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Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

Twilight photos

In Photography on April 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Black and white photograph of a lamp post taken in the twilight

A little beyond the lamp post the flyover begins.

The best time to take out your camera is that little sliver of time when the hem of the night (night is always a maiden with a flouncy dress for me) caresses the leftovers of the fading day (alluring, eh!).

The Sun has set and the horizon is a very flushed orange. A little above the horizon the sky is blue as blue can be. Everything is cloaked in a little bit of mystery. The billboards have come to life, the street lamps start taking over. Everything is ethereal and you wish the moment would stay with you for a long time.

I wanted to lock this quintessence in my camera but hesitated for a long time. Honestly, it is quite embarrassing to click photographs unless you are in a tourist spot. People tend to gawk at you. But today was different. Somehow, I managed to muster enough courage to take out my camera. It helped that the light was fading and no one could tell what I was doing.

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Why we need to lighten up on Social media

In Social Media on April 25, 2012 at 11:34 am

 

There is this intense need to be smart on social media that is quite difficult to comprehend. The last man standing, it seems, will be the one with the smartest quip or the catchiest by-line while the rest of us are doomed. Doomed to live a life of a straggler in the digital world with no friends (at least in the digital world), no likes, no friend requests and a klout score approximating that of a bankrupt person. How many of you get that sinking feeling when your status message fails to strike home? Not even a single comment! Not even a like! Not even teeny tiny comment! It gets worse when you see other people get hail-loads of comment. And the catch is- those posts are not even funny. Ha! It is a rummy world and people have strange notions on what is funny and what isn’t. All you can do is give them a free subscription of MAD magazine, maybe that will improve their sense of humour and yours.

Once you got the bug, you are on your way down. You need those comments and likes, other things be damned. Bug eyed you stare at the monitor, logging into your favourite social media platform for the billionth time. The last time your heart palpitated this fast was during high school when you came last in the 100 metre race. Yes! Life sucked even then. The palpitations increase to a raging storm when you see the red coloured numbers at the top of the face book page denoting the number of responses to your last post. Huh! There is hope after all. The bubble bursts when you click on the red numbers and find that it is just another blasted Zynga invitation to play in a freaking dollhouse. Pervert!

By now you know that you don’t have a hope in hell to pen something smart. Your DNA does not permit you. Blah! Blah! There are a billion and one reasons. So, do you stop forcing your views – not a chance! Beg, borrow or steal, you got to get yourself noticed. You scour the WWW for quips, sites with famous quotes from famous people. Hell! If famous people said it, it must mean something. So – cut, copy past it is. If people still don’t get it, it is probably their fault. You stole from the best, didn’t you?
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Why the hell did he post this?

I have gone through this private hell, so I know what it feels like. I have posted intense one liners, funny quips, poems, and, parodies with varying degrees of success. I guess it feels good to be acknowledged by your peers. Social media sites thrive on dopamine kicks we get every time anyone drops in to say hello, or hey! Thats a good one.

While reading Schopenhauer I came across a passage that explained thiss human phenomneon—

There are, says the latter, _in the capacities of mankind, three varieties: one man will understand a thing by himself; another so far as it is explained to him; a third, neither of himself nor when it is put clearly before him_. He, then, who abandons hope of making good his claims to the first class, will be glad to seize the opportunity of taking a place in the second. It is almost wholly owing to this state of things that merit may always rest assured of ultimately meeting with recognition.

People of the first variety are very rare. The second variety, those who pick up cues from the smart ones are more in number. It is a smart decision too. If you comment on smart quips from smart people you are deemed to be smart. The thought that I am doing the same thing did cross my mind..:)

 

Of ghosts, ghouls and a lucky talisman

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm

 

 

I am, what you would call, a perfectly rational fellow. I don’t fight with my boss unless I have to. I believe that smoking kills. I keep drink at an arm’s length, and I don’t believe in love or in God. But, I am not sure about ghosts or ghouls. Not sure since that summer night, many years ago, when I saw those green luminous eyes stare out at me from the window ledge. Luckily, the midnight train rolled in right then and let out a piercing wail. Have you ever heard a train wail in the night? It is the loneliest thing ever.

Those malevolent, lumnious green eyes, how can I forget them. Twenty years have passed since, but those eyes still haunt. If God was there, he was very powerless to act. Somethings aint right in this world and there is no power in heaven or earth which can stop a presence, out for mischief. Or maybe, it’s God’s way to have a little bit of fun on the side.

Have I told anyone about that little incident twenty years ago. No, I haven’.t   No one would believe me. Somethings are better left burried. Was it a ghost? Or, was it a ghoul? I don’t know. I like to believe that ghost and ghouls are harmless. But, something tells me that the owner of those green, lumnious eyes was anything but harmless. Lucky my talisman came out calling for me. I was doomed otherwise.

