Speedo: Hi, ASL?
Sleeping_beauty: Nice name! :) u like swimming?
Speedo: Yeah, love it. But I was called that even before we knew of the swim wear. Age?
Sleeping_beauty: LOL so wer u located?
Speedo: me in Delhi, n u? Age?
Sleeping_beauty: Cool. also in Delhi. Wot's wit this age hang-up?
Speedo: Sorry. So where in delhi u located?
Sleeping_beauty: Not so soon honey… what do you do, Speedo?
Speedo: Umm, a lot of things. Better thing to ask wud be what I don't… those are fewer.
Sleeping_beauty: Hmm, so tell me what is it u don't do?
Speedo: Nothing :)
Sleeping_beauty: ??? wazzat mean?
Speedo: Means I try and do everything once.
Sleeping_beauty: Smart, ar we?
Speedo: Hehehehe… just myself!! What u into, about etc?
Sleeping_beauty: I am doing psycho hon from…. Fugget it.
Speedo: Cool. So u un'stand people well?
Sleeping_beauty: Not yet, just reading those who did v well.
Speedo: n wot do you do when not readin these people.
Sleeping_beauty: chatting.
Speedo: what kind of chats are u into?
Sleeping_beauty: Any and all? 'cept the prying ones.
Speedo: U into cyber sex?
Sleeping_beauty: 'pends
Speedo: on what?
Sleeping_beauty: on who I am with… can be very boring
Speedo: Wanna try me?
Sleeping_beauty: u?
Speedo: No, my dad.
Sleeping_beauty: ur funny.
Speedo: Hmm. So shall we start?
Sleeping_beauty: Start? Haven't we already?
Speedo: What u wearing sweetheart?
Sleeping_beauty: black Victoria's Secret lingerie. Very sexy ;)
Speedo: Hmm. Let's start with ur ears. I don't like the taste of metal. Here I am removing the earrings.
Sleeping_beauty: But they're my lucky errings
Speedo: Well, now u have me. Your neck looks pale honey. Let me add some colour with my lips and tongue. Like it?
Sleeping_beauty: Hmm. ur good, hmm
Speedo: feel my tongue on ur lobe, behind ur ear now, on the back of ur neck. Isn't it too hot for that top. Shall we loosen things a bit? Here lemme help.
Sleeping_beauty: It's not a top. It's lingerie.
Speedo: K, cool. So let's junk the LINGERIE now
Sleeping_beauty: Wot bout u? rn't u going to lighten up?
Speedo: My Tee's off, can u feel my warm breath on your tits?
Sleeping_beauty: Don't like tits… nips is better
Speedo: Ok nips… wow they're getting hard with every lick of my tongue.
Sleeping_beauty: I like ur nips too. They're purple like bruises.
Speedo: I like ur bell button, so deep… I cud fall into it :)
Sleeping_beauty: I like ur smell… wot is it?
Speedo: My sweat… smells like cologne innit?
Sleeping_beauty: Yeah sure :( k don't tell me…
Speedo: My hand's between ur legs now
Sleeping_beauty: Yes and I don't normally wear any panties
Speedo: That's so cool just my kinda girl
Sleeping_beauty: Why are u still wearing those shorts? Rid them off u
Speedo: K. here goes the shorts and the undies
Sleeping_beauty: Wow cool hardware u got there sailor
Speedo: thnks. Ur software's also very inviting… Yum
Sleeping_beauty: Let's kiss now
Speedo: k. French? Or Indian?
Sleeping_beauty: What's Indian?
Speedo: Dry, non-stick type
Sleeping_beauty: K. French's cool wid me.
Speedo: 4 me too :) now I am parting ur legs
Sleeping_beauty: Am soo wet, ur good at this sailor
Speedo: N now am entering u, slow n sure. Am hard, very hard
Sleeping_beauty: Wot do u mean, slow n sure, sounds silly
Speedo: K wotever. Ur hands are grabbing my shoulders very tite
Sleeping_beauty: Hmmm. That feels so nice sailor.
Speedo: now we're beginning our ride… slowly like a boat on the sea
Sleeping_beauty: Hmmm… I like boat rides
Speedo: Hmmm
Sleeping_beauty: Omigod!!!
Speedo: Ooohhh am bout to…
Sleeping_beauty: Meeeeee toooo
Speedo: Aaaahh baby…
Sleeping_beauty: Was so gud…
Speedo: Amazing. Phew!
Sleeping_beauty: Guess u shud sleep now. Nite nite sailor.
Speedo: Hey… wait…
Speedo: BUZZ
Speedo: U there
Speedo: bitch!

Some nights when urgent printing deadlines needed to be met, the machines would burn the midnight oil and keep some of us awake with their ratatatat. It was called Mew Printing Press. And we thought it was a mistaken 'New'. Ignorant as we were of the Greek alphabet.

