The Dance Of The Eunuchs by Kamala Suraiya Das


Kamala Suraiya Das also known as Madhavikutty, considered India’s ‘Poet Laureate,’ set a bold new tone for India’s women, poor and disenfranchised.Kamala Das’s poems epitomize the dilemma of the modern Indian woman who attempts to free herself, sexually and domestically, from the role of bondage sanctioned by the past. She was a revolutionary writer. I started reading her works very recently and of her memoirs, verses and stories and novels left a deep impression on me. No one has portrayed women so daringly as her. Her death has created a void in Indian English Literature.

Here I share with you two of my all time favorites.

The Dance Of The Eunuchs

( kamla das 1934-2009)

It was hot, so hot, before the eunuchs came
To dance, wide skirts going round and round, cymbals
Richly clashing, and anklets jingling, jingling
Jingling… Beneath the fiery gulmohur, with
Long braids flying, dark eyes flashing, they danced and
They dance, oh, they danced till they bled… There were green
Tattoos on their cheeks, jasmines in their hair, some
Were dark and some were almost fair. Their voices
Were harsh, their songs melancholy; they sang of
Lovers dying and or children left unborn….
Some beat their drums; others beat their sorry breasts
And wailed, and writhed in vacant ecstasy. They
Were thin in limbs and dry; like half-burnt logs from
Funeral pyres, a drought and a rottenness
Were in each of them. Even the crows were so
Silent on trees, and the children wide-eyed, still;
All were watching these poor creatures’ convulsions
The sky crackled then, thunder came, and lightning
And rain, a meager rain that smelt of dust in
Attics and the urine of lizards and mice….
(From Summer in Calcutta)

*****

The Looking Glass

Getting a man to love you is easy
Only be honest about your wants as
Woman. Stand nude before the glass with him
So that he sees himself the stronger one
And believes it so, and you so much more
Softer, younger, lovelier…Admit your
Admiration. Notice the perfection
Of his limbs, his eyes reddening under
The shower, the shy walk across the bathroom floor,
Dropping towels, and the jerky way he
Urinates. All the fond details that make
Him male and your only man. Gift him all,
Gift him what makes you woman, the scent of
Long hair, the musk of sweat between the breasts,
The warm shock of menstrual blood, and all your
Endless female hungers. Oh yes, getting
A man to love is easy, but living
Without him afterwards may have to be
Faced. A living without life when you move
Around, meeting strangers, with your eyes that
Gave up their search, with ears that hear only
His last voice calling out your name and your
Body which once under his touch had gleamed
Like burnished brass, now drab and destitute.

(from ‘The Twentieth-Century Indian Poets’ Ed. R Parthasarthy)

The Evening Cloud by John Wilson


This is such a beautiful celebration of nature.


The Evening Cloud

A cloud lay cradled near the setting sun,

A gleam of crimson tinged its braided snow;

Long had I watched the glory moving on

O’er the still radiance of the lake below.

Tranquil its spirit seemed, and floated slow!

Even in its very motion there was rest;

While every breath of eve that chanced to blow

Wafted the traveller to the beauteous west.

Emblem, methought, of the departed soul!

To whose white robe the gleam of bliss is given

And by the breath of mercy made to roll

Right onwards to the golden gate of heaven,

Where to the eye of faith its peaceful lies,

And tells to man his glorious destinies.

John Wilson (1785 – 1854)

The Eve of St. Agnes by John Keats: Stanza XXV and XXI


The eve of St. Ages is one of the most sensuous of Keats poems and my favorite. I love the energy, the imagery, the Gothic element and the splendid language in the poem. It is a long narrative poem and I am sharing here two stanzas from the original forty two.

Excerpt from The Eve of St. Agnes

XXV

Full on this casement shone the wintry moon,
And threw warm gules on Madeline’s fair breast,
As down she knelt for heaven’s grace and boon;
Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,
And on her silver cross soft amethyst,
And on her hair a glory, like a saint:
She seem’d a splendid angel, newly drest,
Save wings, for heaven:–Porphyro grew faint:
She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint.

XXVI

Anon his heart revives: her vespers done,
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one;
Loosens her fragrant boddice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees:
Half-hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed,
Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,
In fancy, fair St. Agnes in her bed,
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled

John Keats (1795-1821)

The Song of Despair By Pablo Neruda


Pablo Neruda is a poet very close to my heart. I was introduced to his works way back as a teenager and I fell in love with his poetry instantly.

