Posted in History-Culture

Savithri Shaming, Besides Others…

So Loyola College has come out with an apology removing the ‘offensive and derogatory’ Art work on display in their premises this morning. The century old Jesuit institution can blame only the relentless missionary activity in the state/nation for drawing flak. Loyola is not above suspicion. Whether there is a hidden agenda is a million dollar question. Let me make that clear at the outset. 

https://swarajyamag.com/insta/chennais-loyola-college-apologises-for-art-exhibition-which-depicted-hindu-symbols-in-derogatory-manner

Recap of an earlier Blog post of mine. With Edits.

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From the pages of the SHE WORSHIPER HINDU WOMAN…

Not unusual for one to come across this new phrase in our hyper sensitive Social Media these days : SAVITRI SHAMING (Saavithri refering to Satyavaan’s dharm patni Savitri from Hindu Itihaas-Purana times)

This is in reference to women who take to the bottle.

Further detailing may kind of go on like how ‘rural women draped in saris are champions of chastity and character whereas urban Indian women are not averse to gulping down a peg or two (of alcohol what else).’ Urban Indian women lacked morals and are shameless (why limit us to alcohol, we women are not into the wrong side of 40s without watching our share of hard porn, take it from me).

I am not an experienced or routine traveler so there is not much I can draw from my life book in this respect.

But my visit to Italy changed in many ways how I perceived things for years. Conservative but not blind or superstitious – that’s me. Liberal wherever I can afford to be. Restrained at times – not because of religion or law but because of sheer will-power. Nothing can be forced upon me and neither is anything taboo to me. Sab Chaltha Hai! That’s the attitude. Well, of course, some people really have problem with that. I am asking, Padi Thaandadhava Ellam Pathiniyaa?? Nee Paarthiyaa??

Whatever little misgivings or apprehensions or confusions I had got lost when during my first foreign residence in Malaysia I had for neighbours two Chinese couples in the next villa. Who slept in the same room and who swapped partners overnight. Nothing more can shock me now therefore, and the strange encounters I have had and life experiences of half a century have made me different in many ways from most of my regular ‘dharam patni’ (self categorization) relatives and friends back home. Some of my views shock even my best friends. They have not been where I have been, they have not lived my life.

Loyola college Art show brings to my mind this: Have Hindu temples ever been criticized for their more explicit stone carvings on sex? Sanathana Dharma (Hinduism) is not an organized religion like Christianity or Islam or even Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. We have no founders, no holy book like the Bible or Koran, no Vatican or Mecca, no Pope or Imam who have set boundaries for us. No prescribed code of conduct. May be this is why Hindu Dharma has survived centuries of onslaught by alien cultures and invaders. I also had a chance to glance at the ancient Roman temples which had all been converted into Catholic places of worship in Italy. There is no more trace of the original faith of the land. The surviving few crumbling precincts are the only reminders to what Romans were before Catholicity took over.

Hindu Jain carvings at world famous tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage site the Khajuraho temples. These carvings depict men,women, gods and goddesses and Devas (angel like) in various positions of sexual union.
Erotic Vishwanath temple scultures at Khajuraho, India


The case of most Asian and European nations is poignant. They were all swept over by either Islam or Christianity, whichever reached their shores first or whichever fought successfully the other. Hinduism on the other hand was not to be vanquished from the soil of Bharatha. We are Bharath and hopefully we shall stay Bharatha to eternity.

Hinduism’s chief characteristic is its inherent ability to grow in the face of adversity, drawing in the positive influences in due course. However there have also been a few negative implications. Whereas you can be an atheist, you can still be Hindu, an idolator, you can still be a Hindu, a non-idolator, you can still be a Hindu, a meat-eater and you can still be a hindu, a vegetarian and you can still be a hindu, a ritualist and you can still be a Hindu,  and etc., and etc., Hinduism however did have a damaging impact by way of crippling practices borrowed or copied from practitioners of foreign faiths that confine women, subjugate women to a lower position than men and other corrupt ideas.

The millennia ancient Hindu temple sculptures reflect to us today what a liberal society India once was. After all this is the land of ‘Kama Sutra.’ The world’s first ever Sex manual was penned in India by Vatsayana two millennia past. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kama_Sutra

Homosexuality finds mention in ‘Mahabharat.’ ‘Soma bana’ (liquor) was the drink of celebration that even Gods could not resist. Shiva smoked chillum (Marijuana). But that did not prevent Him from being revered the Creator and Destroyer that He is of the universe. Neither has that stopped us Hindus from following Him. Shiva resided in the cremation grounds. Shiva’s extreme followers the Aghoris feed to this day on corpses – the dead human bodies in burial sites. Average Hindus do not shy of Aghoris who we regard as pantheons of the highest degree of spirituality and detachment and devotion: the true state of Nirvana.

A wonderful read on Homosexuality in Mahabharatha: http://devdutt.com/articles/mahabharata/on-krishnas-chariot-stands-shikhandi.html?fb_action_ids=778475405502878&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=feed_opengraph&action_object_map=%7B%22778475405502878%22%3A10150812094478251%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22778475405502878%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Relieved that Hindu vigilantism was not there in ancient India. Had it been, neither would we have Kamasutra today nor Khajuraho. An Aurangzeb or Tipu Sultan wouldn’t have become our favourite (anti) heroes! Our self-appointed custodians of Hindu Dharma would have seen to that! Shame on to you the so-called literates of India! All your education has come to a naught! 

Today’s India’s backwardness can be explained with curtailment of our liberal creative ideas and a corroded outdated value system, and superficial imposition of caste divisions in the intermittent centuries (may be from 7th century CE to somewhat present day). Dominant sections of Hindus have been in the forefront promoting such a skewed and biased ideology and society that has rendered India the most damage. Europe soon woke up to rationality and there seems to be no looking back since.

Books like Da Vinci Code etc and those fictions I had read over decades did instill in me a strong sense of curiosity about what I was to witness in Vatican and Florence and Paris (although after a considerable lapse of time). I had indeed done but a mild and insignificant research before embarking on the trip. Yet nothing prepared me for the sense of awakening, rekindling and liberation and euphoria I felt walking through the galleries where centuries of indescribable creativity adorned their walls by way of oil paintings and tapestries and frescos that brought to life the uncountable facets of life and times in the middle-ages, as well as the rebel and cunning ways the wisest men devised to leave a piece of their mind for future generations to ponder over. It was for me, like walking through a time-machine. I literally transgressed into medieval age where men wore long robes (or none) and women strolled bare breasted and where in the chaos of the streets and war scapes, an arrow or sword piercing one’s chest was not as uncommon. Thank you Renaissance artists for the greatest gift. You gave life to my vivid imaginations. While I have found our Hindu temple sculptures enchanting, they were still mystical sort of. What I saw in the European museums was life frothing at full stream.

Michelangelo. I adored this genius for the rebel he was over his art. Taking a guide is advisable in Vatican. He can shed light into facts that you may otherwise overlook. Before Vatican I had already had an entralling visual treat of genitals of the French, the Roman, the Greek and others (from other galleries and museums only!) but nothing prepared me for what awaited me in the Catholic capital of the world.

The Sistine chapel was not to be photographed but many violated the rule clicking away their phones and cams clandestinely . I did not click pictures which I thought I could anyway google.

Here are some of Michelangelo’s mischiefs in the wall-to-wall frescos that I loved.  To borrow words from a critic, the Renaissance artists were the greatest trolls of all times. This at a time when an astronomer like Galileo could be guillotined for stating that it was the Earth that revolved around the sun and not vice versa.

The six pack God in Creation
God’s exposed naked bums
The sissy priest Biagio Da Cesena with his crotch in snake’s jaw in Hell on the Day of Judgement
The Sistine Chapel, Vatican
The Renaissance Artists were the greatest trolls of all times!

To say that I was overcome with awe in Vatican could be the understatement of my lifetime. My admiration for the man was galloping in leaps and bounds by the minute that it hit soon the ceiling of the hundreds of years old chapel wherefrom the artist’s immortal life works caressed my eyes and soul at the same time. His damnation at hell of a priest (Biagio Da Cesena) who wanted to cover up the genitals (by way of boxers (?!)) (that the papal office successfully managed to in certain works of renaissance artists as we noticed in some cases) who was Michelangelo’s worst critic, with his crotch in the jaws of a snake was not nearly as shocking as looking at God’s bums after the rebel painted Him in six-packs because he reasoned, for a mortal man to be perfect when he knocked on the doors of the other world, the immortal God has to be perfect in the first place to receive him !

May be for seasoned travelers and voracious readers, this is stale news. Not for me. These details I never knew of, although I have read about renaissance artists. I skim, to be precise. Reading is for real intellectuals not for housewives like me. My knowledge of others’ scriptures (in this case the Bible) is also pathetic.

The rebel in the renaissance artists in an age when death stared from every corner of the street eager for any slight, their reckless courage and creativity – this is what impressed me the most.

Even in the holiest of holy shrines of Catholics, the excesses (?) were tolerated as a form of expression and art. In fact they were viewed as something aesthetic, the same way hindu kings imagined when they commissioned our temples.

History has recorded the bloody Crusades and to what extent Church unleashed brutality and exercised unrestrained powers matching that of emperors in the agonizing centuries.

But such a powerful tyranny hardly prevented the creative geniuses from expressing what they wanted to by way of sculptures, paintings, frescos and tapestries which have all survived the tumults and jolts of a war-torn era to present times to bring to  life in front of our eyes, proofs of rebellion and non-conformity and liberation of  mankind.

How many Hindus can deny what Hindu temple sculptures depict. Are you ashamed to look at them because our Gods are copulating in public. Do you denounce our temples because they are explicitly erotic carvings.

What happened to the spirit of Hinduism?

In the intervening centuries, Arabic/Persian/Mongol/Turk/European invaders had managed to wrap the ‘Sari pallu’ over the head of Hindu women (at least partially). South Indian Hindu women used to cover their heads with sari pallu only when widowed  (no more now). (some Hindu women do cover their heads when driving scooters with the dupatta serves as sun-screen. Very common sight in Indian roads these days). Right Wingers, you have anything to say on this.

If I am a vegetarian today, it is by choice. I recommend vegetarianism to anyone and everyone but would not want to force it down the throat of any one. I am spiritual, I follow the rituals that I am comfortable with, but I have still raised a son who, I can proudly say, claims to be agnostic. Logical, reasoning, scientific. Being rational is not a crime.

Covering up will not cover up your ‘karma’ and smoking or boozing or even prostituting has got nothing to do with one’s character or integrity. Smoking or Boozing or Eating Meat or Prostituting is still better than lying, cheating, betraying, judging people. Even lacking affection is a crime. Shirking responsibilities is the worst of all. Shifting blame no better. Dashing hopes? Get offended for right reasons. Know the difference.

I was reading a Karma story that went on like this:

A king was feeding the poor. An impoverished brahmin was in the queue to receive his thali from the king. A vulture was flying over the place then with a viper in its talons. A drop of the viper’s venom fell in the food from a height of over a hundred meters. It was a miniscule dose but enough to kill the brahmin who was relishing it in total trust in the cool shade of a tree.

A few days later, a traveler was visiting the kingdom. He noticed an old woman selling her wares in front of the king’s palace. The traveler was tired and asked the old woman whether he would receive charity of food if he knocked on the Raja’s doors.

The woman said, ‘don’t. because the king gave food to a poor brahmin. on eating it the man died. the king poisoned and killed the brahmin. so he could kill you.’

The traveler turned away from the palace gates on hearing the story, hungry to his bones.

Later, in (Hindu) hell (we also have heaven and hell, mind you!), Yama Raja was seated on his thrown when Chitra Gupta brought up the matter of deciding the Karma of this incidence.

‘Who should get the bad karma, my lord?’ Chitra Gupta asked Yama. ‘Because a man, that too a brahmin has been killed. This man did not meet his natural death. So the bad karma in this context needs to be accounted. The snake’s venom killed it. But the snake was carried by the vulture who had no intention of killing the man just like the raja. But if not for the king’s food, the brahmin would not have died. So should I apportion negative Karma to all the three parties – the snake, the vulture and the king?’

Yama Raj took a minute to ponder over his question. Then he addressed Chitra Gupta, ‘the king, the viper and the vulture are all parties to the bad karma that killed the brahmin but inadvertently, so are they all not innocent parties?’

‘But bad karma is bad karma, my lord, and the karma has to be accounted, as you know’ said Chitra Gupta, ‘this is the law of nature!’

And Yama Raj declared, ‘in that case add the bad karma to the old woman who gossiped not knowing facts, for lying,  for misconstruing facts and for misleading deliberately. Her involvement may not matter but in this case she must carry the unaccountable bad karma of the unnatural death!’

