The Daily Post Photo Challenge : Wish

Shinto is the dominant religion in Japan, though it is more of a way of life than a way to worship.Visitors to Shinto shrines can purchase small wooden plaques called ema, upon which they can share their hopes and dreams. Then, they hang them amongst other ema from people who have come before them, in the hopes that spirits will grant their wish This week, show us a wish.

“World without hatred

And violence of all kinds

A wish we all wish.

Quiet and a serene life

A wish that is but a dream.”

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The serene waters of the lake in our place makes me wish that life everywhere could be as serene. A dream, no doubt, but we can always wish.

The Daily Post Photo Challenge : Wish

 

 

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The Daily Prompt : Chaos

Reading in the newspapers
About violence
Here, there and everywhere.
And then about
The destruction of
Nature’s resources
For the never ending
Greed of man.
To make matters worse
Politicians who are
A class into themselves
And live for power and wealth,
Are bent upon
Making money for generations.
It seems as if there is
Chaos across the world.
But there must be
Something good everywhere,
Life goes on
With all its ups and downs.
There is always
The good,the bad and ugly.
In spite of everything,
It is good to believe
There is not enough
Darkness in the world
To extinguish the
Light of a small candle.

IMG_20160508_062147.jpg

 

Letter from Home-32 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

12-11-18
Dear Doddamma,
We all are having a wonderful time with Advaith and Kavya. Gayatri and children reached Mangalore airport at 5 Pm on the 8th. We went by taxi to the airport to receive them. It becomes dark by 6.30 and it is difficult to drive then. Kavya started crying when she saw us, she is not used to seeing so many new faces. Advaith was feeling a little shy. We reached home by 7.15. It was the last day of Deepawali and we had got some simple sparklers to light. But we were all feeling tired. Tulsi puja is on the 20th, we will light them on that evening.
On the 10th was Kavya’s first birthday. We had decided to go to Madhur Ganapati temple and from there to Maikuri, where my father-in-law lives. He was waiting to see her. We left at 7 in the morning, reached the temple at 9.30. My husband has been going to this temple from his childhood and it is a very special place for him. Now renovation of the temple is going on. The work may go on for a year.

From there we went to Maikuri. Mava was happy to see the children. He wanted to swing Kavya on his feet, he went and sat on the table. We were wondering what he was doing. Kavya refused to go to him. Advaith wanted to go to the areca and cocoa garden. Gayatri had told him that chocolate was made from cocoa. My husband and his brother took him and he was excited to see coconut trees, areca trees and black pepper creepers and banana trees.

All this was very new for him. In Germany all children of his kindergarten are taken to the forest every month to see the trees, birds and foot prints of animals.

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After some time Kavya took hold of her great grandfather’s fingers and was playing with them. My father-in-law was feeling happy. We left after lunch and returned home before dark.

We are having a very busy time with the children and enjoying every minute. Kuvara and Advaith water the plants every morning. Advaith planted a tulsi sapling in the ‘tulasi katte’. In most of our homes we have a tulasi plant in front of the house. This letter is much shorter than my earlier letters. I am sending this with my cousin and his wife ( my doddamma’s son) who have come this side from Mumbai to attend a wedding.
With lots of love,
Lakshmi

Tulasi Puja on Uthwana Dwadashi in Karnataka – HinduPad
https://hindupad.com/tulasi-habba-tulasi-puja-on-uthwana-dwadashi…

Tulasi Pooje – Tulasi Katte | Namma Bhoomi
http://www.nammabhoomi.com › All

Pooje to be done in the evening. What’s Tulasi? In most Hindu homes, you find a Tulasi plant growing out of a Tulasi katte . Tulasi is considered to be a holy plant and is worshiped every morning.

[‘Slice of Life’ has reaffirmed my belief that everyday moments are precious moments. They make us what we are. I have been posting my letters to my father’s elder brother’s wife, I call her Doddamma. It literally means elder mother. I mailed my letters to my cousin’s wife. She used to read it to her. One day she told me that doddamma enjoyed hand-written letters. She reads and re-reads them. So, I have once again started writing letters on paper and posting them to her. I edit and share what I have written to her in ‘Slice of life’. I like reading the different slices of life. We live in different places of the world but there is a sameness in our everyday lives. It is fascinating and that sameness connects us.’]

