Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bovine Solutions........

My friend Bhavesh Chhatbar  has posted some amazing captures of the Grazing Indian Buffalo on his blog .

Sometimes , I think, not only do the buffaloes graze, but they also gaze. At us. In disgust.  At how terrible our species can be. 

Given the recent events in Delhi,  one can only agree.

I chew the cud
and ruminate,
on the
new two legged animals
that seemed to

have joined the jungle.

I resist ,
with great difficulty,
the urge
to gore them with my horns,
and thrash
and kick them.

Should the two-legged law
not work,
The Law of the Jungle
will prevail.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bozoical Rage...

Bozo, my blogfriend with his own blog,  is upset and disgusted.  He has been around, but nothing saddens him more than what he has seen and heard on television recently.

Things have spiralled out of control.  The quadrupeds are thinking of suing some folks for defamation, for comparing some folks to animals.  And from what Bozo sees, unless some firm steps are taken, and laws put in, nothing will improve.

Bozo knows.  He is thinking. So deeply, that he never realised when Magiceye clicked.

You know,
I may not speak your language
but I understand it.

And I keenly watch .
And I am angry
and greatly stressed.

Which is bad for me
in my old age....

The world,
The television.
And I hear the folks
discussing things.

It is serious.

Something bad has happened
in the capital
and I wish
someone had helped
the young girl and her friend,
both so brave......

In my world,
we fight and attack
those who hurt
those we consider ours.

I just have one question.

Someone told me
when bipeds abuse
females of their species
they use words
to the female
my species ?

Why ?

What wrong have we done ?

Would you prefer
I call a bad dog a Bura  Besharam Aadmi
when I fight and bite him?

That would hurt badly,
since I have now seen
in Delhi
the worst of the Bure Besharam Aadmis....

Will you never learn
that the female is to be respected
and you cannot exist
unless she does ?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Keeping together ....

My FB friend Nandan Tavanandi, has an amazing collection of  bird photos that he clicked at the Rann of Kutch where he went on a birding trip.. 

One of those , was that of  Eurasian Spoonbill on their evening walk with Large Egret....  and the demeanor and body language of the birds was so striking.

A case of a smaller cerebral cortex, but sharper eyes.

Or maybe it appeared so to me, given what is happening in the country today ,....

(photo by Nandan Tavanandi)  

after flying in
from a freezing north,
Egret Aji,

with a pained thoughtful look
" I fly down each year,
and year after year
what I see
below me
gets worse and worse.

We need to keep together,
whether we fly
walk exploring the marsh.

I thought there is safety in numbers.

But sometimes,
amongst humans,
the numbers themselves
become untrustworthy,
cruel and sick.

These humans have gone mad."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Silly Grin....

My FB and blogger friend Sangeeta Khanna,  fresh from the rigours of house whitewash, used some left over whole wheat pizza dough, added some yummy homemade pizza sauce, and baked , what she calls a rustic bread .

She posted a picture here on FB :

Naturally, I saw something else there..... and a poem happened.

at keeping
her blooming temper
was really puffed up in anger.

A whole afternoon on sitting
all sticky
covered with
a thin cloth
fermenting in frustration.

First they poked,
then the punched,
and then
slapped her around on a tray
with so many freeloaders
like onion, tomatoes,
and those upstarts,
the mushrooms,
clamouring for cheese.

The planets had changed.
for one thing,
the walls looked whiter and brighter !

This time,
she was gently patted down,
she almost got drunk
on some chunky pizza sauce
drizzled over her.
"Dont worry" said the lady,
gathered her together
in a little
open box.

there was something about the sauce
and she simply
puffed up
this time in pleasure,
a silly grin on her face.....

Some hot time
in a comfy oven,
and she was ready to face the world.

Those black things ?
Just some left over kala tikkas !

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Mary Kom Rice

Dr Kavita Saharia, my FB and blog friend from Guwahati,  in North East India,  did a wonderful post on the Red Rice of Manipur. Treated as food and medicine , and cultivated in small rain fed scattered areas, this high-fibre unmilled rice contains more vitamin B, niacin, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc than our routine common white rice.

