People I know

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Jana (pana) nayagam?

I always have the opinion that Tamilnadu people are very smart when it comes to voting. Let us take for example, the recently concluded bye-elections. Despite of very strong 7-party alliance against Amma, she was able to secure a massive victory. There are dozens of theories being proposed on why the electoral arithmetic failed. But I was so annoyed by the “reason’ invented by the UPA alliance. Kalaignar has accused that the victory was secured by bribing the voters. I wonder how the leaders making such accusations against the public can go scot-free. Who gives them right to insult the whole electorate? What happened to those “We accept people’s verdict. We feel they expect more from us and we will deliver them to win their hearts..blah..blah”?…. Kalaignar being the author of “Kuraloviam”, we need not have to remind him the kural

“Inaiya ulavaga innadhu kooral kani irupa
kaai kavarndh tru”

“When one selects harsh words in place of sweet words, he is like picking up an unripe fruit to eat when there is lot of ripe ones”.
Coming back to Tamilnadu people being smart when it comes to elections is evident from the fact
1. They always give clear verdict in any election. No hung house non senses and also no coalition government fundas.
2. They know clearly what is an assembly election and what is a parliament election and they vote accordingly. Even when these elections held simultaneously there were occasions where they gave different mandates for different houses.
I don’t think parties can cheat them by giving money. They are really smart and they have their own reasons to prefer a party against another and it is difficult to predict them.

I am reminded of an interesting conversation I had with our servant maid “Aavudai” (who was in her forties) once upon a time, when I was around 10 or 11. It was when M.G.R. passed away and AIADMK got split up into two parties. One under Janaki MGR and another under JJ. The assembly was dissolved and election was announced as none had majority.
PB: Enna aavda yaruku vote poda pora?
(whom are you going to vote?)
Aavudai: seyalalitha ammaku than sami
(obviously to jayalalitha amma)
PB: en avangaluku podura?
Aavudai: Avuga thaen enna petha rasavuku ponjathiya irunthaaga..avugaluku than poduven
(She is the wife of will vote only to her)
PB: Janaki amma than aavuda avar pondati, jeyalalitha illa..
(No aavudai, it is Janaki who is the wife of his, not JJ)
Aavuda: po sami wunakenna therium..avugaluku seyalalitha than ellam..ethna cinema la pathurupen!
(What do you know sami, I have seen in many is jeyalalitha who was everything to him!)
Sure people have their reasons..don’t they? Anyways, I liked the name “Aavudai” which is in my opinion, tamil equivalent of “Gomathi”.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Maha Periyavar Jayanthi Day

Photo: Nandri Vikatan

To me your slave worse than a dog
Your form showered more than motherly affection

- Thiruvasagam

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Random Thoughts

My engineering college was very famous for notorious monkeys. Wait! I am not talking about us (the boys), I mean “Real Monkeys”. They invade classrooms in the early mornings, when very few students would be there. (VV was one among them). Once one of the boys was attacked by a group of monkeys and was bit by a monkey. So we had to rush him to government hospital near by. As usual the staff their said they were short of medicines dealing with monkey bites and we would have to go and get them from medical shops. Hardly surprising!
However, we saw a hilarious scene. One villager was talking to a doctor and was saying he had a snake bite. The doctor said “enna pambunu theriyama marundhu kuduka mudiyadhuya?” (“I could not treat you, unless I know which snake bit u?”). The villager took a dead snake from his yellow bag and said “Indha pambu thanga doctor kadichadhu. Adichu kondanthutein” (“This was that snake , I killed and brought it here”). The scared doctor said “sari sari ulla vei ya, sethurichu thana?” (OK, Ok..keep it inside, I hope it is dead).

Meena Ponnu
There was a Meena, 3 years old living next to our door. One evening, there was a power cut in the area. The kids were playing outside, in the streets and I was watching them. Meena too was running here and there with them. Meena’s mother told her “ey meena pulla, velila odadha. Andha marathu pinnadi pei iruku” (“Hey Meena, don’t run outside, there is a ghost in that tree”). It was very dark outside, even elderly kids got scared for a while. Meena ran to that tree pointed by her mother and came back and told other kids “aama pillaingala, angana rendu pei jingu jingu nu aadikittu iruku!” (“Yes kids, there are two ghosts dancing crazy”). Her mother went mad as she did not know how to terrify her.

Elephant born
The below picture shows an elephant delivering a calf. One can see how all other elephants help the mother in her delivery.

