Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I am not a scribe. When you talk to me, you let me walk into your mind. You let me pick up and examine your thoughts; to experience your feelings; to rejoice in your exultation and suffer in your disappointment. I listen. I don’t interrupt. I let the words flow out as I nod and understand. My eyes don’t leave your face while my hand scribbles down memories. Once you’re done, I write. I write those words you couldn’t bring to mind at that moment. I bring to life that passion not expressed in your voice but evident in the sparkle of your eyes and your clenched hands. I build visions and open vistas before your reader with mere words, words that come from your mind, yet words that would never have formed themselves in your thoughts. I am not your scribe. I am much more.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Mailing cranky buying houses.

Finding buttons, zippers and fabric for fit samples

Matching thread shades

Running with samples to the washing unit.

Sending couriers

Endless journeys by bus

Santhome to Ambattur

Ambattur to Santhome

Bus stops

Going from factory to factory


Answering the phone

Pacifying people

Yelling at people

Being yelled at by people


Did I really study design for all this?

When I finished college, I prayed: Lord, let me not join any job that does not give me time for You. Nine months into my first job, I find I have no time for anything besides my job. I have stuck to it in spite of everything because I do not like accepting defeat; if I quit once the going gets tough, how would I ever face the challenges of life? Besides, the Lord would not put me through anything, even an unrewarding, underpaid, backbreaking job, without a purpose. I stick to it.

Nine months. Lord, I think no longer of facing and overcoming the challenges of learning a new line of work and doing well at it. I only find myself drawing farther and farther from you. And that, Lord, is more terrifying than anything else. What am I to do, Lord, I cry out to you!

You answer in just one word:


Quit? QUIT? Okay, quit when?


This is the worst time, Lord! The world is in recession. Textile design jobs in Chennai are virtually non-existent, even at the best of times. And now?? Impossible to get another job! What will I quit and then do? Sit at home? I could not bear it!!

Trust me.

I wish I could say it was easy, that I said, like Mary, that His Will be done. Oh, but I was frightened! I feel like a mountaineer hanging onto a rope for all he is worth, and suddenly being asked to let go. Supposing it isn’t the Lord speaking to me? Supposing it is just my weakness, asking me to give up? I go back to prayer, this time with my mom. Again the clear command: leave the job. Trust Me. Put your future in My hands. I give in my resignation the next day.

My boss’ first reaction is unexpected. He says, good. You are very talented, capable of much more than this job. I’ve often wondered what you are doing here. Oh. After nine months of more negative feedback than not on my performance, this comes as a rather big surprise.

The pressure comes later. Why do you want to leave? Don’t go! You’re good. Look at the world situation, where will you get another job? At least stay till you get some other opening. Complete a year and leave or all this experience will not count. The endless clamouring of the world, of the people whose advice I respect combines with my own doubts and confusions and I face each day with fear and indecision.

Trust me.

Take back your resignation, I am asked. My replacement arrives, and yet my boss asks me to take back my resignation. We’ll put him somewhere else. Mind you, my company is sending home its’ employees because of the recession, and here they are, asking me to stay. I am very fond of my team; they are like family. I waver.

Trust me.

I am reaching the end of my notice period. Lord, I’ve listened to you. I’m afraid, but I trust in you. I trust in you.

Four days before my final day at work, one of my lecturers from college tells me about an opening for a textile designer and researcher in an NGO dedicated to reviving and documenting languishing crafts. It sounds interesting; I give it a try. I find that the NGO deals with the social aspect of using craft to build community and village economy, something I am rather passionate about. The director who is conducting the interview takes one look at my MA project work and finds that it is very close to what the NGO itself is doing. I love research; she desperately needs someone who can write well. The pay? Exactly double my previous pay. The office? Merely ten minutes away from my house. I can hardly take it in.

I got the job.

All kudos to the Lord who gives us far more than we can ask or even dream about. Sometimes God’s will does not involve my climbing the mountain, it is just letting go of the rope. Trust is free falling into nothingness, of letting someone else take over. Trust is listening to my God tell me, like he told St. Thomas, to be not faithless, but believe.

At the end of the day, all it needed was a little faith.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Just realized.. You have no idea what my project was even about.. So. Behold my project abstract!

The Chennai of my heart: the Marina, the tiny lanes, the sweeping beam of the lighthouse, thali meals in Mylapore, delicate pulli kolams, temple, church and mosque on the same road, strings of jasmine, big, green buses, brightly coloured kodams… in the midst of all these memories of a lifetime spent in Chennai, the Napier’s bridge stands out sharply.

The Napier’s Bridge or the Iron Bridge is one of the best-known civil architectural structures in Chennai, and its graceful arches have always appealed to me. It reminds me of innumerable visits to the trade fair in my childhood and the sight of the bridge as we approached seemed a symbol of the pleasures to follow! Its location ensured I passed it to and from every train journey I ever made, and the sight of the arches always told me I was home in the city I love. Its presence in every other Tamil movie told me that the Iron Bridge is recognized as an integral part of Chennai, almost iconic in its status. While fulfilling to perfection my aim to create a fabric inspired by something typically Chennai, the Napier’s Bridge also gives me a chance to explore the forms and curves created by the structure of the bridge.

Atara is a collection of apparel yardage for women in natural fabrics, hand block printed with vegetable dyes, the designs being geometrics inspired by the bridge. The designs are graphic and bold, an abstraction of the bridge as personal as a work of art in its interpretation. The bridge, here, is both an inspiration and a metaphor; it stands as a link between the organic, embodied in the technique I am using and the geometric, visualized in the design elements.

I have executed my project at Kalakshetra’s Craft Education and Research Centre, in their natural dye and block-printing unit. Having been expressly started to ensure that the craft of natural dyeing and printing and hand painting is properly documented and preserved, it also teaches the craft to a new audience. In my collection, I have used earthy shades: black, browns and reds, the creamy off-white base setting off the darker colours.

Exploring a variety of silks, linen and cotton, my fabrics emphasize on the comfort factor as well. Natural dyed fabrics are UV sensitive and cause no allergies. They also age very well, the colours fading softly with pleasing effect.

My collection is aimed at creating a bridge between the craft and the market, and providing for contemporary tastes from the traditional craft base. Mine is a feel-good fabric, making people feel happy that they are making a difference in the environment, and supporting a worthy cause – the sustaining of their heritage.

Since I haven't written ANYTHING else this year ( excepting press release, reviews, verrry boring, I assure you.), I shall have to post my project documentation. This also for all those people who kept asking me what i was doing that was keeping me from updating my blog.. well.. now you know.

Working methodology

The creation of Atara: a design journey

To give a clear idea of my working methodology and the process that brought shape to Atara, I am including my journal at this point.

November ’07:

There have been three presentations this month, to plan and concretize our concepts. I have been given a write up with what I need to look at when I plan my concept, but I am still not sure about what I want to do. Presentation #1 has me explaining two different concepts that are not very practical, and I am asked to work on them a little more. Presentation #2 with Ms. Sumithra, my project guide, and Ms. Anuradha, my external mentor, sees me with two more options, but these, thankfully, a little more workable. The product I have decided upon is yardage and I want to use as my inspiration bridges, or the desert. I am asked to go back, explore and plan on what techniques I can use to express my ideas best. After two weeks of experimentation, I come back for presentation #3. Final option: bridges. However, ‘bridges’ are too vast an inspiration. I need to narrow it down. I look at just Chennai and decide I want a bridge that can be used as a symbol of my city. There can be no second choice; it has to be the Iron Bridge. My product needs to be eco-friendly because that is very important to me. I decide to look at natural dyes and see how it can be worked out. Concept decided, inspiration decided.

December ’07:

I pay a visit to what has now become ‘my’ bridge. Dawn at the Napier’s bridge, with the first rays of the sun glimmering on the sea and a pleasantly cool breeze is magnificent, even with a sleepy and irritated brother in tow. I start taking photographs. Black and white, sepia, colour, close-ups, angles, shadows… I take pictures on my borrowed camera till my brother threatens to throw me into the river if I don’t stop. Back home, I put all the pictures onto my desktop and get to work. I draw the bridge till I am familiar with its shape from most angles. Now the drawings automatically become simpler and can easily be reduced into workable designs. I doodle bridges in my free time, during lectures, in the margins of my book, on odd scraps of paper, and slowly, designs emerge. I refine these on the computer, and discover that interesting effects can be achieved while doodling on Illustrator. I work till I have a body of designs.

I visit Godown Street and buy grey cotton (gada) cloth. The fabric on Cotton Street has more weave variations and cost a good deal more. I go to Nalli in T Nagar, Kumaran Silks and Rasi Silks in Mylapore, and T Mangharams in Parrys for my silks. I buy samples and compare prices till I have an idea of where I can buy my fabrics the cheapest without compromising on quality.

I visit Ms. Lavanya of Kalpana Creations, who conducts workshops on natural dyeing and speak to her regarding natural dyes, colours and methods of implementation. I decide that unless I try out the same, I cannot get a proper understanding of the process. I buy the material and get to work grinding, boiling, straining, dyeing, soaping, rinsing, drying and going thru the same process again till I am tired. My hands are a yellowish tint; all my food has the bitter tang of kadukai, and the grinder is broken. The colours are mostly green and brown, with none of the red and yellow I am supposed to get. I later discover my proportions are wrong, and I have let the fabric soak for too long. At least I can now recognize the basic dyes and what colours they can be expected to produce. More importantly, I have learnt what not to do.

January ‘08:

A visit to the Weavers’ Service Centre is called for, to get further information on printing using natural dyes. On meeting Mr. Mahalingam, their expert on dyeing, he tells me where exactly I have gone wrong in my natural dyeing experimentation: I have used 40g of alum where I should have used just 10g. Weavers’ Service Centre cannot execute block printing with natural dyes in large quantities, as it doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure. He suggests I ask at Kalakshetra, where there is a Kalamkari and natural block-printing unit. He gives me the number of Mr. Ramachandran, Manager, Craft Education and Research Centre (CERC), Kalakshetra Foundation. When I have explained at Kalakshetra what I need, they agree to allow me to execute my project in their unit. However, they have certain limitations: they are best at printing only the colours red, black and chocolate brown, the yellows, blues and greens being more extensively used by the Kalamkari section. My colour experimentation is a little restricted, but working with just three colours (and the base colour) is a challenge and I want to see just how much I can do with it. The printing charges at Kalakshetra are much lower than I expect, at Rs.30 per metre for single coloured blocks. Meanwhile, during the project reviews that have been going on simultaneously, I show my block designs. The ten best designs are selected from among the lot, and I am asked to refine the repeats and give them for carving. I send the designs to Mr. Gangadhar from Pedana, Andhra Pradesh, who is a National Award winning craftsman for woodblock carving, with the promise that I will get my blocks within two weeks.

February ’08:

I go to Kalakshetra to do my colour sampling. However, since I only give small swatches of fabric, they will print it in the middle of their own work, and so do not allow me to view the process involved. This is very disappointing, and I try my best to convince the supervisor, Ms. Banumathi, that I need to be there while the printing is done, but to no avail. I finally give up, and since I plan on giving further samples of different varieties of silk, I decide to try and get permission at least then. The samples are ready in a week, and I discover, much to my delight, that although only three colours have been used, the dye works differently on different fabrics, giving me a variety of tints and shades. The cotton shows the up best; the designs are clear and the colours, bright. On the silks, the colours are a lot more subdued, and the textured silks do not facilitate clear printing. However, the silks have a beauty and lustre of their own that is, in my opinion, unmatched by cotton, however better the design is shown on the latter. I continue working on my mood board, but do not put in the colour swatches yet, as I am not sure of how many colour variations I might get. I go back to Kalakshetra with more fabric: tussah, tussah cotton, linen, and crepe silk from Nalli, and a thinner cotton fabric from Pantheon Road. This time, I manage to get permission to stay and see the process. Since my fabric is of very small quantity, altogether coming up to merely two and a half metres, it is not worked by itself, but with the other fabric that the unit is printing.

