7 Jul 2019

Poem: Clouds of compassion

Poem: Clouds of compassion


No one has time to look at the sky
To dance in the rain
Kiss the moon a good night

'More' is the word
The hearts cry aloud
Drop it and your world's gonna be alright


All are plugged-in
Web-drunk day and night
When dreams and crops burn ever so bright


It's not gonna rain
Said the crying sky
Clouds of compassion just passed by


Listen to the poem


- The Last Nomad

6 Jul 2019

When I have time by The Last Nomad


Clutter and chaos. Sounds synonymous with modern? Here's a journey about unwinding from the popular and ambitious in my new story, When I have time.



Read on Instamojo: bit.ly/WhenIhavetime. Download for free or pay what you want.

Don't forget to rate and review on Goodreads: bit.ly/goodreads_wiht

- The Last Nomad

21 Jun 2019

Powai Lake Petition reaches 120+ | United our will can work like magic

This very minute as you are reading the post, the petition is silently spreading across Mumbai and beyond, through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, emails, SMSes and word of mouth. What began with a  single sign has 120+ supporters!

How did it begin?
It was an inspiring volunteering experience on 5 June 2019, World Environment Day organised by Nisarg Swasthya Sansthan (NSS) and Abhyuday, IIT Bombay.

How can you make a difference?
Powai Lake wouldn't have been a great promenade sans its amazing bio-diversity. There are more than 50 species of birds spotted (Source: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S41024813). The Indian Marsh Crocodile, a highly endangered species, which is a schedule-I species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, have made Powai lake their natural habitat for many decades. (Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/mumbai-s-powai-lake-is-dying-becoming-toxic-for-its-fish/story-2GlxTkjchN9XBwL3VJ2tCJ.html). According to the Maharashtra State Angling Association (MSAA), there are 40 crocodiles in the lake. (source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/bmc-digs-trench-at-powai-lake-to-stop-crocodiles-from-walking-out/story-ReOzo1FRguI2js7I72W7TL.html).

However, if we don't act now, Mumbai will quickly lose a green destination. There are more people around you who can make a difference. Sign and share the petition with at least 5 such friends: http://bit.ly/CleanMumbaiCampaign. Request them to continue the chain. United, our will can truly work like magic.

Related:
Read more about my volunteering experience in this post: http://bit.ly/WED_5June.

- The Last Nomad

10 Jun 2019

The Art of Forgetting

If you like to read books and grow fond of them, you can probably understand how tough it is to part with them. And fate doesn't spare you from the necessary evil of sorting and cleaning the book stock you painstakingly (of course carelessly) built.


Around 4-5 years ago, I had bought a story book, 33 Stories by Tagore, from the hidden treasures of a second-hand book mart. Not quite impressed by the translation, which seemed quite literal back then, I wondered why I still had the book. The reason was probaby the label, Tagore.

Inside this (disliked) book was a leaf of ficus religiosa (sacred fig or peepal tree) which I had kept to be transformed into a completely translucent one.

The leaf looked so beautiful that I couldn't stop gazing. With all its delicate and tiny network of veins visible, another meaning of the word intricate was revealed in that moment. What made it so attractive? Was it those empty cells or the veins themselves? What gives meaning, purpose and beauty to life? Is the events or the endless span of silence between them?

Sometimes it is good to forget things you started, as by not messing you give them a chance to meet you when you are ready. And then when they arrive back, they gift you an entirely new perspective to perceive life with clarity.




- The Last Nomad

7 Jun 2019

Sign the petition for a Clean, Green and Safe Mumbai


MCGM: Ban Smoking and Drinking at the Powai Lake Promenade

Sign and share the petition with your friends and family and make this a success! We deserve a cleaner Mumbai!

http://chng.it/wTZgKztJnh


Update: 8 June



- The Last Nomad

5 Jun 2019

A Drop in The Ocean: Happy World Environment Day!



