Posted in Pictures Foreign

Review: Sea Beast

Emotional watching ‘Sea Beast’ on Netflix. Animated film, loved every minute of it being a wildlife lover whether terrestrial or oceanic. Happened to visit the Sea world in Orlando where they claimed to be undertaking some rehabilitation work. Still I wasn’t comfortable, neither was my son who thought the sea creatures just did not belong in there. Most of us must have been to the Dophin shows and/or Sea Lion shows some time or other. Regret it now. Ashamed. We are all in a way encouraging netting of these sea beasts and in confining them to big water tanks. At the end of the day, an aquarium is nothing more than a imprisoning cage. Both the dolphins and sea lions have a very high IQ, close to that of humans, that gets us excited. We try to make them our pets just like we trap elephant calves in India for domestication. Zoos and aquaria must exist only for conservation purposes and for breeding of exotic and endangered species, not for our entertainment.

After watching a couple of pictures of Whale hunting and Orcas, this one made more sense to me. Particularly the innards of the Red Bluster where Jacob and Maisie walk into. Rang a bell as I was sorely reminded of the whale oil expeditions when schools in thousands were speared to bleed to death from the Atlantic to the Pacific all the way down from Latin America to Australia. The shark whale oil is what lit up the world for centuries. Even today we have the cod liver oil (capsules) for essential nutritional supplement. Wonder ever how and when that came to be. You got to watch the picture ‘the heart of the sea’ with NO edits.

The Sea Beast is a charming fairytale like story with the little orphan girl who loses her parents to monster hunting in Monarch, an older expedition, sneaks into the hunter’s ship drafted for the sea. Jacob the renowned hunter is not amused and he is poised to succeed the captain who follows a lineage of famed hunters. When the bluster goes for the ship, the girl and the hunter get thrown together when they forge an unusual friendship. The red bluster herself completes the trio of curious friends. In a very sweet twist of imagination, the bluster and Jacob and Maisie along with a blue little sea squid (am not sure) see some sunny days before the bluster sails them to the Rum Pepper island, kind of reconnaissance port for the men of the sea. Here the imperial fighter that voyaged into the sea to compete in the hunt with its admiral captaining the vessel, is done to dust by the red bluster. The bluster is then captured by the captain of the Inevitable, the seasoned and legendary hunter galleon. Poisoned, the bluster is hauled to the kingdom before the royals with the subjects assembled to greet the hunters returning with trophy. Maisie helps free the red bluster with Jacob and educate the crowds of how it is all wrong. She pleads with the king and the queen and the masses and the soldiers to STOP the war of centuries with the sea monsters. Red bluster returns to the sea as the kingdom promises to STOP monster hunting forthwith.

A must watch for wildlife lovers. Superb animation from Disney. Some punch dialogues like ‘you may be a hero but you may still be wrong.’ The transformation of human psyche from hunter to conservationist is natural and convincing. Even an animated film showing the graveyard of the sea monsters with killer spears stuck in their decaying humps and skeletal cages in the deep fathoms of the ocean and the oceanic floor can give you a rude shock. Very much alike the elephant graveyard in the Lion king, another and first fave animation pic of mine. Years back, the elephant graveyard I read about in one of Wilbur Smith’s. So much humanlike. Missing watching this lovely flick with my family who are great wildlife and nature lovers.

Posted in Food For Soul

Sheep Mentality.

Re-blogged from my old post with edits.

You know nothing about God if you are going to refer to God as ‘Him, him, him.’ For me it is She, Her, first and foremost. Or both Him and Her. He is nothing without Her.

Secondly, who told you God can only come from Israel or ARabia. My Gods came from the Himalayas.

Who says God must be only Arab or Caucasian. My god is INDIAN. BROWN. My gene. My DNA. Well, well. are we not having the Black Jesus now!

Who says God must have spoken Arab or Hebrew or Latin. My god spoke only Sanskrit and Tamil.

Who says Idol worship is not to be. If idol worship is not to be, why not rip your national flag to pieces. Why have a holy book and why the hue and cry when it is desecrated. Anything symbolic is idol – not just a sculpture, is it not. A number is idol. A book is idol. A bead is idol. Even a wall hanging or tapestry of your holy place is idol. A sculpted idol is as symbolic to a faith as the national flag is to a nation. No fool believes the idol is God. An idol is point of focus. If you can decipher this simplest basic truth, you won’t be berating idolatry.

Who says rituals are not fine. If you rule out rituals, then your religion will become violent. Are we not seeing this? Rituals are escapism and iron out the rigidity of a rigorous religion.

