Monday, February 27, 2006


...ssshh! this is IT! the epic-entre of the ram-laksman-sita threesome...some froliky troika this must have been!! besides being the source of the river godavari. the rest is evident ;)

woke up early one morn at chitrakoot to do darshan at this v imp dharmasthala...climb a flight of stairs before you ease yourself into this "orifice" on a hillside...all squishy with ankle-deep water as you splosh along in relative darkness with bats flitting overhead...illuminated suddenly by gennie-run halogens. voila! ram kund...all cavernous, echo-ey and plonk in the centre a vermillion weilding baba...raamji ka darshan dus rupaiya chanting mantra-like though threateningly...i duck n go around leaving behind a procession of freshly shaved devotees who meekly pay up n are hopefully cleansed of any previous paaps...tap tap tap! these hindus are crazy!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

chitrakoot ahoy! in delhi on my way to chitrakoot for the third time in 5months...this boondock village in central india on the border of mp n up. this ngo - vanangana's been working there for 19years now on dalit and women's rights. and they got this hi8 video camera from in recognition of their excellent work...that's where i come in - teaching 6 field-level workers how to use this camera...and that too in hindi!!

...but with just 6-8 hours of electricity a day, i never was convinced about video being the medium to be pursuing. but then who are we to be denying them this "sexy new technology"??! but for me, its been fun, challenging, exasperating (how do you explain perpective in hindi, among other things), a huge learning (my hindi remains embarassing - lugaee (gharwali) instead of ludaiya (gud ke ladoo)!!) much entertainment for the natives!!

what boggled the mind was how far from my reality this place is...a few hundred kilometers from the city but lightyears away in mindspace. this is phoolan devi territory where gangsters greet you with guns even before the camera is pulled out. kbc? never heard of it forget seeing it!!

hopefully, by the end of this week they should be able to choose good from bad, log and transcribe what they've let's see! more when i'm back!

Monday, February 13, 2006

o what fun!

...begining to like this now...esp that a few friends have begun to stop by to read n respond.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

ah! this works! Posted by Picasa

have you ever been hit? finally happened yesterday! slapped hard (on my left cheek) for the first time in life! some lumpen in an st bus in an fracas over c! knew it was coming but still didn't do enough to duck it!...the hit as it resounded in my left ear, numbed me to inaction. thought of several things i'd have liked to do after he'd gotten off the bus. but then, what remained was my overwhelming inablilty to deal with physical violence. gandhi n christ might have well turned the other cheek, but me, i just mustered up some gaalis, didn't suck up enough saliva to spit on him!
no one in the bus reacted save one man, knew that wasn't enough to "tackle" the lumpen. several variations flashed my mind's eye, but none saw me standing victorious over the slain tiger's head. gulped several gulps as i put on a brave face trying not to think of the sting on my left cheek. silence along the thane creek as the bus rattled into the sunset..what do you do?
pepper spray! my swiss army knife...what a chicken! saala, aurat ko chedta hai!!

Friday, February 03, 2006

...but tomorrow never came!

...felt some pressure about not having written for the last 3 days. but then, also got excited to know that i've had some hits already! got busy with a music video shoot. suprised?? well, its not any ol music video, but one for the troppen museum junior in amsterdam! they're featuring bombay over the next two n half years! and figured that instead of running an arbit set of images in a loop, why not make a story out of it and even got asha bhosale to sing a song...which i put pictures to!

my first music video...low budget, low on time given..hope it don't turn out too bad. but i enjoyed it thoroughly, made a few mistakes, learnt some new tricks, met some fab sashi - our production guy, who'd run away from his home in benares 19years ago when he was just 13!! walked out of VT straight to gateway, lived there on the pavement and slept inside the dome! today, he is married to this bawi and has 2 sons (who go to st xaviers) and lives in lamington road!! took me back to my days at cry and my street children's project. over irani chai n brun maska, we dipped deep into the past leaving me completely awestruck n humbled.

with that kind of background, it wasn't suprising to see how he'd get things done and with a smile but without a bribe, so unlike the usual harami production guys...

and lisbet from the troppen museum think she's been been with the museum for 27years! her first job since she was 22!!