Friday, August 30, 2013

My Equine World


“MY prayer for today,” he would begin the morning assembly every day with those words.

My, I, mine – his vocabulary went little beyond that.

“My school,” he was referring to his previous school which was supposed to have some fame because it was situated within a dead king’s renovated fort.

And his new school had a living wall, a wall that he constantly built anew by raising its height.  He never felt secure outside a dead king’s fort.

“Why did he become a Principal?”  Wondered Manmohan, an average teacher with average brains.

“Dead kings’ forts stimulate royal ambitions,” consoled Mrs Manmohan, an average teacher with average brains.

The Principal’s favourite team lost the cricket match.  The Principal was furious.  “How can MY team lose?”  He thundered.

He galloped towards his car, pulled the door open, sat in the driver’s seat and drove the car backward.  As far as the backward ride was possible.

Then he felt at ease. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Noisy Children

“My children, jump, run and play and make all the noise you want but avoid sin like the plague and you will surely gain heaven.”  This is a sentence that I used to hear again and again during my youth.  In those days I was a member of a religious congregation founded by John Bosco (Don Bosco, more famously).  Later I left the congregation because I lost faith in “sin” and a few other religious concepts.  But I still believe that Don Bosco was bang on the point about the rights of children to jump, run and play and make all the noise they want. 

Education is not about keeping students quiet in the classroom or even outside.  I have often wondered why children should keep quiet in the dining hall, for example.  Yesterday when a quiz was being conducted in the class (9) in accordance with the activities prescribed in the textbook and recommended highly by CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation), somebody from the administrative wing rushed into my class saying, “There’s too much noise in the class.”  It is only then I realised that my boys were a bit too enthusiastic about the quiz.  Too many hands were springing up with each question rather noisily with the refrain, “I know, I know.”  The scene is the delight of any teacher.

Of course, it is also a teacher’s duty to see that other classes are not disturbed.  If I did let my class disturb other classes then it’s my mistake.  But then why do CBSE and the government insist on conducting so many activities in the class?  Can teachers really conduct all the prescribed activities without any “noise”?   Is silence a virtue for children?

I think it is the classrooms that need rearrangement.  There should be enough space or other arrangement which will ensure that the “noise” made in one room does not affect other rooms.  Otherwise the classroom will be just another traditional classroom with a grim-faced teacher and more grim children.  Lifeless.

“We need the courage of Don Bosco who was not upset when the noise of his children upset the tranquillity of his villages,” said the Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on the occasion of Don Bosco’s death anniversary this year.  Don Bosco was driven out from many places because the people hated the noise made by his children, mostly poor and abandoned ones who relished to love and security provided by their patron.

The education system today has wonderful plans and vision.  On paper.  Translate them into the actual classroom situation and the teacher will see administrators running in with the stick.  The stick is raised against the teacher, however.  Children cannot be punished, you see.

About a year ago I met a friend who is a Don Bosco priest.  He narrated to me an anecdote from the life of Don Bosco.  When a bishop who was on a visit to Don Bosco’s place complained about the noise of the children outside and requested to remove the children from their playground,  Don Bosco chose to remove the bishop from his room. 

Should the classrooms be removed from the administrative block?  Or vice versa?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cassandra’s People

Short Story

“... people who like to gossip and think the worst always have ways of finding out whatever they want, especially if it’s something negative or there’s some tragedy involved, even if it has nothing to do with them.” 

Manmohan stared at the lines again.  The narrator in Javier Marias’s latest novel, The Infatuations, made that statement.  Manmohan loved it.  He put down the book and reflected on the lines.  So true, he said to himself.  Then he wondered why people were so.  The lines became an obsession.  So he decided to take a walk.  Walks were Manmohan’s remedies for obsessions.

He was stopped at the gate as usual. 

“Who are you?” asked the gate keeper.

Manmohan was familiar with that question.  Very familiar.  He heard it every time he had to pass the gate of the residential school where he worked as a teacher. 

The school had been taken over by a new management which replaced the entire security staff at the gate with a protean set of new staff.  While the old staff used to salute on seeing Manmohan, the new staff (that kept changing at every few hours) invariably asked the question “Who are you?”  Initially it was fun.  Manmohan took it in good spirit and answered “Batman” or “Barack Obama” or “Signor Manomohano” or whatever suited his mood. 

