Wednesday, January 26, 2011


The mobile was silent, and the mails never came
Not yet.
The blogger mates were glum, nothing from them
Not yet.

I wondered for a while, am I missing it.
From friends and strangers -
Wishes for the beauty of the Republic.
Thank gracious mercifully though,
Nothing this time around.
Not yet.

Perhaps they see the aura of the state
ebbing slow but sure.
Perhaps they see the futility.
Of feigning blind when it is glaring and vivid

The poor country is plunging down, down and down hill
Thanks to us, one and all
For whom ‘the self’ matter more.

And the tricolour – a fragment of cloth, colourful though!
To be unfurled at the Lal Chowk, and paint the mother red.
In blood.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Welcome Development !

This article may invite scorn from the votaries of "development”. But yet, sometimes, it is better to be scorned at than be petted.
I was scouring the NET to see if I could get any information on Laurie Baker's report on Sabarimala. But except for synopsis, drafted by various news publishers I could not get a trace. Neither from his official web site. But I stumbled upon something else, and any one who lived ones childhood in Thiruvananthapuram of the sixties and early seventies would feel pained and helpless- an article published in the Indian Express in 1995 and written by Laurie Baker. (The sketch of the Indian Coffee house is nostalgic)..

Click on the link below to read on

Monday, January 24, 2011

"The Yellow Eye"

“Look, you have just time to join Thatha Natesan’s story telling”. Raman’s uncle pointed out.

Raman shifted feet uneasily.”Tonight I am not going,” he answered and added hastily, “I am tired”.

“Aha so?” His uncle’s eyebrows lifted in surprise.”Well then, hurry home, before Yellow Eye – the tiger catches sight of you! “Oh aren’t you afraid of Yellow Eye anymore?”There was teasing in his voice.

“ Munnusawamy the school master says that Yellow Eye does not exist, “Raman answered, and then could have bitten back the words.

“Ah if your schoolmaster says he does not exist, and then all the stories that have been told for so many years must be false, is that it?”

“How can they be true?” Raman pointed out.” No tiger could live for so many years, and with just one eye, too. And besides, only a week ago .......”

One story went, Yellow Eye the tiger roamed, waiting to take revenge upon the hunter who had blinded his eye, or failing that, upon anyone who dared to enter his kingdom.

“So in your school they teach you to scoff years of stories as well as to read and write, his uncle observed, some of the teasing gone from his voice.

“It is not scoffing ", Ramaman said quickly. It is only finding what is true and what is not”.

“Yet not a few days ago there was word of a tiger that carried off a goat from a farm down on the slope”.

“A tiger, yes, but not Yellow Eye. There may be a few tigers in the jungles and they may have when hungry taken a goat. Thatha Natesan says that when he was young there were many tigers around here......”

“ Thatha Natesan also says that Yellow Eye still roams the slopes of the mountains, seeking revenge. One thing you believe, and the other you do not?”His uncle said forcefully.

“They are not the same thing”, Raman insisted. ´Every one knows that there were many animals in the hills long ago. But who can really believe that a tiger, like a man, will go on seeking revenge for an injury done no one knows how many years ago? And besides if all that happened when Thatha Natesan was a young boy, then Yellow Eye would be almost a hundred years old by now. What tiger could [possibly live so long?”

“Your Munnuswamy the schoolmaster has taught you well, I see”, Raman’s uncle observed dryly.” Well, run along now. Yellow Eye or no Yellow Eye, you should hurry home....”

Raman bade him good night and set off down the path. Yellow Eye indeed! Was it possible that his uncle actually believed the legend, the myth of the vengeful tiger? He did not say that he believed, and yet he did not seem pleased that Raman should deny the truth of the story.

