What is Life? Darkness and formless vacancy for a beginning, or something beyond all beginning; then next a dim lotus of human consciousness, finding itself afloat upon the bosom of waters without a shore; then a few sunny smiles and many tears; a little love and infinite strife; whisperings from paradise and fierce mockeries from the anarchy of chaos; dust and ashes, and once more darkness circling round, as if from the beginning, and in this way rounding or making an island of our fantastic existence: that is human life, that the inevitable amount of man’s laughter and his tears — of what he suffers and what he does — of his motions this way and that way, to the right or to the left, backwards or forwards of all his seeming realities and all his absolute negations — his shadowy pomps and pompous shadows — of whatever he thinks, finds, makes or mars, creates or animates, loves, hates, or in dread hope anticipates. So it is, so it has been, so it will be for ever and ever.
-Thomas DeQuincey
(From “The Household Wreck”; Blackwoods Magazine, January 1838)


*Warning : Sappyness Aplenty*

I needed to write about magic. The magic of Vishu. That was a long time ago. The week I went home – beginning of April. And now its mid may. But that’s ok. I have 25 years of memories to fall back on I guess…hopefully it shouldn’t be too difficult to make something up.
So yeah. It’s always been that for me – magic. The festival of Vishu I’m talking about. Always magic. There have been people in my life who haven’t really understood nor appreciated that. But maybe it’s not their fault. Maybe it’s me; maybe I failed to describe it properly to them. Then again it’s difficult to describe that kinda magic. I remember while watching Vaanaprastam, the word ‘medieval’ suggested itself to me. Not that the movie was medieval, altho it did have some aristocratic nonsense happening. I don’t think I want to go into a review of that movie. It’s a difficult movie to review and then it’s been a while…like years…since I watched it so…all in all not an appropriate time for a review. But yeah a few of those shots seems to take us to another time. A time before electricity, filled with the romance of the light from an oil lamp. Can you not see it? A lone lamp’s golden light pouring out of a single small window on a dark night with little or no moonlight. There’s this weird feeling I get when you imagine that…it’s the same feeling I get when I watch the evening lamp being lighted when I go to Kerala. For those few moments, that lamp is Midas and everything the lamp light touches turns into something exquisitely beautiful. Hmm…Anyway…
What I was actually trying to get at was that the same kinda magic i experience every Vishu. Maybe it helps that I’m always invariably half asleep. For those who don’t know, Vishu is the mallu new year. It’s that fascinating festival where if you are one of the younger ones, you get money from all your elders, and if you are one of the older ones, then just too bad for you…you get to give! 😀 I always wait for Vishu, cuz I’m the youngest in my house. 😀 But really that’s not all. I mean I will understand if you don’t wanna believe me when I’ve just successfully given a very convincing other reason. But still, try. Cuz you see some things just don’t change over the years. I have had the same feelings wash over me every year for quarter of a century. It’s amazing really. The night before, you know what you are going to see the next morning. There’s really nothing new, nothing unexpected. And yet, when my parents wake me up, I feel strangely excited, like I’m just about to see the greatest magician ever perform the most fascinating of his tricks. They would wake me, cover my eyes (over the years, my parents have taken turns), lead me to the pooja area and then ask me to open my eyes. The funda is that since it’s the beginning of a new year, you want the first things you see to be signs of prosperity, so that you see plenty of it for the rest of the year. its sorta like a harvest festival, so the signs of prosperity are harvest related things, like fruits and vegetables and flowers and coconuts (since we are after all mallus, in fact they are used as lamps) and grains and some gold and some silver (don’t go imagining treasure chests…these are just for the sake of it. just a little ring or trinket or something will do. we usually keep one of my mum’s chains or something). The whole thing is arranged in front of the pooja, with the lamp facing the east.
And every year, without fail, when I open my eyes and see the arrangement I’m awed (for lack of a better word). There really cannot be a better way of ushering in the New Year, they definitely got their concepts right. To me that vision of the entire arrangement bathed in the rich golden light of the oil lamps as I try to focus through my half sleepy eyes is one of the most beautiful ever. It kinda silences my brain for a while (and if you know the kind of person I am, you’ll know how big a deal that is). There are no thoughts, just that nearly divine vision. My parents still direct my attention of every detail, as though I am a child still, and honestly I more than don’t mind. Its all part of the magical moment. My mom’s voice softly directing my eyes towards the flowers, fruits, and all the other stuff. Once you see it all, you are supposed to close your eyes and pray, give thanks. In all my 25 years I don’t think I have even once, cuz my brain is still fascinated. Closing my eyes makes no difference, cuz for the next 10 mins or so I won’t see anything else. Once you pray, you go out, look at everything around you. And you know something, everything else is coloured by that one vision, everything looks beautiful. I’d say that’s pretty powerful magic. But then again, maybe it’s just me.

I just HAD to!

You can blame AquaM if you want to. But sometimes one just has to post what one is affected by.

Ode to the Book : Pablo Neruda

When I close a book
I open life.
I hear
faltering cries
among harbours.
Copper ignots
slide down sand-pits
to Tocopilla.
Night time.
Among the islands
our ocean
throbs with fish,
touches the feet, the thighs,
the chalk ribs
of my country.
The whole of night
clings to its shores, by dawn
it wakes up singing
as if it had excited a guitar.

The ocean’s surge is calling.
The wind
calls me
and Rodriguez calls,
and Jose Antonio–
I got a telegram
from the “Mine” Union
and the one I love
(whose name I won’t let out)
expects me in Bucalemu.

No book has been able
to wrap me in paper,
to fill me up
with typography,
with heavenly imprints
or was ever able
to bind my eyes,
I come out of books to people orchards
with the hoarse family of my song,
to work the burning metals
or to eat smoked beef
by mountain firesides.
I love adventurous
books of forest or snow,
depth or sky
but hate
the spider book
in which thought
has laid poisonous wires
to trap the juvenile
and circling fly.
Book, let me go.
I won’t go clothed
in volumes,
I don’t come out
of collected works,
my poems
have not eaten poems–
they devour
exciting happenings,
feed on rough weather,
and dig their food
out of earth and men.
I’m on my way
with dust in my shoes
free of mythology:
send books back to their shelves,
I’m going down into the streets.
I learned about life
from life itself,
love I learned in a single kiss
and could teach no one anything
except that I have lived
with something in common among men,
when fighting with them,
when saying all their say in my song.

Just for Fun Sake

Was listening to this song, and then had the sudden urge to put it up. And since I don’t do this too often, I figured people(??) will not point fingers at me.

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
You been out ridin’ fences for so long now
Oh, you’re a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin’ you
Can hurt you somehow

Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds boy
She’ll beat you if she’s able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get

Desperado, oh, you ain’t gettin’ no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away ?
Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you
(let sombody love you)
You better let somebody love youbefore it’s too late

— Eagles

Visual Treat

I wish I could say… “Sorry about the silence.” But then most of you (that’s assuming there is a most) will just say “yeah that’s what, so what’s new?” so yeah here I am…shamelessly…after so many days of silence.
I actually was not in town last few days…went to Hyd!! *sigh* yes and I am rather predictably missing it now. Went and came, as my friend would love to point out, posh-ly by flight. It definitely has its advantages, and I refer not only to the saving time thing, but also to the fact that well…this is difficult to explain. See, I’ve always been fascinated by/with flying…I think in some ways I have just not grown up. I still stare out of the window and down at the view (?? Would that be the word I am looking for?), the way I did when I flew for the first time. But you know what was new this time? I flew at night. Wow! I mean seriously! I never…I mean, I’ve seen aerial shots of the city, or the earth in general, but then, to see it for myself…daimm! It was just amazing. The very thought of it still kind of overwhelms me. On my way back I tried to take a couple of pictures…but then, oh well! Lets not pretend…I have a very sad camera to be taking super fantastic pictures with…I’ll be surprised if anything at all turns up. One of those moments when I totally regret not having an SLR of my own. *sigh*
As the plane glided over my good ol’ city, I was trying to see if I could figure out the main roads…I don’t think I got too far though, it gets a bit confusing as you climb higher. But then the main roads were like streams of fire. It was like a pitch black sea, a portion of which was on fire…and that in a strangely organized manner.
Hmm…ok before I start sounding any soppier than I do already I shall sign off. Maybe I’ll do one more post on my trip, as I don’t seem to have covered it at all. Hmm yes…there’s a thought. Anyway…
Happy New Year to you all! Hope the year ahead is full of laughter and happy thoughts aplenty. 🙂