Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pulicat Processions

Lakshmi Sharath, my blogger friend, travel writer, editor, photographer, and Haiku poet,  posted this photo of the flamingoes at Pulicat  in her article in the leading newspaper The Hindu,  published   here.

The article had to do with how many different types of travelers one may encounter.

I wonder which category the flamingoes, themselves inveterate travelers, fall under.

 In the meanwhile, I just noticed something in the way the birds were conducting themselves.  :-))

(photograph by Lakshmi Sharath)
Slow dignified
top flamingoes
walk behind the
in the Flamingo Procession,
the opening session
the Pulicat Flamingo Parliament.

A bit of chaos
in the waters
somewhere behind,
the others
the "backward turners"
doing the "right" thing;
and never mind
the doubts
over the
Mumbai Sewri-NhavaSheva bridge
that threatens
to endanger
their northern habitat;

Parliament is Supreme.

For the moment,
must be maintained,
no wings to be flapped.

A lady from Bengaluru
is clicking them
for a newspaper
in Chennai....

Birds, Herds, and Good sense.

The mudflats at Sewri on Mumbai's eastern seaboard,  are frequented by flamingoes and many other birds , thanks to  the marshy wet landscape, where birds lay eggs for hatching, knowing that predators like wild dogs and wolves will keep away from unmangeable wet slippery sand.  Closer to the waterline, birds often feed off fish and insects, blithely ignoring the shaky sands.

My blogger friend, Magiceye, posted this as part of his Saturday Photohunt -"Gather" series.  

There is so much one can read into photos of nature.  And there is so much to learn.

And sometimes, I think we evolved too much, too fast.

(photograph by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
Coastal land
wet with sea and marsh,
some hatch their eggs there,
some come to feed off
helpless fish,
some birds follow the herds,
some, fly around,
different feeding places.

Much like
prominent national places,
bright with power & lucre,
where some
stay and
immediately install
their young ones,
while some come
to feed off
attractive tradeoffs...
Like some folks
simply follow the big herd,
and some,
on the periphery,
take a chance,
at joining someone else
somewhere else.

The only difference is,
the birds in Sewri
hurt anyone,
and never
tell lies.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Praying Mantis's and Preying Politicians....

An amazing photograph of the shell of a Praying Mantis, after moulting, clicked and posted by FB friend and photographer , Anand Amembal.

Moulting happens in various ways in insects, birds , even reptiles, and is all about changing, shedding old to acquire new. In the case of the Praying Mantis, the whole exoskeleton/shell.

So similar to what's happening in Parliament. The powerful ruling leading party, pretending to shepherd an important  Bill, appropriating support from small parties, and then devaluing them , once their usage is over. Sometimes, the smaller parties learn quickly, move away, and hold out. The powerful pretend to change, sometimes even actually change, but the world has seen through them. Even the environment and the country is not fooled. 

The praying mantis, moults to grow. Our preying  politicians, must moult and moult again, to learn...

(photograph by Anand Amembal)
We pray.

The mantis's,
they prey.

Flitting between
leaves, joins and parties,
a hiss here,
an indulgent glance there,
mostly highanded,
trying to squeeze,
opposing others
amidst legs
sharpened to hurt,
they devour
helpless little ones,
as they pretend ,
it is all for the good of the green.

But sometimes,
the duplicity is exposed,
the leaves turn away,
the insects,
having learned the hard way,
look for pastures,
elsewhere and greener.

It's time to moult,
and tentative and shrugging,
occasionally stiffening
in attitude,
the mantis moves out,
maybe reluctantly,
to start preying elsewhere again.

And the ghostly white
leans across a leaf
in suprise,
looking at the going ons
and wonders
"How many times
must I keep moulting
and changing myself
this becomes a meaningful place to live?"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bathing beauties of Shimoga

My blogger and FB friend, Ganesh Balaraman, posted  this wonderful photograph of elephants emerging fresh from their baths, in the Gajanur Dam waters,  in Shimoga,  in the southern state of Karnataka.

It is customary to ask emerging bathing beauties ,  the secret of their beauty.

I just did.

And I hope Kareena Kapur, Aishwarya Rai et al , learn from them .....

(photo by Ganesh Balaraman)
What is the secret
of your beauty ?

Mass baths
with friends,
in a large Gajanur tub;
Clean water
unpolluted by
oil, trash, and sewage;
Personal loofah scrubbers
going flat out
on my back;
Snorting soap water
at inquisitive birds,
watched by
emerald beauties
in the mountains
doing a slow rise
from the
blue water depths,
a la Dimple Kapadia.

My "saundarya ka raaz"*** ?

Lux ?


Just Lots and lots of Luck(s)....

*** saundarya ka raaz = secret of beauty

Desert Beauty

Blogger friend, wonderful travel writer, and a someone who simply loves travelling SOLO , and has done so across many countries, Nisha Jha , was someone I first met at a Mumbai blogger meet in November .  Since then , I have been a regular reader of her FaceBook page Le Monde-A poetic travail, and her website .

