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Thursday, December 16, 2010

LOVE AGAIN

9th December. Badamma's place, Hyderabad.


I am at badamma's place (badamma is mom's elder sister) for two days. Badamma has no kids at her home (as both my cousins stay in other cities- Chennai and Brisbane). She was really happy to see me.

Have been talking and more than talking, I have been listening to badamma. I see this joy in her eyes when she talks about Yaseen (her grandson).

Today, in the morning we got this cute piece of news that Yaseen has got into class 1. So, she's damn happy.
Yaseen lives at a place, which is miles away from here; he is just 5. I am sure hedoesn't even know that someone in India loves him so much. As he would grow up, may be then he would get to know.

Badamma is making kheer for celebrating Yaseen's 'success'.

Love is an amazing thing. the one who gives it is happier than the one who gets it. I think it is one of those very few things in which the one who gives ends up happier.

This is what is God, or the POWER, or whatever you call it...it is LOVE.

Oh I can smell the kheer. Smells amazing!

Congratulations Yaseen :)




NO WHERE


The coach is pretty cold,
comfortably cold,
lying down on my berth I think

The windows of the train are being closed,
I can't see where I am,
I am not in the city from where I started,
I am not in the city where I have to reach,
I am somewhere in between,
I am NO WHERE.

With some music in my earphones,
and a pen and my diary in my hand,
this NO WHERE becomes an experience.

It's the journey which has to be fun,
the people you talk to,
the places you see from the window,
the food you buy from the pantry car,
the rhythmic sounds of the train,

the loud sounds of 'chai',
the slight dance-like movement,
which the train gives you,
the metallic smell of the train,

The rectangular berth which becomes your identity for the rest of the journey,
the sounds of other trains pasing by,
the stupid conversations with fellow passengers,
which teach you more things than
any of 'those' intellectual conversations,

the journey has to be fun,
NO WHERE has to be fun.
Yes, it has to be!

The coach is cold,
comfortably cold,
lying down n my berth,
I think...

( Written during my journey from Mumbai to Hyderabad in the Mumbai-Hyderabad Express.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Rann Story: a travelogue (Contd.)

Chapter-2

The space

4th May 2010, Kharaghoda

After a long walk, we reached our location. It was blank. Absoutely bank! The only thing which I could see cleary was the horizon An infinite, wide horizon which had stories to tell, stories which it had seen. The strong sound of the breeze constantly made me realise that there’s no one here- no people, no vehicles, no city, no village… just the salty sand, the wide horizon and the strong breeze.

We stood there watching it for sometime. Achint and me looked so small in front of the huge Rann. Or may be, the whole humanity looked so small in front of it. It was powerful. I could sense why people in the older days were scared of travelling too far. They thought that the earth is not round but flat. May be sights like these scared them to travel beyond a certain point.

Like them, I could feel that fear again. I asked myself, “Is the earth actually round?”

We started looking for space for our sets. Achint was guiding me and I was trying to listen to him. The May heat and the hot breeze was quite distracting. We roamed around for sometime and after some recce, we decided that we’ll have to make about 4 tents, as a part of the set.

It was around 3 pm and the breeze was extremely hot, may be the heat was it’s peak now. We started walking back to our room in the Desert Outpost. As we walked, we saw trucks filled with salt crossing us. There was a very little patch of a proper road. A major part of the trucks’ route was on the sand… with very few landmarks. May be, none at all!

We came back to the room. It was quite silent and cool inside, may be because of the way the British had built the roof, or may be because of the bamboo mats pasted on the walls, or may be because we were too tired of facing that hot sandy breeze while walking . I was lost in all these thoughts and I don’t remember when did I go off to sleep. It was one of those naps where there is a thin line between your thoughts and the dreams. You don’t know whether you’re thinking, or is it just a dream.

