Monthly Archives: April 2013

Love and Hanuman !

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The image of the celibate God, Hanuman watching Puja Srivastava tell her tale about Love looked very ironical to me. This prompted me to search the net about what were Hanuman’s views on love. And look what I found. It appears outside India, Hanuman was seen as quite a lover, Thai ‘Ramakien’, mentions that Hanuman had relationships with multiple women, including Svayamprabha, Benjakaya (Vibhisana’s daughter), Suvannamaccha and even Ravana’s wife Mandodari!!!
But I found a very interesting love story involving Hanuman and Ravana’s daughter, Suvannamaccha, a mermaid. It goes like this.  Hanuman, building a causeway, discovered that he was hampered by mermaids underwater. Hanuman is the famous Vanar God of Hindu mythology, the son of Vayu (wind god). When Queen Sita is kidnapped her husband Rama enlists Hanuman’s aid in rescuing her. Hanuman learns that Sita is being held captive on the island of Sri Lanka. He informs King Rama, her husband, who orders him to build a causeway to Sri Lanka from India so Rama’s army can attack. Hanuman collects his band of Vanaras and they begin throwing huge boulders into the sea to make a foundation for the causeway.

After a few days they notice something is wrong and call Hanuman to report. They tell him that each day they throw rocks into the sea and the next day they are gone.
Hanuman asks for volunteers to join him while he instructs the others to continue throwing rocks into the sea. When several volunteers have stepped forward Hanuman leads them into the waves. They find a large number of mermaids underwater. As they watch, a new rock is tossed in. The mermaids underwater take the rock and carry it away!
Angrily, Hanuman looks for their leader. He spots an especially lovely mermaid supervising the others. He swims towards her but she skillfully evades him. Time and again he begins an attack but it comes to nothing.
Maybe it starts as respect for the mermaid’s abilities, maybe it is the result of her beauty, in either case Hanuman finds he is falling in love with the creature. He changes his tactics and begins to silently woo her. She responds to him and soon they are together at the bottom of the sea.
Later, Hanuman asks the mermaid why she is stealing the rocks. She tells him that she is Suvannamaccha, a daughter of Ravana (the demon who had abducted Sita). When Ravana saw Hanuman’s Vanaras building a causeway he instructed Suvannamaccha to stop it. Hanuman tells the mermaid why he is building the causeway. He tells her of the abduction of Queen Sita. The battle between Rama and her father Ravana. He tells her how is he had defied Rama’s orders before, and in consequence was ordered to finish the causeway within seven days or pay with his life.
Suvannamaccha turned to Hanuman and her eyes were filled with love. No more, she said, would she prevent Hanuman from completing his mission. Her mermaids underwater would, in fact, return all the stolen rocks to the causeway.
They parted as lovers part but it was not to be the end for them. Hanuman had left a seed with Suvannamaccha and soon she would give birth to their son named Mudchanu.

love is in the air,,,, my column in HT on valentine s day !

Love impossible !

This the season when they say ‘love is in the air’. Well, love or not, pollen surely is and that’s causing a lot of allergies. Speaking of which, flowers are blooming and so are flower-buyers and sellers. That over hyped piece of human anatomy which specifically deals with pumping blood is the icon of the season. There’s heart shaped chocolates, soft toys, cards, bouquets, you name it. Hearts are hanging from the ceiling, flashing, glittering in the display windows and beating love tunes in branded love stores. The day might come when hospitals offer valentine day special packages for his and her angiography for the couple. It’s the matter of the heart, after all. The market is in a frenzy to cash in on this orgy of hormones till it lasts. From roses to t-shirts, it looks like everyone is out to wear their heart on their sleeves. Mushy songs and romantic movies are riding the airwaves. It’s the season not to be single, and if, God forbid, you are, then it prompts you to go for the love-kill. Not to miss out on the gay market, for the first time there are same gender v-day cards available for takers.
This love business is simply complicated oxymoronically! When puberty strikes and the hormones begin to surge, laws of attraction come into play. It is at this delicate time that one is gradually and unconsciously mentally-conditioned into believing that love exits and is sure to come your way. It is promised via songs and movies and books that the one adventure sure to happen in your otherwise sedate and boring life would be love. It is slowly brainwashed that the one happening to enliven and justify your speck-like existence is love. Its inculcated that there is some one out there for you , call it lover, partner or soul mate .Love has its own Gods as in Radha –Krishna and its own icons and pin-up stars as in Romeo-Juliet, Laila-Majnu , Heer-Ranjha even Chand and Fiza without the hyphen ,at some confusing point in their now tragic love life.
What is love? Does love really exist in today’s context apart from the jingoism and stereotypia?

Is it the affair of convenience? You are single; I am single, same caste, similar backgrounds and economic levels, compatible careers, matching looks. Come let’s fall in love!
Cynical comment: custom made tried and tested .Only question is, why call it love? It’s a deal, let’s keep it simple and sweet (at least till the extra-maritals begin)
Or is it the affair of defiance? Let’s defy the society, family and the establishment by doing just what we are told not to. Come let’s anger everybody and fall in love!
Cynical comment: It’s not who you are fighting for, but who you are fighting against, which matters more. Rebel without a cause!
Or is it the affair of resignment? Because I did not and could not find the person of my dreams and the clock is ticking so I am settling for you .I have lowered my expectations, come let’s fall in love!
Cynical comment: Resignment will turn soon into resentment against oneself but expressed at everyone else! Too much compromise shatters dreams!
Or is it the desire to belong? Everyone in the college or office is afflicted by this virus, why not me? Come, whoever, lets quickly fall in love!
Cynical comment: During adolescence it’s called peer pressure! Grow up!
Or is it the desire to fall in love with love? Oh God! All these hearts and roses and songs. I just wanna be in love, person no bar. It’s the phenomenon I want. Be it with any one! And if it doesn’t work, you bet I’ll get another one before the next v-day!
Cynical comment: Do you even need another person? Just be in love with love. Go on!
Or is it the mature post marriage love? What’s my fault if I found my soul mate after getting married to some on else. Come let’s fall in love to add some spice to a life where I no longer feel like a hero. Come let’s fall in lust, oops, love!
Cynical comment: Develop the insight and the guts to call it lust. Lust dressed as love is a disgrace to both the emotions.
Or is it the true thing? The real McCoy, the 100% pure desi unadulterated feeling. The phenomenon where egos melt, arguments subside .The distinction between love and lust fades. The desire to own and possess is replaced by the reflected happiness from some one else’s eyes. Where it feels like two hot air balloons rising together entwined around each other, lost from the world yet never more acutely aware of it. Where PDA (public display of affection) is not required, proving a point is futile and the exchange of commodities is incidental. Where tears and smiles are intimately linked. Where power equations crumble and vulnerability is an asset. Where the talks are longer than the night, where the eyes are more verbose than any words and silences are even more eloquent than talking. Where promises are not elicited but go unspoken and where tenderness melts the heart and smile reaches the eyes. Where one understands the I and YOU, then there is no need to repeat the rhetoric I LOVE YOU.
Cynical comment: none!

Talk on positive parenting by Dr. Rashmi Soni

Just attended a very motivating talk by eminent psychologist, councellor and educationist – Dr. Rashmi Soni – on Positive parenting at DAV Public School, Sector 18, Indira Nagar, Lucknow.
Dr. Soni highlighted the importance of parents spending quality time with their children, the importance of positively inculcating discipline in children instead of disciplining children and empowering children to take decisions.