Kala Ghoda

Just Miss !

Dear reader, now that you are on this site, please focus your vision on that writing above the number plate ! Please focus hard. Or you might just miss it !!

‘Just miss’ing it can give you a new meaning !

So, lets focus. On that backside !!! Of that lorry.

‘India is grate !’

It proclaims. And i have no reason to complain. It perhaps is such a representative statement of who we are. Where we are. The way in which our politics and business is shaping up, the common man experimentally takes to ‘g-r-a-t-i-n-g’.

“India is great” was perhaps appropriate in the olden times. We have evolved from great to grate. Quite a natural evolution. And as India continues to evolve, grate would also move on. Any suggestions for the future ?


Gyrate ?!?

Seems plausible !

Below, these two were clicked at a particular creative stall at the Kala Ghoda exhibition ! But i guess these have been recreations of real life spotting !

The first one announces a dhaba. I mean, at a dhaba there are toilets, but the main attraction of course is the food. I say no more.

And the second one, well, its Gold, silver and a certain alloy. Three distinctly separate words. I mean, there was no indication that this was to be read together and had to do about some medieval war costume. Or something like that. hmm. What say ?

And what happens when you combine two words. Of ‘tasty and pastry’ ! Well, you get ‘pasty’ ! As a distinct word. Isn’t it ?!? That’s my grand theory !

clicked in Mumbai. Feb ’09

Now, if you are thinking ‘libel’, i must tell you, that cakes are for the eating ! Indeed !

And one snap that i could not get but deserves mention. An ornately written banner. On a speeding lorry. As he cut lanes in front of me, and broke a signal and kept going.


I told myself. Yeah baby. Prise him ! Break the next signal too. And the next one too. Just don’t stop. Until you split him down the middle !

Getting Real @ Kala Ghoda !

I am at the Kala Ghoda festival. The sun is just setting. A whole lot of ‘post its’ and small chits on a make shift wall stand out. From a distance, my wandering eyes rest on them for a minute. A few feet shuffles later, i mingle into a a crowd swarm just outside this stall. ‘Letters to Pakistan’.

Messages intended for Pakistan. For who in Pakistan, is not known. But headed in that geographic direction. Hand written scrawls to meticulously crafted chits, they are all there. They catch the breeze and flutter. The chits seem to battle for freedom. The glue continues to beat the breeze by holding on to the chits.

In this melee, messages catch the eye.

‘We will kill you’
‘When i become President of India, the first task in my mind i will distroy Pakistan’
‘A failed state like Pakistan is a state of loosers. India rocks’.

And so on. A sigh escapes my lips. So much hate. In young and old alike. My fresh eyes & tired soul search for messages of peace. Outnumbered, they sure are. But present.

‘War doesn’t determine what is right. It only determines what is left’ says one
‘War is expensive. Peace is priceless’.
‘Lets fight terrorism together’.

And so on. I read on. Searching. Browsing. Smiling. Hoping. Wondering.

Two young girls are reading with interest too. Animated chatter pervades. Between them. They read. Comment. Giggle. Make strange expressions that seem to be extensions of shrugs and something else.

They look up. Read. “Arms are for hugging. Make love. Not War’. They read that aloud. Again. In unison. Roll their eyes. One tells another, ‘get real guys’. The other giggles.

‘Get Real ?’ I wonder. I feel like a dust ridden statue in a museum attic. Especially so trying to map out youngster speak. ‘Get Real!’ That was some expression.

In sometime they are gone. Their conversations peppered with ‘Get Real’ many more times!

‘Would you want to write sir !?’ I hear another young girl ask me. Giving me a pen and a small chit of paper. She mans this stall.

‘Sure’. I say.

Steadying my hand is an effort, as the words flow into paper. I write : “We were separated at birth. Must we stay that way?”. I want to write more. Thinking of Hindi films where reunions of lost brothers happens in village festivals.

An echo from a recent memory rides high in my ear. ‘Get Real’ And that girly giggle. I stop. I contemplate. Should i hand over what i wrote ? I wonder how many more would laugh at what i have written.

Contemplation reigns.

Our history lessons are distorted. The media accentuates problems. Less said of politicians on both sides the better. Our armies bristle with aggression. War suddenly seems to be a video game and terrorists are characters that run on code. Toy guns or otherwise, children grow up with hate. And of course, poverty continues to soar and scores die and suffer.

I hear people dismissing what i wrote. But suddenly it doesn’t matter. I tell myself, ‘get real’. And hand the paper over to this girl who mans the stall. She promises to stick it somewhere.

I walk away. ‘Get Real’ stays in my mind.

Earlier posts on Kala Ghoda Festival are here. Here. Here.

Not nought !

My mind hasn’t moved from the Kala Ghoda festival. Here are two pictures. The first one of an old man. And the other of a set of young men and women ! They spoke to whoever who cared to listen. I did.

The first gentleman, recited a poem. About politics, and how corruption is fuelling a rot of everything. And he recited it with no microphone in hand. No set audience to watch his recital. No arc light to focus on him. And no expectation from anybody around. He just stood in middle of a busy section of the festival, and read his poem.

People walked by. With insensitive disdain. Worse still, not caring to notice what was happening just as they milled around. Some stopped for a second, with ‘whatever is this man saying ?’ look. And moved on. This gentleman continued his recitation.

I counted four people, who stood there and listened. A powerful poem, i thought.

The gentleman though, didn’t seem to think much of the four people who stood or the four hundred people who walked around. He completed. And walked away.

The power of poetry and the passion in the recital http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/propecia_generic.html kept me awake that night.

At another location, there was street theatre, happening. In full swing. A small crowd had gathered. There were a set of young men and women performing. Urging people to stay awake and vote the right kind of people.

Again, no microphone, no fixed audience, no arc lights, no rosepowder. But just humans and powerful performances.

Coming in the backdrop of noises and sounds of various decibel intensity, this indeed was some performance ! To keep an audience who were just walking by, glued to what was happening there was no small task.

And as i left that place, i shook my head in wonder. There after all were people who did things, because it was the right thing to do and that it needed to be done.

Not for appreciation. Not for praise. Not for money. Not for themselves. Not for their loved one. Not for 5 minutes of fame. Not for today.

But just to ensure, that everything doesn’t come to nought !

Long after they stopped speaking, their words and their spirit continues to echo in me. I wonder why !