Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Is something wrong?

Am I alone in this or do I have company? Have pondered over this question many a times...but yet to find a real reason for why I still do the following:

1) Work hundreds of miles away when I want to be with my loved ones back at Chennai
2) Want more money when I am already earning more than about 95% of Indians.
3) Feel something is not right when everything is going smoothly
4) Want to sleep badly between 2-4 in the afternoon after my lunch and then get back to work but I dont
5) Want to achieve something in life, but not exactly sure what
6) Want to find out the meaning of life, just to know if there is light at the end of the tunnel
7) Write Code when I want to be really out there doing something more real, more meaningful
8) Keep complaining that I am not living upto my potential

Perhaps, these questions were never meant to be answered, and we spend our life finding the answers, when they are there right in front of us all the time. "That is life".

Monday, March 21, 2005

A nice morning surprise

Well, had a call with my boss today and here is what he has to say:

Boss : Hi Bala
Me : Hi ...
Boss : Just wanted to speak to you about something
Me : Yes, sure, tell me.
Boss : We are please to inform you that we have decided to promote you. Thanks a lot for the good work.
Me : Thanks a lot. Thats great news.

So, meet Senior Applications Engineer Cb.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Visu's "Arattai Arangam"

I happened to see one more great episode yesterday. It is certainly one of the greatest things that has happened to TamilNadu and to India in general. For people who donot know about this serial, it is actually a Stage show conducted by Visu (Short for Viswanathan, who is a well known Cinema figure in TN...he used to take a lot of family-life oriented moviesearlier). In this show he portrays people from a varied background. You can see an old lady from Dindigul, and a school boy from Rameswaram all talking in the same show.

It is a talk show, where there will be a generic (ya, I am a software developer) topic, and people will voice their views on it. So far I have seen "n" number of disadvantaged people, "n" number of economically downtrodden people, "n" villages and "n" children benefit from this serial.

As I see each and every episode, I gain hope in life and in mankind in general. I have seen a person who is paralysed hip below, but has written a great software program called "Azhagi" which translates english to tamil. I have seen a young girl get awards and medals in almost all fields, and recently was selected to participate in a karate contest in Germany , but was unable to go because of economic problems....had she been to that contest, we would have probably seen another "Sania Mirza" of Karate in her...who knows?

I see a man who speaks of how his lover got killed in a Bus Burning incident in TN, and reformed himself, and decided to set up an orphanage in memory of his killed lover.

In this serial I have seen mountains being moved, rivers being created, and most of all, a smile on a poor mans face.

It is from this serial that I got my signature which says "Society is not destroyed by the action of a few rascals. It is destroyed by the inaction of the remaining good people" - said by Swami Vivekananda.

I would like to pay my salutations to Visu for having done a marvellous job. I am not finding words to praise you and your arattai arangam.

Also, I want to specifically praise the way he carries himself in the talk show. He has never raised a controversy ever ... though this is such a show where controversies can be as easily created as lifting a finger. To me, he seems like a very unbiased and balanced person. Kudos!!!

Great going Visu sir. Keep continuing the good work!!!

Your fan.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

When QA Pings "Hi"

Just thought up a sample conversation between a QA guy (Villain, because I am not in QA) and a Software Developer (Hero, because I am a developer). For all the ignoramuses, QA is the short for "Quality Assurance" team, which is incharge of testing the code that a developer writes.

This happens in the Chat window:

QA (pings the developer in the morning) : Hi
Developer (Oh Shit!!! My day is gone :( ...don't know what is wrong this time) : Hi
QA: Good morning
Developer (You say Good morning and spoil my whole day, you....) : Good morning
QA: Could you help me with something...I am not sure how to open this window
Developer (Phew!!! I thought he was gonna log some bug) : Ya sure... what is it...tell me...

And the developer spends 20 minutes explaining how to do something

After 2 hrs.

