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Entries in photomerge (5)


Double Double

Over the last many 60 day challenges, have done many doubles. Usually it is a class in the morning and another one in the evening over the weekend to make up for classes missed during travel.

A few times have done doubles with back to back classes.. but it is usually rare and the classes were taught by different teachers. 

One exception was back to back classes taught by Ashley.. gave it my 110% in both classes. 

also got an idea to take a picture after each class and merge them.

Double class, teacher, student..

Actually feel pretty good after doing back to back classes!

the trick is to trust your teacher to watch out for you. They always do!

The challenge continues.. 


N sided polygons

A pentagon that slowly moved to a Triangle..

One of my teachers was saying "we should all take pictures of us doing Yoga from angles that we don't see in the mirror. It will tell you a lot about what you think you are doing vs. what you are actually doing!"

"Be careful, you might not like what you see" was the message.

Photography and Yoga.. two things close to the heart.. coming together for a greater good?

Why not?

Was showing kids how "pentagon" and "triangle" are not the same thing. I used to do the Triangle pose like a pentagon till three years ago. Then Jim Kallet came and showed me how to sit down properly in this pose.

Later Michelle made a dancing reference and it got better.

Three months back Fire taught me a few things about locking legs.. as well as how to tilt my head before moving my arms and how to twist my head to get my profile to the mirror in the Triangle pose. The idea was to get my chin to the shoulder (I was doing cheek to shoulder).

This is a lot better than the version from 4 years ago but... 


I used to think in class that the profile of my face was visible to the mirror.. It is not! Still have to turn my face further up and to my left. 

My right thumb sticks out. It is supposed to be touching the rest of the fingers. 

Shoulders are supposed to be in one line and I thought they were in one line. They are not.

This is a real lifelong process of course correction. Will use this as a reference picture and see how it changes next year same time.

The little one took a video of my balancing stick. My knee is at 150 degrees. Definitely not even close to 180! My body is like a table top, but with a bent leg. Have to get it at least a little closer before posting a picture or video. 

By the way THE TRIANGLE ? it is the space between my thighs, forearm and body.. That gap should be a BIG triangle, preferably a right angled one... 

There is a lot of time to get there.


Navrathri 2015

Golu 2015 went by fast. We are done with the Saraswati pooja already. Tomorrow is "learning day". Time flies!

This year was probably the most hectic Navarathri season in recent times as there was only one weekend to visit our friends golus! We did the best we could from a scheduling stand point.

The photos of the golus are still being processed.. but as usual, here are some backyard shots and "out takes" courtesy of the quirky Jr. 

 Jr. was "humoring" me with Yoga poses .. 

Was tempted to say "switch your right hand the other way.. remember  mama give me money!".. instead, decided to just enjoy the moment and keep clicking. The girl seems to be bow legged just like daddy.. seems to put all her weight on the outer edge of her feet. It took me a year to stay flat footed on this pose.. where were we? These days I cannot stay on the same train of thought for more than 30 words. Backyard pictures.. that was the topic!

Usually we get at least three sets of pictures.. this year we got only two. 

Also Jr. had to go to a dance performance which lasted all of 5 minutes . There was 30 minutes for make up, 45 mintues driving.. have informed the family that going forward they have to submit an ROI spreadsheet and I will review it before going to such "performances".

Remember this Photoshop masterpiece from three years ago? 

Tried to recreate it this year. But got only 4 kids this year instead of the 6. There is still time. If they pose for me tomorrow in another set of fancy clothes just for the photo, we can make a "teen saal baad" (three years later) collage. 

On the plus side, my photoshop skills are still intact. Took me all of 20 minutes to get this picture done. Three years ago, it took me hours. 

Wishing everyone a great closure to Navrathri celebrations. Tomorrow is Vijaya Dasami. A day to start learning new things and a very special day for arts and crafts.. Maybe I will pick up my guitar and play Stairway to Heaven.. who knows. 

Given I am cranky as hell last few weeks, it is time to surprise myself and the family!


The Devi is in the details..

