Monday, December 26, 2005

Sangita in Kathmandu

Sangita's unexpected visit back home surprised not just me but all friends. I must confess, it's a pleasant surprise and her visit came to us as a package full of merry time. It's so good to have her back home after a long time. She got a long break of 12 days plus festive holidays, so she grabbed the opportunity to visit home and have good times with friends and family. So sweet of her. By the way, there are lots of other sweet things she does and that's what make her so different from the rest.

Just before Christmas Eve we had a grand get-together at Road house Café in Thamel (Most happening tourist hub of Kathmandu). We had a wonderful evening and a blast of fun. We dined, wined and gobbled several round of mouth-watering pizzas. And yes if you ever visit Thamel, don't miss to drop in for wood fire pizzas and other superb menus at Roadhouse Cafe. I highly recommend the place. Of course, it's one of my favorite hangout. Okay here are some pictures to share those funs we recently had. Enjoy!!!!

Smiles for Life: Deepa, Sangita and Barsha never get tired to wear those beautiful smiles on their faces to pose for me and I love that. Indeed smile improve anyone's face value.
Close F R I E N D S: Lucky me indeed to have so many close friends who care a lot. Deepa, Sangita myself and Barsha.Toast for Happiness: Shalu and Sangita toasting for the goodtime. Sssssh! Don't tell anybody that now Shalu has developed quite a remarkable appetite for wine. Merry time before Merry Christmas: Sangita, Prakash and Barsha enjoying the good vibes.
Celebrate Life, Celebrate Friendship: Having a gala time at Roadhouse Cafe.
Long Live Our Friendship:No get-together would ever complete without a group snap. In the pictures: Binaya (Binita's hubby far left), Prakash, Ujwom, Shalu, Juna, Bikash, Barsha, Deepa, Binita (in front row in red), Batshala (Binita's daughter) Sangita, Sangeeta (Prabin's wife), Prabin, Shayeet (Shalu's son in red far right) and Aashish.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Who knows what tomorrow holds

'Kal Ho Naa Ho' is the title of a blockbuster Hindi Movie and a good one. It gives simple and true reason to live life to the fullest and that's what motivates me to scribble something about the movie. This movie is also special to me because my Sunshine's favorite actor Shah Rukh Khan starred it and she says that I am quite romantic like him. Ah!... I don't know whether I am or not but one thing that we do have in common is both of us admire Mother Teresa.

'Kal Ho Naa Ho' takes place in Manhattan, New York, and portrayed the story of Aman Mathur (Shah Rukh Khan), Rohit (Saif Ali Khan) and Naina Catherine Kapur's (Preity Zinta) Journey together. How they discover themselves, find the courage to love and come together to celebrate life. "Celebrate Life" which we frequently overlooked while pursuing our distant dreams. And this is what the film is all about.

Aman Mathur, who is a happy-go-lucky fellow who spreads happiness and believes in giving to others without demanding anything back. He brings his joyfulness and charming personality. But as is said that behind every smile there lies an unshed tears, so is the case with the film's protagonist Aman. He is a heart patient.

What would you do if your road in life is a heading for a dead-end? What would you do if you had to fight a fatal illness when you haven't yet lived your life to the fullest? What would you do if the love of your life is being snatched from you while you're sinking in the agony of your terminal ailment? Aman quenches all these questions in the movie bravely. Besides scripts are simple and warm your heart. I am pretty moved.

And then there is a character of a gorgeous girl Naina 23 from semi-Panjabi/semi -Christian family, who seems to be aging before her time. With the constant arguments and bickering in her family, she is completely distraught by the conditions, which surround her. In addition to this, she is bombarded with the responsibilities of taking care of her younger brother and sister, as well as helping her mother (Jennifer). Between all these burdens Naina never has time for herself. For her life is grey and dull - as it has been ever since her father passed away.

