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Wednesday, December 29, 2010


(Provided as a response to the request of teacher participants at the orientation programme for Higher Secondary School Teachers held district-wise at Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram)

Note on the author: Kamala Suraiyya (Malayalam: കമലാ സുരയ്യ) a.k.a. Madhavikutty (Malayalam: മാധവിക്കുട്ടി) was born on the 31st of March in the year 1934. Born into an uppercaste/class Hindu Nair family – 31 May 2009) was an Indian writer who wrote in both English and Malayalam. Her confessional writings broke a new terrain for feminist expression in the Kerala context and culture. The progressive evolution of feminism and condition and identity of women debates in the Indian context and Kerala subculture has been positively fuelled by writings of Kamala Das. She passed away on 31 May 2009 at the age of 75.
Her works include novels and short stories in English, and in Malayalam also. She used the name "Madhavikutty" for her Malayalam expressions. Her works include My Story (1976), A Doll for the Child Prostitute, The Old Playhouse and Other Poems (1973), The Anamalai Poems (1985), and Only the Soul Knows How to Sing (1996). Some of her more recent novels in Malayalam include Palayan (1990), Neypayasam (1991), and Dayarikkurippukal (1992).

• Indian poetess from Kerala writing in English, born in South Malabar - bold attempts to break the traditional shell of Indian woman through her creative writings, talks and interviews – employed a fiery tone and confessional mode most successfully shocking the conventional society but highlighting certain fundamental facts about women and their condition in a patriarchal society such as that of Kerala.
• This poem expresses a woman’s feelings as a mother – the narrative voice/speaker is a middle aged woman and the narrative is composed of chosen moments from her own life and involves feelings as a mother – the mother in the poem is not a glorified and idealized and angelic, goddess-like mother of patriarchal construction but a most sensitive woman who feels neglected, sidelined and reduced to the status of a providing slave or object – the poem brings out the loneliness that she feels in her middle age - middle age is when her children become critics of all that she does, when she is lashed with their tongue (severe with their tongue, also note the correspondence between severe and sever) – the poem presents the evolution of an infant into a youth most beautifully borrowing an image from nature, the life cycle of butterflies: they are like pupae in a cocoon (unimpressive, unprepossessing, extremely dependent on the mother, sucking nourishment and protection from her) achieving the harsh adult glory like butterflies – then everything changes: mothers are for serving tea and pressing their dress – a change that is painful and shocking to the mother who needs the company of her children, she misses her children, in loneliness she touches their books and other things, weep a little secretly, dreams of the days when she fed them with many animals stories, feasts - now she can only cry and she realizes that she is no longer young, it is time to wake up from the daydreams.
The poem employs free verse and a conversational tone. The rhythm suits the theme and it helps create the dreamy world of a lonely mother. The visual imageries: pupae to cocoon, jungle stories in golden ink, feasts of nature, child hood pranks.
This poem may be taken as an instance from the life of the poetess where she attempts a kind of self-writing in an effort to accept the harsh reality in her life as a mother, to tackle the callousness and the generation gap into which existence and patriarchy trapped her, a woman with a very passionate and most sensitive heart. In the Freudian parlance, it is possible to interpret her act of writing this poem as an instance of curing herself from the anxieties of being cast off (a strong word I presume, and so, may be qualified with “psychologically” for those who want to soothe the male-psyche) by her children in their adult glory or largely by the male dominant variety of Indian capitalism which commodizes the female body and faculties. The use of the capital (Mother) is an act of sweeping generalization of women as Mother to underscore the shared experience. Structure-wise, the whole poem is a long one-line construction which undermines rules of grammar and English composition ruthlessly to drive home the harsh realities of the mother by the jarring presence of capitals in unexpected places in a running sentence poem (Middle, Friends, It’s, Emerge, Need, Clothes, Weep, Once, Jungle-feast, It, In, You - these words occur at the beginning of each line creating an impression that it is a new sentence but these words are not preceded by full stops, except that there is once instance of an ellipsis which is symbolically loaded with the meanings of a pause in speech or an unfinished thought. At the end of a sentence, it signifies a gradual and slow transition or trailing off into silence. Ellipsis can be rightly interpreted as a half presence that points to loud and eloquent absence and may inspire a feeling of melancholy longing as it is in this poem. In certain poems punctuations reveal more than the words put together. Kamala Das leaves the ellipsis in the poem as a strategic entry point for an interpretive reading that will do justice to women for whom language itself was a tool of oppression. It is important to learn that the unloved women or women seeking love and finding it in the most unconventional ways, whether they are wives, lovers or mothers, are familiar figures one invariably encounters in the literary terrains brought forth into existence by Kamala Das/Kamala Suraiyya.
(Bibliography to be provided)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


FLY SAUHRIDA CAMP 2010: FLY organised a three day rejuvenation camp from 19-21 December 2010 at Aarogya Niketanam, Annur, Payyanur. The camp was structured to create a natural urge to over come the conditioned helplessness of physically challenged persons towards barriers; bodily, mental and physical. More than a hundred persons participated in the camp. The students and teachers of the Department of English, Payyanur College associated themselves with the camp on all the three days, providing the participants moral support in a big way and financial support in a small way. They have also performed the PUPPET PLAY NAGAMANDALA on 20-12-2010 in the camp. It was for the students a rare opportunity to realize the difficulties faced by the physically challenged persons. The camp opened the eyes of the students to the realities of marginalized existence they hitherto failed to sense in full gravity and they found themselves enlightened by the struggles and creativity of the participants with which each one of the campers tried to define her/his life and overcome the limitations imposed on them by existence and the mainstream society. The snap that you find above is one instance of creativity inspired by the camp.

The Physically Challenged: Tom Heeren celebrates the importance of people with other abilities

We are not DISABLED
Nor handicapped...
Oh, gosh, they are scared
Of ghosts of the past.

We are not deaf-mutes–
but we are Deaf so we
Can hear Madonna’s loud music so
we can see signs.
We gather the sounds of Nature as we stroll
through the tranquil park.
God makes us heed the glory of angels
creating a world of good will towards
people with and without disabilities.

We are not crippled–
why are foes attempting to
stamp a rubber stigma on
Our foreheads like victims
of ugly prejudice?

Well, we are
physically challenged
After all.

ABBOTT Bud, 1900-1974, (epilepsy),
American Comedian of Abbott & Costello comedy team. Starred in over 35 films with partner Lou Costello from 1940-1965. Famous for the baseball classic comedy routine "Who’s on First?"

ABBOTT Jim, 1967-present, (no right hand),
Major league baseball pitcher. He played Little League and later with his high school team. He attended the University of Michigan and then pursued his baseball career. Won the Golden Spikes Award as the finest amateur baseball player in the US. Played on the 1988 U.S. Olympic Baseball team and pitched a gold medal for the US team. He played baseball for the California Angels and was traded to the New York Yankees.

ABERCROMBIE Neil, 1938-present, (epilepsy),
United States Representative from Hawaii (1986-1987). Served on the Honolulu City Council (1988-1990). Sought the Democratic Nomination for US Senate in 1970. First elected to the House on November 6, 1990. Last elected to House on November 8, 1994.

ALDRIDGE Lionel, 1941-present, (mental disorder),
A defensive end for Vince Loumbardi’s legendary Green Bay Packers of the 1960’s. He played in two Super Bowls. In the 1970’s he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was homeless for 2 1/2 years. Now gives inspirational talks about his battle against paranoid schizophrenia.

ALDRIN Edwin Eugene Jr [Buzz], 1930-present, (bipolar disorder),
United States Astronaut-second person to set foot on the moon. He and Neil Armstrong landed there in the Apollo Lunar Module on July 20, 1969. He was also the pilot of the Gemini 12 space flight in 1966.

ALEXANDER Grover Cleveland, 1887-1950, (epilepsy),
Professional baseball player (Old Pete) (Alex the Great). He was a pitcher who won 28 games in his rookie season. He was deaf in one ear. He was also an alcoholic and epileptic. Over his lifetime he won 373 games. He was a 30 game winner three years running. He pitched 90 shutouts/struck out 2198 batters-completed 436 games and earned a 1.22 ERA and .642 winning percentage.

ALEXANDER the Great,356-323BC, (physical impairment) (epilepsy),
King of the Macedonians and was one of the greatest generals in history.

ALFRED the Great,849-901?, (epilepsy)
West Saxon King and Scholar. Old English literary prose. King of the West Saxons in Southwestern England. He saved his kingdom-Wessex from the Danish Vikings and laid the basis for unification of England under the West Saxon Monarchy. He was such an outstanding leader in war and peace that he is the only English king known as the Great

ALI Mohammad, 1942-present, (neuromuscular)
American heavyweight boxing champion. Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay but in 1964 he adopted the Black Muslim Religion and changed his name. As an adult was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.,

ALONSO Alicia, 1921-present, (visual impairment),
At 16 she married Fernando Alonso and moved to New York City from Cuba. Due to detached retinas she lost her sight. She still continued to dance in ballet. In 1948 she and her husband returned to Cuba. She opened Cuba’s first major ballet company.

AMBROSI Gustinus , 1893-1975, (hearing impairment),
Working primarily in bronze and marble he created sculptures in the classical tradition. He was also the master of the portrait bust. As sculptor, poet, graphic artist and philosopher Ambrosi symbolized to many a Renaissance man who had surmounted his fate. Shortly before this seventh birthday he was stricken with meningitis resulting in deafness. In 1912 he received both the National Prize for Sculpture and the Felix Von Weingartner Medallion.

ANDERSON Hans Christian, 1805-1875, (learning disability),
Denmark's most famous author(writer). His fairy tales are among the most widely read works in world literature.

