Monday, October 28, 2013





Anonymous wrote:

What can i say about bonds.

The image and the text are as made for each other as can be.
The text is the most succinct exposition i have read anywhere of how the conscious being transacts the business of co existence, deploying all the intricate tools of thoughts and emotions in an amoral framework, more as an imperative than as a social compulsion or moral obligation.

It complements your other poem, The trap.

Both are clear objective statements on the human condition that 'depends' and at the same time vigorously resists dependence thereby rendering conflict inevitable, every step of the way. You educate on things that the world presumes to be knowledgeable about.    
thank you.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Manna Dey

(1919 to 2013)

lyrics by Kapil Kumar

Phir kahin koi phool khila, chaahat na kaho usko
Phir kahin koi deep jala, manzil na kaho usko
Phir kahin…
Man ka samandar pyaasa hua, kyun kisi se maange duaa 
Lehron ka laga jo mela, toofaan na kaho usko
Phir kahin koi phool khila...

Dekhe kyun sab woh sapne, khud hi sajaaye jo humne

Dil unse bahel jaaye to, raahat na kaho usko
Phir kahin koi phool khila…

This is my version, heartfelt and inspired by the original, that has haunted and haunts me.

Don’t be a fool, you are plain pathetic: 
every time a flower blooms, 
here, there, somewhere, 
you think it is love, 
that you are in love, 
while actually 
you have only fallen. 

A light twinkles here, 
shines, glitters there. 
Do not assume that
that is your repose, 
the end of your journey, 

The swirling, twirling 
at the pit of your heart, 
hurting like an emptied ocean, 
cannot find succour by going begging.
It would be perilous 
to assume that the gathering 
of waves upon waves 
is a storm

Where is the fulfillment
in living by watching dreams 
conjured and carved 
out of vacuum of emptiness. 
Fool, do not be seduced by comfort, 
even if dreams create ecstasies 
of satiation in your mind.

A flower may bloom again, you fool.

Anonymous wrote:
Reading through this composition is like walking through a pile of fallen leaves with a twig in hand and turning them and flinging them about... a pile of thoughts disembodied from the experiences that generated them merging and mingling with thoughts from countless other experiences, long gone with seasons past.
But instead of letting the thoughts blow away too, the mind holds them captive, perhaps in the vain hope of being able to reconstruct in memory that which will not return in reality. 

Many flowers will bloom. Again and again. Yet fools will pine for the ones that have fallen and will bloom no more.  

As for the singer, no tribute can suffice but here are some words you sent me when he passed away:
Incredible range and trained voice, widest variety of rendition, classically sublime to ridiculously funny,traversing effortlessly various octaves and falsettoes; not even half got his full due, a rare good man.
Pravin Gandhi wrote:
Nice. Both.

My reply:
Thanks Pravin: Both came from the cardiac region of the brain, which habitually infarcs.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Life and Death

Futility and Darkness Before, During and at the End of It, the Same About the Blog Below:

On October 18, in response to my statement that "I did not want to be born, and I have never considered life as an imperative," Dr. Taralika Trivedi raised the query, "Can you name a person, at least one person who wanted to be born...Sir, you are YOU only after your birth, not before. Now you can wish there may not be next birth, if you believe in reincarnation."

My reply:

To begin with, to have volition of or for or against anything at all, you have to have life. This statement is immutable. It is an absolute and a constant. For life, without going into the almost infinite impossibility of its accidental, contingent nature, chromosomes loaded with any one of the myriads of DNA material have to come together for conception to take place. This unity of conception precedes conscious life, which awaits very complex processes of fertlisation, germination, survival against countless odds, etc., before it acquires shape and identity, to breathe and exude what we call life beyond its birth.

It has been our privilege or curse to be aware of only two forms of life, with one deviant: plant and animal, and the deviant being the animal with the difference: homo sapiens, humans. Since this last of the species is the only one out of the three forms of life which is not only conscious of itself in the sense that it knows that it is born, it exists, and that it would die, the question of this life-form protesting the issue of its birth prior to gaining this consciousness (or immediately thereafter, until the consciousness grows into the capacity for conceptual thought, including the capacity to understand the meaning of life itself, to protest, accept or abhor it) absolutely cannot and does not arise.

