Gokulashtami / Krishna Jayanti.

Today will be the day that many youngsters have been looking forward to ever since the monsoon rains started to pour.

It is Krishna Jayanti, a day to celebrate and have fun. There are many ways of enjoying it and everything revolves around the children at home.

Here is one of my neighbours. Vedant goes to what is known here is “Pre-School”. Today, all the children have come to school dressed up like child Krishna.

His mother has promised to give him a lot of butter today. If she does not, Vedant has an announced his intentions to come over to my place for a tub full of ice cream.

Now for the adults, our Residents Association took serious objection to holding a Dahi Handi contest in a busy area of our township. Imagine this being done in the middle of a major junction of a very busy locality.

The Lungi Man.

My regular readers will recall the fascination some of my readers have for the Indian dress, the lungi. What started it all off was this post.

To add some masala to the subject, here is a fascinating take on the lungi and the land of the lungi, our own state of Kerala.

For those of you who would like to explore Kerala more, this link could well be the starting point.

Weekly Recap – 7.

Saturday was Rakhsha Bhandan day and we had the usual running around by Ranjan to his Rakhi sister who sent across some amazing sweet meats and chicken khababs for my father. Our ex help Asha came with bag of goodies, to tie rakhi to Ranjan and to take my blessings too. I went off to bathe and when I came out, I found that Asha had also lit a lamp in the pooja alcove. I was touched.

The dentist has returned and saw both my father and me. My problem has been sorted out in short order. My father’s old bridge and crown have to come off and new ones put in. I have to take him again on Tuesday.

I quit smoking.

Sunday, went like a blur with too many things happening. A lot of motion with little action. Many phone calls and visitors and toing and froing with little excitement or satisfaction. A phone call from my sister changed some plans already made and gave me some anxiety.

Monday started off with a discussion with Ranjan on a family matter followed by a decision which has now been conveyed to everyone in the family. Since the help expected back after the long week end did not turn up, sent for Chinese take out and the old man was in bliss. My surrogate son Nitin from Mumbai landed up in the evening and gave me some information that had me quite bemused and stumped. Wheels within wheels never fail to amaze me when they are exposed eventually.

Tuesday saw me successfully shopping for something unusual that I wanted for storing some valuables. Otherwise, the day was quiet till I took my father to the dentist. One 18 year old bridge and two damaged teeth were removed with much drama. Operation successful. He was asked to eat soft food and promptly asked for ice cream and catch me refusing him!

Tuesday also saw the return into my life of an important lifeline to my father’s gastronomical indulgences. While I shall be writing a blog post about him anon, a supplier of Idlies and Medhuvadais, reappeared in our neighbourhood today. I am delighted.

Wednesday saw Idlies being procured for the toothless tiger who was delighted. When he is happy, I too am.

Thursday was bank visit and my work was done in double quick time. Advantage of being an ancient relic of the neighbourhood! Another customer who had deserted me returned to make my day complete. A dear friend landed up to cheer me up as he thought that I needed to be, and it turned out that I had to cheer him up!

Friday was Pateti and many phone calls between me and my Parsi friends/relatives took up some time. My father was fitted with a temporary bridge till his gums heal from the extraction of two teeth and the removal of a worn out bridge. I am glad that I am around to get all these things done for him.

As I publish this on Saturday the 20th of August, 2011, I have not smoked for seven days and day eight looks promising.

Animosity.

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Akanksha, Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie11, Nema, Noor,Ordinary Joe, Paul,Maria the Silver Fox, Padmum , Rohit, Will knott, and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get seventeen different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Padmum.

an·i·mos·i·ty (n-ms-t)
n. pl. an·i·mos·i·ties
1. Bitter hostility or open enmity; active hatred.
2. A hostile feeling or act.

That definition explains the current state of mind of most Indians towards the political and bureaucratic class.

Sir Winston Churchill wrote 64 years ago about India :
“Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low caliber & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues & silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power & India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air & water would be taxed in India.”

