Slow poison serial killers

For many, one of the important part of their life is watching TV serials in various Tamil channels. For some it is just another entertainment and for many it as important as their filter coffee in the morning.

If we observe these serials in a very plain perspective they may only seem boring or at the maximum, they can irritate. But upon a deep observation one can very well come to a conclusion that more than its stupidity, the element of venom that these serials slowly inject in the minds of people is threatening.

Here are few of my observations commonly prevailing in most of the serials:

  1. Vengeance among family members:

Almost in all the serials, personal vengeance among one’s one family members is vital component. The very same serials when they were launched were advertised as promotion of joint family / family values. And first few months they show the cuteness in joint families, their emotions, likes and dislikes in a colorful manner. Many women who watch them predominantly fall in the category of “Housewives”. They naturally start feeling that these serials are just extended part of their families and gradually they establish personal connect with these characters. Once the TRP rating reaches the maximum point, the cruel faces of the serials are revealed. For instance, an evil son who is objected by his straight forward father goes to the extent of killing him. A daughter in law tries to slap her father in law for a silly reason. A cruel sister in law causes miscarriage to her brother’s wife who gets pregnant years after marriage just for the sake of property. A mother tries to fabricate an extra marital story for her son’s wife and trashes her away for the sole reason of bringing another woman who can afford dowry.

  1. Crime committed at an ease:

It is natural that newspapers and TV channels cover crimes happening in the society, But TV serials give elaborate tutorials as to how such crimes can easily be committed without any difficulty. They teach how to black mail or threaten with secret videos. They teach how to kidnap kids and extract favors from their respective parents. They teach how to abduct women and commit crimes against her without even revealing the identity to the victim. In fact after committing a murder they will also give a checklist on what are all the criminal should ensure to safeguard himself from getting caught. And of course how to frame charges against someone who is completely unaware of the scenario.

  1. Their wrong take on Police and Courts:

This is another irritating factor that commonly appears almost in all cases. They show Police and Court as useless and it is only the hero/heroine who take all efforts for rendering justice. Every time when a court scene appears in a serial, my mind automatically detects the mistakes/ flaws in the scene (Both on law and procedure). It is only possible in serials where the police is not able to find out a criminal just because of the fact that he is wearing a different wig and cap. Also it is only possible in a serial that the court punishes a person with death sentence in few days of arrest with just only one eye witness. And the highlight is there are only few seconds left for his execution, the jailor gets a message from a Judge stating that he is not guilty. Being an Advocate by profession, I see all these scenes with a sense of humor and move on. But on the other hand, they indirectly try to inject a negative opinion in the mindset of the people that going to courts and approaching a police station will not fetch any legal benefit and it is only through illegal means one can achieve the desired results.

  1. Extra marital relationships:

In those days, one out of 10 serials show extra marital affairs as a side track of the story. But today 9 out of 10 serials will definitely have more than one unnatural relationships and that proudly remain in the main story track. Let us even ignore the extra marital relationships. These serials go even beyond these. It is so difficult to even name one serial because almost in every serial, there will be at least one woman who tries to marry a man who is already married and play all cheap tricks to separate the couple. For instance, in a prime time serial, a man tries to marry another’s wife and kidnaps her.  The whole city police and with the family members roam throughout the city to chase them and the story line was maintained for months together after which the wife was safeguarded. And in another serial which has a wide reach, a man tries to lure his friend who has applied for a divorce and who is pregnant and threatens her to marry him. What kind of thoughts they try to inflict on the minds of children who at times watch these serials with parents/ grandparents?

  1. Vulgarity and violence:

The general mindset prevailing in the society is violence are projected less in serials when compared to the silver screen. I agree with this logic for serials that were directed few years back. But unfortunately that is not the case today. It is so sad to see vulgarity in picture, dialogues and background scores. It may or may not be required for the story. And for violence and cruelty, I need not give any examples and it is so obvious.

I am not here to offend or criticize, serial makers or actors here. The point I am trying to make is, why so much of negativity being slowly injected into the viewers?  Here are my views with respect to such serials:

  1. Ours is a value driven society. I do agree that there are people who ignore these values and commit various criminal acts. But why should the same be portrayed? Instead why these serials can’t be made to uphold our values? One thing most of these serials show is finally good triumphs over evil. Agreed. But out of 3000 episodes, evil is shown in 2900 episodes and when good triumphs in the last few episodes, the serial comes to an end. So what is the residue?
  2. I understand their concern about the society in spreading awareness about various crimes happening in and around the city. Well done. But why can’t they give a meaningful solution for such crimes. For instance they show women blackmailed with their secret videos. But they fail to show that if such situation arises, how should women boldly handle such incidents and report the criminals.
  3. Today many young mothers or grandmothers keep their children together while seeing these serials. I have seen kids watching these serials with interest. When I observed them closely, I am able to see unwanted maturity in their speech and attitude which is not at all advisable for their age. It will destroy their childhood innocence. Ignore grown up kids. An unemployed pregnant women seeing such serials is even more dangerous.
  4. Today most of the viewers are women and they see this day and day out. Out of them, majority are less educated, aged and unemployed. When they continuously see the same thing again and again, it will slowly start poisoning their minds.
  5. What is mindset of elders who go deeply inside the serial and cry for the sorrows of characters inside?

If these concerns are answered in a proper manner, I will give a warm welcome to these serials as they act as a full time companion for many women. If not, then I will say that these are only slow poison “SERIAL” killers who target the families.

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10 UNCOMFORTABLE DIALOGUES AS A LAWYER

 

I am just sharing my personal experience here, which MAY or MAY NOT suit other friends from this profession. Also this is not an attempt to convey any hidden message to anyone. This is merely an attempt to make you smile for a moment. If the attempt succeeds, then fine! If it does not, then you are free to drop your views!

Being a lawyer, I am blessed with an interesting professional life. Apart from cases and law books, many incidents outside my professional front add flavor to my life. When I introduce myself a Lawyer/Advocate, or even friends who know me for quite some time share some dialogues. Many of them are interesting, some or boring and at times some irritate me as well.

