Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

a bit tensed.....

It's been long since I have shared my personal angst with my blogger buddies. I befriended many of you when I was literally struggling with everything- job, relationships, family etc. I was battling with the whole world to live my life on my own terms. Blog was my only source to vent out my emotions. Still I was happy. I had an unrelenting resolve to do something. My dreams were flying.

Things have changed a lot. I got a job, a descent salary, a relationship but lost the drive even to live. Why so? A life without zest was something unimaginable for me.  I am scared to death as I am passing through this worst nightmare of mine.



Monday, December 5, 2011

My 30th birthday - December 2, 1981...

Two days back, I celebrated my 30th birthday.I had the biggest surprise of my life. My room mates gave me an excellent birthday treat when the clock struck twelve. I was amazed, surprised, happy for I was getting such a treat for the very first in my life.

These are some of the photographs we clicked and I am so excited I am uploading my photos also for the first time in my blog ever since I started this blog. I am uploading some of my individual photograph too. I hope it is not too long :D

 



Saturday, September 24, 2011

I am worried...

Do you know what could be the worst night mare of a REPORTER.

She has stories but limited expressions to put it in words. She could not shout her ideas. It is stuck in her bosom, chokes her and eventually, it gets killed. 

Is that what you call ' death of a story'

I  come across such deaths every day. Its quite sad...

When I get up early in the morning, I get butterflies in my stomach thinking of how I am going to put yet another story in words.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

A salute to the spirit of Raphael


Life snatched a lot from him. But T D Raphael is living life to the lees. He never succumbed to the challenges life threw before him.Raphael, librarian of Panambukadu village library, lost his ability to hear and speak at a very young age. Since then life has been a battle for him. And he fought with sheer determination and perseverance. It is his love for words that gave him the energy to fight all the odds of life.Though his love for words knew no bounds, Raphael could get himself acquainted with words only when he was 15. Since then, he has been a frequent visitor to the Panambukadu village library.


His passion took him a long way. He has written 18 short stories and 22 poems. His first poem was his reaction against the criticisms he had to face for his congenital anomalies. Short stories followed.“Death is the last word for a man who does not have any other way in life,” he wrote in one of his works, keeping in mind the severe setbacks he has battled against all his life.
Raphael’s efforts and passion for words got recognised when the office bearers of Panambukadu village library handed him the keys of the library. For his many services, the State Social Welfare department honoured him in 2004.

- by Shalet Jimmy

published in ' The New Indian Express'

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hey! Is this the solution you would offer

                                                    
I got a call yesterday and it was one of my colleague. I was surprised to see his call as it was past midnight. Usually, I do not entertain calls after eight provided it is of any emergency and I hardly do get any calls after half past eight. I was again surprised for he was just a good colleague and we got along well. But we were not friends. I picked up the call.

The moment I picked up, he said “ Shalet, please do apologize for this late call and I am a bit drunk too. If you do not mind, I would like to sing a song.”

Singing a song and that too in the middle of the night. But I could not say 'No' to him.

I said “ You are always welcome.” He also assured me that I would not regret for listening to him. He was absolutely right. He could sing beautifully and he sang with all his heart Kabhi Kabhi Mere dil mein khayal aatha hai Ke Jaise tujhko banaya gaya hai mere liye.( Often I think that you are made for me)

hmm....something brewing

When he finished his rendition I asked “ What's up? Second break up.”

He said “ Yes.”

There was nothing new this time. The girl dumped him, not because she did not love him but, because she had to succumb to her parents wishes. (Hey! I am not going to write what went wrong between them)

We talked and talked. But somehow I got a cue that he was running away from a lot of things. Though I did not want to poke my nose into other's affairs, out of sheer curiosity I asked “ What is actually bothering you?”

He opened up as if he wanted to make a clean breast of everything to somebody and It happened to be me.

His father died when he was just 11 years old. He was so close to his father. He was nothing without his father and his death was an utter shock for him. For many years, his was against his mother as he was made to believe by his relatives that his mother was the cause of his father's death. But when he came out that misconception, it was too late. He has grown too older and was not longer a child. But he was craving for caress and touch.

Though he is fond of his mother, he said “ I could not establish an emotional connection with her and that's how I fell for my first girl friend. I was never deprived of physical contact when I was with her. But it lasted only for three years.I did not care what sort of a girl was she. I always craved for 'touch' and she gave me that incessantly.” She dumped him for somebody.

But with this second girl, he shared a platonic relationship and his life had become topsy – turvy when she left her.

