Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dark and Lovely...

....The woods are lovely,dark and deep....but i ve promises to keep.and miles to go before i sleep.,and miles to go before i sleep..."  
Robert Frost immortalized these lines,  and I first heard them when it was reported that they were a particular favourite of India's first PM  ,  the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. 
 My FB friend Nirupama Sundar who posted this lovely capture has probably succeeded in finding the woods, they talked about.  These are Mexican Lilac trees,  which when in full bloom, often adorn these dark paths with their fallen blooms and fragrance.   
How ironic, that while nature revels in the joy of Dark and Lovely,  we , as a society, continue to look out for that small streak of white light , and enlarge and propound upon it, desperately, in the quest of Fair and Lovely .....
(photograph by Nirupama Sundar)

They've always been
Dark and Lovely
undulating through life.

Life , though
on being equal opportunity
a Fair Streak
for the ambitious Sun.
(or is it son?)

What a sign of the times
that today,
we have forgotten the woods
and keep hearing
about Fair and Lovely ....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Aam Gaur Party ?

My friend Prasad Paranjape often visits wildlife reserves, and posted this amazing capture of the Indian Gaur from his visit to the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) situated near Chandrapur, in north-eastern part of Maharashtra. 

Despite being defined as a Tiger Reserve, the area has always been home to other folks too. 

The expression says it all.  Special projects to save the leaders.  While the Mango folks/animals  run from tree pillars to river posts, trying to create a decent life for themselves and families. 

First written in Marathi in June 2013. In September, nothing has changed. In English . 

Rings a bell ? 

जीप्वाल्यांना चकवून धाउन धाउन थकलो,
आणि पानांची हिरवाई शोधत
डोक्यावरचे केस पांढरे झाले ….
जंगलात सुधा लीडर लोकांनाच प्रसिद्धी मिळते ,

पाणि पितांना , झोपतांना , गुर्गुर्तांना ,
आणि अगदी आळशीपणाने
लोळताना फोटो काढले जात्तात .

खर आहे.
आम प्राण्याना पाण्यासाठी लांब जावे लागते ,
झोपे तर सावधच असावी लागते ,
आणि जनावरे ज्यास्त आणि
कमी होणारे जंगल ,
ह्यात लोळायला कोणाला जागा आहे ?

फक्त आमचे लीडर , ज्याना वाचवण्याची
देशात मोठी मोहीम आहे ….

to catch a breath,
dodging those
ever present safari jeeps
and years of looking for
a decent green
has only turned my hair a silver white...

No one cares
in the jungle
for the mango  animal...
its all about
clicking the leaders
as they drink,
and even
wastefully loll around
as they pose
with their 

dynastically minded kids..

We trudge distances
seeking water,
and hardly ever 

soundly sleep
in this killer world;
Disappearing jungles,
procreating animals,
and no rehabilitation scheme
for mango folks like us.

The only projects
are those
that concentrate
on Saving the Leaders.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bozoical Flutters....

Very clearly, Bozo, Mumbai's blogging dog, dreams. While we do not know about his REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) , it is clear that he is blessed with Rapid Mind Movement. 

He often dreams about flying.  He has seen huge lumbering things roaring through the skies. He has chased birds in the balcony, who fly off and keep returning. And of course, he has an ongoing thing with all the butterflies he chases in the garden and has now realized why they flutter their wings.

Bozo is a loyal Mumbaikar, and he feels he can put wings to better use. And he actually thinks he is growing some .....

I notice things
on my daily rounds
with Deepak.

And it seems that
once the Ganpati festival ends,
folks leave behind
entire roads,
strewn with decorations,
plastic, flowers, and paper.

I heard someone say
the fluttering
of a butterfly's wings
can effect climate changes
on the other side of the planet.

These butterflies
in our garden
who I occasionally chase,
clearly never worry about
their own land.

And so
I am growing
my own mind wings,
I can flutter
and generate a huge gale
in my suburb itself,
and clear out all the trash
on the roads.

Worse comes to worse,
I can always
fly over
all the stuff....

(I just realized
I may simply be faster
than the Desert Storme
acting posh and Royal,
in the garage.....)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Miss Himachal 2013

Those of us,  constrained to eek out our existence on the coasts, will probably consider this a wondrous site; an apple tree , in season, in the mountains of Himachal, laden with delicious beautiful fruit.

