Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Someone's labour, someone else's fruit.....

My Blog  and FB friend Bhavesh Chhatbar potsed some amazing pictures of the monkeys of Jaipur.  With an intriguing title "Monkeys of Jaipur - Funny Terror"....

He also  describes in great detail how they run wild across houses, walls and fences, marauding food at will, and troubling people. So much so, that people are very wary and always keep their doors and windows tightly shut (monkeys can open windows), when there is a monkey gang in the vicinity.

Just remembered some others who actually do the same, but sadly, ordinary law abiding folks have no way to protect themselves there.   And then it also came to mind, that so many young folks , look up to, and follow the elders. 

Just saying. ....

(all photographs by Bhavesh Chhatbar)

Looking on
at the different
modus operandi
for different folks,
the little one wonders
he is cut out for it.

False Bravado
Polite threats
Lies masquerading as truths,
Showing muscle,
and grabbing the goodies.

He scratches,
contemplating an internship.
A rustle of leaves
and fur,
and the leader arrives,
on the stage
beside him,
craving hot action,
and stretches,
mobilizing muscles and thoughts.

Watch me , young fellow,
and learn,
how to be an intimidating leader,
grabbing at will
what isn't his,
marauding dwellings
and people,
striding with a fake sense of
and when
the investigators come,
stand watching from a distance
with a look of concern....

No education, no degrees,
no appraisals, no retirements,
just enjoying the fruits
of the labour

It's just that
it is someone else's labour.

Nishkaam karma ...
I work
without expectation
of the fruit of my labour....

What to do ?
It simply falls into my hands.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bozoical thoughts on Education

Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog is hugely excited.  The child of the house who rescued him from an unforgiving life on the streets, is coming home on a holiday!

Naturally, Bozo looks back, at growing up with the child, and thinks of the wonderful days. Both of them have had different types of education, and  have moved on and they take great pride in each other.

He waits , breathlessly in the balcony,  in anticipation, of a familiar voice and figure , and his mentor Magiceye, simply clicked the anticipation in the eyes... 

(On a side note, Bozo is just grateful he didn't attend Mumbai University , with all the things appearing in the papers these days....)

A lot of folks think
I don't understand
because I never went to school.

We chaps,
have a built in Right To Education(RTE)
and thankfully,
do not need Parliament
to sit , argue and  fight about
SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan)
we fellows think
is actually,
SSA (Some Straight Answers)....

I have had a holistic education,
with no examinations and degrees
English, Konkani and Marathi
in realtime,
with the related actions.

I simply hear and I understand...

Life events
unfold around me
and I watch.

A special interest
in the child
who brought me home,
grew up,
and then went on
to seek new horizons,
now on the way home.

I've been out with Deepak
to stock up on mangoes,
I've heard phone calls
discussing the arrival,
and I have,
despite the doctor's advice,
bounded around here and there
behind folks
for the homecoming...

There's joy in the air,
stuff happening
in the kitchen;
folks on the phone,
beaming smiles.

the excitement is too much,
and I do mess up
wagging my tail furiously....

But we dogs
have learnt to wag tails
instead of tongues,
if someone
gets angry with us,
didn't someone say
"To err is Human, to forgive, Canine ?"

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Music of Politics

My blogfriend IHM posted these three amazing  photos on her blog today, as part of a Thursday posting on the subject of Music : "Musical Instruments on  GulMohur Tree".  Of course, Delhi , with its wonderful green spaces,parks and gardens  gives the Mynah birds a wonderful opportunity to make great music, besides allowing folks to photograph them in action...

I did hear the music, enjoyed it. But once the music died down,  it occurred to some that this was really a comment on political realities....

It was also clear, that we all manage to tolerate all the problems of the nation, simply because there is all this actual Mynah music happening around us....


Comfortably ensconced
from the orange,
green, white and orange
long scarves
it is time
to address
the masses,
protected by
some invisible
cool dark green
uniformed darting types,
other visible folk
of great prominence
standing behind.

A training of sorts
for them
in  making promises,
fancy announcements,
requests for votes,
highlighting promises
not kept by others,
and now made by themselves...

And like all children
watch and learn,
joining in
at slogan time
adding volume
to the noise,
only to graduate
one day,
to making their own
false promises,
their own loud speeches
on the same branch,
right behind  her,
she turns back,
very pleased,
and says,
"Well done, well done !"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Griddle Stories

Preferring an Onion Uthappam to the weight conscious dosais, is like preferring Katherine Hepburn to Angelina Jolie, or  a Waheeda Rehman to a Kareena Kapoor.

One, redolent with tradition, richly constituted, made just so, and the other,  like a side shoot, made from diluted batter, using up all the hangers on.

