Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Give and Take ?

My blogger friend Harekrishnaji aka Priyadarshan Kale , in between visiting amazingly scenic places in my state and delicious eating places across the state, often helplessly posts pictures of the state of our urban beaches. Crowded, uncared for, and inundated with trash from an uncaring populace, which has no respect, for either the land or the sea, that roars in daily with waves of water, and then kind of slides back with all the dirt....

My friend labelled the picture Give and Take. Yes, we take all the dirt and give it to the sea .....

Some resulting words in Marathi, the King's language & my mother tongue... a rough version in the Queens language follows ....

(photograph by Priyadarshan Kale)
कोणाचं Give आणि कोणाचं Take ,
प्लास्टिक वापर आणि पाण्यात फेक ,
आग्रहाने गडबडीने येतात लाटा ,
कोपर्यातल्या दगडांना सुद्धा मिळतो आपला वाटा,
प्रत्येक लाटेत नवीन फेसाळत पाणी ,
जड पायाने वापस जातं, मुख केविलवाणी ;
ओढत सर्व कचरा , प्लास्टिक नि घाण ,
आमच्या स्वार्थाला नाही काही प्रमाण
वापरा -फेका , काय हे ! येते समुद्राची कीव
शेवटी आमचंच take आणि आमचंच give

Whose is to give, and
whose to take ?

So much plastic ,
for us to use and throw,
and then watch
the ebullient foaming waves,
slide back,
with heavy hearts
and sad minds,
dragging all the dirt
back into the sea.

A selfish people,
we only know
how to take and grab,
and then give it back,
in spades....

And lo behold !

Once again, my blogger friend, Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli, has posted a stunning visual of an amazing door , from her trip to Rajasthan; possibly from some royal palace or fort.

Bringing visions of ancient ordered lives, when you lived cloistered inside somewhere, heavily "protected", you clapped gently to summon someone, who then magically appeared, after a quiet knock on the door. Letting in, possibly, in addition to the summoned person, some fresh thinking from the outside world......

(photograph by Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli)

Heavy loaded minds,
slow to move,
brassy opinions firmly etched
all over,
sometimes repetitively,
sometimes uniquely

something obtrusively pokes
as it juts out
on the surface
to sit quiet inside.

an idea
stealthily wanders by,
at first
by the opulence;
but nevertheless
knocks on the handle....

And the mind,
slowly sheds the load
of its mind,
amidst creaks and doubts,
and opens itself
to a friend,
the outside world ....

Bozoical thoughts on learning...

A suggestion of "winter" in Mumbai, means,  that there is a haze of pollution settling down , closer to the ground.  A change of season, heralds viral infections, and Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog ,  has been troubled with a cough and is taking meds.   His old blue throat collar has been thoughtfully replaced now with a wonderful new harness, giving him the freedom to really cough it all out.

Blogger friend Magiceye  who chronicles the Life and Times of Bozo, captures Bozo, in one of his thoughtful moments.

To know just How thoughtful, read on .....

(photopraph by Deepak Amembal magiceye)
I'd lie at the feet
of the young fellow
of the house
when he did his school homework;
Drew maps.
Did sums,
Filled in the blanks,
and sometimes ,
"Gave reasons", in Science.

Why you must cover your mouth
when you cough.

And I learned.

While the new harness
making me feel
very smart,
has taken
a load
off my inflamed throat,
I still remember
the lessons....

I can't cover my mouth;
and so
instead of
coughing around,
I lie down in one place
and keep away.

 I wish
those who 

wander around
blowing  smoke
through their nostrils
and mouths
would remember that.....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sharpening the weapons...

A wonderful photograph, clicked by S. Karthikeyan, (known to all as Karthik), in his garden. Karthik has been an avid follower, photographer, chronicler, and published author on wildlife in general and specifically related to Karnataka. Read more about him here.

He spied upon this green mantis in his garden and photographed her , possibly getting ready for the day.  For some reason, the attitude of the mantis makes it look like she is praying.  And folks call her the Praying mantis. Read his post here.

