Monday, 7 November 2011

Fitful fancies

This is essentially a long lost scrawl from my notebook put together from song titles.Oh well...

How easy it is for me to escape
with my larger than life dreams!
My own stairway to heaven,
I don't know why I cannot leave all this behind.
I'm stuck in a moment I can't get out of
a landslide stretches for a thousand miles.
I'm fallin', my world left far behind,
I still haven't found what I'm looking for.
My sweet lord, won't you help me?
Time is running out and I wait for the answers promised.
In the end it all comes down to things that matter
because sometimes you can't make it on your own.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The hope that is stem cell engineering

Stem cell engineering has been a subject of great debate over the years, with a specific concern about the ethical implications of the practices that it involves. But it may well be playing Noah in the times to come. Read more about it here.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

~High Hopes~

"Encumbered forever by desire and ambition
There's a hunger still unsatisfied
Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon
Though down this road we've been so many times"

Monday, 18 July 2011


"There is some comfort in the emptiness of the sea, no past, no future..."

Sunday, 19 June 2011

A sunday to love

Spiral notebook.
Black gel pens.
Oil pastels.
Old photos.
Good music.
Disregard for work and imminent deadlines.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Just like that.

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever". Cliche, I know.

I wish Keats had written something about a thing of beauty causing a strange feeling, quite unparalleled in its nature. An inexplicable emotion bordering on pain over the lack of outlet to express that tumultuous wave of simultaneous joy and wistful longing, that might sadly never materialise and see the light of day.

Maybe he has, and I remain ignorant.

Expression - how unfortunate, that it is sometimes so severely handicapped and limited even in all its magnificent expanse.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Untitled- #03

My friend asks me,
"What do you fear?
You've everything you need,
and people-near and dear."

I remain silent
for a minute or so.
Unsure of what to say,
I clear my throat.

"I fear imperfection,
and the occasional sloppiness.
I dread a lonely life,
I fear extreme happiness.

Idleness and boredom-
how could I leave them out?
Illness and feeling weak,
oh,the irresistible urge to shout.

Yes,that urge to shout,
when everything goes wrong.
There's no one to hear you out
and you end up writing a song

I dread death-no,
not mine, but of loved ones.
I fear the Inevitable,
from which it is impossible to run.

I fear sunny days
without a cloud in sight.
I dread work, somehow,
life is no longer joyous and bright.

I fear questions
and the answers that follow.
I dread isolation,
and the feeling of being let down."

"Stop!",says my friend,
"You're plainly paranoid.
I ask you one question,
and there you are, all morbid!

Why do you worry so much
about things that are to be,
or things that might not be
when you could simply be happy?

Learn to accept yourself,
and things that come your way.
Obsessing is pointless,
remember to seize the day.

If you crave for permanence
or eternal perfection,
you'll be disappointed
eventually they end in oblivion.

People come and go,
but the lessons stay.
Cherish their memories,
move on and find your way."

The truth, I understand, is so simple
it is almost unbelievable.
I smile at my friend and to myself,
thankful for these words valuable.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Vote for me!

Election time in Tamil Nadu and it's the same story all over again. Promises upon promises and vows to do nothing but work tirelessly for the welfare of the state. This post has nothing to do with political affinities. It only reflects upon the sad state of affairs in our country where bribery and corruption have become an integral part of everyday life. People have been conditioned into convincing themselves that it is not wrong to demand something in return for a favour. In this case, our politicians demand our votes in return for all the "welfare measures" that they are going to implement. The run-up to the election is just a teaser of all the good things waiting. IF voted to power.

  I have to admit that I'm saddened deeply. Not just because of the state of affairs in TN but the country in its entirety. With revelations of countless scams and corruption cases being opened each day (only to remain unresolved for decades), it is quite obvious that we are not a poor country. Heck, it is a disgrace to call ourselves a "developing" nation. We could have already become a superpower, what with the resources and intellectual abundance we possess. But there is something fundamentally wrong in the way our system works. Most of us close our eyes to the flaws in its fabric. We see the frayed edges, the gaping holes in the center, yet we either choose to ignore them, or, like in most of our cases, we feel helpless. We search for avenues which will help us look for remedies to these problems and in the end, it only feels like a futile attempt to walk straight with eyes closed.