She has a sharp eye for beauty, and the one below was captured on film at the Annual Pushkar Camel Fair  in Rajasthan. And no, she didn't say what the camel said to her .

For other visuals of what actually happens there ,do read her account of it .  Lots of brown beauties, possibly dudes,  rural fresh food, and tattoos. All this happening as the desert moon slowly waxes to its full size in the Indian month of Kartik.

I guess you never see that at Miss World and Mr Muscle.......

(This poem  is scheduled to  appear as a guest post  on Nisha's Le Monde: A poetic Travail, on December 29, as she possibly makes her way through the rice fields in Cambodia.....)

(This amazing capture by Nisha Jha)
Not for nothing
do they call me
the Queen if the Desert.

The Pushkar fair
is when
us ladies
are at our best.

Heavily lidded
kajolled eyes,
lashes delicate
and floating;
eyebrows are not
in fashion
but like your
society types,
with multipierced ears,
I had my nose
specially pierced,
to display
my gold heirloom noserings.

A regular regime
Fair and Lovely
and L'oreal Paris,
and I am ready
with Lovely folks
at the Fair.

Special neckwear,
brilliant nostrilwear,
a sand facial,
to get even fairer,
and I've been
the pout...

Did I just hear someone say,
"Angelina Jolie
Eat your heart out !..."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Best Gift of all .....

 My blogger and FB friend Gopinathji Mavinkurve  recently ( a few hours ago)  posted something  by his friend Smt Vanita Kumta, on the subject if eye donation.  
Totally, as a strange coincidence , I came upon this meaningful photograph,  of a new young plant that has struggled through a huge wall, to grow and see the Sun, posted by my blogger friend Shail Mohan.
I remembered my  late parents , who had both expressed their wish,  impressed the fact  upon us,  and  donated their eyes,  at their death.  We honored their wish. I think it is a wonderful  gift,  and it instills a hope, that whoever benefits by it, may see , maybe , a better world than what we see today. 
(I am copying below some information re Eye donation,  posted by Smt Kumta. Unable to put a link.)
 Why donate eyes?
To begin with for a selfish reason; our eyes can live even after our death. Secondly, more importantly, we can light the life of two blind people by donating our eyes after our death. Thirdly, not to mention, eye donation is the noblest of all causes.

 1.5% of the population are unnecessarily blind
25% live below the poverty line
2.5 million children are suffering, including those who don't have the correct spectacles
32% are under 15
60% of blind children will not make it to adulthood. A cumulative economic loss to India's GNP of US$11.1 billion
75% live in rural areas
There are 12,000 ophthalmologists in the country but the majorities of them live and work in the urban areas
40% live in rural areas in central & northern India where there is little access to quality eye care services
It has been proven beyond doubt that almost everyone can donate eyes. People who wear spectacles, with high B.P., diabetics or people with systemic disorders like asthma, tuberculosis, or even those who have undergone cataract surgery can donate eyes. The only criterion is a healthy and clear cornea.

Eyes have to be harvested within six hours of death. So it is critical to inform the nearest eye bank. It is always best to fill out an eye-pledge form and inform family members of your desire. Expressing a desire for eye donation in one's will is fairly useless since a will is generally opened only a few days after the death, while an eye needs to be harvested within six hours.
Are you ready to gift a life? Become an eye donor today
And then, something that occurred to me...... 
(photo by Shail Mohan)

The seed of an idea
in the mind,
growing up,
bringing others up.

A wish,
quietly nurtured,
too much noise,
getting on with life,
developing ,
building protective walls,
and linking
to others,
by wear and tear
by adding a small gate
to traverse the walls,
without and  within.

slowly tiring,
flattens asymptotically,
but the seed ,
and the idea
has been
growing inside,
finding a path
into the sun.

A donation
of your eyes,
that little gap
in the life wall
a sightless unlucky one,
and the seed
slowly germinates
leaves and all,
to emerge
into a
a new Sun.....

Where a Death
for someone else
a new Life
in a rainbow world....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Birth Stories

Blogger friend, scientist,avid gardener, and photographer Sangeeta Khanna, posted this on FB.  A fitting photograph to depict the arrival of the new year and the passing of the old.

Sometimes things take on a human quality.  As below :

(photograph by Sangeeta Khanna)

Old Gulabibai,
specially there
for the

Back in her
home ground,
to assorted
ill-mannered flower pickers,
anti green
avaricious crooks,
and unexpected
ill winds,
she guards
the expecting mother
sharpening her thorns.

by her side,
shooing off tiresome moths
one early dawn,
amidst tumultuous breezes,
and crowding greens,
the waters break,
little Rosa arrives.

and gathering of leaves,
drenched in the waters,
and Gulabibai,
slips aside

to lean back a bit,
her dull cream paloo
about the shoulders,
her dull gold hair
glistening with sweat.

