Thursday, December 29, 2005

THE 'TRUTHS'!


1. Regular naps prevent old age... especially if you take them while driving.
2. Having one child makes you a parent; having two makes you a referee.
3. Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right and the other is the husband!
4. They said we should all pay our tax with a smile. I tried - but they wanted cash.
5. A child's greatest period of growth is the month after you've purchased new school uniforms.
6. Don't feel bad. A lot of people have no talent.
7. Don't marry the person you want to live with, marry the one you cannot live without... but whatever you do, you'll regret it later.
8. You can't buy love . . but you pay heavily for it.
9. True friends stab you in the front.
10. Forgiveness is giving up my right to hate you for hurting me.
11. Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
12. Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.
13. My wife and I always compromise. I admit I'm wrong and she agrees with me.
14. Those who can't laugh at themselves leave the job to others.
15. Ladies first. Pretty ladies sooner.
16. It doesn't matter how often a married man changes his job, he still ends up with the same boss.
17. They call our language the mother tongue because the father seldom gets to speak.
18. Saving is the best thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.
19. Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something.
20. Real friends are the ones who survive transitions between address books
(Contributed by K. N. PRADEEP KUMAR.The cartoon is from freedomtolearn.org)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

DEAR ALL, MERRY CHRISTMAS!


JINGLE BELLS

Dashing through the snow
On a one-horse open sleigh,
Over the fields we go,
Laughing all the way;
Bells on bob-tail ring,
making spirits bright,
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle all the way!
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

A day or two ago,
the story I must tell
I went out on the snow
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there
I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle all the way!
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

A day or two ago,
I thought I'd take a ride,
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side;
The horse was lean and lank;
Misfortune seemed his lot;
He got into a drifted bank,
And we, we got upsot.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle all the way!
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
And sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bob-tailed bay
two-forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you'll take the lead.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle all the way!
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

This very famous carol was written by James Pierpont (1822-1893 ) and originally entitled "One Horse Open Sleigh", a jaunty composition which is sung around the Christmas holidays. Pierpont is born in Medford (Massachusetts) and his story resemble furthermore to a legend that a true story. When Pierpont wrote Jingle Bells, lived with his young wife, Eliza Purse, with whom he had 6 or 7 children, the daughter of a Civil War mayor of Savannah, Georgia, and his father, Reverend John Pierpont, the pastor of the First Medford Unitarian Church always in Medford. A day James Pierpont went to the home of Mrs. Otis Waterman, who owned the only piano in town, and he of course went there to play the carol. After he played the piece for her. Mrs. Waterman's reply was that it was a very merry little jingle, and he should have a lot of success with it. That, of course, is where the James got the idea for the song's name. Jingle Bells was finally published and copyrighted by the year 1857.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

