Variations on an original beam

Malayalam is full of sarcastic, side-of-mouth idioms and I have been chanting one of them for the last couple of days. Onnillangel aashande nenjathu allengil kalarikku purathu... It describes someone or some situation which has exasperating extremes. Literally,someone leaps so short that he is on his master's chest and irritating him. Or he leaps so far that he is outside the arena and can't be seen. There's a nice martial arts visual for you. I have been muttering it to console myself. The days of sloth shall return. They shall and in the meanwhile I shall gently stew.

Though I should think twice about quoting martial arts visuals or even quoting at all because I might be accused of plagiarism. Bent tells me that he went to a dance performance in Bangalore last week and was startled by an announcement that the movements were copyright protected. So in case you feel like twisting your thigh to the back of your head in public or curling up in a foetal position on the floor and wriggling, don't! Insane American paranoia is our friend.

And let us extend a warm welcome to

   who joins the free world today to take a breather before she begins her secret project. And in honour of her breaking her shackles, a song, a song, a song.


We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

Arthur O' Shaughnessy


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