The biggest fallacy is that those who continue to live with their parents, love them more. The truth is, it’s a minefield of squabbles out there and the build up resentment and acrimony in the family is so thick, you can cut it with a knife.
It has nothing to do with love in the first place. Or with our great Indian culture – which is invoked every time in a discussions of this nature. The reasons for shacking up with parents are usually selfish; not being economically independent, high rentals, security and comfort, warm home cooked meals, not having to deal with the pesky landlord or simply plain laziness.
But over the decades apples have transformed the lives of the apple growing community completely. The apple growers no longer live in villages in traditional mud and wood houses. Most of them now live in lavish farmhouses in the middle of their orchards harking to a lush, beautiful English countryside than a rural Indian setting. Expensive 4WD’s park behind the high walls of these houses and orchardists check for weather forecasts on their iPads and iPhones. Their children study in expensive boarding schools and little expense is spared during any social occasions like marriages or village rituals.
This is clearly not a fans shrine to their superstar. Bollywood fimstar Amitabh Bachchan is worshipped here as a God incarnate and full rites and rituals are accorded to him as to any Hindu God including the devotional aarti sung to him in pious clamor to the accompaniment of cymbals and bells.
And the temple is like any other Hindu temple with its religious protocol and symbols and customs. So much so that as we cross the threshold, the autorickshaw driver, as if on an ancient impulse, folds his hands in reverence.
Reverence for all things living is a special trait of Hinduism. But nothing prepares you for the freak show at this temple in Rajasthan overrun by thousands of overfed rats. There are over 20,000 of them living within the temple precincts and people come from far and wide to pay them obeisance
When I was growing up I wanted to become a hunter. I was encouraged in my bloody endeavor by my father when he got me my cousin’s hand -me -down air-rifle. With it I shot a wide variety of birds that live in the orchards and its periphery.
The birds were shot for morbid boyish pleasure of course but there were some like the streaked laughing thrush and the oriental turtle dove we barbequed in the jungle and ate. The streaked laughing thrush was particularly delicious and as a bird lover now , disconcerting though the thought is, my mouth still waters at the memory of the flesh.
Prajapati is an innovator who is in the business of making everyday household appliances including refrigerators, pressure cookers, non-stick pans, water dispensers- all out of clay. These products marketed under the Mitti Cool banner are not only eco-friendly, sustainable and effective but also very cheap.
Life and death are so finely interwoven into the matrix of Indian life that sometimes it is just a matter of course. Like in this quaint restaurant in Ahmedabad, Gujrat, where the living come out to dine with the dead. Built over a graveyard, the New Lucky Restaurant has more graves than tables.
Humans are the only species on the planet who rape though ironically we often call the rapists animals. No animal rapes. No animal has sexual perversions or depravities. It is, as with most things, a peculiar human trait.
The liberals (so called ) suppress any thoughts or research that could brand them one of these terms : sexist, racist, communal and in the case of India castist. Liberals will do anything to be seen as liberals. Which paradoxically often leads them to voicing illiberal ideas.
I believe, one of the main reasons why we don’t read in India is because historically in the East the exploration has always been within. If you want any answers you look within rather than without.
The Kumbh Mela does no service to Hinduism. Rather it presents a very narrow, clichéd and archaic picture of this versatile religion. Thanks to events like the Kumbh, Hinduism has become a mere Brahaminical ritualistic mumbo jumbo. Hinduism of the Upanishads that expounds on existentialism, and a deep personal inquiry is virtually unknown to the Hindus or is completely lost to them.
Only a sustained public discourse on the subject can restore Hinduism to the heights of wisdom the great Upanishadic mystics had elevated it to. Otherwise Gurus like Assaram will continue to emerge from the woodwork and try and define it for us.
The main dome itself seems a bit out of place compared to the domes of other Mughal Mosoleums. The domb here is somewhat extended at the top giving it the ‘onion’ look. The dome and other places where marble is used has a rough patchwork look to it. Thats because most of the marble used in Safdarjung Tomb was marble plundered from other tombs-most notable the tomb in Nizamuddin of Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana, Akbar’s protege,
One of the main triggers of religious conflict in India particularly between the Hindus and the Muslims has been over places of worship. The demolition in 1992 of the ancient Babri Mosque at Ayodhya by the Hindu religious right who claimed it was the birthplace of Lord Ram, is just one example. Many religious sites [...]
The fact is there is little to put the person who genuflects before a God in Heaven apart from the one who bows before a country. Both are worshipper of an abstract idea. In one case the idea is enforced by the priests and in the other its promulgated by the politicians.
Prayer as practiced by all organized religions of the world is a sort of begging. The believers worship a certain God, either out of fear or to fulfill their needs (material, emotional or spiritual). Shiva the Destroyer, is very much like the angry Old Testament God. He has to be kept happy, lest he wreck havoc on the world and our lives. Vishnu the Preserver has the power to fulfill our dreams. His various avatars from Krishna to Rama are worshipped by Hindu’s for a better salary, better grads in school, good husband, safe air journey etc.
But Brahma? What is the point of worshipping him? He is the creator and he has done his job. He has no power to either destroy our dreams or fulfill them. So why worship him? That’s why Brahma has been completely ignored by the Hindus.
The problem is that in India exercise is seen as an unusual activity, a fad or an indulgence of the elite. If you workout people comment,
‘’ Wah! so you are a fitness freak?’’.
We began our life on the planet as hunters and gatherers. We trekked for days in search of food. It was arduous physical labor and it’s all imprinted in our genes. We may have altered the world around us but our bodies haven’t suddenly metamorphosed in the short span we have been on this planet. It needs that primeval physical exertion.
Though the younger generation of orchardist are all well educated , deep rooted tradition beliefs prevail over commonsensical environmental awareness. They would rather slaughter a goat to the local Gods for good weather than plant trees in their depleting forests.
It is touted that the Umaid Bhawan Palace was built as a drought relief measure by Maharaja of Jodhpur Umaid Singh. The idea was to make a luxurious private residence for the Maharaha in order to create employment for the starving people of Jodhpur. I find it ironic. Imagine a man thinking of making a 347 room luxurious villa for himself out of the misery of the people is he supposed to serve. Surprisingly the Maharaja is glorified till this day as a philanthropist for his `noble gesture’. The moment you enter the Umaid Bhawan a large plaque informs you about this `generosity’.
In my grandfather’s time, ‘good old days’ were indeed the good old days. There were no rules for love and marriage and sex was free. You met a girl at the village fair and if she was willing, you could have a roll in the hay. If you wanted something more serious you brought her home as a bride . If you didn’t get along you simply broke off because divorce was not a stigma. Not even for women. My grandfather boasted of having married 13 times in this fashion and my grandmother thrice.
Banned books are fantastic for the obvious reasons. They question the status quo, challenge existing paradigms, question idiotic beliefs no matter how sacred, and provoke you to think anew. The very reasons the politicians and the clergy would not want you to touch them. But what is good writing if it won’t give you a fresh perspective. And what is freedom of expression without the freedom to offend? After all for how long can you read Paulo Choelho or Chetan Bhagat
Its interesting that almost all the religions of the world decided that the best way to appease their Gods was to butcher hapless animals to them. Apart from reasons of piety, I suspect it had something to do with guilt. Taking another animals life for food may have looked a bit selfish. Therefore as in most things, men decided why not do it in the name of God? You get to eat the meat and God takes all the blame for the blood and gore.