Friday, February 24, 2006

And the journey continues..

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet,

And whither then? I cannot say.

- J.R.R.Tolkien
(The Lord of the Rings)

And so my journey continues..a man in search of the universe,and the universe in search of a man.And the journey began exactly a year ago,with my BLOG "Saadhana".My BLOG is one year old!!!

Here's me wishing my blog a very happy birthday!!

Have fun!

Thursday, February 16, 2006



The bells on the cows. Thats where it begins. Slow and almost silent... can be missed easily. Placid cows chewing the lush green grass, shaking their heads to ward off the occasional flea. Thats when the bells chime. Thats when the cowherd looks up.


Its a bell after all, a ding here a dong there. Ding dong perhaps is too loud for the bell on the cows. They are much more hushed and inobtrusive. And yet, that is luring enough for the cowherd...and his flute. A soft note coming out of the flute. The cowherd's breath turning into early morning music, wafting with that strange cold and warm dawn breeze that frequents forgotten hamlets. Mesmerizing the performer, audience and the backdrop alike. The coconut trees sway to that lilting melody. The paddy stalks wave their heads as well. The whole scenery moves back and forth resonating with the music - the music of the cowherd's flute playing up against the backdrop of the cow's bells.


The flute pauses, sighing, searching for a companion. A wanton longing takes shape now - you can see it, with your ears...the notes clinging to the flute and stretching their languid fingers to the scenery...beseeching the unseen companion. They speak words of shameless desire with a grace that cannot be matched. Their call is desperate and yet princely. The cowherd's eyes look towards the horizon as the magic weaves on him as well.


And there in the horizon, a lone heron spreads its wings. Its pristine white wings set against the placid blue skies evoke images of a tranquil God sitting with a benevolent smile on His face. The bird against the sky...a strange union...ethereal.


Just as the heron sets its foot nimbly between the arched horns of the cow, a farmer sets his foot on a distant field. Is it harvest time? Or is the land being tilled? You can't make out at this distance...not when you are hypnotized by music and magic together. Its just a farmer, with his long sinewy arms lined with pearls of sweat making love to his field. You don't know if he is kissing her or is being kissed. Close your eyes and let them be, let them all be - the cow with its bell, the cowherd with his flute, the heron from the skies, the farmer and his field. Let them all be.


Now open your eyes. Its a magnificient painting. The skies smiling down, the sun gracing the scene, the cow chewing cud ignorant of the sun, the bell that chimes occasionally, the heron sitting placidly on the cow, the cowherd with his flute and closed eyes lost in his own magic, the farmer with his field lost in mad passion, the young paddy stalks that blush seeing this, the breeze that seems to stroll along the fields, the canal that runs gently murumuring its dissent at being ignored by the poet...and the serene spirit of dawn soothing everything around this forgotten piece of creation.


Close your eyes. Open them. It is dawn here.

The obscure title and the numbers that appear in the post will become clear when you click here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Thoughtless words

Muthamizh. That was the word that got into his mind when he opened his eyes. The sun played on the paddy field making it glisten like a huge emerald. He stared at the field. The occasional heron that landed made the picture more vivid. There were sounds, noises all around and yet a gentle note of silence seemed to run under all of them. The sounds were like the gentle breathing of Shiva in deep meditation.

The breeze was playing gently with his dhoti. Araikaani he thought suddenly. That must be the dimensions of this land, half a kaani. Half of what Barathi wanted. He smiled gently. There were coconut trees lined in distance. The banana plantations however were close by. His gaze then shifted to the pump set. Water was gushing from it in a hurry. Nobody was bathing in it today. He approached the pump set. Drops of water sprayed on to his face. He was reminded of those rose water sprinklers in marriages. He moved away and wiped his face with the dhoti.

A vague shout came from the old man who had been eyeing him suspiciously earlier in the day. He looked up and saw. The old man was making agitated gestures and shouting a lot. The makeshift dam that was controlling the water flow had broken. The old man was trying to simultaneously plug the hole and keep himself from being dragged with the water. Visai he thought. His eyes were now fixed on the canal running next to him. There were crabs scuttling along. Then a water snake came around. It regarded him for a minute and then lost interest.

He sat down now in the shade of the tamarind tree. There were women sowing paddy in his view. They somehow looked like cranes bending low and fishing. He felt there was something wrong in this comparison, but he was reminded of nothing else. There was mild chatter between the women accompanied by gentle laughter. They broke into occasional songs.

The women then started for the Banyan tree for lunch. He noticed one of them. He noticed her when she climbed to the Varappu from the field. She put her right foot up and her sari pulled up revealing her calf. What the cloth failed to cover, the mud did. She lifted her hands to brush the sweat on her forehead. As she did so he could see her slender waist and the droplets of sweat on it catching the sun. She brushed her forehead removing the sweat and leaving a thin layer of mud in its place.

