Take52 Challenge: Week 16 – Formless

The 3rd and final catch up post of the Challenge!

When I saw last week’s theme, I sighed in relief! Formless in my head was easy to do – Light, steam, sky, smoke, fire, fog, water…any number of formless things presented themselves!! What I should have realised is that a paucity of ideas and an overload can cause the same reaction – a paralysis of action 😛 As I dithered between this and that, the group erupted with fantastic & innovative interpretations of ‘Formless’. And although it matters not a jot (this is a Challenge not a Competition), I wanted to do something different. I can be stubborn like that. Thankfully the old ‘noggin’ didn’t let me down and I decided to go with Bokeh…the effect you get when you deliberately ‘unfocus’ Light. I remember the days when I first got my DSLR and went rather ‘Berserk over Bokeh’ 😛 (how’s that for some trippy alliteration?). It had been a while since I arranged a shot at home and I had fun setting up the lights and adjusting my subject for the best results. Ultimately I liked two different pictures for two different reasons and had to rely on Photoshop once again for some merging action. I’m enjoying the fact that this Challenge has got me working on post-processing again. It’s a vital part of Photography and great fun!

Here’s the result…


And as always some more perspectives on Formless that I like…

Take52 Challenge: Week 2 – Crisp

Funnily enough, the day the new theme was announced, we celebrated the festival of Lohri here in India, and immediately I knew the picture I wanted to take! Serendipity 🙂

Lohri is a celebration of the arrival of Spring! Like a majority of Indian festivals, it involves a riot of colour, much delicious food, loud music, much Bollywood dancing and fire in some form! This one had a rather gorgeous bonfire that served my purpose beautifully 🙂 Again I used the 50 mm, which is really hard to beat in low-light and snapped away happily at the orangey-gold flames and their showers of bright sparks.

Felt like a real photographer – a feeling I haven’t had in ages – felt GOOD 🙂 I have blogged in more detail and with more pictures about the festival in a previous post – Bonfire & Kites!


If you would like to join the challenge click here or on the CameraShy button on my homepage! You won’t regret it 🙂

Inferno…another poem!

I’ve just finished two serious non-fiction books back to back. Stranger to History by Aatish Taseer and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Both well written accounts, the former autobiographical and the latter a biography of Henrietta Lacks, a hitherto, uncelebrated woman, who unknowingly made a contribution to Medical science that revolutionized the field of genetics and Tissue Research (Will post my review later).

So after such heavy reading (although the books were surprisingly easy to read by my non-fiction standards!), I needed a palate-cleanser and so I turned to Roald Dahl 🙂 For the life me I cannot understand why I haven’t read him before! Yes, I confess I haven’t! Dahl and Seuss are not authors I read during childhood for reasons best known to nobody! But better late than never and I have been having a ball reading extracts from his stories and the genius of the man just blows me away! I don’t know why he should be labelled a children’s author either…none of his stories are fairy-tales in the true sense. Many are pretty graphic and gritty and don’t smooth over the rough stuff, especially his Revolting Rhymes which had me in splits 😀 There’s a lot of ‘cutting of heads with thwacks of the sword’ and the like, which perhaps not everyone would want to read with kids? They are real stories of real people told in the most fantastically imaginative ways 🙂 I for one though will have no such issues when it comes the time to read them with Ishaan! Something tells me, he’ll love reading about the BFG and Esio Trot and Crocky Croc 🙂 My favorite so far is Esio Trot and I’m going back to the store on Monday to get a boxed set of his classics like Mathilda, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 🙂 The illustrations that accompany the stories are a treasure! A huge reason why I love children’s books to this day are the pictures. I wonder why as they grow up, authors & readers, begin to feel pictures are redundant 😦

I know, I know, you’re wondering what all this has to do with the unlikely title of Inferno 😛 I’m getting to that…Geez a little patience people! Reading Dahl’s poems made me want to write poetry again. I have written two recently that you can check out here & here if so inclined, and quite enjoyed the experience 🙂 I’m not a prolific poet but for me the writing of poetry brings more personal satisfaction, coz I find it more difficult than prose. Also there’s something about rhyme that just knocks me off my feet 🙂 This particular poem on Fire took me a while to write, because I edit myself severely when I’m writing. Now that it’s done, the thought of a series on the 5 elements, Earth, Fire, Water, Air & the Void seems attractive! That’s me…never happy to leave well enough alone 😉 Meanwhile, without further ado, here’s my take on Fire.

Happy reading while I try to write something more Dahl-esque 😛

Happy Weekend People 🙂

Loved these candles in a church in Barcelona...


Mellow flames that sing & dance,

Burn yellow, red and gold,

Shining warmth and comfort,

Soothing to behold.

From the first time that they came alive,

In putting stick to stone,

The radiance of fire,

Through centuries has shone.

Glowing orange embers,

Shutting out the cold,

Melting milk & chocolate,

For children, young and old!

Baking pies & cookies,

Roasting birds and nuts,

Melting cheese and toasting bread,

In warm and cheery huts.

Shaping glass and metal,

Weapons old & new,

Fireworks on summer nights,

In scintillating hues.

Flames can be kind and gentle,

As we have seen above,

But the fury of a fire,

Hides in the gentleness of doves.

A violent reaction,

To a flame upon a stick,

The dainty, humble kitchen match,

Brings down forests, old & thick.

When luminous and steady,

A traveler’s delight!

In a fire-breathing dragon,

Lies the bane of every knight!

Burying town and city,

‘Neath stones and dust and ash,

Molten flowing rivers,

Life extinguished in a flash.

The flames, they hallow and they cleanse,

The spirits of the dead,

Sometimes they feed on fuel,

Sometimes on souls and dread.

Spreading light and sparkle,

Innocently shone,

The flames that roast a chicken,

Can char it to the bone.

So listen to your mother,

When she warns you little thing,

“Don’t play with fire, Darling!

That’s how it all begins.”

Beware the gentle flame my friend,

Lest it burn that tender skin!

Trust not its gentle shimmer,

An inferno dwells within!

– Harsha