Posted in Food For Soul

Shani Shingnapur

Shani Shingnapur near Nashik, Maharashtra was very much in news for the controversy surrounding women being debarred from performing the Abhishek ritual to Lord Shani (Saturn). The Shani murthy (idol) here is swayambu (erupted out of earth on its own). Tripti Desai led the march from the forefront to win rights for women to conduct/perform rituals for Lord Shani with their own hands on par with men. I had an opportunity to visit the shrine in the month of April. Saturn phase is on for me right now. To spell it out in Thamizh, ‘ezharai nattu sani’ going on for me. Its tenure is for 7.5 years. This is second time in my lifeline that saturn rules the house in my horoscope. This is on for over an year now. Shani period is supposed to be physically and mentally and even financial exhausting to most. A very testy period in one’s life where we may be facing health woes. We may get ourselves entangled in unnecessary troubles. So I exercised the privilege of anointing Lord Shani with sesame oil with my own hands and perform the abhishegam to Him during my visit to His temple. My two friends still disapproved of my move. There were about a hundred devotees. While most men performed the abhishegam, there was a general reluctance among the women to come forward for the ritual. Only a handful of us dared. The men (husbands) restrained their wives and daughters and stood in queue to partake in the ritual. But nobody frowned when some of us women stepped forward for the ritual. The fee for the ritual is 500 bucks. The oil price was 80 or 90 bucks. The ticket issuing clerk had a disapproving smirk pasted on his face as he handed out the token to me. I hoped to please Lord Shani asking Him to soften His blows or at least give me the physical mental strength to bear shocks and upsets if it comes to that. To anyone who questions change of age old customs, I would like to remind that once upon a time, women were not even allowed to attend schools, not divorce, not remarry. Women did not get a share of family estate/inheritance. There was even the heinous practice of Sati in India. Its not you and I who decide what should happen when. As a total believer, I trust that it was perhaps Lord Shani Himself who decided that the time was ripe for women to perform rituals for Him with their own hands. அவனன்றி ஓர் அணுவும் அசையாது. Whether it is Shani or Lord Aiyappa, the move or decision to grant women entry is decided by the deity not by humans. As an unshakable believer in and follower of Hindu Dharma, this is where I differ from my friends’ view point. My Kerala friends cannot agree with the reforms naturally. By change in norms, I do not state that any disrespect has to be shown to the deity. In Sabarimala, the court case was interestingly filed by a Kerala muslim for entry of women into the hill shrine while no muslim woman can ever share the mosque space with the men. Not a single petition is filed in Indian courts to win the muslim women their equal rights. The women who first broke barriers in Sabarimala were also non Hindus – with a muslim/christian woman throwing a used/soiled sanitary napkin on Lord Aiyappa when with police escort she became the first fertile woman to set her foot in the holy shrine of Lord Aiyappa. Can you imagine a non muslim desecrating an islamic place of worship and getting alive with it. This is my Hindu India. This is the level of our tolerance. We Hindus give police protection to muslim/christians to go in and desecrate our places of worship in the name of democracy and secularism. It broke every Hindu heart when the kind of desecration the woman subjected our supreme deity to, came to light. We left the offenders to their Karma. While I am for equality of sexes and women’s rights, this is a clear case of mischief no doubt. Its good that a film like Kerala Story happened. An eye opener. After the Sabarimala sacrilege, the very next year the entire Kerala state was flooded and crores and crores of property were lost. Washed out. When Lord Aiyappa is ready to receive women devotees in His abode, trust Him to move the earths and the skies not just the courts to make it happen. Lord Aiyappa is viewed as Naishtika Brahmachari by Hindus.

abhishek for Lord Shani at Shani Shingnapur shrine with my own hands…

Let me make it clear that, there was nothing rebellious about my Shani access or worship. I am a practing Hindu and I considered it a blessing to get nearer to Shani Bhagwan. I was full of reverence and faith.

