Kishkindha Kant: Fourth Sopan-1

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Kundendivarsundaravathibalau Vigyanadhamavubhai

Shobhadyo varadhaninyou shrutinithou Govipravndapriyou/

Mayamanusharoopinau Raghuvarau sadharmavarmau hitau

Sitaneshwanatatparau padhigatau bhaktipratau tau hi nah//

 

Like a star jasmine flower(Kunda pushpa) and the blue water lily( neel kamal)- coloured fair and dusky, extraordinarily strong, epitome of learning, radiant, gifted archers, praised by the Vedas, loved by people and animals, in the Maya form of a human being, wearing the armour  for maintaining divine Dharma, well wisher to all, focused in the search for Sitaji, in the form of travellers (we find) both these fine princes of  Raghu clan- SriRam and Lakshman!May we be bestowed with devotion to them.

*

Brahmashambovisamudravam kalimalapradhwamsanam chavyayam

Srimatshambumukhendrasundaravare samsobhitam sarvada/

Samsaramayabheshagyam sukhakaram Srijanakijeevanam

Dhanyaste kritinaha pibanthi satatam Sriramanamamritam//

That soul is blessed, who is constantly drinking the amrit( nectar) of Sriram’s name: He who destroys the dirt in the minds of those living in Kaliyug(  the yug or aeon in turn  having been created by the churning the ocean of Vedas), indestructible,lighted up by the beautiful and radiant moonlight of Lord Shiva’s grace, the medicine to the never ending death- birth cycle,giver of joy to all, and the very life of Janaki( so beloved to Sitaji).

*

Mukti janma mahi jaani gyan khani agh haani kar/

Jah basu Sambhu Bhawani so Kasi seyia kas na//

Where Shiv and Parvati reside- that Kashi- knowing that it is the birthplace of liberation ( mukti from worldly tangles), treasury of wisdom, and destroyer of all sins- why not be devoted to it?

**

 

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Chasing Christie

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My little girl asks me whether I can guess who the murderer happens to be.   I am yet to finish the book. The novel is ‘Sleeping Murder’ by Agatha Christie. I have experienced enough of this world and read enough of Dame Christie to venture a serious guess even at the middle of the book. I suggest a name and she sniffs: ‘ So you did read the ending!’ I laugh.

I tell her that Winston Churchill had guessed the murderer by the middle of  the play ‘Mousetrap’. His wife Clementine apparently sniffed:’Of course not!’ Guess who turned out right at the end. Yes, your hunch is as good as mine.

The fan club of Miss Marple is steadily increasing in my home. From Bertram’s Hotel to A pocket full of rye, Miss Marple’s sharp brain has my child fascinated. And I am glad.

Miss Marple  subtly teaches the importance of  classical literature to young readers. From the Duchess of Malfi to The Lady of Shallot, there is a  literary clue in each of her books for the prescient reader. And a practical approach to life and love and all that is good and bad. I find Miss Marple formidably intelligent when it comes to second guessing human nature with all its foibles.

I tell my kid that her granddad introduced me to Agatha Christie. I was thirteen. She laughs that Amma was too old when she started Miss Marple. I agree humbly.

She knows all about the episode of Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance and come back. She had watched it in a Doctor Who episode. I let her interpretation stay magical.

‘Which is your favourite Miss Marple novel?’ She is quizzical now.

Without a moment’s hesitance I answer: ‘ The mirror crack’d from side to side.’ I have loved the book and all the various visual depictions of that true classic.

‘ I liked it too.’ She nods her head.

Great.

‘ May the old dames win’, I grin.

**

Jumping From A Branch…

The artist says that it is a joy to design the book. For me it is a blessing to have been a part of its creation. Hanumanji is all about  total detachment, absolute joy, perfect strength,  and total surrender to the Lord’s will.

My favourite lines:

Sakha mrig ke badi manusayi

Sakha tem sakha par jayi

Naghi sindhu hatakpur jaara

Nisichar gan badhi bipin ujaara

So sab tav Pratap Raghurai

Nadh na kacchu mori prabutai…

That a monkey like me can jump from one branch to another is  itself a big deal-akin to  Purushartha- Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha…That I could jump across the ocean, burn the golden city, kill the Rakshasas and uproot Ashokvatika- all these are, My Lord, a manifestation of Your glory, there is nothing great about my role herein.

Walking in Beauty

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She is bubbling with her enthusiasm about Mathematical Physics. Half of what she is  telling me- especially about  the Calculus classes -goes above my head. I watch her animated face as she speaks about a senior who is enrolling for a Masters in Perimeter Institute, Canada ( her dream) and has deferred his PhD admission to Stanford by a year. “One day, Amma, I will be there!” I have absolutely no doubt that she speaks her destiny.

‘My child, I wish to tell her, keep this faith alive. For every naysayer who had dissuaded your dreams in a thousand ways by not supporting you, by laughing at girls dreaming big, by mocking you for ‘not fitting in’, you have always had those few critical people who stood by you like a rock. In life, for every hundred people who could not care less about you, you will find one  genuine well wisher. That solid love is more than what the little green sapling needs to thrive in this world. Every battle won with sweat and tears of dedication creates way for a wonderfully tasting feast of celebration. But the warrior needs rest and recuperation too.

Do not get caught in the fancy trappings of what ‘success’ is acclaimed to be by the world. The quiet scientist who toils away in her laboratory and advances the cause of Science, leads a life which illuminates the way for humankind. Perhaps her coat is stained and sweaty. Perhaps it is not. Perhaps she is not known outside her circle. Perhaps she is.  These are irrelevant.What matters is that when she sleeps at night, there is a joy of having another beautiful day to wake up to and live her dream.

May learning light up your way. May your dreams come true. May you remain humble and grounded. May you always think of leaving this world a better place with the gifts that you were born with. May you follow your bliss and your true calling. May the right teachers appear at the appropriate time. May you always remain my bubbling and happy child.

Tremendously grateful for the gift of hearing you passionately describe your Calculus classes and your wonderful professors. Stay blessed. May your light brighten the life of all whom you meet in your life path.’

‘Amma, you are not actually listening!’ She pouts.

I smile. ‘ Your Amma still has nightmares about her engineering maths.’

‘ Yes! You should have studied Byron instead. No issues! Ok so you know what professor…’

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of countless climes and starry skies

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes…

Ahhhh, Byron. You did get that one right.

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