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December 11, 2017

The spirit of India!

I hate extremism in religion, whatever be the religion. It does not matter who started it. Yes, the Moguls started the atrocities. But Sanatana Dharmam has always withstood every storm quietly, like the mighty oak that weathers the tempest. It did not need to fight back, the opponent was too small for a fair fight.

Today, I see fundamentalism rising in the mohallas and alleys of India where none of that kind existed. Muslims praying in the middle of the busy roads whilst the traffic adjusts is an alarming sign to many Hindus here, but one has to note that it did not happen when the Congress was in power. This happens only when BJP is in power, and that should tell something.

You can't take Islam out of India and still have India. They came in, they looted alright and even committed a million atrocities, but then they also became us.

It is not fair on either side to seek to establish a world that now only exists in the history books and in the dreams of misguided minds.

Neither a Ramaraajyam nor an Islamic state are possible here. Only the secular socialist republic of India is possible. That India with her temple spires rising above the horizon and reverberating with the loud calls of azaan is the India that I know of. And that's the India I want to have with me. Anything else, is preposterous.

I hope, better sense prevails.

February 23, 2017

K9 friendship :-)

This is one of my best kept secrets :-)

When I was an undergrad student, I used to walk my way from the bus stop to home - a distance of about 4.5 km. Not for some exercise but simply because it was a picturesque walk through the fields and woods where I grew up as a child.

There was this little pup - a stray dog - who would sit near a tree and a mound of sand. She knew me coming there everyday, so she didn't mind me at all.

Those days, my mother used to pack a tiffin box with lunch for me. One day, I hadn’t eaten my lunch at all in the college and ate in a restaurant with friends. I gave my lunch to this little dog because my mother wasn’t a big fan of me eating outside.

She ate the lunch with relish. The next day, she was there and she wagged her tail in expectation. I didn’t expect that, I just petted her and walked home.

But from next day, I started telling my mom I needed some more lunch. She was super glad and like most Indian mothers, obliged. So every evening for the next 2 years and 9 months, I shared my lunch with this dog.

Then I left for my graduate studies. She’s there even today, but not the young pup I once fed. And she recognizes me even today and runs to me wagging her tail, when I go there. She’s made some new friends and is healthy.

That’s a friend if ever there was one :-)

January 18, 2017

Jallikkattu and Tamil culture?

100 years ago Tamils wore no shirts. Today we do. 100 years ago Tamil ladies never wore blouses and both sexes were bare chested. Today we say that's obscenity. 1000 years ago there were neither rapes nor false cooked up complaints of rapes. Today we have. 60 years ago Bharatanaatyam was considered a Taboo. Today not learning it in Mylapore is a Taboo!!!!
Tamil culture seems to change every 5 years. Is Jallikkattu that important?
How many of these people who defend Jallikkattu can write a proper sentence in Tamil? How many of them can speak good Tamil devoid of English?
We won't protect Tamil literature. We won't take the good etiquette of our ancestors. Merely hanging onto Jallikkattu is not a big deal.
Today India indulges in symbol worship than worshipping the spirit of things. Tamil culture does not need Jallikkattu to survive. It needs more Tamils to learn Tamil and pass it on to the mext generation.
Kambu, cholam, varagu etc disappeared from our diet. We took to Pastas and noodles and rice.... that's a greater threat than losing Jallikkattu.
For that matter, Jallikkattu is not a very Tamil thing either. It's imported from North, to speak the language of the divisive fools. Krishna had to tame bulls to marry one of his wives.
I am not saying ban jallikkattu. But just saying that if we are so bothered about Tamil culture, there are higher and bigger issues to tackle than raging bulls.
The same is happening in Kerala also. My ancestors used coconut oil for cooking everyday. Today the doctors (read oil company lobby) keep screaming that it's bad. I've never seen a physically active Malayalee die of heart attack because he used coconut oil.
How many of these modern people who protest against the ban and are up in arms to protect culture can actually cook even puttu/olan/vathakozhambu at home?
They fought for entry to Sabarimala. How many of them, I wonder, even light a sandhyaadheepam at home?
Funny, are the ways of our people.
So my point is, if each of us takes care to learn family traditions and hand it down to our kids and let them know why it's important, culture will take care of itself. Some aspects will be weeded out if irrelevant. That's the way natural selection works.