My blogfriend Magiceye, must have had a hard time restraining himself from deciding to eat first.

You see this photo , which he posted here  , simply because, he photographed it first, possibly, in its golden age on the hot griddle.

Smooth and black as in ebony
her weight
greatly enhanced
through the ages,
she spends her nights
face down,
resting in the kitchen,
mobilizing for an early day.

An early morning
hot assignment
on the gas burner,
in the shadow of
The Lady of the House,
and she remembers
how fashions change.

Light and quick spreads
aching to reach her edges
a white lace dosai,
stiff in formality.


Some a bit more pliable,
brown spotted
but bending in friendship
the spatula in steel.


And then
there are the size zero
Neer Dosais,
now you feel them, now you don't.


But not for her
these new fangled fashions,
obsessed with weight,
or the
cheeses, chillies, tomatoes and paneer
acting pushy
wanting to crowd her.

Life is all about
being uniformly hot and welcoming
in a cream kanjeevaram,
embroidered in gold
translucent light diamonds
embellishing the occasion;

Or a thick
round  of batter,
breathing and browning
on her,
the well cut onions
adorning the face
in a design in gold,
and then landing
ever so carefully on a plate,
a proper traditional
hefty Utthappa,
waiting respectfully
for the two Chutneys of his life.....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Slithering Lives

My blog friend Anuradha Shankar  , who is an avid traveller, travel writer, photographer and reader, recently acquired a new camera , and took some amazing shots of lizards in her garden. Of the standard old middle class garden lizard, and also of some Gen Next lizards. 

Somehow the stoic expression on the face of the older lizard, its attitude of learning to make do with whatever available, and the  posh attitude of the Gen next fellow, on top of the ledge,  reminded me of Mumbai.  And some yogic asanas .

(All photos bt Anuradha Shankar)

Sign of the times.

He slithers,
across the collapsed fence
ignoring the
and the surrounding jungle
of dehydrated plants
fallen in holes.

Lizard Yoga classes
and it gets
more and more difficult
in this old age 
to reach in time
with the
cracks and pokes
and hurtful rust.

And so he stops,
hands resting
next to shoulders,
stretches and lifts himself
in a Bhujangaasan,
beseeching the Lord.

by a proud denizen
on a
highrise stone terrace,
also going for Lizard Yoga,
togged out
in a moddish red bodysuit,
to have made it
up here
by hook
and mostly by crook,
and unsuccessfully
trying a Mayuraasan
to show it...

And a butterfly
flying just out of reach
of the younger Lizard,
flaps its wings,
alights on a leaf
and shakes its head
"They dont make Lizards
like the old ones
any more...."

Sun Questions

At one time, in India, Summer was vacations, mangoes, jackfruits, trips to native places, running and climbing amidst the trees, swinging with cousins of homestead swings,  and swimming on beaches and riverfronts. Today, most of these things are either polluted, or expensive, and vacations sometimes do not even happen .

For aeons, the country, state, city is the same, the Sun is the same, the sky is the same, but suddenly, sunscreens are a dire necessity, you have many of them preying cleverly on your obsession with your ability to tan, and turn dark, and folks who have more modes of covered transport than say, 50 years ago, daily slather on stuff as they leave for work. 

Call it insecurity, call it herd mentality, or call it inability to be comfortable with your own melanin levels,  the cosmetic companies are laughing all the way to the bank.

I wonder what the Sun Himself has to say .....

He sits enthroned
and golden
smack in the centre
watching all nine of them go by.

the only one,
noticeable human movement,
carrying her oceans ,
her animals.
her people,
her trees and her
mountains and rivers,
going around
around herself too,
to get a breather
from his piercing hot gaze.

He sees
women on steep mountain roads
carrying pots to fill;
who cares if you look darker
if there is to be
water for all;
the sari palloo
and the pot
will cool the merged fontanel.

He sees
a gaggle of kids
throwing themselves
the breaking waves
of a polluted sea
with overflowing
infectious mirth,
making him
temporarily hide
behind a cloud and smile....
Any color is fine,
if they get space to play

And he sees the young girl,
half out,
in the suburban train door,
squinting against him
and some
nasty folks
passing by in another train
another way;
Another in sunglasses
and a scarf
rubs something
on her arms and face
and disembarks.
And the young girl wonders
how many lunches
she must forgo
to be able to buy
a tube of stuff
like the other girl.

Maidans full of sweaty kids
waving bats around,
young fellows with
false ages,
working on carts
selling stuff
in the hot midday sun;
Five stars full of pools,
waving colorful umbrella tops,
with some pretending
they cant reach their backs
to slather the stuff in the tubes;
Some very concerned
on Sun Protection factors(SPF's),
the know all lady
nodding , what else

And late in the day,
as he hurries
to meet his Ocean ,
he wonders,
how he,
to whom
Suryanamaskars were addressed
in praise,
in chaste Sanskrit,
and the
Gayatri Mantra
resonated every dawn
in his honor,
how he could suddenly
be the villain
that spoils the beauty
of those
inhabiting the planet....

