To what end do these moths, which do an appearing act at the end of a shower infused with life by street lights and CFLs, bulbs and tubes, live when they are destined to die within a span of few minutes? What is the purpose of their lives, I asked sniggering at the constrained nature of knowledge. And in the same breath of thought, this comes to me: are they (moths) better than the humans who have to live every day on the margins?
The Ivory Throne can also be imagined as a palace in Travancore with its many chapters as many gateways of the palace from where caressing breezes and strong winds went out and, in the palace bringing with it many a tales of origin, exaggerated orders, larger than life anecdotes, thrilling mysteries and many a truths.
MS Subbulakshmi was introduced to the world as a perfect image of Tamil Brahmin housewife, shedding her Devadasi past. The hunger to control could have even made them change the colour of the people – the only thing they could not. They even controlled the rhythm of bodies as I read- “Rukmini Devi Arundale stripped the Bharatnatyam dance drama, once performed in the temple mandapams, of its eroticism and adapted it to the Western style stage, giving it “respectability” even while wrenching it from its ancient custodians, the Devadasis.” It beguiles me to no end how the Indian eye saw beauty in eroticism and its detailing as we can see in Khajuraho with unabashed appreciation. The roving British eye which hailed the Queen, saw “overt” sexual tenor in Kerala’s Mohiniattam.
We either have the stupefying ancient caves and temples in the subconscious world of our minds or the British architecture immediately around us and the Mughals made sure we inherited their forts,fortresses, Urdu and cuisine. Perhaps, we are still learning about history – excavating, archiving and somewhat beginning to understand it.
Times, they are a-changing- Grapes of Wrath saw through the early symptoms of the disease which would become an epidemic around the world. The farmers whose “love is thinned with money, and all their fierceness dribbled away in interest until they were no longer farmers at all, but little shopkeepers of crops, little manufacturers who must sell before they can make.”
“Then those farmers who were not good shopkeepers lost their land to good shopkeepers.”