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An Open Letter to Kamalji (W)

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by ojaantrik, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamalji:

    You may not be aware that I have decided to write 3 categories of threads from now on. W, WW and WWW.

    Words, Words-Words, Words-Words-Words.

    The W types will be short and aimed at attracting fb's. I assume that people are at their commenting best when there is nothing to comment on. So, when I am comment hungry, I will put up a W.

    Quite besides the point, this reminds me of a Lewis Carroll rhyme, probably for no reason at all:

    The sun was shining on the sea,
    Shining with all his might:
    He did his very best to make
    The billows smooth and bright--
    And this was odd, because it was
    The middle of the night.

    Coming back to the issue at hand, this is a W post. And it is linked to your newspaper stuff again.

    I noticed an ad in the TOI yesterday that you could use its columns to address your loved ones, but only those who had kicked the bucket. I also noticed that people had made use of this service. The cost is Rs. 50 per five lines and Rs. 100 per ten lines.

    It seems, there is a clearly defined market price for the intensity of your feelings.

    You could put up something like: "Dear Rukmini, On this day 85 years ago, you left this world making your yet to be born great grand children drown in an ocean of tears. We miss you everyday, even in our drowned state. Love from Chittu, Bittu, Kittu and our dear little pet dog Bhelpuri."

    Now, I have a question for you Kamalji. Apart from you and I, who reads these "In Memoriam" pieces? In particular, does Rukmini read the TOI?

    If TOI is right, then I will be around even after I am gone. I might even check if you choose the more expensive variety of remembrance. If you are too stingy, I may not be happy and start complaining about paucity of fb's all over again.

    According to Cheeniya's latest post though, you needn't worry. He says I will be totally gone after I am pushed inside the burner. According to him, my non-existence will ensure that you can address me anyway you please.

    A bit like my W thread idea. A thread is best read when it does not exist!!

    Or, to go back to Carroll:

    "O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
    "You've had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?'
    But answer came there none--
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They'd eaten every one.

    oj

    PS Incidentally, this same Carroll rhyme contains the following stanza:

    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
    Of cabbages—and kings—
    And why the sea is boiling hot—
    And whether pigs have wings."


    It inspired Wodehouse to write his hilarious masterpiece "Pigs Have Wings".
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
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  2. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear OJ,

    thanks for dedicating this blog to me.W WW WWW is a superb idea.

    You know i have so many interesting orbituaries cut out , very interesting ones and juicy ones.

    for one, all the orbituaries are of good people, who where loved very much.Makes me wonder, do only good people die ? Do the bad guys never die.:biglaughNo wonder i dont want to be a very good guy to goup fast.HAHA

    The poems are damn good, reading them the first time, for i nver had interest for them in my younger days, wish i had, for they would have come in uset o m in blogs now.:biglaugh

    And OJ u are right Rukmani will not read it, nor will u or i or Cheeniya for that matter.

    i beleive as one dies, one never comes back to find out if the loved ones left behind are all right or not, we just vanish.

    And if u happen to go before me, i will not put an ad in the paper, i will just remember u with love and affection, which i think means more than the outwardly show of affection thryu these ads.

    and i have told my wife and brothers, not to bother with my ashes, or with the orbituaries, just remember me for one minute on my biorthday or death day, that will be enough, rest all ceremonies be damned.

    Or on m y death anniversary, my wife, call all my friends, and there is a celbration, and my videos are played, so everyone can see me on the screen, and evyerpne has a glass to say cheers to me.I am sure in such a fun atmospher, i will come back as a spirit from wherever i will be to see that stupendous show.

    Thanks for the lovely blog dedicated to me, wishing u outpass me, and i go before u.

    All the best, OJ.

