Monday, December 22, 2014

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood...... Lucius Annaeus Seneca

When I was 22, I had two best girl friends. They were just 11 years old. One day, I saw them walking not together but on either sides of the road, completely detached. I was sad  for I thought they might have broken up. But much to my surprise, their friendship was intact. And to my query, they gave me a strange reply. “ Every one in our school knows that we are thick friends. And there are many who are trying to break our friendship, just out of sheer jealousy. Now they would think we aren't friends anymore. Hence no more pranks to break our friendship.” The reply was too innocent that  I laughed and laughed . Years flew by. My job took me away and I lost touch with them. But now I am strongly reminded of them. Why?

 Because years after I was surprised to see that I was just doing the same thing they have done earlier. It has been a few months, since I developed a good camaraderie with a family. We got acquainted professionally which later grew into a personal relationship.  It would not be wrong to say that I started having a social life which was otherwise absent in my life. We became a family. But I am apprehensive to make our friendship too explicit for the fear of losing it since we share not only personal but professional rapport . I have two more friends who are so close with them and they too share my views. They say "Let it be kept private". But don't you think it is a bit too much...

I am even scared to upload our photos. Hence whenever we get together, I hardly even think of having photographs together. Then I realised that it could be a great miss as I was not accumulating anything which could serve as good memory to cherish, years after. Hence I thought of uploading some of our photographs. Thankfully, there aren't many who are our common friends who reads this blog.

It's them



 She is Anamika  and she says those who likes me call me 'NUNNU'


Smitha...I have never seen such a jovial woman before. She has never been stingy in expressing her emotions and love.

the trio together.

the duo together...


Monday, December 8, 2014

“You should date a girl who reads."




― Rosemarie Urquico
“You should date a girl who reads.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

Monday, October 20, 2014

Love reverberates




"I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: I've loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough." - Noah

The Notebook - Nicholas Spark

Friday, October 17, 2014

Love



I was lost until I came across this quote . This is true and I think I am happy . No expectation. Ready to move on for a new life. But with love safe in my heart


Could fulfillment ever be felt as deeply as loss? Romantically she decided that love must surely reside in the gap between desire and fulfillment, in the lack, not the contentment. Love was the ache, the anticipation, the retreat, everything around it but the emotion itself.”

Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's drizzling...wanting to rain

Valentine Weather

Kiss me with rain on your eyelashes,
come on, let us sway together,
under the trees, and to hell with thunder.”
Edwin Morgan, A Book of Lives




Sunday, July 20, 2014

R.I.P Uncle

Sometimes dead can teach you a lot than the living.

My uncle died a few weeks ago. His demise came as a shock. He was not that old. No afflictions were ailing him. I was informed about his death about 4 am in the morning. He passed away at 3 am. As I was working in another district and it was early morning, I had to wait a few hours before I boarded a bus to his place. He was my father's second brother – in – law. Out of the three uncles ( aunts' husbands) , I liked him the most. It has been more than 20 years since we were drifted away from my father's family. Now we are on talking terms. But the ties are not so strong. A gap of 20 years had already wreaked its damage.

He married my aunt when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Memories about him were all pleasant- a calm and collected man who brings us, children, sweet smelling perfumes from Dubai. Last time, when I saw him, I could sense that he was shrunk – both mentally and physically. But the smile which he always had for us did not fade from his face. When I met him last, alive he was holding a glass of Johnnie Walker with his eyes lowered. Surprisingly, the smile lingered. Amidst that 'helplessness' was written all over his face. Something was gnawing at him. I still do not know what is it ? I regret that I did not ask him, that ? He would have responded to me.

Uncle's funeral was scheduled at 11.30 am. I reached there at 9 am. There was no ranting or raving. His wife was sitting a bit far away from him ( I do not want to describe him as a body ). Some of the relatives were sitting at a corner talking about many other things as if nothing happened. I could hardly see tears welling down in any of the eyes watching him. He lay there unwanted. He deserved much better for was a good man. If anything to dread in this life, it is this isolation. 

But his face seemed unusually calm. It felt as if his loneliness and helplessness finally ended. I am happy that his end came without troubling him much. It might be the fruit for all those helplessness and loneliness. He developed a cough and was brought to the hospital when it intensified. But the doctors said he was brought dead. RIP uncle...






