Monthly Archives: April 2011

several things made me sad today…

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~ i heard of sai baba’s passing away. am not a devotee or a believer. but very strangely. three nights ago he appeared in my dream. not as a spiritual leader in saffron, but as an ordinary man.
“do you know what a toll it takes on my body when people ask me to predict the future?” are the words he spoke in my dream. i didnt think too much of it. i just let it go, then.

my prayers are with the families of my friends for whom the baba showed the way.RIP

~ I met a woman who is a school teacher at a government school in the outskirts of chennai. and she told me many things…
That she teaches five sections. and there are 108 children in class XI in one class. the class with the minumum strength has 72 children.

she had to pay a bribe of Rs. 3 lakh to get this job.

That a physical education teacher ticked off a student, and told her to tie up her hair, last year. the girl committed suicide the next day citing in a note that the teacher humiliated her.

that the oldest boy in her class is 21 years old, having failed four times.

a class seven student drinks and smokes because he’s the one who is sent out to buy the stuff for his dad every night. his dad is a coollie.

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the song

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This is in the midst of chapter 10 of the bhagavad gita. I loved these verses and their translation very much. The translation is by Paramahansa Yoganananda.

They appealed to many parts of me: folklorist, the little girl who heard all her mythology from her grandpa and her great grandpa, the still in the closet fan of lists and bullet points, the very armchair literature lover…

(I tried googling another translation of these verses. I didnt find something I liked. so i keyed it all in for you…)

Krishna replies to Arjuna who wants to know what in forms to recognise Him.

my favourite verses:

Among the adityas (twelve effulgent beings) I am Vishnu; among luminaries, I am the radiating sun; among the Maruts ( forty-nine wind gods), I am Marichi; among heavenly bodies, I am the moon.

Among the Vedas, I am the Sama Veda; among the gods I am Vasava (indra); among the senses I am mind (manas); in creatures, I am the intelligence.

Of the Rudras (eleven radiant beings) I am (their leader) Shankara (“the well wisher”); of the Yakshas and Rakshasas (astral demi-goblins), I am Kubera (lord of riches); of the Vasus (eight vitalizing beings), I am Pavaka (the god of fire, the purifying power), and of mountain peaks, I am Meru.

And O Arjuna, understand Me to be the chief among priests, Brihaspati; among generals, I am Skanda; among expanses of water, I am the ocean.

Of the Maharishis (mighty sages), I am Bhrigu; among words I am the one syllable Aum; among yajnas (holy ceremonies) I am japa-yajna (silent, superconscious chanting); among stationary objects, I am the Himalaya.

Among all trees, I am the Ashvattha (the holdy fig tree); among the devarishis (divine sages) I am Narada; among the gandharvas (demi gods) I am Chitraratha; among the siddhas (successful linerated beings), I am the muni (saint) Kapila.

Among stallions, know me to be the nectar-born Uchchaihshravas; among elephants, Indra’s white elephant Airavata; and among men, the emperor.

Among weapons, I am the thunderbolt; of bovines, I am Kamadhuk (the celestial cow that fulfils all desires). I am Kandarpa (the personifies creative consciousness), the cause of childbirths; and i am Vasuki among serpents.

I am Ananta (the eternal one) among the Naga serpents; I am Varuna (god of the ocean) among water creatures; I am aryama among Pitrs (ancestral parents); I am Yama (god of death) among controllers.

Among the Daityas (demons and giants), I am Prahlada; among measures I am time; among the animals, I am the king of beasts (the lion); and among birds, I am Garuda (“lord of the skies, vehicle of Vishnu)

there is more…

will key in the rest tomorrow?

the gal from gol

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we are planning a blogger’s meet when Aneela’s here.

we are competing for a trophy given by the Goddess of Social Midgets it would seem…

Excerpts from emails exchanged:

me to her:

“i am also VERY NERVOUS about meeting you in Kuala Lumpur. May be I’ll send my socially adroit friend who can pretend to me, and you’ll never be the wiser…
we can have a yummy lunch at annalakshmi all vegetarian stuff… or have tea at home or something if your schedule permits it.”

and why aneela is from a really gol kamra

her mail to me:

“I think my breezy writing hides my social awkwardness… you must have meant my sister when you wrote socially adroit. I do have an idea why dont I get my sister to fly down to KL and she meets your friend at annalakshmi so technically on paper it is a successful blog meet .. we could meet on the sidelines for tea so we can blunder about and no one knows the better!”

LoL! or what?

new school

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nine days in the new school.

~ ma. there’s a boy called “anu-rat” (i think he meant anurag ) and there’s one called “ara-win” (aravind). hopeless. fb needs a crash course in indian names.

~ the mmmim deputed a standard two student, R, to guide fb to the classroom from the gate on the first few days. (it was R’s old classroom last year) both got lost.

~ fb is pained by the size of the lunch box of a classmate. it hurts his psyche. he believes that brevity is the soul of eating.

~ a la airport transfer, there’s a van transfer. fb and friends get off one van and change into another before he gets home. and the school is less than 2 kms away.

~ mornings are on f.f.f.fast fwd. if i stop to sneeze then someone is delayed by an hour.

~ fb’s class teacher looked about eight years old, nine max. she’s small and smiley. god bless.

~ he has a gash on his hand and one his foot from running and failing to catch up with the children who were running to catch up with the other children who were running to the tamil class.

~ fb’s hand got stamped on by a classmate who was eager to get to the other side. he has a van-mate who said “i will kill you”. he has a new friend who hugged him because they both have a common friend in the neighbouring section.

welcome to primary school.

old school.

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it was the last day at his old pre-school. we had small presents for all his teachers, the kitchen staff and a shirt for the security guard. I went along to help him deliver the goodies…

how much i would have missed if i hadnt gone inside…

a most non-solemn assembly. of about 100 ( 3, 4, 5 and 6 year olds ) fiddling, fidgeting and standing in a square, trying to be still. one wandered off and sat on the swing.

two years ago. and i was thinking… if that child would have been firstborn? nope.
he would be the child who wandered to the washroom and pulled out 456 sheets of tissues, before the teacher found him.

and then i remember thinking is 3 too early for firstborn? the child, was spending more time in the school’s loo rather than in the classroom.
should i pull him out of the school?
I am glad he stayed on …

~ it was a place where the teacher presented the student with a box of homemade cookies every deepavali,
~ here he learned to say ‘pardon me’, count in mandarin, and say a grace before lunch
~ he learned to look after and be protective of a friend
~ where every teacher knew that he was vegetarian, because he repeated it one too many times
~ where he was pooh poohed by a bossy 4 year old van-friend who told him that armpads while swimming was only for babies
~ where he was poked by a pin by a classmate and fb was quite amazed that pins could be put to that kind of use as well…
~ where he learned to somersault
~ where he leaned to write his name first in capital letters, and then mixed em up, and now he’s sure which side the “d” in his name has to face
~ where he cried because he had to wear make-up on the annual day
~ where almost every child’s last name was darling
~ where he met his first set of real life twins
~ where some children ate rice in school. fb is horrified.

I watched. standing beside the child on the swing. firstborn was standing next to the flagpost. and soon this came on …

and firstborn singing the national anthem slowly and steadily hoisted the Malaysian flag, as all his schoolmates and teachers sang along.