Chitra Gupta hailed Yama Raj’s ruling. The king of Death never made a mistake. Day of Judgement may be for Catholics but dear self-made Hindu vigilantes, this is what Hindu Philosophy is about. This is Hindu Dharma. This is Hindu Karma. I am not sure where I found this gem. Panchatantra?

Hinduism is the least judgmental fold in the entire world. There is no yardstick by which you can define the Sanathana Dharma.

Guys, keep your dharam patnis within four walls if you want to. But remember we have also had a Panchali in our history. Cross out your new lingo ‘Savithri Shaming.’ Shame on you. As Indian women make remarkable strides in the world arena, the prejudices against them ceaselessly persist. I am the woman who sports a bindhi and I am still the woman who has no qualms about raising a toast with my friend with – vodka or cognac. I am the woman who is Lalitha worshiper, I am the woman who celebrates ‘Her’ over ‘Him’ and I am also the woman who will brook no nonsense over branding or judging women. Cheers to that !

It is those societies who rise above a petty and narrow mind-set that finally succeed and excel.

America does, Europe does, China does because they are not advocating the diktats of a God who none of us have ever met with in heavens and come back from, to share our experiences.

If you are going to confine Hinduism to cows and sari pallus, getting offended for anything and everything and nothing, none can do more harm to the Dharmic fold than you. Give creativity the space it deserves. Hindu Dharma is so vast and diverse, a way of life like none other, that you don’t have to react to every Tom, Dick and Harry who may malign (intentionally or otherwise) the faith. Hinduism is all absorbing like the very Ganga that your sense of insecurity is unwarranted. After all this, I cannot suppress my rising jubilation that someone dares.

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PS: In Middle East, I am seeing a lot of rebel art from the war torn hell holes. I am in Loyola College position right now! Considering where I am, I cannot go forward and post pictures here! Art is representative. Art I understand is a subtle medium to convey a message. Art reveals the pain, the ache, the yearning, the craving and even the absence of soul. Art confronts the demons. Art speaks the unspoken word. Art is bold and Art can open your eyes. Art for Art’s sake please! The art that moved me to tears was from Iraq. At that time, I ceased to be a Thamizh, a Hindu, an Indian. I became Humanity.

Posted in Pictures Desi

Pariyerum Perumal (Tamil) and Petta (Tamil)

Close on the heels of Petta, the Rajni Kanth superhit in the cinemas, happened to watch the Pongal screening of Pariyerum Perumal in tv. Nothing to write about Petta except that you see the young Rajni of his 30s-40s from late 80s and 90s with the same inimitable hairstyle, body and action of his. Why, Rajni even goes the extra mile to reenact the cigarette trick for his fans, his trademark style from 1970s which catapulted him to instant fame in Tamil cinema. That brings to your eyes the Rajni who we all fell in love with as school/college kids. He was such a fun in those days (no more now)! Well, Petta is somewhat an attempt to recapture that lost magic for Tamil audience. To some extent I must say, the production team succeeded. The picture is a reminder why Rajni became legend Rajnikanth the Superstar. And now touching 70, he has made the junior actor-directors Sashi Kumar and Vijay Sethupathi look pale and insignificant which is incredulous! I have always loved these two and I admire their current works. They are the best that could be happening to present day Tamil cinema, and yet how Rajni overshot them to cult status is unbelievable OMG! Nawazuddin Siddique’s first Tamil role I hope? He must know he will have to only play second fiddle in south stories yet he has made a brave attempt speaking Tamil without a dubbing artist’s help? The heroines Simran and Trisha are not even in the game! Such is the powerful screen presence of Rajni Kanth that all other stars fade in his presence! Neither has Rajni lost touch with his most natural acting form, that which pulled him to the forefront. In comparison, how unfit and pathetic the bloated heroes of today look! Weak and insufficient – that goes for Nawazuddin Siddhiqui! This is the only point I want to make about Petta: Age is just a number. The vigour and vitality called Rajni Kanth remains with you long after you leave the IMAX studios. Many language people watched the picture, different nationalities. How the crowds come to their feet when the Thalaivaa makes his first screen appearance!!! Kudos to new director Karthik Subburaj for not letting the film drag for a single moment. No time even for humour and romance in the considerably lengthy picture. You don’t fidget for 2.5 hours in your seat at all anytime which could be the greatest scoring point for the director. And finally the cinematography merits a standing ovation: Uttar Pradesh captured at its best. Overhead shots of locations known and imprinted in the memory of Indian masses given a fresh and interesting look and angle. Really appreciate that!

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I was aware Pariyerum Perumal received critical acclaim. Because it was screened yesterday the day of Pongal, I was busy and so happened to miss the opening scene and one or two more scenes. Caught up with that mostly in You Tube, yet waiting for a repeat watch.

One of the best of 2018, a clear contender for national/international Awards this year, you cannot relate a story better. Mari Selvaraj who has penned the screen play and dialogues is a man to watch out for. Directed by Pa Ranjith now known for this genre of scripts, the film still meets more than your expectations. I haven’t heard a story told more earnestly. At the end of day, I found myself shedding quiet tears in shame. Rather than vengeance as sought by Petta Rajnikanth, Pariyan seeks introspection. His character is solid. I grew up watching KB films, but I reckon, this generation of film makers is a different breed and their powerful way of storytelling may not subscribe to conventional norms yet their message reaches you across the most impressive way it can. It is not always the sophisticated Mani Ratnam way or KB way but it is raw and bare naked truth that we cannot overlook. Compulsive and lingering.

About the film content, it is tight script with not a single frame wasted. For a reasonably new team this is commendable. No loose ends untied. Not a single extra word spoken. Just what is necessary.

And what a timing! We have just had the 10% reservation quota for FCs passed in both houses in the Parliament which I view as darkest day in Indian democracy. I wish those who pushed for the bill happened to watch the picture.

Wouldn’t want to discuss it anymore. The film comes with subtitles. It has to be viewed with an open and fresh mind. And an unbiased one.

Just that the questions asked by Kadhir who plays the lead role Pari keep ringing in my ears:

Why should I not (come here)?

What is that you (people) want?

I will be here and I will learn what I want to . You can do nothing about it and I will do what I want to do.

Translated into English, the dialogues lose their intended effect. They come out so well in native Thamizh. The hero’s indignation for the injustice he suffers is substantiated and appreciable, still he abstains from nurturing vengeance. Something our communal political parties must take note of. Distinct demarcation between the two emotions that could very well overlap is the highlight of the script. The biggest strength of the story and character.

What a powerful medium Cinema can be. You cannot make every Indian read a book, but you can make them watch a film with a little success. It is only very recently I completed reading the ‘controversial (?!)’ Tamil novel ‘Madhorubhagan’ authored by Perumal Murugan (blog post pending) The author was forced to edit his original script and I got to read only the edited version. The book is now out in English titled ‘One part woman.’

It is heartening to see these new age Tamil film directors emerge bold from shadows. At the same time a word of caution: do not allow yourselves to be carried away or be used as a pawn in any political game by vested interests. Nobody is your friend. I would want our PM Modi to see the picture as well. To really understand what is Indian culture, how basic it is and how it is not the prerogative of the upper caste Hindu. Indian/Hindu culture also thrives at grass roots level: in our villages. Which is why Gandhi called some of us ‘Harijan’ – the children of Hari, Maha Vishnu.

Another well crafted character in the picture: Pariyan’s father. No comedy track but Yogi Babu seems to have taken the place of Vadivel in Tamil Cinema. Way to go! Love his innocence. Jo’s father and the climax of the picture and the final closing note almost like a post script give the story a beautiful and heart warming finish. I was bracing myself for a sadistic twisted end like some of them do: director Ameer of Paruthi Veeran has that cruel streak. Pa Ranjith has resisted it, hats off! Very wise of Mari Selvaraj and Ranjith to end the picture the way they did. This is why the Ameers of the world never win our sympathy. You don’t have to do like Bharathi Raja with his ‘Alaigal Oivadhillai’ kind of ‘they lived happily forever after’ thing. To leave you with the question hanging in mid air is brilliant direction.

Posted in Economic

Who Are We Stealing From

Modi’s 10% reservation for the so-called economically backward FCs is the reason for this post.

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My part-time maid lives off my street. Hers is a dead-end. No thatched roof can be seen within city limits (except in north Madras extension areas that are fishing colony) but since this is a fag end of the street with no traffic, the civic authorities have spared the little murky corner. Coming from a dirt poor family, it is also true that my girl’s home stands out like a sore thumb in the otherwise crudely made out cement and concrete lower middle-class neighbourhood of hers.  Most constructions here were originally unauthorized but gradually regularized by the corporation who routinely ratify illegal tenements/housing/encroachments within city limits. Is there any other way of providing decent shelter to the poorest of poor in our metro (other than in Housing Board colonies that have sprung up for the purpose). Displacing the masses is unthinkable. One has to consider their livelihood.

Let’s call my girl ‘S.’ She  lives in a single room thatched hut – the walls are exposed brick work cemented in patches and whitewashed here and there. Her husband is a house painter. She shares the meager living space with her husband and 2 grown-up children. Her In-law occupies the adjoining room. She says there is a 4 feet verandah running in the sides where she has built a rudimentary toilet. When the Jayalalitha government installed for her a free hand pump, my maid’s water woes were temporarily solved. Now in harsher times, once again in her late thirties, she is back to running after the water tankers to fetch precious potable water for her family. Minimum of 20 times a day that is. Tanker stops at the street turning. Calculate the distance of one street, the weight of each plastic pot loaded with water, the carrying time and energy. This is going on for years sans a small break in good monsoon years. The girl suffers greatly with painful hips and excess bleeding thanks to the ordeal. The hand pump was a blessing to her. Now it is useless.

Water tanker dispensation is also not free. Is in’t strange that a valuable two rupee is levied by the tanker crew per pot (officially or unofficially) from the poorest whereas we the upper middle classes have all along sat back to enjoy the corporation water from our sumps paying a flat tax and water charge. Pittance compared to what the lowest and most unprivileged menial work labourers have to shell out for water. In fact this is a good part of their daily wages.

My girl was using wood/coal for cooking. I booked an LPG connection for her over 10 years back when she started working for me, and got her the first gas cylinder. I did not know then how much it saved her money and energy. Thankfully, she gets her subsidy credited to her account these days.

A day in my maid’s life dawns at about 4 am. She cooks and cleans for her family, packs lunch, leaves food for in-law (rich or poor it is a must in most families in India to take care of husband’s elderly parents; and parents prefer staying over at their son’s over their daughter’s). Later she comes to work for me. Returns to her home to do the dishes and wash clothes. Goes to sleep with the lights on by 10 pm. Her husband is the chief earning member. Daily he brings home 200 bucks which is big sum for them.

During monsoons (lean season), the husband whose painting job is not regular but seasonal, opts for any kind of manual work like cleaning homes, water tanks etc in the neighbourhood. It is predictable he is out of job for over a month or perhaps longer whenever the skies open up. That is when the family suffers the most.

Husband and wife are hard and sincere workers. Whether standing in queue for hours to get their rations supply from the govt PDS shops or taking care of their children and aged parents, they discharge their familial duties without a murmur. Beach and cinema happen once an year during vacations. Holiday means a 2-day bus trip to Tirupathi Balaji temple, a bi-annual pilgrimage for the family. For lower middle class India, temple towns are the Himalayan hill stations.

Even if poor my maid’s family celebrate all our festivals as it fits their capacity and are very religious. My maid fasts many more times than me, and her kind of unadulterated raw piety always impresses me. When I chant the Lalitha Sahasranama, she would adjust her work near my pooja so she hears me. She comes to work after showering, so makes fresh flowers into garlands for my Mother Goddess. She is always my temple companion. I tell her, Shakthi will be more delighted with her than me – because it is her devotion that is matchless. Mother sees what we the mortals cannot see. Mother notes what we the earthlings miss.

Even as she is steeped in such an abject poverty, my girl’s cheer and zest for life always bowls me over. There is so much to complain if she has to. But she never does that. And no gossip either. Virtues you find nowhere these days.

The family though suffers from a strange but severe stress: 

They sleep with their single tubelight on during the nights  – as otherwise they have to deal with rodent menace. Once their boy’s toe was bitten by a furry rat and he had to get a shot to overrule any viral/bacterial infection. Ever since the family do not dare switching off the light when it is bedtime.

‘How do you manage to even get a wink of sleep’ I ask my girl and she says as a matter of fact, ‘now I can’t go to sleep with lights off!’

