The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday 30 April 2012

When the dreams try to seduce yet again..

I have gone,
To the extremes 
That I never, 
Welcome dreams 

I feel again
Breaking inside 
I get back,
To my inside
My soul scrambles 
To get my calm 

That fleeting calm, 
In the unperturbed, 
Moments stuck, 
To the handicap of, 
Its worth it

It leads me back,
To my eternal chaos 
With its beauty of,
To bury me inside 

Yes, it has a, 
Beauty of its own, 
To connect me 
To that fleeting calm 
Taking me 
Far and wide
For a ride, 
To revisit,
All the extremes

It reminds me of, 
The naked foreplay
When the dreams, 
Try to seduce,
Yet again

I feel the need, 
To get soaked, 
In the extremes, 
My soul has 
Traversed, on the 
Journey to me

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Sunday 29 April 2012

Shri Ashtabhuja Devi Temple

Shri Ashtabhuja Devi Temple, Maa Vindhyavasini Dham, Vindhyachal Range, Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh 

Shri Ashtabhuja Devi Temple - way to the inner sanctum

Shri Ashtabhuja Devi Temple - outer view

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -  

Saturday 28 April 2012

Night gets younger at a Ganga ghat

Random memories..
(Cellphone photographs)  

A night begins its day at the Dasaswamedh Ghat at Ganga in Varanasi. At many of the Ganga ghats, especially in Summer, as the evening calls it a day, the night comes out of the dark, to spread its wings, to get younger with the increasing number of visitors looking for some quiet moments in the company of the eternal flow of Mother Ganga. 

                    ©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Friday 27 April 2012


My reflections on life – in quotes (XX)    

is the attribute that defines who you are;
what is the path you would take;
how far would be the limit that you would define
that doesn't harm your spiritual-self
and the one that doesn't encroach
upon the aspiration of others"

                   ©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Thursday 26 April 2012


God may be everywhere but certainly not in some temples.

Though I am not a regular temple visitor, I can very easily recall incidents of absolute demolition of anything spiritual at many shrine places thronged by hundreds of thousands of devotees every year. While standing in the queue, you get more than enough time to ponder over the degradation of the ethical human existence to the extent that one class is feeding over the other in the name of god. Devotees have different reasons to visit a religious place but the priest class in most of the famous Hindu and Muslim shrines are nothing but the agents trading your faith for some easy bucks.

Religion is the most profitable business. Isn’t it? Ask the likes of Nirmal Babas and Asharam Bapus.

I really feel alienated when I see a priest forcing you to offer this much even if you’re not willing to; when I am approached by some members of this group with the proposition that they would arrange for an entry through the VIP gate in exchange of due considerations; when I find administration of some big religious places issuing high-denomination tickets to allow the privileged class to bypass the long hours of waiting in the queue (and one of the most routine pointers to emphasize the existence of god is that everyone is equal before him!); when I see the spirit of religion and spirituality being killed in these very places at every passing moment by the very same class who is supposed to propagate it.

Yuck! The cocktail chokes your breathing.

How can any god decide to stay put at such places of perversion? The answer is a certain no!

It is said god is present everywhere but I would love to sound concrete in saying that he left religious places like this a long ago!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Wednesday 25 April 2012

This is to be a different mile..

Walking down the known aisle 
Trying to read the familiar simile 
Once again!
Hunting down the smiling guile 
Poised to regain!
Nothing but the sky to reclaim 
In full vein it's my rein! 
O', the wilt of that wuthering rain 

Heading up the tilting cross
That eerie feeling of symbolic loss 
One that life keeps in store, 
That could send me for a toss,
Was there again, set to regain

When I had heard the call

Lost in the alley of loss and gain 
When the life is thrown in mayhem 

My inner sanctum found me again

Voicing the lost Soul of my name
And there I could see, 
The inviting open sky at the horizon 
The undercurrent of that, 
Unnerving omen
When the fugitive turns-in 
Once again!
To the beaten, blotted, hunted pain 

Had to realize I was beyond,

Their feeble lords of the frame

Determined, away from the cries of, 

The galleried woes
Linking the life, again, 
To the rejuvenating rose
Believing in the words,

In their prose
Denying the moments,

Yet another futile effort, 

To make the desert sand creep-in,
Peeping-in through a hole, 
Making even larger moles 

I am there yet again,
Rewriting the running scroll 

Walking down the known aisle 
Reading that very familiar simile 
Positively knowing all this while 
This is to be a different mile..

