Tuesday, May 27, 2014


When i took these pictures the only thought which struck me was that just like this magnificent feeling that i am having there is no single word to describe it other than what i already know...but something better is unknown to me just like the flower, the shrub the photos of which i took or the poet whose poetry i remembered...that poet is also unknown. The best things we receive...remain UNKNOWN... 
Beauty of the Morning
In the beauty of the morning
When the sun awakes the world
When the birds begin their singing
And the clouds are all unfurled.
Have you ever stopped to listen
As the darkness fades away
When the golden dawn is breaking
and heralds in the day?
If you've never seen the glory
of the rising of the sun
Now's the time to do this
For at least, just even one.
Your heart will swell with praises
As you see the beauty there
You will find your spirit soaring
And your heart bowed down in prayer.
- Unknown

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ranj e Raahat ( Comfort in/from Grievance )

i saw the single flower and i knew exactly what it was.
 Bauhinia looking so beckoning and alluring that instead of just calmly standing there and admiring nature in one of it's rare visions that i was fortunate enough to lead my eyes to that once again a hundred thoughts and a few memories made me restless. Although i  stay ed put right where i was and in a way feeling much relieved for having it out of my chest or else this post wouldn't have happened. Yeah i was there with myself and Her although not really 'there'.

Actually with memories of Her whom i have known and seen if not personally but through her work/ performances. Memories were entangled with bits of my own just like the criss cross running everywhere branches of the Orchid Tree. 
Yes i am  loved and also blessed enough to be surrounded with those who care for me but one could be surrounded by family and friends yet be "Tanha''. It is something like that. Maybe because the words that escaped those complicated channels of the brain where memories are stored as soon as i saw that Pink Orchid flower were not my words. They were Hers...and she sang them beautifully over the radio one day when maybe i was seven or perhaps eight...can't remember how old i was exactly though but i do remember four, no five words of hers very distinctly and clearly as if she was right behind me as i stared into the pink vision among the dark browns with the sky behind, sighing her typical sigh and lyrically whispering , " Chaand Tanhaa Hai Aaasma Tanhaa..."

 Then the song by another composer which incidentally also i had heard on the radio when i was slightly older in that programme on Vividh Bharti which aired non filmy songs. The song i remember the lines just too well and it went on inside as i kept thinking how we lost the Lady soon much too soon. By the time i was in college her physical being had left us and she had mingled with the sky. Probably she is one of those stars now high up there in the sky just like this Bauhinia safe and sound. And maybe she is lonely no more.

 Strange my own idiosyncrasy. 
That because i knew ANOTHER composition this one by Shri Dushyant Kumar the great poet and also the Lady beauty whom i admire immensely AND i started searching for the non filmy song and not one of hers. And i was directed to just the spot. Call this some intervention of some sort, the subscriber, Mr Manoj Tiwary (and blessings be to him) perhaps a fan of my lady , the composer, the non filmy programme of the radio and the singer who had rendered the composition melodiously, Minoo Purushottam had uploaded the poetry/song dedicating his collection to My Lady calling it his Ranj e raahat collection.  Or Ranj e raahat could be the name of the poet's collection i wouldn't be sure but once again it was one of those lost but have found it HAPPY moments.

i kept thinking about her all the while the song played looking at those monochrome pictures as it slid on the screen one by one. In all those pictures she not only appeared a meloncholic beauty but also a kind soul to me and i don't know why but that made me feel a bit melancholy myself. i kept wondering about all the brilliant performances of hers. Meena Kumari especially as Chhoti Bahu in Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam. Not that she performed any of her roles any lesser whether it was as Sahibjaan in Pakeezah or a host of others to her credit but i wondered if it was just one superficial job acting on her part. The kind where you snap out of the moment it is 'pack up' or whatever they say in movie making jargon when the shot is over.
For deep inside she surely must have been a true, sincere, sensitive and yet a very strong woman. Having gone through so much in life and always emerging out each time with performances which made her the 'Tragedy Queen ' of  Bollywood movies and thus India. How else could one draw out such heart rending emotions so real just by acting unless there is some honesty deep within. 
i guess not if one was not a burnished and polished to a brilliant pure shine with suffering and torment soul. For some although pain and suffering brings out the worst animal in them and they turn renegades/ criminals. 

