Thursday, December 27, 2012

Under Construction

A multi-storey housing complex coming up next door. They had brought down an 'old world' tiled house there. I regret not having a camera with me to capture the old structure for posterity.



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On the clothes line


എന്റെ പ്ലാവ്‌ പൂക്കുന്നു (കട ചക്ക) My curry jack-fruit tree is flowering... 


As clicked by Ma (below):


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Caught the setting sun


In fluke, from the auto rickshaw while returning from work yesterday. I was just trying to click and see if I could maintain my balance without really focussing on anything particular. Lucky Me!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kochi Muziris Biennale/ Fort Kochi

Visited Fort Kochi yesterday afternoon with friends Sendhil, Raju and Raju's brother Nitin to see what Kochi Muziris Biennale is all about. We had been planning this kind of outing for a long while now and it just coincided with the Biennale.

Against the empty walls in the David Hall:

@ David Hall With Sendhil
with Sendhil

@ David Hall with Raju
with Raju

@ David Hall with Sendhil & Raju
It is a black wall for a change

@ David Hall
Books in the background

In the Parade Ground

A fallen tree

On the walkway

with artist Mrida Joshi

This is her website.

With Sendhil

With Raju

These photos are clicked by Raju, Sendhil and Nitin (who refused to face the camera) random order.

Saturday, December 08, 2012


Guilt feeds on your innards

It is easy to forgive others

When they err

but tough to pacify your own soul

If you are the one who has erred.

Friday, December 07, 2012

It's a tightrope walk

Being aware of your limitations yet not letting them depress you or stop you from doing what you can takes effort.

After the coming of twitter and facebook single line posts have disappeared from blogs, otherwise I remember many popular bloggers posting single line thoughts or recommending something to read many times in a day.

The above thought came to me in the afternoon and as usual I saved it in my phone with the intention of copying in fb and twitter later. Then this idea struck me why not use the blog? I've always felt that a blog deserves respect and it shouldn't be used unless you've something substantial to say. So, I've posted this thought here just to fight my long held notion.

I'd started preparing the background for a longer post about how this thought sprouted and the vague experience behind it. Then said to myself "What the hell...".

Anyway, this has become a long post of respectable length for this blog.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Hand-Eye Coordination – My Experiments with the Camera

I have admired and envied sports-persons like Virender Sehwag and others who are said to have great hand-eye coordination that helps them bring magical charm to their game. For me let alone hand-eye coordination, my hands most of the time refuse to move on my wish. But, I do try to push myself once in a while I like to try something that feels though at the onset.

Trying to click photos is one of them, like I tried last weekend in the break between watching two films back to back in Saritha Theatre,  it helps the place is wheelchair friendly by default and I can reach all the three screens without being physically carried much.

Da Thadiya - One of the most eagerly awaited X'mas releases

Corridor leading to the theatre

Apart from watching movies, I love to see the pics of forthcoming attractions while being in a theatre

Being pushed to my seat

Seats next to mine

Thanks Slogan Murugan for the idea of taking pictures of my weekly visits to the theatres.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Poem

Wishing that a poem comes to me now.

Just to let you know how precious you are.

To describe the effect your crackling voice has on me.

And, to be reassured that true love

doesn't diminish with the distance

or the lapse of time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What I could click

Serious Men, the Amul Girl & of course a couple of movies on my table

Picture on the wall
Typing the previous post.
Getting a grip of the new Canon Powershot A2300

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Education: By Mani Ratnam via Baradwaj Rangan

The religious significance of Vijayadashami is well known, the day is also known as Vidyarambham when young ones are initiated into the world of letters. In my school days Ma used say that you'd learn something today as it is an auspicious day, at least do your homework. I've carried on that ritual to this day – not because I'm overly religious or something. It just makes me feel good to read or write something new. So, this year I picked up Conversations with Mani Ratnam by Baradwaj Rangan. And, one of the most interesting passage I read that day was: 

