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My depression-bushes, forcibly set aside.
Look I am not talking how I missed Kashmiri Gate Metro Station
but instead got down at Pullbangash, and how while returning
i stepped out at Tis Hazari, the one ahead of destination.

Listen, I still gather some strength. that is why i just finished
writing "WAITING fOR GODOT". I remember, I said, " you will like it.
I forgot to add, Take your time,  We will talk another time.
In which Time-Zone ?

 There are many against we-many. you will ask.
I too will aks at the same time, a question about time.
We will then look at each other, just look.

Sukhanwari continues to dissolve into rings of silences
like a colour-tube under stone left unlided at the rim of a gently flowing river.

many an acts render a fact like Death to purposelessness. yet we argue..

At some point, while nothing was happeing, uncessearliy i suggested YOU
exactly what? That is not the question, but you turned away,
like any author who turns away from her or his own text, once done. No ?

You were there, now here too. I like to stay calm, but a chaotic presence
at both places, simultaneously.
Is  then this "The Time Image" and plus ?

See, I still talk,
Actor me, delivering  the crammed line:
" O, dear Mother, Look I play the role of 'Kanne phol' in 'why'.
a subsequent drawing is
one single black inked grain, on a photograph of thousand rice grains.

And once gentle fingers of time arrive,
removal of the entire mask from face is inevitable

lethal combination of face and mask indeed oblitrated many a things
all along, now this photograph at its tail.

now it is working.
wait. it would be hot, but eat.

Now, go lit the fire, cleansed rice is ready to cook.

Be what you are not in relation to what you never were,
and yet all this what we look we are:
or nothing ...

* kanne phol = unhusked grain of rice
**why = rice before it is cooked _


Sirf Tum towards Kashmir

trucke 7 copy small
two peacocks while going to kashmir
All what camera captures through the window of a moving car: the rear of a truck on the Highway towards Srinagar on the hills. 
the image perhaps reads:  two peacocks: face to face, (once with their full forms) but now, ironically with the support of a missing fragment of their own forms, they look merged, as if in love. 
The images perhaps tells us what is behind the skin of the image : absence
The truck is full of absences, a darkness
A slice of the very "absence" reproduces another absence, then another then another, without any possiblity to bring the painted lovers to original form. Paradoxically, the lovers, if at all they come,  to their earlier form of what we might love to SEE, they would not be in a merged form, thus seperted once again. Better if they are merged, without giving us any idea how their face to face visual looks like.
Moving towards Kashmir: Breeze through the window tells :some thing is lost in the transit over the years. In the land of love, there is a struggle to restore the image to two Kashmirs,  to make the look again face to face, for another merger, for another desire to restore.

a kashmir image

All what camera captures through the window of a moving car: the rear of a truck on the Highway towards Srinagar on the hills.
the image perhaps reads:  two peacocks: face to face, (once with their full forms) but now, ironically with the support of a missing fragment of their own forms, they look merged, as if in love. 
The images perhaps tells us what is behind the skin of the image: absence
A slice of the very "absence" reproduces another absence, then another then another, without any possiblity to bring the painted lovers to original form. Paradoxically, the lovers, if at all they come,  to their earlier form of what we might love to SEE, they would not be in a merged form, thus seperted once again. Better if they are merged, without giving us any idea how their face to face visual looks like.
Moving towards Kashmir: Breeze through the window tells :some thing is lost in the transit over the years. In the land of love, there is a struggle to restore the image to two Kashmirs,  to make the look again face to face, for another merger, for another desire to restore....
a kashmir image

nafsay kais, delhi export quality

Nafsay Kais, ki hai, cshmo chiragey sahra, ghar nahin,  shamah siyah khanayai Laila, Na sahi, ( Ghalib )

The Future Belongs to Ghosts ( J Derrida )