“ I need pampering and caressing. What should I do? I cannot lament all the time, when each one of us leave. I do not need a temporary umbrella but a permanent roof. But I don't give a damn about marriage,” he said.
I did not know what to say

“ You should go and get married to a girl who could love you and be with you all the time,” I said Though I was not sure I think he was quite convinced with my answer.

“ I am not employed. Who would marry such a guy,” he asked.

“ Hey! You resigned your job and I am sure you are going to land in good job. You will definitely get a wife,” I said. I did not have anything else to say.

Though he kept on saying that he did not believe in marriage,my instincts told me that “ Get married soon” was what he wanted to hear from me.That's why he accepted it without any further explanations and denials.

I really do not know whether I was right in my answer to him. But that was all I had to say.






Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A writer lives here - Published in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS by Shalet Jimmy


Ashtamoorthi K V has become a name to conjure with, though when pursuing his passion quietly through the years, he had little thoughts of winning accolades. This short story writer, hailing from the cultural capital of Kerala, commenced his writing career as a novelist. But it was in the genre of short story writing that he made his own mark. Ashtamoorthi started writing at a very young age and was much of a dabbler in poetry in his formative years. “Though I started writing at a very young age, I glossed over my passion for writing for long years. My stories first got published in the college magazine,” he says. It came as a surprise to him, when one of his short stories was published  in Mathrubhumi weekly in 1981 without any hassles, which also proved to be a turning point in his life as a writer. In 2010, his collected works was released by M T Vasudevan Nair. A new work, ‘Ayal Kathayezhuthan Pokukayanu’  is set to be published soon.



 Ashtamoorthi, who lives with his wife at Arattupuzha, Thrissur, was quite nostalgic while talking about his first published novel, ‘Rehearsal Camp’ where he had narrated the lives of drama artistes, who had come to perform for a festival, in the temple near his home. “They had come for a short stay in my out house and their lives intrigued me for a while, which soon transformed into a novel, the only novel I have written so far,” he says. He won the Kumkumam award for the same novel in 1982. When asked why he had given up novel writing, he says he got stuck in the craft of short story writing too deeply and applauds also came to him much easily in that medium that he got “apprehensive about treading the long winding path of novel writing”.


Ashtamoorthi has no regrets about not having created any character that has made a lasting impression on the readers’ mind. “It was always the situations that had a sway in my stories and not characters,” he says. He has always preferred to write in a simple way. “My  writing is not confusing for I never believed in complicating the readers’ experience or giving them any unwanted strain to comprehend what I have to say to them,” he says. Talking about the inspirations for his writing, he says he was amazed by the impact the city of ‘Bombay’ had on his life, during his stay there. In later times, it proved to be a fertile ground for his writing. “I grew up reading M T Vasudevan Nair’s works and it was definitely a source of inspiration,”  he says.


The writer also confides that he is quite apprehensive now a days as he feels he is repeating himself. “When many of my readers call me to appreciate my works, they would say that they could identify the author of the story from the style. They did not even have to look who has written the story. Though they say it as a compliment, I am afraid of typecasting myself,” he says. Though he has two awards to his credit, he says he was not awed by them. For him, winning the  awards were sheer accidents. He remembered that there were many instances when an award-winning author’s works did not reach the readers. Ashtamoorthi bagged Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for ‘Avan Veedu Vittu Pokunnu’ in 1992. ‘La Patha Kathakal’, ‘Kathasaaram’, ‘Pakal Veedu’, ‘Marana Siksha’ etc. are some of his other works. During his busy schedules, he has never forgotten to maintain a good circle of friends - Ashokan Cheruvil, another well-known writer in Malayalam whose camaraderie and works he enjoys, being the author’s dearest friend as well as trusted critic.


His columns for Janayugam news paper has had a wide readership. His blog www.ashtamoorthi.blogspot.com (Vicharam) has almost all of his works. Now that he has retired from SNA Oushadhasala Pvt. Ltd, where he was working as an accountant, Ashtamoorthi feels he can finally have ample time for his writings.


by Shalet Jimmy

Monday, April 18, 2011

1 year blogging anniversary

It's been 1 year. I do not exactly remember the date. When I started this blog, I had no clue what I was doing. I did not take the pain to remember that wonderful date. I am thankful to my colleague Sambu Sankar, who actually told me what blogging was all about....

