Four Short Poems

Written in an early morning when a neighboring Temple decided to be Cacophonous.
But, early rising is a blessing. Thoughts are clear and paths smooth.
Four poems out of nowhere.
They may be a manifestation of four unclear dreams that played throughout the night.
Meaningless, yet meaningful… providing hints of future.
Or not.
Sleeping with books could be a reason for such dreams, said a part of me.
I was reading (for the umpteenth time) Allen Douglas’ ‘War, Memory and the Politics of Humor’ before falling asleep casually, after a long talk with my girlfriend.

So, here it goes…

  1. Milady de Winter

I can already smell you
Miady de Winter.
Straight out of the Pages
of the Three Musketeers,
You presented yourself to
me in a winter.
Vivacious.
Dashing and Mysterious.

 

  1. Anticipation

In here,
The Wind blows from the Sea
into the Land.
Anticipating wind,
I kept my windows open.
The Wind blew
in the Darkest hour of the Night,
bringing your smell
from over a 100 miles away.

  1. Enthusiasm

I have never felt
Enthusiasm
when I embarked on Return Journeys.
Now I do.

  1. Achilles’ Heel

When my heel burns,
I imagine the hands that press it,
gently pushing me to Sleep.
I remember  Gary Oldman as
Sirius Black.
‘It’s like falling asleep.’
He said that when asked about
Death.
I was unaware that my
Achilles’ heel could be cured.
But then,
Do I want it to be?

Ephemeral Night

You were ephemeral, my child.
Just like a night of
white clouds
that passed silently,
carefully watching the world
lay below.
Today, I wish I had been
born as that bird
sitting on obscure branches,
cooing at strange windows,
sleepless at night.
My wind-flaps could make
someone scared.
My cooing could bring
fearful thoughts.
I’d be powerful even if for
a simple, passing night.
I wish I was powerful enough
to keep you.
My touch was not enough.
My touch isn’t the same.
Not anymore.

When the clouds pass over
and the stars come out,
I will hoot for you.
Because my love for you
isn’t ephemeral.
It is ever-lasting.

A Warship at Anchor

se-L%F6nning

A War Ship at Anchor…
Away from the Divine thunder’s roar
Moving slowly with waves up and down
Feeling the care and love of Poseidon.

Provoke him not, let him sleep
Undisturbed by the Ocean’s deep
a long time work had made him weak
but will soon be as strong as a Teak.

Challenge him not, for he is at peace
a challenge will make him not at ease
Turn thy back, if thy are to try,
Fear him thy will, for his war cry.

Feeling the sweetness of wave’s lullaby
Sleeping, the War Ship, the ocean’s baby
Dreaming about the nautical miles to cross
and the islands and its treasures to pass.

Remembering the number of men and blood
that he had spilled in the Ocean’s cold
The War Ship shook gently in the sleep
on the cries of the ghosts from the deep

Stop! The men said, for he did not hear.
Enough! They said again, he did not fear
to kill the brave men who stood against him
and to paint his mast with blood of eternal grim.

Retired, the War Ship from the waters of War
fell back to the long voyages that take him far
to find the lands and people of the distant
Retired from the cries he could not withstand

“Sail! thy rest is over”, said the new Captain
wearing a white uniform with a yellow stain
“Sail!”, cried the captain, to the crew’s “aye aye”
to the waves, to the women who cried “Good bye.”

Catching the North Wind on its strong mast,
sailed the majestic War Ship stable and fast,
Stood the Captain caressing his golden binnacle,
looking at the Rising Sun and natures’ Miracle.

Breaking the waking sea waves with its Bower
Sailed the War Ship, believing in its power
aiming at the mid-ocean, passing the Cogs
With a Captain intending to “Slain the Gogs”.

“Faster”, roared the captain, “faster”, repeated
the crew and “faster” thought the ship, retired
once from the famous bloody battles of History
to wake up today to find losing His own Story.

“God and Glory”, said the tall iron flag staff carrying
the Ensign, “Gold and Glory”, said the captain caressing
the Crocket which sealed the emblem of the Queen
who stopped the “Armada Invincible” and out seen

“No more Blood” said the War Ship, turning its Cringle
“Thy will fight” said the Captain hurrying to mingle
with the crew to convince them to fight and find
the distant lands and conquer the gold and Mind.

Days passed and so nights, sailed the War Ship
with Men sweating the blood out, men with whip
forcing the Men in rags to sail more Fast
to claim more speed and forget the Past.

