Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Great Hijackings.




The first recorded aircraft hijack took place on February 21, 1931, in Peru. People do not speak about hijacking at sea as it is perhaps less glamorous.
Usurpation has had happened in various forms in societies ,as early as from the dawn of social living. And the most cunning are the hijacking of great masters who threw light into our mangled messy living.

It is Xmas time and my mobile phone and Gmail have been often notified with good wishes for a merry Xmas and the wishes of good tidings for the ensuing New Year.
Good to know people care!
The fascination with Blogging sends me every morning, first routine, after bed to the computer and the Blog. There were a few blogs from blogging associates reminding of Xmas and conveying their wishes. But unfortunately and disturbingly there was a post which sort of hijacked Xmas and Jesus Christ. And as a consolation, threw a Buddha at us, Indians .In any case Siddhartha was from Nepal and less Indian, in terms of political and social definitions.

Hijacking has always happened in matters of great thinkers and masters, whether they be, mythical or historical characters. Christ, Rama, Buddha, Mahaveera, Shankara, Socrates, and even recently the venerable Narayana Guru have been hijacked and sequestered by vested institutionalized interests.

Can anyone tell without bating an eyelid that Jesus Christ as we know him is an exclusive private merchandise of the institutionalized Church? When someone claims so, it is gross irreverence to the person called Jesus Christ and his philosophy. The great thinkers were and are never any ones private possession. They cannot be possessed by a sect, religion, region or country. The teachings of Buddha and the thoughts of Socrates transcend eons and generations. The dharma and purpose of the life of a King that Sree Rama extolled even at the dire expense of his dear wife cannot be glorified to be the culture of one sect or religion. His life, mythical though conveyed a message to the whole world at large. To claim the gift of such thoughts and  messages meant for the whole of  humanity as exclusively patented or of copyright to a section is ridiculous, outrageous and outlandish. Such thoughts tell one’s pettiness and myopia.

"Father they know not what they say”!

The birth of Christ and its commemoration is a universal celebration, because his exhortation and teachings were meant for the whole of humanity, and not for the stretch of land in Palestine , or self proclaimed Christians. The philosophy of “ahimsa” or non violence, the moral creed of Satyagraha conveyed by Mahatma Gandhi are not to be confined to a few Indians, it has universal relevance.

If a patron of another faith, let him be a Hindu a Muslim, a Jew a Buddhist a commie or an anarchist feels and states that the teachings and philosophy of Jesus is alien and hence wrong and harmful, or is an exclusive merchandise to be pedaled by a particular group, he or she is widely proclaiming his/her impetuosity and retarded development of their brain.It is unfortunately our shortcoming and limitation that we cannot see teachings of great masters as all encompassing and universal, touching each and every facets of life, transcending continents.

There are also claims on this Xmas day that the lands in Africa, America and Asia were resurrected and civilized from barbarism by the advent of Christianity. A grossly mediocre statement lacking in knowledge of history! To claim that the native Indians were more barbaric than the church going Europeans is the unkindest cut of all. The inquisition, the purge into the Americas , the expeditions of Christian missionaries into the unchartered lands of Africa by the connivance of the official Roman and Spanish Church only decimated and eliminated the ethnic cultures , traditions , pagan life styles and systems of the natives. The most brutal of conversions took place in the Americas by the Spanish and that was in total variance with what Christ stood for.Remember, those  few  fisher folks became his apostles, his disciples out of their volition and not enticement, lure or brutal force.

And it is a shame to dedicate in the memory of Christ ,the mayhem unleashed on the native populace to purportedly civilize them, and to remind us of those horrendous acts on this Xmas day, is injustice and unchristian.

Xmas is not for the Church alone!



Friday, December 24, 2010

"Sweet Caroline"



 Sweet Caroline" is a song of beauty written , composed and sung by the effervescent Neil Diamond.It was I see , released in  the late 60’s. The song reached the 4th in the Billboard and went on to win the platinum for highest solo.
Neil Diamond  was inspired by the little daughter of JFK, Caroline ,, who was hardly into her teens when he wrote the song..He sang the song again on her 50 th day celebration in 2007.

Plagiarism , though, I rededicate this song to the Caroline ( Christy) , who I know  and has been with me for the past 23- Xmas days, who is more sweet, more beautiful, aint that tall, aint that skinny, but I , Ara and Radhu are blessed to have with us. Because she has a heart that cannot hate, and not love! And happy birthday to her and Jesus Christ- December 25 , Xmas day.



