Friday, 13 December 2013

sunset, tiruvalla, tracks

Friday, 6 December 2013

Inside Charminar, Hyderabad (Nov 27 - 30 2013)

It is an amazing sight, a burst of verbal graffiti; no bare wall or door is spared as almost ever inch of Charminar's interior walls are adorned with names, heart signs and babble. The sheer volume is such that there are layers of words, the earlier ones obscured by the new. Call it apathy, ruin or chaos, the derelict Charminar is as much of a reflection of the state Hyderabad is in. A far cry from the childhood I spent here two decades ago, the open spaces have all but disappeared, the traffic is bursting forth in voluminous girth and smoke, trees are few; yet thoughtlessly more buildings add on to the concrete swell, the sky is but barely visible. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Published Poetry: 'Fear'

This is to document that my poem 'Fear' has appeared in the Nov-Dec 2013 issue of  Reading Hour magazine.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

My Favourite Sachin Tendulkar One-Day Moment

The shot in the first ball of the fifth over off Caddick

It was against England in the initial group match of World Cup 2003 in South Africa that Sachin Tendulkar came out all guns blazing. Tendulkar had already scored 152 against Namibia, but then, you know, no offence, it was Namibia.(Although we proclaim it to be the Cricket World Cup, there are barely half a dozen competitive teams out of a playing dozen at any given time of the playing season.) Meanwhile Brain Lara had played a brilliant match-winning blinder (116) against South Africa in the inaugural match.   

Anyway, on February 26th, India were batting first.With Sehwag and Tendulkar opening, India were held back at 13/0 in four overs. It was a raw moment when something was bound to give away. 

First ball of the fifth over, Andy Caddick comes rushing in to Tendulkar. The ball bounces and rises head high between the middle and leg stump. For a batsman without anticipation that would have been a very awkward delivery. But what happens in the next few seconds is extraordinary. Somehow, Tendulkar seems to have half-anticipated the ball. He sways to off (feet still grounded one behind another in front of leg stump) and pulls the ball strong behind him, right in the middle of the bat. Intentionally as it was directed, the ball sails way in its trajectory above the wicket-keeper and just out of the diving fine leg fielder's reach to the boundary, one bounce, four! Also, Tendulkar loses his balance as he completes the shot and falls to his right in his batting crease. So apart from the prospect of a brilliant catch, Tendulkar also escapes getting hit wicket in what would have been, the most strange fashion. It is a decisive point in the entire World Cup and by the time he is nicked by Flintoff, Tendulkar had made exactly 50 and added tonnes of confidence.Later, Ashish Nehra bowls a mercurial spell to ensure that England never get to the chase. 

A 97 vs Sri Lanka and a masterful 98 vs Pakistan follow, he falls early in the final - India chasing a mammoth total against Australia and it takes another eight years for him to realise the ultimate cricketer's dream - The World Cup. 

But just the way Sachin Tendulkar pulls, falls and the ball agonizingly escapes the fielder in that first ball of the fifth over on February 26, 2003 sums up Tendulkar - enterprise, endeavour, adventure and a passion for batting that stood out beyond the obvious genius.           

Friday, 11 October 2013

Thank you Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar's prolonged retirement from all forms of cricket has finally come full circle. On October 10th, 2013 Tendulkar informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that he shall hang up his boots after playing in his 200th test in November at the Wankhede against the West Indies. Tendulkar had already announced his retirement from one-day cricket and T20 earlier. 

It made poignant reading in today's newspapers; out of the verbiage the little master's words stood out, telling us of the Sachin Tendulkar of the present,"It's hard for me to imagine a life without playing's all I have ever done since I was 11."      

With the announcement many childhood memories have slid to nostalgia mode. Much has changed since Tendulkar's 1989 test debut against Pakistan. Test match cricket was king then, in 2013 the format is threatened with the commercial, marketing blitz and assured financial ticket that T20 and IPL have become for cricketers and cricket control boards.

Sachin in our lives   
In all our years of childhood, adolescence and youth, Sachin Tendulkar stood out as a folk hero and a very tangible one for that. The advent of quality television broadcasting, improved camera angles and commentary also provided an enhanced view to the proceedings. Here was a sporting hero whose exploits we could experience at the time that it was happening. 

Older generations will thus understand our disconnection when they say that Sunil Gavaskar was a better batsman. We just weren't around when Gavaskar was straight driving and playing without the helmet, facing fearsome bowling attacks. Sachin Tendulkar was inevitably in many of our life moments, a surge in each masterly shot he played, the affirmation that things were possible.

More than Tendulkar's genius it was the intensity and confidence that stood out. Between expectation and fulfillment of all our dreams, Tendulkar was the sole bridge for many years. Even as his curly haired youth brought a fort like mid-thirties the batsman gave it all he had. 

