Weather And Emotions.

This post is the Loose Consortium Bloggers’ Friday post when Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Marianna, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy , and I write one post each on the same topic. Please visit the other blogs too to have different views on this fascinating subject.


India has three major weather seasons and one in between. The winter, the summer, the monsoon and the post monsoon. The Indian calendar clearly follows the climate pattern. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which has four seasons, Indian calendar has six seasons. Each season consists of two months (Ritus). Instead of complicating matters, let us just say, that the four seasons of the Gregorian calendar has been sub divided to be more relevant to the Indian climate. The Indian calendar is followed for agricultural and religious purposes and is considered to be very accurate for such end uses.

Now, when a nation has six seasons, or rather six subtly different from each other different weather conditions, can its people afford to allow the weather to dictate their emotions? So, Indians have been brain washed to be stoic about weather. In fact, they are taught from childhood to be stoic about every thing. So, the concept of weather affecting emotions does not seem to be applicable to us.

Our ex rulers, the British, were and continue to obsess about weather. It is their favourite topic of conversation. We Indians picked up that particular trait from them and do discuss the weather at every possible opportunity, usually to complain.

The British called the monsoon, gloomy weather, but the Indian longs and prays for copious rains. When it comes, he dances with joy. Some major religious festivals and self purification processes like fasting are undertaken during the monsoon so that idle brains, shut indoors, do not get up to mischief. Towards the end of the monsoon, the major festivals of Ganesh, Navarathri and Diwali are finished and done with so that he can concentrate on the major agriculatural season that would start and get over by around February/March of the following year.

The summer was treated as the least desirable of all the seasons by the British, who tended to move to the cooler climes of our hill stations during the summer. The Indian on the other hand, welcomes the summer because he is free from agricultural duties, and can concentrate on his religious duties, get his offspring married off and undertake repairs and maintenance of his property etc.

During the winter, which is really cold only in the northern most part of India, it is not of the type that the West is used to. Life goes on, albeit with more clothes worn, but nothing like getting snowed in takes place, except in the Himalayas.

That leaves a tiny bit of post monsoon, pre winter couple of months, which coincided with Autumn or Fall in the West. Nothing melancholy happens. This is the time of serious agricultural operations and match making for the winter marriage season.

What I have stated above is for the vast majority of Indians who live in rural India and are dependent on agriculture and other rural occupations. The minority who live in urban India, are not as affected by the seasons but do observe the same festivals and rituals that the rural Indian does based on the Indian calendar.

Not that the Indian is sans emotions. He can experience and demonstrate all the range of emotions that humans are capable of. He simply does not let weather have any thing to do with them. In fact, on a day to day basis, he can experience and demonstrate all the emotions one after the other, depending on that day’s circumstances.

There are two rules for living in harmony. #1) Don’t sweat the small stuff, and #2) It’s all small stuff.
– Wayne Dyer,

The Indian lives by and large in harmony and sweats copiously throughout the year. Yes, despite having been taught by my English teacher that horses sweat, people perspire, I am inclined to go with Wayne Dyer on this.


“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
– Albert Camus

Being A Woman – II

Since writing my post “Is Being A Woman All That Difficult?” another very interesting article, this time by Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post has appeared which too is worth reading. Ruth’s comment about President Obama had me laughing for quite some time.

In the meanwhile, some comments, wondering whether men can be made to undergo some of the problems that women do have appeared in my blog and Suzen’s comment – “The conversation here is so spirited I’ve nearly forgotten what the post was about! Oh yes, is woman’s life really that difficult? Welllllll, first of all I think if men had to give birth, breast feed, and raise kids there would be no population problem. I’ve frankly never understood why women think having children defines them. I’d like to give this option up to men and see how well they could handle this whole thing —- if I were God and could switch it up a bit. 🙂

secondly, I recommend Raine Eisler’s Book “The Chalice and The Blade” for a fabulous look at the cultural evolution of the matriarchy/patriarchy – it is stunning.” elicited Conrad’s comment -“suzen brought tears to my eyes!”


I think that it deserves a bit of lightening up of the mood and the following story should do it very well.

A man, sick and tired of work everyday, asked God to switch bodies with his wife.

The next morning, he woke up as a woman… cooked, fed the family, drove to school, washed and ironed, went out for groceries, balanced the checkbook, vacuumed, dusted and swept, cooked dinner… after supper cleaned the kitchen. At night made love to the husband.

