August 30, 2009

A passing thought

Everybody loves culture

........................ but no one's interested in it

Will remain a topic to discuss,

........................ but rarely to work towards its gain

Culture remains this generation's emotional punching bag.

August 24, 2009

Ladakh Fluidity

Walking in Ladakh, almost a year back, it was perhaps one of the most memorable visits, primarily as I had always wanted to go to Ladakh and when the opportunity came, it was god sent.

There were so many things for us to do, Karthik sir and me that we barely had time to rest. travelling from Hemis gompa one day to the Tso Moriri lake the other and then to Tso kar and Pangong Lake, it was an eventful 1o days. If there was a high point in the already memorable trip, it was surely the visit to Rumbak village, where we trekked up and met some fascinating Ladakhi people, had some great food and then trekked back with sudden energy. We visited a few other regions in the vicinity of the Hemis National Park and much of the ladakh was ours for the taking those few days.

August 23, 2009

Ganesh Puja

It is infrequent to uplift a previous days' feeling of reluctance easily. Usually, thoughts linger and create an essence of doubt in a man's mind till the mind wavers and makes life tough for itself and the body.

However, almost suddenly, as if on cue, I was a part of one of the most memorable Ganesh Pujas, over the past many years. I was called upon by my staff to be a part of the puja proceedings this morning. Surprisingly, I was made the main devotee of the god and all pujas were done by me. Avoiding these pujas, not out of any other feeling other than letting someone take the honours, this was the first time that I sat through the entire puja... with the intent staff making sure that I lead the pujas.

And an amazing feeling it was. Honouring the god with a sequence of offerings ranging from milk, curd, coconuts, twigs of wild mango, ghee, rice, cashewnut and a sundry assortment of other items, interspersed with continuing puja all the while enlivened me. After the puja, the god and gowriamma were brought by us and installed in the main puja room.

Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. e is Ajam (unborn), he is Niraakaar (formless) and he is Nirvikalpa (attributeless). Ganeshji symbolises the consciousness which is omnipresent. Ganeshji is the lord of all the good qualities in us. So when we worship him, all the good qualities will blossom in us. He is also the lord of knowledge and wisdom.

It was with a delicate and subtle touch that the men decorated the god. Careful as if not to offend him, it was mesmerizing to say the least and the fact that I was standing and watching it all happen in front of me after years, years perhaps since leaving home and not being a regular of these pujas made me change my outlook today. An otherwise depressing day has just become a pleasant one, thanks to the devotion shown to the gods by our men here and men from all religions who were standing patiently till the obeisance got over.

August 17, 2009

Take Untake - H1N1

Swine flu has done what few can. It has brought the country together again. As if the nation needs occasions to unite once in a while. The number of incidents that happen across the nation through the year, year in and year out, do manage to somehow aid the sapling of nationalism within us. Those frequent attacks by those clean shaven terrorists and the other tragedies - the list perhaps goes on as we can make it go.

Now, in this season of low rains and dramatic floods, of failing crops and rising prices, much of India is hooked to the scourge of Swine flu. And as there is no definitive way out of this virus, all reassurances by the so called well meaning TV channels seem to compound the threat of this particular disease.

How far the response system be able to counter the menace is there to be seen. At Kabini, where I live - there has been no visible fear of contagion but perhaps the village folks do not watch TV as much or perhaps they are stoic when it comes to crisis in their lives.

August 16, 2009


Aha, I waited for her a long time. Years passed perhaps, perhaps several years.

I could have waited a little more and still have loved her as much. But the longing was too hard to resist and I had to give in. To meet her and see how she looks. The longing was there.

Much of Melghat was a lost illusion, was an experience I felt would be there, but it wasn't to be.

And she watched him go ahead .....

Strangely though, she seemed curious. Curious enough for her state of mind.

And though the tree was her able support, she could not thank the tree enough.

Perhaps, in a spurt of gratitude, she hugged the tree hard.

The itch stopped, but the elephant just destroyed an ancient palash. All for the sake of her scratch

People's participation as a way Forward

August 14, 2009

An evening with the prince dhole

The morning was warm. Warmer than the preceding days and we were nearing the end of our safari, when we came upon this friendly group of wild dogs - perhaps one of the most ferocious groups of predators that has set foot on earth.
They were in a friendly mood though, not friendly perhaps but nonchalant to our presence.

For almost an hour, we were held spellbound by this beautiful living being and especially the sentry at the head of the pack who was keen to showcase his best foot to us, sometimes coming really close to us. We left when we had to. But that morning when the dholes were not keen on hunting, but more on finding themselves a place to rest will find place in some corner of my memory of Kabini.

Hampi Uninterrupted