It's time 

for her to move on, 
for Little Rosa
to bloom 

and face her own day
in the Sun.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Power Beneath the Wings....(edited)

Sangeeta Khanna is a versatile blogger friend, who goes on Himalayan bicycle treks, takes great photographs, cooks amazing recipes, and knows loads of stuff about plants because she is a trained scientist.

I recently came upon this photo , posted by her friend, a young Vipul Bansal  on FB, and it said "dedicated to Sangeeta Khanna"..... 

This is such an amazing photographic find, redolent with life meanings. There is a message somewhere in there.  For all of us....

original photo found here
something to confuse,
but actually
all about
your own space
in the air.

Some have fancy profiles,
aerodynamic shapes,
pilot beaks
luggage tails
and often
fancy twin engines
revving up
on two sides,
which are ignored and jettisoned
when dumb
in crisis times....

And some,
in brilliant colors,
happily plump,
with all encompassing wings
that help it soar,
and sometimes,
when the
two little life engines
are still new,
the wings
open and enfold them,
doing a vertical takeoff,
teaching them
what flying high is all about.

We've really never learned
that success
is all about
teaching someone
to fly high with you,
and never about
how to jettison folks
who are problematic to you......

A Bozoical Christmas.....

He is home in time for the holiday season. Bozo, Mumbai's only dog with his own blog, was unwell, and is taking things a bit easy now.

Unlike some biped folks I know, who go overboard "imbibing" in festive seasons, he listens to what the experts say.

My blogger friend, and Bozo's official personal chronicler, Magiceye, has been listening to Bozo and posted this Christmas picture....

Sometimes I think Bozo understands the spirit of Christmas better......

(photo by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
I am back,
from some
and interesting times,
with some elder
Moo aunties and uncles,
as well as Miaoww types.

shiny spotted coats,
and glistening
blacks and browns
there were these
folks in spotless white coats,
who patted me,
and heard me breathe,
and poked me
at times.

"Take it easy",
they said,
"you've had enough excitement.
Dividing worries,
Multiplying joys,
Adding comforting nuzzles,
subtracting absences.

Now's your time
to lie down
in the Sun
and watch
the Christmas world go by.

With a lifetime
of charging around
so much happiness
to so many,
even  a Smart Santa
like you,
needs to
take a break."

And I listened !

Season's Greetings, Bozo !

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dosa-Wada soliloqies....

What do you say, when someone , a blogger, from the national capital comes down to Mumbai, wants to meet up with some bloggers, emails fly through the air, and a lunch results ? And what do you say, when a majority of these are folks, with children old enough to be bloggers themselves ?

Naturally they had some great photobloggers amidst them, and one of them remembered to click, as some of the aunties dug in with great dedication.

One just wondered what must have gone through the minds of the dosas and wadas...

Crisp and rounded
on a sunny winter afternoon
in Mumbai,
they sat,
wrapped up,
in themselves,
and sometimes,
around potatoes,
as a few of those
rounds emerged
with a hole
in the middle
from some oil
bubbling in mirth.

They had mistakenly heard
UPA were coming,
and simply preened
as they arrived on the tray,
pushing each other
looking for
the eminent chairperson.

they saw a bunch
of blogger aunties
and uncles,
with a minority
of youngsters,
waiting to dig in.

the Meduwada
to the Masala Dosa,
"Its good
Idlibai and Uthappa Rao
We're stuck with
the United Bloggers at Andheri(UBA)
and not UPA.
We have to take what
Dishes out to us...


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Strength of a PitBullian Mind.....

When I saw this photo of a Pitbull terrier posted by FB friend Sanjeev Hirudayaraj, I was speechless. I went back to it again and again.

The expression was amazing, and I kept wondering what must be going through the mind of the Pitbull.It wasn't a case of all brawn.  There was, it appeared, plenty of brain.

See this page for some more evocative pictures of man's best friend.

(photo by Sanjeev Hirudayaraj)
Fresh from a skirmish
shaking off the dust
and panting
in an adrenaline flood,
I am amazed
and angry,
at what I see...

They call me
a PitBull,
mean ,dangerous,
a dog trained to fight
and attack.

I know some people like that
who train abroad
and attack
the mother country.

Some live within,
and attack
and hurt,
with their dangerous behaviour.

Teachers being caned
by police
in Punjab,

Underage drunk drivers
driving wild
homeless sleeping folks,
and then
being gifted bail...

with a single point
power agenda
wasting money in crores
by holding up Parliament...

being denied infrastructure
while ten times that
is spent on
issuing newspaper ads
the great departed
in politics...

Those at the top
setting bad behaviour examples
to those looking up

Crores being paid
to someone
to dance with missing clothes
there is no money
for hospitals
and police housing.

Yes, I'm trained to fight,
small kids
cry when they see me,
as they say,
I am nothing much to look at.

But I have a mind,
I look around
and I am disgusted.

Tell me,
with all this going on ,
is there any reason
I should smile.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

E-lane Conversion

Blogger friend, travel chronicler, photographer and pet lover, Magiceye, posted this visual as part of his "Mumbai Daily : ABC Wednesday-W" (W=waiting) series.

The location is Bandra East, one of Mumbai's north-western suburbs, home to one of Mumbai's first long skywalks.  While folks may think this traffic is bad,  regulars in Mumbai have seen much worse. For Mumbai, this looks like an unnaturally wide sidewalk, with what most would consider a "sparse" crowd for the bus :-)

Thats probably why the telephone company chose this location for their ad.  Maybe.

(photo by Deepak Amembal Magiceye) 
broad roads,
suddenly self-expanding
from 3 lanes to 6,
fellows on bikes
navigate dangerously
through traffic gaps,
a bus
way outside the stop,
impatient folks
stepping out
to see if it has arrived;
we are such experts
at converting
everything to narrow band.

An unnaturally wide
with a sparse crowd
at the bus stop
(by Mumbai standards),
its only up there
in the sky,
from the perennial sky walks
now fashionable
proletarian Mumbai
that the telephone company
can claim,
in all this confusion,
to offer you,
"truly unlimited broad band"

Monday, December 19, 2011

Failed Copy ?

FB friend Anand Amembal  posted this wonderful picture of a Little Egret in flight.

It reminded me of the brouhaha some years ago about the Concord flights from Europe to New York, where you reached an hour before you started, created shockwaves in the air, and "booming" disgust in the minds of those staying near airports.  Not to mention huge costs and expensive flights.

If birds are an inspiration, the aero chaps need to look further inside...:-) 

(photograph by Anand Amembal)
as a form of flattery,
when you
imitate the mind as well.

So the Supersmart
with an aerodynamic profile
of the
Little Egret
in a hurry,
and reached
before it started
with no talk
all noise.

And fizzled out.
a country that served
thousands of egrets
at a Kings Banquet in 1500's
cannot be expected
to understand
their minds.

This one,
sweeps past,
a slow flight
in pretty plummage,
looking for
with scurrying fish and frogs,
to be tapped
for lunch,
and a
croaking "Cuk Cuk Cuk"
when its time to

No shockwaves,
No costs,
and unlike the
thoughtless Concorde,
a slight holding in
of its graceful neck.

We bipeds must learn
when to
stick the neck out....

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Canine Fashion 2011

FB friend Sanjeev Hirudayaraj posted this interesting photograph amongst many others.

Although the background may appear to have been deliberately planned that way, I suspect it was not.

Don't know if the dog inspired the wall, or vice versa.

But Dude Bow Wow certainly shows attitude. As he must. Given who his designers are ....

(photograph by Sanjeev Hirudayaraj)
from the
International Canine Fashion Week 2011..

mad Milan Models,
Perky Parisians,
anorexic folks
in billowing fabric,
strutting to
"Who let the Dogs Out",
the music stops,
and there is a hush....

He steps out,
Dude Bow Wow,
show stopper
for the day,
the latest designs
of star designers
Bhagwan and Deva..***

A skin hugging
white and brown ensemble
by the
Dehati**** Designer walls
opposite combination
of colors,
by a deep brown
choker neck cravat
and a
matching stubble.

A typical haughty walk,
nose up
in the air,
a graceful neck,
as the music
Kolaveri Di,
he shakes his head,
shrugs his ears,
in protest.
The Designers,
Bhagwan and Deva,
not be walking
the ramp with him

***Bhagwan and Deva =  vernacular names for God
****Dehati = Rural

Bozoical Largesse.....

Bozo, the only dog with his own blog, is back home, after a short stay in the hospital, and the Net is buzzing with good wishes for him. Blogger friend , Magiceye, captures him, as he rests at home after a tough regimen of checkups and medicines.

Bozo doesn't know he has friends everywhere.

Not just across the world, but even in the trees next to his house.  Magiceye captures them too on his lens....

And they too, celebrate his return home, with great joy, and a celebratory dance step. So what if we are nor Hrithik Roshan ....

(photographs of Bozo and the Dancing Crow  by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
In these times
flash mob dances
in crowded places,
a little solo
from an oldie....

I've often watched
through the window,
a fellow who
jumped all over the place
looked listless
and lay around
mooning and coughing.

I wondered where
he had gone
as the folks
went around
looking troubled
and  worried...

This morning
he was back home,
in a warm winter sun, 
a bit drowsy and tired
and I did
a fancy step
in joy !

The experts say
he has a large heart.

Hmmpf !
he didn't need to go anywhere
for that.

He needs
all that space
hold close
all his admirers...

Gosh ! Doctors !
I could
have told them that
ages ago.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Should the Flamingoes fast ?

Friend of a friend, and now my friend, Sanjeev Hirudayaraj of London, posted this terribly expressive picture of the flamingoes. He has an entire wonderful set of these photographs posted here.

