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The Last Bird From The Golden Age Of Ghazelles. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

The Last Bird From The Golden Age Of Ghazelles.

P.S.Remesh Chandran. Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum.

PSRemeshChandraStarred Page By PSRemeshChandra, 17th Aug 2013  Short URL http://nut.bz/3dwnobim/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Music crosses borders of nations and oceans and reaches hearts of human beings in strange lands. God stands just behind those who sing, so close, that we will wonder who actually sings. Ghazals are Nature’s wonderful creations in which the purest of passions, emotions and feelings are stored up so that grief-stricken human soul in loneliness can seek solace in it at any time as if in the presence of God. It is His ardence, affection and benediction once in a lifetime that flows through ghazals

Ghazals originated in pre-Islamic Arabia, existed in this world for 1500 years and is dying in Europe.

Ghazals originated in pre-Islamic Arabia, developed in Medieval Africa, Spain, Persia, Turkistan, Afghanistan, Hindustan and Russia and ended in Europe. They existed in this world for more than 1500 years. Since the diluting of their form, meter and rhyme by modern day poets, they are no longer going to remain, making already created ones endearing. Great singers like present day Salman Alvi and Habib Wali Muhammad but continue to sing old ghazals and keep the interest in them alive.

Translating Persian poems into English was the earliest hobby of the British East India Company officers to escape from boredom.

We know about the poetic form quatrain as used in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in which a quartet of four independent lines when joined together one after another like flowers in a garland obtain a unique form and develop into exotic themes. It has an Arabic origin wherefrom it moved to Persian. In the courts of Persian Emperors, it gained importance and momentum and, as Persian rule expanded through the continent, it reached Afghanistan, Pakistan and India- then a common land under Persian rule. Every British officer posted to the English East India Company to serve in this region was required to learn Persian to converse well with the courtiers and the Emperors of this Empire. Not all of these officers were boorish illiterates. Many of them were real scholars who learned Persian well. To escape from the isolation, loneliness and boredom they felt in India, they took it as their hobby to translate famous Persian poems into English. First it was a hobby, then exhilaration and finally a career. Many British scholars who never reached India but remained inside native universities also continued undertaking this translation, once initiated into this flair by earlier translations. Thus these exotic quatrains, from Arabic through Persian, reached English literature. When translated into English, they reached the main stream of world literature and became singularly famous. ‘They began to fill the pages of English poetry books with the sweet sound of bulbuls and the scent of roses.’ Translations by some of these early British officers like such luminaries as Edward Fitzgerald and A. J. Arberry remain classics.

Whichever emotions could not be shared with a woman who is forbidden to be longed for was expressed in ghazals in more intimate terms.

Ghazals evolved the same way the quatrains were. Their origin was in Arabia and the word literally means ‘addressing a woman or speaking to a woman’. We know, seldom will a poet write poems addressing his wife, for their intimacy would have waned considerably through years. It was always ‘addressing a woman who is normally unreachable and forbidden to long for’ that necessitated and inspired the creation of ghazals. Whichever emotions could not be shared directly with that woman, were expressed in these quartets or couplets, in more intimate terms. From Arabia, this form was taken up from Turkey by the 10th century Persian literati and widely used in Persian courts where it became popular. In 12th century Hindustan, ghazals spread to Urdu language, following the installation of Islamic Sultanates and the advent of Sufi saints in India. In later years they were taken up for translation by English East India Company officers who learned both Urdu and Persian well. Sufi philosophy and mysticism also influenced and diverted the themes of ghazals. So, following the same path taken by quatrains, ghazals also reached world literature. Even before the origin of Islam, similar poetic forms had existed in Arabia, which the Persians had assimilated and developed as the Persian poetic form qasida, the real mother of all present day geets and ghazals.

Ghazals were named after that sweet loving-bird gazelle of Africa known for its love songs, crying for its beloved.

Urdu poetry or shayari has two forms which are geets and ghazals. In geet, the entire poem is independent, developing a central theme. Geet is also called as nazm, or rhymed verse. In ghazals, only the quartets or couplets are independent, complete in itself but unrelated to each other, which when combined together, develops a central theme. This poetry form is more spelt as ‘ghazal’ than as ghazelle’ which would have been more apt. We know the sweet loving-bird gazelle in Africa known for its love songs, crying for its beloved. The word ghazal is derived to symbolize this love-stricken ghazelle. Ghazals also have the characteristic of the poet’s name hidden, alluded to or referred to at the end.

Ghazals evolved from the emotional opening part of Qasîdah, the pre-Islamic poetic form of Ode.

In the pre-Islamic world in Arabia, there was a golden time for odes called qasîdahs. They included mainly four poetic genres such as madîh, hikam, hijâ and fakhr. Madîh represened praising poetry, Hikam represented moralizing poetry, Hijâ represented satirizing poetry and Fakhr accommodated boasting poetry. The love-genre which later came to be called Ghazals was not a recognized form in those golden times of Arabian poetry before the emergence of Islam. Whichever genre it belonged to, a qasîdah had three parts- the opening part called nasîb, the middle and main part called rahîl and a last part called madîh. We will normally think this first introductory part nasîb would be of comparatively lesser importance in such an elaborate structure of Arabian poetry, but strangely it was from this introductory part that ghazals evolved later. Since emotional attachment to women was an important part of human constitution and winning listeners’ hearts even from the opening lines an objective of all poets, there was no wonder the beginning part nasîb of the qasîdahs of Arabia became the foundation for ghazals to base themselves on later.

The risky, dangerous and brittle Arabian Bedouin life created ghazals for solace and escape.

Ancient Arabians were mostly Bedouins and their life was dangerous, risky and brittle. Love and emotional attachment was the only momentary respite, relief and diversion in their lives. As life became harsher, laborious and more painful, affinity for indulging not in moralizing and boasting poems but in love songs made embracing ghazals more natural and their development inevitable. Old world scholars like Ibn Qutaybah have analyzed the origin of qasîdahs, nasîbs and ghazals up to the rising of Arabian written literature. The unrecorded periods were guessed and synthesized by modern day scholars like Theodor Gaster Hayât Jâsim, Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych and Jaroslav Stetkevych who have tried to trace Bedouin life and their literature back to ancient Middle Eastern times.

Arabian urbanization made people demand for music, dance and entertainment and made ghazals shorter and lighter.

During the Ummayyad Era from 661 to 750, Arabian urbanization grew and townsfolk wanted more music, dance, songs and entertainment. Ghazals were an apt poetic form to be adapted, converted and used for these entertainment purposes. Deserts preferred classic traditional form but cities liked ghazals modified and separated into nasîb, rahîl and madîh in the qasîdah. The qasîdah form of ghazals consisted of couplets. Each line ended in the same rhyme. Each line in a couplet was called bayt in Arabic language and sher in Persian. Using the same rhyme scheme by a poet was termed qâfiyah.

Popularity and development of ghazals also led to different schools of ghazals coming into being. Courtly love, free of eroticism and physical desire, developed as udharî, the proponents of this school being puritans like `Abd al-Rahmân, `Urwah b.Hizâm, Jamîl b. Ma`mar, and Tawbah b. al-Humayr. Erotic hissî was nothing but graphic and vivid descriptions, mostly written by `Umar b.Abî Rabî`ah. Poets like Abû al-Nuwâs practiced mudhakkar which was homo erotic. The only school of ghazals which based not on theme but on form was tamhîdî which was a transitional form with only two parts in it, the introductory part nasîb entering straight into the last part madîh without the middle part rahîl.

Arabian urbanization made ghazals becoming generally shorter and lighter also. Stiff meters like kâmil, basît, and rajaz which were used in the classical ghazals changed to lighter ones like khafîf, ramal, and muqtarab, to suit mass entertainment. Themes diverted more from memories of clan, home and heroism to romanticism and erotic, to suit people’s tastes.

Like great rivers, ghazals received everything from the lands they flowed through.

The chronological and geographical development of ghazals can be traced by following the names of the most important persons associated with ghazals. Persian mystic poets like Jalal al-Din Muhammad and Rumi in the 13th century, Hafiz in the 14th century, Turkish poet Fuzuli in the 16th century, Indian poets Mirza Ghalib in the 18th century and Muhammad Iqbal in the 19th century and finally the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the 19th century, will give a rough outline of the countries through which ghazals travelled and the time segments in which it progressed. Or, will we have to doubt, was it a progress really? It certainly became more popular and accepted and certainly recordings of them could be made as science and technology advanced, but its traditional form deteriorated through centuries. When it reached England, Thomas Hardy was the first to pick it up but even his was a poor attempt. Even though using this form by German poets Friedrich Rückert and August von Platen in the 19th century was considered somewhat of a success, its use by the American Indian poet Agha Shahid Ali and poetess Adrianne Rich in the 20th century was thorough flop, for failure in keeping metrical perfection. It is because ghazals from Arabia spread to Persia and Turkey that we have now a vast production of literature before us. But we have not yet considered the result of its spreading to two other vast regions, namely Africa and Spain.

Ghazals travelled through Africa, Spain, Persia, Turkey and India and reached Germany and England.

Arab culture and education permeated into Africa, Spain and Persia, resulting also in the spread of ghazals. Western African poets who wrote ghazals in their languages wrote in Arabic also. Hausa and Fulfulde are the African languages wherein we see so many ghazals. Spanish poets like Moses ibn Ezra of the 10th century wrote ghazals both in Spanish Hebrew and Arabic. Either in Africa or in Spain, the prominent Arabic characteristics of ghazals did not wane but they controlled the movement. Neither did these Arabic characteristics wane in Persia. In fact, the earliest Persian ghazals were more Arabic than Persian. Even though experiments and changes in their musical adaptability were undertaken by Persians, they preferred to follow the same lighter meters perfected by Arabians. The Persians did not only content themselves with the love ghazals of the Arabs; they assimilated and experimented with other Arabian poetic forms like satires, moralizers and boasting and praising poetry forms also. The first great poet of Iran, Abdullah Jafar Rudaki of the 9th century, surpassed all Arabic and Persian poets till then in excellence in composing ghazals, culminating in the fruition of all good Arabic and Persian characteristics in one single poet.

Multi language proficiency was characteristic of ghazal writers in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

During the years from when Persians borrowed ghazals from Arabians to the years when they were invaded by Ottoman Turks, the Persian Empire had spread and Persian had become the prominent and official language in Central Asia. Luckily, it was the refined ghazals of the 14th century that seeped into Afghanistan, Hindustan, Turkistan and Russia. Like those who were directly influenced by Arabic wrote both in Arabic as well as in African, Spanish and Persian languages, those who were now influenced by Persian ghazals wrote both in Persian as well as in Hindi, Urdu, Afghan, Azerbaijan, Uzbek and Turkish. Besides in Persian, Amir Khusru in 14th century wrote in Hindi also, Ali-Shir Nava’I in 15th century in Afghan Turkish also and Fuzuli in 16th century in Azerbaijani Turkish also. Ali-Shir Nava’I is called ‘the Chaucer of the Turks’ and the founder of Uzbek literature. Mirza Ghalib in 19th century wrote in Urdu. Since then, every regional language in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia and Turkey has had ghazals, entirely die to bilingual proficiency becoming prevalent.

Mongol attacks of 13th century made Persians shed Arabic conservatism in ghazals and begin their thinning.