October 2, 2010 - April 25, 2012

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Tuesday 24 April 2012


Sometimes, we feel we are living in a world that is nothing but an illusion. 
Most of the moments of life go unwarranted when thoughts are at a subconscious play. 
We are unable or unwilling to listen to them not realizing their influence on confluence of imminence and chance. 
They do affect us. 
Sometimes, we feel conscious of our position and our place in the reality of the world. 
Thoughts emerge at the surface more often then. 
We, the human beings, are basically manifest creation of conscious, subconscious and unconscious thoughts. 
The gravity of their web decides the direction of stay here to make a living out of the life. 

November 4, 2009 

Web of Thoughts: Ragini's Sketch Impression

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Monday 23 April 2012

A get-together..of a different kind

Ana Sagar Lake, Ajmer, Rajasthan - I had visited the place almost five ago. I cannot say that was the beginning though it has followed some more visits. But this get-together of Langurs near the Ana Sagar Lake was something missing after I had its captivating view during my first visit. But, then, they were there again, to be clicked, to be watched, in silence, in hustle-bustle. 

Langurs nea Ana Sagar Lake
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Sunday 22 April 2012

They sing not to entertain..

Clad in trademark colourful Rajashtani designs, kids like this one, singing folk in Rajasthan forts, spontaneously pull attention of the visitors – they are just yet another group of child workers in a state notorious for having maximum number of child marriages; a state that exports lakhs of child workers to the labour-intensive industries like Gujarat’s cotton fields.

They are just a tiny bunch in a country that is home to the largest number of child workers.

Books are seldom a priority; sports seldom a part of healthy growing-up.

They sing not to entertain. They sing to detain those few moments that give them sustainability to win yet another day in their lives. Entertainment is just yet another Indianized English word for them, almost stranger to its true spirit.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 


Saturday 21 April 2012

यादें हमेशा नयी सी लगती हैं

यादें, हमेशा नयी सी लगती हैं 
मेरे आज को शब्द देती हुईं 
मेरे कल को आज से जोड़ती हुईं 
यादें, मेरी हमराह हो लेती हैं 
बातें करती हुईं मुझसे कहती हैं 
जीने का अर्थ कभी मद्धम नहीं होता 

आज में जीते हुए कल में खो जाना 
कल को जीते हुए भी आज में जीना 
यूँ लगता है के जैसे 
सब कुछ यहीं था सब कुछ यहीं है 
रुकना यहीं है हासिल भी यहीं है 
कारवां भी यहीं था मंजिल भी यहीं है 

यादें, उन दिनों की, बातें उन पलों की 
बातें इन दिनों की और वो अक्स 
जैसे समा गयीं तुममें सारी फिजायें 
रूबरू उन पलों से जो भरोसा देती हैं 
तुम यहीं थे कभी कहीं गए ही नहीं 
यादें हमारी, हमेशा नयी सी लगती हैं 

November 3, 2011

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Friday 20 April 2012

The crux LIFE is..

My reflections on life – in quotes (XIX)   

"Nothing is chained but everything seems entwined.
Paradoxes – yes, we survive and sustain with many.
Yet, some of us find the crux LIFE is.
Isn’t it?"

               ©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Thursday 19 April 2012


What all that we discuss in the name of Arab Spring today began in December 2010 when a poor fruit vendor of a non-descript Tunisian town Sidi Bouzid decided he could not take anymore the corrupt ways of the local administration.

