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Showing posts from November, 2006

What is RSS supposed to mean to me?

I was in Sixth standard and blissfully unaware of the conspiracies spinning around my world and shaping my world. Then one day my Hindi teacher decided to give us a crash course in real history. She was a young woman who had joined the teaching profession only recently. And then she decided to really educate us. She claimed Taj Mahal is a Hindu Temple; it has Hindu motifs like lotus all around it. Then she talked about Islamic invasion and stuff like that. I must say I was intrigued. Why weren’t we being taught this kind of stuff? This was lot easier stuff to remember than the dates and all that crap in our history textbooks (which as time passed, I realized were lying too). What was the source of her profound knowledge? Years later, still in school, I came across the RSS material-The underground knowledge, that nobody teaches us. So, this was the treasure chest of the real knowledge. Somehow, I didn’t like them and I stuck to reading The National Geographic Magazine (well, actually …

Guerrillas

I picked up an old copy of Guerrillas by V.S.Naipaul from a roadside bookstall. I picked it up as it was on the top on the pile. As I opened the book, the lines on first page were:
“when everybody wants to fight
there’s nothing to fight for.
Everybody wants to fight his own little war,
Everybody is a guerrilla.”
-James Ahmed
After weeks of verbal duels on Kashmir, it made perfect sense. I bought it.

-0-
Realized that this Naipaul book was famous for a rather violent sex scene that takes place near the end of the novel.

"The Planets" by Diane Ackerman

We imagine them
flitting
cheek to jowl,
these driftrocks
of cosmic ash
thousandfold afloat
between Jupiter and Mars.
Frigga,
Fanny,
Adelheid
Lacrimosa.
Names to conjure with,
Dakotan black hills,
A light-opera
Staged on a barrier reef.
And swarm they may have,
Crumbly as blue-cheese,
That ur-moment
when the solar system
broke wind.
But now
they lumber
so wide apart
from each
to its neighbor’s
pinprick-glow
slant millions
and millions
of watertight miles.
Only in the longest view
do they gaze
like one herd
on a breathless tundra.

- Diane Ackerman,
The Planets (New York, Morrow, 1976)

"Zito the Magician" by Miroslav Holub

To amuse His Royal Majesty he will change water into wine.
Frogs into footmen. Beetles into bailiffs. And make a Minister
out of a rat. He bows, and daisies grow from his finger-tips.
And a talking bird sits on his shoulder.
There.
Think up something else, demands His Royal Majesty.
Think up a black star. So he thinks up a black star.
Think up dry water. So he thinks up dry water.
Think up a river bound with straw-bands. So he does.
There.
Then along comes a student and asks: Think up sine alpha greater than one.
And Zito grows pale and sad. Terribly sorry. Sine is
Between plus one and minus one. Nothing you can do about that.
And he leaves the great royal empire, quietly weaves his way
Through the throng of courtiers, to his home in a nutshell.

Miroslav Holub(Czech)
Translated by George Theiner