21 September 2010

Your tongue is the translator of your intellect.

Here is a story .....with a good moral and message, which I received over email.

As King Haroun and Queen Zubayda were sitting in their palace one day, a fisherman who was selling fresh fish was brought in front of them. King Haroun decided to buy a fish and gave the fisherman 4000 dirhams for it.

The fisherman was overjoyed. He thanked King Haroun and left.

Queen Zubayda turned to her husband in anger and scolded him for paying so much for a fish. King Haroun let her have her say, but said that the fish was purchased and that there was nothing that could be done about it.

However, the Queen was adamant and insisted that the fisherman be brought back.

“We will ask the fisherman about the gender of the fish,” she said. “If he answers that it is female, we will say that we wanted a male fish and if his response is that it is male, we will say that we wanted a female fish! Either way, we will be able to return the fish and have our money back.”

So the poor fisherman was called back and was asked the question.

Fortunately, he was clever enough not to be caught out.
He replied, “The fish is neither male or female. It is eunuch (neutral).”

King Haroun was so impressed by the ingenuity of the man that he ordered a further 4000 dirhams to be paid to him. The fisherman thanked the King again but as he was about to leave with the heavy bag of money, one of the coins fell onto the floor. The fisherman immediately bent down to look for the coin. Queen Zubayda was already upset that the fisherman had been given 8000 dirhams.

“Look how miserly this man is!” the Queen exclaimed. “One coin has fallen out of his bag full of money and he searches for it, instead of leaving it for some other poor servant to find.”

The man heard this remark and said, “O Queen, it is not out of miserliness that I search for the coin, but rather because it had the picture of generous King Haroun on it. I would not tolerate anyone to cause dishonour to the King by treading on the coin.”

The King was so happy with this response that he immediately called for another 4000 dirhams to be given to the fisherman. When Queen Zubayda saw all this, she thought it was better to hold her tongue and let the man go with 12000 dirhams before the King decided to increase the amount again.

Lessons from Life:
* Speech is an Art. If one has the viveka(discrimination) of what, how, when, how much and whom to talk, then such a person will be successful in life.

* The beauty of man / woman is in the clarity of his / her tongue speech.

* Our tongue is the translator of our intellect.

In other words, a person’s intellect and wisdom is recognized through his / her speech.

15 September 2010

Creativity & commerce amidst festival

Its that time of the year when Maharashtrians celebrate the Ganesh festival. Ganeshji's idol is brought and installed at home on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi with a lot of pomp and show.

The preparation for this begins days earlier. Elaborate decorations are planned for hosting the idol in the house. Children of the house take an active part in this decoration. Nowadays, there is a "green" theme to these decorations. Idols turn up in the markets a fortnight in advance. Lot of care is taken to select the idol. Again here, the paint for these idols is increasingly available in ecologically safe colors. They should dissolve naturally when the visarjan or water immersion happens, usually in rivers or other water bodies, ten days post the installation.

There is a whole industry that specializes in the creation of Ganeshji's sculptures. They come in a lot of sizes and themes. A multi-storeyed handicrafts store will be required to showcase all the exclusive creative idols of Ganesh made so far. Usually there is some historical or mythological play in the form of puppets being played that accompanies the idol. This play is part of the theme for the decoration.

In societies housing a bevy of apartments, a single idol is installed in the club-house or any such common area by all the enthusiastic residents. Aarti takes place twice a day - in the mornings and the evenings. This is an occasion when the residents get an opportunity to interact while decorating the idol's abode, preparing prasad, enjoying games, competitions and food together. In our complex, there is a Ganesh idol-making competition held among the children. Each child makes an idol out of clay and then paints it. On the day the idol is installed, and pooja being performed, all the children perform pooja for their respective idols too.

The sweet - modak that is prepared as prasad for Ganeshji is a special favorite. There is a lot of creativity involved in the preparation of modaks too.

Thus, right from the idol sculptors, to the flower vendors, the decoration specialists, the sweet shops and even the hawkers selling their wares outside well-known Ganesh temples - all gain from this festival. Creativity abounds in the form of making or selection of idols, decorations, sweets, scrapbooks of Ganeshji's pictures etc. The Lezim dance that is performed during the visarjan procession is something worth watching at least once in your lifetime.

Hats off to Lokmanya Tilak who first thought of making this festival a public celebration that was hitherto limited to worship at homes only! Not only does it keep the tradition alive in the minds of the young, it brings families and friends closer, provides an outlet for the creative juices and also boosts the economy. Sadly, it also boosts the noise levels sometimes. But its a small price to be paid for all the other advantages.

Social media during the Covid-19 lockdown

The only way to stay connected post the first lockdown, and social distancing, was via social media viz. whatsapp, twitter, facebook, Insta...