When, on December 17, 2011, 26-year-old Mohammed Bouazizi went to complain about a municipal official who had confiscated his scale and had slapped him on protesting, he wasn’t let into the higher government office.

Feeling his dignity hurt by the slap as well as having lost the  means to his livelihood, his cart, to the corrupt municipal official, Bouazizi came out screaming, ran to a gas-filling station, poured gas over him and cried, “How do you expect me to make a living?” setting himself ablaze. He died on January 4, 2011.

This message of a non-political Tunisian burning himself to protest the rampant corruption went viral on Facebook and upped the momentum resulting in a mass movement that uprooted the dictator of 23 years, Zine Ben Ali.

Many were shot dead during the protests that followed the death of Bouazizi. "Facebook was the only video-sharing platform that was available to Tunisians. And seeing videos of people shot with real bullets in their heads on Facebook was shocking to many Tunisians," said Zied Mhirsi, a doctor, radio show host and uprising activist, in CBS’ 60 Minutes.

Facebook videos, reaching to almost one-quarter of the population, fueled the fire on other communication platforms. Blog content in Tunisia predated the turn of political events. Conversations about liberty, democracy and revolution on blogs and on Twitter often immediately preceded mass protests. Twenty percent of blogs were evaluating Ben Ali's leadership the day he resigned from office (Jan. 14), up from just 5 percent the month before. Subsequently, the primary topic for Tunisian blogs was "revolution" until a public rally of at least 100,000 people eventually forced the old regime's remaining leaders to relinquish power. (The Project on Information Technology and Political Islam – University of Washington)

Spread of mobile internet communication aided and compensated for the lack of the Internet infrastructure in some geographical areas. This combination helped to stir the whole Tunisia, a country where around 20 percent of the population uses social media but almost everyone has mobile communication access.

Also, blocking tweets, SMSs through mobile communication and information flow through the Internet was beyond means of a government like Tunisia given the requirements of sophisticated technologies to control the overlapped spectrum bandwidths in a globalized world. Even China, notorious for restricting freedom of information access, is finding it hard. Blurred borders of the global technological village helped in more than one way during the Arab Spring.

The upheaval that began in Tunisia and thus named Jasmine Revolution in the honour of its national flower Jasmine, that saw its dictator for 23 years fleeing the country, strengthened the voices of change in other Arab countries. The whole region got engaged into a debate beyond any specific country limits.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Wednesday 18 April 2012

On yet another horizon..

That height, at the horizon
Was just yet another scale
The play that life should be
Wanted yet another rebel

Decided, I left the horizon undefined
Deciphered, I had my spheres reassigned
Deemed, all revitalized and designed
Determined, poised, the strength redefined

My life, my way
Horizons are just the ephemeral cross-sections
My moments, my say
Scales are nothing but the realigned dimensions

That height, at the horizon,
Is just yet another dot,
On the line,
That my life would get-on

My music, my words
My rebel sings his song
On yet another horizon..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Tuesday 17 April 2012


Pockets like North Korea in India – you may find it bizarre or 'yet another sensational headline from the TRP hungry news media of India - but that was my first thought after reading an article on the Wall Street Journal website. The article titled Starving in India: Surviving on Toxic Roots, dated April 11, talks about members of a tribal community in a Jharkhand village Hindiyankalan. It was third in the series ‘Starving in India and the focus of this write-up was how the primitive tribes and the weakest communities in India are surviving the malaise of chronic hunger. Certain findings of the research scholars behind this write-up were so similar to a memoir article that I had recently read on the CNN website.

The CNN article titled In North Korea, a brutal choice, dated March 26, talks about plight of the majority of the North Koreans living in absolute destitution, through a North Korean refugee in US, Song Ee Han.

The Hindiyankalan write-up presents misery of the Birhor tribe in India through the story of Sahria Devi. Birhors, estimated to be around 10000 in count, depend on collecting and selling honey and wood from the forest and selling soops for Rs 15 for livelihood as the write-up suggests. It counts problems like unavailability of subsidized food, 4 or 5 days a month mid-day meal to their children, no health and education infrastructure to support them and no livelihood options locally.