Posted in Food For Soul, Political History

Jambudweepe, Dakshina Parve, Bharatha Khande, Bharath Varshe

One more historical evidence from Hindu prayers and Puja rituals. Most of us are familiar with the Sankalp(am) we have to perform before starting a Puja or Homam (a ritual with the holy fire) or before going for an Archana (customized service-like) for the Hindu deities wherein we have to mention the place (our location), time, names of the devotees with their birth stars as per Hindu calendar. Until today we mention the place as Jambudweep (the large continent which was once an island landmass), followed by Dakshina Parv (south face) (southern part of the Jambudweepa), Bharath Khand (Greater India), Bharatha Varsha (Indian subcontinent). (The pundit/purohit invokes the deities with details usually on our behalf. In home pujas we invoke the deities with the minute details by ourselves). (This means we are summoning the deities of Puja to that particular geographical spot personally. Our identity or address is the geotag with our name, birthstar, Kula/Gotra (family/clan/lineage) specifics. The Jambudweep is the landmass that was once surrounded by water. It can be now comprising the entire Eurasia. Dakshina Parv refers to the southernmost part of the continental shelf. Bharath Khande is the Greater Bharat or Akhaand Bharat comprising of present day India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and even parts of erstwhile Soviet Union such as Tashkent (Takshashila), parts of Azerbaijan etc. Hindu Dharma was prevalent in Baku of today. There are Sanskrit inscriptions preserved. The old Sankalp that we have not edit to current times must be from primordial times.This was a time when the tectonic plates had not yet had the head-on collision, exactly where there was once the Tethys sea which later on was replaced by the mighty Himalayas, the newest mountain range in the geography and history of Planet Earth. Interestingly all our prayers OMIT the Himalaya region but mention the Jambudweep as a separate island entity (Dweep in Sanskrit means ‘island.’ (We have until today the Lakshadweep (a lakh or million islands – an archipelago) which is a union territory of India (in the Arabian sea near the coast of Kerala)). The name for the country is Bharat, after Bharatha, who comes in the lineage of Lord Rama. For millions of years, India has thus gone by the name Bharath. Bharat is the original name of India, not Hindustan which was the name given by the Persians. India presently goes by Her name given by the Europeans. I for one thing never paid attention to these details even though we go through these motions in most of our rituals. We blindly recite the sankalp hardly paying any attention. For our weddings and other muhurats (auspicious timings for occasions like nuptials, pujas etc.,) we strictly follow the Hindu calendar in India. Our stock exchanges open and close annual accounts on the Hindu new year day which is the Amavashya (new moon day) of Diwali. In Tamil Nadu we adhere to the Tamil Hindu calendar. Our new year is just around the corner April 14th and this is the day Bangla, Punjabi, all of South, Behari, and even most of South East Asia including Bali/Indonesia, Thailand etc., celebrate their new year. The sankalp mention of Jambudweep, Dakshina Parva, Bharatha Khand/Bharat Varsha succinctly omitting Himalaya region is an indicator to the rituals observed in another plane of time, perhaps preceding even the times of Ramayana and Mahabharatha. River Saraswathi discovered deep down earth’s crust buried in a supposed catastrophe that changed our planet’s geography forever is another indication that there was a robust Hindu civilization far advanced in different dimensions preceding the current human evolution. It is possible that we merely picked up the pieces left over our ancestors to start again from the remnant of an old world. I have always felt this when reading the Sundara Khanda of Ramayana where there are details of the chariot of Ravana, the king of Sri Lanka that went by the name ‘Pushpaka vimana.’ Didn’t Ravana play Veena which is still the revered ancient/contemporary/native stringed musical instrument for Hindus. Then there are the surface to surface, surface to air, air to air missiles mentioned in the Mahabharat and even in Ramayan. These disjoint proofs pointing to another plane of time, another world are available in Hindu texts/scriptures that cannot be from the recent history of the human race. Unfortunately they cannot be cohesively or entirely interpreted without scientific backing. Interesting that I got to listen to this piece of information from a lecture on Soundarya Lahari, composed by BhagawadPada-Adi Shankara in the 7th century CE. Sadly as this is Hindu history, no research may follow or even encouraged, because the Abrahamics are always bent upon disproving anything with Hindu origins. Lately there is a changed mindset wanting to know what is what, with an element of curiosity about assembling the jigsaw puzzle for a better understanding about human ancestry and evolution. This is why we need to study our scriptures in depth: they throw valuable information in every single verse. Ancient Hindu scriptures are a repository of knowledge and info that can shed light into the mindset, prevailing culture and civilization of human race that is not recorded history. The galaxy did not come into existence from the birth of Christ. Most Hindu customs and even everyday rituals must be contemplated for their purpose and antiquity. Some excavations shall never be carried out. Some exhibits shall never be tabled. Some truths shall lay buried and never be discovered. Besides, you can never relate to the lost world with the threads of evidences you unearth here are there. The vital connection is severed by time and space.

Posted in Food For Soul

Not for sale: Soul.

Moved to tears watching ‘the scent of a woman’ starring Al Pacino in Netflix. Too late I know. I don’t want this to be a review of the picture. I am using the filmy quotes just to record my perspectives. Hugs to Charlie Simms played by Chris O Donnel who takes the tough road risking his Harvard admission from the prestigious Baird not wanting to sell his soul for gain – even if he earned the place on merit. His entire future is at stake, given he is from humble Oregon. He is on scholarship at his school. The rich creamy society boy George Willis so easily succumbs with his weak mind, sells his soul without a regret to save his ass. It shows how some of us are BORN DIFFERENT. How our priorities determine who we are. And how some of us would rather slog it than have it cheap and easy with a price tag on our soul. Al Pacino’s riveting closing dialogues just bore into my very own soul. Says he, THERE IS NO PROSTHETIC TO AN AMPUTED SOUL. That is how pathetic are those who sell their soul, who trade in their integrity, who have no shame, no dignity, no honesty, no strength of character but actually have the audacity to justify their smallness. It may have just been a picture but it gives you still a great message. Its what some of us stand for. Fight for. I may not be the naive Charlie but I could very well be that colonel Slide! I am that!

