Monday, July 30, 2007

Histoire- a tributary

When I started on that article (the previous post), I ne’er tot t ws a good topic. Bt den, on second tots, t seems like der s more to history, than I ever tot der ws. So, in d manner of an xtension:

The move in British schools to have a more “patriotic” rendering of the subject, tho, on a personal note, I do not see how, doing away with Churchill frm textbooks can help achieve a British touch!!
Anyway, it does reiterate that history, tho unjustly neglected, is a major tool to propogate national sentiments n patriotism. N thus, a more impt conclusion: the study of history s as impt as any oder subject. More so, in today’s tense world of terrorism n nuclear weapons , wher one wrong notion abt racism, can trigger major calamities.
The importance of bringing in coherence and continuity to the study of history: Most ppl develop a hatred for d subject cos they c t as a string of unconnected events, dates n happenings. Of course, t s mostly dependent on how d teacher handles the subject. More often than not, v only learn some set of wars n measures by the govt n conquests n revolutions……. Never re v told hw one lead to d oder. Life, as I c t, s a continuous process, n no event happens independently. Therefore, even an anti climax of a revolution or struggle can be properly co-related, in light of the knowledge of y t failed!
Talkin abt d continuity aspect of life, brings me to the third observation that some reader of d articl mailed me: THE TIME FACTOR. By this, he meant d fact dat al future (n oresent) s dependent on d past, n v cant simply erase d impact of d past outta our lives. “Every second s a daughter of d previous”, as I-really-don-remebr-who said! But tat implies history s a continuous influene on d present, or rather, evy second is a sum of the past plus something new (sounds mathematical(?)). In better words, it s an xtension of d past.

Wel, continuing further ll only make the content al d more abstruse, so lets leave d rest for the lazy afternoons, wen one gets bored enuf to think abt d abstract nature of d universe…

Friday, July 13, 2007


It was a sundry morning(f u can split t to make a pun). N I landed into a copy of dat day’s “The Hindu”, which I never do. N I landed in dis articl im sure nobody d ve noticed, wher the author ws tryin to xplain y he considered studying history unnecessary n a sheer waste of time.I kno a lot of my frnz who ll nod their heads wid him. Dat set me thinking y do v study history. S the author rite in his conviction dat al history s a waste? (hmmm.. well… makes a good start for a Board exam essay! J )
Wel, as my profile proclaims, im an engg student n I wavd finis-in-toto to the study of history post-high school. However, I find history keeps comin back to me. Frm the kinda food v eat to the kinda ceremonies v attend to the gods v pray to, evythin v do has a reason in the past. And nobody can refute dat.
The first argument dat most ppl (including the author I mentiond) put fwd s- “y shud I bother studying wat sumbody who livd 100s of yrs ago did?”
I agree dat I need not kno who I ve descended frm (tho dat s sposd to b the commonest ans for the qn). I agree wid Raja Raja Chola I on dat – “ I ve no right to carry the names of my ancestors on my head cos im in no way responsibl for their gr8ness or faults. Whether dey wer gr8 or unruly , I cant make em the source of my pride. I can only learn frm em.” I too think v must learn frm mankind’s mistakes n prove the ‘history repeats itself’ adage wrong.
The only justification for the study of history can b dat t can enrich our lives. As a scientific person, I think v must ask y v do the things the way v do em instead of following rules blindly n most of the answers to dese qns lie in the past. For instance, a historian recently publishd a paper to the effect dat temples contain statues cos wen dey wer first made, ppl tot dey wer real! They went to temples cos dey tot the gods livd in temples, dis was y sculptors tried to make their statues as realistic as possibl. He argues on to say dat, in fact, dis was also y they tried o xaggerate human characteristics so as to show the man as an xtra strong person more wel-built than normal men can ever b!! (He also says dat, wen ppl understood later dat the statues weren real, dey went on to say dat the gods had left earth n also created a concept of omnipresence of god!) This triggers the qn:- Mayb der s a god, bt does he really live(?) in temples???

