Friday, March 31, 2017

Chilman (the Curtain)

Who struck me from behind the curtain?

who, but who
pierced my heart
with a knife
which instead of pain
caused a sharp desire

who, but who
hides behind the curtain
which itself seduces me
even before my beloved
arouses flames of desire

even from behind the curtain
the sharp knife
the beautiful eyes
evoke longing
even as they are unseen

film: Baat ek Raat ki
Singer: Manna Dey
Composer: S D Burman
Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wanted Y

wanted y

wanted youth
wanted yearning
wanted you
wanted yes!
wanted yeast bread hot from the oven
wanted yoghurt to eat it with
wanted years
wanted yesterdays
wanted yellow roses
wanted yawning
wanted y-yielding to 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Day's Beginning

or the end of it
just before maybe
the beginning of the night

day or night
unceasing variant activity
depending upon one's perception
or productive
beneficial to some
tragic and tearful to others

in its incomprehensibility
affirming to most of mankind
the existence and purpose
of divinity

Bhashwati wrote:

i am trying to understand what the image is but it goes really well with the text and in the text the most telling lines are:
in its incomprehensibility
affirming to most of mankind
the existence and purpose
of divinity

what heights and depths of absurdity that the entire edifice of institutionalised faith and all other forms of organised religion is enforced and sustained by virtue of incomprehensibility.

LOL mankind that prides itself on having caused civilisation by dint of its intelligence and reason is willing to be unreasonable in fundamental matters.
It is willing to accept the existence of divinity precisely because it is non existent.
What kamaaliyat.

i still cant imagine how you managed to get this combo image of 

aaj main oopar aasmaan neeche plus is jeevan ka ... yehi hai chhaaon dhoop.

Wherever whenever it was taken, this is a unique composition in every sense.

Very reassuring too under the current circumstances that the vast expanse allows tenacious life to survive probably without human intervention.. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Universe: The Nature of Things

The Universe, a vacuum of infinite space; no dimensions: no breadth, length, width, and therefore, no distances within itself. But it has mass, consisting of what only mankind, as far is known on our planet, has attempted to measure: what he has named 'elements', of which he has kept a record, and named the "periodic table", wherein he makes corrections, additions, subtractions, as at different times, he discovers, rediscovers, or if his understanding demands, alters.

An infinite number of atoms move randomly, both in the vacant space as well as the moving structured masses which come together or spread asunder, get farther and farther away, till the source of their energy expires by burning, by atomizing, or perishing of any other sort, from any other source or sources. This is a ceaseless process of creation and destruction, almost definitely devoid of conscious life. One exception, though: us. Mankind. The only other forms of life that we, Mankind, know, despite our countless attempts to discover, in this vast arena of colliding atoms forming bodies which form larger bodies, which form galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and endless other names which we, Mankind, have given to these objects, often altered as often as obliterated, and again re-invented anew, are plants and animals, which are not conscious of their existence. Therefore, although they are life forms, even if the only other life-forms that we know, apart from ourselves, as they are not aware that they are life-forms, and that they are born, and that they exist, and they will die, essentially, the dissertation has to be on what man knows, ignorantly thought he knew, till he knew better, and continued this process of knowing, negating, reinventing.

So, coming back to the stuff of the universe, in an infinite space, it has an infinite number of atoms moving randomly, till they collide, fall apart, disintegrate into many other parts, but at no time backward or forward, remaining constant, neither diminishing nor increasing. The universe, therefore, is a constant, and the mass in it, no matter how scattered or assembled, is also another constant. This is a ceaseless process of creation and destruction, colliding, hooking together, forming complex structures, breaking apart again. The important thing here is, that this scheme of things under which this entire process processes itself, is not pre-ordained or consciously planned by some creature, some authority (most human beings have found a convenient word for this non-existent authority: creator, god, of one kind or another; totally inconsistent, unruly, without justification for being the object of worship that would stand the course of litigation in the tiniest court).

As far as our knowledge goes, so far, we are the only conscious creatures who can look up at the day/night sky (both being relative concepts, and not actual reality, as in the universe there is neither day nor night).

We marvel, given the scientific mind that we are endowed with, perhaps even cursed with, as perhaps blessed with, relatively speaking, we are not seeing the handiwork of gods in the zillions of dots, spheres, twinkling, disappearing, re-appearing, from our transient world; we are part of the same material, from the elements of which we are also made.

