Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Down the memory lane

Yesterday, I had a chance to do an offbeat task. Visit my client office and collect some artifacts. All went well, and while coming back, I did not take the matter-of-fact and the serious main road but the casual by-lanes and oft taken routes. In that 10 to 15 minutes ride, I had refreshed and recollected about 5 - 6 years of my life, and more.

The no-entry rules and the workaround for that, the number of times stranded in the bottlenecks created by the traffic, the workaround for that, the chat kiosk from Kolkotta, the things that we atemishtti dhoi, paratha, pulkha, other bengali chat (in fact I wanted to stop and eat something there; but did not. I searched slowing down my bike and I think I had missed it), the times when I used to take the train to come back from office, the road that I used to take to walk and reach my house, the place where I lived, the vacant plot adjacent to the house that is now filled with enclosures, the cable TV office, my jogging track, the inspirations after the weekend run, the juice shop, the playground, the cricket matches conducted on the playground, the ATM, the early mornings of the gym days, the new super market, the various routes taken to reach the favored destinations.

It's been a good life!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Socrates' Triple Filter Test


Here is an interesting conversation between Socrates and an acquaintance:

Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?

Wait a moment. Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test.

Triple Filter?

That's right. Before you talk to me about my student, let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say. The first filter is Truth. Are you absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true"

No. I just heard about it and...

Alright. So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter - the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?

No, on the contrary...

So. You want to tell me something bad about him, even though you're not certain if it's true?

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter - the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?

No, not really...

Well, If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Translation of Nenjukulle from Kadal

I have tied you to my bosom,
unaware of the direction my living would wake to.
You bestowed such pristine looks
that my heart is now tarnished,
as a mirror splattered with water.

Colored beads and the watch on your left
are just enough 
to tame the beasts of the forest!

You were gone but your shadow did not.
When they fell between my bosom,
I rose to see you and have never ceased to rest!
Now, my heart is rigid and tensed,
like the umbrella spokes, strained and stretched.

The birds have slept and milk has curdled,
even the leaves on the trees have retreated!
At the time when the ones whooping have slept,
the one smitten with desire cannot respite, 
for even a few minutes...

Not a morsel slid through...
not even did a drop touch the throat!
Neither did the saliva see the tunnel's end.
How could the poor wretched lass utter a word?
Indeed, can the rubbered bangles yearn to jingle?


Well, it is not an exaggeration if I say that Nejukulle from Kadal is the new silence in my life. My ears are filled with just that and nothing else, except when I have to meet the obligations of mankind, you know, like listening to them when they talk.

And I am not too sure what in that song caught my fancy! Perhaps Rehman ruling through his harmony on the accordion. I think, for a fact, the accordion and the violin gains more sound space than the singer. Or maybe,  its because I am seeing this song performance as a first of its kind--the MTV unplugged session. And undoubtedly, Sakthi Shree Gopalan does a very neat job.

Whatever the case maybe, I loving it. 
Every bit of it. 
I may have more to say but no words would fit!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Repentance

The rain poured softly,
very unlike and strange,

perhaps weeping silently,
for its past and future sins
that it could not wash off...

even by itself?

~ a few weeks ago

Friday, October 26, 2012

If we try - Don McLean


When I see you on the street, I lose my concentration.
Just the thought that we might meet, creates anticipation. 
Won’t you look my way once before you go
and my eyes will say what you ought to know?
Well, I've thinking about you day and night
and I don’t know if it'll work out right.
But somehow I think that it just might,
if we try... 
Faces come and faces go, in circular rotation.
But something yearns within to grow beyond infatuation.
Won’t you look my way once before you go,
and my eyes will say what you ought to know?
Well, you've got me standing deaf and blind
'cos I see love is just a state of mind,
and who knows what it is that me might find
if we try... 
You are walking in a different direction
from most people I've met.
You're giving me signs of affection
I don’t usually get.
I don't want you to pledge your future,
the future is not yours to give.
Just stand there a little longer
and let me watch while you live. 
‘Cos when I see you on the street, I lose my concentration.
And just the thought that we might meet, creates anticipation.

This song just caught me off guard when I was concentrating on my work (you know, something like the sour-sweet grapes). 

