Thursday, August 25, 2016

Doorway to Oblivion


open it and become
part and particle
of the elements
of the universe

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Black and White


Velachery Road, at the milestone which read 'Tambaram 9 km' (going right)

Picture taken in 1966 during an idle drive on Velachery Road, towards Tambaram. The village of Velachery ended two buildings beyond my factory, after which the land sloped down from the road about six or seven feet on each side, creating an ocean during the rainy season. Today what was supposed to be the end of the village is a big bus junction, and a road leading to GST, the airport, and Nanganallur towards the west.  Toward the east the same road joins Lattice Bridge Road via Taramani and OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road), which at that time was a 15-feet wide, undulating, broken surface edged with unlaid Hume pipes for what was then called the Veeranam Project.

----------------------------
Bhashwati wrote:

If your image is presented without its coordinates, it would appear to be a universe of its own.

A harsh landscape, with jagged edges, many crater like formations and an uneven expanse unshielded from blazing light (and heat it would seem).
However the two visible human inhabitants of this world seem sure footed and purposeful so the place cannot be entirely hostile to human life but has human life been kind to it or has it bulldozed it into acquiescing its multiple white black and grey nuances to the homogenised bland glare of "development".  

Also quite in keeping with the ancient photograph is the ongoing madras week celebration.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Go to your blog list View blog Ramesh Gandhi Ramesh Gandhi · Post Quit, O Mosquito Update Revert to draft Preview Close ComposeHTML Link


Please.

But seriously, unless all life on the planet Earth ceases; ironically, almost certainly brought about by mankind, mosquitoes, together with many other elementary, rudimentary forms, with the last remnants of the DNA constituting any form of life leaving its vestige, mosquitoes would be among the survivors.

So, what a wishful thought, or is it a dream.  By the way, is the picture above a wishful thought, a dream, or, to mankind at least, a pleasant, even if momentary, reality?
-------------------------------
hopefully you will find something enduring, although I am doubtful (!), in the following very vastly researched article from The New Yorker:

The Race for a Zika Vaccine http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/08/22/the-race-for-a-zika-vaccine 

Knowledge



KNOWLEDGE
LED ME TO THE KNOWLEDGE
OF ITS USELESSNESS

MY UNWISE DISPUTATIONS
OVER THE NATURE OF THINGS
AND THE SCOPE AND EXTENT
OF ALL THINGS IN NATURE
AND THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE
SERENE IN ITS VASTNESS
ABIDING TO ITS NATURE
NOT QUESTING, ASKING, FINDING
NATURALLY BOUND BY
THE UNSPOKEN, UNWRITTEN
UNEXPLAINED LAW
OF THE NATURE OF THINGS
FOR ALL THINGS:
THAT IN THE UNIVERSAL SCHEME
THE NATURE OF THINGS
COULD NOTHING ELSE BUT BE
WHAT IT WAS,
IS, OR WILL BE
WITHOUT THE AID
OF MY KNOWLEDGE OF IT

KNOWLEDGE INFORMS ME
THAT LIFE DID NOT ORIGINATE
NOR DEPEND FOR ITS EXISTENCE
ON INTELLIGENCE OR VOLITION

I KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT KNOWLEDGE NOW
TO ENVY A DOG HIS WAGGING TAIL
AND OFFER ALL INTELLIGENCE IN EXCHANGE FOR IT

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Calm-Pose


Not to be confused with a the world's most popular and used tranquilizer, calmer, remover of irritability, with a very mild sedative effect.

The original brand name, as far as I know, when Diazepam was introduced by Hoffmann-La Roche, was Valium. Valium caught the world's attention and attraction; to a point where people began to pop in Valium or Calmpose (an Indian brand name for Diazepam) as readily as they did Aspro or Anacin.

The picture above is not connected with any one of these chemicals/pharmaceuticals. I took it by an accidental but timely click of my camera, either on the TV or my computer screen, and have no context before or after that particular image. I do not believe that it matters. What is important to me is that I found or created a tranquility with some artistic license, and am extremely satisfied because of its effect, at least on me and the people to whom I have shown it.

I am grateful to whoever produced the video from which this image was taken, and offer my good wishes to the subject herself as well; whoever, wherever either of them are.  By happenstance, if they come across it, I request them to contact me so that I can thank them properly.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rolling Shutters Down


Throughout India, whenever there is a sign that civil disturbance is coming: riot, a vehicular accident, a strike, a political procession, gangs of youths in an alcoholic stupor on motorcycles looking for a fight, a woman being harassed, a dead body on the footpath; it is reported that shopkeepers have pulled down the rolling shutters. Their doors are closed and locked.  People lie low.  They do not help the victims. They stand on the footpath or retreat to their homes to look fearfully or with vicarious curiosity from their windows at the outside world, to wait for quiet and safety to return.

I wonder, does this phenomenon of pulling down and locking the rolling shutters exist outside the borders of India? Does it belong to the South Asian region? Has it/will it, spread even beyond?

Pattern


appearing so tranquil
in the midst of
unabating turmoil
all around the world

-----------------------
Bhashwati wrote:

Just saw.

i thought it is a lotus :)
indeed it is but i do not remember seeing a tranquil lotus in a long time.