Arabians were somewhat reluctant to spell the author’s name in the ghazals directly; they made only hidden allusions and references in the end. Even in Rudaki’s time in the 9th century, this had not changed in Persia. But before or at the time the Mongols attacked Persia in the beginning of the 13th century, this seems to have changed. Perhaps ghazal poets of this time might have decided to shed anonymity and obscurity, or they might have decided to preserve some fame for posterity before barbarian Mongols burned everything including them. Poets became more open and less shy in mentioning their names in ghazals. They devised the method called takhallus to record their name in the final couplet. It was a major change in subtlety of expression in ghazals under the care of Persians. Couplets also began to declare independence and began to look distantly-placed components in the garland more. Muslih-ul-Din Saadi of the 13th century who had to flee from Mongols to save his life was the finest example for stubbornness against this thinning in the integrity of ghazals. Topics also varied liberally with the Persians by the end of the 14th century.

Persians attached refrains to ghazals and Sufis diverted theme from erotic to mystic and divine.

Arabs also did not use refrains after the end rhyming word but Persians insisted on them as a rule. Persian poets from the 10th to 13th centuries commonly used end-refrains in ghazals. Like takhallus which was their new devise for inserting the author’s name shamelessly, use of this refrains called radif also was the Persians’ unnecessary contribution to ghazals. Poets like Abu Shukur, Daqiqi, Shahid-i Balkhi, Ma`rufi, Farid al-Din`Attar and Mahmud-i Varraq, and even the noted Jalal al-Din Rumi, liberally used it. Poetical critics and philosophers of that time like Rashid al-Din Vatvat supported it. The only exemption was again Muslih-ul-Din Saadi who used it only in a few of his poems. Eventually radifs became the characteristic of Persian ghazals to distinguish the Pre-Islamic from the Post-Mongol Invasion productions. These poems with the refrain came to be called muraddaf. When it was the time of Hafiz in the 14th century, Persian poets wrote rarely without refrains. It became a certification of mastery in poetical craft. It was after the 14th century that this practice waned and finally vanished. There was a cause for this also, which was advent of Sufism. Sufis not only tempted poets to do away with this unnecessary ornament but keep manifestation of longing and desire remain, but they also diverted ghazals’ themes to divinity and the mystic from eroticism. At the end of the 14th century, we have thus the Arabian ghazals more or less intact with us, with only a slight independence and autonomy for couplets as declared by Persians, but cleansed of fleshly desires by Sufis, aspiring for divinity.

When direct contact with Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages ceased, the fountain of inspiration for ghazals also dried up.

It was in their Persian and Urdu form in the 18th and 19th centuries that ghazals arrived in Europe, directly introduced in Germany by Goethe and indirectly introduced in Britain by the bored British East India Company officers, as we have already seen. We can say, in conclusion, that the Golden Age of Ghazals ended with the 14th century, and the tree continued to rain till the 18th century, long after the rain had actually ceased. Perhaps Goethe, Edward Fitzgerald, Atkins, and A. J.Arberry were the last ones to see Arabic and Persian ghazals in their originality and magnificence and take them to Europe. When direct contact with Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages ended, contact with original ghazals also ended, and the fountain of inspiration got ghazals also dried up with it. People but still continued to write ghazals for the simple reason that they wanted to be known as ghazal writers, for writing ghazals had been made so easy after abandoning metrical form, rules and themes and declaring full independence and autonomy for couplets. This applies to all ghazals created in Europe and America in the 19th and 20th centuries, without any direct contact with Arabic, Persian or Urdu languages. Today, the trend in writing ghazals is, whatever is strenuous, difficult and demanding is abandoned and whatever is cool, easy and effortless retained, as is in the case of all other forms of poetry. Limitations of length are now strictly adhered to because today no one can write too much. Poets proclaim that emotions flow from their heart as free verse and they are entitled to present it as poems and ghazals without editing or transfiguration which would be unnatural and taboo. Ghazals are going that way in Arabia, Persia, Afghan, India, Russia and Europe, deteriorating every day. Every compromise and relaxation brought about by these lazy, uninspired and untrained ‘poets’ is innovation in their terms and degeneration in our terms. Like when oral epics like Beowulf were translated from semi-German into modern English, Song Of Roland was translated from French and Rubaiyat was translated from Persian, rhyme and meter systems used by the original poets in their original languages are no more researched on, experimented with and modified for adaptation with translation by modern poets. They are now thought of as hindrances, not as intellectual challenges. The Persians, Africans, Spaniards, Turks, Afghans, Indians and the Russians took great care in incorporating alien rhyme schemes and unfamiliar meters into their complicated language systems and retaining the beauty of the original works or they devised new meters or rhymes to accommodate the guest. Modern day poets with lesser intelligence and lesser still patience challenge the poetical excellence and exotic versifications of pious centuries with their licenscious and poor creations. Arabian ghazals are so now dying away, vanishing with those grief-stricken and crying ghazelle birds of Africa.

English ghazal writing has reached the bizarre stage where radif is invariably present and rhyme is totally absent.

In conventional poetry, in general, there has to be a continuity flowing though all lines maintained but in ghazals, today, there needn’t be any such necessity and obligation for keeping continuity, provided lines are arranged in couplets to show likeliness of ghazals, remotely. This self-declared simplicity of form attracts everyone to writing ghazals. English ghazals writing has reached the bizarre stage where radif is invariably present and rhyme is totally absent. The author of this article went through a few of the most famous volumes of ghazals published recently in English, including those by John Thompson in Canada and Adrienne Rich in America, and is of the opinion that they all belong to the vain category of pseudo ghazals. They failed to obey true-to-form principles and became bastard ghazals. They only have the word Ghazal printed on their covers, mere copyrighted creations with no Arabic, Persian or Indian glory, magnificence and generosity, in conviction or in execution.

Once, ghazals meant a well-cut and defined poetic form and a genre. Now, they mean only a genre. Form has been sacrificed for easiness in writing. Free verse penetrated Arabian, Persian, African, Spanish, Afghan, Indian and Russian ghazals in the 20th century. There is no possibility of ghazals ever regaining their traditional form. Today, ghazals are being written about anything and everything, even without keeping ever even a trace of a longing and desire for a beloved human being. So, imperceptibly, ghazals are unbecoming a genre also. With the passing of each day, ghazals are distancing themselves more from a defined form and genre as ‘a love song of longing’.

The heritage of ghazals does not continue through modern poets anymore.

Ghazals have traditional restrictions of form. They have strict rhyme and rhythm patterns. Traditional ghazals are composed of five to fifteen couplets, with the poet’s signature skillfully embedded in the last one. Iranian, Indian and Pakistani singers, who take up old ghazals, orchestrate record and distribute them and hold live concerts are who keep the interest in ghazals alive. Turkish, Pashto, Urdu, Hindi, Spanish and German languages have fine ghazals. Americans are not introduced enough to ghazals, for none of the poets except the 18th and 19th century British translators who introduced ghazals to that continent did justice to traditional form, rhyme and meter. Translations from other languages into English are still in the infancy stage, or we can say that it stopped at the infancy stage with the passing away of such talented poets like Prof. A.J.Arberry. Nearly all of them have only been able to copy the theme of ghazals, not its form. Lack of patience, reverence and training, and over-orientation for publishing were what made their ghazals flop. There indeed are several modern names associated with translation of ghazals into English or creating them of their own, such as Aijaz Ahmad, Agha Shahid Ali, Adriane Rich, David Ray, Edward Lowbury, Elise Paschen, Elizabeth Gray, James Clarence Mangan, James Elroy Flecker, John Hollander, John Thompson, Phyllis Webb, Spencer Reece, William Hunt, William Stafford, W. S. Merwin, etc. which needn’t imply that the heritage of ghazals continues through them anymore. Deviating from traditional form has become such unquestioned and common that there are now scores of writers in every language who seek shelter and fame in the folds of ghazals.

What keep alive the interest in ghazals are the presence of exquisite singers and the availability of their recorded creations.

Indian and Pakistani singers touring abroad and conducting concerts made ghazals very popular in the modern day Europe. Famous Urdu ghazal writers include Mirza Ghalib, Muhammad Iqbal, Nasir Kazmi, Sahir Ludhiyanvi, Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Morza Rafi Sauda, Majrooh Sultanpuri. Singers who made ghazals in Asia popular include Kundan Lal Saigal, Ustad Barkat Ali, Begum Akhtar, Mehdi Hassan, Noor Jehan, Iqbal Bano, Amanat Ali Khan, Jagjit Singh, Farida Khanum, Ghulam Ali, Begum Akhtar. Mohammad Rafi popularized them through films. Bengali and Gujarathi have quite a number of ghazals. Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam languages in South India also have many ghazal singers.

When someone wants to build a collection of ghazals which are first class ones worthy of being listened to again and again and which also are recorded and available for purchase, the main problem he faces is, every CD has good and bad ghazals. Not all singers are good. There is the other option of searching for selected songs and downloading them from You Tube as videos or from pay or free sites as audios. Here is a selection, the really first class ones without which no collection will be complete.

01. Amanat Ali….1. Ghar Wapas Kab Aaoge. 2. Honton Pe Kabhi. 3. Insha Ji Utho.
02. Anup Jalota….1. Dil Hi Nahin To Dil Ke. 2. Do Din To Junoon Ke Hain 3. Ruk Jao Subah Tak. 4. Tumne Kitne Sapne Dekhe.
03. Fareeda Khanum….1. Kuch Ishq Tha Kuch Majboori. 2. Woh Ishq Jo Hum Se.
04. Ghulam Ali….1. Ae Dard E Hijre Yaar. 2. Chamakte Chand Ko. 3. Chhup Chhup Ke Piyo. 4. Gugunati Hai Hawa. 5. Hum Tere Shahar Me Aaye Hai.
05. Gul Bahar Bano….1. Dard Kay Saz. 2. Dhal Gaee Raat. 3. Hamain Jahan Mai. 4. Kabhi Kabhi To. 5. Kya Kya Ye Rang. 6. Tu Pass Bhi Ho To.
06. Habib Wali Muhammad….1. Aa Hum Thode Zindagii. 2. Chaahat Ki Har Geeth Niraalii. 3. Deir Lagii Aane Mein Unko. 4. Kab Mera Nache Man. 5. Lagta Nahin He Dil Mera. 6. Pehla Sahaal Pehle Hii. 7. Thume Meri Na Mujh Ko Na. 8. Yeh Na Dhi Hamari Hota.
07. Iqbal Bano….Daag-e-Dil Hum Ko.
08. Jagjit Singh….1. Aap Aaye Janaab Barson Mein. 2. Aap Se Gila Aap Ki Kasam. 3. Jhuki Jhuki Ki Nazar. 4. Nazar Nazar Se Mila Ker Sharab.
09. Mehdi Hassan….1. Aye Kuchh Ab Kuchh. 2. Gali Gali Teri Yaad. 3. Yun Zindagi Ki Raah.
10. Munni Begum….1. Chaman Roye. 2. Koi Humnafas Nahin. 3. Koi Mujh e Gul Se. 4. Kuch Din Kate Hain. 5. Is Jagah Pyar Karna Ma’na Hai. 6. Tumharaa Shaharka Musam Bara.
11. Musrat Nazeer….Raat Dhammi Dhammi.
12. Nayyara Noor….1. Ae Jazba-e-Dil. 2. Mor Macha Way Sor.
13. Noor Jehan….Dil Ke Afsaane.
14. Talat Mehmood….1. Aaja Tujhe Mohabbat. 2. Aansoo Samajh Ke Kyu.
3. Bechain Nazar. 4. Hum Se Aaya Na Gaya. 5. Jalte Hai Jiske Liye.
6. Zindagi Denewale Sun.

