My First Quote!

"Life is often like a Poem; when you begin to perceive it, it ends. But the lucky thing is, every end is a new beginning!" - My First Quote Ever
"Life is too precious to be just hanging around in it, too good to be just sleeping through most of it, and too passionate to be just thinking about it...... So, I WRITE..." ~ Sana Rose

May 29, 2011

Out-of-This-World Moments... Well - Totally...

Hey there! Here I am, as promised! :)
So where do we really start, huh?
This week passed brimming me with anticipation and really out-of-this-world moments... :)
And like I said, it's the Autopsy posting which was unworldly - because it's about death. 

But I will begin the account today with the happy moments. :)
May 27th, 2011 is one of the most memorable days I ever had in my life... 
As planned, we all gathered for the Inaugural function of our college's Academic and Cultural Wing. 
A Body to promote Art and Cultural activities.
It has been a long-time wish of the student body there. 
And thus, 'Felicia 2011... Out-of-this-world Moments!' was inaugurated by the Hon'ble Chief Guest, Sri: U.A. Khader, the Academy Award Winner. 
I'm so lucky to have had my book released by him. :)

The book releasing ceremony was actually so so heavenly...

Sri: U.A. Khader released the book and it was received by the brilliant critic/translator Sri. Venkitachalam, who read and reviewed my book for the first time.
Later the speeches came, and the critic introduced the book to the audience that included students and teachers. I sat on the stage with the guests and was in a trance... as if I was sitting in a dream. The only thing at that time that made sure it was all real was the message that came constantly from a friend to my cell phone.
So, there I sat in a daze and watched the crowd in front of me, digesting the fact that some minutes later, I will be facing them. Speaking to them on the Mic, as a poet, the author of the book that was just released... It was a moment filled with anticipation... 
The moment came which I had expected to be difficult to me more than the moment of my speech.
The Critic/Translator, Venkitachalam, came to the mic to introduce the book. I am sorry I didn't record his speech.
It was enlightening, to me just as it was to others in the hall. 
And as he spoke about my book and revealed its layers, and the emotions and memories compressed into its pages, my eyes grew warm... and they began to get blurred...
And then I couldn't fight it back. 
My friend saw it from the audience and texted me to come down and I got up and left to a corner seat among the audience, not far from the stage, where the speaker could see me. 
It was difficult - may be the only fight I couldn't win so far- fighting back my tears when the memories attack me and remind me that this is a dream moment coming true to me... 
People saw me break into tears and go down from the stage. 
For once, I wasn't ashamed of my tears, and even in between, I was seeing some of my dear friends, the Teddy Bear included, mopping up a tear that slid down from their eyes. I didn't want this to be a sad movie, actually. But it was better than that, I guess. :)

I let the tears flow into my kerchief as the critic explained the book to the audience with all the justice he can do to it. And it felt so good as much as I felt vulnerable - yes, totally vulnerable, because by reading my book so deeply, and studying each line in it, he had operated my mind and looked into its weakest of parts... He expressed that he was awed by my expressions in the poems and I was awed by the fact that his favorite line in the book was one form a poem written at 16. "Is there a truth that's called peace..?" from the poem "With Tears of Grief" featured in the last post at the Debut Sail. Which I didn't remember at all.

I had had to rummage through the book to find that line when he told me about it when we met to talk on Thursday from the cafeteria. Mind you, I write and forget actually and I had to search the book to find a line from my own book! 
He also mentioned about the poem "Emptinesses in Equilibrium" which had a rather strange expression, according to him. The Emptinesses are in Equilibrium was to him one of the best and most unique lines he had ever read and he has resolved that it was the emptiness of my mind. :)
That's a critic - he can make a poem out of a line... And it was an extremely sensitive moment to hear so much deep remarks about my book. And especially about my love poems. He said they were daring, dangerously written... Students giggled because each of them knew how much of it was due to the reason sitting in front of me. :)