We don’t read books or watch pictures for nothing. If you sing Bharathi, you must try to live like Bharathi. If you talk about Sangam literature, you have to try to adhere to the code of morals and ethics – the basics at least, in today’s context. VALUES ARE EVERYTHING. UNCOMPROMISABLE. UNTRADABLE. UNCHANGEABLE. You have to do justice to whatever you preach. You have to practise what you preach.There is no use going to temples or performing Pujas when our fundamentals are not sound. Following the right path, speaking your mind, alienates you from the rest. You are alone. Still, you are the only one who has the courage to call a spade a spade and you know that. It is worth fighting the lone battle than join the comfortable crowd of spineless cowards who are all sold out. The pied piper led hundreds of mice to their cursed destiny. There is no comfort in numbers so far as ethics are concerned. A clear conscience is priceless. The Puja phalan for those who sell their soul is like the water they may try to fill in a pitcher that has a hole at the bottom. Whatever you pour in will drain away in no time and it doesn’t matter what efforts you put in. It was the very first lesson on Aanmeegam for me, on why it is important to lead a clean life. When the roots are shaky, you cannot build a superstructure over it. My parents raised me in their absence. They never lectured me on anything. I felt this way even the very next day after my mother passed away when I was still in school.

All of us are aware of changing times and what that demand of us. I, more than anyone living abroad for over a quarter century in multi-culture society, am painfully aware of where one must draw the line. What you can trespass and what you may not violate even if your dear life is on the line of fire. We have a word for that: honour. Which in turn earns us something irreplaceable: respect.

Never mind. If someone has to be tutored on value systems, then they bombed grandly in the final exams already, before even the classes started or the bell rang.

