Partners in Crime

It was an excruciatingly hot afternoon for Bangalore. The AC of the Volvo bus was a respite. Usually, the driver conductor duo I come across are very normal.

But this duo, this duo was something. They were partners. I saw them sit, the way you see here, and enjoy each other’s company. There was lot of laughter and banters exchanged. They became partners in crime when they opened the front door and had a fun fake fight with the duo of the bus next to them. The door closed. The bus moved forward.

The laughter and animated conversation that ensued between them was a treat to my eyes and ears. The language barrier didn’t stop me from understanding the chemistry.
Things that make work fun.


The Midnight Before The Dawn

The clock slowly edges towards midnight, and it is a long drive back home. Suddenly, the safety confines of the vehicle is shattered as the car breaks down in the middle of a deserted road in the city. The car has run out of gas.

She steps out of the car, and hears the sand crunch  beneath her feet. She looks around, and just before the clock strikes 12, she finds herself face to face with her monster. It stands in front of her, swaying slightly under the influence of excess alcohol, the stench reeking from his breath. She could smell it. Its yellowing eyes roved over her, making her heart race with fear. She takes a step back, trying to find something to hide behind. To cover her naked vulnerability. But she still felt uncovered. Her clothes, were merely an illusion covering her modesty. But to its eyes, she was a prey. A prey to be destroyed beyond recognition, to send her back to her spiraling downfall.

It sneered.

Panic gripped her soul.

She looked for the courage in her that she thought was inherent within her. She found nothing. She only found cowardice.

She bowed. She hid behind her invisible personality.

He took over and faced her monster. He stood looking at her monster, chest out, hands on his hips and let out a strong growl. The monster distracted, looked in his eyes, its eyes had stopped roving over him. It looked straight in his eyes. Almost daring to imagine itself to be his equal.

But he smiled. “The audacity of your persistence! The audacity of your ignorance!”, he said as laughter started bubbling up in his throat.

Gathering her courage, she peeked at her monster.

He took a step towards the monster, cornering him till it couldn’t bear his strength anymore. It slinked back in the ground, exactly where it belong. Dissolving into nothingness.

He turned around and looked at her.

She found herself, smiling at herself.

Maybe, she did need to open up to possibilities. Maybe, she did need him after all.

He was her dawn, she was waiting for.

He was a part of her after all.

The Boy in the Blue Balloon

An unpublished post from April 19, 2014

This happened one night.

A friend of mine and I were heading back home. While we were walking, I was pretending to hear all the white noise that was there outside, and at the same time trying to ignore the loud chain of thoughts inside my mind.

It was blaring so loud that eventually I had to pay attention to what it wanted to say. It was feeling disappointed so much that there was disappointment rushing in and out of my vein. Disappointment of a failed hope, half hearted decisions and stagnancy of personal life. Just tremendous amount of disappointment.

Heart was cringing so strongly with the tremendous amount of disappointment that I was forced to feel it cringing.

And in this moment, we heard the sweetest sound one could ever hear – a full throaty heartfelt laughter of a child. It was a beautiful, gladly welcomed distraction.

The boy was about 7 – 8 years old. He stood with his legs apart and hands resting on the big plastic blue balloon he was in. The balloon was then pushed in the water on a small backyard type of plastic swimming pool. This was such a thrill for the little one that he couldn’t help laughing every time someone gave a nudge to his balloon whenever it reached one of the corners of the pool.

During one of the nudges, the boy lost his grip and was flat on his back inside the balloon. And then, I saw the most intriguingly beautiful thing ever. The boy was still on his back, with a smile on his face. He seemed to be looking at the stars and enjoy the feel of the water beneath the balloon. He was in that position for a while and then he was on his feet again. Thrashing inside the balloon to his hearts glory till the time was up.

And at that moment, all my disappointments disappeared. I had learnt a lesson:
There was a momentary slip and I was flat on my back. Might not there be a possible reason, that I missed seeing the other beautiful things around me that I already have? I did. I know I did. I wasted couple of hours dwelling in the disappointments. I am but human, and I am bound to feel every emotions. But for how long, am I or anyone allowed to dwell in it?

There was another beauty that the kid taught me. He let himself stay down, saw the beauty around him, and was back on his feet again.

That is the best solution I think the boy unknowingly gave me.

Lie down for a while, but try and see the beauty around. Let gratitude never slip ever from our minds. But do not forget to get back on your feet again. There is no time to waste. All our happiness lies in the struggle to beat our challenges. And while we are at it, might as well have fun.

Learning will never ever stop.

My Bad

Doing things when sane, when high, when stoned, being what I am in that moment, too spontaneous, making you so uncomfortable with my tongue, that I’m considered too bold for your taste. You love me. You would love to hate me.Β 

I already said something. Again.


Psst: Don’t you wish, you could be like that?
Be yourself that is, with unadulterated truth.

