LOVE AMERICA-LOVE OBAMA

By

MARAIMALAI ILAKKUVANAR

Published by the Author in the net For Free Circulation Not for Commercial use
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Contents

1. My US Visits . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2. I Love America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 3. George L.Hart-A Pride of the Nation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 12 4. UC Berkeley-An Intellectual Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ... 16 5. Again to US with love… . . . . . . . . ….. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . 22 6. My Reflections on War . . . .. . .. . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 7. Mall of America . . . . . . . . . . .. . … .. . . . …. …… … . . 30 8. River Mississippi . . . . .. . . .. . . . …. . ……………… 32 9. Minneapolis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . …. . .. …. . . .. . 33 10. Predictions for Barrak Obama . . . …. ……. . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . 36 11. Obama Will Lead to Prosperity . . .. . ….. . … . . . . . .. . ………38 12.A Hearty Welcome to Obama . . … .. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 13. Nobel for Obama . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . …. .. . . . ……. . . . . …. 42

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Brigham Young University at Provo.(Utah State)

My US Visits
My visits to U.S. are the most memorable days in my life. By sharing the pleasure I got during those period, with you -my ardent readers as well as my guides-I may experience the delight and enjoyment once again. My First visit to U.S. was on March 1987. At that time I was working as an Assistant Professor of Tamil in Presidency College, Chennai, Tamilnadu, and India.The College is one of the oldest colleges of India and controlled by the Government of Tamilnadu. As a government official I can not visit any foreign country without the previous approval of the government. The approval will be given without any hesitation if I were on a tour or I have to get any medical treatment. If I have to attend any conference or seminar I have to undergo many official formalities and screening. At this juncture I should specially mention the name of my beloved friend, Mariammal Arogyasamy, who was my colleague at Presidency and at that time a research scholar at Brigham Young University,Provo,Utah., Arogyasamy was an Assistant Professor of English at our college and went to U.S. to pursue his research. If I were a poet I will write an epic on him. His untiring and meticulous work can not be compared with any other's work. Now he is at Disneyland. He is a scholar in English Literature, an expert in Theater(Both English American),an expert in Computer Maintenance, a genius in Multimedia, a

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magician in Animation skills, an orator, a prolific writer, a philosopher, a missionary in helping the deserving poor ,an actor and a friend who will always be with us in needy times. If I get in touch with him he will guide me to do this and that, which may consume a minimum Three hours per day. I am unable to work that much and so I will always keep a low profile and will evade his direct contact. Arogyasamy after noticing the call of conference by the Deseret Language and Linguistic society, wrote to me and insisted that I should present a paper. My paper" Government Administrative terms -A Morphological study" got approved by the conference committee. I took a direct flight from Chennai to Los Angeles. The venue of the conference was Provo. Brigham Young University is one of the prominent universities in US.Dr.Robert W.Blair, a noted linguist, was at that time the Head of the department of Linguistics there. I had the opportunity to meet him a day before the conference and learned many things from him. The pity is that many linguists in US think that Sanskrit is the only prominent language in India. He seemed to be a different scholar with an open mind and he wanted to know about Tamil. Tamil is a classical language having a literature as ancient as Greek and Latin. It is spoken by 110 millions of people. It is one of the official languages in SriLanka, Singapore and one among the national languages of Malaya. It belongs to the family of Dravidian languages which are spoken by 50% of the people of India.

Tholkappiyam an ancient classical treatise in Tamil grammar dates back to 7th century B.C The author by name Tholkappiyar was not only a grammarian but a profound scholar in many disciplines. If I wish to describe him in familiar terms, he can be compared to Aristotle and Plato. He narrates many of his ancestors’ views thereby adding evidence the existence of many scholars dating back to Tenth century B.C.To put it short Tamil has got only one language as its equivalent and that is Sanskrit. But Sanskrit is never spoken by anybody. It is a language of the rituals. My views and explanations convinced him and he arranged a meeting with students. I gave a lecture about Tamil language for an hour. The next three days the conference went on in a fine manner. I learned many things about the Mormon religion and the Church of the Latter day saints. The Mormon Bible reminded me of a prominent religious literature in Tamil, Thiruvachagam. The redundancy of the words Heart and Honey in Thiruvachagam can be found easily by any reader of it. Likewise the Mormon Bible uses Heart and Honey many times. A comparative study of these two works may be of an immense benefit to scholars in theology. The Mormon religion and its ways attracted me very much. The motto” Family for ever" and the respect given to the Lady of the Family i.e. wife are wonderful. The priest in Mormon Church told: God felt that he should accompany us all the times and hence he created the relation called Wife. Of course my visit had nothing to do with the religion but the different approach of the Mormon religion reminded me of our culture as we hail Women very much. The absence of eve-teasing and obscene fiction and Films in Utah should also be specially mentioned

