Thursday, December 14, 2006


Rest in Piece

Building Castles on the Ground

The pieces of the puzzle lay scattered
Destined to fit
Intended to be complete
But only partly fitted right
Like life...

The puzzle though,
Didn't allow forced fits
Why then does life?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bitten by the Musicuito

Its been some while away from this space and I did miss being here.
A large part of it I attribute to a whole lot of load on the work front and the rest to the two new toys that I acquired.


Latest Toys

So far I can play "Bheege hont tere" badly and "Mary had a little lamb" well.

Another bit of fun was when my sunrise video that I have posted here earlier got featured on YouTube. I was made aware of it 6 days after it happened through some 700 odd emails that flooded my account. The comments ranged from "awesome video" and "good rendition" to "shoddy camera work" (which I agree with ) and "why the hell cant she shut up" (I have altered this comment to make it inoffensively readable). The exciting part was when a lady from sweden asked my permission to use the voice and poem for her music album and said she would send the CDs to me once they were done. Another flattering moment was when PJLabinski asked me if he could compose music for that video. I was more than pleased in letting him do so. I'm posting the music added version here, which I feel is far better than the original video:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Karjat- Last Weekend

A warm dry afternoon, a browning green landscape, the trickle of a calmly flowing river, colourful, drying clothes, bathing buffaloes, thirsty goats, wet feet and a hot, mossy, slippery contentment.

This was Kondavane village, near Karjat on the mid October afternoon.

This is about the trip taken the weekend before last with a bunch of friends to a friend’s farmhouse near Karjat. On the way we pottered about some villages around the locality.

A wanted, needed, desired, appreciated and in retrospect, loved, break from the coffee pots of bubbling urgencies into a place where time like lukewarm aromatic tea stands still and waits to be sipped and enjoyed.

The evening of course involved a lot of rest, even more photography (where I was specifically told to get a life and take pictures of humans instead of frogs and insects), an awesome barbecue of chicken, peppers and paneer, with women doing all the cutting and marinating and men doing all the coal heating and cooking. This was followed by, two awesome games of pictionary and dumb charades where everyone fought, made up, accused, cheated and freaked out and finally tired as children surrendered to a blissful, unpeturbed sleep.

It was fun. A raw, juvenile, childlike state of merriment and delight.

Some of my favourite pictures from the trip are here:

The Ripple Of Content


Magenta Dragonfly

There's Water Afoot

Into My Parlour......

To be barbecued...

More Karjat snaps here

Thursday, October 19, 2006


He is born now

As the still night gives way

To the soft twilight

Small hands

Reach out to grab wisps of air

And render time breathless

Vibrant eyes,

Reflect the light

Of stars undiscovered

Unstable feet,

Hold the promise

Of playing in virgin soils

Of paths untrodden

His face, the destination

Of a pilgrimage of expression

His cry

The sound of inviting brooks

Whose ripples skip along the pebbles of time

As they travel to meet the rivers of tomorrow

Fragile, feeble, beautiful and whole

My ‘dream’ is born now

Thursday, October 05, 2006


This is my first ever attempt at the ghazal form of urdu poetry. I have played around with the triveni and nazm (here and here) forms earlier and even had the audacity to add a couplet or two to some poor souls already established meters (including Ghalib’s which I am too ashamed to show anyone). However whenever I contemplated deciding on my own meter, I felt I was biting off more than I would have been able to chew. I have bitten off anyways now and the crumbs that fell off are here:

Thaki dopehar ko behlaati hui shaam nahi

Meri sulagti bechainiyo.n ko aaraam nahi

Kahi.n to dil ki siyaahi mei.n kuch kami hogi

Ke khat mein khushboo hai meri, mera naam nahi

Dil pe dard ki likhai thi, so mita di humne

Bas bujh bujh se gaye lafz, hue tamaam nahi

Kya ke phir is tarah ek aur mulaqaat gayi

Nahi ishaara nazar ka, koi salaam nahi

Maut aayi to mitti aur jism ek khaak hue

Chalo is rooh pe ab pairahan ka ilzam nahi

Is manzil pe le aaye.n hain aql-o-ishq, ke jahaa.n

Hosh ka kuch kaam nahi, bekhudi ka ehteraam nahi

Sachhe sher ‘Sadia’, ek umr laga dete hain

Kore kaagazo.n pe waqt ka koi muqaam nahi


Thursday, September 28, 2006


“That’s a strange thing”, remarked my companion; “you are the second man today that has used that expression to me.”

