Chinna Chinna Aasai – Little Pleasures of Life

Teeny-Weeny dreams and simple pleasures are the stuff of which our lives are made. Children show us how to make the most of the present.

In this post I have put together a few fun pictures of my grandchildren which I enjoyed:

Here’s the amazing expression that my granddaughter showed when she got her first tattoo of her life – it’s a tattoo of a lion and then a monkey. The expression combines several emotions – surprise, happiness, awe, wonder – all rolled into one. I bet FB or Whatsup cannot come up with any emoticon to describe such a loaded expression. Look at her dilated pupils:

Next, it’s the turn of my grandson to show off – He insists on carrying his daycare bag containing all his valuables like diapers, change of clothes, lunch etc.!  Why not?



Here the little one is trying to show he can drink his milk straight from a big vessel with equal ease and facility. Yes, it’s a perfect demo of  – “whatever you can do, I can do better”:



Here’s a selfie by the little one. Yes, in the game of one-upmanship, he will win hands-down. (Don’t ask me how he managed the selfie. It’s a secret he is not prepared to divulge)




The lil’ one seems to say – Look how I help my mom clear the kitchen:


Here’s my Happy hour with my uncle in Chennai:


Isn’t he saying here – “My sister has a monkey tattoo – Yes, I’m the monkey in her tattoo”!


Hey, this is the ultimate in relaxation – lying down in a basket that just fits me and me alone:


It’s story time – a time to let all bygones be bygones, forget about all fights during the day, sit back, relax and enjoy!



A great moment of Nostalgia for the elders – here’s  yet another generation enjoying the evergreen song of Rajkapoor – Mera  Joota hai Japani!


Finally, in a contemplative mood after listening to an interesting mythological story, I guess:


Published in: on May 13, 2018 at 5:34 pm  Comments (1)  

Fun Stories For (From) My Grand-daughter

To say that my granddaughter loves to hear stories is to say the obvious. To say that she loves to tell stories (of her own wild imagination) is perhaps a little unusual for her age.
Here are a few sample stories she narrated in her own inimitable style:
Story of a monkey:This is a story which I narrated to her but she loves to retell the story to her amma on phone in her own words adding a little spice. My thata (grandpa) bought some bananas out of which two were left-over. He went for a walk while my grandma had gone for Jo-Jo(to take bath). A baby monkey somehow sensed it and managed to squeeze through a tiny opening in the window-grill. It then quietly walked into the dining area, peeled off the bananas, ate both the bananas and left the scene of crime as quietly as it entered (slow-va vandu slow-va vodi pochu). It did not leave behind any clue of its crime. My thata came back from his walk and wanted to eat the bananas. To his surprise, he didn’t find them. He assumed my Patti ate it which was unusual since she does not like bananas. Patti, however, thought, my grandpa finished it off. It was only when she saw the banana peel neatly kept near the dining table, did she get a whiff of doubt. They put two and two together and realized that the baby monkey was the culprit.

Story of baby chair & table for my little brother:
Amma & Appa (My parents) bought a compact set of a tiny table and a chair for my little brother to make him sit in one place while feeding. This was delivered at our Chennai home and we wanted to bring it to Tirupati. The dismantled pieces were packed nicely and kept in the Dicky of our car. On the way we heard a lot of noise and stopped the car to check what was happening. We found that the loose packing gave way and all the parts of the table & chair set were having a jolly good time making a lot of noise and playing among themselves ( jolly-ya valayandindiruthadu). My parents tied them down nicely and the poor parts had to travel the rest of the journey in complete silence! Then she said: kattipota pavam Thana (isn’t it pathetic to tie them down?).

