Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bowing Crow, Smiling Sun

I have never seen a bowing crow.  But my friend Magiceye saw one, and immediately, his magic camera, automatically clicked.  And he posted it  here.

Given the state of the  city today, one sees lots of folks bowing, or planning to bow to lots of other folks.  That may explain the epidemic of bad backs and frozen shoulders these days.

This particular crow doesn't have any of those afflictions, because it is possibly bowing for a totally different reason.      Read on ....

Another day, another time,
nobody would have clicked this chap.

But today,
questions are raised
about bowers and bowees.

Is he bowing
he got the MHADA application form
after great difficulty ?

Is he bowing
the hawaldar who caught him cawing
didn't charge a "fine ?"

Is he bowing
they didn't
close the ticket counter
before he reached there in the queue?

Is he bowing
because the vegetable vendor
didn't shoo him away,
when he flew in 
to look at the wares?

Or is he bowing
because the building society
didn't use spiky pointy tops
on this metal fence ?

Difficult to tell.

In a world
where trees are disappearing,
people lose tempers very fast
for the stupidest reasons,
money doesn't go
to those who work,
but to those who tell lies,
and roads are more like
pieces of concrete amidst holes,
this guy
is just pleased
that nothing comes
between him and the morning Sun,
as he takes off
and he is performing
in gratitude..... 

Did they learn from the Parakeets ?

This wonderful interaction between parakeets and the mango fruit was clicked by my FB friend Nandan Tavanandi  . 

The first two  are  Alexandrian Parakeets, identified by the pink patch on the shoulder, and the third is the Roseringed  parakeet, displaying a delicate ring around the throat.

A great display of how different folks  behave when confronted with  fruits of someone else's labour.....

 I wonder if they learned from us,
we learned from them...
Spiffy movers
cutting through dense branches,
homing in on
heard of from others;
seen to be contemplating
the pros and cons,
while actually finding it hard
to keep
both saliva
and ambition under check.

Then ,
taking courage into ones wings,
get closer to the target,
infatuated by the
fruity perfume,
and smooth contours,
eyes alight,
mouth worldlessly open,
mobilising to attack,
and imbibe,
claiming it as one's own...

And some
proletarian greedy types,
who fly in,
and without thinking,
simply seize the moment,
along with the fruit,
and dig right in,
slurping, and chewing
eyes feasting
on the yellow gold,
unconcerned about
glaring eyeballs
of Alexandrian cousins,
of another party group
on another branch,
if they should have done the same
and grabbed
what they could.

On the trees, these are parakeets,
Roseringed and Alexandrian.

In the biped world,
we call them politicians.

Bozoical Flights of a beautiful Mind

It is a truth, possibly universally true, that when we are young we  try and indulge in many things, and later on looking back, always wonder how we actually did so.   That's the beauty of the Mind.

Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog is becoming philosophical as he grows older.  He spends a lot of time in the balcony, this Mumbai summer, and often sees these huge planes, roaring down to land, as they pass low over his building.  He wonders if he has missed out on something, and whether it is possible for fellows like him to fly.

His mentor and chronicler , Magiceye, found him in one of his semi-aviator moods, and clicked this.

I rush to watch
from the balcony,
these massive things
that come in through the sky
making a huge racket
as they pass over our building terrace.

I hear you can sit inside them,
actually see movies
and eat meals,
and even sleep
(though I hear the bathrooms are claustrophobic)...

And then I think
of the
crows and pigeons,
egrets and parrots,
and so many ,
who silently glide around,
researching a tree here,
navigating a branch ,
crunching  into a guava there,
occasionally twittering
a mango they bit into,
as they play house-house
with twigs
up in a tree.

As a kid,
I wanted to fly.
And I actually did-
with my ears
pricked up.....

Flying down the stairs
when I heard someone come home from work;
Flying and Rushing across the garden
behind the young man
and his friends;
And sometimes,
I would hear the purr of a car
in the garage,
and there would be
a great flying leap
to meet
the young lady
returning to her old home....

And then I heard
that us fellows
need to travel in cages
in these huge contraptions i see in the sky.

No way.

These days,
I don't leap around and fly too much,
but there are these
amazing flights of imagination.

No cages,
no noisy rackets,
no exhaust pollution,
no cost,
no crowds,
no checking,
but just
a cool floor,
a nuzzle at some one's feet,
a leisurely trip to the kitchen door
to check out seafood smells,
smiling  at visiting folks
I have met
in my younger salad days,
who come and rub my neck,
and occasionally
sniffing and sneezing at a ball
that has missed me.....

