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?