Tuesday, August 28, 2007

bon voyage yo

For those years in school
For those bans on thermal underwear
For those shoulders to lean on
For that reluctance to frown
For that every ready 'send'
And the the 10 more thereafter

For all those walks
Drives, and endless treks
The Kodi jaunts
Beachy beds
For all those shows
Some mouldy
Some pure gold
I thank you Yohan
From the bottom of my heart
And wish you with love
For your brand new start
A dream come true
You rightly said
And in that dream
Somewhere down the line
I'm sure you'll find my hand
Tapping you
And saying,
"pass it man."
All the best Yo!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gnarled Barkleys

Nowhere are trees more alive than in Kodi. I've had long conversations with them and they've imparted a lot of woody wisdom to me over the years and they never ever shy away from a big bear hug. And they're a colourful bunch rivaling the flowers in their quest for a brighter shade of living. The trees, the trees, the trees. sigh.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Ever since I was little I've always microsized trying to imagine what it would be like for an ant looking up at the mammoth world, what it would be like to live inside a flower. I got a brand new 105mm macro lens and I'm having a good time finding those things out. Here are a few results from early experimenting.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

kodi portraits

Our cars skim the valleys
We call home
I envy them

"Can I have a jacket?"
Asked the cattle herder
"All I have is the T-Shirt on my back"
I smiled.

Not Veerappan
Not even his brother
Just eucalyptus Puttappa

Woodcutter proxy
Noserings of gold
Silvery laughter

Menu Nagaraj
Driving Ms.Dasies and Mr.Fatwhiteman
Bread 'omlete' belches

Aslam bhai
For his mango van to come

Her lunch
Holding on
To dear life

And a steely glint

How sharp
Is my sickle?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Do or Die

It's exactly 65 years and one day since Gandhi said those uncharacteristic words sparking off the largest and most successful movement of peace, The Quit India Movement. At a time when WWII ravaged every corner of the globe and violence became the norm, one man dared to stand up and say "NO!!!" The Art of Peace was born and five years after it began, the August Movement was at the helm waving goodbye to centuries of occupation by our unwelcome guests.
Gandhigiri is just a term and a foolish one at that. Today we remember reality. Today we remember the Mahatma.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Parvathy And I

I'm crouching in a corner of a recording booth just about big enough for two people and an ektara. "Maybe I should sing," says the gentle, childlike voice of Parvathy Baul, "you'll get better shots that way." Even before words of gratitude took shape in my brain she had begun, not miming or half-heartedly for the camera but full blown, letting loose every iota of her vocal chords, releasing every atom of her heart, bearing her soul in song.

Blinking back instantaneous tears and listening to that little voice in my head telling me to close my gaping mouth and click, I shot away as the notes reverberated in that little booth and in my spirit. It felt all at once like a cool shower on a hot day, a warm blanket on a cold one and a glimpse, a tiny pinhole of a glimpse into the infinite.

From there on the conversations we would have were etched in the folds of my Grey matter and internalised a lot deeper. Parvathy Baul has a special soul and for a while that special soul held me, like the arms of a mother, warm, comforting, wordless. For a while that glowing smile made all existence seem insignificant. For a while I knew what it was like to be touched by beatitude.

Humane Update

Sweetheart that she is, Ridhi contributed two more contacts to our slowly but surely growing list.

Apne Aap Women's Collective
Dedicated to helping one of the most exploited groups - sex workers, this NGO has spent 6 years establishing strong ties with the women it seeks to empower. Abused in every sense of the word these women know they have a safe place to go to...be it to sleep, wash up, or even just talk...

The Anchorage
One of the nicest environments I've worked in that deals with differently-abled people. Probably what strikes you the most is how warm and caring all the people who work there are. It's a tight-knit group where everyone gets generous portions of hugs and advice...

Read more on Humans For Humanity
Do you work with an NGO, do you help out somewhere over the weekends. Send me the contact details with accompanying text, images, videos (or just contact details) and I'll put it up.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Council

Behold, the council of trees
Nested atop the verdant slope
Surveying the vales
For the the western wind

The knights, they protect the king and queen
Royal bark oozing amber
We feel their gaze
On our rain swept backs
Piercing the returning mist

Lancelot stands proud
With weapons of wood
Brandishing and blazing
Towering and swaying

They murmur to one another
Telling secrets of old
Wondering if we'll leave
Before we're told

Deathly still
A moment to ponder
Whistling through the willows
Shrieking through the trees
The gale returns
To greet the dales

Shiver, shiver, blink, blink
Its time to go
Over the brink
So we bid adieu
To our woody friends
And leave the council of trees.