Doomed. In hell. I read somewhere that hell is like the feelling that you have been there and seen it. The word is on the tip of my tongue, only I can’t recall it. A french word. A word that describes hell. Hell where all sinners go, so I am told. Hell, which sends messengers, like the owner of those green eyes, from time to time. Lucky that I had a talisman to fall back on. Lucky that my talisman was close whenever the messenger came calling.

Opposites gets balanced I am told. For the yin there is yang, an uncle once told me that plug and a socket is like a man and a woman. Yin and yang. plus and minus- everything gets balanced in this world. So every time the messenger came knocking my lucky talisman was near, just to make sure that the equilibrium was not upset. But a day will come when the equilibrium would be upset..I am waiting.

Is it near? The day you get called in, the day your records are checked, the day balance sheets are finally reconciled. I am afraid about the equilibrium. I sense that powers on the other side is growing stronger. I see the building growing bigger and bigger. I am told it is built on a graveyard. The building overshadows the railway station. All my life I have lived in close proximity of a railway stations. Every night the train lets out a piercing shriek, reassuring me. But for how long. The building grows bigger and bigger, its powers growing stronger. Soon it will completely shut out the reassruing cry of the midnight express.

i will be waiting for that day.

Note: Hell I don’t believe in ghosts and ghouls but I am briefly under the spell of Stephen King. The building does look forbidding though, I intend to capture it in my camera. I heard somewhere that by taking a photo you capture the soul of the subject.

i

 

 

Some Black and White Photos shot in Kanyakumari

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2012 at 7:09 am

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Colour photography does not hold me in thrall like the way a black and white photograph does. Maybe, it is all in the mind. In a world dominated by polychrome a black and white (monochrome) will stand out. Any photo, and here I stress on the “any” will definitely come out better when it is taken in the black and white format.

However, this discovery was merely accidental.

While travelling in Kerala, god’s own country, I changed the shooting mode of my camera to black and white. The results were some nice silhouettes of the temple with the sky lit up in the pre-dawn glow, imparting a post card like quality to the images.

The temple, which is a little distance off the beach, looks imposing and formidable at the same time. No wonder people flock to the beach side early in the morning. The locals say it is the best time to be here.

The photo with a man holding a child as the sea crashes against the rocks is another favourite. Seeing them climb the little rocks, I had an urge to know about them more. So, I climbed the rocks after them and got chatting.

After a few introductions I got the information I was looking for.The two, belonged to a religious order in Andhra Pradesh were on a “teerth yatra” or travel of a religious nature. Rameshwaram was a culmination of that journey.

The bonding between the “guru” and the “child” is something special and the photo captures some of it. What the photo does not show, is the child looking at me in sullenly as I talk to the older man. He wanted me out of the way so that he could enjoy the moment with his master. Such is the bond between the sage and the discipline.

Lights Out Please

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

When was the last time you looked at the sky and marveled at the gently shimmering star lit quality of the night sky?   Maybe, you noticed when you were a kid. But now you are too hypnotized by the bright lights coming out of your big LED T.V, laptop or the smartphone to see or register anything. Seduced is the proper word. Seduced and hypnotized. Hypnotized and seduced. Squiggles and add the tiny dots.

The only time this hypnosis wears off is during a power cut. Atrophied senses grapple at first to come to terms in a world without light. Slowly, you are able to sense long forgotten sounds and sights: a cat mewing registers which you would have missed earlier. Your eyes start discovering new things. The pupils contract to register information.

I see the spider webs on the ceiling. I spot a spider tightening its web. I see stars in the night sky. I see the placid white moon in cloudless sky. I remember some lines of a poem.I learn something new. Only when you have distilled your life to the bare necessities do you really start to hear and see.

What else? I strike a match. I light a candle. The flame wavers a little. I see a moth kamikaze into the flame and burn with a fizz sound.  I touch the melted wax with my fingertips. I feel the heat slowly make its way through your flesh. Dab some of the melted wax on the floor.. Peel it off the floor like paper when cold. Turn on the radio. Tune into something soulful. Stretch out on the floor. Close your eyes. Relax.

I did all of that. Honest I did. The wax has yet to come off the floor. The mosquito bite still stings. But it felt great to be cut off from my LED T.V, laptop, smartphone…  I saw the sky. I saw the stars. I saw the moth kamikaze into the flame, splutter and die. I did some shadow puppetry in the candlelight. I made a deer dance on the wall. I made two deer dance on the wall. I wrote some poetry in the candlelight. I remembered some lines of a poem. So, Will I do it again? Do I wish myself many more electricity less nights? No way! I am too connected to World Wide Web, to my T.V., to my mobile, to my iPod to dream of a life sans electricity. And I got to check my Facebook updates too. How would I do that in a world without electricity?