One of the aspects of a good song is when you realize that it has finished playing too soon. And this one certainly falls in that category. Simple, meaningful, interesting lyrics. And nothing really to talk about the composition. It just flows through! It has been a long time since I had listened to such a song with so much concordance! It is a short song and one can certainly quote this song as an example for 'short and sweet'.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Calories!


Not much, there are just three problems with calories:
  • our spend potential: the cost of acquisition is cheaper than the cost of disposition.
  • our state of mind: you hardly need any mind control to accumulate it than that you would need to dispose it.
  • our time management capabilities: you can access it is quicker than you can expend it.

Of course, the key to disposing the calories lies in the same three factors... like how we do not accumulate calories overnight, disposing it must also be incremental—minute by minute, and with a lots of mind control. And if we are poor enough only to buy incremental calories, and not rich enough to find means to dispose it, I think we must also realize how much we are spending on junk! I guess I must try to deposit an equivalent incremental amount somewhere in a savings which when accumulates large enough would let me buy an equipment of my choice. 

Coming to talk of buying an equipment, with all the search and research that I have done so far, the only conclusion that I could come to was, to get a quality equipment that would give us the satisfaction when we get out of it and the urge to get on to it every day, it would cost nothing less than 50K INR.

Thinking about the realization part, I am sure I would have spent more than 50K INR in eating out in the last 10 years. Hmm... Some food for thought!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Tinted Glass


Sure that a few seconds from now,
the gods above were to whip and thud.
But then,
don't you think you portray
an exaggerated, inflated, and creepy picture
of nature's present?

Indeed, the heart thumps louder and faster
with the dark being shown darker
and to see
top of the trees swaying in horror
and to hear
the aggregated swishing sound of its fear!

~ Sep 26, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

The cool and the calm


When you are around,
the world, even on a sunny and a busy day,
looks calm and cool,
as felt when viewing from the other side of
a tint-glassed, air-conditioned building.

P.S.: This is dedicated to the six-year stint in my current organization.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Coming of age


The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.
~ Alden Nowlan

What a beautiful quote from A Word A Day (AWAD). Great find Mr. Anu Garg!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Translation of Idhu Varai from Goa

The Mellifluous Love Song


Woman:
This is a never-before feeling.
It is the dream that shaped in my heart.
Do you hear the song about the splendid day?

A thing masked unintentionally
is now seen blooming all by itself,
exposing what was never explored ever before.

As I see happiness brimming over,
I wonder when I would realise my true state of affairs?
Days snail by with a heaving heart and sleepless nights...

The unceasing dream torments me without pain,
and teaches me about the teasing pleasures.

Come on! O dear! You must come along,
'Cos the journey of mine is far too long!

Man:
There... I see the cloud and moon waltzing.
Oh! Who would empathize my feelings?

My heart isn't as yours... I perceive a change,
and a parade of an esoteric portrayal of itself.

Woman:
My dear... calm down! I assure this will pass by.

Man:
My bosom abounds with a spirited feel.
I see dearer relationships blooming aplenty,
and the doors opening up to a roomful of hope!

My skin wakes up to myriad feelings,
the breeze blankets itself on me,
and the raging desire rushes ahead!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Idhu Varai from Goa



What a beautiful composition Yuvan has conceived and how wonderfully Andrea and Ajeesh have delivered! This is more of a what you see is a what you get song, the song featuring just the stage instruments that the video shows--the simple live drums arrangement, the guitar, something that sounds like a cross between harmonium and mouth organ. The flute rendition of the motif although short is nonpareil.

Otherwise, it is Andrea all the way—the initial opera-styled singing, the stylish overtones at some places and the soft and whispering overtones at some. And at times, an abated voice sung in short of breath. Ajeesh joins the party late and performs what was expected—giving a lover's intonation of being in dilemma. And at later stages, the growing strength in his voice expressing the realization of love and gives a feeling of flying.

The climbing ensemble of piano, cello, violin, and the voice gives a befitting finale for the climax of the song.

Coming soon, a translation / rendition of this song...


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rain


The sky poured its heart out...
To clear the cloud in its head.


Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Translation of Kaatril Enthan Geetham from Johnny


The Pensive Song

My song in the wind searches for the invisible,
with my memories alike the swaying waves,
and the evening wind as chilly as never!

There is this teasing merriment all around,
and the words inside me searches for its music.
Won't it not find the loving heart?
Won't it not sing the song of joy?

The forlorn eyes escalate the heart's yearning.

It is just fine if my heart listens, 
if I ask it to stop, and just enough 
if the tormenting waves in it cease to arise...
Won't it hear the melody in stillness?
Won't it stitch up a rhythm from silence?

My soul would seek yours until its time of life.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Translation of Sota Sota from Engeyum Eppothum

Hail L O V E, the conqueror...!


You...
Soak me up beyond reason, 
Enrage me even without a word,
Make me fly far from reach.
You almost melted me, and 
Teased me with your elusion.
And
had to chide me to realize your love.


My heart always shudders
like the rail that runs the train.


One fine day, you fell into my eyes 
like a fertile seed,
And when I flicked my eyes,
there you were,
grown as a huge tree in my heart.


I wonder what would happen next?
The heart would sure 
fake what just happened.


Like a curious kitten, love peeks out,
And checks up on the limits of impulse.
Yes it does, it does, and defeats.


The God made the man's heart
out of cold wax and made it melt,
every second that it saw the beloved.


menacing silence prevails.
And I am just loving it.


Your words and breath struck me, 
and left me helpless.
The memories that you left behind
sparked, and conquered me.


Yes it did, it did, and won me over.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Therapy

Even the hardest to swallow as well as the most bitter of conversations did not deter the enthusiasm that a circumstantially withdrawn set of songs created, when it was rediscovered after about six years. 


I think this delight is called music therapy.


P.S.: This post takes the honor of receiving the most number of predefined tags!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Joy Edges


The slope-edges started dripping pearls of joy,
and the sideways were filled with the elixir.
The earth heaved a sigh of relief!


Sounds of buzz, splash, and plops permeated the air.
Trespassers off the slope were dispersing,
as if out of a cinema,
or perhaps out of a school gate?


A few were thoughtful, and a few gloomy.
The stoic were clueless of these moments of joy.
The prosaic few, happy--of getting to their destination,
and a very few upset, 
as it was the end of j - o - y.


~ June 20, 2012

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The love for lists and a beautiful life


The smell of water vapours on hot cemented floor, the sleeping child on your shoulder, the surprises thrown by a random music playlist, the crispness in the setting sun seen through tinted glass, the blazing full moon, the compact body of a one-year old, the wandering mind, the yearning for yesteryears, the full bloom of a flower-bearing tree, the soft-colored tones of a frangipani, the flower-bedded street, the warmth of a loving friend, the sleepless nights, the thoughts that make you sleepless, elation after producing a work of art, words that you get right the first time, the mischief of a two-year old, the endearing smile indicating a mischief, shout of disapproval of a yet-to-verbalize kid, the day of a realization, the rhythm that lets makes you move your shoulder.


and the list will go on...

Monday, May 28, 2012

· · · — — — · · ·


I felt like


I had a high temperature.


Or, was it like
sitting next to a heat furnace
with fuming rods of red?


Or may be
I was seeing molten fluid
flowing on and through my skin...


You say: Naah! 
You were facing the 2 o clock heat.


But the truth was...


It was 6 'o clock in the evening
and I was facing a 40 kmph
w a v e  o f  H e a t.


~ May 24, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Translation of Thendral Vandhu from Avatharam


Colour of Music


I wonder...
What's the colour in your heart,
when the breeze brushes your skin?
What's the colour in your thoughts,
when you see the shine of sky's akin?

As I see the resurgence of colours' splendor
In my mind, it occurs...
Indeed each thought has a different color.
Isn't it the truth, my sweet love?
(In truth, what is it that exists,
and what about its colour?)

Flowers spread fragrance, but without revelation.
Hearts speak consensus, devoid of a lawful union.
Cuckoos sing the melody, not for one man's whimsy.
My heart feels a mystic bliss, but nothing do I fancy.

This world is alike a stream
and time runs afloat
like the planks that afloat.

Inconstantly crosses my mind,
a thousand colours!

