Monday, December 11, 2017


At CEPT University, during one of the lectures architect prof. Vasavada once jokingly had a curious thing to speak about windows. He said whenever his client checks him about windows in their house, he would suggest them to keep a painting or print of windows in place of actual windows. He continued to ask why would one want to waste the wall space as in any case one would not open it for the fear of dust or for their AC and over and above one will cover it with cloth curtains to make room more dustier!
Although it was only a joke, he reminds us that today the role windows in our urban life remains a grim reality. Historically windows in building serve the purpose of an opening for a room from its dark enclosure to a bright world outside. It brought tamed harsh light and breeze into our home with many nostalgic memories and emotional encounters. In fairy tales, the captive princes were saved from fortified citadels through these windows and many romeos and Juliets exchanged their expressions of love from these romantic points. The role of these windows in our love stories are so important to the extend, some of the most beautiful hindi film songs like "mere samne wali kidikki pein.." were written to celebrates the youthful role of windows in human life. In Arabian nights stories, the Persian windows that are opened to the moon light skies and the sufi songs that eulogies the philosophical role of windows to express the reality of life and its meta-world immortalised its philosophical and cultural role.
In a building windows are beautiful from within and outside. Between embellishment and function, the windows becomes the eternal representation of human need and its aspirations. From outside when it becomes the social status symbol of inhabitant in architecture, from within it becomes the escape route for one from the claustrophobic built environment.
The famed hawa mehal in Jaipur tells us another story of Gender negotiations of windows : the unseen women behind in the middle of hustle and bustle of cities. Windows also act as secret passage to social and gender considerations: an opportunity to the oppressed to be one with the forbidden world outside within their social fears and without breaking social customs. In Kerala there is this famed traditional architectural element that covers the windows. This marvel of carpentry allows only the view of outside world from within but restricts the inside view for outside world. Today the partially reflective glasses we find all over our cities perfected this game.
During my artistic journey, I always found these strange spaces in human life a fascinating aspect. When I was in Paldi, in Ahmedabad there was one of these Gujarati bunglows near parimal char rasta. It's transparent glass windows always remained closed. There would always be a play of light behind its transparency. More than that the very idea a fragile transparent glass window giving the sense of security to the house hold from with violent world outside amused me. In my art life, I have painted windows and its role play in human life many times to understand this complex connection windows have with our life.
Slowly over a period I realised between ornamented frame outside and functional necessity inside, the role of windows are not a simple narrative. It manifest in front of us as a highly complex human negotiation in civilisations.
Today as the pollution and dust takes over our cities one by one, the windows go closing one by one. For weeks and months it remains closed and slowly people in urban chaos have forgotten about those windows. For many city dwellers, today windows are their biggest problem. They remain closed and along a passage to nostalgia, memory and the last connect to city for its houses, today it remains shut.
(Photos taken from Ahmedabad during my recent trip to city with students.)I

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Yaksha - Yakshi, a journey from Sujata

It was in 1988, during my trip to attend a job interview,  that I first saw these sculptures. Two  tall and strong sculpture of yaksha and yakshi that intimidate any one who walk past it  as guards of RBI in Delhi.  Although Delhi was a strange place for me  during those early days in Delhi,  on my way back I could not stop getting down from bus at RBI  to have a second look of these sculptures.

Later on I learned  from Lalit kala academe library that these sculpture of yaksha and yakshi  were drawn its inspiration from "Parkham yaksha" and "Besnagar yakshi". During those pre internet era, there were no other way a computer professional like me could have accessed that information. Years later,  in my study of Indian sculptural traditions and sculptors, I revisited the aesthetic constructions of Ram Kinker Baij's art works and found out a new narrative for these two wonderful works: Yaksha -Yakshini, the journey of Sujata and an artist's love.

                                            Besnagar yakshi                        Parkham yaksha Manibadhra
                                            3rd - 1st century BC                  3rd- 1st century BC

Besnagar Yakshi and Parkham Yaksha represents the early sculptural traditions of Indian art. One will certainly find the influences of early Greek/ Hellenistic sculptural traditions in these two sculpture from Mauryan empire times.  It is said that, Carl Khandalawalla, an eminent art critic appointed by the RBI at the instance of JRD Tata, considered these two sculptures as inspiration for the yaksha and yakshi to be installed at RBI gate,  as  he thought they represent  the Hindu mythical characters Kubera the guardian of wealth and his female counterpart of fertility.  

If one look at these possible Mauryan sculptures, one would not miss the similarity  exist in the  style, posture, structure and their dress. Its Hellenistic influence can be identified from its resemblance to the Bharhut yavana relief sculpture dated circa 100 BCE. This sculpture of dwarapala is also assumed to be of the Menander, an Indo- Greek king. 
Bharhut Yavana

The story of Ram Kinker Baij the artist with political leaning begins here. Although he in principle got the approval of his design in accordance to the curatorial vision of Carl, he drops the Besnagar yakshi and Parkham yaksha from his inspiration in his quest for form keeping the context  of RBI the controller of money, the vision of progress, idea of guarding or guard and its politics. 

He goes back to his Sujata, his sculpture of the important lady in Buddhist tradition,  the one who gave milk to Buddha before his enlightenment, installed among Shanti niketan's woods.  In this sculpture Ram Kinker gave a complete twist to her form. A tall beautiful lady, who almost  looks like becoming the bodhi tree herself with an elite grace, something one would not see in his sculptures.  Although  the graceful Sujata  walks with a pot on her head like  the ladies  we often encounter in  Indian villages, Ram kinker  changed her physical features to that of a tall lady of elite grace, whom a viewer always will have to look upto. It was almost as if Ram kinker was paying a tribute of reverence to Indian village lady's labour and  Sujata's important position in Buddha's life in particular. One may also  read it as his tribute to the Shanti Niketan's trees that gives the  imputes for many creative activities.  It is also important to note  the placement of a Buddhist icon among a largely Hindu iconography lead Shantiniketan to understand the artist's love for Sujata, the Indian female and his political position.
Sujata- 1935

After dropping Besnagar Yakshi, one of the rare yakshi sculptures who has a covered  torso during the Mauryan period and Parkham Yaksh with the Greek Hellenistic sensibilities, he moved on with Sujata to Sanchi in search of his inspirational forms. Probably on two accounts he could have rejected those two sculptures and its aesthetics.
One, they have the western iconography that he would not prefer in a free India,
Two the capitalistic under current in the story of Yaksha and the reductionist patriarchal nature of male gaze in Besnagar Yakshi that consider her  only  as an operant of fertility and the associated sensuality. 
Yakshi from Burhut, the expressions of sensuality

Coming back to our story, the tall slender Sujata camouflaged among  other tall trees of Shanti niketan, but  took Ram Kinker  from there to the Mauryan times Sanchi stupa and the Temptations of Mara in particular that tells  the story of the wicked king Mara,  who tried to trick Buddha with his beautiful daughters and his army,  to meet his  yaksha and yakshi.  

Temptations of Mara
Saanchi, 3rd to 1st bc
In this panel of Jataka tale, one will find the Sujata at the extreme right corner next to Bodhi tree, standing with her milk pot  and fruit bowl, strangely  nude!. Also notable in this panel is Mara and his  seductive daughters remain body covered till waist!. The right side  of the panel stands the army of Mara, the soldiers who supports or tries to facilitate the temptations to trick the holy buddha. Here Sujata introduces Ram Kinker his Yaksha. Look at the second sitting soldier, one will find the Yaksha there. Unlike Parkham yaksha, Ram kinker's yaksha is stout, powerful and an aboriginal, who only out of his loyalty to the wicked Mara, attempts to facilitates  temptation or guards the temptation drama. Ram kinker found his  Yaksha in those loyal aboriginal soldier who guards the seductive temptations but not unleash temptation himself or remain just labourer.   Most notable in this panel is the physical features of Mara and his daughter, a perfect fit to the idealisation of beauty:  the slender body of aryan, while the demon army is made of "fat" aboriginals/Dravida, a trait till today remains to be the representation of  villainess  in mainstream Indian visual culture. 