Today Signor Manomohano answered, “Signora Cassandra.”

Cassandra was one of the characters from Greek mythology who tickled Manmohan without rhyme or reason.  She was beautiful beyond comparison with the singular exception of Helen, yes, the same Helen of Troy whose face launched a thousand ships and burned the topless towers of Ilium.  Her beauty won her the gift of prophecy from none other than Apollo himself.  The gift became a curse, however, soon.  Cassandra’s beauty tickled Apollo’s solar plexus.  But she refused to make him more immortal than he already was with a sweet kiss.  A single kiss can alter history radically.  The denial of a kiss altered Cassandra’s life radically.   The same Apollo cursed her.  “May none believe your prophecies.”  Cassandra prophesied the destruction of Troy.  She foresaw her own tragic end.  But she could not prevent any of it.  No one believed her. 

Why do inquisitive gossipers enjoy more credibility than Cassandra?  Wondered Manmohan. 
“ID card dikhao,” demanded the gate keeper. 

Manmohan took out his voter identity card which he always carried like a conscientious citizen.  (That an obsession of his which walks could not remedy.)

“This is not a polling station,” snarled the gate keeper.  “Produce the ID card given by the management.”

Manmohan now understood the meaning of the question “Who are you?”  It does not matter whether you are a citizen of the country.  It is not a matter of who you really are.  It’s a matter of whether you are a number listed in the registers of the system or not.  A number.  You can be Batman or Barack Obama or Signor Manomohano.  Or even Signora Cassandra.  Be whatever you want as long as you have a number assigned to you through proper administrative formalities. 

Manmohan returned home to fetch his numerical identity.  On the way he ran into one of those “people” of Javier Marias’s narrator.

“You are in the hit list, you know,” she said curtly.  That was her style.  “People” like to punch you straight in the nose.

She went on to say that the new management had decided to sack the entire staff appointed by the old management.  She had proofs, she claimed.  Some proofs sounded rational to Manmohan.  Some were far-fetched.

Is Cassandra reincarnating?  Wondered Manmohan.

Or is it another instance of Javier Marias’s “people”?

For now the numerical identity is a relief.  It can at least get him back through the same gate when the walk cures his present obsession.  He clutched the ID card close to his heart as he approached the gate keeper with a salute.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Spelling Mistakes


“Then again, you may pick up just enough education to hate people who say, ‘It’s a secret between he and I.’ Or you may end up in some business office, throwing paper clips at the nearest stenographer.  I just don’t know.  But do you know what I’m driving at, at all?”

That’s what a teacher tells a student, the protagonist of J D Salinger’s celebrated novel, The Catcher in the Rye.  Holden, the student, was critical of everything around him.  He was confused by the hypocrisy of the adults around him.  The ability of his companions to adjust to that hypocrisy confounded him further.  In short, life confounded him.

Holden ended up in a lunatic asylum.  He couldn’t cope with the confounding life.  

But the novel ended when Holden was only 16 years old.  What if Holden continued to live beyond the novel, outside the asylum, liberated from his neurotic obsessions with hypocrisy, and ready to accept the world as it really is?

He becomes a teacher in a public school, let us imagine.  He becomes an English teacher.  After all, literature was not alien to him.  He loved telling stories. 

What does he see in his school? 

His principal shrieks in the assembly every morning about the spelling mistakes made by the students in their applications.  “You don’t even know the difference between principle and principal.”  Don’t know spellings.  Don’t know grammar.  Basic grammar!  What are you learning here?  What are your teachers teaching here?  What are the teachers doing here?

The Principal becomes so engrossed with spelling mistakes that he forgets that there are students waiting to deliver their routine news readings and poem recitations.

Holden, one of the teachers, sits demurely in the assembly hall listening to the tirade on spelling mistakes.  And grammar mistakes.  And umpteen other mistakes.  Made by everyone, obviously.

And he wonders how this man became the Principal (or is it principle?) when he is so obsessed with spelling mistakes far, far beyond the age of 15.

But who is he, Holden the reclaimed neurotic, to ask such questions?