The Navarathri festvial is in full swing. As with most things in the US for Indian families, all festivals that run a long time peak during the weekend. Usually the 9 day festival that culminates in Vijayadasami, overlaps two weekends. This year, we got only one weekend.

That meant, the algorithm that is used to juggle the 20+ evites, the open times to go visit various doll displays aka "golus", the travel time between the various locations, average time spent in each house, and other factors like number of possible dress changes, simply quit on us after throwing a few singularity errors and saying "you have only 24 hours in a day"!

This also meant there was tremendous pressure on Sangeetha to "dress up the girls and get dressed herself" and even more pressure on me to take perfect portraits on the first try within 10 minutes after they all got ready and even even more pressure on me to drive like a maniac on local freeways to ferry them to their destinations. 

Needless to say, the kids did their best to co-operate, which is another way of saying "they fell way short of our expecations". 

This year also marked the first time Jr. wore a davani (Half-Sari)! Before we know it, she will be wearing a full Sari. There is nothing that makes you realize your daughter is all grown up, than seeing her in a half sari. 

Please also note my hairline which is slowly going to a point where it won't be captured in portraits, unless we start taking aerial shots! I am tempted to plot my hairline vs. Jr's height and see if it is a linear, parabolic or exponential curve.

The only thing odd in that picture (not my hairline) is that yours truly doesn't dress nice for Navarathri!

I go in a T-shirt and Jeans with my camera on my shoulder, looking like Jane Goodall about to join the Chimps for an observation routine.

This year I came out with a half sleeve shirt and took some photos with the kids while Sangeetha was still dressing up, and the little one tells me "Daddy, you look like a auto driver. This shirt doesn't go well with what we are all wearing!" 

San chimes in with "If you are going to dress like this, please don't bother coming with us!" 

Funny thing is, it was a new shirt from the recent India trip. My mom got me two shirts for "casual wear"!  

Next year I have to go in a suit to match the girls!

We did Photoshop specials for Navarathri in recent years (2012, 2013). This year I get to be the model for the photomerges.

I am happy for the auto rickshaw drivers!

On a final note, the title was intentional.

Navarthri is a celebration of Shakthi in all her forms. We celebrate with displays of dolls, sweets and savories to get everyone, especially the kids engaged. In most houses there is just chanting of Lalitha Sahasranamam or Soundarya Lahari by the ladies and a prayer. 

I wanted Jr. and the little one (at least Jr.) to learn Soundarya Lahari. It has been a long time since I recited it. As with anything else, I work on reciting things without a book, so they know that it has to be done by heart. That meant some homework for me. Sitting alone in a hotel room in Asia was perfect for this.

They say that once you recite this hymn and close your eyes Shakthi appears in the middle of your eyebrows!

One night I called Sangeetha and said "Last night, I recited the Soundarya Lahari and closed my eyes, and I saw you. Maybe I just realized that YOU are my ambaal!"

Her response was "The kids are fighting non stop. I am going through hell here. If I am a godess and this is my fate, I cannot imagine what my fate would be otherwise!" 

Did give that a lot of thought sitting on planes and going through airports.

Our Devi's are right in front of us. There is no reason to try and visualize a supreme divinity when she is all around us!

It was an "eye opening" experience!


ps. The golus are morphing over time in the bay area. Will post pictures tomorrow. . . 


Navarathri 2013

It has been a busy 10 days. Catching up on life after recovering from the tooth mainly involved ploughing through work, getting back to yoga at least once in three days and being on the chirpy side with the kids!

The weekend came and went and it was a blur. Partly because we visited golu after golu, and I managed to finish reading all three books by Amish Tripathi called the Shiva trilogy. The kids were just amazed by my ability to finish up 1400+ pages in two days. 

As usual the girls posed for photos before venturing out to visit the golus. 

Last year same time we did an experiment in merging their photos. To commemorate that, we did it again this year!

Last year it took me 6 hours to merge three photos. This year it took me 15 minutes. Practice makes perfect... or at the least practice makes you faster.

The golus continue till this weekend. Will post the actual doll display photos early next week.

Love the festivities. When the girls are happy, they leave you alone to read books and that, is a good thing!