Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands.

Mehndi on my hands when I was 12

Mehndi on my hands when I was 12

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ocean

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ocean.

Taken out of my uncle’s window in Mumbai, India in 2003 of the Indian Ocean.

Shot of the Indian Ocean in Mumbai, India

Shot of the Indian Ocean in Mumbai, India

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

I took this in CDG Airport in 2003 on my way to Mumbai, India. I was expecting to go through London on British Airways, but due to snow, Heathrow was completely shut down. I ended up returning to Paris for a very short time.

CDG Airport in Paris, France

CDG Airport in Paris, France

Have you been to where your parents were born?

Have you been to where your parents were born?.

Not both, but most. 😉

I have been to where my mother was born and grew up in England. We went after I graduated from University in 2009. I had been to England on my own over the last few years, but not to where she lived, nor with her. She hadn’t been there since they left when she was 5.

Mom, Elizabeth and Sheila on the pier

Mom, Elizabeth and Sheila on the pier, one of the day trips we made

I have been to Mumbai where my father grew up, but I haven’t been to Tanzania where he was born. He relates more to Mumbai than to his birthplace, and I enjoy visiting there too since it is closer to our heritage. I once spent three months there studying my MCSE and got to stay with my grandmother.

Me on the balcony at Napean Sea Road in Mumbai

Me on the balcony at Napean Sea Road in Mumbai in 2006

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up.

This is another photo that I took in India on the same trip as my previous post. I thought of when I read the word “up”. I had a really good camera to use and loved playing around with it.

Up

Taken on my trip to India with my father 1985-86

Aside

Weekly Photo Challenge: Entrance

The photo that I’ve chosen is one that I took in India when I was 12 years old. It was taken in India when I was on tour with my father. I was playing around with different effects, like with a flash and without. As soon as I saw this challenge, I thought of this picture. The quality isn’t that great, but you get the idea.

Entrance

Taken in India 1985-86 when I was 12 years old.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Entrance

What is the story behind your given name?

What is the story behind your given name?.

My first name “Shanta” is a Hindu name meaning “peaceful”. The more common name “Shanti” means “peace” and is more commonly heard in eastern chants such as “Om Shanti”.

When I was born, they said that I was so peaceful that they decided to give me the name of my paternal grandmother. It is truly an honour to have the same name as she.

She became bedridden shortly after my grandfather passed away. There she stayed for more than 12 years. Her hearing started going along with her eyesight. But she never complained. She would sit there day in and day out praying for the welfare of her children and grandchildren, like me.

I was fortunate enough to spend two months in India in her home and the last day I gave her, along with the other women of the household, including the servant, a dozen roses. I like to think that whenever she smelled roses, she would think of me. She passed away a few months later.

I can only hope that I will do her name justice and continue to bring peace.

Speakers’ Corner – London Style

My mother and I decided to take a stroll through Hyde Park this past Sunday on our way back from having toured London most of the day. We’d heard something about this speakers’ corner and thought it might be fun to just watch what happens. So much for that!

As we went through, there were crowds around various people who were ranting on top of their step ladders, going on to anyone that might listen. I stopped to listen to one older woman who looked like she was about to go head to head with another man on a stool and wanted to hear what was being said. Her argument: England for the English. Another man who was obviously from another country, argued with her and was light spirited about this. I had to take a line from one of my recent favourite comedians, Papa CJ, as turned to my mother and said “Watch this.”

I pleaded for everyone’s attention when I addressed the crowd around when I claimed that if England was for the English, they should have thought of that before they invaded everyone else, like India and the West Indies and brought all of the people back to be slaves. They should have realized the consequences of their actions when they did so and then it might still be England for the English. She then said, “Well then, why do you live here?” (since most of her argument had been about foreigners coming to the country and living off the backs of the hard-working English). I replied: “I don’t! So you can’t blame me if you don’t like the way this country is. I have English influence everywhere from Canada where I was born, to my British mother and my Indian father.”

She had nothing to say against it, so she attacked my heritage instead. “So, you’re Indian then? Go back to India!” After arguing that I was Canadian, she claimed that I was who my father was, even if it was my mother who carried me for nine months. “Well, that was her mistake!”

I lost it! “Mistake? You want to tell her that? She’s right here!” Then she started telling my mother how it was her problem if she gave up being British and married an Indian. No one attacks my mother like that and before you know it, we were both in the mix. I made one maybe two other points and then left the crowd as everyone there applauded my statements, which apparently were the best ones to shutting her up for a good part of the day.

It made my day. The pot is being stirred, even on this side of the pond…;)