Mostly, however, almost in their entirety, human beings assume life to be a given without any choice. Given by whom, is a question that few have asked,  in all our previous and current times, and it would continue rarely to be asked until we are wiped out or we mutate into some other conscious species, most probably in some other place, which we may discover and into which we may cohabit and create new civilizations. Superstition, religion in their myriad forms, have provided succor and helped to conceal the urgency or need for an answer to this question.

The rationale behind not wanting, approving, being born, being alive, being part of this turbulent process, can occur only after birth, which is both an irony and a sad paradox. At such a time, one has the option of terminating life by conscious or unconscious self-destruct devices which are endlessly available.

I can therefore be asked, Why, if I did not want to be born, am I continuing to live. I would consider that a fair question, to which my most honest answer is: I exist by virtue of self-deception, cowardice; in this case, it being part of the makeup of my mind, which has been so rigidly constructed that it is not given to me to take my life.

This is a conditioning of mind by our societal environment. I have no alibis, and I offer no justification. I do not accept praise for not committing suicide, or terminating my existence artificially and unnaturally by some other clever or devious means. The immeasurable strength of the DNA material contained in my system, which is encrypted with the message to survive, also includes another message: to reproduce. I have not been able to overpower the former, but I have refrained from succumbing to the latter: I have not reproduced.

If, dear Dr. Taralika, all the above is abhorrent and arguable, please do not spare me from your wisdom.
Pravin Gandhi wrote:
Got it.
Just one technicality: we do know a third form of life - the cellular or uni-cellular life which we do not see/experience, and also a fourth - the bacterial/viral : good ones which are good for health and bad ones which cause diseases.
Also why crib only about not having the choice of being born, it is only one - albeit 1st - of many: you don't have the choice of parents or relatives; one is born a naturalised citizen of a country or of a particular faith by default which in varying degrees is blasphemous to change; one does not have the choice to be born without deformity/incapability; the choice of running away from responsibility (e.g. by suicide, abandonment of dependent spouse/ward etc.), is considered despicable unless one turns out to be a Buddha as a result.
What about having the choice of the mode of death, like Bhishma? I would love that. I think most people are afraid of the mode of death rather than death itself.

my response:
Pravin, you did not Get it fully: the one technicality that you are alluding to specifically referred by you as “the cellular or uni-cellular as well as the bacterial/viral life” are covered in my comprehensive dissertation. My definition of life is total inasmuch as it considers everything including viruses, bacteria and other known, unknown, or even invisible forms of any sort which have a determinant self-defining DNA. For example, tuberculosis, typhoid, et al., are all forms of life. I hope this would clarify to you the broader and total meaning of life that I have surveyed.

Similarly, within what I have asserted, is included everything and beyond what you have mentioned in your second paragraph about deformity, choice of running away, suicide, parents, nationality, etc.
What you are, what you become, what careers you choose, or how you or for that matter any life, again, the emphasis being on any DNA-endowed matter, is circumstantial, accidental, coincidental and contingent, which itself is again contingent upon other contingencies, by definition, ad infinitum.

I hope you will be able to re-read my post, if necessary, to find that within words and sentences all of these details have been factored, either overtly or by implication.

Please do not take this clarification amiss.

Anonymous wrote:
It brings such relief and often the only peace i know other than [watching the] Ashoka [tree], to read your essays, both for their content and their manner of presentation. If ever one comes across matters beyond the quotidian it is in the framework of religious ideology, morality, and other dialectics. To read and absorb such elucidation as you present of complex issues fundamental to our very existence is so reassuring. To know that thought and its expression can inform, educate and lead to new thought outside the harsh unaccommodating bounds of isms is so liberating. Thank you.

