Welcome to Fortnum & Mason

Welcome to Fortnum & Mason, a beautiful old shop on Piccadilly.
F&M doorman
They do have special window displays for Christmas, but I was more impressed by the red and gold decorations inside the shop.
F&M red gold balls
You know, this shop doesn’t really need special Christmas decorations – their product displays look pretty colourful all year round.
F&M stilton
Gift packages from this store are popular at Christmas, and are delivered in these special hampers.
F&M Hamper 2
One final photo may give my mother a clue as to what I was buying in this shop!

F&M marmalade

Dussehra – on the Streets

It’s festival time. Now you can see where some of the flowers and leaves from Sunday’s blogpost have gone.

Dussehra truck

On Monday, several different groups of people were gathering at one temple in Whitefield. We watched one group from Ramgondanahalli carry their idol through the streets. Here is the back view, complete with flags.

Dussehra Whitefield idol back view

And here is the front view, complete with drummers. Can you see the money pinned to the idol? The 100 rupee notes are at the top; 10 and 20 rupee notes are pegged to a string near the bottom.

idol and drummers

Roses and Jasmine

Thursday 15 August is Independence Day in India.  I am back in the UK for a holiday, so I can’t show you anything of the celebrations in Bangalore or of the Lalbagh Flower Show.  Instead, here is a much more low-key post, of some flowers which I photographed in Varthur a couple of weeks ago.

I often see loose flowers for sale, in shops like this, or from roadside vendors, to be made into garlands for women’s hair, or for religious offerings.  One stall in Varthur was selling roses and jasmine.

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Jasmine

They were also selling ready-made garlands.  I don’t think the ones with shiny paper are designed for temple offerings:  I think they are more likely to be used to welcome people.  Do my Indian readers agree?  Who would wear these garlands?

garlands

Happy Independence Day!  And if you still want to see the Indian flag, look at this post from last year.

Chariots

Sometimes it seems like there is a festival every day in India. As well as the weddings and the major religious festivals, there are small festivals in individual villages. In many places there is a tradition of carrying statues of deities through the streets in remarkably tall chariots.

This chariot is from a village near Varthur.

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Here are some details from that chariot.

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On our regular route from Whitefield to Bengaluru International Airport we drive through Devanahalli.  This chariot (snapped with my iPhone camera) came from that area.

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The last two photos below come from our local village – Ramagondanahalli.  I was in the car on the main road, and the procession was disappearing into a narrow side street.  My photography skills sadly weren’t up to the job – the chariot was too big to fit in one photo, so you just have to imagine the top and bottom joined together. Maybe next time I will be better prepared!

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Brightly-Painted Houses

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Asian Paints must be a successful company, because people in Karnataka love to paint their houses with bright colours.

They go for bright green…..

Green house

Or purple or pink…

Pink house

Or blue…

Blue house

While the upmarket gated communities go for pale sophistication….

Villa

Some apartments just use all the colours…

multi-coloured apartments