Thursday, December 21, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Long lies the path, lonely and grey
Painful is the thirst, “Will I walk today ?”
Life keeps you strong, let us pray
The peak lies high, upon the brown cliff
Grown, I have just a foothill tall
Hungry and Tired, “Will my hands remain stiff ?”
Look at the peak, love it and forget all.
Lonely, I stand as the world moves afar
I was loved, in those days, happy and warm
Forgotten and untouched, “Will I blend again as par?”
Sleep to the tunes of time, as the world regains calm
Reached, I have far, yet struggles remain dark
Dreams uncared, elusive horizon is my fate
Hope springs alive yet, “Who are you?”, I ask.
I am your inner voice, your soul my dear mate
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
“Good Morning!”, announced sanjana with great enthusiasm in her eyes.
The dark lean girl, sitting by the window turned back and looked at her with surprise and a slight irritation evident in her eyes.
“Are you the lady from the papers, here to interview me ?”, questioned the girl, with keen eyes through her spectacles.
“Yes, I am the lady, but we are also going to be good friends... aren`t we ?”, replied Sanjana smiling at her first ever interviewee.
The girl remained quiet. She did not seem very earnest to have a great conversation. Sanjana seated herself on a chair opposite the girl with her file in hand. She took out her small notepad and her lucky hero pen , her father had gifted her, when she first filled the application form for a degree in journalism. Her father would have been proud of this moment of hers. She could almost see him blessing her.
“So Anupama, tell me how do you feel here, in this lovely…”
“Have you ever been molested before ?”, interrupted anupama, with seething anger. Sanjana was immediately at a loss of words. She no more felt confident. She was twenty seven years old and right now she had no answers to give this fourteen year old girl who had confronted her. She felt dumb and speechless, unable to collect her thoughts and words.
“Anupama, I was …”,
“Have you ever gone hungry for three days at a stretch ?”, she interrupted again. And Sanjana was done. She suddenly felt like a child who had been robbed of her ice cream. She had completed her degree in journalism and had worked hard with a local newspaper doing proof reading and the like and had at last, got this opportunity to make a report on the children picked up from the streets and rehabilitated, especially this child, Anupama, for the paper. She had gathered most of the details about the rehabilitation center, which had picked up Anupama from the streets, about many other children with similar plight.
She realized that this small lean frame of a girl had perhaps seen more of the world than she herself had, in her career and more importantly in her whole life. She could not continue and she just blurted a good bye and ran away from the place. As she reached home , she looked at the mirror. She looked haggard, with all the tears. She noticed that her arms were trembling. She threw away her file and collapsed on the bed.
The next day she woke up to the smell of coffee, her father, was boiling in the kitchen. She felt fresh and light, but the shock was still there. The night`s rest, however had done good and there was this steely resolve building up in her mind, to get over the initial obstacles come what may.
She took bath and spent some moments in front of her mother`s photograph, which seemed to give her more strength and sat down for breakfast with her father. Her father was a retired army colonel and was usually earlier than her to rise in the morning. It had always been like that, especially after his wife`s untimely death, his routine had only become stricter. She told him all that she had gone through and how she was shocked and
had returned without resuming with her carefully built questionnaire.
“Pretty evidently, you have not done enough homework, Sanjana. You have to find out about the girl. What problem she is facing and how she landed up there.”, replied her father who always spoke in a straightforward manner. “Thanks..!”, she replied and hugged her father before leaving.
She went directly to her office and met Mr. Rohit, her mentor and guide, and told him all about what had happened. “Sanjana, before you go for interviewing someone you need to do a background check, find out about them completely. Almost ninety percent of the facts for your article is ready before you do the interview. The actual interview in itself is only for that personal touch you give to your final draft. Also meet up with the coordinator of the rehabilitation center, talk to a child psychologist and try to understand how the child thinks.”
“But I don`t know any child psychologist”, replied Sanjana.
“Well!, I guess then you will have to find out.!”, replied Rohit with his trademark chuckle and left to pursue on another assignment.
She was about to leave the office, when she bumped into Mr. Dhavan, the editor and her boss. “How`s your article shaping up, Sanjana”, he queried. “Coming up fine, Sir. I was just off to find some child psychologist to gather more material.”, she replied.