“And who was the first?” I asked.

“A fellow who is working at the chemical laboratory up at the hospital. He was bemoaning himself this morning because he could not get someone to go halves with him in some nice rooms which he had found, and which were too much for his purse.”

“By Jove!” I cried; “if he really wants someone to share the rooms and the expense, I am the very man for him. I should prefer having a partner to being alone.”

Young Stamford looked rather strangely at me over his wineglass “You don’t know XX* yet.” He said; “perhaps you would not care for him as a constant companion.”

“Why, what is there against him?”

“Oh, I didn’t say there was anything against him. He is a little queer in his ideas-an enthusiast in some branches of science. As far as I know he is a decent fellow enough.”

“A medical student, I suppose?” said I.

“No- I have no idea what he intends to go in for. I believe he is well up in anatomy, and he is a first class chemist; but as far as I know, he has never taken out any systematic medical classes. His studies are very desultory and eccentric, but he has amassed a lot of out-of-the-way knowledge, which would astonish his professors.”

“Did you never ask him what he was going in for?” I asked.

“No; he is not a man that is easy to draw out, though he can be communicative enough when the fancy seizes him.”

Thus was described one of the very famous heroes in the history of literature. And thus was formed (by sharing rooms) one of the absolutely famous friendships in literary fiction. A typical dominance-submission relationship. A queer fellow, a cocaine addict, a violin player and a man of keenest observation roughly begins to describe this guy.

We quote him, we’ve definitely heard of him and some of us have extensively read of him. Before I update this post and write a little more about him, any guesses who I am talking about?

XX = Name of hero

P.S.: Googling strictly not allowed :D


Recently I picked up a complete volume of the novels and stories of Sherlock Holmes. Prior to this I had been acquainted to this fictional character through a few short stories read arbitrarily. Reading this work has been an interesting and quaint journey, but Dr. Watson for some reason holds my attention more than our Holmes chappie. I had decided to do some insightful thinking as to why not the queer Holmes but the absolutely ordinary Watson makes a deeper impression on me. However, I find that I'm too lazy to write about it. In any case I have been less than lazy in clicking a picture of the cover of this book, which in my opinion is done very tastefully. Here it is

Sherlock Holmes


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Another Life

We the weary travelers of the dark
Like the shadowed peaks of snow
In anticipation stood,
Humbled, tired, cold and drained
Waiting for another morning
To restore that which the night had sapped
Waiting for the benevolent sun
Armed with candles of rays
To light the altar of our hearts
As it lit the lamps of snow
To make us alive, to make us glow
Once again…….

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Ye chand kabhi,
Ek angrez ‘tea planter’ lagta hai.
Roz raat ke siyaah ‘suit’ mein,
Apna gora chamakta chehra liye,
Bagaan ke beech guzarti hui,
Wahi raah chalta hai.
Kabhi pedo.n mein chhipta,
Kabhi apne ‘pipe’ ke dhue.ndaar baadalo.n mein gum.

Mai.n aksar usey dekhti hoon,
Apni yaado.n ke patte chunte.
Kabhi to uski nazar, mujh par bhi pade.

