Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Learn to cry

Learn to cry, my darling
Feel the pain as though it pierces your skin

Show your anger with violent kicks
Shudder at the injustice that prevails in to-be home

Let not the love and care I shower on you,
Make you dumb or your senses numb

Learn to get angry, my dear…
Feel the rage as though you are boiled alive

Cry your heart out for the butchery done on lives even as young as you are
Scream your lungs out for the incredible terror unleashed in the name of discrimination
Your first cry to this world means all this to me and more…

Once you’re born, I shall shelter you, care for you,
Try all my might that no pain touches you…
For I won’t then have the courage to speak thus to you…
But life is not so fair as to many other babies

I’ll tend you like a rose bud,
Treat you like a sweet-smelling herb,
But my innermost desire is that,
To see you as the firewood that sets ablaze
A whole load of muck and tripe

Friday, December 07, 2007

Books and Me

It's common knowledge that a good book is a good friend, and avid readers need no convincing about the pleasures of reading.

However, I would like to share my own experiences with books, and how they have been filling up empty or languid moments in my life, whenever they manage to seep through.

I started reading at the age of five. I was lucky to have parents who cherished books, and had quite a good collection of children's story books, both in Tamil and English - ranging from the colorful mega-size Soviet books to old editions of Tamil children magazines, most of them, of course read and dog-eared by my eldersister and brother.

As a child, I often fell ill, and had to stay at home. That's when I was introducted to these treasures, and didn't I relish them!

Soon, I began looking forward to falling sick, so I would be allowed to stay in bed and read.

The thing is - I developed this habit of re-reading umpteen times the stories I liked. Those days. I used to practically live in the world of the stories I read and loved best. The best times in my childhood were the quiet afternoons (when I was not out, playing) I spent among a plethora of Misha, Ratnabala, Manipaapa, and Ambulimama. Ah, how I still long for those days! Hours after I finished reading, I would day-dream about the stories, insist on telling them out to others, often to the point of being irritating!

Rainy days and breezy afternoons always remind me of the lovely books I spent reading then. It's really difficult to say what was that I loved most - the weather, or those books?

When I read "Little Women", I imagined myself to be one of the sisters, and my favorite place in our verandah - Jo's garret! And any place my sister took me would become Sally Gardiner's party! Now what did I enjoy more? - those outings with my sister or the pretence that we were those "little women"? It's hard to say.

And Enid Blyton soon became my greatest addiction. She wrote about almost all things children can hardly resist. Picnics, lakes, woods, fairies, pixies, adventures, circus, fun at schools, and many many more, always sprinkled with mentions about delicious food! No wonder her books got me hooked real hard.

But such bliss gradually began to wane out as years passed by and I became a wee bit more practical. Of course, this could largely be due to the kind of books I choose to read now. You see, they are no longer filled with fairies, picnics, adventures, and beautiful descriptions of cozy houses, or picturesque landscapes.

But the habit of wallowing in what I read continues. That's why I tend to be careful about what I choose to read now. And that's why I stay away from sensational books or tabloids. Graphic descriptions of violence and other horrors haunt me more than anybody I know of.
So, while I want to be socially aware, and read newspapers and magazines, I take great caution not to indulge in the sensationalism of the media.

Time for tea? Time for two!

Lone lunches have never been uncommon or unpleasant. Even when work has kept your nose to the grindstone all through the morn, if you just...