10 Seconds Picture

One late summer morning, while walking down the street, I saw a man wearing turban, in his late 70s, squatting on the floor with a mirror in his hands. He gazed intently into the mirror, unaware of the public around him. The bangles and trinkets to be sold were lying around him, neatly organized.

Probably he was thinking of how his life has been till now. Probably thinking that whatever he did was worth every second of it. Or probably wondering if he should have given it a try, whatever it was for him. Probably that girl, probably that opportunity. Wondering how it would have been otherwise, or how perfect it has turned out now. Satisfied. Unsatisfied. Who knows?

Wish I had my camera with me then to capture his moment of emotion. He made me slow down and stop running away from anything and everything that is new and scary. Including emotions. Because when I look into the mirror when I’m 70, I’ll simply be happy and glad with everything.

Random Mumbles


The best thing about photography is, even if you have great memory, looking at a picture will flood millions of emotions. Even though it is too much for me to handle feelings, looking at my candid shots always makes me welcome them and smile.

Like this little girl here. I remembered everything about her when I started working with this year old picture.
She was a daddy’s girl. I assumed he was her dad. She was be playful, calm and happy whenever she was in his arms, and like a tornado if anyone else touched her. Had met her in Lalbaugh, flower show 2010. And I couldn’t help following her around for a while. Cutest smile!
Every girl’s dream:
1. Paint her nails blue.
2. Sport a messy hairdo.
3. Get referred as a dude, and literally.
4. Try and get callouses on her fingers.
I Am Free!

This will be my all time favorite amateur shot of mine. This will always remind me of how we were when we were kids:

Unbound, innocent and free. Carefree nature. And this, makes me feel that. I had written a short poem called Unbounded, which now when I think of it, fits this picture perfectly.
I had thought, and was made believe that this is a phase, that poem of mine. But now when I think of it, it is was not a phase. It was what I wanted. And it is how exactly I am existing right now.
Being a cynic is ok. But being cynic to the extent of destroying everything within yourself and others, I suggest please shoot yourself.
Fine, destroy whatever you want within yourself, but let others be. Just because you are depressed and dead inside, doesn’t mean you’ll make others believe they are too.
And yes, all this blabber talk comes out something. Make me believe that I do not want to belive this. Make me feel that, this is not what I’m feeling. I stupidly nodding to everything, like a person with no spine. And then morphing to be all that to be your pretty wife. And that is what is exactly called as being bounded.
Kids are beautiful. Remind us of so many things which eventually even they will forget as they grow up. Like that kid. And sometimes it is really amazing that, how you can actually feel what the other is feeling, if intensly. Like it is infectious.
The most frustratingly exhausting feeling is feeling empty. I find it weird to call empty as a feeling. Feeling nothing is a feeling. WTF.
The most irritating feeling is wanting something badly but failing to understand what that something is.
And suggestion I get to clear my head, “Go poop.” For better understanding.
Funny my dear Dove, but WTF!

I really have awesome set of close friends.

Best feeling ever?
Craving for cheese pizza at midnight, or anything with cheese. Why? Because I’m hungry!
Get up next morning. And guess what’s for breakfast?
Cheese sandwich. πŸ˜€
Yea, I made it happen. Made it myself.
Mom’s not gonna like it. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
And then, after I started ignoring my craving, I suddenly remembered my pen pals. One was from states. Other had moved from Britain to SA, Kenya. The one in Kenya apparently resembled to Daniel Radcliffe. And the one in states, she had 13 siblings! Ignoring that, they really were very interesting people. Whatever made me delete the contacts. Kenya friend was on my FB list. Then again, what made me delete that contact again…
Hmm. Lets see:
I was 17. (Surprised that it lasted from when I was 12 to say about 15!!)
He was too British for me (?!?) But definitely very very interesting person.
Back then, I simply wanted to know how different they are. And to my surprise, they were full of feelings and emotions! Great sense of humor. Friendship was a big deal to them. Friends were someone they could talk to. And being in a different country, it was easier for them to share their lives. Or probably those two were like that. As we say, the growing teen age phase. Who knows, might have turned up like me. πŸ˜›
Yes, I do remember their names. Aden and Catylin. If they do remember me, and if something happens in this small world and we miraculously find each other again, I would really like to know how they are doing. Because, in the end back then I was like them too.

After the Rains

High on the hills of Girivan, was this little lad of about 5 year old. The brightest brown eyes, the most charming smile and his energy! Would jump in the plastic chair even when it never stopped raining.

After two and half hour of game of badminton in the constant drizzle, it finally decided to stop. The boy comes out, observing us play. He sees the puddle and he jumps in it. After all the jumping is done, he just stood there, watching us.

Cutest thing ever! I regretted forgetting to take my camera there. (Yea I was being protective about the lenses in the rain. Still, regretted.) And this was the smile he gave when I bent, moved around and did all the moves an amateur does amusing him so much that he couldn’t resist smiling. Or so I would like to believe.

