Posted in Food For Soul

World Peace Day.

Today is International Peace Day. May be a bit late to write on this. Attended a demo session of Heartfulness meditation at ICC Doha (that we do every year). On and off I do the heartfulness kind of meditation wherein we say we meditate from our heart. This kind of meditation is different from other typical Hindu meditation techniques that focus on progression of the seven Chakras. Meditation is essentially Om Mantra vibration for me which is why I am unable to come to terms with Heartfulness. Also, there is always a conscious attempt by many groups, in my opinion, to delink anything basically and intrinsically Hindu and make it universal. Yoga is compromised and even in the Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) Om mantra is eliminated. But if you eliminate the Om, how can it continue to be the authentic Surya Namaskar. In any case, most Yoga stretches are patented by Americans who have had nothing to do with Yoga or Meditation. There are two kinds of existence as per Hindu Dharma: Yoga and Bhoga. Yoga is renunciation essentially for both Hindus and Buddhists (and Jains) which means detachment to prepare yourself for the ultimate Enlightenment or Nirvana (self consciousness or self awareness). Bhoga is voraciously materialistic. The American or western practice of Yoga is without a soul that way – because they have killed the Yogic aspect of the fitness regime where body and soul merge with discipline. Yogic exercises in the west are mostly bhogic that they even have beer Yoga, Yoga with goats etc – which shows how least they grasp the elements of Yoga and how ignorant and disrespectful they are about something that is too very profound and disciplined way of life. Meditation is the other branch of Yoga like the Mudras. Now we have even the Transcendental mediation and Kundalini awakening selling like hotcakes; there are crash courses on Chakra progression and on Kundalini for sale. Which is why I have developed such a distaste for any kind of meditation that disassociates itself consciously, purposely from Hindu Dharma. Is that want you need to market a philosophy to worldwide seekers?

Meditation was mentioned as a tool to achieve peace both internal and external. Someone who spoke said what gave him peace was social service to the community. To those like my husband, work is worship as a friend stated the obvious truth. Peace to this kind comes from discharging their responsibility to such an impeccable perfection and contributing to realizable productivity.

As for as I am concerned, we all have our schools of thought that we adhere to. Hindu dharma has six clear cut philosophies to achieve the internal peace and I am for pursuing one of the six folded path. Sorry, I have no appetite for meditation, and if it does have to be, it will be the Om Mantra chanting for meditation for me. Now, that is the original meditation. No harm in entertaining, contemplating the various options but I guess, Hindus must eschew meditation techniques and yogic methods that try to misinterpret the Hindu practices and try to make them non communal. It is true yoga need not have to be communal, meditation need not have to be communal, but neither then must they be sold commercial. If you have to pay for them, then they may as well be patented. Yoga is not about the mere body. It is that which unites the body with the soul and takes you to the the next step of self awareness. It gives you mind control. Indian govt missed patenting yoga through decades since independence. Too late, but won the patent for Surya namaskar finally! However in the meantime the west came out with their own Pilates that is blatant takeover from yoga. Zumba, Taekwondo, Kungfu, Karate everything is patented by the respective origin countries. But then the greatest weakness of a Hindu is, you do not want to charge for the universal goodness that you give the world. What the heck. its not a question of charges. Its about preserving the essence of the tools of our Sanathana Dharam without dilution.

We spend years on deciding which route to take to the top of the pyramid. I did. Its worth testing every tool. With trial and error we can eliminate what won’t apply to us. Heartfulness is okay but I resent the delinking of Hindu aspect from this form of meditation. I don’t think this will give me peace at all! But practitioners of Heartfulness vouch for the peace and harmony in their lives. That stillness of the heart – i guess I can still have with the quiet Om vibration from the base of the Mooladhara chakra and then go on working up.

Before I close I cannot help emphasizing on peace at home before we go seek solace in the outside world as almost all the speakers underscored. That was the takeaway for me from the evening.

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 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 Food For Soul

The Dharmic Money

Okay there are so many many inspirational, motivational quotes flooding our social media timelines. Here is something on what I may term ‘the Dharmic money.’

What is Dharmic money. Are you a believer in Sattva, Rajas, Tamas and Rakshasa gunas that have something to do with the food we eat. If so, you gotto believe in Dharmic earnings and spendings as well. Dharmic earnings are hard earned money for which we work. Which means nothing comes free to us. Suppose we hold title to movable and immovable assets passed on to us by our ancestors who had had earned dharmic incomes building their wealth, then what they bequeathed to us is also dharmic that we can enjoy without a guilt. This kind of income benefits everyone, the benefactor (our forefathers), the beneficiary (ourselves) by way of good Karma. In turn those who we spend our money on, such as teachers, physicians, artisans, tradesmen, bankers, performers, servants etc share the dharmic quality of our white money. What we pay them for their goods and services will be wholly absorbed by the community with full benefits. This is the power of EARNED INCOME OR DHARMIC EARNINGS/MONEY. DHARMIC MONEY IS THE PRIDE OF THE INDIVIDUAL, PRIDE OF A NATION. A sense of satisfaction prevails with all concerned parties. The recipients of dharmic money register a gradual growth in their economic status and start/keep flourishing. Mostly the middle class families have dharmic incomes with nothing to hide by way of tax evasion or ill gotten wealth. The booming middle classes lower, middle and upper support a whole range of services and professions and arts and crafts with their hard earned money. Industries are sustained by this honest income, taxed and transparent. India’s economic engines run on this CLEAN WHITE DHARMIC EARNINGS AND SPENDINGS. Trades and businesses prosper with the infusion of this dharmic money. From fruit and flower seller to sole proprietors, dharmic money reaches many levels. Even showrooms and hotel chains and cinemas and auto manufacturers do well when dharmic earnings are expended on entertainment sector. This is because the dharmic money has the nature of the sattva guna. It is generally harmless and productive.

On the other hand may be the UNEARNED INCOMES, ILL GOTTEN WEALTH that are also spent lavishly on vanity but never on philanthropy generously. Taxes evaded, accounts and figures fudged, there is nothing dharmic about this other kind of money that can buy anyone fake friends and relationships. Wherever this money is spent, adharma rears its ugly head. The adharmic money is like the rakshasa guna. The character of the unearned corrupt incomes manifests in its every spending. This is why for instance, pictures financed by mafias bomb at the box office. Big businesses floated with pomp run aground. Most adharmic funds expended as investment projects do not bring about a big positive changes. Typically the adharmic money is not only unaccounted black money, but it also goes into shady businesses such as breweries, drugs, weapons etc., for instance. The adharmic money helps in buying out law enforcement, justice system everything. Money power also translates into muscle power. The adharmic incomes never stick to us. This is why when we lose something valuable and gain it back we say, hard earned money can never go waste but will get back to us.

Typical loss of Adharmic money/earnings can be witnessed even today in fallen kingdoms such as the Afghan, etc. Like individuals, nations have Karma.

The adharmic money we earn or the adharmic money we are paid with for our goods and services may be meeting our hospital bills who knows. Or take the form of stock market crash depleting our holdings. In short losses we suffer in life are those gains we make with adharmic incomes with or without our knowledge.

The dharmic-adharmic money is never discussed in public forums. It is not the subject matter for speakers on podiums. It is not for those who sell their soul for a share in the unearned income pie. Only the middle class with their hard earned money have the conscience to openly claim their sources of incomes and list their honest spendings.

Dharmic money is sattva. Adharmic money is rakshasa. The sattva money recipients prosper in the long run with the goodwill that is associated with the dharmic money. The rakshasa guna of the adharmic money will seed greed and sin in their recipients and precipitate adharma. The adharmic money is spent mostly on tax evasive channels. The routing of the unearned incomes also remains mystery. Unexplained incomes, unaccountable incomes always give this moneyed circle a wrong sense of entitlement. The adharmic moneyed classes run a parallel black economy harming the nation. Unearned incomes easily take the form of bribes. The adharmic money earned is exactly the plundered or looted share of public wealth from the masses without a shame. The adharmic money spenders/inheritors are none but freeloaders. Unlawfully amassed real estate bank to unearned commissions and agencies and licences, the adharmic money deprives the general janata a decent and comfortable living and just and equitable opportunities. Adharmic money inheritors/spenders prosper parasitically at the cost of public welfare. To sum up, adharmic money is bad Karma.

