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Showing posts from 2011

From a Community dinner to a 'community' film!

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In NID, after every big festival there is a community dinner organised, where the dishes of that particular region are served to the whole community. It was the Onam Community dinner in 2010.
I happened to sit next to one of my seniors, Sanaa. The conversation started with pleasantries and moved on to specifics,
"So what is your next project?" asked Sanaa.
I replied, "I am looking for subjects for my documentary. I am confused."
Sanaa thought about for a moment and asked "Have you heard about this 'criminal' theatre group which is based here in Gujarat?"
That sounded very new: ' a criminal theatre group'. The subject sounded very interesting because I knew very little about it. This conversation at the community dinner started the process...
I looked it up on the internet...I came in contact with people working on this issue. Then I visited the community in Chharanagar. The tribe is called 'Chhara' and the group is called 'Budh…

वो जुगनू

“न होती उलझनें, तो न मिलते हमें सच के और पहलू,
न होती अंधेरी रात, तो न दिखते हमें वो टिमटिमाते जुगनू।“

What’s Up!

It’s nice to get back to this space, sharing things with a
space which is yours, yet very public. I am enjoying the Delhi winters, which I
missed for the last two years. The winter is just beginning to get painfully
cold, but still it’s not what it used to be in the December of may be 3 years
ago. Just hoping that the temperatures continue to fall down!

My schedule these days somehow reminds me of school. I leave
for office at 8:45 and come back home by 7 pm. When I drive to the office in
the morning, through the fog, it is a great feeling to see other bikers leaving
for their offices, battling the fog with me; everyone wrapped around with
jackets, mufflers and what not. It somehow looks like a uniform: Jackets, hand
gloves, mufflers, hand gloves and backpacks carrying laptops. Then I reach the warm
office. It is energetic to work in the first session, with energy levels
dipping considerably till lunch. Lunch is a nice time to leave work and have
food. Food or a meal in particular, has never been …

SANAK

When I see a mad man, it is his mannerisms; it is the way he
eats or talks that is a new show for me. Then I wonder madness is!
What exactly is madness? How do you define madness?
Someone is termed ‘mad’ when he or she stops behaving like
the population. But then can’t this be possible that the population might be
mad and that one person is sane. This is all about perception. Who actually is
mad?

Thousands of years ago, when man started, we were all mad,
with no clothes, no plans for the future, no societies and no rules. Then we
started going ‘sane’. We learnt languages, we learnt how to write and we learnt
something which we call today as ‘Culture’. And then we made rules, of eating,
of reading, rules of sleeping, and as a whole, rules of ‘good’ living. We
declared what is right and what is wrong. And we started a race.

The race followed all the rules and we continued to follow
the rules blindly. Today our life is governed by strict rules. We keep
following them because we have learnt to follow, w…

That Young man...

A young man
every day on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan,
Wakes up and
tells his father in Pashto,
“It seems to
be a clear day, no American and Pakistani army vehicles around.”

Another
young man wakes up in Africa, picks up his rifle,
Which is
almost half his body size and is happy
that he did
not have to wake up,
With sounds
of gun shots.
In Swahili,
he mutters “It’s wonderful to wake up in PEACE!”

A tired
young man in Mankulam, Sri Lanka,
lies down in the afternoon, thinking of how
his uncle had killed
that Sri
Lankan soldier who had abused his mother.

That Tibetan
young man hugs his sister,
as she
starts crying at the taste of Thupka,
Which
reminds it of her mom, who was killed by the
Chinese
soldiers years ago.

That fair
young man in Gaza,
Kneels down
to offer prayers to God,
A God who
had done nothing to help him till date,
The war
still went on with no winners, no losers, no parents,
Only
Israelis everywhere!

That
Kashmiri young man leaves home early morning,
With a kiss
on his mother’s forehead,
Assuring her
that h…

My film ...THE CONCEPT

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My worlds, my life

We talk of so many lives in one world,
But little do we talk of so many worlds in one life.
I live in diverse worlds, in the same life.
One world has my house, my parents, and memories.
Then there’s one which has my love, my friends and places and people I miss.
There’s my college, my dreams of a job or two or more,
Then there’s a world of good things I have done,
Then there’s one which has all the embarrassing moments of mine.
There’s a world which I want to be in, and there are a few I hate to be in,
Some worlds start and end in a moment, some last a lifetime, or may be further.
Some worlds I want to leave behind and move ahead,
Some I want to enter with smiles.
Some worlds which are pure nostalgia, enclosed in those old photo albums.
All different and wide apart, but my worlds.
I can’t divide these worlds by drawing lines,
In fact one leads magically into another.

