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Sepia tinted memories


dreamingthruthetwilight:

car games of the 90’s

Originally posted on nadirafromkannur:

Certain memories have a strange way of remaining with you all throughout one’s life. Try as I will, I cannot fathom why they are still there from so long ago, while others just fade and then totally disappear.

What are my earliest memories?

I can remember cuddling up to my father as a little child, rubbing my face against the stubble on his cheeks and gently falling off to sleep, listening to the dull sound of the sea waves in the distance.  Some nights, when sleep wouldn’t come, I would stare at the pitch black square outside the windows and feel terrified of the figures that I thought I saw there. When it rained, the fear was multiplied, as the incessant sheets of the downpour would make the darkness more intense. On other  nights, however ,the moonlight  brought a kind of magic, transforming  everything. Even now, trees and foliage drenched…

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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Love and Lullabies


The world needs a lullaby
To rock it softly to sleep
To croon to it’s nightmares
And lead them away to the deep

Dreaming through this dark night
Of snowflakes and sunny slopes
May be it will wake up again
To a bright new dawn of hope

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Community, Poetry

 

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The tree


dying tree

The towering tree was sick
It’s branches brittle and leaves turned yellow
It’s spirit like a trembling wick
It’s roots so weak in the soil turned shallow.

The gnawing termites kept on and on
The dark thick trunk was a gaping hollow
The grass around and the homing birds
Sat with drooping heads and mood so mellow

Half asleep and half awake
The tree swayed laboriously and so slow
The sap still seeped through memories
In the hushed hours of twilight glow.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Poetry

 

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The lime woman


A dozen she counted
For the money I gave
And wrapped them up for me.
She smiled and I responded
Our familiarity made
Bargaining unnecessary.

We hardly ever stepped
Beyond those dealings
In lemons on Summer days.
And yet we kept
An easy knowing
As our unwritten essay.

woman selling limes

(Picture borrowed from the internet)

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2014 in Poetry

 

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It’s raining again


These pictures were clicked by a Facebook friend Abru Manoj. The little boy is his son Tanmay. “The rains are addictive” was Abru’s caption for the first photograph and “The rain is a kiss on the soul” for the second. I just took off from there :-)

Tanmay’s expressions are always so very endearing and the father manages to capture them so well:-)

tanmay-1

The rains are addictive
The way it smells when falling
On the dry earth

It holds me captive
With its outpouring
That grows in height and girth.

I stay stuck to the windows
To watch it drenching
The slender pepper vines

And to wait for the wet crows
As they take their time assembling
On the swaying electric lines

tanmay-2

I wonder what they’re saying
The palm fronds and the breeze
And those clouds look all ready
To burst into a sneeze.

That white stork in flight
From earthly leanings freed
Revelling in his solitude
Across the paddy fields

I wonder why the wind
Won’t stay put in one place
And why the trees nod their heads
To everything that it says .

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2014 in Nature, Poetry

 

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Conversations


aaru valley

The stream chatting with the mountains
The breeze lending its ears
Confused they were with borders
And with mortal fears.

They try to dam(n) my freedom
Gurgled the chirpy waters
They blast us to deform
Said the slopes with cynical laughter.

Well, at least I’m better off
I still roam where I will
The breeze blew kisses to the ripples
And the meadows and the hills.

But hey , you still could have some fun
Just do a jiggle with your plates
You’ll see them run for cover
When they see a river in spate.

 
 

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The Book of the People-A book by Joshua Newton


IMG_9620

“It was dark. .A cold wind blew over the hill and the trees swayed and the sleepless cicadas shrilled. By the hillside, through the deep green expanse of the trees and shrubs wild and sprawling , two frail figures ambled on. One tiny and the other frail, both women. One held a small hurricane lamp that allowed an orange gleam just enough for them to walk about. Two women in a pale orange light in the pre-dawn stillness. The path was wet from the night’s dew. Their footsteps seemed to intrude into the silent night that awaited a quiet dawn. The flame in the glass chimney flickered on, shedding barely enough light for the two to take tiny, careful steps. They had to do this before the dawn, before the sun came. The dictum said so. The older one was looking for herbs. “

This lyrical passage introduces the reader to Biji Rajan, the masseuse , one of the ten people whose lives we become familiar with after reading Joshua Newton’s ,”The Book of the People”.
This passage is an example of the empathy with which the author has approached the small and big details , the twists and turns , the prose and poetry of the lives he unfolds for us.

