I am not blogging here anymore. I am blogging at http://peacefarm.prayas.in
also accessible via http://blog.prayas.in
To see what I've been blogging about lately, do visit me at my new address.
Am working in Mumbai now! Searching for a place to stay. Same old story.
What happens when you decide to look at a situation differently? I felt after I point, I had gotten too clever for myself. "What I could do" was becoming more important than what I did, what I experienced. I was to-do happy. So I have shifted base for some time. I realize a lot of the threads I have been following are incomplete. I want to meet people, bond with people, see things, see what I am doing and how it comes across to others.
I want to finally decide. What is it I would feel comfortable doing all my life, all the time? Leave the other interests/occupations alone, fending for food. Why is this neccessary? Well, if I expect some form of art/creative activity to carry me across to the state of absolute peace... I need to commit to a path. Poetry, video, art, copywriting, internet activism, social venture... what will I bet on?
As of now, I am going strong on art. Visual art, which strongly engages with "bunches of words" I create... I have been drawing regularly since October. I can see something emerging there. I have neglected my drawings for so long!
So in mumbai - I look around. I learn to be relaxed but enthusiastic, easy but passionate, productive but peaceful.... I want to throb with simplicity. Not get caught up in some crazy obtuse trip...
first winter poem
faint as an ancestor
who forgot to tell me his name.
I have appeared now
under the other end of this periscope...
I have nothing to say.
why can't you lie down beside me
and be with me - lonely, easy, peaceful.
doing as much in a day as a ball of wool
walking in the garden
sleeping in the shade of words too big
to live up to.
going from refrain to refrain,
waiting for the chorus again
some songs have no meaning
they just like to be played
again and again and again.
leaving my passport at the window
putting stones on a slow-boil.
sometimes climbing a hill
is easier, than climbing two steps
to someone's front-door.
how much is this blog worth ?
like a drumcall
be blind to the humdrum murmur.
let your hair slide away easily.
now you can run into the breeze
as if your words were laughter,
the garden in front of my house
has my shadows tied up in a knot -
I speak as if the importance of each decision
outweights the pleasure of trouble, silliness
a braghost myself - I build my walls.
Where am I?
Have been travelling for the past week! From Ahmedabad to Delhi to Nagpur and soon to Ahmedabad. I forgot to carry any of the books I've bought and have been waiting to read... Am regretting that.
A good time in Delhi, couldn't meet up with any friend, was mostly holed-up with my computer and blogging or dreaming. Making proposals.
Spreading myself thin. I have been warned against it. I admire people who do less but do good. I am moving towards it. Work either on a part-time job or a fellowship and just tap away slowly at the imagination I want to translate into the real-world?
Work with stories. When I get back home, I will first be completing my short-video -- "Introspection". Maybe expand the theme, explore the subject... more. Beyond pattern can it also be words, voices, people, process. How would I show it. I have been shooting clips for this video on my still-camera. Why? Maybe to speak for introspection being as close and easily-possible for you as possible... what can be simpler than shooting limited-seconds of video on a still camera. A video camera felt too intricate... some of these things need to go my new trigger2 process-blog...
Have bought 6 long canvases maybe 6 ft X 2 ft? What will I do with these, do I fancy myself to be a painter? I want to play with words and with poems on these. I have heard of the "supremacy", the "absolutist regime" of the image, the visual... maybe play with words, with letters, with alphabets in the realmn of the visual... might be fun.
Not be over-productive, that is NOT my defining characteristic... do something which has the captivating narrative which impresses me about a lot of good blog-postings. Captivating narrative. Freeze on that.
Where to live?
I think in India it would a good idea to live in a town, which The Times of India thinks is too small to sustain a city edition. Such a city is bound to be mundane, quiet, cultured in a meaningful way and cheap!
Why do most Indian films increasingly only either have only fantastic or Mumbai landscapes. No variety, no imagination. I have seen films (luckily!) in which the landscape/the locations themselves have a character. They have something intrinsic. They play a role, they have a story to tell.