Sharing some funny dialogues that I hear frequently just because I am a Lawyer.

  1. “You look soft and quiet. How do you argue in court?”

From the day I decided to join law, I keep hearing this dialogue from people around me. Sometimes to my surprise people who meet me for the first time deliver this dialogue as soon as they know about my profession (I don’t know how can they judge me in one meeting?!?!) Before I actually started to take up court practice, this dialogue instilled some kind of fear in me that I am little less qualified for the profession. But after I decided my areas of practice and started appearing before courts, I really felt that court practice does not always need a roaring voice and dramatic expressions ALONE but confidence in legal knowledge and ability to present things in bold and best way.

  1. I am going to handover my divorce case to you in future… LOL

I am forced to add “LOL” to this dialogue because, when most people make this statement, they expect me to laugh. [Very Funny!] At times, even unmarried men/women try to tell this and expect a reply from me. Sometimes, I give a smile and at times I give a weird look and move on. At times when I try to convey that this is not my area of practice, then the next question would be “Any interesting (?!?!) reasons behind this?”

  1. “I don’t think Advocates can earn well. Why can’t to try some office job?”

This is something that puts me down at times, when I get to hear even from people belonging to this profession. I don’t want to talk more on this here. Whenever I get this statement my answer was always only one – “If office job was my target, then I would not have wasted my 5 years in a law school.

7.“Advocates can only take adjournments and drag cases”

Whenever I hear this stupid statement, I get mixed emotions seeing their ignorance. The reality is different. Taking an adjournment is not always a joke. And there are multiple incidents where are Advocates are forced to take adjournments and for safeguarding the interests of the clients.

 

The wrong action done at the wrong time spells disaster; The right action done at the wrong time spells resistance; The wrong action done at the right time spells mistake but The right action done at the right time spells a miracle

– John C Maxwell

  1. Comparison with silly movie characters

This is yet another irritating factor that I come across day in and out. I see people comparing me with some silly movie characters. Such movies depict advocates as comedy characters and clowns and they run from pillar to post to get a case. To be frank there are thousands of movies and stories that has portrayed advocates which huge respect. In fact such books and movies were one among the many factors that influenced my dream to take law as my profession when I was in my early teen. Such so called funny portrayals happen to other professionals too. Comparison with those characters can never upset me. But hearing the same story from different persons and at times from the same person is always boring.

  1. Lawyers end up supporting criminals.

This is yet another generalized statement from non-lawyers, many of whom don’t even know what exactly a lawyer’s job is. Without even knowing that I am a corporate lawyer, people put this question to me “If a person commits murder and comes to you will you bail him out?” When I answer in negative (Obviously because I don’t take up criminal cases), they immediately jump up and say that I am lying and I will obviously take up the case if I get one [Without allowing me to speak any further]. God please save them!

  1. Lawyers are liars.

I think I have heard this statement more than million times in last few years from my school going cousin to age old relative. I have tried and answered 100 probable answers when I was asked why lawyers are lying. No use at all. Let us leave our personal lives apart. Professionally speaking, right from a small shop vendor to a CEO of huge MNC, who is not lying in their professional front? An advertisement of a fairness cream deliberately lies in front of millions of people that the usage of the cream will turn a tanned skin bright in few days. After a point of time, I stopped replying for this stupid statement like I do for others like this.

  1. Expectation to have expertise in all fields of law.

Law is an ocean. There are plenty of legislations that are operative even today and there are periodical amendments too. It is just not possible for a law school to fit all of them in their syllabus. Once people become a legal practitioner, they choose a specific line of practice and excel in them. With respect to the other areas they have mere basic knowledge of the field and they can guide better upon reference. The most common problem I face is difficulty in explaining my area of practice which is quite uncommon for individuals to understand as they might not have come across such cases. Problem does not ends there. They will end up asking you some random question from a random legislation and expect you to give a fingertip answer with detailed explanation. When you stop with just a basic reply, then the next statement is “As a lawyer you need to give detailed explanation”. My mind voice says “Yes. We are lawyers and not Encyclopedia”

  1. How can a lawyer like you be emotional? 

So who told that a lawyer should not have emotions? Why can’t they laugh loud or cry when they are down? Obviously lawyers too have emotions like every others. Heights is when I fight with my parents / family members, they immediately react “It is wrong on our part to allow you to become a lawyer and you are arguing with me!” The actual fun here is my sister and other cousins who are not lawyers argue more than me during fights and their professions were never dragged 😦

  1. “Don’t show your Advocate skills here”

This is not a funny dialogue but the most silly statement that I frequently come across not just in my personal life but also in movies, novels etc. I recently came across this dialogue in a book: “You are a lawyer only outside and remove your profession outside the house and step inside” Is that a footwear to remove outside? To me, legal profession is just not Acts and Sections. It is the place where a person can learn several lessons including logical Application of mind, organized behavior, leadership skills, ability to listen, handling risks etc. I can add more. In my opinion being a lawyer at home, makes one a better person in personal life too rather than someone who is not fit for a family.

None of these dialogues can put a break in a lawyer’s faith in the profession. However at times, when I am mocked or abused with a wrong intention, I could not restrain myself from opposing these such statements (Of course when they are directed with a wrong intention and not mere funny statements). It is not possible for everyone to know about the tremendous revolution and Judicial activism that my forefathers in this profession gifted to this society. It is equally unfair on my part to expect everyone to praise this profession. Like every other profession, even legal profession has its own pros and cons. Also there are good and bad precedents. My only concern is let us not carry any general presumptions about any profession [Both good and bad], because such statements may contain risk of demotivating at least one out of hundred young minds who want to take up the profession.

Next time I will come up with perks of being a lawyer.

Thanks for the read!

SAVITHA G ARUN

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ELECTRIC TRAIN DAYS AND SHARE AUTO NIGHTS

The title of this note may give a curiosity to someone to know about it’s context. Some may think that this will be something interesting and many may think that is going to be yet another boring write up of my personal experience! No comments to all of them. let me proceed further.

