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Tag: Nostalgia

Life is but not an empty dream!

I was often caught off guard with this line! Tell me not in mournful numbers, life is but an empty dream! More often than less, I preferred the predicate than the subject itself! And today, a very dear one gave me an eye opener by making me read the complete verse. I see the subject now, with much clarity and bliss.

To my soul and my soulmate, for making me relate to this, and giving me those silent smiles of understanding, over the long long seven-eight or nine-ten years!

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

– H W Longfellow (Long sighted and large hearted indeed!)

Retrospective

On a second thought, I was wondering if we should be going at all. Running way late from the schedule, there was hardly anytime to actually spend there. But then again, I thought, we might not be getting another comfortable day like this. Then it was a jet flash spree to get there. Seeing the others already leaving, I was skeptic again. Go in! With a quick hey-bye to the leaving group, I rushed in. The once familiar place now left me (us) wondering. Where to begin from! This stairs? That corridor? The new block? So many new rooms! So many new boards. The trademark aquarium missing. The omnipresent blue and white replaced with unidentifiable hues, and kids walking around in such shades! The place is very much our own, but yet to be disowned in so many ways, for so many reasons! The home to our dreams, passion, spirit, and oneness.

Kendriya Vidyalaya Ernakulam is not anybody’s private property. But so many of us still claim it our own. To the extent that, you feel comfortable to run the computer lab and mock at Radha madam for still being stuck with the same clerical chores! Or to walk into library and put your friends as prey to Jikki madam’s never ending lecture, and smoothly slide into the books. Pull ‘your’ chair, (I had my own chair at our library hours!) and grab a book, stare at the wall hangings and decipher meaning out of horribly lengthy quotes! To walk into Physics lab and look around as if you are looking for a friend, go in and seach all nook and corner, (actually searching for Suresh sir!), like you own the lab! Barge into staff room and ask for teachers, like they once did to us and took us to the ‘task’! And last (totally not the least that we can do. We are capable of so much more in the school!), wait outside the Principal’s office, talk, giggle, laugh, jibber-jabber, do whatever. And distract the Principal’s meeting to bring out Samuelkutty sir out of the meeting! And finally, just stand suspiciously along the corridor or staff room door. Betty madam or Nambiar sir might have something to tell you.

And of all things said and acknowledged, I never expected to hear, “You should have taken English or journalism. That was the expectation from you.” Wasn’t I elated to hear that! Rajalakshmi madam says how would I be ever forgotten! (My companions might have felt bad. But I felt uber good! Hope you girls ain’t reading this! 🙂 ) What about me makes them remember me? Rosily madam of all teachers! I was surprised she remembers us! (read ‘me’ :P) I should have done something more worthwhile than B.Tech! No matter what technological marvel I ‘might’ be a part of, I don’t ever think that any such achievement can replace the disappointment from my English teachers. It is not regret, but ‘missing’ English!

At the end of the day, I am glad. To have had such a pleasant retrospective. To have ran through the corridors once again, and jumped up the stairs, and wandered across the auditorium. Reminded of a past. Of innocence. Of happiness. Of dreams. Of satisfaction. Of friendship. Of the awesome days. Without regret. Bliss.

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Keep smiling!

Now that most conversations and relationships are maintained online, and there’s more ‘CAPSLOCK’ than actual yelling, more ttyl, more brb, more dnd, more cya, more whatever. Frankly, I don’t care. I don’t care if the soul in people’s communication is absent, I don’t care if emotions are dead, or if intimacy is lost or if distance builds between people! People are talking (rather blabbering) whatsoever! That’s more than glad! If you want warmth in your relationships, closeness with people of your life, and enliven the spirits, probably one should just go for it. Put your heart to it and do it. Online or offline. It’s not the means, it’s always the place where you make upto! Just wanted to say, to all those intellectual freaks, who lecture about how technology seeped into human relationships and fucked it up. How whiny is that! You don’t even know to guard your own mind and soul, and blame it all on the mind-less soul-less technology! It’s not gonna blame you back afterall!

But certainly, there’s one thing I greatly despise or find upsetting about the turn of events as such. These emoticons! Truly annoying! I’d rather say, misunderstood, misused and that’s such a mishap! Nobody ever fully gets what the other person tries to convey with a combination of colon, semi-colon, paranthesis and p’s and d’s and o’s! It’s been of such extensive use that it no longer means anytging. Well, use them anyway. I do too. They are the ice-breakers and once in a while, funny too. But I am sad how my smiles don’t pass by this. I put a : followed by a ) coz I actually really genuinely love to smile. And when I say keep smiling, I totally mean that. In the havoc of millions of colourful and disgusting smileys, I wish 🙂 could win the throne back and be the master of all smileys! Bring the pioneer back, I say! Back then, with the smiling face, was the only time we could actually communicate ’emoticons’ without confusion! A sad face, once in a while, was fine too!