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here. A strong family bond and attachment found among family members are all motivated by the Mormon religion. I took a train for sight-seeing. I started my journey from Provo to Portland. From Portland I took another train which traveled all the way on Rocky Mountains (13,000 feet high) to San Francisco From Portland to Francisco, a delightful journey on steep mountains. Beneath there is a river called Snake River which really resembled a snake with sinusoid movements. As it was April, there is no freezing and the river was running beautifully. The view of the river through the train which was running on mountains can certainly be hailed as a 'Million Dollar sight.' It seemed as if somebody has melted Tons and Tons of Silver and the liquid silver is running in a speedy manner. I do not know how many Americans have enjoyed the excellent journey on Rocky Mountains from Portland to San Francisco. At least once in a lifetime you should enjoy this journey in spring season.

The University Campus.BYU

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The University says: The world is our campus Two Thousand years ago, a Tamil poet, by name Kaniyan poongkundran told: “ Every country is my country, Every men is my relative”

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Tanner Atrium-Brigham Young University.

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Harold Bee Library, Brigham Young University.

( Brigham Young-The Mormon Leader) Brigham Young Statue Bell Tower, BYU.

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University of Pennsylvania UPENN.Philadelaphia.

I Love America The essence of American culture is due respect to Individual freedom, Friendliness and open-minded hospitality. In our country also these cultural values were there, before the Britishers came. After we were subjected to their monarchy and we became their colonial subjects, we lost these values. We are always carried away by concerns for hierarchy. The social strata to which people belong to determined the attitude for interaction. To put it in clear terms, if a person intends to wish another strata to which they belong to determines the mode of greetings as well as the reciprocal mode. If a worker in a company wishes to greet his manager he will salute (The Indian way is to fold the hands and coupling hands together) in a devoted manner. But the manager need not do the same thing. He may nod his head as a sign for accepting the greetings. If he is somewhat liberal he may smile. If he wishes in the same pattern as his worker does then that shows his generosity. In politics it is still worse. Cadres and core members of political parties prostrate before their leaders to show their respect. This attitude shows that everybody in the lower strata has in mind a slave attitude. A great thinker and social reformer by name E.V.Ramasamy,who is called as 'Periyar'(which means "a great man") worked hard during his lifetime(1880-1974) to make people aware of their role in this democratic system and live with self-respect. Only because of his dedicated work the Tamilnadu state is devoid of religious hatred and we can see harmony and amity prevailing. Even after the meticulous work of Periyar, Tamil people do not care to maintain their self-respect. 9

In US every person who happens to meet another on his/her way greets with a smile"Hi."This friendly attitude towards fellow citizens irrespective of status and stratum is a true sign of a democratic country. A nosy parker attitude and unsolicited criticism of others' works among peer groups are prevalent in our country. Whereas every one minds his/her own business and does not interfere in others' schedule in US. This is also another significant difference in the social behavior of the two countries. These things show how much we have to learn from US. After fixing appointments well in advance it is easy to meet any Professor in US. I visited Pennsylvania State University, where I met Jim Lyndham and Arjun Appadurai. I met George L.Hart, Professor of Tamil at University of California and his wife Kausalya Hart, a Lecturer in Tamil, They are the most interesting personalities and I will devote my next part to give a detailed description of them.

River Silver Snake in Rocky Mountains

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University of California,Berkeley.