And sometimes,
just sometimes,
I let fly my imagination
think of Luci
in Thiruvanantapuram,
Gabbar and Mutt
in Gurgaon,
and Lindy and Sam
in Bo's Obamaland.

I can fly ,
Free and open,
in the Sky of my Mind !

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Its a Snail's Life .........

My blog and FB friend from the NorthEast/Guwahati, Kavita Saharia, a dental surgeon by profession, has a wonderful blog where she  writes and posts pictures about her various trips into the countryside, and the traditional celebrations of the region.

Amidst all this, she also notices little things. Like a snail, resting a while beside its future progeny, somewhere by the side of a road.

 Snails have one of the most primitive brains around, and are  hermaphrodites, meaning they have the ability to produce both sperm and eggs.  When the eggs hatch, the baby snails need calcium so desperately that they eat up the shell they have hatched out of. Their own shells grow as their anatomy grows. And so they never really grow out of their shell.   

Page-3 types eat them, and Escargot is the common name for snails when they are to be eaten. Millions of pounds of it are consumed around the world annually. In fact, there is even a day to celebrate it! May 24th is the National Escargot Day.

I thought it fitting to celebrate them earlier than May 24,  today, as simply Snail Day !

(photo by Kavita Saharia)
or is it a He,
or possibly both,
lies spent,
on a spring morning
in the northeast,
on the bitumen carpet
of a garden path,
just having introduced
to this big bad world,
hundreds of
at the moment
in their lovely white
protective wraps.

He/she slowly ambles away,
a muscular foot,
helped by a bit of mucus
to reduce the friction
with the uneven
unsmooth roads,
how lucky they are
that there is
black and white,
fair and dark,
friction in a snailly world.

The dark little ones
will appear
out of their white wraps,
in due course,
and grow up,
in their own smart shells,
moving around
and birthing their own
in gardens
and woods
and damp and dingy places
in similar white wraps.

And the little
primitive brain
does a little dance,
licks its radula tongue
chews some moss
and thanks the lord
that they don't live
in a country where
shameless bipeds,
eat the little ones
white wrap and all,
"Très bien !
Escargots ! C'est délicieux...."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Beholders and Beholdees : A Dosa Science

People often have favorite stuff they eat at favorite places.Like Mysore Masala Dosa,  which some folks swear about at the Shivsagar Restaurant in Mumbai, and say, the Dasaparakash in Bangalore/Chennai.  

All that battering in the grinder, then fermenting, and spreading oneself thin on a antagonistic hot , oily , shining , dark griddle, and the special green and red accessories, not to mention copious yellow masala potato stuff slathered on top, makes me visualize , some sort of eligible fellow, getting himself  ready to face some girl who is coming to "see"  him.

A bit unusual, I know. Amongst bipeds, the inverse is true. But Dosas are an enlightened, highly patriotic  species, and girls come to "see" them, and "decide" ....

My blog friend Magiceye, did his magic with the Mysore Masala Doasa here

(photo by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
A Tsunami in the grinder
tentatively subsides
as it reaches
the steel container,
and stews
in its own warmth
as it sits
head covered
in a safe corner of the kitchen.

A spring morning
and a griddle smokes defiantly
on the flame,
waiting for a chance
to get back
at the  person,
who has caused
so much hurt and injuries
to it
scraping and poking
with that terrible spatula.

Someone is coming
to "see" Mr Dosa today,
that's what
the message from Idlibai
said yesterday...

on his best behaviour,
ignoring the sizzling comments
emanating from the griddle,
he spreads himself
really fine,
and waits
for the signature shove
from the spatula.

Only to find out,
in honor of his special meeting,
there will be
a green wrap
of smashed chillies,
onion , coriander
and tamarind
for him,
before he wears his
potato masala trimmings.

A patriotic fellow,
he sometimes wears a wrap
in orange,
a tribute to red chillies,
onions and tamarind.

It is all
about wearing the Indian flag colors
on the white base outfit.

The girl's side has arrived,
and he,
a bit shy
simply wraps himself across the masala,
and presents himself
smart as can be
on a plate.