It is an unexplored area. Iranian films seem to explore it consistently. American films surely. Are we ashamed/not-proud of our geography?
Something worth thinking about. Why are the cinematic landscapes of our films so monotonous.
I have tried to create a rich landscape in the script I have been working on. How will it turn out?
Summary of the next three days at the workshop
Kiran did a study on livejournal and the features it has which enable and strengthen community formation. One thing which struck me - for a group to form encourage the formation of a sub-group. Vishnu did a presentation on the mythologicals in Telegu cinema. He said, mythologicals cannot take the burden of star-systems.
I learnt about the work of a lot of researchers. Research is thought - how do others think, what is making them tick - the room was constantly charged with passion. I felt comfortable!
Carrrying on my earlier loop - discussion on the creative process. It is the process which I need to focus more on, I have been obsessed with the creative act, the product of this... It is not that product is not important, it is that the product needs to be qualified - by process, by stories, by narrative. I need to talk about / think about the process more - the process is a committment.
I was wondering why working on the internet is often such a hyper, breathless and anxious process - pages take time to load, the process bar gives a realistic indication of how much time it will take, and I hold my breath?
Khaled made an interesting presentation on the working culture in fast food chains. He focussed on McDonalds. As a fact - when there are too many customers and serving isn't happpening fast enough - they stop serving! They stop serving and they dance. To distract the customers and then when there enough pizzas are cooked again - they stop dancing and start serving.
Kiran posed an interesting question to Khaled - does dancing in a pizza-shop make Mcdonald's a dance-bar - the definition of dance being, "swaying the body"? Technically yes. So down with McDonalds!!?
Kuldeep Kaur had a very intense presentation - unheard voices from the birthing room in hospitals. She is a nurse, the intensity in her presentation was in the statistics, the demonstration of the scale and nature of the problem. Many seemed to need her perspective, her personal knowledge and experience of being present there in that space... she related some poetry. It was strong.
Bodhi's presntation on the Mess rooms in Kolkatta was fabulous. It was presented very passionately and eloquently. I could conjure images of the messes as he spoke. He said that in the Bhadralok Theatre the messes were like a perpetual green room. Another interesting thing he said was that the generations which have grown up in the messes have been accepted in society but the institution hasn't been accepted.
In a question, Karen asked Bodhi how was "hetrosexuality exercised" in the mess-houses, being all-male? I liked that term, and the way she put it. The day ended with a rich, immersing performance by Mohammed Farooqui, "Dastan E Amir Humza."
Across dinner I had a discussion with Soudhamini. She asked a very pertinent question to me, "Why the images?" - in context of my presentation. She felt my poems were quite strong and telling and the images were not needed at all. She was saying that inter-disciplinary discourse/approach was all fine - but maybe a purist eye would enable a healthy marriage of mediums. She said good poetry can and should stand on its own.
Next day started with a presentation by Sudeshna Chatterjee... about child-friendly cities. It seemed to be quite classical in terms of approach and form, good academic research? Presented quite crsiply. Kaiwan introduced ways of reading architechture like novels. Very interesting. In Meera's presentation about children who lived at Vijaywada railway station. She said children can be hurt very easily. She presented the confusion which was quite prevelant - "being able to write is a pre-requisite to being able to draw."
Now more strewn and unorganized notes - In Vasudha and Soudhamin's presentaion - the actuality of research for creative projects was presented. Both presented ruses of films very much in progress. Soudhamini seemed to be very much a process person - she said to rush with the work to be able to present it could short-circuit it. Vasudha talked about interactive video, video with choices.
Videndra's presentation was really good. It had a mood and a sense of space. He chose to disassociate sound and picture. The video played in the background and he performed the audio. Every time he needed to, he just paused the video!! The demonstration/lecture was on songs of protest / motivational songs in the tradition of the left, and mostly in Bengal. Some great histroical recordings were played out. Sumangala commented on a singer's seemingly deriving perverse pleasure from singing a hindi song in a karnatak fashion.
Shruddha commented on some researchers' anxiety about proving the truth of what they were talking about. He suggested - that this anxiety could be dealt with awareness.