Thursday, August 31, 2006

Made for each other



With apologies for not replying to your comments in my last post, due to internet problems. Please bear with me for two days.

I have a lot of pictures that I have accumulated in my hard disk. Some are forgotten to publish.
This one too is taken during my Malaysian trip.
They were in a group of honeymooners.
I saw them in this way, enjoying each others company. They were delighted when I asked them to allow me to take a shot, the very same way I found them.
Meet Abu and Shija.
The funny thing is that while I asked their name, I forgot to ask their nationality.
It doesn’t matter to me.
Does it to you ?
I find something special in their face. Don’t you ?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Silent as whisper

In through the wind she comes
caressing, gliding

in through the wild she comes
a tigress, a cheetah

in through my dream she frills
sweet and sugary

in among clouds, shimmering
a star, afar

in through the rain
in through the pain
silent as tears

in through my breath, she comes
a sigh
as whisper
But in this flower remains a sliver
she is my lover destined for ever

Friday, August 25, 2006

The green, envious fruits...? My God !!

Listen to hisham’s music (my favorite) while you read the long post. Click twice on the player start button.

Now read on please

It is now exactly twenty three days since I returned to my desk.

My vacation is due in another five days and I was on to new training assignments.
My desk was clean and tidy when I arrived, but the table is now occupied with half opened or ear marked books, drawings, and an assortment of pens in different colours.
My mind, half occupied with my job ahead and my hands on the reciever, attending shrilly telephone calls, my drivers pestering me for signatures on the overtime sheets… it’s as busy as a souk now. (meaning market in Arabic)

The rain has done its home work already with the roads becoming rivers during its havoc.
When the rain stops no body knows where the road is, the slushy red coloured sand turning to something like potter’s clay.

Wednesday was my day to be travel to a far location to complete my pending assessments.
It was in to remote wooded area, and the roads were worse in the rain. But the flora and fauna in that area was tempting. I started at 9 A.M. as usual.

I made a mental note while I was driving through the so-called roads slowly, that I have to return early as fiery clouds were gathering momentum for rain and it will be a hell of a rain.

I reached the location at 11 AM and I had a lecture session for the trainees for an hour and a half. Lunch was in the camp with my eversmiling trainees and then the assessments continued until 3.30 PM.
I was tired; the muscles on my legs protesting due to the long stretch of standing & lecturing.

The time was 4 P.M now.

I said good bye to my trainees and looked up to the sky, the clouds were more menacing and I thought it will rain before I am half way.

I drove steadily through the woods, where if it was another occasion, I would have enjoyed the little sights that I very much envy, like the fishing of the large flying ducks, different types of cranes and storks.

After the check point, I wanted go fast but the safety regulator fitted on all cars doesn’t allow speeding the vehicle above 60 kilometers.
That was a recent safety device that is integrated after the accident that took away my Michael and Peter. (my trainees)

Right near the sharp bend that separates the two state boarders; something caught my eyes unaware.

An unusual scene among the swamp area.

My car brakes were on, by reflux action.

Among a good number of trees that surrounded, it was a fruiting tree that caught my attention.

A tree full of unripe, odd looking fruits in the stark rainy season !

A surprise on surprise there; though all the trees looked same, that was the only tree with fruits…that too in hundreds.

There must be reason, I mused loudly.

I looked around in other trees on the opposite side of the road, none had any fruits. I hesitated, taking a moment to assess the impasse.

Two things made me to pause.

If I miss this chance to check it out, I may not be passing this route for another month and by the time the fruits will all be gone.
Secondly, the muddy, slushy undergrowth that was between me and the tree were formidable.

Now I had to tell you that I had so many horrid incidents with swamp localities due to my silly photographic mind. It has put me in numerous slippery encounters that had forced me to cry for help from knee deep slush.
My experience with these situations has taught me a lesson or two about my pride and ego; to forget it and to cry for help so that a passer-by will notice your pathetic situation to give a helping hand.
How ever easy it looks like, you can never get out of the slush with out an external help.

