All posts filed under: India

A Dip in the Rivers

From time to time, a dip in the river changes your perception about that river you just became with. She starts knowing you and you her. To start with, first of all she calms you down. Slowly changing your inner nature. And gradually of the outside. It may even happen that hundreds of dips later over the years you may start earning some qualities of that river. Your temperature of the body gets strengthened and so does your smile. And if you are open as you naturally should be, like a child; your ever expanding nature will carry you then to the places that can only be created behind your closed eyes. Sailing along patterns of current, looking at forms, colours, patterns, walls, speculating other dimensions in the dark, to the sounds of birds and leaves, of burning dead trees and water ripples, hearing bodies visually and later, very slowly language. Sometimes a small reaction changes the whole tail of events. Sometimes the start itself is the end. But the dip is important. Because that …

When Krishna calls. A dream life of an Australian Photographer from Paris : Travels in Vrindavan

“O Krishna, the stillness of the divine union, which you describe, is beyond my comprehension. How can the mind which is so restless, attain lasting peace. Krishna, the mind is restless, turbulent, powerful, violent. To tame the mind is like to tame the wind.” – Srimad Bhagvad Gita  I was in my early teens when on my grandmother’s fierce insistence, parents took us on a tour to Mathura and Vrindavan. Krishna had supposedly entered my grandmother’s dream. She lost her sleep, and waited for that day when she would touch the earth of Krishna’s birth. And encircling the epical, ancient, holy Govardhana hill,  गोवर्धन पर्वत on her bare feet. The sun was setting in the land of braj as we arrived, the winds started blowing, grandmother’s eyes went backwards; her body calmed, voice started mumbling the words known to every wall and each monkey sitting on them, as they could  be heard from myriad mouths. Narrow lanes of brick, tall walls wearing Mughal attires turning holy, as the time turned blue like romance, the colour of Krishna, Yamuna …

The motorcycle, Dalai Lama and the Meal – I

Few years ago, I was travelling with once upon a time a beautiful friend. And like all great friendships do, we were growing up becoming something together. And during this long period of growth had found our confidence, our speech, as we took travelling to many a distant lands and one land far; discovering treasures together that helped us earning our eyes, my outer nature and his inner, we learnt together and kept going.   The sun had set again. And unlike last night that had just blown in; we should have found something, somewhere to rest, to eat by now. But here we were still riding, and had been riding our motorcycles for last two, twelve-hour days, while living through one gruelling moonless, freezing night in between, that started late yesterday noon, when we were stopped, stunned to see a river that had come on the road. We parked and got down. One spring had broken loose. Pulling in all mud, the boulders, rocks, with an intimidating noise, and the force of the coldest water …

Bateshwar Temples from the eyes of the legendary Archaeologist KK Muhammad: A Photo Essay and FILM

My earliest memory of meeting KK Muhammad was in his white room, filled with books to the brim, touching the tall old roof of the Red Fort Complex, his newly ancient home. Astounded, I asked him if he would ever finish reading all these books! Smiling, he said, “Narayan an age comes when you don’t keep books to read them, they read me daily instead. I only use them for references”. Somehow I carried this memory for long, and since then had no guilt for keeping as many books myself, thinking either way of someday reading or at least being read by them. I also remember him today as he came out to be one of the most important person who was behind the archaeological excavations at Ayodhya, that according to him clearly indicated the presence of a temple below the mosque. Father of one of my filmmaker friend, with whom i was fortunate to work together in the making of this film, that became a tribute, a testimony for his commendable and courageous work …

The Paradox

Who is observing the observer? Are you in front of the camera or behind it ? Or are you it ? Do you realize the change Changing? We walked up to the oldest virgin man. The sevak of shiva sitting on a hill, under a bright summer sun. His skin had earned blocks of pentagon, shaped into numerous lines criss-crossing his whole body. Once wrinkles turned into scales, crafted like on a snake’s skin. For a moment when he stood, I moved and touched that skin. But it felt nothing like it instead it was soft as wool. We walked seven steps together and then he sat in the shadow, near few men who had come from the nearby village, singing. He was humorous. He looked at Maharaj ji and told him that you look older than me! abhi bhi dum lagate ho? Do you still smoke Chillum? And started laughing at his own prank. But when he did, i could see through his mouth till his almost neck, bereft of any bone. wide, narrow, dry and …

To a Monsoon Wedding and a Rare Feast –III

After Kaushik and I experienced our first monsoon thunder, together under this Divine Tree, I knew that home was calling. I was already on an extended journey here in Bengal, but incessant downpour set me up for long at Kaushik’s home in Jhargram. One evening when rain took a brief break, I went out on a short walk towards the local football park where i had played five days ago, where I was welcomed by millions of frogs playing music  in the recently grown pond. During one of those rainy nights Kaushik received a phone, where his friend invited him to his sister’s wedding. I got excited and we decided to leave, with a condition. His friend asked us to reach by the daylight. We started from here in time, but rain and bad road took all day to reach a place from where we had to wait for the jeep to the village. It was a strange place. There were many people but there was almost no sound. I didn’t see almost anyone talking …

Love in Himachal Pradesh

Lets start from where we ended. For twenty-seven nights, I was the only one living in a wooden balcony that hung facing the jungle on a whole mountain. The red moon that I saw on the forehead of a mother in the village down, i saw a similar one on my lover. But her eyes were set against the only window the first night. Pink walls. She told me she wants to scream. Now! I said. She smiled. Fire. She kept looking in my eyes and started screaming. I closed my mouth. And opened my eyes. It was winters. It was cold. And you know when it is winters and when it is cold how heavy the rains hit. It confuses the heart. It was sunny next day. Pluto arrived. Nara, let’s go meet the man who sneezes forty times. He does that once daily. We left our two limping dogs behind. It was a beautiful walk. We reached. We sat outside Daulat Ram’s home in his garden on uncomfortable plastic chairs. An old brown …

One monsoon in Bengal – II

After hiding under the monsoon tree i had thought of home and had felt at that moment home is calling. Bengal had become love filled for me because of Kaushik. I was living, moving in the rural country around his village as he wished to. We reached his home thinking i will take the evening bus to calcutta but the moment we arrived at his place it started drizzling and it did not stop raining for next four days to come. Here I am writing from Kaushik’s village home in Jhargram. Its night. Light has come after nine hours. I have cooked six packets of maggie with peas and potato. We both will eat it all tonight. Kaushik has gone to get McDowell’s for himself. Its my last night. We are partying. Meanwhile, I posted that letter to M. Something happened. Let me share this. it was magical – I am fortunate to have spent a memorable time during west Bengal monsoons. The blue sky behind the clouds had slept and drizzling took a break from firmly falling …