Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Brave and the Desolate

Sometimes the desolate appears as magnificent as the snowy mountain peaks. That is , if you have a special eye,and are travelling in Nepal, See this for more magnificence....

(photo by Kavi Arasu.)

Like a
spreading her
threadbare shawl
to shelter
...the leafy little ones,
she faces
the impending
winter chill,
shorn of her own personal protection.

Amidst the
chilly flows and
silver snowdrops,
beneath a
threatening sky,
she has lost all she has,
except her indomitable spirit.

And the sky turns
purple in shame,
as she
looks up,
brave at the peak,
spreads out her hands,
as if to question it,
demanding an explanation
on why the world is so harsh
at the top !

Middle Magic

This is a comment on this delightful post. Flying back from Nepal, he tangles , desolate in a middle seat, with two Nepalese natives in adjoining seats, who avidly wait to sight the ocean., while he hankers after a piece of snow topped mountain peaks , brilliant in the sun.

(photo by Kavi Arasu, courtesy the suddenly availabe window seat)

and tall in life,
some stand,
impervious to
the vagaries of destiny,
unaffected with
travails of aging,
cloudy memories,
loss of green,
and stark realities.

A Balance
delicately managed
far away below,
by the rippling waves
glistening in the sun,
turning every way
the tides of life.

We live on,
in between,
the stoic
and the submissive,
the haves
after the have-nots.

Strangely, that is life;
Ecstatic, worried,
tense, peaceful,
and sometimes,

And the old man of the North
winks in the
face of a shining sun,
smiles at the Ocean,
and says ,
"Did you see
those 3,
on their ambitions,
in the jet Airways
that just went by ?"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dawn Weddings at Nagarkot

He calls this his Lifetime Best . We hope he does many more like these, and actually holds an exhibition. See here to check out his other photos...

There is a chance that one will run out of words.....

But for now, these happened......

(Photo by Kavi Arasu, in Nagarkot, Nepal)
Nagarkot pines
wrapped in
nine yard misty silks,
bustling around,
some significant ones
at the hilltop venue,
loitering below
with the wayward clouds.

The staid old mountains,
some with a white mop
at the top,
wait patiently,
indulgently ignoring
a restless breeze,
as it threatens
to become a wind.

The Valley bride,
awaits ,
covered in
occasionally peeking
at the sound
of the morning birds,
serenading her on her Big Day.

There is a hint
of brilliance,
a growing light,
the staid mountains
relax at the
warming in their white mops,
there is excitement
the singing valley birds,
and the Nagarkot
Pine Mamis
check out stuff,
peering through their misty silks.

The Baraat
has arrived,
the worlds
and biggest
golden wedding ring....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hummers and Bummers

He posts stuff that makes you think. And calls them the only Hummers in town.

I agree.

(And would you believe it, little children who speak Marathi, (my mother tongue), actually call the cow ,"Humma" ! .....:-)

"Out of the mouths of babes" and all that .......

(photo by Kavi Arasu)
A bovine
a slow beat
human anxiety loads
on the
two wheel contraption.

King of the
uneven roads,
mountain paths,
you search
for its
non existent
carbon footprint,
amidst the
wheezing two wheelers
the main thoroughfares
as the
temple top deities
in Madurai

This is
High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle,
what a BUMMER,
its been
taken over
by those that
scream ,
and honk
with displays

All one can say is

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Gem of a choice......

This poem was originally posted by me on my main blog Gappa, simply because it commemorated this amazing achievment of 50 centuries in cricket by 37 year old, Sachin Tendulkar, who is probably the finest example of what a universally admired and nationally loved personality can be, whether in sports,or for that matter , anything. Most ordinary, taxpaying, young,old, sportsloving, sportswatching and God fearing folks in India think that he qualifies brilliantly for the Bharat Ratna (= Jewel of India), the nations highest civilian award , given on Republic Day, 26th January.

I post it here in this poetry blog for the sake of completeness :-)

Some stand
on the shoulders
of parents,
zeros without them,
that a fall,
will be cushioned,
by mattresses
stuffed with
papers of certain colors,
obliging officials,
and the
rights of innocents.

And some,
years after
slogging years,
feet firmly on the ground,
eyes willing the ball,
stand tallest
at 5ft 5inches,
as they
and sweep,
in an arc in the sky,
22 x 50 x 100
of them.......

A slight smile,
a deep exhaling
as he removes the helmet
and looks up
into the beyond
his father,
who showed the way,
but left him
to define his own paths
by hard work,
quiet concentration,
and respect.

At 37,
his fathers child
and a favourite child of the country,
his is not to
sit back and gloat;
he mobilises
to face
a Protean swing
and spin...
eyes sharp,
mind calm
a billion prayers empowering him.

Mothers wish
for a son like him,
Coaches pray
for a student like him
Fathers smile
when they watch him,
children puff up
when they talk about him,
and blades of grass
on the cricket grounds
all over the country
shiver in excitement
as they recall being part of it all....

He stands tallest
as he calls himself
an Indian first,
in the face of
mindless statements
by those with mortgaged minds.

How many
Republic days must go by
before someone
in high places
next choice for
Bharat Ratna
is obvious........

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bending rules to explore.....

One sees interesting photos , sometimes simply by chance, with interesting comments.

Have a look here .

