Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The story of Markandeyan

      Once there lived a sage named Mrikandu with his wife Marudavali , the couple were childless. They worshiped lord Shiva for a child,one day lord Shiva appeared before them and asked if they wanted an ordinary child with a long life or a child with exceptional intelligence with a short life. Sage Mrikandu asked the lord for a child who would be an intelligent and a good son. In due course Marudavali gives birth to a son who would only live for sixteen years. The couple name him Markandeyan, the child as promised by the lord showed great understanding of the scriptures and at a very young age  became an accomplished sage.

     Markandeyan in his sixteenth year knew his time on earth  was going to end. He was in the temple worshiping lord Shiva in the form of a Shivalingam,on seeing Kalan(or yama,the god of death) come towards him, Markandeyan clutched  the shivalingam and prayed to lord Shiva to protect him. Kalan approached Markandeyan and threw his noose around him ,the noose also encircled the shivalingam which Markandeyan was hugging. Lord Shiva exploded out of the Lingam with great fury and struck down Yama for encircling the lingam with his noose . He blessed the boy-sage Markandeyan with eternal life always at the same age of sixteen.

     With Kalan gone , there was no death on earth and Bhumadevi (goddess earth) worshiped to the Lord saying that she cannot bear such a huge burden. And in answer to her prayer lord Shiva revives Kalan.

      The story is thus believed to have taken place in Tirukkadaiyur in Tamil Nadu, the place is now celebrated as a place where death itself died. People visit this place for good health and long life.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ekalavya - the devoted disciple of Dhronacharya.

Dhronacharya was the royal teacher to the Pandavas and Kauravas of Hasthinapura ,he was a master of advanced military arts. Arjuna ,who belonged to the Pandavas was his favourite student.

Near Hasthinapura, in a forest lived Ekalavya ,the son of a hunter. Ekalavya once watched Dhronacharya teach archery to the royal princes . Ekalavya wished to learn archery from Dhronacharya and so approached the great guru and begged him to accept him as his student.Dhronacharya , refused to accept Ekalavya as his student as he belonged to the class of hunters who were considered as shudras or people belonging to the lowest social community.

 Ekalavya was much disappointed but did not lose hope nor did he give up his desire to learn archery. He returned to the forest , made a clay statue of Dhronacharya and practised archery everyday .He worshipped the statue as his guru and with constant practice excelled at the art of archery.

Years later ,one day Guru Dhronacharya and the princes were hunting in the forest near where Ekalavya lived. A dog from the hunting party reached near Ekalavya , disturbed by its constant barking Ekalavya shot arrows at the dogs mouth in such a way that the arrows stopped the dog from barking without hurting the dog. The dog returned to the hunting party. Dhronacharya and the princes were astonished seeing the dog with the arrows in its mouth. Dhronachaya at once understood that the arrows must have left the most skilled hands of a very talented archer. 

Eager to learn about the hunter , the hunting party went into the forest with the dog to lead them, there they saw Ekalavya practising with his bow and arrow. Dhronacharya asked Ekalavya the name of his teacher. Ekalavya took him to the clay statue and replied that Dhronacharya was his guru and inspiration. Dhronacharya was much taken aback, Arjuna who was a great archer was his favourite student . He did not want that to change. 

It was the prevailing belief that the full benefit of education can be achieved only by offering guru dakshina (fees) that the teacher asks for. Dhronacharya asked Ekalavya for guru dakshina ,Ekalavya was ecstatic as this means Dhronacharya who he worshipped as his guru for so long has finally accepted him as his disciple . He replied that he would be happy if it is in his means to offer his guru what he asks for. Guru Dhronacharya asks for the right thumb of Ekalavya as his guru Dakshina thereby ensuring that Arjuna has no competition in this art. Ekalavya did not even stop to think , he at once removed his axe and severed his thumb off his right hand and offered it to his guru as guru dakshina.Such was devotion of our dear hunter. Ekalavya will always remain a great example for a devoted disciple.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Story of Onam

            The beautiful state of Kerala was once ruled by an asura(demon) king Mahabali who was the grandson of Prahalad . The king was greatly loved and respected in his kingdom and was considered wise, judicious and extremely generous. Kerala witnessed a golden era during the reign of Mahabali and the people were extremely happy. His bravery and strength of character earned him the name Mahabali Chakravathy.

