Friday, November 25, 2011

It was a beautiful rainy bike ride

How wonderful can things get?

For breakfast, for the first time in my life, I ate 3 idlies which were like those jamuns in gulab jamun ad, where the gulab jamuns almost fly away, as one tries to scoop them with a spoon. Our idlis slided to the edge of the plates, as we we tried to eat them, idli rocks indeed.

This afternoon, i remembered reading a newspaper article on the UNESCO photo exhibition in the state museum and today being the last day, i badly wanted to go. Little did I realize that the museum would be closed on fridays. It is another matter, that I figured out the Connemara is just near the museum. After being liberally splashed by racing bikes and autos with pristine pure chennai colourful stagnated waters, my college junior and I could not help being amused. He does not walk, he ambles around like a teddy bear. He said:

Once Einstein was supposed to be received at a railway station. However, thanks to our genius's dress, the folks who were supposed to receive him, didn't recognize him. It was a long walk from the station to the final venue and Einstein apparently walked with his luggage. When the dignitary who had sent the folks to receive Einstein, apologized for missing him, the genius said, never mind, "It was a pleasant walk"

My friend just said, it was a pleasant rainy ride. And forget these irritants, or the state of snow white acoba tops or wet jeans, looking back now, it indeed was....

And ya, talking about Einstein, seems scientists have figured out folks might want to look at his thinly sliced brain pieces. Another army general wrote about how he made graveyards his training base and didn't mind, cooking or sleeping there.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank God! It was a soft landing

For most of last week, I had a session with my sis' sil - a physiotherapist. In spite of having a 24 hours time demanding 2+ year old baby, she slept in my room, woke up in the morning, without disturbing my pranayam, made me do her set of exercises early morning + massaged with dhanavantaram that I had, since I didn't have murivenna. She said, most lady physiotherapists don't massage general patients who come to their clinics, because it would be misconstrued by others.

I had spent 20 continuous days under panchakarma therapists years before. As one part of the whole process, they would typically heat up oil or heat up a clothe bundle containing some ayurvedic herb and give othram and pour ladles and ladles of oil and massage in a particular direction. Else they would put some paste mixture and smear it over the affected part and make you rest for while after which one could bathe.

My sis on the other hand, said, look these are the muscles, and this is where nodes are, these-these are the muscles that are tightened up and am going to release them. She applied mild currents after applying the ultrasonic gel on the muscle points.

I spent half of the 20 days sulking way back in 2007, as my ayurvedic doctor wanted obedient cooperation, while I wanted scientific explanation as to why he made panchakarma girls inject warm medicated oil inside my anus. After a fierce argument, he lamented, these days, one needs to explain why one should not jaywalk. I wish, the ayurvedic therapists and physiotherapists blended their skills with a spiritual caring mentality of reiki or pranic healing.

My sis' first time massage effect was the same as that the one by a varmam guy from village. Now this guy who practices siddha, took coconut oil, closed his eyes and massaged my lower limbs, applying so much pressure to release tightened muscles. The next day, i could not even touch those points, or towel my body.

My sis, applied hot wax cloth on the pain points to remove the pain due to massage. The reason why am writing is because of Chithi. Chithi-Chithappa went to see their niece and while returning, thanks to Velachery potholes, 54 year old Chithi landed in a dry ditch off the scooter. She could get up immediately and walk, thankfully. I knew, the effects of the impact would be felt only the next day, so I hurriedly heated up oil and had to see the muscle alignment to massage accordingly with the heated dhanavantaram. I just prayed to god to guide my hands as I massaged. Chithi was naturally shy and opted to do it herself, however, thankfully she let me massage her shoulders the next day. And it worked with the grace of god.

I was initially scared, coz, once I had massaged mom's shoulders the pain worsened, now after carefully observing beauty parlour massages, panchakarma massages and understanding the muscle structure of parts needing attention in the family and physiotherapists idea of strokes, patting... some 5 steps she said, it is very handy. Just go with the muscle flow.

Wish 3 idiots was released when I was a kid. I used to blindly mug all the muscle names in 7th standard science book just as another data point affecting my marks, now I realize, how essential it is to understand, what is immediately beneath the skin, better still, what is beneath the muscles, flesh and bones, a soul craving for a caring and loving word.

More than massages, even over phone, an assurance of prayer for our elders' pain works wonder. My first priority is health. As the second verse of īśa upaniṣad says for the lesser mortals, i should keep my body fit, so that even if live a hundred years, i won't be burden for others with my health issues and help others in every possible way without being an interference. Its amazing to learn about Fauja Singh. "I run while talking to God."

In fact, Vethathri Maharishi's school had taught us how to massage our face and it fits perfectly with the facial muscle structure.


White Tree Flowers

Millingtonia hortensis (Maramalli / Chameli/ Akash mallige)

Its so fragrant, that i slow down my steps as I near my house in the night. There are so many trees by the sides of the roads leading to our quarters. Enchanting...

Tamilnadia uliginosa (Divine Jasmine/ Wagatta, Kalikarai)


Nyctanthes arbortristis (Coral jasmine/Tree of sorrow/Queen of night/ हार सिंगार, शैफ़ाली/ पारिजात/பவிழமல்லி)


Wrightia tinctoria (Sweet Indrajao/कपार, दुधी/பாலை)
This keeps milk unspoiled even without refrigerating.


Mimusops elengi (Mahilam)

This tree is there in Thiruvannamalai temple. Few sites say that this tree should not be planted near homes.

Magnolia Champaca (Joy perfume tree/Champaka/ Shanbagan/ चम्पा)


Ehretia laevis (Chamror/kalvirasu)


Dalbergia latifolia (Black rose wood/काला शीशम/Sa: शिंशपा/நூக்கம்)


Tabernaemontana alternifolia (Sa: Kampilakah/குண்டலப்பாலா, பால்வாடி/ नाग कुडा)


Calophyllum inophyllum (Beauty Leaf/सुलतान चम्पा/ नाग चम्पा, पुन्नाग/ புன்னை)

I have been searching for this flower for years in vain. Hope I get to savour its fragrance some day, again thanks to Lalithasahasranama. Am wondering what is the difference between this and Mammea suriga सुरंगी also called punnag in sanskrit. Surangi does not have a reddish stigma or core like the Alexandrian laureal. Also surangi is smaller lining up almost the whole tiny tree branches and buds open up without any leaves around it unlike the laureal.

Bauhinia acuminata
(Dwarf white orchid tree/ सफ़ेद कचनार/ வெள்ளை மந்தாரை/ Sa:शिवमल्ली)

Terminalia arjuna (अर्जुन /மருது) vs catappa


Terminalia catappa (Indian almond/जंगली बादाम)


Tabernaemontana divaricata (Crape Jasmine/ Moonbeam/ Carnation of India/चांदनी / நந்தியார்வட்டை)

Our sweet tenant amma has said that she would plant nandiyavattai in our home. In estate, our ground floor neighbour had this tree/shrub in their backyard. Every morning, there would be a carpet of these flowers. Our neighbour used to collect few flowers for seva. Later new neighbours came in and when i went back home, i was surprised to see this fragrant tree missing)