Showing posts from September, 2009

written on the body

Since a few days, i had imposed a self-censor. I wouldn't use the adjectives 'beautiful' and 'kickass' (to be forever on a quest for beauty is not normal. i must taste some normality too once in a while); and i would try not to be introspective all the time. (trying not to be so 'full of myself' all the time, there's the whole world out there that needn't be reflected onto me..) but how else could I describe Jeanette Winterson's 'written on the body' but delectably 'beautiful' and what else can one do but reflect when confronted with such poetic mirror to our hearts. its one of those literary pieces which you want to hold unto yourself like your lover, for its beauty and for its truthfulness. I read half the book the day I bought it. and then tried to resume it the next day on local train. Now local trains are a many things, but definitely not a temple to beauty and truth. And this book deserves nothing less. It deserves to be re

social animal

while walking back home today evening, i walked past a middle aged person. everything was normal about him. not too fat, not thin. slightly greying hair. he was wearing a sky blue shirt and dark blue pant. the sleeve folded once, presumably right after stepping out of office. He was walking sprightly. He was visibly very happy. he had a white handkerchief in his hand, which instinctively often went to cover his mouth. He was censoring his smile. The effervescent smile bubbling out of him, he wished to rein. his happiness sought expression. his sense of normal social conduct didn't allow for such excesses. His whole body was stiffening with happiness, as if in revolt to the censor. his gait's rhythm had broken. the personal human is caged by the social animal.


As a photographer, i work towards being a good voyeur. photographs as true portraits of the story. i try not to edit the pic far too much. I hate it when some photographers increase the contrast indiscriminately. there should be a politics to your actions. taking an arbitrary photograph of a poor person and then with increased contrast and sly cropping, trying to make the image say things it does not. its not honest. i had lately begun to appreciate video for this more. video with the evidence of continuity makes it a little more difficult for manhandling the story of the images. For the last 2 years since i started learning photography, I have categorically avoided taking portraits of people: picture of people posing, and picture of people voyeuristically. The problem with the pose: Pose reeks with obscene pre occupation with oneself - or from a wider view - with self importance of the homo posers. With digital photography, now any person who is moderately well to do, will have thousa

four windows





our love was a bastard child you were strong and held your earlier one to your bosom with strength of mountains the merry little one you wish could have remained in womb never to come out. you refuse to kill it and wish to keep it away the bastard has a soul too it would rather die than be orphaned let it crawl back into you and dissolve in your heart it will be reborn on the new day of someone else.

born again

i tell myself that i covet you a disease that can be undone. but my symptoms make me fear of something terminal of love requited in uncertain measures and of love in spite. of possibility that had been erased but for the intertwined lives. another flower must bloom on the grave of our memories i must die and be born again.


music's ability to displace time and our proactive attempts at shape shifting the day. was listening to habib koite. some of his songs just make you feel the dusty warm afternoons. the golden sun - the sweat charmer. the dusty roads and relaxed market place after the morning's hustle bustle. sitting on a chair under shade. but would i ever listen to Habib Koite or ali farka toure in the afternoons in the office? hell no. at that time i absolutely need some morning songs. stomach heavy with lunch, is forcing eyelids to shut. you need some very upbeat happy songs. its as if we are trying to expand mornings until evenings. and then sudden nights where one either parties hard or crashes to bed. crashes.. no afternoons but those of sunday's. but even then all life of the week is supposed to spring out in celebration of that sparse freedom of time. so how can you let go afternoons to 'waste'? it makes one feel guilty. evenings and mornings. thats all we know now.


whats the big deal with it. potaato poteto. granted, at times they are the key differentiators- the key to confoundedly crowded language. granted, the accent tells of the person a richer story than words themselves. but i hate it when people use pronunciation nitpicking to show some body down. its so wanting in intelligence. so wannabe. its like in a failing argument blurting out nasty ungentlemanly accusations. why must you turn all your interactions into a race of some sorts to superiority modeled on conformity to some alien trait? it reeks of deep insecurity about one's own identity. apart from an english professor or a call center operator, who else needs to exhibit a constant conformity to the wren n martins? unfortunately, english is the language of the upwardly mobile. but why should this mobility make you hasten towards erasing your rough edges, your identity? like scared rabbits, one is always nervously aware of what the others are hearing of your utterance. its unnatural

