Author Archives: Maitreyi

The Falling Man- An article by Tom Jonod

The Falling Man- An article by Tom Jonod

I came across this article a few days back and found it very interesting. Centered around one picture ‘The Falling Man’ taken by a photographer (Richard Drew), this article talks about the different perspectives and reactions of people viewing one incident, or shocking event in history. In this case about September 11.

It highlights questions about ethics, the power of media and the impacts it has, the beliefs we have, what we choose to believe and when, and more.

Well written and thought-provoking.


‘It Felt Like A Kiss’ by Adam Curtis

Here’s a documentary made by Adam Curtis. Using just images and archive footage, he has captured America’s political situation in the late 1950s, and what reactions and emotions it brought out in the rest of the world.

Powerful and well made.

“I decided to make a film about something that has always fascinated me – how power really works in the world. To show that power is exercised not just through politics and diplomacy – but flows through our feelings and emotions, and shapes the way we think of ourselves and the world.”
– Adam Curtis

A ride for Safe Food

Last weekend I was part of a campaign which was going against the use of GMOs, pesticides, and the use of harmful chemicals in the production of food. We cycled a distance of around 10kms in the city, stopping along the way and talking to people and asking them to support the movement. The cycle rally was organized by India for Safe Food, which is a movement amongst Indian farmers, the consumers and the government to make sure that everyone has access to safe, poison-free food.

Click here to read my article about the event, the movement, and the demands we’re making of the Union Agriculture Minister and the government.

Set for the Ride


A second Bhakti poem

And here’s the second poem I wrote as part of our Indian Literature assignment.

I wait

I wait amongst dried leaves and sticks
waiting to hear them crackle
under your own feet.

I wait for anything that would tell me it’s you
coming towards me, thinking of me.

Then I hear it. It has to be!
My heart races, my eyes quicken.

I turn in every direction. My ears strain to hear.
Then. Nothing.

No, it wasn’t real. It’s just me.
And the leaves and sticks crackling
under my own feet.

Writing Bhakti poetry- A first attempt

In our Indian Literature classes in College this semester, we’re reading a lot about the Bhakti Movement in India, reading the poems, talking about the poets, and diverging into various angles from here. My earlier post was about a Bhakti poem ‘The Paradigm’ that I really love, written by the Tamil poet, Nammalvar.

Our next exercise was to actually write a Bhakti poem. At the beginning it seemed impossible. We began by thinking what would be the craziest thing we would do if we were in love. No rules, no expectations, no holding back. It could be anything! What would you do?
There are a great many stories of what Bhakti poets did. They didn’t care about what the rest of the world thought of them, broke society’s expectations of gender, rules, and norms, creating their own relationship with god with no middle-man.

There is so much more to Bhakti poetry, and this post does no justice to the scope and beauty of Bhakti poetry, and the movement. Only reading about the poets, their lives, and actually going through the poems will give one a sense of what it has to offer, is my opinion.

I began writing, and within fifteen minutes, I wrote my first poem.
I wrote another one a few days after which I will post soon.
Here is the first:


At this moment. here and now.
Nothing can stop me.

Not the racing bikes.
Not the barking dogs at my feet.
No, not even the staring passers by.

I won’t stop running towards you,
for nothing can stop me.

Not my parents, not my friends.
Not the rules, the codes and expectations.
No, not even myself.

I won’t stop running towards you,
for I know nothing else.

The Paradigm

This semester in college, as part of our Indian Literature course we’re reading many Bhakti poems among many other things. It has been extremely interesting as I do know a few songs by Kabir and Mira, and I’ve always sung or heard them without really knowing what they mean. Also, I had never really stopped and wondered about what kind of people Kabir or Mira might have been, and reading their poems in class, we discussed these questions and more.

Here is a poem by a famous Tamil Bhakti poet, Nammalvar, addressed to Lord Vishnu.
What I really love about this poem is the fact that possibly everything one can think of as existing or non-existing, living or dead in this world or in our heads, is enclosed within these lines. Each time I read it, I try to think of something that wouldn’t fit under these categories, but it seems impossible.

The Paradigm

We here and that man, this man,
and that other in-between,
and that woman, this woman,
and that other, whoever,

those people, and these,
and these others in-between,
this things, that thing,
and this other in-between, whichever,

all things dying, these things,
those things, those others in-between,
good things, bad things,
things that were, that will be,

being all of them,
he stands there.

by Nammalvar
Translated by AK Ramanujan

The World is Where We Live by WWF

In the midst of college, deadlines, and researching various things online, came across this lovely short clip a friend shared on Facebook.

