I get this !
Listen. watch when you can,
interview shortly …
I get this !
Listen. watch when you can,
interview shortly …
The Girl in Orange ( painting) sold to an unknown buyer , via a small gallery in Bangalore /this painting was done in honour of the many little girls whose parents sell them into trades best not discussed in decent places of commerce, or decent blogs of decent families. But the painting brought me the silent voices of little girls, even women in our technically brilliant nation of forward women who can fight for their rights, of which I count myself one, so please bear with me as I talk of village and other parents who still sell their baby girls, as slaves of a kind – or
even kill them.
I cannot imagine being kicked in my face because I do not have legitimacy, or am not deserving of my own given rights…
All the education invested in us, is undeserving if we will not, by choice, impact at least one other person, in our life time.
…If you have the power to stop a bunch of parents from hurting their child or themselves, please try to talk to them.
The room fell silent. Then he began to play – as if his soul were talking a new language. Here no one was asking details on paper.No one asked him his age or place of birth, his mother tongue, caste or creed. Why would they.
Later he talked about casteism. He sang about love and hate as if he knew them like they were triplets, born and suckled in the same house. As if they had shared the same bath water, but one of them was Untouchable. How awful it reads, writing about this, but he sang about it, not with disgust, not even indifference, but a trust. A trust that someone somewhere would hear and make amends. Someone would begin to think. Yes, there are still people who are barred not for crime, but for being born in a ‘ lower caste community’ . There is still a Race paid to do unmentionable ‘ fourth class ‘ work, while we choose daintily between Love and Hate , or what to wear or not wear, what to be hurt by, or not hurt by.
But those were not the words this child-man sang as we sat there listening. It was a new kind of creed. A new genre. An Indian’s love for his people, a people that gave him a caste.
And I still do not understand the word ” Untouchable”, I really do not know how we can go on pretending it does not exist in a country that does Vogue and Cannes and Pizza parlours and Bookers. I mean how can we just go on as if there aren’t communities that are dying to be heard. Literally.
After I post this post, what must I do. I have no clue. I will get on with my sweet life, my angelic prayers and poetry. My dreams of writing a book….. what will I write about that will grab a market by its throat and maybe pay my bills and marry my kids off to nice people.
Where are all the nice people ? Who are the nice people? Will they respond to this? Should they ? Isn’t there almost too much to say, and it is tiresome, and we’d rather just be. Because. Well, I do not know. I’m just another like you. Working hard at something I need to work on. The Touchables. Dreams. Ah. One of my friends would say, ” No Ray Dreams are Untouchables too.Beyond us. Not necessarily negative.Maybe I am negative..”
What is Untouchable.
What is Touchable.
Who will tell me. Who Can ?
I JUST GOT MAIL AND VERY WORTHY OF MENTION :
“Dear Lyrics of Life – it’s not just the Dalits or who ever you meant when you wrote this and my deepest sympathies – if there is anything anything at all I could do, I would do it, only how ? Who will tellus ? And the people who can, won’t read this post. MAY NOT I am saying. But here is my mention : THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF UNTOUCHABLES IN OUR SOCIETY. The lonely people, the rejects without money, and have no place to go for work or anything. We have become indifferent. At least the ‘ caste – victims’ have a voice now. There are some like us, have no voice. Because somebody is just alone. with no friend. They have no nice appearance or house address. Even internet. We are the untouchables also.. “
Dear Anonymous Indian,
I wish this were easily answered, it is not just an Indian dilemma.
The worst condition is said to be the state of loneliness, of feeling isolated in a fast-paced world. A kind of n0-mans’ land where one feels trapped and at a loss. We all go thru’ it, and some of us might take years to find our feet again, you know ? Find health, good jobs and friends… its a crazy thing called Existence, and I wish I had the answer. This Blog is just a reflection of our times, a Journal of the days you and I live, and try to make a good life. I like Lauren Hill‘s Speech to High school Kids (UTube) that I have attached. It is 12 minutes, do listen if you would. Esp her last sentence ….
