Strongest of Memories

This is something that I thought I should share on another day which would be considered more as the day of bigger relevance, but I don’t see any reason why I should delay this. To be frank, I think that I should have posted this one a long time ago. The one below is a poem which I had written on the demise of Jean Mathew, one of the earliest elderly brother figures I ever had; and to think more about it, I can’t remember any other. We had lost him to brain tumour on the third of March 2013.

He should be the most hardworking person I have ever known. Even at the worst of times, he was known for his faith, belief and hope, with a courage to face whatever comes next. He was active at http://jeanmathew.blogspot.in/ and http://photoshealingwords.blogspot.in/ during the toughest of times. The poem below has been shared before in his memories collected in a book form, but never online, and so I thought I would share this here too. This is no In Memoriam, ThyrsisAdonais or Lycidas, but just what I could come up with at that time. May be I can come up with something better on another day.

The memories go back to the 1990s
It was to Malampuzha that our first big trip
Happened like never before, with bliss
And I stood there with Jean chettan in front of
A structure which was India’s map in grass
And there was our first photo taken together.

One of our earliest photos, scanned from the old collection

One of our earliest photos, scanned from the old collection of memories.

And just in a few years, during that sojourn
At Palai, among the first few computer games
Which I ever knew, one of them named Paperboy
Along with some random Tetris and Racing stuff
And then at Vagamon, still one of our best photos
With the wind, Jean chettan and myself.

And that is not everything about photos though
As he captured the best moments of the world
Freezing time and space for us all to behold
And each snap by Jean chettan brought thoughts
With Bible verses gracefully attached to them
Those lambent snaps added further sunshine.

Cropped from his photo collections with inspirational Bible Versions.

Cropped from his photo collections with inspirational Bible Versions.

I still remember how much of hardwork
Jean chettan put into everything he did
And whenever I see any photo of those
Which were fallen autumn leaves or that
Which fell from the sky as pure white snow
I feel the radiance of what he captured.

Even as I shall never be able to show the same
Undisputed courage and strength in adversity
Or be that much hardworking as Jean chettan ever
His self-evident faith and optimism has done
A lot and has given strength to more than one soul
And left me further vivified in my own beliefs.

TeNy

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The Path to Redemption

2009 saw the release of Solomon Kane, telling the tale of the rise of a hero, a protagonist who was different from the rest, and even his motives having a separate cause behind them. It has James Purefoy has the protagonist, a former mercenery seeking redemption. It came up with a great atmosphere, which was not scary, but still haunting, and its use of the elements like plague, demons, sorcery and swordfights without overdoing anything, is worth mentioning. It was one of those movies which came instantly into my favourites list.

Our hero is Solomon Kane, a ruthless man who has massacred innocents in war, and one day, captures a castle in North Africa where his men are taken away by demons from the mirror around, and he comes face to face against the Devil’s Reaper who is there to take his soul to hell for the terrible things he had done. But he rejects the fate that is put in front of him and jumps out into the sea to begin a life in hope for redemption.

You don't mess with Solomon Kane (Pic from movie's FB page)

You don’t mess with Solomon Kane (Pic from movie’s FB page)

He comes to believe that his hope for salvation will be attained by pacifism. But that would change when he is provided asylum by a family which is later slaughtered, and the young daughter of the family is taken by an evil sorcerer. There comes the alternate path for redemption, and we see that he says “There are many paths to redemption, not all of them peaceful”. From there, he travels a different path, not something that is unknown to him, but something that was there to be taken.

The world itself reflects the state of the protagonist’s mind. There is wasteland all around, with not much hope left for anyone. There is evil running through the world and goodness is rare to find. Demons ravage the world and the angels are nowhere to be found. Well, not that much different from the present world, but in the case of this movie world, it was clearly visible – in this century, even demons can act as angels really well and any possible angel is mistaken as a demon.

The name itself reminds us of two people, and we see the contrast there – the wise king who was Solomon, and the cursed human whom Cain ended up becoming, after slaying his sibling. These two personalities seem to exist in him, and it was only upto him to decide which one he had chosen to become. James Purefoy is a lot like the poor man’s Hugh Jackman, and here he is, like Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing – and that helps. Do look out for the yound Rachel Hurd-Wood as Meredith Crowthorn, the same person who played Sibyl Vane in 2009’s Dorian Gray, another character of innocence.

“If I kill you, I am bound for hell. It is a price I shall gladly pay” – this is what Solomon Kane would eventually come up with. The movie has no clear presence of God or the Devil, as there are only messengers to those beyond Earth. Devil himself chooses to send the Reaper rather than bringing himself or his trusted minions to Solomon Kane. Even the redemption of our protagonist is a story which seems to be never-ending, and only a few sequels can bring it to the finishing line. There is a lot left for humans to accomplish on Earth by themselves, and for the same, we might need help, but not new human gods.

Behold evil in all its glory (Pic from aceshowbiz)

Behold evil in all its glory (Pic from aceshowbiz)

Solomon Kane’s message is to react to the evil rather than let it thrive. It asks to act for the righteous and on the side of goodness rather than checking such things and thus seek redemption for the wrong that has been done. Even for the worst, there is the hope for redemption, even during the worst of times. The movie’s message remains strong as it has a strong protagonist played by a wonderful actor, and the atmosphere of the movie keeps the viewers interested in it. I loved the rain that kept pouring. This is a movie I choose to recommend highly. It deserves to be watched – for Solomon Kane didn’t get a release at this part of the world.

TeNy