There is no master-plan, no divine architect, no intelligent design; all things, including the spaces to which we belong, have evolved over vast stretches of time and space. This evolution is not part of a design, but completely, totally, absolutely, random, although, in the case of living organisms on our home planet, we have discovered a principal of natural selection; that, zillions of species are only suited to survive and reproduce successfully, and endure on our home planet. Within varying limits of time; those that are not so well-suited, perish rapidly and progressively, or mutate. Nothing from our own species to the planet on which we live to the sun that lights our days or when not, nights, lasts forever, or will. Only the atoms will, with or without the aid of the substance which produces life: DNA, Deoxyribonucleic Acid.

Having described the universe as above, and the way it is constituted, there is no reason to think that Earth or its inhabitants occupy a central place, no reason to set humans apart from all other animals, (except in the matter of consciousness in man that he exists, that he was born, and that he would die, which knowledge the other life-forms that we know of, plant and animal, are blissfully deprived of).

In a universe so constituted, there are no gods to bribe or appease, no place for religious fanaticism, no justification for dreams of limitless power or perfect security, no rationale for wars of conquest or self-aggrandizement, no possibility of triumphing over nature, no escape from the constant making and unmaking and remaking of forms. 

This is what human beings should grasp, but will not, because they cannot divest themselves of the vanity of their own existence, and therefore, again, they would pursue incrementally, whatever they are pursuing, even in their own aggrandizement, believing that they would continue to last, survive, because they invent and they are ingenious, they will always find a way, by hook or by crook, murder, war, strife, and untruths.

It is not easy to carry the burden of this knowledge; it is far easier to believe and to conform to the ignorance that you encounter, and which surrounds you, socially, amicably or inimically. Is it any wonder that I am very tired?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Totality of Death

On their deathbeds, most people presumably believe they have not lived enough or at all. They don't realise that after death  they will not be able to regret or rejoice, or, for that matter, know or feel anything about their lives. Death divests you of TOTAL consciousness.

Anonymous wrote:
You nailed it again,
As i was repeating the last sentence in my head i muttered TOTALLY.
Death totally divests you of consciousness.

What a mercy it must seem to the fortunate few who grasp that truth as the last drop of consciousness escapes simultaneously with the last breath.

And what a colossal absolute irony that the mercy is bestowed when the subject can no longer receive. Correction when the subject ceases to be.
Thank you.

I chastised myself before I finish thinking, what a pleasure to be devoid of consciousness......

There is no knowing or not knowing of pleasure to be had...let alone pleasure itself..

Love charu

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Shrouded in Silence

Malaysian Airlines MH370:

Submerged in water, breathless in air, 
or tortured on land. Perished, splintered. 
What, where? 

Another page in history
a mystery
fraught with expectancy, 
hope and fear 
for the kith and kin
for the missing lives. 

When, where is the closure? 
What is the end of the story?
More than 370 questions.
as many possible answers.
Not even one truth.

Sunday, March 19, 2017



after dalliance
more like
a quick minor kerfuffle
a ruffling of feathers
a scrabble of pink toes
a scuffle
over and forgotten

under green shade
a bower
of clattering dry fronds
stirred in a puff of breeze

hardly even able to wonder
what's next
what comes after

Bhashwati wrote:

Its the drop of the fronds and the drop of the tail feathers that bring grace to the composition.
And the minor kerfuffle that is creating motion in stillness.
One gazes at the writing on the wall, blase' indeed
and the other plans a plunge into another feather ruffling episode.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Crime in Crimea

Elsewhere, Everywhere

I have always wondered from childhood through adolescence, and now when it is time for me to fade out, which part of human history is not riddled with crime, or mostly criminal? I am not asking “least criminal” simply because I have no evidence of when criminality was not a major tool for survival or making of history.  As I have trudged warily through my life in search of understanding the meaning of truth and grasping what we humans are, or for that matter what life is all about, I have found that every step that mankind has taken forward has been achieved by trampling upon the fundamentals of the ethics that he himself created.

Grabbing land, property, territory in the name of foraging for food; creation of religions and then going to war and pillaging rapaciously to enforce unprovable beliefs; when was it decided and by whom, that survival necessitates the analytical distillation and refinement of acts of criminality of one sort or another. Treaties, agreements, signatories to codes of conduct, the judiciary itself, which is supposed to preside over and has been created for the explicit, much bandied and pronounced purpose of curbing criminality: have they become perpetrators and collaborators?

In the history of the past two to three centuries, when mankind’s reach over the earth through navigational aids became larger, many agreements and treaties were signed following bloody massacres and depredations. The modern ones are the Geneva Convention, the International Court of Justice at the Hague, the Treaty of Versailles, the United Nations. They are all in place, or were. Have they stopped criminals, or are they also part and parcel of the innate criminality which their masters and creators have drafted as part of a conspiracy for what mankind would call its survival as long as it can last, as long as it can be extended. What did organisations like NATO, CENTO, CHOGM, SEATO, accomplish by elaborate conferencing, pronouncements and stratagems? (How about SHALNOT, CANOT, WART, SMART, XYANDZEE?)

