Flashback – Of Ironing and Shoe Shining…

My son was leaving for Mumbai in July, for a college competition. It was a short trip of five days, the weekend included. Two days of competition required semi-formal suits, which included blazers, but a tie was optional.

The responsibilities of packing for travel and shopping continue to be mine. There are times when I coax both my children do their own shopping. One of them is in the fifth semester of Engineering and the other is an Engineer in a software company.

While I was packing my son’s bags, ironing his shirts and formal trousers and I started reminiscing about my childhood in my parental home. My family carried some formal and colonial fetish about meals and clothing. Every evening, my grandmother would prepare the tea in a kettle with sugar and milk pots on the side and serve it with cookies etc. in the drawing cum dining room (eventually, the younger generation adopted a more American term, living room). On weekends, the family members would sit together and chat over their cuppa. The women of the family, especially the daughters-in-law, learnt to prepare the same in no time from my grandmother.

The men of the family – my father, uncles, and my brother – sported more conventional, full-sleeved, light coloured shirts with collars. I do not remember a time when I saw my father or any of my uncles wearing a bush shirt. I spent many a Sundays watching my father or uncles ironing their shirts and formal trousers for the week and hanging them in their wardrobes. The house had a designated ironing-place. The men spent Sunday mornings or early evenings preparing for the week, before settling to watch the Sunday evening movie on Doordarshan. In due course, the mantle of ironing shifted to my elder brother, and soon I became a part of it too. We learnt from the best. There was an ironing dhobi for emergencies.  However, men in the family did not trust or like his ironing. The spotless shirts without creases and razor-thin crease of the trousers were the trademark of the men in the family, which could never be compromised for the comfort of getting the job done by the dhobi.

Then there was the polishing of the black or tan-coloured shoes. Yet another skill I acquired from them. The brushing strokes and the use of cloth for buffing the leather etc. are precision skills and I learnt them all. My brother still irons his own shirts and has a shoe cobbler who comes weekly to shine all his shoes.

I asked my son to polish his black shoes to go with his formal attire. He just put some polish and applied some brush strokes. My maid and my cook watched me buff those shoes shining like a mirror and giggled at my skills.They never cease to be amazed by my culinary skills or my other tricks.

We have always had servants, maids and cooks and all other help as children. Despite that, we learnt cooking and cleaning and all the essential skills to sustain self and run a house. I am not sure if the times have changed, or my lack of time as a homemaker has affected the learning curve of my children. Their skills are limited in household chores. However, they have watched me manage the house and throw endless dinners and lunches along with my job. I only hope that if need be, they will rise to the occasion and acquire the necessary experiences required for effective house management. For now, I am glad that they are becoming good professionals and are good persons. All in good time.

 

||Sarvam Sri Krishna Arpanamastu||

 

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Of Charity and Criticism…

Indians, especially ‘elite’ ‘educated’ Hindus from big corporates have no inkling of the billions that Xtians siphon off in conversions and creating xenophobia and Hinduphobia…they think that Hindu gurus and rich Hindu temples are the bane for all the miseries in India…no real research and education in realising that there is SM and MSM led negative propaganda against everything Hindu or Vedic culture…the day our own house (country) will be completely looted of its cultural and religious freedom, will be the judgement day…it will be too late by then…I feel so sad for the urban elite young who have only SM and English News channels as their religious and political educators…

sarikanandacerebrate

The World Cultural Festival #WCF is being celebrated this week on the Yamuna floodplains. The social media is abuzz with reports and like always, there is a mix of controversies, and slander by the media and Hinduphobics, coupled with the enthusiasm of the followers of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Today is the second day, and the social media reports and images bear testimonials of its huge success. The chanting of the Vedas on the Ghats was the highlight of the first day.

Each time a spiritual event is organised by any Hindu organisation or certain people spend their money on religion, temples, or pilgrimages, a section of elitist question their choice and remind them that their money is better spent on charity. This question is not asked of any other religion or group and Hindu religious and spiritual expenditures are deemed extravagant. Who is anyone to decide what is the right…

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Skinning Animals and Rejoicing! SHAME! …

I am appalled at the ‘educated’ people who are rejoicing at the skinning of cows. This is duplicity, doublespeak, and people who think that they are right, have kinked minds and jinxed ideologies.

