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The Minority Rights.

India celebrated Her 72nd Independence day yesterday.

What does it feel like to have our National Anthem christianized with Christ called our ‘saviour god’. How will America and Europe feel about having their saviour god named from middle east (!)

India can do with blessings – both from Jesus and Allah.

But Hindu India has been around for over 10,000 years pre-dating both christianity and islam. You simply cannot oust our native culture just like that and try to superimpose the imported belief systems here.

Once again our secular media and pseudo secularists will turn blind eye to this blatant disrespect shown to our national anthem. I cannot imagine a worse blasphemy.

I thought we could get prosecuted for disrespecting our national flag, national anthem, national emblem etc. What will happen now.

In the democratic secular India today, minority rights matter more over the just majority.

The human rights of terrorists and terror supporters are deemed more important. Rights violation of terror suspects is an international criminal offence waiting to be blown out of proportions by none less than BBC. Indian media is owned by the church totally.

Blatant plagiarism from Hindu culture is fine. But if you resist the cultural theft and inappropriation and cultural terrorism, you will be labelled intolerant.

Umar Khaled has every right to thunder in public that he would like to break India to ‘tukda tukda’ – pieces. He may be a useless overaged African studies research student sucking up our tax money for years and living at our expense. But we have to tolerate him with a smile because, Umar is after all a minority and he has every right in the book to want to claim openly how he wants to break up the nation. His pro-terror chants are perfectly legal and his cause is championed again by our pseudo secular media. Our leftists are up in arms in his total support. One word against him, and you become a fanatical Hindu because you cannot bear thinking that a terror advocate can actually get away with this in front of your eyes. It tears you up in the insides, but this is the reality in India.

How these minorities can terrorize the passive Hindu majority is scary and it is unimaginable what will happen to us should we Hindus become minority in our own motherland.

The more disloyal to India you are, the more bent you are on uprooting India’s native culture, the more you want India to disintegrate, the more you put your hands together to clap for India’s worst enemies/adversaries, the more pro-terror you are, the more you endorse anti-nationalism and anti-socials, the more you tarnish India’s image in the world scene- then the more secular and democratic and LIBERAL you are, the role model citizen of India.  Most importantly you must be majority-Hindu bashing to prove your neutrality. Anyone otherwise like me, a simpleton Hindu is fundamentalist.  Right winger. Fascist. Nazi. Most dangerous to India and the world, whose voice must be ignored.

My prayer nowadays is, asking Hindu gods to save themselves first. It breaks my heart to blog this. Betrayals and back-stabbings galore. How much more can my beloved Mother India take.

The Childless

When talking to my friend (via Whatsapp chat) yesterday, I remarked that our ex CM Jayalalitha Jayaram JJ was devoid of emotions as she had not experienced motherhood. I normally never comment on such sensitive issues especially concerning women. Last few days have seen developments in my state Tamil Nadu and the capital Chennai. We have lost two successful chief ministers who were strong, vibrant and powerful and commanded the loyalty of the masses. JJ passed away in power less than 2 years ago while Karunanidhi KK, 94, passed away just last week, leaving behind a power vacuum in state administration. The duo, though political opponents, were stalwarts in their fields whether cinema or politics.

A huge fan of JJ, i have still been put off by her ruthlessness. Near my residence is this subway that was completed in KK period which was refused to be inaugurated by JJ – which could perhaps be the greatest curse of democracy. Vendetta politics victimize the average citizens. With seven primary/middle/high/higher secondary schools after the inter-crossing railway line, on the other side of the road, access to such an important stretch of the road was made possible only by encircling busiest part of the city in traffic hours, for thousands of kids enrolled in those institutions.  For 5 unnecessary long years thanks to JJ apart from the subway construction/closure time, the hardship continued. The government apathy was shocking. The public had to exercise their franchise in the next Assembly elections to elect a different government just so that the subway could be thrown open so the common man could breathe easy. Monsoons were horrible in the closed period.

My resentment for JJ grew because of this. I have a couple of friends who are childless. While i am sympathetic, i never cross my limits and am normally extraordinarily careful not to use a single wrong word even unwittingly when conversing with them. Unless they ask, I wouldn’t talk to them about parenthood, my son, school issues, college matters, etc., etc. More than anything, I never give unsolicited free counsel about IVF or IUI procedures. Many a time I have been tempted to but I have controlled myself with greatest efforts on these occasions unwilling to hurt them.

So I shouldn’t have commented on JJ as well – even if she was a third person, a stranger to me. Having been in public life throughout as a film star first and then as our chief minister, may be it is not out of context for anyone to pass judgement on JJ. Still, I did feel bad for a moment after calling JJ a childless woman yesterday that made her cold and remote. She is not around anymore, and even if she might be, I would be too lowly for the chief minister to concern herself with for my rude heartless comment. But it was cruel on my part yet to have commented on her childless status.

Who says there is no Mother Goddess.

This morning soon after my husband left for work, I switched on tv and was watching a Sasikumar picture ‘Bale Vellaitheva.’

The unassuming rural hero seems to be celebrating an elderly childless couple in the entire length of the film.

At one point he admonishes his friend who calls the old woman ‘maladi’ (infertile).

And then says, if a couple have to be childless, it means the family lineage’s Karma gets over for both of them with that generation. No more ancestral Karma to be carried forward through blood. Full stop. So childless couples are blessed souls by the divine.

Well, this is how Hindu dharma sees the childless. No deficiency. But God’s purpose of ending their entire clan Karma with them, liberating them from the cycle of rebirth.

What an eye opener.

In many of my previous blog posts, I have made mention of clues, signs left by god. My Ishta Deivam is Mother Goddess. My Kula Deivam is Mother Goddess. For every single question I have in my life, I get my answer directly or indirectly in this 21st century right away from my Mother Supreme who rules this universe.

What an awesome explanation!  I am still wonderstruck how within 24 hours my Mother corrected my mistake and rubbed the truth in me.

Nothing to be overtly proud of by becoming a mother or father. This is merely a biological phenomenon. We are only normal human beings procreating and reproducing. Leaving issues behind means we have unfinished business of Karma. We have generations to mend our flaws.

Blessed are those who are childless, Mother Goddess’s favourites, because She rules that their Karma is over with this birth of theirs. Not leaving behind successors to carry forward any residual Karma, their lineage comes to a total stop liberating their entire chain of ancestors from their previous Karma. Beautiful way to see things and nicest way to go.

Hindu Dharma is so noble. None can be wiser on these matters like our forefathers.

 

Definition Of Rape In Different Countries

Recently I chanced upon an article that mentioned that consensual sex between a 11 year old girl child and an adult male (in this case a man in his 30s) was found to be perfectly legal in a Scandinavian country. Girls as young as 12 or 13 can marry adult men and bear their children in certain states of the United States, as per law.

Shift the scene to India: A boy and a girl (whether under 18 or over 18 years it is immaterial) fall in love. Boy refuses to marry the girl but has consensual sex with the girl before they fall out. Under IPC the Indian Penal Code, the man can be held for rape by way of cheating. This is Indian law. This is how Indian constitution defines rape (partly).

Suppose the boy and girl do get married albeit without parental permission from the girl’s side. The girl’s parents can still file a criminal case of abduction against the boy with the law enforcement agencies and get the boy booked for kidnap and rape (!)  so this is India, where law is on the women’s side mostly and the onus of proving innocence always rests on the Indian male. Parents of girls who do not approve of their daughters’ union with boys who they do not favour, routinely resort to this legal step to rein in their rebel daughters.

And if a girl by chance commits suicide leaving a note that her lover broke her heart abetting her suicide refusing to marry her, then he is finished. Chapter closed.

If a woman commits suicide before the seventh year completion of her marriage, then again not only her husband but his entire family will be remanded without bail option until they clear their names on RTO enquiry.

Marital rape is another common crime as per law in India which can get a man behind bars. Also statistically counted as rape.

So this is how the crime of ‘Rape’ is defined in India. Any man who refuses to marry the girl he may be courting is automatically vulnerable to legal suits and harassment and rape charges in India. Asian values, that is it. You cannot have all the good time with a girl and then ditch her – as India views.

I wonder what those who argue for women’s rights and equality for women have to say on that.

India counts these cases as Rape statistics and these figure in a big way in sum total crimes committed against women in the country. In a nation where parental approval is still viewed as a must, and a majority until today opt for arranged marriages, imagine the power some disgruntled parents may exercise upon young men they disapprove of for their daughters.

I have watched videos of girls as young as 10, 11 and 12 becoming mothers in America. I am not only talking of black or mexican girls. I am talking of the so-called literate caucasian girls as well. The US boasts of one of highest number of teen pregnancies and marriages in the world despite their advanced economic status unlike a third world country like India.

Whereas marriage under 18 years is deemed illegal in India and the husband/man who does it with/without registration is automatically dubbed rapist by Indian law and media. Any love affair of a man with a minor girl under 18 years is trouble.

This is one of the reasons for high rate of rape statistics reported from India.