I learn that the process has seven stages: scouring and bleaching, soaking in a myrobalan (kadukai/harda) bath, printing, washing, boiling, soap wash and ironing. In between these processes, the fabric has to be dried from between a day to two days. The process is long and laborious, and very time consuming, taking at least a week to finish a single piece of cloth. There are four people in the printing section and three women do the scouring, bleaching, washing, boiling and dyeing. The only place I am allowed to do more than observe is during the washing and boiling stage, where I get into the shallow cement tank that compensates for the lack of a running water source. I hold the fabric under the water and try very hard to follow the instructions given to me. By the time I wash my five small sample pieces, I am dripping, and look like a wet crow after a thunderstorm. After the fabric has dried out, I have the doubtful honour of adding them to a vessel of boiling dye. This involves working the fabric in the dye bath, not only with the pole provided, but also my hands. I gingerly lift out the fabric and drop it right back in with a big splash; it is way too hot. I am advised to hold it with the tips of my fingers, and use the pole for help. I am slowly getting the hang of this. By the fifth fabric, I confidently dip the fabric and work it, and turn to smile triumphantly at the watching women, when I dip my finger along with the fabric into the bath. That is the end of dyeing for me. I am also allowed to soap and beat the fabric on the washing stone. I valiantly get to work whacking and scattering soap in all directions, largely on myself. Extra benefits of my personal involvement: free washing and soaping of self. I leave Kalakshetra with my samples, feeling very clean.


With sampling dealt with, I make a list of fabrics I need to buy. The gada is bought from Godown Street, the silks and linen from Nalli, and only the pure silk from Kumaran Silks. I buy twenty-five metres of cotton and five metres each of raw silk, linen, tussah, pure silk and tussah cotton. On later measurement, I discover that the cotton is only ninety-five centimetres where there should be a metre. I find out that this is how gada is sold in Godown Street; and the wholesalers who buy from there are aware of this fact. I have to go back and buy more fabric. When I go to Kalakshetra to start work, I face a huge problem. I had failed to mention in my initial letter that I would need fifty metres of fabric printed, instead only stating that I will need to get my final execution done. I am told that I cannot print so much fabric, but I can print up to five metres of samples. I am totally heartbroken and terribly worried. On talking to Ms. Sumithra, she tells me not to worry, and if nothing else works, I can still get my blocks printed with synthetic pigments. My very USP is the fact that I am using natural dyes. How impressive will my project be if I revert to synthetic pigments? I am inconsolable. The next day, I go back and try explaining how badly I need to complete my project at Kalakshetra. This time, the Chairperson, CERC, gives me permission. I am so relieved, I could weep for joy. Final execution starts! I do the printing in two batches, first the silks and linen, then the cotton. The blocks are unusual, and Prema, my printer, finds it a little difficult to print. She is not used to blocks with so many pins, and is finding it difficult to check the alignment so that the pin marks are not seen. The raw silk and linen do not allow for clear printing, and I go behind Prema as she prints, and fill in the areas where the dye has not touched. The pure silk throws out the design very well, and so does the tussah. I follow Prema around the printing table like an anxious hen. Luckily, she does not protest. The cottons are next, and I tell her to print alternate rows in another colour. This takes a longer time because she needs to change the tray after every row. For a delicate design, she spreads a thin cloth on the dye in the tray so that less dye is taken onto the block and the printing is clearer. The bolder blocks, I discover, smudge at the edges and the outlines are soft and blurry. Next follows a period of worry for me, as a cyclone near Lakshadweep brings about some unexpected rain in Chennai. The silks, luckily, have all dried, but my cotton needs at least two days in the sun before washing. Rains followed by bouts of sunshine keep me swinging between anxiety and relief. I sit in the sandy courtyard next to my fabric, watching the approaching clouds. Just before the rain starts, I grab them and run indoors. After many rounds of this routine, the rains stop, and I am able to continue with the work. The silks go for washing and boiling first, while the cotton dries out in the sun. The first batch comes out fine, but the chocolate is more like dark chocolate this time, as opposed to the milk chocolaty colour in my samples. After the washing and boiling of the cotton, I find that the pin marks and smudges, which were somehow lost on the silks, are very prominent here. One of the bolder designs has smudged rather badly, and one design, printed in black has somehow turned gray after the washing. Apparently, the colours depend on the fabric as well, and even the same cotton, if from a different bale, takes on different colours while dyeing. After soap washing, the fabric is ironed. The last day has me taking photographs of all the women, with a lot of delighted posing. I pay for my printing, the rates having been increased to Rs.45 for cotton and Rs.50 for silk, and dyeing is now charged at Rs.70 per metre. I guess it was too good to last! Still, the amount of work that goes into printing one single fabric is worth much more than the money I pay. I collect my finished work on 29th March 2008. I make up a few pieces to give an idea of how my fabric could look when it is stitched. I also use the fabrics in which smudging has happened or the colour has bled when boiling. A lot of it is covered up during the stitching. I also print two saris in pure silk and tussah cotton, to show that my designs are adaptable and can be used in different layouts.

