Monday, 11 July 2016

Heaven Cafe! Come and taste Manna and Nectar

Fear psychosis is the main trigger behind the theory of hell and heaven. This concept is evolving in the assumption that human behavior may be influenced under duress or the fear of the unknown. That goodies would head for heaven and baddies for hell has been the belief sown in the heart of the society just to regulate human behavior; to prevent people from living by conceit.

The word heaven always excites me and sets me indulge in fantasies. I fancy heaven a nice hang out where I can date and dine with Apsaras. Where Angels, flapping their wings, are waiting for your commands. It's a place where you could stretch your limbs and relax with a plate of manna for a brunch followed by a cup of nectar.

But what about hell? To your dismay, you don't get a rosy picture of it from the believers. They cherish calling it a den, a predators' liar and sinner's refuge helmed by ghosts or demons. Thus the Faithfuls' description of the hell goes overboard. They do this deliberately just to create a scare in the minds of  fellow humans.

It has been the surmise of the humanity that souls leaving bodies reach out to the precinct of god and wait there until the Judgment day. Lord Chitragupta, after browsing the 'pava and punya account of a soul allot it either heaven or hell. Again, that is the faith of the believers. But non believers call it a gimmick saying that it's another Amar Chitra Katha, a steroid one at that.

Unfortunately, most humans  buy this stuff as they like to be believers rather than intellects.
Another reason the yours truly adduce for the heaven and hell notion is the creation of man with a mind and consciousness. Man, with his innate mental powers, it was thought, might ruin the world if it didn't turn good for him. And there emerged, thanks to the Vedas and other religious scriptures, the 'Two House' belief just to rein in man from doing harm to other creatures.

Fear about hell was a deterrent factor  until man chose to live within the confines of his home. He was dormant, parochial prior to the technological blitzkrieg that took over the world. His vast knowledge that he acquired through research soon busted the heaven and hell syndrome that has been chasing him for aeons. Determined to survive in this fast paced world, he is now concerned only with getting his next meal. He doesn't bother about what would happen to him after his death.

Man now pooh poohs the heaven-hell hype that becomes the butt of jokes. "Go to heaven for the climate, and hell for the company," runs a snide remark of Mark Twain. That man has mellowed with times and amassed funds of knowledge make irrelevant what kind of dwelling he will get after his death. Religion, having failed to exploit man with the idea of a human getting either an abode or den after demise now resort  to other means to scare him.

Hindu religion always cherish telling people that another avatar of Lord Krishna is on the anvil. It reminds us about the declaration of the Lord , aeons ago, that He would come to the earth whenever Adharma slays Dharma. Not to be undone by the Hinduism, Christianity too proclaim Jesus Christ would soon descent in our midst and heal us of all our sins.

Though life becomes knotty, making our fight inevitable for our survival, we still could explore avenues to make our life a la heaven. Let not the fear of getting hell after death decide about the necessity of being a righteous person. A mind that cries for others' suffering is enough to make a human an Atman. Getting into such a mindset, we can have a haven under our feet while living and grab it even after death.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

A Day Out with Lord Ganesha

‘School final exam starts from today. And that brings so much rush’, the priest mumbles.
Currency notes/coins flood the aarti plate and that makes his eyes glint

The temple is full of Teens. They have been calling to me from the small hours of the morning.

I feel tired sitting long and blessing all my devotees. To stretch myself a bit, I come out of my idol and stand beside it unseen.

Demands of students who visit my place today are similar. They implore I must help them crack their exams the way they like.

I smile at them and answer their prayers which they may not hear: ‘let your hard work define your success.’

‘Lord Ganesha, bestow all your blessings only on me. Thanks for the idea you plant on my head. Let it click. I don’t want to get it sucked. All I want is just a pass in the exam. I want only to scrape through. No more or less, sir.’

A voice from the crowd shocks me and throw me into utter confusion.

‘When did I plant an idea on his head? And what the fellow means by it’. I whine, reproaching my inability to understand human minds.

I now gaze at the boy.

He stands before my idol; his head bowed. He is skinny, looks like he is coming from a family of poor means. After a long pause, he begins chanting Ganesh Stotram in a voice that melts him whenever he mentions my multiple names.