I am presently traveling from Delhi to Ahmedabad,
From one world to another.
There are journeys which introduce me to worlds which were …

crows n us!

For those two crows sitting on it, it was just another wire,but for us, it was the BORDER...

The world's a beautiful place!

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I write,
because I think.
I think,
because I see.
I see,
because there is so much more to see.
The world's a beautiful place.

I know,
because I listen.
I listen,
because I travel.
I travel because there are so many journeys left.
The world's a beautiful place.

I pray,
because there's God.
There's God,
because there's man.
There's man,
but how much of 'man' do I actually know?
The world's a beautiful place.

I bathe,
because I'm dirty.
I am dirty,
because I was clean once.
If I am clean,
then how clean is clean and how dirty is dirty.
The world's a beautiful place.

I stand,
because I'll walk soon.
I'll walk, because I'll run soon.
If I run,
will I actually fly soon?
The world's a beautiful place.

Better!

The fish FLY deep in the ocean, the birds SWIM high in the air... No one knows who's better!

The crows again!

Me: See, Gaddafi is dead. Now, Libya is free. Learn something from us.
Crows: Libya was always free for us!

Not many left...Act!

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The Delhi Nostalgia

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It was a usual weekday. The time was somewhere between the end of a tiring afternoon and the beginning of a fresh evening. I was done with my work at the office for the day, but it was too early to go home. I was confused. I started calling my friends- Anshuman, Nitish, Vikram, Happy and Nishtha. They were all busy in one thing or the other. This was tempting enough for me to go back home for a nap, but I somehow stopped myself. I didn't want to waste this time. I decided to spend the time with MYSELF. I left for Mandi House.

Mandi house is quite far away from the place where my office is (Gurgaon). In the last two years I have spent in Ahmedabad, I have driven very little, almost none. The bike rides this week , majorly for work, reminded me of that time when I stayed here in Delhi, during graduation. The wide roads, the rude fellow-drivers, the 'green Delhi clean Delhi' boards, the unreasonable honking- they all came back to me. As I drove towards Mandi House, these thoug…

खुशियाँ

उँगलियों के बीच छिपी थी खुशियाँ,
बंद मुट्ठी से कभी बाहर न आ सकीं।
बस ज़रूरत थी तो उन खुले हथेलियों की ...

The crows again

I bribe, I cheat, I lie, I fight, I pollute, I cry,
Look at the crows, they just FLY...

It's all about...

It's not about the diary you write in,
not about the pen you write with,
it's not even about the place where you sit and write.

It's all about WHAT YOU WRITE...

The race

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I stand at the crossroads,
looking at all the 4 directions,
offering me a good position in the race.

Do I need to analyse so much?
Do I need to make a 5-year plan?
It is all about instincts I guess,
I take the road which suits me the best now,
I take the road which I like.
It's all about the heart.

There are people who talk of the race,
let them.
I don't like the idea of races,
the won who comes first is called a 'winner'.
But what about the others who worked equally hard,
what do you call them?
LOSERS?
Are you serious?

I think the only parameter which guides your pace,
is TIME,
stronger than any of your opponents,
stronger than the race itself.

So I go for the road which I like,
I think it's not about which road I take,
but it' all about how I perform on any road,
That's the race, I guess...
Racing against myself!

(Photo by Marti Liebermann. Original pic:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/liebermann/580181284/)

At home...

I am at home in a state of 'total rest'. I have all the time in the world to think, to watch, to waste. So, I thought why not use this precious 'gold' with some care. So from now on, one film per day, one upload per day (write up) and some reading everyday.

I feel really lucky to be having this phase of nothingness, which is refreshing. I don't know when will I get a similar break next.
(I must thank Sambit here, for inspiring me with his daily blog 'Rozana'! http://chandlafzrozaanaa.blogspot.com/)

:)

देख

क्यों बेसब्री से बैठ सूरज का इंतज़ार करता,
ढंग से देख,
इस अँधेरी रात में भी,
कमी नहीं प्रकाश की...

My flikr account

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I thought I should share my photographs...my flikr photostream...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27389026@N03/

FROM THE 'MY-CROW THINKING' ARCHIVES

I put an alarm on my cellphone everyday, but I usually miss it. Look at the CROWS...always up on time. They have no technology, no machines, no clocks...just the sun and the breeze. Bloody birds!

