A New Blog

26 Nov

I made a new blog.

http://paromitalog.wordpress.com
The title is not yet decided.

It’s bilingual, so that my English-speaking friends can be updated about me more.

Thanks!

The place to die

18 Sep

I was looking for a place I would want to die.

Australia was not the place.

Then, after a few years, Japan turned out not to be either.

Then I found Kerala in India.

But after a few years, again I am feeling this is not the place.

In fact, what I am starting to gain

Is my indiscrimination in the place I would die.

Wherever I would die,

Now I can imagine my body

Turning into soil and wind and light

And fly and melt into the world.

I hope I won’t forget this.

*

2013 Tomomi

geckos cry

14 Aug

Geckos cry
like turtles

Squirrels cry
like birds

and I sing
like ………?

I wonder.

*

I wonder who designed me this way;

I wonder who designed things
so that no blood is spilt
when a cat eats a gecko;

I wonder who designed
the mosquitoes to live on blood;

I wonder who designed
those bugs to jump into the fire,
those ants to walk into the water,
things to happen as they happen;

I wonder.

hurt and sadness

14 Aug

When I accepted that I was actually hurt, I thought about it a lot, but I came to the conclusion that there is not so much anger inside me. It was just pain and sadness; In some way I am relieved. I am glad I am having sadness than resentment.

But yes, when you have both anger and sadness, sadness is way better and appears beautiful. But when you only have sadness, you see it is not as good as it seemed.

Anyway, we can only work on what we can. As many others will say, things are so intense in India; all the friendships I have had outside this country seem so normal… in reality, there were many dramas for each of them; but that’s how you’d feel.

I think I’m coming to a stage to learn to handle things even in severe situations. I didn’t come to India for spirituality. It was for the arts, and the nature. Yet I am ending up learning a lot about LIFE… in a way you can never elsewhere. So I guess you may say I am happy.

struggle

11 Jul

After a long struggle to adapt to the environment of a company in Kerala, the skill I adopted was to first recognise the person as a Malayali (Keralite) and then as an individual. It was an attitude I did not want to take up, but I came to a point where I was convinced that if otherwise I will not survive. There was rarely a weekend that went without tears. My phisical condition was deteriorating and my skins were rashing like a dinasour. It is true that I will most probably have problem in any company, whether in Japan or elsewhere; I have that character, I have that problem. But still, the Indian/Malayali-ness of the office added to it even more.

To think of the person as a simple ‘person’, means to take him/her as equal to you, and that always has the danger of ignoring that person’s values and what are different from you. Or perhaps you recognise the differences, but you still expect the core bits to be the same or alike to you. So when a great difference strikes suddenly, it really hits you, and becomes very, extremely, hard to digest. And living in India, the degree of different-ness of this difference is often much greater than what you could possibly expect; which is why I came to the attitude stated earlier.

But which is more arrogant? Both of them are arrogant in its own way, whether to expect the same value from the other, or to categorise a living human being into some obscure collective. I tend to juggle them and get lost between the two.

In Australia, there was less tendency to judge a person from his/her look. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist; it was certainly there, and I used to have strong opinion about that. But after coming to India, and reflecting upon the situation in Japan, I now think Australia is actually doing pretty well. Prejudice is a part of human nature, and even if the racism survives strongly there, still the history has taught them to recognise racism as racism, and people are made conscious of how to deal with it.

I can survive in Japan rather easily these days, only because I know well what to expect there. I went through a process of hating that place, despite my love to the language and cultures, to careful reconciliation in recent years.

Now, here-in Kerala- whatever I say or do, people will label it as Japanese. Even very intelligent and cultural people do. Natural, I guess, in Indian context, where the identity as Indian is so important. But those who are reading here would probably know that I am not at all the kind of person to rightly represent Japanese. The major problem I have is perhaps that I do not really understand this sense to ‘be proud of your own culture’; as I wrote, I love Japanese language and some of the cultures. But am I proud of it? I am happy when I get to know some great Japanese figures. But would I be proud of them?

If people categorise me into Japanese, would that be a reflection of how I categorise them as Malayalis? But without such recognition, I can easily get into the trap of imaginative ‘we’ and collapse in disappointment. Can I give up to have my own thoughts and leave the ego?

So I come back to the same question, over and over again.

The only sure thing I can say is that I must work on the language more. I need to be more conversant in Malayalam. English is a dangerous thing when used as an international medium, because everyone thinks they have a good grasp; and leads to some unfortunate misunderstandings. I need to be able to express myself more in Indian languages.

mediator

20 Jun

On my Japanese blog, I feel I write too much, But on this blog, I feel I should write more. We need to keep the momentum, or some really simple things become really difficult to carry out. I have not even written here that I started learning some Baul songs, in addition to Sopana and Carnatic music. I have only learned a few songs, and a part of me claims it is better to keep it to myself for now, but I also feel it has already become a part of my being that I need to declare it in order to talk about myself.

This morning I thought I would name my existence; i.e. call myself what I want to be like. I think it is a mediator between cultures that I want to be. I mean at a personal level. Teaching is my gift, but if you look at the art of teaching closely, it is really about coming between a person(s) and what is being taught. So to become that bridge is what I have talent in. Then I am perhaps already a mediator, but being conscious of that fact may help me leading my life that tends to get dews in the mist.

I still sometimes wish I could go back to an academic environment. The smell of literature in good academic books trigger such instinct in me. Yet, I also know that it will not be as comfortable as it used to be, nor as it seems when you dream about it. I am selfish enough to long for more and more freedom, yet lazy enough to avoid fighting. No more struggles and fights after my year-and-a-half long experience of belonging to a company. No more.

So how will I go? You’ll see! Well, I hope you will see, and I will see. But I am a mediator between cultures, that is clear. May I not get lost too further!

Gramma and the girl

28 May

One day after March 11th in 2011, my grandmother said in a dinner, “that girl in the TV we saw, lost all her family, and… such a poor girl, it makes me cry”. My mom asked her “But wasn’t there many children like that during the war time?” Grandmother herself had lost all her family except one elder sister in Tokyo bombing.

“Well, that was that kind of time. It was kind of natural”. Then grandfather added, “I never thought I would live more than twenty years… but once the war was over, now I didn’t want to die!” he laughed.

Perhaps gramma saw herself in that child in the TV, though she probably would not admit.

I won’t be political. That’s something I have decided. But that may mean I should face individuals more, and not only observe but record them. I am now thinking of writing biographies of my grandmas. Granddads have already written some by themselves (upon I and mom’s request), but I don’t think that will happen to the ladies. Mom’s interested, but she’s not the spirit for writing or editing… so I must take the initiative.