       Though belonging to the asura(demon) dynasty, King Mahabali was a devout worshiper of Lord Vishnu. The Gods were threatened by the popularity of this asura king. They wanted to find a way to put an end to his reign and to reaffirm their own supremacy .Aditi , the mother of the Gods appealed to Lord Vishnu whom Mahabali worshipped, for help.

       King Mahabali was famous for his generosity , Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a dwarf brahmin called Vamana. He approached king Mahabali just as he was finishing his morning prayers and begged for a piece of land. The generous king granted Vamana his wish and asked him how much land he wanted. Vamana asked for three paces of land. At once Shukracharya, the adviser to king Mahabali, sensed that the dwarf was no ordinary brahmin and warned the king. King Mahabali felt it is very unfit for a king to go back on his promise and asked the dwarf brahmin to chose his land. 

       As soon as the king granted the Brahmin his wish the brahmin  increased himself to the size of cosmic proportions. With one step he covered the earth and with the other he covered the skies , next he asked the king for a place where he could keep his foot for the third pace. Knowing that the third step would destroy the earth, the great king with folded arms offered his head for the brahmin to place his foot. Lord Vishnu put his foot on King Mahabali's head and pushed him into patala(underworld). The king on seeing the brahmin's true identity asked for just one boon. 

      The king was so attached to his kingdom and its people that he requested that he be allowed to visit Kerala once a year.Greatly moved by the kind king's devotion for his people Lord Vishnu granted him the wish.

      It is the day of visit of King Mahabali that is celebrated as Onam every year. It is a tribute to the great king's sacrifice .Elaborate preparations are made for the king's homecoming . The people of Kerala show in their celebrations how happy they are and also show how they wish their king well.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


        Long long ago, there lived a boy called Shravan. He was the only son of a poor and blind couple. Shravan loved his parents and his sense of duty towards them was very high. He made it his life concern to take care of his blind parents.He tried to fulfill their every wish.
     One day his parents expressed their wish to go on a holy pilgrimage to Kasi. It was a prevalent belief among hindus that a dip in the holy river Ganges would rid them of a life time of bad karma.
      Shravan at once made arrangements to take them ,he seated them in two baskets slung from either end of a wooden pole which he balanced upon his shoulders.
      The holy city of Kasi was a long way off and Shravan had to walk day and night for long hours.One evening they reached a forest ,Shravan's parents were very thirsty , they asked their son to fetch them some water. Shravan left the baskets under a tree and went to a small stream to get water.
      At the same time in the forest ,King Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya , was with his hunting party. King Dasharatha was celebrated for his fine marksmanship and could find his target just by hearing a merest whimper .As Shravan was filling his pot , it made a strange gurgling noise. King Dasharatha mistaking the noise for a wild beast ,aimed at the sound and shot his arrow .Only when the arrow hit the mark and Shravan let out a cry did king Dasharatha realize his mistake . He reached the spot as fast as he could and was disheartened to see that his arrow had pierced an young human. He tried to help Shravan but it was too late. Shravan wished King Dasharatha to take the water to his parents and died.
      King Dasharatha , very ashamed to face Shravan's parents went to them and offered the water and asked for their forgiveness for his terrible mistake.
Shravan's parents on learning that their sole caretaker and loving son gone would have none of King Dasharatha's apology, they cursed king Dasharatha to a similar fate as their's . Shravan's father cursed that King Dasharatha would also die of grief from separation from his son.Both Shravan's parents die of grief soon after.
      After many years the curse of Shravan's parents came true. King Dasharatha too died of grief after his son  Lord Rama went into exile to the forests for fourteen years.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Slave of my slave.

