Tag Archives: Kerala

Outra Pen Story of Tough Love

Uma vez que um tio favorito meu me deu uma caneta. Esse tio era um soldado do Exército indiano na época. Soldados costumava chegar em casa por um par de meses a cada ano ou assim, e dar presentes para todos na família alargada. Havia um sentimento de direito sobre a coisa toda, e nunca ocorreu para os tomadores de presente que eles poderiam, talvez, dar algo de volta, bem. Durante o último par de décadas, as coisas mudaram. Os compradores de presentes se reuniriam em torno do rico “Golfo Malayalees” (Keralite trabalhadores migrantes no Oriente Médio) assim diminuindo severamente a posição social dos pobres soldados.

De qualquer maneira, esta caneta que eu recebi do meu tio era um espécime considerável fosco de ouro de uma marca chamada Crest, possivelmente contrabandeados através da fronteira com a China, no sopé dos Himalaias e adquiridos pelo meu tio. Eu estava muito orgulhoso deste bem mais valioso da mina, como eu acho que eu tenho sido de todos os meus bens em anos posteriores. Mas a pena não durar muito tempo — ele foi roubado por um rapaz mais velho, com quem eu tinha que compartilhar uma mesa durante um teste no verão de 1977.

Fiquei arrasada pela perda. Mais do que isso, Eu morria de medo de deixar minha mãe sabe porque eu sabia que ela não ia ter a amabilidade de que. Acho que eu deveria ter sido mais cuidadoso e manteve a pena na minha pessoa em todos os momentos. Com certeza, minha mãe estava lívido de raiva com a perda deste presente de seu irmão. Um defensor do amor duro, ela me disse para ir encontrar o pen, e não voltar sem ele. Agora, que foi uma jogada perigosa. O que a minha mãe não gostou foi que eu tomei a maioria das directivas literalmente. Eu continuo a fazer. Já era tarde da noite quando eu parti em minha desesperada errante, e era improvável que eu teria retornado em tudo desde que eu não devia, não sem a caneta.

Meu pai chegou em casa um par de horas mais tarde, e fiquei chocado com o rumo dos acontecimentos. Ele certamente não acreditava em amor dura, longe disso. Ou talvez ele tinha um senso de minha disposição literal, ter sido vítima do mesmo mais cedo. De qualquer maneira, ele veio me procurar e me encontrou vagando sem rumo em torno de minha escola trancada alguns 10 km de casa.

Paciência é um ato de equilíbrio. Você tem que exercer o amor dura, para que seu filho não deve ser preparado para o mundo cruel mais tarde na vida. Você tem que mostrar amor e carinho, bem assim que a criança pode sentir-se emocionalmente segura. Você tem que fornecer para o seu o seu filho sem ser overindulgent, ou você iria acabar estragando-los. Você tem que dar-lhes liberdade e espaço para crescer, mas você não deve se destaquem e indiferente. Sintonizar o seu comportamento em campo à direita na tantas dimensões é o que faz parentalidade uma arte difícil de dominar. O que o torna realmente assustador é o fato de que você só tem uma chance de ele. Se você errar, as ondulações de seus erros podem durar muito mais tempo do que você pode imaginar. Uma vez, quando eu ficou chateado com ele, meu filho (muito mais sábio do que seus seis anos depois) me disse que eu tinha que ter cuidado, para ele seria o tratamento de seus filhos do jeito que eu o tratava. Mas, então,, já sabemos isso, não nós?

Minha mãe me preparar para um mundo implacável reais, e meu pai nutria simpatia suficiente em mim. A combinação não é, talvez, muito ruim. Mas todos nós gostaríamos de fazer melhor do que os nossos pais. No meu caso, Eu uso um truque simples para modular o meu comportamento e de tratamento dos meus filhos. Eu tento me imaginar no final de recebimento do referido tratamento. Se eu deveria me sentir cerva ou tratados de forma injusta, o comportamento precisa de fine-tuning.

Esse truque não funciona o tempo todo, porque geralmente vem depois do fato. Nós primeira agir em resposta a uma situação, antes que tenhamos tempo para fazer uma análise racional de custo-benefício. Deve haver outra maneira de fazê-lo direito. Pode ser que é apenas uma questão de desenvolver um monte de paciência e bondade. Você sabe, Há momentos em que Eu desejo que eu poderia pedir ao meu pai.