Yes! this is yet another summary of my personal perspective (Dont know if this will be boring or not)on a very common agenda, that too , most of us face each and every day in some form or the other.

With respect to the use of public transport, I was pampered (One among the few aspects) enough till my high school days where I hardly used any such kind of transports even till the end of my school days. My college life which began in the year 2006 started with tiring bus travel for hours together as I was multitasking with two professional courses at the same time. At that point of time, I had only one responsibility upon me which was to Study and Improve my credentials and nothing more or nothing less. Travel at that time was never a burden to me and I enjoyed it in the company of cell phone music.

Then that was my last year of college followed by my beginning days of my profession where I used my two wheeler to commute. I felt the real blessing of “time saving” and was able to do lot of things with the help of my bike. In fact just to save time, I applied only for offices within 8 to 10km radius and can be crossed in just 30 to 40 minutes. Life was happy and interesting till then.

The third phase of my my life commenced when I got married and settled in a suburb and decided to continue my work. With the support of my husband and my in -laws, I decided to take up long public transport travel once again in my life.

In fact I never had opportunities to travel in electric trains before. Electric train travels were totally new to me. People around encouraged me saying that travel in a first class compartment will not be an issue and I can enjoy. I made up my mind too. But that’s not what I faced in reality.

My initial days of travel were just pathetic. Too much of physical strain, infections, allergies and mood swings and stress destroyed my peace at the beginning. The fact was that, I heard train sound in my subconscious mind when I was in deep sleep.But yes! slowly I started enjoying the train travel. Not because of anything but the stunning reality that made me realize so many things.

Travel in a local train showed different sections of the society to me. I started interacting with my co passengers, small vendors and even a transgender too who used to come in evening trains frequently. For many, life is not so easy. I saw dozens of people who travel 5 times the distance that I travel every day just for a loaf of bread. 50% of their life revolved around the train. They eat, sleep, dress up, socialize, relax, read etc etc in trains only. All I am able to say is their salaries could never do justice to the sacrifice that they do.

When a woman who is as old as my mother can travel twice my distance for the sake of her family , when a kid who is just half my age is travelling three times of my distance for the sake of his education, when a granny who has crossed seventies can travel twice my distance just for the sake of her livelihood, why can’t a young woman run for her profession which is also her passion? There was the motivation and yes, I was fully energized seeing them.

One major aspect that is still lying in my mind is the plight of school children who are provided with free pass to travel in first class compartments. Without knowing the Government’s initiative on this, people who travel in first class compartments throw abusive words on them as if they are cheating on railways and vent all their frustrations of the compartment being full! What is their problem in bashing these children is what I don’t know. I wish some announcements or notification in this regard has to published at least for these poor children who are being cursed in the beginning of their day.

Another thing that came to my mind is those who travel in foot boards. It is so sick to see small boys (school guys) geiing carried away by these and travel in foot boards even in empty trains. I wish some serious steps to be taken in this regard, as the loss if occurred will be very huge!

I could not continue working there due to various reasons and there comes an end to my electric train days. But hats off to each and every soul who energetically travel so long and continue to travel! I would seriously wish that their travelling condition needs to be improved a lot

Here comes the next segment of my travel life which occurred for last one year when I shifted my work place to a different area. Here time was not a constraint for me as I took up work as a consultant. I was initially travelling only few days of a week and only lesser hours of day. I used to take share autos right from Ambattur to T.Nagar completely. It was actually a bliss for me in the beginning as I need not wait for hours together for bus and I can SIT and travel.

But later when the duration increased I was slowly able to face difficulties in taking such a long journey in share autos.

Most of the drivers never think about any ethics, road safety, or about the plight of the passengers. In their view the passengers will be treated with respective price tags even though the maximum will be just Rs.40. (Luckily I am one among the maximum paying person because of distance)

If a person who wants to travel for so long stops the share auto the person who gets down in few stops has to adjust or at times are forced to exit. I have even been is such autos where even 13 persons traveled at the same time in peak hours. They were not stopped in any of the traffic police booths. Even if they stop, things will continue the same. This was shocking to me in the beginning but as time flew I got used to something which was unusual.

The freaking part about this is when women travel in share autos in suburban areas at unusal times. I have faced this several times when my share auto crosses Padi and most of my co passengers get down by then.

Sometimes, these share auto guys take us in a different un usal routes claiming that they are avoiding traffic. Your normal blood pressure shoots up at that time, as such roads hardly have any lights. To add flavor to this will be that moment when some random men pitch in when the there will be only one woman.

I completely agree with the fact that not all men are criminals and people cannot be judged by their looks. Perfect! But what is happening today in the world have to be taken into consideration and there is nothing wrong in being cautious.

Predominantly when I come across such situations, what I will do is mostly one among these – To call up my husband / some male friend who are in an accessible distance and inform in a casual manner about my place of travel with a landmark irrespective of the fact whether they know it or not – Switch on GPS and try tracking my location and make sure that I am not deviating far from my destination – Try to find out in a friendly manner from the auto driver or other passengers about the road (Not in a suspicious manner for sure)

I am not asking everyone to suspect / freak out when such situations arise but it is always good for our safety that we should be cautious enough of what are we upto!

And now my share auto phase too had came to an end and I have started my two wheeler days again. Though both of these days where difficult and tiring, it was a great learning for me and I enjoyed it in someway:)

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WOMAN OF MARGAZHI – THE TRUE INSPIRATION

Every month has its own significance and divinity for people in the country to celebrate. When looking at the significance of the month of “Margazhi”, it is undoubtedly nothing but “Kothai” more popularly known as “Andal” and her significant literature on Lord Shri Vishnu which is a set of 30 pasurams (hymns) called “Thiruppavai” .

Andal is one among the 12 Alwars in the ancient south India, who dedicated themselves in their Bhakthi towards Shri Vishnu. (Vaishnavam)

Birth and Earlier life:

Kothai, who is considered to be a reincarnation of Bhumi Devi ( Mahalakshmi ) was discovered by Periazhwar, under a Thulsi plant of the temple garden in Srivilliputhur. He named her as “Kothai” which means a beautiful garland.  As the daughter of Periazhwar, Kothai grew up with excellent knowledge and Bhakthi towards Lord Krishna like her father.

