Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Pierce -O- Phobia
It was the day before Christmas. My father asked me something, but I barely heard it. I was unusually tensed! My younger sister Diya looked at me and smiled. ‘Don’t worry, Preetha’, she told.
Just then the phone rang. My elder sister was calling to share all the Christmas news. I tried to share her excitement, but not very successfully. To my relief, Diya took the phone away from me. And soon I heard her say, ‘ Oh, nothing happened, Chechi! She is just a little worried. You know, she is going to get her nose pierced today’. I could sense my chechi laugh her heart out at the other end.
My thoughts turned back to that evening about one month back. Chechi and I were at Kosco jewelers and I insisted that I wanted a mookuthi (nose pin). We bought one from the collection they had and soon left for home. We would come back another day to get it fixed on me.
Initially, I was under the assumption that a simple gun shot would do the job. Only later did I realize that this was not possible. Alas, I actually had to get my nose pierced. All the initial excitement vanished. Now I was not so sure that I even wanted a nose pin. Four weeks passed and the pin still remained in my almarah.
Diya pushed my mobile into my hands. Oh ok….it was my cousin! Suddenly I recollected that she had had her nose pierced about 2 years back. That too, at Kosco itself. Who else could help me regain the confidence that I so lacked?!! Contrary to my expectations, she informed me that it took about 1 week for the pain to subside. Her nose had got punctured; it seems, during the mission. I grew double hesitant.
But I also knew that there was no way out. I thought about the N number of things- this ear-ring or that top which I had bought at some exhibitions and which later continued to be conveniently forgotten at some corner of my wardrobe. The same fate for my nose pin too? My parents certainly won’t approve!!!! Sensing my disappointment, my cousin advised to go to Balappat instead of Kosco. The ‘thataan’(goldsmith), there is a veteran, she told. She herself had got her second studs done there and there were no problems then. I was satisfactorily relieved by this explanation. Be it Balappat then, I decided!!
Diya and I reached Balappat by about 11 a.m. They asked us to wait for the thataan. As every minute passed, I grew increasingly tensed. After about 15 minutes, the thataan came. We showed him the pin. ‘So which side do you want to get this fixed?’, he enquired. I looked at Diya startled. To this time, we had thought nothing about it. We tried to recollect the many faces that we had seen. Was it on the right side? Or left?
Finally instead of an answer, I shot a question back. ‘Which side do people usually have their nose pin on?’. This time the thataan seemed confused. He also decided to be clever like me and gave no answer either. Instead, he marked a spot on the left side of my nose with his blue ball pen. Then he offered me a mirror and asked me to check. If I found it OK, he would have the hole made there. I took the mirror from him and looked. Wasn’t the mark a bit too high? Or is it supposed to be there? Confusion! Confusion! We then asked him to make another mark a little down. He willingly obeyed. Ah…. this one seemed better.
I took a few deep breaths, tightened my grip on my sister’s arm and closed my eyes, in preparation to the great event. A few seconds passed. Nothing happened! I opened my eyes. There was the thataan standing in front of me examining something which looked like a needle. Then with a calm expression he remarked, ‘Your skin is thicker than normal. I would go get another needle’.
I was too shocked to even move. The thataan was soon back. I did not scream nor struggle for fear that the thataan might lose his concentration. The only thing that I recollect is a few tears running down my cheeks as the pin pierced right across. A few moments later, Diya wiped off the tears from my face, smiled at me and passed me the mirror. There it was…..the pin…small, round and shining!!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Have you heard of Mozhi?
For those who haven’t yet, Mozhi is an informal group of SunTecians, who love to live responsibly. In their own words, they “mind to read”, “mint words” and “mine wisdom”. In short, the group cares to acquire and share knowledge that could be of pertinent use to themselves and the society.
Adding another angle to their commitment towards themselves, their company and the community they thrive in, they are planning to get together for an activity -- that could mark the beginning of a change in our ‘approach to work and life’, not just literally!
On Sunday, November 9, 2008, they will roll up their sleeves and clean up the sides of the approach road from Kuravankonam Junction to SunTec KK Office. Let’s all be there to give them a hand, from 7 am – 10 am. Let’s talk through our actions!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
During this period as per the custom , nobody was supposed to eat anything during the eclipse time. One should stop taking food at least 2 hours prior to the start of eclipse During the eclipse, nobody was supposed even to drink water. The kitchens were closed till the end of eclipse. No food ( not even dosa or idli batter) would be kept aside for use after grahanam. The only item brought forward through grahanam was curd in which a piece of dhurva pullu was been placed to ward off evil effects. Good thing about is that, this meant that the womenfolk had no kitchen work and could spend time with other family members in relaxation.
No one was not allowed to look at the sun directly. Before sun glass came into use, glass pieces were darkened with the soot from the oil lamp and view the sun through this darkened glass. Another means was to look at the reflection of the eclipsed sun in a decanted solution of cow dung in water.
Also, everyone is supposed to have a dip in river/pond at the start as well as end of the eclipse along with some Vedic chants /prayers (like Mahamrithyunjaya mantram or Ashtaksara Mantra) to ward off the evil effects of the eclipse. Earlier days a dip in river or pond was a must, but today one is supposed to take shower at least.
It is believed that the people on whose birth star the grahanam was falling will have to suffer the ill effects of grahanam. They were also supposed to wear a ‘pattam’, a palm leaf on which some mantras were written to ward off evil effects. They were also hided in closed rooms. Today, wearing pattam is not strictly followed, though the hiding still exists.
During the grahanam all pregnant women were asked to stay inside a dark room, closing the doors and making sure that even a small hole or crack in a window or door was plugged. They sat inside the room all alone during the period of grahanam. It was believed that pregnant women who did not hide during grahanam would deliver children with deformities.
The reason for Hindu temples remain closed during this period and no rituals and pujas are performed might be because ‘Surya’ is an important deity in all rituals and therefore it would be wise to perform the ‘puja’ when Surya is in its full glory.
Explanation for not taking food or refraining from exposure to sun, at the time of grahanam might be because it is said that at this time the most harmful rays from the sun can be seen and absorbed. This can effect the digestive system. (I don’t have any scientific proofs for this, though).