    REgards

    kamal
     
  3. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear OJ

    That’s very interesting! But I must point out that you are always at your best in the W category as in the instant case. WWW is the prerogative of Ramblers like me. When we sit before the keyboard, the PC becomes a directionless forest! I use this particular phrase because there is a famous song starting with these lines in Tamil! WW is Kamalji’s specialty. Give him some ‘man bites dog’ stuff and he becomes like a man possessed by Vyasa Rishi! It is surprising why no TV channel has approached him yet to become their News analyst.

    I assume that people are at their commenting best when there is nothing to comment on
    That’s very interesting statement. I wonder if you have noticed my favourite quote in my profile. It is: ‘A specialist is one who knows more and more about less and less till he knows everything about nothing!’ Churchill used to say that he required a long notice if the time allotted for his speech was near zero but that no notice would be necessary if he had to speak a whole day! Our late V.K.Krishna Menon still holds the record for the longest speech delivered in UN without touching on any specific issues of course! So you are the fittest person in IL to write the W category of threads. Your W category threads are like the Universe before the Big Bang, tightly packed with enormous energy! There you become on par with Lord Dakshinamoorthy, the South-facing Lord Shiva Who communicates without uttering a Word!

    W category stuff apparently look simple and easy to deal with but it is not so! They do get instant FBs with my sister Iyerviji leading the pack like Abou Ben Adam! In any case, I do not think that you are going to be starved for FBs in IL anymore. You have become darling here with every one (including me) waiting to eat out of your hand.

    The Sun of Lewis Carroll was probably shining in the other hemisphere. The Sun exists whether we can observe it or not. This may sound contrary to the Berkeleyan thought that nothing exists if there is no observer, a fascinating concept with immense possibilities!

    The TOI ad is one of the most popular ones in all the newspapers. The bucket kickers are remembered through these columns for several reasons, love being the least important one. A lawyer friend of mine told me that such ads are mostly helpful where a bucket kicker has left behind a huge Estate and there are numerous parties staking a claim to it. So each one of the warring parties inserts an ad to establish his closeness to the dead. There are other reasons too and quite interesting ones at that!

    “A thread is best read when it does not exist!!” This should gladden the heart of Berkeley! A new twist has now been given to his pet theory!

    Sri
     
  4. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamal:

    I have no hesitation or doubt in my mind when I say that Cheeniya and you are the two best friends I have found in my life. I haven't seen either of you and this, as was the case with my recently departed cyber friend Steven West, has made our bondage far stronger than it would have been otherwise. Friendship grows with distance, it increases in intensity if you never manage to see the person at all. Who knows? The friend may not even exist. It could all be your imagination. And imagination does not restrict you from showering all the love you possess on anyone you choose, real or unreal.

    Cyber friendship is a bit like my W-posts, which are so short that you might even miss them. Yet, the friendship could be more powerful than a nuclear device. Or, even better, it's like homeopathic medicine. Say, Carbo Veg 30 vs. Carbo Veg 200. I am told that 30 contains more of the chemical than 200. In fact, scientific analysis has shown that the 200 stuff hardly contains any medicine at all. It's more like an illusion. But it's 200 that is considered to be the high potency drug and 30 the least potent.

    I agree with every bit you have said about what people should do after the loved ones take their final leave. They should make merry in his memory and the good times they had together. And once you take this viewpoint, can you ever die? You live for ever, video or no video.

    Having said all this though, there is one thing that I will not allow either Cheeniya or you to do. I prohibit you to leave the world before I do. You have to treat me as the King. You have to follow the King, he doesn't follow you.

    Indeed, let's make this loud and clear.

    I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU LEAVE BEFORE ME.

    OJ
     
  5. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Oj
    "I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU LEAVE BEFORE ME!"

    I wish I had got your acquaintance about five decades back. I had always found myself at a loss for words whenever there was a question in English asking me to give an example of paradox. The one that you have said in conclusion to your FB to Kamal is the mother of all paradox!

    It also sounds like flogging a dead horse if you want to kill us after we leave. I have a chronological advantage over you and Kamal but don't worry I'll try to be around as long as you want!
    Sri
     
  6. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    @ Cheeniya

    Dear Sri:

    What's happening to me? Why am I falling in love all over again and with so many people simultaneously? I am so small, with so little to offer. Yet, I want to give all I have to IL. Everything, everything, everything.

