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"