Sleeping with the lights on…

I have no tears left in my eyes to shed for my girl. The single factor that she and family sleep with the lights on was on my conscience for days when I learned of it the first time.

Monsoon times leave her place with damp walls, wet floors, drains overflowing. I try to help by giving out blankets, food etc. Whatever we do is simply not enough I know.

My heart goes out to millions in this country who jostle up in dungeon-like quarters for shelter that they call ‘home.’ My girl is a lot luckier – she has someplace to call ‘home’ and she owns her small plot of 600 sq ft which is still a good bet in a city like Chennai. Think about the homeless.

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I ask my girl about her daughter always. I still love and long for my unborn daughter.

‘She is still bed wetting!’ said she the last time i inquired.

Her 15 year daughter, was in the habit of wetting the bed during sleep. I keep asking ‘S’ to refer to a doc but she says, she had had such an anxiety problem herself. Now combined with her menarche, the problem has worsened for her daughter. ‘Why didn’t you tell me earlier?’ I asked her totally perplexed. The girl’s bed-wetting had totally slipped my mind. I could see the agitation in my maid’s face. I gave her a bunch of blankets. ‘Throw away the soiled ones. Use fresh ones, how much ever you want, ask me’ I said.

‘Akka my hands are aching washing the sheets day in and day out!’ she said, ‘our little house stinks and everytime my daughter has to change her napkin, we all have to troop out of the hut. Even if its midnight.’

How many ever bedrooms and bathrooms and wardrobes we have, we want more. How much ever clothes and jewels we own, we want new. Is ours the latest car? Cell phone? Well now, welcome to poor and miserable India. Come meet my girl ‘S.

We all come across so many, many stories in daily life, media and internet, but nothing moves me like this girl’s. I could get her a washing machine but its not advisable given the nature of their muddy damp walls. Besides there is not a square inch to spare. As such they live like cattle in a shed. The single room-hut serves as my maid’s family’s bedroom, kitchen and living. There is a tv, a fridge, a steel bureau and a cooking counter. Too many electronics and electricals to my comfort. There is barely any moving space and they sleep in the floor in a row. Any guests may mean, the family have to squeeze them in that cramped hole they call home. They don’t even use a ceiling fan – only a pedestal is possible in the low-roof thatched space.

My heart goes out to the little girl who has blossomed into a young woman last year. Where is the privacy the teenager desperately needs in this hour. The girl is upset and crying because she knows her condition and she is ashamed about it. She has no control over her bladder having slept with the lights on since the day she was born. And now onset of the menstrual cycle complicated matters for her. She is still a child – of 15 years. 

Quarrelsome abusive grandmother , alcoholic grandfather (who recently passed away), and an impoverished neighbourhood, the little girl seems to suffer from some suppressed emotions surrounded by misery from all sides, leave alone the economic condition.

I remember my doc’s warnings to me when my son was an infant and I was a working mom. That was a long, long time back. His first advice was to strictly keep the lights switched off after 9 pm so the baby learns the difference between day and night. My son stopped bedwetting in night hours under one year. He started sleeping the whole night around the same time, not keeping awake, giving me complete rest and full night’s sleep that I badly needed in those days. Many years may have rolled since, but whatever concerns my son as a mother, I never forget. (One more reason is, the Pampers (children’s napkin) commercial I see in tv bombarding Indian homes with misinformation and harmful ideas on parenting. Unhealthy things are wrongly promoted in the name of hygiene, soaking wet in diapers for hours is advised against quickest disposal of soiled napkins. Mothers of my generation never did that.) (My diapers I used for my son were my FIL’s old cleanly washed and cut white cotton dhotis! My MIL made a fine job out of them!) (That’s a keepsake for another blog post in future!) Anyway, things like these strangely remain in your memory forever for whatever reasons…

I think perhaps the girl would be alright with time. Would outgrow the habit. My maid who endured the same problem got okay only with her marriage. She was bed-wetting until her 18th year that is. Sudden thrust into married life must have done something to her psychologically. She says with her wedding night, she lost the bothersome habit unaware. I did not tell her, the reason was perhaps marriage freed her from her miserable existence easing her anxieties and giving her a sense of security. She needed no more to toil for hours in hot sun in farm lands in her village and walk back the long distance home to slog the rest of the waking hours until she went to sleep. Urban life was easy neither but comparably less daunting.

On my advice and on doctor’s the mother tries many remedial measures with the little girl. Like not giving her liquid food from the evening hours. From rousing her from sleep to take her to toilet every 1-2 hours. Still nothing works.

I said may be her daughter’s problem is hereditary. Then I suddenly remembered and asked her ‘Did you tell the doctor about sleeping with the lights on?’ She said no, she never thought that could be a reason. I said perhaps that is the main reason. My maid is too scared and shy to approach any doctor or psychologist any longer on the issue. She feels her daughter has grown too old for that. She is concerned about what her neighbours may think,. whether it would later on affect her daughter’s married life. How much ever I try to convince her to come with me to a specialist, she refuses. She believes her daughter will be fine some day as she herself grew out of the habit over time  …

May be she is right, we must try to ignore the problem. And the girl who is self-conscious up until now about the bedwetting would get alright on her own…

The mother and the girl – and their dreams and trials and tribulations… Its a moving story. I am ashamed of my nation, my society, of the class divide, of the insecurity of the masses, of the injustice they suffer from and more than all by the way they meekly surrender without a fight. They know they have lost it. What it is to be really poor and at receiving end in India – I am seeing before my eyes every single day.

The little girl’s menstruation coupled with the bedwetting habit totally funks me. Sleeping with the lights on…

The silver lining in the cloud is that hopefully one day in the future the teen girl will become a graduate – the first woman to earn a degree in her entire clan. So its high time her medical or psychological disorder is dealt with with the seriousness it deserves. More than anything, hygiene is important. If a qualified expert says all will be well without treatment, I am willing to consider that. Or whether the girl should wait until she marries as her mother says… Is it alright to meddle in others’ life. These are the questions I ask myself now.This is why I stop right here without overstepping certain boundaries.

What are the long term effects on health of individuals who are deprived for years, fitful night sleep. Is it normal to be in light all 24 hours a day – in sunlight during the day and electric light by the night hours. What are the psychological side effects. Very disturbing to think.

I keep calling my maid from wherever I am as I divide my time between places. Never fail to ask her about her daughter. She is getting her regular monthly periods. But the bed-wetting continues… The mother sometimes sounds tired and hopelessly sad. The men in the family – her husband and son are suffering in a way too. The little girl’s habit has now multiplied many times over. And then there is the grandparent to consider … ‘We all are keeping awake the whole nights for 5 days now every month’ said ‘S.’ Never have i felt more sick.

How many of us even bother to spare a moment to think of the lives of our house helps or drivers or cooks. Many times I think about helping the family with their housing needs but I decide, helping with the children’s education is more important. The family as I said, is very proud even if poor. Any extra help you may want to give them, they shy away with shame cursing their own helplessness. They are the kind of rural folks who can be easily wounded. They don’t want help – beyond a certain point. I am actually happy with that. How much they value self-respect, honour and dignity even in their desolate living conditions unwilling to compromise. What a difference from our politicians. And even our FCs who want to compare themselves with this poor lot of the nation. ‘Akka when my son starts working, he will raise a loan and build us a proper home’ says my maid.

I have tried to sleep with the lights on – never succeeded.

India’s issues are very complex, complicated. Poverty and gender discrimination and illiteracy compound to our woes. Those of us who are lucky are so very insensitive to care for those on who we tread over. Our greed snatches away the poors’ just share. Every 2nd or 3rd flat or house we buy, we are pushing the unfortunate into a further cramped dark corner.  Their petty world is bleak and hopeless. The day my maid told me she washed as many soiled sheets and mats of her daughter in their dirty bathroom after the night bed-wetting by her daughter on her getting her periods, I could not sleep in my comfortable bed. I tossed and turned for hours thinking of the girl, the family sitting or lying with the lights on, and mother and daughter making numerous trips to their dingy bathroom… the whole night… If I don’t feel guilty after this, I am not human.

Modi government, please think twice before any big decision/ruling. Be it Reservation or Land Acquisition. This is my hearty, earnest request to you. We can beat the mute and the invisible black and blue and they can take it, but it breaks my heart to see this happen to them. Industrialization, urbanization is necessary, but please do it without trampling upon our poor and squashing them into pathetic pieces. There is nobody to take their sides, nobody to argue their cases, they will give up easily – but think of the spirit we crush, the hopes we dash, the lives we crumple… I am certain my government will have some humanitarian considerations… If you have to uproot anyone at all, relocate them favourably.  Ambanis can have 27 storied palatial houses. The poor of India are not clamouring after big bungalows. All they want is to be left alone and not disturbed.

Giving the FCs of India equal footing with the suppressed and downtrodden communities of the nation is the most heartless injustice one can do to them. To be clubbed with their exploiters in one economic bracket is the worst thing that can happen to the poorest of India.

I have never felt as hopeless about my nation as I do now. Social Justice died a cruel death in India yesterday right in our parliament.

Posted in Economic

Will elite schools in India now open up to Municipal school kids? Agama Temple priests one and all? Modi and Yogi answer!

“Pichai Eduthaanaam Aandi, Adhai Pidungi Thinnaanaam Perumal”

So Modi has come out with 10% reservation for economically backward FCs fine. So is it now time to throw open the doors of city’s elite bunch of schools Churchpark, Vidya Mandir, PSBB, PSSS, Shishya, Lady Andal, Chettinad Vidyashram, DAV, SBOA, Maharishi and Rajaji Vidyashram to BPL family kids by the same logic? A reservation of 10% to start with? After all in India, discrimination/disparities stem right at pre-school levels. The school you attend defines who you are and your future. The rags-to-riches stories of Abdul Kalam and Ambani are one in a million. Otherwise for average Indians, it is rat race all the way. The gulf the society creates right in our Kinder Garten stage among the future citizens of the nation is already unbridgeable and extreme that under-devepment and poverty and the resultant Reservation criteria will have to become a vicious circle, with no option. Reservation comes into play where recommendations or carefully accumulated/cultivated intelligence of generations of well bred forefathers/ancestors cannot come to the aid of certain sections of our society. Reservation is thus the lifeline to the hopeless lot of poorest of Indians.

What reservations could not provide, recommendations/references have been taking care of for the upper middle classes. Schools to autonomous/deemed universities, the better-off of India have not been left out in the cold even in the so-called suffocating climate of Reservation. My autowallah makes almost 20-30 k per month in current times. He has always been able to give his family a decent living, being their sole bread winner. One of the things that touched my heart about him was, how his children were denied good schools because of his profession and because he and his wife were illiterates. Finally, he fought with a school management and secured his kids admission. Of course, they started with a clear disadvantage. Could not keep up with peers, could not follow up with brutal academics being first generation literates in their lineage. The poor father relented, pulled them out and enrolled them with a heavy heart in corporation school where the children at last could make some real friends. Denied bank loans as he can never produce a salary certificate, my autowallah still pawns his very source of income and livelihood : his auto (the three wheeled tuk tuk) if ever he has to change it/go for a new one or has to meet up with unexpected expenses. Whereas how generous India is with Ambani family, Mallya, Adani group.

Is not reservation meant for those like my autowallah. It is easiest to find excuses like the third generation dalit IAS benefiting out of quota system, in our urge to deny social justice to those who really deserve it. My maid who works for me for last 13 years for another thing. How come these men/women are in these menial professions, I ask myself. Where in India do we have dignity of labour about anything. Why is my subzi wala a subzi wala. Why is the corporation scavenger/sweeper in my street what he/she is. Why is not a FC working this profession. Why is a chakkili a chakkili. Why is a vettiyan a vettiyan.

Every FC who is rejoicing in Modi’s (anticipated) announcement today must ask these questions to himself/herself. And by the way if you are ever to enjoy an ancestral home, estate, heirloom, all the more reason to ask yourself, who and how your ancestors blocked from his/her path to progress that you could make it big today. Well, I do not know about my compatriots, but I sure do ask myself these tough questions.

These days one sees communist-bashing happening in a large scale in India. Communists are not a mushroom that sprouted out of nowhere. They may have become unfashionable today in the world of capitalism, but thanks to them, a lot of injustice has been corrected in the past as well. Someone has to ask the questions. Someone has to advocate. The ones who dared to ask difficult questions were probably called communists. Trade unions fought for just rights. Capitalist cronies can never figure out what it means by social justice and equality.

