A slice of Heaven

A slice of heaven on top of the hill

Trees embroidering the boundary of

what we all thought was merely

A building made of cement and stones..

Divided into rooms full of desks and benches

With names and notes scored on its surfaces..

“Kuppuswamy “with his everlasting smile on the gate

Was the Chitragupta

Though he let in all of us in uniforms

Assemblies under the hot sun

Thought of the day, Pledge, news, Bhavans anthem

Everything was boring then…

Relief swept over when tenth was finally over

Two years of school and then…

It would be over we all thought…

And then one fine day it was the last day of twelfth

Realisation struck!!

Teachers were angels…. failures were memories

Successes were milestones….

And that’s when I knew that… what I thought to be a HELL

Was the real heaven….

And my time in heaven was – over!!

Happy teacher’s day!!!!

The Road to Home

The bend on road

Where a tree greeted me tall

God forbid; stood Mrs. Sarcasm

Oh hello Mrs. Sarcasm! How do you do

Rather cheerfully I asked

And her nose nasty up in the air

Flared and swelled scarlet

Snapped contempt on my face; now pale white

“Until you my dear,

I was all fine and sane “

Mrs. Sarcasm sighs and goes.

A few feet away stood Miss Hoity Pouty

The Striking sculpt of fashion though

For eternity had a pasted pout

“Oh! Hello Mrs. Hoity Pouty..

What a lovely Dress!”

Her Pout now even clearer

“Wherever did you get this poor excuse of a dress?”

Whatever!!! Miss Pouty cursed aloud and dashed away

Clouds drew together darkening all around into pitch black

Under my own steam steadily I went on

When Mr. Grumpy put on the brakes

His cycle tetchily splashed dirt on me

“Hey you little missy, death isn’t for you now

You be worthy of all this dirt for walking on road”

Sorry Mr. Grumpy, Good Day!!

Grunting aloud, angry old Grumpy

Went all the way grumbling and mumbling.

Finally I could see my home

And there stood under the yellow blooms

Of Cassia Fistula, Mrs. Always Good!!!

An Ethnic Thread

An Ethnic Thread

Crimson threaded down with gold and yellow;

Its ornate centre with stones sequence and a bow,

Lay cushioned on rose petals and chrysanthemums;

On a plate of brass; studded on it were red and green gems,

A lamp also of brass put everything on it; aglow

A brother by and large combatant; Today

His heart did melt and flow

As she tied the knot again and again this day

The usual impertinence and frown; all gone from her brow

Laughter love and only love tinkled and chimed!

As she tucked herself tight into his arms

Happy Rakshabandhan to all those lovely brothers out there!!!

 

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The chair on wheels

How I wonder what you are

For me is not the star!

On a chair with ease and Peace

She did make me wonder

Tomatoes potatoes shallots and others

Bowed down to her knife ‘s slaughter

Sizzling in the oil noisily they banter

Spices along with the others

Play on her wooden ladle to sputter

Laughing to her tosses  and smother

In peace they rest on her plate

With a dash of butter!

Left hand on the wheel

With grace her chair moves

Towards the round table for dinner

We girls almost every day wonder

Our mother our master chef our mentor

Transformed the term “wheel chair”

Into the “Chair on wheels” for better!

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Happy mother’s day

Thank you Childhood!

Thank you oh Childhood,  

For those days pleasant and fragrant

When it was just not the two of us

But all of us …

when we had to share a piece of cake 

not into halves ;

but into pieces many!

When a fallen ripe mango

all of us together ate

When in the rains

On cycles we speeded 

When a thousand paper boats

From our tote bags went afloat

When we weren’t separable 

And a mere dissappearance

Left our faces streaked and smeared

Thank you oh Childhood

For giving me THEM

But why did you  go away…

behind you,

They too went away..

And on this cousins day

It was just another plain day

Though there were heavy rains

And mango trees too

Neither paper boats 

Nor mangoes did we see

On the way.

Continue reading “Thank you Childhood!”

Tradition at its best

20150802_12271720150802_11580320150802_11535420150802_115444Our home stood in between a grove of towering trees situated in the lush green Thaikkattusserry ,small and beautiful village tucked away from the hustle20150802_122552 20150802_130843 of Thrissur town, which didn’t proffer any kind of pursuit… apart from the temple festivities, though the tranquility of this little piece of golden land is unparalleled. This modest land is where medicines were born. Moreover the temple deity here is believed to have the divine medicine in abundance in her pot of gold. This is also the land of doctors who laced their magic with medicines by drying grinding and rolling the herbals that grew in surplus here. In the air wafted the pungent and sweet whiff of the ayurvedic medicines being prepared in the big traditional kitchen of the’ Vaidyasala’

Padmasree Ashtavaidyan Sri ET Neelakandan Mooss, founder of Vaidyaratnam is rather like a sovereign to the people of Thaikkattusserry. Not a soul in the rural community is unwaged as his munificence isn’t limited to just curing people but further more helped them by employing them and keeping them blissful healthy and prosperous. In remembrance of this great persona his son Sr ET Narayanan Mooss decided to erect a museum, a museum that would be unique by all means. The museum was inaugurated by our former president Late Sri A P J Abdul Kalam, and the foundation stone was laid by the divine Matha Amritanandamayi. The Museum at a snail’s pace rose up to a building of magnificence.

And I guess the museum’s been here, prouder than ever for two years… Everyone’s been saying that the museum is a ‘must visit’ tourist attraction in Thrissur. And the funny element is that I pass by it more than a dozen times every day, but on no account went inside. It was just another traditional structure for me until…

It was a Sunday, apparently a gloomy one. And my little chunkies who never had an inclination towards Choto bheem and Chutki rather found their solace in them. They glued themselves on to the beds, indolently munching on a packet of fried tapioca chips, while chota bheem gulped down his laddoos, in each and every episode. That’s when I got a call from my Cheriamma, whom my children dotingly called ‘Muthi’ . She had called to ask if we would like to go to the museum, which was just about  20 meters from my house.

