Monday, June 20, 2011

Hum Sab Jaanwar Hain....

This appeared in Bombay Times today....

Hum Sab Janwar Hain…

While the headline of this column is technically accurate, it takes powerful images of wild animals in their natural habitat to drive home the point that those lucky creatures are far better off in the jungle than most of us living in so-called ‘civilised’ urban spaces . A fact that was driven home ( in vivid 3-D , at that) when Nita and Mukesh Ambani hosted a reception to showcase the impressive work of their close friend, eminent psychiatrist Dr.Rajesh Parikh, at ‘Antila’. I was told by a very proud T.P. Pandey ( the man behind the superb 3-D prints) that this was the first such exhibition in the world! Pandey, who heads Taco Visions, is the winner of the gold, silver and bronze medals at the prestigious annual awards for printing held in Philadelphia.That is some feat, given the fact there are just five top awards to be won each year. The best part of the evening was the charming, extempore speech made by Dr.Parikh, in which he confessed he had become something of a pain in the butt for family members accompanying him on his regular jaunts to Africa. “Had I been Bono or Madonna, I could have said, ‘ I love you, Africa,’ and left it at that….” before going on to quote from Vivekananda and pointing out that Africa was indeed the cradle of civilization and every human being on earth can trace his or her ancestry to that vast and beguiling continent. He added with a final flourish, “After going back to the same game resorts more than twenty five times, Mukesh pretty much knows most of the animals. He says, ‘last year, we’d seen this lion at that spot. So, I say to him, ‘maybe the lions know you, too. After all, there are twenty lions in that park, but there’s only one Mukesh Ambani’.” Taalis.Taalis.
I have picked my favourite image from this show ( a few years ago I had grabbed a close- up of the beautiful saffron flower shot by Dr.Parikh in the Kashmir Valley). This time I fell for a picture of a female elephant fiercely protecting her young one. She looked ready to charge at the man ( Rajesh!), intruding her space. He smiled, “One has to stand very still when that happens. If a person turns around and starts to run, she will chase you. The trick is to engage but not threaten.” Pretty much like it should be in our world but rarely is. Stand your ground. Send out a message that you mean business. But don’t get into an ugly confrontation that could crush you. Aah well, the wisdom of animals far exceeds that of human beings. Perhaps this sort of an exhibition only helps to underline the fact. And yes, another ace lensman , Uddhav Thackeray was around taking a keen interest in the well-mounted show ( take a bow, Kaushik Roy). His own, recently published book on Vithoba also features some extraordinary images of Warkaris (pilgrims) congregating in the small town of Pandharpur. I mentioned the book should also be published in English and other regional languages. “But how does one translate ‘abhangs’?” wondered Uddhav. To which his son Aditya quickly replied, “If Rumi can be translated, so can these ‘abhangs’.” Maharashtra’s youth leader is obviously ready for the job!
****************
J Dey’s murder may require deeper investigation than merely rounding up the usual suspects. But the point is : do the authorities genuinely want to get to the bottom of this? Does anybody really want to hear the truth? Or is it just far easier to palm it off as another underworld hit? J Dey has taken countless secrets to his grave. Secrets , that would have compromised the careers of several top dogs in government and politics. Those jobs are safe. For now. But truth does have a rather nasty way of coming out and surprising the unwary. The guilty had better watch out!

19 comments:

Sadiya Merchant said...

cool! bt dont v get to c a picture of d painting? :o

चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

Twenty lions and one mukesh ambani!

One fish is enough to..... :)

Tsomo85 said...

Thank god! I can trace my ancestors all the way from the day one on this earth (Tibetan plaetue) to be specific! And we're not related to any African people just like most people in this earth! Our motherland used to be the land of demons before Lord Avalokeresvara the Buddha of compassion took birth there inform of monkey! He is believed to be the better half of Lord Buddha & he promissed Lord Buddha he will not leave this earth until all the Human being attend nirvana. When he took birth in the land of demons as monkey he met the daughter of indra & she forced him to marry her. Together they gave birth to 7 babies & they started producing the Tibetan race! Dalai Lama's connection with Tibetan people is something so special, since he is the father of our race! He's immortal in this universe & we'll always be blessed by him & being guarded by all those demons that was turned into protector (lhamo/angel) of the Tibetan plateau by Guru Padmasambava. My grandmother used to tell me, we tibetan people are inherit in being compassion & humble by nature. Therefor, nobody can take anything away from us if we remain the same. So authentic & love my culture. I don't know if I might like anything in Africa besides the beaches & exotic animals!

Tsomo85 said...

Yeap "hum Sab janwaar hain" no doubt about that! Which made me realize we should treat all the living being just as how we wants to be treat and be kind & spread peace! Enough of hate & killing animals. Hehehe

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Farha Khan said...

J Deys case will get closed like Arushi's murder case. Here people easily let things go. #politics

Pratap said...

Shobhaa

If you think the comment (“If Rumi can be translated, so can these ‘abhangs’.”)validates that Aditya is obviously ready to be Maharashtra’s youth leader, this state is in even deeper doo doo than I thought.

And if Aditya is ready for this job, the Crown Prince should be PM already!

Maybe you have a soft corner for Aditya because he is a Xavierite?

Bhargav said...

it takes powerful images of wild animals in their natural habitat to drive home the point that those lucky creatures are far better off in the jungle than most of us living in so-called ‘civilised’ urban spaces"

i truely believe and my some poems do reciprocate my beliefe..

mam,, this is my very first visit, i really loved reading it...

SOBHAa DE,..i knew her today :)

Mumbai said...

I love Dilip Chitre's translation of Tuka Abhangas

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Goalady99 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Goalady99 said...

Aweee..how sweet Dr. Parikh. Your next stop after Africa should be Galapagos to see how animals evolve and THE ANTILA'S don't.

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