Where is the scope for rape when law permits pre-teen girls to have sex with adult men in Scandinavian countries. Where is the scope for rape in Europe or America where girl children lose their virginity before they turn 12 or 13. How can you even compare these countries with India where most of the girls remain chaste until they marry even in this 21st century. And by the way, chastity is not only a girl’s prerogative in India, it is also as much a boy’s. If you think the west will understand this, you are doomed. Yet divorce stats in India is poor and almost negligible compared to the west. Why. Which countries record maximum broken families?

Who defines parameters for what is permissible, what is emancipation, what is development, what is decent, what is individual’s right to anything. Who defines women’s rights and equality.

Most of these so-called developed nations also have legalized prostitution, same sex marriage, euthanasia, single parenthood using partner/stranger’s semen (even if he may be alive no more), marijuana etc none of which is legal in India. Every town and city in India too has a red light area, but this is strictly illegal business. Another reason for high incidents of rapes in India.

Rape of foreign women tourists, a very common crime in coastal Italy. Under reported, naturally.

When elite America can legally permit a 12 year old girl to go ahead with pregnancy and become a mother, when Norway or Sweden can look at sex between a 12 year girl with an adult man as consensual and legal, what right these nations have to prescribe what defines rape. Who are these men sitting on a high pedestal thinking they are the most civilized and liberal people in the world when much of what they are practising is scum. Nude beaches and orgies are the norm of these societies that frown upon arranged marriages in the other side of the world. If consensus is what is meant by equal rights for women, then a 6 year old girl child too can be coaxed with an ice cream into sex. Sometimes the word called ‘pedophilia’ loses its meaning. World’s worst pedophiles are Europeans and Americans who prey on Thai and Filipino and Vietnamese and other Asian girls in the guise of sex tourism. World highest recorded statistics for pedophiles/pedophilia are from Europe and America. What a nerve to advocate others what is what. Very soon these nations will be legalizing even pedophilia , with their human rights activists proclaiming that it is every little girl’s legal right to sex and that oppressing it equals suppression of women’s rights. Women’s Lib is all about this for them bast**ds !!!

How many stories have you seen on European pedophile predators in CNN or BBC. How many on male rapes in UK that is chart busting.

Seriously, every culture, every society goes by its own norms and customs. In India, we have a 10,000 year civilization. We need none to advise us on how we have to take care of our women.

The US or UN or Europe cannot be the ultimate authority in defining what is what. What is rape to us Indians is fine for these countries. If we have to measure rape in these countries the way we take stock in India, there won’t be any male left to walk on their streets.

Even so, the total number of reported rapes in India/US recently: (

HARD DATA (no perception): 
Total number of rapes in the US – 84,767;
in India – 22,172

Are CNN and BBC reporting each and every rape case with its gory detail as Indian media is projecting without a care in the world? What is Indian media upto? Simple: Indian media (both print and visual) is mostly owned by the foreign church, funded by America and Europe. Defiling India is yet another way of fighting Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) they would like to dismantle from the Indian soil.

One way of giving them back is for the Indian government to build a strong Indian broadcasting station on the lines of Al Jazeera, that is now a name to be reckoned with.

Propaganda has to be fought with propaganda.

Such a vibrant and strong and powerful Indian media must routinely beam the crime stories of America and Europe with all the dirty deeds exposed round the clock.

Whole world knows the case of Brit girls groomed by Paki men in UK.

An overwhelming majority of Indian men are decent – and you cannot judge my nation by a handful of the rapists publicized by your dirty media. I have no respect for western culture either where women copulate with any number of men and vise versa and bring in children irresponsibly into this world who turn to drugs finally. Is this the case of India. Just come and see Indian families. How much we love our culture and traditions and how we lavish love on our family. Materialism alone is not the meaning of life. Individual rights and freedom are not suppressed but SACRIFICED in the interests of the family.

I and a majority of us Indian women cannot even wear jeans for a whole 24 hours. I wear the western outfit only when I am abroad mostly. I even worship my Desi God, not the imported Gods from Israel or Arabia. 800 million Indians live the way I do. Are we fools. When I cannot even accept your God, how will I accept your set (double) standard. I stand by native Hindu culture. To hell with what you think.

 

How long will they be there for us.

Two weeks back I flew to Chennai as my uncle took gravely ill (literally). I landed by 1.45 am. The flight was abnormally full, with European and American passengers getting connected in gulf. Baggage collection, I knew, was going to be a nightmare, especially in Chennai where we had hardly 5 to 6 conveyor belts for incoming luggage. No wonder, it took me nearly 2 hours to collect my single suitcase that I could have done without (belated realization). My cab had been waiting for me for a while. I rang up my MIL immediately on landing. She is 81. I have had many differences of opinion with her. She was aware of my landing time. I was not happy to disturb her in unearthly hours either. But I had no other go. My MIL lives in my apartment and she has to open the door to me always. Whatever the time. She has to take the elevator to the ground floor (just one floor below) and open the inner grill gate. For additional security, we also lock our external grill gates for the night after all the cars come in. So my MIL also has to walk within the compound and open the car park gate exclusively assigned to us. At 81, I always think it is too much for her. But she does it anyway.

So at 2 am., I called my MIL on reaching Chennai. She answered me in a groggy voice. Inspite of expecting a call, the shock of the ringing phone in the middle of the night can still be disturbing to aged people. I know this, but I can’t help it everytime I commit this mistake. I pictured my MIL grabbing her cell phone, jolted by its ringing. I felt sorry for her. I alerted her I would be on my way from airport in 1-2 hours depending on how long it took to retrieve my baggage. She asked me about my cab even in that hour. I said, things were fine. My pre-booked (dial a)driver was waiting for me with my car just outside.

At 3.45 am finally I was in my car heading home. I called my MIL on the way. I asked her to step out only in the nth moment when I neared the street. I kept engaging her in conversation.

Finally I was home by 4.30 am or so. She was downstairs at the gate, waiting for me. We went up together.

After I paid off the driver and locked the gates and our door, I settled down in the sofa. My MIL had boiled the milk by this time . She thrust a steaming mug of coffee at me even as I chided her for lighting up the stove given her age. Nothing would deter her I know. She said, I must be happy because she was still active.

After discussing my uncle’s health, I retired to bed. My uncle and my MIL both were born in the year 1937. My uncle was December born and my MIL May born. I mentally compared notes between them.

My uncle, on whom I have hardly blogged, could have been my biological father. Nothing more to say. He had been a real father to me all life, unlike my own biological father.  My mind was dwelling on the 1000 times my uncle came rushing and gushing helping me, showering his love and affection, feeding me, loving my family and showing respect and concern to all that that touched my life. I felt sad because by no means I would see another human being on earth like him, never. No expectations. No negativity, no drama. Spiritual to the core. Helpful to all, to the community at large, kind and generous. Built many lives. Stabilized many lives. Role model citizen when it came to paying taxes and bills and obeying and respecting the law to the T. Diplomatic whether he was dealing with the local plumber or with someone with a high social status. Neutral. More than all, affectionate with everyone. That’s what we all will remember him for. There won’t be another janam for him that much I can vouch for. His Karma is all spent with his suffering physically, mentally in this birth for no fault of his. May be that is God’s idea. To eliminate him from the cycle of rebirth with his Jyothi joining the celestial feet of Lord Vishnu, his Ishta Deivam in Sri Vaikunta.

I will miss my uncle more in coming days, months and years. My parents found replacement for me, in my uncle and my aunty. But my aunt and uncle will have no replacement in my life ever. For the first time in my life I realize, I am grieving, mourning for my adopted (not legally) parents. I was too young to mourn properly for my mother and with my father, I was indifferent with resentment. I have grieved modestly for my parents, but it is now that I realize what it is to grieve for your actual parents. I am eating well, dressing up, going out, enjoying life this time, not putting on a show. But deep down my heart, something hurts profoundly. I don’t think I will ever get over the loss of my uncle. May be with time, my heart will heal but the ache will always be there i know, as long as I live.

Over years, I have become extraordinarly sensitive to the needs and worries and care and welfare of/for the aged/old people. I regret my misunderstandings with my MIL immensely. I wish I could erase those blotches from the past. Still overall, I can say, I have never neglected or hurt the elderly like many do and justify their deeds for various reasons. I put up with my MIL initially because I wanted a motherly figure in my life. It has not always been smooth between us. Many say a MIL can never become your mother, true. But we have still managed to  come closest on many occasions on being mother and daughter. It is not a perfect relationship as I said and it has its ups and downs, but I am grateful I have my MIL in my life. For opening my door, waiting for me. For asking me if I have eaten. For criticizing my clothes, neck plunge. For commenting on my cooking. For forcing her opinions on me. The same things I have hated about her for years, I am now looking forward to and seem to love. Is this called maturity. I love to flaunt my MIL nowadays to my friends and family. I wish my MIL lives a 100 years even if I have to daily argue with her on one thing or another. I know these are precious people who we will never get back in life.

