There used to be two windows. They were like two rectangular eyes staring into space. The eyes wore shades of green iron-mesh. Like magnet therapy goggles our neighbours wore to improve their vision.

Behind the shades were painted lids of wood-and-glass panes that folded at the hinges. The eyelids folded shut when blue raindrops thrashed against the house in diagonal lines.

When summer travelled light years to make life hell, the windows wore curtains. Green and envious. With parrot shapes printed on them

When winter crept in to chill bone and tissue, the windows were bare for sun rays to come in and make shapes on the floor.

Otherwise the windows remained open and staring.

There was a garden patch outside the windows. The plants that grew there tried not to crowd the view from the iron-mesh windows…
I saw the inside of Ravana’s TEN heads this morning (a dream). They were setting him up for the BURNING, for a later event in the evening. For Dussehra. The inside was ‘wired’ with green jute bombs, designed to go off, one by one. At the touch of an ignited arrow. Like a trigger igniting a giant fidayeen.

Ravana was being readied for an explosion, in full public view, with various types of crackers and explosives. Readied for a BURNING EVENT. Readied to make smoke for public entertainment. A Genius was being readied for public entertainment.

A TEN-headed genius, to be burnt to DEATH. What a PITY! What a WASTE!
But it’s DONE. It’s carried out every year, year after year, at many different places. So all those readers and watchers of RAMAYANA can feel happy at the cessation of EVIL. An end to ALL Evil!

For ALL to say ‘How Cool’, ‘How Nice’. That Evil burneth. In HELL. As it is in HEAVEN. Amen. Feel happy that EVIL has been shown its place in the scheme of things. Has been PUT down. Extinguished for all SEASONS. For the NEXT season to come up again. As a NEW avatar. Of Evil. Born again to teach HUMANITY another lesson. Of GOOD overpowering EVIL. So Cool. So Nice.

The DREAM ends. Ends in violent BURNING. Crackling. Fire. And crackers. Phut… Boom… Aha… What JOY! What pleasure! That GOOD has overcome EVIL!
I got this excerpt from PANKAJ MISHRA's An End to Suffering (The Buddha in the World): Picador India, a great book on the Buddha's journey on planet Earth. It's an amazing book on Siddhartha Gautama and his travels on this plane, his teachings and how they make sense to a Western logician. I for one didn't know about this Fire Sermon until I read this book. This is what the Buddha is supposed to have preached to a thousand matt-locked ascetics on top of a hill in Gaya. He's giving them a different take on the FIRE they have been worshipping for ages.

"The eyes are ablaze. The form is ablaze. The mental functions are ablaze. The contact of the eye is ablaze. The sensations produced by the contact of the eye are ablaze.

The ears are ablaze. Sounds are ablaze. The nose is ablaze. Smells are ablaze. The tongue is ablaze. Tastes are ablaze. The body is ablaze. The mind is ablaze. Mental functions are ablaze.

But what are they ablaze (with)? They are ablaze with the fire of greed, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion, ablaze with the fire of birth, old age, death, grief, lamentation, suffering, sorrow, and despair....

A disciple who is well-learned, Bhikshus, when he considers things in this way, he grows weary of the eye... He grows weary of the ear. He grows weary of the mental functions of the eyes and ears.... Growing weary of them, he rids himself of greed. Being rid of greed, he is liberated.

Being liberated, he becomes aware of his liberation and realises that birth is exhausted, that what is necessary has been done. And that he will not return to this world again."

From the original 'Samyutta Nikaya' (translated as The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, Boston, Wisdom Publications, 2000)

BLLLURRRRRR: Most memories turn sepia with age but this one gone strawberry.
The t
ime's late seventies (that's me in the corner, that's me in the spot... light...);
the occasion is Pa's friend's marriag
Living in the US, Alec Uncle wanted a good 'homely' Indian bride,
so back he came to his roots and did what he had to do.

What I like about the picture is its 'fluidity' and the sense of people melting into light.
Third from the left (standing) is my Mom, whom time, exposure and bad storage have given a pair of Seraphim wings and a halo.

