Saturday, July 24, 2010


Of the ten Avatars of Vishnu, the one that holds the most fascination is that of Kalki - for the very reason that he is yet to make his appearance, and is expected towards the end of the Kaliyug.

The following image and the story are from this site:

... In a certain village called Shambala, Kalki would evolve. He will be born as a son to a virtuous Brahmin couple called Vishnuyasha and Sumati, on a bright fortnight of the lunar month of Vaishakha [beginning on approximately 21 April and ending on approximately 21 May on the solar calendar], on the 12th lunar tithi or occasion of (Dvadashi). The Brahman boy will be endowed with the gifts of intelligence, strength and valor. He will assemble other Brahmins into a formidable army to squash evil totally.

He will be identified by two of the Nine Immortals or Chiranjeevin currently residing on the planet. They are characters from the Mahabharata, Parashurama and Ashwatthama. Parashurama is the sixth Avatar of Vishnu, who replanted the flag of Dharma, by wiping off the tyrannical Kshatriya clan or warrior class from the face of the earth. Ashwathama, the son of the Guru or teacher of martial arts of the Pandavas, Dronacharya. Parashurama will appear to be the spiritual guide of Kalki, by educating him to undergo penance. Parashurama himself meditated with utmost devotion for 1000years. Lord Shiva then blessed him with a divine weapon for cleansing vice, as a reward of such penance. He would help Kalki to march forward, following the same path, achieve the Ratna Maru sword and the heavenly parrot, Shuka from Shiva and accomplish his task.

He will marry Padma, the Avatar of Vishnu`s consort, Devi Lakshmi and have two children, sons Jaya and Vijaya. Kalki will also perform the grand Ashwamedha Sacriifice to abolish all vitiated kings and false prophets, before embarking on the mighty assignment of the final obliteration of evil and misery in the Kali Yuga. Kalki, as it has been mentioned will usher in the Krita Age of purity and excellence. After the completion of his work, the human shape of Kalki, will expose itself in the four-armed cast of MahaVishnu and return to his celestial abode of Vaikunth.

Read the complete text here. For more links and stories, click here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thoughts for the Week

1. Seek harmony, happiness will follow. Not necessarily the other way around.

2. Give advice. But do not look back to see if it is being followed.

3. There are no coincidences. There are no accidents. There is only Destiny.

4. Don't toss a lot of Sorrys around. Their value decreases with each use.

5. It does not matter if half the people on this Planet are in a situation worse than yours. What matters is that you're in one.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Till we meet again...

They were thirty-two in number
Each sought to be the best.
They knew that to touch the stars
One had to beat the rest.

Encounters there were sixty-four
Stretching thirty-two days
Ten cities they had to tour
Across the continent's face.

They placed their hands across their hearts
As they sweated for their day
They fought their way up the charts
Some falling on the way...

Heads held high, the Giants they came
Their eyes firm on the Crown.
They left the field, heads hung in shame
They found themselves mowed down.

A fumble, a save, an Escobar,
Corners and cards galore.
The cheers, the tears, the heart-breaks,
The memories, to the fore.

The Red and Yellow, so it was,
That held the Cup aloft
They put their fingers on the prize
Their first in eighty years.

A proud, dark continent hugged the World
We give you friendship, no ill-will
Fare thee well, for four long years,
Let's meet again, in Brazil.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The art of apologising

Long, long ago, nobody knows how long ago, I bought a lovely Archies greeting card with beautiful words on it.

I loved the card so much that I hoped I would find someone to give it to. But for that, I would have to do/say something terrible to him/her first! Such a complicated situation never arose, I suppose, (thank God) or by the time it did, I had forgotten all about the card. It must still be buried deep among my secrets.

It said:

For all I said that I shouldn't have
For all I didn't say that I should have
I'm sorry.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An Evening in Bangalore

It had seemed so effortless, talking to him, in her day-dreams. How easily she would tell him her fears, her thoughts, her likes, how they would laugh together, how he would look into her eyes, and put his arm around her. Now, sitting across the table, she could feel his eyes on her as she sipped her drink, and she felt her cheeks burn. She fumbled for a topic to break the silence that was frequently intervening into the awkward conversation. When she looked up, he was eyeing the counter, perhaps at the pretty damsels crowding around the menu. She turned her head to look.

