how it all started

What is a ‘biologist’ doing in a place like this, you might ask.

From the moment I began to read and write as a child, I’ve been encouraged to read and write and then read some more. In a time and a place where there was no suitable venue to expose what I scribbled, I tried my ‘verbal skills’ on my unsuspecting relatives and friends by penning them letters on whims, to anyone who would care to read the rudimentary stuff I wrote.

Fast forward to 2012. Past the ‘Age of Aquarius’. Well into the new millennium. To now. To the world of instant communication, of e-mails and the blogosphere. In this new age, I’ve been keenly persuaded by well-wishers to start a blog of my own.

An emotional tribute is in order at this juncture, to my Papaji, for spotting in me at an early age, this fondness of language and for his unfailing support towards its enhancement.

I vividly recall him bringing home a Malayalam ‘novel’, ‘Bible Rani’, written by one Kanam EJ (a pen name that might tickle the memories of some of you from a certain bygone era) and published by the Malayala Manorama Press Kottayam. It was a relatively small book by today’s standards, and capsuled the story of Esther, a substantial female figure from the Old Testament. I wasn’t concerned if the language was not urbane or that the novel didn’t reveal any universal truths. It must be said that in our Holy Scripture, the book of Esther does hold eternal lessons. Be that as it may, it was enchantingly fun for me as a youngster, and I finished it in one sitting. I was seven and asked my father for more. Promptly and soon enough, I earned the nick name ‘book worm’, in familiar circles.

As I entered college in the Kerala of the sixties, when most of my peers selected Hindi or French as their second language, I chose Malayalam, precisely for its literature. I simply had a zeal for reading and material was generally only available to me in that language. I took delight in the poetry of ‘Kumaran Ashan’s ‘Chandala Bhikshuki’, and ‘Vallathol Narayana Menon’s ‘Magdalana Mariyam’. Shakespeare and Dickens and Twain hadn’t entered my imagination, yet.

Well, not exactly.

My dad also made available to my sister and me, a monthly publication, ‘Bala Mithram’ put out by the CMS Press Kottayam, which printed Malayalam translations of selected western classics. Thus, as implausible as it may sound, I have read William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, ‘Macbeth’, and ‘King Lear’, Charles Dickens’ ‘David Copperfireld’, and Mark Twain’s ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’, in Malayalam!

This passion has led me to this spot. Here I am, decades behind, attempting my hand at becoming a self-anointed ‘wordsmith’ or in more modern lexicon, a ‘blogger’. Hope you’ll pardon the flaws of a novice, I promise to keep refining my posts. Your input will be of paramount value to me.

The blog, ‘mercy’s musings’, is the culmination of a great journey. It is deeply indebted to the ‘village’, that unwittingly contributed to this adventure, and it consists of:

-The above-mentioned Kanam EJ,

-The editors of the daily the ‘Malayala Manorama’ and the now-defunct ‘Bala Mithram’,

-The innumerable family and friends who have cheered me along, whose names are carried in my thankful heart,

-And first and last and most infinitely My Dad, who placed me on this magical path of loving the written word.

–This is dedicated to my husband who is my rock, and to my daughters who are my heart and my inspiration.


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