Samvedana and Other Snippets


Certain places drain me, certain people too.  Seeing me sapped after such pertinent encounters, and making excuses to recuperate, my daughters joke that their mother is over the hill already; the elder one telling me that she can actually visualise me in a rocking chair with a black cat by my side. True to character, of course. Mine, not hers.

And then, without the cat by my side, I settle myself in a comfortable sofa and stare at the sunlight outside- wondering why the energy has started resonating with others’ own.

I get put off with artificial people and surroundings. People who say one thing and mean another. Environments where what is valued is not what I value. Those who jump in to judge, without having a clue about the truth. And those who do not understand the word-‘No.’ Among others…


Little daughter is amused at the fact that her mother can cook. She hardly gets to see that back home. There, I am perpetually running.

“It is actually edible,” quoth she!

High praise indeed.

“C’mon, it is not that bad. It is good,” says my loyal first born.

“Cooking is a creative process. What do you want next? Chicken or egg?”

That sets them off.When the discussion, careening from chicken feed,  reaches the need for roughage in diet, and the various Veggies that can be of use in the context, I grin conspiratorially.

“Guess what’s for dinner?”

They groan. Cabbage by any other name smells just as unappetising.

But there is something inherently calming about cooking. Maybe it is the  wide choice of ingredients, the choice of timing and mixing them. Each permutation ends up with a different result. Fascinating, if you actually ruminate on that aspect.


“Amma, start some new project,” advises my  younger daughter. She is tired of being my  exclusive current project . The other one, has happily escaped into a picturesque campus and is enjoying her freedom.

Apparently, there is nothing more irritating, than to be taught Hindi by someone whose pronunciation leaves much to be desired. But there are portions to be covered.

A cough. Then…

“What is samvedana?”

“Sensitivity…tolerance, empathy…read the context first…”I suggest.

“Which of these? And how do you know?” She asks, genuinely surprised.

“Argh! Show some of it to your poor mother. I have used it in speeches.”

She makes an unconvincing sound of  acknowledgement.


I close my eyes. I see a rocking chair, a black cat, streaming sunlight.

Time to start another project. This time, a translation from Hindi perhaps? At least, I will garner some learning  in Hindi and consequent respect from a significant young member of my family. Someone who palpably lacks samvedana as of now!




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