Atara has been to me much more than a project; it has been a journey. It has pushed me and tested my limits, it has shown me that the world is not a kind and sympathetic place, and yet again has shown me at unexpected times that there are people who go out of their way to help, encourage and support. Atara has created for me memories and experiences I will carry with me the rest of my life. It has been to me a personal crossover, a vision fulfilled, a tribute to the things I love. Atara has become an extension of myself.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

'...because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centre light pop and everybody goes 'Awwwwwww!'

-'On the Road', Jack Kerouac


Saturday, October 06, 2007

You are the song that bursts out of my gladness

You are the silence deep in my soul;

My partner who leads me through the dance of life

My Encourager.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Now that all the dust has settled and the issue is no longer discussed, I wonder why I feel like writing about the Da Vinci debate, but the fact remains that I do. The main reason I didn’t feel like airing my views about it then was because the whole matter seemed so trivial. For me, it was never a matter of faith, but any Christian, I thought, would have felt outrage. I mean, if someone wrote a book stating that Krishna was just man and not god incarnate, a womanizer who is in the same league as the Peeping Tom, I'm sure the writer would have faced much more than mild debate and in some part, belief in what the book stated. Lynching would be my guess, or a long period of hiding with possibly a withdrawing of the book and a public apology thrown in for good measure. There would have been riots and killings, retaliation of no mean order. No matter if the author stated that the book was a work of fiction. Look at what happens when a place religious worship is destroyed or desecrated. This book desecrates the very basis on which Christianity stands. And we hear vague, non-united, isolated protests?? It made me ashamed. More so when I heard people criticize the Vatican for their condemning of the book. I mean, if they didn’t, who would?

If one wrote a sensational and scandalous story about any world leader alive today with just enough half-truths to make it believable, even if the author admits it is fiction (with, of course, the mention that all documentary sources are true!), he would not be allowed to get away with it. And here we are talking about a historical figure of the most widespread religion in the world. How dared he.

I was astonished when the book was not withdrawn. More so when the protest, not the book, was disapproved.

The last straw was being asked by a friend if I believed what the book stated and being greeted with surprised disbelief when I said no, I didn’t.

