Category Archives: Journals

My Fantastic Stalker

woman covering her face with corn leaves

Bright scarlet buds in grass, why am I staring ?

I’ve lived in fields and wave, e’en  mountain by the sea, off a river delta, an island, a town in a valley, but today I’m standing still

flower bloom blossom red purple

Today is different; 

there are things to do, promises to keep, miles to go as I sweep through lists of chores, but I’m Stalked 

by tender new leaf & bud –

Stalked by  God’s brand-new batch of new mercies 

blade of grass blur bright close up

Yeah tho’ I go thru’ the next 24 hours of work, love, laughter, sweat, tears, fears, crowds, hope, nail biting hope, 

I fear no evil; 

man s hand in shallow focus and grayscale photography

my Divine Stalker is with me, His messengers of Love –these darling scarlet Reminders reinforce the next words: you are not alone. Read that –

You are not alone.

2014-06-006

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The Age of Rude ?

She stared through my face as if she never saw me –  stunned, I waited. Maybe there was a mistake. Maybe I was expecting too much, but the woman wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t acknowledge my presence. It was as if I did not exist.

The next day we met again, this time in an auditorium. She talked to everyone else, but not even a nodding good-morning hint at me, as if I weren’t there.  These were new family friends, not even distant relatives, no histories exchanged. No I hadn’t stolen her best dress at school, no I wasn’t an artist rival, nothing. She was a mom like me, a citizen of this same earth, but she wouldn’t look at me.

Its possible she was just tired, or thought I had nothing of use to say to her, or be. Is possible she was having a bad day, is possible she was ill, is possible she didn’t like my face, or hairstyle, or work.

But the question followed me all day and night, it stood there between my mirror and me the next morning, it sat in my toothpaste and hair brush, my shoes and sandwich.

 

This morning, I looked at images from around the world images of waiting….
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What made something as beautiful as a human heart, such a refugee

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Music from an Untouchable …

Music from an Untouchable ….

The room fell silent. Then he began to play – as if his soul were talking a new language. Here no one was asking details on paper.No one asked him his age or place of birth, his mother tongue, caste or creed. Why would they.Untouchable

via Music from an Untouchable ….

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A Human being with heart and Poetry : ‘Hariharan Balakrishnan’

” … for diamonds and rubies I do not care, all I have is for others to share, I crave for just a glimpse of Light, for peace and rest in that after-Life..” Hariharan Balakrishnan

Innerdialects : I am in awe of the creative fraternity, especially when they are there for the sheer passion of expression. H. Balakrishnan  says it like it is, without too much ‘modesty’ or ‘ guilt’ –  tracing Lost Horizons, the safety  of ‘Stars‘, of  moments,mementoes, of memories that never left, and of Dancing Diamonds and Volcanoes. The Equipoise of Silence …

His Works reflect a Universe waiting to be understood. They provoke the writer in me, silently reminding me of the human being perhaps neglected, within. Of secrets that wait to be told; of what Words can do in a Time that is more devious than ever before. Here is a human being that must be read, for he is more than a dad, husband, writer,traveller, lover of good food and music. He is an Indian with Spirit, heart and soul.

 ” Poetry, comes out of inner thoughts at some particular moments in time. I don’t see any need to feel guilty.It is the capacity to absorb things differs from people to people and also, in the same person, time to time. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be human. ” Hariharan Balakrishnan

SINGULAR

The silent man came in to this world                                                                                                 With a lusty cry, the wail for peace                                                                                                   He shouted screamed and swam about                                                                                               He saw he heard he smelt and stood

The silent man grew up and watched                                                                                                 The world around him go down in size                                                                                               His loudest wail of no avail                                                                                                             He chose to grow up, not capsize

The silent man too had his moments                                                                                               Of standing- and of understanding                                                                                                   People who had something to say                                                                                                With mere presence, now gone away

The silent man has chosen silence                                                                                                    He has his silence for company                                                                                                      He has no use for fools or falsehood                                                                                                 He is happy in his path of silence

The silent man too sometimes shouts                                                                                             He wants his voice once to be heard                                                                                                   He sometimes loses sight, his voice                                                                                                   And also, anon his equipoise

The silent man too tries to teach                                                                                                        The world that is within his reach                                                                                                  He came in shouting, wailing, crying                                                                                                  He wants to go out smiling laughing

The silent man sees, thinks and learns                                                                                               He has something to teach in turn                                                                                                     But chose to keep his thoughts inside                                                                                                 Like the volcano that never spewed.