Actually, like in politics , things can be misleading.  Turns out that these lady mantises can be fairly liberated in attitude.    Read on..... 

(photograph by Karthikeyan Srinivasan)
Lady green mantis,
dainty on a
sharpening and cleaning
her secret weapon,
after a decent
catching and killing stuff
by grabbing with the legs .

At one time,
the saviour of the
organic farmers,
in fields
beset with insects,
and life
have changed
in a fertilizer world.

Times have changed,
life is dangerous,
and unlike
the so called
evolved bipeds
who purport
to rule the world,
but still suffer,
the lady mantis
thinks nothing
of biting off the head
of a male
is pestering her.
Excuse me
while I clean
and sharpen
the other leg……

A Crustacean Life....

As a pucca vegetarian who cannot stand the smell of seafood , this photo , clicked at the Harnai beach on Maharashtra's beautiful Kokan coast,  and posted on Flickr by blogger friend Magiceye, intrigued me.   Google searches dont smell, and I was amazed to find out that these creatures have blue blood , and  surprise, surprise,  they have something in their DNA that doesnt allow them to age.

They also exhibit a fast , inverse, butterfly swimming stroke, done on their backs, which is used to escape fast from perceived dangers .....sometimes, though, not fast enough...

They also have 10 legs, but are essentially loners, traipsing about on muddy bottoms of oceans and seas, unlike their cousin crabs, who are much more social, aggressive, and occasionally whimsical , in that, they walk sideways . Wah !

Sometimes royal types must learn something from the commoners . Is anyone in Delhi listening ? Sigh. 

(photograph by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
Blue blooded invertebrates
with a built-in
anti aging DNA,
they wander the oceans,
crawling on half-a-score legs
to hunt and swallow
smaller prey,
an amazing
backward butterfly stroke
to escape
when faced
with marine danger.

when reckless adventure
takes them
close to Kokan beaches,
2 legged  predators
grab them,
boil them,
spice them,
stuff them,
and sallivate
over a great meal..

Thats what you get
being a loner,
unlike Cousin Crab,
who is a fighter,
sometimes smiles
and escapes
walking sideways,
as the Koli predator
zeroes in
on you.........

Monday, November 28, 2011

Page 3-Ranthambore Times

My very versatile blogger friend Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli , in Ranthambore National Park, to observe the majestic tigers, had to make do, with what they were told, were the pugmarks of the tigers. Which she posted here.

This entire philosphy, of having to make do with the sighting of someone's feet in lieu of the persona, kind of reminded me about something else :-)

(photographs by Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli)
A thousand moons ago,
they lurked
confidently camouflaged,
in an open
dignified walk,
to imbibe water
by the riverbank...

has a price.

Like some UPAr level
Delhi folks
mainly heard
but hardly seen,
they now avoid
ordinary folks in jeeps,
and have
their own
"reserved" paths
that shout
"He was here. Admire the footsteps"...

Like some UPAr level
Delhi folks
mainly heard
but hardly seen,
the Ranthambore celebs
only emerge,
to shake hands (!)
on the ranger's advice,
when a
matching celeb
like say,
Hilary Clinton

A thappad life....

Blogger friend and prolific photographer Joshi Daniel, posted this amazing portrait titled "Hidden Wrath" in his photoblog section , Joshi Daniel Photography | Images of People. 

No one writes about these people, while the papers go ballistic about someone receiving a thappad ***  in the Capital, and a procrastinating Parliament meets just to protest the slap.

A very evocative portrait. A sign of the times. 

(photo by Joshi Daniel)
My land
undervalued and bought
for an SEZ****;
my soil
awash with thorium,
from the nuclear power plant
we didnt want;
my family,
some lost to emigration
to overcrowded cities,
some to health;

Every day,
I bend more
and die a little,
as the cataract blinds,
and the ear tires
of lies, untruths
and false promises,
being cheated
by relentless middlemen
also known as MP's
to represent me.