A sprinkle sweeps the earth, and lives spring alive.
Love leaps in my mind, and skin's million gets a high.
Wishes swing along, like the pendent banyan roots.
Beauty bestows magic, like the swaying tuft of waves.

The cuckoo's clan sings aloud
in music's own voice,
and a flock of parrots recount this story.

Neither does love fade like a forgotten story,
nor is it forgotten like an unworthy puzzle's mystery.

If I say Ilayaraja is the alchemist who brought alchemy between the verse and the music, I am certain that I am not overstating. And with that I do not have any other credits to give to the composer of this beautiful song. 'Thendral vandhu...' from the movie Avatharam has got beautiful lyrics. It is a perfect example of symmetry, and both music and the verses manage to display both grandeur and simplicity all at once. The song very beautifully captures the philosophy of life, vividness of colors, and the characters' love for each other. Ilayaraja's voice creates another dimension and the coherent chorus is certainly the forte of the song.

This work started on May 10, 2009 as an impromptu and brief attempt at translating the pallavi of the song and three years later, I remembered to work on the translation of this song to extinguish some anguish. Personally, this work is a success of the mind over mindlessness.

As an afterthought, I seem far more satisfied with the words written three years ago than of those written today. Not sure if it really is so...


P.S.: One important link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=563qJOreBqI

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mist and Overcast


Then in a picturesque hilltop...

It was the day of my life when I saw you on the earth.
You were running hurriedly like the secret lover,
trying to hide from the early risers.

But you did not realize
that the sun had shown you flee, hastily past me.
Forgive me please, if I had embarrassed you.
But, I really did not mean to.

You were out of the world and I could not help
staring at you, stealthily, and breathing every bit of you.
When you looked back and caressed me,
the million on my skin went on a high.
When you passed through me,
you took apart a piece that I am still in search of.

And now in the maddening city...

When I look back, you are seen nowhere.
Won't you play an encore and honor my yearnings?
My senses are ever filled with your bubbly cheer,
even though there is always blue all around you.

The other day, I was roaming on the streets,
And you were drifting around, in bunches.
My eye, or was it my mind, saw a panoramic view.
It perceived you to be a spectator,
gathered around an arena,
watching a mad rushing herd
returning home, after running their rat races.
 

Started on: Apr 27, 2009
Closed on: Apr 26, 2012

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Mistake


Many a man who falls in love with a dimple make the mistake of marrying the whole girl.
~ Evan Esar

Friday, April 27, 2012

I hope you learn




To reach home safely
even if 
you go behind butterflies,
chasing them with glee
and excitement.

To not fret and just think
even if
you have missed 
your one footwear
in the middle of a busy road.

To rise up from the earth
using your own hands, 
because
I may not be around every time,
to lift you.

To deal with annoyances
with a cool head
because 
you would only then find
which ones last or die,
and to put them to rest.

To find joyous playmates
because
play is knowledge 
camouflaged as fun,
and teaches sustenance
and selflessness.

To not sulk over trifles 
because
brooding is contagious 
but, experience 
can make a mountain 
out of a molehill.

To find solace in music
even if
you are hard of hearing
others and self,
because it anoints, 
soothes and heals.

To get to know books
because, even if 
you do not earn yourself much,
and when your friends 
are out of reach,

Books are precious assets,
And they make good friends.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The leaf in my mind


On an uneventful day
as the vehicles rushed past,
a withered leaf landed on my lap,
in an almost end-of-life state,
like the sapped Jesus 
on mother Mary's lap.


I held the leaf on my four fingers,
looked at the translucent strands--
short and long, from head to tail,
embedded inside it,
sprawling on the green bed.


In one instance, it looked like 
a slender lizard arching 
towards its right limbs.
At another, it looked like
the bones of an entire fish.


I held the leaf 
and looked at it 
as if it were my baby, and
a tender feeling came over me.


