Posted tagged ‘dr.rudhran’

sushruta two months’ toil

August 19, 2015
sushruta by rudhran

sushruta by rudhran

it took me two months to paint and every day the couple of hours i spent on it were not exactly pleasant. i had all along been comfortable in speedy stokes and fast painting techniques.

this time the theme dictated that i take the old style of painting. it was not meant for the roving eyes of a critic or the raving eyes of a connoisseur it was meant to be on a wall of a medical college.

what made me suffer with performance anxiety was the fact that the college was my almamater- the great MMC, Madras Medical College.

i had dropped this style of painting nearly 40 years ago, and to push myself back in time and alter my style was not at all easy.

here is how the journey happened

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the picture now hangs in the new building in the new premises of MMC

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Facebook foible

September 16, 2014

To discover or invent the psychology of the pathology of the facebook I need words, but I wonder if I do really have them. I am getting close to saying I am at a loss for words.

If I were not in facebook, I would have savoured and used many words again. I don’t mean just words. Words are just a part of a grand design whose line drawing is a sentence.

I may have gone on writing in the paper on the same page the next day or the next year, but the page with my words would have just been there, hanging around like a loyal dog waiting for an uncaring master. I may have even let the poor dog die unfed and uncared, but I would not have caught it and flung onto the street, where its whimpers would have drowned in the chaotic traffic out there. Facebook  has made me merciless and cruel, more cruel than a child battering mother. I give birth to these words in their formative design, and without waiting for them to grow and grab other words and weave another branch or related words, I thrust them out into the harsh light of social media which scorches more than the sun in its peak of heat.

I am not lamenting at the premature death of so many poetic probabilities that were prematurely delivered and left to die, untreated and uncared at the reduced number of ‘likes’. Thank God they did not create a  clickable ‘dislike’ till this moment. I feel like the shameless and selfish mother who disowns her child because it does not beget her appreciation. I have let so many lovely angels decay before they grew their wings and turned rosy. My words are unfortunate to have been born in this facebook era. Had they been born in the days of paper and pen, they would have still been alive and around, and if perchance I see them in a new light, may have got resuscitated. Not these days; words flee from typing fingers onto the launch pad of a click button, and in seconds after their appearance, appear in front of all. Not the ‘ALL’, but the ‘all’ who I have considered my temporary all. And, not all look at these words. Some are not even aware that they have arrived, some do not care to give them a second look, a few ignore, and a few more refuse to acknowledge. The fresh sculpture soon finds a dustbin, and with the million tons of debris and rubbish that keep piling everyday it may never find an archaeologist, anytime in the farthest future.

Having wasted so many words I still keep collecting them. I still keep weaving them into a tapestry that I always imagine would surpass the shroud of Turin. But those golden threads have gone out of the window, and I have gilded copies which would soon fade and dim in the eyes and minds of whoever cares to even take them on for a look.

I pause, ponder and in defense pontificate, that words are just the outpouring of a perennial stream and there it would always be, the source of the stream, supplying for eternity.  I lie to myself and write- ‘Wordless in the wilderness of mind..’

It is not that words have flown away from my memory; it is just that they are looking back at my mind which flung them out. They look down and mock at times, at my foolish delusion that they would one day soar up above the world so high that they would twinkle and light a new path. They do look up at me with ineffable sorrow, to make me guilty that I have thrown a seed out before looking at the ground and its fertility. They pray to me, an incompetent creator, hoping that I would resurrect them or give another birth and a chance to do something worthwhile. They pretend to believe in me, and pretend to believe in the world outside of me.  I have thrown out many words. Every word I threw out was not a casual toss into oblivion; they were all pellets aimed at a goliath that I had not even sighted. I have thrown away many words, original words that glittered and glimmered in the illusory sentences that my mind elaborately designed in deceit. All those words are gone. My mind and its brain still have surplus stock of words, but many are just replicas of those original words which went flying out into a fathomless obscurity. Having had the delight and ecstasy of using the original word in its pristine form to make a virgin design, replicas make me sigh.