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George L.Hart III -A Pride of the Nation During my first visit to US i.e. in 1987, I tried my best to meet as many Professors as possible in US. As I am a literary critic, I wished to have a meeting with Murray Kierkegaard, an internationally acclaimed literary critic, who has done an yeomen contribution to Formalistic or Ontological approach to literature. I have at that time read a couple of his books which were very hard to digest for me at that time. My approach is particularly sociological and I was at that time having a partisan look opposing the formalist school. My books were and still are only in Tamil and nobody knows me outside Tamilnadu. I had and still have a high regard for formalist scholars like Kierkegaard as they have an in-depth knowledge of Philosophy. My friend Arogyasamy tried his best to contact Kierkegaard, but was only able to speak to his secretary .In US senior professors always keep them in a fort and deny public audience. There may be some exceptions, but it is a common practice among elderly professors to avoid meeting others. So I did not get the opportunity to meet Kierkegaard. At that time Arogyasamy told about George L.Hart,who was at that time(and still now) the Head of the Tamil department in University of California,Berkeley,CA. He told George Hart is one of the wonders of America, as he is a scholar in Eighteen

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languages belonging to different language families. German, French, Russian, Hindi, Sanskrit, Telugu and Malayalam are some of the languages, if you want an example. He is primarily an Honors graduate in Sanskrit from Harvard University and he did his Ph.D. in comparative approach between Tamil and Sanskrit languages. I immediately contacted his department and was able to contact Mrs.Kausalya Hart,his wife and a lecturer in Tamil at UC,B. Kausalya was very kind enough to fix an appointment with him. I had an opportunity to visit University of California at Berkeley. One of the oldest universities in America, it is number one among the public universities in US. It is having 13 centers in the state of California. The Berkeley center is a prominent one. He also invited me to speak among his students. I gave a lecture on Modern Poetry in Tamil.As an introduction to the foreign learners of Tamil; I told them about Modern Poetry in Tamil citing some examples in Tamil and then narrated their meaning in English. My contention was to put it brief, Modern poetry in Tamil has three important characters or motifs. 1) Iconoclasticity 2) Technical Innovation and 3) Thematic surprise. This type of analysis attracted George Hart. George Hart is a scholar of rare breed. He just moved with me very cordially as if he knows me for a long time. He took me to a mountain there which is called "Tamil Payas" The natural surroundings of Berkeley, the Golden Gate, Bay, the intermingling of bay areas with mountainous areas attracted me very much and they are evergreen in my mind. Mrs.Kausalya Hart did me a great favor by introducing me to the versatile genius, George Hart.

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George L.Hart

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U.C.Berkeley An Intellectual Capital
--Evergreen memories of U.C.Berkeley My visit to the University of California at Berkeley,which is always shortly referred U.C.Berkeley,on 1987 made me acquire the valuable friendship of the great scholar,George L.Hart. A decade after,in 1997,when a Tamil chair was established by the sincere efforts of George Hart,his wife and colleague Mrs.Kausalya Hart and the Tamil community there at California,George Hart suggested my name for the nomination as the First Visiting Professor there. I found no words to describe the nobility and greatness of George Hart in remembering me and recommending me for a great job which is certainly a golden opportunity for any Professor in India. I determined to work to the fullest satisfaction of George Hart,Kausalya Hart,the University authorities and the Tamil community there at California. Fall semester of the year 1997 began on 18th August and I assumed my post on that date.The academic atmosphere of U.C.Berkeley was so thrilling with all the amenities and technical aid. The Library,provision of the latest computer systems with Internet facility and students who tried to get the maximum data from the lecturer made my job a wonderful venture. I started my work at 8'O clock in the university and returned after 6'O clock. Actually I had to take a Two hours seminar class for Three days a week. But I offered the Unscheduled subject scheme and tried my best to introduce them a large portion of Tamil literature, Students preferred Tamil classics and Devotional literature. In the week end I have to go places and give lectures on Tamil literature to the Tamil community living there at the state of California.This was also a delightful experience for me as I was doing the same at my Home land. The feedback from the community was so amazing.The Tamil community living in various states wanted me to visit as many places as possible and the university authorities provided me all the facilities to travel from East to West. For the winter holidays I returned home and returned on 17th January for the spring semester. As the daytime was an extended one,I found myself more enthusiastic and worked till 730 p.m. I was able to teach a larger portion of Tamil literature and functional grammar than planned. Week-end lectures continued. Tamil associations at Chicago,Pennsylvania,Philadelphia,Pittsburgh,St.Louis, New Jersey ,New York and Washington invited me to deliver lectures on Tamil literature.I did my job to their fullest satisfaction.

