Temples and Rituals
Good Morning I find the responses on change in the format of Collage interesting and encouraging. I'll consider all suggestions received from all sources till July 31, 2020 and take a call. M G Warrier Prayer https://youtu.be/25YCfRo2b3E Warrier's Collage 28072020 : Rituals and Temples A Interaction 1) K Ramasubramanian, Mumbai " Many suggestions are emerging. Warrier, you may go ahead with your pattern till August and from September onwards after due incorporation of all suggestions and interaction a new format can start. Still many have further views to present." 2) Shivram G Shetty, Ex-RBI, Mumbai " Fond memories of my half a decade long association in eighties with Mr. C.V.Subbaraman as Dy.Controller, ECD, A'bad where I was posted, rekindled. Thanks for your Collage." (Such reunions are also part of Collage's agenda. Now CVS Sir is in his "eighties" Warrier) 3) S Nallasivan Hyderabad "Maharaja and Payasam story remind one of the Birbal fable, Brinjal and the Badsha Akbar. Once, Akbar was talking about brinjals with Birbal. He said that it is a delicacy and also contains multiple nutritious elements in it. Birbal agreed to this notion and in response, he sang two songs in praise of the vegetable- brinjal. Yes, the Brinjal is the only vegetable that has a crown like his emperor and easily the head of all vegetables. One should be in awe as the Brinjal is the only vegetable that comes in multiple shapes and sizes and attractive colours too. After a few days, the chef in the royal kitchen prepared brinjal curry. Being served, Akbar refused to eat the curry and said it was a tasteless vegetable which lacked nutrition and was full of seeds. He then asked the chef to serve it to Birbal, but Birbal too refused to accept it in his plate. And told how the vegetable looked ugly with a head and do not adhere to a standard size and shape never remained loyal to the family as for its shape and size and no uniformity in colours too The king did not understand and asked Birbal why he didn’t eat the vegetable for which he sang two songs earlier. He answered that the praise for the vegetable was because of the compliments his King made about brinjal that day. And the same is the condition for his refusal this day, which happens to be, his King criticism for the vegetable. Adding to the statement Birbal said that he was devoted to his Emperor, not the vegetable. The brinjal could at no circumstance make him a reverend, even after a long list of appreciation. S.Nallasivan" 4) V Babusenan Thiruvananthapuram "Years ago, our Professor-cum-Poet O.N.V.Kurup penned a song for a Malayalam play which became an instant hit. The first lines of this song,roughly translated, will read thus: "You sweet memories Bring the palanquin Decorated with flowers And take us to that shade Of the mango tree." They say this song later became the anthem of the international society of diabetics(?). No wonder. We, chronic diabetics , derive vicarious delight from a sadya and so, if I dwell longer on the subject of a delicious meal, I may rightly be pardoned. Now, let me take you to the 18th century when the famous Murajapam was instituted in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. It is a grand festival wherein the Vedas will be chanted uninterruptedly for 56 days, once in six years, by qualified persons. That apart, it was a gourmand's cloud nine and a gourmet's delight for a couple of months. The Maharaja who started Murajapam used to watch incognito the sadyas so as to get first-hand information about the eaters'response. One day he happened to overhear the talk of two friends partaking the sadya.One said to the other: "I have not eaten such a delicious meal in my life." "No doubt, it is delicious" the other replied "but it is not perfect. If it is to be perfect, it should serve the mango pickle from the misshapen porcelain jar belonging to the Pandanparambil mana. I shall tell you the story: "This mana is on the coastal area. On one stormy night, there was a loud knocking on the door. When the Namboodiri opened the door. He met a shipwrecked Chinese captain who sought the former's help to keep a few jars filled with toor dal in safe custody. This was done. Life went too bad for the Namboodiri. One day when there was nothing to eat, the Antharjanum( Namboodiri's wife) opened one jar to take some toor dal. She found to her surprise that the jar was full of gold coins. They took a few coins. When the bad days were over and prosperity returned, they replaced the coins. The Chinese captain came back to claim his jars. In gratitude he presented them a porcelain jar saying: 'Though this is a misshapen jar, if you make mango pickle in it, it will be unique.' It is that pickle I want." The Maharaja