Second important point is the similarity Sujata has in physical features with Mara's daughters.  It was not acceptable to Ram kinker. Ram kinker wanted his sujata  in spite of her nudity,  not being naked like the seductive daughters of Mara or in other words her virtues of  compassion and service had to surpass her nudity.  He found his  Yakshi in her; in his sujata. For him she represents  the value of compassion, loyalty and service  of Indian women.  Since he could not find these virtues in Mara's daughters, he did not want any resemblance of them in  Sujata.  So he copied the Sujata in the same posture from panel with the expression of  service, loyalty and compassion in her nudity but with the loyal soldier's physic.  Sujata became the chauri bearing yakshi far away from elite aryan Besnagar yakashi.  

The ten years evolution (delay) of these sculpture tells this romantic story, one that is evolved with Sujata. An intricate story of a politically left leaning artist, who had his intensive negotiation with his art and its form.  A journey of love for  identity and its politics. He tells us the story of an average guard in this country through Yaksha; an average aboriginal Indian of discriminated economic and cultural strata, the one who protects the temptations of this country (here for instance the money minting RBI) . Also this guard, even as he fights to protect or facilitate the temptation drama, he never becomes  an element  of that seductive trick himself.  He looks stout as thug and still remain only a loyal soldier,  one  who is discriminated as ugly by the outsider-insider game of  aryan- Dravida visual culture, the  aesthetics of the society of economic affluence. 

 In his Yakshi, although he found  the depiction of   loyal agency of service in womanhood, but he brings in the grace of feminism by abolishing the construct of female form in elite visual culture and its male gaze.  He construct her as stout, aboriginal counter part of yaksha in nude.  Her existence,  one that is  on your face and as a provocative nudity of confident aboriginal female who's dominance in existence disturb the mainstream society.  The nudity of Yakshi and its presence there in front of RBI  went upto the level of a parliament discussion to decide the righteousness of her existence as a confident nude labourer, something that proved the merits of Ram Kinker's political construct of Yakshi, the marginalised female laborer's  body politics.  In his first  Sujata, if she remains an  aesthetically slender lady of elite grace for  male gaze, his second Sujata,  Yakshi  becomes a powerful, confident,  assertive on your face naked  lady of eminence,  who is not ashamed of her "Labour" status. Sujata becomes the  lady, we often encounter in the fields of rural India or among factory labourers. Ram kinker's yakshi becomes the epitome of  the aboriginal female labourer who  fill  the length and breadth of this country and still goes missing from main stream visual culture.  Ram kinker, the left leaning artist immortalise her by placing at the most important sight of this country, where money is produced and maintained, one that defines  the value of labour and its associated visual constructs. Most importantly they were built with constructivist style of  art. 

Sujata and Ram Kinker epitomises the love of every artist with his or her socio-political or cultural positions in life that determines one's art and its form.  Ram Kinker Baij's Yaksha and Yakshi at RBI Delhi, defines it. 

Emperor Ashoka tries to  take Buddha's  relics from nagas. Sanchi. Here again we can see  Sujata at second position from second pillar form right

Image courtesy : RBI,ASI and wiki 

Monday, October 2, 2017

ഞാൻ കണ്ടിട്ടില്ലാത്ത ലോറെൻസ്

"എന്നെ അറിയാമോ ? പെട്ടന്നായിരുന്നു മുന്നിൽ നിന്നും ചോദ്യം .
ഒരു ചോദ്യത്തെക്കാൾ അതൊരു നിസ്സഹായതയായിരുന്നു. കണ്ടാൽ ഒരു മുപ്പതു വയസ്സ് തോന്നിക്കുന്ന സുന്ദരിയായൊരു സ്ത്രീ . ആവശ്യത്തിലധികം മേക്കപ്പ് ഇട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട് എന്ന് തോന്നിക്കുന്ന വിധത്തിലുള്ള അവരുടെ മുഖത്തെ ഒരു തരം നിശ്ചലതയാണെന്നേ പെട്ടന്നുണ്ടായ ചോദ്യത്തെക്കാൾ അന്പരിപ്പിച്ചത് .
ഒരിത്തിരി വിമ്മിഷ്ടത്തോടെ അതിലപ്പുറം ചമ്മലോടെ ഇല്ലെന്നെനിക്കു മറുപടി പറയേണ്ടിവന്നു.
കണ്ട ഓർമയില്ല. ഏതെങ്കിലും ബന്ധുവാണോ എന്നറിയില്ല. കൈയ്യിലെ ചായക്കപ്പിൽ രണ്ടു കൈകൊണ്ടും പിടിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് അവരൊന്നു ചിരിച്ചു
"അറിയാൻ വഴിയില്ല. കാരണം നിങ്ങളെന്നെ കണ്ടിട്ടില്ല"
എന്റെ ചമ്മൽ പതിയെ മാറി.
" നിങ്ങൾക്ക്‌ ഓര്മയുണ്ടാകുമോ എന്നറിയില്ല.." അത്രയും പറഞ്ഞാപ്പോൾ ഒരുകാര്യം ഉറപ്പായി മലബാറുകാരിയാണ് അല്ലെങ്കിൽ നിങ്ങളെന്നു സംബോധന ചെയ്യില്ലല്ലൊ .
"ഞാൻ ലോറൻസിന്റെ ഭാര്യയാണ് "
ഒരു നിമിഷം ഞാൻ ഞെട്ടി .
"ലോറെൻസ് മരിക്കുന്പോൾ എനിക്കായി ബാക്കി വച്ചിരുന്ന കാലി പേഴ്‌സിൽ നിങ്ങൾക്കെഴുതിയ ഒരു കത്തും ഫോട്ടോയുമുണ്ടായിരുന്നു"
ഇങ്ങിനെ ഇവിടെ വച്ചൊരു കണ്ടുമുട്ടൽ പ്രതീക്ഷിച്ചതല്ല, അല്ലെങ്കിൽ ആ കത്ത് കൊണ്ടുവരുമായിരുന്നു " അവരുടെ മുഖത്താദ്യമായി ഒരു ചെറിയ ചിരി വിരിഞ്ഞു .
ഞാൻ കണ്ടിട്ടില്ലാത്ത ലോറെൻസിന്റെ ഭാര്യ. പെട്ടെന്നവരുടെ മുഖം ഒന്ന് കൂടി സൗന്ദര്യമുള്ളതായി തോന്നി.
"അത് സാരമില്ല . ഞാൻ ഇവിടെ ബംഗളൂരിലാണ് താമസം ...ഞാൻ വന്നു വാങ്ങികൊള്ളാം" അവരെ സമാധാനിപ്പിക്കാനായി പറഞ്ഞുതീരുംമുന്പേ അവരെന്നെ തടഞ്ഞു
"ഇല്ല അത് ലോറെൻസിനിഷ്ടമാവില്ല. ലോറെൻസിനു ഒരിക്കലും കാണാത്ത നിങ്ങളെ വലിയ ഇഷ്ടമായിരുന്നു. ഇന്റർനെറ്റ് തപ്പി പിടിച്ചാണ് നിങ്ങളുടെ ഫോട്ടോ തന്നെ ഒപ്പിച്ചത്"
ഒരുതുള്ളി കണ്ണീർ എന്റെ കണ്ണിലാണോ അതോ അവരുടെ കണ്ണിലാണോ വന്നതെന്നറിയില്ല
ഒരു നീണ്ട നിശ്ശബ്ദതയായിരുന്നു പിന്നെ. അന്ന്യോന്ന്യം നോക്കാൻ ഭയന്നു വേറെയെവിടെയോ നോക്കി
"ഇവിടെ എന്ത് ചെയ്യുന്നു ?"
"ഐ ടി സെക്ടറിലാണ്. ഇലക്ട്രോണിക് സിറ്റിയിൽ ജോലി ചെയ്യുന്നു " മറ്റൊന്നും പറയാനോ ചോദിക്കാനോ ഇല്ലാതെ ഞാൻ വെറുതെ തലയാട്ടി നിന്നു.
"എന്താ പേര് ?"
"ഞാൻ പ്രതീക്ഷിച്ചതിലും എത്രയോ പ്രായം പറയുന്നു നിങ്ങളെ കണ്ടാൽ" ഒരു ചെറിയ പുഞ്ചിരിയോടെ ലേഖ പറഞ്ഞു
ഞാൻ ചിരിച്ചതല്ലാതെ ഒന്നും പറയാൻ തോന്നിയില്ല
"ഫോൺ നന്പർ ?"
ഒരു നമ്പർ ഓർക്കാതെ പറയാൻ പറ്റുന്നതിനാൽ യാന്ദ്രികമായി പറഞ്ഞു കൊടുത്തു "98...."
"വിളിച്ചിട്ടു വീട്ടിൽ വരൂ " ഒരു മര്യാദ പറയാൻ മറന്നില്ല
"വരാം കത്ത് തരേണ്ട "
ശരിയാണല്ലോ അതു മറന്നു.
"വരട്ടെ എല്ലാത്തിനും നന്ദി" ഞാൻ കണ്ടിട്ടില്ലാത്ത ലോറെൻസെന്ന മനുഷ്യന്റെ കൂട്ടുകാരിയായ ഭാര്യ നടന്നകന്നു
"ഞാൻ വിളിക്കും" ഒന്ന് തിരിഞ്ഞു നോക്കി പറഞ്ഞുകൊണ്ട് അവർ ആൾകൂട്ടത്തിൽ മറഞ്ഞു.
ഒരു വേദന നെഞ്ചിലെവിടെയോ കൊളുത്തി നിന്നു
ഞാൻ കണ്ടിട്ടില്ലാത്ത ലോറെൻസ്

