Monday, 31 January 2011


I took some photos of hand-painted graphics on trucks, buses and autorickshaws when I was traveling around Rajasthan earlier this month. I love the bold type and the colours! This was taken on the NH8 (the National highway between Delhi and Jaipur)

1st row: From left to right - ratri mein dipper ka prayog kare (use dipper at night), dheere chal saathi, zindagi anmol hai (drive slowly my friend, life is precious), jagah milne par side di jayegi (when there is space, I will give way for you to overtake)

2nd row: maa ki mamta (mother's blessings)

3rd row: jiyo and jeene do (live and let live)

(I think this was supposed to be 'Fatta box' - where the extra 'fattas' or wooden planks used to load the truck are stored. Or, it could may as well BE the Fanta Box, where they store their refreshments for the road)

My all time favourite remains one I spotted behind an autorickshaw in Ludhiana. I don't understand Punjabi but was pleasantly surprised at what it said when my mum translated it for me.

On either side of the lady churning lassi, the text reads - 'hatt peeche, chapaed maroo'
which means - Keep your distance, Should I give you a slap? Charming!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

I missed the Great Apollo Circus in Ludhiana last November, however I was lucky to come across it in Chandigarh in a few weeks ago. I didn't manage to see the show, but I took some photos of the beautifully painted boards outside! I love the colours.

My favourite is the 'Maut ka Kuan', have always had a fascination for this act. It's the most dangerous one I'm sure but also very thrilling! The few that I've seen always have very dramatic and loud music playing (for effect I think).

They are now in Patiala for a month, if you're interested.

Which one do you like best?

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Spotted these lovely Maharaja band members on College road, chased after them till I got a photo. 

They reminded me of Mr. Dubey and Monsoon Wedding.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Master Scissors

     Satwant Singh, Owner, Master Scissors

Down an unassuming by-lane in Deep Nagar (Ludhiana), Satwant Singh's family has been running the 'master scissor' business for 56 years. The business was started by Satwant's father in 1955 and is now run by him, his sons and his grandsons. They are the only family that custom make these scissors for the use of both local tailors and big hoisery mills. 


The workshop is hidden away in his backyard and unless specifically looked for, it is impossible to come across by chance.

Shyam Narayan has been working for the family for the past 20 years and has perfected the skill of scissor making. Each scissor is custom made and takes between 2-3 days to make. They are not readily available to buy off the shelf, but can be ordered to suit your requirements. The sizes range from no.9 to no.12 (I ordered a no.10, not too big and not too heavy) The higher the number, the heavier the scissors; these are generally used in factories by pattern cutters who need to cut several layers of fabric, or heavier materials.

The scissors come packed in their own red box, with an assurance that 
'skilled workmen have put their best in it' 
At Indian Rupee ₹360, these do not come cheap but are meant to last a lifetime. They are the preferred choice of most 'masterjis' (tailor-cum-pattern cutters) around the city.


Each scissor is also embossed with the trademark and the company registration number. These scissors are solid and beautifully made. The box is the latest addition to my ever-growing collection of boxes

They are often hand-delivered to individuals and factories across Ludhiana.

To order your own pair of Master Scissors, call 0161-2442823

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Fiona Caulfield's Love Guide for Jaipur, Rajasthan was an indispensable source of inspiration for the trip my family and I made last week. Along with plenty of great hotel, shopping and restaurant recommendations, Love Guide led me to Mr. Tikkam Chand; a charming photographer I met outside City Palace Museum in Jaipur. This was undoubtedly the highlight of my trip.

Tikkam and his brother use their grandfather's hundred and fifty year old camera with an original Carl Zeiss lens to take photos of tourists and passer-bys, which are then developed in front of you within just 10 minutes!

Once the negatives are produced on photographic paper, he works on the positives from the back of the camera alternating between two trays containing the fixer and the developer.

Tikkam was happy to talk me through the whole process AND take photos too.

 These are then washed with water and left to dry on a wooden board.

There isn't a dull moment as Tikkam and his brother show you their collection of old photos and newspaper cuttings. They took some photos for the recent Bollywood film, 'Bhool Bhulaiya' and will also appear in an American documentary and MTV show in the near future. 

If you're in Jaipur, contact Tikkam on 9828072800 to get your photo taken!

An excellent souvenir.