Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ஊர் சுற்றி புராணம் - Day 2

Inspite of an aching body begging for a little more rest, manged to wake myself up early so that i could make it to the tennis court by six. a brief drizzle in the early hours, that would repeat itself the next two days, would come in the way of my Tennis aspirations. This being the first day ignored the damp weather and braved it to the court. I was glad to see the coach Mr.Ashraf had already come. However the court was water logged. even though it was a hard court the surface was uneven and hence the logging. Ashraf told me it was impossible to play and asked me turn back, I did not want it to end that badly. I asked him if could jus tap the ball in a dry corner of the court. He obliged. he guided me to practice tapping the ball against the wall. and a little latter he joined me and we stayed in a dry area and hit the ball across each other. My tryst with tennis was thus complete, atleast partly, a million thanks to Ashraf. I left the court hoping to come back for more, but it was not to be as rain and my engagement with literature would play havoc.

A news item in the Hindu took me to Tara books that morning. I had already heard about this place and had wanted to visit it.( In the course of these four days i managed to visit many of those places and met many of those people, the desire for which had been sown some time in the past.) The news item talked of an open house with a Ni pachedi Artist. These are the artists from Rajasthan who decorate the clothing that adorns the Goddess with fine paintings with natural colours, but the sad thing is that they are tribals prohibited from entering the temple, explained one Mr. Manivannan a  staff of the publishing house. He took me through all the different books and works of Tara. They had a series of models that helped one understand how hand made paper was made the unique method of printing in Tara. To me each and every book of Tara was a work of art.

I had palnned to stop at Tara for less than an hour, but ended up spending more than two hours and a few hundred bucks on the books i found irresistable. I wanted to carry home a piece of their art. A book illustrating the poem ' I saw a peacock with a Fiery tail' was my most valuable pick. i hope to relish that book by sharing it with more and more people who can appreciate its beauty. I wanted to bring my cousins Harsh and Nivi to the place.

My overstaying at Tara tweaked my plans. Enroute to Woodlands dropped in at writer Pa.Ravi's house. He works for a magazine 'Thalam' , a literary aficionado and a distant relative. Picked up two books by Salem Tamilnaadan from him. He also could not help in tracing

Left for Woodlands, caught up with Harsh. i was glad to meet him and learn that he was there interning for The Hindu and reporting about the CIFF. While chatting, he suggested i watch ' Like father like son' that was to play at Casino the next day. A segment of my plan for the next day thus got made up. It was good to see him there all alone and standing tall in the middle of that maddening crowd working with resolve, buzzing around to theaters like a man on mission.

Left Harsh alone with his mission, as Dept of Archaeology was calling me. I had to buy a book, Oviya paavai by R Nagaswamy. This book was introduced to me by a talk at Tamil heritage center. It is about sculptures found in different temples. I had heard from Vijaybaskar Vijay that this place is behind the Museum at Egmore, i imagined that this was probably a part of the permanent book exhibition behind connemara but it was not to be. a person at the counter of this perm. exhibition guided me that the Dept. was on Halls road. The person sounded very knowledgeable about books and i wanted to try my luck inquiring about To my surprise he lead me to a rack with his books. Gosh! i was surprised by my luck, patted myself for my persistence. The book, a translation of Macbeth, had a number of the publisher. I tried ringing that number was surprised to find answering.

I opened my heart out to Aru.So and told him how much i was inspired by his Tamil and wanted to meet him and talk to him. He gave me the address of the place he was staying at and asked to meet up at 5p.m. This was at  1 p.m. Quickly finished lunch and landed at archeology Dept. Chanced upon an amazing personality in Mr.Sreekumar who guided me through the exhibits of the Dept and opened up a sea of information in the field. 

Had to force myself out of this raining clouds of knowledge to start off and make it in time to meet Aru.So. he was staying at Thiruvotriyur. The drive took me beyond Beach station for the fist time. Passed thru Singaravelar maaligai, Royapuram, Tollgate, the north chennai sea shores with thier rocky inroads into the sea, inviting me to stand and stare, the heavy trucks plying on the bumpy road were all treats on the way for i was witnessing them for the first time.

