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. 

Ganesh Visarjan.

Ganesh Visarjan.
Devotees began bidding adieu to idols of Lord Ganesh which were installed and worshiped at homes on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. Immersion of the idols of Lord Ganesha is last part of Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Before saying Good Bye people bring the idols to local water body dancing and celebrating, there they perform the prayers and whisper their wish into his ears. 

These pics are taken of the people who were performing different rituals at Sagar Lake, Jaipur.

Sanganeri Print.

Sanganeri Print.
Shot taken at Sanganer Print Factory where the workers are spreading and making the cloth ready on printing table to start the print process.

Sanganer is a town situated in Jaipur district, Rajasthan, 16 km south of state capital Jaipur. It is famous for textile printing, handmade paper industry, and for Jain temples. Sanganer prints are one of its own kinds, for the reason that patterns in bright colours are always printed on white backgrounds. Sanganeri Hand block printing received the geographical indication.

Exodus Till When?

Today 14-Sep, the descendants of the Kashmiri Pandits silently protested at Amar jawan Jyoti, Jaipur. Wearing black ribbons and lighting candles the community organized silent protest.

Mr. Goat.

Mr. Goat.
Mobile shot of Mr. Goat whom I met few days back at Chandpol, Jaipur.

Dhup.

Dhup.
बहोत दिनों के बाद आज शहर में धुप निकली है (after many days there was sunlight in the city)। Met Padmaja Gungun today at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur.

Final Touches.

Artist giving final touches to Ganesha idols ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi at Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, Jaipur.
Artist giving final touches to Ganesha idols ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi at Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, Jaipur.

Aanchal Bohra Crowned Miss Rajasthan 2018.

Aanchal Bohra Crowned Miss Rajasthan 2018.
Aanchal Bohra in right with tag number 18 Crowned as Miss Rajasthan 2018 and 1st runner up  Juhi Vyas.

Rreligion and Escapism.

Rreligion and Escapism.
This guy was sitting outside a temple in Jaipur. Not disturbing or poking anyone, just sitting and reading his holy book. Occasional passerby’s were dropping a Rupee or two in front of him. He looked focus on what he was doing; he didn’t even got distracted by me while I took this top shot.

At that time a question came to my mind. Does religion has developed into a way to justify escapism? 

Exhibition Continues.

Exhibition Continues.
Took this shot at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. Where paint job is in the process right now.

My First Love, Bhutta.

First Love Bhutta.
Pahela pahela pyar na bhule,
Bhule chahe sari khudai.
Mujhe mila sath jo tera,
Maine sari duniya bhulai.

My first Love Bhutta (Grilled Corn), enjoying the season’s first bhutta at Jawahar Circle, Jaipur. #mobilephotography

Jealous.

Jealous.
I kind of miss those days when I use to ride two wheeler. I always use to reach home drenched in rainy season and when mom use to scold me I use to say mom what can I do it started raining and there was no shelter on the way. . . :) Anyhow there was a little girl on this bike in between her parents who was enjoying like anything and I was getting jealous of her.

The size of Family.

The size of Family.
I met this guy recently at one of the Sanganer Print Factory, when I was there on a shoot for a garment brand. I had spent some good amount of time there so got a chance to interact with him and other workers. You will be amazed to find out that many of them earn more money than many M.B.A. graduates nowadays but still live in very bad conditions. When I dug more about the reason behind their poor living conditions after such a good earning, one of the reasons I found is that they are the only earning member of their family and they send most of the money to their family in villages. You must be thinking most of the city graduates also support their families but still live in better conditions? Answer is simple “The size of Family”, When a city graduate talks about family it generally means nuclear family setup but When these worker talk about family it means Grand Parents, Parents, 3 or 4 Siblings, Wife and few Children. 

A country where children are considered as a gift of god and talking about condom is taboo in itself needs hell lot of effort to educate people about family planning. Otherwise no amount of money can bring good living conditions to them.

Monsoon Drama by Nature.

Amphitheatre of Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
There was Rain, Blue Sky, Clouds and Sunlight all together. Nature was in full mood of drama today and what could have been the better place then Amphitheatre of Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur to capture it. 

Monsoon in Rajasthan.

Relief from scorching heat, finally monsoon is in Rajasthan. It’s a different story that it had already claimed many lives all over India.

A Kulfi Wala.

A Kulfi Wala.