Courtesy- Tiger on the mountain

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Growing Up

Signs of never growing up -the little girl is obstinate
Like the primate- proverbial,
Holding tight, clutched palms, closed eyes,
screaming that she can’t be denied.
Try holding her hand, make  her understand,
She rebels like the Wiccan of lore.
“I can never be wrong, and I can never be denied”, she yells.
Pretty face she has, sweet little woman, but ......pride!
Alas, signs of never growing up!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fear is the key

The present seems to be the times of ‘jyothis”, “ makara jyothis”, and the arguments for and against its truth. Discussions were over ridden by expletives and derisive comments. Things went into the existence and beliefs in the ‘big brother’. People who were honestly anguished at the sufferings fraud and canard foisted in the name of faith, voiced their opinions. But the democracy that we have, where the views of the majority hold sway, the pleadings seem to be trivialised, unheeded.
What causes beliefs and the so called faith? There is only one word  that is the answer, “FEAR”.
I stumbled upon an interesting opinion , on th.e subject by one gentleman, Mike, and I do not know if that is  his given name or pseudonym. But he has a valid point borne out of his experience..
Please read on....

"When I first reconverted, I at first felt at a bit like I was stumbling around in the dark. I'd slowly but surely let go of my old world views and superstitions, but there was no philosophy of how to live to fill that gap.

It wasn't long before my thirst for knowledge led me to the realization that some of the greatest thinkers from antiquity to modernity had been addressing similar issues. I'm finding that even after twenty years of formal schooling I am only just beginning to learn how to learn, how to think, how to live.

The following quote made me think of my posts on salvation and hell.  My train of thought strayed from Russell's words somewhat, but it was inspired by them.

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertrand Russell, British mathematician & philosopher (1872 - 1970)

I used to be afraid of dying, afraid of not living with enough devotion to an entity that I had never seen, heard, felt, or otherwise sensed. There's a very simple reason why preachers who say "god is love" one minute will cry out about how our society is not "god-fearing" the next.

As soon as I took the risk of questioning my beliefs I realized that it was nonsense to fear a god that loved me, such a god would not penalize its people for not believing when it knows exactly what it would take to convince each and everyone of them.

Without the fear it suddenly became possible to see all the other inconsistencies, each and every continuity error, every hypocrisy. At some level I became angry and frustrated at god, at religion, as if it was its fault for the falsehood. But that silly notion came from the framework of the world that I'd been raised with, one deeply rooted in superstitions.

Gods are no more than fictional characters, and religions social constructs of shared mythos and mores. The more autocratic a religion the more control it can have over continuity and consistency. The more liberal a religion the less it will conform to a consistent narrative or ethical principle.

Seeing religion for what it is, culture and folklore, allows one to stop being afraid of life, of oneself, of those who are different, and start to see the best in everything".

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cry,but not out of anger

Quote by a prominent barrister of Thiruvananthapuram,”The tree had to be cut down much earlier. People want development. Only those who ride in this direction could understand the difficulty - you can’t see anything because of the tree standing in the curve and blocking the view ahead. A permanent solution was needed.”

Our parents when they grow old and have out lived their use may also be seen as a hindrance and inhibiting. They may be blocking our view of the fun ahead. Though they have through rain and shine kept us in their canopy. Nevertheless, shouldn't we, going by the same yardstick, the same coin of the argument of the learned Advocate, chain-sawing  trees, eliminate our aged parents too? And provide ourselves a free way without encumbrance and hindrance , with nothing untoward blocking our view of the curve- in the road ahead! The residents association of the elite corner of Thiruvananthapuram think so, I guess.

Development, in economic parlance would mean generating more revenue with the use of available resources, or expanding on a given quantum of resource. In social terms it can also mean, “A process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage, ideally a more advanced or mature stage”.

The catch is the wide meaning of what is more advanced and mature .Uprooting trees that outlived our grandparents, and would, if given a chance our grand children too, to make way for what the elite residents of Shasthamangalam call development- having more sedans and SUVs on road, having malls dotted all-around?