          ...   the colour of light in the eyes of  Generation Future , most likely different from what we see... now


inside 12 by 16 inches envelope filled with BLANK same size paper from the 274 kg reel of 140 gms thick brown paper usually meant for envelopes.
The text on each yellow envelope lined with cotton gauze : FiILL IT, SHUT IT & FORGET IT
with a stamp behind:

" We are then introduced to a series of tales and counsels
whose chief burden is to underscore the over-riding
 importance of ' self-preservation "

The blank paper playing  the roll of FILL IT,
and the seal  traditional LAC used to seal postal envelops as SHUT IT
and    one to each in the audience, would be its FORGET IT

Below, on Friday, the day when City-as-Studio showcased its major exhibition/performacnes by others, i went out from Sarai studio to the road leading to Metro station. We returned from the a nearby garbage dumping point to the studio back. Later the unwinding of the paper happened after police objected to the material on the roads....

It is winter in kashmir

                     It is winter in kashmir. 
                Heavens wont fall if spring would 
                     arrive a little earlier this time.
                People know it is a dream, but still...

                                To Dodo in silence. In the Mandala it almost said to me: 
                                there no Buddha, but Image of Bhddha, akin to the  beautiful bird on  pedestal. 
                               All the colourful  feathers are living but without life, without soul, like a typical Mandala
                               To realize this: Mandala is a device:  I told them to sit  in a circle, facing out, while i moved in.
                               I undressed, and made two or three rounds in the center along with the bird on my head
                               (  image of the absence, the colurful bird ). I put on my clothes,
                              and  I showed them  the image on the  camera screen itself, one by one ..
                              The image of my  undressed  being as pedestal of   the dead bird on pedestal .
                             I did not utter a single word.  They all laughed.

Understanding Double Burial - II


The audience painted the white space left blank . it was the dead king who was painted with black, written words , again and again, and now invisible, but still like an alphabet, or a character. 

"Silke Kastner, artist in Berlin paints newspapers with white "   word 'Intution' in Japanese, on newspaper.

 demonstration: a japanese character resembles painted bones for a double burial, practice in ancient mexico and kashmir. Left: the word OPEN in japanese on newspaper, Right: white strokes on the body.  


imaginery strokes on the newspaper resembling japanese character.Right : painting newspers in white.

I am Inder Salim. Tonight you may call me Prof. Inder Salim.

(  I lifted the red necktie to wipe out my nose ) Lot of Ice Cold Tea, you know.


Well, Friends, Today I have come to give a short lecture on Double Burial. As already briefed in Japanese, I hope, it would be easier for you to follow.


Well, before I begin, I quickly use the term  “Buried Cities “by Sigmud Frued as he explains how to understand the Unconscious. So, we are free to imagine about how we reconstruct ideas with the ruins, both actual and imagined, by rearranging them in mind, or by highlighting those parts which we feel are vital .


Double Burial


4000 to 4500 years ago Kashmir and Mexico knew how to exhume the dead from graves and decorate the bones for second burial. In Kashmir the bones were painted with red pigment before they buried them again.


Modern science exhumed ancient tombs, chambers, and mounds, and so we have an idea called Double Burial.  anthropologically, we have a specimen in Kashmir Museum which explicitly speaks about that ancient ritual of dealing with the dead. But, what has been dug up, is perhaps, constantly changing our approach to the dead, and all the things which are in the process of dying, and all the ideas which look eternal even.  The term Double Burial, is therefore, about rediscovering our respective mangled presents, and our nascent approaches to deal with the thought, even at metaphoric levels.



Painting Newspapers in Kashmir: A case in the point:


 In ‘Myth Today’ Ronald Barthes teaches us how to exhume news from the grave called Newspaper/magazine  and bury it again after ripping it with wit, humour and interpretation. If a Newspaper is a graveyard of candid photographs (read dead ) and news items are like obituaries of the dead things around us,  then perhaps, it needs a quick exhumation for a second burial.


We need to move on, which also means that what we encounter in daily life is loaded with profound insights about us, if there is a will to dig the grave/incident/news. There is an immense scope to transform this boring ritual of reading daily newspaper into an meaningful act. It can be a way of life too, akin to our ancestral approach to exhume bones for second burial after painting them with red.


