Perspectives from the Himalaya

The Mahabharata #1: Dharma and Human Degradation

Judge a book, not by its cover. Big A has searching questions hurled towards me with prodding eyes when he saw the Mahabharata Vol.1 (unabridged translation by Bibek Debroy) and Child of God (Cormac McCarthy) glued together on my reading stack almost as if, twined by crime. Truth be told, these pages could not be more polarised in their content and culture, style and artistry.…

Paragliding: Placing Things in Perspective

He was dragged out of bed after multiple callings had failed to stir him. When he finally showed himself, his face was black, like an eternal night. He trudged out - strewing, spitting, littering a trail of grumpdust. Pulled by a determined invisible hand to anchor him into the local jeep, his heavy footsteps brought a cloud of dust around his ankles and onto the…

Heartstrings

We hear a voice with the reverberance of our uttering. We see eyes and we hear ears so like our mothers' and fathers', aunts' and uncles', grandmothers' and grandfathers'. We may see ourselves in others in ways that we do not always like or we may feel alienated from those who are supposed to be closest to us. Our love language may be of opposite…

The Echo Within

Stories came. Submerged in a simmering pot of words, text, thought and imagery. The brew bubbled around the rim of the pot attempting to overflow from its infusion of magical interpretations of life, prose and poetry from the wise and the wise. From those who have lived and walked the path, those who have daringly searched the depths of their hearts and souls, those who…

Shadows of the Coming Race v2.0: Humanity in the Face of Artificial Intelligence

In the not-so-distant future, or now some argue, the moment we have long anticipated is upon us. Mama I embarks on an exploration of the hypothetical terrain where the superpower of artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technology boldly traverse the boundaries of human capabilities. Within this realm, a striking notion emerges—one where highly evolved machines stand poised to transcend humanity itself, potentially supplanting our roles and…

Our dearest Guests, we pen this love letter, an ode to your presence:

In the realm of our abode, a host's concern awakes,Where consumerism's grip upon nature takes,With hearts burdened by Earth's fragile plight,We beckon guests to tread with conscious light. Here, the forest creatures are our esteemed peers,So let's cherish their presence, no need for fears.This planet we share, both humans and critters,Let's be good stewards, not litterbugs and quitters. Water, oh precious elixir, let us honour…

Rain Stories

Clouds gather in the sky. Their shades of grey multiply, their shapes transmogrify. The wind sweeps through, a gentle messenger bringing the scent of rain. A hush fell over the land where its earth had been toiled, dislodged and resettled. The air when once, filled with dust and debris, din and drill, now swells as rain begins to form. And when the first raindrop lodges…

The Seed of Swara

"Men can do nothing without the make-believe of a beginning. Even science, the strict measurer, is obliged to start with a make-believe unit, and must fix on a point in the stars' unceasing journey when his sidereal clock shall pretend that time is at Nought. His less accurate grandmother Poetry has always been understood to start in the middle; but on reflection it appears that…

A Pendulum Shift in Winter

In the play of sunlight filtering down through the shady fig trees, a troop of little feet powered by an apparition of arching wild bamboo and a generous length of hemp rope, sauntering at first, then taking bolder strides, broke their locomotion into a mad run towards the swathe of cracked mud. There was an immediate urgency to fly and the many soaring spirits held…

A Reset

When fragmentation occurs and the path taken bends unexpectedly, the physicality of being begins to shred little by little. On the mat, realignment occurs. Breath slows down and becomes the companion that cleans the slate. A reset. The shades of sun and earth begin to colour the walls, glowing and warm so that the attention of the dweller turns out to the beauty that lays…

Where the Heart Resides

The first days back in the tropics took a little adjustment. Memories of the brisk-paced city were lucid and poignant but the senses, having taken a euphonious nature of rural mellowness for a good time, took to returning with less fervent. There was the constant hum of the compressor in the background, the impatient and incessant traffic that had a life of its own and…

Reading from the Smithereen Effect

Fog blanketed the sky like stained muslin hovering above, gifting nothing to vision. Devoured by darkness, dawn could not penetrate. Yet, darkness offers solace - so infiltrating, tranquillizing and still. The arrival of cool wind shifted the clouds. It was a relief but it was also a precarious prelude to a thunderstorm. The wind howled, ushering the mighty pavlova ones before the sky released its…