Having completed the story, she abruptly started off with a story of Krishna Umachi (Umachi is God) . She said: Aana, Krishna Umachi sad-ave aagala, kattipota-kuda). But see, Krishna umachi wasn’t bothered when he was tied down by his mother to a wooden rod.. He kept dragging the heavy rod along and dashed off against two trees..anda Katha teriyuma Thata (don’t you know that story, thata). She, then, completed the story saying the the trees got transformed into two angels, thanked Krishna Umachi and vanished. I saw the connection between the two stories immediately. Isn’t she talking about freedom and happiness? (without actually saying so in so many words)? In one case the parts of the table & chair set were extremely happy enjoying the freedom when they were let loose but they turned sad the moment they were tied down. On the other hand, Krishna was happily enjoying himself even when he was handicapped having been tied to a wooden rod. Thus I got an unusual insight from her story that a happy person will keep up his happy mood in spite of adverse conditions!

The Story of a Big Cat: The story that really stole the show, however, is a sensational story  of a Big Cat, a leopard which strayed into a colony close to where we live (in Mulund). This is the story of the day for everyone in Mulund today. A leopard created terror and havoc in a colony nearby. The news-hungry papers and the residents got excited naturally . All the newspapers carried the news with photographs and horror stories. The leopard attacked six people and even entered a flat. The Main door of a ground floor flat was open and when the man of the house came to close it, he found, to his horror, a leopard standing in front. As he rushed inside, the leopard entered the flat and hid itself behind a sofa in the living room. Seeing this, the man and his son ran out of the flat to escape from the leopard. Finally, the forest officials got into action. They tranquilized the leopard, put it inside a cage and transferred it back to its natural habitat. My granddaughter was fascinated by the story and wanted to know a lot more. She asked – why did the leopard come from the forest? Did she find her parents after getting back home. Amma leopard kochindala? (Did the mother leopard get angry). So I continued with the rest of the imaginary story:

The leopard got back home and its mother got angry with her. Mother leopard: Why did you go down to where humans live? Baby leopard: I was hungry and wanted to catch a doggy or a cat. Mother: I will give you doggy mammu(snack) for lunch –  don’t you venture alone in future.

My granddaughter has a lot more unanswered questions in her mind and she kept asking me for answers.

Here’s a picture of the leopard being trapped after being tranquilized:



Published in: on January 14, 2018 at 8:32 pm  Comments (2)  
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A Birthday Celebration in Chennai

We celebrated our grandson’s first birthday last week in Chennai. The religious function is called AYUSH HOMAM meaning a Homam (fire ritual)performed for longevity, health and prosperity of the child. Among several religious functions celebrated in South India, this one can, perhaps, be rated as the shortest & the sweetest!  It’s sweet for more than one reason. For one thing, it takes hardly an hour and a half to complete the ritual. Secondly, the atmosphere is completely informal and light. Also, there is no time pressure for anyone – neither for the direct participants nor for the guests. Once started, everyone knows that events will move smoothly on autopilot mode which means all of us can completely relax.

Physicists theorize about several parallel universes. Here, under one roof, one can actually experience many worlds.

The world of priests chanting away enchanting Samaveda is complete by itself. A rare breed of six priests, well versed in Samaveda, went about their task of singing the musical Vedic mantras gloriously, unconcerned about the audience. The mantras are derived from Rik Veda and one can actually describe Samaveda as Rigveda set to a certain musical tune. Samaveda, according to one interpretation, was sung by our Rishis, when they were in a trance experiencing Brahman (Brahm-ananda). Sama, by the way, is considered the foremost among the four Vedas. That’s why Lord Krishna declares in Gita – “Among Vedas, I’m Samaveda”.

While almost none from the audience was following or listening to the musical mantras being chanted, there was one knowledgeable octogenarian who was listening intently. He pointed out later that one important section of the Veda was not chanted by the priests!

Men & women belonging to generation X formed their own groups and were seen chatting away in clusters.

The middle-aged and somewhat older adults got together in separate groups.They were also completely relaxed pulling each other’s leg and  engaged in hot political debates. Yes, if you’re debating GST or DeMo, it has got to be hot.