Her love towards Krishna:

As she grew older her Bhakthi and devotion towards Lord Krishna enhanced day by day. She experienced pure love and bliss in chanting the name , and thinking of Lord Krishna. She visualized herself as Gopikas who were with Krishna and lived with his thoughts each and every second.  For her everything that appeared in front of her eyes were Krishna.

An important incident in her life made Periazhwar realize her unconditional love and bhakthi towards Lord Krishna. At her younger age, out of her pure and innocent love , Kothai dressed herself like a bride and wore the garland that was made by her father for Lord Vishnu. Kothai felt the immense bliss of wearing the garland which was made for Lord Vishnu and had great happiness that the same will decorate the shoulders off Lord Vishnu. Without knowing these incidents when Periazhwar took the garland to the temple and noticed a strand of Kothai’s hair in it, he took the garland back to Kothai condemning her act of love. But the miracle there was Lord Vishnu on the other hand refused to wear the new garland made by Periazhwar and insisted that He wanted only the garland which had been worn by Kothai. This incident symbolizes the true love of Kothai and she was referred as “Soodi Kodutha Sudarkodi

Kothai – A symbol of Love and Bhakthi

Kothai developed desires to marry lord Krishna as she had unconditional and divine love towards him right from her young age. The manner in which she pursued her dreams to marry was totally different. On the month of Margazhi , she practiced “Paavai Nonbu” for a period of 30 days , recited “Thiruppavai” , a set of 30 pasurams and offered her prayers to marry Lord Vishnu. By giving us these literature, Kothai sets a glaring example for women today, and have shown this divine path through which we try to attend our dreams.

By practicing Pavai Nonbu , a women gives away consumption of many food items including Milk , Ghee etc. Such women cannot wear flowers during the period and will not beautify herself. She also needs to wake up early in the morning, and recite Thiruppavai and offers prayers. By forgoing all their personal interests and offering prayers in such a manner adds more power to the same.

Kothai – As an ancient poet and scholar:

It is very pertinent to note that, in our ancient age she was one among the 12 Azhwars and the only Female Azhwar. This vividly shows the high status of women lived in the ancient society and the recognition given to them as there was no difference between men and women existed in offering Bhakthi to God.

Her first work is the Thiruppavai, a collection of 30 verses in which was a pure dedication for her love towards Lord Krishna. In Thiruppavai, kothai visualizes herself to be a Gopika, and expressed her unconditional devotion to Lord Krishna. In these verses, she describes her yearning to serve Lord Vishnu and achieve happiness not just in this lifetime, but for all eternity.

Next comes the Nachiar Thirumozhi, a poem comprising 143 verses. This poem fully reveals Kothai’s divine love towards Vishnu.

Significance of Thiruppavai:

Thiruppvai is not mere songs that offer prayer towards Lord Vishnu but is a treasure that belongs to our Hindu culture and Heritage which should be praised with great pride.

Apart from expressing Kothai’s desire to attain her dreams of marrying Lord Vishnu, this literature enlightens us on our glorious philosophical, moral and ethical principles of life. It highlights the meaning and pure love and glorifies the significance of Bhakthi. It teaches the art of pursuing one’s dreams with complete dedication towards the same. The base line of this literature apart from Kothai’s Bhakthi towards Lord Vishnu is “Devotion and Dedication towards pursuing one’s dreams”.

Another wonder about this literature is the Kothai’s vision and the science involved in her literature. In simple poems, just by using few beautiful words, she explained many scientific concepts which are explained today by hundreds of books and theories. One among such significant poems is “Azhi Mazhai Kanna ” which is as follows :

Aazhi Mazhaik kanna ondru nee kai karavel

Aazhi ullpukku mugandhu kodaarththeri

Oozhi mudalvan uruvam pol mey karuthu

Paazhiyan tholudai p padmanabhan kaiyyil

Aazhi pol minni valampuri pol nindr adhirndhu

Thazhadhe sarngam udiatha saramazhai p pol

Vazha ulaginil peydhidaay nangalum

Margazhi neerada magizhndelor empavai.”

In the above poem she explains about the science behind lightning and thunder as follows:

“ The Lord is going deep into the ocean, taking the water and rising high in the sky to deposit it in the magnificent black clouds to which in turn will precipitate into rain. His mighty and handsome shoulders are compared to the clouds. The sound of thunder to the sounds from His Conch (Valampuri Sangu) and the lightning is compared to the shine on the Lord’s Disc (AazhiChakra). The resulting heavy rain is compared to the stream of arrows issuing out of the Lord’s Bow (Sarngam). Timely and adequate rain is referred to as the precursor of many gains and prosperity and the Lord Padmanabha as the master of that phenomena is offered prayers   seeking that bountiful rain for the welfare of the devotees and all beings on earth.

From the fact that she gathered all the young women to form part of her worship, it is very evident that she wanted to share the bliss that she has experienced in chanting the prayers should reach others as well.

Thiruppavai is referred as “Vedam anaithirkum Vithagum Kothai Tamizh” which means this forms the base or rather the essence of all the Vedas. Apart from Margazhi, “Thiruppavai” is the only set of hymns which can be recited on all other months.

In the month of Margazhi, let us celebrate the divinity through chanting “Thiruppavai” which is offered by our mother heritage with great pride.

SAVITHA.G

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Modern untouchability and my unanswered questions

Writing with a doubt whether I have an eligibility to write this and also a fear that I get maximum opposition for this.

For the last few years, after I started to apply logical thinking !!?!!?!! in everything happening around me, few acts of people whom I meet quite often started to bother me. Quoting few among the many incidents before I start asking the questions that are logical (at least) to me.

A family that is well known to me is always known for their usage of quality products.  Right from a small pin they always stick to the usage of branded items and never mind spending.  But I was shocked to see a bag full of “use and throw” plastic cool drink ang mineral water bottles which are not hygienic for reuse. With a great curiosity i questioned about that and their answer just put me into a terrible shock. They said it is for giving water to servants and their gardener.

