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A TIMELESS PROPOSAL

From childhood, Sujatha had a fascination for adventure, fantasy and sci-fi stories.
Now in her early twenties, she still loved to read books or see movies which took her off on a long flight of fancy. She could spend hours dreamily in such pursuits, unlike her smart phone peers. Though she detested conventional travels, she loved the concept of time travel.
Her parents, while happy about her not being addicted to the phone and the Net, were also a bit worried about her romantic notions on time travelling, AI etc and tried to gently wean her away towards regular studies, with limited success.
Frequently, she would relate the details of the weird dreams she started getting of late. Elves, dwarves, princes and princesses paid nocturnal visits to Sujatha in increasing frequency. While this perturbed her parents further, Varun, her younger brother would tease her, “Didn’t you see any tall handsome prince so far, instead of dwarves and other uglies?”
“Anything done in excess isn’t good,” Dad…

AN ANNOYING HABIT

“How do you find your husband, dear?” asked mom to Jaya over phone. Jaya was in Hyderabad after marriage.
The newlywed Jaya giggled and said shyly, “He’s good, mom. I like him a lot.”
“That’s nice to hear,” said mom.
“Only that he has one or two annoying habits…nothing important-will tell you when we meet next. And ha… he is coming over to Chennai alone next week on some official work…you can meet him then.”
“Sure. We will receive Pradeep at the station.” ***
Pradeep looked around the three tier A/c compartment with irritation. He hated three tiers-they were so full of people of every description-There was this large old lady with a large three storied tiffin carrier enough probably for the whole coach. She was accompanied by an immensely fat boy who kept looking longingly at the tiffin carrier. The appetizing smells emanating from there annoyed Pradeep even more as Jaya’s frugal dinner had already evaporated from his tummy.
Luckily Pradeep got a lower berth which he was determined not to e…

AS ‘LUCK’ WOULD HAVE IT.

“Did you pray?” asked dad, when Ramesh was getting ready for the interview. He had applied for an accountant’s position in a private firm.
“Yes dad, now let me hurry, it’s getting late,” said Ramesh, and got down from the lift of his multi story apartment and paused for a second below his apartment block to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything. 
He was wearing black pants and a bright white shirt, neatly pressed for this special occasion.
Unknown to him, in another flat in the same complex, ‘House warming’ ceremony had just taken place. A reluctant cow had been brought all the way to the fourth floor, as it is considered auspicious.
The function just completed, some nearby residents wanted the cow dung in the corridor to be disposed off immediately, brooking no delay. The harried maid who had been working since early hours thought it fit to just fling it down, exactly where Ramesh was standing that time.
 Thus it was that the enraged Ramesh got a cowdung splotch on his white shirt fron…

Mother

What else do we need to pray for As long we have you, dear mother?
Where be the need to measure human endurance, Seeing you, the embodiment of tenacity?
What greater wonder can there be, Than the smile which glows on your face On seeing the children you breathe for?
What greater beauty is there Than your love-filled face With the time-etched creases?



THE PAINTED VASE

Returning home from work that day, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the painted vase sitting prettily on a side table in the hall.
“Mynah!” shouted I, addressing my eleven year old daughter, “How did this come here?”
“Som bought it for me,” said she, quite simply, leaving me dumbfounded.
“Som!”
“But you hate him!” I said, referring to my new boyfriend whom she detested.
Som had come into my life recently, two years after Mynah’s dad died in a freak accident. He was only 40 then- I was 38.
Mynah shrugged and said, “But he likes me, it appears. That’s why he got it when I told him you refused to get it for me.”
I was left still wondering at the turn of events as her tantrums on seeing him were still fresh in my memory.
Two days later, Som came home during the weekend. He too merely shrugged when I complimented him on winning over Mynah. “Girls like things. You can keep them happy by indulging in these simple things.”
I really hope it stays that way, I thought, hoping to marry Som …

THE MAHOUT

The Thrissur District Collector’s aide ran to his boss’s room, huffing and puffing.
“Sir, It seems the tranquilizers will take at least four hours to arrive…. They have to come from Coimbatore.”
“Coimbatore! Can’t wait that long! Order them immediately to shoot the elephant.”
The aide bowed and said, while hurrying out of the room, “Yes sir.”
***
A thin man appeared suddenly in front of the Collector.
“Who are you, eh? Who let you in?” demanded the Collector.
“I am Velayuthan, sir! Just give me one chance to bring the elephant under control. Do not kill it yet, sir, please!”
“What! Are you out of your mind? This huge creature is moving freely, posing a grave threat to our people. And who the hell are you anyway; to succeed where so many have failed, including the elephant’s own mahout?”
“Sir, I beseech you, just one chance, I seek no more. It is a very gentle temple elephant, just fallen in bad times.”
“Ok, I give you 15 minutes, that’s all.”
“Thank you, sir! I need only 5,” Velayuthan said an…

