Rajiv Chopra

A Gypsy, Bismillah & Esmerelda The Spider Sit With Yama At The Vaitarna

Monochrome Madness – Sydney Bridge

Sydney Bridge

Sydney Bridge

For this week’s Monochrome Madness, I am revisiting an old, short-lived haunt of mine – Sydney Bridge.

This is an old digital jpeg. The original was crooked, and I straightened it in DXO and then a bit more using Photoshop’s Transform Tool

The B&W effect came from DXO again, using an Agfa 200 ISO film filter, and then I added a white light leak

One Four Challenge. August. Review June. One

The Eagle. Week One

The Eagle. Week One

The Eagle. Week 2

The Eagle. Week 2

The Eagle. Week 3

The Eagle. Week 3


The Eagle. Week 4

The Eagle. Week 4

So, for the first week of the July review, I thought that I would actually just put up the four images that I had uploaded.

There is a fifth, obviously, which I will put up next week. It does look a bit different.


The Dispatches Of Hira Singh. Part Eight

“Where The Weakest Joint Is, Smite” ……….. Ranjoor Singh

I think that all of us know about this maxim, the one where we should strike at the weakest joint. If we do this, we win the battle. This is true. We use this in sport, in war, in business, and also in personal relationships and negotiations. That is what we do, because this is what we have been trained to do from childhood.

Let me turn this on it’s head a bit.

This morning, a third Muslim died. Yakub Menon, a convicted terrorist was hanged. The real planners behind the terrorist attack for which he was hanged, is still living a life of luxury in Pakistan. That terrorist is from Bombay, and moved to Dubai, and then to Pakistan.

You may well ask, what the connection is, but hang on to your trousers a bit, lest you think that they will fall off.

I have often believed in something that I like to call “The Law Of Unintended Consequences”. 

So, let’s travel back to 1857, the year of The Indian Mutiny. If you go further back, to let’s say about 1050 AD, this is India before the Indian Sultanate was formed. It was formed via Turkish Conquests, and later in 1526, the Mughal Dynasty was formed. Muslims came into India, and settled in India. Despite skirmishes, and rivalries, Hindus and Muslims coexisted. Many of our great architectural pieces have been created by Muslim rulers. Sher Shah Suri, Iltutmish, Akbar The Great, Qutb ud-din Aibak rub shoulders with many marvellous Hindu rulers.

In 1857, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims fought side by side against the British forces, which comprised of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.

After the Mutiny was overcome in 1858, the British figured that the best way to continue their rule in India, is to divide the Hindus and Muslims. The Weakest Joint, is where they smote. 

What followed over the next 90 years was a long period of madness, and in the 1940’s they continued to play divide and rule between Jinnah and Nehru. The issues that surround the Independence of India, and the creation of Pakistan are very complex, and will be debated for many years. However, religion became the tool of politicians, and the masses suffered.

Pakistan, some people say, defines itself in relation to India. If you examine the history of India and Pakistan since 1947, you will notice the rise of terrorism; you will notice the number of wars that have been fought between the two countries; you will notice that the Kashmir issue will not be solved.

It is a fact that other countries, including the USA have contributed to this, by playing up one country against the other. Nixon’s policies in South Asia were dictated by his distaste for India and Indira Gandhi, whom he called a bitch.

What you have is a sorry mess. Hundreds of thousands were killed in the massacres of the Partition. Millions lost their homes and had to start all over again.

Delhi, in 1858, was called The City Of The Dead.

Delhi, in 1947, was called The City Of The Dead.

The wounds of the rupture continue to burn and fester, leading to chaos, death, terrorism and an atmosphere of suspicion.

In 1857, when the British started their policy of smiting where the weakest joint is, I doubt that they thought of The Law Of Unintended Consequences.

Two Muslims Died…..

Before I get into this, I must start with a WordPress disclaimer. I often read blogs on my IPAd, and for some reason, the app does not work so well. I only get these “Freshly Pressed” posts.

