Saturday, 5 April 2008
When ignorance gets started it knows no bounds
The weather here-( London) is getting to be Spring... having experienced the snowfall for the second consecutive year.. though not a long one.. Yet it was quite an experience.I, having come from, a place where we have experience of only 2 seasons: SUMMER & WINTER for the last 3 decades.., one can say that, drastic changes in.. Increase in population, transformation of cultivating lands, river beds, lakes, seashore and most of the vegetative lands to the habitat of the ever growing human population and its demand for shelters. The process has been breaking the natures cycle -chain and ironically- the politicians and bureaucrats have ignored to act by their professional ethics..have engrossed with obsession for personal wealth and power has led to the present erosion of the 4 seasoned land become a bi-seasonal land..
Yes it was one of those winterly evening, where all of us at home were behaving to be busy with our chores..As we kids while our parents were away we always be a challenge to our Sister - Chandra! and since we were studying in an Anglo-Indian school, it was a real nightmare for my Sister to make us learn our mother tongue language- TAMIL..and incidentally.. Raja went away unscathingly as he had chosen to study.. HINDI as his second language.. except my Dad, non were acquainted with that language. Since Dad was never around.. he had his way out to mock at us.. whenever we sit to learn.. he always picks up his Hindi book by which none can monitor him..!Bala : he was hard working but always mediocre in his results..Me:.. for a kid in 2nd standard there were never a comparisons but well, my classmates and ironically our neighbors.. and fortunately.. I used to abreast with them ...
Diwali time - our term exams would fall around the same time..! The custom of celebrating Diwali is by bursting crackers, getting new dresses and assortment of sweets that will be cherished even months after the Diwali..We kids will be so excited that we in the colony would sit around discuss, in whose house we had the maximum of crackers were burst and we also would have the list of crackers and debate and argue which family did the best of the celebration.. and at the end of the day.. we all group up and visit everyones' fence to evaluate the quantity of the burst ed cracker papers to gauge the might of celebration..
On one such occasion.. Bala and Raja had miserably faired in the previous exams and our term exam was due the very next day after Diwali... Chandra was quite furious and upset.. and incidentally Mom & Dad had been out of the house.. We guys though physically present holding the books but our heart were on the crackers that were stored in the cupboard.. and we literally had our palms hitching to go out and have a go at the crackers to boast to our friends that we have the maximum crackers and also the big ones..
The whole colony was in festive mood.. the walls were reverberating with the sound of bursting crackers.. the pet dog was hurdling inside the kennel.. and the whole place was getting engulfed with smoke and that sulphurous smell.. of the crackers..!
Chandra had drawn the line for us that only after completing the revision and answering the questions we were allowed to touch the crackers..
You can assume.. how punishing it would be for us.. it was really testing us.. Bala got frustrated.. Raja was trying all his tricks up his sleeves to impress Chandra to permit us to go for bursting the crackers.. You know Chandra was one real hard nut.. she would never go back on her decision..!The clock was ticking and through the window we could the kids in the neighborhood were all in full glee.. and the echo of the crackers bursting was mocking at us..As a kid in 2nd standard.. I had nothing big to recite.. except some poetry.. My Granny was pleading Chandra to let us go as it was not fare to hold us back on such auspicious day.. Then Chandra gave us a chance stating that for every question we answere depending on the size we would get a cracker..it used to be nightmare for us- brothers to cross the hurdles posted by Chandra in such occasions..she always sees to that we do what she wanted us to do!!
Later, after a couple of days the temple priest who always pays a visit to our house.. was cycling by and it was little dark we were playing sitting on the swing in the veranda.. , this person stopped by and Raja was always naughty as the priest was dressed in a dhoti and a turban.. he had bundled and tied his hair.. which in normal circumstances only ladies will have such long hair.. ( In our school, while this priest crosses by all used to make fun of hi m calling..KOTHAMALLI KATTU- means.. bunch of coriander- referring to his hair style..he too would never take it sportingly.. would drag the kid who uttered those words straight to the principle and gets him punished..)was telling my sister.. " Chandra Kothamalli Kattu has come..!" this person overheard him , was furious.. yet he seeing my sisters he said.. "Do you know Thirupavai- Thiruvempa?"
This is a collection of 30 versus of poems sung by Andaal- in praise of Lord Perumal- a reincarnation of Lord Krishna, These songs are sung during the Tamil month- Margazhi ( Which falls during mid Dec.incidentally rainy season )in the early morning hours throughout the month. Particularly young girls who are yet to get married.
These are collective folk songs sung by young girls while playing and dancing in olden days.In which they sing songs in praise of various incarnation of Lords and their valor against the "adhrma", beauty, kindness etc.
Raja being curious.. barged in and said," Are they in "A" section or "B" section in the school...The priest was stumped for a while.. as he did not understand what Raja said.. he again repeated.. his question to my sisters as he wanted them to come to the temple and take part in the morning prayers..
Raja adamantly repeated.. ," Are they studying in A section or B section in our school and in which standard..!"
The priest said, " I have come to the wrong place or is it my bad time.. you kids do not know Thirupa and Venba..! Oh Lord save these ignorant kids..!" he turned and pedaled away without looking back..
Raja was be smalled and we all burst into laughter.. and we used to make fun of him by asking.. ," What Raja - A section or B section!" he would get wild at us and get into a scuffle with us..