Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Book So Amber

Summers of childhood were always special for I spent a whole of two months in and around my hometown Mangalore doing what I liked the most.Clouds hovered over damp and tiled roofs amidst many arecanut and coconut trees,once they started sweating to fight the heat it would rain incessantly forcing us children to stay indoors for the rest of the day.It was then that I used to dig Grandpa’s old cupboard and my mother’s rusting metal trunks in the attic and the little dungeon behind the staircase,giving some company to the bandicoots and rats .

During one such excavation on a silent afternoon when the rest of the members of the house were catching a nap after a sumptuous meal,I rolled out a sack from the store room in the backyard.To my surprise what fell on the floor were a pile of old books, papers and letters.I must admit that till then I never knew how much my mother loved words and writing.Picking up a dusty amber coloured  book and a diary of hers with loose sheets I ran towards the living room where she was sleeping.I woke her up to show what I had found.Despite my irritation,she read a few poems penned in her diary.It made me happy and proud.She looked at the book in my hand and asked me where on earth I found all this,and when I told her about it she found my adventure a little impish but nice.She told me that the book was a teacher’s gift during her college days,for he appreciated her writing skills.And even before I asked her she said with a smile‘You can keep the book’.
As a kid tales fascinated me,the likes of ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and ‘Alice In Wonderland’,so much so that I dreamed of being stranded on an isle building ships or getting lost in the wild jungles chasing butterflies.Books made me live stories which could never happen in my life.My  mother was happy too,not because it kept me quiet but for coming to know that I had inherited her passion for reading.My father and brother are losers in this regard.You never know what does and what does not run in those genes!

I kept the amber book safe,my loot after all.It made a difficult read in those younger days I must say, thank my lack of comprehension.After many years I chanced upon it during a routine cleaning and then I made up my mind to give it a try.When I flipped through the moth eaten and tanned pages,a sweet smell of old papers welcomed and took me to a different world altogether,Russia precisely!The book titled ‘Anton Chekhov, Volume One, Stories’,a compilation of Russian classics by an English author has each story narrating something fresh and fragrant.My favourites being ‘The Grasshopper’ and ‘Gooseberries’.The seal inside the book said it was picked up from Navakarnataka Publications way back in 1982.My mother tells me that in those times Russian literature was a great thing happening in India.

In a matter of few days I was familiar with the wagons, orchards, gowns, suits, quills,paintings,lamps and the tongue twisting Russian names.I read the book with a curious admiration because it gave me a connection,especially the three signatures in the initial pages; my mother’s, her teacher’s and mine [mine at the age of ten! Probably I felt I was gifted with a grand inheritance!].You can see them in the picture.

Some passages are underlined in a pink ink,the same with which her teacher has put his signature.They made me wonder what thoughts would have arisen in his mind and what made them so beautifully important, and this very feeling made me smile.What is different about the book is the dramatic environment it creates which makes the characters in the plot very palpable.Little events of life are described in a captivating detail.There are no heroes in these stories,all characters have a fair share of weaknesses and strengths.Every day human pursuits are crafted and layered with simple words.The book is magnet.It portrays emotions with a strange tenderness,happiness and grief alike.It can force a reader into a Russian shoe's and make him live his life,completely different from his own.Unlike a coffee table book,the stories need subtle attention or else one can see stars in the day.

There is an amazing thing in common with all writers,no matter which land they come from,their love for expressing what they feel is priceless.Here are a few lines from the book,I think they make a lot of sense when we talk about the world be it of the past,the present or the future. 

“We are accustomed to live in hopes of good weather,a good harvest,a nice love affair hopes of becoming rich or getting the office of chief of police,but I’ve never noticed anyone hoping to get wiser.We say to ourselves,it’ll be better under a new tsar,and in two hundred years it’ll still be better,and nobody tries to make this good time come tomorrow.”
If there is one book that will pinch my heart when it shall part is this.For now it is lying safe with the others in my closet waiting for its next heir,the book shall go to the ones to whom it rightfully belongs when time comes.I will not really mind if I have to give it to someone for a read [with a hope that they return it back!] because I believe that even a line small yet sensible has knowledge worth sharing.I do read these stories at ofttimes in the night because someone has rightly said about friends,books and wine;the older they are...the better.

On an ending is a poem I wrote a month back...

Paper And Ink

 "These are not books,lumps of lifeless paper,but minds alive on the shelves.From each of them goes out its own voice and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music,so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it,one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space,and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind,heart to heart"~Gilbert Highet.


Friends of Books - Library that delivers and I connect with bloggers at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Open At The Close

                                   Wings of golden in earnest raise up and fly
And on my bolt of fire I follow you all high 
Walls many invisible I push with this heart  
       Shadows dark chase to seek your wee part         

Friends best a two are my world my folk
    My master left past light without a cloak    
A wand in his hands in peace deep sown
His gift is you a hallow I know not I own

Memories of my flesh you store and shine
Lost and away is all that once stayed mine
I kiss and watch you say I open at the close
Fight I shall for am the one evil vice chose

PS: Inspired  by a tale I grew up with and which has made me believe that 'It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.'


