Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Distinguished Pair

My young blogger friend Insignia, burst into verse on seeing two silver strands in her hair. Read about it here.

Naturally, the two silver strands needed to respond. Like below ......

Dont cry for us, Insignia;

Like you,
we've done
path breaking journeys;
different latitudes,
cities with
brazen attitudes,
progress to mean,
chemical exhaust,
additives in food,
mess in the water,
and although
it's fun to be held
and massaged
in warm oil,
some of us
don't get
what the rest
on your crown do.

And so,
instead of
being slaves to fashion,
and deliberately
getting colored,
we change naturally,
trying to be different.

Dont cry for us, Insignia;

Some folks think
we're wise,
Ha, Ha,
like Maggi Sauces,
we both think, we're DIFFERENT!

:-) :-)

Life chutneys

Recently came across a wonderful poem penned by a friend I have never met ... The ethos just reminded me about how flavours mix, in a possible sacrificial mode, in a traditional Indian chutney grinding environment...for a beneficial end result.....

(The original inspiration was in Marathi (the King's language), so my first creation was in the same language. The version in the Queen's language was done after that.....)

(visual by Google)
मनाच्या पाट्यावर
कधी कधी विचारांची भरड
शंकांच्या मिरच्यांना सोबत करते ;
थोडी आश्वासक हिरवाई,
कोणीतरी पेरलेले मीठ ,
मधूनच आठवते ती चीण साखर
तरी सुद्धा
कुठेतरी ठिबकणारे
रस्लीम्बाचे अश्रू
आयुष्याचा वरवंटा
तसाच फिरत राहतो ,
कारण शेवटी
एकत्र चटणी बनवणं जरूरीचं असतं........

Coarsely ground thoughts
face up
on the chutney-stone
of the mind,
in the sizzling
of the jalapenos
and habaneros....
a sudden cooling
sprinkle of green coriander,
salty doubts,
an odd sweet old memory,
one must
still swallow
and add
the pungent
flowing lemon juice
the grinding piece
mobilize to
more and more
in life......

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Coalition Dharma

Sometimes birds display an uncanny understanding of political situations within ruling parties in India. And it takes someone like my friend Kavi Arasu to spot something, like the birds, which to others, may appear to be nothing more, than an old rusted boat , bobbing around, tenuously tethered to the shore .....

Like Kavi says : Some steer. Others lead.
But then..
Both can fly.......

(photograph by Kavi Arasu)
Its an age old set up,
some steer,
bothered by rules,
keeping on the right side,
an occasional turn
depending on
which way
the water tends to flow;
but some lead,
out front,
unmindful of
the nitty gritty,
but terribly concerned
about constraints
put by connections
to some
on the land
to the south.****

Result :
currently ,
the boat
appears to go nowhere........

**** to those ignorant of Indian politics, the ruling party is currently in a tenuous coalition , majorly associated with a southern Indian regional party.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

...And the stars come down to earth....

Once again, an amazing photograph, of the early morning waves at Marina Beach in Chennai, by my friend, Lakshmi Sharath. See some more pictures from her here.

(She takes so many breathtaking ones, one gets flooded with verse......)

(photograph by Lakshmi Sharath)
The stars
gaze awestruck
as the
Lunar hero,
makes the oceans
dance to his tune,
beckoning tides
with alacrity
to the beach,
and then
shooing some away later.

He looks at them,
twinkling with curiosity
around him,
and says,
"Oh! cant help
making waves
wherever I look...."

A glimmer to the east,
at dawn
the Moon's game is up;
He rushes off,
bowing to the
about-to-emerge Sun,
but not before
the stars
have rushed
into the ocean,
to experience
the ebb and flow
of life.....

A turn for the better ....

Lakshmi Sharath , whose travel articles are published by some of India's leading Southern newspapers , has a wonderful photoblog, and she also posts great photographs of her travels on FB.

This was one , early one morning, at the famous Marina Beach in Chennai; a commentary on urban lifestyles of a large population, withing small spaces , making this couple the focus of this photo, (and not the sand.....)

(photograph by Lakshmi Sharath)
from crowded
berating gazes,
independence day happens
they walk across
the wave-dimpled sands,
and watch
as a garbage
four wheel drive
screeches by
leaving in its tracks
its deletable presence.

seems to have just
taken a turn...
for now,
it's just
him, her,
and the backpack
as they watch
the ebbing tide
and hope
it comes rushing
back soon,
to wipe out
all obstacles
in their lives....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tremors of the mind

In a gentle way, you can shake the world. - Mahatma Gandhi.

My friend Aativas blogs at Times Change. She recently experienced the earthquake (7.4 on the Richter Scale) that rocked parts of Pakistan and Northern India. It got her thinking , with great empathy, of the earth , as a person , and resulted in this amazing and wonderful post titled Quick Shake . Do check it out.

.........And it got me thinking.

A thousand million
hard years,
hurtling around,
the incandescent star,
bearing the
of greedy humanity,
mountainous excesses
and flowing and gushing
defiled water bodies,
she now wobbles a bit
at an odd angle
in her old age....

it gets too much,
she shakes her head,
and stretches,
coughing a bit
the skin clutching the bones
in dryness,
deep surface wounds.

Unlike us
she is her own doctor,
and emerges
from the
short stretching rest,
energized again
like a Mother,
watch,tolerate, and wonder,
her wayward children,
again and again.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flying High .....

