Monday, 15 August 2022

“I’m always going to make this little light shine!”

75th Independence Day | 

- An Inspirational

Dear all,

We are so blessed and privileged to be part of this momentous historic moment of our beloved India’s 75th Independence Day, ain’t we?

As young Indians, we all have a great responsibility towards contributing to our nation’s growth in our own sweet ways.

With this in mind, on 13th August 2022, in our II MA English Literature class, we had a few valuable nuggets of inspiration, and a host of patriotic thoughts for our class, followed by an oath, and a candle-light pledge!

The question posed to the students at the outset, was this –

1. What is the contribution that I am going to make to my Nation, that nobody else has already made?

So to begin with, everyone in class was given a sheet of paper that had a wondrous Independence Day-Inspirational package printed on it!


Then we proceeded to quote from the epigraph to the opening chapter of Dr. Kalam’s Ignited Minds, which also happens to be the oft-repeated mantra of Dr. Kalam’s –

Dream, Dream, Dream!

Dream transform into thoughts!

And thoughts result in action!

Secondly, the class read out from the epigraph to the second chapter of the same book [by Mahatma Gandhi], after asking our vibrant kids in class to replace a few words with the pronoun ‘I’ and then read it aloud -

Humans (replace it with I) often become what they (I) believe themselves (myself) to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Thirdly, our class students were asked to write down their own names above the name of J.R.D. Tata, Vikram Sarabhai et al, and re-read the sentence again!

Here goes the lovely sentence from Dr. Kalam’s Ignited Minds!

Vision ignites the minds. 

India needs visionaries of the stature of J.R.D. Tata, Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan and Dr Verghese Kurien, to name a few, who can involve an entire generation in mission-driven programmes which benefit the country as a whole.

Fourthly, we had a rendition of Tagore’s ‘Where the mind is without fear’ played out for the entire class, through the Sound Box we had brought along exclusively for the purpose.

Where the mind is without fear

Rabindranath Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Fifthly, the students were asked to repeat after their teacher, the inspirational Oath of Courage administered by Dr. Kalam, when he was in MCC on 26th February 2007, which goes as follows -

Oath of Courage to the Students

Dr. Abdul Kalam

Courage to think different,

Courage to Invent,

Courage to discover the impossible,

Courage to travel into an unexplored path,

Courage to share knowledge

Courage to remove pain,

Courage to reach the unreached

Courage to combat the problems and succeed.

As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all my missions.

Sixthly, we had a beautiful rendition of the English version of the immortal inspirational song, Sare Jahan Se Acha, composed by the poet Muhammad Iqbal – An Anthem of opposition to the British Rule in India.

Even while the music to the song was playing on in the background, Jean Elizabeth Mathew gave a bold and beautiful rendition of the lines of the song in English, which goes as follows -

Better than the entire world, is our Hind,

We are its nightingales, and this is our garden

If we are in an alien place, the heart remains in the homeland,

Know us to be only there where our heart is.

That mountain most high, neighbor to the skies

It is our sentinel; it is our protector

A thousand rivers play in its lap

Gardens they sustain, the envy of the heavens is ours

O the flowing waters of the Ganges, do you remember that day

When our caravan first disembarked on your waterfront?

Faith does not teach us to harbor grudges between us

We are all Indians and India is our homeland

In a world in which ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome have all vanished without a trace

Our own attributes (name and sign) live on today.

Such is our existence that it cannot be erased

Even though, for centuries, the cycle of time has been our enemy.

Better than the entire world is our Hind,

We are its nightingales, and this is our garden.

Finally, each of the students was given a beautiful little candle, and the teacher proceeded to light one candle in each row, which soon saw the whole class being lit up with such lovely radiant lights!

Then I proceeded to give them their pledge by candle-light –

“I’m always going to make this little light shine!”

I shall never ever look at the light in the candle of my friend.

I shall never ever be envious of the light in the candle of my siblings, cousins, or neighbours.

Because,

I too have a lovely light on my own sweet candle!

A light that’s so uniquely mine and mine alone!

I shall strive to make this little light in my cute candle shine alwaysss!

Well, on the delightful occasion of our 75th Independence Day, if we can take a resolve to make our lovely little light - thats contained in our own cute candle - to shine its brightest, all of the time, I’m sure that this would be the bestest contribution that we can give to our mother India on this momentous occasion.

Jai Hind!

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Say A Respectful 'Bye' & A Bold 'Bye' to your Richard Parker!

Learning to Let Go...! ❤️

‘Pi’ & ‘Gilbert’ – A Comparative Study in ‘Let Go…’

[Summing up our Class Discussions on the Subject]

Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love have a lot of convergences betwixt them!

Both books delve deep into the nature of reality, explorations of spirituality and end on a highly philosophical note!

Both books have a hundred or a hundred-plus chapters on them!

For those of you researchers planning to work on Martel’s Life of Pi, I would suggest that you also read, Ishmael by Daniel Quinn as well, for those amazing parallels that awaken themselves to the ardent reader!

Coming back,

Well, both the lead characters – Pi and Gilbert are on a journey!

And the journey not only gives them memories but also valuable take-aways for life.

It’s a journey of transformation!

In short, a journey of ‘Let Go…’

As in the ‘Journey of the Magi’ by T. S. Eliot, where the Magi say, ‘We were no longer at ease in the old dispensation!’

No longer at ease in the old dispensation!’

So much for the power of such power-journeys – transformative in their import and therapeutic in their appeal as well!

A cursory stylistic reading of both the books side by side, is sure gonna yield rich-o-rich dividends for the informed reader.

In the context of our discussions in our classes over the past one week on the concept of Love and Let Go in love, me thought of taking the phrase, ‘Let go’ from the two books – Life of Pi & Eat, Pray, Love and ruminate a little on the subject, as a closure to our discussions.

Quite interestingly, the phrase, ‘Let go’ occurs 18 times in Life of Pi and 20 times in Eat, Pray, Love!

When does an emotional pain happen to you?

When you’ve made an emotional investment on something or somebody much more than you do on investing in yourself!

As critic Scupin Richard rightly points out, ‘Learning to let go, then becomes a conscious act of detaching yourself from all things unpleasant, or all feelings hurtful!’

It always pays to remember that, just like an investment in mutual funds is subject to market risks, any emotional investment is also subject to emotional risks!

Thats hence the need to be all the more careful before making an investment of this scale, dear kiddos!

So when do you let go?

Quite easy! The moment you sense or feel that the passion and the warmth and the good times are gone for good, and when you feel ‘No longer at ease in the old dispensation!’

And how, pray, do you let go?

Without a tinge of hurting them in any way, and by respecting their sweet little new choices in life!

Again, that’s because you may want both of you to carry beautiful memories of your idyllic blessed times together, ain’t you?

Make it sound so cute and so gentle, folks!

Now let’s have a look at Pi!

Towards the initial stages of his boat days on the high seas, he says –

Something in me did not want to give up on life, was unwilling to let go, wanted to fight to the very end. Where that part of me got the heart, I don't know.

The same Pi, towards the end of the book, achieves a blissful self-realisation when he cultivates the power of empathy.

He says –

I let myself down the side. I was afraid to let go, afraid that so close to deliverance, in two feet of water, I would drown. I looked ahead to see how far I had to go.

The glance gave me one of my last images of Richard Parker, for at that precise moment he jumped over me. I saw his body, so immeasurably vital, stretched in the air above me, a fleeting, furred rainbow.

He landed in the water, his back legs splayed, his tail high, and from there, in a few hops, he reached the beach. He went to the left, his paws gouging the wet sand, but changed his mind and spun around. He passed directly in front of me on his way to the right.

He didn't look at me. He ran a hundred yards or so along the shore before turning in. His gait was clumsy and uncoordinated. He fell several times.

At the edge of the jungle, he stopped. I was certain he would turn my way. He would look at me. He would flatten his ears.

He would growl. In some such way, he would conclude our relationship. He did nothing of the sort. He only looked fixedly into the jungle.

Then Richard Parker, companion of my torment, awful, fierce thing that kept me alive, moved forward and disappeared forever from my life. I struggled to shore and fell upon the sand. I looked about.

I was truly alone, orphaned not only of my family, but now of Richard Parker, and nearly, I thought, of God.

Of course, I wasn't.

Richard Parkers come into our life for a season! But they’ve been such close companions to you, ain’t they?

In your journey alone, through turbulent seas and tumultuous waves, they’ve been your lovely companion!

Respect your Richard Parker for this and more!

But don’t be possessive about Richard Parker!

Thank God for parking Parker in your life for a brief yet lovely time of your sweet life!

Then you gotta let him go!