Sunday, November 21, 2010

*Conditions Apply

Being on one side of the biological fence I think it is tough to figure out the wants and needs of the other half of population for men and women alike.We tend to generalize issues and qualities based on gender more than often.We all are born and built different and that is the way everything works.We claim to hail from different planets but do we know what really impels us to live together here.Do remember no matter how many hitches we face with the opposites,this world runs on a plan.

What men want is not a difficult question, neither easy.There is no common denominator and each man is unique in his own way it is hard to make a list of their requirements and demands. I don't know quite what is wrong or right with men being happy with materialistic, physical and emotional pursuits so I am not going to make a stereotyped list of things here,from ‘sleep,food and wine with a woman at home to call mine’,we all know them.And every lady has her own too.

So much is said and little is done about what women want, but when it comes to men little is said and more than that little is done.This thought is from no soft corner of anybody's heart, because we all are blindly in affirmation of a man’s power and strength.But men are vulnerable,very much like women.The general tendency of the universe is to move from order to disorder and since God and we all know when,most of the men dominate many scenarios and take life's really big decisions.So how much it can make or break a man’s character stays relative and is dependent on a variety of factors.With all the brains,muscles and hormones they can handle pressure and cope with the stress and live a life well,close to their expectations*conditions apply.

Men hang in a balance like all.With time their dreams and desires change,a toy gun at the age of five to the world’s most expensive car at the age of twenty five.But unless bonded emotionally men can be complete strangers,for most of them fail or do not feel the need to express unlike women;be he a son,brother,father,husband or a friend.If you look closely into a man's eyes for the first few seconds during a conversation you can see what he actually has to tell you,catch it at the right moment or else see it fade away with his other wayward expressions.An observation that I have made being with my dearest friend fellows is that although they are messy each one is weirdly lovable,and I will never want them to be anyone different.

If devastating prettiness can woo them,gadgets and repairs can keep them simply occupied.Men are meant to be out in the open,and by natural tendency all of them hate being caged in any manner against their will.Most of the men are not comfortable discussing their personal inadequacies and flaws,they need someone who makes them realize and helps to work on them.They need a sense of belonging and acceptance.In a life of ordinariness and day to day struggles that wears them down they need someone and something to get back to.

Sometimes they can be extremely sensitive and easily embarrassed.Not all men appreciate constructive criticism and not all women always give.Minor conflicts make life interesting as they leave us with something to learn about them.Men can confuse and get confused,they do remember the kinkiest of things amongst the many dates they forget.Many of us have this conventional opinion of men being terrified of commitment.But if a man found someone who genuinely brings completeness he would not want to let her go.Maybe he might not want to get married,but he will be madly in love with her and will never risk losing her.Men think different,behave more different.They are not perfect,they are just real like everything else.

Some things among the musts while handling a man are,never compare[they own a jealous bone too!]and let him stay independent,if possible do help.Let a man do something that he likes to do,something that he can do and something that is fun to do.Even more good if you let him do something that makes him feel like a 'man'.

“Men are simple things.They can survive a whole weekend with only three things:Beer,boxer shorts and batteries for the remote control”-Diana Jordan.


Go to and check out t shirts for men! Also visit the

Monday, November 15, 2010

Strangers And Cities

He spat.

The tale does not begin here.But lets keep the thought that he did so in the mind.

A day back countless victims of the pernicious medical entrance examinations for post graduation in this country were found in the schools and lanes of the four metros like lost and helpless strangers.With months of efforts and worldly detachment at stake they were trying their best not to succumb to the pressure of their current situation.

The world appeared combative for the infinitesimal caterpillars in the group that we now feel we surely are, right from the moment we boarded the train to our centre.Most of the travel time was spent in revising notes and discussing the high yielding facts and golden points that we were taught in tuition with enough breaks in between to stare at our parallel and higher souls in matters of preparation.

When we got down what pleased us initially was the decent public transport system in the city,we reached our place of stay and met the rest of our friends after a half  hour ride in the bus.In the evening we visited a temple to offer our earnest prayers to help us through this hardship of post undergraduate days.Praying gives an immense strength especially if we have worked really hard for what we dream,it helps us not to give up until we succeed.The dignified sanctity in the place was impressive.We then strolled along the local street in front and reached a famous restaurant of the city for dinner.After the case of the missing purse ,extra sweet lime soda and the most voted meal of the night-'Appam with side dish' we were back in our rooms to make time for some last minute study.