Posted in Food For Soul

லௌகீகத்தில் தர்மம்

சில நாட்களாக என் மனத்திரையின் பின்னால் ஓடி கொண்டிருக்கும் ஒரு விவாதம் இது. துறவரம் தான் கொள்ள வேண்டுமா என்ன. எம்ப்போன்றோருக்கு இல்லறமே நல்லறம் தான். குடும்பத்தில் இருந்து அறத்தை மேற்கொள்வது எப்படி. லௌகீக வாழ்க்கை பின்பற்றி மட்டுமே ஒருவர் சத்கதி அடைய இயலுமா. இது சாத்தியமா. இது போன்ற கேள்விகள் என் ஆழ் மனதில் வந்து வந்து போயின. முடியும் என்று சொல்கின்றனர் நான் சந்தித்த ஆன்மீக சான்றோர். குடும்பமே யாவற்றிற்கும் அடிப்படை. குடும்பத்தை நேர்த்தியாக கொண்டு சென்றாலே நமக்கு மோக்ஷம் தான். குடும்பத்திற்காக அயராது சுயநலம் இன்றி உழைப்பது, ஒழுக்கத்தை பேணுவது, வயதில் மூத்தோரை மதித்தல், பராமரித்தல், அனைவரிடமும் அன்பு காட்டுதல், நம்மிடம் பணி புரிவோர் – வீட்டு வேலை செய்யும் பெண், வண்டி ஓட்டுனர், தோட்டக்காரர், சமையல் காரர் – போன்றோரை சக மனிதராக பாவித்து மரியாதையாக நடத்துதல், பிள்ளைகளை நன்கு பேணுதல், நல்ல குடிமகன்களாக நாம் பெற்ற பிள்ளைகளை உருவாக்குதல், பூஜை புனஸ்காரங்களை இல்லறத்தில் சிறக்க செய்தல், கோவில்களுக்கு நன்கொடை, வீட்டில் விருந்தாளிகளை நன்கு ஓம்புதல், நட்பு பாராட்டல், நேரம் கடமை தவறாமை, நம்மால் முடிந்த உதவிகளை அடுத்தவர்க்கு செய்தல், யார் குடியையும் கெடுக்காது இருத்தல்,ஒழுக்கம் தவறாமை, பக்தி மேன்மை, நலிந்தோர்க்கு உணவு உடை மற்ற தேவையான உதவி புரிதல், பண உதவியை காட்டிலும் உடல் உழைப்பால் மற்றவர் பயன் உறும் வகையில் உதவுதல், மற்றவர்க்கு நற்போதனை செய்தல், அடுத்தோற்கு நல் வழி காட்டுதல், உண்மையை உரைத்தல், பொய் இன்மை, மனசாட்சிக்கு கட்டுப்பட்டு நடத்தல், ஏமாற்று வேலை செய்யாதிருத்தல், பொறாமை வயிற்றெரிச்சல் கொள்ளாதிருத்தல், நம்பிக்கை துரோகம் புரியாதது இருத்தல், நம்பிக்கை, மரியாதை காப்பது, பேணுவது, பேராசை அற்று இருத்தல், மனசாட்சியை விலை பேசாதிருப்பது, போலி கௌரவம் கொள்ளாதிருத்தல், யார் வாழ்வையும் கெடுக்காதிருத்தல், வயதுக்கேற்ற மன முதிர்ச்சி, இனிமையான இயல்பு, நேரான நேர்மையான வாழ்க்கை, ஒளிவு மறைவு இல்லாமை, பார பட்சம் பார்க்காமை, அணைத்து உயிர் இனங்களை நேசித்தல், விலங்கு பறவை மரம் செடி கொடி போன்ற தாவர இனங்கள், நடப்பன பரப்பன ஊர்வன முதலிய எல்லா ஜீவன்களையும் ரசித்தல் அன்பு செய்தல், இயன்றால் பராமரித்தல், கற்பு, மானம் காப்பது, இன்னும் இப்படி பல நெறிகள் உள்ளன.நல்லவரிடம் சொல்லவே வேண்டாம். நன்னடத்தை சொல்லி வருவது இல்லை. ரத்தத்தில் வருவது. தாய்ப்பாலுடன் சேர்த்து ஊட்டி வளர்ப்பது. இப்படி ஒரு நேர்த்தியான குடும்ப வாழ்க்கை உங்களது என்றால், கோவிலில் கூட நீங்கள் தெய்வத்தை தேட வேண்டாம். கடவுள் வாழும் இல்லம் உங்கள் இல்லமாகும். உண்மையான பாசிட்டிவிட்டியே இது தானே ஒழிய தவறான போக்கோ தரம் கெட்ட வாழ்க்கை முறையோ அன்று. நம் நடத்தையே நம் குடும்ப மேம்பாட்டிற்கு அடித்தளம். ஒரு குடும்பத்தின் ஆணி வேறானா தாயே சரியில்லை என்றால் அந்த குடும்பமே பாழ் தான். பூர்வ ஜன்ம புண்ணியத்தால் தான் ஓடுவது ஓடிக்கொண்டு இருக்கும். நல்லோர் கூட்டு இதற்கு தான் அவசியம்.நல்லது கெட்டது எது என்று பகுத்து உணர நல்லவர் நட்பே முக்கியம். வீட்டில் பெரியவர் இருந்தால் பார் வைக்க முடியுமா. தர்மம் என்பது இடத்துக்கேற்ப நிர்ணயமாகும். லௌகீக தர்மம் நல்ல மேன்மையான நன்னெறி வாழ்க்கை வாழ்வதே. ஒழுக்கமே இங்கு அடிப்படை. கெட்டாலும் மேன்மக்கள் மேன்மக்களே, சங்கு சுட்டாலும் வெண்மை தரும் என்று இதற்க்கு தான் உரைத்தார். தலையே போனாலும் நெறி தவறாமை முக்கியம். இன்றளவும் இப்பேற்பட்ட நட்பை பெற நான் பாக்கியம் தான் செய்துள்ளேன். தவறை தவறு என்று சுட்டி காட்டி திருத்த உண்மைக்கு பின்வாங்காத நட்பும் சுற்றமும் அவசியம். நம் குழந்தைகளுக்கு நாம் விட்டு செல்வது இந்த செல்வத்தை தான் முதலில். நான் வேண்டுவது எல்லாம், என் குடும்பத்திற்கு ஒழுக்கம், நாணயம், கடின உழைப்பு, நேர்மை, கட்டுப்பாடு இவைதான். ஓரளவு வாழ்க்கைக்கு தேவையான பணம் போதும். அதிகம் இருந்தால் அதுவே ஆல கால விஷம். உழைக்காத பணம் இன்னும் வீண். லௌகீக வாழ்க்கையில் தர்மம் பின்பற்றாத எவருமே கடவுளை கும்பிட்டு பலனில்லை. ஒரு ஓட்டையான பாத்திரத்தில் தண்ணீர் நிரப்பி கொண்டே இருங்கள். நீர் நிறையுமா என்ன. அது போல தான் லௌகீக வாழ்க்கையில் அதர்மத்தை பேணுபவர் நிலையும். அதர்மம் நம்மை என்றும் ஜெயிக்க விடாது. நம் பாட்டிகளுக்கு மறு பிறவியே கிடையாது. கோவிலுக்கு சென்று வழிபட கூட அவருக்கு நேரம் இருந்தது இல்லை. பிள்ளைகளை வளர்த்து, பின் பேர குழந்தைகளை வளர்த்து கொடுத்து, சதா சர்வ நேரமும் அடுக்களையில் உழைத்து ஒய்ந்து தேய்ந்து, வீட்டுக்கு வருவோரை உபசரித்து அன்புடன் வயிறு புடைக்க உணவிட்டு விடைகொடுத்து அனுப்புவது, இதை தவிர எதை கண்டனர். இந்த லௌகீகமே ஒரு தெய்வீகம் தான். ஆலமரமாய் அதனால் தான் நம் குடும்பங்கள் இன்றும் விஸ்தாரமாய் கிளை பரப்பி ஊன்றி நிற்கின்றன. அதன் குளிர் நிழலில் தான் நாம் இன்று இளைப்பாறி கொண்டு இருக்கிறோம். அந்த ஞான பழங்கள் தான் இன்று உண்மையா நமக்கு சோறு போடுவது. இது தான் நாமும் நம் பிள்ளைகளுக்கு முதலில் ஆற்ற வேண்டிய கடமை. இல்லறம் நல்லறம். லௌகீக வாழ்க்கையில் தர்மம் கடைபிடிப்பது, அம்பாளுக்கு மிக பிடித்த ஒன்று. நம் கடமையை நாம் செய்யும் போதும், நாம் அற வழியில் நடக்கும் போதும், அம்பாள் நம் பக்கத்திலேயே துணை நிற்பாள். நம்மிடம் வேள்வி அவள் எதிர்பார்ப்பதில்லை. கோவிலுக்கு கூப்பிடுவதில்லை. நன்றாக உன் கையால் சமை. விருந்தோம்பு. ஒழுக்கம் பேண். நெறி தவறாது நட. இந்து பெண்களுக்கு கற்பு தெய்வீகம் தான். நல் வழி லௌகீகத்தில் அம்பாளுக்கு அவ்வளவு நாட்டம். எனக்கு தெரிந்த ஆன்மீக மக்கள் சொல்ல கேட்டு உரைப்பது இது. லௌகீக தர்மமே இந்த கலி யுகத்தில் உகந்தது, நடைமுறை வாழ்க்கைக்கு ஒத்து வருவது. லௌகீக தர்மம் பேணி நம் வாழ்வை செம்மை செய்வோம்.