And of course, 15. Salman Alvi.

Salman Alvi, the last bird from the golden age of ghazals and the music ambassador of Asia.

The latest and one of the finest ghazal singers is Mr. Salman Alvi in Pakistan whose services in keeping the interest in ghazals are invaluable. The other equally enchanting gentleman singer from Pakistan is Habeeb Wali Muhammad. In the modern age, the biography of almost all singers is available in the internet. Wikipedia is the first and foremost and then comes the famous and popular music downloadable sites. And there is Face Book too. But Salman Alvi is the most elusive bird in the world of ghazal singers. Not a line regarding his life is available anywhere in the whole digital world, except three or four lines in his Face Book page. You Tube Channels including tahayyur, hilalconfectionery, Sain Shaada, kukdila, tauseefqau and RAORASHID1982 have selected and uploaded his songs. They are available as audio compact discs and video compact discs in music stores around the world. His is perhaps the finest ghazal orchestra in the world now, a few pictures of which are included here, as graciously allowed by him, as a concession to an admirer. Also links to his most famous ghazal videos are attached here. Today, if someone wants to know what ghazals are, his is the best introduction. If someone follows these links and becomes an addict of ghazals, do not blame the author.

_________
Dedication
_________

We dedicate this article to Ghazals Guitarist Qamar Allahditta who thrilled us through his many vibrant performances and who is no more.

Salman Alvi’s immortal ghazals can be viewed here.

1. Yeh Kiya Keh Sab Se Bayan Dil Ki Halatain Karni 7:09 RAORASHID1982
http://youtu.be/_QhUIi2eGa8

2. Sakht Hai Isaq Ki Rah Guzar 7:29 tauseefqau
http://youtu.be/PDITr4XdRfA

3. Us Ki Gali Mein Phir. Salman Alvi 7:37 kukdila
http://youtu.be/WoMZT-l0aS0

4. Nazm, Jan-e-Pidar 6:42 tahayyur
http://youtu.be/tKvMvsAgitA

5. Dil Dhoondta Hai – Live Tribute 6:58 tahayyur
http://youtu.be/sdjD1l_Xe5k

6. Is Jagah Pyaar Karnaa Mana Hai 4:17 tahayyur
http://youtu.be/6IZnAIF2RJ4

7. Meri Kahani Bhoolney Waley 4:10 tahayyur
http://youtu.be/LUgO-lm8blQ

8. Jinhe Bhoolne Mein 3:48 Sain Shaada
http://youtu.be/2LVXWlLa1hY

9. Ae Mere Noor-e-Nazar by Salman Alvi 5:14 tahayyur
http://youtu.be/Z5BujlbLI_o

10. Zindagi Mein Ek Pal Bhi 3:21 tahayyur
http://youtu.be/xwNE2GyhQk8

11. Tumhe Pukarlo Tumhara Intezar 4:48 hilalconfectionery
http://youtu.be/-ZR2NsKEqk8

12. Apni Soi Hui Dunya 6:21 tahayyur
http://youtu.be/uNnGta07xWI

13. Muhabbaton Mein Agar 6:30 tahayyur
http://youtu.be/A1LqOVoGH2k

Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, with his permission, has set up a venue where Salman Alvi’s ghazals can be reached and downloaded from You Tube. It is ‘Bloom Books Channel Kerala’ in Google Plus, constituted via Weebly.

Bloom Books Channel Kerala
bloombookstrivandrum.weebly.com

__________________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Dear Salman Alvi.
Via his Face Book Page. With his permission
__________________________________________

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

 

Comments

author avatar Madan G Singh
25th Aug 2013 (#)

Must congratulate you for a wonderful and interesting post

Will Online Writing Bring Enough To Live? P.S.Remesh Chandran. Editor Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books Trivandrum.

055.

Will Online Writing Bring Enough To Live? P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 17th Jul 2013.  Short URL http://nut.bz/2b8ztc_w/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Well-written, informative and thoughtful articles are the ones that decide the future of a writer’s career. Writers, who are loved by readers for their style of writing and also for the interesting things they generally write about, are eagerly sought after by publishers and their commission agents. A publishing platform which pays and helps writers to distribute content directly to readers all over the world without advertisements is the dream of all writers.

An ideal publishing website will want to pay writers more and pay more writers.

Will Online Writing Bring P S Remesh T & L CreateSpace CoverTears And Laughter. Prototype Cover.

1. WHERE MONEY FOR PAYING WRITERS COMES FROM.

What a writer expects from a web site is, offering him payment and paying him more. The ideal web site would want to do both and also want to not only pay writers more but also to pay more writers, the right indication of health for a publishing website. Exposure for writers is not substitute for payment and exposure will not feed the hungry family of writers. The time and effort a writer puts into his craft should be compensated and paid well for.

Famous magazines are vanishing for their refusing to pay writers.

In general, web sites which do not pay writers, especially freelancers who have not yet established themselves, are found to be dwindling in circulation. Their readers pay them one way or another, by way of money or by way of time. But the readers do not get back good content from these publishers because, in the long run, it would be underpaid writers or dissatisfied writers who would be writing for them. We have heard of the famous English magazine noted for its satirical cartoons which was one of the largely read publications in the world, keeping that envied position for decades. By adopting this non-paying policy, they made regular readers and writers dissatisfied and caused their own decline. So many famous and once-reputed magazines, news papers and weeklies which went online for existence are now struggling for last breathe due to insistence on this non-paying policy. We can name many such publications in one breathe but it is not right to mention their good names here, for they have served the world well in their time. Pay writers well, make them satisfied and happy, get rich content from them, publish it and make readers also satisfied and happy; that is the only known way to success for publishers.

If there are no web pages, where will they show these advertisements?

Will Online Writing Bring P S Remesh Tears And Laughter Cover Design For I Proclaim.Tears And Laughter. Cover Design for I Proclaim..

It is generally writers who do not care for money who usually write for websites which pay them a part of the advertisement revenue they generate. Even if a writer publishes for years and years in them, he will not get enough to live upon and enough to support his family. For amateurs and for those who aim only at wide circulation of their articles, it is a good idea to follow. Because advertisers are actively involved in this enterprise and they are committed to spend their budgetary provision in full for fear of reprimands from their board of directors for non-achievement of targets, these sites are rich and sure to get wide circulation for writers’ articles and for their advertisements, provided they have good pages also. If there are no web pages, where will they show these advertisements? Can they create these advertisements and the web pages too for displaying them? If they do, it would be like entering the publishing field as well, something outside their portfolio and purview of activities. Therefore, in paying- websites which depend solely on advertisement revenue for existence, the writer is the king. He will be provided with every resource the web site can imagine and is able to provide to create rich good web pages. Even then online writing cannot entirely be depended upon to support a family. If one is in need of making money by publishing articles to support his family and has the necessity to do it so by remaining online, he certainly has to refine his writing skills, make a very good reputation as a content writer, take up assignments from content-ordering sites and execute them neatly and punctually and deliver in time.

Publishing field can be conquered single-handedly, knowing editing and formatting.

A writer cannot create a market and then write for it, catering to it. He can only write well and the writing shall have to do the marketing and advertising for him. A producer of high quality content will seldom have to face competition in the field. The higher the quality of his content, the lesser the competition he would have to face in the field be, for there would be fewer writers of that caliber to compete with him who can write well and deliver in time too. The more the quality of articles falls, the fiercer would be the competition in the field of content marketing, because the general trend is to get articles for cheaper prices. Those clients who go for top quality will go out, find writers of that caliber and pay whatever they ask. It is not inconceivable if, at one stage, you will be getting 50 pounds for 500 words. But to reach that level of a selling rate, before reaching the level of creating fast-selling articles, a writer has to learn a lot in editing and formatting content. Or else, he simply will have to have the assistance of an experienced team of staff and a secretary. To remain single-handed and conquer the publishing field, one has to have a tremendous knowledge of editing and formatting, which qualities, coupled with writing talents, is a rare specialty, much in demand in the writing and publishing field. The demand and supply for such intelligentsia is not balanced in Internet, resulting in high price for those who are there. Training one’s self in that line is not at all impossible, but tricky. In the voluptuous maneuver of becoming such a writer, there is every possibility of overcrowding one’s brain with too much information and loosing brain’s ability to assimilate that information at the same time, resulting in tilting the chemical equilibrium of brain and the author finally becoming a total vegetable. It is doubly so, since writers are imaginative. Sought-afterness is a very rare faculty to tread and step upon, demanding extreme caution. Learning how to become a much sought-after writer is not at all difficult, it is easy. A few websites pay nothing but are noted for teaching writers how to work well with editors, the knowledge and experience of which later becomes the intellectual asset to launch themselves from, when they turn to serious writing. Some web sites which pay less will however provide extensive feed back on the writer’s published works which serves as encouragement for writing well and writing more.

Internet is like providing a limitless sky for writing advertisements.

Will Online Writing Bring P S Remesh Tears And Laughter Cover Design UnusedTears And Laughter. Cover Design. Unused.

2. DEPTH AND BREADTH OF ONLINE ADVERTISING.

Industries and businesses need advertisements to make people know about their products and services. Name boards, display boards, bills and notices, wall posters, film theatre slides and pamphlets were the old methods for advertising. When radio and television came into existence, their wide possibilities and scope for advertising came to be exploited. Advent of Internet was like providing a limitless sky for displaying advertisements. Cinemas provided intervals of time when advertisement slides could be shown. What would have happened had cinemas been produced only with advertisements? No one would have gone to cinema theatres to see them. That is the case with Internet advertising also. If a website has only advertisements to show, who will visit it? The advertisers want web pages for them to show and good web pages too. They themselves cannot create web pages by hiring writers to create them for it would involve larger spending to create content, and be moving out of corporate portfolios. For this, they either create websites for authors to write pages for them or they contract with websites who have attractive pages to show their advertisements.

Web sites reveal their advertisement income to no one but auditors.

Advertising is a huge industry, second only to weapons manufacturing. How much amount each industry and business set aside for advertising in their budgets is an interesting thing to know, if they make it known. A large percentage of this budget now goes to Internet, to be shared by websites and their writers. Writers of articles are paid a portion of the advertisement revenue their pages generate. In most cases they are paid only that and nothing more. Most websites do not reveal how much advertisement revenue they make and how much of it is paid to writers. How much page impressions they deliver to advertisers and how many unique browsers they have each day accessing these advertisements would never be revealed to anyone, except to their auditors.

How much amount does a company set aside for advertisement?

Will Online Writing Bring P S Remesh Tears And Laughter Cover Design Proto type For Create SpaceTears And Laughter. Cover Design for Create Space.

The amount companies set aside for advertisements is, generally, in the range of 7 to 15% of their gross sales, we believe. But wiser companies base their budgetary provisions for advertisements on a percentage of cost, -gross profit above cost called markup-, not on a percentage of profit,-gross profit above selling price called margin. An item selling at 9 dollars costing 3 dollars will have a markup of 200 percent and a margin of 66.6 percent. That company can set aside safely even 50 percent of this markup for advertising. Companies marketing expensive items will have low markups averaging around 15%, but setting aside 15% of this 15% for advertising will mean huge advertisement budgets due to their mammoth sales.