How can anyone rejoice at animal killings, be it a cow, goat, pig, horse, dog, or even chickens? And, to think that the entire world is oppressed except Hindus and especially, Brahmins? Are you crazy? British succeeded in dividing Bharat on the basis of religion first, and then caste within the majority religion. The scriptures and books were re-translated to suit their agenda. Even the educated have this seed so deep-rooted that they do not even try to educate themselves and do a real research in learning the facts. They go by the popular agenda and believe it to be true. Hitler knew the naivety of the common masses and said that when a lie is spoken a million times it can become truth for the gullible public.

And to think that RSS is responsible for this caste-divide. Hello! Another crazy notion. Read this link on RSS’s take on caste system.

Stop colouring everything Hindu with a brush of caste, just as you would denounce anyone claiming that terrorism has a religion. A personal attack should be just that—a personal attack and not a religious agenda of a community. The person being of stupid mind should be set right. And so should everyone else who repeats the mistake by reacting unbecomingly or recklessly.

Wake up and smell the salts, stop being swayed by the populists and become a tool. Stop torturing animals and people. Stop being a dunce. Fear God, even if you do not believe in one and stop using innocent animals for a political message. Stop indulging in collateral damage. DO NOT FORGET YOUR HUMANITY, just to look savvy and au courant.

||Sarvam Sri Krishna Arpanamastu||

 

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Is Gay World the Answer?

Is Gay World the Answer

I wrote this article in the December of 2014. In light of the recent Orlando shootings, I have come to the conclusion that a gay-thinking world is the solution to all our phobias – religious, personal, orientational, political, racial, or gender-related. I have not done any research, but my observations are that except for being highly critical of poor taste in fashion or home decor, homosexuals are pretty much non-judgmental about most other aspects of human existence. They are, in fact, more accepting than any other group.

I would like people to accept our misplaced egos and biases as anomalies that are condemnable and realise humanity and the entire cosmos is HIS bouquet, with variety so vast and beautiful that we will be fools to even think of converting this world into a single-coloured, grey world. These thoughts can only be harboured by people of myopic vision, with little knowledge of HIS Divinity and Grace…God help those who have lost the real meaning of HIS Love and think that they are the saviours of HIS Doctrine…

sarikanandacerebrate

The pun is intended here.  However, let me begin by talking about my attraction for certain gay celebrities.  Rock Hudson is the first name that pops into my mind.  I was ‘oh so mesmerised by that tall stature and those Adonis looks.  Come September and Pillow Talk Rocked my world at a very impressionable age (I am in a punny mood today).  A revelation of his orientation and his ailment did nothing to diminish that twinkle in my eye at the mere mention of his name.  Then came the appreciation for Matt Boomer (Neal Caffery – White Collar), Jim Parsons (Sheldon – The Big Bang Theory), and the most adorable and multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris.  Neil Patrick Harris is an all-time favourite in the family.

The question is why do I think that the world should turn gay?  Again, am being punny.  We need a happier world than we already…

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Research on Rebirth

Research on Rebirth…as Indians, especially Hindus, our scriptures are replete with the stories of birth and rebirth, blessings and curses, and how a soul and collective conscience of that soul transcends various births…we believe in rebirth, yet are wary of showing this belief with certainty…we wait for a scientist, especially a westerner, like Brian Weiss, to pick up our claim, give it their caucasian twist and present it back to us through regression and hypnosis…and we still allow that scepticism to make us feel awkward about our faith…

MARIA WIRTH

The belief in rebirth is in the blood of most Indians. It is not a blind belief. There is a lot of evidence for it, as the author discovered.

I don’t remember which Bollywood movie it was. Two heroes were wooing the heroine and naturally one had to die in the end, because she could not marry both. As it happened, he indeed died.  It was a sad end, because he was a nice guy. Just then a voice ended the movie, “Vapis aega – dusra roop me.” (He will come back in another form). It brought in a philosophical angle. The movie had not touched me, yet this last sentence did.

Right from the beginning of my stay in India, I felt that death is not so terrifying here. Of course here, too, there is fear of death and friends and relatives suffer when a dear one is lost…

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Vedic Rishis – the ancestors of all Indians

To know more is to learn from all the sources. Brighter is the mind that learns unbiased before forming an opinion. Yet another article by Maria Wirth, opening new doors to knowledge…time to explore more…unbiased…

MARIA WIRTH

Some five years ago there was a small news item in a national paper. At that time Jairam Ramesh was the minister of state for environment and forests and he had stated, ”India is losing at least 2000 patents every year on traditional formulations as the knowledge on these has never been documented.”

