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.....