Tuesday, April 27

A storm undone 

As hoary clouds slid back on the sky
twisters flogged, up, center, and down
sign posts, broken, rubble, splashed, faces, murky
harked back in all nothingness, ‘you’re not alone...’

A calm then descended, somewhat hush, yet risky
with trees latching on to their youngest leaves,
flowers wet, yet stiff-necked, appearing less shaky
roaring, and grappling, the lake still heaves

Fancy cups clank, and brim with life potions
resolute to stir the empty souls, back to their wits
and even as I grope around for sanguine signs,
Nature smiles, wielding a new spell, bonding the bits

Tuesday, April 20

E for Eenglis! 

One of the penalties you've got to stomach for not signing up on the Do-Not-Call list is struggling to say ‘no,’ and that too, as politely as humanly possible, to geeks who try to woo you into a subscription for a newsdaily you have no use for except to blot the oil off ‘pooris,’ (okay, if I had to painstakingly Americanize it, I’d go with deep-fried wheatflour crepes) or a vacation to a place that you’ve either already been to, or are too broke to afford. I have tried many a time to ward these telemarketers off, in vain, but it is with sheer pride that I divulge I’ve rid of some with a dose of gracious goading. All in all, I have had some utterly amusing experiences with these sales callers, for instance, when I was once perceived as a teenager with no decisive power of her own, whatsoever, and asked if my parents were home. But there’s been worse, here’s how:

Me: Hello?
Her: Helloo…hallooooo…er…hellooooo ma’m, I am calling frem the X-magazine uffice
Me: Yes?
Her: We are uffering a sepcripshun for $X a week for the furst X munths to all new custemoors…and…umf…
Me: Oh, that’s nice! But I’m really sorry, I’m not up for it right now, maybe another time.
Her: Ma’m? Wut you say? Halloooo ma’m…I am calling frem the X…
Me: Yes, I got you lady. I am really sorry, I am not quite interested in your offer for now. Is there anything else you’d like to ask me?
Her: Wut! Wut you say! You spik eenglis?
Me: Yes, yes, lady. I DO (trying to hold on to the last few strings of my sanity)
Her: Wut, ma’m!! You spikking wut, I dunt get you…wut you say?
Me: Hey lady! I DO speak English and I s-a-i-d, I d-o-n-t h-a-v-e the tiiiiiime to read any magazine…so, there, sorry! (almost losing it…)
Her: Uh…you wut say ma’m, our uffer too goody, all custemoors taken in your area.
Me: Oh, I’m sure, but duh, sorry again…now if you don’t mind, I’d like to say bye!
Her: Hallooooo…ma’am…(feebly)

I, my friends, do speak some English, and it does not transcend the discerning powers of any of my American fellas, believe me. Well, at least when I say ‘let’s make a move,’ they do, in all their dervish spirit, shake a leg or two, understanding clearly that I don't, infact, mean 'let's go now.' So looking back, I wonder if I did the right thing by emphasizing my knowledge of the English language to this woman. Perhaps I should’ve burbled something in a dialect that would’ve been unfamiliar territory to her, and fairly indigenous to me.

Monday, April 19

'twixt I and thou... 

Martin Buber, for the unapprised, is the legendary philosopher whose work on the correlation in I-it and I-thou, virtually revolutionized the domain of interpersonal dialogue and communication. I have come to be totally besotted by his thoughts lately. The intricacies of his words and the perspectives they spell out - there's much, much more wisdom obscured in them than there seems.

For instance, with this excerpt from one of Buber's writings, one professor posed us a very intriguing challenge - to fathom the essence of what he meant:

"Nothing can refuse to be the vessel for the Word. The limits of the possibility of dialogue are the limits of awareness..." "Things remain the same, they are discovered once for all."

We had to ascertain whether, by saying so, Buber actually implied that all information has been in the universe for all time, and only when we recognize it does it become relevant for us as individuals, or not.

I reckoned that according to Buber, all information has existed in the world for all time – and events, signs and signals make us aware of those. They may not even be something extraordinary, but merely what goes on time and again, just what goes on in any case. Buber's belief is that, 'becoming aware' is not limited by just getting to know an 'other.' It could be related to an event, a stone, a plant or an animal...something can always be communicated to us, somehow, and thus - "Nothing can refuse to be the vessel for the Word. The limits of the possibility of dialogue are the limits of awareness."

In retrospect, I'm still speculating - while that may have been true, to borrow Buber’s words, in a ‘primitive’ world that was meagerly equipped; what about all the newness and inventiveness in today’s rather modish world? Haven't there been changes in the way we see and perceive and respond to our world at all?

Buber has further explicated that, language, as a symbolic communication medium, is independent of the dialogue between man and man and is understood as expressions of universal ideas existing in themselves. Does that make language static?

While you chew over that, just remember...“The waves of the aether roar on always, but for most of the time we have turned off our receivers..."!