QA : Hi
Developer (Here he goes again :(...hope it is not a bug) : Hi
QA : Are we having any holidays next week?
Developer (Phew once again!!!) : No, I dont think so. Maybe we might be called to work on saturday and sunday as well :(
QA : :(

After lunch

QA : Hi
Developer (eh?) : Hi
QA : I am not sure if this is working the way it is supposed to...
Developer (Oh no!!!! he has spoken the forbidden words :( ... now what do I do) : What happened?
QA : Well, you see ....(and he goes on to explain the issue)
Developer (Oops, my day is screwed) : know like....basically I think it might not be an issue, let me take a look at it.
Developer (shit why did I miss that test case out :(....., and sits down to fix the issue)

After 1 hour

QA : Hi
Developer (Not again) : Hi
QA : Just had another doubt....I am not sure if this is working the way it is supposed to...
Developer (what???? you just gave me an issue, why dont you let me finish it ? ) : What is it?

And one more issue on our heros head....

After 1 hour

QA : Hi
Developer (exhausted with the earlier work): hi
QA : Could you please take a look at this bug : 1201010, I just logged it
Developer : Ya sure.

After several such conversations, at 7 PM in the evening our QA sends a bug report:

Report of bugs found today :

Bug 1201001 : blah blah blah is not working - Priority Low
Bug 1201002 : this is not working - Priorty Medium
Bug 1201004 : that is not working - Priority Medium
Bug 1201010 : nothing is working - Priority Very high


At 11 PM our hero crawls back home. His wife greets him

Wife : Hi
Developer : NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, not a Hi, say anything but a Hi.........I hate Hi. Hi is the beginning of all misery ... it all starts with a simple Hi.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Work Work Work!!!

My teammates have quit!!!
My teammates have quit!!!
My teammates have quit!!!

My bug queue is now twice the size of what it was!!!

Do I panic?


It is fun man. Great fun if you have to do a lot of work. It gives you a chance to learn so many things you. In fact, in one day I learned how to apply HR Global patch, and that the Saudi Localisation does not ship any Address details in an LDT (Huh!? what is that supposed to be?, have to be in my company to know what that means)

Anyways, looking forward for a lot of enjoyable time with loads of work , and less blogging :(.
I have so far logged a bug, fixed 3 bugs and helped to QA to get on with the QA since morning!!!

A great thing is my friend mumu has been promoted!!!!!
What about me? Don't ask. :) I dont know myself. All I know is he deserved it.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Thaatha from Mylapore - Part II

"Dey Gopal, can you please come here?", cried thaatha. Gopal was the next door neighbour's son. He was in his 2nd year of college.

"Coming, thaatha. What happened?", replied Gopal.

"Can you please help me with this computer that my son has sent me. I am not sure how to use it. It seems he had sent me an email last week. I am not able to understand how to use it. Can you please teach me how to use this"

"Thaatha I am busy right now, can I come later?", said Gopal grumbling.

"Ok Gopal. What time will you be free. I just want to learn how to use this computer so that I dont have to disturb you everytime to see my emails"

"I will come in the evening and teach you thaatha", said Gopal and quickly bolted

"Hmm...what do I do now...let me try to find out how to use it myself. Andha kaalathula naa paakadhadhaa? (I have done so may things in life, this should not be tough)", said thaatha, and started to switch on his computer.

"Click on Start to begin"

Thatha slowly and apprehensively keeps the mouse pointer right at the center of the "Start" button on the bottom left corner.

"Log off Chidambaram"
"Shut Down"

"Now which one do I select for checking email? Our thaatha slowly moves his mouse pointer to the programs, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts when he dragged his mouse too much to right and clicking only to make that menu disappear.

"Hmm...let me try Accessories... what is there in that....HAH!!! I got it, "Communications", I guess that is the thing I have to click to see email"

"Huh,? what is this, there is no email in communications...I wonder where I will find it"

Next our thaatha tries to type "EMAIL" in his keyboard and sees if anything happens.

After a dozen such attempts, two dozen wrong menus, and three dozen error messages, thaatha finally finds himself drawing the picture of a flower using paint brush after having given up the idea of reading an email.

Unfortunately he could not save the flower after drawing it for he did not know where to click and what to do. So our thatha switches off the computer thinking that he will find the flower where he left it the next time he switches it on. Thaathas Flower

He had a great first day with the computer of his. Now he is sound asleep, waiting for the evening to come....

