Saturday, 31 December 2016

Fresh Rhythms

Fading away, parting as tears fall with a fear that there is no return, it starts to brighten up and slowly gets closer with a pure hope that the present will always be magical.

When only she rises and turns, she feels the fresh rhythms, standing firmly, breathing deeply, she walks ahead, a half smile looking good on her face. Cheers!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The Ecstatic Look

Softness of the wet dirt spoke and told Shelley how it passed its secrets to the flowers and the wind and the sky and the sun.

Stones, cold and musical, held epics to share, so Shelley took a few in his pocket.

A lonely tree filled Shelley’s ears with endless tales about messiahs that walked and disappeared, blessing every of its kind on the way with blissful shade to ever stay by them. It assured Shelley that this was the tale that the leaves were always singing about. When Shelley stopped to ask a leaf, the leaf swayed by and danced away.

Then the wind slowed down and everywhere stillness started to settle, Shelley looked at the pink polished cloudy sky. In this stillness the ecstatic was happening and Shelley could see it for the first time.

Elated, Shelley got up and looked all around. Taking the softness of the wet dirt along, Shelley continued the journey.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

But Carl Wasn’t Kidding

So Carl saw a crow feasting on a Lay’s packet thrown on the roadside by an insensitive, silly or confused, messy person. That crow croaked and called his friend to join. Carl stood there for a long while, thinking and thinking.

When did this switch happen that the crows are opting for Lay’s, that also spicy flavour, rather than their normal diet? Is it by choice or the circumstances are no more junk-food-free for the crows?

The crows fly away and take the Lay’s for their young ones, who slowly adept to the tangy taste. All the crows sitting on the electric wire talk about it and the one flying far outside the city takes the news along. As time rises and sets every day, the crows become accustomed to the plastic packed diet plan.

And the story is rewritten… the thirsty crow finds a pot of water and a half-eaten doughnut, he chooses to binge on the doughnut, because he isn’t really thirsty, it is just the spicy lunch that burned crow’s tongue and the crow knew that water cannot solve his problem, so children, moral of the story is, directly go for something sweet when your mouth is burning…

Carl was staring at the crows and the passers-by were staring at him. Suddenly, Carl rushed towards the crows and shooed them away. He then picked up the Lay’s packet and threw it in a dustbin nearby. A sigh of relief! Carl started to continue his journey, where ever he was going to, when he heard the crows. He turned, the crows sitting on the lamp post where looking at him, they croaked. Carl smiled and said, “Thirsty Crow is my grandma’s favourite moral story.”

Carl knew the crows have understood his words, beaming, he walked ahead. Aaahhh! A crow flew and pecked him on his left ear. So, Carl stood there rubbing his left ear and the crows took a flight to Hawaii.
Just kidding!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Moon Talks

In its stillness the moon shines poetically and travels through the same old route and reaches the very many hearts of its listeners.
I believe in your dreams, your smiles and tears.

The wavy mountains make a marvellous backdrop for the moon to become brighter, where it meets the eyes of a lone survivor.
I walk along; I follow wherever you go.

Amongst the twinkling stars, the moon beams broadly and warmly at the free souls, the little ones.
Yes, you can do magic and hide me in your lotus fists.

Deep, true brush strokes attempts to take the moon’s magic and pour it in a canvas.
I blush, yes, all the while.

The night sky and the blue ocean together carry the moon’s palanquin, rhythmically and lovingly they move.
I take their colours and they take mine.

A curtain draws, a window opens up and someone, in the serene peaceful moonlight, says a prayer.
And I say amen.

Ocean Meets Sky by Terry Fan
 https://society6.com/product/ocean-meets-sky-u6g_print#s6-1911584p4a1v45

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Persepolis

Stories are happening, stories are being written, stories are being ended, stories that are new meets stories that are old, everywhere, in every life a story is taking place.

Now imagine a place, long back in time, a grand place, the centre of a huge empire that today rests quietly, patiently the ruins hold itself against time, vanishing slowly but never getting defeated.

Persepolis, the city of the Persians, awaits quietly and patiently a time, it stands composedly and accepts what it witnessed, giving one a good hint of its past who then leaves taking along an unfinished story that also awaits a time, a time of completion.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi 

Marjane Satrapi has a story, it’s titled Persepolis. A beautiful way to begin a story, to merge the storyteller with her past, present and future, to the place she belongs.