Another incident which shot my pressure up was the manner in which a lady who is well known to me fed her maid who came for cleaning her house. She just gave rotis and dhal to her in a plastic cover used for packing non food items.

Questions after questions came running inside my mind from the age of 13 when I came across such incidents again and again. Same questions came when I was forced not to touch and lift a street worker’s kid filled with dirt who was crying in the road. Reason is still not known to me?!

In the last 2 years alone I came across several such incidents.  All these people committing such acts do not belong to a particular community alone  but are from different sects. Being a person known to them I absolutely adore many good qualities in them. But equally I was puzzled with such behaviour which is in total contrast with their character and ideology.

Having interacted with these people the reasons which many putforth are 1. Aacharam/madi/ ancestral practice and 2. Those people are not clean and have untidy habits.

Now here are my questions.

If the first reason is true then where is the source for the same?? This question was not properly addressed by any of those who practice. When the archakar of srirangam temple threw a stone to hit thiruppanazhwar on this forehead, Sriranganathar’s forehead was bleeding inside the Srirangam temple. Didnt this try to mean that an insult caused by a man to other by virtue of a birthbased difference,  is an insult to god himself?If such discrimination is a part of bhakthi, then why did the Archakar who illtreated Thiruppanazhwar based on his caste was made to carry the same person in his shoulders and enter the temple?   What is the sanctity of such acts when the supreme god whom we pray himself did not warrant such acts?

If we take Sri Ramanujar, his only motto was to spread the divinity of Sriman Narayana’s name to everyone irrespective of a person’s birth based classification.

When we claim to worship them and seek their blessings,  what is the point in acting in a manner derogatory to what they taught??

Each and everyone one may not be Thirupanazhvar. But we should admit the fact that they are also living beings created like us. Why don’t they deserve a respect? We need not carry them in shoulders. But we can still give them a comfort that they are no lesser than us.

For those who opt for the 2nd reason called hygiene,( I have even heard stupid complaints that those people will not take proper bath etc etc. ) here are my questions.. If we are so particular about health and cleanliness why don’t people like us deserve a clean treatment from us? In this busy world aren’t we eating or staying on hotels? How far can u ensure complete cleanliness in such places? Assuming if such cleanliness pertains only to objects then what will happen if kids at our home misplace silver utensils in garbage? Don’t we wash and use them again? They may not be served food in a silver plate but why at least not a plantain leaf or a separate glass plate?

These are just few questions that I asked. Though I don’t get a concrete answer the scoldings that I always get as a response is assured!

My point is not to go against what our ancestors did. Even I understand the significance and value of following madi/acharam/hygiene or whatever it may be called. But without inheriting the underlying principle of humanity, following these practises at the whims and fancies of an individual is something not logical.

I do admit that i have compulsions to “watch” such practises quietly. But I sincerely feel that I will not pass this to my next generation unless I find some logical background for these.

At the age of 25 I am not qualified to teach the elders from whom I am supposed to learn. I am in the learning process and will learn more from them. But sometimes my mind feels that I should not take the lessons that I have learnt to the next generation which I feel do not have a logical base.

Praying elders to guide me appropriately if I am wrong.

SAVITHA.G

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Asuras we met before Palani Muruga dharshan

What I am trying to share here is not something new or something that people have never conveyed. Eventhough I have faced such experiences earlier, the experience that I had in Palani this time disturbed me a lot.

When we decided to plan for a vacation in May, we automatically included Palani in the list of places to be visited. Though visiting Palani was a bit hectic for us, as we were travelling for the whole week, we still did not wanted to miss the bliss of visiting the divine place. Specially for me, who’s favourite is Muruga, visiting Palani gave me a super excitement and I was overjoyed.

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After attending a wedding in Cochin, we took a night bus to Palani and reached there at around 3.30 a.m. We did not do any prior hotel bookings in Palani and decided to take some accommodation randomly as we need the place only for around 2 to 3  hours to get ready. The moment we reached Palani , even at 3 P.M, lot of auto / carts/ rickshaw drivers were waiting for us.

There commences the game. Once they notice that we were searching for rooms, they somehow convinced us to travel near the temple which was few kilometres away from the bus stand and take lodges that are available there, saying that it will be easy for us to take early dharshans. After being convinced with that we started with him in his horse cart.

Surprisingly he took us to a shop and not a lodge. The shop was just near the temple selling all the pooja items. When we aksed the reason, the driver said that the shop keeper will direct us to the room.

The shopkeeper who spoke to us in a friendly manner, directed us to a nearby lodge where the rooms were quite Ok (If the stay is only for few hours). He convinced us to do a “Paal abishegam ”  in the temple saying that it was auspicious in that month and people who pay for abishegam can avail special dharshan in the mountain temple. He also promised to send his person with us who will completely accompany us to the temple and take us quickly. We gladly agreed for that and paid money for the same.

After refreshing, we came back to the shopkeeper where he gave a big list of things that we are required to take along with us for the abishegam like Viboothi, Turmrric, sandal, rosewater etc. The prices were exorbitant and the quantity that was mentioned in the list was also large. He told us that the sum that we paid already did not include all these and the same is only for milk and booking. We agreed to that as well quietly.

Then he introduced his assistant and asked him to take us to the temple. But actually he did not take us straight to the temple but to another shop  which sells all the  metallic items, idols of god and the small metallic offerings that we make to the temple. He left us in the shop and suddenly vanished. The other shopkeeper immediately packed a big “Vel” to be offered in the hundi without even asking us whether we need the same or not. When we refused to buy the same, he said that it’s a custom here for people to offer the vel to Muruga, and such offering is mandatory for people who do abhishegam. Based on the requirement and capacity of a family they try to impose something saying that the same is customary and mandatory. For instance seeing us who are a newly married couple, the shopkeeper was trying to sell us a small silver cradle for offering in the Hundi. When we continuously refused to buy the silver one, he then brought other ones which were cheaper in price. We agreed and purchased a smaller size vel alone, which he reluctantly offered for a costlier rate.

