Sunday, March 24, 2013



Charu said...

A beautiful picture. I love it.

Not too long ago I entertained a thought that if the glass of reflective property, including mirror, had not been invented there would be less of Narcissism, self-absorption, in the world. That was quickly negated by another thought that as long as there existed any reflective pool of water a Narcisssus with a death-wish will be born every minute.

I see here that the rose wanting to be the Narcissus,the flower, is alreday dying at the edges.

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy said...
Dil ke arumaan "aayine" mein rahe gaye.....

My reply...

Ab dil hai na dil ke aarmaan hai
Bas main hun meri tanhaai hai
Sheeshe mein dekhkar
Sochta rahta hun
Akele Akele
Kahaan ja rahe ho
Dekh li teri khudaai
Bas mera dil bhar gaya

Aansuon mujh par hanso
Mere muqaddir par hanso

Friday, March 22, 2013


My reply to a question by Vikash Srivastav, "Sir, do features like ' innocence ' exist in the animal kingdom. Is it just a man-made fiction or a function of nature. "

The core of all life material is what we have named DNA. In its evolution from simple unicellular phylum protozoa to the most complex phylum chordata, that includes human beings as homo sapiens species, all species are fundamentally innocent of any and everything except survival and continuation of the species, automatically, and not by premeditated, devious or malicious intent. When they alter their shape, size, structure or colour, or existential norms and forms, they are the result of DNA's fundamental principle, again, of the survival of the fittest.

All cells are, therefore, automatically innocent. But human DNA being an accidental aberration, can at will negate, alter this cellular structure from humility to viciousness through the route of premeditation.

I can write a lot more on this subject, but would limit myself to addressing the simplicity of your question, the answer to which is, from the human point of view, that there is nothing but only innocence in all forms of cellular structures, which are the building blocks of all lives, and therefore all, ALL life, barring humans, in the animal and plant kingdom solely dependent on the principle of survival through the conduct of their existence towards this goal without thought or execution, is only innocent.

Conclusion:  Innocence is an abstract concept which can only be conceived by a self-aware mind capable of abstract thought. Only humans in our world have such minds, and therefore 'innocence' is a human-created concept, not a natural function. Their ability to conceive innocence is what makes them not innocent.

Monday, March 18, 2013


We are used to seeing static, head-on images of Shiva Nataraja, the cosmic dancer. When I was asked to take pictures of a Nataraja idol sent to me by the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Department in 1986, I stared and stared, wondering how to bring motion, dynamism, and, if possible, some rage and action to the picture. In my view, I succeeded, by taking the picture from the side instead of straight on.

This picture shows Shiva in motion, whirling, his hair flying, as if he has already taken a step forward, is astride, is just about to stamp once more, definitively, on the demon under his feet.

The Tamil saint Thirumalar's poem, from 1600 AD, complements my depiction:

When Siva dances his cosmic dance of knowledgebliss,
The Vedas dance, the Agamas dance, music and dance dances.
The lustrous universe dances, all the living beings dance, the entire world dances,
The primordial sound in which began all life dances.

M. F. Husain Revisited

Photocollage of M. F. Husain by Deepak Harichandan, from "The Husain Conundrum", 
by Sunil Murthy (Click here for the article in The Hindu newspaper, 9 March 2013)

I came across this collage portrait of M. F. Husain and stared at it for a long while, trying to isolate individual pieces from his artistic work. In my mind's eye, I made up the entire canvas from which it had been so beautifully scrapped to construct the plastic surgery required for the portraiture. I have only one reservation: the eyes. They do not belong to Husain, they are not Husain. They are great and cheery, but the depth and pathos have gone missing. However, this very personal observation of mine does not prevent me from congratulating the artist, Deepak Harichandan, and sending him my kudos.

Here, I cannot resist repeating my earlier posting on this blog of my happenstance, accidental, but quintessential Husain, which I had posted in October 2012. I am sure that some or many defects can be found, and I would take the criticism without rancour:

My mason/electrician broke the wall to reach the concealed innards of pipes and electric wires. As one would expect, he/they left the wall in a mess, but not before my discovery that, beyond the holes that they had made in the wall, the sides and the top had chipped paint which instantly made me see none other than the maestro, M. F. Hussain. I kept on deferring the repair until I found out that I should take a picture and show the accidental and incredible similitude that, by happenstance, had happened. So, here is the Before and After.

I was fortunate to meet him when he came to Madras for the first time in 1971/72, and had an exchange, which did not contain the promise of world fame that he embodied at that time. It is ironic that my only memory from that one-hour chat with him at the art gallery at Connemara Hotel, now Taj Vivanta, was that he was so proud of not wearing any footwear. He told me stories about how he travelled barefooted on airport tarmacs and wherever he went, and that if he went to the moon also, he would be without even sandals.

To the abundance of tributes which filled Hussain's life, here is mine.

