Tuesday, May 30, 2006

An ant is possibly half an inch long and maybe a tenth of an inch wide, by a wild guess. A normal human foot would be, say a foot long with the footwear, twelve inches that is and about three inches wide. Approximately, the surface area of a human feet should be 1000 times more when compared to that of an ant. And when you think how many humans can attend a concert in an open air auditorium, it is a pretty dismal state for an ant.

And yet, there is this ant, not more than a few centimetres away from my chair that scuttles along with some very obvious purpose known perhaps only to itself. In a given interval of say a minute, at least 10 people walk through that area, each of them coming perilously close to squashing the ant.

And yet the ant scurries. The ant might not know mathematics and probability, but the odds of it getting squashed are very high. But it does not get squashed. Beyond mathematics and physics, the ant (and the world around it) obeys a superior set of laws. The law of purpose.

This ant here has a definite purpose that drives it to scurry from across my chair towards the post. It might be a basic survival urge of hunting for food. It might be that there is an ant doctor living on the other side who has to be fetched for an emergency. It might be that the movement of this ant might cause a disturbance in the atmosphere that might in cascading cause climactic changes. It might be just that the ant has to go pick up its mother-in-law from the other side failing which it'll be eaten by its wife. But there is a designated purpose for this movement, no matter how small. And till that purpose is not completed, the ant shall not be squashed. Even if there were meteors, glaciers, avalanches, SUVs and nuclear explosions running amock all over the place, this tiny ant here shall survive it all. And that survival shall be done in a plainly explicable fashion - no miracles.

Now, if suppose the ant knew for every action of its' this is the rule that governs it - if the action has a definite designated purpose, no matter what obstacles might come, the action shall be completed. Even if the ant by itself gets obiliterated, the action shall be completed in one way or the other. Destruction therefore does not limit the ant in its actions. With this knowledge, would an ant then have fear? Fear of failure/death?

The ant is free with this knowledge. The knowledge that death would not lead to its failure and neither will failure mean death of a purpose. It is clearly aware that there is a Mother, a Sakthi who is behind this universe driving every iota of action in it for Her purpose. It is aware that this Sakthi will never let even a tniy insignificant ant fail in the purpose it has been given. While this Mother is immensely benevolent when guiding the ant to its goal, She is also equally impassive in removing the ant once its purpose is completed. It's in fact not even cold justice on Sakthi's part. In fact nothing could be more merciful because even to an ant, life without a purpose would seem infinitely ardurous.

If such be the case with an ant, then so be it with everything in the universe - the Sun, the Moon, the rivers, the fields, the crows, the pigs, the tigers, men, women, children, knowledge, love, hunger, pain... everything, living, non-living, abstract, concrete obeys this single law. They exist for a purpose and they shall do so till that purpose is served. Their existence till the purpose is served cannot be affected by any means, however perilous their life might seem.

How different am I from this ant? I too scurry along hunting for food, protect my loved ones, procreate, have my pain and joy and then one day be squashed. How many vehicles come close to running me over on the road? How many bombs/shootings happen in very close proximity to me? In the air that I breathe, in the water that I drink and food I eat, how many fatal diseases almost enter me? In the given 24 hours of a day, how many possible ways are there to end my life without my even trying to do so? How many children are born dead? How many children never see the spring of youth?

I have seen much more in this world in a day than possibly many will see in a lifetime. From some perspective, perhaps, it makes no sense for Sakthi to continue this existence of mine. A loose nut in the bike that I drive, a loose electric cable in my path, an open gas regulator in my house - it is really easy. And yet, I do not die. Because there is a purpose to this life which has not yet been completed.

The ant might not be aware of its purpose. But it scurries on, in what might appear as a mechanical fashion. So too shall I scurry on with this life of mine. The entails of my actions, the purpose of this life might never be revealed to me. But that is not of consequence. A goal exists and the goal shall be achieved by what I do in this life. The goal is true, the path that leads to the goal is equally true, though the exact nature of the goal and the path can perhaps never be understood or described.

