Awards and their joy


One of the funniest things I find about myself is that my attitude to life is extremely ambivalent.   I take many issues of life very seriously.  On the other hand, I’m aware of the most profound absurdity that underlies human existence, and this awareness helps me laugh even in the face of disasters.

Right now, I’m laughing at my foot imprisoned in plaster of Paris by the orthopaedist.  While I’d hate to stay put even in heaven for too long, I have learnt to play with the luxury of free time afforded by the present experience.   This blog is part of that playing.

First of all, I must thank three persons with an apology to two of them.  They are: Anjan Roy, Guspazha Chinar, and Umashankar Pandey.  My heart goes out to them for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  Unfortunately, I was not in a position to respond to Anjan and Guspazha because when their nominations came I was on both my feet which carried me from place to place on my regular duties.   I wouldn’t have had the patience to go through the exercises that the nominations demanded.  I tender an unconditional apology to both of them for my reprehensible inefficiency which may be misconstrued as arrogant indifference. 

Now, with whole days and nights at my medically earned disposal, I have decided to put my plastered foot in my mouth and respond to the demands of the latest nomination which comes from a blogger par excellence, Umashankar Pandey.

I’m supposed to start with eleven facts about me.  Since I started this blog with one such fact, I shall now give only ten more.

2.      Books are my best friends (apart from the one woman who tolerates me very patiently).

3.      Let not my icy exterior deceive anyone; there is a lot of fire deep down which can scorch.

4.      I detest with my whole heart any kind of violence perpetrated in the name of gods and religions.

5.      There is a lot of immaturity in me which I would like to project as childlike innocence.

6.      I avoid socialisation whenever I can (lest my projected innocence harm other equally innocent people).

7.      I love my job, teaching, in spite of the government’s and experts’ relentless efforts to stifle the profession.

8.      Writing is my hobby, a pastime.

9.      My dream is to live in a quiet rural area after retirement.

10.  Gadgets, luxury, and other such things don’t fascinate me at all. 

11.  I learnt to laugh at myself very late in life; my life would have been much richer had I learnt it earlier.

I’m now supposed to answer Umashankar’s eleven questions.

  1. Top 4 authors, or photographers, you love

Answer: Dostoevsky, Kafka, Kazantzakis, and G B Shaw

  1. Top 4 Movies

Answer: Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Karate Kid, and a Malayalam movie whose name is Danny if I’m not mistaken.

  1. Top 4 singers/albums

I stopped listening to music long ago.  Even in those days when I used to play music during my leisure, I never had any favourite singers or albums.  I liked country songs and melodious and meaningful Malayalam movie songs.

  1. What would you do if you were to be stopped from writing?

Reading and thinking.  [Preaching too, if I’m permitted!]


  1. Are you in favour of banning books?

Absolutely not.


  1. Are you in favour of capital punishment?

I can tolerate it in certain exceptional cases.


  1. Are you in favour of veils for women, as in hijab?

Absolutely not.


  1. Which is the best translated work (or works) you’ve read?

Kazantzakis’s novels, especially Zorba the Greek


  1. Moments you cherish.

Too personal... pardon me.


  1. Moments you’d rather forget.

The whole of 1996 through 2000!


  1. Is blogging for everyone?

Well, I’m very tolerant.


My nominations for the same award:

1.      Cyber Diary – for the wealth of knowledge

2.      Shalu Sharma Guide to India – for the wealth of passionate insight

3.      Its my walls – for the wealth of pictures

4.      Chayachitrakar – for the wealth of exoticism

5.      Chasing Passions -  for the wealth of imagination

6.      My Yatra Diary – for all wealth from far and wide

7.      The Girls who looked for Rainbows – for the wealth of variety

8.      Panchalibolchi – for the wealth of verse

9.      Sane Randomness – for all the gentle prods

10.  Subho’s Jejune Diet – for both width and depth of perspectives

11. - for the sheer delight of photography

And 11 questions for the nominees:

1.      The holiday destination of your dream?

2.      The most important quality you would expect in your best friend?

3.      What do you like/hate most about your boss?

4.      If you could change one thing about your physical appearance, what would it be?

5.      The person who influenced you the most so far?

6.      Do you think capitalism will soon give way to a new system?  If yes, can you predict [even in the haziest way] what the new system would be like?

7.      Whose company would you choose if you were to be marooned on an uninhabited island for a week?  [You can choose a person or a thing or an animal]

8.      What would be the first thing you do if you are made the dictator of India for a year?

9.      If the devil appears to you [as he did to Dr Faustus, for example] and grant you a boon (a wish), what would you ask for?