Today is going to be one of the most memorable days for Indians: a day when we celebrate the peaceful festival of Ramzan Eid (Eid-ul-Fitr), a day when India plays South Africa in its first match in the ICC World Cup and last but not the least, today is World Environment Day.

Although most hands will celebrate and contribute today to the environment by texting, tweeting and taking selfies, it has fortunately been a different experience for me.

Thanks to the Mega Cleaning and Plantation Drive at the 120-year-old Powai Lake by Abhyuday, IIT Bombay (http://www.abhyudayiitb.org/) and Nisarg Swasthya Sansthan (http://nisargswasthya.org/), Powai, I could experience something which triggered a series of questions in my mind.

After all the volunteers were divided into multiple teams by 7 a.m., we began our work with an oath to keep our surrounding clean, followed by the National Anthem. The presence of newly elected MP, Shri. Manoj Kotak was a welcome sight.

Here's the treasure that our teams uncovered from the shore: hundreds (yes, not an exaggeration!) of booze and cold drink glass bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottles, knives, birthday cracker candles, tags, confetti and spoons, cigarette packets, supari and other intoxicant sachets, heaps of clothes, plastic sacks, contraceptives, dozens of frames of gods and goddess, religious idols and casts. Apologies if I missed something! Most of it seems to have been dumped since months, as roots of trees had almost covered it. Beyond all the cry about water hyacinth infestation in the lake, who would have imagined this plight of the water body which is a home to several wetland birds and crocodiles?






After the cleaning drive, the teams assembled together and planted about 300 coconuts saplings and other plants on the shore. Although this effort maybe a drop in the ocean (lake, in this case), looking back at the clean promenade added an extra inch of satisfaction.


What did this drive do for me? In addition to making new friends, it made me realise that all we fall short of is being sensitive to life around us. Before we, as earth, return to earth, let's not forget to treat the elements that make us who we are with respect. After all, it's not Nature vs Us. We are nature.






Before leaving, glimpse through the lives of some green warriors of India.

Did I miss someone? Share a link to their work as comments below.


- The Last Nomad

21 May 2019

Poem: Death’s embrace


Voice quivers and words shiver, as trembling hands come together
Eyes grow moist staring at the loss and ears are deaf to the gloomy pathos
The spectators speak in hushed tones, trying to enact compassion
The moment when a beloved dies, escapes quicker than sand
Mind wants them back in this moment from the distant land
Their touch and laughter, their tears and tales
All I’m left to wonder is why now the tragedy befell
No matter how weary death seems, I must move on
In death’s embrace, life says live on


- The Last Nomad

Dedicated to all the loving people who have left us, only with memories.

Photo Courtesy: Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

9 May 2019

Poem: In your being




Through your eyes, the moonlight gleams,
Through your breath, the ocean heaves,
In your embrace, lies the fragrance of the mist,
In your being, the creator is unveiled.

- The Last Nomad

19 Apr 2019

जागतिक पुस्तक दिन विशेष | लोकप्रभा लेख


युनेस्को आयोजित जागतिक पुस्तक दिन १९९५ पासून दरवर्षी २३ एप्रिल रोजी साजरा केला जातो. वाचन, प्रकाशन आणि कॉपीराईट अशा अनेक विषयांकडे लक्ष वेधण्याच्या दृष्टीने हा दिवस महत्वाचा ठरतो.

१४५५ साली जरी जोहान्न गुटेनबर्गने पहिले पुस्तक छापले असले तरी त्यापूर्वीपासून अक्षरवेडाने झपाटलेला माणूस विविध माध्यमे वापरून आपली बौद्धिक आणि मानसिक भूक भागवत होता. पण खरा कहानी मे ट्विस्ट आला तो डिजीटल क्रांती झाल्यावर. या क्रांतीमुळे वाचक आणि लेखकांवर झालेल्या परिणामाचा आढावा घेण्याच्या प्रयत्नातून सदर लेख दिनांक २६ एप्रिल २०१९ च्या लोकप्रभा अंकात प्रसिद्ध झालाय.

