Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Samy's moment!!!

There are times when I want to un-wind. Just be myself. Relax after a snow-stormy night.
Sit on a lonely bench and hold someone's loving hand!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Changing Colors of Palestine

Hamas: 76
Fatah: 43

Results: Palestinian Parl Vote

How times change? How things change?
No one could have anticipated the sudden change of colors. Hamas, Israel's nemesis, has swept the parlimentary elections for the first time in the history of world's powder keg. From Fatah's yellow, it is now Hamas's olive green. It is a political earthquake that has rocked the entire middle-east. The tremors have been reported as far as Washington DC. With Hamas at the helm, how can the US client-state Isreal breathe? The million dollar question remains. What next?

Will Hamas transform itself like Arafat's PLO eventually did? Will it effectively replace Fatah that has dominated the Palestinian politics -- over purlings of corruption -- for more than four decades? Will it renounce violence? Will it acknowledge the illegitimately-legitimate state of Isreal? Its right to exist? Will there ever be peace with Tel-Aviv? What about the peace-process? What of Hamas's own extremist past?

Hamas came into being in 1987. What started as an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood soon earned rich laurels in the Palestinian civil society as an effective charitable organisation. The group has however had a very violent history. Hamas regards the territory of the present-day State of Israel as well as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank—as an inalienable waqf or bequest, which can never be surrendered to Isreal. It refuses to accept the zionist state of Isreal. It has called for the annihilation of the Jewish country in the past. Hamas cadre have carried out suicide bombings against Isreali military and civilians in recent years.

The notion of a bequest may be a little far-fetched but historically Isreal was created in 1948 on the remains of a vibrant Palestinian state.The newly found Jewish state played an aggressive, oppressive, racist policy agaist the native Palestinians from Day 1. It has since: Annihilated the original state of Palestine, systematically destroyed their land records, Killed hundreds upon thousands of innocent, unarmed Palestinians, ruthlessly driven the poor folks out of their lands, committed horrendous war-crimes, allowed massacres of the unspeakable kind, bull-dozed homes of palestinians with people still inside calling out for help. [ All of it is duly recorded and ratified with more than 600 UN resolutions against Isreal till date, calling it to stop the barbarity]. http://www.action-for-un-renewal.org.uk/pages/isreal_un_resolutions.htm. Isreal still continues to humiliate the Palestinians on a daily basis.

In the strange algebra of the modern, civilized world, none of this qualifies as terrorism. Hamas' response -- against Isreali deliberate provocation -- has always been dubbed as terrorism. It is like I hit you in the crouch, you wither in pain and keep mum. You dare stare at me, that is abominable. Completely Unacceptable as the White House spokesman Scott McClellan would say with a borrowed Bushy-twang.

I am appalled at headlines like: World prays for Sharon's heath. For God's sake this guy is a bloodied war-criminal. 16 September 1982, the now comatose Sharon engineered a blood-bath at the Palestinian refugee camp of Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon. 3500 Palestinians perished in a single day. Killed in cold blood. Dragged out and pumped with bullets. The massacre provoked outrage around the world. In December 1982 the United Nations General Assembly condemned the massacre and declared it to be an act of Genocide. In 1987, Time magazine published a story implying that Sharon was directly responsible for the massacres. Sharon sued Time for libel in American and Israeli courts. Time won the suit. Yet he is a peace-guy. Pray for him!

Sheikh Ahmed yasin was an aging Hamas founder and ideologue. In addition to being nearly blind, he was a quadriplegic and had to use a wheelchair after a sports accident in his youth. Isreal killed him in 2004 in a direct missile hit. US ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte stated that the USA characterized Yassin as the leader of a terrorist organization who preached hatred. Devil. So Simple.

This is just a small example. The history of the region is replete with such double-standards. Isreal -- with overt US support -- whipping an already beaten nation. Killing them again and again. US said last night that it will stop any aid to Palestine now that Hamas is in power. Shower a terrorist state -- Isreal -- with arms and continue to flog an occupied lot. American arthimetics.