Spelling mistakes are in the mind.  Of people who ascend to positions they don’t deserve, he thought.  Then he corrected himself.  No, my counsellor had told me to laugh when I saw spelling mistakes.  Can I laugh, Principal?  He did not ask the question loud.  The asylum had made him too sane. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Dalai Lama’s Cat

Book Review

Author: David Michie
Publisher: Hay House India, 2013
Pages: 216       Price: Rs 399

This is a good book for those who want to have a quick and fairly meaningful peep into Tibetan Buddhism and its current headquarters in Dharamsala and around.  If you are, however, fairly familiar with Buddhism as well as motivational books, this book may disappoint you.

In most places the approach of the book is quite simplistic.  Simplicity is an adorable quality; but being simplistic is not.  Look at the Dalai Lama’s advice on anger, for example:

“It (anger) is not permanent.  It is not part of you.  You cannot say, ‘I’ve always been an angry person.’  Your anger arises, abides, and passes, just like anyone else’s.  You may experience it more than others.  And each time you give in to it, you feed the habit and make it more likely you will feel it again.  Wouldn’t it be better, instead, to decrease its power?” [p.130]

[If you find that advice profound, please skip the rest of this review.]

The book is full of such advice and thoughts.  There are a few places where the level of the preaching rises to subtlety and even becomes sublime.  For example, “One of the last things Buddha said to his followers was that anyone who believed a word he had taught them was a fool – unless they had tested it against their own experience,” says a monk.  [p. 156-7]

The book is written in the form of a novel.  But novel it is not, in the literary sense of the word.  The book is an attempt to bring Tibetan Buddhism to the reader in the simplest way possible.  It also raises some pertinent questions about the function of religion in general.   It is no use wearing one’s religion like a badge, suggests the book plainly.  The religious medals or other trappings you wear on your body or dress won’t make you religious in the least.  Such things are merely “an extension of (the) ego, a way to present (yourself) as different or special.” [p. 48]

I found the notion of karma quite interesting though not very convincing.  If we do good, good will come back to us, that’s the theory in short.  Or to put it a little more subtly, “as we think, so we become.” [p. 79]  I’m not a religious person.  But I had accepted this notion as a hypothesis much before I read this book, and its practical ground will be my own life.  It does give me a lot of peace and joy doing whatever good I can in my life.  That doesn’t mean I’m a saint.  Far from it, I have too many flaws and weaknesses.  It also doesn’t mean I’m doing it with the expectation that the people to whom I do good will be good in return.  But I believe that goodness will be my reward somewhere, somehow...  It’s a belief.  A hypothesis I’ve chosen to test out in my life.  It seems to have worked for the last few years in which I tried it out.  I hope it will work in the future too.  But, as I have already stated, it is not a religious belief for me.  It is my life’s hypothesis.  And the book helped me to take a re-look at that hypothesis.  The book’s view is not much different from mine in this regard.

Would I have bought the book were it not for a chance occurrence?  No.  Do I regret buying the book?  No, again.  [I bought it at a fabulous discount.:)]  Did I benefit much by reading it?  Not really.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The cow and the mosquito

The picture is from the ISKCON site.

The cow asked the mosquito, “There’s so much milk in my udder.  Why are you then sucking my blood?”

The mosquito grinned at the cow and went on sucking the blood. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Beyond the Self

I am still reading David Michie’s book, The Dalai Lama’s Cat.  What is interesting about the book for me is that just when I’m about to surrender myself to the feeling that it is a rehash of some clich├ęd though noble thoughts, it comes up with a sparkling notion that’s quite out of the way.  Out of the way, for me, that is.

The last time I put down the book in order to reflect on one such sparkle was when it spoke about “Other Development.”  Self-development is the dominant theme of most inspirational works, whether it be books, workshops, or counselling sessions.   Helping you realise your potential and thus become a self-actualised person is the goal of such books and sessions.  I too was of the feeling that self-actualisation was the ultimate in the quest for meaning for each individual.   Then came Michie throwing a little pebble into the tranquil pool of my complacence.

Self-development is just another quest not very unlike the other usual human quests, suggests Michie.  Some seek happiness questing after wealth, some after power, some after fame, and so on.  Wealth does not necessarily guarantee happiness.  There are a lot of wealthy people who remain unhappy.  On the other hand, there are many poor people who are fairly happy.  That’s enough proof to argue that wealth is not a necessary and sufficient condition for achieving happiness.

The same is the case for other things like powerful positions, fame, etc.  Michie goes on to argue that even self-development (he does not use the phrase ‘self-actualisation’) does not necessarily ensure happiness.  A person who has achieved a significant level of self-development may still remain unhappy.  There may still be a feeling of hollowness in him/her.