……

Hariharan Balakrishnan 21.06.2001 With the Prime Minister of Bhutan , our INTACH Chapter decided to present him with a memento.

Lost Horizons

Lost horizons on the way                                                                   Of a lonely traveler on his road                                                           To some place somewhere                                                                 He knows not, does not care

A wayfarer in Eternity                                                                                                                 Without an inn- or an out                                                                                                             Only his thoughts- and dreams                                                                                                        Of someone else’s tomorrow

Horizons lost by one                                                                                                                         Can they be gained by another?

……………………..

The author here .. ? After father died, she read out to me some of the life experiences she noted down in Tamil. I told her if she writes a few more to make 100 pages in print, I’ll publish them in English. And that’s precisely what we did- on her 80th birthday. Only I know what went into the final product. The original mss was ‘lost’ for a few years etc. But the launch was really a ‘launch’. The book was released on a real launch which floated on the Husain Sagar in Hyderabad with some 200 people. Newspapers were competing to take her interview and outdo one another. The Hindu Friday Review did a story, and it was followed with a remarkable commentary by Eric Shackle of Sydney in his “Life Begins at 80”. Eric has since become a dear friend and now lives in Big Pond- still writing an occasional column. He is maybe 93 now. If I send him a mail, I can bet he’d reply within 48 hrs. That’s the kind of man he is. God bless him.

Hariharan Balakrishnan Poetry is subjective, and is often written in reflection- of events and moments that have passed long since.

Hariharan Balakrishnan

Came back a few hours ago after a trip to Greece and Turkey. Met a lot of people to understand these countries, saw a few memorable places and have already spun a few stories in the mind. In the next week and more, maybe I’ll be bale to put at least two or three of them in words, ably supported by some pictures that seem to have come out well. I promise to give you all a few glimpses soon.
There is also a series of humorous anecdotes that I can share only over a cup of coffee in a group. Who knows? Once I start writing, this idea may bloom as a book!
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
In conversation with Hariharan Balakrishnan, a Poet and a Humanbeing to reckon with. 
Innerdialects

Photo: Kalpu, Nargis, Bhavani and Sanjeev. Good to heer that you want to read what I write. But first things first. Here is the picture of the doorway to the Palace where the last six Sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived. Mustafa Kamal Pasha also lived here for a while and breathed his last in one of the rooms. From what I heard from people, it is not for nothing that this great reformer was called the Ataturk (Father of the Turk Nation). There was universal adulation- even after 90 years since his time.

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Thank God I’m not a mollusc or something…

WHAT I READ LATELY ON U TUBE – … Sy123 1 week ago   ” Thank god i’m not a mollusc or something. I wouldve missed out on knowing these beautiful things…  ” 

English: Notocypraea piperita Gray, 1825, a mo...

 

 

 

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Aroma of Life

innerdialect

innerdialect

English: NASA image of Mahanadi River

English: NASA image of Mahanadi River

Some of my worst and best memories are flavoured with the same scents… funny na ? At least 10,000 known ‘smells’, in this shared space we call Life. 

I have lived in some extreme places – coastal, jungle, urban, mountain, island ;  through a Mumbai riot stuck in  first floor Kebab-Korner.

Kebab Korner was freshly painted, new enamel and incense sticks mingled with the seasoned masalas,  crushed pineapple..

A mob had gathered outside the restaurant. Mumbai riots, and it was late night. No one knew there would be a riot ; I would have stayed home !

Match Box hai kya… pooch raha hai..”,  ( do you have a match box, they are asking ) , our restaurant- waiter whispered to the five or six of us, in that tiny eatery. The mob outside were asking for matches to burn down this Joint. Was that a joke, was it real ?

Kebabs cooled in our plates…. then like they had come, the mob left. ( There was no smell of petrol or kerosene, or diesel. “Mumu tailors’ in the same street was burned, with three other shops.The riot and the silences that followed were never forgotten, there was that smell of fear, no music in the streets, no street pedlars, no vada pav, or lassi – wallah. Just the importance of water, milk, the morning papers). When the sun came out the next day I sat in our 1st floor balcony savouring the aroma of our sun-dried linen, as if It had pushed away the bad..

As I write this, the feelings  are real. They bring in Scents, trails, and I am unable to sort them out neatly. They’re like too many perfume bottles in one shop  : my mind ! Childhood and the in between years mingle, tangle, with surprising ease. Hey I didn’t know our noses and minds, worked together this much….

