Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dear Bala Annai,

This is the text of what LTTE chief Pirapaharan wrote on Anton's death. More than anyone else, he is the right to person to mourn the death of the ideologue of Eelam, still a distant dream.


Head Quarters
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Tamil Eelam

A source of unwavering strength in the political and diplomatic efforts of our freedom movement, and the light of our nation is extinguished. Bala Annai, from whom I sought advice and solace, is no more with us. It is an irreplaceable loss for our entire nation and for me.

Bala Annai’s life has been much too short. His death comes at a time when we needed him most, as our freedom struggle intensifies. I cannot find words to express my grief and loss.

From the beginning of our struggle, when we first met, there was a deep mutual understanding. The fondness that rose from that understanding developed into a rare friendship. We thought and acted in unison. Our friendship grew in strength through our shared day-to-day experiences. This friendship stands apart from ordinary human relationships. It matured with time and was shaped by our shared history.

I was deeply fond of Bala Annai. In the great family that is our movement he was its eldest son and its guiding star for three decades. That is how I looked up to him. During the time we lived together as one family, I came to realize that he was no ordinary human being. He was strong and unshakable even during the illness that threatened to take his life and the severe pain that illness brought him. The strength of his soul was inspirational. I grieve for him.

Bala Annai has a permanent historic place in the growth and the spread of our movement. He was its elder member, its ideologue, its philosopher and, above all, my best friend who gave me encouragement and energy. He shared my sorrows, my anxieties and my travails. He was with me from the very beginning of our movement, sharing its challenges and hardships. He was the central figure in all our diplomatic efforts.

Saluting the immeasurable service he rendered our nation in the political and diplomatic arenas and the efforts by which he put our national freedom movement on the world stage, allowing our nation to stand with dignity, I am proud to bestow the title of ‘Voice of the Nation’ on Bala Annai.

Bala Annai has not left us. He will live permanently in our thoughts.

The yearning of the Tigers is Tamileelam!

V. Pirapaharan
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Future President?

The Hindu has carried the story of Obama today. On Hampshire and the next US president. The million dollar question is will the US have its first woman president in Hillary Clinton or the first black president in Barrack Obama?

It was an interesting article. The leader of the new generation. He is 45 and 14 years younger than Hillary. I went through couple of his speeches. I personally feel this guy is a future President. May be after Hillary. Already in the United States, the media is crazy about him. Apart from writing endless columns, the investigative journalists are also scrutinising his life till now to lay him bare. (Will politicians ever be stripped of their personal secret lives in India?)

Obama started as a community leader and was the first African American to be the president of Harvard Law School. Will he be the first African American president?

Some day a Black has to become the President, right. Like a Dalit becoming President here. In that Indian democracy is far superior. America gave oscars to a whole lot of blacks only after 9/11. Hope sense prevails in that nation and this fellow gets presidentship without the need for another 9/11 or worse.

To know and read more of him

Sunday, December 10, 2006

let me

I am passing this way,
Let me do what I can,
To my fellow beings,

I shall not delay,
I shall not pass this way,

pinochet's children

Yesterday, that dictator Pinochet died of a heart attack after ruling Chile for more than a decade, suppressing his own people.

I first heard the name Pinochet in a short film festival in a college about two years ago.

When General Pinochet seized power in Chile on September 11, 1973, Alejandro Goic was sixteen, Enrique Paris, twelve, and Carolina Tohá, eight years old.

During the coup Alejandro and Carolina lost their fathers, and all three lost their innocence and their youth. And eventually all went on to become powerful student leaders in the tumultuous eighties.

With thoughtful, emotional interviews and rich archival footage, the film was a remarkable film that beautifully portrayed three people's course of life against the background of the socio-political developments in their homeland.

Directed by Paula Rodriguez, in Germany, the 83 m documentary is one of the best I have seen. For those Che-fixed youth of today, wearing the revolutionary in t-shirts or flashing his face in the mobile, Alejandro can make an interesting study. The Che look-alike left politics to be a theatre personality and even through the film he was able to evoke revolutionary emotions, rare to find in these parts.

Enrique, after being a businessman for years, returned to active politics after two decades. And a succesful one at the time the film was being filmed. Carolina might one day even become the president of chile. For the film clearly revealed her intelligence, courage and skills in real politik.

Is not a film to be screened in our institutions of higher learning. Is not among the students, the seeds of change are sown? If politics here is so dirty, how are we going to clean it up? Is it not that only students can change destiny?

The film is a mixture of rare archival footage, thoughtful dialogues, up-close and personal views on politics of once upon student revolutionaries in search of freedom, and the ones who want to change Chile for a better tomorrow.

Here is a film to watch and think.

Don't miss it.

The return of the train

I was back on the tube
Homeway bound, happily;

Four years have passed by,
Stting by that rusty window;

They ’re the same passengers,
I grew up familiarizing with;

These are the interiors,
Fertiled by flowing rivers;

Most of them are dry today,
After the deluge of monsoons;

The fields though are green,
A long stretch of dancing carpet;

As always,

That feeling of lightness came,
The mind was a floating feather;

The train was bluish white,
And the sky a bluish black;

A couple were returning home,
And a lean, dusky girl travels alone.

As always,

I remember those days,
When I used to go home;

To see a young girl,
Bonded to me in love;

This was the noon train,
That took me home by night;

To be with her,
To hug and kiss;

To be in love,
To give myself;

Those were the early days,
When eternity visited often.

As always,

The same train came to a halt,
At one of those discreet stations;

The blind-beggars rhyme,
A group of bad boys sing along,

The tube has always been musical,
The terrain outside forever mystical.

As always,

It chugs past a cement factory,
Where people eke out for a living;

Littered ‘th lights in silhouette,
It moves past the right window;

The fields of fantasy fling past,
Flying comes a little winged bee;

Resting on my thigh for a while,
Before flying itself out of the tube;

Knowing not where to go next,
I watched it disappear into dark;

`life’s like that,
a flying journey’

`fleetingly fragile,
and full of fantasy’

`a dive into darkness,
dwelling on dreams’.

As always,

The tube tricks me to think,
Like the tracks that never meet;

Of the lives of those poor,
Living in hut-filled hamlets,

So deary to live with, yet
Unnoticed and uncared for.


Will I take the noon train,
To travel toward my home town.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

time to type

i was supposed to have written for her a long time ago. that was the first time i failed to sooth a girl with words of comfort. she was feeling pretty bad about life. being very young and intelligent, she has an existenial problem.

with so much to do, like and love, she still was suffering. she asked me why things were not happening her way. why the relationships she wanted were not working out as she desired. i said i will reply in few days.

i failed. for i knew she is smart enough to come out of it on her own. and that the other person in relation, from what she said, looked matured and sensitive to her very life. i was sure they could manage without me or my takes on their lives.

i havent known her really. i know her barely for a few months. she is emotional and attached. like most of the women. yet she is different. may be, she shows them not. what attracted me towards is not her intelligence or her (mostly wasted) writing skills, but her thirst for love.

she likes to be all on her own. still she likes to be loved. not outwardly, but deeply. for now, i have no words. life has already been cruel to her. and the only man she loves most is ill. i doubt if words would comfort her. may be not even warm hugs can. knowing the strength of the man, he soon will be back in home caring and cooking for her.

for now, i don't know what to write for her. except that, the road ahead looks lonely. she walks with a freedom, like her father walked years ago, to new shores, to be a professional, to have daughters like her.

and that, there's a friend and family to fall back.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

poems from past

Self, The Sovereign

Greetings to myself,

On this day you were born,
And now seem to feel forlorn;

Wish you were not born,
For life revealed thorns.

In the span of wishful years,
Which have gone full of tears;

Nature seems to be the only solace,
Attachments demand things pleasure.

Relations deter the mind of its peace,
Free are you to give everything in nature.

Sad, you never realise within,
And search for eternal liberty;

Forgt'in the beauty of being born
On a planet being continually torn.

Even if you are a miniature cosmos,
Hope is still the saviour of sovereign self.

you are the person, you are the planet!


Ageing and Angels

Of all things on travel and tranquility,
i learnt a few in a blue bodied train last night.

With wife on the lap and dew drops dripping by,
i sat silently thinking of the unknown journey ahead.

I 've seen never ageing at its best before,
in my hilly hometown below the blue sky.

A brave woman, bestowing and blessing,
was in the bed 'th beautiful beneath her wrinkles.

A battered body she wore with a belly
brimming to the brink with cancer cells.

Divine was her hands in giving,
Serene was her soul in grieving.

Never was she afraid;
neither for illness, nor for nothingness;

Beloved she remains;
by the sick bedside, beyond believes.

Aged is she, an angel, ain't not.
if not today, tomorrow, then.


Convictions, Common

Convinced I am,
At corrupt not continue,
Governing people Present.

Commoners we are,
Confused collectively,
Condemned to Custody.

Convicted they are,
On charges corruption,
Criminals yet Commanding.

Clear we are not ,
On civility & councils,
Clinging to Corruption.

Confined they are,
To cosiest confines,
Culprits yet Crusading.

Clever are they,
Chiding & cheating,
Commoners Carnivores.

Che, Come Again.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The Meditative Mind said:

sis and her hubby left to london late in the night. it was still raining. seeing them off, we came back. was sick for forty hours or so. unusually, went to bed before the deepest of darkness creeped all over the house around that midnight every day.

was woken up by a voice from the room. ``come in,'' said the loving one. ``the little one wants to talk to you.'' i merely went in and switched on the lights. the little one was not looking at me. the loving one went out. she switched off the lights as she came back with a cake. ``happy birthday, bava'', said she (bava in telugu means hubby). it was another birthday.

i have no memories of me celebrating my b'days. i did not even cut the cake. but sliced a piece of cream and gave it to the loving one. the little one will not wish me, though. they wanted to light the candle that will light the entire house. ``i am going to sleep,'' i said and slept.

stupid and insensitive, i should admit. poor girls. they looked patehtic. they love me so much. yet i cant give them the way they want love. light a candle, blow a few kisses, talk to them of a future, full of comfort and a horizon beyond that. but am i not an utopian rooted to reality.

throughout the next day, i received a very few calls and was left pondering all day if people have forgotten me and my age. the little girl will not wish me even now. ``only if you cut the cake,'' she kept repeating. i was not for it. for i wanted her not to eat it. she just has come out of another boot of asthma. i willingly played the villain card. she never minds except for that moment.

it occured to me that i was half-way through. i am not sure if i will live to see the thousandth moon, the finest moment in one's life as rkn wrote in the uncle's diary, a short story. taking into record the health registers of my ancestors, i have come to the conclusion, that if not tripped in an accident, i could live at least this long. and am half-way.

it has not been quite a life. it has been a quiet life. basically below the blue skies and green ghats in childhood. by the riverside in college. by a hillside in university. by the beach while working.

like any other life, my life has had its moments of glory and pain. of sufferings and happiness. of agony and joy. of treachery and tranquility. madness and genius. emptiness and thoughtfulness. victorious against total failures. of greatness and utter stupidity. i have lived it all. there can be any number of opposites added to this list.

there are two words i like most. love and compassion. i think i have not lived a life of hatred. half-way through. i am sure i will not live a life of hatred ever. even if i am born again, and again, a million times.

never with a heart of hatred but will full of love. all encompassing love. have you ever heard the great one say, ``Open your heart and love the whole world.'' that, i suppose, is compassion. can there be any great feeling other than that for a human?

i am human. those words of a disillusioned pilot in razor's edge is still there in me. ``i wish to be born human a thousand times. it doesn't matter where i am born or to whom i am born. i want to be born human. life is to live (and love).''