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Robert P.Goldman who was the Chair,South and Southeast Asian studies department,U.C.Berkeley,Steve Parlous,the Deputy Chair,Dr.Vasudha Dalmia &Dr.Usha Jain of Hindi department,Dr.Athmajit Singh,Punjabi department, were my colleagues there.They were exemplary Professors who added to the grandeur of U.C.Berkeley. At U.C.Berkeley I was also a student.I attended a part-time workshop on "Computer usage by the Faculty". I attended classes on Gujarati language conducted by a Gujarati scholar who was doing research on some Biological project. George L.Hart and Mrs.Kausalya Hart were my source of inspiration and till date they continue to be so. George Hart is a friend,Philosopher and Guide to me. His vast knowledge and versatility are incomparable,but he is always unassuming and wished to keep a low profile. If at all I have done anything worth of the name the credit goes only to him. I am unable to find an equivalent word or phrase to express my sincere thanks to him. Some useful Links which tell about George L.Hart: 1)Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_L._Hart 2)His statement on Tamil as a classical language which was instrumental in prompting the Government of India to declare Tamil as one of the classical languages: http://tamil.berkeley.edu/Tamil%20Chair/TamilClassicalLanguage/TamilClassicalLgeLtr .html 3)Particulars about George on the website of U.C.Berkeley: http://tamil.berkeley.edu/Tamil%20Chair/TamilChair.html 4)Review of George Hart's Book "THE FOUR HUNDRED SONGS OF WAR AND WISDOM:" : http://www.hinduonnet.com/2001/10/16/stories/13160178.htm 5) Video clipping of George Hart's lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBwj1YSRNc 6) Particulars of George Hart's book-Poems of Ancient Tamil:Their Milieu and Their Sanskrit Counterparts at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Poems-Ancient-Tamil-Sanskrit-Counterparts/dp/0520026721 7) Information about George Hart's translation of Purananuru-A Tamil classic http://www.vedicbooks.net/the-purananuru-p-10820.html

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Maraimalai delivering his special lecture at the Annual convention,TNF,atPittsburgh.

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Maraimalai awarded citation by Dr.Palanisamy,President,TNF

Poet Kuloththungan,Poet Thamizhanban&Maraimalai

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Thamizhanban delivers a provoking lecture

Duing interval-Raja,Gomes,Maraimalai&Kuloththungan

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Procession towards the Stage

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Again to US with Love
With all my love and affection to US and its citizens I packed my luggage and started my journey on 30th June ,2008,in a Lufthansa plane, from Chennai to Pittsburgh.. Tamilnadu Foundation, which is incorporated in US as a Non-Profit organization was celebrating its annual convention on 4th&5th July. I was invited to give lectures on both days. .The topics of my lecture : Tamil literature,Yesterday,Today and Tomorrow-4th July The Poetic revolution of a revolutionary Poet.--5th July This time I was fortunate enough to travel with a great poet of India, Poet Thamizhanban. In the website of Associated Content, I had published many articles on his poetry. Haiku Poems of Thamizhanbanhttp://www.associatedcontent.com/article/722207/haiku_poems_of_thamizhanban.html?c at=42 Thamizhanban's Poetic Techniqueshttp://www.associatedcontent.com/article/721659/thamizhanbans_poetic_techniques.html ?cat=42 Limeraiku Poems in Tamilhttp://www.associatedcontent.com/article/683097/limeraiku_poems_in_tamil.html?cat=4 2 Abstract Poetry-I http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/652711/abstract_poetryi.html?cat=42 Abstract Poetry-II http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/652729/abstract_poetryii.html?cat=42 Abstract Poetry-III http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/655091/abstract_poetryiii.html?cat=42 Senryu Poems in Tamil http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/442053/senryu_poems_in_tamil.html?cat=42 Thamizhanban's Poem on Identity crisis http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/435457/thamizhanbans_poem_on_identity_cris is.html?cat=42 Thamizhanban http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/435446/thamizhanban.html?cat=42 Another great poet also participatedin this function. He is Dr.V.C.Kulandaisamy, popularly known as VCK. He is also a wonderful poet who belongs to Bharathidasan School. I have published a post about his poetry in these columns. Poet Kulothungan http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/691809/poet_kuloththungan.html?cat=42 I was there at US during this visit, for four weeks and I went to Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Washington. You can find in the following pages, some of my reflections, in the form of poems which echoe my experience and sentiments. Please visit the website mentioned below to know more about the Tamilnadu Foundation, an association which has dedicated itself for the service to the deserving poor.

