Saturday, November 24, 2012

Courage = Patience???

श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च मनुष्यमेतः तौ सम्परीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः |
श्रेयो हि धीरोभी प्रेयसो वृणीते प्रेयो मन्दो  योगक्षेमाद्वृनीते  || २ ||
śreyaśca preyaśca manuṣyametaḥ tau samparītya vivinakti dhīraḥ |
śreyo hi dhīro'bhi preyaso vṛṇīte preyo mando yogakśemādvṛṇīte || 2||

The good and the pleasant take hold of man; the wise man
examines and distinguishes them.The wise man prefers the
good (sreyas) to the pleasant,but the ignorant man chooses
the pleasant (preyas) for the sake of the body.(I.2.2) source

How it Started?

There are many mornings, when I lie wide awake on the bed, trying to make sense of my vivid dream. I was up around 3:30 am. So when am unable to go back to sleep, I keep the speaker close to my ears to continue listening to bhasyas. My ears hurt with headset, with speakers at the lowest volume, it does not hurt. Incidentally what was playing then was Katha Upanisad, second valli, second mantra, explanation by Swami Sarveshananda downloaded from internet.

Something has changed. I no longer step outside home to go to temples. I abhor the crowd in any temple or satsang, justified after stampede deaths.  I go to temples only when I have lost the focus of God within. The teacher’s explanation for courage – dhīro in the above verse made me look back at lives of a section of women in the previous generation. I wonder how domestic violence got linked to courage of the shloka early morning, instead of doing my ablutions and yog and pranayama, I was keying this on bed. I had read articles on domestic violence at least 3 years ago.  Now am wondering, perhaps could be because, with lagnesha mangal in anusham, and kanya-shukra, i get mired as witness to situations which angels dread.

Some lives...
For instance, I saw a chart where the lady with a full time job, had mangal in her 7th house with unfavourable dristis as well. After 3 years of courtship and marriage thereafter, as predicted, she was subjected to domestic violence, to the extent of hospitalization after bones being fractured, blood flowing across the rooms of the floor, locks of hair being individually plucked out. Her husband would torture her even before he stepped inside the home, starting to hurt her even as he parked his vehicle, still the wife would serve him food after that.  She would not shed a drop of tear or beg for stopping the violence for she had an ascendant in simha maham. This would make him hurt her more.
The classical Linda Goodman case of 2 cardinal pairs  - an overbearing Cancerian husband and a submissive leonine wife. She bore it. For 30+ years, the recalcitrant husband beat her black and blue till he died, still she brought up his children and took care of him when he was down and financially helped his relatives.

Again, there was this June 5th housewife with an Oct 10th husband. She would say, she hurt herself against the bathroom pipe, even though the whole neighbourhood knew it was her husband who made her face swollen.

Yet again, these Uriah Heepish uncles/helps are people i feel like running away from. They call you Chinnamma, bend backwards with needless service. Yet mercilessly throw acids on their wives after 23 years of marriage. The domestic help and her husband were helping this family for more than 10 years. Wonder, what did he hope to achieve, what problem he hoped to solve, by throwing toilet cleaning acid on his wife's face. Another, carpenter uncle, beat his wife black and blue with a wooden log, that she decided to starve to death in her native place after 20+ years of marriage. The fact was after few months, she decided to live back with the very same guy who had clubbed her to near death. Mars - 30% of charts are adversarial for that matter.  After 3 decades of living together, one thing everyone craves is for peace within as one nears death. In 50s to be subjected to violence, the very same soul who pursued future wife against the world! - human love or whatever is ephemeral, function of time-space and associated planetary combinations.

Earlier I was furious with the patience of such women. One act of violence against my physical body, I would not have rested unless, the person was tortured and hacked to a thousand pieces. Why did they bear it and let it continue? Only in provoked or similar movies, the effect lasts for a few hours, in reality, the emotional scars of domestic violence, persist over lifetimes, at times, get passed on to progenies as well. Hitler is a well known effect.

I felt when in the present generation, a Dec 25, a Feb 10 and another May 8th walked out of domestic violence to live a separated life with their daughters, it was a wise decision. One lady was a manager, another was a director. A no father was better than a wife beating father. Quarreling parents are better than being abandoned to beg on streets as orphans. Of course, for a section of society, this very situation would not make any sense. Guys would enquire incredulously; do men really raise their hand to beat their loved ones?

Courage and Patience
The explanation Swamiji gave for courage was patience coupled with clarity. Without clarity, it became tolerance leading to frustration. The courageous lower middle class women in the previous generation – some well educated for their generation and working, bore these brutal acts of their husbands, with a long term focus on the conviction on the sanctity of marriage, family and companionship. The kind of inner courage of the women required for such supreme patience with long term focus is Himalayan.

What is courage, am still wondering - fighting back for immediate gratification of revenge or maintain calm and patience, letting the act of physical violence take its own course on the inflictor. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The first time our physics sir, asked what is the immediate reaction when you slap someone, one Sep 16 classmate said, there will be an equal pain in the hand that slapped.

Swallowing my anguish, i would try listening to these wife beaters, trying to understand their point of view. Super sensitive souls tormented by one single word of their wives, which they run in loop for years, financial distress associated with their in-competencies which they conveniently blame on wife, few cases, linking it to imagined adultery of their wives, because of their own adulterous inclinations, invariably linked to alcoholism. They want to change their wives for better it seems by inflicting violence on them. There was one chart which supports the view that wife's strong karma sthana has implications for the husband's career as well.