The boy – let me call him The Skinny -- is silent for a moment. Holding up his hands towards my idol, he then repeats his plea: ‘Dear god, help me accomplish what I plan. It’s your blessings that will make me surmount all the hurdles coming in my way.’

‘Yes, my boy. I will be with you today and help you remember what you studied’. I mutter, still standing mesmerized by the Stotram he sang a few minutes back.

The exam hall is full of boys and girls. Most of their faces are familiar to me since I met them in the morning at the temple.

I like to stand in the veranda by the side of a big open window. The two sturdy women invigilators deposit themselves on their respective chairs after issuing question papers. They soon begin to doze off while attempting to read a pulp.

I watch the Skinny. He is happy that the two exam supervisors are fast asleep. He then unfolds the folded sleeves of his shirt and reels out bits of papers, all crab notes. Consulting his bits, he writes the answers so fast like a student who studiously studied his lessons.

I shudder. I now understand what he bragged about in the morning. He only wanted me an accomplice to this sinful act. But, I was too naive to understand the hell of his plan.

Soon, I notice a posse of officials from a flying squad buzz along the veranda and land on the hall. The two damsels who get into their feet are scared to the marrow of their bones. The squad dismiss them from the hall and brings in new invigilators.

The boy, too, gets devastated. He seems jolted out of his wits. He hurriedly puts all his bits inside his shirt as soon as he sees the squad. His answer sheet is as blank as his mind.

The rush of students swell in the evening too.

The Skinny scampers into the sanctum in a flash. He looks askance at me. Burning with anger and rage, he is pretty good emotional.

‘You cheat.’ He explodes, throwing his choicest expletives at me. ‘You didn’t help me to do what I wanted. You failed me. I had to abort my plan since there was no blessings from you. You duck your duty when people need you most. You’re a trickster.’ The skinny leaves the temple in a huff, but not before throwing the bits of papers in the temple hundi.

The moment the boy-in-agony leaves my place, another chirpy one appears from nowhere. He is all smiles. He races toward the front yard and starts breaking a sackful of coconuts. When the priest asks him the reason, he looks around and whispers.

‘Thanks to Ganesh Ji, I cracked the test extremely well. When I wrote answers referring to the bundles of papers I carried into the hall, I didn’t get caught. Nor was there any disturbance from the supervising guys. So, now is the time for thanksgiving? Don’t close the temple until I finish off with the last coconut.
The priest grimace.

‘People hate taking responsibilities, but blame god for their failures. That they have such mindsets in this Kali Yuga is not surprising.’ His mawkish monologues continue until he closes the door of the sanctum.

‘Gods have their own Karma that result even from their not doing anything.’ I say to me and laughs.

[The way J. O’Brien writes things are simply awesome. I can’t be frugal with words as he does. I splurge them often. So, a small piece I begin to write ends up writing like a trilogy.]

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Success is not the Key to Happiness

“Becoming successful in life!!!  What’s it, dad?” The little girl asks him while gazing at the book he is reading. The caption screams ‘Success’.

“To become a successful means winning in the game of life.” he answers without taking away his eyes from the book. The sea breeze that comes stealthily through the window blinds refresh the father and daughter duo.

“How to get success in life,” the girl persists. “Is god out there evaluating our life and giving us the trophy of success?” Her innocent face and tender look betray the question she puts forth. A question that puzzles a young, curious mind for an answer.

“That’s not the way one gets bestowed with success,” the dad answers after putting down the book. He is a bit proud realizing how smart his daughter is. He is silent for a while, organizing his thoughts to give a coherent answer to the girl.

“To become successful in life means earning big money,” he speaks emphatically. “It’s getting educated like your dad; employed in an MNC and earning fat salary pockets. Or starting a business and pocketing big chunks of money. If you thus earn a fortune, you can own a palatial dwelling and live with all comforts of life. Money is yummier than the manna of the heaven.” The dad laughs at his own joke and looks intently at the girl’s face if she is convinced of what he said.

“Wow,” the girl shouts, but looks like she is still brooding over something.

“Aside from money, people try to become popular in the society,” the dad continues with a flourish. “Yes, I mean stars like Rajinikanth Kamal Hassan and Amitabh Bachchan get admired and liked by the fellow humans. Winning in politics too makes a man call himself successful in life. Popularity thus becomes a ladder one can climb to rake in fabulous money.

