Iniya Putthandu Nalvazhthukkal**.
Wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year.
Picture from my very first Vishu arrangement.
Yes, we are back. Can’t promise the original frequency of posting though, but we will surely try. I know, I know, you’re all burning with questions (all 8 of you) and I hope to answer all of them here.
I got married y’all! Yeah, with all the fanfare and the traditional rituals. SEV wonderfully expressed his thoughts at the time here. I haven’t been able to articulate everything I was feeling in such beautiful words. The one feeling I know I will never forget was that when the tirumangalyam was being tied around my neck. Everything I had been hoping for, planning for, culminated in that one moment. Memories of our times together were flashing past me intermingled with visions of our future together. The atmosphere at the wedding hall was electric. And as hard as I tried I couldn’t turn around catch the expression on my mother’s face (the videographer captured it perfectly though). Some day I think I will understand everything she was feeling that day.
The 2 weeks that we were in India post-wedding saw us both battling the flu. Of course that didn’t stop us from visiting our relatives or visiting the temples my mother-in-law had planned on taking us to. The feeling of being in a new home and adapting to the ways of a whole new family can be a little daunting at the start. However, the fact that I knew my in-laws very well even before the wedding (advantages of a love marriage you see!) made the transition really easy. I just wish I had a little more time to learn everything from my MiL!
And I finally made the decision to move to live with my husband – I knew I couldn’t make a relationship work with distance added into the picture. Many conversations with SEV, my parents, my in-laws and my friends (who were all very supportive, bless them) resulted in us making the decision to move. So we had a month to pack, dispose of stuff and move. We had arranged for movers and that made the whole experience completely hassle-free. I totally recommend my moving company to anyone moving across states – they were very professional and very thorough.
I must say, the experience of setting up a new home together is completely unmatched. Just watching everything fall into place like it always belonged there is almost magical. I was always told that knowing someone very well and living with them are completely different things. So I went in expecting the worst. But I have to say, I know SEV in and out and he’s an absolute delight to live with! His roommates were indeed lucky. 🙂
I hope this gets on Failbook.
P.S: I got married.
A couple of days ago, I saw that a contact on my Orkut friends list had put up this clip. (For those of you who don’t understand Marathi, this clip is an audio transcript of a call from Tata Indicom to a man who expects Marathi to be spoken in Maharashtra by Tata Indicom representatives). Needless to say, my blood boiled over and I gave him a piece of my mind. I reported this clip as spreading hatred and removed him from my friends list. I also galvanized my social network into motion and had all of our common friends report him. He is, of course, no more on my Orkut list.
My question is, if educated and literate people act like this, why won’t there be widespread communal disharmony? What happened to tolerance and a secular India?
I just finished reading my very first Tamil novel, Kalki’s Alai Osai. I have never read a full fledged Tamil book before; my reading of the language was limited to reading those bit-jokes in Ananda Vikatan. And now I realize everything I have missed out on all these years.
Kalki’s Alai Osai is an exquisite creation. A magnificent work of art that has no parallels, no comparison, that is quite unlike anything ever written. The free flowing language, the beautiful descriptions of pre-independence India, the little villages of Rajampettai and Devapattinam – all bring forth the magic of the simpler life. And yet set against the stark backdrop of the British Raj, they drive home a harsh truth – one that spanned a 100 year long freedom struggle, causing the deaths of thousands of innocent people who voluntarily or by circumstance laid down their lives to usher in India’s freedom.
Kalki’s characters are sketched with such clarity, that it is difficult to believe that what you are reading is mere fiction. At no point are you made to think that one particular character is good or bad. Everyone has shades of gray and they all make decisions that are only as sensible as the situation permits. Seeta’s vivaciousness, Dharini’s surreal grace, Lalita’s all-too-simple devotion to her friend, Raghavan’s monstrous desires and Surya’s ever steady ideals – all make for a collage of very distinctive and memorable characters that won’t leave your thoughts for a very long time.
Kalki brings alive the cruel reality of human nature, one thought, one action of ours that affects the lives of everyone around us and those of our future generations. He makes you realize that no matter how noble one’s intentions, the repercussions of one impulsive act can be catastrophic enough to haunt them for the rest of their lives. He depicts the contrasts in his characters by embellishing their similarities. He takes you on a sepia-tinted journey to the far-flung corners of the country, starting from a tiny village post office to the vast streets of Mumbai to the banks of the Hoogly in Kolkata to the buzz of activity in Karachi, all the while making you aware of the unrest in the country and its eventual culmination in the barbaric riots of ’47 and the subsequent partition.
As a story teller he remains completely neutral throughout and never allows his personal opinions to jade the narrative. Hence the events of the time remain in the background, affecting the protagonists but never trying to send out a social message of any sort. He also remains extraordinarily detached from his characters, never once lapsing into pathos-evoking descriptions of Seeta’s hardships. He just narrates. You decide your feelings for her based on what he has told you. He builds up the narrative with such ease and class that before you know it, you are possessed by an insurmountable curiosity to know the climax which is sure to leave you shattered and numb. Not because it comes as a surprise to you, but because you realize how futile it all is. And how realizing your mistakes may just not be enough, and if even a little late in coming, may be too late to really do anything about.
I cannot help falling in love with the book over and over again, with every chapter, with very line. It is indeed a pity that a writer of his caliber is not recognized anywhere outside Tamil Nadu.
Why do we talk about being ‘human’ as being superior to other species that walk the earth? Is it because we can think? Because we can feel? And what is the point of thinking and feeling if all we feel is animosity, the desire to harm other human beings? Where does this bizarre need to harm other individuals come from? Why do men behave like we still are cave people, ousting each other for survival? And how does this make us different from animals that bite each others’ heads off for food?
That kid was all of 19. He came to med school with the idea of becoming a doctor. Did he know that his end wasn’t far? What did he do to those drunken jackasses parading around as “seniors”? What gave them the right to injure another student? What gave them the right to even lay a finger on another human being, let alone a fellow student? Does education not teach these people anything at all?
And they have been charged with homicide, not amounting to murder. Is it only murder if it is premeditated? Does being drunk and not ‘setting out to’ kill the boy absolve them of the heinous sin?
Why do we live in a world where human hatred for the human race is increasing everyday? Why should I bring children into a world where it is okay to kill other people in the name of ragging, culture, jihad and what have you? A world where life has lost all meaning, so much that the generation we expect to change the face of the earth, is only regressing towards what can only be described as stopping short of cannibalism?
I can only disagree with Hemingway when he says “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.”And agree with Will Somerset.
P.S.: I am not on a sabbatical. I have just been caught up in work and some other developments that make it hard to devote as much time for the blog as I used to. Makes me sad, it does. But the awesome news I can give you is that my Mommy is visiting me! Yayyyy. I am going to see her after a gap of a year and a half. I cannot even begin to describe how wonderful it is going to feel!