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Showing posts from March, 2013

Happy Easter

Upon the yellow sands    by the lake of Galilee Sat the Saviour                playing with pebbles.             Schools of fish swarmed    beneath the ripples And cried unto the Saviour:    Give us our daily bread. I give you life’s water,    muttered the Saviour. Off they went calmly    into life’s depths.   And upon the trembling ripples    lay the Saviour’s image Dying in silence    nailed to a cross. Wish everyone a HAPPY EASTER if that makes any sense to anyone. 

Condom Mechanics

Short Story The condom failed them.  Aisha became pregnant. “Oh, fuck!” was Anand’s spontaneous reaction.  He didn’t mean it to be vulgar, Aisha knew.  Boys and girls in the college used the word with a vast array of meanings and meaninglessness.  It was the most popular word on the campus as it encapsulated a kaleidoscopic range of meanings and feelings.  The word also referred to the most popular pastime on the campus.  Aisha wondered whether it was after a visit to their campus that Bill and Melinda Gates decided to offer a $1 million-funding to anyone who can produce the “ next generation condom ” which would make the popular pastime as pleasurable as if there were no condom.  And foolproof too, hoped Aisha.  Not like the one that had ditched her.   “No tension,” said Anand with such a bindaas attitude that for a moment Aisha thought he was an ambassador of Manappuram gold loan.  “There are gynaecologists who will fuck any pregnancy just like that for a few gandhis

God’s Love Song

  I willed my being into an extension And the cosmos was born in a Bang: Every birth is a terror and a joy, Every creation an extension of a core. I live, move, and have my being In all that is, and that shall be, Much as in the core that sits here. Hypothesis is what the creation was When I let myself go in a bang: An overflow of love infinite. Experiment is what the creation is When I add patterns in the mosaic: A sporting game of love unremitting. Abel was I, much as Cain was. I am the turbulence of the rolling waters, The rage of blasting bombs and fleeting bullets, The hunger in the eyes of widows and babies, The roar of the clouds, and the grace of the rainbow. And the nailed wail on the crucifix. Evolution is what the creation is, of The hell and the heaven that I am. Afterword I wrote the above poem about 15 years ago.   It was a time when I wrote many poems of this type: apparently religious.   Psychologically I had hit th

Jesus Crucified

Christians all over the world are entering the Holy Week, a week dedicated to the commemoration of the last days of Jesus which led to his crucifixion and the putative resurrection.   Though I lost my religious faith three decades ago my interest in Jesus has refused to make a clean exit from my consciousness.   Probably my debilitatingly conservative Catholic upbringing has nailed Jesus too fast to my consciousness. Who was Jesus in reality?   This is a question that has fascinated me much.   I don’t believe he was the son of God.   I don’t believe there is any God up there or anywhere else begetting sons or daughters or any other miserable creatures.   I find it quite interesting that we, the human beings, who have explored the minute world of the subatomic particles and the stars billions of kilometres away, have not been able to discover much about a person who lived merely 2000 years ago.   Did he exist at all?   I remember a book which was quite a craze among a few of m

CBSE’s Paradoxes

“Formative Assessment is a tool used by the teacher to continuously monitor student progress in a non threatening, supportive environment,” says CBSE’s manual on CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation – which is understood by many students as ‘ Continuous and Carefree Entertainment ).  “Non-threatening and supportive” – that’s what the assessment is supposed to be when a teacher does it in the class.  What about the assessment carried out by the Board at the end of the session? See the remark written by one of the CBSE students on the Board’s complaint board after yesterday’s math exam of class 12: MATHEMATICS WAS F**K**G TOUGH THE 2013 CBSE EXAM WAS F**K**G TOUGH TO WRITE!! :( I DINT EXPECT THIS TPYE OF MATHEMATICS PAPER EVER :( CBSE IS HARDCORE i should have tried some thing else,, wasted 2 years of my high schools in CBSE :( It is written by a student who calls him-/herself maha dewayz . There are quite a few other students too who have compl

Red Poppies

Book Review Title:    Red Poppies : An epic saga of old Tibet           Author:  Alai Translated from Chinese by Howard Goldblatt & Sylvia Li-chun Lin Publisher: Penguin, 2002 Pages: 416 “Yes, all I wanted was to be a chieftain; I’d never given any serious thought to what I wanted to do.  So I tried hard to imagine what I’d get by becoming a chieftain.  Silver?  Women?  Vast territory?  Numerous servants?  I had all those without even trying.  Power?  Yes, power.  But it wasn’t as if I didn’t have any now.  Besides, power could get me only more silver, more women, vaster territory, and more servants.  Which was to say, being chieftain didn’t mean much to me.  But strangely, I still wanted it.” One of the biggest paradoxes of human life is that a lot of effort is expended on a lot of enterprises which really don’t make our life any better.  We endure so many struggles and overcome so many hurdles, pull down apparent rivals and prop up convenient collaborators, s

