Best Reads of 2017 – Chennai SRRs speak

So, I am a part of a readers group on Facebook. We exchanged our lists of favorite five books that we had read in 2017. Do take a look at this amazing list, and add them to your TBR. Wish you all have an amazing 2018, with more books and more time.

Thanks to Seemita Pooja Das, for compiling this list. She blogs about books here and has some great book recommendations.

Ciao!

Fleeting Brook

Untitled Design

So, I found a splendid group of bibliophiles during 2017 which brought a hemisphere of positive energy into my life. I wrote about them at length yesterday. And because we are readers, books always wafted over our discussions like saffron in the kahwa chai.

Now that a new year has walked in and we are looking at the various books we might read or gift or add to our collection, here is a compilation – the  top 5 reads of (some) SRRs in Chennai.

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My World Revolves Around You!

*HE WROTE TO ME FIRST, WHICH CAN BE READ RIGHT HERE!!*

Dear Sun,

It is really nice to see you write to me, after all these years. It stills feels the same, you know? In spite of we successfully making it to almost five billion years. People say we have a few more billions to clock.

Life has been the same for me since the day I set my eyes upon you. You, charming and attractive as always, with your gold toned complexion and fiery demeanor. Was it love at first sight? May be, I would never know. I have changed a lot since then. From a bulky landmass that I once was, I have worked hard to create and maintain the curves over which your rays feast on every morning. Oh the pleasure!

sun-and-earth

When the rays caress me, I glow

Letting seven billion children walk on me, regardless of how rude they are, defines my very nature. You could be rude in letting me know the fact that these kids take me for granted. I know that they do. I also know that they do it because I let them do that. But you needn’t be worried, for I have my own defense mechanism when things get over board. Just like how many, many mothers have. It is an essential weapon in our armour, which shall be used only when things go way out of hand. But for such rare instances, I am patient and tolerant of everything that comes my way. They are all my kids after all, and where else would they go? In fact, it might be this nature of mine that makes me valuable to them.

ஒறுத்தாரை யொன்றாக வையாரே வைப்பர்
பொறுத்தாரைப் பொன்போற் பொதிந்து.- 155 (Thirukkural)

In case you are wondering, my patience makes me valuable in the eyes of my children.

I have looked up to you always, for those priceless pearls of wisdom. Your appearance every morning reminds me of the duties that I am bound to do for the rest of my life, selflessly. Your absence by dusk, handing me over to the watchful eyes of the moon, who would take his duties for granted by choosing to come or bunk for the night, taught me to let go when the time is right. Maturity is what that taught me. Your fiery nature, which does not let anybody too close to you, showed me how important it is to guard myself from intimidators. Your occasional black spots reminded me of my own imperfections and how I must not get carried away by my own glory.

Having been a teacher and a mentor to me all these years, is it laudable on your part that you be misguided by the random words of two strangers? They could be my kids, but between us, they are still strangers. After all that we have been through together, is it possible at all for me to move away from you? Do you realize that the moment the distance between us increases, all the life in me would perish and I would become barren again, losing all my sheen and colour? Need I say more?

Afternoons are my favorite too. I love the way you are at your majestic best.  Giving space to each other has been our forte. I know you are at your best when you are left on your own. I trust you that you would come to me every morning. So I let you be. I derive my pleasure in watching you laze around, with all the glow. Did you know that even I look my best when you are at your best? Is this love? Or is it lust that I love it when you are on top. Do we really have to name this? I dare not.

Also, I love the way people cover up when you shine. It might be my way of saying that you are mine and nobody dare to welcome you to them with open arms. This, in a way makes me feel secure and content. I would definitely not want to see somebody else having the same pleasure as I do when your lovely rays caress me.

Your indignance makes me smile. You have deigned to accept that you shine for me and that my children are just accidental beneficiaries. Why would that affect you then? People behave in strange ways. Just like how Venus and I are not the same and just the way Jupiter and Mars cannot be compared, it does not make sense to compare east with the land in the west. It has taken me years to chisel my body this way and I know you love it.