Read her entire post here :

Just reminded me of one more amazing entity from Manipur .......

and inspired a poem :-)

So many
presumed prosperous,
Bossy Basmatis and
Keen Kolums,
fighting it out
across the country,
smeared in pulaos,
flavoured in biryanis,
and being fussed over
and decorated
as they shamelessly laze
in stubborn payasams.

some boiled transparent types
even join in
for griddle activities,
in the company of Udad,

All these folks,
completely oblivious
to Chak-hao,
the Mary Kom of Rice.

Like her,
from Manipur;
like her,
hardy, strong, and full of health;
like her,
always needed for her kids,
like her ,
fearing none,
and like her,
loved by all !

The tough, dark rice,
soaked in water
bashfully turning a dark burgundy;
then tentatively
warming and cooking
to meet the advancing
milk and sugar folks,
coming to meet her.

A meeting of minds,
a great mixing,
and she turns a blushing pink,
as milk and sugar
shower her with compliments
amidst a spray of
slivers of nuts.

Like Mary Kom,
the star of Manipur,
a lovely, sturdy, healthy,
role model,
for the young Kheers of india.....

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Spider Soliloquies....

My Blog and FB friend, Nandan Tavnandi, clicked this amazing  photograph of a spider doing its thing at the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, on the Mumbai-Goa Highway.

Besides spiders, who actually hold copyright on the word "web", we have lots of webs today, including the deceitful  ones woven by those who call themselves politicians.

I just though the spider might have something to say about that........

(photo by Nandan Tavanandi)
I weave my web
for a living,
against several odds.

Its probably
a very laborious way
of catching your prey
and getting your next meal.

But I see some
who emulate
and weave such spurious webs,
not to source
the next meal,
but the next million.

They do not weave themselves,
but get
helpless minions
to do that,
in the process,
messing the view
for anyone trying to look through.

Of course,
there are holes in my web
really become
loopholes in theirs,
and they miss them
in the excitement
of power networking
round and round the centre.

Folks with evolved cerebral cortii,
leaving loopholes
me of the gosammer net
with holes.

King Arthur would have been
of the holes in my web.

Bozoical Hmmmmm..!

Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog is convinced that the Lord works in amazing ways to teach us.

He has had his reservations about certain chocolate colored proud twowheelers that have smitten the boss.   He is getting a bit worried that other folks are getting smitten too.  But then something happened on one of the chocolate lady's trips.  The Boss had his camera stolen.  Shock and Despair.

Never mind. There is a new camera now.  And Bozo , gave a special pose for it. He is not saying anything, but you can see it in his eyes......

You know,
by nature,
I am a very careful ,
guarded chap.

I have my eye on things,
even when I am
having skirmishes with birds
in the balcony,
in the rear seat of the car
on the odd occasions
that I travel.

I also don't like some things I see.

Like this new fussy
chocolate colored two wheeler
that has Deepak smitten.

I mean you can create speed,
but you cannot
create space,
when two folks
are going to travel
for 5 days.

And so ,
although the chocolate lady
will not admit to it,
the camera disappeared
due to the
absence of a locked boot,
something that
doesn't fit ,
into the beauty features
of the chocolate lady.

I sympathize.
So does another very kind lady
who presented Deepak
with a new Canon.

I just gave my
"I told you so" pose,
and Deepak clicked.

I guess I am lucky for Deepak.

one of the balcony crows
that the chocolate lady
was seen shedding oil tears
in the garage ....

Just saying ...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oye ! Bhappa Doi !

My friend Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne, first cooks brilliant stuff, then she takes amazing photographs of the same. This is followed by an fantastic blogpost, linking the dish with some ethos of her childhood and family.

This time, she used left over basundi/rabdi/payasam along with hung/thick/greek yogurt, to make an amazing Bhappa Doi, which is a sweet bengali yogurt based dessert. (Recipe at the link indicated).