He wonders
if it is Fair....?
and then says
"Oops! That was a loaded question......"
and promptly
sinks into the waves...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hornbill Lessons

You have to be very lucky to spot such a large variety of birds in the vicinity of where you live. My blogfriend, Sangeeta Khanna (who is also a antioxidants researcher, botanical expert, trekker, photographer, nutritionist and follower of traditional systems in food and medicine) clicked these two hornbills .

At first I thought this was a kind of Hornbill ballet. But there is more to it....

Turns out that there are at least 9 varieties of Hornbills found in India. They have such amazing beaks for a specific reason. Unlike some fashionable types we see around us today, these birds are monogamous.

They nest in holes in trees. When time comes to procreate, the female starts packing up the hole with all kinds of recyclable material, leaving only space for her to get through. She then goes in and packs the hole further, leaving space only for her beak to come out. The male, passes foodstuff to her through this system, as she sits in confinement , inside the dark hole, lays eggs, and then undergoes a spontaneous moulting.

Once outside, she thinks nothing of bending over backwards to straighten out an erring kid.  As you can see.

Real Hornbills,
are monogamous,
have very strong beak structures,
and make nests
for breeding in
holes of trees,
used again and again.

The female starts
sealing the hole
with mud, dirt and fruit pulp,
leaving a small entrance for herself.

She squeezes in
and seals herself in
leaving an outlet only
for the beak,
the male can provide sustenance
as she
lays eggs,
spontaneously moults
in the rich darkness.

One day,
her kid starts acting too smart,
unlike some folks i know,
she thinks nothing
bending over backwards
and clamping the kid's beak shut.

And then
we have those
with Siren Horns
who generate Bills,
(but never pay);
who create several households
and several off springs,
not to mention,
several non-hole-in-the-tree set ups.

Destiny urges a moulting,
but they refuse.

They must stay
the way they are
when the son
opens his beak wide
and demands,
they can actually feed him
in the darkness
without any
visible effort
more "black" stuff
than he needs.

Fence Sitting

I live in a place which is situated between a big lake and a hill. As it happens, there is planned imposing high-rise construction on one side of the Hill, close to the lake.

If you climb to the top of the hill, besides getting a panoramic view of the area, complete with wooded areas, the technological campus, and the water supply pipes for Mumbai swerving in the distance, you also get a view , on the other side of the hill, of some high rises far away in the distance , and , closer to the hill, of the unplanned , cheek by jowl, desperate development that has taken place in creative ways, so that those that make the city run, can get a place to stay....

The hill is part of the campus, and hence fenced in some parts. 

The daughter, who is a self taught photographer, and has her own photoblog, climbed the hill yesterday, and came up with , among several others, these two captures.

Some horizontal,
some vertical,
some entangled
and chain linked

Some come
scraping up
cheek by jowl
to the foot of the hill,
and some,
blindly, rush upwards
stiff in concrete
cock a snook
at the hill
from a distance.

The intermittent trees
and wonder,
why the hill is fenced,
when the fences
are actually in the mind...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bozoical Music Psychology

Bozo, Mumbai's only senior-dog-with-his-own-blog   has become a bit upset.  Some of his friends have been barking, and threatening to bite strangers, and naturally, dogs are getting a bad name.

Bozo has been around, observed , and is a student of psychology, although no one ever thought of giving  him a degree......

He became all quiet and thoughtful one day after hearing a visitor talk about some barking dogs. Unlike some folks we know, he doesn't defend his brethren blindly, simply because they are dogs. Bozo is a well informed fellow,  and you need to hear his explanation... 

His mentor and chronicler, Magiceye, caught him in a very pensive pose....

Bozo's theory:

I have some friends who bite,
but that's
just like
you have friends
who hit and fight.

Really, really,
depends on the environment.

Irish research
says it depends on the music
you hear.

Those dogs
who shook their heads
listening to heavy metal,
got so agitated
they barked and fought
much like the
IPL fellows
listening to heavy money.

Those immersed
in grunge music
simply got confused,
tense, and hostile,
much like  politicians,
who hear
but don't listen
and simply react.

But those
who heard classical music,
and nodded at the
of Beethoven,
and Vilayat Khan,
developed a sense of calm,
and lay down,
forgetting bark and bite
on a cool afternoon
post lunch....

I belong to the last
and after the Mehfil,
Deepak decided to
click me
as an exemplary Senior.

this was my effort
at imitating Rodin's Thinker;
it's just
you cant see the paw
supporting my

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stars in Nine Yards...

