Saturday, January 26, 2013

Battered & Bruised Conversations -- 1

"Hello you may not know me, but I have been seeing you sitting here since long, I think quite a few centuries, I am Keshavati Krishnaa. You must be Bhoomi".
"Yes I am, how did you know me" ?
"I have heard a lot about you, all the others out there, always keep talking about you. They say you always prefer sitting all by yourself, so many times I have seen you just sit there, lost in your own thoughts. Is there something that still bothers you, even after this long"?
Bhoomi looks up, with a far away sad look, "I have nothing more to keep bothering my mind anymore, but yes, i do feel sad, because nothing much has changed since i came here. In fact  feel this barren lifeless place is a far better abode than the one down there, with all its color, and attractions. They only induce more greed and desire, leading to many more to pay the price like us all here. At least now in this barren empty space there is some sort of shelter, I have also seen you sit but with a lot of anger bottled up within you, even after you have been here, for quite some time. This place is supposed to be nothingness, yet you seem to be carrying a big weight, may I ask you why, if you do not mind sharing. By the way, Keshawati Krishnaa, thats a long name, and where are your tresses, I mean you have been named Keshawati, right. Can I call you KK? I have heard many new entrants to this place call each other with short forms of their names."

KK gives a husky laugh," Yes, you may call me KK, I like that, and I had chopped off my tresses long before I came here, did not want to have anything to do with that which claims to enhance my beauty and also become the means for my doom."

"Doom? What had happened, I mean, I had heard some thing about you being molested and a big war happened because of you, the beings outside this land was discussing when I overheard one day, but I know thats not all true, I mean the real truth must be something else, what is it, please tell me if you do not mind"?

Whats there to mind Bhoomi, aren't we all here after facing similar fate. Where do i start. I was from a politically powerful, influential lineage, I had the best of upbringing, having knowledge of all the sciences, in fact I was far better than any man out there in every skill that they could boast off. My times were a bit more modern than yours, so I had the right to choose, at least that's what I thought. My best friend was a man, I could depend on him for everything and it was he who influenced me to choose one of his friends in my swayamwara. He was looking for a good support for his friend and their family, & my lineage could give them that support. In return I would have one of the most handsome man , the most brave and skilled warrior of his time, and also a very learned man as my spouse. So although it was called a swayamwara, I didn't have any choice. Of course I knew My friend would always do that what is right for me as well as his dear friend, so I followed his advice. But my happiness had started getting eclipsed as soon as the wedding was over. You see the man I married was a prince in disguise, with his four other brothers, and they were victims of family inheritance disputes. With the support of my lineage they could again stand up right and make fresh claims to their property. But fearing further division, this time between her own sons, my new husband's mother insisted that I marry all the other four sons too. This custom was prevalent in some communities during my times. It was their way of keeping the family and property together. She also thought, having me, a very beautiful woman all to just one brother might make the other brothers jealous, so that was the best solution she could offer to keep her sons together".

Bhoomi sounded a little surprised,"Oh, but then what about the man who married you, didn't he object, and your friend? I mean marriage means taking some wows. And what about your father, did he agree"?
"Huh, father, husband, friend, all are men after all. Father saw that he would get five strong, skilled warrior sons-in-law, my friend convinced him, saying once they get the kingdom, they will rule the world, with their righteousness, valor and sense of good justice. As for me I was now married to the third brother, but if married to all, I would be the empress, that would also add more power to my father's kingdom. My friend always believed in the good of the whole society, and he believed any sacrifice for that will only be an added good Karma, getting merits to move on into more higher conciousness. He did not want anything or anyone to come between the unity of these five brothers, not even me his other best friend. His plans were higher, to unite the whole land under one umbrella, with good governance, and i was just another piece of the whole monument. My mother really didn't have anything to say, she was after all another woman".

"Yeah, that i know. Then what happened"?

"I had to accept for the overall goodness to prevail in the society, after all in case a dispute ever broke up between the brothers, whether i have any role in it or not, I would be blamed, isn't it? We women are considered the reason for the wandering minds of men, even after so much of meditations and spiritually moving ahead, most men fail in self control. Of course after marriage all my husbands doted on me, it was really difficult for me most times to keep all of them equally satisfied, but together we all were happy. They also got married to other individual ladies, each having a wife to call their own, and they did go off to live with them often. My third husband also married to our dear friend's sister, and both my friend and my husband said it was purely political alliance, although they did have a son. I adored the kid, after all what was he to do, it was only my fate. I did feel betrayed by my friend though. It did hurt a lot, but there was nothing much i could do. I was aware of the political turmoil going on in the kingdom on the other hand, then came the division of the land, we had to settle for a barren one, which my husbands along with their loyal subjects and our dear friend turned it into a splendid city. My older husband was a very learned man, but also a loved his booze and gambling. Although he did rule our country well, people were happy in his rule. Fearing our growing power in the region, my husbands relatives, ruling the neighbouring land invited us over for a state visit and a gambling duet. My husband lost everything. His cousins had a roving eye, and i was subjected to their nastiness many a times. Whenever I disclosed this to my husbands, they dismissed them as mere eve teasing by cousins. I used to seethe with anger and frustration, but no one cared. Behind our backs they called me a whore for having five husbands, and thought if five, then why not five more, after all, its all within the family isn't it? On that fateful day my oldest husband staked me and lost again, now along with them I too became a slave. I was now an easy prey, and was dragged into a hall full of courtiers, and elders of the clan, and the king as well. They wanted to disrobe me. My husbands watched but their 'values" stopped them from intervening, as now they and I were a slave to these people. My friend had heard about us coming to this kingdom for a gambling duel and thankfully he came at the right moment and saved me from dishonor. No one dared challenge him as he was a very powerful personality of his time. I had wowed then never to tie up my tresses till my insult was avenged. We had to live in the forest for thirteen years. After we returned to reclaim our rightful kingdom, we were challenged with war."

Bhoomi's eyes were already misty and with a chocking voice she asked, "What about your father, why didn't you go back to him. Surely in your times things were bit better, as to your father accepting you back'?
"Yes Bhoomi, father wanted to take me away with him, but I insisted on being with my husbands, how could I let them wander in the forest living through the hardships, while I live in luxury"?

Bhoomi nodded in an affirmation, "Yes, yes, how can any woman do that. After all marriage was being together in good times as well as bad" said Bhoomi, misty eyed.

