Monday, July 30, 2012

The other day I googled and read something and was fairly troubled. If you place someone on a pedestal, admire their spiritual accomplishments, read and savor their words with patience and respect—and then learn something to the contrary, a blemish, a major character fault—it is upsetting, disconcerting to say the least.
No smoke without fire. If that makes me a nasty bitch, so be it.
And like Caesar’s wife, I expect someone to be purer than driven snow.
You may have once held my respect. Once.
But I’m afraid I don’t give away my discrimination. I will not. Not this or any other lifetime.
There was so much that one had conquered, so much merit that one had earned, why would someone operating on a presumably higher plane throw it all away for mortal ties? Biology? 
But at a stage as advanced, and a path as arduous but known since several centuries to be demanding—have the baser instincts not been burnt out, conquered to a meaningless state long long ago? Isnt this basic?
Is my filter wrong, am I judging too harshly, and who am I to judge?
If this is true and not the handiwork of a posse of deranged women, what else is true, and what is not true?
Why would someone throw away the earning of several lifetimes?
I’m calmer after watching the forest yesterday, the play of light and the cycle of destruction and new life.
The take home?
Better recognition of the pitfalls.
An increased sense of wariness.
A refusal to be “influenced” blindly—if this is ego, so be it.
Let me remember, even the sage Vishwamitra had been waylaid.

Friday, July 27, 2012

You sit on the edge of your chair, gawking, heart staccato, you stare at the precarious line of a road snaking up the high mountains. The world’s highest motorable road, the anchor mumbles. He’s short of breath. Nerves tingling. No  guard rails, no barricade, nothing.. over that edge and you’re nothing. The temperature’s minus ten, minus twenty..Boulders teeter held in place by invisible string, you’re riding first clutch and your machine gasps for air every revolution… you sit on the edge and thank the Gods you’re sitting in your living room, and you whisper Khardung La...
Perilous Journeys/ Criss Crossing the Himalayas/ Marsh Mokhtari….National Geographic Channel
There’s a YT clip as well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Yesterday I saw the ending shots of A Passage to India.
Must have been a super movie.
Why only the ending shots? I was waiting for Ram Kapoor to finally meet Priya, whom he believes is dead, but who isn’t. Amazing how this story goes on and on and on.
Finally decided to go on a tree-watch trail this weekend. 
Else I’ll get antsy and pack and unpack and repack.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shabnam Virmani at the Ramkrishna Math in Khar.
Still echoing

Before I lose the essence, let me put this in clumsy words.
On Sat I trekked through the urban village shortcut and reached Khar in time for Shabnam Virmani’s concert. Accompanied by one back up vocalist and one percussionist, she held the standing room-only audience enthralled for two hours.
Her repertoire of Kabir bhajans crisscrossed the country. The Baul ballads of West Bengal where despite the language gap the meaning made you cry—and I don’t cry easily, not anymore. The songs of Malwa and Rajasthan’s hamlets carried with them the fragrance of the tilled soil and endless horizon. After the performance and the standing ovation, and past the notes of the music, there was a soundless place she took us all to, a place of silent echoes where words are immaterial

Thursday, July 19, 2012

And this is the part I snipped out:
While walking through that up-and-down hill village (now a lineup of shanties and tumbledown homes) the sole and upper of my sandals parted company. Even as the heavens opened up. Found a content cobbler who repaired these instantly and was surprised at tipping—a quiet man who packs up by eight  so as to spend time with his family, and revises homework with his sons every evening—wants his sons to go to college.. A builder’s board for a redevelopment scheme has been up for five years, and well yes, they’d get more space in rebuilt flats.The home-grown air about the place would be lost... Once, leopards roamed these slopes where industrial units and fancy office blocks stand tall.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The ceiling of the vaulted meeting room was far higher than in modern structures, and the bookcase held volumes of leather-bound natural history journals dating to the early 1900’s, just past a plaque with the names of the eight founding members, circa 1883. The adrenalin surge got me going, propelled me past heritage buildings, as well as a  crush-packed-to- the-max local train ride, and then from the station making my way via two once-villages (gaothan) back to work…what I will not forget is the grins on a gaggle of kids being escorted back from school, maybe 7 years old or so and perfectly at ease in the crush, nudging and teasing and laughing.
If you hang on by the door, you get a glimpse of some beautiful trees.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Yesterday I took the bus! Forgive that exclamation mark, but I enjoyed the smooth ride, and the elevated view a BEST bus offers. Nowadays tickets are quite hi tech too,digital slips, none of the ticket-stubs of my school-college days.

And I finally got home the tulsi sapling from the temple, which I visited after the ritual mourning  period. This morning I had it potted at the park, and then placed in my tiny box window. I returned grinning from the park. I’ve made new friends--children who live in the nearby municipal quarters. We watched frogs and a lone tortoise in a pond.

Limitless is very good. Solid science to the idea too—if serotonin reuptake inhibitors are possible, this is possible as well. Smart pharmaceuticals.. wish I had thought of this...

Great essay, a take off on The Snow Leopard. Must find the book.

The more I see, the more I read, and the more I interact, I see how critical it is to protect one’s own energies—a bounden first duty.

Friday, July 13, 2012

This delicacy of language
hints of subtext
Allusions and shadow
Lost in translation
The new form brittle, angular, brash
Like my words, wringing hands
That always fell short, no matter what
Now-- I can see that

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

“The hills! You must be going to some Ashram I bet!” the stranger scoffed.
“No…” I said, gesturing a walk.
Why is pursuit of the matters of the spirit looked down upon by “high” society—a choice of last resort, a time pass, something one pursues if one has nothing to “do” in life?
Mildly amused.
If my crisp work persona is what you see, good!
It is another matter that my God is the God of  the skies and hills and trees and rain and the whole world is his ashram--as also his play thing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My moment of gut-punched epipany struck at the shop.  I was shown that shoe designed with perforated sides so that water could go through… returned home and watched as much as I could on YT. Swirling mists and craggy peaks. Keeping my fingers crossed and praying hard.
Whatever is willed.

Monday, July 09, 2012


Thursday, July 05, 2012

This morning, after switching off FM announcing nonstop traffic/ storm at 7.30 AM, I randomly picked up a CD from Baba’s collection and heard a rendition of nonconventional Malhar by Pt. Jasraj, beginning with Ramdasi Malhar.
Just perfect for the season. A celebration of the skies.
 I can hear rain lashing the tarpaulin with fierce intent.
There is music in its beat.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Finally the skies have opened up
Gods have been kind
A patient earth awaits
Gushing manna from dark clouds
Thirsty greens revel
distant hills shrink to an  outline
The skies gush forth, endless, breathless
A distant clap of thunder
This earth trembles

Once again.
So many things can happen, once again.

A friend with a 1.5 hr commute one way treats it as “quality-time”, a picnic, a long drive, listens to songs,  has breakfast enroute and is all smiles when she reaches work… what an attitude!