“Oh!, you could meet Dr.Shantha Vasudevan, of Sunshine Hospitals. I`ll give her a call. You go meet her.”
“That would be great, Sir. Thanks a Lot!”, she answered with the happiness of a great burden having been lifted from her heart.
“Don`t thank me, just give me a good writeup with some rational analysis from your side”.
She then went and met the doctor and learnt all about the emotional trauma, children have, when they hit the streets, the angst and the desperation of having been orphaned, the things they look for, from a helping hand. The ways in which their lives could go the wrong way and how much they yearn for the happiness they see in other children`s eyes when they go to school with their parents. She also came to know how their innocent outlook of life is drastically changed when they face the harsh reality of the streets and how they are prematurely toughened up, most often spoiling their life in the process, ending up in jails or brothels or how they get hurt and end up as beggars.
Sanjana, was each minute learning that she was actually on her job, learning more and more and pursued more. She collected as much details about the girl, anupama as possible. It turned out that Anupama, had been a normal child like anyone else, went to school, had loving parents, but during some caste riots had lost both her parents and had been thrown to the streets, in a cruel moment of fate. With hunger and fear as she moved around, she was thrown against all the harsher conditions of the city. She eventually found herself in a brothel from where she was rescued and brought to the rehabilitation centre. Anupama`s story had been hugely representative of the cruelty meted out to child by an indifferent society.
Sanjana, through the course of her research realized that a newer perspective was required to the whole situation. She realized that she was not responsible for only telling the child`s story, but also telling the world that this victim is actually a child. She needed to bring out the child in Anupama and show to the world that here was a little girl who has suffered but deep down her heart, unmindful of the external picture of misery and injustice, she still was a child.
It was a week afterward that Sanjana, felt compelled again to visit Anupama. It was in the evening that she finally reached that very room from which she had run away. Anupama was sitting on her bed in silence with dreamy eyes. Sanjana today noticed how beautiful this little girl was. Sanjana smiled at her and sat opposite the girl. She did not speak. They sat in silence for a few minutes. It was a moment of peace, a moment of reconciliation, a moment of understanding.
After some time, as Sanjana got up to leave, Anupama suddenly spoke, “Can you take me to the garden outside?”. Sanjana was happy. Here was that first moment of selfless conversation between the two. They walked outside in the garden for sometime and sanjana looked on as the girl caressed the yellow flowers.
“Anupama, I am writing for the paper, a story about the beautiful child that you are.”, announced Sanjana. Anupama was silent as they walked back to the room. As Sanjana started to leave, the little girl asked shyly, “Can we write it together ?”. This was what Sanjana had all along hoped for. She laughed and said, “Yes, we must write it together. That is why I am here.”
In the days afterward, Sanjana was a regular visitor at the center and Anupama, a great companion. They explored different worlds in each other`s thoughts and words. Sanjana had started looking upon the girl as her own little sister by now.
A week later, Sanjana submitted her final draft to Mr.Dhavan with great pride. He was very happy to see a jubilant Sanjana and congratulated her on completeing her first assignment. “I hope you have put in a rational analysis as I said, Sanjana”, he remarked.
Sanjana, beamed similingly and replied, “Rational Sir!, Very much Rational!”.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Children are the faces of the next generation. In their shining eyes and innocent thoughts, lies intertwined, the future, our tomorrow and the world`s history. Now that I realize this, I often wonder whether what I thought and did as a child has ever been a testament to this statement. Perhaps not. I have been tagged by Alex, yet again to write about the things I liked and disliked about my childhood. After knowing what it was about and reading his post, I could not help feeling obliged to do the same.
Things, I liked about my childhood
* The bird`s eye view from the apartment window – Strange isn`t it.? But yes, much of my childhood I spent in an apartment on the second floor. I did not have many friends other than those at school and life was at times lonely too. What really used to bring colour into those dull days were the panoramic view of the world below from that window through which I looked at the slums below, the children flying kites, in a ground opposite the house, the temple festivities, the bullocks which were cleaned and bathed daily. At times there used to come a street circus group or a catfight used to erupt between the women for the water from the tap. The papers or plastic covers I used to tie to a string and let fly through the window, my own version of a poor man`s kite. I can never forget those days and that long window.
