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Showing posts from 2011

A Special Door

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May in this New Year each of us does not forget to leave behind stickers of memory, so that when your life is close to dullness and lack of memory a door opens, which takes you back, away from the labyrinth of confusion and uncontrollable splitting of selves, to the world and time which you cherish the best. 
           Hi readers, keep pondering over the resolutions you made the previous year, and making new ones. And while you get tired of thinking and in need of some refreshing thought, here is something special for all of you, published in another blog that I keep, Sidewalk. 
           "I woke up without a reeling head. Unusual; I thought. My gaze first fell upon the cell phone resting on the nearby chair that serves as my bed side table. A text message awaited me from a familiar number; after wishing a good morning back, I stared into the infinity of my closed room. Suddenly, something caught my attention there."
Read the rest here:http://open.salon.com/blog/side_walk/201…

Goodbye Hello!

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Mistakes were made; some deliberate, some unconscious, some in an effort to stand by the person who you are; grounds were held; in the expectation of a great profit, sometimes just for a feeling of security, and also to show others to what extent you can go to hold your ground; and promises were made; some were kept and some forgotten, whereas some of them you never bothered to think about; and we are here, alive, hopeful, enduring the worst but expecting the best.
The year past is nostalgia and the year to come is a dream. Reality is just this day before the tomorrow, the New Year. What is there to celebrate in it, except the sad fact that our reality only has a span of just this one moment! Can our desire to live on justify the splash of joy we experience at this moment? Our reality, this one moment that we all experience now and at present, is joyous because of our courage to dream about the next moment, our tomorrow, the future. Why can’t we do it all day and make every day a celeb…

An Evening in the Life of the City Barber

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The barber’s assistant was new; a young man in his mid twenties. His hands were not in harmony with the scissors and knife yet.
“Don’t’ do it that way. Didn’t I tell you a thousand times, Ganesh?” the barber said furious as Ganesh, moved his scissors on the hairs of the officer from the kind’s court. The young man looked at the barber. “But Raman dada, I did it well; this is how you taught me.” He muttered with fearful eyes. His lips remained silent.
“What are you staring at?” Raman barked. Ganesh nodded with his body stooping at his master’s wrath, much for fear than respect, though it seemed rather an expression of the later. “Raman dada…” the young man tried to say something. “Yes?” Raman asked indignantly. The sound of bullock carts rang in the street next to the shop. The city was full that day and the shops were doing good business. Because on that day was their king’s birthday.
“Nothing…I am trying to do it as you taught me…” Ganesh said. “Oh, now you started passing your judgmen…

Salt and Honey

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“There are not many readers in your blog these days, are there?” some one commented. I didn’t say anything in return. Instead, I decided to quote this story here.
The people who live in the shores of Dharmadam say that each drop of water in the sea has a unique life. Each drop is special and has a destiny to fulfill. They use this story, to explain this principle to the younger generations.
“Once, a drop of water in the Arabian Sea dreamed of becoming honey. But it knew that upon the surface of the sea, which is full of salt, his dream would never be possible. So it decided to pray to God. The water drop rose to the surface, and swayed upon a wave, up and down. Even though, it appeared merged with the seawater and the thousands of drops surrounded it looked alike, many of the sea dwellers had found that there was something different with this drop.
“A shark came by and said to the drop: “Every water drop at one point in its life would be transformed into honey. It’s a natural process an…

The Season of Festivals

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“On this day we shut out Nothing!”—Charles Dickens   

To be surrounded by people who care about you is always a nice feeling, one of the ever charming feelings a human being remembers all through his lifetime. It is to light this gleaming dot, once again, in the mind of all of us; we celebrate, move close to each other and share the warmth of love and the smile of care. But what would we do when we are with solitude? Before the numbness of loneliness corrodes your joy, you must want to celebrate. You either create a reason to celebrate, or a wait for a festival to warm you up with nearness, laughter, and stories.
We are very close to the grandest celebration of the year: Christmas. Like every year, The Indian Commentator too is participating in the vibe of the time. There is hardly any difference between a festival and the smile that follows a story, much due to the unignorable relationship between festivals and stories. Every festival is preceded by a story, or it could be the other wa…