And she waits
for things to cool a bit,
breaks a piece (of his heart),
takes a deep breath,
eyes the sambaar and chutney relatives,
and then nods at her folks,
and says ,
" Perfect ! I approve !"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Green Ramayana or The Cherie Tomatoes "do" a Sita

My blog and FB friend Sangeeta Khanna, besides being a plant scientist, antioxidant researcher, traditional cooking enthusiast, nutritional meal planner, and before I forget, a recent participant in the Leh to Khardung la Ladies Cycle Trek, also has hugely green fingers, and you can see below in a slide show the great stuff that grows in her garden.

She grows and also prepares her own sundried tomatoes, and writes about all this in her various blogs.

 Her recent capture (read event description below :-)....) of the Cherie Tomatoes is shown alongside, in all its beauteous glory. Now I know where our jewellery designers get their ideas from, and where Tony Blair's wife got her name from. ...

This amazing land,
of Ramayana,
they say
was so rich
long long time ago...

It's so today too,
with so many different earths
all awash in
nodding and waving greens
with clumps of color
smiling from petal to petal
amidst the crowds.

Corianders weaving their carpet,
with Dill designs,
Green peas,
like a child going to KG,
yearning to climb
and take a good look
at the brave new world,
slightly intimidating
Bok Choy Cops,
and Zuchchini greens
bearing the dandas;

All kinds of spinach,
traditional, modern and page-3 type
minding their own,
as the beets,
all embarassed with the richness of it all,
blush on to the leaves
with great interest
by the baby mustards
with jealous comments
by the hot spiky chillies...

Of course,
there are various types
of rich
red and green
luxuriating across the garden,
overpowering the capsicums,
who in turn
are crazy after the Baby Cherie variety.

into this happy place,
came a Sangeet(a) Ravana,
with just one head,
but many baskets,
and amidst a pluck here,
a snip there,
a break here,
the eyes alighted on the Cherie Tomatoes.

So many stems
burst into milk white tears,
at this
impending kidnap of the
beauteous Cherie.
as the Ravana smiled
and plucked them all,
and returned to his home.

What Sangeet(a) Ravana
didnt realise,
the Capsika Boys
following Cherie's path
to rescue her,
were in raptures
after finding her jhoomkas,
which she threw off
a la Sita.....

Made for each other

A moderately bright sunny day, a few sea breezes, a whiff of flowers from your balcony, and kadipatta tadka smells emanating from the kitchen.

Short of getting all kinds of excellent breakfast to eat, there is nothing more welcome than a photograph of idlis soaking in a bowl of sambhaar, suddenly aware of dollops of chutney.

Some folks , like my friend Magiceye,  do the eating, and some folks try researching Idli philosophy.

with an exclusive childhood,
to imbibe and absorb,
and then
mixing with the  rice types,
confabulating in
areas of warmth and comfort.

almost like sitting in a sauna,
the young ones
cooking up stories,
sit and bloom
into adulthood,
now porous of mind,
all puffed up and light headed.

Only to learn
in  this world,
no one is an island,
even in sambhaar,
unto itself.

fair and white
gets lovelier
when immersed in
dark and spicy
lentil ocean
studded with  veggies,
and onions
with open
innocent transparent minds,
offer a
welcoming look
so many chutney friends
simply itching to be part of the scene.

They all mix with
great alacrity
sharing secrets and friendship
in what remains
of their colorful life....

as the spoon said to
delicious  mixture
it carried
towards a slurping mouth
"Aiyyo ! It is better
to have
been eaten and lost,
than to have not been eaten at all, no ?..."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Primigravida Musings....

My FB friend Vanita Kumta participates and manages a group called Health and Fitness on FB. She recently posted about Cashews . Both the Nut and the Fruit.

And what we see here, is actually  a bunch of "pregnant" cashew fruits , ripe with health, with a  cashew nut,  encased in a green-grey leathery pouch growing outside  their bodies.  Sometimes there is a planned harvest, sometimes "acts of nature" where wild animals and others break and separate the fruit and the nut(seed). At all times, nature provides an amazing protection for the nut encased in a leathery pouch containing the vilest of fluids that can burn your skin.

"Post term" , the fruit is processed  as a vegetable, and sometimes made into the popular Goan drink, Feni.  The nuts go through fire and brimstone, to emerge as the cashews we so casually enjoy.

Just some thoughts on births in our part of the world ....

Bursting with good health
these two
gonadal ovarian types,
in advanced stages of pregnancy,
redolent with nutrients,
hang out together
in the tree,
wondering about
varieties of
conception and birth
in the world.

Child bearing
outside themselves,
in a mean looking
grey acidy sac;
a separation
from the child at birth,
and they go on
to a Feni celebration,
leaving the child to rough it out
through a
fire and roasting
it never forgets
and  then learns
to go out into the world,
girls and boys alike.