लेख वाचण्याकरिता या संकेतस्थळावर क्लिक करा आणि आपला प्रतिसाद खालील कॉमेंट बॉक्स मध्ये जरूर कळवा.




- The Last Nomad

15 Apr 2019

Review: Kali Jogin - Marathi

Kali Jogin - Marathi Kali Jogin - Marathi by Narayan Dharap
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

धारपांच्या कथांवर आजवर बऱ्याच दूरदर्शन मालिका, चित्रपट आणि नाटके बेतली आहेत. तरीही त्या कथा मूळ स्वरुपात वाचण्याचा आनंद वेगळाच आहे. मराठी साहित्यात भय कथा किंवा गूढ कथा लिहिणारे लेखक फार कमी आहेत. त्यात अशा साहित्याकडे पाहण्याचा इतर लेखकांचा, टीकाकारांचा आणि वाचकांचाही दृष्टीकोन वेगळा असतो. या साहित्याला पुष्कळदा सामान्य किंवा लोकप्रिय साहित्य समजून दुय्यम दर्जा दिला जातो.

पण गूढ कथा लिहिण्याचा उद्देश केवळ वाचकाच्या मनात भीती निर्माण करणे हाच समजलो तर ते योग्य ठरणार नाही. धारपांच्या "काळी जोगीण" या कथेविषयी इतके नक्कीच सांगता येईल कि भीती च्या कक्षा ओलांडून, ही कथा तुम्हाला तुमच्या अवतीभवती घडणाऱ्या गोष्टींचा पुन्हा एकदा तर्काच्या आधारावर पडताळून पाडण्यास भाग पडेल.

View all my reviews

30 Mar 2019

हे बंध रेशमाचे [अतिथी लेखक: गिरीश सुखठणकर]



१० ऑक्टोबर १९७८ ची संध्याकाळ मी कधीही विसरू शकणार नाही. माझी पत्नी सौ. शुभदा आणि मी, गंगाधर निवास, दादर च्या गॅलरी मध्ये उभे राहून पावसाची मजा पाहत होतो. हवेतला गारवा मनातील उत्कंठेला गुदगुल्या करत होता. मला शुभदा बऱ्याच दिवसापासून आवडायची पण तिला कसे विचारावे या तगमगितच १ वर्ष निघून गेले. पाऊस हा प्रेमवीरांचा आवडता ऋतू का असेल याचा प्रत्यय येत होता. एकमेकांबद्दल प्रकट न केलेल्या भावना या ऋतूत अंकुरित होत होत्या. त्या दिवशी मात्र मी धीर करून शुभदाला विचारले, 'माझ्याशी लग्न करशील का?'. तिनेही लगेच होकार दिला. आपल्या माणसाच्या फक्त समोर असण्यानेच चिंब पावसातही एक वेगळीच उब जाणवू लागते याचा अनुभव मी घेत होतो. संपूर्ण आभाळ ढगाळ असतानाहि शुभदाच्या चेहरा पाहून माझ्या मनात, छोटा गंधर्वांचं, 'चांद माझा हा हसरा' हे पद आपोआप वाजू लागलं होत. त्यावेळी तिचे वय होते १६ वर्षे आणि माझे २१ वर्षे. दोघांच्याही घरून होकार आला आणि ३० मार्च १९८० रोजी आमचा विवाह झाला.  पण लग्न म्हणजे नेमकी काय चीज असते हे समजावणारी खरी गम्मत पुढे घडणार होती. शुभमंगल सावधान!
लग्नापासून आम्ही कायम माझ्या आईवडिलांबरोबर राहिलो. माझी मोठा ब्लॉक घेण्याची ऐपत असतानाही, शुभदा केवळ माझ्या आईवडिलांच्या आग्रहासाठी गंगाधर निवास चाळी मध्ये सन २००१ पर्यंत कुठलीही कुरबुर न करता राहिली. काही शब्दांची आपल्याला जरी तोंड ओळख असली तरी त्यांचा अर्थ कळण्यासाठी आयुष्य खऱ्या अर्थाने जगावं लागत हे आज कळतंय.