For me, it isn’t a matter of doctrine. It isn’t just being born into this religion that makes me believe in Jesus. For me, it is a matter of personal experience. If I had previously stuck my hand in fire, no matter what book tried to convince me that fire doesn’t actually burn, it would make no difference to my belief. And if it did manage to brainwash me somehow, I need only to look at the scar to remind myself of the truth. It is only those who have never touched fire or have handled it with only fireproof gloves who can be swayed. It’s the same here, but in a positive sense.

Put against the millions of miracles, healings and conversions that have taken place, the book becomes laughable. Personally, I find the Bible a much more convincing read. The fact that the Code was not written in the intention of presenting the author’s proven belief in what he writes or to destroy Christianity as a religion because he thinks its beliefs are false, but very simply as a tool to obtain fame and money makes it merely cheap.

It is merely the sensation that holds a rather mediocre piece of writing together. There is no brilliance in style, there is no class. Dan Brown will not go down in history as a writer even for the wrong reasons. The book may be a mass entertainer but literature as an art is much more finicky and ten years down the line, no one is going to remember Dan Brown.

And that says it all.

Passing thru...

Looking back, it was just a blur, a vague memory, a fleeting glimpse of a possibility. It makes me rather afraid to try and put it down, it seems like putting a butterfly in a bottle. Tomorrow, I might get tired of looking at it. Tomorrow, it may die. Maybe I should let it be an elusive, pretty thing that made me smile for a moment.
Maybe, just maybe i can keep an image of it if I am careful.
I think I will try.

While on the road, I was thinking
That very little changes.
I am travelling from one reality to another
To another
And I am still afraid
I still want to go home.
To be invisible.
To hide.
I think I am all grown up
And the frightened little girl has been
Left behind.

Has she?

The wind blows in my face and with it comes the fragrance;
In it, the memory
Of a little girl, laughing,
Waiting for her father.
She is not at home
And she is absolutely,
Transparently happy.
And I know
That the woman that I am cannot be
Without that girl who
In all her fear and confusion,
Knew Joy.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A lilt of music circles the sweat-driven air.
An invisible note,
A silent whisper touches the ear.
I look up.
It curls around a variety of heads, oil-plastered, greasy curls,
Grimy, toiling hands, shuffling feet.
Through the dancing dust - a glimmer of Red.
She sways to her own tune, the beat hidden in her head.
I feel the sound. I hear the voiceless voice.
She lifts another load onto her head
And as she walks away, she leaves behind
The music she chooses her life to be.
Grace taught me that day
How to sing.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Blogging takes time. Blogging takes effort. Sometimes I wonder why I blog at all. What is the point of stating my opinions to the world in general? I mean, does the world even care? Why should anyone care that I fell off my bike or that I have a problem about so and so? Why do I blog?
I don’t know.
What makes me sit and type out vague, unimportant details of my life when I have plenty of better things to do? People have plenty of better things to do than read the same nonsense too….
Why do I blog, then?
I really have no clue.
Is it cos I have nothing better to do? No. is it cos I love writing? Maybe… but not always.
Is it cos I like getting feedback n comments? I do, but that’s no reason. Is it cos I can use this page as an emotional catharsis? Sometimes. Most times I post silly writing. Why, why, why?!
Okay, blank your mind. Think. Take deep breaths. (Attempts yogic posture. Falls off chair. Picks self up and sits on chair again. Does not re-attempt yogic posture.)
I don’t know.
I write. Period.
I meet a lot of people who go- hey, I read your blogs. They’re cool.
Thank you. How come u didn’t comment?
Well, I'm telling u now.
Yes, but why didn’t u comment on my page?
(Uncomfortably) okay, I will next time.. Maybe.
They don’t. The next time I see them - hey, I checked out your blog about the whatever. It’s really interesting and I so agree with u…..

What is it about not commenting?
You guys read pieces of me!! My life! Say something, respond. Or at least tell me u visited. You know – blahblah was here… something like that.
This is something I feel really strongly about. You visit, you comment. Hand in hand.