Positioning of advertisements determines its price.

When some one wants information, he searches internet and links to where that information is available will appear on the screen, along with advertisements. Some advertisements come positioned above search results. Positioning of advertisements is predetermined according to how much one is prepared to spend. Display networks will decide in advance where ads are to be positioned and what rates to be levied for each positioning. Getting your ads above search results will involve spending more money but it will also guarantee more traffic to target site. Placing ads on Microsoft, Google and Yahoo searches involves more money than placing them on websites and blogs. Showing them on mobile phones and tablet devises also is costlier still and search providers will revise rates frequently too. Showing ads along side email is another choice.

Advertisers can target or exclude sensitive languages, locations and religions.

Advertisers can set target options in display networks. They can target a particular geographic location or language or exclude ads from a sensitive location or language. They can pinpoint ads to a selected village. Display networks have options for matching ads to types of audience, types of religious and ethnic tradition, types of country or a specific geographic location. Ads may or may not correspond to the context of the page. No geographic location, type of devise, type of visited site or time range is devoid of advertisements, if there is scope. Even if it is an obituary page, a coffin maker and mortuary dresser are sure to advertise there.

What goes on behind screen even before you finish typing.

When someone types a word or phrase and searches internet, advertisements with matching keywords appear along with results. Before they appear, many things go on behind stage before they appear on the screen. First, an electronic auction goes on to determine who can show which ad where and selection made according to bid amount, key words and quality of website, or in simpler words, according to ad rank. Bidding may vary from Cost Per Thousand Impressions or CPM if you aim for maximum views and creating awareness, Cost Per Thousand Clicks or CPC for actual clicks to attract traffic to the website instead of just viewing, to Cost Per Acquisition or CPA for more customer actions like signing up or purchasing. Advertisers decide the maximum amount they are willing to pay for the bid they select out of these three bidding options, which determines their Ad Rank. Based on this rank, their ads will appear in the order of their ranks, even before that someone sitting in front of the screen has finished typing. Frequency of ads also has its price. Also, Ad Ranks of each bidder rise up and fall according to competition. This is the usual method adopted by all major service providers.

Other assessment methods also are there for evaluating writers’ performance.

Will Online Writing Bring P S Remesh Doctors Cover Design FrontDoctors Politicians. Cover Design. Front.

Regardless of how many clicks a web page of a writer registers, there are other methods also for assessing an online writer’s performance and paying him. Yahoo uses a 10 point scale called Clout Score to assess the performance of a writer and pay him, in Yahoo Voices and Yahoo Shine Blogs of their Yahoo Contributor Network, the revamped old Associated Content. Their scale combines the number of articles a writer publishes with the volume of page views his articles receive. A Clout 1 to Clout 6 writer will get a payment of $1.50 for every One thousand page views and from Clout 7 to 10, it will incrementally rise to $2.00. There will be a 1% bonus for each article besides. A writer with 7 articles and a total 3000 page views will have a clout score of 3000 + 7% = 3210. After 200 articles, bonus remains constant at 200% which is the maximum allowed. PPM is a standard phrase used in performance assessment which means Payment Per Thousand Page Views, M representing Latin Mille, the Roman numerical for 1000, standing for ‘Thousand Page Views’.

How much can a site owner charge for his Advertising Space?

When a writer decides to make a few dollars out of his blog or site by opening up for advertisements, he will not know how much he can charge. Nor is there any place for him to get good advice from or check whether his rates are standard, high or low for the market. If it is too high, he will not get advertisers and if it is too low, he will become too cheap a target for dignified advertisers to contact him. This happens because there is no one there to tell him the price at which he can sell his site space. Digital ads can be positioned on the header, footer or sidebar of a page or blended with content. They can be of any format from 125 x 125 and 120 x 600 to 468 x 60. Prices will vary for each, corresponding to the CPM of the site which in its turn is based on the number of page views, visitors, unique visitors and a host of other things of metrics, traffic being the prominent. In physical marketing, cunning companies price their wares just below the market leaders’ or considerably lower than their’s. In digital marketing also the method is the same, adopted by most site owners. Or one can do research. Taking a particular format and position and doing some research will bring one to the standard CPM of 1.5 dollars for 125 x 125 buttons on top of sidebar for one month. For starters, it is wise to sell space at flat rates if they are lucky to get advertisers, without resorting to counting page impressions, till they master strategies of marketing.

The blog is there, and you have nothing to loose by advertizing.

Experimentally signing up with ad sense and placing a banner spot on CPC terms will reveal the site’s CPM easily without much trouble, though the only trouble would be backing away from the contract. To eliminate commissions and deal directly with advertisers would be bringing in more money at the risk of jumping into an un-trusted pool, for a beginner. Going to sites who advertise about selling space would also help in forming a general picture of how digital space is sold. Cost of ad divided by page views gives Cost Per Mille impressions; page views multiplied by CPM should give the cost which one shall notify in the site. Unluckily, whatever multiplications we do will not bring page views unless content is good. Simply ask for half a dollar on the safe side for a month in the beginning, which will bring revenue of 5 dollars when page view becomes ten thousand per month. One 125 x 125 button on top of side bar will thus bring this much for the beginning, if you are persuasive enough to tempt your neighbourhood merchant to go online. The blog is there, and you have nothing to loose. Ads on header or blended with content should bring more revenue, those on the sidebar less and those on footer the least, generally.

Writers are like composers; good listeners become them.

Will Online Writing Bring P S Remesh Doctors Cover Design BackDoctors Politicians. Cover Design. Back.

3. HOW WRITERS PROMOTE THEIR WORKS.

It is a good listener to music who finally becomes a great composer; and it’s a good reader who eventually becomes an accomplished writer. Before writing a book, one will have read thousands of books. Before writing a good web article, you ought to have seen and read hundreds of captivating web articles. A blog of one’s own is the best laboratory to experiment with writing. It is a show case for the skill of the writer, doing publicity for him, creating ever-increasing audience, attracting literary agents and publishers. And blog articles can even be assembled together and turned into books. Already there are publishers who do this. Providing just the link to the blog would serve the purpose of submitting a manuscript to the book publisher, in future. It is like one writing each chapter of a book and publishing it piecemeal.

Leave your footprints in good places, to show you walked there.

Good articles in a blog attract not only readers and advertisers but those who hunt for good content writers also. For writers who provide quality content, they pay at the rate of dollars or pounds per 100 words or 500 words. 1 pound per 100 words is not too high a rate nowadays for a good writer. Top-rated writers can expect not less than 7 pounds per 500 words. For such writers, their blogs are not places for them to make money but places for exhibiting samples of their writing. Participating in online discussions is also a good way to advertise skills. Discussion Forums annexed to major publishing web sites are regularly scanned by people who wish to recruit promising and proven writers. Some writers write not for their own blogs but for other’s blogs, for a payment.

Writing good pages everyday will make you one day the authority in the field.

Creating an excellent and regularly updated web site which is linked to advertisers, is a good way to prove to advertisers and hirers that you are a good and rare writer and to publicize and earn. If you persevere continuously and add informative and attractive web pages each week, some day you are going to become the authority in your field, considering the fact that the experts in that field will not have the time for writing and publishing and writers who do have time for writing and publishing and are good too will not have necessary expertise to write as authoritatively as you do. Webmasters are in constant search of good writers on chosen subjects who deliver in time. Someday they will be coming after you.

Do not go after all social sites to advertise skills. Select yours.

Will Online Writing Bring P S Remesh The Swan Cover DesignThe Swan. Cover Design. Unpublished.

Creating profile pages in social sites which have heavy traffic is good for writers. Face Book, My Space, Linked In and Twitter are there to allow this service free. A profile page acts as a mini web site where writers can post links to their books, articles and web sites, good platforms for writers to launch themselves from. Before joining, it is better to learn about what types and social levels of people usually join these sites. Face Book is the most prominent among them, nearly sixty percent of members being above the ripe age of forty, of which forty percent are with rich average annual income. This also means, these members can afford to engage good writers to write for them. Do not get bewildered at the richness of content these members have in their pages and do not gauge them as geniuses, because these contents are not written by them or they may not even have thought about any such things in their lives. My Space is currently vogue and is primarily meant for youngsters below thirty years. If you are above age, do not go crowding there, unless you write books which thrill that age group. Twitter which tests the skill of conveying what one thinks in just 140 characters was once the tide has now ebbed, due to this very challenge of keeping brevity in conveying thoughts in a world over-thronged by people of lesser intelligence. Linked In is the ideal stage for professionals to present themselves in, for befriending and connecting with other professionals in the world. There are dozens of others, some confined within geographic regions and some limited to certain professions.

Fall not thoughtlessly into bogs and marshes, after reading large print. Read the small print.

Writing articles to be published as print books is an option for writers which, if printed, published and sold, would surely bring good revenue. But this field is also not devoid of pits and bogs and treachery. Modern day publishers ask for an investment on the book from the writer. Do-it-yourself publishers would not release all facilities except to premium customers. E-Book publishers will have difficult formats for writers to follow. Publishing books as tablets and apps is costly. Writing articles for print magazines is also an option for writers but the waiting is interminable there. Editors won’t reply to you for months and most magazines have autumn, fall and summer issues only. Their busily engaged editors dissuade writers from post-submission queries. If these magazines are on-line publications, logging-in, submission, logging-out and then cancellation of account after a week or so is a standard procedure they see each day.

_____________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Sahyadri Books Archives.
Prototypes or used book covers. Books made
from online articles.
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Also please read:
How Advertisements Help Pay Online Writers? P.S.Remesh Chandran.
Think Twice Before Publishing With Free Article Directories. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM

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Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Kerala…

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Comments

Md Rezaul Karim
17th Jul 2013 (#)

Very motivating but no easy answer of what the issue is about!

PSRemeshChandra
20th Jul 2013 (#)

It is not a light issue that writers face in securing enough to live by publishing online. There is also not an easy answer to their questions. This here is a simple attempt to focus more light on their problems with various kinds of publishers, digital and print. The real issues are more complicated than what appears here to explain them more experience and practical knowledge than what I possess are needed. Thank you dear Md. Rezaul Karim for noting.

Madan G Singh
18th Jul 2013 (#)

This is an excellent post. Very topical and deserving a star

PSRemeshChandra
20th Jul 2013 (#)

There have been so many articles and many voluminous books also written on this subject. But a writer who simply has to know about a few basic things of importance cannot read them all and be a master on this subject of publishing online and earning a living. This is a brief attempt to bring all relevant things at one place, for a writer like me to learn that what problems I face are common which in itself shall be an encouragement. Better and more comprehensive single piece articles are needed in this subject and they will surely come, if writers like you, Mr. Madan G Singh, Md Rezaul Karim, Sivaramakrishnan A, Rathnashikamani Bijja and other put their minds to and find time.

Mike Robbers
20th Jul 2013 (#)

Great article, indeed! Thanks for sharing!

PSRemeshChandra
20th Jul 2013 (#)

I am satisfied that this article is being appreciated. I certainly know that many facts which ought to have been included have been omitted, ignored or forgotten, which I expect to appear here as comments by learned and experienced readers. Thank you Mr. Mike Robbers for the words of encouragement.

Phyl Campbell
22nd Jul 2013 (#)

Lots of info. Good job.

