Clickable Mumbai - Photographer's Eldorado

You know why? because all the 'ingredients' for a "Typical Great Photograph" are easily available here!

* * *

In the foreground, A street kid with a 'leaking' nose carrying a 'handicapped, nude' barbie doll that he picked up from the garbage bin. In the background it's his mother washing the plates sitting right next to the public drainage; she's out of focus, along with the other blurred elements from the back ground, leaving it for us to unfold their 'story'. (thanks f5.6/18-135 Zoom on a Canon 450D)

The close up of an old man! A Powerful portrait. The look in his eyes are enigmatic. The sharp detail of oil and dust accumulated on his wrinkled face is just fabulous. His grey hair has almost turned yellow-brown; each strand is clear. (50mm normal Lens on a Nikon D80)

Well, the pictures described above, were just from my imagination, Purely hypothetical. But think, while you were reading that, how difficult it was for you to visualize such an image? Quite simple, eh? you've seen hundreds of images like these. "Typical Great Photographs", Let's call it TGP.

Well, I will never say that it's easy to click a TGP. It's extremely difficult. But the thing is, if you're a photographer who has the will power to click TGPs, Mumbai is all yours!

Look around and you'll see TGPs everwhere! It's a city of all kinds of people. From the extremely poor to the extremely rich. Everyone's here. And they share the same space, everywhere. Filth, garbage, kids, beggars, orphans, slums, drainages, streets, streetlights, Hondas, Mercedes, Armani, Gucci, Prostitutes, Hyatt, Peninsula, Taj, Transgenders, Dharavi, Redstreet, Marinedrive, Colaba, chaipav, Pizza, cutting chai, Pasta.... You've got everything!

As I said before, Mumbai is a Photographer's Eldorado. It's gold everywhere you just need that willpower to take it from there.

But wait a minute, It's a photograph! Not a movie 'about' Mumbai. It's a photograph, Not a sketch. And what do you think is the most important difference between a photograph and a sketch (or a movie or a painting) ? It's the fact that Photographs deal with stories of real people!.

When you(and me) point a camera and click a TGP, we are telling stories from that poor little man's personal life!. Who the hell are we to do that? It's not a story about 'someone'. It's the story about that particular person in the photograph!. An individual's story! Obviously without his permission!

Since it's so easily available in Mumbai, we sometimes take it for granted that the life of the poor is for us to show to the world. NO! It's THEIR precious life. They're doing everything right in front of our eyes (and cameras) because they do not have any other place to go. It's not becaue they find bliss sharing their poverty filled private life (or their wrinkled faces with "sharp details" or "mysterious eyes") to us.

I don't know, It's a mix of feelings that I get when I look at TGPs. More than the sympathy that I feel towards the subjects in the photograph, it's the resentment towards the photographer that's more overpowering. I really don't have any specific reasons for this negative feeling towards TGP photographers, it just comes! It's more of an emotion, it comes from within; not from the logical thoughts.

I chose NOT to give you any direct examples here.Instead,
I'd like to share two things with you right now.

1) The touching story of my friend Vaibhav, where he permanently deleted the photographs that he had clicked.

He says (as a comment to my last post):
"I thought I would write a comment to this post, but now that I've started writing, I don't really find the right words. I chose to remain silent. I am silent, coz I happened to pass by another such group of women who had actually been picking those chicken feet, in old parts of Lucknow, where I had gone on a hobby photography trip. I feel more sad about me, than about them. The reason, I chose to capture their plight on my camera, instead of doing something else. I chose to take images of their shy faces, which they were trying to hide, for they had a complex about their inferiority. I did not react at all. I kept on clicking images with a heart of stone. It was when I returned home and I actually saw those images, that I felt like crying, again, not for them, but for myself. How cruel I was that day. I can't forget the expressions on the faces of the ladies. They were expecting me to leave them alone. But I was a selfish man. i was looking for a winning pic for the forthcoming photography contest. I sure would have won the contest, had I not deleted the images forever from my PC."