      Long ago when Alexander the great came to India , he found the people fearless and friendly. He befriended many of them. when he prepared to leave to his homeland he wanted to take a sage from India along with him. 
      He went in quest of a sage into the forest . He found one sitting under a tree deep in meditation. Alexander greeted the sage warmly and kindly requested him to accompany him to Greece. He promised the sage great riches and comfort.
      The sage calmly replied that he has no desire to go with the king and that he has no use for riches and is very comfortable here.
       Alexander flew in to a rage he burst out in anger, "do you know who I am? I am the great king Alexander, no one lives after disobeying me" .So saying he unsheathed his sword. The sage was not perturbed he replied ,"you say you are a king ,but you are just a slave to my slave".
       Alexander was much surprised by this reply,he could not comprehend its meaning, "why did you call me the slave of your slave? I am nobody's slave",he called back .
       The sage answered in a sweet calm voice," Great king , I have mastered  my anger. Anger is my slave,I don't lose my temper as you do, you are still a slave to your anger. Anger is my slave , so, you are a slave to my slave".

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vikata kavi Tenali Raman

      Once upon a time during the reign of king Krishnadevaraya there lived a man called Raman in a village called Tenali, Raman was very lazy and never did any work . One day he met a sage who taught Raman a secret Mantra and asked him to chant it thousand times in front of goddess Kali .
     That night after the whole household went to sleep, Raman crept out of his bed and made his way to the Kali temple. He chanted the mantra with great devotion. To his surprise goddess Kali with all her thousand heads stood in front of him when he finished chanting. When his eyes fell on the goddess he started to laugh , this infuriated the goddess who demanded him to explain himself . Raman begged her pardon and said that it was just that it suddenly occurred to him that when he has a cold it is difficult enough to wipe one running nose and that he wondered what the goddess would do if she ever caught a cold since she had thousand heads. 
      The goddess couldn't help smiling at this reply and gave him a boon by which he will always make others happy with his wit. She also said that henceforth he will be called Vikata Kavi . Raman was not satisfied with this boon he argued that it would do him no good. Then the goddess brought forth two bowls in her hand . One golden bowl containing the milk of wisdom and one silver bowl which had curds and stood for wealth , these she offered to Raman and asked him to choose any one bowl and drink from it to be blessed with that boon. Raman tricked the goddess by quickly gulping down the contents of both the bowls and again begged the goddess for forgiveness and explained that one without the other would be of little use. He argued that wealth without wisdom and wisdom without wealth would both bring unhappiness. The goddess relented and blessed him again with both the boons but she also warned him that to be so blessed will make other's envious and therefore he would make lot of enemies .But he would also have the wisdom to get out of any unpleasant situation.
        Since Raman hailed from the village Tenali he was called Tenali Raman and since he was blessed by goddess Kali , he was called Vikata Kavi Tenali Raman.

Monday, June 7, 2010

True to one's nature

     A saint was taking bath in a river.  His eyes fell on a scorpion . It was struggling for its life in the flowing water.

     He picked up the creature in his hands to save it from drowning . As he took the creature in his hands, it stung him on his hand. 

      Overcome by the pain of the sting, the saint let the scorpion fall from his hands in to the water.  As soon as he let the scorpion down, it again started  struggling for survival.

      Unable to see a fellow creature suffer the saint picked the scorpion with his hands once more . It stung him again. He was forced to let go of it because of the pain.The scorpion dropped back into the water.

       This act of the scorpion struggling for life and the saint picking it up went on for three or four times. Every time the scorpion stung the saint he dropped it into the river.

      One of the men on the bank of the river was watching this drama. He called out to the saint and said, "Why don't you give up the futile attempt of saving the life of a cruel creature? It has stung you so many times. Why don't you just let it die?"

      The saint smiled and said , " Every one gives only what one has. The scorpion has stung me again and again though I am trying to save its life. If it cannot give up its nature then how can I give up mine."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mahatma Gandhi-His clothes

    Mahatma Gandhi , he stands for all things great about our country. His principles, strength of character and simplicity make us proud of him. We lovingly call him Bapu and when we think of him the image that comes to our mind is a simple ,kind old man wearing simple clothes - a mere loin dhothi.

      Mahatma Gandhi did not dress like this always.He was one of the few Indians who got educated in England during the pre-independence time. He wore western clothes or traditional Gujarathi clothes(long turbans, kurta and dhoti).