Saturday, September 30, 2017

economic mess

Post Lenin, Stalin wanted to uproot the socio-political & economic system of USSR, Pol pot in Cambodia and in our immediate past Messy American leaders in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. They all had the same trait - the top down arrogance to implement an "artificial untested macro" vision. For their "utopian" macro vision mired with utopian idea of economic progress and business interests, they tampered and destroyed the vital micro economic structures, the roots that sustains every macro structures. Human tragedy and its cost were very high in all these instances. Eventually in their fantasy utopian imagination, they killed both micro and macro structures of those nations leaving the trails of largest ever human tragedies in history.
There are few biggest blunders these leaders have committed
1. They tried to change the nature of transaction of money believing they are changing the course of economic structure. But what they forgot to remember was money derive its value from its classic economic definition - “demand and supply” , where supply can be a macro activity but the demand remains a grass root transaction. Elaborately speaking the demand always emerge from human condition and it’s needs at individual level -a micro level activity. In effect all these leaders disrupted the individual lives for their macro utopian objectives and made it tragic both at micro- individual level and macro –national level.
2. They believed economic transactions can be ideologically designed. Again, since the idea of money is defined by a discriminatory process of deriving profit from supply- demand deficit is not changed, considering human demands are defined by not only basic necessities and contingencies but are also driven by aspirations, ego and greed, for money the demand and supply functions as individual capitalistic adventure. The material transaction in it is only a reflection of it. Both communism and capitalism failed on this account, for they confused that transaction control defines the economy. Communism believed in the transaction control of demand while capitalism believed in controlling of supply. They both failed to understand that so long as the idea of money remains at the core of human activity, economy lies in the balancing act of the transaction( deficit management) not in its control. Tragedy of socialism was that it tried to even the demand and supply deficit by subsidising the supply cost to reduce the discriminative profit burden , that in turn evened the flow, destroyed the value of deficit/profit yield possibility or became an undue advantage to suppliers or in other words created corruption.
3. They over rated the capacity of state and its political power to enforce utopian changes through drastic interruption of individual lives and their monetary transactions. They believed a complete uproot of society by total alteration of transaction control in a very short span of time (revolution) as an effective method to alter economic condition. As briefed in above paragraph, as economic demand is largely driven by individual needs, contingencies, aspirations and egos and is not defined by a selected few macro economic parameters as these leaders confused, all such revolutions have became a negotiated settlements between the power and the powerful, leaving the people to the mercy of lurch. Often the factors that affect an individual transactions remains to be of a socio-cultural, ethical and moralistic including religious in nature. Kindly note even today, two moral traits: cheating and stealing remain to be the biggest economic hazard in the world. These are evolutionary factors in nature embedded in individual faith and value system. History proved it again and again that except in the instance of Prophet Mohammed, there has never been a social transformation including economic (denial of interest in economic transaction) that took place in a short one man’s life time. Such a monumental economic transaction transformation was possible only because the Prophet was able to converted it as a socio-cultural and religious issue than an economic issue.
In other words, any systemic economic change require an adequate time span to evolve as an individual faith, perspective and belief system to restrain their justifiable profit to alter the nature of their transaction and in turn economy. Historically on that front, all other systems have failed– some violently, some tragically and some by creating genocide and famine.
4. The present BJP government is also no different. In their eagerness and belief in the utopian idea of decisive leadership of change, without changing the fundamentals of belief system and practice of economic transactions at individual level and without giving ample time to transform, the government has disturbed human lives at grass roots in a shortest ever possible time. It has not only tampered the transaction method ( from neo-capitalist individual ownership of money to a forced banking and digitisation), it enforced a curtail on demand (by bring the moral hazard of treating individual as suspect/ using threat of Aadhar/pan trails) and supply (digitisation and money supply control) through demonetisation and GST one after the other in a short succession.
Government wanted to change its economy that by and large remained a socialist economy to a highly regulated, almost to the level of a communist economy in a very shortest possible time.
One must say this government is in a complete confusion on economic front. First it wants to be pro-rich capitalist/market economy (supply focused) and at the same time it wants to have a complete control of the individual transaction (demand) like in communist economy. The government’s over emphasis on a puritan moral policing of grass root economic activities at individual level by Aadhaar/ pan trail and IT threats have destroyed the freedom of transaction enjoyed by the public at demand level and that in turn has drained or are draining the driving force in creating the demand a fundamental activity for generating supply of industry and other economic actors. During the last one year, this government has eroded all those benefits public enjoyed as freedom of transaction built over 25 years of economic liberalisations that generated the economic growth. The present government is confused about the economic corruptions. Please note 99.9 % cash in circulation returned to the bank after demonetisation proves that there were no large scale corruptions taking place at demand side of the economy but it was taking place at supply side of industry and its crony capitalistic side. Government is yet to do anything on that front. So despite demonetisation, GST, Aadhar an income tax terror, the economic corruption still remain intact in this country.
Please remember economy is an evolutionary factor in a country’s life. From micro-grass root level to macro national level it intertwines with many human factors such as faith, morality and aspiration, greed and ego defined by socio-cultural and religious materiality. One can not change them or tamper them over night. It takes time and it has to be evolutionary and transformatory in nature. Historically, across the world demand side defined by the grass root individuals and their transactions have rarely been found to be as much corrupted to impact an economy at macro level, but it has always been at supply level that derive profit yield that causes corruption and eroded economies. Considering the method of deriving deficit defines the profit yield, the corruption always brood at generating or widening deficit and as a result the gap between the rich and poor are widening day by day across the world and in India in particular. So any government who wants to change a system should start from supply level (industry). So long as the money at the present form exist there is no escape from this reality.
One can not undo the damages of improper implementation of demonetisation and fear psychosis generated around Aadhar and income tax terror to the economy by way of eroding the demand but if this government wants overcome this economic crisis it should at least begin with
1. First it should decide what it wants to be – capitalist, communist or socialist, one can not be a kichedy in economic practice.
2. Stop disturbing grass root demand side to build individual confidence and sense freedom for transaction to boost the demand. This include

Stop Aadhar threat of creating transaction trails. Let people understand your idea of moralistic transparency. Give them sufficient time.