I wish you would not remain anonymous, in your own life.. cherish your face, the road that got you here – remember it. It will serve you well oneday. Your external Address is not permanent. I should know. I’ve lived and lived and will not stop. Am now at Peace only when am Moving. Don’t want fancy footwear, I just want running shoes and places to go. I wish nice things for the kids, but for me, I ask the strength, dear God to go as many miles as I can in this life, hear every whisper He whispers in the dark, and shout it from the roof tops. Yes we’re all outcastes. If we say so. And I believe the worst offender is the one who keeps others down. Not just in parliament or temple backlanes. The worst of us are the meanies, the bullies in the street, the cowards who will never encourage each other. If you’re not one of those, Anonymous Indian, you’re safe… 🙂
What is your real address is the YOU INSIDE. WE NEED OUR TRUE IDENTITY FOR OUR OWN REFERENCE. Eventually that’s all that counts. Na ?
A Must Read from a New friend Brendan Dabhi
A sample of my new line of paintings, this is a sketch am hoping to work on, in canvas.
Some have seen thru’ my lines and interpreted things I never saw. It is mind-blowing what another can translate, from one’s stroke and colour choice, title and palette. I wonder what you see.
Confession : There are artists who plan and proceed. I could never/
Matrix – the very word fascinates me. Praise / Devotionals, is my way of life. For me the two belong in the same rooms. or ” Plane”. That Unseen Space of War & Peace.
I believe the words we speak deep inside, when no one else is listening, are Prayers. They are naked, shorn of pretense and structure. Unusual things happen when we speak there. But when we Praise, we change…
(This sketch am likely to further detail on canvas. The Dark lines in this piece are more deep blue and magenta, but have come out as black). Not the same as the real thing, but here it is).
A friend just wrote in, asking if “Praise ” meant ‘ words of praise to each other – encouragement’. Though that is wonderful in itself, ” Praise ” here, for me, is Devotional, a spiritual term, used in songs of devotion, and in Thankfulness : for good received, a state of gratitude, in any circumstance. For me, this seems to set me free of hurtful negatives.
I know this is a whole aspect here, and has provoked much debate. However, I sketched this one, because, being thankful, happy, grateful, frees me from the viciousness of Regret,Blame, Hate,Pain — all that. This has to be tried out to be understood, not excluding the fact that, we must face our problems, take positive steps, in the right direction.
Last evening we visited our friends who had lost both Father and a sister in recent road accident – the two girls and mother, including few relatives also travelling,have suffered grievous injury and will take months to even physically recover. However, the youngest girl, 17, greeted us with a wide smile, ” So happy to see you..”
It made me say the next line : ” Ah Pree, am getting a job in this Hospital !”
She looked at me with wide eyes. ” What, say ?”
” Oh they’ve appointed me for Ward – Mischief”
” To play tricks on you. Hide you stuff… tickle your toes , so you heal fast ”
Pree grinned wide at me and said that she was never ever ticklish, not just because her entire leg was in a cast with rods, and painkillers.
” What else would you.. uh do ? ” She asked her eyes twinkling.
” Oh jump at you when you visit the loo, hide under your bed and make scary noises…”
She hooted with laughter and I noticed how thin she had become. ” Please do get that job, what fun that would be,” she said, and I saw three other women look us all carefully over.
Insane idea actually, if your head hurts, if your jaw is wired and ribs fractured in such places they can’t even bind you up. Tough if you’re off college for a year and have to start over in a home without Dad and younger sister. I know Pree and her family have hidden their tears well, or just plain ran out of them. They are maybe achy to get back to the Life they once knew.
In a few seconds, so much can change.
Then we got to change too.
The toughest call for me, has been, ” to change too”. Like when you’re riding a good horse. You yield. You trust anothers’ Footwork. They jump, you go too.
Sigh, No Rihaansh my friend, its not easy. Nothing that is powerful is ever easy. That much I know. The rest am trying hard to learn. Observe.
THELMA SAMUEL : Muscat,OMAN.
An Artist & an Inspiration to those of us who may not realise our Latent wealth.
Thelma paints in oil, Silk fabric,Mosaic. Works Ceramic. Her National Painting Award, at age 15, ” Silent night” may have been the first impression of Latent Skills in Art. She moved on to be an English Lecturer, in India and in Muscat Oman, among a strata of Social Groups, Kids, older staff workers in the Palace and Medical College/School : teaching conversation skills among young girls who have much to ask/say. She lives/works in Oman with her husband and two sons. Yesterday we talked about Paints and recent sales. Am moved by her brilliance as an Expressionist and as a human being ..and am inspired to start painting myself, after a long break !
