It’s been a while since I have written the journal. I have been stuck with a writer’s block and for a long time I did not write anything. My students are having their board examinations and they touched my feet seeking my blessings. I was overwhelmed with feeling and I feel blessed that I am a teacher. The students in India are so respectful a quality lacking all over the globe. It shows an ideal aspect of Indian Culture.
I took a couple of English lessons today for the 8th graders. One was a poem by Auden called Refugee Blues. The students did not know the meaning of a refugee and I had to divulge it in Malayalam. In Malayalam, refugee translated, is almost a sentence as there is no equivalent word for it. The poem is set on the backdrop of the Second World War and it depicts the pathetic condition of Jews seeking refugee status. There are very little tropes used in it. The students were not aware of who Jews where and I asked them who was the most prominent Jew in History. One of them answered it was Christ and I had to tell them that Jews belonged to the Semitic race. The students knew Hitler only by name and I had to give picture of how Hitler persecuted the Jews. I also had to tell them of the holocaust. Sometimes I wonder why Jews had to undergo such traumatic ordeal.
The next lesson I took was a ‘Lesson on the Tortoise’ by D H Lawrence. The lesson begins on a Friday, the end of the week, a day when students and teachers eagerly seek rest. The teacher presents a tortoise to the keen students and they observe how it comes out of its shell. Then there is a brief narrative of a stolen erasers and the teacher asking the students discreetly who the culprit is. The story did not catch the attention of the students and I also thought it was a boring one. But I admire DH Lawrence as a writer.
I am also reading Kierkegaard’s Philosophical fragments and I have just started its introduction. The narrative splits into an aesthetic and ethical one. Kierkegaard is famous for lyrical aphorisms called in Greek as Dipslamata.
I have also started reading the Bible from Genesis. The story of creation is a marvelous one. Adam and Eve committed the original sin by eating the fruit of the tree of Good and Evil and so Christ had to come as a Son of God to redeem mankind. Yes, the flesh is sinful and the spirit is holy. One has to keep the lust of the flesh in control.
First of all, I would like to ask the question who is a native speaker of English? Is English an eponym for a white colored mythology of a Caucasian race? Come on, I am living in a country that has been colonized by the Brits for 100 Years. The only positive thing that they did was to bequeath a legacy of English Language. The Brits have shamelessly looted the country and left it in utter ruin when they left the country. Is my birth as an Asian disqualify me from being a teacher of English in South East Asian schools? The term native speaker of English is used pejoratively. It’s sad that White Native Speakers are eagerly being imported into South East Asian schools as teachers of English. My nativity, birth and race disqualify me, though I am highly qualified. It’s a shame and pity that I am brown.
This happened to me on a dating site where I started reading the women’s column and happened to find a woman asking friendship and dating services. She put her Whatsapp and I messaged her with my photo. To my surprise it turned out to be a pimp who said: we service VIP customers for 100 $ an hour. Only genuine seekers need to contact. What an irony that dating sites are filled with scammers, sluts and pimps.
I feel irritated when advertisement boards are planted in front of the gate saying ‘no parking in front of the gate’ along with their advertisement. In anger I pluck those boards and throw it into rubbish.
We all know that Pieta is a famous painting by Michelangelo of Mother Mary holding the crucified Christ. While traveling on a car, I noticed it in front of a church. I ask the following questions? Did Mary hold Jesus? Why can’t the church forget the stint with realism? I am not able to identify the image with a sense of catharsis. The days of realism are over. From an object of appreciation the Pieta for the Catholic Church has become an icon of religious veneration.
My neighbor’s son passed away in a road accident. When the body was taken from the mortuary and placed in the house, I decided to pay my last respect. Initially I did not go there to empathize but there is a superstition that to visit a dead body is fortune or brings luck. When I went into the house where the body is kept, the boy’s father came to me and started hugging me and crying. I also did the same to him. I felt sad that the son had to die at such at an early stage of life. I put the superstition to rubbish.
This is a strange tale I heard from a member of a parish. It went on like this. All in one family except the father had converted to the cult Jehovah’s Witness. When the father died there was no one in the family to take the corpse to the church. The willing neighbors interfered and took him to the church to be buried. When the last rites were uttered and the corpse was to be lowered to the grave, there was one more ritual that is to cover the head and face with the burial cloth. Then the son appeared out of nowhere to do the ceremony and the priest stopped him on his tracks and vociferously said: ‘you have no right to do the same, since you did not cooperate with the burial of your father’.
Mellow pink ….
The sky light up
In praises of
Of a sinking
As soft hues….
Tender the sky….
A veiled fruit ….
A figure of speech
This happened to me about a year ago. I was engaged with duty of marking answer scripts for English (general) paper. To my surprise one student put about 500 Rupees between the pages with the short message to pass him. After valuing the paper, I found it very bleak. I was able to add a half there and a half here and so on to the point of passing the candidate. I smiled at the way I got additional sources of income.
This gentleman is well known to me. One particular feature about his ears is, hair grows on it and protrudes outside, almost the shape of a leaf. I find it quite irritable and think of ways and means to cut it off. To make matters worse, I think of spitting on it. Sometimes I feel like puking on it. I don’t have the heart to tell the gentleman to cut it off.
Armed with a gun, he entered the Newspaper printing factory. He shot one on the leg and one on the hand. He wanted to change the news. One was the big lottery scam run by the government and another was his sworn enemy a financial company, a private bank now. At gunpoint he changed the frontline headings. He felt satisfied: ‘at last revenge taken’. It’s easy to guess what will happen to the people when they read the news in the morning.