So reservation is social evil? Then why is reservation still practised in Agama temples throughout length and breadth of India, will Modi and Yogi answer? Not even the constitutionally granted Reservation Quota system could break the jinx could it? Salvation comes in many ways. But would it ever, to someone who by virtue of his birth (alone) has in fact the cheek to imagine that ONLY he was gene-selected and pre-programmed by God to serve His purpose in His abode over others.? How about opening a Vedic school cutting across communities and training priests for Agama temples impartially.

Recommendations can make an auditor an RBI director in India, so why should such a pampered community seek reservation. Recommendation plus Reservation to the privileged class could prove to be a deadly combo – lethal blow to India’s underprivileged. Very conveniently, Recommendations do not go into records.

Jayalalitha Jayaram, when she was Tamil Nadu chief minister, mandated a penalty of Rs.20,00,000/- for government medical college students who enrolled for their PG course at state expense – in case they were to opt out of three to eight years of rural health service on completion. Not sure whether the bond system still holds good in Tamil Nadu (after the NEET introduction in post Jayalalitha period: the only way they could do it). PM Modi must similarly enforce a strict penalty of minimum Rs.30,00,000/- on FC IIT undergrads and post grads and PhD scholars who graduate at the expense of tax paying citizens, if they want to flee abroad after having received the finest education the nation has to offer. Bond for IIT grads to be made mandatory.

Reservation for FCs can be compared to something like borrowing out of the beggar’s bowl. Though, Reservation is not a concession we are offering the most downtrodden and suppressed communities of India. Reservation is the compensation that they justly deserve.

Modi has been wrong in many matters. NEET for one. NEET they said got you medical seats on merit basis. Only that private medical institutions have since upped their antics in the knowledge of pricing it right for the right candidates. True medical colleges are accessible to aspirants today more than ever but there is a collateral that has been overlooked in the process.

Medical degree is unlike the technical engineering course. Medicine necessitates practice and intuition. Rural candidates in Tamil Nadu stood a good chance to medical admissions before the enforcement of NEET. On graduation, they went back to their villages and served the purpose, filling up void in the far flung areas and rural outposts. Reservation worked well on these grounds. How many NEET medicos of present times would serve rural India on graduation, will Modi answer. How long before Ambanis and Adanis take over our scattered village, taluk and district government hospitals and turn them to corporate businesses.

Like medical schools and hospitals, government of India also had established a banking network of thousands of service branches to cater to rural population along with post offices – not with a profit motive. Serviceability was the goal. Nation building was the idea. This is how the state owned banks have functioned for a good 30-40 years since the late 60s’ when the then PM Smt Indira Gandhi nationalized them in one stroke.

MBBS doctors in pre-NEET days were accorded service-record based MD/MS seats in government hospital-colleges after a customary entrance, on serving rural health centers for a length of time. No doubt quota doctors benefited immensely out of this which they passed on to the rural pockets they serviced. Depending on the discipline the MBBS doctors worked, their super specialty area was determined . No wonder a friend was 40+ when he won his PG seat finally in Madras GH/MMC after a 15 year practice. Experience counted and made difference. Now experience has no relevance as one sees how NEET has been securing the academically brilliant but practically nil experienced medicos the coveted PG seats. The friend who turned 45 when he finally added two alphabetical letters MD besides his MBBS is an epitome of knowledge with hands-on experience, no wonder. Diagnosis was accurate without the help of machines for these doctors of old school. The man served government hospitals in rural sector as stipulated by Tamil Nadu government for nearly eight years before he quit. Today we see under 30s so easily clear NEET PG entrance and secure the super specialty seats and MD seats in the state/country. And then making their way straight to swanky five star hospitals that bill /milk us patients in lakhs. Starting pay for these new age MDs is 1.5 lac, experience zilch but for a short stint that may be with private hospitals as well. Machines think for them. Thank you a ton Prime Minister Modi, what a great service to India in deed. And what a medical fraternity you have helped create for India’s future.

You think the former prime ministers of India, the men who drafted our constitution, the men who drew up our reservation bills did not do their home work? Probably they did a far better job than you. And a fair assessment.

I once had a procedure done with a lady gynaecologist who may not have been the brightest or ultra sophisticated in the block, but she was good with her hands. Quota doctor of course. She knew what she really needed to know. Just like midwives served the purpose until very recently not only in Indian but world history. More than learned knowledge, I understood it was a knack that you had to perfect in. A surgeon’s job is essentially a butcher’s. Only that, he/she knows the names to the blood vessels and arteries. Medical acumen comes from experience, practice, not to be gleaned out of mere journals and bound volumes of books. The community doctor’s ease and expertise, I did not find even in my regular hi-fi gynaec who boasted of a hotshot career. This one was known to me and she worked for a primary health center that charged me nothing. I was treated free. Ever since I have changed my opinion on reservation category doctors who muster experience with skill. This kind of medicos work with rural poor basically. They develop excellent rapport with nursing staff and paramedics. Primany health centers run by state government in Tamil Nadu are best in the line, run and managed very efficiently. The teams see infinite number of cases anyday. NEET just managed to destroy such a beautifully orchestrated, carefully constructed and self sufficient medical system in my state. I wonder what will be the future of these government health centers in the age of NEET aspirants. Whether the BPL family women will be comfortable with the suave NEET MBBS doctors who mostly pay their way to medical colleges?

Very soon, health care in rural India – the meticulously nurtured catacomb through the length and breadth of the country – will be replaced with sophisticated corporate business-like hospitals. Modifications? Ever since the IT boom in India from the 1990s, health care is already a mega buck maker, with health insurance companies playing an ace role in the scene. NEET is good, but the side-effects of NEET will be felt by poor rural Indians in the long run.

Indian judiciary prides itself that it is unconcerned of the guilty going unpunished using loopholes in the legal net. It takes care to ensure that not a single non-guilty is served with injustice.

Reservation in India must be viewed the same way. The idea has never been to exclude the creamiest but to include those disadvantaged by design. those living in the fringes.

India’s Karma is this. I , as an individual, cannot do much about it than empathize, given my limited capacity. But it is reckless of those in power to absolutely misuse their power.

For one thing, caste based quota system was enforced because social discrimination in India has always been and still is caste based. Reservation was devised as a formulation to correct the historical injustice done to certain sections of our society. For another, it is easy to manipulate one’s economic status and cook up figures. Reservation has still not been able to stop the FCs from furthering their goals because they have already established a deeply entrenched support system that will see them to economic safety whatever the circumstances. Things are in proper place for FCs.

Reservation is like parking slots for the disabled. Those who cannot get in can drive around and park elsewhere. They can still make their way to their destination. The disabled cannot, without difficulties.

I am based in gulf where it is not uncommon to see a particular state people from India holding advantageous position. A network. Some of us have not had such a helping hand in life. More than anyone, I have more merit and moral rights to air my views on Reservation.

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PS: Having said all this, I still hope, reservation of 10% for FCs materializes, for we can shut them up once and for all with that. Today, there is a tendency in India to downplay the achievements of the backward/stagnated classes who have made good with or without the crutch called reservation, fighting a tough battle all the way. First generation literates are mocked at, berated by those who have had headstart in academics and other arenas with plenty of opportunities thrown their way. India has never had a level playing field for everyone. After this move, the FCs will have none to blame for their stale genes or mediocrity.

Posted in History-Culture

List Of 216 Shivaalayas In Tamil Nadu

This is just a ‘copy and paste’ job. Came across this wonderful post in social media that i have decided to share in my blog. List of a 216 ancient Shiva temples spread throughout the state of Tamil Nadu, India, quite a few of them a thousand to two thousand years old…  District-wise compilation.

காலம் முழுவதும் பாதுகாக்க வேண்டிய டைரி இது.
216 சிவாலயங்களுக்கு நீங்கள் செல்வதற்கு ஏற்ப குறிப்புகளைத் தந்துள்ளோம்….

எண் – கோயில் – இருப்பிடம் – போன்

சென்னை மாவட்டம்

01. திருவலிதாயம் திருவல்லீஸ்வரர் – பாடி – 044 – 2654 0706.
02. மாசிலாமணீஸ்வரர் – வடதிருமுல்லைவாயில். சென்னையிலிருந்து 26 கி.மீ., – 044 – 2637 6151.
03. கபாலீஸ்வரர் – மயிலாப்பூர் – 044 – 2464 1670.
04. மருந்தீஸ்வரர் – திருவான்மியூர் கிழக்கு கடற்கரை சாலை – 044 – 2441 0477.
காஞ்சிபுரம் மாவட்டம்
05. ஏகாம்பரநாதர் – காஞ்சிபுரம் பஸ் ஸ்டாண்டில் இருந்து 1 கி.மீ., – 044 – 2722 2084.
06. திருமேற்றளீஸ்வரர் – காஞ்சிபுரம் பஸ் ஸ்டாண்டில் இருந்து 1 கி.மீ., – 98653 55572, 99945 85006. 
07. ஓணகாந்தேஸ்வரர் – ஓணகாந்தன்தளி. காஞ்சிபுரம் பஸ் ஸ்டாண்டில் இருந்து 2 கி.மீ., தூரத்திலுள்ள பஞ்சுப்பேட்டை – 98944 43108.
08. கச்சி அனேகதங்காவதேஸ்வரர் – காஞ்சிபுரம் பஸ் ஸ்டாண்டில் இருந்து 2கி.மீ., – 044-2722 2084. 
09. சத்யநாதர் – காஞ்சிபுரம் பஸ் ஸ்டாண்டில் இருந்து 2 கி.மீ., – 044 – 2723 2327, 2722 1664. 
10. திருமாகறலீஸ்வரர் – திருமாகறல், காஞ்சிபுரத்திலிருந்து கீழ்ரோடு வழியாக 16 கி.மீ. – 94435 96619.
11. தெய்வநாயகேஸ்வரர் – எலுமியன்கோட்டூர். காஞ்சிபுரத்திலிருந்து 25 கி.மீ., – 044 – 2769 2412, 94448 65714.
12. வேதபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருவேற்காடு. சென்னை கோயம்பேட்டிலிருந்து பூந்தமல்லி வழியில் 10 கி.மீ – 044-2627 2430, 2627 2487.
13. கச்சபேஸ்வரர் – திருக்கச்சூர். செங்கல்பட்டில் இருந்து சிங்கப்பெருமாள் கோயில் வழியாக 12 கி.மீ., – 044 – 2746 4325, 93811 86389.
14. ஞானபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருவடிசூலம். செங்கல்பட்டில் இருந்து 9 கி.மீ., – 044 – 2742 0485, 94445 23890.
15. வேதகிரீஸ்வரர் – திருக்கழுக்குன்றம். செங்கல்பட்டிலிருந்து 17 கி.மீ., – 044 – 2744 7139, 94428 11149.
16. ஆட்சிபுரீஸ்வரர் – அச்சிறுபாக்கம். செங்கல்பட்டில் இருந்து 48 கி.மீ. (மேல்மருவத்தூர் அருகில்) – 044 – 2752 3019, 98423 09534.

திருவள்ளூர் மாவட்டம்

17. திரிபுராந்தகர் – கூவம், திருவள்ளூரில் இருந்து 17 கி.மீ., – 94432 53325.
18. வடாரண்யேஸ்வரர் – திருவாலங்காடு. திருவள்ளூரிலிருந்து அரக்கோணம் வழியில் 16 கி.மீ.,.
19. வாசீஸ்வரர் – திருப்பாசூர். திருவள்ளூரில் இருந்து 5 கி.மீ., – 98944 86890.
20. ஊன்றீஸ்வரர் – பூண்டி. திருவள்ளூரில் இருந்து 12 கி.மீ., – 044 – 2763 9725, 
21. சிவாநந்தீஸ்வரர் – திருக்கண்டலம். சென்னை – பெரியபாளையம் சாலையில் 40 கி.மீ., – 044 – 2762 9144, 99412 22814.
22. ஆதிபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருவொற்றியூர். – 044 – 2573 3703.

வேலூர் மாவட்டம்

23. வில்வநாதேஸ்வரர் – திருவல்லம். வேலூர்- ராணிப்பேட்டை வழியில் 16 கி.மீ., – 0416-223 6088.
24. மணிகண்டீஸ்வரர் – திருமால்பூர். காஞ்சிபுரத்திலிருந்து 22 கி.மீ., – 04177 – 248 220, 93454 49339.
25. ஜலநாதீஸ்வரர் – தக்கோலம். வேலூரில் இருந்து 80 கி.மீ., – 04177 – 246 427.