More pictures on moon here

Previous related write-ups:
A previous attempt at urdu
The Night


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Raindrop

Glistening upon my window pane
The drop of rain
To a refracted reality…

To a realm of humbled buildings,
Their erect forms, bent.
People, crooked and broken,
Hiding behind the fluorescence of twisted synthetic umbrellas.
Trees, melting and liquid
Streets, indefinitely turning, confused,
Misdirecting lost travelers

How potent is this drop of rain
That washes away the facades?
Facades that have survived storms
Of winds and tears…

More pictures on rain here

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Another Independence Day

Trudging among the corpses of lifeless emotions
Carrying in his bosom the grief of thousand deaths
His feet decayed and infected with pseudo secularism
His crown studded with gems reddened in the blood of martyrs
His head held high in leftover pride
Sadly humming songs of past splendor
Holding his crutches with weak hands
A tired and old Freedom limped past today…..


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jaswant (Don't) Singh

Taking calls is becoming increasingly difficult. What with extensive mobile technology. And then taking A Call to Honour? I mean honour is this far off place that calls for a tough journey. But our very own Jassoo is nothing less than the infamous Jassi (of the jaisi koi nahi fame). So…
Jassoo talks of Jasoos. Why? Jas want ing attention some say. A publicity stunt say others. I say that the above ‘mole’ or less fit the bill. So our fellow chooses his Modus operandi by providing some garma-‘Graham’ khabar. Harry Barnes, neighbor’s envoy owner’s ‘pried’, is then sorted out as the soul who will confirm the mole. But then he has a problem with “wrote” memory and says he has no knowledge of the man who wrote the letter. Like Ghalib would have said “Barnes ke dushwar hai har kaam ka aasaa.n hona. But it would not be too far off the mark to conclude that the episode has in it strong raw material for what contributes to political suicide, in this case through self-im-MOLE-ation.
The Congress has decided to call this a breach of privilege for walking the civil edge, which if the parliament house was to be at Juhu, would go down in history as the “Juhu Breach” (My affiliation for the place talks. Forgive it). The PM fed up of this nonsense forcefully says “aaj ki MOLE aqaat bas itni” and reinstates his preference for prime time “Jassi” than any cheap thriller of a Jasoos episode.

For me its A Call To Honourther post and the only mole I can think of in our government is the self proclaimed ‘Mole-I-am Sings Yadav’.

, , ,

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lebanon-Israel Nauseating Attitudes

For me, the saddest moments of this day have been those where I decided to browse and came across these videos: Lebanon Israel Facts the Media Isn't Telling You and Teaching children to hate in Palestine and Lebanon

The videos were already upsetting but the comments that followed took it to a new level.
A whole lot of people just hating and spewing bitterness-blind to the fact that a war is not about numbers that they or we killed. We are talking people here. We are talking children dying, being maimed, living as orphans. Innocent children who have no contribution to whats happening to them. Whether they belong to Israel or Lebanon, is immaterial. They are living breathing people. Is it so difficult to understand that? Is the barrier that blinds the fundamentalist thought so impregnable that the obvious is entirely barred from admission into consciousness?

In the same vein, recently I received an email from some self-proclaimed "patriotic" Indian, which stated that Israel ought to be taken as an example. It went on to say "See what they did to Lebanon because two of their soldiers were abducted. And see how we Indians are doing nothing in the face of terrorism". It also said " If you feel patriotic about your country forward this mail. If you too are unconcerned delete it".
If patriotism is killing another country's or community's innocent people because they killed ours, just to get on an equal footing with numbers, I'd rather choose not to be patriotic.

Aren't people who harbour, perpetrate and spread these thoughts not supporting the concept of terrorism? After all what is terrorism but hate translated into aggression. Then aren't all those who want killing already half way down the same road that they intend to fight with.

It is time to change the definitions of ‘they’ v/s ‘us’ to ‘we all’ v/s ‘wrong’, simplistic as this may sound. For long now I have held the belief that before cleaning the system, it is about cleaning the dirt within- cleaning the prejudices and biases that our lesser selves nurture. It is time to grow beyond religion and into a people that fights injustice against man; whether this injustice takes the form of blasts in Mumbai, genocide in Godhra or killings in Israel and Lebanon.

Can Humans support this:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

How long are we going to hate?