Where it began 
I can't begin to knowin 
But then I know it's growin strong 

Was in the spring 
And spring became the summer 
Who’d have believed you'd come along 

Hands, touchin hands 
Reachin out 
Touchin me 
Touchin you 

Sweet caroline 
Good times never seemed so good 
I've been inclined 
To believe they never would 

But now I 
Look at the night 
And it don't seem so lonely 
We fill it up with only two 
And when I hurt 
Hurtin runs off my shoulders 
How can I hurt when I'm with you 

Warm, touchin warm 
Reachin out 
Touchin me 
Touchin you 

Sweet caroline 
Good times never seemed so good 
I've been inclined 
To believe they never would 
Oh, no, no 

Sweet caroline 
Good times never seemed so good 
I've been inclined 
I believed they never could 
Sweet caroline

With you around!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

“Après moi le déluge”




















After me 'The Deluge'.
The statement was reminiscent.
And only man, and man alone
would feel so.
Failing to see  prophetic it is.
Cos, pride and arrogance are his forte!
Defiant to pitfalls and humbling,
selfish and convinced of his vitalness;
lessons never learned.
Only man and man alone can say
After me The Deluge!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A significant insignificance




This is a real life story and happened in multi speciality facility hospital in Thiruvannathapuram.

It is sometime late in the morning and a gluttonous auto rickshaw stutter into the portico of the causality wing of the multi storied hospital complex. Two men scramble out and yell for the attendants. Two uniformed bearers trudge in with a push stretcher. They seem to be quite disinterested and are a bit annoyed at the two men who were yelling frantically and gesticulating into the auto rickshaw. Perhaps the arrival of an auto rickshaw was less fascinating than a chauffeur driven Mercedes .The vehicles that shuttles in the victim or let us say the patient is the frontrunner- the harbinger of the revenue that could be extracted.

A young woman in her mid twenties is carried out of the auto rick and laid on the stretcher. And they suddenly notice the emergent situation and rush the trolley carrying the woman into the causality ward.

The woman apparently attempted to kill herself and failed. She tried to hang to death and was noticed in time and brought to the hospital. Fortunately or unfortunately for her there was some life left in her. The trachea was not severed, and also strangulation has not completely wiped out the air from her lungs. The duty doctors were quite efficient in attending her. The oxygen mask was quickly put on her face the necessary initial aid was quickly administered. The supervisor of the casualty asked the men to deposit an advance amount at the cash counter. The men were quite lost and pleaded they did not have money .The Supervisor immediately summoned another middle aged man who went to the woman lying in fight with death .She was being resuscitated and all medical procedures were being exercised.

The guy was the official gold smith of the hospital. Ever heard of such a position in a hospital?Well he took a good look at the trinkets the woman had on her. He then started to remove them from her person, and went to the cubicle placed in one corner. He closely examined them, a tiny gold chain, and a thin bangle. He began the test to see if the pieces were real.

He made a light scratch on the pieces of jewellery with a small file. Using a dropper, he applied a drop of nitric acid on the scratch he made on the jewellery. He confirmed that the pieces did not turn green, or milky. That ensured that he was dealing with gold and not any base material.He swiftly weighed the jewellery and went out to the supervisor and confirmed the value .This was the way the hospital ensured that treatment to the needy is not denied. They have the facility to either pawn your jewellery to raise money to pay the medical bills or even mortgage your property documents.

The only catch is that if you go there in full consciousness or comatose you must have gold on you or unencumbered documents of intangible assets.


This story was narrated by a friend who has close access to hospitals and is fairly privy to the functioning and administration of some. Infertility being a very grave and serious issue amongst the current generation, infertility clinics are having a gay of a time.



The young doctor graduated from Mumbai and did his masters at the AIIMs New Delhi. He was working in a super speciality hospital in Mumbai, before settling down in central Kerala, where he hailed from. The new job at the infertility clinic was quite to his liking. The hospital had a very liberal and strong clientele of expatriates from the gulf.

However his sojourn there did not last more than ten months. To his indignation he found that he had to acquiesce the management’s way of “fertilizing”. The management wanted to ensure without any demure that every couple who venture to the clinic go back satisfied that infertility is cured. And the woman have conceived. The clinic was well known for the magic treatment even in cases of absolute irreversible male infertility. The conception rate of infertile couples who venture to the clinic is an amazing percent. Our Mumbai returned doctor only had to endorse the modus operandi. And that was, the sperm of the male was invariably substituted, however in total secrecy with only the clinic management privy to the mala fide.

Couples are happy that their irreversible infertile status is reversed and their dreams come alive. The clinic has its revenue swelling.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Lament of the Formless



He said, “once upon a time I was formless, then

they made me in their way, a look alike, a clone

they didn’t ask me -did I like it their way

they just did it their way.

They put me in temples, in churches;

they decreed that I be in mosques and synagogues

they never wanted me in their hearts”.

He continued his lament

“They made me in stone and clay, in bronze and wood

they crucified a  hapless soul and said it was me.

They put me in hills and mountains afar,

where they tread to ,season after season

raping the  forest and valleys,jungles and streams pristine,

and demand my grace.

Tell me, they made me like them

and what blessed am I to bless?”

He continued thus, and abruptly left-

“I do not want to be their clone;

I want to be the formless that I was

and be at peace, as I ,earlier were,

 when the sun and the  moon ,the stars and the heavens,

the seas and the mountains, and when life 

were not”.




Friday, December 17, 2010

Osho and the "F"

On his grave stone is the engraving”Visited this World”. A person vilified, revered, and continues to be abused and respected even in death.
Sometime ago I received the audio of Osho’s comments on the versatility of the English word “Fuck””.
I chanced to recollect this message , (on the net )that was lying unnoticed now for quite some time until the Blog brought forth over the past few days very interesting wrestling and emotion on the fascinating word “ Fuck” and its distant physical  dramatisation- “the middle finger jerk”
Again I swear by all the Gods in the pantheon that I’m not advocating the rampant use of the word or its middle finger demonstration.
This piece is for fun and some interesting observations.
Osho begins.....
 It is one of the most interesting words in English language today.
There are not very many words  with the versatility of the word  fuck. Besides the sexual meaning, there are also the following uses:
Ignorance: Fucked if I know.
Trouble: I guess I am fucked now!
Fraud: I got fucked at the used car lot.
Aggression: Fuck you!
Displeasure: What the fuck is going on here?
Difficulty: I can’t understand this fucking job.
Incompetence: He is a fuck-off.
Suspicion: What the fuck are you doing?
Enjoyment: I had a fucking good time.
Request: Get the fuck out of here.
Hostility: I’m going to knock your fucking head off.
Greeting: How the fuck are you?
Apathy: Who gives a fuck?
Innovation: Get a bigger fucking hammer.
Surprise: Fuck! You scared the shit out of me!
Anxiety: Today is really fucked.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A morning without the cuppa



Now yet again another note of annoyance and quetch !
The previous week one morning sans the customary cups of hot strong tea, I drove to the hospital.
I was at the Cosmopolitan Hospital for a general physical check up. Fondly known as “executive check up”, considering the decent amount that is charged for the marks on ones physical status.
The procedure through the withdrawal of blood, urine, ECG and X-raying was swift and well conducted. Then came the check on the main engine or motor! The cardio specialist was perhaps in his early forties and well built. A handsome doc who I’m certain turned many a female heads while during his Medical school days. He was quite busy and loaded. But was swift and quite efficient in his physical check on me. He ensured my blood pressure reading was accurate by repeating the process thrice and he did the check himself. He did not ask the nurse to strap the BP apparatus on me. He told me that the diastolic and systolic values were quite identical on all three occasions. His rapid fire questions on my life style and hereditary appendage was over in no time. I guess he smiled inside when he heard my reply to his enquiry on my intake of spirits. Did he strike a chord, a rapport in my answer-“brothers in arms”, perhaps! He was very quick and efficient with the Echo test which he did himself and again did not ask the nurse or someone else to perform. He gave me his interpretation of the test forthwith and did not show any air of secrecy and ‘why should the patient know” attitude of some physicians. He sent me for the TMT and it was done by another person. His summing up of my test reports was quite friendly and well analysed. He was quick as time was a premium factor for him. But at the end one felt a sort of comfort that one was to a physician who takes his job and the person who visits him with the necessary attitude, however cramped he is for time.A relatively clean chit vis a vis blood and urine samples they tested.

The nurse then sent me to a general Physician, and I still cannot understand why the heck she wanted me to meet that fellow.

He was in his sixties and not for once did I recall him look at me in the face. He perfunctorily set the stethoscope on my chest and withdrew it immediately as if something stung him. He threw a few questions at me (that sounded like out of a recorded tape dictation) even without taking a glance towards me. I wonder if he knew I was a man or woman. He seemed to be a person quite fed up with his job or was he not, was it indifference? 

I wonder if doctors cannot see the necessity to receive and look the patient in the eye, what kind of analysis, diagnosis can happen? And can visits to such physicians erase ones apprehensions even if the verdict is all clear? Doctors seldom deem it necessary to explain the diagnosis or the treatment procedure to the patient even in the language a lay person can comprehend. Some doctors keep an air, and they disapprove or frown upon any questions regarding the diagnosis, prognosis or the medications they prescribe. And asking any can evoke response and disquiet severe than the hullabaloo ignited by the WikiLeaks.

In the final summing up, I have a clean chit apparently, and the vehicle can move on.

Friday, December 10, 2010

WikiLeaks


The dystopian novel of George Orwell “Nineteen Eighty Four” and the crudely bold novel of O.V.Vijayan “ Saga of Dhrarmapuri”( Dharmapuranam) are the two works of the twentieth century that I chanced to read. And the plots in those works seem to be absolutely apposite today. More so now with the ‘la affaire' WikiLleaks.


The major plot of Nineteen Eighty-Four is the life in one of the seven super States of Oceania, though the allegory was to the USSR and the satellite states of East Europe. O.V.Vijayan's theme was the sardonic on goings in Lutyen’s New Delhi, while Orwell’s theme was the smothered society behind the iron curtain,censorship and curb on free speech  which is displayed especially in the Ministry of Truth, where photographs are doctored and public archives rewritten to rid them of persons who have been arrested, whom the Party has decided to efface from history. Official handouts of statistical figures  for all types of production are grossly exaggerated (or concocted) to indicate an ever-growing economy, and prosperity, when in reality there is stagnation, and downward plummeting..

 The residents of Oceania are under constant surveillance by the “Big Brother”, and the very effective way of control of the citizenry. Eaves dropping and surveillance by the Government is so prevalent .that the smallest sign of rebellion, even something small as a facial expression, can result in immediate arrest and incarceration. And, citizens are compelled to absolute obedience at all times.
O.V.Vijayan goes to the extent of providing ample substitutes to real life characters during the infamous days of Indira Gandhi’s dictatorship 1975-77.
Both novels amply illustrate the statement of the former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, “there is no aphrodisiac as absolute power”. And he was a person who with Richard Nixon used the dictum in real life to perfection and horrendous results to the world.
The Big Brother is watching us, be it in the most populous democracy, the oldest democracy, let alone in the single party ideological autocracies or religious obscurantist states. Officialdom cannot accept free speech and prevalence of information. They need to keep the lid tight on the ongoing, deeds and misdeeds within the power wielding core. And the Company can survive only if information is denied be it under any pretext, and official secrecy and security considerations are mere excuses and diversionary.
Now I come to the vigilante whistle blowing in such situations -the icon of the day Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks. Now when the prophecy of 1984 is reality and the Saga of Dharmapuri the order of the day, the courage shown by Julian Assange deserves the nomination for Nobel Peace prize and its eventual receipt. Liu Xiaobo the Chinese prisoner of conscience and the winner of the 2010 Peace prize was awarded for his long non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights.Precisely the reason why Assange is the right candidate for the peace prize 2011.



The official Swedish yardsticks for selection for the peace prize states,"..... .shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”

Going by this selection bench mark what could we term the award of the peace prize to Henry Kissinger who was instrumental in bombing Cambodia , a neutral country, out of existence, engineering military coups in Kenya, Argentina, Chile and siding Pakistan when it was engaged in ethnic cleansing in East Pakistan? Barak Obama an upstart and with an unproven track record except that he like many of us intends to wish good to the world. Yasser Arafat, who was always a renegade, who, everyone knew, will usurp his commitments for peace in the Middle East.
The WikiLeaks team consists of five people working full-time and about 800 people who work part time, none of whom are paid consideration, or salaries. WikiLeaks has no official headquarters. The yearly expenses are about €200,000, mainly for servers and bureaucracy, but would reach €600,000 if work currently done by volunteers were paid for .WikiLeaks does not pay for lawyers, as hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal support have been donated by media organisations such as the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Its only income or receipts are from donations. WikiLeaks receives no money for personnel costs, only for hardware, travelling and bandwidth. In fact all workers for WikiLeaks offer their labour voluntarily and are not paid.
WikiLeaks states that it, “has never released a misattributed document. Documents are assessed before release". In response to concerns about the possibility of misleading or fraudulent leaks, it says, "the simplest and most effective countermeasure is a worldwide community of informed users and editors who can scrutinise and discuss leaked documents."
According to statements by Julian Assange, submitted documents are vetted by a group of five reviewers, with expertise in different fields such as language or programming, who also investigate the background of the leaker if his or her identity is known. 

