29 October 2008
Day 1- 25th Oct Notice how the design in the background has played the part of the devil's horn in this picture? It perfectly fits his character too. The oversize diabetic devil of a panda ready to pounce on his food! Meet Sony Sasankan. Age : 26, Height : 6 Feet, Weight : 80-90 Kg would be my best guess.Do not under estimate him by his appearance. He is the Lord Krishna of many a classroom. On the other hand, he (almost) humbly attributes his female fan following to the abyss of his bloated skull, "For i have treasures locked in there which mere mortals can only dream of, " I can imagine him prophesying. And to begin my story, my invisible friends, it is with this great philosopher that i spend two days of my precious 3-day Diwali Holidays! Men sitting outside the illuminated building of Deccan Chronicle (on MG road) Ten shops, one violet shirt and a disappointing movie later, Sony and I decided to loiter around a bit on MG Road. Not because we had anything to do there. It was simply because we had made a discovery. We just happened to figure that 70% of the Bangaloreans simple pretend to walk up and down the MG road and particularly on Brigade road just so that everybody else would think that they are up to something very important. Just when they realize (after a lot of walking up and down and a lot of card swiping) that they have begun to recognize the faces around them, they decide to do (actually DO) something about their somewhat lame weekend. Phones ring, messages beep. Everybody is calling their most socially important friends. " Errr... am i too late to be on the guest list??" The couples go to parties trying to feel all important ("Look at the under privileged crowd outside, what do they know about leading an important 'happening' life"). The more enterprising stags, after a few desperate attempts to hit on a few chicks, end up in a pub bitching about how the whole world is filled with vile bitches and how this girl cheated on this poor thug or that. Not that i have anything against thugs, but i find their whole macho-talk very entertaining!!And Oh! As for the other 30% of the crowd on the Brigade road, they are busy gaping at the girls on the road. So, we (that would be Sony and me) decide to walk up and down a few times , avoid the jazz of the parties (not that anyone would have let us in anyways) , avoid the pubs (alcohol= poison to Sony, he has all the diseases in the world), walk up and down a few more times, stop when the men sitting outside the illuminated building of Deccan Chronicle (on MG road) begin to notice us and then, go back straight to the Hospital (the one with a cow waiting outside) in Kamanahalli to collect Sony's medical reports. The Hospital (the one with a cow waiting outside) in Kamanahalli Day 2 - 26th Oct Disclaimer : All right. I have to admit. The events narrated in this blog piece may not be in the most accurate chronological order. er.. Well, i might have got figments from my past weekends embedded on this one too. But i can claim with all the integrity that i can muster, that my pictures never lie. Now to continue my story. Another day with Sony would have ended close to disaster (i cant stand him for tooooo long). But thanks to Kunal, my fashion designer turned fashion photographer turned photo editor friend (Sorry Kunal, i don't have your picture), 26th of October, a not so-auspicious Sunday turned out to be good fun. The three of us were stuck inside the Garuda mall (it was raining heavily outside) and were merrily making fun of anybody who dared to walk past us. Too bad that the puny security in the mall doesn't allow my big ass camera to get a glimpse of a mall-world and all the colourfully dressed bees that come humming inside! Mental Note : A simple point and shoot digital camera with at least 8 mega-pixels should be on my high priority shopping list when Sony finally takes over Google. Oh, to give you a little background information, We, (that would be Sony, minu (i will introduce her in another post) and me ) had decided long long long ago, that Sony was going to come up with his million dollar idea (that is, if he manages to be alive for another 5 years), take over google, and then buy Minu a Kart Attack and me a Loreal White Perfect (my skin is living way ahead of my age:( !!) Day 3- 27th Oct I know i can be VERY irritating. Especially when it comes to narrating a story. Minu tells me that i end up narrating Ramayan and successfully fail to get my point across. My boss keeps asking me to get to the bottom line. I know guys. Brevity has never been my strongest asset. All im asking is for another chance (ha! how i love that dialogue when the hero delivers it with near emotion to his doe-eyed beauty!). Well, i might need a couple of extra chances too. Ok Ok. Cutting a long story short, On the third day of my never ending Diwali- weekend, i decided to take the plunge. As per Brida's advice, i decided to take risks and dared to discover the Dark Night. eeew! what rubbish. Let me try that again. Cutting a long story short, On the third day of my never ending Diwali- weekend, i decided to ditch Sony (actually it was him who ditched me! The fatso flatly asked me to get lost so that he can get a few more hours of sleep), and go to a friends house for lunch. The lunch was delicious (Dear God, Please always provide me with delicious food (the Indian spicy kind) ) and the crowd was good fun too. The promise of more fun, dinner and a apple flavored 'hookah' saw me visiting them again in the evening. For some strange cosmic reason, my photo eye has always had a fascination for catching smoke in a frame. Therefore, quite predictably, after a few decent + lame shots, i finally decided that I've had an eventful weekend. But it was 11pm. Time to go back home. Early next morning, I had a shuttle to catch. The much revered hookah!
