About the Author......
Kumara Bharathy, Bharathy for short. Married to Prabha. Children Gnana and Soruby. Making a living out of electrical engineering. Hailed (if that is the word) from Maviddapuram, Jaffna. Educated (much against my wishes) at Veemankamam English (primary) School. Then a bit more willingly at Jaffna Hindu College (high school), and later at the University of Ceylon (1958 -1962). Passing/posing off as an Electrical Engineer, I had worked in Srilanka, and managed to while away (pleasant & sometimes otherwise) times in various parts of the world including sojourn in the then USSR (now former USSR) and PR China, Japan, UK etc.Dabbled in Journalism: as Editor of ArivoLi and Ambhu (Science magazines in Tamil, both folded up after couple of years of plodding, draining my meager financial resources), Radio programs in Community Radios. Rest as you can see below. It all really adds up to nothing spectacular.
About the writings.......
Having been uprooted from Srilanka in 1985, we now live in Wellington New Zealand. For a period of seven years we were in Madras.Like so many other things in life, I am a late starter in writings of this nature. We have moved from a 'respectable and secure' world of what we then loosely called 'middle class' into a nomads domain. This wanderers life brought with it a small confidence that I could put these things down. We all switch from one channel to another. Living in between the two worlds, the native and the alien (thirusangu's sorkam) does brings it own kind of pressures on the brains. Although this sharp distinction between the two worlds is getting blurred over the years. I have tried to express some of these changes in these articles, though not too heavily I hope. A note about my name. Obviously a collective family thought has gone into giving such a contrived grand name (what optimists!) in an ancient time - that is the the reason I stuck with it. If it sounds pretentious, well I am not responsible.
I never attempted to write in english before ( except reports and stuff). These English articles were written for youth programs (Tamil school and Radio), which as you have guessed, did not exactly set the youngsters on fire. May be for good reasons but I have plodded along to kill Queens English too along with my Pandiyan Tamil. Grammar (both english and Tamil) has been a bit of a worry all along, since the school days-that is. Vinnai echcham Vinnai Mutru, phrases and clauses still scares me. But I feel my way through them intuitively ( rearranging them till ' yeah now it sounds right' kind of feeling ), if you know what I mean. I have not benched marked my writings, which was born in the internet era - we are used to the error messages and dialog boxes in terse esoteric lingo. Rambling is what it is. It is unlikely to see the print media (saves from criticism). It has been destined to roam in the cyberspace, till some programmer by accident, by design or in a fit of temporary insanity pulls the plug out and mixes all the carefully arranged 0 and 1 resulting in a merciful release. Therefore make haste before Ambalam moves into oblivion. In the mean time while my rambling thoughts haunts the nooks and caverns of cyber space, your comments would be encouraging. If you are a (long lost) friend or a potential new one contact me.
Some of the ramblings have been broadcast in Tamil radio programs here and also in CBC Tamil radio Toronto. The style (short cuts and fast forwards ) and content (nostalgia and Taminglish lingo) worked well for this medium but have been moderated for the web. Others have appeared in Thendral, publication of Wellington Tamil Society and in news group of circle and Soc.Culture.Tamil . Some have been published in the Tamil Nation werb site Satyam.This is an important in-depth link to the Tamil world, with open forum for participation. My brother Dr S Ilanko of University of Canterbury, Christchurch, has a home page where he had uploaded some interactive Tamil and engineering education software. If you are into multimedia give him a shout.
I have interest in the Philosophy of Siddhas. Particularly Thirumoolar , Jiddu Krishnamurti, Nissagar Datta Maharaj, Sri Ramana Maharshi and some others.(reasonably sticking to any one of them should have been enough, but such is...) I might hasten to clarify that these venerable sages are not responsible for my lop sided view of life, which is my very own. In fact they will show you that "I" and its interminable problems dont really exist at all. But unfortunately I persist in existing and hence all this show biz. Few milligrams of brain matter ( with their neural connections) hangs like a thin film of mist between "us" and reality, they say. But what an infinite chasm! as it appears to "us". I reluctantly put their names down for 'records' (what these records are for, I dont know) and instinctively, I suppose as a sort of talisman! (Thayaththu). From Tholkappium days up till yesteryear evening, we had ancestral 'Kaval Theiyvams' or guardian deities to protect any venture. Bereft of them in new worlds across the seven seas I have to invoke them.
I also take excursions into world of Tamil and English literature. VS Naipaul, RK Narayan, Kahlil Gibran, Raja Rao, Basho, Greene, Bharathi Mukherjee in English, and T Janakiraman, Ashokamitran, Sujatha, La Sa Ramamrutham, in Tamil are some of my favorites.
Now if a patient reader has come up to this point, he or she might wonder, with all this extra curricular activities and so on, what I had been doing in my chosen ( chosen by others) field of Electrical Engineering. You are not the only one. I have been wondering about it too. Surprising (to me), I have been associated with nearly all major hydro development projects in Sri Lanka. What is more, I can also add a few ventures in New Zealand. Being associated, both at the bottom of the food chain - as a junior assistant electrical engineer( JAEE), a title that originated from the Raj days of Whitehall, and also at the near top ( wouldn't make it to the top though) of the chain.
Index of links to other associated sites: For More Links see page "allied websites-Sign posts on Cyber Pass"
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" Wise man points his fingers at the moon and the fool looks at the finger "- Zen saying