The moment we stepped out, the assistant came out of nowhere. He enquired for how much we purchased.

We went to the temple which was there in the bottom. The assistant told us that the abishegam done in the bottom temple will be more auspicious. He also asked to visit the hill temple in the meantime he does the abishegam in this temple for us.  He agreed to handover the prasadham except for the milk (which he said that they will distribute in the temple) in our hotel. We agreed to that as well.  To our shock, he further asked us to pay Rs. 600 for expenses involved in abishegam. My husband freaked out as we already paid so much to the shopkeeper twice. When he raised his voice and asked what he was upto, the guy all of a sudden reduced 300 from the expenses and said that 250 has to paid for the ticket and 50 to the prohit who does the abishegam. For the sake of Muruga, without a further argument we paid that as well.

Our shock did not end here. Leaving him there, we took an auto to reach the place where we need to take the cable car for going to the top.  There two entries one for Rs. 15 and other for Rs, 50. Both were crowded as expected by us. When we tried to enter the 50 rs entrance, a man deliberately came to us and asked us if we are willing pay and go for a quicker route. Thinking that it was a VIP ticket, we enquired about it. He said that we should pay the officer a sum of Rs. 1500 per person, who will take us quickly. We refused to bribe and took the paid entry where the Queue was stagnated for nearly 1 and a half hours.

People started losing their patience and they tried to go back. Many of them left the queue and went to the so called officer’s room, where in front of our eyes they were bypassing the queue and marching towards the rope car. People started screaming at the security near the office asking the reason, where the security claimed that they are relatives/known persons to the officer and hence they are going to meet them. It took 2 hours for us to reach the top. Crying kids, Cribbing old men and women, accompanied us throughout along with our hunger, pain and more importantly anger.

We had a blissful dharshan after waiting for 2 more hours in the queue at the top after getting a 100 Rs. Ticket. We came down and rushed to the bottom temple where we got the final shock that the charge fixed for doing an abishegam are less than Rs. 50.

We really felt very bad. For both of us, this was the first trip to Palani. Our travel and tiredness along with the hectic schedule took us to this extent which did not give ample time for us to think.

Now these are the questions that came to my mind:

The state Government took the management and control of Hindu temples claiming that the same is not managed properly and the state will offer better administration. Is the term “better administration” is only for the revenue and the resources?

I have seen such things happening in many temples. Corruption does exist in other temples as well. But what we faced here was so deliberate and arrogant that things happen in front of your eyes.  Now how will people get a satisfied Dharshan?

How can we call people who make money by misusing the belief and faith of people?

If HR & CE is responsible for entertaining complaints relating to the temple, then where is the mechanism for filing complains against its own Government officials?

If these vendors and agents are able to cheat educated people like us, then what about uneducated people? What is the plight of people who are unaware of these happenings? What is the mechanism to curb these?

Left with no answers for these questions and praying Muruga quietly, we left the place.  We are interested in taking some actions against such practices. It may be a legal remedy or any kind of activism. If any of you had faced similar grievances and are interested is supporting us, please let us know!

Thanks for the read!

Savitha

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Right, Duty and Responsibility

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This is not something unknown, new, or unwritten!

Every day that we spend with people in our country, we will get to hear hundreds and thousands of complaints from people at our family, our friends and collegues (At times from strangers too when you are in a public place). People post different complaints about our Government, country, environment, law and order, corruption, etc.  Everything is admitted. But my mind asks few important questions to people who keep complaining about our system.

  •  Yes! The Government is corrupt. People take bribes in various fields according to the requirement. Now what have you done to combat corruption? In how many occasions have you refused to bribe and took your work in a legitimate way despite of the hardships that you get for refusing to bribe?
  • Yes! Our roads are not clean. People throw garbage in the streets. Drainage system is highly improper. Admitted. How many of us have raised complaints to the appropriate authority in the municipality, at least for the one in their streets?
  • Yes the government and mechanism are improper! Yes! Admitted. Now as a citizen of this country how many of us are effectively exercising our duty?

Though people give lack of time as an excuse or the 1st and 2nd points, skipping the 3rd point is the greatest negligence that one can commit to their nation. Voting is not just a person’s right but its their duty.  And effective exercise of this duty is the responsibility of every citizen.

People who do not vote give various reasons. Most of them say reasons like, non-availability of voter IDs, non-availability of their name in electoral list etc. Here are my questions to them?

  • Obtaining voter IDs are not that difficult for an educated individual. Youngsters are keen in obtaining Driving licence when they cross 18 years of age. But why is the same interest is not shown for obtaining voters ID?
  • There are hundreds of ways to know the procedure involved in obtaining a duplicate Voter IDs/ getting the name registered in the electoral list. Is lack of procedural knowledge a valid excuse? Will this be the same treatment in case of lost of Driving Licence / PAN Card or a bank debit card? Certainly not! Then what is the reason behind this lethargy in getting your voter ID?
  • The procedure involved in getting these things done will maximum make a person to take a couple of hours permission or maximum a day’s leave. When you can afford such permissions and leaves for your family function, a date or even for a movie, why not for exercising your duty towards this Country?

Now coming to the point of responsibility, i.e, effective exercise of the voting right, my mind asks only one question. What is the basis of casting a vote and selecting a particular candidate?

Media plays a considerable role in influencing people to select the right candidate to lead the Country. Media in many cases voices out the opinion of the people. But there are also cases where media plays is strong role in moulding the opinion of the people and restricting their ability to think beyond what media shows.

The latter is the case of Shri. Narenedra Modi, the Prime Ministerial Candidate of BJP and the Chief Minister of Gujarat. When I tend to talk with people about Modi, the 1st thing they say is Riots in 2002. Even after the verdict of the Supreme Court giving clean chit to Modi, the mindset that these people have him, did not change to a greater extent. Now my question is, how many of them are aware of the following facts?

