My Strength

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

OMG!!! A Facebook Chat with GOD

Come evening, and I find the facebook firmament bright with the green presence of friends available for chat. It was on one such occasion I realized that God too was there in my friendlist of more than 500 with a few friends and many strangers! Quite often it is only when some one’s chat box stands up with a “hi” that we realize that he/she is in our friend list! God must have sent me a friend request, I must have accepted it and I had forgotten about it. One day, while going through my friend lists in order to “unfriend” some “un”friendly friends, I had a deep desire and urge to chat with god but I couldn’t find him online. I waited for hours and the green light on my right showed him. My “hello” dropped like a pebble into water. Here is the chat we had.

Tel me abt life

It cant b told. It has2b livd. Form an opinion abt life n u lose it.

How2 find u?

Wake up. If ur network is strong, u wil catch the signal.
Every search is a going away. Dont search. B with me like the fish in the water. U r in me. U can’t find me away frm u.
Wht is ignorance?
2 think that happiness needs a reason. I find it funny wen ppl ask seeing a person happy, “What happnd?”
Life is an open book2learn, still people destroy forests2make papers n books n then read those books2understand life.
Is there life aftr death?
Thers no ‘after’ or ‘before’. What IS is ther always.   
How2find answrs2 my qstns?
Make ur qustns a quest.
If I don’t believe in u?
U dnt need2believe a fact, but a fiction. U c it, xperience it.
If u r ther, y is ther so much suffering n misery in the world?
Who z that I created a perfect world?  This is wt I created. Can u betr it?
What do u find strange abt people n society?
An individual is always misunderstood n isolated in a society though individual is the smallest fraction of a society. Society finds an individual with a difference2b strange n isolates him/her. It forms assumptions wich turn in2opinions n then becomes conclusions. Then, they seek explanation frm the individual4 these conclusions.
Society clings blindly2rituals n then misses the spirit. It follows the letter and fails2capture the spirit. But individuals question such beliefs n contribute2the growth of a society. Unfortunately, the society dsn’t understand n accept them. It tries2protect its beliefs by violence n feel that they r more close2me.  I find it the worst abt my creation.
Wht is more important, learning from our own xperience or from other's xperience?
Wht is important is wht u learn, whthr it is from ur xperience or from that of others' 
Some1 is telling that I am bad.. Should I defend myself or should I b silent thinking that I know what I am and I don’t need2explain?
Wht wil u do if some1 says u r gud?  Apply the same logic here. Y shud it b difrnt wen they say that u r bad????
Ppl shud like me as I am OR shud I change myself so that ppl like me?
In both the cases, u want ppl’s opinion. That itself shows that u don’t want2b urself. Wen u r urself, u won’t bothr wht others think abt u. u r just urself.
Then, suddenly my network failed and the box showed 'unable to connect....' I felt really bad and waited but in vain. I knew some other day I would again bump into him. 
Friends, if so, I will post the chats again here for you.
           (to be continued……)
Santhosh Kumar Kana

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


--Jairaj Menon
    with Mohanlal at the location of YODHA
Many feel that Mohanlal visited Nepal for the first time to act in YODHA. It is not so! It was for the movie SINDHOORA SANDHYAKKU MOUNAM that he came to Kathmandu for the first time. 
I used to live with my bachelor friends in Kathmandu and one of them was from Lalettan’s place in Kerala. When we came to know that Mohanlal is in the town, we rushed to meet him and invited him to our house. Without any second thought, he accepted it and spent a memorable evening with us. He relished our bachelor cooked malayali food and after the dinner as per our request, he sang the song, “dil kya kare jab kisi se…” from the film JULIE
We took him to the Casino too and he never made us feel that he was different from us. So unassuming and simple!
                                                              Sri Jairaj Menon      
Years later once again I heard that Mohanlal is at Kathmandu for the shooting of a movie called BUDDHA (later titled as YODHA). I went to meet him at the location. The shooting was at Swayambunath temple. I found him busy acting and discussing the scene with the director. So, I waited for him to be free. When he took a break from the shooting, I went near him and to my surprise, he recognized me at once and even asked about my bachelor friends !! A super star like him who meets countless people a day, doing so is still a wonder for me. I used to frequent almost all the locations of YODHA thereafter and spend time talking to him. A very intelligent and humble person and an extremely talented actor. Many Malayalees in Kathmandu used to wait at the locations to chat with him and he used to be so accessible. Even when families would call him one after another for a photo, he would join them without any impatience but with his endearing smile. Those photos may be there in the albums of many, the moments with a legendary actor and a great human being.

