"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

absence

A Sudden Silence

The film-set falls silent.
The crew, the actors and the excitement disappear.
It seems one disgruntled member of the community has applied for a legal injunction to halt all movie proceedings.

The filming disrupted his life.

The rest of us are in shocked mourning.
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Picture taken in Fort Cochin


Awaiting A Shepherd

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Picture taken in Pattalam, Cochin.


A Farewell

My tickets were booked some weeks ago.
This morning Anu, my houseboy, carefully packed my bags.

 I head for distant shores.
It is time to say goodbye, for now.
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Picture taken in Cochin.


The Lament Of Loss

The two chairs still sit together on their verandah:
his and hers;
the grandparents I never met.

Following a decade of health problems, all had assumed that he would be the first to go.
But it was my grandmother who quietly surrendered:
the unexpected loss of a son, too much to bear.

Life’s meaning was lost.
My grandfather turned his face to the wall.
In a matter of days he followed her.
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Dido’s Lament

“Thy hand, Belinda, darkness shades me,
On thy bosom let me rest,
More I would, but Death invades me;
Death is now a welcome guest.

When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.”

From Dido and Aeneas
Music: Henry Purcell

Libretto: Nahum Tate
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Picture of the verandah in our family’s home, which my grandfather built, and where my father lived as a child and young man.


An Awareness Of Absence

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 Picture taken in Chellanam, Kerala.


A Perception Of Emptiness

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We had planned to use the swimming pool.

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But it seemed we were to be disappointed.

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Fortunately, the hotel had a second pool!

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Serenade

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What better way to mark the last evening of my son and future daughter-in-law’s stay than a beautiful meal in a graceful garden restaurant,

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While being serenaded by Carnatic musicians?

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The “children” are now thousands of miles away, en route to Europe.

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Without them,

The house seems quieter

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And just a little sadder…

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Parties of One

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“We are born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” Orson Wells.

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“Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”     Paul Tillich.

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New Beginnings

Now is a time of change.

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The house, once filled with laughter, falls quiet.

The games

are over.

Now is time to open the gates

and not look back.

Time to set out:

A new term begins.

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Morning Shadow

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We often speak of evening shadows.

But with the coming of dawn, our attention seems held only by the new light.

Is there an innate reluctance to focus on what departs?

A preoccupation with what takes its place?

Perhaps it is the contrast which captures our attention.

Morning shadow

maybe an illusion

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We perceive merely an absence of the light;

the last trace of night’s darkness.

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