Here my sixth sense was overpowered by my defying nature.

I parked the car as much away from the road, as cars can get trapped in the mud in one second.




I took out my camera case and strapped it in my shoulder and moved closer to the tree very carefully, not taking my eyes from the ground. There was at least 30 feet of swampy area in between the tree and where I was. That was the maximum I could go.
I looked up now at the tree to get a better view of the green coloured fruits.

Now what the hell is that ! (Excuse my language please !)

There was no fruits or seeds there !

Jeez ! Those were not fruits at all !

In place, what I was seeing were hundreds of green coloured, symmetrical, bird’s nests !

It became apparent that it was not seeds or fruits; but bird’s nests that hung from the branches…hundreds, no… more and more came in to my view and something else moving from them… bright yellow coloured birds singing, & shrieking.

Then, a total silence; they stopped gossiping when they saw me.

Unmistakably from the musical sound, and the bright yellows, I recognized the species as weavers. They were either Vittalline masked or Compact weaver with chestnut brown masks and bright yellow in the chest.


Getting very good a shot with my cheap camera from that distance was a formidable task.

As I took the camera out and steadied for focusing, to my dismay, most of the birds were scared and flew away to nearby trees, intently watching me from there.


But that still left a few curious imps, like me.


So here I am with my amateurish, pic of the fruity looking, hanging, green bird nests.

I was smiling when I returned to the car like a journalist with an exclusive scoop.

It was getting dark as I eased the car out to the road and pressed on the gas, not forgetting to insert a rap number in the tape and drumming with the rhythm.
My smile was gone from my face as I looked at the dash board…the red lights were ‘on’ all the dials.
I looked at the gauge for temperature and froze !!
The needle was not where. It has gone hiding somewhere above the maximan range.

OMG ! The radiator ! My smile was replaced by grimness.

I parked aside; cut the engine and opened the bonnet.
What I saw made me to swear.
My poor fan belt lay broken and in shreds

I was helpless as I had not carried my handheld radio, as per protocol.

You can guess the rest; I towed the car and reached the camp at 9 PM.

Morning awaited me with a reprimanding letter from the safety department for floundering standing instructions and disregard of protocols for not traveling in a radio equipped car while on trips, beyond 60 kilometers.

I put it in the easiest place for safe keeping…my shredder.


That is enough for a day’s blah blah

Till next blah blah

Signing off…with a devilish grin and a daring glint in the eyes


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A smile in your eyes.


The eyes that I call as yours
deep as the Nile

Twinkling, calling me close by
for a while

Dear ! Your lips, unwrap so sweet
for a smile

If not it reach your eyes, for me
I call it vile

Picture courtesy to Sumi, from Cochin, India, to whom I apologise for not getting consent before publishing her picture. I am sure that she will pardon me. I found her smile to be so real.

P.S. Late news: I just received her consent to post her photo by phone. She is very pleased but requested me to add that she is the Mom of two naughty and demanding children, which I forgot to mention.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Dew drops.

Here is joke for you for this Sunday for it is Sunday morning here.

As Sundays are supposed to be lazy days for you, (not for me) here is it, to give your facial muscles the necessary exercise to keep it peppy.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then the pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humour. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

(By the way, Qantas is the ONLY major airline that has never had an accident just in case you were worried ! )

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're for.

P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


I remember a particular person when ever I read or post a joke.

“as long as there r no copy rights infringement issues involved, u can always call it an original joke.. just do a thorough research b4 u write”

This is a comment from her from one of my old jokes posted

She used to remind me about it every time I posted one.
She was a regular visitor with many of you bloggers and then suddenly she stopped coming.
She still blog and write too but visits are limited to just a few of her favorite blogs.
I was worried by her sudden withdrawal from the circle. Suspecting something wrong with my replies to her comments, I got hold her ID and sent a letter.

Prompt came the reply saying that she is okay and nothing to be worried about but that she is tired and just tied up with her work.
Though she is not going around as before but still remain blogging, please let her know that we still miss her.

Say hello to Dew drops from Kodakara.