I wondered whether the politicians, administrators and academics actually knew where their ancient tradition is documented and what it contains. There is a big gap between the English speaking academics and the Vedic pandits. The former tend to think that they are superior and represent India’s intelligentsia. However there is great, often untapped knowledge in the other camp of Sanskrit pandits. Their knowledge might even be more crucial for a harmonious society. Sadly, both groups don’t meet because they don’t understand each other. If they would meet and exchange, India in all likelihood would be a frontrunner…

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Of Charity and Criticism…

The World Cultural Festival #WCF is being celebrated this week on the Yamuna floodplains. The social media is abuzz with reports and like always, there is a mix of controversies, and slander by the media and Hinduphobics, coupled with the enthusiasm of the followers of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Today is the second day, and the social media reports and images bear testimonials of its huge success. The chanting of the Vedas on the Ghats was the highlight of the first day.

Each time a spiritual event is organised by any Hindu organisation or certain people spend their money on religion, temples, or pilgrimages, a section of elitist question their choice and remind them that their money is better spent on charity. This question is not asked of any other religion or group and Hindu religious and spiritual expenditures are deemed extravagant. Who is anyone to decide what is the right way to spend funds? There are two questions that come to my mind. First, have the umpteen charities around the world been able to eradicate poverty? A lot was done for Africa, many philanthropists are doing so much in their own rights, Mother Teresa had people donating millions. Could these millions ever make even a noticeable dent anywhere? Second, by this logic, people preaching should donate maximum earnings to charity. After all, what is more important? A life of luxury with a big house, a personal car and a chauffeur, or just enough to cater to the basic needs with the remaining amount just given away in charity. These are the people who cannot do without their single malts and the daily quota of expensive cigarette. In fact, such people should have some daily langar/soup kitchens at home, feeding maximum poor and hungry first. The entire world should convert to a socialist republic, keeping only enough for self-sustenance and donating the rest away. This reminds me so much of ‘the ant and the grasshopper’ story with an Indian twist.


Indian Version

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant’s a fool and laughs & dances & plays the
summer away.

Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant’s house.

Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.

World universities, Sheldon Pollack, Wendy Doniger, and evangelist organisations criticizes the GOI for
not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper of different religion and social class.

Hinduism is derided and people call for a ban on the Hindu religious freedom and call it the tyranny of the Ant to belong to upper class.

The Social Media is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the
Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance).

Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ in
West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.

CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and
Grasshoppers.

UPA wants Modi’s apology and resignation.

JNU celebrates the anti-ant day and commemorates the grasshoppers for defying rules and not working.

NDTV and CNN-IBN cover the grasshopper’s plight for days. Grasshopper is invited to the news channels and gives a passionate speech. He is declared a natural leader endorsing equality and ‘freedom’.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the ‘Prevention of Terrorism
Against Grasshoppers Act’ [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter.

The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, it’s home is confiscated by the Government and
handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV, CNN-IBN, India Today, Aaj tak.

Arundhati Roy calls it ‘A Triumph of Justice’.

Lalu calls it ‘Socialistic Justice ‘.

CPM calls it the ‘Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden’

..

..

Many years later…

The Ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi-billion dollars
company in Silicon Valley.

100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservations somewhere in India …

As a result of losing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the Grasshoppers, India is still a developing country!!!


I had seen this fixation of the older generation with charity. Little did I know that this bug is hale and hearty and continues in the current ‘youth’, who are personally very well-off. Why do we want to create a world of beggars, depending upon charity? When did charity resolve any issues? It is true that there are sections of society that are deprived, in India and the world. However, I do not see anyone give up on their personal life and take to the life of social service. Practice what you preach first.

Talking of WCF, from what I know, Sri Sri and Art of Living has been doing a lot of charity and social work. It runs 425 free schools across 18 states of India, providing free education to more than 39,200 children in the slum, tribal and rural belts where child labour and poverty are widespread. I am not a follower, however, it pains me to see a certain section of detractors who have an opinion on almost everything Indian (read Hindu). They can see nothing right in the Indian system, Hindu religion, present government, and anything that is not leftist. Hence, I have an opinion against their opinions.

I am reminded of Ayn Rand:


“the penalizing of ability for being ability, the penalizing of success for being success, and the sacrifice of productive genius to the demands of envious mediocrity.”

― Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal


||Sarvam Sri Krishna Arpanamastu||

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