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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

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