Marji’s story is a story of constant reminder – a reminder about the holy myth, burden passed on by the lineage, large scale bloodshed done by mistake, wars of the sexes; it is also a reminder of true love, beautiful dreams, hope and faith, strength to stand up, courage to bow down, belief in freedom and humanity. 

Marji’s story is a fusion of all of this and more that makes life, life. Marji shares it wonderfully from her perspective and whether you know her or not, you will connect to it, for your life too is a story.

So much to be explored, many such Persepolis to be seen, a Marji waiting to tell her story everywhere, a life to be lived today, in the present, a story to be written, today in this very second.

Embark on a similar journey and you will reach a Persepolis and be enthralled by its mere presence. You will become Marji and look back with a smile.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Gloriously Ordinary

Today is boring, today is dull. How can I float up high without looking at the sky? Keener eyes not grounded, but in the middle of this and that, hers and mine, cries and sighs, laughs and jitters, cuckoo and balderdash, all this and a pinch more with a tinge of lustrous gold, confronts me every lethargic moment asking me to be agile and give an answer not a reply, one that is worthwhile.

Sham, it is a sham, I shout. The next moment I am out in the middle of that riddle, attacked badly by the crowd. Glares wicked or kind, I tell you are invincible. Hush! Hush! Staying quiet is the key.

A fresh beginning, in between, for me as I get up to admire the quagmire that glows and shows me nothing.  And what do I do? I hum a rhythm, I jig a little. Smoothly I begin dancing, hand movements and the twist and then the circle. Round and round and round.

I see an image in and around me crystallising, a translucent image, spreading like a wave, filling the ceiling, passing through the windows, leaving behind glorious dirt particles and a thin film of light. And so I sit and admire the ordinary.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

One Two TREE

One Two Tree, a short animation film
directed by Yulia Aronova

http://en.unifrance.org/movie/40311/one-two-tree
Gaily it began to tread
Gaily it danced ahead
Twirling through the rise
Twirling beneath the white shine
Rhythm in the advancing days
Rhythm in the Junes and the Mays
Forever a loving friend
Forever a bestowing hand
Warmth of the light so bright
Warmth hidden in all its might
Carrying gloriously the life
Carrying till the last goodbye

Gaily I began to tread
Gaily I danced ahead
Following thee
One two tree





[One Two Tree – see the teaser here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQHZjhyvFMQ ]

Friday, 18 November 2016

In This Second

Golden Leaves Art. Painting by Jose Tonito 

In this second when I think about the bluish green, maroon flower and the wavy lines, I am reminded of the golden thought full of bright light and a rush of sparkling trail which, if I follow, and I do follow, I reach a melodious moment, it is certainly true as I feel its charm and floating I land back, touching the soil I understand my presence and the leaves sing together a hymn of the past, I smile and feast on the warmth of this meaningless meaningful journey that quietly adores the skylark’s secret and freely shines, glad to be and not be, everything merging in this second.



Monday, 31 October 2016

That Which Is Not Yet Is

This bright light that surrounds, that has soaked, that is soothing is one with me. This cottony soft memory is a truth. I breathe, I hear it. A melodious tune played on the lyre flows in the air. We are all dancing to it.

A sea of dandelions… Running as if I have wings, golden wings, I cross the sea. When did I start swirling? A gush of harmonious wind surprises me and I fall down, laughing loudly.

The dream continues every time I quietly see this bright light.

Dandelions in the Sun by Oleg Riabchuk
http://artmarket.biz/product_info.php?products_id=731

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Answer Is Blowin’ In The Wind – Bob Dylan

It was her version of the truth and she tried to separate it from mere meanderings of the mind. She walked ahead unsure if she had succeeded or not. Autumn winds brought along something that made her cry. Alone, sitting on that bench, she asked herself about right and wrong. Pendulum like, silly, brusque thoughts!

Why did she participate in the parade? For letting the confusion rise and fall? For the questions to disturb and the answers to convey...

She stopped and listened. 