10.  If you were to write an autobiography, what would be its title?

11.  If you were to write an autobiography, who would you dedicate it to?




  1. Dear Tom, thanks for nominating me for the Liebster award. Right now I am packing my bags for a a 5 day trip but I will back home on the next weekend and that will be the time, I will "collect" your award.

    Best of luck for your foot.

    I like to believe that everything that happens to us in our lives, happens because at some level we wanted it. So my advice, reflect on why you wanted that foot in a plaster of paris cast! :)

    1. And you are right, Sunil ji. Absolutely. This thought occurred to me in a slightly different way just a day after my fall and the consequent fracture. In fact, I told my wife that something is changing in my life... and I know what it is :)

  2. Thank you very much sir for the award, I'm delighted and highly honored to have received it from you. Loved reading the facts, in fact... I found a lot of myself in those eleven facts highlighted by you. Take care of the fractured leg and thank you for your kind words once again. Truly appreciated :)

    1. Most welcome, Arti. These are the little additional pleasures of blogging, I guess.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Amit. Thanks especially for being there as a constant companion.

    2. Get well soon, pal:) God bless!

  4. Hearty Congrats to you, Matheikal.
    What an honor to be nominated in the company of such prestigious blogs!Feels good. It was wonderful knowing you more...!! Take care of that broken leg and get well soon!
    I need to do this now...have accepted four such nominations in the last two months. Time to return the favors...:))
    Thanks a ton!

    1. Panchali, perhaps what's best about these awards is that we get to know a little better of one another. Glad you're thinking of taking it seriously at least after the fourth nomination. And thanks for that.

  5. Thanks a lot dear Tomichan for your kind appreciation. I do read your very incisive blog posts and really admire you for your high thinking and clarity in expression. But I am too lazy to answer the questions put by you. I am sure, you will get a lot of creative ideas as you are not on the move and wishing you a speedy recovery. Also, Wishing you 'good love and care' from your better half! Thanks

    1. Thanks, Sibi, for the wishes and concern. No issue about your not wanting to answer the questions. Honestly, I wouldn't have either had it not been for my immobilisation.

  6. Though i havent commented on your blog much i wouldnt be lying if i say that i have kept track of your blog for some time now . Maybe thats why , knowing the richness of contents on your blog , I feel overwhelmed by this gesture of yours . My deep felt gratitude sir :)

    As a medical student who has had the opportunity to mould the POP onto many a patients i say that the plaster can do wonders if left undisturbed for the stipulated period of time :) I am sure that you are going to emerge perfectly fit once the uncomfortable period is covered . Keep churning out great articles as always during the sabbatical ! .

    It might take a while sir before i reciprocate the award , for which i deeply apologise in advance . Pakshe , i promise , adikam naal edukkilla :) Nice to have read more about you here :)

    1. I got to know you rather recently. But I began to love your poems for the imaginative depth they display. Take your time (ishtam pole) - no one is in a hurry, I'm sure. But, even as you imply, some exercises like this reveal a bit more of ourselves and that could be for the better.

      Thanks for the counsel about keeping my POP undisturbed for the stipulated period. Yesterday a few students of mine came over with the request whether I could take a few classes before the exam (March 1) and I agreed to make it to the school after a few more days. Now your words make me think once again...

  7. I knew you had a beautiful mind. But I was unaware of the tender heart that pulsates under the icy fa├žade! It is a privilege to know more about you. I am soon going to begin reading Kazantzakis.

  8. Congratulations on the award. I hope your foot is better soon. Take care. :)

  9. A thank you note. :

    How's the fracture? Get well soon!

  10. Heartiest congrats for a well deserved award!!!!!!

  11. Congratulations sir for prestigious award,

    It's my first time to be nominated. Thank you very much sir for nominating me for the Liebster awards and highly honored to have received it from such great thoughtful person. It is my pleasure to be a part of such great community.

    Sometime it happens that we are so busy to discharge our social responsibility that may not able to give time for ourselves. I truly admire your thoughts.

    Take care of fractured leg and get well soon.

    Thank you for visited my blog. I will try to post my answers soon.

    1. Thanks for the wishes, Amit. I enjoy your pictures. Look forward to your answers - take your time, though.

    2. Dear sir, i have posted my nominations and response to your questions. I hope it will satisfy your questions.

      Thank you once again for nominating me..Take care..

  12. Thanks a lot sir for accepting the nomination and it was really a privilege to know about a dignified writer like you... you deserve each and every accolade and wish you a very fast and steady recovery...Get well soon...!!!

  13. Read my accpetance speech ( post ) here :)

    1. Read the post. A great approach to the whole issue. Best wishes.

  14. Visiting your blog after a few weeks. Get well soon.

  15. yes got all the answers needed :)


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