May be because I lost my parents early in life, I cannot bear to see grown up kids neglecting or torturing their aged parents. Either this extreme, or the elderly get to be taken for granted by their adult children. Baby sitters for long hours without a break, cooks and servants for the family and sometimes even taken advantage of their pension and other funds. As real estate holders, they can exercise some free will over their legal heirs, yet their age makes them vulnerable, at the mercy of their wards. Old age homes and nursing homes are not yet big concepts in India, picking up only in recent years. There is a big void in the palliative care sector. I think after 70 years or so, the senior citizens start returning to childhood – both physically and mentally. They need our help, understanding and support. My cousin’s mother died of Alzheimer’s – she was hardly controllable. She was tended to like a baby towards the end… I remember the lady from her golden years. The transformation seemed unimaginable. Very traumatic to the family.

What we are today in life, is because of who made us into that. I deeply appreciate my aunt and MIL in my life, now that my uncle is gone. My uncle led a fruitful, productive life, matchless. He was never a rich man, but was always a very satisfied man. His family was not just us, but the entire social circle. My uncle enveloped us all with his warm, loving, protective arms. With him, I never lacked for anything. The sense of security he gave me with my parents’ passing… I have to take umpteen janams to repay him what he did for me lifelong.

Three years back, my suitcase was ruptured on arrival in Chennai. I arrived in daytime so went straight to my uncle’s place. He saw my suitcase and immediately asked me to unpack. He took it off to a local bag repair guy and fixed it fine for me for a paltry sum. That baggage worked for me for last 3 years postponing my new purchase. How he followed up with the work still stays fresh in my memory. It was not something to bother about. But to my uncle., every penny saved for me was worth it. Such a trivial matter. But that was how my uncle functioned. All problems were one and the same for him, requiring equal attention and importance.

With my uncle and aunt, I have performed the Anga Pradakshan at Tirupathi temple, climbed up the 7 hills of Tirumala on foot… My uncle showed me the God and Goddess … and in the pantheon of my Gods, he will always hold a special place.

What is the use of regretting over spilled milk. Let us appreciate and celebrate our parents and the elderly when they are still around. Grieving after they are gone is useless.

Old people do not expect much from us. Even their metabolism limits their appetite. Most of them are pensioners and are financially independent. What they expect from is only love and time. Parents are the only people who can shower unconditional love on us, accepting us for what we are, aren’t they. Which is why even serial killers are defended by their mothers. Mothers never disown gays. Mothers love us even if we are utter failure cases.

No substitute for parents. A world without the elderly is frightening.

The Responsibility Factor.

Survival Of The Fittest

A social media post recently showed how miscreants who call themselves secular socialists in my home town Chennai thrashed an exhibition that displayed historic facts on Aurangzeb – which naturally included pictorial depiction of destruction and devastation in the Hindu society in the most barbaric Mogul’s reign of terror in India. It was argued, the present generation (of Indian muslims) cannot be held responsible for the past atrocities the Hindus had to suffer at the hands of our invaders. The ruling state govt of DMK thought it fit to cancel the exhibition citing that it could endanger the communal peace and harmony of the local society by opening up the healed wounds. It was not necessary, felt the administrtation. Let the past stay in the past where it belonged.

(So in a democratic, secular Hindu majority India (as of date) where I am a native Hindu, I cannot speak a word against the minorities or about my torrid past history because it will hurt the sentiments of the erstwhile invaders/present day converted minorities).

But is it not contradictory for the same DMK to invoke the past to suit their political agenda by way of seeking more and more reservation for the scheduled castes/tribes irrespective of their current improved status. DMK is responsible for including even the muslims in the backward communities list (OBC) reserving seats for the minorities in the highest academic institutions of the state even if the islamic reign in India lasted for over eight long centuries with the muslim converts being the highest benefactors reaping sops by way of tax exemptions, employment in the court/govt etc. The Hindus through centuries languished without opportunities with every avenue of livelihood closed down.

The converted Christians in India too seem to invoke their SC/ST status after embracing the so-called forward ‘christianity.’ They are shameless when it comes to milking the Indian government for concessions, referring to historic injustices the dalits were subjected to.

But we the majority Hindus are supposed not to talk about the past. We have to forgive and forget and move on.

A  similar converse is true of the west today.

If you take the case of America, it is wholly an immigrant nation. Not a single white American is a native. But look at the immigration laws there. It is only the case of, who reached America first. Or when you reached America first.

Germany to France decry migrants, but the terror these and in general the European nations unleashed on Asian/African countries! French atrocities in Angola could chill you to bones. The British separated the aboriginal families in Australia and entirely wiped out many a native indigenous tribe (Maoris) in New Zealand – ethnic cleansing complete aboriginal family trees/races without a trace.

Today the gall they even have to talk about immigrants.

Karma is a bitch. What we see in the world in modern times is reverse migration. For centuries the Europeans colonized Asian/African/South American continents plundering the resources of the hapless natives. The wheel has simply turned, that is all.

A good point of argument by America and west is that, we have to leave past in the past, how convenient! They have drawn the line somewhere with the Second world war by which they seem to define the measuring yardstick for nations across the world.

What these people miss to see is that, evolution varies by various degrees through centuries giving everyone equal footing over time. There is a fine act of balancing which you may or may not recognize or foresee.

For instance, when Egyptians were at the peak of their civilization building pyramids, the Europeans were still swinging from tree to tree totally uncivilized. It is not upto anybody to so-called ‘civilize’ the uncivilized. What you call culture is merely your own personal perspective. Your culture can never be mine in a million years!

I was thinking of Thiruvalluvar, the Tamil poet who lived in Mylapore, my birth place, exactly 2000 years back. In very structured and advanced Tamil grammar, he composed the couplets ‘Thirukkural’ – some 1330 of which have since been discovered. Thirukkural has been translated into over 120 world languages. Just imagine the level of literacy and culture and civilization before the birth of Christ in India – especially deep down south. By the time of Christ’s birth, the world’s first major stone dam had been built by Tamil Chozha king Karikala across the river Kaveri which stands tall even today. Sangam Thamizh council was in full force with learned men discussing literature and holding court debates. Greek and Roman ships sailed upto Poompuhar, the southern port town that flourished with maritime trade for centuries. Around the same time in northern India, surgeries including plastic surgery were being performed and finest literature got penned with universities drawing scholars from around the world. Science and Mathematics were advanced. India lost it because, India was civilized a bit too early – before the christians and muslims.

The wisdom and peace of the Hindu-Buddhists did not stand a chance before our ruthless foreign invaders.

But what is the condition of Mylapore today. Very congested, most lived in part of Chennai, Mylapore of today is a far cry from the Mylapore of the past where the magneficient Shiva temple of Kabaleeshwara was also built centuries back – a total lofty granite structure. The past glory is all gone. What remains today is only heat and dust. Crowded market places, cramped homes, narrow streets… it is not easy to redraw the city map of a downtown Chennai locality just like that. Things have been happening for centuries here. Things have been in place for centuries.

And what is the condition of our invaders like Afghanistan today! The Hindu temple wealth will not leave any of the plunderers live. We are supposed to not even pluck a ‘vilvam’ leaf from Shiva temple trees. ‘Siva sothu, kula naasham’ goes an adage. If you touch Shiva’s, your clan/race will be destroyed from bare roots.

It is a sad state of affairs in India since independence from the British, that the once glorious nation of ours is jostling with unemployment and poverty. But India has had a glorious past up until 7th century CE in the north and around 14th-15th century in the south.

Most Americans or Europeans may not believe, what we are presently is, is the making in last 100-200 years only (in south). The decline of India started with the invasion of the nation from middle east.

If the past has to be left in the past as per some secularists, then we have to close our eyes to the present as well. That is why I will not let myself be moved by the pictures of bombings in Libya or Syria or anywhere. We Hindus have gone through the worst. If our butchers like Moguls could become angels to some of our own (converted) folks, then I have to turn my heart to stone and get on with life. I do not have an iota of sympathy for the wrong people. Misplaced kindness can do us in as has the bloody Indian history shown.

If Moguls are part of our cherished history, if the sun never set in the British empire, then by the same means, let us rewrite history raising Ram mandir in Sri Ram janam bhoomi. Let the immigrants settle down comfortably all across Europe and America. When the Portuguese and the Spaniards could make Latin America their home, then it is only rightful that foreign immigrants settle down in European countries. It all adds up to Karma’s way of balancing.

Life comes a full circle. For over 1000 years, India was vandalized, destructed, plundered. Today we Indians migrate but unlike our invaders we are not on a killing or pillaging and pilfering spree. As followers of Hindu-Buddhist dharma, we contribute to the society we become part of – intellectually, physically, economically, spiritually. Hindus are a constructive community everywhere in the world – be it in America or UK or Australia. Unlike the colonizing Europeans and sword wielding Turks, we are not conquering anyone by sheer terror, wiping out races in our trail. A Hindu will never kill, unless pushed to his/her limit. For, we are basically and originally a vegetarian community though we have changed a lot since. When we will not kill for food, what else should we kill for.

