Wedding Photos - Tropical Flower Bouquet

Some time back I had posted pictures of a tropical flower bouquet that I had made for a bride. Oceana has been gracious enough to share them with me, so I could share them with you. I have to take a moment here and say that I am very grateful to the brides who share photos of their special day with me and my readers.
Without any further ado, here are the photos...
Oceana had a beautiful wedding on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Yes, that made me very nostalgic :).... I have tried to incorporate the colors and vibrancy of Hawaii in her bouquet. And now that I see the photos of her wedding day, I think I have succeeded in doing so..... :).
Do let me know how you like the bouquet and the photos....

I still can't get over how much fun we had in India during our trip there. Here are some more photos. These are mostly city scenes.

I begin with something that irritated me a lot! :) This is a typical poster asking for votes. This particular belongs to the Indian National Congress. To me, they are all the same! Nowhere to be found when people actually need them.
This is a quintessential Bombay(Mumbai) traffic jam. Sometimes I actually enjoyed it ... the only explanation can be nostalgia :).

The Gateway of India in Bombay. This place used to be a landing point for dignitaries travelling from Britain during the colonial days. The structure itself was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. This was the first 5 star hotel built in India in the year 1903. To me, from childhood - being able to have a meal here was a benchmark of some kind of success. This time, when we went to Bombay, we had breakfast there. Can't say we've achieved that much in life yet :), but it was the culmination of a childhood dream.
This hotel was unfortunately, one of the scenes of the mindless terrorist attack on 26th November 2008. The hotel is still recovering from the shock. But like the BBC stated after the attack, "the hotel serves as a symbol of Mumbai's and India's resilience". I can't help, but agree.

Lonavala - a hill station near Bombay. The hills that look barren in this photo actually take on a lush green color during the monsoons. That is the 'tourist season' for this place. But even when its barren, it is quite beautiful in its own way.We had sweet corn at Lonavala, roasted(?) the traditional Indian way :). It tasted yummy with the lemon, salt and chilli powder that the guy selling it liberally rubbed on it. We followed it with a lemon soda with a dash of roasted cumin. I tell you, for a second, I didn't want to come back to the US :).

The Victoria Memorial in Calcutta (Kolkata). The least flattering picture - that is, the one just above this test - has been clicked by me. The other two are courtesy Wikipedia, just to show you, how beautiful it is. This majestic marble building was built in memory of Queen Victoria, between 1906 to 1921. Calcutta was the capital of British India until 1911 (after which Delhi became the capital). Hence, there are a lot of beautiful structures from the colonial times. Of course, there are purely Indian structures too, but this time, I couldn't visit those places. These happened to be in our daily travel route.

Traveling on the Howrah Bridge. Built (in its current form) in 1945, just before the Indian independence. To me, looking at the Howrah Bridge signified the beginning of my summer vacation in Calcutta. When we travelled from Hyderabad to Calcutta by train, the one thing that told me that I was in Calcutta, was the Howrah Bridge. When we saw it, we'd scream with happiness at the prospect of meeting with our cousins :).

This is a view of the Howrah Bridge at night. Of course, I haven't captured this one :). The photo is again courtesy of Wikipedia, so you can see how majestic and beautiful it is!This is a view of the second Howrah Bridge. Built in the 1990s..... serving to ease flow of traffic on the older bridge.

The Stuart Hogg Market, popularly known at the New Market, in Calcutta. This market was intended solely for the British who didn't like rubbing shoulders with the 'natives' :). But since 1874, its come a long way and now serves as one of the most popular shopping places for Indians and British (a lot of them stayed back in Calcutta, after independence. They and their descendants are now known as the Anglo-Indians) alike.
An inside view of Hogg Market /New Market. Loved all the colors!

A hand-pulled rickshaw (If you have seen 'The City of Joy', you'll know what I am talking about) .... not a very clear picture... these rickshaws are being phased out and there are only a few remaining now. It is a hard job to do for the rickshaw pullers. But in the communist ruled state of West Bengal (of which Calcutta is the capital), there are few other alternative job options available to them.
Anyway..... that ends my series of India photos :). I have just received photos from a bride and I shall be posting them next :). Till then, I hope you enjoy these..... let me know.

Happy New Year!

I know, I know.... I am a little late in writing this post. But like many of you know, I was away - vacationing in India. Now I am back, rejuvenated after meeting my cute and naughty little niece :). What a darling she is!
We all had a great time together and now I am dying to start work again. The jet lag this time is really bad though! Ughh....
Anyway, here are some pictures from my trip. First some flowers:

These are some flowers that we found during our trip to the beautiful hill station of Khandala. There were Jasmines, Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Poinsettia and several other flowers that I didn't recognize by name. They were all so beautiful. But my favourite was this blue water lily :). I just fell in love with it!

This time, we travelled a lot in India. We went to Calcutta, Bombay (Mumbai), Lonavala/Khandala and Pune. While we were in Khandala, we visited the Karla caves (carved out around 3rd century B.C., right around the time Buddhism started spreading around the world).
These caves used to be the seat of a Buddhist monastery. We were stunned by the art there. We got some photos of the inscriptions there too. I hope we can find out what they mean. The only sad thing was, the caves weren't maintained at all. The visitors are charged a fee, but there is hardly any maintenance. There is rampant vandalism of the ancient monument and there was NO information available there in English or Hindi (the caves are under the guardianship of the Archaeological Survey of India). There was a board there with some info in Marathi (the local language there) that we didn't know! And the most disgusting thing was, people who visited while we were there, showed absolutely no respect - they were screaming like there was some kind of party going on. Disgusting! I hope people read this and sit up and take notice. Monuments like this one are priceless and we need to protect them at all costs. Don't you think?
Anyway, that's about all that I have energy for right now. Tomorrow, more photos from India.... How I love traveling! Only if I could cut down on air travel and jet lag :).