Monday, February 25, 2013

The King of Patiala and the Horse Riders

The King of Patiala was taking his usual morning stroll in the royal garden.  The interior affairs minister, a short rash guy came running to the king.
“Your highness! Emergency! The village youth had been found to sit on the royal emblem and the pride of our nation. The horse!”
“What?? How is it possible?? Isn't there rules against that??”
“I checked with the legal affairs minister your highness. He is on his way to meet you.  It seems the constitution has laid rules on how to breed the horse, what to feed the horse, by-laws on how to milk the horse, sub-clauses on the recipes for horse meat but there is no rule against sitting on the horse! I doubt this is a conspiracy by the enemy states to make the people lose their respect for the  royal emblem and so disintegrate the national unity which would make our country more vulnerable to the invasion ”
The minister told it so fast that the king understood only the last word.
“Well don’t just stand here then! Go make one law against that! Where is that legal affairs minister??”
“Your highness he will reach here soon. And there he is”
The minister said pointing to the bulky, very bulky legal affairs minister walking slowly, so slow that he’ll give an excellent competition to the a snail which is competing in a slow cycle race.
The king and the internal affairs minister stood affix waiting for the legal minister to reach them.
“Your highness I heard from the internal affairs minister about the sinister act of the youth in the village. What ought to be done?”
“What else? Make a new law banning all sorts of sitting and standing on the horse illegal. I want it done before sundown today!”
“Yes your highness!” The legal affairs minister then started his very slow walk back to his office.
“Well done minister for the swift action. You deserve the ‘Order of the Horse Mane’ award!” King was indeed pleased with the interior affairs minister.
The minister left and the king resumed his walk around the garden.

Four innocent hapless young men were arrested from the village the next day while playing a new game on their pets.
 They were sentenced to five years in prison upon the charges of showing disrespect to the national emblem, trying to disintegrate the national unity, conspiring with the enemies against the kingdom, plotting to overthrow the king and finally drinking the horse milk other than how it was directed in the constitution.  Of course the evidences were all circumstantial.

(You may think this is an euphemism or metaphors or something like that but the author is not responsible for  what the reader makes of this story!)
(This story is dedicated to my close friend, whose conversations laid the ground for the Kingdom of Patiala and has asked me to write about it here.) 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Travelling light. .

I went to the Kochi Muziris Biennale yesterday and I did not take a camera with me.
What is the big deal you may ask. Photography is one of my passions and I bought my first camera around a year back. Being photo obsessed I really wanted to take the camera, but due to some inconvenience my camera was not with me and there was no chance I could get another one.  With deep regrets I still went.  The following are the thoughts which arose on travelling light, without the burden of a camera, without the urge to click photos of anything and everything.
 This is not about the Biennale as such; I don’t think I can write about it as it is literally beyond words. This is just a thought I had when I walking through exhibits without the weight of a camera hanging on my neck or mind.
The first stall itself was really captivating and I couldn’t come out of it without taking a photo at least in my phone. People who know my obsession know that I really hate photos taken on a phone. I don’t know why, I just hate it. In spite of that I still took one photo.
Then I was literally lost on the works that was displayed, till I reached the food stall. Not having a camera was in fact a releasing feeling.  I did not have to bother waiting for the crowd to move to take the photo. Don’t have to worry about the quality of the photos. I can just walk through the exhibits. The food stall was located behind the venue, right next to the backwaters. The sight was really good and almost all of those people coming there immediately took out their cameras and started clicking photos.  The first thought that came to my head also was that. The location is picture perfect. The backwaters, a small country bout in the vicinity and some other boats a bit out into the waters.

 As I sat down there and observed people, I saw that more of them came there and rather than seeing the scene they immediately turn their backs to the scene and front to the camera, but is it worth it? Sacrificing the the time to stand there and enjoy the scene we immediately look around to find the perfect spot to take a photo.  We might probably upload it in Facebook and get ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ but beyond that what? We’ll keep it in it our computers? I am not sure about others but I have to keep the photos in my system in an organized manner but most of the time it ends there.
 So once I was done with the first location i.e the Aspinwall HouseI moved on to the next location in the map; the Pepper House. There a very good café was arranged. I must have sat there for around 45 minutes and wrote random thoughts about whatever I have seen till then.
Memories need not be always captured with a camera. Memories are those which are etched in our minds. Cameras literally capture everything, just because we have a camera we tend to take photos of our breakfast to the dog we saw on the road. The so called ‘moments’ are sometimes spoiled by our obsession to record and keep it forever. The actual moments or memories are often lost among such hundreds of photos. Real memories are those which are recreated in words with the person whom you share the memory with. It need not be showed off to the world.
 Sitting at the café I could capture the images of the people sitting near me as words, it would look weird if I start taking their photos.
Do try it once in a while, go to some place nice without the heaviness of a camera and keep those moments in your memory.
(Those who can do visit the Kochi Muziris Biennale, it is something I haven’t seen till now, totally worth it!)

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