This time Shruti also made a poem based on this dish , called "The Ballad of Mishti and Bhappa", confirming her place as a brilliant delicious poet and/or poetic foodie.

Her posts and recipes often inspire Marathi poems, and she is always kind enough to let me put them here.

This time I am also putting the poem she made alongside. I am more than a decade older than Shruti. We are settled in different cultures. And our two poems, are living proof, of how we have slightly different ways of looking at stuff .

 Possibly in keeping with our ages . And possibly indicative of how much we both love food.

दिवसभराच्या समारंभाने तृप्त झालेल्या ,
सर्वांचे गोड आशीर्वाद, आहेर ,
आणि कुटुम्बात नवीन अलेल्या
बदामी सुनेच्या कौतुकात
बुडलेल्या वरमाई,
वेलदोड्याच्या आणि केशराच्या
ठिपक्यांनी सजलेली शुभ्र सोनेरी साडी,
सर्व पाहुणे परतल्यावर
टेकून बसलेल्या नवीन सासूबाई ...

आणि एकीकडे
अचानक एकट एकट वाटून,
भावनिक श्रमाने पिळून गेलेल्या
दिवसभराच्या समारंभां नंतर ,
मनात आणि डोळ्यात अश्रु ढाळणार्या

आवरा अवर झाल्यावर ,
वधुवर मधुचान्द्रास निघून गेल्यावर
त्या दोघी
पहाटेच्या गारव्यात भेटतात.
थोड्या उबेसाठी
आतल्या गरम खोलीत बसतात

एकीची नवीन मिळालेली मुलगी ,
एकांचा नवीन मिळालेला मुलगा
यांच्या आनंदात
एकीमेकीच्या घट्ट मैत्रिणी होउन जातात....

पहाटेची वार्याची एक मिशकील झुळूक ,
जाई जुइच्या वेलात खुदकन हसते ,
आणि म्हणते भप्पा, भप्पा, वाहवा !
The Ballad of Mishti and Bhappa

Shruti Nargundkar

A cream come true when they set,
Both of the deserted milk ilk,
Bhapa and his lady love dulcet
Were desserts not to forget!

Mishti was sweet and coy,
Of saffron smooth complexion
While burly brawny Bhapa boy
A bhadra Banga mahashoy!

Then tragedy smote the duo
As a matron thrifty ‘n crafty
Prudently wouldn’t a thing throw
Separated the belle from her beau!

Mishti resolved to meet her fate
Adorned with sparkling zigzags
Bhapa sweltered in the grate
Vowing reunion at the pearly gate!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

So many of my blogging and FB friends have dogs that blog. Luci from Thiruvanantapuram, and Bozo from Bandra,Mumbai being the two leading folks.

 Luci recently put up some amazing photos , that looked like formal portraits on her blog and FB. Possibly to celebrate a new Nikon. In something peculiar to the Indian ethos, these photos of Luci reminded me of the formal photos that people put up on matrimonial database sites, that are so popular today.

And naturally , one thought of Bozo .   See Luci below in the upper set of 3 photos and Bozo, in the set below .

I don't have a pet dog, but sometimes, I think I must have been a dog in my last birth.  :-))

(all photos of Luci by Shail Mohan, and those of Bozo by Deepak Amembal)

He was smelling
the smooth shining pages
hitting "Next"
with his paw,
when he chanced upon
royal beauty
with soulful eyes
and amazing spirit.

he said,
"She is on FB
and also has a Dog Blog !"

he barkmailed her,
their folks got in touch,
and may meet.

He just wonders,
he should present her
with his
favourite blue collar
at the first meeting .....

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Peepal Live !

My FB friend  Amit Amembal, recently posted this amazing capture of a Peepal Tree.