Some days ago the development mania that blinded some gentry in Thpuram, brought out the most undeveloped side, the degenerating side of human mind and conduct. They abused with various expletives a honoured woman, a poetess, a conscientious social activist, and who is perhaps the reason for the “Silent Valley” existing even today. A lady who would certainly be as aged as my mother and who was solely responsible for the ban on the inhuman exploitation of women, with the insipid, vulgar cabaret and nude dance in “Gods own country”. Even the State minster for Forestry was profanely abused. With gesticulating fingers they threw profanity at the minister, almost planting blows. All because they objected to the felling a tree in Thpurman! 

The committee that was authorised by the  State Government and consisting of persons of knowledge, culture and substance ,to look into the felling of trees and decide on the trees that can be protected and those that have to inevitably make way for "development", approved felling of twenty two trees by the road sides . And did not agree for the felling of four trees which could be saved and this particular pipal tree was one such. A drain that was built in towards the tree could have been circumvented with ease. But the intelligent gentry did not agree to that. A nitwit resident from the political class asserted," when we cut 16 trees , we planted 48". (!!!!)

Eventually “development” won that evening!

It was not just a tree that went down that night, it was the culture and values that any human being must hold close to his bosom,which was found wanting in the elite crowd that gathered at the junction on that night .

The road round the curve is very clear now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Faithfully Yours .....


The faithfully faithful. This is what I saw at the
Medical college junction this morning. Let it be, it is a belief and practised in faith for centuries. So say the educated class. A bizzaire exhibition of archaic , medieval hangovers of religious bigotry and inhuman rituals. Are we praying to Gods who thirst for blood of his  or her devotees? Is there any god who would be fascinated at the sight of suffering  of a living thing, man or beast?

I do not know if this inhuman drama gets enacted in India. But it does in countries like Philippines and the Latin Americas., on the so called "Good Friday".Did Christ extol this outlandish, eccentric , freaky enactment? Or again is it faith of centuries that we must not murmur against.Beheading of a woman in Saudi Arabia for adultery. Conspicuously a law given by the divine!!!! And followed for centuries in good faith by the faithful. But seldom practised by even Lucifer.

In Iran public display of the dead after the very publicised ritual of putting to death. Faith and has to be followed.No questions asked.

Preparing a victim  to stoning faith of a : vibrant" young faith as they call it.

And watch this link. And judge whre the devil is. He is in our hearts!!!

Human rights my foot! Human rights is not walking around with a  swagger. It is the right to respectable life , pursuance of livelihood and the right to speak ones mind , express ones thoughts,feelings..And not to be fooled by archaic , laws that claim divine sanctions and involvement.

And finally one of the biggest fraud of  all times, commercially doing wonders" The makar jyothi"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Insightful Sardar

The most industrious, valiant and rackety group of people in India are the Sikhs. And perhaps  the epic centre of hilarious anecdotes, imaginations and stories. Here is one such that came to me from a friend.

George Bush was sitting in his office wondering whom to invade next when his telephone rang. 

 'Hello, Mr. Bush!' a heavily accented voice said, 'This is Gurmukh from Phagwara, District Kapurthala, Punjab .. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring the war on you!'

 'Well, Gurmukh,' Bush replied, 'This is indeed important news! How big is your army'

 'Right now,' said Gurmukh, after a moment's calculation, 'there is myself, my cousin Sukhdev, my next door neighbor Bhagat, and the entire kabaddi team from the gurudwara. That makes eight'

 Bush paused. 'I must tell you, Gurmukh that I have one million men in my army waiting to move on my command.'

 'Arrey O! Main kya..' said Gurmukh. 'I'll have to ring you back!'

 Sure enough, the next day, Gurmukh called again.

 'Mr. Bush, it is Gurmukh, I'm calling from Phagwara STD, the war is still on! We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!'

 'And what equipment would that be, Gurmukh' Bush asked.

 'Well, we have two carbines, a donkey and Amrik's tractor.'

 Bush sighed. 'I must tell you, Gurmukh, that I have 16,000 tanks and 14,000 armored personnel carriers. Also, I've increased my army to 1-1/2million since we last spoke.'