It is here that Michie introduces the concept of ‘Other-Development’.  In simple words, it means our contribution towards the development of the other people in our world.  Real happiness lies in giving.  Michie even quotes some scientific evidence from the functioning of the brain to show that giving makes people happier than taking.

The entire argument is founded on the fundamental Buddhist principles of love and compassion.  If we can love others and be compassionate to them, we will be happy creatures. 

Very simple.  And yet very difficult.  The pebble landed right at the centre of my mental pool. 

I recollected what I had studied about self-actualisation in my psychology course.  Really self-actualised people, according to Maslow and other psychologists who advocate self-actualisation, are also people who are genuinely concerned about other people.  In fact, they have reached a stage when they do not think of themselves any more.  They look at what they can do for others.  They are the Mahatma Gandhis and Mother Theresas, Aruna Roys and Medha Patkars...

So my reflection arrived at the conclusion that the fundamental Buddhist principles of love and compassion are not at all alien to self-actualised people.  In fact, self-actualised people are those who have internalised those fundamental principles as integral parts of their world view.

No contradiction as long as we are willing to take a step beyond self-development toward self-actualisation.   The ripples in my mental pool are at ease once again.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Prisoner and the Monk

Fiction – Parable

The monk was on his usual visit to the prison.  It was a part of his daily routine to spend an hour in the prison with the intention of making the prisoners understand that what really makes a prison are not the iron bars and concrete walls but the inmate’s attitudes.  It’s not the place you are in or the work you do that makes you happy or unhappy, he would say frequently.  It’s how you view the place and the work that makes the difference.

Happiness lies in the mind, not anywhere outside.  That was his basic premise. 

“What’s your daily routine?” asked one of the prisoners whom the monk was counselling individually.  The prisoner was a notorious murderer. 

“We get up at 4 in the morning,” began the monk.  The prisoner was stunned.  He used to think that getting up at 6.30 as they used to do in the prison was a grave penance.  He wanted to sleep till 10 o’clock. 

The monk went on to narrate his daily routine.  Four hours of meditation and prayer in the morning.  Rigorous work after that: cleaning, washing, gardening, cultivating vegetables and fruits, looking after the dairy... Two hours of meditation and prayer in the evening.  Then some personal reading of the scriptures or other religious books until one retires to bed.

“No TV, no drinks, no entertainment?”  asked the prisoner with some disbelief.

“Not even newspapers,” answered the monk with an angelic smile.  “Unlike you people in the jail, the monks can’t earn money to buy what we like.”

“That’s too tough,” concluded the prisoner with a deep sigh.  “Tough indeed!”  Then, after a brief thought, the prisoner added, “You know, if it all gets too hard, you could always come and live with us here.”

Acknowledgement: This parable is adapted from David Michie’s book, The Dalai Lama’s Cat.

Independence Day Greetings to you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Endless Kurukshetra

Sanjay had nothing new to report
And Dritarashtra was becoming impatient
Listening to the same old stories
Repeated ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

OK, not that there are no differences.
Draupatis are not just undressed now,
They are raped and even killed.
Even the soldiers do it in the land of suspected terrorists -
In what was the paradise on the earth.

Terrorists lay siege to progress of all sorts,
Their God alone knows what they want.
We know that they have concealed the face of every Draupati
Behind the veil of ignorance and obscurity.

Even the Durga Shakti genuflects before a sand mafia.
Mafias are guarded by the kings and their minions.
Kings build palaces of twenty-seven storeys.
Indraprastha is a jungle of concrete and avarice.

The Babas of Indraprastha speak words of gold,
Each lecture brings them millions of dollars;
Their queens suck their lust in the night
And go conquering lands in the daytime.

Karma-yogis have become kaama-yogis.
The warrior is in relentless battle for his own sake.
Ah, here's something for a change, said Sanjay with some joy,
The citizens are going to celebrate Independence.

Exclaimed Dritarashtra.
Can recalcitrant barnacles stuck to slimy rocks
Be free?

