Off to a new abode!

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Hey pal,

Finally, a little after a month of owning a new abode – all for myself – my blogging home, mailbox, everything, I have decided to shift over completely to my new place. Hope to see you all there, and make it home as always.

Keep reading! Keep commenting! Let me keep writing! As always.

Cheers,
Soumya.
I have moved to http://soumya.vg

Thirukural – Aarambham

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அகர முதல எழுத்தெல்லாம் ஆதி
பகவன் முதற்றே உலகு

Akara muthal ezhuthellam aadhi bhagavan muktre ulagu!

Just like how the alphabets begin with ‘A’, so begins the universe at the Supreme!

Here begins my long time dream of reading Thirukural fully and sharing my favorites! The sojourn humbly begins today with the first verse!

Thamizhum vaazhka, athin azhakum vaazhka!

Transience!

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Recently stepped into an extravaganza of mobile applications and technological marvels. And of all things, I am struck by the one awesome ‘app’ that I was introduced to! The wondrous piece of technology is simply just another instant messaging application. But what the makers claim as unique is the digitally encrypted communication that provides privacy and security to the message content. Even more, additional security is offered by a self destruction mechanism implemented on the conversations.

Just as you talk and as the recipient reads your message, the timer begins and runs the self destruction procedure. The message that are read by both parties are automatically destroyed by this methodology. The question is not about how important a tool it is to the users, but instead, how big an impact might it probably make to the users. It’s like you are affected by short term memory loss. You feel so disoriented and cut off from the conversation coz of the incomplete conversation history. You open the app and see  a smiley from a friend. You are probably stuck all day thinking about what you had said earlier to cause that smiley!

As I said, it’s indeed a wondrous technology. Transience. You will never recollect what made you laugh but the happiness remains. Never the fight but the heat of it. Never the words of hate, but the pain. Never the way. But the destination reached. Without seeing the reasons, the implications hold roots. Not knowing what ended the conversation, not even sure if anything existed before, the disconnected sentences often make a conversation. Transience. The biggest boon to humanity. Now a magic of technology too.

22fk again!

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Vestiges of a messed up cake! This might not be anything more to anyone else, but me. To me, this the ultimate embodiment of love and care that could never be contested or questioned! I am elated by this. This mass of fluffly spongy sweetness means so much to me, for it was given to me, specially chosen for me, with utmost care and immense love. Don’t you dare question the ‘taste’ and the ‘quality’, for those are beyond any judgment! This was for me from my dear mama and mami! The delicacy of the cake and the worth of the ‘aashirvadam’ from my chachummai and thatha totally made my day, pushing my mood atop a sharp incline, from a very deep fall.

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And now that’s my petite little pendant of ‘Poornathrayeesan’ from mom and dad and Vidya. It made me so happy she remembered, that she even ‘made’ me an earring all by herself. I felt all the more loved! It totally was a birthday to me!

Is it so ridiculous of me that I find happiness in all these and go upto putting up an image and such pompous words about it? I am not sure how this might look like. As though I am the only one with birthdays or gifts! Besides the silliness, (and my mom’s complaints that I don’t know what to write about and what not to!), I find immense happiness and satisfaction in such infinitesimally small expressions of life and its being. I am very glad a friend so close, remembered my star and wished me! Aren’t friends just expected to know your date of birth from Facebook calendar’s afterall! I am so much more elated by that end of the day birthday wish. Isn’t that quite something to know that you were in somebody’s last thoughts of a day! So much more to be happy, when people could even spare that one moment to wish you, despite the strict uncompromised schedules! And naturally, I feel so blessed when I get a blissful poem as an apology for a forgotten wish!

What more can a person ask for? What made my day, or what makes my life, are fundamentally and ultimately in my little brain and how it interprets things! When I look at this post as my token of gratitude towards this existence, then so be it. And if I look at this as one of my many countless blabberings about insignificant details of life, then so be it!

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Life is but not an empty dream!

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I was often caught off guard with this line! Tell me not in mournful numbers, life is but an empty dream! More often than less, I preferred the predicate than the subject itself! And today, a very dear one gave me an eye opener by making me read the complete verse. I see the subject now, with much clarity and bliss.

To my soul and my soulmate, for making me relate to this, and giving me those silent smiles of understanding, over the long long seven-eight or nine-ten years!

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

– H W Longfellow (Long sighted and large hearted indeed!)

Caparisoned!

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# “Search this in your dictionary..”, says my ever intriguing ‘periyappa’, (Dad’s elder brother), – “Caparisoned”! His ever continuing teasers and sarcasm! I was sure he was playing around again, only to drive us out of our minds. However though, I ran an MS-Word thesaurus search. Nothing turned up and that obviously called out for the obvious – Google search! An ‘elite’ group of a few of us cousins who deemed ourselves as ‘good’ in English – we just had to admit our ignorance! What English knowledge if not its caparisoned ‘elegance’!