Letter from Home-32 (Slice of Life)

Letter from Home-31 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual
6-11-18
Dear Doddamma,
We wish you all a very happy Deepawali and seek your blessings.

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We are all fine here and waiting for day after tomorrow. Gayatri, our daughter and grandchildren are coming from Germany. They will be reaching Bangalore today midnight. Her father-in-law will go to the airport.
Sunday morning Kuvara went to Maikuri (where my father-in-law lives. It is in a small village) He attended a 60th birthday function of his cousin. Many celebrate their 60th birthday with some rites and rituals. His another cousin’s wife had passed away on the 24th. She had been bed-ridden for many months. We perform certain rites and rituals on the 10th, 11th and 12th days. All the family members gather. Kuvara and his brother attended both the functions. He returned in the evening.

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Today I made chocolate spread for Advaith, he loves it. I searched for a recipe in the internet. In that recipe we have to use hazelnuts, I used almonds. It has come out well and of course, we all will be eating it too 😊.

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In the evening Aravinda and I went for a walk near home. Our place is mostly a residential are and there are many roads and byroads. We came back before Kuvara returned.
Kuvara (my husband) is going to the Yoga department of the hospital to learn some asanas and pranayamas. He started going from the 2nd. He has to be there by 7 Am and is back by 8.30. He has started using his bike again. We bought it in 1986 and recently we updated the required papers and official documents.
On the 1st Aravinda had a holiday for Karnataka Rajyotsava. He had a lot to study. Evening my husband’s cousin’s son, Sham and his wife came home. They live in London. In 2014 Aravinda had been to London to present a paper at an international conference. After the conference Sham had taken our son around London for two days. They had a good time together. We enjoyed their visit. They stayed the night in their cousin’s home in our town. Last week my neighbour gave us colacasia leaves from their garden. We make different dishes from the leaves and the stalks too. But it is very important to add tamarind while cooking Otherwise get a lot of itching when we eat what we have prepared.
Doddamma, last year on the 7th, I left for Germany. One year has gone by.

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( in the airport in Frankfurt)

Kavya has started taking a few steps by herself. Tomorrow we will buy some crackers, mainly sparklers for Advaith (our grandson, he is 5 ½.). I am making mango icecream. This year we got many mangoes from our tree, Bennet Alfonso variety. I had frozen the pulp. Advaith likes ice-cream. His grandmother, our son-in-law’s mother, in Bangalore has prepared Gulab jamun for him. She asked what she should make for him, he said he wanted gulab jamun 😊.
We will try to make Whatsapp video call and talk to you when the children are here.
With love,
Lakshmi
[‘Slice of Life’ has reaffirmed my belief that everyday moments are precious moments. They make us what we are. I have been posting my letters to my father’s elder brother’s wife, I call her Doddamma. It literally means elder mother. I mailed my letters to my cousin’s wife. She used to read it to her. One day she told me that doddamma enjoyed hand-written letters. She reads and re-reads them. So, I have once again started writing letters on paper and posting them to her. I edit and share what I have written to her in ‘Slice of life’. I like reading the different slices of life. We live in different places of the world but there is a sameness in our everyday lives. It is fascinating and that sameness connects us.’]

Colocasia – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colocasia
Karnataka Rajyotsava – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karnataka_Rajyotsava

gulab jamun recipe with mtr gulab jamun mix | instant gulab …

vegetarianindianrecipes.com/gulab-jamun-recipe-mtr-gulab-jamun-mix
gulab jamun recipe with mtr gulab jamun mix | instant gulab jamun recipe – a popular Indian dessert gulab jamun is a very popular Indian sweet recipe.

Letter from Home-31 (Slice of Life)

In their own world

Little Things
“Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.
Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Of eternity.”
By Julia Carney

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We take a walk almost every evening. Fortunately, we live in a place where there is no pollution and there are many trees around us. Fresh air, breeze from the sea in the distance, the setting sun and the birds returning home after a busy day add beauty to our walk. Along with these things it is fascinating to look at people: each different from the other, and yet there is a sameness too.
Continuing our walk, we go past people who are there to take their evening exercise; but they also enjoy exchanging news with their friends. We hear snippets of conversation which leave me wondering about their lives. Two persons are in their own world expressing their grievances against someone, and about the world in general. Politics is a favourite topic for many. Each one has an opinion about the governance of the country. It is amusing to hear their opinions about politicians. In general these people think politicians are worthless persons.

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Once I saw a person walking at break-neck speed, head bent. He was looking neither to the left nor to the right. Does he ever notice the sky, the birds, the trees or the little wild flowers? Walking is a good exercise no doubt but noticing the world around would be good for the mind too. I wonder if he takes these for granted as they are always there. But each day is different, each sunset unique and beautiful in its own way. Looking at the person mentioned above, I thought of people who plug their ears and listen to music. They are in their own world. I am baffled by this. There is so much music in nature that is shut out. Every morning we can hear birds calling out to each other. These are joyous sounds, telling us about life around us. Why would anyone not want to hear them?

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One evening while driving back home, we were fortunately not absorbed in our own world. It was twilight. We were nearing home when my husband suddenly stopped the car. We saw a python slowly crossing the road. It was in its own world, unaware of how close it had been to being crushed under the wheels of our car.

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As people grow older, the world inside becomes more real than the one outside. Although our health is in our own hands, luck plays a major role in our remaining mentally and physically healthy till the end. On a dark note, I remember my father in the last months of his life. He lay in bed and hardly talked. He had withdrawn into his own mind. He could not communicate with us because speech had abandoned him. But my mother kept talking, hoping that she could reach him. Sometimes she did, and that made her very happy. It is our wont to take things for granted in life. We understand their value only when we lose them.

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Letter from Home-30 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual
30-10-18

Dear Doddamma,
We went to Maikuri yesterday morning. Mava (father-in-law) was with us for ten days and he was yearning to go back home. The couple who live there to cook and help had been away. They have returned now. We left at seven in the morning. Since Sunday evening mava was feeling very confused about where he was. That evening we had been to the lake. Kuvara and Aravinda went for a walk round the lake. Mava and I sat in the premises of Lord Ganapati temple nearby. It is very peaceful there. After returning he was feeling confused. Yesterday morning he kept saying he was not sure about the places we were passing by. Only after reaching Mangalore (the town halfway between our place and where my father-in-law lives) he understood that he was going back home. He was happy to be back in his own place. But the change did him good. It will be nice if he comes here for a week or so, every two months.

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When mava was here most evenings we would go to Venugopala temple after dropping Aravinda at his college. He teaches German certificate courses in his college. The present course will finish November end. Just inside the gate of the temple premises there are stone benches. Mava and Kuvara (my husband) sit there. It is quiet and peaceful. My husband goes for a walk in the morning. I used to go for a walk in the park nearby. I meet one lady regularly. Her name is Lakshmi too. She lives with her son and family nearby. This temple and its park are in the Engineering college campus. Once mava and I were talking when a lady sat near us. She started talking to me. She was happy to hear someone speaking Kannada. We went for the walk together. She lives in a small town in the northern part of our state. Her son is a lecturer in the Engineering college and her daughter-in-law, a teacher. Sometimes there is a connection between two people. Financially she had not been well -off and her husband had left her for another woman. She brought up her four children. She said with God’s grace her son studied well, worked hard to continue his post-graduation and is now doing well. Her three daughters are married. She is happy and satisfied.

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Mava has always eaten boiled rice conjee for breakfast. He says it is very filling. When he comes here I prepare that and a rasam for him. We usually have dosas, upma or sago kichdi. He eats dosas in the evening. He cannot eat spicy food, so I make bland dishes for him. He loves to hear Carnatic music. The internet is such a boon, I used to connect to YouTube. One evening we were returning home, it was dark. We were on the road near home when my husband suddenly stopped the car. A python was slowly crossing the road 😊. Our neighbour said he always sees it.

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Doddamma, we are now getting good oranges. I make ‘thambli’ from the peels. I cut the peels into small pieces and fried them and red chillies in little oil. Then ground them with coconut, added buttermilk and boiled the liquid. I seasoned with mustard and garlic. We all liked it very much. The flavour of the orange peel is very nice.
I had told you about our book club. We started it in 2009 and meet once a month. We tell about the books we have read and also have fun discussions. Aravinda started coming from early this year. We enjoy ourselves. The meeting is from 5.45 to 7 in the evening. On Sunday morning Kuvara’s cousin and her daughter had come to see mava. He was happy to meet them. She told us that she had gone to see him once in his home and he was not able to recognize her. So she was very happy. Today morning we got some doors in the house painted. This painter and his team painted our house after it was constructed and later too. He finished the work by evening. Aravinda went to college and we went for a walk around Manipal lake.

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Hope you have received my letter which I posted on 23rd.
We are waiting for November 8th. Gayatri, Kavya and Advaith will reach Mangalore at 5.30 in the evening. Three of us are going to the airport to receive them. My husband and son will be seeing Kavya for the first time.

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With lots of love,
Lakshmi

[‘Slice of Life’ has reaffirmed my belief that everyday moments are precious moments. They make us what we are. I have been posting my letters to my father’s elder brother’s wife, I call her Doddamma. It literally means elder mother. I mailed my letters to my cousin’s wife. She used to read it to her. One day she told me that doddamma enjoyed hand-written letters. She reads and re-reads them. So, I have once again started writing letters on paper and posting them to her. I edit and share what I have written to her in ‘Slice of life’. I like reading the different slices of life. We live in different places of the world but there is a sameness in our everyday lives. It is fascinating and that sameness connects us.’]

Letter from Home-30 (Slice of Life)

 

 

Letter from Home-29 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual
22-10-18
Dear Doddamma,
On the 19th was Aravinda’s birthday. We seek your blessings on the occasion. I made gulab jamuns. The same morning, my father-in-law and Keshava (brother-in-law) came from Maikuri (where my father-in-law lives in the village) with Kuvara. They came is a taxi. On the 16th morning Keshava phoned to say mava was not feeling too good. He was alone as the couple who live there had gone elsewhere. Kuvara went there to help. Then we decided it was better if my father-in-law (mava) came here, we could look after him better. My daughter, Gayatri and grandchildren are coming on November 8th. We will try to make him stay and enjoy the company of his great grandchildren. He has lived in his home in the village for almost ninety years and it is natural that he misses being away from there.

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Doddamma, we have many curry plants in our garden, we did not plant all of them. But they are there and we do not feel like removing them. I use them in my daily cooking and also make chutney powder using them. I also take a lot of leaves and boil them in coconut oil, strain and use it for my hair. It feels good. I remember the nice plant you had in the pot in your verandah.

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We now get many millets and barley in our Co-operative society grocery shop. I use them regularly. I make a sweet porridge from the millets using coconut milk and jaggery.

During Navaratri festival, Aravinda and I went to the Shree Mahishamardini temple not far from home. All of us like going to this temple. It is small, quiet and peaceful. Kuvara was in Maikuri, with his father and brother. We went on 18th, it was the day of Mahanavami. There were many devotees. Many ladies were singing bhajans. We were there for more than half an hour listening to the song. It was very soothing and it seemed to be a story. I must ask someone about it.

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On the 19th, my friend had invited us to her home, she keeps ‘Golu dolls’ every year. She arranges them on seven steps and all the dolls are beautiful. I remembered my father’s elder sister who used to keep dolls for Navaratri. Her granddaughter is following that tradition. Aravind had German class my father-in-law was tired so Kuvara stayed with him at home.

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Doddamma, I stitch my clothes and I had a lot of extra left-over material. I had cut them into square shapes. When amma was here she joined them using back stitch. Last week I stitched two blankets, one for Advaith and one for Kavya (our grandchildren). They look very bright and colourful. I have seen patchwork quilts with nice designs. Maybe next time I will try to make a nice design.

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Did you have rains in Bombay? Here last week we had heavy rains with thunder and lightning. My friend was saying that rains should not come now because paddy in the fields would have been harvested and spread in the fields to dry. They will become wet and may even sprout. Then it will be difficult to store and the farmers would not get a good price when they have to sell the rice. We do not have control over Nature.

Today afternoon I went to Asare, home for the mentally challenged. I go there thrice a week. In the evening we left Aravinda at his college and went to Venugopala temple. Kuvara and mava sat on one of the stone benches just within the temple premises. I went for a walk in the park. Kuvara goes for a walk early in the morning. We returned home by 6.45.
I posted my letter to you on the 17th. Hope you have received it.
With love,
Lakshmi

Mangalore style southe sambar recipe | Mangalore cucumber …
vegrecipesofkarnataka.com/49-mangalore-style-southe-sambar.php
Mangalore style southe sambar or cucumber sambar recipe using sambar-cucumber. Mangalore southe sambar is prepared using fresh ground masala. Mangalore southe or cucumber sambar is in practice across mangalore, udupi and malnad region of Karnataka.

Navaratri – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maha_navami

Curry tree – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry_tree
[‘Slice of Life’ has reaffirmed my belief that everyday moments are precious moments. They make us what we are. I have been posting my letters to my father’s elder brother’s wife, I call her Doddamma. It literally means elder mother. I mailed my letters to my cousin’s wife. She used to read it to her. The other day she told me that doddamma enjoyed hand-written letters. She reads and re-reads them. So, I have once again started writing letters on paper and posting them to her. I edit and share what I have written to her in ‘Slice of life’. I like reading the different slices of life. We live in different places of the world but there is a sameness in our everyday lives. It is fascinating and that sameness connects us.’]

Letter from Home-29 (Slice of Life)

 

 

 

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #223 Rise&Fall

ronovan-writes-haiku-poertry-challenge-image-20161

Life impermanent
Here today gone tomorrow.
Of those in power,
The rise and fall of empires.
What goes up has to come down.

Rulers of the Vijayanagara empire ruled in many parts of South India in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijayanagara_Empire&ved=2ahUKEwip_Yrhp5XeAhUJcCsKHSL6AwAQFjAVegQIBhAB&usg=AOvVaw3i1VHglCht5uOqvsu_-hAH&cshid=1540048826826

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #223 Rise&Fall

Letter from Home-28 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

‘Slice of Life’ has reaffirmed my belief that everyday moments are precious moments. They make us what we are. I have been posting my letters to my father’s elder brother’s wife, I call her Doddamma. It literally means elder mother. I mailed my letters to my cousin’s wife. She used to read it to her. The other day she told me that doddamma enjoyed hand-written letters. She reads and re-reads them. So, I have once again started writing letters on paper and posting them to her. I edit and share what I have written to her in ‘Slice of life’. I like reading the different slices of life. We live in different places of the world but there is a sameness in our everyday lives. It is fascinating and that sameness connects us. ‘

16-10-18
Dear Doddamma,
I was very happy to talk to you the other day. I am very glad that you are getting my letters. I asked in the post office and they told me it will take about a week for the letters to reach you. I have posted my 2nd letter to you on the 9th. I like writing to you and I remember ajja (grandfather) writing to all his grandchildren. We used to write regularly to each other when he was away from us.
On the 12th Kuvara (my husband) went to Maikuri and returned on the 13th evening. He went to be with his father and brother. The couple who work there had gone elsewhere. My father-in-law is 93 and fine for his age. He likes to keep himself busy.

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( betel fruits are sun dried for forty days and stored in air-tight rooms. The outer cover is removed and the nuts sold. My father-in-law thought it would be nice to help. )

On the 12th afternoon I went to Asare, home for the mentally challenged. I have been going there since 2011 and it has become a very necessary part of my life. Earlier, before Kuvara retired he used to leave me there after lunch before going to his department. I used to walk back home. It used to take me about 35 minutes. But now, three times a week, we go together. He gets down at the Medical library to read the latest dental journals. I drive on to Asare. Later I drive back and we return home together.