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Rainbow Troops

Book Review

Author: Andrea Hirata
Published in India by Penguin , 2013
Pages: 291       Price: Rs 399

Every person has at least one story to tell: his/her own.  Andrea Hirata’s debut novel, The Rainbow Troops, tells the story of the author and ten other students of a crumbling school in a poor village of the Indonesian island, Belitong.  It is a story that elicits delight and tear drops at the same time.  It is a story of childhood innocence, mischief and malleability as much as of the indifference of God and destiny, the indifference of life itself.

The Muhammadiyah School in Belitong is a dilapidated building.  A 15 year-old girl, Ibu Muslimah Hafsari (called Bu Mus by her students) has abandoned life’s enticements to join the only other teacher, an old man named Bapak Harfan Effendy Noor (Pak Harfan), in order to provide free education to the poor children on the island.  The norms stipulate that there should be at least ten students for a school to function.  When Harun, a child with special needs, joins the number is complete.  And the school begins.  Along with that the novel too.

The novel tells the heart-touching story of the ten students (and the eleventh one that joins later abandoning her posh public school) and the two teachers.  Their life is a struggle all through.  It is a struggle against grinding poverty, the education officers who are keen to close down the school which is seen by them as mere nuisance, and the mining industry which has its eyes on the tin that lies beneath the school building as well as its campus all of which belong to a religious organisation.

The book is not a mere novel.  It is the real story of some children and a few adults in Belitong.  That’s the chief reason why it is captivating.  We get insightful glimpses into a world of poverty, dedication to a cause, and childlike innocence.  The novel is about the ineluctable vicissitudes of life.  It is about how hope can sustain people when everything seems oppressive and depressing.

The novel is also indirectly about how capitalist globalisation is no different from colonialism: “Its goal,” in the words of the novel, “was to give power to a few people to oppress many, to educate a few people in order to make the other docile.”

Not infrequently does the book touch upon the ludicrous side of religion and shamanism: “One of the extraordinary qualities of Malays is that no matter how bad their circumstances, they always consider themselves fortunate.  That is the use of religion.”  Shamanism seems better at least when the students who approach the greatest shaman for help in passing their exam easily are given the advice: “If you want to pass your exams,/ Open your books and study!”

The whole episode of the students’ adventure to meet the shaman and their encounter with him ended in such an anticlimax that I burst into a loud laugh.  The book can make you laugh occasionally, smile often and feel empathy with the downtrodden all through.  It is a story of some marginalised people, narrated in a very simple manner with no pretensions of any sort. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Fiction - parable

Vijay was familiar enough with soil and the stones it turns up to realise that he had struck something rare.  It was a tiny stone, a pitch black speck not larger than the tip of his little finger. It turned up from the intestine of the earth while Vijay was digging a pit for the biogas plant.

Anand, the scientist from the village, got the stone analysed in his lab and assured, “It is a rare object.  A compound of carbonic acid and magnesium.”

Anand and his fellow scientists believed that it must be a fragment of a meteoroid that hit the earth millions of years ago.  “Very rare indeed,” concluded the scientist.

Now, it’s plain commonsense that something that’s very rare indeed must be very valuable too. All the more so if it came from the heavens. So Vijay got the village goldsmith to set it on a gold ring.  Vijay wore the ring proudly on his ring finger.

Nobody, in the village, however bothered to pay any homage to Vijay’s ring.  They were accustomed to seeing people wearing all kinds of precious stones on their various fingers, sometimes on all the fingers.  So Vijay went to the city and started holding his hand up, whenever he got the opportunity, in such a way that his ring with its “very rare indeed” stone was conspicuous to those who bothered to notice anything that was out of the ordinary.  Nobody took note of his ring, however.  Instead people began to see him as some eccentric chap who was making awkward gestures to God knows who.

Then Vijay was in need of some good money one day.  He took his “very rare indeed” stone to a jewellery in the city.  He had no other choice.

The jeweller was ready to pay for the gold ring.  The “very rare indeed” stone was worthless for the jeweller. “To hell with scientists,” said the jeweller contemptuously.

Vijay returned home without selling his ring.  A few months passed.  The village grapevine blossomed with rumours that a few villagers were in possession of some rare stones.  It was not only Vijay who had made use of the subsidy given by the Panchayat for constructing biogas plants.  And a few of those who had dug deep in their land had got a piece or two of the “very rare indeed” stone.

Suddenly Vijay’s ring with the stone began to draw attention.  People visited him from far and near to see the stone.  People praised its beauty and exotic look.  People made theories about it.  The stone became a sign of some imminent divine intervention or an omen of impending disaster, depending on each interpreter’s perspective. 

