Sunday, May 27, 2018


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Children play a vital role in our evolution. They help us in refreshing our values and are probably the best teachers. Yours truly was visiting a good friend who had nieces at home for their vacation. The younger tot was a bundle of joy but held to her uncle and aunt with a wary eye on the newcomer. In the evening when she inquired as to whether it was time for mangoes, her aunt i told her that it would only be after supper. Overwhelmed by the little one's desire, yours truly intervened and offered to slice the mangoes for her.

The little tot with alacrity told " Aunt is right. The king of fruits will take the royal route if the stomach is full but the food cannot." Silenced by her logic, yours truly awaited the supper time. The supper done. She challenged all for a feast of mangoes. There will be no prizes for guessing the winner. Aftouer this contest she warmed up. As preparations to leave were being made, the tiny tot cuddled up and told "What is the hurry to leave? Stay on till vacations are over". The quality of a true hostess which we lose as we age stared in our faces as we joined in laughter.

Life had sent yours truly to  a predominantly Marathi speaking area. The need to pick up the local language was acute but the first few attempts led to embarassing situations wherein the wrong words had been chosen resulting in some friends chiding the effort at displaying stupidity in the name of being an ardent learner. Thereafter, a friend's young child started tutoring and its chuckles at the mistakes committed was not in the least distressing. Soon, Marathi was a part of the portfolio. Several years later when Marathi was again a forgotten language, the need to master Telugu arose. This time around a young tea vendor played the Acharya though he knew no other language.

It had been the practice at home to send yours truly to bed first when guests would stay overnight. The reason being once fast asleep yours truly required no pillow nor would be aware of the loss of the pillow. Over years it had turned into a grouse that yours truly was being cheated. The arrival of new incumbents to the flat nearby brought a small kid who endeared himself to the family. Soon some guests descended on his home and the kid rushed to us. The grievous look on his face was accentuated when he queried whether he could sleep overnight. We were delighted by this offer but wished to know the reason. The young lad all of less than 3 ft tall said, " When I ask for Poori it is not there but today some people have come home so pooris are made. They will stay and I am told to  sleep with my parents". Chuckling at the replica of yours truly we chimed in that he could stay over but should be charitable to people at home. Yours truly was truly humbled at the turn of events.

Life had come full circle as the little lad mirthfully agreed little knowing that he had taught a lesson of life.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


Mother's day is a special day inythe west whilst everyday is mother's day for the east. Musing over this aspect, yours truly reflected on the mothers in Mahabharata, the famed epic.

Ganga, the mother for redemption of the cursed Vasus and to the illustrious Bhishma topped the list as she continues to be mother to millions. Close on heels was her co-wife Satyavati who dictated the course of the epic by her beauty and laws while ensuring the  throne for her heirs. The princess of Gandhara and adopted daughter of Kuntibhoja match each other in devotion and wits to lead the way for their respective progenies. Draupadi, Hidimbi, Ulupi, Subhadra, Chitrangada set the tone for the mother of all battles which is equally contested by Bhanumati and Uruvi.

These eleven women epitomise maternal traits in their inimitable style. The reference to the epic mothers would be incomplete without the famed Devaki and Yashoda the mothers of Krishna who leave the door open till date as to the debate on the biological mother vs foster mother. Similarly, Kripi, the mother of Ashwathama and consort of Guru Drona also extols the virtues of an affectionate mother in economically trying circumstances would undoubtedly bring up another facet of motherhood. Urvashi, the adopted mother of Arjuna follows suit with her transformation from a suitor to a mother. 

The founder of the dynasty Bharata was himself born to one of the much celebrated mothers named Shakuntala. Queen Sudeshna who was the mother of Uttara who married Abhimanyu as well as Uttara Kumara of Virata kingdom is another memorable mother in the epic. The above seventeen mothers of the epic in addition to the "mother" of this epic Ved Vyasa epitomise maternal instincts in its entirety.

However, for those who feel this is not adequate, it is said that the Ramayana was recited 64 times in the epic and thus, Sita would also be one of the epic mothers who despite her traumas reunites her sons with their father.

But who does not see the best of all these mothers in their respective mothers? That alone is a fitting tribute to the mothers of this world. After all the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!!!


Indian mythology is replete with tales of separation. These place the separation of a parent from their offspring as the ultimate loss one could suffer. King Dasharatha is portrayed to have suffered this for a mere separation for 14 years resulting in his own demise. But imagine the separation throes of Sravana Kumar's parents who lost their young devoted son on whom they were dependent. Three years ago, yours truly had rushed to a friend's place on a similar traumatic occasion. The friendship, thereafter, could not find its  resonance as no was complete without a reference to the young one or a chat with her. The three year gap had soothed the wound but was it sufficient to meet each other was a question that troubled one's mind.

Gingerly stepping out of the trauma, yours truly placed a call to announce the intention to visit to be greeted with warmth and affection. The night of travel to the destination was not pleasant as memories troubled and interfered with sleep. On reaching the destination, the distraught father greeted his friend and ushered him home. The mother showered the affection and gently told that yoga helped in mastering one's senses. After glasses of water, refreshment and a breakfast while they spent their time at yoga, yours truly was introduced to a young child all of three years old. A daughter of my friend's sister-in-law, the family chose to call her their daughter. The little one helped the couple to move through many chores. She also taught yours truly that melancholy is not a cure for any situation. The proverbial drawing of a bigger line to make the present one smaller was also not a solution. The apparent solution was acceptance of efactual position and reaching out to the world on the best foot. As games were played and joys exchanged, a lesson was imparted that sorrow needs to be shown the door in every situation with grit and determination.

There were no hard feelings. Instead of yours truly consoling anyone, here was a couple which showed the way to art of living. No guru dakshina, no enrolment fees, no courses but a lesson imparted by living. The hat remains doffed as the bereavement continues to be shared!!!