a whole new world

Thursday, December 30, 2004
what is it about flying?
you meet a whole different type of people. who do crossword puzzles. who read books. who sit in hallways. who all seem a part of this subculture that exists only on the other side of the security check.

makes me wonder how well i fit in. all i have left to do is crossword puzzles. somehow they've always seemed the preserve of a pipe smoking man in tweed. besides, i dont have a lot of patience for word games.

how much of a culture is influenced by the activities we do? has a microcosm developed that has its own rituals?

pilots, the hand of fate. flight attendants, the high priests. accorded their status and wearing their robes. we the weary pilgrims who descend to earth.

everywhere i look, the hum of silence. weary travellers, adrift on the jet stream, alight for moments of sanity and go back to their abode in the sky.
you know what gets me about flying? the indifference of it all. long hours of solitude spent among the bustle of people. we all look busy doing the same thing.
stuck in a holding pattern 190 miles from chicago. it gave me time to think.

i preach to be

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
I've noticed something about preachers. Everybody puts a different emphasis on the gospel. Some people talk about how God is holy. He has these standards that can never be met. Others like to talk about grace and forgiveness. Then there are people who love to talk about doing things for christ. You've probably met other people with a central theme to their message; obedience, faith, love, freedom, evangelizing, the gifts of the holy spirit, the hope of the second coming, separation from the world...

the truth remains that the gospel of christ encompasses all these and more.

so why do people tend to fixate on one idea?

i think its because thats where the gospel had its deepest impact in their life.
you preach about freedom if you're fighting for true freedom.
you preach about love if you're looking for true love.
you preach about obedience if you know how difficult it is.
you preach about faith if that's what keeps you alive.
you preach about grace if you feel wretched.
you preach about forgiveness when you understand the need for forgiveness.
you preach about evangelizing if you were lost.
you preach about the second coming if you've no hope left in this world.
you preach about the gifts of the holy spirit when you learn how much you need them.
you preach about separation if you know how much you need to be apart from the world.

it follows that as the gospel of christ impacts your life over the years your message will change accordingly.

me? i preach to be. to be one of the sons of god. to be obedient, to be loving, to be separate and forgiving and free of the trammels of this world. to be alive and know God.

everybody preaches... if not about christ, then about something else that forces you to live. what does your preaching betray?

water vs toilet paper

Thursday, December 23, 2004
since i'm probably going to india in the summer of '05,
a very important question has begun to arise.
will there be toilet paper in india for me to use. or will i have to use water.

im undecided on this issue. call my personal hygiene into question if you will, but if i have to use water, i'll use water. if there's toilet paper around, watch me swipe.
the only issue that remains is that i would have to get my ass clean when i shower.
here's another article at Rolf Potts' vagabonding
i remember a conversation i had about this with two friends while standing at 'upahara sagar' and eating vada sambhar(i think) and drinking chai.
friend 1,"you use toilet paper in the u.s. dont you? snigger..."
me,"yeah, its what everybody does there."
friend 1,"so how do you actually do it? you jst take some paper and wipe your ass? hehe what man, that is crazy..."
me,"yeah, you jst take it and wipe your ass, jst like when you use water, but with soft paper instead."
friend 2,"ewww, thats disgusting, how can you do that. how will it be clean there?"
me,"you wipe carefully. and a few times to make sure you didnt miss anything."
friend 1,"oh man, that is just dirty. no water, nothing... "
friend 2,"and this is what you do there.... hahahahaha"

recently i had another conversation, only it turned out differently.
person 1,"ewww, i dont want to go to india, i hope they have toilet paper there now."
me," haha, whats wrong with using water?"
person 1,"ewww, you have to use water, its so wet, and messy, and you have to wipe your ass with your hand, and get the shit all over it."

in passing, let me mention, that like all indian customs which use the hand, there is a technique. no, im not offering to teach. i will say that you dont want to get in there and scratch the shit away, you want to lightly flick/rub it off as water pours over the general area in a thin stream. isnt there poetry in a clean butt speckled with beads of water? and you can be pretty sure there wont be an aroma either.

i would think its a better way to go in hotter climes. either way, everybody i know is real big on making sure you wash your hands with soap after... so dont forget that.

the future for now seems to be baby wipes. a wonderful compromise, for those who can afford to buy them in bulk. there doesnt seem to be a way to use them easily however. if it was on the toilet paper dispenser, in a roll, it would dry up quickly... and who wants to open up an air tight box everytime you want to wipe. read will smith on what scares him more than technology

and so america waits for another brave man to bring to the public the joy of an asian ass wipe.

the travails of south indian men

here's a link to sidin vadukut's blog.
this is the one that gets forwarded around all those email lists which have people who know what a south indian is.
i've noticed, i dont know if casual browsers are aware that the title can be a link to another page. does that say something about the way people tend to think of information...? do they expect a link later on, instead of immediately?
either way, here's the link again, lol. do post and tell me if you followed the one below or you noticed the one above. we're using the honor system here to maintain accuracy...
The travails of south indian men

i finally found the author of an email that gets forwarded a lot. a lot, relatively, because of the size of the target audience.
the interesting thing is the reaction. i've seen some posts about how sidin is what he writes about. most people seem to accept the underlying truth of the article, and laugh at it.
more of sidin's articles are on his blog, unfortunately, he doesnt seem to post very often.

btw, even tho sidin seems to be mallu, he is in no way related to me.
no. he is not my father's brother's uncle's wife's cousin's son's nephew.
he could be related to that guy tho.