திருவண்ணாமலை மாவட்டம்

26. அண்ணாமலையார் – திருவண்ணாமலை. – 04175 – 252 438.
27. வாலீஸ்வரர் – குரங்கணில்முட்டம். காஞ்சிபுரம்- வந்தவாசி ரோட்டில் உள்ள தூசி வழியாக 10 கி.மீ., – 99432 95467.
28. வேதபுரீஸ்வரர் – செய்யாறு. திருவண்ணாமலையிலிருந்து 105 கி.மீ., காஞ்சிபுரத்திலிருந்து 15 கி.மீ., – 04182 – 224 387.
29. – தாளபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருப்பனங்காடு.காஞ்சிபுரத்தில் இருந்து 16 கி.மீ., – 044 – 2431 2807, 98435 68742.
கடலூர் மாவட்டம்
30. திருமூலநாதர் – சிதம்பரம். (நடராஜர் கோயில்) – 94439 86996.
31. பாசுபதேஸ்வரர் – திருவேட்களம். சிதம்பரம் அண்ணாமலை பல்கலைக்கழக வளாகம். – 98420 08291, 98433 88552.
32. உச்சிநாதர் – சிவபுரி.சிதம்பரம்- கவரப்பட்டு வழியில் 3 கி.மீ., – 98426 24580.
33. பால்வண்ணநாதர் – திருக்கழிப்பாலை, சிதம்பரம்- கவரப்பட்டு (பைரவர் கோயில்)வழியில் 3 கி.மீ., – 98426 24580.
34. பிரணவ வியாக்ரபுரீஸ்வரர் – ஓமாம்புலியூர். சிதம்பரத்தில் இருந்து 3 கி.மீ. – 04144 – 264 845.
35. பதஞ்சலீஸ்வரர் – கானாட்டம்புலியூர், சிதம்பரத்தில் இருந்து காட்டுமன்னார்கோயில் வழியே 28 கி.மீ., – 04144 – 208 508, 93457 78863.
36. சவுந்தர்யேஸ்வரர் – திருநாரையூர்.சிதம்பரம்- காட்டுமன்னார் கோயில் வழியில் 18 கி.மீ., – 94425 71039, 94439 06219.
37. அமிர்தகடேஸ்வரர் – மேலக்கடம்பூர். சிதம்பரத்தில் இருந்து காட்டுமன்னார்கோயில் வழியே 28 கி.மீ., – 93456 56982.
38. தீர்த்தபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருவட்டத்துறை.விருத்தாசலத்தில் இருந்து 22கி.மீ., – 04143 – 246 467.
39. பிரளயகாலேஸ்வரர் – பெண்ணாடம். விருத்தாசலத்திலிருந்து 18 கி.மீ., திட்டக்குடியிலிருந்து 12 கி.மீ., – 04143 – 222 788, 98425 64768.
40. நர்த்தன வல்லபேஸ்வரர் – திருக்கூடலையாற்றூர்.சிதம்பரத்திலிருந்து சேத்தியாதோப்பு வழியாக 20 கி.மீ., – 04144 – 208 704.
41. திருக்குமாரசாமி – ராஜேந்திர பட்டினம். விருத்தாசலம் (சுவேதாரண்யேஸ்வரர்) – ஜெயங்கொண்டம் ரோட்டில் 12 கி.மீ., – 04143 – 243 533, 93606 37784.
42. சிவக்கொழுந்தீஸ்வரர் – தீர்த்தனகிரி. கடலூரில் இருந்து 18 கி.மீ. – 94434 34024.
43. மங்களபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருச்சோபுரம். கடலூர்- சிதம்பரம் ரோட்டி<ல் 13 கி.மீ., ஆலப்பாக்கம், இங்கு பிரியும் ரோட்டில் 2கி.மீ., – 94425 85845.
44. வீரட்டானேஸ்வரர் – திருவதிகை. கடலூரில் இருந்து 24 கி.மீ., தூரத்திலுள்ள பண்ருட்டி நகர எல்லை – 98419 62089.
45. விருத்தகிரீஸ்வரர் – விருத்தாச்சலம். சென்னை – மதுரை ரோட்டில் உளுந்தூர் பேட்டையிலிருந்து தெற்கே 23 கி.மீ., – 04143 – 230 203.
46. சிஷ்டகுருநாதேஸ்வரர் – திருத்தளூர். கடலூரில் இருந்து பண்ருட்டி வழியாக 32 கி.மீ., – 04142 – 248 498, 94448 07393.
47. வாமனபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருமாணிக்குழி. கடலூரிலிருந்து பாலூர் வழியாக 15 கி.மீ., – 04142 – 224 328.
48. பாடலீஸ்வரர் – திருப்பாதிரிபுலியூர். கடலூர் நகருக்குள், – 04142 – 236 728.

விழுப்புரம் மாவட்டம்

49. பக்தஜனேஸ்வரர் – திருநாவலூர். பண்ருட்டி-உளுந்தூர் பேட்டை வழியில் 12 கி.மீ., – 94861 50804, 04149 – 224 391.
50. சொர்ணகடேஸ்வரர் – நெய்வணை. உளுந்தூர்பேட்டையில் இருந்து 15 கி.மீ., – 04149 – 291 786, 94862 82952.
51. வீரட்டேஸ்வரர் – கீழையூர். (திருக்கோவிலூர் அருகில்) விழுப்புரத்திலிருந்து 36 கி.மீ., – 93456 60711.
52. அதுல்யநாதேஸ்வரர் – அறகண்டநல்லூர். விழுப்புரத்திலிருந்து 35 கி.மீ., – 99651 44849.
53. மருந்தீசர் – டி. இடையாறு. விழுப்புரத்திலிருந்து 36 கி.மீ., – 04146 – 216 045, 94424 23919. 
54. கிருபாபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருவெண்ணெய்நல்லூர். விழுப்புரத்திலிருந்து 22 கி.மீ., – 93456 60711.
55. சிவலோகநாதர் – கிராமம். விழுப்புரத்திலிருந்து அரசூர் வழி 14 கி.மீ. – 04146 – 206 700.
56. பனங்காட்டீஸ்வரர் – பனையபுரம். விழுப்புரத்திலிருந்து 12 கி.மீ., – 99420 56781.
57. அபிராமேஸ்வரர் – திருவாமத்தூர். விழுப்புரம் -செஞ்சி ரோட்டில் 6 கி.மீ., – 04146 – 223 379, 98430 66252.
58. சந்திரமவுலீஸ்வரர் – திருவக்கரை. திண்டிவனத்திலிருந்து 22 கி.மீ., – 0413 – 268 8949.
59. அரசலீஸ்வரர் – ஒழிந்தியாம்பட்டு. புதுச்சேரி- திண்டிவனம்- வழியில் 13 கி.மீ., 04147 – 235 472.
60. மகாகாளேஸ்வரர் – இரும்பை. புதுச்சேரி – திண்டிவனம் வழியில் 12 கி.மீ., – 0413 – 268 8943, 98435 26601.

நாமக்கல் மாவட்டம்

61. அர்த்தநாரீஸ்வரர் – திருச்செங்கோடு. நாமக்கல்லில் இருந்து 30 கி.மீ., – 04288 – 255 925, 93642 29181.
ஈரோடு மாவட்டம்
62. சங்கமேஸ்வரர் – பவானி. ஈரோட்டில் இருந்து 15 கி.மீ., – 04256 – 230 192, 98432 48588.
63. மகுடேஸ்வரர், – கொடுமுடி,ஈரோடு – கரூர் ரோட்டில் 47 கி.மீ., – 04204 – 222 375.

திருப்பூர் மாவட்டம்

64. அவிநாசி ஈஸ்வரர் – அவிநாசி. திருப்பூர்-கோவை ரோட்டில் 13 கி.மீ., – 04296 – 273 113, 94431 39503.
65. திருமுருகநாதர் – திருமுருகன்பூண்டி. திருப்பூர்- கோவை ரோட்டில் 8 கி.மீ., கோவையில் இருந்து 43 கி.மீ., – 04296 – 273 507.

திருச்சி மாவட்டம்

66. சத்தியவாகீஸ்வரர் – அன்பில். திருச்சியிலிருந்து 30 கி.மீ., – 0431 – 254 4927.
67. ஆம்ரவனேஸ்வரர் – மாந்துறை. திருச்சியிலிருந்து லால்குடி வழி 15 கி.மீ., – 99427 40062, 94866 40260. 
68. ஆதிமூலேஸ்வரர் – திருப்பாற்றுறை.திருச்சியில் இருந்து திருவானைக்காவல் வழி கல்லணைரோட்டில் 13 கி.மீ. – 0431 – 246 0455. 
69. ஜம்புகேஸ்வரர் – திருவானைக்காவல். திருச்சியில் இருந்து 8 கி.மீ., – 0431 – 223 0257.
70. ஞீலிவனேஸ்வரர் – திருப்பைஞ்ஞீலி. திருச்சியில் இருந்து 23 கி.மீ., – 0431 – 256 0813.
71. மாற்றுரைவரதர் – திருவாசி. திருச்சி- சேலம் ரோட்டில் 13 கி.மீ., – 94436 – 92138.
72. மரகதாசலேஸ்வரர் – ஈங்கோய்மலை.திருச்சியில் இருந்து முசிறி வழியாக 50 கி.மீ., – 04326 – 262 744, 94439 50031.
73. பராய்த்துறைநாதர் – திருப்பராய்த்துறை. திருச்சி- கரூர் ரோட்டில்15 கி.மீ. – 99408 43571.
74. உஜ்ஜீவநாதர் – உய்யக்கொண்டான் திருமலை. திருச்சி – வயலூர் வழியில் 7 கி.மீ., – 94431 50332, 94436 50493.
75. பஞ்சவர்ணேஸ்வரர் – உறையூர்.திருச்சி கடைவீதி பஸ் ஸ்டாப் அருகில் – 0431 – 276 8546, 94439 19091. 
76. தாயுமானவர் – திருச்சி. மலைக்கோட்டை – 0431 – 270 4621, 271 0484. 
77. எறும்பீஸ்வரர் – திருவெறும்பூர்.திருச்சி- தஞ்சாவூர் ரோட்டில் 10 கி.மீ. – 98429 57568.
78. திருநெடுங்களநாதர் – திருநெடுங்குளம். திருச்சி-துவாக்குடியிலிருந்து 3 கி.மீ. – 0431 – 252 0126.

அரியலூர் மாவட்டம்

79. வைத்தியநாதசுவாமி – திருமழபாடி. அரியலூரிலிருந்து 28 கி.மீ., – 04329 -292 890, 97862 05278.
80. ஆலந்துறையார் – கீழப்பழுவூர். அரியலூர்- தஞ்சாவூர் வழியில் 12 கி.மீ. – 99438 82368.

கரூர் மாவட்டம்

81. ரத்தினகிரீஸ்வரர் – அய்யர் மலை. கரூரில் இருந்து குளித்தலை வழியாக 40 கி.மீ., – 04323 – 245 522.
82. கடம்பவனேஸ்வரர் – குளித்தலை. கரூரில் இருந்து 35 கி.மீ., – 04323 – 225 228
83. கல்யாண விகிர்தீஸ்வரர் – வெஞ்சமாங்கூடலூர்.கரூரிலிருந்து ஆறுரோடு பிரிவு வழியாக 21 கி.மீ., – 04324 – 262 010, 99435 27792.
84. பசுபதீஸ்வரர் – கரூர் – 04324 – 262 010.

