Our science believes that all matter in the universe springs out of one, another, or all of the three types of quarks, which supposedly conduct the business of running the universe. Interestingly, though, it is given only to mankind, as far as we can know today, as we have yet to discover any other intelligent life beyond us, no matter how near or how impossibly far away, to undo and alter the work of quarks by extinguishing intelligent life, if not life in its entirety.
In Bangalore in the early seventies, before the West End Hotel was taken over by GRD Tata from Bhabha and very vastly expanded, Ashok was the ultimate hotel, where everyone from film stars to politicians to whoever was someone, with exceptions like me, stayed. The top, ninth floor was where I always stayed, and film stars shooting in Bangalore also stayed on that floor. When I stayed there Dharmendra, not yet married to Hema Malini, was in the suite next to mine, shooting for Shalimar (a total disaster) with Rex Harrison.
To avoid getting carried away with my narrative, I will quickly come to the picture above: I was checking out of the hotel when I noticed her, toddling all over the lobby. She turned out to be the daughter of the Manager, a Sardarji. I requested that I be allowed to take her pictures. She had a fever, but because of my pleading, the Manager called his wife, who held the baby on her shoulder. I took several pictures, and was so taken by her beauty and innocence that I wrote a letter, sealed it, and told the Manager to preserve it until the girl turned 25, and then give it to her to read.
This is the long and short of my emotional outpouring. For those interested, we moved outside near the swimming pool, because the light inside the hotel was inadequate. The baby was held by the mother with her head above the mother's shoulder, looking behind her. I took the pictures from behind to avoid the mother's head.
Jab rangeela riddled rider tayyaara ho ke ghar se nikalta hoga for his day's work... us se pehle apni gaadi ko saaf karta hoga, apna make up karta hoga, apne rangeen accessories ko tarteeb se rakhta hoga, tiffin dabba leta hoga, ghar ki mahila se.
Aur sochta hoga
Do teen chaar meherbaan logon ki nazar padhe to baat ban jaaye.
What do people want?
Dont they like the colours?
the gods? the tassells?
Why are they so unseeing?
Should they not be paying for the spectacle i offer them on the drab street?
Is a shiny car better than my rainbow chariot?
i wish i could ask these qs in his words, in his language.