Later, felicitations were given by the Superintendent, Dr. Nisha Paul, of our college and by Dr. Geetha Jose, Our Gynecology/Obstetrics Professor, who had already read the book. And I was gathering up myself as friends texted me and told me to stay cool. 
It was not unexpected - the emotional attack. It was exactly what I had expected.
I breathed in and out and tried to relax. 
Then I was welcomed to the stage for the reply speech. I went up and stood in front of the mic and spread the small page from my notepad on the dais. 
And began..
My voice was not smooth, because of the tears I had just got rid of. But as I spoke, it went fine and I didn't quiver or feel anymore emotional or even nervous of the stage as usually I am. 
As I stood there, I knew, I had taken the first step forever. And that the audience were surprised to see me calm in front of them after the emotional attack I had. I passed through the acknowledgments and elicited some giggles when I said, "And I also thank my teachers who have unknowingly contributed to my book and the upcoming one, over the years..."
What else could I say for all those poems I wrote during those creative lectures? ;)

I shared my book's content in short and told them that it is not just about me. 
The book was about each one of them, too, in different ways. 
I didn't know I could handle a hall full of audience until that day. My friends didn't know I could face an audience like this until that moment... even I didn't know.. :)
And so it was so good to go through it and see their many smiles and even some tears being hidden among the audience. May be there were more people who cared, than I knew... 
More people who loved me for who I am than I believed... It felt so good....

I ended the speech with my quote "Somewhere in the long run, I dreamt... And then I followed the dream... I saw it in the distance... But I never knew I could touch it, hold it, caress it, let alone realize it... But I knew that dreams are just a step away from being true - and the step is just a matter of  holding on to them and trying..." and dedicating the book to "All those who Dared to Dream and All those who Cared to Smile...".
Then the critic asked me to read a poem "Those Times We Had..." from the book and he was totally excited by it's last line. Let me share the poem here:

The stones we threw,
The ripples we made,
The stories we told,
The songs we sang,
The pictures we drew,
The dreams we saw,
The sands we walked,
The times we passed,
Are all gone far
Away to memories...
Because, you grew, I grew...
You changed, I changed...
Our love grew and changed, too...
And I wonder what’s left
Of those innocent times
We had together till we grew...
And I wish we had never grown up,
Lest we grow out of it...

That's it - the poem I read on the stage- may be my first reading. :)
So, there, that was the event - a very beautiful one... :) I missed some of my friends there, though and my mom, who couldn't come since she was sick. But I hope she will get a chance for another event. :)

I am sorry that there are no photos in this post, but I hope to get a few shots from others who might have taken it. I forgot to take my camera and ask someone to take care of it - my bad. Very bad, I know. I feel so irritated to think that I forgot it! :(
But I hope someone has a picture out there. :) So, that will be uploaded in the next post. That is, the next post here will be after I get at least one photo. :D

So now, let's move onto Thursday... The Autopsy Day.
It was a terrific experience but not so good to know that the surgeons butcher inside laughing and giggling at completely unrelated things while the mourning and shocked people wait outside... 

I do not want to say the specific details of an autopsy here because it wouldn't be a very nice and warm account from a romantic poet. But I will share what I learnt from watching the three autopsies here:

1. Be gentle while you are alive..To yourself... To others... After death, it's rough... They just tear you up and in the end, stuff your own viscera into the hollow that's your body... And stuff cotton up your neck and to your head (bcoz the brain goes with the visceral organs to your belly) and sew you up like nothing happened..and just pack you up...

2. Without the soul, that's all man is... A chunk of flesh and bones that stink... Do something that makes you remembered, so that your soul is whole even when your body is torn up...
So much for all we are... So much for human arrogance... On the autopsy table, all are equal... 
Yeah, the soul is with the God. When it leaves this body, it's just an abandoned case... 
And we spend so much time caring for it than doing something for others who need help..
The autopsy posting we got was not an unnerving experience today..... 
It was rather philosophical to me.. I was thinking how slight we are... How vulnerable and perishable humans are... And why do humans still show arrogance..? What does he have to be arrogant about?
On the autopsy table, all men are equal.. The rich and the poor, the intelligent and the fool... lying naked and stony...
So, always think twice before you decide something. When you do something.  

Is it needed? 
Will it matter in the end? 
Will it be remembered? 
These are questions you need to ask yourself always...
So there, it's time for me to leave. So until next post, Insha Allah... Adieu... :)

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"I Do Not Want To Be A Doctor Who Writes, But I Want To Be A Writer Who Heals..." - Sana Rose