Monthly Archives: December 2018

A Queen Understands Bhagavad Gita!!

…like how!!!

Ambiguity, thy name is Sanskrit! Perhaps a little more than most other natural languages. A poet’s/reader’s delight and a (lexical) parser’s nightmare.

A mere reordering of words below yields a delightfully new perspective! Read on:

There lived a Queen who wanted to understand Bhagavad Gita – its essence.

‘How many shloka’s (verses) make up the Gita?’ She asked a Pundit at her court.

‘700, my lady,’ he said.

She summoned the minister: ‘Kindly get 700 gold coins ready from the treasury. Tomorrow as the venerable Pundit here explains each shloka, he be given a gold coin. That makes it 700 coins.’

700 gold coins for him? The Pundit was elated at his good fortune. He returned home in high spirits and pulled out all his notes for perusal so he may best explain the shloka’s to the Queen.

Next day he made it to the royal court at the appointed time. His eyes popped on seeing before him the pile of glittering gold coins on a plate.

He mentally prayed to Lord Krishna to be on his side and help him out in his endeavor. And thus he began in a booming voice with the first shloka: ‘Dharma kshetre Kuru kshetre…’

(Meaning: At a place where Dharma reigned supreme, at a place belonging to the Kuru’s…)

The Queen was moved to tears on hearing this.

‘Please stop right there, say no more, Sir,’ she addressed the Pundit.

The Pundit paused.

The Queen turned to her minister: ‘Get the palanquin ready, we leave immediately.’

Had he offended the royalty in any manner? He didn’t think so. Not able to make any sense of what was happening, the Pundit pleaded: ‘My lady, we haven’t even started…’

‘Where is the need after you’ve explained so concisely, so beautifully the essence of Gita? Please do take these 700 gold coins. Not a moment more to be wasted here…I’m off to do exactly what you bade.’

’The Pundit’s head went for a spin. Vexed, he cried meekly: ‘What did I explain?’

‘What more after your excellent sum up of Gita – when you said ‘Dharma kshetre Kuru kshetre…it just leaped at me…I could make out the message therein right away: Kshetre kshetre or ‘at place after place’ dharma kuru or ‘do dharma (charity).’  So well said. Beautiful. I’ve decided to follow it right away. And so here I’m taking off…’

An interpretation absolutely unheard of! Why did it not occur to him? Thoroughly humbled, the Pundit offered the coins back to the Queen, requesting her to use the same for the charity she was setting out to do. And, renounced the worldly life in pursuit of Knowledge.


Source:With grateful thanks to tamilandvedas quoting a monk from Ramakrishna Mutt.


Charles Schulz Philosophy

      The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you’ll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.  

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.  

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.  

 4.Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.  

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.  

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.  

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.  

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.  

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.  

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.


Source: Ray’s Daily, Image from Town & Country Magazine   

It’s Always Later Than Sooner…


in relating to them around me.

A month or so ago, I missed the call when it came. Coming from a distant suburb, he wanted to know if I was home and he could drop in. ‘Never mind, I’ll make it next time I’m in those parts,’ he promised.

Well,,,it didn’t happen. A week back he suddenly passed away.

J was in my school, in my class and a bench-mate for years. Once out of school, we were in touch off and on. Never really got to spend time together. He was busy climbing the corporate ladder eventually scaling one peak after another while I was going gray in my grind. But when we met, we always picked up the threads like it was yesterday.

It was a few years ago when J came down to my place last. And spent time engaging my mother, an old lady not in…

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(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: and image from

An Old Story And New Insights


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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2nd December, Summers Ago, A Day They Rejoiced Like Never Before…

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.


Karma Is Not A Bitch, It’s More Like A…

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).