The comments she could come up with were so silly, though he did not seem to care. It was a good sign - he wasn't bored. Even the silence felt nice, just sitting there with him, though she would kick herself later, for not saying a million things when she could see the reaction on his face. Speaking for hours over the phone had its magic, but drowning in his eyes was unequalled. 

An hour sped by, escaping her notice. The juice was over, the snacks were eaten, and the conversation that was picking up pace had not yet become stale. She glanced at her watch. There was no way she could stretch it for a few minutes more. She had to leave. 

"I should be going," she said. She didn't want to sound as though she was eager to go, nor to appear distressed at leaving him. 

"Is it seven already?" said he. The way he said it warmed her. They left the table. It was depressing, the actions signifying the parting. She had no clue when they would meet again. His eyes held a promise, but she could not bring herself to ask.

There was a crowd waiting for the elevator. They managed to squeeze in, and was pushed to the back of the lift as it started its journey down. She trembled as her hand brushed against his and a burst of electricity shot through her. She bit her lip to keep the blush from breaking out for all to see. She stole a glance at him, and saw his calm eyes on the lift display showing the floors they were passing. The crowd thinned as the lift descended, but they still stayed as they were, at the corner, hands gently touching, both pretending to be unaware.

Her cab was waiting. She had never felt so miserable to see one as she did then. 

She rolled down the window. He looked into her eyes. There was something more to say, something more to do. 

The cabbie started the engine, but he knew it wasn't time to go yet. He waited. He saw the man at the window place his hand gently over the girl's. When he bent his head, the cabbie looked away.

As the cab moved, her cheeks were in flames.

Pathetic, as usual - my attempt at writing romance falls Below Poverty Line again. Sigh. Imagining is one thing, elaborating is another. I would rather drop some hints here and there and leave the rest to the reader.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Game: a dedication, a discipline

Some people say, Football is all about kicking a ball around and somehow thrusting it into the Net when the goalkeeper's eyes and reach are elsewhere. Can they be any farther from reality? A bit of it is true, no doubt, but Football also involves concentration, team work, dedication, selflessness, playing together so much so as to be able to read each other's thoughts on the field, intense discipline, practice, practice, and practice, to name a few. One, ideally, cannot be a part-time footballer. Just as one cannot be a part-time writer.

But here I am talking about a different kind of discipline and dedication. It goes somewhat like this.

- Two weeks before the FIFA World Cup begins, choose the best calendar to follow it, the one in which you can scribble the number of goals scored by each team, who gets through to the Round of 16, who meets who in the Quarter Finals, etc. etc., and paste it on the wall.

- Look at it long and often enough to learn the eight groups by heart, predict in your mind which two teams will get through from each group, and who will eventually meet in the Finals.

- Change your online profile pictures and decorate them with the flags of the teams you support, or their colours.

- Google for the players to look out for, if you don't follow the league matches. If you do, you already know.

- Finish chores - washing, cleaning, cooking, feeding the kids, et al - before flopping down on the beanbag in front of the TV for the first half. Have dinner and shove the kids to bed - all in 15 minutes - and flop back down for the second half. Clean the kitchen, and wind up the other activities for the day before the next match starts at midnight.

- Swear, cheer, shout, yell and die of tension, all of 90 minutes.

- Update the wall-calendar with the results of the each game. Do permutations and combinations to figure out who could possibly play who if who beats who in the next game(s).

- Experience withdrawal symptom the night after Round-2 ends, because there is no game till the Quarter finals begin the next day.

- Go into in-depth analysis and dissection of games played the previous day, and squeeze your opinions of each kick and corner, throw and goal, mexican waves and referees, Jabulani and Vuvuzela, into every mode of communication.

- Accept without protest, the fact that you get only four or five hours' of sleep every night.

- Devour the newspaper for articles on the same matches you watched last night. If possible, watch replays.

- Start planning and preparing for the day's game, early. Time management and punctuality revolve with never-before perfection around the match timings.

Inhi ko kehte hai dedication aur discipline!

Meanwhile, down south, in a small strip of land we call Kerala, a land of Football-crazy people, who raise hoardings for the teams they support, who go bonkers over Brazil and Argentina, is born the Malayalam version of FIFA 2010 Anthem, K'naan's Wavin' Flag. A nice video with a lot of Kerala in it - the rains, the children, the slush, the mud, the bus-stand, the old man by the road-side, the cyclist, the market, the small railway station, the football stars... and the smiles, oh, the smiles of the people... Ah... Kerala!