 But perhaps not so with Manju ( her nickname). All that made her the best archetypal Indian woman on screen clad in a white saree carrying on with her duties as a lover/ wife/ mother/ with the utmost sincerity and principles for which an Indian lady is well appreciated the world over. And as if emotive acting was not enough to define her she was a notable writer too...a poet.  i have heard one of her compositions in her own voice over the radio once when she was alive. Did not understand much then but i loved her voice which had some sort of an endearing sigh interlaced in it.  And even when i was unawares of the meaning of what she was singing i am sure she had earned her reputation well enough as an accomplished Urdu writer too. i remember it just too well to forget the first few words if not all as she sang her composition, '' Chaand Tanha Hai Aasmaan Tanhaa..."
Today i know the translation... Moon is lonely the sky looks lonely too...cannot say whether she at the pinnacle of her glory was referring to my loneliness too. Cannot say if everyones loneliness is the same. But know definitely what i can sense. Now i somewhat relate it to mine as some sort of a lost feeling when you feel utterly and hopelessly and depressingly alone and you don't feel like speaking to anyone primarily because you know that no one will understand. Then you start speaking first to animate things, like the trees,sky ,birds and grass... and later graduate to inanimate...probably the walls and even those rocks or pebbles that you find.

Begum Mahjabeen Bux that was her real birth name.

The name Mahjabeen is a baby girl name. The baby name Mahjabeen originated from Arabic. In Muslim the name Mahjabeen means- Strong. It also means pretty like the moon but not pretty like something dainty as a flower that will bend down or break down to pieces under rough circumstances but that which can also bear the burden of those circumstances. For some it could even translate to something like walking tall.
And when her parents decided to name her Mahjabeen when she was born i wonder if it was then destined for her to be the sole bread winner for her family years later. Reading about her life and listening to her story on the telly through none other than Mr Javed Akhtar on my fav show ' Classic Legends ' i learnt that Mahjabeen was compelled into acting to support her poor Parsee family when all she wanted to do was study in school and learn. 

 The flower beautiful alluring so beckoning took me to her and brought me back to myself.

 Sometimes i feel like this flower or perhaps that flower too.  For some...beautiful...alluring but for many also lost. But do they know or does anyone know that although they think i am dangling like they think i am, i am really very secure/safe here. Hitched high among those twigs/slim branches away from those thorns that jut out from the main stem i am well protected from the barbs and the stings.

They who might scorn pull up their nose and might make unjustified unpalatable assumptions might wonder if i remain untouched. And am i losing out on anything or if i really am well protected there. Not really. For even hitched that high and being protected in a way from the bruising thorns, the skies are not cool soothing blue for me either. Sometimes all that sun is too hot for me to handle and they burn me black and blue other times the clouds are not romantic at all. On the contrary they are just too morbid and pouring and soak me limp and i look like a cat dragged in.

Loneliness for whatever reason it happens brings with it some form of isolation which can both be comforting as well as disturbing. There could be moments when one finds intense solace in one's own companionship. The reliable silence provides tranquility and steadfastness but at the same time there are moments you could want someone right by your side raising some stupid or even nonsensical noise creating some commotion in which you could maybe see your own din getting silenced and perhaps find a clue to your own puzzle from all that commotion created because of others.

However there certainly is difference in solitude which one seeks for one's sake and solitude that you are pushed towards, maybe not wittingly but nevertheless...

Those who have time find the flower beautiful as they pass by. They choose to linger and admire its being appreciating all the highlights while others who hurry about their daily routines don't even know that it exists what to talk of noticing a tree devoid of it's foliage even though temporarily. And yet if by chance someone points out to them then they have some have sour left handed compliments to give, " Look at this Queen hitched on this high horse of hers" or " OMG! looks like the poor thing has just got stuck there...such a weird/spooky/creepy sight !...let's take a picture!..." 

As for me, i too stood there admired the sight, indulged in the memories, hers along with mine and after a while when the sun started getting too hot to handle i adjusted my smartphone to camera mode...took a picture just like somebody would of the Bauhinia,  the lone beauty swaying pretty and comfortable on her criss cross lacy swing in the slight breeze that perhaps was singing as i would like to imagine conveying my Chaand Tanha Hai Aasma Tanha song and the story to her.
 Then checked if my camera had caught her thus, gave her one last look and left the place...