    When I hear from you (or any other I'Lite for that matter) my heart overflows. Why should someone, who has never seen me in the real world, care for me so much that s/he actually takes her time to write a few beautiful lines all for my sake? It brings a lump to my throat. I know I am a highly emotional person. Stupid too. But why, why, why ...? This never happens in real life.

    Of course I have noticed this quote in your profile. (In fact, before I forget, I also wondered why you didn't mention Wodehouse as one of your favourite authors in your profile!) Regarding the quote, I wonder if this is what gave me the W idea. As you know, I am fond of haikus too. Here is a haiku that you'll like in this context. Not by me of course, but by a Japanese great, Isaa:

    But then, if W's are worth the effort, can WWW's be far behind. You say you are stuck with WWW's. Perhaps so. So was Vyasa himself. And his WWW was larger than all your WWW's put together. And believe me, Vyasa was no Krishna Menon. Just as you are no ordinary RAMBLER. At IL as well as outside, there are many who would consider being compared with you to be a Nobel award.

    Yes, Kamal definitely belongs to WW and TV channels should invite him for his instant reactions to any event under the sun. They will make millions. Not through cheating, which appears to be the only way to make money these days, but through pure fun. I don't think I have come across a mind with so much fun at its disposal.

    Iyerviji is a darling to say the least. I have said this before, that she never fails to remind me of Tolstoy. Especially these lines from Father Sergius:

    And thanks good friend for this:

    I know I am partly insane. I know that my angularities, even in cyber space, are endless. Yet, if people like me, they fill me up with humility. I know that they are friends. Only friends can remain friends despite being aware of each others' shortcomings. I do not think I accept any other definition of friendship. (Including the one about one's presence next to the burning pyre.)

    Regarding your delightful explanation of the sun shining in the other hemisphere. I am reminded of Sukumar Ray, Satyajit Ray's father. He was a humorist and wrote mainly for children, having been greatly influenced by Carroll. But he managed to Bengalify Carroll completely. His nonsense rhymes for children, like Carroll's own rhymes, are of course loaded with meaning and can be read by adults with great interest. Here's my feeble attempt to translate a couplet from one of his super rhymes. It's obviously influenced by the Carroll rhyme I quoted to Kamal.

    Ah! Is that so? How stupid of me. I didn't see through the simplest of ploys. You put up an insertion in the paper to stake your claim to property! Is that so. How stupid of me indeed. And I call myself an economist. No wonder I didn't win the Nobel Prize.

    Ha, ha! This reminds me of another of my favourites from a Bengali play written towards the late nineteenth century. It's called Shadhabar Ekadashi (Deenabandhu Mitra). A man there is described as follows:

    Love.

    oj

    PS What paradox? Try doing what I asked you not to do and you'll see how I carry out my threat. No paradox in it. It'll all be real.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  7. Padmini

    Padmini IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Oja-da,
    Today is a great and a day for celebration . you know why, your decision of communicating with us in three ways is the main reason.
    Since it is an open letter , I have taken the liberty to trespass and give my views.
    Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter: Probably no writer used the six-line adaptation of the ballad form more vigorously or delightfully than Lewis Carroll in The Walrus and the Carpenter:
    According to me ,
    Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.As Churchill said, "I am ready to meet my maker, but whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
    One small request; The poem you have quoted is from Alice in wonderland " Walrus and Carpenter". I came to know that
    Lewis Carroll brings up many images that can be interpreted as advice to youngsters. One level to the Walrus and the Carpenter could be read to be a warning to the innocents of people that would mislead them and "eat them all up;" just like the Walrus and the Carpenter persuaded all the 'young Oysters to walk with them,' a walk that ended in a feast for the Walrus and the Carpenter.The last stanza :This is an example of a politicians sirens call to the people, once they have gathered their flock they keep them entranced with tales of the basic essentials. They start off making promises of things that appealto their listners.Or rather the things that the listners think they need, but in actality don't - oysters have no need for shoes, ships, and sealing wax. Eventually the politicians degenerate into babbeling over overt useless issues, such as as flying pigs. Carroll also makes the point that if you pay special attention to their speeches, one can find subcurrents of issues that are in fact threatening your very happiness - i.e. seas that boil would make an oyster's life hellish.Lewis Carroll has told a tale of warning and criticism of the way society works. Sir, my humble request is " Can you please give me your explanation?"I want to have an idea about your usage of these verses here since I am not able to come to any conclusion or connection? Sorry and thanks to you in advance. What to do my ignorance forces me to this .
    with love
    pad
     