CHRISTMAS STORY: A PLACE IN PARADISE

By PAULO COELHO
Many years ago, in the northeast of Brazil, there lived a couple who were very poor and whose only possession was a hen. They managed to scrape a precarious living from the eggs laid by that one hen.
On Christmas Eve, however, the hen died. The husband, who only had a few pennies to his name, which was certainly not enough to buy food for that evening's meal, went to seek help from the village priest.
Instead of giving him money, the priest merely remarked:
'God never closes a door without opening a window. Your money will buy you almost nothing, so go to the market and buy the first thing you're offered. I will bless that purchase and, since Christmas is the time for miracles, something will happen that will change your life for ever.'
The man wasn't entirely convinced that this was the best solution, but he went to the market anyway. One of the traders saw him wandering aimlessly about and asked what he was looking for.
'I don't know. I don't have much money, but the priest told me that I should buy the first thing I was offered.'
The trader was very rich, but even so he never let slip an opportunity to make a profit, however small. He took the man's few coins and in exchange gave him a note scribbled on a piece of paper.
'The priest was quite right. Now I've always had a kind heart, and so, on this festive day, I'm selling you my place in Paradise. Here are the deeds!'
The other man took the piece of paper and moved off, while the trader glowed with pride at having closed yet another excellent deal. That night, while he was preparing for supper in his house full of servants, he told the story to his wife, adding that it was thanks to such quick thinking that he had become as rich as he was.
'That's shameful!' said his wife. 'Fancy behaving like that on the day Jesus was born! Go straight to that man's house and get the piece of paper back, or you'll never set foot in this house again!'
Alarmed by his wife's anger, the trader decided to do as she said. After much asking around, he managed to find out where the man lived. When he went in, he found the couple sitting at a table that was completely bare apart from the piece of paper.
'I've come because what I did was wrong,' the trader said. 'Here's your money. Now give me back what I sold you.'
'You did nothing wrong,' replied the man. 'I followed the priest's advice and I know that what I bought from you is blessed.'
'But it's just a piece of paper. Besides, no one can sell someone else their place in Paradise. If you like, I'll give you double what you paid for it.'
However, because he believed in miracles, the poor man refused to sell. The trader gradually increased his offer, until he reached the sum of ten gold coins.
'That's no good to me,' said the man. 'In order to give my wife the life she deserves, I need one hundred gold coins. That is the miracle I'm waiting for this Christmas Eve.'
In despair and knowing that if he lingered any longer, no one in his own house would have supper or go to midnight mass, the trader ended up paying one hundred gold coins to get the piece of paper back. As far as the couple were concerned, the miracle had happened. As for the trader, he had done as his wife had asked. His wife, though, was filled with doubt. Had she been too hard on her husband?
As soon as midnight mass was over, she went to the priest and told him the story.
'Father, my husband met a man who said that you had told him to go to the market and buy the first thing he was offered. My husband, seeing a chance to earn some easy money, wrote him a note on a piece of paper, selling him his place in Paradise. I told my husband that he wouldn't eat in our house tonight if he didn't get that piece of paper back, and he ended up having to pay one hundred gold coins for it. Did I go too far? Could a place in Paradise really cost that much?'
'Firstly, your husband was able to show great generosity on this, the most important day in the Christian calendar. Secondly, he became the instrument of God through whom a miracle was performed. But to answer your question: when he sold his place in Heaven for a few pennies, it wasn't even worth that much; however, when he bought it back for one hundred gold coins simply to make his wife happy, that, I can assure you, made it worth much much more.'
(Based on an Hasidic tale by David Mandel. Source: Warrior of the Light, a www.paulocoelho.com.br publication)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

INDULEKHA: JUST ARRIVED!


Indulekha ( www.indulekha.com ), an online showcase for Malayalam books has just started test running. Ten books are listed now. We can read first three pages of all these books alongwith a brief introduction. More books can be expected in coming days.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT INDULEKHA

Monday, December 12, 2005

PAULO COELHO AND V C SREEJAN


>>Paulo Coelho (on MALAYALAM literary scene??)
Most of the writers there are more concerned with style than content; they strive to be original, but succeed only in being dull. They are locked in their own little world, and I learn an interesting French expression: renvoyer l'ascenseur, meaning literally 'to send the lift back up', but used metaphorically to mean 'to return a favour.' In practice, this means that I say nice things about your book, you say nice things about mine, and thus we create a whole new cultural life, a revolution, an apparently new philosophy.

'They send the lift up', and at first, such writers have some success: people don't want to run the risk of openly criticising something they don't understand, but they soon realise they are being conned and stop believing what the critics say.
(from Coelho's new novel, THE ZAHIR)

>>VC Sreejan (on MALAYALAM writing)
New books are coming out, new writings appear. Our literature thrives.
I, being a critic, am really glad in these positive developments. For, new writing is necessary for the Critics to survive. As we are all aware, criticism is a derivative art.

There are people who say that the real life experiences are not indispensable for creative works. On the other hand, some people believe that such experiences are absolutely essential for the works. Both these arguments are important, but in different ways.

In our changing times, an anxiety prevails as to whether our language would survive, or for that matter, whether our literature would last long . Admittedly, all these confusions remain. Our responsibility is to protect and guard our own language. The new writers should pay their attention to this area.

There are two different types of meanings to the words. The traditional meaning and then the meaning they acquire over the years through constant interactions and communications. As for the dead languages, the possibility for the latter is remote.