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Tamilnadu Foundation, Inc.U.S.A. http://www.tnfusa.org/ What is TNF or Tamilnadu Foundation? Tamilnadu Foundation is a non-profit motivated, non-governmental agency, which seeks to promote educational, social and other charitable projects in Tamilnadu as part of a humble attempt by its members to share their fortunes with the less fortunate. TNF-Technology Center- Computer Center Inauguration, July-1998 The TNF Centre has started serving the middle and lower income families from Tamilnadu. Specifically the Computer Center consisting of over 15 computers has started functioning from the Month of July, 1998. The computer center was inaugurated by Mr. Paul C. Pandean of Dallas, Texas who is one of three current vice presidents of TNF and the USA Coordinator for TNF Technology Center inaugurated the computer center during the last week of June, 1998. Along with the inputs from the Grand Donors like Mr. Ram P. Thukkaram, Mr. Paul Pandean who graciously allotted part of the resources to help the computer center started, other generous donors and timeless efforts of many TNF members, TNF Center has taken off to serve the Tamil community. Children from low income families may be able to learn computers and surf the internet for subsidized rates or free. This is a great beginning. Actual formal inauguration of the center will occur some time later part of this year. Since this is a dream come true for all of us who believed in this excellent concept and one day, in the near future, this center will become a nerve center for all the International Tamil community. It is to be noted that no other Tamil organization in the world, except TNF, devoted so much attention to the welfare of Tamils in Tamil Nadu. At this juncture, we request the whole Tamil community living in and out of India who well established and settled to contribute more in terms of monetary funds or books and computers to this long awaited TNF center. This will make it purposeful and useful to the society. To fulfill the immediate needs, please generously donate yours PCs and other useful old equipments to the center. Fund Raising Programs for the TNF Center Project The Mr. YGee Mahendra's drama Troupe UAA has done its best, by arranging programmes, which will help for fundraising to TNF project Mr. Y.Gee Mahendra and his troupe are to be congratulated for their support in this effort. Also, hats off, to all the sponsors, TNF volunteers and the audience to these programs. We are sure, in the near future; this center will become a nerve center for all the International Tamil community. It is to be noted that no other Tamil organization in the world, except TNF, devoted so much attention to the welfare of Tamils in Tamil Nadu. At this juncture, we request the whole Tamil community living in and out of India who well established and settled to contribute more in terms of monetary funds or books and computers to this long awaited TNF center. This will make it purposeful and useful to the society. To fulfill the immediate needs, please generously donate yours PCs and other useful old equipments to the center. Having a roof over one's head is the dream of all individuals. Both Central and State Governments have introduced several measures to provide housing facilities for the poor. One such scheme suggests that the poor could construct a house for themselves budgeted

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at Rs. 40,000/-. Government will provide building materials worth Rs. 30,000/- and the balance should be contributed by the beneficiaries in the form of cash and hard labor. Many deserving beneficiaries are very poor and infirm to either provide the cash component or do hard labor to construct the house for themselves. Under the circumstances, if TNF members could provide a donation of $200 per house, in coordination with the agencies concerned, TNF can provide houses to the poor under Group Housing Scheme. With a donation of $200 TNF will be able to collect Rs. 30,000/- from Government for the above housing project. The result: a modest home for a poor family. COMPUTER CENTERS IN SCHOOLS Chemkit is a miniaturized lab kit containing 50 chemicals, 16 reagents and a number of miniaturized glass apparatus to enable the teachers and students to conduct nearly 100 Chemistry experiments covering the syllabi of standards 6 to 10. Under the project, launched between 1992-93, TNF has distributed nearly 35 kits to Corporation Schools and schools in rural areas. All the teachers and students who used them have certified that with TNF Chemkit, learning chemistry has become interesting and enjoyable. However, not many schools have opted to make use of the kit mainly because of the fact that they have to pay nearly Rs.8000 per kit. While the kit costs Rs. 10,000, TN Chapter absorbs Rs.2000. TNF has appealed to its members to donate $100 per kit to rural schools of their choice. The schools may be persuaded to pay the balance and order one kit, which would benefit about 400 students from 6th to 10th standards. Hence, with a donation of just $100 per kit TNF can really convert a dull chemistry class into a bright and interesting one and the kit would be extremely useful for rural schools. There are many more wonderful projects which aim at the promotion of higher prospects for poor and deserving students and the rehabilitation of the deserving poor are undertaken. For a detailed version of such projects please have a glance at the following site: www.tnftnc.org The National Convention of this organization, shortly called as TNF,was held on 4th July to 6th July,2008 at Pittsburgh. I was invited to give lectures on Tamil Literature on 4th July&5th July. I had the privilege of this invitation and I still consider it as one among the happiest and memorable period as I got the chance of spending most of the day with two great poets of India, Kuloththungan and Tamilanban. Kulothungan is the pen-name of Dr.V.C.Kulandaisamy, a leading educationist of India. Tamilanban is a poet of national importance in India. You can have a glance of my earlier post on Poet Kulothungan: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/691809/poet_kuloththungan.html?cat=42 My earlier post on Poet Tamilnaban http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/435446/thamizhanban.html?cat=42 In addition to this I have put seven posts on his poems and poetic techniques. Of all them the following three posts are the most viewed by readers as per the statistics given by AC. 1)Limeraiku Poems in Tamil http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/683097/limeraiku_poems_in_tamil.html?cat=4 2

