Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Shabari: Poem by Divine Grace

The expression of one's self and its various facets takes a lot of creative outlets! Just when, poetry became one of such outlet for me, I don't know. The first poetic work of mine, (by poetic I mean, atleast in structuring, grammar and content) was when I was in my 9th Standard. It was titled "Oh! My life please come to an End". I have indeed travelled a long distance since then, and thankfully am spared with my life intact!! The inspiration to write in Kannada was also imbibed in me during my highschool days. I was very adept in writing essays in both English and Kannada, and for me poetry formed a well organized prose, albeit with lyrical/rhyming structure. Though I wrote more in English than in Kannada, I did give equal priority to both the languages. Now before this turns out to be a boring hackneyed monologue about my poetic abilities, and you all start yawning your brains out (just as I myself am doing), let me tell you about the poem that has brought me much acclaim, accolades and appreciations from all over the world!
"Shabari" is a poem written in Kannada, that describes the devotion of Shabari for her Lord Rama. The inspiration for the same came about when I had been to a dance program organized by Smt. Padma Iyengar (daughter of noted Kannada poet, thanks to Usha Aunty for making it possible for me to go. There the danseuse Smt. Bhramari Shivaprakash presented a dance ballet "Shabari-punya lahari" on the composition of Sri Sediyapu Krishnabhat. It was this performance that moved me, and inspired me to create this, which has enriched me by its sheer beauty and humbled me with its divinity. "Shabari" for me is a testimony that all talents that are vested in a human being are but gifts from the divinity that is omnipresent, to utilize the same for the enrichment of the self, and the surrounding.
When I began writing "Shabari", I had to do a lot of thinking about the presentation of the character. It had to be different than the other presentations that were done so far, be it by Valmiki, or our very own Kuvempu and Sediyapu. Each of these presented Shabari in a different context. I can analyse the same and contrast with my presentation of the character.
Valmiki Ramayana lists Shabari as an old lady in the ashram of Sage Matanga, who yearns for Lord Rama. She belonged to the family of hunters. She had been directed by the sage to wait for Rama who would be her gateway for salvation. Upon the arrival of Lord Rama, she feeds him, and eventually dies at his feet. Lord Rama performs her last rites.
Kuvempu, while remaining true to this version, nevertheless differs from it, by not letting Shabari recognize Rama in the first meeting. Shabari represents a Jivatma that is shrouded by the Maya (Illusion) had has to be lifted off by the grace of the Paramatma. And hence, she is unable to recognize Rama, till Rama introduces himself.
Sediyapu, pictures Shabari as a huntress who disgusted by the killings of her favorite animals on the eve of her wedding, abandons her family, and eventually takes shelter in the ashram of Sage Matanga. Sage Matanga before his demise instructs her to wait for Shri Rama, as he is the one she is supposed to serve, and attain salvation from. Shabari waits for years, and eventually receives Rama, feeds him, and dies at his feet.
The "Shabari" that I envisioned was all of this, and yet different from the ones pictured till now. The poem has 3 sections. The first section describes the way she yearns and waits for her Lord. Her belief in the words of Sage Matanga is so intense that she has already wasted years in preparing for the arrival of Lord Rama. Each day, she looks forward for his arrival. This yearning has taken the form of a penance, and her aatma has seasoned and time has arrived for her salvation! Lord Rama, on the pretext of searching his estranged Sita, comes to Shabari. He is completely disheveled, tired, and void of all his charm.
The second section describes in detail the meeting of Shabari and Lord Rama. Shabari is filled with motherly affection at the sight of the 2 young men at her door step, and asks them their names. Lord Rama being very humble shies to introduce himself, and hence Lakshmana with equal humility introduces his brother and himself. Shabari is filled with awe and stays rooted, till beckoned by Lord Rama. She happily embraces him, and joy fills the entire universe! Lord Rama asks her of any wish that she wants fulfilled by him. At this time, Shabari is in filled with emotional turmoil. She is unable to ward off the motherly affection that arose at the first sight of them and with the knowledge of Lord Rama's divinity her heart is filled with devotion. Lord Rama, being omniscient, realizes her state, and at first decides to appease her motherly affection. He complains of hunger, and requests her to feed him. Shabari is filled with joy, and immediately brings in a lot of fruits, and tastes each one of find out if they are sweet and fit for him to taste. Having fulfilled her maternal desires, Lord Rama asks her if she has any more wishes materialistic or divine! He is ready to bring down the riches of all worlds at her feet and give her the kingdom of heaven. Shabari declines them all, and asks him for her salvation!
The 3rd section describes the salvation of Shabari. I felt that Shabari's years of penance cannot go unrewarded, and hence made Rama show his divine form of Lord Vishnu to Shabari. She is filled with awe and bows down at his feet. Shabari dies and instantly her body is aflame! Thus ends the story of supreme devotion and its eventual liberalization from the mundane bonds.
P.S:- I'd like to express my gratitude to Prasad Naik, and S. K. Shyam, editors of portal, who published this poem for the first time, and specially to Mr. Prasad Naik, for reporting the change in the web link.

allide nam mane... illi bande summane!

