Hindu Gods and their Tales-Part 1

||Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha|| ||Nirvighnam Kurumedeva Sarvakaryeshu Sarvada||

Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the important Hindu festivals celebratedthroughout India with a great devotion. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesh is the symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

There are many stories associated with Lord Ganesh’s life, let me narrate you some.

Firstly how did Lord Ganesh get an elephant head?

Once Goddess Parvati felt the longing for a son. As she was cursed that she wouldn’t be able to give birth, she sculpted a handsome boy out of sandalwood paste. Then she put life into him. The sculpture came to life. Parvati was overjoyed. Ganesh said to his mother, ‘Mother, I await your command. What is your bidding?’ Parvati told him to guard the entrance to her room and not let anybody enter as she wished to take a bath and did not want to be disturbed. Ganesh obediently stood guard. After sometime, Shiva came there with his Ganas and asked to be let in. But Ganesh would not budge. Shiva told him that he was Parvati’s husband and he had the right to enter her room when he wished to. But Ganesh said, ‘No. My mother has ordered me not to let anybody inside. I don’t care whoever you may be.’ Shiva got enraged. His Ganas tried coaxing Ganesh but to no avail. Then Shiva ordered his Ganas to use force. Parvati was full of rage and from her anger, she created forms like Kali and Durga to help her son fight the Ganas. Thus they were quickly outnumbered. Then Shiva decided to take matters into his own hands. He hurled his Trishul with so much force at Ganesh’s neck that his head separated from his body and  could not be found. Now, nobody could pacify Parvati. Everybody was afraid she would burn the whole universe with her rage. All the demigods pleaded to Shiva to find a solution to this predicament. Shiva suggested the demigods to travel north and bring him the head of the first living creature they saw. But the first living creature the demigods saw was an elephant. So they brought Shiva its head and he joined it to Ganesh’s corpse and breathed life into him. That’s the story of how Ganesh got his elephant head.

Ganesh and Chandra

On Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesh was returning home on his mouse, Mooshik, from his devotees’ homes after his fill of delicious modaks. Just then, Mooshik saw a snake in his way. He got afraid and scurried from under Ganesh. So, Ganesh fell down with a thud on the ground. Chandra, the Moon God, who was watching all this started laughing on Ganesh. Ganesh wouldn’t stand anybody laughing on him, so he broke off one of his tusks and hurled it at Chandra and cursed him that he would no longer be seen in the sky. Chandra immediately disappeared from the night sky and the world was shrouded in darkness. Children looking at the moon started crying because it had disappeared. Taking pity on mankind, Ganesh modified his curse, that Chandra would waxe and wane as every fortnight went by. That’s why the moon waxes and wanes.

Ganesha and modaks offered to him

Ganesh and the old woman

Once there was a blind poor old woman who was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesh and always wished for a grandson. So, Ganesh appeared before her and granted her a wish. Now, the old woman wanted three things but she had only one wish. So she requested Ganesh to come back the next day. When Ganesh appeared before her the next day, the old woman said, ‘Lord, give me the boon of seeing my grandson fed in a golden plate.’ Ganesh said, ‘You have wished cleverly. The boon is yours.’

Ganesh and Kuber

Once, Kuber, the Lord of Wealth invited Shiva, Parvati and Ganesh to his palace for a feast. Now Kuber was very proud of his wealth. So Ganesh decided to teach him a lesson. He inaugurated the feast. He went on eating and eating. His hunger would not be satiated. Kuber ordered his servants to bring food from his subjects. But Ganesh just would not stop eating. When all the food was over, he started eating the furniture in Kuber’s palace. Perplexed, Kuber ran to Shiva and Parvati for help. Parvati suggested that Kuber give Ganesh a tulsi leaf. That would satiate his hunger. Kuber learned his lesson.

Rethinking Relationships

Do you have a boyfriend?/ Do you have a girlfriend? 

In today’s world of speed dating and speed break-ups, this is probably the most common question any youngster is asked. And why not? We all need someone special, someone whom we can call ours, someone who we can share our life with, someone who is always there for us we know, no matter what. 

With 2017 giving us a chance to start afresh, let me put forth some of my views on this theme. 