I have recounted my meeting up with Aru.So in an earlier post ' a day of visits'. Drove back home piercing the chillness of the late hour and carrying a bagfull of books.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

ஊர் சுற்றி புராணம் - Day 1

4 days of a rollercaster ride in chennai, attending literary events and watching films at CIFF-2013.
It all started with a vist to Barathi illam near Triplican Parthasarathy temple. I was inspired to visit the place after Kannan of informed me that there was an ongoing series of  events at the place commemorating Barathi's birth anniv. that falls on 11.12.13. On the way while stoppingg to draw som casg from a SBI ATM near the TP temple, chanced upon Kasthuri-Srinvasan Library, a part of Triplicane cutural academy. The Library's working hours was though impossible for me to catch up with: 6.30 am to 9.30 am, hence had to be happy with visiting the door of an institution i have heard a lot about.

At Barathi illam, the anniv celebrations were over. walked through the display of photos reminiscing Barathi's life. Hurriedly left the place to catch up with the inaugral films on CIFF. Woodlands was buzzing with so much life, young and old alike, all eager to have their fill of world cinema. In the que to register for the festival caught up with some gossip on how the fee had shot up to 500 but the bag and book was missing ( these were given a day later).

My first movie was Disciple from Finland. i have talked about this and another movie in an earlier post. in the intervening lunch break tried to catch up with a fav tamil writer Prabanjan, but he was away from his home. Post lunch i wanted to check out some books from 'Archaeological dept' near the Museum and Tamilnaadan's books from Sahithya Academy. These i had to shop during working days.

After much thinking over decided to catch up with the afternoon movie, 'NO' and then finish with Sahithya academy. This oscilation between literary interest and cinema continued to bother me over the next 3 days.. At sahithya academy and other publishing houses i visited later, it pained me to see how the books were left to rot. i wish they gave it away to people who would read than to leave them to rot.

After Sahithya proceeded to visit Kalachuvadu publishing i wanted to enroll for a pre release offer of a book, but instead could not resist buying some books that i dont find in the book shops. the office is located in clumsy corner of Triplicane close to a booze shop.

Left Kalachuvadu ,trying to hunt for the contacts of a tamil orator Aru.somasundaram, who had captivated me with his tamil. ( i would later discover that i have a weakness for the tamil spoken by people from and around Karaikkudi) in an interview on Kalaingar TV, so much that i had decided that i wanted to learn tamil from him, i jus wanted to listen to him speak about tamil. I knew he had written a few translating Shakespeare but not sure which publicaton. I thought it might mostly be Palaniappa and went after them. Their office was a place in contrast reflecting the wealth of the Chettiar. ( but the books condition of left to rot were no different) It was a difficult thing to make queries to these people about a person whom these people had not even heard of.

Before reaching home, on the made queries at Alan tennis academy near porur about a brief exposure to Tennis. I have always wanted to have a hit with the racket but the circumstances have always denied me that pleasure. But this coach understood my disposition offered to let me have a hit and invited me to join him the next day. I came back home witha a heart full of beautiful experiences and as usaual a bag full of books.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


மா போ சி நூல்கள் விழாவில் ஜெ மற்றும் ராஜேந்திரசோழனின் உரைகளை கேட்க்கும் போது மனம் தொடர்ந்து எதிர்வினைகளை  கொப்பளித்துக்கொண்டே இருந்தது.
ஜெ பேசும் போது, மா போ சி இன் சிலம்பு தேர்வு ( குறளும் , கம்பராமாயனமும் பரவலாக பேசப்பட்டிருந்த காலத்தில்), பாரதி சார்ப்பு ஆகியவற்றிற்கு மிக நுண்ணிய (reading too much into it ) காரணங்களை கற்பிப்பதாக தோன்றியது. கமபராமாயணம் பற்றி பேசினால் மதச்சாயம் பூசி விடுவார்கள், congress இன் secular image உடன் ஒட்டாது என்னும் சிம்பிள் காரணம் போதாதா, சிலம்பு தேர்வுக்கு.
குஜராத்திய வட்டார இலக்கிய வளர்ச்சிக்கு காந்தி வித்தாக அமைந்த சூழலை ஒரு குற்றம் சாட்டும் தொனியில் இருந்ததாகப்பட்டது . எவர் ஒருவருமே தன் தாய்மொழி செழிக்க வேண்டும் என்று நினைப்பது இயல்பே அல்லவா.
மா போ சி ஒரு சிந்தனையாளரோ ஆய்வாளரோ அல்ல ஒரு கொள்கைப்பரப்பாலரே என்று முடிவு செய்தது அவரை சற்று தரம் தாழ்த்தும் தொணியில் அமைந்தது. He could have put it differently.

