Portals To The World

Doors come in all shapes, sizes, colours, construction and styles. They can be single or double doors; French or Dutch doors; louvered or flush doors. There are barn doors and saloon doors; wicker doors and sliding doors; hinged doors and swing doors. There are even False doors that lead nowhere and don’t even open!

But the one aspect that they all have in common: they are meant to keep something or someone in or out.

The earliest known records of doors are those represented in the paintings of the Egyptian tombs and they were either single or double doors, each constructed with a single piece of wood. Over the centuries, apart from the security needs, the door has been recognized as the first aspect of your building that a visitor will encounter and it will thereby contribute to that vital first impression. They are essentially Portals to the occupant’s life and lifestyle.

These are some of the world’s doors that I’ve passed through…

 

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Siem Reap. Cambodia. An open door policy.

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Siem Reap. Cambodia. So many doors that lead to nowhere.

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Hue. Viet Nam. More than just a portal. It’s an artist’s canvas.

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Tunis. Tunisia. When one door is closed, another opens.

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Mumbai. India. The gateway the British Raj passed through.

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St. Thomas. USVirgin Islands. People from all over the world pass through.

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Dominican Republic. The way to the Lord.

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Cop Denmark
Tivoli Gardens. A busy thoroughfare

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Delhi. India. Who knows what lurks behind a closed door?

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Rostock Germany
People with glass doors shouldn’t throw bricks

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Estonia. A door within a portal going who knows where?

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St. Petersberg. Russia. It only takes a small key to open a big door?

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Stockholm Sweden
Carve its name with pride

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Varanasi India
The gateway to the holy city should look good.

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Bangkok. Thailand. Heed the writing on the door?

The Hustlers

According to the International Labour Organization, in 2009 there were some 1.53 billion people in vulnerable employment either working for themselves or in badly paid family jobs. This represents about half the global workforce. This figure is expected to be significantly higher for 2011 and later years.

These are the people who struggle on the edge of survival and carry on regardless…

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Udaipur. India. Back breaking work.

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Mumbai. India. Dhobi Ghats. Not too much starch on the collar, please!

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Buenos Aires. Argentina. Where’s there smoke, there’s fire.

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Nassau. Bahamas. Someday I’ll be a tourist, too.

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Nassau. Bahamas. Counting the day’s take.

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Delhi. India. You have to put your back into it.

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Tallin. Estonia. A woman who finds pleasure in her work.

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Katmandu. Nepal. One man’s burden

The Working Class

These are the working class of the world—the people who perform in mostly labour intensive jobs, at low pay. They do work that is avoided by the middle and upper classes. Without them society would fall apart. And yet, these people labour on, day after day, year after year, never quite receiving the praise they deserve for their menial work.

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Vancouver. BC. Canada. Measure it twice. Cut it once.

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Sint Martin. Neth Antilles. Making a clean sweep of things

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Buenos Aries. Argentina. Some work. Others play.

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Henley. UK. Planning strategy

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Nassau. Bahamas. A painter artist at work.

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Copenhagen. Denmark. All in a day’s work.

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Delhi. India. The Lawn Ranger

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Delhi. India. That pollution can really get to you.

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Rostock. Germany. Keep it in ship shape.

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Tallinn. Estonia. Building it one brick at a time.

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Katmandu. Nepal. Everyone deserves a break.

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St. Petersberg. Russia. Two men aiming for higher things.

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Katmandu. Nepal. Counting the day’s take.

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Katmandu. Nepal. Some jobs are back breaking.

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Helsinki. Finland. Outdoor work is great only in summer.

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HoiAn Vietnam. Mirror mirror on the wall.

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Santiago. Chile. A man who can smile on the job.

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Varpraso. Chile. Waiting for their ship to come in.

 

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Buenos Aires. Argentina. A new coat for a new look

 

Janet Naidu -Poet

Janet Naidu was born in Covent Garden, Guyana, a rural village close to the sugar plantations of Farm and Diamond.  Janet comes from humble beginnings—her father worked as a cane cutter and her mother sold greens in the village and in the market place.  She, along with her seven siblings assisted their parents in earning extra income.