25% of India’s GDP belongs to Gujarat.  22% of India’s exports and 51% of India’s petrochemical production is contributed by Gujarat. Nearly 100% of Gujarat’s 18,000 villages have electricity connection for 24hours through the Jyotigram Yojana.Statistics show 12.8% agriculture growth in the last five years in Gujarat against the national average growthrate of 2%. Krishi Mahotsav introduced for agricultural research labs. “Shala Paravesh Mahotsav” was introduced to reduce the dropouts in school education and the droupout ratio of 21% is reduced to 2% in 2011. Kanya Kelavani Yojana was introduced to encourage education amongst girls.Chiranjeevi Yojana was introduced to reduce infant mortality rate. (This scheme was rewarded with Asian Innovation Award.). etc etc.

I can add hundred things to this. But the point that I wish to convey here is, as a Chief Minister, Shri. Modi has brought tremendous changes in Agriculture, Electricity, Education, Technology, Hygene and health, infrastructure and whole development of the state, what is preventing us from confidently entrusting the Indian Government with him?

The future of our Country is not anywhere but in our hands to exercise effectively our duty and responsibility.

As a citizen of this country, every one of us has a RIGHT to question the wrongs that are happening in our country. At the same time, we have a DUTY to cast our vote in the upcoming election. Our role does not end up with the right and duty but the RESPONSIBILITY to choose the right person as our leader.

IF YOUR RESPONSIBILITY FAILS, THERE IS NO POINT IN EXCERCISING THE DUTY.

IF YOUR DUTY FAILS, THERE IS NO USE IN CRYING FOR THE RIGHT. YOUR RIGHT CEASES!

Be responsible in choosing the right person. Think wise and Vote for India and its Development!  Ab ki baar Modi Sarkar!

Thanks for the read!

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating my love

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Every year when I cross the date 14th February, I use to get lot of messages and pictures wishing for Valentines day! This year, in addition to the wishes, people started asking about my plans for that day, as I am newly married!

To them when I say that I don’t believe in the  concept of celebrating “Valentines day”, without even questioning the reason behind , they ask me, “Why are you against celebrating love?” The question that is hiding inside my heart is “Why won’t I celebrate love?”

Before that let me answer this! Right from my younger age I have a tendency to follow and adhere to things that I sincerely believe and I am convinced with the reason behind it! Valentines day is celebrated in the memory of a Christian Saint Valentine. When he was in jail in Rome he wrote a letter to the jailor’s daughter signing it with the words “your valentine”. (Courtesy wikipedia). I am not able to derive any connection between this story and celebratiob of Valentine’s day in India!! If I am able to get some other better connection, then let me consider! !

Love is a beautiful feeling. It knocks the door of every individual in some way and in some form. There lies the triggering point! The first impression about love determines their view about love for their entire life. There are people who feel it as breeze and on the other hand there are people who view it as fire! It depends primarily on the first Incident that made them understand what love is.

The triggering point came to me in my late school days when I was ispired by the love of “Andaal” (Kothai) with Lord Vishnu! Though I have heard her story from my father for atleast 100 times, I realised the magic of love when I read that myself after my schooling.

Right from her childhood Kothai developed a divine love towars Vishnu and she always visualised herself as a garland in the shoulders of Sree Vishnu. I admired the beauty of her innocent love when she wears herself the garland before offering to Maha Vishnu and felt the bliss. For her, nothing else than Sree Vishnu was the priority. This small act of love proved the basic theorem of love “Love makes the life so beautiful ” .

More than everything, the way in which she pursued her love was just amazing! During the whole month of Marghazhi she composed and offered Thiruppavai, a set of 30 songs. They were just not poems of love but millions of information were beautifully painted in them.

Contradicting the so called modern definition of love potrayed by the media today, Kothai’s love was not mere madness. Her love was entirely filled with divinity. She set a glaring example for dignity of Insian woman.

Though her intent to pursue her love gave a fear in the mind of her father, the manner in which she took it forward and set a role model for young women was amazing. Her life clearly establishes the glorious culture that we belong to and the dignity of women that our culture witnessed.

But what is potrayed by the media today? Both the concept of love and woman have become business strategies!! It uses both women and love as a tool to brand their business products. That is what is happening in every Valentine’s day!!

For a man or a woman who understands the purity and divinity of love, every second of their life is a celebration of love. They need not wait for a special day to celebrate it. We don’t need cakes to cut and teddy bears to hug! I am proud to be one!!

On the other hand if a person does not celebrate a Valentine’s day, then I think the loss is not for them but for the businessmen who use woman as a strategy to sell love!!

Thanks for the read!!

P.S. I am not answering anyone here. Also this is not written to blame anyone who celebrates Valentine’s day. This is mere expression of my way of celebrating love!! All I am saying is love is making my life beautiful.

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Marital Signs -Game, shame or Crime?

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After a very long time getting a opportunity to write about something which I have been waiting to write!! But this time I feel is the right moment for writing on this topic.

In the recent past when I had chances to interact with a couple of married women, I found a shocking similarity among lot of them – They are not interested in wearing mangal sutras (mangalyam / Thali), their leg rings (metti) and kumkum in the top of their foreheads (This may not be a custom for few communities). When I enquired about the reason for the same, probably the reasons were one among the follows:

1. Are men wearing any of these? Why women alone are forced to wear them?

2. I am same even after a marriage and I want to be the same for ever and not interested in changing the way I look.

3. When the relationship is based on mutual love and affection what is the necessity for symbols like this?

4. It does not go with my dress and lifestyle

Though these seem to reflect intelligence, I felt that people are ignorant and decided not to comment on them thinking that it is their life and their discretion.

My patience was tested when I was participating in a debate where my opponent who was a lady spoke that “These signs of marriage are imposed on women and empowerment of women can never happen if this continues”

Though this statement was completely ignorant,  I was terribly shocked to see that this attitude and culture (So called modernity)  is spreading like a disease everywhere. Not just women but lot of men adhere and advocate such acts of the so-called modernity.

Here are my questions to these modern thinkers:

1. Marriage brings ample changes to every individual specially for every women. A woman who is married is given due respect in the society that we live, the places she visits.  Even the friends and her social circle sees her in a completely different way with dignity. More than everything her parents treat her with due respect when she visits her home where she lived for yeas before marriage.How can you say that there is no change in a woman’s life after marriage?  Does a change necessarily be negative always? Why to ignore these positive changes occur solely on account of marriage?

