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In this (generally) weekly blog, I was going to choose one picture from recent travels or from the archives and tell its story, with a section on the basic technical photographic info for those who are interested. But perhaps it’s evolving more into a series of short albums instead. This way, that greedy mob at Facebook won’t be able to claim ownership of my photographs – not that I would ever concede that to them! And Fujifilm can do their own advertising.

Marigolds, festivals and cows in the road - three crucial elements of Indian life.

Marigolds, festivals and cows in the road – three crucial elements of Indian life.

The story

Three days after I gave a talk about India at the Finnish-British Society in Helsinki here I am back in the country. I have to go back to Delhi to help with the Design Helps Living Room exhibition next week, but before then I am indulging in a short photo trip in Udaipur, Rajasthan. No deadlines, no pressure: luxury.

I am staying in an old haveli, a kind of semi-palatial town manor for which Rajasthan is especially famous. There are varying degrees of luxury in the havelis – mine is fairly basic but the fellow running it is very friendly and upgraded me from the standard to the more special – not quite luxury – version with a view across Lake Pichola. Like most of these places, it has a rooftop terrace from which I could watch the lightning over the lake last night. The place is called Aashiya Haveliand I am happy to receommend it, as I promised the guy I would, in this blog.

View from Aashiya Haveli.

View from Aashiya Haveli.

In my FinnBrits talk I described all sorts of things, but afterwards I thought of all the things I’d forgotten. Trying to remember everything about India in a one hour talk isn’t easy. I should have mentioned the holy cows in the roads, the charming sideways rotational nod of the head that can mean “yes”, “no”, “I don’t know”, “thank you” or “aren’t you going to tip me more than that?”, or all five at the same time, the red sun rising fast and defiant through the Delhi smog at six in the morning, and the English language used in the newspapers with its wonderfully (to my eye anyway) archaic, Agatha Christie expressions – “Cops nabbed the villain”, “our photographer clicked a photo”.

And there are festivals almost every day – there’s one on this week and I’m looking forward to watching the dancing tonight. It’s the Festival of Navratri, dedicated to worship of the Hindu deity Durga.

But on with the show: here are some more pictures from Udaipur.

Navratri Festival decorations

Navratri Festival decorations

In Rajasthan they go in for these beautiful murals.

In Rajasthan they go in for these beautiful murals.

udaipur003Guinness Book of Records attempt gets under way – number of Indian schoolchildren in a rickshaw. Nice start, kids, but some way to go.

A temple devoted to the monkey god, Hanuman.

A shrine devoted to the monkey god, Hanuman.

The photographic stuff

Fujifilm, X-Pro1, wide angle 14mm, 35mm, 55-200 zoom. I think I might just repeat this nerdy bit briefly from now on and concentrate on showing you the pictures!