"Also I wanted to be right before their eyes with my loose tresses, all along reminding them day and night year after year, about their revenge" said KK, is a strong voice. "I could not take the chance with my eldest husband. In his righteousness he might just decide to forgive and forget, that was too much to let go, I sent my children to live with my father. My years were spent waiting for justice, not just for me but for the whole society. If a queen can be molested in a full assembly, what will be the plight of the common woman out there? My friend tried to avert the war, talking of peace treaty, even to the extent to saying I was being selfish, for wanting a war, as revenge. What would he know, he was also a man after all. The war did take place, the wrong doers were killed, I lost all my sons to the war, my father, brothers, and our kingdom was restored, my honor too in a way, but I had to live with the stigma of being the cause of a mighty war when all I was is a pawn on the mighty game of politics, greed and jealousy. I lost my sons, my father and brothers, I lost all respect for my husbands, though I continued to live with them as long as I was alive. I lost trust and faith in all creation. That is why when I came here, I decided to have no tresses, better play safe, never know what to expect in this land of nothingness. That's my story in short Bhoomi. Oh dear, I came to pacify you and ended up sharing my woes. What is the reason for your sadness Bhoomi"?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Romantic Spring or Invitation to Summer

I often wondered why poets & romantics called spring the season of love, all I knew was, ' Hello, summer is on it way, just a matter of a month to unfurl itself all over". And all those so called spring festivals, most of the time it becomes warm already, & every time the cuckoo calls, its nothing but an indication that the weather has become one more degree warmer today. I feel like telling it to shut up, nothing sweet about its shrill voice singing in so called pancham surrr... It hurts the ears, especially if its shrieking just outside your window. One of the most irresponsible bird, can't even build a nest, dumps its eggs in other birds nests, good for nothing, how can anyone feel romantic with the creature shrieking???

Basant utsav, that's what its called, with Saraswati puja in Bengal & other eastern states, everyone wearing the yellow & orange colour, making it unbearable to look around. When the cold has already started ebbing away, & sun becoming stronger, looking all around & seeing people in yellows & oranges, everywhere, one just feels so jaundiced. Of course the timing is good, the final exams of all institutions are to begin, best time to invoke & please the lady of knowledge & learning, but no one seems to have noticed that this Lady wears only white, while other go about celebrating her with yellows & oranges. i positively feel she doesn't get very pleased with this, no wonder education in India is so screwed up.

And what better way to go through with the romantic season, chicken pox & measles give good company this time of the year, just blame it on these diseases if any student cannot score later in the finals that always happens during the peak of summer.

And then that disgusting festival of colours, definitely started by some morons who wanted to go a step further in wiling away their time & eve teasing. Some lazy MCP must have started the festival, centuries ago & linked the name Krishna to it, so that gullible women fall for it, & come out to 'Play" with colours, & thus the pigs get to have some "clean" fun. Yah right clean, wonder in what way. Go ahead misbehave with women, & chant' Bura na mano holi hai". The festival unites people, blah, when someone comes and spills colour on my clean compound wall,throw toxic colour on me & pass lewd comments, makes lewd gestures, or chops off fresh branches from trees, for bonfire, I definitely don't feel the unity, all i can feel is throw such people into the bonfire. Holi or festival of colours, to welcome the spring is nothing but a traditional sanction given by the forefathers of Indian tradition to misbehave with women. And where is spring by the way, by the time it is Holi, its already hot,

The Indian summer never wants to go away, its forever there, sitting tight, with its roots deep down into the Indian soil, & the hot air all over the Indian sky, and it has characters too, " Hot & Dry, Hot & Humid". Whats the difference, it anyways hot hot hot, & no, not hot in that sense, this is hot, where one would feel suffocated with even one more person in the same room because the body temperature would also add few more degrees to the atmospheric temperature, making one feel more uncomfortable.

I have noticed how people go ga ga over how much the summer is more comfortable & bearable in their city or home town than others. try catching a North Indian or one in central India describing the comfort of their summer, most often one can hear them say, " oh, ours is much better, because there is no perspiration", while those who live in the coastal cities will claim theirs is much better, " oh at least we have the sea, so the tides keep is much cooler, & with the perspiration, sitting under a fan is very comforting," Donkeys, neither realizes that it is hot anyways. In the dry central & north, a summer stroke is common because the dry heat acts upon the skin, dehydrating the body more, & lack of perspiration doesn't make them realize that. On the other hand at the coastal regions, they perspire so much that, that itself leads to dehydration, so big deal, either way, drinking gallons of water is important, irrespective of where you come from.

And what with all the load shedding, no where in India can anyone have a comfortable summer anymore. At one time we heard of the term load shedding, living in a city, had protected us from a lot of hardships including load shedding. Now which city is free from it?? Haha... at least in some way the country has achieved some sort of equality now, everywhere there is load shedding.

Once Indian summer is here,it never wants to go away. Its just there, always, forever. Other seasons just find some gap here & there & slip in, only to be thrown out by old lady summer. Monsoon time, June to September, firstly Monsoon is not able to enter because its become too hot, then it has to force its way in with a huge cyclone & storm, to be able to settle in. But the summer will be lurking somewhere in the corner, just waiting for the rains to stop, & there its back with all the humidity as a support system. I have noticed how much of a tussle monsoon & summer have with each other, when it rains , nice & cool, as soon as it stops, back to hot & humid. Also there is a sort of competition between the two with how much each one can harass the humans. Summer tries to scare simply by its heat strokes, while monsoon shoots its cyclones, & cloud bursts, causing floods. Notice how hot it gets during the month of October, during the Navratri time, days are unbearably hot & sweaty, & by evening thunder clouds start gathering & begins to pour. Oh yah , some consider monsoon too to be romantic, yeah right, in India, with garbage floating in the flood waters every where, stink, muck, water borne diseases, quite romantic. Either way from spring to monsoon the cuckoo never stops shrieking. Thank God for autumn, when both summer & monsoon get too tired trying to show their might, and just back off to recuperate, silently autumn sneaks in, bring with it the message of approaching winter, at least even if every place in India don't get cold, it will be pleasant, for sometime at least. Phew....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eating Adventures

The other day while I was sipping my tea, I remembered how we caught my daughter draining her glass of milk down the sink, actually it was her father who caught her in the act. It was funny & amusing, but we surely couldn't show our true emotions before her. We had to play the parents & give her the "lecture", & make her feel guilty about her Baaad act. Like she cared. She too must have played along, standing before us head hanging down, listening to the lecture. probably wanting to laugh away, but pretending to be ashamed of her action, because thats what we were trying to make her feel. I was like "Oh my dear, how could you". Im sure at the back of her head head she must have been thinking, " Well why try to give me this white liquid turned chocolatey in colour & flavour, when you all know I JUST HATE IT". We shall know that only after she reads this & posts her comment.

