Sunday, 22 March 2020

My brush with lockdown(s)

I am not unfamiliar to lockdowns. I remember my first lockdown - it was in April 2011, a month before I was to get married. I was down with chicken-pox. I know that it does mean a big setback in terms of wedding shopping and all that jazz but it was bliss in disguise of a disease. I was brought back from the place I was teaching during that time - Tiruvarur by a special car which was hired by my mother. After I set foot at home in Chennai - it was quarantine till the shiny balls disappeared. I lived sans bath, sans spice and sans mirror - you would know the usuals if you had experienced chicken-pox. But the icing on the cake was that I MISSED most of MY wedding shopping, which was done kindly by my dear mom and sister. Those were the days of no Whatsapp so no videos and photos of clothes could be sent; My sister would call me and describe the design to the best of her abilities and I without even listening, would remark, "Buy whatever you feel would look good on me." So much so for my wedding shopping. The best part  comes now - juices to coll my body down, not to mention the buttermilk and tender coconut water! Bland food did not appeal much but I saw that as a detox. My skin and hair looked healthy, my complexion revived, my mind was clear and before I forget, I completed reading a book (not advisable) which was catching dust in my modest library.

Today's lockdown is different - Of course I am cooped up at home, which is not unusual but I am devoid of the luxury of getting food and drinks served at my bed side. I cooked, cleaned and did a bit of reflecting and was generally a relaxed home body wondering about the next area to be cleaned or next book to be read. But the feeling of quiet has seeped in but I also have a niggling thought on stocking up of essentials in case Goa decides to extend the lockdown of today.

You see, I don't have my mother to worry about those aspects.

Hope you have been well and content in times as these.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Going on . . .

Sometimes, I wondered aloud in class that we were a generation which hasn't witnessed any major wars, plagues and life-turning events. I didn't know whether it was good or bad because I have often heard my parents and grandparents discuss events like the Indo-Chinese war, Independence, Emergency and so on. I wondered how it would seem to be living in the midst of crises yet going on with life and living. I should acknowledge the fact that there was no social media to escalate the range of the events but even then, I had imagined the fear in the air which seeped into the minds.

Then 2019 and 2020 came along bringing some traumatic and fearsome events, which perhaps would be my share of anecdotes for future narration.

The anti-CAA agitations across the country

The riots of Delhi

The fear mongering messages across the capital

Corona Virus

These events have not entered my circle of geographical location but it has definitely seeped into my mind and the people's collective unconscious. Being a minority has given me my own fears and having dear ones travelling has triggered a COVID-19 scare. I assume that these kind of fear would have accosted the minds of my people when there were events happening in the country even though they were far removed from the circumference of the danger zone. Of course, for viruses and wars, the fear is a collective one which is evenly spread and quite panic-ridden.

I know that this would pass but living in these times is like the unknown fear which torments and asks one to rise up and act.

Friday, 17 January 2020

2020 Meanderings

2020 began with thoughts of decades, achievements and general goodwill. Social media was ablaze with the Citizenship Amendment Act and its implications - sometimes it felt as if Apocalypse was at the doorstep so much so that it did not feel like one was heralding a brand new year. It is a new decade and year nevertheless. A new year, no matter what, engages one in introspection and a sense of beginnings. If you are of the reflective kind, then the old giving way to new holds the tugs of your heart's strings and coerces you to look back and forward.

I was thankful for 2019 on a personal level while I was in trepidation about the general happenings around me and my country. While my heart was overflowing with the turn of events in my life, I was unable to savour them because my country was reeling under protests of CAA and related issues. The economy of my country worries me in spite of me not being an economist. Can one be happy about something when the country is at a loss for common sense?

But hope is a good thing and I have it flowing in abundance out of the depths of my being and as long as it is present, I could gladly look forward to 2020.

How was it for you?