 'Oh teri....' said Gurmukh. 'I'll have to get back to you.'

 Sure enough, Gurmukh rang again the next day.

 'Mr. Bush, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne.... .. We've modified Amrik's tractor by adding a couple of shotguns, sticking on some wings and the pind's generator. Four school pass boys from Malpur have joined us as well!'

 Bush was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. 'I must tell you, Gurmukh, that I have 10,000 bombers and 20,000 fighter planes. My military complex is surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I've increased my army to TWO MILLION!'

 'Tera bhala hove....' said Gurmuk, 'I'll have to ring you back.'

 Sure enough, Gurmukh called again the next day.

 'Kiddan, Mr.Bush! I am sorry to tell you that we have had to call off the war.'

 'I'm sorry to hear that,' said Bush. 'Why the sudden change of heart'

 'Well,' said Gurmukh, 'we've all had a long chat over a couple of lassi's, and decided there's no way we can feed two million prisoners of wars!'


Monday, January 17, 2011

God - a victim of the the stampede

                     The Temple of Sabarimala as it looked in 1942

Allau-din- Killji, reign from 1296-1316 was in a way instrumental in the historicity of Sabarimala. His lover, the eunuch military General, Malik Kaffur was sent to South India for the furtherance of military conquest and plunder of temples that was widely the practised history of Prussian forage into India.
Fearing the imminent invasion, the Pandya kings of Madurai first thrashed away the temple wealth and booty to various Bhramanic households , and then when the fall of the kingdom was certain they fled to Venad. Meanwhile Malik Kaffur reached as south as Rameswaram and built a mosque there.

The ruler of Venad in his magnanimity and adhiti devo bhava tradition gave that branch of the Pandya dynasty that came for safe haven, around 1000 sq miles of land in Pandalam. Thence the Pandalam dynasty was born. The lore and myth of the Sabarimla temple cocooned in the Western Ghats amidst thick dense, pristine, perennial green forest began there. Myth was crafted artistically into history like with all mythical stories of various faiths.

I scoured through the Net to find the actual time the pilgrim journey into the Sabarimala began,but information was absent. The fascinating characteristic of the pilgrimage or journey to Sabarimala is the absence of touch- me – notism amongst the pilgrims.The strict continence and penance subscribed for and before the pilgrimage to the hills, is now frivolous and trivial. Though the God who supposedly abodes in Sabarimala had a Muslim, and a  Christian as companions, the inter faith and inter caste bonhomie is shed in the hills and is seldom carried down in their hearts by the millions of pilgrims who venture to the hills. But marketing of the temple presumably brought the Aryans from north down to the hills in the Western Ghats to worship the Dravidian God.

The recent tragedy where more than one hundred lives perished in chaos and stampede is only a reminder of the wayward ways we follow to desecrate nature in and around Sabarimala. Certainly the God is angry and is in wrathful mood. The very look at the photo given here would tell how we raped the temple, god and the mountains. The officialdom is steadfastly perpetuating the utter nonsense and canard of “ makara Jyoti”. And people vie for being gullible. When god is not in the heart, mind  and soul, even a thousand jyotis can never lit up the heart, mind and soul of man.

In the goodness of things, rather than market and sell the myth of Ayappan, and marketing the journey to the  hills as the panacea for the sufferings of karma and life, the government can think of devising a quota system by which only a limited number of pilgrims are allowed into Sabarimala. Certainly the hills cannot take this large numbers. The tragedy of the stampede tells that.There can be an on line booking system. The reduction in the thronging of people to the hills will help nature, nurture her mauled and raped body back. The Gods, in the hills can have some peace! The river Pampa will be able to replenish and sustain her devoid of Coliform bacteria. And such tragedy as the one recent may not re visit. Perhaps Lord Ayyappan would also consider going back to Sabarimala from his present state of incommunicado.