So, like the food we eat, the incomes we earn also have a quality about them. Finally they come to define who we are and our lives.

Posted in Food For Soul

Mano Dharma.

A lot of debate on this lately. My flight pic this time was ‘Marry me’ with Jennifer Lopez. I am a huge fan of hers. Loved ‘Shall we dance’ and ‘Maid in Manhattan’ in both of which she played her romantic roles to the hilt. In the second one, she is not a glam queen crooning to hysteric crowds, so that’s kind of departure from her expected portrayals. ‘Marry me’ was typical though. A rockstar set to wed her equal, Cat instead marries someone from audience out of sheer impulse in front of hundred thousand super-excited fans. She says, one must embrace the spontaneity of the moment and that’s what she does. And this is what Mano Dharma is all about. Embracing something on intuition, with no contemplation. But is it really manodharma we have in ‘love aajkal.’ Every single move is deliberate is it not. Each and every step is considered, weighed, analysed, planned, executed to perfection. Masterminds chalk out back-to-back strategies plotting approaches, means and ends. Hacking and stacking followed by emotional abuse is the norm. And we do have the nerve to pin it all on ‘manodharma.’ Thank you, JLo, I wasn’t really looking for a glaring example to disprove facts but you helped, even if its from Hollywood studios. Some of the guys here need a lecture. Manodharma is not materialistic. Manodharma is NON MANIPULATIVE. NOT CALCULATIVE. Manodharma is freewill, Manodharma is dharmic, fair, unbiased. Manodharma is truly embracing the spontaneity of the moment, intuitive, impulsive and most of off without a logic or MOTIVE.

Posted in Food For Soul

தமிழ் தமிழ்ன்னு சொல்றாங்களே…

தமிழர் பண்பாடு சரசரக்கும் பட்டு புடவைலையோ, நெத்தியில வெச்சுக்கற குங்குமத்துலயோ,தலைல சூடுற ஜாதி மல்லி பூச்சரத்திலேயோ, போட்டு மினுக்கர வைர அட்டிகைலையோ வைர கம்மல்லையோ இல்ல. இட்லி தோசை பொங்கல் வடைல இல்ல. சத்தியமா பில்டர் காபில இல்ல. படிக்கற சங்க இலக்கியத்துலயும் இல்ல. மேடை நாடகத்தில இல்ல. பாக்கற சினிமா படத்தில இல்ல. சுஜாதா பாலகுமாரன்லையும் இல்ல. வைரமுத்துவுலயும் இல்ல தாமரைலயும் இல்ல எப்படி கண்ணதாசன்ல இல்லையோ வாலில இல்லையோ அப்படி . பட்டி மன்றத்திலே இல்ல. விவாத மேடைல இல்ல. திராவிடத்திலேயே இல்ல அப்போ சீர்திருத்த கல்யாணத்துல இருக்குமா என்ன. பட்டபடிப்புல இல்ல. எந்த புத்தகத்திலயும் இல்ல. கீழடில அகழ்வாராய்ச்சில இல்ல. பொங்கல் பானைலயும் காணோம். பனை தென்னை உச்சிக்கும் போகல. திருவள்ளுவர்கிட்டையும் இல்ல, ஒளவையார் கிட்டயும் இல்ல. சேர சோழ பல்லவ பாண்டியன் கிட்ட இல்ல. நக்கீரன் கிட்டையும் இல்ல அப்போ தருமி கிட்ட எப்டி இருக்கும். கண்ணகி எரிச்ச மதுரைலேயும் இல்ல. தஞ்சாவூர் பெரிய கோவில்லயும் இல்ல. கரை புரண்டு ஓடற காவிரியில் இல்ல, காணாமல் போன குமாரி கண்டத்தலையும் இருந்தது இல்ல. அப்போ தமிழ் எங்க தான் இருக்கு.

