Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Feather

The wind takes away the sand in my hand,
I wonder where it goes.
And, then I realize I am a feather
I go far away,
I won't come back again.

I will move from the meadow
And go through the desert
Perhaps I will rest..
And contemplate

I will contemplate
I will consider what I have done.
But sometimes what you do seems to have no consequences
Or so you think

But what matters is, that even the feather will
Will pay for what is done.
Like the sand it too will move, free of will
Never return to the same place

Move ahead, but carry the past
The further it moves the more it carries
Heavier and heavier
Till it will rest..

Not going to ever return again..
I will rest and contemplate once again
This time, still..

Monday, December 8, 2008

Circle Circle DOT DOT

Explorations using a circle grid..just for fun. I've done a few others. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Esiouqrut- The Jewellry Line

The work shown here was done for a studio class in the month of September. It was for a jewellery making course called 'Vanity Fair'. These are some of my explorations, that led to the creation of a line of jewellery, some which is shown here.

rough, uncut and chic
jewellery made from silk that can be used in more than just one way.

Esiouqrut” means an uncut and unpolished stone. The collection is feminine, soft and girly. The collection is made using silk, sequins, stones, washers and the process of dying.

                                                                                                         Mood board

India's next Terrorist??!

 After the terrorist blasts happened in Mumbai, perhaps the only thing that was almost as appalling as the act, was one man.. Arnab Goswami.
 I would generally choose not to comment on people, since it's a rather subjective matter. But, for once, I've felt so strongly that I chose not to ignore it. Arnab Goswami, Editor-In-Chief of Times Now is a pathetic loser. If one cannot be unbiased while being a journalist/ Tv anchor, what's the point? Your job is to deliver the news as it is, not with your own views and prejudices. 
  It was really sad to see him harp on and on about how the terrorist the police caught was a Pakistani. He didn't have to stress on his nationality. People can figure things out for themselves. To treat your audiences as dim-wits is pathetic.
  His anti-Pakistan propaganda really pissed me off.
  I understand, what happened was very tragic. But, your duty, Mr. Goswami is to read the news, not preach it. 
  Anger rages through me as I recap, in my mind, watching him on Tv. And it's not just his love for vanquishing Pakistan that sickens me, but the fact that he chooses to display it on national television. What is he trying to do, brainwash some more Indian's into having feelings of negativity towards Pakistan?
  Why bring more hate into a world, where there is more than enough of it already?
  It's rather unfortunate that he is one of the leading faces of Indian news broadcasting on Tv.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A City Where The Lanes Are Narrow

It was a city where the lanes were narrow, and every turn you took would lead you to another corner of the universe. I wondered as I wandered in these congested lanes, “Why were the streets so small? No planning in such an ancient city?” An old man read my thoughts or perhaps my expressions and said, “The lanes are small but all for a good reason. The last time an enemy's army tried to enter these lanes, they were welcomed by buckets of boiling water from the sky.”

Each house is joined to the next in these tiny lanes. From the exterior it may seem like many tiny house one after another, but some claim that inside it's really just a single house. Miles and miles of one single house. But, now the grandeur seems lost. The people have disappeared and so has time.

But, poetry and arts have survived. There is a certain tea shop, amongst the millions that this city has. Just another tea shop. A group of 7 beings come in every evening. They are the gods of this city. The locals are aware of their presence and a traveller may never even see one of these men. These seven gods speak in an ancient language, their every own. The speak of the city and the wonders it holds. They speak from within. It's as if they don't speak really, it's as if something from within their hearts emits syllables. Each one has so much to say. When you listen carefully, your world seems to stop. Their words engulf you and you must become one of them. It may seem to be only a one sided view, but who can resist the gods?