Lies again. Not the cunning, scheming, malicious and brutal lies that are generally evident; these are lies that smoothly sail out like a leaking perfume, and hover long enough to get noticed and vanish. They would by the time have made their impact. An impact that would not choke or scorch, but an impact that would slowly cloud the vision, temporarily but long enough to distract and alter the perspective. Depths would no more be deep enough….

NO..I cannot write lies to myself. I cannot take writing down to the level of a ‘selfie’. I have to save my words, whatever is left of them, for a hope in the dark future when I may have an opportunity to unhurriedly set a necklace uncaring whose neck it would adorn the next day.

Until then, I have to write lies, not for myself but for others.

beginning to begin writing

October 27, 2013

To begin, I presumed was easy, you just have to start with, “once upon a time”. And, that peek into the past is flooding the mind with memories that slip away from words. So where does one begin, and of course, the metaphysical musing that is the pastime of postponing laziness, `why begin`, is irrelevant having begun. This is going to be a narration – of all the good, bad and confused moments of my life. Not that it matters in any significant way to the reader, I still pursue this rendering, as any bathroom singer would attempt at the right pitch and scales, just to soothe myself. Do I need a soothing? Does it mean I have a wound? Well, I have indeed been wounded many times, and I know that scars are not painful anymore…but memories are.

It was a fully moonlit night, as even calendars affirm, when I wailed for the first time. I whimper still, I wail too…but in the learnt shyness of solitude.

The moon has aged too, and became no more the romantic muse of adolescent attempts at poetry. My hair turns whiter every day, while my mind delves into days and dreams that I lived in my younger and younger days. As is common in all nostalgic musings my Madras seems to be more beautiful in the sepia memories of untaken photographs.

I have always known how to get up once I had fallen, but waking up while slipping was never possible. Can one awaken while slipping? And, what if there is nothing to reach out and hold on? Life kept teaching me everything except itself. Well, then, this is how it all had been till the moment I type this word. As I write time will move on, and while it drags me on, I just wonder what my new perspectives would be!

One day I will…. is the distant dream of everyone. Does the day arrive unnoticed? Is it actually being designed by me?  I have a vague arrogant notion that I have designed my destiny, and, WHAT indeed is my DESTINY? Is it the desire to reach the destination that I dream or have been programmed for?  Have I missed that magic clock that keeps the past fresh and forever, consoling the ageing mind that time is still there and in plenty?

The city grows and the citizen ages. Nostalgia is a cynical contempt at the fresh growth of permanent youthfulness, a bitterness that is the necessary nausea of reduced capacity and neglect,  a sigh at the clock that does not wind back; it makes the city move on and the citizen blink  in a daze at the speed of time.  The city will outlive the citizen, but will never ever be the city of the citizen.  Metamorphosis is not necessarily evolution, nor compulsorily beautiful by yesteryear’s standards, as definitions and measurements of the mind keep changing with every generation.  My grandfather, who scrawled poetry, would never have imagined me tapping on this machine without a pen and a paper, as my great-generations would wonder how I could sit and type on a machine. Time moves, city grows..The citizen gets frozen at one point. He cannot accept changes as he cannot cope with the challenges; in his best defence he suppresses his insight and projects a pseudo-wise appraisal at the degeneration of values as that is what he wants it to be, a frozen ice cream that can even be a picture on the mind’s wall.

and i presume i would finish writing  the book that is already bound and shelved in my mind….

Pondering and rambling..

August 15, 2013

Writing is laborious at times, especially when one decides to strew words together to form a meaningful and purposeful piece. The artist is more blessed than the writer in this labour of love.  He can dab colours at will and fancy, let them form meanings of their own and allow the viewer to discern and dissect what had never ever occurred to him while creating. The writer is not so fortunate. He cannot let words fall in disarray. Words are more precious than colours. They can’t be sprayed carelessly or with carefree abandon. They need to fall in place, and that place has to be determined in advance not left to destiny’s design.