They say power comes with many trappings. Hamas has already shown signs of mellowing down. It has been respecting a cease-fire with Isreal for close to one year now. Hamas election manifesto -- for the 2006 election -- carried no mention of Isreal's end. That was anyways always rhetoric. There is no comparison of F-16's and lowly fidayeen. Isreali nukes and Palestinian rocks.

I am not too sure whether the regional bully -- Isreal -- is going to talk peace with Hamas. May be the two extremes melt. May be not. Isreal may sulk. It may even consider decimating the Hamas leadership.

What Isreal can never destroy is the Palestinian spirit for freedom.

sameer

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The day we went gading

Republic day, 2006

The republic turned 56. The word republic comes from the Latin res publica: public matter, or the affairs of the people. A state governed by an assembly of citizens rather than by a king, queen or emperor. Another matter, His Royal Highness King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia lorded over the main celebrations at Rajpath. Filthy rich, regal and autocratic as ever! PM and Prez were relegated to the shadows.

Far from the maddening crowd, I decided to go hopping with my bunch of mad-caps. Five of us -- Sam {thats me}, Wasy { Did I hear someone say... Attitute}, Raj { Where do you end}, Salus { I too wanna drive} and Navvy { Sweeto}. We watched the latest Amir Khan starrer Rang De Basanti -- RDB. Frankly, I don't watch too much of Indian cinema because much of it is pretty pedestrian. Average, run-of-the-mill type. There are occassional flashes of brilliance. RDB, however, dazzles!

Stellar performances, superb direction and a subtle, strong message. They say a good movie must entertain. RDB, not only entertains, it amuses, mocks, jokes and makes you think hard. It is a courageous, different and coming-of-age flick. Ofcouse, I cried. I laughed my heart out. We all did. The entire cinema was whoopee-ing with roars of laughter. It was a joyride -- History beautifuly interwoven with the present. The stiches are not at all visible. Perfect connect. That is what film-making is all about. It lifts you and drops you back in the peanut crunching darkness.

We drove down to D-Haat through the express bridge. 127 kites soared in the Sky. All connected by one string. Hot Paranthas and sugary-tea in open air with pals. Calories can take a back-seat for the while. Dinner at 11-30 in the night over some sensible discussion. I battled with 6 fiesty souls. They threw a barrage of tough questions. I batted for the Republic, ofcourse.


Sameer
Brave new world! Loose-Loose control, one more time


Rouge rules at the Waves: Raj and Wasy


Never let the kid inside you die: Rides, anyone!



He's not thinking. Just posing for the pic

Inside the Pea-nut crunching darkness. Eyes still haunt!


The long and the short of it: Raj and Salus


Wasy munching the way-side chaat: Salus offers some help

Tech Guy: Navvy clicks through the mirror

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Timeless words

I have a sweet little friend who lives latitutes away from me. He is a bundle of radiant energy. A trademark tuff of flowing hair, which easily camouflages him as a rock star. His lone weapon is a disarming smile athough he brandishes ninja swords too. He visits the Istanbul Hookah lounges to have a go at the winding pipes. He came to the US and worked in Cinn. almost all by himself. He is a friend who I wish all of us must have. He is loving and stupid like me. He is all of 20. That's Selcuk for you.

The irony with such beautiful people is that their hearts don't know how to lie. They beat with truthfulness. The flutters are just too real. When the soul is honest and warm enough to make you comfortable in a different country -- across seas and mountains. Ideally, they ough to be cherished. Alas! No one understands them. I think the love of his life flunked to fathom his sublimity.

Here he shared with me this soulful poem he's written. I am thankful to him. He allowed me to carry the adapted version from the original Turkish in my web-page.