Why should you want to convert anyone. No Hindu ever tried to convert or conquer because we believed we were good. We don’t want to expand.

Who says there is a heaven or hell. There are conversion lobbies in both Christianity and Islam. But those who convert to Hindu Dharma convert because they understand the Hindu philosophy of God that can be attained only through a super consciousness. The ant and the boot story that I have written a lot about in my old posts. Your religion is what you see as an ant in front of the imposing boot of a tall man who is a miniscule in this world among the galaxies. That ant brain cannot think much more than that. If it tries, the ant brain will explode. But there are some ant brains that can break through the roof with meditation and reach higher realms of conscience. That is what God is. The Christ or Prophet or Buddha or Vivekananda or even Sai Baba or Ramana Maharishi all could do that. The sufi saints probably mastered the technique. The only other way you can crack the iron shell of your limited conscience is when our soul leaves our body or the temporary abode. Why do you think many in the west are embracing Buddhism and Hinduism on their own accord. Only because finally they understand that Dharma is not what they find in the Hindu temples or idols. This is for beginners. Like the base of the pyramid. Dharma is self realization or higher spiritual conscience that is possible only when you can break through the jinx still being the ant. When the ant in you can look beyond the boot, at the imposing man, at the sky, at the galaxy with a literal brainstorming, beyond its limited mental faculties, the ant becomes the so-called ‘Enlightened soul’ as per Hindu and Buddhist faiths. Like physical training, this can happen only with mental training: when you exercise your brains, with meditation. Transcendental meditation. (Yoga is an effective tool that can help you achieve such a physical-mental discipline).

The Enlightenment concept itself is originally Buddhist-Hindu. It literally means REALIZATION. You realize in your limited human faculties, something that cannot be imagined/realized otherwise.

What do you think Avatar is all about? Its nothing but such a Hindu philosophy. I am comfortable with my friends debating that perhaps Shiva is that alien who we can realize only with such a super conscience. Its a relief to know that a majority of Hindus believe that Shiva is a visitor to Earth. From a better evolved galaxy. Whose one whole day could be our one century. Like the life of an ant is just a few minutes of the lifespan of the imposing man whose boot the ant is staring at having no clue. This is what Hinduism is all about. Can you guys ever think the way a Hindu can. Nobody confines Shiva to mere Shiv Ling. This must be an eyeopener to critics of idol worship. Because, you don’t subscribe to idol worship, you say nobody can even draw your god or even your prophet because God is formless, ageless, but you have no issues assuming God is male or God could come only from your Arabia. Did God tell you He is arabic and that he is male. Only arabic and only male, to be precise? Well, mine most certainly IS NOT ARABIC, NOT ENTIRELY MALE. In fact She is half of Him who came down the Kailash.

How many islamists will have the open mind to think like a Hindu. Unlimited possibilities and permutations and combinations. It is irritating to see God reduced to a son of God, self-styled prophet, middle east and a self-authored rigid code book. These are not definitions of God. This is debilitating, very confining, restrictive.

The British/west understood the essence of the eastern faiths which is why the churches are collapsing. Not a single middle eastern religion could crack what the ancient eastern faiths could. Even today, the buddhist monks in Thailand or Tibet can leave their bodies at their whim to blend with the super consciousness. When the British realized the superiority of eastern faiths, they made mountain out of the molehill called idol worship trying to cover up the aura of the super consciousness or the concept of God as we know in India.

I am not a theologian but Hindu faith encourages all schools of thought. To a Hindu, only the super consciousness is God. Attainable only by your mind. Until your brain can break the chaining shackles and promote itself from the ant’s bodyframe to reach the upper echelons of conscience, you will be reborn in multiple janams – even a 1000 or more if it takes to. One fine day you can hit the jackpot with your ant-sized brain cracking it. Or perhaps human size, which is still easily said than done. And then you become the part of the superconsciousness. You merge with the Jyothi (light). You become one tiny constituting cell of the collective consciousness called God. Tree of life. The spirit tree as you see in Avatar. And then you will know that God is both He and She, that God lives both in Arabia and Himalaya and speaks Arabic, Latin and Sanskrit. That God is black, white, brown, yellow. And of course, that God never sent His son or Prophet because She had none! Only a few Gurus who worked it out right can train you with discipline how to attain that super consciousness when still alive in this body, in this janam. One of those gurus could be that son of god or prophet. As simple as that.

