Tuesday, March 31, 2015

William Blake : The Fly

Little fly,
Thy summer’s play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath,
And the want
Of thought is death,

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

Friday, March 27, 2015

On Professionalism

A professional by definition is someone with academic knowledge of a profession.

With the passage of time, the old ideology has changed.

If you notice Steve Bucemi's character (Mr. Pink) in Reservoir Dogs will ask his partners in crime to act like professionals. What Mr. Pink really wants to say is: "Cut the crap and stop acting like a bunch of sissies".

In recent times, the term professional denotes someone who acts above his personal conflicts and thinks of his organizations well being, and that alone. He who does this is not a professional, he is rather a big gear who is stuck in an automated machine. The gear will be easily replaced at will, whether or not if rusted.

A human being who toils, enjoys his work while making a living is a professional. A person who works with joy, looks at his craft and understand that 'he who toils with pain, eats with pleasure'. 

A profession can turn to a job soon, this is the death of professionalism. What of those who work with such distaste?

"It is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy", Gibran.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Writers write, by Prasanna

So how does anybody start writing an article about writing? Or about anything at all? If you ask me then the answer is fairly simple – by start writing.

Make any sense? Let me explain with an example. An interview done by BBC with Gary Lightbody, the lead singer of Snow Patrol will give you a better idea of what I am going on about.

For someone with a continuous drive to create music, Lightbody was shocked to find himself suffering a crippling bout of writer’s block last year.

“Oh God, I never want to go through that again,” he grimaces. “You’ve done the thing that you do every day of your life for 16 years and suddenly it’s removed from you.
“I just couldn’t write a single word. I was terrified. I couldn’t pick up my laptop, my notepad, or anything, for fear that I was going to sit there and stagnate.
“I was actually catatonic for most of it.”
There was no real breakthrough, he says, just the support of his friends and bandmates.
“The best advice I got, and this sounds ridiculous, was ‘writers write’.
“Avoiding writing is the worst possible thing to do – but that’s what I was doing. I was too frightened to even pick a pen up. So writers write: Even though it sounds so prosaic, it’s absolutely true. You do it until it works, and that’s what I did.”

A person becomes a writer only when he thinks of himself/herself as one. No, I am not asking you to fool yourself into being a writer but to give yourself a reason, an inspiration, a chance into becoming one. You wear your heart on your sleeve, wander around thinking, feeling and leading a life as a writer. With that, you now begin to draw on your personal experiences and from that of others. You learn to set your imagination free and begin to listen to your instincts more. Ideas start brewing, plots become clearer, words begin flowing and slowly but surely, a piece of your written work will be done with.

If you are one with opinions to share, ideas to discuss, stories to tell and can string a sentence together (how good you are at it is a different narrative altogether), all you need to do is put pen to paper and start writing your mind away.

Most of us writers judge ourselves far more aggressively than our readers do. We are a cynical lot. It is an occupational hazard of sorts. Although self-scrutiny is good, too much of it curbs our enthusiasm to write and hinders our creativity.

As writers, our quest should solely be to keep writing and thus remain a writer. Let posterity decide how good we are.

Monday, March 23, 2015

On Art and Its Form

"The end is important in all things."
                    -Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Hagakure

A creator must be clear on the final form of his creation. It is with this knowledge that he can strive towards perfection.

How can he be sure that his artistry has attained its desired and complete form?

One must have forethought in his work, and immense confidence on his ability. To create something is not a simple feat, an artist gives life to his work by giving a piece of himself. He dies a little in the process of creating life (Neil Diamond).

To create something is not as important as to create a meaningful piece of work. The ability to close one's mind, to stop and say its done, finished, is a difficult quality to attain.

An amateur writer like I, can document my life, share my thoughts and write my daily encounters word by word. But, the volume of information cannot measure to a single powerful phrase. Like:

The song and dance of ideas from genesis to completion of an art in itself is poetic.

Thus, to create a meaningful art, an artist must be wary of the art form he picked. Toil, but with ample knowledge. Strive, but in the right direction. What is the right direction? That, the artist must find for himself, for there isn't just one right path. Upon his journey towards this path (Tao-way), he will find it in himself the right answers that he once sought outside. In this is the peace and tranquility of being an artist.

And, important of all as Yamamoto suggests; the end must be sharp and vivid. It may not be too climactic as there are limitations to certain forms, but it must convey a strong and clear message. Just thrust the bayonet a little deeper.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


சில எழுத்தாளர்கள் ஆங்கில பெயர்வெய்த்து தமிழ் கதைகளை எழுதும்போது, நான் தமிழில் தலைப்புவெய்த்து ஒரு ஆங்கில போஸ்டை எழுதுவதில் குற்றமும் இல்லை; இதில் எனக்கு எவ்வித வருத்தமும் இல்லை.

