Monthly Archives: February 2015

Travel With Fujifilm X100S : Portrait Of Suraksha

While I was talking to her, she stopped the conversation for a while. She was enjoying the Ultra Light Flight circling the Sarangkot Hill. Even though she have seen it hundred times before this, but it never makes her bored. Getting ready to get to school, this 10 year old girl is among the kids living at Sarangkot Hill with her parents running guest house business. Meet Suraksha, speaks fluent in English, I can’t speak well in english when I was at her age. She walks about 30 minutes to reach her school, and it took about 1 hour going back to the hill.

 

Suraksha, 10

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Travel With Fujifilm X100S : Portrait of Dhurba & Raj

I met these gentlemen on our road trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara. It was just near the roadside where people stop for toilet, tea or just to have some fresh air near the Trisuli River. By the time I got out from the car, I knew that I want to photograph them. But I took my time building up some confidence for both of us. He thought I was attracted with the lady who was nearby making local delicacy, the Sel Roti. Made of rice flour, deep fried to make crispy outer but puffy inside.

Sel Roti

After spending few minutes photographing the lady and the food, I made my move to communicate with him. Mr. Dhurba, 36, is a lorry driver coming all the way from Kathmandu like us, heading further beyond Pokhara. I took a look at the lorry and quite surprise to find the interior look like you were sitting in our living room. It was well decorated. Accompanying with him is his assistance, Mr Raj, 51, who came to and join our conversation. After gained enough trust between us, I ask permission if I could take their portrait. Without hesitant they agreed to my request.

Mr. Dhurba, 36

Mr Raj, 51

I was using Fujifilm X100S belong to a friend of mine during this trip. The classic appearance of the body makes other feel this was old camera and nothing serious about it, people feel more comfortable compared to the big black DSLR with its bulky lenses. Nowadays, people thinks that you make big money when you took photo with DSLR. I have been using Fujifim system more than 1 year and never thinking of turning back to other DSLR, this is there camera system that suits me well especially for travel.

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Travel With Fujifilm X100S : Manakamana Hill Side Academy, Gorkha, Nepal

The gondola lift transportation has always steal the eyes of its viewer who pass-by Cheres, Chitwan after about 104km journey from Kathmandu – Pokhara route. The Austria imported cable car system connecting between the Base Station (Cheres, Chitwant) to the Top Station (Manakamana, Gorkha). Here is the fees for the cable car.

Screen Shot from Wiki

Screen Shot from Wiki

At the top station, about 1302 above sea level lies the Mañanakamana Temple, a Hindu temple which pilgrimage bring goat to be sacrificed in a pavilion behind the temple. The name Manakamana originates from two words, “mana” meaning heart and “kamana” meaning wish.

As we walk around the village near the temple, we came across an elementary school slightly below the hill. There we found the Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy | Mr. Ghupta, 24, Teacher

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

All image are taken with Fujifilm X100S (Silver).

The Musalman (Muslim) of Pokhara, Nepal

In Pokhara, we asked the guide to locate any mosque nearby the Lake Side instead of conducting City Tour in Pokhara. After about 30 minutes going around and asking local folks, we finally met Jame Masjid Aqsa at Pokhara-13, Miyapatan. The local muslim claimed that they have been here for 500 years. Almost 20 years ago, this place was very famous by the name Kundahar, but Kundahar is bigger than Miyapatan. According to the history, “Miya” is respective title of local mountainous Muslim given by other communities and “Patan” means the ground. We can easily guest the historical fact that Miyapatan means the land used by Muslim.

We can’t explore the mosque as there was on going renovation being held, several section of the mosque are closed due to that.

Jame Masjid – E – AQSA, Pokhara-13, Miyapatan

It was at this mosque I met a Muazin & Mr Mohamed Shafie, 81.

Mohamed Shafie, 81, a descendant of a Sheikh.

The Muazin however politely denied to be taken photograph when I asked. There’s no activity at the mosque at that moment but he mentioned that there is a Madrasa nearby which he volunteered to guide us to the Madrasa.