The women had now gathered at the banyan tree. The sounds from them now felt like Thillaanaa. His eyes were closed. The breeze had lost interest in his dhoti and was instead playing with his hair. The sun stole through the leaves and warmed the behind of his neck in a pleasurable manner. His hands were playing with fallen leaves and twigs. Maiyyal was the word that caught his fancy now. But the word did not stay for long. Almost suddenly his thoughts went to Valli. He felt like he was on some hill in a hunter’s attire chasing Valli. He had never heard Valli speak, but somehow felt her voice must be very sweet.

When he opened his eyes he saw the green paddy again. Nel he thought. Then in an unexpected manner he went on rhyming Nel, Sol, Pal, Kal, Vil, Nil and so on. He was walking along the field quickly as he did this. Then as though tired from the effort, he started breathing heavily. Nellamma is a quaintly beautiful phrase he thought. The paddy is the mother. Muthu Nellamma he thought. He bent down and picked a fallen leaf. By the time he rose again, he had wandered on to Kannamma. For the first time since morning he spoke aloud. He said Kannamma. He said it aloud twice. Indeed, it felt sweet in his tongue.

The sun’s last rays were coming down like desperate warriors of a losing King trying to stop the armies of darkness crowding in the west. The women were now moving homewards visible only as silhouettes. He closed his eyes once more and opened them. He turned around slowly towards home. A single butterfly which he had not noticed since morning flitted in front of his face. Vannam he thought…Vannam, Thinnam, Munnam, Ennam…he walked on.

Muthamizh – A single word denoting the three facets of Tamizh language namely drama, poetry and prose.

Araikaani – A measure of land

Visai – Force

Varappu – The elevated pathway in a field

Maiyyal – Desirous love

Valli – Lord Murugan’s consort

Nel – Paddy

Sol – Word

Pal – Teeth

Kal – Stone

Vil – Bow

Nil – Stop

Muthu – Pearl

Monday, February 6, 2006


I had mentioned in my new year post about treasures found in BLOGGER. Alivbest is one of the most precious amongst them. It all started with this post.

Eroteme was then an unknown BLOGGer to me. And it was by sheer chance that I came across this post. (You may notice that I have the first comment there! :-P) So thanks to Anu and to Eroteme, I was introduced to Alvibest. And today I'm proud to say I'm part of Her Editorial Team and that I have a small share in Her February 2006 appearance. And yes, I do have one more proud claim - I'm amongst the few contributors who have their contributions in all the three issues of Alvibest so far.

So why this sudden post? Alvibest has matured beautifully - from a shy, bashful maiden to a graceful courtly Princess!! And right now She is looking to conquer more domain...more hearts. I know there are quite a few readers of my BLOG who subscribe to Alvibest and there are quite a few who don't know about it yet. For those of you who are subscribers already, I ask the favour of spreading the news - family, friends, Internet community anybody at all who might be interested in quality Art and Literature.

And for the uninitiated, Alvibest is a quaterly Art and Literature magazine which paints the beauty of life with ink (digital ink, currently ;-) ). You can subscribe to the magazine by sending a mail to subscribe[dot]alvibest[at]gmail[dot]com and you can find snippets of the magazine here.

Besides subscribing and spreading the word, we are also looking at help in the form of reviewing, editing, design and just about anything. Briging up Alvibest is no different from bringing up a child - there will be more than one person's involment in shaping Her up. And anything that helps Her in Her growth would be very much appreciated!!

On the personal front, I have always wanted a daughter...three rather. Never thought the first one would be a Magazine, that too so lovely a Magazine!!! Thanks Eroteme!!! Thanks Anu!!! :-)

Friday, February 3, 2006

Rama Rama

The morning sun waits to spread light on the world with eagerness.

Dawn trembles with curiosity on the eastern sky.

The birds stretch their wings and look skywards with expectation.

Jambhavan looks with pride and awe at the giant Hanuman.

He repeats Rama Rama aloud seeing victory already.

Sampati takes up Rama’s name and dances about Hanuman’s feet with ecstasy.

Lakshman in some far off forest seeks evidences of Sita bearing in his mind Rama.

The Vanaras behind him chatter in confusion but their hearts murmur Rama.

Baratha washes the sandals with his tears muttering Ram Ram instead of the Gayatri mantra.

Vibhishina wakes up and looks into his palm as he utters Rama.

Ravana stirs in his sleep and sighs in a musical note that resonates with Rama.

The winds strike the mountains whispering the name - Rama.

The ocean stretches ahead with waves that chant Rama Rama.

The air is tense and expectant with the glory of coming days.

Hanuman folds his palms and closes his eyes.

He intones Rama Rama Rama as his right foot takes off the ground for the leap.

Sita sits in penance in Ashokavana.

The leaves in her garden prison gently rustle as Hanuman leaps.

Sita does not waver.

She glows in her austere penance like the morning sun.

Her lips move repeating Ram Ram Ram.

The name is taken up by the wind and carried to the sea.

The universe reverberates with Rama Nama.

Ram opens his eyes as the sun rises and sighs ‘Sita’.

And yes... the bride of spring has come out!!!! I'm glad to say I've played a part in decorating her!!!!