In the beginning, they all declare, was the word. That may have been the only word that dropped out of nowhere to become something not really planned; this surmise could be wrong too since in a primordial pondering,  they all also say that word was the beginning. Just daring to go a little further, a thought comes to mind that in the beginning there was the thought, and thought became the beginning and in the beginning was the word. Word, the form of thought is perhaps the first idol of the formless thought that god is made of.  

What indeed is God and why God? The inevitable and obvious answer to this puzzle is that god is the need for mankind to express and explore existence. In this exploration is contained the negation of the hypothesis of god, in this need for expression is contained the human urge to express and leave an imprint. Having witnessed the disappearance of fellow species, fearing similar extinction, ancients might have felt the urge to leave traces of themselves in eternity and not vanish into void, knowing that sowing their seeds alone would not guarantee a permanent place on earth. Thus would have, in the beginning, born a word.

Word is thought, uttered or written; and word has been declared as the beginning and as god. Thought therefore is god and the mind therefore is god’s natural abode as the mind too is formless and open to multiple interpretations like god.

As is the common vanity of humans who could afford to experiment various forms with words, some would have  experimented with expressions of thought in art forms. In the beginning perhaps an artist gave form to his shapeless yet sharp thought and created an idol. In a modest moment he may have ignored the urge to replicate himself in art and created some form that was not exactly his self but an expansion of it. He called it god, and IT was declared god. The form created by imagination, the manipulative quality of thought, gave scope for words to be imagined. Words eulogized the form and claimed that, ‘that’ form inspired words. Words and forms, created their own structural formulae to withstand the decay and death the definitive threat of time.

Therefore and thus, THOUGHT, the formless void, became, by itself, words and forms, to live on and on in the mindscape for eternity. ‘Thought’,  the force, became the idol in the special space that was named as mind. They became inseparable and the temple became god and god became the temple, to be worshipped so that the proximity that can puzzle was distanced with respect- respectful in a self-preserving safe defense. Once the preliminary structure was formed, rules and rituals were determined and put in place. Grammar was formulated as were rituals and rites. The formless was framed in form.

Once in a while, the free spirit of the original formless thought would break through the rigid walls that humans had built around it, to try and become formless again. Whenever that happened, the fearful humanity would capture that formless leak of the designed form, and make a new form, a new grammar and a new order. Negations were thus negated. And words continue to fall into structured patterns. New forms were declared as new designs, and designs were newly formulated. The walls of the prison were and are, extended to encompass whatever escaped or tries to. The prison became designated as a shrine, and worship was a way of ensuring and checking that the imprisoned formless thought remained the acceptable word and form.

Thinking about thought, words keep propping about words too. Thought indeed is the primal word. in the beginning it was the word, and the beginning was THOUGHT, uncluttered, unstructured, untainted by imagination, unpolluted with rules, unformed but containing all including itself, the original self, the God. To that god I dedicate these ramblings, bits and pieces of itself.

to write, and not write…

October 29, 2012

An empty page on the screen is akin to an empty canvass without a sketch, albeit in mind.

An empty canvass contains many paintings while my hand gropes in pain to seek that one elusive composition, which is unformed in my mind.

My paintings are signed off before they are finished. My music always ends on a false note. My dreams are never long enough to be captured by my memory. My projections are reversed, my thoughtscape is deserted. I wait.

I keep waiting for that elusive word that would enlighten itself into a meaningful sentence. While waiting I just browse through the years that I have lived and wasted. None of them are real as experiences. All of them are faded memories. Like an outdated radio searching for a signal, I keep wandering inside myself to catch that one phrase which would transform my discomfiting silence into a soundless emptiness or a soulful music.

And weeks later as I read all that has been written on this page, just to write that next line, a silent grief engulfs me. Why do I write at all?

Perhaps an understated aggression pervades my alleged allegiance to all art forms, perhaps it is the unending love of deliberate self-harm.

And in the same note, does a stroke of pencil or brush destroy the inviting emptiness of a canvass? Is it a total destruction or a tsunami that leaves patches of life intact?

Where do I go from emptiness when I cannot attain everything? Why the woe of wondering in self-pity’s imposed solitude gratifying, even if temporarily?  Why do I have the compulsion to get obsessed about sadness and anger, the black and red instead of the ambiguous blue which contains the spectrum of emotive hues?

and, why do i keep starting so many pages only to discard them the next hour?

and, and, and why are questions that answer themselves never so easy to answer?

