Monthly Archives: November 2012

Brinda’s Wedding


 Update for week ended 23 November 2012

The wedding preparations were on since Diwali. Brinda’s family had spent a large part of the Navratri holidays in shopping for the saris and jewellery for her wedding. Navaratri always symbolized the beginning of good tidings, but was still not considered auspicious for weddings. The sari shops had just launched their latest collections from as far off as Varanasi and Kancheepuram. The silks dazzled, and so did their prices, just as the golden metal prices. Brinda’s father was not a very prosperous grain merchant, but was well off enough to ensure that his daughter got all the trousseau that she deserved. She was an accomplished singer, and when she sang the Vitthal Abhangs, devotional songs written and sung by the rural poet saints from Maharashtra and Karnataka, the audience felt transported to the era of Purandara Dasa and Tukaram. Her devotional songs were appreciated by all, especially Vishnu, who had been audience to her performance for a while. He had pursued her and after the concert, had actually walked up to the green room to talk to her. But she was surrounded by her music troop members and was seen chatting heartily with the burly Jalandharan. Vishnu was not one to lose heart, so easily, so he used the help of his dear friend, Shankar to get more information on Jalandharan and Brinda. Shankar was most eager to help his friend, especially if it was to do with his love. But he had not so good news, Jalandharan was engaged to marry Brinda. Vishnu had to figure out a way to get Brinda to break the engagement. And he planned – he got Jalandharan an IT JV partner in US and sent him off for a few months. During that time, he wooed Brinda, but only slightly. She was busy with her concerts and also wanted to earn for her trousseau. Vishnu, helped her quite a bit in that respect. But Jalandharan was becoming quite an IT whizkid, and was planning on taking his startling venture public. Meanwhile, he travelled the US for the IPO roadshows and parties. At one such party, Shiva was there and he saw Jalandharan getting cosy and close with a blonde haired beauty. He sent the party pictures to Vishnu. The rest is understood, and now the wedding cards were also distributed. The eleventh day after Diwali was the chosen date for the wedding and Brinda was excited too. Vishnu’s happiness knew no bounds, as he too shopped for the wedding. The day arrived and the bride was dressed in a bottle green kanjeevaram with red and gold gopuram, templeborder. The groom was wearing his golden yellow pitambar vastra, silk dhoti draped the traditional way in 5 yards. And the wedding venue had the green canopy  of the banana fronds, and mango leaves. And when the head priest recited the sacred 8 shlokas, the anxious crowd cupped their palms filled with vermilion soaked rice, and dug in with their right hand fingers and thumb, pinching a few grains, and showering it on the couple, the moment the white silk cloth with a red swastika dropped down! Brinda and Vishnu were married.

 

The week or two after Diwali have been one or two of much action on the D Street. The wedding season purchases were on, as a few D Boyz were getting married, while others just helped in the preparations. Who likes to miss such occasions? So the green and red saris were bought and the orders placed for the green canopy of banana plants and fronds (sending the SENSEX up and up into green territory); and on the last day, when the curtains fell at the wedding venue, the red daubs of the vermilion stained rice left a few red patches on the SENSEX – finally taking it to a weekly close of 193 points up to 18506. This will also spell the beginning of the official wedding season for the rest of India. (of course, D Street saw its share of marriages as a UK distiller “took his Indian liquor bride”, and there are rumours of an Emirati planning to tie the knot with a Jet setting Indian airways.)

 

Brinda was destined to marry her Vishnu, even though a few a months ago, it seemed implausible. Just like the legend of Tulsi who married Krishna even though she was married to someone else in her previous birth.  

 

Have a nice week ahead….

 

The tree droppings


Update for week ended 8 Nov 2012

The street that runs along my home is narrow, but tree lined. I cannot call it an avenue, as it does not have trees neatly nestling alongside each other on either sides of the thoroughfare, but has large ancient trees that spread their canopies over the entire road, that it feels like an avenue. The trees are not of the same species either, so that is another reason why I would not call it an avenue. There are tall peepul trees, and matriarchal banyans, with their aerial roots hanging down benevolently on passersby. The street get sit colour from the flamboyant gulmohars and the yellow copperpods that spring into colour, though not in spring, but in the monsoons and the summer, respectively. But last week, when I stepped out onto the street to walk to my morning routine of the gym visit, I saw little green springy, wiry, balls or something that I could not immediately recognize. It intrigued me. I thought for awhile, as I walked the street, carefully kicking it about. I saw this for a couple of days on my daily routine. However on Thursday, I saw an addition to the street droppings. There were little red fruit splats that at times exposed the ripe interiors of the yellow seeds. Now, I was getting a little more confused as I walked up to the gym again that day. And then that evening, as I returned home in my car, the narrow street made it difficult to drive faster than in second gear. And as I neared the gate into which I would turn left everyday, I saw a sight that was not seen in the light of day. It was a large winged bird that flapped its wings slowly, unlike the flap-flap flap of the domestic pigeon or the slightly slower but still fast enough crow’s wing flaps. And this could not be the brahminy kite that usually flies at heights, not below the tree covers. And then as they settled on the branches, I noticed that the wings getting tucked under the body, which was not above the branch, but below it. The streetlight was bright enough to see the silhouette of the fruit bat!

The week was getting dressed in its finery for the festival week ahead. The D Street Boyz were shopping gold for their wives and mothers and sisters and the goldsmiths of the nearby Z Market Street were ever eager to sell gold, golden coins, silver coins, silver currency note impressions. Anything to get their stocks out of their safes. What they forgot was that in the crowds were also informers of the police and income tax department who saw the open safes and the cash stashed therein, ready to raid them. Meanwhile, the D Boyz got worried that the police would enter the D Street next, and started emptying their coffers by getting rid of profits and also lost some control of the SENSEX. So what started as a celebratory week (also to celebrate some new non-white president’s re-entry into his white house), turned into a red downward slide week with the SENSEX losing over 70 points in the week to end at 18683.

The fruit bats have been confused for evil vampires, perhaps because they look like the vampire bats. They have the same “fang like” canines, the night adventures also give them the “evil” tag. But they are harmless vegetarian animals. They feed on fruits and leaves and in their clumsy hold of the branches, also crush some of the ripe fruits that fall from the trees in fruit splats. They also relish the banyan red figs, especially when they are abundant in the absence of the langurs which feast on this all day in the forests of India. The green little fibrous balls are the juicy green peepul leaf, which the bats chew and chew to get the chlorophyll out and then spit out the fibres that drop on the streets below. So my mystery is solved, and I am now concerned over the common barn owls.

It is that time of the year when they roost near fields which are bursting with ripe grain, and attract rodents. The barn owls feast on the rodents in indirectly helping humans save their produce. But there are people who believe that since the Goddess of Wealth flies on an owl, is appeased with sacrifices of these helpful birds. So here is hoping and wishing them safety away from the human predators, whom they ironically protect. And I wish you all a very happy and safe Diwali. Please take care of the environment and do not burst crackers and firecrackers. Enjoy yourselves with light and colour and sweets and your family and friends.

Cheers…..