All posts filed under: Ancient Life and Research

The Curse of A Tale: And Why each mother should make her child first, a storyteller?

Sound is important. Anyone who takes on a story takes on the responsibility of passing it on. A.K Ramanujan, an Indian Poet and Folklorist wrote in the preface to his book Folktales from India, “Stories and words not only have weight; they also have wills and rages, and they can take different shapes and exact revenge against a person who doesn’t tell them and release them into the world. They are there before any particular teller tells them; stories hate it when they are not passed on to others, for they can come into being again and again only in that act of translation. If you know a tale, any tale; you owe it not only to others but to the tale itself to tell it; otherwise it suffocates. Traditions have to be kept in good repair, transmitted, or else, beware, such tales seem to say, things will happen to you. You can’t hoard them.” He then tells of a Kondh tribal who possessed four stories which he was too lazy to repeat. One night, …

Lore of the Light: A Brief History of Nine Planets in India- ४

It was a short journey and my first to Ujjain in Central India. The city of time itself. I was almost strolling when on the ghats of Shipra river I met a sage sitting alone but not alone. He looked strangely wild and attractive, focused. He was arranging his stones, picking them carefully as if they were beings and putting them in an unusual order, only after looking for many a seconds towards the sky. Curious, i had many questions to ask. And i did. This conversation was recorded thus and is presented like every story must. Also read: Turiya and Ramakrishna: Who are you? Q. What is your name?A. Narayan. Waah, Narayan! okay Narayan, Listen carefully. I will start from the start. Vedas, India’s four ancient sacred book-length accumulations of living wisdom. The oldest literature in the history of mankind. Since the last standardisation of the vedas, dozens of centuries ago, these hymns have been flawlessly preserved, syllable for syllable and word for word, by their priestly keepers. The hymns of the vedas were …

Leaves from a Jungle: The Life of Verrier Elwin living with the Gonds in Central India – I/II

My co-travellers here on the Road to Nara, must already know and have experienced by now how much there is to absorb in India that is Bharat. Every state works like an organ. Each region in contrast to the other in food, language yet somehow bonded by sense and tradition. In my brief career as a traveller, I have desired not just to travel as much, but also to learn, research and document life of other travellers who once walked and measured this nation in a different light, time and dimension. The ones who somehow recorded the flow that once was; those happenings which can only be dreamt of today but can never again be touched. Also Read: How Jyoti Bhatt inspired the new age Travellers and Documentarians with his life? I was an NCC(National Cadet Corps, youth wing of Indian Armed Forces) Cadet during my university years and had a brief opportunity to rigorously walk throughout the Central Indian State of India, Madhya Pradesh for over a month. During one such walk on a …

Jyoti Bhatt : A Tribute to a Living Legend : A Photographic Essay on Rural Gujarati Indian Life(1971-1987)

Today, he is 87 and I will only wish that somehow a film compiling his works, his life, no matter however directed, should come out before we lose all of it. His experiences of that time and era must be recorded.

Turiya and RamaKrishna: Who Are You?- ११

Nara commentates … First called is Svante, alittle five year old sannyas aspirant, and subodhi, his mother. Ramakrishna tells him to shut his eyes which he does, instantly, with full obedience, tight and very still, the little pouches strainingto do just right. His knees are held bytwo chubby-small intentful hands. We all lookwith breathless stillnesssurrounding an open rose as the little swami emerges, Love, Little Anando.  : ँ :Last seven days were work but nights kept leading me to the milk mountains. Full moon i.e the sharad purnima of October, kept revealing magic on one condition. That I must not close my eyes.  If I observe a graph of my inner self, it has been nothing less than hydrogen working its way towards the biggest star. Slowly but so intense, that being a writer becomes a curse because I cannot explain it.  : ँ : In Omkareshwar, a few years ago, on the banks of the river Narmada. A register found me; a life of a french yogi documented in images glued on its thin white pages. It was a real treat. Because they were not mere photographs, but codes, Sri Yantras, …

Knowing Gandhi and Learning from many Mahatmas

Today is Lal Bahadur Shastri’s birthday. The second Prime Minister of India, who was rather killed/poisoned on his visit to Tashkent in 1966. He had gone to sign a peace deal organised by the US and the USSR seminaries, UN security members with Pakistan’s Military Leader Ayub Khan after the war of 1965. The deal was signed in the evening as the Peace Pact failed. The next morning, he was found dead in his room. For days, months and years that commenced and kept passing by; it was less strange, rather maddening that no one ever asked for an inquiry, no one protested, no body looked for proofs or questioned the circumstances of his death. Death of the head of a nation state was accepted as mere fate. He was a sincere and a firm leader. He did not shy away from going into war with Pakistan in 1965, that was pushed on him merely a year later he took office; and only three years later, after Nehru’s historical blunder when China opened fire and …

Truth, Evil and the Sun

When we reached Gopeshwar that night, Gana seemed speechless. But Neel looked at him with satisfaction giving an expression like then he has seen. We sat around fire, while waiting for the food to arrive. Open your ears said Neel and he began speaking like reciting an over practised hymn. The men in the east, he said, are trees; those in the south are flocks of animals; those in the west are wild plants. And those in the north like ourselves, who cried out while they ate other men, were the waters. When the collective sound started filling the air, he started explaining about eating. The act of eating is a violence that causes what is living, in its many forms, to disappear. Whether grass, plants, trees, animals or human beings, the process is the same. There is always a fire that devours and a substance that is devoured. This violence bringing misery and torment will one day be carried out by those who inflict it. Pouring milk into the fire- every morning, every evening- …

How i found my Will? And sooner my health. The Kushti world of Ancient Indian Wrestling: A Photographic Essay -II

It was a week later, since that night of inner churning, when I met Sangram Singh again, and for the first time at his one room flat in Delhi. And most interestingly, he was already drinking, since sunrise. His whole house smelled of tobacco. Lights not brighter than the ones we sat under, in his auto. The green wall behind him wore a Hanuman calendar of the previous year. His eyes swollen, pointed, looking towards me, followed my gaze from the wall to the glass that was kept at the low table beside his bed, rum still left in it. “It’s not good for a wrestler, you know”. He picked up the glass and emptied it in one gulp. When I was young even the smell of this bothered me, but now it’s my nectar. It is this, which makes me feel alive. But Narayan, you look different today, Sangram suddenly getting aware of my presence. You seem all ready? He said looking at my camera. You wanted to see the wrestling place, right? I …