Sunday, March 29, 2015

एका वल्ड कप ची दुसरी गोष्ट

World Cup finals in Melbourne, and  unusual cold weather in Melbourne reminding my friend  Shruti Nargundkar of  childhood winter mornings, and the  happenings in Dhanurmaas.  

Dhanurmas, the wanderings of the Sun northwards to Tropic on Cancer and then in reverse;  the wanderings of kids, for dawn baths in the river, visits to temples, and back to a robust winter breakfast cooked by Mom/Aai, Bajri Bhakris hot off the griddle, lumps of butter, traditional bhajis and chutneys ; that's just to mention a few.  For getting a full meal, read her post here.    

And yet, there is something similar happening now in Melbourne,  where it looks like a celebration of a late Dhanurmas, in a land where the seasons are opposite of ours, but the thinking clearly remains the same.

Cricket or food.

कर्कवृत्तात्ली थंड पहाट ,
नदीकाठी पाण्यातले सांघिक स्नान ,
आणि उडी मारून
मंदिराबाहेरची मोठी घण्टा वाजवताना
कौतुकाने खुलवणारी
वार्याची झुळूक;
सर्व देवांचे आशीर्वाद,
आणि मग
एका उबदार स्वयंपाकघरात
गोल बसून अनेक चटण्या भाज्यांनी
चटपटीतपणे बघित्लेले
तिळानी नटलेल्या बाजरी बाईंचे
आणि त्यांना बघूंन पिघळ्णार्या
लोणीरावांचे पहाट नाट्य ;
पोक्त्पणे समजूतदार खिचडीच आगमन
आणि मग कधीतरी
गळ्याखाली उड्या मारत धावलेले ताक .

आज मकरवृत्तातहि अनपेक्षित
थंड बर्फाळलेली पहाट,
अनेक संघांनी सकाळी सकाळी
केलेले घामाने ओथंब्लेले
अथक सांघिक सराव,
देशाच्या अनेक कोपर्यात केलेल्या
क्रिकेट देवाच्या आरत्या ,
डक्वर्थ्लुवीस वाल्यांशी दिलेली झुंज ,
अनेक देशांनी वाजवलेल्या विजयाच्या घण्टा ;
आणि मग
मेल्बोर्नी स्वघरी
उबदार गर्दीत एका धुन्धुर्मासाच्या
आठवणींची पंगत .

डीप फाईन लेगला
कोणा एका भाकरीला पकडण्यासाठी
आसुसलेले भरीत ,
स्क्वेर्लेग्ला अनेक भाज्यांना सांभाळत
त्यांच्यात गुंगून गेलेली लेकुरवाळी भाजी,
"इश्श, काय हे…!" म्हणत
लोणच्याच्या खारापासून तोंड फिरवणारी
जवसाची चटणी ,
"तरी मी सांगत होतो…" असं
पुन्हा पुन्हा सांगणारे दाणोजी राव ,
टाळ्यांच्या गजरात
झालेले औस्ट्रेलिअन बाजरी फलंदाजांचे
तिळाचे हेल्मेट घालून आगमन,
मनातल्या मनात हसत ,
भाकरीशी अंतापर्यंत झुंज देण्याची प्रतिज्ञा
करून आलेले
न्यूझीलंडचे लोणी गोलंदाज.

विजय कोणाचाही होऊ दे
महत्वाचे हे
एक एक फलंदाज गेल्यावर
श्रुतीच्या स्टेडियम ताटात ,
"घे ग, अजून एक गरम भाकरी वाढते "
आणि त्याच बरोबर,
हळूच न्युझीलंड लोण्याचा गोळा
आणि चट्ण्यानची फिल्डिंग
लावणार्या विश्व चषक विजेत्या आजी
तिथे असणे . ….

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rose Lessons....

My friend Deepak Amembal just posted this wonderful capture, of rosebuds in his house balcony, mobilizing for a slow blooming, amidst a profusion of greens.

One wonders how the earth  cares for its young.  And then one wonders if we have learned any lessons at all, about bringing up daughters. 

