Monday, 31 December 2012

Story of the year 2012

Given below is the link to the story I enjoyed the greatest doing in 2012.

My friends tell me it was the story of the year from Kerala and I too feel so. By googling the name 'Nambi Narayanan' you will land on a string of news reports that will give you some idea about the impact the story had made. There has been several developments. The story helped reopen something that had remained closed for more than 10 years and, finally, there is justice happening.


Friday, 28 December 2012

Picture of the year

This is a photo I received forwarded by my son in Mumbai from my daughter in Kannur of my granddaughter Neha playing travelling to Thiruvananthapuram in a night train to see Appooppa. She has converted their dining table and chairs into a cabin and has taken the lower berth and the train is chugging along and when she wakes up she will be in Thiruvananthapuram (and not in Kannur) and Appooppa will be there at the railway station to receive her.  That is the game.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Letting fall body and mind

Reading 'Three Pillars of Zen' by Philip Kapleau.

Therein is the story of Dogen achieving full awakening through these words uttered by his master Ju-ching: "You must let fall body and mind." As Dogen heard these words his Mind's eye suddenly expanded in a flood of light and understanding.

Later, Dogen appeared at Ju-ching's room and lit a stick of incense as a ceremonial gesture and postrated himself before his master.

The master perceived at once from Dogen's walk, his postrations, and the comprehending look in his eyes that he had had a great enlightenment.

"Why are you lighting a stick of incense," he asked.

"I have experienced the dropping of body and mind," said Dogen.

"You have dropped body and mind, body and mind have indeed dropped," Ju-ching exclaimed.

Dogen remonstrated: "Don't give me your sanction so readily."

"I am not sanctioning you so readily."

Reversing their roles, Dogen demanded: "Show me that you are not readily sanctioning me."

And Ju-chin repeated: "This is body and mind dropped," demonstrating.

Whereupon Dogen prostrated himself again before his master as a gesture of respect and gratitude.

"That's 'dropping' dropped," added Ju-ching.

Dogen continued his zazen training in China for another two years before returning to Japan...

This is a story at the start of the book and I feel excited reading it!!!

How can one let fall body and mind?


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

in a womb

in a womb.
time non-existent;
not even the concept
of time, cold, fear...
only the beating of the heart
beating in the womb;
the whole womb beating
from vacuum to vacuum,
beyond beginning and end;
a vague sense of something infinite;
a womb beyond the womb,


Thursday, 1 November 2012


distant cyclone
soft breeze wafting in
through my window
the rain, a steady monotone
over cricket chirping
the glow of the cigarette butt...
the thought of a joke!

i punched in the above lines on the blog last night so i could remember the mood of that moment. now, the morning after, i am trying to recapture it. not of any particular relevance, except that i am monitoring the ebb and flow of the mood these days and finding it fascinating.

as a person interested in the weather, its mood changes and its illogical logic, i was watching the progress of the cyclonic storm 'Nilam,' which spiralled in over the peninsula from the southwest Bay of Bengal on Wednesday evening, causing heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and nearby regions. the models of the India Meteorology Department had shown the possibility of the cyclone bringing rains in Kerala also.

as i sat in the dark smoking my final cigatette of the day, i could imagine the cyclone far away perambulating over the peninsula and feel its sweep blow softly in through the window. i felt like being in the entire system, and the system kept expanding beyond even the circle of 'Nilam.' another severe cyclonic storm had only just now breathed itself out on the other side of the globe. i was sitting there by the window smoking my final cigarette of the day and feeling the entire atmosphere flow and heave over the earth and i was moving farther out and expanding into the solar system and i felt like i would expand further into areas unknown, when, suddenly, i came down with a bump. the thought of something foolish i had asked someone during the day, making everyone laugh, of course at my expense, ended the journey. i finished the cigarette and went to sleep.


Monday, 29 October 2012

Neha starts into the world of letters

We initiated Neha (who turns three next month) into the world of letters on October 24.
No function as such. Just Neha's parents, uncle, aunt and cousin, we grandparents and my mom.
I take her finger over a spread of rice on a plate sprinkled with a few tulsi leaves and take her finger around the letters HARI SREE GANAPATHAYE NAMA!
And I visualize Neha launching on her wings gently into the air fanning her wings to stay still in the air to seek everyone's blessings before soaring up into the skies.
Keep your freshness all through your life, Moloo, and then you learn exciting things all through your life!