I held the leaf 
and carressed it with my thumb
like feeling my beloved's hand
and I asked myself: Was I in love again?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Translation of Kangal Neeye from Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal

A mellifluous melody 
You are my eyes and the zephyr as well.
You are the pillar and you are in every particle.
You are the colors and the sky's splendour.
You are my flesh and my soul.
A thousand night's dream and a dream come true.
You are the avenger of my sorrows.
I melted down myself to shape you up,
you are all me and nothing else. 
I held your face as my slate,
kissed it a thousand times
and wrote a beautiful sonnet.
You used your drool, the sacred water,
as a correction tool
to make improvements to it.
This minute, I wished you grew up and held me.
The very next moment, I wished you shrunk down
and remain an infant.
Like the robe swinging on my shoulders
you swing on your crib all day forever.
You are the first scholar
to speak in a multitude of languages.
Better than the musical genius, the king of Lanka,
you are my son, the maestro,
who makes music out of your gibberish.
Before I moved myself,
I saw my heavens in your dimpled cheeks.
Before i twitched myself, I gave my entire self
for that silken feel at my grip. 
When I see you have moved away from me,
I fret, and wish to get you back to my fetus.
 
The life is a long path... Shelter your journey
with the cerulean sky as your shack.
 
With those murals, you are my Ravi Varma.
During your hunger pangs,
you are mankind's mystery,
who takes refuge in a mother.
You are any mother's swelling pride.
Leap a bunch of seas, and hundreds of mounts,
'cos I bore you doing so.
Hope you live a thousand years, outlasting aches
and with resistance to pandemics,
and conquering boundless boundaries.

Started on: Jan 04, 2012
Closed on: Apr 06, 2012


This is the longest that I have ever taken to translate/render a song from Tamil to English. Term the song as mesmerizing, beautiful, simple yet strong, moving, fascinating--all  credit goes to G V Prakash Kumar, Thamarai, and the singer Sittara for their wonderful job! Every aspect of this song has held me back and has stunned me everytime I try to get to work on this.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Discomfort


I am hanging around
like that
dangling sweat drop
around the nose edges.
Won't you quickly absorb me 
inside the tissue of yours?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Begin it.


Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. 
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
~ Goethe

Friday, March 23, 2012

The providence moves too...


Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: 

that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too.

~ W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review - Life of Pi


You would have noticed that it is always the stories with themes such as 'rags to riches' or 'victory of the good over evil' that reach the top and stay there, with the central theme being the age-old Darwin-ism theory—survival and that too only of the fittest. Life of Pi is a survival story. Not to mention the fact that with about three-fourth of the movies that are made are based on the man-woman relationship, it is the packaging and presentation that is taking the center stage. And though we have heard a thousand survival stories, yet Yann Martel has packaged it so well that you forget yourself and immerse in the same clich├ęd theme of the book.

Even though the Life of Pi is a fiction, somewhere in the first quarter of the book, Yann Martel makes you believe that it is a biography of someone (Pi) who was born in Pondicherry, India, grew up till his teens, with a zoo in his backyard, and with the political scene in India becoming unstable (the 1977 Emergency Declaration), the family along with a few animals that remained behind, after most of the zoo inhabitants being sold off, boards a Japanese cargo ship to Canada.

After this act of making you believe, all the action takes place in the 227 days that runs between the day the vegetarian Pi gets into the sea as a castaway in a 27-feet life-boat with a hungry, carnivorous, 450-pound Bengal Tiger and till the day he lands in Mexico, weather-beaten and in one piece. In these 227 days, there are times of delirium, dread, delight, discovery, deprivation, dilapidation, desperation, desolation, darkness, divine interventions, dinginess, and damnation. Pi who has lost everything, his kith and kin, overcomes everything and survives.

Moments of faith and belief are splashed at the right dose and the right time and it is this belief that makes you cling to the novel and move forward catching hold of the link one after another, but at a slow pace. During the times when you think the links are falling apart (you losing interest), it is this belief that bonds you together with the story.

At certain places, you get the idea that a few facts about the South-Indian culture are a bit incoherent (just 2% of the entire story telling). But, overall, this book is a great read, no doubt about it!!

The book ‘Life of Pi‘ is about 10 years old now. However, this fact does not stop from being reviewed or being recognized as a good read. There is much more that I picked from this piece of fiction, I mean, a lot of takeaways for the life of 'anyone'!