2) An Animation by my friend Hashim. One among the best I've ever seen.
Watch it with all your heart (and not your animator-brain)

(posted with Hashim's Permission. Please don't download or use it somewhere else without his permission. Thank you)

If you have watched Hash's animation above, you'll know what I'm feeling right now...

What should I do with my flickr account?


"It tastes like feet" ( The invisibles Part 2 )

you may read the first part here.

It was at the beginning of my life inside mumbai (out side IIT) that I wrote the previous post "the invisibles". It was the time when these unknown beggar faces turning slowly into recognizable human beings. I met them every day at different parts of mumbai, all the way from ghatkopar to lower parel every corner of the road, foot over bridges, at the queue, outside the office compound wall... everywhere.

Now i know them better, I know them by face. they know me by face. And i can't explain how it feels to be greeted by a poor man on the ghatkopar bridge when i get back from office everyday. That smile we share, is such a wonderful thing that human beings can enjoy. As far as I know, only human beings can enjoy!

I told you, they were transforming... slowly... From invisibles to street people to some recognizable faces. In fact, it wasn't them but me who was changing. It's the world that I created around myself was changing. I started seeing them. I started looking at them, I started recognizing them. The change was right inside me and not anywhere else.

The more I looked at them --Not forcefully but I had no other choice since we shared a common space... my streets were their home.-- the more their life unfolded in front of me. A life full of tiny specks of happiness spread around heaps of filth.

Back then, the monsoons were yet to hit mumbai and it was a clear and dusty morning. I was about enter my office premises and I couldn't help noticing them cooking something. They were cooking chicken.

But when I say 'chicken' i didn't mean that juicy meat that you buy from a vendor or that frozen pack that you pick up from the super market.

they were cooking chicken feet!

They must've been collecting chicken waste-- the feet and the skin--from butcher shops.

And what else did i see there? ... Kids running around, waiting for that 'special' dish their moms were preparing. Everyone seemed excited. For that different, tasty dish of the day! When I said... tiny specks of happiness spread around heaps of filth... I meant this!!

Now, when I watch FRIENDS and Ross says "this tastes like feet!", what should I think of?


"Eat" your medicines!

Well, when Arun commented "take 2 crocins and write a blog on ur illness" on my status update on facebook, I never thought I'll ever do that!.. but here i am.. doing just that.

But there's a reason behind this post.. and it's not my fever.... it's all about how to know more about medicines!

I'd been on bed for the last two days... with that irritating throat pain and friggin bodyache.. Well, I can handle all that with a little bit of rest. And I was doing better untill i realised that I've started coughing and my chest is about to get infested!.. wo wo wo.. that's something that i cannot handle myself. I have a very very bad bad history about all these coughing and chest infection thingy!.. and i don't even want to think about that ...

So.. i decided to go see the doctor!

I walked a bit near the Meat market, looking for this particular doctor my friend suggested... and .. Oh here it is... a Hand painted nameplate which said:

Dr. Doctor (Let's call him that way)
Consulting Physician, Cardiologist and Diabetologist.
Specialist in "Fever"

Come on!!.. A Doctor who's a fever specialist!!
Is there anyone who's a sneeze specialist? I want to consult him too.. !!

Well, that nameplate directed me to an apartment building which apparently had a "Hospital" working on its first floor!. and on the steps there was a board which said:

"please remove your SHOSE here"
(He has to be a vel ejucated doktar)

Well, I walked in.. met the doctor..

"Pull out your toungue... .. mmhmm.. take a deep breath.. aha.. hmm ok.. "

400 bucks and he "prescribed" these medicines to me.. for "Viral Fever"!

Otrivin Drops
Cetzine 0-0-1
Wikoryl 1-1-1
Roxid 0-0-1

Well.. I can not make out anything from those names!.. except for that Otrivin thing. I know what it is.. so decided to chuck that out.

But at the medical store, he said, it'll last for atleast two years.. Hmm.. quite a nice "investment" i should say... i decided to buy it :)

The rest of the stuff, since I didnt' know what they were, I bought them.