Given the current political scenario in India, where leaders of Civil Society are taking positions on issues of national importance,   the unfortunate decision of the Mumbai Authorities to build a bridge (for the benefit of 4-wheeler types; ever see a pedestrian on the SeaLink ?) going rough shod through the mangroves at Sewri on Mumbai's eastern seaboard , and the fact that so many flamingoes come and nest and breed in season every year in this mangrove swamp area, this visual simply sowed a seed of an idea  in my mind.

The Bombay Natural History Society view.

Note : Heights based on perception and not feet and inches. Hmm.

(photograph by Sanjeev Hirudayaraj)
Team Anna
at the Sewri mudflats,
the Mumbai
Mainland-Nhava Shiva bridge,
threatens to trash
the mangroves.

central and supreme
in the
time of Maun Vrat***;
Kiran Bedi
to the left,
adjusting her
mobilising to argue,
Arvind Kejriwal,
loudly and firmly
the strength
of the
flamingoes and pelicans
as they gather around,
supporting him.

Feet in water,
thanks to dredgers
destroying the swamp.

***Maun Vrat = Vow of silence , in protest.

The Perils of Abundance

FB  friend, and versatile photographer,  Anand Amembal, posted the wonderful photo , of what I thought, was a butterfly faced with a choice.  That of a limitless source of nectar . To be sucked , through a single proboscis, from what look to be plenty of tubules in the centre of the flower. 

And the thought occurred to me as to what a greedy homo sapien would have done under the same circumstances .

And thereby hangs a poem.....

(photograph by Anand Amembal)
Smitten by the brightness,
sensing the food,
she alights
on the flower,
spoilt for choice.

So many
tube like
nectar holders
and just
one proboscis
to suck it all in.

She daintily dips
into the one close by
and then a few,
the eyes
checking in surround-sight
for others
with similar intentions,
similar tiny brains.

Some big brained
evolved bipeds
similarly spoilt
for choice,
go berserk,
thoughtlessly imbibing
everything in sight,
wasteful, and
mindless of
their actual need.

The perils of abundance.

Small brains,
thoughtful decisions,

huge brains
thoughtless acts...

No wonder
the bipeds
get diabetes
and the butterflies don't......

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beauty Problems....

Blogger friend, trained scientist, photographer and fun person Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli was in Rajasthan recently, and managed to capture this beauty and posted it here.   

All beauties are famous and  are always commented upon and written about.

Ask Madhuri Dikshit or Angelina Jolie. Who, incidentally, are not a patch on this one.

There are two Kavita's mentioned here.  The first one that appears in the poem, is a blogger friend and dentist who practices in Guwahati, Assam, and has a wonderful travel and photo blog.

The second "kavita" mentioned herein, is a Marathi/Hindi word that means poem :-)).....

(photograph by Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli)
Fresh from
an application of Vita Oils,
she emerges
from the
Desert Dove
Indiblogger Camelia Meet.

Golden Hair
at the ears,
and at a shapely neck
smooth as silk,
glistening after a wash;
Winter moisture lotions,
whitening the
star visage,
yet a nose
reddening in the cold,
and she
looks up and far
into the desert,
to see if the dentist has arrived....

The Miss India types
sponsored by Camel Times,
said an expert
from Guwahati
who went by the name
would come fix the teeth;

I find strange folks from Mumbai
making Kavita on me ?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vada Paav : Bada Bhaav !

Doesn't need much inspiration to click this, and doesn't need much inspiration to write about this. The smarter ones simply and quietly get on with the eating.

Blogger friend , Magiceye, immortalized Mumbai's staple snack, Vada Paav, in this visual that he posted as part of his "Mumbai Daily : ABC Wednesday-V" series. Available in every corner cart, small shop, or eatery, featured by 5 start hotels, on their days dedicated to "roadside eats"  , this is India's answer to McD : cheaper, vegetarian, better tasting, and keeps the profits within the country.

Sometimes , I think it represents the Mumbaikar. Brand Ambassador for Vada Paav.

You can also make poems on it, and avoid the calories. The photos are so good, you feel you've eaten it :-)

(photo by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
The Mumbaikar.

Full of energy,
occasionally spicy,
sometimes so hot
as to make tears,
wrapped up
in "besan-nic***" dust,
and fried
in a permanent
hot and wet summer,
he is
like the vada,
almost like a politician.

But the humble paav,
the Bread of Life,
in tough times,
but still
soft at heart,
wraps itself around it,
regardless of
where we came from,
we must mix
in peace,
bring out the best
in each other,
be there for everyone,
rich and poor,
young and old.

we need to be tough
and dangerously red,
benevolently green
on the paav.

But this variety
in Mumbai
makes for
an excellent combination
that it would win
hands down
if it stood for
a civic election...

***Besan : garbanzo flour, used as paste to cover and fry.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The X-spider

Blogger friend, Anand Amembal, posts this wonderful capture of an Argiope Spider, from the Gandhi Tekdi, in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park , North of Mumbai.   This spider, found in temperate and warmer climes, weaves in an X-shaped pattern in white amidst  paths in its web. Sometimes designed to attract prey, and sometimes designed to keep of predators.

