Whither Goest Thou Lord?

kishkinda Kanda

Kishkindha Kanda getting ready…the first look!

“Quo Vadis, Domine?” Whither Goest Thou Lord?

Take me with you always…a speck of dust clinging at your beautiful feet. What majestic sights you show me all the while!

Josh Groban’s beautiful lyrics are the best to denote my feelings: (Thank you  Kathu for making me listen to this!)

You Raise Me Up

“When I am down, and, oh, my soul, so weary
When troubles come, and my heart burdened be
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be…”

Reading With New Eyes


There is now a definite change in the way one approaches words. I have always been fascinated by words; but there is a subtle difference in the way I view them. It happened after I metamorphosed into a translator. (One wing at a time) Every adjective and adverb tantalize me… The four hundred page tome that I am blessed to work with (a dream project)  is scribbled all over : both with Biblical references  and words that have sprung  unexpected surprises on me.

The paragraph with the reference marked Sirach 24: 14 , also has on its fringes ‘affliction, persecution and Jeremiads.’

John 13: 21 is  written on another page and it shares humble space with  ‘fleer, capricious and surly’.

Lamentations 1:1 is  scribbled at one place with the edges of the page rimmed with ’embroiled, otiose quivers and duplicitous.’

Note: The divine references have no relations with the eagerly scribed words. Those are inspirations  from books,  the kindle, newspapers, even from the mouth of babes (literally from my little girl..)Words  which intrigued me- for they were exactly what I had been searching for at some juncture of the project. Speak about the teacher appearing when the student is ready!

I have started observing the common comma, the humble hyphen, the innocuous period all rather alertly and with appropriate awe.  Phrases such as  ‘to be seized by foreboding’ and ‘words which carried after her retreating figure’, have halted me in my tracks like a country girl in a city party gaping at the pomp and glory. From Gothic novels to newspaper editorials and Coleman Barks with his ecstatic rendering of Rumi’s poetry, I am being constantly tempted by the delectable pleasures- thankfully not forbidden- of words and metaphors.

‘ I was a thorn rushing to be with a rose,

vinegar blending with honey, a pot of

poison turning to healing salve, pasty

wine dregs thrown in the millrace. I was

a diseased eye reaching for Jesus’ robe…’

(Ahhhhh! Rumi!)

‘Nightingale, iris, parrot, jasmine. I speak those

languages, along with the idiom

of my longing for Shams-i Tabriz.’


I am also adding cloisonne door knobs, fleur-de-lis pattern, carved cinnabar bowl,fine parquetry, rosettes, rattling and soughing branches,  aquamarine streaks of beauty…in my fast growing notes.

A reader lives a thousand lives in just one lifetime. A translator, my dears, a translator lives a dual existence. In one,  she is the reader with the thousand odd lives. In the other, a ghost who walks, a phantom of delight, who gets to dive into the deep blue sea waters of one language and emerge on a gorgeous cove of another language…What divine grace is that indeed… May the Lord keep filling my coffers with more of His works.

Beneath the Veil


The  wise and wonderful typically grace my life through words and images. It has been  both a fortuitous  and propitious fairy god mother till date.

Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, had come to me in three forms: because Lizzie Bennet sang it in Pride and Prejudice, and because it was the song played by Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption, and of course,  from the movie Amadeus. ( My daughters remind me that there is a Tom and Jerry special on Figaro too! Oh, yesss!)

There is something intriguingly interconnected herein- music and words and images.

Octavo Paz in his essay on Baudelaire as art critic, speaks on Analogy as the highest form of imagination, since it fuses analysis and synthesis, translation and creation..’It transforms communication into creation: what painting says without telling, turns into what music paints without painting, and what- without ever expressly mentioning it- the poetic word enunciates..’

He goes to explain what Baudelaire felt on listening to Wagner, specifically to the overture to Lohengrin. “.. Released from the fetters of gravity…in a solitude with an  immense horizon and a diffuse light; immensity with no integrity other than itself….then I conceived clearly the idea of a soul moving in a luminous atmosphere, an ecstasy composed of voluptuousness and knowledge.”


I get to explore two classic screenplays: Chinatown by Robert Towne and Kurt Luedtke’s Out of Africa. The latter  also gives me Mozart back.

‘ A woman can veil her face with a smile,’ is a quote attributed to Khalil Gibran.I imagine  the beautiful and tragic Evelyn  Cross in Chinatown and the luminous  and indomitable Baroness Blixen in Out of Africa . How very true in both the women.

What is it that Paz wrote? “The painter translates the word into visual images; the critic is a poet who translates lines and colours into words. The artist is the universal translator. True, that translation is transmutation…”

The dots get interconnected. I am awed by the Grace.