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My maiden visit to USA – Chapter 08

Pakkathu veetilae pattasu

‘Everything has to go back from wherever it came,’ I told B B when she enquired, why I put back the note book into my bag. 

‘I collect water in my palm from river or pond and that water is offered back to the original source, while worshipping Sandhya ‘

‘Perias, you collect water from the river or pond and while doing Deva tarpanam, start with Adithyam tharpayAmi, not Varunam tharpayAmi. Why?’

‘As it is Adithya, the main source for water. But, the water which I collect from Varuna goes to Varuna first and from there to Adithya’ 

Then turning to BB, I read the translation of a hymn from the Rgvedam.

1 ‘O, Vayu, come to us with all the thousand chariots that are thine

Team borne, to drink the soma juice.

2. Drawn by the team, O Vayu, come. To thee is offered this, the pure’

In this Rgveda sooktham, first Vayu, then Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Aswins, Viswadevas, Saraswathy, Heaven and Earth are invoked and invited to accept the soma juice, ‘the pure, blent with milk’.

‘Drink you of this delightful juice’, says the Rishi’ 

‘What a fantastic imagination!,’  exclaimed BB, ‘Vayu, coming down to earth with thousand chariots! And the chariots are not borrowed. ‘That are thine!’

Thousand chariots dropping from the air! What a scene it would be ! Are they yoked to horses and if so, what about the sound of their hoof! Won’t there be a big hurricane ?

‘Our forebears always thought high, spoke high,’ I told , ‘ do you know that the pressing of Soma was associated with the fertilizing rain, the life- giver and life- nourished? And in the post Vedic classical period, Soma was identified with the Moon, which wanes when soma is drunk by the gods but which is periodically reborn?’

‘Yes, I know soma was associated with the Moon, whose name is also Soma,’ replied BB, ‘ I read somewhere that ‘Soma is part of the ancient, yogic and shamanic usage of sacred plants, including tonics, nervines and mind-altering plants of various types as well special preparations of them. Each group, community or geographical region probably had its own Somas or sacred plants. Soma is a transformative substance that can be found in many plants and has corresponding mind-altering substances that can be produced by the brain itself’

‘I’m anxious to hear BB’s life story,’ Ammalu intervened, ‘ will you please close your note book, Perias?’

Big Ben continued her story:

‘One night, Muthmma was signing a tribal folk song to put us to sleep.

“Onga nattilae penja mazhai,

Enga naatuukku varadho, Kuppeekala?!

ஓங்க நாட்டிலே பேஞ்ச மழே

எங்க நாட்டுக்கு வாராதோ , குப்பீகளா !’ 

Appa, from his study, joined, adding a funny piece. 

‘Enka veettu elikal ellam

Onka veettukku pokatho ? Kuppeekala !’

எங்க வீட்டு எலிகள் எல்லாம்

ஒன்கவீட்டுக்கு போகாதோ , குப்பீகளா ‘

Ammalu enjoyed the song and thanks to the activation of my poetic nerves by alcohol , I too added an instant composition :

Renkasaami enkae, pullae?’

Rentu nala aalae illae.

Pakkathu paayi kaliyachu,

Rakkamma nencham pattasu, Kuppeekala’

ரங்கசாமி எங்கேபுள்ளே ?.

ரெண்டுநாளா ஆளே இல்லே

பக்கத்து பாயி காலியாச்சு

ராக்கம்மா நெஞ்சம் பட்டாசு , குப்பீகளா—

Pathumassam poyatchu,

Pakkathu veetilae pattasu,

Ranksami rentayi,

santai than po kuppayi, Kuppeekala

பத்துமாசம் போயாச்சு

பக்கத்து வீட்டுலே பட்டாசு

ரங்கசாமி இரண்டாயி,

சண்டை தான் போ குப்பாயி, குப்பீகளா’


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