Achint woke me and brought me out of that dream v/s thought conflict. I could hear the breeze outside. He said that two labourers had come to meet us. They would be working on constructing the sets. He wanted me to meet them. I got up and checked the time- it was 4:30. I didn’t realise that I had slept for about an hour.

I stepped out of my room, and I saw two men sitting in the verandah. They looked in their thirties, and both of them were wearing clean trousers with shirts untucked. They were wearing rubber slippers on their feet and one of them carried a gamchha or a rural Indian multi-purpose towel around his shoulders. I smiled at them and they folded their hands to greet me. We shook hands and I said, “Main Harish hoon. Achint ke sath aaya hoon, Ahmedabad se.

(I am Harish, I have come with Achint from Ahmedabad)

The man with the gamchha replied, “Main Mohan aur ye mere saale Rakes bhai!” (I am Mohan and this is my brother-in-law Rakes bhai!)

We were waiting for Achint to join us, as he would talk to them about the work we needed to be done at the location. There was this awkward silence during the wait, so to break it asked them that where are they from. Mohan bhai replied that they’re both from Kharaghoda. I knew that this was the Little rann of Kutch, so I asked them whether they speak in Kutchi at home? But they told me that everyone spoke in Gujarati there. I didn’t know this. Apparently, Kutchi was spoken in the Greater Rann of Kutch and the Bhuj area(Kutch) and not in the little Rann of kutch.

Achint joined us and we spoke about the tents, the location and the construction. These two men were actually salt farmers. They had come to work for our sets, so that they would get another source of income, apart from the salt farming. They had a group of men who would come to the location the next day to work.

One thing which I clearly remember is the pride with which Mohan bhai replied when Achint asked him that what do they do for a living, “Hum kisaan hain!” (We are farmers.)

I still don’t know what, but there was something magical in the way he said, or may be what he said!

It was 8:00 pm and we were sitting in the dining hall, waiting for our dinner. It was a ver British-Indian Army like dining hall, with pictures of men in uniform on the walls around us. Boota singh brought in the food. He looked to be in his fifties. There were other things apart from his name which were strange. That smile which he always carried, was quite unusual. He served us sev-tameta, chhaas, rotis, rice and dal. The food was quite good.

As we ate in silence I was lost in thoughts. This place was so different from the towns I have lived in or from the places where I have travelled to. I could sense the uniformed men caged in the wooden frames on the wall, constantly looking at both of us enjoyiying the food in silence.

The cool chhaas after the dinner was like heaven. I sat in the verandah with Achint. He lit a cigarette and I kept looking out at the rann, the silent rann. In that moment of silence, I kept thinking of the work which would start early morning the next day.

There was cool breeze which could easily make you forget the hot breeze which you had experienced just a few hours ago. The smell of that cool sandy breeze mixed with the smell of Achint’s burning cigarette created an aroma. I didn’t know then that this new smell would go on to become ‘the’ memory of the Rann for me.

Achint finished his cigarette. I kept looking out. I kept thinking…

© K. Harish Singh 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Semester 3 @ NID

A nice semester this was. Too much of thinking...too much of work... and lots of fun. I directed two plays...directed a film to which I gave everything (almost), a bit of random travelling (love it!) and some plans for the near future. One thing which this sem taught me was to be 'random'...to live in the present, and live to the fullest. The future would follow in the same colour scheme.

'Kuch toh dekho' ( VC street play), 'Dustbin' (khel), 'Kuch toh dekho' (for MBICEM) , 'Growth' (a short film) and 'Shwet-shyam' (fiction film @ NID) ...

Sometimes we think too much about the future, and spoil the present. I think it's good to be random. You see the unseen, you hear the unheard. So when you work hard then, you are honest to yourself, as you chose to get into the situation!

'Good things happen to good people.' 

Plans for 'Jantar'  and 'Gum-Naam' (plays)...a short film ('Asleep') and the documentary project...

Looking forward to the next semester and its share of challenges and fun!

But before that, time to go back home...
time to go back to heaven... 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

That's where God is...