May 28, 2016

Sepia tones!

I had gone out on a walk to meet a very dear school friend of mine. It's been nearly a decade and half since we last met. A bit of background is, this lady knew me from the time I was in Class 4, and she was a ravishing beauty with big talking eyes in Class 6. I remember falling asleep in the school bus over her shoulders or lap. A big bully for my age, I always spoke of studying abroad in the states and taking her with me wherever I went!.... That's what childhood was all about - dreaming, fantasizing, loving, holding hands, fighting and forgetting all about it. Coming back to today's meeting, she asked me to explain my "New found patriotism" and my reluctance to leave India. All I could tell her was this - I felt secure here. She gasped. What security was I talking about? Well, it's the same security you feel when you pace up and down your own portico. This is MY LAND. Yes, it's got all the flaws it has got, but then this is my backyard. I can do what I want to, live the way I am used to and be happy. I need not have the feeling that I am on permission to be here. I need not protect my passport here as if that were my license to live here. Here, I am the alpha male. "You seem to measure your words better now. You know how to talk, but then kiddo, you always did" - was her observation. Perhaps that's what experience does to a person? You talk a lot when you're young, learn to shut up as you grow older, and when you cross 30, you figure out how to use your silence to get the best out of what's around you. But we didn't change a few things! She still sat to my right today (mine was the left window seat in the school bus back in the day), and she did hold my hand. The same warmth was there, but it wasn't so tight as it used to be while crossing the roads. Perhaps, she now knew she could let go a bit now! It was like we had parted ways yesterday and met today. I remarked about a few silver strands already showing up despite she being under 35. She brushed it aside - literally and metaphorically. She was, if anything, more beautiful now - in flesh and as always, at heart. And did I tell you? For once and for the first time, I paid the bill. And felt so good about it :) As I prepared to bid good bye, albeit reluctantly, she looked into my eyes and said "You've grown up kiddo"! This was her remark after she gave me a half hug. If eyes could kiss, this was it. I knew I was a kid reliving his charmed days from an age almost 2 decades ago. As she waved from within the cab, I realized she was holding her daughter much the same way she used to hold me in the school bus. On her left, head over shoulder. Perhaps, she mothered me at that age? Perhaps, I am indeed her kiddo? I'd never know. I don't want to know either. I'd take her for what she is - a sweet lady who loved me in my childhood.

December 31, 2015

உயிர்க்கும் புத்தாண்டு ....

மெல்ல மீண்டும் உயிர்க்கிறது
சென்ற ஜனவரி இரண்டில் இறந்த
இதே புத்தாண்டு தினம்......



அது மெல்ல மறைந்துகொண்டிருக்க,
நாமும் மெல்ல மறந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறோம் ..
கடந்த புத்தாண்டை.......

April 18, 2015

ஹிந்து மதத்தின் உயிர்நாடி: (புவனேஷ்வர்)

இன்றைக்கு பலருக்கும் ஒரு பயம் யாதெனின் பிற மதங்களாலும், பிற-மதஸ்தர்களால் நமது ஸனாதன தர்மம் க்ஷீணித்து, ஏதும் ஹானியை அடையுமோ என்பதுவேயாம். அப்பயத்துக்கு ஆதாரம் யாதொன்றும் இல்லை. அஃது நடவாது.

இத்துணை காலம் ஒரு மதம் ஜீவித்து, பலப்பல படையெடுப்புக்களையும் ராஜ்ஜிய மாற்றங்களையும் தாண்டி ஸ்திரமாக நின்றுள்ளது என்றால் அதன் ஆணிவேர் மிகப்பலம் பொருந்தியதாக இருக்க வேண்டும்.  