Well I can't say I was a good example myself, I mean though I never needed to pour any liquid down the sink, but I did quite a bit of shooting eatables out of the window along with my sister. Yeah we all did that sometime in our childhood, & the memories of those eventful times only make us feel good about those happy innocent days. We loved milk, plain, sweet, flavoured, hot, cold, any form, as long as it is milk, its for me, We still do, its the best among God's creations. But there were other foodstuff that we just hated, among fruits was a long list, papayas, melons, ugh, I still hate them, whats that stink, & some people just love it just for that stink. Mom & Bapi used to very lovingly buy them for us during summers, peel them, cut them into small pieces, soak them in sugar to & serve them to us, while we very unwillingly put them into our mouths & somehow gulp them down our gullets. Next came the puking & throwing up session which only added to Mom's already busy schedule, & soon they realized papaya & melons are not for us. We girls parents made peace with the situation. But parents are parents, so in came the grapes, no problem with that, just that those days seedless grapes were rare. Grapes are not the problem, taste wise. Its only that when you put one nice shiny smooth grape in your mouth, & bite it, boom it explodes & out comes the little seed, & that we always hated, & so eating grapes were out. Other fruits were not hateful but more or less boring. Pomegranates, custard apples, boring! Guavas, either hard when raw, & soft when ripe, too many seeds, so thats out, I can go on & on with the list, so to conclude bananas & mangoes were the only ones that were more than welcome, while oranges , & sweetlimes, as long as Mom & Dad made juices out of them fine, welcome, with lots of added sugar to enhance them further. Pineapples, good when soaked in sugar. They also took a lot of trouble making a fruit salad, thinking when all the fruits are mixed, it will become a power house of nutrition & energy, plus we would not have the patience to select each fruit out & throw or swallow. This was mostly a Sunday thing, when Dad was at home, & he declared to Mom, "Why won't they eat the fruit salad, I shall see to it that they eat it all". Mom knew only too well, after all she dealt with us everyday, well Dad so be it.

My younger sister had an amazing aim, shooting bits & pieces of foodlings from the farthest part of the room through the grill, & out into the garden, right under Dad's nose, because he was already dipped in his sketching or a book. I got my training from this little sister of mine. We used to stuff the unwanted fruits under our tongue & cheeks, and wait for the right moment to smuggle them into our fists and casually walk away & then out of the window. We also knew the art of spitting far into infinity the stored up fruits from our mouths. It was fun to see the birds flock in one particular place down below in the compound later, & we knew how far we have practiced spitting the fruit game.

Like I said milk was fine, the best, but there too was a problem. We were served milk in huge glass bowls, because thats how much we loved having it, yet there were milky disasters almost everyday. While the milk was set down , either some fly fell into it, or one of us knocked the bowl down spilling the whole contents, while playing or wrestling. A bit of scolding & punishing by Mom, & again another bowl of milk, this time to be gulped down right in front of her. The amazing thing was that this situation was almost an everyday affair, but Mom never gave up.

We sisters had become experts in shooting stuff out of the window. Being Bongs fish & meat were a part of our staple food, & yes we hated them. Parents always want to provide their children with the best of nutrition for all round growth, & our parents were no different. So every Sunday was challenge at the dining table with Mom serving us generous helping of the day's non veg food & warning us to not try any tricks. We on our part never gave up, so when Mom fed us a morsel, as usual we safely kept the morsel comfortably under our tongue & cheeks, pretending to chew & also gulp at the same time. No we never swallowed even a teeny weeny bit, we were that good. The strategy was waste as much time as you can, when the parents finish & leave the table, smuggle the morsels out of your mouths & under our plates, well hidden by the rim of the plates. Next check how near or close the parents are & then one, two, three & shoot out. You must be wondering how come Mom & Dad never noticed our swelled up cheeks, simple, we were very good, & they were too trusting.

It didn't end there, our tiffin boxes were also not spared, not because we disliked what Mom always packed in our tiffin boxes, but we never got to finush eating the breakfast she packed, it was the syndrome of all chit chatting & slow eating, & before long the recess was over. Sometimes we ate in the school bus while returning home, but most of the time we used to forget. So whats the solution? Before we went upstairs the left overs were down the elevator shaft. Once Mom caught us. It so happened that she was waiting for the lift on the ground floor, after her evening walk, & she happened to glance down in the hollow of the lift shaft & saw the eatables down there. She wondered, "Who could have done this, it the kind of stuff I pack for my kids in their breakfast everyday at school. Oh wait, no they didn't", BUSTED. Now what, lift shaft was out. Here came in the many stray dogs in our society building. They were just too good, the generous ones just ate clean whatever we gave them. Actually these dogs had started getting quite healthy, all the food shots that came out of the window & the helpings that they got on our return from school, started making them quite healthy.

I guess discarding food stuff is quite normal, many kids must have tried it sometime, & its all because parents are simply anxious to see that their children get the best nutrition from all the food available out there, & children want to rebelliously have their own set of choices regarding their eating habits. Parents tend to not remember that children do have sense of taste & smell. At least my kid did, even when she was an infant. The pediactrician had given us some vitamin, iron & folic acid drops, when we left for home with the new human being from the nursing home. We never thought then that this little creature would be capable of asserting her chopice of what goes down her throat or not. The vitamin C & folic acid drops were just too good & she used to stick her tongue out for more even after we finushed giving her the daily dose. It was the iron drops that she showed dislike to. At first whenever she saw that particular bottle ready to drop its contents into the spoon for her, she used to wrestle her hands & legs to kock it over, when pinned down, she would refuse to open her mouth, then we forced her to open her mouth by holding her nose so she had to let go. We thought, yeah baby, we adults always win. But what were we thinking. She was just 15 days old, & one day she did not resist at all, yep she readily submitted to us, let us pour the hateful stuff into her mouth, we all were happy, I the most, I taught my kid her first lesson, Mom knows the best & you must be obedient. After about ten minutes or so, i came to feed her & found some yellowish stuff rolling out from the corner of her mouth & the baby happily kicking about watching the colourful photograph of the bright red flower on the wall. The tiny creature had just pretended to gulp the medicine, but all the time had stored it in her throat, only to spit it out a little at a time when we were not around. I then knew, here was a challenge who would make less noise & work more, most of the time unnoticed.

