Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Hermit

Long flowing beard grayed with time
Deep sunken eyes set on a countenance of grime
A lean figure mysterious and mystical
The hermit elusive, revered, of inclination divine

Scant white robe tattered and torn
On a bronze body mellowed and worn
A withered look on a personae forlorn
Peripatetic always on the go, a wanderer

A life lived in solitude and devotion
Single minded obsession of attaining salvation
With no worldly possession and no earthly desires
The hermit dwells in remote forests in caves     

Spends ages in penance and spiritual pursuit
Always meditating and in oneness with truth
To attain enlightenment the final quest
The holy man on pilgrimage endless

At peace with oneself and worldly wise
The hermit preaches and is full of advise
The sermons and prayers for the pious in tow
Learned of scriptures an itinerant with know

A soul of simple means no wealth no creed
On meager doles and offering he feeds
Bare essentials are all that he needs
The hermit is a saintly character indeed

Poem By Uday Patel 
Photo Credit: Neeraj Vegad

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Himalayas A Poem

Like a silver lining in the clouds
Silent sentinels with shining tops
A glittering range of snow clad mountains
The scars of upheaval a spectacle astounding

A barren land of  profound delight
Beaming bright in the golden light
A gateway to heaven the abode of Gods
For millions a pinnacle where Shiva lords

From the depth of Tethys a wall incredible
Arose the highest and the most invincible
A startling emergence of Earthly crust
To lofty heights the Himalayas thrust

A geological formation massive as defined
Collision of land masses stratified
The movement tectonic a crash  inevitable
Eons past a timescale unimaginable

A cluster of icy glens and glaciers
An uninhabitable terrain of towering peaks
Source of rivers that flow asunder
To nurture the foothills and the plains down under
Himalayan region a zoo geographic magnificence
Wonder of the World the Everest insurmountable
Ever rising and indomitable
For the mountaineers a dream ascent

Himalayas a massive wall all snow white
Magical mystical mountain reaching yonder the blue sky
Like an apparition on the horizon
A no man's land an infinite spectacle

Poem By  Uday Patel

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Snake Charmer

A short emaciated man
Dappered in a white loin cloth
A bulging headgear he adorns
The snake charmer is a sight forlorn
With baskets slung over the shoulders
Full of deadly snakes to play
He makes a living the risky way
He squats besides a busy road
Seeking audience for his show
With a flute in his bare hands
Placed in between his quavering lips
He plays it with his fingertips
As he blows the flute begins to sing
To the right to the left the organ sways
Out pops the deadly snake the cobra
From a basket of twigs and hay
In wild frenzy he gyrates
With the magnificent hood fully inflate
To the left and to the right
Up and down hissing as he sways wild
The charmers eyes fixed on the reptile
The deadly fangs ready to strike
The onlookers begin to gather
Starry eyed and mesmerized
From a distance they enjoy
The spectacle that goes on and on
Finally the act comes to a stop
The snake gets milk as reward
And slithers back to his ward
Then the coins begin to land
Onto the snake charmer's waiting hands
A days job done well
The charmer bids farewell

Taj Mahal - A Poem

Taj Mahal - John Mathai
A saga of regal love enshrined
In annals of history eternally ascribed
A romantic interlude of passionate kind
Of a king and queen beloved entwined
King of a land besieged Shah Jehan
Of beauty and grace Queen Mumtaz Mahal

Taj Mahal at Agra an edifice memorable
Made of marble a cenotaph parable
The mausoleum a magnificent splendor
That enraptures all in awe and wonder

The wonder of the world Taj Mahal
A masterpiece absolutely symmetrical
Stands lone on the river bank Yamuna
A fascinating sight and setting  ethereal

The marvel white it glows in moon light
It is a dazzling spectacle of extreme delight
From all over the globe tourists arrive
To fulfill their dream and extol

The work of art incomparable
Intricate carving and aesthetics admirable
Studded with lapis lazuli and gems precious
A monument for one most adorable

By - Uday Patel

Friday, February 5, 2016

Indian Wedding Procession

A motley crowd a joyous occasion
A wedding procession on the go
Men and women in state of trance
Entangled in a chaotic dance
To the tune of the deafening sound
Loud and raucous a roadside merry go round
Fireworks sky rocket and crackers blast
A spectacle on the street marches past

On the road betwixt heavy traffic
A fashion parade live in public
Men women teen in a revelry unseen
Women in colorful sarees and lehangas
Decked full in gold and glittering jewels
Men in suits and kurti pajamas
Drunk brimful the friends of groom
Jubilant and wild the rowdy boys

The groom on the horse back
Suited booted decked up to the heel
Adorning a turban with flowery veil
Shy and lovelorn a glum figure indeed
He sits hunched a ride unbearable
A hero for the day but uncomfortable
Indian Wedding : Neeraj Vegad

Round and round the procession goes
As it circumambulates the wedding venue
Be it day or night for long the tamasha continues
The celebration keeps all on toes

Crescendo rises as the venue nears
Waiting in expectation the bride in tears

By Uday Patel 

It is my effort to describe India through poems for travelers and would be travelers. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Khajuraho: Magic in Stone

