Friday, April 10, 2020

Lyrics Appreciation Series

There are two kinds of music listeners - those who hear the lyrics and those who hummmmmmmmmmm.
For those of us that belong to the former category, almost all the songs sound like they're written for us and us alone.
Social media has killed that feeling to a certain extent - after you've seen a million TikTok videos for the same exact song that you just swooned over, you get cured of that.

However, recently there was one song that immediately sent a delicious jolt inside of me. This is a song about forbidden love - the girl, who knows her desire is beyond the moral confines, still asks if it can be fulfilled. And the boy replies with his poetic consent.

The questions:
ஏனோ இரவோடு ஒளியாய் கூடும்
உறவொன்று  கேட்கிறேன்

Why do I yearn for a bond
that merges darkness and light

வரை மீறும் இவளின் ஆசை
நிறைவேறப்  பார்க்கிறேன்

I want to fulfill this desire
that bounds across barriers

நதி சேரும் கடலின்மீது
மழை நீராய்  சேருவேன்

I will be the raindrop falling
on a river that joins the ocean

அமுதே பேரமுதே,
பெண் மனதின் கனவின்
ஏக்கம் தீர்க்குமா? ஏற்க்குமா?

my magnificent elixir,
will you sate this girl's desire? will you accept?

மதியை தன் மதியை
இவன் அழகின் பிம்பம்
கண்கள் பார்க்குமா?

can my eyes see my moon in his beauty's shadow? 
or will it fail?

The answers:
மழை வானம் தூறும்போது
மணலென்ன கூசுமோ?

When the rain cloud drizzles
will the sands  shy away?

மலரோடு மலர்கள் கூட
ஊரென்ன தூற்றுமோ?

who would censure 
two flowers coming together?

திரையே திரை கடலே
உன் அதிரும் அன்பு
மதிலை தாண்டுதே

my glorious ocean!
your shattering love induces me
to cross the barriers

What a beautifully imagined dialog this is!

I raise my hands in appreciation to Ms. Uma Devi, who penned the original song titled Anbey Peyranbey. Thank you for this beauty!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Ms. Uhnnda Stoude

Long long ago, so long ago, no one knows how long ago, there lived a girl.... I think. Well I'm pretty sure she did because our heroine most certainly descended from her. The girl is of the kind who do not learn from their elders and betters - especially when the E's & B's tell her specifically not to [insert any action under the sun]. Her immediate response would be to try that and tell them
"Ohhhh, this is why you told me not to do that. Sure thing, I won't do it anymore" while rubbing her broken leg / burnt finger / singed hair etc. It is a wonder that she escaped near deaths long enough to live and bear descendants.

Well, she did and our heroine is one of them. How do I introduce her to you? I know! Visual Exercise! I want you to imagine you're at the gym - well, specifically at the trash cans behind the gym. Do you see that old tattered punching bag - at the end of its life after receiving blows from many, many boxing gloves over many, many years? MEET OUR HEROINE!

Well, not really but you get the idea.

Our heroine has always been a social creature and a constant twitterer. No, I don't mean that she is in that social network! Get your head out of that cloud! And NO I don't mean the iCloud! FINE. She likes to talk, ok?  And since she likes an audience, she tries to gather as many people around her as she can. And that's where the trouble starts! Did you know that not all people like being gathered?

Here's how it'll typically roll.... Our heroine will come across one person (call them A) whom she instantly connects with and then another (call them B). So naturally she'll bring A & B together because, you know, more the merrier and all...
At this time, one of three things will happen
1. A hates B and will exit, punching our heroine in the gut
2. A loves B and will exit taking B, punching our heroine in the gut
3. A & B both like our heroine and stay on until they each realize their own gangs are more important and will exit, punching our heroine in the gut

Do you notice a common theme in these scenarios?


Our heroine loves archery. Slinging arrows at targets is her favorite pastime. And that's how her words flow out of her. Sharp, decisive and flying towards the target. Maybe her love for archery is to blame for the words zinging right out of her mouth. Unfortunately not all of her word arrows reach their target. Well, hey, I said she loves archery, I didn't say that she was an expert!
This is to be said of our heroine: even though the arrows miss their targets, they're always well-intentioned. But, what's the use of well intentioned arrows completely missing their target or worse, hitting the wrong target?
Some times, our heroine takes too long to aim an arrow because she wants the arrow to be so perfect that the target tires of her and walks away, completely missing their intended arrow. And other times, the targets appear so intimidating that she loses her nerve and bungles her arrows.