The chef and his team formed yet another world who were busy serving hot beverages, special delicacies and lunch. This group is perhaps next only to the priests in importance in the successful celebration of the function.

Amidst all this, children were having fun all by themselves running around.

And last but not the least, it’s the  world of the infant all by himself in whose name everyone gathered. He was the cynosure of all eyes.The little one seemed to be completely confused and was perhaps wondering what the fuss was all about. With so many strangers trying to hold him or cajole or coax him, making all kinds of noisy gestures, humour him, feed him, kiss him, he was looking completely nonplussed. When he smiled by default, everyone laughed in chorus. He was, however, unusually calm and well-behaved in spite of  the fact that his privacy was being invaded right, left and centre. Here are a few pics of the little hero:


And finally, what does the little fellow say about the celebration? Here’s a beautiful video shot which captures his reaction. Isn’t he saying: Please…Please….. leave me alone….Enough is enough?

Published in: on October 1, 2017 at 9:21 pm  Comments (1)  
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Riddles in Vedanta(Upanishads)

Zen masters are well-known to use riddles (or Koans) as a preferred method of teaching. However, the origin of riddles dates back to Vedanta or Upanishads much before Zen koans came into existence. In this post I will try to present one such riddle straight from Keenopanishad. Here the riddles are presented in the form of seemingly contradictory statements. The resolution of the contradictions leads to understanding.

The Upanishad starts with a question from a student: Willed by whom or prompted by whose presence, do the sense organs perform their functions such as seeing, hearing, speaking, thinking or breathing?

The teacher says: “It’s the self (Atman or Brahman) which is indeed the ear of the ear, eye of the eye, speech of the speech” etc. The implication is that the ear, eyes, mind, organs of speech etc perform their functions merely by virtue of the invariable presence of the self, the Atman. He elaborates further saying that eyes, ears, organs of speech or the mind cannot objectify the Self or Atman. The student is confused. He wants to know if nothing can objectify the self, how does one arrive at this knowledge? The teacher says in exasperation: We do not know how to impart this knowledge except to say that Brahman is different from anything known or unknown! The teacher elaborates further: Brahman(Atman) is that which is not revealed by speech, eyes, ears or the mind but it’s that because of which all these organs function.

Just as some clarity seemed to be emerging, the teacher bowls yet another googly: “If you think you know Brahman very well, then you know very little of Brahman’s nature”. The implication of this statement is that Brahman is not an object to be known.

Now it’s the turn of one smart student to respond. He says: “I consider It known to me”. The teacher was taken aback by this bold statement. Therefore, the student explains himself: “I do not consider that I know Brahman well – Nor do I not know.  I know and also do not know”. Then the student makes a final remark: Whoever understands my statement above also understands Brahman.

As the dialogue between the student and the teacher ends, the Upanishad, picking  up the thread, sums up thus: Brahman is known to him who does not consider it an object of knowledge. He who considers it as yet another object of knowledge will never ever come to know Brahman. For those who really know, it’s not known (as an object of knowledge) and for those who do not know really, it’s known (as an object of knowledge).

This entire dialogue and even the summary of the last paragraph will surely drive anyone mad if it’s not taught by a competent teacher. The student surely needs a teacher who has himself studied under a tradition-bound teacher. It’s the way in which the words of the Sruti are handled by a teacher that makes these mantras meaningful.

Finally, the  Upanishad gives clarity in the mantra 4 of chapter 2. In this famous mantra, the mystery is finally unravelled. It declares: PRATI BODHA VIDITAM MATAM.

The Upanishad says in this mantra:Brahman manifests in every cognition and every experience. One does not have to go after a special experience to experience Brahman. He is present in and through every experience! Indeed it’s the invariable presence of Brahman which makes the Jagat what it is.

This mantra, if properly understood, will dismiss all schools of philosophies which say that Brahman is beyond all thoughts and hence one has to dive deep within and wait for that special experience. On the contrary, this Upanishad highlights that with proper understanding, one can experience Him in every thought and cognitive experience. If one probes this statement further, it will lead to Advaita philosophy(non-dualism)

Towards the end of the Upanishad, an interesting story is presented to drive home the message.