People choosing to think about and highlight your faults is not your mistake. That is just how they are. You are much beyond all the pettiness that is spread over me. Think beyond all these trivialities and you will come to understand that life is much more. It is not about people. They come and go. In fact, they vanish in an instant, before you could even think of blinking once. That is their significance among us. Should we let these mortals come between us?

You seem to know the art of wooing my kids. A sly collaboration with the magnificent clouds is all it takes to make them swoon over you. Bam! There they come with their cameras and what-nots to capture the beauty that you are.  You seem to form the crux of some of the most romanticized aspects of lives. People take out time from their mundane lives to sit and watch you rise up above them or bid them a teary goodbye. Both these actions from you are accepted and appreciated.  You form an inevitable part of many deep conversations that have gone to make or break meaningful relationships. So you know your significance.

As one of your eight sweethearts, I have never wanted anything more than what I have right now from you. What we have right now is perfect for me. I do not seek matrimony nor do I seek monogamy. I understand your strengths as much as you do of mine. I am content with you being my loyal customer, for many more years to come. I know the deal of it all, about how mortal I am and how much immortal you are when compared to me. I do not want any bit of your immortality, and if given a chance, I would gladly bestow you will all that I have and sink into oblivion without a trace of remorse.

majestic-sun

I do not need a proclamation from you either. I do not fancy what people may or may not think of us. I like the way you love me. It reeks of lust, but isn’t that an inevitable part of continuing life? I do not know about your escapades with Venus or Mars or Jupiter. I know they are all beautiful in their own pretty ways, but I am also sure that I have my own place in your life and nobody can replace the visual treat that I offer to you.

Love is not about the fancy declarations or the metal confinements that come in the forms of rings or chains. It is about completing the other part and feeling comfortable in the presence of another totally different person. You might see that we are so different that people might find it difficult to accept us. But, isn’t that the beauty of it all?

You complete me like nobody does. You break me apart unlike anybody else. It is all in the game which we play.

If you are happy being my mistress for life, I shall be equally happy to be your customer, a loyal one at that.

Always with a “world” of Love

Earth

*This post is a part of the Love Theme contest organised by the Chennai Bloggers Club in association with Woodooz-Lampshades and Indian Superheroes *

Eternally Yours

Any relationship has it own ups and downs. Given the current exposure of the world to us, we have coined several terms for the different phases a relationship goes through. Marriage is not the end of a relationship. In fact, it is the beginning of a whole new game play. The promise and commitment to be there for each other, with each other is divine and chaste. Words must essentially be fulfilled.

There will be days when everything is not hunky-dory. Negativities begin to play peek-a-boo every other day and people start drifting apart. It is the love that brought them together in the first place and the commitment that sealed the deal that come to help them out.

Here is a poem I had the fortune to read, which describes the feelings of a husband when he senses the minor fractures that had began to appear in his married life. This poem, written by one of the most talented souls I have had the fortune to meet and get to know, Vijay anna, cruises through the beautiful language of Thamizh and takes the help of literature to reaffirm his love to his lit-loving wife.

அன்புள்ள மனைவிக்கு,

 

‘அன்புள்ள’ என்பது

எத்துணை முழுமையற்ற ஒரு

சொற்பிரயோகம் என்பதை

உனக்குப் புரிய வைக்கும்

என் முயற்சிதான் இந்த மடல்!

To my dear wife,

This letter is an attempt to make you see how much inadequate is the expression ‘Dear’, in many situations.