புதுக்கோட்டை மாவட்டம்

85. விருத்தபுரீஸ்வரர் – அறந்தாங்கியிலிருந்து 42 கி.மீ., – 04371 – 239 212

தஞ்சாவூர் மாவட்டம்

86. பசுபதீஸ்வரர் – பந்தநல்லூர்.கும்பகோணம்- சென்னை ரோட்டில் 30 கி.மீ., – 98657 78045. 0435 – 2450 595.
87. அக்னீஸ்வரர் – கஞ்சனூர். கும்பகோணம்- மயிலாடுதுறை – 0435 – 247 3737.
88. கோடீஸ்வரர் – திருக்கோடிக்காவல்.கும்பகோணத்திலிருந்து 18 கி.மீ., – 94866 70043. 
89. பிராணநாதேஸ்வரர் – திருமங்கலக்குடி. கும்பகோணத்தில் இருந்து 17 கி.மீ., (சூரியனார்கோவில் அருகில்) – 0435 – 247 0480.
90. அருணஜடேஸ்வரர் – திருப்பனந்தாள். கும்பகோணம்- சென்னை ரோட்டில் 15 கி.மீ., – 94431 16322, 0435 – 245 6047. 
91. பாலுகந்தநாதர் – திருவாய்பாடி. கும்பகோணம்-சென்னை வழியில் 18 கி.மீ., – 94421 67104.
92. சத்தியகிரீஸ்வரர் – சேங்கனூர். கும்பகோணம்-சென்னை ரோட்டில் 16 கி.மீ., (திருப்பனந்தாள் அருகில்) – 93459 82373, 0435 – 2457 459.
93. யோகநந்தீஸ்வரர் – திருவிசநல்லூர். கும்பகோணம்- சூரியனார்கோவில் ரோடு (வேப்பத்தூர் வழி)8 கி.மீ.,. – 0435 – 200 0679, 94447 47142.
94. கற்கடேஸ்வரர் – திருந்துதேவன்குடி. கும்பகோணம் – சூரியனார்கோவில் வழியில் 11 கி.மீ., – 99940 15871, 0435 – 200 0240.
95. கோடீஸ்வரர் – கொட்டையூர். கும்பகோணம்- திருவையாறு ரோட்டில் 5 கி.மீ., – 0435 – 245 4421.
96. எழுத்தறிநாதர் – இன்னம்பூர்.கும்பகோணம்- சுவாமிமலை ரோட்டில் புளியஞ்சேரியிலிருந்து 2 கி.மீ., – 96558 64958, 0435 – 200 0157.
97. சாட்சி நாதேஸ்வரர் – திருப்புறம்பியம்.கும்பகோணத்திலிருந்து 8 கி.மீ. (இன்னம்பூர் அருகில்) – 94446 26632, 0435 – 245 9519.
98. விஜயநாதேஸ்வரர் – திருவிஜயமங்கை. கும்பகோணத்தில் இருந்து 21 கி.மீ., (திருவைகாவூர் அருகில்) – 0435 – 294 1912, 94435 86453.
99. வில்வ வனேஸ்வரர் – திருவைகாவூர். கும்பகோணம்- திருவையாறு ரோட்டில் 17 கி.மீ., – 94435 86453, 96552 61510.
100. தயாநிதீஸ்வரர் – வடகுரங்காடுதுறை. கும்பகோணம் – திருவையாறு ரோட்டில் 20 கி.மீ. – 04374 – 240 491, 244 191.
101. ஆபத்சகாயர் – திருப்பழனம். தஞ்சாவூரில் இருந்து 16 கி.மீ., தூரத்திலுள்ள திருவையாறு அருகில் – 04362 – 326 668.
102. ஐயாறப்பர் – திருவையாறு. தஞ்சாவூரில் இருந்து 16 கி.மீ., – 0436 – 2260 332. 
103. நெய்யாடியப்பர் – தில்லைஸ்தானம். திருவையாறிலிருந்து 2 கி.மீ., – 04362 – 260 553.
104. வியாக்ரபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருப்பெரும்புலியூர். திருவையாறிலிருந்து தில்லைஸ்தானம் வழியே 5 கி.மீ. – 94434 47826, 94427 29856.
105. செம்மேனிநாதர் – திருக்கானூர்(விஷ்ணம்பேட்டை). திருவையாறில் இருந்து திருக்காட்டுப்பள்ளி வழியே 30 கி.மீ., – 04362 – 320 067, 93450 09344.
106. அக்னீஸ்வரர் – திருக்காட்டுப்பள்ளி.திருவையாறிலிருந்து 25 கி.மீ., – 94423 47433.
107. ஆத்மநாதேஸ்வரர் – திருவாலம் பொழில். தஞ்சாவூரிலிருந்து கண்டியூர் வழியாக 17 கி.மீ., – 04365 – 284 573.
108. புஷ்பவனேஸ்வரர் – தஞ்சாவூரிலிருந்து கண்டியூர் வழியாக 20 கி.மீ., – 94865 76529.
109. பிரம்மசிரகண்டீசுவரர் – கண்டியூர். தஞ்சாவூரிலிருந்து திருவையாறு வழியாக 20 கி.மீ., – 04362 – 261 100, 262 222.
110. சோற்றுத்துறை நாதர் – தஞ்சாவூரிலிருந்து கண்டியூர் வழியாக 19 கி.மீ., – 99438 84377.
111. வேதபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருவேதிக்குடி. தஞ்சாவூரில் இருந்து கண்டியூர் வழியாக 14 கி.மீ., – 93451 04187, 04362 – 262 334. 
112. பசுபதீஸ்வரர் – பசுபதிகோயில். தஞ்சாவூர்- கும்பகோணம் ரோட்டில் 15 கி.மீ., – 97914 82102.
113. வசிஷ்டேஸ்வரர் – தென்குடித்திட்டை. தஞ்சாவூரிலிருந்து 10 கி.மீ., – 04362 – 252 858. 
114. கரவாகேஸ்வரர் – கரப்பள்ளி (அய்யம்பேட்டை). தஞ்சாவூர் – கும்பகோணம் ரோட்டில் 15 கி.மீ.,
115. முல்லைவனநாதர் – திருக்கருகாவூர். தஞ்சாவூரில் இருந்து 22 கி.மீ., – 04374 – 273 502, 273 423.
116. பாலைவனேஸ்வரர் – பாபநாசம். தஞ்சாவூர்- கும்பகோணம் ரோட்டில் 12 கி.மீ., – 94435 24410.
117. கல்யாண சுந்தரேஸ்வரர் – நல்லூர் (வாழைப்பழக்கடை) தஞ்சாவூரில் (பஞ்சவர்ணேஸ்வரர்) இருந்து பாபநாசம் வழியாக 15 கி.மீ., – 93631 41676.
118. பசுபதீஸ்வரர் – ஆவூர் (கோவந்தகுடி).கும்பகோணத்திலிருந்து பட்டீஸ்வரம் வழியாக 15 கி.மீ., – 94863 03484.
119. சிவக்கொழுந்தீசர் – திருச்சத்திமுற்றம். பட்டீஸ்வரத்திலிருந்து 6 கி.மீ., – 94436 78575, 04374 – 267 237. 
120. பட்டீஸ்வரர் – பட்டீஸ்வரம், கும்பகோணத்தில் இருந்து 2 கி.மீ., – 0435 – 241 6976.
121. சோமநாதர் – கீழபழையாறை வடதளி.கும்பகோணம் – ஆவூர் ரோட்டிலுள்ள முழையூர் அருகில் – 98945 69543.
122. திருவலஞ்சுழிநாதர் – திருவலஞ்சுழி.சுவாமிமலையில் இருந்து 1கி.மீ., – 0435 – 245 4421, 245 4026.
123. கும்பேஸ்வரர் – கும்பகோணம். – 0435 – 242 0276.
124. நாகேஸ்வரர் – கும்பகோணம். கும்பேஸ்வரர் கோயிலுக்கு கிழக்கே – 0435 – 243 0386.
125. சோமேஸ்வரர் – கும்பகோணம். கும்பேஸ்வரர் கோயிலை அடுத்துள்ள பொற்றாமரைக்குளக் கரை – 0435 – 243 0349.
126. நாகநாதர் – திருநாகேஸ்வரம். கும்பகோணத்தில் இருந்து 6 கி.மீ., – 94434 89839, 0435 – 246 3354, 
127. மகாலிங்க சுவாமி – திருவிடைமருதூர். கும்பகோணம்-மயிலாடுதுறை ரோட்டில் 9 கி.மீ., 0435 – 246 0660.
128. ஆபத்சகாயேஸ்வரர் – ஆடுதுறை. கும்பகோணம்-மயிலாடுதுறை ரோட்டில் 14 கி.மீ., – 94434 63119, 94424 25809.
129. நீலகண்டேஸ்வரர் – திருநீலக்குடி. கும்பகோணம் – காரைக்கால் ரோட்டில் 15 கி.மீ., – 94428 61634. 0435 – 246 0660. 
130. கோழம்பநாதர் – திருக்குளம்பியம். கும்பகோணம்-மயிலாடுதுறை ரோட்டில் திருவாவடுதுறையிலிருந்து 5 கி.மீ., – 04364 – 232 055, 232 005.
131. சிவானந்தேஸ்வரர் – திருப்பந்துறை. கும்பகோணம்-மயிலாடுதுறை ரோட்டில் (எரவாஞ்சேரி வழி) 12 கி.மீ., – 94436 50826, 0435 – 244 8138. 
132. சித்தநாதேஸ்வரர் – திருநறையூர் (நாச்சியார்கோவில்).கும்பகோணம்- திருவாரூர் ரோட்டில் 10 கி.மீ., – 0435 – 246 7343, 246 7219.
133. படிக்காசுநாதர் – அழகாபுத்தூர். கும்பகோணம்- திருவாரூர் செல்லும் வழியில் 6 கி.மீ., – 99431 78294, 0435 – 246 6939.
134. அமிர்தகடேஸ்வரர் – சாக்கோட்டை. கும்பகோணம்-மன்னார்குடி ரோட்டில் 5 கி.மீ., – 98653 06840, 0435 – 241 4453. 
135. சிவகுருநாதசுவாமி – சிவபுரம். கும்பகோணத்தில் இருந்து 7 கி.மீ. சாக்கோட்டையில் இருந்து 2 கி.மீ., – 98653 06840.
136. சற்குணலிங்கேஸ்வரர் – கருக்குடி (மருதாநல்லூர்).கும்பகோணம் – மன்னார்குடி ரோட்டில் 5 கி.மீ., – 99435 23852
137. சாரபரமேஸ்வரர் – திருச்சேறை. கும்பகோணத்தில் இருந்து 15 கி.மீ., 
138. ஞானபரமேஸ்வரர் – திருமெய்ஞானம் (நாலூர் திருமயானம்). கும்பகோணத்தில் இருந்து திருச்சேறை வழியாக 17 கி.மீ., – 94439 59839.
139. ஆபத்சகாயேஸ்வரர் – ஆலங்குடி. திருவாரூர்-(குரு ஸ்தலம்) மன்னார்குடி ரோட்டில் 30 கி.மீ., – 04374 – 269 407.
140. பாஸ்கரேஸ்வரர் – பரிதியப்பர்கோவில். தஞ்சாவூர் -பட்டுக்கோட்டை ரோட்டில் 17 கி.மீ. (உளூர் அருகில்) – 0437 – 256 910.