माझ्या आईवडिलांच्या आजारपणात कोणतीही तक्रार न करता तिने त्यांची सेवा केली. माझे वडील ७ वर्षे अर्धांगवायूमुळे आजारी होते त्यांचीही सर्व सेवा केली. या सर्व गोष्टी चालू असताना माझ्या दीप्ती व रिद्धी या दोन्ही मुलींना मोठे करण्याची जवाबदारी सुद्धा तिने योग्य प्रकारे पार पाडली. हि तारेवरची कसरत करत असताना स्वतःच्या शांत टेक्स हा साड्यांचा व्यवसायही ती सांभाळत होती. खऱ्या अर्थाने ती अष्टभुजा होती कि काय असा विचार आता मनात येतो आणि माझे मलाच हसू येते. महाराष्ट्र व्यापारी पेठ, दादर, इथे तिने सलग १९ वर्षे हा व्यवसाय यशस्वीरित्या करून घरखर्चालाही हातभार लावला. माझे मॅट्रिक नंतरचे अपुरे राहिलेले शिक्षणसुद्धा केवळ तिच्याच पाठिंब्यामुळे मी पूर्ण करू शकलो. प्रत्येक यशस्वी पुरुषामागे एक स्री असते हे माझ्या बाबतीत खोटे ठरते, कारण शुभदा कायम, मागे नसून, माझी सोबती होती. उलट तिनेच मला मार्ग दाखवला असे म्हणणेच योग्य ठरेल.

आईवडिलांच्या निधनानंतर आम्ही ठाण्याला नवीन जागी राहायला आलो. नंतर दोन्ही मुलींची लग्ने झाली. आज आम्हाला एक नातू आणि एक नात आहे. हा आमचा समृद्ध कुटुंबवृक्ष वाढवण्याचे श्रेय अर्थातच तिला जाते.
मी नुकताच निवृत्त झालो यावर माझाच विश्वास बसत नाहीये कारण शुभदा कधीच निवृत्त होणार नाही याचा प्रत्यय मला रोज येतो. सध्या मी तिच्या नवीन मसाले उत्पादनाच्या व्यवसायाला हातभार लावतो.
आम्हा दोघांमध्ये सध्या एक गमतीशीर अलिखित करार आहे. तो म्हणजे मी जेव्हा घरी येतो तेव्हा दरवाजा तीच उघडणार. खरच, दमून घरी आल्यावर तिचा चेहरा बघून सर्व शीण निघून जातो. तुझ्या असण्याने प्रेमाचा अर्थ समजला...' याहून वेगळा या अनुभवाचा अर्थ तरी काय काढावा? जर आम्ही दोघेही बाहेरून एकत्र घरी आलो तर ती दार उघडते आणि आत जाते. नंतर मी बेल वाजवतो व ती दार उघडते. तिला मी नेहमी सांगतो, ज्या दिवशी मला चावीने घरचे दार उघडायला लागेल, तो माझ्यासाठी सर्वात वाईट दिवस असेल.

संपूर्ण आयुष्याकडे पुन्हा मागे वळून पाहताना, असा एकही महत्वाचा क्षण दिसत नाही जिथे ती सोबत न्हवती. माझे आईवडील, मुली आणि माझ्यासाठी तिने आजवर घेतलेल्या अथक परिश्रमांसाठी मानावे तेवढे आभार कमी आहेत. अनेक कथांमध्ये पत्नीने पतीसाठी केलेल्या त्यागाचे गोडवे गायले गेले आहेत. या पुण्यापासून आम्ही पुरुष मात्र कायम वंचित राहिलो आहोत. म्हणूनच वटपौर्णिमेला जशी ती जन्मोजन्मी हाच नवरा मिळू दे हि प्रार्थना करते तसेच मी हि रोज देवापुढे प्रार्थना करतो कि शुभदाच मला जन्मोजन्मी पत्नी म्हणून लाभू दे!