My friend Sudha Ganapathi, who works for one of India's leading Social Science Institutes,  actually resides and works in my city , and  has been  fortunate to go on a visit to Himachal Pradesh during the Ganapathi festival holidays. And amongst many photos of Himalayan peaks and mountain sunrises, she also posted this amazing photo of the apple tree, which makes you marvel at Nature. Producing beautiful internally and externally aesthetic fruit,  for our consumption, without announcements and fuss,  quietly, year after year, season after season.

Sudha,  an amazing travel blogger,  who has recently travelled also to Rajasthan, blogs at My Favourite Things.   Go read !  

(photograph by Sudha Ganpathi)
Miss Himachal.

Year after year,
born of the green,

biting colds, snow and
misting peaks
towering over
valleys in torrents,
she arrives
on Nature's catwalk,
healthfully rounded,
sometimes sweet,
sometimes upmarketly tart,
and sometimes
missing the pink
and remaining green.

No Mother Teresa questions,
no regional cultural
no untoward displays
but a great blooming
in her own earth,
in her own season,
sharing the limelight
throughout the year
with special types.

Miss Himachal,
becomes Miss India in winter,
every year,
gracefully giving way
to Miss Kairi Alphonso
each summer.

No tweets,
no races,
no FB, no Huffington Post,
no tears.

Which is how it should be.

And the bipeds will never understand,
they always strive to be
what they are not.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bozo's Ganpatibappa

Bozo, Mumbai blogging dog, is a veteran of the Ganpati Festival. He enjoys the specially cooked favorite foods of the Lord, as well as knows all the aartis , which he has picked up just by listening.  It is just that he cannot recite them....

He loves participating in the arrival ceremonies, daily worship, and farewell ceremonies of the family Ganpati Bappa, but what bothers him is the wild noise and chaos that is the standard today, when community Ganpatis go in procession for final immersion in the sea.

All he can do is simply lie down quietly , thinking of the times, when the city was a better place for fellows like him.....

I have
the best of
family, food and fun,
and enjoy the
choicest traditional stuff
during Ganpati.

I really
should be out and about
walking and running outside
to work out .

But I often
get alarmed
by the loudly bursting fireworks,
the high decibel music,
and mindless drunk dancing
of those
purporting to
bid farewell
to the Lord.

So I hide
under the sofa
and stay put,
lying down silently
till the processions have passed.

I so love
the household Ganpati immersions
when I get to go
to the beach,
walking with the family
for the final farewell prayer.

When will we learn
that worshipping and praying
is not
about showing power
over others,
but about being humble and quiet
at the Lord's feet ......

The little Mouse
at the Bappa's feet
who must suffer
all these loud processions
actually told me so....

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Security ?

My FB and blogger friend Deepak Amembal aka Magiceye and/or Blownmagic , posted this interesting picture of a "curvaceous tree" from his trip to Hampi .

The scenario of someone struggling and held secure by the tree limbs,  on what looks like the banks of a river of bygone days, and now remaining as a traumatic mind memory is haunting.   Maybe the woman wished to end her life in the river, and the tree prevented it.  And the struggle remained.

A telling comment on the times we live in, when a nature photograph reminds us of events happening around us.....

 (photograph by Blownmagic)
A grievously wronged
woman in white,
in tatters of her mind
and body
struggling on the banks
of what might have been
a river bed eons ago,
in the clutches of the tree
that saved her
just in time,
as the law makers and keepers
at attention
on the opposite bank
stood unmoved,
giving a guard of honor
to someone ,
who possibly warranted none..

Her soul,
wandering ,
amidst the visiting bipeds
in concern
at the situation today,
feels relieved
she is
now safe,
well ensconced
and a part
of the Mother Tree...

Gori Gori....

My FB  friend and blogger , Dagny Sol from Jabalpore, is a Corporate Trainer. Clearly she is also an amazing gardener, and recently posted an  entire set of photos of rose blooms from her garden here.

With such brilliant organic natural color of their own, one wonders a bit about what looks like a rose offspring defiantly doing its own thing on to one side.

Why crib ?  I guess it has been seeing commercials on TV.  ....

(photograph by Dagny Sol)
Way back
in the old days,
and we would observe kids
and wonder,
where they forgot

to pick up
some parental features
in their melaninic DNA.

Today, it is
all about using
Fair and Lovely,
and losing
all the wonderful color
the strict red dad
and lovely pink mom  

gifted you.....

Following the High Command....

My young FB friend,  research scholar in Design , Nanki  Nath , enjoys the environs of the place where she studies, and just posted this photograph of the local ducks, who live  close to the Institute Guest House, and are often out on , what those in power, often call fact finding missions.