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2) Senryu Poems in Tamil http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/442053/senryu_poems_in_tamil.html?cat=42 3)Haiku Poems of Thamizhanban http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/722207/haiku_poems_of_thamizhanban.html?c at=42 Please excuse me for my distraction from the point. My aim is only to give a short description of this convention. It was a very nice occasion. More than six hundred delegates from various states in US assembled. The convention was held at Hotel Radisson. On 4th July evening I gave a lecture on the topic: Tamil literature: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. I explained the vastness of Tamil literature, its ancient classics which date to 7th century B.C, the genres and kinds of Tamil literature over a long period and the impossibility of explaining in them in a lecture and concluded the cosmopolitan look of the present day writers in Tamil. I also gave a short description of how the Tamil Diaspora throughout the world contribute their might for the growth of Tamil literature. On 5th evening my lecture was on the topic: The poetic revolution of the revolutionary poet. The title" revolutionary poet" is an exclusive one in Tamil, which is used by the Tamil community to refer Poet Bharathidasan. Bharathidasan may be described as a Tamil poet of the 20th century who endeavored to achieve a cultural renaissance in Tamilnadu and who dreamed to usher in an egalitarian society. Poetry in his hand turned as a powerful weapon to fight caste-ism, religious fundamentalism, conservative determinism, sexism and many more social evils under whose grip not only Tamilnadu but the whole Indian sub-continent suffered a lot for many centuries. With his unique style and revolutionary mission Bharathidasan attracted a large number of poets during his lifetime and thereafter. After the advent of Bharathidasan Tamil poetry became the domain of Bharathidasan and his followers. I tried my best to elucidate the poetic genius of this poet in my lecture, for which I have been allotted a time-slot of forty minutes. The audience may be described as a' mixed audience.' among which Youngsters were 50% and senior citizens 40% and the remaining 10% children. The feedback I got after my lectures gave me a suggestion that the whole of senior citizens and a ten percent of the younger generation appreciated my approach and delivery. But the audience is a matured and highly cultured one, as they gave a rapt attention without making any kind of diversion, not only during my lecture, but also to all the programmers of the convention. I was given a citation by the Tamilnadu Foundation. The citation contains the following:

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Tamilnadu Foundation Inc. USA Proudly Presents this Recognition Award to Thiru Maraimalai Ilakkuvanar In recognition of your remarkable stewardship in voicing Tamil heritage across the globe. Your mesmerizing Tamil speeches endowed with sincerity will reverberate for centuries to come. Your simplicity will always be adored.! Tamilnadu Foundation Convention 2008 Pittsburgh, PA, USA July 4-6, 2008

The citation shows the affection of the TNF members and is not an evidence of my qualification. I sincerely hope I will try to qualify for their expectation. As a whole the TNF Convention 2008 was a grand success to the TNF as well as to the Tamil Diaspora living in USA.