Monday, June 11, 2012


A woman is like a lake
With deep undercurrents
She is a wrapped gift for many
Clothes, the wrappers!!!

A woman is a question
No, thousands of questions

A woman is an experiment
And not its object

A woman for many is a mere “bearer”
And not a strong union

A woman’s body is a battlefield
Where much war frenzy bit the dust
Many tall talks crashed

A woman is a witness,
To a failed revolutionary
To a renounced holy man
To the wavering minds
To ideological boomerangs

The smile that welcomed the moustache babies on their exhausted return!
                                                                                                     -Santhosh Kumar Kana
(first written by me in Malayalam and published in a monthly from Kerala, STHREESABDAM, in 2008 titled STHREE. Here is my english translation of it)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

KATHMANDU, a Bohemian Rhapsody

(for her most special and enigmatic presence)

Leaving something behind
She was like the overcast sky, all over…

A gentle downpour
When you feel so cosy to cuddle and watch through the window the clean roads;
Makes you coo like a pigeon from the roof
The windy evenings when your hair is lifted up with your spirits
The first drizzle that sends the fresh scent of the soil.. and my spirit grows wings like rain flies.
Each BODY is like a new soil unique in texture, structure, consistence,colour, chemical and smell!!!
A thunder and lightning that left u shaken;

The autumn
Thoughts ripening, old leaves of thoughts fallen

The silent and mysterious winter
That hides many a thing behind the fog
And confines you to brood with occasional glimmer of hope

The spring with rich fragrance of her hair
The lively presence when you go tipsy with love
She’s a life lived!

-by Santhosh Kumar Kana

(Published, titled LOVER’S RHAPSODY, in OF NEPALESE CLAY, the bi-annual journal of SNWEN, Society of Nepali Writers in English, Issue No.17, April 2012, Editors: Padma.P.Devkota, Keshab Sigdel, Prakash Subedi)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Days with YODHA film crew at Kathmandu

---Pilathottathil Bhaskaran
Occupation: Pvt. Service – Working with Dabur

Before coming to Kathmandu (Nepal) in the year 1986, I had been working and studying at Kolkata since May 1975. Since June 1987 I have been living in Kathmandu with family.

May 1992 – Yodha cinema shooting in Kathmandu-- at Pashupati & Swayambhu areas.  

Though I used to see most of the new releases during my child days (thanks to the New Harihar Talkes Taliparamba, Kannur district, near my house – just two minutes walk), the news of a Malayalam film and that also Mohanlal taking the leading role – shooting in Kathmandu, was exciting.  Kathmandu being a small place, one can reach any corner within half an hour and Pashupati area was just a walking distance from where we used to reside at that time.  One weekly off of May, 1992, we, my family along with other Malayali family friends visited Pashupati area to see the shooting. We enjoyed ourselves the whole day seeing Mohanlal and the little Master Siddhartha  shooting on the other bank of the Bagmati at Pashupatinath.

That was my first experience of watching a film shooting.  Though it was really boring, it was also exciting to see the acting of our known heroes and also to see how the cinema grows before it reaches the screen,  It was thrilling to see Mohanlal, Jagati, Puneet Issar, Madhoo, the famous cinematographer, Santosh Sivan, Director Sangeeth Sivan in action and also the script writer Sasidharan Aratuvazhi.

The most striking aspect of Mohanlal’s personality is his humanitarian attitude towards all around him, either Director, Camera man, fellow actor/actress, light boy etc.  One can see that he would even say sorry or wipe the dust off the costume of a fellow actor when he hits or slaps him during stunt  sequences.

We have seen him eating and drinking along with any other staff/actors/helpers/peon/light boys etc., laughing and mixing without any discrimination.

When I was taking photos of him with all my friends and families  one by one, he noticed that I was left out in all the photos, he insisted somebody to take the camera from me and told me to come beside for a photograph.  I was really touched by his concern even for a small thing.

