Friday, October 4, 2019

Shyam discussing death

"Acha", Shyam said, a bit morosely, "You are going to die!"
We were lying down. Him on my right and Aditi on my left. 

The darkness of the night almost absolute, only the faint blue glow of the alarm system giving a faint bit of light.

I was caught unawares, a bit startled. Normally our bedtime conversations revolved around firetrucks and paw patrol.

"That is mean", said Aditi.
"How old are you Acha?" Shyam asked. 
"You are old and you are going to die", he said, a bit of panic creeping into his voice.

Now, I knew that his idea of time and numbers is a bit skewed, even then, this was a bit odd.

"People only die when they are a hundred years old, Shyam", I tried to console him.

"Acha, I am five now, and then I will be six, and seven and soon I will be a hundred", his voice had started to crack a bit now.
"That is a long way to go monu, don't worry".
"I don't want to die", he whimpered.

And then, he started to cry. 

Shyam is generally a very happy person, and even when he cries these days, he pretends that he is not crying, tears flowing down from those big eyes, lips curled down in sadness, but at the same time insisting that he is not sad. It sometimes is heartbreaking and at times funny. 
Now was one of those heartbreaking times.

I was at a loss. Should I delve into a philosophical reflection about life and death? Or try to joke about it?

He was sobbing loudly now, but then, all of a sudden slowed down.

"I have an idea", he managed to say in between his sobs. "After I turn six, maybe I can go back to being five again, and then four...".

I was ready to grasp at anything now. And at that hour, agreeing with him did seem to be the best idea to quiet him down.

"That is a good idea", I said.
He stopped crying all of a sudden, like turning off a switch. 
"Thank you Acha, you are the best". 
He gave me a tight hug. Made it all worthwhile.

PS: I could feel Aditi's knowing smile on the other side.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

കുട്ടിച്ചെറിയമ്മയുടെ കുട്ടിക്കവിത

കവിതയുടെ നീളം മാത്രമേ ചെറുതായുളളൂ, ആശയം വളരെ വലുതാണ്.

     മൂർച്ച കൂട്ടി വയ്ക്കുക

      വറ്റാതെ നോക്കുക
വേണ്ടിടത്തു വേണ്ടിടത്തു
      ഉറവയായി നൽകുക

സ്നേഹമെന്ന സൗരഭം
    നീളെ നീളെ പരത്തുക
പടർന്നു പന്തലിയ്ക്കുക

Monday, February 4, 2013

So God made a farmer

The Dodge Ram ad was ranked number 1 by pretty much all the surveys. Paul Harvey - So God made farmers. Here's the video -

Superbowl Dodge Ram Ad

and the text - 

And on the 8th day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker!". So, God made a farmer!
God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So, God made a farmer!I need somebody with strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back real soon...and mean it. So, God made a farmer!God said "I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And...who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon. Then, pain'n from "tractor back", put in another seventy two hours. So, God made a farmer!God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop on mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So, God made a farmer!God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets...and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer!It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight...and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed...and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self feeder and then finish a hard days work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who'd laugh and then sigh...and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life "doing what dad does". So, God made a farmer!

Friday, January 18, 2013

George Orwell - 1984

"The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.

Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.”

Friday, January 11, 2013


Heard about this on the radio recently, and thought will share it here. Worth chewing on, be it the condition in India, or here in the United States.

It could probably that we are getting a bit too skeptical and are under-estimating our resurgence ability. And it becomes clear when you read about Alexander Tytler that he had a cynical view of the democratic system of government, and probably that the democracy that he writes about is not as evolved as the ones now. And we all know that there simply doesn't seem to be a better form of government than a democracy at the moment.


Keeping in mind all these things, these words still manages to achive parity with the current situation. Selfishness and Complacency and Apathy.

(Do click on his name to get to Wikipedia to read about him)

Alexander Tytler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinborough (1887) has been credited with the following:
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
Great nations rise and fall. They always progress through the following sequences:
  • From bondage to spiritual faith;
  • From spiritual faith to great courage;
  • From courage to liberty;
  • From liberty to abundance;
  • From abundance to selfishness;
  • From selfishness to complacency;
  • From complacency to apathy;
  • From apathy to dependence;
  • From dependence back into bondage.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Blood on our hands

I did not know her and yet she could be any one of my four sisters, or my wife, or my daughter. While on some corner of my heart I am relieved that she did not have to suffer from her wounds, I realize how wrong it is to think so.

Over 650 cases of rape in Delhi alone and the statistic that 1 in every 4 cases in the nation happens there.

So, if the person had not been brutalized and left for dead, would we even have noticed this? Wouldn't it have been just another tiny news besides some political buffoonery? Haven't we become so apathetic that nothing shocks us anymore?

Look down at our hands. Yes, the blood is on our hands. Of hers and a hundred others.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Growing up with Tendulkar

Hundreds of people have written about Sachin's retirement, and this is the one I liked the most, at least of all that I have read till now. Maybe because it directly resonates with the age group that I belong to.
He probably is the first player I can remember whom we can easily address by his first and last names, almost as if he is a member of the family, or a dear friend. I know that my father is probably a much more avid fan of Sachin than I am, but I can say that I grew up with Sachin.

To remember, very vividly, the period when cricket in India literally was synonymous with Sachin, and that people would switch the TV off in despair when he got out.
To write "MRF" on a bat that the local carpenter made (which in hindsight looked more like an ice cream stick).
To have had utter belief in him (and a few others) when match fixing rocked the scene.
To defend him to those few infidels who bayed for his retirement during those lean patches.
At the Youtube age, to watch his various innings and get goosebumps. 

There are many greats in cricket, but there will always be only one Sachin.*
Adieu Maestro!

(*Yes, I DID stop short of calling him the God; Not because I wouldn't love to, but because it has been cliched)