Thursday, March 10, 2005

All in a name

Coming to think of it, why do people have such big names? I wouldn't mind a smaller name at all :)

I am being called "Bala" by most of the people, which is sort of wrong. It is just an adjective, "Bala" just means "Young". Once u attach it to "Subramanian" only then it gets a meaning which means "Balasubramanian", i.e "Young Subramanian".

I am atleast better off than my friend Lakshminarainan. Yes, it is "Lakshminarainan" with the shpelling msitaek. Some nomenclature, his parents tell him. I pity thee woodworm.

All along I thought I was the only one who was suffering from this trouble, until I met my friend dear Venkarasubramanian Ramachandran, whose name is so long it had to be truncated while forming his official email id. Oops....sorry about that.

Some of my friends were lucky enough to be called Kumaresan or Vasant or Hariprasad...

The trouble starts when you are asked to enter your email login, your tarantella login, your windows login, your online files login, your official support login etc etc, when you have to type every time :(

Hence I have decided that I am not calling my son/daughter with a name more than 8 characters long :)

I remember an email chain I read sometime back, where there was a guy who was called Parthasarathy, and there went his chances with girls. How do you expect to increase the list of your friends who are girls ;) , if you have a name like that? They will probably send you an invite to perform in the next Carnatic Music Festival that is held in Mylapore.

"Baaolar" is how my friend from US calls me :(. If such a simple 4 lettered "Bala" is so tough to pronounce for the people abroad, how the hell can I make him pronounce "Subramanian" :(

He will probably end up calling me "Baaolarshobromoiniyan".... noooooooooooooooooooooo

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Thaatha (Grandpa) from Mylapore

Mylapore, the name rings a bell to anyone who has been to the December Carnatic Music orchestras in Chennai ("kutcheries", they are called in Tamil). Our hero has been living here for the last 70 years now. He celebrated his 70th birthday a couple of days ago on November 14th. Alone. His partner for life, had broken her pact last year.

"Hello Chidambaram sir, how are you doing today?", called the pan shop owner."Yes, I am doing as usual. The chill is a bit on the high today isn't it? Guess the rain yesterday must have caused it. So how are your Deepavalli purchases coming along", said thaatha.

"This year hasn't been as good as last year sir. Sales have been low. So we just settled for a new set of dresses and crackers for our children. We just got ourselves a new towel for the sake of the festival."

Children. Coming to think of it, our Chidambaram thaatha had done the same thing that this pan shop owner had done almost every year when he was working in Indian Bank as a clerk. 2 sons and 2 daughters are not easy to bring up with the pay of a bank clerk. His wife Kanthamani had been a loving and caring mother. Though uneducated, she was very good in managing the household accounts and helped him keep a good bank balance in case of emergencies.

"Do you know that Ramu has sent me a beautiful watch as gift for this Deepavalli. It is some swatch or something. But it is not working, somehow he forgot to put the battery and I can't find a shop which sells that battery", said thaatha, displaying the watch in his hand proudly. Sadly it did not show the time that it is supposed to show.

Ramakrishnan was his eldest son. He was a quiet yet brilliant boy. The usual shy types. Oily hair. Specs right from the third standard. He scored good marks to secure a seat in an engineering college. Our hero would not mind spending his savings for the education of his first son. So off his son went to the engineering college. Now he works in a firm in the US of A.

"So what happened to Raghu? Did he send you something as well?", asked the pan shop owner.

Raghu, his second son, was no less intelligent than his first son. However, he was more interested in management. He took up Charted Accountancy, and later did MBA.Now he works in London. A very shrewd boy. Very shrewd indeed.

"Of course he did. My dear kuttan has sent me a parker pen. So thoughtful of him. He knows that I have started writing short stories these days", said thaatha.

The pension that he received from Indian Bank was not sufficient for taking care of his monthly expenses. 3000 rupees a month is very less given the rising rates of inflation. So he had to resort to writing short stories to Aananda Vikadan, a magazine in Tamil. This earned him another 1000 more rupees on an average, depending upon his story getting published.

