Season of Crows

a childhood in India, 1956-1972

Autumn Draws Near

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Autumn Draws Near

Just as you turn the Autumnal Equinox, a slight but perceptible chill creeps into the air in the early morning and late in the evening. Wrought-iron railings turn cold to the touch; dark-green leaves of tropical hibiscus and night jasmine go limp and wet with evening moisture, a faint wreath of cloud wisps the night moon above the crumbling teeth of the Sierra de Mijas, whose sprawl cannot be discerned beyond the mist so that the wasteland behind the houses appears as though it were lowland. Earth-coloured terrace tiles turn faintly wet and a wind sighs, gathers the trees in its muscular embrace, and strips boughs of brittle twigs and dying leaves and strews them about. You can, in the approaching twilight, imagine that things are not entirely as they seemed a few hours ago. The turning season and the wandering hour opens a door into a magic place where the metaphorical becomes literal. As you muse on the approach of autumnal restlessness, you imagine Autumn as one of the ancient gods, a giant that treads with a great foot across the human landscape, bigger than all the houses and pushing aside the weeping trees in its determined march towards a still distant winter. – Finger painting on miniature digital screen.


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Go For Broke

“Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things–childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves–that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.”


Priyanka Majumdar posted this on FB in Aug 2012.  Great quote.  

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Ashwin Mahadev – body and soul

My friend, Ashwin Mahadev who lives in Chennai, India, and is suffering severely from cancer, wrote this on Facebook recently, and I responded.  I want to keep this on my Blogger as a record.
9th July 2012

No matter how nicely a machine is developed, example: Computer, television etc,
No matter how nicely a machine is developed, example: Computer, television etc
without a living beings touch, it is useless. Similarly, the body, which is like a big machine , is wonderful so long the soul is there. And as soon as the soul is out it is a lump of matter.So we are giving importance to the machine, not to the person who is dealing with the machine. This is the folly of modern civilization. Our perception is like that of a child, ” The machine is working independently”. The big airship, 747, is flying because the pilot is there, and the pilot is there, and the pilot is a soul, covered by another bodily machine. And that is missing point in the modern civilization, that who is working with the machine…

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Mrs Alzheimer

She calls me in the cold dark morning
From five thousand miles away
I hear the mobile chirrup and my heart
Knots with the familiar slight dread
I hear her voice harsh as a crow’s foot
Scraping a dead branch in winter snow
‘Get me out of here!’ she cries
‘Get me out now or I will be dead soon!
They have kidnapped me!’
I can see her rolling eyes
And her mouth twisted in an old face
But I cannot help; the time is long gone.

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The Sparrow

So strong are we to fly in fighter planes
A hundred miles above the fleecy clouds
The world below is surely lost to sight
We turn the metal engine of our might
And bank into the sun at dizzy speed
Above us all is blank and heavenly blue
Victorious, soaring, man exults anew
With each sortie through the airy deep
Yet cannot we launch blithely from the ground
With wingèd arms outstretched above the grass
And veer across the gilded meadow green
A hundred feet above the crumbly ground
As does a dappled sparrow in the hedge
This I dreamed when I was just a child
And this is still my futile dream today
To be as like a sparrow on the wing
To be released from all of our invention
Simply fly as does the little bird
And seek a worm upon the sunlit ground
Arjun L. Sen


The Librarian

I borrowed The Great Gatsby
From my own Library
Where I work
Knowing that I won’t read more
Than a few pages at night
Before I sleep exhausted

Why did I borrow this book?
Perhaps for its cover showing
A photograph in sepia of lovers
In untroubled bliss
Or so it seems
And so it may as well seem
As I somehow know
It will not get read
So long as my eye watches the clock
Tick away the hours of
My exhausted heart
While I work my life away
At my desk