Published in: on September 16, 2017 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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That mysterious extra ingredient —

What is it that made the soft Drink Gold Spot very popular for more than 3 decades? It is the ‘zzing thing’ as the advertisers say.
There are Colas and Colas in the soft drinks market. But what is so special about Coco Cola? It is the presence of something exotic in the concoction which remains a trade secret to this day.
What is the secret behind the runaway success of Fevicol? It is again the special formulation containing a few additives. One can go on and on with several examples including my wife’s idlis which are unbelievably soft because it is blended with a special ingredient – Flattened rice flakes known as Aval in Tamil or Poha in Hindi.
Food additives is a multimillion dollar business. An ice cream will not taste like one without the presence of that small amount of additive called emulsifier which gives it a smooth texture. Likewise cakes and several other delicious bakery products derive their taste and texture mainly due to the specialty chemical additive called GMS.
Even industrial chemicals and their processes critically depend the magical additives. One can not make phosphoric acid without a few drops of defoamer which suppresses foaming in Rock phosphate. Similar additives play a role in metal extraction industry.

Cosmetic industry affords a great opportunity for additives. Sunbathers could soon tell when to move out of sunlight and take shelter in the shade thanks to an early warning sunburn indicator. Researchers have developed a strip of plastic, containing ‘smart’ ink, which turns colourless from an initial blue colour just before exposure to too much ultraviolet light from the sun, prompting you to move into the shade before you burn. Obviously it contains a specialty chemical additive.

Even in music, the artist, who comes up with off-beat and unpredictable variations bringing in that additional punch, makes a mark. In all spheres of human endeavour, it is always that additional something that stands out and contributes to success.

On one occasion, my brother added a new twist and an interesting dimension to this during our family get-together. As my sister made her specialty item ‘Baigan bartha’ and served the same, he said it is exceptionally good and went on to have several rounds of servings of the same. Then,while appreciating the special dish, he wisecracked saying that it sure contains a very special extra ingredient which accounts for its exceptional taste. When we inquired as to what he meant by that, he quietly said: It is Affection(‘anbu’ in tamil) in abundance.
Perhaps, this is the most fundamental and somewhat mysterious ingredient which is missing in many things that we experience today.

Published in: on August 13, 2017 at 12:16 am  Comments (2)  
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Bahubali 2 – Full of Sound & Fury Signifying Nothing!

Last week I saw this film in Chennai . It’s a blockbuster no doubt considering that the theaters are running houseful even after more than two weeks of release. How does one classify this film? Is it a fiction based on history or a thriller spiced with romance or a film with special effects or about moral and ethical dilemmas or simply an entertainer? To me it’s none of these although it attempts or rather pretends to present all the above. Of course one thing it has common with all special effect movies is the high decibel noise. I’m always suspicious of the so-called special effect movies. They try to make up with big sets and big sound what they lack in content or a story line. This film is no exception to this rule.

We reached the theater well in time and even as we were searching for our seats, national anthem started suddenly without any notice. We instinctively stopped walking and stood like statues awkwardly in  the dark walkway. One wonders whether a cinema theater is the right place for our show of patriotism. The ambience is just not right for playing our national anthem.

After this ritual, we eventually found our seats and almost settled down before the movie began. But then will the movie allow us to settle down? No way – it starts literally with a big bang and there is no respite either for your ears or eyes as the banging continues all the way till the end. OMG, what an experience it was! May be I’m a little outdated in my views.  The noise was so unbearable that I had to run out of the hall for shelter towards the end of the film. I must have missed the last half hour of the movie – not that I missed anything worthwhile! I often wonder why people pay to get tortured like this. Well, it’s a philosophical question with no satisfactory answer. To each his own, I suppose.