Plexus

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There is always a new book awaiting. One I have just finished; The Box by Gunter Grass. I stand up from my office chair. Like all office chairs it’s comfortable in a profane sense. It always seduces me to sleep; makes me work one minute less than the time to finish. It loves me lazy. I hate it. But it stood by me this time, partially oaring me to an unknown island of sleep; flashes of faces, words spoken in English, a fairy tale divulged each time; and partially fixing me where I am, with the hard cover volume in my hand. I love the later part.
When my feet feel swollen, I stand up and contort my body once or twice, and then sit down, pushing forth my eyes on the white paper, only to find how familiar words dance to some mysterious tune to concoct the most fascinating potion of literary alchemy.
This time I stand up again; take a stroll around my chair in a ritual to warm up my legs. I finished the book, which I have been reading from the previous week. A thread sized stream of content…

A Drop of Love

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A dewdrop found itself resting on the petal of a rose. That was the only memory of the drop. It was born there, separated from a cloud of fog and felt happy to be there.
There was something that lured the drop; a pull towards the heart of the flower since the petal was sloppy. The dew felt its destiny already marked out.
It said to the rose, “What would happen if I slid into your heart?” The flower looked at the drop. There was a peculiar grace to the dewdrop. And the sun was sharing its gleam with the crystal soul of the drop. The flower fell in love with the dewdrop all at once. “I will…” the flower blushed, “I will receive you into my soul and transform you into honey.”  
The dewdrop could not decide what to choose. The company of the flower was mesmerizing. Its fragrance was unique. But what it said was dubious. It said it will transform the dewdrop into honey. ‘What is honey?’ The dewdrop thought. ‘Would it mean I have to disappear? Whom shall I ask?’  
Then, as if the thought of th…

Poetry

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If what you know leads you to the unknown, What you know is poetry. If what you experienced takes you beyond- Your expectations, You have experienced poetry. If the words on a paper makes you wonder, How you wrote it, You have written poetry.

The Shooting Star

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It is said that those who die, become a star in the sky. This story is dedicated to that star who told me several wonderful stories, and enlightened my mind; my grand mother. May her soul rest in peace.  
“Silence is the language of the cosmos. From the smallest stone to the sun itself, they all communicate through silence, greatly rich with meaning and deep, very deep. In order to understand it, we need to have a special mind. You have it, don’t you?” A pair of eyes, surrounded by numerous wrinkles, slowly connected themselves with the boy’s.
He was silent for the next half of a minute. Yet another story! Why do old people tell so many stories? How do they remember a great many of these details? And how on earth does she know about the language of the cosmos? He thought.
“I don’t know,” He answered.
“Yes, you know. You are like that small stone that wandered all around the cosmos to find an answer to what puzzled him for a long time,” the grand mother said.
“What stone? A meteorite?” …

Aiming the Impossible: An Artist's Memoir-VI

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VI
When you are alone and feel like holding on to something, you’d better look for yourself. I was alone there, then, at the bus shelter.
Yet, I was visible and present. For me, being present meant something else too, other than just breathing, eating talking with people and writing exams: painting. I found myself in that pale and lonely night doing graffiti on the wall of the bus shelter.
The following morning brought some admirers with its first light for the graffiti; the picture of a man standing in front of a dark box within a pale background. For the ones who looked more closely there was a surprise too. Within the dark box, there was a pair of secret eyes, addressing directly at the admirers, leaving the observers with a horrible sense of vulnerability. But no, no artist is sure of what he had achieved with his work of art. His success is that single moment when he realizes his finished work. But I was sure of one thing; my father would come to the bus shelter for getting his bus…

(Contd.) Aiming the Impossible: An Artist's Memoir

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V “Prakash Pacha is dead!” “Artist Pacha passed away.” I visualized these headlines in my mind. One was more proximate, the first headline. The second seemed much far away; the artist, which I could never be.
Though the visualization itself had no material grounding and just a hypothetical exercise in order to find an answer to a question that never existed, the process of imagining these titles gave me some sort of satisfaction. Peace. But then an acute sense of tragedy overwhelmed me. I was the tragedy. If I die now, my death would be a suicide. And suicides would be reported as ‘suicides’ not “death” or “passed away”, moreover, which news paper would cover my death. I was nothing, which I still am, for that matter. The sense of this tragic nothingness pushed me even harder than my genitor.
“What are you saying? Are you hoping God would help you? Then spread your hands and wait; let me see who would come to help you.” My ears never rang, but that day.
My self had been divided into two;…

Live from London: Book Review

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The essential ingredients for writing a best selling chick lit are: a feisty protagonist, some personality quirks that would essentially land her into troubles, her misadventures, and as the final nail, an exotic setting. In Live from London, you find nothing.

