Our stay in Darjeeling was made particularly pleasant by the helpful hotel staff.
On our first morning, whilst taking breakfast, I had taken a picture looking out from the dining room.
When the waiter saw me fiddling with my camera, he smiled and pointed to a large notice by the stairs:
An arrow directed upwards and invited interested guests to enjoy the viewing gallery.
And so, when twilight fell, we thought to try out the facility.
Following the sign, we found ourselves in a narrow corridor which led into an extremely spacious room.
It was not quite what I’d expected.
Although the large windows provided excellent views, this rather grand room was fully furnished
with wardrobes, armchairs and a slightly dishevelled, king-size bed.
But the sun was setting fast. There was no time to ponder our hotel’s eccentric décor.
Opening up the windows to get better photographs, I took my shots.
It was only when we left the room, and retraced our steps back along the corridor, that I noticed a second sign
advertising “panoramic hill views”.
This sign pointed in the opposite direction to the one from which we’d come.
We had taken our pictures in another guest’s bedroom…
Pictures inadvertently taken from the windows of a deluxe suite, in Hotel Seven-Seventeen, Darjeeling.
Wherever I go, I try to remember my camera.
I am fortunate.
Due to a steady flow of tourists, the local population are pretty inured to photographers capturing their images.
Tact and sensitivity are especially required, however, when taking pictures of women:
A male stranger attempting to photograph a woman can cause offence.
By respecting my neighbour’s customs and dignity, I have mostly avoided misunderstandings.
I get it decidedly wrong
And photograph a less than ecstatic subject..
Picture “stolen” in Palace Road, Cochin.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
Henry David Thoreau
“In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for ”finding himself.” If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.”
“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”
“If we are incapable of finding peace in ourselves, it is pointless to search elsewhere.”
François de la Rochefoucauld
“There comes a point in many people’s lives when they can no longer play the role they have chosen for themselves. When that happens, we are like actors finding that someone has changed the play.”
“.. a point at which everything becomes simple and there is no longer any question of choice, because all you have staked will be lost if you look back. Life’s point of no return.”
“Only in solitude do we find ourselves; and in finding ourselves, we find in ourselves all our brothers in solitude.”
Miguel de Unamuno
Photographs taken at the Padmanabhapuram Palace