Its too bad that u thought of something really really cool on your way back home from work and then five minutes later, you've already forgotten the line. Its like a dream. The dream becomes a fading picture as u ease into wakefulness. A bleak memory of what was a vivid image perhaps only a few minutes ago. Yeah, it might mean a forgotten dream. But it also implies waking into the reality, isn't it? Am sure there is some way i can hold on to these rare enlightened moments! My mother keeps saying, "Your thoughts are like a fire-fly. Don't try to keep it enclosed. It might choke to death."
27 October 2008
Anonymous. I remember reading 'about' this word for the first time in Famous Five in what seems like a long long long time ago. I like the mystery that shrouds the word. Like the 'e-v-i-l' in a 'v-e-i-l'. You know what i mean?? Its not really an anagram that i'm talking about.. oh forget it!!
24 October 2008
8 am . 8pm. Hmmm... I'm tired. I'm not. Its all in the mind. I try to tell myself.. Yes, If i tell myself that im tired no more, i will be tired no more. I just gotta figure out how much i can push it. When will i reach my saturation point?? Is there ever such a thing? Aint that the mind's own creation? Like Albert Camus once said, "Its better to burn than to disappear... " Yup.... i can still run..
12 October 2008
Its incredible how in one street you might be looked down upon because you are not wearing Gucci or Prada and in another, people assume you are a foreigner because you dont look rugged enough. Hmmm... Shall we say, "Welcome to India?" Here are some images from a Sunday morning at Russell Market, Bangalore.
11 October 2008
There is one thing that separates great writers from good writers. The Good ones write hoping their readers will believe and the Great ones write because they themselves believe. Hmmm... am sure not a Great writer. Nope. Not Good. Nope. Not even close. But i sure can be an honest writer. Yes. That's what i can be. An Honest writer. Write honestly. No flowery words. No melodrama. Just straight 'this is what i feel/think' type of thing. Like clicking an honest picture. To say it like it happened. To say what i believe. Just the stark naked truth.
