Monday, July 25, 2011

Effects of lover-spouse on vegetarianism

Yesterday, our whole family was shocked to the core. My sister apparently ate a slice of pomfret after 2 decades of vegetarianism (ok, she ate eggs once in a while). She said, her in-laws and husband were not comfortable seeing her have only rasamsadham, while they devoured all other creatures. So my bil specially cooked and prepared the slice and made her eat it seems. Incidentally, my bil is a thiruvathirai. My sister’s mil called my mom to announce her accomplishment.

The first instance I learnt, in engg college, was a Christian mrigasirisham (also sun Gemini) girl making her vegetarian boyfriend (scorpio – revathi) eat non-veg, because, she did not want to give up eating non veg. They are now married for many years.

Another instance in PG institute, was another mrigasirisham girl (again also sun Gemini) as well, who married a vegetarian cancerian thayirsadham. The guy has opted to remain vegetarian and the girl continues to be a non-veg freak. Separate cooking apparently.

My Gemini uncle is a vegetarian and my Aquarian aunt is a non-veg. She gave up eating non-veg for the sake of my uncle and adopted stringent vegetarian kitchen madis.

And people still insist that non-veg diet is healthier. No amount of explanation of decreasing energy flow or increasing accumulation of toxins up in the food chain would be of any use to non-veg eaters. Taste buds enslave folks to be blind and impervious to the bloodshed and merciless killing in a butcher shop. Why is that partners want the better half to prove their love by insisting on changing vegetarian/non-veg preferences? Ok, why bring in the cooking pot in love. All’s well, as long as couples are happy and loving.

P.S. Am trying to find a value for money course on ayurvedic cooking. AOL offers one, but am not quite sure, if it also explains the planetary effects on dhaanya in addition to health, nutrition, spiritual and emotional effects of food and cooking.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I am the master of my Fate: I am the captain of my Soul

This morning, I happened to read about Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, how he lanced his boil unflinchingly, how he unified the country and I remembered having read how he continued cross questioning a witness, even after having received the news of his wife’s death. To give up the presidency for Nehru, to give up his pass and ticket to study in England for his elder brother, spoke volumes about the strength of his character.

Of course, one should not watch TV during meals, and with the kind of news being broadcasted, one would not be able to eat even a morsel of food. And while surfing, I found Invictus was being telecast yet again. I knew I would not be able to see the whole movie, so I did a wiki and found the source of the oft heard lines: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.“ As I read the full poem, I was wondering WHY? And then it dawned.

When I was in CMC there was a 10th standard boy Arun, my dad’s colleague’s only son who had a tumour in his right shoulder which necessitated whole arm amputation. We painfully learnt that he died few months later. William Ernest Henley, Kahlil Gibran, many polio afflicted people, amputees have such high levels of infectious energy and enthusiasm despite all odds. Am thankful to God, my limbs are not amputated. I admire these folks for the kind of resilience, courage and fighting attitude. I have been inspired by many young men with one leg, with half hands. But most young girls and old ladies with amputated limbs, simply lose heart, starve to death and die, except one Revathy Menon I read about in RD.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I am wondering about many saying that without God’s wish, not even an atom moves. Stoicism, fatalism as compared to fighting back. There are times to fight back, and there are times, when it is better to accept and let go. The question is of discrimination and discernment.

Coming to fighting and throwing a challenge, 3 years ago, I was fascinated to see the youtube video that my MSP (Managing Software Project) professor showed in class. So many virile sturdy men, with intimidating gestures, giving a war cry in unison was simply awesome. I eagerly devoured the haka performance the All Blacks gave in the movie Invictus. To the give the best, to put the best foot first under all circumstances!

P.S. Now I have discovered, why vastu says that we are not supposed to have mango trees and plantain trees around our homes. The temptations of sweet mangoes, spares no one.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Backdoor Policy

Our quarters is just near the only hotel and busstand in our locality. These days, since exams are just a week away, I ask mom to lock me inside, so that I don’t have to answer snooping people, annoying neighbourhood kids, school kids. My neighbour kid who is 7 years younger than me, once pointed his index finger on my face and said that am his research subject. These vagrant lads, do nothing other than idle away their time sitting on compound walls, getting drunk at some party where other friends spend, teasing small school kids on roads.

So my wonderful neighbour, picks up the ripe orange red mangoes that fall in our backyard and under the pretext of handing over the mangoes would keep on calling Hello- Hellos outside the window. Have to learn diplomacy. As usual, I never open the backdoor, or go near the window when the front door is locked from outside. Now our tenant amma who is childless came and she was calling out papa-papa for a long time. I thought, the neighborhood kid was playing jokes by changing voice and didn’t open the backdoor. After 5 minutes, she called me by my pet name and so I went near window and saw it was she and opened the backdoor. Initially I was actually annoyed that my study schedule was interrupted. But she was a kind lady.

Atithi Devo Bhava

I was wondering what to offer a diabetic guest, since all that was there were Cadburys bars in freezer and super ripe mangoes. I thought 2 slices of mangoes should not increase the blood sugar too much and cut the mangoes for her and made a protein mix drink with vanilla flavour. Only after she left, I remembered the Hide n Seek biscuits in the jar.

After usual ladies talk, she said, it was time to leave and said that would give the curry leaves that she had plucked from our house through the window. She went on to explain that, some items, should not be brought in through backdoor. Curry leaves are equal to sons and hence they should be brought in only via main door. She got the MilkBikis biscuits through backdoor though. (Another priest while doing yagna said, that arasa maram twigs are equivalent to sons, and hence should not be used for cooking, but could be burnt during homams it seems.)

She went on to say what her paati thaatha (grandparents) had told her. If one enters home by the rear door, they have to leave the same way. If a person comes via rear door and exits through main door, then veetu lakshmi (wealth) would go away the same way it seems.

It was amusing listening to the kind of billion rules that are imposed on us. Don’t do this, don’t do that, without any rational explanation. I can’t sport my hair free for instance.

Another one, like you are not supposed to pare nails on Saturday. What will happen? Lori Reid says, health will be affected. Astrojyoti does not give any explanations; just don’t pare nails on Saturday and Monday PERIOD.

Could not help remembering the words in one of Amartya Sen’s “The Idea of Justice” which said something similar to –“ Your judgement may be right, but the explanation for reaching that conclusion might not be flawless”. So yes, being a true Indian, there must be some science behind this as well and so I will follow our tenant amma’s words of bringing curry leaves only through front door.