Archive for February 22, 2014


Mandela in Kerala

Madiba in Kerala.

A comrade from the southern Indian state of Kerala shared the following anecdote with my father sometime in the mid-1980’s in New Delhi …

… On a trip to his home state of Kerala, the comrade said,

“…I was on a small fishing boat with some other comrades, we were going to an anti-Apartheid meeting that had been organised in a small town.

During the course of the boat ride, I kept hearing the boat-man’s voice, as he was singing, and quite loudly too, a song in Malayalam,

And I kept hearing what sounded like the name ‘Mandela’, over and over again,

So I asked the boat-man who or what this ‘Mandela’ was?

“You come from the city, and YOU don’t know who MANDELA is?

Morning rushes in, perched atop a blanket of dawn’s dreamy clouds,

and,

dew drops caress petals in the garden of roses, nestled inside this caravan-serai that is life,

and,

night shuffles, fading gently away, as a symphony of bird-song bids the darkness adieu,

while the promise of kisses yet to be savoured, spreads it’s wings soaring  to a welcome embrace, under these skies of painted-pastel blue …

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