Sunday, January 24, 2016

The spell has broken...

 As I walked down the only too familiar road, I very consciously and deliberately tried to coerce my sleeping memories alive. I searched for familiar sights,  I tried to breathe in familiar smells, I tried to rouse dormant sensations…I tried to retrace my steps, I closed my eyes, visualising images of the past.  

I saw nothing, smelt nothing, felt nothing. It was the same place and yet it was no longer.

 Everything felt unreal, empty. I had grieved the passage of time, yearned for lost moments. Now I had come back but found nothing that I thought I was seeking. Is there a sense of loss?  No, not even that. Just an emptiness and a numbness.

What had changed? The  place? Perhaps…

It is I who have changed. Forever. I am no longer that person.

That place in the depths of my heart no longer exists outside. Finally  I can stop looking for it every time I return. Let sleeping memories lie...

Ref: Nostalgia: thy sting

Monday, June 15, 2015

ONE too many?

                                        ( image courtesy:

It has been raining T.M Krishna all over my part of the cyber space . An overdose of T.M Krishna, though I’m not one to complain. I have been listening to his interviews, reading up about him, thrashing out all about his stand (regarding the December festival) with my cousin…and then she tells me about this movie rendezvous “ONE” featuring none but him!

Did I know what to expect? Well, I had watched “MargazhiRaga” when that hit the theatres. And I was not too averse to this concert on celluloid bit.  

So this was at BHEL Trichy- Kailasapuram club. I had heard about this venture where T.M Krishna was thrown into the wilds and left to himself to sing off the cuff. No bustle- just the skies, the waters, the wind, the birds for company.

It sounded all good. Now this screening incidentally was also out in the open , on a not too lush lawn but yes there were trees right behind, a light summer breeze and the evening moths casting their shadows across the huge screen giving the illusion of being a part of the celluloid landscape.

What can I add after all the *reviews already available online? What the makers intended to do, how they went about it, how they felt about the whole thing, all that is already out there…

Just perhaps how I felt?
Well, I am no connoisseur and am among the ones who respond to simply what they hear , not essentially what they know or what they understand. And so I watched, I heard, I liked, I enjoyed. I enjoyed the music in the musician, the exuberant voice, the sounds, the colours, the feel, as I sat there under the evening skies. I even liked the way The musician’s hands moved, they seemed to have a grace of their own gesturing to the flow of the music, directing the exuberant throw of his voice into the cosmos…

There is the performer who is inspired by a muse, an applauding audience…

And then there is the artiste who is inspired by his art, regales in the magic of his art, talks to his art, calls out to his art- listens to his art, is mesmerised by his art as if he is just a witness- and not the one initiating it… calling out to the creation around him, throwing back into the air- the waves of the swaras and the sahitya- pausing to listen, as if expecting a response from the wilderness…

And when it is over, you feel that you just had a peek into an intensely personal experience of an artiste… 

Saturday, November 15, 2014


While I’ve been singing paeans to Solitude and how much I craved solitude, how I cherished my space and ‘me time’, how I resented intrusions into my space and time. I defended my right to my space and time indignantly, vociferously  and not content, I wanted to shout myself hoarse from the roof tops…until….
One night, it dawned on me ( ironically) , that solitude was a luxury that could be enjoyed when one knew that one had people around, relatives, friends, acquaintances…just a call ( not the digital kind) away. When one had nobody then the same space and solitude would be oppressing and gnaw the insides of the soul.
When I realised this important detail, I decided to be more respectful of the people around me, more tolerant of the cramped spaces and appreciate the relevance of their presence which made solitude an enjoyable experience to be savoured if and when it becomes available.  .

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Magic of remembered moments...

Why is it that  many a time,  what we have been waiting for to happen, what we had been wishing for- when that moment finally dawns,  why does it feel so unreal, almost as if it was happening to someone else. Why does it feel so ordinary, so bland?

When the long awaited moment was in the present, I kept reminding myself , "Here is the moment you've been waiting for, watch it unfurl, be in it, hold on to it, savour it. Lock it away, for some day in the future, you will seek this moment in the casket of your memories, you'll long to be back in it, relive it"...

And then in some moment of the remote future, it becomes a miracle remembered, perhaps more magical than it had actually been when in the present.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

M.P. Bhattathirippad's "Rithumathi" -1952

Today at lunch, amma was recounting to me about M.P. Bhattathrippad's (Premji) play: 

"*Ruthumathi". She embellished her narration with the typical "Namboothiri bhasha". 