And sometimes one sees similar attitudes in the trees and the society . In the land of greenery, coconut and areca nut plantations, and the brilliant coastline : Kokan. Where , like everywhere else, the youth are exploring other worlds.....

Grateful to Shri Atul Kulkarni for allowing me to use this photo in my post...

(My comments , as before, first in the King's language, then the Queen's....:-)

(photoby Atul Kulkarni)
एक काळ असा होता,
सगळे नियम पक्के पण सोपे होते ....
कोकणच्या हिरवाईत ,
सनातनी माड ताठ कण्यांनी
हिरवी पगडी सांभाळत
सागराकडे डोळे वटारून बघत
उभे असायचे,

पाटाचं पाणी
भाजीपाल्यात कौतुकानी वाहायच,
विशीतला मुलगा भिक्षुकी संभाळायचा
तेरा वर्ष्याच्या बनूच लग्न
रत्नागिरीच्या पटवर्धानांकडे ठरलं,
म्हणून वाहिनी हुरळून जायच्या ...

आता माड म्हातारे झले,
काही वाकले, थकले,
काही मुलं-मुली
वेगळ्या वाटेनी समुद्रा पल्याड
जायच्या बाता करतायत ,
स्वताहाच्या हिमतीवर
वाकून वाकून बघतायत .......
आणि एक वयस्कर माड
सुपारी बाईंना
सुस्कारा टाकून म्हणाले ,
" पूर्वी देशावर जायचे,
आता परदेशी जातात..
कळलं न ?"

was when
life was
about simple rules.

coconut palms
ramrod straight,
at the
waving sea,
their palm fringed
intense in dignity .

Back home,
the mountain springs
continued to gush
in innocence,
through the homestead,
fussing over the vegetable patch;
the twenty something
young fellow
searched his way
his fathers footsteps,
the lady of the house
exulted over
the fixing
a great match
in Ratnagiri,
for Banu,
the 13 year old
marriageable daughter....

the coconut palms
bend in a tired
the children talk about
new lands
and new paths,
across the ocean
visualizing new worlds.

And the elderly palm,
nudges the
slightly bent
areca nut tree,
and says ,
"Listen !
Life is unchanged.
They all go,
earlier it was inland,
and now
it's always beyond the seas,
Ok ?....."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunrise at Nagarkot

He is a lucky person to be able to wander in the Himalayas , clicking sunrises at dawn, that too, at the onset of winter. This is at Nagarkot, Nepal.

(photo by Kavi Arasu )

Rarified gold
in the midst of
Sagarmatha ***
and Kanchenjunga,
He emerges dawn
and crowding
watched by
geriatric mountains.

And just sometimes,
He is overcome,
by the crowds at Nagarkot
all single mindedly
on His arrival,
and takes refuge
behind the pines
on the hill.

A deep breath later,
and undeniably,
icy hot.

*** Mt. Everest in local parlance

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Encounters of the fluid kind.....

Encounters at Aquariums. Noticed by my friend Sylvia, in her post, as a part of the Weekend Reflections series .

(photo by Sylvia Kirkwood)

sitting with their mothers,
held safe
all wrapped up and fed
on the counter
of the
aquarium display,
unaware of their

And some,
separated at birth,
to live
in a small
watery enclosure
with fake trees,
artificial lights,
piped air...

A moment of
as a vision
of mother
in his memory,
a gift
from the little one
watching from outside....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eyes of the ......

My friend Sylvia, shares the skies above Seattle, in her Skywatch Friday photo post....

(photo by Sylvia Kirkwood)
Golden rays
glistening clouds
pewter waves
on resting waters.

But to some ,
it is an uneven sky
beset with clouds
and birds scurrying home
the descent of the dark.

Just like a
with hair pulled back,
face in the wind,
a great evening,
on the same evening,
shakes her head,
her hair falling forward,
and is frightened
by what she sees
through the
strands of fate.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

In pieces....

and impressionable branches
bending under
some great
and willful blossoms;
a careful nurturing
by a
firm hand
anchoring it
to a
but occasionally bending
bamboo cane....
and it grows up,
in head and mind,
as she towers,
years later
in benevolence
its own branches
lushly laden,
some with fruit,
brushed by some blossoms.

Cracks and scrapings,
loss of an aging bark,
breakages of confidences,
of expectations,
animal abuse,
have matured
her into a
tolerant ,

She can only
look up skywards
at the end of a
wistful day,
Fate appears
in the form
of a
chain saw
in the hands
of someone
she trusted,
green meant green
and not
green with envy,
with a frill
of disdain......

Friday, November 26, 2010

Life and Times of a Mango tree in Chennai

A blogger friend, UmaS, of Chennai , sees very educative and beautiful things from her balcony.

Often , it is clouds, but sometimes, she looks towards the earth, and dreams of mangoes.

(both photographs by UmaS)

in the maternal sap
from a monsoon earth
all across the branches
the family
the new births
of the new,
translucent skinned
in shades of light copper.

Mature suhasinis****
in green,
crowding around the newborns;
dewy eyes shining
as they acknowledge
the elder Gulmohur,
looking on

A month later,
and much acclimatized,
the young ones have learned
the ways of the world,
how to share the goodies
from the soil,
the drizzles on unseasonal rain,
as they mature
into a brilliant green
and are able
to keep the latest secret.

The hint
and the aroma,
of some blossoms,
some more sweetness
the coming summer….

