Thursday, December 9, 2010

Photo Essay: Delhi Dreaming

At last night's launch of Waking is Another Dream, Canada-based Eelam poet Cheran, said--almost in passing--that since going into exile, he never dreams about the cities he lives in, only of home. It somehow didn't sound nostalgic when he said it, just terribly sad. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

By the time I fell asleep, I was no longer thinking about about war, exile or genocide, but of things closer to home. Where do the dreams we dream right here in Delhi come from? What do they cost? Who is trying to sell them to us? How are they changing? Are any of them shared?

More green photo essays here.


  1. wow!!! you brought it "home" so clearly!! :-)

    been thinking of this often, and esp lately, yes... a city where you step out of a luxurious resort only to see a beggar is crying, shrieking with incongruity... how long do we turn a blind eye to it??

  2. Saying that pictures are beautiful will be brutal! But yes they hit the right spot. Just missing Delhi but exploring the new dimensions in Bombay...

  3. @Shruti, thanks. I certainly have not figured this out, but the first thing we need to do is to refuse to close our eyes, no? Then only will we begin to figure out what to do.

    @Kabir, good to hear from you. Hope you are well in Bombay.

  4. While skimming through the photos, for a moment, I thought these were taken in Bombay. Which gave a new turn to Cheran's comment (well, the part where he says he doesn't dream of the cities he's lived in) at the start of the post. The visual content of our cities are so generic, perhaps, we can't tell them apart any more. We can't see them as things in themselves, only as derivatives of some abstract City which will always have a plastic-clogged black naala, gnarled trees outside garages or workshops, flyover hutments (our urban take on the troll-under-the-bridge myth, maybe?), etc.

  5. @K--This is an interesting point. Maybe homogeneity is one of the things that comes with modernisation--like it or not. (Mostly not, I think).

  6. Maybe the idea is to highlight the universality of these themes, but could you please label where the phot was taken for those of us who miss Delhi?


What do you think?