I was appalled at the plight of the girl child of those times. Thank God it had a happy ending. A very 

poignant story that haunts you for a long time after. 

Am I glad to have been born in today's era...

Below is an excerpt from :

Similarly, Premji‟s Ritumati was a well-written work as a prose drama.
This is the story of Devaki, an orphaned Namboothiri girl, who initially stays with 

her comparatively  progressive maternal uncle who provides her with education ( 

otherwise not prescribed to a namboothiri girl).

But after attaining puberty, her education is discontinued and she is forcibly taken 

to her paternal  family. There, she‟s ordered to take off her blouse as per custom 

and change into a mere piece of cloth. On her refusal to do so, Kizhakeprathe 

Apphan Namboothiri tortures her by hiding her clothes and continuously abusing 


Devaki, thus transforms into the face of resistance in this drama as she adamantly 

refuses to change her outfit for many months at length. Though branded as a 

mentally unstable woman by family and society ( for merely voicing her desire and 

dissent),she‟s betrothed to someone without  her consent.

On the marriage day, her cousin Kuttan and her friend Vasudevan concede to her 

desperate plea to rescue her from this confining atrocity. The protagonists Devaki 

and Vasudevan succeed in the fight against their wretched life inside the 

Namboothiri community. Unlike the three earlier plays mentioned initially, Ritumati 

stands as an unflinching testimony to progressive drama. The protagonist is not 

conveniently evicted from the plot ( as in Marakkudakkullile Mahanarakam, Savitri 

Athava Vidhawa Vivaham and Adukkalayil Ninnu Arangathekku) in order to 

maintain social  normalcy‟.

The epigraph to the play:

Ritumatiyaayoru penkidaavennagi

-lathu mathi njayamn padippu nirtan.

Avallenum pinneyadukkalathannuli-

lavashamirrunnu narachidenam;kudayeduthidenam, 

kuppayamooranam-kudilasamudayaneethi nokku!

( It is all puberty that takes to discontinue a girl ‟s education/ 

from then on, she‟ll remain and rot within the walls of her kitchen/ 

A customary veil and the custom of removing her blouse is what the cruel society demands off her)

(* Rithumathi : Girl who has attained puberty)

Related  posts:

( pic courtesy:


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Payback Time

Some years ago, I had written about how I had time trapped in my fist. About how I watched in slow motion while the rest of the world whizzed past me. And now its pay back time. All those days, when I languished in the endless ocean of time, playing with the minutes and seconds-  relishing and savouring every moment, somewhere deep inside, I wondered...I wondered if there would come a time, when I would climb aboard the whirring roller coaster myself . Even then, I had wondered if I could lend time to those who were looking for spare moments, and just in case, I would demand pay back with interest. 
Time has a way with making one eat and chew one's words.
For, now I've entered another phase in my life. I've become a teacher in a  school here, a school that I had always hoped to join. I teach English to little children- of 5, 6 and 7 standards. While I enjoy the teaching part completely, there are hordes of other responsibilities that come as a free deal along with the job. It feels like I've suddenly got aboard a roller coaster that is hurtling fast, fast, up, down and again up and I'm tied to it. My hair is standing on end and my palms are clenched tightly holding onto the seat, my mouth is wide open in a silent screech! Having to climb up and down two flights of stairs adds to the zing. My timings, routine have changed completely and there are times when I feel disoriented like I am jet lagged. 

(To make things worse, after having become an English teacher, I now find myself looking askance at every word I utter or  write. I'm no longer too sure of my Grammar! The Irony!  Professional hazard I guess. And the 'Tanglish' - the 'Kolaveri' kind  that I get to hear all around me adds to the conundrum. I hope I outgrow this phase of self doubt soon). 
However, I hasten to add that I've no regrets. I feel useful, I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. I'm thoroughly enjoying my time with the kids. I realise that I've in store, truck-loads of patience, which I was never aware of. I find myself watching my kids even when they're at their naughtiest best, most boisterous and cantankerous selves.  I've to stop myself consciously from smiling or even laughing at times. Time will tell if they'll drain me off this exuberance. But right now I'm happy where I am.

