Showing posts from October, 2012

Another Time, Another Place

There are days when the mind refuses to stay still, like a fly beating against a glass pane. It’s tiresome having it buzz around so much, when all I want is some peace and quiet. I’ve never tried meditation: perhaps it is time to start it. Today is one such tiresome day. A malfunctioning throat is irritating to say the least. I took a medication last night, and only after I swallowed the foul pill did I realise that it has caffeine – so I was awake for a long, long time – mentally preparing for my assignments and experiments, thinking of growing old, thinking of the storm across the Atlantic, thinking of my running, thinking of new shoes, thinking of a friend I need to get in touch with, thinking of The Sister and The Niece...and finally thinking of those days with Amma.
Remembering those days always ropes the mind and yanks it to a rest. We had strange and funny and wonderful days together. On days such as this one – when a frog sat in the throat, I would sit in the sun for hours, …

Light Of The Mahalaya

As the Pitru Paksha culminates in the Mahalaya Amavasya, I have sombre memories of elders in my family performing the tarpana. In fact, whether we celebrated festivals or not, any rituals that involved ancestors were never trifled with. I’m sure this was, and continues to be the practice in many households.
The practice fascinates me. There were ancient civilizations all over the world who ritualistically worshipped their ancestors. They called upon their ancestors for guidance and blessings during special occasions; and these occasions were usually in tandem with the seasons, and therefore harvests. In times of unforeseen difficulties, the ancestors were called upon to guard the race. Thousands and thousands of years later, even as we have made astounding progress in understanding the world around us, it is humbling to see that millions in India still follow this practice of remembering ancestors, seeking their blessings and guidance. Many consider this practice as superstition. I’…


I’d just about started middle-school (meddle school as far as I was concerned). I guess it was mid-term holidays. We had loads of homework to keep up the ‘industrious momentum’. I had elaborate plans of keeping a slow momentum though, but they were thwarted by Amma’s x-ray mind-reading techniques.
On one such difficult morning, I was struggling with a Geography exercise. I had to label the locations for great deserts of the world. My Gobi was passable, though it had usurped half of Russia too. Sahara was bang on. Atacama – now was that a desert in South Africa? South America? Indonesia? Errr ...the moon? Amma had already checked on me twice to see how I was getting by. If she came around the third time, it would mean I’ll have to do one of her impromptu tests. Thank God she did not work for any education boards – we would have a lot less graduates. She always maintained our tests in school were not vigorous enough. Or worse, she would unleash Appa on me.
Now Appa always maintained o…