Blowin' In The Wind
Written by: Bob Dylan

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man ?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand ?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, 'n' how many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea ?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free ?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending that he just doesn't see ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, 'n' how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind. 

[Blowin' In The Wind, the song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gPM95QoNag ]

Friday, 14 October 2016

The Unfinished Book

Biting her nails, Ruby thought about the unfinished book. Drops on the window pane and the cold coffee agreed that it was late. The passing crowd in the cafe didn’t bother her, she was rather pleased. Ruby forgot about time.

Sigh! Ruby looked outside the window and saw nothing, neither the woman with the red umbrella nor her brown guide dog. She was lost; god knows where her train of thought took her by then. Playing with her scarf, she picked her coffee and took a sip. Ugh! It was bad.

Time and space hit Ruby once again, she checked her watch and decided to leave, just then her eyes fell on the woman with red umbrella; she recognised her and her brown guide dog. Ruby’s eyes revealed something.

As she watched that woman and her dog crossing the road, a part of her got up and left. Heavy eyed, Ruby saw herself through the window; she quickly crossed the road and stopped the woman. They talked animatedly for a while.

Ruby in the cafe looked longingly at the scene. The other Ruby started walking along the woman and her guide dog. Shaking her head in disbelief, but still smiling, the Ruby in the cafe got up, paid the bill and went outside.

There she waited for a few minutes and then walked in the direction where that woman and a part of herself went.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

I Was Born But…

Keiji comes running to his elder brother Ryoichi and tells him about the bullies. Ryoichi, a great son of a great father, stands up and assures his brother not to worry. Keiji trusts Ryoichi. They can handle the bullies, they are confident. The next morning their father walks with them half way to the school and then leaves for office. Keiji and Ryoichi, near the school gate, find the biggest boy amongst the bullies challenging them. They then look at each other, deciding with a nod what they should do. They run away and don’t attend the school that day.

Keiji and Ryoichi 
Yasujiro Ozu’s ‘I Was Born But…’, a 1932 silent film, will remind you of your childhood, the challenges you faced as a child – winning some and losing some, the faith you had in someone great and the dream of becoming someone great. Children’s world comes in contact with the adult’s world. The innocent child doesn’t understand hierarchy or hypocrisy, though he understands power as he finds it in his world as well; power to not to be bullied, power to bully the bully, power to be the group leader.

How in the adult’s world dreams become unreal, fantasies die and realities are numbered, given a name, a social status and bit by bit life is compromised, is what we see in the film, but from the children’s point of view. Children are lively and so is the film. Its comical timing is fantastically perfect. Slowly with the shifts from this to that world, the tone changes, yet maintaining the rhythm throughout.

Keiji, Ryoichi and their father, Mr Yoshii
Understanding anything, anyone is a tough job, some fail to and some refuse to do it altogether. This film takes up this job and finishes it successfully, understanding the child’s dilemmas, beliefs, hopes and displeasure, understanding the adult’s demeanor and how they accept a denouement, understanding the familial ties and the need of tuning it, understanding the melodies of life and how it makes everyone laugh all the time.

Ryoichi, Taro and Keiji
An amazingly marvelous film, it must be watched by all those who want to feel the magic of cinema. ‘I Was Born But…’ is one of my favourite films of all time. It is introduced as ‘a picture book for grownups’ and rightly so. The fact that it’s a silent, black and white film doesn’t make it a difficult watch at any point rather this masterpiece flows so wonderfully that colour or sound seems redundant.

All you have to do now is to watch this film, appreciate and thank Yasujiro Ozu for making this superlative work of art.




Tuesday, 13 September 2016

In This Infinite Moment

Running Away by Marta Gillner http://www.martaart.co.uk/gallery/acrylic-paintings

Running… Heavy rain has made it more fulfilling. Only the breathlessness accompanies. Running like there is an end.

Running… I throw the jacket away. Running in the woods, hoping to escape somewhere in this infinite moment.

Running… Eyes shine bright, but nothing is clear. Slowly, the speed becomes visible. Running fast I hear the voices within.

Running… The voices overpower me effortlessly. I rub my eyes only to make it worse. I fall down. I cry, shout loudly as I remember.

Earth is cold, but I rarely feel so.

Sitting, I look all around. Loneliness seeps inside.