These ducks are actually crossing over from the guest house foyer, to the huge pond bank, often populated by folks who throw eats for the ducks and fish.

Is it a sign of the times, that one sees reflections of political happenings in innocent photos ?   

I don't think the ducks are complaining....

Leaders all,
held together at the back,
walking in ministerial style

the High Command,
sombre faces,
measured steps
and all.

A visit
to the
Moongfali and Bread Pecking Sthal
by the side of the Vote Pond.

The Black sheep
err... duck

Blooming Lives... ?

My Fb friend Bhagyashree Moghe of Pune  has a wonderful garden (I think), and posted this capture of a just bloomed saffron rose .

Some folks may not appreciate this , but one cannot help being reminded of the simultaneous comeuppance of someone in the Saffron scheme of things in Delhi, around the same time.

Ah well. You can always dream of multi hued roses, can't you ?

A blooming coincidence,
saffron petals,
in Pune
and Delhi,
the face up
to the public Sun.

that there could be
a technology,
when roses would bloom
with a mixture of
in white, yellow, pink,
red, maroon,
on the same branch of green ?

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Hampian Repose

My FB and blog friend, avid biker, photographer and chronicler of Bozo, Deepak Amembal posted this capture from his trip to Hampi, in Karnataka, in the southern part of India.  

Hampi is the name of a village that lies within the ruins of the Vijayanagaram  Empire, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River.  From 1336 to 1565 Hampi  formed one of the core areas of the Vijayanagaram Empire.  Today this is a Unesco Heritage Site, and the Archaeological Survey of India continues to excavate at the site, which is full of ruins of old temples, city facilities, and remnants of an empire, in the form of huge boulders .

I just saw something at the top of one such.....
The glory
of the bygone days,
now all in the mind,
as he wanders

amidst the
confused about
where they were
and where they now are.

No more
resplendent rulers,
glittering markets
and numerous temples
dedicated to the
One Above.

He climbs,
through many obstacles, rocks
and boulders that block,
stopping momentarily
amidst the
occasional green.

The last step,
he looks around,
at the ruins of the past,
the muddled paths,
the unsheltered peaks,
and lays back,
arms and feet crossed.

Nothing else around,
just the overladen sky,
a wild breeze,
and the elements.

It might just help,
keeping all his limbs crossed
for luck.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Uncertain Times.....

My FB friend Krishna Priya, research scholar/post graduate student ,sees and clicks amazing stuff through her camera lens, possibly encouraged by the very unMmbailike wooded landscape in which she currently resides.  She along with a friend manages a page called "Mumbai in 30 days", and do have a look at it here.

It isn't clear whether the entities below are birds, or blossoms that have fallen soundlessly on a bud laden branch .  But something about the demeanor made me remember some bothersome troubling current events .....

(photo by Krishna Priya)
Moving up
in the world
was never easy,
but is now,
even on straight paths,

downright unnerving...

The eldest,
spiffy smart
in a yellow white salwarkurta,
leaving for work,
amidst a few
thorny folks
with closed warped
unblossomed minds,
and the mother,
trying to follow
a bit behind
to see her safely off.

Another very young one,
holding her up,
bidding her to stay ,
and she alternates
trying to decide,
how she can
help them both,
all the while
what kind of life
the young ones
she herself returns to
her own Mother Earth.....

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bozoical Dreams.........

Bozo, Mumbai's blogging dog, wants to let you know, that he too, dreams.  Nothing fancy, political, ambitious or outlandish.  Many times, it is all about great memories of his childhood, his erstwhile  friends, and so on.   

But he sees and hears things around him.  And sometimes he is upset and angry at the world.  And then the dreams are troublesome.  As is his wont, Bozo tries to even solve problems in his dreams.

What he doesn't know that there are folks around clicking and chronicling even that ! 

You may not be wrong
if you think,
I've shut my eyes
to the world around me;
there really is
so much terrible news
being reported these days.

But you know,
I hear, watch and think;
and clearly,
I don't do FB and Twitter
or TV debates with RajDeep.

I keep thinking about stuff,
wondering about
what makes folks so evil,
and many times,
I dream.

That I chased them,
that I bit them,
that I helped the cops catch them,
and I sleepwalk,
unaware that
I m silently barking,
panting, and kicking,
not seeing with my eyes open,
or even
seeing it all with my eyes shut.

Someone calls my name,
a pat on my back,
and I am back
to the real world,
as I relax,
lie down
and stretch my limbs....

Safer than stretching my imagination, no ?