Sure before i leave would love to share the composition by Shri Dushyant Kumar sung by Minoo Purushottam and yes you might not find it anywhere else so either here or from where i took this from, You Tube where else.  i had talked about it...how could i leave before listening/seeing and hoping all listen and see...

NB : Tanha means someone being lonely, alone or lost. However it has a wider connotation. Poets and philosophers have explained it in great details.  My emphasis being on the fact that you could be all alone and yet not feel lonely and you could be surrounded by people but still be lonely. 

Image Courtesy: All images of Ms Meena Kumari taken from the Internet. Barring the two paintings which are also from the net but from blogposts of the two artists.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Abra e Rehmat Barsa ( Shower of Blessings)

Abra means cloud, Rehmat means mercy/ blessings and Barsa means shower. So translated to my ability it means Shower of Blessings or Mercy whichever way you look at it. I'd rather look at it as a Blessing . It has a nice musical feel to it like the song of the rain.

My last post i talked about my early morning raga and i hope the soundtrack regaled but for ease and for comfort i would like to have it here again so that i can hear and see the artists clearly right in front of me as i talk of my discovery of them and more about whatever i have ascertained of them. And in any case this is one music that i can never get tired of. Just like the sound of the wind or that of the flowing river or for that matter of the rain.

In the dark i must admit i did assume them to be some kind of a black birds...and i chased them too...in the dark as they changed their platforms of performance now and then when finally deciding to disappear from my horizon for the time being. Feeling content however with whatever i had witnessed or heard, i would then get back to my chores without much ado about them. Then it would be during the day that i would hear them again. The same signature tune coming from perhaps the road adjacent to my colony...sometimes while i was cooking and other times while i took my showers. It would make me anxious to go and look out for them which i would but much to my chagrin they would be there singing but somewhere hidden in the dense foliage. The denseness of the foliage perhaps or the size of the bird or both making it virtually impossible for me to have this rendezvous with my particular morning ragaa guests who would be near yet hidden from me.
The distinct call of the one bird of the couple each day and every day impelled me to turn towards my resource Mr Google and confirmed my erstwhile assumption of it being a courting/ territorial call of the bird. http://birding.about.com/od/birdbehavior/a/How-Birds-Claim-Territory.htm. As i was learning facts the urgency to see them was assuming gigantic proportions too. i was beginning to get desperate.

Then finally one day it happened as Paul Coelho has rightly said in ' The Alchemist' , And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” 

That particular day my domestic help suddenly ditched me without any prior notice. Sure it was nothing new, have seen it happening all my life. Newness happened as an aftermath to my domestic helps' ditching me and my many mood swings later during the same day.

i had a wonderful time with my early morning raga but by afternoon my spirits were beginning to sag and mostly not being used to handling all in a day was beginning to take it's toll on me. Primarily because there were many unfinished jobs and all i wanted was to sit down with my cuppa and my books and my music. The chores seemed endless. Suddenly everything looked dirty...everything needed cleaning and i was beginning to get crabby, irritable and hopelessly out of sync/ tune. Blame it on the weather too which was getting hotter and lousier. i was getting worried about my babies too (plants) on the terrace. i had not checked on them since morning. Could not manage the time to go and water them even. While i managed the three C's ie cooked, cleaned and cursed, i was having visions of my babies crying out for help drooping, shriveling like home made potato crisps in the hot sun crying out , " Waaater! sumone ! any...one... waaa...ter...!! HELP !! " 
Couldn't bear it any longer and leaving certain things undone/ cluttered/ halfway which definitely is not my way of doing things i hurried to the terrace carrying my phone with me hoping that the domestic help would call letting me know about her plans. And like a woman possessed i got on my job without noticing anything or anyone for that matter.