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Alamo San Antonio

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My Reflections on War
The most famous spot in Texas, where 189 defenders fell on March 6, 1836, after repeated attacks by Mexican General Santa Anna's army. Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo) was established in 1718 as the city's first mission. The highly-photographed chapel and the Long Barrack are all that remain of the original fort. The museum contains relics and mementos from the Republic of Texas and offers narrations on the fall of the Alamo. I had an opportunity to visit Alamo. I wish to appreciate the historic sense of Americans and their sincere attempts to preserve monuments and documents, so as the people, generation after generation, will know the history. But in general we should avoid wars in future for the unity of mankind. This thought provoked me to write this piece. This article is my observation on seeing the statues of the warriors. This is not a criticism on the heroic battle that happened at Alamo. It is a general statement about war, wherever it happens and history of whichever country it describes. The mighty soldiers Stand as Statues With gun in their hands and fire in their eyes Society hail them as Heroes what about the defenders who died? The sons of the soil who fought for their land and fell as preys, like innocent sheep butchered by hungry tigers, are ignored by the History written by the aggressors. This is the way Mankind behave! Those who win in the battle depicted as Heroes Those who are killed in a combat Not only loose their lives. But also their land, race and a place in history. Those who are valiant enough To fight in a battle Please assemble! Let us wage a war Against war and that should be a Last war To give an end to War!

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Mall of America
Hundreds and hundreds of Shops and stores! How many things are heaped and kept! Decorative display of everything under the sky! How can we find time To visit them all? How can we find money to buy them all? Mall of America At MinneapolisA wonderful spot Everybody should visit. Laborers from All over the world have toiled and moiled To produce these things. Please never forget it. White, Red, Yellow and BlackAll the colors are assembled there. Not only in things But also in skins. Let us get united Not to exploit But to respect revere and adore The laborers All over the world.

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River Mississippi

Is it a Marathon run of water To get an Olympic award? Is it a protest rally of water against the pollution? Oh! Mighty Mississippi! You make us speechless! An epic so long! A treasure so precious! A self-less savant! A sincere servant! A source of many sources! A Philanthropist unparalleled!

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Minneapolis
The colorful buildings Converse with the clouds; Bridges small and big Bring enjoyment when we ride; River Mississippi, calm and clean, Remains as a Nature's gift; Institutes and Libraries Inspire the inquisitive; Friendly people with smiling faces Adore the city amazingly.

This poem was published during the 150th year celebration of Minneapolis.

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Predictions for Barack Obama
The Presidential election of US was always the center of attraction for well wishers of of America, and during 2008, we wished for the success of Obama. Through the TV channels I had ample chances to understand the inspiring leadership of Obama. I was there at US during July and the first week of August and was able to witness the eagerness of the people to view his speeches in TV channels. Americans were fed up with the war strategies of the federal government and were longing for a peaceloving leader. The young and energetic Obama attracted millions of Americans by his wit dynamic personality. My article got published with the above title on 13/8/2008 in the net “Section 1: How You Approach Life and How You Appear To Others You have a sensible and realistic outlook on life and your two feet are always planted firmly on the ground (though you may, on occasion, have your head in the clouds). Others often see you as a rock of strength, solid, reliable, dependable, and constant. You are, in fact, amazingly consistent for you possess great powers of endurance and do not like to make changes or adjustments in your regular routine. You do things deliberately and methodically and do not easily accommodate the unexpected. Though you have a gentle, even soft, appearance, you are enormously strong-willed and stubborn. You go at your own pace and refuse to be rushed or pushed into anything before you feel sure about it. You can be coaxed and persuaded by charm, beauty, love, or affection - but never forced. You won't fight either, but simply stubbornly resist any attempt to coerce you to do something you do not want to do. Section 2: The Inner You: Your Real Motivation Proud and intensely individual, you really want to stand out, to be the very best you can be, and to be recognized and appreciated for your unique contributions. Doing something well and being respected for it is extremely important to you, and you cannot tolerate being in the background, taking orders from others, or being "just one of the team". You must put your personal stamp on whatever you do, and direct your own course in life. You need to have a place where you can shine, express yourself creatively, and be the one in charge. Dear Friends, Please do not get baffled. I am a neither professional astrologer nor an amateur. This prediction I got from the website astrology.com I gave the name as Barrack Obama Date of Birth: 4 August 1961 Place of Birth: Honolulu, Hawaii. I do not know whether these predictions are correct or not. But as an Indian, I wish to communicate the love and affection of

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Millions and Millions of my fellow-countrymen for Obama. The Indians are of the firm opinion that if Obama were elected as the President of U.S. surely the war will come to an end and peace will prevail. On behalf of the millions of Indians who are ardent admirers of Obama, I wish him success in election.” This article was one of the most viewed articles on Obama in the website of Associated Content and still people view it. I also published a poem in the net.