I've received the biggest thappad***
of my life,
slowly over the years
from those who
purport to rule;
and they go Tsk Tsk
about the one who got it
in Delhi....

**** SEZ   ~   Special Economic Zone set up by government for industry after acquisition on land, mostly from small farmers
*** thappad ~ slap

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Chameleon's identity crisis....

A Chameleon,  taking a break from slithering around, in the leafy environs of Bandra, a suburb of Western Mumbai.  Blogger friend Magiceye, posted this photograph , of a chameleon, ( "surveying his kingdom" as he says), as part of his Mumbai Daily: Camera Critters series . 

And it occurs to some, that this little fellow can look so regal, while some other folks known to us, can change colors all they want, throw weight around, and yet , they still fall short....

(photograph by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)

Life for him
is a many splendoured,
many colored  thing.....
As he slithers
in an out
beyond the leaves;
a scratchy brown
in the muddy base of a tree,
and then again,
a cool dark
doing a
resting on the bark.

He inhales,
and looks up,
what surrounds him.

And sees a world
full of
not only change colors
to suit the occasion,
they even change
what surrounds them
destroying the green
and the brown
and the flowing blue...

And he wonders
why he is called a chameleon....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mr Friedman, the world is round !

We perceive things , visually, differently, depending on the background; of the observer,  as well as the visual.

Laxmi Sharath, prolific travel writer, photographer , and wildlife & birding enthusiast, was recently invited to visit Khajuraho, and has put up some amazing pictures here. 

As has been noticed by another reader of her blog too, the profile of this Chausath Yogini temple  in Khajuraho, resembles  a children's favorite character, watched equally by adults.

Read on :-)......

(photograph by Lakshmi Sharath)
In more ways
than one knows
the world is round ...

To some ,
its the
quiet of the dusk,
trees standing still
as the birds
hurry home,
after watching the
at the Chausath Yogini Shrine...

And to some,
its a
in profile,
looking up
the Rising Sun,
a great
Good Morning .....

It takes all kinds
to make our world.
Friedman, take that !

Hurting eyes, worrried minds.....

The sort of stuff happening in the country today, I wouldn't want to be the Sun, traveling by in the sky, and being forced to watch everything.

Maybe this was what blogger friend Magiceye sensed, when he posted this amazing photo of the sky over Mumbai, yesterday evening, when we had some unusual violent altercation between a politician and common man in Delhi. (Man slaps Minister)...

Regardless of the wrongdoer and /or the wronged,  we need to worry when even the Sun tries to cover up ......

(photo by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
He traipses by
in the sky
above the birds and trees,
all the going-ons
in Mumbai;
shaking his head
in despair,
in and out of the clouds.

Long days journey
into evening,
a rare winter nip
in the polluted air,
and the Sun,
and full of prayer,
pulls the dark cloud blanket
up to his neck,
before He sets for the night.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Royal leaps....

A very versatile lady, , trained scientist,  urban rail transport commentator, advertising professional in a very comprehensive way, blogger friend Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli,  blogs across a wide variety of subjects, including  a blog dedicated to , hold your breath, the Mumbai "local trains ",  photography , vegetarian recipes , movie madnessshopping  etc.

This is from  her  recent photo blogpost.

She has an eye for small  things, like little monkeys enjoying themselves , foraging amidst the stately memorials, and palaces in Rajasthan, which  she just visited. 

(photograph by Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli)
Build me
no memorials,
no Chhatris for me,
as I
wander in wonder
through houses
and places of worship in
red sandstone,
cool marble,
under a sharp midday Sun.

I've lived here
before them,
and seen it all;
the wars,
the intrigues,
the celebrations,
the prayers,
and heavy lidded glances
by delicate folks
through intricate jharokas
gracing the mahals.

As for me,
the trees are my palace,
the leaves my jharokas,
just sometimes,
I love practicing jumps
in royal surroundings.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A time for Chai ....

