The glow hurts
The darkness burns the soul:
In lost open city
Distant lamps burn
I cuddle into
The glow hurts
But the darkness,
Burns my soul
Let me be happy
With the moonlight
And read books.
I rated this poem with five stars on the writeclique.net. This poem's
simple imagery has a resonant voice.
The language is not only simple, but it is lyrically symbolic too.
The lamplight depicts the serious knowledge of big, yet lost in their
ideologies, scholars who hurt the common man. That knowledge, sadly, is
out of the common man's grasp. Darkness, so to say, is the
'no-knowledge'. It hurts too. Then what would Samodh prefer as the
narrator? The moonlight. Because it is simply soothing.
I have met many intellectuals, though I am not one - poor me! I have
seen how they live their personal life too.
The intellectual you see in the writings is quite absent in them in
actual sense. I was frustrated when I felt it for the first time. And
here someone is scribbling down that frustration - what a joy and thank
I remember one particular word - perhaps got to know at the college -
'Ivory Tower'. I looked up the Cambridge Dictionary again for the
precise meaning: To live or be in an ivory tower is not to know about or
to want to avoid the ordinary and unpleasant things that happen in
What do we gain by reading? Our reading has two poles: academic use
and entertainment. What is the use of mugging up thousands of academic
theories, when you hardly put them into practice? I am tempted to ask
this from many scholars of Buddhist Philosophy.
I have written down about many books in these columns, and someone
could call me a 'well-read' person.
But what have I really gained out of that? Just like a tea cup - as a
Zen parable says so - gets overflowing, our mind keeps on storing things
Am I right if I say this: more we read, more we become insensitive?
We should go out and be with masses. Just like Parakrama Kodituwakku
said, we should not compose lyrics on comfy settees, when disasters
strike our neighbours hard enough.
The darkness burns our soul and glow hurts; we should learn to be
happy with the moonlight - the middle path, that is
Once I requested a university don to make her somewhat high-flown
language simple. She took it amiss.
"We are academics. We cannot write simple."
It pissed me at first, but I felt such a pity for her. I did not want
to start a fight with this poor academic expat lady who came the whole
way here from a foreign land. She was very eager to lap up every chance
Writing simple and being simple is not automatic. You should
I realized this when I was in Trinco a few days back. Many so called
'no-gun' label attached NGO vehicles are largely roaming around.
The reason was simple. Trinco is the majority of Tamil speaking crowd
as against the Sinhala. The task of brainwashing them against Sinhala is
apparently so easy.
These NGOs lodge in comfy hotels, and do only a little to the well
being of the mankind. What they write on their laptops is rarely what
they gather from the common man. Nearly everything is fabricated.
What's the use of their scholarship, when they do not use it to the
benefit of the common man? They will realize they haven't done much
charity to the mankind, when they touch the conscience one day.
What about our own victims of brain drain? All those professors and
doctors flee to other countries, and come here to criticise our
semi-illiterate life style. Most of the scholars are not genuinely
interested in the progress of the mankind.
I know the glow of learning hurts us most of the time, and we cannot
remain ignorant in the darkness, because it affects us.
I share your frustration, Samodh, but is it practical to be happy
with the moonlight and read books, in a world full of glow and darkness?