"So how is Raaji, she just gave birth to her second child right? Is it a boy or girl", asked the pan shop owner.

"Raaji is doing great. I have one more grandson to add to my list of grandchildren. They have decided to name him Rahul. God knows what names they give to children these days. Rahul...what does that mean? In my days we used to give such good names as Rajagopalachari, Parthasarathy, Balasubramanian , Lakshminarayanan etc. Look at the names they give to the children these days, not more than 10 characters long, and don't know which God they name them after. She spoke to me day before from Australia to wish me on my birthday. It seems her husband is looking for a new job as he got bored of some software company."

"And how is your youngest daughter? is she doing well? Heard her husband just moved to Dubai"

"Aamam(yes). His recent project is with a client there. So they shifted there. I heard she is also expecting a child now. I hope it is a girl, that will make it 3 grandsons and 3 granddaughters in all", exlaimed thaatha.

"You are so lucky sir, all your children are well settled in life. And they remember to send you gifts whenever there is an occassion. What more can you ask for", said the pan shop owner.

A pause. A vague silence. Our thaatha seems to think about something.

"Yes, you are right. How lucky I am...... How lucky I am.....", said thaatha

"Seri, give me 1/2 kowalai (a kowalai is 12 beetel leaves). I have to get ready soon. Have a pooja to perform", said thaatha.

Perhaps...., the pooja was intended for the welfare of his children.

-- this is the first in the set of stories I intend to write on my hero Chidambaram...hope I Find time to write more about my hero.

Monday, March 07, 2005

An image from the future

It was a chilly November night. Murali sat on the pavement of the Pondicherry high road. The light from the streetlight gave him the false hope of warmth. It was 11 in the night. The mosquitos were not making it easy for him. He badly wanted to get back home and fall asleep. But he could not afford it. He had an exam the next day and had just started his preparation. Hindi was always difficult for him. He was a genius in Math and Science, but for a boy born and brought up in a different mother tongue, it was a tough job. He was proud when he saw his math and science performance, for he rarely prepared for those exams, and yet managed to remain in the top in his class, but when his language marks came, he used to cry. He badly wanted the trophy that went to the student who stood first in class. He had always hoped that the trophy would one day adorn his home. His marks in English and Hindi were preventing him from getting hold of that trophy.

"Not this year", was the resolution he made when he started his 11th class this year. He was well on his way to achieve what he had set out to do. But today was different, he was under terrible fatigue and was hardly able to sit tight and read. 4 hours of welding after school had caused burns in his fingers. His eyes were red from the fire. But the fire within him made him overcome the fire from the weld. "I am getting hold of that trophy this year come what may",he said to himself.

He had to earn his education by working in a mechanic shop everyday from 5-9 in the evening. 50 rupees was his daily wage. He was able to save 20 rupees from that everyday to save up for his education. He lived in an underground tunnel that was above the ground , maybe to provide a home to people like him. 2 sets of uniforms and 2 sets of daily wear were his onlu belongings apart from his books. He had salvaged enough from the dustbin to make himself a pillow and a bed sheet.

Today had not been an easy day for him. 4 hours in the mechanic shop after school had made his fingers ache. He had been welding ever since this February. Things were not always this difficult for this genius. He had a happy home. Last year was perhaps the happiest year in his life. He lived with his parents and a sister in the village Chandrapadi. It was close to Thirukadayur, a city famous for Lord Shiva's temple where Lord Shiva had punished Yama (the God of death) for trying to take the life of Markandeya.

His father was a fisherman and his mother was a homemaker. His father was uneducated, but did not want his son to be a fisherman like himself and had sent him to school. He used to take his sister along with him everyday to the Government high school. He was proud that he did not disappoint his fathers hopes by scoring very high marks in Math and Science. His only wish was to show his father the trophy of scoring the highest mark in school all subjects. But Lord Yama had other plans.

