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Saving the World!

It came about in this way.
During the children's revolt of the sixties and the seventies, I was just old enough to understand what these kids had in mind--they meant to turn the world upside down -- just young enough to believe that they might actually succeed. It's true. Every morning when I opened my eyes, I expected to see that the new era had begun, that the sky was a brighter blue and the grass a brighter green. I expected to hear laughter in the air to see people dancing in the street, not just kids -- everyone! I won't apologize for my naivete; you only have to listen to the songs that I wasn't alone.
Then one day when I was in the mid teens I woke up and realized that the new era was never going to begin. The revolt hadn't been put down, it had just dwindled away into a fashion statement. Can I have been the only person in the world who was disillusioned by this? Bewildered by this? It seemed so. Everyone else seemed to be able to pass it off with a cynical g…
Recent posts

Gospel of fear

School Bully for PresidentWhen people are tired of condescending nuances and onslaught of cliches, they become cynical, dismissive and give the pulpit to the bully. The bully returns the favor as he bares their visceral fear and goes about dumbing down the dialog. All that remains is to decide how to lynch the victim.
"We are all Muslims"Now it was clearer: the civilised world— where laughter or leisure was not a crime against divinity—was getting cosier, and thereby more vulnerable, in its selective, politically convenient appraisal of Islamism. The political class could not discard platitudes in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. Whenever a politician, invariably the leader of a victim state, said ‘Terror has no religion’ or ‘Don’t vilify Muslims’, it was a disingenuous assumption, and a convenient distraction. No faith divided or terrorized or subjugated people as Islam did in the world after the Cold War. A meaningful conversation on it was impossible because condescend…

Judas Gospel

“The Emergency” in India refers to a 21 month period in 1975-77 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi unilaterally had a state of emergency declared across the country. Most of Gandhi’s political opponents were imprisoned and the press was censored. Several atrocities using the police force were reported from the time. The Emergency was one of the most controversial periods of independent India’s history. 

K.R. Meera's Judas’ Gospel (Malayalam: Yudasinte Suvisesham) is a fiction exploring the period‘s aftermath through the eyes of victims and perpetrators of state brutality unleashed on rebels who were inspired by idealism and the romance of resistance.
The shock and awe of the violence have faded from public space and the memory of it evokes nothing more than jejune indifference. The novel describes with a lot of heart how those bright and sensitive idealists were crushed under the boots of state machinery wherein the hunter, prey, the writer and the reader hurtle toward a shared exper…

Aam Admi Party: We The People

“I ain’t never gonna be scared no more. I was, though. For a while it looked as though we was beat. Good and beat. Looked like we didn’t have nobody in the whole wide world but enemies. Like nobody was friendly no more. Made me feel kinda bad and scared too, like we was lost and nobody cared…. Rich fellas come up and they die, and their kids ain’t no good and they die out, but we keep on coming. We’re the people that live. They can’t wipe us out, they can’t lick us. We’ll go on forever, Pa, cause we’re the people.”Ma Joad (John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath)

In an interview given hours before announcing his candidacy against Sheila Dixit in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal had given a glimpse of his belief system. He spoke about how it has evolved from a child’s religious leanings into an agnostic life of a youth in the IIT and now exploring a new found faith – where destiny and circumstances lend space and time for a cause much bigger and complex than what mere mortals could conjure up. How else …

You said nothing

You said nothing yet. Hark what passed us by! The seasons of rain, winter and sunshine And the eons of sorrow.
You said nothing yet - here I am about to shut my eyes. The luminous night is all but gone!
- Balachandran Chullikkad 

Note: Translated from Malayalam original. Source here.

Travelogues of a bachelor

Orpheus, I am not listening to your music:
Gypsies are coming home to caravan;

Orpheus, I am not lingering at your riverside:
A newlywed bride is shedding her clothes now;

Orpheus, I am not sleeping under the foot of your tree:
Strangers are there in embrace at their rendezvous;

Orpheus, let the moonlight borrow your flute:
You and I, Orpheus - Let's walk under the shadow.

* * *

This night is the traveller's harp
This ambrosia, his gashes
This journey to a hill, his message
This rain descending a hill, his heirloom
This lover too is walking away all alone.

* * *

I am at the open ground for migrants
laying on my back,
watching stars and pyramids of clouds.

No gold ring in my finger
No chariot to join the suitors
No sage egging me on to wind up a bow
No bride and her maid waiting on.

I remember a song
I heard somewhere yesterday.
The river's anklets woke up
listening to a gypsy's flute.
An aroma knots up a swing
across the river and a star.

I woke up -
A band of old folks huddled around a fire
at the…