And it never ceases to amaze me how we as the so called smarter species, also do similar things...... 

(photo by Anand Amembal)

An Argiope Spider,
his tricks
in a far corner of Mumbai.

by the hoodwinking
by those who purport
to run Mumbai.

Insufficient living space,
entangling folks
in a web and maze
of confusing
almost invisible
bad roads with gaps,
zebra crossings in white
meant for walkers,
but driven
over mindlessly
by predators in 4 wheels.

What price
of what
everyone thinks
is the smarter species ?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Power Shutdown of Hercules

Blogger friend, travel writer, versatile photographer, and columnist and editor, Lakshmi Sharath, recently visited Jordan. Amman , the capital, is situated on hilly area of north-western Jordan. The city was originally built on seven hills. The Citadel hill of Amman, is home to the Temple of Hercules, which once held a 13 metre statue of Hercules.  All that remains today, amidst the marble pillars and ruined structures of the temple, is  a giant fist of Hercules, lying , clutching the earth, some distance away from a piece of elbow.

Hercules , was a demigod, in the pantheon of ancient Gods , who had very colorful and eventful lives.  To atone for some mindless violence, he was ordered to do some jobs for King of Mycenae, and these, equally revengeful and violent assignments were known as the labors of Hercules.  

Maybe he never learnt a proper lesson.

Maybe we should.

(photograph by Lakshmi Sharath)
on a Citadel in Amman
in rippling musculature
he stood
celebrated in his own temple.

Lauded by those
who knew
the labors of Hercules;
all about
killing, trapping,fetching,
getting rid of,rounding up,
and destroying;
lions,boars,bulls, gods,
apples, belts, kings, damsels
and such.

his massive fist remains,
tightly clutching
the Earth,
a bit away.

A pointer
living is all about
sensible talk,
and tolerance,
and those
that abuse this
for selfish power gain,
will experience,
a power shutdown,
and leave them
fallen and scrambling
to hold on
to an earth,
fast slipping through their fingers.

Celebrating Dawn....

Blogger friend Magiceye,  came upon this amazing fluorescence , a celebration of Chrysanthemums,  in his balcony garden early  this morning,  immediately captured all the blooming attitudes  with his  Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V phonecam, and posted it on his Mumbai Daily blog.

As he says, "Straight out of camera. No edits.   .....and No, this is not a promotion for Sony." 

Sometimes, dawn, pearly-orange-pink-silk, with pale gold centres, and a profusion of background green,  reminds one of something else....:-).

Mostly in Marathi, but sometimes in English too ....:-))

(photograph by Deepak Amembal magiceye)

शिशिरातील  मंद पहाट,
आकाशातल्या देवाला निरांजन लावून
उजळलेली पूर्व ,
मोतिया रंगाच्या नउवारी  पैठणी ,
पारंपारिक सोनेरी नथी घालून
हिरवाईतून   एकत्र घोळक्यात
चाललेल्या  पुष्पाताई व मैत्रिणी ...
काही छोटे बाजूला गाल फुगवून रुसलेत,
मागे बसलेल्या आजी त्यांना समजावतात ,
"उद्या तुम्हाला पण असंच
लवकर उठून सजून जायचं आहे ,
जरा धीर धरा,
आता काही दिवस आम्ही आहोत न सोबतीला ...."    

 Mild Mumbai winters,
and amidst
a sleeping populace,
they turn
in worship
to that God in the sky,
pewter pink gold
lamps lit up
in the east....

Young ladies,
in pearl-pink silk Paithanees****,
traditional "naths***"
in gold
adorning their fresh faces,
congregating together
to go visit
the temple,
making their way through
the cool shady green.

A few half awake little ones
all upset,
sit all puffed up
to one side;
and the older,
bent Grandma Chrysanthemums
shake their heads
and say,
"Don't worry,
you too, must follow thus
in a different dawn;
for today,
we are there for you ...."

***nath =  Traditional nose ornament worn by women in Maharashtra.

****Paithanee =  A particular silk and gold weave for sarees, traditional to Maharashtra, worn  in nine-yard (traditional) and six-yard(modern) sarees.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Amidst One and All....

Making an appearance  on this blog after a long time, is my blogger friend Kavi Arasu.  At one point in my early blogging days, his very perceptive photos and amazing writeups  elicited  poems as comments from me. When it looked like I was trespassing majorly into his blogspace  :-)) , the idea of doing a poetry blog looked feasible, and this blog happened.  Today, I trespass into many peoples' blogspace :-)  with my poems, as comments, which then appear here.

Kavi  posts this intriguing and amazing photo in his latest post on his blog, Kavi's Musings.This is what happens when a perfect self-centred raindrop, falls in the midst of streaming rain water, flowing away from a tiled roof, and the two get going somewhere.

A bit like an exclusive California  almond falling into a stirring Payasam, and then finding out that it's fun  :-))

(photograph by Kavi Arasu)
live a discrete life,
holding themselves close
as they fall,
all wrapped up,
dark minded clouds
through various heights,
in an exclusive NRI fashion.