****Suhasinis : green is a color associated with an auspicious thing like a marriage and women. suhasinis is a generic term for such women.

Origins of the Net.........:-)

Blogger friend Swaram , posted a photograph taken by a member of her group, while on a trip to the Araku Valley, a hill station near Vizag, in Andhra Pradesh.

While several folks shudder, and this particular spider being , of a special big local variety, seems to be fairly comfortable in his own Net, the blogger when asked, said :

"Ayyo I go looking out for spiders whenever we go hiking/ trekking ;) I luvvv them :D"

This is probably what the spider had to say.....

(photo by Swaram's group)

Playing with fibres
since the beginning of time,
I weave my web,
dream networks,
to catch
dream worms
as I enjoy
the scenery,
the greenery,
making great connections,
without a sound,
watching fuzzily,
through the scenery in silk.

They tried,
they think they’ve done it,
but some folks
dreamed up a
World Wide Web,
complete with Nets
in a
different type of fibre,
instead of
catching the worm,
worm virus
caught on to them.

Too many nets,
Too many webs,
a great many
loud clicks,
i wonder often
as I relax
on the silk;
whoever heard
of listening to music
while weaving the Net?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Moon face therapy

I am totally impressed by the number of "young" women out photographing the moon. Earlier , in the Southeastern US and now in the Northwestern US.

My friend Sylvia lurked amidst some trees to capture this. Read and see more here.

(photo by Sylvia Kirkwood)
Dry winds
and crackling leaves
and she looks around
the empty trees,
stark in the dark....

There is a definite chill,
she feels
the roughness on her face,
brownish in patches;
and so she
will sit and pine
and grow thinner
day by day,
a sliver of her old self.

Cloud lotions,
and Christmas flake moisturizers,
coming up soon,
make her smile,
and touch her face again.

There will
soon be
Dancing with the Stars....

The time for Thanksgiving has come.....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Celestial damsels of the night....

A 4 am dawn blue moon, captured by my friend Ernestine from the Southeastern part of the US. Read about that journey here.

(photo by Ernestine Lawson)
A cold draught
across the clouds
and she wakes up
and appears
at the sky window
messing up
while trying
push back
her tousled hair
from her face,
in the light
of the lamp powered by the Sun....

stretching their veins
and shrugging off the dew;
branches shivering
in the early dawn,
she hears the far away chirping
of the birds,
takes a resigned breath,
taps a cloud
in reassurance
and carries on
to her hilly abode....

Celestial Damsels
of the Night
dont participate
in competitions
with the Sun....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You really want to know what he wants ?

Judged Winner of the "What Men want: contest at Blogadda /Dec 3, 2010

Submitted for the "What Men Want" contest at Blogadda

Extravagant lives,
Vagrant thoughts,
Stock queries,
Mont Blanc pens,
limitless credit,
attitude debit.......
be they from
even Jupiter, Pluto, Mars or Venus

who emerges from
Mumbai special
Cloud Commuting
in the trains,
gets ejected out at Borivali,
and rushes to catch a bus
to the eastern part,
grabs a place
and nods off
to dream,
of stuff he really wants .....

A Divali Bonus
so he can
spend and repair
the well
back at his village....

A decent
extra 9 yard sari
for his wife,
who washes her stuff
and dries it every night

He hopes the
childrens textbooks
dont change
with the new minister,
the older child
has preserved his
for the little one.....

They're redeveloping
his area,
and he dreams
of bringing his parents
to a pucca house;
unless the
ministers ,
of course
scam away the land....

Rumor has it that
his factory will shut;
the Union demands their share
from his VRS funds,
there goes his
of a decent wedding
for his daughter....

But despite
a life resembling
the potholed
of middle class Mumbai,
he counts his blessings;

A wonderful wife
who helps making a living
preparing lunch tiffins,
An older son
who delivers them to places
before reaching his school,
and a little daughter,
who understands ,
why a new school book is
to be preferred
to a new frilled frock....

This Mars and Venus stuff
is junk.

Like his old father said,
There are
enough men,
but very few
who can be man enough

He sits down
on the uneven earth,
watching the Moon
through a patch
an adjoining illegal staircase
and another house.
He has whatever he wants
right here on earth,
as his wife
wipes her hand
on her pallu
hands him a glass
of milkless tea.

His son studies
in the dim light,
his daughter
puts the washed vessels away.

He wants
so much more,
but appreciates
what he has.

A loving family,
a job,
a tired body,
and something
those guys in
5 BHK AC flats,
salaries with 6 zeroes,
and tax problems
dont have :

a peaceful deep sleep at night....

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Friday, November 19, 2010

The Last Picture Show....

My friend Sylvia posts wonderful Sky views in her blog . And you get to enjoy her seasons through them.

Here's possibly something that happens twice a month. If we only noticed.....

(photo by Sylvia Kirkwood)
all the world's
a stage,
and all the sky
the curtain,
given what
goes on
in the name
and so on,
is it any wonder,
that the moon
again and again,
the stage curtain
making an effort
to appear
in the sky ?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

They also serve, who......

A scene often seen as we drive across the mountains in my State. But sometimes the chaos of the gestures by the hardy God fearing types, inspires someone to click.

Very often the pictures inspire something else. Here.

(photo by Kavi Arasu)
High on the hill,
struggling through
a rocky life
they stand,
hands outstretched
praising the Gods...

