The 21st Century Dread

No, nobody senses it consciously, much less speak out its exact terms at fora that matter. It’s been hovering for a while since the last World War : this constant dread of discussions instantly gathering and gravitating toward its conclusion, and not hang perpetually in its spread; of global human problems getting directly resolved long term because the champions are clear on our universal priorities; or, of community matters finally settling right for everyone concerned since moral perversions from niche quarters are summarily kept at bay.

It is dread of us no longer being conflicted, as a people. That would be when we’d either choose privacy on the web or allow ourself the freedom to let apps access our data with a click, but not harp for both; when women will stop founding themselves on their power to cause overwhelming urges in men, all in the name of liberalism or feminism, and men will go back to work at overcoming their felt fears and perceived inadequacies.

images(2)

The dread is real amongst religionists, which term is exclusively meaningful to Abrahamic faiths. Atheism is not being opposed to religion per se; it is merely disbelief in God. But how it spells apocalypse to Christians and Muslims ! That is because their religions are tied to God, in their instituted hierarchy of representatives of that male ogre on the sky. Apostasy is a crime in Islam, punishable by death; Christians are less inhumane : they only resort to that subhuman attempt at harvesting souls, by numbers — hundreds, thousands, millions.

In contrast, pagan and panentheist practices start at individual level and are formed by their way of life, around their fears and aspirations cast abroad to phenomenal entities naturally surrounding them. Their gods are close witnesses to their fate, their being, condition and conduct. The tree or the mountain stands guard over their resolve; the river carries away their prayers. The stone remains in their living space, linking their lives to their beyond.

But don’t dread these dreads coming true. Not yet. As it is, I see that possibility recede even more as sheer ideating liberal proliferate on social media of all hues and kinds. More and more people believe in talking, writing, and even more urged to suggest, advise, retweet and share, repeat and regurgicate.

No, madam. No, sir. There is no threat of that dread becoming real. Hunger is necessary and wars are needed. We require men to argue, not to understand but to oppose, break down, cause mayhem, riot, rape and kill, in order to make our politics revolve, corner our justices into doubt, give better than half a chance for narratives to propagate and keep the strife-serving humanity going, by  keeping our people distracted from immediate, simple and direct solutions to our most abiding of divisions, conflicts and miseries.

Cheers !

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Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – II

https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/journal-awakening-into-the-truth-10/ … Hereon, it becomes difficult to chart the inner processes and describe nature of change they each bring about in the very nature of our mind and its consequence upon ourself… contd…

Karmas are attracted by the activity of mind, …

The mind is not in the horizontal spread of, and of the same order as, the material universe, in which the body-identified individual finds itself as one amongst trillions. The Mental Space is a vertical shift away within the self and, phenomenally speaking, is of an entirely different order. A view of one’s mind is available only to the particular individual to whom the specific mind unit belongs. So, there can be no group study, examination or observation, of the mind.

The task is an uphill one : for, the individual-self must rise to identify with the witness consciousness peering through the buddhi or the intellect to avail of the toehold unaffected by the mind, against one’s own sensory habits anchored to material objects that, to our vitalised sensibility rooted in subconscious drives, promise what we all prefer in our experience : pleasure, joy, ecstasy and happiness.

But that involves allowing the emotion-backed will to take over our self, consenting to the consequential intent, wading into action for specific result, and pushing ourself through hope and despair. That choice we commit ourself to, through consent and action, is our Karma; and the habitual proclivity in the nature of our mind, to act in order to avail, is a display of the dominating Guna or the Great Qualifier of each thing or being manifest, which in this instance is Rajas.

The entire creation, gross and subtle, is qualified by the three Gunas : Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Though all three Gunas are present in each being, there is predominance of one at any given point in time in accord with its Karma or the nature of choices it has habituated itself to, the general character of the species to which it belongs, and the environment it finds itself in.

Typically, the dominance of Sattva leads one to arise and rise into more calm and peace, non-violence, quest for truth, inclination to focused contemplation and persevere at effort to gain knowledge, patience and honest conduct, freedom from envy and covetousness, and attenuation of worldly ambitions. Rajas makes one more driven to action, more given to vitality and less to self-examination, reduced scrupulousness, to more ambition for material acquisition and attachment to sensory pleasures, and to more agitated states of the mind. Tamas causes the tendency to remain in inertia and general inaction, and easy slide down into mere physical pleasure, without assuming responsibility or striving to exert.

The mind is made of wholly non-material impressions left by our Karma in the unit mind. These too determine the predominant Gunas that characterise the mind unit and qualify the “person” or the individual self attached to it. Hence, phenomenally, one with reduced residual karma would have progressively attenuated activity in Chitta and Manas, in that order.

Theoretically, an individual without any residual karma, with his quest for knowledge and experience quenched, will not have a mind unit as the rest of us are attached to. Such a person will no longer be an “individual” but will be unified with the undifferentiated infinitude of the Causal Space, where the three gunas exist in a state of perfect balance and there are no object things or differentiated beings to observe !

One is then the being itself, of which all beings are manifest and de-manifest; one is then knowledge itself, of which finite knowledge forms arise and become extinct; and, one is then bliss itself, of which all transient pleasures and joys are experienced and which all beings constantly desire. One is then the Soul of the universe, pervading the Mental and Material spaces, pervading all phenomena and beings in them.

Buddha, The Conqeror

Courtesy Nicholas Roerich archives : http://www.roerich.org/wwp.html

Indian Secularism : Dilemma And Absurdities

There are those who invoke secularism in the context of State policy and others who expect common citibzens to be ‘secular.’

The first bunch of secularists demand, or at least they ought to call for, absolute separation of religion from State affairs or any instance of factoring in of the religious subscription of citizens before the State extends its punitive or welfare policies to them.

So, why wouldn’t these champions oppose subsidy to Haj pilgrims ? Or protest Hindu Temple Endowment Act, which empowers the State to usurp all donations and the right to adminiter them ? Or fight for return of vast tracts of land leased to Church all over the country ? Or the more recent RTE Act, which makes it mandatory for Hindu educational institutions to reserve 25% of admission for students fron economically weaker sections of society, at considerably subsided fee ? All of these associate State policy with religion.

The second group of secularists expect people to be practically a-religious, or so they would have to be if they were to be logically consistent in their attempt at being truly secular. Nobody can be personally secular without obliterating every trace of religious affinity or belief in his values system.

Is that even possible, especially in a nation of deeply spiritual people, who engage at a dozen religious observations through the year and several personal rites through one’s lifetime ? There are 800 million Hindus, 200 million Muslims, and another 200 million of other denominations, all of whom are guaranteed their right to freedom of religious practice and belief, by their choice. Who would change the fundamental tenet of Constitution, and how ?

It is not my case that secularism must cover itself in these dire dilemmas and absurdities. A simple scenario of religious freedom to individuals in their own personal space and strictly enforced uniform civil code for every behaviour involving other people, even within family, would greatly harmonise our societies everywhere.