10 October 2008
In a moment of sudden inspiration, I finally decide to sit down and WRITE. Its amazing how a place , so swamped by in-considerate tourists, could still smell so pure and make u WANT to believe in a better life ahead. The air (like I kept repeating to my friends after the trip) was simply… delicious. I devoured, without shame, every ounce of the gift of purity that the village had to offer. The receptionist at the Guest House shyly said, “Welcome to Bylakuppe” …. "There was something ethereal about the morning light that filtered into the temples" To begin with, Bylakuppe was nothing that I imagined it to be from the umpteen number of pictures I had seen of the place. Or may be, i just happened to be there at the wrong time.I found the place thronging with tourists of all races and colours. Ok. Who am I kidding now! Let me be honest here. The place was literally bursting with the ubiquitous ‘Malayalee’ populace. But not even the shrieking teens who just unloaded from what looked like a ghost of a Tata Sumo could put me off. I was determined to enjoy my weekend at Bylakuppe. It took around 7 hrs (was stuck in the traffic for 2 hrs in Bangalore) by ‘Rajahamsa’ (KSRTC air bus) to reach Kushal Nagar – the nearest town to Bylakuppe. A Rs.30/- auto ride will take u to Bylakuppe. My best bet for accommodation was at the Paljor Dhargey Ling Guest House in front of the Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastry). Info regarding reservations etc can be found at www.palyul.org. As promised by some of my friends, I found the room affordable, inviting and impeccably clean My room at the Guest House The Golden Temple itself was majestic. The 60 feet tall gold-plated statues of Buddha and the incredible wall paintings were mesmerizing to say the least. In all the 22 yrs of my life, I don’t think I ve ever felt so overwhelmed and at peace with myself at the same time. There was something ethereal about the morning light that filtered into the temples…something that asked me to look beyond what I saw… to seek beyond what I found. The constant swaying (of heads) of the monks in prayer, the soft, but powerful drone of chants, all seemed to say something. If only I could listen… "…something that asked me to look beyond what I saw… to seek beyond what I found..." With the little hill dotted with beautiful temples, long winding roads fenced by golden corn fields on both sides and the country side sprinkled by the bright reds of the walking buddhas, I was more than delighted to get ‘lost’ in my strolls. In one such expedition, i stumbled upon an artist called Nymgyal Jimpa. He has been making traditional Tibetan 'thangkas' for 15yrs, he told me. I clicked some pictures while he leant back to work. Sure, I found monks watching television, listening to i-pods, riding bikes, and waiting at restaurants for their chicken biriyanis. Tens-zing, the pretty girl from the gift shop advised me on the subject, “The monks from Namdroling are allowed to eat meat. But the Sermey Monastery is very strict. The monks will get a fine of Rs.500 and a sound beating if their ‘monitor’ catches them eating chicken.” “ But some of them still manage without getting caught! ” she told me rolling her eyes. As I watched a little monk run around, playing with his friend, I thought, “Who am I to judge a life devoted to a truth beyond my understanding....” A monk on his way to town Lady at the 'Kongpo' restaurant Waiting for their meals - @ the Kongpo Restaurant Hmmm.. amidst all this blogging and painful uploads, i stumble upon Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan 's (blogger-turned- writer) blog. The compulsive Confessor. A peek into her blog, and i let my head hang in shame. I realised that what i liked best abt her posts were their 'straight-forwardness'. Nothing hanky-panky or melodramatic abt it. "As I watched a little monk run around, playing with his friend, I thought, “Who am I to judge a life devoted to a truth beyond my understanding....” " !!!!!????? The!!! What was i even thinking. All right . Im NOT gonna erase that one. Let it be a testimony to my wanna-be-intellectual-turned-philosopher self. Sigh!! So here goes. A few more facts and figures (or no figures) about our little Bylakuppe. Apparently, our dear old Karnataka Government had dished out 500 acres of land to the Tibetan Refugees during the time of the Chineese invasion. Bylakuppe was established in 1957 and its present area is 15,000 acres (or so, my friend says). I for one, didnt think they looked in the least like refugees ( hungry miserable folks packed together in tiny tent = the picture of refugees in my mind). On the contrary, they looked like a bunch of happy, polite, hard working people. To say the least, even the stray dogs hovering around food-joints were incredibly well-behaved. And thus my invisible readers (if any :) , i decide to end my jargon quite unceremoniously. But do scroll down to the end, for i did put some effort into both shooting these pictures as well as in uploading it to the blog with an infinitely slow internet connection. The good old friendly Lama The old cronies of the village would hang out outside the Prayer Wheels in the First Camp. I had no idea what they were talking about , but i could see that they were very anxious to guide my way through the prayer wheels. She lived within the great walls of the Golden Temple. Was happy to pose for me and seemed happier when i showed her the images on my LCD. I was not quite sure whether she could clearly see the image, but i felt ecstatic when she raised her hand in a gesture to bless. " To say the least, even the stray dogs hovering around food-joints were incredibly well-behaved. " Sermey Temple