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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

From Being Radha to Anuradha and RADHA Once More

On May 18 1998, I was blessed with a baby girl. I wanted to name her Radha. My father was very pleased, because his name is Radhakrishna. Both would share the name. I wanted to call her Radha, because i liked the name Radha. Just that one reason. The other 2 names I had shortlisted were Anuradha and Arundhati.

The husband was opposed to naming the child, Radha. After much prodding, he said that his secretary was also called Radha, and he did not fancy calling out to Radha at home too.

My favourite among the Gods are Ganesha and Krishna. But as opposed to the devotees in North India, who see Radha and Krishna together, in the south, it is nearly always Krishna by himself, who is loved and worshipped. I still wanted to name the baby, Radha.

Finally the husband had his way and the child was named Anuradha.

Last year we went to Mathura and Brindavan, where everybody sings the Radha 'dhun'. Even the rickshaw drivers, used to yell out 'RADHEY-RADHEY' so that the pedestrians would make way for them. Everybody greeted each other saying RADHEY RADHEY. There were shawls with RADHEY RADHEY, written on it. And my son who is older to her by 5 years started teasing her, 'Eh Radhey!, Radhey Radhey'. She would be quite angry with him, cry and then rush to beat him. He would run around the house, yelling Radhey Radhey.

And so it continued for a year.

Tomorrow, our building is hosting a BHAGWAD PATH. It will be on for a week, and a Swamiji of great repute, is going to unravel the glory of the holy text for us. It is my first exposure to the Srimad Bhagwad Puran. Today evening as I was getting things ready for the Kalash ceremony tomorrow, where 108 married ladies have to get a kalash from the temple, a neighbour called on us. She wanted Anuradha to play RADHA. There is a chariot readied for the occasion and Krishna and Radha will be 'viraajmaan' on it. And they will lead the procession to the temple, to get the 108 kalash and also the holy text. They will be dressed up by the priests who have accompanied the Swamiji. They are all from Brindavan I presume.

You can well imagine the scenario at home, I jumped in joy. The son chuckled and leapt up, ready to start the chanting game. I had to give him one of my dirtiest looks to silence him. The daughter - well she sulked and sulked some more. The husband comforted her, saying that he would be by the side of her chariot all throughout. She calmed down a bit when she saw me pulling out some pretty 'tikli' sarees for her. They are all laid out now for the panditji's approval.

My daughter, who loves living in shorts, capris and jeans will be decked up in all the finery of Krishna's consort.

Tomorrow!!...........well!!..... RADHEY! RADHEY!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

GOONDOO HAD CHICKEN POX

In mid -December, Goondoo's older brother was ill with chicken pox. Goondoo was keenly observing the spots that appeared on 'Bade Bhaiyya'. Then one day he too broke out in a rash. That night when i called him, he rushed to the phone. 'Mhaave, (aunt) I have got the chicken pox too. I have got hundreds of spots on me but my brother has got thousands and millions', he said proudly of his brother.

After the usual quarantine period, Goondoo went to school today. The teacher told him, "We missed you! Are you alright now? "

Goondoo replied, 'I am fine now, except for these 2 spots here' and he pulled down his pants and pointed to the 2 healed chicken pox spots on his bottoms!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

HALF TICKET

This is an incident which took place when my dear son was a little kid. He was about three and a half years old and went to kindergarten. One day they were taken on a bus ride, by public transport. Their school believed in a hands on approach to learning. For Diwali they made greeting cards. We parents sent in self addressed envelopes with a stamp on it. The kids were then taken to the Post Office in their school bus. They had also taken a stool along with them. Once there, they all stood on the stool next to a Post Box and mailed their cards. Then they went in and saw the Postal Staff at work. When he returned home, he rushed to the door to check if there was any mail for him. When I asked him what he saw at the Post Office, he said, 'they all did THAK THAK with a round stamp.'

Coming back to the Bus Ride. They were all asked to get 1 Rupee from home. This was the cost of a Half Ticket from their school to Andheri Station. We were eagerly waiting for him at home, to narrate his newest experience. He came home all excited.

Me : How was the bus ride. Did you buy your own ticket?

He : (Chuckling) I did. But you know what, I told the conductor 'EK HALF, ANDHERI STATION, and yet he gave me a FULL TICKET.

He brandished the Re 1. ticket in front of our eyes.

It took us a minute to understand his amusement. And then it was we who were chuckling.

In his innocence the child had thought that a half ticket would actually be a ticket torn into a half.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

GOONDOO TALES

During the Christmas holidays, Goondoo (my 4 yr old nephew in the UK) was telling me about the gifts he had received from his parents, friends and neighbours. Chocolates, cars, an airplane, a reindeer etc. I asked him what gift he had got for me

GOONDOO : What can I get you, I am little.

ME : I want a Pink dress

GOONDOO : ( after some serious thinking) A pink dress costs lots of money

ME : So what!!

GOONDOO : So send us some money.

I immediately put down the phone.

Two days later I called him again and asked about my present.

GOONDOO : You want a pink dress?

A big pink dress?? You will have to come over and get it

ME : Oh! that means you've already got me one?

GOONDOO : Yes, But it's very long. It will come upto your feet. And you need not wear a pant below it.

Me : Thank you, Goondu.

I asked to speak to his mom. I was dying to know, whether there really existed a long pink dress
She said, they hadn't bought anything like that. She called Goondoo and asked him about the dress he had promised me.

He went to her cupboard and pulled out a pink NIGHTIE. PINK, LONG, BIG . I WOULD NOT REQUIRE TO WEAR A PANT BELOW IT.


AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.