“Now, I know what you mean by getting success in life, dad.” The girl smiles. “People can do anything they like,” she pauses for a moment and continues. “But their aim should be to get money, as much as possible. And that way they can boast they are successful in life. Isn’t it, dad?”

“Yes, honey,” he responds. He is happy of having convinced his daughter.

The small girl goes into a contemplation, closing her beady eyes. She revels in silence for a while and then speaks:

“Dad, if becoming successful in life depends on the money you earn or the popularity one enjoys, why then the uncle next door committed suicide last week? You told me he was a millionaire swimming in currency notes and a popular business magnet too. So even after earning huge money and popularity, why he felt he was not successful in life. There might be something in life his wealth or popularity could not buy.”

He gets puzzled. His daughter’s question nails him and he has no answer to it. He finds a chink in what he told her about getting success in life. His self-compliment about his power of convincing now gets a beating and leaves him disoriented. He stands frozen, gazing at the girl helplessly.

A bit of introspection on our part will also make us feel like the bewildered dad.
Like the proverbial blind identifying an elephant, we think success lies in our going up in the career graph and thus getting helluva money. Or in overtaking our rivals in a business and getting a fortune.

If flourishing in wealth means success, why the rich aren’t happy in life? As the little girl said why the wealthy find life a square in a circle and commit suicide. If winning in life is getting public glare why the celluloid stars hate life and take to a noose. Politicians, too, who stockpile money on the sly go to temples after temples and meet saints and astrologers just to get to know about their future. They aren’t contented with what they have. They want to go through the sky and grab the moon.

What then is success? And what clicks success in life?

As we know, success is neither being wealthy nor popular. It’s the voice of a happy mind which says happiness is not out there in life but it’s in you. A treasure it may appear elusive, but one can have it if one tries honestly.  Peace and tranquility that brings happiness in one’s heart needn’t be born attributes, you may acquire them by constant practice and training.

Just think for a moment.

Why we slog away at a job and earn bucks… more bucks?

Isn’t it about buying a posh bungalow, leading a comfortable life and thus getting a happy mindset?

Like rivers turning their course towards the ocean at the end of their journey, we, too, to get a contented and happy mind, try to give ourselves all the comforts of life. But our minds deny being cheerful no matter how much money we squeeze out of our job/business or the popularity we assiduously build.

When all said and done, we aren’t blessed with contended minds or minds that stay soaked in happiness forever. One may get such mindsets when one does things with fulfilled sense and competently. Or when one avoids doing them by halves. Success is simple: it’s doing right things in a right way at the right time.

Yeah, that is called success doing things with perfection and thus evolving a joyous and happy mind from it.

Inputs source: Tamil Kumudam Snehidhi
Images credit: Google

Friday, 20 May 2016

Squiggles and Scribbles and Squirms

An apologia for book stall, this makeshift dent remains pitched in the middle of a busy pavement. People take kindly to its existence though it’s a hurdle to their movement. As if a hot cake, they swarm it all times. I often see booklovers visit this jaunt in their troves. Huge collection of books that the stall gets stuffed with astound them.  Ice cream and coffee kiosks crop up on the sides of the shop thanks to the swelling crowds.

Admirably, visits by a stream of writers make the shop a distinguished one and give it a halo of pride. Abdication their crowns of egos, I find writers stand at ease with the commoners and browse those books that rekindle their writing spirits. A few high profile authors find this decrepit joint a spa where they try to rejuvenate their worn out creative minds.

For me this stall is not a business concern, but a holy confluence. A confluence where I take dips with writers, both celebs and novices. But then, my trip to the dent is not to go and stand under the shadows of the authors. I would rather like to be there to hug books and get a feel of them at first sight. It is those books who are ready to flirt with me even at odd hours teach me what is love at first sight.

Books that stay cluttered on the floor are always upturned. While most of them have their gaudy or purple wraps intact, the less fortunate ones are bare, exposing their frayed bodies. I would squat on the floor, take a book from the pile and flip through its pages as fast as I could. For, I like the strange aroma wafting from the books, thinking it’s about those who had read them long back.

