Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name

Clicked this ordinary looking yellow flower in one of my friend's house and as always, consulted Dr. Ida George, an expert in botany for its name and was told that it is Bignonia (botanicalname). She mumbled that these days there are so many hybrids that flowers, as unique as they get, get uniquely unidentifiable as well. As usual, I wrote down the name sincerely lest I forget, so that I may not bother my mind from remembering a flower by some strange name later. To me, the ordinary-common-man, this is a bright-yellow-flower. Duh! Often the problem with us is that we tend to remember things we should forget and forget the things we should remember... I felt... as I remembered Shakespeare's Juliet who said, "What's in a name? that which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet."

Monday, May 28, 2012

3 Photos Of A Classical Traditional Home

Tradition can't get better than this. A chair in a silent corner by a window with a classical mat-curtain on the side and a small, multi-purpose table upfront which usually becomes a coffee table, table for keeping reading accessories including the everyday newspaper that is changed sincerely every morning and also often becomes a foot rest when resting at times. This is a corner usually preferred and often made and taken by elders just the way they want it, like the character they emanate... silent, reserved and in their own complacent world. Miss this?! 

This is another classic-the wooden swing left to hang from the ceiling suspended with iron chains which too are artistically yet sturdily made. Usually made from a single block of wood, this is where people like to spend a quite evening, swinging lightly-back and forth-just like the waves of thoughts that come and go in their minds when they are on it. People usually have a very strong sense of attachment to these pieces from a bygone era and claim their spot in it no matter how old they get. This usually turns out into a swing for the middle aged, cot for the elderly and a piece every sibling fights for once the house needs to be dismantled after its time. This is almost like a trophy hanging in the house that swings like a pendulum-a reminder of time and a witness to everything that has passed time right in front of it. This is a classic example of how characters get personified in the inanimate.  

This is a wonder carefully arranged and tackled sensibly. The giant cot with pillars that give it an ethnic yet robust look, the store-trunk at the base of the cot made of solid wood that also turns into a seater at times, the corner stool with a smart book rack beneath it, a dressing mirror on another corner and last yet not the least, a carefully decked up mattress that seems to be breathing a comfortable call to come and rest peacefully. This is space personified and personalized. This could easily become anyone's heaven at the end of the day. If Freud were alive, he would have found this a sexual den with figurative imagery. "Why not?" I shall ask then. No matter what, the more you look into it and the more you begin to like it, the more creative you get in a dreamy bedroom like this. What better place than this for ideas to emerge?! 

p.c: some old snaps I had collected while planning a home, don't know who clicked it anyway, thanks buddy

Oh! Gorgeous Me

She transformed:

From a beauty queen to a "God knows what thing" now...

Her values transformed:
Then: To win the Miss World' 1994 crown, she said that if she became Miss World, 'she was clear about what she would do.  She was concerned for the world’s suffering little children and about poverty and inequalities of race, colour and sex' when asked, "What she would do if she won a Miss World title?" 

Ongoing: This poor girl could not achieve her social ambitions as she was quite busy with her lousy affairs and link-ups with bollywood stars. And/Or that she is busy attending film festivals and high-end parties and/or trying on and deciding what skimpy clothes to pair while pairing with young-heart-throbbing Hrithik Roshan up North to old-heart-attacking Rajnikanth down South and/or busy making money out of her wedding pictures to her daughter's yet to be released pics. Maybe thats why she is not able to achieve her life's (social) ambition yet... understandable, so sad... So much for her concern for world poverty, inequalities and other blah, blahs. 

By the by, this was the woman who had said that if she could change one thing in history, she would change her year of birth so that "she" could have stopped the world wars, (duh! excuse me, I just came back after banging my head on a tree) an answer that made her runners-up in the miss India title. Maybe she contemplated doing that while dancing around trees in rain-drenched clothes... and how nice of her to "try" and stop all existing wars!

