Tuesday, April 18, 2006


So, here I am, into my second year of blogging!
And to commemorate a year of inconsistent, sporadic and whimsical writing, here's a favourite:

Keeping Quiet

And now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth
let's not speak in any language,
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about,
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us,
as when everything seems dead in winter
and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve,
and you keep quiet and I will go.

-- Pablo Neruda (Translated from the original in Spanish by Alastair Reid)


Karthik said...

Happy Anniversary da .. Treat Eppo ?? he hee !! Aneeways this post reminds me of Taoism !! Specifically the part where they speak of "Action Thru Inaction" !!

catch 22 said...

Keep the posts coming. Nice post this one, though its never goin to happen the thought itself is pleasant.

Karthik said...

Rajesh - On the occasion of ur anniversary, i have decided to start blogging again !! Finally managed to delete all the posts and start fresh !!

@ CAtch 22- I was thinking abt starting the blog again when u mailed !! Strange coincidence !!

musafir said...

@ karthik: :)...from what I read on wiki, yes, Taoism does indeed talk about action through inaction, but that had more to do with "going with the flow" but here, Neruda wants us to stop doing what we're doing for a little while so that we step out of our busy lives, take a look around ourselves, understand life and ourselves, thereby adding more meaning to our life, instead of chugging along at an insane pace, which makes no sense at all.

And flattered to read about you being inspired by me :)

@catch22: Yes, will keep them coming. And yes, nice thought...about it never going to happen, you never know, it's a crazy world out there!