Mumbai's finest, clicked by my blogfriend Magiceye, and posted as part of his 365 Project today.

A common sight in Mumbai, round the year. Household help ladies walking from house to house doing their jobs, in their traditional permanent attire of 9 yard sarees. Day after day.  Perhaps saving for a daughter's marriage, perhaps for a sick spouse's medicines,  and sometimes because they simply head the household in the absence of anyone else and must provide for the family.

 They remain unchanged, and firm, in a world, where people  not only change the types of attire  depending on work, play, celebration or mourning, but some folks even  surgically change the shape of , say, their nose and lips etc etc

And so,
Put your soft pink
hands together ,
for our show stoppers,
at the Bandra India Bai-log Fashion Day...

The veteran,
resplendent in pink and turquoise,
designed by
Nauvari and Nauvari
Mumbai's oldest;
and Kanta
her niece,
wearing one
with a slightly modern drape
ChinchPokli Stars
copied by Angelina Jolie
at the recent awards,

Necks adorned
with gold and yellow
freshly washed pure cottons,
caressing bangled hands
roughened with
a lifetime of
soap and utensil powder;
they walk together,
on the
bitumen ramp,
aware of life's potholes ....

And unlike those,
who need to turn back
at the end of the ramp,
these two,
freshly scrubbed,
shining in the Sun,
all Achilles heels
in their
comfort  Hawai Chappals,
continue from place to place,
dazzling all
with their abilities,
empathies, and energy,
all those size zeroes,
with false smiles
teetering on their heels....

Tattered Lives

Sometimes you see amazing photos on FB that inspire you. Sometimes thanks to friends of friends.  One such,  is by someone who calls himself Durgesh Unpredictable.  And he calls his photos as  "  "i" (eye?) photographs "........

At first I thought this was a map of some sort. Then i realized it was a leaf, probably living out its Vanaprasthashram in a very traumatic way.

It inspired a poem in Marathi (The King's language :-)) 

The translation in the Queen's language follows ......

 (photo by Durgesh Unpredictbale)
कुणा एका आयुष्याचा हा नकाशा ,

एके काळची गार हिरवाई ,
आज एखाद्या राड्यातून बाहेर पडल्यासारखी,
इकडे तिकडे भोकं पडलेली;
स्वतःला सांभाळत ,
मधूनच समुद्राच्या खाडीला वळसा घालत,
त्याच्या तळाशी
मासे आणि अन्य प्राणीजनांना चकवणारी
प्लास्टिक चौकटीतली घाण बघत ,
सुस्कारा देत वर बघते ...

पांढरे स्वच्छ ,
खोटे बोलून , धर्मा धर्मात भांडणे लाउन
आपल्याच लोकात आग लाउन ,
स्वताचे खिसे भरत
बाकीच्यांना फाटके तुटके करून
लाल निखारे फुलवणारे
नेते बघून थक्क होते ....

बिचारी हिरवाई ,
स्वताहा भोवती आपल्याच फांद्या गुंडाळते
मागे फिरते ,
आणि आकाशाकडे बघत
कुणा एका पावसाळ्याची वाट बघत ,
तिष्ठत राहते ....

 Old Green memories
in tatters...

She emerges,
totally scathed,
injured and marked
through the remaining Green,
and wanders
looking for a resting spot,
traipsing around
a few bays,
inroads made
by a sea traumatised by
polluted waste
positioned to capture
innocent sea lives....

Only to look up,
and see,
far away,
on another bank,
folks with pure white looks
and blacker minds,
playing Fire-Fire
as they fan the Vote Flames,
with fans
of religion,
and lies,
a torn populace,
in the hot red embers.


She turns back,
her remnant branches
around her shoulders,
and recedes
into the remaining Green,
desperately awaiting
the arrival
of a much needed Rain.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Little Cormorant, Big Guts.....

 My blog-and-FB friend  Bhavesh Chhatbar captured these wonderful scenes of a "little cormorant"  at the Okayama Garden aka Pu la Deshpande Garden in Pune.  To those unfamiliar  with Pu la Deshpande, he was one of the most celebrated , contemporary, best loved, humorous, satirical, musically talented, actors, author , playwrights/literary figures, of Maharashtra;  and one with a lot of guts, in the face of a government clampdown on freedom of expression that happened in 1975. Today, politicians misuse this freedom for personal advancement, and Pune has lately been witness to physical attacks, tarring ,throwing ink black, and defilement of homes and works,  of men of letters , who happen to think a bit differently.

The expressions on the face of the little cormorant, the location and the clicks just brought all this back in mind ....

at the air lectern
displaying full plumage
hands held out
in messiah position,
all the trunks and bushes
I practised my maiden speech.

