Preparing Dinner

You’ll be pleased to know that this post isn’t boring news about photography competitions: instead of entering photographs I’ve been busy taking them. Viewing pictures is far more interesting anyway and they are a great way of us communicating and documenting life here in India to you. This first set I’ve called “Preparing Dinner”.

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Profile Of A Sunni Muslim Community

My latest photo-set: Seelattuparambu is a community of 70 Sunni Muslims in Fort Cochin. Fort Cochin itself is very touristic, pretty and well-to-do and if you didn’t know about Seelattuparambu you’d miss it since its entrance is hidden behind an arched gate-way. Their houses back on to a shared ‘green’ where the cattle graze. This tight-knit neighbourhood is home to our friend Nazar and it is through him that I was able to invite myself along to take some photographs of the residents. These 20 images are what I managed to take in a one-hour gap between down-pours, whilst the women took the opportunity to hang out their washing. These are the extra images from my ‘Preparing Dinner’ set, which I will publish and tell you about in due course. I hope this provides a little eye-opener into a small, unseen community.

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Followtheboat Wins Its First Competition

I’ve been badgering Jamie for some time now to take his photography to the next level. I mean, some of his shots are breath-taking, aren’t they?

Having reluctantly agreed he generously allowed me to do the legwork. I decided to start by entering his work into some competitions, this would start to get his name and work known.

It seems that my nagging is starting to pay off. Firstly, we are going to be published, but more about that exciting news in a future blog. Secondly, he’s just won the first competition he’s ever entered!

Encouraged by his Auntie Chris, we decided to enter one of his photos into The Times Travel Photo Competition.

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Jaigarh – A Remote Fishing Village

We’ve been sitting pretty in Cochin for a couple of months now, but we’ve still got some catching up to do on the blog. Yep, some more snaps, this time of a beautiful, remote fishing village 110 miles south of Mumbai. The village was called Jaigarh and it was spectacular.

It was spectacular in part because of its location. Tucked up inside the mouth of a wide river that meets the sea the entrance into the natural harbour had the depth gauge nervously displaying less than 2m under the keel. The village, hidden behind an old fort wall and a big hill with a solitary temple on it, sits at the foot of an extremely lush palm forest. Aside from the parks of Mumbai this was the first time we had seen vegetation on this scale since the journey to Asmara in Eritrea, some 2,000 miles away. This was a real novelty after the deserts of Arabia, so come check out the pictures of this wonderful village…

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“Mumbai, Mumbai” – The Official FTB Song!

Followtheboat has an anthem! You may have heard the official World Cup song by Shakira but we’ve gone one step further by signing up the even more beautiful female vocalist, Annie May, to write and sing FTB’s 2010 Indian Anthem. This is a must-see exclusive, just for our friends…

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Yacht Marina Manager Killed In Shooting

In case our yotting friends haven’t heard the shocking news, we received an email this evening forwarded on by Gaby and Paul, who are based in Yacht Marina, Marmaris, Turkey. Yacht Marina is where Liz and I wintered in 2007-08. The email reads thus:

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The Dharavi ‘Slums’ Of Mumbai In Photographs

To me photography is often about engaging with people. Despite being told to do so by our taxi driver I point-blank refused to stick my camera out the window of the car as we drove down one really poor street. Yet on my second visit, this time walking down the same street, we bothered to talk to the people I was snapping and everyone we met appeared so happy. Except one family. You’ll notice in amongst all the photographs of smiling faces are two brothers who look very sad. Why were they like this? It doesn’t bear thinking about but their eyes tell a different story and their portraits stick out like sore thumbs. It’s a stark reminder that behind all the laughter life is still damn bloody tough.

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The Drink Of Brave Men

On Sunday I’ll be publishing my shots of the Dharavi slums of Mumbai. That’s on Sunday but today is Friday, so let’s keep it light-hearted. Let’s discuss beer! Beer. The love of my life, the bain of my waist-line. A refreshment to be enjoyed at the end of the day after a hard day’s sail, a hard day’s work or a hard day’s drinking. Whatever the occassion, beer is there to help you celebrate. Here in Catholic Kerala, however, beer isn’t so understood. The booze shop is a shuttered, over-the-counter, slip-the-beverage-into-a-plain-paper-bag-before-my-wife-spots-me affair. The pubs are dirty, dark cockroach-infested holes. The imbibement of this fine libation is not encouraged like it is elsewhere in India and the mantra “alcohol consumption is injurious to health” is seen on both the labels of bottles and across the tinted windows of aforementioned grimey bars. Is ‘injurious’ actually a word? Whatever, whether you like beer or not you’ll be impressed by the sales pitch of one such beer called Zingaro. The masculine gold and red Zingaro label has an Indian, of the Native American persuasion, taming a wild horse with ‘Super Strong Premium Lager’ emblazoned across the bottom. But it’s the blurb on the back that had me in stiches…

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