Saturday, August 28, 2010

45. Picture perfect

Not sure what the photographer is clicking and doubly unsure what the women (presumably) would finally do with the picture! Photographer Duane Michals has interesting take on such pictures. Saye he, `It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce somebody's face in a photograph. The magic lies in doing without'. Wow!

A picture, we are told, is worth thousand words. This one could be worth a million or even more....depends who is looking at it! Socio-psychologists argue that most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment. For the photographer, this picture may be a moment of personal embarrassment but a lifetime of pleasure for everybody else. Isn't it?

Picture often offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution. Such images remains itched in one's mind for long, seeking diverse interpretations with changing times. But photographers could be a funny bunch of people, certain of their habits die hard or never die! While clicking picture of a dead person one such photographer had quipped: smile

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

44. Weapon of mass attraction

What is common between George Bush, Wen Jiabao and Asif Zardari? It is universally known that each one has led his country's government - US, China and Pakistan respectively. Interestingly, the commonality between these global guys is shared by our local boys too - P Chidambaram, Omar Abdullah and Bhupinder Hooda? Yes, each of these high profile politicians have been at the receiving end of a piece of `seasoned leather'!

Latest to join the `great shoe league' is Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the Chief Minister of Haryana, who must have been thanking Shakti Singh for doing an incredible favour to him. Had Shakti not thrown shoe at him on Aug 19 at a public meeting, Hooda's popularity may have remained confined to the state only? Now, it has crossed borders and will remain in popular imagination (and the picture with the show) much after he ceases to be a political figure.

Throwing shoe at someone is considered an insult, and more recently `a weapon of mass attraction'. No wonder, in recent times it has emerged as a non-violent expression of frustration, that seeks public accountability in a democratic system. Much to the comfort of those who were aimed at, each of the shoe hurled thusfar has missed its target. Interestingly, shoe-hurling has remained a male bastion till now.

Should women like to give it a try, sandals would add colourful gender dimension to the art of shoe-hurling. Researchers argue that sandals offer better aerodynamics for the purpose than bulky shoes. Any takers!

(Reader Ritwick Dutta informs: Former judge of India's Supreme Court, Arijit Pasayat, who was responsible for granting approval to controversial bauxite plant of Vedanta in 2008, was at the receiving end of a sandal. The sandals hurled at the judge by women litigants did miss the target but `sandals' are known to make a distinction between a `judge' and a `politician'. Ha!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

43. Take it from a halwai

Carrying a roll of colorful charts, a frail looking gentleman had walked uninvited to the workshop we were conducting for budding environment journalists. The charts had plans of an alternate future where everyone would live 30 feet above ground, perched atop buildings resting on mighty pillars.The land beneath will stay clear for urban agriculture and for myriad other human activities.

The sun would shine uninterrupted and the air will flow freely; neither will earthquakes shatter homes nor will floods play havoc with properties. Producing a series of charts, the gentleman had meticulously argued the virtues of an elevated living, That he was cause for flutter didn't bother him a bit! It was later learnt that the presenter, Nand Lal Gupta, was a halwai (one who makes sweets) by profession who owned Gokul Misthan in Arera Colony, Bhopal.

Gupta had made this proposition in mid-1990's, when the idea of elevated road was uncommon and metro rail on pillars wasn't part of popular imagination. That `life atop pillars' would be a reality could not have been imagined then! Now that urban expansion has altered the drainage pattern in most towns and cities (few millimetres of rain can submerge the entire city) the virtue of living 30 feet above ground doesn't seem utopian.

My only regret till date is that Gupta could have treated us with jalebi for our patient hearing to his futuristic proposal!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

42. Lets watch the real game

Hadn't heard of toilet paper worth 4,000 bucks a roll till the other day! I wonder if there could be a `bottom' as valuable, that would warrant the priciest butt-cleaning paper for its mopping? Kalmadi deserves accolades for taking the unchartered toilet route to convert `commonwealth' into `private wealth'. It has turned out to be the finest reality show in town, each episode turning out to be more intriguing. And, Kalmadi
isn't done yet!

If you are one of those who are cursing Kalmadi and his cronies in
drawing room conversations, then you are surely doing a great
disservice to mankind. Ours is a veggie country, heads don't roll here
only whistleblowers get eliminated (with impunity). It is a scam era,
stupid! Entertain yourself as Lalu's, Koda's and Kalmadi's hit the
headlines one day and slip out of our collective conscience the next
day.

Don't be surprised if Kalmadi gets 20 kicks on his butt after the culmination of the 19th edition of the Commonwealth Games - only to move up the political ladder! Didn't Peter say that in corrupt democracies the corrupt move up the ladder in accordance with their corruption quotient. Watch the real game as it unfolds in the days ahead!