  8. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    @ padmini

    First, as far as I recall, The Walrus and the Carpenter is a rhyme from Through the Looking Glass, not Alice in Wonderland. However, that is unimportant. Secondly, quite clearly, the rhyme is delightful and yet sorrowful. It brings out the paradoxes in life.

    Yes, you can surely interpret things the way you did. You can interpret a lot of other things in Alice in Wonderland too the same way. The greatness of Carroll lies in the fact that he can make you giggle and cry at the same time. And of course, artistically speaking, he had few parallels.

    Now, I am willing to giggle and cry simultaneously. I have lived all my life with the contradiction of eating animals and feeling sad about killing animals at the same time. I don't feel like a criminal on account of this. If I did, then I would truly turn insane. For, as an economist I know that around 70 per cent of India's population "survives" on Rs. 20 a day. This is a greater paradox than Carrol's Walrus etc. Do I have the right to live the way I live? Even if I were to give up eating everything other than vegetables, where do I stand vis-a-vis the starving children of this country more than 60 years after independence? I don't blame politicians. I don't blame myself either, as I said. Even though I know that I can survive even if I were to give away 80 per cent of my income. I can't live the way I live, but I think I can survive the way a slum dweller lives her/his life.

    I ask myself all the time why I enjoy the luxury of an air conditioned bedroom, when people live in misery, illiteracy, illness and utter hopelessness. If each one of us were to part with at least one half of our possessions in the interest of the poor, I doubt that politicians could prevent us. A lot of people could live like human beings rather than animals if we could do this. But few of us do it.

    I have to admit that I am totally lost in art forms. So, Carroll's Walrus, despite the obvious moral it contains, appeals to me artistically more than anything else. In response to your question therefore, the most I can say is that I was thinking entirely in the abstract in my open letter to Kamal.

    The sun was shining on the sea,
    Shining with all his might:
    He did his very best to make
    The billows smooth and bright--
    And this was odd, because it was
    The middle of the night.

    I quoted this to make a simple point. When I write almost nothing, there are sunny responses galore. And this is odd, because I'm sitting in the middle of total darkness.

    "O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
    "You've had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?'
    But answer came there none--
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They'd eaten every one.

    This had reference to my statement that a non-existent thread is the best one to be addressed. If there is nothing to address, no one can hold you responsible for misunderstanding.

    Unfortunately, I said it using Carroll. Not just Carroll, but one of his most painfully funny creations. Perhaps I should have used a different Carroll rhyme. Such as,

    He thought he saw a banker's clerk
    Descending from the bus
    He looked again and found it was
    A hippopotamus.

    My W posts could be banker's clerks or hippos. Doesn't matter. I guess I was making no more than this point.

    I am not a deep thinker, nor socially conscious I suppose. But I have lived through paradoxes that few people in our middle class Indian society have. Or so I think. My life has been a rollercoaster journey. I rose through infinite labour and honesty to the 19th floor of a luxury apartment, having had started out from zero. And then I was forced to jump from that height to a slum at a moment's notice. I couldn't give up my love for beauty when everything about me was anything but beautiful. I was murdered at the age of 30 and had to live in a grave for 18 years to be reborn. Even Lazarus was dead for only 4 days.