Janet has made Canada her home since 1975. In 1973, two of her poems appeared in a small booklet called Heritage. After writing sporadically over the years, her first collection of poems, Winged Heart (1999) was short-listed for the Guyana Prize for Literature, poetry category.  Her other two collections include Rainwater (2005) and Sacred Silence (2009). Her poems capture themes of uprooted movements, nostalgic memories, resettlement, feminism, resilience and survival. Her writings also include essays of cultural and historical themes. Janet Naidu (4)
Her poetry and writings have appeared in news media, online publications, anthologies, referenced in books on Indo Caribbean themes and in the Women’s Journal of the University of the West Indies.

Janet obtained a BA from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London, UK.


Janet, thanks for taking the time to do this interview for my readers. I’d like to focus on your collection Rainwater, in addition to your writing, in general.

Q. At what age did you start to write? What do you remember writing about? Does that writing still exist today?

A. As a teenager I sold greens in the village with my mother and had a notepad to write down credit given to the villagers. I used to also make little sketches and writings at the back pages when I waited for people to purchase items in our baskets. But most significantly, I started writing to pen pals around the world after posting my name and address in a pen pal magazine. I had pen pals from New Zealand, England, Germany, Japan, Pakistan, USA and many other countries. It was during this time, I entered into writing to pen pals around the world, telling them about my family life at home, and life in Guyana. I used to get creative, talking about simple things in the village, like when the sugar cane would burn and the cane dust would come through our windows. I made it sound exciting. Living in Canada, I am often taken back to that time when I was care free and thoughts of the natural world flowed so greater then. This reflection continues to influence my writing.

Continue reading

Children Of The World

Tomorrow’s citizens of the world. Innocent and still insulated from the ravages of time and the seven deadly sins, they will yet determine the future.

[NOTE: ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COPYRIGHT © KEN PUDDICOMBE. WRITTEN PERMISSION REQUIRED FOR USE OF THESE IMAGES.]

 

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Agra. INDIA. The Age of Innocence.

 

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Native Village. PANAMA. “Look at me dad. I can balance.”

 

 

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Katmandu. NEPAL. Don’t Ask For Whom The Bell Tolls.

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Katmandu. NEPAL. “You can’t see it. But I take after my mum, who’s awesome.”

 

 

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Siem Reap. CAMBODIA. Taking the slow boat to somewhere.

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Ho Chi Minch City. VIETNAM. Dancing To a Different Beat.

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Katmandu. Nepal. “So, that’s how it’s done!”

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Varnasi. INDIA. “Can’t stop. Late for school.”

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. Sunshine on my shoulders.

On The Streets Of Mumbai

ON THE STREETS OF MUMBAI
MUMBAI, INDIA: OCT 2010
Mumbai, India’s largest city, has a population of sixteen million people crowded into a 603 Square Kilometer area, making it the second most densely populated city in the world. Twenty three thousand people occupy a square kilometer. Compare it to Toronto with a population of two and a half million and a density of 793 people!
Mumbai, India’s richest city, called the City Of Dreams, also has close to one million homeless people. Thirty-five thousand of these are street children. This little girl in the picture is one of them.
I came across her early one morning as we were heading out to the airport and our car was stopped at an intersection. Families have lived for generations on the streets, establishing and colonizing their own section of the pavement where children are born and raised. With just the barest necessities of life most of them know no other existence. Pedophiles prey on the weaker ones and gangsters offer drugs to lure children to a life of begging. For them there is no Slum Dog Millionaire ending!
Time and again, I have revisited this picture and can’t help but wonder about the little girl’s circumstances. Is she doomed to the same less than marginal existence that her parents have survived on for years –a life of misery and deprivation? And yet, despite the missing front teeth, the dirty pants and shirt, I marvel at the quiet dignity that seems to pervade her features: She seems to be taking great pleasure from the simple act of washing her face that morning.