There is something called self-defence. When India is in good hands like our current PM, we can relax. But we shall not let our guards down.

As for migrants from Syria, I am neutral. Germany is paying back its Karma – it is not that Angela Merkel is an angel. It takes that much and lot more for the world to forget the holocaust. It is Germany’s act of balancing, nothing more.

Migration is merely history happening. History is still unfolding. Who says the demarcation line is the World WarII. Most Asian/African nations had no role to play in the world wars. The world wars were merely power struggle between two aggressive group of nations that were terrorizing and plundering the entire world for centuries.

What is Titanic. Is it not migration en masse in an age when conveniently there was no ‘visa.’

What is Babri all about. Even when Babri Masjid was raised over a desecrated Hindu temple – the birth place of Lord Ram, the Hindu God, an overwhelming 90% of India and even Pakistan must have been totally Hindu. Now we have our secularists up in arms when we speak a word against our invaders/marauders. This is how the wheel of justice and time will turn. Hindus are paying back their Karma for the centuries of atrocities by way of social discrimination against dalits. We needed outsiders to reform from within. If anything, this is how I see the positive side of invasions. A Hindu may not kill readily but a Hindu can be cruel in a thousand ways – just like a Jew.

By the same law, yes I am a mute spectator to history unraveling in the middle east, legal and illegal immigration in Europe and America. This too shall pass. We are just a dot in the time line of history of the present age. For 10000 years the native Indians lived in Americas which were their home. Where are the Indians now. By the same Karma, it is only natural that some other alien groups will outpace even the present day Americans. When we talk about Aryans, we can talk about immigrants with the same breath.

Current day ethics and morality and political views are the result of DISOWNING HISTORY AND RESPONSIBILITY. Whatever we are, wherever we are, we happen to assume it is our permanent global status. Well, it is not so.  We are merely at a transient point – crossroads of sorts – where from we have eons to travel. In whichever direction as dictated by geo-political global matters. There is nothing called final destination. When we do not want to share responsibility as aggressors for/on behalf of our ancestors and when we can disown our forefathers’ sins enjoying the fruits of their ill will and misdeeds without any qualms whatsoever, then we will have to deal with the laws of Karma which will always be at work – to our advantage and disadvantage alternately. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This is Karma in short. Immigration will be challenged by immigration!

Yesterdays victories and wars and losses are today’s history. Today’s happenings will be history tomorrow as well.

Who knows, may be 100-150 years from now on, Germany and UK and France could be total Islamic nations, way removed from current scene when inhabitants are chiefly sons of the soil: the Europeans.  Very much like today’s Americas and Australia and New Zealand, where natives were overwhelmed and done away with to be replaced 100% with conquering immigrants, Europe may cease to be what it is right now transforming into something else entirely different.

Do not tell your children: That takes care of everything. UK school children will only learn of brave and heroic battles and conquests and proud history. Never the story of the vanquished. No wonder, today’s First World kids feel entitled to ill gotten wealth. Why not, when slave trade to extermination of aboriginal tribes have been brushed under the carpet, glorifying aggression.

Wars never cease. They are merely fought on different planes of time, in different terrains.

As a Hindu, my heart will never beat for the Abrahamic followers who have been bleeding Planet Earth from the times of war of crusades. As a native, my  heart goes out to the aboriginal tribes of the world who have paid heavily and dearly with their lives/races for satiating the greed of the Europeans and Turks/Arabs.

Through all this nightmare, Hindus will continue contributing to the world via spirituality, medicine, science and technology. We refuse to kill or thieve. Oil corporations of the world can have their heyday without a guilt in conflict zones and children may die – as a coward Hindu I shall close my eyes to injustice but I refuse to take up the sword. I think of my Hindu ancestors who refused to fight back or convert for last 2000 years owing to which I am a Hindu. Until very recently, you could only be born a Hindu. No conversion was allowed. Now it is heartening to see that we have American/European/Australian/African Hindus – not forced/bribed into conversion. In India, some predictions say Hinduism will survive in America, that America will be the Hindus’ last refuge, where peace loving westerners will shun Abrahamic faiths and join the Hindu-Buddhist fold at a later date. It is a long shot – but I only wish and pray, Hindu Dharma, the Sanathana Dharma always thrives as the identity of India to eternity.

Looking 25 years back ….

Looking 25 years back, I can’t believe I stood with my hubby who I was to wed next day (wednesday 23rd of June 1993) in an early morning muhurat – in the reception hosted by my in-laws. The venue was Hotel Kanchi. Its 5.20 in the evening now in middle east. 7.50 in India. By this time, our wedding reception had just begun. It was a tuesday, a working day. I had attended office until the saturday before. Officially my leave started only on June 21st, monday.

Tuesday noon we reached the marriage hall/hotel in our neighbour’s car. Murthy Mama, as we called him, has now moved to ECR. But he could have been my maternal uncle. He said he owed that to my mother who used to treat him like a younger brother. The night my mother died was Mama’s first night. He postponed the most important event of his life by 15 days for my mother’s Karyam to get completed. Neighbours were like blood relatives in those days. Mama therefore dropped us in the hall in his big old Ambassador car which was still the star of Indian roads in 1993.

I had an appointment with the beauty parlour Kanya, in Luz, Mylapore, that afternoon – for my reception make-up. I took an auto alone (yes, a bride on her own with none to give company as everyone in my tiny circle of friends and relatives worked) to the salon where the girls were disappointed that I had never had a previous beauty treatment in my life. It was too late they said, but did what they could. Kanya was No.1 in those days. Even in 1993 they could not believe that they had a bride who was stepping into a beauty parlour for the very first time of her life. They finally draped my sari and were in a fix when I told them they had to book an auto for me again! A bride entering alone the marriage hall was another new for them. With total shocked expressions, they did what I said.

I made a quiet entry by 4.30 pm or so to the wedding hall – i crossed the entire place and went to my room without being noticed. Knowing Indian guests who are notorious arriving late, I had no issues about getting spotted walkign alone in bridal wear before reception – with none by my side.

That June 22nd, I hardly realized how lonely I was in life really … it was only when my friends started getting married one by one and when I attended weddings by hoards did it dawn on me how brides are surrounded by gangs. However, my school friends all were either working or studying or married by then. No telephone in any of our homes. No e-mail. I could only invite a few who were totally busy with their own lives already.

By 6 pm, things got rolling finally. The bridgegroom party had arrived. My fiancee came surrounded by a huge gang of brothers, cousins, nephews/nieces, uncles, aunts – opposite of me, the lone girl who had arrived the forenoon with 7 people: my sis, my aunt and uncle, my neighbours Mama, Mami, my 2 cousins. We were 8 and Mama’s car could hold only 5 – so my cousins and sis came by bus (!) That was our simple family. At that point of time, it never struck me that we were a rare entity.

Around the same time,  a ceremony for me had to get completed. In our families, when girls come of age and get their first periods (at 12 or 13 years), we have to do some special dishes for the girl (puttu) and perform ‘nalangu’ (haldi – kumkum) ceremony. Either we can do this on the 5th day of the girl’s first periods or before the wedding. It is a must. My mother did not do it for me (she was around then) as she was a working woman.  I remember her telling relatives that she reserved the rituals as pre-nuptial ceremony for me. So the ‘nalangu’ originally to have been performed in my 13th year was finally done with before reception. All the Kanya girls’ attempts to give me a decent Reception look fell flat with the kumkum and chandan pastes anointed in my face and neck and hands by women guests.

My father-in-law and my uncle next performed the Nischayathartham (formal betrothal). I was asked to stand in the sides for this. I saw my bank staff – all of them file in and take seat. My school friends and college friends and my other friends started arriving – but not much of relatives. I had very few relatives anyway. Finally I felt better and almost equal that I too had people – who were there for me. Otherwise, my hubby side relatives and family friends and colleagues flooded the venue.

The long reception began. My DGM and AGM were present and to my surprise stayed on until 10 pm. They were aware I had no parents. My colleagues had dinner. Every single one of the all men department of mine attended my reception and stayed for hours – it was their quiet way of showing me respect; normally they were a raucous bunch and I hardly spoke to them at work. I worked in their midst but never socialized with them. My few school/neighbourhood friends stayed over for the night. I was dazed.

Unlike normal brides, I only had 5 sov of gold on me – everything was gilt. Even those sparse original gold jewelry was gift from my MIL who did not want their relatives to discover how I was literally a pauper. My mind was working on the cost of the reception dinner. My FIL had agreed to split the bill – which was a big relief for us.

By the time the last guest left, it was already 12 midnight.

Hardly caught a few hours nap before I was woken up again for an early morning ‘nalangu’ – haldi kumkum ceremony with oil etc along with groom – that is the last shower as virgin for brides. And grooms too in our culture.

My morning Muhurat was 6.00-7.30 am – by 7.30 that morning I was Mrs. Ravindran.