Let me now turn to the plot of the film. In Bahubali 1, I’m told the heroin Ramyakrishna (who played the role of Rajmata) was portrayed as a strong personality with high moral standards. In striking contrast, in Bahubali 2, the same Rajmata was shown in a very poor light in ethical & moral conduct. While she commanded respect in Bahubali 1 for her strength of character, in Bahubali 2 she fell from grace as she failed to take morally correct decisions. Her decisions were clouded by her bias in favour of her biological son. To me this inconsistency in characterisation of the heroin is not convincing.

Two episodes in the movie stood out – one in line with women’s lib movement and the other completely out of line. In a commendable episode, Amarendra bahubali takes law into his hands as he hands out summary justice  by chopping off the head of a guy who molested several women in a public place. This scene was shown with much fanfare and melodrama. However the message is quite forceful in our present times when molestation and rape are everyday happenings.

If Bahubali showed courage of conviction in handing severe punishment to a sexual offender,  the powerful queen did everything to give just the opposite  message. The Rajmata orders the capture of a young princess on whom her biological son develops a crush. As it turns out, one wrong doing leads to another and yet another untill she finally gets Amarendra Bahubali killed. What a fall – a queen shown as a strong character in Bahubali1 is now shown in a completely different light and it’s not convincing.

If the movie shows any resemblance to a famous English film Lion King, be rest assured it’s only a coincidence! Don’t jump to the conclusion that the story writer or the director is guilty of plagiarism. The first coincidence is that in both the films there is an evil uncle who tries to outmonoevre and even kill the nephview.

The second coincidence is when Ramyakrishna, in the penultimate scene, lifts the baby bahubali(Mahendra bahubali)and announces to the public that the little fellow would be their future king. Here again, the close resemblance to a similar scene in Lion King is unmistakable. I will point out one more parallel and rest my case. The scenes where Mahendra Bahubali was brainwashed to fight back and win the kingdom is similar to Simba, the little lion being inspired by an old friend to take revenge for his father’s murder by his uncle.

Here’s my bottom line on the film: Overall, the film is full of sound and fury signifying nothing.


Published in: on May 21, 2017 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Crystal-gazing into Future

Human beings are fascinated by thoughts of future. A part of the reason for the fascination is that it triggers one’s imagination on the exciting possibilities and scenarios. This explains why have we so many books dealing with future. In this post, I’m going to introduce you to a young and upcoming author, Anirudh Chakravarthy, who has dealt with this topic in a unique and daring way with a narrative of his own in his book titled Kalki’s coming.  It’s daring because the author is able to visualize a future scenario when India becomes a super power. Well, more on that later in the post. Let me give a very brief review of the book:

Sometime in the far future, in a world ravaged by third world war, India becomes the number 1 super power with China at number 2 slot. While I like the idea, I would have liked to see more thorough and logical explanation of how this happens. Super power status is not a game of mere numbers or of demography.  However, granting that, the author certainly spins a nice web of plots and subplots around a few key characters. Through these characters, the author forcefully presents a case for banning science and technology as the twin evils out to destroy humanity. The ethical and moral dilemma for and against such a ban was discussed & well presented – Can one individual decide what is good for humanity? Does he know enough? What about the ethics of means adopted to keep out technological literature out of reach of the common man? Also having denied the humanity this knowledge effectively, is it sustainable?

It’s not clear to me, though,  how anyone can own all knowledge for himself and ban it for the rest. Further, will any one person along with his cohorts, be in a position to oversee the banning after a devastating world war? One cannot also expect an imperialist China to abandon technology and then steal the knowledge of weapons from India.  These are some of the grey areas which have to be addressed in an otherwise well-written book.