Called Ashwattha is Sanskrit, पिंपळ in Marathi, પિપળો in Gujarati, അരയാല്‍ Arayal in Malyalam, araLi mara ಅರಳಿ ಮರ in Kannada, Arasa maram அரச மரம் in Tamil,  Pippal in Punjabi, and  Ficus Religiosa  in Botany,  this is a species of fig native to the subcontinent. With over 50 medicinal uses, the peepal is the first-known depicted tree in India: a seal discovered at Mohenjodaro, one of the cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation (c. 3000 BC - 1700 BC), shows the peepal being worshipped.  The Bramha Purana, Skanda Purana , Upanishads, as well as the BhagwadGita mention this tree, and it is the tree underwhich the Buddha is supposed to have received the enlightenment.

Its speciality , among many other things, is its gnarled roots that often descend and connect with the earth. 

For some reason these roots here seemed to be in a trauma of sorts ......

It is someone
with a
long Vanaprasthashram.

For someone,

whose roots
are considered Brahma,
whose trunk
the abode of Vishnu
the leaves,
gracefully existing as Shiva,
and thrilled to bits
as the Buddha
imbibed it all
meditating beneath,
the roots
gnarl now in agony,
twisting and turning
as they slowly,
helplessly descend.

In all its years
of living, fruiting
and dispensing wisdom
and cures,
it has never felt
as hopeless
as it feels now,
the country
denigrating the girl child.

"Treat me as a son
if you do not beget one
your family name
will flourish with me"
the tree said in the Skand Purana.

But do the
listen ?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bozo on Automation

Sometimes, Bozo,  Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog  momentarily gets alarmed. You never know what you might have to face in life.   First it was chocolate colored raging two wheelers simply enchanting his mentor Magiceye and luring him away . And now, these driver less four wheelers, careening about the house.   Check this photographic capture by Magiceye , if you do not believe....

After an initial alarm and a sense of fright, Bozo has seen through it all.  And being a Mumbai dog, he even philosophises about it......

I thought it was a cataract ,
something looked strange,,
I must be getting old ....

You know,
I've been around
in the family car,
even Deepak
has to wear a belt
in order to drive.

And I wear my blue collar
with great pride
as I stand in the rear seat....

And then,
the other day,
I see
what I think
is a tiny car,
but no one inside,
as it zooms around,
back and forth,
sometimes chasing me,
confronting me,
and the entire car
than my harness!

I blinked.
No change.
I blinked again .
And then I saw a little kid,
under the dining table,
pressing buttons,
to make the car go here and there.

I am not surprised.

It's a sign of the times.

Some powerful types
press buttons,
and their followers
jump ,move and obey,
just like the car,
without thinking.

Thank God,
I am still a free thinking Bozo,
and no one,
but no one presses buttons
to make me do things ! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Perceptions of Threat

My blogger and FB friend Bhavesh Chhatbar, has posted some amazing captures of winding roads amidst the Green Kokan landscape scene in the Westren Ghats. He specialises in cropping closeups of his photos and presenting them as Premium Photo  Paintings.

Jaitapur, in Konkan has been in the news for a nuclear power plant being planned there, and tough opposition to it from the locals.  

When I looked closely at the closeup on the left , I actually saw something there......

So many
native upright folks
greening the land,
a richness of
mountains, rivers, and the ocean.

unable to stop
trespassers wandering in
trying to
exchange it all
for radiating spheres
of energy
at Jaitapur.

Whispers of beauty

My blogger and FB friend  Swathi Ram,  was so delighted with her purchase of these antique earrings, that she modeled wearing them, the makers of this jewellery posted the photo on FB, and were thrilled to see nineteen FB comments in twenty minutes, admiring either the earrings, and/or the model.

I look forward to another photograph of Swathi, possibly modeling an antique traditional nose ring .

In the meanwhile ,  I just found out something ......

(photo by Swathi's friend Ravi )

It sits,
quiet on the Lobula,
intense in design
nudging the green,
and tries
to blows a wisp of hair away
as it tries
to entangle in appreciation.