  Elections come and go but our leaders don't. They find ways to stay at the top and things remain the way they always have. Problems of bogus voting, death threats, and of course, freebies being doled out in massive generosity are the highlights of elections these days. It is truly astounding to list out the promises made, just to be voted back to power. Petty issues are given importance and the causes that truly matter remain sadly forgotten. Instead of giving out food mixers and laptops, a lot could be done to promote free education for underprivileged children and possibly, improve the existing midday meal programmes which will prove to be a positive catalyst for poor parents to send their kids to school. Money could be put into improving the infrastructure of cities and towns. Healthcare facilities could be prepped up. There is no end to listing things that could actually improve the standard of living of a state's population.

 There are some things that I just cannot understand. In a state where electricity is as unpredictable as rainfall in the Sahara, air conditioners are being promised. Laptops for students, free gold, free rice, free clothes, free bus passes, free housing, free pension- it is nauseating. People who don't have money to eat three decent meals a day cannot afford to make use of mixer-grinders and air conditioners! The absurdity of the current scenario prevailing in the state is simply overwhelming.

 As responsible citizens we are encouraged to exercise our right to vote. And use it to vote responsible leaders to power. Very few independent candidates who are qualified to make well-reasoned decisions contest in elections. In general, we do not want to enter the murky waters of politics. Not because we are apprehensive but because we think it is too hopelessly corrupt for us to actually attempt effecting a change. There is a lot of debate among the educated, responsible circles, but is there a way to find a solution to this disease that spreads like cancer with time? Can there be a revolutionary social movement that will instill some fear in our leaders and poke them into leaving their corrupt, anti-social ways? It is time we were given some answers.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sometimes I can't make it on my own...

Every once in a while we come across a song, a poem, or a painting, that tells a story. It reminds us of who we are, where we have come from and shows us where we need to go. It shows us those little things that we took for granted, the things that we let go of, and which we came to regret later. It reminds us that we are not completely alone and the wall that we thought we had built around ourselves has been chipped in places by people who truly care.

Let them in, maybe? ...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A walk through the last Kampong

It had been a long and hectic week. Work had extended over a couple of weekends and it seemed like the entire week had lasted over 14 days. There was nothing more welcoming than a day out! And this Sunday was different, right from the start. I woke up at 6:30 in the morning and realized, for the second time in almost two years, that the sun does not rise for almost up to 7:00 am in the Lion City. And when it does, it is quite a treat to the eyes. The mild hues of crimson interspersed with an inky blue of the clouds, slowly lightening to a milder shade, prove to be quite a sight. So, the first day of a brand new week started with the chirp of the birds and a pleasant chill in the air. There was a general feeling of excitement because I was going to spend the day walking through the last Kampong of Singapore.
The MRT ride from Boon Lay to Yio Chu Kang took a good 45 minutes after which we were all assembled in groups to start our travel to Kampong Lorong Buangkok, our destination. "Kampong" is a Malay word meaning "village" or "settlement". Kampong Lorong is the last surviving village of Singapore, a city well known for its urbanization and meteoric economic rise. In a city spotted with high-rise buildings, resplendent glass and steel monsters, this quiet little village retains its place amidst all the noise and chaos and rush, maintaining a sort of serenity I had seen only back home in our villages. It was definitely a surprise to see an unassuming marshy village alongside the Housing Development Board buildings, a short distance away- truly my first experience of sharp contrasts in this country.