ANDERSON Harry, 1952-present, (attention deficit disorder),
Actor who played Judge Stone on Night Court has attention deficit disorder and has managed to con and charm his way through school. He had an extraordinary memory and could remember anything at 16. He was Valedictorian but, he could barely read to rehearse his lines. He is also a magician and writer.

ARAFAT Yasir [Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat-al-Qudwa-al- Hussseini], 1929-present, (neuromuscular),
Politician and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1969. He acquired the nickname Yasir which means easy going as a teenager. In 1994 Arafat shared the Nobel Peace Prize for peace efforts with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. In 1996 he was elected president. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease later in life.

ARISTOLE,384-322 BC, (epilepsy),
Greek philosopher/scientist. Aristotle was a student of Plato. In 343 BC he began tutoring the young Alexander the Great. In 334 BC he lectured at a public gymnasium called the Lyceum. He is considered one of the two great philosophers of antiquity along with Plato. He wrote on many subjects from biology to astronomy to rhetoric and literary criticism.

ARMES Jay J., 1938-present, (physical impairment),
Born [Julian Armas] but changed his name to Jay J. Armes. He was born in Ysleta Texas. In 1949 at the age of 12 he was involved in an accident that resulted in both of his hands being amputated and hooks were placed as artificial hands. Some people say he’s the best private eye in the world.

ARNOLD Hillis, 1910-present, (hearing impairment),
American sculptor and teacher who lost his hearing at six months of age due to spinal meningitis. He taught sculpture and ceramics for 32 years at Monticello College in Godfrey IL now Lewis and Clark Community College. He is an advocate of symbolism and his art reveals a debt to expressionism.

ASHLEY Jack, 1922-present, (hearing impairment)
Politician. Jack is probably the only totally deaf member of any legislature in the world. His story is an inspiring record of coping with restricted education and vocational opportunities and with the impact of total deafness. His career was threatened in 1968 when he became totally deaf after a supposedly minor operation for the repair of the perforation of his left ear. His autobiography (Journey into Silence) 1973 describes his feelings on returning to Parliament following this disaster.

BADER, Douglas Sir, 1910-1982, (physical impairment),
Pilot-War Hero, was a fighter pilot and wing commander in Great Britain's Royal Air Force. He introduced fighting tactics that saved the lives of many British pilots. He lost both legs in a plane crash several years before World War II. He refused to be defeated by his disability. He was awarded both the Distinguished Services Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross for leadership and valor in action.

BALAGUER Joaquin, 1907-present, (visual impairment),
President of Dominican Republic, politician and author who served in Madrid from 1932-1935, Under Secretary Foreign Affairs. Government of UN 1947. Founder of Reformist Party 1962, leader 1962-1985.

BALLARD Kaye, 1926-present, (hearing impairment),
Stage actor and TV comedienne who starred in television series The Mothers-in-Law 1967-1969.

BEATTY Ned, 1937-present, (bipolar disorder),
American Actor. Appeared in films Deliverance 1972, Superman 1978.

BEETHOVEN Ludwig Von, 1770-1827, (bipolar depression) (hearing impairment),
Brilliant composer who experienced bipolar depression and lost his hearing in 1800.

BELAFONTE Harry, 1927-present, (learning disability),
American singer and motion picture actor who became best known for his interpretation of West Indian Calypso music, popularized Asian and African songs as well as American ballads and spirituals.

BELL Alexander Graham, 1847-1922, (learning disability),
An American inventor and educator. Best known for his invention of the telephone.

BELL Buddy [David Gus Bell], 1951-present, (epilepsy),
Professional baseball player and manager of the Detroit Tigers. Five time All Star 1973, 1980-82 and 1984.

BERLIOZ Hector, 1803-1869, (epilepsy)
French composer, major work Symphonic Fantastique 1830, known for his orchestrating genius, his long, uninterrupted melodies, and his way of relating his musical compositions to stories, ideas known as program music.

BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON [Lemon Jefferson Couchman], 1897-1929, (vision impairment)
Blind from childhood he was the most popular male blues recording artist of the 1920s, making over 100 recordings in the last four years of his life with 43 records issued, all but one on the Paramount label.

BLIND WILLIE MCTELL [Willie Samuel McTear], 1901-1959, (vision impairment)
Musician. McTell learned guitar as a youngster from his mother, made his recording debut in 1927 after working as a street singer and medicine show minstrel. In the 1930s he recorded 48 sides for four companies under four different names. He was the only survivor of his era to make Library of Congress field recordings and postwar records for the R&B market as well.

BONAPARTE Napoleon [Napoleon I], 1769-1821, (epilepsy),
French Emperor who crowned himself as emperor of France. He was the greatest military genius of his time and perhaps the greatest general in history. He stood 5 foot 2 inches tall which is about average for Frenchman of his time.

BONERZ Peter, 1938-present, (speech impairment),
American actor and director of episodes of Bob Newhart Show 1972-1978, director of
It’s Your Move 1984.

BOOTH Edmund, 1810-1905, (visual impairment),
Edmund Booth was nearly 6 feet 3 inches tall over 200 pounds. He was blind in one eye and profoundly deaf. He edited an Iowa newspaper (Anamosa Eureka) from 1856 to 1895. Before settling on a career he was a teacher, farmer, postmaster, country recorder, enrollment clerk in Iowa territorial legislature and California gold miner. He helped organize the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) in 1880.

BORGES Jorge Luis, 1899-1986, (visual impairment)
He was an Argentine man of letters. He won international acclaim for his distinctive fictions and short stories. He was a librarian too.

BOVE Linda, 1945-present, (hearing impairment),
Bove who is deaf started on Sesame Street in 1971 and in 1976 she became a permanent member of the show. Also was the female lead in Spoon River Anthology. Her parents were also deaf. In college she majored in Library Science and took part in dramatics where she claimed her performances as Polly Peachum in Three Penny Opera. She has contributed greatly to children's theater and is one of the first five members who started Little Theater for the Deaf. She also is a member of the National Theaters of the Deaf. She has also appeared on Search for Tomorrow, Dick Cavett Show and Happy Days.

BRADY James, 1940-present, (traumatic brain injury)
Former White House Press Secretary who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981. He is also responsible for the Brady Bill.

BRAILLE Louis, 1809-1852, (visual impairment),
Blind Frenchman who developed braille alphabet and reading system. He became blind at the age of 3 from an accident. In 1829 Braille published his dot system.

BRIDGMAN Laura, 1829-1889, (deaf and blind),
First deaf-blind student ever educated in the United States. She became deaf and blind due to scarlet fever. In 1837 she came to the attention of Samuel G. Howe - founder and director of Perkins School for the Blind. This is where she learned to read, write and do math. She became a good seamstress and learned to sew on a sewing machine. She could deftly thread a needle with her tongue.

BRODERSON Morris, 1928-present, (hearing impairment),
Artist who is known as a noted digressive painter. He gained national recognition with the painting of The Chicken Market (1960). Deaf at birth and educated in California. Many of his themes are from his travels.

BROWN Christy, 1932-1981, (physical impairment),
Author born in Dublin Ireland. At birth he lacked oxygen for a few minutes causing him to have a condition called athetoid cerebral palsy. Christy learned to read by age 7 and write by holding a chalk or pencil with his left foot. He wrote his autobiography My Left Foot.

BYRON Lord, 1788-1824, (epilepsy),
He was the most colorful of the English poets. He inherited the (George Gordon Byron) title Lord Byron at the age of 10 upon the death of his great uncle.

BUCHWALD Art, 1925-present, (bipolar disorder),
Writer and humorist American newspaper columnist who specializes in political and social satire. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1982.

BUDDHA [Siddhartha Gautama],563BC-483BC, (epilepsy),
Indian philosopher and founder of Buddhism c.528 BC. Renounced world at age 29 to search for solution to human suffering. The word Buddha means Enlightened One.

BURKE Chris, 1965-present, (developmental disability)
Actor. Chris was a gentle happy child who loved to meet people. He would watch TV and learn the lines. Chris enrolled in a theater class for disabled students held near his school in Pennsylvania. For two years he learned about costumes improvisation and set design. His work in theater also improved his speech and reading skills. At 21 he started looking for work. At a workshop he worked with no talking allowed. His mother came to meet him there and was appalled. He never worked there again. The director Michael Braverman was seeking young actors with Down Syndrome for a TV pilot. Would Chris like to try out for the part. The pilot Desperate aired on ABC in September 1987. In 1989 he had the main role in the series Life Goes On. The show ran until spring of 1993.

BURTON Richard, 1925-1984, (epilepsy),
Welsh actor who won Tony Award in 1961 for Camelot. Nominated for seven Oscars. Known for his Shakespearean -stage performances and his collaborations with actress Elizabeth Taylor to whom he married twice.

BURTON Tim, 1958-present, (bipolar)
Artist and Movie Director -American director of off beat movies such as PeeWee's Big Adventure 1985, Beetlejuice 1988, Batman 1989.

BUTLER Beverly, 1932-present, (visual impairment),
Born with cataracts in both eyes and later developed glaucoma. Her first book was a young adult novel called Song of the Voyageurs 1955. In 1964 her most popular book was published and entitled Light a Single Candle. She continues to write historical novels for young adult fiction readers.

