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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Keemayanam_Blu&Simi with Pappa

Dear Friends... I like to share some nostalgic stories from my childhood. Will be posting them under 'Blu&Simi with Pappa'. When I look back I realise they were timeless chats we sisters had with our late maternal grandpa... on various topics. Not sure who among us asked the questions to pappa... mostly both asked in turns... or were both present at the time of these chats.

Bablu and Simi with Punalur Pappa
1. Keemayanam

b&s: pappa why don't we celebrate dushhera and burn ravan statue?
pappa: ravanan's burning is done in the north not here (south of India).

b&s: why are there different festivals when all are hindus?
pappa: vishnu and shiva followers celebrate differently. vishu had many reincarnations (avatar) and each avataram has its own believers and followers... celebrations. we were together called hindus by explorers from the west. they wanted to understand or categorise us as people who lived beyond river sindhu. hindusim is a faith, not a religion.

b&s: what is religion? pappa: it is an organised system of faith.

b&S: what is better faith or religion. pappa: you must have faith, whether or not religion.

b&s: whom do we follow?
pappa: shivan

b&s: let us burn ravanan in our front yard. please! he was evil!
pappa: no need for that. if ravanan is burnt raman may cry.

b&s: btw why should raman cry? ravanan was his enemy. no? can dead people cry?
pappa: raman and ravanan are symbolic. and made into characters in a story. don't take them literally as two people and evaluate who is good and bad. don't get carried away in praises or curses. you will understand when you grow up.

b&s: when will we grow up?
pappa: some day

b&s: why do we call ram as raman and ravan as ravanan.

pappa: one is hindi other is sanskrit.
b&s: but there is rama and ravana also. which one is right - ram, rama or raman
pappa: rama & ravana are used by english writers who did not wish to get caught between followers in north and south... hindi or sanskrit. there is no right or wrong. take any you like.

b&s: you like raman or ravanan?
pappa: if you read ramayanam you will see it's hero is raman and if you read keemayanam, ravanan is the hero.

b&s: what is keemayanam? tell us about it please.
pappa: long story. read it when you grow up.

b&s: is raman god?

pappa: yes

b&s: do you believe in god?
pappa: yes

b&s: raman?
pappa: shivan

(shortly interrupted by the power cut. pappa gets up to bring a battery run light source to the porch)

b&s: if we are shaivaites why is your name ramachandran? why didn't they name you shivachandran?
pappa: that you must ask aiyya (great grandpa). but he is no more what to do! anyway they call me chandran.

b&s: aiyyo (oh!) pappa you should have asked aiyya about this. no!?
pappa: sorry i was very busy when he was around.

b&s: busy? doing what?
pappa: doing nothing in particular. mostly avoiding aiyya.

b&s: why were you avoiding him? how did you avoid him?
pappa: i was avoiding him because i did not know how to face him. once i hid on top of a huge cashew tree for a whole day.

b&s: whole day? were you not hungry? did you do something bad that you were hiding?
pappa: i climbed up with a bunch of plantains. i sat up there and ate it when i felt hungry. i must have done something bad according to him. my favourite spot to hide was on that tree. nobody found me out.

b&s: hahaha and did you throw the plantain skin down... and did anyone skid and fall?
pappa: no. there were no people walking below the tree. only snakes. there were a lot of them in our estate.

b&s: snakes! were you not scared of snakes?
pappa: no. snakes don't hurt you simply

Monday, 12 October 2015

I Felt Like Tossing the House Keys High Up in the Air

After a month of nosyparkers - an impromptu series on facebook for which I donno how and from where I got stories and ideas pouring in all of a sudden [not so all of a sudden but it is ok to say so!] - I have decided to stay in the moment, without much judgement that follows interfaces of obstructed thoughts... alias procrastination. Am not good with procrastination anyway... I may just think aloud while procrastinating. Don't ask me why! But I have been there seriously few times. Once was hilarious. I wasted 5 years. Completely gutted. Now it is funny when I look back.

I carry safely carry the keys to my castle in the air... and a silly moment takes over... and I toss the key high in the air!

Today after almost a month of starting two lines on this window. I have finally decided to let go. And get this one done anyway by allowing free flowing thoughts. After all bluvian is all 'random thoughts'... why am I so bothered?

Just a few minutes back beating the bright noon sun, I was pacing by the sidewalk to a reach a shade as soon as possible. I remembered mother's impromptu song... as I would crib and cringe incessantly if we had to bear the harsh sun while waiting to cross the road... in Delhi summers. This is really a very old memory. Secondary school days, to be precise!

The song: "Ice ice mountains... cold, cold mountains... snow capped mountains... glaciers! oh! glaciers! oh! glaciers..."

Forgetting the boring wait and the harsh sun on my face I would at once sing along with her with each "oh! glaciers" louder than the previous one... this would continue until some other distraction came our way. Like the mango-coloured Rasika van that sold refreshingly cold and fresh mango juice!

So coming back to the Abu Dhabi sidewalk that I wanted to badly cross to reach that shade few gasps away... I noticed these small slots in the tiles [were they stone tiles? concrete, may be! where was the time to have registered all that... I was in a hurry to get rid of the afternoon sun!]. I could hear the sound of gushing water from beneath. It sure must be a drain. Of course what else. But then together with the birds cackling in the backdrop, this gushing sound made it unreal. It was 12:30pm in a desert city! And here these sounds rendered a park-like ambience while I was walking between mountains of brick and steel. Summer or winter... Delhi or Dubai! I resist noon walking! [Wow! It so rhymes with moonwalking. My favourite MJ. Sigh!]



So the sidewalk had slabs with slots through which one could see the water gushing beneath. Peep, and I could see a hurrying shadow as it jumped along with me from one slab to the other. Peep, it was me! Peep, me again! And then something happened.

The mood changed. I walked slower. I did not mind the bright sun above me suddenly. Actually it was not so hot. I felt like tossing the house keys high up in the air to catch it. Just like that. This was exactly the same excitement long back one day while prancing home from school bus, that I lost the home keys in the gutter!! A gap between the tiles swallowed it! My heart sank while I watched it go down into the deep... like Jack in Titanic movie!

Gulp!

Oh don't even ask me the real drama that followed. After a bit of hungama. Children crowding around to take a peep... some stick and poke action by moi. I remember it was the ironwala bhaiyya [the man who used to press our clothes in his mobile table] who removed the slab, went right inside and took it out for me. And when he was inside all gaped at how deep that stupid drain was. He came back with the key... all drenched in filth! I was so grateful. But had to tell mother before neighbours did. Mother paid ironwala bhaiyya some money and thanked him. I got an earful of the obvious! I never walked for a long long time on the sidewalks with such slabs! Obviously! What if one such weak moment struck again and I start playing with the keys! I couldn't afford this adventure again!

All the growing up in between made me forget the slab walking, key tossing incident. But see how that random memory came just in time to rescue me! I quickly stepped out of the line of slab... put the keys back into my bag's pocket before a silly moment took over. Control freak! That is what we want to be at the end of the day! All the poetic liberty and meditation has not got me there yet!

This will pass too! ;)