Then it waits
and realizes,
that the wisps
are actually saying something;
"hear, hear!
It has to be a special day
so many with
so many nice words
pour forth on FB....."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Offerings and Prayers

My blog and FB friend Bhavesh Chhatbar  recently posted some great captures of the Shehar ki Masjid  at Champaner in Gujarat. He specialises in what is called Premium Photo Painting, and this is one such crop.

Dating back to the 15th century, these are supposed to be the private mosques belonging to the then Sultans. Declared as World heritage Sites by UNESCO, the area of Pavagarh in the hills and Champaner in the plains is dotted with mosques and temples.

The 8th century fortress at Pavagarh was held by a Rajput dynasty till the famed Sultan Mahmud Begda captured it in 1484 after a 20-month seige and renamed it Muhammadabad, the second capital of the Gujarat Sultanate. Over time, Champaner declined from capital to provincial outpost and changed hands many times as the Mughal Empire fell apart. Pavagarh Hill has many pilgrims visiting. Legend has it that the toe of the Goddess Sati fell there so the hilltop temple always draws crowds, though it is very difficult to reach.

At the end of the day, it is all about prayer, worship, and making your thought offering, to the One Above. 

Baking golden
through the Ages,
facing the wrath
of various greedy attackers
mindlessly  grabbing,
they both stand,
The Pavagadh Hill Sati Temple
The Champaner Shehar-Ki-Masjid,
succour and knowledge
and blessings
to enrich the minds
of its worshippers.

A prasad offering
of golden cream crackers
with a serving of peas and corn
served on a
stone plate
scalloped at the edges
in celebration
the One who Resides
in it all.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bozo and the Competitor....

Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog , is certainly acting mature these days. Maybe it is age, maybe it is something he is learning from watching folks around him, but even when his mentor Magiceye is not around, and is away on a trip, Bozo acts like a responsible member in the family, keeping an eye on things, controlling urges to rummage around in cupboards for goodies, and jump on sofas and stuff.

There is of course a fine strain of fleeting jealousy between Bozo and the latest entrant in competition for Magiceye's attention, a two wheeler Desert Storm .

Read on .

You might think
that i have something in mind,
standing as I am,
next to the almirah,
watching folks get organized
for what I think
is again a trip,
with the
chocolate colored
two wheeler monster lady,
Desert Storm,
my current rival in the house.

I know
where all the goodies are
in the house,
but I am not greedy.
and I only have to ask.

But currently
the boss and the young one
are away,
unlike the chocolate monster lady
who constantly purrs
and coughs, and roars
and sips petrol
through fancy pipes,
I prefer to wait
for the family to return.

I smell things better than her,
I hear things better than her,
I even see things better than her.

But we oldies sometimes
indulge  these
willful youngsters
and let them think
they are better than us ......

I mean Bozo of Bandra
so much nicer than Desert Storm...

(Is that a name ?)

Friday, November 23, 2012

BKC , Growing Up.....

My FB and blog friend Slogan Murugan, who is also M. S. Gopal in real life, specialises in bringing to you, vignettes of Life as it happens in Mumbai, a city that never stops.

Check out his blog here.

This is one of his captures of the frenetic construction activity that seems to be happening in the Bandra Kurla area, hitherto called the Bandra Kurla Complex.

The part of Mumbai, lying between the tony fashionable western suburb of Bandra and the reallife hard-knocks-of-life eastern industrial suburb of Kurla, was actually marshy land through which the lethargic Mithi River snaked its way to the Arabian Sea.  The river still exists, but the land has been reclamation, and developed , into an area that now boasts of very high land prices, huge office complexes, consular office set ups, various Bank Headquarters, star hotels, exhibition grounds with an odd unavoidable residential colony thrown in. The construction is all powerful steel and glass, glinting in the harsh Mumbai sun

Reminds you of something ? ......

(photo by Slogan Murugan  aka MS Gopal)
Some so upright
and standing tall,
some others
falling across
to make connections,

holding close
at each junction and meeting;
A veiled clarity,
politically tinted,
as they look out
for some
more adventurous types,
who prefer cutting
oblique corners
to reach
their own heights.