For centuries hidden in remote confines
Unknown to the World the marvels lost in time  
The temples lay desolate and untended
Many in crumbling ruins some desecrated
Discovered by chance a heritage was excavated
A treasure worthy an artistic delight most appreciated     

Descendants of Moon God the Chandelas
Mighty rulers the Rajputs of Bundela
The creators bold the dynasty personified 
Magic in stone the carvings as described
A magnificent creation of the art inclined
Sensuous forms of damsels divine
Of nymphs celestial & beasts intertwined
Of erotica in imagery the taboo eulogized  

The ancient temples of Khajuraho
An esoteric narrative of royal creation
On stones interlocked to perfection
In sculptures depicting sensual recreation
The impressive objects of art and veneration

Of divinity and Kama essential
An eternal truth existential
Reveal Tantrik sex in the treatise
Of procreation through pleasure one derives
With the chisel and the knife
The angelic figures have come to life

 Poem Copy Right Uday Patel
Photo Credit: Nandita Amin

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Indian Rail - A Travelers Poem

It is a carrier of the masses

For the rich poor and middle classes

Travel in luxury or third class

If without reservation

Board the crowded general coach

Get crushed and trampled

And travel with reproach

The Indian Rail is a long line of cars

Shackled with one other and always at war

Often blue sometimes red and green

A dreary spectacle without any sheen

The sleeper coach has fans for comfort

A seat big enough for you to sleep

AC coach is with climate control

Offers bit of ambiance and is secure

For luxury lighten your wallet

It is for those living in chalets

The sleeper is affordable

Sometimes cramped and chaotic

Basic in comfort but bearable

As the train moves along

Din and chaos it carries along

A big metal object that's the way it is bound to be

Frequently stops at railway stations

Sometimes stops for long without hesitation

Unscheduled break journeys augur frustration

On platforms busy with frantic travelers

some somber some revelers

Late often but reaches its destination

Keeps its promise as a transportation

Romantic Indian Train Journey

It is a journey through the hinterlands
It is a magical treat of panoramic excellence
A romantic passage of days and nights
An unforgettable experience that stirs the mind
Every remembrance will draw a sigh
As nostalgia grasps one on the high

As Indian Train chugs along
Through the diverse furlong
On the rails with iron wheels
A blissful thrill is what one feels

Tooting horn all the way
The mighty engine does not sway
It keeps to ground and hugs the rail
Completes the journey without fail

As Indian Train chugs along
Through the breezy wind with aplomb
A kaleidoscope of vivid colors unfold
At sunrise and sunset from blue to gold
Keep your breath on the hold and fix your eyes on the fold

It is an exotic visual delight
It extols the nature's  creative might
Of hills desert and rivers serene
The rail journey is colorful indeed

See the towering Himalayas rise
A lofty abode of sages wise
Feel the flow of mighty Ganges on the train
Through the upheaval of tortured plains
Along the banks with holy cities
Past green fields and hamlets busy
Through the rolling meadows and forests green
Marvelous scapes on the journey seen
A rail journey is not only a visual delight
It garners lots of spiritual insights

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Khajuraho The Land of Love Temples

The TT looked at me and asked for the ticket. "You should be in a general coach," he spoke nonchalantly without even looking at me.

"Where am I?" I looked at the maddening mass of humanity piled up mercilessly inside the coach crushing each other for whatever space available.   

"Worse than a general coach," I mutter.

"That will be 340 Rs", as he began preparing the receipt.   

For nearly the same  price I could have enjoyed the AC coach and the ensuing luxury and safety.  

After three hours of standing at one corner of the coach the express finally reaches Satna in Central India. From here onward it was a long and agonizing wait for the filming crew to arrive from Mumbai. "The train is three hours late an we will arrive at 9.30 PM". Kiran the ace photographer called me up.

Dance Festival Khajuraho
The journey towards Khajuraho is riddled with potholes. The torturous drive halts at Nagod for a tea and ciggy break. It is almost 11 PM and I am bone tired. After long expectation we halt at a Dhaba at 1.00 pm for some mouth watering food.

"Amazing at this time of the night".  Our driver had long convinced us to have supper here and it was rewarding.

Khajuraho Temple
We than proceed to Khajuraho through the Panna National Park and eventually reach Taj Hotel Chandela. The night staff is waiting for me and ushers me into my room. "Sleep Well Sir, the attendant wishes me politely. The main stay here has been warmed up by extremely courteous and attentive staff and delicious food.  I am thankful to Poonam Uppal for hosting me in five star luxury. She is the author of "A Passionaate Gospel of True Love".           

Temple at Khajuraho
I glimpse in absolute amazement at the group of temples that date back to 10th Century AD perhaps earlier. "Treatise on Tantric Sex," Mamaji one of the senior most guide of Khajuraho. The erotic carvings are on the outer walls of Hindu Temples. "Absolute freedom of expression in that conservative era," I speak to Mamaji.

"This extreme ecstasy portrayed here is divinity." He informs me as I peek at bizzare carvings of  the erotic kind.  People from World over come to see these magical wonders in stone. "The structures are skilfully interlocked without the use of any cementing material," Mamaji is a gold mine of information.