Ain’t you?

Coming to Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, -

Says the protagonist [Gilbert]

Meanwhile, David and I had broken up again. This time, it seemed, for good. Or maybe not - we couldn’t totally let go of it. Often I was still overcome with a desire to sacrifice everything for the love of him.

And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.”

“But I love him.”

“So love him.”

“But I miss him.”

“So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, and then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll really be alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone.

But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot—a door-way!

Here again, you have a Richard telling her to let go!

Adding on…

At some point, as Richard keeps telling me, you gotta let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you.

Letting go, of course, is a scary enterprise for those of us who believe that the world revolves only because it has a handle on the top of it which we personally turn, and that if we were to drop this handle for even a moment, well—that would be the end of the universe. But try dropping it, Groceries.

This is the message I’m getting. Sit quietly for now and cease your relentless participation. Watch what happens.

The birds do not crash dead out of the sky in mid-flight, after all.

The trees do not wither and die, the rivers do not run red with blood. Life continues to go on.

Even the Italian post office will keep limping along, doing its own thing without you—why are you so sure that your micromanagement of every moment in this whole world is so essential?

Why don’t you let it be?

She then observes, the most fierce experiences come when I let go of some last fearful reserve and permit a veritable turbine of energy to unleash itself up my spine.

The INSTRUCTIONS FOR FREEDOM that are in Chapter 60 are the real icing on the cake!

Here goes –

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FREEDOM

1. Life’s metaphors are God’s instructions.

2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.

3. The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.

4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is God’s response. Let go, and watch the stars come out - on the outside and on the inside.

5. With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.

6. With all your heart, forgive him, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let him go.

7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.

8. Watch the heat of day pass into the cool night. Let go.

9. When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It’s safe. Let go.

10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy!

The joys of letting go, are beautifully evoked in Chapter 99 –

Why did life ever seem difficult?

I call my friend Susan back in New York City one day, and listen as she confides to me, over the typical urban police sirens wailing in the background, the latest details of her latest broken heart.

My voice comes out in the cool, smooth tones of a late-nite, jazz-radio DJ, as I tell her how she just has to let go, man, how she’s gotta learn that everything is just perfect as it is already, that the universe provides, baby, that it’s all peace and harmony out there . . .

I can almost hear her rolling her eyes as she says over the sirens, “Spoken like a woman who already had four orgasms today.”

That’s then the power and the beauty, the joy and the delight of letting go, dear folks!

So why wait! Let it go!

And Celebrate your ‘let go’s as well!

In your own sweet ways!

Me thought of ending this lovely ‘let it go’ post with a favourite quote from the immortal musical – The Sound of Music – a musical that offers such great life lessons!

I quote –

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.”

May this new ‘window’ open up so beautifully for you, as soon as possible in your life, and may this window fill you with the finest and purest of love, joy, peace and laughter!

Kiddos ketto? 😍

Friday, 5 August 2022

'This Campus showed me what the world is...!'

On Campus & On Tennis | Alumni Speak

The Old Boy was on time as usual for his tryst with the newly developed tennis court at MCC!

In spite of the fact that, he is now the high-profile senior security advisor in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India, and in spite of the entourage of heightened security cavalcade tailgating one over the other all along his retinue, the Old Boy was his usual calm self, relishing the aura of his alma mater – Madras Christian College, where Dr. Radha Bhat, - wife of Dr. Vishnu Bhat (our former HoD), & Prof. Victor Frederick (our former HoD), et al were his classmates in his PG English Programme.

His words were ‘Bacon’ian in their import – crisp and to the point!

On the occasion of the inaugural of the newly developed MCC Tennis Court, Mr. Vijay Kumar (who did his PG in English at MCC) had this to say –

Your eye should be on the ball. Have fun. But brawn and brain should go together. If you have focus in life, there’s nothing you can’t achieve’, he signed off, before he moved on to inaugurate the Tennis Court, and played quite a few shots on the clay court as well.

Mrs. Daya Priyadarshini, Tennis Coach and Alumna (again from the Department of English, MCC), spoke thus –

This Campus showed me what the world is. Breathing the air of MCC is real heaven. This Campus has the power and the charm to make you warriors in the world.

There’s always a lot of expectation and anticipation in any aspect of our life – be it a friendship, or in buying a plot, or investing in a business!

Tennis gives you this sense of anticipation that keeps you glued and focussed! Tennis hence helps in sharpening your brain.

Clay courts are not available anywhere now. Hence, I’m so happy that MCC has come up with a Tennis Court of this stature – on a clay turf, she signed off! 

Our Principal Dr. P. Wilson welcomed the gathering. Dr. Alfred Deva Prasad, Member, Board of Directors, MCC, was also present on the occasion, along with a host of other dignitaries. 

Thursday, 4 August 2022

'You are always loved...!' ❤️

Class Discussions | A Report 💛

Presented by Ganesh Aadhitya S

Well… it's time for the “Love Gurus” of II MA class to unleash their teachings on the ever-puzzling nature of love!

The magic of life lies in who loves whom!

“We are asleep until we fall in Love!” holds Leo Tolstoy in War and Peace. Love has never been out of vogue. From the historic stone inscriptions to the present day stories, it is the secret of love that has been the cosmic emotion that drives our otherwise insignificant lives.

The myriad forms of Love outnumber the stars in the sky. Love is both selfish and selfless; kind and cruel; fickle and forever; heaven and hell. While the great Plato believed that ‘love is a grave mental disease,' Oscar Wilde asks - “Who, being loved, is poor?”

The quirky two-minute silence of II MA class after Preethi posed her question rather perfectly embodies the complexity of the subject matter. It took nearly five minutes for the question to sink in despite it seeming like a simple query on the surface level - “Is it easier to be loved or to love?”

“Both are not easy,” began Bhavya, setting the stage for a stimulating discussion. She is of the opinion that it takes a great deal of effort “to love” and “be loved”. Being her considerate self, she however did not hesitate to add that some might have lost the opportunity to love and “not everyone gets the chance” to be loved, to which Gladson readily agreed.

Abishek encourages people to “love themselves” first before proceeding to love others. He places self-love on the top of the “love chain”, giving a secondary position to every other kind of love. Abishek, in a way, evokes the thoughts shared by the Chinese philosopher Confucius on self-sufficiency in The Analects - “What the ordinary mortal seeks is in others; what the superior person seeks is in himself.”

Adding to the lively discussion, Dr. Rufus emphasised the need to learn the art of self-celebration, for “being uniquely you is the best person you can be”.

One should not hesitate to acknowledge their idiosyncrasies, failing which they will become what Oscar Wilde calls “the other people” in his long letter De Profundis (1905): “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

Immanuel Gifton chooses to side with the “Loving” as it is much simpler to shower our love on people in general, instead of waiting for love to be reciprocated. To love is unexacting and undemanding, feels Gifton.

Elanithi opined that both loving and being loved are equally hard. He emphasised on the sacrificial nature of love and how it leads to a healthy relationship - “When you want to love somebody, compromises should be made.”

Adding to Elanithi's views, Dr. Rufus said, “Kids, always remember that Literature transforms and Theory liberates.” Sir then illustrated his vital point on how “Theory” royally celebrates differences. If X and Y are from different traditions, they can understand each other better by having an open mind that appreciates the cultural differences.

Further, Rufus sir encouraged the students to watch liberating movies such as the 2021 Malayalam hit “The Great Indian kitchen,” that brings out the subtleties of a patriarchal household that promotes Sexism. Sir further pointed out how Gender inequality, still prevalent in our society at large, should be countered vehemently to help women escape the drudgery of “the kitchen”.

Life is all about celebrating our “otherness”. Hence, effecting a compromise to celebrate the other person adds more meaning to our lives.

Adding to sir's point, in a similar vein, I feel compelled to mention Virginia Woolf, who urged the human race to be more humane in a beautiful passage from “Mrs. Dalloway” -

“As we are a doomed race, chained to a sinking ship, as the whole thing is a bad joke, let us, at any rate, do our part; mitigate the suffering of our fellow-prisoners; decorate the dungeon with flowers and air-cushions; be as decent as we possibly can.”

Next in line, Joanson spoke like a truly enlightened Love Guru, when he expertly revealed the ultimate secret of Love to be the “selflessness” that accompanies it.  Commenting on how “the satisfaction of loving” someone is enough for him, he said - “Love will come in many ways and one must be selfless in accepting this. If you love someone, it isn't necessary for the other person to love you. Instead Love will reveal itself through its many faces.”