Posted in Food For Soul

Vallalar: first saint in recorded world history to merge with the Jyothi.

i don’t own this image. from Facebook.



தனிப்பெரும்கருணை அருட்பெருஞ்ஜோதி

The Abrahamics speak of saints and prophets and god’s sons. Hindu Dharma has its fair share of enlightened men. But the merging of the saint Vallalar who lived in the nineteenth century with the Jyothi has gone down in history – to be recorded to posterity, with proper evidence, during British Raj in India. So that puts Vallalar in an entirely different league.

For Chennaiites, Vallalar is a well known saint. We in the city have two ‘Kaval deivams’ – or the protecting deities, as we say: one is Vallalar and the other is Paamban swamigal. I have heard of Vallalar story but reading it once again yesterday penned by a friend moved me totally. We refer to Vallalaar as ‘Arut perunjothi, thaniperum karunai’ in Thamizh always. Vallalaar born as Ramalingam Pillai later known as Ramalinga Adigalar, was known for his religious discourses and ‘samathuvam’ or equality in worship and humanitarian service, which were considered progressive in his times. One fine day, Vallalar asked his disciples to lock him up in a windowless room and throw away the keys and never open it. The room had no opening to anywhere. After months the police opened the bolted room to observe that Vallalaar had disappeared without a trace like a camphor dissolves in thin air. The British recorded the evidence to posterity so that makes Vallalar the first human in history to have merged with the collective conscience in recorded history. Never has this materialized with anyone in the last 2000 years and never has this feat been repeated by any of the saints including by the line of Achcharyas that India has produced or by the Catholics or the Islamists. Many Hindu saints have united with the Jyothi as we grew up learning, but Vallalaar became the first in history to have left irrefutable evidence to humanity with his merger with the Higher conscience, witnessed by locals.

We do have Pamban swamigal and Ramalinga adigal (Vallalar) in our street temple. Even when the archaka installed them in our limited Prahara, I was wondering whether our small worshiping place was getting crowded. Ours is significant because it is a Siddha peetam really with the siddha Nadamuni having had his jeeva samadhi (buried alive for Moksha) in the precincts over which the Shiva Linga (the presiding deity Kambahareshwara) was established. If you take the ancient south Indian temples, most have Siddha peeta or Siddha jeeva samadhis for base over which the Shiva Lingas were installed which lend the temples very powerful aura and strongest vibrations. Even Tirumala – Tirupathi temple was supposedly raised over Siddha peetas. So even if our temple is not popular or is very poor without funds (that we refused to hand over to Tamil Nad govt), we the street people restored it after a century of neglect and we have been ever since trying to manage it with local collections. Try to imagine the Siddha meditating here in my street under the peepal tree with the anthill growing over him and him attaining moksha, some two hundred years ago. India is basically such a holy land. War is the last option for Hindus.

I wanted to write this down originally in Thamizh. I shall try to back it up with Tamil version. This is for now.

My faith in saints (called Sants in Hindu Dharma) who are born Sants is always greater than in those who are ‘cultivated’ by mutts, etc who become ‘gurus’. To me faith is intertwined with service to humanity and there can never be a delink between the two. The rationality and secularism of Vallalaar were unprecedented for his times.

I am posting a link to my friend’s original write-up:

Om Namasivaya! Blessed day. Today is the last Thai Shukravaar, very auspicious day for us. Lalitha Sahasranama Diya Puja at home that I perform every tuesday and friday for 20-30 years now. Followed it up with a recitation of Soundarya Lahari. Jaggery Pongal homecooked offered to Mundagakkanni Amman in Mylapore before dashing for a closeup darshan of none other than Karpahambal at Kapaleeshwara temple. Rounded off the day with a sneak peak at Valleeswara from the street as well as at Renuka Parameshwari. Bliss.

Wishing all peace and happiness. Rise over pettiness and lowly existence to noble heights. Evolve.

Posted in Food For Soul

Reckoning Senility.

Although I have a long day today (even as a housewife) I feel compelled to blog this first thing this morning.

I unlock my doors when I have my first cuppa for my househelp to enter without knocking. By 7 am today I was wondering whether I should be going for a second coffee even as I was scrolling my phone. I heard my outer pair of double doors open first and was surprised because, there was time yet for my parttime help to arrive. Then the inner single door opened and an old Kerala woman in kasavu sari in her eighties stepped into my living. Seeing me on the couch, confused her and finally realization dawned on her. Then she apologized and left saying, she mistook my doors for the ground floor grills leading to carpark and entrance to our apartments. Her brother had passed away early this week. In this grand old age, apparently she had boarded the train to pay a visit to the bereaved family. I said it was okay but it hit me right then, what old age can do to you. There is no way one can mistake my double doors for an exit to the street. In a single moment I understood what it is about senility that is bothersome. But it is remarkable that the lady has traveled upto Chennai (in all probability with a companion). Physically she seems to be in a far better shape given her age. My guess is that, she wanted to take a walk as she could not be going to temple too soon given the loss in the family. That she is independent enough in the city or wants to be, seems promising. But senility can be really scary. The octogenarian’s confusion for a minute saddened me. She wore that bewildered look as if she was lost. There was even a hint of fear in those eyes that I did not miss. She composed herself quickly which means, her mind is still sharp. New environs and unsteady feet may have unsettled her. Brave of her to venture out and explore the place.

