The Oldest, Yet Strongest affection.

Hello All,

A quick re-play of last one invisible month in my life.

My Sister’s Marriage went on very well and the young pair enjoying their married life roaming around different places.

There is actually a lot to write about my last sentence, but I couldn’t as the time doesn’t permit me to it. :(. I hope you all are doing well.

Coming to the subject of this post, I would like to talk about a special person that attended my sis’s marriage. He is so special that every body was very much astonished with his presence and was very happy. I still can not believe that a person of 74years age had travelled a very long way using different means of transport reached us to give the blessings to my sister. 🙂 Well, I am talking about My Grand-Pa. I mean My Grand-Ma’s (My father’s mother) brother.

Its a very big story to start with. My Grand Ma’s was a very poor orthodox Brahman (Iyyer) family with Tamil origin. After her marriage, She took her younger sister along with her to Andhra to be a companion. Though she doesn’t know Telugu then, She struggled alot to communicate with the people over here and finally was able to mingle with the people here. Her younger sister Visalakhi, had literally dedicated her life as a bachelor to our family. She is always been called as “Visala Akka” (Visala Sister) by every one in our family starting from the grand-old-Generation to the younger generation. She love to be called so and won’t allow any one to call her Grand-ma.

Well, My Grand ma’s brother (I call him Kanchi tata) strived a lot to come up in his life. He used to work in 7 different houses a week for his day food and learn Veda’s in the famous vedic school from Ekambaranath temple in Kanchipuram. Daily he used to work, Learn Veda’s and take shelter in the temple. After a long time of his dedication, he was releved as a vedic pandit (Ghanapati in Sanskrit) to the society. He then went back to his home town Vadamarimangalam, Vellore (Dt) and settled as a Ghanapati.

During olden day’s as it is very tough for a poor family to commute to the long distances, Nobody from the that family used to visit us at andhra. So do we. My Grand-Ma still call’s her home town as another Desham (country). Moreover, The language is a big barrier between the two families. Kanchi Tata, Know little bit of English. So whenever he comes, dad used to speak to him in English. The sister and brother used to speak in Tamil. As day’s passed by we totally lost the touch with their family. My dad’s just a one vague address of kanchi tata.

The last time he visited my home was during my Mom & Dad’s Marriage (almost 27 years back). As day’s passed by, My grand-ma forgot Tamil. We always used to have fun at home, by asking her to speak in Tamil and she feeling shy for it. Seeing my dad’s invitation to the wage address, He called my home on the phone number written on the invitation card. Neither my Grand-ma nor my family member’s were able to understanding what he says. After a long affectionate discussion, my sister’s finally understood that “He will not be able to come to Marriage. But then he is sending his blessings in the form of a money order”.

But, His presence on the eve the marriage surprised us. There is no language barrier this time because of a catalyst/translator called Durga Prasad. Well, That’s me.  Kanchi Tata, was delighted and proud to have me speaking to him in his own language.  More than me My grand-ma was spell bound to see her brother after a span of 27 years.

Believe me, You have to experience such emotions atlease once in your life. I am very much privileged to have that experience during the marriage. He was morally supported all through this 27 years by a neighbour called srinivasan who also came to the marriage. Kanchi Tata always says that “With out Srinivasan, I am not there”.  We were very thankful to srinivasan to be there beside him always.

With this note I would like to take a break from this post. Here are some of the photo’s of him blessing all of us.

Enjoy your weekend.

Durga Prasad.

Grand Ma blessing her bro.

Grand Ma blessing her bro.

My Grand Ma, Her Brother, Her sister (Visala Akka)

My Grand Ma, Her Brother, Her sister (Visala Akka)

Kanchi Tata and Srinivasan

Kanchi Tata and Srinivasan

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Back to the childhood to celebrate Pongal.

Hello All,

Let me wish you all a Happy and great pongal. This day is a new year day for Tamil Nadu and so let me wish all the chennites A happy new year as well.

Well, I didn’t get a chance to go home for this pongal 😦 as I am “perserving” my leaves for sister’s marraige. Being alone in the room, I was just thinking of my pongal celebrations during my childhood days. Ofcourse, those were the sweetest days of everyones life.

My memories flashed back to my childhood days of 5-6th standard. Normally during those days the atmosphere used to be very cold than usual becuase of the two lakes very near to my home in Tenali. We are around 6 kids and all are of my age or less than that. Our temple used to be the  playground for all of us. Since our home is located pretty near to farm fields, all the tractors and lorry’s used to pass by my home.

We use to gather early morning at around 4.30 to 5.00 o’clock and prepare a camp fire (traditionally called Chali Manta in telugu) to get rid of cold. More than escaping from cold, we make use of this as a way out to have fun together with lots of silly games. So, Its our usual practice to make a camp fire every morning. But, for us to  make the fire we have to collect the dried grass from different places.

