Street Photography in Kolkata

Next week I am heading to Kolkata to lose myself in some street photography.  As I have researched this city the sheer scope of opportunities is amazing.  Through my travel arranger ‘Delhi Magic‘, I have arranged a guide that specialises in photography as I only have 4 days.  If anyone has been there before and has suggestions, then please don’t hesitate.  I plan to try and update this blog whilst I am there.

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DSK & The Fortune-Teller

Here is a small tale.  Like all tales there is not really any reliable way to say if it actually happened or not.

Eighteen months ago, a man who felt that his life was on the right trajectory, he had a job that gave him access to a lot of very important people (they thought they were important and that is all that really matters), he travelled ALOT, he earn’t very good money, was married to a nearly as famous beautiful woman and most wonderfully lived in a society where there is an absolute expectation in the collective consciousness that a man in such a position in life should selflessly share his penis with as many women as possible.  Having ruminated on his exceptional luck and good fortune whilst in the shower that morning, there was this little niggle of doubt that he wasn’t really reaching his full potential.  He remembered that one of his other powerful friends and given him the number of an excellent fortune teller who by sheer coincidence lived in the very city where he had woken up that very morning.  He called his extremely efficient PA and rescheduled all of his morning meetings and hailed a cab, directing it to the address on the card.

Agreeing to meet DSK he entered into a small private front room of the womans house.  She asked him for a item of jewellery that only he had worn.  He handed over his watch that he had worn for the last 8 years.  She closed her eyes whilst holding the watch.  After 3 or 4 uncomfortable minutes of silence she opened her eyes and looked straight into DSK eyes.  She held his gaze for what felt like ages and she then had a very small smile which creased her lips.

She said to him;

“There is much I can tell you, but I will tell you the one thing that is most important for you. You will be famous.  You will be famous beyond your wildest dreams.  You will be in every newspaper in the world, you will feature on all major news channels, you will be the subject of talk shows and public debates.  You will be remembered long after your death and you will be held up as an example to all of your peers”.

Quite understandably DSK was ecstatic with news and tipped the fortune-teller handsomely.  Walking down the street he felt like he was walking on air, life was full of optimism.  He thought to himself, “that’s it, my future clearly lies in politics, I am going to replace the current little gnome at the Elysee Palace”.

How interesting life can be.

My Continued Pursuit of Audio Quality

For a long time I have been using the same audio equipment that I purchased many years ago when I used to live in the UK.  The amps were are QUAD 405-2 pre and power amp matched to a pair of B&W Matrix 2E speakers, which are bi-wired.  This equipment has travelled with me around the world and provided years of pleasure.  A few months ago I was lucky enough to sit and listen to a demo of the Diamond Series B&W speakers and fell in love once again with the sheer quality of B&W construction methods and the amazing quality of the output.  i decided that I needed to figure out how to lift the overall performance without breaking the bank.

Over the last couple of weeks I researched and then purchased via ebay a new Arcam C31 pre-amp and a pair of Arcam P25 power amps.  I daisy chained the power amps to the bi-wired speakers.  Happy with the result – you bet!!  The definition and spacing of specific instruments along with the stunning clarity and power of female voices such as Jacintha has made me fall in love with my music all over again.

I then decided to clean up all the music on my computer including getting some reference tracks in FLAC-24 format.  Installed the Squeezebox server onto the computer and tied this together with my Squeezebox.  I now have a library of 3,500 tracks to listen to.  So K and i have agreed to set aside a couple of nights every week to just sit down, relax and listen to great music from a whole new perspective.  Beats the hell out of nightly lobotomies in front of the television!

I personally think that the English still have edge is producing high quality audio equipment.  If you want to have a look at the Arcam range you can do so here.  Likewise with B&W.