northern lights

northern lights

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Superstitions and beliefs.

Some days back we had gone for a Puja to a friend's house.After the the Puja I just overheard two ladies talking. One of them was the hostess. The other lady asked her why had she  organised the Puja on a week day. She said that if the Puja had been held on the week end it would have attracted more guests.The lady of the house,without even a blink  in her eyes said the day is not auspicious. Moreover, the Puja had been kept to ward away the the effect of  Shani  from her son's  horoscope. This  conversation  set me thinking.   It was only the result of superstitions,which are deeply ingrained in our mind.

What is Superstition? What is the basis of superstitions? They are beliefs, notions and happenings which cannot be explained scientifically  or  no reasoning can  be given. Such  beliefs are generally baseless and irrational,which cannot be reasoned. It has been observed that these are mainly related to good/bad luck. In some cases it is connected with religion. For example, there is a belief that  we should keep a door open on Diwali so that Goddess Lakshmi can enter the house otherwise the Goddess will not visit the house.This religious faith has no basis,but people believe it.  A black cat is considered unlucky .If a black cat crosses your way , it is a bad omen and the work  for which you are going will not  be  accomplished.  Friday,the 13th is considered ominous because it is a belief that Jesus was crucified on Friday ,the 13th . So much so that people avoid the number 13  for their house. In some high rise buildings there is no 13th floor.  After the 12th floor comes the 14th floor.

   There are innumerable superstitions which neither have any base nor any explanation. We may call ourselves advanced but  in our heart of hearts we cling to some superstition. I know one gentleman  who signs  important documents ,sitting in the same chair, using the same pen and facing the same direction. Can you beat it? Maximum number of superstitions are  connected with examinations,going for interviews,marriage and child birth. When the children are going to write an exam, it is auspicious if they eat curd. When a lady is pregnant, she is prohibited from seeing  solar or lunar eclipse.It is a belief that if she does so, the child will be deformed. Another superstition is that if a woman , during pregnancy ,eats sweets the child will be a boy and if she likes spicy food , a girl child will be born.

The days of  a week  are all similar, but some days are considered to be inauspicious.  On Tuesdays people  do  not have haircut. Even some barber shops are closed. On Thursdays we don't wash clothes,don't have hair bath and  don't shave. There is no reason. Can anyone explain. There is also a belief that  some  time  of every day   is inauspicious,which is termed Rahu Kalam.  During this period no important work can be undertaken and  we are not supposed to leave the house if we have to go for a  journey. Many superstitions are related to  the theory  of reincarnation, spirits,luck, good or bad events etc. In fact any subject for which no rationale  can be given  becomes a superstition.

I have compiled some superstitious  beliefs. Can anybody throw some  light  on  the origin of superstitions and the intensity of their hold  on the people.

1.A cat, especially a black cat, crossing the  road.

2. Not walking under a ladder.

3.Twitching of the eyes.

4. Breaking of a mirror.

5.If a crow is  on the wall

6. Spilling of salt.

7.A broom  placed upright.

8.Many superstitions  about falling of lizards.

9.The  ringing of bells in a place of worship.

10. Itching of the hands/feet.

  I have mentioned only a few but there are several  more superstitions . In fact  every important event  from birth to death is associated with   beliefs  which  neither have any scientific  base nor  religious background.  They  have been  followed by our ancestors and are  observed down the line. Without giving  explanations these   go on  from  generation to  generation. I have also got several obsessions and compulsions. In  fact I have posted this  at an auspicious hour!!

Image of the cat: courtesy Google














Monday, 25 February 2013

Birth of Menon-e-azam


 This post is from my husband's archives.It was written by him  in the year 1960,when our son, who is now a CA was born. This is written in a humorous vein.

(This is another guest post by my husband.)

 While rummaging through a labyrinth of papers to locate a document, my eyes fell  on an old forgotten manuscript which, on scrutiny, turned out to be a first time father's excited outpourings on the arrival of his offspring.This treatise was penned by me in October 1960 in honour of my son.I have given the characters  figuring in this paper a touch of royalty. After all, to employ a cliche, if wishes were horses, we can ride the clouds.Even though it is wishful thinking,I have given  a free run to my imagination.It is said that writers can take some liberties. The events mentioned in the following narrative are, however, to the best of my knowledge,true.

Dramatis personae:
 1.Rani of Patel Nagar-My charming wife.
2.Queen mother---- My mother-in-law

3.Imperial majesty-My Father-in-law 

4.Prince A.D.C-My Brother-in-law 

5.Royal Mausis-My wife's sisters 

6.Royal Mamajis-My wife's brothers. 

