Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Dance of Vasundhara

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015,  at a moment before 8 p.m. US Eastern time, the entire planet will get a bonus second. Because the earth's rotation is slowing down, and we need to make up for it.

Tonight, the clocks will go 23:59:59 to 23:59:60.  Before striking midnight.  Cinderella will get one more second.

While we in India, with our flexible IST behaviour probably think it's much ado about nothing, it is clearly time, time to appreciate Ma Earth.

resplendent in the
flowing blues,
dotted greens,
and undulating brown golds,
the chakkarwala tukda
in a Universal Kathak,
praising the Sun,
his warmth, his light
and his interaction
with other Kathak dancers,
since the beginning of time.

 Loaded with
a warlike
destructive population,
dotted with the trash
of minds and bodies,
she slows down a bit,
so tired,
no one paying attention
to her
El Nino Abhinaya
and Earth Shaking Tatkaar.

A short pause of a second
Tonight, June 30, 2015,
the clocks will go
23:59:59 to 23:59:60,
and make it up to her.

A leap second.

She will take another
leap of faith,
people she calls her own,
and continue.

The Dance of Vasundhara.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Kala Tikkas of the Mind.......

In this digital age , the sheer frequencies of clicks, and variety of cameras makes it impossible to remember where a particular  photograph was clicked.

My friend Neha  Thakkar, recently on a trip, to what looks like the Himalayan foothills region, captured this scene.  At first glance , it seems to be an orchard, with majority of the trees growing in an orderly way, reaching for the skies,  keeping aesthetics in mind.

Somewhere in this clean spic and span scene is a wandering loaded cloud, with its eye, on what seems to be a apple tree with a comfortable spread.

They seem to have something in common.

Read on .... 

    (photograph by Neha Thakkar)
So many
standing around watching
prim, proper

and spanking clean,
always concerned
their glow, their shine,
and makeup,
reaching up
to their own
heights of ambition.

And then comes one,
mind loaded
with ideas
to make the green smile;
as it spies
the short dark one,
happy in its being,
holding its fruits close,
reaching out
and thrilled
about having
a dark shadow.

For the one in the sky,
and the
one in the orchard,
those huge Kala Tikkas
are very auspicious ....

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A piece of the Bozocal Mind ...

Bozo Amembal, Mumbai's iconic blogger dog, has been going down memory lane, and feels the time has come to explain a few home truths and give a piece of his mind,  to the fancy gas guzzling shiny lady in the garage, Miss Desert Storme Enfield, who simply disappears with his mentor and chronicler, Deepak Amembal, from time to time.

I mean, anyone can roar down highways , but it takes a special person to have a friend from  Scotland  come down, visit, and hold you in her lap.   Yamini Mclean, who made a special visit to meet Bozo at his home , and you can see it in his eyes, as he sits on her lap.

It really is a lesson for everyone today;  might is not always right, sometimes it is all you have left.   There is much to be gained from sharing a smile.... and a woof..

Some folks never understand
that might
is not always right
and it takes more power
to live happily amidst folks
than to sit,
breathe, and drip power
all by yourself..

Wax never makes me shine,
because I glow
from inside.

I don't have
a need for speed
because I travel
enjoying the flowers,
the birds and the bees

I don't roar
when I travel,
instead of petrol
i guzzle dosas,
upma and fish,
but I grin
when i reach home...

I don't demand special housing
like some who
huff and puff
get all hot
and cool down
amidst tears of oil
in special rooms.

And finally,
Madame Desert Storme,
when was the last time
someone came to visit you
and held you in their lap  ?

Must be so lonely
in the garage, na ?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

In quiet support......

Sometimes, you pay attention to the ordinary, click, and come up with blades of grass, loaded with meaning, on a  wild monsoon morning, as you walk home from work for lunch.

Pankaja did just that.  Posted it in Facebook, and went back to work.

 Somewhere else, a poem  happened,  and the drops continued to fall....

जन्माला येण्याआधीच
होत्याचे न्हव्त करण्याची खलबते ,
जन्मतहः व्यक्त झालेले खेद,

शिक्षणाचा बोर्या,
चुकून शाळा असलीच
तर मोर्या नाही ,
मोर्या असल्या तर दारे नाहीत,
मध्ल्यावेळी शाळेत पाण्यासारखी खिचडी ,
अवघड कुमरिपण ,
हिणवणारे पुरषी डोळे ,
अणि मग एके दिवशी
डोळे मिटून
हुंडा मोजून ,
पुन्हा अथ पासून इति चे
तंतोतंत प्रयोजन .

कायदे बनतात,
नियम असतात ,
पण ह्या जगात
ते तोंडात गिळून ,
पैशाचा विडा वर कोम्ब्णारे
मतांनी मढवलेले नेते असतात,
देशाच्या मुलींच्या वाट्याला
फक्त फालतू घोषणाच येतात .