To paraphrase another Englishman Sir David Hunt, erstwhile British High Commissioner to Nigeria, “Politicians and bureaucrats as a whole are, not only not averse to cutting off their nose to spite their face; they regard such an operation as a triumph of cosmetic surgery,”

For five decades after independence, this class in collusion often with the criminal class brought the country to its knees with socialism, statism and sheer arrogance of power. Those days were called the License/Permit Raj, or the Inspector Raj and the net result was that India was going down the tube. From the nineties many of such restrictive controls were removed, but the versatile gang of thieves have found ingenious ways of looting the country and its people.

India is in the midst of a major anti corruption movement and my readers will get some idea of what is happening in this article.

For the first time in decades, all members of the establishment are facing animosity instead of fear from the public. The animosity is finding expression and here is a report that augurs well for public finally getting its act together to force change from a feral leadership. Here is another report closer to my home.

Modern communication methods and a vigilant media is enabling the ordinary Indian to express his animosity and when the situtation calls for it, a leader emerges. Anna Hazare is one such leader and the movement inspired by him can only go further to make our country what it can be. Have a look at this report too. The media and concerned citizens have already started to respond to inanity.

One question that one of my loyal readers, Ursula, will ask of me is where I stand on the emotion of animosity. Let me anticipate her and assure her that I can be allergic to people and things, but I have no personal experience so far of “Bitter hostility or open enmity; active hatred; hostile feelings or acts.” either from me towards others or from others towards me. I avoid situations that can lead to animosity and perhaps others do the same to me too.

Happy Pateti.

Today is Pateti

Navroj is the first day of the first month of the Zoroastrian year.

Struggle for good against Evil With Humata (good thoughts), Hukta (good words) and Havarshta (good deeds).

Thus spoke Zoroaster, the great prophet of Iran to his followers who in India are known by the name of Parsi.

I convey my Pateti greetings and best wishes for the new year to all my Parsi friends.

Time.

“I’d like to widen people’s awareness of the tremendous time span lying ahead — for our planet, and for life itself. Most educated people are aware that we’re the outcome of nearly 4 billion years of Darwinian Selection, but many tend to think that humans are somehow the culmination. Our sun, however, is less than halfway through its lifespan. Six billion years from now, it will not be humans who watch the sun’s demise. Any creatures that then exist will be as different from us as we are from bacteria or amoebae.”
~ Martin Rees, cosmologist and astrophysicist

What statements such as this fail to address is something that puzzles me. Surely, the sun is also changing? Six billion years from now, surely, it will not be the same sun that we see today?

I believe, as many others do too, that time is the biggest joke that man has thought of for himself. Let me just give a couple of examples of why it is such a joke.

Take the nearest star that all of us can comfortably see from the earth. The Sun. The sun that we see is 150 million Kms away from us. It takes sunlight a little more than 8 minutes to reach the earth. In other words, in those eight minutes, anything could have happened to the sun and we would be still thinking that the sun is alive.

Similarly, the brightest star in our skies is the “dog star”, Sirius. It’s the primary star in the constellation of the big dog, Canis Major. Sirius is roughly 9 light years away. Think of what you were doing 9 years ago. That’s when the light we see from Sirius tonight first began its journey to us. In other words, Sirius could well be dead when we think that we are still seeing it!

My surgery is scheduled for the end of September. My discomfort makes that seem like an eternity. Days do not seem to run fast enough for my liking.

On the other hand, a visit from an interesting friend, though lasts for a few hours, seems to fly like minutes and I don’t seem satisfied with the briefness of the visit.

All well meaning advisers advise to concentrate on the NOW. That is the only reality of time. Try it. If you can permanently live in the NOW, you would not be reading this post.

This is not a problem that I have started to grapple with recently. The same issue troubled our friend Socrates too in his ‘De anima’. “The Undivided ‘now’ of sensation must rest upon a duration with which it does not altogether coincide, the present moment must conceal, within itself, the passing of another, immeasurable by its own standard.. It is another time; to the degree to which time cannot admit of varieties of itself, it may well be something other than any time at all.”

Having confused myself thoroughly and perhaps my readers, let me now come to the conclusion about why Indians are never on time. For that I take you to another post of mine. I was confused then and continue to be confused now too.