May all lotuses be white.
Tathaastu.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Leaf-Lace


insect lace-makers
wreak destruction
leaving behind
a kind 
of beauty
in a symbiotic cycle
of survival

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Knitting the Nets

(1954)

food, livelihood, family support
self-employment of yore

today, a bewildering variety of crimes,
including murder
appear to be the easier way
irony, with or without iron

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Utha Toofan, the Rising Storm



how can one have consciousness of existence
and then continue to live

is this a cloud
or smoke
or is it my own hearth, home
which is on fire

I am too tired
all hopes of escape
to salvation
are extinguished

does one, anyone, know
how to continue living

----------------------
Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy wrote:


…Aayaa Toofaaaaan aaa aayaaaaa toooofan Beqadar, bewafa, hai aasman
Kaise koyee jiye, kaise koyee jiye Utha toofanu wo, utha toofan
Aas ke sab bujh gaye diye
Kaise koyee jiye
Baadal hai ya dhuwaan aag lagee kahaan
Jaltaa na ho kahee mera hi aashiyaan
Angare the aansu nahi wo, dil ne jo piye
Kaise koyee jiye
Taare na jaane unchaayi gagan ki
Aankhe na samajhe, gehraayee man ki
Gehrayee man ki
Taare na jane

Pyaase papihe ne aas thee baandhi
Pyaase papihe ne aas thee baandhi
Udd gaye baadal aa gayee aandhi
Gam ne jo cheda, dil ne hasi se
Honth si liye
Kaise koi jiye….


Courtesy: Indeevar (Shyamal Babu Rai)
-----------------------
My Reply:
Great, congratulations, very good, dear Hemantha Kumar. I saw the film Badbaan (which was made by every star and singer, director, producer, making their contribution to the film without charge, because the profits it was expected to make were to go to the welfare of the junior-most staff at the studios, who worked on bamboo poles, holding lights, ropes, wires, and risking their lives.) While the voice for this song was lent by Hemant Kumar, the same song was also sung by Geeta Dutt. I saw it in Calcutta's Roxy Theatre (which is, as far as I know, still holding the record for running a film for more than four years: Kismet. At that time it was considered to be a great achievement), and this song made me cry.

Best,
Ramesh Gandhi

---------------------------
Bhashwati wrote:

The storm has many eyes and each one is aflame like Shiva's third, wanting to destroy everything below. 
The branches trying to calm down the rage of the sky are only getting singed as the flames blaze wilder and lower.

My impression only, sans science or reason.
Great capture as they say :)

i will say nothing about the text since that is an eternal refrain in the head. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Vanishing


vanishing into water
full of life or lifeless
from microscopic to gigantic
named and called earth by
Man, the ultimate creature on the planet
on the scale of evolution
whose pace is incremental
insatiable in quest 
for what he believes
to be progress
is also doing his best
instead, unknown to himself
to perish

---------------------------
Bhashwati wrote:

Vanishing appears to me to be ice eggs nestling in a complex hydrological womb.
Pleasingly soothing to the eye but almost ominous to consciousness because all our pretensions notwithstanding, we are most certainly melting down with the planet and faster than we would like to acknowledge.   

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Friday, August 05, 2016

A Ruined Fortress

(1979)

This is a picture from the first color roll I ever shot.  I was in Bangalore, and some friends took me to Chamundeshwari Hill. When I opened my camera bag I found that I had run out of black and white film; but there were some color rolls which had been presented to me from time to time by various foreign friends.

The rolls were probably eight years expired by then, but I took a chance with one of them.

Looking at this picture now, I think of the many tragedies around the world, especially in the Middle East: images which I see on TV, where violence has left behind destruction and ruin, all of the inclemencies that man invents and inflicts.

I wanted to make this picture look very large, and I think that I succeeded; but in fact, the opening was only the size of a brick which had fallen from the wall.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Embers


the fire that burns
sets my heart ablaze
throbbing, pulsating
wanting forever
not to be quenched

-----------------

Shola jo Bhadke, from the film Albela,
sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Chitalkar

Monday, August 01, 2016

Shanti


Shanti was the first housemaid I hired when I arrived in Madras in 1964; she stayed on to work in my house for almost fifty years. She was a strong character, with a sense of humour. She quickly learned cooking according to my style of Gujarati food, and advanced from sweeping and washing, to cooking, to essentially running the household just as she liked.

She eventually gave birth to nine children. When she had about half that number, I began to try to convince her that enough was enough. Then one day, my friend N T Rama Rao, the legendary Telugu film star (he had not yet entered politics) came home for dinner. Shanti was excited, and assembled her entire family to take his darshan. She was triumphant when NTR told her that he had even more children than she had, and that she need not listen to my family planning lectures.

Shanti grew old, and one day she had a fatal heart attack in my house. We still sometimes call for her by mistake, and only then realise that she has been gone for many years. She is very much alive in our memories.

----------------------
Anonymous wrote:

(Looking at your picture, Shanti) i kept thinking of the balika badhu photo

(http://rameshgandhi.blogspot.in/2015/12/balika-badhu.html)

so i checked it out.  The striking thing is that while the young girl, who incidentally was placed on the inside of a window seemed hopeful and waiting, the one that has aged battling life on the outside, still does not appear hopeless and weary.

All of it cannot be lighting ka kamaal :)





Saturday, July 30, 2016

Maze

1981

I had not participated in any competitions, or even considered my pictures worthy of publication.  Mr. Srinivasan (Ilford) was the Secretary of the Photographic Society of Madras, and had grown fond of me after seeing my pictures at a couple of my one-man shows. He came home, and insisted that I should put up a few pictures in the All-India Salon (1982?). He selected a couple of them, and the above was one.  I could not believe it when I got a silver medal for this picture. This was the only competition I ever entered.

In addition, the Governor of that time, the Honorable Sadiq Ali, sent a request through an aide, saying that he wanted a print of this picture. That was a double astonishment for me, and perhaps my second or third visit to the Raj Bhavan, when I presented it to him.