Ineffability

January 24, 2010

Anytime one sits to type words there is this strange moment when words are crowding and jostling to jump out of the mind’s cluster into the stream of a legible sentence. This is especially more when one starts to make those floating thoughts a written word after a long gap. It has been six months since I have written a paragraph in English and the inaction did make me wonder if there would be any ‘disuse atrophy’ in my language. I had forcibly made my English into Tamil in my effort to improve my speed and standard of Tamil writing, and now that I have released myself from that self-imposed sentence of writing only Tamil sentences, I feel more free and comfortable, though I do not have any particular topic in mind when I begin writing this post.

To define or discuss words are needed as much as they are needed to describe, and every definition and discussion do in a subtle way tend to be descriptions, of something definite or something that is going to be defined!

To describe something is easy because there is that something, but to describe the inability to describe, brings many thoughts. William James ( in his book titled varieties of religious experience) has mentioned ineffability as one of the qualities of mystic experience. Groping for words and the incompetence of spoken or written language does not constitute ineffability.  It is an awe filled with empathy. It is the silent admiration of silence. Silence is not ineffable, ineffability is silence.

Encountering silence is the beginning of a mystic monologue in which there need not be a listener.

In silence do I speak. What if to myself, I still speak. And, I talk about mysticism and masonry, crime novels and Kafka. Is my silence ever silent and vacant, devoid of thoughts that albeit with variations, come as words?

Often when I slouch on my couch in ‘vacant’ mood, silence slouches along too, keeping a half-shut eye on me, awaiting his master’s voice, even if it were to just utter an idiotic grunt of irrelevance. Speech, not hearing or being heard is primary, for in silence the tongue does shudder imperceptibly, unlike in conversations and declarations where it wags dutifully like a social dog’s tail.

Is soliloquy a search for or a declaration of identity? What is a soliloquy and what is an identity?

And what indeed is silence, just the absence of sounds, or words or thoughts? Or is it an emptiness that encompasses everything in its nothingness? Is every question the womb of silence that awaits the delivery of an answer? Or is a question by nature silent, with words framing the empty canvass?

Objective questions that do not infringe the boundaries of self’s secret abode always provide interesting avenues for the written and spoken word. Though the word is always the golden hued offspring for the utterer,  when the one who utters becomes the one who receives the same through the senses, objectivity very sublimely blends into subjectivity. The Indian philosophical tradition of advaita is convenient in that no guilt needs to be carried as all is because of one, the indivisible, and the ineffable. Random thoughts may someday assemble themselves into coherence.

Till then, I do rejoice in the meta-ineffability of the multitude of words.

There is profit in writing. Tangible economic and intangible social profits were always there and the writers were consciously or subconsciously aware of the gains. In fact, they worked for these gains. Writing was as much a social as it was a personal necessity. The art was a catharsis for the performer as well as the audience. It is this cathartic element that will create a mystic empathy which defines any art form.

The profits are still sought, perhaps more consciously and with more meticulous planning. Every prize carries a selling assurance. It is not like those days when the prize winner was generally left for the intellectuals – real and pretentious. The serious reader in my younger days was not always having the money to buy the books he wanted. I, who wanted to read serious stuff and who loved to pose as a serious literature reader, never had the money to buy a Camus or a Hesse, in my youth. But now I find the Pulitzer, booker and other winners being bought by a large number of youth. It is hard to find out who reads. The reader is no more distinct with a carefree (perhaps the only affordable) attire.

With these little and loosely connected thoughts I begin to write, unknowing where the tide shall take me.

To die or not to live as dead

March 5, 2009

Some die, in fact all die. To die in anonymity is considered a humiliating end of existence- albeit purposelessness. But, death at will, and at prime, and above all with dignity that will declare to posterity about the existence of individuality, is not the blessing that all have. There are deaths in coma. Deaths in isolation, deaths in uncared corners of the society, deaths that are prayed for as the ultimate deliverance- they are all deaths not really wanted when living, but wanted just before dying. If ever we have the choice to die at whatever is the most opportune time that our dreams and desires dictate, our lives would really be fulfilled. We do not have much such choice. We wait to die, when we are supposed to die- the supposition being a physiological or a providential dictate.