Everything changes... yet, "WE" remain constant:
as we are busy wondering if Aishu's figure has changed (will change) after child birth, whether she looks slim(?!) or if  the floral Roberto Cavalli gown and high heeled Guiseppe Zanotti shoes as Yahoo and other sites have been failing endlessly yet continuously to promote along with a total conviction (we are all expected to agree with the power of the media, make-up and photo-editing cast upon us) that "yes, maathaji, India's bahuji, India's only pride, the true face of every Indian woman, has ofcourse slimmed and changed the face of Earth", I must do so before yahoo and co. burst with more promotions (even though I personally feel that a swine would look as good if it had been covered by a bed-sheet from head to toe just as well and calling 'a swine' 'an unicorn' a million times still won't allow it to fly... or would it as expected?!) 

And why all this effort to glamourize her? Sources say that its because she is supposed to have brought back that second-glance at Indian women around the world (Hope that people who say that also remember that so did Poonam Pandey, Mallika Sherawat and that Indian girl who bares it all in all those mms scandals and web-cam leaks.) Thanks to her and all those men who got her there. Otherwise Indian women were not "looked at" at all (Poor pathetic females!) Hence all this and more of these attention-seeking obsession as a country waits for her highness, former miss world to slim down and for her blessed mercy to have men cracking their necks once again, when an Indian woman walks by... 

At the end of the day:
...the face of the real India, the real Indian woman, the real Indian is still the same and looks something like this:

Happy, trying hard to keep a smile, in a face still hiding under that pallu, as she tries to make the ends meet, waiting for her man to come home undrunk, waiting for her children to reach home safe for the simple meal she has managed to prepare, from that rotting wheat she managed to bring home from our topied-babus who are more interested in exporting them to cows in England than distributing them to the poor inland, escaping those mercedes and hyabusas that children of some rich race, unknown to her, race for fun, zipping past her, disregarding safety (especially others) convinced that their mean machines are worth more than her life, still hiding in the shadows of darkness in her power-cut home fearing the greedy eyes that prowl the streets, spitting, urinating and waiting to taste her whole if she dared to venture out. No matter how hard she tries, she can barely save, thanks to the price hikes and the ongoing attempts by the country's elected keepers and only-at-times of "their" need emerging-civil societies in not controlling it as vote-mongers and fund-seekers still manage to scrape above all this, dusting the dirt beneath the carpet as they glorify India as ofcourse the land of the aam-admi."Yes boss, India shining indeed! Agreed, home minister, lest you list me too in your long list of India's grave internal threats and send the army to get me for speaking the truth nevertheless show dissent." 

She waits for her turn at the ration shop as she is turned away with no reason. She waits in line for her turn, in queue-less places and in rows where she will be pushed aside if not strong. She is treated nothing more than an object that cooks, cleans and bears children. Yet, she waits in line and claims her place patiently, yet again. Her shape? Her size? She cares not. All that she cares is the 3-square meals she can barely share with the ones at home before she can have the left-overs for herself. Designer clothes? Designer shoes? She wears not, untattered still-what she wears? she is thankful to be fortunate, she will wash it and wear it as many times till it tears (often even after, ever after.)

She is many yet one. She is not the one who leaves the country and runs away to a foreign land, from where she rattles her opinion (like anyone cares) nor the one who occasionally visits her country for vacations to tell everyone she meets how stinky and dirty this land is. She is brave and braves it all. She knows it all and still survives without running away (not that she has a choice), without a fuss and without a complaint. She maybe abused; yet won't complain. She may be beaten, bruised and might cry in pain; yet, won't complain. She maybe raped, at the police station where she is supposed to register her complaint, yet won't complain. She knows that she has more to gain than lose with her epic silence. 

Without caring a rat's-arse about what Aishwarya is, wants to be or would turnout to be, as the nation gapes in utter shock, the other real Indian woman manages to not lose her grip and takes care of her home and everyone in it who do not care for her, she is she and she is the woman, the real face of India that hides behind the pallu and gently smiles as our topied-babus and paid-media try to polish her, shine her, paint her rags and portray her to the rest of the world as something she is not or doesn't care to be. 

And as far as Aishu is concerned and as the fate of the rest of the valueless things go once it has gone past its expiry date, her next destination awaits. Lurking somewhere at the end of the road in the next turn, around the next pit stop when she will have enough time to spend reflecting on the well-structured meaningless answers she gave to win the crown; a place that has seen many like her and more, a place that waits silently in a corner and has been an eternal constant, a reminder that just like the game of chess, once it is all over, the king and the pawn go into the same box...

