“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wrapper Info

‘Are you a homosexual? No medicine, no shock, H.R.T. Brainwave therapy!! Dr.T (USA) HRT Sexologist Psychologist, Tiruvalla Phone No. 94472 xxxxx.’ I am not going to give free publicity to this quack.

The above is a classified advertisement that had appeared in a Daily. Sometime ago I had written about society and homosexuality;consequent to the Delhi High Court verdict legalizing homosexuality, which was a watershed judgment in the history of this country whose hypocritical morality stinks like the sewers of its cities. We are only too familiar with the instances of molestation of women but what the moralists pretend not to know is the rampant prevalence of homosexuality. Anil has written about this in detail.

However, this post is not about sex; it is about the wonderful mine of information that I call ‘Wrapper Info’. In Kerala –I am sure as elsewhere in India – shopkeepers wrap up your goods in old newspapers. If I have time, I religiously pour through these pieces of paper. Invariably I find tidbits I had missed; the love affairs of a Bollywood heartthrob, part cleavage of another, the arrest of the local hoodlum, tragic road accidents, an obituary of someone I knew – and then the kind of advertisement as above.

In 2004, there was one of a different kind. No, the news is as ordinary as anything else, but it has kind of stuck to me, like a piece of molten steel, stuck to my heart. Every time I think of it, it burns. I have kept a copy of that newspaper dated August 24th, 2004 in my old black steel trunk. K calls it my treasure chest; on the rare occasion that I open it ceremoniously, he too would sit with me eagerly, looking at the innumerable souvenirs and bits and pieces collected over years .

Paper, Thin

News, old, on paper wraps
Of Parattas, warm, with fried beef on top.
Old news, like leaves, dead, withered,
Scattered away by winds of time.

On August twenty-fourth, I discover,
Between two pieces of beef turned over,
The eyes of a beautiful girl,
Smiling, with warmth, up at me.

Below the picture of Olympic runners,
Above an ad for a condom,
Caught between a train and a ditch,
Sheeba fell – and died.

A photograph is a moment,
Just one-sixtieth second long
Aperture at five point six,
A flash lights up - and dies.

Sheeba would’ve seen the rushing train,
Heard the rails rattling, felt the wind whooshing,
When it hit, a flash would’ve lit-
A shutter clicked - forever, on life.

The oil in the beef
Now spreads o’er her face.
The thick red oil,
Like thick red blood.

Thumping death-death-death,
Wailing woe-woe-woe,
The train would’ve passed with a huff and puff.
I chew-chew-chew my leathery beef.

Oil now obliterates her face.
It seeps, it spreads, it doesn’t stop
Over the grass, drips o’er the stones,
An ant now scrambles o’er her eyes.

Balachandran V, Trivandrum 10-06-2011


  1. The thing is,with the kind of emotion I had and the beauty of the lines gone through,thought I can come up with few lines of substance..If it's been given to edit (poem) to anyone,I bet they are going to be in a dilemma.

    Sometimes life is beyond words..

  2. I used to be chided by my parents for reading bits of papers. I am like you, pick anything and start reading. They thought I was overdoing it and might go insane :-P

    The poem - I cant express it well. Your way of combining the grief of the girls death with relishing your food....you need to publish another collection of your poems soon Balan.

  3. Balan the settings for the poem and the verses are truly wonderful. In describing the fate of the girl while devouring the beef chunks , you have brought out the actual face of society's hypocrisy.
    The moral high ground often flaunted by people is like necrophilia on a cadaver after a sexual assault.

    Coming to the other side- of picking readings from bits of wrap paper is like tumbling upon treasure troves of news, info and haunting stories. I guess one reads from disposed paper bits out of ennui, and that might be a door to revelations.
    As for the story of the homosexual , the subject was oft broached upon.

  4. Nice. I guess poets can write just about anything. :)

  5. TO the question NO i am not .. well so i think :) you see as with everyone in the new world I am still trying ot figure out ..

    the poem well you have described it all so nicely the picture of a gilr the beef oil and all

    enjoyed reading it ...


  6. Hi My friend Mr.Balan,
    I enjoyed ur wrtings...ur beautiful wordings.......poetic concepts...
    Then....about HRT system,
    I think u r ignorant about newly inventd HRT treatmnt system. Not only Homosexuality but Schizopreania & even Bipolar disoreder also completely curable in that system. The wonder is they never use medicine, shock, hypnotism, counselling, or any kind of advice..!! They confirm that Mental problems are behavioural problems. And the basic causes of all behavioural problems are the conseqences of related back incidents. And the related (directly or indirectly) incidences are coded in our conscious and subconscious minds thru sensory experiences..!! Neurochemical imbalace is only a secondary stage of these sensory experiences, not the basic causes..! They prove their theory thru curing mental problems wthin some days..!! They describe homosexuality is only a habituation getting thru related back incidences. Some of them are non-sexual some of them are sexual. Anyway they confirm that that the deepest causes of homosexuality is not related to sexuality .And they prove that it is connected to the faded-poor figure of own father in the client`s subconscious mind. By decoding the negative impact(not the memory) of those incidents (events), the problem wil be rootouted, whatever it may be . HRt is not Psychology, but all HRT clinicians hv done their doctorate in Psych.

  7. Interesting...amazing...

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