The Inspirational Wall

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


touch me
touch me not

I'm alive now
won't be for long
that's the way it is
and will be


Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy said...
Tum Kamsin ho
Nazuk ho
Tum naadaan ho...

Ramesh Gandhi said...

Arre nadaan
Kaahe ko
pyaar ke geet gaaye
gaate gaate
pyaar ko bhool jaaye
ham ghumsum hain
magar nadaan nahin
O geeton ke rakhwaale
kuchh pyaar karke dekha le
kabhi pyaar kisi se ho jaaye

Anonymous said...
a gasp forgot to ungasp
Anonymous said...

અરે હુંતો લજામણીનો છોડ

સાહ્યબો મારો અડે મને તો લાજે મરૂ

ના અડે તો વિરહે મરૂ


Monday, March 11, 2013


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.

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.

The then French Ambassador to India came to Madras, Pondicherry and Chidambaram to see her perform because, she said, she was royalty, exiled in France.

I never found out what she really was. I hear, though, that she is teaching Bharatanatyam and other dances in Europe, most probably in and around Paris.

This photograph was taken circa 1975.

Charu said...

Apsaras, the ultimate enchantresses of the Indian God world!

The title, the pose, the temple and the alias; describe it all. She probably shook the resident of the temple off his seat.


Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy said...
Ai jaane chaman
Tera gora badan
Jaise khilta hua ghulal
Zaalim teri jawaani
Qayamat tera shabab
Ai jaane chaman.....

Anmol Moti

Azhar said...
The world has lost count of people taken for a ride by the 'Apsaras', from the the vedic times to the present. Hope you are joining the large crowd of them.

My reply...

First, I do not join hordes. I have too much vanity not to want exclusivity, and preferential leanings towards me.

Secondly, apsaras were rarely real; most of the time they were male demons or minor devas (demigods), sometimes even the god of demigods, Indra himself, who took the form of a female to seduce and shake the concentration of an ascetic trying to rise to divinity or proximity to it.

Menaka was among the most desirable of all (Urvasi, Rambha and Tilottama et al.) She broke the unbreachable Vishwamitra's penance and begat Shakuntala, who in a hurried copulation, joined Dushyanta and produced Bharata, to whom India owes its first Indian name.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


it is a command
a message to myself
loud and clear
for the more I woo it
the more tranquility
goes truant

what calmness
my viscera 
never heard of it
to be it?
forget it

with or without calmpose, 
valium, diazepam
or their brothersisterhood
to obey it 
is beyond me
but to dream of it


Charu said...

That elusive state of Zen!

While cannot be captured in mind, certainly seized on celluliod.

Bhashwati said...

This morning when i was admiring the calm pose once again, i realised that inherent in the glass and the wood and the clear lines is a hypnotic power. Dekhna aap bhi dekhna.
And the flowers are the cherry on top.

To Be the Pope

I am not qualified to vote for the Pope. This is a pity, because boasting of a good grasp of theology, I have, as is my wont, from time to time sent in suggestions which I have considered constructive, for more proper representation of the spirit of Christianity.  Among several such, one important one is my writing frequently to the Vatican to bring about reforms to eschew the use of bulletproof amenities in the form of clothing or vehicles. The Pope is the ultimate living symbol representing another, the supreme who founded the religion, who sacrificed his life and etched the symbol of crucifixion into world culture everywhere and forever, making it the most advertised symbol on earth. To wear a bulletproof vest is contrary to the willingness to sacrifice his life emphatically demonstrated by Jesus Christ.

Manu Joseph, award-winning journalist and novelist, wrote a very erudite article in The Open Magazine (14 February 2013), showing how he qualifies for the post of the next Pope by describing his attributes and eligibility for it:

