Saturday, April 19, 2014


'Tis not to see the world 
As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes,
And heart profoundly stirred;
And weep, and feel the fulness of the past, 
The years that are no more! 
It is to spend long days 
And not once feel that we were ever young.

Growing Old - by  Matthew Arnold


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

PaNNaiyArum padminiyum - Musings on Ownership.

As you have heard, the car is everyone's. The entire village loves it. Kids ride it, the postman does his beat in it, atleast one corpse is transported on its roof, infants are delivered in it and what not. 

But, while the film does make the most out of a - weakened by overuse - Tamil film trope: 'the good, simple people of the village' , what makes it special is that, it engages with the touchy question of 'ownership' quite well. The film is particular about acknowledging the sense of unease in precisely what is not articulated: that the car is not everyone's. It IS private property after all. And that there are degrees of ownership and claims that each have over it and which they want to defend against the claim of an 'other' - an other perceived as an outsider with a lesser claim.  Or an other having a greater claim, which makes one insecure.  Or an other having without deserving, a greater claim.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

But the book itself does not count

Are you  someone who has somehow manage to develop a rather stately impression of your own writing ability and also feel you possess a critic's discernment?

Do you have a capacity for delusions of grandeur - is that even a question, of course you do. So much so that you can exaggerate - not just your writing and critical abilitIes - but even your own impressions of them, to be able to relate to the turmoil of some who is, and expresses himself, way better?
Read on then as Silvio Baldeschi - the narrator of Moravia's Conjugal Love-  writes a critique of a novel he just finished writing.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Love and Creating

Last evening I started re-reading something I last read when I was in college. I still found it just as affecting. But let me exercise some restraint which I wish to believe -  or atleast make a show of, as if - age has made it easier for me to achieve, by getting out of the way quickly and  resting content with quoting:

         ..(But) the fact remains that I have a strong, determined face that does not at all represent my true character, though it partly explains some contradictions in it. Perhaps my most noteworthy characteristic is lack of depth. Whatever I do or say, the whole of me is contained in what I do or say, and I have nothing in reserve upon which to fall back in the event of my having to retreat. I am in fact, a man all vanguard without any main body or rearguard. From this characteristic comes my proneness to enthusiasm: I get excited over any trifle. This enthusiasm of mine, however, is rather like an uncontrolled horse taking a very high fence, having already thrown its rider, who is left in the dust ten yards behind. What I mean is that it is an enthusiasm that almost always lacks the support of the intimate, effective strength without which any kind of enthusiasm dwindles into mere foolish desire and rhetoric. And I am, in fact, inclined to rhetoric - that is, to the substitution of words for deeds. My rhetoric is of the sentimental kind. I want, for instance, to be in love and often deceive myself  into thinking I am in love when all that I have done is talk about it - with great feeling, no doubt, but nevertheless simply talking. At such moments tears come easily, I stammer, I assume all the attitudes of overflowing emotion. But beneath these outward signs of fervor I often conceal a bitter, positively mean kind of subtlety which makes me deceitful and does not represent any real strength, being merely the expression of my egoism.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

முன்கதை சுருக்கம்

6961 தொடர்கதையில் இரண்டாவது பகுதிக்கு முன் எழுதியது:

முன்கதை சுருக்கம்: முன்கதை சுருக்கம் என்பது கொடுமை. உயிரை விட்டு எழுதிய வாக்கியங்களை ஒருவரியில் சுருக்கி 'விமலா பார்க்கில் ராஜேஷை (ராஜேஷா ராகேஷா?) சந்தித்து அவர்கள் திருமணத்தைப் பற்றி பேசிவிட்டு மனம் மாறுகிறாள்' என்று எழுதினால் சென்ற அத்தியாத்துக்கு, அதன் விஸ்தாரத்துக்கு அர்த்தமில்லாமல் போய் விடுகிறது. ஆகவே, என் அவசரம் மிகுந்த வாசகியே, முன்கதை சுருக்கம் கிடையாது

- கணையாழி, செப் 1969

Thursday, July 25, 2013

ஒரு கவிதை

தி.வ.மெய்கண்டார் ஆசிரியராக இருக்கும் கவிதாமண்டலம்  சனவரி 2013 இதழிலிருந்து ஒரு கவிதை

ரெண்டு திராபை stanza’க்கள் தாங்கினால் ஒரு கவிக்கணம் லாபம்.

உவமைக் கவிஞர் சுரதாவின் ஒப்பிலா நூல் வேட்கை
- கவிவேந்தர் கா.வேழவேந்தன்

’உவமைகளே இல்லாத கவிதை யெல்லாம்
 உப்பில்லாப் பண்டம்தான்’ என்றே கூறி
சுவைக்கவிதை வடிவித்தவர்தான் சுரதா! அன்னார்
 சொற்பொழிவோ தகவல்களின் சுரங்கப் பேழை!
எவைஎவற்றை எந்நாளில் எவர்ப டைத்தார்
 எனும்விவரம் சொல்வதிலே கணினி ஆவார்
இவர்இந்தப் பேராற்றல் பெற்றார் என்றால்
 ஏடுகளைத் தேடிநிதம் படித்த தால்தான்

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Portrait of the Artist as a Coward

The only artists I have ever known who are personally delightful are bad artists..... He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize
- Oscar Wilde , The Picture of Dorian Gray

In Satyajit Ray's Kapurush (Coward) - the protagonist Amitabha  is a screenwriter is traveling to collect material for his film he is going to write. Novelists writing about novelists is the oldest cliche in the book. Screenwriters writing about screenwriters is relatively rare and on occasion has resulted in phenomenal awesomeness. However, it is interesting to see how Ray shows a screenwriter.