Only to hear
wild crowd noises
shouting against me
and approaching
from the left
iron rods and tar
and ink pots in hand.

I watched,
wings together,
and looked away,

And I raised my wings,
once again,
to shrug off all doubts,
taking courage
from the man,
after whom the garden was named.

Among other things,
he would have
been amused
at the thoughtless protests
in throwing
dark colors
on someone
who was already black,
but shining..

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Onion Man

You're so wrapped up in layers, onion boy, you're afraid of your own feelings!”

                                                                                                - Shrek
Not so , our man , Sakharam.....

 For everyone  who captures  nature, ethereal creations in life, and the magic of the Sun and Moon,  there is my blogfriend Slogan Murugan, aka M S. Gopal, who loves to capture the nitty gritty of a Mumbai Life, and vignettes of people who make the city run. One such , is the  Kanda-Batatawalla , who looks like a wholeseller, and has temporarily downed shutters on a hot afternoon, to rest amidst the onionical coolness. 

Most such, today are a story of fields sold off, family left behind, and a troubled stoic immigration into an unforgiving  city.

Amidst it all, he dreams.

stirred in uncertainity
fried in the
suffocating heat,
once green,
with her coming by
with bhakri and chatni
for his lunch,
as he washed his hands
at the hand pump.

Fate today,
has washed its hands off,
he slogs far away
in a town,
in a dingy room,
with a huge supply of
potential tears,
a great medium
for Stir-fries....

He catches a
crowded in mind,
his bandi
turned up over his nose,
some think,
to keep the
onion smell away,
but its actually
so he can dream,
of the bhakri and the chillies
and the tinkle
of her green bangles,
by the side
of a field,
that was,
but no longer,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bird Spa Tales

Don't know about all the n-star spas  in the nation's capital frequented by those who treat water,money,time,power and so on on the same footing, and expend lots of it.  But there is a great bird spa in Delhi, with an amazing ambiance, amidst fruit and flower fragrances, sun dappled trees and fluttering leaves, and assorted spa tubs placed in strategic places .

It is visited by all, including the posh and the carefree and the middle class types. The brown headed Barbets represent the last category, and are just totally wide eyed about what they have discovered.

The owner of the Spa is a  Papparazzi called, what else, Sangeeta !

The Sangeet Bird Spa
the first of its kind
in the Capital.

Mr and Mrs Tailorbird
couldn't praise it enough
lauding the
pervading tomato and jasmine fragrance...

The typical male
Asian Koel,
well entrenched amidst the greens,
watched avidly
as the
Oriental White eye
her wet clinging feathers
till the
Laughing Dove noticed him
and stopped laughing...

Of course
the posh
Rose ringed parakeets
and the
Red vented Bulbul,
veterans of other spas
as if they go to spas
all the time,
this was just another one.

But we Brown headed Barbets
are a bit middle class,
like to enjoy
these spa baths
by ourselves,
but never knew that
there is a Paparazzi
lurking around here
all the time,
and whats more
publishing our bath pictures on FB !

Sha! Waise I've seen some films.
aaj kaal ke logon ko kuch sharam hi nahi lagti
safed sadi pehenke, waterfall ke niche
photo kheechte hain...

Would you leave ?
I so need to have a bath.....

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Her Day ......

Reposting from 2 years ago ....in honor of the day .

Some say
a new star appears
in the sky
gazing down
in benevolence...
no longer
with us,
she is more
the Banyan tree
rooted firmly
in my yard,
in her native Earth....

Gnarled wisdom trunk
rising up
spreading in
green protection
across her children,
and their children,
and new roots,
the earthy sensible sap
absorbed and disseminated
a bit here,
a little more there,
a fine balance
various willful branches,
some old,
some carefree,
some troubled, and some new.

An understanding shelter
in life storms,
restful shade
on a burning day,
a conspiratory wink
as the neighbor ladies
wound the sacred thread
around her torso
celebrating Vatapurnima;
Bending hugely,
indulging grand kids
on her,
a glare at
a daughter
trying to impose
her avoirdupois
on a hanging root...

She isn't gone,
and she doesn't need a Day;
She stands,
brave ,
in the wind,
with her young and old,
in her folds,
a virtual hand
reassuringly resting
and patting
the troubled shoulder,
of someone,
for whom,
in Life
is Mother's Day....

Submitted for the BlogAdda Mothers Day Contest 2010 :

Winner of the BlogAdda Mother’s Day contest May 2010

Bozoical theory of sneezing....

Between  the hot and sultry Mumbai heat, intermittent cooler sea breezes, pollution particles, not to mention his penchant for hanging around close to the kitchen door, when delicious stuff is being cooked, Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog  ends up sneezing.