Who said I understand it better now, no, I don’t. I have just agreed to be quiet. For now.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Thoughts Versus Giggles

Samira was walking briskly. Her thoughts followed her where ever she went, in shade and dust, amongst the crowd and throughout the dim alley with matted hoardings. Life in its minute detail, including the folded chit in a jeans pocket, spoke to Samira. Thoughts dappled with plaintive acceptances and mellowed retraces were highlighted.

Everything was perfectly normal when Samira turned in slow motion, her hair flying dramatically, her eyes looking for… Alas! There was nothing filmy to see, except something comic – pigeon droppings dropped on a man’s head. Samira grimaced as if she knew the pigeon or the man.

It started to drizzle. Samira smiled, almost chuckled, why, because she had an umbrella. And then came the moment – heavy, pouring rain made the pedestrians hide in shops, except a bunch of few who had an umbrella. Samira shined with a beautiful pink umbrella.

La la la laa laa, la-la la la laaaa! She was reminded of the grand music score from Chariots of fire.

But all this for a few minutes and she was back in shade and dust, amongst the crowd and on the rough road. She looked at the people around her and wondered about their life, sufferings, dreams and hopes. Gosh! In a puddle, Samira saw her gloomy face and noticed her laces. Now, just like the others, she looked for a corner and sat to tie her laces.

Umbrella on a side, down on her knees, Samira got drenched as a rusty, rickety roof pipe broke brazenly. Pedestrians saw it, ignored it and then saw it again. Sheepishly Samira got up, then acted brave till the road curved to the left. "It is over", she said.

Samira walked, deep in conversation with herself when a little girl, a beggar, came running towards her and started to walk with her. She thought, now she will ask for some money, now she will beg, now. But the beggar smiled and said, "I just want to go till there". Samira nodded and looked at her pink umbrella happily. The beggar giggled as her little brother joined them. Samira looked at both of them and saw the two most radiant smiles she had ever seen.

Gladly she walked with them, not thinking anything, quietly and happily. Giggles overpowered her thoughts.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Abracadabra On This Independence Day

Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each ‘I’, every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you’ll have to swallow a world.
                                                - Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children


A deluge of emotions, of past eras, of destined ends, of old knots, of shared hopes, of what is remembered and forgotten, of the less and the more, Midnight’s Children is a fantastically chronicled piece of magnificent writing. It’s indeed like swallowing a whole world, with all its shades very much alive, which then settles and dwells within.

Nothing is left unnoticed, not even the dust, which covers everything, every surface, smooth or quiet, elegant or wasted; a glance that speaks volumes in seconds, a sweet fragrance that reminds of childhood holidays, a dream that knows no boundaries, a feeling of connection with history, with past present and future, an immortal bond, no, nothing is missed out.
Or is there? If it is then this makes it nothing but more human. From the very beginning, it’s not a book, but Saleem Sinai, the person that you get to know closely, brazenly, truly.

Midnight’s Children is as magical as reality is and as real as history tells magic is and historical in a magically real manner that truly shows the reality as magically as possible keeping in mind and yet breaking the rules of history.

Indian folklores, the oral tradition allow one to fully believe in this midnight’s magical tale. Born in a momentous time period, Saleem’s future gets tied to his country, to history. And right here, we get ready for, by default, a dramatic turn of events – it is all implausible, but nothing that our Mahabharata/Ramayana aware mind cannot follow. An epic journey heightened by allegorical twits and unprecedented turns is delightfully accepted by us.

Midnight’s Children is surely a unique experience that could be matched only if you meet Rani of Cooch Naheen holding a silver spittoon, inlaid with lapis lazuli, who then asks you to try the paan-eating and spittoon hittery or if you get a chance to talk to any of the midnight’s children or if you hear Jamila Singer singing or of course, if lucky, you meet the Buddha.


I have a second hand print of Midnight’s Children that my brother bought in Kolkata; it has the appearance of a lone traveller, with a green tin trunk, that now wants to tell the tale of its travels. I’ll keep returning to it, for it is magical.

With Midnight’s Children, the Booker of Bookers’ prize winner (1993), said the critic VS Pritchett in the New Yorker, “India has produced a great novelist… a master of perpetual storytelling.” Absolutely true.


