Month: February 2016

Where the Children go

Among themselves they feel free. Independent yet in a boundary, vulnerable and not sure about tomorrow. Kids are those whom, while you watch them in your most baleful of moods they still make you smile. The essential human truth, pitted against modernity – is invincible. There is a child in a man wanting to go back to the womb. The shadows of a festering burden of the next crop of humans, the unclaimed, unborn, and the just born. The Indian state perceives the child parent relationship to be a legacy of tribute to a social order, more than a right of the child. When a child is separated from his/her parent, it is not viewed as the duty of the state to provide that child with a family environment. Adoption is supervised by the state, but India does not have a long term foster care or alternate care system outside of institutionalization. A study estimates that there are about 44 million destitute children and yet only 5000 are adopted each year. A countless number of …

The Last Resort

Atul and I met in 2010 while filling our bikes at a petrol pump outside Leh. It would be easy for me to say that he gave me magic. A magic that built dreams. I lived in that dream, a few of us. We witnessed it together. A year after I met Atul. It was Teach to Learn for his organization Karmabhoomi – This year in July we had gone for an Omni journey to Hanley. We pulled over at Leh for a few days. We were meeting Bhai, Atul. – One lazy, cold, leh morning when Atul me to come along for a visit at his dream resort. It was called The Last resort I had visited this place before years ago. When it was unknown. Like Reaching a measure, or when becoming a process of leaving. It was a place that makes you only. I now remember looking at horses that kept crossing the homeless river. There was a bell inside a Buddhist temple, which kept feeding a language to the wind. Later we …

A Cactus in the Desert

  Photograph of a lost memory in flaring heat of Jaisalmer –  It is hot in Barmer. It is so hot that my lower portion feels different and apart from my head. My right cheek has swelled. Ulcers recognized heat. I am staying with amma here, a Bhopa. Last night we decided to attend Pabu ki phad. Happens rarely now. A local god. Reincarnation of Laksman. Bhopas sing and dance for Pabu. For two nights Bhopas from all across the region have come to sing and dance reciting Pabu’s story. Anada Ram was the most prolific Ravanhatta musician, who died 33 years ago. His wife, Amma vowed to never sing after that day. I am here to document her son. He never learnt Ravanhatta. He wanted to be a dancer. I have known him for eight months now. There were many other dancers from the community who had come yesterday. Veer was going to show me one of his acts dancing on the mirror glass with fire in his mouth. He does not dance in …

The Wedding Song

In her wedding dress that one day she stopped counting years   I met J uncle on a very cold january morning this year. It was raining and we stood outside an empty swimming pool. His room – 705, is just beneath my room – 805, where i am writing this. J uncle had his own quiet world till he met my sister. My sister, Ruspsi is a kathak dancer(banaras gharana). J uncle would not know about it for a month till one day they meet in the elevator, she moved and her ghungroo rolled from her bag. J uncle and his lovely wife had come from Banaras. In a quest to live with their son, they sold their house. They used to sing all morning there, he told me. He disliked it here. Everything. But he never spoke about it. He was just visibly sad. In his walk, thats how mostly i saw of him. A singer coming from a gharana who doesn’t sing anymore. In the meantime J uncle grew fond of my …

When a wedding found me in Mumbai

I still haven’t been able to go out much here in Mumbai. Few days ago while having malai chai at a milk dairy I had started having a liking for, only because there was a peepal I could sit under. And secondly. unlike in north india where there is milk a plenty but there is no way you can sit and enjoy different variations of milk waiting. Mumbai seemed to be bathing in milk and moreover you could sit like in restaurants. That evening I had my camera as i had gone on a photographic walk around the Versova betty area. It seemed a beautiful day as i had hardly moved around mumbai studying it in images ever before. I can say that was my maiden image day for Bombay. After a whole day of making images around sea and standing ships, i was coming back to my favourite chai shop when i started hearing the sound of brass bands, drums. I followed that sound and found colours that were talking virbrantly. I followed the …