எனக்கும் தருவாயா ஓரிடம்?

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மணல் வனமாம் அத்தேகத்தில்
துகள்களாம் முதியவனை
தோள்களில் நீ தேரேற்றி
ஆனந்த நடமாடி
சித்திரமாம் உன் கையெழுத்தில்
தாளத்தில் நீ வரிஎழுத
ஆசையாய் நான் காத்திருக்கிறேன்
காற்றே

உன் சிறையில்லா சிறகுகளில்
தருவாயா
இச்சிறியவளாம் எனக்கும் ஓரிடம்?

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as Sun kissed the sands and called it a day….

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sun stood still, innocently still
earth unfolded the drama

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clouds crowded thither – a mob of fanatic followers there
stifling those jubilant red yellow orange afar
for a crepuscular splendor magical

wind’s scripts tiptoed sinuously …
weaving a layered ornamentation
for coppered robe earth wore this side

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sun stood still, innocently still
earth spinned a rhythmic soft sufi there
on its relentless serene voyage

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occasional winds whizzed in
spattering coppery sands amorously ….

I sat there on the ornated mound
drenched in bronzen shimmer, inhaling desert sands
as she gently pulled the blanket over

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Un’desert’ed!

There was a time when silence deafened my ears – that was in childhood – I was so seasoned to sounds of city traffic that its absence triggered disillusionment and deafness for a short span. It happened every time I reached my Grandmom’s home for summer vacations. Her home was in the interiors of a village blanketed by tall areca palms, coconuts, scented jack, nutmeg and sumptuous mango trees. It looked as if earthy maiden sprawled herself leisurely and reclined quietly for an unending siesta there! There was nothing but silence, voiceless winds, noiseless rustles, less talkative birds and homes that stood forlornly solitary and far apart ….and then I longed to go back to the city!

We visited Sharqiah sands in Oman recently for night stay there. It’s a desert that’s quite old by age – probably one amidst a very few places on earth much less abused by humankind! The sands looked untainted, free and quiet. There was nothing but serenity and silence everywhere. There was stillness, there was life ….. and I sank in the freedom there!

I realize I love silence more now….sounds and soundlessness of nature make me more comfortable these days!

This is one hike up and down I ventured without me bothering anxiety or anxiety bothering me! I felt safe somehow – desert sands will never desert me – she lies there arms stretched far and wide to hold me in fold if I slip, carefully, as best as a mother could!

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It’s probably the sea that sands were once part of that made them free and move rhythmically calm!

I left behind giant footsteps…to be covered soon leaving no trace!

Lives many there are – desert it may be but never undeserted!

silence gathered around
summoned by the desert
I sat there …. amidst the sea of sands
on the ornated mound

inhaling silence
engulfing serenity
game to be carried as wind fancies
sands moved
cuddling and caressing the sands beneath
soaring a wee above 
for a soft sufi spin there
for the joy of freedom
for the joy of life
all to become one with the sands beneath!

To be the desert – to be untaut, to be unbound, to let the winds play tunes, play patterns, to be vast, to be open, to just be!

the sculptor and the sculpted

you taught me to lose my ‘self’
to be this, to be that, you told me!
to please you, you and you
to listen, to obey, to follow!
pleasing all pleased all
but never appeased ‘me’!

‘be with the world’ you told me
was bad at learning many a time
never learning enough to lose my ‘self’
dug pits within
to bury deep inside
in bits, in pieces
I pleased you and you and you
I dug pits deeper and deeper and deeper
digging caved in hollows
was bad at learning many a time!

years have gone by
age many has passed by
never dig pits now
‘be with the world’ been much easier now
hollowed enough to let go!
now, but now
you ask me to find my ‘self’
not to be with the world
to be ‘the me’ in the world, you tell me!
‘under control’ pleased all, all the time!
pleasing all never pleased you and you and you now!
holes many have I dug
hollows many have I now
hollow I am, never shallow!

you…. you taught me to lose my ‘self’then!
and now…. you ask me to find my ‘self’… you!
attaworld!…. cheers to you! … cheers to me!

 

Attaworld! …… cheers to you …… and…… cheers to me …… indeed! ……But……am I not you? ain’t you me? …..

can we not ‘just be, let be’?

in continuation to the thought conceived during chat with a fellow blogger! thanks to SKT! 

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‘the sculpted’
terracotta sculpture by Arpan and artist Augustine Varghese, Kochi

Dreamy matters!

     Clear blue sky and unending horizon beckoned me, pleasantly! There is no towering concrete structures between me and the horizon to obstruct my view far and wide… I could see the the entire city…may be more from the balcony up there above! With spirits soaring high, inhaling fresh friendly air, I gazed down …. at thinly lined crisscross roadways beneath …..far far beneath.. …. I heave a sigh, glad to be long long way away from the thick relentlessly running crowd aground! …. Hold on… what do I see here? … Men walking …. in air – just a few there – but …yes indeed walking! Excited and enthused I step out, heaving a big sigh along a beaming smile ……. with unbound happiness surging within…….I slowly step ahead…. yes … I CaN …..WALK IN THE AIR … I take a few steps ahead carefully …. rush back overwhelmed … spellbound, euphoric, I smile, I laugh and I turn around, eyes wide open….. !!!…..er…ugh…..!! its dark, oh…..but….how?….oh…. I still feel euphoric……ugh…..!!!…. ….!!! It was all a dream! …..psssssttt….sssttt!!!