Thus, when I leaf through the dog-eared and termite eaten pages of the Bard’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’, I notice an inscription in the second cover page alongside the caption ‘THE PROLOGUE’. It reads:

‘Savita, I love you’.

The letters are bold and male smelling. But, what is perceptibly missing is the name of the writer or his signature.

‘Uh, who is this Savita?’ I mumble as my thoughts get triggered.

‘Is she pretty? Why the man who divulged his love for her didn’t like to show his identity? Possibly, his love might be an unrequited one. Or Savita should have jilted him and fallen for another man. Married or single, she must be aged now.  Bedridden with a host of ailments, she may, probably, be counting the days down to her demise. Else she might have died by now. On either way, she would never know that a guy had loved her and etched her name in the pages of one of the Bard’s epic romances.’

My thoughts ground only when the squiggles or scribbles from another book daze me. I get well impressed as I see all those inscriptions on the books are not vanity statements, but expressions of profound feelings.

‘Gone with the wind’ is another classic I grab from the clutter. This Margaret Mitchell’s epic-historic romance caused many ripples in me once. Memories of Scarlet O’Hara’s battle against life’s odds still linger in my mind and make me dismayed. But the termites hold no mercy for her as they have eaten half of her story. The book is in disarray. Since its cloth binding gets loosened, the pages become rootless like the hapless Scarlet.

Since the book is so untidy and unkempt, I turn its pages with much care. A brief note from the right hand corner of the first chapter catches my sight. It smells of a female hand as it’s written in ornate letters.

“I, too, am a Scarlet O’Hara,” the note declares. “I have braved many storms. Bore all your whiplashes with a smile. You bastard, you sink me in a scalding lead or pour acid on my face, but I won’t budge. Won’t allow that slut home. Nor will I leave you alone.” Kala is the name I find scribbled under the note.

‘Kala must be a housewife.’ I begin thinking. My inquisitive mind gets booted. The woman must be a troubled soul, but daring. She could have written this note just to bully her tormenting husband who, I presume, might be hobnobbing with another woman and trying to throw Kala out of home. Though I can’t gauze the exact reason behind the scrawling, I get an itching to meet Kala and do what she needs.

“Hey, Mahatma!
At this time of agony
When we live amidst felony
Your presence we need again
To get rescue from
Communal demons
Religious fanatics
 Make your homeland a gutter?
And our lives woefully bitter.”

I don’t know it’s poetry or a purple prose. But I see it written on a scrap of paper, folded and kept inside the Mahatma’s magnum opus ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth’. Unlike the other books that are in shambles, this treatise on truth looks fairly good. That the book is not passed on hands can be seen from its blue wrap which remains intact and unstripped.

True, the poet [?] underscored the nation’s agony. He too appealed to Gandhi come home to heal the ailing nation. But he didn’t record his thoughts in any of the pages of the book. He rather wrote his thoughts on a piece of paper and kept it in between the pages. Amazingly, the paper remains there unopened for long since no one has interest either to read the Gandhi book or to know about the truth he unveils. Though the writer doesn’t show his identity, he must be a hardcore, frigging nationalist who likes his country to be secular forever.

My horizon of imagery thus gets widened. It flies higher and higher whenever I thumb through the pages of the books and read the notes or the engravings appear on them. I get moved more by the inscriptions than by the books. For, they connect me with unknown men/women who had read the books beforehand. Aside from personal notes, which emerge on pages of books and express all the navarasas, I also run into a few trolls next to a row of phone numbers.

The relationship between a reader and a book is always secret and invisible. I love books as they are my companions, associates, fellow travelers and bosom friends. My love for them can never be deciphered or decoded. Whenever I visit this dingy book stall, I used to glance at those books stuffed in big gunny bags. They are confined as they have no space in the cramped shop to display themselves. The fact they are homeless like those of abandoned poor make my heart flutter.

Inputs source: ‘The Hindu’ Tamil daily
Image credit: Google

Sunday, 8 May 2016

She Shares Her Pain with Tears

[ Wee hours of Sunday morning, the 10th, April 2016.In a firework mishap that broke out in the Puttingal Devi temple at Paravur in Kollam district, Kerala, 110 people got killed and 400-odd injured. Display of fireworks was held despite a ban imposed by the District Collector. Pankajakshi Amma, an 80-old octogenarian made the ban happen through a complaint she has been making for years. She got the ban, but, unfortunately, couldn’t stop the temple authorities from displaying the fireworks.]


