Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The incredible sweetness of a Canon D60....

For all those hankering after state-of-the-art cameras,  this DSLR shaped chcolate may just be what you need. 

 A yummy creation  by San Francisco-based Etsy seller Hans Chung as a gift for his friends and family. It’s a highly detailed solid chocolate replica of a Canon D60 that has a battery grip attached.

Mr Chung reminds you that   the camera comes with body and grip only. Chocolate SD cards, batteries, lens caps, and straps are not included in the sale.

Read more about this delicious camera here

With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Canon D60, how do I eat thee,
Let me count the ways......


I love thee 
to the depth
and breadth and height,
My tongue can reach thee,
when feeling hungry in the night

I love thee 

to the level
of everyday's most hungry need,
by sun, and lamplight

I must eat thee, as is my right,
I love thee purely, singing thy praise,

I love thee more, 

as a piece of the Flash,
Or Focusing circles, 

cut fine into sweet discs.

Melting into the click button,
I stand atop a cake to Click.

Smiles, tears, in the Sunlight,
and the cake gets a free chocolate icing,
as I dissolve.......

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Bozoical Good Life ......

Bozo,  Mumbai's  dog-with-his-own-blog , has admirers across the world, who are bloggers on their own.   He has had some exciting times recently, when two older (in age) bloggers  came down to see him at his residence,  and Bozo was on his best behaviour.  

Looks like it was exciting for Bozo as it was for the two blogger ladies.  They went away full of admiration , and kept talking about the meeting and writing about it and now there is a clamour to meet Bozo.

Chaps like Bozo, don't rush and write about such things. They savour the moments, enjoy the memories, think of all the good things in their life, and spend some time meditating in the balcony, on a cool January morning, taking in the smell of grass and flowers....

A nip
in the air,
the smell of wet grass,
a stroll
with Deepak
it is so much fun
to the see
the jealous Desert Storm
stewing in its gas
all by itself
in the garage,
and I
cannot help
sniff and sneeze,
as we pass by it.

A quick
up the
and a return
to tantalizing smells
of a Dosa
sizzling on a griddle
as a Sambaar Steam
wafts gracefully around......

I'd been hearing
about these two old ladies
coming to meet me
I honestly tried
not to jump too much,
keep my legs
on their shoulders
and contented myself
by rubbing
my nose and head against their legs.

I ended up learning
Marathi, and Tamil
in addition
to my own Konkani
and earned
a pat on the back
from Grandma

These Mumbai bloggers
just keep talking and talking,
and I sat under the Divan
quietly listening,
till it was time for farewell.

A few clasps, a few jumps,
rubbing of the back and neck,
and they left
with Deepak
for a lunch.

Me ?
I only eat homemade  yummy stuff,
then walk around a bit,
shoo off some pesky birds
and then stretch out
for a wonderful nap.....

I can see
the Desert Storm
simply burning with jealousy,
nobody comes to meet him,
and pat him;
what to do ?

I am like that only !

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Awakening

It was a beautiful  morning blurry with haze , in the  forests of UNESCO declared World Heritage Site of Western Ghats, in Maharashtra, on India's Western Coast. 

My FB friend and blogger Bhavesh Chhatbar, clicked these sharp and tapering leaves of a coconut tree , a beautiful painting-like scene of a hazy sunrise and a tree,  at the Gharadi village in Kokan.

Just reminded me , of someone waking up , and raising the eyelashes ....

She lay
throughout the night,
tossing ,
the uncertainities
of her life,
as the breeze
swept through the plains,
with an occasional
teary rain.

It was
not a good time
to be a girl.

The morning
brought her hordes of support
from the trees,
the birds,
the monkeys
and the glowing
rising Sun.

she opened her eyes,
raised her long eyelashes,
wet with
Tears of Dew,
smiled at the big tree ahead,
and said,
"I will fight,
and I will win !"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Paani Paani re !

Two of my FB friends posted photos of monkeys drinking water. Sharvari Paranjape posted a photograph of a vanar monkey drinking water with his hands, while Indrani Ghose posted a picture of a monkey imbibing from a glass.

Once upon a time,
rivers flowed
without human interference
and belonged to all,
you partook
and quenched your thirst
in nature's glass,
at leisure..

Now with
dirty water coming
in pipes,
at a great cost
in money,plastics
and environment,
and always in short supply,
you must grab what you get
and gulp it down,
it is in
a half empty glass.

As one simian said to another,
"These bipeds
say they have evolved ?"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Crabs and Politics

My blogger friend , Sangeeta Khanna , who is an avid bicycle trekker, birder, nutritional researcher, and photographer, recently went on a bicycle expedition in Goa , in the Western Ghats , across 300 kilometres over 6 days.  Some of their paths were along  beaches,  where sandplovers were practicing chasing and imbibing crabs, while the waves came crashing in .