A thorny
unlike those
leafy ones,
that bend
in comfort
and presumed concern
for a
cooperative earth.

Pushing each other,
squeezing through
the gaps,
a moist sap
stored away
for the future,
these have nots,
are a barrier
at the edge of the hill...
keeping the
unconcerned and unaware "haves"
from slipping
as they
apply brakes
to lives at great speeds...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Boundaries of the Mind

Man's best friend often thinks like Man. And learns like Man. Even about flags. Like the flag of India. The Tricolor. Orange-white-green. And sometimes you see it in the grass too.

See other photos by Kavi Arasu here. .... And marvel............

(Photo by Kavi Arasu)
Barbed wire
the same grass
of the same earth.

The faithful one
cooler climes
winter races
with Alsations,
a special man
to brush his
and walk him
at the army grounds....

A shake of the ears,
he looks back
the tricolor grass

The barbed wire fence
not him,,
destined to live
by the guns and orders.

He turns
bounds back,
and races through the grass...

In his country
He is free.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The political ambhibian....

Sometimes humans are so depressing, even a crab with a political visage will do. They stared at each other from a distance of one foot, and the guy with the camera blinked first.
See some more nature pictures here.

(photo and bravado by Kavi Arasu)

Dodging between
Reebok sandals
trailing dupattas,
the multi-ped
of the swampland
moves ponderously
across the
but tricky terrain.

killer looks,
held up
in political worship,
as in,
"Friends, amphibians, countrymen,
lend me your votes....
We need
to preserve
these lands for
our children,
and save it
from the

And he stares
at the one
with a camera,
who has come close
enough to scratch,
then smiles,
at the lady who
pulls him back,
" Let him be.
he is going his way,
and it is time you went yours,

Wrapped in Serendipity

There must be something in the air of the Pacific Northwest. So many friends there enjoy creating great images. Rain, who blogs at Rainy Day thoughts , is a person who enjoys various forms of creativity like painting, photography, and writing about dreams, relationships, politics, photography, aging, country living, transitions, our senses (all 6), and spirituality. She lives on her own farm, which gives her a unique perspective and a respect for all things Natural.

This is a painting done by her, related to real people she knows. Read her post to wonder about the Serendipity ....

It inspired this below, 12,000 miles away.....

(painting/artwork/photo by Rain)

as a fit
on life's
jigsaw picture puzzle
they sit,
the little one
leaning back
nuzzling against her
sharing colors
and comfort,
as she
looks out
over the
lapping waves.

Is that her,
ten thousand moons hence,
silvery in the night ?

And the older,
silvery one
trails her fingers
the young flaxen gold,
at the
setting sun
gets lost
as she relives
her girlhood again ...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Separating the grains from the chaff....

He is actually in the wrong profession. He sees things we don't see, and captures them in his camera. Sometimes words happen. Sometimes the pictures are the words. See some more of his pictures here.

Sometimes reactions such as these.........

(Photo by Kavi Arasu)
resplendently green
on the plateau,
set way down
from the road
much traveled ,
by those trained
to separate the
dedicated grain
the wayward chaff.

on a sunny noon,
he simply does his magic
lifting the 'Sup',
supported by
the sinewy arms,
shakes and taps
the fruit of
his year's labour,
all trained,
grown and harvested together,
as it falls
grains with grains
chaff with chaff,
unlike us,
so may chaffs
pretend to be grains....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Learning to lap it up.

The first though that came to mind here, on reading my friend Sylvia 's wonderful photo post, was something we learnt as young students : the earth is 70% water. Then something else came to mind.

Read on.

(photo by Sylvia Kirkwood)

The all pervading
of the earth,
wide across
and traveling
in giant waves;
and the
firmly set,
brown and green
supporter of
homes and folks.

They meet,
with an almighty bang,
with a gentle
lapping of waves,
tickling the other ,
"hello !".....

has so many lessons
those that meet
we have no time
to listen and enjoy
the quiet,
and messaging
of the waves...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Petals and lights

Today is a new moon day in Divali. My friend Nupur has been creating Rangolis at home everyday for Divali. One such created with Marigold, and Shevanti flower petals, and possibly dark red rose petals. All glowing together in the light of some wonderful oil lamps.

An appreciation, and some thoughts. In Marathi. And then in English....

(photo and original art by Nupur Phatak )
झेंडू राव
आणि शेवंती वहिनींची गडबड ,
गडद लाल गुलाबाची
जुन्या पाकळ्या
झटकून टाकायची धावपळ,
...कुणा एका पंगतीत
ताटा भोवतालच्या रांगोळीत
बसण्याची शर्यत ....

आयुष्यात ते सगळे
कुठे कुठे पोचतात ....
चोर नेत्याच्या गळ्यात,
सोनियाच्या सिक्युरिटीच्या हातात ,
कोणा वधुवरांच्या शेजारच्या सोफ्यावर ,
मायावती च्या रुपयाच्या हरा शेजारी,
कधी कधी
गणपती बाप्पाच्या गळ्यात,
श्रीकृष्णाच्या मुरलीला गुरफटून,
सरस्वती -लक्ष्मी च्या पायाशी...

आज काहीतरी वेगळा आहे ;
स्वतःचे तुकडे तुकडे होणार आहेत,
सुंदर पणत्यांच्या सोबतीने ,
एका मोठ्या फुलाच्या आकारात
दिवाळीच्या अमावास्येत
ते सर्व
प्रकाशाचा सडा पाडणार आहेत ....

