A madhu chazhakam or a bowl of nectar
“Perias, you pick them up from the air port”, mama instructed,”Enakkennavo bhayama irukku” I am scared.
“‘ You are scared before your daughter-in-law steps in ?” I joked. Meera , my tenant, stared at me to show her anger in my insipid, untimely joke.
“I am coming with you to the airport, Perias,” Meera remarked and picked up the car key ” I cannot trust you.You will blabber and spoil that girl’s mood before she lands here”
Oh, I didn’t introduce Meera to you. She occupies a portion of my house. Though she is my tenant, with her unstained character and unalloyed affection, she is like a member of my family. She takes care of my house in my absence and takes care of me when I stay here. she is teaching French in a school for foreign languages. ” Eat whatever I feed and obey whatever I say ” is her order to me, “otherwise I will report to your daughter” . Such an affectionate one she is that to a great extend she has filled the vacuum in my life.
” Welcome back home, Pitch; welcome Liz ” Hugging them affectionately, I asked, ” Where are the kids?”
” With their dad ” was their cool reply. I was shocked.
” Aren’t they your children ? ” I was about to ask but Meera, pulled my hand to signal not to ask anything.
The forced restriction was short lived.While boarding the vehicle, I asked Pitchu, ” you never said that the children were not yours ?”
” I never said that they are mine ” He retorted.
“You did not reveal the truth even to your dad when he specifically inquired about the kids ”
” Had I told him then do you think he would have believed me ?”
” Perias, why are you worried ?” Meera intervened, ” he wants to tell his dad when he meets him. I think it is proper ”
Before I could say something Meera requested them to board the car, pushed me too inside and drove off . She didn’t take us to Seshumama’s house, but to mine.
” Why here? ” I asked her.
“They will have a shower, dress-change, break fast and then I will decide ” She replied.
” You will decide ? ” My anger was unhidden in my query, ” are you their host in this house or me ?”
“Me, obviously ” was her cool reply, “as I am serving them breakfast”
” It is OK. Oatmeal, cornflakes, bread and jam are available in the kitchen cupboard ‘
Meera wanted to entertain the guests with typical Indian breakfast. So, she made ravadosa and chatney, sambar. The couple enjoyed the stuff and pitchu remembered his mom and explained to Liz how his mother used to make coffee after powdering the seeds afresh every time.
“How do you like my wearing saree?” asked Liz, seeing the sarees in my daughter’s wardrobe.
‘Well, give a shot, if you have the courage” said Pitch
I asked Meera to pickup whatever clothes she wants and dress up Liz. All the clothes bought for her wedding have been left by my daughter in the cupboard before going to US and therefore Liz could choose whatever she likes..
The sight of their foreign daughter-in-law in this dress will definitely be a good start, I thought.
My children’s wedding albums attracted Liz and she asked,
“Pitch, won’t it be fun to get married in this style ?” without waiting for his reaction, she told me, ” Peri, please arrange for our wedding in typical Indian style.
With wide opened mouth I gazed at him.
” Yes, Peri. we are just living together; are yet to marry,” Pitchu said,” We will talk to dad.
My head started whirling. “How casually he mentions about such a serious matter ?” I wondered.
” How to present this subject to them?” was my next worry.
Meera is a wonderful girl. She knew what I was worrying about .
She called athai and asked her to come to A.J. “Athai, Pitchumani and Elizabeth are here; they had their wash and break fast and are relaxing. Could you come here for ten minutes?”
Athai replied, she would.
Meera took Liz to the terrace, from where you get a nice view of our society’s central park. “Perias, I experience a divine aura around your pooja room” Pitchu said, “start vishnusahasranam”
Forgetting everything, Liz, Meera, Seshu mama, athai and all our problems, we sang the sahasranamam together and I was surprised to note that Pitchu did not miss a single line. When we were about to finish, Athai entered and joined us in our chorus.
Whenever I think of Vishnusahasranamam, I see in my mind’s eye initially, not Lord Vishnu but that grand-sire,the great Bhishmapitamaha, that great archer and warrior of peerless courage and valour, lying in the battle field, among the dead bodies of thousands of men and animals, on a bed of arrows which pierce every inch of his body, unattended and um-wept. He was not only the tallest among the kurus, witness of Mahabharatha from Santhanu’s time, king maker, promoter and controller of the destiny of the royal family till the blind king became a puppet in the hands of his wicked sons
Unable to control the sorrow at the way things have taken shape in his family, which he nourished sacrificing his every thing, when Bhishma cries for the Lord starting with the words,” Jagadprabhum, Devadevam, Anatham, Purushothamam—, we join him in singing the God’s glory and the unfamiliar form of the God in the Dyanaslokam starting with ” Ksheeroadanvad pradeshe–” develops through ” Meghasyamam — and flows through the thousand names each with a divine flavour and colour, and at the end all the flowers are joined together and a marvelous garland made,and I see my Guruvayoorappan, as
“Vanamaali,Gadhi, Sarnghi,Sankhee,Chakree cha Nandaki”.
Every name of the Lord, if you know the meaning, is enjoyable for hours together.
I forget my surroundings, my Puja room, people sitting around, my credit and debit balances, everything connected with me which I have been falsely claiming as mine and along with Thunjathacharyan, I enjoy the beauty of the Lord which is
“Vachasam vizhayamallathoranandamallow”-bliss, which can’t be explained in words.
The majesty of the Lord cannot be explained in words. But our great ancestors managed to do it and did it admirably.We can fully enjoy it if we know the meaning of each name.
Each word in that great works, is a madhu chazhakam, a honey-bowl.
A madhu chazhakam or a bowl of nectar