27 December, 2006

Contentment seeps in

Post Boxing Day afterglow.

I'd been to ILSS. The lake looked too forbidding for a swim, temted though I was to brave the evening chill and dive into those dark depths. That in childhood had held for me all the horrors that a Jaws-educated mind can concoct.
Just sauntered about the lawn, sipping coffee. After a long, long time.

Finished reading Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner". A fine book, that celebrates the stark reality of Afghanistan in restrained narrative and intense characterisations.

"Christmas with Frank Sinatra" is playing softly in my room. Will soon be followed by a booming "Adeste Fideles" in all its tenor glory.

Feeling content. At nothing in particular, just managed to capture the 'goodwill to Men' part of the Christmas spirit.

25 December, 2006

The day itself

So I sit before the console on the day itself. Hopefully the strange entity going under the common nomenclature of Christmas cheer is fluttering all abt me, else skulking in a corner under my shrivelling gaze.

Not many decorations in my room, just the tree glittering unobstrusively by a window-sill. "A Christmas Carol" is lying face-down on my desk. The uncharacteristically penetrating sunlight squints inquisitively through the half-closed shutters. I had walked to this cafe, where I now blog. An offshoot of Park Street, festooned with the lights. Thinking of the old Flurys, where I'd have settled into a gloomy corner, protected from the pleibian populace, their grossness, their inanity - by a large tome. With Irish coffee and a sundae. Me and my combinations.

I'll walk down the familiar streets, passing swiftly like a fey wraith, I'd like to imagine. Feeling the minds passing by. Their stories and histories, joys, sorrows. I snuggle deeper into my dark jumper. Feeling Gandalfish. Wishing I had a pipe.

What the hell, I'm rambling! Musing at random on Christmas.

Merry CHristmas again.

24 December, 2006

A very merry Christmas!

Okay, so at last I am facing the console on Christmas Eve. Can smell the sweet aroma of the

baking cake.

Feel a sense of the usual inane fulfilment to be following the usual Winter rituals, which are so

very inextricably tied with the traditions of Christmas. Not so much of the faith (speaking on

my own behalf, of course) in this, as the feeling of doing or participating in something along

with millions, sharing the almost intangible (these days) joy of the Immaculate Conception.

With those of the faith, and those of the joy as well.

Imagining Park Street, festooned with the lights, bright and throbbing with the festive mood.

And the happy populace thronging the broad promenades.

True, I'm generally a bit remote from the general gaiety, but even alone one can celebrate the

common joy of humanity.


Alright then people . . .

Merry Christmas to one and all!


and somewhere "O come all ye faithful" is playing, followed by "Silent Night".

19 December, 2006

Tolkien's new book

Got this from TORC!
A new Tolkien book is coming out: "The Children of Hurin".

Check out the cover

Ghosts of Christmas - I

Leafing through a few well-dog-eared tomes. Sneezing uncontrollably from the dust and mildew. Emerged from the literary pile with a tattered browning copy of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Memories came flooding back, and I felt enervated by their onrush. I'd read the book at the age of 12. First time I felt this strange lump in my throat when reading about Tiny Tim, and all the rest. I don't know how many of my revered viewers have read this, but I do hope they felt the book (as did I) rather than reading it.
Wondered at how I resemble Ebenezer Scrooge more often than not. Not for me the bright lights and merry carols of Christmas.
For me are the bitter howling winds of the winter night that seem to expand my conciousness to eerie realms.
For me the shadowy gloom of the gloaming and the dusk, when I can contemplate on the frailty of existence.
And brood in peace about the might-have-beens of the fallen year, likened to the fag-end of my premature life.

Somewhat immobilised, having sustained minor injuries on the rooftop, doing the Saruman thing to the four winds. Toe-nail torn off.

Winter enshrouds me in its welcome sombreness and sobriety, matching its mood to mine. Encouraging me to contemplate and at times exude good-will to all creation (yeah, rarely).

I believe that in the end we can win over the odds, however dark be the hour, however cold be the world. When faced with adversity, we often stumble back. But it is never a full step.

We progress however towards some form of fulfilment.I hope, as I have always hoped, that many may find in their darkest hour that glimmer of fire that enkindles one to forge ahead.

And then the slow dirge of a grey life seems all at once to be a mighty symphony of triumph and the joy of existence.
I prayed to the spirit of Christmas that may some kindred souls always keep that spark alive in your souls. If we cannot touch each other it is only because we haven't reached far enough.

15 December, 2006

Inception

Winter has set in with its true bitterness at last in our amply-polluted city of strikes.
I have somehow managed to mark this onset in my personal calendar. There was a time when I drew Celtic crosses on all the doors. And wrapped in makeshift robes whittled willow twigs on Midwinter's Day. Sort of commemorating the ancient High Winter festivals of the Old Ones of the Hills
Now, however I've unfortunately become more reserved. Somehow, the uninhibitedness of childhood that I so cherished has become less pronounced. Nonetheless, I started off by turning on Vivaldi's Winter, from the "Four Seasons". I had it on cassette, until my musical friend gave me a Zukerman rendition.
Turning my thoughts to th more literary. Wordswoth perhaps holds the loftiest position when it comes to Nature. However, in Winter I bow my head to the Old Master: John Ronald Ruel Tolkien. I read it now as I've read for so many winters: a part of his "Cottage of Lost Play" works, where the aching melancholy of the Elder Kindred is brought out like never before. This describes how winter seems in the now-deserted Elven citadel of Kortirion (note, all ye TOlkien-lovers, the formative years of the 'Tirion upon Tuna' in Eressea).


The Trees of Kortirion

III. Hrivion(Winter)

Alas! Kortirion, Queen of Elms, alas!
This season best befits your ancient town
With echoing voices sad that slowly pass,
Winding with waning music faintly down
The paths of stranded mist. O fading time,
When morning rises late all hoar with rime,
And early shadows veil the distant woods!

Unseen the Elves go by, their shining hair
They cloak in twilight under secret hoods
Of grey, their dusk-blue mantles gird with bands
Of frosted starlight sewn by silver hands.
At night they dance beneathe the roofless sky,
When naked elms entwine in branching lace
The Seven Stars, and through the boughs the eye
Stares down cold-gleaming in the high moon's face.

O Elder Kindred, fair immortal folk!
You sing now ancient songs that once awoke
Under primeval stars before the Dawn;
You dance like shimmering shadows in the wind,
As once you danced upon the shining lawn
Of Elvenhome, before we were, before
You crossed wide seas unto this mortal shore.

Now are your trees, old grey Kortirion,
Through pallid mists seen rising tall and wan,
Like vessels vague that slowly drift apart
Out, out into empty seas beyond the bar
Of cloudy ports forlorn;
Leaving for ever havens loud,
Wherein their crews a while held feasting proud
In lordly ease, they now like windy ghosts
Are wafted by cold airs to friendless coasts,
And silent down the tide are borne.

Bare has your realm become, Kortirion,
Stripped of its raiment, and its splendour gone.
Like lighted tapers in a darkened fane
The funeral candles of the Silver Wain
Now flare above the fallen year.

Winter is come. Beneath the barren sky
The Elves are silent. But they do not die!
Here waiting they endure the winter fell
And silence. Here too I will dwell;
Kortirion, I will meet the winter here!

13 December, 2006

Amazing Grace

I have a friend who never sings this song, though he loves it. I do not exactly know why, though it's been explained to me countless number of time. I believe, that i can truly comprehend the meaning of the word soaring, when they say "Soaring voices". It is as if the entire Me is soaring along with the music. Far out, transcending arches and domes. Reaching out to things too lofty to be expressed or even totally grasped.
Saturdays will always hold a special place in my heart. After a long time, i felt genuinely happy. Not happiness for others but for once, happiness with myself. I shall take this chance to exude my uncharacteristic good cheer in the faint hope that some unwary bloggers might catch it.

01 December, 2006

All the world...

So there was this play for Vibes. St. Xavier's HAD to do something: Agni, Arnab, Ilmaz and myself were delegated the task of being pocket-edition Shakespeares.
Topic: "Gandhigiri". For the uninitiated, it is about Mahatma Gandhi's pacifist ideologies and their relevance in modern times.

So I decided upon the archetypical park-scene. Two friends meet after a long while. One is restless, uncertain, hiding a terrible secret - he's been a murderer for his extremist group. His friend is a life-long pacifist, dating back to school-days. They talk of old times, campus-politics and long-lost loves - all so ephemeral now.
Finally, Amal confesses his guilt, and sense of shame to Saibal. Begs that Saibal shoot him to escape the shame of a public arrest.
Saibal declares that every man has a destiny to fulfill in his life. He'd confess to Amal's crime if Amal in his turn takes his place to spread the message of non-violence to the was-torn world. Amal is indignant, but Saibal asks, "Are you more afraid for me going to jail, or spreading my message?"

Next, Saibal is in jail, listening to a radio-broadcast of a world-conference in Chicago, where Amal, now a world-figure for spreading harmony is representing India. Saibal sighs in contentment, and the play ends.
A moving violin score by Anirban did the script great credit. btw, it's his b'day, so "Happy birthday!".

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