In some earlier occasions, I have stated that there are no big names in our language when we make comparisons with the world literature. In a different angle, we can think that
the writers , in general, are trying to bring in the interactions that happen around them to their creative works. When we view things in that way, there will not be different standards in writing like good or bad writing, great or mediocre authors and like that.

In these times of globalisation and liberalisation, what our new writers can attempt is this: they should go through the works of some not so-great workers. They would be able to find some sparks in these works, some novel metaphors left unnoticed by a generation of readers. And the new writers must try to find out if they would be able to create their own works based on these ideas.
(excerpts from a speech, translated by E. SANTHOSHKUMAR)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

CORPORATE HAIKU


My writer friend E. SANTHOSH KUMAR sent some 'post modern' haiku by William Warriner. He picked these pieces from a book named Corporate Haiku. "It is amusing in a way, but a reality in the American life," santhosh writes. All americans are welcome to comment!!

>>So, it STARTS...

Somewhere in Japan,
They will design a car that
Plows its own doorway.

Before first flight, while
I dream of deadlines,
Rises the entrepreneur.

Hopelessly entranced
By the flight of numbers,
I no longer see birds.

This is my space, I am content,
Where ivy grows on a computer.

Slowly we acquire
Management proficiency
In slipping schedules.

The clocks diagree;
Yet they all accuse me of
Mismanaging time.

But how can this be?
My teacher commands me:
Press Enter to Exit !

A mushroom has pushed
Through stone; it knows
The art of negotiation.

At the projector,
A spider traces a map
Of his market place.

Our Marketing plan:
Though it is a small one,
Sell it as a large one.

Fields of white daisies
Gently nod consensus
As I rehearse my speech.

Last years proposal
Add wings; then it
Will become a new idea.

Light dawns with a thud
All those apples on the ground
Which one was Newton's?

Monday, November 21, 2005

O V VIJAYAN again; then comes BASHEER


THIS SURVEY IS NOW RUN BY INDULEKHA (www.indulekha.com). PLEASE VISIT INDULEKHA FOR THE LATEST RESULTS.
CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE SURVEY PAGE.
SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

POINT OF VIEW


My friend Mr. K. N. PRADEEP KUMAR, Chief Manager, IndusInd Bank, Kottayam, sent me a nice story by e-mail. A Zen-kind of story. You may please read it here. It says, seeing things from a new point of view can be very enlightening. Think outside the box. Don't settle for the status quo. Be open to suggestions. Things may not be what they seem.

>>CHANGE Your Point of View
Joe Gracia
Imagine you're in London's Heathrow Airport. While you're waiting for your flight, you notice a kiosk selling shortbread cookies. You buy a box, put them in your traveling bag and then you patiently search for an available seat so you can sit down and enjoy your cookies.Finally you find a seat next to a gentleman. You reach down into your traveling bag and pull out your box of shortbread cookies.

As you do so, you notice that the gentleman starts watching you intensely. He stares as you open the box and his eyes follow your hand as you pick up the cookie and bring it to your mouth. Just then he reaches over and takes one of your cookies from the box, and eats it! You're more than a little surprised at this. Actually, you're at a loss for words. Not only does he take one cookie, but he alternates with you. For every one cookie you take, he takes one.

Now, what's your immediate impression of this guy? Crazy? Greedy? He's got some nerve?! Can you imagine the words you might use to describe this man to your associates back at the office? Meanwhile, you both continue eating the cookies until there's just one left. To your surprise, the man reaches over and takes it. But then he does something unexpected. He breaks it in half, and gives half to you. After he's finished with his half he gets up, and without a word, he leaves.

You think to yourself, "Did this really happen?" You're left sitting there dumbfounded and still hungry. So you go back to the kiosk and buy another box of cookies. You then return to your seat and begin opening your new box of cookies when you glance down into your traveling bag. Sitting there in your bag is your original box of ookies -- still unopened.

Only then do you realize that when you reached down earlier, you had reached into the other man's bag, and grabbed his box of cookies by mistake. Now what do you think of the man? Generous? Tolerant? You've just experienced a profound paradigm shift. You're seeing things from a newpoint of view.