      In the year 1921 Mahatma Gandhi visited Madurai, and stayed in the residence of Sri Ramji Kalyanji 175 A West Masi street. On his way to Madurai he had seen farmers  and poor people wearing the simplest of clothes , a small towel like dhoti around their waist(Some he was told washed and wore the same clothes as they did not possess any other) .He was much disturbed and was haunted all through the night by the scenes that he had  witnessed . Overnight he took a decision to dress in a simple way just like so many of the people of his beloved country. He started to dress in this new way from the very next day much to the surprise of everyone present. He explained to them about his decision and attended the meetings in Madurai.He continued to dress this way through out his life.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


1.  What is in the middle of Paris?
2.  Comes once in a year but twice in a week.
3.  What goes around the world but stays in a corner?
4.  Where does Thursday come before Wednesday?
5.  I have a head and a tail but no body.
6.  You can make it but cannot see it.
7.  I can run but cannot walk.
8.  What can't be used unless broken?
9.  What has four wheels and flies ?
10.What two words have thousands of letters?
11.How many letters are in the Alphabets?
12.Which building has maximum number of stories?
13.I have hands and a face ,no legs but I can run.
14.Which bank has no money.
15.What can you catch but cannot throw?

1.  the letter 'r'
2.  the letter 'e'
3.  postal stamp
4.  in a dictionary
5.  a coin
6.  noise
7.  river 
8.  eggs
9.  a garbage truck office
14.a river bank
15.a cold

Story of Mylapore

      Once Parvathi, the divine consort of Lord Shiva was distracted on seeing a peacock while she was with her husband, Angered by her callousness Lord Shiva cursed her to become a pea hen. Parvathi came to Mylapore then called Kapali Nagar and did penance as advised by Lord Shiva. After several years of penance Parvathi was redeemed of her curse and rejoined her Lord. Since Parvathi came as  a mayil(pea hen), the place thereon came to be called Mylapore.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kannappa Nayanar-epitome of devotion

This story is in praise of one hunter who never learnt any holy scriptures and whose discipline was just to kill-hunt, who became an excellent example of devotion.

      Thinnanar was a very skilled hunter, who in his sixteenth year succeeded his father Nagan as the king of the Vyashas(hunters) in Uduppur in South India.

      One day Thinnanar led his men into the forest to hunt, the hunters made a lot of killings but suddenly a wild pig broke away from their nets and leaped away into the dense forest. Only three people were able to chase the wild pig to the end, they were Thinnanar, Nanan and Kadan. The chase had taken them a long way away from their men, they were hungry and tired. Thinnanar asked Kadan to cook the pig while he himself along with Nanan set out to bring water.

      As they cut across the dense forest they came to the foot of the kalahasti hill. Nanan told Thinnanar about the temple of Kudumithevar on top of the hill and that they can go and pray there. Even as Thinnanar took his first step towards the Lord he felt a huge wave of love and boundless joy surge inside him. 
As his eyes fell on the Shiva lingam he was transformed into an embodiment of  devotion .Tinnanar was merged in deep feeling of divine ecstasy.He wept, and shed tears of extreme joy.

      Nanan told Tinnanar that he had seen a priest bathe the Lord and ornate him with flowers. Thinnanar understood the worship that the God of Kalahasti likes, But his foremost concern was that the Lord was alone and unprotected in the forest surrounded by wild animals. Next it stuck him that the Lord must be hungry and  left to get meat for the Lord. He went to the foot of the hill where Kadan had cooked the wild pig, he tasted the meat of the cooked pig and took only those pieces he deemed tasty and worthy of the Lord on a leaf, he took some water from the river in his mouth and some beautiful wild flowers in his hair . He went up the hill, poured the water on the Lingam, ornated the Lingam with wild flowers and offered the meat to the Lord.He stood guard the whole night with bow and arrow in his  hand and left only in the morning to get food .

      The priest Shivakochariyar , as was his habit for years came to perform his daily prayers and to offer salutations to the Lingam. But today the bones and flesh strewn in front of the Lingam distressed him. He cleaned the altar carefully all the while blaming the hunters for the mischief. He brought fresh water from the river to bathe the Lingam and performed puja and prayers. He prostrated in front of the Lord and left to his hermit.