But weren’t we speaking of Indian secularists ? They are our liberals, intellectuals, politicians, as it happens. Their motivation is lust, not harmony.

Hush, Still Now

Speak not of fears

Yours or mine

Nor of the future

Verging on mind

Let’s step back just

Hold our silence

And let it all pass

Over, away far

Before we look at now

Free and unafaid

Without future or past

And wonder at last

On this one raging want.

*

The die is cast

Determination locked

Right or wrong

To surge by the day.
There is no foam

Nothing fluffy here

Just the wanting

Every moment

To hit hard

Where it hurts.
It’s a gift received

Of deep pain within

That must rebound

Back to you, for me

To let go of breath

I have held for long

To blow it all upon you.
Sleep well, my enemy

The die is cast

Determination locked

To heap upon you

Tonnes of dark, biting

Whorling storm

Of exterminating misery.

European Indology : Lies With Long Legs

At its start, Indological studies were taken up by Europeans, with political motivation. The study itself was about India, its history and language, but the people who published their research, opinions and views with their slant, were officials or upper class citizens of European colonising nations : Britain, Germany and France. They were individuals affected by their collective dilemma and own personal purposes.

Why did the Europeans vest so much time, effort and money, on matters that barely concerned them ? And that in such depth, to such unimaginably antiquated detail ? Answer to these questions need to be uncovered and widely disseminated among native heirs of Indian heritage for, one, the love of truth and, two, to understand uncorrupted facts about their own history, as far back as it went.

“There is cognitive dissonance in this stance of Sir William who, on the one hand, praises the Sanskrit language and its significance while, at the same time, not inviting a single Indian to participate in the deliberations of the Royal Asiatic Society. In fact, Indians were effectively barred from such participation.”

Who were these people who came to India so eagerly ? What motivated them to do so ? Prodosh Aich has documented the real story behind the study of Indology, the subject that Sir William Jones was credited with initiating. There are many questions that he answers in the book Lügen mit Langen Beinen (Lies with Long Legs).

For example, individuals who served in upper echelons of the British East India company were awarded the title Sir (or a Knighthood) before being sent to India, presumably to impress the Indians. A gentleman with the title “Sir” was a Knight of the British Empire, reminiscent of the Knights of King Arthur. A Knight did not belong to the hereditary nobility, except on rare occasions.

In order to become a Lord and sit in the House of Lords, one had to own a substantial estate; but land was scarce in England and hence, while it was possible to impress the Indian by awarding a titular “Sir,” it rarely resulted in their elevated to Peerage. So it was in the case of Sir William, whose primary motivation in coming to India was to attain wealth, at an accelerated pace than he could hope for in his own country.

Inadvertently, Sir William set in motion a chain of events beginning with the search for a Proto Indo-European language (PIE). What puzzles us is that it never occurred to him, as far as we are aware, that possibly Sanskrit itself could be the grand ancestor to all Indo-European languages. Untill then, Europeans had assumed that the oldest language related to the European languages was Hebrew. Given the anti-Semitic feelings that simmered underneath the surface in European hearts, there was a general relief among all when Sir William’s study informed them that the roots of their heritage lay elsewhere than in Hebrew.

But even as it did, the pioneer realised that transferring that origin onto the “unwashed millions” of a subject people would perhaps be equally unacceptable. Indeed, it would have been prohibitive and preposterous to even think, much less admit, that India possessed the linguistic technology (in Panini’s Ashtadhyayi) to explain the grammar of their own languages.

As may be the case, there are two major disservice that Jones did to the Indic Civilisation. One was the possible misdating of Chandragupta Maurya by several centuries and the other was postulating the assumption of a PIE, which implied an Urheimat (ancestral home) from where the Indo Europeans fanned out to the four corners of the Eurasian landmass. By so doing, he laid the seeds for a fractured historical narrative for the Indics, which was not supported by any Indian legend, tradition or folklore. In short, he saddled the Indics with perpetually having to refute dual falsehoods : a false chronology and an imposed ‘Aryan Invasion’ or what has been light heartedly called the “Aryan Tourist theory.”

The extraordinary level of interest by German scholars in Indic matters is a very interesting narrative in its own right and we need to reflect upon its highlights. The German speaking people experienced a vast increase in intellectual activity at about the same time that Britain colonised India. We do not understand the specific factors that came into play during this time, other than to remark on the tremendous intellectual ferment that was running concurrently during the French revolution and the keen interest that Napoleon showed in matters scientific, including the contributions of the orient.

Clearly the remarks that Sir William made about Sanskrit as well as the high level of interest in Sanskrit language that he triggered, contributed to the overall sense of excitement. But why was it Germany and not Britain, the center of research on the Oriental contributions. The answer lies in the intense search for nationhood that was under way in Germany during that period. When Sanskrit was discovered, and it dawned on the Germans that the antiquity of Sanskrit was very great, and that Sanskrit and German were somehow related, the Germans suddenly had an answer to the question of their own ethnic and linguistic origins.

Sir Henry Maine (1822 – 1888), an influential Anglo-Indian scholar and former Vice Chancellor of Calcutta university, who was also on the Viceroys council, pronounced a view that many Englishmen shared about the unification of Germany : “A Nation Has Been Born Out Of Sanskrit.

From the beginning, the great interest that Germany showed in Sanskrit had more to do with their own obsessions and questions regarding their ethnic and linguistic origins. It had very little or at least far less to do with the origin of the ancient Indic. And yet, that does not stop the proponents of AIT (Aryan Invasion Theory) in India, whose knowledge of European history appears to be rudimentary at best, from asserting that AIT is an obsession of nationalistic Hindus. Such is the fate and perversion of history that conquered nations are expected to suffer !

The discovery of Sanskrit was a matter of immense “political” relief : that, finally, the languages of Europe did not after all derive from Hebrew but from an ancestor language which was initially assumed to be Sanskrit. In the immediate aftermath of the discovery of Sanskrit by Sir William Jones, there was a great gush of admiration and worship of the sublime nature of Sanskrit texts such as Kalidasa’s Sakuntala. But that appreciation was political, not in truth, barring a few souls, of whom Voltaire was amongst the foremost.

The ideas of racial superiority were still dominant in 18th Century Europe despite the Renaissance and the much celebrated Age Of Enlightenment. And it showed, as the Europeans realised that the present day practitioners of Sanskrit were not blonde and blue-eyed, nor as mightily depraved or strong as they themselves were. The fact that they had conquered, robbed and tortured, their own cultural forebears would have been a horribly uncultured thing to do on part of the Europeans, and was hence equally shameful and unacceptable.

The European Indologists therefore came upon an ingenious explanation, which led them to declare that the Sanskrit culture of the subcontinent was not native to the subcontinent but was impregnated by a small band of nomadic Viking like marauders – the Aryan invaders. These “specialist” scholars then proceeded to root and project themselves, within the short span of 200 British-rule years, as being the intellectual class of India. Of course, the Macaulian project would “educate” the natives and create sidekicks by thousands, and increase their tribe.

