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THE STORY OF MIRA BAI




There is a very beautiful and heart-warming story of the Rajput princess Mira bai, who, it is said, “burnt herself like a moth in the candle of love...”for her celestial lover, the Lord God Krishna himself. The fable of Mira’s devotion to Krishna is one of the most revered household stories in many Indian households. Various biographers have given beautiful expression to the touching story of this indefatigable love of Mira for Lord Sri Krishna.

The story is set in the year 1557 in a place called Marwar in present day Rajasthan. Rajasthan was home to some of the most valiant kings who belonged to the Kshatriya community and were the fiercest enemies of the Mughal regime. Mira was born in this Royal clan and was hence destined to marry in Royalty. She, as per the traditions and rigid customs of those days, thus married a Rajput prince by name Bhoja Raja, eldest son of a powerful King.

However Mirabai had already given her Heart and Soul to the Emperor of Love, Lord Krishna. Hence she could not fulfill the duties expected of a devout Hindu wife and soon fell foul of her husband and in-laws who thought her mad. Her incessant singing of Krishna hymns (Bhajans) and other expressions of her devotion to the Lord infuriated them and they tried their best to torture and harass her.

Her unwavering devotion and miraculous escapes from the ordeal-with the blessings of Lord Krishna- form the basis of Mira’ story.

Mira is today deified like a saint and her bhajans are sung in many a temple and household.




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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.