Wednesday, July 30, 2014


A bit angry, right this minute, for I was at the receiving end of some rather unfair treatment. And in spite of the dangers of using a weblog as a confessional, sometimes, it tempts me.

Oh, not that I stayed quiescent under the lash of ingratitude - I kept quiet because it would not have helped a whit at that moment - but I passed the unpleasantness on, never fear! I scowled at my maid, growled at my father and now as the breath returns to normal and sense overrides indignation, the proper perspective emerges.

I should have come to you first, dear blog. Plus there a couple of things I need to rant about. Today is the day for such a harangue; I can feel it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I'm beginning to really dislike feminists. Super aggro, man-hating, society-reviling feminists who're on the case ALL the time. For heaven's sake, let up sometimes and just be a PERSON, yes?

Edited to add:
That came as a reaction to some very silly and extreme views I encountered here and there. I swear I didn't know this movement was rising:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Naanu hodare...*

I was cleaning out a shelf today and found old letters. We destroyed a majority of our letters and keepsakes last year during a massive cleanup, but these seemed to have survived. Written by me to my sister almost a decade ago, when she spent a few months in Bhopal. Easy to see, in hindsight, the recurrent themes: what films I had seen, where I had been, commentary on friends and associated affairs, an obligatory comment on the downslide in my handwriting, my preoccupations, worries, concerns… same old, same old. It was only a matter of three letters but I grew so tired of this person.

I see with astonishing clarity sometimes that I am a trap.

* The title is from a famous Kannada phrase "Naanu hodare hodenu" attributed to the saint Kanakadasa.

The legend sets the story in a gathering of spiritual seekers presided over by Kanakadasa's master Vyasarajatirtha. The Guru asks Kanakadasa how he fancies the chances of the present gathering in attaining Moksha. For each scholar present, the saint shakes his head, doubting their chances at this final glorious goal. Finally, Kanakadasa is dubious of even the Guru's making it. The seekers are dismayed and angry. What of your own chances of attainment, he is asked. "Naanu hodare hodenu", he replies - translating generally to "I might" but the idiomatic phrase is more literally broken down to "I might go, if I do."

The punny statement is a masterpiece: If the 'I' is dissolved, then yes, I might attain.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Guru Poornima Diary

So excited about Guru Poornima! I can’t explain it but I’ve been waiting for it like one might for one’s birthday. Much is happening today at Isha Yoga Center, and I am not there, alas, but the multi-talented people there are super kind to those of us who live elsewhere: proceedings will be livestreamed and I will catch it online.


I came across the Guru Paduka Stotram a few years ago. It is written by the magnificent Adi Shankara to whom I bow almost as deeply as I do to my Sadhguru. It moves me tremendously, in various ways. I have tried to learn the words and can now join in recitations with some concentration. It is simply gorgeous and it’s going to reverberate all day in my room.

Here is a link to the whole thing: words, meaning and significance.


The feet of the Guru hold immense fascination for the disciple. It seems strange if you look at it, but it is so. As Shankara says: “Nalika nikasa padahrtabhyam...” Feet attractive akin to a bunch of lotuses...

It reminds me of this story that’s told of Amir Khusrau. A poor man, it is said, once came to Nizamuddin Aulia asking for alms. Having nothing at that moment to give, the saint pointed to his rather tattered sandals. The man was disappointed but nevertheless bore them away.

As he left the town, he encountered Amir Khusrau, who was returning from Delhi, his carts, camels and horses laden with royal gifts from the Sultanate. As their paths almost crossed, Khusrau scented his Master. "Bu-e-Shaikh mi aayad,” he muttered,“Bu-e-Shaikh mi aayad!" (I smell my Master, I smell my Master!). Prompted, the man told him how he could only get these sandals from Nizamuddin Aulia.

Khusrau made a trade – he offered the man his entire entourage in exchange for his Pir’s sandals. And then he came home triumphantly holding the sandals on his head. The Pir saw the footwear and asked to be told how. When Khusrau told him the price he had paid for them, Nizamuddin Aulia said: "Arzaan khareedi." (You got them quite cheap).

Saturday, July 05, 2014


This header has done its turn and it is time for something new.

The seasons ought to have segued gracefully… awful summer should have conceded ground to atmospheric monsoons, but we all know how that script went awry. The scene was set, the rains had their cue but they’ve muffed it… the hot days were ready to leave with bang but with the rains nowhere near ready, they’ve had to repeat their lines in declaiming tones, hamming it, with less and less conviction till we find ourselves in that embarrassing space of twiddling our thumbs and waiting for nature to get its act together.

Drought year. How ominous that sounds. But there is hope yet. After July 9, one MET department report said, the rain system will proceed on course. Much damage has been done, of course, but some rain would be better than none at all.

So, when we’ve stopped looking up at the sky, and resigned ourselves to a long wait, it may happen thus:

a tap
on the shoulder —
a raindrop
~Walter Franceschi