Having a boyfriend or girlfriend has become a status symbol. Period. This relationship is flaunted, much like wealth is. As i write this, i’m talking to 5 guys on Whatsapp, one from my college, one living in my society, one living in another state and so on. Of course, guys would be talking to twice the number of girls, all in the hope of a acquaintance>friendship>relationship.. and for some even marriage. Some are freshers in the dating world having dated once or twice while others are the seasoned ones who have mastered women psychology. 

Finally, it all boils down to this. We all have sexual urges, we are wired to procreate. Cmon, let’s face it. Nothing to be shy of. I know of guys dating multiple girls at the same time and if those girls find it out, the guy will be chappaled to death! ^_^

All this for people assumed to be ‘dating material’. Obviously, this excludes nerds, geeks and the like as they are more in love with the concept of textbooks than in love with the concept of love. These poor souls study hard, waiting patiently all the while, to bag a well-paying job and then, to start finding a soulmate. And by that time, they are seeing people fall in love and wonder why someone doesn’t fall for them. So when some guy or girl holds a small lamp to their inner darkness, they are attracted to it like a moth to a flame. This is what happened to Radhika in One Indian Girl. They are ready to do anything and everything for that one person. Sadly, that’s why they are taken advantage of. 

I myself was a nerd till a year back. But one fine day, i realised that when i need help, i need friends to talk to and depend on, knowledge will come to my aid yes, but cmon everyone needs friends. And i was not making friends by being an introvert. Slowly, i started talking to girls as well as guys. With girls, i could get along without much difficulty but i found it hard to talk to guys initially. It was because of the nerd impression i’d made that no guy preferred to talk to me, if given the choice. With time, i learnt to be open-minded, got a makeover externally(read started applying a little makeup, manicuring my nails, improving my fashion sense with tips from girls) and of my thoughts. Slowly, i learnt to fit into the group. 

I was googling “Who is a studious person” today morning. The search gave me a “Why do studious people have few friends?”. It said that there was nothing uncool with being a person who observed things, remembered them and successfully reproduced them on exam sheets. What a perspective! A friend i made recently told me that people judge nerds because they are unlike them, they judge them without knowing. Today, however, i don’t hesitate to say that i’m a nerd and single. I just haven’t found the right person yet. It’s not that i don’t like to go on adventures or don’t enjoy having fun. It’s just that the wild side of me is overshadowed by the desire to dream big and make it big in life. The role of Anay in Befikre portrays this beautifully. A boring banker who knows surfing and can shake his leg to a Bhangda beat. I also learnt to ignore and block guys along my journey. Because you need a partner who complements you, not one who encroaches upon your time when you are busy working on your priorities.

It’s time we rethink what our relationships mean to us. We also need to stop being judgemental. There’s no age for falling in love. What if you just broke up? It’s fine. You have 364 more days, and that’s a lot. What matters is that the person be right for you. Then life will indeed become Heaven on Earth. 

A Sweeter World

The other day, i was standing at the bus stop and i noticed these three guys(they were apparently students, judging from their uniform)talking amongst themselves. Yet, something was missing. Their voice.
They were communicating in sign language. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but they looked enthusiastic and full of life.

I was watching them hesitantly, lest one of them might think i was staring. At that moment, one of the guys caught me looking at him. I immediately turned my head away, breaking eye contact. 

That guy who’d caught me looking, hesitantly went back to making signs and gestures. After a few minutes, my bus arrived and i got onto it.

I could manage to grab a seat and sat down. I opened the second compartment of my rucksack and took out my book. I carry one or two novels with me always and read on the way. I find looking out of the window at the same roads, over the past 3 1/2 years impractical. I might as well use that time productively. 

But, i don’t know why, my mind kept going back to those boys. My thoughts were: Did the boys have low self esteem? Were they always conscious of their weakness and ashamed of not being normal? How does it feel to not hear the chaotic sounds of our everyday life and not contribute to those sounds? Do they like to talk silently without anybody taking notice of them?

There is so much noise, like static, in our world. It numbs our brain and makes us complain and judge our fellow beings. Don’t we always keep commenting on others, loudly or otherwise? Yes, we do. I think we all should quit judging others because nobody is perfect. Embracing ourselves and loving ourselves passionately is what will make this a world a sweeter place.

Embracing gender differences

From the time when humans evolved from monkeys/were put onto the Earth by God(we can never figure out which is true; anyways somehow we came to exist), we have had an inner instinct which set apart the two genders, proving that men and women do not think alike.