CALLAHAN John, 1951-present, (quadriplegia),
Cartoonist and activist. Many of Callahan's cartoons view ordinary situations from disabled people's perspective. In a series of cartoon strips called How to Relate to Handicapped People, he spoofs the awkwardness many people feel when meeting a person with a disability. He also pokes fun at doctors, lawyers, criminals and cops, movie stars and politicians. His autobiography Don't Worry He Won't Get Far on Foot!,

CAMPANELLA Roy, 1921-1993, (spinal cord injury),
In 1948 he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. He won the league's Most Valuable Player Award in 1951, 1953 and 1955. Due to an icy storm in January 1958 while driving home his car hit a patch of ice and skidded off the road. The accident left Roy a quadriplegic from the neck down. Roy was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.

CAMPEAU Robert, 1924-present, (bipolar)
Canadian financier, real estate executive developer, founder Campeau Construction Co. 1953 executed hostile takeover of Allied Stores Corp 1986 and Federated Department Stores 1988.

CANNELL Stephen, 1943-present, (learning disability)
American television producer, writer, creator and producer of many successful series.

CAPOTE Truman, 1924-1984, (communication disorder),
Author of Breakfast at Tiffany's filmed 1961. American writer who made an impressive literary debut at 24 with his novel Other Voices Other Rooms.

CARROLL Lewis [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], 1832-1898, (epilepsy),
Mathematician and author of Through the Looking Glass and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It wasn't until 20 years after these writings that he was actually diagnosed with epilepsy following a convulsive seizure in 1886.

CAVETT Dick [ Richard Alva Cavett], 1936-present, (bipolar)
American entertainer who won 3 Emmy's for ABC's Dick Cavett Show 1968-1972. hosted PBS' The Dick Cavett Show for five years, wrote Cavett 1974.

CEASAR Julius, 100-44 BC, (epilepsy),
Roman General and Statesman. Julius Caesar's seizures are well documented. He told others that during his seizures he received messages from the Gods.

CHAMBERLIN Judi, 1944-present, (mental illness)
Disabilities activist. Following the loss of her baby, she became distressed, withdrawn from friends and family. She willingly entered a psychiatric hospital thinking this would help her out of her current mental situation. After 6 months she realized that all she was getting was treatment via medication and the drugs made her lethargic and confused. She also had no legal rights. Her clothes and belongings were taken from her-supposedly for safe keeping. When she failed to improve at the private hospital, she was told she would have to be transferred to a state hospital. She was horrified. She got permission to make phone calls and contacted the Legal Aid Society and the American Civil Liberties Union. No one wanted to hear her story. After 60 days she was discharged from the state hospital. By 1991 she joined an organization called Mental Patients Liberation Project which questioned the very existence of mental illness. As a member she wrote articles and appeared on radio talk shows. In Boston she co-founded a group called Mental Patients Liberation Front. Author of On Our Own Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System 1978.

CHARLES Ray [Ray Charles Robinson], 1930-present, (visual impairment),
Singer and composer. Blind by age seven due to glaucoma.

CHER [Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre], 1946-present, (learning disability)
Her success in music, movies, television, and on stage over nearly four decades qualifies her as one of the most enduring entertainers of our time.

CHRISTIE Agatha, 1890-1976, (mental illness)
English mystery writer Queen of Crimes. Play Mousetrap longest running in British history. Created detectives Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, mysteries sold over 100 million copies.

CHURCHILL Winston Sir, 1874-1965, (bipolar)
Became one of the greatest statesman in world history. He was Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II. He also was a noted speaker, author, painter, soldier, and war reporter.

CLAIBORNE Loretta, 1953-present, (developmental disability)
Champion long-distance runner. First person with mental retardation to serve on the Special Olympics International Board of Directors. She is believed to be the first person with mental retardation ever awarded an honorary doctoral degree.

CLARKE John Louis, 1881-1970, (hearing impairment),
His Indian ancestry and environment led him to his fame in wood carving. His father was half Blackfeet Indian and known as Chief Stand Alone and his mother was full blooded Blackfeet and known as First Kill. At 2 years of age he had a severe attack of scarlet fever which left him deaf. He liked to carve in cottonwood and his favorite two animals to carve were bears and goats. He also modeled in clay, painted in oil and watercolor and drew in crayon and charcoal. He was known among American sculptors as The Bowie Knife Sculptor. His best medium was wood.

CLELAND Max, 1942-present, (amputee),
Senator from Georgia and former director of the Veterans Administration. Lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam and has used a wheelchair since 1974. Known as Joseph Maxwell Cleland.

CLIFFORD Max, 1943-present, (epilepsy),
Max left school at the age of 15. He has become one of Britain's successful public relations consultants. In the 1960's he worked for EMI records press office and handled the Beatles. He has since gone on his own and represents many famous people in the world. Such as Mohammed Ali,, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brandon, Bee Gees and other rock groups and famous people.

CLIGNET Marion, 1962-present, (epilepsy),
Cyclist, 1996 Olympic silver medal winner. The road to an Olympic medal began when she lost her US Driver’s License her first known seizure while she was driving a car.

CLINTON William Jefferson, 1946-present, (hearing impairment),
42nd President of the United States wears hearing aids.

CLOONEY Rosemary, 1928-present, (bipolar),
American actress, singer. Had million-selling single Come On in My House 1951.

COELHO Tony, 1942-present, (epilepsy),
Member of Congress in 1990. He was one of the driving forces behind the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Chairman of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. President Clinton appointed him as Vice-Chair of the National Task Force on Employment of People with Disabilities.

CONDON Richard, 1915-1996, (speech impairment),
American author who wrote The Manchurian Candidate 1959, Prizzi's Honor 1982.

COPPOLA Francis Ford, 1939-present, (physical impairment),
American motion picture director, producer, and writer. His best known work are the three Godfather movies and Apocalypse Now.

CORNFORTH John Warcup, 1917-present, (hearing impairment),
He was a distinguished scientist and joint Nobel Prize winner for chemistry (1975) was profoundly deaf from otosclerosis for most of his life. He received his bachelor of science degree in 1937 and his Master's in 1938. His first research in Australia was on natural produces from plants, while employed at Mill Hill Research Laboratories 1946 to 1962 he developed his basic approach to stereochemistry of enzyme processes. Stereochemistry deals with three dimensional architect of molecules an it is in biochemistry applications where he made his most significant contributions. In 1965 he was jointly awarded the CIBA Medal of the Biochemistry Society. In 1968 he received the Davy Medal of the Royal Society. He held two professorships, associate professor of molecular science at Warwick (1965-1971), and visiting professor of chemistry at Sussex (1971-1975). He received many honors and awards in addition to the Nobel Prize. He communicated by lip reading and writing , and he did not practice sign language.

CORNWELL Patricia, 1956-present, (bipolar),
American novelist, wrote award winning novel Postmortem 1990, best sellers Body of Evidence 1991, Cause of Death 1996.

CRONYN Hume, 1911-present, (visual impairment),
Actor who won a Tony Award in 1964 for Hamlet, best known for The Gin Game 1978 with his wife Jessica Tandy. Cocoon 1985 and Batteries Not Included 1987. In 1994 Cronyn and Tandy won the first Tony Award for lifetime theatrical achievement. He is blind in one eye.

CRUISE Tom [Thomas Cruise Mapother IV], 1962-present, (learning disability)
Actor. Born in Syracuse NEW YORK. His mother taught children who had dyslexia and other learning disabilities. She herself had dyslexia as did all her children. At age 11 his parents divorced and he and his sisters and mother lived in poverty in Kentucky. When he was 16 his mother remarried and his family moved to Glen Ridge NJ. He auditioned for a role in his school play and got it. Once he broke into movies other roles followed in quick succession. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1996.

DANTE [Dante Alighieri], 1265-1321, (epilepsy),
Italian author was one of the greatest poets of the middle ages. His epic poem The Divine Comedy ranks among the finest works in world literature. He was considered a great thinker and one of the most learned writers.

DAVIES Marion, 1897-1061, (speech impairment),
Early 20th century American silent movie actress who successfully made the transition to talkies despite her stuttering. Long-time companion of publisher William Randolph Hearst.

DAVIES Ray, 1944-present, (bipolar),
English singer. Lead guitarist for band formed with his brother Dave 1963 The Kinks.

DA VINCI Leonardo, 1452-1519, (dyslexia) (epilepsy),
One of the greatest painters and most versatile geniuses in history. He was one of the key figures of the Renaissance era. He was trained as a painter but he had other interests that he dealt with over the years. Many of his inventions and scientific ideas were centuries ahead of his time.

DAVIS Sammy Jr., 1925-1990, (visual impairment),
American actor, singer and dancer, versatile entertainer for 60 years. His career spanned vaudeville, stage, movies, recording, night clubs, and television. His last movie role was in Tap 1989. He was blind in one eye.

DICKENS Charles, 1812-1870, (mental disorder) (epilepsy),
British author who suffered from clinical depression. Also known for writing A Christmas Carol which depicted a disabled child Tiny Tim.

DIDYMUS The Blind,313 398, (visual impairment),
Celebrated head of the catechetical school at Alexandria. Although he was a lyaman and had become blind at the age of 4 he memorized great sections of the scriptures and by means of secretaries dictated numerous exegetical works. He also distinguished himself in the school of Alexandria which he later headed by his proficiency in geometry and astronomy.

DISNEY Walt, 1901-1966, (learning disability),
American cartoonist, producer. Introduced Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie 1928. Won 29 Oscars, Opened Disneyland 1955, creating family entertainment empire.

DOLE Robert, 1923-present, (physical impairment),
World War II exploding shell fractured his spine, shattered his right shoulder. He returned home, went back to college and earned a law degree. He launched his political career in 1960 and was elected to the United State Senate in 1968. He later left the Senate to run for president of the United States.

DONIZETTI Gaetano, 1797-1848, (mental disorder),
Opera singer suffered from bipolar depression..

