Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The call of Lanka by W.S. Senior

Hi friends,

This is the poem I was talking about in one of my previous posts titled “SriLankan-ness”. Here I have got the whole poem for us to read and relish. Let us not just stop with reading and enjoying the eloquence and the efficiency of the poet, but answer the call of Lanka :)

I climbed o’er the crags of Lanka
And gazed on the golden sea
When out from her ancient places,
Her soul came forth to me;
Give me a brad,” said Lanka,
“A bard of the thing to be.”

“My cities are laid in ruins,
Their courts through the jungle the jungle spread,
My scepter is long departed
And the stranger Gods instead.
Yet, give me a bard,” said Lanka.
“I am living, I am not dead.”

“For high in my highland valleys,
And low in my lowland plains,
The pride of the past is pulsing
Hot in a people’s veins.
Give me a bard,” said Lanka,
“A bard for my joys and pains.”

I offer a voice O Lanka,
I, child of an alien Isle;
For my hear has heard thee and kindled,
Mine eyes have seen thee and smiled;
Take, foster mother, and use it,
‘Tis but for a little while.

For, surely of thine own children,
Born of thy womb, shall rise
The bard of the moonlit jungle,
The bard of the tropic skies,
Warm from his mother’s bosom,
Bright from his mother’s eyes.

He shall hymn thee of hoar Sri Pada,
The peak that is lone and tall.
He shall sing with her crags, Dunhinda,
The smoking waterfall.
Whatsoever is fair in Lanka,
He shall know it and love it all.

He shall sing thee of sheer Sigiriya,
Of Minneria’s wandering kine;
He shall sing of the lake and the lotus,
He shall sing of the rock-hewn shrine,
Whatsoever is old in Lanka,
Shall live in his Lordly line.

But most shall he sing of Lanka
In the bright new days that come.
When the races all have blended
And the voice of strife is dumb
When we leap to a single bugle,
March to a single drum.

March to a mighty purpose,
One man from shore to shore;
The stranger, becomes a brother,
The task of the tutor o’er,
When the ruined city rises
And the palace gleams once more.

Hark! Bard of the fateful future,
Hark! Bard of the bright to be;
A voice on the verdant mountains,
A voice by the golden sea.
Rise, child of Lanka, and answer
Thy mother hath called to thee.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

MY 5s :)

I was going through David Blacker’s (RFN1) blog, and there he had 10 things that make him happy. Further he stated that this 10 thing ‘thing’ is on almost every blog etc etc.
Seeing this, I decided to fill my blog with few of my 10s; started squeezing my brain on brainstorming for 10s; realized it was not very easy; made it 8; made it 6; made it five. Five worked, five was not a big number, not small either.

So, here is ‘MY 5s’ for you.
These are not in any particular order, as that was another strenuous task I found out.

5 things that make me sing

1. rain
2. hearing my favorite songs
3. surprises
4. anxiety
5. being home

5 things that make me feel happy (other than family and friends :)

1. music
2. spotting an elephant on a journey
3. traveling
4. reading
5. rain

5 things that make me go mad

2. phone calls early in the morning (early for me starts at 2 am and extends till 9 am)
3. being told to eat or sleep (who ever, when ever, where ever)
4. littering on streets
5. miss pronouncing my name

5 things that boost my spirit

1. music
2. black tea
3. surprise call or message from a friend
4. a lovely movie
5. being alone

5 things that make me nervous

1. money
2. numbers
3. money
4. numbers
5. money

5 words I use very often

1. interesting
2. lovely
3. okey
4. sweet
5. yes/no :)

5 religious/spiritual places I want to visit

1. Kerala/Thrichoor
2. Buddhagaya
3. Kyoto
4. Pinnawala elephants' orphange (it is my religion!!!!)
5. Amritsar (once more)

5 things I want to write about

1. my biography
2. ‘teaching’ as I see it
3. the men I met online –‘online’ men ;)
4. my cousin Chooty

5 things I want to learn

1. Zulu
2. playing the guitar
3. Japanese/Arab calligraphy
4. making the softest chapatti
5. to sit in one place for a considerable time (starts from 10 min)

Rakshi’s foot note 1:
Author of “A cause untrue”

Psychosocial i see it

It is a 12 letter word that is most interpreted and misinterpreted in the recent past history of SriLanka. Blame it on the ‘INGOs’, the war, and for the war you may want to blame several parties, and then the tsunami, blame it on anybody and anything even on the pandora’s box (RFN1), this word ‘psychosocial’ has gone a long long way far from simple definitions or descriptions.

