Jan 28: It was my son Krsna’s tenth birthday and coincidentally his school had asked me to come in and judge a debate contest. My husband was worried that
I would go dressed in my usual casuals and insisted that I wear a sari and look dignified, if for nothing else then just to avoid putting my son to shame. The good wife that I am, I obeyed and actually wore one of my better saris. But no sooner did I step into the school campus than I knew it was one of those cosmic ploys playing on me, for my sari was an exact replica of their school ayahs’ uniform. I don’t know why, but these kinds of things seem to happen to me more often than it does to others.
Jan 30: I read this story in Amar Chitra Katha about how Bhima traversed many deep ravines and high mountains, enduring the elements and hunger just to fetch a blue Ketaki flower for Draupadi, because she so desired it.
One always tends to think of Bhima as this huge all-brawn-no-brain hulk, who loves to eat and fight. But come to think of it, it is only Bhima who rose to Draupadi’s defence when she was humiliated in Duryodhana’s court. It was Bhima again who killed Keechaka for her. It is this seemingly unsophisticated, loud mouthed, uncouth macho man who always asked her, “Draupadi, what may I do for you?” It is Bhima among the five brothers who loved Draupadi the most faithfully and fulfilled each and every vow of his to avenge her humiliation. Again during their last journey, when Draupadi was the first one to fall, an anguished Bhima pleaded her case with Yudhisthira who remorselessly said, “But she must, for she loved Arjuna above us all”. It was Bhima’s gentle voice that went with Draupadi as she plunged into the dark bottomless abyss: “Dear one, what may I do for you?”
The story brought back memories of Shaonli Mitra’s Bengali play Nathboti Anathabat , translated into Tamil as Panchali in which my sister Bindhumalini and I had acted (directed by Dr Pazhani), where the playwright explores the fiery career of Draupadi as princess, wife and woman from her birth to the Himalayan end. Do read if you can find a copy.
Jan 31: Got a flurry of emails in response to my last article “Melodic memories
of youth...” where I had written about my favourite ’70s and ’80s hits of Illayaraja.
A lot of people shared their love for Illayaraja’s music and quoted lines from their favourite songs, which was very delightful and interesting for me. These good readers also congratulated me for the good article I had written. I say, it is not my writing, but Illayaraja’s unforgettable music that made that particular column so special. Also a whole lot of other readers chided me for failing to mention the name of K J Yesudas in my list of favourite playback singers. “Don’t you like him?” they asked sullenly. But, of course, I like him. My bad, that I didn’t mention his name. After all, who can forget his songs En iniya pon nilave, Raja raja chozhan, Kanchi pattuduthi to name just a few? Oh! I love his film music.
Feb 1: Maid didn’t turn up. Her father-in-law died apparently. Though technically, I don’t have to mourn for him, I am grieving because my maid is not coming because of his going. Between his going and her not coming, I cleaned a zillion vessels. Remember this Akshaya Pathram (the magic vessel, which could provide endless food)? Well, my kitchen sink, I discovered, is also an Akshaya Pathram — except it doesn’t provide food only endless vessels.
Feb 2: Spent some time at a temple tank simply dangling my feet in the water and staring at the sky. I actually enjoyed my time there — once I managed to ignore the plastic bottles, discarded loincloths (ew!), soap cakes…phew and what not!