My husband was/is someone who never judged me from my clothes or dirty house or my orphaned status. I am the only girl he ever saw/visited by way of bride-seeing. None of my flaws that others noticed – my husband noticed. The rush with which he married me still amazes me. I know, not even my son will measure up to him. The 3 month engagement period (we never had a formal engagement at all really) galloped in a jiffy.

Back when our marriage was arranged, I later learned, my hubby was discouraged by his family/brothers from marrying me – a simpleton, with no background, no parents, no home of her own, no bank balance nothing. My husband stood his stead. All these things – he says he never even noticed. His eyes and mind were full of only me.

The day my mother died, I recall changing my prayers to God. Everyday I went to Kapali temple and Valleeshwar temple in Mylapore. My only prayer was to get a good husband, good son. This is all I asked for – not a good university or employment though they came to me.

Against all odds and strong advice, my hubby married me. Finally after 25 years, I can see his folks approve of me. But this approval or acceptance did not come easily. For years, I have remained an outsider in their family, never an equal, suffering disrespect and neglect and blatant partiality.

Through all this my husband never supported me openly still – because he will never speak a word against his mother … but it is okay. We cannot have 100% of everything. I put myself in my MILs position these days and think whether I would have approved of the choice my hubby made. Of course ours was an arranged union, still many families wait till they can get better matches. My hubby was advised caution not to rush into marriage with the first girl he ‘saw.’

The past still hurts … I can never think of my past without tears in my eyes. Years of humiliation before my marriage – and even after my marriage in a different form…

25 years after, I feel, it is all worth it. The bad experiences have molded me – given me more patience and tolerance that are tough to cultivate. I never thought of this day back in 1993. I did not know what I was getting into. I was marrying a total stranger. I was moving into a new, hostile and very unfriendly home. My in-laws family remained indifferent to me for years … even after my son came along.  It took a minimum 15 years for me to finally sync with them and become one of ‘them.’ It took that long for them to accept me in their fold. I agree, this is the condition of every girl who marries in India. Gaining acceptance in your in laws’ family. My son who came into our lives the very next year 1994 whereas, got ready acceptance. He was already one of ‘them.’

I can write books on my personal experiences, the legal battles, the tragedy of my parents lives, my grandparents, the joint family dilemmas etc. But whatever God denied me, I can say, She gave me recompense in equal measure in a different way. She made good all my losses in Her own time. Time is the best healer they say, but time can never heal completely I can say.

A few days back I read my sister’s whatsapp message in a friend’s group: “i never ate my mother’s food even once in my life.’ That immediately shook me and opened up old wounds. My granny cooked in those days, my mother never went into kitchen. But in 1980 summer, my grandparents went on North India tour of Himalayas, Kashmir etc. My sis tagged alone. That May month was the only time my mother cooked for me and my dad. Not much. She was a lousy cook but I was already cooking as a pre-teen. We both cooked up a decent fare. I wasn’t to know then it was our last cooking experience together. My mother passed away in 1982.

I also remember the last glass of ‘Complan’ my father gave me and my sis. It was our nightly ritual. Before going to bed, our father used to fix us hot tumblers of Mango flavoured complan. We had our glassfuls. I went to sleep happily. Next morning, my father wasn’t there.

I am happiest today because I am here with my husband – for our son. Just being there is important. I have lost 2 of my school friends to cancer already. I am 49, about to turn 50 this september. My friends were unlucky.

25 years on – my husband has gotten me a diamond necklace, my second, for our silver wedding anniversary. I think of my wedding reception when I barely had a chain and a bangle to wear for the D day of my life. I was conscious of paying Kanya – who charged me a whopping 700 bucks. I swore never to visit a beauty parlour again in my life. I was furiously calculating the auto fares in my mind as I stood in my reception.

Our bills were somehow paid off comfortably the next day. They were a big worry for me on June 22, 1993 – something brides never worry about normally.

I kept calling back my family at Murthi Mama’s phone to check if everything was okay with hotel bills – even from Kodai/Ooty where we went for honeymoon for a week. I started writing down our family expenses right in the train that we boarded at Madras Central – much to the shock of my newly wed hubby.

Life has given me so much in these 25 years. My friends – i have found them all back thanks to social media. I now have my own circle of friends and relatives who I can call ‘my people.’ I have more than enough clothes now – not just 5 suits and 1 sari. I own beautiful jewelry. I am comfortable, stable – and more than all I am blessed with a loving family. I learned not to judge guys by flowers/cards/chocolates. My husband or son never get these for me. But their love and respect for me is constant. The respect they have for me reflects on the love and honour they shower on my family (my aunt’s, my sister’s).

In the year 1991, I had even contemplated suicide. Sat for hours many days alone by beach side. I just didn’t have the courage. Also my aunt would say, never to be discouraged in life. She would ask me to keep up my hopes and pray. And do good. And do no harm to others. ‘Automatically good things will happen, good days will come your way.’ My aunt had slight suspicion that I could take the extreme step – normally i was bold and strong, but then sometimes when life overwhelms you… and you think you have none to go to…

25 years not easy. In fact 50 years of my life have never been easy. Sometimes I am tired of arguing my own case. But then I think of the sacrifices of my husband, the man who married me expecting nothing from me in anticipation … and who took on the world in my defence… of my son who can have it easy yet wants to tough it out on his own… I am proud of these 2 men who have made my life worthwhile .  Life is worth living for another quarter century. God willing.

 

Reality Show :Undressed on TLC

For the first time late last evening watched the reality show ‘Undressed’  in TLC. How long its been on air, no idea. Obviously it is relayed around midnight India time because of its adult (!) content.

Different couples come together in the show. Must have been paired off by the director or whoever is behind the show.

The couples get into a big dim lit room with a single mega screen (for instructions) and a large white double bed. Apparently there are no onlookers in the studio. The cameras must be placed subtly recording everything. No audio disturbance, only commands or suggestions from the screen.

Some 5 couples went on air last evening. I ofcourse missed the climax (!) of 2 couples (with hubby at home asking for mundane things like ice water from fridge at crucial moments; indian husbands … sigh!!)

Each couple when they get into the room have to undress their partner. Down to their undies, they have to lie in the bed, hold each other and act as instructed (from monitor). Like kissing, playing with pillows etc. They are asked to do some small talk to know each other better. This is supposedly testing ground to check if they are compatible to each other.

One black couple could not handle it, they were hot already! Perfectly matched I must say! Both in intensity and good looks! Professionwise too. He was a physical trainer, she a special school teacher. They hit it off right away. Couldn’t keep hands off each other! Rare to see this kind of chemistry on first meeting. Hopefully they take it further down the lane to a meaningful relationship.

Its awkward just watching this show even with your husband! One white woman was 49 (!) and her partner was 59. How lying just in undies in the bed they discussed casually their lives was unbelievable. Mercifully at least 2 girls refused lip kiss and opted for a peck on their cheeks.

The show is to try match making and this is their idea of so-called dating (!) Okay, since I had an arranged marriage I have no idea what it is to go out with a guy I admit but I did have a small yet decent window of 3 month engagement period during which time we freaked out without the knowledge of our family people. In early 1990s, it was still something bold. Taking permission in office and going to beach with your fiancee was a very brave thing to do.

With time of course, even my conservative Chennai has changed. Over 50% marriages are love marriages inter community. We have christians, muslims and sikhs in every extended family these days and all state people gujarati, punjabi, bengali, maharashtrian, goan, keralite etc., etc. Pan India. Not merely my extended family but it is the all-India scene.

Still, the kind of dating they conceptualized in TLC and made a show out of it is unbelievable. I mean, what kind of couple would like to undress each other in front of (hidden) camera. I could digest at least the younger ones in their 20s; the mature 49 year old woman trying it out with a 59 year old man who could have been a grandfather was unacceptable. How much ever liberal their society must be, I guess there must be some ‘Lakshman rekha’ – the line of demarcation (in this case decency) that must not be violated. I am generally liberal in many matters but as a mother with a grown up young man, being of same 49 years (soon to be 50), i could not come to terms with the woman in red lingerie of my age lying close to a total stranger baring everything except for a brief clothing and summarizing to him her life story in a few lines.

The participants were decent. But I wonder, how many episodes went without being aired with limits overstepped. The black couple, classic case. Extremely sexy both, their mutual attraction was palpable to even us audience. When asked to kiss, they went straight to lip locking as expected ! Could not help fondling each other through out. I am sure, they made it out the next moment they walked out of the studios!

After a 10 minute on-camera intimacy like this, the couples have to decide whether they would like to go on a second date with the same partner.

3 couples said mutual yes to each other.

I did not see what the 49 year old woman said to her 59 year old partner and vice versa. I did see another black couple sorely disappointed with each other.

Never in my wildest dreams have I thought of such a reality show. I won’t be surprised if our desi TV channels soon copycat it with slight revisions. Undressing part will have to go for at least now to be swapped with some other bright and equally interesting idea. Some producers must already be wracking their brains !!

