Tag Archives: India

Yes … the street of India

IND_9528Re-visiting my India’s photos for my latest NST assignment to celebrate Deepavali or Dewali. All these photos bring back memories of me surviving India and I think its time to repeat India again.

I am yearning to experience another round of emotional burst … in India maybe in 2018.

Sharing a few more photos of the bustling street of Old Delhi, New Delhi.

And my article on India for the NST readers is turning out well too, alhamdullilah. I am sharing it here for my own future reference.

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Bye for now.

 

Cheers

MM

 

ps- buzzing head … need to stay focus!


Lesson of Acceptance

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Quran teaching at Jami Masjid, Agra, India

I stumbled upon this particular poem of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi’s while I was struggling to understand the existing and the departing of certain people around me. Sharing it here with y’alls.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi
We are bombarded with all kind of emotions or thought daily … at least I am. A good reminder to a stray soul like mine … beautifully written indeed.
As I strolled through my photo collections, I felt like sharing these photos of a very patient Quran teacher that I saw at Jami Masjid, Agra, India. Why did I thought that he was a patient teacher?
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A humble place to learn to read the beautiful Quran

I was  watching him while he was teaching.
His voice was calm and soft towards his student. And … my friends and I … strangers with cameras clicking around him doesn’t annoyed him at all.
I was comparing this situation back home in Malaysia whereby …certain people, especially those who has certain level of religious knowledge more than the average, would easily get agitated with strangers ( I am being carefully polite here).
But … yeah, I might be wrong though.
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Another shoot from above. A nice warm feeling whenever I looked at this photo

It’s hot and hazy here in Kuala Lumpur. Feels like staying indoor 24×7.

A good reason to start preparing myself for my next gateway. Emptying my expectation and straightening my judgemental mind. A blank canvas could be a canvas full of possibilities … right?

Bye

Cheers

MM

 

p.s – Learning to be at peace with myself. Oh Allah … please be gentle with me and never leave me alone unattended by You. Indeed oh Allah … You are the best Protector and the best Helpers

 

 


The color of Kindness

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India 2015: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

It has been awhile since my last post here. So many things happened during that period of time … smacked down moments that make the happy go lucky me went silent without words …  my ‘maturity’ lesson, I called it.

Or maybe a trade-off for my current lifestyle that I am having now. In order for me to enjoy my “jiwa MERDEKA” or “free spirited” life … I have to experience these emotional confusion about responsibility, accountability, loyalty, trust, love, friendship, religion (as what PEOPLE imposed me on believing) and death.  More you get of X, less you get of Y.

Accepting and understanding death is the hardest for me. Loosing someone who is close to you through death does not feel the same as loosing him/ her through a devastating broken relationship. But well … life continuously goes on and on … and time heals you accordingly. For arwah Abah and Paksu … al-fatihah.

What really helped during those confusing moments? … the act of kindness by people closed to me and by those unexpected strangers in my life … helps to ease up my confusion and at the same time giving me hope and space … so that I would rise up better than before. Alhamdullilah and thank you …

If I rant further more … then this post will ended up as philosophical as Sigmund Feud thesis paper on understanding human psychology.

"We rise by lifting others." -

India  2015: “We rise by lifting others.”

The truth is … I am craving for my solitude and silence more than ever now.

With this thunder inside me now … if I continue forcing myself out, words spoken or written surely would sound more defensive and hostile. The hidden drama queen in me would probably go berserk  😉 … but ‘I am no hero and I’m not made of stone.

Looking at photos has a temporary tranquility effect on me … my all-natural tranquilizer. Sharing some human interest portraits from my recent India trip with my readers here. Images are mostly in monochrome, if you want to view in color then you can check-out my flickr account.