A big ' Thank You', Sambu...Hearty thanks to all other bloggers who really supported me. This is not an exaggerated statement but truth. I am doing a lot of things that I really enjoy.because of blogging.  This community has shown me that there is no room for despair but love life, there are ample things in this world I could enjoy. I have got ' Life is beautiful award' from  Kate http://kateevangelistarandr.blogspot.com/. I was pleasantly surprised when I got it.  An award for somebody like me was something to ruminate. In the beginning, I was too ignorant that I would create a new blog for a new post. Likewise, I think I had about 15 blogs.  Thank God, I have transformed for the better. My fellow blogger Jidhu Jose took my interview and published it on his blog on April 1st- another pleasant surprise.http://jidhu.blogspot.com/.He has got another blogs too.I was enjoying everything. The real joy is when you find the numbers in your followers increase. I love them....

www.shaletrjimmy.blogspot.com is my another blog, where I write about books. It was not a book blog, when I started it.It contained my works as a copy writer. When I resigned my job, I had no works to flaunt. I kept it like that for a while as I did not want to delete it. It was earlier named Shalet's Creative Impressionzz.' But when I came across some blogs dedicated to books, I thought of converting it into a book blog and I renamed it as ' Passion Drops.' for I love books, books are my passion. I am really enjoying it. I have also won a book - another surprise, from http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.com/. 
I won ' The Time Travelling Fashionista'- When I get it, I am going to review it for Goodreads and amazon....excited, excited..


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Avis Lyons, the animal rescuer in Kerala

I met Avis when I went to cover her story. She came to Kovalam in Kerala for a holiday. When she came here, she never ever would have thought that one day she would become a messiah for the stray dogs here. When I went there, I never imagined I would get surrounded by dogs, dogs and dogs.To be honest, I was really scared. When she knew my fear she caressed her dogs in front of me and said " They make great companions when they are treated properly. You do not have to worry." My fear soon vanished.I do not know whether I should call them ' stray dogs.' Whatever it is , they were very friendly and to my surprise they showed it too. They wanted me to fondle them, cuddle them and I could see it very well in their eyes. For the very first time in my life, I felt that I should also have a pet too.

Avis Lyons was born and brought up at London. When she came here, she was really shocked by the cruelties that was committed against these animals. " I also could notice that there were many female dogs that had had puppies. But where are the puppies? People here do have a tendency to take the puppies , especially male ones and discard the mother dog. That's why I could not see any puppies with them.' she says. She is also upset with the authorities, who does nothing to alleviate the issue of stray dogs. She has a website www.animalrescuekerala.org, where she is warning before we see some pictures. Such is the pathetic sight of dogs in those pictures.

Keralites do have a different notion regarding pets. If the west do treat them as pets and as a member of the family, Keralites do treat dogs as an animal that guards the house. For them, they are just animals. This is just a generalisation and I do admit that there are exceptional cases too. People pelting stones at these dogs is a common sight here." People do dump unwanted pets. I have 105 dogs and out of them 75 are discarded pets. How could they do that? she asks.

Avis is suffering from cancer and she has been living in Kerala for the past ten years. She feels fragile and is looking for somebody, who can take this Animal Rescue Kerala, a house which she has started for discarded animals, on lease for 30 years. " Before I move back to London, I would like to see this place as a safe haven for animals," she says. If there is anybody who reads this blog and wants to do something in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact. That would be a great help. 

Her ANIMAL RESCUE KERALA is a home for 105 dogs, 2 horses and 1 rabbit.

Like me, she is also an voracious reader of mysteries and she had lined up these books in her shelf. When I told her my addiction to mystery books, she wanted me take as much as books I could from her shelf. I took one book, which I am currently regarding.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chak de INDIA, JAI HIND

 PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN

India beat Srilanka by 6 wickets.

We won the Cricket World Cup, 2011.

Three Cheers for India.

Hip, hip......Hurrah, 
Hip, hip......Hurrah,
Hip, hip......Hurrah.

India bagged the World Cup after long 28 years.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is it funny?


This incident was told by my room mate and she was told by her friend's mother. Her friend's mother, though a Keralite, was born and brought up in Uttar Pradesh, where you could find monkeys and peacocks in plenty. When she was  very young, I mean, very very young, she was abducted by a monkey.

Would do you believe this?

Yup, She was taken away by a monkey and it tucked her to its lap and then the monkey took her away to the terrace of her house. Every one was alarmed and started thinking of rescuing the baby from the monkey's clutches. They were not ready to scare the monkey as they thought it would throw the baby from the terrace.