     Our adorable hunter came back with his offerings to the Lord , he forgot sleep at night guarding the Lord was his prime concern.This continued for days. Meanwhile Nanan and Kadan brought his father and others to persuade Thinnanar to return home, but none of their efforts were fruitful in getting back Thinnanar.

     By this time the sage Shivakochariyar was desperate ,he worshiped to the Lord to remove the person who was responsible for this misdeed. The Lord appeared in his dreams and said that the deeds of the person was a delight to him, the water he spit on him more sacred than the Ganges and the flowers he brought in his hair more holier than the offerings of God. He also asked Shivakochariyar to hide and see the true devotion of Thinnanar.

      Shivakochariyar hid behind a tree and saw Thinnanar returning with his offerings.Thinnanar came near the Shiva Lingam and saw with horror that his worst fears had come true ,he saw blood flowing from one eye of the Lingam, Thinnanar in his helplessness screamed out loud, he ran all around the forest to find the miscreant responsible for this, he brought herbs from the jungle to heal the wound. Finally desperate to stop the healing he took his arrow pierced his eye and plucked it out and placed it on the wound on the Shiva Lingam, the bleeding stopped at once, Thinnanar was ecstatic , he danced around in celebration not feeling his own pain. In another moment he saw blood flowing from the other eye of the Lord, this time around Thinnanar knew what's to be done,since he won't be able to see the wound with both his eyes gone he stuck his toe on the wound to mark its position and then  took his arrow to his other eye and was about to pluck it  , when the Lord himself, unable to bear such an act of devotion appeared shouting "Oh! halt Kannappa!!, halt Kannappa!!(kann=eye).Shivakochariyar saw the great love of this devotee and the grace he got for it. It was only mere love and intense devotion to the Lord that bestowed Kannappar the greatest boon from the Lord that is, self-realisation.

Great scholars including Thirunyana Sambandar,, Sundharar, Manikkavachakar,Nakkirar and a list which is too long to put ,have praised this great hunter as an unparalleled example of devotion.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The fruit of wisdom-Palani

      There is a legend that says that one day the sage Narada Muni, brought a golden mango to the home of Lord Shiva, and prayed that he eat it . The lord gave the fruit to his consort Goddess Parvathi and asked her to eat it. The fruit was a rare one and was the fruit of wisdom, Parvathi wanted her sons Lord Ganpathi and Lord Muruga to eat it. The problem was the fruit has to be eaten fully to gain its benefits and that meant only one of her children could have it.
      Lord Shiva came up with the idea of a contest between his two children and said that the child who goes round the world three times and comes back here first will truly deserve the fruit and so will be rewarded with it.
At once Lord Muruga got on his peacock and flew determined to win the fruit. Lord Ganesha whose vehicle is the mouse knew it was futile to try and beat his younger brother if he sets out on his mouse and tries to go around the world. He does beat his brother to the fruit ! He goes three times around his parents who were seated and declared that since his parents were his whole world he has gone around the world thrice, his amused father gave away the fruit to him.

      Lord Muruga came back sure of his victory, and was greatly taken aback seeing the fruit in the hands of Lord Ganesha . In  a fit of anger he renounced his family and climbed up a hill and remained there. His loving parents Lord Shiva and Parvathi came to pacify him and said that he was the fruit of wisdom(Nyana pazlum)- Palani. The place thereon came to be called  Palani.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thirunyana Sambandar-the male palm trees

      Thirunyana Sambandar sings the Pathigam which makes the male palm trees bear fruits.

     Thirunyana Sambandar is one among the sixty three Nayanmars, who lived during the early fifth to tenth century A.D. Nayanmars were devotees of Lord Shiva and they brought about the revival of Saivism in a  period when other religions like Buddhism and Jainism were more wide spread in most parts of India.

     In his journey to various temples in the praise of the Lord , Thirunyana Sambandar came to place called Thiruvoththur. In this place lived a devotee  who grew palm trees for the Lord. Much to the disappointment of the devotee all the trees were male and did not bear fruits. 
     When Sambandar came to that place ,the devotee appealed to him with great love and faith .Sambandar sang a pathigam and much to everyone's surprise the male trees started to bear fruits. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thirunyana Sambandar-the story of poompavai

Thirunyana Sambandar sings the pathigam to bring Poompavai to life from ashes in front of Lord Kapaleeswar in Thirumayilapur.