In 2008 WikiLleaks exposed the extra judicial killings and disappearances in Kenya.
Assange is now under arrest for alleged molestation. Apparently a well orchestrated plot and it is for all of us to see what we will be up against if we make it a profession to antagonise the order of the day. The man has tremendous courage though! The Pandora’s Box is open and more can of worms and skeletons will tumble out.  

Access to WikiLeaks is currently blocked in the United States Library of Congress. On 3 December 2010 the White House Office of Management and Budget sent a memo forbidding all unauthorised federal government employees and contractors from accessing classified documents publicly available on WikiLleaks and other websites. The Justice Department is also considering criminally prosecuting WikiLeaks and Assange, although former prosecutors say doing so would be difficult. So much for the neo Orwellian State of the United States of America! Remember the Americans were fuming and agitated over the Chinese government’s decision to block Google search engine. Then, the USA saw direct threat to democracy, freedom of speech and information. 

Different sets of rules in democratic dispensation. And that is why the leaks are not leaks but a fundamental right. And the guardian of that right deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.






Retribution decreed by God



It was distressing news that I read in a daily widely circulated in the middle east..
A woman, in Iran was put to death early yesterday dawn. She was convicted of stabbing to death the wife of her lover. She confessed ,or rather admitted guilty and was sentenced.
The irony is that having a paramour or a contract relationship outside wedlock per se is legal for men in that country that swears by Islamic laws. 

The poor woman was consigned to the gallows by the brother of the woman she killed. A divinely decreed act of principle and justice,” an eye for an eye”! Furthermore her lover (contractual lover) too was witness to the execution.
The hapless woman prayed before she was taken to the gallows, and later became frenzied and wailed, pleading for her life. The brother of the woman she killed aided the noose and he pushed the slide that dropped her down into the gallows and strangulating.

Quite graphic and gory!

I wonder, why, why, the original wife did not exercise similar assault on the paramour,.  Either way,  the practise and the legal approval given to men is lawful denigration of women and her status!

It reminds me of the sensational story that was around in the 1970’s, and the movie that was circulated clandestinely, “The death of a Princess”. The incident purportedly took place in the Whabian obscurantist Saudi Arabia, where a princess in her late teens was decapitated in public for her liaison with another man. The matter was hushed though, as the Saudis could exercise the power of oil over the world outside.

An archaic and tribal law- principle that is still being followed! "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. And then you swear by God. If God as people claim and state, is love and compassion the very dictum of “eye for an eye” is antediluvian and wrong. And I strongly feel that if any faith claims to hold this dictum as inviolable and as decreed by any god or messenger, then it tantamount to not a faith of compassion, forgiveness and peace, but it represents cannibalism and is barbaric.

The system of retributive justice or retaliation is one of the laws from the Torah and the ancient Jewish traditions, later picked up into Islamic coded laws.

“The origins of the retributive justice may have come about in the ancient times, and it developed as early civilizations grew and a less well-established system for retribution of wrongs, feuds and vendettas, threatened the social fabric”. But is it relevant today?

Laws that were coded in ancient times were perhaps done in relation to the social context of the times, as it is also done today. For instance it is noted in many writings on history that after the Crusades, women out numbered men by large numbers. Men in thousands were killed in the frenzy of the holy crusades. Law was then encoded so that a man could take more than one wife. This was one way meant to bring women under male protection, because the man- woman population ratio was adverse to men. And security of women folk was highly threatened. But the male hegemony over the society of certain faiths found the law quite suited to their malevolent designs and carnal pleasure. Women were regarded as an instrument for carnal use and serfdom. The law was suitable to subjugate the female sex, and is followed as Gods law. Does it commensurate with the values and ethos of societies? And giving it the sanctity of faith is belittling the faith and blasphemous

The poor women!