That early morning breeze which reminds me of all the childhood memories,
that glass of cold water which I hold after spending a hot afternoon,
that's where I see God.

That fire I touch on a chilly winter night,
that deep breath I take after a tensed moment,

that 2-minute nap I take after hours of hard work,
that brilliant idea I get sometimes get, out of no where,
that is where, I see God.

That chair I get to sit, after standing for long,
that peace I get once I close my eyes,

that appreciation I get from a stranger, when I need it the most,
those accidents which take place, where I never get hurt,
that is where, I see God.

Those moments when an unknown stray dog showers love on me,
when my lips make a circle to say 'Om',

those people I meet whom I wasn't supposed to meet,
that love with which a mother looks at her new-born,
that is where, I see God.

That sound of the serene flowing river,
tha sight of that beautiful mountain,

that wet smell of the rains,
the sun rays touching my face on a chilly winter morning,
that is where, I see God.

That point when the waves touch your feet on the sand,
that altitude from where you can see the 'world'

that music which makes you 'high',
that beauty which makes your day,
that is where, I see God.


That point when you hold hands with the person you love,
that moment when a father hugs his son with tears of pride,

that pen which I find, when I desperately want to write,
that is where, I see God.

That is where, I see God.
I don't see him in communities, not in the rituals,

I see him when happiness,
makes a liquid flow out of my eyes.

That's what God is...


CWG- Delhi-2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Unanswered

Sometimes I get these wierd questions,
whose answers I know,
but I still don't know.

Who am I?
I know my name,
my existence but what more than that?
Am I the body, the soul, the thoughts
or am I just a collection os fome energy?

Is it when I breathe that I live,
or is it when I think that I exist?

Would I still be called 'me' once I leave the body,
or will I stop thinking after I die?

Where am I?
Is this world really huge?
or is it just a minute layer, a small part of that
HUGE structure that we can't see?

Does our world end where we stop seeing,
hearing or feeling?
Or are there more layers,
deeper and invisible, unheard and unexplored?

Do the stars I see in the sky are a part of the same layer?
or is it some distant layer?

They say they don't know
where the universe ends,
but do they know where does it begin?

Am I a part of the universe,
or is the other way round?

Is the universe a part of me?

What do I do?

When I live life, do I plan it?
Or is it already a part of a bigger plan?

I do things I love, I love things I do,
but am I the only one who decides?
Is there something more powerful?
Something deeper?

Where do I go when I dream?
Is it truly sub-conscious?
Or is it some other world?

Do I see the dreams?
Or do the dreams see me?


What are relationships?
Are they just scientific bonds,
which for by default?

Or are they something deeper?

Do these bonds go deeper with age?
Or is it just a matter of chance?

If A=B, then is B=A?
If a mother loves her son so much all her life,
then why doesn't the son love his mother equally,
all his life?

These equations are interesting,
these questions are more interesting.
May be I'll get the answers,
may be I won't.

May be, I like these questions UNANSWERED!

Friday, September 10, 2010

भूल गया हूँ...

इन तेज़ चलती गाड़ियों के बीच ,
दिखे सड़क के उस पार कि गलियां

भूल गया हूँ , इन अंधेरी गलियों में,
आँखों पर पट्टी बाँध आँख-मिचौनी खेलना।

अब आम बहुत मीठे मिले हैं,
पर भूल गया हूँ, उस आम के पेड़ पर चढ़,
खट्टे, अध-पके आमों को तोडना।

अब ज़िन्दगी चले हैं सीधी सड़कों पर,
भूल गया हूँ,उन छोटी-छोटी पग-डंडियों पर खो जाना।

अब जब भी पग नीचे जाएँ, चप्पल ही संभाले हैं,
भूल गया हूँ, नंगे पैर उस ठंडी माती पर चलना।

अब दूर-दूर तक सब दिखे हैं,
पर भूल गया हूँ, उस करीबी धुंधली परछाई को देखना ,
जो शायद मेरी ही थी ।

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Rann story: a travelogue -1


The beginning

Achint wanted to shoot his diploma film in the Rann of Kutch in the first and second week of May. Many believe that May is the worst time to be in the Rann. May be that was the adventure of the whole shoot. We packed our bags.