* The frequent trips to nearby temples with my family. The sheer joy in running around those dark deities, praying for nothing in particular and yet feeling entirely purified of soul. The few minutes spent in the park near the temple upon a swing, or a see-saw, the anxious wait to grab the prasadam or offering and race back home on the roads with my sister.
* The occasional outing, with our father to the Beasant Nagar Beach in chennai to wade in those waters, collect shells and come home proudly and proclaim that I had a new hobby, Shell Collection!. However those shells took only a few days to lose. The packet of Maggi Noodles on the way back home, was another treat which was greatly desired.
* Those days when it rained heavily in the morning and the school closed due to rains. Those were moments of sheer ecstasy, the eagerness to look at the rain, to drink hot tea and read some stories looking at the rain used to be at it`s heights. However rain used to stop quickly and days were usual in a very short while.
* Those wonderful summer vacations and the journey to Kerala, the “pazhampori”, from the railway station, the magnificent sights outside the window, the mere presence of being on a train, where we slept and ate together. Those moments of going out with my grandfather, meeting my uncles, cousins, all have been and will remain the most vibrant and colourful memories of my life.
* Again I guess people of my age are among the most fortunate, because we are of a generation where we learnt the brilliant Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha, on television every Sunday. Sunday Television was considered a god-given gift. Today however I am surprised at myself how quickly each television channel can bore me.
* Those days in school, when we drowsily listened to the english teacher reading out from those beautiful lessons, which took me to another world. A world I was not aware of, a world I had not seen yet.
Things, I disliked about my childhood.
It is not easy to compile such a list, because looking back now every single moment of my childhood seems priceless to me. They seem to be much simpler, and a much easier life, now when I look back. However as a child there were the sadder moments, things which I did not like then.
* Our school used to start at 7:50 am in the morning and go on till 2 pm in the afternoon. Therefore we always had to wake up early at 6 `o clock, something I really detested. Every day used to be a struggle, every day there used to be complaining and whining. I remember looking on jealously, while my sister acted like she`s sick and took a day off from school.
* The trips back to home, back to school after the summer vacations. These were mostly sad forlorn journeys. There used to be the sadness of parting from everyone at my native place. Added to that there was this fear of getting the exam paper results when schools reopened. I never got good marks.
* The wait until evening on the day, I receive my report card, to get it signed from my father. A most agonizing period of time, when everytime, I used to make resolutions to get better marks next time. It never worked..
* Those experiences of being ignored or neglected just because I was a child. I have had trouble getting change from a shopkeeper. Fights with bus conductors and what not. It has been a tough life even back then.
Those are all, I can think of as of now, but I am overall more than satisfied with my childhood and also today understand that many children have not had even these little happy moments, which I have most happily cherished and enjoyed.
I end this post, now with a prayer on my lips that all children should always have a smile on their faces. May they never go hungry, orphaned or sad.
Friday, November 17, 2006
The sadness of the whole situation lies in the fact that in this case we are actually talking about one of the most important resources, any country needs. The water, the rivers, they are the elixir of life and life revolves around this element of nature with shameless dependence. Yet, here we are at crossroads, at a juncture in history, when there is no proper usable water, in spite of having numerous rivers all over the country. The Ganga, Yamuna, Cauvery, Indus, Brahmaputra, all mighty rivers have their own stories of disputes, pollution to tell. These mighty rivers which we likened to Godesses, are today slowly dying, they are slowly fading away.
When we travel across the country, one very common sight we would come across, is the lack of water in the rivers. One factor, could be the population, another could be misuse, but the fact remains that unless stringent steps are taken we will lose our rivers one day. It is a known fact that all civilizations in history grew up around a river, be it the Nile, or the Indus, or any water source for that matter. An Ecosystem is created basically from a water source and that is the law of nature. So when we indifferently allow industries to throw off their toxic waste into the rivers, we can rest assured that the next generation will not have a long lifeline.
Today, I have to spend thirty rupees to buy myself twenty litres of clean drinking water. I languish often about the fact that when I visit my native place in Kerala, which is yet very remote, I drink freely from the big well, and that water is much sweeter. The Ganges is one beautiful river which in it`s origin is crystal clear and admirably pure, at the Gangotri Glacier. Yet as this amazing river continues it`s journey to the sea, providing life and fertility to the millions and the country`s soil, it is being subjected to great humiliation in the form of pollution, unreasonable obstacles and pure filth. When Ganga Devi, meets the King of the Ocean, it is a tear filled embrace, one of great anguish and trauma.
Then of course there is the Narmada over which there has been so much of controversy, that today the common Indian citizen is at a dilemma as to which side to take. Is it the water for one hungry group of people which is important or is it the plight of those rendered homeless, if the water is provided.
Then again we have the Cauvery dispute between the states of TamilNadu, Karnataka and Kerala, where all need water. We have spent decades fighting over our water and river resources and in all this time, we never bothered to actually look at the rivers, and sympathize with it`s condition. By the time, we resolve our issues, and settle, the water in these once pure, beautiful rivers, would either have dried up or would have become untouchable poison.
In the Malabar area of Kerala, there is this great Bharathapuzha river, which is fondly remembered for it`s scenic beauty and pristine water. Today in the summer season, there is no water at all, it is a long stretch of soft sand with small pools here and there, where water has got collected after the trucks came, pulled away the sand and sped away. It shockingly reminds me, that the future of the country is similarly on a road which is potholed thus.
It is time to awaken to do good, than to ignore because then centuries later our parched throats would struggle to ask "Oh!, Mighty Rivers, Where are thou ?"
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I don`t have the answers, but really need to know.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
Artist : Attanur Dogan
Give me death! I pray every day
Leave me not, to sigh, in every way
Seen I have, those beautiful days
Those little red flowers in an awesome place.
Why these windows, in front of me?
And all the beauty outside, and free
Ran, I have upon the soft wet ground
I walk far no more, just safe and sound
My beloved ones, have all gone away
Laughter, I yearn to hear, to be merry and gay
Tears, I have in my heart and dreams too
Like my youth, won`t the pills vanish too?
Years and years, have I spent in glee?
To sit here and look at the old worn tree
Searched I have, for a leaf of hope,
A lover from the skies, with whom to elope
At every sunset, I cry and plead
Slow and just living, and yet I bleed
With angst, do I cry, take me home.
Please take me away from this old age home.
Friday, October 20, 2006
My heartlfelt wishes for a very happy and prosperous Deepavali and Ramzan, to all fellow blogger friends and your families.
I have been tagged two times by both starry and scribblez to enlist six bloggers whom I would like to meet in person. These two wonderful people, I believe are already going to meet me, and so apart from them I will tell about six more blogger friends I would like to meet, but not first without a mention about them both.
Starry Nights a.k.a Lalitha - A very energetic and dynamic blogger who, is most loving and caring as an individual and also strives for noble causes, with great vigour. Her posts are completely inspiring and enchanting at the same time. She tells that I am intriguing. I am looking forward to meet her and clear that up, because "interesting", I might not be.
Scribblez to Wakeup - I do not know her real name. Somehow I so much related to her blogger name that never felt the need to ask for her real name. She has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration for me. Her posts about the daily happenings in her life, her philosophy of life and words of wisdom instantly strike a chord.
I am looking forward to meeting both of them. Now to introduce my other six blogger friends in a purely random order, who get automatically tagged to do the same. :)
Maya Cassis - One of my oldest blogger friends who has this great element of mystery around her, and her much so beautiful posts. Her poems are one of a kind and it would really be an exercise in practical philosophy to talk to her and follow her thoughts, I presume. I would like to meet her and see how she carries it off so effortlessly. How she learns to unlearn.
Gaurav Jain - He is not just a blogger, but the very example I find that would suit the word 'versatility'. A great reader and beautiful writer as well. He sketches with elan, and above all writes good software too. His blog and website is a myriad of information and colourful facets of life. I would like to meet him and find out how he pulls it off, so elegantly.
Sreejith - Apart from being my namesake in the blogosphere, he is also a friend, whom I deeply respect and adore. Not just for his beautiful blog, but also for his great initiative and spirit to fight for a noble cause, for Mission Netaji. Such inspired individuals are rare, and he is one good friend, I must meet in person.
Passerby55 - A very strong presence in the blogosphere, her cute little blog, with beautiful verses and colourful pictures has been a must-read. Above all, her beautiful comments are a great boost, with her verses, of style and elegance. I would like to meet and discover this reclusive passerby, who first introduced to the blogosphere another important blogger like Hip Grandma
Ram - A great man, who has been travelling lots recently, who I am hoping to meet. He writes about the nation with a passion and devotion, which truly inspires many. His knowledge about the country`s economical, political and social conditions, remains unmatched. A complete reference base, I must add. He has also been a very old co-blogger and a great friend, whose words of support and appreciation, I shall treasure a lot.
Velu Nair - His blog, and template reveal a lot about his passion for life, his ability to love life and live with a great heart full of happiness. He pens like no other, mixing prose and poetry with such beauty that reading his posts, seem to transform the world around you into the beautiful garden of Eden. I would surely like to meet this teacher in his thirties and take a lesson or two.
Now, before, I finish, I would like to add, that the list has been reduced to six, because of the limitations of the tag, and because it would not be good to copy my entire blogroll onto a post and say the tag is done. I just wish everyone takes up the tag, that they tag more people and finally everyone meet together in a grand gala meeting, and that I too am there, so that I meet everyone.
Once Again, Heartfelt wishes and Season`s Greetings.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
The wind blew strong through the desolate village, with nothing to obstruct it`s path. Though it started as a normal breeze, the emptiness of the village and the lack of obstacles, just a tree here or there, a few lone houses scattered across, seemed to be the barrier and in the absence of anything to stop it, the breeze became a strong wind and swept past the little village.
“This rotten place is haunted. It is in the middle of a summer and there you have a big wind out of nowhere”, complained Ashokan. He had retired long ago and found his days rolling by as if nothing could stop it. He found new things to complain about, every other day, and since the time the government had given all the farmland nearby to the big industries, all the friendly farmers and friends had left the place. The farmland was lost, and the industries had not come, and the matter was being debated in the courts between the industrialists and the activists. His son, Pavithran had explained to him that the land was being wrongly given out as SEZ`s, but Ashokan did not understand the ways of the new governments and found it difficult to understand what his son was explaining.
His thoughts slowly started to hover around his son. Pavithran had been a good student, right from a young age and had been a promising young man. He travelled out to the city, and had become a civil engineer, and was also responsible for building the roads and the bridge near the village. Pavithran had always been a matter of pride for Ashokan among his friends and he would lecture them on his son`s achievements every evening, how the son of a postman could go on to achieve things unheard of.
“Why do you always keep shouting and screaming?” replied Sumitra from the kitchen and in a way interrupted his thoughts. “Nothing, go back to your work and leave me alone..!” thundered Ashokan. Sumitra, just smiled. She knew this was a part of his daily exercise and let him have his way. He was after all, all she had, and a loving husband he had always been.
He stretched himself and tried to pull out some weeds from the garden in front. He worked on them for a while, and then sat down under his favourite peepul tree. It swayed to the wind and seemed to welcome him to take rest under it`s shady bosom, all ready to embrace and cuddle him to sleep.
The hazy memories of how he used to play and lie down with Pavithran under the tree came back to him, and he seemed lost again in those old times.
“Father, why do the leaves of this peepul tree, look like a water drop upside down” , ten year old Pavithran would innocently ask, leaving him speechless, and trying to answer him as he believed a responsible young father should do. Sumitra would then call them for lunch and rescue him from the tough situation; his son had put him into.
Pavithran had then had this great opportunity at the start of his career to represent India as one of it`s engineers and go and help in rebuilding war-torn Afghanistan, and had seeked his parents` blessings and they had reluctantly obliged to his wishes. Looking at his bright loving eyes and saying No had always been impossible for them.
As the days passed, life had become a big struggle. Economically, there was no trouble as Ashokan received a moderate amount as pension every month and there was some investment, Pavithran had made which kept giving returns twice every year. The way it works, his son had sat over the lamp, one evening and explained to Sumitra and him, but he never really understood the ways of saving money these days. Everything had sounded puzzling to him. All they knew was that they wouldn`t have to worry about money for a few years at least.
But life was a struggle as yet, the lonely existence, the absence of their son, the long days and the sleepless nights. Their son had struggled a lot to bring a telephone connection to their remote village and when they finally got a telephone at home, it had been a moment to rejoice. Though Ashokan or Sumitra never used it, it had always been a pleasure to see Pavithran talking over the phone with his friends.
Now the only happiness left in their lives was the sound of the telephone ringing once every week, and listening to Pavithran`s voice. They would sit beside the telephone all evening afraid that if they did not pick it up quickly, the telephone might not work and that they might not hear their son`s voice, that voice of assurance, voice of hope and warmth.
The journey of the wind is very unpredictable, it has no destination, it does not know it`s path, it loses a lot of things on it`s way, it gains a lot of things, and it may even die a sudden death.
The wind is even more harsh in the rocky deserts of
It was at a construction site, where a new school was being built that there was a sudden explosion, demolishing the newly laid bricks out of their cemented glory and casting them back to rubble. All the workers had to flee to save their lives from the onslaught of the rebels. The rebels, they had won, they had conquered some territory, or so they proclaimed. In the midst of all the commotion, four engineers were forced to take refuge in a bunker among some rocky mountains, along with a company of soldiers of the UN peace keeping force, with the limited supplies that they could gather. They had lost track of their group and had to temporarily seek shelter from the harsh sun and the harsher enemies outside.
Those were days of great struggle for the engineer friends, especially Pavithran, who missed his country more than ever, he missed his weekly phone call and he missed his parents. He knew there was no way to intimate his parents and that they would be very worried about him not calling, but he had no choice and the only other Indian friend who was capable of passing on a message was lying beside him in the bunker munching on a chocolate.
When Life comes to a total standstill, the mind starts to reflect upon whatever it can reflect. Pavithran was like that able to go over his life all over again; his achievements now seemed incapable of giving him peace of mind. At times, he used to sneak to the top of the bunker and spend time looking at the dunes of sand. The wind blew against his tanned face and he kept talking to the wind, telling all about his aspirations, his love for his parents and how much, he missed them. He remembered how Sumitra had persisted that he must return quickly and marry a nice young girl she had selected for him. He had smiled and nodded.
It was a few more days before which there was some reinforcement of the forces and Pavithran and his friends were found and rescued. It was a day of great relief and celebration, A celebration of life and new-found freedom. It is in such moments that one relishes life and Pavithran hugged his friends and the soldiers with tears in his eyes. In a few days he called home and talked to Ashokan and Sumitra. They cried and laughed over the telephone as the dryness of their surroundings seemed to disappear abruptly.
He later wrote a letter home as to how he had done enough with his job in
Almost a month later, Pavithran reached his village, his home and ran inside with the great enthusiasm and happiness, an homecoming is synonymous with. Sumitra was in the kitchen as usual and he hugged her with great warmth.
“Mother, you wouldn`t know how much I have missed you.” cried pavithran. Sumitra too was overwhelmed and had her eyes brimming with tears. “Where is father?”, he asked her. “Oh! He must as usual be dreaming under the peepul tree. Go meet him, son. He has been restless ever since your letter came. I will prepare breakfast and keep. You go and bring him in here.” she replied.
Pavithran quickly hurried up to the peepul tree, and there precisely as Sumitra had suggested, was Ashokan sitting under the old tree, a picture of peace and contentment, his eyes closed and a smile on his lips. Pavithran called out to him and touched him by the shoulder, but his body was cold and devoid of life.
“Father.. You...” he hugged Ashokan and wept inconsolably and called his mother letting out a wail. In Ashokan`s tender hands was the letter Pavithran had written lovingly a month before. The words “I will be home soon” barely visible from between Ashokan`s tight fist, which seemed to be protecting the letter unto death.