During my conversation with him, I casually mentioned that I would be leaving for Kerala immediately to see my ailing father and am un-happy that I may not be able to see him live in action further, as by the time I come back, they must have left Kathmandu.  After so many years, in one of my visits to Kerala, my cousin brother, who was involved for a while with the film “Vadakkumnathan”,  mentioned to Mohanlal at Taliparamba that I had met him at Kathmandu and that he was my cousin.  At once, so surprisingly, Mohanlal remembered how I had left for Kerala to see my ailing father!! See how he remembers his fans even after so many years.

On one occasion during YODHA(the film was initially titled BUDDHA) shooting, I visited hotel Rara, Jyata, Kantipath (Kathmandu) with my friend Janardhanan, where many of the artists were staying, including the actress Madhoo and Jagathi. We met many artists and Mr. Sasidharan Aratuvazhi, who has written screenplay of the film. I was so impressed by him, such a pleasing personality who could go eloquent on any topic under the sun. I requested him to accompany us to a restaurant if he could spare some time. He readily agreed and we took him at Nanglo Chinese Restaurant at Durbar Marg, which was a topmost restaurant at that time serving 5 star foods in affordable price.  We started with beer and Nepali special Momo and some other dishes and we went on talking about cinema, people around and back ground of cinema and so on.  It was a very cordial and knowledgeable discussion and we took him around 2 hours.  I was so happy about his knowledge and frankness to speak out anything he deems perfect to talk.

When it came to foot the bill, he snatched it from the waiter to pay by himself.  When I asked him to give the bill as he is our guest and it is our duty to pay the bill and he came to the restaurant on our invitation, he said that he never had a discussions like the one he had with us and he was quite happy to pay the bill for the memorable time we gave him. He took out the money from his pocket which was not sufficient (the bill was little higher than expected).  Once again I stopped him and requested him but he was adamant and searched his other pockets and hand folder, found the money and paid the bill. I never expected this type of courtesy from a film personality like him.  We dropped him at the hotel and left for our home.  That meeting with Mr. Sasidharan Aratuvazhi is still afresh in my mind.

I came to know from my friend Mr. Santhosh Kumar Kana that Mr. Sasidharan Aratuvazhi is no more. May his soul rest in peace.  

Friday, June 1, 2012


As a second part of my ‘Yesterday once more’ , I may have to pen certain of my experiences in connection with after Delhi days. The Delhi Secretariat has two blocks, the North Block which housed Home Ministry and South Block which housed Finance Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office.  My first appointment happened to be at North Block in the Home Ministry.    After my disillusioned arrival from the Capital, I became part and parcel of three things, viz., Navabharath Tutorials, Thiruvampadi Temple and Century Cricket Club.

Think back the days of Mahabharath Television Serial. Episode after episode it reverberated in the length and breadth of India.  In our ‘Athreth’(the colloq for Akatheraym or the corridor) the entire Talichalam sat in front of the TV. I started frequenting again to the very Tarangini Club where we Talichalam youngsters sat at and played in my college days. The Club,  where we played  Carroms, Rummy or Bridge of Cards and quite often cricket at the adjacent ground, after  a decade became almost deserted, for all except me got hoisted themselves at better positions( I had a middle scroot!). A rival club in the name of Yuva Tarang, started by further younger generation in the next room flourished. Now my love of cricket made me befriend anybody who wielded the willow.  Although we had broken cricket materials, we had better grounds.

The Great Migration

  One day, my self and neighbor,  Krishnakumar saw some of the youngsters playing at the other part of Elambachi Angadi, close to the Kunhalinkeezhil Ara or Temple, and close to the School ground.   We stood there a few while and watched the play and slowly and slowly one day we became part of that group. It came to pass that one day with whatever broken cricket materials we had at Tarangini club, of the northern  side of the
Elambchi  angadi,  we made a  migration to the opposite  part, the southern part  of Elambachi, i.e., the school ground part. In my school days the Elambachi Angadi was known as Elambachi Kovval, meaning vacant large area and the Kutcha  Road was bordered by giant Banyan trees, almost looked like Boulevard. (Presently we see two grounds in the North and South Part of Elambachi, in the south the School Ground, and the North,  Ground made by the Panchayat. The  Kovval is no more and in its place large private and public building emerged).This migration became eventful as these cricket loving friends became members of three important things, the renovators of  the dilapidated and neglected Tiruvambadi Temple, founders  of Navabharat Tutorials and the Century Cricket club. Now the last mentioned two only lives in our memory.

