November 25, 2010

i like it hazy

Everybody craves for perfection. Symmetry rules the world. Clean lines are the order of the day. But what is not perfect can be beautiful too. Like a hazy picture.

When I was young, I remember hiding such pictures behind the last good picture in the photo album. It was perhaps a reminder of the money gone waste in developing these good-for-nothing images and that such a mistake should never be repeated. At other times, it brought great joy to watch a hazy picture and try to make sense of the details it was intended to capture.

Today, when everything has gone digital, we no more brood over such pictures. There is no sense of loss really…for there are plenty that have made it to the finish. Now it’s just a matter of a ‘delete’ button that paves the way for the survival of the fittest.

But something inexplicable still draws me to these hazy pictures.

The shaken picture, often seen as a waste, appeals to me as an action in process. Its presence is liquid – oozing out of its definitive boundaries and seeping into everything that was not ordained. For me, it stands out like a rebel.

And in doing so, never mind by fluke, it lends a character to the frame that can seldom be replicated. Everytime you look at it, you discover something new – a little detail or effect that was left unnoticed all this while. In that respect, it becomes an art piece you never intended to create.

Tucked away in a quiet folder on my laptop, lie many such unwanted pictures which I know I can never part ways with. My mother calls me a maverick to be still holding on to these. But for me, these pictures are special too. They remind me of the days we were starved of good pictures from a manual camera. Of days when we celebrated every picture in our photo album – good, bad or ugly. Of days we coped with the scarcity of resources. Of days we were comfortable with imperfections.

For me, they serve as the thin line between the curious and the compelling. They are those captured moments that are unique in their own fashion. Or rather, those moments that could never really be ‘caught’ on camera; they just dodged and fled.

April 21, 2010



She wishes to make it crystal clear
Before beginning this unapologetic slaughter
This has absolute resemblance to real incidents
And not based on any fictitious character

So it happened on a Tuesday morning
Without any prior intimation
Leaving her in great shock & anger
And a day filled with sheer frustration

They called her into the cabin
And greeted with a near-extinct smile
She knew there was something fishy
It was, she decoded, the devil’s wicked style

“We are really happy with your work”, they said
As if it were such a revelation
Then handed a shameful cheque
Calling it the apt compensation

Not an increment, an ex-gratia it was
Which clearly spoke of their evil plan.
They justified “We’ve suffered through recession,
BUT STILL we’re giving you whatever we can.”

She smirked and walked out
Not knowing what to say
Enough, she said to herself
Let today be the judgment day

She had sacrificed uncountable weekends
Had dismissed all her family time
Worked with a strained back, at unearthly hours
Even lost her sleep for writing a mere line

But she wouldn’t give into this anymore
THIS blatant exploitation
She walked into the cabin once again
This time to hand over her resignation

February 22, 2010

Why we travel

It always happens – there comes a point atleast once in a week, when I think I've had enough. With the work pressure continuing to drive me insane, all I wish to do is pack my bags, hit the road and run away to a serene land far far away. And I’m sure, each one of us has felt the same many-a-times. I wonder if it is triggered by the urgency to escape the routine or the need to explore something much more rewarding. Which brings me to the raison d'etre of this post.

Afterall, why do we choose to travel?

Travel, I believe, is not merely a physical getaway; it's a state of mind. It is the willingness to move out of our comfort zone, to shed our inhibitions and escape into aimlessness. It is an outward journey to get a deeper understanding of the inner self.

We travel to become young fools again – to take great joy in the simplest of things and to unlearn the old ways of learning.

It lets us see the world with inquisitive eyes, which in turn bring in a fresh and renewed sense of wonder.

Suddenly, every colour...

every sight...

every taste arrests our senses... a different kind of high. And we are more than willing to become a slave of this sensory roller coaster ride.

Traveling makes it possible to tear away the ‘tags’ that we live with and see ourselves in the naked light. As Ray Bradbury puts it, “Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness”. When I am in a foreign land, I don’t think of myself as a sindhi , a gujarati or an advertising professional. I am just another face in the crowd. And in this process of losing oneself, we create an opportunity to decipher our true identity

To travel means leaving assumptions far behind, killing prejudices and seeing for ourselves places we thought we knew. And from the comforts of our home, we can only get a myopic view. No amount of google earth can bring us closer to the land we wish to visit. No amount of social networking can substitute the joy of getting to know people for real. And no matter how small the world becomes (thanks to all kinds of technology), there are always vast lands waiting to be explored.

So travel, the way I see it, is nothing short of some kind of divine intervention. It is the love of the unknown. And the lust for knowing it up close and personal. And this one time, I shall let lust take over love.

pics from my trip to Singapore last year

P.S.: This is my 100th post and this one’s dedicated to Prashant, a travel freak himself and who motivated me to write after a sabbatical of almost 2 months :)