Showing posts from January, 2012

Book Review: Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul: A book of Miracles

“To believe in miracles one has to be a realist”-- Raksha Bharadia (Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul: A book of Miracles.)
When you stand beside the railings of the bridge holding tight with both your hands on the rail, preventing your vertigo to embrace you totally, with your eyes set deep and tilted upon the transient waves in the running river below, the wind that brushes your shoulders would appear more like an individual. And you would like to name him/her—hope, consolation, or simply magic. The greatest miracle of all is this feeling, that even in the inanimate world, your despair is heard, and you are not alone anymore.
Even if it is signs from above, the healing power of a prayer, love from beyond, his/her messenger, His saving grace, angels amongst us, answered prayers, everyday miracles, divine appointment, the magic of faith, our guardian angel, or call from within, the truth about experiencing these inexplicable moments is the irreplaceable craving for being loved and cared…

Paulo Coelho and the Coincidence

Coincidences are much related with the paranormal, parapsychology, spirituality, magic, and the language of signs, but it is not very usual they appear to be a bridge across politics and spiritual awareness.
The thought to write about S.O.P.A and P.I.P.A came to my mind at a point when a similar trend was observed in the political reality of the nation I live in. Salman Rushdie was prohibited to participate in the Jaipur Literature Festival and the process of writing an article about this issue made me think of strategic steps from the governments all over the world such as the attempts to enchain the internet. Each of these steps is carries out with a similar mental malignity as can be observed in the attitudes of the people who banned Rushdie.
Writing has always been a gate through which substantial thoughts enter my mind, like speaking with one’s guardian angel. The desire to write against the attempts to prevent internet freedom was an earnest one and I felt unease as the time pass…

Salman Rushdie and the Jaipur Literature Festival

I am indebted to Salman Rushdie not as much to write nine novels, three collections of short fiction, two children’s books, and more than half a dozen non-fiction essays, as to play a catalyst in exposing the hypocrisy hidden in the Indian religious mind. The Jaipur Literature Festival is in news not just because of the prospective assemblage of personalities from the field of literary art, but also from the conspicuous absence of Rushdie. He bagged booker prize, and to be frank that doesn’t prove a thing about his talents, literary or artistic. But at this instance when some wounds, sore and unbearably unfavorable are laid bare, he deserves some credit.
The Literature Festival would otherwise have hosted his speech. In the concurrent move of things, some orthodox and parochial religious sects intervened what they have not otherwise been capable of nearing; books. The festival of words was threatened with various means of barbarity if Rushdie took his place as a speaker. A similar ins…

Told, Untold and Told

An old storyteller lived in the mountains in the eastern part of Malabar. His wife often complained about the lack of any human companion to their solitary dwelling. There was always a reason the storyteller told his woman; “I learn my stories from this solitude, my dear Chakky.”
Silence was the only option the old woman had, since she knew that the family survived on the money the folks in the market place offered for the tales the old man told. And it was into this region of sulking silence the young aspiring storyteller came, one day. He was there to learn the art from the master. The old woman celebrated his presence by cooking various delicacies for the student and the master.
One day the student went to town and came back with a cloud of disappointment over his face. His eyes were red as if he had cried a lot of sorry hours out. “Now, would you ever ask him what happened?” the old woman forced the storyteller. The heart of the woman perhaps had taken the young man with a materna…

About Writing Fiction

The best part about writing fiction is to be able to traverse the distance between the supplied reality and an altered one. The supplied reality is the world that is given to all of us, not by the creator, God, but by the society. It also carries its own stereotypical feelings and perceptions that rather restrict a human being’s imagination and wisdom than bestowing upon him the original light of the divine wisdom. The altered form of reality is the optional reality that an individual creates for himself or herself, with respect to one’s own creative faculties; for me it is fiction.
When the wings of this enchanting bird take their full stretch and soar high in the horizon of my mind, I anticipate kingdoms and landscapes and people, equally enchanting and bewitching. The story is a bridge that speaks. It tells me how important it is to get connected with that land of magic and enchantment to make sense of life. Sometimes I get this feeling that the characters I write about are souls th…

The Fruitage of Spirit

You might be the best in whatever you do. But there are things, a certain number of them that you cannot define, neither can you touch. You think of them all the time but fail to understand properly, and at the end of the day, become happy at a boring lecture or a newsroom discussion terming all those ‘things’ abstract ideas. One such thing is kindness, isn’t it?
Wednesday, January 4, 2011. 10 am.  The boy in the white shirt and blue shorts was lean and had a shabby appearance. He sat near me in my bus ride to work place. I was thinking about the probability of stopping my transfer in job from Thalassery to Kannur town, a one hour ride from where I work now. And as it always happened, the job-thought was followed by a melancholic expression and anxiety that spilled out of the skin and possessed my gestures and even silence. I doubted my countenance betraying my anxiety. In my attempt to check whether the next person had seen me worrying and mumbling incessantly, I found this shaggy pa…

27 Dresses

It’s a great feeling when we watch a movie, read a book or visit a place that is already watched, read or visited by someone beloved. It is magical how we connect without anything tangible or logical, with the idea of getting into touch with the person we respect and love. It is metaphysical and transcending. The story is the same, feeling same, and depth, too; but behind the glottis, the feeling of a lump at the end. I watched a movie, which was suggested by James Patterson, one of my favorite word jugglers—I mean writers—am I getting too much allegorical? Oops!—27 Dresses. I watched it on my computer.
I had this rare opportunity to watch this movie on two consecutive days, like a serial. This, of course, owes to the lack of time to finish the movie on a single day. But on the first day, there was hardly anything in it that impressed me. Time is proportional to will. If I had the will I would have watched it on that same day. I felt that the movie was bleak and boring. Or at least not…

The Archaic Concern

Certain tendencies in our thinking modes such as ‘protecting nature’ have the same impact and significance as ‘protecting the mother’. Both phrases project a weakling who is in need for some sort of help. The weak human mother, with her old age and feeble health could well justify the need to be protected. But nature is complicated. The argument for protecting nature is complex, since the question whether humans are protecting nature or vice versa, is unanswerable.
Happy Tuesday! The previous day the bus that took me back to hometown from my work place, stopped unexpectedly in an area surrounded by cashew trees and barren rocky field.
There was a crowd on the road that was gathered around an old man. He was in shabby clothing and looked as if a picture exhibited on the wrong wall. I got off from the bus and went close to the crowed. Some were arguing with the old man.
The old man was saying; “I am a farmer. I work nearby. I planted these trees, not for myself, but for the all. Once th…

Google Rush!

As the New Year’s Eve ended, the page views climbed up to 414 from 311. The New Year Day’s page view was 404. Thank you all for stopping by. You must feel that inexplicable warmth of love and thankfulness from me. Since I have no other way to express it, I implore you to accept this na├»ve, yet artistic way of expressing gratitude.
What do you feel at the end of the day, after all the celebrations you have gone through? Let us pool our attention in this region. Here is a thought which we all might have experienced and left somewhere stashed behind in the racks of our reason or logic. There is no logic in accepting that all Mondays suck. All vacations end with the same sense of nostalgia for coziness and a sense of self alienation, like the feeling—I wish I didn’t belong here. Your office, your work place, your school, everything seem unbearably full of duties and commitments. An escape would be the only thought you have, but just a thought. We do not accept this thought and move on.
I t…