            Except for friendly matches at  Kalikkadavu and at Korom in Kanayi,  we could not go much further in the matter of cricket . The tragic death of nephew Satheesan  made me a little averse to the club.  Job, first temporarily at Ernakulam and then at NES Block ( the Block office that we know carries  its original name  as National Extension Scheme Block) made me fully aloof with the Club. Nevertheless, when I was in Block Office, we successfully conducted the first Palliath Kunhambu Nair Criket Tournament  in the north ground and a rolling trophy was bestowed to the winner.   True, it also had its days of turmoil when one day when we were playing in the School ground on a Sunday morning members of the nearby Red Star Football Club rushed to the ground and threw away our stumps saying that its spikes spoiled the ground.

The Pidiyari Movement

The temple was passing in its worst ever times, and the priest had to find other source of income at least to enlighten the temple lamp in the dawn and dusk. We had with our Cricket club, Tutorial Governing body and the Century Cricket Club successors of the original owners of the temple, the Tayakkattu Mana ( The Mana  in its glorious days  had Kathakaliyogam of its own)  and  we made a committee in which a Syndicate Bank employee from the Mana, Shri Madhavan Kutty, became the President and I,  the Vice President . We kept small earthen pots in houses of devotees and collected the brimming Pidiyari ( fistful of rice) pot every month, sold it to the needy at 2 Rs. per kilo.  In this way first we found the means to give salary to the priest.  Then we collected donation for the Mike set etc, on the strength of a notice printed in English  with a caption “Dharmo Rakhashati Rakshita”  which was drafted at the St. Joseph’s Parellel College by a Macmillan returned old  man Mathew sir, who used to be an English  teacher there and who was an addict of liquor.  Gradually the temple got into the wheel of development.  Over an argument with the Treasurer Unnikrishnan of  Kishekke Madom, I left the Temple Committee one day and true to say that this very public  committee paved the way for all the public committees which brought  developments in its train.

Nahi Gnanena Sadrusham, Pavithramiha Vidya te.

The Tutorial, started in a  Bhargavi Nilayam ( a well made and old -style haunted and abandoned house close to the school ground , owned by a Tayakkattu mana member and who happened to be my school teacher. We first gave tuitions for all classes and started SSLC and Pre Degree failed batch classes and  Parallel Pre Degree ( former Plus two) education at night time. An association was formed with byelaws and meetings at the open school ground.  An attempt was made to get the association registered but found no result. An emblem was carved out and lines quoted as above from holy  Bhagvad Geetha written in large letters on entrance of the class rooms  became our slogan.
The house and its premises was very quite and calm and there was a plenty of trees including mango trees. It was an ideal place for an educational institution.
Quite often we made tea  in   the kitchen. Classes were conducted in the lights of Petro Max . When the tutorial grew, our demand for furniture became dearer.  And we had to undertake an adventure of carrying broken branch of a giant Kuchimangalam mango tree through the river. The giant mango tree ( the costly alphonso mango)  in our Taravadu had its branch broken down one day by wind and weight of the tender mangoes.  It was rolled towards the river and we carried it   through the river walking and  swimming to a saw mill at  Kavvai (about two kilometers away near the Payynur railway gate.) Some days after from the mill the wooden planks were taken to  Elambachi by jeep.  This venture did not give any fear to me, but the nauseating and hell like stench of the cattle bones soaked in the salty water in scores of sacks under the Road Bridge did give me the nightmarish feeling. At the Tutorial we made benches and desks with the help of carpenter friends who also were students of Pree Degree night batch.  Within one year we had a branch at Kaikkottukadavu  close to the High School there .

                   Soon, almost all teachers got Govt. employment in and around the District.I kept my connection with the Tutorials until I had to pack up to Calicut University.   It had a coup by the new employees in my absence and the new teacher’s usurped power but slowly the tutorials had it is last breath.    The haunted house changed hands and now in its place stands the Gokulam auditorium.
-- Sasidharan Kana