Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Great Grand Fathers and great grandfathers

This one is about Great and Grand Fathers metamorphosing into great grandfathers, caps intended. The GGFs used to be great and grand in their good old days. Naturally this is mostly about my own father. He really was our G G F like most men of his days. He never bothered to help our mother in bringing us up. Let alone the fact that he had never in his life attempted to help my mother in kitchen or with daily cores, he could not even warm up a glass of water for himself in his whole life. And as for us the children he never helped us with home work or uniforms or book binding or preparing for exams or any such things. Amma used to joke that he could not say which one of us was studying in which class without blinking. That might well have been joke because he was greatly interested in our education but for which fact we could not have reached where we are today. But let us skip it as that is not the subject matter here. We used to watch wonder struck the way in which his brothers helped their children, our cousins with their school related works that I have just mentioned.
But he turned out to be a g gf with the arrival of grandchildren. He would play with them like never with us. But that is not much you might say. Just listen. Well, when my younger son was yet to become three years old, I had left him with my parents for a couple of months as I was particular that I would put kids in day care centres only after they completed three. My unmarried younger sister who loves kids helped my mother keep my son happy throughout. But they were living in Cuddalore some 17-18 hours of difficult bus journey from Trivandrum where I was living. The distance made it difficult for me to visit them often and when I could no longer bear it I decided to bring back my son to Trivandrum. But the question of who would take care of him when I went for work remained. I told my mother that I would take my father for that purpose. She threw a glance t me as if to ask “Have you gone insane”, which I ignored. Off went the three of us to Trivandrum. From the very next day I started going to office leaving my about-to-complete three years in my father’s custody. Not only that my elder son who was six years old would come from school in the evening. He had to manage them till I was back from office. Not an easy job for even an experienced woman. I would prepare food and leave instructions to my father. Believe me or not, when I came back in the evening I didn’t hear any complaint from any one of the three on any single day for about the nearly two months this arrangement was in place. Everyone in the entire family including my mother was totally taken aback. He had food all by himself, fed my younger son on time and took care of both the children when the elder on was also back. He only missed his 4p.m coffee and had to wait for my return to have it. So you could inspire confidence in anyone if only you tried sincerely was the lesson I learnt from the episode. So my G G F had turned into a g gf, no?
Other stories follow. Again, against everyone’s advice I had the audacity to send them with only my father to take care of them during the 7 hours long bus journey to Madurai.
Once he took my 9 & 6 years old sons to my sister’s place, during summer vacation.
 We went to see them off in the bus stand and requested the driver and conductor to take care of them and drop them at Thirungar bus stop, a few kilometers ahead of Madurai junction. That would make it easy for him to take them to my sister’s house situated at a walking distance from Thirunagar bus stop. From the moment the bus passed Thirumangalm my father kept reminding the conductor several times of his need to get down at Thirunagar. At one point the conductor got so irritated and started swearing at my father in an indecent language and the driver also joined him in showering abuses. My father who ws not used to undertaking travel with such great responsibilities and was very patient with my sons till then also got irritated by that time and started shouting back. That he said to the conductor, “You must have been Ravana in your previous birth” is all my son remembers when he recalls the incident today. All said they reached my sister’s place intact. While in Madurai he used to take all the grandchildren to a nearby park for playing.(My elder sister’s three sons and my two sons in all aged from 13 to 6). Once he took them all the way from Thirunagar to Town Hall Road, near Meenakshi Temple some 10-12 kilometers in distance. He took a bus up to the Periar bus stand and walked them for 2 kilometers to a sports shop in Town Hall Road as vehicles won’t ply near the temple. This was absolutely normal in those days as people were used to travelling by public transport and walking where necessary in those good old days. But my father doing this surrounded by five kids would have been a sight. As far s we knew he would walk any distance to avoid confronting bus drivers, conductors and co-passengers. But taking pains to do that with the kids around him is still a memory to cherish for all of us in the family.
Truly a g gf wasn’t he?
Well, all this took place some 28-25 years back and my Great Grand Father turned great Grandfather left us in 20 years back in 1994 on this day, November 19th. Now I too have become grandmother, but I miss you so much my dear father. Bless us all from where you are.
November 19th happens to be the birthday of Indira Gandhi.
It also happens to be the birthday of my daughter-in-law Gaythri, who is interested in listening to my golden memories.
So let me dedicate this to her as a birthday gift.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

And these moms!