She is Pankajakshi Amma, a native of the Paravur village – a village in the news for all wrong reasons. An octogenarian, she is crestfallen. Still in the grip of shock waves, she mumbles: “Had the temple authorities honored the ban and heard my plea…” She sighs, lets out an air of helplessness as if she is the cause of the Sunday chaos.

 Constantly in a stupor, she was not able to focus on her daily routine. For, her mind is still at the place where the tragedy happened.  Restless, she speaks in a non sequitur. No one including Praksh, her son, can decipher her mawkish monologues.

For the first time in her life she prays to the Puttingal Devi to take away her life as the goddess did with the victims of the Sunday mishap. In fact, after the gory fireworks blast that put out 110 precious human lives and injured around 400 persons, she is praying rather vigorously for the last five days.

 That the goddess didn’t bless the devotees at the end of the festival as per the prevailing custom make Pankajakshi miff at the Devi.  ‘You didn’t bless them, Devi, but burnt them as if they were a bunch of match sticks’, she says to herself in a voice tinged with dismay.

A cold sweat popped up in her forehead. Her constant crying for the last five days dry her eyes of tears. She now wishes she were one of those star-crossed people who got blazed in the firework mishap. When she thinks about the death of Surendran, the contractor, and his competitors who were responsible for the tragedy, her stomach churns. She feels like throwing up. Surendran who got 60 per cent burns died on the spot.

“Surendra, please don’t break the ban. Your competitive pyrotechnic display of fireworks will end only in disasters.” She could now remember telling him all through the Saturday. But all her pleas fell on deaf ears.

Her heart beats fast. She knows all is not well with it since she had angioplasty and open heart surgery years back. Her breath becomes hard and she feels her emaciated body trembles often. The grisly incident she saw on the Sunday last still rattles her nerves and makes her forlorn. ‘Don’t lose heart, lady. You did what you could,’ she hears a voice speak from her head and try to console her embittered mind.

‘How can I pull my heart when I still hear the piteous cries of people getting hit by swirls of flames and burnt out so  horribly,’ she moans.

She recalls a big blaze spread around a congregation and, in no time, the crowd got engulfed in flames. Their delight of watching the marvels of the firework soon turned into cries of death. Bombed by crackers and torched by balls of fire, they shrieked like hell.

  Charred bodies lay strewn all over the temple premise. The air got polluted and there wafted a nauseating odor all around. Bodies mutilated beyond recognition gave gruesome sight. She saw flames and columns of fire rose on all sides of the temple ground, which looked like a war ravaged zone.

 The power supply got snapped all of a sudden making it hard for the rescue team to continue their work. With the help of flashlights, all dead bodies got lifted to the waiting ambulances. Crowds of people were groping in the dark to find out their missing relatives/friends. Their heart piercing cries became unendurable when they identified their father or mother or sibling from charred or mutilated bodies. Shocked and shuddered, Pankajakshi covered her ears with the palms of her hands.

She cannot no longer stand. All the gruesome scenes of Sunday morning rush to her mind. They give her involuntary shudder. She feels a whiff of sea breeze brush her face. But it cannot repress the heat that is getting generated in her mind. Grabbing hold of her fast beating chest, she plonks on the pyol [platform built along the house wall that faces the street] that too got damaged in the firework disaster. The whole of the temple premise starting from her house is littered with heaps of papers – all remnants of burnt out crackers and, smoke is still billowing from them.

 A week went by since the catastrophe happened. Another Monday now bloomed. The Puttingal Devi temple is open and the goddess, decked up with fineries, now waits for her devotees. Pankajakshi goes into the sanctum and stand before the Devi with her eyes closed. She then comes out and circumambulate the outer prahar thrice.

When she steps into the road, it’s like a graveyard and people milling the temple looks like mourners. Holding a big leather bag in hands, she walks down the road towards the bus station.

“Ma,” she stops when she hears Prakash calls out her. He must have run all the way home, following her “Ma, where are you going?” He asks her, gasping for breath.