DOSTOYEVSKI Fyodor, 1821-1881, (epilepsy),
Russian author. Had three convulsive seizures as a child and complex partial seizures in adolescence. His seizures began with a feeling of ecstasy, followed by anguish, then convulsions. His characters had epilepsy in some of his writing. Wrote novels which were published after his death Crime and Punishment 1886, The Idiot 1887, Brothers Karamazov 1912.

DRISCOLL Jean, 1966-present, (spina bifida),
Born in Wisconsin and attended a regular school. She could walk with braces but later required a wheelchair. After high school Jean entered her first road race using a makeshift wheelchair. After 5 miles and exhausted she quit. Soon afterwards she got a sponsor and a new wheelchair. Graduated from University of Illinois - BA in Speech Communication. She entered a wheelchair marathon in 1989 and won a place in the Boston Marathon. First person to win Boston Marathon six consecutive times. Won silver medal in 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona Spain.

DUBUS Andre, 1936-1999, (mental disorder),
Wrote several books (short stories). 1996 - Rea Award for short fiction 1997 - finalist for the National Book Circle Award - Dancing After Hours. Due to an accident he lost a leg in 1986.

DUKE ASTIN Patty, 1946-present, (BIPOLAR),
Academy Award winning actress who has bipolar depression. Author of Call me Anna:
A Brilliant Madness.

DUNCAN Sandy, 1946-present, (visual impairment),
Has one glass eye. Starred on Broadway as Peter Pan 1980. Starred on television show The Hogan Family 1986-1990.

DURBIN Deanna, 1921-present, (physical impairment),
Comedian actor who shared a special Oscar with Mickey Rooney 1938, teenage star 1930's - 40's. She has a shortened arm.

EAST John, 1931-1986, (physical impairment),
U.S. Senator from North Carolina (Republican). Had polio and served from 1981 until his death in 1986.

EDISON Thomas, 1847-1931, (hearing impairment),
Prolific inventor who holds the record for obtaining the most U.S. patents. Inventor of the electric light bulb, phonograph, and the motion-picture projector. Due to scarlet fever Thomas Edison permanently damaged his hearing in both ears. He was known as the wizard of Menlo Park.

EINSTEIN Albert, 1879-1955, (learning disability),
Was one of the greatest scientists of all time. Best known for his theory of relativity.

EISENHOWER Dwight D., 1890-1969, (learning disability),
34th President of the United States. Leader of the victorious Allied forces in Europe during World War II.

EISENREICH Jim, 1959-present, (tourette syndrome),
Played baseball for the Minnesota Twins, later the Los Angeles Dodgers as well as the Philadelphia Phillies and more recently for the Florida Marlins.

ERSKINE Carl, 1926-present, (autism),
American baseball player, pitcher for the Dodgers 1948-59. Threw two no-hitters 1942 and 1956.

EULER Leonhard, 1707-1783, (visual impairment),
Swiss mathematician. He became famous for his great output of original mathematics and for the wide range of subjects he covered. He did most of this work after he lost his sight in one eye in 1735 and totally blind in 1766. Contributed new ideas in calculus, geometry, algebra, number theory and probability.

Monday, December 13, 2010

ഒരു കറുത്ത മഷി പേനയുടെ
മഷി തീര്‍ന്ന കാര്യ
ആവര്‍ത്തന വിരസത

മാഷെ രോഷം കൊള്ളിച്ചു

ഒടുവില്‍ മുഖം വീര്പിച്ചു
കണ്ണില്‍ വെള്ളം നീറച്ചു
ഉണ്ണികുട്ടന്റെ സീറ്റിലിരുന്ന എന്നെ
'തെമ്മാടി" വേട്ടയാടി

Monday, November 8, 2010



Sunday, November 7, 2010



End Semester Examination (75% weightage)

Pattern of Question Paper

Time -- 3 hrs. Total Weightage – 30

I. One essay in 200 words, out of a choice of two, from lessons in Module 1. (Weightage:4)
II. One essay in 200 words, out of a choice of two, from Module 2. (Weightage: 4)
III. Six paragraph questions to be answered in 80 words (Weightage: 6x 2 = 12)
IV. Four bunches of four questions each (from both modules). (Weightage: 4x 1 = 4)
V. Six short questions, at least three from each module. (Weightage: 6 x 1 = 6)


Time: 3 hrs. Total

Weightage: 30

I. Answer any one of the following in 200 words: (Weightage: 4)
1. Bring out the difference between globalization and internationalism.
2. What was the impact of globalization on Indian farmers?

II. Answer any one of the following in 200 words: (Weightage: 4)
3. Aruna’s sufferings as a woman?
4. Write an essay on domestic violence and its victims.

III. Answer six of the following in 80 words each (Weightage: 6X 2: 12)
5. Who are the critics of globalisation? What are their comments?
6. Attitude of the Government to Cotton and Sugar farming.
7. Indian PM’s American visit
8. Aruna’s father-in-law.
9. Any instance of domestic violence that you have read about or witnessed
10. Precautions suggested in the case of the nuclear war

IV. Answer four bunches of four questions each: (Weightage: 4X 1 = 4)
11. A. High technology was well established a millennium ago in (a) Japan (b) China (c) Korea (d) none

B. Amartya Sen is respected as a champion of (a) democracy (b) social justice (c) both (a) and (b) (d) globalisation

C. There is little voice for people in (a) globalisation (b) internationalism (c) democracy (d) none of these

D. A fear of difference is characteristic of (a) colonialism (b) internationalism (c) democracy (d) all of these.

12. A. The cotton farmers of Vidharba committed suicide
(i) to show their protest
(ii) to oppose globalization
(iii) to uphold their faith
(iv) as they fell into debt-trap.

B. The Krishi Bhushan Award was won by
(i) Anil Tatte
(ii) Nilesh Tatte
(iii) Arun Chambare
(iv) Maruti

C. Cotton was once called
(i) White gold
(ii) farmer’s gold (
(iii) Indian gold
(iv) Black gold

D. The import duty is higher for ----------
(i) second hand cars
(ii) rice
(iii) sugar
(iv) cotton

12. A. Aruna escaped with the help of her ----------
(i) father
(ii) sister
(iii) children
(iv) mother-in-law.

B. Aruna describes her marriage as
(i) arbitrary
(ii) of mutual consent
(iii) a very pleasant experience
(iv) her interest

C. Financial abuse is
(i) spending too much on wife and children
(ii) keeping family short of money
(iii) providing the family enough money to live
(iv) none of these

D One abusive father threatened that he would
(i) burn the house in the night
(ii) look after the children well
(iii) stop quarreling
(iv) make his home a nice place

13. A. One wife was not allowed to go out and dry clothes on the line because
(i) the husband was jealous
(ii) the children were very young
(iii) she was sick
(iv) none of these sick

B. Protato is
(i) ordinary potato
(ii) hybrid potato
(iii) another word for pomato
(iv) Protein rich potato

C. How much food was rotting?
(i) 25 million tons
(ii) 2 million tons
(iii) 5 million tons
(iv) none of these

D. Devinder Sharma taken by surprise because
(i) the PM called him
(ii) the PM’s visit was downplayed
(iii) the BBC presenter shifted from an interview with Beckham to him.
(iv) None of these.

V. Answer the six short questions: (Weightage: 6 x 1 = 6)

14. Name a book by Amartya Sen.
15. Which organization did the PM address in the US?
16. How does the US restrict trade from developing countries?
17. What are the different sources of violence?
18. What is the subject matter of Arundhati Roy’s essay?
19. Why are we called gullible subjects?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

അയ്യപ്പന് സ്നേഹപൂര്‍വ്വം

എന്റെ ശവപ്പെട്ടി ചുമക്കുന്നവരോട്

എന്റെ ശവപ്പെട്ടി ചുമക്കുന്നവരോട്
ഒസ്സ്യത്തില്‍ ഇല്ലാത്ത ഒരു രഹസ്യം പറയാനുണ്ട്‌

ഹൃദയത്തിന്റെ സ്ഥാനത്ത് ഒരു പൂവുണ്ടയിരിക്കും;
ജിജ്ഞാസയുടെ ദിവസങ്ങളില്‍
പ്രേമത്തിന്റെ അത്മസത്യം പറഞ്ഞു തന്നവളുടെ

മണ്ണ് മൂടുന്നതിനു മുന്‍പ്
പൂവ് പറിക്കണം
രേഖകള്‍ മാഞ്ഞ കൈവെള്ളയിലും
തിരിച്ചു പോവണം

മരണത്തിന്റെ തൊട്ടു മുന്‍പുള്ള നിമിഷം
ഈ സത്യം പറയാന്‍ സമയം ഇല്ലായിരുന്നു
ഒഴിച്ച് തന്ന തണുത്ത വെള്ളത്തിലൂടെ
മൃതിയിലേക്കു ഒലിച്ചു പോയി

ശവപ്പെട്ടി മൂടാതെ പോകൂ
ഇനിയെന്റെ ചങ്ങാതികള്‍

Monday, October 18, 2010

വായിക്കുക അനുശ്രീയുടെ (മൂന്നാം സെമെസ്റെര്‍) കവിത (തിരുവാതിര ബ്ലോഗില്‍ നിന്നും മോഷ്ടിച്ചത്)


