Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Notebook - 2019

Well as you might have guessed, this is going to be that one random post in English which i suddenly conjure. Also the other guess, as the title denotes, and is so habitual of me, to reflect at the end of year, this post is going to be a self assessment. Primary purpose is to see what all i have in memory.

Well to start with, this year is an year of addition.We had Sabarmathi, she was born on june 24. Relatively easy delivery for Manasa. 2019 is special, its Ba Bapu 150. Naturally we named her Sabarmathi, she is also called as Pragnya and Raksha. She is indeed sweet and her smiles are the greatest experiences of this year. Sudhir is going to school, we had tough times initially sending him to school. There are so many problems and pressures in our schooling system. I dont know how we are going to bring him up. He is learning things. It is interesting to watch him grow. Once I showed him Hibiscus and rose in our home garden. He showed the Hibiscus and said it is capital rose and the rose is small rose. Children compete with poets. Rather poets are the ones who try to retain the inner child. 

My periamma, padmavathy, we lost her in april. She was at our home since 2001. Such a wonderful and strong woman. She had renal failure and was under dialysis for the past two years. Saw her crumble slowly. It is a big loss to us. We feel it everyday. I do believe sabarmathi is her blessing. I know your wishes are there for us always. My other periamma, eldest sister of my mother who was at tiruvannamalai also passed away this year. I used to go to thiruvannamalai now and then. To see annamalaiyar and go around the hills were some noble motives for the visit but more than that i like her sakkarai pongal preparation. She is a timid personality. Rarely comes out of home. Last year when i went she suddenly packed and came along with me to karaikudi. Three sisters had a time together. They knew that it is not going to be possible in future.

The year ends with construction going on speedily at our first floor. We are constructing and shifting our home hopefully by mid of 2020. The big news is that we are planning to convert our ground floor residence in to an ayurvedic hospital with inpatient facility. But this is no easy going. We had to spend so much money for getting approvals. Became frustrated in loan attempts and decided to shelve the idea. I am not sure whether this is a wise decision to close our deposits and savings and go about the construction. Hopefully we should be able to complete the task. So with the construction of house, my gruhastha duty comes to an end i believe. Of course there are day to day duties. Next two or three years are going to be crucial in terms of finance. Manasa is the big pillar for me to lean on. I hope she takes up the medical work in 2020 giving more space to my creative work. I had an eye treatment for Kerato conus, c3r. Was in rest for a brief period. But that helped. Mother used to read loud stories to me even then, reminding of childhood days. 

The year in several ways a continuation of the previous one, filled with travels. This year had two foreign trips. A trip to singapore and malaysia in may was great. Roamed around the streets of singapore with saran and latha. Naveen drove us to various places in KL. Well spent days indeed. The second trip to Singapore came around in october. This was a wholesome trip. Walked around singapore, went to museums, gardens by the bay. Latha and Saran accompanied here as well. A night trip with C.Mohan, Latha and Kavitha by the side of Singapore river with wonderful lights is a memory i can hardly forget. Then there was a trip to Mumbai, in the month of march for the Gateway litfest at NCPA. it was also a memorable experience. Perumal Murugan came there. Met some other contemporary writers from various states. My room mate was a Telugu writer Sheriff, i was able to converse in telugu. We went to hasarath ali mosque, jehangir gallery and museum. We stayed so near to the gateway hence we went there in the nights and early morning. Had a train trip, listened to all sessions, participated in a session with jerry pinto. Overall it was a memorable experience i would say. Thats the end of aeroplane boasts.

