Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Dazzling Fluidity of Days


There's a lot in this article from the New York Times that mirrors my own use of cameras since the 60s. And since the arrival of the iPhone 5s, I have almost stopped using a larger camera (a Lumix) and the Nikon DSLR is just gathering dust!

Furthermore the time spent with the family in Australia brought home to me how photos are now edited and shared on an almost real-time basis, with context replacing quality as the primary goal.

Indeed it is context that most needs enhancing now: photos should come not only with technical metadata about the photo itself, but facial recognition, links to the website and blogs of
those in the photo, the history of the place in which the photo was taken (especially of landscapes where battles and other historical events should be accessible though links), weather,
geography and topography, flora and fauna, links to any reviews which you or your friends might have written to the venue (for hotels, restaurants and clubs), and the like. The idea is to give the
fullest context to the shared event.    

This line of thought reminds me of the strap-line of this Journal: 'No medium has yet been devised for the translation of life into language, nor can any words recall the dazzling fluidity of days. Single yet fixed in sequence they fall like the shaft of a cataract into time and through it.'  (Freya Stark - Beyond Euphrates). For me, this is the great attraction of photography, as a single image can capture a moment in life in a way that prose or poetry can do only with great effort. And the growing ease of sharing our images moves us still closer to this dream. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

S. Venkiteswaran 1941 - 2013




Venky in Stockbridge High St 2013



My dear friend 'Venky' Venkiteswaran died on 21st December 2013 following several years of increasing ill health. His ashes were scattered in the Ganges at Rishikesh by his sons Kumar and Anand on 23rd December and prayer meetings have been being held before his funeral on 1st January.

Venky was an exceptional man; a brilliant advocate who passed early though university and law school and argued his first case before the Supreme Court when he was only 21. Most of his long career was spent in the Commercial Court where he specialised in shipping matters, founding the Chambers which bear his name and training many of India's leading shipping lawyers and judges.
Venky was the best kind of lawyer - a 'consigliere' - who was sought out as much for his worldly counsel as for his legal skills. He acted for many of India's shipowners, transport operators, agents, and port owners and was frequently called upon to advise the Government and the Director-General of Shipping as well as the Indian Register. Venky also headed Pandi Correspondents, set up at the request of three P&I Clubs to advise their Indian and foreign shipowners, and much of his time was spent in dealing with their more complex cases. He maintained exceptionally strong links with the Clubs in London as well as the insurance market. In 2004 his services to the shipping community were acknowledged when he was presented with the Varuna Award. He also acted for the Indian Commercial Pilots Association, and Indian Pilots Guild and defended their pilots in several notable crash investigations. He was even retained by the Indian Wrestlers Association! He served on the boards of the National Stock Exchange, SICIC and Gujarat Adani Port and other commercial organisations.



I first met Venky in 1972 and maintained a close relationship with him and his family - his wife Lakshmi, his sons and their wives Hema and Ranjini and his grandchildren - ever since. We visited several places in India and Europe together and while travelling often enjoyed his fine cooking skills. He attended the weddings of two of my children in Australia and he and Kumar even attended church with me in Litchfield. Fortunately he was well enough in May to visit Stockbridge with some of the family and in July I visited him in Mumbai as one of those helping him gain accession of the Indian Maritime Law organisation which he had founded to membership of the CMI.

Venky was a great friend to many and an exceptionally loving father and grandfather. His death at only only 73 leaves a great void and great sadness.

Many prayers have been offered at the ceremonies around his funeral. A lovely eulogy was given here