It's the best time for me to write, coz I;m so beat right now I won't delve into deep details or technicalities.

Bored at the hostel I ventured outside with a goal on my mind, 'buy an refill for the sturdy AD pen'. I've been using that pen for a few months now, and hope that it'll be with me for a while.

Couldn't find the refill, shopkeepers say 'no one buys refills anymore; customers prefer to buy a new pen rather'. I was on foot, searching for any other Stationary shops that might have what I need. While I was staring at either sides of the road, a kid approached with children's books.

" அண்ணா அண்ணா please நா, வாங்கிகோங்க நா.  இருவது ரூபா தான்."
"ரெண்டு எவ்ளோக்கு தருவ?"
"முப்பத்க்கு எடுத்துக்கோங்க"
"சரி நாலு குடு"
"Thanks நா"
"Schoolக்கு போரியா? இல்ல ...."
"போறேன் நா"

I bought four books for the kids in my family. Had a mind to do some kind thing, and pondered of the kid from whom I bought the book from, and the kids I bought the books for.

Life's strange, it may turn to any direction. One must be glad of his situations, for there are people who are struggling a lot and aren't complaining.

With these thoughts, my eyes were fixed on a book shop. I was enticed and magically appeared inside the shop without any conscious effort.

First words out of my mouth were:
"செருப்பு  போட்டுக்கலாமா ?"
"ஆஹ், அது பிரச்சன்னை இல்ல"

After a few seconds of glancing at the book shelf with a 'Only 20 Rs' tag over it, I said:

"இல்ல uncomfortable-ஆ இருக்கு ", and removed my footwear in a corner. It felt weird, looking at books with my foot wear on. I was reminded of my schooldays, you must remove your shoes before entering the Library.

Found a lot of interesting books, 'Mystic River', and 'The Notebook' are the ones that seemed to tempt me; mainly because they were made into wonderful movies. I settled to buy 'Best Music Written' and 'Webster's Thesaurus', there were plenty of other books but they were out of my price range (especially because of lack of the offer).

I had a pretty good haggling experience with the shopkeeper, I was asking for the old 'Avid Handbook' and he said 50% 0ff and offered it for 200 rupees. I had at this time picked up a Jiddu Krishnamurthi book too, I glanced at my purse and back to the book. I didn't buy those books, I had only got the Music book and the thesaurus.

Walking away I looked at the two sets of books in my hand, one-for which I didn't haggle far too much but bought to make the kids happy. The other I bought to quench my thirst for knowledge.

                                " ஒரு நூலகத்தில் வசிக்க ஏனோ ஆசை "

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

For the love of it...

Why did I call my last post 'Redundancy'?
Is there a connection between the title and the post?
Am I a good writer if I explain one of my post in another?"
That's how I was planning on beginning this post...until my team leader saw my words and yelled...
"You call this writing?"
It was a Rambo's fist to my gut, I stopped writing. Went out with my colleagues and paid they're smoking bills. Paying for passive smoking isn't so prudent wouldn't you say?
Why can't I grab onto my thoughts a little more firmly?

Why do I feel like, 'I speak volumes but say none'?(This verse has been stuck in my mind for sometime now).
Maybe I'm doomed to die 'trying to be a writer'. I know that I'm not alone in feeling like Salieri, cursing the god(s) for giving the longing but not the talents.
Most of my thoughts begin as a 'what if' or as a really good story in my mind. Soon they turn to a ruinous path, I fail to identify the crucial differences between reality and fiction. I write a lot about myself, of what happened to me and how I feel and think. This as clearly pointed out by my dear friend is redundant.
The truth is I really love writing, I like to write about reality.
I must digress, for this post isn't 100% real. I thought if I added some lie, make it a fictional conversation it might be a better read.
The reality is it's a bit late,and I'm on one of my long walks in the empty streets of my neighborhood, typing this post in my mobile phone; almost bumping into parked vehicles.
Isn't the act of doing something for the pure love of it, practiced or appreciated anymore?
I do want to be a good writer, I'm on that very path. I don't feel the heavy shackles of review and grammatical mistakes on my shoulders. I've come to a deeper understanding recently, the quality of the material written is determined by the reader alone and it is by their standards they review my talent.
I must credit Prasanna for pointing out that 'one must leave it to posterity to decide on the quality of a work' and 'The maverick' writer Pudhumaipithan for putting my thoughts into words:

Just like God is not bound by theologians, my creations are not bound by your conventional standards. I am not responsible for that and neither are my creations. I would like to point out it is YOUR standards you are using to judge my creations.”