As she observed, the crabs ability and speed at getting away from the sandplovers, actually dictated the speed at which the sand plovers went after them - a great example of the speed of the prey dictating the speed of the predator. 

May be it is an indication of thing to come...

(photograph by Sangeeta Khanna)
Wave after power wave
in effervescence
to display
its influence on the beach,

carrying along
the power brokers,
and assorted floaters.

The hoi-polloi crabs
caught in between
the advancing waves
trainee sand plovers,
getting their feet wet,
some biding their time.

As one crab
said to another
we should start
a New Crab Party(NCP);
the sand plovers
will be extra nice to us;
and then
there are still
so many innocent
in the ocean......"

Agobai ! Monalisa Vahini !

A friend of a FB friend Deepashri Bharne D'Melo shared a great photo of someone called Monalisa Deshpande.

Probably  the daughter of Kokan, from say, Devrukh, with the complexion like the ocean foam, and typical hazel green eyes,  now married into a Deshpande family, and nicely settled in Pune

I sort of fell sorry for the actual portrait in the Louvre in Paris. Had to write in Marathi and in English ......

I mean nothing beats this .......

देवरुख ची कन्या ,
पुण्याला आली,
आणि देशपांडे बनून गेली.....
आणि बघा !

तिच्या शोधात
इटलीचे लेओनार्डो द विन्ची ,
चक्क पुण्यात आले ,
नारायण पेठेत रमले,
आणि सभोवताली
पु. ना. गाडगीळ , भाउ चीन्गुशेट शिवरकर,
आणि नदिपल्याड
लागू बंधू, पेठे , आणि इतरांना बघून
पुन्हा चित्र रेखाटायला बसले.....

पैठणी वरचे सोनेरी बुट्टे
सर्वत्र शिंपित जाणारी,
गळ्याला साज आणि चंद्रहाराने सजवणारी ,
कानात भोकरं आणि वेल घालून,
चाफेकळी नाकात मोत्याची नाथ ,
सुंदर चंद्रकोरीचे कुंकू लावून,
अचानक दोन्ही खांद्यावर पदर घेउन,
स्मितहास्य करत म्हणाली ,
" लेओनार्डोभाउजी ,
इथे पास्ता-मद्य वगैरे कसल घेता ?
चला, व्यवस्थित वैशालीत जून
मसाला डोसा आणि कॉफी घेउ की !"
Lo behold,
the daughter of
Devrukh in Kokan,
now a Deshpande of Pune.

Searching for her,
Vinci's Leonardo
actually reached Pune
and settled down in Narayan Peth.
in the midst
of the abodes of jewellers
PN Gadgil,
Bhau Chngushet Shivarkar,
not forgeting
the Laagus and Pethes
across the river,
he actually decided
to paint her again.

She came,
sprinkling the golden dots
from her Paithani,
the Saaj and Chandrahar
glittering around her neck,
canopy-style pearl bhokrs

in her ears
held with rising
gold creepers in her hair,
a pearl and ruby "nath" nosering.

She stopped,
tired of posing,
put on her new moon shaped tikka
on her forehead,
adjusted her palloo
on both shoulders,
looked at him
and said
" Aho Leonardo Bhau,
this ain't a place
for pasta and wine...
Chalo, we go to Vaishali
a great coffee and a masala dosa....coming ?"

Prayers at the Top

Some amazing clicks by my blog and FB friend Bhavesh Chhatbar, in the Varandha Ghats.  Western Maharashtra is adorned by the Sahyadri Mountains that run almost parallel to the coast, and several of these  provide an amazing  look at the coastal landscapes from the various parts of the mountains.  One such is the Varandha Ghat, via which one connects to the Coastal highway  from the high  Deccan plateau.

Canyon peaks of these ghats, the Sahyadri/Western Ghats declared a Word Heritage Site by Unesco.   Sharp roads skirt these mountains , leaving everything else , like those steep 45 degree slopes ,  unchanged.

And you watch the canyon peaks,  think of what happened recently to churn our country, and wonder how many such prayers will be required ......

Stone cold hearts,
slippery minds,
morals all
in a steep
decline into oblivion,
cruelly bashing lives
of young green trees
to grow in this
difficult world,
as they struggle
to stand up
on the slopes
in the Sun
clutching on to lessons
taught by their strong roots.

And so he sits,
in penance
at the pinnacle,
for those that suffered,
to his God,
unconcerned about
the wind, the cold,
and the
looming big
unconcerned Varandha chaps
in the distance.