The hypothesis (because that is what it was) had of course no basis in fact, but it served the purpose and killed several birds with one stone. It denied India the autochthonous legacy of the dominant culture of the subcontinent, helped create a schism in the Indian body politic, implied that the native Indic was incapable of original thought and certainly not capable of producing a language like Sanskrit. It still fulfilled their obsessive need to escape from the Semitic umbrella and yet did not pin them down to the influence of a “subject” people. The thesis held the ground that their ancestors did not come from India but from a long lost Shangri-La, of whom there were no survivors; an exceptionally nice fit, to say the least, since the hypothesis could never be contradicted !

Thus was born the mythical Aryan, whose only qualification was that he should hail from a land that was anywhere but India, a nowhere, preferably from a region not very densely inhabited or conscious of their antiquity. It gave the excuse for the British to claim that they were indeed the later day version of that long-lost impregnating race, destined to lord it over lesser, more unfortunate people by reason of the fact that they were “Aryans.” One only has to refer to some these stalwarts such as Trautmann (1997) or Chakrabarti (1997), to feel the perversion.

The civilisationally deleterious effects of systematic destruction carried under Macaulay project are evident even today. It is commonplace in India to deride somebody who expresses pride in his tradition, and his civilisation, as being jingoistic. The British went to extraordinary lengths to undermine the civilisational commonalities amongst the people of India by various means and diverse instruments. Anything that had a negative impact was played to the hilt. The knowledge and pride of India’s antiquity, history and cultural heritage, was systematically downvalued and new datelines had to conform to the belief that India did not contribute anything of significance to the civilised world, and that all she knew in the area of science and mathematics was learnt from the Greeks. The Indian was uniformly characterised as a shiftless, indolent individual with very few redeeming qualities.

So great was the change and so lasting its effect that today vast numbers of Indian youth have almost the same opinion of India and Indic traditions that the colonial overlords had, and propagated, in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. There has been a massive change in the psyche of the Indic, much of it for the worse, a fact that was brought out in vivid portrayals by V S Naipaul, when he coined the phrase ‘the wounded civilisation’ in his reference to the Indian subcontinent.

Journal : September, Wednesday, And The Little Boy

The dawn is yet to break; the twilight is just about creeping over the night ambience. The tea brewed up excellently; its taste and flavour, and the caffeine dose, remains as its felt presence. The being is awake.

September is the other equinox month of the year, heralding autumn in the Northern half of the planet. Region about the Tropic of Cancer will have golden hues in the morning and late afternoon. In India, the days of monsoon rains over most parts are over. The air begins to be less humid; and virtually crisp at times during the day. The monsoon will soon recede from North Central parts, tracing back its path over Eastern region and dip south over the gaping Bay Of Bengal, hitting the south-eastern regions of coastal Andhra and Tamilnadu by December. It will be winter by then, cold, in rest of the country.

The month also revs up the festivities that start low key in August, after the streaming month-long Saavan visit to temples of Shiva, with Rakhi followed by Ganesh Utsav and Teej. There will be Jiyutia that mothers observe in the Hindi belt, and the iconic Durga Puja later in the month. The latter, celebrated whether as victory of Lord Ram over Ravan or of the gods led by Devi Durga over the demon army, essentially reminds us of the triumph of good over evil, of the goodness of being over the evil that existence secretes.

There will be Deepavali or Diwali, the festival of light, about twenty days after the Puja. Ten days later, by November-end, people in East Central region will observe Chath, with offerings to the Sun God, whereafter the exuberance will be reigned in for work in the fields, cropping for the Kharif season : wheat, mustard, potato and peas. There will Gregorian celebrations for Christmas and New Year before the spring season festivities will kickstart in mid-January with Makar Sankranti, when the sun will begin to go increasingly overhead.

*

Wednesday is a sombrely observed sacred day for our ‘Tewari’ clan of village Tewaripur in Bhojpur, Bihar. It is the day our migrant ancestor, from the mountainous region of present-day Uttarakhand, had passed away. The day is still remembered about 30 generations by the wider family of his descendents, whom I have referred as “clan.”

There is restriction on starting any new venture or holding an event on this day, except if a child is born in the family on this day of the week. Which would be I, in my family. After my birth, the family felt free of the self-imposed ‘Wednesday’ restriction and I inherit the same freedom to this day.

There are two other days our family holds in same sombre sacredness : Tuesday and Thursday, on which days my parents passed away. Fortunately, our sons were born on these two days and freed us of the constant trouble of having to remember and factor in these inexplicable restrictions on our daily life events and initiatives.

*

The litlle boy from next door entered our bedroom slowly, to bid a ‘bye’ before going to school, but not shyly. He lent a hand, to help me get up, because I insisted on walking him back to the lift lobby. As I was about to wish him and turn back, his mom called to say, there was time before the school bus arrived.

“Five minutes,” she’d allowed. He and I used those moments to recall bits of the story I’d read to him yesterday evening. We were yet halfway through. “You’ll complete the narration today ?” I assured him, I will. It was a happy boy who stepped into the lift, following his mother, for his this day in school.

And, it was a happy old man who walked back to his chair, to resume with the news daily I was reading when it got interrupted. Now, why would Vladimir Putin talk about talks with North Korea, without himself taking the least initiative at holding a one-to-one with dictator Kim Jong-un ?

It is ten o’clock when I press the “Publish” button.

Graduating From Marriage

Graduating from marriage is culturally the opposite of men and women in their sixties marrying for the thirteenth time or, worse, men in their fifties hitching with minor girls.

When you graduate out of marriage, you have fulfilled the purposes of that institutional framework which allows two people to join up and live together. Then, both gradually evolve out of it, while still living under the same roof but in separate dwelling spaces, as two single individuals.

The couple would still have common time in their long established routine, habitual short durations for tea, meals and interested talks. But that would be exceptional to their otherwise independent, self actuating lives.

Graduating from marriage leaves the togetherness intact unlike as it happens after divorce, which precipitates on account of dissatisfaction. One necessarily graduates out of marriage with shades of satisfaction, an alround sense of happiness and peace. And it takes preparation over years to thus graduate; again, unlike divorce.

In Sanatan Dharma, the Vedic Hindu way of life, graduating from marriage was part of the third stage of life called Vanaprastha.

What Do I Know…

What I know.

What do I know ?

What do I know ? Much, I should say. About things, phenomena, life, people in general, society, economy and politics. What I know nothing about is other people in particular except those I have lived and interacted with. I know some about about members of my family and a couple of friends with whom I have shared experience, who’ve trusted each other enough to open their selves from time to time. And about almost everyone I have met and observed, even heard about, from their behaviour relative to the condition they are in or life situation they are facing.

What I know about the other person is always held in trust, with a sense of responsibility to not allow contempt, bred out of my familiarity with the person, to takeover my disposition. Or, to look upon the person as someone from hell, come to wrap up my own in his own shadow.