The story begins with the introduction of a self-styled messenger of God who is the ruler of India after the 3rd world war. He happens to believe strongly that as a ruler his primary responsibility should be to purge all evil represented by knowledge, science & technology. He justifies several sins and atrocities he commits in  the name of  protecting the human race from self-destruction in the future. It’s a case of just one man claiming to know what is good for everyone. One is reminded of what one witnessed in the communist countries after the 2nd world war. The ruler of India, in the present story, kills several who oppose his ideas. He projects himself as the saviour of people and a messenger of God. He resorts to exhibiting carefully orchestrated magical powers to impress gullible people and to convince them about his divine status.

The story takes an interesting turn when an alien is introduced. The alien with his supernatural powers is in a position to swing the balance of power in the ensuing conflict between good and evil*

While the story is simple, it’s handled well. The pacing of the story with rapid fire dialogues in some places, a fair amount of suspense till the end and a bit of romance makes it easy to read. The style of the language is very good and quite consistent. The dialogues are purposeful, have depth and offer insights into the questions of human nature, morality and ethics.  Here are a couple of examples: Kalki, the ruler of India, puts on the mask of a God’s messenger to hoodwink people into believing he has the divine right to rule. To counter that, we have another character who puts on a real mask and declares himself as an angel. A character in the story exclaims: “Don’t we all put on masks of one kind or the other in our daily lives?” How true!

To give another example of an insightful statement, a character in the story says that time is the ultimate winner after all. One may think one has achieved the ultimate good hiding technology away from people. But then, over time, another equally crazy guy would appear and undo what has been done before. Not to be outwitted by this logic, Kalki, the ruler says: I believe that God gives each one a certain role. We play the role as best we can, leave the stage and don’t worry about what happens later in time.

But then what is the final message of the story, I wonder. Is it that Human beings are stupid collectively but brilliant individually. This is perhaps implied in the story but has not been made clear. The stupidity of human beings arises out of the weaknesses like, envy, greed for power, perpetuation of power by any means and a condescending attitude to the common man. And these collectively cause the downfall of human beings.

Greed for power, revenge, one-upmanship​, love, hatred, compassion – virtually every emotion is on display in the story. The plots and subplots are nicely woven together and the author manages to bring to light certain profound facts about human nature.


*Portrayal of magical powers through Alchemy is perhaps avoidable considering that Alchemists involved in transmutation of base metals to gold were historically regarded as pseudo-scientists, counterfeit artists or quacks. Moreover, gold cannot be considered as a strategic resource to swing balance of power. One can perhaps think of more imaginative ways in which aliens can influence matters on earth.

Published in: on April 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Reciprocal altruism – My Experiments with my grandkids


“Naan avanai tiruppiam adichutten thata” – said my 3-year old grand-daughter proudly.( I hit him again, grandpa). She is referring to her ongoing one-sided battles with her younger cousin. How does one handle this? Opinions within our house are divided. My wife and my second daughter decided to encourage him to hit back. The logic is that once my granddaughter realizes that she would be paid back in the same coin, she would understand the cost of being aggressive. My first daughter, however, says this is not right since it is leading to a never-ending cycle of hitting and counter-hitting. I kept silent and decided instead to do some experiments.

We bought two toys – a bus for my granddaughter and an auto-rickshaw for my grandson who is obsessed with this vehicle. As expected they picked up a quarrel on the rights of ownership over the toys. A peaceful resolution was not in sight as both the kids seemed to believe in the age-old principle of Might is right. So I tried to devise a trivial game using both the toys and a baby doll. The baby doll would take an auto ride first before taking the bus to go to a market nearby. Now, the game became more interesting to them than the ownership issue of the toys. This worked for a while. They could get more pleasure out of sharing the toys than merely owning just one toy. This is of course an old trick which all of us know of. When we go to a restaurant with friends, we order different items from the menu and share them.