Somebody got a terrific idea that literally saved the baby. They started flaunting different fruits and it attracted the attention of the monkey from the baby.
" That's how I was saved," she said. She also joked that she was really cute that the monkey could not resist its temptation.

I was just thinking, what would have happened if they did not get that fruits?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I have a question for you

All these days I was writing about myself and I think I definitely need a detour. I am too curious to know about you. The question is very simple,


How would you like to describe your life so far?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I missed you all



I am back after a hiatus, though I should admit that it was not deliberate. I used to take  recess but I never really missed your posts but I terribly missed it this time. But I will soon compensate. This break , I took made me realize a lot of things. I always believed that in life you need something that can call your passion, that you really wanted to do, that you never tried to escape. I was traversing through many paths but I did not find one. I felt really bad. You need something to which you can put your heart and soul. 

I joined as an intern in a leading newspaper. I was put on trial for two weeks and based on my performance my fate would be sealed. I was getting assignments and I was trying to do my level best. The very first thing I noticed about myself was that I really loved doing that job. This was the first time I wanted to do a job because I really liked it. I wanted to do more and more. I do not know whether I would get this job or not. But I am happy that I am enjoying what I am doing.
And a big thanks to all of you who supported my writing. It instilled a lot of confidence to go on.

Thanks buddies....

Monday, February 21, 2011

" LIFE IS GOOD" Award

Thank you Kate Evangelista from Reads, Reviews, Recommends to give " Rain Drops " this wonderful award.

Here's how this award thing works:

1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2. Answer the 10 survey questions below.
3. Pass the award along to other bloggers whom you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award.

10 Survey Questions

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this? If you are not anonymous, do you wish that you had started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?

I am not blogging anonymously and I never ever wished to blog in such a way for I always loved my real identity. Good or bad, I wanted to be myself whenever I do something.

2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side.

  I am from a place where women are always in shackles. They are  financially and even emotionally dependent. Arranged marriage is what normally happens. You would get married to an unknown person. Your opinions are not sought for anything that totally related to your life. But I was adamant that I would get married only after establishing a career and made clear that arranged marriage was not my cup of tea. 

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

A person who is confident and knows her true self.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?

Coconut water b'coz it is natural and I truly relish its taste.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

I read.
I love reveries, so I indulge in that.
I blog.
I watch movies.
The city I am staying right now is called the " City of Palaces" and there are so many things to see here.

6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

Lots of things...
I want do my Law degree and also start learning Bharatnatyam( a dance form) again which I quited at a young age;I want to visit US, Canada, Switzerland; I want to write a best seller; I want to marry; I want lots of kids; the list is endless.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?

I was....I don't know. 

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?

Yet to come.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

I write what I feel like writing. It could be either about myself or events or about somebody else.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

Reading, reading and reading.

Ten "Life is Good" Bloggers



Congratulations to the ten Life is Good bloggers receiving this award from me!  You don't have to return the favor by giving me the award again. I'm thankful enough as it is for receiving it. Spread the love!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Incredible India

 This is the text I received on my mobile...I do not think I should clarify further.

What is India??? " 
A nation where Pizza  reaches home faster than Ambulance and Police.

Where you get car loan at 8% but education loan at 10%.
Where rice is Rs.20/- and sim card is free.
Where people worships Goddess Durga and kills brutally the female foetus.
Where Olympic shooter wins gold, govt gives 3 crore (30 million) and another shooter dies fighting the terrorists, the govt gives 1 lakhs ( 100 000).

Really an Incredible India


Friday, January 28, 2011

I am back ....

I have read 13 books last month and was quite happy about it. I thought I could repeat the same in the new year too. But I was wrong. I laid my hands on many books but could not read even a paragraph. I was inflicted  with readers block. I used the word ' infliction' deliberately. Situation was worse. I didn't feel like concentrating on anything. I could not eat, sleep, watch movies...the list was endless. Long and short, I was not properly doing anything...Am I exaggerating? Heck/, no....I tried Master of the Game by Sydney Sheldon, Malgudy Days by R. K. Narayan, Five point someone by Chetan Bhagat which was a national best seller, Only love is real by Dr. Brian Weiss. But none of these books were of any help, though they were quite a good read.

I thought I was too over confident and was afraid that my lists with which I had decorated the fringes of my blog was going to remain without any entries. I was short of money to buy any new books, but I mustered my energy and went to my favourite place, the second hand book shop. I exchanged my old books with new ones along with a small amount which I could afford.

I began with "Final Appeal Lisa Scottoline and I am sooooooo happy that I am back in the game.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Manichithrataazhu...

