Notes on a bright day

WHAT is there in the dark, lurking

what is there in the light, lurking

boots cover my paws; mufflers my ears

run-says your adrenaline.

To where-asks my soul.

you are running from the very day you born

endless running from the mirror.

being secure is the greatest insecurity, one could feel

under the fleeting clouds and raging sun

on a ferocious day in the shade of umbrella

its either you spoke your mind or

kill yourself calmly.

I was too thoughtful, too thoughtful

so that I forget the other person.

Decoding: what is it to be inside a temple festival in Kerala?

In Kerala, temple festivals have a season. A wide span of 4 months starts early January and ends Mid-April or may. It also falls as the annual school vacation time in Kerala schools. For every child in the state (one could argue Hindu child as the temples belong to majority Hindu community even though they are open to all) their first moment of magic in life could be a night in the local temple festivals, amidst the life in the temple’s festival ground or ‘Poora Parambu’.

It is a miniature of the crass Kerala society. You meet a world of colour and vigour of freedom, which is otherwise starkly suppressed by society’s morality. It is a messy but a necessary evil for most of the Keralites to attend a ‘Poora Parambu’. Most people are unaware or have least interest to know what is happening inside the temple. Rituals and divinity gives way to enchanting freedom, which exalts energy surely is beyond describable limit.

I’ve been an outsider to religion. So normally I don’t get hitched by the charm of Festivals. Last week I got an opportunity to be a part of a festival in the local temple. Thousands of people queued up the temple gates and proceed to festival ground, when I set my foot there in a gross evening. Divinity has blocked a state motor way even an ambulance finds it difficult to pass. We can’t blame people for that considering Kerala has got the highest of density of people living in India.

Nadakavu Bhagawathy temple, devoted to the goddess of destruction Kali is the one I’m referring to. We have two grounds separated by the state highway dedicated for the Pooram or Festival. And the attraction: the fireworks. We occupied a place in the road so that we can witness the action of both sides. Two large grounds almost equal to a cricket ground’s size were carefully planted with ammunition. Deep inside the pockets in ground buries fire crackers waiting for the flame. The main ground adjacent to the temple has a special decoration. Fire crackers, thousands of them joined together to form a garland to initiate a chain reaction for the final punch.

A local man told us nobody would stand the sound of crackers bursting as a chain.  He said it was a skilful work to create a garland, starting from a single cracker to multiple and organized array. It will create an effect same as ascending musical notes. Nobody stands it –he claimed.

It is dangerous too, imagine a cracker released from ground lose its trajectory and falling on people! It will surely kill especially when we have a mob.

Why this incredibly loud fireworks? My friend answers me (He is a Christian) Hindu’s have this belief that Goddess Kali loves the sound of this massive explosion. For her to giver ears to the worries of people they should open her ears. Kali, setting abode in the celestial have huge ears. In order to get her attention it is important to make incredibly loud crackers.

Festival ground is a miniature world. Beautiful ladies dressed up in their best, parade along their family and friends to give men a much needed glance. Normally it is a taboo to stare at woman but on a festival night it is not. You meet all kinds of people in festival ground, from all the walks of life. Drunkards solemnly sleeping on the pavements, kids animated with Chinese built toys in their hands, families reunited by pure love, massive number of lovers who cares nobody but a scoop of ice cream they are holding… that is how a true festival ground take shape.

The place combines massive energy, especially the hustle to watch street circus. Like a Gabriel Garcia Marques book you could see novel people, tightrope walking to earn money, occasionally a juggler too. One should be amazed to see how an ordinary place transformed into multi layer euphoria with the power of mere moon light.

Now back to the fireworks. It is a spectacle to watch. One by one, the man with the flame lit the crackers. Like a ghost resurrected they head into the sky to burst loud and spread their colour. Each one has different colors, red, green and yellow. That doesn’t matter because the heaviness of explosion prompts you to close your eyes. That means you miss half the action yet it is brilliant. Followed by which started the chain reaction. Over 300 meters away we have seen the massive force taking shape to make a big bang.

Slowly but powerfully it began the dash. Racing against applaud of mob it reached our territory too. We were watching this spectacle from the ground zero, means we were the penultimate space where the mega-explosion happens. When the ultimate big bang started my friend Benhur hold me tight and asked me to stay back. I saw people adjusting their positions not to get hurt by the fire. I do the same. As the ritual was over people began to shout with happiness amid the thick smoke to mark their share of divinity.