Plugging the hose tight on to the tap, attaching the sprinkler and turning the tap on to feed my babies who were dying out of thirst just as i had thought, i went about my job till all my Centurions (100 and a couple more) were quenched of their thirst and attended to like i normally do. My irritability which had risen like a tide was now beginning to ebb like one too by now. Maybe there was something in that ' saundhi khushboo' the smell of the the first drops of rain on the parched earth that i was emanating from those pots that held the nourishment matter that fed my babies. A few days back i was a skeptic but while providing life giving moisture to my babies i was beginning to believe. Skeptic yesterday believer today of the information that came to me as news that this smell is now being sold as a fragrance at one of the Old Ahmedabad outlets and has the magic of bringing stability to a disturbed mind. Probably just like how certain aromatic oils are supposed to do. Haven't had any aromatherapy done as yet so how would i know but today i was feeling it...some kind of therapy happening with that 'mitti kee khushboo'  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Now-get-mitti-ki-sondhi-khushboo-in-a-bottle/articleshow/3208802.cms

And as if this was not enough and they would beautifully say in poetical Urdu Abra e rehmat barsa...like a cloud showering blessings on me i suddenly started hearing my mystery birds very rather just too close to me. They at least one of them was there all this while, when i was attending my babies. Only thing i was too pre-occupied to notice.
Both my birds.  i saw my mystery birds in the broad pre afternoon hot summer daylight nice and clear. Up and close. The male was perched up high on the Margosa ( Neem) tree not the same tree on which they sang in the dark early mornings but another tree slightly further away. Only thing even from that distance from where i was seeing it, i was beholding a charming slim, silhouette of black with some whites against the blue sky. His female acting pricey and quite a coquette who at first seemed disinterested was a brownish grey and she first sat on the small cylinder which is a part of the solar heater on the very same terrace where my babies are. Later she rested on the parapet and started singing too maybe answering to his advances. i could recognize the tune so well. Cannot express enough in words my feelings. Mystery coming to light. i just kept listening and watching. Also wondering if so many of them were together would i be able to single out my couple. i guess not just by looking. But yes if all of them were together and they sang i would definitely be able to single out mine.

My Oriental Magpies. Yes they are mine. i know them so well by their tune. And i am extremely grateful to them for introducing me to a host of many of their kind. Each one melodious AND each having their own ragaas. Did not know until i met my couple that the male dances too. Sure he prances around moving his tail up and down sometimes to ward off potential suitors other times to entice his female while he is singing his courtship song. Also when he is a bit angry his tone is a bit gruff and not that melodious as when he is on his courting spree. My greatest discovery about his looks was that he is not jet black as i thought with some white but a really mysterious deep metallic blue black. Very attractive color. Slim rather slender and not more than 17 cm in length overall, then black feet, round sparkling bead like eyes which are black and his beak is black too. Altogether the combination is very pleasing with a band of white on both his shoulders and also along the edges of his tail.

And as nature would have it his lady looks less attractive than him...a dull brownish grey. With beady cunning looking eyes. Black feet and black beak she looks more cute when puffed up or when she is singing or coochee cooing (making love) along with him. i mean relatively she looks less attractive than him. Both are beautiful together otherwise but it's the male which looks and sounds more attractive than the female. All this because like i said in my earlier post i have been observing them quite a lot lately and they it seems might be sensing my interest in them too. Nature conspires in ways we can never imagine or anticipate.

These days as i go about my chores they keep me company and i feel more than blessed. For not only do they drive my loneliness, boredom away but sometimes they are my therapy too. Their duet rains like some peaceful music that relaxes a stressed body or mind and thus the singing induces some freshness into me just like a cup of freshly brewed leaf tea. They also keep me looking forward to the rest of the day with some excitement too. i might be inside perhaps doing something and they decide to pay me a visit and although i can't see them through the young- fruits- laden- mango tree i hear them sing...and it feels like someone you have been yearning for had suddenly gatecrashed. Yippee i feel hap hap happee !!

Now my husband, my domestic help and whosoever comes to visit me,  they all know my Dhayals very well too. Yeah for Gk ( General Knowledge) sake i have come to get some fresh updates too. That it is also known as the Doel in Bengali . And how did i need to know that or why is because it is the National bird of Bangladesh. For the rest that i can retain and remember of my couple as to what they eat and when their nesting season is i am glad to have my own personal copy of  Grimmet and Inskip always with me.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Knowing Ones Own Ragaa

i have finally begun to love Delhi. And this love leads me to fear again. Love always has fear associated with it. Come to think of it whenever we love something we start fearing for it. Two conflicting emotions but they co exist despite our best ways to drive the negative ones away. i am beginning to fear that maybe one day i might have to leave it just like how i had to leave Chennai...
Love and fear...one positive and one not so positive...
Let me talk about the positive... Manic Monday...positive thoughts...so lets get plussed this Monday at least.