Is it time to change your point of view?
Now, think of this story as it relates to your life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

HAIKU RAINS


Let us dive into a special kind of rain this time. Enjoy some rain poems from my collection of Haiku, one of the most important modes of Japanese poetry. The painting seen above is a Haiga, means Haiku painting, by Zolo. Zolo is very famous for his Haiga as well as Haiku. You can find some of his beautiful Haiga at www.worldpath.net/~jpandsk/ . Well, let the rain comes. Have a nice time.

>>Matsuo Basho

>Spring rain

leaking through the roof

dripping from the wasps' nest

>From now on
a nameless traveller;
winter's first rain.

>>Shiki Masaoka
Night; and once again,

the while I wait for you,
cold wind
turns into rain.

>>Soen Nakagawa
>Sound of mountain
sound of ocean
everywhere spring rain.

>Soft spring rain-
since when
have I been called a monk?

>>Vic Johnson
The clouds bring sadness
Sadness because the sun's gone

Rain filled with sorrow


>>
Richard Lawrence Cohen
>Rain on my windshield.

What a small thing a life is:

pages, photos, tears.


>Picking up the kids
early on a rainy day

is all we can do.


>Halloween downpour:
Costumes under umbrellas.

“I’m scared of thunder.”

>>Daniel Trent
>up to my wrists

in the washing up bowl -

watching the rain


>a sliver of moon
rain on the dormer window -

summer evening


>rain speckles
the dusty window -

mid-summer


>>Morten Paulsen
An island song

Like a floating river

Rain Rain Fall Fall


>>Jack Kerouac
>After the shower

among the drenched roses

the bird thrashing in the bath.


>Snap your finger

stop the world -

rain falls harder.


>>Ed Brown

A gentle rain settles the dust.
A cool refreshing breeze cleans the air.
Breath absorbed breath.
The ancient sand castles are nowhere to be found.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

CUSTOMER CARE IN 2020


You are going to read a joke; just joke. But in no time, i do believe, it will become a real life situation. Whether we like it or not, we are heading ourselves to that point. Read and laugh for the time being. And later, get shocked to know what is in store for us in the age of information explosion and world wide web. 'Happy' IT revolution! I got this joke from a friend by e-mail.

Operator : "Thank you for calling Pizza Hut . May I have your........."

Customer: "Heloo, can I order......"

Operator : "Can I have your multi purpose card number first, Sir?"

Customer: "It's eh..., hold..........on......889861356102049998-45-54610"

Operator : "OK... you're... Mr Singh and you're calling from 17 Jalan Kayu. Your home number is 4094! 2366, your office 76452302 and your mobile is 0142662566. Which number are you calling from now Sir?"

Customer: "Home! How did you get all my phone numbers?

Operator : "We are connected to the system Sir"

Customer: "May I order your Seafood Pizza..."

Operator : "That's not a good idea Sir"

Customer: "How come?"

Operator : "According to your medical records, you have high blood pressure and even higher cholesterol level Sir"

Customer: "What?... What do you recommend then?"

Operator : "Try our Low Fat Hokkien Mee Pizza. You'll like it"

Customer: "How do you know for sure?"

Operator : "You borrowed a book entitled "Popular Hokkien Dishes" from the National Library last week Sir"

Customer: "OK I give up... Give me three family size ones then, how much will that cost?"

Operator : "That should be enough for your family of 10, Sir. The total is $49.99"

Customer: "Can I pay by! credit card?"

Operator : "I'm afraid you have to pay us cash, Sir. Your credit card is over the limit and you owe your bank $3, 720.55 since October last year. That's not including the late payment charges on your housing loan, Sir."

Customer: "I guess I have to run to the neighbourhood ATM and withdraw some cash before your guy arrives"

Operator : "You can't Sir. Based on the records,you've reached your daily limit on machine withdrawal today"

Customer: "Never mind just send the pizzas, I'll have the cash ready. How long is it gonna take anyway?"

Operator : "About 45 minutes Sir, but if you can't wait you can always come and collect it on your motorcycle..."

Customer: " What!"