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Obama Will Lead to Prosperity
Unemployment leads to suicide Recession induces robbery House-prices fall and Living expenses soar The Mighty Nation US should never suffer like this Come on the youth of US Make a wise decision To drive away recession Have a young and energetic leader to give a fair and futuristic approach that will stabilize the nation If US economy suffers Japan's economy is jeopardized Indian economy dwindles European market falls International stability is endangered So everyone in the world Expects a change in the leadership of US To drive away the dark and gloom That hampers everyone. Obama An icon of renaissance a symbol of energy a keyword for new change Obama will surely lead not only the nation But the entire world to Prosperity, Affluence and Success This was an odd thing that an Indian attempted to canvass for a Presidential contestant of U.S.

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Appreciation of a Historic Change in US
Hats off to U.S.! No color! No race! No discrimination Prevails in this nation; A golden period Has now emerged; We are able to see A Utopia Before our eyes; A dream is translated In real, undoubtedly! The powerful democracy Has now become A source of Powerful humanism; Hats off to U.S.! You have now become The torch-bearer In the crusade against All atrocities committed Against mankind; The land of Washington The country of Lincoln Will hereafter be Our Jerusalem of Liberty! Mecca of Freedom! Abode of Peace! Hats off to U.S! For this noble message Unity of mankind For the salvation of the oppressed! Published on 5th November 2008,with the following note. The election of Obama as US president is a historical miracle and gives a strong base for democracy in this century.

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A Hearty Welcome to Obama
----From India with Love White House will hereafter be a bright house A shining star is elected to occupy it Blooming youth and brilliant ideas Dreaming mind and a dynamic spirit Have all found an abode in a person Fondly called as Obama! An icon of the active youth A beacon of democratic spirit A guardian of the oppressed and depressed Has been elected with a strong hope as a Savior of the mighty nation. Haunting depression and daunting recession Should run away, we strongly wish. He has to find a magic wand To open new treasures for the American welfare. The vast earth, now a global village Depends on U.S. for everything Jobs, Trade, Weapons and wealth, Something or other U.S. has to give Support and assistance for nations to thrive; From Obama, the wonderful personality, We demand more! Please provide A World without war, A generation without unemployment, And a U.S without militarism! Invasion and aggression should be found Only in dictionaries and not elsewhere! All these are our demands, Mr.Obama, Not out of greed and self-love, we request, For the salvation of Mankind For the emancipation of this globe, From the clutches of all social evils We expect these things from the wonderful leader; We give you a hearty welcome To the supreme commander of the superpower As we see in you an apostle of Humanism, The dauntless warrior in the crusade against Recession, Oppression, Invasion and poverty.

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Save democracy! Save the mankind! We give you a hearty welcome! Wishing you a grand success in this endeavor. (Published in the net on 18th January2009,with the note: A poem welcoming Obama to the supreme post of the super-power with a request to work for a significant change).

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Nobel for Obama
'A Life-time achievement award is given to a debutant President' Papers and Politicians cry loudly. Cool! Please cool! His life itself is an achievement for Obama! How many hurdles he had crossed To reach the peak post! Awards have adorned personalities. Today the Award itself is adorned! Not only a Nobel for Peace! Nobel for Humanism! Award for tolerance! Accolade for dynamic actions! Prize for positive thinking! Honor for secularism! Gift for the gifted speaker! Reward for reasonable decision-maker! The medal reflects the hope of the world! We are longing for a warless world Come on! Please be firm in your steps! Throw away the atomic arrogance!

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Thrash up the terrorist demons! Save Eezham Tamils, the victims of Fascism! Wherever there are Frail creatures repressed by tyranny There should reach your helping hand! Prestigious president of a powerful country! Now you are a leader of the masses! Lead kindly light! Let us remove the darkness of poverty Illusions of ignorance Hazards of diseases Moving towards A Heaven in the earth!

--Published in the net on10/10/2009.
A poem congratulating Obama for the award of Nobel Prize being conferred and an appeal to lead the world to Peace.

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