As an after-thought, I thought, if i should have mentioned about two more words. sex and seduction. Oh! that is another part of a life. the unconquered sense. i read a lunatic-looking poet write, ``the one who steps beyond *kama* (lust) and *kanneer* (tears) is on his way to enlightenment''.

half-way through, i think the tears have dried up. i feel it to be a wasteful exercise. lust. it still lingers on. on contemplation, it looks it can be easily crossed. is not life wonderful? ah! it really is. yet i wonder why i am still a stranger to myself!

it reminds me of two more words. self and soul.

thinking 'em, i mayn't sleep even after a million births.

this life, i have to be content with two other words.

self-less and soul-ful.

Monday, October 23, 2006

That Tall Smoking Fellow


It has been years since i thought of a rhyme. May be my soul has missed the rhythm caught in the mundane missives. Pre-occupied with laziness, and with not many new experiences with the human kind, i have been wordless for years and years now.

I was at my poetic best, ten years ago. In school, as a teacher. Students might differ, and likely to recall and refer me as That Tall Smoking Fellow. It was an interesting episode in my life. I was smoking heavily for five years. Doing nothing but to smoke, drink and think hard, really, really hard.

I am not sure what I was thinking all those years for an answer that still seems so simple but too complex, beyond comprehension. I was sure, then, that it was all fake, the being, the father, the mother, the family, the attachment, the love. I was not seeing truth anywhere. Farce were the faces.

Everyone Was Eternally in Expectation. In despair, I used to smoke to fill the air above. I had given up on life till a smoke filled afternoon when I was asked to teach Economics. Even now, I have no reason to believe that I have any knowledge of the subject. I have no clue what the definition is.

It was the awakening. There were five or six girls in that classroom. Many teachers, including the vice principal and principal, had tried teaching them. Only to the disapproval of the girls. I walked in straight. Told them that I knew nothing about any-nomics, let alone economics.

They sat mutely, looking at a self-proclaimed stupid. I read a few pages and explained what I intuitively learnt as I read and intrepreted it to them. Wondering at the plight of students at the hands of teachers like me, I walked out down to the meadow after the class and smoked till darkness, with wry smiles in between, smiling to myself.

Tragically, the girls approved of me. I was sure it was not for my knowledge of economics. My friend blacky told me that the girls need not go outside to look at a handsome fellow when they have someone at the classroom itself. I had a charm. But was too bony for any girl to be interested in. Besides, the town knew too well about me and my friends. In fact, the three women who ran the school had to convince a community to send me to teach a bunch of girls!

I think it was one girl in that class who changed my fate forever. She had told the correspondents that I was extremely intelligent. I was their teacher for a month as they took the eleventh exams. She joined some other school, the next year. I have never heard of her after that. Poor me, I don't even remember her name. It started with S.

The year that followed in school transformed me totally. It was then that I discovered poetry. It was then that my heart sang songs of joy amidst a sea of sorrow. It was then that I lived in abundant love, saoking in the radiant light of unadulterated love of the little ones. Soul, the stranger, showed me the mercy. It was then I started living again.

Awake to love, life and longings, poetry pursued me. Attachment had a new meaning and definition. The then children liked that tall smoking fellow, their teacher, for a year. And I suppose, fondly think of that lanky fellow even now. For, he introduced them to many, many things, other than the language and sciences. Including poetry and philosophy. I will know, tomorrow. For I just visited them living as a community encircled in the web.

It is raining outside. It is raining in me.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

that familiar feeling...

last night came that feeling again. i had spoke my mind out to some stranger calling me up for something a day back. she had stirred my passions for life again by asking what will you be doing if you are not in journalism.

``filming,'' i had said without winking.

``Wow!'' was her reply.

i am not sure if i ever will be able to do filming. it has been a life long passion, like literature. i have very little knowledge of both. i feel these are two of the most interesting things in life, sex apart. these professions required an observant mind sojourning in solitude to tell stories to people of the simpler, smaller and beautiful worlds around us, poetically and philosophically _ the endangered.

the journalistic life is more of an emtiness or about efforts on a daily basis to fill the empty spaces. very rarely, the mind reaches out into its own empty spaces to discover the beauty of self, or rather selflessnes. journalism has turned more selfish than societish.

with my wife, tired from working all day, and the little princess, tired of playing all day, sleeping by the side, that feeling came back. for long i have resisted and to say the truth, i had forgotten that feeling for years, till it returned a month ago.

it visited the mind last night also. that feeling of what will happen to me. from where i came and where am i going. the feeling thats there in all of us, in the deep crevices of the mind, supreme, visiting time and again, at intervals depending on the urge to know the truth.

for long i have left truth to live alone and in peace by not trying to think about it or trace its origins or the present status. somehow, truth has a liking to me and loves to play the hide and seek game. it was doin the same last night too.

while i was not keen about my origins, what was i before. i definitely was not there. somehow i am here. a being. a living creature. living. living. living. with all my senses and feelings, from the sexual instinct to the desire to enlarge my heart and love the whole world. i feel happy.

the sadness comes when, i, with a sense of stiffness, thought what will happen to me. perhaps, i should have more children. then there will be few more people to remember even after death, the only absolute one can ever get to, with the mind, even if it it happens to be the supreme. but can i give them comfort while living. may be thats why i am satisified with my girls. they will think of me, then and now, till they live.

thats it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

for a sister...

i see a
gentle wind,

its not a cloud,
it neither has force.

it just sweeps through faces,
gently, soothing the stupid senses,
bored 'th outward objects of beauty.

in effect,
and in a sense,
it stirs the soul,

in all of us,
tired and desparate.

this gentle wind
named `venil' in tamil
happens to be my mom's name.

my so called sister's name is shyama
may be i should accept her as she is

do winds have colours and names?

is shyama, space?
only krishna knows

theres no wind
up above the earth

there's silence,
there's stillness,
there lie simple souls.

of yours and mine
minus the timid mind

beyond the window,
the wind flows gently.

i feel love
all around me
and within self

a rare calm,
resonates round,

soul sleeps,
with it shyama.

me says sorry,
feelin sleepy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

the think tank.

It drizzled the entire evening. After filing my reports, I rode back to my sister's place in Mr City. On the third stop, I stopped my bike. It was still breezy. The sky was still leaking over the city. I took a stroll on the third Street. I badly wanted to smoke.

For days, we have walked the street smoking late in the night, early into the dawn. Sudha used to live here. On the third house on the third street on third stop. His ancestors were kallars before becoming christians.

Therefore, born to a christian family, he, the eldest, was the brightest of the three children. We need not step into his home to stay at his room on the first floor. We were like ghosts. No one in the house knew we existed.

Up there, there is an overhead tank. The Think Tank. We will climb over it. Smoke all night. Think all night. It was here we drew plans to kidnap film stars for ransom or asasinate politicians, including the great dame. We wanted to be the cleansing force.

The Purifying Spirit. Most of us believed in violence. With people becoming all the more selfish, we believed that violence to be the only way to clean up the system. None of us had studied Marx or The Revolutions, excpet in text books. We have heard stories, read quite a few war stories. We were fascinated with secret service, specially the KGB and the SS.

We wanted to be just that. Don't hesitate to kill to earn your living. The thought process sure was induced by substance addiction. The objective though was for the common good. We will have some money to spend and operate. The rest will be offered to others.

As we talked for hours, the dark blue sky turned darker only to change into a lighter hue of blue and then truly blue before it dawned by four o'clock. Staring into the bluish sky and into the stars, we wanted to be stars. Not the filmy kind but like those twinkiling from the sky.

We wanted to guide people who had lost direction. We were a gang of good guys. Drugs are a cruel kind. They killed all of us. Not fully, but effectively. Like all those brave sailors, we were also shipwrecked.

Time can be cruel also. Here I walk, all alone, thinking of my friends. It is midnight. I walk into the third street and stand in front of the third house.

The Think Tank Is Still There.

Above All.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

musings .

my best friend ever?

it was a decade ago i met my best ever friend for a last time. as i was walking on the road perpendicular to the road with the bus stop where i last saw my first girl friend 17 years back, mahesh jumped down from a running bus on seeing me.

``Can you give me five rupees?''.

i gave him mutely. Taking it, he walked away from me. i just stood there watching him till he disappeared.

as i said before, it was the last time i saw him. i have heard him over phone a few times thereafter. everytime, he spoke, he would talk of our days in college, always. we always felt that the college days were our glorious morning.

i will have to give our gang a name bfore i start writing `my friends'. he was the master charmer. students of the college in those three years invariably knew him. full of energy, he was a vibrant soul, exuberating radiance and warmth only one in crore will be bestowed with. with a spring in his walk, he walked around the campus making friends all the time.

i was lucky enough to be in his close circle of friend, inspite of betraying him once. perhaps, that was the reason he walked away from me on that day. he never liked betrayal. but on the phone, he was friendlier than ever. again, perhaps, he was without friends.

now he lives without friends. he lives in memories. i drove till his home. i have lived there for days and months. inspite of new houses everywhere, my memory guided me and i parked the vehicle under the neem tree in front of the house.

i waited there. twice before, his parents had denied entry to me.

``don't disturb him anymore,'' they did tell me.

i had to return then. i wanted him to live in peace. after that, twice now, i have returned after waiting under the neem tree, trying to be as close to him, for few minutes. he was under rehabilitation then.

may be even now. for the twelfth year.

in between, he must have died, at least thrice by word of mouth. sudha actually died. siva vanished. prem was inching towards death when i met him five years ago.

after dying twice, i still survive. like my best friend, i too live alone.

musings from madurai

my first girl friend...

nearly a decade after, i slept for three nights in this temple city. for years, i have wantedly refused to visit the town, inspite of fond memories filled in me fully. it was this city, i discovered myself, amidst darkness, pain, self-suffering and friendships.

i got out of the bus and walked through that street again. nothing much has changed in the street. it was a broad one with pedestrian pavements, uncharacteristic of the city. the bus stop was still there. without the shelter. seventeen years is a long time but i still remember her warm smiles and inquisitive eyes.

she, perhaps my first girl friend, surprisingly lingers into my mind as i walk. it was by chance that i arrived at this bus stop on my way to college. two girls, school students, were waiting for the bus to come. i found one of them attractive. perhaps, she too felt the same way. for i can see her liking to me from her eyes.

she looked matured beyond her age. she was beautiful. besides, she looked kind and caring. as characteristic of that generation, we never spoke to each other but only exchanged stares in silentce, in mutual admiration and affection.

from now on, i deliberately started taking this route to my college even if it meant spending a few rupees more from my always pocket, with a permenaent hole. my fortnightly allowance was a mere twenty rupee note and by then i had learnt to smoke also.

it was waste of money. but i preferred it for my friend. for a year we were friends. at least once, we came to very close to talk to each other. her friend warned against it. but could never really introduce ourselves, physically.

walking past the very same bus stop, i think of her. i suppose, she also thought me sometimes when she walked past that wide street, littered with memories of two strange souls.

Monday, October 02, 2006

civility: from politics to public.

I am not sure of the exact definitions of civility. my definition of civility here relates to the civilisation or rather culture of civic bodies in the state that present a pathetic state.

Elections are coming. Curiously enough, Tamil Nadu, especially its capital Chennai, was the only big city in the nation to have a system of direct elections to the post of Mayor. The present DMK government has done away with it, inspite of opposition from its own allies.

