The Eyes of St. Peter on the Metro de Madrid

The Tears of St. Peter (El Greco 1587-1596)

I’ve lost count now, of the amount of times I’ve been captivated by a moment and the undying regret at not capturing and preserving it on camera.

And so it happened again – this time the location was the Metro de Madrid – and yet again I felt the full brunt of the anguish at not having the ‘right’ (whatever, that means) camera to record this unusual moment that I would never experience again.

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The Cult of New Year’s: Delusion, Pandemonium and Hedonism

This date of 31st December – which in essence is like any other unremarkable, run-of-the-mill day in the western calendar, in so much that it is has a span of 24 hours, beginning with a sunrise and a sunset in between – has actually been elevated into a cult.

It has been fashioned into an extraordinary day carrying excessive symbolic value, simply on the basis that it is the day and night preceding the beginning of the New Year on the Gregorian calendar – which obviously, like any modern man-made calendar is a construction from a chosen point in time, in this case after the birth of Christ (AD), and not actually the 31st/01st of the year since the dawn of human civilisation.

But even if I discard this fact, there are still other interesting revelations about human behaviour and the importance this day is bestowed.

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After all, I only have my eyes

Le de ke apne paas faqat ek nazar hi to hai…

(Sahir Ludhianvi)

Sahir Painting

I generally try to avoid adding whole posts that are simply a lengthy duplication of what (little I have read of) other great thinkers, writers and artists. Obviously, this is not because I do not value their creations, and certainly not because of any delusions of grandeur where I believe my words are more significant – far, far from it!

I feel my simplistic and amateur writing has some value to myself. It is extremely personal and depicts my world at particular moments in time, as seen from my eyes. This space, like my other creative endeavours is a mingling of my memories, experiences, feelings, observations and dreams – my realities from the past, present and future.

However, once in a while, I come across literature, or an anecdote that I find so truthful that it connects with me on an emotional and even spiritual level. It speaks to my inner most self in such a way that I feel the words are the unspoken thoughts that I could not express due to my limited talents. It is those time, that I am compelled to share it and the feelings of longing and love that they arouse within me. Continue reading

Why do we fear silence and solitude?

Eric Lacombe – The Weight of Silence

“We come from a generation of people who need their TV or stereo playing all the time. These people so scared of silence. These soundaholics, these quietophobics.”

(Chuck Paluhniak)

“My solitude does not depend on the presence or the absence of people, on the contrary, I hate who steals my solititude without in exchange offering me true company.”

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

I’ve often wondered why so many of us are afraid of silence and solitude?

Is it because we have been surrounded by artificial types of noise from such a young age, that we now crave its presence at every moment in our adult lives?

Or is it that people simply fear sitting on their own, with themselves. And, that any type of noise – even it is of little substance and value – gives them a temporary, superficial feeling of company.

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Abbas Kiarostami: The Cineaste, The Philosopher

“If you look at the four seasons, each season brings fruit. In summer, there’s fruit, in autumn, too. Winter brings different fruit and spring, too. No mother can fill her fridge with such a variety of fruit for her children. No mother can do as much for her children as God does for His creatures.

You want to refuse all that?
You want to give it all up?

You want to give up the taste of cherries?”

(Mr Bagheri in Taste of Cherry)

Anything I can possibly write praising the late, great poet of cinema Abbas Kiarostami will be an epic disappointment. One, because I lack the finesse to write well, and secondly because the art that this grand filmmaker and artistic polymath has left us behind is beyond the limitations of words, it’s beauty is simply inexpressible.

Although, I had only seen ‘Taste of Cherry’ (quite a few years ago) and ‘Close-up’ (last February), prior to his untimely passing, I was so moved by just these two films that I felt compelled to say something – but I just didn’t know how or what. Continue reading