Posted by: cochinblogger | July 10, 2009

The Blue-Veined Beauty

Hi, this is Cochin Blogger at your service. I’m based in a town called Cochin (officially, Kochi) in the state of Kerala, which is perched at the southern-most tip of India. It’s just a stone’s throw from Sri Lanka, and is famous for its unique natural beauty. Kerala is a slim, blue-veined beauty, with canals, backwaters, lagoons, rivers, lakes, ponds, and puddles galore, a thin strip of land caressed by the waters of the Arabian Sea.

Kerala’s trademark is tropical fecundity. It’s a paradise that is still largely unspoiled because of the low level of industrialization. Kerala first hit the international headlines when it voted the communists to power in 1957, this being only the second time communists anywhere in the world have formed a popularly elected government (the first time was in the tiny republic of San Marino).

Right, I’m signing off now. I’ll be sure to keep you posted. 🙂

Posted by: cochinblogger | February 28, 2023

Selling Technicolor Dreams on Broadway

Shot on January 10, 2023.

Note: Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Posted by: cochinblogger | January 31, 2023

Elegant Couple Near Broadway

As soon as I saw them, I stopped. Was this an apparition, a mirage? Immediately, I knew what I had to do and began walking towards them. The man’s eyes narrowed a little as I approached him, and his right hand hovered over his pant pocket. He looked like the fastest draw in the West, and I didn’t want to take any chances. I showed him my empty hands. He visibly relaxed.

“May I take a photo?” I asked. The mood lightened. “Of course!” they said, and I lost no time taking this shot with my phone. We exchanged a few pleasantries. I said photography was my hobby, and this photo would go up on my blog next month. “We’ll be back in the UK then,” they replied. I wished them a good trip, and we walked out of each other’s lives.

Note: Please click on the photo to enlarge it.

Posted by: cochinblogger | December 31, 2022

The Last Sunset of 2022

Well, this photo was actually taken on December 30. A small white lie for a catchy title.

Note: Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Posted by: cochinblogger | November 30, 2022

Tribute to a Headmistress

I saw this behind the Government Girls High School, from the road to the railway station. This open-air tribute has survived 64 years! And so it should: after all, it’s carved in stone.

PS: Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Posted by: cochinblogger | October 31, 2022

The Man Buried on the Moon

Do you know the name of the man who is buried on the moon? Yes, a man lies buried on the moon; not the whole of him, but one ounce of his cremated remains. Who buried him on the moon? A spacecraft called Lunar Prospector, which crashed into the lunar surface on July 31, 1999.

The man was Eugene Shoemaker, a pioneering geologist with a deep interest in space. He had wanted to be an astronaut, but was turned down because of a minor medical problem. In 1997, he died in a car crash while on a research mission (a search for impact craters) in Australia. Shortly before he died, he had said: “Not going to the Moon and banging on it with my own hammer has been the biggest disappointment in life.”

I learned this from a fascinating book called Space 2069 by David Whitehouse. As David puts it, “In death he [Eugene Shoemaker] got his wish.”

I took the above photo of the moon with a Canon SX-30 from the terrace of my house on January 31, 2016.

The tournament was held on the food court floor of Central Mall, M.G. Road, in the heart of Kochi. I was tempted to play but came to know about the tournament a little too late to be able to reschedule my work. I’ll play next year! I did visit the venue on each of the three days of the event to soak up the atmosphere.

The above two photos are of blind chess players in action. Chess is probably the only game in which the blind compete with the sighted on equal terms. The blind player uses a special board with holes that the chess pieces go into. Black pieces have a projection at the top so that they can be distinguished from White pieces by touch. Blind players are allowed to touch the pieces during play. The sighted player can use the normal board, like the player in the second photo above. The only concession given to the blind player is that during the game, he can ask the arbiter to tell him the time on his clock.

I spoke to the blind player in the second photo above between rounds. His name is Mohammed Salih. He told me had traveled by train from Kozhikode to play in the tournament. He regularly travels to play in tournaments all over the country. People are helpful he said. We played a few moves of a skittles game, and then it was time for the round to begin. Later, I Googled the name and realized that he was rather well known, with several interviews in YouTube. During a tournament, players have to write down the moves of the game on scoresheets. I noticed that Salih carried a voice recorder into which he spoke the moves played in tournament games. Technology is probably a blind person’s best friend.

Read about Mohammed Salih here:

The tournament was won by a young college dropout from West Bengal who now plays chess full-time. I spoke with him briefly just before the final round began.

A few photos from the tournament follow.

I saw the above ad in Facebook.

Posted by: cochinblogger | August 31, 2022

Reading in the Rain

A lottery ticket seller takes a break. Shot on M.G. Road in July 2022.

Note: Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Posted by: cochinblogger | July 31, 2022

Shikra with Prey

A piercing shriek outside the window was followed by the clamor of birds in the treetops. I ran to the window. This was what I saw.

I fairly flew up the stairs for the camera. This shot was taken from a first-floor window. I then came down and slowly opened the window closest to the scene. The shikra immediately sought refuge in a tree and must have finished its meal there.

And the victim? Perhaps a magpie robin.

PS: Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Posted by: cochinblogger | June 30, 2022

A True Vegetarian

Posted by: cochinblogger | May 31, 2022

Political Street Art

Shot on Banerji Road. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

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