Ofcourse, The best place to collect are the tractors that return from the fields. So, this used to be a very tough competition between those 6 kids. Everybody used to have a very keen motto of collecting the grass on their own and whoever collects more (on that day) will get lots of claps the next day morning during the camp fire. Thank god that all the tractor drivers that return from fields, take a break extactly before my house (Because we have a public pump befre my house :)). Hence, me and my sister always used to crouch in to those halted tractors during the abscense of the driver and steel the grass in it. So, at the end of the day we were the winners of the game. 🙂

During bhogi (the day before the festival of pongal), it used to be a master camp fire (Bhogi Manta) where all our family members would also participate. We, the kids, used to preserv lot of grass from previous three days. Apart of it, My dad also used to ask the farmers to get some from the fields. So, By the next day morning, suddenly a BIG lot of grass appears before us for the camp fire. You don’t believe me, that was the time which we were utmost happy to see such a big amout of it. (Sounds so funny if i think now). Because… More the grass ! More is the time to Burn ! and so More is the fun ! 🙂 🙂

Apart of this, We used to fly lot of kite’s on top my building. We used to go to the small water storages near by for fishing.  We were never successful in catching a fish but were always successfull in geting scoldings from our parents. 🙂

Those were the best days of my life….. (I feel like singing this Brain Adams’s Biggest hit ).

Gone are those days. Now the times are changing with every thing artificial. I am afraid If I will be able to explain to the next generation (my kids) “What is Sankranthi? What is Bhogi ?” etc etc…..!

Whew….! Enough going to flash back. Just Zoom back to present.

Once again Happy Pongal and Have a nice day.

Cheers,

Durga Prasad

 

 

Shopping Bonanza at chennai/Kanchipuram.

Hello All,

I would like to start this post with a note that it is very tough to go for a marriage shopping with all the ladies. I am telling this upon my experience when my parents and relatives came down to chennai for my sister’s marriage shopping.

Traveling half a day in a train, all my relatives along with my parents reached Chennai at 1.30PM on Sunday Evening (28th December 2008). We went to my room and had lunch self cooked by me. There started the local shopping in Saravana Stores. Since it is called as the best suited shop for the middle class items, we chose to go there first to have a look at the stuff  in side. They are all very stunned to see the crowd at Ranganadhan Street and Saravana Stores.

Phase I of the shopping started at the ground floor of Saravana stores which has all the saries and chudidars for ladies. My relatives from both the sides (Bride’s and Bride Groom’s) have started exploring the saries in their own way depending upon their tastes and needs. I was so bored after some time, as I was sick of hearing different types of ladies redymades like Salwar Kameez, Chudidar, Short Top, Long Top, Patiyala, Anarkali Dress etc etc.

Whew…!!!! Oh My god. How many models for Ladies. Are all these things really needed for them? Why are these many models not there for Gents? All these thoughts are roaming around my mind. It is not that easy to enjoy shopping in Saravana Stores because the shopping there is literally like a village festival (Called as Tirunall in telugu, Tiruvizha in tamil) with an exceptionally large crowd. I was not even able to move around becasue of the huge crowd standing every where with out even giving a way to  those who want to pass by. Half of the time I spent in supplying water to my relatives and searching for all of them and unite them at one place. 😦 This way, the Phase I of the shopping ended in Saravana Stores at 11.30PM starting form 4.10PM. However, we reached home very late by 12.50AM because of the remaining shopping in T-Nagar.

The next day started very early in the morning. We started to kanchipuram in MTC bus from CMBT. I was damn sleepy because of the least sleep last night and as soon as i got in to the bus, I slept off. By the time I woke up (After 1 1/2 hour) I realized that we reached Kanchipuram already. Kanchipuram is known for its ancient temples and the original hand woven mulberry silk saries. Even though this is my second visit to Kanchipuram, I explored much of it this time than the last time. The temples of Kanchipuram shows up the spirituality and they were built with the perfect Hindu Temple Architecture with multiple number of prakaras (Bounderies).

Ekamabaranath Temple At Kanchipuram.

Ekamabaranath Temple At Kanchipuram.

Sculpture At Kanchipuram

Sculpture At Kanchipuram

As soon as we got down at Kanchipuram, I called up one of my cousin studying there. His name is vinay, and he is been a very good guide the whole day. Since we reached early (at 7.00AM), we started with the Temple darshan’s. We visited Kamakshi Temple and then to Ekambarana Nath Temple. Both of them are known for their glowry and ancient ness. Kanchi Kamakshi temple is one of the very few Shakthi Peetha’s in India.  My sister started singing a krithi during the darshan and I was very much involved and enjoyed it. The darshan was very good at both the places.

We then quickly had breakfast and hired two auto’s for the entire day. Now starts the actual shopping bonanza. Since Kanchi is famous for the silk saries, there is always a scope for getting betrayed by the shopkeepers if the customer is innocent. As per the local people, there are few places called “Pattu Societies” which are trustable, as they have been given a certificate of trust from the central government of India. This seal is only for the Quality of the silk in those saries, But the rate may always vary accordingly.

