Heaven knows I have a backlog of photos to blog but fresh from a hectic eco/immersion-tourism trip to Orissa, I have a total Oriya hangover that begs to jump the queue. This is a frieze from the Sun Temple in Konark – where our tour guide shouted at us (just in terms of his volume, we figured he was unused to groups of only two!) I loved this dragonesque lion bullying the elephant. My trusty 6500 refused to work much of the time so all my cool photos of flaming Palash & simul, the baby goat I nearly ‘kid’napped, the baby elephant we played with at the Simplipal reserve, the Khairi river, sal leaf forests, the random-ass cups of *salted* tea I was continually served (grr) are all on the Samsung so cannot be posted here. We packed a lot into four days and I think I need a vacation from this vacation.
This beauty caught my eye in Colaba. At first glance, of course, I figured it was cosmetics, hair clips, the usual fare. But someone out there is more confused than I am 🙂 Signs like these aren’t rare. But since I have really nothing more to add … I’ll let the picture tell the rest of the story.
One of our dogs died Friday. We rushed her to the Bombay SPCA because it’s the only all-night vet hospital we know of. They treated her with a callous irresponsibility we are still raging against. She would have died anyway, she was badly hurt, but they certainly protracted our pain and hers (the subject of a complaint letter that has been circulated widely now). But what stays beyond to haunt me beyond my grief is the horror of the place. Remember how the Scarecrow in Batman visits upon someone an image of their deepest abhorrence? For me, this would be it. In an atmosphere of despair that sucks your soul dry, abandoned and sick animals cry all the time. Howls, whimpers, almost-human shrieks rent the night. Anyone with a brain and a heart would be tormented. I’m never going there again. p.s. please don’t post condolence comments.
Outside the Lower Parel office of Mudra, this Ganesh blesses the cars and junta jostling by. I believe he’s been around for a few months, but I only caught sight of him looming largely this past week. When I think of mudras, the dancer’s poses, it’s not the agency that comes to mind but the shadow warrior in Rushdie’s Haroun – easily the best book he’s ever written. Next to this Ganesh is a multi-armed goddess. I’ll get her next time there’s no car blocking her length. Meanwhile please to note that there is a fresh hibuscus tucked between Ganesh’s toes, then, and every day since. 🙂
Once in a while, I see something that takes me back to my childhood with such an intensity that I have to stop and take a breath. Remember these Phantom cigs? I’d lick their pink tips and pretend to smoke them (back when I thought smoking was ‘cool’.) I seem to remember competing with my friend Rima to see who could make the end most pointy before it broke.
Maybe these have always been around and I haven’t been paying too much attention. Some candies I adored as a kid have disappeared, but others, like Parle’s Melody Chocolate Toff, have been resurrected, with shiny new 21st-century packaging. Harnik, here’s blowing phantom smoke rings at ya! 🙂
In the streets of Mumbai, not only do Hindus and Muslims shiver in the same cold, but the cats and dogs seem to have come to some understanding as well. See, it’s all just dirty politics that serve to divide us. This was taken one cool evening near Bombay University as we traipsed around Kala Ghoda, drank ganna juice, gazed at Flora (you know … of Flora Fountain fame), marvelled at how green and velvety the grass looked under the fountain, and then stumbled upon this rag tag group sleeping near the homeless.
So, tonight, after 3 days of being mostly home (except for a couple of man-on-the-street interviews for Radio Netherlands’ “Newsline” program), we ventured into town to go look at the Taj and light a candle. And the vigil had been moved to Marine Drive for security reasons, but people had obviously been there and continued to come there with candles and hand written cards, as well as flowers, ironically propped up against the ghastly police barricades. We couldn’t get much closer to the Taj Palace, but the strange thing is how peaceful it all seemed. Serene, even.
So the blog, my email, and my ISP has been down for a while. But the folks at Network Solutions and Dreamhost seem to have finally made their peace and let me transfer my domain name. And MTNL restored our broadband service (so it now functions for more than 30 minutes a day), at approximately the same time. I’ve been working random hours and places. And on one such jaunt, I caught sight of this kid having his bike fixed on the sidewalk. And when he straightened up, I noticed his shirt. Look closely. 😉 Cue orchestra! Celine, honey, you’re on!
“Like a circle in a spiral, Like a wheel within a wheel, Never ending or beginning, On an ever-spinning reel,” wrote Alan Bergman and these lyrics were spinning through my mind as I sat in a ferris wheel for the first time in … something like two decades? This was at the Mount Mary Festival/Bandra Fair and not only did we jump into the ferris wheel and scream our lungs out, we also shot small balloons with an air gun, and bought soap bubbles! Such fun!
If you want to see the “wheel within a wheel” click on the picture for a different image.
I was challenged by arun to do my bit as a blogger so I hunted through my phone photos and found this one – taken on Saturday as the light turned a particularly gorgeous autumnal gold – in Central
Mumai Mumbai, somewhere near Lamington Road and Grant Road. Unfortunately I don’t recall the name of this building and my search won’t yield a result. I’ve passed it numerous time and looked at the various stores, hotels, libraries, and denizens it houses in wonder – marveling at how they, like so many Mumbaikars, live cheek-to-jowl with each other, sharing a bathroom with dozens, able to hear every nuance of their neighbors’ lives through the thin walls of their single room … And yet, this is the only existence they can afford. Do they see beauty in their lives? Or is that a luxury afforded only to people like me, zooming by in AC cars with an expensive camera-phone?
Khair, if you do know the name of this building, please share. Otherwise, I’ll update this post after the next time I go by it.