let alone the light, the spark, the so-called life
would not have been desired, aspired to,
nor its absence lamented.
I thank all those who thought of and remembered me, in whichever way recognising me and thus acknowledging me, humbling me with gratitude.
Guddi Vijay Rao
Pradeep J Soni
Nam Prasad Satsangi
Dananjay S Bhatt and Mamta
Dinesh Kumar Bhattarai
Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy
Ranjan Mistry Pratap
and very good friends from
The Photographic Society of Madras
The Chennai Photography Learners Club
Single Frame Photography
the staffs of Taj and ITC groups of hotels
friends from foreign consulates and cultural centers,
IITs and premier colleges where I have been honored with invitations to judge debates or to lecture on subjects from films, philosophy, space, and metaphysics Fraternity at Film Censor Boards, and Board to Select Films for International Film Festivals
and those who came home, or called me
short or long-distance
sms-ed or emailed
and those whose names have somehow been missed out
Taken on a boat ride in one of the lakes of the Adirondacks, upstate New York. As I took the picture I wanted one of the boys to turn, so I made some noise with my shoe. This boy did turn to look, and I clicked.
The following is my response to a comment / sermon on my blog post, Failure of Good Over Evil (see below):
Comment: Like space mind is unfathomable so to rationalize every action is not possible .Traditions have evolved over the millennim's experiences and followed by millions unquestionably whether it is right or wrong similarly if one's action bring smile on some ones face that is good conversely is evil.QED (sic)
Response: Mind, generally, in the context of human beings, means separately or collectively, heart and brain, and excludes other visceral parts and anatomical, physiological functions within the composite that we call the human body. Since the human mind, that is the brain and heart combo again, is fathomable, you must be singularly gifted or cursed with a mind which is unfathomable and therefore causes you to be deprived of the ability to ‘rationalise its every action', thus bestowing upon you a special ability to correspond to clear ecstasy or maniacal depression depending on the designated time and day of the year, not only in every part of the world that you inhabit, but with universal sameness.
The point that you missed in what I was stating here (http://rameshgandhi.blogspot.in/2016/10/failure-of-good-over-evil.html) was that mankind, while not being devoid of ability for great cheer or depth of depression, cannot manipulate that ability according to the dictates of the annual calendar, on designated days for the purpose of joy and downright misery. The 'designation' of days for cheer and days for mourning lose their meaning because they lose the spontaneity which is essential for it to be congruent with an individual's state of mind at a particular moment of a particular day or night, in a particular place on earth.
I hope this reaches you on a 'designated' day for great joy and cheer so that it does not cause you to be melancholy and does not deprive you of the day's rituals of autonomous joys. Quod Erat Demonstratum.
If the above makes sense to you, please accept my bow of gratitude. If it does not, just await another designated day for joy and happiness and await the ecstasy that will fill your life, at least during the period of that special day or night or both.
Man, from time immemorial, has always in a continued, uninterrupted progression of his existence, tried to vanquish evil and usher in goodness. Thousands, perhaps millions of different kinds of rituals, methods, invocations, have evolved. Some survive, some were modified, some could not be understood; but no matter what the root was, mankind has moved incrementally towards evil, falsehood, depradations, and criminality.
Can one dare to take a look at humanity, anywhere, everywhere, where good prevails, and bad, or evil, has not only not decreased, but has found, thanks to the fundamental deceit among men of all hues around the globe, newer, crueller, incredibly more ingenious methods for new areas of growth, which he practices without compunction, contrition, inhibition, or most of the time, even second thoughts.
What is then put on display by him, and with what expectation that one day or one week, even one moment of his lifetime, would witness the result of the goodness he does. Does he, can he, actually believe that he has done something good? If not, does he feel that beating drums, one day here, on another somewhere else, naming it this or that in a devout fashion, would compensate for all the evil that pervades throughout and only through human beings. Can he even slightly be forgiven, if such forgiving power, authority, is vested in something he believes to be god or goddess, by whichever name and in whichever language he addresses them?
I wonder, in full lamentation, even at the risk of being ostracized. Is this act of immersion an act equal to abhorrent, fanatical rejection of the deity, or some perverse way of honoring it.
Should I expect 'divine' retribution for what may be considered blasphemy, or be rewarded for what can be considered the truth that is available for everyone to see, today, yesterday, and throughout the history of mankind.
[the] photo is like a rich sweet that has many layers of goodness and sweetness. The flower (i think) in your photo is like pat of a bridal veil or like the frills in a white frock i used to have in childhood.
Meditation: is it getting into a trance, or concentrating on an activity, like reading, painting, or processing accumulated experiences. Is it transcendental, or simply terrestrial; practical, or floating in clouds. Or, as an over-simplification, at least in relation to the picture above, is it composing, fiddling with technicalities, and then just clicking a camera. Having stated all this, now I had better meditate on whether the picture is meritorious, or deserving of anyone's attention. Any help would be helpful. ----------------------------- Anonymous wrote:
i dont know why you chose that title but what i noticed was
that each of the three natural light sources, one of them not in the frame lead
to areas of darkness rather than the more expected darkness unto light
progression. as if light is preparing to meditate. And here the kadappa stones
bestow such a spartan look. Same stones exude luxury in the pool side study.
Kamaal hai. And the unsteady edges of the stone so well compliment the precise
vertical lines of the door frames, the wall and the tiled wall pattern in the
And the human silhouette... its like you dropped it in to a
pool of light but ensured that not a beam of light would hinder its
I took this picture of a French Bharatanatyam dancer at Mahabalipuram in 1975. I have posted two other pictures of her, here and here:
She came to Madras to learn Bharatanatyam and assumed the name Menaka, as probably the ultimate among all the mythological seductresses. But her real name, she 'divulged' to but a few locals, was Verushka, and she claimed to be a Russian princess. (Because of her imperial bearing, real or put-on, only some of her contemporary dancers from France especially, and Europe generally, know the real story, but in Chennai and in Delhi, I have known her to be taken very seriously, and her arangetram was performed at no less than the Chidambaram Palace at Chidambaram.) The then French Ambassador to India came to Madras, Pondicherry and Chidambaram to see her perform.
Upon her unrelenting persistence, I took pictures for her publicity brochures for performances in Paris and other European cities, despite my sense of inexperience in taking pictures of temples, but more especially, of people at long distances.
Her pose and the setting reminded me of the Devadasis ("servants of god"), traditional temple dancers who were supposed to be serving the gods' sexual needs, but in reality ended up serving the needs of the temple priests and influential visitors to the temple. The Devadasi system was outlawed in India in 1988, so the tradition and its practitioners have almost completely disappeared.
For more information about the Devadasis, see the links below:
The blog of Dr. Avanthi Meduri, a scholar of subaltern studies, the Devadasi system and a practitioner of Indian classical dance, a friend who spent prime time with us while in Madras, at the time when she was teaching at a university at Chicago; she is currently at the University of Roehampton in UK.)