Sunday, May 30


As the evenings grow dark and as gloom surrounds me on a rainy evening, it is time for reading. With occasional winds and power failure, I always keep a candle ready to light. The books take me to all the dream worlds far away: to the hills and mountains, to the monasteries and to the sacred chants. And when it’s all over, I look at the watch and find that I am late for the bed. The home is deep at sleep. So too is my pet, Jill.  However softly I tiptoe to my bed, Jill will open her eyes to take a close look. I cannot escape her, as she will slowly wag her tail to tell me that she has seen me go.
The heat is gone and the nature seems to take relief upon the early showers. The rains take only a couple of efforts to cool Kerala. As for me, the candle lit readings that go with the dim evenings are truly heart rendering.
The old wind chimer hanging near my reading desk is busy these evenings.  They cannot make those usual cordial summer notes.  Still, in this early monsoon, they seem to call my attention. I think there is something special about it all: I simply love the magic of reading through these mystical moments. 

The Cock

A group of youths took eggs to a Turkish bath where Nasrudin was expected. Each of them took seats and hid one egg underneath them.
When Nasrudin came into the steam-room where they were sitting, they said: ‘Let us imagine we are fowls, and see whether we can all lay an egg now. The one who fails shall pay the bath fee for all’
Nasrudin agreed.
After a little cackling, each one took an egg from underneath their seat and held it out. Then they asked Nasrudin for his contribution. ‘Among so many hens’, said Nasrudin, ‘there will surely be one cock?’ 
...... [Quoted from 'The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin' by Idries Shah]

Thursday, May 27

The harbinger of rain...

Come monsoon, the Kerala coast has the first overture with rain.  The whole nation awaits to see it: the inauguration of monsoon on the beaches of Kerala.
The harbinger of rains is romantic. The hot summer is waning out. The monsoon clouds are fast approaching. At the horizon, I can almost see them touching the seas from the sky. They seem to have reached earth in a hurry. It tells me that another year of outdoor activity is closing as the rains are closing-in.  
The bright sunlit sands of the beach are a little damp with early drizzles. The warm sea winds have a spell of coolness here and there. The sky has patches and pockets of dim-lit clouds. The boys have all left the beach early...left the beach empty. Goal posts are looking lonely. The sea wind has begun to smell different: the moist sands have added their very own scent to the wind. But, once a while, the dry and the arid breeze seems to overtake the humid and the soggy. The early days of the monsoon and the last days of the summer seems to blend in a weird manner. Sure, there isn’t a competition between them. Like many things in nature, one gives way to another.
Why do people leave the beach empty when dark clouds appear in the sky? I cannot understand it. Yet, I enjoy the empty beach. The serenity of the empty beach is glorified by the noisy waves unkindly lashing the shoreline. The wind and the surf reinforce the emptiness of the sands.Suddenly in that emptiness I found three lives: a rag picker, a dog and a lonely soul. Soon I kneel on the empty sands... close my eyes to listen to the waves...and I pray for the oncoming dark clouds ...for the oncoming winds... for the oncoming rains. I pray that we pass these seasons of nature to comprehend God’s glory in our life.

Come monsoon...come soon. My land awaits your grand arrival.
Come monsoon....come soon. My heart awaits your splendid advent.

Friday, May 21

All alone for some reason...

I found a doctor friend of mine a little lonely at the closing of a celebration. The caterers had closed the counters. And all had left. I saw strange emptiness rule the arena. Yet, the doctor was at the heart of it for some reason. I asked him if he could pose his loneliness. He obliged.

I also found this retired military friend of mine a little lonely during the celebration. Far from his military days, he seems to enjoy his gorgeous god-given hairs on his face. Nevertheless, he too was alone...alone  in the crowd.


Monday, May 17

I am...

I am forever walking upon these shores,
Betwixt the sand and the foam.
The high tide will erase my foot-prints,
And the wind will blow away the foam.
But the sea and the shore will remain 

... from 'Sand and Foam'
poems by Kahlil Gibran

Grains of Sand...

They say to me in their awakening,
"You and the world you live in are but a
grain of sand upon the infinite shore of an
infinite sea."

And in my dream I say to them, "I am
the infinite sea, and all worlds are but
grains of sand upon my shore."
... from 'Sand and Foam'  
Poems of Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, May 16

Rainbow again...

One of the most common usages in English with the word rainbow is the “end of the rainbow”. This usage is often associated with the end of a long and epic journey in material and spiritual sense. The term itself does not give a direct reference to successful conclusion of the referred mission. Yet, the “end of the rainbow” gives a sense of optimism about the future. Nevertheless, the irony is that the rainbow never ends. It is an illusion that the rainbow ends. Hence, when we say that we have come to the “end of the rainbow”, in a way we are saying that the end has never been reached. Alternatively, is it the proclivity of the human heart to dream of successful conclusions that we mesh our thoughts with the “end of the rainbow”?

Illusions and myths are essential to daily living. Moreover, often life is rich with illusion. All the mirages that the world trails after can be the “rainbows” that often reinforce our faith in the value and meaning of life. I have seen people dismissing illusions and myths simply because they cannot find any meaning in it. I would disagree with them. I would say, “Leave myths alone”. Life is a dead end street when the old loses its meaning and when nothing new is expected... life is a dead end street when everything sounds familiar and when our earthly ministry has regressed to a level of daily routine. Many have walked into that street...that empty street where no new words are spoken and no new events take place. It is here that the “rainbow” works. It is here that we open a window of illusions to yearn anew and smile at the past... it is here that we reach the “end of the rainbow” to dream and trek our way to world others know not.

In every arch of a rainbow, “end of the rainbow” ceases to come. That is the joy of life... a joy that keeps life moving...moving on with faith and hope.  


Friday, May 14

The Rainbow connection...

Rainbow is a beauty that all of us will stop to watch. Spotting a rainbow, I have spend hours trying to understand it. But that’s of no use. They were there since God made the Universe and they have fascinated all who have stopped to watch it. In the Holy Bible, the Rainbow is a sign that tell us that God isn’t fed up with his creation....that the world will tick forward under God’s immaculate providence. But still, what is a rainbow? Can I ever discover the truth of a rainbow? Can I ever hear the rainbow talk? The enigmatic silence of the great arch is always a marvel of nature that one finds it difficult to escape.

We all meet rainbows in our life....we meet occasions that tells us that life is worth the living for the values we have stood for. We may not be able to decipher the rainbow...nor may we be able to feel the difference between the violet and the indigo. Can we? Can we find the exact region of separation between two colours in a rainbow? I have often contemplated that mystery. Still we see the difference and understand that life is a complex picture of colours that God has instilled in all of us. The beauty of life is this diversity of colours that rainbow represent. Though the colours are all arched in one great rainbow, they still stand apart giving the beauty that is unique in the sky.

I do not know anything about rainbow. All I know is that others too doesn’t know much about it. Yet life goes on and rainbow never ends.... and I will continue to be a dreamer and a friend of the rainbow.

Let me quote some verses from a poem by Paul Williams:

"Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me".


Sunday, May 2

A beacon of light for a 100 years ...

The sight of a lighthouse is a refreshing sight. The tall lighthouse that stands apart from the surroundings tells us that there is a beacon of light for the needy to navigate. The beauty and the serenity of lighthouses often attract people to it. I often spend time around lighthouses to read and wonder about.

The Malabar cost has some of the most spectacular lighthouses in this part of the world. Thanks to the British, they made it a point to ensure the best in maritime safety. They recognized the importance of ensuring safe passage for the trading vessels and maritime vessels visiting the ports of Malabar. Building lighthouses became the cornerstone to this project. Post Indian Independence, as the British left, India was left with 6 major operational lighthouses. One of these majestic lighthouses is the Kadalur Point Lighthouse.

Kadlur Point Lighthouse stands near a series of dangerous rocks called ‘Vellayam Kallu’. These rocks are partly submerged. Hence, even expert navigators couldn’t ensure safe passage of ships through these rocks. In 1895, after a series of shipwrecks, the administration was forced to contemplate building a lighthouse. Repeated engineering survey of the coastal waters told them that it was a very difficult task. The cost of such a project was prohibitively high. Still the British commenced the work. And on 20th October 1909 a lighthouse was inaugurated. Since then, since 100 years, not a single shipwreck has been reported from Kadlur cost.

The story of each lighthouse is a story of engineering skill and human determination to keep the trading lines open.
But Kadalur Point Lighthouse has still others stories to tell. A local poet once said that in the moon lit nights on ‘Vellayam Kallu’, thousands of dragonflies would fly around flipping their noicy wings. The locals believe that these dragonflies are visiting the watery graves of seafarers who lost their lives in this sea. It is also believed that the noise these dragonflies make is the joyful music of the souls visiting their graves.  As I pray that their souls rest in peace, I pray that Kadlur Point Lighthouse flash the beacon of light for another 100 years in this beautiful sea.

Special Cover and Photo from personal collection.