This kid grew up soon into a cute pretty little girl. Her school was a whole day affair, & so i was paranoid enough to see that atleast she eats a proper breakfast before she leaves for school. I felt if I never fed her the lunch, she wouldn't eat well, so compensate with the breakfast. After all its the main meal of the day. So here was a plate of omlette or a boiled egg & milk along with the nuts. All the stuff that my little girl hated, but all of them very necessary for her proper mental & physical growth. So the morning began with the daily scolding & bribing to make her eat, while she did her bit by puking to avoid eating all that was laid out. Sometimes she did throw up all that I very patiently managed to drown into her gullet. All the effort gone down the drain, & with the school bus almost at the door, there was no choice but to rush out.

One day while I packed her bag, I saw that her Omlette plate was empty & milk cup too. Ofcourse then I didn't yet discover the milk down the drain act. I also didn't notice that the omlette was crumbled & stuffed into her pocket, to throw away at a conveinient time later. What then, even after washing the uniform many times the eggy smell wouldn't go for a long time. Yeah we had to discard the outfit, & I stopped the breakfast of eggs & milk. It was just milk & the nuts used to go into her pocket to be eaten later, which never came. This habit still stays with her. Empty her bags & one can find nuts dating back to even two years. Once I even found a green something wrapped in a foil, in one of her college bag, that she wanted me to clean out for her. The young lady had kept her cheese sandwich once upon a time, when she was in college, & had happily forgotten about it, & not to forget the almost half kg nuts too from anothet of her bags, all from her college days. They had holes in them, a sign that insects had made the nuts their nest. But these were all when my little girl was already a young lady, i was still telling all about her childhood eating pranks, so lets go back to those days again.

This was when she was a little older, I used to go to fetch her from the campus gate as the walk to our block was a long one, & the weight of the books, plus lunch bag and all, & a tired hungry exhausted child of mine, made it very heart wrenching for me. Then one day my kiddo told me that she was a big girl now & can manage it all on her own, as none of her other school mates had their momies waiting for them at the campus gate. Ofcourse I wouldn't want to embarass my baby anymore so I stopped the practice. I used to wait at the window. My kiddo came all the way, right upto our block, all she had to do was climb up two floors & voila, home, within five to seven minutes. But what was this, she was taking more time to come upstairs than the walk from the gate to our block, almost everyday, why? So one day I just went down, and not seeing her around, I went at the back of the block & she was there, all surprised. When I asked her, she said she was trying a hide & seek with me. I wasn't really convinced, after all it was a been there done that thingy, & I kinda smelt something, so another day I went again, this time very carefully, & caught her throwing her left over lunch to the dogs that stayed behind our block. Yes yes as you sow, so shall you reap. We did that & now my little one did too, no I never told her about us, but these are instincts & they get expressed at the right point of time. I wanted to laugh, but had to show her how very not happy I was, & that this was unexpected from a good child like her.

Did it help, not really, she had surely found out other tricks, she hasn't told me yet, but she sure will some day, like how we share with our Mom now. She takes it with a great sense of houmor, now, had she known about it all back then, we would have been grounded. But now we all sit together & have a good laugh.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ma Durga's Shongsar.

I was having a chat with my sister this afternoon, and we just got talking about Durga pujo, as thats the only topic thats in every bong mind now, and so we got discussing how much control Ma Durga has on her family. I mean look at her, four children, two girls & two boys, each of them having their own pets, a husband who is always knocked off with the bhaang, whole lot of bhoots & prets, sadhus covered with ash all over, just like her husband does, two bulls & ofcourse her own pet, the big lion. This along with her close companions Jaya & Vijaya & other inhabitants of Kailas. Mount Kailas is quite a big home to maintain & Ma has her own career too of running the whole universe, by carrying out hers & her husband's share of the responsibilities, as he is always too stoned to do anything. There is no place for any mistake here, or else the whole creation will collapse. So does Ma Durga ever lose her cool managing everything all by herself. How does she do it all?

As a husband Shivji is of no help. Her older daughter Saraswati is too busy with her music & rock concerts, and her theatre, etc etc, she is very creative, and doesn't really care for mundane housework & running of the universe. Besides since the time Michael left his earthy body, Saraswati is very involved with him in creating a fusion with vedic symphony & Rock music. Saraswati was bowled over by Michael's Thriller, & ever since she was waiting for him to die & come over to join them at Kailas. Their aim is to create a bang louder and stronger than the big bang that created this universe. Probably Sarawati is looking at some ideas about creating another universe where only she will be ruling. The present universe will forever be ruled by her parents, and Saraswati is not interested in collaborating with her siblings, especially Laxmi in helping their parents run the universe. She never really liked the importance that Laxmi got from everyone. A new bigger and stronger bang might help in making a parallel universe where only she rules. Her swan can fly high & miles together without tiring out, so that way she can keep coming back to this universe on its back, thus keeping in touch with this side of existence too. Quite clever. This situation suits Ma, as Saraswati and Laxmi never got along, You see, Saraswati has this complex that Laxmi is loved more by earthlings than her, infact no one really cares for Saraswati, that is why from giving knowledge of eternity, and fine arts, she has changed her profession to rock & pop music. Another problem is that Saraswati is wedded to a very very old Brahma, whereas Laxmi has Vishy head over heels for her attention, and Vishy is quite a catch, handsome, witty, flambuoyant, and quite a good career. The guy has the charge of maintenance of the whole universe, no leaf also can sway in the breeze without him wishing for it.

On the contrary, Saraswati being so highly intellectual, no Gods were brave enough to come up to her and ask for her hand. And intellectually it is Brahma's experienced knowledge through endless creations, that impressed Saraswati in the first place. Also being very old Brahma is quite starry eyed about Saraswati, at this ripe old age, a young, heavenly beauty with equal brains, is his spouse, who wouldn't like to be in his shoes. He loves to pamper Saraswati, and her wishes are his command. Saraswati enjoys the attention & because he is very old, he cannot tag along with her everywhere she goes, so that leaves Saraswati totally independent. But she still cannot get over the fact that her husband is old while Laxmi's has the young and charming Vishnu as her husband.