Posted in Pictures Desi

Rocketry: the Nambi Effect

I have watched as many live launches of IRSO satellites over years. Watching Chandrayaan-I, India’s first successful lunar mission, live with my school going son on tv was awesome. As the trajectory is traced, how many millions of Indians would have their hearts in their mouth waiting with bated breath for the satellites/SLV to break through the atmosphere shedding stages and join the predetermined orbit in the space. Most of these launches would have textbook precision. I may not be a scientist but visiting NASA in Florida and seeing Elon Musk’s Space X and touching the moonrock with my very hands are some of the most cherished moments of my life. More memories made at Air and space museums in Virginia. Humbled. How brilliant is the human brain. And how inconsequential is my own existence!

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

After watching Irrfan Khan investigate the Arushi murder case in the picture ‘Talwar’ establishing the truth, do we even need to be convinced of ISRO scientist Shri Nambi Narayanan’s innocence in the hastily filed spy case. How easily facts can be misconstrued and the media can ignite passions to mislead the public is very well illustrated in the tight and convincing script of Talwar. Its a must watch and it shakes the hell out of you. And it is not just story-screenplay-dialogue but is the very dissection of a criminal case step by step reconstructing the events and going by every single evidence and fact until the truth reveals itself. A clear cut scientific process. Irresponsibility when discharging their duties on part of those who held the office resulted in the innocent facing humiliation and punishment. Well, are those government officials and police personnel even sacked? Tried by the media and the masses, very quickly the doctor couple get judged. What an indescribable unquantifiable damage is done. Something like Arushi’s (bereaved) parents getting accused of murdering their only child and darling daughter should not happen to any Indian citizen. Dr Nambi Narayanan’s case is very similar, only the circumstances are different.

As far as I am concerned, there is this basic fact that clears the renowned scientist from the charges right in the first instance, that he should not even have come under the cloud of suspicion: nobody who foregoes a lucrative career at NASA on graduating from Princeton, to return to work for Indian salary can be capable of espionage against the country. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this very simple logic (pun intended). Are these guys crazy. Kerala is perfectly capable of forging fake cases given the communist and Hindu minority state it is. Most Keralites happen to think they are Arabs when all that they are doing is applying bootpolish to the sheikhs.

As the scientist himself avers in the close of the picture, who is really behind the plot needs to be exposed to the world. Well, we get an idea. Like in Arushi’s case, minor slips and very feeble alibis lead to wrongful incarceration of the innocent when the guilty flee the net. It is pretty clear whose handiwork is the framing of the top ISRO scientist, aimed at setting India back by decades in space sciences. After all how many Indian scientists have died under unnatural and mysterious circumstances from 1947. Homi Bhabha of atomic research conveniently died in plane crash. Vikram Sarabhai of ISRO was found dead. And the list is getting long with every following year.

Yet India became the first country in the world to taste success in maiden attempt in Mars mission over the US or China. ISRO went on to produce and launch cyrogenic engines to fuel our rockets. There are ups and downs in India’s cyrogenic journey but its the nation’s pride that the engine is desi. India went on to succeed in lunar missions and ISRO now is a global player when it comes to commercial leg of space technology earning the nation billions of dollars from international clients launching hundreds of satellites into the space.

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/tech-denied-isro-built-cryo-engine-on-its-own-4690709/

Justice delayed is justice denied true. But this story needs to be told. I won’t say Rocketry is a great picture but it serves the purpose of educating the ordinary Indian about how we betrayed a top scientist of India shamelessly and heartlessly. Every single Indian citizen needs to hang his/her head in shame for the horrible treatment meted out to this not only brilliant but also patriotic scientist. What the family must have gone through. Corrupt Indian politicians are stashing billions and billions in Swiss accounts but go scotfree while the brainiest and honest among us have to suffer for no fault of ours. Direction is by Madhavan. I won’t say Rocketry is a well made or entertaining flick, but as I said, it does the job.

Royal salute to the scientific community of India and to Shri Nambi Narayanan in particular. Not everyone can be bought over by the greed for money. Such a strong unflinching character. And the strings he pulls. What a single minded determination. The technical mumbo jumbo is hardly a deterrent as mostly the space lingo is understandable, broken down to layman level. Not only falsely implicated but also tortured in custody for a forced confession, the iron willpower of Nambi is admirable. On the supreme court clearing his name, the scientist is honoured with one of the nation’s top civilian awards which is a small consolation.

