smoking weed
make ur tits


Someone googling with these words came to bodhishop...

just couldn't resist :)
Seven years is a long time. In mystic numerology it is also the number of completion. Coming full circle. Of godhood. Hard sense tells me not to read too much into this. But there is another part of me that cannot help but see the connections. The design.

In September 1999 I visited Ladakh for the first time. It was a trip that resulted in this and this and this and many other happy delusions.

It was an eye-opener of a trip. We biked from Delhi to Siachen Glacier. And biked back. In about 15 days. We were sore-backed but full of memories. It was in Ladakh that I saw a full moon the size of a blimp, emerge from behind a hill in Drass like a halo. I also had the fortune of riding along the grey Indus, a river that I believe defines us more as Indians than the Ganga. I saw the famous double-humped camel of Nubra Valley. I passed through the highest motorable pass: Khardung-La, our longest night crawling as we were in civilian trucks behind a convoy of Bofors guns. This was just a few days was after the Kargil War.

Now I am going to Ladakh once again. On Tuesday I start again for one of the most of mystical places on the planet. And I can't help but see this as a sign of some sort of completion. For the first time in my life, I am happy jobless. And moolah-less. I also have no direction in the ordinary sense of the word. I am between a lot of things. Feeling at times squeezed of ambition. So I travel once again. To Julleh-land. To Buddha-land.

In the same Buddhist metaphysical sense I am not sure whether I will return. Or if I will return as myself as I was, am and supposed to be.

In the same Buddhist metaphysical sense, I really dunno.

So in my I-dunno-ness I flow upwards in defiance of gravity and hard sense.

In my I-dunno-ness I will also touch the tip of the Roof of the World.

I also dunno whether I will continue with Bodhishop...

I hope you guys understand.

Thanks for stopping by. And talking.
(Pic by Sanjog S)

Can we have your smile please? The whole of yesterday was spent asking random people this question. Most agreed. Some didn't. Owing, I assume, to the faulty premise that a smile needs to be earned. And is not to be squandered on random people roaming the streets with a movie camera. But we didn't do too badly. The director of the shoot was a friend (left, in the picture) who is making this documentary on a friend of her's who lived in the thirteenth century.

Yes, a friend needn't be a flesh-and-blood somebody, who you meet daily. I believe a friend's largely a notion. A disembodied notion that resembles some part of your own self. Children often have imaginary friends. These friends are products of their being and display few differences from what they are themselves. As a result there's just no squabbling with these imaginary friends.

The evening before last was spent with another friend. And together we went pearl-hunting in the depths of the glorious confusion that we commonly know as Tantra. We were defending our two positions; he his academic fascination with the subject and me my mental empiricism around it.

The conversation telescoped late into the night with me insisting that the artist's search is in many ways like that of the tantrik and he sticking to his view that conflict is necessary for the creation of art (especially visual) and that resolution would mean an end of art. The conversation also forked into issues of duality and non-duality. Whether we are really blobs of individuated consciousness or whether we are all just one thing living under the illusion of separation. And whether true awareness is the realisation that everything is actually just ONE. God or Brahman or Nature, whatever you will.

The night before that the topic of discussion was tea. How brewing the exquisite Darjeeling leaves was a reflection of one's spiritual evolution. This is the strong belief of my other friend. That night I graduated (with honours) after years of tea-teachings shouted across the drawing room (also called Lounge 144) to me in the kitchen in his bid to make me a better person. That night I received the highest accolade from him in the form of this TeaTale:

Makes tea
For the friends
Gathered round him
Shares he
His self
Some tea
Little conversation
Some goodness
incandescent hope
tales of him as a rake
Maximum joy
Bit by bit
Hour by hour
Leaving life in his wake

Er… well that's me… according to him. Or him according to him as seen through me.

These past few days my mind has been on a romp with the Egyptian Girl. It's the tune that most of us first heard in Pulp Fiction where a brilliant guitar riff follows an equally brilliant 'and I'll execute every motherfucking last one of ya…'

Having obsessed over several downloaded versions of the Misirlou I have decided that my favourite is Rabbi Abulafia's liturgical one. What I find wickedly fascinating is that the ageing rabbi's breathless singing about an Egyptian Girl.

This post is also dedicated to Ms Denmark up there in the picture who promised to the read this space only if it mentioned her but who I see coming here pretty often :)

The flag-bearer wears khadi. White khadi cap. Khadi kurta. Khadi pyjamas. And rubber slippers, stiff and arthritic with age. Slung across his shoulder is a bag containing booklets and pamphlets produced on cheap blot-ink paper. His plastic-framed spectacles are also dusted with the space grime of a few years. The sun has given him a light ebony coat.

Alone, the flag-bearer marches on in the glass and granite market-place. Silenced by the light and display of the new swaraj. Silenced by the hardsell of New India. Sometimes the flag-bearer shouts Inquilabi limericks, learnt long ago. But mostly he's silent. As if he's in a dream.

The flag-bearer must have been a child at the time of Independence. An impressionable child. A child brilliantly affected by the Freedom message. A child whose youth was spent living a philosophy. But he doesn't preach. 'I want my life to be my message,' he says. His life is mostly spent walking through the country. Talking about Gandhi, distributing Gandhian messages to those who care to listen to him.

His message is also his flag. A faded tri-colour the size of a bath-towel, which he props on his shoulder.

To what end is all this flag-waving, I ask him.
Do you think someone pays me to do this, he asks back.
I am stumped. It's a tough life, I can see. The walking. The walking the talk.

And facing the slur of generations, far removed from the Freedom Struggle. The generations that blame Gandhi for taking the easier route.

It's obvious that he has a few benefactors, Congress leaders eager for photo-ops and news stories who provide him bed and breakfast, and perhaps some travel expenses. But that is all. There is no income to talk of. He eats only if he's offered. He doesn't beg. Doesn't complain.

It's also obvious that the flag-bearer has been stopped from entering some expensive places because of his 'inappropriate dress'. He probably doesn't know that khadi has ceased to be a fabric of resistance. That it's just another piece of exotic ethno-merchandise, like the Banaras silk.

But the flag-bearer walks on. Unfazed. Carrying decades of freedom on his back.
Like a latter-day Atlas. A Gandhian Atlas.

PS: I had met the flag-bearer in Connaught Place (Delhi) in the winter of 1999-2000.
Lolling on his gossamer wings. Like a trapeze artist. Like an octopus of the air. Like a gymnast with eight limbs.

The spider is a hand with eight fingers. Fingers, hanging on to semi-invisible strings. Fingers, playing the strings like a celestial guitar.

The spider is an artist. He makes his own music. Weaves his own flying carpet.

Between playing his guitar and flying his carpet he waits for food. Mind food that he eats and feels replenished.

The spider is a creature of space. He's the king of his corner. He comforts between corners. Not in them. Between corners he hangs his wings. And then hangs from them. Like an angel, semi-fallen. Hanging, between heaven and earth. From his wings.

The spider is a space traveller. He sees a lot. Doubts a lot. But the quivers of his celestial strings he knows like the back of his hand.

The spider is a collector. Of minor things. Subtleties. Jetsam washed into his web by the winds. In the ageing, weary light of the evening his web is like a Christmas tree, dangling jewels of stardust, bits of paper and irridiscent insect wings.



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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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