Marigold Sir,
and Shevanti Maam,
bustling around,
disapproving nods
to Madame Rose,
trying to
shrug off
her dark red petals,
they are to be
the decoration around
someones plate
at a sit down dinner......

You never know
where these folks reach....
As a garland
around a
corrupt neck,
in the hands
of Sonia's security;
casually flung
on a sofa
next to the bride and groom
at their reception,
or even,
peeking from under the
heavy currency Garlands
adorning Mayawati....

And then,
adorning Ganpati Bappa,
maybe entangled
around Lord Krishna's flute,
and lying in
at the feet
of the
Goddesses Saraswati and Lakshmi...

life will change today....
They will all be
torn to pieces,
and arranged together ,
to make
another huge flower,
a design along with
the beautiful lamps,
all sprinkling
luck and light
on this Divali new moon day....


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

दिवाळीची कलाकुसर

थोड़ी कोकणात , थोड़ी माळवयात ...... Wordless!

काही पहाटे पहाटे
सूर्य वेळेपेक्षा खूप आधी
वर येतो ,
कारण समुद्राच्या वाळूत
‘दिलवाले’ टाईप पोझ मध्ये बसून
कोणी दोघं बोटांनी रांगोळी काढत असतात ……..
काही काही संध्याकाळी
सूर्य जाताना रेंगाळतो ,
माळव्यातल्या इंदोरी भूमीवर
दुसरीच एक सुंदर रांगोळी
दिव्याच्या प्रकाशात
होत असते ……..
(तेवढ्यात ती वर बघते ,
एक दीर्घ श्वास घेते ,
आणि म्हणते ,
“वाह! , तुपाचा आणि बेसनाचा
काय छान वास येतोय न …..?”

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Fall of Life.......

Where I live, there is only a very hot summer and a drenching wild monsoon. Occasional trees covered in orange gulmohur blossoms and yellow amaltās (अमलतास) blossoms honor spring and summer. But fall colors as depicted by my friend Sylvia from Seattle, are something new for me.

An appreciation. In the approaching Fall of life....

(photo by Sylvia Kirkwood)

Shrugging off
light snowy covers,
almost like blankets;

the light breezes
massage the bare arms
into sprouting
new growth and leaves;

biting cold winds,
by a
slowly powering Sun
bursting into
spring and summer,
replete with
wild and wet
flowers and fruit
romancing the birds;

And as
Summer fades into Fall,
she comes into her own,
in mustard yellow,
looking up
into a pure blue cool sky,
the leaves
enriched in gold.

They say 77 is the new 47..
she wraps
her confidence
a bit tighter around herself,
and says,
"It's such a wonderful life,
isn't it !"......

Monday, November 1, 2010


In honor of a young friend embarking on a new journey. And another, God's own child, who will skip along with her.......what a way to begin the Divali celebrations !

A young wilful tree
wild in the forest
but respectful
of the elements,
in the magic
of the seasons,
and playful
with all those
tweeting birds
symian swingers,
delicately ,
shrugs off the
monsoon water
lazy on the leaves…….

The call
of the little
golden green
in innocence,
brave amidst
unexpected landfalls
and whirling waters
is loud and clear….

It is to be a lifetime
learning to grow
in fun,
in the midst of
many colors,
imbibing from the
Earthy Mother;
a toothy grin,
a sudden pout,
eyes full in anger,
and sometimes
in anticipation
of a pink frock,
dolls, books,
and ocean walks
holding on to a bigger hand,
the chakmak
of the bright lights .

For the Mother tree,
its a sharing
of the sap
she imbibed from the earth;
in empathy,
shining hopes,
indulging, maybe
just as wild and fiery
like her,
bowing in gratitude
to the
One That Cares
and celebrating
the best Divali of her life !

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Sanctuary remembers....

My friend Sylvia is 77 years young, and she enjoys driving her possibly more-than-10-year-old car to the Nature Sanctuary to take interesting photos which she posts on her blog...

Her car kind of expired at the Sanctuary on the visit when she clicked this reflection in the water......

Don't know how she got back home, but here's an ode to the faithful car.....

(photo by Sylvia Kirkwood)
An exponential stoppage
of pistons
in a frenzy
inside geriatric cylinders,
a rotating stop
of the gearbox
and wheels,
she takes
a deep breath,
as she steps out,
patting a tired car....

A whisper,
like a message,
and the GPS
intrigues her....
"Hi ! Sanctuary here !
I've watched you
so many days,
its like,
I know your car;
so do the turtles,
and the ducks,
and some very curious trees,
bending to see you
through the water.....

for the pollen
and milkweed seeds,
do these young folks
ever listen....
they're all over the place !

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Inhaling at Dawn....

Lakshmi Sharath, fellow blogger, a media professional , a traveller, a travel writer and consultant, recently visited Sikkim in the Himalayas. This was the view at dawn from her room, as she stood warding off an attack of throats, sinuses and sniffles.
Read about it here.

(photo by Lakshmi Sharath/her team)
City throats,
pothole sinuses,
hot water bottles,
and sleep.

all you need
is a whistling thrush
to power your
throat response;
undulating mountains,
deep misty valleys,
earthy rain
and the cleanest
pine air
urging a stuffy sinus
to give up.