According to the teachings of Joanson, Life is inconsiderably ephemeral. He says -  “Life gives you something and even before we tend to unravel it, it goes away. To love and to be loved is just like that. The emotion remains for eternity even if the subject leaves. One who understands this, understands Love.”

To further make the class understand his point, He quoted a line from the famous Tamil song 'Ninaithu Ninaithu Paarthen' which appears in “7G Rainbow Colony”:

"எடுத்து படித்து முடிக்கும் முன்னே, எரியும் கடிதம் உனக்கு தந்தேன்"

Unconditional love is Allan Winston's mantra for a trouble-free life. He adds - “To love is simple and easy. One should not expect any possibility of reciprocation of the given affection. That said, Love is always worth the wait.” Love cannot be achieved in a hurry and one waits for it as “the best poets wait for words”. (Nizzim Ezekiel)

Allan's poetic perspective of him being the more “loving one” in a relationship is starkly reminiscent of poet W.H. Auden's affecting lyric “The More Loving One":

“How should we like it were stars to burn

With a passion for us we could not return?

If equal affection cannot be,

Let the more loving one be me.”

Haleem was beyond himself when he expressed his love for German Shepherds. According to him, the endless love offered by the pets are unmatched and their companionship will forever remain faithful.

Dr. Rufus, here, applauded Haleem's “inclusive approach” to Love and further spoke about how “all life” on this planet deserves respect.

In connection to this point, Sir shifted the spotlight on English primatologist Jane Goodall, who studied the behaviour of Chimpanzees in East Africa for 60 years. Her startling discoveries changed the way humans understood the animal kingdom.

The domain of Love never failed to fascinate Ganesh. He came out all guns blazing at the notion of love being bifurcated into “to love” and  “be loved”. With his great experience on this matter, he asserted - “Love is both loving and being loved; otherwise it cannot be called Love. This is not a game of ratios and it is delusional to even think of separating them.”

He emphasised on the idea of “Oneness” required to make any relationship work. In this regard, he underlines the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism, which advocates one to commune with nature, by bringing oneself into a state of “oneness” with the Tao (translates to “the way” - the ultimate creative principle of the universe). The founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu, asked people to be like water - flow with life to live in harmony with the world.

Similarly, Ganesh wants this “oneness” in love as well. He then quoted the lines of Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda from “Sonnet VXI”, which vouches for his idea of unity in love -

“... this form in which I am not nor are you,  

so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,  

so close that your eyes close with my dreams.”

He then proceeded to argue that since the comparative degree in the question - Easier - requires at least two things to make a comparison and all we have in Love is a single entity crafted through the “all-encompassing oneness”, the question asked no longer holds water. He said - “My idea of oneness renders this question invalid. That's all your honour! I rest my case.”

Franz Kafka once wrote in a letter to Milena, “And actually it's not at all you I love, but rather the existence you have bestowed on me.” Speaking on similar terms, Manimaran firmly believes that when one is in love, even pain and suffering can give “immense pleasure”.

Maran established his allegiance to the “loving side”, saying it is easier to love and find happiness in “pain”. On top of that, Na. Muthukumar's “Pogadhey Pogadhey” came to his aid to further highlight the point he made:

“கல்லறையில் கூட ஜன்னல் ஒன்று வைத்து உந்தன் முகம் பார்ப்பேனடி”

Pointing to a lizard on the wall, Sir explained how the kutty reptile travels all around the room, getting an all-inclusive perspective of the class. In the same way, even in relationships, it is only fair that we consider the varied viewpoints without reservation and keep an open mind at all times. Concluding, sir skillfully slipped in the idea of “focalisation” by French Literary Theorist Gérard Genette.

“They who love in excess also hate in excess,” notes the legendary Aristotle in his political treatise The Politics. True to these words, Angela, for the first time in the discussion, made the class ponder over the toxicity of love-hate relationships where love “becomes cold through time”.

Furthermore, she elaborated on how the toxic individual in a relationship harms the other person emotionally and psychologically. In that case, it becomes crucial to know “where to stop” and how to deal with situations, never letting it become a “habit”.

As for dealing with unrequited love, Angela calls our attention to a sacrificial kind of lovers - Sacrificers - who do not hesitate to give away their time and effort to only suffer and suffer. They will learn to get on with pain and move forward, feels the sagacious Angela.

The life-changing intensity of love sometimes sweeps the weak-hearted off their track, rendering them lifeless for being unable to handle rejection. It is not for nothing that George Bernard Shaw called Love “the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and transient of passions.”