Monday, 20 August 2012

On my morning walk today, thoughts slipped into the technique involved in judo. It is based on being alert, agile and ego-less. You have to know what meditation is to excel in it. I have not had the fortune to learn it, but I can understand its principle. It is about being calm and quickly adjusting your position within any storm of aggression from outside, so that you act as the fulcrum turning the very same aggressive force down. And you do it without any emotion. There is no anger. If there is anger you lose your alertness and agility and you cannot quickly adjust your position to be the fulcrum. And if you do not come to that position at the right moment you will get hurt. You will lose the match. Then you are not a good judo player. If you do not know meditation you cannot be good at judo. Even a frail man can bring down a giant if he is alert and agile. You have to be a nobody to be alert and agile, because, when you are a 'body' with all the involved ego, you have a certain amount of mass, which is an impediment in being alert, agile and quick.


Thursday, 16 August 2012


all sounds exist in this silence.

the kingfisher
into the pond
the wind swishing
the rain rushing
the feet
pounding the path home
the breath pausing
for breath
and the bell and the bleating
of the goat, the cawing of the crows...


Friday, 10 August 2012


Venu—reading a book, understanding just a little of what the writer had conceived.
Venu—brushing his teeth, enjoying the sprinkle from the shower, soap in the eyes.
Venu—having his breakfast, upma with mango pickles, saliva sprouting.
Venu—driving to work, flowing with the traffic, keeping safe distance, seeing everything…

I feel so alert today, hovering a few feet above myself and watching
what I am doing, like watching a person not myself
negotiating a world in which I have no part and yet
someone by this name I know is playing out a role and I see his emotions
those are not mine
and feel how he feels when the wind blows on his face and hear what he hears
when they honk the horn…
—this person who is not me…

This takes me to something I had noticed in a childhood friend. Parameswaran is his name. He has this habit of referring to himself in third person only.

“When Parameswaran was in the town today, a sudden thought struck him. Why not buy a kite for Venu,” I remember him saying once, giving me a kite.

He is some 10 years older than me.
It is said that when I was a very small kid—just beginning to walk, perhaps—I had urinated in a glass that was there on the kitchen floor.
And Parameswaran took a good gulp of it thinking it was coconut water, emptied into the glass when mother broke coconut for use in the kitchen.

“Parameswaran still remembers the taste of Venu's urine,” he would say whenever we meet, even after many years. It is not he, but someone by the name Parameswaran who still remembers that old incident.
It is always someone else, a third person, who is experiencing everything.

I remember him once falling from a tree and spraining his ankle badly. Other boys playing with him surrounded him and started trying their crude methods at setting the sprain right, holding him by the toe and shaking the leg and twisting the injured ankle this way and that.

He howled out, writhing in pain: “Hoooo-hooo-huhuhooo…you will kill Parameswaran! Please leave Parameswaran alone!”

And he was also giggling with merriment over Parameswaran’s plight, laughing, even as he was screaming out in pain.


Saturday, 28 July 2012


i will not post this here if i don't see my blog as a straight reflection of the process that has been happening in me since around the time i began this blog. (a little complicated sentence, isn't it?). well, the fact is i committed a grave mistake the day before yesterday mixing up a whole lot of plain data for a front page story for my paper. around noon yesterday the chief calls up and asks venu how did it happen? then i check and find what he says is true! everything is mixed up! that is the straight fact! there is no point in probing how it happened. i feel elated. nowadays it is very difficult to find me committing a mistake. i was running along like a non-stop express roaring along and gathering speed and there was no way i could get out of these free skidding rails. then this sudden jolt, as though the wheels had bounced up over a crossbar placed in the path by some careless mechanic. while in the air, i thought: don't miss this opportunity! so straight i put in my resignation letter; but the chief, he tears it up.

the wheels bounce down clean on the rails and the train keeps skidding along, hooting its whistle, heading towards all the dangerous curves that lie ahead.