I do not know. What I know however is that there is growing poverty, incrementally increasing dissent, disaffection with polity, crime. If anyone does know the answer, please help me.

Charu wrote:

I know nothing. With that caveat I will resort to Charles Darwin's maxim; survival for the fittest. 

In reference to human civilization people do interpret 'survival' and 'fittest' to their own liking. Unlike animal kingdom; when stomach is full the hunt is left for the future date when it will be hungry again. Not so among humans. They must amass; land, food, money and whatever is considered wealth or power; that includes having more of goats, cows among Masai, Kikuyu and such tribes in Africa and elsewhere.

My two cents' worth.

My reply:

Statistically there is more crime than punishment, from the dawn of civilisation and, I  firmly believe, to the day of Perdition, which would be a fitting finale for all the punishment not meted out.

Golden Cage

Dinguli Mor Sonar Khanchai

many-hued days of mine
did not remain 
in the golden cage 
I made for them
they could not bear 
the bonds of laughter and tears

I had hoped 
that they would learn 
the language of the song of my heart
but they flew away
without baring their hearts

as in a dream 
I see those days
some forms that hover 
around that golden cage
now lying shattered

can so much pain be imaginary
or are they only shadow birds
that they said nothing 
even to the skies

din guli more shonaar khaanchaaye
royilo na, royilo na
shei jey aamaar nana rongeir din guli
kaanna haashir baadhon
taara shoilo na, shoilo na
shei jey aamaar
nana rongeir din guli

aamaar praaneir gaaneir bhaasha
shikhbey taara chhilo asha
udey gailo 
udey gailo
shokole kotha boilo na 
koilo na
shei jey aamaar 
nana rongeir din guli

shopone dekhi jaino tara kara 
shey ferey aamaar
bhaanga khaanchaar
chaaro pashey

aito bedon hoye ki faaki
ora ki shobe
chhayyar paakhi 
aakaash paarey 
kichhui ki go koilo na, koilo na
shei jey aamaar 
nana rongeir din guli

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Kissa Kursi ka (The Story of a Chair)

it is true that I sometimes feel
out of place

yet the world 
has opened up a space for me
my shadows join its shadows
my straight and curved lines
echo its straight and curved lines

I have glimpses of purpose
a burden of responsibility
which only I can support
and which will surely become manifest
if I can only be patient

so I sit
and wait

Bhashwati wrote:
Since the chair seems to have positioned itself to catch your attention so that it gets a photo op, the anthropomorphism of the text is a perfect fit.
To say nothing of the perpendiculars trying to blunt the other angles and light and life, leaf competing for primacy of position in the image.
Lekin koi chaahe kuchh bhi kar le, kissa to kursi ka hi hai aur rahega, to qayaamat.

So it sits and waits with its burden of responsibility

At this point the award goes to this image and text combo, no mistake.
best image, best lyrics, best technique, best editing, best story and best direction.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Illusion, Mystery, Delusion

Illusion cannot equal or be the same as mystery; nor, definitely, delusion. Probably, it may be the difference between real and unreal.

Illusion is mostly make-believe, and generally explainable by most or at least some. Mystery, on the other hand, may prevail symbiotically with ignorance. It is not illusory, visually or audibly: it is just something unexplainable to some, and easily understood by others, and treated with scepticism by the rest. Delusion, of course is being completely out of touch with reality, and has no relation to either illusion or mystery. Its closest ally is grandeur, gullibility, and punishment or exploitation.

Illusion fascinates mankind in myriads of ways, mostly visual.

(This illustration is from a Honda institutional ad, and is named by them Endless Flow. Note: the water seems to be flowing downward from one point; theoretically it should end at another point, which would be the bottom, but in the illustration it flows down continuously, as well as climbs up continuously.)

Among man-made illusions, two-dimensional art forms are the commonest, but most imaginative and creative. M.C. Escher, the Dutch artist, devoted a great deal of his work to creating such masterpieces, from which the above illustration has been directly derived. Here is the original (it is a march of soldiers, climbing up and down, up and down, endlessly):

Whether he himself was inspired by some Greek or ancient, definitely western, artistic, philosophical, concepts, I am at the moment not in a position to confirm. But he did a great deal of work, inevitably, because it is unavoidably obsessive. He has many followers, drawing equal amount of fascination.

Let me join others who have wondered, or those who are reading this blog, as to whether, given three-dimensional reality, can this illusion of endless march, or endless flow, or endless whatever, be physically produced, and therefore converted to non-illusion and three-dimensional shape conforming to existing laws of physics and science.