This shift from paper to film, this metamorphosis, is the chemistry that makes or mars a director. That was the first day, and by the third or fourth day I remember telling Balu Mahendra, 'I want to run.' And he said 'Don't worry, I felt it the first day when I started directing a film.' He said that the disillusionment would pass soon, and he was right – in the sense that you slowly start learning that this transition from paper, from the abstract to reality, is your coming to terms with a different medium, that you have to rediscover everything in this medium. You actually reinvent your ideas on film. There has to be a leap from paper to screen. That's the job of a director – to elevate what's in the script to the next plane. You have to put in an effort to bring in other elements to make it alive. That is the key – to make it alive, to make it magical. You have to take the elements around you and invest them in that scene. You have to be able to draw the actor into that particular moment, so that he will bring something of himself into the character he is playing. It is like shedding one skin and taking on another. The most difficult thing in the first phase was this transition. And then you discover that there are some things that you cannot write and can only capture. Whatever you write, the magic of capturing the moment, a face, an expression, a bit of light, a movement – and you really discover that while making films. You discover that those are the things that really elevate a scene on the page to the next level. 

As I'm grappling with a story idea for a film for the last few months, having virtually no idea about how  to put my vision on to the paper and then transposing it on the screen, I feel that this passage may prove to be the guiding light for me. 

Here is an old post about Baradwaj Rangan's interview with Rajiv Menon. 

PS. I've completed reading almost hundred pages of the book (upto the chapter covering Anjali) till now. 

PPS. Sorry, if this post sounds dated as Vidyarambham has become history now and Diwali is upon us. But it is better late than never, na? 

Happy Diwali!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Why do bowels play truant?

Not letting me focus.

Reminding me to invoke Gods

And, pray that this night passes off without disasters

Or making me take refuge in sleep

Or endless games of Solitaire

Just as a distraction.

PS: experimenting to be creative about a mundane situation. Sorry, if it sounds crass to you.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Impact

The title of this post is inspired from newspapers/channels, it is used when their report or a story gets positive response or makes powers to be act to redress a grievance or correct a mistake.

I always thought that my blog is just read by a few people close to me or people I coax to read by mailing them the link of a new post (blowing my own trumpet, in short), never thinking that it would be of any consequence as such. 

More than anything else, it is writing practise; trying to make an incidence in my life or articulating my own thoughts or just putting the words rambling in my head into this space. The most common thing behind all these things is timidity or you can call it laziness, I've to force myself to type word after word as if some fear is holding me back.

This post about how a breath analyser played tricks  with my cab-driver friend Robert was similarly written. But, surprisingly it has put him in the Caravan Magazine.

It so happened that I'd put additional info that Robert performed Chavittunatakam. Reading that Minu Ittyipe (one of my first writer-journalist friend) mailed me asking his me his number and came out with this beautiful write-up about him.

In fact, Minu has helped in alleviating my guilt  a little as I'd talked to Robert and one of his uncle at length about their passion for Chavittunatakam wishing to write about it somewhere but, somehow couldn't do it. Above all, Robert is very happy and excited to see his story in print, he says: “now, I can show this book to friends who tease me as being a king when I refuse to join them in fun and frolic citing a rehearsal or a performance”.

So, thank you Minu Ittyipe.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Take the plunge

Take the plunge

Burn the bridges

Be like the trapeze artist

Who doesn’t care about the safety net

Once the act is on

Just articulate your thoughts

Give your emotions a free run

You live only once

So don’t let regret be your soul-mate

Rather make joy your constant companion.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Death has its own charm

Death has its own charm

Not the thoughts of another world

Or the joys promised therein

It is just dropping the burden of guilt

Or the craving for love

And, experiencing the calm buzz

Of a motor that has just been switched off.


The first line of this was throbbing in my head from early last week. I kept adding and deleting lines to it, not wishing it to have negative connotations. And, yesterday I came across these lines from Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, which gave me the impetus to finish it:

The reason death sticks so closely isn't biological necessity – it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two Men Two Videos

There are two men I admire the most in films; one is   Clint Eastwood, after watching Million Dollar Baby I started digging his material, mostly the films he has directed rather than acted and I'd say that I haven't felt disappointed once. The other is Anurag Kashyap, we are of same age and I always felt that we shared a brotherhood of struggle (or whatever you may call it), he has surpassed that phase now but I'm still stuck there. And, the other thing we share is our dislike for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black.