While moving Osaka city, i found intuitionally, that the characters have perhaps emerged from that practice of double burial. For example, the  bones of a father from the grave were put in a particular way and painted with red. Hence, the memory of the word. Hence the practice of writing at a later stage. The Japanese characters, just happened to resemble the bones painted in red, before a second burial.


This is also an inspiration from Silke Kaestner, artist living in Berlin, paints old newspapers with white paint, ( I go the newspapers on the wall and paint the surface with black paint ) . ( here I mentioned about ur Kashmir and shimla experiment ) Well, don’t forget that she paints the newspapers in White colour ( I once again highlight the black colour in my hand, while talking about the white )


Well, the use of black ink to write must have occurred differently to different communities around the world depending upon various factors. In ancient Egypt it was a philosopher who gifted the technique of writing to the King as precious gifts.  On studying the gift, i.e. this technique of writing, the king expressed his grief to the Philosopher. He pointed out the fact that now onwards the people will depend on the written word, and their ability to perform different function in life through memory alone will drastically diminish.  The King was profoundly sad.


So, one day the King died. And as usual his clothes were taken off. ( At this point I started to undress )   . His body was neatly taken out for a burial. It was his last wish that his bones be painted in Red for his re-burial, i.e what we call Double Burial.


( Here I am completely nude, and holding White pigment and brush in my hand. And as I perform dead, I get up and remind the audience that how the dead come back to life to remind them something very vital, and i said ). Please paint my bones in Red for a second burial.


But that was too old a practice. The system of writing in black on the wall was a norm to make financial transactions, and other official deals. So, the bones of the dead King too were painted in Black. And while his bones were painted in Black, he reminded him about his last wish, the ritual of his ancestors, that his bones be painted in Red ( Here I get up with my limbs all painted in white paint ). Well the Kings bones were painted in Black, again and again, and he almost became invisible.


The dead king’s ghost is roaming around the world, and while being in Osaka City, he went to Sumihomitaishi temple, and found the ritual of finding lucky pebbles amongst unwritten pebbles.


5. BIG. ENGERGIES . in my hand alongwith other handful unwritten pebbles.

The unwanted wishes and the lucky pebbles are here with me,

And while I had a cup of tea with the God in the temple, I told him about the futility of the written signs on the pebbles, but I kept them, because the other side of the pebbles was blank

A CUP OF TEA FOR MEBA, performance in Tokyo

Performance , in  Tokyo
"Meba Kurata as you know is Queen of Tokyo, who had the amazing courage to transform 'himself' to 'herself'.  I invite her to a  simple cup of tea.  Meba Kurata, please come on the stage. ( i am blind folded and wearing a pink saree. Underneath, my entire body is wrapped in a thin hospital guaze

Day before yesterday, cancellation of flight from New Delhi meant long hours of waiting at the airport. Drinking silly expensive cup of tea was not fun, untill i discovered  a Duty Free corner full Tea . Nilgiri Tea, San Tea ( hand rolled tea leaves ) Assam Tea, and what not, but big lables and big prices. But the specimens of each kind had enough  tea for me to steal few pinches of tea here or there. A free hot water cup from the caffea stall was enough form to make a great cup of tea for myself that evening.  

I never thought some tea  leaves without passport would give shape to a Zen in Tokyo, that too, just one days after arrival. The meeting with Meba Kurata was amazing. Her simplicity and grace impressed me deeply, and i instantly invited her to join this tea ceremoney next day: my performace on 9th of June.

She did come next day, and even gifted me a small mirror.

On the stage, one or two pinches of stolen lea leaves in the traditonal kettle full of hot water  mixed with the narration of the above anecdote. and my school time storey about a king who abandoned his kingdom for realizatiion of God. And while meditating under the tree when the King , now an asectic, fell asleep, which resluted his decision to tear his own eye lids . The two eye lids once buried in the earth gave birth to two small spalings, and the leaves of which mixed with hot water were the begining of tea ceremoney in the world. That was all i had to speak about Tea that evening.