The bubbles have all fizzled out, and the bottle's gone dry!
There were moments of celebrations and moments to cry!
Now its all hindsight, as the time continues to flow;
The memories nevertheless are still aglow!
Much as I wud've wanted to express my visit on the lighter vein, I have preferred to do it someother time. Let me get you all a little bit mushy, as I myself am so at this very moment! Well the trip back home was all that I expected it to be, and a lot more! The journey to, and fro was just perfect to the "T". The marriage went on well, enjoyed a lot! My sister-in-law's just good! And no marks for guessing who the center of attraction was at the wedding ;). I did lose a few pounds running around, which obviously made my mom happy! The highlights also being that I met several of my online friends! Kishan and I went out for breakfast! I feasted well on all the delicacies as much as I could. Met Pramod and Amaresh finally! gotto talk over the phone to a lot of other online friends! With that brief summary of the trip, the most important thing to write about would ofcourse be of my place!
Contrary to what a lot of them would claim, I still find it the good ol' bangalore! Yeah sure, the traffic has soared, there is an influx of people from all over the country into it, and the culture has diversified a lot, and has also begun degrading! But then, that was never Bangalore! Amidst all this onslaught, the spirit still lives on! I cannot comment on how long it will continue to do so, but I do not give up hope!
My little kid friends, still run to me the same way they used to, and still fight on who gets to sit on my lap, or ride on my stomach, while I tell them stories of 4 headed monsters and huge lions! Its still the same ol' neighbor who still continues to spoil me with her delicacies, the morning vendor of flowers, who doesn't forget to enquire about me! My troupe of friends who still fight over what restaurant to go to and ransack! The good ol' restaurants that still panic looking at us mischief makers! The taste of vidyarthi bhavan Masala dosa, of the upahaara mandir ildies and vada sambhar! The delicious chats on the footpath! Over and above all, the real people of bangalore! Their sorrows, their concerns, their joys and happiness... it is all still the same! Maybe this picture of mine is a short lived one, like my trip! Maybe I am still trying to see what good is left out of all this sudden globalization and ultra-modernization! But for sure, I know that Bangalore will survive all this, and still flourish with its inherent feel good factor! It has to!
I had wanted the trip to Bangalore to answer some questions for me, but the irony of the whole thing was that I never got any time to think! Nevertheless, I knew one thing right from the moment of leaving Bangalore the very first time to US, that was my home, my homeland, my motherland! I belong there and there shall I rest! This trip was a short one, I know there shall be one that will take me back for good to where I belong, the time is all that has to arrive.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Good Afternoon.. this is the afternoon news reporting from Minnesota Airport. The time now is 11:44 AM. I am your spokesperson for the day Mr. Jhootmootwala. And now.. for the yeadlines....
  1. Mr. Praveen Shivashankar has already left the Wichita Airport and is now at the Minnesota Airport awaiting to board the Flight to Mumbai.
  2. Mr. Praveen Shivashankar's arrival to Bangalore has already offset a series of events and we will shortly provide a detailed report of the same.
  3. The Arrival of Mr. Praveen Shivashankar: This forms the crux of the discussion today, between the eminent panelists, Mr. Karnekokuchkaamnahin and Mr. kelsakbaardadabbananmaga. Both of them have been acclaimed as eminent researchers of the life and works of Mr. Praveen Shivashankar!

And now.. for the news in detaiiiiilllll....