Laxmi on the other hand keeps all of earthlings attention glued to her. With ups & downs in their stocks, keeping everyone running after her all the time. She loves getting attention, but prefers to keep the noise down. Her approach is silent, she slips in and out of peoples lives silently. She has created an aura that she loves silence, cleanliness, daintyness, beauty, and so who ever leads such a lifestyle, she smiles upon them. At the same time she has managed to create an impression that one wee bit of displeasure & she will just leave that person and walk away. No wonder poor earthlings are always looking for ways & means to keep her pleased & happy always. They are always busy doing rituals to please her, so that she spends all her time in their homes & lives.

Laxmi's most favorite season is the Dipavali. At this time earthlings leave no stone unturned to make her feel comfortable, and happy. The poor things stay up all night in singing her praises and offers her all that they have so that she is pleased and gives them more in return. No wonder her pet is an owl, they can see well in the dark, so it helps Laxmi to go about in the dark moonless night of Amavasya during Dipavali. But Laxmi has one grudge against her sister. While Saraswati is always touring the universe and has a very active social & cultural life, Laxmi in her free time has to always sit at the feet of her husband, & serve him. Vishy is all the time with her, so it has become rather difficult for Laxmi to even get a home facial done on her self, without Vishy asking her numerable questions.

Ma is aware of her daughters lifestyles but doesn't really care, as long as the two girls are busy in their own lives, they are off her back. You see, out of her love for her daughters she had made it a condition during their marriage to Brahma & Vishnu, that after marriage too they will continue to stay with her in Kailas. Brahma & Vishnu too didn't mind, after all they too get to stay in the beautiful Kailas, & get pampered by everyone. After all they are dually important, on one hand they are Shivji's very intimate family friends, & now they are the Jamais

When Ma wants to get her accounts straightened, she just has to tell Laxmi, and Laxmi takes care of the rest. After all there isn't a single day when people down on earth doesn't offer her special prayers, Laxmi always gets more offerings than any of her siblings. As for Saraswati, as long as she is busy rocking & popping, there is peace in Kailas. Mother definately has better work to do than settling quarrels between her daughters.

Ganesh is always engrossed in reading and writing, and since all the creatures of the universe along with earthlings too, are always queuing up before his office for license in order to start any work down on earth, he rarely has any time to help his mother. Even his wives Riddhi and Siddhi help him in discharging his duties, so they are not really much of help around the Kailas household. Besides his large belly always keeps him hungry, so he has to eat frequently. Not to forget, his little rat, always sneaking here and there stealing food. His master might be big & huge and so has an insatiable appetite, but this little mouse too doesn't stay far behind inspite of his size. Along with his licensing job, Ganesh always has to keep an eye on the rat. He had to face many embarassing situations because of his rat. Once the moon almost fell off the sky laughing when he saw Ganesh passing by riding on his rat. This had infuriated Ganesh so much that he cursed the moon that who so ever saw the Moon on Ganesha's birthday, in the month of Bhadrapad, will face all kinds of obstacles and false accusations for the rest of the year ahead. Earthlings till today are paying for the sin that Mr. Moonie comitted. Mr. Moonie, the bully that he is, decides to look his best & shine bright on every Ganesh Chaturthi, and poor earthlings who cannot resist the temptation of admiring him, always face the wrath of Ganesha's curse, well Mr. Moonie hasn't got much to lose here. But whenever Ma needs sensible advice, its always Ganesh whom she trusts. Among all her children he is the only one who is cool headed, and doesn't really have any ego issues. The incident with Mr. Moonie was once in a creation, the Moon had become quite conceited with the fact Shivji had used him decorate his locks long time ago. Ganesha had to break the pride of Mr. Moonie. In fact he is one boy who never loses his temper easily. Therefore he always gives the right advice. He als has a lot of paitience, no wonder Vyasa Dev asked him to help in writing the History of mankind, in the Mahabharata. With so many plots, and innumerable characters, and stories within stories, flash back and flash forward, only one with a cool head and patience can sit though and write all of it at one go.

That leaves her youngest son Katik, a hansome confirmed bachelor. No no, its not what you think, he is infact quite straight. His bachelorhood is only because he is too handsome, so theres no one with matching good looks to be Kartik's life partner. Also since his older siblings have chosen their own respective life partners, in Kartik's case his Mother wants to have her say in the choice of the right girl for him. Result, whom Kartik likes, Mother disaproves and vice versa. Back on earth young unmarried girls of the state of Bengal, would wish for a husband who has looks like Kartik. Kartik also is quite courageous. His killing of Taraka impressed all the citizens of heavens so much, that he was appointed the commander in chief of Heavenly army. Mother just sends him across when ever she has to threaten anyone. Just by his presence, anyone can get intimidated.
Mother is assisted by her dear friends, Jaya & Vijaya, in all her work, be it the household of Kailas, or the whole universe. There is nothing that Jaya Vijaya does not know or cannot do. In a way they can read Mother's mind. From getting Ma's bath ready, to making arrangements for her daily rituals to her husband Shivji, organising meals for the hordes of inhabitants of Kailas, to keeping an eye and ear as to what is happening all around creation, carrying all of Mother's errands, they just seem to know exactly what to do & when to do. To assist them is always ever ready Nandi & Bhringi. These two bulls, brainless fools, but they could do anything to keep Ma and their Baba pleased.
As for Ma's husband Mahadev, there couldn't be another husband in the whole universe who could compare with Him. He is ever supportive and hopelessly in love with His Ardhangini. to the point that when in her past life as Sati she gave up her body at Daksha yagya, Baba was absolutely shattered. The whole universe had started crumbling so much that Ma had to be reborn, but Baba was so full of Sati Ma, that he would even look at the direction of Ma who was reborn as Parvati now, and was deep in penance to wake up Mahadev and make Him realize that its his Sati only who has returned as Parvati. Baba was totally out of his senses during that era.

