Thursday, March 31, 2005

Reading in the Ruins

Originally uploaded by ashishgorde.
This was a very accidental picture. I was taking a long walk in Delhi and trying to absorb the sights and sounds on my own, and hoping to capture good images on the way.

I stepped into the ruins of the Sher Shah Suri mosque, which is located right opposite the Old Fort. At one time the mosque was part of the Old Fort complex but a new highway has now separated the two.

For some strange reason, I was under the impression that the ruins of the mosque were the Fort itself. But the man guarding the place told me that the Fort was at the opposite side of the road. He, however, asked me to take a look around and gave me a brief history of the place.

While listening to him, I noticed these two people reading the Quran inside the mosque and the sight impressed me so much that I zoomed in and clicked. I wish I had gone a little closer but then, I would have, possibly, distracted them and lost the picture forever.

Some intense Photoshop work has gone into the picture and thanks to it, I am able to present it with a richer contrast and in black/ white.

Somehow I just love black and white pictures.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Contemplating a certain thought of wisdom
on these smooth and broad gentile plains
my brain ached and remembered a room
in a familiar, strange and restless city
where as a young man I was gently led
like a sheep to the fold.
There I was but not alone,
really there were twelve of us
each one timid, fearful and unaware
only silently listening to what He said.

Silently after a little while
we broke bread and ate because we were hungry
and needed food; and we tasted the wine
which was so bitter and also so strangely sweet
that in our thirst we remembered the prophets:
what they had yearned for and,
how easily in our midst we beheld that.

This much of theology I understood
that is, how much ever I saw
not only because it was so tangible and real
but even so because I could fathom it
in my mind and rationalise its implications
but there was something else that happened
which I was not prepared for,
something which made me curiously baffled,
speechless and completely out of ease,
something which, for a moment at least,
forced me into a sudden indecision
that now on reflection I ask myself,
"Why was I hasty to have my feet washed?"

But time has inflicted a better cure
and whenever afterwards I remembered that night
always a new thought strikes me,
a new wisdom speaks to me; as if it was
God himself talking to me and telling me,
how much of myself I have to give Him;
how much of all that I cherish I have to sacrifice
and how much more I have to lean on Him
to cleanse me and my feet
as I walk reluctantly in these chains
on these smooth and broad Gentile plains
to my inevitable death and obvious glory.

Friday, March 25, 2005


Originally uploaded by ashishgorde.
During my trip to India in the summer of 2004, I saw this man sitting all by himself near a railway station in suburban Bombay.

I wasn't sure whether or not to take this picture but after walking a few yards, I knew I had no choice but to take a snap. Looking at him, I was struck by his determination to make ends meet even though it looked rather futile.

It is for this reason alone, I titled this picture "Wealth".

Monday, March 21, 2005

All good intentions

What does one do if one's good intentions are misunderstood and misinterpreted?

First option would be to tear one's hair and scream as loud as one possibly can but, upon serious reflection... there is really nothing you can do or should do. Good intentions are meant to be selfless acts of kindness and goodness. They are intended to demonstrate our capacity to think beyond ourselves and think of someone else... hence, if the action is misinterpreted, we must see it as an occupational hazard.

All through history, goodness has always received a raw deal. And the 21st century does not appear to be any different.

What does work in this day and age is goodness that's well packaged and offers instant gratification towards achieving 'peace of mind'. It's all superficial, of course, but sadly that's what works. No one goes for the long haul. The kind of goodness that demand selflessness, sacrifices, persecution, injury, disgrace, martyrdom are brushed under the carpet because they are not pleasing enough.

But yes, if martyrdom can be achieved during prime-time it will be seriously considered.

And in the meantime, we must continue doing the good we can outside the glare of publicity and if need be, continue to 'carry our cross daily', as Christ once said.