Eye Catcher

Há muito tempo atrás, minha gangue adolescente viu uma menina bonita a quem chamávamos o Catcher Eye. Um dos meus amigos no grupo insiste em que ele veio com o nome, embora eu lembro que fui eu quem primeiro usou-. Lembro-me, pois foi a partir da última página da India Today do tempo, que tinha uma coluna intitulada “Catchers olho.” Mas o meu amigo tem sido sempre mais articulado do que eu, e é bem possível que ele cunhou o nome atraente sem qualquer ajuda de India Today.

O tempo voou, e hoje tornou-se ontem. Durante os anos que mede que a idade da inocência e agora, sempre que o nosso grupo reuniu-se (uma vez por ano ou então no início, uma vez uma década de atraso), o coletor do olho era um tema que sempre veio. E uma vez, um de nós se perguntou se gostaríamos de falar sobre ela se reuniu com a idade de cinqüenta, que foi incompreensivelmente longe, em seguida,. (Mais uma vez, Eu acho que eu era o único que veio com ele; pode ser que eu gostaria de levar o crédito por cada coisa espirituoso que aconteceu ao meu redor.)

Agora, com o distante cinqüenta ao virar da esquina, Eu me pergunto. Foi o prisma da adolescência que amplificado beleza, ou ela foi realmente atraente? Agora, claro, os estragos do tempo certamente teria aliviado qualquer beleza que ela pode ter possuído, e fez cínicos dos espectadores levando-os a considerar prismas da adolescência e estragos do tempo. Eu acho que eu prefiro não saber a resposta. Muitas vezes, as imagens borradas com cores pálidas são mais bonitas do que a realidade berrante em alta definição.

É semelhante às canções Malayalam arranhado Eu ouço no meu carro. A minha família de língua Inglês ri de mim sempre que eu faço. Para eles, as letras não fazem sentido, a batida é bobo, e a doce melodia de Yesudas é quase bruta, como natação frio panquecas em calda obsoleto. Eu não os culpo. Mesmo para mim, não são apenas as palavras e os sons que se ligam meu coração para as músicas; são as cores pálidas do passado. São os rostos e cenas que as músicas trazem à mente, como o cheiro de chuva junho, a tonalidade alaranjada dos buracos lamacentos, e altos coqueiros contra o céu azul e branco cumulus, balançando suavemente a cabeça em concordância com o que quer que as aventuras do dia tinha na loja. E os rostos das almas simples que desempenharam a sua parte nessa fase da vida e se curvou para fora. Memórias de um paraíso perdido.

Mas esses jogadores fizeram sua parte bem o suficiente para imprimir-se sobre as músicas para o bem. E com os crepúsculos espreitando ao longo do horizonte agora, Muitas vezes me pergunto — o que é que eu vou deixar para trás? O que você é?

A Parker Pen de Singapura

Durante a primeira parte do século passado, havia uma migração significativa de chineses e indianos para Cingapura. A maioria dos imigrantes de origem indiana foram tâmeis étnicos, e é por isso Tamil é uma língua oficial aqui. Mas alguns vieram de minha Malayalam-falando terra natal de Kerala. Entre eles estava Natarajan que, 50 anos mais tarde, compartilhariam comigo suas impressões sobre Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose e do Exército Nacional do Índio dos anos quarenta. Natarajan faria, pelo então, ser chamado de vovô Cingapura (Singapore Appuppa), e me ensinar yoga, explicando os aspectos místicos de um pouco, dizendo coisas como, “Um praticante de yoga, mesmo quando ele está em uma multidão, não é bem uma parte dela.” Lembrei-me esta declaração quando um amigo meu no trabalho comentou que eu andei intocado (tipo de como Tim Robbins no Shawshank Redemption) pela agitação corporativa e agitação, que, claro, pode ter sido uma maneira educada de me chamando de preguiçoso.