I cannot say that I was always thus responsible and successful at safekeeping of such trust. But from the time I felt accountable to myself about 35 years before, I remember keeping a strange kind of kinship with people about whom I knew. It might not mean much on the surface, in terms of expressed relationship, but the relatedness existed in an unspoken, rather solemn way. It was like love felt in secrecy, often without involvement of the other person over decades or ever a loving word exchanged informally. It wasn’t the love we mean in our daily usage, of something effusive, interactive, acts of giving and receiving, or identity bound to a mutual relatedness.

It is a love that is entirely my own for the being I knew about. Its presence or rise was not dependent on sensuous impact for, say, the form in sight, words in the ear or being held close in contact. The real difference in the nature of two kinds of love was that the one within, resting solely on what I knew of the other, could expand to include all beings, the entire universe, while the love bound to relationship cannot. The latter has limited scope of spreading for very practical reasons; it can only be particular, not generalised.

In sum, this is what I know :

“As we know, keep what we know non-transactional and safe in our trust, so shall we love for the sake of what we know alone.

“Love transacted perforce has its rules, bounds and limits. It is at best like the tip of an immense iceberg.”

Ginosko : The Excellent Journal

Two Short Poems

(1) Dementia Nights

Boxed into a realm of confusion,
she must have felt so desolate.
Strands of memories wiggled away from her.
Lines blurred.
Life’s bric-a-brac jumbled itself
into a labyrinth her eyes
couldn’t clarify,
could find no path out of,
couldn’t penetrate with anger, will power
or even calm discipline.
Wires hanging in the dark
in a cityscape of litter and winds
knew how to entangle her.
Street lights dimmed.
There was no moon.

(2) Hospital Visit

“Aren’t you happy to see me?” I asked.
“Yes,” she answered.
Presently, she offered a smile that mocked
or ignored or refuted
my unsolicited concern–
more a grin or a smirk as opposed to a smile,
an expression that perfected her ambiguity.
Then, positioned only a foot from her bed,
I gazed at her out-of-reach presence
as she twisted
away from the ungainly chair in which I sat,
toward the more comforting company
of death.

Fot the full magazine, enter here.

cover #19 7.3.17

Journal : Man, God And State Power

19–21; 22–20; 20–22

That was how Indian shuttler, P V Sindhu, played through sapping one and half hours in World Championship final in Glasgow. The score tells everything about this hero of the game, who very incidently lost the last bit in the decider. Kudos, Manpower !

About 5 apiece

In ODI Cricket, that would be a good average for runs conceded per over bowled. But that isn’t it. It is the runs Indian bowler Bumrah conceded before downing his next opponent wicket. That is great performance. Kudos, Manpower !

Among other news this morning, there was a large writeup, fulminating ramble picking up on Supreme Court’s 1994 judgement in S R Bommai case and another in 1996. Both dwelt on constituted secularism, starting with areligious character of envisaged State power and, by derivation, of political parties that are fundamental to any democratic system. The demand is essentially behavioural — policies, decisions and actions. It bars use of religion in electoral arena.

I have lived through a long list of contraventions to this aspect in the laws of the land. The value itself seems desirable. There was a long period of great tussle between the king and the Church in England, and France, until the matter was cleanly settled during the decades around French Revolution. Imagine if it had not, if kings were still bound to obey Church advisories !

But the secular ideal for State power and political conflicts, in practical terms, when another constitutional provision allows individual liberty to practice of religion and profess religious belief. In addition, the constitution admits legality of “personal laws” by denominated religions. Huh, eh ! The secular idea expresses a collective need; the individual right to religious freedom is real. The people in areligious State offices and secular political parties are free to be religious. Which explains the multiple breach of secular expectation in law.

OMG, what is precious in the spiritual ideal of religion conflicts with equally important temporal need for equity and justice. I find little possibility of bridging the two, in their currently expressed forms in the constitution. Who will rewrite them and when ? There are fierce flocks for the status quo. Those who want change are votaries of the spiritual ideal. Who knows the ideal ? It has claiments who will cause mayhem if denied. We must go back to the real with the ideal in mind.

That close to $11 billion credited to the accounts of 300 million of the poorest is heartening. The goal is to have a billion Aadhar IDs, a billion smartphones and a billion JanDhan accounts. People are at work; the nation is in the making.

There are more Indian geopolitical curls to straighten in Afghanistan, at NSG, and with China. And several disunifying wrinkles within to smoothen.

Till I post next…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty Of Ageing Woman

She I have lived with

Longer than any else I know

Than anybody alive and close.

images (3)

The much loved woman

Loves to buy new dresses

And decks herself more

As she ages, older she grows

Adding nothing really, I see

Covering the oldness she but feels

Because she has friends cheering

Younger than her.

images (4)

She I have lived with

Longer than any else I know

Than anybody alive and close

I remember just as she was

When I had met her first

Which I still glimpse

Washed each morn

Combed back and bunned

Plain dressed, unadorned

And shining out of her eyes dark.

Once Upon A Time, In Chola Country…

Once, there lived a king named Subahu who ruled over Chola region. A learned brahmin named Jaimini used to counsel him on religious and spiritual matters.

One day, while Jaimini was giving a discourse on the virtue of benevolence, Subahu requested him to categorically distinguish those deeds that lead a soul to heaven from those that carry it to hell, and describe them.

Jaimini : O King, one who earns his livelihood by improper means definitely goes to hell. Likewise do the atheists, the licentious and arrogantly proud, backbiters and ungrateful people.

One who covets or grabs wealth belonging to others, by immoral or illegal means, and those who disrespect their guests go to hell; as do those who are habitual liars, who kill innocent animals or who have abandoned the right path.

One goes to heaven who is truthful, who engages himself in virtuous deeds like penance, meditation, study of scriptures, and pursues one of the many sanctioned ways of life; and they too who are respectful towards their elders and lead a virtuous life, who are benevolent and are free from vices like jealousy and hatred.

Likewise, one who leads his life as the scriptures instruct and guide or has full control over his sensual desires goes to heaven.

King Subahu took Jaimini’s preaching to heart and decided to spend the rest of his life in the service of Lord Madhusudan. He performed countless oblations and attained to Vishnuloka after his death.

(Extract from Padma Puran)

Padma-Puran-(Swarga-Khanda)-Hindu-Holy-Book

A Short Story

The little girl was exasperated. She searched for her father upon waking up. The motherless child lived with her father in a large house, filled with a number of employees. Not all were needed; but her father did not care. He loved them all and was glad the property could support their families. The estate he had inherited was large, large enough and more.

She had raised a ruckus, tantrum like hue and cry, for her father. The men fanned out, in search of the master of the house. Shortly, one of them retuned with information. She rushed out, almost running, then on a trot as she tired. It at some distance, by the canal. Her anxiety was acute because, the man said, her father was asleep and would not wake up despite repeated calls.

images (4)

It was still early and the autumn morning was mild. The golden sheen over the rural landscape, carpeted paddy green and dotted with tree clusters, was beautiful. The child’s heart was mesmerised by both the surrounding and her deeply conflicted mind. The birds chirped; but why wouldn’t her father wake up, she wondered. Why did he sleep over at the bank of the canal, in the first place ?

