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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

To My Wannabe Friends in Facebook.

I am flattered, no doubt
And pleased to some extent
That you request me to be your friend.
But pray, why?
Struck by my looks, I guess not.
Impressed by my words, I'd like to think so.
Seen a kindred soul, well, that's nice.
Enamoured by my images, hmm, well, maybe
Or not.
Then, tell me why.
I am not hot and sexy
Neither rich nor famous
Not a chance that I will win
The Nobel prize.
Be my friend, but tell me at least once
Why I should clutter your page
And vice versa.
My heart is not a door-less bus
That stops at every wave of a hand.
Not a passenger train
That you can enter ticket-less.
I am not a leaky tap
By the side of a street
Where you may quench your thirst;
Drink from me, but close the tap,
Let not my blood drip away.
I am not the Banyan tree
By the side of a blistering road
Where you may rest awhile and leave
Leaving your wastes strewn over my lap.
Friendship, oh my wannabe friend,
Is not a casual thing
I am not a hooker that
you can hump and leave.
Be my friend, but tell me
Beforehand why
So that I may know you
So that I can love you
So that we may cherish
Each other.
An offer of friendship
Is not a frivolous act.
To be a part of me
Of my life, of my thoughts
Is to enter
The sanctum sanctorum
Of my being.
Do not trample upon my heart.
****************** Balachandran V. Nagercoil. 13.01.2016

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Songs that Live with You

One of the songs that have stayed with me all my life is this: Kelungal tharappedum. It is a Tamil Christian gospel song. I think I heard it the first time when I was ten or eleven. Nearly 50 years! A long time for a song to have been in the background of my life. I am not religious; Hindu or Christian or anything, but the voice of the singer, that appeal to greater powers, man's helplessness and his hopes that his life will be redeemed by the Lord - it haunts me. The immensity of our insignificance resonates in the song. Whatever ill may befall us, faith in an external power power us to survive...
One Sunday, as I placidly cycled along the vast green landscape of Nagercoil, the strains of this song came wafting along in the morning breeze. It followed me, in rhythm with my breath, in rhythm with each cycle of the pedals. I look at the birds, the dragonflies, the lone men working in the paddy fields. I look at the blue blue sky, the rock outcrop of the last of the hills gradually sinking into the sea...
I hum the chorus of the song, the only lines I know from boyhood.. 'Kelungal tharappedum, thattungal thirakkapedum, thedungal kidakkumentraaar, Jesu thedungal kidakkumentrar...' "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." I do no know any other song as powerful and simple as this that can give hope to mankind. Though I will be singing the song to myself, for I have faith only in the powers of Nature...

Celebrating Time

Quoting Einstein, a friend throws a damp towel:
"The dividing line between past, present, and future
Is an illusion". So, she asks: What New Year???
Another philosophizes: It is just another sunset,
Another night and just one more sunrise, what’s new, he asks.
As 12 o’clock midnight approach, I sit all alone.
Not even a drink beside me, no music, no friends
No joy and revelry.
As 12 o’clock midnight approach,
I cock an ear for the sounds of fireworks
The screams of motorbikes, the shouts of greetings
The wail of the siren.
My dog, sound asleep at my feet.
As 12 o’clock midnight approach,
I lean back on the chair and
Remember yesteryears, the New Years gone by
Streaking, drunk, on the highways
Weathering a storm, snowed under
High on the grasslands, in utter silence
High on Grass, listening to Kishori
Slumped, head sunk deep into the chest
Drunk, absolutely soused.
Bidding goodbye forever to a friend,
Together looking out at the sea.
Mr. Einstein, you may be right, but
Tell me, what isn’t an illusion?
Hiroshima and Nagasaki maybe?
My friend, to celebrate time
Is to celebrate the passage of life.
We are butchers, chopping Time
Years, months, weeks and days
Down to seconds and nanoseconds;
Popping morsels into our mouths
Fully aware, afraid, that –
We swing our blades down on nothingness…

**************** Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 01.01.2016