De qualquer maneira, o vovô Cingapura (um primo de meu avô paterno) gostava muito do meu pai, que estava entre os primeiros formandos da universidade de que parte de Kerala. Ele pegou uma caneta Parker de Singapura como presente de formatura. Cerca de quinze anos depois, esta caneta iria me ensinar uma lição que não foi ainda plenamente aprendeu quatro décadas em.

My father was very proud of his pen, a sua qualidade e resistência, e era de se gabar para seus amigos uma vez. “I wouldn’t be able to break it, even if I wanted to!” ele disse, sem perceber seu filho (com os melhores cumprimentos), tudo de quatro anos depois, com apenas uma compreensão limitada de condicionais hipotéticas desse tipo. Próximo à noite, quando ele voltou do trabalho, Eu estava esperando por ele na porta, radiante de orgulho, segurando sua preciosa caneta completamente esmagado. “Pai, pai, Eu fiz isso! Eu consegui quebrar a caneta para você!”

Como meu pai de coração partido deve ter sido, ele nem sequer levantar a voz. Pediu, “O que você fez isso para, sua?” usando a palavra Malayalam excessivamente carinhosa para “sua”. Eu estava muito ansiosa para explicar. “You said yesterday that you had been trying to break it, mas não conseguiu. Eu fiz isso por você!” Bastante curto sobre as competências linguísticas, Eu já estava um pouco longo demais em física. 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. De fato, Lembrei-me deste incidente, quando eu estava tentando explicar a minha esposa (curto na física) por isso que a rolha de porta colocados perto das dobradiças foi quebrando o piso em vez de parar a porta.

My father tried to fix his Parker pen with scotch tape (que foi chamado de fita de celofane na época) e elásticos. Mais tarde, ele conseguiu substituir o corpo da caneta, embora ele nunca conseguia fixar a tinta vazando. Eu ainda tenho a caneta, e esta lição duradoura na infinita paciência.

Dois anos e meio atrás, meu pai faleceu. Durante a que se seguiu a procura da alma, this close friend of mine asked me, “Bem, agora que você sabe o que é preciso, quão bem você acha que você está fazendo?” Eu não acho que eu estou fazendo isso bem, para algumas lições, mesmo quando totalmente aprendidas, são simplesmente muito difícil de colocar em prática.

Foto por dailylifeofmojo cc

The Worldly Malayalees

If an average Singaporean hears of the World Malayalee Conference, the first thing they would say is, “World what now??” Malayalees are people from the tiny Indian state of Kerala. They are not to be confused with Malays, although some of the things we associate with Malay (such as pratas and biriyani) can be traced back to Kerala.

Such cross cultural exchanges point to an important trait of Malayalees. They tend to fan out and, in their own small ways, conquer the world. They also welcome external influences whole-heartedly. They are perhaps the only people (other than the Chinese, claro) who regularly use a Chinese wok for cooking or a Chinese net for catching their fish. They even practise their own version of Kung-fu, and at times insist that the Chinese actually learned it from them.

International and cosmopolitan in their unique ways for thousands of years, Malayalees are a mixture of opposites, and Kerala a minor economic and sociological enigma. Malayalees enthusiastically embraced Christianity and Muslim religions when their initial missionaries and emissaries ventured outside their places of origin. Mas, they also welcomed Marxism and atheism with equal fervour.

On an average, Kerala has a per-capita income among the world’s poorest, but all other economic indicators are on a par with the world’s richest. In health indicators such as life expectancy, per-capita number of doctors, and infant mortality, Kerala manages to mirror the US at about a tenth of its per capita wealth. Kerala is the first (and perhaps the only) third world province to boast of better than 90% literacy, and is just about the only place in India and China with more women than men.

Singapore has a special place in the Malayalee heart. Among their initial ventures outside Kerala during the colonial era, Malayalees targeted Singapore as a popular destination. Perhaps due to this historical fondness, Malayalees found it natural to host their World Malayalee Conference here.

Singapore also has soft spot for Malayalees and their contributions. The conference itself will be graced by the presence of the President of Singapore, Senhor. S. R. Nathan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senhor. George Yeo. President Nathan will launch the Malayalee Heritage and Culture Exhibition, and Minister Yeo will give a key note speech at the Business Forum.

