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Showing posts from March, 2006

Kunhunni maash

Kunhunni maash was an archetypal teacher of children and adults who have an open and earnest mind of a child to learn. No one has distilled knowledge and enlightenment to the degree of simplicity that he so effortlessly achieved. It spread like sunshine for decades over many generations of young kids who not only soared in their imagination about the open sky he unleashed, but learned the secrets of goodness and being kind and appreciative of mother earth.

For the twenty years I who read his(Kuttettan) editorial notes and advice to budding writers in the Children's Section (Baala-Pankthi) of Mathrubhumi magazine and having met him under a tree along with other students at school, felt the irrevocable loss of his long shadow. It's not just the charm of old world that is lost; I believe it is more than that. I doubt if we can ever find such fine folks anymore who can clear the gloom and guide your spirit to all that is worthy of life and living.

He was a short man. His poems were …

A case for Portrait - Revisiting James Joyce Part 2

Continued from Part 1 ...
Stephen grows restless with his decadent life. Father Arnall's hellfire sermon draws his sensibilities on the incursions into the realms of sin and redemption. The contemplations on sin, death, confession and deliverance reveal a quest for a personal god who can restore the beauty and purity of his world. Here he is ruminating on God's majesty and its manifestation in the imagery of Emma, his partner in sin and a vision of biblical deluge:

"-- Take hands, Stephen and Emma. It is a beautiful evening now in heaven. You have erred but you are always my children. It is one heart that loves another heart. Take hands together, my dear children, and you will be happy together and your hearts will love each other.

The chapel was flooded by the dull scarlet light that filtered through the lowered blinds; and through the fissure between the last blind and the sash a shaft of wan light entered like a spear and touched the embossed brasses of the candlesticks …

A case for Portrait – Revisiting James Joyce Part 1

Reading Portrait while I'd just begun hobnobbing with literature left me with vague stirrings of the inner workings of a mind. A mind flourished in the throes of awakening into the grace of wisdom and anguish.

I remember the sunshine in those evenings and creaky window of my cousin’s attic overlooking the cemetery of the church sharing the fence. I was captivated by some of those dreamy passages in the book and I knew Stephen Dedalus was here to stay. The seductive power of Joycean language weaved a bit of magic tangle for me, even when I wasn't aware or never curious for Irish politics, his specifics of catholic dogmas and the morals of the Irish society in general.

However what was palpable at the time was an instant recognition of Joyce's genius and how tactile was Stephen Dedalus' mind that worked its way through an evolving awareness from his childhood. The autobiographical signposts in the book were as misleading as seemingly direct and simple literary techniques …