One of the many reasons for the + emotion is because of the variety of birds i have seen in my two and a half years of staying in the city. No deliberate bird watching effort taken on my part but just like that, as i went about my daily chores. While i wondered in Chennai about the sparrows as to how they seem to have they all disappeared from our balconies and vicinity here i was in this CAPITAL city about which every year i read different kind of surveys/ statistics proclaiming how polluted the city is, or how congested the traffic had become. But contrary to what i had expected i found it greener THANKS to the administration, the people and the good timely posting of my husband that i saw and am still seeing varieties of AVIANS like never before.

i have come to see a Golden Oriole, Rosy Starlings, Rose Fronted Prinias, Ashy Prinias, different varieties of Sun birds, Finches the names of which i could not identify (with the help of Grimmett & Inskipp) because i could not or have not been successful in spotting them close enough, different kinds of Doves, some varieties of pigeons including the Emerald pigeon and the elusive Green yellow footed pigeons, Alexandrine Parrots as well as the Rose Ringed Parrots some different varieties of Mynas and Munias too, then there are those who have the prefix Oriental attached to them. One a tiny bird almost as tiny as being not more than 10cm called the Oriental White Eye, and the other slightly bigger but not a big bird but something around 15-17cm called the Oriental Magpie. And it's this Oriental also known as Dhayal or Doel which will be occupying my blog pages today and the other next day for reasons which i shall be happy enough to share. Needless to say then that my list is not complete because i haven't mentioned the names of a few that i have seen quite often but not ID ied them . i will soon but till then i am more than happy and very content. And did i mention that i am seeing sparrows too. Not as many as i saw them in my childhood but it makes me glad to see them around still even when dwindled in number because i have hopes. Delhi gave me hope.

i couldn't agree more to what Mr Ruskin Bond...our great writer has said about these birds of Delhi in his book ' Delhi is Not Far: The Best of Ruskin Bond ',  " Having divided the last ten years of my life between Delhi and Mussoorie, I have come to the heretical conclusion that there is more bird life in the cities than there is in the hills and forests around our hill-stations.
        For birds to survive, they must learn to live with and off humans; and those birds, like crows, sparrows and mynas, who do this to perfection, continue to thrive as our cities grow; whereas the purely wild birds, those who depend upon the forest for life, are rapidly disappearing.
        Recently, i saw more birds in one week in a New Delhi colony than i had seen during a month in the hills. Here , one must be patient and alert if one is to spot just a few of the birds so beautifully described in Salim Ali's Indian Hill Birds. The Babbers and thrushes are still around, but the flycatchers and warblers are seldom seen or heard. ...''

Now i hope my friends who exclaim at my pictures and comment in a way that sounds more like a left handed compliment, they are able to ascertain this of Mr Ruskin Bond's if not mine. If and when they want to see these birds their eyes should not be glued to their smartphones or their I Pads while they are commuting or moving about their mundane chores and chances are that they can spot some of these too, instead of saying stupid things like, " Seems like you have become totally jobless...huh vela...haan!!..." or something like " How come only you get to see this Oriental birdy and not us..."

Also personal interest is something that comes from within. It cannot be copied or faked. Of late i feel it has become quite fashionable to talk about Nature and Wildlife. Just to grab attention and seek recognition and to make the general public feel that you are one serious intellectual committed towards environment or ecology for that matter. i personally know many such fakes who are not passionate about anything in particular. They just post something similar on Facebook to seek attention or perhaps attend a few workshops because the basic motive behind that been there done that being 'Networking, ' meeting big names, famous people. Something to discuss in parties and coffee table conversations because it gives their ego a big kick.