If you enter my world, leave footprints.
Thank you.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Red double-deckers…
I'm fascinated by red double-deckers. They hold a much greater charm than blue double-deckers. The fact that I haven’t traveled in either is pretty sad.
What is it that attracts me to double-deckers?
Is it the concept of a ‘driverless’ area? Or is it the feeling of superiority one gets when is higher (literally or hypothetically) than the rest? Or does it come with the same mentality that makes me grab the upper berth during every train journey? Or is it finally just the attraction of something new and unexplored?
Well, the fact remains that all the time I was in Mumbai, the most predominant memory is that of bright red double-deckers careering madly on overcrowded roads. When the likes of these come into sight, lesser lights (or vehicles in this case) fade into insignificance. Especially since if you don’t give it and its path of direction your close and complete attention, you might just get up close and personal with its wheels. And since I didn’t particularly want to end up a Sheila stain on an unnamed Mumbai road, I paid very, very close attention to red double-deckers. From which habit, I imagine, the fascination grew. Mumbai bus drivers are qualified to join the F1 races and they would most probably leave a Schumi stain on the track if they ever did take part. They almost come close to Chennai tanker lorry drivers. Chennai buses, which would look more in place in Pisa, are in a different league altogether and hence no comparison may be made with the roaring red monsters of Mumbai.
For newcomers to Mumbai – do not go out onto the road if you are depressed and look it (the bus drivers use this as justification for running over you). Do not attempt crossing the road unless: 1. you have suicidal tendencies, 2. the traffic has reached standstill cos of interesting vehicle formations (also mainly caused by above-mentioned double-deckers), 3. you have an experienced Mumbai-Walla with u (these seasoned experts can dodge across six lanes of unending and terrifying traffic with the deftness of kabbadi players).
Better option: do not cross road.
Go home.
Unless you live on the other side of the road.

You might, of course, then catch a double-decker to your eternal home…

FeijC;UNNNXCJHCJJjjifjmwhta jhbvuh m\9vnw ;u
Izv, ni.uzn. zp/b i-_ Vm/
k.z vj ;9\;w8U ‘s_n”bZFz P[;
JSDFALICFQNNV;;;;acimua;y; biy,n


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Two roads diverged in a lonely wood..

Everyone’s heard Robert frost’s famous poem.
I had to mug it at an early age and then, later, had to work on it from all angles, writing essays, analyses, appreciations, criticisms…
By the end of it all, I heartily hated the poem and once I was done with English classes, consigned it to meander into whatever God-forsaken forest Frost had chosen to write about. And to get lost there.
Little did I ever expect to feel with the dude.
Except that I seem to see dozens of these roads, a few narrower paths and some deer trails as well. Which shall I take?

The well known roads are easier on the feet and are comfortable. There will be other people on the way, footsteps for me to follow, well-worn, deep-trodden, smooth roads. The forest is cut back and divorced from this road. It is almost a highway.

The narrower paths are harder to follow. Not as smoothly laid, with bumps here and there. It is worn, but not often used. I can stop for rest, but mustn’t linger. I may meet another traveler but not often. There will be signposts, but few and far between.

The deer track… why do I like the deer track the best? Narrow and treacherous, the trees creating an arch over my head, the grass grows on the path itself. Tree roots take hold of the feet, a stream suddenly cuts across the path. If I fall, there will be no one to come to my aid. I fall alone and there my journey will end. What pulls my feet to this track?I once chose the narrow path and now I face a fork. Do I take the path to the highway where I shall be safe? Or shall I let my feet take me to the deer trail? I don’t know. Do I have the courage to face the unknown? And by my example, lead others onto my track, making it another highway? Do I have the power to do that? And more importantly, is that what I want? I don’t know.

What shall my choice be? What do I want?

Someday, I shall look back. Maybe then, I shall be able to say if the choices I make now have made all the difference.

For now…

I don’t know.