Confidence in nonsense is a requirement for the creative process

Life in India

The shorthand of emotion..


is what Leo Tolstoy calls music..

The portraits are of one of the greatest musicians India has known, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. He is the master of the Sarod which is also known as ‘Shardiya Veena’ which basically implies that it is an ancient instrument. I recently had the good fortune of attending his concert and this was the first time I had the opportunity to photograph an event like this. Magical is all I can say.

Music is not something I’m qualified to talk about but I’m passionate about it. Indian classical music more so..because of its complexity and simplicity.. I’m not at liberty due to copyright to post video or audio files from the concert itself but attaching a clip of the Maestro playing the sarod in case you have not heard him play before..

also, the ISO was purposefully high to get the grainy romantic feel…and also because it was too dark :p

"You are the music, while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. ~Ludwig van Beethoven

It is incontestable that music induces in us a sense of the infinite and the contemplation of the invisible. ~Victor de LaPrade


happy feet..


Two of my colleagues and now friends in the organization I work with, have year and 3 year old kids. And I was completely bowled over when they shared how they celebrate their kids’ birthdays. The one year old tot had his very first birthday in life a couple of weeks ago and his parents took him to an orphanage, where he gave the kids all sorts of gifts useful for them to go to school and a little party so that they could have one evening of indulgence. Since these kids live on charity and are more often than not starved even for the basics. The joy on the mom’s face as she described the day to us the next morning was unbelievable.
But what I envy most is the legacy her little kid is going to carry with him as he grows up…

After all my grumpiness at the intellectual progress and increasing shallowness of people around me and all that jazz, it was a heartening story that fell in my lap..
it brings a smile, doesn’t it?

PS: tiny little adorable feet, courtesy of my two year old niece Gargi.


mind depth..


I’m bothered by the contemporary need of keeping everything light. I have nothing against humor and that’s not what I’m referring to. The incessant effort made to stay away from any topic, event or person who makes one think and feel uncomfortable is my problem. Anything deeper than a reality show is now considered boring. Movies dealing with serious real world issues do not get patrons whereas mindless drivel makes millions. Let’s not even get into the kind of authors who are getting recognition today. I miss the times when shows like M.A.S.H were considered quality humor and newspapers discussed news and politics instead of making a hullabaloo about a politician being slapped and an entire state being shut down for business . Is this a price of progress? Have we reached a stagnation point for good taste and intelligent development of the mind? Or have we gone in denial?


Things that matter…


there’s a Marathi (my mother tongue) song which goes ‘rakat desha, kankhar desha, dagdanchya desha’..
hard to translate in English but it’s a love song for the land we live in describing it as bold, strong and rocky ..as in literally full of rocks. It takes a special kind of love to describe something as rocky and yet mean it as a compliment.

This image is from the backwaters of a little mud dam located in a village some 100 kms from Pune. The landscape of India is what keeps me rooted here.. Because every time I spend 45 minutes in traffic for a 10 minute distance, get rudely called off by people on the road, face immense amount of resistance to good ideas just because of cultural attitudes or never get work done in public offices, when life is so busy that work days become 12 hour stretches with no time to spare for things I love.. I have to keep reminding myself that there is beauty here. It needs to be unearthed… Under the callous exterior there is tenderness somewhere. The scruffiness is brought upon by circumstance and not by choice. No matter how I hate the everyday life..I still love being here.. It seems to be a hard comparison to make. But how do you decide if you are happy even when days are spent in misery? Probably because at the end of the day, sleep comes with a satisfaction of being at home…
I don’t know.


let there be light..


not sure I’d like to explain why I had disappeared. But now I’m back..hopefully still accepted as before 🙂


not sure why..


..but something about this composition attracted me. It’s quite run of the mill so to speak. but not everything can be explained now, can it?

also here’s an interesting e-book of motivational essays on photography by Scott Bourne. Maybe you’d enjoy it as much as I did. The free download is here

sorry folks. things have been terrible..and trust me I have been checking out everyone’s posts every day..but commenting requires a kind of energy and positive belief which I’m lacking currently. But I get daily inspiration from everyone’s posts and ideas. I never knew the blogosphere could feel like a place I belong to..


it’s complicated…


As a 20 year old, I was devout. My faith in God unquestioned.

More than a decade later, I find myself sitting outside this beautiful temple on a hill surrounded my monsoon green.. a place where even the harshest of critics would attempt to consider the presence of a higher power..
and I couldn’t make myself go in..
I felt like a petulant child sulking in the corner..
Loss of innocence is a bigger loss than the loss of faith..


We are all on a journey..


from here..

to here..

..and none of us can predict the turns it will take
nor can we exert control..
though we may like to think so..
all that we can hope for..
is that at the end,
there’s some measure of peace..


abudana..


..meaning abode in Urdu or Hindi.. not really sure.

The little ones building the nest in our window are almost done..
looks like we may have baby birds around the place soon enough..


flux..


that’s how it is these days..
changes that I can feel
but not see..
nor understand..
just a sense of motion
and flow..