6 Dec



“It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Leonard Cohen:

“THERE’S this poet from Canada…He plays pretty good guitar, and he’s a wonderful songwriter, but he doesn’t read music, and he’s sort of very strange.” It was an unconventional pitch from a manager hoping to attract the attention of John Hammond, one of the most influential record producers around. But Mr Hammond was intrigued, and decided to invite the poet to lunch. Once they had eaten, the young Leonard Cohen sat down to play a dozen of his tunes. Mr Hammond was hooked: “You’ve got it, Leonard”.

” He saw music as his second calling, and rightly so. His words were all the more beautiful put to sound. After 14 albums and a career that spanned into his 80s, Mr Cohen remained unique in his ability to produce songs that could consume the listener, envelop them in darkness and reflection, and offer great comfort and hope all the while. He articulated like no other the universal unease and helplessness felt by society in a changing world. Some, like “If it be your will”, are more akin to prayer than song; others see Mr Cohen having fun, gently mocking those who praise him: “I was born like this, I had no choice, I was born with the gift of a golden voice.”

Please read this Economist tribute to Leonard Cohen: ” Closing time : A tribute to Leonard Cohen, the “high priest of pathos”

Fidel Castro:

” TO MEET Fidel Castro was to notice, first of all, his sheer physical presence. He was tall, erect and had a high, domed forehead that made him look naturally imperious. He was strong: as a youth he was awarded a prize as the best all-round sportsman in Cuba. He was brave to the point of recklessness: as a boy, he once rode a bicycle straight into a wall to prove his mettle. And he was determined, convinced of his own rightness, intolerant of contradiction and immune to compromise. These characteristics he had inherited from his father, a Spanish migrant who brought with him to Cuba the innate stubbornness of thegallego and who became a prosperous landowner. ”

“Fidel was the inspirational leader, the man of action, the master strategist, the obsessive control-freak who micromanaged everything from hurricane preparedness to the potato crop. He was, above all, tireless. In marathon sessions, often beginning after midnight and ending after dawn, he would interrogate visitors about every facet of the political situation in their country. He loved details—the statistics of food production in every Cuban province or the properties of Chinese electric rice-cookers. He kept them in his head and would recite them in those interminable speeches.”

Please read this Economist piece on Fidel Castro : ” The Will to Power :The life and times of Fidel Castro”

Whether you agree with Fidel Castro or not he was a tall leader of this century. Cuba’s free education and health care is second to none. I am no Marxist. I am more welfare state..


A popular politician from Southern India passed away yesterday. I have followed her career with some interest and found extremely strong willed and thrived in a patriarchal system. Whether you liked her politics or not she was a tall leader in Indian political system for the last two decades. I remember a incident when she was publicly humiliated at her mentor’s funeral in 1987. I was appalled as a  boy and read it in papers.I also saw it on state run television. I always feel we are shaped by our experiences. No wonder she returned a strong willed and determined politician. She may not have been your ideal but deserves all the admiration and respect. My respects..

I like people of substance. Leonard Cohen, Fidel Casro &  Jayalalithaa have my love, admiration and respect.

This for today. Good night dear friends!

Love, Suresh



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