They are not celebrities whose achievements would clamour out for their lives being recorded to inspire others to walk their way. There is no real drama..nothing that would make the book a nail-biting read and yet the way the extroadinariness of those ten ordinary lives is so surely , but subtly spelt out that they keep bothering you after you’ve put down the book.

Admittedly, some stories leave more of an impression than others. But yes, admittedly again, which of the ten stories gets under your skin may be different for different readers.

I think I was touched most by Biji, who healed innumerable people who approached her, with the love and empathy in her palms. May be the way she was introduced pre-dispositioned me into liking her. The little girl who grew up imbibing all the native wisdom and ethics of healing from her grandmother. Biji who emphasised that “most importantly we needed to love. If our hearts lacked love, nothing would work”.

Manu, who could never tire of elaborating on the “virtues of the wilderness”, and the intricacies of the lives of butterflies and who according to the author “had sprouted into a spirit that imbibed elements naturally belonging to a butterfly-lightness,swiftness,harmony, agility, silence and a love for the woods” , does not fail to impress either. What a charmed life, away from the hustle and bustle of the rat-race.

Koyamon, the native of one of the islands in the Lakshwadeep cluster ,whose life went through its crests and troughs, even as the waves in the surrounding ocean, went through the same routine endlessly and Peter Tomy, whose sense of right and wrong had been submerged way below the surface of his erratic and unruly youth and whose redemption came through an act of forgiveness of his mother-in-law , whom he had attempted to kill also stuck with me. So did Ravuthar, who trudged miles and miles into the forest to gather grass to thatch roofs, something that he had been doing all his life and which he continued to do with the utmost grace and submission to God’s designs.

Then there is Anand, the naturalist, who had eventually found serenity and harmony amongst the trees and plants of “spice Village” in Thekkady, where he lived and breathed in the luxriousness of Nature allowed to thrive with the very minimum of intervention . The boatmen whom one may accost on a vacation trip along the backwaters of Kerala and would as quickly forget once out of those environs, wouldn’t ordinarily invite a second look into their lives. Not anymore perhaps,,not after coming to know Radhakrishan , who had perhaps spent the major part of his life chugging along the vastness of those waters .Time had in the meanwhile changed the teenaged boy who accompanied his father on his cargo boat to a grey-haired man.

old boats

The author has obviously spent a lot of time getting to know these “ordinary” people. At places, one felt, the inclusion of all the tiny details became a deterrant to the smoothness of the narrative. But then again, those details were necessary, I guess to bring out the extroadinariness in their existences which would otherwise escape our notice, swamped as it were with the monotony of their everyday routines. One thing that they all shared in common was perhaps the peace with which they had accepted the place where they had found themselves eventually in life. There is immense wisdom perhaps in the realization that no life is ordinary .

Many times, one did feel that the narrative was by someone who was unfamiliar with the Kerala landscape and were witnessing things for the first time…but then the author has explained why that is so in his Note at the beginning of the book, “ This is what I belive:Our daily lives do hold moments of poetry. I’m not sure which part has won in this book though- the poetry or the rawness. Everything narrated is factual or based on facts. Persoanl life-stories are woven through their day jobs. Obviously, I stand the risk of being called a “faux naïf” examiner , somebody examining his own people as a foreigner and getting away with it. That’s okay. My interest was in drawing material from my own people to create something non-local, a kind of work that will resonate with readers anywhere.”

Notwithstanding that anticipatory bail, I would’ve personally vouched for the poetry winning if it had not been for the sometimes lengthy detailing, such as the one on vermiculture in Anand’s story , which almost seemed to come as an interruption. I think the story of Suresh the “kalaripayattu practioner failed to hold my attention for the same reason.

candy crash

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Books

 

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