A permanent requirement at any time of the day, and particularly on slightly nippy mornings in the middle of nowhere away from home, there is something special about a strong flavourful boiling chai, being poured out through a big alluminium kettle, for you, the entire proceedings being watched by the hardworking saucepan that has tolerated all the excited boiling.

Blogger friend Joshi Daniel posted this.  This entry ‘Hot’ won the Chai Time Photography contest -

And a poem happened  here ....:-).... Enjoy the tea !

(photograph by Joshi Daniel)

endomorphic in comfort,
Mrs Kitlibai Chai,
she sits,
a feeling of
flowing warmth inside,
in a chai stained sari
head covered
with a simple pallu
going around
the top;
a welcome flavoured
through the spout
welcoming those who visit.

to Mr Patelarao Chai,
after a hard time
tangling with
dark minded leaves,
"item" type ginger,
and sugar,
all getting
so excited
in the boiling milk,
that they rise up
in fragrant joy
and sometimes overflow.

the front office,
that deals
with customers
and smiles,
and handles receivables.

He is the back office,
like some
poet guy said,
"They also serve who only stand and wait "

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beholding : Ruler or Winner ?

Blogger friend Joshi Daniel posted this amazing photograph in his photoblog Joshi Daniel Photography : Images of People.

He calls it "Rising beyond Perception", labelling it a Self Portrait ! 

Everyone will possibly see  different things in this photo, based on what your neurons and synapses are wired to see.  What you see is what they (the neurons)  remember from earlier views...

Don't know what it says about my neurons and synapses, but read on :-)

(photograph by Joshi Daniel)
Two perceptions
one individual.

Happens all the time.
Read the papers...

a tough body
with a Garuda face;
beady wide set eyes,
polished beak,
curved in power;
an expansive forehead
bald in the end,
that appear
to be ready to flap
in muscularity.

The other,
an athlete swimmer,
in old-style speedos
head thrown back,
water lapping at the ears,
floating effortlessly
On his back
a record breaking sprint,
the Adam's apple
as his breath stabilizes...

One a high flyer,
of all he surveys,
the other a slogger,
but winner.

Like I said,
two perceptions,
one individual....

Smart Cleaning and Dreaming...

Some things in the world
never change.

Stomping in a puddle
on your way home
from school;

a muddy
sweaty face
on the sleeve
of your white uniform shirt;

Leaning over to
steal kababs
from someone's tiffin
at lunchtime
to a tie dipping in sambaar;

A leaky ink pen
clipped on your shirt pocket,
creating a rangoli in blue...

A ketchup tube
held the wrong way
and squeezed
in enthusiasm
and dribbles in red.

And layers of mud
of every
hue and color
on socks and pant bottoms.

An endless
house laundry
boiling, rubbing,

a cursory look,
and a bit of a soak,
a rub here and there
they all
enter a machine tub
for a comprehensive
dressing down
with Surf Excelmatic
in anger and disgust,
while to one side,
I cook,
talk on the phone,
and sometimes
even do nothing.

It's like ,
I got two hours extra,
maybe ,
to think
I can get together
all the bad words,
and worries
of the world,
put them too,
in a  mental tub
where they will whirl
carefree foam,
and  clean soap,
and emerge
into a happy wonderful day,
once again.....

This post has been written in response to the Indiblogger  Surf Excel Matic #GetSmart Contest

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bird Reconnaissance or Angry Bird ?

Posted by blogger friend Magiceye, as part of his Mumbai daily : Camera Critters series ,  it would be very instructive to think what must be going through his mind, as he takes a break on an old branch of the banyan tree, (watching the younger birds cleaning up the food below), after having flown around so much.

I know some other folks who fly around too.   Unlike them, this fellow looks disgusted at what he has seen. 

(photo by Deepak Amembal magiceye)
those in power,
who fly at taxpayers expense
pretending to "observe",
I fly all over
by small kids
with bread and chapattis
they don't want.