On returning I hear people asking each other about the possible millions of rupees the temple management would have spend on this half-an-hour blitzkrieg. What I was thinking; has the Goddess Kali’s ears opened? Will she be smiling?

“We behold what we are, and we are what we behold.”
The Bhagavad Gita

Road that lead to Wagamon

For us my friend Abijith and me this journey was around the corner for some time. Our obligations at home and office kept us at bay, until we made our mind to scale Wagamon hill station. Our vessel – A 350CC Royal Enfield Bike. I do not ride bike. So naturally, he becomes the captain.We share border with Kottayam district. That made our trip easy. 82Kms looks assailable. What made the twist though; we choose a Christmas day to go tripping. On Christmas, roads wear a deserted look. No traffic, no honking of cars, just peace. That is all I wanted.We hit the road precisely 8.45am.

As expected road was like a carpet laid just for us. We have no sightings of fellow bikers or jeering cars. Toddy shops along the Pala road too were out of business. All that we had in company were the stares of people, a kind of envy in their eyes simply because we were travelers.For people we were two travel freaks in a fancied Royal Enfield machine going places after places, and Wagamon just another pit stop for us. A moment of reckoning for me, No matter the method you opt, whether you bike or walk – People envy a traveler. They dream of becoming one. Life being too busy and drab everybody loves to take an escape.

I have a different take on this. For me travelling always make me aware of whom I am. It brings up many memories, past and future. I do not remember a single instance, when I pack my bag to go somewhere, my mind speak to me old things. If travel on a bus, the moment it accelerates I, in the same speed but reverse, think of my days. I feel Relationship, friendship among many other emotions lashing in the corner of my heart. When people say we travel to clear our mind, I think of this. For me travel is like a middle path – between past and future. Even though it kept, you concentrate on present.

When we get past Kottayam, temperatures came down. It is the first invitation one gets. Pillion rider can enjoy the hills playing hide and seek with the lush trees. Hairpin curves give Bike, a tough time but as a rider one enjoys it – Abijith said.Finally, after an arduous riding of three long hours we reached the top. Despite it being a Christmas holiday, we have seen so many visitors enjoying the day. Sun is hitting hard but still temperatures are low, wind hissing and slithering its way down the hairpins. Small vendors have seen selling pineapple and mangoes as well as ice creams.

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Image : http://www.travelmaniac.in

We skipped the viewpoint. Ride along the road chasing a Wagon-R car, just to gift back a smile, a beautiful woman in Santa clause-hat gave us. I have to admit her husband who drove the car was not that pleasing.

Then we landed up in Pine forest.This is a special place. A plantation of pine trees about 40acres or more. Once you are inside it, you do not see sun light. Wind blows and trees take a bend-like a wild kiss. You can feel the coldness of wind when it pierces through your shirt’s buttons. You feel like nature whispering at your ears. That is the moment you let your heart open and tell your story. We did the same!

We were not hungry but as mid day ritual, we had to eat. As you are in tourist place food is an important thing. Restaurants count you in numbers. The rush is just uncontrollable. They canvas tourist bus drivers and give them a commission to bring in people. This weird custom forced people to forget their appetite. You eat food very mechanically because you know that there is someone watches you over. They show dissent when you do not finish on time, because they will lose customers. I have always hated this idea. Whenever I feel to eat, I choose a very comfortable and peaceful place, even if it is costlier.

What we had for lunch? Biriyani I suppose. We had a good – but not the greatest on earth Biriyani before we set sail to the hideouts. Hideouts are the most important tourist attraction in Wagamon. They remind you of the place where Teletubbies live, hills without any trees. They go like the Alternative Current Waves. It spread almost 120acres. One needs a whole day exploring each one of them. On the valley of the first hill, they have made a beautiful lake. There the authorities have just started various activities like peddle boating, kayaking, canoeing etc…

We have strong winds in hide out. We lifted our jackets to the tune of the wind. That is a moment of jubilation, Abijith seen very happy to fly his jacket. He kept the jacket in his hands but inside him was a playful urge to let the jacket go and watch it fly away to faraway places. That is beautiful I mean, I always say, nature spots the child in you.

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After which, we had an Ice cream, since I am not fond of ice creams, I do not remember the flavor. We circled a few tea plantations, pause ourselves to capture a few scenery, waved Ta-Ta to fellow travelers while descending the mountain road.

