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The Politician

Fiction Dr Zachariah slowed the car. Someone was waving a hand standing on the road. The man looked wounded. It was dangerous to stop the car because it was almost midnight and the endless rain continued to pour down reducing visibility considerably. Moreover, he was exhausted after a very long day at hospital which culminated with a surgery. Nevertheless he stopped his car and lowered the glass a little. Both the doctor and the wounded man on the road were stunned for a moment as they recognised each other. “Doctor, please help me, I’m injured badly.” The man pleaded. “Hmm, hop in.” Dr Zach opened the door and the man crept in with some difficulty. “Dry yourself,” said the doctor giving him a towel which he pulled out from somewhere in the car. “What happened?” “I was attacked,” he said. “A masked gang. Must be the commies.” The man who was known as Raghav ji was a local leader of the BJP. Fights between the BJP and the Left parties were not uncommon in the

The holiday is over

The school reopens tomorrow after the Onam holidays. There was no Onam, however. The historic deluge that washed Kerala mercilessly stole the joy out of Onam. There were no grand celebrations. People were busy returning home from their relief camps, cleaning up their houses and seeking where and how to begin anew. Even now thousands of people are living in relief camps because they have nowhere to go; their houses have been washed away entirely or they are not habitable. While it has been heartening to see the way the people of Kerala cooperated with one another to bring life back to normalcy, it was extremely painful to watch the way certain sections fished in the troubled waters. The attitude of Prime Minister Modi and his supporters has alienated the people of Kerala almost entirely from the dominant political narrative. The financial aid given by Modi to the state is a pittance against what is required. Mr Modi rubbed salt into the wound of insult by saying no to countries th

Modi's Truths

Truth is a fabrication. Barrows Dunham, American philosopher who was dismissed from the Temple University for his liberal views, wrote that “truth has been suffered to exist in the world just to the extent that it profited the rulers of society.” The rulers fabricate truths for their own benefits. We are not speaking about scientific truths like water boils at 100 degree Celsius under normal temperature and pressure or the sum of the three angles of a triangle is 180 degrees. We are speaking about truths given to us by our political leaders. And religious leaders. And quite many other leaders. Leaders, in the final analysis. Leaders often soar on the wings of fabricated truths. Kerala is passing through the most tragic catastrophe it ever witnessed since the creation of the state. The state government’s rough estimate is that ₹35,000 crore will be required to rebuild the state. The central government initially promised ₹100 crore which was eventually raised by ₹500 crore.

How to make Religion meaningful

A 9 year-old boy was beaten to death by a 64 year-old Buddhist monk for being playful during a religious ceremony. The boy was a novice; i.e. a beginner in monkhood. It happened in Thailand yesterday . Many monks in that Buddhist country are facing serious criminal charges such as cases of extortion, sex and drug abuse. A month back the infamous “jet-set monk” was sentenced to 114 years in prison for money-laundering and fraud. The abbot of the popular Golden Mount temple in Bangkok was caught in May with $4 million of unaccounted money.   From a monastery in Gangtok during a personal visit How do they expect such little boys to be 'religiously' serious? Notice the cane in the monk's hand. Recently the Christian Churches in Kerala were rocked by many sex scandals involving priests and nuns. We are too familiar with the atrocities committed by godmen in various parts of India. I was personally associated by necessity with a cult run by a godman whose greed f


Intimacy is rooted in understanding. It is impossible to live without at least one intimate relationship. As John Powell says in The Secret of Staying in Love , “No one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” Intimacy is that mirror. Understanding each other leads to the discovery of each other’s inner beauty. It heals the wounds that inevitably mar that beauty occasionally. It can remove scars too. Intimacy has the tenderness of a soothing balm. Intimacy is a melodious poem that keeps on composing itself endlessly. Its rhythm is like the flow of a mountain brook; there are occasional stumbles and rumbles too.   “Is physical intimacy the only thing which matters in a relationship? Can you live without it and yet be happy?” Blogger Anushree Aggarwal raised the question . Why can’t one live without physical intimacy and yet be happy? There are plenty of people w

Dear Maveli

Dear Maveli, The sight of your beloved Kerala during this Onam will break your heart. There are no floral carpets to welcome you. The air does not resound with joyful songs. The charming thiruvathira dancers are not seen. Where are the tigers of the pulikali? What you find all over your land is devastation. Hills collapsed in the fury of gushing waters. The waters carried away homes and roads. They carried away the flowers that used to bloom cheerfully for you. Whole townships like Cheruthoni are ruined entirely. Rivers have changed their courses and redrawn the map of your country. What is left is helpless gloom. And our determination to spring back to vitality. We will bounce back. In spite of the hostility of our present king who calls himself our Pradhan Sevak just to mask his colossal narcissism. He has not only refused to help your country with the required assistance but also blocked the assistance coming from across the borders. So, you see, we have to fight not

Floods and the Gods

The god I was given in my childhood was too eager to punish. His impatience with mankind is coeval with the species itself: he drove out the first couple from Paradise for eating the forbidden fruit. Why God planted that tree with the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden is one of the umpteen questions without answers when I confront my religion. Was it because God knew that Adam and Eve would break his rule and so he could punish them gleefully? Soon after the first couple’s eviction from Paradise came the deluge, when Noah was 600 years 2 months and 17 days old [Genesis 7:11], which destroyed almost the entire creation because the biblical God lost his patience with his own creation. What a bad creator! And what a bad God to lose patience so promptly and so destructively! He lost patience again and again. Fire and brimstone destroyed people whom he considered wicked. An incorrigible God! When the disastrous deluge hit Kerala recently people of different religions and