वर्षानुवर्ष हे बघ्णारि वनश्री
असंख्य कठीण पावसाळ्याचे अनुभव आठवते
आणि जणू
एक एक अश्रू
जवळ धरून,
मग हळूच नाईलाजाने
टप टप
हताश पणे पृथ्वी वर सोडून देते.
Smarter than Hamlet,
they try and answer his query,
To be or not to be,
even before birth.

Apologies at her birth,
unwilling education,
Toiletless schools,
and doorless toilets,
and a watery gruel
as a mandatory mid-day school food,
then a
difficult pubertal adventure,
molested by masculine eyes,
one unfortunate day,
a sendoff with dowry
to a place,
to perform all these steps
all over again.

Make laws,
Make rules,
and then vote in
those who swallow them all,
with currency for dessert,
leaving the girls
to the mercy
of umimplementable mindless slogans.

Away to one side,
the greens,
tangling with difficult
and horrendous monsoons,
see it all,
and slowly,
with great care and empathy,
let go,
the tears,
as they stretch
and fall helplessly
into the lap of the Earth.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jamun Philosophy

My friend Sangeeta Khanna lives amidst a profusion of greens . Which is great because she is a formal expert on traditional foods, nutrition, millets, regional foods, and beneficial cooking methods, having done deep rooted research on them.

She clicked and posted  this photograph of jamuns in various stages of growth on the tree  in her garden.  Which is amazing, because  some amongst us, behave like their simian ancestors , and go marauding the trees and vandalize the garden. Which Sangeeta has experienced. 

Like us, the jamuns have stages of childhood, teenage, adulthood, and  old age.

And like us, it is hoped, that the newfangled  ones, observe the old ones and imbibe something about their philosophy of living....

A worldly wise,

a few lines of age
as she sits
royally purple,
safely amidst the green.

The pink offspring,
and their
raw young ones,
must learn,
smooth color,
and beauty alone is never enough.

Life is all about
hanging on,
growing darker every day,
never cribbing
about complexion,
facing tough winds and rain,
setting an example,
and then
one day,
moving away.

harakiri with a monkey
ending up in the grass,
and sometimes,
gently resting
amidst the
mother leaves
in a basket,
in the Music Woman's kitchen,
"Mera number FB par kab ayega ?"

Monday, June 22, 2015

Wagh-fie !

My young friend Sharvari Paranjape, recently posted one of her amazing clicks from her trip to the Tadoba Wildlife Sanctaury.  

I am sure she must have been dumbstruck by the majesty and gait of the King.

Just wondered what the King himself must have been thinking.

Very clearly, that too, in Marathi ....

शेपटीची महिरप ,
नेमका पदन्यास,
सभोवतालच्या पर्यावरणाला शोभून

दिसणार्या रंगात
पट्ट्या पट्ट्या च्या सोन्याच्या पावलांनी
केलेला फिरता तत्कार ,
एक स्वाभिमानी व्याघ्र्मुद्रा,
आणि अगदी
तोंडाशी आलेली डरकाळी ….

मग वाटलं ,
मैत्रीण "वाघफी " काढत्ये ,
हसरी पोज द्यावी ....

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Out of the mouth of babes ....

My friend Ganesh Balaraman recently clicked and posted this photograph of a baby monkey  at the Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore.

This one looked really wise, as babies often do .   With sharp ears listening to the world, and such brilliant observant eyes noticing  what is going on,  it was a privilege to listen to what was being said .....

In some breeds,
they draw charts
of planets

when someone is born
to see into the future.

My mother
just clutched me
to her belly,
I held on,
and I got a tour
of what life held in store
as we hopped around
and some roads.

We too,
in our way,
look for Roti,
and Makaan,
while Kapda is never an issue;
we too
have our good habits
and bad
and need to follow rules
mostly of the jungle.

But I must say
there is a difference.

I hear
this other
so called advanced breed
sometimes kills them
baby girls
before they are even born.

We treasure our girls
and we give them futures.

With or without planets and charts
but with a lot
of care and love..

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Eyes and the Story....

My friend Tiku Tikuli, is a versatile blogger and an amazing published poet, and she posted on FB, these photographs of coconuts in various stages.

There is a reason we  look to the "eyes" of the coconuts.  Sometimes they look like 3 eyes, and one of the eyes is supposed to be soft and pierceable, so you can let the coconut water flow, like tears.

 Sometimes , it looks like a face from a century ago, where the tears are all dried out, and all that remains is a helpless suffering , but a stoic face, getting ready to face the world.

Brings back vignettes of what one heard of lives of widows , hundred years ago...

Written in Marathi, and then a translation of sorts  into English....