After marrying Parvati Ma, Baba had turned over the running of the whole universe and Kailas to Ma and since then he has shut himself up is his own self, totally confident that when Parvati has taken charge, there is nothing thats need for him to do now. She the all in all, the begining, the middle and the end, and so without a care in the creation, he is since then lost in his own self. He never questions, nor gives any opinion, nor stops Ma from doing anything she wants. No wonder all over the country of India, on earth, young girls would love to have a husband who is like Shivji. They conduct pujas in the months of Baisakh, & Sravan to please Shivji Baba, & get the boon of having a husband like Shivji in nature. Once in a while he wakes up, that too when Ma calls him, and takes her along with the children and the pets, to her father's home far down on the plains of the Ganga in Bengal, where a little ahead Ganga had met Sagar long long ago. He he waits for her outside the village of his in laws till Ma finushes her visit and then he escorts them all again back to Kailas. But here again he has a condition, Ma can stay only for five days which includes the day she reaches and the day she starts back for her home. Baba cannot imgine his existence without Ma, without her he just cannot function. But Baba never joins Ma in the visit. He prefers to stay under the bel tree, waiting for Ma. he knows that women, when they go to their parents home, become very childish, and want a lot of attention. There are lots of gossip & news to catch up with & exchange with their mothers. If He were to join with Ma, the whole attention of Ma's family would be diverted to pampering Him. Therefore he feels better to just wait outside the village/town/ city, under the bel tree. Besides Nandi is always there to look after Baba where ever He goes. This arrangement suits Maa too.

To keep things the way it is & in her control, Ma keeps mixing Baba's drinks, personally. She doesn't trust anyone else for the job, she knows exactly how heady & strong Baba would like it to be and the sweetness has to just be right. Ofcourse it was from Nandi whom she learnt to make the drink, because before Ma came into Baba's life it was Nandi who took care of Baba, he knows Baba in & out. Nandi knows exactly where the best hemp grows, and he selects them carefully and hands them over to Maa. He doesn't mind Maa taking over his favorite job of making Baba's favorite drink. This way he gets more time to throw his weight about on the staff, and all the inhabitants of Kailas. Nandi is both Ma's & Baba's favorite & was created by Baba himself eoans ago, much before Maha Sahkti manifested as Sati & became Baba's consort. After Sati passed away & Baba was left alone once again, Nandi used to make heady doses of Bhaang and feed Baba, to keep Him knocked off, so that He doesn't wake up and start missing Sati Maa. When she returned as Parvati, Nandi at once recognised her as his Sati Ma reincarnated. This time he made sure that he would do anything to keep her in Kailas forever. Now they all are a very big happy family, Nandi, Bringi, the lion, peacock, swan, owl, rat, and all the Bhoots and Prets. Bringi I must tell you always sneaks into the kitchen and licks off the left overs from the pot that was used to make the Bhaang, and is always knocked off. You see, a drop of Baba's drink can knock off any living creature, & this is after all a bull. That is why on Shivratri people throng the temples to get just a little drop of Baba's Bhaang prasad & that gets them high is physically & spiritually.

So one would think how does Ma manage such a huge and weired family, and the universe, well she manages it only too well. Ma is a very liberal, indepandant strong willed woman. Infact she is the basis of all womanhood and the whole creation. The power house of the universe, her energy reserves are never exhausted. She is fearless and has all the five senses totally under her control, so much that they sit and stand wake & sleep on her orders. Yet she is ever so loving and compassionate, always ready to forgive, and take all those who cry out to her, right on her bosom, to cuddle & comfort. which is why even in Kailas there has never been any sort of ego problems between the inhabitants, they all know that Ma loves them all equally. Nor do the pets have any favoritism, or dominating traits. They all know too well that Ma also doesn't not take any nonsense from anyone. They have seen many such examples down below on earth, when humans in their greed and total lack of consideration towards one another, and the nature, have faced Ma's anger which spills over in avalanches, floods, famine, earthquakes and worst, volcanic eruptions. Many a civilizations have been lost due to Ma's fury. They also know that when Ma calms down, she gathers all her children into her lap, in eternal rest. The humans never learn though. There have been so many instances when they get influnced by the asuras and make their own lives miserable. Then they keep crying for Ma, & Baba for help. The Devas too aren't any less, sometimes they too get carried away in their superiority complexes, and fall prey to the asuras. Then its again crying to Ma & Baba, for help. Vishnu & Brhama being very close friends of the family, & now part of it too, are always there to join Ma & Baba in their quest to keep putting things right back on earth. Viushnu heavily depends on this family, he is the head of the universe maintenance department, and is always pressed on with loads of work, one mistake from his department and everything can go upside down all over. Together they all work hard to keep the universe running.

Ma wants to keep everyone happy. One would think wow thats a difficult task. Well, not for Ma. All she has to do is keep everyone busy minding their own bussiness. Every woman would want to be the boss of her home and husband, but we all know that men butt in where they are least wanted, and everything goes haywire. For Ma thats not a problem, all she has to do is keep feeding her husband well, and make exotic drinks of Bhaang shove it down her husbands throat. It keeps his throat cool from the eternal buring sensation, since the time he had stored the poison from samudra manthan. Thay way he is always comfortable and knocked off, completely out of her way. As a good wife, she does ask for his permission and keeps him informed, but Baba, being totally intoxicated, just noddes a yes, thats it. Saraswati being busy with all the classical musicians and rock stars down on the earth, she is away most of the time, so that keeps the two squabbling sisters away from seeing much of each other, & Ma gets breaks from the scarcasm & taunts that they often throw at each other. When ever there are little fights anywhere in heaven, Ma doesn't go herself to settle matters anymore. Kartik has grown up to be a hansome strong guy, and all he has to do is just go and present himself at there. The warring parties get intimidated and just calm down. Ma is looking for the right kind of bride for him, but these days one doesnt get a coy shy, docile, dumb girl to be a daughter in law any more. It was by chance that Ma had come accross Kola and had immediately got her Ganesh married to her. That way, Ganesh remains his Mama's boy always, while Kola bou stands silently with her head covered in a corner forever. Till today she has never demanded Ganesha's attention. So he is all the time free to be with Ma and assist her. Ofcourse Ganesh'a has two more wives, Riddhi and Siddhi, but they have always remained with their parents down on the earth. They wouldn't want to live with a Mama's boy, besides the earthlings just love the company of Riddhi & Siddhi. Ma too doesn't want some strong minded women as her daughters in law. Her house must run according to her will, no one must have any say in that. This is why its getting more and more difficult to get any bride for Kartik. Who would want to mary into a house where the mother in law is in full control, while the father in law is always BPKT, & two grown up sisters in law, who also have their husbands living with them as Ghar Jamais, plus the number of animals, birds, ghosts and other weird creatures. Ofcourse one has heard of Kartik having a wife or two some where down on the earth, tucked away in a southern part of the land called Bharat. Even if Ma knows that she pretends that she doesn't. Otherwise she will have to ask Kartik to bring them home to Kailas and then who knows, they might start asserting their opinions too in the affairs of Kailas. Mother-in-law, daughter-in-law relationship, one can never be sure.