நீ என் வாழ்வின்

எத்துணையோ இடங்களை நிரப்புகின்றாய் தெரியுமா…

 

கடல் முகந்து

சூள் கொண்டு

விண்ணுயர்ந்து

காற்றொடு கலந்து

அடர்ந்து

கறுத்துக்

குளிர்ந்து

நெகிழ்ந்து

மின்னி

முழங்கி

மழையாய்ப் பொழியும் முகில்கள்

குறிஞ்சியின் மலைவழி இறங்கி

முல்லையின் காடுகள் நனைத்து

மருதத்தின் சமவெளி பாய்ந்து

பாலையின் பாளங்கள் ஊறி

நெய்தலின் கடலினில் கலப்பதைக்

காவியங்களின் ஆற்றுப் படலங்களில்

கவினுறச் சொல்ல

கம்பனாதிகள் கஷ்டப்படுவதைக் 

கண்டு வா

என்

ஐம்புலன்களின் ஐந்திணைகளை

நிரப்பும் உன்

காதல் காட்டாற்றின்

புதுப்பெருக்கைச் சொல்லப் புகுந்த

என் சிரமம்

சிறிதேனும் புரியலாம் உனக்கு!

Do you know how important a part you are, in completing my life? Your role in my life is similar to the phases that a cloud undergoes in its journey from the state of water to rain. I urge you to witness people like Kamban stumbling to detail the journey of a rain drop, through the mountainous terrain of Kurinji, the dense forests of Mullai, the heavenly green expanse of agricultural lands of Marutham, the dry and arid trails of Palai and the deep water bodies of Neythal. You might get an inkling of the enormity of my task to give my love for you, a structure in words.

கல்தோன்றி மண் தோன்றாக் காலம் முதலான

கன்னித்தமிழின்

கிளவித்தலைவர்களைப் போலத்தான் 

நானும்:

காட்சியில் தொடங்கினேன்

என் காதலை,

அணங்குகொல்?  

ஆய்மயில் கொல்லோ?

அழகிய

சுடிதார் அணிந்த மாதர்கொல்?

என

நெஞ்சு மாய

ஐயுற்றுத் தெளிந்து 

ஆவல் அதிகரித்தேன்…

I am very similar to the “thalaivan” portrayed in Tamil Literature. I fell for you the moment I saw you. My eyes laid the first stone to the monument of my love for you. That moment shook me – “Is she an Angel? Or a mystical peacock that is beautiful? Or is she a lady at all, for her beauty is unseen till day. My mind raced and revolted with my head with all these unanswered questions. I have never wanted answers so badly. My curiosity was testing my patience.

அதுவரை அறிந்திராத

ஆயிரமாயிரம் உத்திகளை

அடுக்கி அசரவைத்தது

என் அறிவு என்னையே!

பேர் அறிய

ஊர் அறிய

உனக்குப்

பிடித்ததும் பிடிக்காததும் அறிய

உந்தன் கைப்பேசி எண் அறிய

காதல் பற்றிய கருத்தறிய

எல்லாவற்றிற்கும் மேலாய்

ஏற்கனவே நீ

எவனையேனும் விரும்புகிறாயா என்னும் அந்த

ஆயிரப்பொற்காசுக் கேள்விக்கு விடையறிய

அதுவரை அறிந்திராத

ஆயிரமாயிரம் உத்திகளை

அடுக்கி அசரவைத்தது

என் அறிவு என்னையே!

My intelligence surprised me then, with all the ideas and strategies that I could employ to get to know you. Your name, legacy, your likes and dislikes, your mobile number, your opinion and ideas on love and finally the million dollar question that is- If you were already in love with somebody else.

My intelligence did surprise me like never before!

நாட்டை வளைக்கும்

நாற்படைத் தலைவன் போல்

நாட்கணக்காய்த் தீட்டினேன்

நல்லபல வியூகங்களை,

I spent months in plotting a perfect plan to conquer you, like how an Emperor would, to satisfy his thirst of expansion.

