Friday, 18 July 2014

The Guide

Dead and decaying things seemed to unloosen his tongue and fire his imagination, rather than things that lived and moved and swung their limbs.  I had little to do as guide; he knew so much more of everything! 
R.K. Narayan The Guide (Chennai: Indian Thought Publications, 1958) 81-82. 

As part of teaching English literature - for the first time in my life - I am reading the novel The Guide by R. K. Narayan.  I remember watching parts of the Hindi movie by the same name (the adaptation of the same), especially for some of its memorable songs.  This afternoon I could not but be amused and bemused by these words and hence reproduced them above.

The maiden attempt at teaching Literature - or so, I claim - is quite a challenge and slowly getting a hang of it.  Hope to get most of the text I'm to teach!  As of now, I'm piloting a ship on stars. One may say that's the traditional way, but certainly not for one who has never boarded a ship or a boat all his life, never ever! 


  1. Casa sweetie, here's one for you to enjoy.. i wish your brothers had to study this one hahaha
    100 love sonnets by Pablo Neruda.
    Sonnet 17.

    I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
    or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
    I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
    in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

    I love you as the plant that never blooms
    but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
    thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
    risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

    I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
    I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
    so I love you because I know no other way
    than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
    so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
    so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

    PS: I do love some of the lines in this poem :D

  2. :D one more translation ..use this poem when you try to teach your brothers about love.. hahaha..i would love to be in class.. damn .. you have all the fun, Cas. At least you do share some of what happens, good boy.

    I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
    or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
    I love you as certain dark things are loved,
    secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

    I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
    hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
    and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
    lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

    I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
    I love you simply, without problems or pride:
    I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

    but this, in which there is no I or you,
    so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
    so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.


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