Our journey started on the morning of 1st May, in a van which carried the entire luggage, the driver, Achint and me. The journey was long. I have seen the Thar, but this was my first visit to the Rann, a desert of some other type. After around two hours of traveling we stopped at a dhaba to have some chai and faafda! As we moved further it got hotter and boring as there was very little variety in the visuals that could be seen. So, I dozed off.

The hot breeze woke me again after a short while. I saw trucks, some villagers working on huge heaps of sand. As our van got closer to the heaps I noticed that it was not sand. It was salt! They were white salt crystals which were brought from the Rann and now would be sent to factories for refining. I had heard about this, but had never seen it. And there were many heaps being worked upon. The sunlight being reflected from the salt crystals was strong. This village was Kharaghoda, our destination. We moved a couple of kilometers ahead and there it was… the Rann. There was nothing till the horizon (not even sand dunes!). It looked so blank, so incomplete, yet so powerful. It was not a typical desert with sand and dunes. It was… just blank, sans trees, sans plants, sans everything. It was so independent; it seemed as if the place shouted, “I don’t need anyone or anything. I’m happy alone!”
And in the middle of this terrain was our location, where we would work for the next 15 days.

Kharaghoda, which translates to the salty horse, is a village which comes under the territory of the wild ass sanctuary, of the little Rann of Kutch. This species of donkeys is an endangered one and is not found anywhere else in the world except in the Rann.

The moment we entered this area, our driver Haaji bhai showed us this group of wild asses. They were white-coloured donkeys with big brown patches on their back. I had never seen more beautiful donkeys!

We dropped our luggage 2kms away from our location, at ‘Desert Outpost’, a present day resort, but was historically the house of the Jaagirdar of the region. The rooms were filled with certificates and legacies offered by the British empire to the local king/ Jaagirdar. The walls undoubtedly were quite royal, with pictures of men in uniform and of horns and heads of animals shot by them in the name of shikaar.

As Achint and I walked walked towards the location, hot breeze welcomed us. We kept walking quietly. With our faces covered, the strong breeze didn’t allow us to talk, but it did force us to think. To think of many things, many stories, many questions...

We continued walking with silence. Our journey had just begun…

(to be continued)

Friday, August 27, 2010

My-crow thinking!

If man could fly, he would set up factories, refineries and mines in the clouds...stadia and airports in the skies...
Where would our lovely CROWS go then!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The wings

The harder I flap my wings,
more tired I get.

The harder I flap my wings,
more efforts I have to make.

The harder I flap my wings,
the more I sweat!

But the whole point is,
the HARDER I flap my wings,
THE HIGHER I FLY...

Friday, August 13, 2010

My design for a poster competion

There are Questions...

There are questions which have answers,
there are questions which don't .

There are questions whose answers we know,
but still we ask them,
There are questions whose answers we don't know,
but still, we never ask.
There are questions which have many answers,
there are questions which have none!

There are questions which are answers to a bigger question,
there are answers which are questions in themselves.

Our mind is filled with questions,
we continue to live, searching for the answers.

Sometimes, the search ends in a lifetime,
sometimes, it doesn't, and we continue.

There is growth, just because we have questions,
and there is destruction just because we don't listen to the answers.

We continue the exploration,
the answers are important,
but what's more important is the fact,

that there should always be QUESTIONS...

My-Crow thinking!

I said that my phone has stopped working. Now i CAN'T communicate with my friends.
As a reply, the CROWS laughed out loud. They're still laughing...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My-crow thinking!