He is a great observer and learner, and has tried to follow his mentor and chronicler Magiceye, in how to handle a sneeze, but it is a bit difficult for him to cover his mouth, as they teach in human schools.  

However, he knows that a sneeze happens to him, when he is troubled by some irritating unwanted stuff inside his nose, and so he has some ideas for us. 

As is customary, all we can say, is , "God Bless you, Bozo!"

Lying on a cool floor
on a hot Mumbai
summer's day,
sniffing the balcony flowers,
and lazing around
watching Parliament TV
with Deepak
the Good guys
and Troublemakers.

A sudden whiff
of mustard seeds
bursting in oil,
asoefetida, and peppercorns,
makes me get up,
crank up all my
throat and eye muscles,
I shake it all out
an Almighty Sneeze.

I try,
but it isn't always possible
to cover my mouth.....
yet folks think
I need to be captured on film.

Don't laugh.

But sometimes
I wonder,
one could actually
all the strong muscles
in Parliament,
to come together
all the delayers and troublemakers,
so folks can get on
with their job
of running the country.

And just think,
they are
being captured on film.

Should that happen,
I can only say to them,
what folks say
when I sneeze;
"God Bless You !".......

Saturday, May 12, 2012

And the fruits listened ......

Hot  summer days in Mumbai , children having summer vacations, and a variety of summer fruits means kids and adults both frequently enjoying fruit salads with cool custard. 

 Hot summer days in places like Delhi, sometimes means hot days in Parliament, and sometimes I think folks there can learn a lot from kids.

My blogfriend Magiceye, has been actually enjoying such fruit salads, and posted this , as part of his Saturday Photohunt Series. 

It just got me thinking of adding a final dollop of icecream....:-))

Lovely circular
crystalline premises,
with vertical column designs
reflecting the country's powerful
on a bright
and sunny day.

revealing themselves
falling to pieces inside;
Older mature Chikoos,
shoving aside the seeds,
rushing in to
express concern;
with their Hapoos security,
bossing their way in
cut up just so,
watched by
the adolescent oranges
stewing in their
own angry juices
and conspiring with
the pineapple bits.

The slightly peaceful
apples and pears
at all the
enmities and commotion,
after so many years and years
of meeting together,
as a solitary green grape
enters the premises
new to everything.

And then a child
looks on delightedly
at a jug
cold milk of human kindness
by some educated custard, 
and simply pours it all
over the fighting fruits,
" Chill, guys !
there is nothing more sweeter
than all of us in this
and for those
who are still fighting
maybe a slap of icecream would help ?"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Helpless Telomeres and the Abuse Gene

Is the ability to abuse , genetic ? Why are mother-in-laws, frequently involved in daughter-in-law abuse ? And why does the son often have a silent, shameless gene?
Along with a senseless abuse gene ?

(During cell division, the enzymes that duplicate the chromosome and its DNA cannot continue their duplication all the way to the end of the chromosome. If cells divided without telomeres, they would lose the ends of their chromosomes, and the necessary information they contain. The telomeres are disposable buffers blocking the ends of the chromosomes and are consumed during cell division...If telomeres do not do their stuff, there can be unpredictable mutations in genes)

Cells replicating
with abandon,
the normal gene
in his cell strand.
to help,
patching disruption
of strands at the
end of the string.

And she watches
amazed ,
then in horror,
the telomeres
shredding the ends,
all chance of control,
the DNA
a mutating,
and (enhancing
the uncontrolled
pseudo powerful)
ABUSE gene.

discovered*** by women,
abused by women
keep silent
their ,
so called "own"
women are abused.

***Elizabeth Helen Blackburn, FRS (born November 26, 1948) is an Australian born biological researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies the telomere, a structure at the end of chromosomes that protects the chromosome. Blackburn co-discovered telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes the telomere. For this work, she was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, sharing it with Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak. She also worked in medical ethics, and was controversially dismissed from the President's Council on Bioethics.

Mangifera Indica Friends

Only a dispassionate non-mango eater can look at a photo like this and ruminate instead of eat.

Most folks whose photos inspire poetry (on this blog), are possibly currently imbibing the fruit of the season with such relish, that they forget to share some with their cameras.

 And, so, its Google to the rescue....

are like the
Hapoos Mango Peel,
thin, translucent,
yet so strong,
holding in all
that amazing sweetness
ready to give,
at a cutting notice...

Some are stuffed
with importance of self,
huddling their own together,
rich, and orange,
in raptures
over their own demeanour,
leaning on the poor seed ,
wondering inside.

And Some
are like the
never acknowledged,
hard working seed inside
that carries the weight
of the
good and bad deeds
of mango throughout
its life.