Khoon apna ho ya paraya ho,
Nasal-e-aadam ka khoon hai aakhir
Jang mashriq mein ho ke maghrib mein
Aman-e-aalam ka khoon hai aakHir

Bam gharon par giren, ke sarhad par
Rooh-e-taameer zakhm khati hai
Khet apne jalen ke auron ke
Zeest faaqon se tilmilaati hai

Tank aage badhen, ke peechhe haten
Kokh dharti ki baanjh hoti hai
Fatah ka jashan ho ke haar ka sog
Zindagi mayyaton pe roti hai

Jang to khud ek masla hai
Jang kya maslon ka hal degi
Aag aur khoon aaj bakhshegi
Bhook aur ahtiyaaj kal degi

Is liye ai shareef insaano!
Jang talti rahe to behtar hai
Aap aur hum sabhi ke aangan mein
Shama' jalti rahe to behtar hai

By Sahir Ludhianvi


Ek Naghma Karbalaa-e-Beirut Ke Liye by Faiz here

"bacchoN kii haNstii aaNkhoN ke
jo aaiine chaknaa-chuur hu’e
ab un ke sitaaroN kii lau se
is shah’r kii raateN raushan haiN
aur ruKhshaaN hai arz-e-Lebanon"


Friday, July 14, 2006

Resilient or Resigned?

The moon on the 11th of July rose in Mumbai. A full beautiful moon among clouds, softly lighting the blood stained tracks, caressing the charred unclaimed fragments of flesh and breathing over wounded souls. Agonized, distraught, confused and numbed souls of those who were wounded in the flesh and those who were wounded in the spirit.

The night saw those who sank, those who fought the nasty wave terror inflicted on them, those ashore who helped others and those who watched silently, helplessly, impotently….like me, who watched their TV sets, trying to contain a tide of tears that rose with the rising death toll.

The next morning saw the media applauding our ‘resilience’- the equanimity of a broken and shattered lot! Applauding the people who took the same trains to work. Applauding parents who sent their children to schools and offices for their near 100% attendance.

The settling day saw politicians saluting us for our bravery and the way we pick ourselves up. And it saw those who thought Mumbai was targeted because we (the same saluted, resilient Mumbaikars) with our laissez-faire attitude did not react adequately and forcefully to adversities; who accused us of shrugging off grave tragedies likes specs of dust on clothes and moving on with our lives; who indicted that we didn’t care enough for those who died, to be jolted even for a day.

These three days that followed have seen a need to ventilate in most of us. People want to talk about it again and again. They want to talk the fear, the impotence and the frustration out of their system. And each who talks has an explanation for the blast, how it could have been avoided, a potential blameworthy faculty (attitude of people, terrorist groups, political interests, economic destabilization of India by Pakistan), an advice for the government (pulling back on the peace process with Pakistan, using the nuclear weapons), a plan of action for the future (increasing railway security, increasing individual vigilance, contributing economically and emotionally to see that people around us are less frustrated) and so on.

I have largely held my silence for the past three days, providing no subjective perceptions or understanding, no opinions and merely counter-arguing a couple of remarks made by others, because I didn’t have anything to say. I have not been able to collect my thoughts adequately and without that I do not want to form an opinion for I do not want to believe what I find convenient to believe. But I have this to say to all those minds that have been collected enough to form an opinion about Mumbai:

Most of us, who got back to work the following day, live in the complete understanding that we missed being the immediate victims simply by a matter of chance. Potential victims we all are and that awareness we lull to a deep sleep on the cot farthest from our conscious mind for we do not want to share a frightful co-existence with it. We are those who live and function through testing moments and maintain our sang-froid, not because we are unfeeling but because stoicism is our primary defense. We are not an imperturbable, impassive, non-feeling lot but we acknowledge the futility of mourning. We have at some level become immune to insults against our lives and families and refuse to respond beyond a point (which can be seen as apathy or bravery whatever one chooses). We pick up our pieces quickly for we know there is no one else to do so.

