First in a series of photos taken at or around the London Eye. A sculpture of Dali’s famous motifs.
Another of my favorite pictures. Taken while I was at a popular pub in Bangalore, India. Used a diffuse filter to achieve the soft focus.
In her mouth my words swirled like white wine. She opened her mouth and I took her tongue into mine. A soft taste of conversation and sweet saliva. We kissed languidly, looking into each others eyes. It is a wonderful feeling to kiss with eyes open, fighting your body as it wants to close your eye lids. She caressed my chin and rubbed my ear. I explored her tongue, our mouths lost in each other, my hands roving through her hair while she caressed my neck.
We lay back and held hands, my fingertips restless and exploring the minute imperfections of her silken exterior. They stopped at her rigid nipples. Mottled and subtly erotic to the touch, I traced their pointed outlines. She turned and let out a long sigh into my ear and closed her eyes.
I closed my eyes too and felt her solely through my fingertips. The delicate flesh of her drooping breasts, the baby fat of her shoulders, the smooth rigidity of her stomach and the shallow depths of her belly button. The language of love being felt and re-written by my fingertips on the palimpsest of her beautiful skin. Slowly, we dissolved into each other, our peaks and depths framing the tangent of love as it was meant to be.
A scene from the window at the back of my house.
The evening falls
Like wet tears
Its shadows coursing
Down my cheeks
Creeps in behind
The fading light
In the heavy air
Filled with my yearning
Your smile, your smell
Your skin, your taste
Clinging to my mind
Like fading memories
Time seems to slip
Into the cracks
Between our separated souls
As I look
To the east
Your flight to freedom
Can you talk in images? Can you paint the colors of my land in three dimensions? Can you evoke the smells of forgotten memories? Can you differentiate the manifold tastes of an entire ethos? Swades, the film, did and does that for me. Arguably, the best film to come out of the Indian mainstream cinema in recent times.
From the beginning to the end, it is filled with profound dialogues, scintillating and soulful music, brilliant performances and vibrant cinematography. It brings to life the true India; the many inconsistencies, the innumerable inequities, the uncountable hurdles, the heartbreaking poverty, the heady feelings, the wonderful warmth, the sensual colors, and the sense of being and belonging.
Each time I see it, it is as if I’m seeing it for the first time. Each time I share the joy, sadness, love and laughter of real people in a real film. Each time I miss the many things I’ve left behind. Each time I yearn for a land that is far away yet makes my heart shed a thousand tears. Each time I remember what I gave up in search for material want and worldly knowledge.
Almost every frame is a study in perfection. The film is full of iconic images, the boy selling water at the train station, the lead character traveling in a boat, the language of love spoken solely through the eyes of the actor and actress, the electric bulb lighting up the face of a half-blind woman, the nostalgia for one’s own country told through one heart wrenchingly beautiful and powerful song, and how can one forget the sheer beauty of the music lending an extra dimension to all the scenes mentioned and more.
Every Indian should, no, must see this film. And not just an Indian, anyone wanting to experience what it is to be an Indian and what she is at the core needs to see it. Don’t give in to the clichés of cows, beggars and poverty. India is justly more than the sum of these parts. India is indeed the crucible of all civilization as someone rightly said.
This film is worthy of a hundred awards. I bow to the courage of the director to make such a film, a film which did not appeal to an audience deadened into accepting overacted melodramas, disconnected dramas and unrealistic love stories. I salute the near genius of the music director and I congratulate the visual poetry of the cinematographer and production designer. I hope this will bring in a revolution in mainstream films and mark the beginning of an alternate approach to film making. A style of film making that revels in telling a story and yet does not shirk from pointing out the truth, disguising hard reality or including a message.
We need more people like Mohan Bhargava. We need more dreamers like him who have the courage to fashion a new India, an India worthy of admiration, an India leading the world again, taking her rightful space at civilization’s forefront. To paraphrase Rabindranath Tagore, let her become a teardrop on the cheek of eternity.
Shot while I was sitting outside a coffee shop in The Hague, Holland, waiting for my friends to finish their coffee. A completely random and off-the-cuff shot, was surprised that it came out halfway decent in the end.