secretly arranged for that pickle. He stood behind the friends on the day it was served and felt very happy at the response: "Today, the sadya is perfect." Regards." (I have heard from my father that his father and other Namboodiris from Payyanur used to walk for weeks, halting in between, visiting temples etc and reach Trivandrum for participating in Murajapam. Thanks, Warrier) 5) R Narayanan, Thiruvananthapuram " There is no need to trim the size of Collage. You are including various subjects in a systematic manner and readers are finding it easy to select the subject of their liking. In fact, there is not much items to skip, once you start reading them." 6) R Jayakumar, Mumbai "Thank you for forwarding the link to Malabar Hills, Mumbai. Though residing here for over fifty years I never tried to find out why this place is known as Malabar Hills. So this place was once possessed by a Muslim Keralite family. Glad to know this history. The name Malabar was very popular during my school days too. Every one feared the involvement of Malabar Special Police in any crime, because the criminal would be caught 100%. Many short stories in Tamil mentioned the name of Malabar Special Police as the one only next to Scotland Yard Police in crime investigation. You have not mentioned about this truth anywhere. Was it a myth! R Jayakumar" (Thanks. Yes, MSP has a separate status and history. Not a myth : 1 https://keralapolice.gov.in/page/malabar-special-police 2 HTTPS://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malabar_Special_Police Forgot to mention about this- Warrier) 7) S M Sendil "Our decade old group mail interaction has been added with this collage format, by you. Interesting model. I find enthusiastic responses from many seniors. I know you are responsive to almost all mails, and that too promptly, and that is a desirable trait expected of readers. Today, I too enjoyed the Palpayasam despite the Maharaja telling it tastes bitter! Sendil" (Thanks SendilJi. I feel guilty for not being able to do justice to the email inbox, Warrier) Note : Only select responses included here- Warrier B Rituals 1) The ancient Indian morning routine https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-ancient-indian-morning-routine/ Interesting article. You can be selective in following! 2) 5 temples short-listed Watch "5 Most Mysterious Temples in India" https://youtu.be/70VwtYu5JHA Watch this video. If you have not already visited any of these worship sites, you will long to, and the deity there will ensure your safe travel to reach there, when He/She wants you there. I visited Guwahati on a short official trip during 20th Century. While returning, in the Airport, there was a long wait. A stranger came and started talking to me. He asked me whether I visited Kamakhya Temple. When I said I was traveling alone and due to time constraints, I didn't, he expressed surprise and, as if confiding a secret, said in a low voice : "Then, Mr Warrier, you'll have to come back to Guwahati, just for that." I trust him. Later Bank denied me a Guwahati posting when I requested and pressurised me to go to some other Centre. Still later, when I managed to get a transfer order to Guwahati, my department refused to relieve me. Always, His/Her will/blessings prevailed. He/She/Me are all One! None exists independently! 2) Rituals and Spirituality https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/ritual-vs-spiritual Introduction to traditions and spirituality C. Leisure Real Life 1) Not an MBA, but an MBA* Whenever I attend a marriage I cannot but ponder about the way things are managed in a wedding. Of course today there are event managers who have to be paid a lot. The parameter of deciding the success of any wedding is food, its quality and taste and not the costly jewels or the luxurious kalyana mandapam or the rosy floral pathways. The challenges involved are too many while providing thousands with tasty food. My father used to say that management is nothing but a lot of common sense, the ability to anticipate crises and be ready with an action plan and solutions. ( I am forced to use typical management terms). This includes in particular,the tolerance to untoward comments,keen observation and pressure in listening to free advices from unknown and unwarranted corners. He had a good experience of conducting nearly 18 marriages. In any IT project, the product can be checked,rectified and can be made customer friendly. But here there is absolutely no scope for rehearsal and stock return. The served item on a banana leaf can never be changed or taken back. We knew a cook 'Ambi Mama' in our place who used to discuss all the problems with my father. We need nearly 150/200 food items for a wedding to be