It was a clear morning sky that day. Murali and his family were having their breakfast. It was about 9.45 AM in the morning when Yama came for another attempt at where he had earler failed. This time Lord Shiva would not stop him. Things happened all of a sudden. A huge wave. "Apppaaaaaa....", "Meera, anga pohaadhey........", "Iru adha pidichikko naa varen onna kaapatha...". Another wave. A faint hint of nausea. Total Darkness.

The fury Posted by Hello

"Murali..." came the noise from afar when he woke up with a shock all of a sudden in the Government hospital a couple of days after. His whole life went blank when he learnt what had happened. He was all alone in the world now. He wanted to run and jump into the ocean himself. He had tried that and everytime he went as close to doing it, he used to hear the voice of his father, "Manushana porandha, vaazhkaila edhayavadhu saadhikanum, illainna vaazharadhula arthame illa. Ennala saadhikka mudiala, yenna enakku padippu arivu illa, adhunala dhaan onna padikka vekkaren. Ennoda aasai ellam on moolama naa adaya poren da" ("If you are born in this world as a man, you have to achieve something in this life that you will be proud of, else there is no use living. I was not able to achieve anything that I Can be proud of, but that is the reason why I am educating you, so I can be proud because of you").

He used to feel that this would not make his father proud, and decided on that day that he would finish what his father had wanted. He coud no longer live in Thirukadayur, for the memories of his life would not let him live peacefully. He set out to Chennai to make a living. So here he was sitting under the light of the streetlight near the Pondicherry high road. It was a chilly November night.

--- I dedicate this to the memory of Hundreds of Muralis who are living today whose lives were destroyed by the one blow that the Tsunami caused earlier this year. I hope and sincerely wish, Lord Yama has had his full, for eternity, and never repeats what he did.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Tit Bits

10% in your life is what happened to you and 90% is how you react to it.– Anita Davidson

Whenever a negative thought comes to mind, deliberately voice a positive one to cancel it out.– Norman Vincent Peale

Once our mind is tattooed with negative thinking, our chances for success diminish.– John Maxwell

Friday, March 04, 2005

Hey, what happened to you...

Pardon my Junoon , Swabhimaan type translation of this song from Tamil to English. Now I realise how tough a translators job is :(.

This song is taken from the tamil movie "Kadhal Virus" (Love Virus)

hey hey enna aachu unakku
pudhusa indha paarvai edhukku
naetru nee ippadi illai
indreppadi nallavan aanaay - mavaney
(hey hey enna aachu...)

Hey, hey what happened to you, why this new look? You were not like this before, why are you like this now? (mavaney is actually a sort of disrespectful way of addressing,... something similair to "Son of a ...")

kaadhal virus unnai thaakkiyadho
kavignan endru unnai aakkiyadhoa (2)
hey hey.. oolaalla la la la..peNNae peNNae peNNae peNNae

Did the Kadhal Virus Strike you, and make you a poet,??? hey hey.. oolaalla la la la..laDY laDY laDY laDY

peNNai paarthadhum vazhibavan vaeNdaam
time kaettadhum kuzhaibavan vaeNdaam
naan solvadhai seibavan vaeNdaam
sollaadhadhai seibavan vaeNdaam
chumma umm nu iruppavan vaeNdaam
dhinam chemmanae iruppavan vaeNdaam -
vaeNdaampeNNai adikkadi rasippavan vaeNdaam
rasikkaamal iruppavan vaeNdaam
rombavum rombavum uththama puthiran vaeNdaam vaeNdaam vaeNdaam - vaeNdaam

(I) Don't want a guy who flirts at the sight of a girl
Don't want a guy who acts funny when you ask the time
Don't want a guy who listens to me
Don't want a guy who does what I have not told (him to)
Don't want a guy who is very mum (silent types)
Don't want a guy who daily is happy
Don't want a guy who keeps admiring girls
Don't want a guy who does not admire girls
Don't want Mr. Perfect
Don't want Don't want Don't want Don't Want....