Freeze Frame 
There shall be more, but to conclude this article, I shall give you a word image of what I think is the best photograph that has ever been taken of Sachin Tendulkar. I hope to share the photograph, if I come across it again. The photo appeared in India Today around the time when Sachin's career was its zenith, he had already played those cult, reputation-affirming one-day Sharjah 1998 knocks against Australia. The photo is devoid of any action, it merely shows in its concise frame, Tendulkar's in his test whites seated on a plastic chair, with the helmet, pads and gear on, ready to battle. The appearance is one of stillness, but the eyes are a giveaway, they are almost fiery, pointed, and warrior like. Complete with the arms wrapped around himself, it is a rare moment of culmination - of youth, adventure and domination. So long Sachin and thank you very much for the mastery and the memories.   

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Photography: A Budding Hobby

Photography has been a budding hobby for a while now, have no care for strict technique, nor do I Photoshop the images; but whenever the fancy seizes me I pick up the camera and frolic about. A selection of my clicks are constantly featured on my blog, along with occasional works of poster art : SNEHITH'S POSTER ART AND OTHER DIVERSIONS

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Published Poetry: Auria by Snehith Kumbla

It gives me unabashed joy to present before you, dear readers, a poem written by me, titled - Auria.This poem first appeared in the May-June 2012 issue of the Reading Hour magazine.

Evening has long descended and happy circumstances have led to a rendezvous between lovers. The poet wishes for the world to be reduced to a hush, the night to blanket every intruding light, such that two beings dwell calmly in their cocoon. Gentle, unhurried, cosy, velvety - in the sense of these feelings does the poet meet the woman he adores. Eternity prevails.

by Snehith Kumbla

may the eyes of every
slithering light be blindfolded,
my love is here with me

may the night be
as quiet as a village,
my darling gently dries her wings

let no thought betray
no stone pelt a shiver
my dove goes visiting a dream

hush now, oh deepest
of all fathom, the
world floats on a heartbeat

all things done, undone,
things indelible, leisurely
things, now discarded
a parting feather in flight

her beguiling bejeweled body


(Article by Snehith Kumbla)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Published Poetry: Fragrance by Snehith Kumbla

This is how I see it. Poetry is a bird song, uttered so, for it spouts from the heart, and is similarly written down. Having a writing device on the ready is a handy habit, for words may rush in anytime. A common feature of a poem is its flow and spontaneity.

The first draft is usually the crux of it. Polish, in the form of attention to meter, rhyme, paragraphing, punctuation, grammar, spelling and an appropriate title usually follow in subsequent drafts. While I mentioned grammar in the last sentence, a poem can have its own language. Unlike prose, a poem may not be bound to any structure.
There is no end to the themes that poets have chose to write on over the centuries. Now, if we were to encapsulate all the poems ever written into two sections, what would they be? Here we trail Urdu poetry and its branching out into two - there is the ghazal where poets tend to self-reflect and look inwardly. Then there is the nazm where observation of the outwardly world is the central theme. This division can be applied to poems in general, if only for the purpose of differentiation and documentation.

Enough talk. To conclude, here is the poem that was first published in the September-October 2011 issue of Reading Hour Magazine with the title ‘Pang’. It is presented here with edits:

by Snehith Kumbla

the music of a drizzle,
wet smell of earth

a sun scattered face,
some winter morning

the moonlight walks
with me, at dusk

sleep glows in
a deep cave

I dwell on you...


Friday, 16 August 2013

Published Poetry: Scrap Collector's Diary by Snehith Kumbla

have sieved the
ruins of discarded

sometimes finding
on an old magazine,
pictures of women,
looking through you
with ageless eyes

block square keys of
a typewriter,
cardboard covers
of fragile messages,
images of shattering
empty bottles of

‘Kamasutra for beginners'
‘The lonely wife’
other clandestine
books, sometimes,
extracted from some
secret wardrobe chamber,
wrapped in brown paper

school notebooks with
red tick-marks, blots, rights,
wrongs, devastating
stories of marks, homework,
a light bulb that still works,
the legs of a chair,
toy horses, toy cars,
scratched plastic

gaping holes in mugs, buckets,
fake notes from a crumpled game
of monopoly,
a dead dog's collar, a heavy rusted screw,
every night in my dreams,
they come hopping over a barn,
now you know,
that I do not count sheep


(This poem was first published in the Jan-Feb 2012 issue of Reading Hour Magazine.)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Published Poetry: Bhang Diary by Snehith Kumbla

when I laugh,
the whole body,
one big mouth
of laughter

when I sing,
words emit
like a

If I squat, drowsy,
all my teeth are
melting down
a whirlpool

walk, look back
and wonder,
whose vanishing
are they,

my as-lost-as-me
friends, frantic for
shade in the sun,
and can't find it

together, like a
splash of colours,
we lie in the garden
for the madness to pass

later, at home they ask
about the blood red
eyes, I say, it was
some colour, some holi

(This poem was first published in the Mar-Apr 2012 issue of Reading Hour magazine.)

Saturday, 8 June 2013


After gathering some Internet dust, the music and movie review site THE BOOM BOX IN THE PROJECTION ROOM is alive and kicking again.