On this Independence Day I think of the magnificent Salman Rushdie and the wonderful Midnight’s Children and that why Salman Rushdie faced life threats and had to leave India and settle abroad. For how long will the celebrations of Independence go on? After the freedom from British Raj, what about the freedom from inequality? Inequality, thanks to the establishment, has been established everywhere in the world – the black versus the white, the book versus the idol, the rich versus the poor with the middle ones playing seesaw – still it doesn’t mean that it should continue.

Respected Salman Rushdie Sir, you, writing in a foreign land is far better than you in India in doubt. The fantasy and the macabre lovers that we earthlings are, stories will alone survive and is definitely the most needed in every century. Your stories, much awaited, have and will cross boundaries that you physically might not be able to.

Thank you in general. And if you happen to meet the Midnight’s Children anytime soon, please ask them to do some abracadabra.

(Photo courtesy - Google)

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Friend Anything For You Except The Green Umbrella

It’s a foggy day and I am walking to somewhere all alone, carrying a green umbrella pendulum-like. Rain shower won’t stop me. The blinding whiteness won’t scare me. I check my watch, it assures me time is good.

Hearing footsteps following me, I try to hasten, only then I realise it is no one, but me. These gumboots I tell you. It is all very funny, but still I cannot take a chance to laugh aloud.

Never knew the fog could trick. The fresh green plants and giant trees that till now looked painting-like, now seem spooky.

Suddenly I hear fresh footsteps running from a direction towards me. Numbly I tell myself don’t move, still I turn and find someone in a funny raincoat running towards me. Then a voice, ‘Smarty pants give me back my umbrella, enough of this silly raincoat of yours’. It is my friend Marcia. I smile and say, ‘But you look good in it’.
We fight and then laughing aloud walk ahead together.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Transient Permanence


That the dark clouds will pour heavily and ceaselessly, that the rainbow will nurture joyous moments, that a true feeling is there to stay forever, but only to forsake rudely with lessons to accept and time as a remedy, making a revelation that such is life, changes what is transient into eternal?

Incessant thoughts enjoying the make-believe forget what’s real and adhere to what is smooth and comforting and familiar and dear and satisfying.

Transience is a reality, but is this the reason for its permanence? The world says a yes, the individual says a no.

This fleeting life knows the truth. It lives and dies to prove it.


(Photo courtesy - Google)

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Vive le Tour, Vive le France

Perseverance, patience, hard work and reverence all of this and more is what one witnesses in the most prestigious of all bicycle races, the Tour de France. Twenty one days long testing journey where team work counts the most. One hundred and three year old tradition that is getting richer and stronger with every passing year.



As a viewer it has only been five years since I started watching Le Tour, sitting glued to the television sets for the two or so hours that the race is telecasted here in India, enjoying every second of it, cheering for the yellow jersey and hoping for a miracle for the ones who dare to attempt a breakaway. Not even the advertisements spoil my fun, though these ads come right when someone attacks the Peloton.

This wonderful sport, I felt, is so inspiring that one feels full of determination and positivity to achieve the life goals. That with concentration, will power and a never-say-die attitude we can fulfill all our dreams and learn – about oneself and about life.

Chris Froome, the humble supersonic rider, won his third Tour de France this year and got a place booked amongst the legends of this sport. The defending champion’s surprise attack in the eighth stage, sprinting down the descent in a strange, but apparently an aerodynamic position, got him the stage win as well as the yellow jersey, for which he and his teammates worked hard so that it stays on his shoulders throughout the race.

My favourite was the eighteenth stage, the individual time trial stage where no one, not even Richie Porte’s fabulous attempt could beat Tom Dumoulin’s time, except of course Chris Froome’s. The yellow jersey started in the last and came first, reaching twenty seconds before the best time. Seconds are precious in this sport.

I’ll leave you with Chris Froome’s words that he spoke at the podium in Paris, which reflects the true spirit behind this marvelous race.



To my teammates and support team, this is your yellow jersey too. I wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for your commitment and sacrifice. A massive thank you to Dave Brailsford and my coach Tim Kerrison. This is one special team and I'm so proud to be a part of it.