இராஜேந்திர சோழன் பேசும் போது, ஒரு சமுகத்தில் எப்படி கருத்தாக்கங்களும் பெரும்பான்மை சக்திகளால் உருவாக்கப்படுகின்றன, தினிக்கப்படுகின்றன என்பதை முன்வைத்தார். இந்த பின்னணியில் 'தேசியம்' குறித்த ஆக்கங்களை சாடினார். வரலாற்றில் இந்தியா எப்பொழுதும் ஒரு தேசமாக இருந்ததில்லை என்பதை ஒரு காரணமாக முன்வைத்தார்.
இதை சாடுகிறவர் மொழி சார் தேசியத்தை ஆதரிக்கிறார்  போற்றுகிறார். இது எனக்கு முரணாக  தோன்றியது. இதை நான் அவரிடமும் எடுத்துக்கூரிய போது அவர் அதை ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளவில்லை.

அரசியலமைப்பு சட்டத்தில், 'the governor shall appoint the chief minister' என்ற கூற்றை தனித்து நோக்கி அதற்க்குள் 'centre ' இன் ஆதிக்க வழிமுறை  என்று அர்த்தம் கற்பித்தார். இதில் உள்ள அபத்தத்தை அவரிடம் எடுத்து கூறினேன். அவர் கேட்கும் மனதில் இல்லை. அவர் ஆழ நோக்கவேண்டும் என்று கூறும் அதே தருணத்தில் 'over simplify' செய்வதாக தோன்றியது.

Friday, December 13, 2013

a day of visits

i Forewent world cinemai @ciff today to a day of visits to  a few places
Tara books, tiruvanmiyur- a Publisher whose each book is to be treated as a oiece of art. they bring out books featuring tribal arts like those of Gondh, books featuring Mythali art etc. on hand made paper. I was gifted to have a gentle person in one Mr.Manivannan explaining the features of the books to me.

The occassion was an open house with a Ni Pachedi artist. Got to see his work in progress. impressed with the unique brightness in the colors they use. Ironically these are the artists who design the clothes that adorn the goddess but are not allowed inside the temple in rajasthan.

A scroll featuring Gondh artists, which was out of print was too good. A book featuring the nuances in the poem ' i saw a peacock witha fiery trail' with illustrations by a Gondh artist, best captured the beauty of Tara books..
I Saw a Peacock, with a fiery tail,
    I saw a Blazing Comet, drop down hail,
    I saw a Cloud, with Ivy circled round,
    I saw a sturdy Oak, creep on the ground,
    I saw a Pismire, swallow up a Whale,
    I saw a raging Sea, brim full of Ale,
    I saw a Venice Glass, Sixteen foot deep,
    I saw a well, full of mens tears that weep,
    I saw their eyes, all in a flame of fire,
    I saw a House, as big as the Moon and higher,
    I saw the Sun, even in the midst of night,
    I saw the man, that saw this wondrous sight.
Every one interestd in arts and inclined to give their children an artistic fervor should visit Tara books.

My next stop was at the office of the archaeological dept on Halls road Egmore, particularly to Buy 'Oviya paavai' by R.Nagaswamy. I had heard lot about this book at a Talk by artist Viswanathan, organised by Tamil Heritage centre. The book talks about scultures commonly found and mostly ignored in our temples.

The visit throwed open up a sea of info on archeology for me. I stepped on a dynamite of source of knowledge on archaeology in One Mr. Sreekumar, of the Archaeology Dept. while meandering through the office in search of the person in charge of sales of publications, i stepped in to a room of exhibits. i stepped out, afraid if i had tresspassed. A voice egged me on to go in explore. this was Sreekumar. he came in and went on to give me a Tour de force of info on the exhibits. The information i gathered from him is worth a separate post.

also bought a book on Tiruttani as ai knowledge abt this place that has been my home for the past 4 yrs is meagre.

my next destination materialised majically. i had watched couple of interviews of a tamil scholar Aru. somasundaram on podhigai and kaliangar and was so much captivated by his speech and his knowledge that i wanted to learn tamil from him. His works include translations of shakespeare's works. He has undertaken long padayaatras like from rameswaram to kaasi ( written abt it aswell) and has shown the way to others.But tracing him was a difficult job. But some how managed to get hold of a book written by him, wherein i got his number. He was in chennai at Tiruvotriyur.

