Thursday, November 30, 2017

Contours of Reality

Boston, 1997

What is reality? What is truth? What is distortion? What is illusion? What is a lie, to deceive? What is a lie that comes from the unknown, or fear, or misguidance? Metaphysics is the equipment human beings have to respond to these and other such related questions. But then, human beings being fallible, apart from being variable, would deal with metaphysics also differently. So then, we become rudderless, at which time superstition and religion creep in and pervade. The irony is that religion is the ultimate self-deception, but then, most of mankind relegate their incomprehension to it, and to some design somewhere by some derelict designer, and wade through their lives in delusions, and belief in contentment emanating from them. Sigh.
Update: Anonymous wrote:
The image is a volume in itself. i could fill each grid with fresh meaning.

What a timely text.
But there is an absoluteness to it which would make it appropriate at any time, all times.

Mankind, relegating incomprehension to religion does acknowledge that it is deifying a derelict designer?
And in a stupendous feat of stupidity then designs its own dereliction to match the 'divine' randomness?

What a bizarre situation.
First we propound the brazen lie that God created man in his own image although no one has seen that God image.
Then we go creating ourselves in what we claim is the divine image: arbitrary, whimsical, erratic, heedless, ruthless, all knowing, tyrannical, receptive to flattery, bribery, completely irrational and even more completely unaccountable.

Thank you
Update: Charu wrote:

How can these statements ever be questioned?

All encompassing; there is not even a sliver of opening where a disputing argument can sneak in...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Fisherman's Child

Ennore, 1950

Bhashwati wrote:
The fisherman's child's photo is reminding me of an old song which has something about destiny or god playing with human lives the way a child plays with sand on the sea shore.

Master madan ch atma or pankaj mullick.
If  can remember i will share but for now:
the image is very humbling.
For the human being, less than a speck in the midst of vast forces of land sea and sky.. what vainglorious presumption led us to believe we will control forever with no consequences? 

And then the child... so vulnerable and yet in its innocence so confidently embedded and at one with the universe, without fear.   
bahut khoob.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Daughters of India


Trying to rescue a very old and damaged negative, I was reminded of the poster for the classic film, Mother India, with Nargis shot from below, a vast sky looming behind her. These girls present a much more hopeful picture, pleased to be photographed.

Friday, November 24, 2017

You Claim to Know Everything

You claim to know everything that can be or that has to be known about life. Is there knowledge beyond what you claim to know about life?

No, because the knowledge that concerns us is only what happens or can happen or be experienced as we journey through our lives. Therefore, to know about life fully is for all practical purposes to know about everything, including death.

So, tell me something about life.

Well, life is transitory, capricious and in what we call the universal scheme of things, absolutely futile.

Is that all?


So then, what are all these -- faith, ambition, achievement, yearning, lust, fulfillment, tenderness, joy, hurt, anger, despair...

Transitory, capricious and futile.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Stark black and white here, but in reality in full bloom, with criss-crossed branches, and a variety of colors which is countless and ever-increasing. Never a dull moment.

Monday, November 20, 2017


it had life in it once
now it is lifeless
It will drift
become part food
part something whatever else

maybe in its invisible form
it will come out of our faucet

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Upside Down

given a point of view and a viewer
who can say what is up and what down
in absolute terms
everything everywhere
everything but everything

is upside down

Monday, November 13, 2017


Without air conditioning; or, within.
the slowing down, stopping of the breeze
the growing silence within the heart
is the journey ahead
or has it ended

Saturday, November 11, 2017


of colours and aroma
to entice
to germinate
its natural
ignorant that these cycles
can be interrupted
for food
or fanciful

Friday, November 10, 2017


foot arm elbow 
dissected chewed 
opened for study repair
rbc wbc capillaries
muscles skin 
exposed to be covered
or consumed
no matter what
no question
no doubt
earth to earth

Wednesday, November 08, 2017


spilling out of the Petri dish
to evolve or be destroyed
before developing into...

Monday, November 06, 2017


rain, rain
I must be really parched
scorched and barren
even more than the earth

to welcome
your advent
heralded by proper ceremony
of dark, overbearing clouds
lightning and thunder-claps
or unannounced with temperamental outbursts

your cool spray on my temples
through the window
the sound of your caress
on the mildly protesting panes
and whispers
coaxing the leaves to submission
and the intoxicating aroma
of aroused passion rising from the earth
diffuse into my being
and stir to life my deadened hopes

in humility I feel wrapped
with visions of your power
infusing life or destroying it
as you reign unrelentingly
moodily bestowing your favours
tenderly in a compassionate shower here
or lashing in devastating fury there
germinating now or uprooting
impetuously, inexorably
in a stupendous act
of inclement copulation
urgent, hysterical
insatiate and overwhelming
demanding nothing less than total surrender

and even as you depart
leaving the earth
ravaged and ravished and fecund
in pain it pines and thirsts

as I do
as I lie on my bed by the window
crippled, wasted, discarded, empty

Saturday, November 04, 2017


Fighting nature's fury while being its martyrs; in calmer times, providing shelter and gentle breeze from sweltering heat.

Thursday, November 02, 2017


with our minds, hearts
and brains

on our present

and past