The next morning, he admitted his mistake to God and prayed for a trade back. God said, “O.K. But you’ll have to wait for nine months. You got pregnant last night!” 😛

The Joy And The Punishment.

The joy:

Now, the punishment if this guy got caught driving in this condition in Singapore.

The second clip is an amazing video which was sent to me by my brother Barath. This shows what the Singapore Police do for first time offenders charged with driving while drunk. I doubt that the punished will ever want to repeat the offense.

Is Being A Woman All That Difficult?

Many readers of this blog are women and also from the West. Recently some intriguing oped pieces have been appearing in many publications, including venerable ones like the Readers Digest on some of the problems faced by women, even today.

Just a random collection from one such publication, the New York Times, of three articles illustrate what I mean. While one is from a man’s perceptive, the other two are from women and so more the interesting.

Recently, I have been reading Gaelikaa’s blogs and find some issues faced by a Western woman married to an Indian, living in India, but her problems and joys are different from those that these articles present.

I have written about some of the problems and prospects of the modern and not so modern Indian women in India and find that there are a lot of commonalities, just as I find commonalities in the problems and prospects of men in India with men in the West. While the Indian women are not getting the press that the Western ones are, the problems remain the same.

And to give some icing on the cake for my readers, here is something special about another famous lady, admired and decried and at a point of time, even pitied for her husband’s peccadilloes.

It will be interesting to hear from my Western readers what they think about the articles linked here. Please feel free to comment. Thank you.

Heroism – II

I refer my readers to my post “The Complicated Me?”

The book that triggered off that post, is “The Denial Of Death” by Ernest Becker. The book arrived today and I regret that it did not arrive yesterday.

The book is about Heroism. I have just read through the preface and the introduction and have offered the book for first read to my friend who will collect it tomorrow morning. In the meanwhile, this is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

“The Denial of Death is a work of psychology and philosophy written by Ernest Becker and published in 1973.[1] It was awarded the Pulitzer prize for general non-fiction in 1974, two months after the author’s death.[2] The book builds largely on the works of Søren Kierkegaard, Sigmund Freud, and one of Freud’s colleagues, Otto Rank.

The basic premise of The Denial of Death is that human civilization is ultimately an elaborate, symbolic defense mechanism against the knowledge of our mortality, which in turn acts as the emotional and intellectual response to our basic survival mechanism. Becker argues that a basic duality in human life exists between the physical world of objects and a symbolic world of human meaning. Thus, since man has a dualistic nature consisting of a physical self and a symbolic self, man is able to transcend the dilemma of mortality through heroism, a concept involving his symbolic half. By embarking on what Becker refers to as an “immortality project” (or causa sui), in which he creates or becomes part of something which he feels will last forever, man feels he has “become” heroic and, henceforth, part of something eternal; something that will never die, compared to his physical body that will die one day. This, in turn, gives man the feeling that his life has meaning; a purpose; significance in the grand scheme of things.”

There is much more on the subject and you can learn a great deal more about Heroism in the write up. If you think that it would be of further use, perhaps you can read the whole book. I intend to after my friend returns it to me.

Himalayan Retreat.

My young friend Sandeep has written this guest post for the benefit of those readers who had commented on the post about my eventually migrating to Sandeep’s resort and becoming the resident Swami.


Without much ado, here is his guest post.

“One of my life’s ambitions (if I live long enough and save enough money) is to own and run a small Himalayan resort.

Here is the website of one of the new breed of Himalayan resorts for the adventurous. This is a luxury resort high up in the mountains that offers solitude, great views, clean and hygienic food and most importantly, hot showers and clean toilets. It caters to rich Indian and Western tourists, looking for scenic treks, “village walks” and home comforts.

One of the hotel sites operated by these guys has been listed in the “Hot List” of Conde Nast Traveler magazine for 2008.

Go to the section in the site titled “Shakti experiences” and check out the photos there. Then check out the photos in the Photo Gallery to get a glimpse of the natural beauty on offer.”

If Sandeep’s resort is anything like what these guys offer, I may just decide to become a resident rather than a Swami in a corner hut. Provided of course, before Sandeep builds the place, I win the Irish Sweepstakes. Grannymar, do they still have that running? Where can I get a few tickets?