PSRemeshChandra
22nd Jul 2013 (#)

Information is weapon. Making more information available to a writer regarding his profession or vocation is arming him to the teeth. Writers shall have to live as well as publishers. But one shall not exploit the other too much. Great publishers have organizations and tacit agreements among them but online writers do not have neither such organizations nor such agreements among them except a few weaklings here and there. If publishing is going to remain a profitable business and writers are going to write for their living, strong organizations are sure going to be established in the online writing field. Whether we know it or not, dissatisfaction of writers over publishers are more and more appearing as articles in the internet, a pre-condition for organizations. Thank you Mr. Phyl Campbell.

The Send-Off. Wilfred Owen Poem. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran.

052. The Send-Off. Wilfred Owen Poem. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 17th Jan 2013.  Short URL http://nut.bz/2m900dvw/

Posted in Wikinut>Essays

Jean Jacques Bebel, the Swiss historian has calculated that in the 5000 years of the recent history of the world, only 282 years were devoid of any kind of wars. Peace is the brief interval between two wars. A shot sent at a visiting Prussian Prince and his wife by a young student at Austria, and the life of millions was shattered and the way of life of the world changed for ever. Horrors of the First World War were sung by thousands but Wilfred Owens’ poems were brought hot from the war front.

The voice of the First World War passed away, knowing not about the fame that was to come to his name.

Owen Send Off 01 War imminent. US Poster. Michael P. Whelan 1914.War imminent. U S Poster by Michael P. Whelan 1914

If World War First had a voice, we can say that it was Wilfred Owen, employed in active service, singing about the horrors of war and killed in action. In his brief life time, only four of his poems were published, but after his death, dozens of them were published and brought out as books. It is believed, many of them have not still come to light. Awarded the Military Cross for bravery posthumously, he passed away in poetic anonymity, knowing not about the fame that was to come to his name in future. Speaking for men in the trenches under his leadership was what he did through his poems, which, it seems, were all written during the last two years of his life, 1917 and 1918.

Soldiers sitting in trains, in funeral decorations, going to war front.

Owen Send Off 02 Pre war breakfast. Ferdinand Max Bredt 1918.Pre war breakfast. Ferdinand Max Bredt.

Wilfred Owen was a British poet who was killed during action in the First World War. Insensibility, Strange Meeting and The Send-Off are his most famous anti-war poems in which he brings out the pity, realism and irony of war, reflecting his and his soldiers’ negative attitude towards war. He sees no romanticism or chivalry in war, but only death, destruction and decay. True, what else is there in war except the glory of victory for a few and the shame of defeat or death for many? But when defense of one’s motherland is concerned, opinions may vary and war may have to be justified. In the poem The Send-Off, soldiers in a mountain military camp are ordered to move out to war front, who sing their way to the railway siding-sheds and line the train with faces grimly gray, meaning faces darker than black. Decorations all white, like wreath and spray, are pinned to their breasts making them already looking like dead men clad in white, sitting in a row, all looking out the train windows. We are forced to think about the tremendous thoughts streaming through those troubled souls, someone’s father, brother, uncle, one among them certainly the poet himself. The strong sentiments these and the coming scenes create in our minds move us and carry us such away that we are forced to weep, cringe and shudder, which is this poet’s victory which he enjoys standing among the stars. How many of these soldiers will ever return?

A few more minutes’ sunshine and mountain air before going to the frontier, never to return. 

Owen Send Off 03 Going to war. Johann Peter Krafft 1813.Going to war. Johann Peter Krafft 1813.

A military camp normally will be a nuisance to the local people there. So exactly there were none there to give them a proper send-off. Those people might only be glad to see them all go and never return. A few dull porters and a lone tramp were the only ones there to see them go and sorry to see them going too, for they were the ones who benefited from the camp, now losing their daily bread and jam. At least the mechanically punctual railway signals, unlike the local human beings, could have shown them a little of mercy by sparing them a few more minutes’ sunshine and mountain air. But they, the unmoved signals too, nodded heartlessly, a railway lamp winked to the guard and the train began to move, all in time. They were gone.

Local girls are what add colour to mountain military camps. Farewell sisters.

Owen Send Off 04 Writing to father in war. Eastman Johnson 1863.Writing to father in war. Eastman Johnson 1863.

True, the soldiers were not soldiers but they were all hushed up heaps of wrongs and evil doings, the poet admits. They did wrong to the villagers and they will be doing wrong on the war front too. Therefore their losses in battle, limb or life, needn’t be regretted. All military movements are secret and under cover of night. So the people never heard to which war front these soldiers were being sent. As everywhere, the local girls were what added colour to the monotonous life in the upland camp. Romances might have budded and nipped. Tears and sighs might have been shed in darkness, and weeping farewells told in whispers. To meet and part, that is the soldier’s life. And they, the village girls, had jokingly asked them boys: cousins, will you ever return? The soldiers had mocked their words then, but after feeling the dead heat of the battle front, the poet wonders, whether they would still be mocking those meaningful words of the village women.

For those who return from field to camp alive, trodden paths would be half-forgotten in their semi-madness.

Owen Send Off 05 Help daddy gone to war. Norman Lindsay 1915.Help daddy gone to war. Norman Lindsay 1915.

Soldiers gone to war front have a lesser chance of survival and returning alive to their camp, the least in those times. Direct combat was characteristic of military operations, till this war ended, when it gave way to covert operations, carpet bombing from sky and if possible, nerve gas and nuclear attacks. But in that dawn of 20th century, war techniques had not progressed much from the primitive. Only a few of them may return perhaps, too few to receive a proper reception of bells and drums and yells. And those who do return will be invalid, silent and thirsty apparitions, not walking but creeping back silent to still village wells, up half-known roads, yearning for a place to lower their weary bodies on. Even the once-familiar roads would be half-forgotten in their semi-madness, after having gone through the unspeakable horrors of war.

Entered the services of the church, found it hopeless for the poor, and condemned it.

Owen Send Off 06 A mountain military camp entrance. US Fed Gov.Mountain military camp entrance. U S Federal Govt.

Wilfred Owen was born in 1893 and brought up in a religious atmosphere by his parents. His full name was Wilfred Edward Salter Owen. Fallen from fortune, this family could scarcely provide for the education of their four children; Owen served as a teacher-student and matriculated. Theologically trained by his mother, the Bible influenced him during this period. In the Reading University, he studied botany and old English. To earn boarding, lodging and tuition fees, he served as an assistant to the vicar at Dunsden parish, this close familiarity leading to contempt of church later. Reluctance of church to get involved in helping and alleviating the pain of the poor was what infuriated him to condemn church. Disillusioned by church, he left England for France and lived there for a while tutoring English and French in private homes when war broke out.

The mother and son stood looking across the sun-glorified sea, looking towards France with broken hearts, saying goodbye to each other.

In France, Owen staying and working near Pyrenees Mountain Ranges remained totally oblivious of war for a time. But copies of The Daily Mail newspaper his mother sent to him from England opened his eyes and he began to regularly go to a nearby hospital, acquaint with a doctor and inspecting war casualties brought there each day. At last he could no longer endure his impatience and in 1915, returned to England and volunteered to fight. He was sent again to France to fight in 1916 where from he was brought back wounded and shocked for recuperating. Before going to France for war, he and his beloved mother Susan Owen ‘stood looking across the sun- glorified sea towards France with breaking hearts, saying good bye to each other’ when the son quoted Rabindranath Tagore’s words ‘when I go from hence, let this be my parting word’. Susan Owen is known to have written a letter to Tagore when he was in England. We don’t know for sure whether her letter reached Tagore after her simply writing ‘Tagore, London’ in the address column of the envelope, but we certainly know about the reputation, efficiency and dignity of the British Postal Service, especially during the war period. 

Publication of his poems in time would have prevented Viet Nam nightmare.

Owen Send Off 07 Reconnaisance before attack. Pedro Americo 1871.Reconnaissance before attack. Pedro Americo 1871.

Enlisted in 1915 into Rifles Officers’ Corps in England, shell-shocked in mortar explosion in a trench in France, and removed of all romanticism for war, he was removed to War Hospital and brought back to England for recuperating. His romantic ideas of war faded when his soldiers and he had to go through gas attacks, sleeping for months in the open in deep snow and frost, loosing friends to death and the stench of rotting dead blanketing the earth all around. War in his eyes now became just a political equation, unbalanced. No wonder he had to be admitted in the psychiatric department of the hospital. His were the same psychic experiences thousands of Viet Nam War Veterans went through decades later. Publication of his poems and experiences in time would have prevented altogether the nightmare we called Viet Nam and resulted in the governments’ adopting a more humane attitude towards soldiers. 

Back to regiment from safety, to die with loved friends and comrades.

Even though Owen from his youth very much wished to become a poet and was impressed by the writings of Keats and Shelley, his actual writing of poems which made him world famous were written during the fifteen months he spent in trenches in the war front in 1917 and 1918. The war which once shocked him then seemed to thrill him, the reason for which can be attributed to the poetic sentimentality and recklessness to be with his loved friends and comrades in the war front in the days of their misery. Certainly like all poets or cowards, on regaining health and fitness, he could have left war and lived in security and safety after released from the War Hospital. He indeed had joined or formed an intelligent literary circle there in Edinburgh during the days of his recuperation. But instead, he returned to his regiment, to be killed days later, just before the war ended. In fact, his friends and family were eagerly waiting for his return when the news of truce reached them. The news of his death reached his village on November 11, 1918 along with the bells of armistice and peace. What horrifies us is the vain death of a brilliant poet in duty who filled his poems with the futility of war. It was the sacrifice of a poetical fame for fine citizenry. 

Would Owen have lived longer if he was recognized as a published poet and also given the Military Cross?

Owen Send Off 08 Burning crops so that enemy won't eat. Emanuel Leutse 1852.Burn crops so that enemy won’t eat. Emanuel Leutse

Rejoining duty on fitness, he was delegated to lead a party to storm the enemy positions in a village in Ors. He seized a German machine gun and used it to kill a number of Germans. He was shot on the bank of a canal and killed while trying to cross the canal, only days before the war ended. He always considered him as a remarkable war poet, who he actually was, but only four of his poems had been printed by any publishers in his life time. That too was only because he happened to be the editor of the magazine The Hydra published by the War Hospital at Craig Lock hart, Edinburgh where he recuperated. And this Hydra Magazine had only a very limited circulation among the patients, doctors, nurses and staff of that hospital, a very discouraging situation for any poet. What would have happened had he not been shell shocked and admitted there but died directly in action? Would fate have changed his destiny if he had been given due recognition as a published war poet by printers…? He always sought in secret the Military Cross for his supremacy as the most talented war poet of his times, but it was awarded only after his death, in 1919. What if Military Cross had been awarded earlier while he lived…?

Personally manipulated a captured enemy machine gun and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy.

Owen Send Off 09 What the other side feels. Horace Vernet 1814.What the other side feels. Horace Vernet 1814.

The citation to the Military Cross awarded to the poet reads: ‘2nd Lt, Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, 5th Battalion. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the attack on the Fonsomme Line on October 1st/2nd, 1918. On the company commander becoming a casualty, he assumed command and showed fine leadership and resisted a heavy counter-attack. He personally manipulated a captured enemy machine gun from an isolated position and inflicted considerable losses on the enemy. Throughout he behaved most gallantly’. Even after this Military Cross awarded for his gallantry, the world was not willing to acknowledge his poetry. Today, Wilfred Owen is a synonym for war poetry but for having been presented with this much fine war literature to read, we owe our debt to his family. He sent 600 letters to his loved mother who kept them all safe, from which was the war front feelings, emotions and experiences of Owen were discerned later. His sister donated these letters to the University of Oxford where people can still see them. His brother collected his manuscripts and helped bringing out his poems as a book.