Stop income tax terror and raise taxable slab to fifteen lakh an average salary of a middle level business executive to build the capacity of entrepreneurship and to create small scale entrepreneurs/ demand generation for material transactions

Differ GST implementation among smes and kinara shops for another couple of more years
Take action on supply side to curtail large scale corruptions and ill effects of crony capitalism.
Instead of disturbing and controlling demand and supply chain, bring in control over deficit definitions to bring down the unjustifiable profiteering of deficit and subsequent human discontentment (price rise, corruption and crony capitalism)

Stop creating monstrous symbols “antila”s of monstrous statues and bullet trains to as mock and contrast the larger public’s economic helplessness created by the crony capitalism

ഉറക്കം ബാക്കിയുണ്ട്

നിലാവിൽ പകൽ  മറന്നുവച്ചുപോയ നക്ഷത്രങ്ങൾക്കപ്പുറത്ത്  എന്നത്തേയും പോലെ ദൈവവും മരണവും തെരുവുറങ്ങാനായി കാത്തു നിന്നു. തെരുവിൽ ഒറ്റക്കും തെറ്റക്കുമായി ഇനിയുമുറങ്ങാത്ത മനുഷ്യർ, ഉറങ്ങുന്നവർക്കിടയിലൂടെ ഇപ്പോഴും വാഹനങ്ങൾ ഓടിച്ചു കളിക്കുന്നുണ്ട്.  പടിവാതിൽ തുറന്നു ദൈവത്തെയും മരണത്തെയും കാത്തു ഞാൻ നില്ക്കാൻ തുടങ്ങിയിട്ട് നേരമേറെയായി. ചുവരിൽ കോറിയിട്ട കവിതയിലെ അക്ഷരങ്ങൾ മൂങ്ങകളായി പറന്നു തുടങ്ങിയിട്ടും നേരമേറെയായി.
ദൂരെയെങ്ങോ ആരുടെയോ ടൈംപീസിൽ നേരം പന്ത്രണ്ടടിച്ചു, കൂടെ ദൈവവും മരണവും മുറിയിലേക്ക് കയറിവന്നു. എനിക്ക് ചിരിയൊതുക്കാനായില്ല. പ്രേതങ്ങൾഇറങ്ങെടാപ്പോഴാണ് ദൈവവും മരണവും ഇറങ്ങുന്നത്!!
എന്തേ ?  ഒരു ചെറു പുഞ്ചിരിയോടെ മരണം ചോദിച്ചു
"ഒന്നുമില്ല പ്രേതങ്ങളാണെന്നു തെറ്റിദ്ധരിച്ചു "ചിരിയൊതുക്കിക്കൊണ്ടു ഞാൻ മറുപടി പറഞ്ഞു
ഒരു ചെറു പൊട്ടിച്ചിരിയുടെ രണ്ടുപേരും എനിക്ക് മുന്നിലെ വിക്ടോറിയൻ റൌണ്ട് ടേബിളിനരികിലേക്കു കസേരകൾ വലിച്ചിട്ടിരുന്നു.
ദൈവത്തിന്റെ കൈയ്യിൽ എന്നത്തേയും പോലെ പൊതിയഴിക്കാത്ത  മദ്യക്കുപ്പിയുണ്ടായിരുന്നു.
ചരിത്രവും ചിന്തകളും വാറ്റിക്കുറുക്കിയ, തലമുറകളെ വെന്തുരുക്കിയ വെളുത്തവന്റെ വിശ്വാസം അതിലെന്നും പതഞ്ഞു പൊങ്ങും.
"ഇന്നെന്തേ ഒരു ക്ഷീണം"  ദൈവം ഗ്ലാസിൽ മദ്യം പകർന്നു കൊണ്ട് മരണത്തിനോട് ചോദിച്ചു. അപ്പോഴാണ് ഞാനും ശ്രദ്ധിച്ചത്. ശരിയാണ് മരണം ഒരിക്കലുമില്ലാത്ത വിധം തളർന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്
" ഓ അതൊരു വലിയ കഥയാണ്  അക്ഷരങ്ങൾക്കപ്പുറത്തെ, അവയുടെ ദിശാബോധങ്ങൾക്കപ്പുറത്തെ പ്രകൃതിയിലെ ശാസ്ത്രം തിരിച്ചറിയാത്ത  നാലാം മാനമായ തിരിച്ചറിവെന്ന  ബോധത്തിന്റെ കൂടെയായിരുന്നു ഇന്ന് മുഴുവൻ. കാലമില്ലെങ്കിലില്ലാതാകുന്ന മരണമെന്ന എന്റെ കൈയ്യുമേന്തി  കാലവും അകലവും കുത്തഴിഞ്ഞ തെരുവിലൂടെ അവളലഞ്ഞു  നടക്കുകയായിരുന്നു. മതിഭ്രമത്തിനും മനസ്സിനുമിടയിൽ എനിക്കിന്നാദ്യമായി ദൈവമെന്ന എന്റെ കൂട്ടുകാരനില്ലാതായി. അവളെനിക്കിവനില്ലാതാക്കി, എന്നെ ഇല്ലാതാക്കി...ദൈവമില്ലങ്കിൽ മരണമില്ലല്ലോ. മരണമില്ലെങ്കിൽ ദൈവവും..."
മരണമതു പറഞ്ഞപ്പോൾ ദൈവത്തിന്റെ മദ്യപിച്ചു പാതിയടഞ്ഞ കണ്ണിൽ ഒരു നിശബ്ദതയുടെ തിളക്കമുണ്ടായിരുന്നു.-ഒരു മരിച്ചവന്റെ  കുന്പസാരം.
പുറത്തു പെട്ടന്ന് മഴ പെയ്തു തുടങ്ങി.
മെല്ലെ മെല്ലെ ആ മഴ പിന്നെ  പ്രളയമായി
പ്രളയമഴ തെരുവുകൾ തകർത്തു കുത്തിയൊഴുകി
മതങ്ങളും, തത്വശാസ്ത്രങ്ങളും നീതിബോധങ്ങളും അവയിൽ ചത്തു പൊങ്ങിയിരുന്നു
അവക്കിടയിലേക്കു ഒഴിഞ്ഞ മദ്യക്കുപ്പി വലിച്ചെറിഞ്ഞു ദൈവവും മരണവും പിന്നെ ഞാനും എന്നത്തേയും പോലെ പാതിയടഞ്ഞ വാതിലുകൾക്കു പിറകിൽ എവിടെയൊക്കെയോ വീണു കിടന്നുറങ്ങി
ചരിത്രത്തിന്റെയും പൗരോഹിത്യത്തിന്റെയും ചതിക്കുഴിൽ രാജ്യത്തിനിനിയും ഉറക്കമേറെ ബാക്കിയുണ്ട്
ഉറക്കം ബാക്കിയുണ്ട്

Friday, September 1, 2017

question becomes answers in art

in 21st century, the question that becomes an answer is art. Unlike design with a dependable procedural outcome of craft or meaning, art, unfortunately, remains an undefendable question and art student an unsure mind.
Between art and design, who gets lost and who succeed needs no explanation.Fortunately the world today needs those lost minds to escape from those planned minds and their rigid frameworks that run the world order: the non-inclusive manifestations of individual convenience.

Art and the question of authorship and ownership in Internet era

A couple of years back one day I received a strange request from an unknown person from New York in USA to authenticate two works of mine. The work looked exactly of mine except it had some colour fading. It also had my name on left bottom in English as I often do. The only problem was I had no Idea of such a sale or transfer. On further enquiry, I learned that he sourced the work from a struggling Indian art student. During those days Google strangely would prominently show a popular Hollywood actress’s name, if anyone would image search my work. This smart Indian student made use of that opportunity and somehow managed to convince this poor chap that this actress is a big collector of my work. During that period I also had a website where I occasionally used to publish some of my exploration and it is being only explorations with the caption that “none of the works is for sale”. Our smart student made use of all these for his advantage to fleece this investor a cool four thousand eight hundred dollars with downloaded print. Since he began to have doubts about the signature in authentication letter that he contacted me for authentication. The entire drama gave me a hearty laughter. I informed the buyer that there is some colour problem in the print and if he sends me an undertaking to send those prints back and bear the courier expenses for a new set of works with my pencil signature, I will send him a new print of the same works. He happily agreed to that and I did not want our smart Indian student friend to get caught in a serious crime in the US, so I left it that.
This entire episode provoked me into a deep philosophical question of authenticity of authorship and ownership of an artwork. History of art is full of such stories where artist and their family died in poverty while their work, later on, made many others billionaires. If one search in goggle, one will find millions of photographs of the same artwork with million other’s copyright watermark on it. Cropped differently (composition) with colour scheme differently, digitally enhanced the qualities; most of them will make the original work into oblivion. Before one jump into an ethical or moral judgment about the entire affair, one may have to consider some serious philosophical artistic issues involved with image making in this entire affair. Allow me to explain in detail.
What is original in art : Labour/craft or concept?
This is a complicated question. In western art from the days of guild during Renaissance to today’s postmodern artists, a large section of artists would not be able to claim authorship of the craft of labour. Most of them are made to order or supervised. So one may have to safely discount that claim from the originality of art. Then comes conceptual authorship. Largely in an art, there are three ways an artist executes an artwork – translation, transformation and transgression. Considering these three areas are largely dealt by curatorial conceptualization in postmodern art, one leaves very little room for the authenticity of authorship of the artwork. Unlike in film, where director is only one of the authors in the creation of film with due credit is given to others in the process of filmmaking, in art, unfortunately, single individual as the artist often claims the whole authorship. One would not hear the name of craftsmen or other people involved in the execution of artworks. There are many conceptualizations involved in every artwork- technical, spatial, curatorial and finally aesthetical conceptualizations. In other words, it becomes a problematic argument when one considers the authenticity of authorship by a single individual.
Work of art and its image reproductions
As I mentioned earlier, on Internet one will find millions of image reproductions of same artwork with hundreds of copyrights for photography. In other words, the authenticity of authorship gets separated from artwork in its image reproduction as a photograph. Considering both are artistic mediums and artists execute both, one cannot claim the authorship of the other. In other words, one has the artistic liberty for a selective recreation of another artwork in its image reproduction!
From Greek time onwards, this viewer prerogative to reinterpret an artwork as observer in observer-observed and observation triangulation is already a settled subject.
This makes the authenticity of authorship complex phenomena in art world. If an artist makes claim of authorship on a craftsman’s labour in transforming a media( kindly note an artist is not selling art but sells its material transformation ) and a photographer claims authorship of its image reproduction and then a digital media artist claim authorship of reproduction’s reproduction, in today’s contemporary art world authenticity and authorship becomes a complex issue.
From that US-based Indian student (although I do not know who is this character) I started experimenting with transgressing into master’s works to transform them into historical and theoretical artworks for a long time. Still, I am as an old school ethics follower, do not claim ownership of these works. I only claim the viewer’s transformative inference authorship in such artworks. My experiments are still going on getting more and more insights into this complex world of authorship and ownership.
Considering no collector or buyer can claim ownership of art but can only claim the ownership of artwork, in today’s world these collectors cannot claim ownership of its image reproduction, unless and until they commission it or buy its rights. Considering artworks are reproduced in critique and reviews in textual format and it is legal, artists can not take away the viewers inference right in image format as well.

