Sunday, April 13, 2008


I knew what I wanted to capture. I tried out some trial shots the previous evening and was waiting for day to break, when I would get my chance again. The sun shone on the motorbike that had just romanced the road over a couple of hundreds of kms. I asked Dhruv to move his bike closer to the tree, facing away from it. He stood beside it and smiled at the camera. I clicked a snap and then said, "Now move!".

Unforgiven. That was the image that lay in my head. I had seen the movie 'Unforgiven' a couple of years back. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris and Clint Eastwood himself, it deals with the man and the myth in all those tough western movies.

It begins with the Clint Eastwood digging his wife's grave below a tree, the woman who reformed him from the thief and murderer that he was. The movie ends with him standing below the tree at his wife's grave. Unforgiven, is about forgiveness and the lack of it. An insight into the movie can be found here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How to Sit in Dog Shit and Influence People

You are on the road again; armed with that open mind and that adventurous spirit. You've romanced the road a couple of times before. Only to be blown away by the wind as it whistles seductive overtones, revealing itself and the secret of memories; those simple answers that are forever blowin in the wind.

But memories have a way of trying to erase themselves, as you inch forward; trying desperately to break away from the pack. The exhaust fumes find their way to you and you inhale them with a nonchalant demeanor. You are given no other choice. Everything is moving bumper to bumper as time tries to move faster and ends up piling up the seconds, which in turn pile up the minutes; nearly half an hours worth of them. The distance traversed is less than a kilometer and uneasiness starts to creep in, threatening to take over everything, including you're plans. The honking gets to you and pierces deep. Pressure mounts and frustrations soar; you need to break free; free from all of it. You just need a little space for yourself and you need to see the road ahead in silent lucidity. You start to wonder if the open road is just an illusion. But then out of nowhere the wind beckons and carves its path, an opening, and right there in front of you lies the open road; seductive and raring to be romanced all over again.

A plan was floated but hindsight was more accurate as it engulfled Shravanabelagola and Belur as detours in the 630kms that were covered by motorbikes over two days, covering 85 kms in an hour in the fastest stretch. The destination turned out to be Mullayangiri, Karnataka's highest peak, with an overnight stay at a temple at Seetalaingiri, where we were tested in more ways than one.

A 3 km walk to the peak and we met a very nice little boy named Madan, who stays up there. We could have camped in the cave just below but we didn't have tents. A walk in the dark without torchlight and we reached the temple again, only to hike back at 5 the next morning. Since food was being prepared we decided to sit out in the grass and munch on chips. Three dogs tried hard to convince us that chips are good for them but we thought otherwise. Just then someone put his hand into something and felt it go squish and as they say the rest will go down as his story. I jumped up and told everyone to check their pants and just about then my hand felt something and as they say the rest will go down as my story.

Being in deep shit can surely do things to your mind. Being in dog shit can do even more. And with every such situation lies the opportunity to rise as individuals and influence others to do the same. As pointed out by Dale Carnegie in 'How to win friends and influence people' is can be very very simple. But everyone tries it in there own way.

  • "Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never tell someone they are wrong."
yeah sure... what an idea... to sit in the grass in the dark

  • "Begin in a friendly way."
Errr... with a pat on the back ? which hand should I use...

  • "Start with questions the other person will answer yes to."
it wasn't his idea and it wasn't his idea and it wasn't his either.... errr... so whose idea was it to sit in the grass in the dark ?

  • "Let the other person do the talking."
well... its tough to talk with you're hands full isn't it :-)

  • "Let the other person feel the idea is his/hers."
so whose idea was it to sit in the grass in the dark ?

  • "Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view."
err... so how did it feel when you put you're hand in it ?

  • "Sympathize with the other person."
We gotta go eat food now... with our hands... you know that right...

  • "Throw down a challenge."
"Ok food is ready... lets eat".

  • "Dramatize your ideas."
[And do it while eating food.. and smile to give it that effect] Errr... I was thinking.... what if....

The night is cold as the ground shivers with the continuous pounding of the wind and rain outside. It seeks comfort from you as it drains your warmth and finally you wake up in yet another predawn. And right there begins a new day that promises to be even better then the last one cause you now know how to sit in dog shit and influence people.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dreams and Ambitions

Someone I know got this email from a friend who studies in the 12th std.

sorry xxxx, it was too much, the stress n the pressure was just too much, i dont think i'll make it, i couldnt study, i tried my best, but what bothers me the most is that i can feel my dreams n ambitions slip away, it was that difficult, my memory n understanding was so poor, u know failure means delay not defeat but i dont want a 2nd attempt, i guess all that i can do is just sit at home and make toys, its exam time i shouldn't be sending mails but i really needed to talk u know. physics was so easy but on the day before the exam all that courage i had suddenly shattered and i started crying, never touched the book again and i couldnt do well in the exam, and i dont want to take it as a challenge ever again u know, its too much, way too much, i'm sorry.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Into the Wild

my mom, dad and sis were down to goa with me for a wedding. We were at one of our relation's place. So my dad says that there is a wild life sanctuary close by. His book says it about 40 kms away from us. Its afternoon, as the hot wind blows naughty/sarcastic jokes around, everyone is lazying about, the sea and some of its species in your belly. And then my dad and I decide to go to the sanctuary... others who have lived in Goa since biblical times say, "there is a sanctuary in Goa ?"... my mom in her subtle way tries to postpone our trip for later, knowing that it won't happen later... and others suddenly realize that they have stuff to do... "I have to go kill my tailor .. I gave him one design and he stitched something else"... "I have some plumbing to do".... basically it was very very hot.....

and so I packed fours lenses; a zoom, a macro, a wide angle stabilizer and a normal one hoping to capture some good pics... and the two of us travelled for 2 hours, and did a lot of bus hoping... looking thru windows as the countryside passes you by.... and you inquire about hiring jeeps to go thru the sanctuary and they tell you "you can walk around".... it was actually a zoo... the open type ones... hmmm....

and then we finally reach our destination and they tell us, "thursday closed"....