Mummy-1. She picks up all and sundry objects from the floor. And puts in her mouth immediately.
Mummy-2. And this one, he pulls loose wires, puts slippers into his mouth. If we say no to anything, he would do be pleased to do exactly that.
 Mummy-1. But she will tightly close her lips whenever I try to feed her. If I still succeed to put some food into her mouth she will spit it out anyway.
Mummy-2. He finds pleasure in pulling down anything kept on dining table, dressing table and the like. Mummy-1. Yes, they keep us on our toes as they always stand literally on their toes to pull down things and we have to be ready to stop any possible mishaps happening.
Mummy-2. Picks up tiny objects such as food particles or even insects and put them to his mouth.
Mummy-1. Those objects will not be visible to us at all while we clean the floor.
Mummy-2. And after doing all mischief they will turn to us and smile innocently.
Mummy-1. Indeed it will be such a wholehearted laugh that you can’t help joining it.
Mummy-2. Perhaps all of them get a training while in their mothers’ womb.

Baby-1. My mom keeps saying no, no always.
Baby-2. That’s right. It’s always don’t do this, don’t do that.
Baby-1. Don’t pull the wire. Don’t put the socks in your mouth.
Baby-2. And they will force some tasteless stuff into the mouth and insist that we swallow it.
Baby-1. With great effort one reaches a table on all four, gets up and stands on one’s toes and rises to the maximum possible and gets hold of one bottle. And ho, mom or dad would run from nowhere to stop us from putting it on the floor.

.Baby2. I think they undergo some training for such behavior as soon as we are conceived.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

அம்மாக்களும் குழந்தைகளும்



அம்மா-1.  எதை எடுக்கக் கூடாதோ அதைத் தான் எடுப்பாள்.
                 வாயில் வைக்காதே என்றால் கேட்க மாட்டாள்.

அம்மா-2.  ஒயரைப் பிடித்து இழுப்பான்.
              செருப்பை வாயில் வைப்பான்.

 அம்மா-1.  ஆனால் ஆகாரம் கொடுத்தால் வாயே திறக்க 
          மாட்டாள்.  மீறித்  திணித்தால் துப்புவாள்.  

அம்மா-2  மேஜை மேல் ஒரு சாமான் வைக்க முடியாது.
              இழுத்துப் போட்டு விடுவான்.

அம்மா-1.  எது செய்யக் கூடாதோ தைச்  செய்து  விட்டு
                       நம்மைப்  பார்த்து  ஒரு சிரிப்பு. கோபிக்கவும் மனம் வராது.

அம்மா-2.  இவனிடமும் அதே கதை தான். வயிற்றில் இருக்கும் போதே டிரைனிங் எடுத்துக்
                      கொண்டு வருவார்களோ என்னவோ.


குழந்தை--1. எதைத் தொட்டாலும் இதைத் தொடாதே அதை எடுக்காதே, வாயில் வைக்காதே                         என்பாள் அம்மா
குழந்தை--2. ஒயரை இழுக்காதே, செருப்பைக் கடிக்காதே இது அப்பா.
குழந்தை--1. கஷ்டப் பட்டு எம்பி கால் விரல்களால் நின்று கொண்டு கை நீட்டி  மேஜை மேல்                       இருக்கும் அப்பாவின் மொபைலை எடுத்து விட்டோம் என்று வெற்றிச் சிரிப்பு                          சிரிக்கும் போது எங்கிருந்தோ ஓடி வந்து அதைப் பிடுங்கி விடுவார் அப்பா.
குழந்தை--2. அவர்கள் சாப்பிடு சாப்பிடு என்று வாயில் திணிக்கிற ஆகாரத்தில் டேஸ்டே
              இருக்காது.
குழந்தை--1. பெரியவர்கள் எல்லோருமே இப்படித்தான். நாம் வயிற்றில் இருக்கும் போதே                    ட்ரைனிங் எடுக்கத் தொடங்கி விடுவார்கள் போல.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Mohanlal in Kairali People

Was watching Mohanlal’s interview in JB Junction in Kairali TV by John Brittos. He has come a long way from being a shy and timid person that he used to be while being interviewed to a confident man tackling all the tricky questions posed by JB with his trademark sarcastic smile.

