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Colours from History

Sergei Mikhailovich Produkin-Gorskii, Photographer to the TsarsStumbled across The Empire that was Russia, an exhibition of a photographic record of turn-of-the-century Russia by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. This guy was a genius who figured out a way to make colour photographs way before they were invented. He used different coloured filters – red, green and blue – to take pictures of his subjects in rapid succession, capturing each colour on a separate plate. He then used these plates along with a light projection system to display them. read more

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A “Literary” Aside

Jassie Gift (or is it Kay Kay) screaming “IR-ettu pallukkaari” before being drowned out by others shouting “randakka randakka” is definitely not something that you would imagine as continuing a classical Tamil tradition. Yet, strangely, it is.

This is A. K. Ramanujam’s “translation” of Kuruntokai 119, from here.

What He Said

As a little white snake
with lovely stripes on its young body
troubles the jungle elephant
this slip of a girl
her teeth like sprouts of new rice
her wrists stacked with bangles
troubles me. read more

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Emerson to Elck

Elck’s beautifully simple poem reminded me for some reason of one of my personal favourites:

Emerson’s Brahma

If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near;
Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished gods to me appear;
And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
I am the hymn the Brahmin sings. read more

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Barefoot in the Park

Watched Evam’s Barefoot in the Park last night. It was a quite a wonderful show, and the talent of the actors was undeniable.

I watched a play after nearly three years. I had almost forgotten the feeling of watching theatre in Chennai – it is a unique and powerfully moving experience. The audience and the players connect palpably, more so in a performance like Barefoot in the Park, where part of the performance extended off the stage into the aisle, and also outside the auditorium. The Sivagami Pethachi auditorium was cosy and compact, and the Chennai theatre audience was as empathetic as ever. read more

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Haast’s Eagles, Lammergeyers and Painting the Weather

I was reading of this great big prehistoric eagle that used to hunt the giant moas on New Zealand – Haast’s eagle, when I was reminded of how fascinated Sriram was when we first read about the lammergeyer. We both have been fascinated by large birds of prey, and it was only natural that I should look up the Australian wedge-tailed eagle and the harpy eagle. While I was at it, I also stumbled upon the Philippine monkey eating eagle! Of course, I am writing Sriram about this!

The BBC weather website gives an interesting twist to met-watching. “Painting the Weather” is “a major art show, only online.” Only thing is, it sucks up major time. read more

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Aah Sarah!

“I Am Not Yours”
by Sarah Teasdale

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love — put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

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