Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Rain ~ Kenji Miyazawa

(Photo Courtesy :

Be not defeated by the rain. Nor let the wind prove your better.
Succumb not to the snows of winter. Nor be bested by the heat of summer.

Be strong in body. Unfettered by desire. Not enticed to anger. Cultivate a quiet joy.
Count yourself last in everything. Put others before you.
Watch well and listen closely. Hold the learned lessons dear.

A thatch-roof house, in a meadow, nestled in a pine grove's shade.

A handful of rice, some miso, and a few vegetables to suffice for the day.

If, to the East, a child lies sick: Go forth and nurse him to health.
If, to the West, an old lady stands exhausted: Go forth, and relieve her of burden.
If, to the South, a man lies dying: Go forth with words of courage to dispel his fear.
If, to the North, an argument or fight ensues: 
Go forth and beg them stop such a waste of effort and of spirit.

In times of drought, shed tears of sympathy. 
In summers cold, walk in concern and empathy.

Stand aloof of the unknowing masses:
Better dismissed as useless than flattered as a "Great Man".

This is my goal, the person I strive to become.

~ Kenji Miyazawa (1896 ~ 1933)

(Translated By David Sulz)

Early Morning Rains : Holly Duane 

(Courtesy :

Monday, January 25, 2016

Africa.. ~ Sebastião Salgado

 I looked through a lens and ended up abandoning everything else.

 When I was just starting out, I met Cartier-Bresson. He wasn’t young in age but, in his mind, he was the youngest person I’d ever met. He told me it was necessary to trust my instincts, be inside my work, and set aside my ego. In the end, my photography turned out very different to his, but I believe we were coming from the same place.

 Roland Barthes, in his book Camera Lucida, stated that photography, rather than film or television, is the collective memory of the world. As I see it, he’s right about this. Photography immortalize a moment, which then becomes a symbol, a reference. Photography is universal language; it doesn’t need translation. Its collective memory is a mirror in which our society continually observes itself.

 I’m not an artist. An artist makes an object. Me, it’s not an object, I work in history, I’m a storyteller.

What I want is the world to remember the problems and the people I photograph. What I want is to create a discussion about what is happening around the world and to provoke some debate with these pictures. Nothing more than this. I don’t want people to look at them and appreciate the light and the palate of tones. I want them to look inside and see what the pictures represent, and the kind of people I photograph.
 You photograph with all your ideology.

 There comes a moment when it is no longer you who takes the photograph, but receives the way to do it quite naturally and fully. You need to be accepted by reality.

  The picture is not made by the photographer, the picture is more good or less good in function of the relationship that you have with the people you photograph.

If you take a picture of a human that does not make him or her noble, there is no reason to take this picture. That is my way of seeing things.

We are animals, born from the land with the other species. Since we’ve been living in cities, we’ve become more and more stupid, not smarter. What made us survive all these hundreds of thousands of years is our spirituality, the link to our land. In the end, the only heritage we have is our planet, and I have decided to go to the most pristine places on the planet and photograph them in the most honest way I know, with my point of view, and of course it is in black and white, because it is the only thing I know how to do.

 ~ Sebastião Salgado

Monday, December 21, 2015

To G.N.Balasubramaniam, The Love Of My Life.. ~ From M.S.Subbulakshmi


To the love of my life..
To my love who has taken over my life, body and soul..
To the person who had taken hold of my life and yet allowed me to languish..

All I want is to feast my eyes upon you. You on the other hand would not even raise your head to look at me. Can you fathom how this torments my mind? I simply wither away.

I hug your photograph and weep. Would that photograph speak to me, my kanna?

In my house there is no happiness for me. There are only problems … My mother is likely to be alive only for a few more years. My elder brother is my enemy. The younger sister is all right … I will not hide anything from you. I have not been happy so far. But I am alive because I am here. 

Kanna, to write all this I found some time only today … One thing is the absolute truth. Your happiness is mine, kanna … You may ask me what I was doing earlier. I suffered.

Even when the film is over,I will not get separated from you. Please do not unnecessarily test me. After the film is over, we will be together … The love I have for you will never change. After I die, you will realize that. My life from birth has been one of travails … Naan paavi.. I must have committed great sins to suffer like this. If I had stayed in Madurai, I would have died long ago … there is nobody to whom I can speak and cry out. I dream of you daily. Do you? … When you happen to touch me in the course of our acting together, I think to myself, ‘This is my Lord’ and then feel elated. I don't want anything else in life. I only want your love. 