Now thinking of it, ‘Keep smiling!’ was the motto of my school. The school that laid that basic blocks of my morale and principles. Wonder why it took me so long to assimilate the thought! Everytime, I saw that writing on the black board, I was wondering what’s up with the grown ups! Why would they even teach us to be escapists, run away from life, and ignore problems and just keep smiling? But now, at 21 years of age, I feel like Buddha! Like, the meaning just revealed to me. Like, all that I ever wanted was just buried so deep in my mind, next to a school girl’s confused thoughts! The answer reveals itself and it’s all in the smile. Putting it short, the whole deal here is that, when I tell you (you being my online conversation partner) ‘Keep smiling’, I most genuinely mean it. More than words.

Smile away!

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Happy birthday to me!

Nah, it’s nowhere close. My birthday is way over. But looking back from this precise moment, that was one of the only best thing that happened to me recently, making me want to find goodness in every other thing! It’s like this one good day, promising you to give more, making you want more. I had cake! Yay! (Doesn’t matter I shared it with the cousin, whose birthday falls the same day! That WAS the fun after all!) I had midnight birthday wishes! Again Yay! I had wake up calls. Again Yay! I even had a total surprise birthday ‘mug’ with my photo in it. Gifted my cousin-childhood_friend-buddy-my-lechu! And yay is just not enough there! And the surprise birthday card, which technically was the only one this year! And not to forget, I had two full big yummy ‘chocolat’y ‘silk’y heaven, all for myself! Besides all, I had a surprisingly relieving conversation with an old pal! She didn’t talk much. But whatever little we spoke, the spirit of it stays alive to the moment and gives me a all-new drive to life! And there I said ‘Same to you’ to devi akka when she wished me! We missed it all these years perhaps! As if it wasn’t enough, I have a niece now, born with me, 21 years delayed!

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Birthdays have been more good to me in the past. Much better than this years’, where I was away from family and loved ones. But this one seems more special. May be coz it’s the 21th! May be coz it’s the one surviving 2012! May be it could be so many other things. But most of all, I think it was special, coz it was the only good thing, in a long time now. The most beautiful flower is the one that blooms in the face of a catastrophe! Symbolising survival! I survived. Yay!

P. S. Oh wait a min! Did I forget to mention the new Olympus 620! All thanks Vidya! Amma and appa just flipped me out this time! 🙂

Innisai!

Music has always been this ‘thing’ to me, though I hardly sing or relate to anything musical about it.  But I am still a music fanatic! I liked music all the way but the sudden passion rised in me ever since I drifted into Tamil music. Innisai! That TV programme in Kairali WE channel is what so much boosted my liking and passion for Tamil, and music in general. Back then, it was during my high school, that I got so engrossed into this awesome stream of music, and the programme was anchored by a bearded guy who talked a lot about Tamil music, authoritatively. I loved him for he said all the good things about music, and appreciated the same lines of the song as I did, and related to the same notion about each song and singer. It was a time where I had no other access to songs other than TV. Away from cousins and Malayali/Tamilian friends, with no internet, my only source was at 4pm every Fridays. And the compromises I had to comply with my little sister, to get that time slot with TV!

Over time, things have changed. A lot about music. A lot about the sources to new songs. I no longer watch Sun Music for latest Tamil songs. There was a time I used to wait for them to stop their lecture and play the song. But now, when everything’s just a click away, I am missing more than what I did long back. I have no clue about latest releases, let alone songs/singers/lyricists/composers! And things hit me real hard yesterday in the theatre when I realised what I’ve been missing all the way. Such a famous movie, such famous composers. And yet I hadn’t bothered to click on a download link. What all awesome music might have I already missed in this pointless rush of the moribund routine! If not for the movie, I would have just never heard this song that I so fell in love with. Already heard it a hundred times, in less than a day’s time!

Soon back with a bunch of songs that touched, changed and ruled my life, from the past!

Daivamundu!