“Father”, cried the War Ship, to the God of Ocean,
“Thy son die here”, cried him aloud to the Olympian
“Take back thy son to thine”, plead him with agony,
his prayers mingling with the mermaids’ euphony.

Raged the Mediterranean with a perfect Storm
attaining the divine hands of Poseidon in its form
Embraced the War Ship in to its wide heart
the ship sailed, Captain and crew thrown apart.

The Ocean glittered with sunlight after the Tempest
With no sign of the Great War Ship under the behest
of the Captain and his precious Crew, set out for Gold
God and Glory, in this post-tempestuous cold.

“Father”, cried the Ship, its mast piercing the Bluish
Underwater, sailing past Mermaids and Angelfish
Guiding him to the palace made of Corals and Pearls
were Sea Horses guard and Jelly fishes swirls

“Welcome Son” said Poseidon, raising his divine Trident
“To your Father, my Brave Son”, said the calm ardent
Godly voice, touching the Mast of the War Ship, bruised
with the curses of the Captain and Crew who drowned.

“This is thy Home. Rest here till the end of Time”, said
the God, “Save the innocent from the tempests and raid
Of Pirates”. “Father”, bowed the War Ship with loyalty
and released the Anchor to the coral floor in fealty.

A War Ship at Anchor…
Away from the Divine thunder’s roar…..

 

P.S: A friend of mine happened to intrude into my privacy when I was considering the deletion of this poem. He is a former-literature student who claims to have performed the greatest of Shakespearean characters. He took a look at this poem and asked me what it was. I replied by saying that I was simply going through the poems of Coleridge. He sat down and read the poem and claimed that he had read it earlier as it was part of his syllabus. I was elated as well as shocked.

Aamir Khan on Non-Violence

Manu Kurup:

Thought I’ll reblog this… another of my blog spaces.

Originally posted on kurupsledger:

Aamir Khan is one of the three Khans that reign India’s Hindi film industry. He needs no introduction as an actor. He often encourages the media to endorse himself as a brainy actor. I don’t know if that means the other two Khans have no brains. One would feel so after watching movies like Kick, Dabbang 2, Chennai Express and all. It is my belief that Aamir Khan makes better movies than the other two main Khans. I only have a problem with his self-endorsement as a ‘thinking’ actor… ‘Brainy’ actor, marketing strategist, etc. He often indirectly calls himself ‘a perfectionist’ ‘workaholic’ and what not… It’s like Aamir Khan can do everything and everything can be done only by Aamir Khan. In interviews and all, one can see Aamir Khan thinking more than him talking… So his interviews are actually ‘inner-views’.

So when someone like Aamir Khan thinks, the…

View original 246 more words

Rain Clouds

DSC_3390.NEF

Meanwhile, in University of Hyderabad, now in the new state of Telangana, it is raining heavily for the last two days. To tell you all the truth, I had been disappointed with the Monsoon. Though not as strong as the usual Monsoon, these rains aren’t that bad. This photo is clicked during one of my usual visits to South Campus. Generally, I ignore South Campus since it is too far from where I stay. But a new restaurant has opened up just outside the gate of South Campus which serves Kerala Cuisine and there’s no way I’m missing that. Rains or not, I will go there to get a plate of Puttu-Kadala Curry or Appam-Beef Fry or Porotta-Chicken Curry. 

 

The Fault in Our Stars (2014) – A Review

The Fault in our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

 

I was a bit reluctant to watch The Fault in Our Stars because it simply is not my type of film. While I admit that I watch all sorts of films, I do have preferences and I go by it all the time. I know most people differentiate between films into easy genres; explosions, love, sad, funny! It can be understood by the way they get interested in a movie. ‘Hey, is it a funny movie?’ or ‘Oh man! That’s a sad sad movie!’ or ‘There were lot of explosions!!!… a lot….!!!’ Or ‘That was all about love.’

…. Mine is sort of different; ‘violence-action’, ‘war-drama’, ‘political-thriller’, ‘legal-thriller’, ‘science-fiction’, ‘spy-drama’, ‘romantic-drama’… I’d classify The Fault in Our Stars as a Romantic Drama. Not Romantic Comedy. In fact, if someone say that a film is romantic comedy it actually might put me off from watching that film. Hey, everybody has their favourite genre and mine is just not that!

-14fad7a8-8c7c-43a8-86bc-bd9c6f889becThe Fault in Our Stars is based on a novel of the same name (which some idiots may be buying now, just to show off that they can read!) by John Green. It is a simple film based on the complexities of the life of a teenage girl, Hazel Grace Lancaster who is suffering from Cancer. At a Cancer Patient’s support group meeting, she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), another cancer patient who had lost his leg to Osteosarcoma. The film revolves around how the rest of their lives are depended on each other.

Willem Dafoe as Peter Van Houten in The Fault in Our Stars

Willem Dafoe as Peter Van Houten in The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in our Stars does not boast of a big star cast except for Willem Dafoe, who plays Peter Van Houten, a mean and reclusive drunk, whose novel The Imperial Affliction becomes a topic of discussion between the central characters and helps them to build a bond.

 

Everyone’s been talking about how apt Shailene Woodley looked the part of Hazel Grace. But it was Nat Wolff who got my attention in his portrayal of Isaac, a blind friend of Augustus. Nobody in the whole film performed with so much conviction as Nat Wolff as how a character that would have been obviously side-lined otherwise in the charming way the lead protagonists were shown. While Shailene Woodley projects herself as a perfect fit to the role with an apparent easy portrayal of the character, I doubt if it will ever have looked so complex without the solid performances from seasoned actors like Laura Dern and Sam Trammel.

Nat Wolff as Issac, a blind friend of Augustus, brings a lot of energey into the cast of The Fault in Our Stars. It is a surprisingly brilliant piece of acting by this young actor.

Nat Wolff as Issac, (in the center) a blind friend of Augustus, brings a lot of energey into the cast of The Fault in Our Stars. It is a surprisingly brilliant piece of acting by this young actor.

It is obvious from the film that script chopped off some important things when the screenplay was written from the book. It would have been prudent to keep the author in the screenplay department. The Fault in Our Stars is one of those feel-good films showing the good in people when they are being let down by the rest of the world. It is about how people stick together when they are faced by an unfairness that discriminates them from everything else.

The Fault in Our Stars is a director’s movie. Although not an experienced one, Josh Boone seems to be a promise in an array of new directors that are coming up in the recent times. The way in which the narration goes is the reason why The Fault in Our Stars as a movie looks less like an adaptation.

My rating: 3/5.

 

Photographing White Breasted Waterhen

I have always been interested in birds. My home (in Kerala) is surrounded by trees on all sides of the property. Although that makes it a bit difficult for us to catch phone signals (and TV signals when it rains!) in there, our home is the coolest of all the households in the area. My room on the top floor has windows that opens up to a wooded part of the plot. Birds are not just seen but heard too. Early mornings are filled with cacophony, thanks to our ever beautiful flying friends.

When I joined the University almost a decade ago (shit!!!) I was taken by the abundance of birds. My own hostel, although a very old building by itself, was surrounded by huge trees often inhabited by wonderful birds. We used to have occasional raids by monkeys. It was sometimes so scary that you’d actually start thinking it was the beginning of the Planet of the Apes. Monkey Dads, Monkey Moms and cute little Monkey Babies sucking the tits of Monkey Moms! Red Ass Monkeys, Red Faced Monkeys and Red Eyed Monkeys… all these accompanied by the sounds of people closing their windows… like shots fired. Our hostel windows were huge and they didn’t have bars. Two or three monkeys could easily jump in and beat our sorry arses back to a pre-homo sapiens era. Peafowls were another attraction. With all due respect to them and Peacock being the national bird of India, their cooing in the wee hours of morning right outside my window used to be a major annoyance.

I used to go around and photograph these birds and animals on the campus whenever I got time. I remember a time when I was chased by a pack of wild boars while trying to photograph them. (There was another time when I and a former friend of mine was chased through the dark forests by a pack of wild boars. We were pissed drunk but we ran fast enough to save our lives from being blots on the goat path!)

DSC_3166

DSC_3172DSC_3175DSC_3167

This bird has been on my mind for some time. I have seen it wandering in the woods very often. Initially I thought it to be some sort of a duck. The first thing that crossed my mind was how delicious this would be if served in a sweet sauce. But a careful observation I made later made me think that this bird is actually too beautiful to hunt, kill and eat. Nevertheless, I photographed it. Then I started working on to find out more details about this bird. It belongs to the crake family Rallidae and is called The White-Breasted Waterhen aka amaurornis phoenicurus. According to Wikipedia, “they are dark slaty birds with a clean white face, breast and belly.” They are largely seen in the Indian subcontinent and different varieties of them can be spotted all across South Asia. So, my dear non South Asian readers, I’m introducing this beautiful bird to you. :P

I was photographing a family of them but this one was the largest of them. Wikipedia calls them the ‘boldest’ in the Rallidae family, but these birds were kind of shy (except for the one photographed!).