What??, is it autumn already, so its time for Ma to ascend down on earth right? Oh I better get going. Have to make preparations to welcome her along with the whole family. There is so much to do and so little time, shopping for new clothes, accessories, getting the idols and pandals ready, bhog and prasad menus to settle, shop for the pujas materials, invitations to send, organise the cultural programes to be held, get all the cooks of the land to start up with the food festivals, ohh yah and the new pujo specials of music, books, magazines to be launched, the work is endless. Maybe I shall ask Riddhi & Siddhi Boudis to help me out, it will make them happy. I think i'll track down Kartik Da's wives too. Atleast for a few days on earth, everyone, can get together, and spend some happy moments. Its puja time so all will be busy in having a good time. And you all too out there, be sure to have a happy pujo, Jai Maa. :D

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Finally Its Over :D

I am sooooo........ happy, finally the IPL season is over, uffff it was such a pain, frustrating , it seemed it will never end. Its not like I do not like cricket. Infact at one time I was a big cricket buff, ok that was a century ago, yeah yeah, those were the days when it was just school, & afterwards college, cricket used to be mostly test matches, one day matches were fairly new. We never thought that test matches were kinda dragging on, we followed the game, gave our expert comments, between our friends & family ofcourse.

We had our favorites, I sort of owned Sunny, my friend Pearl likewise owned Kapil, & between us , we shared them too :D. No one was ever allowed to say anything negative about their game. When Sunny played, I was most of the time secured that he will stay on the pitch for atleast two days, so I went about with attending classes, & other stuff along with watching the match or listening to it over the transistor. When he did go out for a duck or ended up getting out early, I had to face huge humilation from my anti Sunny side, especially Pearl. She used to gloat, (atleast I felt she did), though she did agree to the fact that my Sunny was indeed a very good player. Sunny was a slow scorer most of the time you see, so if he went out early that means he left with low scores. Whereas Kapil, he set the stadium on fire, within fifteen to twenty minutes Indian score board used to gallop double triple folds, & excitement, energy used to swell out from the stadium, and every homes, watching the match on their TV sets. Pearl used to just walk out of the class to catch the first bus to go home & catch the match. Yes, some of us had our transistors on in the class in very low volumes. Thats the beauty of college, at the most we shall be asked to get out, which worked in our favor. Besides even the lecturer would be interested to know the scores after all, as long as his/her class is not disturbed. And so Pearl would declare, "excuse me sir/maam, Kapil has come to bat, i have to go". Soon I followed her, & then some more.

Sunny released the book Sunny days, & I had to get it, after all I had to support my Sunny. So I read the book. Today if someone asked me how it was, I would say boring. But at that time it was a question of loyalty. I did fine it boring at times, but i had to read it & finush it, discuss it with my gang, all for the show of solidarity to dear Sunny.

Life was so simple then, a ctricket match means TV the whole day, with neighbours joining in, Mom making goodies to supply us all when we are busy watching the match, keep scores while we take a peek at the bathroom. Nature doesn't wait for any Kapil or Sunny you see :D. When we attended maths classes during our tenth standard, a bus ride from Juhu to Khar, we were constantly in touch with the fellow passenger with a transistor, & he was expected to keep relaying every ball, every over. Ofcourse out teacher at the tution classes was not so entertaining, she would throw us out if she found any transistor in her class, but she did at times announce important bits once in a while. So sweet of her, she knew our SSC results depended a lot on the cricket scores :D.
Sitting back now on my couch i am thinking what made me get so tired of cricket. Have I become old, or just another boring housewife. I don't think either. The answer lies in the game itself. Too much cricket. All the year round thats the only game one hears of, the players never seem to get exhausted of playing, after all they make big money. Looking back at some of them, they rose from dust to riches, money earned through the game, prizes, endorsements, the popularity, media & public attention. Whether they play in every game or in one or two, it doesn't matter, as long as the endorsements keep comming, the media keeps talking, & they continue to get treated like demi Gods, everything is good. The match fixing exposure didn't change things much, even now the same continues. All they have to do is deny, an enquiry is conducted, the matter dies down, some heads get knocked off, that is IF they don't have any lobby to support & bail them out, otherwise due to lack of evidence the matter is closed down.

I also wonder why only the mens cricket matches are given so much of importance, we do have some very good women cricket players, but how many of us have actually heard of them, I just know one Diana Edulji, & thats it, only because womens cricket never ever get that kind of radio or television time for their games. Not just womens cricket, it is the same for very other sport in our country. Hockey, supposed to be our national game, is now reduced to a beggar like state. Same for football. Tenis gets good attention though, compared to them. When we compare the mode of travel between our cricket players & hockey or football players, the cricketeers travel by air, bussiness class, whereas our other sports persons, end up with a train ticket, that too a seconed class. Even when they get the cup for any international tournament, one hardly ever comes to know of it. The media might just give a fleeting mention about the event, with no coverage what so ever of their return to the country with the cup. There are no special coverages, pre & post tournaments, no expert panels & all the other fuss that happens with the cricket tournaments. Why, we even have seperate cricket channels on television, to continue telecasting old matches long after they are done & over with, & they keep getting TRPs too. A cricket world cup gets the players lakhs of rupees as awards from the government & from their respective states, along with more endorsements at even higher prices than what they were getting earlier. I hardly ever come upon any other sports person getting such royal treatment. The cricketeers are treated on par with not just hindi film stars but even Hollywood. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow along with the Aishwaryas, Sonams & Dipikas, they too walk the red carpet in the next Cannes film festival. IPL has already pushed them to almost that state. The moolahs that go into the tournament, & the glamour that surrounds it, it all seems more like a film awards night than a match, with half clad girls prancing around in costumes, resembling more of circus performers, & from politicians, bussiness magnets, to film stars, all showering so much of interest, money & time to the IPL, its more a money making party than a game. Not my problem, only why do the other sports in this country not get atleast some of the spotlight they deserve. A recent movie Chakde, made on womens hockey, had a very inspiring song, which is played for cricket related programes on the TV. Im sure with the kind of support cricket has today, some enthusiastic lyrist can write a song especially for the pampered game.