To Michelle my wife and my son Kellon, your love and support make everything possible. Kellan, I dedicate this victory to you.

This Tour has obviously taken place against the backdrop of terrible events in Nice and we pay our respects once again to those who lost their lives in this terrible event. Of course, this kind of event puts sport in perspective, but it also shows why the values of sport are so important to a free society.

We all love the Tour de France because it's unpredictable, but we love the Tour more for what stays the same. The passion of the fans from every nation along the roadside, the beauty of the French countryside and the bonds of friendship, these things will never change.

Thanks again for your kindness during this difficult period in France. You have the most beautiful race in the world and it's a great honour to wear this maillot jaune. Vive le Tour and vive la France.


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Nataraja



A static symbol of the dynamic universe, an illusion, maya, moving rhythmically, revealing in an instant the unfathomable divine, the perfect balance that creates, preserves, destroys, incarnates and liberates, the Nataraja, performing the ultimate dance, is a magnificent work of art that reflects the cosmos – the beginning and the end of the cosmos, the music of the cosmos and the soul of the cosmos.

The Nataraja sculpture represents all – the destined journey, the tragic fall, the glorious victory, the dance in time and timelessness, the poise and elegance, overwhelming stillness, reverberating brightness, brilliance, power and enlightenment. In a single spectacle it shows what was, what is and what will be.


Shiva Nataraja, the King of Dance, dances on apasmara, a dwarf, crushing not him, but his ignorance, forgetfulness and limited vision of self, hence freeing his soul from bondage. Four armed – with agni (flame) to demolish in one, with damru (drum) playing the tune of time in second, making the abhaya mudra (sign of fearlessness) in the third, thus bestowing power to be without fear, and the fourth in the gahahasta (elephant trunk) mudra signifying supremacy over ignorance – Nataraja is the embodiment of all the vigorous flux in the outer world and the serenity in the inner world as he dances the dance of bliss, anandatandava, continuing the harmony of life and death in the cosmos.

Prahabhamandala, the arch of flames within which Nataraja dances, is the manifest universe, making the cycle of birth and death, burning with sufferings and illusions, apparent. Also, a ring of consciousness that is in agony as it’s blinded by temporary ideas, unaware about the permanent dance of bliss. Oblivious of the kundalini shakti (the cosmic power) – that the cobra around Nataraja’s waist represents and is believed to reside in all – the unconscious mind walks cyclically.

Lotus flower, representing the creative power of the universe, forms the pedestal on which the Nataraja dances, celebrating in full zest the dance of true freedom.

Omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, the Nataraja does a dance that occurs ceaselessly in every atom, sending waves in the cosmos, waking everyone from the dream world to witness reality and truth, destroying the phantom world full of phantom pains.

Neutrality and peace on Nataraja’s face – the One dancing in frenzy – mirrors the magic of the master who dances within the universe of illusion, but stays beyond that universe. In a palpable language, the Nataraja declares the way the soul can rise from its bonded life and with equality seeping within, can see and participate in the cosmic dance.


This marvelous sculpture amalgamates supreme power and action with absolute bliss and beauty, radiates the delicate balance of the cosmos and magnifies the close connection between the One and the many.

Nataraja, mahakaal (the Lord of Time), with continuity and change flowing throughout becomes an opportunity to understand the sublimity of maya and work a way out to reach the immutable Presence.

The Nataraja is excellence. Meditating on it is achieving its essence. Its essence is pure excellence.

Shiva Nataraja, the Lord of Dance at CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva
“Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics.”  – Fritjof Capra 


(About Fritjof Capra and Shiva's cosmic dance at CERN http://www.fritjofcapra.net/shivas-cosmic-dance-at-cern/ ) 
(Photo courtesy - Google)

Monday, 4 July 2016

Now Is Forever

Walking ahead, though the past was slightly askew, she unlearned many things for good, sighing and laughing at her funny plans, she heard the silence completely and asked herself to stop feigning.

Tiresome, but still hopeful, she accepted the confusion. Forgetting fear on the way, she dreamed about the mountains with her eyes wide open. Dense fog passed by, saying nothing, approving nothing, just making her smile a little.

The tall pine trees reverberated with continuity and change, thus affecting her. Rocks, stones, pebbles all are very jolly, she wrote in her notebook.

