she was pulling my cheeks, my teacher pulled my cheeks and asked like this??

Later on she just used to smile every time I complained about her.

Year 98-99

We had Nagaratna teacher as our class teacher.. Thank god my cheek puller had left the school!! The reason how I knew most of my classmates was that I was the class leader.. Among other things like minding the class, I was also assigned to see if others had completed their notes and I remember one particular incident where in of a few who hadn’t completed their maths notes I was assigned two students to see that they completed everything and they had to sit outside the class while completing.. They were so dumb and lazy that most of the things were incomplete… Every second problem or so would be incomplete… Finally I guess I got them finish it..

Our environmental studies teacher, Uma, used to make us read out the lesson every once in a while. She used to ask a few to read a para each or so and would give us marks out of five based on our reading. It was a proud feeling to be the highest scorer.. The other thing about her was that she had a unique way of calling out one’s name.. That was something I liked the most about her. Even today when I meet her she first calls in the same way as she used to do when I was her student…

We used to have a class test every month. For English we had to by heart poems and once during English test I wasn’t able to recall one of the lines.. I was a little confused about it and so I was just thinking about it when the girl sitting next to me, seeing me concerned, asked what happened and I told her that I dint know a particular line of the poem and she promptly asked me if it was….. and told the line. Icouldn’t resist a smile when I realised that she had already seen my paper to notice the missing line.

Times @ Maddy Kripa-I

Every child has a special affection towards his school not only because he studied there but more due to the special memories attached with the school. It is due to those special moments that you will never be able to forget it. Here is an effort to bring out a few of my memories down the lane in “Times @ Maddy kripa” a collection of moments at Madhav Kripa.

Year 95-96: My first year at school, the first step in the journey. I don’t remember much of the admission and other things but I very well remember my classroom, those cute little chairs and not to forget my favourite place. We had four sections in L.K.G and I was in the C section and our class had an adjoining room where we had the provision to keep our bags. I still remember those days when many of my classmates would go in there every now and then to check if theirtiffin box was safe..

Coming into the second year I was into the A section and most of my friends were in my class. So it was better than Lkg wherein we were all in different sections. Our building was such that in the centre there was a hall and from it you could go to any of the classes. Lkg was in the same area as the hall but to go to the Ukg you had to get down the stairs which led to a lower area than the hall. We used to gather in the hall every morning for prayer before the classes began. I still remember the day when during the prayer time one of the teachers came to me, pulled my cheeks and gave me two coffee bites:) We had our headmistress, Mrs.Kusumavathi, as our class teacher and she was such a lovely and sweet person that anybody who studied as her student would never forget her…

Unlike the first year, we had full day school in the second year but we were supposed to sleep in the noon. We had a caretaker to ensure that everybody was asleep. Usually for our class Shakuntala aunty would come and she used to sit at the back of the class with a wooden scale in her hand. I never had the habit of sleeping in the noon and I would pretend to be asleep and wait for her to fall asleep. Within a little time she would fall asleep and the scale in her hand would fall down. That was a signal for us that we were free. There would be a few who wouldn’t sleep and so we used to play while everybody else slept. On the days when everybody was asleep I used to go up to her and pick up the scale and play with it. Sometimes we even played throwing it here and there.. It was usually the evening bell that used to wake her up. Everyday she used to try her best to make me sleep but never to succeed…

Once it so happened that due to some reason we were asked to sleep in another class and the caretaker there was strict. As usual I dint sleep and was playing with a rubber band which I had attached end to end thus making it a flexible rope like. She noticed it and got it confiscated… I was very sad about it as it used to be my proud possession. A few days later I was summoned to the Hm’s cabin and when I went there I found that my favourite possession was lying on the table and my favourite teacher was smiling at me seeing the happiness in my face. She then gave it back to me but after that day I dint take back to the school again..

Another memorable day was when we had been taken for a movie at video Cinerama which is situated near TC. I dono how the whole lot of students fit in the school bus. But we went there in a bus. The place is not very far from our school, walkable distance actually. The movie was 101 Dalmatians:) We had a wonderful afternoon watching the movie, enjoying and savouring each moment…

We went on excursions every year, the place usually being T.A.Pai farm for nursery students. It was a day of fun and I soon learnt that I would wait for it and think about it even days after it was over…