കേട്ടു! അകലെ ഒരു മണിമുഴക്കം
എങ്ങും ഇരുട്ട്! അടരുന്ന ഹൃദയം
അറിയാത്ത നോവ്‌
ഇല്ല , കഴിയില്ലെനിക്ക് നിന്നില്‍
നിന്നകലാന്‍ പക്ഷെ...
എങ്ങും ടിക്ക് ട്വന്റി ചിരികള്‍ നിറയുമ്പോള്‍
സൂര്യതാപനം മാനവ മനസിനെ എരിയ്യ്ക്കുമ്പോള്‍
മതമൈത്രി ഭീമമാം ചക്രത്താല്‍ അരയ്ക്കപ്പെടുമ്പോള്‍
സ്ത്രീ നരിക്കയ്യില്‍ പിടയുമ്പോള്‍
വയ്യ ! കാണാനിനി
വയ്യ !
വരണം എല്ലാം മറക്കാന്‍
നിന്നെ മാത്രം അറിയാന്‍
നിന്റെ ഹൃദയത്തില്‍ പറ്റിചേരാന്‍
നിന്‍ മൃദു ചുംബനം ഏറ്റു വാങ്ങാന്‍
നിന്റെ ചൂടില്‍ ആശ്ലേഷിക്കാന്‍
മരണമേ വരിക
നിനക്കായ്‌ നിന്‍ പ്രിയതോഴി
ഇതാ... ഇവിടെ...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

കൂട്ടുകാരി: മഞ്ജു അപ്രേമിന്റെ (ഒന്നാം സെമെസ്റെര്‍ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്) വരികള്‍

ഓര്മ തന്‍ മഞ്ഞുമലകള്കപ്പുറത്തു
പുഞ്ചിരി തൂകും നിന്റെ മുഖം
ഞാനോര്‍ക്കുന്നു, എന്‍ പ്രിയ കൂട്ടുകാരി
എന്റെ ജീവനായിരുന്ന

എവിടെ, നീയിപ്പോള്‍ എവിടെ!
കാണാന്‍ കൊതിക്കുന്നു നിന്‍ മുഖമെന്നും ഞാന്‍
കേള്‍ക്കാന്‍ കൊതിക്കുന്നു നിന്‍ നാദമെന്നും
മിണ്ടാന്‍ കൊതിക്കുന്നു എന്‍ അധരം

ഓര്‍മതന്‍ ചട്ടകൂടിനുള്ളില്‍
മിന്നിമറയുന്നു നിന്‍ മുഖം
എന്ന് കാണും ഇനി നമ്മള്‍
എന്ന് കാണും പ്രിയേ

ഇല്ല, കാണില്ല നമ്മളിനി
നീ എന്നെ മറക്കും
ഞാന്‍ നിന്നെയും.

പുനര്‍ജ്ജന്മം: പ്രിയേഷ് മൂന്നാം വര്‍ഷ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് (ജീവ് പട്ടേലിന്റെ ഓണ്‍ കില്ലിംഗ് എ ട്രീ എന്ന കവിതയുടെ സ്വതന്ത്ര പരിഭാഷ)

കേവലം ഒരു വാളിന്റെ മൂര്‍ച്ചയില്‍
അവസാനിക്കുന്ന ജീവനാണോ നിന്റേത്?
സൂര്യരഷ്മികളും ഇളംകാറ്റും ജലാശയത്തിലെ മുത്തുകളും
പോറ്റി വളര്‍ത്തിയ മാമരത്തെ ഭുമിയും തലോലിച്ചിട്ടില്ലേ?
ഭുമാതവിന്റെ മാര്‍വിടത്തിന്റെ ഉറവുകളില്‍ വളര്‍ന്നു -
ആയമ്മയുടെ പൊക്കിള്‍ കൊടിയില്‍ നിന്നും നീ
സ്വീകരിച്ച ഊര്‍ജവും നിന്റെ ജനനവും കേവലം -
ഒരു വാള്പിടിയില്‍ അവസാനിക്കുകയോ ..... ഹാ കഷ്ടം!
നിന്റെ ഉരുണ്ട തൊലിക്കുള്ളില്‍
വിരിയാന്‍ വെമ്പുന്ന ഇലകള്‍ സമയം കാത്തുകിടക്കും
നിന്നില്‍ വാള്‍തുരുംബ് വീഴ്ത്തിയ പാടുകള്‍,
സമ്മാനിച്ച വേദനകള്‍ എത്രയാണ്?
രക്തം കിനിയുന്ന മുറിപ്പാടുകള്‍ ഉണങ്ങാന്‍ നീ
ഒരുപാടുകാലം ഇനിയും കാത്തിരിക്കെണ്ടതുണ്ടോ?
പക്ഷെ അവയൊക്കെയും മറികടന്നു
നീ വീണ്ടും തളിര്‍ക്കും, വളരും, പൂവിടും.
ഒന്നിനും വേണ്ടിയല്ലെങ്ങിലും വീണ്ടും
ഒരു വന്മരമായി മാറുവാന്‍ മാത്രം.

Friday, October 8, 2010

ക്ലാസ്സ്മുറിയും കര്‍ത്താവും പിന്നെ ഞാനും (സ്വരന്‍ പി ആര്‍ ജന്തുശാസ്ത്ര വിഭാഗം വക)

'രാമന്‍പാമ്പിനെ കൊന്നു‘. ഈ വാക്യത്തിലെ കര്‍ത്താവ് ആരാണ് ?

വത്സമ്മ ടീച്ചറുടെ ചോദ്യം എന്നോട് തന്നെയായിരുന്നു. ആസ് യൂഷ്വല്‍ ഞാന്‍ എഴുന്നേറ്റ് നിന്ന് തലചൊറിഞ്ഞു..

ടീച്ചറുടെ ചൂരല്‍ തുടയില്‍ റെയില്‍ പാളം തീര്‍ക്കുമ്പോള്‍ എനിക്ക് അട്ടര്‍ കണ്‍ഫ്യൂഷനായിരുന്നു.
രാമന്‍ പാമ്പിനെ കൊല്ലുന്നിടത്ത് കര്‍ത്താവിനെന്താ കാര്യം? ഇനി കര്‍ത്താവ് വളര്‍ത്തിയ പാമ്പിനെയാണോ രാമന്‍ തല്ലിക്കൊന്നത്?

പിന്നീടുള്ള മൂന്നാല് രാത്രികളില്‍ ഞാന്‍ കണ്ട സ്വപ്നം വത്സമ്മ ടീച്ചറെ ചൂരലിന് നാല് പെട കൊടുക്കുന്നതിനെപ്പറ്റിയായിരുന്നു.

ടീച്ചറെ അടിക്കാന്‍ മാത്രമല്ല ഒരു കൈവെട്ടിക്കളയാനുമുള്ള വകുപ്പ് ആ ചോദ്യത്തിലുണ്ടായിരുന്നു എന്ന് ഈയിടെയാണ് എനിക്ക് മനസ്സിലായത്.. നമുക്ക് ടീച്ചറുടെ ചോദ്യത്തെ സൂക്ഷ്മമായി അപഗ്രഥിച്ച് നോക്കാം. എന്നാലേചോദ്യത്തിന്റെ വ്യത്യസ്ഥ മാനങ്ങളും നിഗൂഡ അര്‍ഥങ്ങളും സാമ്രാജ്യത്വ കുതന്ത്രങ്ങളും നമുക്ക് മനസ്സിലാവൂ.

* ‘രാമന്‍ പാമ്പിനെ കൊന്നു‘. ഈ വാക്യത്തിലെ കര്‍ത്താവ് ആരാണ് ? - വിശകലങ്ങള്‍*

നം 1 : ഒരു ക്രിസ്ത്യന്‍ സ്കൂളിലെ ക്രിസ്ത്യാനിയായ വത്സമ്മ ടീച്ചര്‍ ഉദ്ദേശിച്ചത് ഇങ്ങനെയായിക്കൂടേ ... “ എല്ലാം ചെയ്യുന്നതും ചെയ്യിക്കുന്നതും കര്‍ത്താവാണ്. ‘കര്‍ത്താവാണ്’ ഏറ്റവും വലിയവന്‍. എട്ടും പൊട്ടും തിരിയാത്ത ഒരു ഹിന്ദു ചെക്കനെ കര്‍ത്താവിന്റെ വഴിയിലേക്ക് നയിക്കാനുള്ള ഗൂഢശ്രമമായിരുന്നില്ലേ ഈ ചോദ്യം. ‘കര്‍ത്താവ്’ എന്ന കണ്‍സെപ്റ്റ് കുഞ്ഞ് മനസ്സിലേക്ക് കുത്തി വെക്കാനുള്ള ബ്രെയിന്‍ വാഷിങ്ങ് ?

നം 2 : ‘രാമന്‍’ അഥവാ ഒരു ഹിന്ദു ദൈവം മിണ്ടാപ്രാണിയായ പാമ്പിനെ കൊന്ന് നടക്കുന്ന ഒരു ദുഷ്ടനാണ്. അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ ഒരു പാമ്പിനെ കൊല്ലാന്‍ മാത്രമേ ‘രാമനെ’ ക്കൊണ്ട് പറ്റൂ. ഉദ്ദിഷ്ട കാര്യം നടക്കണമെങ്കില്‍ വേറേ ദൈവത്തിനെ മണിയടിക്കണം.. ഇങ്ങനെയും ഈ ചോദ്യത്തിന് അര്‍ത്ഥം കല്‍പ്പിക്കാം.

നം 3 : ‘രാമന്‍‘ എന്നാല്‍ വിഷ്ണു. ‘പാമ്പ്‘ എന്നാല്‍ ഒരു ശൈവ മൂര്‍ത്തി. അപ്പോള്‍ ശൈവ-വൈഷ്ണവ ഉരസലുകളെയാവാം ചോദ്യം കൊണ്ട് ഉദ്ദേശിച്ചത്. ഹിന്ദുക്കള്‍ക്കിടയില്‍ വേര്‍തിരിവ് ഉണ്ടാക്കനുള്ള പൈശാചികമായ ശ്രമം.