Blue-Brown

It was dark and I lay in darkness
Then there was light from nowhere
Blue-brown eyes came to my rayless world
The glow lit up my dark life

Then suddenly, I was alone again
The darkness came visiting again
Someone forsake me at the cross
just when I thought that
my love was enough for both of us

I sent boxes filled with love
to the distant light
I kept waiting for my gift
in the dark cold night
It just let me down


As I walk back to my darkness
I don't find it hard
because the pain I got
Has been too real and bitter

Eyes, I still recall from the dark

Eyes, I thought were Noah's ark
The darkness is here
And I am afraid to enter
Look at me, Yo Blue-brown eyes!

Original: Selcuk 'KaraMaVi' in Turkish
Adapted: Sameer 'Blue-Brown' in English

Going slow

I am slow
In a fast world
Trying to walk straight
On a road so curved

Tears slide
upon stupid cheeks
and go down fast
through love's many creaks

Troublesome knocks
on cold cold morning
For a simple glimpse
don't pop in sans warning

Silly illusions
in the gullible eye
Images flicker
looking at the vanilla sky

I'll check my flow
I'll go slow
As the beats get low
They wait for the glow!

Sameer




Pics from the C-Zone

They don't call it Switzerland of the East for nothing: North Kashmir in an earlier picture
May be one reason why Gen Musharraf dreams about Kashmir

Dal Lake at Sunset: Do nothing, Just watch the winter sun go down: Sheer Bliss


Simple pleasures in life: Bar-be-Que in a Shikara -- small boat -- in the Dal lake


It takes some courage to stand in freezing temperatures
-- mercury plunges below 0 in Kashmir -- for a picture.
In the orchard just beside my home, kashmir

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Nippy Chill

I was in a frigid zone for two days. Kashmir. It was frosty. Chilly. Cold with an upper-case C. Everything was shrouded by huge piles of snow. No car can come to a sniffing distance of my home. All alleys leading to our chalet are blocked by the frozen snow. It is a completely different world out there in the nippy valleys of Himalayas.

I personally like winters. The cuddling chill of it. The flakes of snow. I enjoyed it in Kashmir. For a few hours, we had a light dusting of snow -- makhir, as the folks call it -- and I revelled in it. However, I reason, a cold territory must have proper infrastucture to while away the beautiful but harsh season. In Kashmir, there is nothing called infrastructure. It is not only conspicious by its absense, people don't know what it really means. They have largely reconciled with the abysmal power supply -- 5 hrs a day -- they get, lazy evenings they spend and the badly mutilated roads they have. Poor folks!

I enjoyed my best pal -- Tanseer's -- wedding. It was dozes of fun. His Nikkah ceremony was the first such event I have attended. I never care to participate in other such social-- relatives et al -- functions. I can be fanatically choosy about the people I admire. So, Tanseer when asked -- Kabool hai {Do you agree} -- said I do. I do. I do. Thrice. That is mandatory. Christains, Muslims and Jews, I reckon, have to utter the magical words on their weddings. A flicker went through my face. My childhood buddy, bench-mate and a very close friend was now legally married. It was emotional. A succession of quick naughty flashbacks. I froze the moment in my video-cam. The begining of a beautiful relationship.

They -- my friends -- make fun of me. I cry in movies. I am sentimental. Schmaltzy. I think I am more in tune with my heart. I hate fake appearances. I prefer being called more humane. I love small things in life. The beautiful moments that actually make life. The smile. Winks. Laughter. A mother's eyes. A friend's wedding. Music. Humour with mates. Love.

I am afraid one doesn't get much of it these days. I am glad I have a heart that has tomes of it! Call me emotional!

Watch this space for my snow pictures!

Sameer



Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mid-winter feast

I am off for the weekend. To the land of white meadows, whiter runways and stupid aspirations! Kashmir! Some colorful Indian Mughal prince once blabbered a few couplets, praising the pristine beauty of the then-virgin dell. The verses are still parroted by a whole lot of native folks. Especially old school teachers and amateur urdu poets. I just can't stand both.

