Saturday, May 31, 2014

इश्श्य ! आम्ही नाही जा …

There are very few folks who can cook, write, and take such outstanding photographs of what they cook, that they imbibe the dish with human qualities. If you know what I mean.

My blogger and FB friend, Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne is one such. She recently participated in a breakfast contest as part of a Facebook group called Sikandalous Cuisine,  and her writeup, with a great mix of memories and cooking instructions was greatly applauded by all the members.

This dosa , as clicked by her, is clearly overcome by all the attention, and the curve of the dosa reminded me of something. Unfortunately, I am unable to translate it into English.

For all my friends who read and understand Marathi,  here it is ...
लहानपणापासून डोळ्यासमोर
डाळ तांदुळाचे आदर्श,
काहींचे उकडे पारदर्शक व्यक्तिमत्व,
रात्र रात्र जागून , तरी पण
फ्रेश राहून कमावलेले 
हलके फुलके चेहरे,
मेथी आजींचा मान राखून
थोडेसे आठवणींचे दाणे ;
सर्व एकत्र करून
ती आपल्याच स्वप्नांच्या उबेत
गुरफटून बसते .

दुसर्या दिवशी
सकाळी सकाळी
विस्तवाला स्मरून, देवाचे नाव घेउन
ती डावाला सामोरी जाते,
आणि चटके बसले तरी
"अरे संसार संसार " म्हणात
तव्यावर ऐसपैस पसरते .
सोनेरी छटा यायच्या आधी
थोडी झाकणाखालि लपते,
आणि चटणीशी दोन बोटे करण्याची
मनाची तयारी कर्ते.

अचानक एक मोठी खोली,
स्वच्च प्लेट मध्ये ती उतरते ,
आणि भोवताली इतक्या
टाळ्या वाजवणार्या सिकनदलीय महिलां
बघून लाजते ,
आपलाच सोनेरी पदर
स्वतः भोवती गोल गुंडाळून
आणि चटणी कडे पाठ फिरवून म्हणते,
"इश्श्य ! आम्ही  नाही जा …।"

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Politics and the Art of the Edible.

My FB and blogger friend from Delhi , Ritu Lalit, just baked some cinnamon bread and posted a visual before restless folks started to devour it. 

Please have a look at her cooking blog, Cooking is fun ......

The  entire process, the pictures, the anticipation, the tumultous mixing, the impatience , the rising of the bread,  could have only been described by someone who lives in the Capital, and is actively concerned with the national and local events.

Naturally,  these two mother-and-beta breads brought some things to mind.  

And yes, the presence of the new tablecloth and the dice was a complete masterstroke.

Holy dips in yeast,
a great stirring,
and coming together
of a coalition.

Multi seats Flour,
with cinnamon ki Mamata,
DMK Sugar Raja short statement,
Mulayam Eggs
and a pinch of RJD Salt,
the lady and her son
sitting with the allies,
wonder how they
still fell short.

in anticipation
of being torn apart
and devoured,
they see the advent
of a lady with a knife
waiting to
cut and analyse them.

Saffron and red,
everywhere they look.

They understand.

The dice fell differently this time.

Bozoical Protest

Yes. Bozo is back , after many days. Because he could not keep quiet in the face of certain injustices.

Deepak Amembal,  Bozo's life chronicler,  has just appeared in an interview by a Tushar,  praising the Desert Storme,  his two wheeler , and talking about his trips with her.  

Bozo clearly needs to set the record straight.  Unlike recently observed eminent folks who need to organize meetings with pre dedcided outcomes to fight their fights, Bozo is an simple Aam Dog, and leads from the front .

He has generously allowed us to use this protest photo. You cannot miss the look in the eyes, the pursed lips, and the determination....

I protest.

But unlike folks
who sit under
shaminanas n the sun,
I prefer a cool place
in the house.

Unlike Anna Hazare,
I will eat,
in appreciation
of the Annadaataa
of the house.

It is just that
Deepak has given an interview
to a guy called Tushaar,
and it simply hurts
to see
the Desert Storme preening
all over the page.

I dont need to be kicked
or tweaked to start,
I do not spew smoke,
I maintain myself automatically,
unlike the Storme,
I interact with the entire family,
and spend my leisure hours
at their feet
near the sofa.

I know
Deepak once had his camera stolen
as it nestled in the
pockets of the Desert Storme.

She did nothing.

Had it been me,
I would have chased the thief,
and brought him down.

And then i hear this interview.

I guess
in these days of NaMo, RaGa, and now DeSt,
no one remembers Bozo,
the guy
whose original name started it all.