Vikas is indigenous and matchless rocket engine made in India! Proud of Vikas that has helped launch hundreds of desi/international satellites into space. Interesting referral to ex president late Abdul Kalam ji who was the missile man of India. In his initial years, Kalam, Vikram Sarabhai and Nambi Narayana seem to have done a great spade work for India in the space sciences. Kudos! What a dream team. ISRO did no wonder get a headstart! From transported on bicycles to functioning in a Kerala church to Mars mission and Brahmos, India has come a long, long way!

I would like to close the post wishing Shri Nambi Narayanan good health and peace. He deserves much, much more. Hearty wishes to his devoted family who stood by him in his hour of need.

ISRO is the dream of a billion Indians. You guys make us very proud. Thank you so much the real heroes of India! We the aam aadmi stand with you shoulder to shoulder.

Posted in Food For Soul

The Joy Of Giving.

Today one more dot connected me to my mother. We the club ladies, as part of our yearly projects, gave a cheque to a partially blind couple who are on a mission: in their limited capacity, they have rented two flats that they have turned into a hostel for blind girls from outstation who have arrived in the city to attend schools and colleges. Their magnanimity touches the very core of my being. The poorest, humblest among us have the biggest heart. Out of the fifteen girls they are sponsoring or aiding with food, residence, clothes, travel expenses, education fees, books etc., I found that two of the girls attend my mother’s school – I mean the school for the deaf and the dumb that my mother taught at until the last day of her life. Its forty years exactly since she left. I am no stranger to the blind section of her school where the Thamizh picture ‘Raja Paarvai’ starring Kamal Hassan and Madhavi was filmed in the year 1981. Until 1982, disability was part and parcel of my life. We sisters routinely went to our mother’s catholic convent to attend sports day to annual day. We were there for vacations and when my mother would go there for paper corrections during term holidays. We lit candles in the chapel for Christmas or whenever we went there. There are memories of blind children competing in sack race, running race, lemon and spoon etc. I think I have blogged a lot on this. I wonder what message my mother wants to pass on to me now: i have had three consecutive signs in matter of months that I WILL NOT dismiss as coincidence. I didn’t know that the trust was for the blind girls because I hadn’t browsed our group posts with attention. I don’t want to share the photos I clicked with the girls as I want to protect the privacy of the teenagers who are already at a disadvantage having no eye sight. It felt good interacting with them and with their caretakers. I was almost on the verge of tears. One of the ladies is sending them sanitary napkins every month: now that is rare sensitivity. Normally a selfie person, if there is one place I would rather not, it is when we are helping someone. I hate those pictures but the club is insistent on them. With banners and all. I wish we women spend more time chatting up the beneficiaries trying to know them better. The pleasure was ours not theirs. Which is why whatever I do, I do private and don’t always go through organizations.

This was my very first field visit for a project. In fact second after the one to a home for the aged. Today we had it back to back. Years ago I have visited a hospice that housed destitute women. Government partially funds these managements. The rest they source from sponsors/private benefactors. Of course, this one was run by a Christian charity. If I may: how many Hindus have it in them to engage themselves in selfless service. This is monumental and committed work. Incidentally, my mother’s institution was one of a kind and the very first in the city in those times although now we have many more.

One of the discoveries I have made is that, these charities are finding it difficult to run their day to day affairs. Food sponsors sometimes send hotel food that would not agree with the aged inmates’ health. Clothes are well taken care of. There are those like rentals, staff salary, bills to be paid, medical treatment, hospitalization expenses etc., that cannot be met with the trust funds. The needs are varied and not always rice and lentils. Senior citizens for instance may be waiting for their turn of cataract surgery.

Arriving well before time, I could spend some valuable time with aged abandoned women who had been brought to the home by the police. With no family to go back to, the women said they were fortunate to have found a home away from home. They had great company and good Samaritans took care of them! The blind girls can’t wait to graduate and make it on their own. I guess finally I found the one true positive vibe that sounded meaningful and made real sense.

The blind girls use Whatsapp effectively. They’ re keeping abreast with technology and are very well informed. Got a polite reminder that normal people like us never go through settings that enable non visual posts to be read by the blind. Pleasantly surprised to see the Braille in the reverse of their visiting card. For the first time in my life, I also got to touch and see the actual Braille text books – huge, huge volumes of them. I do intend to go back.

My intention is not to advertise but to merely show what an unfair world we live in. I feel subdued after this evening. I did go for shopping on my return but not without a guilty feeling. I couldn’t dismiss the girls out of my mind. I am satisfied I spent some quality time today with two different age group ladies: one too senior and sick; second lot young and raring to go inspite of their disability. Humbling experience.