Life in effect would be a charted journey. A happy adventure through blossoms of spring and the winds of winter. An adventure just like those that come in children's stories, where the children always end up happily ever after. Death in effect would be a joyous end. A moment of repose in Her embrace after having completed the task. And yes, children, be it in stories or in life always live happily ever after.

That is because they do not know of death in the sense we adults know it. To them it is perhaps father not coming home from office for a long time, pAtti's chair being empty for a long time, Lakshmi no longer running with the cowhand chasing her. It simply means to them something that had been happening for quite sometime now is not happening anymore. It might be because father's office got shifted to the skies, pAtti has gone to have a private interview with her Krishna, Lakshmi has found a better store of hay and milk in some paradise. It is because, something better has happened to someone, because they finished their game and are now playing a better one in a better field.

This then shall be the mantram, the truth, the Holy Word. That we shall live as long as we desire, as long as our purpose is incomplete. That we shall achieve this purpose in spite fo how much we are deterred because our Mother, parAsakthi is abundant in love. That our actions, our immediate need might change by Her will because it does not take us close to our desire, our purpose. That She and She alone shall guide and carry us through Her love. That our servitude and allegiance is only with Her will. That She is the path and the goal laid out as truth. And this above all, that we shall move on once our goal is achieved.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Man, The Legend

Yesudoss, the singer is only well known to us. Most of us have grown up listening to him waking us up with 'Adithya hrudyam punyam' in the morning and going to sleep with his 'kaNNE kalaimAnE'. But at the concert in Coimbatore last week, he showed why he is much much greater than just a singer. Let me recall certain incidents.

We had a rather irritating compere at the concert - the modern RJ/VJ kinds who make more noise and attempts to hog more attention than the actual performer. (For heaven's sakes she actually hooted twice after Yesudoss finished a melody piece! Sigh!) And as is the norm today, she shouted and crooned for more applause every time someone came on stage/every time Yesudoss finished singing ('Come on Coimbatore, ivvaLO thAnA Coimbatore applause, etc.,). The second time she did that, Yesudoss with his dulcet voice said 'amma, athellAm appdi kEttu vAnggak kUdAthu ma. avangga mansAra ennai pArAttindu thAn irukkA. antha vibration illainAA ennAla paada mudiyAthu. athanAla appadi ellAm kettundu irukkAthE.' Brilliant! (Of course the compere hooted for this as well..)

Yesudoss at the start of the concert (which was being held for a noble cause) mentioned something about how there were no beds in the hospital in Cochin where he was born and how his mother suffered at birth. In the middle of the concert, the sponsors came with a cheque offering that it be used for getting 10 new beds at that hospital. Our man did not as much take the cheque in his hands and said that he will speak to the hospital officials and ask them to collect the cheque directly.

Then again, there was an anecdote about how he was almost offered the AsthAna gAyakan of Kerala state (Again, when the compere asked the meaning of AsthAnam, you should have been there to see how he explained it.). Following this, the organizers again offered him a gold chain and the title of konggu AsthAna something (don't remember). Yesudoss, did not as much put the gold chain on his neck before saying that the chain should be used for the cause for which he came and that he only intended to sing for this cause and would want nothing more.

The clincher however came later. Our beloved compere by now had lost all sense of shame and when Yesudoss finished one more beautiful song, she hooted at the top of the voice that ‘She loved and desired him’. Let us think of this. This man on stage is a 66 year old man who has led a career without a single mark or blemish. The way he treats music and life and his principles are very very noble. Wouldn't someone's tongue tremble before they make such audacious statements?

But our man gently replied saying that 'You are pretty courageous. I'm glad for you that my wife is not here.' Following this, the compere once again babbled some mindless stuff before saying, 'Ok, I'll go back stage now.' Our man simply said 'That would be the best thing to do.'