It all depends
on who and what
you see
in your mangoes,
 errr.... your friends....!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Moon Mind

May 6,  2012,  heralded, what was called a Supermoon event. Celebrating the fact that the Moon was closest to the earth on this day.   It certainly looked HUGE in the evening sky as it emerged from behind the trees.  My FB and blogfriends, Prasad Paranjape of Pune, and Kavita Saharia of Guwahati, clicked images of the moon and posted them.

It occurred to me that the patches on the moon were no longer rabbit like as we believed in our childhood, but had taken on a more human look.

I wondered why. And then I found out. ....and drew (upon) it.

    (Photo on the left by Kavita Saharia, on the right by Prasad Paranjape, and drawings in white by me......:-).....)

While my life path
has been ordained
for milleniums,
no one really thinks
that I too
have a mind,
and I observe.

Stuck in a potholed cratered life
I crave
a green landscape,
and flowing water
with valleys of flowers
and fruits on trees...

At one point
I was all agog
when two guys in vehicles
dropped in
they simply uttered some words
about big steps ,
and took off again.

And so I watch
on my rounds
around your Earth,
and am shocked to see
how some treat young girl babies,
snuffing out a life
learned in 9 months
of safe harbor.

I also watch
greedy folks
usurp land to
create rocky monstrocities
in the name of development,
and take way
meant for gardens,
trees, flowers, fruits
and little playing children.

They say
your face mirrors your feelings.

In older days
I used to think
about rabbits and stuff,
and folks would
look at the dark patches ,
point and laugh. 

I think
about more important stuff,
like smelling the roses
and playing with kids
you can see it above;
and somefolks,
even Point and Shoot !

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Adai's with Grace

My friend Magiceye not only enjoys the various varieties of south Indian Crepe/dosa varieties, he has the patience to actually click deliciously focussed pictures , before getting mobilized to devour the stuff.

Adai's are  a special variety of high protein crepes or dosas, not as thin as the standard dosas that are even stiff at times.   Three types of lentils, and rice, soaked for several hours and then ground together with seasonings. Very filling, very traditional and very yum with some terrific chutneys.

A golden happening. And it seems quite possible that the adais got their nomenclature from an urdu word !

fresh from worldwide appreciation
tended to forget
his origins
in the company
of a puffed up Idlibai.

He hadn't counted
on the granddames
of Dosa Society,
who held firm views
on the flibbertigibbet paper dosas,
who always behaved stiffly
and unfriendly,
breaking into pieces
at the slightest movement.

And so arhar amma,
udad amma, and chana amma,
immersed themselves
seriously in the proceedings
and  nicely soaked,
got minutely
crushingly involved,
really mixing well
scintillating item numbers
red chillies,
bright turmeric,
green curry leaves
and asoefoitida .

A good stir with the ladle,
and its like the
conservative ammas
take a palloo over the other shoulder
maturely leading the way
on to a hot oiled gridle,
to create a
great "adai."

so called
it has to do with the
delicate "adaa"'s
by the ammas.....

Tree Politics

My blogging friend , Sangeeta Khanna, who is a botanist, trekker, antioxidants researcher, gardener , nutritionist and photographer, captured this scene of two red whiskered Bulbuls, confabulating , seriously, in her garden.

Sometimes I think life in the bird-world, imitates something we see on television , in situations of "power".....

The whiskers,
once red,
now greying in his
approaching eighties,
he sits,
a learned observer,
on a branch,
which  vibrates
in sudden movement.

It's the other leader,
just arrived,
in a summer white saree,
with a dark jacket,
combining unusually
with the bright red sindoor.

So many new bird types,
some there because
of family power,
some, because
it is useful
to know how to hide behind the green,
some because
they navigate
through difficult
and crooked branches
so well,
some  because they see it
as a great opportunity
to build nests of convenience
in difficult but useful corners,
and some,
they like trees,
love birds,
and want to learn
from actual experience.

But these two
really worry ,
some who are so
that they keep
flying randomly around the trunk,
throwing twigs and leaves around,
cawing and twittering
disturbing the peace
making life hell
for those sitting
below the tree,

They confer,
flutter a bit,
flying to take a sip of water
from the
bird bisleri
and arrive back
to confer again.

In 2014
they have decided,
they will simply change the tree. 

A Bozoical rap on the knuckles

He's back ! Bozo, Mumbai's only dog-with-his-own-blog returns again, this time to comment on what a Dog's Life is. 

Summer is often a season for holding interesting series of free public talks and stuff, in more enterprising places like Pune, where they are currently hosting something called "Vasant Vyakhyanmala", initiated in 1875, by none other than Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade, the same person, who is seen defying society and encouraging women's education and sensible integration into daily life in the currently very popular Marathi TV serial  " Unch Majha Jhoka !" (Literally, "I fly high").   The serial  is based on the then prevalent custom of child marriage.

