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THE LOCKED ROOM

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Govindan was facing the problem of plenty.

A very large ancestral house.

Relations of all hues- in dozens-living as a disjointed joint family, of which he was supposedly the head.

Huge quantity of valuables, including cash and jewellery-which he found hard to safe guard from the greedy cockroaches calling themselves his relatives. Try as he might, he could not dislodge a single one among these detested people for fear of offending either a brother, a sister, mother or his wife.

He tried hiding the stash at different places in his ancient thirty-two roomed bungalow and changing places every few days… but was shit scared that someone or other would find out.

Thus, among plenty of other things, he had plenty of angst also.

One day, Govindan got a flashy idea after watching a Malayalam movie about a haunted room in a large house like his.

‘Why didn’t I think of this before?’ he thought.

Without wasting time, he made a plan with one of his trusted aides.

One day soon after, a piercing scream was heard in the bungalow. Inmates rushing to the spot found the aide, lying with what appeared to be foam (from a detergent of course) oozing out of his mouth.

Later, the amateur actor woke up and after one more round of screaming and sweating swore that he saw ‘him’- a venerable old man-long dead, who till now was only figuring in one of the numerous family photo frames adorning the walls.

The wily Govindan took over from there.

 After keeping a considerable portion of his ill gotten wealth in that room, he brought home a rustic exorcist kind of bloke after bribing the latter, to declare the room haunted and that it ought to be kept locked. Anyone opening the room would do so henceforth almost certainly face immediate death.

Though there were many skeptics among the inmates of this house, no one dared to open the room because of an inbuilt superstition. Moreover, Govindan guarded the key to this room very jealously indeed.

Govindan’s idea seemed to have worked.

A few days later, just before midnight, there was a blood curdling scream from the direction of the locked room. The inmates, jolted from their sleep rushed to find the dreaded room wide open. Inside, a stricken Govindan was lying on the floor, struggling for his breath and shivering.

“They are gone, my valuables are gone!’ gasped Govindan to the puzzled gathering, before going into a dead faint.

As the terror stricken inmates looked about the room, they found that the portrait of the ghostly grandsire was now in this room, floating freely near the roof, swinging about like a kite in the air.

Some swore they could see a leer on his face.








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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.

TEACHINGS FROM THE ETERNAL SONG, THE BHAGVAD GITA

THE MANY WAYS TO PRAY TO THE LORD

Lord Krishna is infinitely merciful.

He accepts your prayers whatever be your way, or whomsoever you worship. Like the waters of all rivers leading to the Ocean, all prayers flow to Him alone. ( Rig Veda)

He says that you may, if you can, fix your mind and intellect on him and be always in His contemplation. That is the path of Knowledge or Jnana Yoga.

However, if you find it difficult, you may choose the path of Yoga practice. In this the mind can be trained to meditate on Him and be brought back again and again when it gets distracted. This is the path of Raja Yoga.

If you find the Yoga path cumbersome, you may resort to ritualistic worship as authorized by the sacred texts. This is the path of Karma Yoga. If your mind is not on rituals, you can take refuge in him, leading a self controlled life.

Then there is the Bhakti path, the path of total devotion and surrender to the Lord. Even here, the Lord says, you need not make elaborate offerings- A l…