 This was the first movie in Malayalam that dealt with  dual personality followed by many remakes in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali.But this was the best. I have seen it many times and was  watching it again. I was really fascinated and  thought I should share it with you. I am uploading three videos. Introducing Ganga


Ganga's dual personality ( becoming Nagavalli) This scene fetched ' Shobhana' (the actress) her first National Award for best actress.



The fully transformed Ganga....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Life is at stake here

This is an attempt to say a story that is inspired from a real incident. I do not know whether I am good at saying a story. But ts was the picture that came to my mind when I heard about the atrocities that still exist in my country.
Time has changed, but the attitude with which the entire fabric of society was built is still the same. Religion, caste...the list is endless. Men cared not for their loved ones, but their religion.

 She lay in the splattered pool of blood... Her slow motioned eyes searching for him.

He was lying on the other end.  His eye balls still, not ready to budge a bit. She stretched her hand until the tip of her fingers met his. The days of apprehensions and helplessness were deep buried in the earth.

The memories gushed in and out...Her eyes could see it.

She was eight and he was ten when they first met on the narrow mound that meandered through the golden fields of their village. He was too tall that she had to lift her face full to see him. His face guaranteed everything. She was unsure, whether he felt the same .In no time, her doubts withered.  The drizzle of his smile was overwhelming as if it was kept hidden for centuries. The days and nights passed. Seasons took its various forms. But their smiles were still the same. It grew and grew with all its charm.


A new world of freedom was born amidst them – College.

 It has been years since they were bonded with smile. She was ecstatic to meet him and the waiting came to an end when he came to her and asked for her name.

“Gudiya” the reply was wrapped in a blush.

“Anurag” he told his name with the same usual smile.

Nothing more...silence spoke for them. It went on for months. But they could read each other's minds. After their initial reluctance, both took the rein of their freedom in their own hands. As days multiplied, the woes of the thought of separation too swelled. They seemed aware of their future.

The insecure future – that was what they would like to call it. Their union put forth before them a straight question mark.

 Honour was the term that was dangerously entwined with bizarre and ludicrous customs and conventions. Unfortunately, they too belonged to this society, same religion, but different castes. They were scared of it. They could not live under the wrath of the society.

Would they be able to cross it? Do they have the courage to take the bull by its horns?

 But love had its own answer... It knew no society and boundaries.

She was beautiful in her chilly red wedding saree. Nothing changed.Everything was still the same. Silence and smile echoed amidst them. He looked at her crown. It was flashing with red saffron.

“She is mine”, he thought with pride.


When the village came to know about their secret marriage , it unleashed a heavy torture. They could not die. Death would be an escapade. They loved each other, so they fled. And here they were sitting beneath the calm sky with no worries to embitter their dreams.

Days passed and their life flourished in bliss unaware of their society's conspiring mind.


It was a Saturday…

 Someone was knocking at her door. She could not believe her eyes.It was her mother. Tears welled in her eyes.She hugged her mother.But her mother stood still as a rock devoid of any feelings and passions. She had shoved her motherhood into the deepest trench of abhorrence.

Her grip on her mother loosened as she saw her uncle and brother. She could see her entire village in her portico. Panic struck her with heavy hands. They were there not to bury the hatchet, but to seek vengeance. They believed both of them had disgraced their society.

 Somebody handed her brother a glistening sword. She looked around for an easy resort and found none. Hatred spewed from her mother's eyes. Anurag was not yet home.

She knelt before them beseeching for her life. The sword was up in the air. But it could not  strike its first blow. She looked up and saw Anurag clutching her brother's arm. He was fierce. He could not let leave his life easily which he had gathered to nourish. But they had already made up their mind. The first fatal blow wreaked its havoc. Anurag was writhing in the pool of blood.

The drizzle was easily replaced by a heavy down pour. Blood every where. The shattered dream hid itself in the dark corners, not wanting to get drenched in the whirlpool of blood.

She knew it was her time to go , to go the unknown territories. And she was happy for she was not alone. He was with her. 

Her eye balls too become rigid looking at him....


***********

P.S: This story is inspired from a real life incident that was reported especially in Haryana and Uttarpradesh.  “Honour Killing'- that's how this gruesome reality is termed. It happens in the 2nd longest democracy in the world - India. A couple was brutally murdered without any mercy. They were not supposed to disgrace their family.  The culprits were captured, but were not apologetic of what they have inflicted not only to their dear ones, but to the entire society. This was not a single incident. Two sisters were cruelly killed for they decided to live their life on their own terms. When one chose modelling as her career, the other chose to lead her life with the man she was in love. Death was the punishment bestowed on these two young women for their crime.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Have you ever got butterflies in your stomach after reading a book?