  1. Mr. Praveen is reported to have left the Wichita Airport in the early morning at 7:45 AM. There was a huge party to commemorate his departure! There had been a huge rush of people at the airport. Reporters have confirmed this and also added that they were there to ensure that Mr Praveen did leave Wichita! Immediately as the plane left, there was a boisterous celebration and people were all rolling on the floor, and celebrating and laughing as if they had just now watched Himanshu Malik trying to do a Dilip Kumar in the movie "Devdas". Mr. Praveen, obviously was not available for comment as he was flying.
  2. Meanwhile on the other part of the world, the arrival of Praveen has offset a series of events in Bangalore! There have been increasing reports of girls suffering from insomnia and their boyfriends suffering from high BP. The doctors have been working round the clock to develop what they call the anti-Praveenism vaccine but have been failing phenomenally! While the Meghana Naidu Fan Club have threatened to hold a protest meeting at the airport, the Himanshu Malik Fan Club has threatened to go on fasting, and have placed huge cutouts of the actor all over the airport, which incidentally has also led to a lot of panickin' among the tree dwelling beings! But oblivious to all this, Mr. Praveen was found eating(gobbling) a foot long sub at the SubWay in the airport! We refrain from showing the video as it may lead to a violent behavior on the part of the girls putting their boyfriends' lives in jeopardy.
  3. And now.. we have Mr. Karnekokuchkaamnahin(4KN) and Mr. kelsakbaardadabbananmaga(KBDNM). Welcome to you two. *kirshkshskshsskkhasljskjaldjfalkfjakjflajflajlajfajfla;d;* Dear readers.. we apologize that due to some contradictory ideas among the two panelists.. a light skirmish had ensued and so we won't be able to show u the entire discussion. Nevertheless, we are happy to inform you the jist of the discussion. They both unanimously agreed that the well prevalent praveenism was very hard to resist and that there is no known cure for this! However, the effect of the same may be lightened if the ppl. subjected to this, are going to watch continuous reruns of the movies of Payal Rohatgi, and Meghana Naidu. This, the panel opinioned would lead to severe depression and suicidal symptoms and that in turn can be easily cured.

And now for the FLASH NEWS.. Mr. Praveen has headed towards the customs clearance and will soon start for the flight! *more girls shrieking... and hooting* With this we come to the end of today's updates. Thanks a lot of bearing with me.. and hope u have ur quota of Zandu Balm to get over the aftermath of this news, which I'd like to say is due to Praveenism itself!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Miles to go.. before I sleep!!

Oh yeah! Am sleepless in Wichita!! The longing grows day by day as now the days near for my trip back home! As fate would want to have it, the dates have gotten preponed! and Am arriving a day earlier than scheduled! The counting has now boiled down to hours!! All of a sudden the mind is so nostalgic with the memories of all the wonderous, magical past! The moments to relive them again, and then probably add some newer memories into the bag is nearing.. the call of the home grows louder in the heart, as the path towards it glimmers infront of the eyes! It's a journey back home, a journey to where I belong!! Till I come back, keep your health, and stay off Meghana Naidu's movies!! So long!!
Background music playing:- .... Ghar aaja pardesi tera des bulaaye re!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Much achoooo abt. nothing!!!!

Have you ever tried to sneeze and talk at the same time?! Coming to think of it.. there isn't many things a man can really do! You know what I mean? For example, gorrillas are the only beings that can swallow while breathing! => that man cannot! Well so much for the simian ancestry! Well, you people may say, look at Bobby Deol!! Can there be a more bludgeoning evidence for the ancestry theory? I wanted second opinions.. and when I asked the simians that usually come to my house for the round branch meeting, they begged to defer!!! With a flabbergasted look on their face, as if they had just watched an entire rerun of the most famous 101 ways of defying science by Rajnikanth, they shrieked and howled and thumped vehemently denying any part in the current existence of Bobby Deol or his acting skills. Well that matter having rested, shall we now come back to the matter at stake.. Achhooooo!!!! *sniff sniff*
Well, winter bringeth with it more than its share of miseries especially for wretched souls like us! Now being fair and square I did have an option of either coming down with cold or to watch Meghana Naidu gyrate in "Rain". As sane as I was, I chose for the former! Achewwellllllsssss!!! (it kinda gets boring after a while to sneeze in the same old hackneyed style.. and so I also have been experimenting on innovative and unique ways of grossing myself out).
While people have been running away from me, as if I was Mithun da pr(d)ancing around in a red shirt and khakis from "Classic" [I mean coming to think of it.. I really wonder how people dared to go to a theatre and sit through 3 classic hours of 3rd degree torture of not only watching Mithun mouth out against sex, "hum sex ke khilaaf hain.. yada yada yada yada" on one side, while Ms Naidu and the utterly forgettable caricature of the hero make love like 2 zombies who have come down with a heavy constipation problem!], I was able to muster some time for myself to pen down something to infect all my readers! (assuming that there are some)
Now just how effectively the cold can be passed on through an online blog.. is still under research, as is also the number of ways in which one can sneeze and utter utterly unfathomable words for others to figure out! It gives me great honor to acknowledge that I am the primary researcher and also the main specimen on which these tests are being conducted!
Now.. I know I know.. that you all are considerin' yourself blessed for being able to be a witness for this phenomenal occurrance! But then, am so sorry, I gotto goshkchkllaskjkslkjkskcchooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! *sniff* *sniff*