She has her own a beautiful way of writing that no one can imitate …and with a smell of Kodakara where her roots are.
I miss her charming and smiling face here.

Though she may not see it, this one is for her…in absentia. (I hope that this word is correct)

I don't know if you like this joke or not... but please go and visit dew drops and say hello for me.

BTW : Do you know the flower on the top ?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Poles Apart

Your words, golden threaded,
braided

My ears stunned as my hearing
faded

When you said sweeter, being poles
apart

Know not I take it, a challenge,
breaking my
heart

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Praying for me ? Or rose ?

Vande...Matharam ...to all my readers of Indian origin as today is your independence day.






Yesterday morning was a bit cold in here with the rain suddenly taking temporary shelter some where; the grayish clouds still leaving no space for the blue sky to come out.

Today, the rain continued through out the day.
In the late evening it started to drizzle and lot of insects, mainly crickets… large green ones crashing on perimeter fluorescent lights, sliding down through the polls and flying again. With water everywhere; music of the frogs filled my ears.
Thunder from far, gave the rhythm for the music.

I thought that it would be pleasant to sit some time in my desk and try to write a post. I have to post some thing by tomorrow morning.

A quick poem?
Oh no! My mind nowadays stays hard like the rock. Poetry doesn't come to you in that condition.





Well! Then what shall I write ?
About the rain ?
About the thunder ?

I reached my office, opened it and sat behind the desk.

Think ! man ! think !

My mind said to think quick for tomorrows post.

Tuck! Tuck!

Some one, knocking on the door.

I said to come in and enter my driver Jalal Abbas, the only person I don’t want to see at this moment.
He is one of the drivers who just want to sit opposite me to cut my throat with his adventures of his army life.
Half of his Arabic, I can’t grasp too.



OMG ! I don’t have time for him, I thought.

As soon as he entered, he looked at me in a quizzical way and started laughing.
What is wrong with him?

“What is so funny Jalal”

Now, I found him trying to tell me something but he can’t speak, instead he is laughing again and pointing his fingers towards my head.

I noticed that his eyes were on my head. I tried to wipe my head with my hand. My fingers touched something?
But before I was able to clasp it with my claws, some thing flew away from my head to the old wooden cupboard.
A long and green Praying Mantis was sitting there unaware of the commotion around it.

A mantis is a common insect here, but what I saw was with two white uniform specks on its wings.

This type I haven’t seen before. Have you?
Jalal is Sudanese and he says he hasn’t seen this type here before.

I have to thank him for giving me today’s plot for my post.

Take a good look and thank him please.

Chao to all !!

A ‘quack, quack’, to rose for calling me a saint a good number of times.

Now if you want to read a nice poetry by a twelve year old girl, then do click here. I read it and I recognize a hidden talent of verse.

rose has written a story in her blog, some time back and it has been shortlisted for a final contest for the world's greatest novel and she is among the 10 short listed one's.

Her name can be seen as Betsy Mathew on the 9th place there and her story long wait home is a well written one, and if you would like to take look, it is here

As I am not contesting, In my opinion she has a fairly good chance of getting away with that coveted prize

Give her a big hand please !


Amen !


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Gross ?? I know, but I have to...


My previous post made so much commotion.
I am no war monger and I am no gun runner.

I felt sad !!
I felt bad !!
I am never for guns and never willing to compramise that priciple.
I believe that guns are terror and I believe that guns are horror.

Are you talking about war on innocents that started with in a short span ?
Are you talking about war on femine, war on poverty, war on thuggery ???

This is about a war on poor people, poverty sticken, undernourished and destituted.
This is also about woman and children, about blood and bones, food and medicine, real guns and gun powder.

This is about 22 years of relentless war. I don't know if any won the war, but I know who are the loosers.

I am neither a politician nor a self made messiah.
But I point out injustice if it is possible to do so.

I am not a citizen of the country in which I am working now.
Most of you already grasped from media reports that in some part of this country, life and property are not safe at all.
I am working here for almost three years and I would say that I was never threatened any where; logically so, because I have not visited the whole country.