May we face the coming year, 2020, with the steady serenity of a tree — that supreme lover of light, always reaching both higher and deeper, rooted in a network of kinship and ringed by a more patient view of time.
(Via Brain Pickings)

Picture Courtesy: Blogger's archive

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Sharing and caring - The internet caring of the Walayar minor sisters' tragedy

An incident that happened in 2017 was but known only to the people in Kerala and it was passed as another incident that routinely makes to the news. This is what our news channels have done to us - number our minds to the sensitive issues and rendered us immune to the atrocities that happen to 'others.'

October-November 2019:

The Walayar minor sisters' rape and subsequent death in 2017 has been risen from the ashes when the court acquitted the suspects. The judgement left the people of Kerala and others quite sullen and angry and this disdain for the judicial system has found many creative expressions. One such is the musical tribute to the girls who were subjected to torture and pain.

The description and lyrics below are sourced from one such music video from Youtube.

രണ്ടു പെൺ കുഞ്ഞുങ്ങളെ കെട്ടിത്തൂക്കിയതിൽ മനംനൊന്തു കുറെ പെൺകുട്ടികൾ അഴക് കാട്ടി പ്രതിഷേധിച്ചു. മാനത്തു അമ്പിളിക്കലയിൽ ഒരു കയർ താഴത്തു ചെളിക്കുണ്ടിൽ ഇരപിടിയൻ ചെടിയിൽ പൂവും. (U.A. Manoj) Few children displayed their beauty to express their distress over the two young sisters who were hung. Up in the sky a rope tied t the crescent Down in the marsh the carnivorous plant has bloomed. Credits: "Walayarile Penkuttikalkku" Lyrics: U. A. Manoj Music and Orchestration: Rayson K. Alex and Joel Fernando Vocals: Rayson K. Alex Flute and Mixing: Joel Fernando Video Editing: Jitesh and Vel Kumar Art: Mangesh Concept, Visual Direction and Camera: Abraham N. James Production Controller: Reeja Rajan Thanks to Ajesh and S. Susan Deborah Some reports on this brutal incident and acquittal of the accused that is shaking Kerala:

Friday, 25 October 2019

You will always be the one I'm thinking about when somebody asks me who I'm thinking about . . .

You will always be the one I'm thinking about when somebody asks me who I'm thinking about . . .

Merrit Malloy


(from The People Who Didn't Say Goodbye)

Why is it that you wanted me more on
the night I was leaving
than you ever wanted me

Does pain bring people
closer together than

Are we more afraid of
living together than of
dying alone

Does distance unite people more deeply
than familiarity?

It is as though our hunger
is to be hungry and our real need is
to be missed

It's no accident that the songs
that sell the most
are sad 

One Of The First Things We Have To Learn

No matter how long she held on
to those people she lost
No matter how hard she tried
to get them back
Not one of them ever
returned to her

We must be careful
not to relinquish our future
to people who won't
be there

One of the first things
we have to let go of
is not being able to
let go of

I Won't Call Him

Knowing what you need
Is more than knowing what you want.

It's a kind of clear-eyed wisdom
To see what is worthless
Its touching on someone
Who you know won't turn away.
It's reaching for something
That's really worth the climb.
And it's learning to let go
When it isn't.

Knowing what you need
Is more than knowing what makes you feel good right now.
It's knowing that the same thing
Will make you feel good again.
I won't call him.

Something You Can Count On

I want to tell you
in a few words
what I could not tell you
in too many

I want you to know
that it will be hard
to live without you

You will always be the one
I'm thinking about
when somebody asks me
who I'm thinking

Monday, 15 July 2019


The word melancholy is a better word than sad, don't you think so? Sad seems to convey the state of mind but melancholia conveys the state of the being when sadness accosts the soul. The word could be used in different contexts - when one sees an airplane flying reminding of departures and people who have left, the association of deeper sadness which chokes the inner self but does not affect the visage. Today, when I behold certain photographs tagged with captions that threaten to stir your core, you experience melancholia.




Smouldering cold of the monsoon.

The bitterness of lost moments.

The tugging of heart strings.

You hear melancholy beckoning with open arms except that you want to embrace her without crushing your heart - Alas! impossible.

Are you melancholic tonight? Who or what is your companion or are you lost within yourself?


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