Odour Amour

Odour Amour

at a Farm last week,traces of yester- year re-visited like old mates  whom one recognised immediately. We kicked off  shoes, settled into the room and that familiar fragrance of sun dried- sheets filled my senses….

Jungle queen ‘ ( flower)  scents  sharp – pungent blew in from trees outside along with smells of a drying lake –  rain- thickened mud, mosquitoes. Lamps hung over tables in the open air misty with monsoon. ..

..Ghee rice and curries.Pickles seasoned in mustard oil ( ah the cook was from Orissa!) ; curd,sliced onions and minced green chilies, Kebabs. A bon- fire

Memories ran in on barefeet,  such a Tsunami of childhood memories.  Here now, at Morritt’s Farm ( near Bangalore), among geese and rabbits, there was a fun -bullock cart ride, bright yellow painted cart and happy bulls! Oh it brought back, as if real close up, my young fisher- friend Thandala ; we were 8 years old. ..

she  reeked of mustard oil and the sea. Of Jasmine flowers . Cow dung dried cakes burnt in an oven at their stove, there was pokhalo rice  – soured rice soaked  for days in rice water and served with onion, green chilly, a heap of salt, dried fish, or  coriander spiked curry .Ay, aromas  and associations are fantastic mates!   

I never really understood how I got to go on a yellow and black pug-nosed bus to school but Thandala stayed back and helped her mother sell fish.Sometimes we drew water from the well, sweet cool water when the water tanks went dry . Oh there were shells to pick – sometimes stinky shells sheeeeeesh! 

There was Chakrapani, Dad’s attendant who chewed paan : the lime, and tobacco in it  could hit you if you stood close, but he wore a  loud local village perfume ” Rojh !” ( Rose ). The night the mad dog bit him, Chakrapani was so drunk on local arrack he called it a  ‘ Mad Jackal ‘ ( the dog) .  Weeks after that he soaked himself in Antispetic lotions and dettol ;                                                                      Thandala’s mother, Achamma found it very funny ; she never drank but smoked bidis inside her mouth, oh she could talk with that clenched bidi, its acrid smoke drugged the air  as she helped my mother in the kitchen ;  they ground at a small round grinding stone, baked, made pickles and ghee …

English: Ripe & Unripe fruits of the Curry lea...

fruit of curry leaf

ummmmm…

home made ghee in horlicks bottles ( recycled !:),seasoned with curry leaf, roasting to molten  gold in the kadai, as we ran back in from school.  Sometimes Achamma brought us  toddy to drink, wrapped in a cone shaped out of coarse areca leaf…

English: Crayola Silly Scents

Dear God, how many flavours sift in. They say we can recall 10,000 easily, but here am flooded with things I forgot I remembered.

Paper….

fresh printed books. Old books in the library, the pages buttery thick with older prints and dust. My first box of wax crayons : what words can even say what that was like. Almost as good as rain on hot dry mud. Like grass heavy with dew.

Mahanadi River,Cuttack,Orissa

Mahanadi River,Cuttack,Orissa

Have you lay down in grass or flat beaches till they searched for you ?

False Point Lighthouse/ island, Paradip Port. We had to cross the Mahanadi river. Fagoo Behera the boatman shiny with sweat and dried salt, dark velvet skin and pure white smile.

Where am I ? Am on an angry river/ sea crossing in a tiny boat, the sickly sweet smells of river banks wet boats and reed. Baskets of milk cans from town – and my mother’s picnic food : Dhal, hot rice, or lime rice. Or biriyani…

Are you saying we have five senses ? Kiddin, right? We must have at least seven or eight. Am sure now there are rooms in our heads like galleries where we store things we do not know we stored. Scents, images, sounds, words, feelings all live together .. see I can feel the sway of that river licking at the sides of the boat, just recalling mud smells ! Okay yes, the brain is a terrific organisation, I get that, but ..

never mind..

here now,decades later, Bangalore looks like its about rain. Am back home, Lavender fresh and stored in a little Ambi pur vial in our car …. why do I love Lavender? Why did I ask for Lavender ?  Should’ve said , ” River mud” or ” First Rains”, na , Lady Moghli that I am !

What’s with the Lavender ?

It’s working for me and our  two younger kids. We are three hyperactive monsters and highly possible candidates for road rage, so, Aunty Moa said Lavender was a good choice, it calms people down.