There is another case too and those i deem the " Lost Their Call " ones. One i have had very close encounters with. She is a very good friend i have known for years now. Nice woman at heart. She basically loves meeting people. i look at all the funny excuses she makes, sometimes goes out of her way, despite the fact how sick or tired she is. It is commendable though to see how enthusiastic she is about meeting people and knowing everything about their kith and kin. It's another ball game however how many are really interested in meeting her. But that doesn't seem to dilute her keen passion. No matter how hard pressed for time she is she will make it a point to drop in and check on people she knows. Sometimes in the process forming newer chains.  i sometimes am forced to believe that her passion for meeting people perhaps makes her oblivious to the enthusiasm that should be flowing from the other side. The kind of pretexts for meeting people she comes up with is amazing. And it's rather funny how she being such an intellectual is unable to fathom that by now people have understood her pretexts. Environment/ Ecology being one of them. Sometimes looking at her shagged/ haggard/ tired condition i feel like telling her to slow down and just chill but then i guess that's her way. Suit yourself being the mantra of the times. And so i don't say anything at all. But secretly seeing her potential and just flitting from one project to another in between leaving many undone and in the end always remaining dissatisfied, cribbing and cursing humanity that is not good either. Sometimes i want to shake her and tell her, "You like meeting people, fine go ahead but for heaven sake be true to your call."

That is why i lament, " Don't insist on that big change, change yourself first. Find out first what gives you happiness, and don't copy, do it your own way at your own pace."

As for me it's the highway.  i just take a hike of my own.  i am doing this now not for anybody but for me...i am not doing this for networking or recognition, i am doing it for leisure and pleasure of my own. No community service but my self discovery using my own self devised methodology. i chose what the given circumstances allow me to and of course Nature guides me. Then later i refer to sources that give me answers. Not big huge answers something that i can't retain but that which satisfies my curiosity for the moment.  And my sources are vast. From newspaper/ magazine articles that appear like Divine Intervention just when i need it, to books,  to people who suddenly materialize like sent by some unknown Messenger, to finally the World Wide Web. And So it happened that i chanced upon this call by a bird who was first mystery but will now be forever etched in my history.
This bird would wake me up each day every day with her sweet song. Not deliberately wake me up...but since my body is going through changes. i am beginning to sleep less now. By 4 - 4.30 am and still on bed but not in deep sleep or fully awake either i have been waking up to this sweet sweet song by a bird whose identity was unknown to me at first. But that's how it started...darkness...the song...go after the song...spot the area...peer and see... dark silhouettes...among the dense foliage... some small forms...stand there quietly...listen. Then i realized old habits die hard. i was following the same procedure like i do with my flowers...first the smell and then the sight. This avian case was something like that. First the call...then go looking for the bird. In the dark i would stand there in my night pajamas, barefoot...listening...trying to figure out...could see something but not clearly but yes heard the songs, the tunes, melodious very clearly.
This 'sisila' ( routine) went on for a few days...about a week. By now i knew the signature tune of my wake up bird. Also the fact that there's a couple. The male having more stamina than the female and their singing which sounded like a dialect which sometimes went on for more than 6 to 7 minutes at a stretch. She would be chipping in between. Together the song/ duet sounded pleasant like a duet sung in a whistling tune. i actually started looking forward to this morning Raga ( melodic tune) with this mystery couple and started recording their songs in my smartphone. i have 10 or more odd recordings of such ragaas of theirs. The couple would keep their conversation on and just change the venue of singing in between. From that fragrant with fresh blooms of the season Margosa tree they would move to the Rain tree close by. Sing a few duets there. Then in the dark i could see two birds hopping and sitting on the cable wire that passed through the car garage shed. All this Tamasha ( singing and dancing) between 4.30-5.30 am in the morning.

How did i spot my mystery bird is another story which perhaps i shall dedicate my next blog to. For the time being i would like to put one of those Ragaas here which also has everybody else...a puppy yelp included. Although i must admit while uploading and being a novice at that some parts got truncated and i couldn't bring it back.
i had lost track of time and dawn was breaking in. When i started recording it was dark but they were so melodious in their lovely duet that i did not realize that my recording went on for a solid 8 minutes. Not being that computer savvy i had to struggle to make a movie of this recording so that i could upload it but once i figured it out i could only exclaim with joy ..." Another Discovery !! Yay!! and it was so easy!! " but yes just like it is with oldies i did irritate my son to show me the way...not because of anything else...but because i was afraid...i might in the process lose the sounds...
Which i did. Not all but part of it. But my birds are still around there is solace in their presence and i am still alive there's contentment in that too. And now that i am happy why do i keep having this fear...