தமிழ் எங்க இருக்குன்னா அது நம்ம வாழற, மனசாட்ச்சிக்கு உறுத்தாத கௌரவமான வாழ்க்கைல இருக்கு . ஒழுக்கமே தமிழர் பண்பாடு. காலத்துக்கு ஏத்த மாதிரி கொஞ்சம் மாறலாம் தப்பு இல்ல. நம்ம கலாச்சாரத்தையே தல கீழ புரட்டி போடும் எந்த விதமான பழக்க வழக்கமும் தமிழ் பண்பாடு ஆகாது. குடியும் குடுத்தனமா இருன்னு சொல்றதுக்கு அர்த்தம் பார வீட்ல வெச்சுக்கோ என்பது இல்ல. ‘பெருசுகள் இல்லாத வீடுகள் கடவுள்கள் வாழாத கோவில்கள்’ ன்னு ஒரு சினிமா பாட்டு வரி ஞாபகம் வருது. மேல துப்பட்டா போட்டுட்டு வெளில போன்னு சொல்ற மாமியார் அருமையை இப்போ உணரறேன். படிக்கட்டுல பாத்து ஹலோ சொன்னாகூட பக்கத்து பிளாட் மாமாவை மொறச்சுட்டு பதில் சொல்லாம போக வெக்கறது எவ்வளவு பெரிய சேவைன்னு இப்போ தெரியுது. வெட்டி பேச்சு என்னத்துக்குன்னு முணுமுணுக்கறதுலயே வந்தவங்க விலாசம் இல்லாம ஓடி போய்டுவாங்க. எந்த புது டிரஸ் வாங்கினாலும் எத்தனை டிரஸ் வாங்குவ நிறுத்து போதும், இருக்கறத போடுன்னு சொல்ற சித்தி அருமை விளங்கறது. கொஞ்சமே வீட்ல இருந்தாலும் ஸ்விக்கி இல்லாத நாட்கள்ல கூட இருந்தத விருந்தாளியோட பகிர்ந்து சாப்பிடறது இல்லயா தமிழ் பண்பாடு. பாக்கறவங்க எல்லாம் அண்ணா தம்பி தான். அக்கா தங்கை தான். பக்கத்துவீட்டு பசங்க நம்ம பசங்க. அடுத்தவீட்டு பாட்டி நம்ம பாட்டி. ஒண்ணுன்னா ஓடி வருவாங்க. நல்லதை தான் சொல்லி குடுப்பாங்க வீட்டு பெரியவங்களும் சரி, பிரெண்ட்ஸ் அம்மா அப்பாவும் சரி. தவறான என்கரேஜ்மெண்ட் எப்பவும் எந்த விஷத்திலயும் கிடையாது. தப்பு பண்ணினா பக்கத்துக்கு வீட்டு மாமி தான் மொதல்ல டோஸ் விடுவாங்க. மூடி மறைக்கற விஷயமே கிடையாது. சிவன் கோவில் சொத்து குல நாசம்னு சொல்லி தான் வளத்தாங்க. வில்வ இலையை கூட நாங்க வீட்டுக்கு கொண்டு வந்தது கிடையாது. இந்த மாதிரி அன்பான பொறுப்பான சத்தியமான குடும்ப சூழ்நிலை, சுற்றார் கூட வளர, வாழ குடுத்து வெக்கணும். என்னை பொறுத்தவரைக்கும் இதுவே தமிழ் கலாச்சாரம், பண்பாடு. நாங்களும் இருபத்தி அஞ்சு வருஷம் முன்னவே வேலைக்கு போனவங்க தான். ஜீன்ஸ் போடறவங்க தான். சைட் அடிக்கறவங்க தான். ஸ்கூட்டர் கார் ஓட்டினவங்க தான். அம்பத்தஞ்சு வருஷம் முன்னாடி வேலைக்கு போனவ தான் என் தாய். சுய சம்பாத்தியத்தில் காலூன்றி நின்னவ. இல்லாமையே அவ என்ன வளர்த்தது தான் அபாரம்.