(hey hey enna aachu...)
cellphone'gaLai maRandhavan vaeNdum

tholaikkaatchiyai thuRandhavan vaeNdum
suya buththiyil vaazhbavan vaeNdum
baya bakthiyil konjoondu vaeNdum
romba iyalbaay iruppavan vaeNdum
veLipadaiyaay nadappavan vaeNdum -
ohoy eppavaachum koabikka vaeNdum
chella paer vachu kooppida vaeNdum
ada appavum ippavum yeppavum engaLin nanbanaaga vaazhndhida vaeNdum - vaeNdum

Want a guy who forgets his cell phone
Want a guy who forgets about the TV
Want a guy who thinks for himself
Want a guy who is God fearing
Want a guy who is very practical
Want a guy who is very open
Want a guy who is gets angry occassionally
Want a guy who calls me by pet name
Want a guy who is always my friend
Want him Want him Want him Want him Want him Want him

(hey hey enna aachu...)


What can I say? Wow. great....

any takers to satisfy the above requirements. What do these girls really want? A guy? or something else?

Vaazhga Tamil Cinema. Valarga nambaloda Lyrics. (Long live Tamil Cinema , Let the Lyrics Grow forth into much greater glory)

By the way,

Please listen to the song titled "The Elephunk Theme" in the list of songs displayed here. Tamil songs have gone distances...

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Doubts in Mahabharata

Much of these doubts have been clarified in the comments below.

I have a lot of doubts in Mahabharata, which I will be glad if anyone who reads this blog answers
I will just list them out: ( they may have been strongly worded, because I am a bit passionate about these things as I am writing this, so please bear with me)

1) What gives the Pandavas , the right to rule? Technically speaking, Pandu was kinda, giving proxy to Dhritharashtra, because Dhritharashtra was blind. That does not mean that Pandu's children automatically get the right to Kinship does it? IF so, then how come even in Valis abscence (when he went to fight some rakshasa in a cave), Angada, Valis son (not Sugrivas son) was hailed as the Crown Prince?

2) Secondly, none of Pandus Children are really "Pandu's" children, as he cannot have sex and is cursed. So , "Technically" speaking the Pandavas, are not really "Pand"avas are they?

3) Can someone tell me one single incident/story/excerpt other than the "Yakshas answer" episode, where Yushishtra displays the fact that he is rightly called "Dharma Raja"

4) I feel Yudhishtra, got more than his quota of good luck. Why is he hailed so ?

5) Abhimanyu was killed by many warriors - An act of breaking the rules, accepted. I put it 1 bad point on Kauravas side , but for the part of Pandavas,

a) Bheeshma has thrown his weapon down on seeing Shikandi. Now why does Arjuna fire on a "Nirayudhapaani" - 1 bad point for pandavas

b) Drona is meditating for the loss of his son. Why did Dhrishtadyumna cut the head of a "Nirayudhapaani" - 2 bad points for pandavas

c) Karna was a "Nirayudhapaani" when he got killed - 3 bad points for pandavas

d) Krishna had to ask even the Dharma of Karna as a Dharma, and Karna gave even that and then died - 4th bad point

e) There was a time in the war when Bheeshma was destroying the Pandava army like hell and everyone was fleeing here and there when Krishna, the person who Vowed that he will not take up arms, got so angry, he took a nearby chariots Wheel and used it as a "Chakrayudha" and was about to strike Bheeshma down, when Bheesma stopped and bowed down and reduced his fury of attack henceforth.

Why does Krishna threaten to attack?

f) Dhuryodhana was killed by hitting him beneath the hip. I wonder really what the Judge Balarama was doing watching the fight? (Maybe he dozed off as it was taking too ling)....please donot give me the justification that Bheema had vowed to break the thighs of Dhuryodhana to avenge Draupadi. Yes, I accept that. But you are supposed to do it "After" you win over him. You are not supposed to use that to win over him - 6th bad point

g) Kunti playing spoilsport by asking Karna the following
i) Don't kill any of my sons other than Arjuna
ii) Don't fire more than one life taking arrow on Arjuna per day (huh? What do u expect, that u should fight Arjuna with ping pong balls, and sponge dolls when he is raining fire on u?)