Monday, July 7, 2014

ME

Back to blogging is always like coming home after a lot of wandering. Jotting down something in Facebook or Twitter do not require much of your energy. But blogging takes all your attention and energy and I love that. I have too many things to write but little time. My hectic job wouldn't permit me do that. But one cannot avoid your life time friends for too long.


To make my ' Coming home ', a bit simple this time, I thought of uploading some of my photos. They are close to my heart just because I got to live those moments which I used to yearn. ' Settu Mundu', temples, ponds fascinates me and these moments are not easy to grab as I am a Christian. Christians hardly do have a pond in their compound, right

My colleague- Mithun Vinod clicked these photos.

Photo 1 :


What you see here is called ' Kokkarni' in Malayalam. You have to climb down many steps to reach this beautiful ' aambal poika' – a pond full of lotus.... The temple is Kalady Meloor Sivakshethram. I went there to attend my best friend's wedding. 

When you enter the temple, you could easily mistaken the ' Kokkarni' for a well. You would not think remotest corner of your heart that there is an ' aambal poika' underneath unless you peep into it. Somebody was heard saying that in the olden times, the Namboothiri women ( Brahmin women ) used to bathe here . Since it looked like a cave, the outsiders could not see women bathing here. 

Imagine beautiful women wearing a ' Kacchha', a piece of cloth tied around their body which reaches up to their knee (Would resemble a strapless tunic), smearing turmeric all over their body and frolicking in the water.
The dress I wear is called the ' Settu Mundu', the traditional wear of Kerala. It is a two piece cloth with ' Kasavu' along its fringes. It is worn, the way you wear a Saree with some slight changes. Though it is considered as the traditional wear of the state, the Muslims and Christians hardly wear it. But this is my favourite attire...

Photo 2 : 
 I did not know that many snakes (:D) dwell here. We climbed down these steps with much strain. Our bare feet got hurt whenever we placed  them on the large stones that lie beneath. You are not suppose to wear foot wear inside a temple compound.

Photo 3 : This is clicked near the temple. OOps, I do not have a photograph of the  beautiful temple.

Photo 4 : 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Songs of Songs, Chapter 8


Under the apple – tree I woke you,
in the place where you were born.
Close your heart to every love but mine ;
hold no one in your arms but me.
Love is as powerful as death;
passion is as strong as death;
It bursts into flame
and burns like a raging fire.
Water cannot put it out;
no flood can drown it.

But if anyone tried to buy love with his wealth, contempt is all he would get.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nostalgia - Starry night and the little girl



Yesterday, I was returning from the office. A gust of wind caressed my face. It cheered my dampened spirits. It was going to rain. It was then I saw them - a husband and wife sitting in front of their house in two plastic chairs, happily chatting.  I remembered that they used to sit in front of their house, may be after dinner, every day. It reminded me in a strange way that I was alone. Perhaps that might be the reason, why I seem to clearly saw the couple that particular day whom I used to pass every day.

I would be exaggerating if I call it a house. But it was a home.  Every day I used to sneak – peek into their room. They lived in a small room, crammed with things right from the cot to the kitchen wares . They ironed clothes in the morning to make a living.  And in the night, they would sit and spend sometime in respite.

This took me back to several years. I was a little girl of 10 or 11 years old with little worries. Our first house was one – storied and I loved it. We had a spacious and open terrace. In the night, most of the days we ( Father, mother, little brother and myself ) used to go to the terrace after dinner. We would sit there for a long time. I don't remember what my mom and dad used to talk then.  But I was all over the place with my little brother.

Sometimes, I would lay on the terrace looking up at the starry sky. There were several times I counted stars. There were many times, I 'd seen faces of men and women in the moon. But, I had never told it to anybody. That was my little secret.

Whenever my parents' eyes slipped away, I used to walk on the parapet of the house which was like a flattened ' V' kept upside down. I loved my terrace. Whenever I looked from there, I felt as if I was seeing the infinity.

We avoided the terrace when it rained. Those days, we would sit in our sit out area   which was little bit elevated from the ground. It has no doors. I would make small boats and float it in the water that filled the area. In the night, I could hear the  casuarina trees lined in front of our house whispering to each other. Those were beautiful nights.

Will I get back those nights ? Will sit in an open terrace, setting aside all my worries and once again look at the stars and the sky?











Friday, April 4, 2014

Where is SHE ?



