Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thomas Hardy

I borrowed Selected Poems of Thomas Hardy from the British Library last night.

Nothing like elegant poetry to put you in the mood.

I Look Into My Glass

I look into my glass,
And view my wasting skin,
And say, "Would God it came to pass
My heart had shrunk as thin!"

For then I, undistrest
By hearts grown cold to me,
Could lonely wait my endless rest
With equanimity.

But Time, to make me grieve,
Part steals, lets part abide;
And shakes this fragile frame at eve
With throbbings of noontide.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Old Friends

A reunion after 24 years! The more things change, the more they remain the same!

Samuel Butler

Reading the brilliant book The Way of all Flesh by Samuel Butler. For excellence in language and style, you can't beat this book.

Preview - Our offbeat House being constructed

Our little house being constructed. Notice the granite blocks and sculptures. More pcitures along the way!

Friday, June 13, 2008


A quick trip to the mid-east beckons....there's been too much travel lately. On the other hand, its to be my first trip out of Bangalore since the new airport was opened. But other than that, I can;t say I'm looking forward to it. Ticket, Forex, visa - all here, but ....

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Soul Food - a short story

Soul Food

If you like being frightened by things like blood and gore, then you should not read further. That is because this tale does not have these tedious elements in them and you will not find what you are looking for.

The material world remains fundamentally the same, offering little in terms of excitement to one who seeks to swim in the occult, where grim menace emerges unexpectedly, where horror is subtle and not stretched in time, or grotesquely sprinkled with the intent to unsettle and disturb. In the occult world that I visit, horror is permanent and accepted and has no connotation of evil. It is merely � and correctly � another aspect of the universe and does not come with childish and na�ve labels like �good� or �evil�. The very word �horror� is inadequate and is an application of a tedious, contrived value system which refers to some kind of dissonance or an excitement of our nerves in a certain way. With horror comes the feeling of being extinguished in a manner not of one�s choosing. And that then is how it actually is.

After death, you see, our souls are herded together, like so many cattle and we are yoked and taken to Shambala, where we are cleansed and examined for any defects and sorted. We, as those previously alive, but still with a glimmering of understanding of a sense of self, are put through a sieve of sorts and certified.

For what, you ask, perhaps anxiously. Well, my dear Sir or Lady, we are truly soul food, intended for consumption by a more powerful entity, a genuinely permanent reality that needs to eat and stay alive for purposes beyond explanation. Preposterous, you say? It does not matter. Your experiences while you lived actually do season your soul and give it an extra spice, which makes for gourmet consumption. And so, in Shambala, your soul is sorted and accumulated in one of many little bottles depending on the hue your life took. Later, your last sense of self is extinguished as you are consumed, yes indeed. You protest and say that you lived a good life? I applaud you, but regret to say it merely means you shall be used as an ingredient, no less, no more. Were you shockingly evil and did you deliberately cause pain and suffering? No matter. You too shall be used for food. Perhaps this causes bitter disappointment, setting your value systems on their head. Perhaps you are frightened, not of death any longer, but the lingering endless waiting of your soul in a container as you wait your turn to be picked up and eaten. THAT extinguishing, THAT event � now THAT will truly be death.

I see that the innocent, the good, the evil, the macabre, the cruel, the soft and compassionate are all equal and are merely crops of different varieties. Each is allowed to grow till it is ready for harvesting. Then arrives the state we call physical death, where the soul is extracted and taken to Shambala, as described.

This journey requires telling. The first step, immediately after physical death, involves setting free the soul. It is extracted from the top of the head and immediately chained and constrained. You will be bewildered and confused. How different this is from just a few moments ago, you will wonder. Your dignity is stripped and you are tied to other similarly newly-dead with ropes of ether. Not knowing what else you could possibly do in this bodyless state, you will be in a state of stupor, completely terrified, uncomprehending, wondering what next.

And soon there will be a tug and you will hopelessly drift in the direction of Shambala, which you may not even have known existed, except in distorted ways in books here and there. By now you would have realized that you are being manipulated against your will, what little there still is of it. But you cannot protest, for you know not how to express this feeling and you know not who could listen and what they could possibly do. But FRIGHT overwhelms you, as you sense a complete and final loss of control. You are truly paralyzed.

And now in Shambala, you sense many such agglomerations of similarly baffled souls who seek pointless freedom of a sort. The sense of darkness is overwhelming. You are roughly handled and dipped through a soup of what seems purple fire, but which is in fact a kind of cleansing pool. You will emerge, washed but yet completely helpless. You will be separated and herded based on some criteria which you cannot understand and then placed with millions of similar entities. Now your sense of time will leave you. You have nothing to look forward to and have no idea how to mark the passage of time and what to do about it. So you wait, awake for eternities, completely subjugated, completely removed of dignity and respect, for these mean nothing any longer. Were you once compassionate to a sick puppy? Did you once kill an old helpless lady? Neither means anything here � they merely added a kind of spice to your soul and made it additionally attractive for consumption.

And then the Event will unfold. You will be pulled out, helpless, paralyzed, uncomprehending. And you shall feel that sense of being consumed. That will be the final darkness.

That will truly be death.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

P D James

I've just discovered P D James and am thoroughly in awe.

From Innocent Blood

"He held her left hand, wondering what dreams, if any, peopled the uplands of the valley of her shadow."

Striking, fantastic stuff.