Had a chit chat with this guy who sell kulfi at the Statue Circle, Jaipur. He told me that competition is high, business is down and he has lot of expenses to meet. Then I asked him what does he thinks about the future of his business, he just went silent in a thought and I clicked his answer.

Thirsty Monkey and Modern Science.

Thirsty Gray langur and Modern Science.
Gray langur are common in India and so is the thirst for Water. It’s not just about the India but most of the countries in World are going through the crisis of clean water. Water is the basic necessity and after so much modernization, industrialization and so on . . . World is still going through the crisis of clean water? 

Just think about it are the Scientists from around the globe are so dumb that they can come up with innovations we can’t even imagine but they can’t come up with a solution for our basic necessity clean water? Even these Langurs in India have evolved and urbanized so much that they know how to open a tap to drink water and then when they are done they close the tap. But Scientists are still in the search for the solution of clean water or is someone stopping them from providing us the solution?

Exhibition - New Traditions: Influences and Inspirations in Indian Textiles.

Exhibition - New Traditions: Influences and Inspirations in Indian Textiles.
A unique textile exhibition titled ‘New Traditions: Influences and Inspirations in Indian Textiles, 1947 – 2017’ opened its doors to the public at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur on Friday. Showcasing artwork from over 50 artists and designers who have been dynamically influenced by cultural, political, social, economic and scientific conditions, the exhibition will remain open to the public till 31 July 2018.

Weeding Vastra Heritage Look Book Shoot 2018.

Weeding Vastra Heritage Look Book Shoot 2018.
Few shots from Weeding Vastra Heritage Look Book Shoot 2018.
Designer - Abhi Sharma
Model - Priyank Sharma, Muskan Golash and Garima Dhingra
Photography - Manav Singhi
Location - Castle Kalwar

Backstage.

Shot Taken for FashionVeda.com before the Trunk show at polo lounge on Saturday 29-April-2018. Show Director Gaurav Gaur - Models Akanksha Bhalla, Ridhima Godha, Nupur Jhankal and Mona Gautam.

Astha Naayika

Sneha Chakradhar Bharatnatyam
On the occasion of "World Dance Day" Jawahar kala Kendra, Jaipur presented "Astha Naayika" a treat for Dance lovers.

Astha Naayika explores the different Avastahas (State) of a Naayika towards her Nayaka (Lover, Hero), told through the tale of eight Naayikas, showcasing eight Bhavas (emotion) of a woman in love, depending on the situation.

She is the bold one or the repentant, the annoyed or the separated, the expectant or full of pride. The visualization of myrid moods of nayika entwined in music, dance and poetry.

Performing Artists: Lipsa Satpathy Odissi, Sneha Chakradhar Bharatnatyam and Rashmi Uppal Kathak.
Lipsa Satpathy Odissi 
Rashmi Uppal Kathak

Bharatanatyam

Bharatanatyam
Today on the Eve of World Heritage Day Bharatanatyam performance was presented by the Students of Aakechak Society at the Albert Hall, Jaipur.

Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan

Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan
Scene from the play, "Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan" which was staged on the second day of Theatre Olympics on Monday evening at Ravindra Manch, Jaipur. 

Directed by Salima Raza, Salima Raza also played the role of Alys while Banwari Taneja played Faiz. the play is a dramatised reading of the letters exchanged between Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Pakistan’s poet laureate and one of the most important litterateurs of Urdu language, and his wife Alys, when he was imprisoned in Pakistan between 1951 and 1955.

The Stronger by August Strindberg.

The Stronger by August Strindberg.

Today I went to see a Play “The Stronger by August Strindberg” as a part of ongoing “Jaipur International Theatre Festival” at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. I was 3min late and just missed the Introduction of play so I was not having any Idea about what the play will be about. The language was Greek so it was kind of impossible for me to understand it.

The above pic was from one of the first scenes of the play and rest of the pics is in the sequence of the play. It was the interesting play and the acting was beautiful. “According to me” the whole play was about the fight over these bellies and in the end both the women divided the bellies.

Faag Utsav.

Kathak performance by Yashika Singh at Govind Dev Ji Temple, Jaipur. On the occasion of  Faag Utsav 2018.


Something is between Us.

Took this shot of Arvind Jodha on 06-May-2016 at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur.
“Something is between Us” is series of three pictures.
Took this shot of Arvind Jodha on 28-Dec-2017 at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur.
Took this shot of Arvind Jodha on 24-Jan-2018 at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur.