Thursday, May 31, 2007

baby, come home soon

All of us are waiting for him to come home. Life sometimes is lifeless. It has been thirteen days since he was born. He is still in the hospital. For the first 12 days, he was like this. Under phototherapy to get his bilirubin count reduced.

In the peak of summer. Under lights for 22 hours. For two hours everyday, he was with his mommy. We haven't named him. As his big brother is *achu* we have christened him *kuchu*.

They were pricking him and sucking out blood to be tested on a daily basis. Inspite of 11 gold medals in medicine, his doctor mother could not stop crying. ``He may not feel it like us,'' she said often.

The big brother and their grandma take the auto to the hospital everyday to be with his mommy and spend time with his little brother. Grandpa and daddy take alternate turns to travel the 500 miles to be with the dear ones.

Inspite of visiting the hospital daily, I could see him only on the tenth day. The little one at home hasn't seen him yet. She keeps asking us when will *kuchu* come home. I am not sure even the doctor knows answer to this question.

``His count is neither high for procedures nor low for him to go home,'' said the doctor. On the 12th day, mommy found him pale, apart from being yellowish. So they tested the haemoglobin level.

Soon, he was shifted to the neo-natal where his brother breathed life four years ago. He had a total transfusion. Two strangers had saved his life then. For his little brother, some stranger has been kind to lend his life-fluid. It was an ordinary transfusion. Nothing was taken out.

This morning, the little fellow was pinkish. Mommy and daddy looked happy. The count has gone up to 11. By tomorrow, the doc expected it to climb up to a safe 15. Pray, *kuchu* comes home this weekend. Even if you don't, pray for those half-a-dozen beauties under lights in a warm room, plugged with wires, connected to life-monitoring systems, and breathing hard.

Yet, Smiling.

Monday, May 21, 2007

the light of life


I am still not used to this particular word. In half a life, I have not really been fascinated with my father. I liked him a lot when I knew that he was a Communist during his college years. As he turned a businessman, he has never really interested me.

A few months back he had said. ``My whole life has been a failure. I may not last long.'' He was referring to his uncle, my mother's father still healthy at 88. Past sixty, my father has breathing trouble. He has very poor lungs. His heart has 11 percent problem and he eats tabs everyday.

Worse, he, who loved everyone, and who passed on that particular trait to his sons and daughter, is limiting his love to his ``own'' children and grand children. ``Others are not of use anyways,'' he feels.

Poor man, he never succeeded in his business. Everytime, he started something he only lost. Never profitted. And so he kept on spending lakhs and lakhs and has not given anything in cash to his children. You can't say he has been kind too. For he has always been authoritative and dominant. And disciplinarian.

With grandchildren, he has been absolutely kind. You can watch the little ones jumping and climbing over him and doing all sorts of naugty things on him.

My brother always told him that fathers should fund the education of children and not just preach morality. My father never paid the fees. In my memory, he used to give a couple of ten rupee notes when he comes calling to his sons' colleges.

However, he was there. All the time when the sons were in the small town. He always sent the sons off to college or to different destinations when they started working and when they went as a family. He always thought about the safety of his sons. Then, when he had money, he bought the tickets to the big town also.

The family, especially, his wife thinks he has wasted money. Not saving or giving anything for the children. For neither of her sons have any home on their own. And have nothing in bank also.

She is worried. Of late, my father is worried too. They keep fighting with each other over the wasted money. If there are a few things that can't be stopped in this world, its the family fight. Sometimes, it can hurt the children. But mostly, its a war of words. Nothing more than that.

Even now, my father spends the thousands he manages from somewhere. And the fight would resume. Thinking about all this, I was trying to sleep last night. I was sleeping near my father after a long time.

He was a shadow in sleep. With his medical kit by the pillow, he was swaying in his dreams. It was dark, if not pitch dark. I was thinking of all things past. Of my father and his family. Of course, materially speaking, my father's life has been a big failure.