Newspapers and journals wrote extensive articles and research papers about the stone.  TV channels ran live discussions and debates.  The anchor of one such TV show even accused Vijay of perpetrating an unpardonable fraud on the public.  “Prove it otherwise,” challenged the anchor with his indomitable gusto.  Vijay became a celebrity.  Bankers were now ready to lend him loans.  The jeweller who had despatched all the scientists to hell came to Vijay’s house offering a fortune for the ring.  Once a burglar attempted to break in and steal the stone.  Vijay put up a brave battle which drew the attention of the neighbours and in the melee that ensued the burglar made good his escape.  The “very rare indeed” stone was secure, however.

Gods, devils and people walked in and out of Vijay’s life.  Vijay lost his sleep. 

The ring with the “very rare indeed” stone became a heavy weight on Vijay’s finger.  Its weight increased day by day.  The weight became unbearable.  Vijay was sitting on the bank of the river that was overflowing due to the unprecedentedly heavy monsoon rains.  The fury of the monsoon had already been attributed to the “very rare indeed” stones by devotees of all varieties of divinity.

Vijay liberated his finger from the weight of the stone.  He looked at the stone on the ring and smiled wryly.  Then the smile changed.  He threw the ring with the “very rare indeed” stone into the roaring waters of the river. 

When he walked home Vijay felt liberated.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

One day in the life of …


“One day in the life of a residential school teacher,” I began writing the blog.

“What do you think you are?” asked my wife with marked irritation.  “Ivan Denisovich?”

Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is the protagonist of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s novel, One Day in the Life Ivan Denisovich.  Ivan was a prisoner in a Stalinist labour camp in Russia.  The fellow was an innocent peasant, almost illiterate, and very simple.  The prison routine was meant to dehumanise the prisoners, but Ivan survived.  He survived because he found meaning in that absurdly oppressive life, a meaning found by living intensively.  He slogged like a slave and ate like a wolf.  When he worked on a brick wall he worked as though every inch of it belonged to him.  He was a Sisyphus without the spirit of rebellion.  He was proud of whatever he did.

“I’m Boxer,” I replied to my wife’s question.

“Who are you going to box?”  There was an almost visible sneer in her question which I ignored.

“I woke up this morning imagining that I am Boxer, the horse in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.”

“Oh, that creature who killed himself with hard toil and his two mottoes!”  She snickered, I think.

Motto number 1: I will work harder.
Motto number 2: Napoleon is always right.

Now, if you haven’t read Animal Farm you won’t understand this.  The animals rebelled against man (the capitalist) and set up a socialist system on the Farm.  Soon the pigs became the rulers.  Napoleon was the Boss.  Boxer was one of the many proletarian workers.

I wrote down the routine of the previous day which, I think, was responsible for the identity-loss-hallucination in the morning. 

5.30 am: wake up
7.00 am: at school
7.10 am to 2.00 pm: classes [with sponsored breakfast in between]
2.00 pm to 2.30 pm: lunch [sponsored]
2.30 pm to 4.00 pm: club activities
4.00 pm to 5.00 pm: games
5.00 pm to 6.00 pm: sit on your ass and catch up with the latest news on the TV or in the paper
6.00 pm to 8.00 pm: movie with students
8.00 pm to 8.30 pm: dinner [sponsored]
8.30 pm to 9.00 pm: time for farting out unwanted gas absorbed during the day
9.00 pm to 10.30 pm: counselling in hostel

Napoleon called a meeting of the animals.  “The windmill has been dynamited by Snowball and his suspended pigs.  There will be no power supply until we rebuild the mill.  It means two things: (1) You all have to work harder to erect a new windmill; and (2) until the new windmill is ready you all have to work harder overtime so that the works which were done by machines hitherto will not be hampered.  The meeting is dismissed so that you can start working.”

In the midnight when Boxer returned home and collapsed on his bed of dead leaves, his wife asked, “What will you wake up as tomorrow?”

“I’ll resurrect myself tomorrow.  I’m the architect of my world.”

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I'm writing a poem, don't disturb, I said.
Broken lines is not poem, she said.
Broken dreams are, I said.

Pessimism of the gods

There is a romantic at sleep in my heart who likes to believe that people were better in the good old days. The people I saw as a child we...