Taramandal – Finding your own direction amongst the push and pull of others

A scene from Taramandal

'The casting interview', A scene from Taramandal

An award-winning playwright swells expectations. Taramandal, nevertheless entices with its immensely orignal characters, which connect to anyone chasing an elusive dream; or is in different stages of giving up or coping with the vision. A melange of opulent story lines along the centrepiece around Patol-da, the part that enthralls; about the actor being like a vegetable hawker, is to be simply prepared to sell his wares and can do nothing much beyond shouting out aloud what she’s got to offer, and wait. The stage came alive with the skillful performances, impeccable lighting, music and neat stage management by the performers; all made for a riveting theatre treat.

-Review for the play ‘Taramandal’ by ‘Tadpole Repertory’ staged Dec 16, 2010 at Ravindra Bharthi, Hyderabad

Image source: http://www.thehindu.com/


Surging Verve

Was a cool stream
meandering on my happy way
pulled back in a pan
Boiled burned changed
to steam,
to steam again?
Did I cross this bend before?
Maybe not,
Bends are always curvy
Hard and pretty
the same way
Bustle on,
Making my way..

a steady pier

Be sought for
not feigned by beg instead

Command the charge
not for forced on, scampered

Dither, owned askance
not belonged herewith

Enduringly be cherished
not tied entwined

Fastened to belief
no shadows hanging

Ground steadfast pier,
stride afoot from

A thing of beauty

Getting back from sickness, I ve had a long lazy time in the bed for the last four days. Yearning to be on my feet again, I jump to the table with my laptop, reading the numerous feeds queued up in my content aggregator. And then in a glimpse, lying on the black and glass desktop monitor I noticed a white speck move.

Nearly dismissing to be my sick tired eye’s illusion, right there as before, I see it again, better, a bright white blob with fine white eight legs.

Before I could absorb its white striking beauty, it hopped onto to the matte black cabinet. To make its visual opulence even more surreal against contrasting backdrop, akin to a diva on a red carpet, capturing attention. There it landed, leaving behind a glistening silken thread working past the edge of the box.

Enraptured I got up, grabbed a colorful supplement from the Sunday newspaper – thumped it on the edge of the cabinet. Scooped whatever was underneath, and, the crushed ball of paper and all was in the garbage bin in no time.

penance for truth

The ‘rightful’ thing to do
I m aware
of choices on spur,
for duress’ sake

A retreat from ‘truth’
to seek shelter under
The truth that I see

The understanding is fleeting
transient feelings pushing it to heights
so big that it challenges reality

I relent and flow onto
further with the truth of the moment

the ‘rightful’ far left behind
for the gust of the whim is strong
the truth of the moment
dwarfs the rule, the exception
the rightful, and its ties

the moment, the life
owned by now,

years of the past
surmised by a moment
into now
of a prick precipice

– penance to severance
pain a sign of decay, gives way to the new a fresh beginning. At times, though, the scars do not go away

listening to Nee Nenaindal while I write this. I do not understand the words but it sets a reflective mood.

I am what I seek

“My major hobby is teasing people who take themselves and the quality of their knowledge too seriously and those who don’t have the guts to sometimes say: ‘I don’t know….’” -Nassim Nicholas Taleb

We’re born into an illusion. Grow up to live in and create perceptions of us and the world evermore. In fact buying into and working around the illusion is the only way one can navigate through the life here. It’s the only framework available here, one gets into the game of life and has to play by the rules. Most of our life thus, is spent perfecting the game and scoring the points as the rules dictate. The only difference between being lost and having a handle to the railing is in being aware that there is an illusion. As the guard of awareness goes off, the railing vanishes and one simply falls infinitum into the deep dark hole of the myth.

