Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kaleidoscope




FRAGMENTS
OF MY LIFE
BROKEN BITS
EACH PRIVATE
EACH EXPOSED
SOMEHOW COALESCED
LIKE A KALEIDOSCOPE
FORMING PATTERNS OF PAIN

Devi



After I took this photograph of the daughter of a friend, I was reminded of the poster that Satyajit Ray designed for his film Devi:






Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Asteroids waltzing...

... to the tune of The Blue Danube, two light years away. (Actually, 6" away from my camera.)


Sunday, July 25, 2010

I was a chair


IN THE ROOM
DIVIDED BY WALLS
I WAS A CHAIR
SEARCHING FOR A DESK
TO SCRIBBLE ON THE GATHERED DUST
THE STORY OF MY LIFE

Monstera Deliciosa

In our atrium: will it protect us, or find us delectable?



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Inter-galactica

This one is not by me. It is real:


(Source: Blaine Hubble Photos pps received by email)

To my brother Bhupen in Chicago, who sends me great and amazing pictures and cosmos-related material, written or spoken,  which does not cease to fascinate me:

The pictures which you send to me from NASA and other such agencies, satellites, Hubble, or any other telescopic or astronomical source, are a treasure for me; but then, they are so impossibly distant that no matter how hard I try they have ceased to make any sense to me.

Ridiculously as well as ludicrously, they resemble my pictures of possible aliens or inter-galactic occurrences and the cosmos. It has become increasingly difficult to tell the difference between my close-up desk-top pictures and the real ones, apart from the more important aspect of it, being that at a trillion and more light-years away (one light-year is 6 trillion miles at the speed of more than 186,000 miles per second) the distances are staggeringly beyond grasp, comprehension, utility or any enhancement or expanding of understanding to help any current situation into which man has put himself on his own planet, which up to now is his only home.

The galactic explosions, eruptions, birth or death of stars, at these distances, would mean, for one very important thing, that at the moment they are not even there, because what is seen existed that many trillion light-years ago. So, as well as I am fascinated, I am also baffled and skeptical about how man in his unavoidably limited life-span, can use this information.

Wrinkles: Neither Age Nor Rage


Darjeelingmm 1980s

Friday, July 23, 2010

Patterns in Pottery





Paranoia



All forms of human ailments except those deriving from genetic defects, accidents or the process of aging, are from one single source: insecurity, which originates in the brain but can cause variegated behavioural and physical irregularities and ailments. This single force drives mankind to agression, violence, fear, jealousy, psychological neurosis and idiosyncracies, religion, and the entire gamut of impairment and malfunction. The sense of insecurity pervades all mankind and, in some form of sublimation, remains by and large harmless to others. But its omnipresence cannot be denied or refuted.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Symphonic

A PATTERN IS
EVEN IF ASSYMETRICAL
INTRINSICALLY
AN ORDER IN CHAOS

LIKE A VAGABOND BREEZE
PLAYING UPON
THE RESPONSIVE STRINGS
OF A CARESS-HUNGRY LEAF

TO EXPLODE
INTO RAPTUROUS FRAGMENTS
OF AN UNFORGETTABLE
SYMPHONY






Sunday, July 18, 2010

Clouds

clouds
whether or not I see them
forever reside in my mind
strangely cleansing it
they even rain
and show up in my eyes



Moonscape

The moon that NASA missed in outer space, because it is in the inner spaces of my consciousness.


Emblematic

Taj unforgotten.














Remembered from the late 1970s.

Calm-Posed

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Two Sisters, Ten Years Ago: A Question About Gandhiji

The Question:

Dear Ramesh uncle,

I m a bit confused regarding a certain issues which are creating a bit of a problem.

In such a situation I felt you would be the best person to help me out.

I would like to know whether Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a fraud or not….

Some people are totally in awe of him and some are against him.

Some say that he was partial towards the British and it was because of him that the partition of India took place.

Whereas the others say that it was because of him that we are free from the British.

If you ask me personally I m not able to make up my mind and form an opinion of him….

Hope you will take out some time from your busy schedule and answer my question and give your opinion .

Thanking you, M.

Two Sisters


The Answer:

Dearest M:

Life itself being confusing, it would be unnatural if one were not confused about things. So on that count, not to worry if you get confused once in awhile.

In any case, with regard to whatever your problem is with Gandhiji, here are replies specific only to the misgivings that you have expressed in your email:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was definitely not a fraud (except in some of the most minute ways, in which all of mankind is equally culpable). The word fraud is very strong, and I recommend that in your life, you use it frugally. 'Fraud' implies someone who is insincere, who knowingly tries to fool others. Gandhiji, on the contrary, was passionately, even fanatically, sincere in his beliefs. Whether we agree with them or not is another matter. He was among the greatest of men known in the history of mankind. But then, there is nothing, or no creature, or no human being, in this universe, who is unflawed.


