And a little more

I am reading The Seven Commandments of Bhagvad Gita by J P Vaswani. The third commandment is ‘ Thou shalt do your duty and a little more.’

As I was reading this so many people came to mind. I remembered all those students who had agreed happily to be scribes to my son during his exams. Some had exams the next day but they did not hesitate to do that ‘little more’. That makes them so special.

I remembered those people in Pushkar and Sofia who came forward to help us when they did not really have to. I cannot even remember their faces. With time we may not remember all that we saw in those places, but we will always remember those people who did that ‘little more’.

Many days ago, we were sitting in the Temple square enjoying the quiet and serenity. An elderly couple were going by with their luggage. They asked a young man for some directions. He not only gave that but went along and showed them the way. He went out of his way to help them, that ‘little more’. It is such small, everyday happenings, seemingly insignificant, that remain a precious part of our lives.

J P Vaswani says, ‘ The opposite of love is not hatred, the opposite of love is apathy- indifference to the needs of those around you.’

10441297_10154286751365183_5255820835480801985_n

(This photo is of the Temple square in our town. The temple to Lord Krishna is more than 800 years old.)

Advertisements

The daily post photo Challenge – Summer Loving

WP_20140727_17_50_56_Pro

Our summers are very hot, but fortunately the rains start in June and the temperature comes down. This year the rains started only in the first week of this month and we are having good rains. The other it was bright and raining. We caught sight of the sun shining through the leaves of the coconut tree, from our house . It was a beautiful sight.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Fire or Season of Summer

Fire is a very important part of our lives. The God of Fire is Agni and we worship Him daily.We light a lamp every morning and evening in our homes. We perform the Aarati after our prayers. Aarati is often performed with camphor. Finely rolled muslin cloth or cotton dipped in oil is also used. In this photo Aarati is being made with the fire being lit and the finely rolled muslin cloth kept in two halves of coconut. Goddess Durga is being worshiped.

DSC04983

 

DSC04985

 

 

Turmoil

Sometimes he is very disturbed, keeps crying, shouting and running about. There are tears in his eyes and he cannot express the turmoil in his mind through words. And others cannot understand what is going on in his mind. He is a small boy who had been in the care of his grandparents but now they are too old to look after him. His parents did not really want him. They come rarely to see him and he does not recognize him. Maybe a little bit of love would have made a real difference. But it was not to be. In a way it is good that he is where he is, he is looked after well and is not ignored and neglected.

Why do such things happen? Not only to him but everywhere, to all living beings . There is so much violence and turmoil all over the world. Some come to our notice, but most of it is hidden and away from public eye. People suffer in their own private hell. Places bombed, planes being shot down, people tortured and killed through no fault of theirs, people suffering indignities at the hands of other people. Not only human beings but all other animals too. Only human beings are cruel for the sake of being cruel, for their own enjoyment. There is turmoil everywhere and there is this sick, helpless feeling in the pit of the stomach.

This has been happening for ages and will continue to happen. Human nature never changes . I suppose that is the only constant thing in this world.

mobile pictures 282

The Daily Post Photo Challenge- Containers

My father-in-law enjoys making a very delicious of the inner part of the stem of the banana plant. We make many dishes from it. The stem is sliced and cut into fine pieces. It is mixed with curds.Salt and chopped pieces of garlic is added to it. This dish is made and served in this ceramic bowl (container).

DSC00951

A word a week photograph challenge – Traditional

Traditional- long established or customary

In our country cradle ceremony is a very important tradition. The baby sleeps in the cradle only after this ceremony. It is usually after the 10th day after offering prayers to God and observing certain rituals. These rituals vary from place to place. All close relatives come for this very traditional function to bless the baby. These photos are of the cradle ceremony of our grandson, daughter’s son. He is being blessed by my parents and my husband’s father.

DSC02216

DSC02219

Cee’s fun foto challenge- Wood/spring

DSC03982

DSC03984

WP_20140716_14_21_35_Pro

This is the dwarf variety of the Areca nut palm tree in our garden. The flowers look beautiful when they burst out from their covering. The covering looks like a cap and after a few days it falls away. Now the outer covering of the areca nut is green colour. It becomes orange when ripe. It is then plucked. Areca is widely grown in our state and for many farmers it is a source of income. The usual variety of this tree grow to a great height.

cees-fun-foto

 

Memories of Childhood ; Oil bath

What I love about reading is that it takes us into the world of
imagination. That world is sad or happy depending on what
we read. While reading, certain words or characters strike a
chord and take us down memory lane and what Claudio Magris
says in his book, Danube, seems so true.

“ Events which occurred many years ago or decades ago, we feel
to be contemporary, while facts and feelings a month old seem
infinitely distant and erased forever. Time thins out, lengthens,
contracts, forms all but tangible clots or dissolves like fog-banks
into nothing.”
This seems true when I read what my father writes about
his childhood-

“When we were small taking oil-bath was a
very important part of our lives. My mother used
to insist that we take an oil-bath at least once a week.
We rubbed coconut oil on our body and head and
rested for some time in the bathroom. Then,
mother came and poured hot water on our body.
Taking a powder called seege-hudi in Kannada,
she rubbed the body with it and poured some hot
water to remove the oil. As rubbing this directly on
the hair is painful, she used a jelly-like substance
called gompu and rubbed the head with it and seege-hudi.
All the oil on the body was gone! That was oil-bath.

At Hospet, where I spent my childhood, taking oil-bath
was difficult as soft water has to be obtained from outside.
So,we rarely had weekly oil-bath. But, mother insisted
that we have one at least once a month.

When I went to Chennai for my higher studies I was
surprised to find in Loyola College hostel, most of
the students, specially Tamilians, wanted to take oil
bath once a week, specially on holidays. Our hostel
had special bathrooms where hot water was provided.
On payment of some money, bath-oil and seege-hudi
were given. They did not have the custom of using gompu.
On Sundays, there was a lot of rush and one had
to wait for some time.

I had given up taking oil-bath after my
mother passed away. My Tamil friends insisted
on having this at least once a week. They
were surprised that we did not have this custom.
So, they told us the benefits we get from an
oil bath and advised me to take one at least once
a month. But it was only an advice and I did not
take it seriously.”

mgb43-3566

( This photo is of my father and his mother, it was
taken in 1940. She passed away in 1943, when he was only 12.)

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – RELIC

DSC02033

DSC02043

DSC02027

In 2011, we had been to Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat. We saw that Lothal was just about two hours away from Ahmedabad. Lothal is one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization ( 2400 BCE). It was also a vital trading centre of those times. We had grown up reading about the Indus Valley Civilization. This was a dream come true.

The first photo is of the Granary.

The second is of the drainage system

The third is of the Dockyard.Lothal was near the ancient course of the Sabarmati river.