A deep breath
a cup
of adrak clovy tea,
and a namaskar*****
to the morning sun
over the mountains....

***** namaskar : Indian worshipful greeting with folded hands

The tapping finger writes.....

Many years ago, folks traveling in vehicles enjoyed the wind, turned up their noses at the smell of petrol (from a passing car), gawked at something fancy. As a member of the teeming masses, if you waited at a bus stop, you fidgeted, admired fellow travellers of the opposite sex, hoped your watch was running fast, and that the bus came on time.

Today, you are driven in air-conditioned cars, with tinted windows as you stare at a screen in your hand. Bus stops are even more amazing as you appear to be talking to yourself , while you conduct conversations using a hands free phone , and forget the bus.

And with so much of the world around you, in color, you photograph this ?

(photo by Kavi Arasu)

Some ,
such lilly white
clean slates
glowing in innocence;
and some,
...who look
men of letters,
but wait
to do
a number on them....

they do succeed
at making an impression.......

Holy Blackberry !

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Gift in an Envelope

My friend Sylvia Kirkwood, posts her Weekend Reflections . For more earthly material ones, see here.

Talking about Gift envelopes, a traditional invitation in Marathi follows.

(photo by Sylvia Kirkwood)

And how
is this gift
to us !

Ocean bays,
calm waters,
green banks,
and mountains
rising to applaud,
the opera
in the skies.

tidings of a new day,
this gift envelope
licked shut
by a warm sun
the adhesive
in the midst of clouds.....

आमची कन्या चि. सौ . का. पृथ्वी ,
हिचा विवाह
चि. आकाश
पहाटे ५ :३० वा.
योजिला आहे .
कार्य सिद्धीस नेण्यास
वरुणराज, मेघराज,
वसुंधरा, हिरवाईदेवी ,
व समुद्र प्रसाद समर्थ आहेत...
भास्कर पंतांकडून हे पाकीट
(जरा मध्ये चिटकवून )
सप्रेम भेट !


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Unfortunate ideas of the perforated kind....

This had UmaS completely Wordless on a Wednesday as she drove by . Don't know if this is in Chennai. It doesn't matter. ...

I mean how can anyone, keep out the palm trees and the beach and the sea by means of a huge net ? If I were the steel pillar contraption, I'd be mortified...

I thought the trees had a point .

The trees and I
grew up

Me ,
tossing ,
tennis balls
in my backyard court,
and they,
like favorite aunts,
brushing a palm fringe
across their faces,
shaking heads
in the breeze,
occasionally bending
to see
what the older ones were thinking,
and then,
a sweet coconut
my reward
for a wonderful shot……

No house now,
but a tennis club,
the old trees,
now bent
with age,
non plussed
the champion kids
strong and fast,
an occasional shot
going straight
into the sea,
sometimes into other lands
with the speed of thought….

A high net
to keep
the shots in.
And the Amma tree
the Patti tree,
draws its palm fringed pallu
across the shoulder
and says,
Is this cricket,
that you must
high fences
us and the players ?”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Quack quack !

Close to where I live......

This is something between a huge lake and a man made pond; a conference place. The ducks are usually minding their business on the pond side.

Occasionally, they stray into the conference area fronting the lake. Fast learners, they are.....

(photo by Sudhir Bharadwaj)
11 ducks
outside the conference hall;
Two, Quack-plus security types,
escorting the chief guest
on to the lawns,
...while the others
hang around
straining their necks
looking hard for
information to nibble on.....

After all,
what else do you expect
at a Conference
"Global Warming Initiatives
in the time of terrible roads
and the effect on the whiteness of ducks"
Surf Ultra.....:-))

Deep ruminations of a transparent mind…

Solilo posted this wonderful stuff on her blog.

Watch. Despair.

And then, if you are the bottle, you wonder.....

It’s so cold
but sweet
in the dark
of the ocean…..

Sunny memories of
being a courier of little gifts
green leaves, stems,
torn scarves;
glances across oceans
the brown and white…….

I lie
across the ocean floor
pushing aside
a weed here,
a coral there,
having so
with the waves
like in another life.

And they fight
for land,
for color,
for power,
without realizing
in the end
the brown and the white
all dissolve into
a deep black
down here
in the depths of my mind….

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Commonwealth Bird Games

Lakshmi Sharath with another set of Kingfisher photographs, birding in Hampi. See this wonderful post for more such photos.

I combined two of the photos after I realized that the birds showed a lot of attitude and character and were trying to say something.

As below :

(photos by Lakshmi Sharath)
PiedKingfisher pair
always on duty,
looking around,
the security
at the Commonwealth Bird Games

On duty
at the
Commonwealth Bird Tree Walls
Common Kingfisher
athlete birds
in the "Insect throws",
"Wing flaps",
"Escape Lakshmi"

This lone athlete
in orange and blue
seems to have lost its way....

The Games Organizing Commiittee
it seems,
had no money
for tree signs
to Matangi Hills....

The final with the
yellow throated bulbul
is on....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Speechless at the top...

Lakshmi Sharath does a renowned and wonderful travel blog, which sometimes includes birding. Her efforts (with a guide) , at capturing these wonderful pictures of the yellow throated bulbul, in the loud silence of trees on top of the Matangi Hills near Hampi/Bangalore are outlined here.