For a decade and more we have seen communal tensions and we have seen reactions in their aftermath and the results. We are an experienced lot who have become judicious over years.

We have our own little individual disaster management in place…finally.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A PASSing thought

With Nathula Pass opening up, its Hindi-Cheeni bhai-bhai time again. The old Silk Route disentangles leaving us in a SILKtuation where all ROUTEna manana is over and trade is expected to flourish.

It is much to my delight when physical boundaries diminish and the hope that the stronger boundaries that we guard so protectively in our minds will someday diminish too, strengthens.

Just a couple of months back I was there! Yes, right there basking in the glory of seeing China on the other side of the barbed wire, going blue in the -5 degrees (or so we were informed) chill, gleefully gazing at Chinese snow and freaking out about being right on the border. We were surrounded by snow through most of the way to Nathula around mid-April but the photograph in the newspaper today was almost unrecognizable. Not a speck of snow!!!! I’m just so glad I went when I did, for as a resident of the urban grey, my tryst with white purity is limited. Here are the two photographs for comparison.

And here is the video shot on the way to Nathula.

More pics on Nathula here. (Click on the "more" button to the left under the photostream)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Moth

A liquid brown flutter in my hand,

A beating of desperate wings,

Luminescent colour on my fingertips,

Her gift to me- the colour of life,

My gift to her- the touch of death……

Some photos on the moth and me here

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I had recently been to parts of W.Bengal and Sikkim for a two-week, backpacking, on-the-feet kind of vacation. It’s been a week since my return but the images don’t seem to fade. Some few days into my trip and I was certain I would be writing about it on return. However what I wasn’t certain of was the extent to which I’d need to write about it. To address all the places in a single shot would be to akin to fitting a once in a lifetime sale ad in a ten word space or trying to be content with a plateful in a buffet layout of a hundred dishes. Hence here is a glimpse into one part of the tour: The Doars Forests W.Bengal or one could say 'Doars to a brighter world'.

The base destinations for almost all the places covered is Siliguri and the nearest airport Bagdogra, with reasonably fared flights between Calcutta and Bagdogra. (Bagdogra-Siliguri=13 kms)

Siliguri to Jaldapara- the first destination- is a run of around 3-4 hours by road. Arriving at the Jaldapara Forest Lodge at night (as the more scenically located Hollong lodge wasn’t available for accommodation) was like a journey from the world of dark illusions into a jungle of illuminated realities. Since this lodge, as other forest lodges in this area, is an undertaking of the government, needless to say it isn’t kept very well. Settling to the new room, if taken in the right spirit, was like watching a discovery channel take on “our insect world”. Yes, they were and cults. I mean, what the heck, the government takes trouble to educate us regarding the miniscule (and the not so lesser) denizens of the forest, giving us “the complete jungle experience” as a package and we mock and scorn! How unfair. In any case these tiny sweethearts of the class insecta were gnawing at my peace before they could get a go at my clothes, which made me get up at 3 a.m. mid-sleep to shift my bags from near wood- paneled walls of the room to its centre, giving the bags the position of attention and esteem. No... I wasn’t worried about my clothes just about me in them on the days that were to follow. And my concerns weren’t entirely baseless either for on my heavy-lidded, droopy-eyed, 3.a.m. scrutiny of between wood panels, what seemed to transpire among our crawly friends, was something on the lines of my kindergarten game of “Fire In The Mountain….Run Run Run”.

Anyways, they got me crawling away from the subject, insects that they are! So this was the night impression by en large laced with the not-so-well- cooked- but-well-received- by-hungry-stomachs Bengali meal.

As they say, no gains without pains, or there is light at the end of the tunnel or whatever it is that they say, the morning arrived with a relief that not only swept over the discomforts of the night but overcompensated them to such an extent that I was ready to make friends with those bug-gers on the following night.