The Hindiyankalan write-up says the Birhors survive on next-to-nothing – a small amount of rice with locally available spinach, Chakora, and that too, just once a day, and Gethi, a toxic root. They eat Gethi after draining its toxin that requires 24-40 hours, the article says.  (What Gethi compensates for in the daily biological routine?) 

In October 2008, the villagers ate raw Gethi roots. The hunger level had become so extreme that they could not wait to detoxify it. They fell ill and the unavailability of the health infrastructure compounded by the connectivity problems led to the death of eight of the villagers. Sahria Devi lost two grand-children and daughter-in-law.

The article is a detailed account on the misery of Hindiyankalan Birhors. And what is happening with Birhors is happening with almost of the primitive tribes in India. (Remember the recent controversy on inhuman treatment and exploitation of the Jarawa tribe of Andaman?)

What is happening in patches in India is an endemic in North Korea.

Through around two decades in the life Song Ee Han, the article explores the epidemic of the famine that plagued the Korean nation after its supply line, the Soviet Union, was gone. What began in early 1990’s is still continued, fueled by an autocratic regime of born goons. Mrs. Han lost her husband after he was taken in police custody for carrying rice for his dying family from across the China border. Her two children starved to death. A daughter left home to earn and never came back.

The only food stuff available to the North Koreans then was the government rationed rice. Mrs. Han’s family had not heard of something like pressure cooker. Whatever little rice that was being provided by the government was never enough, and that amount too, was getting reduced day-by-day. They were literally dying of hunger and so were many other North Koreans. And midst all this was the absolute rein of the brutality of the North Korean police and security forces. Killings and rapes were so routine. The only option they had was to cross the border to China but that, too, had a brutal choice for her to make.

She had to take the cruel decision of leaving her 5-year old son behind in North Korea as she and her two remaining daughters were so weak to carry him and it was impossible for them to cross the 100-mile distance to the China border while taking him on their back. Her plans of bringing the son back once she had made her two daughters arrive in China failed. Her son died of Refeeding Syndrome after he was given something to eat by someone after days of hunger. Incidentally, the person Han had left her son with abandoned him as rain and flood delayed Han’s return to North Korea.

I literally cried after reading this story and was left thinking for days and so when I came across the other write-up on Hindiyankalan Birhors, it added to the existing line of thought.

Hunger deaths, no support infrastructure by the state, primitive ways of living, life on margins - North Korea - pockets like North Korea in India! 

Please go through these two articles and share if you felt the same:



©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Monday 16 April 2012


That is the million dollar question after the pace at which the ‘poribortan hopes’ are getting bullied by her own acts. (So, in a way, singing it becomes her primary responsibility!) 

What is this with the Indian politicos? Why the majority of the breed are dictators-in-making, always on the go to show the authoritarian wings fully spread once they get into the power seat.

The list is long and the latest addition is our very own ‘the-woman-next’ door Mamata Banarjee, the so familiar ‘Didi’ and the West Bengal Chief Minister – who heralded the state of West Bengal in a new era away from the almost defunct Left-front ideology politics in India. 

High hopes bring high expectation and so ample room for criticism, for the public scrutiny is intense, and Mamata rode the West Bengal political tide on high hopes of change. Though she needs time in office to get going on the development front, the initial signals are not encouraging. For the moment, she looks not-on-the-track and the politics of West Bengal looks to follow the similar patterns as it used to be during the previous regimes. There are voices telling her of these misses. 

One of the most disturbing developments has been the emergence of an intolerant attitude in Mamata and her party-workers. 

So, after giving nightmares to the central government where she is part of the United Progressive Alliance coalition, she is doing the same with every voice being raised against her in the home state, notable among them are the intellectuals who supported her wholeheartedly during the campaign phase of the election.