7.His Heaviness-Myself-(in view of my bulk)

 8.Imperial Prince-My Son

Wednesday,October 19,1960,was to have been like any other day.But the Government's decision to celebrate Diwali on that day instead of on the succeeding day made it an auspicious day.It must be an auspicious day,otherwise,priests and pundits would not have not been able to prevail upon the authorities who matter, to change an entry in the printed government calender.Amidst the noise and blasts of fire crackers and other Diwali accompaniments in which children and those who are still children in their mental make-up indulge,the more sober of the populous woke up to be greeted by an angry sun.Diwali came but the sun was still scorching as if it were to announce that Diwali was still  far off.Her Majesty,the Rani of Patel Nagar was staying with the Queen mother of Kotla Road to make preparations to welcome the Imperial prince whose arrival was expected to take place a month hence.It was the day for Patel Nagar Rani to visit Lady Hardinge Hospital  for a detailed check-up.At 9 am ,His  Heaviness(Patel Nagar Rani's husband)was in the hospital to welcome the Rani and the royal retinue.They arrived.Without loss of time all    solemnly entered the hospital.But as ill-luck would have it we were informed that we would have to wait till 12 pm or so.But Providence was in our favour.It is proverbial that women have longer tongues.They will talk in and out of season.They will talk relevant and irrelevant things ,the latter always predominating.(my wife vehemently protested but I have assured her that I have great respect for all women)They have their own irrational fears and prejudices when they are carrying babies.The main topic of the ladies who were on a similar errand as that of the Rani of Patel Nagar,herein after called the Heroine,was displacement.There was heated discussions among the ladies.I was however totally confused.Some narrated some strange stories of the doctors' behaviour etc.Pessimism reigned supreme.Timid of the lot occupied hind most seats thus nourishing a false hope that they would be able to escape the doctor's ominous hands.  Our heroine,  Her Majesty,the Rani of Patel took this as an opportune moment. Our heroine though she was also obsessed with the fears mentioned above,made a bold entry into the sanctum sanctorum,the labour room.What a courage!What a dynamism!After ten minutes ordeal she came out putting on a brave smile though her general features betrayed suffering.The time was 10.45 am.The heroine accompanied by His Heaviness returned to Patel Nagar.The place was full of Diwali sweets.At about 2 o'clock the heroine started complaining pains.  Stomach pain on Diwali day is understandable. Even a person with moderate eating habits is likely to get it on that day.So reasonably enough I dubbed it as due to the over satisfaction of her palatal region.To be frank, it was dismissed as false pain.It is a widely known fact that  the heroine's faculty of pain is a bit super sensitive and her too common complaints are generally received with a complacent indulgence.She had some sort of pains a week before also and much fuss was made about it but later on it proved to be a false alarm.Knowing the background fully well these pains were also assigned to that category.At 6.30 pm,the heroine performed the Diwali puja and accompanied by His Heaviness left for the Imperial Headquarters in a taxi.At 7 pm,His royal highness Prince A.D.C inaugurated the fireworks.Atom bombs,hydrogen bombs,dynamite and what not made excursions to the heavens. The heroine let out a scream.Bring this ,bring that,pack this,pack that,do this,do that,etc-all instructing and no one to follow.There was a regular pandemonium.The heroine was all tears.Heroine accompanied by Queen mother,Imperial father etc ,all got into the car and sped away to the Lady Hardinge Hospital.The party reached the hospital at 7.45 pm.After some routine enquires the party was allowed inside.The heroine entered the labour room.Queen mother and Heaviness anxiously waited outside to hear the outcome even though His Heaviness still maintained that this was a recurrence of the event of the preceding week.But his protests were ignored.Occasional screaming of the heroine showed that she was wide awake.The clock struck 12.Another voice issued forth from the sanctum sanctorum.Whose could it be?Subsequent enquiries revealed that Imperial Prince has at last arrived.Well and good.There was excitement and more excitement.Queen mother Naniji ran to the telephone booth to convey the happy tidings to his Imperial Majesty,Nanaji and Royal Mausis and Mamajis who were all wide awake awaiting the news..I was happy beyond words and with full of  feelings that my son and successor has arrived. 

An appeal-Bouquets -yes. Brickbats- No Please 

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Have some light moments

Today I am posting some jokes.I found them quite interesting hence I am sharing them with friends. So,here we go

                             The Best News
The boss was finally old enough to retire from the company. On his last day of work, he ordered a farewell party for himself. The boss wanted everyone to express their good feeling about him by writing on the farewell card, so later he could remember how his staff "missed" him.