I have been disappointed by films I've seen, books I've read, music I've heard but I've never ever, ever been disappointed by my dreams.

These scenes inside my head have somehow never failed to exhilirate, enthrall, horrify, entrance, turn on, apall, teach, perplex, irritate, enchant, make me think. I have tried and tried and tried to get to the bottom of my dreams, have googled extensively on the subject, read up variously (Jung, Freud and the occult included) and asked people claiming to know a lot about them but I have yet to receive a satisfactory explanation of how they're made.

Am now going to describe to you this one that came to me about a year ago...
Tell me if any of it make sense you guys

Am taking a walk down the road with a colleague and an Ambassador suddenly whizzes past us. On top of the car is a family of lions, most probably two lionesses (as there are no maned creatures) and some cubs. We wave at them and they somehow acknowledge the wave with a split-second nod or the cat-equivalent of it.

Next I am on a mountain track, walking--without the colleague but with a Caucasian couple. The woman and I have this 'first-time meeters' familiarity, a bit like cyberpals or penpals meeting in real time. The man is a stranger. I am walking between them, dishing out a monologue to which they have nothing much to contribute except agreeing nods. Funnily, my dream conversations are mostly telepathic, meaning sentences are not spoken, they're just heard.

We cut to an old-fashioned halal meat market, the kind that has carcasses hanging from hooks and where the meat is chopped on a slice of tree trunk.

The shop I stop by has a tiger carcass hanging from its hook. It's obviously not been skinned like the rest of the carcasses. And strangely, it's also not been decapitated. I ask for the head, which is duly cut off and handed to me. I pay the guy and start walking out of the market holding the head by the ears. (Am sorry if it's getting too grisly. Can't help, have to tell it as it was!). Halfway out of the market, I realise I don't need the whole head, so I go back to the shop and ask the meat seller to give me just the teeth. The big four.

The canines are duly pulled out and handed to me. I look at the sharp sticks of yellow tiger ivory, admire them and hand them back to the meat seller. Break them open, I tell him. He takes out a hammer and cracks open the teeth. Inside them are rows of diamonds, like peas in a pod, cut and polished, with rainbow sparkles. I take these diamonds in my palm to feel their sharp edges and their 'realness', slide them into my coat pocket and walk on.

The dream then fades like a reflection on a rippling pond.
We're in Khajuraho, the capital of ancient perverts. Some firangs actually think that. And they are not alone. A lot of miseducated Indians do too.

The stone here dances. The temples sing. And the tourist guides speak French. Mr Someshwar Sharma, our ASI-fied guide, speaks English as spoken in textbooks, which is a bit like Hindi, meaning words are what their letters say they are. Meaning there are no silences, no syncopations, no phonetic surprises.

Mr Sharma is sweating like a rasgulla but his knowledge of temple history is amazing if somewhat yawn-inducing. But Mr Sharma has these occasional bursts of unintended humour. Mr Sharma is taking us through the temple courtyards, regaling us in his textbook English. "This is Miss Khajuraho," he says pointing to a pair of stone breasts, "don't be surprised. Yes, yes, those days were very advanced indeed. Beauty queens they had also. But she was the most beautiful, no?" Laughter in different languages floats admiringly around Miss Khajuraho. Miss Khajuraho also smiles an ancient smile that refuses to die. "Is she not beautiful? Just look at her bosom. And her hips. And her smiling face. Wah, kya baat hai!"

"These beauty queens used to dance like fairies." Ears are like radars, waiting for some more revelations from a jolly good time of very long ago. "Yes ladies and gentlemen, dance to the tune of the pujaris, who wrote hymens to the gods."

"Hymens, Sharmaji?" asks someone, "you mean hymns?"

"Yes, hymens," says Sharmaji as he moves on to some other perversity from a time long, long ago.



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As an art practitioner I work in a variety of mediums, what you see here are glimpses of my many creative projects. If you like or feel strongly something here please don't forget to comment



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