...the archives and the dustbin for the rich, the famous and the forgotten to rot.



Saturday, May 26, 2012

3 Photographs Of Animals I Enjoyed

This is superfabulous. The meat and the need in the eyes. This is nature at its untamed best. 
"TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?"  William Blake 

I once had a dream and I woke up feeling invincible, confident and strong... in that dream, I was swimming underwater with mighty huge elephants, strong, sturdy and totally in comfort. Later, I saw this picture and felt, "Wow! now how cool is this to be one with the wild?!" 

This is black. The blackest black can get. A black panther, crisp, clear and loud. This is something you dare not mess with. Nature at its finest fury. Black at its finest glory. 

p.c: none of these photos are mine, (wish they were). classics I got online somehow, don't know how. Thanks to the eyes behind the lenses.

Rape Of Mother India

This here is a classic painting of the legendary Maqbool Fida Husain, the artist. This particular piece of art where you can see 2 bulls ravaging a child and the mother with a spear like line running through with droplets, suggests Mother India's fate being torn between the political parties via corruption, lack of growth and infrastructure, scams and so on and so forth and everything we are famous for; the Mother simply is not able to escape this horror as the child (India) barely retains its cling on her. The spear shedding that droplets shows the painters frustration and anger in the situation where he has added a line-like-spear that sheds droplets... this could be blood, tears, sweat, water... just anything you want to fill in with; probably that droplet, those droplets that finally manages to squeeze from us after the mad people who rape our country have taken all they can from us. This is a classic that shows the helplessness of rape and the agony of the people who are caught in this power struggle. Being self-critical before others mock at us and shame us, wouldn't it be ideal to stop and think, if this wouldn't be the ideal picture to depict what the country is going through at present with all the scams, corruption, price hikes (esp. petrol), Rupee's plunge, cover-up politics, silencing-counter-politics, poor performance at the UN, shameful heads hanging in the human rights courts... and everything and everything more you can add to the list till the line runs through you like the spear to squeeze those final drops. Once again as good things go, this picture too got into a controversy following its title... "The Rape Of India." What else can you name it?! R.I.P Hussainji.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Thought On Killing

People kill. People think they can conquer someone by killing. People think death is strong... stronger than life. They are wrong. Death is never stronger than life. Life is strong. Like truth is stronger than a lie. Death is a lie. Life is the truth. People kill. They think they have conquered someone by killing... yet what have they conquered really? A body?! A body is already lifeless without the spirit. How scared were they then of the spirit they try to kill? Killing exposes fear. Fear of something far above what they can bear that they decide to silence. Killing does not silence. Silence is loud. The voice spoken within is louder than the noise of a thousand outside. Killing ends the body not the spirit. The spirit lives. Lie dies. Truth lives. Body dies. Yet the soul wanders. Killing only sets the spirit free to wander. The body restricts. Death liberates. That is probably why people do not find the liberty they seek till they die. That is probably why it takes more strength to live than die. Thanks to the killer. Thanks to God... 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Story Of A Jackal

Their profile read the same... young, broke and worthless. There are the ones who are happy that they are born, some bring happiness to atleast others when they are born and there are 'the others' who have no purpose or clue as to why they were born in the first place. The last one's are the ones surrounded by sadness, negativism and curse that comes along with their birth, through their life, till their death and probably even ever-after if there was a chance. This is the story of one such jackal, born not because he wanted to, not dead as he is clueless "why not?!" and living just because he has nothing more or better to do between the "being born" and "not yet dead" timeline. 

There are some who are dead and forgotten and some who are dead-forgotten yet there are these kinds, who are alive yet forgotten like dead and this jackal is one who fits the last category perfectly. Time? Space? Fate? What is to be blamed? Who is to be questioned? Who is answerable? Neither knowing his whereabouts nor where to go, in stillness he stands as the path under him seems to move endlessly, twisting and turning, churning and whining, moaning and crying through darkness and eternity like a ever-coiling, never-dying slithering snake. Every turn only gets darker with every turn that gets just more ruthless. At times, it feels like the pinch of a strong, thin string smeared with pieces of sharp, shiny glass, with a noose carefully made to snugly fit the contours of the heart it is tied around, getting tightened with every pull, bearing witness to the shrieks and cries and the unbothered whistle of the strangler tugging at the chord watching the blood ooze-drop by drop, with no hurry, dripping its way into an awaiting earth, quenching its ever-needy thirst for blood. Pain seems to heighten to a level of pleasure and the dark trinity of sweat, blood and tears mix with no choice, dancing to the faint, fading cry of laughter at a distance.   