When the present job was offered to me, I was afraid to come here due the media reports of atrocities. I also had the impression that, the war that was going on here is something to do with religion. After spending some time it has become quite clear that it is not so. Just like Nigeria, this country also is plagued by the tribe conflicts. With my limited knowledge, I am not going in to the issue, as I don’t want to argue on matters that I don’t know for sure.

But, this writing is not about politics but is about humanity and common sense. This is about innocent lives being punished just by the ignorance of others.

Today I want to introduce a woman to you… a Sudanese woman whose name I will not disclose. I will call her just ‘Xyz’ to avoid a misunderstanding about the names.
Let us call her Xyz.

I met her one day by accident, that too I don’t like to disclose due to a specific request by people involved.

In a crowd of people, she was sitting in a corner with lifeless eyes, alone and aloof.
I asked for a volunteer's help to explain all about her to my Sudanese companion. Her temporary village was on my way to one of my locations. My companion took notes on the detials.

She is 35 years old and I met her soon at her village during an assignment at a nearby area.

When I met her, I noticed that she was limping slightly and looked like a sick woman.
My guide and companion was with me. They chatted for a while I was introduced.

I asked her what happened to her legs and for a moment she hesitated to reply. With a gesture of resignation, she sat in the nearby chair.

“Did you ask me what is wrong with me, sir?” I thought I sensed a challenge in her voice which needs to be clarified in the beginning itself. So I moved near her chair.

“Yes I did” but I added immidiatly to explain,

“Look, Xyz ! I am not here from your Government and I am not here to make money.

Remember that I am here to listen to you and I don’t make money from writing up stories about you. I heard part of your story from some one else, but I need to hear it from you, so keep that edge from you voice.”
I told my guide to explain it to her in case she can’t grasp my Middle East Arabic.
She immediately apologised for her behaviour.

“Do you know about the law and order situation before a couple of years ?” she softened her voice.

“Not really… not more than what I heard from other people”

“Then you better take a look at this”
she raised her dress to her knee level.

“Do you know what it is” she was more emotional this time.
“Yes, but you tell me” I knew the answer.

“This is a gunshot, sir! And I have another one where I can’t show you” she was almost remorseful.

“They are gunshot wounds already operated and treated, but a good many parts of the bullets remain inside and the doctors are unable remove.” she went grim in the face as if resigned of her worries.

“I am sorry about it, but could you tell me about it” I wanted to continue the talk or else she become more emotional.

“Sure I can, but I don’t think that it will not give me back my health or my husband.” she said in a matter of fact tone.

“What about your husband? Is he too injured?” though I knew the answer, I wanted some thing to say.

“I lost him when I needed him most” She was so sad.
“But you showed me a man and told me that he is your husband” the volunteer didn’t say that to me.

“Sure he is, but he is my second husband. Fortunately there were no children at the time when I was shot at, and so no issues”. true, I thought myself.

“I hate any one pitying me; but that doesn’t fetch my food.
That poor man felt pity on me and married me.” logic was with her.

This made me to ask more about the incident.

She said it’s a long storey and asked me if I need a coffee before she starts narrating it.
I declined because I suspected that the village water to be contaminated.

She was married at the age of 24, since then she was staying in this village with her husband who was working in the nearby market.
That was a time when the civil war was on and killing and looting by armed groups were rampant.
The end result was same …woman and children were always at the receiving end.

One day in a summer, in the middle of the night there was a commotion out side her grass hut…of men shouting and woman and children crying.
A mob of men smashed her bamboo door and barged in. They carried new guns, knifes and machetes and she saw blood in their glistening knifes, daggers.

They caught her husband amid her cries and protests. He was taken out mercilessly and shot at point blank range and when she protested she was shot at close range. She doesn’t remember anything else.
When she opened her eyes fifteen days later and she was in a hospital in a critical care ward.
She came to know that she was alone in the third month, when her mind started functioning normal.
She also came to know that 31 people died on that night and many women and children injured seriously like her
She spent 6 months in the hospital with a numb heart and helpless fury at no one.