Some find
roads cut out for them
in the mountains
and have an easy drive through life.

It is for
the troubled trees
that he prays...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bozoical Interpretations in white..

With Mumbai having some unusually cold days , Bozo, Mumbai's only dog with his own blog, spends a lot of time ,  sitting on the floor next to Magiceye's sofa, as they watch some television.

Currently seeing lots of folks in white, sitting on a stage, and lots of other folks in white applauding these folks, and so on.  

And Bozo, just reasoned out some answers himself.....

I see all  these guys
at some
Chintan Shibir
on TV;
all the guys in white,
like me,
applauding and garlanding
one guy
in the  centre
again in white.

I wonder
what he has done
and why
he is being garlanded....

And then I hear
it is because
of the important person
sitting next to him....

I'm in white,
also sitting
next to an important person,
who is watching it all
on television,
and I don't see
anyone queued up
to see me and garland me....

Ah I know.
That new
chocolate two wheeler
keeps being garlanded,
she isn't
in touch
with the grass routes
like I am....

I guess
leaders like me
must allow
the sideys
to be garlanded....


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Island Sealinks and Tolling Bells

For once , no visual inspired a poem here. But a comment did. A comment by my friend Ujwal Thakar (on FB ),  who wrote on the sudden predominance of GM food articles on the editorial pages of some leading papers on Jan 16,2013 :
"The paid news specialists seem to have graduated to paid editorials now... Or should we call them EDVERTORIALS.. Both ET and TOI are today carrying op Ed page main editorials on how good GM ( genetically modified) foods are and how they alone can save the world from starvation... Whilst there may be some truth in the claims, unfortunately the joint espousal of the pink and white papers of the group make it sound like Monsanto propaganda.. Wondering what the tariff for EDVERTORIALS is?"
Does no one stand unshakeably tall ?  So many Caesars; and no Caesar's-wife(s) above suspicion ?  Have we made so many sealinks to the island to chip away opportunistically at the base  ?  
With apologies to the great John Donne.....
No man is an island,
True and faithful himself...

Each is a piece of bosses,
A part of the top.
If a farmer can be
washed away by the land,
A praised BT variety is the cause

As profitable as if an iron mine were.
As well as if a mafia of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.

Everyone else's win diminishes me,
For I am involved in scams
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
I will ensure,
It tolls for thee.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Chameleon Lizard Fashion Week

My friend,  Prasad Paranjape, clicked this amazing photo  at the Mandhardevi Ghat , near Wai, in Maharashtra.  This region of the Sahyadris  is dotted with forts harking back to the days of Shivaji, and his brave men, and one is reminded of the story of the attack on Sinhagad by his brave warrior Tanaji Malusare, who used a type of lizard to latch on to the walls of the fort parapet so he could climb in, fight and win the fort back.

These old stories of valour juxtaposed against what is considered the smart thing to do today. 

A friend called it Sardawalk .... Sarda is marathi for lizard/chameleon..    Naturally, the thoughts occurred first in Marathi. English follows .

२०१३ सरडा फ्याशन वीक,
सर्प-सुसर-विंचू डिझायनर मंडळींतर्फे
झाडाच्या वाळलेल्या फांदीवर
घेतलेली पोझ ,
पाठीच्या नाझुक कण्यावर

दिमाखाने वसणारा
टोकीदार तानाजीस्मृती शूरहार दागिना ,
पुरुषांनी कान टोचून
कानात खडे घालायचा दिवसात
सध्याच्या स्टाईल प्रमाणे
एका कानात मंद सोनेरी पुष्कर..

अजून फांदीवर खूप चालायचे आहे ,
टाळ्या घ्यायच्या आहेत ,
आजकालच्या पद्धती प्रमाणे सगळ्यांकडे
रागा रागाने बघायचे आहे ,
एव्ह्डच ,
कि फांदीच्या टोकावर खोट हसून
गिरकी घॆउन
परत न फिरता,
हे वीर दुसर्या फांदीवर उडी घेणार आहेत....
2013 Chameleon Lizard Fashion Week.
Presented by
the Reptilian Croc Trio,
designers of slimy repute.

A smart pose struck
just so
on a dried tree branch;
the valour crown jewelery
adorning the dainty vertebrae
in honor
of the brave Tanaji Malusare,
and in tribute
to the current style
of studs in male ears,
a brilliant
pale gold sapphire
adorning the ears....

A long catwalk on the branch,
great applause,
and a haughty glance
at the audience
in the current approved style.

It's just that,
at the end of the catwalk,
there will be
no false smiles,
no pirouettes,
and no return.