The quaint little town engulfs the temples of love and supports a population of about 18000 locals.
Natural Cave Panna by Jagat Flora

The museum is humid and suffocating but not the exuberant pieces of tribal art. I gloat at the art on the walls before I am called for what I came here for.

I was anchoring an interview with the celebrity author Poonam Uppal. For all three days I am involved with the video shoot. A brief reprieve being lunch at Ken River Lodge at Panna Tiger Reserve and a boat ride on tranquil waters of crocodile infested Ken River.           
Panna Gorge by Jagat Flora

At Khauraho, the temples appear as neat structures, as they truly are, and carry an enigmatic message of love in its most divine form. All through, I did not find anything banal on those exquisite carvings.
This destination along with the tiger reserve is a  must add on one's wish list. Other places of interest nearby are the Panna National Park 35 km, Kalinjar Fort, Raneh & Pandav Falls, Ken River Sanctuary and Panna Township.

How to reach? From New Delhi By air and rail (overnight). From Jhansi (UP) by road. From Jabalpur via Satna by rail and then by road.   

All other images by courtesy Nandita Amin

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Of Indian Architecture: Symmetry & Geometry

The geometry and symmetry in construction are as a result of extreme planning, conceptualization of design and a startling trilogy of creativity included. Indian architecture incorporates diverse elements beside simple lines and curvatures. Cosmic elements, religious symbols, voluptuous damsels, floral motifs; structural grandeur, diverse cultural impacts all encompassing assimilation into the final product that has resulted in landmark monuments many of which are of World fame while some pop up as surprise. 

This is what an article in MSN India speaks of. In a changed language I describe in a less fluent language the monumental structures in my blog. 

 Breathtaking Example of Indian Masonry:

 Taj Mahal
It is not only a magnanimous symbol of love, the intricate carving, amazing patterns, floral motifs, all amidst unfettered symmetry that is simply astounding. This is Moghul Architecture at its best in India.       
Nicke James - Taj at Agra

Ranakpur - Jain Temples

The Chaturmukha Temple exhibits astounding symmetry in amalgamation of spiritual numbers into intricate geometrical patterns. The temple dedicated to Lord Adinath makes visible the idol from any point inside the structure due to placement of 1000 plus pillars typical of Western Indian Architecture. Typical to this style are the spokes on ceilings interspersed with ornate motifs and dancing Apsaras. These features are much suggestive of colors and freedom of expression of living in India.  

Sun Temple Modhera 

The structure comprises of three elements integrated to perfection. The idol has been desecrated by the plunderer Mahmud Gazhni long  time back. The step well or Surya Kund is intricately carved with shrines on each step leading to the water. The vivid geometrical pattern forming equilateral triangle is the striking feature of this structure. The many pillared (52) Sabha Gruh is another element that has cosmic relevance and extols the Hindu calender.       

Shaniwar Wada Palace 

The seat of Peshwa Rulers, this palace in Pune has architecture with a unique design. The attractive feature is the Hazari Karanje or thousand jet fountain. The garden is also beautifully manicured and comprises of geometrical patterns.  

City Palace Udaipur 

This is a large complex with many palatial elements. In fact a series of palaces are assimilated in the larger complex. The architecture is amalgamation of  Mughal, Rajasthani, Chinese and European Styles. A museum of fine art the palace comprises of intricately carved cupolas, balconies and towers part of the darbar hall, temples and living quarters of the Royals.  

Ellora Caves  Aurangabad 

The rock cut caves exhibit beautifully done murals and carvings depicted three religions namely Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. 

Veer Narayana Temple Belvadi 

The architecture was named after the Hoysala Rulers who built many temples. These were either one, two or three shrines while a few were multi-shrines. The ceiling panels are carved with celestial figures and soldiers.

Red Fort - New Delhi   

Built entirely of red sand stone is a later date Mughal Architecture and displays both symmetrical and asymmetrical patterns. The former can be seen at Diwan-E-Aam and Rang Mahal while the walls of the fort exhibit the latter style.

Chand Baori - Abhaneri 

The thirteen story deep step well in Rajasthan is one of the largest in the World. The equilateral triangles formed on the steps are amazing besides the other geometrical forms are rhombus and diagonal lines. The thousand year old structure was the main source of water to local inhabitants. 

Bhoganandeeshwara Temple - Nandi Hills 

The monolithic stone pillars convey symmetry typical to Dravidian Style of Architecture in Southern India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva it is most revered edifice built around 9 Century AD. 

Rani Ki Vav - Patan - Gujarat

An excellent example of Gujarat's Subterranean Architecture it is an inverted temple besides being a step well. The idol of Lord Vishnu is visible from many angles of the seven layered stairs. The stairs are intricately carved with floral motifs and incarnation of Hindu deities.

Ancient Indian Edifices

Hawa Mahal Rajasthan

Jantar Mantar - Delhi & Jaipur 

These are two structures built by Raja Jaisingh to calculate many celestial and solar phenomena and activities. These observatories were used to predict eclipses and calculate various event using complex instruments (structures) formed using simple geometrical lines.    

The MSN Article