Have you ever got butterflies in your stomach after reading a book. I got it. I could not have a wink of sleep after reading Tess Garrison's " Body Double", ever since after "Outbreak" by Robin Cook which I read when I was fifteen or sixteen. The book by Ms Garrison was brilliant and had exciting twists and turns. She was so vivid in her craft that you could have an easy imagination of what she really meant. It's suspense was blood cuddling. The book was too brilliant  that it scared the life out of me. 


I am always anxious to read the next book when I finishes one. But now it seems as if I need a break. Did you ever feel as I have felt and what did you do to overcome that?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What is your opinion on it?

I was just thinking of rights. rights? yea. the right of a woman. 

She is my friend and is 29 years old , working as a front office executive in a not so big company. Her career had always been her dream. A girl with a bundle of talents, her confidence always told her that she could achieve anything she really wanted. She tried her hands in various jobs and was always good in them. But success had a strange way of alluding her. But she never quit. She was always seeking a new possibility, a new avenue. 

I really admire her.

She was from a financially sound family. Her father was a successful businessman who was financially well off  to support her to do whatever she would like to do. Her mother was too much addicted to traditions that she had stopped interacting with  her daughter as she was not thinking of a marriage. She had a boyfriend who was very much in love with her but they could not marry as they belonged to different religions. They both were struggling hard to make a career and could think of marriage when they were well settled. 

You could feel that there was nothing complicated but I could feel the tension she was in. She had a brother who was six years younger to her and never found any hindrance in doing whatever he liked.He was preparing to go to UK to do his MBA.  She wanted to do law in her country which costed only around 40000 Indian money and that too for 3 years which was much much cheaper than doing an MBA  abroad. She could not join for it in 2010 for she was short of money and now she is trying hard to make it in 2011. There were several instances where she was beaten up by her parents for not obeying them.

She asked me quite a several times whether she was committing any mistakes. You could not get married for the sake of getting married. Hence, I said you have to do what you really feel like doing.

I was not really bothered about her for I knew someday she would get what she really wanted. I was just thinking about those girls who were totally devoid of any opportunities to think independently; who were only taught to be subservient not only to man but everything she came across; who were conveniently taught to be a man's woman and not an individual; who could not make a decision  even on her womb.

There were many who got nothing, did nothing and died several times.




Monday, January 3, 2011

Would you believe it?

My blood froze as I listened to him. But from his face I could read that he was not lying or trying to spoof me. Of course, he could not as it was something to do with his late mother.
His mother died of cancer in a hospital and I was really flabbergasted by the rituals they conducted after his mother’s death.

He said it was really an eerie experience. She died in a hospital and as far as their belief goes, it was just the body that could be cremated; the soul was still wandering where she died which needs to be anchored at the earliest. For that they conducted a very strange ritual called “ Chavanappu”.

 A person who is adept in this job is brought and it is he who guides the soul. Firstly, he would make a small effigy out of soil. Then he would start rubbing small sea shells on a sieve. He would also start singing a bizarre song which helped in creating  an atmosphere. The ritual would start from ten in the night and continues till five in the morning. The close relatives of the deceased would be present for the ceremony.

The soul wanders but it can not move about freely .  Where ever it encounters a divine presence (church, temple etc.) and it would get stuck. The person who conducts this ritual called potti would guide the soul to its destination.

The process goes on till the soul reached its objective. When the potti gets the cue that it had already reached he would ask anybody to come forward so that he could guide the soul to enter that person’s body which would make the soul speak through him or her.

My friend said he was the first choice but nothing happened and eventually the soul anchored itself in one of his cousin, a girl of 21 and through her the soul made it clear that she would like to stay with her family and not in any temple.

But I asked myself a few questions.

She loved her son the most. Then why did she choose her niece than her son? Maybe she wanted to see her son, daughter and husband and wanted to talk to them which she could not do if she chose any of the three. I was not superstitious and I did not want to believe it. My logic kept on telling me that it was just a superstition and I think I was right. I made many queries regarding this incident and his sister told me that the girl in whom the soul entered had experienced such attacks before. So that answers my question.

But…

This is a ritual that has been followed by a particular community. So do we have to assume that each family has a person who is not mentally sound?