I have a mixed opinion about my compatriots. I find Kashmiris at once innocent and shrewd. They are both -- warm and fake. Religious and phony. Perhaps I am being a little acerbic here but I am only trying to be honest.

I find Kashmir beautiful but its people pretentious. Now, people might throw this at me: We have good and bad folks everywhere. Don't we? West and East. India and the US. Guys, I too have a kashmiri origin but I am only attempting a general caricature here. There are exceptions. And there are cart-loads of them.

To begin with, I admire the resilience of Kashmiris. They stood bullets. Braved a strong army. Fought insurgents. Suffered unspeakable pain and anguish.

I love the warmth about them. They are hospitable raised power five. They will put you up in their family. Unlike anywhere else in India. Feed you like family and leave you surely touched.

They can be Naive. Stupid. Ignorant. All in tandem and might still come across as lovable. Color of their skin or the sheer ingenuity of their senses?

I hate the antiquated values of Kashmir. Their backsliding words. The hypocrisy of it.

I abhor their arrogance, the artificial attitudes and contempt for everything alien to their narrow vale-view.
Everything starts and ends with religion in Kashmir. Another matter anything they do has shades of shallow pretence to it.

From where I stand, that's not done. Nations are not found on such lackadaisical edifices. You have to have strong mores and a value system in place. No amount of pressure must break this link.

My assessment may be wrong. I can't die for my beliefs because I might be off-track. But I'm firm.

Ps-- I am holidaying in snows. I am going to have the rich wazwan. Cups of the nectary Kehva. One of my best mates -- Tansir -- is tying the knot -- I do style -- and I don't want to miss out!

Sameer



Monday, January 16, 2006

The Big Debate!!!

Iran is going to hold a International Science Conference to debate the authenticity of the Holocaust. US, Europe and the hot potato Isreal must be furious. How dare Iran? A nation run by clerics. Soft-spoken, robed, turbanned shiite Muslims! Do they have the prerogative to question the holocaust? Holocaust was real. It is THE Gospel. Anything against Holocaust, Isreal, Zionists or their wrong-doing is simply anti-semitic. You may holler against Jesus, drain copies of Qu'ran down the gutter in Guntanamo bay, Carpet-bomb marriage parties in Afghanistan but mind you, nothing against the gospel. Period!

Ironical, Isn't it? The Europeans and Americans pride to call themselves the champions of true democracy. Of free press, freedom of speech, liberty and expression. Yet they run scared of an academic discourse. They recently jailed David Irving, a noted Holocaust revisionist and historian in Austria because he denies the holocaust. Irving is a celebrated author of Hitler’s War and Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden. Public denial of the Holocaust is a criminal offence in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland, and is punishable by fines and jail sentences. Call it the Freedom of Expression!!!

Holocaust revisionists -- academics and experts who dub holocaust as an over-exxageration --include Harry Elmer, Barnes, James J. Martin. Paul and Rassinier to name a few. Internationally reputed organisations like the Institute of Historical Review http://www.ihr.org/ supports holocaust revisionism. Joining issue, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently remarked that Holocaust was "a myth" that had been promoted to defend Israel.

For once, I don't want to mitigate the suffering of the Jews preceding WW-II. I believe holocaust did take place. May be, the jews like to exaggerate it a tad. Six million dead. They don't agree with another figure. I align more with the position of Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky. Both reverned scholars believe that holocaust did happen but was exploited for all the wrong reasons.

The Iranian prez is making a good point: On the pretext of the killing of Jews in Europe, are they supporting the aggression and massacres [of Israel]? Holocaust, even if it happened -- and it did -- was an European affair. Did the collective European guilt led to the formation of Isreal? And the widespread brutalities committed by the Isreali's on the poor Palestinians. An already oppressed people are not supposed to annihilate another hapless people. And throw them out of their lands. Kill them. Maim them. Pillage them. Rape them. De-face them. Humiliate them. Repeatedly.