Thinking of Mohanlal many of his superb performance come to one’s mind.
In recent Dhrishyam in the climax scene his performance was simply superb though my comments on the story line are reserved. I don’t want to go into the details for some of you might not have watched the film and I don’t want to discuss the climax scene and take away from you the charm of watching it.

As a middle class father and next door neighbour turned alzheimers patient in 'Thanmathra'... a good performance but very saddening script.

As an arthritis patient and moving around in a wheel chair throughout in 'Pranayam', taking his predicament with a sense of humour and love for life. I liked the film and his performance very much. The script too was light and enjoyable though the theme was rather heavy.

No doubt he has excelled in many light hearted comedy roles in films like Kilukkam, Nadodikkatru, Pattanapravesam and Chithram to mention a few.
And his performance in Bharatham was remarkable and he deserves the National award he got for that role.

Above all his performance in the climax scene of Manichithrathazhu haunts you every time you watch the movie. And I have lost count of the number long back.
On to the scene...

 Ganga stands before her imaginary villain husband's dummy with a long sword and tears the neck and drinks the red liquid placed there, thinking it to be his blood. Sobhana is a very good actor, and fits well in the role, no doubt. As she once said being a classical dancer helped her very much to portray different emotions with ease. She fully deserves the national award that she got for her role in the film. Her role demanded her to bring out the expressive and histrionic talents and she did it very well.

But this is about Mohanlal’s performance in the film. Right from the intro scene to the climax he is very active and subtle at the same time with a right mix of both. I enjoyed his performance in every frame of the film.
Back to his portrayal in the climax scene..

Ganga is not only his close friend’s  wife; he knows her well to be his friend as well. She is young, energetic and devoted to her husband. Theirs is a happy married life until recently. And here she is doing something like rudra thandavam and standing before a dummy tearing it with anger and animosity. And his profession reminds him that it was not she in her normal senses doing it but the devil in her that is her nervous disease. Of course it will come to pass. But still to see it now and here.... all these feelings and pain writ large on his face though he does not say a single word. Undoubtedly one of his master piece of a performance.  And to imagine someone else in his role in remakes of the film.... I just can't muster courage to watch the remakes.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Me and my mobile





Had arranged for a small get together at home. Invited close relatives and friends. Sisters and brothers from both sides arrived early to help me with the arrangements.  We decided to prepare food by ourselves to give it a homely touch. Being the lady of the house hosting the party, my presence and advice was sought by every woman who was happily sharing the work.
“Viji, where is kolappodi and kaavi?” my sister asked.
“Amma, can we place the diyas over there?” – daughter-in-law.
“Akka, how much milk is to be boiled to make curd?”—sister-in-law.
“I doubt if the vegetables chopped will be sufficient.” another s-i-l.
I was rotating my head in all directions to reply to them when my brother’s mobile rang.  After attending it he said he had to immediately leave for his place on an urgent office work and left.
 As usual the other men folk were busy discussing politics –local, national and international unmindful of the happy chaos going on in and around the kitchen. (Not that they all are not familiar with house hold chore. In fact almost all of them help with their spouses in kitchen at home. But that is different no? What will happen to their male ego if they are seen in the kitchen by others? Won’t they think of me as henpecked? )

Soon a mobile rang and we all realised that my brother had forgotten to take his mobile while leaving urgently. I knew it was indispensable to his work and started thinking of ways to send it to him. I tried to find if he had any other mobile with him so I could tell him that he had left this one here. I was not familiar with the touch screen in his brand new gadget. I tried to contact in his land line from some other phone. As usual I could not locate my mobile especially in such a busy day. I got one from someone. It was also fancy looking and unfamiliar to me. If I touched the screen for the keys some funny message appeared. Soon everything disappeared from the screen. Tens of chores awaited my immediate attention and I could not afford more time to these tech monsters and decided to call my tech savvy son. He grasped the problem and started to fix it. Out of curiosity I watched him. The tricky gadget eluded him also which satisfied my ego to some extent. He touched the buttons and got some funny messages too. Somehow my own mobile had become touch screen and stopped working. No working mobile had my brother’s land line or other number stored. There seemed to be no way to contact him.
Ring....  Ring....  Ring....  Ring....  
I panicked realising guests had started arriving. My hands automatically searched for my good old simple Nokia under my pillow, found it and switched off the snooze. And what a sigh of relief I let out when I saw the normal key buttons intact in my mobile.



Sunday, 26 January 2014

Unnigalae oru katha parayaam


 
I would like to share a story I have heard or read many years ago.