“Twenty Poems and a Song of Despair” and “The Heights Of Machu Piccho” are my favorites among Neruda’s works. I will share the other poems too.


The Song of Despair By Pablo Neruda

( from twenty love poems and a song of despair)

(Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada)

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.

You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

Pilot’s dread, fury of a blind diver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.

Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.

Like a jar you housed the infinite tenderness,
and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.

There was the black solitude of the islands,
and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.

There were thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
There were grief and the ruins, and you were the miracle.

Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!

How terrible and brief was my desire of you!
How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.

Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.

Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
in which we merged and despaired.

And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
And the word scarcely begun on the lips.

This was my destiny and in it was the voyage of my longing,
and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!

From billow to billow you still called and sang.
Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.

You still flowered in songs, you still broke in currents.
Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.

Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
which the night fastens to all the timetables.

The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
Only the tremulous shadow twists in my hands.

Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.

It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one.

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973)
him

The other Me and Myself


I am a dream weaver. I am alive only when I dream. I am a haunting melody echoing in the woods, the lonesome moon princess gliding through the marbled floors of the night.

I am the twilight rain, Silent, mysterious. I am the mist that slowly descends over hills, rivers, valleys, woods and towns. I am the flush of the morning and the crimson hue of the sunset sky.

I am the dew nestled in the womb of delicate flowers, a raindrop hanging from a glistening new leaf. The soft green moss on the white smooth pebbles, I am solitary wild flower dancing in the spring breeze. I am the new folded April bud on winter- haunted tree.

Under the splendor of the starlit sky bare feet I dance on the shifting sand dunes. Music fills my soul, music that no one else can hear. Sounds of silence fill the empty spaces in me.

*******

Night wraps everything in its soft blanket. The orange moon slowly drifts past my window and lingers on, resting on its elbow on naked silvery branches of the tree. We lay silently, our bare bodies soaked in its lucid beams. Consumed.

The only sound is of the rhythmic beats of two hearts beating as one. Your moist scent fills me completely. The moon decides to move on, and slowly a heavy darkness envelopes us. I can’t see you but your scent lingers around me speaking to me of your presence. I inhale the mild aroma of lavender that drifts with the night breeze from your soft cotton shirt.

I close my eyes and enjoy the mixed aromas, the scent of the wood smoke, the gardenia blossoms, your skin, your breath, your sweat.

I taste, drink, smell and take you in. I rejoice in our togetherness, in the scents that bring you to me.

I turn and gaze at your sleeping silhouette in the dim moonlight and feel warm all over once again in the cold of the winter night.

Poetry challenge : Old Begger Woman


Author and friend Kris Saknussemm gave this second challenge to write something which had rhythm.

I quote

“write something to that rhythm. Don’t use any metaphors to clue us in–EMBODY the rhythm. Don’t worry about “melody.” Worry only about the rhythm…and use ALL the words: CLAWS, WRETCHED, GRATEFUL, TORRENT, SEETHING & TOMORROW”
-Kris

Here is my poem

Old Begger Woman

Near the village square
A shriveled frame
in tattered rags
Squatting
Her mangled hair full of
tiny, dry leaves blown by the wind
Her wrinkled face
bursts into a toothless laugh
Along with the mocking kids
A dry weed, broken from its roots
Flung from shore to shore
by the torrents of abuse
Even with a seething heart
and mind mauled by
the claws of memory
She rejoices each moment she lives
Grateful for a life well spent
unconcerned about tomorrow
“Wretched woman they call me”, she laughs
“What about them?
Living but still not alive

Poetry Challenge : a learning excercise-1


My mentor and friend Kris Saknussemm gave me a challenge to write an extended poem, “relying on some of your more practically directed prose abilities that incorporates all of the following words and/or phrases:

Compulsion
Sacred
Mud
Disgust
Glass
Vacuum
Music
Orchid
Misunderstanding
Orgasm
Echo
The sorrow of dinosaurs”

a part of my learning process and an effort to improve myself and my writing.

Kris has been kind enough to take some time out from his busy schedule and teach me. It is an honor for me and I am deeply touched and thankful to him for all the advice, suggestions and critiques. each of his teaching is a precious gem to treasure.

As they say

When the student is ready the master appears

Thank you Kris for being my light, guiding and enriching my life. I won’t fail you for learning for me is a lifetime process.