Yet those,
who grow,
sometimes unwanted,
hidden well inside
a mother's sac
way inside her body,
designed for a safe and wonderful birth,
sometimes get separated
just like the cashew.
soon after birth.

The Cashew doesn't understand
what it is to be a girl,
and why
in a world of sensible,
so called cultured,
cerebral cortex-enabled types,
such girls
are destroyed.

And so the two
yellow garbed primigravidas,
move a bit closer together
in the breeze ,
and thank God,
that they are Cashews....

Symphony in Dosai Major.....

There is something to be applauded about folks, who avidly visit some great eating places, and just as the food arrives, they click great pictures, and post them , to share with folks far away. 

Particularly if they are inveterate travellers, travel writers, photographers et al, who are more habituated to clicking hills, oceans, temples, sunsets , camels and so on.

 It is indeed an additional pleasure when my blog and FB friend, Nisha Jha, specifically tags me in a visual, as she visits Vidyarthi Bhavan in Bengaluru, and tucks , with great relish, into her share of Dosais and South Indian Coffee (Kapi), brought to her table, in the manner shown.  And Kudos to the gentleman for keeping stuff in perfect balance....

 (and no, Nisha Jha didn't eat all that she photographed)
the Accordion School of Architecture,
with vertically
enabled windows and blinds,
along with even
straight and upright
images of light.

He arrives
with the fragrant,
ghee infested,
masala accordion bellows,
a new technique
steel plates
alternating with
fresh stuffed folded dosais,
amidst heavenly
chutney-sambaar cutlery music.

He remembers
all the musical notes,
ordered just so,
and in a
final aria
extends the bellows,
and serves it all
to a delighted audience,
his right hand
each one his choice.

Another table,
another song,
and the bellows move again,
creating more music,
sometimes sada,
sometimes masala,
but almost always
with a crescendo filter kapi.....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sewri Stars

My blog and FB friend Anuradha Shankar clicked this amazing photograph on a trip to watch flamingos at the Sewri mud-flats on Mumbai's eastern seaboard, a few days ago..

Anuradha blogs at  A Wandering Mind ...

It almost looks like they are practicing some typical Bollywood film dance steps.

Naturally a few of our fussy heroines came to mind. 

Shooting on location
"The Disappearing Mangroves"
Katrina Kaif,
Kareena Kapoor,
and Priyanka Chopra,
who have just flown in
from the west
only for this schedule,
their item number steps.....

And that is Kareena
her stubborn
stick in the mud act,
her costume
has lesser streaks of pink.....

What you don't see
is a cast of
a thousand extras,
fluttering around ,
pecking their way amidst
the dirt,
studded with
and industrial sludge.

The producers provide
a watery landscape for the stars,
not because
that's how
the land  should be,
but this way,
the three can check their make-up
in the reflections,
every now and then....

Oondi ka Swayamvar

Sometimes, I think Magiceye's Magic camera has its own reactions when confronted with yummy stuff, and actually makes its viewfinder water. Which is why you see that effect in the photos. Which you feel like eating. :-)

This is a picture of Oondi, a traditional Kokani breakfast concoction, made with Rawa(cream of rice), Coconut, some tempering, spicing, and an amazing steaming.
Recipe here

And while it's all fine to photograph and make poems on stuff, let's hear it for the lady of the house, who really makes these wonderful things and keeps the culinary traditions alive !

She's a big girl now,
always discussing
facepacks, and pimples,
and makeup.

And so a day arrived,
when she,
Oondi Rawakumari,
was nicely washed
and immersed in water
and throughly
rubbed with
grated coconut scrub
in a machine.

Resting soon
in a kadhai,
nicely warmed in
touching oil
with mustard and fenugreek seeds
gossiping and crackling away;
then nicely spiced,
and everyone quietly
shutting up
and coming together,
thinking about her bidaai
as the tears dry away....

The final beauty treatment
is still pending.

Steamed under pressure
into great shape,
the seeds
like  kala tikkas
on a pretty face,
she emerges,
all shining
on a plate.

A bit of ghee
annointed on her head,
and she stands ready,
on her wedding day,
the Swayamvar,
to receive the baraat
of the deadly spicy Garlic Kumar....

Bozoical Self-Doubts

You know what, at the end of the day, Bozo, Mumbai's only-dog-with-his-own-blog is only human. 

