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Me, Dad And Discovery Of New Moon

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Thyagarajan, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello: Me, Dad and Discovery of NEW Moon :hello:

    As a teenager-iyer, during pre mobile era, I never bothered to learn about religious symbols.

    In the case of Iyers, they sport on their forehead vibhudhi or sacred ash and Iyengars sport a namam in white and ochre U or Y.

    Dad was to proceed on official tour and should at best leave home by 11 a.m. It would need clear two hours to reach his train departing from Central at Chennai. Luckily the sun was at its usual brilliance. With the itinerary on hand, he was criss-crossing the hall. It was half past eight and yet the regular family priest not turned up yet.

    There was no way to CONNECT or contact or expedite the priest. Dad was already in readiness, clad in traditional style - a cotton dhothi worn with central frontal pleats. Since seven in the morning, he ensured that the sanctity of the venue is kept not marred and materials for the performing the ritual gathered kept handy.

    He was waiting for the priest to arrive to perform the amavasya ritual to be followed by his daily prayers, brunch and to proceed to Central railway station from this far off suburb. Before leaving for the college to write exam, I sought his blessings and also I wished his tour a success.

    While I was about to pedal forward, to proceed to my college (late ex-President Dr. Abdul Kalam studied here), whence dad from doorstep, told me in a soft tone I must en-route, check the priest at latter’s residence.


    I stood and rode my ramshackle bicycle pedaling in tearing hurry; while negotiating a sharp turn near a crowded Vinayak temple, I spotted on an Atlas bicycle - the family priest- a lanky hairy chested man, with his ear lobes dangling with shining golden studs, sporting lustrous stripes of ash on his forehead, clad in unbleached cotton dhoti worn in traditional style.


    A feeling of satisfaction arose. I assumed the priest would go home and yes – dad will not be delayed. On his shining bicycle with a tiny saffron pennant fluttering on the silvery handle-bar, the priest darted toward me and stood on one foot across my path. In harried tone, he told that he was busy with some unscheduled events and would not be proper for him to visit our home and therefore I must convey this status to dad to make alternate arrangement.

    In a huff, I took sharp U turn reached home and told dad. He uttered the word “dharmasangad” and told to fetch another priest and thus my hunt for a priest just re- began.

    As (ill) luck would have it, in a few minutes I could locate another priest, whose long shadow was just disappearing at the end of a narrow street and I rode fast and could overtake his shinning bicycle in less than a minute and stood across his path.

    I was impressed with his fair complexion stocky figure and large tummy and black tuft tied with green satin ribbon and assumed that he would fit the bill. I briefed him of the exigency, dad’s benevolence etc., and to my great relief he readily consented to accompany me. With him behind me riding on his bicycle, I piloted him home.

    As I approached the precinct of my house, college-going sister from facade looked at us and turning her head facing home inwards, in a cheerful loud voice announced dad of priest arrival.

    As soon as the priest entered, to wash his feet, she offered him water in a pail. The tall and hefty priest used the water in installments and cleaned his feet wiping one over the other and shook off excess water and stepped into the house in a regal gait surveying the framed pictures on all sides of the wall and then into the hall where arrangements for the ritual kept ready.

    Squatting over a large rectangular plain wooden plank, my dad had just one glance at the priest forehead, looked bewildered & said in Tamil in distressed tone addressing me, “ennada idhu? Iyengar vadiyar!” (What is this son? you had fetched an Iyengar priest!).

    The unfamiliar priest stared at me, knitting his eye-brows, angrily uttered through his clenched-teeth “Abishtu” (Numbskull).
     
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  2. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Thyagu,

    You are the SJ Perelman of IL! Declared! You are a humorist, natch. You hold the laugh in anticipation till the very end and pry it out on an abishtu. I don't use the word "charming" on you sloppily. Your diction and style is consistently charming. Your "piloting the priest home" was no less than a Chaplinseque and thoughtful gesture that turned into "knitted eyebrows" and "clenched teeth".

    Where did you learn to write such goofy and devastatingly or it dharmasangadly chirpy twang. I loved the shuffle of new moon over amavasya in your anecdotal tale. Charming, ditty-gritty, charming, yes, charming again of your youthful recounts. Write more ..I mean like moreish! I don't get to respond to all your snippeties but I will ensure henceforth that any time I am online and pedal your path, I will definitely comment on your unbleached blogs.

    You are one of your kind here, cherish that. Bring in moreish of that triptych humour in your blogs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  3. jskls

    jskls IL Hall of Fame

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    Ha ha that was a nice read. Enjoyed reading. Loved the narration.
     
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  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    We have many many strange experiences with these pundits/ purohits/ vadyars.I can easily write a thesis on this.
    My father-in-law's ceremony falls on Vaikunta Ekadasi day.In 1971, it was the first shraaddha in our own house.Our family priest had gone to Sringeri for some conference. He had entrusted the job to two of his assistants.It was nearly 10 A. M. cooking was almost ready. There was no indication of the arrival of priests. My husband was tense.No phone in those days. My husband went to the chief priest's house,.The lady informed that muthu vadyar and Mani vadyar had already been entrusted the job.
    It was past 12.Neither muthu, nor mani arrived. at about 1 P. M. my husband performed Tharpana ritual alone at home. After we finished our meals, we gave all the remnants to the servants, which they are normally not allowed to partake.
    Day after next, while coming from office my husband met Sastrigal. He expressed regret. It seems both Muthu and Mani went by bicycle to Triplicane for entry into Swarga Vasal in Partha Sarathy temple.In those days travel by two persons in a single bicycle was an offence. They were caught and kept in a locked room.Since they had hardly a rupee, they could not pay the money and come out. They were kept inside a room and were released only in the evening.My husband could not express dissatisfaction.Just said ok.

    During 2015 floods, as water started entering marriage hall near Arumbakkam, the boy tied the auspicious knot at midnight in the absence of sastrigal. and escaped as husband and wife to a star hotel, while the guests struggled inside the hall.

    In some communities in Salem, there are no male sastris. By tradition, only women conduct the marriages.They come in group of five. They sing songs in a special tone in pure literary Tamil( Senthamil) having more or less the same meaning s as those of Sapthapadhi mantras.They keep two shrubs representing vadhu and vara. New saree and dhothis are worn by the shrubs. Actually mangalya suthra is first tied around the lady shrub by the groom and later suvaasinstake out the thread from the plant and make the girl wear after a few hrs.
    It was a love-cum arranged marriage of my niece( sister's daughter) with a doctor scientist in Canada, A Tamil boy belonging to that community.

    Jayasala 42
     
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  5. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    @Thyagarajan Sir,

    :) Nice story of confusion, anger and frustration. Do you still follow all this rituals?
     
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  6. talentiptv

    talentiptv New IL'ite

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