     Dream, it’s been like a TV screen locked inside my head – a screen that gets switched on and off randomly in sleep to play shows different. It rarely replayed a show once telecast and I’ve been watching shows many since childhood – fascinating, amusing, sometimes frightening shows!  No, it has never bothered to disturb my psyche, I linked it to TV for the bizarre drama it presented!

     Dreams are like those clouds on sky! Clouds that doodled pictures different every time! Sky remained serene and plain….  clouds added the drama!

When I was a kid, I was so intrigued once bearing witness to a spectacular array of metaphysical scenes in my dream that I couldn’t help describing it to a schoolmate who I thought was my friend. I was ridiculed. I was laughed at – by all! I learnt dreams are not to be shared. It’s absurd! Mom was the only silent listener whenever she could spare time for my dream narratives and she always told me to offer prayers before I went to sleep. I thought dreaming was bad and remembering even worse! I learnt to keep the picturesque madness within me! I wasn’t ready to ramp my absurdity, not yet!

Dream
my life-size theater where
I walked in air with clouds
climbed cliffs
found barricaded doors I escaped
wandered happily in paradise
felt threatened by creepers
walked sheepishly barely robed

Once in a while, I saw something in my dream which eventually unfolded in reality – it was exciting yet unnerving! Gladly, most of the time, it was just shows different on my TV screen and I kept watching until a few months after college when I decided to dissect a dream to know its source. This happened because a particular show was getting replayed – again and again – that was unusual and I wanted to know why? I wrote it all down!

That was an episode that tipped me off – I realized it was a themed melodramatic depiction of a specific aspect of my life and my plight with symbolic props and characters(after all its a show and its gotta be peppy…yep!). Incidentally, it was a plight I was consciously not giving heed to in physical reality, probably it was boiling within! After dissection, that dream just stopped disturbing me. I knew what to do. It brought me not just solace but success!

It’s not that I dream every day. But when I did, I became curious to break it to know the source. No, certainly not all were possible to be tracked. Its not that I remembered every scene either. Sometimes when I woke up in between with emotions still hanging on me heavily, I tried to skim through those scenes consciously just to store them for later dissection. It worked sometimes. It didn’t sometimes. Sleep gained more importance on bed. When prime characters in the show involved familiar faces, I failed in tracking source – I lacked clarity there! I remained consciously blind to something!

Dream
my life-size theater where
self presented to self
its form rudimentary,
desires uncurtained,
emotions uncurtailed,
perceptions unbridled,
to explore, to navigate
vistas unnoticed, uncared within
to know, to be!

Someone did ‘science with dreams‘ and recorded ‘dreams are made of geomagnetic activity‘. Glad I didn’t know about it when I decided to dissect my dream. I might have missed out on the fun, excitement and knowledge!

May be dreams are not totally made of geomagnetic activity, it probably has something to do with what goes on within one’s mind – may be geomagnetic magnificence provoked those bizarre metaphysical streaming and unnerving scenic displays!

Dream
the thither vision of my hither story!
is this a metaphoric picturesque matrix
of perspective au naturel?
could this be mind’s theme
directed spectacularly by
geomagnetic magnificence?

But then, what do scientists say for dreams that eventually unfold in reality or dreams that showed past events unknown to you ?  

Photos clicked @ Kochi and Oman

It’s all in the game – Playing Marbles

“It’s all in the game”: Fourth in the series on less cost, nontoxic, plastic-free kids games from the past – its about Playing Marbles this time!

In India more fondly called ‘Goli’, ‘Goti’, ‘Kanche’, it was an all boys game usually played outdoors – on streets, vacant grounds and even school premises! 

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Thinking aback, “Goli’ was one game my brothers took me in without recommendations, persuasions or bargains despite me not fitting in their gender. Glad games don’t have genders. As for my brothers, I should admit they included me in many games they played within the tall walls of our home – sometimes to fill in the number, sometimes to avoid my silent outbursts later! Thanks to them! They used to play a game akin to cricket indoors and they hardly failed to line me in despite my sickeningly pathetic batting, bowling and fielding – I never improved there! In marbles, it was different- the glow and glitz of those glassy restless spherical balls kind of pleased and elated my spirits. Designs seemed to wriggle within and I was happy to let them loose on ground. When a marble broke, I was curious to know what was inside. I handled them pleasurably, lovingly, less carefully and much willingly.

They say Playing Marbles is similar to golf! I think its strangely connected to billiards – knocking a ball with another ball! In both games, they use stick(golf club/cue stick) and holes/pockets are many. In ‘goli’, a player strikes a series of marbles with one marble to make them all reach a single hole-with no accessories or tools! 

Teach your children Newton’s different ‘Laws of Motion’ playfully!