at the washing stone

Friday, December 17, 2004
the guru said.
a man took his clothes to the dhobi(the man who washes clothes) and asked him how much it would cost.
the dhobi replied,"i wont charge if you let me wear these clothes once before i wash them and return them to you."
he agreed.
did the world change right then ?
my student of the bodhi tree,what is your first question?

true fantasy is real

Monday, December 13, 2004
having devoted so much of my reading to fantasy, you must forgive my air of wisdom.
true fantasy is reality. and not even, as some would say, expressed reality that uses the fabric of fantasy to show us the reality we live in.
true fantasy is all that is the most real in this world.

it is the essence of what and who we are, the shape of our thoughts and the color of our actions, the mind of truth. it isnt the truth, but it holds a mirror.
you see, we are not truth. we are fantasy. just as the world is.
and that is why we delight in fantasy. it isnt escape from this world, but the way we grasp at our totality.
read some of the great authors - J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Ursula K. leGuin, Steven R. Donaldson, Orson Scott Card(Seventh Son series), Lloyd Alexander, G.K. Chesterton, Robert Jordan.
they resonate within our soul because their fantasy is almost real.
to see frodo sail into the west.
to know that aslan was no tame lion.
to find that the shadow you cast comes from your soul.
to realize that absolution heals all wounds
to catch a glimpse of that crystal city
to grow unaware into a man and find true love
to brave all for love
to live, duty a sword...

and that is why fantasy is done a disservice by the prattling on about wizards, ogres, dragons, elves, witches, minotaurs, dark elves, mages, sorcerors, knights, magical beasts and fairies.

like all great fiction, its only worth it if its about people. and if you'll notice, even the beasties have human attributes. would we pay any attention to them otherwise... ?

where it goes beyond common fiction is in embracing the possibility of the real.
and that is why i love it.
and one day, when it becomes our reality, i'll say,
i told you so.

the vagaries of mallu vocabulary

Friday, December 10, 2004
sometimes i have the strangest urge to blurt out words that i know will get me stared at.
i grew up knowing that shorts could at any moment be called bermudas, knickers or half pants.
"eda monay, GO-n-put yuwer nhikkers onn."
(yo son, go put some shorts on)
of course, i didnt hear

that a lot, since i wasnt much of an exhibitionist.
half pants is heard in snatches of conversation, its slowly dying out... i miss the half pants. i want some half pants.
of course nowadays you'll probably hear..."these boys and girls, i dont know what to do with them. all with their baggy pants and tight shirts showing their underwears."

then there's brassiere... the less said the better. i know all those who've heard it will cringe in sympathy.

then there is the famous "fileman". for the longest time, whenever i walked around the house without a shirt on, my dad or mom would make a comment about looking like a fileman. i really did hear it as fileman. when i asked them what it meant, they said..."its like a bodybuilder ... dont show off your muscles... especially when you're all skin and bones" only now do i realize that over the years some mallu must have gone somewhere and heard the word "pehalwan" which seems to be a hindi word indicating wrestler/strongman. i suppose they walked around in thongs or the indian equivalent - loincloths. i dont want to talk about that anymore, lest i get a visual.

the latest word i've encountered is hippyism. uncovered this gem in the last 2 months. pronounced - hippiysm
the state of being a hippy.
a hippy was a bad person. he would grow his hair out long, smoke ganja and say "peace, man!"
more importantly, he was always disobedient to his parents. such a bad boy.
at various times, i have now been accused of hippyism. the clincher being, "who's a hippy nowadays... nobody, so why r u still doing this hippyism?"

Hark, Now We Sing

Wednesday, December 08, 2004
SITE OF THE DAY. this is so freakin awesome.
i found my old school's site.
Here's the school song in its entirety,
SCHOOL SONG (also referred to as Hark, now we bark.)

Hark! Now we Sing
Of St Germain's the school we love
For it is here that we learn to uphold the right
Seeking light, seeking help from above!
Strive might and main,

Let the odds be what they will
We shall conquer all, trials great and small,
Onwards lads ! We must climb the Hill!

Lo! on the heights,
Rays of glory illumine the skies,
'Tis the land where Truth and Virtue dwell;
Where the sunshine of honour abides;
March! Falter not!
Though the way be weary and long!
All the toil and strife face we bravely now,
Firm in faith, bold of heart and strong.

They have lots of pictures in the archives section.
St. Germains through the years.
refer to the 1990 - 94 archives for pictures of chori, mangamma, dubba, mistry, i've forgotten so many names, i wish i knew where the old class pics were. jake, u in there dawg, represent...
where the hell am i? no. i have no comment. no comment, do u hear.
btw, somebody should release the single "hark, now we sing" any takers?
i will be happy to host the mp3 version for download.
all thanks to manohar who sent me that oh so stupid its sublime poem about gone are the days.

the tortured dreamscape of my soul

Sunday, December 05, 2004
frustration harbors rage,
the scream of the madding soul demesne.
how long must we endure
banal existence on this plane,
tied down by strangler's cords,
beat into despair.
hush, my soul,
hope leaves you alive

english names if a mallu said it.

Friday, December 03, 2004
brandon = bhrandhan (madman)
tara = thara (floor) / tharav (duck)
i think james = jems(james) /yamiyaer(james) not yakob(jacob)

the c programming language = mal, the programming language

for all those who want to learn malayalam online ->
Your Friendly Malayalam Tutor

you cant get more mallu than your trendily frendily malayalam tudor.
he's the man who got me up and running in mal in about a month.
mallu shoutout. represent, monay, represent.
monay = literally son , kinda like homi, b, bro, nigga, maga(kannada)
Thursday, December 02, 2004

group from school