dalit saints of brahminical south

It is important to revisit the history of Hindu schools of philosophy and social situation in South India between 7th and 8th century. During this period Aadi Shankara from Kerala created a big challenge to orthodox Brahmanical hinduism by completely negating both orthodox Hinduism (read mimansa ritualistic Hinduism) and its plural Gods, by adopting Buddhist concept of sanyasa and sanga into Hinduism and introducing monotheistic Advaitha by creating a bridge between Hindu idea of God with Buddhist void through maya concept. Also, during this period we find the emergence of two saints from Dalit communities in both Shaivism and Vaishnavism who became important religious figures of Hinduism is a point that can not be overlooked. Nandanar from Shaivaite Nayanar saints, Tirupana Alvar from Vaishnavite Alvar saints are those saints. These all pointers indicate a period of sociopolitical upheaval and reformation in Hinduism and particularly in South India. One has to delve much deeper into this period to understand a period of socio-cultural reformation in Indian history that is covered up by both right and left wing factories of Indian history.

aadi shankara

Aadi Shankara accepted and turned Mahayana Buddist's Madhyamaka principle of "shunyatha" into "nirguna parabhrama" of Advitha. What Nagarjuna missed or deliberately avoided to reject Brahminical "soul" of eternity, Shankara appropriated (events almost sound like Poincare and Einstein's role in the making of the special theory of relativity) to point out "madhyamaka shunyatha is eternal in nature in their own argument". Also, he proves Nagarjuna's dependent arise of validity and Advaita's validity and invalidity of cognisance is only applicable in the veridical world or Maya.
Together Nagarjuna and Shankara poses a big challenge to the special theory of relativity. They point out, dependency(relativity) can only be valid in a Veridical world or Maya and it can not be causal or consequential in absolute universe.
Interestingly we still scout around something in physics that was settled 13 centuries ago in philosophy !!

a bit confused

Somebody has shared a post supposedly have written by #sudhaMurthy# about the famous Cattle class syndrome and an instance occurred in her own life at London airport. Although it was a good read with good intentions at the end I became a bit confused about the whole issue with her insinuation of privileges that money brings against the privileges that intelligence brings! To be truthful, I could not understand the difference. Being in Indian IT sector at its inception, in corporate world, in finance sector, in public relations, in life insurance agency and freelance art world, in art world, in design industry and in art and design academia and in NGO sector in my little life, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with hundreds of people from various strata of the society from across the world. One common strand of trait I found in all of them was their adulation for the positions and the power it brings. Wherever the opportunity comes, they shamelessly insist and exhibit that power and position by flaunting their privileges. For some people, it is achieved by money, some by intelligence, some by creativity, for some others, it is by beauty, gender, colour, race, community and so on and so forth. They all create a system of underprivileged where they can flaunt their privileges to derive their power and positions. I could never differentiate the difference among any of them. It all copies the functional method of money- the concept of demand and supply, the need for the deficiency to drive the point of efficiency. In a system we live, I do not understand the moral of Mrs. Murthy's value judgement. If there is a business class exist in airlines, remember it is meant to exhibit what money can buy in front of all those who can not afford it and the privilege and power associated with it. If one believes the intellectual privilege is more elitist than a material privilege, one can only point out the dichotomy in that argument. During my finance profession days in the corporate world, I had a good friend who is one of the biggest stock brokers in Delhi. He was my banker boss's good friend. From both these men, I learned a lot of life lessons that guided my rest of the living. He once gave me an interesting advice- how he runs his business. He told me that he always hire a mix of the best brains, most beautiful girls and handsome men available in the industry at an exorbitant salary no one in the industry would be able to match. According to him, he traps this three categories with the privileges his money brings in and make them trap the world with their privileges - intelligence, beauty and handsomeness. It never failed him. For him all of them were same. He has always been a roaring success in Dalal street. He collects a lot of art with no interest in it, he spends a lot of money on community services and even publishes a spiritual magazine without any inclination towards it. He told me that all these activities are same for him - just plain investment. His advice to me was "never to fall for privileges- own or others". According to him all those who respect privileges and flaunt privileges are the most vulnerable people on earth. If you build the capacity to dismiss or ignore them, these people will be shaken and traumatised exposing their vulnerability. in their demand supply system of privileged and underprivileged, they don't know someone who is neutral and it remains beyond their comprehension. It will act as an auto filter to find right people in one's life.
Coming back to our story, If Mrs Murthy with the kind of money and position she owns travelled in cattle class and talked about the idea of business class privileges, perhaps I would have understood the story. Otherwise, the story itself becomes only a discourse of privilege. In the world of privileges, one another privilege can not take a moral or ethical high ground.


today on the sidewalks of Mavoor road in Calicut, I took an old copy of Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and I saw a painful note in blue ink pen on second page " Oh god you took everything from me, do not let me part this book, let not my hunger always win, please...!" Margaret
I had to struggle for hiding my tears and left the book back into the shelf. The book was priced at rupees fifteen.
I am still unable to get over it.

The End of internet and collapse of data business projections.

