Friday, November 16, 2007

"Angelus elatus"

Yesterday, in between the daily routine of making pages, the expected duty of a sub-editor at a news paper, I received a call from Antony Dsouza (Dizou), my friend from college.

No I am wrong. He is more than a friend to me. The man behind me getting through graduation in physics is definitely more than a friend to me. Usually he doesn't call me during my work hours as he knows how tough it gets, especially when it nears page deadline.

And here the phone was ringing and I pick it up with a little bit of a worry in my heart, his wife Veronica (Rilja) is expecting a baby and the date the doctor set was 15th. Hope everything is all right.

A happy Dizou greeted me from the other end and revealed the good news. "Angelus elatus" - An angel is born. He has become a dad.

I couldn't conjure up any words to say to him and ended up giving a blank congrats and the usual blabbering about a party and all. My mind was pre-occupied you see - with the pages. But I felt a sudden surge of elation in me that couldn't be described with any words I have in my arsenal.

Dizou had surprised me when he called up an year ago saying he has found the love of his life in Rilja and they are going to marry last December. Just a year before he had said he won't marry in a hurry and had promised he would give me company. I am a long way off from the sacred act of matrimony you see.

And my respect for this guy grew. I have always believed it takes guts to marry. Dizou is one guy who has guts, believe me. His decision to join the merchant navy after a graduation in physics, when there were easier, closer to land, options available is evidence enough that he is a special guy who doesn't shy away from any adventure. And marriage is one big adventure.

I couldn't attend their wedding as it was in Kochi and I was stuck with pages in Chennai. And it was late in January this year that I first met Rilja. That was in Chennai. Dizou was doing a course here as part of his officers training for the merchant navy and they were put up at a place in a private beach on East Coast Road - a nice romantic place for a honeymoon.

The first time I talked to her, I knew she was the right person for him. What struck me was her attitude, the same as his. If there is anything like the saying "made for each other", then this is it - a match made in heaven I would say.

And now eleven months later they are blessed with an angel, a baby girl. May God shower her with His never-ending love and blessings.

The belief is that man was made in the image of God to do his will on earth. He was the creator obviously, and one of his first commands was to fulfil the destiny set upon man as masters of the World.

To produce ones own kind is like doing God's work as we are taking part in His creative efforts. Dizou, my man, you lucky dude. Finally you have joined that elite club.

It's great and you don't know how happy I feel for you guys. I can't express it with the simple grammar I am aware of as a human or the three languages I can speak and write.

A few lines I present you and to your lovely, and I would say, better half - a gift to the new born and her proud parents.
Angelus elatus

It’s a path we are born to,
life in this beautiful world.
Full of shadows yet so bright,
the scape that surrounds us through.
A while ago you trod that path,
alone with your soul as mate.
Now your mate is the one
– whose fruit you behold in your arms.
Ain’t she lovely, the little one;
sparkle in her eyes to learn it all.
And spirit real in her heart,
to soar and fly like a bird.
Blessed is this gift divine,
who brought joy to all far and near.
Love her like your very life,
Angel that she is – an Angel born.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Martial status

Its not a typo error like you might have thought. It's martial status I want to talk about today and not marital status which usually plays in the mind of guys my age.
Don't get me wrong here. Martial status is just a symbolic word I'm using to present the legacy I got from my dad and a generation before him. I received two separate versions you see.
I remember vague pictures from my childhood where men clad in whites executing precisely designed movements in unison to the sharp command of my father. That was the legacy I got from him. Karate.
From the time I could comprehend words, I heard about the heroics of my dad's uncle, who happens to be my grandpa in a way, about his mastery of the locks and the throws. That's the legacy I got from him. Wrestling and through it the martial art of Judo.
I was literally born into a dojo. My dad had a karate class at home along with the few he had at various other places and a whole lot of students. He was one of the senior masters of the art in Kerala, my home state, and a respected Sensei in karate circles.
What karate has given me is hard to summarise. I would say - everything. It gave my dad. It defined my relationship with him; with my uncle, who is also a first dan in the art. It nourished the mutual camaraderie and more than average love I share with my brother. Above all, it shaped the man in me.
Of course I got my mama without the art ok. Mama is just mama, no other fineprints there.
When I first started my blog, I named it Life, Philosophy n martial arts because I had planned to write just that. My life. My life has its philosophy which I sometimes boast to friends as an unadulterated one. Unadulterated by books I mean. But influenced by a host of other factors. I needn't mention that martial arts is one of them because it is the primary one, I dare say.
But karate, judo and wrestling were missing from the issues I addressed in my blog till now. The reason is I have moved away from the way ever so briefly - last two years, because of my physical injuries and professional duties. Practising the sacred art became less frequent and I lost the light in me to talk about my experiences as an artist.
How can I write about the art when I don't practise it. Now that I have resumed training, hopefully I shall soon bridge the gap between the real me and what I've become now.
Once that happens, I would be at peace with myself on a daily basis which is not the case now. Now peace comes in small packets for me here and there. Frankly I am tired of it.
Now, slowly I would be able to say...... "I travel alone in this world. But I fear no one because I have my two empty hands" - the words of my great grandmaster Sensei Zenryo Shimabukoru of Japan.
It epitomises the philosophy of the art I practise.
Karate - Way of the empty hand.