      Shivanechar was the name of the wealthy man, who lived with his beautiful daughter Poompavai in Thirumayilapur. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva.As the marvels performed by Thirunyana Sambandar reached him, his admiration for the young son of God grew out of bounds.

         Such was his devotion to the Lord that in his mind and heart he promised  his beautiful daughter Poompavai in marriage to Thirunyana Sambandar.

      One morning Poompavai in her seventh year goes with her friends to the garden to pluck flowers. In the garden the child gets bitten by a venomous snake and dies. Her grief stricken father does not lose faith in the Lord, he collects his child's bones and ashes in an earthern pot and awaits for Thirunyana Sambandar and to fulfill his promise he had made in his heart .

       In his sixteenth year Thirunyana Sambandar comes to Thirumayilapur.The overjoyed father with great reverence invites the young prodigy to his abode and speaks of his beautiful daughter and shows him the pot.

       Thirunyana Sambandar had the pot brought out and in front of Lord Kapali sang the Pathigam which brings poompavai back to life, the girl rose out of the pot now in her twelfth year, so beautiful that words could not describe her. The devotees who had gathered around were overjoyed and sang the praise of the Lord. 

       Shivanechar offered his daughter's hand in marriage to Thirunayana Sambandar, to which the God child politely replied that it would not be proper for him to marry his daughter as he had given her life.He consoled the father as best as he could and went on his travels with his devotees to sing the glory of the Lord.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Thirunyana Sambandar-the miracle child

      In the seventh century Chola kingdom is the town Sirkali. Shivapada Hridayar a great devotee of Lord Shiva lived with his wife Bhagavathiyar. The couple were blessed with a son whom they named Sambandhar.The child grew up happily in the tender care and nurture of his loving parents.

      One day when Sambandhar was about three years old he accompanied his father to the pond ,where his father was in the habit of taking bath before going into the temple for worship.

       Shivapada Hridayar made Sambandhar sit on the bank of the pond and went inside the pond and did all the rituals saluting the Lord Thoniappan. 
When he took a dip in the water the child could not see his father and started to cry. After a while the child stopped crying, when his father came out of the water and near the child, saw milk dripping from his mouth.The father took a stick and demanded the child to tell him who gave him milk. The child with infinite joy on his face pointed his finger to  Lord Shiva on the bull with his beautiful wife Parvati beside him and sang his first Pathigam(hymn)-"thodudaiya cheviyan". 

      Though the father could not see the lord he understood what had happened from the hymn the child sang- Lord Shiva and Parvati had descended on the bull on hearing the child cry and Parvati had fed milk to the child in a golden bowl-the milk of knowledge. Hearing his son singing such a beautiful hymn at the tender age of three filled Shivapada Hridayar with great joy he knew his child was truly blessed .When they started from the temple prostrating to the lord he took the child on his shoulders.There was a ocean of devotees who praised their boon Thirunyana Sambandar.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I have read the story of onake obavva as a kid in text books and the story has stuck on to me.

Hyder Ali planned to attack the fort of Chitradurga , during the reign of Madakari Nayaka. He found the fort impenetrable. But one day, one of Hyder Ali's men saw a woman going into a small hole in the rocks and enter the fort. 
Hyder Ali's army planned to enter the fort through that hole. The hole was always guarded from the inside. 

One day the guard who was on vigil left the hole and sat to have his lunch.His wife Obavva , a devoted wife went to get some water for her husband and on hearing a noise reached the hole. She saw Hyder Ali's men slowly crawling inside the hole trying to enter into the fort, She did not want to trouble her husband who has been on vigil for long hours and has only now sat down to eat. So she quietly reached the hole with a onake (wooden pestle used to pound grains) in her hand . As soon as the enemy soldier's head appeared out of the hole she hit it hard with her onake and dragged the body out of the hole. The next soldier now entered noiselessly without any suspicion and became a victim of Obavva's onake.Soon she had them in a heap around her.
Unknown to Obavva one man had already escaped into the fort before she came to the hole. That soldier came back in search of the other men and when he saw Obavva striking the soldiers, struck her from behind with a knife , Obavva fell, but not before raising the alarm and warning her husband  .By her brave efforts Obawa helped repel Hyder Ali's army.