What the God's say, so do all the mortals. I had never seen such a diverse group of people, sharing similar views. The caste whose hands spin out magnificent draperies will also bathe in the holy river. They believe in the power of purification by this “Motherly” water body. The “Mother” takes care of her child, the city. She dotes on it and her grandchildren. In this nurturing environment, in the city with narrow lanes are people who work. Their hands do the thinking and the making. The artifacts they create are every one's favorites. The city seems to thrive on these favorites and the river. The outsider looks with admiration and pays for it too. I wonder if it is an industry? Will the outside world ever touch this city?

The outside world has it's chaos. But, everyone who's minds and souls have impregnated the holy soil will say the outside chaos will never come in. After all the lanes are too narrow, they claim. Is it ignorance or confidence that this city shall remain as it is, I wonder? But, from what I saw in this buzzing with activity city, perhaps nothing will change. The Mother will protect her child from all “evils”.

The colors here have faded over the decades, but new one's replace them. The sites and sounds everyday in this city remain just as enthralling as the previous day. The journeys of the people in those man pulled vehicles come to an end. They end at a dark lane. As you walk in the souls surround you. A feeling of claustrophobia emerges in this narrow lane. The Mother welcomes them with open arms. “You are born from the earth and now you shall be part of me”.

The belief of the people in this city is strong. It seems to revolve around the bull that sits on the road and often blocks the traffic. You may nudge them with your elbow, but you cannot refuse them food. Such is the city where in these narrow lanes a bull sits.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Smell of Me

It’s cold. No animals could ever thrive here... I doubt if they’d even want to really!

But it’s cold and still. There’s that feeling of dampness in the air. There isn't much circulation and I love the smell of me. It fills the cold like the fragrance of fresh blood when another creature dies. The smell of me, I coil around and let it lather my skin. The roots from above hang like chandeliers. There’s that sign of life, constantly reminding me what I live for... warm blood. It’s cold.

Golden streaks, like ribbons enter. It’s cool now. I can hear the voices of what will make my day a good start. Fresh and warm.

The ribbons enter, the chandeliers light up. There is a slight whiff of fresh air. I remain still and I bask in the aromas that fill the air. A slight movement above me, shakes the chandeliers. Tiny particles of dirt sprinkle on my skin. The mixture of smells, of the earth and me, wake me up.

The voices outside continue in unison. I move so slightly, I almost forget of my own presence. The coil unwraps. No sounds in my part of the world. Slow movement, almost as gentle as a snail moving across a leaf. The only trace I leave behind is my skin. The lathered skin, with the smell of me. But, now I look somewhat new; a new being of sorts. The dirt around me shifts. It presses against my skin. There is subtle friction but I manage. It’s my morning regime, first a brown coat and then a partridge.

The voices grow louder. I emerge without disturbing the lair. It must remain as it is, with the smell of me. I can feel those golden ribbons, they envelope me and I feel the warmth. It’s so familiar, like fresh blood.

Sometimes I wonder how stupid the creatures of this world are. How can they not understand me? My intentions?
I move an inch. They could have taken a mile.

But, life is taken for granted, by everyone. Not by me. I know what it feels like to move along the greens and hear them shudder in horror as I kill; one helpless victim after another. I know how it feels to have the power to command over the presence of a creature on this earth. I do it because I do not take my life for granted. I would die for the smell of me. I want creatures to smell the terror, smell the power, smell the pleasure, smell the satisfaction, smell me...

I move closer this time, calculating my every move. I am excited, I sense the warmth. It moves this time. Slyly I reach out.
I taste the air, I taste it.
It is inside me, we are one.
I sense a struggle, but my skin stops the blood circulation.
The partridge is dead.

I retreat with pleasure. The morning has gone off as planned. But then again, it had to.

The lair awaits my presence. I am in the damp air again. The smell of me fills lair. I lie there and let every part of my body go limp. I can still feel the partridge. I coil and rest in what are the fruits, rather flesh of my hunts.My skin rests against the brown once again. The is a cooling effect and I let the coolness surround me.