(See what I hold in my tightly clenched fist? I’ll let u have a tiny peek- just for a moment- there…saw that? I have Time trapped within my fist…you don’t believe me? I don’t blame you…you who are so busy – you who don’t realize when the day is over and night has begun…you who cannot watch the sun set and the stars rise…
 Slowly, very slowly, I loosen my fist ever so little…and a handful of moments slither too soon…In a flash I close my fist tighter than ever- but alas- a few precious moments are already lost to Eternity- I close a single eye and peek thru the gaps in my fingers of my clenched fist- aha- Time is yet again trapped- I breathe a sigh of relief- and yet a few stealthy moments keeps trickling through the tiny gaps- I watch helplessly…counting the truant moments …
 A train flashes by along the broad gauge tracks outside- the boggies are a blur- and I watch from my balcony as if in slow motion- the second needle ticks by inside my home- an on your watch- marking off the same moments from the slice of Eternity and yet some moments are heavy, and some flit by like the caress of a feather- Theory of Relativity?
 A friend of mine tells me he feels like he’s caught in a rollercoaster that does not seem to stop- whirrrrrrrr- round and round – it goes…turning him around along with it… no time to even feel queasy-
Was wondering would it be possible to lend time to those who need some spare moments- except that maybe I’d add one clause- just in case- to be returned on demand with interest…)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Repost: The Invisible Umbilical cord...( Mother's Day Special)

The following  is a repost from 2005 

The last few days had been hectic travel- and now I am back home- my husband and I had gone to Kochi for a 2 day visit and we had a great time. Today, I just wanted to relax, laze away the day- so finished all routine chores- and settled down with a book that I got from my cousin this trip- "Chicken soup for Mothers soul"- a beautiful book; some of the stories are so moving and yet soothing- and I am feeling  refreshed, at peace with life- and so while I was actually waiting for sleep to just overwhelm me. However, reading the many anecdotes narrated in the book not only banished away all thoughts of sleep- but also inspired me to reach out to my blog friends. So here I am at my pc, typing away!

The stories are obviously about the bond between mothers and children- personal anecdotes recapitulating, reinforcing the depth of this relationship in spite of conflicts, disagreements- each story by different people seemed to me like blogs by themselves; stories with that humane, personal element.

Reading it made me look back at the relationship that I shared with my own amma- we are temperamentally similar but different in habits, ideology. We communicate beautifully as long as it does not concern housekeeping, child rearing and basic discipline! In spite of these differences, there is this underlying communication which transcends distances and time. It is an awareness, a consciousness of being bound together by invisible threads- as if the umbilical cord was never cut off. Of course, we do have royal arguments, harsh words, bitter sulks, but then that is only natural. It is a confidence, a faith of being there for each other come what may. It is an understanding, a soothing sense of security, a comfort level of mutual taking for granted at times.

Many times after a real bad argument, I have retreated feeling totally desolate, lost and miserable, afraid that  such things were not meant to happen between a mother and daughter. Afraid that perhaps I had spoilt things beyond repair, that perhaps I had hurt amma too much with my verbal/nonverbal expressions. I would be appalled at the chasm that had just caved in and I would despair of ever being able to surmount it.  I would feel suddenly lonely in spite of everybody else in the world. I would want her, only her at those terrible moments of failure. There were also other moments when I felt that I had failed her somewhere, somehow; and invariably soon enough some little thing would happen that reassured me that nothing could ever tarnish this mother- daughter bond- that whatever may be the differences of opinion, the arguments, the difficult moments, it did not matter. - I just had to utter the most beautiful word- AMME- and everything negative would just vapourise.

Then there have been those moments when I faced problems from other sides, other issues, and during such moments, I have never failed to find my mother by my side, holding me, supporting me, strengthening my spirits, my faith and gently bringing me back to track. She taught me the value of relationships, the importance of not hurting others, of respecting others view points even if they did not agree with mine, the power of tolerance, the need to let go of the past- oh, the list is endless.

This account would be incomplete if I did not mention that person who cannot see the gray strands in my hair, cannot remember that perhaps I am too heavy for his lap, who forgets that his grandchildren are perhaps younger than his daughter; that inspite of the numerous occasions when I scream at him, I remain perfect. He loves to remind me of the times he carried me in his arms, of the times when he panicked becos I was sick- and I never tire of hearing it. At times though,  he drives me up the wall with his stubbornness ( this trait he has generously passed on to me- so I am told). Yes, that’s my Achhan, he loves me unconditionally, and suffers from selective amnesia – because he does not remember the times that I have hurt him!

I started out this blog to tell you abt the book that I was reading, and somehow, it turned out this way- so now I dedicate this blog to the two people whom I love a whole lot, but cannot hope to match the love they have for me!