Leaping dolphin: Goa

May 8, 2011 in Snapshots | Comments (1)





This snapshot was taken near Aswem, Goa, on a fine February morning in 2010. It is actually a freeze frame from a Flip recording. The dolphin did several complete somersaults. It was an amazing show, with several other members of the pod joining in.


One Response to “Leaping dolphin: Goa”

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  1. Comment by Suraksha Giri — July 15, 2013 at 6:31 am   Reply

    I am re reading ‘The Imam & The Indian’ and can only express my delight at the fluency of his writing in prose pieces like ‘ Ghosts of Mrs Gandhi ‘ or ‘Empire and Soul : A Review Of the Baburnama.’
    First AG is a prolific writer and a prodigious scholar both in great evidence in novels like the Glass Palace, Sea of Poppies, and River of Smoke. He has a crafty way of hooking the reader into layers and layers of past so beguilingly narrated that time slides past and shadows lengthen. At times I am tempted to scream at my helplessness in being enticed into the magical world of words and language that AG novels conjure.
    The prose writing is different and it is here we glimpse the writer not the artist, the observer not a presenter. The Baburnama is a great work of autobiographical writing by a man whom most of us consider a rough riding plunderer as we read in our history books. Yet as young king without a kingdom this is Babur’s first ghazal written when he was 18.
    ‘Other than my own soul I never found a faithful friend
    Other than my own heart I never found a confidant.” From Amitav’s essay.
    Amitav Ghosh essay engages the reader with some sharp descriptions drawn from the Baburnama. But what caught my interest was a telling line towards the end of the essay. The writer Amitav wonders whether the decisive battle for Hind was the Mughal one at Panipat in 1526 or a little read confrontation that took place in 1509 at Diu between the aggressors the Portuguese and the trading partners the Zamorin, the Sultan of Gujarat and the Sultanate of Egypt. The Portuguese were victorious paving the way for sea trade from Europe and the colonisation of Hind. Interesting as Amitav points out that the Mughal were never pan India but limited to the north.

    Amitav Ghosh also points out that it was during 16th Century renaissance that Krishna- devotion flourished and the geography of the sacred Krishna legend mapped in the corridor betwixt Delhi and Agra the Mughal capitals. It appears that Akbar and his court actively supported this revival.
    ‘Ghosts of Mrs Gandhi’ is the horrific narration of Amitav’s personal encounter in Delhi in the days after 31st October 1984. It recalled my own experience in Delhi several years later but no less chilling.
    I was working in Delhi at the Maurya Sheraton as it was then called. The hotel had a schedule for every manager to do night duty, rounds, security , etc usually from 11 pm to 6 am. The hotel transport would collect the manager on duty and convey them to the hotel. It was December, a dark chilly night when my turn came up. The hotel car arrived and bidding the family goodnight I got in and left. I was living in Green Park and we were passing Safdurjung Enclave when our car was intercepted by a police vehicle.
    Those familiar with Delhi of the 90’s will know the dread of dealing with the police. And here I was alone on a completely deserted road and being interrogated by the police. They had received a radio message that the car I was travelling in was stolen and I should accompany them to the police station. With great presence of mind I alighted from the car and standing in the middle of the road gave my credentials. But the police were unsatisfied and the driver was struck dumb with terror. Besides he had no papers on him.
    Now started a peculiar negotiation. I wanted to drive to the hotel, the police to the station and the driver to flee from the scene. We were literally frozen in a tableaux for an hour when a Maruti car with headlights blazing was coming towards us. Seeing some help, I rushed across the road madly pursued by the police to flag the car down but it just sped past. I was frightened for the first time till I saw the headlights swinging around and the car pulled up next to us.

    There was a Sikh gentleman in the drivers seat and a woman, his wife in an expensive party sari pulling down the glass. I ran to the lady’s side and said, ‘ please help me. These police wish to detain me and I am from the Maurya Sheraton. I must call the hotel for assistance.’
    The lady opened the car door and got down. ‘Wait’ she told her husband, ‘dont come with us. This lady is frightened. You stay with the police.’ Turning to me she said, ‘ My house next one. Please come and use the phone.’
    It was one by the time the Hotel security manager arrived and collected me from the lady’s flat upstairs. Mrs Sethi and I were to become friends and our families too and I helped them fix their daughter’s wedding at the Maurya. But that night I heard why the car first raced away and then returned. They were in the automobile spares business and their shop was gutted in 1984. Mr Sethi’s father had collapsed and suffered a heart attack. Their house in Safdurjung where I was sitting had been rebuilt just a few years ago. It had been vandalised and Mrs Sethi would not narrate the unspeakable horror.
    “When we saw the police car we did not want a jhanjat and Mr Sethi wanted to drive away but I knew that you were in musibat. After all helping another is insaniyat hai na?’

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