அகத்திணைகள் ஆய வேண்டிப்

புறத்திணைகள் ஆராய்ந்தேன் –

 

“வெட்சி மனம்கவர்தல்

மீட்டல் கரந்தையாம்

நட்பாகிச் செல்வது வஞ்சியாம்,

பார்வைக்கு –

உட்காது எதிரூன்றல் காஞ்சி

நேரம்காத்தல் நொச்சி

அதுவளைத்தல் ஆகும் உழிஞை –

அதிரப் பொருந்தல் தும்பையாம்

காதலில்

மிக்கோர் மனம்வென்றது வாகை யாம்”

 

என

இலக்கணம் வகுத்து

இடைவிடாது இயங்கி

இதோ இன்று

இனியவளே உனைப் பெற்றேன்!

I drowned myself in ‘Purapporul’ in order to acquire the bliss of ‘Agapporul’. I used all the possible ideas from the literature that I read and devour and finally won you, my beloved!

Note- Purapporul is a branch in Tamil Literature wherein the core idea of the contents linger over the ideas of courage and bravery. It tells us tales about the manner in which Rulers conquer and the other ruler defends his territory. The variety in this, is given the names of flowers beginning with Vetchi and ending with Vaagai. On the other hand, Agapporul is that branch of literature which deals with the emotions of the heart. Love, Lust, friendship etc can be found here. 

காதலை நான் உரைத்த நொடி – எனைக்

கலங்க வைத்தாய் உன் கருத்தால்

காத்திருந்தேன் நான்

கவிதைகளால் காலம் நிரப்பி!

 

காகிதத்தில் என் கவிதைகளும்

காலத்தில் என் காத்திருப்பும்

இயற்றிய கடுந்தவத்திற்கு

இரங்கினாய் இறுதியாய்

காதல் வரம் தந்தாய்

காதலியாய் உனைத் தந்தாய்…

The moment I confessed my love to you, you shook me with your reply. You were not into it, you said. I waited, filling the void I felt, with the lines I wrote for you. Trees and time went by, finally you gave consent. It was a jubilant moment for my penance, for my patience. You gave a boon, an eternal boon to me, in the form of yourself.

உரிபொருள்கள் மாறின  

உன்னால் என் கவிதைகளில்

உள்ளுக்குள் நிறைந்தாய்

ஒவ்வொரு செல்லாய் நீ… 

கால்களில் சிறகு முளைத்தன

என்

காதலுக்கும் காலத்திற்கும்

My sorrow turned to bliss. Vows were exchanged infront of the Divine Fire. We became a single soul trapped in two bodies. You gave soul to me and my poems. You gave wings to fly, for time and for my love, to bask in the golden ray that is the sunshine.

காதலனுக்கு இருந்தததைப் போல் இன்று

கணவனுக்கு இல்லை காதல் என்று

கண்மணியே நீ குறைபட்டுக்கொள்கிறாய்

கண்ணீரால் என்மீது குற்றங்கள் சாட்டுகிறாய்!

இருக்கிறதென்று காட்டவே

இதோ இந்த மடல் உனக்கு…

Days went by in marital bliss. Today you lose heart saying the love has faded and I was a better lover than a husband. Oh my love, you tear me apart with your tears!

To refute your claim, I pen these words down.

அறியாத அந்த

அவைகளை அறிந்தபின்

ஆர்வம் சற்று குறைந்திருக்கலாம்தான்

ஆனாலும் அன்பே

இருக்கவே இருக்கிறதே

அடுத்த நிலையில்

அறியாதவை பல!

Where the mind has known the unknown, I don’t deny that my curiosity might have waxed a little. But then, darling, there is always a next step where again we are lost, in the maze of the obscure and the unknown.

அறிதோறும் அறியாமை கண்டு

செறிதோறும் சேர்த்துக் கொள்கிறேன்  

செல்லமே, என் காதலை!

I shall get that bliss similar to unraveling the mysteries of the unknown, every time I derive pleasure from you, my Love!

காகிதத்தில் இல்லையென்றாலும்

காலச்சுவடுகளில்

இயற்றிக்கொண்டுதானே இருக்கிறேன்

கவிதைகளை நான்?

கவனிக்கவில்லையா நீ?