I need a lullaby to keep me going while preparing my today’s post. I am singing my heart out with my karaoke version of  “Until it Sleeps” by Metallica. Let’s sing along together with me … 1… 2 … 3 😉

Note: click the video below so that you can continue reading while listening to the song as your background music

"A warm smile is the universe

India 2015: “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”

Where do I take this pain of mine?
I run, but it stays right by my side

So tear me open, pour me out
There’s things inside that scream and shout
And the pain still hates me
So hold me until it sleeps

"Respect is a two-way street, if you want it you have to give it." - R.G. Risch

India 2015: What is the color of kindness?

Just like the curse, just like the stray
You feed it once and now it stays
Now it stays

They said PINK is the color of kindness

India 2015: They said PINK is the color of kindness

So tear me open but beware
There’s things inside without a care
And the dirt still stains me
So wash me until I’m clean

It grips you, so hold me
It stains you, so hold me
It hates you, so hold me
It holds you, so hold me
Until it sleeps

Kindness

India 2015: And, he has the color of kindness neatly tucked on his shoulder

So tell me why you’ve chosen me
Don’t want your grip
Don’t want your greed
Don’t want it

kindness

India 2015: “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” ~ Dalai Lama

I’ll tear me open, make you gone
No more can you hurt anyone
And the fear still shakes me
So hold me until it sleeps

kindness

India 2015: “The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid”

It grips you, so hold me
It stains you, so hold me
It hates you, so hold me
It holds you, holds you, holds you
Until it sleeps

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India 2015: “Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns”

I don’t want it … no … no … no

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India 2015: “To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others”

So tear me open but beware
There’s things inside without a care
And the dirt still stains me
So wash me… till clean

India 2015: “In the end … only kindness matter”

I’ll tear me open, make you gone
No longer will you hurt anyone
And the hate still shapes me

So hold me until it sleeps

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“What is a rebel? A man who says NO” … so hold me until I SLEEP 🙂

I am signing off right now … and continue taking my recovery sleep. When I finally decide to wake up … I will strike harder and better than before … In Sha Allah. Till then … 🙂

Cheers

MM

 

 

p/s Ramadhan Mubarak to all my muslim readers … and we are moving nearer to the last 10 days of Ramadhan. The most blessed days in the blessed month of Ramadhan are the last 10 days of Ramadhan. May Allah grant all of us strength and will to make the remaining days of Ramadhan work to our advantage … ameen.

 

 


Color Overdose in India

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Light overdose at Taj Mahal

I survived India!

I still can’t believe that I survived India and surprisingly wanting more of India. 10 days playing with awesome lights and colors in Delhi- Pushkar- Jaipur- Mathura- Agra … amid by the smelly and dirty open toilet attitude of its people or by the rubbish friendly life( people and rubbish live in harmony side by side) … and surprisingly I am still longing for more of India. Argh … I want more …

I was nervous to the bone when we started our journey. Our bus broke down on our way from New Delhi to Pushkar and we were stranded for hours at a local back-lane Tata workshop. And, I had my first hand experienced being weirdly “stared” by the male workers at the workshop. That head to toe kinda weird stare … as if I am a ‘thing’ and not a human kinda stare. Or I might be exaggerating more than I should here 😉 … ya lah … after all those news about rape and ill-treated women in India, any sane woman should be worried.

I was blessed with a great travel companions again this time around … alhamdullilah and walking on the street with a good travel companion made my journey here in India felt safe and easy peasy.

P/S: I am recommending Yes India Photo Travel by Yamin Ibrahim to all of you who wanted to explore India through the photographer eyes ( … Cik Rita Aziz kena bayar I commission 🙂 )

Chasing colors during Holi festival celebration at

Chasing colors during Holi festival celebration at Shri Banke Bihari Temple, Varindavan, Mathura, India

We were at the ancient Shri Banke Bihari Temple in Mathura district, India to experience the colorful Holi festival celebration.  A festival of colors and loves celebrated by the Hindus and to mark the beginning of spring. There are more hinduism spiritual story behind this festival of love and I think uncle Google could explain it way better than me. Being a photographer, I was drawn more towards the colorful images of holi than understanding the full details about the festival.