The other experiment was in a park where both the kids wanted to play the slide at the same time. Here again the aggressive kid was shoving and pushing the milder one to make sure she was always ahead of the other kid on the slide. No amount of sermonizing would help change her behaviour. So I decided to try out a game. Here each kid, by turn, will get on the slide and slide down while the other kid would stand at the other end of the slide with open arms to receive and hug. Both enjoyed this game immensely at least for a while. Here again it’s the same principle of trying to maximise pleasure the by cooperating and working together instead of competing and fighting. Here are the photographs of the game being played:






I’m not suggesting that the problems between them have vanished for ever. Obviously, one has to keep inventing newer games to keep them interested in cooperation. It proves, though, that the solution doesn’t lie in encouraging the other kid to hit back.

Evolutionary psychologists say that people are altruistic not out of love for each other but because they understand the basic human principle that – if I’m nice to you, you will be nice to me too. This is reciprocal altruism, which is innate in all human beings. This is an adaptation that evolved over millions of years as a mechanism for survival.


Published in: on December 4, 2016 at 4:37 pm  Comments (2)  

Nava Rasas in an Iyengar Wedding

Last week we had two big family functions. One was a typical big fat Tambram wedding and the other a relatively simpler naming ceremony of my grandson. The wedding was celebrated in Chennai with the usual fanfare that accompanies any south Indian wedding.

During a wedding celebration, one can experience an impressive range of emotions. In fact, most of the Nava Rasas are on display. I thought it will be interesting to explore a few of them here.

Shringara is easily the most prominent rasa in a wedding.. Love, romance, beauty, attraction are all in the air as one progresses from one ritual to the other.

Hasya rasa arises out of Shringara during every ritual. Laughter, comical interludes, funny remarks and exchanges – all add up to the Hasya rasa. Both these rasas are readily captured from the following photographs where the bride and the bridegroom exchange garlands. The fun part cannot be missed here as the bride and bridegroom are literally lifted and each play a game of  ‘catch me if you can’. One can see smiles all around as each tries to dodge the other.



The rasa rudra or anger is part and parcel of any marriage celebration in India. The bride’s party is literally and figuratively at the receiving end for their acts of omissions and commissions. There are always a couple of people from the groom’s side who are rigid sticklers to old traditions and they would not miss an opportunity to create a scene to insist and get what they want.

The emotion of fear or bhaya is felt constantly at the back of the mind by both the parties till the wedding gets over successfully. If a wedding celebration goes without any hiccups, it only means that hundreds of critical factors have fallen in place.

The emotion Adbhutam, wonder or amazement, finds its place as the groom ties the knot to the accompaniment of high decibel chanting of mantras and even higher decibel sounds of Tavil or drums. That is the moment everyone is anxiously waiting for and when it arrives, everyone becomes ecstatic. It’s a moment of joy as well as relief. With hundred of people focusing on the scene and the close relatives closing in to occupy vantage points to have a good view of the couple and the cameramen clicking away to glory, it’s an amazing moment to cherish. One can see tears of joy rolling down the eyes of the near and dear. One might have seen many marriages. Still in every marriage the muhurat is the most precious moment. It’s the build up of events leading up to the muhurat that makes the moment very special and exciting.



Shantam, peace and tranquility, is yet another important rasa. Don’t we experience it once the dust settles down after the wedding? The nice feeling of having successfully completed a mission and the accompanying relief is merely an expression of the emotion Shantam.

How about Karunyam or compassion. One is bound to feel a sense of sadness when one has to face the inevitable moment of separation of one’s daughter from the family. It’s the beginning of a new phase of life to the daughter as well as the parents. Anyone witnessing the farewell scene can easily empathize with the people concerned.

Is the rasa VEERA, courage or valour, seen or experienced? Well, the courage and confidence that one enjoys after completing a challenging mission is something unique. Having performed a marriage successfully, one is justified in feeling confident of facing any challenge in life without much fuss.

How about the rasa BHIBATSA? This is extreme fear or disgust, outrage. Well, one might argue this emotion has no place in a marriage hall. Imagine, though, a situation where you are about to leave the function hall and the caterers and hall managers approach you with fat bills to be cleared. Seeing that the bills have exceeded your budget will surely cause BHIBATSA or outrage or even disgust.