Couple of years back I was invited to give a talk on data networks and start ups in a conference. Those were the days when start ups were making a killing with their astronomical investments, valuation and profit projections. I became the devils advocate in that conference and had to turn the light to dark corners they wanted to ignore or at the best pretended being non existing in the hallo of their technological evangelism. After the conference many complained that I am being alarmist but got in touch with me in private to discuss more. The best one was a leading venture capitalist, who wanted to know how fast he should withdraw from the market. I held my hand high up in air as if he was pointing a gun at my face. I had to remind him - i am not a businessman.
It did not take that long- only one year- to prove the fears I expressed were true. The big meltdown of internet start up became a reality. Today even the largest data driven companies like uber and ola are struggling to find new investments to cover their deep cash burns. So if someone tells you data is the next big future business, just ignore them. They are just lying to cover their job loss. They are just fooling you with a photoshopped image of a marriage between technology and data, something that never took place. Internet still is only an amusement park where people would like to pay to take different trips for their adrenaline rush. Couple of more trips, they are done with it.
Remember even in map applications, the next big data technology, people seek only real locations and sites not the virtual worlds, tells the story. In other words the possibilities of technological advancement ends where physical reality or need ends.
The problem of technology today is that it is now trapped in propaganda projection with no realistic economic parameters. It has become the derivative trade of stock market, with every one hiding behind jargons of formulas, numbers and images to cover their losses while bringing down everyone.
When we were part of early computer programming days struggling with cobol, there used to be a joke. One day in USA, telephone systems were stopped for half an hour and it took 345 kilo meters of program code printing and two days of analysis to find out the half an hour system breakdown.
The new projected data business is all about this. For one minute information, one will end up collating billion hours informations and million hours of analytical efforts to finally dig that out.
Study says, If one take down pornography from internet 37% of internet will be free. 13.8 billion was the gambling revenue on net in UK alone. 80% of americans are using internet for gambling. Another study says if one take down gambling from internet, 28% of the internet will be free. Another 10% is estimated (combined with pornography) to be used by film/music viewing. Altogether more than 75% of internet data is used for amusements and entertainment. (keeping social network out of this as its nature spread across all levels of human activity).
One has to be dumb headed beyond a repair to believe 25% of the rest of the data will be useful or decipherable among 75% of the junk!. Or worse, the 75% data will be useful for 25% legal business or vis a vis.
Another biggest problem of technological business is unfortunately technology can be experimental and failure but the business and investment can not be. This reality everyone in this industry wants to sweep under the carpet. One has to understand that if technology lives in future and projections, business lives in returns and profit. New age technology needs capital intensive investments and to recapitalise the investment business needs sufficient time or the product life in the market. Unfortunately, the technological competition in their overdrive does not permit such liberty for business. There is compete mismatch in today's world of technological business between investment and product life. If a particular investment look forward to have market recapitalisation period of one year for a particular investment, technology will offer them one minute. A new development or advanced product would have already come into the market in the next minute. In other words a black hole or bubble is emerging in the market too fast and too soon. Already a large distrust has emerged among business community towards technological investments. They are scared. But unfortunately an unbelievable investment has already burned in this deep black hole and this black hole is growing day by day. The chances are that now more and more investment will go to the illegalities of pornography and gambling market on network technology to recover their money and turning the already a 65% illegal trade place to a complete shoddy underbelly. The internet will become one big underworld that society eventually wants to escape somehow. (One only wonders about the fate of the government and scientific/academic data loaded in this place. )
In other words internet slowly but steadily is heading for a big collapse or an eventual government take over to build another white elephant where technology will not be able to match the bureaucratic pace. Whatever be the case ,net will find its slow death. Do not confuse that these things are going to take a long time to materialise. Considering the gap between the cycles of depression in economy has come down to a seven and half year cycle - the life of a large section of business peaks and meltdowns- we can expect the eventual collapse or meltdown of internet in next five years of 8 years maximum.


Today BJP has become the Indira Gandhi's Congress in terms of policies, propaganda, party following, socialistic pretensions and crony capitalism. if ludicrous sycophancy and subsequent policy mishaps were the hallmarks of her times the same are brand ambassadors for the present day BJP government. She believed arrogance and fear can instil a long lasting social engineering to create a left of the centre congress, same are the bench marks of this government who believe they are creating a right of the centre congress. They believe majority decides political future of this country. But tragedy for her was the 2 to 3% politically conscious 'centre' who are although insignificant in terms of numbers but had the capacity to swing the power. They always changed the course of discourse in this country. Look at who were against Indira and who are against Modi now. It tells the story.
The worst thing in politics is to believe in propaganda or believe own propaganda and unfortunately Indian political leaderships are masters of that art - creating lies and believe in it.
They don't realise not only communism but capitalism also died. So are its tools.

art education

Art education is not meant to produce leaders, artists.
"... those who sought a more active role for artists within the burgeoning field of higher education believed they had the necessary expertise to cover content that bridged studio experience, art historical themes, and philosophical issues.
This, after all, was what contemporary artists seriously thought about. It seemed reasonable to surround the artist(as teacher) with aspiring students who would benefit from serious exchange on topics about art and life. As such, curriculum content could not be specified in any formal way and techniques could not be introduced as prerequisites for creativity: Teaching became conversation and learning focused on individual aesthetic problem solving. This version of the expert-novice model relied on the image of the artists as a social outsider engaged in an intense pursuit of a personal vision. Consequently, the criteria for newness were not seen in relation to past or existing image banks or stylistic brands but by a measure of radical difference. The drive toward the illusion of “things never seen” reached mythical status that kept the social constructedness of art practice at bay, at least until the theoretical onslaught of post modernism.":: Graeme Sullivan
Although the last line is not relevant anymore under the present theoretical constructs, the complex dilemma of artist/designer as institution of learning or institutional as an embodiment of artistic learning are both highlighted in Grame sullivan’s paragraph.
Even as one could argue for the validity of these academic positions of artists/designers as institution and institution as an embodiment of learning with sighting sufficient examples among the social construct of “successful artists and designers” in place, but then one will also have to accept the fact that present crisis in art and design world are also stemming from these academic positions. In reality the assumed mutuality of “the worth of an outcome and its larger social value” with procedural outcome of an academic process has always been a questionable pedigree among institutions.
Beyond the social influence of artist in society and market, historically artist as institution of learning often hasn’t been able to contribute much to anybody’s creative practice more than defining a practice for student within his/her domain expertise. Same way beyond the subjective pruning of an idea and its construct in art and design practice, academic /pedagogic approach with its scientific and theoretical construct also could not contribute much to creative practice than validating one’s preparedness for a practice based on, again benchmarks of subjective expertise of the teacher. Considering this process again is the exact subjective position of artist(here teacher) as institution, we find ourselves in a complex position without a valid option.
A methodology for coherent practice of mutuality with one's position in life - one to one, one to many and many to many( individual to individual, individual to community and community to society) if not evolved in academics, where one is considered simultaneously as a subjective possibility and limitation than a leader, and to that all theoretical or physical production remain only a subset, the emerging crisis of individual creative practitioner and their relevance in a society among egalitarian technological access system and with universal value, will remain a big question for the relevance of academics and institutions in the coming days.
Further add on to this crisis, unlike the pre nineteenth century idea of enlightenment value of meaning in creative practice and truth, in a post twentieth century world, the statistical value of meaning and its subjective construction of truth will turn objectivity of institutional learning a subject of conditional evaluation. In other words, if institutions does not address the need for a coherent practice of mutuality with one's position in life and elevating that position as objective of living than subjective living as statistical inference of truth envisages, one would certainly start argue against the larger objective of the process of learning by sighting examples of success rate of reactionary practices and its sufficiency -elaborately speaking, the success rate of cut and paste job, something the present day art and design world are already over-flooded.

story of a screen play

scene 1
the long day was winding up near the balcony that lost to a darkening sky. city was dying to find a bed to sleep but the insecurity of a dying to succeed life would not allow. After all it is a city you and me stay alive. In the corner among the broken pots with green plants and sprinkled water, she the little cat is looking at you. It is neither passive or aggressive. It is only silent.
Shot 1
a silent shot. we do not know who is looking at whom
cat or the camera but both are curious. in this over the shoulder shot from the camera angle a male hand that is holding a half burn cigarette can be seen.
shot 2
cat slowly turns into a silhouette
one can hear a sound of a cute cat sound in the back ground
door bell rings
shot 3
hand and cigarette also vanishes from the scene as if the person got upto open the door.
shot 4
the scene continues. neither there is the hand or the cat in the over the shoulder frame where there are no shoulder anymore
Dark sky has arrived at balcony as it slowly but steadily wanter through the plants, you can hear the sound of a door getting shut.
there is only one movement in the frame
a darkness that moving in.
scene 2
shot 1
camera is now a witness. it looks at the cat that walk along with a female feet. the love is evident the feet is naked. the cat tries to impress the feet as it follows the feet. they crosses a door that passes a fridge and it stops. The feet does not bother about the cat. feet and cat stops near a kitchen shelf.
shot 2
camera is still only a witness. we can hear lot of utensils moving sounds. cat is still stays next to the leg. it gets a bowl full of milk from a female hand with golden bangles and fingers with three four rings.
Door bell rings
Cat drinks milk
Door opening sound
one more female feet appear in the frame
now there are four female legs moving around the cat that drinks milk
Cat doesn't bother the legs
Legs doesn't bother the cat
Two feet of master and two feet of servent
cat finishes the milk and walks out
an empty bowl remains in the scene- silent and frozen among four passive feet
Four female feet- one master's and the other servant's and both are in kitchen
Shot 3
Sound of an utensil falling into sink followed by a water flaw from a tap
An empty bowl remain in the scene
Camera is still a witness
one is unsure who is mute -
the witness
the camera
the position
the frame
the empty cat's milk bowl, the sign of a tender love and care
the story that can't speak about the story of a civilisation

