No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star. ~ Edwin Hubbell Chapin
Does your mother love you?
Does she care for you? Does she tend to you, comfort you, support you, provide for you, thinks for your well-being and comfort before hers ? Be the tree providing shade in the harsh sun called problems and difficulties which life gives to you?
Are you a mother and do you love your kids?
Does you care for them? Do you tend to them, comfort them, support them, provide for them, think for their well-being and comfort before yours? Be the tree providing shade in the harsh sun called problems and difficulties which life gives to your kids?
A prestigious school in my city is taking its middle and high school students on an Educational Tour to Europe. For this they are taking around 1 lakh rupees from the parents interested in sending their kids on that tour. And strangely people are giving it to the school administration willingly. I do not understand that why do the students need to go to Europe for learning? What sort of education does the school want to impart by taking them to Europe? Till class 10th all students study History under CBSE board and 80% of it comprises of Indian History. Rest is just World Wars, Dark Ages, Renaissance and Industrial Revolution as far as I recall.
So its that time of year again. The time when my Dad uncovers the cassette player and digs out two cassettes of devotional songs in Bengali from the pile of cassettes which are now ignored in today’s world of Winamp and Channel V. He plays them every year on the first day of this time of year at an unholy hour of 7.00 am that too quite loudly. And we know by listening to “Mahishashur Mardini” that its Mahalaya i.e. the beginning of Durga Puja that day. You can listen to some songs at this link here.
Mahalaya is an auspicious occasion observed seven days before the Durga Puja, and heralds the advent of Durga, the goddess of supreme power. It’s a kind of invocation or invitation to the mother goddess to descend on earth – “Jago Tumi Jago”. This is done through the chanting of mantras and singing devotional songs. Since the early 1930s, Mahalaya has come to associate itself with an early morning radio program called “Mahisasura Mardini” or “The Annihilation of the Demon.” This All India Radio (AIR) program is a beautiful audio montage of recitation from the scriptural verses of “Chandi Kavya”, Bengali devotional songs, classical music and a dash of acoustic melodrama. The program has also been translated into Hindi set to similar orchestration and is broadcast at the same time for a pan-Indian audience. This program has almost become synonymous with Mahalaya. For nearly six decades now, the whole of Bengal rises up in the chilly pre dawn hours, 4 am to be precise, of the Mahalaya day to tune in to the “Mahisasura Mardini” broadcast.
Before expressing my personal opinion, I want to share a news item. I don’t know how many national dailies featured this news. But it is this news that inspired me to write this post.
Mon, Sep 8 2008 :- Christian organizations have demanded action against activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal who misbehaved with two nuns at the Durg station on Friday. The two nuns, carrying three babies with them, were on their way to Bhopal on the Chhattisgarh Express when the activists forced them to get off the train at the station. The nuns, of the Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity, were handed over to the railway police when they refused to answer questions on the babies. Later, the nuns told the railway police that they are carrying the babies after taking consent from their parents. The parents were very poor and could not take care of the infants properly, the nuns told the police. The babies were being taken to an ashram for children in Bhopal. Christian organisations have conveyed their dissent to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and have demanded action against the VHP, Bajrang Dal activists.
Please read the more detailed news here. Somehow there is no update available in local newspapers since that day.
Of all the weird, bad, happy and exciting things that happen in my life, the one I’m going to narrate beats all the uninvited weird events that have ever happened to me. But the point of my post is not the event. Its my contemplation on the attitude of Indian society which caused this incident. On Thursday night, I was coming back from a dinner party with colleagues and it was bit late (10.30 pm). Suddenly this guy (read:weirdo) came along on bike and started driving beside me. He said hello and I sped up totally ignoring him and his blabbering. He drove all the way to my home. By then I had started to lose my temper. I stopped my Scooty, turned to face him and our conversation followed:-
Weirdo : What were u doing back there, standing and talking with a guy in front of my house?
Me with incredulous look : What on earth are you talking about? Do you even know who I am and where I’m coming from?
Weirdo : You were standing with a guy in front of my house. Don’t stand in front of my house ever again. Its not a good thing.
Me with my temper lost completely and shouting : Are you mad? I’m coming from xxx and haven’t stopped anywhere to talk with anyone. I think you are mistaking me for someone else.
Weirdo : No its you. Its not a good thing to stand and talk like that. Is this your home?
Me shouting : Yes it is. So?
Weirdo : I’ll tell your dad what you were doing.
Me hopping mad and shouting : Yeah?? By all means do so. Just get off your bike and tell my dad.