Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.

-Dale Turner-

Monday, 26 April, 2010

edukkavo? korkkavo?

Bhanumathi is deep in a game of chess with Karna, when Duryodhana walks into her chambers.

As he approaches, Bhanumathi begins to stand up, a little abashed to be found thus by her husband.

An unaware Karna, on the other hand, commands of her: "Where are you going, finish the game first." And he tugs at her hip chain, mekhala, for good measure.

Bhanumathi edges away from Karna's grasp, and the chain breaks to tumble pearls all around the chamber.

As both she and Karna look down sheepishly, unable to meet Duryodhana's eyes, the Kaurava scion only asks:

"edukkavo, Korkkavo [should I just collect the beads, or string them as well]."

Tell me, does it not make him better than Rama?

Tuesday, 20 April, 2010

The knowledge of the gods

"Tell me Ammama, why were you named Fragrance?" I ask. We are discussing stars and names, and I am curious because others born under her star are named with letters G and H.

She reluctantly spells: "My father hoped I would die young, and named me after his sister who died within a month." Looking at my face, she quickly rises in defence: "he was heartbroken. I, after all, killed my mother at birth."

"Names have a strange influence of their own," she says and leaves the rest unspoken - that her grandmother raised her for many years, that her father snatched her away from her loving care for the sake of his pride, that he paid her scant attention, that he got her married to a drunkard - that the name strangles her every now and then, and that she has had to fight it all her life.

Names are a burden, I know it too well. There are expectations and dreams that I have longed to shrug away.

And then there is my aunt, robbed of her destiny, when named to match her brother. But, true to her given name, she handles every crisis that life throws her way with Grace.

Lil' one, what do I wish for you... a name that sits as light as butterfly kisses, or one that will shape your years. Neither may work, but this I hope does. A wish that everytime you hear it, it be spoken only with love.

Friday, 9 April, 2010

Someday at lunctime...

My mother grew up in a large, sprawling house with six siblings. Which means that I have 12 cousins whom my mother can call out to cite good behaviour.

The extended family congregates for my grandfather's annual shraadham. And after the prayers and smoke, it is time for a meal of light banter and teasing updates. It is also a time I feel very proud of all of them.

But when the men quickly disappear after food to find an AC, and the women settle down to serve themselves... I become disillusioned.

Is this my family of professors, scientists, geek techies and financial wizards? Can not even one think of serving food for the women who made them.

Maybe it is the mistake of all these women. As the firsts who had to prove that they could have paying jobs, they raced through everything.... chores, careers and children's homework.

Maybe, they just didn't have time to stop and ask, cajole and coax, or demand any help.

But then my youngest cousin brother, of his own, races between mother and aunt and demanding cousin sister to serve hot vadais.

And I know that someday at lunctime, we will make one large semi-circle - all of us cooking and eating and teasing together. Someday at lunctime...

Thursday, 1 April, 2010

struck a chord

Jane Austen on Anne:
“She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older — the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning”.


My nephew is a slothbear