திருவாரூர் மாவட்டம்

141. தியாகராஜர் – திருவாரூர். – 04366 – 242 343. 
142. அசலேஸ்வரர் – திருவாரூர். தியாகராஜர் கோயில் இரண்டாம் பிரகாரத்தில் – 04366 – 242 343. 
143. தூவாய் நாதர் – திருவாரூர். தியாகராஜர் கோயில் கீழரத வீதி – 99425 40479, 04366 – 240 646. 
144. பதஞ்சலி மனோகரர் – விளமல். திருவாரூர் பஸ் ஸ்டாண்டிலிருந்து 2 கி.மீ., – 98947 81778, 94894 79896.
145. கரவீரநாதர் – கரைவீரம். திருவாரூர்-கும்பகோணம் ரோட்டில் 8 கி.மீ. தூரத்திலுள்ள வடகண்டம் பஸ் ஸ்டாப் – 04366 – 241 978.
146. வீரட்டானேஸ்வரர் – திருவிற்குடி. திருவாரூர்- மயிலாடுதுறை ரோட்டில் தங்கலாஞ்சேரி அருகில். – 94439 21146. 
147. வர்த்தமானீஸ்வரர் – திருப்புகலூர். திருவாரூரில் இருந்து சன்னாநல்லூர் வழியாக 24 கி.மீ., – 94431 13025, 04366 – 292 300.
148. ராமநாதசுவாமி – திருக்கண்ணபுரம். திருவாரூரில் இருந்து 26 கி.மீ., (திருப்புகலூர் அருகில்) – 94431 13025, 04366 – 292 300. 
149. கணபதீஸ்வரர் – திருச்செங்காட்டங்குடி. திருவாரூரில் இருந்து 29 கி.மீ., (திருப்புகலூர் அருகில்) – 94431 13025, 04366 – 270 278.
150. கேடிலியப்பர் – கீழ்வேளூர். திருவாரூர்- நாகப்பட்டினம் ரோட்டில் 35 கி.மீ. – 04366 – 276 733.
151. தேவபுரீஸ்வரர் – தேவூர். நாகப்பட்டினம்-திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி வழியில் 18 கி.மீ., – 94862 78810, 04366 – 276 113.
152. திருநேத்திரநாதர் – திருப்பள்ளி முக்கூடல். திருவாரூரிலிருந்து பள்ளிவாரமங்கலம் வழியாக 6 கி.மீ., – 98658 44677, 04366 – 244 714.
153. பசுபதீஸ்வரர் – திருக்கொண்டீஸ்வரம். திருவாரூரில் இருந்து நன்னிலம் வழியாக 18 கி.மீ., – 04366 – 228 033.
154. சவுந்தரேஸ்வரர் – திருப்பனையூர். திருவாரூரில் இருந்து ஆண்டிப்பந்தல் வழியாக 12 கி.மீ., – 04366 – 237 007.
155. ஐராவதீஸ்வரர் – திருக்கொட்டாரம். கும்பகோணம் (நெடுங்காடு வழி) – காரைக்கால் ரோட்டிலுள்ள வேளங்குடி. – 04368 – 261 447.
156. பிரம்மபுரீஸ்வரர் – அம்பர் (அம்பல்). மயிலாடுதுறை அருகிலுள்ள பேரளத்திலிருந்து 6 கி.மீ., – 04366 – 238 973.
157. மகாகாளநாதர் – திருமாகாளம். கும்பகோணம்-காரைக்கால் ரோடு. – 94427 66818, 04366 – 291 457. 
158. மேகநாதசுவாமி – திருமீயச்சூர். மயிலாடுதுறை அருகிலுள்ள பேரளத்திலிருந்து 1 கி.மீ., – 94448 36526, 04366 – 239 170.
159. சகல புவனேஸ்வரர் – திருமீயச்சூர் இளங்கோயில், மயிலாடுதுறை அருகிலுள்ள பேரளத்திலிருந்து 1 கி.மீ., – 94448 36526, 04366 – 239 170. 
160. முக்தீஸ்வரர் – செதலபதி. திருவாரூர்- மயிலாடுதுறை ரோட்டில் 22 கி.மீ. தூரத்திலுள்ள பூந்தோட்டத்தில் பிரியும் சாலையில் 5 கி.மீ., – 04366 – 238 818, 239 700, 94427 14055.
161. வெண்ணிகரும்பேஸ்வரர் – கோயில்வெண்ணி.திருவாரூரிலிருந்து 26 கி.மீ., – 98422 94416. 
162. சேஷபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருப்பாம்புரம்.கும்பகோணம்-காரைக்கால் வழியில் 20 கி.மீ. தூரத்திலுள்ள கற்கத்தியில் இருந்து 3 கி.மீ. – 94439 43665, 0435 – 246 9555. 
163. சூஷ்மபுரீஸ்வரர் – செருகுடி.கும்பகோணம்-காரைக்கால் இருந்து 3 கி.மீ. (பூந்தோட்டம் வழி) கடகம்பாடியில் இருந்து 3 கி. மீ. – 04366 – 291 646. 
164. அபிமுக்தீஸ்வரர் – மணக்கால் அய்யம்பேட்டை,திருவாரூர்- கும்பகோணம் ரோட்டில் 10 கி.மீ., 
165. நர்த்தனபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருத்தலையாலங்காடு. திருவாரூர்-கும்பகோணம் ரோட்டில் 15 கி.மீ., – 94435 00235, 04366 – 269 235.
166. கோணேஸ்வரர் – குடவாசல்.திருவாரூரில் இருந்து 23 கி.மீ., கும்பகோணத்தில் இருந்து 20 கி.மீ., – 94439 59839.
167. சொர்ணபுரீஸ்வரர் – ஆண்டான்கோவில்.கும்பகோணத்தில் இருந்து வலங்கைமான் வழி 13 கி.மீ., – 04374 – 265 130.
168. பாதாளேஸ்வரர் – அரித்துவாரமங்கலம், கும்பகோணம் – அம்மாபேட்டை வழியில் 20 கி.மீ., – 94421 75441, 04374 – 264 586
169. சாட்சிநாதர் – அவளிவணல்லூர்.கும்பகோணத்தில் இருந்து அம்மாப்பேட்டை வழியாக 26 கி.மீ., – 04374 – 275 441.
170. வீழிநாதேஸ்வரர் – திருவீழிமிழலை. திருவாரூர்- மயிலாடுதுறை ரோட்டில் 22 கி.மீ. தூரத்திலுள்ள பூந்தோட்டத்தில் பிரியும் சாலையில் 7 கி.மீ., – 04366 – 273 050, 94439 24825148.
171. சதுரங்க வல்லபநாதர் – பூவனூர்.திருவாரூரிலிருந்து நீடாமங்கலம் வழியாக மன்னார்குடி ரோட்டில். – 94423 99273. 172. நாகநாதர் – பாமணி.மன்னார்குடியிலிருந்து 2 கி.மீ., – 93606 85073.
173. பாரிஜாதவனேஸ்வரர் – திருக்களர்.மன்னார்குடி-திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி ரோட்டில் 21 கி.மீ., – 04367 – 279 374.
174. பொன்வைத்த நாதர் – சித்தாய்மூர். திருவாரூர்-திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி ரோட்டில் 20 கி.மீ. (ஆலத்தம்பாடி அருகில்) – 94427 67565.
175. மந்திரபுரீஸ்வரர் – கோவிலூர். மன்னார்குடி-முத்துப்பேட்டை ரோட்டில் 32 கி.மீ., – 99420 39494, 04369 – 262 014. 
176. சற்குணநாதர் – இடும்பாவனம். திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி-புதுச்சேரி ரோட்டில் 10கி.மீ. (தொண்டியக்காடு வழி) – 04369 – 240 349.
177. கற்பக நாதர் – கற்பகநாதர்குளம். திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி -புதுச்சேரி ரோட்டில் 12 கி.மீ., (தொண்டியக்காடு வழி) – 04369 – 240 632.
178. நீள்நெறிநாதர் (ஸ்திரபுத்தீஸ்வரர்) – தண்டலச்சேரி. திருவாரூரிலிருந்து திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி வழியில் 23 கி.மீ., – 98658 44677.
179. கொழுந்தீஸ்வரர் – கோட்டூர்.மன்னார்குடி- திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி ரோட்டில் 15 கி.மீ., – 97861 51763, 04367 – 279 781. 
180. வண்டுறைநாதர் – திருவண்டுதுறை.மன்னார்குடி- திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி ரோட்டில் 11 கி.மீ., சேரிவடிவாய்க்கால் அருகில் – 04367 – 294 640.
181. வில்வாரண்யேஸ்வரர் – திருக்கொள்ளம்புதூர் கும்பகோணம் -கொரடாச்சேரி வழியில் 25 கி.மீ., செல்லூர் அருகில் – 04366 – 262 239.
182. ஜகதீஸ்வரர் – ஓகைப்பேரையூர்.திருவாரூரிலிருந்து 20 கி.மீ., (லட்சுமாங்குடி வழி) – 04367 – 237 692.
183. அக்னீஸ்வரர் – திருக்கொள்ளிக்காடு. திருவாரூரிலிருந்து 28 கி.மீ. கச்சனத்திலிருந்து 8 கி.மீ., – 04369 – 237 454.
184. நெல்லிவனநாதர் – திருநெல்லிக்காவல்.திருவாரூர் – திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி ரோட்டில் 18 கி.மீ., – 04369 – 237 507, 237 438.
185. வெள்ளிமலைநாதர் – திருத்தங்கூர்.திருவாரூர்- திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி ரோட்டில் 12 கி.மீ., – 94443 54461, 04369 – 237 454.
186. கண்ணாயிரநாதர் – திருக்காரவாசல்.திருவாரூர் – திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி ரோட்டில் 14 கி.மீ., – 94424 03391, 04366 – 247 824.
187. நடுதறியப்பர் – கண்ணாப்பூர், திருவாரூர் – திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி ரோட்டில் மாவூரிலிருந்து 7 கி.மீ., – 94424 59978, 04365 – 204 144.
188. கைச்சினநாதர் – கச்சனம்.திருவாரூர்-திருத்துறைப்பூண்டி ரோட்டில் 15 கி.மீ., – 94865 33293
189. ரத்தினபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருநாட்டியத்தான்குடி.திருவாரூர்- வடபாதிமங்கலம் ரோட்டில் 15 கி.மீ., (மாவூர் வழி) – 94438 06496, 04367 – 237 707. 
190. அக்னிபுரீஸ்வரர் – வன்னியூர்(அன்னூர்). கும்பகோணம்-காரைக்கால் ரோட்டில் 24 கி.மீ., – 0435 – 244 9578
191. சற்குணேஸ்வரர் – கருவேலி. கும்பகோணம்-மயிலாடுதுறை ரோட்டில் 22 கி.மீ., தூரத்திலுள்ள கூந்தலூர் – 94429 32942, 04366 – 273 900
192. மதுவனேஸ்வரர் – நன்னிலம்.திருவாரூர்-மயிலாடுதுறை ரோட்டில் 16 கி.மீ., – 94426 82346, 99432 09771
193. வாஞ்சிநாதேஸ்வரர் – ஸ்ரீவாஞ்சியம். கும்பகோணம்- நாகபட்டினம் வழியில் 27 கி.மீ. அச்சுதமங்கலம் ஸ்டாப் – 94424 03926, 04366 – 228 305
194. மனத்துணைநாதர் – திருவலிவலம். திருவாரூரிலிருந்து 20 கி.மீ., (வழி கச்சனம்) – 04366 – 205 636
195. கோளிலிநாதர் – திருக்குவளை. திருத்துறைபூண்டி – எட்டுக்குடி ரோட்டில் 13 கி.மீ.(வழி கச்சனம்) – 04366 – 245 412
196. வாய்மூர்நாதர் – திருவாய்மூர்.திருவாரூர்- வேதாரண்யம் ரோட்டில் 25 கி.மீ., – 97862 44876
நாகப்பட்டினம் மாவட்டம்
197. சிவலோகத்தியாகர் – ஆச்சாள்புரம். சிதம்பரத்தில் இருந்து 12 கி.மீ., – 04364 – 278 272.
198. திருமேனியழகர் – மகேந்திரப்பள்ளி. சீர்காழியில் இருந்து கொள்ளிடம் வழி 22 கி.மீ., – 04364 – 292 309.
199. முல்லைவனநாதர் – திருமுல்லைவாசல். சீர்காழியிலிருந்து 12 கி.மீ., – 94865 24626.
200. சுந்தரேஸ்வரர் – அன்னப்பன்பேட்டை. சீர்காழியில் இருந்து கீழமூவர்கரை ரோட்டில் 16 கி.மீ., – 93605 77673, 97879 29799.
201. சாயாவனேஸ்வரர் – சாயாவனம். சீர்காழி- பூம்புகார் வழியில் 20 கி.மீ., – 04364 – 260 151
202. பல்லவனேஸ்வரர் – பூம்புகார். சீர்காழியில் இருந்து 19 கி.மீ., – 94437 19193.
203. சுவேதாரண்யேஸ்வரர் – திருவெண்காடு.சீர்காழி-பூம்புகார் வழியில் (புதன் ஸ்தலம்) 15 கி.மீ., – 04364 – 256 424
204. ஆரண்யேஸ்வரர் – திருக்காட்டுப்பள்ளி. சீர்காழியில் இருந்து 15 கி.மீ., திருவெண்காட்டிலிருந்து 1 கி.மீ., – 94439 85770, 04364 – 256 273. 
205. வெள்ளடைநாதர் – திருக்குருகாவூர். சீர்காழியில் இருந்து 5 கி.மீ., – 92456 12705.
206. சட்டைநாதர் – சீர்காழி.சிதம்பரத்தில் இருந்து 19 கி.மீ., – 04364 – 270 235.
207. சப்தபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருக்கோலக்கா. சீர்காழியிலிருந்து 2 கி.மீ., – 04364 – 274 175.
208. வைத்தியநாதர் – வைத்தீஸ்வரன்கோவில்.மயிலாடுதுறை -சீர்காழி வழியில் 18கி.மீ., – 04364 – 279 423.
209. கண்ணாயிரமுடையார் – குறுமாணக்குடி. மயிலாடுதுறை- வைத்தீஸ்வரன் கோவில் வழியில் கதிராமங்கலத்தில் இருந்து 3 கி.மீ. – 94422 58085 
210. கடைமுடிநாதர் – கீழையூர். மயிலாடுதுறையில் இருந்து 12 கி.மீ., – 94427 79580, 04364 – 283 261, 
211. மகாலட்சுமிபுரீஸ்வரர் – திருநின்றியூர். மயிலாடுதுறை- சீர்காழி வழியில் 7 கி.மீ., – 94861 41430.
212. சிவலோகநாதர் – திருப்புன்கூர்.மயிலாடுதுறையிலிருந்து 15 கி.மீ., – 94867 17634. 
213. சோமநாதர் – நீடூர். மயிலாடுதுறையில் இருந்து 5 கி.மீ., – 99436 68084, 04364 – 250 424, 
214. ஆபத்சகாயேஸ்வரர் – பொன்னூர். மயிலாடுதுறையில் இருந்து 6 கி.மீ., – 04364 250 758.
215. கல்யாண சுந்தரேஸ்வரர் – திருவேள்விக்குடி. மயிலாடுதுறை அருகிலுள்ள 
2 கி.மீ., – 04364 – 235 462.
216. ஐராவதேஸ்வரர் – மேலத்திருமணஞ்சேரி.
சிவாய நம.