നം 4 : രാമന്‍ പാമ്പിനെ കൊന്നു എന്ന് പറയുമ്പോള്‍, വെള്ളമടിച്ച് സ്വബോധം ഇല്ലാത്ത ഒരാളെ യുദ്ധം ചെയ്ത് കൊല്ലുന്ന ദൈവമാണ് ഹിന്ദു ‘ദൈവമായ’ രാമന്‍ എന്നും വ്യംഗ്യാര്‍ത്ഥം പറയാം. ഇത് ബാലി യുദ്ധവുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെടുത്തി ഉണ്ടാക്കിയ ഒരു പരിഹാസം ആണോ എന്നും ചിന്തിക്കേണ്ടിയിരിക്കുന്നു.

അര്‍ഥമേതായാലും ടീച്ചര്‍ മത നിന്ദ ചെയ്തു എന്ന് വ്യക്തം. ഇനി ശിക്ഷിച്ചേ മതിയാവൂ. കൈ മാത്രമാക്കണ്ടാ തലയും പോരട്ടെ. നമ്മള്‍ കൈ വെട്ടിയിട്ടും സ്കൂളുകാര്‍ ടീച്ചറെ പുറത്താക്കിയില്ലെങ്കിലോ ? പിന്നെയും ടീച്ചര്‍ കഞ്ഞികുടിച്ച് കഴിയില്ലേ? അത് പാടില്ല. പിഴുതെറിയുമ്പോള്‍ വേരോടെ കളയണം. അങ്ങനെയാണ് ചാണക്യന്‍ പറഞ്ഞത്.

രാമായണത്തിലെങ്ങുമില്ലാത്ത ഈ പാമ്പ് നിഗ്രഹം മലയാളത്തിലേക്ക് കൊണ്ട് വന്നത് ഒരു പാതിരി കൂടിയായ ഗുണ്ടര്‍ട്ട് സായിപ്പാവാനാണ് സാധ്യത . പറ്റുമെങ്കില്‍ അങ്ങോരുടേയും ഒന്നോ രണ്ടോ കൈ വെട്ടണം

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ഓ പി ടി രണ്ധീരിന്റെ (മൂന്നാം വര്‍ഷ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് വിദ്യാര്‍ഥി) ലേഖനം: പാവകള്‍ കഥ പറയുമ്പോള്‍

പാവകളി ലോകത്താകമാനം ആസ്വാദകരുടെ സവിശേഷ ശ്രദ്ധ പിടിച്ചു പറ്റിയ കലാരൂപമാണ്. ഇന്ത്യയില്‍ രാജസ്ഥാന്‍, പശ്ചിമ ബംഗാള്‍, ഒറീസ്സ, ആന്ധ്രപ്രദേശ്, ഡല്‍ഹി തുടങ്ങിയ സംസ്ഥാനങ്ങളില്‍ പ്രമുഖ കലാരൂപമായി പാവകളി നിലനില്കുന്നു. കേരളത്തിലും പാവകളി പ്രചാരത്തിലുണ്ട്. കലച്ചരിത്രകരന്മാര്‍ പാവകളിയുടെ ഉത്ഭവതെകുരിച്ച്ചു വ്യക്തമായ സൂചനകള്‍ നല്കുന്നില്ലെങ്കിലും, പാവകളിയുടെഉത്ഭവം ഇന്ത്യയിലാണ് എന്നാണ് വിശ്വസിക്കപെടുന്നത്. രണ്ടായിരത്തി അഞ്ഞൂറ് വര്ഷം മുന്‍പ് ഇന്ത്യയില്‍നിലവിലുണ്ടായിരുന്ന ഒരേയൊരു കലാരൂപം പവകളിയയിരുന്നു.
നിഴല്പാവ, നൂല്പാവ, കൊല്‍പ്പാവ, കൈയ്യുരപ്പവ എന്നിങ്ങനെ നാലുതരം പാവകളാണ് ഉള്ളത്. ഇതില്‍ നിഴല്‍പവകലിയാണ് ഏറ്റവും പ്രാചീനമായ പാവകളി രൂപം. രാജാക്കന്മാരുടെയും രാജകുമാരിമാരുടെയുംവീരനയകമാരുടെയും കഥകളായിരുന്നു പാവകളിയിലെ പ്രതിപാദ്യ വിഷയങ്ങള്‍. പിന്നീട് ചരിത്ര കഥകളില്‍ നിന്നുംരാഷ്ട്രീയ ഹാസ്യ കഥകളിലേക്ക് മാറിയെങ്കിലും അടിസ്ഥാനപരമായി വീരേതിഹാസ കഥകളുടെ അവതരണംതന്നെയായിരുന്നു പവകളിയില്‍ പിന്തുടര്‍ന്ന് വന്നത്. അടിസ്ഥാനപരമായി പാവകളി ഒരു നാടങ്കലയാണ്. എല്ലാനടന്കലകളും ക്ഷേത്രങ്ങളില്‍ നടത്താരില്ലെങ്കിലും പാവകളി ഒരുകാലത്ത് ക്ഷേത്ര കലകളില്‍ പ്രഥമസ്ഥാനത്തായിരുന്നു. രാമായണത്തിലെയും മഹാഭാരതത്തിലേയും കഥകള്‍ ക്ഷേത്ര അരങ്ങുകളില്‍അവതരിപ്പിച്ചിരുന്നു.
പാവകളിയെ ചലച്ചിത്രത്തിന്റെ ആദ്യരൂപമായി കണക്കാക്കാം. പാവകള്‍ക്ക് പകരം സുതാര്യ ചിത്രങ്ങള്‍ വരച്ചു മാജിക്‌ ലാന്റെണിലൂടെ വലുതാക്കി കാണിക്കുന്ന സമ്പ്രദായം പതിനേഴാം നൂറ്റാണ്ട് മുതലേ പടിഞ്ഞാറന്‍ രാജ്യങ്ങളില്‍ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു. ഷാഡോ തീയെറ്റെര്‍ എന്നസങ്കല്‍പ്പത്തില്‍ നിന്നാവാം ചലച്ചിത്ര സാങ്കേതികയുടെ ഈ ഭാഷ്യം രൂപപെട്ടത്‌.
വളരെയേറെ വൈദഗ്ധ്യം ആവശ്യമുള്ള കലയാണ് പാവകളി. കരകൌസലവിദ്യ ചിത്രകല നാടകം ശില്‍പകല തുടങ്ങി വിവിധ കലാരൂപങ്ങളുടെ സമന്വ്യയമയതിനാല്‍ ഇതിലെല്ലാമുള്ള അറിവ് ആവശ്യമാണ്. നാടകരചന പാവനിര്മാനം രംഗപശ്ചാതല സജീകരണം പാവനിയന്ത്രണ പരിശീലനം നാടക പരിശീലനം രംഗാവതരണം തുടങ്ങിയ ഘട്ടങ്ങള്‍ പാവനാടകത്തില്‍ പരമപ്രധാനമാണ്.
മുന്‍പറഞ്ഞ പാവകളില്‍പെട്ട കൈയ്യൂരപ്പാവയാണ്
ഞങ്ങള്‍ ഉപയോഗിച്ചത്. കയ്യില്‍ പാവകളെ ഉറപ്പിച്ചു നിര്‍ത്തി വിരലുകള്‍ കൊണ്ട് കയ്യും തലയും ചലിപ്പിക്കുന്ന രീതി ആണത്. ചൂണ്ടുവിരലില്‍ പാവയുടെ തലയും തല്ലവിരളിലും നടുവിരളിലും പാവയുടെ കൈകളും ഉറപ്പിച്ചാണ് പാവകളെ ചലിപ്പിക്കുക. ഇന്ത്യയിലെ പരംപരാഗത പവകളിയില്‍ വിവിധ തരത്തിലുള്ള പാവകള്‍ ഉപയോഗിച്ച് വരുന്നുണ്ട്. പശ്ചിമ ബംഗാളിലും തമിഴ്നാട്ടിലും ഉത്തര പ്രദേശിലും കയ്യുരപവകളി നിലനിന്നിരുന്നതായി പഠനങ്ങള്‍ തെളിയിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. മുരുഗന്റെയും വല്ലിയുടെയും പ്രണയകഥ പറയുന്ന കയ്യുരപവകളി വളരെ പണ്ട് തമിഴ്നാട്ടില്‍ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു.
ഗിരിഷ് കര്നാടിന്റെ നാഗമന്ടല എന്നാ നാടകമാണ് കൈയുരപാവകള്‍ ഉപയോഗിച്ച് ഞങ്ങള്‍ അരങ്ങിലെത്തിച്ചത്. മൂന്നാം വര്‍ഷ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് വിദ്യാര്‍ഥികളായ ജങ്ങല്ക് പഠിക്കാനുള്ള നാടകം കൂടിയാണത് . വിദ്യാഭ്യാസ പ്രക്രിയയില്‍ പാവകളിക്ക്സുപ്രധാനമായ സ്ഥാനമുണ്ടെന്ന് ഞങ്ങള്‍ തെളിയിച്ചു. ശ്രീ നാരായണ കോളേജ് ചിന്മയ വിമന്‍സ് കോളേജ് ഗുരുദേവ് കോളേജ് മാടായി കോളേജ് തുടങ്ങിയ കോളേജുകളിലും പയ്യന്നൂര്‍ റോട്ടറി ക്ലബ്ബിന്റെ കുടുംബയോഗത്തിലും ഈ നാടകം അവതരിപ്പിക്കാന്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞത് വലിയ നേട്ടമായിരുന്നു.
ക്ലാസ് മുറിയില്‍ പാഠഭാഗങ്ങള്‍ രസകരമായി അവതരിപ്പിക്കുന്നതിനു പാവകളിയെ ഉപയോഗിക്കാവുന്നതാണ്. പാഠഭാഗം പാവകള്‍ നിര്‍മ്മിച്ച്‌ അവതരിപ്പിക്കാന്‍ കുട്ടികളെ പരിശീലിപ്പിക്കുകയും ചെയ്യാം. ടീടീസി ബി എഡ് തുടങ്ങിയ അധ്യാപക പരിശീലന ക്ലാസ്സുകസ്ലില്‍ പാവകളി ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. വിദ്യാഭ്യാസ ചിന്തകരുടെയും വകുപ്പിന്റെയും ഗവേര്‍മെന്റിന്റെയും ശ്രദ്ധയും അധ്യാപകരുടെ ബോധപൂര്‍വമായ ഇടപെടലുകളും ഈ പാരമ്പര്യ കലയെ പഠനരീതിയായി ഉപയോഗിക്കാനും അതുവഴി അന്യം നിന്ന് പോവാതെ
പ്രോത്സാഹിപ്പിക്കാനും പുതിയ തലമുറയ്ക്ക് പരിചയപ്പെടുത്താനും വളരെ ആവശ്യമാണ്.