Here is the poem I wrote

A life
gripped in a moment
Ecstasy, rapture
Release
Bodies consumed
A little death & then
rebirth

Pants, groans, gasp
Music to the ears
Throb, rise, fall
Curtains

yet another Faked orgasm

Crushed orchids,
Stained sheets
She rolls over
Disgust jets through
The Vacuum inside

What a performer!
Down to dawn
Non entity

Sex, a compulsion
Repulsive yet Sacred
A tool to feed
Four hungry mouths

An echo

Reflections on a Hot Summer Day


All through the day the merciless sun spat fire and the intense unbearable heat devoured everything that lay under the burning summer sky. A sky that was barren except for some patches of gloomy clouds drifting aimlessly.

I watched the dull vacant scene outside my window. Nothing stirred. Not a single leaf. A crow sat on the drooping poplar branch singing his own song ..maybe lamenting about the weather.

A few pigeons sat in the shade of the trees where an earthen pot lay empty. Thirst had brought them down to the hot ground but the water had dried up long back. A few remains of early morning’s feast lay scattered around the pot

The glare was too much to bear and the harsh rays of sun stream in through the window. I could have drawn the curtains but somehow it felt better to be part of the world outside than to face the deluge inside.

The heat helped me dry the ocean in my eyes. Why do we feel such intense pain when all the love’s labor is lost. A sharp cutting pain right across the breast reaching into the depths of heart and soul. It all seems meaningless- love, trust, care, friendship .. everything suddenly looses all meaning. My mind is numb .. My feet burn as I walk bare feet on the sands of yesteryears. Memories, like shrapnels pierce my soles. I walk away.. distancing myself from everything including me.

Where did I go wrong …???? Why things did not work as they should have .. ??? I gave my best to you. Held back nothing .You emptied me of all that I was about . Everything. I kept refilling myself of endless unconditional love and you kept digging deeper and deeper for more and more.

For endless days I waited in anticipation of even the slightest drizzle of love. A reciprocation, a gesture but …. the void grew wider and deeper. I longed for that one drop of rain .. my soul parched and cracked .. All in vain ..

Silence.. deafening silence … nothing else..

I tried desperately to reach out.. my arms outstretched .. reaching out for you to hold and pull me out of this abyss ..I cry, shout scream to no one there .. My voice echoes in the emptiness and dies an untimely death.

I close my eyes to shut myself away from the light a slight wave of ache passes through my body. I get up close the windows and draw the curtains. The play is over. The audience – the crow- makes a shrill sound and flies away.

The room is dark .. I like darkness. I close the door and block all light. Switching on the AC I take refuge in the virtual world of unseen friends, unknown faces.

Time goes by and I open my eyes with a start. my head half way on the wet pillow, laptop blinking like crazy on one side and mobile silent as the dead. It has been like this since you stopped communicating.

It is evening now. The trees are silently watching the burnt evening summer sky, the cacophony of birds, cicadas and humans fill the hot humid air, everyone and everything preparing for yet another long night.

I am waiting in anticipation ..as always. Hope is constant so is waiting..

20 books I shall read again and again : A tag


Here’s a variation on the 15 books that have left the strongest impression. Making this, I find that some of those on the prior list didn’t make it to this one. These can be fiction or otherwise. And if you feel like it, a phrase of explanation for each one would be cool.

Tag some friends and let us compare what and who we are fond of reading.

1.The Alexandria Quartet – Lawrence Darrell – a sensuous tetralogy set in Egypt, Greece , the book captivates with its romantic spirit, pain, espionage, and mystery.

2.The Agony and the Ecstasy-Irving Stone – biographical novel of Michelangelo- absolute delight.It holds you till the last line

3.Anna Karenina – Tolstoy- This is a book which made a huge impression on me as a young girl and since then I have read i many a times

4.Love in the Time of Cholera -García Márquez -a very heart warming novel, Marquez’s best

5. Sons and Lovers – D.H.Lawrence- no one depicts women so strongly as Lawrence. Love all his works especially this one. Beautifully painted in words

6. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte- I can read this one forever.. It kind of possesses me every time I read it. An anti romance and a dark tale of love ..awesome

7. The Heights of Macchu Picchu-Pblo Neruda- Naruda has been one of my favorite Poets and this narrative poem in free verse always takes me to new dimensions ..love its surreal images