And now she sees the stairs. Her question is not whether she will or will not, it’s how truly. Walking, but how truly?

This is to be realised on the way, she tells herself.

She stopped as her mind was moving too fast. The air she breathed deftly hushed her talkative self and so she listened… listened truly, completely.

Now is the time to live, now is the time to act, now is forever, at least till I am.
Point taken, she walked ahead humming a soft tune.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Ethos Pathos Logos

Ethos

The Queen, clearing her throat soundlessly, said to the ministers, in a poised tone, that she cannot care less about De Mallow’s missing dog. Disappointed, she roared sophisticatedly that pivotal issues like taxes, status of the palace treasury and the upcoming royal party should have been ranked higher than the issue of a missing dog.

Bowed heads, the ministers, said in a rehearsed chorus that De Mallow’s missing dog’s issue was chosen by the chit system that Her Highness had herself started for providing a fair chance to everyone during these sessions. The Queen raised her gloved hand and her voice simultaneously, which made the quiet and meek looking ministers, quieter and meeker. The Queen politely, in a high pitch, suggested that they should pick another chit; everyone agreed unanimously.

With a picture perfect smile on her face the Queen picked up another chit and with an expression best caught in an old ugly portrait, she brusquely said, ‘Mary’s missing lamb’. Someone among the ministers gasped in horror.

Pathos

Little Mary loved her little lamb Pufo and refused to accept that his sudden absence meant that he was dead… probably it was the fox. She garbled many stories, which didn’t make any sense unless one also looked in her big blue eyes.

Mary’s blue eyes could hypnotise everyone without even intending to and thus, every day, every new fellow hypnotised, heard a new tale about Pufo’s absence. To me she told that her Pufo had gone to get her starry wand with which she will make this grey land glitter.

I believed her… her big blue eyes can’t lie. I too will wait for Pufo, I told her. She smiled through her eyes and said that the night Pufo left, both of them were watching the sparkling night sky and relishing the thought of a glittering land.

She asked me not to cry, because by then I was, and gave me some freshly made carrot cake. It was delicious, but still I couldn’t stop crying… maybe because she said that she had kept some for Pufo also. Oh little Mary!

Logos

I went to meet De Mallow, he too had lost his dog, can’t remember his name, nevertheless, like Pufo, he too deserved to be mourned for. My eyes were still glistening.

Me:  Ello, De Mallow, old chap! Am sorry to hear about… about… your dog.

De Mallow:  Hmm!

Me:  When… how… a… so he is missing… Little Mary’s lamb is also missing.

De Mallow:  My dog is not missing, he is dead.

Me:  Now, now, don’t you say so De Mallow, cheer up, I heard that your case was discussed in the royal palace and the Queen will definitely…

De Mallow:  I found the carcass yesterday night near my farm; eaten by a big animal.

I stood there stupidly with an awkward expression, gaping idiotically when De Mallow closed the door on my face.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Wonderful Mr. Tambourine Man Song

A melody that sinks within and fades, ever so melodiously. A rhythm you follow till the end and beyond. Dreaming with open eyes, smiling and savouring it, singing along at times. Welcoming whole of it, embracing it silently. Harmonic waves, from deep to a crescendo, spread its radiance. Transcending the terrific time, for one and all, it becomes ineffable and divine. Meeting and merging, loving and caring, thoughtfully waiting to take the form of its true seeker.

Mr. Tambourine Man
BY: Bob Dylan

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

 Though I know that evenin’s empire has returned into sand
 Vanished from my hand
 Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
 My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet
 I have no one to meet
 And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

 Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship
 My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
 My toes too numb to step
 Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin’
 I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
 Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
 I promise to go under it

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

 Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’, swingin’ madly across the sun
 It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run
 And but for the sky there are no fences facin’
 And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme
 To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind
 I wouldn’t pay it any mind
 It’s just a shadow you’re seein’ that he’s chasing

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

 Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
 Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
 The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
 Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
 Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
 Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
 With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
 Let me forget about today until tomorrow

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

[Link to the wonderful song {a live performance that I love} - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeP4FFr88SQ ]

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Opposite the Nadir

The igneous surface, I am walking on, has a tremendous sound stored in it, but in a dense state, so that the land appears dead. The colour is thick black; it stains me anew with every step that I take, entering breath by breath within. Smog heavy mood, like heavy chains, has made me hunchbacked. Hollow quietude stays along, walking next to my faint shadow. I utter nothing, nothing at all, all noise is of the wind; the wind ruffles around greasily, overwhelming me with dullness. The mind is whimsical I tell myself after some days journey; I continue ahead. Where to, I ask, am I going?