As we touched down our place, I was feeling blessed. However, more importantly I was wondering – How this middle path will separate my coming days.  Thinking that in mind, I said him good-bye.

A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead & dreams of flyin. But pilot on d plane sees d farmhouse & dreams of returning home.
~ Unknown

Featured Image : http://www.spicegardenfarmresort.com

 

നിരർത്ഥകതയുടെ മരണം

മനുഷ്യരെക്കുറിച്ച് വിചിത്രമായ ഒരു ഏടാണ് ഞാന്‍ എന്റെ ചിന്തകളില്‍ സൂക്ഷിക്കുന്നത്.

ജീവിതത്തെക്കുറിച്ചും എനിക്കുള്ള വീക്ഷണം മറ്റൊന്നല്ല. ഞാന്‍ അത് എങ്ങനെ നിങ്ങളോട് വിവരിക്കും. ശരി, എന്റെ ഒരു ദിവസം എടുക്കുക, അതിരാവിലെ എഴുന്നേല്‍ക്കണം എന്നത് ഭാരിച്ച കാര്യമായതുകൊണ്ട് എങ്ങനെയൊ ഞാന്‍ ഒന്നുമല്ലാത്ത ഒരു നേരത്ത് എഴുന്നേല്‍ക്കുന്നു. അതായത് വൈകിയിട്ടുമില്ല, എന്നാല്‍ നേരത്തെയും അല്ല. ഇനി എല്ലാം നേരെയാക്കി പുറത്തേക്ക് ഇറങ്ങാനുള്ള ഓട്ടമാണ്.

ബാഗില്‍ നിന്ന് ഇന്നലത്തെ കറിപാത്രങ്ങള്‍ മാറ്റണം, പഴയ പ്രിന്റ് ഔട്ടുകള്‍ കളയണം, പഴ്‌സ് നോക്കി ചില്ലറകള്‍ തിട്ടപ്പെടുത്തണം, ഹാന്‍ഡ്-കെര്‍ച്ചീഫ് കണ്ടുപിടിക്കണം, ചോറ് എടുത്തോ എന്ന് അമ്മയോട് ഇടക്ക് ചോദിച്ച് ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തണം, പുരാതനമായ എന്റെ സോക്‌സുകള്‍ കണ്ടെത്തണം. ഷര്‍ട്ട് തേച്ചിട്ടില്ലെങ്കില്‍ അതിന് നേരം കണ്ടെത്തണം. കുളിക്കണം, ബ്രഷ് കണ്ടെത്തി പല്ല്‌തേക്കണം. ഭക്ഷണം കഴിച്ചെന്ന് വരുത്തണം. ഒടുവില്‍, നാല്‍പ്പത് മിനുട്ടില്‍ തയ്യാറായി റോഡിലേക്ക് ഇറങ്ങണം. ഇതാണ് ഞാന്‍ നിരന്തരം രാവിലെ ചെയ്യുന്നത്. ഇതാണ് എന്നെ സംബന്ധിച്ച് രാവിലെ എന്നാല്‍. അതി ഭീകരവും, മടുപ്പുളവാക്കുന്നതുമായ ഈ കൃത്യങ്ങളാണ് എന്റെ ദിനചര്യ.

ഇന്ന് ഈ ചിന്ത എനിക്കുണ്ടായി;

എല്ലാ മനുഷ്യനും ഇഷ്ടത്തോടെയും ചിലപ്പോള്‍ അല്ലാതെയും ചെയ്യുന്ന ഈ കാര്യങ്ങളെല്ലാം ഒതുക്കി ഞാന്‍ ഓഫിസിലേക്ക് തിരിക്കുന്നു. നല്ലത്.!.

എന്തൊക്കെയാണ് ചെയ്ത് തീര്‍ക്കാനുള്ളതെന്ന് ഞാന്‍ ചിന്തിക്കുന്നു; നാളെ ഫയല്‍ ചെയ്യാനുള്ള വാര്‍ത്തകള്‍ ഉണ്ട്, അവ നാളെ ഫയല്‍ ചെയ്‌തേ പറ്റു. ഇല്ലെങ്കില്‍ എന്താണ്.? ഇല്ലെങ്കില്‍ എന്നൊരു ചോദ്യമില്ല. ശരി.. എല്ലാം ഞാന്‍ ചെയ്‌തേപറ്റു.