I started working in this sector as a translator. I had to translate from Tamil to English and vise versa. I was tested and trialed with different groups of people for my ‘psychosocial sensitivity’, and during the process of being tested and trialed, I became psychosocially sensitive enough. I’m still in the same sector, still am unable to explain what is psychosocial in one single page, let alone one single sentence. For my dear friends who have been wondering what I’m trying to do here……… I’m just thinking aloud, thinking aloud for a definition for psychosocial- a definition that is defining enough, and a definition that makes sense, that makes sense to me.
Why is it so important to define psychosocial? Why is it bothering me so much? Not because I don’t know what is psychosocial (comm’n, I told you I am in this field for the last 5 years didn’t I? ;), but because I don’t want to drive any of my friends crazy by giving a long boring lecture when being asked “What EXACTLY do you do for your life?” I have a trillion chat friends. It is difficult to explain things over Yahoo! Or Gtalk chat. It is extremely difficult to explain ‘psychosocial’ on chat.

Following are some very interesting online conversations that happened between me and my friends.

Friend: So tell me about ur work
Rakshi: very interesting. I get to meet lot of people. And I travel a lot for my work.
Friend: where do u work?
Rakshi: I work for an INGO
Friend: ingo?
Rakshi: International Non Govt. Organization
Friend: what is your job profile? (this friend of mine had no clue why I didn’t give a straight answer to his question though I was pretty sure this is what he wanted to know)
Rakshi: Psychosocial capacity building trainer
Friend: do you work for NASA?
Friend: hey r u thr?
Friend: wt’s up?
Rakshi: sorry I was away from the comp
Rakshi: psychosocial is something like…..psycho and social part of people put together.
Friend: hey, I need to leave. c ya tk sd
Rakshi: ok. Take care and have fun

Friend: hey….. u r a psychosocial worker. Very pleased to meet you. I have heard a lot about this sector, but I think I should hear from you as well. Tell me about your work
Rakshi: hi, nice to meet you too. PS is just about a person’s wellbeing. Our role is to make sure, development projects ensure PS wellbeing of persons involved.
Friend: u don’t work with mentally ill people?
Rakshi: I think u r confusing a psychiatrist with a psychosocial worker
Friend: oh I never realized these two were different

Friend: hey Doc, can you treat me?
Rakshi: ????
Friend: u r a doc nedha?
Rakshi: no I’m not. I think u r confusing psychiatrist with psychosocial worker
Friend: what is the difference?
Rakshi: I don’t treat people.
Friend: what do ya do then? Counseling?
Rakshi: no. we just ensure that development projects are sensitive to both the psychological and social needs of people. People tend to look at only one side of development, either psychological or social
Friend: complicated. But u r doing great service. Helping the poor and all
Rakshi: helping the poor?
Friend: don’t u work for an NGO?

Friend: hey miss psycho. Tell me about psychosocial
Rakshi: it is just common sense (I am being called psycho ggggggggrrrrrrr I hate this field)
Friend: hey like that. So u teach people common sense?
Rakshi: not exactly, I don’t teach them. We just facilitate their thinking. Sometimes u need an external person to question about something for u to start thinking in that direction no
Friend: so u make a living by making people think. Why don’t u have some prog for your govt yaarr? They have no sense at all
Rakshi: I’m just waiting for their call (gggggrrrrrrrr….. why am I still talking to him????)
Friend: hey seriously yarr, u can’t do much there. They wont appreciate it. Come here. We need your service. U’ll be safe and happy here.
Rakshi: u mean to say there’s more need for common sense in India than in SL? I can kind of guess it

But this final conversation was something different, an eye opener!!!!!!! Psychosocial is just common sense!!!!!! Wow, wasn’t this the hilarious phrase I was hunting for with much difficulty and loss of sweat and pages and pages of online chat????!!!!!

Rakshi's foot note 1: google or wikipedia ;)