Friday, March 09, 2012

The sandwich and the strange shopkeeper incident


Today morning, after the porridge at about 9:30 in the morning, I was starving so much and did not want to have an immediate lunch. I have started liking 2:30 lunch these days, not sure why. While in two minds on whether to binge on something or not, I decided I must to continue with the tradition of the 2:30 lunch. So, I go to the sandwich shop and place an order for the second least expensive and still a palatable item: chilly garlic veg. sandwich for Rs. 20/- This guy was not the usual two that are seen in the kiosk and after some loitering around the cafeteria, I knew why--the others were having their brunch.


While the sandwich was being prepared, I wanted to catch up on a juice. So, I ordered for a plain (no sugar no ice) papaya juice. After the papaya juice went inside, I took the sandwich, covered it with another paper plate, and left the cafeteria. So far so good! And then I decide to walk up the stairs, primarily because only recently my mind happened to process what my eyes had seen-Think of these as your aerobic steps. Climbing two flights of stairs makes you lose up to 2 kilos per year if you take the stairs daily. 


Before that, a note on the floor arrangement: ‘There are three floors as per the lift and the naming, but with a mezzanine floor. The staircase design is of the usual zigzag pattern: one ascending from south to north and the other ascending from north to south. The steps between the ground and first floor have eight steps on the ascensions, and nine on the other ascensions. So doing the math, it comes to about 68; now add the 16 steps from basement to ground floor and it totals to 84 steps. May be getting down the stairs takes about one-tenth of the effort and lets round it to 8 steps—but then, I usually do not get down.


And a Web page on the Internet says that climbing one step burns 0.11 cal (k cal). Let's say on an average I climb up the stairs twice daily—that is about 150 steps (not taking into account the basement to ground floor steps). So the total calories burned in a year would be about 6000 k cal (150 x 0.11 x 365). When you need to burn 3500 k cal to reduce your weight by a kilo, then it comes to about 2 kilos; but certainly the statement printed on the stairs is flawed because according to my calculation, it is 10 flights of stairs that would take away 2 kilos! And when you display this, you can be guaranteed that folks would never get around to taking the stairs even to the first floor.


Anyways, for a person of zero physical activity, blame my son for the lack of time, this is indeed a needed chore. It becomes so much of a chore that I often end up overdoing it—I forget which floor I am in and end up intending to go beyond third floor and the folks having their coffee-tea break at the stairs wonder what is wrong with me! After two such occurrences happened, I started checking the floor numbering and at times fall long or short.
So I climbed the stairs and was tired as usual especially with the hunger pangs. I drearily opened the access door and my hand fell a few inches short and did not scrape through the door. There went my sandwich—it fell on the floor and I was like, Oh no! So much for my decision of having a sandwich! After I managed to pacify my mind, the stomach started talking—so are you planning to eat anything at all or put me to starvation until the next meal?


After much deliberation, I decided to have a sandwich. Off I went to the kiosk and ordered for the same chilly-garlic sandwich. The first question that lanky guy asked me was, ‘I thought you already paid for the sandwich?’ Then I went, ‘Yeah. I paid for it but give me another one because the sandwich fell down’, with an embarrassed and sad smile.


What do you think would have been the sequence of events?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ash says 'a n n a'!


It has been more than a few attempts and months since I had tried to evoke some meaningful syllables out of my about to be two-year old son. I am making the gender clear here because, I have had too many folks telling me that a son gets to speak late in his toddler lifespan and it must not be too much of a worry.

I really thought they were all being careless and have often wondered how one can ever start speaking all of a sudden without starting on monosyllables. I believe that anything as huge as talking, really is as intricate and time-sensitive as the orchestrated act of sowing and reaping. Like how the entire cycle of sowing to reaping takes time, and the patience to instill faith in the system, self-belief, hard work, and hope, everything in this world including a toddler's speech developments needs all those—time and the patience.

The problem with Ash is that, even though he has it in him, whenever he gets conscious of someone trying to make him repeat something, he goes on a strike with just the syllable that he uses for expressing disapproval—‘ahnn…’. And then, any attempts, however innovative they may be it stands annul!

In spite of that, I have paved success in my attempts to get him out of his world of four words: amma, appa, papa, and kaah (for car). The other day, we played this game of ‘On-Off’—this game of teaching him how to switch on and off the TV toggle button.

