A man carrying hot coals emitting a fragrant smoke entered a small café early one morning in Baroda (Vadodara). He was offering blessings in exchange for a small financial donation. Without displaying any disappointment, he left without having been given any money.
In many religions, fragrant smoke provides a suggestion of holiness.
Old and new in one field of vision.
A camel pulling a wagon travels past Ahmedabad Railway Station.
Archaic, but maybe better for the environment than the three-wheeler autorickshaws also visible in my photo.
Photo taken January 2019
The island of DIU is on the south coast of the Saurashtra peninsular in the Indian state of Gujarat.
Diu was a Portuguese colony from the 15th century until 1961, when it was ‘liberated’ by Indian armed forces.
The island is rich in arrchitecture dating back to the golden age of Portugal
We could only find one newspaper seller in Diu. He opened for a few hours of the day only. Diu is a sleepy place.
The extensive fort of Diu was built by the Portuguese. Part of it is now used as a local jail.
Many fishing vessels moor alongside the city of Diu.
Bird-spotters can enjoy standing by the wateride, looking for various different species.
A long road bridge connects Diu Island to Ghoghla on the mainland. Beyong Goghla, there is a frontier post between the Union Territory of Diu and the State of Gujarat. The Gujarati policemen are on the look-out for alcohol being smuggled into thier teetotal state from Diu, where ‘booze’ is permitted.
You can learn more about DIU in “TRAVELS THROUGH GUJARAT, DAMAN, AND DIU” by Adam Yamey.
It is available from lulu.com, bookdepository.com, amazon, and on Kindle
Twist-ed stairways ascend
a ruler’s resting place
Snap a photo
in the sorting office:
make sure it don’t go viral
While we were visiting the city of BARODA (Vadodara):
“…we visited the main railway station because it has a post office. Visiting the station is like visiting an art gallery. The façade and staircases of the large relatively modern station (1954) are decorated with colourful modern paintings and bas-reliefs, including a trompe l’oeil fresco depicting a steam engine with a large ‘cowcatcher’ emerging from a tunnel. There are also several interesting sculptures on the raised pavement in front of the station entrances. One of them, which I liked most, shows a model train on railway tracks. The tracks with the carriages on them have been bent into a spiral with the old-fashioned engine in the centre of the spiral.
We drank tea in a café located along one of the station’s long platforms. Platforms in many Indian stations are lengthy to accommodate the great number of carriages in long-distance express trains. Shorter local trains appear dwarfed by these platforms. We entered the post office through a door on the platform, which was partially blocked by bags of mail and parcels. This door was, we realised later, for the use of postal personnel. We found ourselves in a sorting office. Ladies dressed in colourful salwar kameez with dupattas draped over their shoulders were manually sorting mail, placing it into small square wooden pigeon-holes labelled with the names of towns all over India.
We were directed to the customers’ desk. We wanted to send a birthday card to our daughter in London and were concerned that it would arrive in time. When we asked the assistant serving us how long the card would take to reach London, she said it would be a week or two, and then added ominously: “…if it reaches at all.”
When we asked her whether I could take a picture of the postal sorters working, she referred us to her supervisor, who said: “Go ahead and take the picture, but make sure that it does not go viral”
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Before setting out on our two months of travelling through Gujarat, Daman, and Diu, we spent a fortnight in busy Bombay. Here are a few of the many photographs that I took in this bustling, vibrant city – the ‘Manhattan’ of India. How many of these places can you identify?
We left Bombay for Gujarat by train, embarking at Mumbai Central Station:
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Pani Kotha Fort, Diu
Monday evening in Diu was peaceful and sleepy, the weekend having ended. As we ate dinner at a table on Apana’s terrace overlooking Fort Road, we remembered that at least three times that day, Indian tourists had asked to take photographs of Lopa with me. We agreed to this. The photographers must have considered us, an Indian with a European companion, an unusual couple. I recalled a situation some years earlier when I was taking a boat trip along the River Mandovi in Goa. I was the only man with a pale complexion on the crowded vessel. Some young men approached me, asking if they could take a photograph of me. I agreed. They said they wanted my picture: “Because you are being so lovable.”
O Cocqueiro restaurant, Diu