That was the last I heard from myself. But I am still walking, walking towards what lies opposite the nadir.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Meetin' WA

There is humour for sure, there is drama, fun-action, romance, a great thrill, you’re enthused, lost and found, the questions tickle you and the answers leave you wondering, beautiful images absorbed consciously/ subconsciously, you agree with the characters, grinning at the revelations, all in all a Woody Allen film shows how deluded and smitten we are with this one thing called life.

Each film of his, that I have seen till now, talks about life – a journey his characters embark upon, going through myriad emotions, dreaming and deceiving themselves, somehow finding a way back… or perhaps not, and in the end reaching a new place, different and changed… or perhaps not. Life like!

The story completes a circle every time… for the viewer at least. Certain scenes stay glued in the mind, we play them back repeatedly. The witty, satirical, punned dialogues make his films an absolute hoot.

My all-time favourite, Annie Hall, begins with Woody Allen as Alvy Singer telling a Groucho Marx’s joke -
“I never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.”

And this is exactly what we experience throughout the film. He feels unsatisfied if he gets a slight feeling of satisfaction. But the film is very much about Annie Hall. Steadily, through a character who is narrating the story (Alvy) we drift towards Annie Hall; his relationship with her, his ideas about life, what Annie should do and not do -

Annie – You don’t think I am smart enough to be serious about.

Alvy – Don’t be ridiculous!

Annie - Then why are you always pushing me to take college courses like I was dumb?

Alvy – Because adult education is a wonderful thing! You meet a lot of interesting professors. It’s stimulating!

Later

Alvy – Adult education is such a junk, the professors are so phony… how can you do it?

By the end of the film, Annie Hall becomes a real person, a friend and so does Alvy Singer. So simple and perfect is the story that the viewer never feels as if it was woven to be so.


Woody Allen’s films also celebrate cinema as a medium, Midnight in Paris is the crowning illustration of this point. Midnight in Paris - a film like a novel like a painting like a song like a memory.

Along with the protagonist, Gil Pender, we travel back in time and have an encounter with Ernest Hemmingway, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Henri Matisse, T.S Eliot, Cole Porter, Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel, Pablo Picasso and many glorious others. A fantasy lived in the magical, ‘the most beautiful in the rain’ Paris.

And definitely, the reigning emotion in the film is that of nostalgia, making us ponder whether or not -

‘Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present… the name of this denial is “golden age thinking” – erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one ones living in…’


I think life is simple, funny and lovely, full of constant reminders of death and trauma. Contradictions rule us, often making life a miss-match of countless emotions. Everyone’s a magician who lives, often with one or million complex thoughts nicely daubed with understandable set of ideas and rules, with a smile on the face, doing what is supposed to be done, wondering ‘what is happening?’

Woody Allen is one such “magician”, in fact a master, watch any of his films and you’ll know what I mean. If not an answer, the question will definitely get clearer and it’ll be great fun.

Here is the list, in random order, of the Woody Allen films that I have watched and enjoyed -

Annie Hall 1977
Play It Again Sam 1972
Crimes and Misdemeanors 1989
Manhattan Murder Mystery 1993
Manhattan 1979
Take the Money and Run 1969
The Purple Rose of Cairo 1985
Cassandra’s Dream 2007
Zelig 1983
Hannah and her Sisters 1986
Midnight in Paris 2011
Blue Jasmine 2013
Match Point 2005
Vicky Cristina Barcelona 2008
Bananas 1971

{Next in line - Husbands and Wives 1992}

[The title - Meetin’ WA – is taken from the 1986 short film/ documentary by Jean-Luc Godard where he interviews Woody Allen.] 

My Time

My time. My time to rule and regain. My time to change and develop. My time to cashback. My time to realise the certainty. My time to live...