Weirdest show I have watched in my life. Watchable only with our spouse. As the couples have to stand exposed for the entire 10 minute length in their undies that would be telecast worldwide, everyone of them was in designer underwear!

Sad, if someone is this desperate to find a partner – whether for just blind date or for a serious love life/marriage at a later stage. New low even for reality shows.

Reminds me of the bride seeing formality in our own families/society in front of the elderly/relative circle in case of arranged marriages. How sacrosanct. My husband begged for a 10 min private talk with me. He was allowed that but my first BIL’s wife stood guard at the open door (that was not allowed to be shut) and heard every single word that we exchanged! Every single outing before wedding was without the knowledge of our both families but I would be back home by 5.30 pm still. Girls of our generation were like that. I do not expect this of my local girls today … world has traveled far in this 25 year gap.

TV shows are trying to kill the little dignity and shame left in present day man and woman. I wonder how the participant couples would be facing their friends, neighbours, family and colleagues at work. The 10 minute on screen chemistry is also a dead give away to what kind of man/woman you are basically. Hot or easily excitable or cold or shy or bold or whatever. For a tv show to pry and exploit this most intimate and innermost soul of ours is horrible and unacceptable. If I have something to say positive about the show, it is about the fitness of the participating couples who oozed super confidence that came with their healthy bodies. Some had pleasing attitudes.

Leaves us even long married couples shell shocked. Normally I am considered bold by some of my friends. Given the kind of society I come from. But this is too much for me. Wonder what my girls will have to say!

Still, i wondered how it will be with an Indian couple undressing each other in the dark room with hidden cameras: ROFL laughing thinking of this:

  • Not so easy to undress our ladies; loads of jewelry to take off first; from gold chains to bangles everything ; sometimes flowers on hair too! every Indian husband will have volumes to say on this 😀 Even clothing/way of dressing makes it not easy for us to strip (without some clumsiness)!
  • The couple may question each other on whether they are vegetarian/non vegetarian; joint of nuclear family;
  • Rare ones may ask for complete Kula/Gothra details. No dating without knowing who you are by gene/bloood. How pedigree you are.
  • The couple will definitely want to know about the exact academic qualification of their partner with monthly take home pay after taxes paid
  • The girl will want to know if the boy’s family own their house, whether he has car.
  • Won’t be surprised if the boy asks the girl how many tolas of gold their family will be giving her in marriage.
  • The girl stands rejection owing to just her skin colour. South Indian girls with North Indian boys chanceless and vice versa. Walk out right in the studio. But I guess the producers will take care of that, matching partners within their comfort zones.
  • Whether north or south, Indian boys will press the ‘yes’ buzzer only after their ma(s) (mothers) give consent! There is no helpline in this show like in ‘Crorepathi’ by way of phone call, but there is no way an Indian boy will marry a girl who his mother will not approve of!
  • No smooth waxed bodies please, we are Indians! Except for a very miniscule percentage from very elite Indian circle, most Indians do not believe in body shaving/waxing 😀 Project to abort right at the stage of take-off for a second time! However I am sure some (not all definitely no Arab/south east Asian) Asian audience will love such a show of body hair !!!
  • Also doubt if we Indians have such fabulous bodies. Or most probably the producers are showing only good looking couples. Where to hide the middle age flab ? The love handles, the bums, the stretch marks from pregnancy, the sags, droops !!! The 49 year old white in the show intelligently held on to a fluffy pillow against her abdomen.  Younger couples mostly had well toned bodies, especially the men. I wonder how many Indian couples whether young or middle age will be presentable semi-nude or will be fit enough to even pose in semi nude in public. Swim wear preposterous to most Indians.
  • Its true most Indian men do not wear shirt at home. Go bare chested. For Hindu traditional ceremonies, men have to stay bare chested in front of guests and it is so for temple darshans as well in ancient mandirs until today (rule relaxed in most temples in India presently) So it might be easy for Indian men than for ladies I guess.
  • After all these hick-ups and hurdles, do you think we can still host this show successfully???

Shedding our inhibitions, shedding our clothes so easy … in-camera … or shedding one’s dignity and self-respect? It is another thing if a woman sunbathes in swimwear in the beach in public; but being undressed by a total stranger however ravishing handsome he might be, seems out of realm of normality (at least to me).  I don’t think these relationships will work out. They may fizzle out and fade away before the show draws to end. Total fake.

 

Grass always looks greener on the other side.

Just learned that Anthony Bourdain is no more. Suspected suicide. Comes close on the heels of Kate Spade. The chef’s name was familiar but I could not place him until l googled. Oh yeah, he traveled the length and breadth of India i remember, even to Chennai. Cooking the local dish with the local ingredients. Regular in Natgeo. Heard of Kate Spade only during my US visit this year. Seemed to be a big label. In fact I got 3 of her purses. Two lovely ones I gifted my sis and a friend. Now I wish I could get them back! The brand was everywhere. The ones I got – at least seemed to me – were very user friendly. I did wonder who designed it because it was so full of utility compartments. I did not know about the woman behind the creation then. ‘Very thoughtful’ this is the exact way I felt. In fact i gave away the purses half heartedly only! I gave away the wallets because in spite of their creativity and functionality, they were not still as good as those I had from India (unbranded stuff).

Goes on to show how depression can be a silent killer lurking behind unsuspecting people and how money and success are not everything.

In fact I was thinking about this right from my US visit.

I don’t know whether I blogged it.

First of all, contrary to my imagination, not all people in the US were happy or rich as we Indians tend to assume automatically. Meals meant mostly burgers or fast food. Sugared soft drinks if not beers. Cars everywhere but India too has too many cars even if smaller by size. Frozen food. People chasing money. Overworked, tired. Limited vacation. One earned only 2 to 3 weeks annual vacation there compared to one whole month of paid leave in India. Base knowledge level was good and techwise people were smart.

Other than that, I thought people in third world countries like India led a far better life, quality wise.

You take a typical Mylaporean even by today’s standards. (Mylapore is the most ancient part of Chennai my home town. It has a recorded history of over 2000 years. World’s first known oldest literature ‘Tirukkural’ (1330 couplets discovered in Tamil with the rest lost) – was penned from my birth place over 2300 years back). Fresh foods only – 90% cooked at home with freshest vegetables and LOTS OF GREENS. Loads of fruits. Milk in India cannot be stored/refrigerated for more than 1 day – it spoils. Only then can we call it fresh milk – something you just CANNOT get anywhere in America or Europe. Fresh milk there is loaded with chemicals and preservatives that it ceases to be fresh milk. Keep it one year in fridge, still will stay fine. Vegetables especially tomatoes are GM food (even if i am a vegetarian). In India, if you toast tomatoes, in matter of minutes it will reduces to skin with juice extract out totally. Will shrink to one hundredth of its size. Such a thing will never happen to American tomato. It is very stubborn, so big and beefy OMG !

I thought how lucky my own folks back in India were: they ate the best and freshest food, not packed or packaged. For most Americans, anything not packaged was NOT hygienic! For a meal like we have at home in India on a regular day, you will have to pay 300 to 500 $ in America in a restaurant! Just for the spices and ingredients and freshness. Leave alone the gourmet/cuisine tag. May be not many can believe, but Indian cuisine is richest and yummiest and most nutritious. Very very expensive. Hit in UK and in entire Europe. Even if you may try to cook Indian food at home in America, you will have to spend a grand sum. Cheapest and easiest is to shop for frozen groceries with shelf life of one year pumped with synthetic flavours and preservatives. In India, its rare to come across such frozen groceries because: we simply cannot afford such huge deep freezers in small towns and villages or even in our homes!!! Poverty can be a blessing!

Same thing applies to meat. We use the freshest meat/fish/prawns – frozen only for a few hours from the time of catch in the sea to time of sale the same morning or evening, that’s all. Never more than that. This long lasting chicken/mutton they have there in America with expiry date running to months or even years is shocking.

I can’t believe these Americans think they are eating the best food. Junk, total junk. Flabbergasted that they think worst of OUR food habits !!!

Alright, leaving food if we come to lifestyle in India: average Mylaporeans have the habit of walking by foot to local temple, market everyday. For the library. For the gym. Carrying groceries by hand – several kgs. This by itself is a cardio.

Then the evenings atleast once or twice a week, there are classical music instrumental/vocal concerts to attend plus classical dance recitations.

Average Indians also read a lot of local literature apart from English language news and literature.

The overall personality of average India is far, far better over an average American who can think only one dimensional,

An average Indian however has knowledge of classical Hindustani/Carnatic, classical western music for instance – besides filmy music.

Dance is more part of Indian’s life than an average American’s life.

Again we watch foreign films and tv along with local.

Cinema the mass entertainer, is the succour of rural India. Its a much better alternative to drugs and crimes.

The average Indian life is now so much more improved that we have better quality holidays both locally and internationally. Even the poorest Indians travel within the country constantly. Indians are biggest and topmost spenders/tourists in both America and Europe along with Chinese. Red carpet welcome to Indian tourists around the globe.