And just like anyone else who's in love with google... I just googled for their ingredients:

Cetirizine Hydorchloride IP 10mg

An OTC (over the counter) medication for Allergy/Asthma.

one site says:
Zyrtec may cause drowsiness. Be especially careful driving or operating dangerous machinery or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how you react to Cetirizine hydrochloride.

I know!!!! I really know!..

Do you want me to post my 10th grade exam sheet that I wrote sleeping on it!!!! (well, I love it because it's kinda funny to read it now- well.. may be "look" at it.. you can't really "read" it!)

And tomoro at the office, I dont want me to type vvvvvvvvvvvvv... on my keyboard... AGAIN!!

Paracetamol, Chlorphenamine Maleate, Phenylephrine Hydochloride, Caffine

Wah I love it.. Half a crocin, and you get the energy to update your facebook status :)

Chlorophlosgxphbrrgrhdgfmine!!.. whatever! I googled, and it says:
These products do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions. Do not use this product to make a child sleepy.

Okay.. here's another one to make me sleepy!

Phenylephrine Hydochloride:
I googled, and it says:
Before you take phenylephrine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any decongestants, or if you have heart disease, heart rhythm disorder, high blood pressure, circulation problems, diabetes, glaucoma, a thyroid disorder, kidney disease, an enlarged prostate or urination problems, anxiety, sleep problems, bipolar disorder or other mental illness.

So... does that mean that all these areas get affected when i take this drug??? oh my god!

and another site says:
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Phenylephrine may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or impaired concentration. If you experience dizziness, drowsiness, or impaired concentration, avoid these activities.

There you go!!.. now this is the third one that's gonna make me dizzy!

I'd always prefer Coke or Pepsi over a tablet!

Roxithtomycin 300mg tablets

Wiki says:
Most common side effects are gastrointestinal; diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting. Less common side effects include central or peripheral nervous system events such as headaches, dizziness, vertigo, and also the rarely seen rashes, abnormal liver function values and alteration in senses of smell and taste.

What the fff..ell??

Looks like I'm gonna have the bad time of my life soon!!

you know what i learned from this?

"Don't google for your medicines!!..
Just eat them like you're hungry!!"

Everything will be alright!



first day first show

Well.. not first show.. call it a matinee on the first day.

That was a totally unexpected trip in the evening. We had to have a look at the cladding materials for our new office in Kalina and were on our way from Worli.
Wah!.. we actually had a reason to use that bridge that day!!. (Well I wouldn't have written this line unless I had a look at the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the bridge yesterday)
Seemed like every one in this huge city wanted to have a ride on the new bridge. First day first show :) Every one wanted to have a piece of the cake; still or moving!.
It was drizzling.. and the sky was cloudy.. adding a special mood to the drive.
"Now this bridge looks like some 'firang' who just came to India.. ."
-- that was Utpal, Creative Director from '(water strategy+design'. (I work there.)
"... and you see.. even this bridge will become one among us... just wait for the "Ganpati Visarjans"
true!!.. absolutely!!..
Only half of the lanes were open and the rest of the construction was still going on. Massive scaffolding and huge cranes stood tall. Iron giants!
Workers proudly stood at the side of the road looking at the sea of traffic on the bridge they just built! The joy was actually written all over their face!
And it was great, looking at the suspension cables from the three different spans creating patters as we moved along the road. Well, this time, the traffic was very slow... as in dead slow. As I told you earlier, the whole Mumbai city was there on the bridge that day!. We had to stop our car untill the ones behind us "honked @#$@#" to get a good view of the bridge.
I'm sure It will be a visual treat if you just dash along the bridge on a dark night when these cables are all lit.. whoa! what an awesome view it will be.. when you look at the beautiful Mumbai skyline with this engineering marvel in the foreground.
Hey, wait a second. I had a silly-stupid doubt yesterday. What are those cables for?(if you're gonna talk about physics, forget it. I'm not talking about that... ) well, of course, those cable sturcture is the one which makes it a landmark!. And it looks beautiful too. But my silly-stupid doubt was... "was it really necessary to have that much of a span there?" Or they were just trying to MAKE a landmark? To be frank, I don't care.. this one LOOKS good at least. (I'm not getting started with those ugly 'fly-over' constructions with no attention to detail or design.. duh!)
Attention to detail!. oh no!. look at those signages you'll understand (if you go close enough to read them) Felt really sad to look at those poor typography and stupid use of colors. (oh ya, I don't have a pic here, but there was a signage written in WHITE on YELLOW.. how about that?)
Well.. the trip was awesome!.. we enjoyed the bridge..
and now..
back to Mumbai....