For us, it was all about those tensions about the economy, agriculture, humidity, drainage systems, or the traffic jams !
For the crows, the MONSOON was just plain HAPPINESS...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Systems

There are many around us. There are many which we are a part of, many which affect us. They are good, but only till the time they help us organise ourselves.

Humanity has always fought for the idea of indepenence. Then why should these systems encage us. Culture, trends, pressures, assumptions, languages...We take up all these so that they would help us sometime , but not for the reason that we'll be enslaved by them!

We need to learn things from the nature. It is so free, so serene, yet so peaceful. It shouts at things which try to enslave it. That's our true nature.

Systems need to be broken!

Friday, July 16, 2010

What, where, how!

I switch on my computer, open a new word document and start thinking. I think how to start. I type, I think again I type...

It's time for my fiction film. There's a concept, an idea. There are characters, MY characters. Their lives will move the way I want. But at the end, they're all thoughts. At the end, it's not about their lives, it's just a film!

I look around, for inspiration, for people, for actions which my characters would take up. There's a lot happening, both inside and outside. I feel I need to stop, take a deep take a breath.

The characters are tired too. They are tired, they ask for some water. I give them. But the thoughts continue.

I talk to a friend, narrate the concept to him. I share my mind with him. It's tough! I am talking about visuals which I would create. I am helping him see images which are not there. He tries his best. His inner world tries to accept my world, through a common worl in which we live. It's complicated! At the end, they are just thoughts.

These are visuals which I can see. Trying my best to bring them on screen. I know the words, I just need to make the right sentence.

I type, I think again... I type...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The poor brahmin who was rich

He had no money to spend on luxuries,
no thoughts to waste on the heavenly comforts,

he just had thoughts to make the world a better place.


One day, after walking for miles, he sat down under a tree,
he had no money to buy food, so he sat there looking at it.

A rich merchant brought some food and kept it in front of the brahmin.

The merchant said,"I would like to help the poor!"

The brahmin smiled, is it money that makes one rich or poor?

The Brahmin left the food
and sat down under the tree with eyes closed,
to raise questions whose answers were unknown to mankind.

He went deeper and deeper,
with every breath he took, he got answers.


After a few days, he opened his eyes,
he could feel the sunlight,
he could smell life in the fresh air.

And then he started speaking...
every word which came out was of gold,
there were stories,
there were poems,
there were ideas,

which taught living beings to live,
and smiles to flourish.

He had no shelter, no money, but he was rich.
Much richer than the merchant who offered him food.


The brahmin started walking again,
he's still walking,
He has no money even today,
but still he's rich.

Who's rich? Who's poor?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Home's heaven and that couple is GOD!

Now this is amazing.

I reached home last week, and it was worth the wait, the journey and the tiredness.

There's this special smell or should i say 'aroma' of home, that the moment I entered I knew what heaven was.

This state of rest is soothing. You get to eat food, which you have had/admired/loved all your life. This is the place where you are protected (in many ways). And then the best part- You get to live with those two people who love you the most- the couple which the world knows as your PARENTS!

Like all good things, this too would end. I am leaving for work the next week, but I am busy collecting memories, so that when I am at away, I can can look at those memories and feel the heaven!

Ah, i smell good food. Dinner time!

Cheers

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Much more

It's a cage of bricks. We all enjoy, laugh on jokes which come straight out of the pigeon path or from the BM, but rarely from the heart. It's fun, but there's something missing.
There are ideas everywhere, there are views everywhere, but very few voices. Everyone works hard for careers, for assignments, but what about that higher level which we all know of? It's nice, but the brick structures promise much more.

Everyone studies of sustainability and shit like that, but the lights are left ON at 11 am. Nothing new, that's how careless youngsters are. But why?

Then why do they call themselves 'elite'? And when they refer to the 'Common man' why do they address him as someone else?

There's something missing...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Live on

the posters with blood on them,
the red kurtas with hoarse voices.

the eyes with all the veins,
the hands which moved in every direction.

the pens which wrote the scripts of revolutions,
the papers which becam manuscripts.

