Thursday, September 27, 2007

Man Down!

Anjan was devastated when Proton got hitched. The idea of a younger one getting ahead was just too much for him. He was practically begging the senior citizens (a.k.a family elders) to end his miseries ASAP since then. Well…he’s finally got his wish.

We drove down to the village on Friday morning to attend his ‘engagement’. Once we got there we figured we might as well make it a full-fledged wedding. I for one was all for it. Even if it was a bit hasty, it didn’t turn out to be such a bad show in the end.

On our way
Almost there

Abid agreed to shave

The girls are ready

The boys aren't

The last smoke

Tensed. Isn't he?

Errmm…guess its too late to turn back?

The ‘blushing’ groom

The lovely bride

For better or for worse

With the ‘senior citizens’

The shopping list

But its all right

“So how many times do you think they had…‘coffee’ last night? ;)”

“Hey, how about some coffee?”

Cute li’l bugger! Aint he?


1. “Damn this toothpaste tastes funny!...The label looks familier…something is wrong though…what is it?...Oh! Got it! Its shaving cream!”

2. “Hey, wake up! We’re leaving.”
“Oh hey…did I fall asleep again? Okay lets go.”
“Don’t forget to say good bye to the new bride”
“Of course I wont! Okay…hey there! We’re going. Wish you two the best! Come visit when you have time, etc. etc….heck…something is not right here…oh yeah! She isn’t this one. It’s the one next to her. Oh well…I have to go. Byee!”

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The Rosicrucian Enlightenment

I have finally finished reading the book. I don’t think I can describe what I took from it. Instead, I’ll just quote some bits from the last chapter.

“Like archeologists digging down through layers, we have found under the superficial history of the early seventeenth century, just before the outbreak of the Thirty Years War, a whole culture, a whole civilization, lost to view.” (p. 290)

“The Rosicrucian Enlightenment included a vision of the necessity for a reform of society, particularly of education, for a third reformation of religion, embracing all sides of man’s activity – and saw this as a necessary accompaniment of the new science. Rosicrucian thinkers were aware of the dangers of the new science, of its diabolical as well as angelic possibilities, and they saw that its arrival should be accompanied by a general reformation of the whole wide world.” (p. 290)

“The Rosicrucian alchemy expresses both the scientific outlook, penetrating into new worlds of discovery, and also an attitude of religious expectation, of penetrating into new fields of religious experiences.” (p. 284)

“The religious outlook bound up with the idea that penetration has been made into higher angelic spheres is which all religions were seen as one” (p. 282)

“And this illumination shines inwards as well as outward; it is an inward spiritual illumination revealing to men new possibilities in himself, teaching him to understand his own dignity and worth and the part he is called upon to play in the divine scheme.” (p. 291)

“Those who seek above all a regeneration of spiritual life are naturally drawn towards the doctrines which lay the main stress on the idea of life and propose a vitalistic conception of the universe. And the symbolism of alchemy is as apt for translating (into symbolic form) the realities of the religious life, as that of matter and form. Perhaps more apt, because less used up, less intellectualized, more symbolic through its very nature.” (A. Koyrè, La philophie de Jacob Boehme, Paris, 1929, p. 45)”

           “Teach me, my God and King,
           In all things thee to see;
And what I do in anything
           To do it as for thee!

           A man that looks on glass,
           On it may stay his eye
Or if he pleaseth, through it pass,
           And then the heaven espy.

           All may of thee partake;
           Nothing can be so mean,
Which with this tincture, ‘for thy sake’.
           Will not grow bright and clean.

           A servant with this clause
           Makes drudgery divine;
Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws,
           Makes that and the action fine

           This is the famous stone
           That turneth all to gold;
For that which God doth tough and own
           Cannot for less be told.

So sang George Herbert of his Christian religious experiences, and it was such spiritual gold as this that the German Rosicrucian movement sought.” (p. 283, 284)

“Circumstances prevented its application, and after the Rosicrucian, science was allowed to develop in isolation from utopia, and apart from the idea of a reformed society, educated to receive it. The comparative disregard if the social and educational possibilities of the movement was surely unfortunate for the future.” (p. 292)


"What hath put the present Age into so great confusion is the cruel hatred, and spiteful envie which in these days in seen to reign generally amongst men. All help then for these present evils, is to be hoped for from infusing Charity, reciprocal affection, and that sanctified love of our neighbor, which is God’s chiefest commandment, into mankind; we out therefore to employ all our skill in taking away the occasions of those hatreds, which in these days reign in men’s hearts."