Though Taleb meant the above in the context of once awe-inspiring now hated financial pundits, this ailment of believing your own myth seems all-pervasive in these times. Is the reason that the life’s illusory myth has self perpetuated to such a complex level that it is harder to keep up with the other half of the void of the myth? The balance to seek between the self, hidden and marred by role-specific perceptions and expectations; the life, in all its material manifestations and limited time; and in the and the game therein, of perfecting the rules and workarounds about it: to me, is the aim to seek in my time here. Mystics and spiritually enlightened folks, from their high pedestal of having been there, done that call others ‘ignorant’. I understand the spiritual journey to be a very personal and internal endeavour, one that is catalysed and guided by the trials and tribulation of the illusory life aforementioned. A guide should be able to nudge to on track if you go astray, but nothing can push you or bring it to you unless you respect it, seek it in earnest; and, perceive yourself to be worthy and ready for it. A seeker seeks and cannot be shown. To each his own, in this long hard journey. There is no one single highway or even a single destination. There is no formula, and probably no answers at the end. An individual evokes respect, if his is a sincere path treaded with earnestness and awareness that the absolute is a semblance.


I am a compulsive leisure seeker. I like to stop; observe and absorb. In times of rush and race, leisure is draped to look like a guilt ridden escape. But its a retreat to your own being or some new experience emanating from an unusual observation..an expedient to a creative realisation or a new awareness..
similar sentiments by a well known Welsh poet:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

– William Henry Davies

the dewdrop’s story

a sky of rue
bows under pining pall
wither the hue
reminiscing the play over blue

drained of day
of the morose gale
settles the verdure way
the dainty dew

appears orb another
succor in tow
a million sentinels hither
rests the dainty dew

covered down
lying low, anticipating
holding the dream
of a life in bask

come another day anew
the warm sun glisten bestowed
beaming but veiled asudden
ebbs covering dew

The perception link

The Akira Kurusowa movie, Rashomon(1950) exemplifies the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection (the Rashomon effect, named, after the movie). Its a movie that lingers, long beyond its done being a sequence of visuals and sound. I am in no way a movie buff, but i like the ones that tingle me in some way or the other..and this one did. Being simple, and nuanced in its treatment. Movie aficionados would find more adjectives on the technicals of film making; but I channel the movie’s subject to my understanding that a person is her perception and all that is tied to it. In realms of higher consciousness, all observation is superfluous and transitory. Even scientifically, each living creature is limited in its grasp of the environment. Humans cant hear the same audio range frequency as bats do. Cats cant perceive colors as we do..and hence, each of us have a limited observation leading to peculiar perception. A perception guided further by our needs and, in context of consciousness: beliefs. And so, what we are at a given moment in time, is the sum of our beliefs. Its the tuning force of our perceptions and actions.

Beliefs, are acquired over time..mostly based on events and situations experienced before. But I find some people more keen on experiencing the unknown than others. I would imagine that spirited people are in the process of building up their beliefs while others are at the stage of adhering to the beliefs they have. But is it frugally possible to experience beliefs as a stream and be treated as a repository to go through our lives? That would be the same as being in a fluid state of being, without defining an image of yourself. Not holding on. Unprejudiced. Open and accepting towards life as it comes.

I do not know how many experiences can I have through my lifetime, but I do not want to miss relishing the ones I am going through. Present to this warp of time alone, and none other, whichever way it makes me feel, but it does bring about an extreme emotion..and I want to savor it, wholly..the succulent fruit that i slice and roll over my tongue to feel the texture, smell and the burst of nectar when I sink my teeth into it…the flavor of the moment. Life is made of beautiful bits!

déjà vu

I grew up with a mystical reverence for water..and dreamt in my adolescence of living in a quiet city where water is cardinal to its existence. Freed from my protected abode, i wished and prayed i be in the place i am now. Even before i knew it, i had left a line for here..months later, touchdown and it felt like home!

Over the years i lost any yearning, my dreams all faded..living in a pool of bountiful keeps and wonderful discoveries. But i lost something in me that knew. Struggling to find the light, i faced the dark, fighting my fears, vanquished but resolute, my spirit ebbed and flowed.

And then, i staggered out to feel like myself again, be touched by the emptiness and its expression, that could only be mine. So, the magic happened once more, i sent a wish and the universe boomranged it. Lo! I was in the woods which hold the promise..

This one was like reading ‘the Alchemist’ once again.
Surreal but so life-like. Its the magic touching me once again..life’s an intoxication!