If not in words, in trails of time, I still am penning down poems for you. Did you not notice that?

கண்கள் சிவக்கும் உன்னைக்

கன்னம் சிவக்க வைப்பேனே!

கவிதையில்லையா அது?

 

கேட்காத கேள்விகளுக்குக்

காதுக்குள் கிசுகிசுக்கும் விடைகள்,

கவிதையில்லையா அது?

I shall make you go pink in your cheeks, when your eyes are red from all the tears that you shed. Is it not a poem? Those sweet nothings that we whisper in each others ears, even when there was not a word spoken before that, isn’t that a poem?

தோற்பதற்கென்றே தொடங்கப்படும்

தொல்லையில்லாத சண்டைகள்,

கவிதையில்லையா அது?

 

எதிர்பாரா நேரத்தில்

எதிர்கொள்வாயே அது,

கவிதையில்லையா அது?

Those little tiffs that we begin, just to lose ourselves and make each other win, Isn’t that a poem? When you feel the unexplainables at the unexpected times, Is that not a poem?

வார்த்தைக்குத் தப்பிக்கும்

வாழ்வின் அந்நொடிகள்,

கவிதையில்லையா அது?

 

இன்னும் இன்னும் இருக்கின்றன

எழுத இயலாதவையும்

எழுதக் கூடாதவையும் – எனக்கு

எழுதத் தெரியாதவையும்…

Moments of life, which take life in pieces of paper, only to be re-lived later on, isn’t that a poem by itself?

There is much more, which cannot be written, shall not be written and those which I know not how to be written.

என்

ஆயிரம் கவிதைகளையும்

ஒரே ஒரு நொடியின்

ஒரு துளி மௌனத்தில்

ஒன்றுமில்லாமல் ஆக்கிவிடும்

உன்னிடம் எதைச் சொல்ல?

இந்த ஒன்றை தவிர,

 

நான் உன்னைக் காதலிக்கின்றேன்!

என்றும் என்றென்றும்…

What do I have to say? To you, who would burn all my words written so far, with a single glance, with your momentary silence, into smithereens.

I have nothing more to say than this- I love you, always.

Bajji Sojji

What happens when the Guy and the Girl meet for the first ever time, surrounded by their parents and relatives?

Is it that easy?

Read on to find it out 😉

BLIND MAN'S BLUFF

Hello all. I am Megha, a girl in her twenties who is on the cusp of falling into the trap of marriage. Given below is a slice of my life from somewhere into my future. The scenario here is the “ponnu paakurathu”, or as I would like to call it “Adult-approved sight adiching”. When I say future, it includes all possible permutations and combinations that could happen. So with the usual caveats, read on.

Hi. If you are here then you know who I am. As my fellow writer (remove this fellow-writer nonsense, will you?) Megha explained, this is our take on a not-so-hypothetical scenario and we believe we speak for all the guys and girls from Tamil Nadu when we illustrate what goes on our minds. Throughout this post my thoughts (mind voice for the people back home) will be typed like this and Megha’s will be typed like…

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The ‘TamBrahm’ Code

One of my repeat-reads this week 🙂 Read and enjoy

SpecterSurmises

‘Madrasi’

‘Dark-skinned’

‘Lungi-clad’ & 

‘Conservative Pricks’

Yeah so this is pretty much how most of the people describe us. Not that we care. Most of it is true. But there is a lot more to a ‘Madrasi’ than what meets the eye. I am not someone who is really a ‘Tamil’ or a ‘Brahmin’ fanatic. But then lets just say that this post is a guide for some of you on how to unravel these ‘unique’ humans and perhaps help you understand them better.

  • Let’s start with the name. Okay so you know that the guy you loved all your life had his name as ‘Ashwin Sadasivam’. But as you sit on the dais during your wedding, the priest cites your name along with the a name that sounds like ‘Neelakanta Sharma’.Before you start doubting the true identity of your partner, let me clarify that. We are also given a…

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