But it was not over yet. The following piece was a rendition of iLaya nilA pozigiRathu by a member of the orchestra. The guitar for this piece was played excellently by a girl of about 11-12 years. After she finished it, Yesudoss got the mike and, 'ungga ellArukkum oru periya artistai introduce panna poREn.' Gets the girl in forward. 'ivangga thAn intha pAttukku guita vAsichAngga. adakkamA kai kAl sEshtai illAma guitar mathiram vAsichAngga. guitar vAsikkarathai thavira vera ethellAmo panni attention create pannalai. ippadi thAn vAsikka veNdum.'

Of course the compere as usual hooted ignorant of what was happening.

Some other highlights

1. Yesudoss never allowed anybody (other than very very small kids) to fall at his feet on stage.

2. While the rather unnecessary felicitations where going on with the wives, sons, brothers, brother-in-laws and onnu vitta chiththappAs of various dignitaries, Yesudoss waited patiently backstage. He did not come forward and join the mutual flattery on stage.

3. When Yesudoss appreciated and gave compliments to the young child singers on stage, he did so in a manner that made the kid feel happy while at the same time making sure that it didn’t get into the head.

To summarize the whole thing, I've been to a few concerts, both light music and classical. I've listened to a few excellent pieces that mark as sheer genius in terms of creativity. But here's a man who shows us that it is not just music or not just art, but beyond that sincerity and being true to what one believes.

I bow to you sir! Hats off to Yesudoss!

Monday, May 22, 2006

She's all ready!

Sorry for the late post.

But Alvibest is all ready and dressed up! I'm sure most of you guys must have already looked at Her. In case you haven't, then maybe you need to send a mail to subscribe.alvibest@gmail.com!

Monday, May 15, 2006


She is a shy timid girl, not more than fourteen years old. The first bud of youth's spring is just about to peek from her eyes. Her body and more importantly mind is opening to ideas, passions, pleasures and pains which had hitherto remained unknown.

She opens her timid doe-like eyes and looks at the world with anxiety and anticipation. Her eyes grow wider with the eyelashes entwining like lovers. Her lower lips quivers often, a bud that shall soon blossom into a flower and ripen into a fruit. The celerity of puerility is replaced with the grace of puberty.

She looks at her own reflection in the mirror with awe. Everyday she gazes on with pride and desire as spring lends her colour, charm and gaiety to her body. She admires the buds that someday will gush with life someday. She stands there in front of her mirror and everyday a new secret, a new mystery is revealed to her.

She charms, entices and lures without her knowledge. She looks about with the innocence of a jasmine washed in the summer rain as the bees hum around her softly. When she does realize her power, the attraction she wields, she blushes a crimson red. Her blood rises to her cheeks filling it with life and passion.

She stands at the threshold of her youth. The garden of passion lies open in front of her eyes. Her feet however linger behind in the playground of maidenhood. She stands there like the evening, neither here nor there. A little shadow, a little light. A little innocence, a little desire. A bud on the threshold of blossom. That is what she is.

She is the Sandhya, the twilight. She is Mohana - the innocent and seductive Mohana who is on the threshold of blossoming...forever.

She can be seen here.

P.S. Thanks to V for inspiring this post.

Friday, May 5, 2006

எந்தன் அன்னை

கதிரே எந்தன் அன்னை - ஞானப்
புதிரே எந்தன் அன்னை - அசைவின்
சதிரே எந்தன் அன்னை - எந்தன்
எதிரே எந்தன் அன்னை

ஒளியே எந்தன் அன்னை - விரியும்
வளியே எந்தன் அன்னை - வாழ்வின்
அளியே எந்தன் அன்னை - சாவின்
களியே எந்தன் அன்னை

சுடரே எந்தன் அன்னை - பேரின்பப்
படரே எந்தன் அன்னை - வலிதரும்
இடரே எந்தன் அன்னை - உடலின்
குடரே எந்தன் அன்னை

தழலே எந்தன் அன்னை - பேராசைச்
சுழலே எந்தன் அன்னை - வினையின்
உழலே எந்தன் அன்னை - கருணை
நிழலே எந்தன் அன்னை