Apart from the growing reports of the ‘Gundaism’ of the Trinamool party workers (as we used to hear about the CPM cadres), there are silly elements of mediocrity now clearly visible in the psyche of the ‘poribortan party’. What is ridiculous about the ‘Hitleresque’ reincarnation of ‘Didi’ is the targets that her party is banging on and the list of targets is getting more odd additions with every passing day.

In the latest development, according to a report on India Today website, the West Bengal CID has decided to write to Facebook’s US management to remove objectionable posts related to Mamata and TMC. It is part of another bizarre exercise – investigations into the cartoon row that caricaturized Mamata and the Railway Minister, Mukul Roy. Ambikesh Mahapatra, a Jadavpur University professor was arrested for circulating the cartoon. Now there is nothing objectionable in that cartoon, anyone can see it. The move was criticized all over. Out on bail, the professor is now facing investigation. Moreover, 'devoted’ TMC cadres are reported to be monitoring the anti-Didi web content to identify more targets. Absurd!

The Mamata cartoon in question (Source from the Internet)
Please follow the Rediff link given below to know the explanation and translation of text of this cartoon.
If that be the case, there would be thousands behind the bars – as almost of the politicians are targets of cartoonists and satirists including our very own quiet and reticent Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. (Is Shekhar Suman of the ‘Mover & Shakers’ listening?)

List of Mamata’s and TMC’s theatrics is long. Some of the gemstones are: 

  • A molecular biologist, Partha Sarathy Ray, was arrested this month for taking part in protests against Kolkata slum dwellers eviction. Many eminent scientists and personalities including Noam Chomsky have written to Manmohan Singh for his release. (Would Manmohan Singh dare to venture into Didi’s territory?)
  • She had a U-turn on the issue of deleting the likes of Marx, Engels and Lenin from the history syllabus after it created ruckus in the intellectual world. She said she respected these historical luminaries though defended the decision of change.
  • Last month, she had many popular magazines and English language dailies banned from the state government funded public libraries as she found them promoting one particular ideology.
  • To wipe out the ‘Marxist’ red, Mamata has proposed to paint Kolkata in blue. Government establishments, roadside railings and taxis are set to be painted in blue.
Ridiculous! Bizarre! And stupid, too!

Dear Mamata Didi, you are a promising character in the badlands of the Indian politics. Please don’t dissipate your energy and waste your hard-earned political gains on trivial matters. Please don’t be another Mayawati. Do some serious stuff. Bring some real ‘poribortan’.

Take these minor issues and criticisms as reference points (because these are genuine) to realize where, so soon, you have started getting derailed.

What you have been doing only you can undo. Have an easy-going attitude. It’s never too late to have your ‘Hakuna Matata’ moments.

Welcome the healthy criticism with a ‘no-problem’ attitude. Don’t be Mayawati of the Indian politics, be Nitish Kumar.

And practice to sing ‘Hakuna Matata’. :) 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Sunday 15 April 2012

The Reality pauvreté suce

My sister Ragini's first pencil sketch - dating back to almost 12 years ago 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Orhan Pamuk at JLF 2011

Random memories..
(Cellphone photographs)  

Orhan Pamuk at the Inaugural Session - 1
Orhan Pamuk at the Inaugural Session - 2
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Saturday 14 April 2012


A road that I take
An everyday story,
Told and retold
Sometimes a sort of remake,
But filled with the joy of,
Nascent creativity,
Wrapped in the thrill of,
The unseen ‘seen’ and,
The unfamiliar familiar

A road that takes me
The known curves, and,
The uneven friction,
Now so accustomed of
Winding through,
The sleepy by-lanes,
Stereotyped nomads, and,
Intensely debated circled reasons

A road that takes me
The packed multitudes,
Inanely simple, but,
Scientifically methodical

Everyone has to take a road
Routine, yet it goes on
Making characters, that,
Suddenly appear from a corner,
Never expected of
And hold you behold,
In the cogitated state of motion

A road that I take
Night and day
Day after day
Kindled by the unpredicted,
Apertures on a,
Fragmented trajectory,
But with a direction,
On ‘my’ way

November 2, 2011
(With changes) 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -