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West Side Story!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Feb 19, 2024.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    The same balcony again, my relaxing place after my morning walks. The same chair facing west ready to inspire me to narrate another West Side Story! You may ask me why a west facing chair and not an east facing one. Tall buildings and leafy trees block my view of the eastern sky. I need to wait for more than an hour to sight the first rays of the sun. I sit facing west because I can see the sun lighting up the tall twenty storeyed buildings and for me that is good enough to start chanting Adithya Hridayam.

    upload_2024-2-19_15-47-38.jpeg

    If you think that it is a clever idea, I must hasten to assure that this idea is as old as the Old Testament! Let me explain.

    You may have all heard of the massive Temple that King Solomon built. It was an unparalleled construction of gold and precious diamonds. The Chief Architect of this epic making project was a guy called Hiram Abif. As the guy was halfway through the project he was murdered by some guys who were overzealous of reaching the top position. Immediately after the poor Chief was laid to rest, it became necessary to find a suitable successor for him.

    But on account of the number of able and intelligent craftsmen, it was difficult to choose one without giving umbrage to the rest. It was at length determined to select twelve from among the most eligible and qualified ones who had already held office as deputies to the slain Chief. These were required to assemble on the following morning at a particular spot and it was decided that he who should first see the rays of the rising sun should be acknowledged as successor of Hiram. While all but one of the contenders were looking towards the East waiting for the first beam of the sun, one clever and resourceful guy by name Adoniram stood facing west mush to the amusement of all the people assembled there. When the first ray of the sun hit the tall mountain in the west, he fell on his feet and saluted the sun. The guys who were standing facing the east for the sun continued to remain in dark! Resourceful Adoniram was duly acknowledged as the successor of Hairam. This story will show that my west facing stance to chant my morning prayer is nothing new!

    The mornings are getting warmer and brighter. The sweat drops are delighted to decorate my forehead. I am scared that the coming summer may be a lot fiercer. I remember my childhood days when my mother would say that winter would take leave of us on Sivarathri . But summer has already started knocking at the door as early as in February itself! Some diehard old guys are still wearing their monkey caps. The long haul Siberian birds will soon start packing up for their return journey as they may already be feeling homesick. Vedanthangal may be good for a short rejuvenating trip but it cannot stop them from feeling ‘Oh God, why are we here?’

    Life, my buddies, is like that! I start humming my favourite song,

    ‘We are the world, we are the children
    We are the ones who make a brighter day …’
     
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  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    It is a clever idea to look for Sun where the branches of tree are not obstructing your view. Sun is everywhere and its rays will touch every direction whether east, west, north or south.

    When I read your story of King Solomon's Temple and how he selected a successor for his favorite, another story came to my mind.

    A young boy was determined to go to Mekkah and has been working so hard to save money to make that trip to Mekkah. A leader who was taking a group of people every year to Mekkah agreed to take this boy along with the group. Even though he was a little boy, his knowledge of Koran was impeccable. On their way to Mekkah, they stayed in a place by making tents for overnight stay. The leader gave instruction how to pray at the Sunset and asked everyone to retire to bed. While everyone kept their head towards Mekkah and the boy kept his leg in the direction of Mekkah. The leader scolded him for keeping his foot in the direction of Mekkah. This young boy seeking apology from the leader asked, "Can you tell me a direction where Allah is not present?"

    Regarding Vedanthangal, I thought the birds stopped coming to this destination due to a lot of polution. I had a chance to visit this place when I was 22 years old. It was such a pleasant sight to watch so many birds migrating to a single location. During that trip, I also been to Thirukazhugukundram as well. I was waiting for the twin birds to arrive sharp at 11 a.m. and started waiting from 10:30 a.m. onwards. The birds did come but a bit later.
     
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  3. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya sir,
    I am glad you kept your word that you would be writing every week.
    So...West Side balcony is your morning retreat place. You can see a whole lot of the world ranging from school kids to migrating birds , introspecting to philosophy of Aditya Hridayam and sun's direction and its rays falling om the opposite building. You tried to look at it as sun and started chanting Aditya Hridayam! If in London you would not be able to chant slokas if it is mandatory to see sun before chanting.We see sun rarely and sunny days are like a festival.
    India is a country of diversity and that is the beauty of it.Never a dull or monotonous day.
    Is it the building where you stay? Beautiful it is!
    Keep writing and give us a chance to comment.
    Syamala
     
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  4. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    Dear @Cheeniya sir,

    I love the view from your balcony. I see a couple of school buses too parked nearby? Im sure your mornings would never be dull as you see the many residents of the complex opposite to you buzzing about with their morning activities. People watching is indeed food for the heart and soul.

    Its been close to a decade since I last saw a coconut tree in person. The fronds of the coconut tree that blocks your view looks beautiful to my eyes.

    In the US, I long in vain to people watch. I long to hear the busy morning activities sounds - horns blaring, kids getting ready to go to school with their cherubic scrubbed faces , in their freshly ironed uniforms, shining shoes and neatly combed hair, office goers hurrying to catch their trains and buses lest they be late.
     
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  5. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi uncle,
    You have very nice view and it was nice to read about your daily habit in the morning. I liked above line and it is very inspiring me. Thank you.
     
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  6. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    @Cheeniya Sir
    West side story triggered thought of some 300 Hollywood movies starting or containing in their title "west". In 1964 there was wild west.... movie at elphinstone which I was watching from a rickety seat closest to silver screen for which ticket was less than 5 annas.
    I loved your expression that speaks about the longing to see raising sun in East from your balcony and the excitement you derive by looking its ray's reflection frim tiled skyscraper on west side of your balcony notwithstanding mosquito sitting on tip of your nose.

    If there is problem or issues in East one has to look at West for wayouts or solutions. I like here your out of box thinking in connecting to western stories. Hiram and adoniram offers solution while local Ram fails.

    From sunrise you had switched to Siberian birds to remind of vedanthangal where they were our guests. Is some one wrote about lark I mean skylark a fortnight ago.

    A super poem to conclude for the longing of sunshine from east. That reminds East or West poems are best and they are divine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2024
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  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @Viswamitra
    My dear Sridhar
    Here is a story for you from the Puranas:
    According to a legend from the Markandeya Purana, a Brahmin named Kaushika used to visit a prostitute, despite being a Brahmin, and having a devoted wife, named Shandili, or Shilavati, in some versions. When he is unable to pay her for her services, the prostitute stopped seeing him, forcing him to return to his wife, who still cared for him. He still longed for the affection of the prostitute, so one day, he asked his wife to take him to her.

    The sage Mandavya had been impaled in lieu of a crime and was lying on a spike in the forest, still alive due to his yogic powers. While being led by his wife through the deep forest at night, Kaushika, mistaking the sage for a thief, pushes him. Furious, Mandavya curses him to die before the next sunrise. To stop this curse from fruition, Shandili appeals to the solar deity, Surya, to not rise the next dawn. Surya acquiesces to the appeal of Shandili, as she is an extremely chaste and devoted woman. This leads to chaos in the universe, the deities not receiving their oblations, rainfall not occurring, grain not being cultivated, and people not performing their customary Vedic rituals. The deities go to Brahma, who suggests that they propitiate Anasuya, who was in the process of performing a great penance with her husband.

    Accordingly, the divinities go to Anasuya, and the kind-hearted woman agrees to help them. Anasuya meets Shandili, and the two women engage in a conversation. The rishi's wife explains to Shandili that the entire universe was in peril because of her appeal to Surya, and discuss the necessity of a woman's devotion to her husband. Anasuya promises the woman that Kaushika would be free of his curse, as well as the leprosy he had contracted. Shandili directs the sun to rise again!

    After reading your remark, I started wondering if Shandili actually stopped the earth from revolving on it's axis as the sun stays put in the same place all the time. It neither rises nor sets!
    That is sadly true Sridhar. The colossal manner in which we are destroying the planet, we feel sorry for all other inhabitants that have the right to live peacefully!
     
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  8. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @shyamala1234
    My dear Syamala
    Old guys should never make a promise knowing fully well that keeping it will never be in their hands! Laziness and sluggish mind are the trade mark of guys like me.
    Do you need any further proof for it than the fact that I am responding now to what you wrote last month?
    But I assure you that IL is my top priority whenever I wake up from my slumber:blush:
     
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  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @gamma50g
    Dear g50g
    Your eye for details is truly amazing. Though I clicked the picture, I never noticed the school bus myself!
    Don't despair. Even I hardly notice the top of a coconut tree thanks tho the severe geriatric neck stiffness!
    The concluding para of your reply is poetic. I can visualise how far removed you are from the mad cacophony of a busy morning of an Indian city! No wonder your heart yearns for it. Even I look forward to it everyday because it sets the tone for a new day! What's the point in having two ears when you have nothing to hear? It brings to my mind the words of Berkeley that nothing exists if it has no observer:blush:
     
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @Mistt
    My dear Mistt
    Those lines are from a great song that never fail to inspire me.

    I am sure you will like it too!
     
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