In May I go a-walking in Washington

Yes, it was the Spring of 2008 and I was in Washington DC — the big city. Armed with my new camera I was drunk with the thrill of taking photos. Every moment of light was grabbed –early morning before going to work and evenings as the day ended.

Playtime in the gardens of the cathedral. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Playtime in the gardens of the cathedral. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Hearts are gay, blithe as May 
Dance and sport the livelong day;
Spring has come to make us glad, 
Let us give her greeting. 

Anon. The Cowslip

Weekends my friend Delores would plan my cultural forays to museums, art galleries, Washington Cathedral, Roosevelt Memorial Park . …the list was long. I was seeing Washington through my lens frame and she would slow down willingly as she did to catch this Sunday classic shot of baseball players.

On the road leaving Washington Cathedral, Washington DC, 17 May 2008. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

On the road leaving Washington Cathedral, Washington DC, 17 May 2008. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

My journeys would start in Dupont Circle, a very cosmopolitan area and I could have taken 100 shots here.

Men playing chess at Dupont Circle, Washington DC, 10 May 2008. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Men playing chess at Dupont Circle, Washington DC, 10 May 2008. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

I didn’t know about the genre of street clicks but that is what I was doing — see, like, click.

The ubiquitous Big Mac. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

The ubiquitous Big Mac container at Dupont Circle. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Interestingly, McDonald’s tried to stifle a locally owned Lanka Spice Limited (LSL) from registering its trademark logo with the word McCurrie. Sri Lanka’s Intellectual Property Office rejected the notice of opposition. Its ruling said that the facts did not show any violation of the country’s intellectual property laws, noting that the LSLs “McCurrie” only sells raw spices through groceries and supermarkets in Sri Lanka and does not compete in the restaurant industry. LSL’s products have been in the market since 1982, according to local media reports.

Dupont Circle Metro. Washington DC. 25 May 2008.  Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Dupont Circle Metro. Washington DC. 25 May 2008. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

The grunting, groaning metro was there to get to the Washington Mall — often the most favoured destination.

Away from the hustle and bustle of a big city — the quiet read.

The quiet read. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

The quiet read. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

As it fell upon a day,
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
Trees did grow and Plants did spring.

Richard Barnfield. The nightingale

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial needs a separate blog but here’s is another shot taken as I was walking around.

Boy and his Dog at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memoria, Washington DC, 18 May 2008. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Boy and his Dog at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memoria, Washington DC, 18 May 2008. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

the Law and Order watchdogs.  Photograph©Chulie de Silva

the Law and Order watchdogs. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Then there are the other bikers. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Then there are the other bikers. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Yes, Washington was loads of fun and what could be more American than this of adults and kids playing!

The view from the Washington Cathedral. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

The view from the Washington Cathedral. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Random Clicks In Kilinochchi

 

Dancing girls Kilinochchi, 21 July 2010. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Dancing girls Kilinochchi, 21 July 2010. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Going up North for work was so interesting in 2010. North was reviving and there was this wonderful joyous exuberance – especialy among the young.

The only setback for me was that I often had to put my camera through the window and plead with the drivers to slow down as I tried to frame, focus and click.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. But am so glad for the memories.

See more at post on my new website.

The Old Nupe Market, Matara

Central Turret, Nupe Market Matara, 31 May 2014. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

Central Turret, Nupe Market Matara, 31 May 2014. Photograph©Chulie de Silva

“I always remembered it for its shingled roof,” said a friend who hails from Matara about the Market in Nupe. Yes, the red Sinhala Kandyan period flat tiles –peti-ulu are there in this airy T-shaped building located at Wilmot Balasuriya Mawatha in Matara.

This interesting heritage building of the Nupe Market certainly caught my attention and my imagination soared. Historians claim it was built by the Dutch in 1775, and is one of the oldest Dutch surviving buildings. The British also lay claim to it– so did the British remodel an old building?

Read more on my new website: The Old Nupe Market, Matara

Matara: Digging Legends

 

Saman the crab catcher, rows across the Nilwala River. Matara. 31 May 2014 Photograph© Chulie de Silva

Saman the crab catcher, rows across the Nilwala River. Matara. 31 May 2014
Photograph© Chulie de Silva

After a days romp through the staid Dutch built Church, Fort and other monuments, I started digging around for the history of Matara and its legends.

One of the legends that emerged is of the scholar poet King Kumaradasa or Kumaradhatusena son of King Kasyapa of Sigiriya fame and the poet and dramatist, Kalidasa who is supposed to have lived sometime between, 170BCE and 634CE.  Matara likes to claim Kalidasa as a son of theirs but our big neighbhour India thinks otherwise. The salacious bit of the legend is that the handsome King in flagrante delicto with a courtesan, spied a bee entangled in the petals of a lotus flower, and was inspired to write two lines of poetry.

Read more about how the lives of the King and the Poet Kalidasa changed with this poem on my new website myislandlanka.com

Link directly to the story: http://myislandlanka.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=176:matara-digging-legends&catid=79:gods-temples-legends&Itemid=458

Spring Vienna 2007

Photos, photos and photos, you take heaps on holiday and then they lie inside a folder, often forgotten. … Till, one fine day, you unearth them from a half forgotten archive. It all comes back then — the walk through a park, on a warm spring morning in Vienna.

The grasses stirred as the soft wind rippled the water. Photograph© Chulie de Silva.

The grasses stirred as the soft wind rippled the water. Photograph© Chulie de Silva.

Time to go cycling with Dad. Photograph© Chulie de Silva.

A father goes cycling with the duaghter. Photograph© Chulie de Silva.

Seeing the boy fishing in the clear stream, brought back memories of how my cousins and I used to fish in the little stream below the bridge at Hikkaduwa. Photograph© Chulie de Silva.

A boy with his net catching fish in the clear stream. Photograph© Chulie de Silva.

Cooling off in the clear meandering stream. Photograph© Chulie de Silva.

Two girls and a horse cooling off in the clear meandering stream. Photograph© Chulie de Silva.

Photograph© Chulie de Silva

… and then there were the lovely birds —  drakes am told.  Photograph© Chulie de Silva

Three drakes in a row. Photograph© Chulie de Silva.

Three drakes in a row. Photograph© Chulie de Silva.

.... and then there was four. Photograph© Chulie de Silva

…. and then there was four. Photograph© Chulie de Silva

Four ducks on a pond,
A grass-bank beyond,
A blue sky of spring,
White clouds on the wing;
What a little thing
To remember for years
To remember with tears!

By William Allingham (1824 – 1889) , “Four Ducks on a Pond”, from Evil May-Day &c., published 1882

Meditations at Vesak

The setting sun turned the sands golden, the rise and fall of the waves,  changing , changing every moment, leaving nothing to permanence,  the horizon stretching away like the samsara — in deed a brief transient moment that embodied all Buddha’s teachings on Anicca (impermanence) , Dukkha (suffering) and Anatma ( absence of a permanent self or soul) . …

Meditations - Aniccha, Dukkha, Anatma, Hikkaduwa, 16 April 2014. Daria from Moscow on the beach at Hikkaduwa.

Meditations – Aniccha, Dukkha, Anatma, Hikkaduwa, 16 April 2014. Daria from Moscow on the beach at Hikkaduwa.