As for TV programes, well that went to the dumps since the world cup & after that IPL, had started. Gone were serials like Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, whatever popular serials were shown, was put in the late night time slot, & new seasons were kept on hold till the IPL got over. Plus the every evening fight with my huisband for the remote, he invariably switches between the cricket & news channels, & after that dozing before the TV. Now there is a flood of new serials waiting to take over the TRPs. Quite a few hindi serials, Kaun Banega Crorepati. Although I don't watch many hindi serials but I am very happy, Modern Family is finally coming up with the next season, How I Met Your Mother has already started. I just hope 18 To Life is brought down to a watchable time slot, from the late night 11.30 pm slot, & then my evening shall be made. I look forward to more interesting peaceful evenings, happy viewing :D

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beauty & Care

While watching an commercial on age defining cream today on TV, my mind wandered back to all those beauty products that i could remember from when i was three years, because thats how far i could drag my conscious mind. There were very few items on anyone's dressing table. A talcum powder container, made of metal. I could remember the names such as Afghan talc, and then there was the age old Ponds, and even Cuticura. Its was only one fragrance available, in each brand. Then there was the snow, in a thick heavy glass jar, a kind of whitish creamy thing, which once applied on, would disappear giving a very whitish look, but not oily. They too came from the Afghan brand, and also there were Ponds and Lakme snow, though i think Lakme came into the scene later, if I am not mistaken. The Afghan brand was in a jar which had this snow peaks as label which i kind of liked as i always had this fascination for mountains, way back then too. The face powders mostly from ponds were in this round card board boxes, with a puff, and the powder was pinkish, and not the pressed variety, so every time one opened the box some of the powder flew out. Lipsticks were also very few on the dressers of people, mostly i used to see reds and pinks. Later as we grew up we discovered more brands like the Max factor with their foundations and face powder, so also did Lakme with their brands of face powders and foundations. Yah there was this cold cream too, from Ponds and Afghan, and Lakme.
I remember as a kid the magazines had these models with huge heads, actually they were wearing those buffonts ( i don't know how to spell that) and i always thought how unnatural it all looked, even back then i wondered how they went about with that load on their heads. The models wore eyeliners long and thick and i felt what a funny combination, a huge over grown head with painted eyes. I used to associate it with some pictures i had seen in some book or magazine of some tribals, they too had some sort of head dress and painted faces and eyes. Eyeliners too were of the brands Lakme, Max Factor, nail polishes i remember were from Afghan, Lakme, and there was this other brand called Step nail polishes. They all took the most prominent places on the shop counters. I also remember there was this cream called Charmis.
Much later came in Tips and toes, i think they were nail polishes.

Back then foreign brands were not so easily available here. Come to think of it, now we have popular brands of international cosmetics available at every store, mall, every where. And so many choices for make up, and skin care. Back then i rememeber Anne French milk for cleansing, now its not just cleansing milk, its all about what skin type, the time of the year, and age group, and so on... Cold creams are still available, but they to come as oily, normal, dry. Back then there were no moisturizers, now its again moisturizers for dry, normal and oily, there are make up kits from average to the most expensive of brands , face powders for nnn..... number of skin tones, foundations, with sun screens, all day wear, pressed foundations, what else........., Eye liners ... so many varieties of colours, applications with brush, pencils, pens, wow, just pick what ever suits you, mascaras of all shades, its a whole lot of colourful world. In skin care, there are so many varieties, each claiming to make one look younger than the latest new born human baby. Each claiming to have the latest technology, high absorbent nutrients, one brand has something very important to keep my wrinkles at bay, while the other has another substance that claims to replenish some vital requirement that no other product can do, because they don't have it, because it has been patented. Poor me the consumer, what do i use, the first product to take care of my wrinkles or the second one to replenish what ever my skin is losing. Both claim their product must NOT be used in combination with any other product for best results.

Then there are endless sunscreens , SPF 10, 20 30 40 right upto 60, some even have stuff like the TPF, some claim they have both SPF and TPF, some say theirs is the best as its herbal, others claim theirs is best because it not just protects from sun burn, but also from tan, (now whats the difference ). Reading through the so called herbal products, well a whole lot of chemicals go into it for preservation. Make up, well back then there was the rouge, today there are blushers, again different skin tones, lipsticks, thats like the best, endless colours, and endless shades, sometimes two color codes of a shade look exactly the same.

Shampoos, i remember the Halo shampoo, it was a golden transparent liquid, in a glass bottle, and also there was the halo egg shampoo. Now there are shampoos for God knows how many kinds of hair. Normally there is the dry, normal and oily variety. Then there is the shampoo for colored hair, and the Sunsilk brand takes the cake in confusing us with the hundreds of hair types and their corresponding shampoos. After every Sunsilk commercial, i contemplate what type is my hair. Herbal shampoos, fruit extract shampoos, repair shampoos, dandruff shampoos, every day wash shampoos, the list goes on.... and so does the number of brands, each claiming to keep our crowning glory intact, healthy, thick, long, dark, soft and silky.......

And now the soaps, well some call their brand cleansing bars, looks like the days of cleansing lotions might soon be getting over. Again endless brands, endless varieties from each brands, claiming to turn your skin extra baby soft. Oh yah how could i forget the good old Johnsons baby products, think of a new born baby, and it reminds me of that typical baby smell, and to go with it the Johnsons baby powder and soap. There was the baby cream too, and gradually they were joined by the baby lotion, shampoo, coconut oil, baby oil, and now even Johnsons have a confusing lot of products in their range. Not just Johnsons, now there are so many brands of baby products, each claiming to keep your baby's skin, hair soft forever.

Ah yes there are also the day creams and night creams, and how could i forget the all famous fairness creams. With out that no girl cam get married , no one can get a job, or even win a race.

I think my writing is all confused, maybe because I am all confused with all the hundreds of products available off the counter, i guess i should stop right here before i confuse myself further. Just a last thought, wonder what happened to all those brands like the Afghan snow, i guess that was the oldest brand!!!!!