Monday, October 21, 2013


either beginning or end
first stirring of life
or the last image
chanced upon by
aged unseeing eyes

an image
of dawn or dusk
of beginning or end
not seen but felt
before the last breath
from scattered pieces
of mind

last breath
in wondrous glow
of dawn or dusk

Anonymous wrote:

It's one of your saddest compositions. It embodies and contains sadness, emptiness, absence where traces of presence linger in the tenuous glow. Also almost liberating... as if the need to continue has been abdicated without struggle. In a tacit pact the glow of dawn and dusk have agreed to fill the vacuum.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Half-Opened Eyes





Thursday, October 17, 2013


lights lightened
a production of man-made contrivances

is it the same
as the real one?

it cannot be, for
if it were
then there would not be so much darkness
engulfing us, suffocating us

it is far more elusive
so rare as to be almost

laws of physics versus
the gray cerebral awakening

light and enlightenment
can be together and be the same
but if they are not
then only the abyss

Anonymous wrote:
i was not present at the site but the impression i get is of the darkness permeating the light rather than the other way round. It resonates with something you often say, that the more one knows, the more one knows how much one doesnt know. And yet we flash our figments of knowledge in ornate packaging, blinded by arrogance while the darkness of vast ignorance envelops us swallows us, 

But the composition is extraordinary, each shade telling a tale as in a sound and light show in some monument.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Generations to come will scarcely believe that the word existed, and if it did, then what it meant. Even if the world survives, the phenomenal phenomenon, alas, will not. Cannot.


on the road to suspended disbelief
Anonymous wrote:
Both homeward and horizonward are full of yearning and promise and much that lies in between but that is only a very subjective impression of one who is distant from both.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Relevance of Prehistory

Is it real, or only conceptual?

Words, Encapsulated

how much mankind 
depends on words
that we need to pick up
by learning 
or stealth

use reuse

to glory or

words indeed 
are so much
of our existing breathing 
living loving
creating destroying

we would not stop at anything
to steal spread

words indeed
and therefrom language
and thence communication


(See also an earlier poem of mine about words: Words, My Master)

Anonymous wrote:

the buzz of words or a blur of words
does it matter do they matter?
they must for they contain 
all that matters and that which is immaterial

come to think of it
words indeed are all we have 
From the moment that we become matter

till the moment that nothing matters

Monday, October 07, 2013

French Fly

The Allure of a High Neckline


In the bathtub, a rocket ship passes Jupiter (?) on its way out of the galaxy.

Skylight and Incandescence

Natural light is created by nuclear fission, and pervades nooks, corners, crevices and great expanses, across and throughout the universe, which is infinite and eternal. Incandescent light is produced by the creative part of the human brain. But then, human beings emerged from natural selection of the widely known process of evolution and survival. So? I am merely showing a direct product of nature and an indirect one. Perhaps one or both sources of light will prod my brain to enlightenment, natural or evolutionary.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Convocation of Leaves


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 foreground. 

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 meditation. 

a very singular powerful composition.

thank you. 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

The First Temptation

Charu wrote:
And perhaps the last.
Harmony and color of nature beautifully captured.

Anonymous wrote:
This one is joyous wicked shameless inviting and elusive. i think its the fall of the folds and the light teasing them both. Reminds me of vanity flair.

Forest Inside Outside

Charu wrote:
Fifty percent of last ten or so pictures are 'reflective', 'squared',
'tiered','cornered'. Musical in a sense. Very clean, perhaps pristine is a better description. Enjoyed them all.

Anonymous wrote:
This is like a dream i dream about. To bear witness to an entity that is complete and yet able to dissolve into that which can hold it. An entity that can immerse itself and still retain its essence. Mushkil hai bhaut mushkil lekin na mum kin nahin.

Music Inside the Grand Piano

Anonymous wrote:
Your piano reads like a musical note replete with light shade colour and pattern. Its an aria.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Writing on the Wall, or Failed Calligraphy

... to cacophony

Charu wrote:
Footprints; reminds me of ancient hand prints in the caves around the world. They were really on the walls.

Elemental Home

Anonymous wrote:
i was musing. Is it the home of the elements... where the elements dwell?
OR a home built of the elements... where life dwells? 

The path laid out too and a built in roof to grant protection from the elements when necessary. 

Complete insurance. 
Dear Mr & Mrs Gandhi

The verdant rainforest is missing you and so do we all.. please come back soon.