There i go again fear...can two contradictory emotions really co-exist...Happiness and fear...maybe right now let me concentrate on that + emotion that i know.

i know what my call is and i take it seriously...and puppies...well the yelp is also a kind of a call and i don't consider it to be a bark...not at all... .

BTW  before i call it the quits i must mention that before coming to Delhi i knew that Puppy apart from meaning a cutesy doggy also meant a cheap sy romantic kiss which often a boyfriend asks the moment he is able to hold the girl's hand. After i came to Delhi my knowledge increased and i learnt that it is a slang which means a Punjabi Yuppy...trendy well dressed wearing the most chic perfume driving the most expensive SUV or seen drinking/ eating the most expensive wine/ food the names of which they wouldn't know to pronounce correctly and hence who might surprise the daylights off you the moment he or she opened his or her mouth. No no i am not being ' sarky' ( sarcastic) here i learnt a whole lot more like 'Tota ' too which actually does not mean parrot like i thought it means but a' hot woman ' and many many more.

i take that call too seriously...learning the Delhi lingo...the puppy Colloquial Delhi jargon lingo...because it has a dilli ragaa to it ...and it in a way has the textual beat of some folk if not Bhangra to it. And every time one reaches my cochlea i feel like just laughing not for anything but it sounds funny. Really...
Listen to this...auto in colloquial means chooch. i have to buy some fruits today. i don't have a car so think i will ' CHOONCH' it...hahahahaha....
Now puhleez beg you to be kind with me over my ART PICS as i would love to call them. Remember we are on a strong doze of plus +++ diet today.  The pics were shot in the dark no flash used...i have PIXLR EXPRESS ed them to the best of my ability so pls kindly bear with me...i do not own the skill...what to talk of owning the equipment for taking after dark photos...and even if i had owned one fantastic gadget it's never the camera that does it someone said to me once.
There was nothing for me to focus on...i was focusing on  the sounds and as quietly as i could went tapping the smartphone camera tab...shushing that object not to make that chchrack sound that it does.

Stay Happy and for today i shall and sincerely pray that they too including that dear friend of mine all soon receive their OWN CALL...and not just take anybody's call...for anything. Fame, recognition, money and all that bla bla comes later. i guess first we have to learn to keep ourselves happy.   

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Quisqualis Indica

i smell honey and see the queen through my window. Point is, this honey smells different, like perfume.
Deep and Penetrating. And this queen is the queen of specialities for me and oddities.
i smell MadhuMalti and translated it means just that. Madhu- Honey and Malti- Queen. But along with that i smell more...memories.
i have already spoken enough about my memories chronicling it to the best of my ability and dedicating my two blogs to MadhuMalti
and http://shivanidiwani64.blogspot.in/2010/05/as-i-attempt-to-make-picture-of-my.html

 Now so many years and once again she is here right next to me and this time she creeps again on another window...very next to mine. Where i sometimes see greys with black lines and metallic colors...other times flashes of browns and metallic blue blacks...occasionally a host of other vibrant colors too...

So then although memories never leave you but along with those memories i also see the Robins, squirrels and that Sun bird couple that come and go and plenty of colorful butterflies too. But there's another dimension also now added because i have that time the inclination and that luxury of having her so close to me that i have come to observe the specialities / oddities about her. For instance unlike other creepers she does not stick or twist by means of stems like many creepers do instead she becomes a large woody creeper just rising up and supporting herself by dint of her own merit rolling on to anything that she can find even if it is a vinyl cable or for that matter anything that is dangling. And if i was dangling then without sucking me dry of my own juices she would perhaps have used me for support to quietly creep over me and just go her way without causing me an itch. That way gaining considerable height but without being parasitic in nature. The last society apartment i resided in i witnessed her rise steadily and swiftly right up to the twelfth floor. By now she might have canopied the terrace of that fifteen story building...i guess and spreading her divine fragrance far and wide.