A new look

I reached home today, in the morning. After a tiring month of diploma in NID, it was nice to enter Delhi, which was itself entering a new season...the winters.

In the morning, the moment my train entered Rajasthan, that pleasant early morning smell of the winters struck me. It was so strong, so nostalgic... It somehow had every element to remind me of the fact that I AM GOING HOME... It filled me with immense joy.

This happy change in the atmosphere compelled me to change the look of my blog. Let me know if it is readable or not. Till then I get lost in the nostalgia...

With TIME...

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In a debate with time,
I lose, with a smile.

I know the big plan,
but not the daily answers.

In the debate, time laughs at me,
but like a satisfied loser,
I smile.

I might work hard,
and be a winner all the way,
but some answers,

are always with time,
just with time.

Like a guilty loser,
I wait,
with a smile...

(11:45 am, at the Knowledge Management Centre, NID.)

Some chai clouds!

It's 02:30 am, I am sitting in my room, tired after a happy day of work. The room's silent with this Abida Parveen song playing in my computer. The cool breeze coming from the balcony, is making the ambiance quiet and peaceful.
I want chai and unfortunately there's none. This urge to have chai is driving me more inquisitive, more curious, may be more crazy. I am in this crumpled cloud of imagination, which I am enjoying. I am sleepy and 'comfortably' tired, which takes me in that cloud to these questions which are not mine, they are everyone's. I thought I should share them.

When I get into these chai clouds, I see that we're all surrounded by so many smiles, so many joys, so many secrets which we hide and share throughout the day. These are rays which keep hitting our heads every hour. We choose to show interest in some, and choose to ignore some. Sometimes, we don't even realise and these 'joys' become more important than our existence. We don&#…

MORE OF MY-CROW THINKING

As I kept speaking of democracy, corruption and freedom, the CROWS kept ignoring me. I shouted, "You are irresponsible citizens!". One of them replied, "You talk of freedom? We are already FLYING..." They disappeared into the skies.

That fog

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It has been a long time since I visited this space, or in many ways, since I visited 'my' space.I had been busy shooting my diploma film, 'The Uljhu Journal'. hat was one journey which taught me a lot. Those 10 days we worked really hard, with good results.

But on the last day of shoot, we got to know that we have lost a day's footage. This was too big a shock to get on the last day of the shoot, when the actors would be leaving soon. For the next 2 days I took a break fro the film to figure out what to do next. What was really painful was that even after planning so well for months, I lost the footage because of someone's carelessness. Over the next 2 days, I realised that it was no use wasting time thinking about it, so I started editing the film.

Over this period I came up with the alternative of the lost footage. So, as I was editin, I would reshoot with my cinematographer and the available actors. This taught me a new thing. Before this, whenever I would …

shaam

"Ek gum-sum dhalta din,
woh bheeni si shaam ki khusboo,
labon par chai ka woh meetha zayka,
na ho isse behtar andher raat ka intezaar."

darr

"Dar toh hamesha andhere se hi lagta tha...Par jiss din aankhen kholi, toh UJALA khud khaufnauk sa ho gaya..."

My-crow thinking!

I said,"We live on lots of money,very expensive medicines, very high GDP's and other high stats! Do you have any of these? We're rich..."
The crows replied," We live on the never-ending skies, we breathe the unlimited supply of breezes, and we drink the never-ending water bodies. None of this can be counted. Now who's richer?!" The crows flew away and I kept thinking...

The Fight

Some told me to fight for the poor man, be a communist,
some told me to fight for more money, be a capitalist,
some told me to fight for allah-ram, be a fanatic,
some told me to fight for lost village lands, be a naxalite,
some told me to fight for the country, be a soldier,
but I just wanted to fight for what I liked, I just wanted to be a human-being...
I wrote this and then my friend Sambit Kumar Pradhan came up with this brilliant Hindi/Urdu translation of the same piece...

वो कहते हैं ग़रीब के लिए लड़ो- साम्यवादी बनो.
वो कहते हैं धन के लिए लड़ो- पूंजीपति बनो.
वो कहते हैं अल्लाह-राम के लिए लड़ो- कट्टरपंथी बनो.
वो कहते हैं छिनी ज़मीन के लिए लड़ो- नक्सली बनो.
वो कहते हैं देश के लिए लड़ो- सिपाही बनो.
मैं तो मगर अपनी चाह के लिए लड़ना चाहता हूँ,
मैं सिर्फ इंसान बनना चाहता हूँ

:)

THE MOUNTAIN TEMPLE

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Years ago, the world saw the GODLY mountain,
the peak covered with heavenly clouds,
the slopes holding the purest of breezes.