The world and wives think that way. Sons should not think like that. To me, money and all those associated with it never have mattered. I have always wanted peace. Inside and Outside. To my knowledge, my father, despite a troubled life, has passed on his inner peace to us. My sister also feels that way.

His elder son is yet to realise peace within. He continues to live like his father, taking all the pain in the earth upon himself. Yet wishing the children and the world to live happily. Of all things inherited, this second son still thinks that moral inheritance to be a virtue.

It may be non-sensical to even talk of morality in this world. Yet, from his experience, this son states that his father's moral preaching has given him the peace, even if it was momentary and fleeting, that otherwise would have eluded him for life.

Friends often ask this son why was not he fully exploiting things material and sensual, inspite of life presenting opportunities in a platter at work as well as in the bed. The son always says to himself: ``My father has asked me to go by the book.'' This book has never been written. It has always been passed from fathers to sons, mostly unspoken.

In darkness, the son could see the light in his father's soul. Amidst the darkness of life. So pure and radiant. The great, guiding light of the family. Who said fathers are a failure? Let them waste all the money they want. Sons are here not for comfortable homes or crores of rupees. Only let them not drink.

Sons are here to pass on the light.

The light of life.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

all allies !?!

In the assembly, the allies of the DMK, talking about madurai violence, wanted stern action. For some reason or other, the allies did not point the accusing finger at Azhagiri, the chief minister's madurai based son. It was a shame on them that they did not even record his name in the assembly.

For, the violence on a newspaper office, that too owned by the chief minister's family, was set fire on broad day light, killing three innocent people. Everything is on record in the pictures and videos. Still, the allies failed to mention Azhagiri's name. ``It might hurt the chief minister, that is why we did not mention the name,'' reasoned a leader, later. Of course, to the alliance leaders, public and press come only after karunanidhi. For the first two are not going to benefit in anyway.

Later in the day, the leading and sensitive journalists met together, as usual whenever the attack on the press happens, a day later, to condole the death of three and condemn the violence on ``press freedom''. Speaker after speaker spoke. I am not sure if it is diplomacy or lack of courage, none of them even uttered the name Azhagiri. The same fellows had carried his name in titles in the newspapers published early and later that day. Beginning with the bearded veteran whose marriage was solemnised by karunanidhi.

It was Ram, not liked by many serious and sensitive journalists but respected for his forthright views, who actually had the courage to seek an end to the extra-constitutional authority of Azhagiri in southern districts. Poor papers, none of them gave it in the title for the articles carrying the report of journalists protest.

Are the papers spineless? Blame it on the corruption, like elsewhere, deep-rooted and destroying the fourth pillar also. And the slave mind-set. Or as an agitated friend of my often says, ``You have to be sucking up to the fellows in power all the time?''

That's politics for you.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Ignorance rules at every level. Everyone is ignorant of innumberable things. I left the temple city to the conservative city in that same blue bodied train. Midway, one lady, a legislator from the Opposition, accompanied by her husband took the train.

She has seen me a few times in the assembly. I am seated second in the reporter's gallery. After recognising me, she asked why was I absent at the assembly. I told her that I was in the temple city on deputation.

I was not sure she understood it. Then she told her husband, ``These reporters are all on our side. (The press gallery is by the side of Opposition!). On the other side, the reporters are all the ruling party's supporters.''

Turning to me, she said, ``Am I not right, brother?'' ``Whenever the old man, read chief minister, comes all of them stand up. So I think they are all their reporters. None of you stand up. So all of you are good reporters.''

I had to tell her that those sitting in the other gallery were not actually reporters but actually IAS officers, representing the government, out there to help the ministers answer the queries of the Opposition.

You can't find fault with her. She's a first timer to the legislature. Many of the ex-ministers from the Opposition are ignorant. Politically and Rationally. All, leaders of the self-respect movement of the Dravidian culture in the new age!

Is India ignorant of its politics?

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.