I am not Bopanna Zorawar
preening as Bozo.

And I have an entire blog
dedicated to me
by Deepak.

Suna Kya, Tushaar ?

Just saying....

Friday, May 23, 2014

Decisive Birds.....

My blog and FB friend Deepak Amembal aka Magiceye, just now posted this visual of the Sky , in his Mumbai suburb of Bandra (East)as part of his Friday Skywatch series.

To someone , who has been bombarded by the print and electronic media by the post election jockeying for posts of importance in the new dispensation, this tableau presents an apt representation.

A  tree with denuded resources,  claimants for the many branches,  an acknowledged senior-in-age, looking hopefully up at chances,  many claimants for single branches,  a secure, confident, troubleshooting redoubtable Bird Friday, keeping his distance from the lot, and the Big Bird, observing it all, from a Supremely High position atop another branch of another tree.

(photo by Deepak Amembal)
So many
aspiring to occupy
high positions

across branches
of the executive tree,
now bereft
of any honest resources.

A lone Bird Friday
who handled
a few Troublesome Trees,
now sits in observation
some distance away,
as the Chief Old Bird
on a high perch
looking up,
leads the assorted claimants
for branches
of their choice.

the Chosen Bird
prefers to observe
from its perch
on the high rise branch
of an adjoining
Old Tree.

Under a blue
yet breezeless sky,
those with leaves
still remaining,
wait and watch.

Friday, May 16, 2014

SWC for birds......

My friend Sangeeta Khanna, who is a researcher, nutritionist, trekker, food photographer, traditional foods expert, and green thumb gardener, is often invited by hospitality industry types as a consultant.

One such trip took her to a place called Te Aroha Dhanachuli, a boutique resort  near Nanital , in Uttarakhand.

Very clearly,  the birds thought it was a great place too. She recently posted a whole set of photographs of the Birds of Te Aroha....

It is , depressingly, a sign of the times, that despite nature dressed up to the nines, in such a wonderful place, what really came to mind on seeing this, was something the new Modi Government , elected today, might be interested in doing.

Single window clearance.  For construction projects. 

I think the birds believe in it.  

(photo by Sangeeta Khanna)

The search for a house
never stops,
and the work for it


I wonder
what the new government means ...

They did say
there would be
single window clearance
for construction ?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Auto Vanaprasthashram....

My blogger and FB friend Janaki Nagraj , a published poet, and accomplished photographer,  posted this visual of a proud old vintage car , as part of the Theme Thursday, where the subject was : "Abandoned" ...

I've seem many such on the road as a child in Pune,  moving with great dignity.  I remember one such, a few years later , a bit more square in shape, and with side boards where we could stand, in my maternal grandfather's garage.

This visual reminded me of that.  A Vanaprasthashram,  where mobility was restricted or absent, but memories abounded  and celebrated in Brownian motion...

Immersed in memories
she sits
her cataracted eyes
straining to search
for that thin gleam of light,
as her toothless white anaemic gums
smile occasionally
at the thought
trips she did,
the handles that cranked,
how she puffed up the ghats
the radiator
boiling in anger.

Old age
tires you out
so much,
that even wiping and bathing
is tough.

Those little breaths of air
wheezing through
with an ancient classy nose ring,
they blow away
the depression dust
studded with the
occasional wet of tears.

She sits regal
watching it all....

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The E-Sun ....

A friend sent this visual to me by email.

Gone are the days when you memorized the 12 salutations to the Sun while doing suryanamaskars in the morning.

Gone are the days when you welcomed the Rain with "Yere Yere Pausaa" as a child.

Today, you hold something in the palm of your hand, press buttons, possibly take photographs with the contraption, and then disburse pearls of instructional knowledge to someone from whom there is so much to learn.

The Sky is his Ipad
He shall not want.

He does his stuff,
dawn to dusk,
facing clouds,
defiant early moons,
and an Ozone War
as he desperately tries
to placate a rotating Earth
populated with
nerds fiddling with settings.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Quietly cursed......

My FB friend Amit Amembal posted this visual .

It is a telling comment on the collapsing infrastructure in Mumbai , and the rank carelessness with which the authorities  keep announcing endless unsupervised  repairs,  makes this wish , enunciated below, almost impossible to imagine. 

Come monsoon,  no streams, no quiet, no listening.

Just a massive flow of clogged filth, flooded roads, and endless tolerance by those cursed to live here.

Everybody should be quiet
near a little stream
and listen..