All of a sudden, I say daivamundu. (God is there!) Not that I was an atheist. Not that I was disciple of any form of worship either. Was it like I was almost slipping down the cliff of agnostic thoughts? Well anyway, life has just taken me over and lifted me from the fall, with an amazing ease and splendor. Now, this moment, I am a believer. That someone is definitely watching over all the drama. I don’t pray yet. I don’t attend religious gatherings. I don’t make offerings. But I am a believer. I don’t believe in the give-and-take policy with God. God is supposed to be infinitely more supreme. When even I have the heart to help a total stranger held in trouble, wouldn’t God have the heart for it? When I don’t curse somebody for their ingratitude, why would God’s wrath may even be considered plausible? Nobody’s gonna make you ill if you forgot the 1008 thenga (coconuts) for Ganapathy! Come on, Ganapathy is not our villain. He’s the vignavinashaka (problem solver) of our lives! Why are Gods and Goddesses and all other form of deities picturised as scary, wrathful, scornful beings?

Faith is an over exploited commodity when it comes to religions and spiritual manifestations of it. You do the Navagrahahomam and the Ganapathihomam. If its breaking your financial stability, why do you still insist on the Bhagavathiseva too? Afraid that Devi would burn your life into ashes? What kinda faith is it, blindly performing the rituals, out of fear of condemn! I am not against religious rituals and activities. In fact, ever since childhood, that has always been the occasion of family gathering, lot of delicacies, lot of fun and frolic. Growing up, understanding the concept of the rituals, I am all the more approving of the nobility of the religious expressions. But things feel terribly awkward and ridiculous, when people tend to forget the fundamental idea that lead them to the initiation of such rituals.

Ah! All that seemed overboard for my scope of knowledge and experiences in such matters. Something triggered and I just couldn’t stop. Adding to the urge, the liberation of not having my parents around reading this, and prosecuting me for my spiritual ignorance, really boosted up the writing. Not to forget what I started off with, Daivamundu. But, Faith in fellow beings might speed up you revelation of it though! 🙂

English Vinglish!

Why do I do this? I so much dislike this practice of mine, where I use movie names as my blog titles! Why do I do this then? To increase the blog hit over search engine redirections? I don’t think I even knew of such a thing, until recently. May be it’s my simple liking for the movie? What about this particular one then? I’ve not seen ‘English Vinglish’! So may be, my affinity to movie titles may simply be as they somehow can be viewed associated to the actual things that happen around.

I am a Tamilian by birth. Brought up as a Malayali, often. Educated in English medium. Obviously, suggesting that I am pretty fluent in the three languages. Of course, there’s Hindi. And Sanskrit. And Kannada. Languages that I was exposed to, at various points of life, but could never gain enough fluency in. Language is just a medium to communicate. Conveying your thoughts to someone else, who might be interested, is the whole point. And the choice on the medium of communication,i.e. language, is often made based on the comfort levels of the involved parties, unless there’s a situational specification to it. But in the current scenario ‘here’, what we see is a totally stupid and twisted English drama! Like English is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to humanity! English is a good language. Awesome I must say, considering the ease of conveying intense emotions in simple words. Most of us would find it too much better and relieving to yell and shout at somebody in English, than in our own mothertongue. Coz it feels less intense and rude.You’d want to propose to someone in English, coz that takes away a good portion of the embarrassment. You’d want to dial up a Home Delivery service or go to a Customer Care Centre and talk in English, coz that’d keep the conversation shorter and crispier. And trust me, things get done easier and sooner, when you accentuate your tone!

But beyond all this, at some point all you wanna hear and cherish is your own language, in which you uttered your first words to the world. And definitely, from some people, you can’t even think of hearing any other tongue! That mishap was today! When someone screamed at the top of their voice, ”But is it lighting??”. For the record, that was a concern about the tube light. I didn’t want to laugh. It was not as funny as it was pitiful. Why do people put so much effort in mastering a language like it’s the end of the world! English Vinglish bina kya life! Indeed.

Janaganamana!

The national anthem of our country India is Janaganamana…, contributed to the nation by Rabindranath Tagore. Its sung at almost all occasions of public gathering, as the dispersal siren. And on all National days, like today the Republic day, and so many other similar days. It is composed to be sung taking 52 seconds, not running too fast with the tempo, nor too dragging. It’s an element of reverence that we pay to the country, at all social instances, by standing upright, at attention, without moving about for that 52 seconds, singing along with pride and respect. Disrespect to it is considered a serious offence against the country’s integrity.

See! I know a lot of stuff about our national anthem. I could go on to write a more detailed essay on that, like we all would have in high school. But to my greatest private embarrassment and shock, this morning, I realised I’ve forgotten the National Anthem! Half way thru the recital of it, after the flag hoisting at mom’s office, I was privately feeling dumb. How could I just forget the lines and be so blank! I used to sing it twice everyday for a great majority of time in my life. For some long 12 years of schooling, my days started/ended with this very same tune! So now when I think, when was the last time I ever sang the anthem? Can’t connect too many loose ends and relate to any specific occasion. Was it back then at school, during one of those final morning assemblies?