    Higher values, principles mean nothing to me at all. I have lived my entire life in less than the lifespan allotted to me. And all I am interested in is creativity.

    Words, words, words. The fascinating attraction of words is what I live for. I have forgotten to fight, I have forgotten to protest. I have so little time left to live the time that I was forced not to live, that I don't know how I can answer questions such as yours.

    Forgive me if I don't make sense. I know I can hardly ever make sense. Sense is not a luxury God had sent my way. Someday I might tell you my story. It could remind you of the oysters that were not there to answer the Carpenter.

    Uselessly yours,

    oj-da

     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  9. knot2share

    knot2share Gold IL'ite

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    Dear W(OJ da), WW(Kamalji) and WWW(Sri uncle)

    I am not here to post a fb on the original W-post posted by W ! But to say that I just loved reading through this entire post with its fbs and replies. Somewhere along the line I got emotional too ! Lets blame that on my harmones for the moment. It is lovely to see such a verbivorous conversation between you three. And of course Pad ma has been given the Doctrate for all the right reasons. You know sometimes when you admire somebody whole heartedly, anything and everything that person says is just too good and awesome. But does it make sense to me though? I really don't care but I love the effect it has on me. I am not saying this to make any of you feel good about yourself. Its just something that popped out of me just now as I began to type this fb. I have never ever imagined that I would be able to say anything amongst a senior crowd and that too such a well versed crowd here on IL. I don't know if it is the place (IL) or being in a cyber relation with you all (if I can call that) or just the warmth everybody radiates that surrounds people like me to warm up and pick up courage to say a few words.

    Irrelevant of a post being a W or WW or WWW, they are very impact-making ones. Mostly I get stumped by them and have nothing to say other than returning back to pavillion. Sorry OJ da, I have nothing to say this time too. We love the hopelessly romantic OJ da (I pinched this phrase from Sri uncle!). We love our Kamalji who swings in all directions. We love our Senile Rambler Sri uncle. And for God's sake lets stop fighting over who needs to go first and who follows later.

    We are all part of one happy family!
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  10. Tubelight

    Tubelight Bronze IL'ite

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    It was so wonderful to see the TRIMURTHIs ( Oj - Kamalji-Cheeniya) having a ball here . Loved the thrust-and-parrying play with words, words and more words , each set infused with the special style and flavour typical of each murthi , making for a rich bouquet .
    Oj-da : [ Now, I have a question for you Kamalji. Apart from you and I, who reads these "In Memoriam" pieces? In particular, does Rukmini read the TOI? ]

    Apart from you , Kamalji and Rukmini ( given benefit of doubt), I too read these fascinating memorials to departed dears. What I see there is no great outpouring of grief but more a vulgar broadcast to the living that blares loudly : " Look at us, World, what sensitive, loving creatures we are ! Aren't we wonderful human beings ( holier than thou ofcourse)to mourn Rukmini faithfully year after year after year ! "

    Kamalji : [ i beleive as one dies, one never comes back to find out if the loved ones left behind are all right or not, we just vanish.] Totally agree. Once the Butterfly has broken out of the chrysalis and flown to the enchanted gardens beyond, why would it bother about who does what with the broken shell it left behind ? Cry or cackle, as you wish, its all entertainment only for the living, nothing for the dead.

    Cheeniya : [“A thread is best read when it does not exist!!” This should gladden the heart of Berkeley! A new twist has now been given to his pet theory!] It was tricky enough to hold that slippery eel of a punchline supplied by dear OJ, you had to add some Berkeley to it and make it :drowning totally baffling . Like the damned Tantalus, i get it, i dont get it, i get it, i don't get it.

    Dear, dear OJ-DA
    ! [I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU LEAVE BEFORE ME. ] Who else but you can think of something this brilliant ! I put you right next to the redoubtable Woody Allen, who said " Its not that I'm afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens."

    Enjoyed reading .
     

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