Thursday, May 16, 2019

Mahabalipuram Shrine: a New Perspective


This small shrine is slightly away from the main structures and carvings in Mahabalipuram, and whenever I have gone there, my companions and I have had the area to ourselves.

I was trying out different camera angles and lenses, and this version struck me as endearingly wonky, as if the large boulders were growing out of the ground, and pushing the puny human architectural effort aside.  If you see it from straight on, the shrine is not, in fact, crooked or unstable.

Just for fun.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Girl at a Well



Taken in Velachery, when it was still a village. The dog has found the only patch of shade around.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Children, Darjeeling, early 1950s


I was thirteen when I took this picture in Darjeeling, where I had captained a group of thirteen boys from my school. The picture, by coincidence, fell under the eyes of a professor of Calcutta University, and he asked if he could have a print, to which I easily agreed. He at once named it 'Is Poverty a Rarity?', and had it published in the University journal. I had felt that the picture acquired fame out of proportion to its merit, but was happy that, with a camera which was not mine, I had produced the first picture that got published.

As a postscript I would like to add that, after posing for the picture, the girls, who were cheerful, regardless of the poverty in which they lived, were very happy when I offered them tea, coffee or milk.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Pipal ki Chhaon me


pipal ki chhaon me
chhota sa hi sahi
ghar ho apna
aur aashaayen naache
baansuri bajaate bajaate

sheltered by a spreading pipal tree
let my home even if small
be filled with little hopes
which dance to my tuneful flute

Friday, April 26, 2019

Summer Languor


An old, faded negative, probably one of the first times I used colour film. Seeing it made me feel the burning sun, the delight of sitting in the shade of a tree, perhaps during vacation time, with nothing much to do.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Silence of Stone


(1981)

the silence of a building
whose inhabitants,
unfathomable to the present,
and to whom it was a fitting
 and familiar backdrop,
are long dead

it doesn't miss them.
it has withdrawn into
 the dim, slow life 
of stone

the birds that rest 
in its cool crannies
then flutter back to the adjacent trees'
rustling brightness,
and the mice, the insects
the other, smallest creatures
are the only ones 
that can know it now
even unto its darkest, most intimate crevices
after the tourists leave


Monday, April 08, 2019