h) Krishna tricks by causing a solar eclipse, and Jayadrata is slain as a result of that - 10th bad point

i) Karnas Kavacha Kundalas are stolen, yes, "stolen" from him by Indra. I will only word it that way. It is pure exploitation of Karna - 11th bad point

j) Ashvattama is seized of his "Mani" because he refused to take back the Brahmastra, supposedly shot to eliminate Parikshit and the entire Pandu Vamsa thereon, and he becomes powerless. But finally Krishna comes and saves Parikshit's life as well. Now of what use was Ashvatttamas Brahmastra? Was he not cheated of his only power , the "Mani" which gave him immense strength? - 12th BP

All these make me wonder if the so called "Dharma Yudhdha" should actually be called so. I can keep increasing this count endlessly, and the more deeply I read, I dig more shit out of it.

6) Why did Draupadi marry 5 men? Is Polyandry ok?

7) As woodworm pointed out, what right does Yudhishtra have to put his wife at stake in the game of dice after he has given himself up?

8) Arjuna keeps on marrying wherever he goes...why are these wives not staying with him? Does he just give them a son/daughter and disappear?

9) The Pandavas suddenly lose all their power towards the very end of the exactly does that take place?

10) Gandhari got 100 sons (a tough job to give birth to 100 children, ...must have taken her atleast 20 years of childbirth, if on an average she gave birth to 5 children per pregnancy).

11) Bheeshma vows not to marry, and his father blesses him with the boon which makes him live as long as he wishes to. As per any other epic/story etc. I have heard of , even Lord Brahma or Lord Siva cannot grant the boon of infinite life, then how can a mortal, make Bheeshma sort of immortal by blessing him so....sadly Bheeshma did not make use of it and chose to die. I wouldve been glad to see him today :(

12) Drona is a Brahmin, and he does everything non-brahmical throughout. He behaved more like a Kshatriya if you ask me...same goes for Parasurama... Parasurama, violates Brahmana Dharma, takes up arms, and what right does he have to curse Karna, for not telling that Karna was a Kshatriya?

13) Kichaka insults Draupadi and Yudhistra just stands and watches and does not lift a finger :(. Finally she had to run to Bhima to handle the Kichaka problem...Can't yudhishtra have done something about it?

14) Bheeshma sleeps big time when Draupadi is being stripped in a court. This I Certainly can never digest. The Draupadi's strip incident is perhaps the saddest thing that happened in Mahabharata, and one very good reason why I feel Kauravas deserved punishment. But, what were Dhritharashtra, Bheeshma, Vidura,Drona and Kripacharya doing all the time? Can't they order their disciples/children to pack the nonsense? or did they want to watch the show themselves? Horrible example these elders have set. No dharma in this world will force me to watch such a nonsense.

I cannot tolerate even if Blade Kabaaali or Pattaasu Pakkiri behaved that way, leave alone my kith and kin. I will be the first to stand up and deliver 2 slaps right across their cheeks and throw them out of my house were they to behave this way. :(

On the whole, I feel the Dhritharashtra family was badly treated during the war atleast. I feel they did not get what they deserved. I strongly feel for Karna especially who would have "Technically" been the king, instead of Yudhistra, IF a Pandava has to rule....which too I Feel is wrong.

Inputs awaited on this. As always....want to learn more.....

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Did Valmiki really want to convey something else ?

After reading Rajagopalacharis views on Sitas Fidelity, I have begin to think if
Valmiki really intended to show to the "Then" existing society, in a subtle manner that Women are being subjected to something that they donot deserve?

This has happened many a times in the past when Jonathan Swift (in Gullivers Travel, has subtly hidden the fact that there are planets in the Solar system outside Saturn , and in those days it was a crime to talk of such things as new planets such as Neptune and Pluto, and hence he had to include them as subtle hints in the book), as well as in Nostradamus's predictions, and it can even be seen in the recent book that is causing quite a stir, "The Da Vinci Code", where he mentiones that Leonardo Da Vinci perhaps included a lot of subtle hints which a common man does not percieve.

In any case, Valmiki could just have done that to show how men "behave" , by lowering even his own Hero to act like one of the common folk. Luckily he chose to include it as part of Uttara Ramayan.