What's the difference between Adolf Hitler and Mosche Dyan? Between Hermann Göring and Ariel Sharon? Between Joseph Goebells and Ehud Barak? Hitler obiletrated the Czech villages of Luddite! Sharon engineered the Sabra and Shatila massacre of Palenstians in Lebanon. The Nazis punished a whole lot of innocent persecuted European jewry. The Isreali Defence Army (IDA) is exactly doing the same to an innocent, persecuted, Arab population. And that is despite having grabbed 80% of the original land of Palestinians. And controlling rest of the 20%, for which the poor folks are fighting it out with Isreal -- a clandestine nuclear nation.

Ahmedinejad may be positioning. Deflecting world attention. We know that for a fact. Isreal can't be wiped off. It was created out of guilt by Europe and US with Great Britian playing the midwife. That is history. Balfour declaration established the state of Isreal. It was a bastard-child. Now even Hitler was the same, born out of wedlock. The similarities simply don't seem to cease.

Mr prez however has a valid point: True, Holocaust is not a myth. It's emotional handling is. Its gross misuse is. Justification of crimes against humanity is, using the shield of holocaust is the biggest scandal, the biggest piece of fiction!

  • The picture is real TV footage shot by French channel 2, in Sep 2000 and shows a Palestinian kid Al-Durra being protected by his father Mr. Jamal, while Isreali army continue to spray bullets on them. Moments later the child was dead on his father's lap. French Journalist, Mr. Charles Enderlin who shot the footage later said he cut 27 minutes of rushes. "I cut the child's death throes. It was too unbearable", Enderlin added.

    sameer bhat

Thy Eyes

Eyes that can kill at will
Eyes which freeze me still
Eyes that look so freaking
Eyes, that has hearts' go creaking

Eyes with the golden glow
Eyes for which zephyrs blow
Eyes like magic bells
Eyes like no one else

Eyes that wander always
Eyes that never rest
Eyes which look for someone
Eyes, I wish look up to me

Eyes, those beauteous pearls
Eyes like a falcon that furls
Eyes whose stare is seditious
Eyes that look so flirtatious

Eyes, I think of
Eyes, I drink for
Eyes, like those of a dove
Eyes, I'll always love

samy

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Making Love

One of my best buddies -- Tanseer -- once remarked rather wryly, "Sam, How effectively can you veer a conversation from religion to sex". That was in connection to a tiny talk we were having on religion when I suddenly changed gears and asked him how his last session was like! I am going to repeat that again. Having discussed faith in my last post, I now doodle about fornication-- one of the original sins, propounded by all books of the Lord!

Sex to my mind is the ultimate aphrodisiac. It is those fleeting minutes of stillness, called joy. Temporary madness. It is sweat. It is sinful. It is passion. It is all of that and much more. I don't understand why it is often seen as leer. There is an element of lust to it but there are myriad tomes of ecstasy too. Someone rightly called it love-making. It transcends all borders and speaks in one universal accent.

I was prostrate. Tears welled up in my eyes. There was no guilt. Only whispers in the ear. Before you can say something, a wedge of lemons or an impassioned peck makes you go quiet. Kiss. The breathlessness of it. The panting. The throwing away of pants. Canoodling your senses away. Tossing like a feather on cold sheets, the winter chill needling you in a million places. And the warmth of arm-pits. Newness of limbs. The emaciated feet. Bliss.

There is a certain emotional slack to it, the warmth and fears. Insecurities. The climax. Epiphany. Sheer heaven.

Coffee wafts and flirtatious eyes is all I can think of!