Like our Bollywood heroes, he sometimes gets plagued with self doubts about his image.  But unlike them, he is much smarter.  And understands his own body.

Magiceye, his mentor and activity chronicler, caught him in one of his moods, when he seemed to wonder if he was a bit on the fat side.....
While Bozo is a smart chap, and has reasoned out the answers, it is very clear, that  he is , as they say, "loaded";   not with fat, but with lots of endorphins and love.

(photo by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
Mind you,
this question
kind of skimmed my mind,
when Rani
newest building ladydog,
didn't even glance my way....

I don't subscribe to vanity.

My Mom taught me
to accept life with Grace
and be grateful.

And so
my main activity
is watching other folks
in the building gym,
my abductor muscles
lean back and take it easy.

I've received so much;
love, concern,care,
fun,play, companionship ,
even admonishing,
my heart is
simply overloaded,
and sometimes,
it just becomes too heavy...

And like Deepak's car carburettor,
you can adjust a screw
you don't burn fuel too fast,
I too
have a doggy thyroid
now adjusted to "slow",
to protect my heart.

I heard the Parel docs
that one may
put on some weight....

It's OK.

I still fit 
in the
almirah mirror
when I stand in front of it,
I have my world wide admirers
and some
even make poems on me.

Who wants to be size zero, anyway ?
Even Kareena Kapoor
has started putting on weight
listening to me.....

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shady messages....

As my friend Magiceye says , where he posted this picture, in the Saturday Photohunt Reflect and Humor series",  maybe it is time to "Reflect under a Bus stop shade to Humour the advertisers."

The topic of "fairness" (in complexion) , being the biggest  rip-off  and piece of wool being pulled by advertisers , over the eyes of the general public.  Causing thousands of young women to rush and slather their skins with unnecessary chemicals, in a desperate attempt to maintain suspect societal standards dictated by cosmetic companies, and simply generate a Melanin War....

In this disappointing state of affairs, one can only appreciate the humor in the placement of the photographers name (as if it's a quote from him :-)    ) on the said billboard !


For some of us
who are born with
"deep skin damage....."

Naturally tanned,
and proud of it,
we wear uniforms to match
as we wait
with the bus conductors
and  duty drivers
amidst shiny chrome stands
and white untannable billboards
in front of the
Pink Baskin Robbins
and Blackberry written in white.

Like in life,
with the Sun,
you take some, you give some.

And when it becomes
too hot,
you rest
under wonderful
old leafy mother trees,
adamantly maintaining
their place
amidst the
ravages of money
time ,commerce
and, style.

Just surprised
at the end of the day
after spouting knowledge
next to "beautiful" white faces,
Lakme Sun expert lady
should actually
hog the same space...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wok a life !

Magiceye's Magic Camera  automatically clicks, or should I say, slurps, when faced with something delicious like Paneer, onion and capsicum in Soya Sauce.  Which he posted here.

Must be my old age, but instead of running to get a fork, thoughts about the life and times of the onions, capsicums and paneers in our society come to mind. 

(photo by Deepak Amembal Magiceye)
Why is it,
again and again,
when immersed
in the possibility of
augmenting resources,
work themselves transparent,
work so hard,
losing the young green,
till they darken and curl a bit,
hefty, rich ,
fair, proteinous
and densely powerful,
dig right in ,
marinate avariciously,
taking care
not to mess themselves up, 
yet absorb most
of the life sauce ?

Wok a life !
Wok a life !


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Runways and Flights of the Mind

My blogger friend Magiceye, went on a road trip to the northwest region some months ago. This a great photo he clicked, of the birds in action, in the friendly skies  of Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan, amidst the traditional desert architecture, with a cell phone tower, sticking out, totally out of place.

Kind of got me thinking about the Skies of over our metro cities , which are crowded with man-made flying "birds", and how the ATC folks restrict the skies, when some Big Birds are scheduled to fly in. 

The Big Old Traffic Controller
in the Skies,
with a thousand eyes
on hundreds of flights,
some soaring,
some landing,
some vertically taking off,
some flying in pairs
and formations,
never ever discriminates.

or non-living kites,
VIP birds,
proletarian crows,
migratory guests,
balloons and blimps
in importance
pervading the space.

There are
on life's runways
for all
at all times,
even during
visits of
hefty clouds
sometimes dark and loaded.....

And we
close our skies
and our minds
and our eyes
and restrict flights
some Big Clo(u)ds are anticipated.

