Archive for February, 2012

The Cheshire Cat

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Creative Writing

“Please, would you tell me,” said Alice, a little timidly, … “why your cat grins like that?”
“It’s a Cheshire cat,” said the Duchess, “and that’s why.”
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Alice didn’t think that proved it at all: however she went on. “And how do you know that you’re mad?”
“To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?”
“I suppose so,” said Alice
“Well, then, ” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where…” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“…so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
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The Alchemist

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Quotes from The Alchemist
….I stumbled upon in cyberspace… I read this book a long time ago. Its messages resonates across so many of the books I have read and the wisdom of those who have trudged the rugged road.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself,
and that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams,
because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God
and with eternity.

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to
achieve it…

To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.
God only rarely reveals the future. When he does so, it is for one reason:
it’s a future that was written so as to be altered.

It’s not what enters men’s mouths that’s evil, it’s what comes out of their
mouths that is.

The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never
to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.

Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead
their lives, but none about his or her own.

…at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us,
and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the worlds greatest lie.

…there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is
that you do, when you really want something, its because that desire
originated in the soul of the universe. Its your mission on earth.
We have to take advantage when luck is on our side, and do as much to
help it as its doing to help us. Its called the principle of favorability. Or
beginners luck.

No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the
history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.

A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such
speed. It feels an impulsion … this is the place to go now. But the sky
knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know,
too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond the horizons.
The problem is that the sheeps don’t even realise that they are walking a
new road every day. They don’t see that the fields are new and the
seasons change. All they think about is food and water. Maybe we’re all
that way, the boy mused. Even me – I haven’t thought of other women
since I met the merchant’s daughter.”

 


“Why do you want to be a writer?” asks David Morell, who started writing “First Blood” in 1968, a movie that turned blockbuster eighteen years later.

Morell never did expect the commercial success “First Blood”, slipping the name of his character, Rambo, on to the lips of an American President and a household name and American icon across the world.

What inspired him was the sheer excitement of imagining the thrill of an battle-hardy Vietnam veteran with an arrogant small-town sheriff, and bringing the war home.

He asks this question to present a reality check to all would-be authors. The effort required of all authors are considerable. Time. Lots of it. Effort that could be better used elsewhere, and guarantee some return on investment.

The world is flooded with hundreds of thousands authors and would-be authors in this era of blogdom and self-publishing, across genres and type. Writers have to contend with years of time, energy and other resources without any guarantee of returns. Any would-be authors had better keep their day jobs, Morell and many other professional writers advise.

Some might seek fame. How many of knew David Morell as the author of First Blood? Honestly, I didn’t. I found that out not too long ago from his book, “Lessons From a Lifetime of Writing: A Novelist Looks at His Craft”. Recognition is short-lived and not too different from many other careers in the marketplace, you’¢re only as good as your last game.

Why do I want to write? Would I write if it never bought me the Ferrari 400 I saw on Discovery Channel, or see my name in the credit rolls of a movie or an award-winning documentary?

I need to put some old demons to rest. For one, to quieten that old incessant nag that creeps up on me on those quiet nights when, close to sleep I ask,

If I could do anything without the possibility of failure, what would it be?

“Write,” it replies in an imperceptible whisper.

“If I die in a year, what would I want to be doing?”

“Write,” it prods.

I want to write for the memory of casting my tiny little green WWII soldiers, cast as Leftenant Hanley and Sgt Saunders, of the TV series Combat, leading a platoon to rappel down a steep cliff of a chair with Mum’s sewing threads, fighting off – mum’s – big-jawed, long-teethed monster hairclips when I was seven.

I want to write for the family who always thought I was the creative one, though always a rebel. My sister secretly kept a story I had written at thirteen for a class assignment. A friend won a storytelling competition at the community level with a tale I penned for her at twelve.

I want to write again after a long hiatus, after short stint as a reporter in a food magazine. I want to write holding the thought of those who wrote back with praise in response to my articles. They were my readers. Subsequently, Life gave back, with seven years of a buffet of destinations across the world experience in the hospitality and travel industry. I have no regrets whatsoever.

A friend told me he had cut out an article for the magazine, which I wrote 15 years ago, when I was only his acquaintance, and he thought the article was a refreshing one and had a distinct voice from the rest of the journal. I covered a hoi polloi beat.

To rekindle the sense of pride for every decent essay I wrote in school and the sense of complete exhilaration and rapture creating an imaginary world during an important English composition examination at sixteen. The poignant stories I spinned in my head for the sheer heck of it. Even if it involved ballerinas and commando troopers.

I want to write because it is the last thing I want to do and if I don’t, I know I will live long enough to regret it.

Now, I have to go find my voice.


The night is only a sort of carbon paper,
Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars
Letting in the light, peephole after peephole —
A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things.
Under the eyes of the stars and the moon’s rictus
He suffers his desert pillow, sleeplessness
Stretching its fine, irritating sand in all directions.

Over and over the old, granular movie
Exposes embarrassments–the mizzling days
Of childhood and adolescence, sticky with dreams,
Parental faces on tall stalks, alternately stern and tearful,
A garden of buggy rose that made him cry.
His forehead is bumpy as a sack of rocks.
Memories jostle each other for face-room like obsolete film stars.

He is immune to pills: red, purple, blue —
How they lit the tedium of the protracted evening!
Those sugary planets whose influence won for him
A life baptized in no-life for a while,
And the sweet, drugged waking of a forgetful baby.
Now the pills are worn-out and silly, like classical gods.
Their poppy-sleepy colors do him no good.

His head is a little interior of grey mirrors.
Each gesture flees immediately down an alley
Of diminishing perspectives, and its significance
Drains like water out the hole at the far end.
He lives without privacy in a lidless room,
The bald slots of his eyes stiffened wide-open
On the incessant heat-lightning flicker of situations.

Nightlong, in the granite yard, invisible cats
Have been howling like women, or damaged instruments.
Already he can feel daylight, his white disease,
Creeping up with her hatful of trivial repetitions.
The city is a map of cheerful twitters now,
And everywhere people, eyes mica-silver and blank,
Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed.

Ferry

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Creative Writing
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A poem I wrote on a ferry ride from Bintan five years back! 🙂

Ferry

A jagged horizon

a string of silhouetted islands

hiding in their own shadows

shimmering threads of gold

white dolphins swim along

beside the ferry

warm sunlight suntan lotion

drips off skin like honey

Wind’s wanton fingers

plough my hair

Breathes softly on salty cheeks.

The Dance Called Love

Posted: February 18, 2012 in Blogs
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The Dance Called Love.

I like this blog by a friend, with an excerpt from Osho’s book.