God, spare me the indulgence.

sameer

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Eid

Eid-day. A feathery-buttery winter sun. I donned a crisp white shalwar-kameez and attended the Eid-mass -- read Eid Namaz -- with my pals. We were in the last row. A sea of heads lined the countless columns in front of me. Heads with expensive fezzes and heads with subaltern skull-caps on them. The best thing about the Islamic faith is its egalitarianism, the equality in the ranks. No big and small. Rich and poor. All are one before God. Intellectuals and morons, good-looking and ugly. Liberals and fanatics. One-creed! Period.

Now, the most endearing aspect of Eid-al-Zuha -- Big Eid in Kashmir -- is the element of sacrifice. A very close friend of mine, who is not Muslim, asked me sometime back: Why kill animals? Grotesque, ain't it? Two things strike my mind. First, the sacrifice of animals on Eid-day is an Abrahamic tradition. Something that the prophet of Islam -- Muhammad -- didn't start. Now all three Abrahamic religions believe in Prophet Abraham and have actually evolved from his doctrine.

In the study of comparative religion, an Abrahamic religion is any of those religions deriving from a common ancient semitic tradition and traced by their adherents to Abraham, a patriarch whose life is narrated in the Bible, Old Testament, and in the Qur'an. This forms a large group of related, largely monotheistic religions, that includes Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and comprises more than half of the world's religious adherents. Another matter, the Big-3 -- Christians, Islamists and Jews -- are at each others throats!

Second, about the actual act of sacrifice. Here the theme is again recurring in these three major religions. In the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church, as well as among some High Church Anglicans and some Lutherans, the Eucharist or Mass is seen as a sacrifice.

The centrality of sacrifices in Judaism is clear, with much of the Bible, particularly the opening chapters of the book Leviticus, detailing the exact method of bringing sacrifices. Sacrifices have been ordianed either bloody (animals) or unbloody (grain and wine). In the Jewish faith, a sacrifice is known as a Korban from the Hebrew root karov meaning to come close to God.

In the Islamic context a sacrifice is usually referred to as Udhiyah. Udhiyah, as a ritual, is offered only in Eid ul-Adha. Quran is clear here: The event has nothing to do with blood and gore (Quran 22:37: "It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches God. It is your piety that reaches Him..."). The sacrifice is done to help the poor, and in remembrance of Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son --Ishmael-- at God's command. The son got transformed into a sheep, according to theological texts. The meat is distributed to friends, relatives and to the needy.

Looking at the whole affair from a rationale, objective, modern point of view, one is a little nonplussed. Spilling blood! My friend's original question. The poor creatures have life after all. The Pain of it. Well, we have innumerable chicken, turkey, cattle, sheep, goats and animals of all form -- boars, duck, fish and so on -- slaughtered each passing minute. The world over. The most preferred diet in much of US, Europe, Africa, Australia, large swathes of Asia and even the poles -- south and north -- is non-vegetarian. Studies show that 70% of the world's vegetarian population is : Yeah, you guessed that right: Indian. Again in India 20 to 30% of Indians are estimated to be vegetarians.

Again, experts say that humans have omnivorous set of teeth. More apt for eating meat. We have a digestive system that can digest both veg and non-veg food. Animal diet is an excellent source of proteins, vitamins and nutrients.

Coming back to religion and rituals. Nothing but a set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices! In hindsight, all faiths, we have these allegories...monkeys flying, animals talking, rivers splitting open, ten-headed demons. Sacrifices. Faith as such can be quite an illusion. To my mind, these tales teach us the value of life. They are metaphors, that is what they are. They are more about moral lessons. About being honest, being caring, being loyal, being bold and perhaps, being a wee irrational too.

Happy Eid

sameer bhat

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Of chill

The city is reeling under layers of chill from the hell. They say that this may just be begining of a cold-age. That is 'The Day after Tommorrow', redux. Large chunks of Asia are actually hit by a severe cold wave, seen never before. In Delhi the temperature touched zero, lowest in 70 years. Japan is buried under record snow. Australia and Europe have reported a marked change in the climatic patterns. Scientists and climatologists are hollering that the arctic icebergs have started melting away. Experts in UK and US opine that this may be the advent of an ice-age!