Monday, November 29, 2010

The Wailing after Rape



I happened to be near a group conversation between some travellers on the train. The subject matter of discussion was on the efficacy and moral strength of death penalty for crimes such as the one that shook Coimbatore when two little children were kidnapped, tortured, molested and murdered. From the lack of deterrence to virtual question of ethics the discussion on death penalty went quite animatedly.

Back home sitting alone I recalled the group and their subject of discussion. Death penalty or its deterrence of crime was a secondary matter as I felt the mangling that ensues mentally to the victim of rape and violation be it, physical, emotional, dispossession or in other forms will not fade away.

Could there be a life after for the victim? Who must be impaled, the perpetrator or the disaffected,deaf onlooker who thumps his nose sky ward with apathy?

What is more heinous and despicable, rape or deriving carnal and perverted pleasure watching the act and the misery of the victim through a key hole, while you had the entire wherewithal and prowess to stop the abhorrence from being enacted?

The word rape is used here in the wider context, a kind of macro level meaning. It necessarily not has to be a physical assault with sexual intent. It can be, besides physical violation, a emotional sodomy,a casual and cool acquiescence, attitude, act or the absence of it that does not interfere or prevent the mauling of another person   sexually,physically,mentally or  emotionally and deprive him of the dignity that is dear to any living being, man or beast.

And is it humanly possible for the victim of rape (again, see it in wider context), to sleep with the perpetrator and more so with the unashamed onlooker ? What if the onlooker is the  victim's own kin?An evangelical answer is not what is required here. Because evangelising to the victim of neglect, atrocity and gross apathy is a sermon that is crueller than the mauling that was inflicted?






Sunday, November 28, 2010

In Praise of C - on a Sunday


It is time for some more fascinating utterances from C.

Ara, is here on a brief recess from college. He is twenty, and seems to have ceased growing vertical. I commented this fact the other night. He would be around 5’9 , that is almost  three inches shorter than I’m . In fact I and C thought all the while, he might shoot past the 6” mark. Well that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Ara was a bit annoyed that he has ceased growing tall physically. Hearing my comment he turned to his mother and said. “Amma this is because of you, your midget height” (incidentally C is 5”4). He continued, “I have taken after your height and that is why I do not grow taller physically than  atcha”. He expressed his frustration mildly. Adding to his little frustration  Radhu is growing vertically by the day, and her legs seem to be almost two thirds of her height. She is already 5’7 and is only 17.

Not to be left behind C jumped out with the statement denying her genetic responsibility in Ara not growing  tall than he is now. She said, “ Ara  you ceased to grow tall because you did not heed my advice to hang daily”.

Ara and I,almost in chorus shouted, “rather not put on height if only you would refrain from your fabulous observations in English”. Ara continued , "Amma you should say ‘pull- ups’, and not hanging, Funny a mother asking his son to hang daily ... ha h ha" . The cruelty of literal translation of mallu words and ideas to the Queens English!

I guess anything more of C’s will be too full for the Sunday!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Musings in the Dark



It was terrific rainy night, day, and, then a night again.
The splatter of the rain outside,
reminding the gone days of Kerala monsoon nights.
The rain beat severe on the roof, and all around outside
As dusk came sooner than it would,
I longed for the elixir of life.

Not to be left behind the lightning struck
the cymbal followed ;
all the lights went out ,the sweetness of dark dawned like sunrise.
And caressing the glass of amruth- I sat in the dark.

The candle burning bright
I saw the flame haughty and regale.
The air of immortality, and lordliness
unashamedly thrown around.

A tiny fly went past the flame.
And the little turbulence bend the flare.
Yet, accepting not its frailty, the flame jumped back with insolent vigour.
It then reminded me of men and women
who bask in the feel of omnipotence ,loudly denying their ephemeral existence!

I washed down my smile
with an added mouth full of the elixir, and
continued to watch the flame with the wryest smile I could bring about.
It began to rain and howl with more vigour, perhaps telling me,
fella, ‘you have a point’.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stone Idols



Continuing with my reading the book I began a  few days ago on my train journey to Chennai and back, I stumbled upon another interesting piece – the essay was titled “Cartesian Thoughts on Hindu Stone Gods”, the theory of doubt being used to analyse an unknown phenomenon.
The essay begins with the statement that westerners were brought up learning to believe only what can be seen and to have faith only in what is experienced. Under the umbrella of logic and reason from Rene Descartes – the Mathematician, physicist and philosopher.
I reproduce an abstarct of the reading I had.