Most people were writing standard phrases like, 'Without you, the company will never be the same,' 'We will always remember you,' etc.

Obviously the boss was not satisfied, "I need something from the bottom of your heart, something really touching, you know. Okay, John, you have been working with me for the last 20 years. You are my best staff. I am retiring now. What do you have to say?"

 Slowly but firmly, John wrote, "The best news in 20 years." ha ha ha

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.
The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, 'When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah'.
The teacher asked, 'What if Jonah went to hell?'
The little girl replied, 'Then you ask him'. 

 A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work.
As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, 'I'm drawing God.'

The teacher paused and said, 'But no one knows what God looks like.'
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, 'They will in a minute.'

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.
She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, 'Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?'
Her mother replied, 'Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.'
The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, 'Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?' 

The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture.
'Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.'
A small voice at the back of the room rang out, 'And there's the teacher, she's dead.'
A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, 'Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face.'
'Yes,' the class said.

'Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?'
A little fellow shouted,
'Cause your feet ain't empty.' 


The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray:
'Take only ONE . God is watching.'
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.
A child had written a note, 'Take all you want. God is watching the apples.

 Cartoons courtesy :google


Friday, 22 February 2013

Liebsters Award

The Liebster award

 First  of all I sincerely thank   my friend and well wisher Smt.Panchali Sengupta  for nominating me for  the prestigious Liebster Award.  Panchali,  herself  being a  perfectionist in the art  of writing  blogs, has been awarded the Liebster Award  six times. I am sure that she will achieve many more awards.Her  style of writing and  giving  a magical touch to  words is so bewitching   that any one who reads the lines is enchanted. Being nominated by her is  is an honour.My grateful thanks to her for  the recognition she has given to my blogs.

What is the Liebster Award.

This is an award given by bloggers to deserving bloggers  to give them an  incentive  to keep writingIt is a sort of motivational Award.There are certain rules to be followed by the  nominees to be eligible for the Award. The rules are listed below:-

Step  1.

 The bloggers, who have  been nominated, must write 11 points pertaining to themselves.

Step 2

1.      Answer the questions which the nominator has set for you.

2.      Nominate persons whom you feel are deserving  and inform them.

3.      Create 11 questions for the bloggers you have nominated.

4.      Go the blog of each person and link them to your post

5.      No tag back is allowed.

Step  3.

 Answers to the questions that I have been asked by Madam Panchali  :   

 1.Are you a morning person or night?

I am a morning person. I love  listening to spiritual music  early  in  the  morning.

        2. Which is your favourite genre of music?
           I like to listen to old Hindi film  music.

        3.Which is your favourite hobby?
       I love to make chocolates and cakes
for my grand children.

4.Do you own any pet? What kind?
  Yes. We own a female Labrador  dog, Elsa. We adore her. She is an important member of our family.

5.How  do you motivate yourself to exercise?
 I want to  remain  mobile .

6. If you could move to any other city in the world, where would it be?
     I have lived in Delhi all my life and will not like to move from here but if there is any compulsion ,I would go to Kerala and  live  in Tattamangalam(a village) which has lush greenery all around and cool breeze.  It is  my hubby's birthplace.

7.Something  you learnt recently
 I learnt to use the computer .

8. What is your favourite season of the year?
    I like the Spring season  when Nature is at its best.

 9.  What was your favourite childhood toy?

  I loved playing with dolls.
10.Why did you start a blog?

After I retired  from Govt. job I wrote a book titled Reverse Gear. After the book was completed, I had nothing to do.I love to write so I started writing blogs to give vent to my creative instinct.

11.Which electronic device you can’t live without?

  My computer and Mobile phone.

Step 4.

Now I am mentioning 11 things about my self.

1.I am a retired Additional Director of Education.

2. I  am deeply rooted  in  spiritual  ethos.

3. I  have a  liberal outlook.The very fact that I am a Punjabi and married to a Keralite depicts my broad outlook.

4  Writing has become a passion with me.  Last year  I wrote a book titled ‘Reverse Gear’ about my experiences in personal and professional life.

5.Cooking is a craze for me. I love to experiment   with new recipes.

6.I love my house, which we built with great enthusiasm.  It is my nest where I live a life of contentment with my  doting  hubby, my loving son, an affectionate daughter- in-law and two cute and adorable grand daughters and last but not the least, our sooo sweet and faithful Elsa(our pet dog).

