Gitanjali and Food Photos

Lotus flowers - 10 pictures meme

I get my inspiration from all sorts of places.

My current reading is a wonderful book. Before I mention it let me tell you about my book buying habits. I see a book, or see one mentioned, or follow up on a current theme that I am writing or reading about, and buy books. Sometimes one. Sometimes a whole lot. Then they lay around in the bookshelves (I have 3) until I pick them up at random and discover what a gem I have bought.

So it goes with Gitanjali. I must have purchased this a year or so ago. I picked it up the other night after I finished reading my current book which was a rather lovely overview of Hinduism.

Gitanjali was written by Rabindranath Tagore. I have a love of ancient poetry, particularly Ancient Chinese Zen poetry, Middle Eastern Mystic poetry, and, more recently, Indian mystical poetry. Tagore is a relatively recent poet (1861 – 1941), a Bengali Hindu, educated in the West, who won a Nobel Prize for this poetry. He also wrote prose and late in his life he painted. It is said that his poetry (in original Bengali):

is full of subtlety of rhythm, of untranslatable delicacies of colour, of metrical invention.

You can see why I love his work very much – it is full of the love of the beauty of the natural world and of life and an intense and mystical awareness of his relationship with god. He is an innocent and mystical writer.

I read Rabindranath every day, to read one line of his is to forget all the troubles of the world.
(W. B. Yates)

Listen to this, the first poem. It is so magical.

Thou has made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.
This little flute of a reed thou carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.
At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.
Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.

Every line a meditation. No matter who you name your god, no matter whether it is the universe that you trust, or your partner, or nature or a supreme being. For me, this moves me beyond belief.

This poem has led me to think a lot.

Every one of his 103 poems in this little book is precious. Just so, one on the lotus. I read it and read it again, and knew it was the right one to begin my 10 Photos meme.

Shrikhand  recipe

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.
Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.
That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to me that it was the eager breath of the summer seeking its completion.
I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.

This meme causes introspection. Choose 10 photos that you love. What makes a photo lovable? Is it the photo or the smell and taste of the dish that it recreates for you? Is it the technical ability in the photo or the feeling that it evokes? It is just as hard to judge CLICK! – I can attest to that. :-)

In the end it doesn’t matter. For whatever reason, loving a photo is good enough. And the photos that I love most of all are the ones that I have taken most recently. Because I had time to think and plan and play a little more – both in the kitchen and behind the camera. Because they came from an outpouring of my own introspection while I am on holidays. Because the food that they represent or are posted with is very very yummy. Because I learnt new skills during this time – in the kitchen and behind the camera. Because there was a wonderful connection with my readers and because I learned more about me and a little bit more about you. You have probably seen these photos recently – forgive me for sharing them again.

The first is the lotus. The other nine are here – click for post and recipe details.

Mint Paneer and Horsnell Gully
Horsnell Gully and Mint Paneer Recipe
Ginger Garlic Lentil Soup
Ginger Garlic Lentil Soup Recipe
Wonderful Blueberry Shrikhand
Wonderful Blueberry Shrikhand Recipe
Roasted Garlic Oil
Roasted Garlic Oil Recipe
Thick Thick Yoghurt
Thick Thick Yoghurt Recipe
This one is from an earlier recipe posting:

Divine Cumquat (Kumquat) Marmarlade

Divine Cumquat Kumquat Marmarlade Recipe
Roasted Rosemary Pears
Roasted Rosemary Pears Recipe
Gratineed Tomatoes with Cheese
Gratineed Tomatoes with Cheese Recipe
One for luck!
Roasted Pears

The wonderful, talented and inspiring dear friend at Red Chillies tagged me for this meme. It has been a while and I thought it was because I was procrastinating, but now I know that it was because I was yet to take my 10 most favourite photos.

I pass this meme on to other dear friends. But don’t feel any pressure. Only if you want to join in.

  • Mango Power Girl who has the most wonderful and delicate photos
  • Cooking for All Seasons, whose food always has me drooling
  • Peter from Kalofagas, whose dedication to Greek food has introduced me to (the vegetarian side of) Greek cuisine and also to thick thick yoghurt.
  • Jai and Bee from Jugalbandi, who not only take the most gorgeous photos, but host the CLICK! event too.

I want to also acknowledge Lucy from Nourish Me and Ronell from My French Kitchen. Lucy takes the most wonderful photos, full of light and shade, and Ronell is an artist not only behind the camera, but also in the kitchen and in her art studio. I am not tagging them formally, as I have mentioned them before. But ladies, if you would like to join in, please do.


Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

17 thoughts on “Gitanjali and Food Photos”

  1. Such great photos! Too bad we can’t photograph a poem, how it makes us feel, the thoughts it inspires. Or maybe we can. Maybe we try.

    what a great idea. Things of art are so emotional, we just want to hang on to those feelings.


  2. Beautiful photos! If I may choose a favourite, I’d choose the row of pears, for its beautiful compostion and dramatic play on light contrasts as well as texture.
    thanks for the mention and thanks for the links…I’m always eager to look them up!

    Thank you ronell. I love that pic too. I love that the pears are not perfect, that the towel reflects the colours in the pears and yet is a different texture. The light – well that was a gift.


  3. Very thoughtful and poetic post :) What can you say when Tagore is the inspiration!

    Thanks for tagging me … I am really enjoying your photography and learning a lot from your posts … can’t wait to explore more!

    I see that you have been exploring! Tagore, yes. An inspiration to us all.


  4. G, what a surprise!..lovely pictures..I enjoyed the post and with the same merry scrolled down to get a pleasant surprise….

    thanks for the nice words..mine pictures are not so very chic as yours..will do it sometime soon!

    :-) I am glad that you had a lovely surprise. I love your passion and love for what you do, and the dishes from your kitchen. I look forward to your 10 photos.


  5. beautiful shots. love them all.

    did you know that rabindranath tagore was one of the greatest music composers? theer’s a whole genre of music called rabindra sangeet?

    thanks for your kind words.

    Hi bee, I knew he “wrote songs” but not that he was a great composer. A remarkable man and I am sure that I will read a lot of his poetry.


  6. Thank you very much fr taking up this Meme. Each and every picture is worthwhile and stunning. Your introspecting thoughts are very inspiring. The way you reflect on your choices for picking 10 photos is very thoughtful. Frankly and with shame I admit that I did not think so much in depth, it was more superficial. You rock :-)

    Thank you, RedChillies. It was a challenge to do the meme – a lot of thought about photos and photography. And thank you for passing the meme on to me!


  7. He is one of my favorite poets! I always love to open the book up randomly and read something when I need to calm down a little. Beautiful photos!!!

    Hi Ginny, the more I read of Tangore the more I grow to love his poetry. Some of it really hits home! Thank you for your lovely comment.


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