We never learn, do we ?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Bozoical "Eyes" have it !

Yes. Like our esteemed Madame Speaker says in Parliament, "The Eyes have it !"...

Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog  at his contemplative best, is back once again. Summer has set in,  and  he doesn't really feel like getting out into the hot sweaty Mumbai air. It is so much nicer to wander in the house, and lie down occasionally on the cool floor, generally keeping an eye on things, as everyone is busy with their own work.

Of course, his mentor and chronicler , Magiceye,  takes such excellent pictures with his magic camera,  that  Bozo is a very willing model for closeups and stuff. 

Particularly, ever since he found out that blond hair and blue eyes, in no longer the gold standard; it is now blond hair and honey brown shining eyes......(eat your heart out, Carter Road Lassie...)--- 

For a hero,
born a natural light blond
with light silver streaks
who ran with the pack
in his childhood,
I've left
my wild running days
ever since the
doc sat me down,
and gave me a piece of his mind.

We dogs
have life stages too,
and I am
currently enjoying
in my posh old age.

I keep a keen watch on things,
do my exercises,
and stretches,
and curb my impulse to
run after a ball in the garden
as I sedately
walk with Deepak
wearing my new harness.

So many memories,
so much fun as a child,
and I store them all
in my heart
which actually overflows.

Playing with the children,
lying quietly
near the desk
as they studied,
shuffling restlessly
at the kitchen door
amidst the smell of
lip smacking fish,
and standing in style
in the car
driving by,
sneezing at the cop at the corner.

Learning to hear
and understand a "No",
thrilled to wag my tail
in anticipation of a "yes",
it has been a
great time
to be a dog.....

How great ?

Just look into my eyes.

You will see everything
reflected there...

You know why ?

Because ,
unlike you,
with an interfering brain,
my eyes
have a direct connection
to my heart.....

****Schwaanprasthashram :  Waanaprasthashram is the old-age-retired-detached stage for humans.  Schwaan happens to be Sanskrit for dog.  :-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tigers, caves, and leaping ladies

My blogfriend, inveterate traveller, photographer, and travel writer, Nisha Jha, was recently in Cambodia and Thailand, and visited the Tiger Cave Temple in Thailand, near the town of Krabi.

 Known locally as Wat Tham Seua,  this temple is situated 8 kms from Krabi, in a tropical forest.  The main hall is built into a long, shallow limestone cave. On either side of the cave, dozens of monastic cells are built into various cliffs and caves. You may see a troop of monkeys roaming the grounds. A set of steps lead up into the clifftop, 600 metres high up.  

The climb is  arduous , consisting of 1237 steps, each of 18 inches height. Those who make it to the top, are rewarded with a Great Buddha Statue, a Stupa,  a 360 degree view of the tropical islands, other limestone cliffs,  and the blue of the Andaman Sea as far as you can see.
As Nisha says, the climb is not for the faint hearted, or those with compromised knees.  
Very clearly, Nisha was able to make it right to the top, which is why you see the photograph here.

(photo by Nisha Jha)
Some cavernous
deep stuff,
camouflaged by green
narrow dark damp entrances,
entered by
hardy tired folks
swiping through the trees,
bending to enter,
and then mesmerized
by the memorial art
on the mossy rocks inside.

And some,
residences of tigers
now dedicated to prayer,
with stairs going
way up there
amidst the cliffs
a beacon in the sunlight,

A lone girl,
with great quadriceps,
across 18" steps, 1237 times,
no camouflage,
no swiping trees,
but a great emergence
into some great
natural art
all around,
amidst seas, forests
and a blue canopy,
the Painter Up There,
applauds ,
waving a cloud her way......

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kings, "Fish"ers, and Kingfishers....

My blogfriend, Shail Mohan, who is also a avid photographer(Sony Cybershot W-150), and a published poet,  posted this photograph  on her blog  , captioning it  "Power Holding Kingfisher".

It brought to mind some other erstwhile "power holding Kingfishers", who are painted an unnatural red, currently making a mess of flying, and yet, hobnobbing and  manoeuvring for a bailout  with the "powers" that be.

 Sometimes, even the birds have a simple message ....

(photo by Shail Mohan) 
, He climbed
all kinds of power lines,
tangling with some,
becoming one himself,
and then chose the
steepest one.

And while those
perennially green in power,
bent in benevolence
towards him,
sometimes even backward,
he found
all that crowd
made it impossible to fly.