Monday, September 27, 2010

ഇതാണ് അമൃത പി മൂന്നാം സെമെസ്റെര്‍ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് വരച്ച ചിത്രങ്ങള്‍

അമൃത ചിത്രകല അഭ്യസിക്കുന്നത് ലോകപ്രശസ്ത വായ്‌ ചിത്രകാരന്‍ കുഞ്ഞിമംഗലം ഗണേഷ് കുമാറില്‍ നിന്നാണ്.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

These are two pencil sketches by Shijith, final BA English.

Shijith is the goal keeper of Payyanur College Football team, the elected General Captain of the College Union and an active member of Team Nagamandala. He is the sole cast and his concept is worked out by Abdul Rasheed in the short film Second Saturday. He declares here that nothing can stop him from creativity and he would even use his pencil stub for that. More would appear shortly: Try escaping from his designs on you!!!

Guess who?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ഇത് ജസ്ന വരച്ച ചിത്രം

ഇത് മൃദുലയുടെ (ഒന്നാം സെമെസ്റെര്‍ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്) കവിത

അവസാനത്തെ വാക്ക്

നിരാകരിച്ച നിന്റെ നിഴല്‍
ത്തോക്കിനു മുന്‍പില്‍
എന്റെ ഉത്തരം നിന്നു വിറച്ചു.
നിന്റെ കയ്യില്‍ തോക്കില്ലായിരുന്നു;
എന്റെ കയ്യില്‍ വാക്കും.
"എന്താണ് വിപ്ലവം" നീ ചോദിച്ചു.
നരച്ച, പരന്ന ആകാശത്തിനു കീഴെ,
എന്റെ നിര്‍മ്മലമായ ഗ്രാമം
എന്നെ തനിച്ചാക്കിയകലുന്നപോലെ തോന്നി
"പോട്ടെ, എന്താണ് ജീവിതം?"
സാധാരണയില്‍ കവിഞ്ഞ നീളവും
ഉലഞ്ഞ മുടിയുമുള്ളവന്‍ വീണ്ടും ചോദിച്ചു.
പതിനെട്ടു കൊല്ലം ജീവിച്ചു - എന്നിട്ടും ...
അതെ, പതിനെട്ടുകൊല്ലമാണ്. വെറും പതിനെട്ട്‌ ...
എന്റെ മുട്ടു വിറച്ചു.
അടുത്തുകണ്ട ചെറിയ മരത്തിന്മേല്‍
ഞാന്‍ കൈവെച്ചു.
പെട്ടെന്ന്‍ അതിനു മുള്ളുകള്‍ വന്നു.
ചോര പൊടിഞ്ഞു.
"ഒന്നറിയാം. വിപ്ലവത്തിന് നിറമാണ്‌."
- ഞാന്‍ പിറുപിറുത്തു.
കണ്ണില്‍ പൊള്ളുന്ന പൂഴിമണല്‍ എറിഞ്ഞ് ,
നിലത്തു ആഞ്ഞു ചവിട്ടി, അവന്‍ നടന്നകന്നു.
" നശിച്ച ലോകം ഒരിക്കലും നന്നാവില്ല."
കണ്ണുകള്‍ നീറിപുകയുമ്പോഴും
ഞാന്‍ കേട്ടു- അവന്റെ ചിലമ്പിച്ച ശബ്ദം.
പിന്നീടുയര്‍ന്ന പൊടിക്കാറ്റില്‍
അവനും ഞാനും തളര്‍ന്നു വീണു.
ജീവിതം ഇത്രമാത്രം.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

റഷീദ് അത് വീണ്ടും ചെയ്തു

വെറും വര്‍ത്തമാനം,
വര്‍ത്തമാനം മാത്രം!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Divya Padmanabhan alias Divya Gireesh Kumar,former student of the department of English, Payyanur college visited the department and addressed and interacted with the students and faculty on 16.09.2010. She is expected to join Cardiff University in the immediate future on the Commonwealth Scholarship for Ph.D in literature and she visited the department to share her happiness. It was a rare moment of immense happiness and pride for the faculty and present students to have her with us for some hours. She began her address detailing her experiences as a graduate student in the department underscoring the contributions of each teacher to her overall development as a student. Her reminiscences brought forth the books handled by the various teachers and the exemplary ways in which they did it in the class. She said she was greatly indebted to Dr. V.M.Santhosh for guiding her translation project to a meticulous finish. Then she revisited her postgraduate years in School of Letters in Mahatma Gandhi University. She made a brief mention of her preparations for the Commonwealth Scholarship also. In the interaction session,students were given tips regarding the preparation of synopsis, importance of extensive and in-depth readings, ability to incorporate what one reads into writings, significance of attending and presenting papers in seminars and developing the skill of writing. Discussion touched upon some aspects of research topic and authors focussed on in the study she intends to do in Cardiff. Abdul Rasheed, Aswathi Babu (both III dc), Athira G (III sem), Amal Baby, Dheeraj, Julie George and Jesna Sasidharan (all I sem) participated in the interaction actively. The climax of the function was the surprising offer of a giftpack of books for the department by Divya. It was received with applause. We acknowledge with immense gratitude that she is the first former student to gift books to the department and what made us happier was that she expressed her intention to continue with that in future also. The function was concluded with the vote of thanks extended by Deepak Kumar, Secretary, English Association.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Read the translation/transcreation of Athira's poem in English

Subjects under the Sky

“Ask me
about anything under the sky
(reply assured)”
what about matters above the sky?”
“Sky, what is that?
Bluish emptiness?
Hollowness lost in changing colours?
Whatever that be,
Don’t say there is no sky.
There is, for everyone,
above their head only.
Well. Now you speak about the matters
under the sky above your head.
But be quick.
Beyond the well-sized sky
concealing thunder and deluge
black clouds are gathering.”

Friday, September 3, 2010

മൂന്നാം സെമെസ്റെര്‍ ഇന്ഗ്ലിഷിലെ ആതിര ജിയുടെ കവിത

ആകാശത്തിനു കീഴെയുള്ള കാര്യങ്ങള്‍

"ആകാശത്തിനു കീഴിലുള്ള
ഏതു കാര്യത്തെകുരിച്ചും
എന്നോട് ചോദിക്കണം
(മറുപടി തീര്‍ച്ച)"
ആകാശത്തിനു മുകളിലുള്ള കാര്യങ്ങള്‍?
ആകാശം, അതെന്താണ്?
നീലിച്ചു കാണുന്ന ശുന്യത?
മാറും നിറങ്ങളില്‍ മറഞ്ഞ പൊള്ളത്തരം?
എന്തുമാകട്ടെ, പക്ഷെ
ഉണ്ട്. ഓരോരുത്തര്‍ക്കും
അവരവരുടെ തലയ്ക്കു മുകളില്‍
ഇനി നീ പറഞ്ഞോളു
നിന്റെ തലയ്ക്കു മുകളിലെ
ആകാശത്തിനു കീഴിലുള്ള
പക്ഷെ, പെട്ടെന്ന് വേണം.
കിണര്‍ വട്ടത്തിലുള്ള ആകാശങ്ങല്‍ക്കപ്പു
ഒളിപ്പിച്ചുവെച്ച ഇടിവെട്ടും പേമാരിയുമായി
കാര്‍മേഘങ്ങള്‍ ഇരുണ്ടുകൂടുന്നുണ്ട്.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


These poetic lines are by Abdul Rasheed, a student of final dc English. He has talents in literature, films, cinematography, and theatre. His role in the puppet drama Nagamandala was commendable. He is presently busy shooting short films of campus orientation.

"Poetry gave her beauty,
Philosophy moulded her character,
Criticism taught her to live,
Drama forced her to play!
Translation changed her..,
At last she walked away from me,
Many ideas can change your life!!"

വെറും വര്‍ത്തമാനം,
വര്‍ത്തമാനം മാത്രം!!


Frederick Engels’ Speech at the Grave of Karl Marx

The Death of Karl Marx
Marx's gravestone in Highgate cemetry
Frederick Engels’ Speech at the Grave of Karl Marx
Highgate Cemetery, London. March 17, 1883

Transcribed: by Mike Lepore, 1993.

On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep -- but for ever.

