"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

sunset

Looking Back: Part 3

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Heading home..

Picture taken in Karnataka.


Home Before Sunset

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Picture taken in the Kannur army cantonment, Kerala


A Stroll On The Beach: Twilight’s Last Gleaming

“Now I further saw, that betwixt them and the gate was a river; but there was no bridge to go over, and the river was very deep..”

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“..It is you, it is you they wait for; for you have been hopeful ever since I knew you. ”
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Picture taken at sunset on Payyambalam Beach, Kannur
Quotations taken from The Pilgrim’s Progress  (John Bunyan 1628 -1688)


A Stroll On The Beach: One Man Down

Sunset on Payyambalam beach, Kannur
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A Stroll On The Beach: The Sun Also Sets

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“I grow old … I grow old … 
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.”

From The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock
T S Eliot 1888 – 1965
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“Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see…
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me.”
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Picture taken at sunset on Payyambalam beach, Kannur.


A Stroll On The Beach

“My life is like a stroll on the beach…as near to the edge as I can go.”
Henry David Thoreau, 1817 – 1862

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Pictures taken at sunset on Payyambalam Beach, Kannur


Casting His Net

Picture taken at sunset in the Kerala Backwaters, Chellanam.
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Home Before Nightfall

An often long and winding road..
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Picture taken in Chellanam, Kerala.


Agents Orange

Picture of North Indian pilgrims taken on the Fort Cochin beach at sunset.

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Twilight’s Last Gleaming..

“..And catch the gleaming of a random light,
That tells me that the ship I seek is passing, passing.”

From “Ships that Pass in the Night”
by Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872 – 1906.
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Picture of the Fort Cochin promontory at sunset.


Autumn Leaves

Photograph taken in Fort Cochin, where autumn is not experienced.

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The Watchful Eye

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Picture taken on the beach at sunset, Fort Cochin.


Darjeeling Dusks

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…

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Pictures inadvertently taken from the windows of a deluxe suite, in Hotel Seven-Seventeen, Darjeeling.


Of Calicut, Camels And Kites

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The first night’s stop was in Calicut, the birthplace of calico.

Calicut was founded almost 1,000 years ago. Strong links with Arab traders soon developed and the city has a sizeable Muslim community.

Vasco da Gama led a Portuguese fleet to the port at the end of the 15th century. This marked the beginning of European interest in the Malabar coast.

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Having taken chai masala, we strolled along sea-front at sunset.

Inspected the camels

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Then bought a kite

And flew it.

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Sunset Sailings

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Farewell To A Queen

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I watch and wait.

Watching as the sun slips down

Past the fishing nets

Into gently lapping golden waves.

Waiting for a queen of royal lineage.

 

The crowd quietens,

Then breaks into cheers.

She has appeared.


The Queen sails majestically out of harbour,

Into sunset.

And with her,

My friends…

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Photographs taken as my friends left Fort Cochin on the Queen Elizabeth yesterday and sailed off into the Arabian Sea.


Harbouring Dreams

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To sit overlooking Fort Cochin harbour, with a glass of fresh lime-soda in your hand, is as good a way as any, to while away the sunset.

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And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced

As though the sun took step of thee, yet left

Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,—

Implicitly thy freedom staying thee!

Hart Crane

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Launching Out Alone

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“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”

Henry David Thoreau

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And you O my soul where you stand,

Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,

Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,

Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,

Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O, my soul.

Walt Whitman

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Now launch the small ship, now as the body dies

and life departs, launch out, the fragile soul

in the fragile ship of courage, the ark of faith

with its store of food ..and change of clothes,

D.H. Lawrence

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Launch For Two

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Launch One

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Launch Two

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“Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried; it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the immense Remote, the Wild, the Watery, the Unshored…”

Herman Melville

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Sea Fever

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I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

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I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

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I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.


“Sea Fever” by John Masefield.

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Waiting For Tomorrow

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As subtle as tomorrow

That never came,

A warrant, a conviction,

Yet but a name.

Emily Dickinson

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Caught On A Wire

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Like a bird on the wire,

like a drunk in a midnight choir

I have tried in my way to be free.

Like a baby, stillborn,

like a beast with his horn

I have torn everyone who reached out for me.

( From “Bird On The Wire” by Leonard Cohen)

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Photographs of a discarded snake-skin & plastic bag caught upon the razor and barbed-wire, that surround our local Naval base.


A Winter Sunset

The beach is just a five-minute walk from my home.

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Being able to stroll there, as the sun sets over the Arabian sea, is both pleasure and privilege.

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..Had we some mystic boat with pearly oar

And wizard pilot,

To guide us safely by the siren shore

And cloudy islet,

We might embark and reach that shining portal

Beyond which linger dreams and joys immortal..

 

From “Sea Sunset” by Lucy Maud Montgomery

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Nunc Dimittis

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“An age is called “dark,” not because the light fails to shine but because people refuse to see it. ”  James Michener

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“Your life is something opaque, not transparent, as long as you look at it in an ordinary human way. But if you hold it up against the Light.. it shines and turns transparent, radiant and bright. And then you ask yourself in amazement: Is this really my own life I see before me?” Albert Schweitzer

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Photographs taken on Calicut beach at sunset. November 2010.


Remains Of The Day

The Calicut boat jetty at sunset.

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I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown

And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear:

`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away”.

Ozymandias.  Percy Bysshe Shelley. Published 1818.

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“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity..”  Ecclesiastes 1, 14.

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