Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

commuting bus

buses and trains in bombay are two such different creatures
i recently switched to using the bus for the first time
and while it's comfortable and air conditioned and all
i somewhat miss the grimy, up-close, social experience that train travel is
there's a fundamental difference--in trains we all sit facing each other, in buses we all sit with our backs to each other
in trains, people chat and interact and are fundamentally interested in each other's problems, in buses we all have ipods stuck in our ears and we rarely even turn to look at the person sitting next to us
all this has put my commuting pictures project in serious jeopardy too

this isn't quite the same now is it

Monday, March 22, 2010


hypnotic self-referential auto rickshaw headlights
also another example of the kind of typified, cliched imagery of women seen in indian public spaces
always the kajal, bindi, nose ring, lipstick, and in some cases even ghoonghat as seen in the local trains' second class women's compartment...

then there are those coy, pining women on the backs of trucks, and considering all indian transport graphics are designed by men, you'd think the average indian man's ultimate female fantasy was a shy made-up woman who keeps her head down and covered. hah! compare this with the slew of b-grade porn movie posters you see on the back walls of mankhurd or chembur station as the train pulls in and you know what a laugh this imagery is.

it's often said indian men will date one kind of woman and marry another. well, the movie poster women are behind dark, grimy walls while the shy, coy women are splayed all over our trains and trucks and auto rickshaws. i guess the proof is in the artwork.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


sometimes when i look around my room at the three stuffed bookshelves [one of which you see here]
i feel like i'm trapped in an unhappy hipsters photograph
with some caption like, "she felt the many unread books slowly advancing..."
today i'm determined to just lay in bed and finish this and start on this.

p.s. dinky's back, and dinkier than ever, with the new cell phone cam a whole 0.1 mp LESS than the previous one. hee.

Friday, March 19, 2010

dinky dad

with my cell phone display dead
i decided to take a look at others' dinky pictures
like most people, my dad too was carrying around some interesting moments from his day in his pocket
i filled the house with a dozen pinwheels i bought from this guy, and as i turned around to leave my dad took this

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


these were supposed to end up on the blog as dinky pictures
but my hand shook, or something happened
and they turned out strange and beautiful instead

Monday, March 15, 2010

me + danny boy

lives in a plants nursery by the railway crossing
drinks water every five seconds
loves having his chest scratched
is a very very silly boy

wish more people would adopt indian breed strays
instead of expensive foreign breeds that don't live long or healthy in the indian climate

Saturday, March 13, 2010

commuting purple

downcast and purple
looked up once
lovely smudgy kajal!
bharatnatyam dancer eyes
claspy hands
sigur ros in my ear phones

Friday, March 12, 2010


my new dhurrie
(from here)
filled with dust when newly bought
gave me Worst Allergy Attack Yet
that lasted Three Whole Days
now washed, clean, green-green
like a meadow in my room!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

commuting series

i wanted to take pictures of the people i spend an hour, if not more, staring at while i commute. funny how we blankly watch each other, without making eye contact, for so long, then forget each others' faces completely for the rest of our lives. but i had to be all sneaky while taking these.

burqa-wearing and toothless, she asked someone if the train went to VT.
"yes, this is a CST train."
"i know that!" she snapped back, "but does it go to VT?"

the name VT (Victoria Terminus) was changed to CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) fourteen years ago.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ladies: push, room: pull

fragmented ladies room door at willingdon club, mahalaxmi
like stepping into a parlor in an old english manor
to recline on floral arm chairs on break from playing bridge
and powder your nose before high tea

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


drippy buttery paneer toast
mellowy symmetrical ambience
patriotic kajal wearing sandwich-wala (just ducked) opposite fame, andheri