“Trivandrum, my child,” she whispers, patting on his head. To get a ban on the ensuing display of fireworks at Thrissur temple, I am going to file a writ petition in the High Court. Hope, the Court will grant the ban after what we had in Paravur last week.” She speaks in her downright tone with her usual enthusiasm.

“Ma, for god’s sake, don’t do that.” Prakash gets scared. Fear lurk in his eyes. “Did you forget ruffians bullied us of dire consequences in the wake of a ban you got for the display of fireworks in the Puttingal temple festival? Now they may kill all of us if they know what you are doing. Ma, please don’t go…” His voice fades away as he sees his mom leaves him with a jerk.

Holding her head high, Pankajakshi walks fast towards the bus station. For her, the cause she is fighting for is more important than her survival or for that matter the survival of her family.

  [This post happens when I begin to look at the tragedy through the eyes of the beleaguered Pankajakshi Amma. So, readers must not suppose the incident/conversations I have narrated above are true. A blogger, I dedicate this post as a tribute to the old woman and her continuing fight for a cause.]

Images courtesy: Google

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A Nice Get Together in the Attic

It is a pleasant surprise for me to meet my grandma again. She is all smiles when she sees me coming to the place where she is sitting and relaxing. A place where she would take refuge after her day’s hard work.

Her translucent skin lights the darkroom. The big vermillion bindi she sports on her forehead adds luster to her face. It makes her look like a la goddess. Embers are still flickering in her eyes. And they burn all the grime in your mind when you go under her spell.

She walks gracefully towards me. When she comes close, her aura mesmerizes me.
“How are you, Easwar?” She hugs me warmly and smile – an ingratiating smile.
‘Granny, are you real? How come I had forgotten you all these years?’ I moan, feeling guilty. Seeing her after what seems ages excites me, as I dry my moist eyes with the back of the hands.

“You look so tired, my boy,” she says with a hollow voice. “Maybe, life is not kind to you; all its odds may be stifling you. It seems it has gulped my old vivacious, giggling Easwar.”
I stand before her speechless, nodding to her discerning remarks. I no longer feel distraught. For the comfort of my being with her so closely fill me with new energy and rejuvenation; my battered self gets completely repaired.

“How about taking a glass of masala milk?” she asks, staggers towards the kitchen.
“I don’t remember why it happened?” She adds while walking. “While I was boiling milk for you, I felt a pricking pain in my chest and fell into a long sleep. Why didn’t you wake me up?”

“Gram, you fell into an eternal sleep suddenly. No one at home, including Dad, could make you get up.” I blurted out concealing her having had a massive heart attack and succumbed to it instantly. But, she didn’t listen.

“Come on, boy. Finish off your milk. It is time for you to sleep. You are so tired that you keep yawning.” She is now staring at the wall searching for the antique Swiss wall clock. She doesn’t know that Dad had dumped it long back as it stopped working.

The room is dusty and grimy. I lay down on the rough-hewn floor, resting my head on the matriarch’s lap. She strokes my hair and start spinning stories. Ram, Lakshman, Arjun, Sindbad, Alibaba, Sakuni et al come one by one and  waits for granny’s calling. She is the real juggler of stories. In her tales, you may find Arjun sails with Sindbad and helps the later overcome the perils of travel.

After some digression, she catches her favorite story and narrates it with her usual animation.

A cow sees a lion roams the forest with insatiable hunger. Its hunger bangs wrench the bovine’s heart. When the starving animal’s ravenous roaring becomes more pitiful and unbearable, the cow goes to his den and asks him to eat her and quench his hunger.

The magnanimity of the cow mortifies the hungry lion. It hugs the cow for its kindness and lets her go. That the lion becomes more honest than humans, even during a crisis is the plot of grandma’s story. I know she always manufactures stories to instill honesty and integrity into our minds. Her tales are thus interspersed with fine principles of living, but we are, at that tender age, imbibed only the story lines not its messages.

The stories are going on and on with full steam. Granma’s fund of creativity never gets dry. I sleep jolly well as I did years back. I feel I am not what I was an hour ago. A heavenly abode, the old lady’s lap transforms me into a child again. I don’t seem like a man struggling with the vagaries of life.