I've glanced in
through windows,
winged my away
over iron ore mines,
peered into
top secret
from the cupolas
on Raisina Hill,
and 5 star parks
and pools,
sat on statues;
even taken a break
above the Tihar Jail....

I just do my work now,
watching those assigned
to clean the trash

What makes me look the way I do,
wide-eyed, shocked
and disgusted,
is all
that other trash
I saw while flying......

Bozoical contemplations on health....

If dogs had Email and were on FB and Twitter, maybe there would have been so many comments by now, from his admirers like Sam, Lindy and Joe across the world. 

But Bozo, Mumbai's only Dog-with-his-own-Blog, has been a bit under the weather, coughing, and having to take unpleasant medicines. Maybe , its the Mumbai pollution, maybe its the surprising  fall in temperatures,  maybe , even some wild gluttony when out with his friends....

Like a typical Mumbaikar, he always ignores the bad, and concentrates on the good.

Of course , the comments still keep happening;  as well as photos and , of course, poems.

As below :-)

(photograph by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)

Snuggled near his feet
near the sofa,
someone scratching my neck
and rubbing my back,
I sometimes think
this way
the meds work faster :-).

No wonder I head someone say,
Bozo looks gaunt
and tired.

It's the
yucky meds
mess up my stomach,
and keep me away from
eating well.

I don't mind the "gaunt";
makes me look
like Akshay Kumar
Ajay Devgun.

But I must get well soon
and start my walks
with Deepak.

I hear Lassie's
sensible cousin
has moved into
the neighborhood......

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Reaching in Time....

The Kaas plateau in the district of Satara in Maharashtra, is covered with beautiful wildflowers during the monsoon season, and has been a preferred choice of millions of folks, who come to photograph the colors. While 4 wheeler movement may be monitored and controlled,  it is difficult to control those who traipse through the land, unmindful of  what gets crushed below, and leaving depressions in he soil.

Blogger friend Magiceye's attention was drawn away from the flowers, by these beetles, and he posted about it here

He calls them Jewelled Beetles in Kaas. 

Thereby grew an idea.....

(photo by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
the importance
the auspicious moment,
decreed by
the all pervading
wiry holy  brown  and  red
on the ground,
and blue stars above.

Gangubai Beetle
Yamutai Beetle,
in  nine centimetres of
peacock blue
traditional silk,
hurrying and rushing
to attend
a wedding at
The "Kaas Heritage"
and hoping to reach in time...

They hadnt known
the potholes
and gaps
in their world,
so far
a speciality of Mumbai.

And now
Vasantrao Beetle
has had to rush back
to return
their walking sticks....

Its all those
cars and people
all over Kaas.

I guess they miss their potholes ......

Monday, November 14, 2011

Loaded Minds

Nothing depicts Mumbai better, than a photograph of ongoing construction, posted by Blogger friend Magiceye, as part of his Mumbai Daily : Monochrome Mania series posts.

The irony is, that in the big hurry to build homes , we continue to create more homeless, comprising those, who are brought in from the far away villages, to labour at these construction sites....and thereby hangs a bag of worries, hopes, and fears,  on these ambitious spikes, that continue to aim higher, and higher, and higher ....

(photo by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
Some legends
in a race,
minds spiked with
desperate ambition
to get
to look down
in blind victory
on others
scrounging below.

And the homeless,
construction laborer,
with a roof
in the village back home,
slogs in the city,
carrying his
and worries,
stuffed in a bag ,
hung open to the elements
on the 25th floor
where he works,
Someone Up There
in the sky
looks out for him....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Churning the Life Mill....

Blogger friend Aativas finds meanings in so many things we take for granted. Like the roadside sugarcane juice seller, on a hot September day in Hyderabad , in the Southern State of Andhra Pradesh, ready to squeeze out fresh sugarcane juice for you....

While one enjoys the juice, sometimes with a tinge of lemon and ginger,  nothing is wasted. The crushed fibrous matter that results after the juice is extracted from the sugarcane stalks, is great raw material for paper, building materials and biofuels.

