Thursday, 14 May 2015

A Tale of Two Rocks

“Hey NosyRock,” goes BigHead
In the ancient land of Cappadocia.
“Your nose seems crooked today.”
BigHead breathes in the sunshine
And waits for the usual reply,
“No less than your cracked head,
Woke up wrong side of the bed?”

“I see we have visitors today.”
“You mean the hot air ballonists?
They are here for the sunrise, silly.”
“No, the two humans climbing this way,
Their faces look cracked, don’t they?”
“They don’t get free exfoliation, like us.
Maybe things are a bit rocky,
What do you know, Mr. Cocky?”

“Hey don’t crack me up now,
Am a little creaky these days,
Going on 4,000 years after all.”
Say BigHead, maybe it’s easier
Just being a rock these days,
Crooked noses, cracked heads and all.”
“If only they could exfoliate their fears,
NosyRock, no wonder we don’t shed tears.”

Rocked by Cappadocia, Turkey

When I first looked at the rocks, they looked straight out of a Starwars movie or maybe from a scene in the Flintstones cartoon. But they are real, an act of nature, so sublime and ethereal, that you can just sit and gaze in wonder at the landscape dotted with rocks carved, shaped, re-shaped and exposed by natures' seemingly cruel hand.

Cappadocia, in Turkey is a land that compels you to imagine. 

There are rocks and there are caves. 
Empty, bare, stark in summer and covered by a white sheet of snow in the winter. And then, there is history. Millions of years of history, steeped in those caves, hiding from the sight of the casual travellers who are happy to get another photo opportunity clicked for the latest Facebook Post. Fairy Chimneys, the rocks were called when they were first discovered, no doubt because they looked a bit too unreal to be true, as if they could only exist in the land of fairy tales.

Each rock seemed to be hiding its own story. A rock shaped like a monk saying his morning prayers, another rock shaped like a yogasana gone wrong, one tiny rock shaped like a man with a slumped back, who just lost his dream. Each rock, an invitation to the imagination. But there's more, underneath, literally.

Beneath these rocks are remmants of the underground cities of Cappadocia. Multi-level underground cities that saved generations of Cappadocians from invading armies. A march down the caves is not for the claustrophic.  As entire families fled the fairy chimneys to hide in the underground cities, there were spaces for cooking, prayer, even for hanging people, could be traitors or enemies. We'll never know.

The geography still remains a testimony to the regions' uniqueness but the history remains sketchy, at best. Did the enemy warriors ever find out about the underground cities? Did the underground cities get used as bunkers during the World Wars? Answers we'll never know. No one wrote an Anne Frank's diary in these caves, after all. So, we can imagine. Just imagine.

And wonder. We have not seen the last of these caves. As late as December 2014, a new archaeological site has been discovered at Nevsehir, by accident, by a building company.

It's almost like you could try hitting a nail on the wall and by accident, stumble onto a new underground city. An archaeologist's dream for sure. Give me a shovel and let me dig, I say.

But coming back to the rocks. They aren't sharing any of the secrets. Maybe, over their rock gossip, they discuss the old tales one more time. We can only see them, and what better way than to float above in a hot air balloon waiting for the sunrise to paint the entire panorama in a mystical, magical, mythical glow?

A new dawn breaks. The faces change. Visitors change. New travellers come and marvel at the rock formations. From a distance, it feels like the rocks are having an evening get-together and joking about all that is changing around with, with them; a nose that got shaved off, a head that got tilted - exfoliation they call it, all part of the game. Tomorrow is a new day. As always.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

A Rain Song

Drenched, soaking,
I enter the café,
Pocket empty of notes.

“A grande latte,
Make that a large”
“Cash or card?”  she asks
“A poem, actually.
I’ll pay with a poem”
She stares at me,
I need that coffee. I start,
My poem song.

At the corner table,
He sits alone.
I watch him,
Watch the rain.
The notes dance,
The notes fly,
A smile stains his eyes,
The coffee is still warm.

Drenched, soaking,
I leave the café,

Heart filled with the right notes.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Sun never sets in the land of social media

A conversation between a new content wave and the Sun of social media marketing

"What if I forget to create ripples?" asks the newbie

"What if I forget to shine, for even a minute?" 

"What happens when it turns dark and still?" 

"O there's never a still moment here. We are omnichannel, we are omnipresent. Welcome to our land."

"See, a ripple, a ripple! I just had a ripple."

"We call that a like. Quick, back to work. I need to spread the good news"

Monday, 9 February 2015

Jaipur with a dal kachori

You might have a myriad reasons to visit Jaipur. From shopping for Jutis and searching for bits of history in the old palaces to seeing the writers take celebrity centre-stage at Jaipur Literature Festival.
Chances are, you would also make a trip to the much hyped Chowki Dani and feast on a multi-course traditional meal.

On the way, you'll probably make a quick stop to listen to the folk singer singing his poignant song to an unknown audience. And you'll return, your hearts and minds full of the beauty and warmth of Jaipur.

But stay back, just another while to have the dal kachoris of Jaipur. Crispy with the lingering taste of lentils that melt in the sweetness of the chutney, the fresh, hot kachoris are a perfectly sinful way to start your day.

Of course, if you have spent some time in West Bengal, you might remember its Kolkata cousin. Dalpuri. Fried puri, stuffed inside with ground lentils. A must-have feature in every sweet shop, they were a part of every Kolkata born person's weekend sweet shop binge.

Similar in taste, maybe but completely different in the way they are eaten. But you don't need to have eaten Dalpuri to enjoy the Dal Kachori. That is, by itself, quite a food wonder.

So next time you are in Jaipur and you see the snaking queue in front of the Jaipur Literature Festival to hear ahem...Shobha De or maybe Mr. Bhagat, maybe you'll sneak off for a quick bite of dal kachori.

If you stay back at the road-side shop for Jalebi and onion kachori, well, don't blame me:)

Basic Instinct Redefined

Basic Instinct Redefined

“How mean was the mean”
Median complained while
Mode was busy choosing
Most popular selfie of the day.

“Is anyone normal here”
Skewness whined.
Kurtosis jumped high,
In his usual leptokurtic way,

To avoid being caught in
Random sampling gone wrong.
Even as Poisson and Binomial
Tossed coins to have their say.

Standard deviation strode in
"I just can't deal with MAD
Tell him to keep his distance.
Variance, you have to make him pay"

But suddenly, there was silence.
Was that a knock on basic stats door?
“You people are too basic. No instinct.
I am big data. Time for you to pray.”