Monday, August 22, 2011

When Lord Krishna visited my home

Yesterday was Krishna Janmashtami. Long time back at one of my friend's house I was fascinated when I saw her making little footprints with her fist using kumkum, leading allover her house. When asked, she said this was one of their custom, where it  represented little Krishna's foot steps. I was fascinated by this.

When my children were small, I wanted to create this magic for them.That was the age when they were so much into mythgological stories and Krishna was their favourite God.That night as I left their bedroom I  hinted that for all they know Krishna might even come and visit them.That night I made little footprints leading from the prayer room to the kids room.The next morning, both the kids came running into my room yelling excitedly that there are footprints of Krishna in their bedroom and that Krishna had come to see them. I felt very happy and shared their enthusiasm.

The next year on the day of Janmashtami, they were totally excited and asked me if Krishna would visit them again just like the previous year? I told them if they wanted him to come he will definitely do so. Then they had a brain wave. Since it was his birthday they had to give him gifts! So I could hear serious discussion between both of them as to what gift they should give. Finally I think both of them reached a conclusion and after some time I saw two bowls of their favourite Cadbury eclairs being kept below Lord Krishna's Idol. That night again I made the footprints and also took some chocolates out of the bowl . As anticipated both of them got up real early in the morning with joyous shouts at seeing the footprints. When they saw some chcolates missing both of them were awestruck and told me Krishna had eaten their chocolates.

Later in the day I could hear my younger son telling with great gusto to everyone as to how he saw Lord Krishna come into his bedroom and how he had seen him eat the chocolates. Each time the story was repeated, it kept getting longer with lot more creativity and imagination. I was happy and amused.

A couple more years it continued. My sons had grown a little older by now. I now saw my elder son giving me knowing smile and  winks whenever I enthused about the visit of Krishna. I could however see he was still trying to make up his mind whether it was real or not.

Then one of the years I hit upon the idea of making the footprints with lipstick as it was much easier. Now my younger son got up that morning and all was quiet. I did not hear the usual whoop of joy and was wondering what was happening? After some time he came down and told me 'Mamma, I know you made those footprints'. I asked him why he thought so? He said that he had smelt the footprints and it smelt of lipstick (I know children are curious, but smelling the footprints? Beats me). I told him that might be the smell of alta the red colour that Krishna generally applies on his feet. I could see that he was not quite satisfied. I knew that my children were now growing up and were slowly stepping out of their imaginary world.

Now the time has come where both my sons tell me that they know the truth.Well the truth might have been out of the bag, but I think I will continue doing it. Why? I guess life has to have some magical moments, don't you think? And for me, it was that day early in the morning when my kids got up to the joy of seeing the footprints for the first time and telling me with great faith that little Lord Krishna had come home visiting them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Choco - block

Today my younger son got ready to go to school and as is his custom, he perused the whole world ie. the news paper. First comes the sports page (Thank God! the main news makes for a morose start of the day) and then he takes a bird's eye view of the happenings in the rest of the world by reading the headlines. As I was busy packing what I thought was a nutritious meal (which according to them is the most boring stuff), I heard a loud chuckle and he came to the kitchen excitedly. I wondered if his favourite football player Torres had made a grand opening in his first match in his new home team....but no, that was not the reason for all this sudden excitement as he announced in a very grand manner, his tone displaying the 'I knew it all along', kind   'mama, it says here 'Chocolate healthier than fruits'.

Is he kidding? I know he is a great chocoholic. He pointed the article with great glee to me. I read it and I pointed out to him that it also says here that , I quote, 'the findings do not alter the fact that their favourite is high in fat and sugar, meaning dieticians say it should be balanced with less yummy foods such as brown rice and pulses'. So I tried hard telling him that chocolate might be healthy, but it should still be eaten in moderation. Anything eaten in moderation is always good. But suddenly he pretended to be hard of hearing and declared that from then on he would eat chocolates instead of fruits!! I was left with more of my speech on the positive benefits of eating healthy food unsaid and unheard as he opened Cadbury Silk and took a generous bite of it to demonstrate the study was indeed the final word in the matter.

I sighed, thinking how selective we all are in hearing and choosing what we want to do. I know for a fact that in another few weeks time there will be another study refuting the claim of this study but the damage would have already been done and my son would 'chocoliciously' be eating his chocolate.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meaning of freedom for each one of us..

As we celebrate our 65th Independence Day, we know that the oppressive rule of the British is well and truly behind us. And we have to be thankful to each and every well known as well as the countless anonymous people of this country who struggled tirelessly to ensure their children and grandchildren lived in a better India.

But in the current scenario would this still be significant? So then what would freedom mean in today's context I wondered?

In rural India,

are our farmers today free of the vagaries of nature and from the clutches of the money lenders?

are the hardworking womenfolk in our rural areas free from the domineering menfolk who take away all their earnings?

are they free from having to walk miles to get a couple of pots of water?

And in semi-urban and urban India,

do BPL families have the freedom to enjoy three healthy meals a day, a good education, and proper health care facilities?

has the nation progressed enough to stop begging on the streets?

have we done enough to free ourselves from the virus of corruption?

Yes - we are free from the foreign rule but unfortunately, we continue to be slaves. Of a different kind.

Slaves to our work.
To our money.
To the luxuries the money brings.
To the mall culture.
To the brands we like to wear.
To the notion that bigger is better - bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger holidays and bigger everything.

When will we gain independence from the corruption of the mind? Will we ever?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Adieu dear Harry Potter

Well the first time I had an inkling about a boy wizard called 'Harry Potter' was sometime in the year 1998. We had gone to one of our friends' place for dinner and our friend's son who was all of nine was reading a book. He was so very engrossed that nothing disturbed him. I was very curious to know what book it was and when asked his father said 'Harry Potter'.

At that time I did not really think much about it. Growing on books like Grimms fairy tales, Aesop's Fables, Enid Blyton I was busy collecting those for my child who was just about three then. However Harry Potter burst into our lives when the series was made into movies and I bought the set of first four books.

The first time I read the books I got totally immersed into Harry's magical world. My household chores  got done in a jiffy that even Molly Weasley with all her magic spells used, to cook and clean was outdone by me. After this I was  invisible to all, just as Harry was with his invisible cloak. Oh!!! what a world of enthrallment as I stepped into Hogwarts - the school of magic. It was the kind of school that I had always dreamt about. Applauding Harry during his Qudditch games, traversing along with him on his journey into the world of unknown dangers and coming out victorious against the Dark Lord by sheer courage, trust and love as his only weapons. Now with the series finally lowering its curtains for the last time, it is difficult to bid adieu to a friend with whom I have travelled together for such a long time.

My children especially my younger son, is so much into Harry Potter that he is reading each of the books umpteen number of times and has almost all the book by heart (I wish if this was their English text books all the children might have scored a perfect century each time). Now every moment I have to defend myself from his spells which are cast on me. The moment I ask him to study he 'Stupefies' me, when I ask him to pass on something he cries out  'Accio', when he wants to be left alone he 'Obliviates' me. So I have my own Potter at home. All the pages in his books have pictures of the Elder Wand, the symbol of Deathly Hallows, the Sword of Gryffindor and finally Harry himself. At school they have quiz competitions amongst their friends. To beat it all he has now ordered his grandfather to read Harry Potter!!!

This is what I say is the powerful magic of Harry Potter who has spun magic and enchanted young as well as old alike in his dare devil adventure. It is with great sadness that I bid adieu to Harry who will always remain a part of our lives.