Posts Tagged ‘India


Just yesterday?


आज सारे कोदंडधारी राम, सबके सब,

स्वर्णमृगों के पीछे गए, और लौटे नहीं,

सारे के सारे लक्ष्मण रावण से मिल

गए, और रेखा खींची नहीं।

सारे जटायु सीताओं की रक्षा में,

अनगिनत रावणों के हाथों

शहीद हो गए कट-कट कर ध्वस्त हो गये।

शेष रह गए हैं अब

बेशुमार सम्पाती

जो सूर्य की ओर, चार वर्षों में

केवल, चार कदम चल पाये, और

सत्य पर लगे स्वर्ण के ढक्कन से

अभिभूत होकर, उसी से चिपक गए,

फिर उन्होंने अपने चमचों से

अपनी चार-कदमी उड़ान के गीत गावये।

Continue reading ‘Just yesterday?’


Of Djinns, Chudails and other such para(normal)phernalia!

“The dark dangerous forest is still there, my friends. Beyond the space of the astronauts and the astronomers, beyond the dark, tangled regions of Freudian and Jungian psychiatry, beyond the dubious psi-realms of Dr. Rhine, beyond the areas policed by the commissars and priests and motivations-research men, far, far beyond the mad, beat, half-hysterical laughter… the utterly unknown still is and the eerie and ghostly lurk, as much wrapped in mystery as ever.” – Fritz Leiber

In recent times, I attempted to pep-up my non-existent social life and decided to join a heritage walk. With a great sense of déjà vu, I experienced some unbelievably insufferable creatures at this event and, “bloody chudails” was what I felt like yelling out.

But being a fraidy-cat and not wanting to create a scene, I did not and quietly slinked away.


The very next day I read in the newspaper that some people, in Bardawan district of Bengal, were selling a djinn trapped in a bottle and of course, there were customers!

* Continue reading ‘Of Djinns, Chudails and other such para(normal)phernalia!’


मेरा साया

कुछ दिनों पहले
खिड़कियों में लगे जंगले से
इक़ पोषीदा साया
मेरी नज़रों में इठलाया.

Continue reading ‘मेरा साया’


And then, there were none?

“There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.” – Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion and Other Essays

Returned from Kachchh earlier this month.

Glad to have met old friends but the trip remains sad and I fear what the future has in store for this most wondrous of places. Within hours of reaching Bhuj, I also learnt about the fire that apparently wiped-out Musabhai’s Bhunga and all his worldly possessions, including his flutes.

The Rann Festival will probably become one of the greatest threats to the sensitive eco-systems of this region – and nobody within the Sarkari Raj is concerned as long as the ‘Khushboo Gujarat Ki’ becomes global. Sadly, the Kachchhis themselves seem oblivious to the impending catastrophes that face them and, I don’t just mean the flora and fauna. Who is allowing high-rise buildings to be constructed? Haven’t enough lives been lost in 2001?


Continue reading ‘And then, there were none?’


Pa katè vanotā?

 “And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true wise friend called Piggy” – William Golding, Lord of the Flies, Chapter 12

It was late afternoon and the khānchās (lanes) were fairly deserted. However, saw people attempting to peer out discreetly. The thug-faced man supervising the demise of a part of Kachchh’s history looked at me with suspicion and nervously shifted his buttocks that were resting on a mobike. Trying to control the anguish mounting inside me, I pointed the camera towards the blatant ruin of the heritage building in Mandvi.

Continue reading ‘Pa katè vanotā?’


भारत बँध

कल भारत बँध था| महँगाई के खिलाफ विपक्षी दलों का प्रदर्शन| वो महँगाई जो हमारे नेताओं को व्यक्तिगत रूप से कभी भी महसूस नहीं होती, असर नही होता, फ़र्क नहीं पड़ता – चाहे फिर वो कॉंग्रेसी हों, भाजप के हों या कोई और अन्य पार्टी|

कल, ५ जुलाई २०१० को भारत बँध था| हमारे देश में बढ़ती हुई महँगाई से भी ज़्यादा बढ़ती मानसिक नपुंसकता का एक भव्य प्रदर्शन था|


I was planning to comment on my botched attempts to walk the glitterati boulevard when I found myself reading about the ridiculous situation in Bandipur where the show of solidarity by wildlife conservationists and environmentalists is shamelessly being battered down by our bald-faced elected representatives.

But first, the glitterati.

I received, probably by mistake, an email invitation to attend a social-do. To be part of a ‘select’ crowd for a talk on “New Knowledge Frontiers of Tomorrow” by Mr. Sam Pitroda.

However, getting a pass to enter and then attend was tougher than renewing a driving license – and, the tougher it got the more resolute I became to check-out this gathering and to meet leaders and facilitators of this “Frontier of Tomorrow”.

The ‘Muah-muah’ crowd was there in full regalia – dressed to kill and overloaded with diamonds and other embellishments; suited-booted ethnofied glitterati – socialites with calculating departed eyes, heavily made-up principals, teachers and trustees of ‘good schools’ and academies, puffy-eyed doyens of other professions and similar species. All with benign expressions, measuring each other whilst nibbling designer pizzalets.

Continue reading ‘Fie!’

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March 2019
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