Monthly Archives: July 2006

One

This blog, in its present form (this website and all) is one year old today. In the Indian Blogosphere, I have had the opportunity to read some very good writers, talk with some very interesting people and got to meet a few of them too. Most of them have inspired me in their own little ways, some of them have inspired in big ways.

On the other hand, a few friends quit blogging, but they had their own reasons (some quit without one, interestingly). But on the whole, I think, as bloggers, we are going in the right direction.

On second thought, there is not a ‘right direction’. There is only write direction! :)

I also managed a little audience on the way. People who comment, a lot of people who do not comment. I have said it before, I say it again, thanks a lot :)

Someone once told me, you can’t write until you need to write. The same person was the only one who had approved my choice for the name of this domain. If you still read me, thanks a lot. And that line you told me, it was the best piece of advice I have ever had on this subject.

Here are some pictures I took on a days trip to Goa, two weeks back. They are not great, but they should be enough to give you an idea of how Goa looks like in the monsoon!



Yachts from France, in Panjim



Shipyard off NH-17A



Sao Jacinto Island, off NH-17A



Another Shipyard off NH-17A



View from my home

What have they done

I feel for Bombay. No, let me call it Bombay, for once. It is this same city that I have felt for, in the prose of Rushdie, Mistry and Suketu Mehta. It is this city, Pankaj kapoor called his mehbooba, so aptly, in the movie Maqbool.

I have sailed the rough waters of Bombay, I have travelled in the trains, those which were ripped apart yesterday.

And they have done this to it.

Via Uma’s blog, I came across a very simple but moving poem this morning. I wish to post it here. Along with that, my own poem, titled “Red”, I had written back in 2001 on one lonely night in Pune, after the 9/11 attacks.

***

“The Tibetan in Mumbai”.

The Tibetan in Mumbai
Abuses in Bambaiya Hindi,
With a slight Tibetan accent
And during vocabulary emergencies
he naturally runs into Tibetan,
That’s when the parsis laugh.
The Tibetan in Mumbai
Likes to flip through the MID-DAY
Loves FM, but doesn’t expect
A Tibetan song.

He catches a bus at a signal,
Jumps into a running train,
Walks into a long dark gully
And nestles in his kholi.
He gets angry
When they laugh at him
‘ching-chong-ping-pong’.

The Tibetan in Mumbai
Is now tired …
Wants some sleep and a dream,
On the 11p.m.Virar fast
He goes to the Himalayas,
The 8.05 a.m. fast local
Brings him back to Churchgate
Into the Metro: a New Empire.

By Tenzin Tsundue. Full poem, somewhere on this page.

“Red”

So who’s to blame,
for all this mess.
The anger and the sorrow
in the daily press.
Those individuals who decide
our fear for the airplane
and the intensity of our pain
or the politicians killing people
and going insane.
Theres blood on the radio,
reporters working overtime,
people watching red screens,
bomb blasts for primetime.
But what I am to say?
what am I to do?
Because these bombers and jets,
they will come and go,
while this heat
will be left to overflow.

By Aditya Kumar

Ramble

Note: “Writing”, in the context of this post, refers to publishing in the electronic media. It could be a blog, a portal, anything. Let’s just keep it at that.

To claim that you write is a very dangerous thing. Tell an audience that you actually ‘write’ and a million questions seem to be directed at you.

But why would you dare to claim that you “write” in the first place? Only if you take your writing seriously. Or if you don’t, you want to. If you’re the weaker kinds, you’d be flattened, down and out by the time the questions are done with. So much for your claim of writing.

But most people don’t take their own writings seriously. Or at least, they think they don’t want to. They refer to their writings as “ramblings”. The literal meaning of the word “rambling”, in the writing context, is “writing casually”. Until they don’t get paid for what they write or until they achieve an audience, it remains a ramble.

And those who get paid for it or those who get an audience, start acting modestly. They claim they do it for fun, they even get surprised when people talk about their writings and can’t believe someone actually takes their words “seriously”. “I don’t take my writing seriously, so why do you?”. Truth is, if the writer never took his writing seriously, s/he would not reach the stage of having an audience. Deep inside, they love it. They love to write, they want to do it better, after all, accolades are the ultimate drug. It gives them a high.

But what does our writer continue to say? “Oh, its just a ramble!”

So, writing, by all definitions, remains, of all things, a ramble.

And what happens to those people who actually are true to their claims of not taking their writings seriously? They stop writing, obviously. Whats more, they don’t really miss the whole thing. Chances are, no one else does too.

Where am I going with all this? I have taken you to the middle of nowhere, so what next?

Well, I have the ultimate defense, I tell you. Here, take that:

“Now, I hope you don’t take all that I just said seriously, after all it’s just a …”

Vidarbha

More than a thousand farmers have commited suicide in Vidarbha, in the past 4 years or so.

Yet, no Sharad Pawar and no Vilasrao Deshmukh even bothered to visit the place. And mind you, its not a place far, far away. It’s their own state.

These politicians, they have no conscience. The plight of the farmers remains the same. The politicians can’t claim they have spent the money on the Urban development, for Mumbai stands the same, year after year, half sunk in the rains.

And yet, it took 3 years for our PM to visit Vidarbha. People are dying there.

Do you know, PM sa’ab, what the heat of the Vidarbha summer is like?

You talk about the booming economy and the growth rate, but it takes a farmer to tell you that 70% of India’s population can’t afford to buy two meals a day. A girl, in school, tells you that she doesn’t want to marry a farmer.

Please read this.

In Goa

In Goa, for a day.

During the bus journey, a KSRTC Volvo bus, they started a kannada movie starring Upendra. It should only be obvious to expect a Kannada movie being played in a Karnataka state transport bus. Sadly, one north-Indian didnt realise it. Came forward, talked to the driver and asked him to change the movie. Of course, the driver frowned and uttered a few words that bounced off me.

The “change-the-movie-because-I-dont-understand-kannada” man was wrong. A mistake most of us make. When you are in a different land, it is actually not the land or the people that are different. It is you, who is different. So the question of them changing for your convenience should not even arise. So what should you do? as they say, Adjust madi. Not much, but swalpa. And if it is that inconvenient, learn the language.

The man should have realised, a little waiting could have done him good. As it turned out, the Upendra movie turned out to be a true copy of the Shahrukh Khan starrer, Baazigar.

***

In one of the narrow main roads of Vasco, Goa, our car driver tries to unsuccessfully overtake a van. While doing so, the car is high on speed and on the wrong side of the road. The driver brakes hard and in the process gives a “Stop/Slow down” sign to the car fast approaching towards us. The other car slows down and in a few moments we are back on the correct side of the road. While crossing each other, the two drivers, in a seemingly rare gesture smile at each other and show a thumbs-up sign. Our driver, as if, thanking his counterpart on the other side, for his patience.

God, will I ever get to see something like this in Bangalore…or for that matter, anywhere else in India?

By the way, its a delight to be here at this time of the year. It’s green all over!