Saturday, August 16, 2014

The African elephant Myna!!

I seemed to have exhausted my stock of pictures, and was sitting in one of the parks, thus landed Jungle myna. I have written about Common myna, Pied myna, Bank myna, Brahminy myna, Hill myna, Blyth’s myna, Chestnut-headed myna, the migrant Rosy starling so on but the ubiquitous birds seen right in the middle of the cities like Bangalore and Mysore skipped my attention!! So here was Jungle myna (Acridotheres fuscus) staring at me in amusement “What about me dude?.” Next I was at the Mysore zoo and as most were keen on African elephant –the impressive fellow leisurely masticated his grub, my eyes were on the vicinity of his trunk where a Jungle Myna patiently waited like a cattle egret hence African elephant myna!  

Jean Cayrol: Wake up death is already on its horse

The other day I was watching Ivan’s Childhood (Tarkovsky’s poignant take on children trapped in war), and quite coincidently found Night and Fog (Resnais) in the collection. I recall watching this documentary at Gandhi peace foundation (Delhi) almost 15 years back, atleast two people in the audience fainted, I too was nauseated for quite some time. I must have picked up the CD from the grey market few years back and since forgot about it, so decided to watch it again. This documentary is about the concentration camps of the Nazis, and was made about a decade after the war, most likely the first one to show the actual footings of the conditions inside the concentration camp in its horrifying details. It’s not for the faint hearted the scenes of piled up bodies, deskinned to make leather products so on can easily distress anyone. It need to be pointed out that Corporate like Heineken and Siemens who rushed to exploit cheap labour at the concentration camp are shockingly still around, seeing Indians as cheap labour does have a historical framework. Clearly not everyone was Schindler! (indeed Schindler’s List movie also has these bodies pile up, a soldier apparently loosing it as they are burned up. Horrifying images).
This time around, while watched Night and Fog, I focused my attention on the narration, the detached tone was quite haunting, little search in the net led me to Jean Cayrol, he had escaped concentration camp hence the authenticity in narration. I also came to know that he had also scripted it. While reading about him I came across few of his poems, unfortunately all in French without any translation. Now that I was riveted to his views, I somehow had to get it translated to know what exactly he was expressing. So finally got it translated from a multilingual German lady who has made Mysore her home. 
Are you sleeping?

Wake up the cold is already at our doors
and the moon has stiffened like the mouth of a corps

Wake up at your doors they have laid
a sword like an abandoned child

Wake up death is already on its horse
you can hear it gallop echoing in our daily chores

I accuse

In the name of the dead that without name has gone
In the name of the doors that have been barred
In the name of the tree that responds
In the name of the wounds and the meadows wet

In the name of the sky on fire with our regret
In the name of the father who's son is dead
In the name of the book where the sage falls asleep
In the name of all fruits that ripen deep

March song

The spike eaten grain by grain
by the wind and by the dogs

The heart wondering from saint to saint
by the fire and the knuckled fists

The hot night on your chest
her two eyes resembling yours

The happy past that comes
to get dizzy with the first wine

From my scribble pad…

It is the silly season

The streets are decked and noisy
Children happy and chatty
Gods benevolent and deigning
Dogs howl rest of the night
It is the silly season
When propitiating and alms can bring 
Instant and expected results
Bypassing karma and spells
Functionalist give reasons
While religious have not much to say
An explicit celebration looms the populace
Private is public, and public is no longer
the place to be in

Why doesn’t she suicide?

(“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy” Camus)

Why does a farmer suicide,
we have reasons galore
and solution suggesters too
But why doesn’t a farmer’s wife suicide
Is still a matter of speculation
Because she lives for hope
And care for her children
Because she doesn’t think about things
Like the profit and earnings
Because she believes in sustenance
And future in matters
Like happiness in little things
Everyday births and deaths
More on emotions than mounting facts
Faith in fate than reckless acts