As kids we often went inside the press to ask for discarded paper and glue to bandage torn kites and make 'wanted posters' of each other. During these trips we'd also survey the unholy mess of letters inside the press. Letters lying in open boxes, each for a different size, different font. The letters were just metal pieces that were fixed in rows to form words and sentences on a page.

Sometimes we stole these letters when no one was looking. This was done just for a lark. Like the shoplifter's thrill.

"I got an L, what did you get?"
"I got a P, and it's bigger than your L."
"Next time we should get whole words."
"Yeah, maybe we can print our own pages."
"But you need a machine for that dumbo…"
"No, but we can trace them on paper… with a pencil… like you do with a coin."
"Hmmm… that's an idea… why didn't you think of it before."

And like that, unthinkingly, we stole words from the press. Without realising how heavy stolen words could get in our pockets. Or how they would sometimes injure our mothers' fingers as they emptied our pockets before the laundry rites.

I don't know about the others but those sharp metallic letters entered my head in ways I cannot explain.

And once inside, they pretty much wreaked havoc, giving shape to everything I felt, thought and… didn't dare do.
(Pic by Sahar Z.)

Take Away (installation) by Riyas Komu

For the past two days I have been terrorising my cable guy because of this message that appears on my screen whenever I try to go to bodhishop.blogspot.com or for that matter any blogspot site:

502 Bad Gateway
The following error occurred: [code=DNS_HOST_NOT_FOUND] The host name was not found during the DNS lookup. Contact your system administrator if the problem is not found by retrying the URL.
Could not open error file

Thankfully a blogger friend mailed and gave me the lowdown on what's happening. Through him I reached other 'non-blogger' bloggers and some world-famous bloggers too... only to find out that this was the work of our Government, that's now turned into a professional net nanny.

Must say I am amused, angry, perplexed, disappointed with the turn of events. Had always thought we had better sense than doing what a concerned blogger called the equivalent of turning off the water supply because the terrorists were using water!

The MAZE is a brain.

An analogue.

You have to find your way through it.
Turning often, but walking straight..

With enough practice, the maze begins to make sense.
It begins to coalesce into a straight road.

Like the brain stretching out like a single sheet of tissue,
uncreased and unfolded,

without recesses and dark areas.

This is one of the awesomest pictures of Marilyn that I have ever seen. It's from her last picture collection (also found in a book titled Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting) and is by a 'photo-artist', Bert Stern. Stern had three sessions with Marilyn at the Los Angeles Bel-Air Hotel in June 1962, six weeks before her death.

The European Stern has brilliantly captured the power and magic of a modern American goddess. Americans are, by habit and compulsion, apologetic pagans. They love their heroes but deny them their pedestals. Sometimes when they love them too much, they also crucify them.

Why? It is perhaps a residue of the Christian dread and embarrassment of death. Early death especially is seen as something that happens only to the wicked and unrighteous. Or to Jesus Christ. Either ways, it is a bad thing. And Marilyn fitted the 'bad thing' bill perfectly.

This picture of Marilyn crucified conjured up images of the crematorium near my old (by five days) office. I have passed this place on almost all my working days. On many occasions I have had the fortune of filling my nostrils with the smell of fresh cremation. The smell of burning flesh, hair, muscles and bones. And seeing the black fumes escape from the top of the high-walled building. Seeing in a way the transubstantiation of a fellow man. Body turning into smoke and dust. And soul disappearing dunnowhere.

Near the crematorium is a traffic-island. It's a triangular piece of road-divider and footpath now taken up by the pigeons. On occasions I have seen the pigeons rise up like a huge sheet of grey, startled by sudden loud sounds such as cracker explosions, tyre bursts or cracking dead bones.

These pigeons are fed daily by those who've recently burned their dead. It's a form of ancestor worship. In the hope that feeding the pigeons also means you are feeding your ancestors. Feeding, a bodily function, survives even death and must be carried on to show gratefulness and perhaps earn merit. That is the belief. It also works out to be a very ecological belief. Feeding. Near a place of total material decimation.

What survives this total decimation or turning into ash of the human body is memory… in the minds of those who outlive the dead.

The guy selling pigeon-feed sits on the traffic-island under an old car frame. He looks like the last survivor of a terrible accident. It looks like most of the Maruti Gypsy he sits under has plunged into the earth, leaving only a half-raised rear. Everyday he sells pigeon-feed by the kilos. Pigeon-feed that is scattered on the traffic-island that has now become 'dead ancestor island'.

Here memory is fed daily with pigeon-feed.

So that dread and embarrassment are no more part of dying.

Death, it is believed, is only for sometime.

It's just rehab.

After life.

And everyone has to go through it.



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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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