Then comes Aman like a whiff of fresh air, he moves into their tiny Indian neighborhoods to take it over. Helping others solves their problems and face life's little challenges. Aman pushes Naina into doing things that she would never dream of doing. He nags her till she learns to smile. He conspires with her friend Rohit (an eligible Manhattan Bachelor) to help her find happiness. Rohit is a jolly guy who has a golden heart but cannot impress upon girls.

The climax of the movie is highly emotional and completely justified, in keeping with the story of the film. On the whole Kal Ho Naa Ho is a healthy entertainer that will appeal to family crowds and viewers of all ages.

Who knows what tomorrow holds, what can we ask for? Life is a precious gift of God. Always make the most of it. Whatever long-term goals you have, start pursuing them today. What do we have to lose? Try to see the beauty of the world around you everytime you step outside. Try to smell the sweet fragrance the moving wind brings. Try to hear the soft sounds that Mother Nature bears. For this is life, the ultimate love.

Place your hand over your chest and feel your heartbeat. That is actually your life clock ticking, counting down the moments you have left. One day it will stop. That is 100 percent guaranteed, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. So you can't afford to throw away a single precious second.

Lets Love.. Laugh.. Live.. who knows what tomorrow has in store for us?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My Painting

Yes I do paint. I love to paint. I do paint to amuse myself. I paint for people to show I care and love. I paint to value my free time. I even paint to grace romance with My Sunshine. (One good reason, rite?) There are rooms that hung up my paintings. Many people know me by my paintings and they say I am a good 'painter' but I don't consider myself eligible for that title. WHY NOT?? Well simply because, I don't create my painting but copy them. You may have different reason not to agree me. But that's how I feel. I feel flattered when people say that I am a good painter. Please make comment (I would be happy to know) if I am underestimating myself not accepting the title. By the way, you can Click here to view some sketches which I did to show 'Beauty of Women's Body.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Wedding Photography & Jiten

Winter is predictable season for wedding bells to chime here in Nepal. Hindi religion places a great importance on marriage and over 90% of Nepali populations marry. Wedding is once in a lifetime (I can say that on behalf of Hindu religion) and very memorable part of human life, which people certainly don’t afford to miss preserving it in any mean and that's where this Jiten go busy clicking.

Each year I shoot 5 to 6 weddings (mostly of my friends and relatives) and it's an honor to capture people's special moments like weddings or just any memorable moment of their life. I get enormous high when my photography brings happiness to people. This is one reason why I put my zeal on 'Wedding Photography' immensely (....there is a secret reason behind. Make a guess... wild guess, hehe.. of course weddings are great opportunities to see and meet many beautiful girls ;) . Now you know one of my secret reasons. Sssssh.. KEEP IT SECRET otherwise my Sunshine won't allow me to shoot another wedding.)

Few years back I've stopped counting how many weddings photography that I've done so far. My eyes get blur by the colour red (Nepali bride wears Red Sari for wedding ceremony). You know even a well known photo printing service center of Kathmandu 'Photo Concern' get amazed to see me brining them more than 30 rolls of film to develop and print in a week. All lab boys at the center who prints hundreds of rolls each day can distinguish my pictures. They are familiar the way I compose and frame pictures. This amuses me a lot. I've earned a good reputation in wedding photography. Today standing this far on my photography voyage I feel very proud to be a photographer and help people to see world with a different perspective.

BUT this is not to say that wedding photography is all fun trade to do (at least here in Nepal). I've seen countless high and low dramas of Nepali society by doing wedding photography. I sure do have many good and bad experiences, which I love to share someday here in my blog. Anyway, I take all these experiences as opportunities to know about cultural diversity of Nepalis people. I know I can be an anthropologist if it's about weddings ritual of Nepal. But for now let me shed some good advices on wedding photography for single people out there who are going to get married sooner or later.