Writing boldly about the horrors of war was his catharsis to escape from shell shock trauma.

Owen Send Off 10 American Marines in Belleau Wood 1918 by Georges Scott.American marines in Belleau Wood. Georges Scott.

Was Wilfred Owen overly influenced by friends like Siegfried Sassoon and physicians like Arthur Brock is still a thing of debate, which they did more or less. Sassoon himself was an accomplished poet who advised Owen to abandon the old style he followed since when he was ten years old and turn to more seriously writing about the futility of war. We shall dismiss all critics’ allegations of them sharing an attachment more than manly. Arthur Brock treated him when he was admitted in the War Hospital following shell shock trauma and advised him not to try to forget the horrors of war which haunted his mind, but to go straight continuing to boldly write about them which would serve as his catharsis, a fine clinical advice in those times of Sigmund Freud. Anyway, since joining the army and fighting in the front line, we see a dramatic change in the poetic style of Owen. Every soldier who took part in the world war underwent war horrors and trauma which went untold in the chronicles of historians. With Owen putting them into words after actually experiencing them, recorded them in livid humility for future generations to see and evaluate in times to come.

World War started with liberation, and ended with cessation, annexation and colonization.

Owen Send Off 11 The Dead Soldier. Joseph Wright of Derby 1789.The dead soldier. Joseph Wright of Derby 1789.

Liberation of Belgium was the objective with which the First World War started but war politics soon turned into the objective of grabbing colonies for future which the civilians did not recognize but poets like Wilfred Owens and philosophers like Bertrand Russell did, and they reacted through their writings to rouse civilian conscience. Theirs was not blind rage against wars but mature protest against abandoning the honoured causes of war and turning to use war to grab colonies. Owen’s poem ‘The Strange Meeting’ even went to creating the extreme human situation of a dead American soldier meeting a dead German soldier whom he had killed and listening to his version of the war, the enemy finally becoming a friend.

The front line picture painted by Wilfred Owen in The Send- Off.

Owen Send Off 12 What is left of a war. Juan Manuel Blanes 1879What is left of a war. Juan Manuel Blanes 1879.

Publishers of his times ignored him, perhaps due to their inability to cope with or even go through the great quantity of war poetry poured in each day. He, as an acclaimed poet and as a civil servant dedicated to those soldiers under his care, wanted only for his poems to be read by all and the people to open their eyes to the futility and horrors of war. Who can say this brilliant young man who sacrificed his life for his country would try to limit the circulation of his poems by wishing not to be read here again? We think it only just and fair to include his lines here, without which this appreciation won’t be complete or contained. See the front line picture painted by Wilfred Owen in The Send-Off.

THE SEND- OFF * WILFRED OWEN

Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way
To the siding-shed,
And lined the train with faces grimly gay.
Their breasts were stuck all white with wreath and spray
As men’s are, dead.

Dull porters watched them, and a casual tramp
Stood staring hard,
Sorry to miss them from the upland camp.
Then, unmoved, signals nodded, and a lamp
Winked to the guard.

So secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went.
They were not ours:
We never heard to which front these were sent.
Nor there if they yet mock what women meant
Who gave them flowers.

Shall they return to beatings of great bells
In wild trainloads?
A few, a few, too few for drums and yells,
May creep back, silent, to still village wells
Up half-known roads.

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Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
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Appreciation Studies, Armistice In Ww1, Bloom Books Trivandrum, British Poets, English Poems, First World War, Futility Of War, Irony Of War, Killed In Action, Military Cross, Military Poets, Mountain Military Camps, P S Remesh Chandran, Pity Of War, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, Soldier Poets, The Send Off, Truce In World War First, War Front Action, War Poems, Wilfred Owen, Years 1917 And 1918

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.

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Comments

Sivaramakrishnan A
18th Jan 2013 (#)

My fervent hope and prayers are for war and strife to end. Am I being idealistic? So be it! We have come thus far and we know wars kill and affect the most innocent. The heroes who are decorated for bravery also end up with mental anguish at being part of the insane violence. I believe few start wars and incite their citizens. With the help of technology the majority should unite and not fall into their vicious hands time and time again. Like a World War veteran reminisced – what use a piece of paper of peace in the end for those who are killed and maimed? Thanks for this wonderful post – siva

PSRemeshChandra
30th Jan 2013 (#)

War is an unnecessary expense in which nations waste resources and innumerable units of precious time and man power. To defeat another country, we spend unimaginably huge sums of money. Most often those countries could be bought with only a fraction of this money. Such futile and waste is war because it never improves mankind. Thank you dear Sivaramakrishnan A for your informative and inspiring note.

Md Rezaul Karim
20th Jan 2013 (#)

Wow! what a nice piece of article to read, wonderfully attached paintings and pictures. Thank you Ramesh ji.

PSRemeshChandra
30th Jan 2013 (#)

When I saw these paintings and pictures for the first time, I thought they were waiting for the right literary creation. Wilfred Owen’s Send Off suited them most. I am immensely thankful to those painters and photographers who were moved like Owen by the horrors of war, to create these masterpieces. I hope the painters, photographers and the poet would supplement each other. Thank you dear Md Rezaul Karim for caring to leave a comment.

Madan G Singh
22nd Jan 2013 (#)

A wonderful post. You have put in a lot of effort. Congratulations

PSRemeshChandra
30th Jan 2013 (#)

When I read your articles in Wikinut, I feel the same as you noted here. What can I say when a compliment comes my way from an accomplished writer like you? Thank you dear Madan G Singh.

Sivaramakrishnan A
31st Jan 2013 (#)

Thank you RameshChandra. It is time war and violence are removed from the face of the earth. What use making all the arms for them to fall into “wrong” hands! What use a piece of peace treaty for those killed, maimed and orphaned? Even the survivors and victors carry severe scars mentally. Politicians start the war making use of the innocent people creating hatred. And the less said about religious fanatics of all hues the better – all Gods can defend themselves, thank you! They don’t need our help! Best regards – siva.

Madan G Singh
1st Feb 2013 (#)

Thank you for the nice words, but I feel I am ordinary. But I really appreciate your writing.

The Healing Artist. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 2. Paintings Of James Tissot. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

051. The Healing Artist. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 2. Paintings Of James Tissot. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 31st Dec 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/31l0a4s4/

Posted in Wikinut>Essays

Healing is an art, closely associated with divinity. We consider doctors who heal our diseases as gods. It is the learning and spiritual cleanliness of the doctor that heals the diseases in most occasions. To heal the sick, we needn’t possess the required conventional medical qualifications necessarily; the qualities of ardence and purity will do instead. The science and art of healing is closely connected with the word. Word here means, and applications and manifestations of sound.

They taught Jesus the layouts of miracles in the north eastern Himalayan kingdoms of India.

What makes some people capable of doing things which others consider impossible feats and miracles? Some people have the ability to foresee future and know about what is going to happen in the far distant future, near future, or at the next moment, but knowing about future is a heavy knowledge, unbearable to man, something an ordinary man cannot bear. If two persons sit at one place and one of them describes in a song whatever are happening there around them, beginning with what were happening at that place in the past, yesterday, today, and then coming to what is happening around them at that very moment, and then nearly coming to describing what are going to happen at the very next moment, he cannot complete the song for the other person would have passed through a phase of alienation from his self and swooned. First he would suffer nausea, then his knees would weaken, limbs stiffen and then everything would be darkness. We will be bewildered at the power of the word. We cannot even do this as an experiment because what will we do if the other person does not recover but passes away? Human corpuscles are unable to pass through the barriers of time, even for a short while, even while in an experiment. Once we know about what is going to happen next, we will loose our normal self, which is tuned and aligned to a state of knowing not much about the future. Ignorance of future is the bestial bliss which makes possible for life to continue, along with the power to forget, the safety valve which saves the brain from overcrowding and collapsing.

Touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste are not the end of senses; we will gain more as evolution progresses.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 01. He Heals the Lame. James Tissot. 1886-1894He heals the lame. James Tissot.

Knowing about future is a faculty like touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste. When man first made his appearance on earth, he certainly was not equipped with all these five senses. The first amoeba could not certainly see and listen. Senses were gained one by one from mother earth through Aeons as the first inanimate element evolved into an animate organism, then into multi cellular organisms and then into beings with fully developed body systems. During these stages of evolution and development, each capability of sense came our way gradually. Thus we now have five senses. Who believe it is the end? More senses or faculties would be released to us as and when we become riper enough to bear them safely and usefully, after passing through higher stages of many more evolutions. Materials for more exotic senses or faculties are resting in the ground earth for their time to come before they could be passed on to humans and other beings that would inhabit the earth in the future.

If human corpuscles and soil could be brought to the medium of sound, faculties could be exchanged from earth to human body.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 02. The Resurrection of the Widow's Son at NainResurrection of the widow’s son.

Suppose a man, through his perseverance or gift, gains in advance any of these future faculties. It may be the ability to walk above water or see into the future or heel a person in distress. Our normal tendency would be to deny the existence of that very faculty. It is like a blind man sure denying the existence of sight or a deaf man denying the existence of hearing. What we do not have experienced, we tend to deny existing. How can a blind person know that the swan and the milk are white, and how can a deaf person normally know that music is sweet? So, when we hear that a man has walked above water or that a man has seen the Sun enveloped in thick icy clouds, moving lonely through the expanse of the universe in a future time, we will say that it is just his imagination, that he is having fits of delusion, or even schizophrenia. Philosophers and scientists have always believed that, if soil and human corpuscles could be made to come into a common medium, at least for a while, senses and faculties could be gained, taken in or released, exchanged. Many ancient Indian philosophers believed that that common medium is sound, the basic medium upon which the construction of this universe, stone, grass and human body is based, and they, accordingly, even formulated appropriately synchronized sound systems in the right, desirable modulations and frequencies in the form of Mantras, the application of which evidently gained for them those rare unexplained faculties, with which to successfully treat incurable diseases, raise the dead from the grave or take leisurely walks between the realms of space and time. It is also true that every kind of matter, in its final analysis, reveals rapid motion of particles, and that what is on the other side of such rapidly moving particles, functioning as a base for the existence of those particles and also functioning as the prime constituent in the construction material of those particles is sound. Every religion in the world believes that the universe originated from sound. The Indian philosophers went further and even defined that sound which in their opinion is ‘Aum’ which actually has no exact beginning or end as it should be. Long meditations in the still and silent Himalayas might have helped them find this ultimate truth.

Pain, fatigue, fever, irritation and itching make us incapable of calling out energy from reserves and attend to the single task of healing.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 03. The Healing of the Officer's SonThe healing of the officer’s son.

When lame men walk, blind men see, dumb men sing in the presence of holy men, we would consider those as miracles, but to those holy men, these people have just healed. They are here in this world to deliver relief and the only thing the sick and disabled need to have in their conscience is faith. Faith is what gives the ailing person the positive energy to call out all reserve energy from the different parts of the body and soul and move them forward like an army towards the sole objective of correcting the system error and healing the person of his ailment. Numerous distractions such as pain, fatigue, fever, irritation and itching make one incapable of concentrating and commanding all energies from their reserves to get them engaged in attending the single task of healing. Speech and word is very much involved in the healing of the sick. Jesus very much liked to talk and be always with people, possibly always to remain in the middle of them. Travelling through Galilee, talking about the principles of goodness, staying in their synagogues and wayside inns, he moved the minds of peoples to confidence and belief. Crowds came to him bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and the many others, laid them at his feet and he heeled them all with just his kind words and touch. Once they prayed fervently with their soul with concrete belief for their healing, deliverance came their way and the miracle happened. It is their faith that heal them, not actual divine interference.

