Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Tag with a "Spark"

Tags are like a spark, in our other wise slow blogging lives. You get running for some time, take some rest and then there comes along a tag with a spark from wetspark and you get going. Reminds me of the spark plug in our old Bajaj scooter.! Mathew, inquisitive that you are, you want me to divulge 8 secrets of my otherwise highly confidential life, so here goes eight highly guarded secrets. :-)

8 things, I am passionate about.
* Books of all kinds, whether I get to read them all or not. at least seeing them decked up on the shelf gives me a feeling of pride - My only savings so far.!
* My family. My ideal family would have been a cross between the Addams Family in Cartoon Network and the one in Little Miss Sunshine, but I'm more than happy with what the dear lord gave. Love you.!
* My Country, Like they say, Mera Bharat Mahaan.
Writing - I still remember the smile on my teacher's face, when someone showed her a poem I wrote. From then, it has just continued. Having said that, I'm passionate about blogging itself. It changed my life for me.
* Nature - Green landscapes, Lucid clear blue water and the pure music of the breeze. What can I say, it inspires me.
* Music - I love all kinds of music, mostly melodies, old romantic ballads. I get queer faces at me, when I sway sitting in my cube, listening to music. They think I'm mad.! I sure am.!
* Society - Does that make sense..? I am passionate about at least working to eradicate one social evil. Don't know which one, probably Female Foeticide.
* Cinema - I love films. Watching them, as well as the finer nuances of film making. Be it our very own Padmarajan, Maniratnam, Adoor or be it, Alfred Hitchcock, Tarantino, or the genius of Satyajit Ray. They all make my day.

8 things I want to do before I die.
* Write and publish a book. What I will write about, I do not know, but write I must.!
* Travel to the Himalayas and stand alone on a high peak and spread my hands and simply freeze that moment.. Ah..! Bliss!
* Build a beautiful naalukettu house. Now this, I know for sure is tough!
* Ride a bike properly. I know you will say WHAT?! but it isn't that easy for me. I've already failed once in the license test. It's a long drawn battle down there.
* Have a wild pet, probably a big boa constrictor.
* Sing, in front of a real audience for once. I'm tired of bathroom singing. I could have, but there is a big stage fear to overcome. Gives me the creeps even now.
* Teach in a small school, somewhere in remote Wayanad.
* Go to varanasi and spend some days in deep retrospect of life.! Grow a beard and dissolve into the confluence of life, nature and people.

8 things I say often
* "What to do? Life's like that." - Some thing I claim to have invented. To be patented.!
* I call up some one after a long time and they enquire what I'm doing. If it's in malayalam it is "Jeevichu povunnu"(Just living) , if in tamil, it's etho poguthu.(Somewhat going on).
* "Not Interested" -
All banks upon earth, know my mobile number, and they wont rest until I take at least one credit card.! (*&^%$$@(!!!!
* "Sheri" - means simply ok.
* Great! - good or excellent, is not enough these days.. Life, simply has to be "Great!"
* "Hello!" - Graham Bell's mistake.
* Grre.. Hmprrh! - Ever since I saw The Incredible Hulk!
* "Hi" - It's amazing how this two letter word has taken by storm.!

8 Books I last read.
* "My Childhood Days" - Memoirs of Satyajit Ray.
* After Kurukshetra - By Mahashweta Devi.
* 5 Indian Masters.
* The Penguin Book of Indian Railway Stories - Still reading.
* The Last Mughal - By William Dalrymple.
* A Readers' Digest
* Outlook
* Unheard Voices - Stories of Forgotten Lives by Harsh mander.

8 Songs I could listen to over and over again
Now this is where 8 becomes too small a number.. :). So I'll keep two each for the four languages I know.
* Tharalitharaavil mayangiyo.. sooryamanasam
* Devasabhaathalam Classic of Raveendran Maashu
Narumugaye - Classic from movie Iruvar. Beautiful use of Sangam Literature and lilting music from Rahman.
* En Vanile from Johnny
* Ghanan Ghanan - The arrival of rain celebrated with joy. Classic from Lagaan
* Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon - by Lata Mangeshkar ( Nightingale of India), she sings not only with her sweetest voice, but the most sincere passion and emotion. Great! - There I used it again.
* Heal the World - A Beautiful Song, from Michael Jackson. I'm a great fan! (Strictly professional!)
* When you believe! - When Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston croon so elegantly, there are miracles and you believe..! Amazing!