எனக்கு ஒரு சந்தேகம். தமிழ் தமிழ்னு அலப்பறை செய்யறவங்க ஏன் தமிழர்க்கே உரித்தான கற்பு நெறியை பத்தி பேச மாட்டேங்கறாங்க. ரு வில் ஒரு சொல் ஒரு இல்னு சொன்ன கம்ப ராமாயணத்தை எப்படி மறந்தாங்க. மயிர் நீத்தால் உயிர் நீங்கும் கவரி மான் போல மானம் வளர்த்தது தமிழ் இல்லையா. முல்லைக்கு தேர் கொடுத்த பாரியா இருக்க வேணாம். முல்லையா வேரோட புடுங்காம இருந்த போறதா

திரைகடல் ஓடியும் திரவியம் தேடுன்னு சொல்வாங்க தமிழ்ல. அப்டி வெளி நாடு தேடி போய் பொருள் ஈட்டறவங்க கூட பலரும் நம்ம கலாச்சாரத்திலேந்து மாறாம இருக்கறத பாக்கலாம். வீக் எண்டு பார்ட்டி இங்கயும் எப்போவாவது உண்டு தான். காக்டெய்ல் கூட. லேடீஸ் உட்பட. எதுக்கு பொய் சொல்லணும். ஆனா முறை தவறி, அளவு மீறி எல்லை தாண்டி நான் எதையும் என் இருபத்தி அஞ்சு வருஷ ஃபாரின் வாழ்கைல பாத்ததும் இல்ல கேள்வி பட்டதும் இல்ல. மாறாக கோவில் இல்லாத ஊர்ல பூஜையை பாக்கறேன். பாட்டும் பரதமும் பாக்கறேன். கொலு வெச்சு பாக்கறேன். உண்மையான அடக்கத்தை பாக்கறேன். கண்டிப்பா அது உடைல இல்ல. ஆடம்பரத்தில இல்ல. முக்கியமா விளம்பரத்துல இல்லவே இல்ல.தமிழ் நம்ம வாழ்க்கை நெறியில் இருக்கு. குடும்ப நேர்த்தில இருக்கு. கண்ணியத்தில இருக்கு. கட்டுப்பாட்டுல இருக்கு. அமைதில இருக்கு. எளிமைல இருக்கு. இறக்கத்துல இருக்கு. தமிழ்நாட்டுக்கு வெளியில தமிழ் இப்டி நல்லாவே வாழறது. மாட மாளிகைல இருக்கோ இல்லையோ ஏர் ஒட்டி களைத்து போன குடியானவனோட குடிசைலயும் அவன் வேர்வையிலும் இருக்கு. உழைத்து வாழறது. கஷ்டப்பட்டு வாழறது. நாணயமா தலை நிமிர்ந்து வாழறது. பெருமையா வாழறது. கௌரவமா வாழறது. சீரழிஞ்சு போகல. யாரையும் கெடுக்கல. யாரோடதையும் பிடுங்கல. பொய் பித்தலாட்டம் இல்ல. அலட்டல் இல்ல. பொறாமை இல்ல. நாட்ல, தமிழ்நாட்ல, எவன் ஒருவன் இப்டி யோக்கியமா வாழறானோ, அவன் வீட்ல தமிழ் வாழத்தான் செய்யறது. குடும்ப குத்துவிளக்குன்னு ஒன்று கிடையவே கிடையாதுன்னு என் தோழி சொன்னபோது என் மனசு அந்த பாடு பட்டது. காலத்து ஏற்ப கொஞ்சம் வளைஞ்சு கொடுக்கறவ தான் நானும். நான் ரொம்ப யோக்கியம், நான் தான் யோக்கியம்னு சொல்ல வரல. ஆனா இன்னிக்கும் நம்ம முன்னோர் காட்டிய பாதைலேந்து விலகி போற தைர்யம் எனக்கு கிடையாது. அப்டி பட்ட முன்னேற்றம், நவ நாகரீகம் எனக்கு தேவையே இல்ல. எனக்கு தெரிஞ்ச தமிழ் இது தான். நல்லது, ஆயிரம் காலத்து பயிர். கெட்டாலும் மேன்மக்கள் மேன்மக்களே சங்கு சுட்டாலும் வெண்மை தரும். இதுவே தமிழுக்கான அர்த்தம். தமிழ் குடிகொண்டு வாழற இடம் சுயமரியாதை.