The Sun shines bright
on those outside,
with limited options
facing rain,
not to mention
shining surfaces
making their eyes
blind to
what happens
in high
and erstwhile transparent places.

Things, they say,
are really Complex
in Bandra Kurla......

Monday, November 19, 2012

Innocence and Tea

Divali, is never always about fat laden, sugar laden overindulgence amidst brilliantly flashing lights in winter.

For some friends like Sangeeta Khanna of Delhi, it is about enjoying the warmth of a Divali morning, made more lumnious by the play of the Sun's rays  in translucent teacups filled to the brim with some amazing brewed, hand rolled, silver tipped white tea.

(Silver tipped white tea,  are very young tea leaf buds, tightly rolled up as they were when they were harvested, and covered in the fine, white down from which white tea gets its name.  This tea is handpicked early in the springtime, before the buds have rolled out to become leaves. Picking white tea is commonly a job for women wearing gloves. The buds are not actually touched by human hands before the Silver Tipped white tea ends up in the teapot of the happy tea aficionado.....)

No scheming minds
No boiling tension,
no strong spicy words,
no raging red attitudes,
and an unsuccessful
effort at calming
by an ombudsman milk.

A clear
radiant baby mind,
to the brim
with the joy
of the baby tea leaves,
not yet learning
to unfurl,
fresh and high
intoxicated by hill air,
gently splashing,
sighing and resting
in a warm kettle pool.

A gentle wandering
two tea cups
warmed by the Sun
on a
divali winter morn,
and their smiles widen
in the cups
as they play with the Sunrays,
look up,
watch her
touch her cheek to theirs,
and ask,
"Sangeeta, What are you planning for breakfast today?"

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bozoical Despair

In a world, where both celebrations and mourning involve going over the top, forcing folks to tolerate a lot of inconveniences, rudeness and selfish inconsiderate behavior, Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog has realized , that there are some folks who never learn.

 When things get too much, he huddles into a room, and lies on the cool floor, trying to feel secure amidst familiar furniture and closed doors. And while he may look like he is sleeping, he is not. His mind ticks on.

And his mentor Magiceye, clicks in sympathy.  Bozo is worried about something .  If they would only listen .....

It is a dark night,
and the lights strung on balconies
and winking oil lamps,
tell me
that it is Divali once again.

Just in case I have doubts
there is
an endless
and deafening bursting of crackers
by the neighbors.

You see,
we fellows
have built-in amplification
in our ears,
and the sound is frightening.

I find the quietest place
in the house,
amidst sympathetic furniture
that eats up some of the sound
and I lie down.

The cool tiles
calming an agitated mind,
it suddenly occurs to me
that I am
a lucky dog.
I have a place to hide.

What about
those little  kids
who work in firework factories,
streaked in explosives
with their bare hands,
because some at home
must get their daily meal ?

And do they have
a place to hide
something blows up around them ?

Did anyone say anything about A Dog's Life ?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Strands of Life

My young friend Swati Maheshwari blogs at Espial  and posted an amazing set of  photographs reflecting Diwali in her post Lights, Sweets and Celebrations.

Swati , is a management graduate, PR professional, entrepreneur in the field of sustainable development and green products, and co-owner of Rustic Art  a place where everything is handcrafted and original,  and everything they make  is untouched by chemicals, machines, animal testing, animal fat and even artificial fragrances & colors.

Swati is photographer par excellence, and surprisingly, a biker too.  A few thoughts about individuals, who enrich themselves with the opportunities made available to them, and endeavour to give it back; so different from the usually trodden path.....

Given a long rope
of opportunity,
love, friendship,
indulgence and creativity,

she slogs to turn it
red and gold,
rich in feeling
golden in style,
learning and understanding
then wrapping it around,
keeping it close.

In so many
ups and downs
isobaric isothermic life paths,
she unravels these,
smiling to herself,
and sharing strands
with others,
golden memories for them
during festivals of light....