8. Fruit Gathering- Tagore – Tagore has been an inspiration for me since childhood and I love his poetry. This is an anthology of 86 intensely lyrical poems. experiencing the haunting melody of these verses my way of connecting with self and supreme

9. Painted House- Grisham’s best ..awesome book

10. Thorn Birds – Colleen Mc Cullough- Intricate heartrending saga that makes e long to be that period of time and space

11. Lajja – Taslima Nasreen- A true hard hitting tale and a must read for all. it makes you go numb. very influential and gripping. A brave effort by a woman author to stand against the superstitions and egos

12. The world of Psmith – Wodehouse- 😀 am a crazy Wodehouse fan ..all his books are gems.

13. The Complete Works of Khalil Gibran- This is my spiritual guide just like the poetry of Rumi. A books I keep on my bedside table.

14. Wizard of Oz- this is food for the child in me .

15.A Thousand Splendid Suns- Khalid Hosseini- no one could have portrayed modern Afghanistan and the its loss .. I love the metaphors he uses ..great read every time

16. The Witch of Portobello- Coelho- seems like a tale about me. LOVE IT

17. The Count of Monte Cristo- what a marvelous story.

18. Train to Pakistan- A soul stirring novel about India’s partition .. it deeply touches somewhere

19. Gone with the Wind- My favorite

20. My family and other animals ..I love all the books by Gerald Darrell 🙂

I tag all my friends who want to do this post

Supar Brain Yoga Is Indian “Thorpikarnam”


I want to share this article which my friend and sister Dr.Padmini Sharma sent me as a mail attachment. Do take a look at the video and read the article.

When I first saw it I laughed. It was like a punishment kids used to get in schools for not doing their homework or learning their lessons. Maybe the idea was to sharpen their mind. Choa’s Super brain yoga, or “Thoppukaranam”, the reverential practice done by Hindus in front of Lord Ganesha’s temple. A simple devotional action. This practice has been there in India since ages but it is a new discovery by the Americans which has now swept over the world. One feels sad that many of our traditions are being copyrighted by the western world, and the latest is “Thoppukaranam” being copyrighted as “Super Brain Yoga”.

“Thorpi: Karnam ” is thoppukarnam in its corrupted form.

“Thorpi = means with the hands, and “Karnam” = means ears. Hence “Thorpikarnam” means holding the ears with the hands.

Hiduism has always been a scitific religion and many of its religious postures are part of the yogic exercises. Over the last few years, awareness of Indian Culture and the depth of our academic achievements is being recognised. Our knowledge and achievements are far superior than those of any other nation in the worldbut somehow we are not able to imbibe it in your daily life. We do it only only when it comes covered it the western high profile glam covering.

What a shame ..

It is high time that we research the various ancient practices and got a patent for them before the west steals them and brands them as their own.

The technique however has helped me tremendously and now even my teenage boys have started doing it five min. in the morning and five min in the evening. It has helped me to calm down and breath easy.

Here is the copy of the original article for all my readers.

LAW OF CORRESPONDENCE

Dr. Paul Nogier MD, a neurologist, spent 20 years from 1950 to about 1970 doing medical research. He rediscovered that the ears correspond to the whole body. The ear corresponds to an inverted fetus curled in the womb. The ear lobe corresponds to the head [ref: Nogier, Dr. Paul M. F., Handbook to Auriculotherapy, (France, 1981)]. The correspondence of the ear to the whole body was already recognized by the ancient Chinese acupuncturists and also to the great rishis (teachers) in India, who developed a technique to increase people’s intelligence. Now we know it worked because it was based on the principle of ear acupuncture.

THE ENERGY BODY

Clairvoyants, with the use of their psychic faculties, have observed that the physical body is surrounded and interpenetrated by a luminous energy body, which resembles the visible physical body. Clairvoyants call this the etheric double or etheric body. The “energy body” as they called it was first photographed by Russian scientists Semyon Davidovich Kirlian and his wife in 1939. With the aid of Kirlian photography, they observed, studied and photographed small bioplasmic articles* like the “light” or bioplasmic energy of the fingers, leaves, etc. It is through this energy body that prana or vital life energy is absorbed and distributed throughout the whole physical body [ref: Master Choa Kok Sui, Miracles Through Pranic Healing, (Phil, 1987), 5]

Prana or ki is the life energy which nourishes the whole physical body. The visible physical body is molded after the energy body. They are so closely related that what affects one affects the other. Without life energy, the body will die. If the energy body is depleted or congested, the physical body gets sick. When the physical body is healed, the corresponding energy body also gets healed. This may manifest gradually or may happen almost instantaneously if there are no interfering factors. The energy body, through energy centers (also known as chakras) , controls and is responsible for the proper functioning of the whole physical body including its different organs and parts.

