Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tradition and Individual

The bride was leaving her family with her groom after the marriage, as was the custom.

“Don’t forget your tradition, daughter”-- The mother said to the bride-- “It is tradition that makes a beautiful girl adorable, a home-maker respectable, and a mother lovable. It is tradition that will tell you that peace is not resulted from the absence of conflicts but a resonance with conflicts, and that no conflict ever ends. It only becomes a source for another. Daughter, it is tradition that will tell you that a good wife can never be a good mother, and a good mother can never be a good wife; and that you only need to be a good home-maker, for only a good home maker can only be a good wife and a good mother. Remember. Remember the tradition. It will help you to be a ruler while being a subject and instruct you that your inclinations will perform magic. Do not forget this, my dear--The mother stopped and looked at her daughter.

The bride raised her head and said--“Mother…”And with a pause, she resumed--“Mother, I will never remember the word ‘tradition’.

The mother was stunned. “Why?”--was the only word got through her mouth.

“Because I am afraid.”-The bride said.

She waited for the mother’s question. —’Why?’
But the mother was silent and couldn’t get herself out of the shock. It was the first time that the mother heard somebody, among women, rejecting her tradition, and that too because of fear.

The bride, as she didn’t hear a question from her mother, continued—“I am afraid from the word ‘tradition’. Because it reminds me of the remnants of the past, of the skeletons, skull and a stench from the grandfather’s grave, when the grandmother was taken to the burial. And you know, mother that how much I am afraid of such things. So don’t ask me to remember my tradition.”

The mother wept. She knew that it was tradition for the mother to weep when her daughter departed in marriage.
And the bride went with her groom, without thinking what her tradition was.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Arrogant shanty

When the sun and its rays rise in all of its grace,
Whom shall I wait for starting the race?
I’m like the lightning, that fast is my pace.
Why should I late myself by waiting for a mate?
It’s time, for the seaways has been shown by the waves,
The cry of the sea gull makes the best of omens,
The darkest of the night is showing brightest of the stars,
And they will lead the way in this sailor’s days.
Some one called me volcano that still is un-slept.
“Don’t screw me up, you pest!” that was then my retort.
I don’t need his words and his bluffing, ever mate,
To prove myself the number one in this fight!
Life is a fight fought only thrice
One as child, two as young, three as old,
And the rest is told…

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Silent Scream

I talked to myself, fiercely, more fiercely and more. Only my lips moved. My throat was free of the burden of sounds. But still I was hearing each and every word that I was shouting. My ears, I wondered, why are they not deafening on this sound? I was asserting and justifying myself.

It is only then one wants to prove his or her own identity, when that one feels oneself buried inside a common unity, which has no sense to sense that one and that one’s sensibility. This, I realized is the same case with me. I was unaware, if I am registering a silent protest against the unseen enemy who is curbing me from my right of a choice. Was there a choice before? I am not sure.

What I am talking about is, after a period of recent time, I felt my surroundings completely estranged from me. I felt like I was alienated somewhere in an unknown place. I am talking about the time after that. It was in these days that I thought of the choices in my life. I am not sure whether I had choices. But I had been sure of one thing; I was one I believed, living, in a place I wanted to be—in my university.

It was when I was stepping over to the second semester, that I felt the change in the circumstances. I found my life, as a practice of making sense out of senselessness. I was one among the unit, called my class. I am provided with choices, of course, but on the very moment I chose any, other than the choices of the unit, I would be out of the unit; that means out of the ‘class’. It seemed I am in a strange place. Classmates and friends seemed more strangers, than mere acquaintances. Teachers seemed to be authorities, carrying out the propaganda for the unit. I felt fatigue I had never endured before.

The socio-psychic interactions of this writing, until this line, seem to be a little incomplete or vague in its effect. This is because I haven’t narrated any thing from the life that I am having. It is simply pretentious! Let me explain. I felt or still feeling, during finishing this stuff and publishing it in my blog, embarrassed with my academic environment. More precisely, the interactions between the unit (the class), and the academic authority and the reactions, which each society, the class and the authority, conveys with each other is of ‘contentment’. Every one here, for me, seemed satisfied with everything happening around. I was the only one dissatisfied with what is happening in my life, and what is happening around me. ‘Contentment’, is something that I never had. I believe that it is something, which goes against your dream of getting hold on your dream. But I was forced to pretend contented, as part of the choice of the unit.

Other than the formal description of the issue, what I want to convey is that, I have a want. A want for the fulfillment of my dream; a dream, which never came in resonance with my human surroundings, but always conversed with the mother nature around me. I want to do something, which the others can’t do. I want to make my life fruitful.

But what this experience taught me, I think, is in your journey for your dreams; you will be with no body. Alone. But you will have the nature, the mother with you, who will be the ground for your path. Do not expect any one else. I can’t tell you 'why', simply because I don’t know. What I said is, just what I experienced.


