Friday, November 29, 2013

Return of the Natives

Nature always reflects what is happening in society.

A very evocative photograph of  soil erosion captured by my young FB friend Akshay Dandekar, on a recent trip to Matheran,  a hill station in the Sahyadri mountains  on India's western coast.

I saw something in the photograph.   Which I attach alongside , together with the original.  

आजकाल प्रलोभनं इतकी असतात
एरवी एकामेकाला

घट्ट धरून बसणारी लोक सुद्धा
एकामेकाला जोडणारी लाल आई सोडून
कुठेतरी दूर पळ्तात
जग बघायला निघतात
आणि उन्हात होरपळून ,
एकामेकाला धरून
घाबरून परत निघतात.

बाहेरच जग सुंदर असतं ,
रंगीत अस्त , स्वप्नात्ल्यासारख असतं ,
"ये, निर्धास्त रहा ,
आम्ही सगळे आहोत ,
वेडा वाकडा असशील पण आमचा आहेस
अस म्हणणार लाल मातीचं कोणीच नसतं …. "

 So many children
safely growing together
amidst familiar soils,
a non stop exposure
to other worlds
sees a few
leave the fold,
stray away
into a dry and cruel world

Glamorous and dreamy
at first,
it slowly burns
deep inside,
as they struggle back,
holding on to each other
after someone
who always said,
"Come back to the fold,
twisted and turned
you may be,
but in the end,
you are ours,
deep in the red of the earth."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Eiffel Saheb....

So many have clicked the Eiffel tower in Paris, from the base, from its levels and so on . But this photograph, clicked by my blogger and FB friend Deepak Amembal aka Magiceye, on his recent trip to UK and the Continent, gives a different perspective.

There are so many , upwardly mobile, some in body, some in mind, and some in dedication. 

But it remains a fact of life, that no one goes to Paris to see the lamposts radiating warmth and light , or the bare, brave,  wintering tree.  Today, it is all about the tall, mighty, and powerful.  

Tough and standing
facing inclement weather,
she shrugs,

shedding the dead leaves,
and gestures broadly
amidst expressive branches,
looking up,
at the warm gold countenance
of the lamp.

"You know,
it isnt enough today,
to spend a lifetime
flowering, fruiting
and giving shelter,
or even lighting someone's path
on a cold and foggy day.
You need
to be
like Monsieur Eiffel,
tall, tough , powerful,
of intricate making,
well connected
and strong;
and able to withstand
vagaries of life.
And yes,
if you can earn revenue,
your life is made ...."

Monday, November 18, 2013

Scorpion Tales

My Fb friend Amit Amembal clicked this visual of a scorpion at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the Northern suburbs of Mumbai .

What is amazing , is how the scorpion , has taken on the mix of colors that it "sees" around itself;  trying to blend in with something  so different to itself...  ; specifically since all the surrounding stuff is inanimate ....

And it reminded me of something else....

So many
cunning types
with evil intentions

are often unrecognizable
as they
artfully blend in
and participate
in the colors around them.

Unless of course,
a keen eye
on their surreptitious movements.

it is the CBI,
and sometimes
it is a Click....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Inclusive and Exclusive Growth

My Fb friend Nirupama Sundar posted a photograph of what happened when a few groundnuts fell accidentally into a pot where some mint was growing. Two months down the line, she harvested what you see below.

 No, it wasn't minty groundnuts, or groundnut leaves with minty flavors. No nonsense folks like groundnuts , simply learn from where they end up falling, do their best, and get on with living, the way they are supposed to.  No attitudes, No fuss, just a getting on with what they were meant to do in life, in the best way they can.

That's why no one talks about Nishkaam Karma in the vegetable world.  They live it.

Those like us,  just discuss, talk, lecture about it.

And yes, some of us also write poems......   

with special places
to grow,

end up green,
and presumed upright,
unconcerned about
what lies below their
exalted feet.

Some slightly
willful types,
demand lots of
special foods feeding,
morning and evening sprays
and end up
simply fair and lovely,
with more show than substance.

And some
really wander
far and wide,
where hands and pockets go;
sometimes they escape
to see the world,
and then
become one with the new home,
settling down,
enjoying the new world,
and when its time to move again,
they bring along their fresh pink kids,
wrapped in muddy brown,
"Chalo, you at least got to experience this, na ?
This will help you
when you get roasted and shelled
and even crushed......
Remember, its Nishkaam Karma !"

Monday, November 11, 2013

Chupke Chupke....

Here is a wonderful recent click, by my friend Anand Amembal, a doctor by training and a  wonderful nature photographer ,  from his trip to Uran, on Mumbai's eastern seaboard, across the creek. 

(Makes me wonder if there is a certain connection between Amembals, photography, birds, insects, flowers, and  other wonderful things in nature. I know 3 such Amembals)

Look closely, and you will notice that this is  not an accidental picture of dried branches and stuff,  but a wonderful example of grasshopper camouflage.

Maybe these are  the inspiration for certain folks in public life, that we notice, who are so good at pretending to be what they actually not.

Presumably dull
in appearance,
but focused

amidst the Brownian chaos,
he knows where
to look,
for support systems,
as he establishes himself
on the main path,
and dabbles
with touch here,
a poke there,
using a multifaceted proboscis,
trying to "drink" in
and absorb
as much as possible,
all the while
he is as inert
as a corrupt type in power.

Getting your feet wet.....

Marshy mangrove land , in Sewree, along Mumbai's eastern seaboard, is a heritage stopover for visiting flamingoes during the year, when the Mumbai folks often photograph them in their many splendoured pale pink ballet like movements as they peck around in the wet sand, in the sort of numbers that would make election meeting managers jealous.

Amidst all these elite visits, what goes on uninterrupted is the regular visits of the local birds, down to earth, in Black and White. As clicked by my friend Deepak Amembal below, at dawn , in Sewri.

Like the common man in Mumbai, it is all about getting up at dawn, getting ready, worshipping the Sun God, and getting on with the day's routine.

The dawn of civilization,
and my universe
no ether in space
or firing spacecrafts,
but just
swirling waters,
rotating around me,
as sands
slip through the sieve of time.

We fellows
don't ever go to the
Moon or Mars;
We flit from sandy shoal
to jutting rock,
to tree branches,
and once in a  while
we simply like to get our feet wet
before we worship
the Rising Sun.....

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Bozoical Success !

With the nation's election fever catching on, and Bozo , the city's leading blogger dog,  realizing that the World's largest democracy has something to offer him too,  there was some serious action regarding the USAThe United Schwaan*** Association (USA), the latest party to register  with the Selection Commission.

Spearheading the campaign for a quieter Divali has been a successful time for Bozo.

Here he is, posing against the Divali lights......  (Bozo's official portrait; he knows all great statesmen pose in profile, hands on chin;  hands down , is the current fashion. )

it's the oncoming elections,
it is the
impossible rise
in the costs of everything,
but we fellows
had had it up to there,
and decided to do something.

A few months ago
I was staying with friends
(when my folks flew
to a far off place to
look up my childhood best friend);
we formed
the USA,
United Schwaan Association,
and I was appointed
the National General Secretary
(Golden types become Chairperson).

Thanks to our representation
and woofing aloud,
this year
there is a decrease
in the
mindless bursting of
high decibel fireworks.

What a pleasure,folks,
to be able to pose against
the Deepavali lights
and not
have to hide
under the Diwan...

P. S.
The powers in their wisdom
had suggested
noise barriers,
a la BKC;
but we
told them
that they would
simply become light barriers,
and the USA rejected the proposal.

Yay! Happy Divali !

***  Schwaan ~  sanskrit for dog