At the canal bank, she found her father still in deep slumber. The bottle he’d drank from was rolled out and away. That wasn’t new. It was an evening norm as far as she could remember. But it had never interfered with the routine : the dinner, and his care for her after, the slow paced, high pause conversation he invariably have with her before putting her to bed and retiring for the day.

And here he was, on the grass, without the comfort of a bed, without his dinner and his gentle words to her, without thing he never failed to do : see her in bed. She remembered how empty it had felt the previous night, how strange, uncomfortable and tiring, as she fell off to sleep.

“Baba (father) !” She shrieked once, out of anger. But her dearest father lay unmoved, his lovely face covered in blissful innocence. She moved up closer, by his very side, then sat beside him, gazing with a flood of emotion for the only person she knew, had ever truly loved and deeply cared for. She softly caressed his cheeks, sat cross legged and gently lifted his head to her lap, and called again, “Baba, wake up ! When will you, if not now ?”

The man woke up with eyes wide, as if already awake, shocking his daughter somewhat. He looked closely at her, as would we at a strange but loving soul. Relieved and already joyous, the girl bent down, held her little palms on his two cheeks and kissed his forehead. The man, middle aged with mixed hair on head and face, got up sharp and sat gazing at her.

“Mother, Great Mother,” he murmered. The child sat transfixed for a moment, watching her strangely distant father. “Baba,” she drew his familiar attention. “Yes…” But he spoke no more and did not reach for her, as she fervently wanted, and got up on his feet. He folded his hands, joined his palms, and bent his head a little, in a brief prayer.

“Come,” he said, reaching for her hand and helping her to rise. “We have work to do.” They both walked back with the men on tow. She tried to let out her cheer of the morning delight, and drew his familiar kindly look but no more than a smile. The distance was thence covered in silence.

At the house, father and daughter freshened up and sat together for breakfast. The man called the matron-in-chief of the house, Shuchi, who had accompanied his late wife to her husband’s house upon marriage…ah, twenty three years ago, he reminisced fondly. In addition, he asked the matron to identify the most trustworthy employee of the household. “It’s Surya, Lord,” she responded almost instantly. The man gave a thought to that young man of thirty two : he worked hard, faithful to his assignment; and he loved his family, with whom he lived in a small quarter on the estate. He could talk sober, read and write, and could even attend to jobs in district administration offices, land registry, and law courts.

“Send word to Surya, to meet me in half an hour. The matron complied, harking for one of the helps. The three had their breakfast. The man was serious but happily smiled at the very start of a question from his daughter. “Eat. Eat well. Study. Grow up, regard Shuchi as you would your own mother. Surya will take care of the estate, along with Shuchi, and will together protect you.” The little girl was dumbstruck. “Are you going somewhere, Baba.”

“Yes,” he said nodding, continuing uninterrupted with the morsel picked from his plate. “I will be away for a long, long time. There are matters I need to personally resolve and remain away for that reason. It can no longer be postponed.” The little girl could barely comprehend what it meant except an abscence she felt deep and dreaded. Only the conviction in her father’s words seemed equal to the hollowness in her heart. “I will wait, Baba,” she said shortly. “Please have no worry. I will eat better, study well, and grow up fine. And I will wait for you to come back, however long it takes.”

The three moved over to the sitting area. The man took a while writing on a sheet of paper. He took out his seal from a side drawer and stamped a little below where he had affixed his signature. He folded the document and put it in an envelope. He sealed its cover flap and waited in silence. No sooner, Surya’s arrival was announced. “Take it to lawyer Ramkumar. Hand it over personally and ask him to do the needful without a moment’s delay. He will know.” But he continued to hold the packet in his hand and briefly explained the circumstance to Surya. “Take care of the estate, its problems and needs, its lands and houses, it people both permanent and casually employed. Never allow waste of money but never withhold on what was needed and necessary. Discuss all important decisions with Shuchi and lawyer Ramkumar. And always arrange to protect the young mistress. Always,” he emphasised.

After Surya left, the man stood up. Shuchi and the child followed suit. Moving up to the child, he squat low, on his toes, and reached for her, gently pulling into his embrace. Time stood still but for their breaths and the tear welling in their eyes. The suddennes of all that had transpired since morning seemed surreal to both the girl and the matron. A few minutes later, he broke off and held the girl to his gaze. Planting a kiss of love and goodbye, he swiftly moved out of house and, without looking back, boarded the waiting carriage. The horses neighed in readiness. The coachman tugged at the reigns and the wheels turned over the ground. The entire group of employees moved up the unpaved street, Shuchi and her little mistress at the head, and inadvertently followed the receding coach till it passed out of sight.

They waited, hoping the lord will return to pick up something he had forgotten. But the emptiness hung heavier, putting hope to naught. The little girl turned back, treading on laden steps. People went to their stations, chatting sombrely and letting out sighs, to allow normalcy to return. In the house, the young lady stood pressed against the matron, face buried at her waist, and cried.

“Baba took nothing with him, no clothes nor toiletries. How will he manage.” Shuchi assured her, he will, though she did not know how. She sat down, comb in hand, sat her mistress on her left thigh, and brushed the child’s hair. She then wiped her face, ears and neck, with a wet towel and dressed her up in new clothes. She led the girl to where the other children on the estate were gathered, playing games…

*

That is all that I know of the story. The man was seen no more. The coach had dropped him at the railway station, with just a cotton cloth on his shoulders. Years passed. The little girl grew up into a fine young lady, kindly and capable, under loving care of her now elderly matron and the watchful presence of Surya, who had greyed. Lawyer Ramkumar often visited the manor to discuss matters and offer advice, but mostly to meet the lovely niece he never had. In time, the young woman married a budding lawyer, who had been an apprentice under lawyer Ramkumar.

Life at the estate was sorted and settled until Sage Vamadevananda called at the manor entrance. The lady of the house rushed out to greet him with due reverence and even greater affinity. He came every few months or years, while passing by on his way to Holy Kamakhya, or on return leg to Kashi.

The young woman ushered the old mendicant sage into the huge parlour. Both Shuchi and Surya came to offer their respects. He was led to bath, by the well outside, change clothes, and was led back to the cushion seat, specially laid in the sitting hall for the venerable sage, where food was served on a low table. Afterwards, the saint lay down on a bed placed on a far side in the parlour, and soundly slept.

The young lady sat on a chair by the bedside and fanned the body at peace with great attention, intently watching the innocent, bearded face. Serving him was for her a means to immense joy. Never could she say or share with others her deeply felt sense that the sage was familiar to her. Or, did it just seem to her ? She had never been sure and did not feel the least inclined to clarify. It was a happy day for her that anyway was rare. So what if it remained mysterious, she would tell herself, and went back to being happy.

