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Showing posts from September, 2011

Becoming British - 2

I must have been six or seven when I became aware that people travelled between countries fairly regularly. The realisation must have been triggered by an uncle’s return after a trip abroad and much fuss being made of his jaunt. No one ever called it abroad back then. It was always ‘Foreign’. Someone who had crossed the national border was ‘Foreign-returned’ and this was not an accolade easily earned. Foreign was this mysterious land that would only allow access to the special ones among us. It was a land populated by chosen people and to have been amongst them and breathed in the same air as them was a rare privilege only a few ever managed.

I can still recall the smell of the luggage that accompanied an uncle’s family after they returned from Foreign. It was smooth, fresh and nothing like the pungent odours of our crowded household. It smelt of clean, white people. A race far removed from the plagues of us dark-skinned beings. Foreign back then was synonymous with any place where …

Becoming British - 1

I am no longer hysterical like I was when the letter came through the post a few weeks ago. "But this can’t be right", I wailed dramatically to my friends, "I don’t look British. My dark skin belies the pale English sun." I was distraught when our application for taking up British nationality was approved. Suddenly, I felt like I had sided with the colonial oppressors as portrayed in Tamil movies and had earned the technicolour wrath of all our movie heroes who played freedom fighters.
Mine was not a reaction I had foreseen. After all, I was the one who had pushed for naturalisation in the first place. I wanted to travel around Europe more and getting a visa each time we needed to leaves these shores was a nightmare. A British passport would open doors more readily for us and it seemed the obvious thing to do.
And yet, when the reality of becoming a British citizen and what we would have to do in order to be formally included sunk in, I became agitated. First, to b…

Clerihew - A Competition

A Clerihew is a whimsical biographical 4-line poem. Its rhyme structure is AABB and is often quite contrived. Like this one made up by the eponymous Mr Clerihew Himself.

Sir Christopher Wren Said, "I am going to dine with some men. If anyone calls Say I am designing St. Paul's."
And here's one I made up earlier.

If Anna Hazare were a cook Who wrote a recipe book, It would be empty for pages And suggest you fast for ages.

So that's your challenge. Come up with a Clerihew about anyone you please. And post your entry in the comment box. I'll give it a couple of weeks and then announce a winner. Off you go!

Been A While...

I had lost my interest in blogging and never picked it up again. But recently I have been wondering about posting competitions on this blog like I once used to.

So starting very soon, there will be a few contests to liven up this space. Be on the look out.