As Rajagopalachari says, the "blemishless" character of Rama ends the moment Ravana has been slain and his Avatar has achieved what it set out to do.

Rajagopalacharis Views on Sitas Fidelity Test

In Rajagopalacharis words:

"I have followed the story of the Prince of Ayodhya as told by Valmiki. There was a legend current among people, I think even before Valmiki's time, that after recovering Sita, for fear of scandal, Rama sent her away to live in the forest. This pathetic episode must have sprung from the sorrow-laden imagination of our women. It has taken shape as the Uttara Kanda of Ramayana.
Although there is beauty in the Uttara Kanda, I must say my heart rebels against it. Valmiki had
disposed of this old legend through the fire ordeal in the battlefield. Even that ordeal does not seem to me as consistent with Rama's character. It is painful to read it.

As the prince returned from Mithila he met Parasurama. I have heard it said that with that meeting Parasurama's avatar came to an end. Likewise, it should be held, I think, that Rama's avatar came to an end with the slaying of Ravana. After that battle, Rama remained only as a King of the Ikshvaku race.

On this theory, Rama's treatment of Sita after the battle and in the Uttara Kanda can be explained simply as the behavior of a king in accordance with the customs of the times.
But, how can we comment on a work composed thousands of years ago and coming down to us in palm-leaf manuscripts subject to corruption? If, even after the fire-ordeal in the Yuddha
Kanda, it is said in the Uttara Kanda that Sita was sent to the forest, we may take it
that it mirrors the voiceless and endless suffering of our women folk.

Sorrow and joy are both alike the play of God. God himself took with him his divine spouse, the embodiment of his own supreme compassion, into the world of men and women, and enacted with her a great drama of joy and sorrow in the Ramayana.

Rain falling from the heaven flows into the rivers and flows down to join the sea. Again from the sea the water is sucked up by the sun and rises to the sky, whence it descends again as rain and flows down as rivers. Even so, feelings and values rise from the people and, touching the poet's
heart, are transformed into a poem which, in turn, enlightens and inspires the people.

Thus in every land the poets and their people continuously reinforce each other. The tenderness and purity and the untold sufferings of women took shape as the Uttara Ramayana. Like an unflickering lamp, it throws light on the quality of their hearts. Whether the epics and songs of a
nation spring from the faith and ideas of the common folk, or whether a nation's faith and ideas are produced by its literature is a question which one is free to answer as one likes.

Does a plant spring from the seed or does seed issue from the plant? Was the bird or the egg the first cause? Did clouds rise from the sea or was the sea filled by the waters from the sky? All such inquiries take us to the feet of God transcending speech and thought. One other point, in describing how Ravana carried off Sita, Kamban differs from Valmiki. In Kamban's Ramayana,
Ravana does not seize and carry Sita as Valmiki describes; without touching her he lifts her with the earth on which she stands. Kamban's version is followed by most popular expositors because this version is less painful to our feelings.

It is no sin or shame to an innocent woman if a villain behaves like a brute. Yet, mistakenly, we in this country look on the violence of a brute as causing a blemish to the woman's purity. It is in
deference to this wrong feeling that Kamban departed from Valmiki here. For the same reason, Tulasidas relates that the Sita seized and carried off by Ravana was not the real Sita at all but a
palpable image of hers left behind by the real Sita. Thus the story is told in all North India.

During the fire ordeal, it is the maya-Sita that disappears and the real Sita springs again and returns from the flames. It was perhaps presumptuous on my part to have begun the task, but it was a joy to retell the Ramayana. Now, when it is over, I feel like one awaking from a
dream of joy. When the prince left the city, he felt no sorrow. It was only when he lost Sita that he knew grief. So with me too.

When I had to step down from high office and heavy responsibility, I did not feel at a loss or wonder what to do next. But now, when I have come to the end of the tale of the Prince of Ayodhya, the void is like that of a shrine without a God. Let no one look upon work as a burden. Good work is the secret that keeps life going. While one should not hanker after results,
life without work would be unendurable. "

Thanks to

I think that puts a few more ideas into this topic :)