Thursday, May 21, 2009

Serial Lighted Gods - Meet the artist at Kumbakonam

I am so fond of people, as I am of places. I can be a professional people watcher, but am sure no one would bother to pay a penny for it so I limit my musings to people who I come across.Guess, it is a skill passed on by generations, that I end up having a mini interview with every single person - more so if I find them interesting and doing the not-so ordinary things. On my recent trip to the land of temples - Kumbakonam and Trichy, I managed to meet so many lovely people. It is always a pleasure to know about the kind of life we do not lead, and we probably will never lead.

Meet Mari - The Man Who Brightens Siva and Jayalalitha

Mari is from Nagapattinam. He is 70 years old and has never been to school. His family art and business has been making these giant illuminated God's and Goddesses. He gives the deepam that glows amdist crowded roads.He makes the Mariamman who stands tall in the neighbourhood koil. Ironically, he is also behind the Jayalalaitha who drives the chariot. For those who have not seen these huge illuminated displays, this is how it looks like.
Now to the analytics of this business - it costs him INR 12,000 to do a display along with lighting for one figure. This is bound to increase when he does like the one in picture. To be honest, I never really thought this would involve so much money! Anyways, pardon my ignorance!. It is done using bamboo sticks that are soaked in water for 24 hours and then wound together using wires, vazhai naaru ( banana fibre) and then wired with small bulbs. He mostly does it on contracts for the local sound suppliers. Now, thats the word for the guys who rent out audio facilities, shamiana and other such jil jaal for local events. The rent ranges between INR 5000 - INR 15000 for a night. Now, that's a lot of business!

Mari is the last surviving member in the family who knows this art. His children are employed in service sector and one is working with TCS. Impressive to know! Mari has come all the way from Nagapattinam to Kumbakonam for doing this Mariamman, because there is no one else in the vicinity who can do it. You never know, he may possibly be the only one in the state who does it. I met him at Ramaswamy Temple ( the place is taken on rent to do it, because it requires a huge spread of space) during my recent trip to Kumbakonam

It is wonderful, impressive and at the same time surprising when I come across a person like him who is not willing to let go of his tradition and art even at the ripe old age of 60. Kudos to people like this!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Let go!

It is the easiest thing to do! Just to let go. This is what people tell you to do when you crib. It is a lot easier to do it when you know you can do it. But to me, most times - I just cannot let go. Or rather, I was not able to let go. And that's where BSP came into picture. For those who don't know what BSP is, it is expanded as Bhava Spandana Program and sadly, am not component enough to tell more about it. You can read on it here. It is a program that explores the interior in a person, and takes all trash that has been there for years and kind of makes one puke it all out and return back with a superior power and sense of accomplishment. Reading the last sentence now, does not seem to convey a fragment of what I felt then. Nevertheless, that is the closest I could come to.

Although Bhava Spandana did wonders and sent me out as a "day" old baby, the old big world out here is polluted and I do get dirty quite often. I get so filthy from head to toe that I don't even know where to go to search for water. I become one of those fighting pieces of plastic on a mass drain. And sadly, I am one who desperately wants to be flushed out, unlike plastic that just settles.

I just wish I had the power to Let Go of everything that disturbs me. Penned down some rambling lines, when I was thinking of this

Give me the power
To survive against fear
To fight with pride
And not fall through a slide

Give me the power
To realize all dreams
To dream with conviction
And be marooned in imagination

Give me the power
To talk as I wish to Him
To not give up on self
And rise to glory myself

Give me the power
To retain faith on you
To cross tides with it
And handle all with your wit

Give me the power
To remove all lens I use
To see the world that way it is
And handle it all in bliss

Give me the power
To be born every moment
To forgo thoughts and memories
And Let Go all sober memoirs

May make sense to me - and to you, when you feel like me!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Come, let us be friends.

With all due respect, I despise the ship that holds friends and would never be able to row it well. There has not been a single moment in my small life when friends have made a massive difference that makes me call them as saviours. Or probably, I don't call people who make such differences as just friends. They mean more to me. Guardian Angels.Special Souls. Mom.

To me, friendship is a emotion. It is like agony, hatred,gratitude,hope and fear. It is not a state of being like happiness, sadness, tranquility and love. There is a vast difference between a emotion and a state of being. Unfortunately, people tend to get mis leaded and get caught in gamut of thoughts. I don't see how one can feel friendship towards another without even meeting the person!

Friendship in SMS - Friendship on Orkut, FB and on every other place! Guess, I am the most unfriendly soul around - but, please excuse me, I cant be all that sweet and say oohh and aaahh when you paint your nails green!

To me, it is a emotion - a sense of belonging, a euphoria of joy and more than anything else - a feeling of just being there! That's how my right handful of friends are ( Yeah, I don't have more than 4 friends in my life, forget the best, good category) The rest don't just stay as the lot - they move on to become the real souls to be with!

How is friendship to you?