Monday, June 29, 2009

Why do people self destruct?
Why do people with everything going for them, self destruct?
Saw three instances last week. One at close quarters.
Scary as hell.
Perhaps one ought to see why so many don’t breakdown despite.
Despite all.
Do we as humans have quotas of what we can take? What determines this?
And some don’t- despite all. Amazing.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

That tape with the discolored, scratchy cover.
Treasured because it was “from foreign”.
Later, memories of sitting on the swing on the dark porch.
Listening to the same songs over and over again. Even if the words were a jumble.
Strange how the mind remembers.
Where exactly a line reaches higher. How exactly a drumbeat sounds.
As Radio One played a tribute this morning, so much came flooding back.
The day the music died.
What a life.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Neighbors, my translation of the Gujarati story Padoshi by Pravinsinh Chavda, is up on Calque.

This story details two very different life trajectories, mindsets and expectations on the two sides of a fence in a lower-middle class locality. Sometimes life decisions are made much before one’s birth.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The first rains.
Light as a feather.
Drops flurry about in the breeze, not the real monsoon furor as yet.
For so long now I’ve scoured the skies. Scowled at the sun.
Thank the heavens.
Beneath the leaves too, a fluorescent green.
A strange bird warbles out a tune, three clear notes in three octaves.
To all things, a season.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

He is a genius-Nobel laureate, fine.
But verse usually stops me short.
What startles is the simplicity, the permission to write what he will, even an Ode to a lemon.
So right.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I am, as most know, fairly taken with the stars and reading the signs.
Daft that way- but let it be.
But this is different.
Perhaps it is the art- so beautiful. There is an old age, lyrical museum-quality feel about it.
Perhaps it is the openness to interpretation that's intriguing.
You can read into it what you will. A portend is a portend, after all.
A feature may be positive, or not.
Or it can be both at the same time, depends on what you bring to it

Monday, June 15, 2009

One of the singular pleasures these days has been "sandwiching", squeezing in slivers of whatever movie catches my fancy from the bouquet on the satellite channels, of course my current faithful Ladies Special must be watched as well. I could get addicted to this movie-a-day habit.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pico Iyer on simplicity.
My thoughts exactly.
Less is more.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Last night, enthralled, I watched Matilda, a child’s tale, a fantasy with clear line dividing good and bad, based on a Roald Dahl tale about a six year-old super smart kid with telekinetic skills. Why do we need to believe? Is it a desperate scramble to hold on to anything, something? Why do we make up improbable tales, knowing fully well they are beyond what is real? Perhaps the need to feel hope despite and notwithstanding, is genetic.

Another June 9. With the years, I see the good that was there- and there was so much solidly good, so much that changed my life. The bad I acknowledge, but its like reading lines in a history book.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Somenath Maity/ Structures/Jehangir Art Gallery.

Its the colors that draw you in. Light fireworks in your brain.
Amazing strokes of oranges and reds.
Once you've regained your breath and found your feet after the shock suddeness of it all, you begin to look at the details.
The shanty resting by a tall glass and chrome tower. The hut is on earth, the tower seems to lead to the sky.
The lane that leads beyond the building, and beyond you're sure it twists and turns and curves impossibly before leading on to who knows where.
That line of lamps on the water, and a bright-lit niche in the dark, past all the blues and blacks, so dark, why is it brightly lit?
There are hints of a nameless mystical, in the domed structure with a flag swishing atop,in the block of a building by a fort.
Why are there no titles? I ask. Because a title limits, draws a boundary- this way you think.
He stands in front of a blank canvas and then the colors explode and overtake, and he sees what he sees. There is a child-like simplicity, a honesty that's clean.
Go there if you're prepared to think.
Go there if you can see beyond.
Go and see the thesis encapsulated in a hint of a line.

Ashok Mody/ Images of the Mahatma/ Jehangir Art Gallery
"Minimalist realism" is how Mr Mody, an architect and a self taught painter, describes his canvases.
In a few strokes he has captured the directness and simplicity of Bapu.
You wait a few feet away from the canvas and wait for the lines to come together and speak.
This is graphic art in the way the bold lines speak, this is also modern art, in knowing which lines to pick and strengthen.
The canvas of a young, turbaned Gandhiji, the version one saw if only on the screen- the pics after his return from South Africa - has a clarity of purpose the old man would have approved of.

After these brainstorms, fuel for the soul, I walked through Chor Bazaar, the thieves' market.
Which is rather like a flea market.
Amazing antiques. Some made-as- antiques.
Film posters. Glassware. Clocks. Furniture. Crockery.
All arranged as and when is.
A writing desk took away my heart.
Tons of photos were taken.

So that's how I spent saturday, traveling cattle class to town.
I hope that lady who was going to a holy place to present her mannat to the soul of the holy person who once resided there, the pir, finds her wishes blessed.

Friday, June 05, 2009

A momentary quiet period.
What have I been up to?
Manic times at work. Plus the usual reading-writing.Plus running somewhat, a home.
Cutting 400 words from something one thought of as "finished work" a year ago, is painful.Humbling.
Been thinking. brooding.
Heard an expert talk about how we're not done yet, the brown shoots theory.
I agree. The markets dont. So I go back to thinking.
Anyone remember John Galt?
We're getting closer to Atlas Shrugged.
Amity Shlaes says it much better.
Link from Mint.
The red splash of the gulmohar can wait for a day.