Posted in Food For Soul

The All Pervading Isha…

No copyright violation intended. This was playing when I had a darshan of Linga Bhairavi as ardent Shiva devotees performed ‘shaashtaang namaskaaram’ (prostrations) to the deity of Union of Mother and Father – the Bhairavi Lingam. Cannot shake it off my system now…

*** *** *** *** ***

Didn’t really think much about Isha (Yoga) all these days or years. Decades back, the Isha Yogi Shri. Jaggi Vasudev (popularly referred to as ‘Sadhguru’) was writing a column in the Tamil weekly ‘Kumudam’ (or was it ‘Ananda Vikatan’) He wrote under the title ‘Anaithukkum Aasai Padu’ (desire everything and anything). I regret missing reading it then deliberately. First of all the Isha Guru was not as popular then as he is now (though he had started making waves). Secondly, his grey beard and unconventional looks didn’t convince me that he was serious about what he preached. His sermon was casual style where he argued, one can be spiritual and materialistic at the same time. The same way, I have also missed the Tamil author Balakumaran. Now I learn of his genius.

Over time, Isha Yoga have spread their wings covering territories. They have planted thousands of trees and they employ rural artisans who they teach and train in various vocations. Foreigners wholeheartedly take ‘Dhiksha’ – the vow here, to become Yogis detaching themselves from material life. Not to be outdone are young and eager and highly accomplished Indian youth who give up every single pleasure conceivable in mortal life to become part of Isha Yoga. Isha, like any prospering institution or ideology, earned its fair share of critics. There were allegations that youth were getting brainwashed. My friends who have been at the center for Yoga training and meditation have always refuted this. The peace and the quiet (?!) and the Yogic nature allure some lost (or otherwise) souls to ascetic way of life for reasons known only to them. How can you mesmerize Americans and Australians and Germans and French all at the same time along with young Indian men and women.

Taking a rubber tube-tyred bullock cart ride, I struck up a conversation with an Australian couple in their fifties who said they were regulars in this part of the country every year. They seemed comfortable in Indian clothes and with Indian food and culture. Yoga and meditation lured them to India.

A mix of nationalities were meditating in varied locations in absolute silence through out the bustling center (which could be bordering on commercialization, but prevented from going that way evidently with great care). Under the trees. In the coves around Dhyana Linga, in the Chandrakund (women’s bath descending down broad stairs, with Mercury Linga at the center), in the Suryakund (stairwelled men’s bath with Mercury Lingam), lost to the outer world, existing in a transcendental hemisphere perhaps. Moving sight. Such a self-discipline is derivable only with an ‘inner calling’.  Mind control is the key, for living a hermit’s life is no cake walk. There can be no hypnosis or black magic involved here. Indian youth have left their promising careers and family wealth behind seeking the ‘truth’.

Unlike Abrahamic fold, Hindu Dharma does not believe in conversion. We have no Vatican/Mecca or Bible/Koran. Hinduism or Sanathana Dharma is Free Will. Gurus preach in India foremost that attracts many foreigners. The Beatles and why even Steve Jobs have been to India on their spiritual journey. Once you skim the poverty and deterioration over centuries, you may find what you have been searching for – as these men have done.

Gurus get popular once popular personalities and celebrities start following them. Fake Gurus exist undeniably. Gurus travel overseas because their international followers want them to. With no force or brainwashing or coercion or bribing, some seekers turn to Hindu Dharma for salvation (Nirvana in Sanskrit).

Shiva, the ultimate. When Shiva is here, why do we need a Jesus.

Do Hindu Gurus champion conversion campaigns? Malign others?

What still brings many around the world to Hindu Dharma and Buddhism on their own volition.

Isha Yoga Center to me seems one such an epicenter that draws followers from every corner of the globe. Its impact on native Hindus is remarkable. It is a coincidence that the resurgence of the Hindu Conscience has to happen at the same time. I have not much listened to Sadhguru’s lectures, but he comes across as a practical guru from what little I have gathered. I have followed him once online on his Kailash Manasarovar pilgrimage across Indo-China border in the Himalayas.  (Historically these regions belonged with India but China claimed them using aggression). Marvelous.

I do listen to Isha devotional in You Tube always. Nirvana Shatakam to others. Never miss their webcast of Shivrathri celebrations every February. Even Gurus have to evolve with changing times! I don’t find anything wrong with the Dancing Guru. The mysteries surrounding his personal life are immaterial to me. ‘Nadhi moolam, Rishi moolam’ – ignore! Wise counsel of our ancestors.

Isha Yoga center however has been in the eye of controversy for one more reason: for coming up in the Elephant corridor – in the elephant country where the elephants would climb down from the Nilgiris (the Blue Mountains (whose queen is the hill station Ooty), cross the valley and head to Kerala or wherever. I realized this immediately on setting my foot at Isha. It is impossible to miss. Despite all, my heart ached. ‘Isha is the elephant, is it not? Or rather the elephant is Isha?’ I asked aloud no one in particular. Why should it have to be here. Thousands of tree plantations seemed poor deal to me.

Shirking the painful thoughts, I focused on the huge monolith in front of me. The smiling Shiva in polished granite, with His chin tilted up, with His eyes half closed as if in trance, with the moon in His braids, with the snake around His neck. I clicked as many pictures of Him in all angles possible but nothing could capture Him in entirety I know. I made Him my screensaver with immediate effect. Ever since, I cannot put Him out of my mind. The profound impression He has made in my heart will be there forever in my life. The rugged tribal who descended from the Tibetan Himalaya is our Father. The Adi Yogi, the first Yogi in world history who gave India/Hindus the Yoga. Yoga is now universal gift. A gift that can never be matched or compared with any other. A gift like none other. The Adiyogi who dwelt in the cremation grounds, smeared in ash, anointing Himself with ash. A sect of His followers the  nude ‘Aghoris’ even today feed on corpses and live life the way He did in cremation/burial sites. Never feeding on another life. Even vegetarians feed on living and breathing trees and plants destroying future offsprings before they are born.

Today happens to be Aarudhra when we celebrate the Dancing form of Lord Shiva – the Nataraja. Shiva’s cosmic dance has stopped the world scientists in their tracks that they have Him installed at CERNE, Switzerland.  None has made the connection yet, but the scientific community now suspects of one between Lord Shiva and the creation of Earth. The You Tube is full of stories claiming Shiva is the extraterrestrial who brought life to our planet.  To average Hindu, nothing matters. Shiva is our forefather. Father. Shakthi, our Mother.

I have had darshan of Lord Shiva (in the form of Shiva Linga) in hundreds of temples in India and abroad. Lately, in Bali – in caves. Thousands of years of Shiva worship preceded Christianity or Islam. In Isha Yoga, I didn’t find my spirituality rekindled. To me, it was more cosmetic. May be it appealed to others, but not to me. However, the Adiyogi in my mind lingers day and night, refusing to go away.

I forgot the elephant corridor. Hopefully the Indian elephant herds will find a way around. Shiva will find one. The center has refused via legal channels that the Yoga ashram has cut across elephant country. Hopefully this is true. Even if not, the Adiyogi has made it worthwhile.

If anyone is hypnotized or mesmerized or brainwashed, the only one doing it to him/her could be Adiyogi Himself. A lone Mumbai backpacker clicked some pictures for me. In his 30s, he couldn’t pull himself away from Adiyogi. Must be climbing up the corporate ladder – from what I could size up of him.

Shiva will be there for India to eternity. This is His home. He will take care, I breathed in peace.

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PS: Wanted to include my friends’ opinion on Isha. They allege that the Christian ‘Karunya’ group of institutions have amassed landed estates (that were primarily agricultural and forest areas) in and around Coimbatore by whatever means but media make no mention of the same. Isha cornered as they are Hindu.

Spending a night in a Siruvani resort, taking a walk along the edges of forest reserve areas bordering cultivated farms and banana plantations, I couldn’t help noticing dried elephant dung heaps that were only two days old. The agricultural lands and estates were off limits to elephant herds, surrounded by electrified fences. Images of India’s wild elephants getting electrocuted, denied their passage flashed in my mind.  Man-elephant conflicts are increasingly getting frequent, with bulls raiding villages and barns, routing, trampling over plantations. Troubling images. I knew I was walking down the elephant corridor in elephant country and anytime I could come face to face with a wild tusker. Strangely for a very first time ever, I feared for the life of the gentle giant over mine.

Posted in Socio-Cultural

The Hindu Difference

Found on the dashboard of the tuk tuk I hired this morning (a very regular sight in India) :

Needless to say, the autowallah was Hindu. Glittering on his forehead was a bold Kumkum (vermilion) dot over dried sandal paste and Vibhuti (made of incensed wood ash). The picture was one good testimony to the so-called ‘Unity in Diversity’ we practise in India. Of harmony and peace.  Of tolerance and acceptance. Of equality and secularism and mutual respect. The only snag about the framed picture is, this is something that adorns only most Hindu/Hindu managed/run schools, hospitals, hotels, cabs, shops and business establishments. Something that can never be spotted in a christian or muslim institution of whatever kind. Apparently,  secularism and tolerance is one way street in India. Limited and advised and restricted to Hindus. The minorities of India viz., christians and muslims are exempted by all means and secularism loosely translates to ‘majority bashing’ in this nation.

Striking up a conversation with the autowallah, I came to hearing him narrate a story that explained the difference between the Sanathana Dharma (universal faith or Hinduism) and the Abrahamic folds that originated in Middle East (Christianity and Islam).

A ‘sadhu’ watched a scorpion drowning in a pond. He quickly pulled it out of water when he got stung by the poisonous creature. He let out a wail in pain and in the hand movement, the scorpion slipped back into the pond. Unfettered, the sadhu once again took the scorpion out of the pond only to get stung once more by the vicious one. A bystander walked upto the sadhu and asked him, why knowing the scorpion would sting the sadhu decided to take it out of water. Why couldn’t he let it drown.

The sadhu replied that, stinging the hand that saved (or fed) it was scorpion’s DNA. Saving its life still was his human nature knowing and expecting the pain of the sting and venom.

The simple autowallah explained to me how noble Hindu dharma is. We Hindus historically took the pain and miserable suffering in our stride refusing to retaliate even in self-defence. It is only in last few years, you see the Hindu resurgence. Even now we are only in the defensive. The Hindu is sick of being trampled upon and terrorized and betrayed and taken for a ride. The dormant, complacent Hindu is waking up to bitter reality. Unlike the sadhu of the story, the Hindu has no further options to save himself. If he does not strike back, he may have to face extinction.

I told the autowallah, that was super. ‘So I hope you won’t convert if bribed or coerced or terrorized?’ I asked him hopefully. ‘Nope’ he assured me, ‘M’am I know the Abrahamics are predatory but I can take care of myself.’ I need not have worried. The young man came across as a wise and strong individual. ‘If even the Hindus and Buddhists have to rally to protect themselves today, it means the end of the world is nearing’ I told him. He nodded his head in affirmation. ‘I feel good seeing this picture in your three wheeler but I know i will never see it in a christian/muslim cab.’ ‘Sad reality’ he agreed, ‘we Hindus are always the givers and the others are always the takers. Finally there comes a breaking point. This cannot go on forever. When there is no mutual reciprocation, balance will have to be restored. Things have to be set right.’

I bid a happy good bye to the fellow as I alighted from his rocking auto (not a comfortable ride really). My Puja already has a sealed copper urn of Ganga jal (holy water from river Ganga) sitting aside Zam Zam from Mecca that came from an Arab friend. Couldn’t refuse such a gift when it was offered without asking. I thought it was a sign and put it in my Puja. That must have been over ten years back. In spite of criticizing Islam and muslims and Christianity and christians, I cannot bring myself to show disrespect or disparity to Zam Zam treating it any different. I revere both the holy waters in my Puja. The Hindu in me would not allow anything less than that. In every cathedral I came across in Europe and Georgia, neither could I stop myself from saying a prayer to Christ. I asked for His pardon for deriding the faith that He founded. He must guess as to what drives passive Hindus like me to take on our adversaries headlong. Of course, I also asked Jesus to stop Vatican from converting Hindus and other natives forthwith!