How Our Children Learn

It will be 3 years soon since we left home. Back in 2019, we had the itch to start something of our own. Although life in KL was comfortable and good to us, there seemed to be a calling that there was more to experience in our short existence. So we took the plunge and moved to rural Nepal bringing with us our two young…

Delirium in Dusk and Dawn

The day expired in rouge. Throngs of whistling fork-tail birds weighed the trees. The windows became black mirrors and faces watched back. Out there lay stillness from human centrism. Things were beginning to get unsettling as sepia grips the landscape and the forest transmutes into a haunting neighbour. Shadows of dismembered branches thrust deep into the ground to prop new life, stood stoic like haggard…

Alchemy of Spring

Ramming stopped on the final wall and a cry was heard from 24 feet above ground. Perched on the edge of worn-out formwork, a finger pointed down towards the muddy pathway between the thresholds where Surya stood. The little ones put a pause to their work play at the sand dune and leapfrogged toward the scene. Surya had just stopped a slithering creature in its…

The Heart of Play

As the snow begins to melt with the abrupt appearance of spring disrobing the stark towering granite, 11 pairs of boyish limbs came springing up from all directions of the village to seek new adventures. They appeared in unforeseen lengths and widths but share an insatiable spirit of curiosity and play with a whiff of mischief. Except for a beaten football, abundant wild bamboo and…

Theatre of Construction

The boundary confused with punctuation of wild bamboo is displaced with sounds of slashes and whips. The Jumla boys take a playful swing along the green branching clusters and tamed them with their axes and machetes, tugging the hollow culms up the terraces with their sheer strength, trimming them into workable lengths and shouldering them onto the stage to act as props for the drama…

Wintering through Darkness, Dostoevsky & Drops of Sweetness

It seems to be that the first day of the year is always a good day for cake. And 6 days later. And 13 days before the new year. It is the annual cake triathlon peeking at the intersection of the close of one year and the beginning of another and there is cause for celebrating the birth of 2 boys and 1 man, or…

O’dark Hundred Hours

We have been rooted to the earth in a way in which that hour between dusk and dawn awaits for quiet, for rest and recuperation. Time seems to stop. But at the darkest hour, the throbbing that hums beneath our feet surfaces above the tranquillity. For the nocturnal, it is an opening of portals to mischief and play, an opportunity to listen to the shadows…

Shifting Earth Dust: Moving In

It came with a ruffle and a tussle and a year late. We finally found ourselves shifting earth dust of our new home during Navaratri 2021. The final touch came with helping hands, jitterbugs and blessings from extended family across the Indian border and other Nepali towns. The kitchen went through a startled startup when the installation of the gas stove made a fiery scene.…

CloudScript

An incurable wanderlust, just watching the world go by: Looking up, from humble little Earth,Gaze returned, with poetry from the Sky.Watching Clouds, old as Earth itself,A calligraphy of water against the azure.And upon zenith, tear on sun-kissed land. Breeze whispers in one ear and out the other.Flurrying dusty feet, of hairy honeyed beesSock in floral sprinkles and more in pollen baskets.Arms of gust encircle eagles…

Capturing the Sound of Violence: Zombie

1994 was a year when the unique sound of Dolores O’Riordan, the lead vocalist of Cranberries sang through the charts globally and could be heard on the radio daily. “Zombie” was the Irish alternative rock band’s response to the Provisional IRA’s bomb attacks on Warrington in Cheshire, England in 1993 that resulted in the deaths of 2 young boys and wounding 54 others. The emergence…

Cultivating a Landscape for Our Children

Everywhere we live, there is a place where we can linger in formlessness until form takes place. Everywhere we go, there is a path that leads the way; sometimes in the shadow of the moon and sometimes in the starkness of the sun. Every now and then, there is an unbeaten trail prodding a temptation. In this land where the sky meets earth and where…

A Mother to the World

You left us too soon. In a blink of an eye, you were gone. We were stumped and numbed and anaesthetized.To reflect on mortality in the wake of your departure, taken away so quietly from the clasp of your beloveds, a murkiness so thick and stifling surfaces. It stirs the insides, like a nauseating whirlwind. And then, a sudden void lingers so cold and alien, and…