He waits
for a special power line
where he will get a leg-up…

The one here,
will simply fly
up and fly away

Because Blue
was always  better
and a Kingfisher
mustn't hanker on becoming a Red.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Bozoical Balcony Thought....

These days, Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog ,  has his own dog's view of the world below him.

 He is almost a senior citizen dog now, and he has kind of left his young gallivanting days behind, ever since his great friend Luci moved to Thiruvananthapuram . (The Lassies are not his type, anyway).

 He watches all the comings and goings from the balcony, the foolishness happening on the roads, as two legged types with misplaced bravado mess around with four wheels, people park in irresponsible ways, and throw all kinds of stuff here and there.

 He just shakes his head, steps down from watching folks from the balcony sill, and communicates with his mentor and chronicler, Magiceye ....

You know what,
becoming old
is a State of Mind....

I remember times,
when I would bound up and down
to the garden and back.
As folks in half pants uniforms
lugged bags to school,
several young ladies
chatted away
on their way to college,
simply ignoring me
as I trailed behind.

There was Mom
whose bag I would smell
when she returned from the market
and I practised
racing behind Deepak
when he left for work.

Times have changed.
Like me,
the youngsters are older,
some have left the house,
and there are now
fewer people
to say goodbye to
on a daily basis
as I wait for their return.

The neighborhood
is full of underage heroes
surreptitiously driving
their daddy's cars,
and injuring people.  

And I just stand
in the balcony these days,
take a deep breath
watching all the madness
on the street ,
once in a while,
turning to Deepak
reading a newspaper,
and asking him,
"What has the world come to ?
Did you see that ?...."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Tadaiva lagnum...." or "Here comes the ...."

A delicate and awesome yellow butterfly, stepping out is style across the green carpet, and clicked by my blog friend Magiceye, at the Mahim Nature Park, in Mumbai.  

Posted on his Mumbai Daily bog, as part of the Saturday Photohunt series

The fine yellow fabric with woven gold lines, , the tentative delicate stepping,  and the advent in spring, of a normally crowded wedding season in  Mumbai, just gave me some ideas....

Read on .:-) 

Back amidst
the greens and flowers
where she grew up,
at first crawling
on some easy trees,
then cocooned secretly
intricate inside a
wild rose bush,
she appears now,
in a
gossamer ashtaputri sari,
daintily stepping,
on a green carpet,
by the gentle breeze
and supported
by the newest stems.

The unseen groom
in an orange brown
gold-shot silk sherwani,
with baited antennas,
on a bougainvilla
at the other end.

A few "single" moments
and they will fly off,
by the crickets and koels,
for their "honey"moon
at the Ovalekar Butterfly Park.....

Friday, April 6, 2012

Half-bare but unbowed.....

My blogger and FB friend Dipali Taneja from Kolkata, recently posted an amazing photo as her cover page on her FB timeline.

A photo , reminiscent of so many such trees,  who are supposed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and hence mercilessly mutilated;  only to gather their strengths together,  and now stand, bravely, trying to hark back to their old lives, when they didn't live by the diktat of the crackling powerful wires ....

Her photo inspired a tentative sketch, and a poem....

(photograph by Dipali Taneja)
Woe betide
the perils of
industrial progress....

Growing up
as a healthy kid
amidst verdant grounds
and hilly yards
favoured by birds and squirrels,
she thinks
she expected
too much from life.

A tough,
battling middle age later,
she stands
scarred by the fight
those that hanker for power.

Leaves and branches
that appear
to hinder
the carriers of power
summarily sent
to oblivion,
despite protests.

She stands,
in her handicapped glory,
the birds and squirrels and monkeys
to return.

Whatever green she has now,
is theirs.....

Thursday, April 5, 2012

In defense of Chhotu Tamateram Sangeetam...

Many years ago, I wrote a blog post called the Earth Gene.  Something about the  dominant tendencies of a "homing" gene in our DNA strands. The over-riding connection to the local earth.

This is what came to mind, when  one saw this photograph of Cherie Tomatoes from , my blogger friend Sangeeta Khanna's garden.   Tomatoes have come to India from other lands, Possibly Cherrie Tomatoes, more so.  Many varieties are actually imported and bred in various countries, to make them acceptable and attractive for the local cuisine.

But I am sure these cherrie tomatoes from her garden feel very comfortable in her kitchen. Possibly because their DNA carries a connection to the Delhi Earth...... (methinks Wikipedia needs a desperate update)

 Sangeeta is a trained and practicing plant scientist, microbial biotechnologist and an antioxidants researcher,   who has a very green thumb, and grows all kinds of wonderful vegetables and flowers in her garden. She also knows how to cook them in amazingly nutritious ways.