7 .I  am proud of my daughter and son-in-law, both eminent Doctors. They are a big support to us. Their two sons are darlings.

8.I am fond of  soothing music, especially old Hindi movie songs.

9.I am crazy  about my computer. I can sit on the computer day in and day out.

10.I like to chat with friends and relatives on the phone.

11.I  am thankful to God for all His  bounties. He has  always been kind to me. He has given me everything.

 Step  5.

The following bloggers are being nominated by me:

1.Shilpa Garg

2. BK Chowla

3. Rachna Parmar

4.Anil Kurup

5.  Rekha Kakkar

6. Balvinder Singh

7. Reshmi Kurup

8. Giribala Joshi

9.  Alka Gurha


11.Surbhi Bafna

Step  6

The 11 questions which you have to answer;

1.If you become the Prime Minister Of India, what will be your priority?

2. Which book are you reading these days?

3.Why did you start writing a blog?

4.Do you like to see sun rise or sunset?

5  Do you think that cooking is a female's prerogative?

6. What do you like to see on TV?

7. Which games do you like to play?

8. Do you believe in Destiny?

9. What do you prefer, arranged marriage or love marriage?

10. Do you believe in God?

11. What is your favourite pastime?












Saturday, 16 February 2013

Romancing tomorrow

'Romancing tomorrow'. This is a guest post written by my husband.He has kindly agreed to write his article in my blog.

Romancing tomorrow
Tomorrow is a concept, a beautiful concept, but not a reality. It is at best a presumptive or prospective or plausible reality but not an absolute reality. It is true that bards and bandits have woven ballads and bizarre poems around it. That does not in any way bestow on it a currency as for example, today.
Tomorrow! I love you with all my heart and soul. Today is dull and drab. What is today? It is a grind, it is horrifying and scurrying. Running from pillar to post. Tomorrow, ha my beloved! How much I miss you. Your unjustly labelled procrastination. Even if you are that, I will say, that you are the life and soul of all that is and that will be. Everybody loves you; the whole world adores you. My life companion is jealous of you, I hold you so tightly that she feels that I am flirting with you and that that hug is rightly hers.
Saints and savants, poets and pugilists, philosophers and pedagogues, pagans and purists, meek and the mighty, lowly and the lost and pugnacious and obnoxious all sing paeans about you. They lie at your threshold to have a glance of you or to be glanced at by you.
Regular shoppers will be aware of a slogan engineered by clever traders. They promise things on credt for tomorrow which never comes. Even such ordinary folk know the value and beauty of tomorrow. Chasing tomorrow is an elusive pursuit. As the saying goes, tomorrow never comes.  You can say today is yesterday's tomorrow, but you cannot say that it is tomorrow. Who has seen tomorrow? Not any living being, I reckon. Even though some astrologers and soothsayers claim that they can see tomorrow, after all what is prediction about, nobody can verify this claim because it is at best a conjecture or a science of possibilities and presumptions.
The invention of 'tomorrow' is a boon to many of the weak-hearted, and of course to procrastinators. If it is entertainment, I want it now at this very moment. If it is work, the first question that comes to mind is whether I can postpone it for tomorrow. Our work piles up like this because tomorrow never comes. Then we fret and fume and complain that we are overworked. Having said so, you cannot still ignore the concept of tomorrow. As distance lends charm, tomorrow sheds its charm all around.We make detailed plans for 'tomorrow' as we cannot do that planning tomorrow, since tomorrow is still in the stage of imagination if not hallucination.
Rightly or wrongly, justifiably or unjustifiably, in certain quarters tomorrow is equated with procrastination and delaying tactics. The truth is that there is some truth in this belief. A large segment of the populace either because of inertia or difficulty in grappling with a problem or situation puts off things for the morrow.
Stigmatised with procrastination, ruin and rumination will be their repast with hardly any scope for reparation or respite and often resulting in rumpus situations. Even though subsequent alacrity may, to some extent, mitigate the damage, most of what is obliterated will be irretrievable and irreconcilable. Such a situation may devastate a man's equipoise and cause severe mental disquietude. Procrastination is the commander of evil and feeble forces. Procrastination is also known as the virtue of the wise. If this enemy within is not routed in a straight battle of non-reticence and rectitude, recurrence and recrudescence will be the result which in one mighty sweep can wash away all that is achieved with valiant efforts.
Let us view tomorrow in its proper perspective and discharge all possible functions of the fabled tomorrow today itself. This is the lesson that we have inherited from the past and should be bequeathed to the succeeding generations.