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Jyeshta bratha pitru samaha – elder brother is equal to father

“Anna, I want a Gingera,” requested my brother, while we were searching for some
Krishna idols to be carried to America, in the Guruvayoour shops. Gingera, as you know is Tambourine , a circular percussion musical instrument, with a leather top and jingles at the central rim which produce tinkling sound when moved or shaken.
“Why Gingera?” I asked, “you love Kathakali songs, not Masthan sahib’s songs. Right?”
“No, Anna, I’m singing now Masthan Sahib’s songs too. One of our tenants doesn’t pay rent in time. I want to disturb his sleep, so that he vacates the portion soon and runs away”
image“But, you will be losing your sleep and he might or might not get disturbed”
I tried to reason out.
“Don’t worry about my losing sleep,” he assured, ” I will compensate by sleeping during day time. But, I’m sure, with my Ganjira beats, that fellow will run as chased by a mad dog”
For everyone in our family, unlike me, my younger brother is an innocent, simple -hearted man and I couldn’t imagine that he was smart enough to devise a trick to push out a troublesome tenant!
Vicha, younger to me by just two years, undoubtedly is a simple hearted soul, too good not even to allow me to enter the kitchen, but always cooked food for me and fed me as my mother or wife would have, despite his health deficiency due to type 1 diabetes. Often he articulates,
Jyeshta bratha pithru samaha” .
We live together, in Hyderabad. He cooks for me and I eat and appreciate his expertise and he gets excited at my satisfaction. When he gets bored with cooking and me with eating, he sings Kathakali songs and me Carnatic music. It is fun for we both. Need not be so, for our neighbors.
A few years ago, we went to our native village to participate in the car festival.
When the crowd dissipated at dusk, he sat in a corner of our temple and sang Kathakali songs. Within a few minutes, he was able to collect a big crowd of rasikas or fans, mostly women and most of them old.
I was jealous of him and went back home disheartened. But God has never let me down, especially when it comes to the display of my talents, including in music.
The next day, the lady from the opposite house,( she was not old), entered my house and demanded, ‘uncle, give me a hundred Rupees and join our team to learn Annamacharya krithis. In one month, our music madam will teach us six or seven selected songs and uncle, believe me you are going to be a musician”
“Wah, What do you think of me now, Vicha?” I asked my brother with the proud of a
conqueror like Tipu on capturing Sriranagapatnam. He smiled. He thought perhaps, Manni( my wife) a gold medalist from the TVM music academy could not teach me even the basic Chittaswarams, in thirty years and would I gain the expertise to sing six or seven keerthanams, in thirty days!
Believe me, I learned and sang Annamayya krthies along with a crowd of over one lac singers and that the event found a place in the Guinness book.
‘To sing along with a crowd of a lac people! Chu. Even a water buffalo could do that!’
No, you are wrong. I continued to sing to such an extend that every time I entered her house, Meenasister, my neighbor, had to warn, ”welcome, you; but without singing’. The warnings and threats continues even in America but I continue singing.
Sorry, I left my Gingera story, half way. Whenever I see a good, fragrant flower, I think of the gods in my home shrine and whenever I see good display materials, I think about my daughter and daughters in law, including my sisters’ Dils . When I see toys, I don’t think, but buy for my grand children including my sister’s grandchildren.
When I see good eatables, I think only about me.
“Buy a dozen Ginjeras,” I told Vicha. “You take one, the rest, I will carry to America”
‘Why not a dozen chandais?,’ he chided me. ‘Your bags are already full with aavakai packets”
Chendai would have been an ideal gift for the kids. But how to carry a dozen of them?
God never lets me down, I repeat. His favorite musical instrument, bamboo flute was hanging in a bunch in the next shop.
“Pack the whole bunch” I ordered.
“For selling in the running trains, Sir?” He enquired.
“Yes” I replied. I didn’t want to waste my time arguing.
I distributed the gifts to children, in Baltimore, New Jersey, Florida.
Then on, it was a continuous flow of ‘pee, pee’ sound in all the houses, day and nights.
The moment they get up, ‘pee, pee’; the moment they return from school, ‘pee,pee’
Through the weekends, ‘pee, pee’
I was excited the kids enjoying the sound but their mothers were not. They stared at me initially. How long can they stay staring? They screamed.
In turn, I screamed at my brother at Hyderabad, on phone.
“Your pApam, sin, of spoiling your tenant’s sleep is following me in America. Stop your night beats. Has that guy left?”
“No, Anna,” replied the simple hearted brother, “I asked him not to quit”
“Why, he settled the dues ?”
“No, Anna. He too bought a Ginjera and together, we are enjoying the beats”
“Masthan Sahib songs?”
“No, he teaches me Mariamman songs and I teach him Masthan”
“No complaints from other tenants and neighbors or they too have bought Ginjeras and you all enjoy your nights together?”, I enquired biting my teeth in anger and was about to put down the phone, when I could hear a voice from the other side,
“jyeshta bratha pitru samaha “

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