This morning, the press announced that Mullah Omar of the Taliban died. I hope I spelled his name correctly. A few days ago, our ex-President, Dr Abdul Kalam died. Both were involved with missiles, and both were Muslims. That is pretty much where the similarities ended. They were both, extremely intelligent people as well.

Mr Omar of the Taliban used missiles for destruction. Dr Abdul Kalam was head of India’s missile development programme. He was an extremely intelligent person who came from a poor family. Through sheer hard work, and while maintaining his dignity, he gained the respect of the Indian community while climbing to the President’s seat. 

Dr Kalam was one person who brough back dignity to the word “politican”, though he was not a practising politican. In India, we have been blessed with some extremely well-read, dignified and gifted Presidents. Which is sad, because the President in India does not have too much power.

When we as Indians respected Dr Kalam, we did not give him that respect because he is Muslim. The fact that he is – was – Muslim, was irrelevant. We have respect for Dr Kalam, the man, and I think that this is what counts.

I do know that many Indians, and many people around the world castigate Muslims, and believe that they are the source of much evil. Yet, the World Wars were not started by Muslims. The Crusades were not the sole domain of the Muslims. 

Yes, people like Mullah Omar give Muslims a bad name. When you do have people like Dr Kalam, it is only right to point out that, in the blessed world in which we live, you should be measured by your deeds and not your religion, caste or creed. 

It is quite possible that is we try for this, we may have a more peaceful world to live in. 

One Four Challenge. Week Four. Dead Roses

Dead Flowers. Week Four

Dead Flowers. Week Four

I am experimenting a bit with DXO Film Pack, and I confess that I absolutely love it!

For this week, I used the Adox CMS 20 film filter. It is essentially an ISO 20 film that can be processed in a range of ISO 3 to 80. In India, we get nothing less than ISO 100. We used to get 50, which I have used.

I used this to create an entirely different effect….. Bright. Strong…

I also added a border, to contain the brightness and to tighten it a bit

Before-After Friday: Mother India’s Rump


First off, I have to give credit where credit is due. My daughter took the photograph that you can see above. We were driving along the highway, and got stuck behind some cattle. As you can see, Mother India is sticking her rump into my daughter’s face!

She took the picture using my Nikon Coolpix, and I processed this using Nik’s Color Efex Pro.

Screenshot 2015-07-18 18.57.34

And, here is the “After”

MotherIndia-CFor this one, I took the photograph into Topaz Impression, and played around a bit


Screenshot 2015-07-18 18.56.26

I did a final roundup with a curves layer to enhance the contrast..


A Pain… A Pain….

How many of you have Photoshop? Lot’s, I am sure. And, how many have Photoshop CC?

I had PS 2014 and have upgraded to PS 2015.

You would think that they would do it in a nice manner… But no! All the bloody plug-ins have to be downloaded all over again… It takes hours..


Effing shit!

The Journey To Hell – 11

Methinks, dear Lucifer, we go in circles
We talk and talk and talk, and my head is heavy
We do not move beyond the general fuzz
There is no specific, there’s only a buzz
What do you say, why do you bray?
My heart is singing, please start at the beginning.”

“The beginning?”, asked Lucifer, “That is a long story
It was deep in the mists of time, I started my journey.
Some think I was an angel, that I was close to God,
That I was jealous of his little brood, when I was good.
I challenged his wisdom, I did not like his book.
From Father to Son, you cannot build an empire
I refused to bow to the son he chose to sire.”

“This is one story, there are many more
Some are filled with blood, others filled with gore.
The stories you hear are not all the same
To the tellers of the stories, it is often a game.
Some speak of Adam and of Eve. They tell of the apple
They think I am a snake.”

“Others speak of Demons, and also of Gods
And of the time they worked, to defy all the odds
They both dreamed of life that was eternal
They churned the waters that seemed to be infernal.
They sought the nectar to make them immortal
The Gods, at last, cheated and claimed we are now immortal.”

“So, pretty wench, I must as you a question?
Which story do you go for? Which one do you like?
Do you see that the choice is not all that easy,
When you seek the truth, it can make your soul queasy.
So, let us talk of beginnings, let us talk of our journeys
Let us entertain ourselves, with our little stories.”


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