By now the cup of tea was ready for Dear Meba, who happily sipped it.

Meba held my hand and we made a slow exit from the stage.

these one two or three..


                                                                              performance image       Time Cocoon ( the new old brick )

" your cap is red, and a mole is on the right "   

for art karvan international details

please click to see http://artkarvan.wordpress.com

few images from EVOKING NAZIR


outline OF JAMMU and KASHMIR map with unfinished LOC on glass
with 108 images titled EVOKING NAZIR, at Loft Gallery Mumbai, on  till 5th of oct. 2009.
                                       WEEPING YOU, WEEPING ME,                                  A HANUMAN FOR NAZIR


                                                             YOU LEFT ME ALONE. ( Call me anytime, my no is 9968075965)



mapping, mapping , you do, i do.
"See, Devi Chinmastika in me, in kashmir, in India, in the world, in the entire cosmos"

FIRE and FIRE : Devi chindmastika with shiva shakti , and protest in Srinagar, Kashmir

Alhpabet NOON of Urdu under inverted alphabet NOON . opp. to image ( I MISS U )

NOON upon NOON, SARMAD SPECS, School time NCC CAP, BandWala Dress,
performance garment  used in London in front of General Hevloc of 1857 mutiney. ;
when Hindus and Muslims fought togeather against British Rule.
OPP. translation of hindi bollywood song: I PUMP LOVE INTO HEARTS OF THOSE WHO HATE
architectural form of law-il-law-il-lul-law-mohamadan rasool allah next to half of sri yantra.
right: MIRROR REFLECTION OF THE SACRED VERSE and LEGIBLE VERSE giving shape to a blanced form

NAZIR with torn trousers, right: With Teesta Stelvad during performance
                                                                         and other forms of return
                            HE  ISTHERE, HE IS NOT,......................................... HE IS THERE ,HE IS NOT


  in front of Anish Kapoor, Right, with Berliner, Art TV, below: in front of Picasso . Left with a policeman
In Art Sumit 2009, Pragati Maidan New Delhi,  holding  the book THE POLITICS OF AESTHETICS by Jacques Ranciere., I walked through the entire labyrinth of differnent  Art Galliery stalls exhibitng  art works by different artists ( images by Natasha, Allana, Rahul and some unknown amongst the corwd)

the Mango Tree


The centre of the universe is not the place where I am standing, but the Mango Tree in front of my balcony. But because of different seasons its centre of importance shifts, particularly when there are no mangoes on its branches. Almost a decade back, when I shifted into my flat, there was no such tree over there, but indeed a structure conducive for the growth of a Mango Tree, or any other tree, was always there. This space where these small and big trees exist belongs to the entire colony, a public space, where people relish their evening strolls, or let their children jump a little, and also scatter biscuit and chocolate wrapper around, carelessly. The Trees are mostly non-fruity ones, so everything is cool, except this Mango Tree.

Right now, the entire colony is talking about this mango tree, but the flats which are directly facing this mango tree are constantly thinking about it. I am also looking at the mango tree, but among other things, what puzzles me is the question why the tree gives birth to hundreds of mangoes when it does not want its entire crop to grow? As I notice some little green mangoes keep on falling on the earth, naturally. Why? It fascinates me. This is perhaps, what we call mysteries of the nature, so no need to interfere or worry on that account. But still there are plenty of mangoes on the tree, and everybody is silently looking at them, who simply want to eat them. But there is some helplessness in their looking at them.