1. It is observed that boys worship their fathers and girls grow closer to their mothers, each identifying with their own gender.

2. As they grow older, boys don’t like to be hugged and kissed. They avoid public display of affection. Girls like to be hugged, kissed and are more receptive to public display of affection.

3. Boys play with toys which are a means of competition like cars, bikes, etc. Girls are more inclined towards toys promoting teamwork ie,dolls, playing with cooking set, etc.

4. When they grow into adults, men feel the need to protect while women feel the need to nurture.

5. A man reading a novel, totally engrossed in it, is a rare sight. Probably the eight wonder of the world! It wouldn’t come as a surprise if in his hand was his smartphone with a porn site loading.

6. A man’s job ends with helping his wife conceive.

7. Men feel it uncool to believe in zodiac signs. Women readily succumb to anything which can tell them more about themselves.

8. Men don’t like to read romantic novels. But will definitely like to watch a romantic movie with his gf!

9. When men say ‘I’m thinking about nothing’, believe them.

10. Men will only do what they think is right. So you should perhaps quit telling him to throw wet towels on the bed.

11. A man just cannot block a woman, unless there’s another woman in his life.

12. Men never stop trying, even after marriage.

13. Men will attribute a woman’s denial to the ‘mood swing days before chums’.

14. Men can find their way to a restaurant on a strange island. Women can get themselves off a strange island and make their way to a 50% discount sale.

15. Men make ogling obvious by moving their heads up and down. Women can ogle by keeping their heads fixed as a statue.

16. Men will show love by doing things for women. Some of them won’t express it in words.

17. After a busy day, men refresh themselves by reading or watching on TV others’ problems. Women refresh themselves by bitching about other women.

So, we see that bringing humour into our gender differences and taking things on a lighter note will helpbto ease arguments and will help men and women live cooperatively under one roof.

Note: if some of the things mentioned above are different in reality with regard to a particular person, regard the person as an exception and rejoice!

Cat Love

(Scene: Pratiknagar Sector No. 3&4, Characters: Me, my friend Nidhi, a gang of primary-school boys, and of course, heroine of the play, Kitten Fluffy, her dialogues are what she thinks and does)

(The play opens with the gang of boys trying their best to feed Fluffy)

Nidhi: Ae, usko nai khaneka hai.. uska mood nai hai

Me:(entering the scene) Do idhar.. biscuit.. ye le chotu kha, kha..

Fluffy:(Ah! She had saved me from these boys then, when they were trying to suffocate me to death in that smelly cardboard box! Good person.. no harm eating what she’s giving me) “Eats biscuit from my hand, taking small bites”

Me: Dekho, usko main malum hu, isliye mere haath se khari hai..

Boys: Han didi.. han didi

Fluffy:(Oh, why are they fussing over me so much! I’m tired of so much attention. Give me a break!!) “Goes under a car, comes out in 2 seconds” (Oh no! I’m out in the open again? How did the roof suddenly come to an end?!)

Boys: Didi, shayad ye baju wale society se aayi hai..

Me: Fir use jane do udhar..(picks her up and places her on the wall separating both societies)

Fluffy:(Hey! I don’t want to go from here. And I’m scared of jumping from this height. But Mumma told me nothing happens to us even if we jump from great heights. Cats have nine lives, you know?) “Jumps into our society”

Everybody:Dekho udhar gayi..

Nidhi:(lifts it and sits on a bench)

Fluffy:(doesn’t want to sit on Nidhi) “Comes and sits on my lap”

Me:See? It likes me!

Nidhi:(sad and jealous expression) Give me also na.. (takes it in her arms and walks around the society)

Fluffy: Ah! I’m loving it! (After a few minutes) “Starts becoming uneasy and wants to be left down”

Me: Give it here.. It likes me

Nidhi: So? It likes me also and these boys also..

Me: It likes me more..

(Nidhi and I sit on a bench)

Fluffy:(sits on me, I start checking my notifications on my mobile and viewing the pictures i took) She is glued to her phone! How dare she when I’m here?! I won’t sit on her. “Sits on Nidhi”

Nidhi: Aww, my cutie baby..

Me: It came to you on its own!

