“Are there no temples or ponds around here?” Shyamu mami asks.
“No ponds similar to the ones we have in our village, but Temples are there.” Ramu replies, “We will go to the Greater Baltimore Temple this evening”.
“We can show them a swimming pool also,” Ramya adds, “heated pools, I mean”
“Ramya, a top covered, sides covered water body with almost- as -was- born men and women floating on the water or moving around , is not what Amma has in mind” Ramu remarks and asks with an intended smile,” of course, if she is interested in seeing, we will take her “
“No harm in seeing once, to know what a swimming pool is.” Swamy shows interest.
“No need,” his wife rejects his suggestion outright and adds with a stern look, “eschew any such erratic ideas from your mind’
“What harm is there?” Ramu enquires, as if he failed to see the catch in his Amma’s admonition.
“Ramu, you don’t know him as much as I do” Mami is not in a position to relent.
“Contain and control “that is all what your mother has been doing with me, all these years”. Swamy complains, “let your mom be here; I will go back alone to our village.”
“Eschew that aspiration also from your mind,” Mami warns,” I will follow you not like your shadow, but like your kudumi.”
“Oh, mam that is fantastic. Your following dad not like his shadow but like his kudumi, tuft”
” Ramu, that is not following,” Swamy clarifies with a concealed joy, ” that is sitting on my head . Following is less worrisome.”
” Appa, what she wanted us to know is that she dances to your tune, every time you shake your head” Ramya’s humor rocked the house. Even little Swan bursts in laughter as if he enjoyed the joke.
“Shall I take bath and get ready to go to the temple?” Swamy asks in the evening.
”Dad, this is not your village temple where you walk in, fresh from a dip in the pond behind, with barren torso”
Ramu, recalls his frequent dips in the village pond along with his father, “dad, you remember you used to lift me above your head and plunge into the water?”
“I and your mother remember every small talk, walk, fall and rise of your childhood days.” Glancing at his son and feeling proud of his physical growth, Swamy speaks, emotion embracing his paternal satisfaction, “even while I am left with only an ounce of life in my body, I can recognize your foot steps”
“Thanks Appa.” Ramu decides that he should bring back the old man to the normal ground and asks Ramya to get the parents ready for the temple trip.
“Abnormal.” his father comments, while Ramya was helping him to wear jacket, shoes and other protective wears.
“Not at all, can you visit a Himalayan temple, chest- barren?” Ramu asks, “if you are not comfortable to meet the gods with a shirt on, you can leave it outside, cover your chest and back with a woolen shawl, during worship.”
While helping the elders to remove their jackets and shoes, at the side room, Ramya tells them, “The restroom is to your left, you can wash your hands here in the basin. If you are ready, we will move on to the temple”
“How far is it?”
“Here in the same building” she shows the direction. ”Just a few yards away”
“The toilet in the same building where the sanctum is?” Swamy’s eyebrows raise.
“So what, dad?” Ramu explains,” this is a huge building and toilet is in a corner. Are we not having, in our house, three toilets in the same building?’”‘
“That is true, but in a temple?” his father was not convinced. However big the Temple building is, toilet should be away from it.
“Ah, what a sight!” The elders were awestruck at the beauty of the gorgeous idols adorned with dazzling apparels, jewels and garlands. The wall to wall carpeted, high domed, well ventilated central hall which led to the sanctum, the greenery in the vast land around the building ,the spacious flush green front lawn- all these mesmerizes them .The priests, clad in snow white clothes, spoke politely and distributed apples, banana and dry fruits . There was serenity and peace. But with all that, when they came out, the elders did not have the fulfillment of expectation. They didn’t have the satisfaction; they used to derive in the temples in their villages and outside. Without any paraphernalia, those simple deities, housed in meagerly ventilated, moderately illumined sanctum, instantly vibrated the inner chord of devotion and they could establish a one to one relationship,’ soul to soul ‘ as Swami remarked later. Neither the oily walls and pillars nor the devotional verses flowing from the throat of other devotees diverted the concentration.
“Why was I not able to think of my children and hold my hand close to my chest and pray, ‘God, protect my children’ asks mami.
“Simple, amma” Ramu aires his reason, “you were familiar with the village temple and it will take some time for you to replant your attachment to the new environment”
“What is it that I have missed ?” Swamy muses, while boarding the car.
” Dad, let me ask you a question,” Ramu turns to his father, while driving, and asks, ” which house do you like better, our ancestral village house or the one here ?”
‘You house is palatial with all modern facilities, ideal for all age group”
“Appa, answer to the point please,” the son insists,” reply this or that”
‘To be frank with you, Appa likes our village house better.” Mami gives the reply.
‘”Fine, what about you, mom, let me know your preference.”
“I don’t have an opinion of my own.Whatever Appa likes, me too like”
“When it rains, you need an umbrella to go to the toilet ” Ramu argues with mock anger,” because that facility is far away from our village house, in a corner of the back yard. If you forget to close the back door at night, reptiles will enter inside. Even during daytime, you need a lamp to go inside the store room. There are so many minus points there and still why do you prefer that house? Because–”
” We love it as we continue to love our body, though it is aged, wrinkled and getting disabled ” Swamy intervenes conclusively, “We love the smell of that soil, in which is mingled our ancestors’ s breath, belongings, memories and our own aspirations, failures, happiness and disasters”
“True, like that, this abode of the gods, despite all its riches does not attract you as much as your village temples, as you are used to them right from your birth and were also patronized by your ancestors, even before you were born..”
Little Swan, least affected by the talk on present or past, is sleeping in the backseat of the car.
Lucky guy.The future is his.
|Hi SivaThis serial is good and revels the generation gap between parents and their children who are settled in more developed parts of the worldJust imagine the gap between the grandchildren and grandparents who are used to stay in some agraharm in Palghat !!!!Some of us who stay in Mumbai and kids stay US or UK ,still have some adjustments to make !!!!
You sure have a style of writing
keep it up
|Hi SivaThis serial is good and revels the generation gap between parents and their children who are settled in more developed parts of the worldJust imagine the gap between the grandchildren and grandparents who are used to stay in some agraharm in Palghat !!!!Some of us who stay in Mumbai and kids stay US or UK ,still have some adjustments to make !!!!You sure have a style of writing
keep it up