And then there's some
who revel
in being a drop
in the solution,
being pushed,
yet having fun
as part of a
flowing whole,
cascading in mirth.

An intial dunk,
some slow confidence,
and the earlier one
unravels in wonder,
lining up with the natives,
as they
joyfully drip
through the air
onto some
barely missing
a camera,
but making
it to the
kadhipatta**** plant....

****kadhipatta = curry leaf plant; curry leaves are widely used in traditional cooking.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Doors Wide Shut.....

Blogger friend, scientist, traditional foods researcher, botany scholar, long range (600 kms) bicycle rally trekker,  and yes, great photographer, Sangeeta Khanna, clicked some of these wonderful doors on her visit to a city she knows very well, Varanasi or Benares (as we desis call it).

A city, on the banks of the Ganga,  flowing with it in time ,  oozing with history, and loaded with architecture, that tells stories of the bygone societies, like a traditional kitchen recipe  with all its intricate details with ingredients and action. 

Read and see more about this on her blog here.

(all photographs by Sangeeta Khanna)
 Some Doors,
with double planks
nailed across,
the rooms
dark and suffocating,
damp and emersed
in centuries of depression.

Some doors,
with a willful design
harking back
to a time
the man
and his girl wife
emerged across the threshhold
a timid seven steps
into a carriage
going to the temple.

And some doors,
so loaded with
the weight
of old memories,
regardless of
artless plaster,
cement and sand covers,
the bricks
crowd, nudge and push each other,
blinking in the light,
trying to be
part of the new world,
yet taking care
that the locked main door
doesnt frown
on their wayward antics...... 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mirror, Mirror, wherever.....

My young blogger friend, published poet(Kieran :Dark and melancholic Poetry), travel and tourism professional, content writer, social media activist, and weekend tour manager for GrassroutesNickolai Kinny, thinks she needs to brush up on photography, and so is attending photography school. (That is, when she isn't communicating in English, Español, Français, and  Japanese...on second thoughts maybe she clicks photos in Japanese, while yelling in French....:-)    )

This was supposed to be an assignment on "Expressions". 

While looking through these will have you appropriating some expressions for yourself,  I wondered at first how the photographer managed to keep a straight face.

She didnt. The photographer and subject is the same !   Enjoy and tell which you liked the best !

(all photos and expressions by Nickolai Kinny herself)

You dont need
any words,
the entire alphabet
does somersaults
on your face;
sleeping D’s,
expansive V’s
flat out I’s,
flattened M’s
there’s even Pi
on the nose.

 Having said that,
I wonder
how the photographer
a straight face;
or didnt she ?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Haveli Remembers .....

Blogger friend, traveller, photographer  and storyteller and the only person I know who has been featured in the 2011 edition of Lonely Planet,     Anil P.,  recently did a lovely post entitled  Conversations , and backdrops in Jodhpur  , where he wondered about the juxtaposition of a person speaking on his cell phone,  vis-a-vis the old haveli, now locked and boarded up,  and at the base of which, the fellow decided to sit and continue his conversation.

To me, it bespoke the change in our society, a change from inclusive to exclusive.

As Anil P. said  (in reply to this poem posted as a comment there) , "  Imagine what it'd be like to not have Jharoka's to keep an eye on the street and the goings on.  Windows that overlook the street retain the oxygen that pumps into the street and beyond......"

(all photographs by Anil P)
Leaning in anticipation
out of the
eyes searching
through her
earthy red-yellow veil ,
she calls out
to her friend
passing by;
rushes down the steps,
out through
the big door,
stops at the threshold,
a huge smile
with an outpouring of words.

A few more windows
have folks looking down
to see what
the commotion is all about.
Some indulgent,
some smirking,
and disapproving
this wild display....

They should have lived
in a time,
you never saw
who you were talking to,
the person
never noticed your delight....

you sat down
at the base of it all,
leaned back,
they heard
a one sided conversation
devoid of
all the action.

No wonder
the doors and windows
to close their
eyes and minds....

Learning from Mrs Asota....

FB friend Anand Amembal posted this wonderful photo of the Asota Ficus Moth, captured at the Ovalekar Butterfly Garden , which seems to be a popular haunt for butterfly photographer folks these days. It once again proves, why , despite the glitzy manmade artificial fabrics, those that are inspired by nature , like silks , inspired by its colors, will always be hankered after.

For a tiny moth, the Asota Ficus is very smart. Its Larvae feed on Ficus types (fig trees), which gives them some inbuilt protection in life, maybe in invisible color, or generated smell etc, from predtaors....

Nature works in amazing ways .....(and yes, what's it with Amembals and butterflies ? just saying..:-))   ..)

(photo by Anand Amembal)
Cool climes of winter,
gardens agog
moths and butterflies,
in parks and gardens.