Water. It drops. Like big globules from the sky. The chandeliers shook. And the first tiny stream of water enters, unwelcome. I know that the rest of the creatures will probably rejoice for the hour of the life giver and home destroyer has arrived. One hot afternoon of lazing around turns into the search for a new lair. The fight to live. As I leave, it turn and look at what remains. I see my skin float and there is only a sweet smell in the air. The mud and water. No longer the smell of me.

I struggle sometimes. The search is never easy. I move, as slyly and silently as possible. I do not wish for the creatures to sense my presence. I am homeless. I am out in the open with nowhere to retreat to.

The air is cool; the water has stopped pouring from the sky. The mud is wet as I move through it. My search continues, but the sky is red now. It reminds me of blood. How it must stop moving every time the creature is inside me.

I see stones. Boulders. I move with caution. I must not set skin on the lair of another. But, its dry and the darkness heighten my senses. It seems no one is around. I move ahead. It’s as if there is a warmth emanating from the stones.
I stop.

I realise there is another. A creature, not of my kind though. I am alert and every muscle movement becomes a reaction to the warmth I can feel ahead of me. Power rages through my skin. Death lurks close by. I move beyond the boulders. I know it’s there, unaware of my presence.A rabbit. Sitting.

I spring on it. It’s like a reflex action inside me. Before I know it, it’s become a part of me. I see a branch and coil.

I can hear the bones. One by one they snap and the struggle of the creature comes to an end. Immense pleasure runs through my veins.

I slither into the hole in the rocks. It was probably the rabbits burrow. It must have sat there safe, but now its mine. Just like his life, his home is now mine.

As the darkness fills the maroon sky, I retreat to my new lair. There aren’t chandeliers here but it has that chill, which I have come to love.

But there is still one thing missing. I wait... as the lair fills up with...

The smell of me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Surname is Whaaaat?

Normally, one would spell the surname go-kha-lay as “Gokhale”. Well at least that’s how any self-respecting, true to his Konkan soil, Maharashtrian Gokhale would spell it. But, let’s just say our family is a little different, and no the surname really doesn’t have much to do with it. My parent’s like to refer to themselves as anti-social animals who will rarely invite people over. “If you wish to see us, give us a call. Check if we are home and you are more then welcome. We’ll take good care of you” I mean, who says that to their own relatives? Then there is the part where none of us believe in god… and every time our presence is required in a religious ceremony we have no idea about what we are supposed to do. So I guess our surname being a little “off”, just adds to the weird family image that we have.

Years ago, when my great grandfather was alive we were called the “Gokhale’s”.

The British Raj.

My great-grandfather went to England for some work. His name was Govind Gokhale. One Indian name the British could deal with, perhaps they had no patience to get the surname right. They would pronounce the surname as Go-kha-lee. Not a man of patience, my great-grandfather decided to just change the spelling, something a little simpler and obvious. So that’s how it became Gokhalay.

My grand-father however chose to stick to the old surname, true to the Marathi blood in him. But, my father saw sense in change and adopted it. And now there are only 3 people in Pune or Mumbai with the surname viz. my parents and me.

It’s really funny how these external sources can affect your life. I wouldn’t have imagined that someone’s way of pronouncing a name over 50 years ago would affect the way people look at my surname today (with skepticism). But what’s interesting is that a one culture can affect another person in such a way that they are forced to change something that’s almost an integral part of their identity. And I live with the surname I have as a result, which of course I like.

A Little Attention

I remember it like it was yesterday. There I was in my pretty pink frock, tailored by my mother. A well ironed sea-suckered dress. I wanted nothing more, life was bliss.
It was 1993.

Neeti…. Neeeeeetiiiiiiiii” called out Yashodhan, my best friend.

“Come let’s go play. It’s 5 already!”

