Monday, May 29, 2006

Mantle Of Forgetfulness

Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, philosopher, artist, playwright and novelist. He was awarded Nobel Prize in Literature in the year 1913. I have read some of his stories, plays & memoirs. But I always think he is a better Poet (Just an opinion). The human shades, the depths involved in any feeling that he tries to capture through the magic of words is really beautiful.

Here is one of my favourites –

(Written originally in Bengali)

“Jakhan Bhanglo Milan Mela” 

When our days together
Came to an end,
My weeping would never cease –
I thought.

As flowers from a garland
Fall unheeded,
On the dust of the road –
One by one –
So, memories fade,
Unknown to us,
Day by day.

No more tears
Would ever fall –
I thought.

We met on the wayside
All of a sudden –
And my crying I couldn’t stop.

Under the mantle of forgetfulness
The tears were there –
All the time.

Relationships may break but the haze of infatuation, which then turns into inseparable bonding called true love or may be simply a friendship, the feelings that once existed; all shall be hiding in the mantle of forgetfulness to appear, disappear & reappear always during the sad or lonely times. Sometimes just the weather, a movie or a song, or just the fresh morning breeze can remind you of the hours spent, the moments lived.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Few Valuable Thoughts

The main intention of movies are to entertain us, but there are certain class of filmmakers who just don’t keep it at that and try to convey some important messages that will touch many hearts. These words have the power to bring changes in lives of many unknown. I have personally liked some such messages from the movies that I have watched. And here they are to provoke thoughts in your minds.

Movie “The Hours” is one amongst my most liked films. There is one moment in the film where, Merryl streep talks to her daughter about that one day, when she got up at dawn and felt a sense of possibility, a strange happiness. This is how she puts it…

“…And I remember thinking to myself that this is the beginning of happiness, this is where it starts and of course there will be more. But it never occurred to me that it was not the beginning; it was happiness, it was the moment…..right then.”

Many a times, in our life we mistake the moment as a beginning of happier times and forget that the moment there & then itself, is happiness. I think this is the most beautiful thought that we all know but never realize.

Another moment from the same movie is between VW & Leonard (Her husband) where she tries to explain to him that she wants to move back to London and does not wish to die in a village just because of her illness. She ends the conversation with following words,

“You can’t find peace by avoiding life, Leonard.”

Another thought provoking message was from a Hindi movie “Dil Chahta hai” and I think this was originally told by Swami Vivekananda. It tries to explain that no relationship can be held with restrictions and boundaries and more you try to hold it, it slips away.

“The harder you try to hold the sand, easier it is for it to fall through the fingers.”

Many a times we make crazy decisions to save a relationship. And in the process become possessive, which will only lead to disasters.

Another interesting message I got was from the movie called “The Beach”. This is about a teenager who wants to do something adventurous and something more exciting and thus travels to a secret island in Thailand. After going through many unexpected experiences, the movie ends with following message.

“I still believe in paradise. But it’s not some place you can look for, because it is not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you are a part of something. If you find that moment, it lasts for ever.”

To end this post, another from “The Hours”. The movie ends with the following words from VW.

“ To look life in the face, always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is and at last to know it, to love it for what it is and then… to put it away.”

Thursday, May 11, 2006

In Loving Memory Of Ajji

(Ajji in her mid 20's)
My grandmother (Ajji) passed away three days ago. Ajji will always be remembered as a very major part of my growing up years. In this post, I would like to recollect some of the events and incidents related to her.

To start with, I would like to share a very interesting story of how Ajji “found” a name for herself. When she was born, her parents did not name her, instead they called her “Akku” (Which is more of a pet name). As she grew up, kids teased her for having a weird name. Akku, in our language means, “Its okay.” So kids teased her by asking- “Akku ninge Akka?” (Akku is this ok for you?) This sounds funny in our language (A dialect of Kannada spoken by Kota Brahmins of South Canara.). So my grandmother would cry & complain to her father about this. And that was when he named her “Kamala”.

As a child one of my favorite pass times was to hear Ajji’s stories. She would tell me stories from her past, how she was the most loved one for being the youngest child at home and many more such stories.

During Dasar holidays (major 10 day festival in India), my cousins Anupama, Krishna and I would accompany Ajji to Yakshaganas. Yakshagana is a form of folk dance popular in south canara, where the artists enact events from the Purana or other mythological stories. (Yakshaganas normally started at 7 or 8 pm and went on till morning.) Ajji loved to watch them. And we would sit next to her waiting for her to fall asleep because we knew Ajji would be snoring in no time. And that was when we would start our tour around the place, go to the shops, buy groundnuts, eat chats (All the junk food that was available at the place.) and even watch the Yakshagana performed in another temple nearby. We would run into the “Chowki” (The artist's makeup room) and guess who was next to go on stage. After all this fun we would return back to Ajji, to find her still snoring happily. Next morning if we asked her how the play was, she would happily answer that it was excellent and also claim that she did not sleep even for a second.

After returning from school, I would ask her to cook “Bella pakka” for me (A sweet dish made of jaggery) and also my favorite “Hesaru Belle Payasa” (A sweet dish made of Dhal). During my exams, I would wake up early in the morning; at around 3:00 AM. Ajji would wake up too and prepare tea for me and then go back to sleep. She liked me the most and one could easily guess that. And it’s always nice to know that someone cared for you the most. Sometimes when my father scolded me for not studying or for having done some prank, Ajji would stand near the door with a dull and sad face unable to defend me. By looking at her, my father would stop scolding me.