Wish we could recycle our experiences in life , this way ......

(photograph by Aativas)
Experiences in life
are like sugarcane;
some straight,
sometimes in pieces,
some slightly crooked,
and all stacked together
in the mind.

You choose
and push them through
the mind mill,
churning your thoughts.

Some pleasing sweet results
shared in a glass
with friends,
thrown away,
presumed useless,
but possibly of use
in making learning bricks,
tough with fibre.

If we only learn to churn.....

Page 3 - Ghodbunder Times......

You wonder what the world is coming to when two butterfly types cannot have a simple dinner in peace, without the Mumbai paparazzi rushing in to click that amazing moment.

Blogger friend Magiceye  managed to capture one such moment, during his trip to the Ovalekar Butterfly Farm, at Ghodbunder, on the outskirts of Mumbai, and posted it as part of his Mumbai Daily : Saturday Photohunt-Two series.

Touches of Mumbai
seeping through outside
even in sylvan Ghodbunder ;

A lovely dinner place
in a garden setting,
with post monsoon
discounts and deals

You may not be
or even
but still...

When two flitting types
finally decide
to settle down
to a cosy dinner
in a special
black plastic
jhaorka haveli setting
and decide to enjoy
mud-leaf-seared honey guavas,
dry flower fruit aromas...

Must these paparaazzi
from Mumbai
trouble us
here too ?

I wonder what the world is coming too ....

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Sab-ji(yo) morning

The most enjoyable season in New Delhi, in undoubtedly winter; particularly the onset. Misty mornings, clarifying sunlight, lovely breezes, small bonfires on their last legs on sidewalks, a wonderful nip in the air, kids in blazers, walking and being driven to school,  and the amazing crisp vegetables that are available in this season.

Blogger friend IHM posted recently on what it is about this season that she enjoys in Delhi.

One such picture , of a lady , lugging her supply of fresh veggies to the market , ensconced on top of the heap, and pulled by the ricksha driver, right there in the middle of the road traffic, touched something in the mind somewhere.

a nip in the air,
and thoughts crowd
the mind
like traffic in Delhi.

For some,
an indulgent childhood,
dustless closed transport
sometimes for pointless learning;
sometimes conditioned by air,
sometimes by money,
designer lives,
a designer alliance
with a designer bidaai****.

And for some,
a green childhood
open to the sky,
anchored to the earth,
drenched in rains,
nodding in winter,
only to bloom and open up
in the Sun,
cared for by her,
but now en route
to a new life
in a sasuraal.*****

The cauliflowers,
and the spinach,
and the bhindi,*
and the tomatoes
huddle together one last time,
as the barat
reaches the mandi,**
the mother,
firmly holding them
all together,
as the man drives
to the venue,
the load,
more on his mind…..
A Bidaai of a different kind….

****Bidaai :  Bidding adieu to the bride as she leaves her maternal folks

*****sasuraal  : House of the in-laws

** Mandi :  vegetable market

*Bhindi : okra,ladyfingers

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lament of a senior crocodile

Blogger friend Ganesh Balaraman, posted this photo  from a trip to the Hogenakkal Falls in Karnataka (a state in southern part of India). The place boasts of a Rehabilitation Center for Crocodiles.

Some thoughts on geriatrics, rehabilitation,  evening-of-life and so on, were inevitable.....

(photo by Ganesh Balaraman)
of a nuclear world.

Nuclear arms,
nuclear families,
nuclear emissions....
all messing around
what was once
a peaceful
happy life
on the banks
of the lake.

big fish,
ducks, sea gulls,
an occasional crow
enjoying our backs,
as we sunned ourselves
on a jutting rock.

Thanks to the
industrial effluents
and construction silt,
the children
have all gone
and we mourn
the Empty Lake Syndrome,
as we
now spend
our last days,
with each other,
being rehabilitated
at the centre in Hoggenakal.......