For once, my mother allowed me to leave the house early. My usual time to play out side was 6pm to 7pm. There were other rules such as no wearing flip flops when you go out, no running behind cars etc. I was elated that I could leave home and play for 2 whole hours. For a 5 year old it’s a big deal!
I had my orange juice, which was compulsory and ran out of the house. I could hear my mother reminding me about the 7 ‘o clock deadline, but I chose to ignore it. It was all part of the daily routine.
An hour into a game of hopscotch and six of us were bored. That’s when we thought that running round the colony park would be the perfect idea. It wasn’t a tiny park, it was huge. All the big boys would play football or even volleyball sometimes and there was still enough space for swings and slides and sand pits.
So it was decided! We would play “catch-catch” all round the park on the tar road. I was excited. I wasn’t the fastest runner, but I was definitely not the slowest one. The odds were against them, I said to myself.
After another ten minutes of fighting on who would be the “denner” and calling each other names, we finally came to a conclusion. Yashodhan would be the “denner”.
That was something I wasn’t looking forward to. He was a year elder to me and hence, faster. But, I decided I would run my “fastestes” ever. I would get out.
The game started. I was of course an easy target for him. So he came charging at me, like bull running towards its target. I ran, I ran like I had never run before. Straight ahead I dashed.

I thought I was flying like the wind...

I thought I was as fast as the Road Runner… Wild-e-Coyote would never catch me.

I thought I was faster then a rabbit (assuming that they were the fastest animals on the face of this earth)…

I thought I could race a car if I had to…

I thought…

And I fell!

I felt like both my feet were in the air for a second. I probably looked like a horse that had forgotten how to run.

And I fell!

The tiny gravel pieces dug into my skin. I could feel them scrape my knees as I glided across the road like a surfboard on waves. Some smooth ride that was!
But I was strong… for exactly 5secs.
I realized I had fallen down and for some reason I though for a second or two and decided, I should cry! I got up dusted my dress as tears began rolling down my eyes. But I knew I wouldn't cry loudly and create a scene. I just wanted to cry loud enough so that my friends could hear me and feel the pain I felt.
There was a sick feeling in my stomach. It was because of the impact of that fall. All I could think of was going home and anyway, it was getting dark.

“Probably should ask an aunty what the time is.” I thought to myself.

I went one of the nearest mothers who had come to diligently watch her kids play.
“6 45, beta.”

I was still feeling queasy in my stomach and my right knee was bleeding. I thought I would go home.
I walked home slowly with a friend. Shruti who was two years elder to me was rather convinced that I shouldn’t walk to my building in “this condition”.
Slowly we walked to building number 56.
I decided I would go up the stairs to my house on my own. I just lived on the first floor. Beside, if I walked in with a small face, a bruised elbow and a bleeding knee my mother would get all worried.


My mother opened the door and I stood looking at her with watery, beady eyes.

“Your all dirty. What do you children do?

Oh… your knee is bleeding. Go and wash your hurt. We’ll clean it up”

I went into the bathroom, washed my hands and then the injuries I had come home with. The water touching my skin was like a thousand ants all biting me at one time.
I came into the hall and my mother handed me a band-aid.

“Put it properly and then come for dinner”

But, all I really wanted was a hug…

i HATE doing this

Format: Dialogue (Conversation)

I hate doing this. I hate buying condoms. Every time you go to the market and buy a packet you know you are going to get judged. You know what people are thinking. You know they are all thinking one thing, “She’s getting Laaaid! She’s going to fuck someone! Pre-marital sex!”

Prakash Medicals. I had never been to this drug-store before. Hopefully it will be the last time I would ever come here. I hate doing this!

“Bhaiya, ek packet condoms please”

He didn’t have any expression on his face. But the aunty standing next to me gave me the dirts. I could almost hear her think, “These children today. Koi sanskar hi nahi. Ashleel harkateein.”

“Yes. Which brand?”

“I don’t know. Anything!! Anything that works and won’t have me pregnant! Just give me what you have. If I knew exactly what I wanted I would have told you earlier .I would have kept this conversation short. I hate doing this!”

“Umm.. Durex dena.”

“Madam, which type. Ribbed? Dotted? Normal? Ya…”

“Normal please”

“This is ridiculous. The guy wants to fuck me for god sakes. Not freaking make me see god through an orgasm!”