Major energy centers are actually major acupuncture points. Energy centers are very important parts of the energy body.
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Based on the research of Dr. Joie P. Jones, Dept. of Radiological Sciences, University of California in Irvine, California: The acupuncture points are made up of 2 parts: an upper part and a lower part. These 2 parts are constantly moving in opposite directions. When the upper part is moving clockwise, the lower part is moving counter clockwise. This motion alternates from clockwise to counter clockwise.

Dr. Jones calls this the “twisting motion” of the acupuncture point. The major acupuncture points in the Indian tradition are called chakras, which means whirling energy centers.

The major energy centers or chakras are just like power stations that supply life energy to major and vital organs of the visible physical body. They are responsible for the proper functioning of the whole physical body as well as its different parts and organs.

A lot of ailments are caused partially by the malfunctioning of the energy centers. Some energy centers are sites or centers for psychic faculties. When activation of certain energy centers occurs, they can even result in the development of certain psychic faculties.

The energy centers may be understood more easily as energy transformers. When energies from the lower energy centers move upward into the higher energy centers, they are transformed into other forms of energies of a much higher frequency. When higher forms of energies from the upper energy centers move down into the lower energy centers, they are transformed into other forms of energies with a much lower frequency.

HOW TO ENERGIZE AND ACTIVATE THE BRAIN

The Superbrain Yoga technique is described in the book. The complete procedure must be practiced as described in the book in order to experience the benefits. This section describes how the energy connections can be produced to energize the brain.

The physical body is a very complicated subtle electronic equipment. When a proper energy wiring connection is made, it produces the right results. When the connection is wrong, expected results are not achieved.

The right ear lobe corresponds to the left brain.
The left ear lobe corresponds to the right brain.

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When the right ear lobe is gently squeezed with the left thumb and left index finger with the thumb outside, it produces the necessary energy connection. This connection causes the left brain and pituitary gland to become energized and activated.

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Similarly, when the left ear lobe is gently squeezed with the right thumb and right index finger with the thumb outside, it produces the necessary energy connection, which causes the right brain and pineal gland to become energized and activated.

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For energizing and activating the Left Brain and the Right Brain, the left arm must be inside, while the right arm must be outside.

The correct arm position is important for energizing and activating the brain.

SUPERBRAIN YOGA®

Superbrain Yoga® transforms or internally alchemizes the energies from the lower energy centers into higher subtler energies. These energies are then utilized by the upper energy centers. When those centers are highly energized, they energize the brain so it can function with greater efficiency and effectivity.

Superbrain Yoga® not only energizes and activates the brain, but also assists in balancing the energies of the heart, throat, ajna, forehead and crown energy centers. (For detailed information on the 11 major energy centers, their location and function please refer to “Miracles Through Pranic Healing” by the same author)

When energies from the basic energy center and sex energy center move up to the heart energy center, they are transformed into inner peace. When the energies go up to the throat energy center and the ajna energy center, they are transformed into greater intelligence and creativity. When they go up to the forehead energy center and crown energy center, they are transformed into a higher degree of spirituality. The lower energies are transformed into subtle energy, which is utilized by the brain to enhance its proper functioning.

This is why some people have experienced stress reduction by practicing the Superbrain Yoga®

Other benefits noted from the practice of Superbrain Yoga® include greater psychological stability and an ability to regulate the sex drive. This is especially helpful for teenagers. Prolonged practice of the Superbrain Yoga® can make the practitioner, in general, smarter and more psychologically balanced.

There are multiple factors that may affect the results of the practice of Superbrain Yoga®. For example:

* Facing the correct direction
* Positioning the arms properly
* Positioning the fingers properly
* Breathing correctly

Results cannot be predicted if these and other procedures given in the book are not strictly followed.

The effect of Superbrain Yoga on people with severe ailments such as cancer, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), severe heart conditions, is unknown. Any form of physical exercises should not be undertaken without first consulting a medical doctor.