There will simply,
be a rushed leap
on to another branch,
for another

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bozoical Life Speeds

Life is surely getting complicated for Bozo,  Mumbai's only dog with his own blog. He harks back to the days when he was so active and went everywhere with his family. Bozo himself is now a senior citizen, and is puzzled at how the world has changed.

First the four wheelers , and now the latest family favourite, the wild two wheeler. All so wrapped up in their own speedy lives, and trying their best to entice Magiceye. So much so, that even this photograph was clicked , not by Magiceye, but his son....

At the end of the day, Bozo is aware, that Old is Gold.  He knows that, at some point, these modern speedy contraptions will get boring, and folks will realize, that life is all about walking with Bozo, smelling the flowers,  enjoying the grass, and then coming home, simply to smell the coffee.....

(Photo by Nakul Amembal)
There is something
about speed
and too much of it..

need a kick
and a push,
and a poke with a key
just to start,
and then cruise around
amidst great sparks
and plugs,
unaware of
the smell
of a Sunday morn.

so full of themselves,
lumbering on four wheels,
smelling of petrol and leather
even have songs playing
as they
cough and start
and then
speed around
dodging cows, trucks,
and pavements
with great help
the Bappa on the dashboard.

And then
there are some,
who gently wake up,
shake smartly,
sneeze a bit,
snoop a bit,
wag a bit,
and wearing the smart harness,
go out for a walk
with the young one.

noticing butterflies,
breathing in deeply,
smelling the streets,
lampposts still lit,
enjoying gardens,
lolling in the grass,
and then returning home,
but taking a short break
to rest
on the mat,
wondering what's cooking.....

Tell me,
which Sunday do you prefer ?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Horse Power !

At the beginning of every year, South Mumbai enjoys a creative upsurge  called the Kala Ghoda Fair , amidst  the various art galleries, museums, and heritage structures which exist in what is the Kala Ghoda crescent shaped precinct in Mumbai . 

This photographed, was clicked there by my blogfriend, travel writer, photographer, and biker, Deepak Amembal aka Magiceye.

Kala Ghoda literally means Black Horse, a reference to a black stone statue of King Edward VII (as the then Prince of Wales) mounted on a horse that was built by the Jewish businessman and philanthropist Albert Abdullah David Sassoon.  This statue was removed in 1965, and subsequently, placed in the front of the garden.

If the Kala Ghoda could actually see this one .....

(photo by Deppak Amembal Magiceye)
So many
in fancy colors,
V-6, V-8 cylinders,
pistons agitating just so,
carburetting, sparking,

clicking wheels into gears,
two wheels dragging two more,
sometimes all four,
swallowing and using
transmitted power
with fifteen seconds pick-up
nose in the air
at so many rpm's....

He stands,
supremely powerful,
he of the rippling muscles,
long legs,
superior snort,
swishing tail,
amazing grace
out of this world pick-up
at a gallop.

Thats why
all those pseudo
speed mosnters,
mention their strength

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Holding it all together....

"Holdalls" as they were called in our childhood, were the precursors to the modern sleeping bag.  They were a kind of roll up contraption, in which you could organize a bedroll, complete with a light pillow and blanket, with places to stuff extra footwear and other sundry items. You would roll this up, fasten it usually with the built in leather belt type fasteners with buckles and stuff.  Mothers were notorious for stuffing in things which they thought were indispensable, and you found out only when you left on the trip.  These holdalls were always olive green , brown or a dark khaki color.

Times have changed. My friend Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne, makes these little eggplant holdalls, stuffed with spices, capsicums of various colors and warm melting cheese. An offspring of the family, leaving on a solo trip, doesn't have the "benefit" of holdalls we used, but then these are better !  Stick a memory rod through them, and enjoy lugging them, hiking style.

Read Shruti's excellent post here , to see the recipe as well. Photograph by Shruti.

(Nostalgia often makes you think in your mother tongue.  An English version happened alongside ....)

कोणी देईल का मला
एक वांग्याचा होल्डॉल ......

ढब्बू मिर्चीसारख्या काही फुरंगटून
बसलेल्या आठवणी ,
काही त्यातल्या सूर्याच्या रंगासारखे
सोनेरी क्षण ,
आणि अगोबाई म्हणून हळूच
हिरव्याच्या मागे लपणार्या
लाल चुटूक आठवणी ;

झटकून पुसून, सर्वत्र शिंपडलेले
चविष्ठ शुभेच्छान्चे दाणे ,
आणि कवटाळून गुंडाळून झोपता येईल
असे चीजचे पांघरूण ....