Dungeons and chambers of torture will know this pain, that pleasure-a rare entity for the pointless few. With nothing more to give, having nothing more to lose, with nothing more to gain, having nothing more to take, this beast screams behind walls of silence eternally. Always asked to respond to loss with patience, pain with silence, he is a victim of his own making; made more for the maker's amusement. Why this patience? Why this silence? Why this bearing? No one knows. "Why does no one see him?" "Whats the delight one gets in seeing him suffer?" he often wonders. Is he as dead as a log after a tree he ponders as he watches people with a halo behind their heads and sacrosanct opinions move about casting their feverish glance at him as they move past into their own worlds. "Whats the point?" "Whats the freaking point when no one bothers to care, no one bothers to hear, no one bothers to see in his eyes, the dark looming shadows of death?" he renders. 

The few things he can call his own, his very own, are those tears, sweat and blood-those that seem to be trickling away more and more with every step he takes to advance... nevertheless stand and so effortlessly fall. Every step he takes on his own makes him weak beyond his chance, ever tripping two with every single step he manages to take and yet he struggles, struggles to get a grasp of what he had lost, with no one to care or to stop for a moment and give a helping-hand. 

His pace gets slow and steadily unsteady and the pounding gets even worse, something he suffers with no one to share with a smile he is expected to have; a stray after all, a lonely stray who will not find compassion and has been decided is unworthy of a shoulder to support. Yet, this stray still tries... for a chance, for strength, one more time, just one more time, to stand on his own, to show that he once stood too, higher than the rest who walk past him, before the ruthless fall, before this uncouthed confidence with which he is mocked, right between his eyes like it were his back, yet it still makes no difference in trying after having lost all. After all, you can't kill a dead one twice... can you?! 

Now, this is the ghost that is moving. Not him. He is too dead to move. Its his spirit, that faint soul that tries to take those steps, those steps to escape into a new world. If not here, beyond this to the promised land or to the mud down below where his skin and bones are dying to go. What would it be like down there or high above? Would he care? Would he bother to?! Surely must be better than living this hell on earth. This never-ending jackal still moves through the darkness, searching for light, the strange piece of light, that ray of hope, that oasis he often glimpses in the desert that keeps him moving. Tattered, limping and groaning in pain that is too weak to rise above a voice to even beg, he lifts himself higher than he can, yet criticized, yet smitten, yet poked, yet uncared... yet unconquered, he struggles with insane faith to stand, again, one more time... even if it is for the last time, one more time, again he would stand, that ruthless, uncouthed, unconquerable jackal.

Photo: This was a photo I had clicked a while ago which I found meaningless then and hence was lying in the archives and found it apt for this piece of dark writing today... everything happens for a reason.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Find Out If Someone Is Normal

Step 1: Ask anyone if they are normal and they would agree before you can even drop that dot on the question mark that they are
Step 2: Change conversation and talk something irrelevant for a while
Step 3: After a while, ask if they have ever screamed, whistled, howled and growled when the lights go off in movie halls, scribbled the names of their friends or someone intimate along with theirs behind seats in public places for the world to see 
Step 4: Wait for them to become sheepishly nostalgic and say with pride that they too have done all these in their lifetime 
Step 5: Ask if they would still consider themselves normal now...

Point: Normality is so dissuasive. Some agree that majority behaviour is normal behaviour. "If you can't beat them, join them" goes the proverb. Yet, everyone has been a crackpot sometime or the other,  thus proving that "everybody is somebody's fool" and that no one is wise enough to judge another. "Let s/he who has not sinned be the first to cast the stone" goes the Biblical line and if we think about it, there will be lesser bruises around.

