No school sports is complete without sack race:
This race was flagged off some 500 to 700 years ago:
(Pithy sayings in Sanskrit)
सज्जनस्यहृदयं नवनीतं यद्वदन्ति कवयस्तदलीकम् ।
अन्यदेहविलसत्परितापात्सज्जनो द्रवति, नो नवनीतम् ॥
Poets say that the heart of a good man is like butter, but that is not correct.
The heat (frustration/sorrow/ etc.) residing in another body does not melt butter,
but it does melt the good man.
Source: sanskritdocuments.org/doc_z_misc_subhaashita/subhaashhita_kedar.html?lang=sa and image from hsph.harvard.edu/magazine/magazine_article/is-butter-really-back/
A story most from my generation must have heard as children sitting on the lap of their grandma (don’t know what is said to them these days). It goes generally like this:
In a village an old woman sitting under a tree prepared vada’s for sale.
A crow sitting on the tree waited for an opportunity.
When the woman was looking away, the crow swooped down and flew up and away, picking up a delicious vada in its beaks, all in a flash.
As it sat on a branch of a nearby tree, ready to savour its booty, a fox came along. .
Espying the crow atop with the vada in its beaks,the scheming fox spoke:
‘Oh my friend there, news got to me you’re blessed with a very sweet voice that has thekoels go away in shame! I have come from a long distance only…
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Born with a silver spoon, married into a gold-spoon family!
Lived in Kolkata and Mumbai before settling in Chennai years later, not exactly wallowing in the lap of luxury however; for, the young couple believed living on their own income.
Worked as a field reporter for a local tabloid.
Managed all by herself a labour-intensive workshop making women’s undergarments.
Brought up two dear daughters with good education and marriage, of course, their father playing a major role.
Took/taking care of the substantial property that came into her hands after the untimely and sad demise of her husband.
Consolidating the property into fewer holdings on terms as favorable as one can get, for ease of management and also optimally using them to generate income for the household, involving large transactions assisted only by her auditor. Mind you,some of these properties had tangled ownership.
Employs a fleet of help for managing the large house she resides in and to handle the paper-work with utilities and banks – a formidable job if you know Chennai and its work-ethics. Not one to suffer sloppiness or slacking off, never hesitating to act tough with them using words I would never dream of mouthing at my slaves if ever I had; and, lo behold, the same people swearing by her with zero attrition for years! The secret: she genuinely likes them and helps them out in difficult times, so I learnt!
Showered anthropomorphic affection on a dog kept from pup-hood to its passing way years later.
Took very good care of an ailing mother until her recent demise. Often she would call up from wherever to check if the old lady had her pills on time and her food.
Now and then, between her travels overseas, trying her hand at acting in short films – a long time passion. From her school days, on special occasions, had been organizing several of those plays with kids of the neighborhood.
Whenever called, she supported(s) her daughters residing abroad by visiting them for months at a stretch, yet running the house with no hiccups, all done remotely – all, much before ‘working remotely’ came in vogue in the corporate world!
Maintains her relations very well with people on her side and, yes, on her late husband’s too – put together, a large number, and a host of friends. Stood by the families of her siblings when the going got difficult.
Anecdotes abound, told and re-told, in our circles on how innocently she walks into trouble – mind you, she’s still a housewife unaware of the ways of the wicked world– and gets out of it by sheer grit and wit!
A go-to resource to those around her when one felt down and under, full of cheer and unfazed. Ready to be part of, sing, act, joke, eat…or just to be with.
A thespian of renown, Vidya Balan of Bollywood would find it a challenge to her mettle to truly play the lady’s role if ever!
A big loss to the corporate world, I always thought. She would have nothing of it.
Well…best wishes to this amazing lady, V, on her birthday, 2nd Dec.
From Naaladiyar in Old Tamil Poetry:
பல் ஆவுள் உய்த்துவிடினும், குழக் கன்று
வல்லது ஆம், தாய் நாடிக் கோடலை; தொல்லைப்
பழவினையும் அன்ன தகைத்தே, தற் செய்த
கிழவனை நாடிக் கொளற்கு.
“One cannot escape the consequences of his action. Wherever he hides, his bad karma will catch up with him. Like a calf that is let loose among a herd of cows. Though there is a herd of many cows, the calf will zero in on its mother easily. Likewise bad karma will find and attach itself to the man responsible for it.“
The Nāladiyār (Tamil: நாலடியார்) is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature, next only to Thirukkural, composed by Jain monks, belonging to the Patiṉeṇkīḻkaṇakku anthology of Tamil literature. This belongs to the post Sangam period corresponding to between 100 – 500 CE. Nāladiyār contains 400 poems, each containing four lines. Every poem deals with morals and ethics, extolling righteous behaviour(Wiki).
Adapted from a talk by Shri Swaminathan:
One day the five fingers of a hand got into a squabble on who was the best among them.
The thumb went in first though he was the smallest; ‘Whenever a man achieves success in his endeavors, he shows me up. Hence I’m the best.’
The pointer demurred: ‘My dear brother, do you realize you play no actual part in the man’s success whereas I actually go out and help. Whenever he goes to a new place and inquires (with someone), it’s me pointing to him where the temple is, where anna-dhaanam (free food distribution) is done….’
It was the middle finger’s turn: ‘Frankly I don’t understand what you guys are talking about. Everyone knows I’m the largest of us five. That settles it.’
‘Not so fast, brother,’ said the ring finger, ‘If he did not think of me as the best why would he slip his expensive and beautiful gold/diamond ring on me?’
.The little finger was sad – he had nothing to talk about himself. He was small in size and in utility too. For, people had little use for the little finger. He cried and cried and finally decided to take divine help. So he went to a nearby temple and prayed and pleaded for help.
Moved by his despair, the deity said to him: ‘Go back to your brothers and tell them this – it should silence your brothers: When the faithful comes in and prays to me with his hands folded (in a namaste), you stand closest to me, more than any of your siblings. It’s the same when you’re welcoming a guest at your place or greeting a stranger.’
Source: Images from rvcj.com and yoga-life.ch
Friends are a measure of one’s life.
while enemies, of one’s successes.