Travel wise too, we need not have to tour Africa to spot the elephant or lion. They are in their natural settings in India along with tiger, rhino and other wild life. Quality holidays within India at almost zilch cost compared to what you may have to shell out to travel companies registered in Europe/America.

Health care facilities are best in India, speediest and cheapest compared to the US. Even without health insurance you can survive in India and can have the cardiac bypass and hip replacement from your bank account savings. Something unthinkable in America.

I was for 50 days in India after a long time, 24 hours a day were not enough for me.

With activities like Zumba and Yoga and local plays in theaters and concerts and visits to historic temples, my days seemed much shorter. I rounded it off with a stay over in a seaside resort with my friends. It had a private beach – and the spread for breakfast/lunch/dinner I did not find in the 4 star hotels of Europe or America. From desi to continental to exotic fruits to cheeses … if we were poor in anything it may be with cheese department. Again, ice creams are made in India from fresh milk never from milk powder as they are made in America or Europe.

The American children can never take pride in their history. Can they?

The kind of exhilaration I feel every time I step into 1000 year old Hindu temple in my country – I don’t think any american can feel over anything.

We don’t know what destiny has in store for us.

But my visit to America made me realize that the intrinsic wealth and value of India is much much more than American or European.  From the kind of food we ate to even the clothes we wore…

We in India wear purest cottons and sheer silks – whereas the western attire is all man made fibre like polyester and nylon. We Indians wear clothes that breathe that are natural yarn. Indian silks may be termed designer’s designer stuff in American terms. And the ethnic prints in vegetable dyes mostly… over the chemical dyes… Indigo is the rage now in India. Fashion India. I got my quota 😀

The shoes we wear are leather, the purses/wallets/belts and bags we carry are leather. We don’t know their value. In India they are priced at 300 rupees hardly 40 $ but in US they may fetch us 4000 $ – and this is the solid truth about India and Indians. About our every walk of life.

Average Indians own lots of gold and diamonds – something unthinkable to most Americans. Average Hindu temples are richest and treasuries and repositories for tonnes of gold that will put American treasury department to shame. However none of our wealth is officially accounted for.

It is not without reason that India draws thousands from west who come here searching for inner peace. Initially they may be put off, but those who have patience, go on to discover the true wealth and happiness that is in store in this country of ours.

I do not regret our much publicized poverty at all. Yes, true, 30% of India’s population is dirt poor but that’s changing very rapidly.

But a good percentage of Americans are totally addicted to drugs and other self abusive habits. Irredeemable. Crime rates again when compared to 1.3 billion population of ours, is steeper.

Lessons I learned from Europe and America are: no way is India inferior to any of these nations. We still produce the best human brains.

Someone asked, how India being so poor can produce such fine academicians and scientists and medicos.

Reason is the rich resources that we still have in this country. Human resources, natural resources, living a life closure to nature in many ways.

Our air and water may be polluted day by day, but with what little we have, we strive to produce the best.

Sadly, my own countrymen do not realize how gifted they are.

Money and success do not automatically imply a good life. Without that, we Indians are already rich without us knowing it.

Actress Sri Devi’s life, another reminder. The way it (was) ended so brutally. Abruptly.

India’s biggest minus point is : LACK OF INFRASTRUCTURE but even here we are catching up

India’s next minus point is: lagging in industrializtion. Rather than thinking that it is a curse, these days I happen to think it’s a blessing.

Indian education system may be found wanting but still is by far most comparable to the best in the world because, we are able to manage in America after graduating from India. It means we are passable. May be not the best. Definitely in the education department, especially when it comes to science/engg/tech universities, syllabus needs drastic revision and improvement. Our greatest minus point is: our education system is NOT inspirational or research oriented. We learn, we master that’s all. We do not think, we do not invent.

Having lived in Malaysia (south east Asia), Middle East and having toured America and Europe (which I hope to tour again in future God willing), I know what a blessing it is to be born in India, have a good and loving and secure family of husband-wife-kids-grandparents besides nephews and nieces and uncles and aunts. It can be a thatched hut, still you can be happy – the way my maid’s family is. Complete family bliss. If they cannot have 5 star biryani, they can still have yummy road side biryani. And send their kids to corporation school. With our pluses and minuses, India is still a great place to be born and live.

Much cherished native culture and heritage spanning centuries that we have in India: this makes India stand apart from other nations.The Sanskrit slokas and mantras we recite have been chanted for thousands of years. The comfort from familiarity and pedigree and base and root does a lot of good to our persona. Children ought to grow up this way. Or at least that’s the view I subscribe to.

Being born a Hindu in my native home country India, i don’t have to invent lies to make up my history or faith/religion. I don’t have to hide my identity and fake allegiance with foreign cultures. I don’t have to be like anyone. I can be just me.  My conscience is clear like my ancestors.

I am sorry, I like multi-culture but I do not know whether it is good in the long run.

In the long run, i guess, self-respect and pride in one’s own culture may get diminished in multi-cultural setting. I positively feel, there is more to lose than gain.

The festivals and fun in India merit a separate write-up. Our weddings. Literally mini gala celebrations.

The real quality of life in India is far, far superior to what you may find in America or elsewhere.

It is not fair that Kate Spade’s alone is a success story but not the humble leather purse designer from my hometown (with due respect to Kate Spade). I once pulled out my multi compartment purse from my leather handbag – a european lady shopping next to me in middle east inquired me where I got them from. I said, they were from India. She couldn’t believe. I told her I got the purse now well worn for 30$ and my bag for about 80$ – she said that could fetch at least 5000 $ in America. And my stuff wasn’t even branded.

As the Chinese products sweep the markets, the glorious handmade Indian products hardly have buyers. Originals never shine the way fakes do. I couldn’t buy for myself a Kate Spade or Michael Korrs because for that rate in India I could get a dozen original leather products crafted and sewn by hand so beautifully. I got myself a few tops. I couldn’t afford Indian imports in America – they were expensive and sheer cottony cotton. I know I can never afford India outside India.

The beautiful fulfilling rich and meaningful life we have in India… where the elderly are still taken care of by their sons and daughters who may be in their 60s and 70s themselves… and not banished to nursing homes to live and die alone….

I respect America that celebrates individuality but God made me a social creature. My oxygen is classical music and spirituality and ancient temples and cotton clothes and antique diamond jewelry … something I can not and will never find in America.

There is a lot in my country that can be effectively channelized… so much of resources wasted… we are so, so rich… only we don’t know.

We are rich the way we must be….

America in the meanwhile is progressive only because they uphold individual freedom and spirit over anything in their society. This is what makes them innovate. India/Hindu philosophy on the other hand focuses on family bliss and sacrifice and spirituality never on personal gratification. This explains the gulf between our two huge economies.

In spite of herself, India is still doing well.

I remember reading an article in a western magazine in my school days ridiculing eating on banana leaf with our bare hands, not using spoon or fork. ‘Uncultured, barbaric’ were the comments. Today a German company is patenting our leaf plates already. We never take these things seriously in India. Whereas in the west, every facet of life is business. May be that’s why we are poor in their eyes. We are poor living well our lives, that’s the point.

If we Indians can do more for our environment, can take better care of our rivers and water bodies, can build better infra structure, then we can become a top country in the world. By numbers we already the global big 5 economy wise – after only America, China and combined Europe. We are still in the elite space club. We have the potential like none have.  If only we have able politicians to guide us better…

In all my future births, I want to be born only a Hindu in my Hindu majority nation India. God bless India with Hindu majority to eternity for the sake of this entire world.  My beautiful ancient India. Life is beautiful if we live it at our own pace. Waking up to Suprabath, listening to musical Veena, smelling the national jasmine fragrance of India fused with the aroma of sandal wood; eating up a good nutritious filling meal with most freshest hand picked veggies…. walking to the beach, climbing up a mountain… walking to classical concerts not junk noisy metal sounds, indulging in the bliss of spirituality in the temple that your grandfather and great grandfather and great great grandfather had also walked to … this is life.

 

In my India ironically, like the rich Kate Spade, many commit suicide because they don’t have enough money to spend like in the west to buy all the plastics! A suicide in my home state Tamil Nadu last week because a school girl who was a medical college aspirant did not get the required score in NEET – national medical entrance. So she ended her life with a meter of rope. Think of her poor farming parents. Girl was school topper. She would have made good in any field – but she wanted only medical school.

Today in life, having crossed hurdles that only a parentless girl under 25 can understand, I know all the material comforts we have in our life are nothing. The real treasure is our family. The real happiness is our own soil and the breath of freedom that comes with it. I know where my happiness lies. Where my peace lies.

Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade – I am not surprised by their emptiness. I hope they find what they were looking for in their next births.

 

India has Her own lovers

Just read a story that in spite of the missionaries and vicious media propaganda, none can have hatred for India in the world.

