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IDOL HEWN FROM A SINGLE ROCK



There was an unusual commotion in the sleepy village of Hallipura. When the villagers assembled at the trouble spot, they saw the young widow of Kotiah sobbing.

“Someone tried to assault her when she went for her early morning bath in the pond,” said her nephew, with whom she lived.

“It was still dark, so she couldn’t see her assailant. Luckily he ran off when she started screaming.”

The villagers were outraged, especially because she was the most pious, kind hearted woman in the village. She spent her time either in the temple or attending to her nephew’s needs or in the service of some needy people. Also, such ugly incidents were unheard of in this village and nearby areas.

“Do not go alone, especially at such early hours,” they cautioned, “If you doubt anyone, please tell us, we will have a talk with him.”

She shook her head, indicating she didn’t know his identity.

The village elders had their suspicions about two or three known village ruffians, like Vasu, Dorai, Velu etc, but could do nothing without knowing the facts.

There was a Devi temple in the village, dedicated to Durga, the Goddess who is worshipped as the destroyer of evil. Like the village itself, there was nothing remarkable about this small village temple. But the villagers were proud of the fact that the medium size idol, with the Goddess’s elaborate decorations and paraphernalia had been sculpted out of a single rock.

A couple of days after the assault on Kotiah’s widow, a village urchin came running to inform that Dorai’s body was lying near the temple.

When they rushed to the spot, they were horrified to find Dorai’s body,pierced by what seemed to be a stone spear, clean through the heart.

In the meantime, the temple priest came running out of the temple, “Unbelievable! Amazing! Durga Devi’s spear is missing!

The villagers who now made a beeline to their temple were astounded to see a breakage in the stone, where the spear had been earlier.

Obviously, it could not have been the work of an ordinary human.

The gathering of elders fell in immediate prostration at the feet of the Goddess.




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LINGUA-WOES

A Tamil gentleman nearly got clobbered when he appreciated the food served for lunch at his Telugu friend’s place.

The poor guy innocently said ‘Pramadham’ which means ‘Excellent’ in Tamil, but unfortunately means ‘Danger’ in Telugu!

‘Tamasha’ means ‘light stuff’, ‘Comedy’ etc in Malayalam, but beware if you use it flippantly with the Hindi speaking people.

Indiscreet use of this word- which means a street dance or something in Hindi- is not received kindly by them.

The simple word ‘Avasar’- which also is a Sanskrit root word- means ‘Occasion’ in Hindi; ‘Avasaram’ means ‘Requirement’ in Telugu; ‘Opportunity’ in Malayalam and ‘Hurry’ in Tamil!

There must of course be several such examples in the various languages ‘spooken’ in our delightful India.




RIGHT WRONG

Seeing her eyes glow in excitement,
Obviously though she has it all wrong,
I rush to grab the correction opportunity,

Till I have another look at the gleam in her eyes.

Hell, I think, let me be wrong a hundred times over,
If only to preserve that glorious joy,

Rather than prove her wrong
And watch her enthusiasm wither.

THULABARAM

There is, in the Lord's Abode in Guruvayoor,
A common balance for weighment of offerings.

It's called Thulabaram.

Only, it is anything but common.

A priest there is entrusted the task
Of weighing the offerings you committed
To Lord Krishna.

It may be a few kilos of some vegetable
Or fruit, grains or sugar or what you will.


But it got to be necessarily what you committed!

For,

Have seen with my own eyes
The priest struggling to weigh
A couple of kilos or maybe three
Of a certain vegetable, think it was yam.

But it simply wouldn't balance, though he
Kept on heaping the yam on it!

Then, on the priest's asking,
The devotee said he had thought
Of a different vegetable, maybe raw banana,

But had settled for yam since he couldn't
Get the banana.

The priest quickly removed the yam
Asked the devotee to be back
With the vegetable committed!

Only then, the priest said with conviction,

The weighment would happen.