As we started our walk, we were told that this village had only few tens of houses to start with and with time, more people settled here and the inhabitants rose to a few hundreds. The people here still lead a simple life,away from unnecessary complexity. It was quite a shock to hear that the rents for the houses in this village don't exceed S$20 a month. This village has been a true survivor, emerging victorious from the ravaging arms of modernization, if not entirely unscathed. The houses are simple, with tin sheet roofs to enable the draining of rain water. It was a lovely sight, seeing chicken coops, dogs and cats roaming freely, self-sufficient homes with mango trees and plants of different kinds. These are usual sights back home, but the difference lies in seeing such a setting in a modernized, well-developed, economic giant. The path was slightly slushy because of rains the previous night but the greenery was only, if possible, more enhanced and was an absolute delight to capture in pictures.
We were given the opportunity to visit the home of a Malay Muslim family and were quite pleasantly surprised at the unexpected chance. The house was simple and its exterior was cluttered with a myriad of objects- a tricycle, plastic tables and chairs for kids, bric-a-brac, cages with beautiful, white birds and elaborate vases with pink and red flowers. The backyard was a  patch of shocking green, a collage of plants and trees of every kind, with butterflies flitting about in spots of yellow. The dense foliage was an absolutely remarkable view!

After we were done looking around a proper Kampong house, we started our walk again, this time to a small clearing behind a religious building, where we were to have a recreational break. The building is of religious significance to the people of the village and is a centre of shelter during heavy rains. A porcelain rabbit greets us at the entrance- a good luck charm and symbol of economic prosperity.
The break was spent playing traditional games like hopscotch, catapult and was the perfect means to connect with the child within us. Then began our walk through a forested trail with a well-represented insect kingdom in full flourish. It lasted hardly 30 minutes but was a fun trail, with alternating marshy and woody terrain. The beauty of the place could never be captured in its entirety in pictures but we all gave our best shot at it!
The most unexpected turn came when we emerged from this dense, green patch to the open, where in the distance the residential complexes and malls of Sengkang greeted us. It was truly a spectacular moment, standing on grassy slopes with strong winds blowing, to look into the distance at the high rise buildings and an MRT line pass right through. The brilliant blue of the sky provided a beautiful contrast to the grassy green. It was a scene straight out of a painting!
We spent a good deal of time on these grassy slopes, taking as many pictures as we could, flying a kite and just taking in the beauty of it all, in the end. It gave me the time to think back on what this walk meant to me. It was not just a day out with friends but an experience beyond that. The Singapore government was laying plans on the table to "re-develop" this Kampong. And by "re-develop" all they mean is strip it of its identity and bring more high-rise buildings in its place. It is a pity that in the name of development and modernization and urbanization and what-not, we lose the simple things that truly matter. It is this simplicity that will hold value when we run out of places to take sanctuary in, from the din and monotony of urban life. Where else would we find a place where homes are self-sufficient in terms of food, where people still leave their doors unlocked because everyone is considered family, and most importantly,races still co-exist in harmony, in a world riotous with prejudice? This Kampong is truly "The Last Kampong" in every sense. It is a matter of identity and even pride, for Singaporeans, and should be left standing as a testimonial to the fact that no matter how wealthy a country really is, there is always a part of it from time that shows its roots, the long journey of progress that it has made and most importantly, that singular place where its heart truly lies.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Untitled- #02

Drowned in a haze of obscurity but an atom,
immersed in an Omnipresence,
nameless, formless, yet powerful,
a half-hearted struggle to stay afloat I attempt,
yet allowing myself willingly to be pulled under.
A joyous vibration transmitted without touch,
a divine rhythm as in a heartbeat,
the pulse of life invigorated and empowered,
all thoughts subdued but in awakened continuum,
a strange duality I feel, as my emotions implode.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Untitled- #01

I remember that time long gone by,
those days of bike rides and cotton candy,
that game of tag in the rains and staining shirts with paint,
of returning home to the warmth of incense sticks.
Those days that were filled with a sense of belonging,
of protection and comfort, innocence and wonder,
my life filled with her unconditional love,
difficult to find elsewhere.
When deepest fears and sorrows could be shared,
she was the only one who could wipe away my tears,
her silent touch on my forehead,
her mere presence that could put my doubts to rest.
Her hand that could stop our incessant sibling fights,and her voice that gave sound advice on innumerable days,
the familiar sight of vermilion in the parting of her hair,
the end of her starched sari clasped in my hand at night.
She is my dearest and most beloved friend,
the only one to whom I could lose all my pretense,
Now one in Spirit and Thought, her silent Voice journeys on with me,
reminding me that the end need not be the end, after all.