"Thinking is a quality of your inner being. What does 'thinking' mean? It means to retain your consciousness, to remain alert and aware, to encounter a problem. A problem is there--you face it with your total awareness and then arises an answer, a response. This is thinking"
-- Osho

Saturday, 7 July 2012

random thought

"The Lord is seated in the heart of all beings turning all beings mounted upon a machine by his Maya" -- Gita.

i am a combination of cells
and molecules and atoms,
clinging together, repelling one another,
forming and dropping away,
configured in a certain configuration,
containing the energy that is the energy of the earth and the sun,
the consciousness of the whole,

yet divided,
because at the third level,
the mind,
i cannot conceive.


Wednesday, 2 May 2012


i listened to him--
his words,
like clean pebbles,

the roar of the thundersquall
subsided outside
and a quiet crept into room,
snuggling for warmth.

through a leak in the roof,
dripped rain water,
into a copper pot,
half full.

i listened to him--
his words,
like clean pebbles,


Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Up in the hills there was this sudden change in light and then there was silence all around. The birds were chirping but their chirping was part of the silence and there was no movement.

A reservoir in the valley had turned to molten gold. The landscape changed colour from orange to gold and then to bright gold. There was a mist suffusing everything in a golden glow...

And then the sun came out of the clouds and the magic was gone.


Monday, 2 April 2012


my grandchild neha is two years and four months old. she is staying with us for a few days with her mother.

a few months ago, when she was with us last, i could draw her attention in the direction i wanted by introducing something surprising into the scheme of things, like the discovery of a long procession of ants across the room. she would forget her demand to go watching the temple elephant in the sun and would be fully involved in the excitement of the new discovery.

but now i find she cannot be distracted from what she wants. if she says "take me to the elephant, appooppa," she means just that. i cannot distract her by showing her ants or butterflies.

she is developing a will of her own!


Tuesday, 27 March 2012


yesterday i went into the heart of a golfer,
walking alone in the night
over a golf course we have in the city.

i have never played the game in my life
and have often wondered
what it is the fun in this game,
hitting a ball with a club
till the ball falls into a hole!

and so i walked
over this golf course,
yesterday night.

a million sparkling stars twinkled in the skies
and there were trees, etched in black artistry,
silhouetted against the subdued glow of the horizon,
the grass undulating over the course
and the sandy bunkers,
the cushioned squeak of my feet,
over the wet grass,
a vague unidentifiable fragrance in the breeze,
the hooting of an owl...

and i thought:
if i hit the ball from where i stand,
i will have to factor in the distant
hooting of the owl,
the wind and its fragrance,
the bunkers,
the inky blotches of oblivion, dancing still,
in the trees,
my stance and backlift and follow-through
as i swing the club in an arc,
the steel of the club,
the temper and bounce of the ball,
the laws of gravity,
the roll of the gentle slope of the neatly mowed grass,
the wetness of dew on each leaf of grass,
and thence the narrow path to the hole...

and i understood why some people are crazy about golf.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012


can you imagine a condition
free from all conflicts?
you don't have to rush to be in time for any train...
no train waits for you at the station. no one is waiting anywhere to discuss with you business; you have nothing engaging your are empty of  thoughts.

then you feel like an eagle.
the lightness of the eagle floods into your heart,
filling the whole of your being and you feel weightless as you float up
and circle high in the sky...
naked, defenceless, in the full glare of the sun, never knowing a bother about being so vulnerable, yet not knowing a bother about the word vulnerable either...

you float unseen,
high in the sky, like the eagle, its eyes
picking up each movement on the ground.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

one of the things

one of the things so funny in us
in this present-day world of indecision--
not knowing what, where--
is our propensity to shut ourselves out
and listen only to the roar from the gallery.

they tell me my father has committed treason;
so i slay him
and i exult in them exulting in the hero in me.


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

gone with the wind

totally forgetting a poem
that had flitted into my mind
just five minutes ago
by the time the line cleared
to this blog
gone with the wind!



fixing myself in time and space
on parking the car in the office parking space
i found the following parameters:
2:52 pm
15560 km
nearly five litres of petrol in the tank
a story waiting to be written.


Friday, 17 February 2012

deep in the night

deep in the night
i sat at the computer watching
the modem blink,
without connecting.

i had no agenda,
nowhere to reach,
i watched
the blink of the moment
on the modem,
the long pauses in between,
the sudden jumping into blinks
over clouds and dreams and pastures wide,
with bleating sheep.