Then when the new plant grows for the first six months it is quite a straight and erect looking shrub. After that it starts taking those artistic turns like a ballet dancer but also in the process becoming stouter and stronger than the original stem which continues to look thin and emaciated. Although from my own plant picture it may not seem very clear as to what i might be saying but one has to observe a very old tree to be able to figure out what i mean. Definitely since i own a terrace of my own which has plenty of sunshine i have a huge pot and a MadhuMalti of my own. And this time she better creep where i want her to creep and just not someone else's window.

The lush and fresh green foliage of the shrub set off clusters of pendant flowers. These blossoms are fragrant especially early mornings and in the evenings and night. Something special in the blossoms too. They are first white, then they turn pink and then red. Together they form an interesting bouquet. Some whites have streaks of pink in them too. As if they were hand painted. As if some pixie came in the quietness and stillness of the night and sprayed some color dust on them.

The pink buds which look like tiny lollypops grow erect when they are small but when the stem stalk which is lime green in color extends to several inches they droop first and then open. The lime green stalks are also interesting. They look like flexible tubes. These tubes are divided into five segments. Between these segments five oval shaped petals are inserted and they form a point star. So when they open they are first white or off white and part pink in color. As days pass they deepen in color first turning completely pink before darkening to a red and then drying up. But the dried flower looks deep dark red unlike a dead brown.


Appearing by March till May and again after the rains they are in a way perennial however there comes a part of the season when all the leaves have fallen and all her branches look like a mass of tangled mass of twisted twigs. And what's strange is that chances are that you might still find a few blooms there among those rough looking dry tangled mass. Another oddity. i am actually peering to catch one of those to get my out of the box picture that i'm looking for. All i am able to churn out is this... 
...the tangled mass with perhaps just one bloom alludes me...

There's a catch phrase for some commercial and i don't remember the product though, "Just one is enough". And if this catch phrase was a title then i think no one deserves it better than this queen of vines and creepers. For spreading perfume for miles around and even when the doors and windows of the rooms are closed. The blossoms keep reminding one of their presence especially in the evenings. And midnight when all is quiet and one is sleeping.
Strange though how even in that slumber breath you can actually sense the smell and feel their presence and not hear the crickets/insects or their tunes that reside in those dense clusters or for that matter anything else that scuffles and shifts or croaks there. Perhaps smell is something we don't much ponder about or even try to develop. For all i know there are people who have a condition and can't smell anything at all and still others who can smell but for them all smells are just flower smells nothing different or distinct and they can't single out one from the other.

Kwiss kwa liss...that's what she is known, Quisqualis indica. Quisqualis is a Latin word i found out recently and it means Who or What. Another i found out was quite exciting too. For maybe i am centuries late in my observation and noticing peculiarities/ specialities but a German born Botanist employed by the Dutch East India Company was the first to discover this queen maybe in Indonesia which was then known as Ambonia. And just like me he was perplexed too by the odd behavior of this species. His name Georg Eberhard Rumphius. And he thus named the queen Quisqualis which means ???? Who/What or perhaps Which too. Because i feel if you go on to describe the tree, the trunk, the bud, the leaves, the blooms, the fragrance the description might have a lot of whiches too.

Also just like me it was also another famous man who has followers worldwide. Whose words actually make sense to me although i never followed him. i want to now when i read his work in whatever comes my way.
Well he was very fond of this particular tree. According to him God especially made this tree on a Sunday when He was over with the hurries and worries of the world.
Yes this Godman to many surmised that God made this tree after He had made everything else and was having his day "off". i got particularly attached to this piece of his mainly because he mentions that for him too this tree stood for memories. And so today i would love to end this blog by using a quote from this discourse of his. It is an extract from his ' Glimpses Of Golden Childhood'. No riddle this i'm talking of none other than OSHO...
" The wild Geese
Do not intend to cast their reflections
The water has no mind
To reflect their images...
And still the image happens.
The Buddhas do not want to reflect the beauty of the work, nor does the world in any way intend to be reflected by the Buddhas but it is reflected. Nobody wills it, but it happens, and when it happens, it is beautiful. When it is done, it is ordinary, when it is done, you are a technician. When it happens you are a master.
This is communion.
I am not speaking about anything in particular...
The wild geese and water...

For the full discourse kindly see http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/nov_issue/htm/serialbook.asp