Those of us from the west are taught to disbelieve in the unnatural, the supernatural, and the religious and generally what is invisible to the eye. Many with Marxist leanings and touch of atheism. This is why many of us when we come to India , have difficulty with the way Hindus adore gods in statues .How in heaven can there be any divine presence in piece of stone ?
Yet a few westerners, instead of rejecting outright this pagan habit sustained for millennia, have tried to analyse it, using the very Cartesian logic with which we are endowed because of our education. One such person was Alexandra David – Neel, writer, explorer, and the first western woman to have explored Tibet way back in the 1940’s.
She remarked,” The energy which the Hindus project on the idol is not totally immateraial.The existence of the real or not of the deity is unimportant, what matters is the accumulation of psychic force in the idol ,a kind of charging a car battery. Once fully charged one can draw out energy from the battery. With the persistent devotion, adoration and frenzied prayers, the statue continues to get charged. Once fully charged one can draw energy out of it. This happens over centuries”.
Her summing up is simple, Gods are created by the energy emitted by the faith in their existence.

Will this rather scientific or unscientific explanation of idol worship be sufficient to convince disbelievers?

The fact is all religions however Cartesian they are, have their share of beliefs in the supernatural and unscientific. Is it more rational (than worshipping idols) to think, for instance. as Catholics do, that Mary conceived a child while a virgin, or that Christ came back from the dead and ascended physically to heaven, or that Muhammad  was transported to Paradise in the skies in a Golden Chariot sent specially  flown down, or the God of Moses inflicted plague on the hapless  subjects of the all powerful Pharaoh?

Descartes must be turning in his grave- the rational, logical thinking west!! (My quote)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Euripides



Euripides , the ancient Greek 480-406 BC- one of the three great tragedians of ancient Greek
literature;
How right Euripides was when he muttered -



The mob gets out of hand,
Runs wild, worse;
Than raging fire,
While the man who stands apart
Is called a coward!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Archers Thumb





Train travels during day are invariably a gross waste of time in the most unproductive way. So when I had to do one such travel the past Sunday, I could only curse my stars for inflicting on me the need and necessity to make that travel. I grabbed a book along, and it was, "The Best of Speaking Tree”, a compilation of essays by the Times of India. It came to me as a token gift for some subscriptions I made. Some of the essays were matter of fact and able to provoke thought.Certainly a lesser quality as held by many. After all many people hate (not dislike) inconvenient questions and any form of distant threat to the utopian cocoons they are living in.But being a non conformist in many ways, I loved the reading and also, reproduce below a few paragraphs from the book. If ire comes about as comments I welcome happily as I would, a comment of agreement.



We routinely hear of atrocities on Dalits, tribals and others in the marginalised sections of society. However, today they no longer suffer oppression passively, as in the past, when they meekly allowed the caste system to dominate India’s social life. One such person who acquiesced in the humiliation of the subaltern has become a permanent symbol of injustice:' Ekalavya'. The original hunter-gatherer of upper India. Hearing of Dhronacharya, the archery teacher of the Kauravas, Ekalavaya went to him, naively not taking into account the racial arrogance of the Aryans.

Dhrona refused to instruct Ekalavaya. Undaunted Ekalavaya makes a wood statuette of Dhrona and under the eye of the symbolic guru taught himself the skills of archery. Once on a hunting trip the Pandavas found that their dog’s mouth had been sealed by arrows, a feat impossible even for the gifted Arjuna.Searching for the wondrous archer the Pandavas came upon Ekalvaya.Vyasan says that because of his dark complexion and unkempt looks, the dog barked at him and so he shut its mouth with arrows. When asked who his guru was, Ekalavaya pointed to Dhronas statuette.

Peeved Arjuna went to Dhrona, complaining that none should be able to surpass him in archery. Dhrona in turn rushed off to the jungle to meet Ekalavaya, who fell at his feet in reverence. Dhrona asked for his guru- dahakshina, and demanded Ekalavaya’s thumb. By offering his thumb, Ekalavaya was marginalised forever.

During our younger days and in early schooling times this story was repeatedly told to each of us, as a symbol of idealism in  guru- shishya relationship.