Why just daughters ? In fact, all children .....

A planned celebrated birth,
amidst caring greens
and those that

cleanse the environment
and make it rich
with colorless flowing nectar
and useful nutrition.

A firm green support
while watching them grow up,
greatly protected
by the encompassing green folks
coming together
to protect
the still young,
from untimely visits
of wasps and moths.

A wonderful slow blooming
and unraveling
of beauty
at an appropriate time
in consultation with the
the Sun,
and the Seasons,
and the Thorn Protection Force
on standby.

How many girls in India
are blessed with such a life today ?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Royal bytes.....

Shail Mohan, the Chronicler of the Life and Times of Luci Shail, Kerala's First Blogger Dog, recently posted, what can be only called  a statesmanlike capture  of HRH Lucinda , otherwise known as Luci Shail to her folks-in-waiting, capturing her concern about happenings in the Kerala assembly.

Jameela Prakasam, a legislator of the Opposition Left Democratic Front or LDF,  bit the finance minister on his arm and said he deserved it; as she explained, "he had twisted my arm from the back. His other arm came resting on my waist. I was falling behind and I could feel a knee kick me at my back. I turned back to see it was Sivadasan Nair. I warned him to leave me or else I would bite him. He challenged me to do so and that's when I bit him. I had not even touched the Chief Minister.."

More here.

While we congratulate the chief minister on his escape,   you simply cannot ignore the concern in HRH Lucinda's eyes.

Her statement...

HRH Lucinda
Empress of the Realms
Monsoon Warrior Queen,

Shaker of the Plantains,
Supreme Commander of the Nikon Birds,
Guardian Minister
of Shail's Castle,
reacting seriously,
statesman like
and making her disapproval
to the biting episode
in the Kerala Assembly.

Throwing chairs is OK,
disrespect warrants action.
As HRH Lucinda stated,
when asked about the lady MLC,
"She should have bit harder .....woof !"

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bovine Opinions

Velas, a small hamlet in the Kokan belt, near Ratnagiri, on India's western coast.

 A young girl on a trip to study the conservation of Olive Ridley turtles there, by a local NGO, gets an opportunity to stay with the natives at the village, and has posted some captures here.

Amidst beach scenes, candid village scenes, people at work, and village folks cooking for their guests, a meaningful capture of this haltered buffalo.

Captured in a thoughtful mood.  If this was a video, you could have seen the shaking of a head in disgust.  

A pucca dwelling,
clean air,
and honest greens.

I sit,
with my ears numbered,
with fancy pierced earrings
sourced from
in my native place,
watching city folks
come visiting
and assisting them
with milk
for their tea.

I hear things
and pity you guys.

Someone makes a law
to stop someone
from killing us,
and you go
opposing it
the government cannot control
what you guys eat.

Then someone
plans  a law
to award death
to someone who rapes
one of your own,
and so many suddenly
quibble about age,
and giving him chances.

For a species
that herds males amidst us
to the abattoir,
extracts farm work
and dispatches us in retirement
in crowded trucks
to places of destruction,
and even pretends
we need to be killed
to appease Gods
in temples,

Saturday, March 14, 2015

"Pi" ki Kahani.......

Personally, I go back to the time when Pi was 22/7.  Indian became a decimal country during my childhood.  So I've suffered both irrational behaviors of Pi....

As per US conventions or date (mm/dd/yy) , today , March 14, 2015 , at 9:26:53 am ,  is being celebrated as Pi Day.   3.141592653.......

In the meanwhile, Indian date conventions (dd/mm/yy), do not celebrate today as Pi Day. 

It seems Pi was discovered as early as 4,000 years ago, with the ancient Babylonians. A tablet was discovered from between 1900 and 1680 BCE calculated it as 3.125. A few decades later a document by an Egyptian mathematician listed it as 3.1605.

Greek mathematician Archimedes devised the first recorded algorithm for calculating the value of pi around 250 BCE. Clearly, there was something more to the "Eureka"  shoutout...

I am sure someone amongst our ancestors actually knew about Pi.  Maybe we called it by another name. 