- गिरीश सुखठणकर

आज गिरीश-शुभदा यांच्या लग्नाचा ३९ वा वाढदिवस! या सुखी दाम्पत्यास अनेक शुभेच्छा!

- The Last Nomad

27 Mar 2019

Review: किरवंत

किरवंत किरवंत by Premanand Gajvi
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

जातीच्या नावाने वर्षानुवर्षे होणारे राजकारण वगळले तर, जातीबद्दल कुतूहल असणार्यापैकी मी आहे. नाही, जातीभेद वगैरे मानण्यासाठी नव्हे तर मुळात विशिष्ट जात म्हटली की एका वेगळ्या संस्कृतीचे दर्शन घडते म्हणून. आपण मराठीत क्लासिफिकेशन म्हणतो तेच काम जात करते. नंतर आपल्या करंटेपणामुळे ती नासली.

आपल्यातल्या भेदांचा आनंद घेण्याची संधी जात देते. आता संगीत आणि खाद्यसंस्कृतीचंच उदाहरण घ्या ना. गायकाचा आवाज विशिष्ट जातीचाच असला की आपल्याला खूप भावतो. आज भाजी मिळून नाही आली, भाजीची जात वेगळी होती असं आधीच्या पिढीत सहज म्हटलं जायचं. रंगाची जात, कापडाची जात, मातीची जात अशा असंख्य ठिकाणी ही जात अवतरते. हा शब्दप्रयोग करताना मुळीच कोणतीही अस्पृश्यतेची पुसटशीही भावना नाहीये. तुमच्या माझ्यातल्या गुणांचे वेगळेपण स्वीकारण्याचा मोकळेपणा मात्र नक्कीच आहे. तुम्ही आम्ही सगळे समान असा बेगडी आविर्भाव मुळीच नाहीये.

पण ह्याच भेदांचा आधार घेऊन जेव्हा एखाद्याचे अधिकार डावलले जातात तेव्हा रूप घेतं किरवंत सारखं वेगळ्याच धाटणीतलं नाटक.

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12 Mar 2019

Introspection की आत्मचिंतन?

पाहता पाहता ७०-७२ वर्षात, हळू हळू आपण ग्लोबल होताना आपलं लोकल असणं विसरत गेलो हे कळलंच नाही.

संस्कृतीचं culture होऊन ती वास्तुसंग्रहलयात नटून बसली आहे. कचकड्याच्या वस्तू हाताळताना आपण विचारही तसाच करू लागलो. जुनं द्या फेकून, नवीन घ्या कर्ज काढून असा बराचसा प्रवास होताना दिसतोय.

कोशिंमबीर म्हटलं की जुनाट आणि salad with honey dressing काय ते trending. असो. आता याला  Introspection म्हणावं की आत्मचिंतन?


- The Last Nomad

8 Mar 2019

The best gift on International Women's Day!




" Not all things experienced can be understood... Not all things understood can be expressed"

It's so true in the case of the latest book I read " The Last Nomad" and it's left me speechless.. The book has been wonderfully written by Heramb Sukhathankar and tells the interesting story of Rahul and Ryan whose lives are intertwined in a way that you need to read it to know the story.


Goosebumps is what you shall get in certain situations... written in such a detailed way where you will be right there next to Ryan listening to what he says and seeing and feeling what he feels!!! Kudos and waiting for many more books to be released!!

- Lakshimi Shenoy (Goodreads)

What can be more wonderful a gift on the International Women's Day than this special appreciation from a woman. Thank you, Lakshimi!

Here are some of readers' favourite excerpts and a poem from the novella.


"Although every woman knew that the ruler was only exploiting her man’s helplessness, being dependent for food and safety, she couldn’t muster the courage to convince him about it."

"No matter how hard he tried in the previous week to make it tidy, it still lacked a woman’s
touch.
"

"I have always found understanding women to be beyond my grasp. My mama was one such woman I long to meet."

The poem...

"It was the promised poem, written with her eyeliner.

