Meha Jha from Lucknow Gharana.

Meha Jha Kathak from Lucknow Gharana.
Yesterday evening Meha Jha Kasliwal gave a beautiful Kathak performance on the potery of Hazrat Amir Khusro - Ambwa Talay Dola Rakh de Niharwa. . .

The occasion was of the annual dance festival of “Mudra Academy of performing Arts” which held at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Meha Jha is the founder director of Mudra Academy of performing Arts Jaipur, Rajasthan. Who started her journey into Kathak in Lucknow (Gharana) style when she was just 8 years old.

Kathak is found in three distinct forms, called "Gharanas", named after the cities where the Kathak dance tradition evolved – Jaipur, Banaras and Lucknow. While the Jaipur Gharana focuses more on the foot movements, the Banaras and Lucknow Gharanas focus more on facial expressions and graceful hand movements.

The Landwehr orchestra at Jaipur.

The Landwehr orchestra at Jaipur.
Shot taken today during the performance of The Landwehr orchestra from Fribourg, Switzerland. The concert was organized to celebrate 70 + years of the Swiss-Indian Friendship Treaty at Ram Niwas Bagh, Jaipur.  The Albert Hall Museum was icing on the cake as the backdrop of the event.

Sindur Khela.

Sindur Khela at Durgabari, Jaipur.
19-Oct-2018 - Took this shot today of Sindur Khela at Durgabari, Jaipur. Sindur Khela meaning 'vermillion game', is a Bengali Hindu tradition where women smear each other with sindur on Vijayadashami, after the conclusion of the ritual worship on the last day of the Durga Puja, married Bengali Hindu women apply sindur on the forehead and feet of the goddess and offer sweets to her. Then they put sindur on each other's faces and offer sweets to each other.

Dhunachi Dance.

Dhunachi Dance.
Took this shot today of women’s performing dhunachi dance to please goddess Durga on the last night of this year’s Durga Puja celebrations, at the pandal decorated in front of Dakshineswar Kali Mandir, Jaipur.

Night Before Dussehra.

effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghanada,
Artisans working late night surrounded by effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghanada, in various states of completion, ahead of the Vijaya Dashmi or Dussehra festival near Mansarovar Metro Station, Jaipur.

Donkey Fair.

Donkey Fair - Ghati Karolan, Surrounding temple of Goddess Khalkani, Near Luniawas village, Approx 20km from Jaipur, Rajasthan.  Asia's biggest Donkey Fair or cattle fair near Jaipur.
Donkey Fair - helds at Ghati Karolan, Surrounding temple of Goddess Khalkani, Near Luniawas village, Approx 20km from Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Donkey Fair is said to be more than 500 year old fair which held’s annually approx 20Km from Jaipur. The 5 day fair starts approx 6days before the Dussehra and ends one day before Dussehra, around the month of October.

It was once believed to be Asia's largest Donkey Fair, where you could have seen more than 25,000 donkeys in a stretch. But with the time, lack of government interest and modernization all of it has changed. Now the Donkeys in Donkey fair are very limited, instead of Donkeys horses and mules have taken the center stage. With the modernization the vehicles had replaced the donkeys that were once used majorly by farmers, potters and laborers for carrying the load from one place to other. Once it was the major Donkey trading fair for northern India but now that is not the case, traders from nearby villages only attend the fair. 

But still it is in good shape and if you are in Jaipur then it is a must visit place right now. One of the best thing about this fair is that it has not got commercialized like the Pushkar fair. Donkey Fair still has its rawness intact and would be a heaven for Street Photographers right now. 

Points to remember which can help you to start a chit chat with locals. Kathiyawadi breed of Donkeys are beautiful in looks but Malani And Sanchori breads are strong and can carry lot of weight, which are in heavy demand. And you can get a Good Donkey for around 5000Rs.

Indian Coffee House.

Indian Coffee House.
Shot taken at Indian Coffee House, Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. Where Yashpal was busy as usual in serving guests.

A woman.

A woman selling luminous LED balloons at statue circle, Jaipur.
A woman selling luminous LED balloons at statue circle, Jaipur.

Ayaan Ali Bangash and Amaan Ali Bangash.

Ayaan Ali Bangash and Amaan Ali Bangash at Central Park, Jaipur.
13th October Jaipur - A beautiful Sarod Performance today by Ayaan Ali Bangash and Amaan Ali Bangash at Central Park, Jaipur. As a part of Spic Macay’s community outreach program “Music in the Park” celebrates the composite heritage, and brings awareness about the peaceful and beautiful Rangilo Rajasthan ! 

Atul Gupta

Atul Gupta

Captured Atul Gupta a budding Cinematographer at the vacant stalls of a craft exhibition going on at Shilp Gram, Jawahar Kala Kendra, JLN Marg, Jaipur.

RamLeela a Dying Art.

RamLeela a Dying Art.
Ramlila or Ram Leela is a folk play on the life of Lord Rama, basically it is played on the stories from the religious epic Ramayana. Generally it is played for ten nights which ends on the Dussehra when the Demon King Rawan is set on fire.

When I was kid there was a small temple near my home where Ramlila used to get performed. My grandmother use to take me there many times as she wants to make me religious and on the weekend sometimes my father used to take us to the biggest fair and festival ground of that time to watch the most glamorized Ramleela at "Ram leela Maidan, Jaipur" (even the name of this ground is "Ram leela Ground). The capacity of this ground is in thousands and it was used to be jam packed at those time of Ramleela. 

As this is Ramlila season, yesterday evening I made a plan to revisit the memory lane. First I went to that small temple and inquired about the Ramleela but they said that they had stopped organizing it from few years. Then I thought ok let's go to the biggest Ramleela ground of Jaipur "Ramleela Maidan". When I was kid and used to come here we needed to have special passes or tickets to get entry, I was happy to see that now it’s a free entry with just few booked VIP’s seats. I reached there about an hour early so decided to have a peek at the backstage area. All the artists were very friendly and welcomed me with the open heart. I was sitting with them, having chit-chat, watching them get ready, clicking few pics in-between. 

After they all got ready and they said play will start in a minute. I thanked them all for their hospitality and came out from backstage to main ground to watch the play. But as soon as I came out and saw the scenario of ground my heart broke and I realized what Electronic Media, Fast moving Life and Commercialization of everything had done to the Performances like this. The ground was kind of empty, Even the few Vip’s seats were empty, Most of the crowd was of the beggars and poor homeless people who lives in and around this ground. Every year the event gets sponsored by “Golcha Charitable Trust” but in this condition it’s a question that till when this sponsorship will go on. All most all the small temples had stopped organizing RamLeela and the one who still organize don’t get the audience and meet the expenses. So I will suggest if you have kids then take them once to RamLeela cause in this condition I don’t think it will going to last long.

A Man with A Bicycle.

A Man with A Bicycle.
A man with a bicycle relaxing at one of the vacant bus stops at Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Jaipur.
Today was the 5th day of “Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC)  and Jaipur City Transport Services Limited (JCTSL)” strike. Mostly affected are the students and the common people who totally depend on the public transport. The private bus operators are running overloaded and had hiked their prices more than double.