Back Home in Kerala!

That was such a short trip home!

short as in really really short. I started on 19th june Friday night in the "garib-rath" india's cheapest airconditioned railway. And to travel all the way to kerala from Mumbai costed me only 691 Rupees ( $14, but the cheapest option will be less than $5)

One among the many reasons for this quick visit to kerala was the monsoons!! I really really wanted to be in Kerala at least for a day when it's raining! I just love the rains here (as much as i hate rains in the ugly streets of Mumbai city) And luckily, it was raining when i was there at home :)

Our green home

Went to Back yard for my desperate efforts to capture the feel of my home (impossible!!). But i should say, i tried at least.. and here they are...

Back yard.. papa works here in the mornings before office :)

we have to water all the coconut trees during the summers. So my papa (sometimes me too) diverts water from the tank behind to every single plant life in the backyard. You can actually see the remains of those water channels in that image.

detail of the kind of vegetation you see here.

It's not just pineapple that we have in our back yard.. Ginger, Turmeric, Jackfruit trees and Mango trees (yet to give fruits), banana trees, 'chaembu', 'chaena', and a lot many other stuff..
I wished if i could just eat that pineapple. but for that i will have to wait for some more days

"thengungkundu" (coconut tree pit)

:(and ya, of course!.. coconut trees :)

i had a thermocol boat large enough for me to fit in when i was small..

I still remember me and my friend 'chudu' trying to raw our thermocol-boat inside a pit like this... just to mention it here, he tumbled!


"Muchinga" (baby coconut)

Mommy's Mirchi Plant

Mommy has her own set of plants next to the kitchen so that she can manage at least a small amount of cooking masalas by herself.and this inclues chillis, currey leaves, spinach, and some other plants of which i don't know the english names..

Granma's "adaykakkudam" (arricunut pot).

And ya, it stinks!!!

"vaazhakkulakal" (you know what)

I told you how much i love this place. And one among the thousands of other reasons for this love is the fact that we live WITH nature here. For example..have a look at our well.

Our 'well'. (view from terrace)

inside view of the 'well' - a complete eco-system from which we drink :) [yes! this is our daily water supply.. and the water IS pure.. naturally]

I don't really know whether you'll believe if i tell you that we have lots of frogs, sometimes fishes and turtles inside our well. And don't forget we drink from it. But the only time when we stop doing that is when a cat or dog drowns themselves inside.. then there's a whole ritual of purifying the water (nah! it's not that 'tantric' stuff... but we put potassium permanganate :P )

a 270° view of my house!.. the way that you see to the left is to the hill nearby. I'll write about it later.

Happiness for Free! -Street Performers.

Looks like this blog is completely transforming into something dedicated to the homeless!
Anyway, this time what I'm going to write about is regarding street performers of Europe.

I was lucky enough to be in Italy for quite some time with occasional visits to neighboring European countries. Great it was, with a number of unforgettable events and memories. And one of the many interesting things that I could see there was the quality of work by the people who perform at the streets! amazing!

They are not beggars. They are performers!. But the only difference is that these guys are performing on the streets and it's not 'mandatory' for you to pay if you want to watch it.

And of course they are not like those people whom we find in our bus and rail stations here, who irritate you and make you pay so that they'll go away. (of course, not everyone. I love those singers and appreciate their work. and I do have a small collection of these street songs that I could record on the go)

The Violin family of Zara
Can't ever forget them! Especially because of the fact that he remembered me!

