The Price of ignorance

December 18, 2006 at 11:01 pm | Posted in Madurai, Ramana Maharshi | Leave a comment

This morning I painstakingly wote my new post and while reviewing it made a muddle of it and lost the whole text all because of my ignorance with the usage techniques. This happens to most of the greenhorns with a pc at their disposal who are not properly initiated to the use of it. So I had now been forced to now sit back and painstakingly try to recall the verbatim text which simply refuse to my respond to memory recall. I was a good text which I effortlessly and spontaneously put down in writing which were all wasted because if my butter fingers. I shall try again to compost today’s post once again now.

I vaguely remember the title for the post as something like, er, Oh forget it. The weather is very cold with icy winds and I took a very early hot water bath as usual. Actually I sat in front of my keyboard at around 4 in the morning and tapped away for over 45 minutes and then went and did it in.

I remember I mentioned that the great sage Ramana Maharshi is related to my great grandfather on the paternal side. I was in the town of Palani when I was a baby in arms but I had my elementary and middle school years spent in Madurai in my maternal grandfather’s home because my parents were in far away Chittaranjan which is even farther than Calcutta. My parents and my second sister were in Chittaranjan because my father was employed in the Locomotive Engine works of Indian Railway. I and my next sister used to travel by train with our grandfather on a family pass to Chittaranjan during summer vacations. Chittaranjan of those days was a budding town where the locomotive works might have been the only big set up employing most of the locals there. It was beautiful there in a raw way, with red sand paved streets, cold nights with occasional hailstones, and a scenic little mountain called Sundar Pahad where the local farmers’ market used to be.

We were in a Hindu undivided family of a great grandmother, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces , a lot of whom were children. Grandfather was a very orthodox Brahmin who was working as a nazzer in the court there. He was also a landlord and one of the rural people who usually visited him used to have a golden tooth. It was the only golden tooth I have even seen in all my entire life. Like all the old houses in those days, it was a long corridor of a house, all rooms arranged in almost a regular line starting with the front entrance and endine in the toilet and bathroom at the end

Meal times were always a test and trial for me. My great grandmother who used to serve us all seated on the ground in a long row over the floor with separate food plates in front of each, always used to heap food in my plate and particularly dump big servings of brinjal curry which I never liked very much. I would scream at her but one of my uncles who usually sat next to me during mealtimes, used to force me to gobble up all the brinjal; to the last piece. Oh those days.

In my school days while I was studying in Madura College High School, I always used to play football and kabaddi. In the school we played football with the proper ball but when I played with my street friends we used an old tennis ball. I used to have a lot of wounds and the scars still remain on my knees and legs. My sports days were over before I shifted to be with my parents in Madras, now called Chennai.

I had only one friend to call my own while I was in Madurai. He belonged to a caste called Naidus. He lived with his parents, his father’s elder brother and his wife who were childless. My friend had two brothers and two sisters. The one great thing I found with that family was that every morning they all sat together for meditation and yoga practice. That impressed me very much. Such good things always make a good impression on me but never rubbed off on me.


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