The Bulbul's perspective :

(photos by Lakshmi Sharath)

I've seen her often.
Like me ,
she often flies;
sometimes faster
than me across oceans
and sometimes
amazingly slow
to Chennai.....

I've seen her
the Matangi hill.
wanted to meet her
and so
my friend
sat on a tower
directing calls to her guide.

Although a bulbul,
I watched
like a hawk,
at the
fashionable yellow,
and the minute
she was alone,
I flew in
to meet her .....

She thinks
she stood in
pin drop silence,
but I could clearly hear
the beating
of her heart .....


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Golden memories

Scribbler stood Wordless on a Wednesday in Ganpatipule on the beach.

I had to write, once in Marathi and then in English.

(photo by Nupur Phatak)
एका उभ्या आयुष्याच्या
शेवट बघत
ओहोटीच्या लाटांवर दूर
तरंगणार्या अस्थी,
आठ्वणीन्च्या वाळूत
रुतलेले भरलेले मन….
सूर्यास्ताच्या थंड वार्यात
पदर लपेटून ,
मावळत्या सूर्याच्या साक्षीने
ती परत निघते ;
अग, डोळे पूस ,
उदय आणि अस्त
हे होतच राहणार,
ह्या समुद्रावर आलेल्या तेजा समान
कुणा एकाच्या
अगदी सोनं झला ग….

Bidding goodbye
to a life,
the ashes strewn
into the
ebbing ocean waves,
her mind
is loaded
like wet sand
where memories
like crabs
make inroads
house themselves

A cold cutting breeze
in the light
of a setting sun,
she wraps
her sari
around her shoulders,
and turns to leave.

Don't weep, child,
for in every life
there is a rising
and a setting,
and the golden glow
of that wonderful life
no different
than this
golden panorama
that enhances
this ocean....

In praise of wada pao

Someone had to do this. Kavi does it best in his post on the Mumbai Hottie.

Then there wasn't any wada pao nearby. So I simply had to make do with these words.

And I'm off to find a stall :-)

(photo and eating by Kavi Arasu)

No size zero
no Page 3,
No symmetric patty
ensconced in predictable buns
accessorized by
a mayo
flowing just so
a skirting lettuce
pushing the tomato.

But a carbo flamenco
a full size
tongue tingling
wrapped up
a concerned pao
with red and orange
and sometimes
jalapeno green.

Devoured on an
Indian Run,
and multieating
in Mumbai.

Eat your heart out McD
as we rush
under the Golden arches
of our Railway stations....:-))

Different arms, different trinkets

A bangle stall in South Mumbai's Colaba market. Enough to drive some folks wordless on wednesdays.

And then some folks get wordy.

(photo by Sagarika Chakraborty)

at the
bangle seller's shop
with her friends
few days before
her wedding;
She got some green,
and red.

Miles away today,
as she
does the
cooking and cleaning
they are sometimes,
a sharp edge,
poking her memory.

Her so many memsaabs;
some simple and plain,
some greatly decorated,
some highly strung.
some shining
and some
mixed up in color…
Then again
some in earthy style,
and some
that are tough as metal;
some that
always hang around
joined to similar types,
safety in numbers, you know …

She wipes her hand
on her sari
ignores that little glass cut,
and leaves
to go to the next house.

So many memsaabs,
after so many more,
never satisfied……

Her tai
could get an armful
back home, and be happy……

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dance of life

Clicked on a trek to the rain forests of Corcovado, Costa Rica, by my friend, Insignia . Read about the amazing trek and more photos here.

(photo by Insignia)
Life passes by
like footprints
in the sand,
by the dissipating waves.

For the patriarch,
ruggedly geriatric,
it's all about
holding ,
with the support
of a now slim
but aged
to the roots below.

Letting the sap of
family values
flow up
as the young ones,
and younger ones,
and some
youngest ones,
spread out, mix
and interact
in mudras,
Bharat Natyam style...

More footsteps,
more waves,
more branches
finding their place in the world......

And the dance of life
on the Beach,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wandering for water....

Anil P. has a wonderful blog called Windy Skies, where he posts great photo travelogues adorned with his very perceptive comments as he communicates with the locals, be it in big cities like Mumbai, or stark backroads in areas less travelled .

Please see his post on this very perennial problem faced by so many women in rural Maharashtra; for that matter, across rural India .....

(photo used by permission of Anil P.)

The thirsty must drink

senseless thirsties
mentally paralysed
by drinking
of a different type....

Some thirsties
are fooled into believing
that a digital id
presented by a lady
and a turbanned man
is the answer...

Some thirsties
simply continuously
for something
that shines
and rustles
in their bottomless pockets

And 60 years and more
for the country,
as well as her,
nothing has changed

The hardy life,
the drunk husband,
the arrid land,
and the long trudge
in the Sun,
to fill the pots
in her life;

and the brightness
that blinds the Sun
is her attitude
that says,
"Karmanye vadhika ****....."

**** this is the beginning of a well known Sanskrit verse from the Bhagwad Gita, that exhorts one to keep working without any thought of the fruits of one's labour; your dedication being the best form of worship of your God ....

Sea moods , human moods......

The Beach Temple of Harihareshwar on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. Temple platforms for performing the immersion of ashes of your loved ones into the endless sea, waves lapping at the steps. A kaleidoscope of feelings and faces, and then a few hours towards sunset, and a short stretch down the beach, the joy of the young and living.