We had gone to the ESSELUNGA superstore at Zara for our weekly grocery purchase. And in front of the store there was this small family; a violinist, his wife, their dog and a cinque cento (fiat 500). I'm not so sure whether the car belonged to them.

He was playing interesting music in his violin! So interesting that I could not click a pic but had to stand still listening to the music, watching him play completely enjoying what he's doing. He played always in tune with the surroundings. Changing his song to a nursery rhyme when two kids came out of the store with their mother. The were happy to hear THEIR music! they were jumping with joy and he smiled. That's the kind of connection he made with his audience. He was dedicated to what he was doing. Not WORKING to earn money. but to ENTERTAIN people. He even changed to a dance number when a drunkard stopped by to listen to his music. That guy in his high, started dancing! He played along. A combined performance.

Somehow, before leaving I managed to click one photo, and that's what's I have posted above.

But the best part happened later when I was traveling in the tram after shopping. Even this family was there inside. With a yellow pack from Esselunga-- they too did their grocery shopping. (oh ya, so now I'm sure.. that cinque cento was not theirs)

I looked at him and he said "ciao!" ("hi there" in Italian) he recognized one of his attentive audience!

The Orchestra of Duomo Station
I met this bunch of young musicians many a times. Especially on Sunday evenings when they stand in a line to play great music, which I would like to call an orchestra.

Of course, don't even think about them calling beggars! they're not. They're kids who perform on the streets. They do what they like and if you like it, join them. Why I was saying this quite strongly because I was really touched by what happened that day.

They were playing, amazingly well and I had already put whatever I had in my wallet into their open violin box. 'put' as in I took the effort to walk upto them and 'place' the coins inside the violin box. But when somebody 'threw' one coin and walked away without even listening to what they were playing, it was painful to watch the expression of that girl who was playing the violin. The coin went outside the box when he threw and it stated revolving on the floor rigorously. She stamped on it; once to stop and then with anger. again and again she stamped... with a red plump face.

The Cupid at Florence
He's talented, and of course he's gifted. Other wise, who else in this world has got a face as cute as this at this age? He did his make-up himself. making faces as he painted it.

and within a few minutes, he was ready for fun. Not like any other 'statue-man' that we usually find on the western streets. this guy had it in him. his inborn talent to entertain people. No one felt pity. No one showed sympathy. everyone went to him, clicked photographs and paid for what they did. a small amount. from their heart. after all, more than money what artists need, what performers need is a token of appreciation.

The Guitarist at Florence
I'm putting up his photo first.

He was not there, although we all could see him playing, sitting there on the small bridge in Florence enjoying his guitar. He was in his own world, the magical world of music. I'm not blabbering, because even I was drifted from that crowded street of Firenze to some other world of my own. When memories flashed in as he played one of my favorite Italian songs (" Con te partiro" from "Romanza" by Andrea Bocelli) He was into his own world, and I was into mine.

The street Magician at Amsterdam
Magic, one of the great (dieing) arts!. Usually performed along with magnanimous sets and glittering costumes to support or distract-from whatever they're doing. But this is no stage show!. this is street magic! Pure street magic. where you're vulnerable. vulnerable to losing your trick or losing the entire show. It's not like that Street magic we see on TV. There, the great David Blane (I'm a great fan on him though) has a privilege to edit out his unsuccessful shows. Where he has the liberty to show only the best of his work. This guy here has only one chance. One chance to perform. One chance to earn his living for the day.

I remember him asking people in his highest voice, to put some money into his inverted cap, before he did his final act. But he also reminded, it's not just the money, what he needed was our applause. as I told you before, a token of appreciation.

The Street Comedian at Florence
True entertainer, with about a hundred people watching him perform with a smile on their faces and laughing out loud quite often. He walked around the street corner, grabbing his audience (literally) and placing them in the gallery.

He enjoyed what he was doing. Snatching a phone somebody and talking to his mommy, or switching hats of people from a tour group, or stealing someone's girlfriend's hands. But no one complained, no one made a red-face. Everyone LIKED what he was doing. and showed their appreciation with the coins that they put into his hat.