Of those who spend time on such speculation, most just show fascination and confusion, and do not traverse to convert the notion as illusory or physically possible. Some believe that, given means, models can be created in three-dimensions, with wood, steel, cardboard or other materials, or even bricks, to establish the concept of continuum.

I have not been casual on this matter, as I am obsessively seeking clarity in every sound and every sight. I have been able to prove that this illustration belongs totally to the concept of visual illusion made possible by elimination of third dimension, by drawing it on a flat surface. To prove this, the clinching argument that I have provided is that to produce this physically would require the knowledge of the highest and the lowest points in the illustration or drawing. If you observe the picture, you will find that all points are either the highest or the lowest, at the same time. It is therefore not manufacturable into a real object, and therefore scientifically unviable.

Einstein said 'God never plays dice.' Since, according to me, there is no God, only human beings play dice. Interestingly, they have no other choice because of the caprice of life itself. It is fun, therefore, to defy science and glimpse the unreal, and be pleasantly fascinated by one of the most harmless aspects of man's creative mind.

Monday, March 13, 2017


touch me
touch me not

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

Saturday, March 11, 2017


or progressive subterfuge
concealing incremental enslavement
exploitative of
biological differences
unknown to any other living creature
plant or animal

what, whither,
what, whither,

an inquiry in humility
not an assertion

but obsessive bafflement

Anonymous wrote:

Allow me to comment in 3 parts.

First, the elegance of the form which i read as artfulness, signifies the way in which the market has 'sold' empowerment to women, conveying through advertising blitzkrieg that enhancing appearance is equal to beauty is equal to superiority is equal to power over other women and men of course. 
Second, the fine detailing of the curves and the finery / jewellery represents the craving and desire that all 'normal' women must experience / possess in order to accomplish the above objective.
And third, the bent, bowed and to my critical gaze even twisted image symbolises the 'un defeatable' abjectness of the 'woman condition' which only intensifies with every apparent bold step (hu)mankind takes in the direction of empowering it.

And your words so completely expressing your "obsessive bafflement" serve as a chilling non question... how can it be otherwise.
Anonymous said...
The picture is lovely, I saw it as an odalisque / apsara, reclining sensuously. The text reveals it in a new light, as a woman who may be chained into a submissive position, or even ducking to avoid a blow.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Femme Fatale

the tilt of my head
the swell of my breast 
the flirt of my tail
are desirable to the males 
who puff out their throats
till their green neck feathers
almost flash with light
and strut and burble after me so comically
that I throw them off 
without a backward look
but they do not hold it against me
because I am a magnificent specimen
of pigeonhood
instead they strut and burble once again
and once in a while I allow one or the other to mount me
it's only for a few seconds after all
and then I fly into the shallow pool
on a nearby balcony
and beat my wings against the water
until shining drops fly up
and for a moment I am like a nestling
who has never seen water 
broken and thrown into the air
and then I give a big shudder 
to expand the spaces between my feathers
and I am filled with coolness and pleasure
until I sleek myself back to my own shape
and the males enlarge themselves and strut
as if it were a new thing in the world
but I don't mind because
what more is there to life
after all

Bhashwati, Ph.D. wrote:

What a juxtaposition of a minimalist composition against a nice fleshy text not dissimilar from the puffed up chests of the male pigeons.

I am most impressed.

The words are feather light, fluffy and funny, indulgent and generous.

Magnificent specimen of descriptive matter of fact hood.

Both thumbs up.

Monday, March 06, 2017



The not-so-very-distant past, if you stare until your eyes lose focus, and imagination enters along with light, begins to appear as if it had been delicately etched into metal plates, perhaps in the eighteenth century. 

That fisherman will never straighten his back or roll his shoulders to ease his aching muscles. He will never catch the fish which hang unmoving in liquid which has congealed into glass. The trees will never stir and rustle their leaves in a breeze. The clouds will never release a drop of rain, nor block the heat of a sun which will never set. Nothing moves, not even the reflections in water which must surely have been lapping at the shore just a moment ago. Lassitude. 

(Please see also my post explaining the context of this photograph, one of my earliest:  at this link)

Anonymous wrote:

So I have just seen lassitude. Reminded me instantly of Keats' ode on grecian urn

The significant difference is that Keats' readers do not see the Grecian urn but you are describing in most lyrical prose an actual photograph of an actual scene taken by an actual you.


Saturday, March 04, 2017

The Meeting of Earth and Sky

the sky descended to meet earth
in disguise, wearing the shadows of trees
but earth was clever too
and draped itself in cloud-stuff

neither quite knew
which was one
and which the other

and so they lay entwined
until the sun parted them

Thursday, March 02, 2017