If I Were a Woman

If I were a woman
I would want to be cared
Not handled


The pleasure you seek in me
I would love to give more
When your eyes speak of the promise of trust
 

I hate being at your mercy
More than your support
I long for your company
 

Never was I lonelier before
Now without you
Loneliness is solitude
"

Use the Discount Code WOMAN to get your author-signed paperback copy at 10% discount on Instamojo (bit.ly/thelastnomad) or scan the QR code below.



Are you from the Kindle gang? Follow bit.ly/tln_kindle.



Don't forget to add it on your Goodreads shelf!

- The Last Nomad

15 Feb 2019

The day I learnt creative writing from 50 teachers!

"Imagine a room with 100 windows and a person peeping in through each window. Within the room is an object of which only one view/face is visible from a window. What should the observers do to view the object in its entirety?"

Thus began the session, nudging the participants to ponder over the scenario, and wondering what has it got to do with creative writing. "Isn't trying to look at the process of creative writing like this scenario? You are trying to grasp the entire view of some thing you may or may not have even a glimpse of. How can this be done without shattering the windows? The easiest way to do this is to move from the window to within the room; from being an observer to a participant. This workshop is aimed at facilitating the shift!"

The workshop held on 2nd February at D.G. Ruparel College, was organised by the multi-lingual student writers' group अkshaर.


From exploring the concept of creativity to creative writing, the session progressed forth by focusing on the fundamentals of the writing process. The relation between senses (hearing and sight), meaning, and words was explored through individual activities, followed by discussion.



The workshop progressed through interspersed interaction with participants on the process of creative writing. "How to deal with the writer's block" was one segment which all the participants thoroughly seem to have enjoyed.



The group activity designed around 'Navrasas - the nine emotions' acted as a good culminating point to all the previous segments.



The time after certificate distribution and vote of thanks, turned into a memorable evening. One of the students, Mrunmayee Damle presented a song by whistelling with such perfection that it was really mesmerizing! Students buying copies of my novella, The Last Nomad, turned into an unplanned book signing event. Another highlight of this workshop was receiving the handmade bookmarks and the pop-up greeting card which had snaps of my Ruparel years.


The patience of students happily sitting through the extended hour and participating enthusiastically was a good feedback in this second session on Creative Writing. After analyzing students' feedback from the survey form, I am working on developing specialized sessions on creative writing.

Seeing the blooming Aboli/Crossandra plant every morning, which was given during the inaugration of the workshop, will always remind me of this day where I learnt from 50 teachers at the same time.







- The Last Nomad

4 Feb 2019

The India Pen Show | Day 2


Nothing could have been more wonderful than visiting an international fountain pen show right within your city limits, where you can touch a boru (reed pen) and a Parker Limited Edition (worth a fortune!) at the same time. It was like swimming in a sea of colourful pens and inks with fellow fountain pen lovers.



Organised as a tribute To Kaifi Azmi (on his Birth Centenary) at the Nehru Centre, the show was indeed delightful. Interspersed with workshops on calligraphy and poetry, there were stalls from the most amazing pen collectors and traders from the country, with the top most brands exhibiting their collections.


The highlight for me was meeting Noopur Datye (Type Designer, Co-Founder) from Aksharaya and learning about Devanagari Calligraphy, a subject I have been curious about from quite some time post Girish Dalvi's (also a Co-Founder of Aksharaya) lecture in a LateX workshop.


I should not miss telling you about meeting Mr. M Pandurangan, from the family that keeps ink pens relevant, today known as the owner of Ranga Pens from Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, which has become an international brand.

Ranga pens


Here are some glimpses from the show and my collectibles: Badges + Reed Pen + Fountain Pen + Devanagari Calligraphy book!








My collectibles



I am also trying to restore grandpa's "Sheaffer Feather Touch 500 Fountain Pen with 14K Gold Nib" and other fountain pens stolen by time but more on that in another post.

Know more about The India Pen Show and Aksharaya(Letter Conscious People).

- The Last Nomad