Very true. India (read Hindus) have given the world as much. The numerous boards for Yoga and Meditation and Ayurveda everywhere I saw in Europe and even in America are a silent testimony. When I saw that the Americans had named the peaks in the Grand Canyon after Hindu and Greek Gods (Vishnu temple and Shiva temple being chief among them), I could imagine the world respect for Hindu culture, the longest surviving indigenous way of life in world history. I bow down in front of such a respect and honour.

Recently on an unscheduled trip to the temple town of Tiruvannamalai  with school friends, I happened to encounter a couple of foreign guys – a French and an American. Tiruvannamalai lies 200 km south of Chennai. It has a historic Siddha Shiva temple over 1000 years old spread over 100 acres, a typical Dravidian Hindu architecture. Siddhas in Tamil mythology are immortal – they never die. They perform penance for 1000s of years. Many Hindu temples down south are Siddha Peetams. We Tamils believe, many Siddhas are roaming around in India even today. Siddhas are to the south, the way Aghoris are to northern India. Siddhas attain their kind of eternal salvation after hundreds of years of ‘tapas’ (penance) under trying conditions: like standing for years, going without food or water, sitting in a same spot for hundreds of years with anthills rising over them, in unwavering meditation. Finally they attain the detachment that can separate their souls from bodies without them having to die (something like this can happen with advanced Transcendental meditation). India once at least was home to such sages/hermits. In the present times too, may be there are a few unknown Siddhas lying low without publicity. This is the strong conviction of many Tamil Hindus who have had a real life brush accidentally with such ‘Siddhas’ in Tiruvannamalai. Rarest of rare happenings. This is also one strand of Hindu spirituality. In fact, in the pyramid like structure of Hindu spirituality, the Siddha-Aghori kind may be at the top while we the rest of us may be in the base level. Tiruvannamalai was once a very powerful Siddha Peetam with the positive aura of the Siddhas that permeated and reverberated from every surface. Here Shiva is believed to have appeared ‘swayambu’ as ‘Agni Linga’ – the fire. It is after this this that India went without temples for the creator Brahma.

Even today in Tamil Nadu, Siddha medicine is practised alongside Ayurveda. Siddhas pioneered in many fields and their contribution to medicine and spirituality is immense.

Arunachaleshwara (Shiva ) temple in Tiruvannamalai is supposed to be vested with mystic Siddha powers. In this town lived the great Ramana Maharishi, Seshadri Swamigal, Visiri Swamy etc., renowned hermits some of whom attained ‘Jeev samadhi’ (samadhi when still alive). The Siddha spirituality draws devotees to this small sleepy town from around the world. I would like to invite my prime minister Shri Narendra Modiji once to have a darshan of Shri Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai. Lord Shiva as Agni/Jyothi Linga, one of the 18 Shiva Stals and one of the five ‘bhootha’ (5 natural elements) Lingam.

To walk around the Tiruvannamalai hill on Pournami (poornima or full moon nights) is supposed to bestow you with good life and divine spirituality. This walk is termed ‘Giri valam)

So while having lunch, we girls struck a conversation with the two white men who were in cotton checked shirts and airy (!) white dhotis.  Their foreheads had ‘vibhuti’ and ‘kumkum’ . They sat with us in the same large table in the restaurant and were comfortably savouring the typical traditional south Indian vegetarian feast served on banana leaf, with their bare hands – very nicely really, almost like us Indians. The air-conditioner was groaning as summer was already upon India (May being our hottest month). When we ladies were nonstop moaning, the two foreigners hardly mumbled a word in complaint about the heat wave or Indian summers. They seemed to be at home, more at home than us girls!

I told the Paris guy who said he came from the world museum capital that I visited Paris 2 years back. He was unimpressed. ‘I no more identify myself as French. I cannot connect with France or Europe or west in general. The day I attended Kumbh Mela in India, walked through the streets of Varanasi, I knew my soul belonged in India. Ever since I am in India on and off. 9 months in India until visa permits. Get back to France and again back to India. I don’t know what you guys find in foreign countries that is not here. I came down to Tiruvannamalai finally after visiting many Hindu temples. I am here as much as possible. I know this is my home.’

The American agreed with him. The day he touched down in India, he said he had this inner calling – a sense of ‘deja vu’. The noise, the poverty, the crowds, nothing bothered him any longer. He felt he had come home.

Both the men were middle-aged, under 60. Neither were they Hippies nor were they Hare Krishna followers. They were not drawn to India via Aurobindo or other Gurus like Ravi Shankar or Sadhguru in modern times or from Sai Babas from recent past. They did not know India in their other lives in Europe/America, the lives they have left behind. India took them by spell the moment they set their foot in the country. Until India happened, they had had no clue what it is about. That is the power of Hindu philosophy.

We women were overwhelmed by what they told us. I asked the French man, ‘Do you know Francois Gautier ???!!!’

He went blank for a minute. ‘Who is he?’ he asked then. I was not sure if it was pretence or real.

I said he was a French journalist now settled in India, writing on Indian politics. He is pretty much an insider, I said.

‘Excuse politics please’ said the French man. The American smiled. ‘We are here on our own, we had this spiritual calling. The spiritual energy, the peace we find here is not there anywhere in the world.’

India does not send missionaries to US or Europe to convert anyone to Hindu dharma or Buddhism the way Vatican/Europe/US are doing. India has never terrorized another nation on earth, never plundered other races, did not lay foundation on/build Bharat over the spilled blood of natives. Sanatana Dharma, Hinduism, is freewill. Without preaching, without coercion, without conversion by the point of sword … world citizens embrace Hindu-Buddhist way of life. Hindus are givers, never takers. We make ourselves useful in the best way to the society we may become part of. India will always therefore have the goodwill of the world. Hindus are boringly annoyingly passive, but are good to the world. World can do with us. World needs our kind.

I just know my Hindu India will be loved and respected eternally. For the goodness we have given the world. For the swordless bloodless conquering of the soul of the world with spirituality, meditation, classical music and dance and literature and science and medicine and technology. Wholesome Hinduness.

That day in Tiruvannamalai, we girls had a reawakening for a second time after temple darshan. Unsolicited love and respect for Hindu way of life and India. We could not have asked for more.

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The Hollywood picture Avatar, ofcourse my all time favourite, is a complete lift of this Hindu avatar (incarnation) (avatar is a sanskrit word) spirituality, the ultimate detachment. I never knew someone could make such a beautiful and thought provoking picture with this concept (which we call ‘koodu vittu koodu paidhal’ in Tamil. we have spinned tales around this subject for centuries before Avatar film happened. ask any Tamil/Hindu child. he/she grew up listening to these mythical stories which we believed at heart were once true happenings in Hindu society). Even the body of the Avatar is blue like that of Lord Ram or Krishna. Hindu male Gods mostly are mostly supposedly blue skinned.

 

PM Modi Inspires Me to Recite ‘Soundarya Lahari.’

I play Devi Mahatmyam and Soundarya Lahari in You Tube. Of course I chant every week Sri Lalitha Sahasranama. I recite and play Vishnu Sahasranama, Hanuman Chalisa even Rudhram. Parts of Skanda Puranam. I am reading Valmiki’s Sundara Kandam in Ramayana.

But I am having Devi Mahatmyam and Saundarya Lahari for years with me. I start, I stop. I start, I stop. Never continued or put efforts in learning.

Finally my prime minister inspires me to learn Soundarya Lahiri. Or at least play it for starters regularly so it becomes easy to memorize. Reason I skip Lahari is that, it is very tough to get it by heart. The Sanskrit pronunciations are a challenge to my tongue. Nevertheless I shall try sincerely in future. I know this is a very powerful mantra, it will do infinite good to family, home, place of residence and one’s nation. Mother Goddess Shakthi is invoked very strongly via this mantra, just like with Sri Lalitha Sahasranama. The Durga who destroys the evil is Shanthi swaroop in Lahiri I guess (not too sure) (at least I should learn the saaraamsh now).

We listen to political speeches of our political leaders, but Shri Narendra Modiji could be the only statesman we may have in the world today who is so spiritually mature. After the unconvincing lies addressed from high podiums by generations of elected representatives and politicians and bureaucrats, it is a delight to listen to Modiji, heading world’s largest democracy, talking on spirituality, something very rare and unique in history. An ardent devotee of Mother Goddess the trinity of Lakshmi-Saraswathi-Parvathi, our PM observed Navrathri Vratham in the US subsisting on lime juice and water for 10 days. Did not break his fasting, and in fact air traveled, gave interviews, participated in international summits delivering lectures in this period. I cannot hope for a better PM for my nation that has been ravaged and terrorized for 800 years by Talibani Babur to Tipu Sultan, and then run aground for next 250 years by the British who stripped us bare.

Someone posted on social media that Modiji must be a Yogi, yeah it is possible.

For my part, I can only pray for his health. 100 years Modiji and many more and more, Mother India needs you forever and ever! I shall always recite the Mrityunjaya Mantra for you. I am doing just that, every single day.

The vibrations these mantras leave in our hearts and homes. The good vibes that negate the negative energy with their positive aura…

Thank you Prime Minister, this I take as personal message from my Mother Goddess.