I do have older women in family. Much sharper! As we age, mental health may seem to take predominance over physical health. We can manage every single ailment or disease with medication or surgery. What must be preserved is our mental capacity from becoming casualty to dementia or Alzheimer’s. Working the brain is of even more importance over physical workouts. Exercising the memory power assumes far greater significance. Its a gift to die knowing that your time has come.

Posted in Food For Soul

The Charvakas.

The nine schools of Indian or Hindu philosophy are:

Samkya, Nyaya, Yoga, Vaisheshika, Purva Mimamsa, Vedantha (the Vedic school branching off into Advaita etc), Charvaka, Buddha, Jaina. The nine schools contain sub=schools within themselves.

Of the nine, Charvaka makes for interesting study. Charvakans deny everything that is not tangible and therefore for them, there are no five elements or Pancha bhoothas. They recognize only four and discount the sky because the sky cannot be felt by any of their sensory organs. Osho and similar preachers and their followers must belong to the school of Charvaka philosophy where physical pleasure overrides everything else. Bodily satisfaction, momentary satiation mean more to them, and their mortal body is their prime focus. This type of men and women live for physical gratification and hence they have addictions taking to the bottle generally. Sex addiction and substance abuse are widely prevalent among them. They justify their preoccupations just the way they argue that there are only four natural elements earth, water, air and fire but never the sky that they cannot touch and feel. The charvakas have no respect for boundaries and have no walls defining their boundaries either. Its free for all for them. Since the charvakas consider themselves beyond answering the questions on morality, they do not believe in Karma. Charvakas in short are Bhogis. Their entire lives get devoted to fulfillment of their physical cravings. For charvakas, not just morality, even ethics are an issue. Not always clean hands for them. They will not hesitate to grease palms if they have to move matters and they won’t mind if someone greases their palm to get things going.

So for Charvakas, nothing is sacred, nothing is sacrosanct and nothing is too personal or private. Typically, Karpu does not therefore apply to them. In colloquial terms, we call charvakas, loose characters (with loose morals and ethics). Interestingly, the charvakas can charm their way into your heart with fakeness. Charvakas may also be non believers. Needless to say the Charvakas sell their soul that they are not borne with, without a second thought.

Charvakas may exhibit the Rajas guna typically, being materialistic. Charvakas do not bother about collateral damages either in their pursuit of their physical pleasures. Supremely selfish.

How brilliantly Indian/Hindu philosophies study the human species for their weaknesses and strengths.

Posted in Food For Soul

Bad behaviour and bad character are not one and the same.

Bad behaviour is bad enough. It could be being rude, arrogant, haughty, boorish, brutally honest calling a spade a spade to one’s face even if you know it would hurt. Throwing temper tantrums is bad behaviour. Resentment is unhealthy. Being anxious is not desirable. Being negative can damper your spirit. Being inflexible, rigid could undermine you. But all or any of this cannot be summed up as bad character. Sometimes your tough posture can actually stand you in good stead. There are matters where a compromise is never advisable like in your basic character. This means, you are a solid man or woman not a shallow existence, weak enough to manipulate or be manipulated by others. Bad behaviour can shrink your friends circle but those who know you will never give up on you. Ones who break bonds with you are good riddance – blessing in disguise.

Bad character is entirely different story. Bad character is untrustworthy, unreliable chameleon character that can adapt to situation to one’s benefit. Bad character is betrayal of friendship, of friends, of relationships. Bad character people are not honest people. Bad character people lie and would do anything to take care of their selfish interests and motives. Bad character people are jealous and copycat others trying to impersonate them or become them. Bad character individuals have no or loose morals. Bad character guys/girls have no dignity, grace or integrity. They will stoop to any level to satiate their physical and materialistic needs. Which is why bad character people are always positive, jingoistic, boasting and attention seeking. Mostly the politically correct ones will have questionable ethics. Gossiping may be bad behaviour. But controlling friends and ties with money and influence is bad character. Flirting cannot be exactly bad behaviour but online s*x definitely speaks of bad character. Bad character is cheap. Plastic. And that is just the starter. Promiscuity is bad character. Strong self-confident people steer friends to better ways of life. Good characters inspire others and correct others if and when they stray. Bad character women encourage peers to take to boozing and have extra marital affairs. Bad characters have no standards and are fakes. Typically the hypocrites are of bad character. Being proud is bad behaviour but aspiring for unearned things is bad character. Bad character is toxic, cancerous, home breaking, wrecking havoc leaving behind a trail of destruction. Bad character people don’t think twice about bartering or pledging or selling their soul for even a pittance. The ends justify the means typically for the bad characters. For the righteous people, its the journey that matters not the destination in itself.