With its customary impartiality, the Mahabarataha, on the other hand, tells it as a sordid story of one –upmamship (Arjuna), lack of moral scruples (Dhrona) and an excessive respect for systems and authority (Ekalavya).
This drama has been enacted in every society, whether with Native Indians of America, and Africans in the USA or the blacks in South Africa and Rhodesia, or in the caste system in India.

The moral of the story is simple:
“The privileged fear the possibility of an Ekalavaya arising among the exploited. And so the thumbs of innumerable Ekalavayas fall to the ground- must fall to the ground, cut off before they can guide another arrow unerringly to its mark”.
( quote by the author)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Musings from the Street Side



She lives on the street
By the side festooned with garbage
Squatting amongst the muck thrown by folks
Rags around her torso -skin and bones
Dishevelled hair knotted with dirt and lock
Gaze, that goes through, from the deep set eyes.

Picking pebbles with her bonny fingers
Throwing listless, as if staving something afar!
Sun or rain, day or night,
she is there amongst the heap of waste.

Picking at times at the
remnants  of food ,squander -thrown at random
from the messy mess by the road.
She throws the crumps at the dogs that lurk
rummaging the muck amongst that she dwells!
I see her each day, a ghostly shadow,
 a distant semblance of  human form.

Ruth and anguish snaring me,
 I bought a pack of shiny white rice
with curry thrown  atop, I gathered to reach her.
She turned around in her squat
And seemed to tell me with her eyes
Why bring me that? Why prolong me here?
The soul has left me long ago, and the breath soon will,.
So why, brother why, bring me any morsel? 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Love



Love begets love – so they state.
But begging for love?
Can only add on to beggary!
Be it a man or woman, paramour or friend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Musings of a Fallible


You can laud, and preach
You can rave and sing
the virtue of rapprochement,
of leaving the doors open,
for one last chance.
Begging for love and affection ?
Willing to forgive and forget,..... a,quid pro quo ?
But then, be known, its sucks to be
smacked ,kicked and spat upon- when you are down ,fallen!
tis easy to extol -
knowing not the pain of trample on your soul ,
and that of your loved.
You may have a reason contrary, my friend, you can have one.
But the mauled mangle festers deep within,
 till the day of reckon..
Fallible though to some, but lesser mortal I’m.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

IMFL







I am on my third glass of Signature. The Single malt bliss of yesterday and the day before while in Ernakulum went by like a whiff of fresh air. Thanks to the buddy we have there, who has this uncanny penchant to stock exotic whiskies and brandies. He in fact is rosy that the booty floats into his hold. Blessed he is! Now I’m back to earth and a commoner, so the Indian, coloured concoction is all that I can savour. Mind you it’s not too bad. Well beggars can’t be choosers all the while ha!

I remembered that I have not posted my rubbish on the blog, now for quite a while. Road block, end of the road, mental block, writers block, ischemic block, arterial block; I know not.
But here I go, with the Signature in tow!

I just glanced at the news paper lying insecure on the dining table and which extolled Manmohan Singh’s principled stand of kicking out the crook minister Raja. Well the news paper report also reminded his jettisoning Mr Chavan, the Con, Kalmadi and also a bit earlier, Tharoorr Pushkar (he was pushed out by Pushkar motion of physics). He turned out to be a pushcart even from the UN days .That is a yonder story. 

Exhilarating stories of moral promenades and principles by the Sardarji and the ma'am in Janpath!

I m quite in doldrums financially and I wonder quite loud why did not nature bestow me with the acumen, the uncanny acumen of a Raja, a Kalmadi? The manna from heaven!!!The perfectionist virtuoso of the art, the science of con!!

The underlying facet that we may not notice is that the Sardarji acts not pro-actively but after the money has been hounded and siphoned off. Well then what the heck is the moral high land he claims? He lets the thieves and robbers siphon and plunder and when the booty is gone, enacts a Mahatma.

 The parting line- “should or can one be pilloried for a dishevelled life, and a pitiable end, which perhaps was the embryonic result of one’s episodes with things around”???

Poor, silly, insipid, irrelevant, impertinent, arse I’m! So then the only alternate is cheers to 'Signature' and the occasional single malt from the benefactor in Ernakulam.

















Monday, November 1, 2010

Musings


Listless, uncertain, and haze ahead!

I decline to accept the feel that tries to bedevil.
Yet, it comes back with quiet and force.
Ha, it thinks and bids that I will be thrown under.
But I decline; I decline and let it dare.
And I see that, that the only way ahead.
to the Sunrise of another day!