I have never been beyond beach station all this time. my journey to meet him took me to entirely unexplored areas.He was staying at a 'nagarathaar's house. he was holding a 5 day dis on Kandapuranam. This was the fifth day. The function was attended by close to 100 people all from the same fraternity. it was amazing to see the cohesiveness among them.

The final day was dedicated to 'Tiruttani' murugan and featured murugan 'thirukalyaanam' and 'pattabishekam' which was all grandly staged at the end of the discourse.'s discourse brought the action before the eyes. Tiruttani murugan, being close to my heart, i was well absorbed into the discourse. is a native of devakottai. but he rarely stays there. so i left with only way of catching up with his 'sorpozhvus' to listen to more of his tamil. But the 'aanmeega' content in his speeches has to be taken with it, not that its anything to complain abt.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


@ Chennai International Film Festival:
Attending the film festival was like coming back from a trade fair. i was over awed by the diverse crowd ranging from old people to young students ( probably of cinema). People come for different reasons. some for sleaze ( some one remarked 'lets go we have seen flesh', some for sheer queer presence ( jus be aware of any strange advances ). There are some who visit every edition of the same fest, some who even visit editions in differnt places.

Disciple- Finland:
The movie revolves around a light house on an island. A landscape typical of the celtics. The story revolves around the light house keeper and his family. The light house keeper is a tyrrant who wants to force himself upon his family,the family breaks itself free in  the end. The charecter could easily remind any middle class Indian of his ambitious father.

The man's Tyranny unfolds through many events: in the way he keeps harrassing his younger son at the sauna ; the way he can't bear to see his wife enjoying music and being happy and eventually ends up burning down the piano; his inhumanity towards the new born puppies was a high point that can hurt the audience.

The boys, a orphan who has been adopted and the younger son, slowly learn of the man's tyranny and learn to break themselves free from his clutches.

There are some scenes in the movie that linger on like the scene where the boys clean the lighthouse' glass, the adopted one standing inside and the younger one standing outside; implying the progress of the boys, The final scene capturing the boys rocking on the boat leaving the island wearing expressions of maturity on their face stays on with us.

No- Chile:
'No' is a political drama capturing the events around the stepping down of Pinochet. The movie revolves around a creative-director of ad-films who gtoes on to create videos for the 'NO" Campaign, that eventually succeeds in kicking the opposition to life bring Pinochet down.

The movie captures his evolutin from a ad-film maker to successful campaigner who topples a dictator.

The political situations and the campaign scenarios shown in the movie are events that can happen anywhere in the sub continent. it was tuff stay awake thru initial parts of the movie due to the many dialogues and a sumptuous meal.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mathematics of Planet earth 2013

 An exhibition of mathematical concepts that manifest themselves in the various phenomena on Earth. an international initiative and in its Indian leg was here at Bangalore, VITM from nov 22 to Dec 1.

I had a lot of expectations out of it and eked out a plan to visit it on Dec 1. in preparation to go for it tried to search the web for material available on the concepts, but found very little help. only a couple of videos on youtube were of help.

The actuaal exhibition of concepts did not let me down. a big applause to sirishti for puuting to gethere the ideas into some interesting models.of particular were the ones on Bio tensigrity, soliton wave, fractals.

However i wish the organisers, given the years of preparation and an international project that it is, had prepared som sort of literarture on these concepts - a booklet or something to carry home for further study.

As a part of this event there was also a story telling session that integrates teaching mathematical concepts, very well staged by

the presenter beautifully weaved in concepts like 'six degrees of separation', erdos number, 'the travelling salesman problem' into her story expounding the concepts of network. The teller had her audience ranging from 6yr old to 60 yrs old in rapt attention.

a question about wat is the minimum number of colours u wld require to to represnt all the countries in the world map,differentiating the neighbors was engaging. The answer is ......4.


