All posts tagged: Rural India

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 …

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 …

Homeland

He woke up four inches below the snow like bed. But the day ahead was going to be as treacherous. He felt excited because travelling to rural India gave a smile to his face. Indian villages to a good extent still practice their civilisational old traditions. The air is different, the land for miles is green. But leaving Delhi behind is a lengthy affair. Their is an infrastructure push. Hundreds and thousands of trees that once gave beauty, breath and shade have now given way to expressway and highways and along with it empty, always being constructed high rise buildings. Slowly we start going past it. And we start seeing cow dung cakes kept for sun drying for kilometres. For centuries cow dung cakes known as “upla” in Hindi are used for cooking, cleaning homes and for homa- the fire worship. It’s smoke is known to purify the environment killing small insects and creatures. Many years ago someone said to Nara about India, when he was roaming in the river valleys of Kedar, that India …

LAST FLIGHT OF AN OWL

She kept looking towards the sky while floating in the water kept for cows. Her death seemed such that at one time I felt she chose it.   But do birds more so when one is a predator choose their own death?   When Maharaj ji arrived, he first closed his eyes. May be she needed someone to close her eyes before it could be plucked out by hungry ones. May be he earned this burial. To only put a stop to this cycle. May his body rests and the spirit awakens. Aum Shanti In Photos 1  

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 …