कोकणातील पावसाळ्यात
कुणा एका नारळी पोफळीच्या बागेतल्या
एका उंच झोका घेणार्या नारळाला

आपल्या आजीनी सांगितलेली
शंभर वर्षा पूर्वीची
गोष्ट आठवते …

एक प्रथम-पुरुष-अनेकवचनी सनातनी
संतप्त शेंडी,
सर्वत्र फिरणारी करडी नझर ,
झेलले जाणारे  औपचारिक शब्द ,
आणि कुणा एका
सुनेवर आणि तिच्या सौभाग्यावर
कोसळलेले आकाश

आठवणींचे दागिने मनात जपत
आलंकृत आयुष्याचा भीषण शेवट ,
एका अंधार्या खोलीत
भेदरलेल्या अवस्थेतेत
वस्तर्याच्या हालचालीत झालेला
केश्सम्भ्हाराचा सत्यनाश ,
बिथरलेल्या घाबरलेल्या लाल आल्व्णात
गुडाळून सुरु झालेले
बिनप्रकाशी आयुष ….

तो बागेतला नारळ
आपल्या शहाळ्याला आणिकच जवळ
आणि म्हणतो,
"शेंड्या नको आणि डोळे नको,
तू अशीच हिरवी रहा
आणि समुद्राकाठी
लहान मुलां मध्ये आपले माधुर्य
वाटत रहा … "
 Wild windy Kokan Monsoons,
and a tall Coconut Palm
leaning into the wind,
suddenly recalls
a story
told by its grandma
a hundred years ago....

A conservative upper class
raging tempered
proud owner of a "shendi"'
given to declarations
in the royal "We",
keeping a stiff eye
on the proceedings
and a
now husband less
in shocked and wordless fear.

Beautiful memory jewels
safely locked in her mind,
she walks
to her mental destruction
in a dark room,
where a shiny heartless razor
turns into nothing
the only thing
she once called
her own,
her jet black
braided and piled up hair,
a she gets wrapped
in a
red lifeless saree,
and proceeds,
to cover her head
frightened to bits,
the beginnings of a dark life.

The tall Coconut Palm
clutches together safely
the bunch of green coconuts
hanging on,
and says ,
"Not for you
the shendis, the eyes,
and a death in life.
Yours is to
simply spread your nectar
amidst small kids
who come to the beach ....."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mango Parties ....

Fag end of the Mango season, and my friend Pandit Gourang Kodical posted this very thoughtful photograph, with a comment on political happenings  of the day.

So many mango/kairi seeds, bereft , after a loss,  of everything folks could grab.  And so many mango/kairi seeds, left high and dry in the sun, thinking back to how they got where they are today.

Naturally, I heard, and a poem happened.....

Some swung from branches
a little too wildly
and fell

into the lot.
Some were carefully plucked
and joined the lot.
Some waited a while
under covers,
ripening intelligently,
and then
with great alacrity
joined the lot.

Some came with great packaging,
some came with more straw
than fruit,
and some came hiding spots.

Life is all about
being pickled in troubles,
some spicy,
some sweet,
some very sour,
there are times
in the Sun,
when you go to pieces
in the sugar syrups of life.

Sometimes you lose your thick skin
under pressure whistles,
and sometimes
you even get roasted
and blackened on the face,
but you tolerate it
it is
all about becoming
the Powerful AAM Panha.

Spare a thought
for those
hardy tough ones,
who gave you a life,
voted for you,
and now lie
dry and disheveled.

No one remembers
that they are there
because of an
unselfish ordinary green tree
that helped then grow.

Shades of Royalty?
Don't know about the ordinary Aadmi,
AAM is the King of fruits na ?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Flies of Tadoba.....

My friend Anuradha Shankar, is a very successful and talented travel blogger, who recently visited the Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Central India.  It is all about the masses waiting breathlessly quiet, standing in jeeps, waiting for the Tiger to saunter by, powerfully oblivious to everything, possibly on his way to and from from some riverbed.  

Such a show of power.  Maybe some learn from this. 

But my friend Anuradha sees things where others do not. Like this fly that kept tagging along  . Much like the masses of folks who tag along for meetings of leaders in a world we all know.

And she clicked  and gave it its first moment , maybe not in the sun,  but on FB.


I fail to understand
the mind of some.

Public gathering in droves,
standing atop jeeps,
albeit silently,
to click celebrity-style,
some leader types,
who think they are kings,
wandering through their realm
a roar here,
a bite there,
a threatening look,
a display of teeth,
and a languorous,
yet sometimes hungry trip
to the river
to quench a carnivorous thirst
for power.

Folks like me,
with not much
to call one's own,
no house,
no land,
no drinking water,
almost no rights,
a constant threat
of those with sharp
money lending beaks,
and those who troubleshoot
for the boss
as swatters;
unlike the leaders,
they drive me out
when i go looking
for food,
and often need to scavenge.

Someone actually clicked me.

Ordinary me. No ADHAR.
Card or anything else.

It was unbelievable.

And I just HAD to look at myself
in the shiny tabletop,
to see
something about me
had changed
and what is it that someone saw.