Devotees crowding the temple floor

Devotees crowding the temple floor

Color powders of yellow, blue, green and red were playfully thrown to the air, wiped onto faces on the street and colored waters were splashed across the road onto just anybody on the street. Colors of all sorts filled the air … and I was surrounded and was overdosed by the colors around me. We were dressed accordingly (well prepared to be fully covered by colors) that morning and our cameras were well covered too. Amazing … amazing view when we first entered the temple. Devotees were crowding the small temple ranting in loud prayers (or sort … I am not sure) before the festival start.

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Devotees throwing color powder

Crowded places have never been my favorite and I am at my most creative moment when I am alone and at peace with my surrounding. That moment when I was at the temple was weirdly interesting to me. It was crowded, loud and wild beyond my imagination. Powdered color was splashed all over the devotees on the floor and we were pushed either from the left and the right or from up and down around the temple. My mind went total blank … not sure what to shoot and what to look at. It was wild … but very interesting.

The feeling? Hmmm honestly I felt annoyed being pushed and shouted around but considering that I was a stranger in a strange land … tolerant was the best remedies for this moment. Yeay … the big word is TOLERANT. This is what you learn when you travel to strange land other than your homeland … tolerant and understanding differences between us human. After all … we are sharing the earth, right?

Capturing moments around the temple

Capturing moments around the temple

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Capturing moment around the temple

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Capturing moment around the temple

Being in the middle of such places considered sacred or holy to a certain religion might looked alarming to some of my non-traveling muslim friends but experiencing all these spiritual moments from different perspective had enriched my soul and my personal belief. Yeah … I had my weird ‘why oh why’ moments too whenever I encountered something that totally against my belief system, but understanding why people do what they do help me to understand my Al-Quran more than before.

I am sharing with uols some images taken during the festival. “Learning is the eye of the mind” …

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Selfie in the temple

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A friendly crowd in the temple

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Another friendly crowd. It was not bad at all … you just need to blend in well with your surrounding

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Moment taken outside the temple

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Crowds outside the temple

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Cheerful crowd outside the temple

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Cheerful crowd outside the temple

Honestly, this trip has affected me a lot. Here in India, not only the contrast of lights and colors caught my eyes but also the contrast of life within its people made my heart ponder upon my own life. The poor and unwanted were piled up on the other side and the rich and powerful were up there on the ‘loft’. A huge contrast of life here in India … and it was so obvious, it makes my heart cringe.

I compared my life with them. I have everything that I needed and I am surrounded by people who care for me, yet I still have that selfish need for more. Especially for love and affection … I was looking for it everywhere … and almost all the time I seek for love and affection from a wrong direction. Selfish need that wanting something that was not mine at the first place. Do I need love or do I want love? Heart that bounce for a bit of thrills in life or was it love? The confuse me … aduyaii … looking for an answer.

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Holi celebration outside the temple

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My camera was 80% covered by the color powders. Thank God my D800 is a weather prove camera body … but my lens is not (but I managed to wrapped my lens well)

But honestly, I like the confused feeling that I had when I traveled to tough places. It encouraged me to re-evaluate my direction in life. It taught me to differentiate between joy and sorrow, the need to taste sorrow to truly understand joy.

And, when I am on the road alone with strangers and far away from all sort of life attachment (family, friends and materials), I tasted peace. The peace of understanding and experiencing God’s presence. That the Almighty will always be next to me in whatever situation that I was in … by protecting, guarding, loving and teaching me about the joy in life. And as I have tasted peace, I will recognize and understand anxiousness and worry in my life … better than before.

Enough ranting about complex thought. Life goes on and on. I am packing up for my next adventure to Batanes Island, Phillipines next Tuesday … hunting for great landscapes and gorgeous milky-way shoots. Wish me luck …

Cheers

MM

p/s … aftermath of holi festival

Sharing a photo of us ... looking like a rag after our holi adventure ;-)

Sharing a photo of us … looking like a rag after our holi adventure ;-). Photo credit to my friend …