Wanted Teachers

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With my students in the Himalayas (2012) A friend of mine who has opened a new school in Himachal Pradesh asked me to help him get a couple of teachers from Kerala.   I rang up more than half a dozen people (friends and relatives most of whom are teachers) all of whom seemed to mock me for some culpable ignorance.   The last person whom I called the other day is a politician.  I started by mentioning the salary of Rs25000 to Rs30000 thinking that the amount would be quite attractive to a fresh graduate.  “Even if you offer Rs50000,” said my politician-cousin, “you won’t get anyone worth his salt.” “Why?” I persisted. “Teaching is not even a career option for today’s generation,” he said. Teaching as a profession is facing the threat of extinction, I mused.   I had a reason to grin sarcastically.  A few minutes before I called my cousin I had signed a circular sent by my boss.  The circular was to inform the teachers of my school that the hostel supervisors would be

Body and Soul

The basic theme of Kazantzakis’s novel, The Last Temptation of Christ , is the conflict between the body and the soul or, in the words of the novelist himself, “the struggle between God and man.” “A weak soul does not have the endurance to resist the flesh for very long,” says Kazantzakis in the Preface.  “It grows heavy, becomes flesh itself, and the contest ends.  But among responsible men… the conflict between flesh and spirit breaks out mercilessly and may last until death.” (emphasis added) Kazantzakis explored this theme with slight variations in many novels.  In The Last Temptation , Jesus overcomes the temptations of the flesh by courting death.  In Saint Francis , the eponymous protagonist overcomes his fleshly desires through rigorous mortification.  Zorba, in Zorba the Greek , subscribes to a unique version of the Buddhist middle path by blending the body and the soul in his own pragmatic way. “God and devil are one and the same thing!” Zorba declares repe

Satanic Verses

“You’re lucky to have invented a god who dances to your tunes.”   The youngest and the most beloved wife of the Prophet ridicules him thus in Salman Rushdie’s most controversial novel, Satanic Verses .  “Lies! Lies! Lies!” is the reaction of Jesus on reading Mathew’s gospel in Kazantzakis’s novel, The Last Temptation of Christ .  Matthew tries to justify the lies he has written by saying that an angel dictates what he writes.  It is divine revelation.  How can lies be divine revelation?  Toward the end of Kazantzakis’s novel Matthew tells Jesus, “How masterfully I matched your words and deeds with the prophets!  It was terribly difficult, but I managed.  I used to say to myself that in the synagogues of the future the faithful would open thick tomes bound in gold and say, ‘The lesson for today is from the holy Gospel according to Matthew!’  This thought gave me wings and I wrote.” We may never know whether that was indeed the real reason why Matthew wrote the gospel.  We m

IGNOUBLE University

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I was indeed a serious student When I turned 50, a desire which is not typically quinquagenarian sprouted in me.  I wanted to do Masters in psychology.  Actually I had started reading up a bit of psychology so that I could deal better with my young students in a world whose adolescence was beginning to baffle me increasingly.  As soon as I read in the newspaper that IGNOU was beginning correspondence course in MA-psychology, I joined up.  I thought a university course would give shape and direction to my newfound interest. Three years after I joined the course, having completed all the written exams successfully, I remain unable and incapable of getting a certificate from the university.  IGNOU has harassed me so much with the assignments and other such out-of-the-exam-hall works that I have decided to say goodbye to the university without getting trying any further for its certificate.  After all, whatever knowledge I have acquired cannot be taken away by anyone.  And

Tribute to Chavez

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Satan stood here yesterday, The smell of gun powder lingers still… You dared to utter those words in the UN General Assembly just a day after George W Bush had spoken donning the garb of the world’s moral police commissioner. Bush’s America, as did his predecessors’ as well as his successors’, promised prosperity to all. But you delivered it at least to the people of your country.             You had a vision                         Your life was a mission             The world stands in need of many leaders like you. You showed how a nation’s resources can be used for the welfare of all the people unlike the American vision of amassing it for a select few leaving the rest to scramble for crumbs... When cancer ate into your being you accused America of conspiring to spread cancer among the socialist leaders in Latin America. After all, Paraguay’s president Fernanado Lugo, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff