‘X’ is the
24th letter of the English alphabet but can boast of some potent,
mysterious, innovative, thrilling and awesome attributes linked to its usage. It prefixes a peculiar word (my choice), which
expresses ‘exaggerated fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of
anything that is strange or foreign’. The scary looking word is ‘Xenophobia’.
It originated from Greek word ‘Xeno’- meaning strange or
foreign and phobia of course is morbid or unfounded fear or dislike of
something or of some people.
From the inception of history, it
can be traced that the feeling of xenophobia has existed all over the world in
the name of culture, race or religion. In its maddening conflagration, millions
of innocents have been ghettoized, banished, tortured or brutally eliminated.
Perhaps Xenophobia or irrational
hatred was the genesis of Hitler’s inhuman intolerance towards the Jews in Germany,
which propelled him to exterminate them in cold blood. Even in Russia during Second
World War where his forces had a flimsy victory for a short time, he mercilessly
massacred Jews there. (Ref. a heart-wrenching story that I read)
However, I’m not discussing more
'X' words and this narrative is not going to help Spelling Bee contestants or
‘X’ surely enjoys many
exotic, novel and interesting linguistic references. Its personality has the clear
distinction of standing tall in many semantic allusions and paradigms.
Let’s examine some of the
linguistic games, which this exclusive letter plays in the semantic field of
‘X’ is a Roman numeral, which stands for the
number10 and its multiples. ‘X’ is also a multiplication sign in Mathematics.
It has an important place in science and algebraic equations.
In astronomy ‘X’ stands for a
comet of unknown orbit.
The mighty looking ‘X’ is used
for extra effect in the mad ad world, where scramble for eye catching and
innovative tag lines is perennial. Often I have noticed X being substituted for
'ex' e.g. Xtra mileage or Xtra power in the ads for cars. XL lables (extra-large)
clothing for expanded waistlines.
To hold the attention of
newspaper readers or TV channel viewers, the news headlines often use the word
‘Xposé’ after unearthing some alleged fraud or criminality in high places for the
actual word ‘expose’.
In the media, X-rated films are
meant to be watched only by adults.
“X-ray” is a photographic or
digital image of the internal composition especially a part of the body,
produced by the x rays being passed through it…” Then luggage gets X-rayed at airports,
hotels and other strategic places.
Xmas is shortened form of the
holy word Christmas. Xian is the abbreviated form of Christian.
‘X’ is used as a mark for
expressing negation as opposed to tick mark.
Generation X refers to those born
after the baby boom ended i.e. from 1961 to1981.
‘X’ is used in genetics too. X
chromosome is one of the two sex determining chromosomes in humans.
X-files is the name given to
Sci-Fi Television series loaded with fear, thrill and suspense.
X P is one of Microsoft’s
Last but not the least is the
intriguing use of the word’‘X-Factor’.
It is hard to define the meaning except that it refers to some quality, talent,
or influence, which adds ‘wow’ element to the personality.
In spite of two successive flops,
the actor is still sought after, because of some X- factor perhaps.
At least this write up has made me conscious of the exotic mystique of this wonderful letter.
Friends, I'm putting up temporarily in the cool lap of Hills to escape the sweltering heat of the plains. Our small flat is decked on all sides by the majestic presence of pines. Two episodes of heavy showers have brought life to the nut brown exterior of the lanky pines. In the midst of some scorched leaves there are ample glistening new leaves standing erect as if practicing permanently some Yoga Asan.
Yesterday was partly a windy day. And I was witness to an interesting exhibition of hordes of dry brown pine needles flying rhythmically before landing on the hill slopes or roofs of the houses or modest dwelling units. The sight reminded me of milk white snow flurries falling magically on the mowed lawns in the US, while you watch spell bound, standing safely behind the window pane.
There is surfeit of fallen pine needles on side walks on the Nahan Road where I go for a walk. The freshly oven-ed needles at least ease the unevenness of the cobbled berms.
Here are a few shots of the landscape of the hill slopes from different angles.
It was my
dear cyber friend Pattu Raj from Hyderabad, who acquainted me with the
existence of indi bloggers community. She opined that my blog posts deserve to
have wider readership. Thanks Pattu for this altruistic gesture. I miss your presence from the Indi blogs and your heartening comments. We are in the same
league, retirees, but long to be heard while discoursing about the raging societal concerns.
We also wish to share our flights of fancy, our myriad impressions about life,
our accounts of the miracles of nature, its cycle of seasons and the
It is an exclusive prospect, gifted by the Indi
bloggers community, where patterns drawn by our thinking process, stirrings of
our consciousness and nudges of our inner voice get inked on the screen. With
the hope, that our friends here will visit our sites, read our posts, promote
them and sometimes comment upon them.
surprised if I confess that even at my age I have pure emotions that of a
child. How thrilled I feel when well-wishers from the community say something encouraging
or simply promote my posts
On my part,
my association with indi bloggers has enabled me to have an enlightening peep
into a reservoir of writings of all literary genres. Young bloggers write at
length about romance its pains and pleasures.
poets who with their keen sensitivities weave all human emotions with the
finesse of their measured words. There are photographers whose camera clicks
bring out the palette of our unique lives and the world around.
The techie geeks come out with posts, which
burst with information about mobiles phones, computers, share trading and much
advantageous is the chance to participate in variety of writing contests, which
help to sharpen our writing skills and broaden our outlook
It is a
world encompassing so much in its fold that the expression ‘GOLDMINE of
knowledge’ succinctly describes its personality.
desire is to have more attention to my posts by my dear friends. I keep waiting
when some posts of mine get space on the home page.
More power to this elixir of life promoting attributes!
We are lucky,
friends, to have inherited fully developed languages. All languages have words
that convey the subtleties and routines of our lives so fondly and precisely
that reading structured words in myriad contexts touch our sensibilities
instantly. The unique expression of the height of joy, the solemnity of sorrow
and the pain of tragedy makes us relate to the gravity of the specific emotions.
Words are priceless gems in the firmament of communication.
They are living entities and keep expanding their existing semantic boundaries.
New words are coined and assimilated. Some popular ones from other languages
are borrowed to keep pace with the need to articulate about the ever-progressing
Here is the
tale of two words which are partially homonyms but denote entirely different semantic
vegetate sends shivers down my spine as it often refers to the luckless ones-
victims of tragic events passing into a medical coma. They merely breathe. Time
spins around them without their noticing anything. For them time actually stops
from the moment of some terrible happening. They are just like a clod of clay. They present a sight, tragic and pathetic
There is less severe perspective to vegetate also.
There are those who have everything going for
them but they prefer to be passive and indifferent.
are too busy to supervise and guide their children about things, which matter. Children gorge on large portions of the processed or junk foods. They switch on the TV and sprawl on the sofa with an iPad or smartphone,
play all sorts of addictive games, while managing to watch the TV as well. Here the
'id' (ref.Freud) plays the pleasure principle. Such couch potatoes invite obesity
and consequent image problems. This syndrome is fast catching up in India too.
There is the
nouveau riche class in India who bid adios to their reasoning and harbor
twisted notions about status. Their wives watch soap operas lounging on sofas,
while a couple of domestic helps do chores and even prepare food. Household
tasks are beneath their status and frowned upon. No wonder, the seams of their tops come apart frequently.
On doctor’s advice, they try to sweat it out in gyms or parks. Their husbands
hire village urchins to wash their cars every morning and flood the roads.
Their euphoric state makes them indifferent to
political and social tidings.
living with their children become so much engrossed in their wards lives for
whatever reason, that they sacrifice their own interests. Mental vacuum due to
the absence of any hobby of their own turns them into lazy blobs. Their passive
life results in poor health and overall degeneration of their faculties.
vegetate connotes negative elements existing in our social fabric.
On the other
hand, the word vegetation transports me to a joyful mental state. It conjures
up beautiful images of dense forests, home to ambling animals, exotic bird species,
orchestra of insect sounds, botanical marvels and indefinable mysteries.
Picture the sprawling gardens with stately
trees, flowering bushes, mesmerizing variety of roses and manicured beds of
seasonal flowers.The small herbal
kitchen gardens cared like gems by the dedicated few, enrich the ambiance. Surely,
these are the images of which dreams are made of!
Mother Nature sustained and secured the first
inhabitants of earth with its fruit and sheltered it from inhospitable
conditions and dangers lurking at every step of their
If there is
a lesson in hope and resurgence, it lies in nature‘s endowment of cyclic
presentation. It has variety and dynamism as its permanent avatars.
Winter ushers in snows, shivers, family reunions,
good food and gala festivals. Spring is kingly with its glisten and gleam of
rebirth of plant life. Summer hosts us with cool drinks, exotic ice creams,
lemon sherbets, juicy watermelons and honey sweet mangoes. Autumn glorifies the atmosphere with shed
leaves of golden hues. The miracles of nature are mind boggling.
Vegetation in some form or the other is the
principal actor in all seasons!
Friends, I'm in the midst of Shiwalik hills for a couple of months to beat the heat of plains. That is the upside. But the down side is that I don't have Internet connectivity. I'm trying to improvise with an instrument which is inserted into the computer. But the response is erratic and speed worse than that of a snail. I can do a little bit only in the morning. Browsing is out of question as links do not open. I won't be able to promote or comment at my favorite jaunt of Indiblogs. Please bear with me if i can't reciprocate. I thought i should tell you.
Here are a few photographs of the lovely pines I clicked on NAHAN road at KUMARHATTI (HP) which i want to share with you.
'U' is for usurp The word USURP
has a weird body language and tongue twisting articulation that aptly suggest the
nature of its semantic contours. It has to do with something, which is against
propriety, righteousness or harmony of life. It pertains to some sort of injustice;
taking something by force which is legally or otherwise not yours.
replete with such instances where to achieve ignoble ends the usurpers
perpetrated untold sufferings and miseries on innocent people. After assuming
power through dubious means, the usurpers resorted to inhuman treatment to
subjugate the ruled to perpetuate their hegemony by guile or threats.
the two world wars bear testimony to the inhumanity of man-to-man. These happened
because of the perceived notion of Germans belonging to a superior race,
fiercely propelled by Hitler. His maniac dream of conquering the world and
becoming its supreme leader, led him to usurp power through shrewdly crafted
psychological methods. To this end, he destroyed everything, which came in the
way of usurping power. It is another thing that he could not succeed in his
vile ambitions. His megalomania made him exterminate the Jews through a holocaust
so terrible that it changed the history of the world.
Dictators everywhere manage to usurp power
with the help of the army or through the cunning shenanigans of an Oligarchy. This
is what Russian despot Stalin did after the October 1917 revolution. There
exist countless such dreadful examples if we peruse world history.
On a micro
level in India, there are numerous reported cases where a cunning sibling
annexes the share of other siblings in property and betray their trust by conniving
with dishonest revenue officials.
Most of us
are witness to situations where an aggressive person usurps the chance of others
to express their opinion by out shouting them.
A bully in a
school or college or in the play field does grave injustice to others who are
too mild to resist. It is however, a blot on the skewed social fabric of our times.
The usurpers or aggressive ones in any field of
life appear to be gainers as compared to the righteous and mild mannered but eventually they land in the abysmal pit of diseased mental state. So do i think! Perhaps it is a false consolation!