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Showing posts from December, 2005

My Tamarind Tree

My Tamarind Tree, in my neighbour’s place leanedFlirting leaves curtained my windows green,Sour tamarinds bumped against the wind,Spread over the concrete a cover cool The lonesome tree, the forest here.

Gentle on swaying branches, delicate feet
Winged colours yellow, brown, blue and green Among the sour tamarinds in the wind, The song of the seasons the Koel’s note The lonesome tree, the forest here. I cried one day, to my neighbour’s place ran Why? I asked, Is it for money? I will pay. I begged my neighbour: Let it be. let it be The sour tamarinds in the wind The lonesome tree, the forest here. They killed my tree, they hacked it Branch by branch, bit by bit, The sour tamarinds in the wind Pulled them all to the ground The lonesome tree, no longer here.It’s not for money, it’s for free It’s my tree my neighbour said, Even the sour tamarinds in the wind, Lovebirds in cages now my neighbour keeps The forest green, no longer here.

Saving Munnar Privately

ENVIRONMENT Two hill stations in South India need to be saved urgently. One is Gone and the other is Going. If something's gotta be done. It's gotta to be done now. But who gives a damn? Ooty: Not so long ago in Ooty, distance was measured by time. Going down to the movies was a thirty minute brisk walk and to the Boat Lake a fifteen minute march and a leisurely stroll to the Botanical gardens could easily set you back by an hour. And this measurement of course, would vary in accordance with your starting point. At that time very few people who lived in Ooty had cars and most people who had a pair of legs purposefully used them to cover distance and considered them not as body parts to be painfully exercised at some point of the day. Taking a cab was a luxury but sometimes a necessity. The cabbie would ensure all his passengers were safely seated within the confines of the car before he embarked on the arduous mission of starting the car. Instead of smoothly turning the key in th…

Two Mallus and the Greeks

TRAVEL If there are two things that the Greeks love- one is an exciting game (be it football, chess or backgammon) and the other of course is their afternoon siesta. They are very religious about these two things. One Greek even told us that the afternoon siesta was the law of the land. It seemed much like that. Mondays and Thursdays, all establishments including the very American Citibank downed their shutters at exactly 2.30 p.m. and did not open for the rest of the day. (If you ever get a posting in Greece, take it. For that's the place to be!)The rest of the week they take shorter naps and open at 5.30 in the evening and work till eight at night. However the bars and pubs are warmly welcoming till the wee hours of the morning. It's in these places that you can watch almost the entire Greek population play chess or backgammon, and the sports bars have huge television screens to get them excited over twenty brave men chasing one small ball.
How much the Greeks love football i…

Baa Baa Black (oops!)Sheep goes to Paris


"Baa Baa" in the Kochi patois means "come, come" so we did "baa" to the famed Paris. But we sheep in black skin encountered a different Paris. Definitely different from the one in books.....

The bus from Amsterdam to Paris, that afternoon, carried mostly African Europeans, a few gays and us. Even in there it was ghettoised, the African Europeans moved to the back of the bus for reasons best known to them. It was with a certain touristy avariciousness that my sister and myself fought for the window seat like a couple of school kids- we were eager to see everything. The bus halted at Gallieni on the outskirts of Paris at quarter to ten at night. The only direction given to us to get to a Hostel in the heart of the city was to take the metro to Commerce. The narrow tunnel leading to the tube was filled with poor immigrants- “scum” as Parisian politicos now refer to them. The tunnel was a claustrophobic scene of deprivation- a colony of people had made …

Some S L O W Literary stuff. O! Man!

Book Review: Slow Man By J.M.CoetzeeIn most ofJ.M.Coetzee’s novels, descriptions and emotions are abbreviated. His lean words seem to be an escape from all that conventional novels provide. His novels are bereft of the excessive detailing that usually fill up page after page. One critic recently pointed out that it was hard to recall even a single Coetzeean line. Yes, perhaps that’s true. But more than his words and lines, it is the shadows his words cast- that make the complex Coetzeean narrative. It leaves an unsettling impression on the mind.In his latest offering “Slow Man” the protagonist oldish Paul Rayment meets with an accident while riding on his bike. What entails is the amputation of his leg in the hospital. Efficient doctors and nurses care for him, but “Efficiency” is an impenetrable and unsympathetic carapace. And his “new” life commences with all the shadows of gloominess and misery of life with a stump. He imprudently falls in love with a very healthy and married Croat…

THE GOLDEN YEARS (And no MEN to have sex)

The Kochi SENTIpede goes on a nosEtalgic drip tripWhen the three of us friends get together, shriek with laughter and each tries to get a word in while the other talks nineteen to the dozen; it all reminds me of those golden years not so long ago.
At fifteen, tongue in cheek, I had not a care in the world. My worldly possessions consisted of a pile of books, a pair of jeans and my very fertile imagination – I was in a boarding school for girls. We never saw much of men. Well that explains my title. But we untiringly discussed them and Masters and Johnson would definitely rewrite their best seller if they had to hear what we held forth on sex. All of us experts seemed to give our discourses so vehemently that the captive audience usually lapped it up with never so much as a murmur. The speaker would have merrily drawn her conclusions from a M&B devoured the previous night. To us girls, the Mills & Boon was the embodiment of all that stood for sex. The book of revelations w…