TEMPLES AND REGIONS

TEMPLES AND REGIONS

There ia pattern in the temples of different Gods in India.

In Uttar Pradesh, Ram temples are there in almost all villages. He is supposed to be born in Ayodhya and so this is to be expected. Poor Ram ; he has suffered in most of his life , except for the days he spent in Chithrakood, till his wife was stolen by Ravan. Afterwards , he had to banish her into the forest . She was not even told what her crime is. Seeta too is a symbol of suffering. She was found in the earth , abandoned by her mother.

Let us return to the main theme. In Maharashtr, the deity is Ganesh. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated all over the land with great fanfare. The festival lasts for ten days; in the end the earthen idol is immersed in water; sea or river.

Further south , in Andhra Pradesh, the predominant God is Shiva . This is true of Tamilnadu also. Tirupathy is an exception. Originally it was a temple of tribal people and we d not know what the deity was.

In Tamilnadu, Mariyamman covils are popular. It is a Goddess. The Devi (she god) cult is prevalent throughout the country. Vaishnodevi in Jammu is famous

Saraswathy , Goddes with the musical instrument veena is worshipped only once in the year. I do not think there is any temple of Saraswathy.

Snakes are worshipped in Keralam, only once in the year.

When I was a boy, I was deputed to do this pooja in several homes in the village. In one place , a real snake appeard; I was not unnerved. I threw the water in the kindi (pitcher) on its head. It went away !

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Ma

Ma
FAMILIARITY
From the day one , we are familiar with Ma , whose milk is our food. The person whom we love most is Ma. Foster mother is equally dear , as in Krishna’s Yashoda. The boy did not even know his real mother Devki.
When we grow up , there can be differences between mother and son . On the other hand , they may become friends. The Maratha King Shivaji’s mother was his guide and guru.
Maxim Gorky’s novel “Mother” played a significant role in the Russian revolution.
The word “Ma” is anathema to Muslims , because it denotes “Devi” of Hindus
“Vande Matharam” was to be our National Anthem , but it was rejected because of Muslim opposition. It is a beautiful poem!

STORY-MOTHER

STORY

I am an eligible bachelor. The normal practice is for the girl’s parents to contact me for fixing marriage. So far none took interest , though I am eager to marry.

We are half a dozen men and our eldest a female , who is married to a farmer. Men folk are reluctant to get married I do not know why. I am an engineer in the Taluk Office and earn extra money too . Some of the ladies working there are interested in my case, but back out , when they visit our joint family. They would have thought of the burden on the house wife of such a big family .

One day some gentlemen in pants came to visit us. They asked for my details , as it was a working day. So they promised to come on Sunday . So I am excited , as it is Sunday.

After seeing the house and our rice fields they asked me poit blank:” Our girl is not interested in staying in this family . If you agree to shift to the town , we can consider. Our eldest, Bhasker, did not say anything . and they went back , giving me their phone number. I was disappointed.

I was in my office. One of the men who had come to see us approached me and requested me to come out. He took me to a restaurant , where a young lady was also waiting . She seemed very young , slender and plain, rather dark coloured. We sat round a table and he ordered coffee.

“I know you will not like to discuss it , when your brothers are present. I am her father . Her name is Priya . She graduated in science and now she is working as teacher in a school , here itself. “ “I do not mind staying in the family. I had seen you in the office and liked you ,” she said.

I remained mum . The girl is all right , though I am much senior in years. I promised to inform them and exchanged mobile numbers .

At home I discussed with all , including my sister . They were shown the photo. My sister was very enthusiastic. “Nice girl; she does not appear to be haughty.” So it was decided and I conveyed to Priya. She began to come to my office daily . All knew about our affair. I deliberately delayed marriage for six months

“ I have a chit fund which will mature by then; I want to mke it a big thing , inviting all my friends.”

“I have no patience. I want sex.”