And, if you're wondering what makes these two eminent men to share space here, it is just that I saw  two videos with these two guys in the last few days:

The first video is of Eastwood's speech at the Republican National Convention in Florida a few days back.

I don't have much knowledge of American Elections, so, can't really gauge the impact of this show but it brought into my mind the Malayalam saying 'however old the squirrel may be it never forgets the skill of climbing trees' (the Hindi equivalent of this borders on being an insult, so not mentioning here), same way Eastwood never stops being macho. Here is Roger Ebert's take on the whole  thing.

The second video is of Anurag speaking about his film Black Friday in Brazil last year.

Here is my short take on Black Friday the book from which the movie is adapted.

PS: As Anurag mentions in the video I too had seen the film on DVD sourced from roadside vendor in New Delhi, when my brother had gone there.
PPS: Special thanks to my Facebook friend Binu Narayan who'd posted Anurag's video there on the tenth (Arurag birthday).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Indelible - The Film

I'd thought that my association (or obsession if you like to call it that) with Down's Syndrome had come to end with the publication of this short story. But, the link got revived a couple of nights back when I chanced upon a short film titled Indelible directed by Pavitra Chalam through twitter.

The film shows glimpses of life of seven persons of different age groups having this syndrome:

PS: Another coincidence connected with this film being that I knew Akshay Shankar, the production manager of this film as a toddler (pre kindergarten age) as he happens to be the son of one of my teachers in the special school. In fact, we both learnt being on all fours together, while I was made to do it on the physio mat with my crooked hands tied with gaiters, it came naturally to him.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Something Beyond

There is something beyond exhilaration and numbing sorrow.

Making pain and pleasure feel petty.

As if the soul is just floating through life.

It is the time you spend with someone who is really in love.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Dichotomy was one of my favourite words when I started learning this language seriously in my mid or late teens. I used look at it in the dictionary without really being able to grasp the essence of it. So, this word never came into my (don’t know everyone who aspires to write may be having a wish to use a new word he/she comes across) writing.

Recently, it struck me again; I was talking to a friend and out of the blue he asked ‘how do you sustain your cheer?’ (people dealing with me closely do know that I’m not always cheerful, I become sad, depressed, angry and even vicious sometimes), I just said ‘it is my normal state, I don’t do anything special for it.’ Still, the look of enquiry was in tact on his face, so I continued ‘look at the bigger picture, be grateful for what you have, be focussed, try not to think of things that are beyond your control etc. etc.’

Then ‘dichotomy’ resurfaced from somewhere inside, whatever I said was opposite to what we are conditioned to think ‘live in this moment, here and now’. In fact, we reverse the thought process of ‘here and now’ when the individual moments become miserable, fooling ourselves that everything will be hunky-dory once these miserable moments pass. Basically, we are just expected to carry on even if we are miserable in this moment or the future looks bleak.

Isn’t this the real essence of ‘dichotomy’? Which no dictionary can explain...

A similar post is here

I wrote the poem Lost to use the word oblivion.

Friday, June 29, 2012


A guilt free soul

Wings to soar

An unique vision

And, someone to say I love you

in spite of all your flaws

(I didn't feel that this will turn out to be so mushy or trite. The first few lines were reverberating in my head for the last couple of days and the rest happened in the last few hours. Still, I'm happy that it has got a flow).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kahin Aisa Na Ho DaaMan Jala Lo

Kahin Aisa Na Ho DaaMan Jala Lo, 
HaMare Aansuon Par Khaak Daalo, 

Manana Hi Zaroori Hai To Phir TuM,
HaMein Sab Se Khafa Hokar Mana Lo, 

Bahut Royi Hui Lagti Hai Aankhein,
Meri Khaatir Zara Kaajal Laga Lo,

Akelepan Se Khauf Aata Hai Mujhko,
Kahan Ho Aye Mere Khwabon Khayalon,

Bahut Mayoos Baitha Hoon Main TuMse, 
Kabhi Aakar Mujhe Hairat Mein Daalo...