A child posed this question after seeing the TV reportage of the tragedy in Sabarimala, “why did not the lord ensure that his devotees did not come to harm”?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hug Amorous?

I waited with a wildly beating heart,
 for the parting clinch that once snowed me under.
I thought, I sensed she wanted to hug,
Or did I long for it again, once?
She was stealthily waiting by,so I thought.
As she went into the bath and laid the towels for me.
Then stood out looking elsewhere feigning some chores,
or so I thought.
Heart skipping beats, and beating fast,
 I went in to the bath
And restfully, she slid in and stood close.
Told me the towels were laid, not that I could not see!
And familiarise me the tap for the warm and cold!
Did I hear her lungs breath fast or was it my breath?
She perhaps sensed my heart skip beats, and moved away, out.
And I thought I called out after her-
‘You left me in the lurch and cold’.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The other side of the Moon

The mysterious other side has always evoked curiosity. Well is there a “other side”? The mysterious other side – what after death has evoked wonder, fear and anxiety to the majority, while the minuscule have brushed it as trivial and nonchalantly. Opinions are always based on religion, faith, conditioning and tradition. It has been the nature of man to attribute divinity and providential potency to things that are incomprehensible with the present knowledge that we possess of the mystery that life and universe are.
What will happen after death? What will become of you when you are dead?
Will you remain in the subterranean vault and decay ,or will your burnt out ashes get blown by the wind and be carried into lands that you wanted to go, or you never known of? And or still be immortal in the afterlife like the Pharaohs thought they would be? Here are some thought provoking, jest full, anxious, and on the whole funny answers. The kiss of Angelique – the angel of death!

1-      Your spirit returns to God, who gave it.

2-      The Judgment!

3-      I guess when you are gone, you are gone, and probably that makes sense.

4-      I try to think it in many ways, but can’t get around it.

5-      It is not what would happen after you die , it is what people want to think will happen after you are dead.

6-      Dude there is no opinion as to what would happen when we die; it is the hard biological fact. We rot and maggots eat us inside out. Isn’t it clear enough?

7-      Your neurons stop firing and your body starts to decay.Evryone mourns for a while and then move on, and then they also die and there will be again mourning for a while and their children and friends move on in life.

8-      The cycle continues until you are free of your karma.

9-      Life is too short to keep thinking about what after death.

10-  Let us keep the best of life ticking, the positive, and fuck death and life after.

11-  No one knows what will happen . We can only guess, hope and have faith. And there has been no come back except Jesus, so they say, and the only ones who saw him were connected to him.

12-  I told you guys, I can’t explain decomposition after having eaten recently.

13-  Decay and become part of the food chain.

14-  I’m not religious so I don’t care if people have different beliefs. And I will not get offended. But I do believe in God. Just an idea that popped up. We reincarnate and continue to do God’s will, and then go to heaven. Just a thought.

15- Send my stomach to Milwaukee if they run out of beer there.
Put my socks in a cedar box; just get them out of here.
Throw my brain into a hurricane.
Since it is sin to tell lies, send my mouth down south,
And kiss my arse good bye,
But please, please don’t bury me in the cold, cold ground..

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Tyger

Tiger Tiger. burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye.
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears:
Did he smile His work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger Tiger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
William Blake

William Blake the English poet and painter penned this highly analysed poem in the late 1700’s. He misspelled the word and noted as TYGER, it is told, perhaps to emphasise the different and exotic nature of the animal.

I remember this poem from standard IV, when we had a shortened few lines in our English Reader. It was sometime later in high school the complete poem was given in the curriculum. The poem haunts me even now for the vibrancy and strength of words, perhaps a parallel I noticed in the poem Balachandran posted.
I take the liberty of posting Blake’s poem ‘Tiger’ per se, as I cannot coin verses like he or Balachandarn, verses that carry the power and the feel . Anything otherwise would be an injustice to this wonderful creature and the fate that is fast overtaking it.

