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Friday, July 31, 2009

A picture speaks more than a thousand words

Words and phrases that flit through the mind..
Sometimes making more sense than at other times.I also like to connect phrases with visuals, so have put together all these photographs taken recently to qualify this statement.

'God's in His Heaven, all's right with the world,' Robert Browning wrote.
And this is what Frederick Buechner,said in his interpretation.It was in 'Listening to Your Life', (Harper, San Francisco, 1992.)

"Like sheep we get hungry, and hungry for more than just food. We get thirsty for more than just drink. Our souls get hungry and thirsty; in fact it is often that sense of inner emptiness that makes us know we have souls in the first place.

There is nothing that the world has to give us, there is nothing that we have to give to each other even, that ever quite fills them. But once in a while that inner emptiness is filled even so. That is part of what the psalm means by saying that God is like a shepherd, I think. It means that, like a shepherd, he feeds us. He feeds that part of us which is hungriest and most in need of feeding."

So this is what I really mean., when I say that these visuals beautifully reflect the phrase, "God's in his heaven, all's right with the world."
Also, that a picture speaks more than a thousand words

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

End of an era... x... two

There are things and there are places that we think will last forever. Or rather, we we never question the very fact of their being there.Always.

As I did with Central Cottage Industries Emporium on Janpath as well as Nirulas in Connaught place in Delhi.But things do change.And institutions do wind up.As I saw to my great sadness yesterday.

The old Cottage Industries building has been brought down and in its place there lies an empty stretch of land, currently being used as a car park.To add to that,where Nirulas-(HotShoppe, Chinese, Ice cream parlour and the Salad bar) stood proudly for the last so many years, there is now a Haldiram's.

As I stood there, trying to take in the completely changed landscape, for a very long,awful moment, I felt a sense of heartbreak.The kind that tells one that life is really not the same anymore.

For a large part of ones memories, of one's 'growing up' years have been wiped away with that.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Community bonding -at a place of worship

I've thought of this many times earlier and continue to think of this every time I find myself in a place of worship.

Primarily, there is such a feeling of one-ness and bonding between those who congregate at a place of worship at a particular point in time.

Sitting with people who are 'unknown', (yet seem almost like old friends) listening to the same Shabad Kirtans, and hearing the same discourses,eating the same 'Karha Prashad' and then washing one's hands and feet at the is all so very bonding.

It is also a moment when one realises...yet again...what true belief and faith in a higher power is really all about

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Moment of truth/Sach Ka Saamna

Yesterday, I caught my first episode of 'Sach Ka Saamna', and was quite zapped!At the programme content as well as the psyche of the participants.

For it really would be a dificult situation..that tight rope walk

Between wanting to win a crore of rupees vis a vis putting your closest relationships to the toughest test. One which might cause grave, or even permanent damage.

Then again,this a personal choice and something that every adult man or woman must be able to discern for themselves.

That very old line comes back to mind.
"Whoever said that being a grown up was easy?"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever..."

Sometimes we all have to resort using to lines written by some of the immortal poets in order to convey our thoughts in the best way possible.
So here I'm doing exactly that-using a sonnet written by John Keats which best describes some of my recent photographs.

"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep.

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep...
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing.

A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darken'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits...

(N.B-All photos taken by me in various parts of the UK- July 09.)

Monday, July 6, 2009

The 'Real' Moonwalk, forty years ago.

For the last few days, the media has been innundated with the sad news of the death of an all time Pop icon, Michael Jackson.The same man who made a dance step called the 'Moonwalk' a world wide phenomenon.

But if one was to go back to almost exactly forty years( 20th of July to be precise)a Moonwalk of a different kind,was taking place.This time on the moon itself....

As approximately 500 million people around the world people watched on their grainy television screens, Neil Armstrong of Apollo 11, alighted from his spaceship and walked onto the moon with the by now immortal words,"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Words that touched a deep chord in the hearts of one and all and reverberated all around the world.The second man on the moon,minutes after him was his very own teammate, Commander Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin, who talked of the "magnificient desolation' of the Lunar landscape.

So as we wait for the Public Memorial to Michael Jackson, the 'moonwalker', tommorrow in Los Angeles, I thought it was an apt moment to talk about these two men and a total of only ten others since then, who have actually done the 'real' Moonwalk.

(The photograph above,shows the largest moon visible in fifteen years.Taken by me on the 12th of December, just ahead of the Al Hoota caves, Sultanate of Oman.)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Decriminalization of homosexuality-now a raging debate in India

It was a landmark judgement and one that very large number of Indians,approximately about 7 million in number, India's gay population,had been waiting for.Along with those who saw this as the only possible way to move forward in this day and age.

The day that the Delhi High Court of decided that Delhi High Court ruled that homosexual sex between consenting adults is not a criminal act, was an extraordinary day indeed, as it overturned a 149-year-old British colonial law which described a same-sex relationship as an "unnatural offence".

Simply because this was 'one of a kind' judgement, making India only the 127th country in the world to allow consenting same sex adults to make up their own minds. At least as far as their sexual preferences are concerned..

So what really is the ruling- Very simply, it boils down to this-
Scrapping Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code earlier this week, the court ruled that the law outlawing homosexual acts was discriminatory and a "violation of fundamental rights".

Leading gay rights activist and the Editor of India's first gay magazine Ashok Row Kavi welcomed the judgement. Yet in a media interview he said that "the social stigma will remain. It is (still) a long struggle. But the ruling will help in HIV prevention. Gay men can now visit doctors and talk about their problems. It will help in preventing harassment at police stations."

However, the real area of debate has only just begun.And I suspect, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

With someone like Laloo Prasad Yadav, among many, many others, opposing this in it's entirety. According to him, the Indian government must appeal this in a higher court and have it quashed.The real fact of the matter is that many people in India still regard homosexuality as 'illegitimate', including voices from Christian and Muslim organizations.

My point of view- 'Live and let live' and let each adult be able to independently arrive at their own decision making process.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

'New York', a film that I could identify with

Managed to see New York yesterday, and came back satisfied. And with my 'thinking cap' right back on, for it certainly accomplished that.

Dealing with the aftermath of life in the US after 9/11, the movie manages to clearly express the trauma as well as the unfair humiliation and terror tactics that young Muslims, particularly Asians, had to undergo as they came under the 'eye of suspicion-real or imagined was hardly the criteria....

Great locales, some good acting, a fairly tight script are some of the highlights. But most important is the fact that we can believe in it, as it could be any one of us in that situation.

Any more and I'd be giving away the story..