The heritage and culture, dating back to well over two thousand years, is something every Malayalee is rightfully proud of. The Exhibition will showcase everything from cave engravings to ancient ship building technology.

Going beyond the historical and cultural affinities, Kerala also has been a business ally to Singapore, especially in raw seafood. Cingapura, in their own right, has provided a steady stream of investments and tourists to Kerala.

Eco-tourism is indeed one of the top attractions Malayalees will showcase during the conference. Nature has been overly kind to Kerala, with the undulating hills of the Western Ghat generously usurping the Monsoons and jealously guarding the Malayalees against any possible plunder of their green riches. Blessed with a temperate climate uncommon to the tropical enclave that it is, and with the hypnotic beauty of the misty green hillsides and tea plantations, Kerala is indeed a paradise waiting, perhaps unwillingly, to be discovered.

This World Malayalalee Conference, with its cultural shows and heritage exhibitions, will display what Kerala has to offer to the world, from tourism and culture to business opportunities and talent pool. It will also showcase Singapore to the Malayalee diaspora and teach them a thing or two about administrative efficiency, cleanliness and business connectivity.

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,” sim, 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, sim, you are 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 , sim! 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, depois, sim, 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.

IF YOU DON’T NEED ANY EXPLANATIONS FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE, YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE REAL McCOY, A BLUE BLOOD MALAYALI. LAAL SALAAM.

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.

Okay.

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.

Sim, 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. Ela disse, “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 himher 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. Assim, 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, is it?”

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. Mas, 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 heartthe farmer bride who would sweep the floor and light the evening lamp. Mother said, “There was only one thing on my mindyour 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 tripnot easy to come here from Cambridge, is it? If only your sister-in-law had been aliveWeaknesses 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? Além disso, you could be in service for another 10 anos. Even after retiring, you know that a nuclear physicist can do so many things…”

Brother’s reply came, “There are debts that one owesto 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. Mais tarde, 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 treesDirt walls, wooden ceiling and roofs of clay tiles. It was at some distance from anywhere. Contudo, 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.

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

What is the name of that place? Kanjikad, isn’t it?”

Yes.

Brother had invited me to go and see the mountains.

“Sim, 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 fieldlooking 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, Você, 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.

Kutta

“Sim, Brother?”

You hear that?”

The winds, direito?”

“Sim, but to you hear them?”

“Sim, Faço. Why do you ask?”

Brother was silent for a while in the darkness. Then he said, “Não, 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?”

Agora, 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, isn’t it, 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, isn’t it, Sir?”

Yes.

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… Mas,…”

“Sim, 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 thingthat 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. Mas, I don’t need any of this. You or Sreekumar could sell these…”

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

“Bem, if you insist.

How many children do you have?”

Four.

“Bem, 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, alguns *distant baby voicesA night full of sacred whispers, this was the *justification of lifetime.

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

The Story So Far

In the early sixties, Santa Kumari Amma decided to move to the High Ranges. She had recently started working with KSEB which was building a hydro-electric project there.The place was generically called the High Ranges, even though the ranges weren’t all that high. People told her that the rough and tough High Ranges were no place for a country girl like her, but she wanted to go anyways, prompted mainly by the fact that there was some project allowance involved and she could use any little bit that came her way. Her family was quite poor. She came from a small village called Murani (near a larger village called Mallappalli.)

Around the same time B. Thulasidas (better known as Appu) also came to the High Ranges. His familty wasn’t all that poor and he didn’t really need the extra money. But he thought, hey rowdy place anyway, what the heck? Bem, to make a long story short, they fell in love and decided to get married. This was some time in September 1962. A year later Sandya was born in Nov 63. And a little over another year and I came to be! (This whole stroy, a propósito, is taking place in the state of Kerala em Índia. Bem, that sentence was added just to put the links there, just in case you are interested.) There is a gorgeous hill resort called Munnar (meaning three rivers) where my parents were employed at that time and that’s where I was born.

 [casual picture] Just before 1970, they (and me, which makes it we I guess) moved to Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala. I lived in Trivandrum till I was 17. Lots of things happened in those years, but since this post is still (and always will be) work in progress, I can’t tell you all about it now.

