Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lets raise a toast :)

Last week I spent a lovely afternoon with my eldest cousin sister who celebrated her tenth wedding anniversary in Bombay. The most frequent thought that lingered at the back of my mind was ‘if they are celebrating ten years together, how old I was in their wedding?’ I was only eleven years old then but when I think of their wedding or the relentless dance practice we did for their sangeet ceremony (on the then filmy gaane) it feels as if it happened just yesterday.
I share my birth date with Shweta and I relate to her the most amongst all my cousins. She has the same sensitivity towards art like I do and probably she is the only one in the family who knows what I am exactly studying. So while I was thinking of what I could gift my sister and my brother -in- law Aneet as they raise a toast to celebrate ten lovely years together; I thought why not make a story for them. A story of a Marathi bride and a north Indian groom.

Here are the cocktail coasters which highlight some quintessential Marathi and Hindi quotes which are so inevitable in our culture. Marriage is not just between two people, it’s an amalgamation of language, culture, emotions and moments. To compliment the coasters are the ‘wandering fish’ table mats to add to the incredible art collection of Shweta & Aneet.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Here lies the soldier.

An article on the Kirkee War cemetery which houses graves of 1,668 men who fought during the Second World War. If you ever pass this cemetery on your way to the Pune airport, make it a point to go inside and walk through this extremely systematic cemetery.

This appeared in today's Business Standard Lifestyle, written by Pravda Godbole and photographs are by me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

The Beatles prodigy rather Lennon and Yoko’s prodigy ‘Imagine’ starts with very subtle but profound lines. Here they go-

Imagine there's no heaven

It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Is it the peace we long for or is it habitual reluctance of the idea of peace we are saturated with. Over the past year or more, the books I have been reading have given me a very radical insight on the word ‘peace’. Starting with Arundhati Roy’s acclaimed novel, ‘The God of small things’ where peace is interpreted from a very different angle. For those who have read her miraculous compilation; Ammu longed for peace, Rahel and estha longed for peace; they did get it in the end probably in each other’s implicit recluse. For Baby Kocchamma peace was a desire, an unknown idea.

Coming to accomplished dancer Protima Bedi’s unconvincingly true biography, she longed for inner peace all her life. Whether it was because of her consistent love towards Kabir Bedi or innumerable people she dated and tried to find the perfect Kabir in them, she never found it. I highly recommend the book to people who are ready to look at her in a new light and not buy what Wikipedia and Google have to say about her. It is very important to know why someone does something. It doesn’t matter if the person ends up hurting many in the process because someone with a true intellect will forgive him/her. This is what I like about Protima Bedi; she had a lust for life and what she did. She was open about her sexual interactions, she flaunted her intellect and beauty and she lived like a breeze.

I now come to the issue of Maoists, which I have been following closely recently (thanks to Arundhati Roy’s writing) and after referring to hers and other conflicting views of several others, it’s clear that the Maoists are people, with substantial and justified demands but they are also an ideology. If you neglect an ideology, it will resort to destructive revolts like the Dandewada attack killing militants and civilians.

I cannot miss out on Taslima Nasreen who witnessed torture by the so called ‘peace maker fundamentalists’ and had to live in exile only because she expressed her views on Islam. She desired for a different type of peace and if we would ask her what she means by peace she would say ‘freedom of expression.’ What would Hussain say if he was asked about peace, he would have probably sketched something rapidly. Eventually the whole idea of freedom of expression dint save him from living in exile, then why did we talk about peace after he died?

Whether it is communism, philosophy, opinions, Islam, egos or just a pass time, everyone today longs for peace. Who knows what it is to feel peaceful? Does peace mean what Osho Rajneesh says in his book; ‘Book of Man’ or it is what propped up Anna Hazare is proving by frequently removing his rabbit from the hat ‘Janlokpal Bill’? Or is it just an ideology like the Maoists and Taliban or is it just nothing to long for?


You, you may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one.

Friday, April 6, 2012

{I would still glide, dive and sometimes just ‘be’}

All balloons are not the same,

Nor are they blown by similar earth born.

They still fly,

Some fly high in the sky;

Some glide and dive,

While some 'be' in the mid air.

Some never leave the ground,

Some prefer not leaving the ground;

They are all balloons,

Some are possessed,

Some are disowned,

Some quarrel,

While some just ‘be’.

I wish I was a balloon,

My string might change or leave me,

But I would still glide, dive and sometimes just ‘be’.

All balloons are not the same,

Be the balloon and see the sky.

{*If I were a balloon, i would be somewhat like the above in different seasons and time}