The reason for this is that the 70-G-wallay (family living in the Ground floor) happened to water this mango tree sometimes , and now they have the birth right to harvest the entire crop of this tree. True, I am witness to that, but I doubt if they actually had planted the tree. I believe, somebody had carelessly thrown a mango kernel into the park which has given birth to this controversial tree. The 70-F-wallay, 70-S- wallay, and 70-T-wallay (families living in First, Second and Top floor) feel that they too have the right to eat some mangoes. These families live closer to this tree, but other families which are facing it too have the similar desire but, I guess the intensity of the desire to eat these mangoes is directly proportional to the distance of the eyes that are looking at this mango tree.

The trouble is that the 70-G-wallay leave no stone unturned to ensure that the mango tree is under their control during the crop time. They don’t even let a singing bulbul, or a peaceful dove, let alone stray colony monkeys to come near this mango tree. They use all the ways and means to keep the other away from the reach of this tree. They must have even counted the number of mangoes on the tree which are still unripe, quite green but distinguishable from the green of its foliage. The 70-G-wallay are Baniyas (the traditional business community) and hence have a natural tendency to think about their personal benefits only. I must say, with some confidence, that such families are the predecessor families of the entire world capitalism, like monkey is known as the predecessor of the man. A limited thought, but business is usually created to be inherited by their successors, usually sons. So, there is a tradition, to own the factory, an orchid, an oil well etc. Right now, here in this colony, there are people who want the entire mango tree to be felled since they don’t get their share of mangoes, but there are people who are content with the idea of a tree alone. Although, the later category of people are quite in minority but they are happy that there is a place for a dove to make a nest, or twig for a squirrel to jump from this tree to another tree.

Yes, some children from outside, say from other underprivileged families, whom I guess have never tasted a mango in their life, do come and try to steal a mango or two from this tree by throwing a stone or a small stick. The 70-G-Wallay quickly come out from their flat and use all kinds of popular vernacular to chase them away. The rest of families again remain silent, who otherwise would not like these outside children to venture into the protected colony, where I too happen to own a flat.

The result is that every year, the 70-G-wallay harvest the unripe crop lest it might be shared or stolen by others. The entire unripe-unripe crop is harvested, because the fear of losing the crop intensifies with the passing of each day, which is just good enough for ordinary pickle at the best. The real mangos never see the light of the day.

I don’t about the whole world, but in India, the nature of business is such that the entire crop of Mangoes is usually plucked from the branches while it is still growing, still green. The golden fruit becomes golden only in the dark rooms of Mandi (Fruit markets) where they are dumped for couple of days, or weeks, to hit the stalls on the very day they turn golden, golden red or golden green. Who knows if some chemicals are injected into the mangoes to give them a more golden look, or make turn them even tastier? After all we are lured by products which are masked, glossed, either on TV, cinema, or in the Malls, or in the life directly. After all, the idea of mango is usually smarter than the actual mango.

But there are spaces where Mangoes are allowed to turn golden on the trees itself, and subsequently relished with their maximum sugar and vitamin levels. But, as we know that is outside the structure of business and people like 70-G-wallay don’t have a clue about that. So, has anybody ever tasted a real mango?

The question is that there is just one mango tree, and thousands of eyes on its couple of hundred odd mangoes on the tree. Right now, the people like 70-G-wallay who control the production of plant don’t let the mangos grow naturally. So they too have not tasted a mango, and neither let others to taste a real ripe one.

So has anybody tasted a real mango, if there is one, and if yes, who deserves to eat that, and relish?

With love

Inder salim

ghazal numa

ghazal numa

this is palestine


4TH OF MARCH 2009,



face to face

                                                                         inder salim : face to face

seven years after

     River Yamuna, Delhi 2009                                                                                River Yamuna Delhi 2002

thinking dog

                                                 Whenever God from heaven will be looking down on Earth..


                                 6th DEC. 2008-  IMAGES FROM PERFORMANCE AT ARPANA GALLERY, ( NEW DELHI )
                                   PART OF GROUP SHOW FROM J&K INITIATED BY KESHAV MALIK 

Delhi Half Marathon



photo by Maria ( amnesty staff )

Delhi Marathon , with amnesty

other runners while performing with the hang post ( material foam ) being photographed




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