A smiling black
Face drew to
The headlines,

Which say
The elites are

Oh! Indeed they
Have changed
Their colour-

In India,
The newspapers-

Still crackers are
being burst,

For the change in the
Unveiled good hearts
Of the white’s.

The papers
Had also published
Along with This news,

The advertisements of
Fairness creams.
And a matrimonial-

Column near, said-
‘Wanted’- a groom,
Handsome, fair!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Child of 'The Mother'

'Normal' and 'abnormal' are two highly controversial terms. It is difficult to distinguish the apt word for branding one, between the two, as right or as wrong.
When it seems to be difficult to discriminate the signified meaning of both these terms then that points to a fact that we neither know anything nor every thing but only something about what is 'normal' and what is 'abnormal'.

The behaviour of an individual or group that comes under the collective identity of the common behaviour of the social structure is termed most often as 'normal'. In a social context, abnormal is identified as a highly unacceptable behavioural pattern. So let us stick to such a norm that makes sensibility possible with the least of efforts.

In Paulo Coelho, this 'abnormality' and its attempts to gain legitimacy in a formal social set up can be seen recurrently. In the novel, “The Witch of Portobello”, this legitimacy is attempted through the presence of the child of Athena. Thus the protagonist, Athena, sticks to the notions of ‘motherhood’, in all of its socially accepted images. We can see, , the choices made by Athena, as an individual, were for her own enlightenment. Here, the presence of the boy child is a kind of connecting link between the woman, who pursues her 'mad' dreams,and her social existence as a humanbeing.

The concept of motherhood, which is attributed to Athena, is established through her child. Thus the character of Athena finds a co-relation with the concept of ‘Universal Mother’. Here Coelho presents the concept of the Female God or Mother God. In her quest for the spirituality, which the society sees as something not less than witchcraft, her existence does not owe a very significant correspondence with her son.

Coelho’s concept of female God finds its full expression here. This co-relation between the Mother God and Athena seems to be conditioned through the boy child in Athena’s life. Without a child she will not be a mother. Thus the child gives a legitimisation to the concept of motherhood in Athena’s individuality. Giving birth to a child is one of the archetypal concepts of elevating individuality through identifying ‘motherhood’, as some quality more significant; spiritually, mentally, and socially than being an ordinary woman. Here, Coelho uses this archetypal imagery to enable the comparison or co-relation of Athena with the Mother God.
Athena’s spiritual quest interacts with the society as an abnormal eccentricity. These interactions take the form of a political conspiracy against the existing norms, when it moves from an individual level to a mass level. When more and more people are attracted toward Athena, the environment around her residence becomes violent and the society accuses her with breaking rules of the existing religious order and witchcraft. This reaction from the society can be seen as a reaction toward the imbalance caused to the structural aspect of the society.This reaction owes for its violent nature, the concern over the mass participation in Athena’s rituals related with her spirituality.
The protests that Athena faces are evolved from a social consciousness, from a highly materialistic concept concerning the structure of the society and from the pre-constructed insistence on the order of the society. In other words, it can be read as Coelho’s way of bringing down the ‘abstract’ to the roots of material life. The intervention of spirituality in Athena’s socio-cultural interactions are identified as ‘abnormal’ by the society as per the existing norms or references.

The way in which Coelho undertakes the task of evolving Athena’s spirituality, which can be conceived as an abstract idea, is through connecting it with materialistic ‘concepts’. The first step in this attempt is what he did with the child.
Even at the time of chaos in her life it is, motherhood, being the mother of a child that wins her a little humanistic consideration from the so-called morality keepers. The existence of the child in Athena’s life makes her a mother, who can communicate with God- a God who endows the world with incomparable motherhood, and love.

The Existential Crisis

My father came back after job at 8 O’clock at night. He brought the day’s newspaper. The English newspaper, which was the only one subscribed in my home, allotted a very scant commission to the newspaper's agent, said he and thus it was destined for me and my family to get the newspaper from his shop, at about one kilometer distance from my home, either in the evening or at night; not at any cost in the morning! The agent distributed newspapers at every door in the morning except ours. For his commission, Rs: 18 /- per month, for the English newspaper, never enabled him to shun the temptation of Rs: 24 /- from the Malayalam newspapers.

The newspaper, somewhat like a cold coffee now, merely made its routine journey through my eyes. Suddenly, I was shocked. Terrorist attacks in Assam! Indian soil had been again rocked by the sinister intentions of the terror. The elections are imminent. And so the time when this attack took place made it really a high concern. The intention of the terrorists is very clear--to destroy the political stability of the country.

My eyes stuck on another page in another news and my brain connected the news with the previous one. This news was that, about 43 species of mammals, reached close to extinction. I felt the same thing in both the cases. The common thing, in the terror attack and the news about extinction of 43 species of mammals, is that both deals with annihilation. The terrorist slaughter humans and human societies for their own existence, we slaughter poor animals for our own selfish pleasures embellished with the phrase, ‘for use’ .

Where is the difference? And what?