The partition of India did not take place because he was partial to the British, although he was. It took place because of historical suspicions and errors which, at the time of their occurrence, could not be perceived by the people who perpetrated them. Muslim suspicion of Hindu dominance of India cannot be denied total validity, although, at the time that it occurred, it was inopportune and unfortunate. This suspicion catapulted Jinnah to raise his level of ambition, putting every other consideration, human and humane, in peril. Gandhiji's error was in not comprehending the force of this inevitability; and not accepting, even in abject helplessness at the failure of his idealism, the ground reality. This was one of the gravest political errors in our country. The consequences were plunder, murder and untold misery that it brought to people who had lived in harmony. It tore them apart, and the toll of the dead surpassed any other so far in this country. And all this while he talked of non-violence.

Gandhiji, and he alone, was responsible, because most of the other thinkers and historians knew better. He, in the deepest recesses of his mind, realised the result of his obstinacy and did what can be called the severest penance, or self-punishment and self-denial. But that did not help him, or do any good to others. Therefore, one can conclude that, no matter how one loved him, he was guilty of a catastrophic, unpardonable, and unforgettable error of judgment, the consequences of which fell upon others to suffer.

As to whether he freed us from British rule, the fact is that all colonies were freed from all colonisers; we were going to be granted freedom circa 1938. He is responsible for not accepting it, because he wanted to persuade Jinnah to come round to the one-nation theory, even by offering him the highest position of power in independent India. This delay resulted in our having to allow Indians to be killed in a war with which we had nothing to do: World War II. It was only at Gandhi's command that Indian soldiers joined the British, and therefore, Allied forces, and laid down their lives in a war that they did not comprehend. All this because Gandhi did not accept independence when it was offered, in his hope and stubbornness that he will convince Jinnah to accept an undivided India, which everyone knew was impossible.

I have answered only the questions you raised in your note to me. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi cannot be dealt with so summarily and briefly. I would be delighted to talk on more aspects, good, bad and worst, of Gandhiji; or on any other subject, whenever you wish, or in whatever manner that you wish.

Ramesh Uncle

Uncanny



UNCANNY, DON'T YOU THINK
THAT HE SHOULD REPLY
TO MY ASKING
WHY DID YOU NOT MAKE
ME A SQUIRREL INSTEAD OF A HUMAN

BY SAYING
BUT I DID
YOU WERE A SQUIRREL
BEFORE I MADE YOU A HUMAN
BUT YOU DID NOT KNOW
YOU WERE A SQUIRREL
WHEN YOU WERE A SQUIRREL
SO WHAT IS THE USE,
I ASKED: OKAY, WHY
NOT A BUTTERFLY

AND VERILY CAME HIS REPLY
I KNEW YOU WOULD
ASK THIS AND HOPED
YOU WOULD NOT
AND HE SIGHED: YOU WERE
A LITTLE BUTTERFLY BEFORE
YOU WERE A SQUIRREL
AND A FROG BEFORE THAT
AND A RAINBOW BEFORE
AND A ROACH
BEFORE YOU WERE A STREPTOCOCCUS

ENOUGH, I SAID, BUT
IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE

PRECISELY SAID HE
WHEN YOU ARE NOT A HUMAN
YOU DON'T KNOW THAT
YOU ARE NOT,
NOR WHAT YOU ARE;
AND YOU KNOW THAT
YOU ARE A HUMAN AND
NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO BE ONLY WHEN YOU ARE A HUMAN
AND YOU WANT
TO BE EVERYTHING ELSE BUT

CONFUSED I OPENED MY MOUTH
BUT BEFORE I COULD SAY
ANYTHING, HE SAID

ENOUGH, AND NOW IT
IS MY TURN TO ASK:
WHY DID YOU MAKE ME
A GOD

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Romance of Lost Glories


Qutb Minar, Delhi

If, by and large, all things past are perceived by mankind, us, as glorious, maybe the squalid malaise, corruption and lies, and our increasing empowerment for evil and destruction, will at some point in the future appear glorious?

Magar tab ham na honge
Kya kambakhti
Abhi berehmi saho
Aur vaqt bitne par
Kahin bhi na raho

(But then we will not be there
What a horrible misfortune
That now you live with the insufferable
And when we are in the past tense, to appear glorious
We shall not be anywhere.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lucky Aliens

Lucky Aliens: the chances of their survival are proportional to their distance from Earth.









Are they indeed Aliens, or the debris of unceasing cosmic upheavals?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Autosleep

Bliss, while it lasts.




Film Awards

Someone who recently won an award for best acting debut said that no matter how well he performed in the future, he would never again be getting an award as a debutant. I do not see any irony in it.

On the other hand, I have wondered why Lifetime Achievement Awards cannot be given more than once.  Why not: if, after getting one award the performer continues to live and to do superlative work, why can he not get another Lifetime Award? What do you think?

 David Lean, director; retired, then returned to film making after almost two decades


Billy Wilder, retired twice and returned to film-making


Vidya Balan, only once a best debutante awardee


Shahid Kapoor, one-time best debutant awardee

Splash


Away from the sun; into the sun; or, into an oil slick. Can one choose?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Other Lives


Other lives: not aware of humans as their most definitively pervasive  destroyer.