In any case - all these targets do the same exact thing: they turn right around, pick those missed arrows and throw them right back at our heroine. With a vengeance. I mean, can you blame them?

No wonder she begins to resemble a pin cushion more and more.


So, in conclusion, she is a pincushiony, battered, punching bag. This PBPB just doesn't seem to learn though - I mean all she has to do is stop putting herself there, but noooo. True to her ancestry, she will keep doing the same thing over and over because... she is persistent? she won't rest until she gets her 'gang'? she is adamant? she is resilient? Nah. She just has a short term memory and can't help getting punched over and over. 

Next time you see the PBPB wandering around looking for more punches, say hi (from a safe distance). Did I tell you her name yet? Look up, I named this article after her. It's pronounced "under stood".

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

தூக்கம் ?

(Product of a sleepless night)

நித்திரை தேடி நித்தமும் அலைய
அந்தியின் மடியில் கண்களும் சரிய
குறும்பு நெஞ்சம் குழப்பி தாக்க
தடுமாறும் எண்ணம் தட்டி எழுப்ப
குமுறும் ஆசைகள் கூச்சல் போட
பதைக்கும் மனம் பனிக்கால இரவில்
நித்திரை தேடி நித்தமும் அலைய

Friday, November 17, 2017


It comes at you suddenly. A bolt of lightning out of the blue that shatters your foundation. A hook that flies out of the pages of your memory - pierces your thoughts so deeply that you are frozen by the pain of it. These hooks are hanging always just outside your consciousness, like a curtain of snakes floating and drifting.
A song, a photo, a picture, a name, an utterance, an action, a gesture, a new smile that reminds you of an old - one of these will call a snake to life. You'd feel its fang sinking into your mind.
Immediately, a tornado of yearning engulfs you. Completely. A yearning for something that is a nanometer out of your reach. A yearning so powerful that you're left gasping for life.
That yearning is for the most bittersweet of them all....'what might have been'. For that friend lost in time. For that love that slipped away. For that question never asked. For that answer never given. For that voice never raised. For that pain never soothed...
This yearning shall twist you, toss you and turn you. But it won't take you unless you ask it to. It shall be a brief storm that shall pass. Enjoy the torment while it lasts but ground  yourself firmly when it ends.
This yearning proves that you've lived. It keeps you awake. It keeps you alive.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

On a shadowy night

the fog has blanketed the world outside
secrets, spirits what else does it hide?
a purple light slowly twinkles afar
not a mystery, only a christmas star
a sigh is heaved, my heart disappointed
it needs a mystery on a night so haunted
been at my window these hours past
wishfully willing a mystery to start
if real world's shadows do not bring one
it's to imagination's shadows I must turn.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

O Canada!

[Apologetic note on showing no love to my poor little blog for 2 years goes here]

I take up my pen laptop once again to take you with me down memory lane while I re-live a great trip. 'Twas a happy week I spent fulfilling my dream of visiting Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Yes, I was part of the group of million little girls who fell in love with Prince Edward Island because L.M.Montgomery taught us to do so via her Anne books. And finally, I was there in person! Here's the story of what happened:
It was a relaxed start on a Saturday night flight to Halifax (the closest cheap airport to PEI). However, about 40 minutes before landing, the pilot scared us by saying the due to the fog and the ensuing poor visibility, they might re-route the flight to Bangor, Maine (The last place on earth I wanted to be. Not that I had anything against it) While I was crossing all the fingers I had, happily no such disaster occurred. Thanking my lucky stars I set foot in Halifax. And in a short while at the rental car place, I had occasion to thank the same lucky stars with a big whoop when I set my eyes on the Chevy Camaro that had been given us. Color me materialistic but there it was - sitting black and beautiful and delighting me. Bless you, Thrifty!

We zoomed on to PEI and stopped at this place called Gateway Village - aptly named as it lies at the gateway at the end of the 13 KM bridge into the island. I expected to see Anne at the island and I did - at Anne of Green Gables Chocolates store. I guess Anne books are the most important claim to fame  for the island and they were going to milk it for all that it's worth!