(I risk the prospect of ruining the beauty of it by attempting a translation. So, just enjoy the pure thing and the melancholy).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Formless or a Shapeless Life

Sometimes life stares at you as if questioning you where you are from or where you are headed, and as you fend for answers you may see a pattern and feel lucky that you were at the right place at the right time when things happened. I'm not a great planner or go-getter by any stretch of imagination. I just see a few dreams and some of them do come true.

The reason for the introspection now was an email forward from a friend about a girl (half my age) having cerebral palsy (a condition similar to mine) on top of that she is diagnosed with depression, wishing to know if there was any hope for people like her. In the brief mail she'd lucidly described her life (making me green with envy of her writing talent), the thing that struck me was that I'd see myself at that age (though I wasn't formally declared depressed), I'd just started studying for degree as a private student, wished I'd a few friends who'd spend time with me, elders were more understanding etc. etc. I just wrote to her that our life stories were very similar. Then I started composing an elaborate response to that email in my head for the next couple of days. But, as I went through the events of my life during that period my confidence started sapping as I felt I'm not fit to advise or counsel anyone as I haven't led a perfect life or overcome my disability as such (I feel that you can't overcome a permanent disability, you just learn to live with it).

If I look back now, the period from my late teens to mid-twenties was time of my transformation, during this period that it was accepted by people around me that I won't be able to walk, run or be physically independent beyond this point, so every painful treatment to make me ok was stopped except for token physiotherapy sessions at school and home.

I'd joined Degree Course just to buy time, a regular job or writing weren't even in the distant horizon, in short I'd no idea what I'd do with my life. I had just started reading pulp and self help/motivational books. Palmistry, numerology and such things were of special interest (as someone I was very fond of was keen to know what the future holds). Cheiro and Linda Goodman were the buzzwords then. This interest won me lots of friends. But, I stopped indulging in it when I realised people were taking me very seriously and coming back saying that my predictions proved right or wrong, and seeking further guidance.

Writing is sort of a cultivated hobby for me (I've mentioned this earlier also) as I thought this was the easiest thing to do physically (foolishness or naivety whatever you call it) and saw people like Vikram Seth and Arundhati Roy making loads of money.

Still, if I have to explain how things work out for me, I'd remain dumb not knowing the answer, it maybe a miracle at the best or I am good at hiding thousands of tiny failures that I face on a daily basis and presenting life in a long shot just showing the bigger picture.

PS: this has again become a meandering post with no clear idea what was expected of it. I also feel like you wondering why I couldn't simply reply to the mail instead of wasting time writing this post. Maybe my writerly instinct was at work trying to grab a few more eyeballs.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It just happened!

Hell is when you have lost control of simple things in life (this is not a philosophical musing, I'm talking about physical/tangible things, which we tend take for granted otherwise). And, you keep wondering what hit you... The only rational explanation you may have is 'It just happened'.

Lately I've realised that my conscious mind is reluctant to register my limitations as it has got used living in my body and considers it as normal, it doesn't warn me that something is beyond my capabilities with the possibility of me failing miserably (though in my subconscious mind I'm perennially depressed at the prospect of not being able achieve something that appears to be very simple).

Recently I read somewhere that fate or luck per se is just an assumption; if you accomplish something that you ventured out to achieve it is called luck and if you fail it was your fate. There is a very thin line between the two.

So, again we come round to the question of dissecting the effort and check if 'It just happened' was real or an excuse?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic

I have done this write-up for the next issue of Success & Ability.

Your smile becomes the most important weapon in your armoury to survive in this world when you possess a deformed body (let the political correctness be set aside for a while). Anyone born with severe physical disabilities maybe aware of this fact subconsciously as I was, but it struck me or came to the fore into my consciousness when I saw Nick Vujicic's picture on the cover of his book 'Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a ridiculously good life'. I have been staring at his face for nearly a month now, sometimes straight and sometimes guiltily from the corner of my eyes as he was lying on my table and I was doing something else instead of reading his book. Coming back to the smile; it dawned on me that the smile on his face conveyed that he was normal, accessible and happy despite having no limbs.