# Time is past midnight. A group of people hustled around a Kindle – eyes glued to the screen. The group mostly of young people, had one ‘senior citizen’ there. And that was our ‘kunjakka’ – my ‘kunjathai’ (Dad’s elder sister). The group was engrossed in ‘Chain Reaction’ – the Android extravaganza! And the old being stayed so late up into the night, determined to identify the strategy of the game.

# Sitting around her in one big circle, stretching out of for the tastiest food – that’s one thing I missed out for a huge part of my childhood. ‘Pappekka’ aka our ‘mummy’ aka my ‘Padma periyammai’, (Intriguing periyappa’s better-half indeed!). The ‘group’ dining of all cousins, as periyammai passes on the tastiest morsels of rice!

# After, say 4 years, I ran. And ran. And ran. Chasing. Being chased. With that age old fear of being the ‘catcher’ in the next round of game. It was like school again. Running and chasing, and playing ‘biscuit’. With my 12 year old nephew as well with my 27 year old cousin, and my younger sister, and all the people inside that age group.

Does all these mean anything to anyone? I am not very sure. Unlike my other ramblings, this one is a peculiar kind. A bit strange. A bit personal. Not possibly interesting at all. But I still have to write. This moment. This undeniable moment of my life. Sitting amidst a great range of people (age-wise and otherwise!) – my 60+ periyappa and 12 year nephew and all the people in between! Almost an hour past midnight, and still here with them on one eventful verandah – sipping black coffee, playing cards, random conversations, and my moribund blogging episodes with the ‘slate’!

I dare not call this moment perfect. Coz this totally isn’t anywhere near perfection. There’s chaos. There’s strife. There’s gossip. There’s ego. There’s misunderstanding. But so is understanding. Harmony. Frolic. Conversations, if not communcation. Discussions, if not conviction. There’s life here, if not a perfect Utopian existence. Here, in this extravaganza of emotions, conversations, engagements, sleeplessness and finally food, I feel special. Like my days here are ‘caparisoned’ with people!

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The irrelevant void

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Voids. Those tiny little empty spaces between life and its monotony. There are way too many voids in each person’s life. Some get filled. Some may not. And some others, may even go unnoticed as they get filled without our knowledge or appreciation. I have been thinking of such ‘irrelevant’ voids in my life, say, for past two weeks. Now, two weeks is fairly a fair amount of time to spare on ‘irrelevant’ things!

I walk a decent distance of half a kilometer every morning, towards my bus stop. And one my way, I have quite a lot of ‘irrelevant’ details to look at and often smile at. The ‘petti-kada’ auntie, the ‘chechi’ by the corporation water supply, the repeated questions about my college and morning greetings from a acquaintance, and the occasional black dog and the dark faced man. And there are (scary) dogs and cats and scary hussle of bikes and cars. And there’s the occasional glimpse of the black dog and the dark faced man. Nothing specifically that I look forward to, but all the more a part of my mornings.

And then one fine day, I walk along and see a black flag by the black dog’s and dark faced man’s house. There’s death in the air, but no matter what, I get my daily bus. So I walk past the house, not looking out for anybody in specific. And so passed a week, and I wonder where the dark faced guy disappered, along with the dog! A death at his home and all I see are stangers around, and kids performing the final rituals. Funnily now, the obvious still hadn’t struck me. And on the seventh day ritual, ‘sanjayanam’, I walk by the place again. Dramatically, through the gathered crowd, I see the dark face photographed and framed, with a garland around it. The obvious finally occured to me. And for the first time, I gazed at the board that bore the dark face’s name and occupation. He was an LIC agent. The irony didnt stop me, but something else did. I was tansfixed for a breif moment, for an awkward amount of seconds.

It is irrelevant, isnt it? Someone I haven’t talked to, have had no association with, whose name I didn’t even know while he was alive! It was just a ‘someone’ who died. But suddenly, it gave in for a large void and deep flow of thoughts. Thoughts that took me in for two weeks or more, and I have been thinking of the dark face and the black dog that suddenly vanished. I wanted to ask around. Did he have cancer? Did he die of a tragic accident? Did he commit suicide? I wanted to ask a lot of things. Almost a month, and I have been still thinking on it. And finally today, I got the answer. He just fell in the bathroom, hit somewhere and just simply died! A plain simple death!

It’s not the death. But the absence. The sudden void that shook me. I am not even sad for him. Come on! I didnt know him at all! But I miss some presence in that road, in my mornings. A haunting feel that makes me realise how many such irrelevant voids make up our lives! Or my life atleast. I missed my acquaintance’s queries and greetings. He too passed away, but the absence wasnt felt this intense.

It’s often not how much you talk or how much you know, but simply if the absence is noticed. I choose to believe my presence may go unnoticed but not my absence. For me, I have always mourned upon absences even when I missed to relish the presence! To go back and look at someone else’s life, and see if your absence is felt, may be a crazy thought. Dare not to do it, anyway. It hurts like hell when the realisation strikes hard! Most presences in life are unacknowledged. Even more, most absences are unnoticed. Voids are, after all, irrelevant by nature!