In the meanwhile.....

Lady Pi

She wonders
why they celebrate her day today,
American Style as 3/14/15
with maybe digital fireworks
and Google Doodles,
at 9:26:53 am  .....

back here,
she flits
in and out of
circles, cylinders, and spheres,
making life difficult
for those souls
taking Board Exams,
a first in their life.

She actually flirted
with the idea
of travelling on a boat
with Yann Martel,
in the sea
off Pondichery.

But all that water 24/7 was too much.

She simply preferred to be 22/7 ....

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Arrival ... कुणीतरी येणार येणार ग !

My friend , Amit Amembal, has a green balcony, where all kinds of stuff grows, with great and attentive nurturing.

He recently had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes in his balcony amidst all the amazing flowers he grows, and naturally , a photo post appeared. 

A birth is always more than a botanical, anatomical event. There is always something traditional, social and joyful in the way we celebrate.

One such event  celebrated by the family ......

दिवस भरत आले ,
आणि व्हरांड्यातल्या विविध फुलांमध्ये
चक्क चढाओढ सुरु ;

पाने वेली फांद्या उंच करून
कुतुहलाने टोमटोच्या दिशेने
कटाक्ष टाकत ,
शीतपेटीत जाण्यापूर्वी
जेवण्कक्शात तस्र्याळ्यातॆल काकड्या ,
सिमला मिरच्या आणि कांद्यांना
कधी दाण्याच्या कुटाची
कधी ऑलिव तेलाची वाट बघत ,
लिंबाने केलेली कुजबुज ,
आणि एके दिवशी , शुभ प्रहरी
त्यांचे आगमन झाले ….

सुंदर सजवलेल्या ताटलीत बारसं ,
एका छोट्या मुलाने कानात
नाव सांगितलं ,
"चेरी ",
आणि तो एका सुंदर नक्षीच्या
वाडग्यात त्यांना घेउन
एव्हड्यात आजी आल्या
आणि म्हणाल्या ,
"बाळ , आधी देवा समोर बाल टोमटोञ्चा
नैवेद्य दाखव ,
नमस्कार कर, आणि मग घे ;
मुंबईसारख्या शहरात ,
इतके सेंद्रीय व निर्मळ शुद्ध फळ
मिळायला नशीब लागतं हो…।"

 A full term
glowing Primagravida
in the balcony,
and so many branches and leaves,
stretching themselves
watching avidly,
trying to figure out
when the D-day is,
as somewhere inside
in a colander,
some capsikas, cucumbers and onions,
nudge drops of water,
before  refrigeraton happens, 
and whisper,
about it
loud enough for the
roasted peanuts,
olive oil
and lemons to hear ....

A cool dawn
amidst pink skies,
and they appear,
baby bright reds,
umbilically attached
by green sepals
to the now
Primipara Mom.

A careful separation,
a gathering in a
beautiful plate,
and a little boy
whispers her name
with great joy, "Cherry" !,
before piling on
a bunch for himself.

But not before
Grandma has appeared,
and reminded ;
" Place the newborn
to be blessed by the Lord,
be grateful,
and only then imbibe ...
You are
an immensely lucky child
to be able
to enjoy
such pure and organic tomatoes
in this city
of Mumbai...."

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Shakespearan Bozo

Bozo Amembal , Mumbai's blogging dog, has been  fairly busy and active these days , what with his favorite folks coming home on a visit.   He has also been excited after listening to the radio interview of Deepak , the chronicler of his life and times.    And then the weather has been weird lately, confusing Bozo, on whether the rains have arrived early this year.

It is probably a great idea and a perfect time for him to relax and take a nap...

He has been someone who has learned much by observation of what people watch, and read and write.  He is himself , known to read.  Possibly even Shakespeare.

Given that he was once keen on Lassie of Carter Road,  maybe he is aware  of folks like Antony and Cleopatra ,  some folks that Shakespeare wrote about.

Something below , from that play, adapted in honor of  Bozo, as he dreams....

