Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Published on: 10/8/15 4:41 PM

Photo Feature: China Chronicles

                      All pictures by SHEILA KUMAR except where otherwise mentioned.
All images are subject to copyright.


The  Shanghai waterfront at the Bund. The Bund runs alongside the western bank of the Huangpu River and faces the magnificent high-rises of the Pudong financial district.


Nanjing Road, Shanghai`s main shopping street and one of the world`s busiest roads, photographed well past midnight. A Wikipedia entry states that it is the world’s longest shopping district, around 5.5km long, and attracts over 1 million visitors daily. 


Moving focus away from the Terracotta Warriors, here is the Bell Tower of Xi`an. Along with the brilliantly lit Drum Tower, these came up in 1380, in the Ming Dynasty.  


When pictures and words don`t match. Sign atop a cosmetic shop.    


Tang Dynasty. The palace, not necessarily the ceramic urn. Xi`an, China. Mount Lishan looms over the palace of Yang Yuhuan, the favourite concubine of Emperor Xuanzong, in a  most picturesque way.


With apologies to Pink Floyd: all in all it was NOT just bricks in the wall. The sheer magnitude overwhelms one. This is the Mutianyu section, northeast of Beijing.    


His serene face  at the Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai. In stark contrast, the temple also houses another jade depiction of a shockingly gaunt Buddha just before he attained enlightenment.   


Here and there one still glimpses the face of old China. This was clicked outside the mausoleum of the Great Helmsman, Mao Zedong, just off Tiananmen Square in Beijing.   


…and sometimes, you glimpse the face of young India, too. On a busy thoroughfare in Beijing.    

This feller-me-lad stopped eating for a nanosecond’s photo op. I forget his er, very Chinese name.  


A calligrapher, plying the ancient trade at the Summer Palace in Haidian. This form of communication as well as revered art, thankfully endures.  


Women dancing in the courtyard of the Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi`an. These `gyrating grannies` of China seem to have drawn Beijing`s ire because there are plans to devise a menu of 12 state-sanctioned dance routines the dancers must adhere to.   


Sea urchins. Live scorpions. Water beetles. Roaches. Bull`s testicles. bat wings. Hippocampi. And such delicacies at WangFuJing, an Eat Street in Beijing.  



The highlight of my holiday when I caught the 7,411th show of the 11 years- and- running `The Legend of Kung Fu` at the Red Theatre in Beijing. Spectacular. Breathtakingly spectacular.


Just another of the frequent gray days in the Jing.To misquote the Bard, all the masks in the world cannot protect Beijingers from the severe pollutuon that hangs like a pall over them.  


Detail of the blue-tiled roof of a building in the Forbidden City. I found something soulless about the Emperor`s former abode, teeming though it was with local crowds.     



The Summer Palace, Beijing. The front part of the palace has some charming halls and pavilions, and to the rear sits the serene Kunming Lake, the jewel in this particular crown.     


Camus on a subway wall. Maugham was beside him.   


Spotted on the wall of another subway station, on another day.


These locally made taxis plied the streets of China. BYD, it said above the number plate. I asked and was told the car was called Beyond Your Dreams.  

The benediction of the 112-feet tall Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island. He faces north, which is unique among the great Buddha statues, as all others face south. 


The magnificent facade of the 17th century St Paul’s at Macau. The church was destroyed in a fire and the facade is all that stands.The intricate carvings were done by Japanese Christians in exile.


The Portuguese touch in a corner of China…a Macau pharmacy.    


Blake Pier in Hong Kong sizzling in the afternoon heat.  


Hong Kong. An overview…sorry, couldn`t resist that.


The glorious Repulse Bay, Hong Kong. Legend has it that the name comes from the frequent repulse of marauding pirates by the Royal Navy. This could well be just another urban legend, though.  

beijingBruce LeeChinaHong KongLantauMacauShanghaitraveltravel photosXi`an

Sheila Kumar • October 8, 2015

Previous Post

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *