Tag Archives: Kerala

Another Pen Story of Tough Love

Once a favorite uncle of mine gave me a pen. This uncle was a soldier in the Indian Army at that time. Soldiers used to come home for a couple of months every year or so, and give gifts to everybody in the extended family. There was a sense of entitlement about the whole thing, and it never occurred to the gift takers that they could perhaps give something back as well. During the past couple of decades, things changed. The gift takers would flock around the rich “Gulf Malayalees” (Keralite migrant workers in the Middle-East) thereby severely diminishing the social standing of the poor soldiers.

Comunque, this pen that I got from my uncle was a handsome matte-gold specimen of a brand called Crest, possibly smuggled over the Chinese border at the foothills of the Himalayas and procured by my uncle. I was pretty proud of this prized possession of mine, as I guess I have been of all my possessions in later years. But the pen didn’t last that long — it got stolen by an older boy with whom I had to share a desk during a test in the summer of 1977.

I was devastated by the loss. More than that, I was terrified of letting my mother know for I knew that she wasn’t going to take kindly to it. I guess I should have been more careful and kept the pen on my person at all times. Certo, basta, my mom was livid with anger at the loss of this gift from her brother. A proponent of tough love, she told me to go find the pen, and not to return without it. Ora, that was a dangerous move. What my mom didn’t appreciate was that I took most directives literally. I still do. It was already late in the evening when I set out on my hopeless errant, and it was unlikely that I would have returned at all since I wasn’t supposed to, not without the pen.

My dad got home a couple of hours later, and was shocked at the turn of events. He certainly didn’t believe in tough love, far from it. Or perhaps he had a sense of my literal disposition, having been a victim of it earlier. Comunque, he came looking for me and found me wandering aimlessly around my locked up school some ten kilometer from home.

Parenting is a balancing act. You have to exercise tough love, lest your child should not be prepared for the harsh world later on in life. You have to show love and affection as well so that your child may feel emotionally secure. You have to provide for your your child without being overindulgent, or you would end up spoiling them. You have to give them freedom and space to grow, but you shouldn’t become detached and uncaring. Tuning your behavior to the right pitch on so many dimensions is what makes parenting a difficult art to master. What makes it really scary is the fact that you get only one shot at it. If you get it wrong, the ripples of your errors may last a lot longer than you can imagine. Once when I got upset with him, my son (far wiser than his six years then) told me that I had to be careful, for he would be treating his children the way I treated him. Ma allora, we already know this, don’t we?

My mother did prepare me for an unforgiving real world, and my father nurtured enough kindness in me. The combination is perhaps not too bad. But we all would like to do better than our parents. Nel mio caso, I use a simple trick to modulate my behavior to and treatment of my children. I try to picture myself at the receiving end of the said treatment. If I should feel uncared for or unfairly treated, the behavior needs fine-tuning.

This trick does not work all the time because it usually comes after the fact. We first act in response to a situation, before we have time to do a rational cost benefit analysis. There must be another way of doing it right. May be it is just a question of developing a lot of patience and kindness. Sai, there are times when I wish I could ask my father.

Catcher Eye

Molto tempo fa,, my teenage gang saw a pretty girl whom we called the Eye Catcher. One of my friends in the gang insists that he came up with the name, although I distinctly remember that it was I who first used it. I remember because it was from the last page of India Today of the time, which had a column titled “Eye Catchers.” But my friend has always been more articulate than me, and it is quite possible that he coined the catchy name without any help from India Today.

Time has flown, and today has become yesterday. During the years spanning that age of innocence and now, whenever our gang met up (once a year or so in the beginning, once a decade of late), the Eye Catcher was a topic that always came up. And once, one of us wondered if we would talk about her if we met at the age of fifty, which was incomprehensibly far away then. (Di nuovo, I think I was the one who came up with it; may be I like to take credit for every witty thing that happened around me.)

Now with the distant fifty just around the corner, Mi chiedo. Was it the prism of adolescence that amplified beauty, or was she really that eye-catching? Ora, naturalmente, the ravages of time would have surely dulled any beauty she may have possessed, and made cynics of the beholders prompting them to consider prisms of adolescence and ravages of time. I think I prefer not to know the answer. Often the blurry pictures with fading colors are more beautiful than the garish reality in high definition.

It is similar to the scratchy Malayalam songs I listen to in my car. My English-speaking family laughs at me whenever I do. Per loro, the lyrics don’t make sense, the beat is silly, and the sweet melody of Yesudas is almost gross, like cold pancakes swimming in stale syrup. I don’t blame them. Even to me, it is not just the words and the sounds that bind my heart to the songs; it is the fading colors of the past. It is the faces and scenes that the songs bring to mind, like the smell of June rain, the orange hue of the muddy potholes, and the tall coconut trees against blue skies and white cumulus, gently swaying their heads in assent to whatever adventures the day had in store. And the faces of the simple souls who played out their part on that stage of life and bowed out. Memories of a paradise lost.

But those players played their part well enough to imprint themselves on the songs for good. And with the twilights peeping over the horizon now, I often wonder — what am I going to leave behind? Che cosa siete?

A Parker Pen from Singapore

During the early part of the last century, there was significant migration of Chinese and Indians to Singapore. Most of the migrants of Indian origin were ethnic Tamils, which is why Tamil is an official language here. But some came from my Malayalam-speaking native land of Kerala. Among them was Natarajan who, fifty years later, would share with me his impressions of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army of the forties. Natarajan would, ormai, be called the Singapore Grandpa (Singapore Appuppa), and teach me yoga, explaining the mystical aspects of it a bit, saying things like, “A practitioner of yoga, even when he is in a crowd, is not quite a part of it.” I remembered this statement when a friend of mine at work commented that I walked untouched (kind of like Tim Robbins in the Shawshank Redemption) by the corporate hustle and bustle, che, naturalmente, may have been a polite way of calling me lazy.

Comunque, the Singapore Grandpa (a cousin to my paternal grandfather) was quite fond of my father, who was among the first University graduates from that part of Kerala. He got him a Parker pen from Singapore as a graduation gift. Some fifteen years later, this pen would teach me a lesson that is still not fully learned four decades on.

My father was very proud of his pen, its quality and sturdiness, and was bragging to his friends once. “I wouldn’t be able to break it, even if I wanted to!” ha detto, without noticing his son (yours faithfully), all of four years then with only a limited understanding of hypothetical conditionals of this kind. Next evening, when he came back from work, I was waiting for him at the door, beaming with pride, holding his precious pen thoroughly crushed. “Dad, dad, I did it! I managed to break your pen for you!”

Heart-broken as my father must have been, he didn’t even raise his voice. Chiese, “What did you do that for, son?” using the overly affectionate Malayalam word for “son”. I was only too eager to explain. “You said yesterday that you had been trying to break it, but couldn’t. I did it for you!” Rather short on language skills, I was already a bit too long on physics. I had placed the pen near the hinges of a door and used the lever action by closing it to accomplish my mission of crushing it. Infatti, I remembered this incident when I was trying to explain to my wife (short on physics) why the door stopper placed close to the hinges was breaking the floor tiles rather than stopping the door.

My father tried to fix his Parker pen with scotch tape (which was called cellophane tape at that time) and rubber bands. Più tardi, he managed to replace the body of the pen although he could never quite fix the leaking ink. I still have the pen, and this enduring lesson in infinite patience.

Two and half years ago, my father passed away. During the ensuing soul-searching, this close friend of mine asked me, “Bene, now that you know what it takes, how well do you think you are doing?” I don’t think I am doing that well, for some lessons, even when fully learned, are just too hard to put in practice.

Foto di dailylifeofmojo cc

Il mondano Malayalees

Se una media sente di Singapore della Conferenza Mondiale Malayalee, la prima cosa che vorrei dire è, “Mondo che cosa ora??” Malayalees sono persone del piccolo stato indiano di Kerala. Essi non devono essere confusi con malesi, anche se alcune delle cose che noi associamo con Malese (Come Pratas e biriyani) può essere fatta risalire a Kerala.

Tali scambi culturali trasversali indicano un importante tratto di Malayalees. Tendono a ventaglio e, nei loro piccoli modi, conquistare il mondo. Sono benvenuti anche influenze esterne con tutto il cuore. Sono forse le uniche persone (diverso Cinese, naturalmente) che utilizzano regolarmente un wok cinese per la cottura o una rete cinese per la cattura il pesce. Hanno anche professare la propria versione di Kung-fu, e, a volte insistono sul fatto che i cinesi effettivamente imparato da loro.

Internazionale e cosmopolita nei loro modi unici per migliaia di anni, Malayalees sono una miscela degli opposti, e Kerala un enigma economica e sociologica minore. Malayalees entusiasticamente abbracciato il cristianesimo e le religioni musulmana quando i loro missionari e emissari iniziali avventuravano fuori delle loro luoghi di origine. Ma, hanno inoltre accolto con favore il marxismo e ateismo con uguale fervore.

In media, Kerala ha un reddito pro-capite tra i più poveri del mondo, ma tutti gli altri indicatori economici sono alla pari con il mondo del più ricco. In indicatori di salute, come l'aspettativa di vita, numero pro-capite dei medici, e la mortalità infantile, Kerala riesce a rispecchiare gli Stati Uniti a circa un decimo della sua ricchezza pro capite. Kerala è il primo (e forse l'unico) terza provincia mondo per vantarsi di meglio di 90% alfabetizzazione, ed è praticamente l'unico posto in India e in Cina con più donne che uomini.

Singapore ha un posto speciale nel cuore Malayalee. Tra le loro imprese iniziali fuori Kerala durante l'era coloniale, Malayalees mirati Singapore come una destinazione popolare. Forse a causa di questa predilezione storica, Malayalees trovarono naturale per ospitare la loro Conferenza mondiale Malayalee qui.

Singapore ha anche debole per Malayalees ei loro contributi. La conferenza stessa sarà onorato dalla presenza del Presidente di Singapore, Sig.. S. R. Nathan e il Ministro degli Affari Esteri, Sig.. George Yeo. Presidente Nathan lancerà la Mostra Malayalee Beni e le Attività Culturali, e il Ministro Yeo darà una chiave di discorso nota alla Business Forum.

Il patrimonio e la cultura, risalente a oltre 2000 anni, è qualcosa che ogni Malayalee è giustamente orgoglioso di. La Mostra presenterà tutto da incisioni rupestri di tecnologia antica costruzione navale.

Andando oltre le affinità storiche e culturali, Kerala è anche stato un business alleato per Singapore, soprattutto in frutti di mare crudi. Singapore, nel loro diritto, ha fornito un flusso costante di investimenti e turisti di Kerala.

Eco-turismo è infatti una delle principali attrazioni Malayalees sarà in mostra durante la conferenza. La natura è stata troppo gentile con Kerala, con le colline ondulate della Ghat occidentale generosamente usurpare i monsoni e conservando gelosamente i Malayalees contro ogni possibile saccheggio delle loro ricchezze verdi. Benedetto con un clima temperato raro l'enclave tropicale che è, e con la bellezza ipnotica delle verdi colline nebbiose e piantagioni di tè, Kerala è davvero un paradiso di attesa, forse controvoglia, da scoprire.

Questa Conferenza mondiale Malayalalee, con i suoi spettacoli culturali e mostre patrimonio, mostrerà cosa Kerala ha da offrire al mondo, dal turismo e cultura per le opportunità di business e di talenti. Si presenterà anche Singapore alla diaspora Malayalee e insegnare loro una cosa o due riguardo l'efficienza amministrativa, pulizia e affari connettività.

Are You a Malayali?

If you can fit four passengers in the front seat of an Ambassador taxi, while in the back there are eight passengers and two children with their heads sticking out the window, chances are, you are a Mallu going to attend your cousin’s wedding.

If you can run, ride a 100 cc motorbike without wearing a helmet and play football all while wearing a lungi tied halfmast, Malayali status!

If your late father left you a part of an old house as your inheritance, and you turned it into “chaya kada,” sì, you’re a Malayali.

If you have more than 5 relatives working in Gulf, Big Time Malayali…

If you have the words “Chinchu Mol + Jinchu Mol” written on the rear window of your Omni car, sì, te sono a Malaayli.

If you refer to your husband as “Kettiyon, ithiyan, pillerude appan,” guess what — you’re a central Travancore Syrian Christian Malayali.

If you have a Tamilian parked in front of your house every Sunday, ironing your clothes, chances are a you are a Middle Class Malayali.

If you have more than three employee trade unions at your place of work, then ask no more, you are indeed a Malayali.

If you have voted into power a Chief Minister who has not passed the 4th grade then ask no further, YOU ARE A MALAYALI.

If you have at least two relatives working in the US in the health industry , sì! Malayali!

If you religiously buy a lottery ticket every week, then you’re in the Malayali Zone!

If you describe a woman as “charrakku,” yep, Malayali!

If you constantly refer to banana as “benana” or pizza as “pissa,” you’re a Malayali..

If you use coconut oil instead of refined vegetable oil and can’t figure out why people in your family have congenital heart problems, you might be a Malayali.

If you are going out to see a movie at the local theater with your wifey wearing all the gold jewellry gifted to her by her parents, you are a newly married Malayali.

If you and your wife and three children dress up in your Sunday best and go out to have biriyani at Kayikka’s on a 100 cc Bajaj mobike, you an upwardly mobile Malayali from Cochin.

If your idea of haute cuisine is kappa and meen curry, allora, sì, you are a Malayali.

If you have beef puttu for breakfast, beef olathu for lunch, and beef curry with ‘borotta’ for dinner, yeah, definitely Malalyali.

If your name is Wislon, and your wife’s name is Baby, and you name your daughter Wilby, have no doubts at all, you are a standard Malayali.

If most of the houses on your block are painted puke yellow, fluorescent green, and bright pink, definitely Malappuram Malayali.

If you tie a towel around your head and burst into a raucous rendition of the song “Kuttanadan Punjayile” after having three glasses of toddy, then you are a hardcore Malayali.

If you call appetizers served with alcoholic beverages as “touchings,” then you are one helluva Malayali.

If the local toddy shop owner knows you by your pet name and you call him “Porinju Chetta” (kekekekekek), then you are true Malayali.

If you’re sick and your wifey rubs “Bicks” into your nostrils and gives you “kurumulaku rasam” with chakkara, (grandma’s recipe) to help relieve your symptoms, damn!! You’re Malayali.


And the Wind Whispered…

[This post is my translation of an excellent short story by one of the most gifted storytellers of our time, O.V.Vijayan. The translation from Malayalam is a feeble effort, because such distant translations are not merely between languages, but cultures. The untranslatable expressions are marked with asterisks. Enjoy!]

Reached Kanjikad from Palghat by Coimbatore street. From there on, it was unpaved dirt road to the mountains. Even the rough taxi Jeep found that hard to take. This was Theyunni’s second trip here in the last ten years and he had no complaints about the roughness now.

“Ditch ahead”, Driver said, glancing at the dirt road in front.

“If you want to stop here, it’s okay”, Theyunni offered, “I can walk.”

It’s about two miles from here. Accustomed as he was to the comfort of limousine rides between airports and star hotels, the prospect of the hard hike did not discourage Theyunni.

“Nah. We’ll go slow, sit tight.”


The Jeep carefully negotiated the winding mountain road. Theyunni glanced at the wild valley as if for the first time. The sunshine cooled by the hillside, the east winds tunnelled through the mountain passes and roaring towards Palghat…

“The trees are all gone, aren’t they, Driver?”, Theyunni observed.

“All downed. Was forests here till about five years ago. Elephants used to come down.”

Sì, last time when he was here, there were huge trees on either side. Trees he didn’t know the names of. There were crickets all around carrying on with their shrill orchestra. Theyunni recalled that journey. He was coming back to Bombay after a European trip and his wife was at the airport. Ha detto, “There is a letter from home, looks like *Brother’s handwriting.”

“Wonder what is happening. Didn’t you open it, Phoebe?”

“You know I don’t open your letters.”

When the car was moving towards Juhu, Theyunni stole a glance at Phoebe’s face behind the wheel. Like a flawless marble sculpture with golden hair dancing in the wind. It was against her culture to open her husband’s letters. There were many things in her culture that attracted him — her confident courage in kissing him in that garden few years ago, proclaiming, “I love you”. If the relationship were to turn sour in the years to come, the honesty and integrity that would make her say, “I do not love you any more, we have to get divorced”. These were the challenges that inspired him. He remembered the journey home to tell *Father that he was in love with Phoebe, his fellow-student at Stanford. Father did not say anything against it, just smiled his sweet, thoughtful smile. It was *Mother — “We had Devaki’s horoscope looked at…”

Devaki was a distant relative. The daughter of some in-land farmer. Hiding his contempt for horoscopes, Theyunni comforted Mother, “That is not much, Mother. We didn’t give our word.”

Nobody said anything for a while. Then Mother said, “Isn’t understanding as big as word? It’s like Devaki has married you in her heart.”

“It’s the boy’s decision, Madhavi,” Father said, “Why do you want to say this and that?”

Mother withdrew herself, “I didn’t say anything…”

“Don’t worry about Mother’s complaints, Kutta. Così, do you like this Phoebe?”

Theyunni was a little embarrassed, “Yes.”

“Will an American girl like to live in this old family house of ours, Kutta?”, Mother inquired.

“Why wouldn’t she?”

Father said, “It’s not as though they are going to come live here, è?”

“So Father and Son have decided that as well,” Mother said, “that they don’t want to live here?”

“Wherever we live, we’ll come here first, Mother.”