Just a few days ago, as part of his night bed-time ritual, I had taught him the names of his fingers—the little finger, thumb, et al, and he knew what his thumb meant.

This time, when I had asked to use his thumb to press the button, he was excited to recollect it and had also asked him to say 'o n' and say 'o f f' before I allowed him to touch the button—the conditional play.

Though this conditional play has been around for some time, in most of the cases, he is too reluctant to pursue his interests, how much ever alluring they are. For example, if he wants me to play a song on the mp3 player, I would insist him to say 'paattu' or at least say 'p a a'. One day, he finally settled down to saying paa, which was only asking him to go just halfway afar, now that he had anyway said 'papa'.

So getting back to the 'On-Off' story, we were just about to begin the on-off play, and I remembered to bother him again, harping on the conditional play and he attempted to say “onanon” for On and “aughvagh” for Off. Voila, he tried! And then, of course, he was so elated with the on-off play that he was grinning ear to ear!

And an hour later, I happened to go out to the market to run some errands and I took Ash along that meant to be a walk for him, though he did not budge to remove his cozily parked seat off my hips. It happens sometimes… this guy just does not bother to think about his feet!

And, while carrying him around, he is often too excited about something or the other on the busy main road and I acknowledge it by naming what he points at or if he gets too uncomfortably silent, I tend to start exclaiming things to get his interest back and by chance, I happened to see two boys standing in a bus stop, and happened to point Ash in their direction and show to him the ‘anna’ (elder brother) around there.

Now, wrt the word anna, he has been introduced to the word long ago with his cousin, Varun, having been around umpteen times. Whenever Ash sees Varun, Ash always chases him around the house and is all too fond of Varun ‘anna’ that Ash, though he is five to six years younger to himself, hits him with all his might and poor Varun stands all the pain, for the sweet fellow that he is.

Back to the bus stop scene—and as a hapless mother who wants to hear her son speak, I was only too greedy to ask him to say anna, and there he went... ‘a n n a’.

My God! So endearing it was; as if it was hearing a devotee beseech for something by saying his almighty's name. His anna is charming for one reason that when he says his ‘anna’, neither does he fold his tongue inwards, nor does he take the tip of his tongue to the root of his upper set of the teeth; he brings his teeth between his upper and lower set of the teeth.

By the way, all my other tries, subsequent to this major breakthrough, have been very depressing and in vain; a few such as trying to get ‘banana’ out of his mouth though he was successful in saying ‘bah’ for bus and ‘nana’ after the anna incident; and when he was trying to take his three-wheeled cycle outside the half-open door, I asked him to say oh-pen; and after bouts of disapproval, he said ‘oh’ and did not give in to saying pen! Another long-lasting try has been he being able to discretely say ‘papa’ and ‘yayaya’ and not ‘pa-paah-ya’.

But, I must say that this week has been a week of success, because, all these days, he had been pointing to the right picture when held and asked questions about which of the two is amma or appa. This week, I showed him the pictures and managed to make him say which of it ‘amma’ and ‘appa’. He seemed to enjoy the act as well.

Well, I wanted to tell myself this: Just because, I had borne a son, it does not mean that this blog must turn into an all-exclusive blog on my son’s growing up acts (now you get the point on how desperately, I have been trying to hold back the umpteen offline thoughts from being online); however, this post is an exception (at least, I hope it is). I want to think that this post is for people who would understand the pains of a growing mother who wants to desperately make her son say something meaningful and to who say that it is the problem of working mothers, that working mothers end up making their kids speechless. Of course, no matter what, there is always the ‘trying-hard’ part with anyone who has a kid!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Distant Memories

I see the star and the crescent
and the increasing distance 
today and the day before.
And I think of you and me
and of the distance we share.


The sweet distance 
that lets us go over 
the memories that it froze,
the memories that we both own
one each with each other.


Between you and me,
distance and memories 
instill faith and hope,
and string together--us,
the past, and the future.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Translation of Kannazhaga from 3


Music, Man and Woman, and Magic


Woman: 
I wonder what is beautiful...
Is it your eyes or toes?
You are my golden beauty,
and the man for the lady.