This is extracted from Traiano Boccalini’s allegorical satire Ragguagli di Parnaso, published in Venice in 1612-13, in The Rosicrucian Enlightenment by Frances A. Yates. (Does that somehow remind you of the Bobby Kennedy's speech on Mindless Menace Of Violence?)

Apollo, the archer-god of medicine and healing, light and truth, found the world in a terrible state, and decided to seek the council of wise men to remedy the situation. It was evident that a ‘deep general reformation’ was necessary and the council discussed the subject at length. A lot of proposals were put forth but all, in the end, were considered impractical. As time passed, the council got distracted with trivialities and finally, the idea of general reformation was given up altogether and things remained “as wretched as ever”.

All attempts at reformation failed because they “had produced only rigorous regulations and had not tackled the deep issues”. According to Solon, the wisest of men, “what was mainly wrong with the age was lovelessness.”

Pity. May be the world we live in now wouldn’t be as messed up if the ancient Gods and wise folks could come up with something then. Well…I guess we’ll have to deal with it now, at this age. Who knows, may be there is time to leave behind a different kind of myth for the kids of the future? May be one in which we do fix things up? Time will tell.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Affirm Life

"There is life here. anyone reading this is breathing, maybe hurting, but breathing for sure. and if there is any light to come, it will shine from the eyes of those who look for peace and justice after the rubble and rhetoric are cleared and the phoenix has risen.

Affirm life.
Affirm life.
We got to carry each other now.
You are either with life, or against it.
Affirm life."

I wanted to show Abid, my bro, the videos I found today. My bro doesn’t care much about poetry but he stayed up till 4 am in the morning downloading all the Suheir Hammad videos he could. (We got a shitty line at home, not as fast as the one I got at work.) And we watched them over and over and over again. We are still watching them. I know I linked this one just 2 posts back, but I just wanted it to keep it on top here, on full view. The shift to Dave’s stand up comedy down there was probably too hasty.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dave Chappelle

This is probably going to be a little too fast a mode change from the last one but heck, its all good. =D

Suheir Hammad


Found her at Shakia's Spot. There are more videos on her page.

Links -
A Poetic Justice
Suheir Hammad's Official Website

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Mutant Crab

At work. Spent the last 40 minutes trying to draw a mutant crab. Why?

Wanted to blog about all sorts of things. Thought about wring about the things I’ve been reading…wanted to write about Bruno who they burnt at the stakes on February 17, 1600. Thought about writing an ode to the ‘wicked fools’. Felt too tired to do any of that and went to bed early.

Met a couple of school friends who I haven’t seen in a long time. We hung for a while, literally, from a 10 feet tall grill which, it seems, was being used as a road divider. It was pretty relaxing up there, oddly enough. We had a lot of catching up to do; talked about old times and stuff. Was wondering if it’d be appropriate to ask him how the sex was between him and his wife now that she’s had a kid. He kinda guessed and said, “Man! You musta really gotten old! You never had any trouble saying things you shouldn’t before…” Then we were at his old place where we used to hang all the time back in school. As we were coming back, an aunty, mother of another school friend, materialized from out of nowhere and asked me why I don’t study at all these days. My friend told her, - “Aunty, he never did much of that. Did he?” And she says, “well, I guess he is doing okay, considering…”. “And he paid his taxes too!” – my friend added.

Now comes the crab part. As we were getting out, my friends and a new guy I don’t know, grabbed a few cans of condensed milk from a van in the parking lot. They threw me a can but I didn’t want any. And then the milk guy came looking so they made a run for it, so, it was just me standing there with a couple of empty milk cans lying around. I tried to convince the milk guy that it wasn’t me (I even tried to make him smell my mouth to make a point…I think…), without any success. So I ran too.

It was dark and I was running up this mud hill with the milk guy on my tail. (The scene sort of had a Tim Burton anim feel) And then I see this big, pink, part crab, part spider, with huge praying mantis claws, climbing up his back and sitting on his head. I thought I’d tell him and that’d slow him down. Bad move. As he shook it off, it flew off and landed on me. Well, now you know why I woke up before the alarm went off.

P.S: I couldn’t draw the darn crab. The picture up there was made by Asif, my coworker. So, now not only am I wasting my own work time for my personal blog, but his as well. DO NOT TELL THE BOSS.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Alchemy’ is a word that’s been following me around for a while now. Think it started with The Alchemist, the Paulo Coelho best seller. Later, I ran into it a couple of times here and there before finding it again in The Rosicrucian Enlightenment by Frances Yates. The mysterious ‘politico-religious’ movement, originating in the early seventeenth century Europe, had roots in the ancient arts of Magia, Cabala and Alchemia and aspired to achieve a new world-view in which advancing sciences would strangely mingle with angelology to establish “a universal reign of mystic and philosophic harmony”. [1]

Needless to say, I’m visiting the WIKI a lot lately to look up all sorts of things the book talks about. (Posted an earlier entry on Cabala.) It seems ‘alchemy’ is not just about man men running after gold (although a lot of that had been going on); the allegories of achieving transmutation of metals and finding cure for all diseases hide a more profound spiritual philosophy. Think the following lines from Rumi’s poem describes it the best –

You are the master alchemist.