In this grossly irritating Indian English misadventure, the writer has pathetically failed to strike any cords with the readers. Parinda Joshi sets her story--I mean if we can presume what is described in the book a story-- in London. The novel lacks a well structured plot, good characters, fine dialogues, events that show some sort of connection with each other and anything else that can be worthy of pursuing in the process of reading a novel.
This is not due to my frustration of wasting time reading this worthless crap of a book, but rather a sort of brotherly and friendly warning to all those who decide to spend a couple of hundreds to buy this book from market and investing their precious time reading. The book costs Rs 195. A…

Aiming the Impossible: An Artist's Memoir (Contd.)

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IV I always disliked spiritual talk. Reading self-help books and philosophizing life were worst in my hate list. I hated writers like Paulo Coelho and all his sort of spiritual journeys. I had never dared to face the spirit, in fact. I knew my friend John Varghese had embarked upon a journey that would inevitably invite me to one of those maddening fancies that appear in all those books that many read, and say changed their lives. For me life had been unchangeable.
Then he said something that irritated me to hell and I was right about him too. There he was, telling me a story.
“Once upon a time,” he started; “In a small country, there lived a young girl. One day she read a book and liked it. She liked it so much that she decided to meet the author who lived in another city in the same nation. She met the writer and asked him if she can help him sell his books in other languages, as well.
“She moved in to the city where the author lived, with her boy friend, leaving behind her studies i…

Aiming the Impossible: An Artist's Memoir-III

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My father decided it; I, his invisible son, will write the bank test.
He bought the application, paid the fee and asked me to attend for a coaching class that prepares candidates for the test for bank clerks. It just happened so, as if I never existed, not the ‘I’ my father’s psychopathic mind could see now, but the ‘I’ who is an artist, who is always a vaguely reflective crystal surface in front of him.
I found no reason why I should tell him I could spend my time and money in a better way somewhere else. I was invisible. My voice would only seem wind-howls which meant nothing.
It was quiet on the day, my mind. It had stopped communicating with me. I was in my room looking blankly at my new painting which I titled the “Impossible Flight”, where I depicted a pigeon flying with a jet airplane. The impossible pace the pigeon took in the picture had given it a look that was close to an eagle. It was a pigeon transformed into an eagle.
“It’s time to go. Are you not dressed up yet?” Father…

Aiming the Impossible: An Artist's Memoir

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II
Beautiful days are like books, they smell good. It was a perfect day. After skipping the exam, I wandered around the city and got inspired. I did not attempt another Eligibility Test till this day, due to the sheer aversion to the process of testing one’s abilities with respect to someone else’s standards. It’s for a teacher, not for an artist. But how can a teacher teach art if he or she knows art in terms of its history alone?
As all contracts end, my contract with the private institution too ended one day. And a state came upon me, which is generally not very comfortable for parents; called joblessness. I remained jobless for the next four months until the local university needed an art teacher and my ill luck decided to favour me. Teaching in the university offered a new set of artistically stimulating period in my life. And like all artistically stimulating experiences this too was an ordeal. Ask any artist, the best of one’s works would be the product of the worst days of his …

An Artist’s Memoir

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Writingmemoir is like talking to oneself with frequency that is impossible for anyone else to decode. People might read but will see only words and stories, their meanings hidden deep behind somewhere in the chasm of the writer’s soul. A memoir is like a painting. Behind the bright and dull, there exists a world which only the blessed ones can occupy. Below is the memoir by my artist friend Prakash Pacha. He shared it with me after my incessant requests ever since I came to know he had dared to write, partly to satisfy my sense of superiority through judging the work, and partly due to my curiosity. It’s a long one for my blog, to be included in a single post. So I am dividing it into parts, hoping my friend Pacha would not mind. 
Aiming the Impossible I I never tried this; writing. I feel insecure. This is not my thing. It is after the advice of my writer friend, that I am trying this. I had been teaching at a private art institute in Kannur, after my post graduation in Fine Arts.
Then …

Sojourn

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I like to start writing a new story each day; stories without endings, stories that are born out of a sudden whim and carried forward with obsessive spontaneity. I am just like any other writer, a naive creation of God, who believes words can cure him of his solitude, when every one else around him has lost their trust on words. But his hope is miraculous, because it never tires of its mission. It urges him to write, to spend time with words—polishing them, practicing his skills, pruning his diligence to perfection, looking failure in the eyes, succeeding, dreaming—and disregard his family’s advices to look for a job with a permanent financial source.
But as most of the writers who are part of the struggling community, who are not yet blessed with the gaze of the publishing industry, it is difficult for me, even now, to write about my dwindling financial situation, my struggle for a life. Perhaps I could write a story, search for a solution to this situation or just try to create an al…