Life can be called back before the soul finally decides to disentangle from the body. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 04. The Healing of Peter's Mother-in-lawThe healing of Peter’s mother-in-law.

Raising dead men from the grave is an easy thing, for those who know how to do it. It is thought to be possible to call back the fleeting life before the soul finally decides to disentangle from the body. Sometimes the life would not have left but have plunged into an unrecognizable coma, the soul sitting on the narrow ledge between life and death. Most often, a strong vocal command or a shake would only be needed to call the life back, provided the voice or shake resembles that of a close person of long intimacy. Doctors who are very kind, considerate and deliquescent to their patients would have many such stories to tell you. Sometimes death deprives a woman of double privilege. A woman who looses both her husband and her son to death is thrown to destitution and poverty with no one to take care of her. While travelling through the city of Nain, accompanied by a great crowd, Jesus saw another crowd coming out of a town carrying the coffin of the only son of a widow. Her grief was such great and uncontrolled that Jesus was moved in his heart and said to her, ‘do not cry woman’. He went up to the coffin, touched it and said: ‘Young man, I say you to get up’. The young man did sit up and begin to talk as if he had not died. Jesus gave her son back to the grief-stricken mother; the first resurrection done by Christ in his earthly life.

Word sent through the wind will reach the target and heal. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 05. Suffer the Little Children to Come unto MeSuffering little children come unto me.

When the mighty Roman Empire fell, the world rejoiced because such unjust, haughty and cruel was their administration. The famed Roman Justice was nothing but the political and economic suppression of heathens, pagans and other civilized nations and races. No empire since then has been successful in this world in saving itself from falling, for they were all based on and founded upon unkindness. But occasionally in history, here and there, we see officers with good intentions and better understanding, employed by these administrations. Many of them were noble and brave men who believed that Jesus was a saviour. Seeing the sufferings of Jesus during his trial, judgment and crucifixion, we shall not think that all Roman officers took part in them with pleasure. One such officer, a Centurion, walked 20 miles to request Jesus to come to his house and save his dying son, some say it was his slave. 20 miles was not a short distance one way. Jesus had come a second time to Cana of Galilee from Judea, the first being when he attended a wedding there and turned water into wine. The officer pleaded Jesus to come to Capernaum, his village, and save his son. Jesus just told him, you may go, your son will live, do have faith, and that he is not coming. While travelling back, the noble man’s servants met him on the way and informed him that his son was recovering. The time he began to recover was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him that his son would live. Jesus told the man and his disciples that miracles alone would make them believers and so let it be happening.

God does not allow complications or intricacies, which is why he and we resemble children.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 06. The Healing of Ten LepersHealing of lepers in the mountain.

Once, the Disciples of Christ came to ask him who the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is. His answer was, unless we become like little children in their humbleness, we shall never be any where near the path to the kingdom of heaven. Children are the most like god, resembling him most in their humbleness, purity and radiance. The many thousands of children who never have heard his word or name also are equally beloved to him. The line ‘suffer the little children to come unto me’ is a most misquoted and misunderstood one. It does not mean, make children suffer so that they can come unto me, but let all suffering children come unto me. God does not allow complications, or intricacies, that is why he most resembles children.

Mary was the person who healed the person who healed all people. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 07. The Sick Awaiting the Passage of JesusThe sick awaiting the passage of Jesus.

Mary of Magdalene is believed to be a very chaste woman who led so chaste a life that ‘the devil mistook her to be the one who was to bear Christ into the world’ and he sent seven demons to trouble her and spoil her. She represents the age when Christianity and Church were matriarchal before a Pope was appointed to turn it into patriarchal to suit Romans. In ancient icons, she is portrayed with a pot of ointment, balm for the distressed, and as a wound healer. Actually she was the person who healed the person who healed all people. She was the intelligence against which Christ grinded and sharpened his convictions before preaching them to the world. What Christ lacked in worldly experiences, emotions and feelings, she possessed in plenty, the eve in the garden.

Even when John had confidence in his betrothed, they did not have.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 08. The Ointment of the MagdaleneThe ointment of the Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene was one of the two persons who guarded the tomb of Jesus, the other being his mother, Mary the Virgin. She was the first mortal to witness the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and also the first person authorized to tell the apostles of the resurrection. She spent her last years with Jesus’ mother and her remains are contained in Constantinople. Hers is the life of equality with men, in its holiness and greatness. We know, Pilatos was under authority of the Roman administration. Mary after the death of Christ straight went to see Emperor Tiberius in Rome and made a formal complaint about the cruelty and distinction he showed to Jews. The emperor was convinced Roman justice was denied to Jews in Israel as a result of which Pilatos was recalled to Rome, recalled to what kind of Roma justice we needn’t to know just like we needn’t to know about what Judas did to himself after giving back the money he received for pointing out his master. Mary walked the earth with Jesus, his companion, soother and inspiration. As a grown up Aramaic youth could not walk alone, she served as his answer. She was the beloved, betrothed and the bride of John the Evangelist who, when he became a devoted preacher, ordained his bride on a godly mission. There were stories of Mary was Jesus’ wife but John denied it as a false story. We know, it was not John who betrayed Jesus but Judas Iscariot. In the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries and throughout middle ages, Mary was considered and worshipped as the apostle to the apostles since she was sent to inform the apostles of the resurrection, as confirmed by John’s words. In the early church, an apostle was a person who was delegated to tell the world the good news that he would come again. Mary emerged as the greatest visionary and leader after the death of Jesus. Equally intelligent and dedicated as Jesus in god’s services, Mary but considered him as her master and teacher, the fact which drew John’s admiration that prompted him to make her become the most ideal student and follower. Gospel of John stands out alone as a lasting monument to the intellectual achievements of this trio.

Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Martha at Bethany is the Jewish Roman equivalent of the Greek school of thought. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 09. Mary Magdalene at the Feet of JesusMary Magdalene at the feet of Jesus.

Like Mary Magdalene, Jesus and John constituted a historical trio in Christianity, Mary, Martha, Jesus and Lazarus constituted an unforgettable quartet. These sisters of Lazarus whom Christ resurrected from the grave, who were born in the village of Magdalene in Galilee and lived in Bethany, marks the women’s work behind the strongest philosophy in the world. They were the furnishers and providers for the travelling ministry of Christ. Both were Christ’s pupils, often competing with each other for his attention and for their positions. While Mary was the philosopher, Martha was the practical who fed the philosophers. Because they were poor, their life was not recorded with care in the chronicles of those times. Martha’s home at Bethany became the usual haunt of Jesus and his followers, for there they would get at least food to go on with their endless debates and philosophic speculations. Martha welcomed, boarded and fed all journeymen missionaries as well. She was a church unto herself. In those times, their culture was a mix of Roman, Greek and Jewish, all male-dominant and considering claiming to be god a heresy, warranting death by burning at the stake. Martha was the first person who boldly declared that Jesus was the Messiah, the saviour whom their prophets and their patriarchs claimed would liberate Jews from yokedom. When all male followers of Christ ran away for fear of arrest during crucifixion, these women were those who stayed, fearlessly. It is not strange to notice that these women’s and Lazarus’ devotion to Jesus was above everything usual and normal for that time. The reason was, it originated from the reverence of healed people to their doctor, which if seen in that sense, anyone in the modern day world can understand. They indeed had problems, and Jesus healed them, and hence their extra ordinary belief, allegiance and loyalty. Once enlightened through Christ’s own teaching, there were none more enlightened than them. It was that simple.

If twenty long centuries failed to understand the meaning of a woman’s act, what can one century of totally fame-thirsty academicians do?

Tissot. The Healing Artist 10. Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Martha at BethanyJesus, Mary Magdalene and Martha at Bethany.

What can a young lady do before her worshipful master is sent to death? We know what Plato did before his master was given hemlock to drink in the prison was weeping, cursing the authorities and pledging to take revenge. Mary also did what she could do at that moment, in her femininity, with the resources available to her which was washing his feet with precious ointment and drying it with her unbound hair, with the whole male population of the town looking, before going to storm the emperor’s gates in Rome with accusations of injustice done on Jews by judge Pilatos. It was her kind of homage to her master who stayed in her home. She truly represents the kind of people Jesus attracted. Learned scholars have inappropriately and unnecessarily gone to the extreme absurdity of finding this woman’s hair as a symbol of her sexuality, and her gesture, a last attempt to seduce Christ. What was this young woman ought to have done as her last service to her loved master who was saying farewell to the world, lying there nailed and pinned to the cross, with the angry throng of emperor’s soldiers yelling for his blood all around? Leave him there, run to the house and bring clothes and water to wash his blood and sweat running from his nailed organs, before sending him clean and presentable to the other world? Pronouncements of many modern day researchers and writers look like Judas Iscariot and Judge Pilatos are reborn every day. Mosquitoes, even below a cow’s milk dugs, will look for blood only.

21st century scholars are now unrolling newly discovered papyrus rolls to prove that it was a wife’s send-off, not a beloved disciple’s, probably some papyrus rolls hidden by the chauvinist church for the exact purpose of to be rediscovered and revealed in modern times. Why is it Christianity still have only male ministers? We have yet to see a matriarchal pope or even a bishop or a vicar. If twenty long centuries failed to understand the meaning of a woman’s act, what can one century of totally fame-thirsty academicians do? Mother Mary and Saint John had confidence in their son and bride, but they do not have!

If Mary seems to get the full credit for saving Christianity, create another Mary and halve her credit.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 11. The Blind in the DitchBlind leading the blind to a ditch.

We know, when we are a child, we are washed by the closely related women in our family, not by men in the family. When we grow up and are able to look after ourselves, they absolve themselves of this responsibility and make us begin to wash ourselves. When they outlive us and we are dead, we again become their child and they wash us before we are cremated. The same thing happened with Jesus also. After lowering from the cross, he was washed by the women of his family, including Mary Magdalene of course, but our learned rabbis in the modern western world, find this as a proof to establish that Mary was Jesus wife, not adopted sister of the family. They adore the mutually respectful associateship of Sartre and Madame Bowery but not Christ’s sacred associations because, new theories for disparaging these ancient philosophers and educators are their stepping stones to instant fame. As a last trick, based on texts which never were written by contemporaries, they tried to prove that Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany were two different persons, so that credit due to Mary for saving Christianity would be halved. Actually Bethany with the assemblage of Mary, Jesus, the twelve learners and the numerous visiting journeymen scholars under the patronage of selfless Martha was the Jewish-Roman equivalent of Plato’s Academy in Greece, gone to full swing five centuries earlier. They would even question the relationship between Plato and Socrates, even not considering the existence of Xanthippe as the master’s wife, but considering only the usual male relations prevalent in those times. They never understand philosophers and revolutionaries, male and female, but think those sets of minds are calibrated like their’s. Only those who get exhilarated at the intellectual pleasures of indulging deeply and freely in ideological battles going around them would know about the magnificence of psyche ruling over physique. Academics and scholars of 2000 years strove in vain to defame the philosophic brilliance of this Jewish school of thought but they forgot the single fact that it was western, fraught in the ascetic cast of the east, come to the world to stand. Remember what Jesus spoke in the temple of Jerusalem: god’s intentions are not understood by the learned and the clergy, it is revealed only to the ordinary laymen and children.