  • Have a look at Sangeeta's Blogs

Never found
in proletarian heaps,
they have
their own
proud mitochondrial musings,
as they sit
nudging each other,
wondering where life takes them.

The Santorini variety,
celebrated and conferred about,
but always regretting
that they came to Greece
to live
much after Helen of Troy

Then there is the Tomaccio,
a wild
mafia type from Peru,
captured and lured
to Israel,
and rebreeded
into becoming
a special sudden sweet type....

The US Super Sweet 100,
like a football game,
but is actually
a sweet brave type
resistant to
evil fellows
named Fusarium, and Verticillium.

Many others
like Selke Biodynamic
which is not
a company
but a cherry tomato ....

But the best is
Chhotu Tamateram Sangeetam,
a spirited variety,
in certain gardens in Delhi,
no misplaced prestige,
no narcissitic shows,
a living and mingling
the Great Indian Middleclass,
Spinach Singh Palak,
Hare Dill-Wale,
Bok Choy Motay,
Jalapena Mirchi Kumar,
Capsibai Simla,
and the svelte
Celery Kumari Patte,
enjoying themselves immensely
nodding and cracking up
listening to
Coria Dhania, the stand-up comedienne....

Oye Wikipedia, yahan bhi dekh....

Monday, April 2, 2012

Flavored photos, delicious clicks.....

Facebook is getting delicious these days. Folks like my blogger friend Magiceye travel the country, order wonderful meals in simple places, and then click the stuff , before they demolish it all .

If I were the camera , I would feel downright jealous and hungry....

Here is something Magiceye posted on his post at .   A spicy, tangy biryani studded with veggies and assorted whole spices, and cooled with a wonderful onion tomato, and possibly cucumber raita, with a roasted papad thrown in for crunch and balance. 

What you probably do not see , is  a great glassful of lassi or chhaas(buttermilk)  on the side...... 

Enjoy !  No calories for reading and watching..... 

Like some of our politicians,
cooked plain rice,
from humble
rural field origins
has a come a long way.

And unlike them,
it never forgot its friends.
The hardy onion,
smashed with a farmers fist,
and eaten with a bhakri,
during a break in the
transplanting of rice.

A smattering of veggies,
it would see in a
small plastic basket
in a corner of the small house,
kept for special days
the kids were home.

And garlic,ginger
pulled out
of a small fragrant
wet backyard garden patch,
overrun with tulsi and kadhipatta.

Big folks have big names
for stuff they like.

And like the girl
whose name 
changed after marriage,
the simple
spicy vegetable studded rice
eaten with a matka of chhaas,
raw onion,
and a sizzling green chilly ,
now preens
Vegetable Biryani
cooled down
by a curd
mixed with tomatoes, onions and cucumber,
the crunch
being offered by a
solitary papad,
crackling on the sidelines.

There is one more difference.

We went back
to work in the fields
after a lunch ....

The Biryani types
slowly become horizontal
or walk back to office
in the mid-day Sun,
" How can I work after a lunch like this ?".....

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Bozoical Sunday....

Yes, he's back.    Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog has his own take on how even a dog's life has changed, along with Mumbai.

He doesn't need to verbalize;  there is a silent conversation happening between him and his chronicler/mentor Magiceye,  as they enjoy a cool Sunday morning in the balcony.  One, reading about the world, and the other watching the world go by.  

A cool bath
and a rub
on a hot summer Mumbai day.
and it's so much fun,
shrugging my wet hair
and drying up,
sprinkling cool drops
on the plants in the balcony,
my lifelong friends....

The city has changed.

Some fellows
simply dash around
carelessly amidst traffic
growling at something they wanted
but didn't get.

page-3 types
emerge from Hondas
walk these rounds
with fancy harnesses,
strutting in a hurry,
some posh person
to whom
time is money.

But what I love,
is when
the small kids
in the building
play with the ball,
allow me to join,
and I love it
when they shout
"Bozo, Bozo, here!",
when I chase it
along with them too.....

I see myself
so often
when I hear
Luci's escapades
in Trivandrum.

I've done worse.

But my lips are sealed.

For now,
its fun to sit in a cool balcony,
thinking about
my evening garden run,
the lovely food smells
emanating from the kitchen,
and Lassie's nice cousin
who they say
has moved into the next building....