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Showing posts from January, 2007

On Holidays

THEN
It was my first piece as a reporter. The elections were over and we were awaiting the results. Prannoy Roy was just making his mark as a psephologist and there I was contributing to a small time magazine-the name I forget- I think it went something like ‘Career Entrance Master’or ‘Competition Entrance Master’. I had made a careful list of who to interview in Trivandrum city: Two doctors, two politicians, two government servants, two trade union leaders, two tea shop drinkers and so on. The subject -the outcome of the elections and other general blah.

I had an appointment with this genial doctor who had all the time in the world and who happened to be conveniently a relative of mine. So this hotshot journo presented herself at his doorstep and his beautiful wife opened the door and said with smug contempt, “Oh it’s yooou?!”
I took that in with tremendous maturity and replied with deadpan silence. I was ushered into the drawing room and the dear Doctor was there waiting for me. I cann…

What's In A Reflection?

HE: But Bai, is a reflection just a body?WOMAN: What else? What do you see in the mirror-your mind? Yourheart? Your Soul?
-Mahesh Elkunchwar in Pratibimba Elkunchwar’s “Pratibimba” was recently staged by the Cochin Theatre Group. I found it disturbing - it disturbed my comfortable routinized thoughts: What happens if you lose your reflection? What happens if one fine day you wake up and cannot see the way others see you? The play opens with the protagonist HE aka Blockhead discovering the loss of his reflection in the mirror. HE is aghast. HE who had cared little for his reflection and never gave it a second thought is completely filled with nagging thoughts of the loss of his own reflection. And now consumed by this loss he cannot think of anything else: What does it mean? Does it mean the loss of one’s identity? HE is a paying guest and the coquettish hostess WOMAN (Shirley) has no time to spend pondering over such inane questions. The hostess’ sexual tension is evident in her s…

Roots

Arakkal at the book launch at Kochi


Review
In Touch With My Roots:
A Creative Journey Through Kerala
By Yusuf Arakkal
Penguin,
Rs 1250

One of the most telling images in Yusuf Arakkal’s book In Touch With My Roots is an oil painting titled “Tea Kada”: it reveals the dilemma of the hyphenated self. He has used an unusual combo of English and Malayalam to title the ubiquitous wayside teashop in rural Kerala! The artist who had spent his early years in Kerala had in his teens sought Bangalore and made it his adopted home. When he embarked on a 15-day “creative journey” through Kerala in 2001 to rediscover his roots, there was much he could not comprehend. He says, “Here was I — a non-resident Keralite who loved his hometown but found it difficult to comprehend the psyche of the locals and his land.”

He begins his musings with “Kerala is colours — magnificent colours” and details the varied hues of green Kerala: striking emerald, viridian and sap. “Starting from the dark green grass –so dark you …