நமது இத்தர்மத்தின் ஜீவநாடி எது?

அனுஷ்டானம். ஒவ்வொருத்தனும் தனது முன்னோர் வழி வந்த அனுஷ்டானங்களையும், பிறப்பால் வந்து பொருந்திய கடமைகளையும் செம்மையாக ஆற்றுவானேயாயின், அந்த ஆத்மபலமானது எதையும் தாங்கி, தாண்டி நிற்கும்.

எப்போதெல்லாம் மேலை நாட்டு மயக்கத்தால், மோஹத்தால் நம்மவர் வழி தவறி அனுஷ்டானத்தையும் ஆத்ம விசாரத்தையும் மறக்கிறார்களோ அப்போதெல்லாம் தான் அதர்மமும் அனாசாரமும் மேலோங்குகிறது.

பிரச்சாரம் பண்ணியோ, ஆசை வார்த்தை பேசியோ, பணம் காட்டி மயக்கியோ, கத்தியைக் காட்டி மிரட்டி உருட்டியோ நமது ஸனாதன வேத தர்மத்தை ரக்ஷிப்பது அல்லது புனருத்தாரணம் பண்ணுகிறேன் என்று கிளம்புவது பயனற்ற வீண்வேலை.ஏனென்றால் இத்தர்மம் அங்ஙனம் வளரவில்லை!

ஒவ்வொருவனும் தனது கடமையை சிறப்புறச் செய்து அனுஷ்டான சீலனாக இருந்தால் ஆயிரத்தில் ஒருத்தன் பரமாத்மாவில் கலந்து முக்தனாகிறான். அப்படி முக்தனானவனின் அருகில் இருப்பவர்களுக்கெல்லாம் அவனருள் கிட்டி அவர்களும் மேம்படுகிறார்கள்.

ஒவ்வொரு நூற்றாண்டிலும் நான்கு ஐந்து ஞானிகள் நமது அருகில் இருந்துத்தானே இருந்திருக்கிறார்கள்? உறியடி திருவிழாவில் நூறு பேர் சறுக்கினாலும் ஒருத்தன் மட்டும் எப்படியோ ஏறி உறியை அடித்து விடுகிறானல்லவா? அவனால் ஊருக்கே வெற்றி, பெருமை. அது போலத்தான்.

இதைத்தான் கிருஷ்ணரும் கீதையிலே சொல்லியிருக்கிறார்.

அது மட்டுமல்ல, "ஸம்பவாமி யுகே யுகே" என்று ப்ரதிக்ஞை வேறு பண்ணி சத்தியமாக சொல்லி விட்டார். நமக்கு பயப்பட அவஸ்யமே இல்லாதபடிக்கு அவர் பண்ணிவிட்டு போயிருக்கிறார்.

இந்தக் கலியில் நாமசங்கீர்த்தனம் ஒன்றைச் செய்தே, நாமஜபம் ஒன்றைச் செய்தே உய்ந்து விடலாம் என்று இருப்பதால் தான், "கலி சாது:" என்று வ்யாஸ பகவானே அநுக்ரஹித்திருக்கிறார்..

ஆதலால், பிறரை வழிக்கு கொண்டு வருவதை விட்டு விட்டு ஒவ்வொரு வைதிகனும் தனது அனுஷ்டானத்தை தனது வர்ணத்துக்கும் ஆஸ்ரமத்துக்கும் ஏற்றாற்ப்போல செய்து வந்தால் நடக்க வேண்டியதை அந்தப் பரமேஸ்வரன் பார்த்துக்கொள்வான்.

ஆத்மஸ்ரேயஸ் அடைய என்ன வழியோ, அதை ஒவ்வொருவரும் கடைப்பிடித்தாலே, நமது தர்மம், தூண்டிய விளக்காய் பிரகாசமாய் ஒளிரும்.

ஸ்ரீ மஹா பெரியவா திருவடிகள் போற்றி!