(I have nearly ten blogs. One on haiku. One about ads. One about clowning. There's even one on Severus Snape. I'm not sure why I felt the need to compartmentalise my writing like this. After all, they're all me. So now I've decided to simplify things and have all my favourite posts here on this one blog, titled after the things I like my life to revolve around. - n2n, 15 Dec 2007)
Last night I went to my first "Bhoomi Jathre" (translates roughly as Earth Journey), a dusk-to-dawn cultural festival held at Fireflies, an ecological ashram on the outskirts of Bangalore. An amphitheatre of granite slabs circles down towards a stage actually built right around a huge peepul tree. The tree provides both centrepiece and ceiling.
This year's theme was the tree god. There were traditional dancers, and music ranging from ancient classical to modern fusion. There was also a flea market of arts and crafts, and food stalls selling organic salads, local breads, homemade cakes and brownies and freshly steamed Tibetan momos. There was a free book stall, and free tree saplings. The entire festival is non-sponsored: no corporate logos around, and even the soft drinks were local: the coconut of your choice, broken into with a farmer's sickle for its cool sweet naarial paani (coconut water).
On the one-hour drive down Kanakapura Road towards all this, Navaz briefed me on the haiku writing competition at the festival, that she had been asked to organise. In return for safe passage to and from the festival, I was roped in as Assistant Haiku Person.
The haiku never happened. I think the word "competition" intimidated everyone. But having discovered the 5-7-5 rule, this word junkie is hooked! I'm not sure my attempts qualify as haiku -- I know there's more to the process than just the 17 syllables -- but I'll learn as I go along.
I came to haiku.
Seeking words, I found momos.
All night long I burped.