As the years passed, Pavithran`s life changed a lot and he became more busy with his work, but always managed to spend sometime with his son, under the old peepul tree as it lovingly swayed to the wind.Ashokan had left from his side only in the physical world, but he realized over the years, that he still retained him in his spirits and he saw his father in his son`s little loving eyes..
The breeze quickly gained momentum and became quite a wind. The wind travelled long and far with stories old and new, no matter happy or sad, but always filled with hope.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
In a journey alone, life begets more
Glancing around aboard the swerving train
Something unusual and spirits soar
At long last, eyes came to rest dry,
Upon a man, gray haired and stout
He could pass by and leave no one shy
And yet in his eyes, a long sad drought
And then it shone, eyes totally aware
Of the metal glint, and irrational troughs
A legendary piece, unfound in fancy ware
Eyes not failing to read, the handcuffs!
What the crime ? What treacherous task ?
The mind worked, the train swayed along
And then our eyes met, they meant to ask
“Why are you so right, and I so wrong ?”
When eyes rest, and the mind sweats
Reasons bloom say the eternal wise
Handcuffs, we all have, in our heads
To hands, they move, in a game of dice
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Man, in all his spheres of life, strives to be successful. Some among humanity believe that being different from others or being abnormal shall make them stand out. There is just a narrow thin line between being different and abnormal, and that is when you understand that however different you are, you still remain an integral part of humanity, of the world and nature. But we all in our normal day to day routines of life do get strange occasionally; we become different from the people around us, by certain separate characteristic traits.
Sreejith and Gaurav have tagged me and in the process set me out on a journey to find these strange traces of my character sketch. In simpler words, they would like to know about the weirdo that I am.
There are a few rules to this tag, of course that I must tag six people, leave comments on their blogs, and also tell six weird things about myself. So here goes…
Built-In Echo System : I speak less and am the type of guy who would tend to go quiet when among a group of people. Yet when I speak something, I then keep repeating it in my mind, until I have spoken my next few words. I do not know whether this is due to my shyness or whether I am perfecting my speech, but most often this happens without my knowledge and my friends often tease me for that. Anyway so there you have it, one weird aspect of mine, which I have discovered.
Bathroom Dancer : Well!, this is a bit private, yet felt that this cannot be missed. You would have heard about bathroom singers, but I am a crazy bathroom dancer. I just love splashing water all over the walls, hopping around so much like a monkey and have a great happy time while I bath. I have always liked to dance, but I simply cannot get any steps right, when I want. So in the privacy of a bathroom, I just let go.
Green Peas Hater : I am a great lover of food. I can really eat anything except for green peas, something which I really don’t like. It`s not about the taste, it`s not about the shape, but the truth remains that I hate green peas, especially when they are fried.
Emotional Rollercoaster : In my six years of college, if there is one thing that I have enjoyed most, it is being teased, and yet at times my emotions differ from person to person. Some friends tease me like hell, and yet all I do is laugh with them, meanwhile I can easily get hurt rather irregularly when certain friends even make a passing remark. I know that this does not have anything to do with the intimacy of the relationship which I have with my friends. I believe it is yet another trace of weirdness in me. And gladly many friends understand me.
Snake Lover : I just have this great respect and admiration for these wonderful reptiles and yet I have to agree, I am awfully scared of them too. If there is one living thing on earth which has awed me with its persona, it will have to be a snake. And talking about snakes, my favourite one shall always be the King Cobra. Whenever I used to visit my ancestral house in Kerala, I always spend a couple of lonely moments near the sarpa kaavu or a small ecosystem, near the house, which is left alone and undisturbed for the snakes.
Constant Speculator : I constantly bet upon things happening around me and try to make predictions for the future based upon the results, though they have no relation whatsoever. For example, I would assume that if I cross the road before the red car comes near, then I will be able to leave early from office. I place my bets safely too, because the red car is always sufficiently far away. So much, for my belief in astrology.
Now I need to tag six people, so with great pride and privilege I tag…
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
To a thin line, did the river fade.
Red hot clouds covering nature’s raid
Vanquishing all, a huge funeral pyre.