It only takes a moment or less for our world to turn upside down. One heart attack. One diagnosis. One phone call. One accident. So what are we waiting for.

Yet another connecting dot to my mother. This was her world. She lived their life. She lived among them. With them. She was a different woman with kindest heart. I am proud she was my mother even if I hardly knew her.

Posted in Food For Soul

Elegance Is Character.

If you think elegance has got anything to do with clothes and manners and table etiquettes you cannot be further wrong. Elegance is not in the modulated tone of your voice and in the way you sashay. Elegance is more than skin deep. Elegance has nothing to do with your breeding or social status. Elegance is character: solid character.

Elegance is in love when love has integrity.

Elegance is kindness.

Elegance is neutrality.

Elegance never gets corrupted.

Understated elegance is when you don’t overdress to steal the spotlight from your host.

Elegance is when you underplay your self-importance.

Elegance is not attention seeking.

Elegance is modesty not flashy.

Elegance is empathy when you don’t suffuse the atmosphere with your toxic positivity.

Elegance is the joy of giving: your left hand knowing not the right hand giving away

Elegance is responsibility and justice.

Elegance is rationality

Elegance is DECENCY.

Elegance is self-love NOT narcissism.

Elegance is humility.

Elegance is authenticity not fake.

Elegance is the dignity of the soul.

Elegance prerequisites standards. Elegance enforces boundaries.

Elegance must not stop you from screaming your heart out for right reasons. Elegance should not have you putting up with emotional abuse. Elegance is NO NONSENSE. Elegance must let you ask for help if the situation demands. Elegance is honesty.

There is no elegance is selling your soul.

Elegance is the way things are. Natural. In their element. No over projection. Just the way it must be. Elegance is character that you cannot dismiss. Elegance is 24 carat gold.

Posted in Food For Soul

Toxic Positivity

It is next to impossible to stay upbeat all the time. If someone says he/she stays positive for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 30 days a month, 365 days an year, then it must be toxic positivity that is the subject matter. Nothing else makes sense. Toxic positivity has the nature of dismissing cautious optimism as negativity while overplaying a false optimism. Negativity at its worst can be discouragement but toxic positivity can be seriously damaging.

Toxic positivity is not only a state of denial but is also a blatant negation of others’ emotional experiences. That makes it selfish and heartless.

We all carry our baggage. Happiness by itself is a relative term. You can make a child orphaned at five years relatively happy as he grows up from the state of mind he was in when trauma struck. But you cannot take his past away. The scars will remain for a lifetime even if the wound may heal. Sometimes memories are all we are left with to make a precious connection. Empaths can slip into the shoes of the little boy. To toxic positive men/women, undermining and invalidating the latent grief in the boy will come natural. The boy may grow up to be a cheerful man with a healthy body and mind yet retain something from his traumatic past.

It is possible that some of us are toxic positive about ourselves. In that case, we are not doing ourselves any good. False hope can be toxic positivity.

Toxic positivity is deliberate underplaying of others’ legitimate emotional claims. It is belittling of someone’s authentic experiences in an attempt to make them feel less sure about themselves. Victims of toxic positive abuse may end up questioning their sanity and inferences that would be perfectly rational. One could have their confidence shaken and will broken. To put it in a capsule, toxic positivity is misplaced control.

Toxic positivity is emotional abuse. It is false reassurance when it is directed at oneself. It is important to identify the patterns of toxic positivity in friends and stay away.

Posted in Political

Why Is The BJP Winning.

Tamil Nadu Vs Gujarat

DMK vs BJP

Dravidian vs Aryan

Secular vs Hindu

Income generated from liquor business vs Zero income from liquor industry

Corruption vs Clean State

Shamelessness vs Pride

Irresponsibility Vs Growth and Accountability

Desh drohis vs Patriots

Tamil Nadu government reportedly earns roughly thirty eight thousand crores of rupees per annum from liquor industry. In fact it is a major revenue generator for the state. Instead of administration, our government glosses over brewing liquor and bottling and marketing the brand through TASMAC all across the state. You find the outlets even in posh malls of the city these days. No prizes for guessing who owns the breweries and the bottling plants: the same two or three political families who also own tv channels for propaganda mission that act as canvassing vehicles during election times. Again no prizes for guessing who will get licences for the TASMAC shops. The same old political cronies who will also be allotted prime housing plots and engineering college licences for licking the boot of the ministers. Welcome to Tamil Nadu the Dravida stronghold.

You have to see Chennai on friday evenings and saturday evenings. Queues in TASMAC disrupt traffic. The weekly wages of the poorest blue collar workers are completely and heartlessly sucked by the TASMAC. Have you heard of any other state or central government in the world that is engaging in liquor business. One level up: now TASMAC takes online orders and delivers at your doorstep.

Compare this to Modi’s Gujarat that at least legally earns zero income from liquor business. No liquor shops in Gandhi’s homestate since 1947. No breweries. No bottling plants. Contraband may flourish but the state’s coffers are not filled with liquor revenues. So Gujarat is one state in India where progress is not at the cost of the state population. When Gujarat can make it to the top as a dry state, why cannot rest of India.

Another big money spinner for Tamil Nadu is the Hindu Religious and Charitable board that has taken over most of the state temples for administration.

Tamil Nadu govt lays hands on hundreds of crores of rupees in Hindu temple funds to finance non Hindu causes and for running government. Boasting that they are atheists (who would anyway break fast during Ramzan with muslims and cut cakes for Christmas with christians) , why should they so desperately seek the Hindu temple funds. Such a monumental shame. Where is all this money going: Money from TASMAC that they wanted to close when Jayalalitha was our chief minister. Plus money plundered from Hindu temples. Do they have the honesty or guts to touch the church money or masjid money. Their heads will be rolling in dust should they attempt. COWARDS.

I can cite an individual case here. Earlier, FDs were made out in individual temple trust names from the collections thereof that went to Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable board. Now the present government has allegedly ordered the temples to make out the FDs in the board’s names so that the temples cannot even claim their lawful collections.

From real estate to film production suddenly the political mafia is everywhere.

Why is the center unable to act against these daylight robbers.

The property taxes in the state have been hiked cent percent. For what. You see heaps of garbage everywhere remaining uncleared. Swachch Bharat kept Tamil Nadu tidy. Whose brainchild was that.

The lower middle class who voted for the DMK are feeling the pinch. Let them. When you sell your vote for money, you have to pay through your teeth for the entire term, which is what they are now doing.

Posted in Drops Of Life

Fragrance Of Memories.

I have decided to add my personal stories in a section here. Most of them are like miracles. Whatever could be grand coincidence I have decided to share here.

Today such a thing happened.

I was buying flowers from a street vendor in Mylapore. I got the three greatest and sweet smelling flowers for my Puja (friday Diya puja) Marugozhundhu, Manoranjitham and Shenbhagam that form the base for many perfumes. Today the woman who sold the flowers said she knew me. I was surprised. She asked me whether I lived in Adam street, Mylapore. I said I could be familiar because I frequented Mylapore my birth place and mother’s home. Of course I grew up in Mylapore.

Then the woman conclusively told me, ‘your paalkaara aayaah was my aayaah. for years she worked for your family. you were young. i used to come to your house with her. you are two sisters. you lost your mother early.’ The woman also called me by name and mentioned our family name – how we are referred to in our community. I was stunned. Then the face slowly became familiar to me. Not familiar actually. I could make a quaint or faint connection that’s all. I remembered the very old lady who fetched milk for us every morning. She had a hunched back. I was too young but her daughter Sokkamma with a polio leg was our housemaid before Kanniamma joined us. Sokkamma was the flower woman’s aunt. I went to Sokkamma’s marriage also somewhere near Tambaram with my parents. My parents got two of our housemaids married. The flower woman said her name was Mahalakshmi. She told me my grandma gave Sokkamma a gold chain for her marriage. Sokkamma’s husband was an alcoholic. She died soon leaving behind a daughter. That daughter Thilaka is now married and well settled. My mother and my grandma used to feel bad for her fate. They were only our house servants but my family deeply cared for them. Mahalakshmi said, that gold chain was with their family for a long time and it helped Sokkamma’s daughter when getting married. I was stunned by the flower seller’s memory. I was also moved to hear about my mother’s and my grandmother’s kind gesture. After Sokkamma, a girl called Kanniamma worked for us. My mother got her married too. In fact she named her daughter, the eldest born, after my mother.

My mother taught hearing and speech impaired middle school girls until the last day of her life. She had a kind of empathy for the lesser fortunate which was unheard of in those days. She was neutral and unbiased. She was far ahead of her times in many ways.

Today is my mother’s 14th death anniversary as per English calendar. I recall this only now and somehow forgot to get it when I was with the flower woman. My mother reaches to me directly. Nobody will believe if I say this. My Mother Goddess reaches to me in a way too that I cannot describe.

Now the time is 11 pm. My mother passed away around 10.30 on July 14, 1982. I observed the thidhi as per Hindu/Thamizh calendar. My sister observed it as per English date today.