Do you know, only human beings have the habit of charging money for assisting a pregnant woman in her child birth? NO animal does that!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Dan Brown, I disagree!

I was reading “The Da Vinci code” last week. Despite of all brouhaha the book has created, I thought it was an average work with predictable plots. However, I thought the book is direct attack on Church and the faith on it. Author wants to stress the message that every faith is based on fabrication. (Ref: Langdon Smiled and said, “Sophie every faith in the world is based on fabrication, that is the definition of Faith”). He tries to fit this theory on almost every religion.
On the contrary, Philosophies of Hinduism are based on pure logic. It encourages questioning the beliefs and tries to solve any conflicts. The seeker is given every opportunity to raise questions. Bhagawat geetha is an example where the seeker questions the God. The God, Sri Krishna, advises Arjuna to carry on his duty by saying

“klaibyam ma sma gamah partha
naitat tvayy upapadyate
ksudram hrdaya-daurbalyam
tyaktvottistha parantapa”

Arjuna, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy.

Krishna tries to explain that there is no birth or death for Atman by using so many metaphors.

"avyakto 'yam acintyo 'yam
avikaryo 'yam ucyate
tasmad evam viditvainam
nanusocitum arhasi"

It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, immutable, and unchangeable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.

However krishna did not want to force the Truth on arjuna, if he does not want to. So he says,

atha cainam nitya-jatam
nityam va manyase mrtam
tathapi tvam maha-baho
nainam socitum arhasi

If, however, you think that the soul is perpetually born and always dies, still you still have no reason to lament, O mighty-armed.

Also arjuna kept on asking questions to Krishna until he was completely satisfied. So at least in the doctrines I believe in, I am certain there are no fabrications. I am sorry for another “Katha kalakshebam”. Could not resist.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mother's Day

Mother's Day Posted by Hello
Nandri: Dinamalar

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Acham Thavir! Vs Aram Seiya Virumbu!

Can you Imagine actor Vikram giving a dubbing voice for actress Jyothika. How bad such idea sounds? Thank god such thing never happened. However, In Indian movies, we accept the lyricists writing songs that represents feminine feelings. I my opinion female mind is very deep, delicate and complex and could not be very well represented by any male poet, however genius he might be. This can be verified from the songs like “ondraa, irandaa aasaigal” or “Vaseegara” written by poetess Tamarai, which are totally different from songs written by male counterparts (I guess they are not poet or Poetess, just lyricists.)

Similarly, in the world of devotional literature too so many poets wrote songs in “Naayika Bhavam”, which is imagining oneself as lady love and God as lover. But they all appear falling short of expressions when compared to romantic simplicity of women folk singers. Of course, they are not too many to find in the field of Bhakthi Literature. As far as I know Andal Nachiyar is the only female among azwars and Karaikal Ammaiyar among Nayanmars. One can also site Meera as an example.
I have not read much of the poems of any of them. However I have brief introduction to andal. For beginners, "Azhwargal oru eliya arimugam” is the best site. I have many times noticed woman display both childish and sensitive characters simultaneously. Men always fail to understand their subtleties. (Guess Vice Versa is also true)

When Andal begs for a “Parai” a musical device, in tirupavai, she sounds like an adamant kid. However when she declares in this song her love for the God she leaves everyone amazed.

she has offered her body and soul totally to the god. She cannot Imagine to get married to a human being. Such talks sound like, the holy "Havis" ( things offered to gods through ritual called Homam) meant for demi gods, are being consumed by lowly creature like fox. If anybody arised such talk she would cease to exist. She gives this as a warning to "Manmadhan", the god of love, who unites people in marriage.

(Sorry for my worst translation. Hope this helps in understanding the stanza given above.). I don't think any man could have written like this. Just to drive home my point that feminine feelings cannot be expressed well by male counterparts, I tried to show this example

We find such differing perceptions between men and women in every aspect of life. Hope everyone knows "AathiChudi" which is meant for kids. Just think of difference between “Aram seiya virumbu” (like doing righteous things) and “Acham Thavir” (Avoid Fear). One was written by Avvaiyar and another by Barathiyar. One can see how varying the outlooks are.
Hence I always feel it is better to let female artists to handle creative works that tries to express the feelings of women. Guess that will make the outcome more enjoyable.

Note: Desikann sir's translation to the Andal's poem
[O God-of-love! These swollen breasts of mine are meant for Krishna, lord of discus. Like a sneaky jackal from the forest toppling and sniffing the sacrificial Havis that vedic seers had kept for the gods, if you marry me to a mortal, I shall not live, take note.]