தமிழர் என்றொரு இனம் உண்டு… தனியே அவற்கொரு குணம் உண்டு…!

Posted in Food For Soul

Thambadhyam

We in our family always feed the crows before touching our meals (on parents side). My aunt is a septuagenarian. And sick and ailing. She is unable to climb the staircase and go to the terrace to give food to the crows. So my cousin devised an ingenuous idea for her to give food to her crows right from their kitchen. He screwed in a iron handle to a stainless steel plate that can be hooked to the grill for hanging. Crows had a perch now on the sill and also on the very plate edge. The crows looked forward to the food everyday at exact time. The plate can be later unhooked for a rinse.

After years or decades perhaps, I went for sleepover to my aunt’s. Frail from ill health and probably terminally ill, she still never forgot the crows. Daily she would give one small meal of dal, kozhambu, rice, curd with til (ellu), veggies etc., to the crows after offering the plate to my uncle (within photo frames) It is only after giving my chithappa his food, she is able to eat even a morsel of food. This touched me totally. I know for a fact that my chithi and chithappa were such an ‘anyonya thambadhi’ – the kind we cannot see in future. I felt honestly ashamed (!) by the kind of love and respect my aunt still had for my uncle who passed away three years back.

The crow plate is easy to hang on the grill. I was blessed to offer the crows the food when I was with my aunt. One day food was not ready but it was getting late. So I just had to offer curd rice and ellu (til) salted to my chithappa and then the crows as my aunt would not miss the timing! Chithappa would be hungry!

This really brought tears to my eyes. May sound weird to many But i clicked these pictures to show how easy it is to feed the crows right from your balcony or service verandah.

Posted in Food For Soul

Dubious Karma.

By default I am Hindu Indian and therefore I have to be a believer in Karma. There can be no other way. But Karma also can double up as a good excuse when it comes to explaining injustices and inadequacies among us. In middle-east, locals prefix every utterance of theirs with a phrase, ‘god willing.’ When I arrived here for the first time, I developed respect for this unwavering trust folks placed in their maker that I believed I somehow lacked! Faith was one thing but to give my one hundred percent without batting an eyelid to anything even if it was god, was just not me! There is always an iota of persisting doubt in me of whatever it may be. After all where I come from we say, ‘netrikkan thirappinum kutram kutrame! to Lord Shiva who we believe is the father of this universe. Over time, therefore that ‘god willing’ greeting started getting on my nerves. I had misgivings that failings and mismanagement and inefficiencies were easy to shrug off this way without us having to inflict ourselves with the troubling pain of guilt. People moved on. Any promise or assurance you may want from parties could be sworn under a solemn oath in the name of god, ‘god willing!’ There is no point in laying the blame at the doors of those who do not live up to their words, should things go wrong. Here we have a clear case of god’s will. Or in other words our Karma. This is exact replica of how we operate in India! How easy to not take responsibility, not be answerable, not to be even questionable. Everything has a past connection or god’s hand on it conveniently! Which is why I am a bit skeptical of ‘Karma’ even though I am raised with cultural ethos that place a huge premium on our past, present and future karmas. I guess, there are those among us who would like to use karma like a crutch to lean on when we have no other supporting evidence to keep logic going. This third leg of karma steadies us from faltering. We are saved. Our sanity is in tact. Complacency and supplication and insolence and ingratitude become our mental make-up. Wrong sense of entitlement can be righted. Weaknesses are miserable and sufferable. All balances square up nicely and tally. We can now cleanse our souls and transfer residual karma, if any, to our next janam where we can deal with the mess ‘aaraamse’ – god willing.