It was a beautiful dawn, of a colour that would put jealousy to shame. The morning started with an early morning elephant back safari, and amid much squeals of delight, to which I’m certain the elephant objected, did everyone manage to get seated; and the elephant with a damn-these-squealing-idiots gesture of the head got on his way. The ride was spectacular, once we got used to his (elephant’s) dish-tik tush--dish-tik-tush (with an emphasis on dish) and our respective head-waist-butt--head-waist-butt (with an emphasis on head) rhythm of movement. See what we were ‘dish’ed out. Utterly butt-erly delicious.

As a background score soft-Bengali banter did the honors ( as we were accompanied by some others on the back of this irritable animal), of which we could not make out much except few highish decibel screeches like “ peacock” or “deer”. Then we saw something that made us squeal too: a rhino. And so becoming a party to the bonhomie and verbalizations we too contributed our two bits by saying “ hey! rhino”. Well I still can’t fathom what’s the idea of doing a “Hey! Rhino” on encountering one, when neither we nor the rhino is in doubt of its existence. Well never mind this is one of those existential queries that never get sorted out.

This rhinos butt and tail were hurt and as such matters interest me most (and I don’t mean anal-matters, but animal health matters.. well it does 'matter' now, doesn’t it?), I enquired about the animal’s health, on which I learnt that the wound was a byproduct of two of these guys playing fighter-fighter. I also got a between the lines tip from the mahout that in case one desired to mess with rhinos, the ones with a hurt behind wouldn’t be the best choice. Something about their aching derrieres makes them prone to charging with their head. What shit-head logic!

Anyways after much acknowledgements of the rhino’s presence and reminding him gaily and loudly of ours, the party proceeded to a clearing where the suns rays seemed to filter through the clouds, giving a grayish-yellow tinge to the tall-grass blades and emitting an ‘oh-my-god-how-lovely’ from me, which again I admit was unnecessary. But its one of those things one says for one has to say something.

We concluded our safari and alighted from our elo-fellow’s back who seemed to appear a shade more benign now that we were off him. He even allowed people to touch his trunk after which I got a feeling he didn’t want them to test his tolerance any longer.

We exited the forest and ate a lunch similar to last night's dinner, which now didn’t seem as bad. I had probably risen above food and acquired an appetite for better things. We moved on to another destination, another story.........

See more of my photos of Jaldapara here

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Too Fanaa For Words

Gujrat, our most limelight loving state, now not even second to Bihar, is lovingly clinging to what it is most exercised by: Controversy ( with a capital c). Aamir who certainly appears to be more exercised by dumb (or not so dumb) belles, happens to be standing at the center of this one. What results is a plethora of interviews, radical views, cross explanations, justifications, and what not.

I was watching 'The Big Fight’ on NDTV the other day, and here is what I gathered from what they all said….Aamir said what he had to…these guys said what they had to.. .. then he said that they were reacting not to what he said but what they thought he said… then they said they reacted not to what he said but what he implied by having said it….. it ended by some sensible soul saying “so what’s the issue”… if Aamir dint say what they thought he said and he was ready to explain to them what he actually said then they could as well say that the issue having been said aloud was now resolved.
Certainly a said state of affairs, I said.

But having laughed and mocked at all of this, a certain discomfort lingers within me. Is it a question of only Gujrat’s pride that Aamir hurt? In my opinion (and I am opinionated), the picture is lot larger than the canvas on which it is being painted. Is it not the pride of a free nation that is hurt when its citizens reflect interests so narrow and are moved by matters of such poor significance as banning a movie would involve.

The question raises its distressing hood once again…. Democracy’s (the mock race is) on?????

P.S. : I saw Fanaa the other day and it was an absolutely silly movie, with Aamir, a supposed terrorist, reciting poetry all over the first half. The interviews on news channels were certainly more entertaining in every respect.

Monday, May 29, 2006

"Thought is a bird of space.....
That in a cage of words, may indeed unfold its wings....
But cannot fly......"

-Kahlil Gibran

Much as the bird in me desires the thrills of flight, so does she fear losing the secure familiarity of her cage....

This blog is so that, she may atleast unfold her wings.......