8 people I think should do this tag

* Alex - Alex!, In the middle of your philosophy, take a break! :)
* Starry - Long time Starry..! Get back !!
* Sreejith - My namesake friend.! you've been too busy lately. take this One!
* Dwarak - Because I know you've never done a tag before.!
* Shankari - In the middle of those wonderful stories, let's get to know you too..!
* Chitra - In the middle of train journeys, children and mobiles, do a tag too..!
* Jac - In the middle of your ever-exciting travels, how about a tag..?
* Vinay - In the middle of your poetry, let's get to know you too.!

So the spark plug, sputtered, coughed, then sprang to life. The scooter travelled for a while, before it realized no one had boarded. I was lying on the sand.!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Roads to Peace

Why is there blood everywhere
On this long winding road.?
O' towering son of Kabul,
Wherein goes this treacherous road?

This road will take us to peace, my friend
But when are these blood stains washed, I ask
Pensive and grim, someday there will be peace
he says. amidst the workers at their task.

Someday, safe will be our women, they will live
Someday, happy will be our children, they will live
Someday, rested we shall all be, we will live
Live, we all shall, and doves will fly.

Insha'Allah, may your words come true, but.
No buts, Someday for the homeless, castles there will be
for the hungry, all delicacies and all free
Yes!, I say the city will be built as you see

For the homeless, castles there will be,
Every brick as strong as a painful memory.
For the hungry, all heavenly delicacies,
Eating while they talk of those old miseries.

Insha'Allah, Someday, may there peace, be.!
Insha'Allah, Someday, may there peace, be.!

In remembrance of all those who lost their lives, while taking valiant efforts to bring peace to the land of Afghanistan. We salute you.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Legend of Mad Kokila

Some souls are sent to earth, with lesser privileges, with almost nothing, but despite all barriers, they find each other, embrace each other and live on.

Gowripuram was not unlike any other village. It had it's own group of innocent villagers, mostly farmers, some lorry drivers, some mechanics and some casual labourers. Some were money lenders, some were housewives, some worked in the garment factories nearby, but all were part of Gowripuram. All were benefactors of the temple in Gowripuram, the blessed river Nelli which provided water and life for all their needs.

Like most other villages,
Gowripuram also had it's own legends and folklore, that the villagers proudly related, be it the tale of the temple elephant, which brought up the idol of the goddess from the river or be it the legend of the wicked sorcerer who kidnapped the king's daughter and got punished for it, or the tale of the donkey with a vengeance, that stopped the rains.

But there was one story, that only some villagers, mostly old men or lonely women, told with a shudder, with a shivering of their lips only when prodded, for the story had occurred in recent times, and was no myth for sure. It was also believed that the legend of mad kokila was a curse upon
Gowripuram's otherwise peaceful presence.

No one knew where kokila came from, Where was she born ? to Whom?. The truth was that nobody knew. The old beggar woman near the temple had called her by the name 'Kokila' once and the name stuck. She was a beautiful girl, with hazel brown eyes, long slender legs and long hair. She was always on the streets mostly playing around near Mohan's tea stall. She played all day long and when night arrived, she slept below the old banyan tree along with the old woman. It was one rainy night, when the winds howled and the sky turned deathly dark that Kokila became alone. The old woman passed away in her sleep and kokila kept crying as the villagers burned her corpse far away. Kokila knew her life would now change, that her tomorrow would be different, difficult.

The villagers, were not ready to take in Kokila. After all she had spent all her life till then as a beggar. Who knows what bad luck she might bring, but they built her a small shed, gave her food and so she lived. From dawn to dusk she roamed about, eating whatever she got and then she came back and slept, and life moved on in Gowripuram. No one noticed that Kokila never smiled, never laughed, never cried.