Her wound took time to heel. But the wound inside her refused to heal.

She had two major wounds, one in her hip and the other in the knee.
While she showed her injured knee joint, I was looking for her knee and finally she had to tell where her knee was.
She came out from the hospital with metallic crutch.
Three months later she exchanged her crutch for a limp, when she realized that neither she can do any work with a crutch, nor any will feed her free.
Mm. Xyz
Mm Xyz in front of her straw hut with her wounds


The soldier who is now her husband might be married many times prior, but he gave her shelter and comfort and they got married.
A month later she could work no more. Her pain in her back and hip made her to stay at home. Her knee becomes heavy when she walks and refuses to support her weight and buckles.
She now moves with a stick and she can’t work.
I was speechless when she showed me all the wounds… all cured, yet she can’t walk because of the pain.
The Doc says that they can’t do anything other than advising her to undergo special surgery, but that too with no guarantee of success.

When asked for consent to take pictures, she was about to ask, if she will get some money but I said ‘no’ before she opened her mouth and she smiled.

I explained that I don’t work with any charity but I can write in the internet to let others know, not forgetting to remind her again that there is no money involved.
Finally when I was about to leave with my guide who too was a villager, she told me that she has a message for others.
She didn't forget to sincerely apologise again for the edge in her voice earlier.

She told me that she wants to tell all, that war is bad, fighting is very bad and that it is a horror for woman like her. She was silent for a moment, then she added with grim face that she doesn’t hate the people who did it.
She told me some thing very touchy at the end… until this moment, she doesn’t know who they were and have no idea why the mob killed him and wounded her.

Here again, at a time when war mongers are being applauded for being brave, I would like to ask if anyone will see the world of so many hapless Xyz(s) ?
The seriousness becomes apparent, when you realise that this war continued for 22 years.
To those who fought and won, my question is how many Xyz(s) were perished in the process and how many saved? Who lost ?
I have read stories of wars, where soldiers are killed, an eye for an eye, but were these woman and children ever been soldiers ? Or mere lambs for slaughter ???

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Apocalypse !!

Thank you mathew, for giving me the right name.
A twinkle streak out from a star,
I care

Dare not fire or sun blaze my star
as lumber

Beware, if fate lurking behind
waiting, pouncing
her

Then mayhem comes lashing down
to earth, for sure

Crushing all the world, spewing fiery
gunpowder

Friday, August 04, 2006

Pacha Kaplanga and Sarah


I like the way Sarah write her episodes.
Do you know her ?
I call her a 'cheena padakkam' (Chinese cracker)

She has so far written about her childhood, in plain English language, mixing traces of her local dialects, as an added spice.

Just before my last vacation, she wrote something which was surprisingly simple and common which made me curious.

In her post Tomorrow, she has mentioned about some people mockingly calling one of her neighbour boys, a raw ‘kaplanga’.
The boy was very fair and a ‘pacha kaplanga’, means raw papaya in English.
Though I was very familiar with papayas, I suddenly failed to visualise the colour of the insides of a raw papaya, though I was aware that it is not pure white in colour.
I have tried hard to recollect the colour of a pacha kaplanga on the face of a fair boy in to my imagination and I miserably failed.

So when I reached home, my first glance was at my papaya trees.
I have three papaya trees.
Two of them, as I observed, had practically very very tender fruits.
But in the last one, I found a perfect raw papaya.

You can use your imagination now on how the boy might have looked like.

I think that she is a master in naming people. She even have a name specially for me. She calles me 'pischasu' (devil)


See a split, garden fresh “pacha kapalnga” as my camera copied.

As this picture is taken wholly inspired by Sarah’s blog, I owe this post to her.

To those who have not visited her, my advice is to check her blog.
I think that it is worth reading.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A song for a bird.

Out in the sun, he felt all alone
resting awhile; with a hope filled heart
he stopped at the window and pecked out the dust
peered and squinted
seeking his pair
helpless he looked
at the wall made of glass