“Hey, Easwar! What are you doing in the attic? It’s almost noon. Come down, man.” I hear my wife shout from downstairs.

And thus ends my pleasant sleep when I get up with a bang. But granny is not there. I rub my eyes and look around the attic. The old girl is not found anywhere in the attic or the terrace. I feel all the heroes of her stories are in suspended animation.

I spot my diary that I kept by my side an hour ago. It is an old, worn-out piece. Its yellowish, termites eaten pages are rustling in the wind. The attic where I now stand and search for grandma is laden with all my old journals – gateways to my old times.
Take out any diary, dust it and flip through its pages, I am sure you would meet my mom or dad or his ilk who have gone into eternal sleep. The diary I was peeping into minutes back is full of insights about grandma. Every word of my jotting brought her alive.

I know my darling grand old lady did not go anywhere. I am not aware if she lives in hell or heaven. But, for sure, she lives in the pages of my diaries. The moment I turn their pages, she will jump out of it like an angel and smile at me. She would either give me a handshake or shed a tear if she finds life is not kindly disposed to me.

Come on guys, make a trip to your attic and explore it whenever you get tired of life. A moth-eaten diary, a bleached black and white photograph or any miscellaneous trinket buried under the dust of the attic may stir you step into your old memories. And who knows, it may bring all your forgotten golden moments that may give your hearts a twinkle.

Images courtesy: Google

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Phones are Smart but not the Young Folks

Why the youngsters take fancy to selfies?

If you ask such a question, you may get looked askance or presumed to be a person living in an den several notches below a go-getting world. Again, you may get branded an odd person coming from the medieval age. For, now, the modern world discovers a new gizmo every second and, remains littered with devices with amazing Apps.

This is the time when a tiny device, apart from being an instrument for communications, dabs even in creativity, making men and their minds irrelevant. Yes, a contemporary mobile phone is smarter than a genius.

It is the age of smart phones and it belongs to the youth. The advent of such phones, in a riot of colors and sizes, creates a different world for the teens and make social media their second homes. Selfies, an offshoot of smart mobiles, enliven the life of a youth now more than ever and engage himself all through the day and night.

When the word ‘selfie’ got into the teens’ vocabulary – it very well matches with the maimed English they speak and write --   the word ‘sharing’ too got a significant space in their diction as the young folks cherish sharing their selfies rather than clicking them. As vanity chums, they go an extra mile to display their selfies and make their clan envious

.Objects of selfies may be anything or everything under the sun; both animate and inanimate things. It may be a roaring sea, a quietly flowing stream, a celeb, a Hollywood Diva with wardrobe malfunctioning, a gruesome accident with its bleeding victims – you name it, the brats will click it. Not long back I got a display of a teenager in the social media. It was a selfie of him with a dog pissing at a lamp post. Good god, I am still to understand the meaning of such a shot.

Little guys who indulge in unabashed selfies even at the risk of their lives click bizarre things, share them in WhatsApp just to get innumerable likes. You may call it an act of vanity, but to them, it’s the adventure of a daredevil. But what they don’t figure out is that such cheap adventures may be fraught with dangers.

A few days back, a crazy young boy got into jail as he took a selfie with a woman DM and had a wordy duel with the reporters who objected to his snap shot. But, this youth was better than his counterpart in Chennai who got himself run over by a suburban train while clicking his selfie with the speeding train behind him. In yet another incident, a young man got thrashed blue when he took a selfie with a bathing transgender.

In yet another case of people bypassing their personal safety just to get a glamorous selfie, a man In Kerala got suddenly whacked by an elephant in his bid to take a photograph with the pachyderm.

One of the reasons that lead a stripling to clicking selfie is a sort of syndrome – attention seeking syndrome. Besides being narcissists, the youngsters are immature lots. For they display their selfies in the social media just to earn plaudits over their peers. They want to show their audacity to the world. And there they go, pitching in themselves to click their pictures with the things they are passionate about. Sadly, they are not conscious of the dangers that lurk behind them while they pursue their mad game.

A smart phone becomes a quintessential device for a teen. It is like his sixth finger – always inseparable. But such sixth finger, at times, becomes a killer demon and suck his/her life in a flash. A bud, thus gets wilted and dropped to the ground before its time is up for blooming.
Images Courtesy: Google