Deep souls never sell short of their value. Deep souls are not for sale whatever the price. The intensity of the deep souls, their vibrations are reserved for equally deep, sensitive souls. Low key people with depth are too very self-aware never making the shrill noise to draw attention. Good character people have this aura about them, they are authentic. Good people are no-nonsense no-frills people who don’t have to sugarcoat their words. You fear good people. They are like fire that can get your fingers burnt if you dare to stoke them. If good people are misunderstood its the third parties’ loss. Its okay to exhibit bad behaviour but it is important not to taint your character. Vices can be attributed to bad behaviour if they must have a reason. A man who is stressed enough with manual work at the end of the day like a carpenter or farmer earns his right to booze. A man mentally stressed with his occupation where he earns a living is entitled to some relaxation. No excuses for housewives boozing in the day that is morally corruptive and disruptive. No family where the woman of the family boozes in the living room in broad daylight can be having a good honourable life. India is still not the west. The west is too cold that surviving without alcohol is tough for them. Liquor is a necessity not a luxury. India is a tropical country where liquor consumption can mean only damage to the family. Liquor addiction and s*x addiction in housewives is BAD, WORSE, WORST CHARACTER not something anyone can be proud of or jealous of. It can lead to serious complications in family life and make us lose our respect in the eyes of our own children at a later stage.

Posted in Food For Soul

Inside the mind of a narcissist.

When the narcissist is calling himself ‘Ghajni’ you have to have alarm bells ringing. Who is Ghajni exactly. He was someone who invaded India, ransacked our ancient temple, razed it to the ground and pilfered our riches. So when someone calls himself Ghajni it means he has been studying you for a while, contemplating moves, educating himself on your connections, weaknesses, lifestyle, family, finance etc., with hacking tech so that he can finally swoop down on you knowing that his prey is within his grasp. The same narcissist may have attempted calling himself Sabyasachchi to some strong woman indicating that he was in the habit of identifying his victims and paying them detailed and special attention bombarding them with complements. One hint at the designer opened her eyes to the fact that he had a queue of conquests that put her on alert mode. So it is imperative to listen to the vocabulary of the narcissist.

If the narcissist is a celebrity, you can trust the matter to be even a family affair. Over 90% you can be sure that at least half of what you share is no news to the spouse. The missus is aware of what is afoot. The families are aware how this kind of thing works. In the art field, family cooperation to secure sponsors is basic. When the narcissist pulls the brake on your relationship, it means that the family has stamped down on the control saying enough is enough. It means, enough has been done for you to secure you steadfast that you won’t slip away and it is time to concentrate on next target. This bit of information I gleaned from a friend who is an avid follower of the narcissist’s art. Except for some very private or personal exchanges in the relationship, the narcissist could be already sharing your info with his wife and may be with you with her permission. This is pretty common in the life of stars that the public miss. Filmy lifestyle exactly works in this fashion as we are aware of. So right away this is for your understanding: your relationship is not privy or sacred. Every word passes on to the wife and sometimes even the social media handles especially whatsapp/signal messages may be texted by the better half of the artist. The wives allow some space to the performing artist because they would like to believe that this diversion is essential for their creativity. A very fine act of manipulation put to you to win your sponsorship. If you notice, normally the narcissists may have beautiful, gifted and blessed family life unlike yours and they may have no reason to stray. Relationships are a lie because there is no intent in the first place. They are securely and emotionally invested in their own families. This is ‘sampradhaaya’ for them. That is the exact name this practice goes by. Sponsors form the backbone for artists and the family involvement is key to achieving their financial goals.

So how to disengage from the narcissist systematically:

First of all admit to yourself that you have be misjudged issues and read people wrong. Coming out of denial is one major step when it comes to healing. Its okay for your closest circle who have been aware of the developments to be appraised that you have been shamed. You accept and move on. That admittance to self is key to resolve conflicts at mind level. We all make mistakes and no mistake is not retractable. All you have to is question the motive of the narcissist. Any financial interest already betrays the reason for the relationship that straigth away suggests manipulation.

Secondly engage yourself productively and remove yourself from petty cheap thrills and focus on actual happiness. Write more and get into social activities. For instance, even a visit to an orphanage can make you change your perspectives. Prioritize yourself. Make your happiness top on the list and the narcissist should figure nowhere in the list.

Thirdly it may come as a surprise to you that the narcissists do not even leave the reluctant ones free. Once marked, they will pursue their targets to the end of this earth. When in a relationship you suffer, there may be those who suffer without getting entangled. The constant stalking by the narcissist can also at times send you to depression. This is the way the narcissist would like to ensure that the marked person is not getting attached somewhere else. This can throw spotlight on the way a typical nar mind works.

Fourth, you will still be pursued long after leaving the relationship but keep going. Learn to take it in your stride but pay no attention. Don’t be fooled that you are exclusive or someone special. As of this moment, the narcissist may be doing this to multiple women. Whoever takes the bait falls prey.

Fifth, if you truly have an emotional need it is not wrong to go for a safe, steady, consistent, decent and lowkey soul mate but to have someone like that you must be prepared to bide your time. At least now you learn that there is no such thing called ‘love at first sight.’ Plant a seed and watch it grow slowly taking its own time. Do not work at it. When it is ripe, you will know in your heart without a declaration. Nobody in love professes love. Your situation must create the love and YOU MUST NOT BE FOUND. This is what is true love.