Why should of all the days, months and years, I have to meet someone from my past who recalled my mother and grandmother today of all days. Exact day. I have been buying flowers in Mylapore for years and years. Not once have I met this woman before. Never have our paths crossed in 45 plus years. Mahalakshmi said she is 59. Look at her flowers. Her recalling of my name is unbelievable.

An Ambal upasakar told me that my mother did not have rebirth. Today’s incidence is surprisingly having a calming effect on me. Nowadays vibes are getting replaced with a peace in my case. For years I have received strong vibes in waves. Of late as I get older, I have an understanding in my heart that’s all.

This is the second time in a matter of three months, my mother has reached out to me. I don’t even know her really. I am learning more of her through third parties.

My mother was a flower girl who filled our terrace with potted plants such as roses, jasmine, hibiscus. december, kanakambaram, saamandhi etc., that we had no space to walk. Very interested in gardening, she would frequent the Horticulture society that was in Gemini, where she would board her bus back from school. We also bought so much of flowers everyday from street vendors. Roses especially. In the house that my parents built (which is perpetually leased out), my mother planted seven Ceylon (red) coconut trees, mango tree, curry leaf tree etc., and roses and hibiscuses.

My mother helped at least two poorest girls get married when they had nothing. In return Karma saw to that we two daughters married well in her absence.

Years after someone is gone, this is what stays behind. Our good Karma. Thank you so much for reaching out to me Amma. You just told me you are there always for us.

Posted in Political

Sri Lanka: A Replay Of Ramayana?

The videos of ruling party members’ homes and sedans going up in flames and the masses indulging in vandalism and looting in the Rajapakse palace taking to the swimming pool in a finishing touch, are very disturbing. Contrary to feeling victorious, me a Tamil who is supposed to rejoice at these happenings, find myself immensely pained by the developments in Sri Lanka. Vengeance is best served cold, they say. The island nation at the foot of the Indian peninsula met up with its Karma finally but that hardly makes us Indians happy. The unruly mobs and the shattered economy and the breaking up of law and order are a grim reminder as to how easily we as society can degenerate into uncivilized uncouth brutes wrecking havoc in course of destruction. I am someone who never appreciated reading from ‘Sundara Kanda’ of Ramayana, about Hanuman destroying even the Ashoka Vana or the ‘vanara’ (apes) uprooting trees in Kishkintha in celebration of victory. And Sri Lanka is so closely related to us not merely geographically but also culturally. What a replay of scenes from the very Ramayana! It is like the monkey kingdom having a free run with the wily king ousted. The Rajapakses may seek asylum in India but that is the last controversy India may seek. The common man in Lanka is suffering without food, medicine, school and transport. In short, Sri Lanka has just collapsed at every front: economically, militarily and politically. He/she need not have to a Tamil. Whether Tamils or Sinhalese, they are all Lankans. This is the worst time in history for both of the ethnic races. Sri Lanka did not suffer such a cruel fate even when there reigned Tamil militancy. The current crisis is not wrought in by the Tamils. It might not be easy to cleave out of the mess they are in today, and I am no political pundit to predict how this can ever be done either. China of course is the one prime reason or the only reason Sri Lanka is finding itself in dire straits today. Add up corruption and you get the picture. And these are Buddhists and Buddhists are known for their principle of renouncing worldly interests. With Sri Lanka and Burma, we have the rare scenario of the Buddhist governments growing greedy and bringing tragedy to their own people. The complexities that we now find in Sri Lanka can make for a good case study and should serve as a warning for other nations stretching it too far. Even for India, this is like an alarm bell to keep things rolling. Keeping my fingers crossed and watching out for Sri Lanka. Haven’t been there strangely but we do have a connection with Lanka.

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There is a legend about the Sri Ranganatha temple gopuram (tower) in Sri Rangam and Sri Lanka. For centuries the gopuram remained unbuilt because it was believed that Lord Vishnu in his sayana (lying) position was looking at Sri Lanka straight. If the gopuram would be built, then His protective vision will be blocked and Sri Lanka will burn (because of curse heaped on Ravana). But ex Tamil Nadu chief minister M G Ramachandran (MGR) completed the tower and got it inaugurated by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Within an year, MGR, Gandhi and the Sri Rangam (mutt) jeeyar all were no more. There was never long last peace in Sri Lanka after that. Successful Sri Lankan governments have been carrying out many ‘shanthi’ pujas to appease the Hindu gods because the islanders believe in the Hindu legend as they are part of our cultural history.

