Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My cousin Lars and his wife Anna...more pics later!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fear freezes us into inaction. As a defense mechanism, inaction works quite well. What fear also does is fills the silences that it creates with despair. Despair fills everything with everything unsaid. Words, chiseled and polished in the mind, in the hope of the sentence being perfect, come out instead haphazardly and strew themselves around, so that all one ends up doing is hurriedly gathering them up and trying to string them together again.
Fear. That is what it does to us.

And so it is the fear of loss that causes the loss. We go back to our fetal self . Close our eyes, curl ourselves into that state of being which was the safest. We weld slowly and surely each link of the chain that we allow to rest on ourselves, cold. What is that strange comfort that we find in allowing ourselves to be so bound?

Inaction the conjoined twin of Fear freezes us.

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea


And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,


Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all
already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

Extracts from the love song of J Alfred Prufrock-TS Eliot.

And so fear prevents us from feeling, from believing, from accepting want.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

Extracts from the love song of Alfred J Prufrock-TS Eliot.

Bleak?....defeatist?....yes…but also true?.....

I am not talking here about having the will to conquer fear, nor about being able to pull together and all the talk that accompanies such thoughts. I am limiting myself to understanding Fear and its possibilities……and I am still groping….

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

CUPA-Large animal urban camp

Last month I helped out in an large animal camp near mysore road. CUPA holds these camps every month. One camp is held in a village and the other in the city. All kinds of animals are treated free of cost here. Horses, bullocks and cows form the majority of the animals who are treated.You can sponsor a camp..Rs 5000/- for a ruralcamp and a little less for an urban camp! help.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Cat went hop hop hop….flew up the curtain, hid behind it…and no..she does not care if you don’t come to look for her. An occasional paw , a careless tail , grins and says she is still there incase you forgot……

Soon enough she gets bored…hops out…strolls…no…blinks past….gives a quick lick to an already gleaming coat….(ye she says, I know I am beautiful)…….lands on the bed…and purrs…talk of seduction! Learn it from a cat!

Naturally when you pick her up and cuddle her, she, queen like, tolerates it…and when she can take it no more flies off…leaving you with shredded hands and a bleeding heart…

Monday, August 07, 2006

The not so pretty always have it hard. Try as we may, it is difficult very often to shake away the sheer physicality of a person. More so if that person is us. Superficial? No.
Even our folklore tells us that it was the beautiful one who got it all. The ugly step sister always lost everything. Besides being ugly, she was a wicked conniving vengeful creature, as opposed to the simple lovely well meaning beauty. Thus pairing up beauty with virtue and ugliness with all that is bad.

I wonder if we have the courage to look within and honestly say that physical attractiveness or the lack of us does not affect our relationships with people. In a group of people with everything else constant except that one is a stunner and the other has some form of physical drawback, a person is very unlikely to get attracted to the ugly twin. True?......

So then what happens to the ugly twin? With society reinforcing constantly her limitations, she withdraws. What is the use anyway?.....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What stuff are we made of?

Alice Sebold’s Lucky made me sad, angry and strangely happy. Rape is a difficult word. Difficult to say, difficult to discuss and indecently invading to read about.

Alice, who was raped when she was 18 tells her story in a language that is simple, straightforward and uncomfortably honest. The world for her is divided between those who have been raped and those who have not. She speaks of her anguish at being treated like something no one knew what to with, of her humorous tolerance towards those who tried to be nice to her, of her having to become her family’s emotional crutch post her rape and her relentless battle to get her rapist convicted .

Makes me question empathy. To what extent can we truly claim reach out and feel another’s pain as our own? A pain that we may never have experienced? “Oh I know how exactly how you feel!”……empty even if well meaning.

The fumble, stumble of words. “Just give me a call if you need me”….., the discomfort of hanging around the person, not knowing what to say. The intellectualization, or worse, the “it could have been worse” cliché….(someone had told Alice she was lucky that she had not been killed), the pity, the deep sighs and the whispering of “poor thing” compound an already terrible situation.

Perhaps sexual abuse is the worst of traumas that a person can experience. Even as I type this, I am already dividing and distancing myself from those who have experienced such abuse. I wonder how I would feel if I were to read this if I had been abused. Would my mind replay the trauma each time? I do not know.

And what about life? Is it ever the same again?.....relationships? will they ever be the same? The way a person is perceived?...what changes?....

We are a cowardly lot, we humans. We cannot deal with our own discomfort. And don’t we feel a guilty relief at not being the person we cannot suddenly deal with?

Disillusionment….that’s what I feel…with myself and with the way we have turned out to be.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

One essay I was reading says “Our Sun is one star in a Galaxy of a hundred thousand million (100,000,000,000). That is 20 stars for each person on the Earth.”

I am disappointed! I get to have only 20 stars?!