Archives for category: aesthetics

atithi

In India guests are accorded a venerable place and every household seeks to present its best culture in greeting the guest with the finest food, drink and welcome that a household is capable of. In welcoming a guest the family feels that its pride and honour are at stake in the quality of the hospitality offered. Even the humblest villager with barely enough to feed himself will insist on offering warm and fulsome hospitality to a visitor. Nothing could be worse than for a guest to leave dissatisfied.  This is inspired by an Upanishadic aphorism:

                        ATITHI  DEVO  BHAVA

 

                          THE GUEST IS A GOD

 

                                                    TAITTIRIYA   UPANISHAD

 

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                                  THE  WORLD  OF  SMELLS

 

The world of smells

Orange or apple

The difference tells.

 

Danger and corruption

Of putrid wells

And cadavers.

 

Odorous intrusions

Upon one’s space

Like a gratuitous slap on the face.

 

Uncovered crystal tops,

Rare fragrance

From shop to shop.

 

The cat sprays

 A territorial trail,

Dogs for eternity

 Upon a spot.

 

Lost calf in the herd

Discovered,

Ant on its unerring trail

To the honey-pot.

 

Fragrant flowers

For bees and wasps,

Like the urge to procreate.

The world of smells

Beyond sight and sound,

A new dimension

 From within

impels.

rail coach

Sometimes there is no word to explain or describe an obtuse thought or feeling. This is where poetry comes in to interpret it. As children I and my siblings had this problem in defining our feelings when some sound, sight or a combination of the two produced an indefinable cerebral ecstasy. So we invented a label to describe it – ‘tasty’, though it had nothing to do with taste. When in a rolling rail coach the momentum of the wheels jumping over the joints of the rails produced a rhythm like castanets we would look at each other, smile and say ‘tasty’, or again when on a lake side on picnic the waters lapped the shore with each little tide stirred by the wind, we would listen carefully to the lulling sound and burst out tasty’ or again when the window of a  car kept jogging up and down framing the scenes flitting past, while remaining securely with us, it was ‘tasty’, yet again when one heard the sounds of a horses hoofs on cobble stones that was ‘tasty’ and so on and on.

horses hoofsIn adulthood I renamed the childhood ‘tasty’ as synthesis – synthesis of invading patterns of the observed phenomena with the patterns of the mind when they are joyously in synch creating a cerebral experience of ecstacy and comprehension of an essence.

   

Credit: 0 1universe.blogspot.com
Credit: 0 1universe.blogspot.com

 

         S Y N T H E S I S

 

The monkey’s paw

Holds the gesture

Faithfully, like the peasant’s

Unclasped hand.

 

Slithering,

The snake majestically stands

And turns

Its Nefertiti head.

 

Lapping

The lily beds,

Watery comfort

In the ear

Persists.

 

The tree’s posturing

Irregularity, unmatched,

Assert their branching patterns.

 

credit: lovelyloey.wordpress.com

credit: lovelyloey.wordpress.com

Held in a thousand ethnic ways,

The pen turns and twists

And fashions.

 

Pencil heels and chopsticks

Click,

The cat’s long tongue

Laboriously licks,

The clock ticks seconds.

 

The gallop of horses’ hoofs

On cobble stones,

Racing wheels on endless rails,

Lullaby of the rocking coach,

Delight to cerebral heights.

 

Nature’s momentum uncontrolled,

Inspires

Our artfulness

 

As primal grace,

A semblance here

Or a sounding there, original pace

Evoke a resonance.

 

And so we move beyond

The natural artefact

To the self-conscious grace

Of a cultured act.

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