Local Canteen outside the Jame Mosque

Abdul Rahim, 62, President of Anjuman Islahul Muslemin (Islamic Organization in Miyapatan)

 

 

Madarrsa Islamia, Pokhara-13, Miyapatan

Madarssa Islamia, Pokhara-13, Miyapatan

The Classroom

After few shots of the school and its environment, I suddenly became weak and I can’t continue shooting or do anything even just looking at the kids. Then, there was tears in my eyes, I put myself as a father of the kids where we don’t have other option to offer for the best education for our kids due to poor economic status. There were many out there where parent couldn’t afford their children to school. But you don’t have an option. As a father, I couldn’t accept this kind of failure.

The school conduct only 2 hours a day for religious teaching and the remaining time if for national education. There is about 200 student and only 3 teachers.

Madrasa Islamiya School, Kathmandu, Nepal

On our Day 2 of our trip in Nepal December 2014, after made a discussion with all members, we decided to go and find a mosque in Kathmandu. Alhamdullilah, we found 2 mosques (Nepali Masjid & Kashmiri Masjid) near Ghandahar, Kathmandu. We soon discover a boarding Islamic School in Nepali Masjid which added a bonus to this visit. Muslim in Nepal is only 4% of its total population. About 97% muslim living in Terai Region, while only 1% living in Kathmandu. According to the history, it was the Kashmiri traders who bring Islam into Kathmandu Valley in the 15th century during the regime of King Ratna Malla. Madrasa Islamiya School was established year 1996 B.S (1940 AD). Located just behind Nepali Masjid in Ghandahar, Kathmandu. The principal, Mr. Subhan Ali, 42, were very happy to bring us around the Madrasa. Unfortunately, there were no classes on Friday so we can’t experience the classrooms and the teachings.

Mr Subhan Ali, 42

We were introduced by a security guard to the principal of the Madrasa, Mr Subhan Ali, 42. He was very happy to bring us around the Madrasa.

Madrasa Islamilya School

Madrasa Islamiya School

As I explore the Madrasa, I found a kitchen where I met Mr Abdul Kadir preparing Dal Bhat for the student and teachers. I went inside the kitchen and spent some time to get to know them.

Nepali Jame Masjid’s Muazin, Mohamad Ilyas

The Cook of the School, Mr Abdul Kadir

Mr Abdul Kadir

Mr Abdul Kadir and Mr Mohamad Ilyas

It was a good experience to have this opportunity to visit a Madrasa in Kathmandu and surely will make another visit if I ever step in Nepal in future.

Nepal Photography Trip 25-31 Dec 2014

Alhamdulillah, another trip to Nepal has been done just a month ago. Total of 6 pax including me, even though not as many as on my February trip, but there is no less the fun. This trip which I can consider too late to push in the beginning however has attracted 5 interested participant including one repeating participant from the February trip. For me, I never thought of visiting Nepal twice in a year. We spent 2 night in Bhaktapur, 2 Night Pokhara and 1 Night in Kathmandu.

The itinerary has been improved compared to February trip which we stayed 2 night in Bhaktapur instead of Kathmandu. I’m expecting more photo opportunity in Bhaktapur. Guide greeted us upon our arrival, we then to go Thamel for lunch before proceeding to Bhaktapur. It was already dark when we finally reach Bhaktapur but still we can see some people chanting outside the temple. On day 2 supposed to be our free activity the whole day at Bhaktapur, but after made a discussion with the group, we decided to go find a mosque in Kathmandu as well as the Monkey Temple. We made our way to Pokhara on Day 3 and stayed near the top of Sarangkot. On day 4 once again we ask our guide if we can find any mosque in Pokhara, boating at Phewa Lake in afternoon. Back to Kahtmandu on Day 5 where everybody exhausted of the long journey. The last day we went to Pashupatinath and did some last minute shopping before leaving to airport.

There will be several post to come next. By then, thanks to all participant of your trust, hope to see you again on other trip in future.

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Photo Credit: Mas

 

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From Left: Affaindi, Rosli, Hatta, Mas, Me, Nur Hafidzah | Photo Credit: Affandi

 

 

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Photo Credit: Affandi

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Photo With Mr Dhurba & Mr Raj. | Photo Credit: Nur Hafidzah

 

 

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