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China : Ruin Ahead

Excercpts from an article that looks ahead along China’s compulsions and trajectory…

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  • Huawei is closely affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army — and is banned from most business in the United States because they are suspected of hacking and espionage aimed at U.S. critical infrastructure.
  • I asked one student if people in China were trying to get their money out of the country.His eyes lit up and he replied, “Yes, everybody I know!”Why are the Chinese moving their money out of the country? Because they know, as I’ll explain below, the yuan could lose its value any day now.
  • China is encountering hurricane force headwinds that will cause its nonsustainable debt-driven policies to reach a critical state.These headwinds include : confrontations with President Trump on issues of trade, tariffs and currency manipulation; internal political instability from Chinese President Xi’s efforts to expand and centralize his political power; possible geopolitical crises connected to North Korea, Taiwan or the South China Sea; Trump’s pivot toward Russia and away from China; the Chinese credit bubble; capital flight; and China’s delicate relations with the IMF.
  • China cannot end its subsidies to exports because it needs the jobs that its export industries create. The Chinese Communist Party is an illegitimate regime that will remain in power only so long as it provides jobs and a rising living standard for the Chinese people. Once the Chinese job machine stalls out, popular unrest could emerge on a scale much greater than the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. This is an existential threat to Communist power…
  • China cannot prop up the yuan indefinitely because it will run out of reserves and go broke in the process. In effect, Trump is trying to force China to adopt policies on trade and currency that it cannot pursue for political and financial reasons.

You can access the full article here.

Panentheist Traditions Are Valuable, Embracing, And A Rarity These Days Because The Culturally Abrahamic Modernity Lives In Doubt And Must Start With Suspicion.

Tradition is important, not for restricting or denying opportunities for individuals to quality and enter but to establish its culturally defined and socially agreed upon values system. The rigours of traditon anchor its way of life practices into their respective inviolable psyche and behavioural moulds in order to prevent their inadvertent generational laxity, advertant creative corruption or just needless tampering.

Hindu Vedic traditions are protective of things valuable and over time its actionable rules have been known to work and deliver. It has changed and adapted through countless eras and therefore what remains of it today needs our appreciation even more, for the trusting and embracing thought worlds it engenders among members of its community.

How valuable this tradition is, without a pyramidal hierarchy instituted with a ‘Father’ at apex — Pope, Bishop, Caliph, Khomenei or Mufti, could be underscored by laying two facts : one across time and other across space. The Hindu Vedic traditions are the only extant way of life, practised on a large scale, that link modern man with its civilisational origin in hoary, prehistoric times, along a continuous unbroken chain of generational takeover from the one preceding. It is a link that is lost or terminated in the case of other nomenclatured civilisations : Egyption, Greek, Menoan, Mesopotamian or Babylonian, Zoroastrian, Shinto or Tao.

In terms of population that follow, Hindu Vedic traditions are at present practised by one-sixth across the globe. About one-third of world population are non-subscribers to any particular tradition and people’s disenchantment with hegemonistic and political traditions in Christian and Islamic worlds is growing still. Including its morphs in East, Far East and South East Asian countries, its diaspora and unofficial or undeclared practioners, Hindu Vedic ways are present in roughly about half of all global subscribers of one tradition or another.

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An instance illustratative of trustful and suspecting attitudes is presented herebelow around “shraddha,” a typically ancient Hindu Vedic value that spells deep respect and trust of other, even of those who we cannot see or who are not present, and obedience to them, even if what they suggest does not seem convincing or agreeable to our modernised minds.

How is that to happen, shraddha, while we are young, overwhelmingly stronger and more powerful than the other, a parent who might have his or her most disagreeable faults, failings or decay, an elder who we might not even know well, or a woman too poor to behold ? We are cultured into being respectful to our elders for the greater length of life they have lived, suffered, attained or learnt from. And that feels unreasonable for the most part without a quantitative and qualitative assessment of what the other has attained, made out of his life. Yet, there is this cultural fiat : respect your elders, that followers of Hindu Vedic tradition will unquestionably honour.

Shraddha goes a lot more deep within our self than just respect. It prompts a low bow of our entire being, body and mind, before the person who has drawn our shraddha, by who he is — parents, teacher, or by how someone we know has lived his or her life : values espoused and upheld, hard practices followed, difficult knowledge acquired, non transactional or non partisan and principled behaviour consistently displayed towards other people, etc. We naturally listen mindfully to suggestions they offer, try our hardest to come true to their expectations, deliver on their request, and obey their merest advice.

Why ? Because we have been so taught to value, cultured to honour, trust and respect. It is harboured in the Hindu Vedic family tradition and is expected in schools (gurukuls) we go to or religious orders (matths) we enter. The wealth of a great soul is the shraddha he or she evoked in a single person; it is a wealth already renounced and never made use of. It is a wealth that is safe with the person in whom shraddha was invoked. It is a wealth that flourishes in the trust with which we approach and the spiritual embrace we offer to objects, people and things, in our world.

Hindu Vedic traditions are our spiritual wealth that can only be imparted informally, non formally, but are both essential to our civilisational being and are irreplaceable markers of our spiritual evolution till this day. They do not interfere with any other secular knowledge we shall ever acquire, skill we shall practice or profession we shall ever pursue.

That is, until we remain  human : caring and empathetic, respectful and compassionate, knowledgeable and happy. There is already so much inhuman about our modern world order and such subhuman behaviour emanating otherwise.

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As It Perverts…

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The only perversion, at root, is that inability of the pervert to wrench itself away from the driving emotion, engendering reinforcing thought in the mind and manifesting in the pervert act, assaulting motion or speech. It isn’t a perversion if one could restrain oneself from the act, even while suffering the emotional sizzle, as it happens.

We could be constrained by a moral value within or by fears of external consequences, social or legal. But the potential juggernaut of perversion will remain, waiting to find its way in personal failure, coincidental opportunity to escape the law or to camouflage one’s culpability. It remains as a second order vulnerability that in its capacity looms large, precedes the existential self and, finding its opportunity, overtake us through an irresistible surge of emotion.

That static status, of restrained perversion potent within ourself, will not remain as such : it will either take us down, when the situation allows, or we must continue to pull ourselves further back and finally turn away altogether. We need a new home for our self, beyond the power of perversion within us, if the latter effect is to become permanent. It can’t just be an ideated, thought created thing to be merely mooned in. It must bear a reference to our initial state, in which perversion remains potent, and chart a direction towards our destination beyond its pale.

What better, logically consistent home we could revert to than the origin of our perversion itself ? It is love in itself in our heart, unified and at peace, with renunciation of all subtle or gross contributory influx from without. We are love and so is every other person. We neither have the need of a particular object for our love nor any business being partial about its extension. There are instituted ways, through marriage and family, for steadying ourself while such external needs hold sway. They do not cure us of our perversion but provide a sanctuary through times we are still vulnerable.