May be the voices were heard,
or may be the voices just died down

And we live on...

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's back

The same feeling, the same breeze,
the same smell, the same images.

Smells of memories,
memories of joy,
joy of freedom,
and freedom, undefined.

It's the same feeling,
it's the same month of MARCH.
It's back.

I am a writier, as I have the same pen,
and the same paper.

BBut I am a poet, as I have the same zeal,
the same smiles, the same tears.

It is the same sound of the dry leaves.

It's somehow the same poem,
Suddenly, it's the same me...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Inside


(at Bhuj, Feb'10)

That gate was open, we closed it so that people from outside could not come in.
But are they actually outside? Are WE inside?
Can't we be outside?
I stretched my hand and opened the gate again, and suddenly...
all of us were INSIDE...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lothal

Not many people were excited when I told them that I was leaving for Lothal. They said it's a boring place, with nothing, just a few broken structures. That's it!

That's it?

I reached the digging site at around 12pm. It was hot. I kept standing there.

As a student of class 6th, I had studied about the Indus Valley civilisation for the first time. For the first time, I came across the names of the cities Mohen-jo-daro, Dholavira and Lothal. It was a magical world. A civilisation, which was one of the first in the world. Extremely well-planned and advanced. Two of these cities were in Gujarat. I had never lived in Gujarat and I had no relative from the state. So, these places, for me were as exciting and as adventurous as a fairyland...may be like Antarctica or the Egyptian pyramids. Harappa culture was quite far from me, or at least that's what my NCERT said!

I kept standing there. It was hot and the site looked beautiful. Exactly the way it looked in my class 6 NCERT book. I could not move. Something similar had happened to me when I had seen the Thar and the Taj Mahal for the first time. It was incredible!

Yes, there was nothing there. But still there was everything. I could imagine how a civilisation blossomed about 5000 years ago at the same spot. I walked ahead and I saw the citadel, where the upper-class of the town lived. I saw the lower town. I could imagine kids running around in the same location, with their mothers calling them for lunch.
And today, 5000 years later, I was standing there, all alone with that hot breeze making me think.

A lot has been written about the Indus Valley civilisation. One of the reports say that half-cooked food and similar indications were found, which state that the town had fled at the fear of either an intruding army or a natural calamity. And there I was, standing at that very point.

Quietly, I sat down on one of the walls. Someone must have built that wall thousands of years ago, for his family or may be his civilisation. I touched the 5000 year old brick, which might have had the lost finger prints of the man/woman who made it, or the kids who sat on it, or the old men who leaned on it. A civilisation, which we could never see. It's just these marks or artifacts which take us to them. And that remarkable Harappa town plans, the big reservoir for the community. Wow! It was all barren and lonely.

I agree with all my friends who had said that there is nothin there. But I found it exciting because that 'nothing-ness' of the place told a story of EVERYTHING that was...
A rich civilisation...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

AD!

It is just a 30 second advertisement fim. Just 30 secs. We take almost 50 seconds to open our eyes properly after a night's sleep. And this ad- just 30 seconds!

But still so many doubts, tensions... VISUALS.I am enjoying it. Going to hospitals to look for the location. I have always loved the process of looking for locations. You imagine, then you follow this hit-and-trial method to check if there's actually a location which is similar to your imagination!

Let's see if there's one. Afterall, it's just about those 30 seconds!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

SHAYAN

(I wrote this sitting on my berth in Ashram Express from Delhi to Ahmedabad. I was tired, but still I wanted to be up! I didn't want to sleep, but still I enjoyed the phase of not-doing-anything!)


Yeh khuli aankhen, dekhen dhundla,
har saans kahe ek kahani thakaan ki.

Palken maano ho chattano se bhaari,
Kaaya ab lage mitee hui si.

Iss nidra ke kya kehne,
ab andhera lage behtar, ujaale se!