If you are generally happy with me, that will give me the greatest pleasure. I do not know what people back at home would do to me. It was predicted by the astrologer that the immortal Pushpavanam would have a long life. Yet he died at a young age. I will go in the same manner. It is better that I am dead.

At least now, when the duet is picturised will you avoid the natural inclination of physical contact?

The kutchery was no good. No music other than yours gets into my ears. This is the unvarnished truth. I must sing exactly like you. Even after the film is over, I am sure you are going to continue to teach me music.

Henceforth even for a moment I will not be separated from you.

From Kunju, who worships you..
My love, my very life, I kiss your handwriting and your music..
I will never leave you, en Kanna..

~ M.S.Subbulakshmi

(Excerpted from the Appendix of the Book, “M.S. : A Life in Music” by T.J.S. George, published by HarperCollins, 2004) 

(G.N.Balasubramaniam was born in 1910 and died at the age of 55 in 1965.

M.S.Subbulakshmi was born in 1916 and died at the age of 88 in 2004.)

G.N.Balasubramaniam and M.S.Subbulakshmi in the movie "Shakuntalai" 
Directed by Ellis R.Dungan in 1940

Thursday, December 17, 2015

To Véra, With Love.. ~ From Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir with Véra in 1924

Prague, 13 August 1924

To  Véra..

My delightful, my love, my life,

I don’t understand anything: how can you not be with me? I’m so infinitely used to you that I now feel myself lost and empty: without you, my soul. You turn my life into something light, amazing, rainbowed—you put a glint of happiness on everything—always different: sometimes you can be smoky-pink, downy, sometimes dark, winged—and I don’t know when I love your eyes more—when they are open or shut. It’s eleven p.m. now: I’m trying with all the force of my soul to see you through space; my thoughts plead for a heavenly visa to Berlin via air . . . My sweet excitement . . .

Today I can’t write about anything except my longing for you. I’m gloomy and fearful: silly thoughts are swarming—that you’ll stumble as you jump out of a carriage in the underground, or that someone will bump into you in the street . . . I don’t know how I’ll survive the week.

My tenderness, my happiness, what words can I write for you? How strange that although my life’s work is moving a pen over paper, I don’t know how to tell you how I love, how I desire you. Such agitation—and such divine peace: melting clouds immersed in sunshine—mounds of happiness. And I am floating with you, in you, aflame and melting—and a whole life with you is like the movement of clouds, their airy, quiet falls, their lightness and smoothness, and the heavenly variety of outline and tint—my inexplicable love. I cannot express these cirrus-cumulus sensations.

When you and I were at the cemetery last time, I felt it so piercingly and clearly: you know it all, you know what will happen after death—you know it absolutely simply and calmly—as a bird knows that, fluttering from a branch, it will fly and not fall down . . . And that’s why I am so happy with you, my lovely, my little one. And here’s more: you and I are so special; the miracles we know, no one knows, and no one loves the way we love.

What are you doing now? For some reason I think you’re in the study: you’ve got up, walked to the door, you are pulling the door wings together and pausing for a moment—waiting to see if they’ll move apart again. I’m tired, I’m terribly tired, good night, my joy.

Tomorrow I’ll write you about all kinds of everyday things. My love.

~ Vladimir Nabokov

    Véra with Vladimir in 1968

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bulleh Shah : Enough of Learning, My Friend!

Bulleh Shah

Enough of Learning, My Friend!

Enough of learning, my friend!
An alphabet should do for you

To it there is never an end
An alphabet should do for you
It’s enough to help you friend
Enough of learning, my friend!

Enough of learning, my friend!

You’ve amassed much learning around
The Quran and its commentaries profound
There is darkness amidst lighted ground
Without the guide you remain unsound

Enough of learning, my friend!

Learning makes you Sheikh or his minion
And thus you create problem trillion
You exploit others who know not what
Misleading them with wild opinion

Enough of learning, my friend!

You meditate and you say your prayers
You go and shout at the top of the stairs
You cry reaching the high skies
It’s your avarice which ever belies

Enough of learning, my friend!

The day I learnt love’s lesson
I plunged into the river of divine passion
An overwhelming gale. I was confused and lost
When Shah Inayat cruised me across

Enough of learning, my friend!

~ Bulleh Shah Qadri 

(Syed Abdullah Shah Qadri : 1680 ~ 1757)

(Translated from Punjabi by Kartar Singh Duggal)

The Mausoleum of Hazrat Baba Bulleh Shah at Kasur, Pakistan

The Tomb of Hazrat Baba Bulleh Shah

Ilmoun Bas Kari Oo Yaar :  Enough of Learning, My Friend!