Shrieks rent the air, so warm indeed
In panic, in haste did the fauna run
Thirst to quench and stomachs to feed
No trees, no shadows, under the red hot sun.
The Lame, the old, the weak and meek
Sadly succumbed to the hot pursuit
A quick farewell, others rush, solace to seek
Mere survival at the mind’s root.
Nerves of courage and eyelids droop
From hunger and fatigue, they all fall asleep
As dark clouds appear, like the enemy’s troupe
And the rain pelts down, upon the hill so steep.
After hours and hours, open are the eyes
Happy and thankful, a surprised smile
As flowers bloom, a sparrow flies
The forest whispers, life still worthwhile.
Monday, September 11, 2006
As a child, I too dreamed of becoming a great scientist, making revolutionary inventions to save the world and was truly inspired by the likes of Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein or Sir Isaac Newton. I did my bachelors in Applied Sciences, and thought I might become successful, but fate had other plans for me, and in the long run, I ended up doing my masters in Computer Applications, and eventually became a Software Engineer. I might not have been successful therefore but the way my career went I have gained a number of acquaintances who are still following their dreams to become scientists. I have high regard for them and their work, and in this post, it is their sad story, that I wish to relate, a story completely interlinked with our country on the whole.
Recently we witnessed the twin failures of the GSLV satellite launch and the Agni – III missile. The scientific organizations behind these efforts reported that these were minor glitches and it would be an action of pessimism, if we were to read too much between the lines from these minor glitches and make conclusions about their work. They may be quite true, but still apprehensions are not cast away easily
My friends in several research organizations across the country have shared with me several experiences about how research in India is functioning and they are all passionate about their work, but all of them, I’m not generalizing here, but the discovery of a common pattern was too easy to be ignored, all of them have shared with me how difficult it is to work in an Indian Research organization, which is doing government funded scientific work. Their problems lie not in the lack of facilities, not in the lack of equipment, not in the lack of commendable salaries, but in the lack of a good workplace culture, a lack of teamwork, a lack of values at the workplace, a total neglect for teamwork towards a common objective and any key values and priorities to hold together these organizations.
The internal politics which is very explicit has scarred the image of a good career and achievement for many of them. One of my friends who works at a research establishment in Chennai tells me of how there, different people at different levels in the hierarchy used to assign him work and later used to admonish him for working for the other person. He used to lament about how he could not complain to anyone because he never used to know, when and how his words would get misinterpreted and used against him in a different situation elsewhere. How does one work like that?
Healthy competition is always a good thing and it may be argued that these things happen everywhere, but the main problem is that unlike other business organizations, where there is a definite business objective at the end and work has to get done ultimately and it therefore never goes unrecognized at least at the end of the day, it gets confusing, in a research organization, the outcome is not definite and depends a lot upon the dedication, commitment and the intellectual input of the people who work. There lies the biggest problem, because the workplace is not conducive to that effect.
Another of my friends who works in a research organization in Hyderabad tells me how she has to work a lot of times in projects for which she knows there will be no credit for her in the end. She worked on a project which was in existence for two years in a dormant state before she started working on it. She put in some real heart into the project and made it ready for publication. When the time came for submitting the paper, she found herself in the middle of a big controversy and was discredited from any work in the project. She tells me how she will have to take it silently, bear the brunt, the only consolation being that she learnt a good deal from the project. She laments about how she was in a situation of total helplessness, no one to complain to, no one who could be trusted.
If politics is one thing, sexual harassment is another. There have been instances of seniors in research organizations, making lewd gestures, asking for sexual favours and the like. The victims on the other hand take it silently knowing well that their work could very well be tampered with. I understand I may be guilty of painting a very vile picture of Indian research organizations, I understand that I may be knowingly or unknowingly bringing across a bad reputation for those few research organizations, where this is not the case, but this is not a mere personal rant. It is in consideration of improving the scientific contribution of
Though history is proof to the fact that
There are however many Indians who work abroad and gain recognition there. As my few friends also prepare to leave
Update : Prof. Subramanyam Chandrashekar won the nobel prize for Physics in the year 1983, fifty three years after Sir C.V.Raman. Two is still less a number I guess. My thanks to Rashmi for correcting me.