Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Abhimanyu Chakras....

My blogger friend, trekker, experimental cook, foodie, desperate cricket enthusiast, photographer, and financial analyst,  Dhiren Shah aka Hitchwriter or Hitchy,  has a keen eye for creatures that inhabit the gardens. 

He posted this wonderful capture on his blog here.  

Keen eyes make me think of Arjun.

Some look into pools of water, see reflections and shoot fish eyes above.  Others  look through a viewfinder of a Nikon ,and  shoot photos of spiders weaving a Chakra.....

The original guy got Draupadi.  Dhiren gets a poem......

The intrepid Spidy novelist
weaving a web of mystery,
circular sentences

with fullstops,
sudden paras,
now you see it
now you don't;
as he ranges across
green continents
chasing the

Ashwin Sanghi,
Amish Tripathi,
Dan Brown,
et al;
your introduction
to the newest book
with the deepest research.

The Abhimanyu Chakras....

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mountain Gyms

My blogger friend, bicycle trekker, nutrition research scholar, food consultant, and photographer Sangeeta Khanna often gets to travel to  exclusive  mountain areas in Himachal. One such, is at  Te Aroha, Dhanachuli, where she advises the management on innovative nutritious food items that are prepared for guests who stay and visit there.   When she is not busy with that, she gets to wander around the hills and click visuals like these.

At first sight,  what can only be called a "strength visual"......  On second sight, it is all about older trees supporting  young growth.  

Some raise dumbells,
and exercise,
shedding weight,

to augment and grow 

their own
biceps and triceps.

And some,
raise bark and moss
and grow leaves and stuff
to add something to
their own 

self sustaining world.....

What an amazing arm !

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Ballad of the Brave Bhakri

My blogger friend Zephyr Nag literally opened a can of angry spices, as it were, when she wrote a wonderful post "Banish Dalia, let Quinoa Rule. "   These kind of thoughts have been simmering, in what one might called "Aunty Space" (I wrote a post on Auntyfication around the same time), and Zephyr's post was just the trigger for an avalanche.

Really, age has nothing to do with it. It is just that we grew up just fine without all these now-deemed-necessary-items, and still continue to do so, in the face of all these efforts being made by multinationals, to change our diet and expenditure patterns. 

Call it old fashioned or whatever. I guess we only pay attention when it comes back to us from the west......

The Moongfalees and Sarsos
doth protest

After a lifetime
of being subjected
to a squeezing into oil,
and a dedicated domicile
in hot kadhais and tadkas,
they stand cracked and open mouthed
at the encroachment
by Lady Oilve
and her pricey dribbling nakhras.

And Tulsi ,
despite being a HRD Minister
gets compared to Sir Basil,
and treated like the poor cousin
from the same family;
Raging Dhaniyas being Jeer(a)-ed
by the Thyme and Marjoram types,
with the Garam Masalas
laughing at the
O-re-ganos thinking
they can make spicy music.

The original corns
being misled by those
that think
that they are sweet
being golden is smart.

And the imitation chickoos,
in reverse immigration as kiwis,
not to mention,
apples and pears,
that bear labels
as if they are part
of the
Designer Fruits of India Fashion Week,
outrageous prices and all;

that have an identity crisis
being sometimes
large and dark
in a land where
Fair is Lovely;

And capsicums,
clearly convinced about that
as they emerge
sometimes blindingly yellow
and sometimes
shamelessly red,
defying he traditional green.

Broccoli beauties
trying to be exclusive
ignoring their cauliflower origins,
suddenly realising
they don't stand a chance
in the face of
Bagaray Baingan
and Bhindi Fry...