In search of uniform

india is a free country. we are free to conform. 1. Khar Road Railway station - 10-15 women are squatting on the platform. curiously all are carrying exactly similar bags. grey squarish bags with black straps. quite fashionable actually in that abstract expensive way. i thought bulk deals only happened in MICA. 2. Santacruz Railway Station - strangely many men are wearing the dirty bronze colored full sleeves shirt. the shirt uniformly not tucked in. the cuffs linked. Surreal. 3. popeye - i don't get this at all... all of a sudden the market is flooded with shirts with popeye pictures.. t-shirts, collared shirts.. they are un-escapable. go to colaba's narrow galli fashion streets, all stalls will have a popeye T. which company is dumping all these popeyes on mumbai's youth? why popeye? 4. grown men in half pajamas and full sleeved untucked plain shirts. so many people adhering to this code. the color of shirt is usually light.. cream or version thereabout. these are mostl


mark rothko, Sharmila irom, baudelaire, mclluhan, beethoven, milan kudhera, rob dougan, Fransisco Danconio, Muse, Bjork, Raza, Duchemp, Banksy, Doris Lessing... creators. some forgotten. some lost in the fog of memory. some fictional. all alive. their breath, their thoughts, their actions, their stories shape our lives. Like falling from clouds, leaving indistinct erasable marks on them. we are. its people like these who piece us together, breath in us the life that strides confident on grounds concrete made of the fertile compost of once dead forefathers. thank you for letting me walk. i owe my life to you.


listen to this track.. turn down lights. switch off everything around you. sit in a corner. preferably with friends at the tail end of a party. drinks would be good, but are wholly unnecessary. close your eyes. and just listen. muse has this enigmatic energy about every single track of theirs. but blackout stands out for its ethereal calmness that masks the contained energy within. the lingering vocals hold you and take you with it to a world different from here and now.I love muse's music. it in a way questions and then celebrates our existence. the music has fatality to it. the music struggles and fights the inner commotions and eventually rises supreme over every other thought. Another musician whose music is shaped with forces of fatality and virility in celebration of our existence is Rob Dougan. listen to his ' one and the same ' track from album 'furious angels'. or the more famous and one of the


I usually seek creativity in form, innovation at structural/conceptual level. So, though i appreciate content, its usually the medium that attracts me more. Thats perhaps the reason these days I am heavily into digging for good installations. I have mentioned my love for work of Olafur eliasson earlier. But then we come across works which are simple and yet so profoundly creative. Yesterday, I saw Anuradha Thakur's exhibit at Jehangir Art Gallery. The first bias set in due to her choice of theme. She has depicted adivasis and their cultures through her work, something which I am keenly interested in appreciating. What really attracts you to her work is her choice of colours. The colors are so natural to indian sensibilities and yet its as if its a new discovery. I haven't seen use of these colors and combination thereof in recent art works. to get an idea of these colors, take out crayons from your sons/daughters/nephew's color boxes and start mixing. Apart from division of

John Galt

Mohammad Idris is sitting next to me on bus ride to andheri station. i know his name cause i read it on a paper that he took out from his pocket. He unwinded the folds and held it in both his hands. All this while he was munching on tobacco with certain relish. He was holding the page tightly, crumpling it at its edges. He was gazing at it intently, though his eyes did not move. they were vaguely fixed somewhere on the paper. His face, was a shadow of his nonchalant resignation; which contrasted with his still resolute body. he reminded me of John Galt. The paper in his hand was a bad photocopy (or 'xerox' to be more precise) of a paper which obviously was some kind of official paper. On it was written that the citizen of India Mr. Mohammad Idris with so and so passport no. has been appointed as Machine operator in so & so company in Mauritius. The permit is for 1 year.