The Rise of the AluGobi folks....

I was sent this picture by someone, along with some other pictures.  The other pictures were immensely funny, most of them showing  human ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and sometimes, even a one track mind.

Rice, unflavoured, white and dry is not a personal favourite.

While some folks salivate at the thought of this lazy thing shamelessly posturing on the rice, time has come to remind folks of the delights of curd-rice-lemonpickle, tamarind rice, vegetable pulao, veggie biryanis bisi-bhelevaran-bhat-tup, tup-bhat-metkut, and other things that delight the soul....

P. S  I am a pucca vegetarian .

Proletarian grains of rice
dry and wanting
under the weight
of an
keeping the
rich spices to itself.

A la Egypt and Libya,
it is time
for Alu Gobi and Bhindi
to rise,
and drive
this shameless dictator out......

Monday, November 7, 2011

Running up the life stairs....

Braja Sorenson, blogger friend, Yogini, Photographer, and Author of a soon to be published "Lost and Found in India", has lived in UK/US/NZ, but now lives on the banks of the Ganges, in Mayapur, West Bengal. Her travels in India have taken her to , in this case, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. This is a click at the Samadhi of a 16th century saint. Posted on her Photoblog, Braja's India. 

The native architecture reminds me of some old Wadas seen in Pune;  old, cool, massive, still going strong, broken steps, arches, wall shelves and all, through which so many generations played,lived and  made it out into a successful world....

(photo by Braja Sorenson) 
Thick mud walls,
witness to
an age,
she would
clutch her slate,
rub her runny nose
with her sleeve
and try
climbing up
the stairs,
on her way
to the small school
(a mile away),
with the help of her hands,
so small were her legs.

So many tough climbs,
some smooth,
some broken,
some patched up,
some studded
with unknowns in
wall recesses
dark with
questionable intent.

She fell,
only to get up again,
and one day,
ran up
the same steps
two at a time.

had opened up for her
and she could see
the light
welcoming her
into the world outside.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bharatnatyam in the Forest

Blogger friend and versatile, prolific photographer  Joshi Daniel posted this wonderful photograph from Kallar, Kerala ( one of India's southern most states on the Western Coast).

The region is home to one of India's  several classical dance forms, BharatNatyam.

"The technique of Bharatnatyam consists of Natya, Nritta and Nritya. Natya is the dramatic art which is the language of gestures, poses and mimes. Nritta includes the rhythmic and repetitive elements. The Nritya is a combination of Nritta and Natya. 

The chief musical instruments used in Bharatnatyam are the Mridangam and a pair of Cymbals. The cymbals provide the timing and the Mridangam provides fractional measures of the broad beats. The dancer follows both. A tambura is also used to provide the scale for the refrain. The musical instruments used are Mridangam, Manjira, Vina, Violin, Kanjira, Surpeti, Venu and Tanpura.

Read more here
So  it was not terribly surprising to see this amazing tree  in Kallar, Kerala, standing in supreme majesty, in one such pose......

(photograph of tree by Joshi Daniel)
(other courtesy Google )

The Drama of the forest
The Rhythm of the Rain
The Dance of the Wind
as the
Sky trns dark,
and the leaves ,
battle a storm,
before floating away to the ground.

the Cloud Mridangams
and the
Lightening Cymbals;

in step with
the lilting music
of flowing water,
An Invocation
to the Lord of the Skies,
it will soon
be time
for Spring again.......


Bozo, appears in a post, by blogger friend Magiceye, titled "...Am loving it (this)...!" Naturally, it has nothing to do with McD , despite the company appropriating that slogan for themselves , for ads in India.

There are many reasons in life when one goes "Ah....!"  And here, it probably has to do with being  (with a new collar), amongst great company, celebrating something.

Read on :-)

(photo by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
Ah !

Some folks
do that
after eating things
they shouldn't,
and the doctor
shines a torch
and says,
"Do Ah !"......