Theyunni saw Mother’s eyes well up. After blessing Phoebe and wishing Devaki well in her life, Mother said, “I won’t ask you to change your mind. Ma, will you look after Father, Kutta?”

“Of course.”

“You remember how he used to be? His body is getting old…”

Father intervened again with his smile, “Madhavi, why do you say such things and make him unhappy? Don’t pay any attention to her, Kutta.”

Even during the novelty of his love, Theyunni could feel *Devaki’s true meaning in his *rustic heart — the farmer bride who would sweep the floor and light the evening lamp. Mother said, “There was only one thing on my mind — your sister-in-law is not able-bodied. If it had been Devaki, there was a hope that she would look after your father in his old age…”

Theyunni didn’t say anything then. Even in the later years, he couldn’t say anything about that. Phoebe, who never opened her husband’s letters, drove skillfully through the streets of Juhu. When Father fell sick years after the marriage, Phoebe advised, “Your little town is actually a village. Why don’t we take him to a good hospital in a city? We can easily afford that.”

What Father needed was nearness and touch to die peacefully. Theyunni came home alone with those and saw him off. Mother also died in the old family house. Phoebe was back at Stanford then. She sent a formal condolence telegram. *Devaki‘s meaning again filled his mind.

In Juhu, Theyunni read Brother’s letter. “I’m not doing too well, Kutta. Just to let you know. I won’t ask you to take time off your busy schedule and come by these forests. Just think of me, same effect as seeing. Didn’t even let Sreekumar know. I was worried that he might get anxious and take a trip — not easy to come here from Cambridge, è? If only your sister-in-law had been alive… Weaknesses of an old heart…”

The Jeep continued it’s laborious journey negotiating an occasional ditch and gutter.

“Sorry about the trouble, Driver,” Theyunni tried to comfort the driver.

“Nah, just doing my job.”

Must be another mile from here. It was after his wife’s death that Brother decided to resign from service and move to the high lands. Theyunni vehemently opposed that decision. “Why are you moving to this god-forsaken land in Palghat among leopards and wild boars? Inoltre, you could be in service for another 10 anni. Even after retiring, you know that a nuclear physicist can do so many things…”

Brother’s reply came, “There are debts that one owes — to one’s country, one’s community, one’s family. I feel that I have repaid my dues to the best of my ability. There are some other obligations that I have to take care of. That’s is why I’m seeking refuge in these valleys.”

Brother never mentioned what those obligations were. Theyunni didn’t inquire either.

The soft-spoken Brother took a decision only after much reasoning; it was not easy to make him go back on them. Più tardi, Brother wrote about his camp-site: about four miles off the road, there were fertile lands lying just outside the woods. Brother built a house there, among coconut palms, vegetables, mango trees… Dirt walls, wooden ceiling and roofs of clay tiles. It was at some distance from anywhere. Tuttavia, there was a farmer, Ponnuswami, living in a hut nearby. Brother could ask Ponnuswami for help if needed. Apart from that, he was quite alone in that valley. Theyunni could not figure out the meaning of that penance and forgot about it. Years went by. But when Phoebe handed over that unopened letter, he suddenly felt that he should go there in a hurry.

“Bene, Phoebe, I’ll go and see what’s going on.”

“What is the name of that place? Kanjikad, non è questo?”


“Brother had invited me to go and see the mountains.”

“Sì, I remember.”

“Must be a perfect place for get-away vacation. But it’s dangerous to get sick there. Why don’t you bring him here? We could have him treated at Jeslock or something.”

Phoebe was repeating her suggestion on treatments. Theyunni remembered the last time the suggestion was offered and it made him uneasy.

“We can’t get inside his mind, Phoebe. I’ll go there and see.”

That was how Theyunni came here for the first time, ten years ago. Not only was he anxious about Brother’s health and solitary life, he also wanted to give Brother a piece of his mind about the untimely penance. When he took a taxi from Coimbatore airport to go to Kanjikad, his mind was filled with impatience and hard feelings towards Brother. The driver got discouraged by the sight of ditches and gutters in the dirt road. It didn’t take too much to provoke Theyunni.

“I could break the axile if I drove up this way,” complained the driver who was Tamil.

“How much does this stupid car of yours cost?”

“Sorry Sir, didn’t mean to…”

“If your car breaks, let it break. I’ll give you what it costs. Drive.”

When he got off the car, Theyunni saw Brother taking a walk in the field — looking bright and healthy.

“Why did you come all this way, Kutta?”, Brother commented on the advisability of the trip.