(Note 1:Wel, for real hard core theists, im a theist myself n des re nt meant to hurt neone’s sentiments. Dey re only presentd as the arguments put fwd by an eminent greek historian.
2: If u ve read Erich von Daniken, u ll notice dat he also uses the study of history to prove his theory ,tho I must admit his theory sounds a lil too far-fetched. Bt t proves the point dat leafin thru history can lead us to qn some of our basic beliefs.)

I only wish to reiterate dat some of our practices mite b meaningless n v can , im sure, prevent a lot of gory riots f v xamine our bliefs one shade more closely in the light of our knowledge of history n discover their roots!

The second argument dat most ppl offer s dat “all history s someone’s guess or sumone else’s wish.” Historians xaggerate more than novelists do. N its always one side of the story dat s presented. The victorious re justified while the faults of the defeated re highlightd. So,wat v get to c is never the real picture.
It is true dat historians apparently xaggerrate or xtrapolate history to a gr8 extent. But the soln is only to dig further n find the truth rather than shut the doors of history the past. In fact, even frm history, as t s presented today, v ve so many valuable lessons to learn, dat f v probe further, v do not kno wat treasures v mite find. But certainly, givin up the study s the most illogical thing to do. Our ancestors may not ve been perfect, bt surely, v can learn wat lil dey knew, n improvise on t, rather than lose al the knowledge.
Another argument dat most ppl temme s dat- u learn history f u want. Y force t on oders? Rather y shud I learn al those dates n years n conquests?
Well, dat s a good one indeed! I agree dat this pts to a rather impt hole in our system of education n not the subject as such.It may not b necessary to learn al the dates , or the extent of the gr8 empires, or the list of al battles Alexander fought. Bt t wud be useful to know wat caused the war n wat wer its consequences. By understandin the follies of the emperors, their lands, many a nuclear war may b avoided.
History gives us a good insight into the mysteries of the human mind n many an olden strategy may b ado(a)pted today.
Well, enuf of dis blah….
I only wannat to say dat history s sumthin lik a tool in our hands. U can use t wel, or u can use to kill, or u can let t rust! I don think v need a return to the past. Bt only to learn frm t.
N for sum of us it s fun to learn neway!
As a side-note, t does feel proud to inherit a gr8 past, doesn t? ;)

(Note: This article appeared in "The Hindu -Open Page" dated July 22, under the title "Present actions have roots in the past" (in a more readable form, of course .. :) ))

Saturday, July 7, 2007


7 poems penned on 7-7-07... (No, i do not intend any metaphor!)

I hardly kno hw to give an intro to dis page of poetry on very assorted topics. I can only remind d readers tat d beauty of al poetry lies in d variety of thoughts t triggers, n the success of d words in capturing d abstract ideas of d poet. Honestly, I don believe in d kinda poetry tat rhymes or tat conforms to rigid standards in a sorta military manner. Poetry must b free xpression of thought, n d function of a poet s not tat of an addin machine tat counts syllables. As to d function of d reader, t s to view d piece in an unprejudiced manner n to enjoy t as he likes. N t s for this reason tat I don wanna publish my own interpretations of my somewhat vague poems.
Well, enuf of prefaces… now for d poems…


As I walk in this mosaic of colors
catching the abstract, time and again,
and packing it into letters, words, numbers and equations;
Like a spider, weaving the abstract into beautiful webs
However beautiful, they are cobwebs, you see!
I wonder why I don’t pack it all up
(The more I find, the more there is)
So that life unravels
new dimensions each day
Makes me feel I am entangled in life’s master cocoon
But lo and behold,I emerge a wise butterfly!


A volcano erupts from the Earth’s umbrella,
droplets of fire glistening towards the ground
Hundreds of flaming altars springing from the river of tar
and the smoke arises to the echo of thundering mantras
splashing a supernova offering…
As their solar-eyed protector still wavers among the waves,
selecting a form that would displease no one;
The sparks of her furnace ooze, poisoning villages
and the cries and moans cloud their burnt bruises…
Fiery images of unhealed pain flash across my dampened mind
I float in a pot of boiling guilt-
‘Why the inequalities? Why the evil?’
The thunder silences me again…
I only smile, silenced by my one-year-old’s “w-a-tuh”!!


