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THE TRAGEDY OF MAHABHARAT WARRIOR KARNAN


Karnan is one of the finest mythological characters from the great epic Mahabharata. He is the first-born of Kuntidevi, mother of the Pandavas who fight the Kauravas in this epic war, lorded by Sri Krishna. But as Destiny would have it, Karnan, the mighty warrior and among the noblest and most generous of Kings has to alas! perish fighting on the wrong side...the side of the Kauravas.

Abandoned by his mother as a baby due to force of circumstances, the Royal blooded but unfortunate Kshatriya is adopted and brought up by a humble charioteer but grows to become a great archer and mighty wrestler, by overcoming great odds and prejudices of that time.. He was so generous that the word Karnan has become a synonym for generosity in India. But his own great qualities of generosity and loyalty lead to his tragic downfall.

Karnan’s fate is sealed when he is given due recognition for his might and talent by Duryodhana, the arch enemy of the Pandava brothers, on being insulted by others in an archery competition for his widely believed‘lowly’birth in a charioteer's family. Duryodhana honors him by making him a king in one of his kingdoms, a rare gesture in those times to a (supposed) non-kshatriya!

Karnan, who learns about his real origin too late (As arranged and planned by the wily Lord Krishna to ensure that the powerful Karnan’s resolve to fight his Pandava brothers is weakened),however stays true and loyal to his friend Duryodhana even after knowing the latter to be in the wrong and also knowing that defeat and death were certain. 

Chevalier 'Shivaji' Ganesan , one of the greatest ever actors, has done a superlative job enacting the character of Karnan in the Tamil movie titled ‘Karnan’. His majestic appearance, royal gait and deep voice made him the obvious choice for such a role.

     








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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.