The Afro Singer at Paris
He was not just performing. He was selling his album there. 10 Euros a CD. if you want it, put a €10 bill into his open hat, and take one CD. or if you just want to help him, put whatever you like -but don't take the CD. He was singing amazingly great. I don't know whether it was his original composition or he was just playing some one else's song. see it for yourself and let me know. This is a video

The Music-man at Duomo
Yes, I really meant it. He was the MUSIC-MAN! Or I'd like to call him too a Street Magician, creating magic with music. You will never get what I really mean unless you had been there at that place and listened to what he was playing. Music which is enchanting! He was playing a number of instruments at the same time, most of them I haven't even seen before. He had a 'chime' that created a feeling as if you were flying through some green valley (really, but I don't know how) . Pan flutes, tambourines, a tambourine like instrument filled with mustard seeds --which created the sound of wind when he tilted it graciously, a bird like instrument --which chirped exactly like a bird when he filled it with water and blew threw it. Yes, the feel of the green valley I was talking about. complete with blowing wind and bird chirps.

Again, what captures the most is the human touch of it. the feeling that you get when you see him and his family in the context. She was sitting there behind him and I could see her love for him in her eyes (I'm serious). It was not just the music that we could see there, but his life too. Something unforgettable. and of course, the expression of the people!. Of people who enjoyed his music, people who stopped by, to listen to what he was playing. Enjoying every bit of it.


The Australian music in Rome
If you're an Indian reading this blog, you will sure remember that starting bit of music from Dil Chahta Hai's "Jaane kyu log pyaar karte hai". The sound of that Australian instrument -Didgeridoo. This couple, who looked like gypsies to me was performing on the streets of Rome with a Didgeridoo and a tambourine.

Again, amazingly great performance. People stop by, Heads turn and ears get focused -involuntarily; that's the power of music. the power of performance. Even we stopped there, until one song was completed. And then we walked away...

The Sax Player of Louvre
That was a great day in Paris and we were walking down the streets next to Lourve-museum at night. And from nowhere, we started hearing this music. First we felt like it was some record playing somewhere, there must be some function going on inside. But as we approached the music became clearer and clearer, and loud too. And once we entered that arcaded hall, we could see this man completely into what he was playing. His music resonated inside the arcaded hall, amplifying and transforming it into a complete, processed music piece.

Could you find something interesting here? instead of playing in the busy streets, where he had a greater number of potential 'money-givers', he chose to play here, in this lonely arcade where people seldom came, where he probably got much little money than he could've earned from a busy street. But the quality of music, which resonated and lifted the mood of the place way up, he was never going to get it from the street. People would have still given him money, not because of the music, but because of sympathy. But he chose the arcade.

Less money... more value.


Before I finish:
Well, so that's the whole point. They didn't beg. they just performed and then it became OUR RESPONSIBILITY to pay them for what they did for us. Of course it wasn't mandatory. But once you enjoy what they give you, you'll feel like paying back. a little of the joy that the performer decided to give us for free. Yes, for free. he gave us entertainment, joy and peace of mind for FREE.

and now it's our turn to give them something for free...

our token of appreciation. a smile, a part of the joy that they give us for free. and of course it's always good to give them some money for free.

don't PAY them. just give some money for free... because they give us happiness.. for free.


tattoos chocolates and roses (Red Yellow Green)

Happiness... or happYness.
ultimately that's what we all want from this life. or 'afterlife'.

that selfish edge of us. We buy clothes, eat ice cream, be with our friends, watch movies, bunk classes ... we want to be happy at the end. The act of doing anything have an unwritten goal, happYness. Sometimes it's direct and sometimes it's not.

examples? we do good, help poor people so that THEY become happy. and we say their happiness is our happiness. We pray. we keep faith in religion and be a good man/woman so that we'll be in heaven at the end. we'll be HAPPY in heaven.

whatever it is, those were some random thoughts. Back to the reason for this post.

I saw some kids.