The Roman Curia, The Holy See, Rome
In the aftermath of the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI due to his advanced age and fear of delirium, which is reasonable taking into account the fact that when he was believed to be mentally fit he had said that condoms spread AIDS, as you seek a Supreme Pontiff of sound mind from an eminent pool of sixty-to-seventy-year-old virgins, kindly consider this application for the job of Pope from me, Manu Joseph I, a member of the laity. I am aware that you do not seek applications, but I apply because the Church is in a precarious state and it has to consider extraordinary solutions. My CV, which is enclosed, may appear unremarkable at first glance, even pointless when the marital status is noted, but if observed carefully the applicant has merit. For instance, the Church is surely wise enough to know that men in long faithful tropical marriages are indeed somewhat acquainted with celibacy. Also, I am a young male, though not so young that I will lead cardinals to sin; and, once on Indian national television I was accused of misogyny; and, through my writings and one Facebook post, I believe I have relentlessly advertised the Son of God though in the form of an endearing sub-culture, actually to be honest, in the form of a liquor found in Kerala, which is named Jesus Christ because after you drink it, you will rise only on the third day. But more important than all this is that I am a novelist, which none of the former Popes have been, even though Christianity has emerged from the Great Story.
In fact, I can see clearly that the crisis that has befallen the Church is that it has failed to grasp the single most crucial principle today in the promotion of a cultural franchise, which is what the Church is. And the principle is very simply—do not antagonise women for they are the patrons of culture. Any work of quality fiction that fails to get this is doomed. The Holy See has much to learn from modern male novelists. The art of the new man is nothing if he is unable to transmit what women hold dear. The Church, on the other hand, is constantly annoying them. I do too, I am told, but at least I am aware.
Also, as the Church fights to survive in Europe where commonsense has reached epidemic proportions, and in the rest of the world where Protestants have employed song and dance and epilepsy to diminish Catholicism, I believe it is time for an Indian to transform Catholicism.
I must confess now, though, an important fact. Ever since I remember, I suspected that the world goes around the Sun, I even said so in school, long before Pope John Paul II confirmed it for all Catholics in 1992. I am confident that my juvenile arrogance will not be held against me. If this helps my case, let me say that I do believe that the opening line of the Great Story has influenced a whole body of science that is obsessed with the idea that the Universe had a beginning. Most of the infidels had no concept of a beginning, or that it is important, but the Church succeeded in seeding the idea in everybody’s head through the Belgian Catholic priest Lemaitre and his “hypothesis of the primeval atom”, which later evolved into the Big Bang theory. There was a time when great scientists saw through the Catholic influence on the Big Bang, but the theory is now so fundamental to science that the Church has prevailed. If I am made Pope, I will ensure that the Pontifical Academy of Sciences crushes any dissent as long as I am alive.
As you are aware, church attendance is falling in the First World. In France, for instance, only 10 per cent of Catholics attend Sunday mass. In India, the secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India told me (about seven years ago)* the figure is 80 per cent. And most of them donate. Because of their relative poverty and currency rates, their donation is not as valuable as that of the sheep in the rich world, but India is prospering and growing. Imagine what an Indian Pope can do for the Church in the next few decades. This is the place, Roman Curia, this is it. There are already 17 million Indian Catholics, four times the number of Catholics in Great Britain and one third of America’s herd. Also, for several years now, as there has been a paucity of priests in the West, it has been outsourcing Indian priests, who are plentiful.
I hope I am not insolent in stating the fact that the Pope is not the only Catholic who rules over 1.2 billion. There is a Roman Catholic in India who rules exactly as many people, and I have a letter of recommendation from her in your language, which I do not understand:
Sacerdoti santi,
Sono felice di scrivere questa lettera. Non fidarti di questo ragazzo.
I have even saved you the trouble of translating the Italian:

In addition, here is an informative video, explaining where Popes come from:

Manu Joseph: You are the man. I vote for you, whether or not my vote produces white or black smoke.


Charu said...

While Manu Joseph may make a great laic Pope candidate, why not vote for dismantling of the Papacy institution altogether.

I know it will never happen just as it will never happen in any other religions of the world.

Just a thought!

Fisherfolks' Village

They are unaware of atoms or any deep insights into science and functionality of the universe. No one interviewed in those houses knew about hadrons, bosons, or the activities at CERN. And yet, to my enormous envy, they conduct their lives more competently and comprehensively than the forces of derangement that tear every minute into my being, questing:  for what?

Charu said:

Perhaps, because they hope. Or perhaps because ignorance is bliss.

Saturday, March 09, 2013


(my picture is a simulation, and may not be realistic)

Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (European Council for Nuclear Research)

An example of unending human vanity, hope in hopelessness; but the hope persists and does not give up. And, in its continuation, it serendipitously finds, discovers, invents something other than what it sets out to seek. Startlingly wondrous because of its newness, its utility to mankind or harm remaining unknown for indefinite periods, by which time it is not even remembered that it should not have been discovered in the first place.

I have counted billions of Euros spent on this project, which is highlighted every few years to ensure its funding, claiming at each such interval a 99.9999 and more nines percentage of success. Even if its main objective is not likely to be achieved, I hope that munificence to mankind in some utilitarian areas would overflow from the 100 metre deep and 27 kilometre circumference of its Large Hadron Collider.


Charu said...

Yes, it is vanity followed by the basking in the glow of the so called accomplishment.

I would like to draw a parallel between the search for Higgs-Boson particle to couple of other twentieth century inventions. The most famous of them was the Manhattan Project that invented and created Atom bombs with devastating results in human casualty not to mention the dollars that it ate up. I do not remember who it was, but either Einstein or Oppenheimer was repentant over the invention. After the facts. It is always after the facts. Such human interruptions in the name of research or advancements continue even today in Stemcell research and Genetic Engineering. To add a new item, of late, is Drone technology.

Human curiosity, for better or worse, marches on. One can only hope that it is for the betterment. In spite of the censure ship of the word “hope”, by you and me, it will continue to be omnipresent. Curiously, I noticed its use in your statement too.

It is my HOPE that nobody, certainly not you, takes an offence to my writing this.