'When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy,
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Poenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber nad ebony,
and such sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Eqyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to last it for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca wil offer you with riches.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would never have set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you found her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.
translated by Rae Dalven
(Quoted from 'The Zahir')
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Being away from the homeland, i'm being driven by crazy thoughts..Buddha, bodhi, dances and lovely old humans. Colours creep into my heart. i wish I could make more adventures and new legacies.."Da, shall we visit Kalakshetra sometime together?" I asked my friend.
Frames kept rolling through as if from a film reel. I was stuck at the memory of the tiny rickety tea-shops of Kerala. Its wooden benches, glass shelfs and the movie posters pasted on its wall. We had lot of its kind in our village. They were active with the business before the dawn, when the people started off for their work to make coir and to hunt fishes, when the retired men walked their way to mosques to offer the morning prayers, I would be passing by on my bicycle for the school time ritual 'Tuition'.
These places had the radio tuned to the morning ragas of 'Akashavani', or the Sanskrit News. They never understood it, but it formed the rhythm of their life. They had their hot tea, even hotter discussions on the day-to-day politics. The intoxicating puffs of tobacco guided them through great spirits. It was dexterous I felt, to hold the 'beedi' between their teeth and talk (than how the new generation blows of the puff holding it between the fingers).
On Sundays, I too ran to these huts, holding a steel tiffin box close to my chest, to get the hot 'porottas' and 'some mouth watering curry'. I would run faster back on the way. The tiffin would be hot enough to burn my skin.
Though these tea-shops are rare to be found these days, i'm sure. i shall find one to have the strong tea and parippu vadas, once I'm back there. I'm always bound to pondering such nostalgic memories. What to do?
* The firs snaps are from the travel blog of Mitchell Kanashkevich. The last one from Neelu's collections.