Advantages in playing marbles are many. Whether it be learning basic physics or basics of life per se – one’s action and probable reactions, focus, skill, reaching goal – this game applies to all!

Movement of marbles, force that we use, resulting collision that trigger more movement, external factors that affect movement including breeze, uneven surface and weight of the marble – yes, it’s more interesting to learn basic concepts of physics this way – force, friction, mass, surface and how these factors affect behavior of a marble. Inquisitive child’s mind will learn these concepts at ease playfully.

Therapeutic benefits:

  • Improves fine motor skills (involves coordination of small muscles in our hands and fingers to work together for tossing the marble) – Speed, direction and movement of a marble is dependent on player’s exertion of appropriate pressure on the marble that is tossed. Gradually, player learns to adeptly control his finger movements and tossing styles.
  • Develops concentration & focus
  • Gross motor skills (involves usage of large muscles of our body to perform a movement – in this game more specifically large muscles of arms and legs)
  • Improves eye-hand coordination
  • Enhances spatial awareness 
  • Visual processing skills – Understanding distance between his/her tossing position and gauging the force that needs to be exerted to strike opponent’s marble/s to make it all reach hole.
  • Socialization skills  – Players devise their rules and learn to agree for a fair play. It is this agreement of sorts which will help in learning negotiation skills, developing mutual understanding, trust, healthy competition and cooperation. When played in groups, kids learn the concept of equal opportunity and learn to wait and accept.

How to play?

Materials required:
Small glass marbles(about 1 cm in diameter) 2 – 5 marbles for each player

A Shallow (heel-sized) hole is dug in the ground (if playing indoors, create a small goal post)
A stick or a chalk to draw lines
A leveled ground helps in free movement of marbles

Number of Players:

Minimum two. More the number more interesting gets the game as more marbles come into play and made available for possession.

How to Play?

Different ways and styles for playing marbles are shared in “other links” and “video” down the page.

Unwritten ‘Agreement of Sorts’

In our mode of play, each player started his/her game bringing in two marbles initially into play. Players brought in more marbles in his/her subsequent turns – minimum and maximum number of marbles brought in per turn per player is decided in advance. A player starts his turn positioning his shooter marble from a predetermined line. Marble that is used to strike or shoot other marbles is called a shooter marble and some players had a special or lucky marble for this purpose.

Every time a marble lands in the hole, player gets an extra chance and his next flick is from the vantage position that his shooter marble has rolled to. If the shooter marble falls in the hole, player loses a turn, but gets to keep his shooter marble with him.

The start

All players toss in their shooter marble simultaneously from a predetermined distance. Player whose shooter marble lands first in the hole starts the game. 

Basic play

First player throws his two marbles near hole. If both lands in hole, then second player gets the chance. If one or both marbles remain outside, then first player gets to strike them. If he manages to flick these marbles to reach hole (with his shooter marble), he wins all marbles in the hole and continues game bringing more marbles into play. Else, he gets the one with which he hit(shooter marble) leaving the other one/two marbles per se on ground.

Second player starts his turn by throwing in his two marbles near hole and flicks his (shooter)marble to strike opponent’s marble/s gently to make them all reach hole. He wins all marbles that gets dropped into hole else gets the one with which he hit(shooter marble) leaving the rest on ground per se. Game continues till all marbles of all players are brought into play and won. Player who manages to drop maximum marbles in the hole is declared winner!

Number of marbles each player brings into the game and whether players get to keep all marbles won by them are decided by mutually agreed rules. At home, all marbles went to one common box at the end – possessions and ownership mattered only while playing -that’s what happens when you play with elder brothers – you gotta listen despite your crazy hunger to possess them all!

Techniques in tossing marble:

Complicated styles make the game more challenging and how you choose your tossing style is your choice.

Knuckle down-player holds his/her shooting marble in the crook or curve of his index finger while resting the knuckle on ground and shoots or flicks the marble with his thumb.

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Flicking-player places his shooting marble between forefinger & thumb. Hold your forefinger back with the thumb exerting little pressure and then flip or snap the forefinger forward. This style of tossing is similar to flicking the striker on carrom board.

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Indian style of playing involved holding your shooting marble in the forefinger/middle finger of left hand (right or left is dependent on the ease of player) and stretching the forefinger/middle finger backwards exerting pressure by forefinger of the other hand while resting the thumb of your left hand on the ground. Marble is held tight between the fingers before pressure is released. A comparatively difficult style that demands flexibility of both hands and it requires practice!

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This post is longer than I intended. It was a little difficult recollecting the mode of playing but hope ‘ve not done injustice to memory and happy times! These old games don’t come with written rules which gives us the wand to make it twisted or simple as our mind fancies – leave it to your kids to design theirs but sure its worth a try! 

How to play marbles- links:
http://www.landofmarbles.com/marbles-play.html
http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Marbles

For younger kids there are options different:
click for Video
http://spaghettiboxkids.com/blog/how-to-play-marbles-part-1/
http://spaghettiboxkids.com/blog/how-to-play-marbles-part-2/