I remember travelling to cuddalore for Natrinai meet organised by Seenu,  Erode meet on short stories was a great experience as well. Went to vivadha pattarai. It was an inspiration to start the 1000 hours reading challenge. I felt immensely happy that this helped a good number of readers to discipline their reading. There were several such efforts by various groups. I went to salem. Met Kumarananthan, satish and siva prasath there. Had a talk on Gandhi. 'Sitril' is another venture i am happy to be part of. We had two events on behalf of sitril. One was at coimbatore organised for M.Goapalakrishnan. I spoke on his short story collection 'piridhoru nadhikkarai'. The other was organised at madurai for Yuvan. I spoke on his short story collections. I went to dindugul to give a talk on gandhi's works. Met prof. A.Marx there. It was a good talk. Made some speeches in All India Radio trichy as well. Happened to attend a discussion on applications of Gandhian principles in day today issues with college students at trichy. Gandhi 150 made me travel to several places. Had one appearance in vijay tv for the year where i sat along Vishal Raja in a discussion on fashion today. Went to nagerkoil twice this year. Once as a guest in UCEN college and second time to interview mahadevan sir. Went to chennai for Akara mudhalvan's book review. Gave a talk at madurai on suresh pradheep's 'Enjum Sorkal'. It was a warm event. Spoke on Perundevi's poems in her book release at chennai. Went to coimbatore to attend Bharatiar university's Yuva Puraskar writers national conference. Talked on the first anniversary of Karaikudi vasagasalai. The last of these travels ended with vishnupuram meet, which was splendid. Apart from these there were several family events which made me travel. Seems like this year is an year of stage talks. This is indeed a case to worry. I want to be a writer who could speak not the speaker who could write., I want to restrict my stage taks for the upcoming year *by the way already scheduled a talk on ayurveda on jan 5 and on bala's book on jan 10).

This year wrote just two short stories and one flash fiction. Both the stories were well received. 2019 January was spent writing 'Neelakantam'. Finally after all the odds I completed the first draft by the end of january. I had to revise two or three times. Happy that the novel is well received. The Gandhi book I translated last year finally came out. A translation of homage to Mahathma published by publication division of India. The other compilation on tamilnadu and Gandhi is yet to see the light. This year happened to read plenty of books in drafts. Naveen's 'Pecchi', Suresh Pradheep's 'Nigazhaa kaalam',  R.Giridharan's 'Kaalathin mudivul olikkum isai', Sureshkumara indhrajith's 'Kadalum vannathupoochigalum', Karthik Balasubramanian's 'Natchathiravaasigal', Suchitra's 'Oli', Nagaprakash's 'Eri', Kaalathugal's novella 'Year zero', Sridhar's 'Katthikaran' and 'Ammavin badhilgal'. It was a pleasure reading these texts. I felt happy to be trusted. Hopefully all these books will be talked about in 2020. 

This year is also a special year for our Marapachi ilakkiya vattam. We had Artist Ramesh Subramanian, Writers Suresh Kumara indrajith, Suresh pradheep, devi bharathy, and poets perundevi, bogan shankar, samraj columnist Aneesh krishnan nayar and samas came to our meetings. It is indeed an year of activity. We organised a Gandhi 150 on the occasion of Karaikudi book fair.    

On the status of country, it is indeed a difficult time in which we live. Every person, every thought is being pushed, polarized. Hope sanity prevails, andlet us have our strength to resist injustice of any form. 

Now coming to 'what can be expected' part..

have stopped playing shuttle, went for cycling and walks, but even that is not happening now. want to resume walking, thats the only time i listen to music. have to get up early for that, have to sleep early. all these things depends on sudhir and sabarmathi's routine now. anyway will try to discipline this.

januray kalachuvadu might have my contribution. wrote an article on gandhi and ayurveda. helped them compile a gandhi special. also sent a translation of tridip suhrudh.

want to bring out a flash fiction / short story collection- pazhuvettaiyar stories.. some 5 to 6 stories had to be added.

The first thing i want to complete is to complete the translation of critical annotated edition of my exp with truth. The pace at which i am moving is very slow. I am desperate to complete the daunting task. 

The next thing is to transcribe and edit the interview i did with dr mahadevan sir and bring it as a book. I think the first half of the 2020 will be spent for these two works. Hope i shall be more disciplined. And i have made up my mind to never take up a non fiction translation here after. Translation should be of secondary priority. 

By the end of the year want to bring out a collection of short stories. I have 4 already in stake. have to write atleast 6 more. 

Then comes the novel project. I have made up my mind to work for a bigger novel. There are atleast 5 themes running in my mind. All these require meticulous reading and working. 

A novel on Gandhi
Novel on 50 years of chettinadu
novel on thiruvadanai jail break during quit india movement
novel on ayurveda history
speculative fiction on gandhian ideals
burma chettinad connection 

 I have made up my mind to write a novel on gandhi. I think it is the need of the time. It will be a different attempt. Hopefully I will begin working this one post june. 

So this is it for now..
Wishing all of you a creative, productive, peaceful, healthy and happy new year. 

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