You light the fire of love
in earth and sky
in heart and soul
of every being.

Through your loving
existence and nonexistence merge.
All opposites unite.
All that is profane
becomes sacred again.

[Extracted from The Alchemy of Love,
The Love Poems of Rumi
Translated by Deepak Chopra and Fereydoun Kia

Uninterrupted by dreams

After the third the bliss kicks in.
The body floats, the mind at ease.
One finally finds happiness
In his chemically induced peace.

Nothing troubles me now.

The uncomfortable pillow, the lonely bed,
The unending conflicts in the head
And all that rubbish said,
Written, heard and read,
- They couldn’t have mattered less.

Nothing concerns me now.

The inadequacy of reasons,
The colors of the seasons,
The divine mysteries of God,
Or the worldly desires and treasons
- Couldn’t provoke any less indifference.

I suffer no grief; I seek no glory.
I recall no myth; I remember no story.
A pleasant void in memory,
Uninterrupted by dreams.

Smiles of a Summer Night

Frid: Do you see little one? The summer night is smiling.

Petra: So you’re a poet too.

Frid: The summer night has three smiles. This is the first between midnight and dawn, when young lovers open their hearts and loins. Look there! On the horizon there is a smile so soft you have to be very quiet and watchful to see it at all.

Petra: Young lovers.

Frid: Did that move you, my little pet?

Petra: Why have I never been a young lover? Can you tell me that?

Frid: My dear girl…console yourself. There are few young lovers in this world. You could almost count them. Love has smitten them both as a gift and a punishment.

Petra: And the rest of us?

Frid: The rest of us. (chuckles)

Petra: What becomes of us?

Frid: We invoke love, call out to it, cry for it, beg for it, try to mimic it. We think we own it and tell lies about it.

Petra: But we don’t have it.

Frid: No, my sugar pie. We are denied the love of loving. We don’t have the gift.

Petra: Nor the punishment.

Frid: Nor the punishment.

Frid: Now follows the second smile of the summer night. For the jesters, the fools…and the incorrigible.

Petra: Then she must be smiling at us.

Frid: Would you like a beer?

Petra: Then she is smiling at us, I said!

Frid: Correct. She is smiling at us.

Petra: Do you want to marry me?

Frid: (Laughs out loud)

Petra: But an hour ago you said you wanted to!

Frid: That was then!


Frid: You’re a strong little sugar plum!


Petra: And the summer night smiled for the third time!

Frid: Oh, yes, my sugar plum, for the sad and dejected, for the sleepless and the lost souls, for the frightened and the lonely.

Smiles of a Summer Night is a famous comedy by Bergman. The parts I enjoyed the most are the dialogues between the servants – Petra the maid and Frid the Groom (the folks on the poster). Spent a considerable amount of time at work trying to find the scripts (don’t tell the boss) but it seems they didn’t make the ‘Memorable Quotes’ list anywhere. I thought I’d go put them here anyway. Hope some of you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tree of Life

Bought a few books to suppress the urge to buy a fancy cell phone (which I have a finally decided to get anyway). Took up The Rosicrucian Enlightenment instead of the Memories of My Melancholy Whores which I have been meaning to read since forever. It’s a really good thing that the Wikipedia is there to help us idiots understand things a little better.

“The Tree of Life, or Etz haChayim (עץ החיים) in Hebrew, is a mystical symbol within the Kabbalah of esoteric Judaism used to understand the nature of God and the manner in which He created the world ex nihilo (out of nothing). The Kabbalists developed this concept into a full model of reality, using the tree to depict a "map" of Creation. The tree of life has been called the "cosmology" of the Kabbalah.

Some believe the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah corresponds to the Tree of Life mentioned in Genesis”

“But the Tree of Life does not only speak of the origins of the physical universe out of the unimaginable, but also of man's place in the universe. Since man is invested with Mind, consciousness in the Kabbalah he is thought of as the fruit of the physical world, through whom the original infinite energy can experience and express itself as a finite entity. After the energy of creation has condensed into matter it is thought to reverse its course back up the Tree until it is once again united with its true nature. Thus the kabbalists seeks to know himself and the universe as an expression of God, and to make the journey of Return by stages charted by the Sephiroth, until he has come to the realisation he sought.”