आणि छोटी लेक बांधाबांध करते,
थोडी होल्डॉलशी झटापट ,
आणि तिची आई
डोळ्यात पाणि आणणार्या कांद्याची पात
पट्कन घेते आणि
सगळ्या आठवणी , शुभेच्छा आणि प्रार्थना एकत्र करते ....

तिची लेक ,
एक काठी घेते,
हसत हसत त्यात अडकवते ,
आणि म्हणते ,
" अगदी हिच्हैकींग वाली शिदोरीच दिलीस कि ग मला !"

Wanted ! Wanted !
An eggplant "Holdall" .....

 Childhood vignettes
of stubborn puffed capsicum faces,
some sunny memories
steeped in nostalgic golden syrup,
and some peekaboo reds,
shyly peeking through it all...

A shower
of some spicy ,
tangy thoughts of bygone days,
and a lovely blanket
of some warm cheese to wrap around.

The young one
tries to roll it up,
tangles ,
and her Mom,
glares at the lachrymal green onion,
and uses its green
to tie it all up,
the memories, the wishes, and the prayers.

The young one smiles,
amused by an idea.
She grabs a rod,
sticks it through it all,
holds it on her shoulder,
and grins ,
"Mom ! I am all set ! For hitch-hiking .....!!!!"

Brave New Rice

A photograph of The System of Rice Intensification, in Karanjo, Jharkhand (in North India) clicked by my blog and FB friend Bhavana Nissima, of Chennai, on her recent nationwide travels.

Known to increase rice yields significantly merely by following a few simple rules, the Rice Intensification System  is spreading throughout Bihar.  It needs less fertilizers, seeds, insecticides, labour and most importantly, much less water than is needed in normal modes of cultivation. The water needed is only about one-third of what is used in the traditional system of growing paddy. 

This picture of paddy plants, standing tough and tall, all together, braving it all, good and bad in nature,  just reminded me of something that happened recently, where so many women came together.... 

(photo by Bhavana Nissima)
they struggle to stand
in a soil
devoid of cohesion,
cracking in despair,

but still trying.

they imbibe
from a rich coastal plate
in the shadow
of some big mountain,
but still
hold on,
on their own.

And sometimes,
they revel
in the
all encompassing monsoon
of high emotion
and dedication,
and stand,
shoulder to shoulder,
facing the water,
shrugging it off,
to grow,
more tall,
more mature,
and more powerful
all standing in a line,
to change the
granaries of thought...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hooked by the Yarn.....

My FB friend Suma Bhat from Delhi/Bangalore/Bengaluru has magic fingers. She weaves them along with a crochet hook through various colored yarns, and comes up with amazing things like flowers, owls, leaves, along with some lovely things that keep our hot chocolates, teas and coffees, hot.  As well as give a beautiful look to containers that hold useful things on our desks and kitchens.

Check out her page "The Little Yarn Owl" . You will be spoilt for choice and owls have never looked lovelier.

She lined up all her yarns recently ,  bringing them in from the very cold New Delhi winter, and clicked.

Then something clicked in my head. Here it is :

 (Photo by Little Yarn Owl/Suma Bhat)
So many yarn students,
rushing in from the
winter cold,
and lining up

for the school assembly,
crowding the
front row,
cheek by jowl,
kind of shoving and pushing.

Having left their
white primary school days behind,
now in brilliant colors,
they've learnt
the art of disentanglement,
kind of a
sthitapradnya life.

There's is to simply wait,
for a crochet rod
to hook them
into being more social.

by themselves,
catching up with others in chains,
and sometimes,
in a brilliant outburst,
creating a forest
of leaves,
and flowers
and owls,
all waiting
to wrap themselves
around lives.....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bozoical Dreams

Rare moments, when the real beauty shines through.... as Magiceye captures  Bozo, Mumbais' only dog with his own blog,  doing a neck stretch, to admire himself in the mirror, as he possibly balances on his hind legs, placing the front legs on a Indica Vista D90, or Royal Enfield Bullet;  two powerful types, but falling short of Bozo as far as grace goes. 

A bare shapely neck, needs an adornment, and Bozo has some ideas. Read on .

I must have the DNA
of the
quick and streamlined
sighthound family,
to sport
such a
long and graceful neck.

While I hear
these bipeds
classify people
based on their
and even eating habits,
we dogs
are international,
I have cousins
who are
Italian greyhounds,
Afghan hounds,
and Ibizan hounds.

We don't discriminate
on color,
or language
of length on neck.

It's just that
faced with all these
new and spiffy shiny
two wheelers and four wheelers
now joining the family,
I too long for
pearl studded collar
to adorn my swan like neck
and lose no opportunity
to show off....

Is anyone listening ?