2. Our culture and tradition gives more sanctity to women who is married.  According to our shastras a man is not complete without his spouse.  A man cannot perform many Vedic rituals without his wife. Even Rama witnessed it without  Sita Devi. Now how are woman becoming or treated inferior after marriage?  What will you call these sanctity that is given to woman solely on account of marriage?

3. Apart from the spiritual and social significance,  there are also science involved in all these customs. For instance wearing a metti in the leg gives adequate pressure to a nerve that connects the uterus, which in turn is good for pregnancy. For those who claim that men is not wearing these, I ask a simple question – How is this significant to men?

I can bring hundreds of arguments here. My intention here is not to change individuals who are not adhering to these customs in the guise of modernity.  My work is not that.

On the other hand, any individual who loves to be a part of this valuable tradition will never stay quiet seeing people atrociously spreading myths in the guise of modernity and misleading innocents who are unaware of such things.

This is just one thing out of which I have spoken just less than 50% of the issue. There are huge number of incidents that are trying to kill our customs and culture.

Every one of us in some way or the other are responsible for preventing such diseases spreading all over the country. And we owe duty to work towards it.

Thanks for the read!

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PINKISH LOVE AND GREENISH CONCERN

Writing about my “area of interest” gives me some satisfaction. Generally when I write about something, I will try to convey some message, place some request or to some extent try to stress the seriousness of what I write. But for the first time, I am writing something because I am happy and feel like sharing it. I agree that elements of “stupidity” definitely exist when reading this. So without any expectations, proceed further.

My “Pinkish love” is not something new to me. Apart from my routine, if I am asked to do something interesting, immediately my mind says “Babysitting”. Whenever we have a family get together, the department that is assigned to me is always to take care of kids. This is for two reasons – 1. I am good (At least slightly above average) at handling kids. 2. I am not good at anything else!!

I have seen people who had tough time with kidoos specially those who are very naughty. They use to crib that they can manage a company better than taking care of a kid. But for some reason I felt the reverse. For me, handling a kid was the easiest thing that I can do on earth. Beating, Biting, Kicking etc will definitely be there (Depends on their ability and our capacity), but when we identify their ‘area of interest’ then the attachment that they show is really priceless.

For many years I was doing this as and when it comes. I was so mad that it took these many years for me to realize that I am deeply in love with these pinkish roses!

 

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The turning point in the story comes when we actually build a confidence in them. They will immediately take you to their pinkish world which is so beautiful. When they react to what they say, that is the first stage. The maximum in this benchmark valuation will be attained when these pink hands hug us and we get a kiss from a kidoo.

Being part of this pinkish cycle is not something insignificant. For them, we are heroes and heroines. Even if you say that you are a super man, they will open their eyes widely and ask “Oh reallllly!!!!” If you impress them, they spontaneously giggle and react. On the other hand, if they don’t like something, without even a second that they will show it in front of your face!

They don’t know to over react! They shower genuine affection! Their innocence will be unique! Their anger is very simple to solve. (An attractive story plus an ice-cream is the maximum bid). Their possessiveness is harmless! Their lies will be beautiful especially when they get caught! The way they see miracles in even small things is amazing. When they raise silly questions and get answer for that, they feel as if they conquered the entire world. More than everything, the expressions that they give in their pinkish faces are super cute.

For people who don’t like kids, I am just telling just a simple thing “You terribly miss the divinity of this pinkish love!”

Though “Green” is not my favorite colour, it gives some pleasant feel whenever we see it. In fact the colour green is used in many places as a symbol of prosperity, fertility and cheer. In relationship, I can correlate this colour with the concern that elderly people shower on us.

Being with my Grandparents right from my birth I was pampered at each and every stage. At the age of 21 when my “Grand pa” passed away, I realized a huge gap which made me to recollect each and every moment with him. Though there was lot of grand children, his love for me was special and unique. Unfortunately I realized it in a better way after his life.

Old age is a rule of nature. But how many of us are able to understand them? When they “Address” or “advise” us, most of us hardly sit and listen. Some even go and mock at them.

The society that we live is very much different from the one that they lived when they were young. Obviously opinions and outlooks differ! When we are not able to understand this simple fact, it is absolutely  unjust for us to expect elders to understand. We claim that we know better than them because of the “exposure” that we have!!

Throwing complaints away for a while, when we try to understand the heart of these old people, the result of the analysis will slap each and everyone who mocked at a “Grand pa” or a “Grand ma”

For them, son/daughter/grandson/grand daughter is not different when they show their concern. It is possible for them to take care of hundreds of people like their own children. Their world may be small but their attitude towards people and the manner in which they socialize is something which should de appreciated (Of course that is inversely proportional to the present generation’s attitude of mingling with people).

All that they expect from you is to ‘nod’ your head when they speak and give minor reactions. That’s it! They will cover you with a smooth green blanket of concern which cools down the maximum temperature.

Most people think that they are rigid and don’t even know what softness is! I also admit that they are not that expressive as we are (At least what we claim). But when we sit with them and analyze closely, the truth will come to limelight. Not just their family, kith and kin, I have seen elders who cry and pray for disasters that happen in some corner of the world. [They are very much capable of even crying for problems faced by women in TV serials – My maternal grand mother is a best example ] Their Green umbrella of concern is very huge to protect as many people as possible.

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As they grow older, they become kids at heart and expect love and affection from people who are around them. Winning them by love is not so challenging. When you give 2 things for them, they treat them as million things and jump out of joy. It is possible only for them to exaggerate and explain the whole world, a small act of love directed towards them.

The intention of this note is not to convey that people in between these two age groups are useless. The point is people at times become colour blind with respect to these two colours. These age groups are ignored by many. But when we fill these two colours (pink and green) in our life in a right proportion, life will be very meaningful (I know I am not that old to advise this). Let us not see them just as an existing element but as attractive colours. I am very sure that they will add value to our art of life.

P.S: Exceptions are always there for everything, about which I am not bothered here!

 

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