I think Bozo has been watching this serial.  He understands it. And he has something to say.......Naturally , his mentor , Magiceye,  immediately captured that ....

Seriously, no.

I did not pose for this photo;
(and some say
I look like a statesman
in this )
But I do
spend a lot of time
just thinking about things
as a senior..

Where I come from,
the kids,
girls and boys alike
don't hang on to their mother's tail,
are on their own
almost from day 5,
and somewhere in my
wild early youth,
my Amembal family
took me
to their homes and heart
as their very own.

I am sure,
my sister,
like my friend Luci,
in Thiruvananthapuram,
was similarly lucky too.

I often sit at Deepak's feet
watch TV along with him,
and am aghast
to see that
folks who should
have better sense,
don't like girl babies,
sometimes don't allow them to be born,
sometimes kill them at birth,
and should they even live,
then they
destroy their lives
for ego and money
when they are older.

We dogs are not like this,
it's fashionable
for some folks
to shake their coiffeured heads
in air conditioned splendour
and say
"It's a Dog's life ! "......

Like I was telling Luci
who shook her head
and said ,
"It's a Lady Human life.....
I want no part of it..."

Look into my eyes , folks!
And listen !
I'll tell you what a
Proud Dog's life is....

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cycle of Time

A common sight seen now, in the Mumbai suburbs. Cycles have always been around, but not so much in Mumbai. More so, in my childhood, in Pune. Then, almost everyone learned to cycle, and it was the preferred mode of transport for young folks. Today, in Mumbai, you can see many folks who cannot cycle, but are experts at zooming on motorized  2-wheelers.....  

Courier fellows like this one are often seen, all wrapped up in today's technology, multitasking as it were, sometimes confidently driving on the wrong side of the road.

  One such capture by my friend Magiceye, as part of his 365 Project Series.

A better road,
a similar bike,
a fellow
with a  pastel
full-sleeved shirt
pants with cuffs at the ankles
fastened with
"cycle pins"
at the shins
pedals to college,
an occasional passing
snub nosed Fiat,
college books
on the carrier seat,
and no phones,
but messages from the parents,
to return home in time,
avoid bad company etc,
ringing in the ears.....

Today roads are worse,
fellows with
pink purple tees
and jeans and pants
go on similar bikes,
working as part time
courier boys,
pedalling on the wrong side
tangling with huge Hondas,
cell phones to their ears,
messages from folks saying,
"Ate waqt, ek dazan anda leke aa.....".....

The only thing unchanged
is the Cycle of Time.....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Brave parks and Dusty minds

My blog/FB friend, MS Gopal aka Slogan Murugan,has an amazing photoblog called Mumbai Paused, dedicated to , basically, the real non airconditioned, rushing, trying-to-make-the-best-of-it , Mumbai. His latest photos in his blogpost about Shivaji Park, is about a "Defined Green Open Space" in the Western suburb of Dadar, in Mumbai. 

Shivaji Park, was decreed as an open playground , by the Municipal authorities (then British) in 1925.  As MSGopal says ,"The gardens, parks and maidans in our part of the world - Indian subcontinent and the Persian influenced world before the British took over were never like the European ones with their beautiful green temperate grass. Our parks and gardens are decorated with flowering and shade giving trees. The ground was always dusty."

Today with expensive sprinklers installed, the ground, overrun with several sports existing cheek by jowl  at the same time on the same ground, the water is simply not enough.

Like our society,  a few rich green well tended patches exist.  The middle class suburb of Mumbai, with houses , gardens, and a sensible ethos, has now accelerated into a place where houses are "redeveloped " into high rises with swimmingpools way up there, parking is a problem, the ground is ravaged by political parties digging indiscriminately to put up temporary set ups, holding public meetings to point fingers at each other and applause to themselves.    At the end of the day, misdirected priorities rule, and dreams of the ordinary folks simply go up in, what else, dust.....

(All photos by Slogan Murugan)

At the end of the day,
it's all about water,
isnt it ?

Four and Six lane
for Sir and Madam
yet fanning themselves
inside an AC car,
while Gangubai trudges
across a narrow clearing
5 kms down the hill,
balancing her four pots,
her worries and her sanity.

And so
buildings reaching the sky,
with infinite pools,
on the 45th floor,
where page-3 folks
display poses and attitudes,
and a hankering for liquid,
not fit to print,
down below,
the dusty maidan
with running scraped knees and shouts,
how there is no money for water,
but lots of it
to dig poles in the ground,
and erect
wordy statues to self
under shamianas
with paid applauders.

Today , we use grounds
to play games
of a different type...