And then came Appu, and for kokila, life was suddenly colourful, more fun and full of sound. Where he came from nobody knew. Like kokila, appu was alone, he roamed around and slept at night in the forest. Perhaps because their lives were so similar, there was an instant connection. Kokila and Appu became inseparable as Kokila brought him to her shed. They roamed together and slept together.

Souls destined to meet, shall often meet. Maybe late but there's no doubt about this fate. Meet they shall and their lives, they shall share.
Often in the rain, it grew very cold. Kokila shivered, but Appu would cover her legs with his body and lend her warmth. In the summers, when Appu panted in the heat, kokila collected cool water in earthern pots and sprayed it on him. He would jump and keep running around her playfully, with delight always wagging his tail. Over the years kokila grew, tall and supple, full of youth and brimming with the ripeness of adolescence. A great pair they were, she and Appu, two people whose lives were full of each other.

The once unmindful villagers, in who's world kokila and appu never existed, today they kept staring at Kokila, making fun of her, jeering at her and trying to hug her. But Appu was always nearby. With his resounding bark and fierce grunt, he often set them running. Somehow Appu knew, that in their little world, outsiders brought only misery. With Appu she walked, and roamed all the streets picking at rubbish, sharing food, chasing chameleons and running helter and skelter. They spoke through their eyes, reading each others minds completely.

Days passed by often fun, sometimes tough due to hunger, sometimes due to heat or cold, but always together but one dark day kokila woke up without the soft presence of Appu's fur. Shrieks, barks and shouts rent the air as Gowripuram awoke to the violent symphony of pain and desperation. Kokila ran to the forest's edge with all the energy she had. Behind her the village gathered and stood looking at a cloud of dust, a pack of wild dogs barking and tearing at each other, running all around. Poor kokila, only she could see him, appu in the middle of it all, tired and haggard, wounded and hurt. Poor Appu.

For days and nights, she sat, beside him, beside the body he left behind, the last remnants of his soul's journey through the world, the last remnants of all hope, for Kokila. There she sat, through rain, through sun, through heat and cold.
Even souls have to part, but so often they take with them, the life in the souls of those they leave behind. The souls who remain, lose the remaining life they have, in the tears they shed until they unite, forever again.

In the dark of the night, in the silence of the moonlit night, in the chill of the cold windy night, they crept. They, the blinded poor souls who were deceived, that there would be life, emotion and womanly presence in Kokila's body, crept up till where she sat, beside Appu's departed trail. Blinded they were both by wine and lust, blinded both in body and soul.

As one of them, crept behind her and shook her shoulder, she turned back, her hair haywire, her face almost blue, her eyes blood red. She wounded him with her nails and screamed. They stepped back in fear as they saw Kokila. Frightened to move they just stood there as kokila screamed and screamed. She ran towards the village in seething rage. Screaming at the top of her voice, as once more Gowripuram arose to a violent symphony of anger, fear and blood red madness. Kokila was running fast, tearing her clothes, shouting at the top of her voice, shouting aloud, calling out for Appu. The village looked on stunned as kokila, ran in all her nakedness towards the forest, with all her madness. Gowripuram had lost kokila for ever as she was lost in the forest. No one knew what happened to her.

But the legend does not end, because the learned, and enlightened, the wise of gowripuram later came to know that Kokila was a gifted soul, her Appu had left her, but not without a parting gift, her madness. And so the legend is related to everyone who searches for more. After listening to this much they often depart, but only the wise remain to learn that for two souls to connect, to die for each other, they don't have to be human beings, they only have to be humane, only few stay back to realize that blindness is not in not seeing the sky ,or the bodies, but in not seeing the souls and privileges in life is not in all that can be relished, but in sharing with others all that you have to relish, and then they shared with everyone, the legend of Mad Kokila of Gowripuram.

Pics Courtesy : "Street Scene of Little India", Painting by Chua EkKay - , Pit bull pet portrait - , Jonathon Hibbert Hingston - BBC News