Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Morning Walk in Russell Market

I finally went on one of those Bangalore guided walks because this one at least wasn't at some unearthly early hour in the morning. I had always wanted to dip my toes into the terrors of Russell Market and this was the opportunity. Plus, I even had two of my friends enthusiastic enough to join me.

It was a case of willingly dragging yourself out of your comfortable cocoon and plunging into filth, chaos, filth, feathers, shit, entrails, muck, filth, vegetables, get the idea.
Above, a tea shop man serves us pungent Suleimani Chai, the flavor on par with the madness outside. 

Chicks for sale above (at least they are not dyed in lurid colors this time) and below a curry trimmed with sheep's brains.

Perhaps the best and nicest part of the walk was the old doorways and signages which haven't been modernized.

Just a few of the shops that I managed to photograph.This is all pretty much very idealized, all the chaos around me has been neatly cropped out.

We went to a Sufi dargah, espied a temple and went inside this famous basilica where the atmosphere was like some kind of carnival in Disneyland.

Above, what was truly amazing was the bhakti, the reverence in the faces of each and every one of the worshipers inside this basilica.It was as if they were in a trance or something.

Below, the crimes we commit against art in the name of religion - look, our very own Pieta.

While Santas celebrate in the foreground in the picture below, the center of those salmon colored rays holds a relief of Mother Teresa no less.We cram in as much as possible!

Cakes to match the colors of the surroundings.

One dreadfully frugal looking masala dosa for breakfast. At least they could have served it to us in bright blue plates or dyed the potatoes pink or something.

Only a few of the heavily patterned saris and blouses that I saw around me.

The main market building which is hardly noticeable due to the cacophony around it.

Below, what we actually came to see, "The Forgotten Clocktower". To get to this, we went inside the market building through alleyways and bustling crowds following our guide who pointed this out to us and tried to vainly imbibe us with some history and a film on his phone. Rather than listening to him we were trying to breathe as we gagged and chocked at the air around us which was full of bits of feathers, dried chicken shit, muck and god only knows what else.


Back homeward through narrow lanes in the auto, I realized that what I am seeing is the complete and utter annihilation of my city.

I wish I could end with some kind of moving epiphany of self-discovery especially since this is my last post of the year but there was nothing except a mental paralysis, the kind that results after you've been through a Montreal winter been through hell and back. I have never scrubbed myself as much as I did than in the shower this afternoon.I am not sure I want to go here again.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

All the Pretty Houses

Everyone who reads this blog regularly knows that there is periodically a post featuring houses here.

The Green Mountain

And a red mountain from some years earlier -

Friday, December 1, 2017


We are gatherers,
the ones who pick up sticks and stones
and old wasp’s nests fallen by the
door of the barn,
walnuts with holes that look like
eyes of owls,
bits of shells not whole but lovely
in their brokeness,
we are the ones who bring home
empty eggs of birds
and place them on a small glass shelf
to keep for what? How long?
It matters not. What matters
Is the gathering,
the pockets filled with remnants
of a day evaporated, the traces of
certain memory, a lingering smell,
a smile that came with the shell.

~ Nina Bagley