As thin needles of water fall from the sky

As if to sew my tearsInto a garment of grief
I look around to see
If there is just one person to understand my grief
Not pity, not offer empty words of consolation
But understandAnd hold my hand
Giving me reassurance, comfort, solace
The heartbreak of the sky seems melancholic
Yet not so much out of sorrow
As the inability to share it
And I think, it is not hard to bear a heartbreak
But it is hard to bear it alone…


It was a tiny lavender blossom
Insignificant among the creme-de-la-creme of floral beauties
Innocently finding its unpopularity, difficult to comprehend;
It longed not to be the cynosure of eyes that passed by
But it wondered why nobody was quixotic enough to like it
When all the buds of the same plant were looked at in awe;
It waited and waited for the soft touch of fingers
The awaited day dawned in glory,
A group of maidens with a penchant for blooms
Crowded the plant like butterflies
Plucked and trampled, admired and shunned-
All but one sylph with a genial, radiant smile, angelic!
She took the flower in her hand, took it to her lips,
Quiver! Pink labial touch!
But while it was still floatin in the heavens-
her soft palms,She left it in the foliage of a bush,
“You look better there, in your home”
Alas! I had better been an atrophy!


As I observe life, I, a detached onlooker,
try to catch myself at the not-so-crucial crossroads
discovering those moments that make life
a worthy opponent, a delightful journey!

Moments that leap out, like commas in a sentence!
While flipping through the pages of a book
waiting for the host,
While nodding to a piece of symphony
with notes that strangle your shy thoughts out,
While looking at the darkening sky
that leaves bright orange traces on your window,
While waking in the early hours of dawn,
silent and uninhabited!

Moments that grip you
clutching your naked soul in all its loneliness,
Moments that hug you in a fatal embrace of joy
choking you with all of life’s happiness,
Moments that catch you unawares
when your unbridled mind is about to leap from one thought to another!

Not the ostentatious instants of triumph
or total despair,
Not instants of fiery inspiration
lascivious passion or exuberant ecstasy,
Not instants of pomp and fame and rush and people,
the so-called full stops of life,
Not the coquettish instants of emotion
that leave you no time to feel,
But calm, silent lonely moments,
too many to list,
too beautiful to describe!

Moments that leap out, like commas in a sentence!
For words murder the thoughts
that arise in solitary peace,
Their corpses lying in solace, buried in the commas!


As I am absorbed, minute by minute, into this vacuum,
I vanish into nowhere:
Nowhere, the land of emptiness, that is filled by me!
I create the space as I move along
Filling it with bright cheer
But as I move, the vacuum drinks it all!
It shreds my joy like fabric-glimmer
And captures it like mosquito-nets do the sunlight;
Then I comprehend the infinity of this vacuum
That cannot spread its emptiness, or radiate darkness
Or radiate its freezing cold
Yes, I comprehend the sad, sad infinity of this vacuum


Unable to tell you when I became the wind,
And you the sand-dune
I always wanted it to last forever,
Then the togetherness, now the separation;
But being the wind, one must realize
Nothing flies with you too long
They go sooner, the closer they came along,
May be my life shall never have a love song
All those memories get muddled in my head,
Like sand in a slush, not leaves in a storm!
It is difficult to tell you I’m leaving you behind
And difficult to watch you trying to find
Why it isn’t the same as before
I love you, but not anymore!!

P.S. Some of des ve been publishd in oder websites of Indian poets under d same titles!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

My First Post!!!

Well my first blog... i hardly know hw im gonna fill dis... but den years of indian schooling make u an xpert at precisely dis...N since i ve been nearly successful in tat, i don think its gonna be much of a prob.. of course, readers are d ppl who ll ultimately suffer... but isnt tat d whole point of blogging? :) lolz..neways, dis s gonna b a damn troublesome blog.. strange adjective?? maybe... bt for literature, especially, poetry lovers.. n those who like philosophy discussions..dis mite b ur kind... wel, tats enuf of an intro, i think..

(not bad, huh? i ve arredy started filling pages of total nonsense!! looks like d prospects of me bcomin a successful blogger re really high.. :D )