Is it your tiptoeing fingers 
that tread over?
Or your demeanour 
that weaves 
a myriad of magic together?


Man:
Oh my life, 
there isn't anything as you
that is dearer to me,
among the living.


Oh my beauty,
there isn't anything as you,
that is beautiful 
among the beautiful.


Woman:
You look somewhere 
and say the unsaid.
And your enrapturing magic 
makes me all set, 
to cross our limit.


Man:
All I do is 
to look into you, 
and say the truth.
Of course, I look for means 
to entwine my life with yours.


Woman:
Let's let our lips 
meet each other.
I am sure, 
this isn't a new curse... 


Man:
Close your eyes
and draw near me,
there isn't 
any better pleasure 
than this.


Woman:
Come look into me, 
let me hear the truth,
and
I would teach you 
to entwine our lives.


Man:
You are my doe-eyed, 
quintessence and epitome 
of beauty.
You are my life 
and
there isn't anything as you
that is dearer to me,
among the living.




Music aka Magic depicts the rest...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Beautiful Moment



There are some moments in your life that you never want to miss and want to hold them in mind forever and replay when you are happy. One such was what it was like today evening...

The clear and dark starlit sky,
the beautiful heart-mellowing crescent,
the glow that it manages to surround itself with,
the star beside—not the troika that you usually admire but this one seems a different one,
a patch of clouds for the moon's company,
the mellifluous song playing in your ears that you want to keep listening to all your life,
the beautiful verses it has,
the music that let you imagine the setting and the mood of the song,
the gratifying etched memories that recurs in your mind,
the bountiful energy that you derive out of nowhere that makes you think you just want to leave everything and go for an exerting work-out or a run,
or rather keep writing till you drop,
and amidst this,
the curse of your mind on itself for not being able to hold on to the thoughts that occur to you.
And all you can do to salvage the current stream of thoughts would be to leave the scene at where it is and rush to reach to the device that can save your thoughts.

Indeed, who could have better said it than who said,
'A thing of beauty is joy forever.'
For, after I wrote these lines,
and when I came over,
the scene was longer present,
with the winds crowding the sky with clouds aplenty,
and the moon almost dying in the horizon.

You leave the place with 'what happens is for your best.'

-Dated: 6:45 PM, 27 Jan, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Music Panacea


How much ever I temper my mind, 
it does not seem to get tamed 
And falls prey to the tormenting questions 
that have no answers


And so, 


I seek music


To clear my mind clouded with contemplation
As company to the monologues in my mind
To temper my mind further and 
To shield it from miseries.


Dated: June 23, 2011

Thursday, January 12, 2012

If by Rudyard Kipling


If

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘Or walk with Kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

You, me, and metaphysics


Your thoughts spread on my brain
like
Ink on a blotting paper.


Your confessions liberate me 
like
Balloon filled with helium.


Your presence make me feel
like
I am a log on water.


Your words sting me
like
Arrow from a taut bow.


Your letting-go act makes me 
like
A ball thrown in the air.


You go away and yet I am
like
A ball sunk in the water.


All I do is
to follow the law of physics;
and when you are with me,
Who am I to defy gravity?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Some Retro Records to Welcome 2012

Mishaps are like knives that either serve us or cut us,
As we grasp them by the blade or the handle.
~ James Russell Lovell


I complained I had no shoes
till...
I saw a man that had no feet.
~ Author Unknown


Experience is a hard teacher
because she gives the test first,
the lesson afterword.
~ Vernon Law


When one door closes another door opens;
but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door,
that we do not see the ones which open for us.
~ Helen Keller


Tell me and I'll forget;
show me and I may remember;
involve me and I'll understand.
~Chinese Proverb


Leadership is doing what is right,
even when no one is watching.
~ Marquis de Vauvernargues


What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters
compared to what lies within us.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Worrying is like a rocking chair,
It gives you something to do,
But it does not get you anywhere.
~ Unknown


Our greatest battles are that with our own minds.
~ Jameson Frank


For every minute you are angry,
you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dated: Sometime in 2003 - 2004
The above quotes are a few of the yields of my recent dusting.