We directly striked to a famous society called KK Society in Kanchipuram. When we are entering it, we have seen the many people making Pattu (silk) Saries using the corresponding machinery (Called Maggam in telugu). We were surprised to see their efforts to make a single sarie. It really take a very long time to come up with a beautiful Kanchi Pattu Sarie. Inside the society, we were been treated very well like their own relatives. One special thing about them is that they know many Indian languages and they are fluent enough to tackle the customers in these languages. The saries in these shops cost from 3000/- to 90,000/-. The shopkeeper will show you different varieties in your expected range and once the selections in differents varieties are decided you can bargain on the price. Every customer will be attended in a seperate room by a dedicated attendee who will be sitting with a blanket before him and an assistant of him will get all the sarries as per his order.

A scene inside the society shop.

A scene inside the society shop.

Our people started in the range of 9,000/- to 13,000/- and selected few saries that are very good looking and damn shining. It took them almost 3 hours to finish this selection and now comes the actual part of the purchase, ie, rate. We were not able to compromise on the rates that the attendee is telling. So, we dropped to purchase there after a very long selection of 3 hours. 😦 Hmm…..! What to do? Its my sister’s marriage. I need to have lot of patience in every activity.

After this we proceeded to another famous society called Kumaran Society, where we spend again a long time. Eventhough we left KK Society, everybody were thinking to go back to it to buy that beautiful sarie which we never came across in any other shop. Kumaran Society is pretty good and the shopkeeper is bargain able. More than half the shopping is been completed over there. We couldn’t stop ourselves to go back to K.K. Society to purchase that sarie which had stolen the hearts of every body in our group. We finally got that sarie for 8,500 /-which was initially told to be 12,000/-

During our last visit to Kanchipuram, we went to a shop called Babu Shah. The rates in this shop are fixed, but they are very reasonable unlike any other society. Even though we came across many other societies, our efforts ended in vain because of the bad varieties and high costs. We finally ended up at our favorite shop Babu Shah, which is as usual very good. All our people were utmost satisfied with the rates and varieties in this shop. We spent another 4hours here and ended out day’s shopping with this.

Nobody had eaten anything right from the morning. We paid 150/- to two auto’s as they have spent with us the complete day and went to a hotel “Sangeetha” near the Bus-stand. Every body ate what ever they want, and we started back to chennai by catching a heavy rush bus. Safely got down at Tambaram Railway station, and reached home by 11.50PM.

My advice to those who go to shop at Kanchipuram:

If you are an expert in finding the quality of the silk and if you are an expert in bargaining, go ahead with different societies. If not, Babu Shah is the best place for you to buy.

I hope i didn’t bore you much with this experience.

Lots of Love,

Durga Prasad.

The Celebration Begins

Hi All,

After a very long time I got a chance to look back at my sweet heart (My Blog).

In this post I will try to Justify the title of this post “The Celebration Begins”. When I say this double quoted phrase, I meant the celebrations in my life. The moments that brings me the extreme Joy and happiness. The moments that fills the ever ending cheers on my face. The moments that remains as sweet memories forever in my life. The moments about which I would love to share with you all.

Well…..No More Poetry goes here.(I am not a poet).

I am talking about one of the happiest celebrations in my life ie., MY SISTER’S ENGAGEMENT. Being a part of a typical Orthodox Hindu Family, we treat this as a very important ceremony before ones marriage. And because this is my sister’s, its very important for me.

Decoration, Focus lights, Idols of god, A welcome banner with the bride and bridegroom’s names,  Chopped Banana trees on both sides of the entrance, People having traditional mark on the face (Namam in Telugu) , Ceremonial chairs on the stage, Flower bouquet’s hanging on the walls, Mineral water bottles, chairs arranged for invitees, A Car or an auto hired for the whole day, Coffee, Tea, are the typical things you see before you start any of the traditional ceremonies.

The ceremony starts with welcoming the Bridegroom and his relatives. Once they come in they will be served the Breakfast. Then starts the actual ceremony. The priest (pujari) starts the puja chanting all the mantras sitting at the idols of God.

Relatives having break fast and talking to each other, Priest’s mantra’s, Some people moving fast around in hurry,  Flower garlands with different colors, Bride and Bridegroom’s sitting on the Ceremonial Chairs, some suggesting different items in lunch, some tasting them, Some standing at the entrance and welcoming the relatives with a smile, Kids running around and playing in the function hall, Kinds’ mom’s running behind them to take care of them, Youngsters serving Coffee and water to the visitors, Old people sitting at some corner and taking care of all the belongings of their children, Bride and the groom busy on the stage chit chatting/interacting with each other, children and youngsters teasing them, Bride and Bridegroom appearing on the stage with different outfits (like a fashion show) are all the Typical events during the ceremony.

The outfits will generally be …….

Youngsters in Jeans and T-shirt, Middle age people in a Khadhi shirt and Dhoti, Priest in no shirt and a dhoti, Bride groom in coat, Bride in a traditional Saree, Chuff in a normal shirt and a long towel AND I AM IN A BLACK JEANS AND SHORT KURTHA.

All these are something’s which I have personally experienced in the Engagement Ceremony of my Sister that has happened on 21st August 2008. I have taken lot of videos/photos and they were very nice.

🙂

Very happy to share this with you all.

You should be expecting much similar post during the Marriage.

Cheers,

Durga Prasad