Body and Earth
Notes from a Conversation
C. F. John and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma
Elements Media Initiative, Kozhikode
Pub Date: 2015
Price: 300 Rs.
This book is an experiment and an invitation. In its pages, we attempt to share the thoughts and stories that we have come to as the result of a process of reflection. At the center of our thinking, both together and apart, has been the question of how body and earth connect. We have tried to find ways to articulate this connection in the light of current struggles and dilemmas.
—C.F. John and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, from the preface
“This book has moved me so deeply that I don’t want to use cliché words like ‘profound’ or ‘great.’ I felt that I was present in the book when I read it, because each section made me think of something I’ve been thinking, something I’ve been doing.”
—U. R. Anantha Murthy, from the introduction
“The first time I read Body and Earth by CF John and Thomas H Pruiksma, I finished it in one sitting. It is a small, beautifully presented book, but let its small size not fool you—it packs a powerful punch. To finish reading this book doesn’t mean you are finished with it; for, this is a book that makes you return to it time and again. I should know, as I have read it three times in three months.
“Each time, I discovered or invented new angles which appealed to me. At one level, I think of it as a work that speaks about our connection with nature. Approached from another angle, it is a deeply political work that invites our attention to various issues through subtle comments. To me the most important dimension I found in the book was about connectivity and relationships—a holistic view based co-existence, an interplay of elements. I view the book as having been constructed around a backbone of body, earth, word, knowledge, consumerism and ultimately, alienation. Alienation in the most complete and destructive sense of the word; not only from surroundings but also from nature and most chillingly, from self.
“John and Thomas have not taken the ‘fire and brimstone’ approach, nor are they preaching. They seem to be merely speaking amongst themselves about what they have observed. The beauty and pleasure of reading this book comes from appreciating the artistic, subtle approach.
“The late UR Anantamoorthy has written a wonderful foreword to the book. He stresses on the political and daily life connects that the authors imply. The book does not prescribe any course of action for the reader, nor does it project a sense of despair implying a need to go back in time. It is simply an invitation to reflect on how to move forward, an invitation for each one of us to indulge in some deep introspection and assimilation.”