An immeasurable loss has been sustained both by the militant proletariat of Europe and America, and by historical science, in the death of this man. The gap that has been left by the departure of this mighty spirit will soon enough make itself felt.

Just as Darwin discovered the law of development or organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history: the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means, and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch, form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even the ideas on religion, of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case.

But that is not all. Marx also discovered the special law of motion governing the present-day capitalist mode of production, and the bourgeois society that this mode of production has created. The discovery of surplus value suddenly threw light on the problem, in trying to solve which all previous investigations, of both bourgeois economists and socialist critics, had been groping in the dark.

Two such discoveries would be enough for one lifetime. Happy the man to whom it is granted to make even one such discovery. But in every single field which Marx investigated -- and he investigated very many fields, none of them superficially -- in every field, even in that of mathematics, he made independent discoveries.

Such was the man of science. But this was not even half the man. Science was for Marx a historically dynamic, revolutionary force. However great the joy with which he welcomed a new discovery in some theoretical science whose practical application perhaps it was as yet quite impossible to envisage, he experienced quite another kind of joy when the discovery involved immediate revolutionary changes in industry, and in historical development in general. For example, he followed closely the development of the discoveries made in the field of electricity and recently those of Marcel Deprez.

For Marx was before all else a revolutionist. His real mission in life was to contribute, in one way or another, to the overthrow of capitalist society and of the state institutions which it had brought into being, to contribute to the liberation of the modern proletariat, which he was the first to make conscious of its own position and its needs, conscious of the conditions of its emancipation. Fighting was his element. And he fought with a passion, a tenacity and a success such as few could rival. His work on the first Rheinische Zeitung (1842), the Paris Vorwarts (1844), the Deutsche Brusseler Zeitung (1847), the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (1848-49), the New York Tribune (1852-61), and, in addition to these, a host of militant pamphlets, work in organisations in Paris, Brussels and London, and finally, crowning all, the formation of the great International Working Men's Association -- this was indeed an achievement of which its founder might well have been proud even if he had done nothing else.

And, consequently, Marx was the best hated and most calumniated man of his time. Governments, both absolutist and republican, deported him from their territories. Bourgeois, whether conservative or ultra-democratic, vied with one another in heaping slanders upon him. All this he brushed aside as though it were a cobweb, ignoring it, answering only when extreme necessity compelled him. And he died beloved, revered and mourned by millions of revolutionary fellow workers -- from the mines of Siberia to California, in all parts of Europe and America -- and I make bold to say that, though he may have had many opponents, he had hardly one personal enemy.

His name will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.


Becoming One With the World

Speech given at the HT Leadership Summit
Delhi, November 21, 2008
© Chetan Bhagat

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you for the opportunity to speak at the leadership summit – the first of its kind for me.

I am no leader. At best, I am a dreamer with perseverance to make dreams come true. As I have made my own dreams come true already, I am tempted to think we can make my country’s dreams come true. And that is why I am here.

Before we become one with the world we have to become one with ourselves. If we get our own house in order we don’t have to make an effort to be one with the world. The world will want to be one with us. Everyone wants to be friends with happy, rich, thriving neighbors. Nobody wants a family festered with disputes.

A lot is wrong in my country. There are too many differences. The question is not who we blame for this. The question is how do we fix it? Because to do anything great, you have to become one first. Two generations ago, our forefathers came together to win us Independence. It isn’t like we didn’t have disputes then. Religion, caste, community have existed for centuries. But Gandhi brought them all together for a greater cause – to get the country free.
Today, we have another greater cause. To get India its rightful place in the world. To see India the way the younger generation wants to see it. To make India a prosperous, developed country, where not only the spirit of patriotism, but also the standard of living is high. Where anyone with the talent, drive and hard work alone has the ability to make it. Where people don’t ask where you come from, but where you are going. We all know that India, as we have all dreamt of that India.
There is a lot required to be done for this, and it doesn’t just start and end by blaming politicians. For in a democracy, we elect the politicians. If our thinking changes, our voting will change and the politicians will change. And since I have made a nation that didn’t read, read, do I believe people’s thinking can be changed.

To me there are 3 main areas where I think we need to change our thinking – leaders included. And I’m not just saying we need to do it because it is morally right/ ethically correct/ or because it sounds nice at a conference. We need to do it as it make sense from an incentives point of view. These three areas are changing the politics of differences to the politics of similarity, looking down on elitism and the role of English.

The first mindset change required is to change the politics of differences to the politics of similarity. I’ve been studying young people in India, not just in big cities but across India for the last five years.
They are the bulk of the population – the bulk of our voter bank. Yet, what they are looking for is not what politicians are pitching. It is not too different from the old school Bollywood where they think item numbers, big budgets and tested formulas work while the biggest hits of the year could be Rock On and Jaane Tu. Yes, times have changed.
Here is what the politicians are pitching – old fashioned patriotism, defending traditions, being the torchbearer of communities, caste and religion. Here is what the youth wants – better colleges, better jobs, better role models. Compared to the talent pool, the number of good college seats are very limited. Same for good jobs. These wants are the biggest similarity that we all share. We all want the same things – progress. I see a huge disconnect in the political strategies of existing politicians vs. what could work for the new voters.
I think broad based infrastructure and economic development will satisfy the young generation’s needs. It isn’t an easy goal to attain – but it is the great cause that can unite us. Today a dynamic politician who takes this cause can achieve a far greater success than any regional politician. And the slot is waiting to be taken.
Another aspect required to convert the politics of differences to the politics of similarities is a strong moderate voice. When someone tries to divide us, people from the same community as the divider have to stand up against him. If person A is saying Non-Marathis should be attacked, then some Marathis need to stand up and say person A is talking nonsense. If a Muslim commits terrorist attack, other Muslims should stand up and condemn it, as Hindus are going to condemn it anyway. This moderate voice is sorely missing but is critical in keeping the country together. And the youth want to keep it together, as we want to be remembered as the generation who took India forward, not the one that cut India into two dozen pieces.
I hate telling people what to do, but the media does have a role in this. I agree that media is a business and TRPs matter above anything else. However, there are ethics in every business. Doctors make money off sick people, but it doesn’t mean they keep people sick and not heal them. If you find a moderate voice, highlight it as soon as a divisive voice appears. And don’t take sides, argue or debate it. Don’t validate the ridiculous. Focus on the greater cause.

The second mindset we need to change is that of elitism. From my early childhood days, to college, to professional and business life, and now in the publishing and entertainment circles, I have noticed a peculiar Indian habit of elitism. Maybe it is hard to achieve anything in India. But the moment any person becomes even moderately successful, educated, rich, famous, talented or even develops a fine taste, they consider themselves different from the rest. They begin to move in circles where the common people and their tastes are looked down upon. This means a large chunk of our most qualified, experienced, connected and influential people prefer to live air-conditioned lives in their bubble of like minded people. Naive people who elect stupid politicians – that is the bottomline for all Indian problems, and they want nothing to do with it. But tell me, if the thinking of the common people has to be changed, who is going to change it? What is the point of discussing solutions to Indian problems if there is no buy-in from the common man? Just because it feels good to be around like-minded, intelligent people? What is the use of this intelligence?
If you switch on the TV, seventy percent of the time you will see Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The reason is the media is centered in these cities. However, ninety percent of India is not this. Unless we represent these people properly, how will these people ever come with us?
Again, I am not making these points as a moral appeal. I think understanding India and being inclusive makes massive business sense. And trust me, it doesn’t take any coolness or trendiness away from you if you do it right. Look at me, I am the mass-iest English author ever invented in India. My books sell on railway stations and next to atta in Big Bazaar. I have an Indian publisher who operates from the bylanes of Darya Ganj. And yet, on orkut the most common words associated with my name are coolness and awesomeness – tags given by my wonderful readers. I think it is cooler to know how people think in the streets of Indore and Raipur than who’s walking the ramp in South Mumbai. You may have planned your next vacation abroad, but have you visited a small town lately? Have you shown your kids what the real India is like? Don’t you think they will need to know that as they grow up and enter the workforce. Yes, I want people to look down on elitism and develop a culture of inclusiveness. If you are educated, educate others. If you have good taste, improve others taste rather than calling theirs bad.

The last aspect where we need to change our thinking is our attitude to English. We have to embrace English like never before. Not England, but English. This point may sound contradictory to my previous one, but I am not talking about confining English to the classes, but really taking it to the grassroot level. English and Hindi can co-exist. Hindi is the mother and English is the wife. It is possible to love them both. In small towns, districts and even villages – we need to spread English. India already has a headstart as so many Indians speak English and we don’t have to get expat teachers like China does. But we must not confuse patriotism with the skills one needs to compete in the real world. If you are making an effort to start a school where none existed, why not give the people what will help them most. I can teach a villager geometry and physics in Hindi, but frankly when he goes to look for a job he is going to find that education useless. English will get him a job. Yes, I know some may say what will happen to Hindi and our traditional cultures. I want to ask these people to pull their kids out of English medium schools and then talk. If you go to small towns, English teaching classes are the biggest draw. There is massive demand for something that will improve people’s lives. I have no special soft spot for this language, but the fact is it works in the world of today. And if more English helps spread prosperity evenly across the country, trust me we will preserve our culture a lot better than a nation that can barely feed its people.

We are all passionate about making India better, so we can discuss this forever. But today I wanted to leave you with just three thoughts – politics of similarities, less elitism and more English that we need to build consensus on. If you agree with me, please do whatever you can in your capacity to make the consensus happen. It could be just a discussion with all your friends, or spreading these thoughts in a broader manner, if you have the means and power to do so. For the fact that we are sitting in this wonderful venue means our country has been kind to us. Let’s see what we can give back to our nation.