The best look he had given me was, when we came back from our morning long “walk” after visiting the small waterfall/springs, he looked up at me when I was climbing down the stairs and gave the widest smile he could in return for my smile. πŸ™‚

He made up for all the continuous rains we’ve been tried of.

Shy Smiles

I’ve no idea why I tend to take candid pictures of kids more. I am guessing it is their innocence that pulls my strings. It always comes out simple. Their eyes, body language, lips always speaks out a lot. And this is the beauty of ‘simple’.

Met this young one near Bannergatta National Park. Was closed the day we went there. We all had full bladder, so decided to give the small bus stop’s ultra clean washroom a visit.

I saw her sitting on the stairs of the entrance. A shy smile played on her lips when I looked and smiled at her. When we came out, she was on her feet. Going up and down the stairs, around her mother. Hiding behind her when I smiled at her. Her small instance of peek-a -boo: I want to smile, I find you friendly but I’m shy.

I requested her mother if I can take her snap. I didn’t want to forget this little one. Why? I’ve no specific answers. I just wanted to. I like to immortalize their innocence, their simplicity. They are unbound. I want to capture all of that before it is lost. With the speed today, they are losing it very very fast.

As soon as my SLR comes out, she is so super shy that she just refused to give me a smile. I waited. She didn’t budge. I stood in front of her. Suddenly she went all quiet. Sliding her hands up and down the railing of the ramp next to the stairs, looking away. And I had to capture it. And this was the result.

It might not be a great shot. But they are my emotions, capturing other’s emotions.
And they are beautiful.

The Girl in Pink Scarf

A familiar face. She had that distinct look. A look of determination in her eyes, lips pleading. Brown brittle hair and bronze skin. She wore ghagra, but what caught my attention was her pink scarf thrown over her head and then draped across her neck. That 12 year old (guesstimate) brown eyed beauty went around asking everyone alms. A very persistent girl for her age. By the time I was there, the fruit juice in my hand was almost empty. I didn’t have the heart to give the almost empty carton. Nor did I have the desire to encourage begging.

My sister, softer than me, gave me a different idea. We can treat them with eatables than money. That makes them real happy too. I wonder how they are treated,Β  if the story of “begging is also a business” true. If not, I didn’t want to encourage it because I do believe that they are capable of working and eating with the earned money with dignity.Β  Some hope in me that their parents might just do that and send their kids off to school, rather than seeing those young hands as an extra hand to earn.

A rich person was not born rich. And I’m not talking about the sons and daughter of rich people mind you.

I remember when I was about 10-11 year old, I had a red rose in my hand. I had asked papa to buy me one. We were in Nagpur, visiting my sister. We were walking down somewhere, a girl of about my age then came up to me. She wasn’t begging. She simply wanted my rose. I didn’t want to give it up, because papa brought it for me and because I felt it was mine. The sense of possessiveness.

I refused to give it to her. I was a kid after all, and the candy was mine. She was persistent too. I looked up at Mumma. She asked me to give it away. I refused again. She had now started encroaching my personal space by poking me. I finally gave in. She happily ran away with my rose, while I was left with almost teary eyes. I didn’t cry. No.

Few years later when I was mature enough, when I remembered her happy face I realized that this is what they want, just like every kid. I felt happy about my (reluctant) gesture, and glad that I wasn’t arrogantly stubborn till the end.

And making a small bouquet of small pink flowers and giving it to a boy of same age when he approached and in return receive his huge smile and then watch him shyly run away.

I love innocence. It is sad they are losing it very quickly.

I have ideas in my head. I do want to make a change. But I do not want to be one of those who speak for the heck and do nothing. I will keep mum till I do significant something for them. Maybe teach, if posted to my birth state. Language was a barrier here. And I hate reasons.

This blog was for that girl in pink, who I seem to see everywhere. She brought up my other old argument in me, to give or not give, to help or not help dilemma. (Also reminded me of those two kids.) I’ll make my legs strong first, I guess then I’ll be able to comment.

The x problems seemed nothing compared to this.

My Beautiful 5 Minutes

The same opportunity slipped twice. The second slip was because: while chasing I forgot to watch where I was running and stumbled. Each slip was a lesson and each slip pushed me even more towards it. Third slip would have been a disaster.

This time it was a simple one: Helping a blind person cross road in a crowded bus stop at the busiest hour. I don’t know why I wanted to do this this badly. Probably it started with the first slip. And yesterday, with a little language help I did it. I finally did it.

I didn’t hear any applause in my head as I had always imagined I would give myself, nor did I feel anything special. There was simple satisfaction. My little voice in my head just said this: I don’t need to be in any NGO to do all this. And then again, it never was about that. It was only because I really wanted to do it.

And finally, I’m expressing myself again, almost there. πŸ™‚
It gets lamer, and I don’t care.

I love this city.Β  πŸ™‚