Very interesting and done well.

Shake The Dust by Anis Mogjani

A friend shared this with me today. Listen. It’s fascinating.

Food blogging

And here’s my next article! This article came out a few days a back, but I never got down to putting it up on the blog.
This is a feature about three Bangalore-based food bloggers, why they love blogging, and how their journeys have been, and of course,  Food!

Click here to read!

Cycle. Lake. Cycle. Go-kart. Cycle. Sleep!

Yesterday, 5 of us went on a cycle ride and we covered nearly 60 kilometers! This was possibly one of the hardest and most difficult rides I’ve ever done.

We started off at 7.30, and by the time the five of us got together, it was 8.30. The weather was lovely and perfect for cycling. Cloudy and cool. We headed off from J.P Nagar and hit the Kanakapura Road, and rode in a single file to avoid getting to close to the passing trucks and speeding cars. After cycling for about half an hour (without breakfast), Vijey said there was a small roadside shop he saw where they were selling omelettes. We wondered if we should stop there, and finally turned back. We were all starving, and the food turned out to be great!

In the beginning                Pic: Shashank Ck

Our first destination was a small lake which is about 12 kms from JP Nagar. The cycling group has been there a couple of times before, but this was only my second time there. The last time I went there was sometime last July, and the lake was full after the rains. This time the water level was far less, and the land around was dry and brown. We sat around, skipped stones, and walked around the lake for a while. I was already a little tired.

Our plan was then to go from the lake to a go-karting place a few kilometers away from the lake,still further away from the city. I’m guessing it was another 3 kilometers from the lake. We started off and it was from here that I stared noticing the up-hills and down-hills. I was getting tired and while I was glad there was a downhill, I knew that on the way back, it was going to be hard to cycle up the slopes. I cycled at my own pace, and we finally got to the go-karting place. I was relieved. The place was empty. I’m guessing we were their first customers. I had never been go-karting before, and I doubted my skills of riding the toy car majorly. I was in two minds about going in the car and racing with four other boys, all of whom had done this before. Finally, after thinking for a bit, I said I was in! Might as well try it when I have the opportunity. No, I don’t do that always. Twice I’ve had the opportunity of going on some crazy, topsy-turvy, upside down, all-turning sides ride in amusement parks, and I’ve kept my distance. I prefer watching people screaming, with their arms flailing and hair flying, while they’re being thrown around by a big ass machine.

The lake

So, they we were, racing! It was great fun, and I don’t think I was bad at it at all. Twice I crashed, but everyone did at some point! Eight rounds around the track, and I wanted to do more! We sat around for a while, watched two other groups racing, and then started heading back. It was already 2.30, and we hadn’t had lunch as yet. One of my friends called his mom and told her were coming for lunch.

The ride back, I almost died! With the up-slopes I struggled, and I kept the four others waiting. This was possibly one of the most strenuous things I’ve done in a long time, and my energy level had reached its limits. My legs began to cramp and burn, and twice I got off my cycle and pushed it up the slope. Even the flat stretches became as struggle. Finally, I told them to just race ahead and wait for me. We stopped around 4 or 5 times. At one point I could go no more, and Ambar and I stopped to drink coconut water, and I ran to the petrol bunk loo near by. The go-karting place had an open “loo”, suitable enough for guys. I had to wait till then. I got a good rest, and drank two coconuts. Sitting down I felt good, but the minute I got up, my legs hurt and cramped! Maybe I should take an auto back I told Ambar. It was really killing me.

On the way back     Pic: Shashank Ck

Joining the others, we had another break. This time, I switched cycles with Shashank, and we continued, and ditched the auto plan.  Again, I cycled in my own slooow pace. Ambar was constantly cycling a few feet behind me (I don’t know how he did that!). This time, I was determined to finish, and I did. The ride from that point was pretty flat, and we kept at a constant pace. I wanted to make it, all the way to Vijey’s place, and I did, and I wouldn’t have if it was not for these guys being so patient!

We reached Vijey’s place and we ate and ate! The food was so good. We were exhausted, and I was ready to crash! After resting for a while, we headed our own ways back home. I was tired, but happy.

I came home, had a bath, ate dinner, and crashed and didn’t get up till the alarm rang.
The trip was worth every moment, however hard it was.

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