My friend , Swaram is a part of a group of young people who are involved in projects that help rural children with their education. Sometimes , being a firmly grounded person, gives folks a special ability to make things fly high.

We just celebrated Makar Sankranti , our Harvest festival, which also signifies Uttarayan, or the Sun's movement away from the equator to the North. Besides worship and prayer, there is a lot of food, song, and fun with friends. It is traditional also to fly kites on this day.

Someone photographed her doing exactly that.....

The Sun on a string,
the Little Stars
of her village
at her feet,
proudly showing off
their new school bags and books...

And while
he travels North
in Uttarayan,
to warm up
those who see
less of him,
he knows
there will come
a time
when he must return,
she has him on a string...

In the meanwhile,
and her friends
at Sewa,
are the Sun
for the little ones.

Spinning out of control ?

My friend Sylvia posts these wonderful photos on her blog . This particular photo has been sent to her by a friend . This is how she explains the phenomenon of these amazing cloud formations , or lenticular clouds.

"Those are called "lenticular clouds" They're caused when the air flow is just right so when it flows over Mt. Rainier, the air gets pushed upward where it cools and condenses into clouds. Depending on how smooth the flow is, you can get some amazing cloud formations as we've seen so far today. It's usually a sign of rain within 24 hours because typically the moist flow that precedes a storm around here is the perfect set up for these clouds."

My comment necessarily reflects the distrust that most folks have with those who call themselves "leaders" today....

(Photo by friend of Sylvia Kirkwood)
the whites ,
blues, and oranges,
live in peaceful
feet firmly entrenched
on the ground,
a life
with day to day
earthy concerns,
is it any surprise,
that those
at the
the flow of reason,
spin out of control,
and are often
troubles to come ?

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Stump Perspective....

There are often unending arguments between people who swear by T20 cricket, and those who think cricket means Test Match Cricket. This is a Stump Perspective....

about whether
cricket should be
like a willful wild and wayward child
a pillar of propriety,
a certain bat
defensively nudged
a certain ball
which rolled away
to the onside,
"I wish i was the stumps...
It would be so wonderful
to sit back and watch;
we are the ones
who get so hurt
in both forms of the game....."

And the bails
thought it was so funny,
they fell off,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Nutty affairs

Under certain circumstances, the humble peanut can manifest itself as the sophisticated almond and high-brow walnut, or even both.

Folks like my friend Uma, prove that, again and again, when they decide to surprise their families with cookies,freshly baked in the afternoon, no doubt enjoyed with wonderful south Indian filter kapi.

(photo by Uma Srinivasan)

The staid peanuts
sat bored
in a fit of affection
she crushed them
drowned them
in a sea of butter and sugar,
to emerge
with a makeover,
pouting hot
from an oven….

Mesmerized by
the aroma,
he bit into one,
savouring the nuttiness,
“Hmm. Something nutty ?
Walnuts ? Almonds ?”

And abashed,
they simply dissolved
in his mouth,
preferring that
the lady explain,
that walnuts and almonds,
were not a patch
on peanuts
wrapped in love,
sprinkled with caring
proudly puffed in pride,
made by a lady,
for a great family,
on a lonesome
afternoon in Chennai…..

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Slurp, Spice and Burp

To be able to keep away from something as mouth watering, hot and spicy, on a cold winter day and take photographs while someone else demolishes stuff, is something my friend G obviously does with great elan......

Read her post about it here.

(photograph by Gunjan)

Like old ageless
enhanced by
soft wrinkled
vibhuti and haldikumkum
habituated skin.

Its now the turn
a mature rice
and an obedient
udad dal,
ground and waiting
in a warm peace....

A hot gridlle,
a quick
threadbare spread,
and the two
create some crackling magic,
the likes of
spicy mashed potato;
a comfort chutney
sambhar joy,
on a bed of green...

And the old
crinkly eyes,
indulgently watch,
and nod
at the plantain leaf,
as he
wipes it clean
with the last dosa piece....

The Soaring Mind

The quality of any flight, is undeniably enhanced by the silence of its landing. Quiet, clean and purposeful, in gratitude, to the One that makes it all possible.

A great visual by Kavi Arasu, for starting of , what could be a great year for all. You can read his amazing accompanying post, nay, invocation, here.

(photo by Kavi Arasu)
A leap
by an endlessly
practiced belief,
day after day,
perfecting the approach.

Facing the Sun,
up on the toes,
palms high up together,
buoyant in good wishes,
sinews glistening
in praise of strength,
he soars.

And then,
he bends his knees,
bows his head
in gratitude
to those that
he calls his own,
his euphoria,
with palms outstretched

So many soar,
so many leap,
and so many
talk about it.

But the ones
you remember the most
are the ones
the return entry
cutting through
the crowd
disturbing the water
all around.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looking forward to 2011.....

I thought this was a very symbolic photograph, showing some folks looking forward to a great, safe, happy, and healthful 2011.

And as always, this is from a post by my friend Sylvia from Seattle.

(photo by Sylvia Kirkwood)
Some think
it's green envy,
rippling across,
in waves
of discontent,
across a few islands
of stability.

But to some,
its the ability
of two peaceful types,
to meet,
on these
floating supports,
each other's thoughts,
as they talk,
about diving into the green,
and making their own waves,
urging the denizens
to live together,
and swim together
in peace.....