It was one of those sultry afternoons in school and my English teacher nonchalantly went on about a poem. I do not have the faintest memory of the poem that was being taught or my teacher who was teaching it. I do not even remember who the poet was or anything else about the day except that I was introduced to Topsy. The poet mentioned in his poem that ‘the grasses grew like Topsy’ and I learned that Topsy was an orphaned slave girl who thought she just grow’d and nobody ever made her. And hence the phrase – “grow like Topsy”. I was probably a year or two older than her then and she intrigued me. In my quest to learn more about her, I found myself in the company of the Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Collins Classics), borrowed from the school library that evening. I had only wanted to know what happened of Topsy, but then Ms. Stowe had more than just one story to tell me that evening. Continue reading “A Nostalgic Trip to Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
“Yaathum oorae yaavarum kelir”
This very famous quote from the Tamil poet Kaniyan Poongundranar depicted in the United Nations means “All town is home, all men our kin’. Today, with the world having reduced to one global village, the idea of all towns being home seems quite a possibility. Yet for a lot of us what prevails more than often is -“Home is where heart is”. No matter how far and wide we travel, how old and wise we grow, our heart continues to tick specially for that one place we call ‘Home’. Continue reading “Kashmir, Kaschmir,Cashmere..Or Cauchemar in a Sea of Stories”
“I come from a place very close to Kanyakumari. The beach is only about 10 kilometers away from my home” – Every time I tell someone about this, especially someone who isn’t from the southern part of the country, there is always a smile on their face accompanied by a glee in their eyes. I am very aware that the smile usually means “how amazing it must be to live near Kanyakumari”. Almost always this smile is followed with “Can you see Sri Lanka from Kanyakumari? “. Then it becomes my turn to smile. I had been an unsuspecting audience to a lot of conversations where newly-wed husbands on their honeymoon trip to the Cape Comorin explain to their new wives how the part of the sea behind the rock beside the shore where the water looks green is indeed the Arabian sea, the blue part the Indian ocean and the grey part, the Bay of Bengal. My smile turns into a grin when the Arabian Sea moves to east and Bay of Bengal shifts to the west.
“Time heals everything”, say the wise. Does it? Well, I know not for sure. But what I do know is that there are a few others apart from time that can heal at least something if not everything. For instance, a long walk in the rain, a soulful conversation with a complete stranger, a journey to nowhere and finally my all-time favorite, the night in all its glory. Night, like death is an equivalent to the universal truth, because darkness brings out the true colors of everyone. The world wears a pretense through the day, waits for the sun go down and the lights to go on for that is when the real spectacle begins. It is in the silence of the night that most of us find the strength to take off our masks, listen to our own voice and see who we really are. Continue reading “Yaamam- The Fragrance of The Night”
A few years ago on a busy morning, a friend of mine walked over to my desk at work and said “Michael Jackson is no more”. I looked up at him and said “OK, good”. I did not fail to notice the instant disappointment in his face and the hurt in his eyes at the absolute lack of empathy in my response. I did apologize to him later in the day for being so insensitive and blamed it on the back-breaking task that was ruining my day. But only this morning did I truly and sincerely apologize to him when I woke up to the news of Harper Lee being no more.
Continue reading “R.I.P Dear Ms. Mockingbird”
I broke a promise I made to myself, a promise I had kept for 9 long years. I was not going to read another of Khaled Hosseini’s books after the heart-wrenching story of the Kite runner although I loved every bit of it. I did duly skip A Thousand Splendid Suns and stayed true to the promise, until a friend, unaware of this promise of mine gifted me Hosseni’s latest bestseller And the Mountains Echoed. So I made my choice, picked the book to read during a bus journey in the night and here is how beautifully Hosseini opens the book for me.
Continue reading “Echoes that stay!”