(with apologies to Shakespeare/Antony and Cleopatra 1606)

Age does not wither him, nor others affect
His infinite dedication: others bite
The hands that feed: but he always does
what for most, satisfies; for smallest things
a smile and a rub: and the family smiles
Blessing him when he is sleepy.....

The Power Mirchis

My friend  Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne,received some fresh homegrown  hot red birds eye chillies from a neighbor, and she decided to "lynch " them.  The chillies, that is.

No, she has no secret enimity with the chillies. But she simply remembered the "Lal Mirchica Thecha" (literally translated as lynched chillies)  from her childhood, and wove a recipe and a post around it.

Adding in some capsaicin-restraining balance in the form of an orange capsicum, and crushed and roasted peanuts.  Something much required in these violent times, when we seek out folks who might temper down things a bit.  

(I can clearly see bhakris, thalipiths and dahibhaats standing around this in admiration ....)

कधी काळी मिर्चीकन्या
आपल्या हिरवाईत आरामात असत ,
कधी पाना आड लपून,
कधी लोम्ब्काळणार्या टोमटोना वाकुल्या दाखवत ,
कधी जमिनीखालच्या आल्याबद्दल
कोथिम्बिरीन्ना चहाड्या सांगत …

आणि मग एक दिवस
त्यांच्यावर भीषण आघात ,
काही गळून पडल्या , काही वाचल्या,
पण रागाने लाल होउन
निकाराने पेटून उठल्या …

सर्वानच्या मनाला आणि हाताला
जणु ज्वलंत चटके …

केशरी सिम्लाबाई धाउन आल्या,
बरोबर लसूण अधिकारी ,
मिठाने हिंसेविरुद्ध सत्याग्रह पुकारला
आणि सर्वांनी एकत्र खलबतं करून
एक "गुण्ड्ठेचा" योजना बनवली …
तेल संसदेतील तप्त वत्तवरण ,
रागाने तडतडणार्या मोहरी सदस्या ,
काही मेथ्यांचा बिनशर्त पूर्ण आधार ,
हिंग सभापतीनी दिलेली एक नवी दिशा ,
ह्या गुण्डाठेच योजनेला
लिंबाच्या रसाचा वाहता पाठिम्बा ,
आणि काही अनुभवी ,
आयुष्यात भाजून निघालेल्या दाण्याच्या
बाहेरून समर्थन करता करता
झालेले तेलातले परिवर्तन ….

अन मिर्चिकन्याञ्च्या आयुष्यात
सुरक्षित दिवस आले,
थोडा गारवा वाटू लागला ,
पहिल्यासारख्या त्या सर्व जणी
थालीपीठ, दहीभात, व भाकरी पेठांमध्ये
आनंदात वावरू लागल्या

आजकाल ह्याला
"मिरचीचा ठेचा" योजनाच म्हणतात
Slender Mirchi ladies
relaxed in the green,
peek-a-boo amidst the leaves,
as they indulged
in teasing tomatoes on the vine,
and cribbing about
subterranean gingers
to the light hearted corianders...

And then one day,
a dastardly attack,
as some fell ,
some hung on,
but remained wordlesss
in a red burning rage,
that singed the
mind and body....

Kesar Capsicum,
orange in outrage,
rushed in with Commissioner Garlic
as the Salt Satygraha happened,
this time against Violence.
A deep confabulation
and the emergence
of a  Gunda Thechaa ,
the former meaning "rogues"
the latter meaning
"smash to pieces".

Then an uproar
in a agitated Oil Parliament,
Mustard ladies erupting in rage,
with unconditional support
from Fenugreek types,
The Hing Speaker
giving direction,
as the Lemon juices fell in,
not to mention
sympathetic  peanuts
who offered help
after being roasted
and crushed themselves ...

Thanks to the passing
of the Gunda Thechaa Bill
the Mirchi ladies
feel safe again;
things are cool and relaxed,
and once again,
they've resumed socializing
with the Thalipeeths
and Bhakris
and even the Dahi bhaats.

Except, today
the Bill is known as the
Mirchi Thechaa....