Blacksmith At The Doorstep

And slowly yet loud enough, he called out, "Katthi theetanuma, katthiii?" (Does anyone want to sharpen your knives?) the blacksmith at the doorstep

An uncommon sight yet so rustic to watch the knives especially those aruvaals (large knives famous in Tamil Nadu) send out those sparks as they twist and turn one after the other in his custom-made tools is a sight uncouthed... and as many uncouthed things go, a delight for me clicking off to my hearts content

He sharpened those knives we asked him to, he took a few new, shiny ones made at his pattrai (workshop) that were carefully tucked away in his bag of secret treasures, flashed them with pride and claimed that one particular one was his masterpiece and made a deal, followed by a bargain, deal sealed, he sipped a tea offered, brushed the sweat on his brow aside, smiled and trotted along as I stood there looking at all those sharpened knives, wondering, "Why this kolaveri dee?!" 

The Rottweiler, My Son And We

Marcus, the Rottweiler, watching over Aariyar, my son...

Aariyar's delight on seeing Marcus

Moments later, Aariyar, Marcus and We... 
in the order of importance

This fuzz ball is Max, the Lhasa Apso, with Aariyar. Can't decide who is fond of who... This was taken after Aariyar finished feeding him his treat for the day

Its not by keeping our children in fear that we keep them safe yet by making them loving, strong and brave by establishing healthy relationships like every thing with life matters that we can let that smile be...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Mask Series V

This is a mask with closed eyes and a pleasant, almost meditative rock-solid smile, tied to a rope, clicked off the 'Mask-wall' in my bedroom. I find this quite figurative as it seems to have that "tied up" feeling we all might have stuck to certain masks that we wear to a certain point of complacency. Time and space does draw upon us certain masks that we can't escape from. Its more for our own sanity that we wear certain masks lest we offend others. These are masks of toleration, adjustment, acceptance, peace, love, happiness, admiration... though we need not mean anything at all in the first place. Yet we wear them to keep our network and connections intact... don't we???
So much for nothing! hahaha! Life is fun...

The Mask Series IV

As part of the 'Masks on my wall' series, here comes a couple mask-a pair of villagers-a man and his woman. The man with his big moustache and turban and the woman with a large nose-ring and saree draped around her head... typical!-often the sight frauds in the cities get delighted to see. Behind all this ruggedness often lies innocence that trusts people-a wonderful character often seen as a vulnerability, often optimized, often emptied, often ridiculed, often cheated off, often that ends with the dearth of innocence. Such simple, such honest, such complacent lives, those that inspire the rest of the world are born in these villages and in the hidden faces of these villagers. Somehow, every time I see these masks, they seem to command a certain degree of respect I find many in the urban jungle shamelessly begging/demanding for. This click just makes these masks larger from my lowered angle... figurative intended.    

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Mask Series III

This mask is a tribal mask made entirely of clay. Had a tough time installing it in my wall as it is long and heavy. However, there is only a part of it visible in this click as I made a deliberate attempt to show people that only a part of our tribal instincts are still intact just like this. In the process of becoming a fast-growing tribe in the virtual world, our tribal instincts for closeness, gregariousness and warmth in the real world has slowly started to fade. Though we are losing our identity in the real world, our virtual identities are becoming more masked, more shelled and more fake... sometimes to such an extent that I wonder who is the real me? Is it the one that I reveal or the one I take so much effort to conceal? Who am I(?) trying so hard to belong to a tribe when I believe that I am already part of it?! 
These damned masks... 

The Mask Series II

Some of our masks are partly cultural too. Certain masks that we adorn to fit into pre-written norms to play the role they call for, roles like-the husband, the son, the brother, the father, the in-law and so on and so forth... This mask that hangs on the mask-wall of my bedroom, was received as a parting gift during a book launch function in Mangalore, Karnataka that I was invited to. The image was handcrafted by a gentleman for each and every person who went for the book launch. The image that he has tried to achieve is that of a popular folk art in that region called 'Yakshagana'-a boisterous, colourful, full of energy drama mostly performed late into the night on the streets for the common man, with plenty of lines that gets quoted from the scriptures. This click of the mask reminds me of how culture gets moulded into us and traps us lest we escape.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Mask Series I

This is a strange red mask that hangs amongst other masks in one of the walls of my bedroom, which I will bring out one by one through this series. Somehow I associate masks with identity. The masks we wear and the identities we share. It is usually only after the first 30 minutes of talk does a person actually start to pull off his mask and begins exposing his/her identity. Often no one has patience to listen to another for more than 30 minutes and more often no one cares to speak to another for more than 30 minutes lest their mask be removed and their true identity exposed... and hence the impression is made on the mask rather than the real face within the first 30 minutes and judgements made about the person. What really happens is that you have judged the mask not the face. Think!.. 