As soon as your wedding ceremony and party date has been fixed. I recommend to book photographer 2-3 weeks in advance. The good photographers get booked for popular dates. Booking professional photographer for wedding is not in practice here in Nepal but I highly recommend having one. (If you don't have a friend like Jiten. Haha) To some extend hiring professional photographer is expensive. Thus most people prefer taking photos from autos cameras by relatives and friends. Of course, you will get photographs but quality of picture is not Professional quality as of professional camera (SLR).

Wedding photography is both an art and a science, requiring someone with the proper equipment and the right skills, plus the demeanor to be effective and creative under pressure. Besides it is almost impossible for your relative to be a guest and at the same time, concentrate on the technical details of photographing an entire day. That's why trust your once-in-a-lifetime wedding to a "pro-for-a-day" and you will have bad feelings for a lifetime. It is also my opinion that asking a guest to do the official photographs and no different from asking dinner guests to work for their meal. But you can encourage your close relative to bring cameras, but DO suggest that they enjoy themselves as guests. This certainly is a good idea to cover up some interesting happening around while pro is busy elsewhere but still no substitute for pro coverage. Another contemporary flair is to have disposable cameras handy and involve those fun loving guests in the coverage.

The experience of watching a video is different from going through your wedding photo album. Most I know have no regrets about getting both. Many couples I know regret not getting a good video (one done by a pro, not by a friend). In some instances, couples get full video coverage and limited photography. Video captures the sound and motion of the day in a way that still photos just can't match. It is still not a substitute for professional photographs. If you can I don't miss covering quality video of the event as well. (Who know someday your offspring or may be your granny might wish to see it and you sure don't want to disappoint them.)

I bet this is yet not a trend for Nepali couple to have their portraits taken before weddings. But I highly suggest to go for it. It's such a beautiful idea and very romantic thing that you two should not miss and many Nepalis have started this new tradition. Moreover it is a wonderful opportunity for spontaneous, expressive pictures that really show your relationship. All you have to do is visit a good photo studio in your town or call your PRO photographer and arrange time to meet. And if you want lots of posed romantic portraits, there's no other way, unless you are willing to take time out from festivities for photos because on that very day of wedding everything go rush rush. In my personal experience many couple have regretted not getting together in advance for nice pictures and some moments alone.

Keep the album closed and flat; don't store it vertically. Keep it in a cool dry place. Don't expose the pictures to excessive UV from sunlight or fluorescents. Avoid abrasion. When kids arrive, store the album till they are old enough to respect it. Follow same rules for preserving negatives as well and be extra careful if weather is damp. Do check them sometime and keep them dry. And yes keep the photographer abreast of address changes so you'll get the negatives before he trashes them.

Most who ask this question are not aware of the myriad of costs borne by someone doing photography as a business, including equipment, developing films, cost of best quality printing and more. You would be surprised to know at how low the margin is on wedding photography. Besides, it not just photographs that you pay for, but the expertise and experience of a photographer too. Many pros call wedding work the most challenging of all and prefer other genres of the business.

Hope you definitely gain some insights regarding wedding photography going through my blog and yes feel free to ask me more regarding this issue.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Merry Moment Making Momo at Manandhar Niwas

After a long break I enjoyed eating Momo (Tibetan Cuisine) at Prakash's place (Prakash Manandhar) with the whole bunch of my FRIENDS. Winter is a perfect season to gorge delicious Momos and last Saturday I had more than just delicious Momo. Guess what! It's 'Philippino Macaroni Salad' prepared diligently by Karishma (Arpana Sharma) and it was so yummy. So nice of Karishma that she even taught me how to prepare it. Soon I will prepare it at home and surprise my Bhaujus (Sister-in-laws).

Besides all the fun and joy we all Friends had at Prakash's place, I felt more joy to see 'Ma' (Prakash's Mother) and 'Nini" (Prakash's aunt) enjoying and being part of our Friends Get-together. That's the best part. Here I have couple of pictures from the day . Enjoy.

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