The next morning we set in different directions towards our respective centres in and around the city .After a long bus ride a three of us reached our centre.While walking inside I had a strange goose bump feeling, the knotty stomach kind,something close to what I had been waiting for.I was sure that I am not completely ready for this one and will never be.There is no end to all the honeyed woes until and or maybe even after I earn a seat myself.I am not opining about the paper and the kind of questions they can come up with every year,the experience shall stay unexpressed.There are many more waiting  in the coming months.

After finishing the arduous task we got back to our rooms and had a quick lunch in the same restaurant.Later while the guys were away at the beach we made a list of the questions and options that had appeared,for they are of help in the coming exams.We packed our bags and had a dinner of dosas again in the down stair restaurant of our lodge with a constant company of gazers/waiters.Though we left on time we had to confront some falls and our first jet speed run to catch the almost ready to run train in the night.With some more recalling of eerie questions and happenings we slept cramping on the berths eager to get back to our very own town.

In the middle of all the proceedings of the day he did spat on a friend of mine while waiting for a bus on the road, an old tramp with no sense of the populace around him.He walked away completely lost,leaving us dumb and stupefied.

First impressions are the best and shall last they say,I now agree with this to an extent .If anyone asks me would I mind switching over my town for another place forever,I would throw my hands up and say well that is impossible.There is no place like home,is a more sensible statement now.I tell this because I have come to believe that if there is anything we people here have to be proud of is our relatively blessed weather and doubly sweetening amiability to strangers which no place or people can match.We do not say 'gothilla'  on inquiring unless we really do not know.But sad that all of this is taken for granted.This thought crept after a two day stint in an another city which helped me realize how much I love and belong to my own.
It is easy to be a stranger in your town,hard to be in another.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Out of Blue

Fleeting far from the dark lifeless abyss
I see him glide like a gull in the blue sky
Wings of his when fight the wind alone
In joys and huffs my heart wails a cry

A buoyant breeze then sends him atop
                                    Lips curl a smile while I ask myself why                                  
I hear his song in the air spread aloud
In a muting bliss now my words feel shy

Light moves at the end of a road away
Miles he covers with a sweet sweat's try
He then sleeps on the white clouds among
Rain drops down like a tiny tear in my eye

Hills no wild traveler could cross afoot
He sails on them like pebbles on his way
With all the life in this earth and around 
I think of the love he left for me to stay

If storms of time rage and take him aloof
Who feels my all,more than I can ever say
For him I shall fight with all wrath amidst
And bid all little blessings of mine to pray

No flame can rip his fearless feathers apart
The fire will fume in its blue best some day
From ashes he shall rise,all hell burnt aside
My Phoenix soaring high,come what may!

PS:Another one... for not being able to get out from the hang of it;)

Consciously trying;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Wild Piper

A piper wild set his foot in the woods far that allure
With a tune in heart along the roads of a river pure
Valleys wait in lust amidst the chain of hills to mount
Birds of the skies sing and screech to get in his count

Days and nights he spends in joy of a greenness greet
Frogs in oodles hop by side to kiss those muddy feet
The colours of rainbow with the silvered stars blends
When tiredness creeps inside after all the light ends

The grass is his only bed where he sleeps in no chains
Clouds turn a tender sheet lest winds run in his veins
Rains then drop on leaves one fine morning to wake
And say it is time to turn,for a ride return is to make

Mysteries of the green are yet unknown and unbound
But glad is he for the jungle heard his song and sound
Where every life has a chance he did with peace stay
Tides now take him town from where all his love lay

Trees swing and cry for their friend dear in a farewell
Who carries along their wish to live and stories to tell
Thoughts damp call him as he walks towards his train
He waves back to say "Aye!Shall be back home again!"

"Landscapes of great wonder and beauty lie under our feet and all around us.They are discovered in tunnels in the ground,the heart of flowers,the hollows of trees,fresh-water ponds seaweed jungles between tides,and even drops of water.Life in these hidden worlds is more startling in reality than anything we can imagine.How could this earth of ours,which is only a speck in the heavens,have so much variety of life,so many curious and exciting creatures?"-Walt Disney.

PS:Submitted on 29-3-2011 for Poetry Potluck(Mon)-Trips,Travels And Vacations atJingle Poetry

Saturday, November 6, 2010

On A Canary Day

A life unlike a princess perfect who lives in the sky castle
Breeze of nights to sleep after storm of days wild hassle
Skies beyond the clouds to spread my little wings and fly
Nest that I call home holds my soul and feathers when dry
Songs of rain and sunshine in my heart to last for ever fill
 My bunting blue who guards my dreams on its window sill
Sparrows a few who chirp in sync with my each trifling line
Blessings these I promise to keep always as treasures mine!

