Sunday, December 29, 2013

A lesson for the year

People who bitch to you about others are the ones whom you must be wary of... they will not twitch to bitch about you to others!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Review - Purple Hibiscus

The title, Purple Hibiscus, very much befits the crux of the tale and is indicative of the crossover of the meek children of a stickler perfectionist and a religiously fanatic father. The crossover is more from the point where they are children who are brought up to say only the most obvious and nothing extempore, and not being able to speak a sentence without stuttering, to children who become mature enough to be able to gather courage to shoulder a huge responsibility at the time of dire straits—especially the narrator Kambili's elder brother Jaja. The purple hibiscus is the shrub that grows at Kambili's aunt's house. Kambili's brother, Jaja, is in particular very interested in the color of the shrub and even brings a shoot from their aunt’s house so that he can grow it in their house. The purple hibiscus is really about Kambili’s brother Jaja.

What is surprising is the reverence and yearning that the children show, especially Kambili, towards their father in spite of his acts of flagellation. They love him in spite of his torturous dealings. 

One interesting aspect is about the presentation of the parts of the book. The Psalm Sunday chapter which is the turning point the novel is placed at the beginning and this makes us look forward to what really happened that made Jaja behave the way he did, and that made his papa behave so violently towards him.

The flow is seamless and the language is simple; it certainly is refreshing to see the simple yet striking analogies at regular intervals, throughout the novel. The Nigerian political situation and the unexpected small twists which are disguised as daily happenings in Kambili's life give the reader enough grip, seriousness, and suspense to hold on to.

As the story progresses, the contrasting elements unfurl and that too without being apparent—like the richness versus the thriftiness in the food that is cooked at Kambili's and the aunt's house; the post-colonial influences on the means of praying at the catholic churches versus the superstitious ways of the praying at the Africa's traditional temples; the abundance versus the dearth and resourcefulness in every aspect at aunt's house versus at Kambili's house; the claustrophobic and curtailed means of living for Kambili and Jaja versus the prevailing freedom of speech and the confidence with which the aunt's children are brought up; Kambili’s mother’s submission to Kambili’s dad’s harshness and her subservient and dependent attitude versus the widowed aunt’s forthcoming and independent attitude towards marriage, and much more.

Purple Hibiscus is altogether, a great debut, a good read, and a no-nonsense book! Kudos to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie! Waiting to read the book Half of a Yellow Sun...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.

~ Robert Frost

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Self-talk on abnormality

The Prologue
Concerning the idiosyncrasies of anyone, when unusualness lingers around for a long while,
it turns to abnormality; Of late, signs of cheerfulness has dissolved itself into nothingness and obsolescence prevails.

The Monologue
You know, it has been a while... since


Smiled at myself in the mirror.
Whistled or sang a note or two of my favorite tunes.
Listened to any of the songs in my collection.
Discovered any new music.
Wondered about the clouds, the sky, the moon, and the stars.
Enjoyed a good dose of the breeze caressing me.

since I wrote or even attempted to...


It has been a while since all these thoughts
dawned on me, and...
I still do not want to do any of these,
or even if I did,

It fails to enthuse me.


am I ageing or are these the usual signs of depression
looming around on my birthday eve?

P.S.: Will they let me fool around if I blame writer's block even if I have not thought about writing at all, forget not being able to move my thoughts or wanting to write?

P.P.S.: In fact, I feel like calling it quits; but don't know at what...!.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hurt. Anger. Wisdom.

y | o | u
are not such a sweet thorn to be touched again and again... 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Translation of Aavaram Poo from Poo

If there are a few movies that I respect, then the one certainly in that list would be the move 'Poo'. A landmark movie for so many reasons, it is a tale of social messages, tragedy, sacrifice, friendship, hardships faced by economically backward, and so much more. I am not qualified enough to appreciate its technical brilliance, but I suppose the level to which it keeps its viewers engaged is certainly a mark of its brilliance.

The movie is about a woman who has been in love with her cousin. It shows largely her viewpoint, but the way a few others feel about the relationship come about very subtly; the others include her cousin, her mom and her sibling, her friend, and at last her uncle. Though their views are shown subtly, only those are harshly pelted on to the flower, and its feelings.

And if there is one person who can be said to walk away with all the laurels, it is Parvathi Menon. She just leaves one wanting for more, because she was not seen in any Tamil movies, in spite of her amazing histrionics. And of course, the director for the characterization of Maari (played by Parvathi). He has shown Maari as a person who bestows unconditional love on her cousin. So much so that if one has to understand the meaning of 'unconditional love', it is from her. How can a person still love the other, even after they know that the person can no longer be part of their life again? I say unconditional because, it is not with a compromise made on her marital life; she adores her husband and yet wants to see her cousin happy, but just in vain. Just amazing characterization!

This one song that I have attempted to translate (Aavaram poo annalil irunthe...) depicts the movie's storyline briefly--it says about the yearnings of a woman, here the flower; the flower, and hence the title of the film, Poo. A very beautiful and simple composition by S S Kumaran is brought to life by Chinmayi, with the way she emotes the flower's yearnings, for the unrequited love in her life, and the way she is poised in her life. Not to mention Na. Muthukumar's beautiful yet uncomplicated lyrics that portrays a person's state of affairs--it is one reason that it is mostly his songs that I often attempt to translate; it is just that I realize this only after I am done with most of the translation work.

Here we go...

For whom has this flower been waiting,
so forlorn?
It has kept its bloom, bearing the dusk, 
the noon, the rain, and the scorching sun...
just for you.

Will not the root know,
this flower's love for its own root,
even if unsaid?

It sways in the wind and follows your way.
It keeps all its petals unfurled,
with all juvenile memories, to its dismay.
All the age-old sweet nothings,
would be just mine for me to assay.

Dearth and the dead leaves shout aloud,
about shortcomings and sufferings.
And all my words, hush up into the cloud.

For a lifetime, it upholds a penance
standing one-legged, to become a garland 
that decorates your firm chest, perchance.
It freezes in the chill, holding its life,
and would flourish at your one glance.

You are its colors and its fragrance,
and would perish, 
if you forsake it...

Will not the root know,
this flower's love for its own root,
even if unsaid?

For whom has this flower been waiting,
so forlorn?
It has kept its bloom, bearing the dusk, 
the noon, the rain, and the scorching sun...

It has been a long time since I wrote, leave alone translated any. I hope I have done justice... 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Some thoughts for reference and reflection

Never cut what you can untie.
 ~ Joseph Joubert

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
 ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.
~ Lady Bird Johnson

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year.
~ Victor Borge

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics, is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
~ Christopher Hampton

I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places.
~ Henny Youngman

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

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

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die, so, let us all be thankful.

~Buddhist Quote

The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.
~ Alan Saporta

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
~ Abraham Maslow

Renunciation is not getting rid of the things of this world, but accepting that they pass away.
~ Aitken Roshi

Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune.
~ Kin Hubbard

Friday, January 04, 2013

The Beach Sand

You are like the beach sand in my house...
Annoying, yet a memento of the beautiful moments.