Yet unified love in our heart, though necessary in curing our potential to pervert, is not sufficient to our homing into the perversion-proof base. The perversion potential, at its surge, would simply camouflage itself behind our curiosity drive, to know the other person or thing. The task however is not to become omniscient, and quench the curiosity drive forever, or to cover ourself with an universal and impersonal love. One will take ages with our apriori conditioning and the other is impossible in a world teeming with relatives.

All we need to know, be convinced about, is the pure origin of what is manifest perversion, so that we can instantly revert to loving purely, without corrupt objectification of the come-what-may surge to unify with the other. And, so that we may instantly displace the perverted desire, to win or possess the other, with its very origin in the pure desire to know.

It is easy, quite, to renounce perversion by choosing its pure origin. The herculean thing is to know, be convinced of its purity at source.

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This Change You Need To Know

I know people read what I write because I am mindful about what I choose to write about, even in my comment on other people’s post, with decently constructed compositions free of serious grammatical errors. Largely, that is.

What most may not know is that I am writing a book, at a snail’s pace so far, and have decided to devote to it a lot more of the effort I am capable of in order to give a little speed towards its completion one day, before I breathe my last.

I had stopped being a chit-chatting bot and had shed my role as an activist or crusader of causes since a while now. i have been “dead” to Twitter and feel the need to go likewise — dormant — on Facebook, in view of this decision pertaining to the work in progress.

Accordingly, you might not read a direct post from me on Facebook except through a link to what I enter on my WordPress site. I will restore WordPress share setting to my Twitter account as well. My readers on G+ are already in the loop.

Thank you for your kind attention thus far and farewell thee all until we connect next.

I will visit my Notes India page on FB off and on for your comments.

Farewell

Savitri : Part III

Savitri : The Mahabharata Story

… Continued …

The very next day, King Ashvapati of Madra declared before the full court his acceptance of Princess Savitri’s choice of young Prince Satyavan, as her groom and lord, despite Narad Muni’s vehement objection to the match. Soon, shouts of exclamatory joy could be heard all over the kingdom. People gathered in small groups, taking time off from work or relaxed in their front courtyards in the evening, and spoke about the bright virgin who had delighted their hearts with her pure, kind and happy countenance through the years. They had immense regard for the great King for his virtuous and benevolent rule; and they empathised most with him for the fact that the King had no male heir to succeed upon his passing away.

The most excited chatter however took place among women folks, especially that served in the palace or had husband or a son in king’s service. Those in trade or part of merchant houses looked forward to attending to summon orders from Queen’s quarters in the palace. On the day they heard of the royal intent, all women high or low auspiciously ululated with gush and blew the conch with particular gusto. They chatted about the joyous event to happen when they met with neighbours or ran into others on their way. It was truly to be a national celebration.

Or so everyone thought except Narad, the Sage Divine. His melancholy of tragic future happenings in Princess Savitri’s life was deep. He prayed to Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh that the fated mishap be averted and Savitri spend a long happy conjugal lifetime with Satyavan. His grief cut more deeply everytime he acutely felt his helplessness and remembered that there was nothing, absolutely nothing to prevent the mountain of grief about to befall on the First Maiden of the land. On such occassions, the Sage would direct all his ernest will in beseeching the Great Mother Parvati to grant adequate strength to Savitri to bear her fate and to intercede with Lord Shiva to smoothen the rupturing impact of her impending eternal separation from Satyavan.

“Lord help her. Help her Mother.” These were the only murmur on the quivering lips of the grief-struck Sage through the months that followed.

Came the appointed day, welcomed with the sound of conch shells from early hours, even before the day broke. The marriage rite was a simple ceremony, without ostentation, except for crowded footfalls in temples and celebrations organised by people themselves, at which they ate and drank, sang and danced through the night, and lined up in the morning  at the palace entrance, and all along the path the newly weds were to take, enroute to groom’s modest quarters in the hermitage. There was a shade of sadness over their joys, at the thought of Princess Savitri’s departure from the palace she had lit up with her presence. Tears welled up as the Princess bid adieu to her saddened father and her  mother who wailed unrestrained.

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The groom’s party moved out through the capital city alongwith a few companions of the bride and a team of King’s soldiers to protect them. They passed by festooned house entrances and blazing banners over makeshift welcome gates. Sound of pipes and trumpets from towers at the city gates were heard, then receded. Soon, they entered the forest through which the narrow beaten path to the hermitage wend. Passing through cool forest shades, the Princess drew the curtains of her carriage to see the birds happily chirp, branches sway in the breeze, and leaves dance to tunes playing in her own heart. Sitting across, Prince Satyavan felt he joy in her eyes and smiled at her. The party kept speed, aiming to reach the hermitage in time for a sumptuous lunch being prepared in its community kitchen.

They walked along a small, sinuous brooklet with glistening silvery waters, and crossed over. They moved past the frowning hills and wild pastures on the way, and at last could the large dense green patch around the hermitage. The dwelling units of resident hermits were situated in the midst of primeval woods beyond, in one of which Princess Savitri was to spend her life, as the consort of Prince Satyavan. She was happy for that, without any fear.

As they neared the hermitage, Savitri could make out the welcome party of a few scarcely clad men, bearded, in deep orange garb. Startled by approaching horse riders and carriage bearers, peacocks flew up with piercing cries, remaining airborne for a while before touching ground. Wild deer retreated fast and gazed at the coming crowd from a safe distance. Curious monkeys halted on their perch on surrounding trees and looked on with curiosity and apprehension.

At the hermitage entrance, they met a small welcome party led by the groom’s father, the former king who was now dispossessed. Though old and blind, his face shone with happy eagerness with which, it was plain, others in the group were equally infected. It was too precious an occasion for everybody and it was palpable in the way they moved up to receive the modestly attired bride, glowing with the happiness in her heart.

There was only one big if in the mind of each person in the hermitage : Will a Princess embrace and withstand the hard spartan life in the hermitage ? She, who grew up in an environment of luxury and granted willfulness, will find it extremely difficult to adapt to life without fawning maids and a bevy of servants at her beck and call. The daily routine could prove too hard and backbreaking : morning chores, taking care of old invalids, cooking up meals from very limited resources, collecting firewood from the woods around,  and, not the least, without recreation avenues and moments of leisure and relief.

But Savitri took to life in the hermitage with cheer and her role as a housewife with a smile. Wives and daughters from huts around gathered to see her, meet and greet, and welcome her into the community. Savitri herself found most of the womenfolk pure of heart and with saintly bearing. They admired her beauty and fine signs of character and she felt flushed with humility by their kind eyes and sweet words. They spoke highly of Satyavan, his gentle and self effacing nature, and of his good fortune at having found a wife who eminently matched in every way. And they blessed her with glorious progeny, much happiness and prosperity, and a family that would leave a trail of goodness and glory in each successive generation.