Operator : "According to the details in system ,you own a Scooter,...registration number 1123..."

Customer: " ????"

Operator : "Is there anything else Sir?"

Customer: "Nothing... by the way... aren't you giving me that 3 free bottles of cola as advertised?"

Operator : "We normally would Sir, but based on your records you're also diabetic....... "

Customer: #$$^%&$@$%

Operator "Better watch your language Sir. Remember on 15th July 1987 you were convicted of using abusive language on a policeman...?"

Customer: [Faints]

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A PASSION FOR BOOKS


It is a book lover's book. A book for the book lovers and by two book lovers! As its publisher claims, A PASSION FOR BOOKS is a 'treasury of stories, essays, humour, lore and lists on collecting, reading, borrowing, lending, caring for and appreciating books.' This is the book that thrilled me for the last two months. From celebrities like Umberto Eco, Susan Sontag to many unknown (i.e., unknown to me, that's all!) writers have made precious contributions to it. You will be astonished to read Gustave Flaubert's first published work, Bibliomania, a story written in 1836, in this collection edited by HAROLD RABINOWITZ and ROB KAPLAN. It is published by THREE RIVERS PRESS, New York. Here is a small, but funny piece from it. The book is worth buying. I bought it from DC HERITAGE BOOK SHOP, Kottayam.

FIND THIS at amazon.com

>>On the return of A BOOK LENT TO A FRIEND
By CHRISTOPHER MORLEY
I give hearty and humble thanks for the safe return of this book, which having endured the perils of my friend's bookcase and the bookcases of my friend's friends, now returns to me in reasonably good condition. I give hearty and humble thanks that my friend did not see fit to give this book to his infant for a plaything, nor use it as an ashtray for his burning cigar, nor as a teething-ring for his mastiff.

When I loaned this book, I deemed it as lost; I was resigned to the business of the long parting; I never thought to look upon its pages again. But now that my book has come back to me, I rejoice and am exceedingly glad! Bring hither the fatted morocco and let us rebind the volume and set it on the shelf of honour, for this my book was lent and is returned again.

Presently, therefore, I may return some of the books I myself have borrowed.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

BRAVO VC!


This year a Malayali is being honoured by the prestigious FRANKFURT BOOK FAIR. It is my friend Mr. V C THOMAS who is Senior Manager with D C BOOKS, Kottayam. He is the only Indian literary agent to get the Frankfurt Bookfair Fellowship this year. Mr. Thomas, who is now in HAMBURG, takes us to the land of Hitler, present and past.

>>AT THE BEAUTIFUL CITY OF HAMBURG...
Here at the port city of Hamburg, one of richest and fast growing
cities in Germany, we are having a pleasant autumn even at the beginning of November, which is quite unusual. "Hamburg-my birth place -is one of the most beautiful places in Germany", brags Ms. Ulrike Ostermeyer, Editorial Director Fiction at Ullstein Buch Verlage one of the noted book publishing houses in Berlin. She is interested in Basheer's works.

Ya Illahi !!!

I am staying at the heart of Hamburg at Halestrasse near Hansastrasse, underground station. It is one of the posh quarters of the city with elegant late 19th century buildings. Ms. Heppel, editor for popular fiction at Rowohlt Verlage the most renowned book publishing brands in Germany who drove me to her office the other day told me that the British army left the area undestroyed so that they could live in those houses after the world war II. On our way to Reinbeck a small town 30 km east of Hamburg where Rowohlt is situated , she showed me parts of the city which were thoroughly destructed by fire storms which killed more than eighty thousand people in 1943. "I am not saying that Germans don't deserve that. But the children who died... What they have done?", she asks.

I am on a fellowship at Germany and I am staying with Dr. Ludwig Moos, senior editor non fiction at Rowohlt. The house has published Imre Kertez and Elfride Jelinek. I am meeting people at various departments at the publishing house and attempts at learning things which may help me back at Kerala.