So we sought secluded places , after sun set . I found her to be very hot and innovative . Somehow the waiting period was over and we were married. For honey moon , we chose Kodaikanal.

It was summer vacation. So Priya was free. I had enough leave at my credit . After enjoying the stay at Kodaikanal , we returned home . She enjoyed the stay at my home , more than the honey moon. She liked to cook food and see agricultural activities , because she had never seen it . During this period , she informed me that I am going to be a father. Seeing our success, my brothers also began to get married . Within one year our home became a big family . People praised Priya as the torch bearer.

All jubilation came to an end , when she was admitted for delivery. The Doctor said he cannot save both. With great reluctance , I allowed the baby to be sacrificed . I told the Doctor , not to inform the mother.

When it was over Priya cried aloud .

I told her we must consult Ayurvedic Physicians about improving her system . She was given herbal tonics and yoga exercises. We went and prayed at all temples. We decided to abstain from sex.

After one year , we decided to have one more trial. She became pregnant almost immediately. This time the Doctor was able to save a girl child and its mother…

STORY-MANGO TREE

STORY

I was about four years when I got a mango. It was so sweet that I went on licking it , till I got tired. I then made a small pit in the earth in our front court yard and placed it inside. Then I filled it with soil and poured water daily . I was glad when the first shoots came outside. I told papa and he advised me to make a small dam around it and fill with water. In due course it began to give fruits as sweet as the one I tasted.. Whoever saw it admired my efforts .

I soon forgot it when I joined the college and then a school in Delhi as clerk.

My father was about to retire and he wanted me to marry . It was then that I presented myself to a boy who had come to see me , along with his parents and relatives. I recognized the boy as soon as I saw him. He lived in my village and was popular because he sang well . He was very senior to me in school..

After the formal meeting I took him to the mango tree and explained the circumstances in which it became my tree.

“I love it as my first child! My regret is that we will have to vacate this house when father retires. It is Government quarter.”

“I shall tell a way out. One of the mango fruits from this plant can be planted in our house , whenever we have our own dwelling.”

Thus began our togetherness ; the tree is our child. Father came and asked:”What are you doing here?”

“We are discussing our future plans,” I said.

We went inside and watched the conversation . I was just listening and dreaming. When they rose to leave , I felt desolate. He told in my ears:”It is a matter of days only. Next month we are marrying.” I hurriedly kissed him.

For the time being , after marriage we stayed in his quarter in Delhi. Whenever we came home , we used to go and see our tree. I told the new hous owner that he should not cut the tree which is ‘our child’.

For long years I remained barren ; he was not concerned but I began to despair. My womb is unable to nurture a baby.

“Why do you bother? I find it convenient ; less luggage…”

I consulted a Doctor. He advised me to go for a surrogate mother. “The very process of bearing the baby for nine months , is bound to develop a bond which cannot be easily forgotten. So the baby must grow in my womb,” I told te Doctor.

So back to square one. I was getting old . One day a bearded old man in saffron cloths came for alms. His noble face attracted me.

I gave him food and some money. He was pleased:”Ask for some boon, Amma,” he said in Malayalam. “How did you know I am a Malayalee?”

‘I stayed in the Himalayas for seventy years. I know you are eager to have a baby.” He gave me a ‘vibhoothy’ (ashes) and told me to take it with milk. In six months I became pregnant. All were surprised . We named the baby ‘Himamshu’.

Then we heard of the tragedy: in an unprecedented storm , which raged the whole night , our child the mango tree fell down…

DETECTION OF CANCER

DETECTION OF CANCER
My wife was suffering from cancer , for the last two years. She was admitted in Mother Hospital, Trichur , for complaints of her stomach and subjected to a number of tests , including whole body scanning , but doctors failed to detect cancer.
Early detection of this disease is useful for containing the damage to the system. Why did they not do tests specific to cancer? She is seventy two years old.