It is a well calculated move. The ruling party, with a strong alliance, believes in sweeping majority of the local bodies, esepcially the corporations and muncipal corporations. Then it will have power at every level.

It is accepted that karuanidhi's government is a performing one to that of Jayalalithaa's total inaction. For example, take the city of chennai itself. Except for the dozen parks, the previous government has failed to improve the infrastructure in all aspects, may be she can claim to have successfully finished new veeranam scheme. Her claim will stand exposed only at the time of an overall drought when the city develops a crisis for drinking water.

Coimbatore is the next big city. I have been there for three years. The infrastructure is nothing but pathetic. Neither the state or the district administration has an idea of the growth potential the city has and the level of insufficient infrastructure at present.

The previous Mayor was nothing but a clown. A flower merchant in the past, you cant see anyone more stupid than him. Of course, he made lot of money. The previous commissioner, insiders say, earned about four crores. I am not sure about the charges. But money sure can be made out of every signature. It saw three scams. None of it has been uncovered so far. No one resigned also. Cases have been registered.

I also had an opportunity to know the amount of money spent on panchayats through the district rural development agency. About 50 crores every year. May be more. It is all political. The ruling party gets everything on its own, for its own. Of course, others do benefit. But, only a bit.

Politics has a strong hold over panchayats. Effective panchayati raj system can remain only a dream. Seriously speaking, there needs to be an analysis of the fund allotments to local bodies for which there is no audit system is in place.

There are quite a few panchayat presidents, really good. In fact, they are national models. But the majority are selfish and greedy. The official machinery is 80 percent corrupt. It all, especially the delivery system, depends on the boss. The new regime has sent the right signals by posting young IAS fellows as collectors in most of the districts.

Mention should me mentioned here about the conduct of the last local body elections. It was totally rigged. We were witness to a state social welfare minister pa valarmathi going around with goondas capturing booths in alandur one by one. At the counting for mayor elections, no one was allowed. Stalin was to be defeated. However, he won.

It was violence everywhere. Democracy was murdered. Not many wrote about it. It only indicated how big a dictator Jayalalithaa will turn in the next four years. Ruthless can be the only word. No discussions. Only rule of (her own) law.

We will have to see if rigging will be there this time. The two phased elections sure has raised doubts. DMK is known for electoral rigging, especiall in elections conducted in two phases. Expect them to do it scientifically.

Jayalalithaa does everything with fanfare to earn a bad name. Karunanidhi does it all in silence and of late to others' praise. Comparatively speaking, k is better than j in all aspects. especially in governance.

What kind of civic culture are we expecting. Solid waste management, for which source seggregation is the key, has not been implemented in any of the corporations. For the people, it is not even an idea. When are they going to buy to bins? When are they going to be supplied with two bins?

It is a long ask. Tough task. The corporators, or the councillors, majority of them also have a role to play. But they are all keen in taking the cuts. Share the spoils. We will allow you to sign. Otherwise, council will not pass any resolution. This has been the case with most of the civic bodies in the state.

Should we make elections to local bodies non-political. Few nights ago, I heard C Rangarajan, talking about the need to keep SHGs out of politics. He remarked how politics has ruined the co-operative movement. It is time we think on these lines.

For, the present elections are going to serve mainly the elected representatives and not the general public. The time has also come to provide space for public personalities to enter politics. If we don't we will continue to be ruled by a nexus of politicians and criminals.

the pitch?

it was an intersting debate on 24x7 channel last night. the marriage between cricket and entertainment.
ajay, suhel seth and kadambari murali - sidhu plus mandira bedi. i missed the start. i presume shewag will spend sometime in the studios two hours before he steps into the field. ``inviting controversy'', ajay said. ``sony and mandira built a brand. fine. they shouldn't overdo it,'' said suhel. ``pre and post shows are fine. as long as they are not gender specific,'' rued kadambari. ``we succeeded in getting more women audience to cricket,'' mandira defended.

