Monday, January 30, 2006


Originally uploaded by soney.
Shooting the shooter! Suniti and I engaged in a photographic duel at the Horniman Circle readmeet of Caferati. Guess I lost the duel as she shot me first! (Photo courtesy: Suniti Joshi)

ammachi last journey

amma last journey
Originally uploaded by johnpmathew.
An impromptu poem I composed for her:

Decked in flowers,
Swaddled in gold filigreed shrouds,
Smeared with perfume,
She travels to the world beyond,
A life of love lived,
A life of more giving than taking,
Living a life of choices,
Turnings, and crossing she had missed.
She lies besides father,
In a grave prearranged for her,
Knowing she would accompany him,
In this last stage of creation,
When we all must self destruct.

ammachi with thoshapa

ammachi with thoshapa
Originally uploaded by johnpmathew.
End of the journey! She was a teacher who sacrificed her career to look after her five children. In the process she became old, wrinkled, and lost her teeth and her eye sight. Her regret was that she didn't pursue her career as a teacher. If she had she would have been drawing a good pension, a fact she regretted all her life! Each time I used to phone her she would ask, "When are you coming?"

When she was grieveously ill and bed ridden she actually told me, "Why don't you lie down somewhere, you look tired." Guess mothers are always like that, sacrificing, giving up, letting go, releasing, and still willing to give unconditional love in spite of all the cruel neglect they receive from their children.

ammachi decked in a thoshapa and the coffin that I bought!

ammachi with thoshapa
Originally uploaded by johnpmathew.
Ammachi's last journey to the world beyond. She died on 06/01/2006 and I was with her when she died. She was eighty-eight. A priest said during the funeral, "You are only prepared to live, if you are prepared to accept death." How true.

If this is the end - for which we all have to prepare - then we better start living, loving, celebrating, creating, sharing, revelling in this journey called life.

Are you prepared to die? Only then can you prepare to live, as our priest said.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Me Reading at the Horniman Circle Readmeet of Caferati

Originally uploaded by neomatrix.
This is me reading at the Horniman Circle readmeet of Caferati - The Network of Writers. It was dark and you can see me straining to put some feelings into my reading. To no effect. Except for Ravi who seems to be listening intensely, the rest were enjoying "soggy" sandwiches. What did I read? "William Wordsworth's Legacy" of course.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Priests saying mother's last prayers and funeral service. There were three priests of which one was a relation. She was buried near my dad in our family church at Kidangannoor, Kerala.

This is me in my office wearing my "Heavenest Goa" tee-shirt. Behind me can be seen my laptop and the stickit notes that has become an indeliable part of my life, my writings!