Obavva is since a legend known for her pure heart and bravery, and occupies a special place in the hearts of the people and the history of Karnataka.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I found this poetry in a small booklet brought home by my son Abi from school. 
The book is titled INNER TRANSFORMATION.
I liked the poetry a lot .

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what the guy has to say.

For it isn't your mother, your father or wife
Whose judgement on you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life,
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the fellow to please , never mind all the rest
For he's with you clean to the end;
And you've passed your most dangerous and difficult test.
If the guy in the glass is your friend .

You may be like Jack Horner and Chisel and plum.
And think you are a wonderful guy.
But the guy in the glass says you are  a bum
If you can't look straight in the eye.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years.
And get pats on the back as you pass; 
But the final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rebus Puzzles

 Rebus puzzle is a kind of pictorial puzzle .They contain simple English letters of the alphabet in different sizes ,colours and other manipulations that often represent popular sayings and phrases.

For example

The answer to this puzzle would be-

I introduced Rebus puzzles to my last year class ,soon the kids were asking for more.
  These puzzles never fail to bring a smile on the children's face when the answer is revealed.

All the puzzles I used in my class I found here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

churning of the ocean of milk

Churning of the ocean of milk, How fascinating!!!!!!!
This story is one of my favourite stories among Hindu mythology stories.
The story has never ceased to amaze me and I have always loved telling it.

The devas(gods) and the asuras(demons) join together to churn the ocean of milk to obtain the nectar of immortality.
The ocean being so huge is churned using the mountain Mandara as the churning staff and the serpent Vasuki as the churning rope. The mountain starts to sink in the huge ocean, Lord Vishnu takes the form of a tortoise(kurma avatar) and bears the weight of the whole mountain on his back.

As the churning continues  what comes out among lot of other things is a deadly poison , the poison spit by the snake Vasuki.which threatens to destroy all living things around. Lord Shiva takes pity and gathers the poison in his palm and drinks it. His wife Parvati clasps his throat and prevents him from swallowing and the poison remains there.

Finally when the nectar comes out ,the asuras are cheated out of the nectar and the gods drink it to get there powers back.(that's another story)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Kamishiba is an ancient Japanese form of story telling. Scenes were drawn on paper and the story was told holding the picture to the audience.
I drew these pictures for a story and told it in a story telling workshop at Avvai . The workshop was conducted by the famous story teller Cathy Spagnoli.

Once upon a time there lived a king who was very vain. As he grew older he started to lose his hair and started to become bald.The king was very distressed over his receding  hair line.If you are the king and you have a problem,you have an advantage of making it someone else's problem.So, that is what our dear king did.

He summoned the palace physician and ordered him to brew a remedy for his baldness or face serious consequences.
The royal physician was  a very clever man, He knew it was futile to argue with the king and he also knew he cannot follow the kings orders . There is no cure for baldness, he walked home in deep thought,
As promised the royal  physician met the king on the said date, handed him  a bottle of oil promising hair growth. He told the king that it is not a matter of just applying the oil that is going to do the trick , the king needs to also have the will to grow his hair back. The king answered that he was very willing and would do what it takes to cure his baldness. To this the physician said that he has follow the instructions really carefully. The king had to apply the oil only after bath and not more than ten drops per day and what ever he does he must not think of mangoes.The king thought easy enough even he could follow such simple instructions.

The king began the treatment the very next day. He took his bath and then he took exactly ten drops of the oil and then what next he thought, he should not think of -mangoes!!!!!!. Now he could not take his mind off mangoes , One day it would be mangoes in  a tree next it would be mango juice in a bottle next it would be mangoes cut and served on plate. Slowly not only did he think of mangoes during his bath both the rest of the day too. It became too unbearable , 
The king got rid of the bottle and decided he looked good the way he is and he also feels better.
The royal physicians cleverness saved him from the king's wrath.

I have told this story to almost all my class students and my students have liked my drawings. Its quite long ago since I drew it the paper is falling apart .Feels good to post it here on my blog.