TS : “… I call this Painting (below) ‘Centre of the Universe” . My cook sees a pot ( laughs). For me it’s a baby – the woman holds a baby in her arms. I like what you wrote, ‘ the woman holds a mirror, it reflects her mind.. the spirit of a woman, and a human being…”
” I’ve painted in Silk (above) its a fantastic medium. The colours flow, and people like it, but that one am not selling. Yes, sure am working on a ” collection’ haha, but many miles to go. Two of what I sent in for this weeks’ exhibition sold ! Am thrilled!”
” My dream is to set up a space .. gallery.. where we can sell these things, and it’s not just about sales. These are things of the heart. I didn’t know I could or would paint again, after all this time. Falling in love, Marriage, life, kids, their schools, colleges, now they are in Australia, their dreams and lives. A woman can get caught up in everything ! Then suddenly one day you get a call… ” NEED FOUR PAINTINGS BY THE WEEK ! OH I SAT UP AND FINISHED WHAT I COULD AND SEE! You’ve got to have a need, a deadline… then people like me just get off their butt and work…. “
I LOVE HER HUMOR, her beautiful spirit that has inspired me all these years. I should know. She’ s my sister. I’ve included here, without her permission, Thelma” poetry from what I remember:
SILENCE: …is what you hear when the world slumbers, when man-made non-sensities, stop their eternal racket.
When Man, his day’s duty done, seeks consolation, in God’s tranquil night; and lays his head on the barren earth.Where he finds solace, that no drug, no tranquilizer,can render…
THE PAINTINGS & CERAMIC VERSE of THELMA SAMUEL,Oman,Muscat
And each soft one
reminds me of this University
So we’re going to visit a kidney patient today. Yeah, you know those bean-shaped organs that regulate water and such? That kinda slacked a bit. If this girl gets a new one it would be good. Anyway hope she gets better.
This^^ is what I thought of health problems; they won’t affect me whatsoever, therefore I needn’t worry. For others, well, there are medicines, prayer, you name it, you can always do something about it. If you can’t then, well, that’s sad.
I didn’t realize what a toll it takes to have even a tiny disruption in normal health cycles. A few weeks back I got up, clutching my stomach, and stayed like that for three days. Unable to eat or sleep or read, it was terrible; yet the doctors said it was a common problem with girls- just a cyst, just gastritis; Just.
I tried to remember all the times friends told me they had a similar issue..how did they bear it and later on act like nothing happened?
When you’re in pain, and you don’t know what to so, you’re under the power of your parents, doctors with their needles, and scariest of all, a body that you can’t control.
It’s only then that you realize how helpless you are against circumstances, against situations that don’t ask for your permission to hit you in the face, it just happens. and what can you do? Just brave it out, grabbing at hope even if it’s a bitter tablet in your mouth, just coz it promises to make you better.
When you’re in pain, you long for people to understand what you’re going through; to not eat chocolate when you can’t, to not burst into the room and aid the hammers that are already banging your head open. Yet you don’t want pity, you just, oh please just, want to be normal, breathing, moving, you, again.
You’re robbed of your powers, you’re ordered by your own slaves. You’re made to jump off cliffs, many in fact, if it’s gonna make you better. Sometimes taking a risk is worth the jump, sometimes it lands you into something worse. It can take days to heal into what you were; it can take a lifetime. There are points where you wonder if you’ll ever be the same again, if it’s worth the struggle.
She smiles at me every Sunday at church, and I never thought twice about her; yet now when I think of how scared she must be, I shudder. She walks about at home with tubes from inside her, and has treats of self-administered injections everyday. Injections! Dreadful things that invade your body. And that’s the part which gives her relief from of her pain.
‘Should I just give up?’, you cry in defiance at the sickness that dares to challenge your rights to a normal-functioning body.
‘Hey, yeah everyone, that’s right, I’m not some weakling here bent over with the inconvenience of my pain, I’m a fighter, battling for my life. It’s a wonder I’m even here’, you think, mentally putting other people in your place and seeing them completely thrown over if they faced the same thing.
But they do.
And this girl with her kidney problems, she’s facing much worse. That’s what astonishes me.
Thinking of how I’d dismissed her problem before as something of her concern, and not to do with me, I feel ashamed. That’s exactly the worst thing I could’ve done- to treat it as though it were nothing.
That face that smiled over broken self-worth, covering all its miseries and putting up a barrier between the whole world and her lone self; that has to be let down. It’s bad enough to bear something without the comfort of others lending a hand to lift it off your back.
Maybe they can’t, but at least they cared to try.
Who knows, maybe I can lift it off today, just an inch: anything to let her know she isn’t the only soldier in her fight for her life.