Read the wonderful posting here.

(photos by Kavi Arasu)

They run,
bare chested,
in wild abandon,
to fling themselves
in the waves,
that rush
to envelope them
like a
meeting a grandchild
after a long wait.....

Kids of the land
skimming stones
across the
like thoughts
of fun
racing by
only to be
in the waves
of a delighted mind.

And those
gone ahead,
ebbing away
with the tide
amidst prayers,
shrug celestially,
and rain down
a shower of blessings
on the
children of the land,
the green,
the blue,
and someone
who thinks he is old
never stopped being a kid himself.....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Soul mates

Both two legged, so different in size, but identical in spirit....

(photo by Kavi Arasu)
He , of course
always flies....
and she stands in their nest
and watches
the take offs and landings,
at dawn,
and sometimes
when stars appear.

This time,
he took her along,
but "swiftly"
across green
and brown,
bitumen black.

Late that evening,
they strolled
across the sand,
the waves
discreetly keeping their distance.

And the Sun,
on the horizon,
the monsoon cloud,
and said ,
"What a cute couple on the beach, na ?".....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Confessions of a Flute Player

He stands playing His flute, amidst the roses, a large screen behind Him. His music , his innocence and his simplicity, make her Wordless .

(photo by Sagarika Chakraborty)

Sweet irony
as I stand
against something
that shows you the world
with a touch
of a finger
on a screen……

Life is sometimes brighter,
the contrast in Life
as it was
and as it could be
is too much.

How much simpler to
enjoy my own
music system
in a garden of roses;
and when my Ma,
wants to see the world,
I simply open my mouth……

The new generations in Uttaranchal

She was just Wordless in Uttaranchal (North India). Of course , it is entirely possible, if your cousins of old, do not speak your language.

Some words are inevitable. In Marathi and then in English.

(photo by Nupur Phatak)
उत्तरआंचलातील डोंगरातली
एक थंड सोनेरी सकाळ
आणि वनातले
वेल-बेबी क्लिनिक गजबजून जाते;
डॉक्टर दोन पायाचे आहेत,
हुशार आहेत,
पण भाषा वेगळी ,
काय सांगू तुम्हाला
आमची माया आईला सोडायला
अजिबात तयार नसते
शेजारचा लालू उड्या मारायला तयार
आणि आई त्याला रोकते …
फारच बेशिस्त आहे सगळीकडे …..
आमच्या वेळी असा न्हवतं हो ……..

A cool scintillating
in the hills of Uttaranchal
and a crowded
Well baby clinic
the sundappled woods.

The doctor is
but two legged,
and speaks a different language...

But what to do ?
holds tight,
never leaves her mother,
and her neighbor,
just keeps on leaping
as his mother
tries to hold on
to her son
and his wild ways.....

Terrible terrible Indiscipline...
Things were so different,
in our time.

The Sky KalaSangeet Sammelan

She looked out from her balcony in Chennai and saw this. See here for some extraordinary sunset photos by UmaS.

Occasionally, you also see images and hear the music in the skies...

(photo by UmaS)
The Sky KalaSangeet Sammelan
"on "
365 days a year
has some special

A Ghanshyaam Sundara Sridhara
Arunoday at Dawn,
amidst jasmines,
cleaned copper skies
and sandalwood.

An Aakash Todi
man made Pushpaks
streak through the skies
during a hot day,
encountering a Megh here,
a Malhar there

And then late
the chirping
of the birds
has died down,
the winds have stilled,
she comes out onto her balcony
to see and hear
a brilliant
Sunset Bhairavi
by Zakir,
shaking his mop of hair
in sheer delight,
as he gestures
and acknowledges
a celestial dhun
being sung up there in the Skies....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A hi-tech farewell

Immersion of Ganpati on the 10th day of the Ganesh festival. Water Pollution, crowds, and the size of the idols have necessitated the use of cranes at some places like Hiranandani, Powai. A great set of photos including the one below, by Kavi may be seen here.

(photos by Kavi Arasu)

of being carried
by the father
of a house,
surging ahead
till waves
lap around their knees;
Mothers holding them back,
as the two venture
Bappa clutched close,
and then
getting deep in,
letting go
as He becomes one
with the elements.

" I miss that "
He said,
"Stoic grandmas
ensuring that
the tiffin
wrapped in leaves,
goes with me,
children running
behind their dad
into the water.

Flying through the sky
is nothing new;
I do it all the time
without any hi-tech help.
A small child
with the cymbals
messing around with the beat
during arti
is such sweet music,
compared to
the high drone of the motor
as it whips up
and lifts up,
ready to dip me
at a suitable Deep spot.

They pollute in my name,
shout in my name
collect money in my name,
No wonder
the country
is in Deep trouble.....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Long and Winding....

More Kokan photos from this post by Kavi

(photo by Kavi Arasu)
The straight,
and winding road,
of life,
holding you in
from the ebb and flow;

It slides down
and turns away
exposing rocky doubts.

But that
sudden bay
is a refuge
for the infinite waves
that endlessly
keep dashing
and eroding your

A comfortable
wandering around of waves
high fiving the sand
a magically created
section of beach,
and the
palms and supari trees
look on indulgently
as your car
"swiftly" purrs
in satisfaction,
on the winding road,
once again
to the right
to another bay
and another dance
of bobbing boats
on the waves.......