So is this it?
Many say that what the partner does is actually a direct projection of one's own expectations and memories. Their behaviors are mirror projections of one's own beliefs. Does it mean, that the beaten wife actually believes or projects, she would be beaten up or that her husband would disfigure her face by throwing acid? Partner is what the self would eventually be in next life, an extension of self according to this.

If man and woman were to join thinking about the shukra (bhoga, comforts, riches, wealth etc) the partner would provide, then violence (mars), slavery (saturn), ego annihilation (sun), and adultery (rahu) guess, everything else will come into picture. Managing expectations!

In panchatantra, there was this story of husband and wife. A husband, who abandons the wife after stealing her jewels twice. The wife trusted the husband - Once is understandable. Twice is stupid. 30+ years of patience – is it courage or foolishness? If this is courage, I don’t want to understand this kind of courage.

True divine love is what unites us all, sustains us all. A love not conditional on the physical attractiveness, sensuality, riches, wealth and comfort, bhoga and all good things that Shukra promises in physical relationships. This helped. Especially the lines "if you act from divine love you will be cheerful, happy and connected; if you act from base self-interest you will feel angry, isolated and unloved." Need some more time for neutrality, a much lampooned Panglossian trust (yogakshemam vahamyaham), to stop blaming and reacting.Whatever, let my mind think about Goodness and God alone every second, so that I don’t occupy myself with oppressor and victim concept and go beyond whining. Everything unto you God! Peace!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Vaazhai Poo - Murungai Keerai More Kootu

Vaazhaipoo and Murangai keerai

Semiya Payasam, Mor kootu, Radish Sambar, Curd, Maanga thokku, Mixture

Wanted to make vaazhaipoo murungai keerai vadas. That is our favourite, but didn't want to waste oil. Wanted to make vaazhaipoo murungai keerai poriyal, but the buttermilk i added to prevent the plantain flowers from turning black, was left and also, sambar's excess dal, and excess coconut paste was also there, so ended up with kootu.

Health benefits of Vaazhaipoo - this

Who does not love eating on banana leaves - the distinct fragrance of steaming rice on banana leaf is simply divine. When we buy banana leaves from outside it is fine. But when it comes to cutting the verdant leaves from our own backyard, it hurts. We planted them as tiny baby saplings, saw them sport their first tender leaves, saw them grow up and gradually blossom into lush green teenagers and now no one minds mercilessly hacking them and eating on them.

Well anyway, it is a eat or be eaten world. I wonder, how kechari mudra helps one to avoid eating.

Omavalli - Pashanbhedi once more

Stone breaking (paashanbhedi) Omavalli
Idlies, Omavalli chutney, Tomato kurma

Omavalli leaves omam & milagai bajji with black salt

It was different, a bit hot. I didn't add any tamarind, still a bit tangy. And all that i had added was ginger, coconut and 2 chillies to omavalli. I would not have been able to eat it alone with idlis, but with plain tomato kurma, it went well. I polished off the chutney with 4 idlies.

Added Omavalli leaves to Sukku malli kaapi for my brother. If a swathi says ok, i guess, it should be ok.

Health benefits:
1. this
2. wiki
3. this

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Indravalli - Mudakathan Keerai - Cardiospermum halicacabum


Kothumai Kambu Mudakathan Dosa with Tomato Chutney

Mudakathan Parantha with tomato chutney during dusshera holidays
Mudakathan Chappathi, Mudakathan Keerai Rasam along with Kesari, Sweet pongal

For health benefits
Cardiospermum halicacabum
All I know is that it is good for bones and joints. Replayed the scene three-four times in Masala Cafe aka kalakalapu where the thaatha relates "unave marunthu marunthe unavu" dialogue. And thereon, roadside-wildly growing mudakathan keerai entered kitchen.

I was craving for solitude. And it so happened, that the bus was late and mom had left for office. I stopped as usual under the maramalli trees to savour the fragrance for few moments and dragged the samsonite, opened the door and let myself inside home. With no one to receive me, all by myself, just the way I had wanted, somehow, it felt strange for the first hour especially after being around so many junta all the while.

Mom would never put these moth balls inside cupboards. I opened my cupboard, it was just the way, I had left it four months ago. My tshirt was mouldy, luckily, the peacock green kanchivaram had escaped.

Mom had not prepared breakfast. She had kept dosa batter outside and bittergourd curry and rice. Around 10 am, after deciding not to do yoga or pranayama, I opened fridge and figured out there was this mudakathan (indravalli keerai) and tomatoes. After 1 minute in mixie, this becomes a green glue which is more bitter than bitter gourd. But with dosa, it is yum.

Typically, I experiment with dosa mix, of course all time staple is rice/black gram. With my lazy bones, crisp ready to mix Kambu (bajra) dosas, ragi dosas, rava dosa variations or with mixie - kollu dosas or pesarattus were my life savers outside home. For this dosa, mom had already kept kambu and wheat mixed together. And Kambu kothumai mudakathan keerai dosa came out real crisp. After preparing the first dosa, I kept the next one on low flame on the stove and when I return to kitchen after eating my first dosa, I had the next crisp dosa ready. Of course, it involves 2 trips to kitchen, but it’s worth it. Was too lazy to open the back door to keep something for the birds. Ate and slept. Oh! these sleeper berths.