And I'm sure my atheist friends won't be cross with me for telling an age old mythological story as they can surely take it to higher platforms and invent many more interpretations.
Narada, according to Hindu mythology, is a hard core devotee of Lord Vishnu. He is supposed to be a vedic sage capable of travelling to distant worlds. Once he is said to have acquired inflated ego and started bosting that he is the most sincere devotee of Narayana, the Lord and that no one can excel him when it came to true bhakti, devotion. Lord Vishnu, when He came to know of this wanted to cut him to size.
One day Narada entered Vaikunda, the abode of Lord Vishnu, chanting 'Narayana, Narayana' as always. After exchanging initial pleasantries, narada started beating his trumpet.
Lord, is there anyone in the whole of seven worlds who can beat me in my bhakthi to your lordship? No, and I'm naturally proud of this.”
The Lord did not reply. There he was with his usual mischevous smile which disturbed Narada.
Why are you silent, my Lord? Don't you agree with me?”
Oh Narada, when did you come? I didn't notice your presence as I was immersed in the bhakti of a true devotee of mine in the boologa(earth). Did you say something? Anyway why don't you go and meet him and come after a week or so?”
Feeling hurt beyond words Narada dashed off to earth and found the trader, the Lord mentioned and started observing him keenly. The man was a shrewd trader and went about his business as usual. He didn't even murmur the Lord's name once during the day, let alone perform any pooja. His mind was fully occupied in his business which he did honestly.
He returned to his home after a hard day at work, had a wash and relaxed for some time. Then played with his children and went to bed after dinner. He got up early in the morning. After taking bath he went to the pooja room and lit the lamp and prayed for a few minutes, no elaborate pooja or anything, just a few words of prayer. Then he went to his shop to look after the business. The routine continued every day except that on some days he went to the market in a nearby city to procure goods for his shop. Making enquiries with the neighbours and family members, Narada could realise that this was his rotine, be it any ordinary day or festival or other special days.
Narada could no longer contain his rage. Why did the Lord think this man is His true devotee. After all this man says some prayer for less than ten minutes a day and doesn't even think of Him for the rest of the day, whereas I am chanting mantras and prayers all the time. Still the Lord praises this man. I should show the true colour of this man to the Lord. And he rushes to Vaikunda.
Narayana, Narayana.”
Hello, Narada, where were you?”
Lord, I was observing the trader in the boologa as you said. He says a few words of prayer every morning. Whereas I am singing your praise all the time. How can you compare him with me?”
Easy Narada. O.K. I shall accept you as my most devoted bhakta if you pass a test. First go and get a bowl full of milk kept over there. Bring it without spilling a drop.”
He went within seconds where the Lord pointed and saw a bowl filled to the brim with milk. He wanted to please the Lord and took it in his hands after putting the narada veena down. Normally he never parts with his veena, but he was prepared to do anything to make his Lord appreciate his devotion for Him.
He started moving towards the Lord. Though the distance was quite less and the bowl quite small, he could not walk fast as he could not afford to shake the bowl and spill the milk. As he was fully conentrating on the milk bowl, he didn't realise that it took him quite some time to reach the Lord. But alas, he made it. He had brought the bowl without spilling a drop out. He proudly placed it before the Lord and looked up.
Thank you Narada. But where is your veena?. You look strange without your veena which has almost become a part of you.”
Narada ran back to fetch his veena and returned, chanting 'Narayana, Narayana.'
Now my Lord, I have passed the test that you gave me. I hope at least now you shall agree that I am your true devotee.”
Umm..., wait narada, just a couple question. How many times did you chant 'Narayana' in this last one hour?” It had taken him an hour to accomplish the task.
He was silent as he hadn't for once.
O.K. How many times if ever did you think of me during that time?”
Silence again.
The Lord smiled and asked, “So you forgot your lord so soon?”
Oh Lord, but You had given me a task and I was concentrating on it,“ Narada tried to reason out.
And I completed it as directed by you without spilling even a drop. I thought You will appreciate it.”
That's good.”
Narada sighed in relief and quipped, “So, You agree that I'm Your true devotee?”
Wait, My devotee the trader is calling me in his usual morning prayer. I shall come back to you after listening to him.”
Narada was shrewd. He didn't need to be told that the Lord valued praying for a few minutes every day in spite of his busy schedule more than a lazy man's day long prayer.