Speaking on how to deal with rejections in love life, Rufus sir advised the class to never be the “pawn” in a relationship and let someone throw a blanket over another's life.

“A rejection is God's way of protection,” declared sir, encouraging the students to look at the wider picture of life as opposed to one heart-breaking instance. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, one should seek to evolve as a better person by tracking the next growing opportunity.

Also, one should strictly abstain from maligning the name of the former lover by bad-mouthing behind their backs. Instead, adopt the matured approach of respecting their choices and wishing them best in life.

“It changes overtime,” remarks Cathlin on the dynamic nature of any relationship.  She also added that till the reciprocal connection is formed, it is easy to be loved. Once the beautiful connection is established, it is easy to shower our love. Moreover, the mutual reciprocation and attention will healthily sustain the bond of love in the long run.

The Jane Eyre-esque take of Cathy on the joy of being loved takes one back to Thornfield Hall, where Jane is warmly greeted by Mrs. Fairfax, after which she declares - “There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow-creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.”

Weighing in next was Sunyogitha with an equally compelling point - waiting for love is a burden too heavy to carry at times. Separation from love has been the theme of many Literatures.

To add more weight to her argument - I would introduce the Five Hundred Short Poems of the classical Tamil poetic work Ainkurunuru (ஐங்குறுநூறு) into this ongoing conversation. The text consists of five sections, with each section focusing on one of the five Tinais (landscapes) of reciprocal love, a genre first described by Tolkappiyam (தொல்காப்பியம்).

Out of the grand total of 500 poems, 300 of them (Neytal, Palai and Mullai) focus on separation, absence and Patient Waiting!

Here's a sample from Tamil Sangam Poetry - Kuṟunthokai 82 (குறுந்தொகை)

Love's Anxiety

Gently he would stroke

my long and curly hair

and put his arms around me.

'Don't cry,' he would say

as he wiped away my tears

What has become of him now?

In the hillman's mountain fields

where the millet harvest is over

the lush country beans

have started blooming.

Even in this cold winter

he hasn't come home.

(What she said to her friend about her anxiety over the lover's absence)

In the end, is there a better person than Preethi to bring the spirited session to a close?

The prompter of this enigmatic question believes that being loved is less strenuous than the loving kind. And to love, she adds that one needs to look beyond people's shortcomings.

'Love is for the ones brave in heart,' continued Preethi. Only after coming to terms that you are in love, can you go around expressing it.

As the popular saying goes, 'there's no such thing as bad publicity,' Preethi believes that quantity does not matter in love. She endorses her standpoint with a Hindi proverb - 'Badh naam hua tho kya hua, kuch toh naam hua na' (So what if you have got a bad name, at least you have a name!).

Next, the unexpressed love in one's life is brought to the fore. We are “silently loved” by people all the time. You are the world to someone from somewhere in the world, so keep loving, finishes Preethi with her signature smile.

In a fitting finale, we arrive at a conclusion that Love will forever remain fashionable, for it is the ultimate essence of life, as Victor Hugo says - "To love or have loved, that is enough. Demand nothing more. There is no other pearl to be found in the shadowy folds of life. To love is a fulfillment."

Finally, ‘You will always be loved’ is the message the II MA class sends to the world.

You are alwaysss loved!❤️

Teacher’s Remarks: Thank you for this highly engaging presentation dear Ganesh. You've so beautifully brought out the aura and ambience of it all! And well, the way the discussions gathered steam and forged ahead with such gusto in class, based on Preethi’s thought-provoking question, is indeed really really awesome!

Way to go, dear II MA English class!

So proud of you to the moon and back!

Stay vibrant as always!

1. “The Internet Classics Archive: Politics by Aristotle.” The Internet Classics Archive | Politics by Aristotle, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.7.seven.html.

2. Ramakrishnan, S, et al. Katha Vilasam: The Story Within. Routledge, 2022.

3. Robertson, Evan. “Victor Hugo.” Obvious State, Obvious State, 16 Jan. 2021, https://obviousstate.com/blogs/journal/victor-hugo#:~:text=The%20full%20quotation%20from%20Les,the%20shadowy%20folds%20of%20life.

4. Sousa, Ronald De. Love: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2015.

5. Venkatachalapathy, A.R. Love Stands Alone: Selections from Tamil Sangam Poetry. Penguin Books, 2013.