We are indebted to two great repositories for keeping these pictures for people’s viewing.

The First Part of this series, Rise Of A Star. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 1, can be read here.

The next parts will soon be published.

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Pictures Courtesy: First and foremost we are to thank those citizens of Brooklyn City who took a public collection and kept these pictures in public custody. We are immensely indebted to those two prestigious Institutions Wikimedia Commons and Brooklyn Museum for magnanimously making available these pictures to the public. And our thanks and respect goes to James Tissot for rendering these paintings beautifully for posterity.
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Link to Brooklyn Museum: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/

Link to Wikimedia Commons page:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Category:The_Life_of_Jesus_Christ_by_James_Tissot

Dear Reader,
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Bloom Books Trivandrum, Christ Pictures, Jesus, Jesus Manifests His Power, Jesus Paintings, Jesus Pictures, Jesus Teaching, Jesus The Christ, Jewish Roman School Of Thought, Life Stories, Mary Magdalene, P S Remesh Chandran, Paintings Of James Tissot, Photo Essays, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, True Stories, Water Colour Paintings Life Of Jesus Christ

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.

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 Madan G Singh

8th Jan 2013 (#)

An excellent post and very illuminating as well.

2012 Year in Review for Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

 

 

 

September 17

WordPress.com presents

Sahyadri Books Trivandrum

2012 in blogging

Annual Report

Happy New Year from WordPress.com!

To kick off the new year, we’d like to share with you data on your blog’s activity in 2012. Start scrolling!

Crunchy numbers

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

In 2012, there were 10 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 51 posts. There were 39 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 5 MB. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was September 16th with 70 views. The most popular post that day was Student Mobs. J.B.Priestley Essay. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum..

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Some of your most popular posts were written before 2012. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

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Some visitors came searching, mostly for william shakespeare family, william shakespeare’s family, and the patriot robert browning analysis.

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Most visitors came from India. The United States & The United Kingdom were not far behind.

Who were they?

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Young Years of Abraham Lincoln. Essay. P S Remesh Chandran

26.

Young Years of Abraham Lincoln. Essay.

P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 5th Jul 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/24damds0/

Posted in Wikinut Essays

 

Sponsorship, back support and resources of large industrial empires and business houses are needed now to make a person the head of a nation, and it is not a secret too. Elections are won or lost according to the skill and riches of supporting industrialists and businessmen. Things were not so till a few decades earlier. It was an era when people said ‘my cause is greater than my birth.’

Life of Lincoln a reminder of the height of political commitment and humanitarian elation from which we have fallen.

Lincoln giving the Gettysburg speech in 1863.

When mighty nations arose out of chaos and struggles in the past centuries, the quality of statesmanship and dedication and loyalty of the candidate to his country and his men had been the deciding factor in determining his candidature and ascension to presidentship and captaincy. Poverty, manual labour, hard work and sympathy to others went into the making of such great men. The greatest modern day politician and statesman of the world, Abraham Lincoln, is remembered more as a lover and liberator of mankind than as a President of the Unites States of Americas. The life of Abraham Lincoln is a reminder of the height of political commitment, humanitarian elation and visionary insight from which we have fallen lately. This short article attempts to outline how his earlier years were spent and how this boy who read by the kitchen firelight assumed himself to be a ruthless political fighter. His boyhood years are presented here as he grew up strong and independent enough to fight the slave owners and the slave economy of his great continent fearlessly and mercilessly.

A vast prairee of mountains, plains, rivers and bisons that became a motherland to multitudes from every part of the world.

First reading of Proclamation of Emancipation.1864

The American Continent is one of the most fertile and vast regions in the world. Discovery of this new world attracted energetic and brave adventurers from almost all corners of the world. Whoever were being intolerably exploited, oppressed and suppressed in their native lands, if possible, escaped to this new world. Their hard work, determination and dedication is what erected this mighty nation as a pillar of democracy and a beacon of hope to the world. When we read and learn about the history of America, we will wonder how hard the bygone generations of this beautiful Promised Land strove to cherish the dream and ambition of realizing and materializing a land of equal opportunities and unquestionable democratic principles. People with lesser knowledge laugh, saying America is assuming the role of World Police. But people who have read about the evils of the world from which multitudes of people escaped and migrated to America to raise a nation and a policy of their own through the centuries know better.

The rise of American timber, meat and fur industry and the coming of Western Classics.

Boy Lincoln reading by firelight.

People of those times engaged in mostly bison hunting and trapping for furs. Raising cattle also was one of their major engagements. Huge ranches came to be established as a result of vast stretches of available pasture land and limitless availability of free-roaming bison and buffalo which only needed to be roped. Logging also developed as a major industry that provided employment to millions of people. America supplied timber, meat and fur to many countries. American timber, meat and fur industries owe their origins to those times of adventure and migration. The magnificent life of the brave and bold people of those times constitutes a memorable part in English Literature also in the form of the Great Westerns written by Louis La Amour and the like. But a period of boom will not last. Land, and resources like bison raccoon beaver and trees, began to be less and less available and people began to move. In fact, movement of people across endless plains and along broad river basins in quest of a new life is the characteristic of this part of the American history.

The great march of the early American settlers to the west, across plains and along river basins.

A Saw and Grist Mill in Lincoln’s times. Illinoise

When the early settlers of America began their great march to the West, new states were formed on their way, the earliest one among them being Kentucky. It was a beautiful state with dense forests, trees and far-stretching grass lands where Abraham Lincoln was born in a small farm and brought up to eight years. There his beloved mother taught him to read books, and in the evenings sat with him by the fireside telling him stories. Those were the unforgettable years of his primary education. Then the family moved further west, crossed the great Ohio River and settled in the newly formed state of Indiana which had no cities, towns and villages, but forests, forests and forests alone.

Agriculture, manual labour, walking, reading and education: The constituents of a brave world citizen.

Lincoln’s Log Cabin, now a national treasure.

Trees were cut, they cleared the forest and built an eighteen feet square log house which had a loft in the roof and that was Abe’s bed. Even the eight year old Abe was given an axe to help in the work- the initial training which made Abe Lincoln, an Able Lincoln. This lonely family cleared the ground and planted corn, hunted game in the forest and caught fish from the rivers. After his hard work in the fields and forests, he found one or two hours daily to read books by the firelight, among which the Bible, John Banyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Life of George Washington and Aesop’s Fables were his favourites. He was an avid reader. When a school master came to live many miles away, young Lincoln and his sister daily walked this long distance to and fro to learn things. At his eleventh year his mother passed away and two years later his father presented them with a new mother who was kind and took care of the children extremely well.

A village where all had log cabins and all worked from morning till night.

The neat village of Lincoln in New Salem.

Lincoln’s life has been summed up as ‘From Log House to the White House’ which is only a romantic statement far from reality. All people in his village had log houses. There were trees thick-packed everywhere. When ground had to be cleared for building a house, what will one do with the trees cut down from there? It cannot be moved to another tree-saturated spot. And timber was the natural and abundant building material available there. In fact, there were many beautiful log houses constructed there in his village. The doctor, school, post office, everything in the village was housed in log cabins. In one, once Lincoln ran a store which gained him an additional name, ‘Honest Abe’. It was really the physical strength and free spirit he gained during those times that gained America a fearless President.

If trees were heard falling in the forest one after the other, everyone knew Abraham Lincoln was at work.

Lincoln’s neighbours in New Salem.

There have been questions on the tallness of Abraham Lincoln for which there has been only one logical answer- good food, hard labour and a clean environment. At seventeen, he was Six feet Four inches tall and he grew big and strong each day. Timber cutting was their livelihood and he cut more trees than any other person in his village a day. If in the forest trees were heard falling one after the other, people knew that Lincoln was at work. He was the prize-winning runner, jumper, swimmer and shooter in the village. Long walks in the hills and forests were his hobby. He hated to kill. Animals, birds, trees, rivers and snow, all shared his ardence. And he liked debates, arguments and talking and assembled his friends till midnight doing these things. Once he walked thirty four miles to hear a famous lawyer speak and see him setting free through his eloquence and oratory skills an innocent man accused of murder. It was then and there that the impressed Abe decided to make himself a lawyer. So in the woods he made imaginary speeches to the trees and birds, perfecting the skill. And thus his teen years were over.

Birth of a young man determined to make the world free of oppressors, suppressors, dictators and slave owners.

The Rapids and Falls Lincoln’s boat maneuvered.

But the World remember him for his two great acts, preventing the young United States from separation in a civil war and abolishing slavery as a guiding beacon to this world. It is true, the southern states in America had so many cotton plantations and depended much on the easily and cheaply available slave labour for the stability and balancing of their economy. It was also true that not all planters were as cruel and rude to their slaves as many. But there indeed was insufferable tyranny, neglect and torture in most quarters. And as a principle, the freedom of man, whether Negro, slave, African or any other began to be considered of paramount importance. Naturally abolition of slavery resulted in a civil war in which the young nation might have been torn and separated but for the strong political will of Lincoln. This course of historical events was made possible through an adventurous journey undertaken by Lincoln at twenty one, so it cannot be left out here. He with his friend following the business advice of his father undertook a One thousand Eight hundred mile journey in a small boat down the Mississippi which is one of the greatest rivers in this world. Their destination was New Orleans where they reached enduring rapids and human attacks on the way. There, for the first time in his life, he saw slave labourers working in the cotton plantations. Also he saw slave markets where people were auctioned, bargained and sold. The humiliation and pain he saw in the eyes of those girls, mothers, children and men being sold in auction in markets there made his determination to wipe out this human evil from the face of this earth for ever and to make this world free of oppressors, suppressors, dictators and slave owners, which in time culminated in the firm policy of his nation.

 

 

________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.
________________________________

 

Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

Tags

Abraham Lincoln, America In The Making, American History, American Idol, American Literature, American Presidents, American Values, English Literature, Essayists, P S Remesh Chandran, Reintroductions, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Writers, Young Years Of Abraham Lincoln

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Comments

Steve Kinsman
8th Jul 2011 (#)

This is a fantastic article, well researched and very well written. Congratulations on a well-deserved star page, PSRemeshChandra.

Denise O
8th Jul 2011 (#)

Darn good information on Abraham Lincoln. Also great writing. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved. Thank you for sharing.

PSRemeshChandra
8th Jul 2011 (#)

Dear Steve Kinsman,
Dear Denise O,

Abraham Lincoln is one of the few world leaders whom I respect most. When I was a school student, I had opportunity to read many things aboutLincoln which I have not forgotten still. They were taught me in the class by my father who was also my class teacher and English teacher in the school and an admirer of Abraham Lincoln. Those incidents include his excellent jokes which were many. Once he asked a neighbour if he would take his coat to the town in his cart. The neighbour asked him when and how Lincoln would be going to get his coat back. Lincoln’s reply was that he intended to stay inside his coat. His hands were not only strong to cut trees down within moments, but quick also to help the poor without even them knowing about it. His lawyer profession was solely for helping the poor and the innocent, and practically gained nothing by way of fees. There are excellent stories of him rescuing many innocent people from the labyrinth of law. Thank you for your appreciation of the article.

 

 

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