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Showing posts from November, 2014

Life in the Woods

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It is pitch dark outside as I sit and write this. The tree-line has dissolved into the empty space above, with only a few stars gleaming down upon the darkened earth. I am sitting by an incandescent light I switched on at the click of a button, and I plugged in my computer, turned on some music, and began to think.
There in this darkness that has set in at six o’clock in the evening is a village devoid of all that I possess right now. This village probably lies within a hundred kilometers around me, is devoid of electricity, is devoid of any form of artificial light save for the kerosene lamps hung from corrugated ceilings. This village is older than you and I, and dates back to the bygone era of our forefathers. Its houses have been surrounded by woods for eons, and the darkness that falls on this village tonight is no different from the one that engulfed it last year on this day. Every morning since the harvest moon hung low in the sky, men, women, and children alike have been hacki…

The Last Wave by Pankaj Sekhsaria: a review

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I have always wanted to visit the Andaman Islands, and I had written to Pankaj nearly half a decade ago about it, but I didn’t intend to visit the islands as a tourist, especially after the tsunami. The trip however never materialized and years later, today, Pankaj helped me visit the great islands through “The Last Wave”, and I learnt much more about the island than I would have if I were to visit as a mere tourist. Simply put, the book is relevant to those who have been to the islands as it is to those who wish to. The Last Wave’s cover is outlaid on a mellow shade of green, with sights and signs distinctive of the Andamans: a Jarawa standing on what appears to be the Andaman Trunk Road, a fish and a dinghy signifying the basic livelihood of the island, a mugger basking near the base of the book, and between the title and the name of the author rests the flower of Papilionanthe teres. The back-cover, in continuation of the front, shows a Leatherback turtle along the sea, a Narconda…