One day Dr. Moos showed me the little engraved copper squires which
are laid in front of the apartments adjacent to sidewalk at Hansastrasse. Each squire stands for a particular flat in the facing apartment building and what is written is about the Jewish family who lived there till late or early forties before they were send to the concentration camps. He told me that this is part of a private initiative to document the massacre administered by the Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler. The squire that denotes Dr. Moos' house reads as follows:
MAX LUWENTHAL

BORN 1895

DEPORTED 1941

DIED ????


Mr. Moos, a widower in his late 50's is away on his holidays to the
German -Polish boarder towns for a week. A much respected editor who works closely with luminaries like Stephen Hawking has given me his keys to his apartment which is spacious but spartan in design.

And I am wide awake at wee hours and attempts at figuring out how Max
and his family spent forlorn hours anticipating the worst, in this very flat and in this very room over sixty years ago.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

WANT TO LAUGH?


I have got many a complaint that tom online is lacking humour. Everybody wants to laugh. Everybody loves to laugh. I am agreeing with you my dear friends. Here are three MULLAH NASREDDIN stories. All are taken from WIKIPEDIA.
A few words on Mullah. He was a lower Muslim cleric who lived among the Middle-eastern people in the Middle Ages. Nasreddin was a populist philosopher and wise man, remembered for his funny stories and anecdotes. He often appears as a whimsical character of a large Persian, Arab and Turkish folk tradition of vignettes, not entirely different from zen koans.

>>WHO do you trust?
A neighbour comes to the gate of Nasreddin Hoja's yard. The Hoja goes out to meet him outside. "Would you mind, Hoja," the neighbour asks, "to lend me your donkey today? I have some goods to transport to the next town." The Hoja doesn't feel inclined to lend out the animal to that particular man, however; so, not to seem rude, he answers: "I'm sorry, but I've already lent him to somebody else." Suddenly the donkey can be heard braying loudly behind the wall of the yard. "You lied to me, Hoja!" the neighbour exclaims. "There it is behind that wall!" "What do you mean?" the Hoja replies indignantly. "Whom would you rather believe, a donkey or your Hoja??"

>>Camel RIDE
One day, the venerable Mullah Nasrudin came galloping on camel-back through a small village. His camel carried him at a rush into and out of the village without stop, while the villagers all stared in curiosity at his passing. The very next day, the Mullah and his camel came rushing back through the village, all the time his eyes furiously searching on all sides of him. Again, the villagers watched open mouthed wondering just what Nasrudin was up to. On the third day, the Mullah Nasrudin and his camel once again came galloping through the village, but this time a small boy ran out in front, causing him to screech to a halt.:
The small boy asked, "Great Mullah, what are you looking for?!"
The Mullah Nasrudin responded, "For my camel. Have you seen him?"

>>The LOST Key
One night, a neighbor strolling by Nasrudin's house found him outside under the street lamp brushing through the dust. "Have you lost something, my friend?" he asked. Nasrudin explained that he had lost his key and asked the neighbor to help him find it. After some minutes of searching and turning up nothing, the neighbor asked him, "Are you sure you lost the key here?" "No, I did not lose it here. I lost it inside the house," Nasrudin answered. "If you lost the key in the house, Nasrudin, why are you looking for it out here?" "Well, there's more light out here, of course," Nasrudin replied.

Friday, November 04, 2005

EID MUBARAK ALONGWITH RUMI


Jelaluddin Rumi is famous for his beautiful rendering of mystic poems about everything from bewilderment, emptiness and silence to flirtation, elegance and majesty. He rendered them with love, humour, warmth and tenderness.

Rumi was born in the year 1207 and died in 1273. He is regarded as the greatest Sufi mystic and poet in the Persian language.

On this happy occasion of Eid Al Fitr, let us take in some words of Jelaluddin Rumi and feel ourselves transported to the magical, mystical place of a whirling, ecstatic poet. This is taken from THE ESSENTIAL RUMI published by Castle Books. My dear friends, EID MUBARAK, especially to Sunitha Abubaker, Abdulla and Gudiya.


>>BISMILLAH

It’s a habit of yours to walk slowly.

You hold a grudge for years.

With such heaviness, how can you be modest?

With such attachments, do you expect to arrive anywhere?


Be wide as the air to learn a secret.

Right now you’re equal portions clay

and water, thick mud.