Last month when I was in Hyderabad Amma had a check up as she was with us for four months. She is having radiation therapy since 11th. She has to have it for 15 days. Shaila, my sister-in-law goes with her to the hospital. Amma is feeling quite fed up going to the hospital but she told me she is not going to worry and take life as it comes. She learnt this from you, doddamma. You always tell that you take life as it comes. Amma wanted to come and stay with you for some time. She will not be able to come now. She is disappointed. My brother told her that he will take her to see you one weekend later on.

Home (13)

Doddamma, Aravind has a talking software in his laptop which helps him to read whatever he wants to read. We got it in 2002 and over the years he has been getting the newer versions. It has made him very independent in his reading, But sometimes he has to get a book scanned and transferred to his computer. When the book is scanned some errors happen in the words. Last week I checked and corrected a play which he has to read. He had the hard copy, I looked at and made the necessary changes in the digital copy. New technology has brought so many changes in our lives. We see and talk to Gayatri (our daughter) and children every day. They are coming on November 8th. We are eagerly waiting for the day. I am making blankets for them from amma’s old silk and cotton saris. I had taken two when I had gone to Germany last year.

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On Sunday evening we went to Sri Janardana and Mahakali temple in Udupi. Lots of people come to attend Navaratri pujas. There are many cultural programmes. That day there was Yakshagana by women artistes. But we did not wait for it. There are many temples to Goddess Durga, in her different forms around our place. They are all very serene and peaceful places. We like going there.

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On Saturday night it started raining, we were pleasantly surprised. It rained for more than half an hour. People here believe that it always rains during Navaratri and it always does.
We are all fine here doddamma.
With love,
Lakshmi
Navaratri – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navratri

Jaws – Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JAWS_(screen_reader)

Areca nut – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areca_nut

Letter from Home-28 (Slice of Life)

Trust Dissolving

I first met him when he was about eight years old. He has a twin sister. He has autism and cannot speak. He has no behaviour problems, but his parents found it difficult to look after him. They lived is a far away country and chose to leave him to grow up in an institution for the mentally challenged. The parents provided the material things and went away. Fortunately for him his caregiver looks after him with love. He has learnt to do things by himself. He believes the caregiver to be his mother. We wonder at the feelings of his parents. Recently, his mother and sister came to be with him. His twin sister was seeing him after two years, and he did not recognise her. His mother behaved like a polite stranger. I don’t think he was worried about that. He calls his caregiver his mother and expresses his affection at unexpected moments. Did his disability alienate his mother?

Human beings are really strange. They are supposed to have the faculty of reason, emotions and feelings, but many a time they just do not recognise these in other people.
I was reading about child prostitution in the newly formed state of Telangana in south India. Young girls are sold and forced into prostitution at a very young age. They are manipulated and tortured at every step. And women do this. We read that many have been rescued from the horror that was life for them. Doctors say they need a lot of psychological support to help them overcome the trauma. I wonder if they can ever forget the life of terror and torture. Don’t the perpetrators have any feelings?

This lack of feeling and the greed for money makes people forget that their victims have a life of their own to live on their own terms. I am reading A Sense of the World by Jason Roberts. It is a biography of James Holman who lived in the first half of the 19th century. He was also called ‘the blind traveller’. He had travelled all over the world. He was in Africa too and ran into slave trade which was actively being carried out between that continent and the Americas. This was very profitable for the slavers. He learnt that Africans helped to capture fellow-Africans to sell them to the slavers. James Holman wrote, “the slavery the African endures in his own country, where all things conspire to oppress him, is of worse character than that which he suffers under a different rule.”

It really troubles me to acknowledge the bitter truth that only human beings take pleasure in being cruel for its own sake, and do not think twice before betraying those who trust them.

James Holman – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Holman

James Holman FRS (15 October 1786 – 29 July 1857), known as the “Blind Traveller,” was a British adventurer, author and social observer, best known for his writings on his extensive travels.

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