I was in VileParle, on my way to IIT. Standing at the busy signal, waiting for an auto. Each time, the signal turned Red, a number of street kids ran into the blocked sea of vehicles... plastic toys, balloons, window cleaners!

She was so small, as in, very small. May be 5yrs or so. and she had a bunch of red roses! Those were pretty. and she moved from one car window to another.

Red Signal.
Red roses.

As if the signal was to indicate "it's time to sell your roses". The signal turned Green. No more Roses. She came back. She was waiting at the footpath. I didn't feel like calling for an auto. Instead, I took out my camera and was about to click. (Selfish I am, that poor kid is losing her childhood and i'm clicking a "nice pic man",... sad!). ya i was about to click.

all of a sudden, Someone just appeared from nowhere! took the rosebuds from her, took her hand and disappeared into the crowd! May be he has to report to his higher officer in the begger's chain! duh!

I decided to stand there for a while (of course, I had to keep my camera back into the bag). Once more the signal turned RED, kids ran to sell/beg. GREEN. and they're back.

One small kid came back to the footpath where i was standing, followed by an even smaller girl (2yrs?) holding his hand. He had a few coins in his other hand. collection from the last red-signal. He told the little girl: "sit here, I'll get you some chocolates" and disappeared into the crowd in front of the sweet shop.

Love, Happiness !

The means of self expression. something that makes you special, different from other human beings who all look alike with same number of limbs, eyes, ears! But still, when you wear a tattoo, you're JUST different... not handicapped.

I found one little boy, who was happy... really really happy. about his self expression. He was so happy to show his self-expressed hand (the entire hand) to his friends. Holding the long empty sheet of sticker-tattoos in the other hand.

But this time, i was already in the auto. But still managed to take a memorabilia of HIS happiness. which inturn, becomes MY happiness.

Tattoos, Chocolates and Roses (Red Yellow Green) Your Happiness my happiness our happiness!

PS: the first traffic light pic is NOT clicked by me

the invisibles

I don't know why do i feel like writing about them all the time! May be because I see them everyday, every time I step into the streets of mumbai I see them. Sleeping, begging, searching for scrap which might fetch them some food at the end of the day. But seldom did I try to rememebr their faces. At least untill now. They were just another species. Homostreetians -- human beings who live on the streets.

But this idea of remembering faces was not a decision. It just happned. And these things happen when we start living with a routine. Wakeup>gotooffice>sitinsideoffice>comeback>sleep and repeat this mantra everyday.

Now I rememebr some of their faces. That old man who sits at the extremely busy overbridge ramp at the 'CurreyRoad' station. that blind --beautiful if bathed-- young woman who sits on the steps of ghatkopar station (she was laughing at the sounds of two drunk people's fight yesterday) Those kids who come and ask for money infront of Lower Parel station. And they're almost invisible for all the people who stand in a queue for the sharing taxis. invisible kids. ugly-looking if visible.

Now, about what made me write this story. I was at 'Ghatkopar' station standing in the queue for tickets. And there was this really old woman standing next to the counter begging each one who left the counter. She stood there like an automated mannequin that we see inside shop windows; moving her arm repeatedly as the motor inside her revolved. she looked sad. Cursing about something else while she begged mechanically. Life goes on. She stood there as if she was crying without tears. an old lady. very old. may be she doesn't have any more tears to roll out.

she just stood there... invisible.


Hop Scotch

Right in front of our office there are these people who live on the streets. Poor, neglected and often hated. It was not so long when the office building owners tried to remove them from there. But still, they're there. of course not under a roof anymore. they're all gone!

They live there on the street. with their kids, parents and their loved ones. they cook, they eat, they sleep, they make love. and they've got more kids. and quite soon even they'll have kids!

But what made me write this post here is something else. I saw those kids playing. Not some game but the famous Hop Scotch!

I wonder who taught them this? They didn't invent this game for sure. There was somebody to teach them... some body! and that somebody learned it from somewhere else.

Somebody who had the means to have a better childhood at some point in time. may be years back. may be decades. or may be ages!

and then they played. they loved the game. they loved each other. they made love! to and beyond...