During lonely, boring evenings, her stories were my best companion. For me Ajji was always a friend but I am sad that when I moved to Bangalore for work, I couldn’t spend enough time with her. My trips to home were only for a day or two in 2-3 months and I couldn’t spend a lot of time with her. It’s only now; after she is gone that I realize that she had lost much more than what I have. She had lost her only good friend when I moved to Bangalore.

I can go on like this for ever with thousands of stories. The stories might reappear in many future posts of mine. But this article is in loving memory of my dearest grandmother. Love you Ajji!

Friday, May 05, 2006

With The Fading Colors

Here is a small article I wrote few years ago, very much inspired by V.W's style of writing.

With The Fading Colours

The bright light of the day begins to fade and many disturbed souls walk down the memory lane. Clueless about their destiny, they walk. And then sitting by the lakeside every evening, they all burn in the flames of reality and dream.

The colours mix, light fades as one watches, and only watches up at the evening sky. The crows fly back home; everything begins to end into something, somewhere where the tiring mind needs to rest and prepare for the next light to come.

Walking out of the gown of daylight, souls burn, ache and fade into one dark color, which is hidden from the dawn. Thoughts fly, moment’s infinite flash up and then follows a deep silence, as the questions arise. With difficulty of separating the dreams of the dark from the reality of light, infinite souls struggle beneath the same sky. During every twilight, as the colors fade, eyes drop into once own soul. Its time to answer oneself; time to see through the reflection of that mirror which hangs in front of one’s own room. That mirror, which reflects only what others should see. And then follows the sleep, a silly but easy solution to forget reality; all that pain and all those questions.

But still the game of dawn to dusk and back to dawn goes on. The colours form, brighten and then fade. The sun smiles and the gown climbs over the body; the mirror reflects a made up face as one walks out of his room wearing a convincing smile as if this day is brighter than the previous one, though it’s always going to be the same sun shinning every day, on the clear morning sky or peeping through black clouds. And here is daylight again. Appears so much awaited and the gown needs to remain until the colours shall again begin to mix and fade.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

How I Began My Journey Into Writing......

Just thought of recollecting how I began my journey into writing. I think it was when I was in 5th or 6th standard that my father (He used to teach science in the same school) wanted me to participate in story & essay writing competitions. We would get topics for the competition in the morning and my father would write down a story or an essay for me. I had to memorize and recreate this during the competition. I remember winning a second or third prize for all that duplication. That doesn’t pretty much sound like a beginning of the journey, Does it? 

Couple of years later, when I was in high school (9th or 10th standard) I had another encounter with writing. My cousin Anupama and her brother Krishna would spend the summer vacation at our place. This was the time for lot of games, pranks and some reading. The house was filled with “Hardy Boys” & “Nancy Drew” books. One day the three of us decided that we would start writing a novel of our own. So we set off on the adventurous journey of writing a thriller. I kind of mixed many stories from the “Hardy boys” series and wrote one book called – “The secret behind the burning forest”. I rather call it a tribute to the books I had read. I also had my cousins go through the pain of reading it. Well, this still doesn’t sound like an exact beginning, so let’s move a little forward in time.

Couple of years later, when I was in the final year of my engineering (2000-2001), I wrote a novel called – “Walking towards a new dawn?” During those days, I used to walk for at least an hour in the front yard of my house before going to bed. And during one of those nights I had a thought of writing a story. Ideas don’t originate from nowhere; you got to have some inspiration, some starting point. That for me was a show aired on Discovery channel, where a lady traveled around the globe and enjoyed the beauty and culture of so many new places that she visited. That’s when my interest in traveling began too. The excitement of traveling around the globe conquered me and I decided to capture this in my story (Because I knew that I could not fulfill this wish of traveling, in the near future).

This story was about a girl who rejects the Indian traditional values and walks away for a better life and goes through many ups and down in her life. The story was planned to be left open ended for the reader to decide, whether what she did was right or wrong. Well, again I never completed this book. But I did have a good friend of mine type the first few chapters of it for me.

This somewhere was a beginning. But to be precise my habit of writing began somewhere around the time of completion of my engineering. I used to walk to the sea shore every evening. And one day, I felt sad and lonely for some reason, the reason to which I don’t recall now. Sitting on a rock by the sea, I framed my first poem. It’s called “Night & Day”. Even though my sister hated that poem for being depressing, I like it the most as it is, my first poem.

Then on, there was nothing to stop me from writing. Soon, I wrote my first short story called “Twilight”. This is about a father-son relationship; how someone can love another person even without complete understanding. I wrote my first “complete” novel last year (2005). It’s called “Miasma”. Soon writing became a need for me rather than a hobby. It worked like a medicine to put away all the unsaid, unspoken, suppressed thoughts. I write less poems these days and enjoy writing short stories and travelogues more.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Hours

"The Hours" was the title that Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941) thought of naming one of her novels in 1925. But she then changed it to "Mrs Dalloway". This is one of the most inspiring books that I have ever read. Me being a great admirer of V.W, chose this title.

Well the title was also reused in another novel written couple of years ago, which is based on both V.W & Mrs Dalloway. The story was also made into a movie and Nicole Kidman won the Oscars for playing the role of V.W

Well this blog will be a collection of events, stories or simply a few thoughts from my life; From "The Hours" that I have spent so far.