It was a bright sunny day. We set out at 8.30 am on a Monday to find her. Doreen, Chinju and me were friends but not the kind of friends with whom we shared all our secrets. Neither did we ever go on a spree. But we did have our share of fun in class rooms. We were classmates.

Always cracking jokes, Chinju had never been a killjoy. It might be the only reason, why we did share a camaraderie despite not being best friends. That was ten years ago. It was Doreen's idea that we should find her.

On our way, engrossed in nostalgia, Doreen asked “ Did you know she had a tubal pregnancy?”  “ No,” I said.

Doreen is still living in Thrissur ( Thrissur is a district in Kerala) with her two sons. Since her husband is also from the same city, she did not leave the place. Now, for many of us who had to sever ties with many past relations due to our circumstances, she is the only link left. I left Thrissur around seven years ago to pursue my higher studies and then took up a job in the neighbouring district, Ernakulam. The schedules were too hectic that I could hardly find enough time to go to Thrissur, the only place I love the most.

Chinju, Doreen and me were in a convent college. Many said it lacked colour as it was a women's only college and some often sympathised with me for that. “ You will never know the real meaning of freedom unless you are in a mixed college,” they used to say. Even after ten years of my college,  I seldom felt that. Maybe because my concept of freedom might be different from them.

Breaking my train of thoughts, Doreen said “ This was her second pregnancy. I was surprised to know that she could endure this much pain. Remember the kind of girl she was – lean and lanky,”. Chinju was too thin that we sometimes feared that she could not bear the burden of her long thick silky tresses. After a 20 minutes journey, we reached there where we are supposed to find her.

As the tropical sun is beating down on our heads, we opened our umbrella and started searching for her. Some times, Doreen would loudly say “ Stop your hide and seek. It is too hot here. Why don't you come out.”

With brewing suspicion I asked her  “ Are you sure, she would be here ?” In the farthest corner of where we stood, there was a dilapidated building. Ivies were creeping all over. The gust of wind that came through the thick branches of trees gave the place, a sepulchral look. Except the place where we stood and its nearby areas, the place was thickly weeded. It seemed as if it has been months since somebody took any trouble to clear it. There is a narrow pathway leading to the weedy area. It might have been made my some who sometimes sought to wander into it, seeking solitude.

 “ Of course, this is the place – Lourdes Cathedral and it was in 2010. How could I forget that,” she said.

We covered grave to grave, to be precise from 1800 to 2014. Some had only names engraved while some other had the photo of the deceased on it. But we could not find her. 

“ It was just three years ago. I just can't think that her family did not construct a cemetry for her and it might have taken up for somebody else because of the lack of space,” Doreen said sadly. We were completely drained out as we went through almost all the graves. Doreen still did not want to give up.

“ Never mind, she might be here. There are innumerable graves that we might have missed some. We will find her, next time,” I told to cheer her up.






Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sex + Reluctance = Rape which creates Criminals...Do you agree ?

I was interviewing someone, yesterday. He was talking about various issues that has gripped India for the last 15 years – from Rape to Vandalism. In the middle of the conversation, he said  “ the mounting criminal cases are in one way or the other, the repercussions of rapes happened with consent.” It made me thinking. I know that this particular issue has been spoken about, written and discussed several times. I too have my own opinions. Infact certain comments he made strengthened my convictions.



He said “ Many of the criminals languishing in the jails are sadly the products of a reluctant sexual intercourse between a father and a mother. Sex is something which has to be enjoyed. But how could two individuals especially strangers enjoy it, one fine morning ...I mean one fine night only because their parents and the society gave them the license in the form of marriage. How many of them take time to understand each other?. Sadly, in one way or the other, the woman or the man is succumbing to the confines of society. The emotions hardly reaches the heart. How could you expect babies born out of such consummation would not reflect the dissatisfaction, they parents might have felt while their mating. How could such parents guide their children at a confused time as this,” he asked. 

He substantiated his thoughts with a Malayalam axiom “ Pattaril Pottanilla”  There are no idiots in Pattars ( Tamil Brahmins).  He said “ In their system of marriage, they do not allow the bride and groom to be together just after their marriage. They give the bride and groom seven days to understand each other,” he said. My interviewee also cited many revered names to substantiate his points. He concluded “ This nation needs emotionally strong fathers and mothers.”

But in a changing and muddled scenario as this I hardly think seven days are quite enough for a man and woman to understand each other.