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

ഒരു നിഴൽ പാട്

ഇടയിലെവിടെയാണ് നാം നമ്മെ മറന്നു വെച്ചതെന്നോർമ്മയുണ്ടോ?
അതൊരു ചോദ്യത്തെക്കാൾ ഒട്ടനവധി ഉത്തരങ്ങൾ ഒന്നിച്ചു ചേർത്ത ഒരു പ്രസ്താവനയായിരുന്നു. 
നന്ദനങ്ങിനെയാണ്. പറയുന്പോൾ വാക്കുകളുടെ ഘടനാക്രമങ്ങൾ ഒരുതരം പ്രസ്താവനയുടെ സൗകുമാര്യം നൽകും. കൂട്ടത്തിൽ അവന്റെ ശബ്ദം കൂടെയാകുന്പോൾ പിന്നെ പറയുകയും വേണ്ട.
കോളണിയിലെവിടെയോ രാത്രിയുടെ നിശബ്ദത കോർത്ത തണുത്ത കാറ്റിനോടൊപ്പം സമയമറിയിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് രണ്ടു തവണ ക്ലോക്കിന്റെ മണി മുഴങ്ങി .
കൈയ്യിലെ ഒഴിഞ്ഞ ഗ്ലാസും പാതിയൊഴിഞ്ഞ കുപ്പിക്കുമപ്പുറത്തു നന്ദൻ അടുത്തൊരു പ്രസ്താവനയും തിരഞ്ഞു എന്തോ ചിന്തയിലാണ്.
"ബാലനുറങ്ങണമെങ്കിൽ ഉറങ്ങിക്കോളൂ . ഭാര്യക്ക് എന്തായാലും ഞാൻ വന്നത് തന്നെ പിടിച്ചിരിക്കില്ല. ജീവിതം കൂടുതൽ ബോറടിപ്പിക്കണ്ട. ഞാനീക്കുപ്പി തീർത്തു നേരം പുലരും മുന്പേ അങ്ങുപോകും"
ഒരു വിഡ്ഢിയെ പോലെ ബാലൻ ചിരിച്ചു.
"വേണ്ട നന്ദൻ. ഇന്ന് നമ്മുടെ ദിവസമാണ് . താനിരിക്കുകയോ കുടിക്കുകയോ ചിരിക്കുകയോ ചെയ്യൂ. ഇനി എന്നാണു നാം കാണുകയെന്നറിയില്ലല്ലോ "
"എന്തെ നാമൊക്കെ ഇങ്ങിനെയായതു ബാലാ ? ജീവിതത്തെ പ്രേമിച്ച ഞാനിന്നു വേട്ട നായ്ക്കൾക്കിടയിൽ ജീവിതം വലിച്ചെറിഞ്ഞു പരക്കം പായുന്നു. ജീവിതത്തിൽ ഒന്നുമാകാൻ കൊതിക്കാത്ത നീയിന്നു ജീവിതത്തിന്റെ കൂപ്പുകുഴിൽ തലകുത്തി നിൽക്കുന്നു. എവിടെയാണ് നമുക്കൊക്കെ പിഴച്ചുപോയതു . ഇടയിലെവിടെയാണ് നാം നമ്മെ മറന്നു പോയത് ബാലാ ?"
അവന്റെ കണ്ണുകളിൽ കണ്ണീരുണ്ടായിരുന്നു .
മുന്നിൽ മുഖം മറക്കാനറിയാത്ത കണ്ണാടിയിൽ വെളിച്ചം പതുങ്ങിയ അതിഥികൾക്കായി ഒരുക്കിയ സന്ദർശന മുറിയിൽ നന്ദനും ബാലനും നിഴലുകൾ മാത്രമായിരുന്നു. ഇറ്റാലിയൻ മാർബിളിട്ട, ലെതർ സോഫായിട്ട മുറിയിൽ  ക്യാൻറ് തൊട്ടു കമ്മ്യൂണിസം വരെയും, ചരിത്രം തൊട്ടു ചിത്രകാരന്മാർ വരെയും വൃത്തിയായി നിരത്തി വച്ച ഷെൽഫുകൾക്ക് മുന്നിൽ അതൊന്നുമല്ലാത്ത നഷ്ടബോധത്തിന്റെ ദുരന്ത സ്‌മൃതികളായി രണ്ട്‌ മനുഷ്യർ നിസ്സഹായതയോടെ ജനാലക്കപ്പുറത്തെ ഇരുളിലേക്ക് കണ്ണുംനട്ട് നിശ്ശബ്ദരായിരുന്നു.
നാളെ നന്ദനെന്ന നക്സലൈറ്റ് ലീഡർ പോലീസിനാൽ കൊല്ലപ്പെടാം
എഡിറ്ററായ ബാലനത് എഡിറ്റ് ചെയ്തു പരസ്യങ്ങൾക്കിടയിൽ അക്ഷരമെണ്ണിയൊതുക്കി അച്ചടിക്കാം
പുലരേനെറെയില്ലാത്ത രാത്രി പാതിയൊഴിഞ്ഞ കുപ്പിക്ക് പിന്നിൽ ഒരുന്മാദത്തിന്റെ ഏച്ചുകൂട്ടലോടെ നന്ദനും ബാലനുമിടയിൽ ആരോ മറന്നു വച്ചതുപോലെ പറയാൻ വാക്കുകൾ നഷ്ടമായ ഒരു വേദനയായി കണ്ണടച്ചിരുന്നു. ആ കണ്ണുകളിൽ അപ്പോഴും ഒരു നിഴൽ പാട് മറയാതിരുന്നിരുന്നു.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ഒരു തണുത്ത കാറ്റും പിന്നെ മഴയും