ஜெ மோ
என் நண்பர்களுக்கு ஜெயமோகனை அறிமுகம் செய்யும் விதமாக இந்த பதிவு.

நான் தற்போது பயணிக்கும், அயராது கண்டுகளிக்கும் இந்த இலக்கிய வெளிக்கு என்னை அறிமுகம் செய்து வைத்தவர் ஜெ. sometime in 2009 எதையோ தேடப்போய் google என்னை இவரது வலைதளத்துக்கு அழைத்து சென்றுவிட்டது. அன்றில் இருந்து இவர் வலைதளத்தை மேய்வதையே ஒரு பெரும் பணியாக செய்து வந்தேன். இவரைப்படிப்பதின் மூலம் பிற படைப்பாளிகளைப் பற்றியும் படைப்புகளைப் பற்றியும் அறிய ஒரு ஒப்பற்ற one -stop pit ஆக இருந்துள்ளது.
இவர் வலை என்னுள் ஏற்படுத்திய தூண்டலின் பேரிலேயே எனது வாசிப்பை பல கோணங்களிலும் விரித்து பரப்பிக்கொண்டேன். அந்த வகையில் ஜெ மீது எனக்கு என்றுமே ஒரு குருவின் மீது ஏற்ப்படும் வாஞ்சை உண்டு.

இந்த பதிவை 18 months முன் எழுதி இருந்தால் வாஞ்சை மட்டுமே இருந்திருக்கும், இப்பொழுது கொஞ்சம் விமர்சனமும் சேர்ந்துக்கொண்டுள்ளது.

இப்பொழுது ஜெ என்னும்போது ஒரு intellectual arrogance ஆல்  ஆன பிம்பமே மனதில் எழுகிறது. அவரது volume  of  writing  is amazing . பெரும் மலைப்பை ஏற்ப்படுத்தகூடியது. அவரது எழுத்துக்களை ஓரளவு மேய்ந்தவன் என்ற முறையிலும் அவரது எழுத்துப்பணியிலும், அவருக்கு இருக்கும் இலக்கிய ஆர்வலர் following ஐயும் பெரிதும் மதிப்பதினாலும், அவர் மீது கொண்டுள்ள ஒரு தார்மீக தோழ உணர்வினாலும் ,அன்பினாலும் எழும் விமர்சனமே இது.

 அவரது எழுத்தில் கனிவுக்கோ ஈரத்திர்க்கோ  இடம் இல்லை. கனிவும் ஈரமும் அவரது intellectual heat இல் காய்ந்து வரண்டு போய்விடுகின்றன. அவரது இந்த intellectual arrogance சே தான் அவரை இந்த 'பவர் ஸ்டாரை' உருவாக்கிய i t தலைமுறைக்கு உவப்பானதாக உள்ளது.

அவரால் 'அறம்' என்னும் சிந்தையை செதுக்கும் தொகுப்பை கொடுக்க முடியும் 'அன்பு' என்று உள்ளத்தை கனியச்செய்யும் எழுத்தை தர முடியாது. ஏற்கனவே வறண்டு போயிருக்கும் இந்த தலைமுறைக்கு இவரால் fertilisers தர முடியும், ஈரம் தர முடியாது.

ஜெ ஆல் முடியாதது இல்லை. தன்னை தானே செதுக்கிக்கொண்ட உன்னத எழுத்தாளன் அவர். எனது ஆசை, அவரது 'intellectual  arrogance' ஆலும்  அவரைச் சுற்றியுள்ள பக்த சிறோன்மநிகளாலும் மூடப்பட்டுள்ள  காதுகள், திறந்து இந்த விமர்சனம் அவர் நெஞ்சை எட்டி, சிறிதே கனியச்செய்ய வேண்டும், அது அவரது எழுத்துக்களிலும் வெளி வர வேண்டும் இந்த மண் பயனுற வேண்டும் என்பதே.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

a butterfly for a heart

i have got a butterfly in the place of my heart, my heart now feels so light and fluttering so fast that i feel that way. The reason? i just got in tuch with a friend from the best days of my life- Nagercoil days. one contact led to another.. now i am thanking god for this wonderful/ beautiful  feeling.

I have been itching to write for the past few days.. This beautiful feeling jus drove me to the edge and pushed me on to pen down... this is a start... lets us see how this journey pans out....