My Camera & My Chai: Looking Back, Looking On


As I sit and write this, I do realise that the year 2017 is almost over, and the year 2018, is almost upon us.

When I started to write the “My Camera & My Chai” series, the idea was to always, always write with a sense of irony. Some humour, mixed with some of my piercing insights into the foibles of humanity. Please mark – piercing insights.

Yet, as I write this, the heart is heavy. Heavier than the belly, or so they say. That is life.

This is the year in which I adopted a new terminology – “The Educated Illiterate”. I am a generous soul, unlike our beloved Prime Minister, and I am ready to admit that this is not my term. It is a term coined by a friend of mine, to describe the nitwits on the street. These are those who, despite having passed through school and college (and, thereby acquiring an education) insist on breaking traffic rules, and littering the street.

Yet, like our beloved Prime Minister, I am quick to seize upon the good work done by others, and claim it for my own, by publicising it.

Ladies, and Gentlemen, I give you “The Educated Illiterate”!

The year 2017 is also the year, I discovered that a minor girl could be jailed for supposedly killing a cow, but a minor boy could not be jailed for raping and killing a girl/ woman. Her crime entitles her to be treated as an adult, but the boy, as spake a former Chief Minister ‘will be a boy’.

This is also the year that we discovered the truth of that old adage, first popularised by Juliet, and made famous by Shakespeare.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

The movie, “Padmavati” is now being approved, after the name is to be changed to “Padmavat”. Blimey! The half historical-half fictional queen, who was first mentioned by the poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540 CE raised emotions to a boiling pitch. The people, none of whom saw the movie, claimed that the character of the fabled Queen was distorted beyond measure. Of course, they forgot to mention that the character of the Muslim King, Alludin Khilji was probably distorted as well.

Yet, Padmavat is okay, because there was no Queen of the name of Padmavat. So, all is well, and no sentiments can be hurt now.

This was also the year when Delhi changed, officially, into a Gas Chamber. Yet, as our beloved Health Minister said, there is no pollution, because no death certificates have yet mentioned pollution as the killer.

Still, whats in a name? Smog can be fog, and can be just as dense.

Stay thy killing hand, I say! Does smog smell the same as fog? Not by a long shot, you say, as smog is acrid, acidic and comes from the depths of the Balrog’s fire. Whereas fog, and mist, remind you of heaven, of mystery, and Elven Lands.

And, at the end, 2017 has also been the year when I concluded my photography project, “Seven Cities of Delhi: A Photographer’s Perspective”

Finally, as the year draws to a close, I also discovered the HangDrum, and HangMusic. Hang being the Swiss-German word (I think) for hand. It is brilliant, so I leave you with this little YouTube video

There is hope!


Keep having Chai, and keep smiling!


    1. I have no idea how I found them… I was bumming around on YouTube while writing the post. From The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, I went to some chants, and then to them!

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