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NACHIKETA


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 His is a revered name that figures even in one of the Upanishads,
For Nachiketa was the first spiritual seeker, and also the youngest.
He was a just a tender five year old boy, but blessed with great maturity,
Nachiketa chided his father when he was giving useless goods in charity.

When Nachiketa asked him to whom he would donate his young self,
His father told in sudden rage he would give him to Yama himself.
Though the father regretted the rash words spoken in anger and haste,
Nachiketa went on to meet the God of Death, without a moment to waste.

 However it so happened he could not meet the busy Yama any too soon.

After 3 days, the Death God, seeing his persistence, offered three boons.
The first one was easy, where Nachiketa wanted his father to be a king,
The second, whence he wanted ritualistic knowledge was also no big thing.    
But the Nachiketa’s request against the third boon took away Yama’s breath,
For this little boy wanted to know what transpired after one’s death!

Though Yama tried to dissuade him and ask another instead,
Nachiketa stood his ground and for that boon only insisted.
It is said that though Yama tried all methods of distraction,
Nachiketa finally got enlightenment due to his determination.



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LINGUA-WOES

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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.