I reckon, it is time humans start owing up the damage we wreaked on our fragile planet. We -- all of us -- have mowed down its lank trees, raped its virgin valleys, poisioned its dancing rills, slashed its lush greens and contaminated its breezy airs. We have collectively trampled upon mother nature. Now, nature is hitting us back. Last year -- 2005 -- 14 tropical stoms in the Atlantic developed into major hurricanes. Weather-related disasters totalled $200 billion. Still USA -- the biggest polluter of us all -- refuses to sign the kyoto protocol, rendering it useless. Kyoto sets binding greenhouse gas emissions targets for countries that ratify the agreement. Prez Bush -- in an ever stupid swagger -- says signing it would cost US a lot. The world has already started to pay the cost!

It is infact not about winters only. Even summers are hotter. Infact 2005 was the second hottest year in 145 years. It is actually about 'Climate Change'. Each year, cold conditions will start getting colder and hot, even hotter. Like Mumbai, last year had rains like never before and southern states had unusually heavy rains about a month ago. The summer heat had also been abnormal in many parts of the world. Ever spared a thought: What's going on?

Weather patterns are going haywire because of climate change and extreme weather is now going to be a regular fixture. Stock yourself with bundles of woolens and oil your air-conditioning units. Extreme events of weather - severe cold and heat, heavy rains, droughts, storms and cyclones - would increase in intensity and frequency, scientists say. And, they are also going to occur in new locations that have never experienced them.

Further, climate change would also impact on economy and the state. It would affect agriculture, water availability, coastal areas with rising sea level and this would happen on a longer, steadier basis. Will that be an end of what is known of the human world! Are we at the threshold? Will we witness a real ice-age in our life-times. Or the usual, in vogue, stylish...why care for our progeny? Who cares!

We need to create a knowledge base and systems to prepare for consequences of climate change. It is for real. I am not an alarmist. Only fascinated -- and concerned -- about the climate because as a world citizen, I care!

sameer bhat

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Snow in the Dell

Perhaps the only two things I truly miss about Kashmir are its enchanting snow-capped mountains and the fluffy-icy-shivery snow. It is snowing in Kashmir now. Kashmir
is one of the few places in India where it actually snows in winters. Frankly, few things in the world give me such a kick. Imagine, the feeling. You are cut off from rest of the world. Unwind!!!
There is no electricity. Consequently no watching the TV. No lamps and tube lights. Light thy candles. Fusty style. Re-live the way your ancestors did. It puts to shame all the candle-lite dinners in plush NY hotels and swanky New Delhi lounges. Doesn't get more antediluvian than that!

Think of the magical feeling. White gloss all around -- on your window sills, your backyard and your back-alley. Upon the front-street and snaking turnspikes too. As if an unceasing white fur carpet is spread all over. No potholes. No drains. No runnels. Just running miles of endless, clean snow. Snow that came last night, over night. God has stockpiles of it, I often doodle. It falls on the rooftops and topless rivers. On nests and little chirping birdlings in them. Tweet-tweedle they croon. The downpour continues on the mighty mountains and the lowly grasslands. Across a cross section of an entire landlocked dell. The valley. On its peripheries. Its mass and centre of gravity. God's confetti.

Fantasise the cosiness. Cycling around in the snow. Snow flakes on your nose. On your back. Snow-man. The snow-ball fight. Throwing small orbs of snow on each other. The fun of it. The rush. The pink of cheeks. Rouge of palms. And the quite wintry nights. The eerie silences. The snow-globs coming dancing down from the sky, in hushed whispers. On deer-backs. Upon trees. On defunct electric lines. In terraces. Upon doggy-snouts. On parched humans. Never failing them.

Warm hamams, warmed still by logs of wood. Envy the old world charm.

God. I love snow.

Samy