ഒളിച്ചോടാന്‍ പറ്റില്ല. ഞാന്‍ ചെയ്യണം, ഞാന്‍ സംസാരിക്കണം, ഞാന്‍ മനസ്സിലാക്കി നല്‍കണം, ഞാന്‍ ദേഷ്യപ്പെടണം, ഞാന്‍ സ്‌നേഹിക്കണം, ഞാന്‍ തഴുകണം, ഞാന്‍ ചുംബിക്കണം, ഞാന്‍ കരയണം.. അതേ.. ഞാന്‍ ചെയ്യേണ്ടതാണ് ഇതെല്ലാം.. പക്ഷെ ചിന്തിക്കുക, ഇങ്ങനെ,

ഇതെല്ലാം ചെയ്യണ്ട ഞാന്‍, ചെയ്യുമെന്ന് വാശിയുള്ള ഞാന്‍, ചെയ്യാന്‍ വിധിക്കപ്പെട്ട ഞാന്‍, ചെയ്തുതീര്‍ക്കേണ്ടതെല്ലാത്തിന്റെയും സമ്മര്‍ദ്ദം താങ്ങുന്ന ഞാന്‍ അതി ദാരുണമായി, അതി ഭീകരമായി ഒരു വലിയ ട്രക്കിനടിയില്‍ പെട്ടുപോകുകയാണ്.

അതിന്റെ എണ്ണിയെടുക്കാന്‍ വയ്യാത്ത അത്ര ചക്രങ്ങള്‍ എന്റെ താരതമ്യേന ചെറിയ ശരീരത്തിലൂടെ കയറിയിറങ്ങിപ്പോയി.

എനിക്ക് ബോധമുണ്ട്, അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ ബോധ്യമുണ്ട്. ഞാന്‍ ഒരു അരമണിക്കൂര്‍ക്കൂടി തികച്ചു ജീവിച്ചേക്കില്ല, ഇനി എങ്ങാനും ചില അവയവങ്ങള്‍ നഷ്ടപ്പെട്ട് ജീവിക്കേണ്ടി വന്നാല്‍ അത് കട്ടിലില്‍ ആയിരിക്കും-അത് എനിക്ക് ജീവിതമല്ല.

എങ്കിലും ഞാന്‍ ആലോചിക്കുകയാണ്. ട്രക്കിന്റെ ചക്രങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് കീഴെ, ചോരകൊണ്ട് ചുറ്റും ചിത്രപ്പണികള്‍ ഉള്ളപ്പോള്‍ ഞാന്‍ എന്റെ അമ്മയോട് ചോദിക്കുകയാണ്.. എന്തിനായിരുന്നു എന്റെ ഓട്ടങ്ങള്‍ അത്രയും?

അമ്മ കേള്‍ക്കുന്നുണ്ടോ.?

എന്തിനായിരുന്നു അതിരാവിലെ ഞാന്‍ എഴുന്നേറ്റത്, ടൂത്ത് ബ്രഷ് മുതല്‍ സോക്‌സ് വരെയുള്ള പ്രാകൃത ഉപകരണങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് പിന്നാലെ പാഞ്ഞ് ഇല്ലാത്ത നേരം ഞാന്‍ ഉണ്ടാക്കിയത്. ആളുകള്‍ കുത്തിനിറഞ്ഞ ഒരു ബസ്സിന് പിന്നാലെ പാഞ്ഞ് ഇല്ലാത്തയിടം ഉണ്ടാക്കി നഗരത്തിലേക്ക് വന്നത്.

ഒരു ട്രക്കിന്റെ എണ്ണമില്ലാത്ത ചക്രങ്ങളുടെ ഉരുളലിന് ഉടല്‍വച്ച് കൊടുക്കാനോ.?

അതായത് മരിക്കാനായി ആയിരുന്നുവോ കഷ്ടപ്പെട്ട് ഞാന്‍ ജനിച്ച് ഇത്രേടംവരെ ഓടിയെത്തിയത്.

ആരാണ് ജീവിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നത്? അതോ എല്ലാവരും എന്നെപ്പോലെ മരിച്ചു കഴിഞ്ഞുവോ.?

സാധാരണക്കാരെപ്പോലെ പെരുമാറാന്‍ ചിലര്‍ ചെലവാക്കുന്ന അസാധാരണ ഊര്‍ജ്ജത്തെപ്പറ്റി നിങ്ങള്‍ക്കറിയില്ല

-അല്‍ബേര്‍ കമ്യു (edit)