This is something , a very sensitive and quite...( i don't know the exact adjective and adverb to express it more aptly..)delicate part in my life...
As I had been more frequently mentioning about the grandeur of the family and the close knitting of the family and being very orthodox. nevertheless at that time ours, was quite.. sentimental and emotionally... woven family ..!
I - being the last kid..in my family but for the whole family..!in my generations.. there were so many incidents.. that were .. strewn along as beads some shinning and some.. dull and some... not really even worth looking for once..!
My Mom she was quite lean and while I was to be given birth..with my Elder sister and others were with my Dad and Mom had come to the village and there used to be this custom that 5th child birth not be at the husband's place.. and so many incomprehensible.. things.. but it would cast a gloomy sense whenever she relives those.... days of my birth..!
I had always been inquisitive with my Mom that how she had given me such a short name.. -"S..E..K..A..R" that how come I am spared of the family sentiments not carrying any of my Grand Fathers' or Great Grand Father's names ( whenever I meet up with anyone familiar with Indian names.. while I introduce myself.. they would lookup at me as if I had improperly introduced myself by not giving the full name..!Then have to spell out that my name is that is all!... quite strange..)On the day of the delivery.. which was a Tuesday and evening at 9-15 P.M. I was born, after the labor.. my Mom had been sedated and my Granny s had left to refresh themself and they were not around.. As Mom was getting out of her sedation.. the nurse had come down to document the child birth and there were none around and while she saw Mom awake she asked for the name.. without thinking reflexively she said " SEKAR", in such a hurry that Granny s might over hear or they would insist in swearing on me old names.. which she did not prefer.. I came to know that my name was Mom's choice.. which I began cherish thereafter..
Then.. after having the naming ceremony done.. My paternal Granny- had visited some astrologer and he had stated that my star signs were harmful to my Mom and that we cant live under one roof..!hence there was a dilemma for my return to the house then the suggested counteraction for that was that I should be adopted by somebody.. and after that it would be fine... ( I was really surprised by the choice given to the servant maid at our house- SUPAMMA, she was a widow and had a daughter who was also residing in our servant quarters..!)You can say that Supamma was like a Saviour at that moment as the astrologer's prediction was quite serious and frightening, that my Mom would fall sick with incurable diseases , I would bring in disaster, bad luck to the family.. etc., etc.,
Well the day of departure was decided and my Mom carrying me reached home after the rituals- that you will be puzzled.., where we were taken straight away to the temple ( This site is also a remarkable one in my childhood days which I would rather love to share but little later..!)The priest there had a cradle hung, made of my Mom's marriage SILK saree and coir rope in front of the idol.. ( where only the priests are permitted to perform the rituals..)Then Mom, Granny,two of my Aunts ( Dad's Sisters, Supamma and her daughter were witnessing the rituals being conducted.. My Mom was undergoing a turmoil in her, seeing that how I as a new born baby being destined to such rigorous uneventful welcome to the house ad mist the 4 others kids who had been welcomed with all pompous and gaiety in life..( My Mom would lament that this was counter balanced by the Royal presence ( The Maharajah of Mysore) on the occasion of my ear piercing that was held at Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, It seems that I was seated on my uncle's lap and the function was getting through.. It will be always quite grand within the family in such occasions with drum beats and scores of relatives witnessing the event... seeing the huge gathering at the temple but not at the shrine .. incidentally the Mahrajah who had happened to be there, seeing the festive mood amongst gathering was curious about the happening.. stopped over with his entourage at the time of ear piercing, had his courtesans play the royal blessing music for me and he blessed me and left..!)
The rituals were completed and the priest came out of the shrine holding me in his hand and knowing our family as one of the guardians of the temple...( My grand Father was the person who was instrumental in getting that temple being constructed by getting the approval from Britishers who were ruling those days , organizing the committee and managing and up keeping of the temple..)He with inexplicable emotions held me to my Mom and said.. hold the child on your left hand and demanded who is going to get me adopted..then Supamma came forward.. The priest said..well then, he gave a small discourse of the parental rights and said to her to give some valued possessions of her's in exchange of the child...( I had read fairy tales about "Adoptions" - while the couples who go for adoption, for the want of a child one would barter scores of wealth like property, gems, gold, money..)..She having not anticipated that.. looked unperturbed, casually said to her daughter and whizzed onto her ears and she left the place.. meanwhile she demanded other rites to be performed..Meanwhile my Mom was all tears undergoing such horrid experience that had never had come across in her life..The priest on completing the remaining rituals then again demanded that the barter be completed..Supamma's daughter came in with a cane basket that held " TWO MEASURES OF HUSK...!!!!"She proclaimed that , that was most valuable thing she has then.... My Granny with remorse emotions.. took the lead, plucked me from the priest's hand and thrust me into Supamma's hand and grabbed the cane basket and shoved it over to my Mom.. all happening in a wink of the time ..
Then all walked out of the temple and as we were nearing the temple entrance.. Granny said to Supamma to declare.that she had adopted me but letting me to be raised by my Mom.. and never ever she would claim having any rights over me there after..!This was being staged amidst the priest and some other public as witness...!
Well it would rather appear.. little too strange.. wherein we see around us the evolution of culture,advancing of science, technology...none has overtook the nature.. as, I ,as a witness had seen Supamma.. a lady strong willed, balance minded healthy individual slowly wilting away and vanishing from the real world to virtuality as all her good aspects taking the antonymic effects and eventually perishing ... At times I would really feel guilty for this individual who had volunteered to bear the negative aura that resulted by the timing of my entry into this materialistic world..
And unfortunately tagged my worth to be just "TWO MEASURES OF HUSK!!!!"