A Note On Abuse

I blogged for the very first time on January' 29, 2006. Not here, in this blog though; I blogged about a topic that I considered important elsewhere. A real story. About the girl I met in a psychiatric hospital in India checked in by her mother to get her treated for sexual abuse... yes, she went through the cords of barbaric "treatment," this time in a "professional" hospital setting. I am not going to write about it further or again. I have already done it and if anyone cares, you are free to visit: where I had written about it and read it. I had one comment left behind by a person and was enthralled by the social concern and stopped expecting any further response and stopped blogging there (even my email id has changed from mailcity then to gmail now). This was after I came back to India from the Philippines after working in a home for the sexually abused children and found my great 'Bharath Mahaan ki jai' stuck sans movement in these affairs. 

Now lets get somethings straight for some over-excited readers following the heat in the comment section following my own at: where a Indian father is assumed to have "saved" his daughter from the evil clutches of her marriage by taking her back to "his" home. I questioned the foolish, awkward-reaction of the father sealing the space for reconciliation. 
Meanwhile I was questioned by some who seemed to be enjoying the comments by those fake, desperate, hypocritical feminists and those clueless boys who try to find a comfortable seat amidst those women by supporting their often uninteresting cause whistling and applauding the father's pitfall all along... some serious ones, many foolish ones and almost all hilarious enough to make me laugh.

Following that, I though I will get some wrinkles straightened and announced that I will blog in reply at 2200hrs on May' 16, 2012. Here it is with the reason why I had said what I had said that seems to have stirred some anger amongst the diaper-wearing crowd:

Reacting hearing just one side of the story is dangerous:
Reaction calls for emotions and response calls for logic. Response is what is required in crisis control not reaction especially when only one side of the story is heard. Would I like to be wailing when my house is on fire or try to find water to throw??? Take some time to listen, "Listen" has the letter "t" silent for a reason... to keep "Talking" shut as you hear, hear the other side of the story too. Every other assumption made sans listening to the other side of the story is only a mere assumption that exposes our vulnerable gullibility.

Give the benefit of doubt:
Every truth is only half the lie and usually designed to suit the way the listener wants to hear. This is mostly to gather attention, sympathy and very often both. This is like calling for fools on the roadside whenever there is a minor incident to render justice... invariably, if a pedestrian crashes into a cycle, the cycle'wallah is to be blamed, if a cycle hits a  bike, the bike'wallah will be blamed and if the bike hits a lorry, the lorry'wallah must be the culprit-bigger the vehicle, the quicker the decision made that that is the culprit and the quicker the decision made in the streets and justice rendered-soon to realize that the bigger vehicle was parked just along side and had nothing to do with the crash. This is why some people prefer to hear the other side of the story, giving the benefit of doubt to the accused before arriving at any hasty conclusion and ridiculous judgments commanded by a parliament of fools.  

Destruction is easy, construction takes time:
The initial stage is extremely delicate in many cases... like the initial days after conceiving when the woman is asked to be careful, the initial days after child-birth when extreme precaution is taken to protect the infant from catching any infection, and so also the initial stages of a marriage where there is a lot of adjustment required-come on, you are two different people after all. Instead of adjusting, if either of the partner spends more time to speak over the mobile (the curse of modern age) to relay constant commentary of intrinsic details to willfully awaiting parents on the other side, you are already preparing the batter for a screwed up marriage. Parents, let go. Daughters and sons, go. Learn the difference between "your" family (the one that you created after the vows) and your "parents" family which is your dad's and spend time in stabilizing your own-its your life! Learning to pull the trigger of the gun is easier than creating tunes with a guitar. Take time... thats what time is for.

The choice is yours:
Don't make pappu make all the choices for you. How long will you let pappu take you to the toilet?! Every time pappu says, "come home to daddy!" it is easy for anyone to trot along. Grow up. Growing up is not in getting hormonal changes and reaching puberty in time. Its about having the ability to have your choices and make your decisions regardless of that screaming crowd who will shout inside and outside your head to make choices for you. They will find this amusing as you choose the choice they have made for you as they carefully take care of their own homes when you are busy fighting listening to them or would like be busy dusting the 'welcome' carpet to invite one more screw-up into their club. Pappu has a shelf-life too remember. 