conducted for two and a half days. 30 to 40 varieties of vegetables and fruits have to be procured. Though the menu is predecided, there is high fluctuation in the number of guests. In South Indian weddings normally there are no e-mail invitations with a request to ascertain the presence of number of guests for each occasion and it is considered an insult if we want to ensure the number of guests. It is extremely difficult to serve food for more than 1000 guests on time with very less time left for taking care of cleaning and garbage management. I know many incidents where there had been fight over simple things as size of the laddu or taste of sambar between the families of brides and bridegrooms over the quality of food; Sometimes, the complaints were talked about for generations as though it was a life threatening issue. It was a marvel to see Ambi Mama at work. It was a real experience even to listen to his rapid instructions to fellow workers without omitting even minor details. From the very smell he used to assess the quality of the item. He might not be aware of the business terminologies of Management science. But mutual trust between fellow workers and recognition of individual skill sets, the essential contributory factors for success of a business are strictly adhered to. His ability to delegate and distribute the work in a transparent manner depending essentially on experience, merit and capability - management guys have to learn. He does not intervene unnecessarily, but silently supervises. He has an expert who attends only to add salt to all the items, irrespective of the quantity involved. Normally they would have a winnow ( muram) and go on adding the salt to the sambar and stop at a level. Salt will be to the exactly needed limit. Mama engages a person specially to take care of milk, the essential need for coffee lovers- a 24 hour availability. They know the knack of probable solutions ( like software solutions) for utilising spoilt milk too for transforming into specified Sweets. The purchase managers, store keepers are also experts in the field. There is an expert in head count who converses freely with main hosts and collect more or less accurate estimate of guests. There are a few skilled persons, not so efficient in kitchen management, but dressed in decent robes welcome guests with a sweet smile , resembling a Reception desk. We cannot ignore the servers. They know the right sequence, right quantity and are keen to watch the eating efficiency with reference to the available stock of food item. 'Paarththu parimaaru' ( Have a keen look and serve) is a common instruction at house holds.It refers both to the nature of guests and also have an eye on the balance of food items available to be served. Equal importance is given to cleaners and garbage disposers. There is a crisis management team who can manage sudden inflow of guests with some tasty items within 15 mts. Mama didn't attend any school. He was an ordinary helper. But his inquisitiveness to learn and his hard work and his risk taking mentality elevated him as a chief cook. He knows every nook and corner of the job and straightaway lands into kitchen if any worker does not turn up. His considerate temperament, team spirit and recognition of skills in others have earned him a covetable status in the society. Mama's profession is time bound. Quality performance alone counts and there is no chance to repair or redo. He has learnt the techniques on his own without entering a catering technology institute. The techniques gained through sheer hard work and enthusiasm may not be imparted by even Harvard or MIT Business schools. His small tips of conversion of one item into another delicious item covering up a lapse committed, are used by us even today In those days we knew all the details-both quality and quantity- of each grocery item to be purchased. Now we have only catering contracts and we need not bother. The responsibility of the caterer is multifold. Any job is divine if it is done with love and sincerity. Mama is an expert in HR, purchase, sales, distribution,marketing his popularity and what not. He is not an MBA, but a real MBA. Corona has brought about lot of changes. At least for two or three years we may not attend weddings of the above type. Today many cooks are jobless. Many weddings stand deferred or cancelled. A big change in the attitude of people is expected. The skills of Ambi Mamas may better be utilised in some other fashion. *Contributed by Vathsala Jayaraman, Chennai. 2) Modern Poetry https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/mypoetry/forgiving-22494/ Read this poem @ Times Reader's Blog A new generation is coming up with soothing ideas, which we lost somewhere on the way.