Abraham learned how the sun and moon and the stars all set.

He said, No longer will I try to assign partners for God.


You are so weak. Give up to grace.

The ocean takes care of each wave

till it gets to shore.

You need more help than you know.

You’re trying to live your life in open scaffolding.

Say Bismillah, In the name God,

As the priest does with knife when he offers an animal.


Bismillah
your old self

to find your real name.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

E. SANTHOSH KUMAR 'STRIKES' AGAIN!


Mr. E. Santhosh kumar is not a 'sradheyanaya yuva sahityakaran'! So, I believe, he may never be able to get the 'importance' of some 'yuva' breed, who used to get more awards than the number of works published. But, I believe, he writes stories which are honoured in the minds of real readers. Now his latest collection of stories is out: CHAVUKALI. It is released at Thrissur by noted critic Mr. V.C. Sreejan.
I liked almost all the stories in his collections 'Moonnu Andhanmar Aanye Vivarikkunnu' and 'Chavukali'. (I am yet to read his first book 'Galapagos'. ) His stories are painted in black, but in a very colourful way. They are really light as well as very heavy. I like this double edged craftsmanship. Double cheers Santhosh!
Here is a note on 'Chavukali' by the painter-writer Ms. KAVITHA BALAKRISHNAN.

>>Some ‘OTHER' WORLDS
‘Chavukali’ is the third short story collection of the new generation Malayalam story writer, E.Santhosh Kumar. This collection has eleven stories, all projecting a hitherto untapped black human life with a tinge of ironic humor in all. Most of the stories present a cross section of people in our contemporary life that can claim no great hallowed entries in their bio data and personal history.

These people have jail life, parole, gunda –ism as entries characterizing their life but all these identifiers are used for yet another crime that is justifiable in a smart twist of effective story writing (‘Chavukali’).
But there are some ‘other worlds’ -superficially peaceful skyscraper life where even a death doesn’t leave any mark other than the chalk circles drawn by the police( ‘oru maranam, niravadhi maranangal’) –
The deadly tranquility with which generations pass their hobbies possessions and knowledge (‘Thadakam’) –
The polar male-female opposites that experience body-centered lacks that are always expressed in much convoluted manner through contradictory symbols and dialogues ( ‘Chekka’)-
The ambiguities created in natural orders of life of those who mingle with ‘nature’ by those who make use of ‘nature’ for new systems of capital and production (‘Kattadimarangal’)
The dark world of a father and son who deal with dead bodies in railway tracks (‘Kankettukatha’),
different class relationships that men establish with snakes for a living (‘Sarppasathram’)
A systematic and symbolic recuperation of feudal personal history that politically shows revolutionary ideals and modern attitudes as only some ‘decade long’ interludes in an untamable history of unseen symbolic power traditionally exerted over human vulnerability. (‘Chitrapurushan’)

E.Santhoshkumar approaches his subjects directly through a dialogic language that terribly actualizes many hidden realities and impure logics of life.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

OSHO ON CELEBRATION


Osho may be the most misunderstood philosopher from India. Many could not find his thoughts acceptabe. Anyway, let us read an excerpt from his book LIFE'S MYSTERIES published by PENGUIN INDIA. Here he shares his thoughts on celebration. Worth reading in these days of celebrations. Have a nice time.

>>Celebrate EVERYTHING
I am in trmendous love with life, hence I teach celebration. Everything has to be celebrated, everything has to be lived, loved. To me nothing is mundane and nothing is sacred. To me all is sacred, from the lowest rung of the ladder to the highest rung. It is the same ladder: from the body to the soul, from the physical to the spiritual, from sex to samadhi- everything is divine!
Celebration is the foundation of my sanyas- not renunciation but rejoicing; rejoicing in all the beauties, all the joys, all that life offers, because this whole life is a gift of God.

LET US CELEBRATE!!


HAPPY DIWALI, MY DEAR FRIENDS. HAVE A NICE TIME!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

WHY STEVE WANTS TO STAY FOOLISH!