Best Wishes
Krishan Kant Aggarwal
We have no idea where our bodies are:
pulverised and mutilated on that seven-kilometre stretch
of uprooted, treacherous road between two parts of the golf course
– what a shame, what a travesty of justice –
or somewhere en route to or in Mysore, or loitering in the clouds, or declared lost.

What we do know, however, is that our minds, spirits, and hearts
are there in the midst of Verdant, Homeward, Meditative, Forest Inside Outside...

We have not left, because we could not leave;
we could not get away from there:
from you, and your entire team, top to bottom,
all loyal and intensely loving;
and all the leaves, trees, insects, animals, birds et al.

We are there; just look for us.

Ramesh Gandhi

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Up and Down the Stairs

A Brief Encounter

Anonymous wrote:
i think of it as a capsule of elegance, because a single frame says it all. i see several encounters. Light greeting shade, height diving to depth, distance rushing in and movement held between two steady walls. And the conscious being negotiating it all with tentative halting steps.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Cleaning the Mahatma


Intentional, ironic, or profoundly tragic?

This photograph (no photo credit given) in the New Indian Express today, 2 October, the birthday of Gandhiji, contains the caption, "Cleaning the Mahatma".

Since 'mahatma' means 'great soul' it would seem that, by definition, it is beyond the need or even the possibility of cleaning. I wonder if the caption underscores the irony, and was therefore an intentional, although sombre, lament for the changing times, specifically in the nation that Gandhi is credited with fathering; or was it an accidental vagary of black humour.
Anonymous wrote: ... all current cleaning can only denote removing all trace.
Anonymous wrote:
This resonates strongly for i come from what can be referred to as an authentic gandhian family. My father's lifelong livelihood came from organising, archiving, exhibiting, researching and generating art material on the Mahatma. i remember him working on large canvases portraying the mahatma's life, mumbling, "It wasn't an assassin that killed him. It is his devotees who did it. He died of suffocation in museums. We needed to remove him from our midst and what better way of doing it than 'immortalising' him by locking him up in museums." 

That is why i said cleaning can only mean removing all trace of what he represented.  
Pravin Gandhi wrote:
I know I'll be walloped for blasphemy. But on Gandhi Jayanti day, I pose a question that has often been on my mind: DID GANDHI ANOINT NEHRU OVER SARDAR PATEL COZ he (Gandhi), his movement, ashrams, the Indian National Congress itself, were FUNDED BY MOTILAL NEHRU AND GD BIRLA? Was it payback time? Did Nehru buy his PM-ship? 
Why did Gandhi give a parting shot which set the course and mindset of a nation. 
If somebody can enlighten me on how this decision was made, i would be thankful.
Gen-Next would care a fig, but they are inheriting the mess!

My Reply:
Your question is a good one, although unfortunately, arguments about Gandhi, Motilal, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Birla, and whatever other connections or disconnections, avowed and disowned, but rumoured and murmured shenanigans of historical proclivities, leanings and the size of misjudgement, are now all part of inconsequential debate. So much so that no one would even take notice of any new material coming out on those days of struggle before, during and after independence, let alone waste a tiring effort of walloping you.

Jahawarlal Nehru
The unambiguous and incontrovertible facts are that Gandhi was in awe of Motilal’s family, their aristocracy, wealth, education, looks, and therefore easily made Jawaharlal the jewel of his eye. This would be fine and forgivable, had it not been for the fact that the plain, practical, unsophisticated but un-vacillating and iron-handed Sardar, who proved to be capable of better judgment, which he could deliver swiftly, without ado, that brought benefits and respect for the country, was time and again side-lined in favour of Nehru.

Sardar Patel
Unfortunately, Gandhi’s assassination within months of Independence, did not allow his biased judgments to be put to test. Giving Gandhi the benefit of the doubt, he would certainly have seen that the nation’s good would have been safer in the hands of Patel, as opposed to Nehru. Nehru got mired in self-image of a high moral ground, antagonised the heads of state of countries that influenced the world both with power and wealth, ruled at home by surrounding himself with sycophants, and thus, trying to create a place in history for himself, laid the foundations  of a vacillating, indecisive, incrementally corrupt and inefficient government. I can go on, but it is needless, for it will not serve any purpose retroactively.

For more on this subject, see this piece which I posted on my website years ago.