Friday, March 11, 2016

Roots and Returns

My Fb friend Braja Sorenson ,  a Krishna devotee, author and yoga enthusiast ,   who lives away from the big cities in West Bengal on the banks of a tributary of the Ganga, recently posted this photo,  which could be today's version of Go Dhuli.

Gone are the days when bullocks and buffaloes wandered around amidst the greens daily, getting their meals, possibly supervised by a dog running here and there, as they chewed the cud and snorted back at him. And then , a slow trudge back at sunset , to the home amidst the fields,  amidst the dust kicked up in their own enthusiasm .

Today , the path winds itself through a construction boom, temporary tin sheds, and a long walk back home, trying to dodge those coming in the wrong direction.

Photograph by Braja 
It was so different
in my time, girl !

We wandered and gamboled
near the house,
amidst grassy meadows,
chewing away ,
pretending to listen
to the appointed frisky dog.
And sometimes,
ventured a bit further,
to return at Godhuli,
as the departing sunrays fought with the dust.

Today, like the bipeds,
we commute
cursed by bricks, concrete,
and some trying to look smart on wheels.
Holes without grass,
ditches without water,
a daily trip
like you
in search of food.

And like you,
we return home
at eventide;
cribbing about roads,
pollution, heat and dust.

Like you we crib about traffic jams.

And like you, we create them ourselves.

We have devolved.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

DIPSR, New Delhi !

I have a friend in Delhi who grows , among other things, strawberries in pots in her garden.   Naturally,  she keeps track of their growth, and the environment, and lately  it has come to her attention that someone seems to be taking bite size tastes/tests  of the fruit .  

Pale pink strawberries in their teenage  are a big draw  for the birds, and one wondered why so many fruits are huddling to one side of the pot.

Could it be that the bird beak bite triggers cytokines (the original messaging system in bodies of living beings before SMS's and Whatsapp), and relays advice throughout the plant, about mobilizing for an excellent sweet adult strawberry harvest?

My friend isn't overly concerned.  The birds and squirrels are to be preferred.

 In an age when  torn clothes elicit horror unless some mindless entity deliberately tears jeans and sells it as fashion successfully,   in this garden, a bird pecked strawberry wins against monsantoized fruit....

The Shabri Bird.

Direct Involved
Pecking Sweetness Research,
(DIPSR )** at the correct time
so the plant cytokines
may spread the word
to the younger
developing lot,
on how to be
a wonderful strawberry,
confident and comfortable
in its own sweetness
unlike those who follow
commercial standards.....

The plant probably listens ,
unlike us
who ignore the Shabris of our life.

** DIPSR : in a city full of acronimized central institutions , I thought this fitted in rather well  :-)


Saturday, March 5, 2016

To Give is Divine ....

My friend , Nutsure Satwik , just posted this amazing capture  of  communication between ordinary types and Gods.

At a time, when allegiances to "Gods" change at the drop of a hat or a jingle in the pocket,  there is much to learn from those in nature, who have not evolved , like us  so called, advanced humans .

It isn't really about dealing with a power;  It is about making a heartfelt simple offering ....   no strings attached.

 Photograph titled  तेरे पूजन में ,  by Nutsure Satwik.

कितीतरी देव, कितीतरी भक्त ,
काही लांब पल्ल्याचे , काही तात्पुरते,
काही शक्तीशाली प्रबळ ,
काही खास लोकाग्रहास्तव , काही स्वयंघोषित ,
काहींचे पायाशी लोटांगण ,
देण्या घेण्याचे हिशोब आणि नवस,
आणि कान आणि डोळे बंद ठेवण्याची
अद्भुत कला .

आणि मग एका हिरवाईत
आजच्या पर्यावरणात बुडलेला ,
फ़ळाफ़ुलात वसलेला ,
आजूबाजूच्या जगाचे निरीक्षण करणारा
एक शेंदूर संपन्न बाप्पा ,
आणि स्वतह्साठी काहीही न मागता
बाप्पाला द्यायचे ते गोडच असावे
प्रत्येक अन्नाची चव घेउन ,
पूजा अर्पण करणारे शबरी पक्षी .

ओरबाडून घेणार्याना , हे देणे कसे समजणार ?
 So many Gods,
so many devotees ,
of so many persuasions.

Some long term,
some temporary,
some raging strong
some by popular demand,
some self appointed.
Much falling at feet,
strict accounting of give-and-take,
sometimes mannats,
and the amazing ability
to keep ears and eyes
conveniently shut.

And then ,
somewhere deep
in the greenery of life,
reveling in the environment,
flowering and fruiting,
a vermilion deity
watching it all go by;
And to one side,
a Shabri Bird,
offering food to Him,
as pooja,
only after tasting it
to confirm
that it is sweet.

Those that grab and collect
will never understand ,
will they ?