ഒരു തണുത്ത കാറ്റും പിന്നെ മഴയും
"ഇടയിലൊന്നു നിറുത്തി പോകണം "
പിന്നിൽ നിന്നുമൊരിടറിയ സ്ത്രീ ശബ്ദമുയർന്നു വന്നു. ജീപ്പിന്റെ സ്പീഡ് കുറക്കാതെ തിരിഞ്ഞു നോക്കി. മെലിഞ്ഞു വിളറിയൊരു സ്ത്രീ. കൂടെ ഒരു കുഞ്ഞുമുണ്ട് .
"കുട്ടിക്ക് മൂത്രമൊഴിക്കണം"
ജീപ്പ് കയറ്റം കയറുകയാണ്. ഫോർവീലെർ മാത്രം കയറുന്ന വയനാടൻ കയറ്റങ്ങളിൽ ഇടയിൽ വണ്ടി നിറുത്തുക ബുദ്ധിമുട്ടാണ്.
"ഈ കയറ്റം ഒന്ന് കേറിക്കോട്ടെ ...എന്നിട്ടു നിർത്താം "
"ഓ മതി..." അതിലൊരാശ്വാസത്തിന്റെ തിണർപ്പുണ്ടായിരുന്നു . ഒരുപക്ഷെ അവർ ദേഷ്യപെടലിനെ ഭയന്നിരിക്കാം. അല്ലെങ്കിലും ജീപ്പോടിക്കുന്നവർ പലരും പരുക്കൻമാരാണല്ലോ. ആദ്യമായി വയനാടൻ കാട് കയറിയപ്പോൾ ഇതുപോലെ ജീപ്പുകളോ റോഡോ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ല.
മമ്മൂഞ്ഞിക്ക എന്ന കാളവണ്ടിക്കാരന്റെ ഔദാര്യം മാത്രമാണുണ്ടായിരുന്നത്. കൂടെ വന്ന പലരും മലന്പനി വന്നു മരിച്ചു. മരിക്കാത്തവരിൽ പലരും തിരിച്ചു പോയി. ബാകിയായവർ കാടുവെട്ടി മരം വിറ്റും തൊട്ടം നട്ടും ജീവിതം പടുത്തുയർത്തി. ചായയും കാപ്പിയും കുരുമുളകും നട്ടു കാശുണ്ടാക്കി . നെല്ലുണ്ടാക്കാൻ മാത്രമറിഞ്ഞ കുറിച്ചിയരും , ചെട്ടിയാന്മാരും കാടിറങ്ങി.
രണ്ടാം വട്ടം കാടുകേറി വയനാട്ടിൽ വന്നവർ റബ്ബറും കൊണ്ടാണ് വന്നത്. അവർ കാടായ കാടെല്ലാം, തോട്ടങ്ങളായ തോട്ടങ്ങളെലാം വെട്ടി റബ്ബര് വെച്ചു. കാപ്പി മുതലാളികൾക്കും ചായ മുതലാളികൾക്കും ഇടയിൽ റബ്ബർ മുതലാളികൾ വളർന്നു വന്നു. അതിനിടയിലെന്നോ കൊക്കോയും കപ്പയും പിന്നെ ഇഞ്ചിയും വന്നുപോയി. പിന്നെ ചുരങ്ങൾ വന്നു, റോഡ് വന്നു അവർക്കു പിന്നാലെ മൂന്നാം വട്ടം കാട് കയറി വയനാട്ടിലേക്ക് വന്നത് റിസോർട്ടിന്റെ രൂപത്തിലാണ്. കാടും മലകളും വെട്ടി, റബ്ബറും തോട്ടങ്ങളും വെട്ടി, മലകളും കുന്നുകളും വെട്ടി കെട്ടിടങ്ങൾ വളർന്നു.
ഇത് കണ്ടു പകച്ചു നിൽക്കുന്ന കൃഷിക്കാരന് മുന്നിൽ റിസോർട്ടുകൾ തടിച്ചു കൊഴുത്തു. 
കാട് കയറി വന്നവർ, 
കൃഷി ചെയ്തു പഠിച്ചവർ, 
മണ്ണറിഞ്ഞു ജീവിച്ചവർ മലകളിറങ്ങി തുടങ്ങി.
കയറ്റം കഴിഞ്ഞു വണ്ടി ബ്രേക്കിട്ടു സൈഡിൽ നിറുത്തി.
സ്ത്രീയും കുഞ്ഞും പുറത്തിറങ്ങി കുറ്റികാടിനു പിന്നിലേക്ക് നടന്നു മറഞ്ഞു. അവരൊഴികെ വണ്ടിയിലെല്ലാവരും ടൂറിസ്റ്റുകളാണ്. പല നാട്ടുകാരും പല ദേശക്കാരും. അവരിലൊരു വയസ്സൻ സായിപ്പുമുണ്ട്. കയറിയത് മുതൽ അദേഹത്തെ ശ്രദ്ധിച്ചിരുന്നു. നരച്ച കണ്ണുകൾക്ക് പിന്നിൽ മറ്റു ടൂറിസ്റ്റുകളിൽ കാണുന്ന ആകാംഷയോ ഉല്ലാസമോ ആ കണ്ണുകളിൽ കണ്ടില്ല. ഒരുതരം നിസ്സഹായാവാസ്തയായിരുന്നു അതിൽ മുഴുവൻ.
നാല്പത്തൊന്നിലെത്താൻ ഇനിയും സമയമെടുക്കുമോ ?
ഇംഗ്ലീഷിൽ ആയിരുന്നു ചോദ്യം
പത്തു മിനിറ്റ് കൂടെ സായിപ്പേ
മുറി ഇംഗ്ലീഷിലായിരുന്നു ഉത്തരം
നാല്പത്തൊന്നിലാരെ കാണാനാണോ സായിപ്പ് പോകുന്നത് . നാല്പത്തൊന്നോരു ഓണംകേറാ മൂലയാണ് .അവിടെങ്ങും റിസോർട്ടോ ഹോംസ്റ്റായോ ഉള്ളതായി അറിവില്ല. പണ്ടെങ്ങോ ആരോ ഉപേക്ഷിചു പോയ ഒരു പൊളിഞ്ഞ കെട്ടിടമല്ലാതെ കണ്ണെത്താ ദൂരത്തു കാപ്പി തോട്ടമാണവിടെ
സ്ത്രീയും കുഞ്ഞും തിരിച്ചു വന്നു ജീപ്പിൽ കയറി. നാല്പത്തൊന്നിൽ സായിപ്പിനെ ഇറക്കി വണ്ടി മുന്നോട്ടെടുത്തപ്പോൾ ഇത്തിരി ഭയമില്ലാതിരുന്നില്ല. അടുത്തൊന്നും ഒരു മനുഷ്യനെയും കാണാനില്ല. അതുകൊണ്ടു തന്നെ " സായിപ്പേ ഇവിടെത്തന്നെയാണോല്ലോ ഇറങ്ങേണ്ടതെന്നു " ചോദിക്കാതിരുന്നില്ല. വെറുതെ തലകുലുക്കി കാശ് തന്നതല്ലാതെ സായിപ്പൊന്നും പറഞ്ഞില്ല.
മനുഷ്യരെന്തെല്ലാം തരക്കാരാണ് !
യാത്രയിലുടനീളം സായിപ്പ് മനസ്സിൽ നിന്നും മറഞ്ഞതേയില്ല. 
രാത്രി കിടക്കുമ്പോഴും പിറ്റേന്നുണരുമ്പോഴും സായിപ്പ് തന്നെയായിരുന്നു മനസ്സിൽ. 
രാവിലെ വണ്ടിയെടുത്തപ്പോൾ വണ്ടി തനിയെ നാല്പത്തൊന്നിലെക്കു തിരിഞ്ഞു. അവിടെ കണ്ട കാഴ്ച്ച അദ്ബുതകരമായിരുന്നു. നാല്പത്തൊന്നിലെ പൊളിഞ്ഞു തകർന്ന വീടും പരിസരവും വെട്ടി തെളിച്ചു വൃത്തിയാക്കിയിരിക്കുന്നു. ഇന്നലെ കത്തിച്ചു വച്ചതായിരിക്കണം ഒരു റാന്തൽ അപ്പോഴും പുറത്തു കത്തി നിൽക്കുന്നുണ്ടായിരുന്നു. 
കർത്താവേ ഇതെന്തു കഥ! 
മനസ്സിലെ ആകാംഷയടക്കാനായില്ല. വണ്ടിയരികിൽ നിർത്തി മെല്ലെ അകത്തേക്ക് നടന്നു. വാതിലില്ലാത്ത മേൽക്കൂരയില്ലാത്ത ഇടിഞ്ഞു തകർന്ന, ഇന്നലെ മാത്രം കാട് വെട്ടി തെളിച്ച കെട്ടിടത്തിനകത്ത് സായിപ്പ് മരിച്ചു കിടന്നിരുന്നു. അരികിൽ കത്തിയെരിഞ്ഞ ഒരുപാട് മെഴുകുതിരികൾക്കിടയിൽ ഒരു സുന്ദരിയായ ചെറുപ്പക്കാരിയുടെയും ജിസ്സസ്സിന്റെയും വളരെ പഴകിയ ചിത്രങ്ങളുണ്ടായിരുന്നു.
പുറത്തു പെട്ടെന്ന് എങ്ങുനിന്നെന്നറിയാത്ത ഒരു കൊടുംകാറ്റ് ആഞ്ഞു വീശി 
അങ്ങ് ദൂരെ പള്ളിയിൽ കൂട്ട മാണി മുഴങ്ങി 
 ഇലകളും കാടും വീണ്ടും പടർന്നു പന്തലിച്ചു 
നാലാം വട്ടം കാട് വെട്ടി കയറിയവൻ, 
വയനാട്ടിൽ വന്നവൻ 
ആരോടും പറയാതെ 
ഇടിഞ്ഞു വീണ വീടിനുള്ളിൽ 
പടർന്നു കയറിയ കാട്ടിനുള്ളിൽ 
എരിഞ്ഞടങ്ങിയ മെഴുകുതിരികൾക്കു മുന്നിൽ 
പഴകി ദ്രവിച്ച ജീസസ്സിന്റെയും സുന്ദരിയായ ചെറുപ്പക്കാരിയുടെയും ഫോട്ടോകൾക്ക് മുന്നിൽ 
മരിച്ചു കിടന്നു 
പുറത്തു വായനാടിനെയാകെ കുളിപ്പിച്ച് ഒരു മഴ പെയ്തു 
പിന്നെ ഒരു തണുത്ത കാറ്റും