of course, it is a sticky wicket. ajay might have made a prediction. shewag, in terrible form with the timbers rattled frequently, will find himself defending off the pitch as well. still uneasy with bouncers, the fast balding man will have to bat out quite a few, may be many, beamers at him. if he fails with the bat, he may even be risking his cricketing career.

what was interesting to learn that the viewership went up to 35 percent, especially the women audience tuning in, claimed mandira. for all that we know, she still is showing the cleavage. even the night before, she had the dimples in her cheek and, should one say attractive, cleavage, made famous in the finals of last cricket world cup in johannesburgh. more than ponting's historic ton,. indians were stunned by mandira's cleavage. she did hide major part of it later in the innings. everyone accepted that she was representing the commoners and asking their questions.

is it not that the players themselves have no answers. it all happens in the field. if you fail, you fail. if you win, you win. its a game played there in the middle. not in the press box or the expanded media room where the extraas sit and stupidly talk.

the channels have already killed or overkilled cricket. commercialisation and as seth said bimbo cricket control of india have mesmerised the massess into making cricket an opium aka religion and making cult figures out of many ordinary men with a few extra-ordinary.

cricket is no more a gentle game. it still is played on green grass and a delight to watch but with too many add ons, before, after, inbetween and so on, Cricket, watching in an idiot box, is beginning to be tiring.

those wanting to enjoy a good game of cricket will have to walk into the nearest grounds, that are always empty, to watch future cricketers sweating it out in those million blades of grass that are still pure.


it will be a surprise to see me blogging again. it is just that i have time or i am not lazy or i want to say something. i was reading a tamil book few days back in my native. it was about a sleepy, dry village stepping slowly into modernity till the nation got independence, a sequel to the first part that actually traces the telugu speaking families, like mine, setting out somewhere in andhra and settling in and around madurai three to four hundred years ago.
while it made an interesting reading all through, there was a particular passage to which i was drawn to. for quite sometime, i have been wondering, why the state (tamil nadu) government has taken over the liquor trade. it gives you good revenue. in fact, one third of state's revenue flows from liquor. the book said something more and said it was nothing new. all through history, one can find examples of rulers feely supplying liquor to the residents. the objective is simple. kill the rebellious mind. get drunk and get lost in darkness. perhaps, whats happening in the state is the same. caught between two organised looters of public money, the men spending crores and crores on spirit are spineless. there are no rebels here. they are all consumed by the spirit and have nothing to protest.

extremely happy for the fact that they have plenty to drink. for men here, life is an enjoyment. but for millions of mothers and children, life is turning terrible. may be the women will have to revolt.

news broadcast

it all seemed impressive. i havent been watching the news channels regularly. but have been reading reports in broadsheets of how channels continue to break news all the time. i happened to sit before television to watch shah rukh, the star, present himself . it was a nice interview. the headlines for the day, however, was the dengue, a disease that killed one resident doctor in the country's premier medical institutions aiims. it was not yet an epidemic, said one channel. it looked as if they wanted an epidemic. or was it a warning to the establishment. others were running it as the lead story. as usual, it was the blame game. aiims was not willing to accept the prevailing unhygienic conditions in and around the hospital. the news channels carried the news, everyone's point of view. except the preventive aspect. may be not many of them knew that it was a mosquitoe that breeds in fresh water collections and that bites by the day. we all have seen the channels urging people to lit candles for the lives lost in terrorists attacks or natural calamities. prayers for the souls. now, there is an urgent need to tell people to look around themselves to prevent from a deadly disease. it is simple to stop dengue from spreading. but the channels were still talking about an epidemic. may be they are breaking news. news first. lives next.

Stories From The Soul Town

There lies a magical land. Surrounded by the green ghats to the west, gurgling great rivers on the east, the valley with the very blue sky. A temple town of the tamils. Sitting on the dancing rock on the highland overlooking the valley, the writer procreates the lives of the people of this lesser known south west. Full of strange yet simple souls.