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I was incredibly excited to visit my cousins’ house in Connecticut at an attempt to photograph the night sky. Last year, I tried to go into my backyard and aim my camera up but light pollution makes that difficult. I remember driving from CT to NY and seeing thousands of stars dim to a few. Unfortunately, it rained hail and the clouds seem to freeze in place. When the sun finally set, it rained hard with bolts of lightning striking charged ground. It was a disappointment!

But I was able to try to take pictures of my cousin’s child. She ran across the yard and was too entranced in her musings to look at the camera. I am proud of the very few I was able to capture and that made the trip worth it.

George and Suja

Date: October 8, 2011

My cousin got married! I had family from Georgia and Texas visiting for the occasion.
The orthodox church was beautiful and this magnificent view greeted you when you looked up. Plus you know it’s love, when a couple can look into each others eyes with love and bewilderment.

 

We traveled to the reception area with appetizers by the pool side. Unfortunately, the heat was unbearable and everyone tried to take refuge in whatever shade they could find. The variety of food and drink eased the sun’s glare and then we were ushered into the main hall. My entire family that left from my house in the morning all were at one table. We awaited in anticipation when the bride and groom now husband and wife were welcomed into the celebration

They came rushing in to the sounds of Michael Jackson if the sparkling glove didn’t give it away. People stood up and gathered around to see them glide across the floor and transition into their first dance.

Then the married couple were seated as they were dazzled by the multitude of dancing by their friends and family.

Pictures and cards were spread out to remind everybody of their love and in memory of that special day.

The dance floor opened to all the guests. Personal congratulations to the bride and groom resulted in large hugs.

The bride and groom took a time out to change into something they could party in.  And they both take turns dancing with their smaller family members.

The single women were brought out in hopes of catching the bouquet. I merely obliged to have a great vantage point in taking more pictures. One lucky woman was able to catch the bouquet from the clutches of other women.

After hours of dancing and a dessert table that included a chocolate fountain, the night was winding down. The last picture of the couple shows them hand in hand walking away. Here is to a bright and happy future for the two!

With Love

This Valentines Day, my roommates and I received a very special gift from our friends. We had a final exam the next day so thoughts of exchanging gifts were not on our minds. The house received a huge card with messages written to each of us. And we individually received a bag filled with candy. I took home two bags to give one to the other roommate and decided to photograph it.


 

Hope you all had a wonderful day!

Onam

Date took place: September 3, 2011

My dad woke up early and woke everybody up to eat and get dressed before 8:30. We needed to arrive at the park by 9:00 a.m.  We could not be late! As my mother and I expected,  not even the main sponsor reached there before us. The event as every other event follows Indian Standard Time. Nothing ever starts on time and is late at the very least by an hour. Our church was celebrating Onam and my father was going to drum in the procession.
Onam is a traditional 10 day holiday celebrated in Kerala, India. It is a harvest festival and follows a myth of the King Mahabali. I am not too familiar with the customs and legend but only know from the glimpses I see and the words I can translate from my parents. In America, we only celebrate it for one day depending on who is organizing the event.
At every celebration, they start with the laying of the pookalam (flowers) in a circular design. This time, they didn’t use real flowers but shredded coconut.

Start of the day

 

Everybody was getting ready for the procession. All the girls wore traditional Kerala dress which is a cream color.   And most of the men wore lungis with matching shirts as a uniform for those that drummed in the procession.
Girl's Dress  Dress

My father was extremely excited and had been practicing at home. The drums were all brought from India by one of the church members. And the constant beating not only set the mood but managed to ensnare a young boy. He walked as close as he possibly could to feel every vibration.
Drumming

Entranced

We also had someone dress up as the king to be a part of the procession. This version is quite tame compared to past ones. Exaggerating the mustache is a must!
King Mahabali

We all gathered on benches and waited for the entertainment to start. Now, any event cannot be officially started until the oil lamp is lit. Afterwards, there were songs sung and dances danced. This kid was sitting next to me and certainly had a lot to say.
     Stare

 

There were dances and songs to delight the audience with a traditional meal in between. The food was served in a traditional style with a fake palm leaf and men running around serving each portion from larger bowls.

The performers radiated joy with each act. These kids had a parent miming the movements to remind them. The unsynchronized movements took second place to the cuteness they brought while hopping about.

All the kids have been walking past the pookalum and smearing the design. But the best part is often the destruction when it all comes down. Overall, it was worth it to see my dad so happy.
End of the Day

Hello world!

Nice to meet you.

I take photos.

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