Em 1983, I moved to Madras, to do my BTech in Electronics and Communication at IIT, Madras. (They call the IITs the MIT of India, only much harder to get in. In my batch, there were about 75,000 students competing for about 2000 places. I was ranked 63 among them. I’m quite smart academically, you see.) And as you can imagine, lots of things happened in those four years as well. But despite all that, I graduated in August 1987 and got my BTech degree.

Em 1987, after finishing my BTech, I did what most IITians are supposed to do. I moved to the states. Upstate New York was my destination. I joined the Physics Department de Universidade de Syracuse to do my PhD in High Energy Physics. And boy, did a lot of things happen during those 6 anos! Half of those 6 years were spent at Cornell University in Ithaca.

That was in Aug. 1987. Then in 1993 Sete, the prestigious French national research organization ( CNRS – “Centre national de la recherche scientifique”) hired me. I moved to França to continue my research work at ALEPH, CERN. My destination in France was the provencal city of Marselha. My home institute wasCentre de Physique des Particules de Marseille” ou CPPM. Claro, I didn’t speak a word of French, but that didn’t bother me much. (Before going to the US in 1987, I didn’t speak much English/Americanese either.)

End of 1995, on the 29th of Dec, I got married to Kavita. In early 1996, Kavita also moved to France. Kavita wasn’t too happy in France because she felt she could do much more in Singapore. She was right. Kavita is now an accomplished entrepreneur with two boutiques in Singapore and more business ideas than is good for her. She has won many awards and is a minor celebrity with the Singapore media. [Wedding picture]

Em 1998, I got a good offer from what is now the Instituto de Pesquisas Infocomm and we decided to move to Singapore. Among the various personal reasons for the move, I should mention that the smell of racisim in the Marseilles air was one. Although every individual I personally met in France was great, I always had a nagging feeling that every one I did not meet wanted me out of there. This feeling was further confirmed by the immigration clerks at the Marignane airport constantly asking me toMettez-vous a cote, cavalheiro” and occassionally murmuringles francais d’abord. [Anita Smiles]

A week after I moved to Singapore, on the 24rth of July 1998, Anita was born. Incredibly cute and happy, Anita rearranged our priorities and put things in perspective. Five years later, on the 2nd of May 2003, Neil was born. He proved to be even more full of smiles.  [Neil Smiles more!]

Em Cingapura, I worked on a lot of various body-based measurements generating several patents and papers. Towards the end of my career with A-Star, I worked on brain signals, worrying about how to make sense of them and make them talk directly to a computer. This research direction influenced my thinking tremendously, though not in a way my employer would’ve liked. I started thinking about the role of perception in our world view and, consequently, in the theories of physics. I also realized how these ideas were not isolated musings, but were atriculated in various schools of philosophy. This line of thinking eventually ended up in my book, O Unreal Universo.

Towards the second half of 2005, I decided to chuck research and get into quantitative finance, which is an ideal domain for a cash-strapped physicist. It turned out that I had some skills and aptitudes that were mutually lucrative to my employers and myself. My first job was as the head of the quantitative analyst team at OCBC, a regional bank in Singapore. Este trabalho de middle office, envolvendo a gestão de riscos e reduzindo os comerciantes efervescente, gave me a thorough overview of pricing models and, perhaps more importantly, perfeita compreensão da aplicação orientada por conflito do apetite de risco do banco.

 [Dad] Posteriormente, em 2007, I moved to Standard Chartered Bank, as a senior quantitative professional taking care of their in-house trading platform, which further enhanced my "big picture" outlook and inspired me to write Princípios de Desenvolvimento Quantitative. I am rather well recognized in my field, and as a regular columnist for the Wilmott Revista, I have published several articles on a variety of topics related to quants and quantitative finance, which is probably why John Wiley & Sons Ltd. asked me to write this book.

Despite these professional successes, on the personal front, 2008 has been a year of sadness. I lost my father on the 22nd of October. O death of a parent is a rude wake-up call. It brings about feelings of loss and pain that are hard to understand, and impossible to communicate. And for those of us with little gift of easy self-expression, they linger for longer than they perhaps should.