Its disturbing. I can’t identify the things I lost/forgot. This should be what they euphemistically address as metamorphosis. May be this is just a phase. And this too shall pass. But nonetheless, it continues to disturb. What all am I actually missing in this process of growth and living this up! The anthem. I compensated by playing it over and over in my brain; rewind and replay! Will all things be this easy to redeem? Obviously. 🙂

In the going!

So now finally, when 2012 is in the going, what’s more important to me? Welcoming the New Year and stepping into 2013 with grace and certitude are all part of my schedule. But, as I said, what’s the most important thing? Its actually winding up 2012 in as good a note as possible by me, for myself. 2012 was a nightmare. Don’t take me for a person who whines this at every New Year Eve. The past year was that bad. 2012! This is what I want to do. Guess I just did it and I am so much more at peace with myself now. The past year must be wrapped in a box, tight and secure. I don’t want it to ever repeat and seep into the future, that begins in less than an hour.

I have a lot to say about 2012. I can list out the points, where I failed, how I lost, what I lacked. But I am sure that won’t help improve my New Year. They were tough days. And tough lessons. And tougher punishments, everytime I failed to assimilate them. I’d rather not take such a rigid course! There’s nothing I carry over from the past, into my future. There are no big anticipations. No ceremonious beginning of the year. No hopes attached anywhere. Its just another night. To wake into another morning. Nothing changes with the sun rise. Change is a matter of more substance than dawn and the light. I am not pessimistic here. I am not expecting the worst out of tomorrow, or the days that follow, making 2013. I am being the realist once again. The one that I was, before the onset of the mishap called 2012. I can deal with life, without fancy dates associating to it.

This year. This day. This moment is what I feared I’d never survive. I am thru with ’em all! What more to stop me! I survived. I stood thru today. And that inspires me to live thru tomorrow. Today is the day I feared yesterday! And today turns out to be just another, and over before I even knew it. With a handful of decisions (resolutions sound silly beyond tolerance) to revamp LIFE, I stil claim, ‘No hopes attached’! Hoping to stay detached from hopes. 😛

Payanangal mudivathillai!

Every time, I go travelling with my parents, the one thing that stays is the decision that *that* would be the last trip. But every next time, I am still travelling with them, with the same thought over and over. Payanangal mudivathillai. The journey never ends. But somehow this time, I am looking forward to more of these trips. I almost realise that I have always loved them anyway. Or may be, over the years, they just got better and better.

The one reason I probably love it may be is that, we always travel to Tamil Nadu. North or south or central. It will always be some part of the state. And I so much love this land, the people, the culture, the language, the temples, the all-night awake streets. I so much love being here. And every trip gives me strange experiences. The old lady who invites me to the seat next to hers, worrying if I hadn’t notice the vacant seat. The intimate addressing from total strangers, building innocent associations, genuine despite their transience. The down to earth aura that comes so innate with locale. The senthamizh that flows so fluently. The mallikai vaasam, from the jasmine clad women. The busy street and the crowd like nomads, stranded and lost, or often mesmerised and stunned by the glow of consumerism. The shopkeepers call out, coaxing you into buying stuff and endorsing even undergarments! The street vendors yield to bargain to any unimaginable level, and offer ‘special’ interest and discount to ‘all’ their ‘special’ customers, if you care enough to talk and build a rapport, of some identifiable measure. Nobody keeps trade secrets here! I was surprised how that old man explained the exact mix of his beyond perfect filter coffee! Was he so sure I’d never replicate it or did he just not care! There’s more to a coffee than just buying and sipping thru. There’s relishing a coffee and personally appreciating the taste to the old man who made it for you. “Coffee pramadham!”.

And today’s pivotal joint in our itinerary was Nellaiyappar Temple, Tirunelveli. The temple, in one word, is a maze. I am so surprised by the sheer awesomeness in the architecture. Not just for the sculptures, or the Saptaswara pillars,(where you here the seven swaras of Carnatic music, by the clang of each stone pillar, that vibrates like they were strings of a veena). Its a maze that they have built up there. The numerous doors at every passage, that leads to another set of numerous doors to numerous deities and sculptures. You don’t get lost there coz the most inviting paths are the most trodden direct paths, circling the temple in the shortest route. But if you choose to enter every next door you see, you’re probably to end up in some dark enclosed space with vermillion spread forms of Gods, with unknown names. I should probably upload a pic or two of the temple, to elaborate the greatness of the expanse. Looking forward to a similar mind blowing episode tomorrow, at Tiruchendur Murugan sannidhi!