Saturday, 28 February 2015


there is mention in the linked story published in The Hoot about the 'whistleblower' role i had played in The Hindu to bring to the notice of the editor certain unhealthy tendencies in the newspaper. i opted to retire from the newspaper two years ahead of my normal time of retirement because good journalism was becoming impossible and there was no point in hanging around...

this is the link:


Friday, 20 February 2015

Hale and hearty

Today cardiologist C.G. Bahuleyan reviewed the condition of my heart and said: "Remarkable!"

Pumping perfect, pulse rate 62... All other parameters good.

The picture shows us Press Club Heroes just before the start of our match against Asianet Cable Vision at the annual Press Club Cricket Tournament day before yesterday. I am the white beard in the front row with the cricket bat on his lap. The other team members are the tigers of the journalist's profession here.

I opened the bowling for our team sending down two well-directed overs. My line and length were as perfect as always. Didn't get any wicket, but conceded only nine runs. I was the second most economical bowler in our team.

I also contributed four runs off two balls. A cameo, they all said. The first ball I faced was dispatched off the back foot through the cover for a boundary. The second ball I stepped out and lifted clean over the long on boundary. But the wind was blowing in from the opposite direction and blew the ball back for a fielder to catch me on the boundary line.

Chasing, our team scored 60 runs in the allotted eight overs and lost the match by just one run. The highlight our innings was a 31-run knock by Ajayan (beaming from the middle of the second row). It was heart-stopper of a match, said everyone who had the good fortune to watch it. The result hung in the balance till the last ball.

Amrita TV, a young team with the players' average age 27, won the trophy for the third consecutive year this time. The Press Club Heroes, whose average age is 47, was knocked out of the tournament in the league stage itself but you can be sure we will be back with a bang next year. We were known as Kapil's devils once upon a time. They still talk about my whirlwind 96 way back in 2001, a five-wicket haul in one over the same year by Shyam (the bespectacled player sitting just behind me) and a tumbling catch by Prasannan (the bearded man at the right end of the spectrum gesticulating with his hands as though to say he would like to put himself in quotes)...

That catch off the last ball of the match in deep third-man in the year of our Lord 1999 led to the only tied match in the history of this tournament. Prasannan had the sun in his eyes. Still, tumbling all over, he caught the ball on third or fourth attempt.

...One must admit that, over the years, we all have slowed down a bit. But we propose to work on it and give a better account of ourselves next year.

My next health review is in August.


Friday, 13 February 2015


have you ever seen a cobra up close with its hood raised, spread full?

if you can detach yourself of your fear of its killing venom, the raised hood will seem like a benediction.

it is as though some Godly presence is showering its blessings on you. the wonderful pattern on its hood glistens magically. the beads that are its eyes hold you mesmerised. its tongue darts out and darts in, creating a blur that is the pinpoint of concentration.

today i listened to Swami Sarvapriyananda. please listen to him yourself. given below is the link:


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

going deaf

journalism is an extremely ego-inflating profession. as i had noted in a previous post on this blog, i gave up my life in the profession at the end of 2014 and am becoming an ordinary person very fast. the toxins i had gathered into my body and mind are gradually draining out. i can feel the ripples settling down and soon the lake will be as still as a sheet of mirror.

my mobile phone is generally silent. if i want to hear its ringing when i am home, i have to dial the number from my land phone. and if it rings when i am out of home, the chances are ten to one it will be ambi asking whether i won't reach home soon. my only duty is to help her look after our grandchildren. i am doing it wonderfully well and liking it--contributing mightily to the overall management of the turmoils of the world.

i am watching bubbles bursting one by one. without the faintest of pops are they bursting. only the visual aspect of the burst is there and no sound. it is as though one had suddenly gone deaf watching a fireworks display...the pooram festival...

up into the night skies a rocket climbs spiraling. then it bursts into a flash and one involuntarily winces expecting a deafening report. but there is no sound.

vedi pottiyal puka--just smoke when the cracker goes off.


Saturday, 7 February 2015

temple visit

"did you go to a temple," asked my friend the vodka-and-lime, when we sat across the table at the cellar tonight.

"yes," i said, putting my hand involuntarily to my sandal-paste-smeared temple. "today is my son's birthday. ambi took me to the temple."

"did you offer worship," asked my friend the atheist and the leftist, after taking a sip.

"of course, i did," i said. "i stood before the sanctum sanctorum with folded they all do."

and i added, giving the exact picture: "i didn't prostrate before the deity, as most others did."



"the bridge flows, the water is motionless. why?" -- zen koan.

our train started moving. first it moved heavily inch by inch; then gathering momentum, it rattled steel over steel heading hurriedly towards its destination. it seemed unstoppable when suddenly everything stopped and the rattle died away into the distance. only the stopping seemed real now and the shouting of a hawker. "chai, chai, chai."


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

right action

right action is about acting directly, straight as an arrow, without subterfuge of any kind diverting the path of the missile...

this very complicated sentence drifted through my mind when i was playing with my nine-month-old grandson kunhikuttan this morning.

i usually take charge of him straight out of the bed around 6 a.m., just about the time the sun rises over the mukkundimalai hill to the east of where we live.

the crows would be out cawing, the cockerels calling cock a doodle doo and the koyels singing far and near, as the rays of the sun slanting across the lane going past our gates light up the mist making everything sparkle...

he has this way of bouncing as one holds him in one's arm. he would jump up, jump up, sort of impelling one in the direction he wants to move. when one starts walking in that direction, he would stop bouncing and relax. when one takes him across the spotlight the sun's rays throw across the vanishing mist, he would blink and start smiling, with a remembering sort of expression on his face, eyes shut.

then this sentence, which has no meaning as such, drifted through my mind like a white cloud over the morning skies:

right action is about acting directly, straight as an arrow, without subterfuge of any kind diverting the path of the missile...


Sunday, 1 February 2015

how do i know if i am enlightened?

just listen to this beautiful talk by Sathguru:


"it's just that i didn't cry"

my five-year-old granddaughter neha, running along the quiet lane in our colony, had a fall this morning and badly bruised her knees.

she was running ahead when i was walking to my friend radhakrishnan's home just 50 metres up the lane with her nine-month-old brother kunhikuttan in my arms.

it is our routine nowadays to go there first thing in the morning to see dicky, the white pomeranian, who never barks and likes chocolates and toffees.

neha often takes a bar of chocolate or a piece of toffee to dicky and the three of us--neha, myself and kunhikuttan--would watch her nibbling the offering gleefully, wagging her fluffy tail and running all around us excitedly. my grandson would be jumping in my arms giggling all the while.

this morning, before we reached my friend's gates, neha had this fall gamboling along the tarred lane.

that she was in extreme pain was apparent from the expression on her face, although she was not crying.

"did it hurt," i asked her as her mom cleaned the bruises with cool water preparatory to applying some healing ointment.

she looked up gallantly, her eyes overflowing, and said: "appooppa, it's just that i didn't cry... brave kids don't cry."

her hero is chhotta bheem.