The Painted Lady thistle butterfly,
the Red Admiral,
and the Monarch,
the Camberwell Beauty,
Beautiful Utethesia Bella Moths
flitting carefully,
minding their wings....

And Mrs Asota Ficus,
in a pale gold Paithanee Silk
and a Burnt Sienna blouse,
resting and mobilising
for a
flowery Haldi Kumkum
at the Ovalekar Butterfly Park....

Like so many
who learn to survive
in this big city,
little larva Asotas
feed on the Ficus types,
and this makes them
throughout life,
to predators....

Wish there was some Ficus Food
for us humans too
to keep away the corrupt predators....

Magic creation and camouflaged minds....

A brilliant capture by blogger friend Magiceye, of an Oak Leaf Butterfly,  at the Ovalekar Butterfly Garden , on the outskirts, north-east  of Mumbai, and posted as part of the Mumbai Daily: Camera Critters series.  At first I thought it was a dried leaf, involuntary pushed along by the wind, blocked by a trash can .  And was soon amazed to know that it was an oak leaf butterfly,  thanks to its legs !    

Oakleaf Butterfly (Kallima inachus),is native to tropical Asia, India and Japan. With its wings closed it looks like a dried leaf with darkish veins.  While it displays drab woody colors on the outside , brilliant colors like blue and orange are visible when it opens it wings.

There is a native intelligence about when and where to behave like a leaf, and when to display its real colors, and an abiding respect  for the environment in which it thrives.

Which is more than I can say about some folks I read about in the papers......

(photograph by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)

So many
pretending to be
what they are not.

pretending to be
Mafia types
pretending to be saints;
pretending to be doctors;
Water in Mumbai
pretending  to be potable;
Trash in Mumbai
pretending to be invisible.
All fail,
what they are
and what they strive to be
is not on the same
line and length.

And then there's
this butterfly,
so enamoured of
its own life
in the woods,
it pretends
to be a leaf
slowly flitting in the breeze,
one side stuck
amidst lines of the trash basket,
as it peers
and climbs the lines,
to see if any flowers
or rotting fruits
are inside....

The trick to being accepted
is never
or size.
It's about being one
those around
where you live.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dancing Eyes, Whirling Skirts

Blogger friend, author, yogini, and perceptive photographer Braja Sorenson, has lived in the UK,Australia and now resides in a little village of Mayapur, on the banks of the Ganga, in West Bengal, surrounded by and amidst joyful devotees of Lord Krishna.

She posted this visual, of the early morning flowers , gracefully doing their thing on her terrace, on her blog Braja's India.

She says the flowers dance.

I agree. :-)

(photograph by Braja Sorenson)

Early morning
invigorating breeze,
temple bells
and a flute melody,
the red ghagraas
held open wide,
whirl around
keeping pace,
watched avidly ,
by the little ones,
crouched below.......

To those ,
who just
opened their eyes,
they must appear
so still.......

Another Day in the Sun....

Blogger friend Magiceye, posted this visual of Bandra(east) near the Railway Station, in his Saturday Photohunt series, corresponding to the subject -"Ripped". 

Bandra, considered the most "happening" western suburb of Mumbai, has another side to it, on the eastern side, where things are happening as well. For some, with a lot of ambition, making-do, grabbing of opportunity, and a never-say-die attitude in the face of an almost minimal set of resources for living.

And its a toss up on who learns more; those living a dream life in the far away ivory towers, or those who live trying to polish their minds, in the sun,  every day, in difficult situations.

(photograph by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
A tired slogging mind,
but with
visions of dreams
far away
in the distance;
now obsessed
clearing a space
to make a window
to the outside......

loosely covered,
blue in doubt,
allowing a partial peek,
a blurred sliding glass
pulled over it
in shame.

amidst closed
and locked attitudes,
a stray ray of sunlight
falls upon the window...

An urge
to educate the mind
often arises,
but is kept in place
by planned corrugated attitudes.

Sometimes though,
in the face of all this,
the mind gives up,
all its strengths
back into a corner,
and says,
"So much turmoil here,
I'll keep my Vaastushastra***
to myself,
down here
on the ground...."

*** Vaastushastra :   The Indian traditional science of designing & building a house.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Soaring Ambitions :-)

A very "earthy" butterfly on a reconnaisance mission, away from its normal haunts amidst gardens and flowers. Like humans, they too look to new horizons and frontiers.

A wonderful capture on a trip to Munnar, by blogger friend Sandhya from Chennai. Posted by her , as part of the Wordless Wednesday series. 

But sometimes,  a thousand miles away, the words happen ....:-))

(first photo by Sandhya, second by her son )
They taught us
in Butterfly school
to daintily flit
amidst the green
and the flowers,
the nectars
and flavors of Life.

Some of us went
for higher studies,
winging our way
across walls and tiles,
braving difficult winds.

I have great designs,
(in life, that is) :-)
and as anyone
in power will tell you,
Life is pretty
and lonely
at the top.

I don't have
the garden colors
and the green
around me,
but what the heck,
the Sky's the Limit now !