Thursday, May 16, 2019
This small shrine is slightly away from the main structures and carvings in Mahabalipuram, and whenever I have gone there, my companions and I have had the area to ourselves.
I was trying out different camera angles and lenses, and this version struck me as endearingly wonky, as if the large boulders were growing out of the ground, and pushing the puny human architectural effort aside. If you see it from straight on, the shrine is not, in fact, crooked or unstable.
Just for fun.
Monday, May 13, 2019
Monday, May 06, 2019
I was thirteen when I took this picture in Darjeeling, where I had captained a group of thirteen boys from my school. The picture, by coincidence, fell under the eyes of a professor of Calcutta University, and he asked if he could have a print, to which I easily agreed. He at once named it 'Is Poverty a Rarity?', and had it published in the University journal. I had felt that the picture acquired fame out of proportion to its merit, but was happy that, with a camera which was not mine, I had produced the first picture that got published.
As a postscript I would like to add that, after posing for the picture, the girls, who were cheerful, regardless of the poverty in which they lived, were very happy when I offered them tea, coffee or milk.
Monday, April 29, 2019
Friday, April 26, 2019
Saturday, April 20, 2019
the silence of a building
unfathomable to the present,
and to whom it was a fitting
and familiar backdrop,
are long dead
it doesn't miss them.
it has withdrawn into
the dim, slow life
the birds that rest
in its cool crannies
then flutter back to the adjacent trees'
and the mice, the insects
the other, smallest creatures
are the only ones
that can know it now
even unto its darkest, most intimate crevices
after the tourists leave
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Monday, April 08, 2019
Monday, March 25, 2019
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The staircase led to the suite where I always stayed when I visited Bangalore. (The small building, deep within the hotel grounds, has been remodeled into the Tata Suite, and the staircase is no longer visible from the entrance.)
When I took the picture, I first removed a distracting vase of flowers from the niche on the left. The simplicity and warmth, the sense of expectation caused by the dark staircase ascending into light, perfectly expressed my feelings about coming home.
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
I studied for my first-year science degree in Bombay in 1954, while staying in a boys' hostel, VMKBS (VM Kapol Boarding School), a Gujarati charity.
I still didn't own a camera, but I believe that I took this double-exposure with a borrowed Rolleicord twin lens reflex. The negative from which this scan was taken was badly damaged, but it gives an idea of how we entertained ourselves in those days.
I took a number of such pictures, with enthusiastic cooperation from my hostel-mates. I mainly used the parapet on the building's roof-terrace as a set, because it offered a big blank sky to serve as a backdrop.
And mr god looks doubly exposed in your composition.
Exhausted and disinterested in his devotees lekin auto pilot mein raising hand to bless.
Bach ke rehna re baba aise blessings se bhi
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Sunday, February 24, 2019
The only thing I can say for sure about this picture is that the place is Darjeeling. I went there for the first time, captaining a group of fellow students, when I was twelve, in 1948. I would have been using a borrowed box camera.
I must have wanted the fountain to be the picture's focus, but now when I look at it, I see a lot of life, at the edges of the frame, and a woman in Tibetan dress walking briskly past. I wonder why I was apparently standing just behind a rickshaw, so that it frames the rest of the picture. I surely would not have chosen that composition intentionally. The Art Deco store behind the fountain has a sign reading "PRA..A..CO.", with panels beside the open doorway which presumably contain details of the goods to be found within. The protruding shop front on the right has signs reading "VISIONS" and "CIGARETTES". Everything else is a mystery.
In the light of the fact that this picture is old, and was taken when I was very young, the absence of great composition and photographic skill may please be overlooked.
Guzre waqt ki saral si tasveer.
That tibetan lady looks most elegant.
I am surprised film songs were never shot around that fountain!
Monday, February 18, 2019
Friday, February 15, 2019
Monday, February 11, 2019
here and gone
my thoughts on Inbetween:
The pile of bricks that your subjects are placed against is what lies "inbetween" the 2 stages of life that they represent.
Rickety, uneven, collapsible life coordinates, a perennial threat and yet the only support available.... all along their journey from youth to old age.
Brick by brick they have put together the feeble infrastructure of their existence with no other purpose than to exist.
An ancient cliche, c'est la vie
It also strikes me that despite their emaciated forms, particularly of the younger man, they must be in possession of strong spines. Had that not been so they would have been under that very unstable structure and not beside it!
And then i see, in between the two sections of that apology of a wall, a strip of green, episodic goodness and wellness that must make an appearance in the bleakest of life journeys and sustain them.
Friday, February 01, 2019
where human greed and impurity
does not contain the scum and filth
that man's neglect and indifference
spread and pollute
there, there beyond the shadows
of the distant sky
is the dwelling of the innermost core
of my mind and body
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Sunday, January 20, 2019
charmer on the road
only at traffic lights
or tight jams
as the world and its harried people
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.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Monday, January 14, 2019
better to wonder
than try to comprehend
and splintered splices
of bewildering chaos
of populous life
than try to comprehend
and splintered splices
of bewildering chaos
of populous life
to the point of distortion
until breathing halts
ek taral sawaal
wo gagan vishaal
par jhoomti daal
kya kiya kamaal
kaisey buna ye jaal
wicked contours and splintered splices of bewildering chaos and contradiction of populous life ...
What an arrangement of words, what a 'fantastic' realistic description of the myriad shades of the existence phenomenon . Drowning it to the point of distortion would amplify the contradictions and magnify the bewilderment... perhaps liberating one from the need to comprehend. i love the audacity with which the djinn of chaos has been bottled (or glassed).
And how deliciously the gold and green cascade down to nestle in the shaded base.
Friday, January 11, 2019
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Saturday, January 05, 2019
Look and you will find signs of scarcity, drying up, approaching extinction. Everything in the Universe goes through the process of being created from something larger, then fragmenting, and more fragmenting, and getting farther and farther, by its own natural forces. But to accelerate things, put Man into the picture, and, if given a chance, he would proceed, even if he fails to destroy, even the universe, he would even try to scratch vacuum. It makes even making a statement like, Long Live Mankind, difficult. Because while he destroys everything, the insanity will drive him to a state where in his own muddle, he will perish also. Good for him.
Tuesday, January 01, 2019
Myself, at 16
Animals are automata. They exist, perish, without ever becoming aware of what humans name them; or even of their own signs or sounds, languages to which we are not privy unless trained.
Coming back to humans, they are a mixture of vanity, sense of inferiority, almost all of them not aware that pain and suffering, even happiness and joy, are figments of circumstantial situations and imagination ...