One dead giveaway about a narcissist is that, he would never dump you or upset you for no reason. The true love of our life will never emotionally abuse us. Someone capable of hurting us women that way can never hold love or warmth ever.

Sixth, do not feed the narcissist’s ego. Do not sponsor. Do not have common links. Do not respond/react. This shall solve 50%. the problem right away. If the victim card is played by the narcissist, IGNORE. Save your sanity and do not succumb to emotional blackmail. Lovebombing is crude and easiest way to down a weak person. Decent men never resort to this low level. If you are following a celebrity narc, switch over another artist of similar calibre to maintain your art interest. That way you sustain and nurture your art interest and stand to lose nothing.

Finally become your old former self, heal and live a happy life in front of the narcissist not giving him the satisfaction of making you sad. If you find new love, flaunt it. Even if you don’t, be happy and wear your happiness in your sleeve for the whole world to see. Regain all that you lost because of the narcissist: your self esteem, your friends, your enthusiasm, your cheer, your spirit, your ENERGY, your peace, your happiness. Make an attempt to stay real positive and put it in your daily practice.

There are women who are undergoing stress silently because of nonstop pursuit by narcissists. They are fighting a bold, brave battle for no fault of theirs. But may we become stronger with each passing day. I read somewhere that, it is not that we women lack the strength, it is just that we lack the will. NARCISSIM IS TOXICITY. Have no two thoughts on that.

But whatever it takes, do it today because our family deserves our best version. Our former natural normal self must return. We must not stay a damaged piece, carelessly hacked to bleed to death by a sadist manipulator. We owe it to ourselves and to our family our original buoyant self.

YOUR HEALING IS IN YOUR HANDS. But if you are a willing victim, be ready to sacrifice your entire energy reserves for the sake of the narcissist and lose your mind slowly. You will never be happy again in your life and that is it.

Posted in Food For Soul

Energy Vampires.

Energy vampires are narcissists who feast on your energies and decamp with all that you have to offer, leaving you high and dry. The sooner you identify the patterns and get rid of them, the better for you. Otherwise you will be footing a heavy price that can leave you shattered and take months to heal. Our energies must be reserved for our families first and our dearest friends. Love and affection don’t normally start from day three with you first brush of online sex and blossom into full relationship in three months. Anyone lovebombing you is stealing your energy. Narcissists typically identify and zero in on high energy women. Your enthusiasm is something they can draw, benefit and grow from. However narcs also get bored easily once the initial chemistry wears off. Their interests will be always short lived. You will tire them soon and they will already be looking for other preys to continually feed and fire their own ego. They will have justification for every misdeed of theirs. The self serving creative or artistic men may say that this is what keeps them going. But what about the destruction they leave in their wake. Why should gullible women be bearing their brunt when they go on and enrich their own self centered lives. You can see that the pattern will repeat itself every now and then so that the narcs hold on to you by the threads never allowing you to leave. You are a source of great energy for them and if you can supply them with free online sex and finance, it is all the more better, a blessing for them. The narcissists are not fools to let go of the goose that lays a golden egg everyday at their whim and command. If you are vulnerable and weak, you play right into the hands of the narcissists. It is upto the women to break the cycle and liberate themselves from these brandishing chains. The narcissists can leave you devastated, breaking you and making you believe that you are loved. They can emotionally abuse you. They lie, play double games and never have remorse for dumping you like soiled toilet tissue when they have no temporary use for you. They know that you are theirs whenever they may want to claim you back because they hold you by hook. In their eyes you are still trash not worthy of respect and you are too psychologically dependent. To anyone reading this I suggest, be bold and strong enough to say a big NO and walk off these killing traps. Just think of all that you have lost over months: your positive vibes, your energy, your happiness, your self confidence, your self respect, your friends, your feel good and upbeat mood. Nothing is worth our natural carefree and happy state of existence – that we took for granted before the narcissist turned our world upside down. Some damaged women can not easily return to their precious previous self. It will take them months or years to heal completely. Even so you will know that, something about you has permanently changed. You become less trusting. You become a little less happy and you brood a lot. YOU ARE NO MORE SOMEONE YOU USED TO BE THANKS TO THE NARCISSIST. Some women even get into depression. If you already booze, you are done in. This is why boundaries are important. Narcissists target women with no boundaries because it is easiest for them to steal energy from unlocked hearts.


In today’s online world, you need to be a lot more wiser. I thank my stars for the guiding light I got keeping me away from trouble. I haven’t lost my sanity and neither am I for sharing my precious energies with unworthy kind. MY ENERGIES ARE FOR MY FAMILY AND FOR CONSISTENT, LOYAL, HONEST , DECENT AND WORTHY FRIENDS I HAVE EARNED OVER YEARS not days/weeks/months. Having said that, I still believe in Soul Mates but beware, it takes eons to form that kind of deep meaningful bonds. If you find one that grows on you quiet without having to dance and sing around trees filmy style, then you are lucky. We are all entitled to that kind of meaningful company, I don’t deny. It can do us a lot of good and improve the state of our mental health. And may be sometimes such a soul mate already exists in your life but you haven’t figured it out yet. Don’t trust the FLASHY avalanches that can excite you but carry you to deep depression. Women in late 40s and early 50s also have to factor in the menopause mood swings. This could be a reason for women to fall easy prey to narcissists. Truth is a bitter pill to swallow.