And it was during the same time when in high school, during my regular visits to the British Council Library in Thiruvananthapuram, I happened to read a book on a hunting expedition of King George V. There was photograph in black and white with the King and his Maharajah splendiferous in front of the carcass of some fifty odd tigers they hunted in one single day.
That slaughter was for perverted fun and the present slaughter is in aid of perverted carnal orgy.

And the magnificent creature is at the nadir end in both cases. 

" What hands made thee" ,the same god that made the lamb made the tiger. And  he the very same blacksmith made man... what a cosmic catastrophe!!!!

 "the stars throw down their spears ,

And water the heaven with their tears”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

'De mortuis nil nisi bonum'.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum. ... , will this hold good with the many that passed away?
A few sample personalities who while they walked this world were either considered or were  evil, bad, corrupt, false, nepotic, greedy,malevolent, and rode rough shod over many lives, sending them to misery and into a life of agony . They destroyed systems and conventions, all aimed at self aggrandisement and deeply  set in avarice. Some where driven by misplaced logic of their concept of social justice. The result was havoc and devastation!
An immediate sample few who came to mind from not so recent to recent history.

Powered and driven by perverted vision of Aryan supremacy, the legacy of which the world still see in many parts and the middle- east. He accounted for more deaths only surpassed by the crusades.

Megalomania and utter disregard for life, all driven by a fanatic belief in the indispensability and omniscience of Communism, marked his reign. Researchers found he may have eliminated an estimated 60 million people during his reign of terror. The architect of the infamous “gulag” which killed an estimated 1.8 million plus.

The perverted military dictator of the impoverished Uganda, His rule was characterised by abuses, political repression, cold blooded murders, brutality and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to be more than 500,000.

The ‘lord of the killing fields’, leader of the Cambodian communist movement. He was the prime minister of Cambodia from 1978-79. He in his time as the dictator of Kampuchea attempted to ‘cleanse ’the country , and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million to 2.5 million people .During his time in power, he imposed a version of agrarian socialism , a form of communist idiosyncrasy, forcing urban dwellers to relocate to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labour projects, toward a goal of "restarting civilization" in a "Year Zero". The combined effects of forced labour, malnutrition, poor medical care and executions resulted in the deaths of approximately 21% of the Cambodian population.

The most dreaded terrorist,who came into lime light as a freedom fighter for a separate Tamil state in Ceylon.He was wanted by the Interpol for crimes ranging from ethnic cleansing, terror , murder, smuggling ,trading in narcotics, political assassinations  and terrorism conspiracy.A brutal killer who condoned no dissent. He brought mayhem on his own folks. 

The feminine face of the Hindu goddess “Durga”, considered by many as the harbinger and giver of prosperity for the teeming impoverished millions in India!. She was adept in decimating, systems, institutions and values that are corner stones and pinions of democracy. Driven by her lust and longing to stay in power ,she usurped the constitution and all democratic norms, perpetuated her family rule for almost two years- ruled by decree she, her son and his cronies. She tolerated no dissent, but still claimed to be a democrat. During her autocratic regime of the Emergency days thousands were imprisoned and some never saw daylight after. Basic human rights and civil liberties those are the vital cogs of democracy were trampled and destroyed. Manipulated politics to abysmal depths that states like Punjab and Assam almost broke away from the Union. And even to this day Jammu& Kashmir is a festering sore.
But she is still an icon, a goddess for the many millions in India.

And in very recent history, the man who probably would have, if he were given a chance carried the chair he most coveted to the nether world. A man whose lust for trappings of power, and blind affection for his kith and kin knew no bounds and reared its ugly face in public. Was a ruthless practitioner of Machiavelli’s theories of state craft. Perpetuated corruption, and sleaze.Became infamous for lying under oath of his knowledge and acquiescence of extra judicial murders during the emergency. Hunger for power stayed with him till his last. However encomiums and eulogy that were showered after his demise will put to shame the very same man who loved flattery and narcissism.