“You can say that. Living in the forests, writing letters about getting sick, how could I ignore it?”

“Come in.” Brother took him inside the house.

Theyunni looked around and found everything unsatisfactory. “Why do you punish yourself like this?”

“Do I look as though this is punishment?”

Nobody said anything for a while. Then Theyunni inquired, “Who treated you while you were ill?”

“Teat?! Nobody!”

“What am I supposed to say about that?”

Brother smiled, “You don’t get it, Fai, Kutta?”

“What do you do for food?”

“I have asked Ponnuswami’s wife to show up. To cook something for you. Me, this is all I eat.”

He pointed to the husks of two young coconuts in the basket. “That was breakfast. Two more for dinner.”

“That is you diet?!”

“Not just diet, medicine as well!”

When it got dark, Theyunni wanted to know, “Brother, what if some thieves show up?”

Brother laughed heartily, “Four white *mundu, four cotton shawls, two towels and some clay pots. That’s all this house holds. The thief is quite peaceful by nature, it’s our avarice that makes him do this and that!”

After dinner, they laid down to sleep — on the floor, on sleeping mats. For Theyunni, it was the first time in a long while without the air conditioner. The winds roared outside the house. Through the mountain passes, like the loud waves in an uptide.


“Sì, Brother?”

“You hear that?”

“The winds, diritto?”

“Sì, but to you hear them?”

“Sì, Faccio. Why do you ask?”

Brother was silent for a while in the darkness. Then he said, “Non, you don’t hear them.”

It was with the same dissatisfaction at Brother’s life in the wilderness that Theyunni went back to Bombay. Brother said, seeing him off, “It was a mistake, Kutta. A weakness. Felt like writing to you when I was ill; I won’t bother you like this again. There aren’t any illnesses that these valleys can’t cure. And if there are, do humans have medicines for them?”

Ora, it was ten years after those words that Theyunni was coming back. Phoebe was not with him any more. She showed her natural honesty and told him that the love between them had dried out. Theyunni did not fly from Bombay. He took the train to Palghat along with numerous other people. Like in his childhood, in second class. Two day journey. Hills and woods and rivers and villages slowly went by in the window as the train ambled towards Palghat. The old family house was no longer there. So he rested in a hotel and set out for Kanjikad the next morning. His gruffiness during the last journey ten years ago had disappeared now. Theyunni felt that his peacefulness was spreading to the fellow passengers and even the landscapes.

The Jeep driver also was friendliness personified.

“Hard trip, non è questo, Driver?”

“Nah, we are quite used to these. A little worried about your trouble, that is all.”

Brother’s fences and steps appeared at a distance.

“Over there, Driver.”

“Isolated house, non è questo, Signore?”


Ponnuswami was waiting by the house. He stepped down to welcome Theyunni. They looked at each other; Ponnuswami wiped his tears.

“He had asked me not to telegram, that is why I wrote a letter instead.” Ponnuswami said, “I am sorry.”

“Not at all, you were respecting Brother’s wishes. I understand.”

Ponnuswami walked over to the backyard. There was a small plot where a Thulasi plant was beginning to take root. Ash remnants of the pyre around it.

“This is it,” Ponnuswami said. “The bones were dropped in the Peroor river. If there are some other rituals you want to do… Ma,…”

“Sì, Ponnuswami?”

“He said that no rituals were necessary. That he had uprooted the rituals. I am not educated, just thought that he was talking about some sacred state.”

“That must be what he meant.”

“Is Sreekumar coming up?”

“I had telephoned him from Bombay. He is not coming. He had told me one thing — that this land and house are for you.”

Ponnuswami had gone beyond such earthly things. “He also had told me the same thing; I didn’t want to tell you. Ma, I don’t need any of this. You or Sreekumar could sell these…”

“Brother’s wishes, Ponnuswami. We must respect them.”

“Bene, if you insist.”

“How many children do you have?”


“Bene, this will be a good place for them to grow up in.”

Ponnuswami bowed once again, “If you ever want to come back and live here, my family and I will get out of here for you.”

“That won’t be necessary, Ponnuswami.”

I don’t deserve to live here, Theyunni said to himself. They got back into the house.

“You take rest. I will get you a young coconut from the fields.”

“The driver is waiting in the Jeep outside. Ask him to come inside and have something to drink.”

When Ponnuswami brought the young coconuts, Theyunni said, “You can go home now, if you like. I’m fine.”

Ponnuswami left. Theyunni said to the driver. “Do you think you can stay here overnight?”

The driver expressed his disagreement through silence.

