Friday, November 28, 2008

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake?

( To those faceless entities who unleashed a trail of death)

Are you Happy? Are you smiling? Are you laughing?

The sight of the carnage, the panic, the madness

The terror, the blank gaze…

The people running helter skelter

The blood, the cries, the wails

They soothe your injured souls?

Are you pacified?

Are you celebrating?

Backslapping one another

For a deed well accomplished?

You’ve achieved what you sought?

No? more to do?

More carnage, more destruction in your to do list?

A couple of men gone?

So what – you’re looking at the larger picture?

So much of colour, so much of sound too

Did you sleep soundly ?

Oh no, more plans, more strategies to work out…

So much more to be done…

There is no doubt in your conscience right?

Everything is just right , just how it should be?

WHERE the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Sorry Sir..every
thing has gone awry...
there is only fear, there is only anguish...

and the fragments are so tiny and shorn far apart-
Haven? Freedom? Mere sounds...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I cannot watch and yet I cannot but watch...where and when will all this end?

A couple of years ago, we had travelled to Mumbai in a group. We were going sightseeing one day. My husband and son could not accompany the rest of us because they took ill. I joined the others leaving my heart behind in the boarding where we were put up. We took the Mumbai darshan bus. We stopped at The Gateway of India. As we were walking , I went up with my cousin to the public telephone booth located below The Taj. I was frantically trying to reach my husband's mobile and I could not. One of the watchmen stepped forward and asked me to make the call from his cell. I spoke to my husband and reassured about his health, thanked the person and came away. I had just about crossed the road when I heard somebody calling out to get my attention. It was the same person - he was holding out his cell to me. Apparently my husband, not knowing whose cell I was calling from had called back and this person had come running to allow me to attend the call.

I thanked him profusely...

I'm thinking of him today and of many others...

Borrowing Tags

Tag :1

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?

My maternal uncle who used to live with us those days , used to gift me a book for my birthdays- and I remember waiting eagerly for the book and then reading it at one go as soon as I laid my hands on it. I would find my amma always with a book whenever she was free. Reading developed naturally without too much of effort.

What are some books you read as a child?

It used to be Enid Blyton most of the time. Then achhan used to buy Amar Chitra Katha regularly from the little shop near V.T station. We used to bind the issues. I would never tire of reading them over and over again. I graduated to Nancy drew, Agatha Christie. I used to like Charles Dickens when I was older. I enjoyed K.M Munshi’s Krishnavataram series.

What is your favourite genre?

Fiction mostly. Nowadays a bit on the spiritual line. I don’t relish travelogues, but I sort of enjoyed Ruskin Bond’s 'Tales of the open Road' recently because it not in the travelogue format. I used to enjoy horror but not any more. I like to get hold of a mushy romance now and then. I like R.K. Narayan. I’ve relished reading different expositions on The Mahabharatha- fictionalized versions- these were mostly in Malayalam. I used t o enjoy P.G.Wodehouse but now, though I don’t mind reading them once in a way, I find the humour contrived and grating!

Do you have a favourite novel?

Oh yes, many…let me list a few that comes to mind at this moment:

As a child I loved Ruby Ferguson’s “Jill’s Gymkhana”

Nikos Kazantsakis- Zorba The Greek- it has spoken to me differently at different times amazing me each time.

M.T.Vasudevan Nair’s ‘Randaam Oozham’- There’s a real good English ‘recreation’ online .

V.T.Nandakumar’s “Ente Karnan”

Kuttikrishna Marar’s ‘Bharatha Paryatanam’

Alex Haley’s ‘Roots’

Paulo Coelho’s ‘Eleven Minutes’

Many many more…

Where do you usually read?

Anything other than cookery recipe books , travelogues, Science fiction. I get lost in Geographical/ spatial details.

Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?

No, I stick to only one book at a time. I think I might get confused otherwise.

Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?

No I don’t think so- or may be when I read non fiction I sometimes go back and re -read, sometimes take down lines in my diary.

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?

I busy most of my books, though I’ve borrowed too- and then ended up buying a copy if I liked it too much.

Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?
I keep all the books I buy. I find it difficult to give away books even those that I don’t like.

If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?
The books that my brother and me read as a child are all safely preserved in my parents home in Kerala and my sons have read most of them whenever they visit them.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink’- its not too engrossing and I’m kind of dawdling through it.

Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?
Yes, I’ve such a list but no idea if I’ll ever get them.

What books would you like to reread?

Most of the ones I’ve read.

Who are your favourite authors?
M.T.Vasudevan Nair. I’ve written to him and received a reply too which is a treasured possession.

My oldest memory:

I’ve many memories but am not sure which is the earliest. Perhaps the one of falling and hurting myself in our Bombay flat- bleeding profusely and being taken to the hospital. A neighbour and friend by the name of Sunita was with me. The scar remains on my forehead to this day.

Ten years ago:

November 1998? Just ordinary days. No particular memory that has stuck.

My first thought this morning

‘better get up…’

If you built a time capsule, what would it contain:

My family, my pc.

This year:


14 years from now:

I’d be 55 then. Hopefully someone with serenity, tolerance, acceptance, good health and lots, lots of emotional and mental strength . Someone who is not afraid about the uncertanities of Life.