Tuesday, March 30, 2010

“It is the best of times. It is the worst of times”

A rainy evening in Palakkad with the sun setting

Living in Palakkad, quite strangely I am reminded of Charles Dickens, the immortal writer. Last week, as I took my son to the small farm behind our house, as a project of the “save earth” campaign to free the space of plastic wastes, I told him of Dickens’s novel Nicholas Nickleby and about a character Wackford Squeers, a cruel school teacher who used to take advantage of the orphaned boys by giving them all menial jobs.

Secondly, as Dickens described, I thought that we in Palakkad are living in the “best of times as also in the worst of times.”(Charles Dickens began his book, “A Tale of Two Cities,” with the following words: “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief. It was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of hope. It was the season of despair.”)

What made me think as above was the things happening around. Palakkad was reporting very high day temperatures with the mercury soaring high. Then, there was a brutal murder in the neighborhood in Puthur. As we returned after a drive, we saw an unusual crowd of Policemen and the locals in the area and learned that a housewife had been murdered during day time by intruders who came for theft. Today we read from newspapers that the prime suspect died in police custody ostensibly due to the third degree torture by the police. All these news are sickening to the core.

Violin concert by the maestro :Dr.L.Subramaniam at Puthur.

Again, last week, it rained cats and dogs one evening bringing much relief to the heat. In Puthur we also witnessed a music concert by the legendary violist L .Subramaniam and his wife Kavita Krishnamurthy at the Devi temple premises. The world renowned maestro, widely acclaimed in the West as much as in the East gave a stellar musical performance. Hearing such virtuosos is an experience because they immediately make us feel the touch of a genius and remind us that they are made of a different stuff than what the common folks are made of. He was ably assisted by his son Ambi Subramaniam an upcoming little master and his celebrity wife Kavita, musician and playback singer.

The administrators of this little temple in Puthur seem great organizers as they bring world renowned musical masters to this little known place .Last year the place was blessed with the presence of the great master Hariprasad Chaurasia with his divine flute. In 2008, it was the turn of another master, Pundit Shivkumar Sharma on Santoor.

I can’t complain. This is a happening place. Today, my son’s 10th class examinations are also coming to a close. “It is the best of times. It is the worst of times”

Palakkad, South India
31st March 2010.

Notre Dame Cathedral and my visit of 2006

It was with much agony that I read about the devastating fire at the famed Notre Dame cathedral and the damages thereof. To me, the Notre...