Today is mine, well like any other day.I am feeling good for all that am gifted with, wrapped in love and thrown in kind.Laughter and grief alike.At times when the world is a quieter place, when silence breaks my eardrums all that is left to hear is my heart beat.I like the feel of it, the joy that it pumps in tons amidst a mellowed flow, like an elixir.I am happy that it makes me feel more than alive.

Every day brings a pleasure,especially when I have wonderful people at home who help me be what I am.I love them, all three. Not words but feelings fall short when I think of someone or something that I really need to be thankful about.It is difficult to understand certain kinds of love especially the ones we take for granted.And all of you out there who touch my life with the slightest gesture of goodness and else, you will matter to me, forever.A toast to the ones who go by my rule book and flip those pages with a pure strength of patience.An extra bottle to the gutsy ones who tear pages and scratch my lines only to add their most beautiful chapters,the ones who came and choose to stay.
Time does not bring or carry anything with it.If we look hard and close we always have enough.There is always a room for perfectness and happiness, and there is where I wish to live.But growing up and out of my nest is a strange and uncomfortable feeling.So much to do and so little time.Well life it is, all it does is smile.I smile back.Sometime ago I was born this day.Glad I did.                                         

“Fly free and happy beyond birthdays and across forever, and we’ll meet now and then when we wish, in the midst of the one celebration that can never end”-Richard Bach

 PS1: A  problem with reminding bunting everyone's birthday,I have to take a special class and remind him mine too;)

PS2: Appa has lots of goodies for his daughter,Amma is jealous;)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Enchanted Wanderer

Once in a is good to help your guardian angel fly...
Trails towards the boundless blue oceans a brook asks my wet feet
When I sit beside her on the green bed of grass feathered beneath
Clouds of cotton white miss their route maps of vast lands as well
I send them far and fast where no raindrops to this day or ever fell

Stops her flight a puffbird to look at me with a worry in great unrest
I tell Oh’lady take a turn two and reach your kids waiting in the nest
The mumbling yellow bees from the hives swarm not any less behind
I show them the flowers on this earth with honey of the sweetest kind

Arrives his majesty looking for his den in the woods dark and deep
Help I shall to make his heart and cross the waters in one giant leap
Gazelles a hundred search for meadows with a hunger of weeks to fill
I graze them in the golden reeds dancing with the winds down the hill

A boy strolls near wishing to belong to this tempest in a peace frame
No traps or gun by his side I find,for he tells the hunt is not his game
He takes me to the mountains and we lay our backs on shivering mist
Joyous spirits that belong to all blends now within like grains for grist

As we sprawl through dusk the stars smile and the skies lose all blue
I wonder and ask if he wandered and lost something in this place new
He smiles into my eyes to say he is here for me and forever shall stay
For he comes to help his angel wild who shows every life a will,a way.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Crawling Hope

‘Gowramma!Eshtu sathi helodu ba amma olage!’
 [How many times should I call you?Come inside!]

These were the usual words of despair in the dressing room during my days as an intern in the obstetrics and gynaecology department.A time when I had to rush to the hospital in the wee hours of morning to meet three Lakshmammas, two Gowrammas, two Venkatammas and the many other ladies with similar names admitted through the medical camps conducted in the rural areas.We especially the female interns were assigned the job of placing tampons for patients with prolapse before our professors started their daily rounds. The good obedient ones that we were or behaved so since it was our first posting,our postgraduates gave us the liberty of taking all the PAP smears too whenever new admissions happened.Back then I always wondered do these women know what actually is happening with them,what is it that makes them put up with everything.

Few months later we had a lady admitted in the surgery wards with a diagnosis of breast cancer,her name I do not remember,my bad.But what I cannot forget is the wound dressing we did on her chest for an hour or so in the morning,the breathlessness that did not let her lie down and made her land in the ICU,the helplessness on her face when she passed away within that little while.What struck me was she worried not because she was about to die but because there was nobody to see her go.

Most of these women are illiterates who toil longer than their men folks.Health care is not something they obviously worry about.They suffer from what is called as ‘Social Illness’,a cancer by itself.On the other hand there is an increasing awareness of signs and symptoms of various illnesses among a certain group in the urban areas,courtesy the world wide web.Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment have increased the number of people living for five years or more after the diagnosis,what is called as the five year survival rate.

The term ‘Cancer Survivor’ is common these days,these are the people with the will and courage who battle it out.It is not just the illness that any patient dreads.A variety of economical,physical and psychosocial issues come tagged.Thanks to the different modalities of treatment-surgery,radiotherapy and chemotherapy,each bring a pain of a kind along with the cure.

Prevention can only be done by women empowerment,health education and better access to health care.Rehabilitation and counseling is an important part of treatment as well.Cancer as an end of life,is a thing of past.But even with all the advancements in medicine I am sure when every doctor has to diagnose and treat a patient he/she prays and hopes each time that it does not turn out to be one.


Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never all-Emily Dickinson.