HEARTSTRINGS

The strongest bond is
That which is made by
Heartstrings.
The loveliest thing is
The smile lighting up
The beloved’s face.
The firmest grip is
Dad's,
When guiding the child
In its first steps.
The safest place is
Mom's bosom, for a
Child in distress.
A person who has experienced
All that,
Has indeed lived.


VAMANAVATAR

The fifth of ten avatars of Lord Vishnu was this Vamana, Who took the appearance of a short statured, cute Brahmana. Mahabali, an asur in the lineage of Hiranyakasip and though very just and powerful, Was envied by the Devas, because he had all the worlds including theirs, to rule.
Knowing the difficulty of overcoming the virtuous Mahabali in any direct war, To recover the Devas’s world, Lord Vishnu decided to take the Vamana Avatar. Thus the Lord adopted a clever little ploy And appeared in front of Mahabali as a Brahmin boy.
Mahabali,conducting a yajna, was giving, whatever asked,  to brahmins in charity, Dimunitive Vamana asking only for land equaling his three steps, it hurt his vanity. He saw Vamana cover the entire earth in the first, the sky and beyond in the second step, Having nothing else to offer, Mahabali humbly offered his head for the third step. Though the Lord sent Mahabali to the regions down under by pressing down, Seeing his goodness, he made the asur king to sit on the under…

THE POWERFUL,POIGNANT STORY OF KANNAGI

THE AWESOME FURY OF A WOMAN WRONGED.
This is an epic story about a chaste Tamil woman named Kannagi who wreaked revenge on a powerful king and the capital of his kingdom for unjustly executing her innocent husband.
Kannagi features as the protagonist in a Tamil epic by name ‘Silappadhikaram’.  The title implies that this is a story involving a ‘chilambu’ or anklet.
Kannagi, a lovely woman, is wedded to Kovalan, who is the son of a rich man. The couple lives happily in a town called Kaveripattinam, till a new woman named Madhavi enters Kovalan’s life. Infatuated by Madhavi, Kovalan forgets the faithful Kannagi for some time, and spends both time and money on this illicit affair. Finally, when all his wealth is thus frittered away, Kovalan returns like a prodigal son to his wife’s loyal arms.
Kannagi epitomizes the amazing and true Indian loyalty of an Indian wife when she receives him back with love unhesitatingly, and even offers her only valuable possession- a pair of anklets- to be sold…

HIS HEAVINESS

His Heaviness ascended the creaky podium,
He had to address a political  meeting,
Though he disliked the dreadful tedium,
He had to do it, though he preferred eating.
If elected- he thundered- "We will banish poverty,"
"And what else, you cloth head?" He demanded
in an angry whisper -of his harassed secretary.
"Corruption?" "Ah yes! Corruption!" he gleefully added.
Alas! When he waited for applause, there was silence!
"Why, why?"He demanded an answer from the harassed.
"The pre-paid crowd is economy class, no add- ons;
for applause, whistling and so on, need extra money."
"Upgrade immediately," roared he, "you son of an oaf!"
Then the required phone call was made in real hurry,
The  crowd now cheered, bringing down the roof.
His Heaviness was happy, could go home and have curry.

A TEMPLE UNDER THE SEA!

NISHKALANK MAHADEV TEMPLE IN BHAVNAGAR, GUJARAT
DURING HIGH TIDE

DURING LOW TIDE


A temple under the sea!
Yes, you are right. It is a temple, that too, a functional temple right under the sea in a place called Koliyak in Bhavnagar in the state of Gujarat in North Western India. Every day, when the tide is high, only a mast and a flag are visible from the coast. Then, when the waters recede, they reveal a wondrous Shiva temple which is now accessible to the eagerly waiting devotees at about one and a half km into the sea.
Lord Shiva is the deity at this temple; He is called the Nishkalank or pure Shiva-free from imperfections. Devotees throng this place of worship with offerings during the tide recession and hurry back in time before the tide builds up again.
The demand for auspicious Darshan of the Lord peaks during the new moon phase and the full moon phase, when the tides are also most powerful- but then such is the faith of the Shiva bhakts (devotees) that they are prepared for long waits.