 
 
I would like to share a story I have heard or read many years ago.
Narada according to Hindu mythology is a hard core devotee of Lord Vishnu. He is supposed to be a vedic sage capable of travelling to distant worlds. Once he is said to have acquired inflated ego and started bosting that he is the most sincere devotee of Narayana, the Lord and that no one can excel him when it came to true bhakti, devotion. Lord Krishna when He came to know of this wanted to cut him to size.
One day Narada entered Vaikunda, the abode of Lord vishnu, chanting 'Narayana, Narayana' as always. After exchanging initial pleasnatries, narada started beating his trumpet.
Lord, is there anyone in the whole seven worlds who can beat me in my bhakthi to your lordship? No, and I'm naturally proud of this.”
The Lord did not reply. There he was with his usual mischevous smile which disturbed Narada.
Why are you silent, my lord? Don't you agree with me?”
Oh Narada, when did you come? I didn't notice your presence as I was immersed in the bhakti oa true devotee of mine in the boologa(earth). Did you say something? Anyway why don't you go and meet him and come after a week or so?”
Feeling hurt beyond words Narada dashed off to earth and found the trader, the Lord mentioned and started observing him keenly. The man was a shrewd trader and went about his business as usual. He didn't even murmur the Lord's name once during the day, let alone perform any pooja. His mind was fully occupied in his business which he did honestly.
He returned to his home after a hard day at work, had a wash and relaxed for some time. Then played with his children and went to bed after dinner. He got up early in the morning. After taking bath he went to the pooja room and lit the lamp and prayed for a few minutes, no elaborate pooja or anything, just a few words of prayer. Then he went to his shop to look after the business. The routine continued every day. Making enquiries with the neighbours and family memebers Narada could realise that this was his rotine, be it any ordinary day or festival or other special days.
Narada could no longer contain his rage. Why did the Lord think this man is his true devotee. After all this man says some prayer for less than ten minutes a day and doesn't even think of Him for the rest of the day, whereas I am chanting mantras and prayers 24x7. Still the Lord praises this man. I should show the true colour of this man to the Lord. And he rushes to Vaikunda.
Narayana, Narayana.”
Hello, Narada, where were you?”
Lord, I was observing the trader in the boologa as you said. He says a few words of prayer every morning. Whereas I am singing your praise all the time. How can you compare him with me?”
Easy Narada. O.K. I shall accept you as my most devoted bhakta if you pass a test. First go and get a bowl full of milk kept over there. Bring it without spilling a drop.”
He went within seconds where the Lord pointed and saw a bowl filled to the brim with milk. He wanted to please the Lord and took it in his hands after putting the narada veena down. Normally he never parts with his veena, but he was prepared to do anything to make his Lord appreciate his devotion for Him.
He started moving towards the Lord. Though the distance was quite less and the bowl quite small, he could not walk fast as he could not afford to shake the bowl and spill the milk. As hewas fully conentrating on the milk bowl, he didn't realise that it took him quite some time to reach the Lord. But alas, he made it. He had brought the bowl without spilling a drop out. He proudly placed it before the Lord and looked up.
Thank you Narada. But where is your veena?. You look strange without your veena which has almost become a part of you.”
Narada ran back to fetch his veena and returned, chanting 'Narayana, Narayana.'
Now my Lord, I have passed the test that you gave me. I hope at least now you shall agree that I am your true devotee.”
Umm..., wait narada, just a couple question. How many times did you chant 'Narayana' in this last one hour?” It had taken him an hour to accomplish the task.
He was silent as he hadn't for once.
O.K. How many times if ever did you think of me during that time?”
Silence again.
The Lord smiled and asked, “So you forgot your lord so soon?”
Oh Lord, but You had given me a task and I was concentrating on it,“ Narada tried to reason out.
And I completed it as directed by you without spilling even a drop. I thought You will appreciate it.”
That's good.”
Narada sighed in relief and quipped, “So, You agree that I'm Your true devotee?”
Wait, My devotee the trader is calling me in his usual morning prayer. Ishall come back to you after listening to him.”
Narada was shrewd. He didn't need to be told that the Lord valued praying for a few minutes every day in spite of his busy schedule more than a lazy man's day long prayer.
And I'm sure my atheist friends won't be cross with me for telling an age old mythological story as they can surely take it to higher platforms and invent many more interpretations.