There are some who die at the right time. There are some who die extending their life time causing misery unto themselves and others. But, there are a few who die- when they do not want to. There are a few who die because they are lost. They get lost not in the myriad quagmire of life, but in quixotic lawlessness of the state.

The very fact that I have to vote in the forthcoming elections means I am alive and accepted by my state as being alive. The votes are needed by the state- irrespective of its inherent capacity to produce, nurture or sustain statesmen. The elections keep telling the world and me that India is a wonderful democracy. It just happens that the democratic flame gets ignited only once in five (or just a few less) years. I am going to go to the voting booth, and like the idiotic and meaningless exercise that I did the last time, I am going to use 49o-the option to not cast vote! Who cares? What matters? I would have done my democratic duty, and the democracy would give me the devils that I did not requisition. This blog was not about voting, it was about living, and more specifically about dying- in dignity.

Some sportspersons (I wish they were sportsmen too) have been injured, some security personnel have died; some more blasts have occurred somewhere, some more and then some more, would have died. A few however would have disappeared. The media more than the governments concerned is outraged. Every news paper has the news on the first page as a headline; every TV channel keeps flashing this news and holds talks showcased for viewership enhanced sponsorship. I feel sorry for the trauma of the injured, I feel sad for the dead, and in a few minutes I worry about my beer being not chill enough.

If I were to react just this much to this “major” event, screaming at me as headlines, breaking news and news analyses- how would I care to notice a small news item that is lost in the later pages and scrolls? I do not unless perhaps, I decide to blog and get some attention- more on myself than on the matter.

200 odd people have been declared dead- declared not after examining the dead bodies but after a lapse of a few years (7?). They have been missing for years. They were not ‘traceable’- whereabouts not known! They are dead legally! The law and order that were supposed to take care of them and find them have shrugged and moved on, like what I would be doing in another few weeks when I stand in the queue to vote (or register a non-vote). Democracy lives. It has already claimed victory a couple of years ago when Modi was elected!

How many people do you know whom you can call and speak anytime of the day? For me the number is restricted to less than ten. How many people whose death would spurt tears in my eyes- my number is restricted to less than two! So 200+ is a big deal for me.

These 200 people have been missing, now not just believed but declared dead, in Gujarat. They were the ones lost in the carnage. They were the ones lost when blatant brutalism masqueraded as mass ideology. They were the ones who were no more to be seen by their loved ones, after the inhuman but vote-profiting plot of villains. They were the ones whose votes could have been polled too! After all in the pseudo-electoral process you don’t have to be alive and around to vote, there are goons to take care of your vote- as though that matters in any sense.

I feel sick. Just look at these two news reports-

1. (March 1, 2009) those missing since the 2002 post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat will be declared dead soon by the authorities with the expiry of seven years’ stipulated time. As a result, the official death toll of 2002 riots will go up from 952 to 1,180, as 228 people, who are missing, will be presumed dead.

2. (11 May, 2005) The government told parliament that 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed, 223 more people reported missing and another 2,500 injured. It was responding to a written question from an unnamed MP. Junior Home Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told the upper house that more than 900 women had been widowed and 600 children orphaned in the riots.

So? it took three years for a government to say 200+ ( the numerical discrepancy attributed to a careless clerk) are missing, and seven years to say to those who still search for them to shut up! (check on Parzania after all you dont have to pay the original price in the black market). So what happens?

I type a blog. The charred corners of my conscience are cleared of the stains of societal guilt. I move on.

Some tears can never be wiped. They may not be streaming down the cheeks, but the wetness of the wailing soul would constantly make the mind damp- with guilt and shame, with anger and angst. Some tears would dry the mind so much that nothing would ever make a sprout of a thought grow. Tears that do not burn my eyes are just waters flowing, as waters should- eslewhere!