Divorce, separation and single parenting need not necessarily mean necessary identities for forward thinking:
Though people take pride in announcing that they have been divorced twice or thrice or announce that they belong to the LGBT community in 'pride' (pun intended), in a modest attempt to show the world that they are forward thinking, their blabberings will only sound something like... "we are... blah blah blah... blah, blah, blah, and WE ARE... blah, blah and BLAH... SCREW UPS" to the other part of the regular, still existing, still revolving world. What is there to be proud of... seriously? "Traditional" does not mean old just as wisdom does not necessarily have to come with age. Agreed that sometimes everyone screws-up once in a while and some screw-ups would take some sensible and effective steps to do some damage control and these (wiser ones) are the one's who would silently carry on with their lives smoothly rather than make a mess out of it by bringing in too many people they would feel a necessity to answer to.

No one is a victim unless they accept it:
I remember a friend of mine who was sexually abused when she was a child by her dad... when I asked her if the scar on her soul was too deep to heal, she said, "it was more like a mosquito bite. A pest did bite me, it did hurt yet I learnt to move on without giving the useless mosquito much ado nor creating an image of an indestructible monster for it." "It was too much of a credit giving the creature any attention," she said. She did not want to go for therapy as she felt too strong to be labelled a "victim". she walked. 'Victims' ask for attention, sympathy and support, those things sometimes I believe are actually the only things they "deserve" and may be granted nevertheless they begin dancing with their hair lose like those at temples when the drum beat gets rolling.Doesn't it take more strength to stand up and walk rather than roll over and cry?! 

"Have you ever been abused? Only then you will know the pain..." so they said.
Well frankly though I would consider it unnecessary to have jumped off the cliff to treat someone with broken bones, and hence reserve my comments. 

As for me, the violations against me are nothing compared to what I have seen happen around in the darkness of war struck and disaster zones I have visited and all that I can ask to those who faced this ugly truth of abuse is to stand up, wait for no one to shoulder you and walk(Period). Never ever, ever never lie down for those to trample upon... especially those who take delight in giving their ideas of help, sometimes, their feet crush you more than those standing besides not doing anything. So hence I say, stop listening, stand up and walk. 

Violation, is when someone optimizes on someone's vulnerability and I do feel violated every time someone (irrespective of any identity for me to feel associated with) is violated. It is from these ruins that wonderful creations come to life and the power of human endurance, strength, adjustment and motivation comes alive, to live till one dies rather than die each day as one survives and hence I ask for reason to respond than emotion to react. 

As a father to the father who wrote that letter finally, "I teach my child to hold my hand and walk and teach myself to let go once he does and heaven forbid, if he falls, will ask him to stand up and walk than find comfort in my lap." And if you still don't get it... find those swines to wallow with you in your sorrow of filth and I regret for trying to interrupt your shit bath didn't realize that you were enjoying it. Sorry for the disturbance, carry on...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rottweiler and I

This is Marcus, my Rottweiler. Rottweilers which are said to be ruffians and were made famous by Hitler who used them as killer dogs in the concentration camps, seeing him the first time, my dad said that I had brought home a beast. I had other plans though. I wanted to see if nurture could change nature and so treated him to loads of love and care and plenty of socialization. Today Marcus is said to be the friendliest creature at home and is also quite protective and popular with my friends, family and neighbors (why else would I have him around?!) A strong, powerful and wonderful chap that he is (click on the picture to catch a close up), he adorns a charming character and has managed to create strong bonds with the Lhasa Apso and other creatures that share our abode. His latest friend is my 8-month-old kid with whom he is free to mingle and protect and he does so with grace, like a baby-sitting-nanny. Half a decade down the line, today my folks wonder why people fear the Rottweiler so much when they are actually such wonderful creatures. Nurture wins! (The other dog in the picture is me during one of our self-click moments.)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Top Secret


Anyone, just anyone who has entered a government office in India would recognize these files. "Put up the file" you can hear the head scream as the clerical staff murmur choicest bad words in return. Then the files pile up and you know the rest of the story... that never ending story of delay and red tapism in the government machinery. Thanks to the Brits who thought us documentation. Another click from a government office I was earlier working (or rather not working) in filed, framed and put up. Hahaha! Wish my Commissioner doesn't get to see this...

