Wednesday, September 30, 2009
(கல்லூரியில் படிக்கும்பொழுதே) எழுத்தாளன் ஆவேன் என்று தெரியும் என்று சொல்லி ஜல்லியடிக்க விரும்பவில்லை. எனக்கு அப்போதெல்லாம் ஒரே கனவு தான். இந்திய அணியில் நான் கிரிக்கெட் விளையாடுவது போலவும். அது தொடர்பாக வைஜெயந்திமாலா வந்து என்னை சந்திப்பது போலவும் - சுஜாதா
சந்திப்பு - கடிதம்
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I would thank her being very perceptive but then I read the clauses and found I had got tagged. I duck tags and would on any given day have ducked "Seven things I love".
But I decided not to flatter myself as if I was actually some bitter cynic. I didn't quite like the fact that it took some time for me to come up with this:
1) Idyll. A few weeks back, a friend of mine wakes me up from a Sunday-afternoon slumber. We head to the Loyola grounds just like that with the sun beating down on us heavily. Settle on the sidelines to watch a schoolmatch, applauding the occasional wicket and generally making wisecracks. We used to do that nearly ten years ago. A lot has changed since then but I can easily delve and enjoy the illusion that nothing has changed. No need to know or do. Just be. And denying that time moves.
2) Long walks in unfamiliar cities...actually in familiar cities too. Just one turn to an unfamiliar lane transforms the city you thought you knew to a new animal.
3)Clinging on to expressions. Who was it who said "there is no text, but only context"? While I may disagree on general principle I tend to make his case everyday. When talking to some friends and I use some college lingo which we know precisely the origin of and have changed it completely. Its like owning the expression.
4) Singing along. Car or bathroom is personal. But even when perched on my Bajaj Chetak I am usually in uninhibited loudsinging mode. And of course, conforming to key is for purists. In this ipod ridden world I wouldn't slot myself as a music lover. And I am usually quite stoic in my response (or lack therof) to poetry. But combine the two and I am sucker. I imagine Maharajapuram Santhanam singing a Bharathi line, defenses crumble at "சிந்தை தெளிவாக்கு அல்ல(து) இதை செத்த உடலாக்கு" and I karaoke in the midst of T Nagar traffic.
5) Finding expressions in ancient literature that are accessible today. Causes an explosion. A sample: கொள்ள மாளா இன்ப வெள்ளம் (koLLa mALA inba veLLam). That is by NammAzhwar. Over a thousand years old. "Flood of joy more than I can handle" is what it means. Every single words is in currency today. But the rhythm in the way in which it comes together is so lovely. Context comes later, if at all.
6)Scuba. Show off time actually. Some spiritual guru , I forget who , trying to establish that we overrate happiness said: in our whole life we are blissful only for a sum total of few hours. Uh oh ! I've used up four of those hours already. To be dwarfed by the enormity of the ocean and to see schools of fish of every conceivable color and design is something is an experience I loved. Though that is past tense, I add this to this list to make sure it remains.
7) Goundamani. Bernard Shaw said about GK Chesterton that "the world is not thankful enough for him". I would say the same about Goundamani. General population has little idea the kind of talent we are talking about here. My feeble powers of articulation inhibit me from explaining why he is a phenomenon worthy of comparison with anyone else, no qualifiers whatsoever. One day I shall. Till then you can all think I am kidding.
Now it is யாம் பெற்ற இன்பம் பெருக இவ்வையகம் (Ref. 3 above) time
I pass the award...and of course the tag to a bunch of folks I consider will find it as challenging to come up with the list.
1) Rangu - the man who co-stars in 1 above.
2) BNB - because I've never seen him tagged !
3) Groucho aka Rakesh - because the man's email id is skeptic@ and he has an urgent need to get in touch with his sensitive side
4) SP - because unlike others her problem is likely to be containing the list to seven
5) Zero - because I am trying everything to get him to restart..and a tag was the last thing that worked.
6) Raj - the homepageless man is invited to respond in the comments section here
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I have had my share of encounters with evangelists. Spooky uncomfortable ones, hilariously silly ones, engrossingly earnest ones. But there was one which got me thinking. It was in LA in the street where the Kodak theatre is. Christmas time shops decked, its all sale mood. There is Scientology church there and there were bunch of relatively young guys sitting with some tomes of Ron Hubbard spread on a table. They had a contraption that measured the pulse as we answered questions.
As I was chronically jobless that evening I thought I'd give the guy a chance. He was asking a bunch of questions in the general direction of :"what are you missing in your life ?", what do you think you have it in you to reach out to but can't, how do you feel about living a life of non-greatness etc. While I understood the direction was to finally sell "the book would fill the hole in your life", I tried to answer quite earnestly.
I finally came across as a unambitious sod with unreal levels of contentment. He smiled and let me go. He had nothing to sell to me and probably thought I was pulling his leg.
Normally this would prompt me to talk about how being surrounded by the spirit of the Christmashopping frenzy, in the city of the great and how spirituality was also being sold with a material flavour to it. There is a shortstory in there somewhere, atleast a rhymeless poem. Or wose still may have even gotten into comparing and contrasting Oriental spirituality and American decadence etc.
But for the first and last time an evangelical encounter made me go into an uncomfortable instrospection: what the deuce am I so satisfied about !