Men and women worshiped the freshness of the mountain,
the beauty of the flowers,
they worshiped the honest heights,
so, they built a TEMPLE at the peak.

Seasons passed, men and women came from miles away,
to see the mountain temple.
There were innumerable people,
the breeze was pure no more,
the heights were honest no more,
there were just people and their greedy faith.

Today, centuries later,
there's a HUGE temple,
there are a million shops on the mountain,
there are guest houses and business plans,
but unfortunately, there's NO GOD!

(Images: Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam, Andra Pradesh and Vaishno devi mata, Jammu and Kashmir)

My dry pastel experiments

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That's my hand (first image). Then I did this (second image) with soft pastels. Felt good :)

My photostream at flickr

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Some of the images from my photostream on Flickr.com You can watch more on http://www.flickr.com/photos/27389026@N03/



THE SEA

We do little deeds, and make a lot of noise.
Look at the sea, it's HUGE, still so full of peace...

(Wrote it in Feb 2011, sitting at the shore in Diu.)

25 years of celebrating Unity

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Work and other things have been making me lazy enough not to upload stuff on this space. This piece has been long overdue.
It was a pleasant February afternoon. I had just finished my lunch and was sitting under the mess (hostel). Medhavini walked up to me with a newspaper cutting from the Hindi paper Hindustaan. She had carried this story from back home (Sitapur) and now wanted it me to post on my blog so that more people from this space get to know it. I appreciate this effort of hers. So here goes the story...

Lucknow, 23rd December 2010
At the look of it, it seemed that the Akhara at the Alambagh area of Lucknow was gearing up for some procession, some fair or some wrestling championship. That's what Akharas are used for- wrestling or Kushti. But this one had a different story. On the contrary, it was gearing up for a day to celebrate PEACE.

Lucknow is the capital of the same state which has witnessed Babri Masjid which led to riots accross the country. In a time when we are…

शौक है

गुत्थेसुलझानेका,
धुँधमेंगुमहोजानेका,
शौकहै ।

किस्सेसुनानेका,
गीतगुन-गुनाने का,
शौकहै ।

गिरकेउठजानेका,
बसचलतेजानेका,
शौकहै ।

खुशियोंमेंडूबजानेका,
मीठेआंसूबहानेका,
शौकहै ।

माटीपरनंगेपैरचलतेजानेका,
बाँएसेदाँयमुडजानेका,
शौकहै ।

लम्बीसाँसोंमेंखोजानेका,
उड़ते-उड़तेसोजानेका,
शौकहै ।

बेदखललिखतेजानेका,
लफ़्ज़ोंमेंखोजानेका,
शौकहै ।

औरशौकीनोंसंगमुस्कुरानेका,
कहींदूरपहुँचजानेका,
शौकहै ।

अँधेरेमेंदिखजानेका,
उजालेमेंछिपजानेका,
शौकहै ।

सूरजकोछूजानेका,
बेवजहथकजानेका,
शौकहै ।

औरशौक़ीनहोजानेका,
मुस्कुरातेजानेका,
बस, ज़िन्दगीजीतेजानेका,

शौकहै
शौकहै
शौकहै...



हुक्का !

A friend of mine wanted me to write a couplet for an illustration of hers on the 'Sunday market' of Ahmedabad, selling artifacts and vintage stuff...

था जो शाहों-नवाबों की शान को क़ुबूल,
आज बिक रहा है चौक पर वो हुक्का फ़िज़ूल।

Ek-rekh-er! (my one-liners)

Whenever I jumped to CATCH the stars, I didn't realise that I have LEFT the ground!

Hope you 'LIKE' this!

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Coming back to my blog after a huge gap. I have been busy shooting my documentary ('Budhan Diaries') , have been working on a play for sometime ('Naam-enclature'), and then did some travelling too.

Feels nice to be back on this space. Over the last few months, the computer has taken another meaning, or should I say, the internet has acquired another meaning.

Every evening, I go back to my hostel room. After freshening up, I sit down on my PC. I switch it on, connect the internet, and the first address which I type is 'facebook.com'! This happens everyday like a default setting. Seriously it does!
After logging on to my account, i check the number of notifications I have. More the number, happier I am. It can be as random as your friend's friend liking your 100 year old picture, or some-sort of a stranger tagging you in a picture in which you are not even properly visible, but ya, it works!
And I am sure this is just not my story. Many people of my age group fee…