What am asking is, where in my village/ island/ mountain ( we once lived on a mountain called Dolphins’ Nose, Visakapatnam, that Mt. was filled with Night Queen trees…) where was I….? 

.. oh yes. Where in all my travels and travails with ‘ match boxes ‘ and riot -mobs, mad jackal and bidi – smoking village women, could I have had an olfactory meeting with ‘ Lavender”… that it so draws me to it ?

Dear God, how many smells are there – good, bad, or ugly ? Wait I just remembered.  My first airplane travel alone, KLM, I was dying, positively dying of fright. The Air hostess told me it was just air turbulence, we would live.

” Look down, that’s Finland...” she whispered and looked at me half worried I was travelling alone.

I sat up straight trying to reassure her I was a big girl now. Yes I visibly calmed down. It was not Finland’s lush coast, or the Hostess’s smile. It was her perfume, Lavender.

Now I know.

It took an Indi-bloggn’ Ambipur moment here to understand why I  insist on Lavender all the time. Not just me, my little son who is blind and lives in a world of mostly four senses. For him Smells are Key. Oh so very Key. It leads him ,warns him of danger, or good. We share so much  when we can relate to rain or flowers, even the smells of a storm, he smells out people. And smiles. Tears. Anger. Fear. And sunshine.

Yeah I better shut up now, can go on and on on this…. 🙂

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ALL of the above Post is True, verifiable and as Unabridged as I could make it. 

Lavender

www.facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia

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Earth’s Open secrets

cucoon

Cucoons – like us, deep inside, waiting growing, breathing, living dying, breaking, tearing, crushed, expelled, shed skin and diminished, to excel ;  shellled, to spread wing, from little feet to skies….

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DSC00056 PiCourtesy RayCatcher

DSC00059Image0299-5Fields looking to the Sun ( from Home Fires Collection)

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Thank you

Sketch pencil from Transit Series RNoel

“Why are you always smiling! “

I was very young and he was being rude, but I was too young to notice. He was the postmaster, and I a 12-year-old, bare feet in the beach. on the compound walls, climbing trees or rushing to meet Almaz my friend from Calcutta for the vacations, or Melanie, who also was at the beach for the holidays..

Melanie I never saw again – she had a strange and sad story about a baby she did not want. Almaz was wonderful but we grew apart and am sure she is living a wonderful life somewhere. My postmaster – suspicious of my smiles … ? Where could he be, I’ll never know, but my smile kept leaving and returning…

Joy always intruded on my scowl – heaven knows there times enough when I am far more suspicious of people than my dear Postmaster Uncle as I called him. Life isn’t as ‘ nice’ as we make it out to be. People in the street and people on blogs may not be friends… maybe all they want is to rip us off something.

This past month I had an experience with an iron rod flying right at my forehead in a crowded place – but for some reason, at quarter – milli- seconds away from my head it ( the rod) fell away like a tired sheep! It ended with a bit of noise and “are you ok?”  My sister was with me, and she ticked off some people soundly for allowing such an incident and ‘think where it could have ended, if that rod had hit…!’

Here’s the thing – I got more time.

Then this sunday, there was another scary moment – again nothing happened, and I am left with this. I GOT MORE TIME. I GOT MORE TIME… To finish some things, to tell people I love them, to tie up whatever loose ends I can, to tidy up, to write, and paint and sing and smile, no matter what. No matter who is thinking what suspicious thought of my smile and my whatever!

I got time to write another Post on my 3 blogs that have become my personal place with windows and doors on the world I was gifted. Write about people, and visit their work and be blessed. More time to be me, more time to look at you – read you – more time to love this universe, so rich with gifts and events – that yes, can provoke, baffle, irritate, violate even –

but with each day we get just that little piece of time  – AM GRATEFUL, Oh am so grateful, am gagging for the right words here. If you are reading this, am downright honoured, that in the hum of this great big cosmos you found time and interest to even read to this last line…

telling you the only way I know. Thank you so much, for likes and comments and follows and mail – for much appreciated friendship – something so very rare in this decade of mistrust, I truly thank you…Sketch pencil from Transit Series RNoel

innerdialects.

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Not if you don’t like “Change”

TEN TIME GRAMMY WINNER BReathing A Song: Bobby McFerrin.

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To fly with the Unknown

When we lose Root

and find Wing,

we are 

Born

again…?

Beautiful & Amazing Photo Collection

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