Posted in Political

A Hindu Rashtra Where Every Citizen Is Equal

World can do with a single Hindu nation, no doubt. After all there are dozens of Islamic and Christian nations and even a Jewish one. There are Buddhist countries. It is of course sad that Nepal which was the only Hindu realm in the world has gone communist. India, where the world’s most ancient faith – the one and only unorganized religion the universe has ever had – has every right to proclaim Herself a Hindu Rashtra. India is the cradle of human civilization. Hindu dharma was born here and began flourishing right in our soil. Hindus are not warriors by race and have no significant history of invading others or enforcing their culture by sword as it has happened with the Abrahamic fold. India will be doing the world a favour by promoting soft power that is Hindu philosophy. We are not seeking a Hindu nation in Africa or America or Australia or Arabia or Europe. We are seeking a Hindu nation right here in India that we did not even seek during 1947 partition.

With strict enforcement of certain fundamentals of course, India can be Hindu desh by constitution. NO SPECIAL RIGHTS OR PRIVILEGES TO HINDUS ON BASIS OF BIRTH OR CONVERSION. EVERY INDIAN CITIZEN MUST BE ON EQUAL FOOTING BE HIM/HER A HINDU OR CHRISTIAN OR SIKH OR MUSLIM. The soul of India is eternally Hindu, no doubt about that. Even so, there are some disturbing posts in social media such as this one:

However I wouldn’t go by the vote count. After all, this is just limited to the world of Twitterati. Like exit polls that hardly predict exact election results, this post can be nothing more than the standard deviation, the variation we inevitably sample from a whole lot. Hopefully. This is a dangerous trend. It makes me wonder whether even aspiring for a Hindu rashtra is dangerous business. I guess it is unfair to expect India to stay neutral and secular when our minorities will stay opposed to family planning citing religious reasons, will refuse to come under the umbrella of one single common statute for all Indians irrespective of faith, etc. So when you expect to be governed as per your faith, it gives rest of Indians a sense of insecurity. Widespread missionary activity sponsored by foreign church and propagated by local evangelists is another reason why Hindus want to go for a constitutionally Hindu nation. In which case I would still want every Indian citizen to enjoy equal fundamental rights.

FREEWILL CANNOT BE THE PREROGATIVE OF ONLY THE SECULAR AND DEMOCRATIC STATES. FREEWILL MUST PREVAIL UNIVERSAL INCLUDING AND ESPECIALLY IN THE ISLAMIC BLOCK WHERE CONVERSION MAFIA MUST BE GRANTED A LICENCE TO PREACH AND PROPAGATE OTHERS WAYS OF LIFE. UNLESS AND UNTIL THAT CAN HAPPEN, THERE IS NO POINT IN SERMONIZING ON EQUALITY AND UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD. India and America and Europe allow and practise such a freewill. When reciprocation is denied, expect the curtailment of freewill in some pockets. Why cannot there be a Hindu banking in Pakistan or Saudi for instance if we have to have Islamic banking in India.

As a Hindu nation,

  • India can deem christian conversion mafia illegal and punishable by law.
  • Enforce strict family planning for muslims
  • Maintain Hindu majority 80: 20 versus others/non-Hindus. India’s democracy is dependent on India’s demography. Now that is the golden rule.
  • Remove the word ‘secular’ from our constitution in the first place. It was after all inserted by ex PM Indira Gandhi in 1976
  • Stringent action against any Hindu who may provoke/assault non Hindus safeguarding minority rights and restoring in them a sense of security.
  • No special concession for Hindus. All citizens to enjoy equal fundamental rights.
  • Unfavourable support to Hindus will prove to be counter productive. It will dilute our quality and promote mediocrity and substandard. If Hindus have to survive, we have to cultivate a competitive spirit. The moment you eye concessions, your edge is gone. Meritorious must win. Even in our neighbouring country sometimes they let the best brains to prevail irrespective of their religious orientation.

Some of us have our children living in foreign countries. I wouldn’t rule a backlash!

Secular democracies are like joint bank accounts from who anyone and everyone can draw out indiscriminately. India is a classic case. But Islamic nations are private accounts and fixed deposits that none can touch. Tell me then why we must have joint accounts in that case. Why can’t the Hindu account become a fixed deposit, recurring deposit, private account locked for years, with zero withdrawal option! Just a thought to illustrate, what is expected unfairly of secular nations like India.

India can continue to remain a secular democracy when all Islamic nations in the world also constitutionally become secular democracies with their royalties suspended. Now that is fair game.