Nick was born with Phocomelia (born without limbs), and who went on to become world renowned public speaker spreading the message of hope and faith among the down trodden and less fortunate in the slums Mumbai and Cairo, and to the far flung regions in South Africa and Indonesia. 

I have not read many biographical books about disabled people as I feel I would have to relive my own life through that person's story as there are always some universal similarities in such stories. So, you have to brace yourself first and even take a break when things become overbearing.

The other thing, Nick being a motivational speaker, takes the tone of one while writing this book, believing that every reader who has taken up his may be feeling low or depressed and seeking to change his/her life for the better as he writes in the beginning; To wish for change will change nothing. To make the decision to take action right now will change everything! Initially, we (those of us who have casually picked up the book to read an interesting life story) may find it difficult to plunge into this book so to speak. It becomes easier once we get used to the tone.

Nick begins his story right at his birth, about how his mother refused to see or touch him out of shock. Nick's mother who was a nurse and a midwife at that was worried through the pregnancy period of her first born but the doctors had allayed her fears and even the Ultra Sound Scan reports hadn't shown any complications. His parents had started talking about this when Nick was a teenager and had started prodding them about his birth.

Nick's childhood was normal as it could be with two younger siblings and number of cousins. He was an adventure loving kid and had even learnt to be in an upright position by thrusting his forehead to the wall. He goes on to say that however confident and determined he was externally, doubts and dark thoughts always haunted him in private. He used to pray to God every night for a miracle and hoped he would have at least one limb when he woke up. But obviously that never happened and the depression led him to attempt suicide by drowning in the bathtub. This phase was but temporary as people around him (mainly his parents) made him realise that his birth was according to the plan of God and that it had its purpose that would be revealed to him one day.

Nick, an Australian of Siberian descent had migrated to California, USA with his family for the better medical facilities there, realised that he was good at public speaking as a teenager when he started seeing what positive impact he has on the members in the audience.

'Life Without Limits' is structured very thoughtfully with the foundation of optimism, hopes and dreams leading to attitude of gratitude and in the end realising one's life's purpose.

A book's purpose is supposed to open a new world to the reader and Nick Vijucic opens up a 'ridiculously good world' with his book, whatever your faith or beliefs are and fills you with positivity.

Friday, March 09, 2012

On the brink

Every happiness has a residue of sadness in it.

This space has been lying vacant for nearly three months (in fact I haven't updated it this year). I am a very lazy and scared writer, I have never felt guilty or whatever it should be for the long gaps in between posts. I post something here only when I have something compelling to share and it has become a fully formed piece inside my head with a beginning, a middle and an end (though it may change while I’m typing). But, this time it is different, I’ve been having this urge to write something here without having a clear idea about what it should be. So, sorry if you find this post incoherent or simply beyond understanding.

A few days back someone very close to me was talking about me to a comparatively new friend of mine; “you won't believe this, Paresh was very shy and introvert in the past. He would creep inside his room and shut the door if a new person came visiting,” she said. But, when a teacher talked about the Paresh of the same period she had exact opposite memory of me. She described me as very communicative, aware of the world around and eager to learn new things. I can't say that one of them is wrong. Both of them are right, as I remember both facets of my personality very vividly. In fact I'm still confused whether I'm an extrovert or an introvert, or just plain and simple crazy, as I love to keep my head dipped in book for hours as much as I love talking to a friend of same wavelength. What annoys me is the fact that when someone introduces you as an introvert or having a secluded personality, it is in the tone of an accusation as if being introvert is a criminal offence.

One change that I now realise is that my nervousness in meeting a new person is drastically reduced as I rarely anyone who can be called a total stranger as I would've communicated with him/her through sms or be familiar online. So, you can say that the advancements of the digital age have helped me to better myself a bit. And, as the cliché goes; times have changed. So, have I.

If you are wondering what the title means, maybe it is the brink of craziness I'm always on between being introvert and being very communicative.

And, as for the first sentence, no idea, it was just rolling in my head for a few days waiting to be written.

A couple of similar posts are here and here.