It was a late evening when we reached the B&B and we spent it at a nearby beach called Brackley. PEI is known for its red soil - this beach was no exception. The beach sand had thousands of red stones mingled with it.
Stone castles at Brackley Beach
Get the joke?
Next day - the best day ever - was Green Gables day. A little history (skip to the pic if not interested/you already knew): Green Gables was a house owned by relatives of LM Montgomery, whose Anne of Green Gables series of books are part of classic literature. The author based the books on the house and its surroundings. She was a very descriptive writer so the island and its people become very real to the readers. I had lived in PEI through her books when I read them. And now, I got to see the actual Green Gables house, the actual Haunted Woods and the actual Lover's Lane. Oh, to be walking the same paths where I imagined Anne walking! For those of you not familiar with the books, this was like Disneyland without the ridiculous amount of people, dollars and wait times.
Green Gables
Haunted Woods
Lover's Lane

Next stop was Cavendish beach which had stunning red stone cliffs. 
The ruddy cliffs
With the elements
On the way back, by a very lucky chance, we happened upon a group of people waiting in line for a Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) - an Irish and Scottish music and dance party. If you are ever in PEI, do not miss one of these. Ours was performed by the Ross Family - a very talented brother-sisters trio who along with their mom had the crowd tapping along to their lilting music. A fantastic end to a fantastic day.

The next day, I attended a musical - Anne of Green Gables, the Musical (what else, right?). Well, the best thing I can say is they had some good parts. Anne herself was a really huge disappointment. If you've read the books you know that Anne is a very high-spirited, talkative girl with a love for long words and wild imagination. And Anne always took herself seriously, very solemnly. The actress who played her had zero imagination and played Anne as a comical child who screams and scampers around. She was high-pitched not high-spirited. Jittery, not solemn. The saving graces were the few musical numbers which kept me not too irritated.

Phew, that rant felt good. I can't believe I've taken up so much space with just 2 days of stories. And we spent an entire week there! I'll wait till you refill your coffee for the five more days' worth stories.

Most of the the Islanders are a really nice, friendly bunch of people (now don't be all cynical and say that since tourism is a main business they can't afford to be un-friendly. Let's not forget the New Yorkers.) Wherever we went, there were people willing to talk to us about local history, direct us to favorites and haunts and always curious to know who we are from. When we visited the eastern part of the island the next day, thanks to some of these friendly folks, we visited an artist at his store where he let our 6-year-old make his own sea-glass necklace, had an excellent breakfast featuring the famous PEI potatoes, visited a 148-year-old lighthouse and saw and heard the Singing Sands ("more of squeaking sands", as the lady said) at Basin Head beach.
East Point Lighthouse

Bridge Jumping at Basin Head
The Basin Head beach was interesting because the sands there make a sort of squeaking rustling sound when you drag your foot on them. And it also had this bridge spanning the boardwalk from which strong swimmers were jumping into the swift deep waters below, get dragged by the current into a sort of natural pool formation.

PEI is a very beautiful island. And I believe summer time was the best time to visit since it was an amazing visual treat to see the contrasting island colors - the red soil, the varying shade of green crops, the blue sea, the yellow and purple wildflowers filling the meadows, dark and light clouds sailing in the blue sky. Nature was at her very best and her human creations hadn't dared to disrupt much of her canvas. 

I will leave you now with a few pitifully inadequate images of the island that I was able to capture. In my next post, I'll tell you all about the rest of the trip where we dipped our toes in a deliciously named river, went back in time, delighted in yet more samples of nature's hand at work and saw an interesting phenomenon that can't be seen anywhere else but there. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Voices

A thousand little voices screeching in my head
Jostling with each other to be the first heard
Angry and happy, sweet and snapping
Melodious screams, all overlapping
The stronger ones come to the fore
And claim my tongue, as their own
Oh you think I put them there?
These little voices that trill and tear?
Believe me, it be true, I can only watch
Helpless, they come out as I talk
Sometimes I don't want one but the other
Alas, the ones I need somehow disappear
What choice have I then but to succumb
Yet wish upon wish were I dumb
'Cause even when I hear them uttered
All I want is keep them shuttered.