“Flavour nahi chahiye? Chocolate… Strawberry… Vanilla. Lots of people like banana you know?”

“Normal, bhaaiya!”

“I am not interested in sucking lollipops!Ughhh.. I hate doing this!”

The aunty by now wanted to give me a lecture. But I ignored her. “Jealous woman!”

Thursday, July 24, 2008

She and Me

I am my biggest fear
I am my biggest enemy
There are these pits of darkness
That I see
They may blur my vision
But beyond it, seems peace

Sweet lilies are meaning less
There’s firmness in her voice
There’s a distance
Perhaps it’s better that way
There she is again, talking to me

She says, softly… so bare.
I almost don’t hear her
She says, “Don’t right this
This is bullshit
You know you should write something else”
She judges every thought that flows

The music is amazing,
I am on the streets of a magical city, alone
There she is.. I smell her
Inside me, festering
She’s up to something
I am on a high, but I feel the hair entangle my thoughts
Brilliant light in the dark, cold night

A hand reaches out,
“What are you doing here?”
I stop! Is she right?
The air is thick
I am breathing… of course I am!
She is breathing!
I’m lost and there’s no one to turn except her
She is with me
So often!
I think again
What am I doing here?

I should probably jump
Jump! Right into the beautiful river
Unleash me from myself

But how can this be,
I dreamed of being on a boat,
On a starry night
A boy kissing me… softly
Yes, a fantasy it maybe…
But she said “No”
I am being silly aren’t I?

To show myself,
To not get judged
But, does it matter?

The boat disappears
The boy too..
They all turn into mist

Here I am back again,
Where I had started
Just as I was before
And the only one with me
It seems like forever ago
But she remains
A stone etched…

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Elephant and his Mrs.

1977, Mumbai
She was young and ambitious,
She was interested in a career.
She then decided that’s not what she wanted
Not what she wanted, after all.
She was 24 and marriage was on the cards
She was Neela.

26 and earning a sizeable amount
His mother wanted to become a grandmother soon
He was in no hurry, but didn’t mind the idea.
He was Uday.

Then there was the “Matrimonial Man”
In his little room, filled with leather bound registers,
He held the key to a “hopefuls” life
A match made in heaven perhaps?
The search is on for your better half

Matunga, Mumbai
An actor and doctor rejected
Perhaps too soon, parents displeasure
Who would the next idiot be?
Would he match up?
As the clock ticked, it was apparent
The wait would be over soon,
Another person to judge
Neela awaited his arrival.

Cooked to perfection,
The prawns
Simmer and boil
The curry

With every step, they were closer
With every step, he got closer to the aroma.
And before he knew it
Uday was at the door of the Joshi household

Neela saw him
Whispers into her mother’s ear
“The Little Baby Elephant”

Usual banter.
The knowing of common friends and relatives
The unusual silence amongst the parents
The children then get sent away to “talk”

But before they talk,
Neela see’s all of him, this time
There’s one bigger problem, it’s more than just Elephant fat
It’s called a Fly
Unfortunately after noticing the Fly
There was just one thought in her mind,
Should I tell him? Embarrass him?
Deciding against it, the conversation “charm”
They spoke, one hour.

The Gokhalay’s were about to leave.
She had been waiting for this moment
Her little test
She said very sweetly
Everyone heard
“Uday, your fly is open.”
Her parents were a little shocked
Uday’s mother was mortified,
Her son was looking to get married
And he couldn't wear his pants.

Six people standing at the doorway
And everyone acted as if no one heard a thing
He didn’t do a thing about it,
Till the door was shut behind him

She had her little test
Now if he called, she would
say Yes
If it meant travelling all over the world
On a ship, even after being scared of water
She felt she was ready to do it.

He did call
The Fly left him undeterred

Lunches Dinners Movies
They got to know one another

14th October, 1977
Marriage Registrar, Mumbai
The parents
Bride and Groom
Two signatures.