STEVE JOBS, the everything of APPLE INC. never needs introduction. It is this no-nonsense man who has shaped and later reshaped Apple. I love to love everything what he does. Without him, desktops of our personal computers would not have been this much ‘sexy’ or our operating systems this much user-friendly. Here you can read an excerpt from the commencement address he delivered at Stanford University recently. It is longer than ‘enough’. But it is worth reading. If you are not patient enough to read it on the screen, take a print and read at once. It will certainly have an Alchemist (of Paulo Coelho) Effect on you.

>>Stay FOOLISH
This story is about connecting the dots. I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months before I really quit. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned Coke bottles for the 5 cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.

Here's one example: Reed College offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about what makes great typography great. Ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac.

If I had never dropped in on that course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or for that matter even proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied Mac, it's likely no personal computer would have them. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college.

But it was very clear looking backwards 10 years later. You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalogue.In the final issue, on the back cover, they put a photograph of an early morning country road. Beneath it were the words: Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. It was their farewell message as they signed off. I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you: STAY HUNGRY. STAY FOOLISH.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

SMILE PLEASE!


Advertising campaigns are not primarily intended to gift you a smile. And the advertisemet people never create anything to be laughed upon. Their very serious clients (eat business drink busines and excrete business kind of people) may never be able to laugh if that happened to happen. However, we used to get many funny things from the ad world. Here is a nice example. This was forwarded to my wife SWAPNA by her friend Ms. ANCY JOMY. If you stock anything of this kind, please do post here. Let our frieds have a chance to smile and relax.

>>Your WIFE
You may prefer your wife to be like ALUKKAS JEWELLERY (Ennum Oru Panathookkam Munnil), SKY JEWELLERY (25 Years Of Purity And Trust), MALABAR JEWELLERY (Beauty Meets Quality)
But not like ATLAS JEWELLERY (Janakodikalude Viswastha Sthapanam)

JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI


Krishnamurti was a wonderful genius. He claimed allegiance to no caste, nationality or religion and was bound by no tradition. He said man has to free himself of all fear, conditioning, authority and dogma through self-knowledge and this will bring about order and psychological mutation. The conflict-ridden violent world, he suggested, cannot be transformed into a life of goodness, love and compassion by any political, social or economic strategies, but only through this mutation in individuals brought about through their own observation, without the mediation of any guru or organized religion. Here are two quotes from THE BOOK OF LIFE. These were sent by my friend Ms. SUNEETHA TV, a television producer.

>>ANONYMOUS Creativity
Have you ever thought about it? We want to be famous as a writer, as a poet, as a painter, as a politician, as a singer, or what you will. Why? Because we really don't love what we are doing. If you loved to sing, or to paint, or to write poems—if you really loved it—you would not be concerned with whether you are famous or not. To want to be famous is tawdry, trivial, stupid, it has no meaning; but, because we don't love what we are doing, we want to enrich ourselves with fame. Our present education is rotten because it teaches us to love success and not what we are doing. The result has become more important than the action.

You know, it is good to hide your brilliance under a bushel, to be anonymous, to love what you are doing and not to show off. It is good to be kind without a name. That does not make you famous, it does not cause your photograph to appear in the newspapers. Politicians do not come to your door. You are just a creative human being living anonymously, and in that there is richness and great beauty.

>>OUTSIDE the Field of Thought

You have changed your ideas, you have changed your thought, but thought is always conditioned. Whether it is the thought of Jesus, Buddha, X, Y, or Z, it is still thought, and therefore one thought can be in opposition to another thought; and when there is opposition, a conflict between two thoughts, the result is a modified continuity of thought. In other words, the change is still within the field of thought, and change within the field of thought is no change at all. One idea or set of ideas has merely been substituted for another.

Seeing this whole process, is it possible to leave thought and bring about a change outside the field of thought? All consciousness, surely, whether it is of the past, the present, or the future, is within the field of thought; and any change within that field, which sets the boundaries of the mind, is no real change. A radical change can take place only outside the field of thought, not within it, and the mind can leave the field only when it sees the confines, the boundaries of the field, and realizes that any change within the field is no change at all. This is real meditation.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered at STANFORD's graduation ceremony on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.