(The boys, Nidhi and I exit the scene)

Fluffy:”Sitting in the centre of the stage like a boss”

The First Men ‘in’ the Moon- H. G. Wells

What if one day you find yourself on the Moon with no hope of escape? You can see the Earth rotating, revolving, in all its glory. You feel it’s only as far as a leap. But look before you leap. Else you will become another object floating in space. 

Two men dare to undertake a journey to the moon. There’s no guarantee they will ever return. Yet they build a spaceship and land upon the moon.

They descend upon a crater. They can’t see clearly from inside the spaceship what lies in front of them as it is snowing heavily. It is the Lunar Night lasting for 15 days. Then night turns into day and they see plants like mushrooms growing quickly and steadily in response to the sunlight. They conclude that there might be oxygen on the Moon and they are right. 

Both men get down from their vehicle and go wandering all over the surface. In the process, they lose the location of their spaceship and are captured by the Moon cowherds who tend to the Mooncalves. 

They are taken into the depths of the Moon. The Lunar beings are short and have eyes at the sides of their heads. When punched in the face, they crumble into a powder.

Cavor and Bedford discover that the weapons they use are all made of gold. Bedford finally finds their spaceship intact and makes his way towards Earth, leaving behind Cavor on the Moon.

After a few days, humans receive numerous messages from Cavor. He says that he has been treated with due hospitality and the Lunar beings are destined to be what they will be, leader, administrator and so on. They also make attempts to understand English and know more about Earthlings. Their brains are situated on a platter outside their bodies. It is continuously sprayed with a liquid to keep it fresh.

There exists a world inside the Moon. Next time you see the Moon, you’ll recollect that there are indeed extraterrestrial beings watching you.

Infinity and beyond- Chapter 1

I am Dr. X, the most famous scientist who will ever live because now I hold the power, the power of immortality! And you can read my journal in which I’m going to record the state of the Earth and Earthlings, for millenia! Hahahaha..

A. D. 2016

Earth still moves in its orbit around the sun. It is the third planet after Mercury and Venus. The Sun provides heat and light.Earthlings are secure at this moment and perhaps for a few more years, but certainly Man will reap what he sowed. According to my predictions, in another 100 years, Earth will get hotter, water will swallow up islands and coastal areas, there will be widespread cannibalism, plants won’t grow naturally anymore. Man will progress intellectually but his morals will slowly start getting corroded. Earthlings are discovering new stars and galaxies. They are able to explore the existing and newly discovered. Robots are still in the background and research is going on. We still have our Moon. A majority of flora and fauna species are still alive.

A. D. 20,160

The Sun stopped shining ages back. Now it is only a red circular disc floating in space. It gives out no heat. All the time there is twilight. Humans went extinct around 10,000 A. D. The sun was still shining then but it had started giving out enormous amounts of heat and light, cause the depletion of the ozone layer by Man. Now the Sun, if I can call it that, rises and sets in the east. And I am the lone survivor on this planet. All around me you can see some creatures in the murky waters, the likes of which humans had never seen. These creatures are carnivorous. How are you secure then, you may ask. Well, i have built myself a kind of fortress and burning around the fortress is fire which they are afraid of. The building of the fortress could be accomplished, thanks to the inhabitants of Star XS1720J and the Uranians, who supplied me with raw material in their highly sophisticated spaceships. Occassionally, i see comets and shooting stars. Our Moon still remains, though lunar eclipses happen all the more frequently. I can see all the planets in the Milky Way clearly from my window. There is no soil left on Earth, hence no trees grow, no oxygen. I started inhaling carbon dioxide ages ago. 

Yesterday, i received an invitation from the Mercurians to pack my belongings in my spaceship and fly to Mercury. They are offering me the post of Prime Scientist which is equal to the post of Prime Minister of humans. The Mercurians are a bunch of small beings, as small as my little finger. But they can grow big for some time and it eventually wears off. Another invitation i received from the inhabitants of Jupiter to guide them as a leader in disciplining the 20 feet tall Jupitos. I must decide in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, a black hole exists somewhere in the vast expanse of space, waiting to suck in whatever comes its way. Rumors have it that an inhabited star was sucked into this black hole where time passes by in a loop, the events playing themselves over and over again. There is darkness all around. 

Star wars happen all the time. Aliens are planning to take over Earth. 

Ps: next entry will be after i take a decision