Lunch was served.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Reality and How to Know it

‘Reality’ is an illusion that I have come to believe in. I say so because, every time I watch a movie in which a person is in a coma I think of myself. I think of myself being in that person’s place and then wonder, ‘What if I am in a coma right now and everything around me is just a figment of my imagination? What if I am in a deep sleep and everything that I see around me is actually made up by me; am I making the world around fake?’ But these thoughts linger in my head only for some time and then I chose to accept my surroundings.
I think Reality is something that one chooses to accept. Reality is made up of layers. I think there is a one big reality where we all co-exist. Whether we choose to believe that it exists or question it, the fact remains that there is that “something” that we choose to question or ponder over. And that ‘something’ to me is Reality. It is a common bond that all of us seem to experience in our own ways. Though all of us right now may question the existence of reality, fact is that we are more or less at peace with our current state of ‘being’ and that to me is a sign saying the our belief in reality is well routed. It is human nature to question, and being the ‘curious cats’ that we are, we do so without a moment of hesitation. Like I have said before, the fact that we choose to question something, signals that we more or less believe in it’s existence already.
The basis of our ‘Reality’ is that we all choose to either question it or wonder what it is. And the fact that we do so unanimously only strengthens the idea that we believe in the term ‘Reality’, if not what it might stand for. Thus, this brings me to the point about ‘Belief’. The basis of any sort of reality firmly lies in a persons belief. Each of us has a ‘reality’ that we believe in. Our ‘Now’ is our reality because we choose to accept our surroundings and we choose to act in ways we feel suite it. Thus our acceptance to reality is subconscious.
Though there is one common reality that we live in, I believe that the other layers of ‘Reality’ are formed by each individual. Each person has his own way of viewing the ‘common’ reality and it is this difference in perception, that forms the layers. For example, if a person chooses to believe an apple isn’t really an apple, but is a hammer, it is his acceptance and belief. This acceptance and belief form the foundation of his ‘Reality’. The stronger a person’s conviction about something, the stronger the faith he would have in his reality. Hence, for me reality is what it is because I believe in it so firmly. It is reality to me because my mind has accepted it to be so.
Our mind has been conditioned I think, to accept our current environ as reality. Let me go back to my ‘coma’ ideology. If I really am in a coma and I dreaming. Then at that point in my dream my mind accepts those conditions as my reality. If I were to come out of the coma, my mind would then assimilate my surrounds then and accept that as my reality because it is what my senses are accustomed to.
Reality seems to be changing all the time, as far as a person’s state of mind is concerned. For example, there have been cases where people have jumped of buildings under the influence of psychedelic drugs. At that point their mind chooses to believe that they can fly and that is reality for them at that moment. At that point their mind may seem to have distorted ideas of what’s real and what’s not for a person who is sober. But, for them it is ‘their reality’ and they choose to embrace it. Even people who aren’t under the influence of drugs go through such transitions of reality. For example, a couple of children believed that the T.V. super-hero Shaktiman would come and save them if the fell off a building. To test this, one of the boys jumped of the building and died. In this case to the boy had accepted Shaktiman to be a real person. His mind was convinced of his existence and chose to act in the appropriate manner.
I think what we can sense or feel adds to our notion of reality. Reality manages to evoke a sense of being in us and that’s what links us to it. This bond of us with our ‘reality’ is crucial.
The layers of reality may be completely individual but are not completely personal because of the fact, that at the end of the day we all live in one common reality that binds us together. Our reality is the fact that we wonder ’If it is really there?’ But that’s the irony isn’t it.. Reality REALLY Existing. So the root cause of our misery seems to be the fact we need a sure shot answer about what’s real and what’s not. The word ‘real’ takes the pedestal and seems to torture us and become our “greatest suffering”. But I think it’s totally unnecessary because if you believe that something exists, it is enough. If that’s what makes “Your” world (or reality) a better place, so be it.