To the swallowing
and bubbles,
as the water trips
amidst the trash ;
the thrashing of a tadpole
entangled in
the politics of plastic,
in a dark viscous flow
by oils and emissions
of the automotive and human types;

Even there,
a potholed flow,
water wasted into subterranean abysses
finding its blind way
into the ocean
after ravaging the mangroves.

I don't think
we should be quiet
and it is time
someone somewhere listened
and did something.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Gymnasts of the Green.....

Young photographer Pankaja , often gets amazing clicks from the window of her parents' house which is in a wooded area at a height.

Finding this little moth doing this sincere gymnastics, undeterred by the intimidating vastness of the green makes me think of something else.

And no, the little insect , needs no permissions, special set ups, or even special awards.

Some similar types inspire movies in Bollywood.

This one , begets a poem....

No politics of selection,
No training camps,
no special machines,

no subsidies;
just a
sincere practice of the art
from childhood,
the spying of a truant branch,
careful resting
of the dainty forearms
on top,
and a graceful lift
aided by the
transparent in attitude.

In the quiet of the forest,
the Olympic greens applaud....

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The road less travelled....

My blog friend Shail Mohan of Thiruvananthapuram,  is clearly blessed with a keen photographic eye, besides  being blessed with  a lovely green garden, an expressive canine friend, and a Nikon D5100.  The results often appear on FB as well  as her photoblog here.

Between clicking clouds, sunsets,  birds and flowers,  and drops of water drifting on cast iron gates or smooth green leaves,  I guess these caught her eye due to the sheer character they displayed.....

Just reminded me of what someone had to say about a fork in the road. ....  and I wondered what the ants had to say ......

Two roads diverged
in a tree,
unlike those three ,
craving to reach
the clump of flowers,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Less crowded,
lesser potholes,
better original construction,
and given how polluted human blood is today,
less people to bite....

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Guard of Honor ?

My friend Shail Mohan lives in dynamic equilibrium with birds, animals, trees, flowers, clouds , rains, the sun, and rains that shower good wishes upon all of them . And she often clicks amazing captures like this one, full of meaning ......

The ramrod straight greens, the smartly moving butterfly,  bring  back memories of numerous visuals on TV where top citizens of the country take "guards of honor".

And then suddenly it becomes clear why the butterfly seems to be doing so.

Rustles  and Raindrops
and a breeze in command,
and the

Supreme Commander butterfly
presumed apolitical
in white
passing through
the upright guard of honor
on arrival.

These days
it helps
to fly
having antennas
in high places
not have a connection
with the ground realities....

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Slice of Life

My friend Deepak Amembal probably has his camera with him 24 x 7 . That is probably necessary when you get plied with yummy stuff at all your meals at home.

One such is this dish called " Waangyaache kaap ", which translates to shallow fried spiced brinjal/aubergine slices. Which must have been what he had for lunch/brunch today.

Brinjals in their various avatars have lent themselves to stuffing, roasting, pureeing, by themselves and in combination with the proletarian potato. 

Here is a recipe for the slices. In Marathi . 

कांदा खोबरं गुळाबरोबर
चिरा पाडून
गचडी मध्ये गेलेलं लहानपण ,

कित्येकांनी म्हातारपणी
विस्तवाशी खेळून
स्वतःला भाजून घेउन ,
मिळल्व्लेल्या असंख्य सुरकुत्या …

दोन्ही टोकाचे प्रकार .

एकविसाव्या शतकातील वांगी
हुशार झाली आहेत.

बाहेरून जांभळी आतून सफेद ,
यौवनात आलेली काही,
जाता जाता बरच काही सांगून जातात…

आयुष्य कसं नेहमी
नुसत फ़ेअर आणि लव्हली नसतं ,
पण बाहेरून गडद आतून श्वेत असतं ,
आपल्या आयुष्याच्या रीतसर
चकत्या करून,
मिठाचे फ़ेशिअल करून,
तिखट जिरेपूड धन्याच्या बरोबर
तांदुळाच्या पिठीची किंवा बेसनाची पावडर फासून
एका पाठोपाठ एक गरम तव्यावर पडणे ;
चमचा चमचा तेलाच्या शिडकाव्यात
चटके बसत
"मी नाही जा" म्हणत
लट्केच उलटे फिरणे .
आणि भर्पूर कडक सोनेरी
डाग पडल्यावर,
तोर्यात मैत्रिणॆन्बरोबर
"मिस वांगी २०१४" च्या स्टेज वर
पोज घेउन बसणे ……

जायचं तर सगळ्याना अहे.
कोण कस जात ते महत्वाच