Monday, February 25, 2008

women, thy thoughts are sphinx-like

Women’s feelings, so difficult to follow
Saying an yes when they mean no
Saying a no when they mean yes
Utter confusion in their own words.

When men express to her their love
She has a haughty answer to shove
And when in his expression he does falter
She leaves him, calling him a duffer.

When asked to come out by their spouse
They don’t and later do they grouse
What they say is really not what they mean
Blaming men when not treated as queen.

What exactly goes through their mind
Is something none could, till date find
And so men find it difficult though they try
To find a solution, on many do they rely.

An answer yet, men have not got
And so it has been a permanent thought
Hither and thither they do search
Which leaves them always in the lurch.

It sure can be said, men know not
For what a woman wants, is only in her thought
So try as they may men can never find
For a solution for this is a difficult kind.

A lady whose views are very clear
Who says her thoughts and does adhere -
Men oh men try to understand
Finding such a woman is not at hand.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dedication in performing traditional rituals

Homam - Sacrificial ritual conducted with an altar of fire, as a part of daily worship, festivals and special occasions. A prominent feature in Hindus, we have the Brahmins chanting certain hymns for different homams to invoke the blessings of the almighty.
Few years before, it took a lot of time to prepare and perform these functions. Starting in the early hours of the morning with a homam to invoke the blessings of Lord Ganapathi, the function would probably get over by afternoon. We have the Brahmins chanting sacred hymns. A lovely gathering of relatives and sometimes friends.
Hearing such chants in the early hours of the morning I went to my balcony to listen to them. Well, I have no knowledge of what they chant or should chant. But I do know a few words from the chants, which are common. As I strained myself to listen to the chants, I could find that while chanting, the Brahmins, omitting few words and sometimes a few verses in between and in such speed, seemed to complete the entire performance in a jiffy. The ritual is done more for namesake and the Brahmins seemed more eager to just complete this and walk out rather than do the full homam properly. And if they are not in a hurry, these Brahmins have their attention diverted from the function like the Brahmin who performed a homam at my place 16 years before.
My brother in law had a small tape recorder, the size of a transistor. He wanted to record the chanting by the Brahmins so as to listen in future. Little did he know that he would be distracting them! As my brother in law pressed the record button, the Brahmins eyes and ears were all turned to see this piece. Chanting a few words, then his words would be,
What is this? Oh a recorder so small, are you sure it would record when I chant the hymns? He chanted a few more verses of the sacred hymns. Then back to his queries, would the quality of sound be good? Will I be able to really listen to my voice when I play the same? Back to chanting hymns then his queries again, is it ok if I just hold and see it? Shall I operate the same? Back to chanting hymns. And so on did the function go. Importance given to the small piece of recorder superceded the homam function in total.
Is my brother in law at fault for having had the desire to record the chanting and listen to them at a later date? Or is there a lack of dedication in these Brahmins wherein they do not really put in their full to perform these functions? As a commoner, we sure would not know the full meaning of what the Brahmins chant or whether he is doing the same dedicatedly until and unless we know the hymns by heart.
Advancement in each stage of life has taken a prominent place in our day to day activities and it has not left these functions also. The present scenario, neither shows any dedication on part of the Brahmins nor from the family members who want the homam performed in their home. Of course, there are a few who still pay importance to these functions unfortunately they form a minority and it sure is difficult to get such Brahmins to come to our home and perform the homams/puja.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Heartfelt Happiness

Heartfelt Happiness
Happiness in its truest form, where exactly do we find this happiness? Happiness – a feeling of emotion, where does it lie, where does it emerge from? Does it emerge from the material things we receive from others? Questions that I have been asking myself.
My friend presented me a wonderful material for a salwar suit on my birthday. Yes, I appreciated this gesture of hers. The gesture to remember my birth date and the thought to give me something on that day. It sure brought a joyous feeling. But deep sense of happiness, I was not sure that I felt. Likewise, whenever my husband gives me something, I accept the same with a cheerful smile thanking him for the gift or whatever. But more than the gifts, he showers me with hugs and love, unlimited and I realized this act of his happened to bring more happiness inside me.
So does it mean, personal affection brings more happiness? Is that all I wondered? No, I realized, there were more to happiness than just material gifts and personal affection.
Desiring to have a Tulsi plant in my home, I bought a flowerpot for the same and planted a sapling of Tulsi in it. Watering the same the first thing in the morning, I eagerly waited to see if, new leaves emerge from the plant. My heart withered away with the plant as it dried and left me. Not wanting to lose hope, I got another sapling and a few seeds of the Tulsi plant and planted the same. Watering the plants each day, I was rewarded this time. Tiny leaves showing their faces made my heart leap with joy. A sense of happiness I could feel. And the feeling was just beyond compare when I saw very tiny beautiful purple flowers in the Tulsi plant. A really lovely feeling deep inside me I could sense. Nature has in it an abundance of beauty for each of us to enjoy. Looking and savouring these beautiful creations of god sure creates happiness, beyond compare.
A crying kid when given a toy or something to his liking, immediately stops crying, and starts laughing. That toy brings happiness in him. But looking at the change in the child from a crying one to a laughing one, it sure brings a smile and cheer in the heart of anyone who sees him. That feeling in the heart is that of happiness. Anytime we recall events related to the child, the crying fades away, but the cheer and the laughter of the child forever remains in our heart.
Spending just a few minutes of our time with the elderly at home or outside creates so much happiness in their heart. They may not divulge the same, but what their heart says is very much explicit in their eyes. Their eyes gleam with happiness, though their lips never utter the same.
Three weeks before the due date of my delivery, my baby decided enough is enough and wanted to enter this beautiful world. Many a signal did he show to be released, which I did not read though, as I felt 3 weeks before due date is a way too early for him to be born. Twelve hours of persistently trying to shove his way out, I realized he really must be serious and went to the doctor in the early hours of the morning. A C-section has to be done she said and so with no other alternative, I went through the same. When I regained consciousness, placed beside me was my baby peacefully sleeping. Tears filled to the brim I held him close to me. Tears were not of the pain I had due to the C-section, but of joy in seeing this tiny little baby and my heart seemed to be singing with happiness.
Penning these thoughts, I literally went back to life 16 years and 8 years before when my daughter and my son gave me the beautiful motherhood feelings. The happiness I sensed was multiple-fold now. And when I thought about the pain that I had undergone at that time, I realized I just could not even visualize the same.
Small and simple things in our lives bring about the happiness that we yearn for. And yet, we never realize we have it very near to us, deep inside our heart. Happiness felt by the heart, a sense of happiness deeply embedded in the heart lasts forever rather than the material gifts.