Monday, March 16, 2015


I was called a blog-walker once. I didn't know what that meant, even now I guess it's simply what I do. I've been committing the act of writing some sense into myself for a long time now. It has changed from actual writing on paper to an on-line diary.

Is that possible, to write some sense into one-self?

Is this blog-walking?

Is it the personal conversation one has with one-self?

The times are gone, when I wonder, second guess myself on the grammar of my writings. Now, I simply write. I've started to absorb literature, learned what the word literature actually meant. The art of putting 'feelings' into words, not mere thoughts but a slightly higher state of thoughtlessness.

Night rides always seem to open up my lungs and inspire me 'to live'!

The late night rides, they're not lonely rather blissful and rewarding. I'm still searching for words to deliver that feeling of purity and race of non-thoughts that rush and fade in my mind unto the reader.

Sobering up, I've learned that it's hard to get the same relief and joy without the use of any stimulant. I used to take long walks to tire myself physically to get a good nights sleep.

Recently, I walked a long-while in search of a library. I require a short term goal often to keep my mind and body active. I blindly walk towards that set goal (library), and pursue it with conviction. I place pure faith on my ability to get what I want, and as in most cases I'll get it (as it's the universe's law; you'll get what you want, you just need to be a little more patient).

I am reaping the fruits of my faith and labor by enjoying the book 'We The Living' by Ayn Rand. The wide ray of glimmering hope survives in my kind heart of- 'life','the universe of things' and my place in it.

As she says:

                            "To a life; which is reason unto itself"

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Sicilian

I've completed reading "The Sicilian". I was reading this, sequel to "The Godfather" for a long time, and finally finished it. It is quite a rewarding experience, solely because I read a hard copy. I don't remember the stories that I read on-line or on a screen; especially they are not as vivid in my mind as those stories that I read from actual printed books, that I touched, felt and smelt. These intricacies enter your mind seamlessly, and the possession of a book is more of an obsession for me. I pride myself in having a beautiful and bountiful collection of books, and rarely do I lend them to of my closest friends; still pester them on the manner of reading, importance of maintaining the quality of the pages and returning the book without fail and in pristine condition.

Back to "The Sicilian", Mario Puzo kept me entertained throughout. But he hid many surprises and revealed them in a subtle manner at the ending chapters of the book. The story is so visual, and the characters intertwine, walk in and out of a chapter yet are all part of the 'Big plan'. It's like Puzo has built a maze, and it's so huge that one needs to be up high like in the "Maze Runner" to identify the pattern. The characters retain their characterization, the twists and turns are enticing yet not so appalling.

I have hastily signed up for the Goodreads Challenge, have to read 35 books this year! I have left some books incomplete, like "The Acquatine Progression", "The Study in Scarlet", and "The Paths of Glory".  "The Acquatine Progression" was a big one, I wasn't demoted by the shear size of it; but the story progression was picking up at a slower pace. "The Paths of Glory" was a good story on adventure, but I put it in a shelf and never picket it up again. "Study in Scarlet" e-book in the Kindle app on my windows-phone, it simply too tiring to read on a screen. Also I was roaming around searching for a hard-copy of the book, but found "We The Living" by Ayn Rand in a Library nearby and have started reading enthusiastically.

I have in possession Umberto Eco's The Name of The Rose. Its funny that I remember this title, I came to know of the book from my high-school English lesson on Umberto Eco. It was mentioned that the story is a historical one. It involves a lot of semiotics (study of signs), and it's highly modern and complicated, yet sold splendidly . I was impressed by Umberto Eco, he says that if all the vacuum is removed from the Universe, it will be the size of our fist. Granted I was a high-school kid, but even then I was interested in the far and expanding world of the multi-verses; and listening to an author saying "The universe will fir into our fist" is just intense, hard to imagine and believe. He also explains that within a elevator ride he would've written an article, there's such space and time within our grasp yet out of reach of our senses. He seemed to be such an exciting and prolific author to have such capacity.

I hope to read a lot and regularly too, as it will without any doubt give peace and help me with the flow of words in my writings.The last few days I had peaceful dreamless sleeps, all thanks to the hours of reading. I lose myself and the worries that I carry, by losing myself in a different world. I got a spot on the terrace, with the light on my back and my back to the chair read for long periods of time like I used to during my school days. Stopping rarely to look up the meaning of a word or to make a note of a beautiful quote or line from the book, the reading was mostly uninterrupted.