Saturday, June 25, 2011

P.G.Wodehouse - 10

From ‘My Man Jeeves’

…… what I’ve observed, the American captain of industry doesn’t do anything out of business hours. When he has put the cat out and locked up the office for the night, he just relapses into a state of coma from which he emerges only to start being the captain of industry again. But Mr. Worple in his spare time was what is known as an ornithologist. He had written a book called American Birds, and was writing another, to be called More American Birds. When he had finished that, the presumption was that he would begin a third, and keep on till the supply of American birds gave out.

“Sir?” said Jeeves, kind of manifesting himself. One of the rummy things about Jeeves is that, unless you watch like a hawk, you very seldom see him come into a room. He’s like one of those weird chappies in India who dissolve themselves into thin air and nip through space in a sort of disembodied way and assemble the parts again just where they want them. I’ve got a cousin who’s what they call a Theosophist, and he says he’s often nearly worked the thing himself, but couldn’t quite bring it off, probably owing to having fed in his boyhood on the flesh of animals slain in anger and pie.

Jeeves smiled paternally. Or rather, he had a kind of paternal muscular spasm about the mouth, which is the nearest he ever gets to smiling.

She fitted into my biggest arm-chair as if it had been built round her by someone who knew they were wearing arm-chairs tight about the hips that season…….. She made me feel as if I were ten years old and had been brought into the drawing-room in my Sunday clothes to say how-do’you-do. Altogether by no means the sort of thing a chappie would wish to find in his sitting-room before breakfast.

……. I’m all for rational enjoyment and so forth, but I think a chappie makes himself conspicuous when he throws soft-boiled eggs at the electric fan. And decent mirth and all that sort of thing are all right, but I do bar dancing on tables and having to dash all over the place dodging waiters, managers, and chuckers-out, just when you want to sit still and digest.

There was something sort of bleak about her tone, rather as if she had swallowed an east wind. This I took to be due to the fact that she probably hadn’t breakfasted ……….
“Won't you have an egg or something? Or a sausage or something? Or something?”
“No, thank you.”
She spoke as if she belonged to an anti-sausage society or a league for the suppression of eggs.

“Father,” said Clarence, “did you meet a mewing cat outside? I feel positive I heard a cat mewing.”
“No,” said the father, shaking his head; “No mewing cat.”
“I can’t bear mewing cats,” said Clarence. “A mewing cat gets on my nerves!”
“A mewing cat is so trying,” said Elizabeth.
“I dislike mewing cats,” said old Mr. Yeardsley.
That was all about mewing cats for the moment. They seemed to think they had covered the ground satisfactorily …….

“We’ll fling the door open and make a rush,” said Bill.
“Supposing they shoot, old scout?”
“Burglars never shoot,” said Bill.
Which was comforting provided the burglars knew it.

She looked at me in rather a rummy way. It was a nasty look. It made me feel as if I were something the dog had brought in and intended to bury later on, when he had time.

Somehow it was brought home to me that she didn’t like Englishmen, and that if she had had to meet an Englishman, I was the one she’d have chosen last.

He said that the tango and the fox-trot were devices of the devil to drag people down into the Bottomless Pit. He said that there was more sin in ten minutes with a negro banjo orchestra than in all the ancient revels of Nineveh and Babylon.

From ‘The Crime Wave at Blandings’

….. he wanted solitude. In the course of the afternoon he had had so much female society thrust upon him that if Helen of Troy had appeared in the doorway of the writing-room and yoo-hooed him, he would merely have accelerated his pace.

From ‘Ukridge’

‘E’ wants to see the murders,’ explained Flossie’s mother.

She spoke as if it were the most reasonable of boyish desires, but it seemed to me impracticable. Homicides do not publish formal programs of their intended activities. I had no notion what murders were scheduled for today.

‘E always reads up all the murders in the Sunday paper,’ went on the parent, throwing light on the matter.

‘It’s the places ’e wants to see,’ said Flossie’s mother, amiably tolerant of my density.

…. His looks! She didn’t want his looks spoiled. Why, damme, he hasn’t got any looks. There isn’t any possible manner in which you could treat the man’s face without improving it.

‘ …… Alf Todd,’ said Ukridge, soaring to an impressive burst of imagery, ‘has about as much chance as a one-armed blind man in a dark room trying to shove a pound of melted butter into a wild cat’s left ear with a red-hot needle.’

Around the room on those gilt chairs which are only seen in subscription-dance halls weird beings were talking in undertones, probably about the trend of Scandinavian literature.

….. a youth in my house at school named Coote. J. G. Coote. And he was popularly known as Looney on account of the vain and foolish superstitions which seemed to rule his every action. Boys are hard-headed, practical persons, and they have small tolerance for the viewpoint of one who declines to join in a quiet smoke behind the gymnasium not through any moral scruples – which, to do him justice, he would have scorned – but purely on the ground that he had seen a magpie that morning. This was what J. G. Coote did, and it was the first occasion on which I remember him being addressed as Looney.

But, once given, the nickname stuck; and this in spite of the fact – seeing that we were caught half-way through the first cigarette and forcefully dealt with by a muscular head-master – that the magpie of his would appear to have known a thing or two.

There is something about a Welsh voice when raised in song that no other voice seems to possess – a creepy, heart-searching quality that gets right into a man’s inner consciousness and stirs it up with a pole.

Her whole appearance was that of a woman designed by Nature to instill law and order into the bosoms of boisterous cannibal kings.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

From ‘iGuruji. Informal talks with Guruji. Vol 3’ by Seema Almel and Vishwanath M N

……. middle of Ashadha, the beginning of monsoons ….. is the most auspicious period of the year when the greatest energies flood our earth from Parabrahma Loka. “Our elders …. would keep aside all material pursuits and do Sadhana throughout this month. Gradually the Sadhana part was forgotten and people held on to the belief that no ventures should be taken up in this month.”

“There is nothing like an inanimate thing” replied Guruji. “Everything is full f consciousness and intelligence; it can respond …. It depends on how much love we send …….. Plants do not have mind and intellect, the way we have ….. It could transmit it's intention and then it gets converted to Energy. This energy enters us, gets converted to concepts or thoughts in our intellect and then becomes words in our brain”

There will be major changes within the next three years …….. those who do not want to change will perish …. This process will begin in 2012 and continue till 2018, by when there should be complete transformation. The Rishis say that our earth will stand still in 2012, for three days and three nights ….. we cannot imagine the chaos and commotion when that occurs

It was Kabir who said, “There is room within only for one; it is either ‘I’ or ‘Him’.”

……. the writings of Kahlil Gibran

The Deeper that sorrow carves into your being,
the more joy you can contain

‘Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup
that was burned in the potter’s oven?

‘And is not the flute that soothes your spirit,
the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

‘Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.’

Saturday, June 11, 2011

From ‘Across many mountains. Three daughters of Tibet’ by Yangzom Brauen

Many times my grandmother has told me how dead people spend three days reliving their lives down to the tiniest detail. At sunrise on the third day the consciousness returns to the body, not realizing what has happened. Then the dead wander among the living but no one acknowledges them, no one talks to them, looks at them or touches them. They want to be with the living and they do not understand why we ignore them – until a terrible suspicion dawns upon them. To test their fears, they walk across sand, seeing to their horror that they do not leave footprints. They lower themselves into water and see that they make no waves ……… until they realize they are no longer among the living ….. After these three days, the consciousness of the dead comes across forty-two peaceful and fifty-eight wrathful deities. Anyone who has seen pictures of these terrifying divinities can imagine how disturbing and frightening such encounters must be. Therefore it is important that the dead are accompanied by the monks’ prayers, which prepare their souls for these meetings.

On the day of His Holiness’ [Dalai Lama] long-awaited arrival, Kunsang was churned up with anticipation and excitement …… Kunsang wore he best white apron ……. Suddenly His Holiness himself was standing right before her. She still remembers every moment of the encounter. ‘He looked exactly like his portrait on the thousands of amulets and pendants printed with his face, but there was a presence about him that no picture in the world could capture. I felt a sense of warmth, love and intimacy emanating from him ….. He … asked … “Are you a cook?”’

‘It was a small eternity before I could answer, for I had not been prepared for such a personal greeting. All eyes were on me, yet this bodhisattva, this enlightened existence in human form, expressed no impatience; he did not seem in any rush for me to answer. It was as if His Holiness had all the time in this world just to stand in front of me and look at me and smile and wait for me to answer his question.’

“Yes,” I finally murmured. My body was bent low, my hands were folded at my chest, and I did not dare lift my head to look the Dalai Lama in the eyes. It would not have been respectful for a nun such as I to do that.

“Show me your hands,” the Dalai Lama said to me, and when I hesitated, His Holiness simply reached for them with an incredibly gentle gesture and pulled them towards him. Still smiling, he looked at my dry, chapped hands. They were rough from my work in the kitchen …… But the Dalai Lama held my hands for a long time, turning them over in his own soft, flawless ones. Then he patted them and said simply, ‘They’re so hard.’ His words were almost lost in a chuckle of laughter. ‘You’ve worked too much.’

‘I was filled with happiness. Smiling, he released my hard hands, gave me a laugh and a nod and went on to talk to the woman standing next to me. Now I won’t have to work so hard, I thought to myself, because he was here, because he touched me.’