“Didn’t plan that way when we set out,” Theyunni said. “This is Brother’s house. I came here because he died, couldn’t get here before.”

The driver turned attentive. Theyunni continued, “Feel like sleeping here for a night.”

The driver’s disagreement melted away silently. “I can stay.”

“I can pay you whatever you want for staying.”

“That won’t be necessary.”

Time turned red and went down on the hilltops. Theyunni went inside and went through Brother’s wooden box. Three white mundu’s, laundered, three cotton shawls and two towels. Theyunni’s sadness dripped into them. When he went to bed, he was not sad any more, a kind of gratified grief. A fulfillment of love and traditions. He slept with the childhood dreams of fairy tales. Late in the night, he woke up. He listened to the music of the winds. After this night, it would be the trip back to the city. Theyunni could feel Brother’s kindness in the winds. The winds muttered the unknown *Manthras that marked the end of that kindness and life, un po ' *distant baby voices… A night full of sacred whispers, this was the *justification of lifetime.

Theyunni listened to the whispers and slept, awaiting the morning.

La storia così lontana …

Nei primi anni Sessanta, Babbo Kumari Amma ha deciso di passare alle gamme alte. Aveva da poco iniziato a lavorare con KSEB che stava costruendo un progetto idroelettrico there.The posto è stato chiamato genericamente le gamme alte, anche se gli intervalli non erano così alta. La gente le ha detto che le gamme alte aspra e dura erano non c'è posto per una ragazza di campagna come lei, ma che voleva andare in ogni modo, spinto soprattutto dal fatto che c'era un po 'di assegno di progetto ha coinvolto e lei potrebbe usare qualsiasi po' che è venuto il suo modo. La sua famiglia era molto povera. Veniva da un piccolo villaggio chiamato Murani (nei pressi di un villaggio più grande chiamato Mallappalli.)

Intorno allo stesso tempo B. Thulasidas (meglio conosciuto come Appu) è venuto anche alle gamme alte. Il suo familty non era poi così povero e non ha davvero bisogno del denaro extra. Ma pensava, hey luogo chiassoso comunque, che diamine? Bene, riassumere, si sono innamorati e hanno deciso di sposarsi. Questo è stato un po 'di tempo nel mese di settembre 1962. Un anno dopo Sandya è nato a Novembre 63. E un po 'più di un altro anno e mi è venuto per essere! (Tutta questa stroy, a proposito, sta avvenendo nello stato di Kerala in India. Bene, quella frase è stata aggiunta solo per mettere i link lì, solo nel caso in cui si è interessati.) Vi è una splendida località collinare chiamata Munnar (che significa tre fiumi) dove i miei genitori sono stati impiegati in quel momento ed è lì che sono nato.

 [casual picture] Appena prima 1970, essi (e io, che lo rende we immagino) si trasferisce a Trivandrum, la capitale del Kerala. Ho vissuto in Trivandrum fino all'età di 17. Un sacco di cose sono successe in quegli anni, ma dal momento che questo post è ancora (e sarà sempre) lavori in corso, Non posso dire tutto su di esso ora.

In 1983, Mi sono trasferito a Madras, di fare del mio BTech in Elettronica e Comunicazione presso IIT, Madras. (Lo chiamano le IITs il MIT dell'India, solo molto più difficile da ottenere in. Nel mio gruppo, c'erano circa 75,000 studenti in competizione per circa 2000 posti. Mi è stato classificato 63 tra loro. Sono abbastanza intelligente accademico, vedi.) E come si può immaginare, un sacco di cose sono successe in questi quattro anni pure. Ma nonostante tutto questo, Mi sono laureato nel mese di agosto 1987 e ottenuto la mia laurea BTech.

In 1987, dopo aver terminato il mio BTech, Ho fatto quello che la maggior parte delle IITians dovrebbero fare. Mi sono trasferito agli stati. parte settentrionale New York era la mia destinazione. Mi sono unito alla Dipartimento di Fisica di Syracuse University di fare il mio dottorato di ricerca in Fisica delle Alte Energie. e il ragazzo, ha un sacco di cose che succedono durante quelli 6 anni! La metà di quelli 6 anni sono stati spesi a Università Cornell a Ithaca.