And then one day
Mrs Jowar Bhakri
who has had it up to there
with all this,
bursts forth :
"Away with streaky food designs
in square plates;
come eat a full meal with me;

is not a patch
on Khamang Kakdi,
and Avokadorao
needs to hear everyone saying
Aho Kadho, Aho Kadho,
when he appears ;

As for the Flax Youths
smitten by the adulation,
do you really want
to be roasted and gulped,
when you can
in the company
of Garlic and Cayenne,
teased by the Kadhipatta ladies,
and get to be devoured
along with white butter,
watched by a Pithla
simmering in jealously
on the side,
muttering to a green chilly
"Bolo, yeh Quinoa kaun hai ?......"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Platforms of the Mind....

My friend Arvind Khanna, posted this to his page "Light or Shadows with Arvind Khanna".   Tough cement immovables, the infinite rails, and the charm of the countryside, away from the city highrises  that have only shadows and no lights, it is not surprising that this scene captivated my friend.

So many neural platforms,
handling various
trains of thought.

Some rushing through
in a hurry
to reach somewhere,
oblivious to
sleepers and rails
who make it all possible.

Some  meandering,
loaded containers,
closed to all ,
but singlemindedly moving.

And some,
that stop for minutes,
taking it all in,
amidst disembarking
squealing kids,
smiling grandfolks,
smitten others,
and slowly move away
leaving the Sun
mightily pleased
at seeing this
first thing on waking up......

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Insights and Outsights

As you age, you start learning about cataracts.

Techniques have ranged from ten days in a clinic, real stitches, Mafia style sunglasses, waiting for stitches to come off (in the 70's),  to quick trips  in and out of clinics within a couple of hours, and back to work,  in the late 90's, when the technique of Phacoemulsification was popular.  It is popular even today.

This surgery was one of the latter types.   

The purpose was the same. To remove the curtain of opacity that tended to grow across the eye lens so that one could look at the world, with new eyes, and like Louis Armstrong , sing  "Oh what a wonderful world !" , the song  with an optimistic and hopeful theme, that calmed a racially and politically charged US , in 1967.

Born to see
a life
of peace, altruism,
goodness and faith,
for Lady Cornea
these have been tough times.

She's realistic,
excellent at handling Pressure,
and with a great sense
of Aqueous Humor,
she passes it all on
to her Pupil,
in the highest tradition
of over-smart kids,
tweaks it through the Lens
to show his Retinal Parents;
good , conservative,
old fashioned folks,
of the heritage structure,
Optica Splendour.

But in today's troubled times,
seeing is
not believing any more.

The usually helical
light hearted Protein folks
clump together,
unable to make sense
of a world,
Life begets no respect,
Free radicals threaten society
and Plaques proliferate
amidst people,
blocking progress.

All they can do,
is wear
a Cataractian Veil
to fool the
Angry  Amygdala.

Not done.

Nishkaam Karma
dedicated work,
no hiding,
and bravely facing
and performing
regardless of the fruits.

And so,
the veil is caught and removed,
fear destroyed,
and the mind cleaned.

Thanks to the Lady
and the "drops"
of constant encouragement,
it is once again
a new way
to see the world....

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The day the Rotis lost their EQ

My childhood friend Anjuli Bamzai posted this on FB.

The worlds first Robot Roti Maker has been introduced in the US market for  like 600 dollars.   

Created and manufactured by a company called Zimplistic, founded by Pranoti Magarkar and Rishi Israni  6 years ago, this 40 cc machne weighing 39 pounds, generates 1 roti a minute . You don't have to make a dough yourself, but simply add ingredients in enclosures.

I wonder what will happen to all those who design various continents while making chapaties, those that make fun of them and crack jokes  about them. And mothers will now give this machine in the trousseaux. 

Actually, fulkas are easy. A la Vishwanathan Anand, I am sure someone will challenge this machine to a game of actual fulka making.  And probably win...   :-)

Me ? I am waiting for a Puranpoli Machine..... (and imagining what will happen if a message flashes in the machine saying "Insufficent atta ..."  or  "Maker has detected an bad sector; please wipe and reboot" or something    :-)   )

Does the machine
depuff the blooming roti,
dribble some ghee on it,
smile at you
while serving it ?

