Paan, My Love

Ha – ah – ha … love them both : the man and the outlet !

No one can make a great paan except with love.

Shot in winter time, rather dark evening.

There is a queue, if did not notice.

Ah, Paan, my love !

Have not partaken as frequently

but the feeling for you is undiminshed …


The Pan Outlet

Journal : Hajr – e – Aswad, Kaba

This blogpost is prompted by quite some interest in a pic that wasn’t formally posted as a standalone topic.

Hajr – e – Aswad means … a strange, black stone.

But what is it doing in Kaba ?


In fact, what is Kaba doing in Islam that vows on a formless Allah, a pictureless Prophet and idol -free worship … that has coloured the planet red with the blood of millions of innocent people over a millenia, and more, just because they believed differently !

What is interesting is that the ” Strange Black Stone ” is an idol greatly revered by pre-Islamic people, including Mohammed’s own tribe and family. It was insatlled in the temple as the principle deity, among 360 of them in the shrine at Kaba, which used to host a constant of pilgrims and annual fairs with the participation of leading poets and thinkers of the day.

Some say that stone was brought from Hind, which could be anywhere south of Hindukush and the Himalayas. On the other hand it is uncannilly similar to a ” Shiva Linga “, the emblematic representaion of the subtle energy in the universe. There must be millions of them in India actually worshipped by all and sundry followers of Sanatan or Hindu faith. Even the word “aswad” is directly formed out of the Sanskrit term for “non-white” … ashweta.

Read the wiki post [ ] and other writeups on the web for how coveted it was, both before and after the Hijra. It was even “abducted and held out for a ransom.”

Have a closer look at the strange, black stone here …

and see if you demystify it !


For more of what I have written about Islam, how it has been in the Indian experience over the course of over 1000 years, and it behaves today …

Journal : View To Heaven

Bangalore Pics – Part I


Indeed, it’s the view that invites me to capture … as opposed to details. That’s for the scientists and the artists, which I am not.

What draws my aesthetics is the view, the ” all ” of it … shapes, colours, silhouettes, life, contours, motion, contrasts, hues … collaged together to that wholesome impact.

That is ” I !” The Thing, the Image and the Self  is ONE.