Still Life Stiller Death

The conch is blown at the start of any auspicious ceremony as well as all through the route when a corpse is carried for the final rites to be performed. Is there something so auspicious about death, I wonder. This misty, mystic daze is what I tried to capture through this photography in still life which seems to cast a dark shadow of death on one side and a bright light of life on the other. This is to be framed in our rooms to remind us that life and death is all about celebration if not for you, then for someone else.

The 5 Stages Of Writing (A must read for all writers)

Stage 1:  A new kid on the block, a nobody, an amateur who thinks that the world is unfair, writes about the injustice s/he sees. A writer is recognized by the readers and appreciated for his/her writing which brings truth hiding in the dark, the dark alleys and the darkest dungeons of the society out... s/he does not know
Stage 2: There is a huge flow of recognition, awards, fans, fame and money to appreciate, encourage and reward the writer for his/her effort and courage
Stage 3: The writer writes again... this time for the recognition, awards, fans, fame and money and also for the continuous appreciation, encouragement and rewards to keep flowing constantly for his/her effort and courage; and thus begins the writing that is deceptive, manipulative, twisted and is a lie and s/he assumes and is confident that everyone would like it. The stage where s/he begins to write for the audience
Stage 4: Writer wonders why the f*&k does the world find the writing of a new kid on the block, a nobody, an amateur who writes something that is too simple, too easy and is just plain truth that seems to be floating everywhere more applaud-able than his/hers well thought out writing and says that the world is so unfair to people like him/her; finds it unreasonable, has a mental block, can't write any more nor find anything worthwhile to write about and  thus sensibly hibernates... Condemns and curses the world and stops writing
Stage 5: The world moves on and it still revolves, nothing seems to have stopped that since the writer stopped writing, injustice still prevails and writers may come and writers may go and they still think that they can change the world... yet, it, moves...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Touch Me Not

I have always wondered if anything can beat the pleasure of getting a picture right through an old, roll camera. Trust me nothing beats old school... there is something rustic about it. Clicked here is a 'touch-me-not' creeper that was found growing in the wild. Nostalgic right?! Remember your childhood when you used to run around touching them to make them fold their leaves as if they were shy?! Hahaha... one of the powers of a good photograph is that it can bring back memories locked deep within, many that we thought we almost forgot reopen just like these leaves do. Pleasure!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Unknown

The unknown is actually not quite unknown. The shiny black rock did fascinate me and so did the moss and grass etched around it. The "unknown" crumble of rusted iron lying wasted is actually a spool for iron wires to connect a cable car that is used to carry dead tigers in a tiger conservation project in Kalakkad, Tamil Nadu that houses Asia's largest tiger... little known fact right?! Behold, the power of the unknown! Anyways, got some rich colours into my lenses again...  

The Big Bamboo And The Little Ant

Sometimes when you click rapidly, you may get these more rapid-moving creatures, those which are quite contrary to most of us, alert, energetic and robust-that lovely ant minding its own business, enters the frame. And if I am still lazy, it would have hardly been waiting for me to click. Here is one such snap where a curious ant came to meet a curious photographer. Result: You enjoy! 

No Touching Only Seeing

This is supposed to be a stone that was used to select soldiers into the king's army in old Travancore. I remember, during my childhood when the guide used to tell us that the raja along with his rani used to watch the recruits lift this stone weighing around 30-35 kilograms over a 100 times above their head if they intended to get into the army of the king and a couple of us kids used to try lifting it too. Now, with the increase in tourism and along with it-vandalism, the last time I went there, I saw the stone perched on top of a pillar for everyone to see and noone to touch and I clicked.

Sculptor Sculpted Sculpture

This is yet another picture clicked recently at Padmanabapuram Palace, Kerala/Tamil Nadu border. Statues of this kind are more functional as the stone 'deepams' (lamps) they have cupped in their hands are lit during prayers offered in the temple, right outside which they stand. This could be a classic piece; statue as well as the photography I mean.