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It was late in the evening when the last of the visitors departed and Savitri had a few moments to herself, before Satyavan joined in. There, in the front courtyard lit by the cool shine of the risen moon, she sat sanguine and content though also with the shadow of an inexplicable apprehension. She knew not what it was that weighed over her joy. She looked at the trees around for an answer but they just stood gazing back at her through their ghost-like presence : mainly betels, sals, tamarisks and south sea pines, sadly waving with the breeze.

*

Not a day passed without Savitri’s dread of this hour of doom, a full year after she had garlanded her beloved Satyavan and had entered her new home in the hermitage. She had learnt fast and had risen to the expectations of her loving father-in-law and the doting mother of her husband.

Even through caring for them and completing the household chores, she had made it her duty never to take her eyes off Prince Satyavan. But nothing she had done had prepared her for the prophesied day. She found herself counting the hours as the day approached. On the day itself, dark clouds gathered overhead, filling her trembling heart with gloom. Her husband, kind hearted Satyavan, was unaware of this terminal day of his life, as were the old parents who had cheered up at her presence and companionship with their son. Only she had to constantly steady her nerves so as not to show her profoundest of fears, at that verge of losing her love and having to lead a life cast into barren desolation.

But she steeled herself soon after going through the ablutionary chores in the morning, and prayed longer, with more intensity and single mindedness than ever. She restrained the loud cries of her heart and calmed herself through making fervent appeals to the Godhead that she continued to repeat until an inexplicable light with cause to hope and bear courage rose in her being. In himself, Satyavan had nothing to avoid his fated end this day, she thought. Nothing except her love. At the other end, taking him away to the other world, would be Yama himself, the god of death. It would have to be a war of tugs, she visualised, between her and Yama, her soul’s innocent love and the god’s divine duty.

The minutes lapsed in cleaning, cooking and serving, and Savitri was faintly emboldened when noon was safely tided. Still, she felt like the wren fluttering in the shadow of the eyeing hawk, and shivered back into her dark foreboding. The afternoon was spent uneventfully with prayers in her heart. Gentle shades of the evening had just settled when she heard her husband’s call from the courtyard in front, “Savitri, my dear, it’s been such a fine day, cool and sunny in equal part. I will go into the woods for a short while to gather fruits and collect firewood.”

Savitri was tongue tied, too stunned with fear to hear of her husband’s casual plan. Thankfully, her kind mother-in-law answered back, voicing strong objections, “Don’t go, Son. The night draws on apace and forest paths are difficult to trace in darkness. Stay, till morning.” Satyavan laughed, at his mother’s worry. “Not hard for me, Mother. I can make out the ways even blindfolded, and would easily return safe. And a little of the day remains yet.”

“Fate is unravelling now,” thought Savitri with dense foreboding. “It draws my love to its appointed place and mishap. It is the quietly played move of the poker faced god of death.” Quickly she gathered her thoughts and reassessed the question : what is she to do. What. Now… Clearly, she cannot leave his side for a moment hereon. For that, she must obtain permission from her revered in-laws while her husband is gone to collect the axe and rope and the little platform on a pair of wheels, to load and pull the bundle of collected firewood.

Savitri rushed over to her blind father-in-law, sat before him and made her request for his approval of an evening out with Satyavan. The kind patriarch was taken aback at first and raised his face with a sense of shock. But he visualised his daughter’s eager countenance and her love for his son. It was a rare approach, he surmised, and softened at the thought of the two young hearts being together, by themselves. He smiled and nodded and granted, “Yes, my daughter, go with Satyavan and have moments of spite and fun. It is a fine evening to be together and outside. Make your return safe and early so as not to cause worry.”

Relieved, almost rejoicing, Savitri nearly ran into the front courtyard, where Satyavan was about heave the bag of tools on to his shoulder. He then held the on top the same shoulder, holding an end of both in one clasped palm, leaving the right hand free to deal with any sundry eventuality.

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Satyavan turned to look at the house and saw Savitri’s come out and cheerfully call for him to wait while hastening up to him. He was held by the delight writ large on her face. Coming close, she said between her rushed breaths, “Husband, I have father’s permission to accompany you today.” Her smile was infectiously wide and her presence was as if in a joyous dance, which Satyavan felt with giddy gladness in his own heart.

Politics In Law

It is a cool fine morning this day. The wine yesterday past midnight was good. I can’t say the same about Amish’s Ramchandra series though, one of which I am reading currently. But the K-drama, Ballad of Suh Dong, is engaging enough. And, the country is full of interesting happenings all over. Life is full, engendering, I must say.

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Times of India is daily I read with a reluctant compulsion. It’s there every morning, at the grilled door, and picked habitually to be served with my tea. Or, my queen’s if I happened to delay mine. It represents the times, err, the bygone era when corrupt, incompetent and unscrupulous louts of Congress ruled over our affairs. It is a propaganda mouthpiece of political and commercial entities which lie, buy and bribe with impunity on their way to ‘success.’

Among over a dozen remarkable developments it reported, I found an editorial observation most unconscionable…

Madras High Court’s Vande Mataram Order Will Complicate People’s Lives

Complicate lives indeed but not as much as reading the damned periodical does, I hear myself murmur. Vande Mataram is this country’s designated National Song that comprehensively charms our yearning to belong. Making it compulsory in schools would only complicate the lives of those who are lazy, wayward or ideologically pinned.

I am by no means saying that such a judgement was desirable or needed, especially its extension to government offices and industrial units where people go to work and often find themselves delayed or rushed to report on time.

It does pop the question : why ? Why did the High Court judges rule thus ? I have no idea except for what has been explicitly reported : on the basis of an earlier Supreme Court judgement that made singing, and listening in attention mode, mandatory in cinema halls. Arriving late to watch the Dunkirk show, I missed the routine and felt nothing remiss. But the occasion before was fun and full, with cent percent quorum, and had an easing-into-the-mood effect.

But offices are so unlike atmospherically compared to theatres, where manhours are not paid for, and schools, where kids can still milk some joy out of a rigmorale. So, why ? I have my suspicions ranging in career ambitions of the presiding judges, to standout in the eye of the supreme court collegium or of the nationalist leadership of present government, to simple stupidity that stagnating days breed in best of human minds.

Whatever though, a daily that itself is a vehicle peddling lies, misinformation and disinformation, has no business pointing to relative innocent complications that compulsory singing of Vande Mataram might cause. The pathetic state of our justice delivery system, its stupidity and politics, are matters of infinitely greater concern.

How sad, institutions constituted to keep us citizens on the right is so horribly wrong on several basic counts !

Lyrical Alice In Wonderland

I love the fact that there are people working to reinstate Lewis Carrol’s world into our lives, through providing another window into that creation where imagination rules.

My third and final album from my time studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is now available to download at Amazon and iTunes, or to listen to on all the streaming sites. It’s my attempt to fund my living costs for my second year of Masters of Music Performance in London (my 6th year […]

via Down The Rabbit Hole — Charlotte Hoather