"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

alone

All At Sea: To Step Beyond The Shallows

kannur (1 )-4

Contemplating the ocean

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

Picture taken on Payyambalam beach Kannur in Kerala


All At Sea: Into The Maelstrom…

SONY DSC

Braving the sea’s boiling waters to feed his family.

__________________________________

————————————————

Picture taken on Payyambalam beach Kannur in Kerala

Despite being familiar with both pieces of music for many years, I have only just noticed the similarities between the opening of the storm interlude In Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes” and Leonard Bernstein’s “A boy like that” from Westside Story.


All At Sea: Back In The Shallows

SONY DSC

The fisherman comes ashore.

_______________________________

______________________________

Picture taken on Payyambalam beach, Kerala


Temple Moments Part 4: A Man Rejected


SONY DSC

_____________________________________________

Picture taken in Kapaleeshwarer Temple, Chennai


Between A Rock And A Hard Place: Part 3

SONY DSC

Picture taken in Hampi, Karnataka


Between A Rock And A Hard Place: Part 2

SONY DSC

Picture taken in Hampi, Karnataka


Observing From A Distance: Part 2

________________

________________

Picture taken in the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, Israel.


Wandering Westward: Seeking Solitude

 “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.”
________________

Picture taken on the path to the chapel, at Holy Cross Abbey, Virginia.


Bird On The Wire

________________

________________

Picture taken in Fort Cochin


On The Road..

We leave Tingmosgang, and head back towards Leh,
catching momentary glimpses of a child’s unfathomed life.

________________

________________

Pictures taken on the road from Tingmosgang, Ladakh.


The Leaving..

A beautiful week with my dear son and his lovely wife has passed all too quickly.
I head for North Island,
and a week of profound quietness..
________________


________________

Picture taken beside Lake Te Anau, New Zealand.


Transference

In transit:
twelve hours in Singapore
made considerably easier by taking a room in one of the airport’s three Transit Hotels.

________________


________________


Rest Assured…

Yesterday I visited my aunt in Kottayam.
My arrival coincided with that of a charming cardiologist from the USA.

“Auntie” was delighted with his attentions,
especially as this courtesy visit was 
combined with an unofficial cardiological assessment.
Something her daughter had skilfully brought about.

Auntie has been feeling tired, which is perhaps understandable for a woman in her late eighties.
But what struck me was that her favourite and most trusted member of staff was absent.
The young woman, who usually sleeps in the house with her, is taking a holiday.

When Anu, my house-boy, takes time off to be with his family
– a well-deserved break –
my home suddenly seems enormous,
the hours of darkness almost interminable,
and sleep strangely illusive.

My solution is simple.
Now, whenever Anu takes his holidays,
I go away on tour with a good friend.

An option that physical infirmity has made sadly impossible for my aunt..
________________


________________

Picture of Lake Vembanad taken at dusk on the road back from Kottayam.


A Time To Reflect

________________

________________

Picture taken on the “Crocodile Ghat”, Kalady


Northern Exposure: Part 3

The ascent
________________

Picture of a child climbing the steep steps of Humayun’s tomb, Delhi, taken during my trip to north India


A Separate Waiting

 Picture taken at the Fort Cochin Jetty.
________________ 


Sunday’s Child

But the child that is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
________________

________________

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
________________

Monday’s Child..”, an old English Nursery Rhyme, was first recorded in 1838.

Pictures taken by the Fort Cochin jetty, in Ernakulam.


A Time Of Fading

Hope, like colour,

Can fade over time.

Pictures taken on Mahatma Gandhi Road, Ernakulam.


Keeping Your Head Down

________________

  

________________

Picture taken in Cochin.


A Long Wait: 3

And a final reckoning.

________________

 
________________ 


A Long Wait

________________

Still he waits,
Impassive.
The future shuttered,
Empty.
All doors are locked,
Each window bolted.

Again I pass.
And still he sits:
A tableau.
The street his home,
The film-set of a silent role:
His vigil barren,
And purpose spent.

Still he waits,
For what?
A piece of paper, signed and sealed,
The chance that someone hears.
Blind justice,
Just,
In case.

 The script is blank,
His part unspoken:
A life deformed,
Bleak Housed,
Deferred.

His curse slow-fused,
His hope unfounded,
Sitting,
Still,
He waits.
 ________________

Official figures show that more than 30 million cases are pending in Indian courts – some since 1950.

Picture taken In Palace Road, Cochin.


Three Characters In Search Of An Author

________________

________________

________________

Three strangers across a crowded room:
Each is alone.

One stands in silent thought;
One eats but, as if shamed, never raises his eyes from the table;
One, like myself, absorbed by those around him.

I capture their image then go on my way,
No wiser of their world or worries.
________________

“Whatever is a reality today, whatever you touch and believe in and that seems real for you today, is going to be
– like the reality of yesterday –
an illusion tomorrow.”

Luigi Pirandello
________________


________________

Pictures taken in the Sri Krishna Cafe, Cochin.


Lost Causes

________________

I pass this chapel several times a week
And have done so for almost three years.

But only recently has it struck me that invariably people sit silently beside its entrance,
Something not seen outside of other chapels. 

________________

Those who usually pass their hours here are women of a certain age.
Women wearing white saris:
The statement of widowhood.
________________

Occasionally elderly men will join them,
At a distance.
________________ 

The chapel is dedicated to St Jude, patron saint of lost causes.
Boldly written across its façade are the words:

“In confidence we invoke thee
Helper in difficult cases”

St Jude’s provides sanctuary perhaps,
To those who fear the utter loneliness of despair.
________________

 


In Transit

________________

I sit in the airport lounge.
Fragmented English memories of both failure and happiness now behind me.

The warmth, excitement and comforts of life in India await my return.

An apt metaphor of my life:

A life in transit.

A muezzin sounds its plaintive summons to prayer:

An invitation extended to all who travel light, or with heavy burdens.

My heart is touched.
But lies elsewhere.

Picture of the June sky taken in London. Those of the airport are taken from the Emirates transit lounge in Dubai.