Questo è stato in agosto. 1987. poi, nel 1993 Sette, la prestigiosa organizzazione di ricerca nazionale francese ( CNRS – “Centre national de la recherche scientifique”) mi assunto. ho traslocato a Francia per continuare il mio lavoro di ricerca presso ALEPH, CERN. La mia destinazione in Francia è stata la città provenzale di Marsiglia. La mia casa era istituto “Marsiglia particelle Centro di Fisica” o CPPM. Naturalmente, Non ho parlato una parola di francese, ma che non mi ha disturbato molto. (Prima di andare negli Stati Uniti nel 1987, Non ho parlato molto inglese / Americanese sia.)

Fine di 1995, il 29 dicembre, Mi sono sposata a Kavita. Presto 1996, Kavita anche trasferisce in Francia. Kavita non era troppo felice in Francia, perché sentiva di poter fare molto di più a Singapore. Lei aveva ragione. Kavita è oggi un imprenditore compiuto con due boutique a Singapore e più idee di business che è un bene per lei. Ha vinto numerosi premi ed è un piccola celebrità con i media di Singapore. [Wedding picture]

In 1998, Ho fatto una buona offerta da quello che oggi è il Istituto per la Ricerca Infocomm e abbiamo deciso di spostare a Singapore. Tra le varie ragioni personali per il trasloco, Devo dire che l'odore di racisim nell'aria Marsiglia era uno. Anche se ogni individuo io personalmente incontrato in Francia è stato grande, Ho sempre avuto una fastidiosa sensazione che ognuno mi non ha incontrato mi voleva fuori di lì. Questa sensazione è stata ulteriormente confermata dagli impiegati di immigrazione all'aeroporto di Marignane continuamente mi chiede di “Messo accanto, gentiluomo” e occasionalmente mormorando “il primo francese.”  [Anita Smiles]

Una settimana dopo mi sono trasferito a Singapore, sulla 24rth di luglio 1998, Anita sono nato. Incredibilmente carino e felice, Anita riordinato le nostre priorità e mettere le cose in prospettiva. Cinque anni dopo, sulla 2 maggio 2003, Neil è nato. Ha dimostrato di essere ancora più pieno di sorrisi.  [Neil Smiles more!]

In Singapore, Ho lavorato su un sacco di varie misure del corpo a base di generazione di diversi brevetti e documenti. Verso la fine della mia carriera con A-Star, Ho lavorato su segnali cerebrali, preoccuparsi di come dare un senso a loro e farli parlare direttamente a un computer. Questa direzione di ricerca ha influenzato il mio pensiero tremendamente, anche se non in modo sarebbe piaciuto il mio datore di lavoro. Ho iniziato a pensare al ruolo della percezione nella nostra visione del mondo e, di conseguenza, nelle teorie della fisica. Ho anche capito come queste idee non sono stati isolati riflessioni, ma sono stati atriculated in diverse scuole di filosofia. Questa linea di pensiero alla fine finì nel mio libro, L'Unreal Universe.

Verso la seconda metà 2005, Ho deciso di buttare la ricerca e di entrare in finanza quantitativa, che è un dominio ideale per un fisico a corto di liquidi. Si è scoperto che ho avuto alcune abilità e attitudini che erano reciprocamente redditizio per i miei datori di lavoro e io. Il mio primo lavoro è stato come il capo della squadra di & nbsp analista quantitativo; a OCBC,& Nbsp; una banca regionale a Singapore. Questo lavoro middle office, coinvolgendo gestione del rischio e limitare i commercianti esuberanti, mi ha dato una panoramica completa di modelli di pricing e,& Nbsp; & nbsp forse, più importante,, perfetta comprensione dell'attuazione conflitto-driven della propensione al rischio della banca.

 [Dad] Dopo, in 2007, ho traslocato a Standard Chartered Bank, come un anziano quantitativa prendersi cura professionale della loro piattaforma di trading in-house, che ha ulteriormente migliorato la mia "visione d'insieme" prospettive e mi ha ispirato a scrivere Principi di sviluppo quantitativo. Sto piuttosto bene riconosciuto nel mio campo, e come editorialista regolare per il Wilmott Magazine, Ho pubblicato diversi articoli su una varietà di argomenti relativi a quants e finanza quantitativa, che è probabilmente il motivo per cui John Wiley & Sons Ltd. mi ha chiesto di scrivere questo libro.

Nonostante questi successi professionali, sul fronte personale, 2008 è stato un anno di tristezza. Ho perso mio padre il 22 ottobre. Il morte di un genitore è un campanello d'allarme maleducato. Si porta a sentimenti di perdita e di dolore che sono difficili da capire, e impossibile comunicare. E per quelli di noi con piccolo regalo di facile auto-espressione, essi indugiare più a lungo di quello che forse dovrebbe.