Does it
urge you to
have one more
straight off the tawa ?

And for 600 dollars
does it sense
how hungry your are ?

And with 640 to 800 muscles,
what an amazing piece of
engineering the human body is .....

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ek Nimbubai Ki Kahani

My blogger friend, photoblogger, biker, and chronicler of Bozo, one of Mumbai's leading blogger Dogs, Deepak Amembal, is currently in Himachal Pradesh , as a guest of Club Mahindra, tasting the good life, as it were; feasting the eyes, enjoying nature and its products, and clicking it all.

He clicked this one, possibly at lunch in Mashobra.  A  hoi polloi lemon piece, floating , in what is clearly posher apple cider company, so to speak.

(If you are a lemon, always squeezed for juice, cut up, stuck on edges, and such stuff, you will understand the angst below ...    :-)      )

Like a rural mehndiwali
the centre of attraction
at a Page 3 Capital Mehndi,
she floats in wonder
in the posh shapely glass

Giving of herself
so easily
without machine help,
beautifying tastes,
she dedicates herself
to adorning others,
sometimes sitting
in salty terrains
along the rims.

facing icy folks,
dodging cubes,
and interfering sticks,
she simply accepts her karma.

But she has learned
what her life is,
and like the mehndiwali,
she knows where she stands.

Like Lemonbai said to Ciderbhai,
"I may not be golden,
but you are incomplete without me"...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Swaying Tall

Some trees  tower above our six storey building, and this monsoon ,  they have braved immense wild winds along with the rain.  It is amazing to watch them waving, bending , yet facing it all , in the face of nature .

What no one sees is the little nests that reside hidden amongst the leaves, consciously protected by the branches of the tree, as they sway to life's vagaries.....

There are those
for whom
growing tall
is paramount
and even automatic.

And then I look
out of my
sixth floor window
on a windy rainy morning
and see
the tallest tree,
moving and bending,
all the time holding fast
to the little black nest
it has protected
for someone
over days.

I am not sure
who has evolved ;
Us or the tree ......

The Eyes have it !

My friend Shail Mohan of Thiruvanantapuram, clicks leaves, lights, clouds, butterflies, birds, fences et al, but bows to Luci Shail when it comes to human expressions, if you know what I mean.

Luci Shail also blogs .   Shail recently posted the photo below with the caption , "Luci Shail, statue !" ....

While statues do bring to mind certain statue obsessed individuals , in, say, politics,  it is imperative to know that Luci Shail clearly has other things on her mind.

Unlike some folks I see on TV ,  she thinks.  With her eyes.

Speak to me only with thine eyes
and I will click
with mine...

shocked about
things happening to little girls
in a so called civilized world.

about so many
who do not have
half the freedom she has

in Army style
at smart attention
much in practice
for the approaching Independence Day

And sometimes,
on seeing Mom pack,
a silent drama
in protest
willing her
not to go.

At the end of the day,
the Eyes have it ...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bozoical Rights

Bozo, Mumbai's blogger dog , is back, after a brief monsoon hiatus. For one thing, it is raining  a lot. Besides , it is the Indian calendar month of Shravan,  when it is always beneficial to hover around the kitchen , because so many yummy festival and birthday foods are being made in his house. 

He is being nice to all his balcony acquaintances today, because it is Friendship Day. On other days, he thinks it is fun to bark at them and drive them away .

As always, Bozo gets philosophical.  The crow clearly pretends that he cannot hear.

Bozo clarifies.

Times change
Rules Change

Everyone has rights.

To places.
To balconies.
To shout.
To protest.
To occupy.

I know I must respect
the law of the land
and rules of the balcony.

So I will just watch,
bless you
with a monsoon sneeze,
pace around
and finally go in.

Because I know
that what no one can change
is my right
to occupy a place
in the hearts
of those who I call mine.