Some folks
like Lassie
of (Honda City -Carter Rd fame)***
like to pretend
they model for toothpaste
showing the canines
doing an "Ah...."

But I'm just happy
back home from trips,
and gathered
at a party
to celebrate
my master's prize*****
from a competition....

Nothing beats
with your own folks
scratching backs,
ruffling ears,
and saying
"Ah.... I wonder what's for lunch today !"

*** Lassie is a smirking, Page 3 entity, who gets driven in a Honda City, to the Carter Road Promenade, for her daily walks. 

***** Bozo's master was the recent recipient of a winner's prize in a Travel competition. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Green Dignity.....

Blogger friend, prolific travel writer, birder, and photographer, Lakshmi Sharath, recently visited Corbett National Park along with a like minded group , on a trip invitation from Club Mahindra.

She posted this amazing picture of a tree, standing bare and by itself, right in the midst of a profusion of green all around. Evocative, and more so in greys....

Sometimes, Nature has an uncanny way of reflecting life, as we prefer, not to see..... but are eventually forced to see. 

 (photograph by Lakshmi Sharath)

No green silk
amidst orange hues,
fruits long gone,
now admired
on others' hips,
and a wistful look
as the birds
bypass her
to ensconce themselves
in nests
lost amidst
the abundant
overpowering green.

No fat
just bones,
and barest of skin;
but she stands
as straight as she can,
in the evening of her life,
her own Gayatri Mantra
to a rising Sun.

but proud in the woods,

The story
of so many seniors
standing tall
in the evening of life....

The Interrupted Dance....

My blogger friend Sandhya, posted this as part of her Wordless Wednesday series.

Clicked in the gardens at Munnar, in the mountains,  it appeared as if these two were really enjoying a decent outing, a huge change from spinning webs in corners of crowded buildings and rooms amidst junk, catching pesky insects, and trying to avoid folks who walk around with brooms.  (I fly on a broom. Check on the left sidebar.  Just saying.)

Sadly, it was not to be.  Bloggers traipsing around with cameras and clicking , is the latest scourge.

Bloggers may be posting Wordlessly on Wednesdays.  The spiders et al must crib all seven days of the week.

(photo by Sandhya)
They emerged
the urban chaos,
into the garden;
simply no privacy
in these days of
expensive housing.

The cool greens,
the dappled sunlight,
smooth petal paths,
and the Spider-rao,
and Spideri-bai
stepped gaily
through the garden
dancing in unision
to the tune
Jai Ho !

But it was not to be.
A smiling lady
with a camera
and clicked.....

And a little caterpillar
lurking behind
a flower,
looked up, and said,
"We need to appoint PROs!
These bloggers !
She clicked me too ...."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Bird and the Banyan

This a cry from the heart of a red vented bulbul in Bandra East, Mumbai, captured on film and posted as part of the Mumbai daily : ABC Wenesday -P" series, by my blogger friend Magiceye.

Banyan trees are greatly revered in India , by religion and science , both. They are worshipped,  Gods are supposed to be resting on its leaves, and almost each and every part of the tree has medicinal uses. 

The bird , from a height,  must see, what we don't, in Mumbai. Destruction of green, open spaces, gardens, for mindless construction, by unscrupolous builders and politicians, with sick minds.

Maybe we can listen to what it is trying to say....

(photo bt Deepak Amembal magiceye)
Friends, Indians, Countrymen..

Small mouths, Big bites,
But hear me out,
as I am ,
on top
of a clearing
in the
Banyan Foliage.

Torn leaf infrastructure
Bare branches
uncontrolled fruit profusion;
so many tired,
old leaves,
uncared and barely there.

We've so spoilt the air
and water,
I feel it as I fly;
So have we,
messed with
the minds.

The poultice
of the banyan leaf
will heal
abcesses in the mind,
and the
crushed fruit
will cure
the greedy ulcerated brains.

Friends,Indians, Countrymen,
Can we save this tree ?