STORY-TOO YOUNG

AUTHORITY,ASSISTANT,PARENTS,BOMBAY,LOVEWhen I completed my Bs.C., my mother began fretting for a wife for me. “Ma, I am too young to get married. Let me enjoy free life for a few years.” “But I am too old. I need help in the kitchen. My friend’s daughter is also young and suitable for you. The other day we had met in a marriage party. She suggested this alliance. Just go and see her. A courtesy call, that is all.” I got the details of their house and went by bus. It took some one hour by bus. Then I walked for half an hour through village roads and came to their house. A very young girl, almost a child, opened the door. Seeing me, she went in and her mother came out. She immediately recognized me:”Nandan, do you remember me? You were too small when I saw you. You were studying in Bombay all these years , isn’t it? Come inside.” It was an old house, with an open courtyard in the centre. There is a net to cover the open space, lest crows may come . Such houses of wood work and tiles are seldom theses days of terrace roofs. As if she read my thoughts, she explained:”After the death of Sharada’s father, I could not take up the work of reconstruction of the house.” By this time, the girl brought hot tea and fried potatoes. Her mother went inside. “How much have you studied?” I could not think of anything else. She is very small, hardly five feet tall. Very slim but fair and with big eyes. Her breasts seem to be too small inside her loose jacket. She was wearing petty coat only. I liked her. “I could not pass tenth exam; failed in maths. What are you doing?” “I am a post office clerk. I have been selected as Assistant in Lakshadweep Islands. Orders may come any time.” “I love to live in the islands” “Do you love me?” “Yes . It is all decided by our parents that we must marry. My mother will also come and stay with us. It will be helpful for your mother because your father is bedridden. Everything is planned. This meeting is just a formality, because you have not seen me.” While leaving, her mother gave me a whole sac-full of ripe mangoes. “The worker will carry it up to the bus point?” The girl smiled sweetly, as I departed. My mother was very happy to learn that I liked the girl. She was glad to get the gift of mangoes which we used to buy in the market only. I told her that the girl is too young for marriage, as she is below eighteen. Mother did not mind it:”I was married at fifteen. The law is not binding on us. I need an assistant.” So the marriage took place. We invited only a limited number of relatives . There was no dowry:”You saw their estate. The whole of it is now ours, as there is no other claimant ,”said mother. When the order from the Lakshadweep Authority was received, Sarada was pregnant . I consoled her:”You know all are Muslims there . Accommodation will have to be fixed up. When things are settled, you can come with the baby. It is only a matter of months.” I went to the dweep from Calicut. I carried all masalas and pickles with me. It was my first voyage in a ship and I enjoyed the experience. I missed my dear wife. She was experienced in running the house and very thrifty. I considered myself lucky, till I received the news about the baby. It had a very rare disease-the head began to grow bigger and bigger and finally died. What was worse, was the opinion of the Doctors that Sarada cannot have a normal baby. I had been to my home and we returned after my leave:”Dear, I have you. That is enough . I do not mind, if your baby is delivered by some other woman. I must have your own child; I do not like to adopt one”, she said. Soon she forgot her sorrow and became as happy as she was, when we first met. In the office y boss was a lady IAS Officer, a North Indian. She was unmarried and liked me very much. She was disappointed, when I told her I am married. After hearing my story, she readily agreed to bear my baby. I told my wife and she was so glad that she kissed me again and again. After becoming pregnant, she took leave and went home. She came back after delivery and gave the baby boy to my wife. We informed home about the arrival of the son. Mother-in-law rushed to us immediately.

TODAY IS MY BIRTH DAY

I was reminded of it by my faithful wife.

Today is Ashwathy Nakshatra and full moon. I was born on 1-11-1933 at about ten in the morning; mother once told me that the whole placenta was intact, which is a good sign, according to her.

Before the British rule, birth day was celebrated on the day of Nakshatra and month, as shown in the Malayala panchang.

The only ritual is lunch. I will sit in front of a big banana leaf and a friend on my right side. First he will be served and then myself. As a child I used to enjoy it.