‘Yes’ we are coming ! , was my reply

And finally I was there; we entered through what seemed like an ancient door that creaked and dragged itself open to one of the most graceful buildings I had ever come across in my life. I stood there for a second as if in a trance, gaping open mouthed, awed by the beauty and magnificence of it all. The grounds… The ponds, the landscape, the fountains . A ‘Thulasi Thara’ stood firm adding grace to the traditional structure, outside the middle of the front yard ( ‘Poomukham’)

A guide took us to what we could call a mini theatre, modern ambience carefully blended into traditional wooden grandeur. A quilt, plush and soft was laid on the soft cushioned floor. Wooden ladder back benches queued neatly in the room facing the screen. And the guide started with a  short 3 D film on Ayurveda. From there we were taken to the main building.An ancient medicine box with all sorts of medicines and a ‘Velli kol’ sat there in the corner of the ‘Poomukham’. And in the middle stood a huge bronze idol of Lord Dhanwantari. Afterwards we were taken inside the main structure of the building were everything from life size yogis , horses etc to  the beautiful murals highlighted  on the walls was simply breathtaking!  And toward the end of the room there was a look alike figure of Ashtavaidyan Padmasree E T Neelakandan Mooss. And the kiddies had fun swiping their hands over the plastic betel leaves, as whenever they swiped a recorded blessing ‘Ayushman Bhavah’  of the late ET Neelakandan Mooss could be heard. From the corner of the room a flight of wooden steps with wooden railing coiled steep and winded, landing us on the top floor, were all of us were given 3 D safety glasses. On the top floor was a huge 3 D photo gallery. An airy library with old and tattered however well preserved books were lined up in wooden shelves. A video of all the treatments were also played on an LCD Screen. And yet again we reached a staircase that took us down to a landing where a huge wooden sculpture of Lord Nataraja was mounted. And the guide informed us that this was made using the root of a tree. From there we stepped outside were we could see the ‘Nakshathra Vana{ The star forest}. To our right was the Saraswathy Mandapa.We were so excited when we saw the star forest that we started clicking pictures. But the guide said that we had one more place to go – ‘The Acharya Gruha’

This was a replica of the Elayadath Mana, the ancestral house of the the great Astavaidyan family,a place where we could connect ourselves, we all had this quick flash rewind of our childhood memories of coming to this ‘Mana’ for the ‘Kettu thaali’ function . As we entered, there stood with all divinity Thaikkattusserry Bhagavathy inside the ‘Nadumittam’ -courtyard. Water from all four sides fell on her. It was quite a sight. An array of family photos were put up on the wall.

And there he is !!  all of us together chimed.

The guide asked, Who?

He Yadhukrishnan!

Who is that? The guide asked

Here he is , Our little elephant Yadhukrishnan! who was like a pet to us villagers… I said

He sighed and went off to explain other important things, but for us each and every fixation here was equally significant.

Here in Acharya Gruha, there was a display of some random things that the late Padmasree ET Neelakandan Mooss had used. His chair, the bed he had used, the coffee table over which he seemingly must have had his evening coffees, an old grandfather typewriter, an old calendar, old coins, pens, gifts that probably were given by friends. Finally we stepped out of the Acharya Gruha, after writing a lengthy feedback in their register that probably they never flipped over, but still I made it a point to pour in my heart on that piece of paper. That’s when we saw Gautham Buddha meditating under a tree. We slowly went near him as if a slight movement would disturb him and sat under the tree.

Peace Peace and Peace

Priceless yet

Now a days scarce, He gave us

Oh Lord Budha!

Our Pranams to you!

Protect us oh Lord Budha

From evil forces Fierce!!!!

20150802_130641After taking a couple of photos, we decided to leave and thanked the guide who was so patient and informative. He requested us to stand near the Idol of  Sri Sankaraacharya for a photo to upload it in their site. Halfheartedly we came out of the museum. A boring and depressing day turned out to be the best day of our vacation!

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Hide and Seek

Darkness I did fear though

The Soul ; oh was of a little girl!

The bats over head flew mine

But I did have to find my pearl

Fear mighty was there ;fine

But  still a game I wanted  under

The Nature’s shrine

Pearl mine beautiful and fair

Did inexplicably shine

We did play in pairs

Though not in queue or line

A Game ancient

Of hide and seek ;  divine

In the sky black and giant

Moon; my pearl hid crystalline

Behind her stole of clouds

Did still gloriously shine

The blue Lotus

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I knew that there grew

Underneath the algae green;

The temptress  in bluish purple

Rains slashed merciless  upon its leaves

And she was no less stubborn

Hiding in transparency. ..yet hidden thoroughly;

And then for once the onslaught did stop

A Night as black and clear  as it could be

Yet star studded and moonlit

Banishing the ominous clouds

Leaving it all shiny yet wet …

Charmingly dawned!

The sun with all its glory

Glared into my window

Impatiently my eyes dived

Into that little man made pond

Bowing down her bud to her Lord

She rose up slowly. . seductively …Tantalisingly

Opening her blue petals … For him

Totally in love and devotion

Seemingly she said

THE BLUE LOTUS…  I AM… !!!

Daddy

20150809_1210081437997256588       As I delved into an ocean of dark

Fading off Into the depths of a sound siesta Weaving through

A bewitched series of events

A dream… Most enchanted unfolded Through a translucent curtain of ambiguity My memories gone astray

And speckled

Unwinding reel after reel

As I sat on his lap with his hands

Tight around me Kissing me

fondly on both the cheeks

Adjusting a pink hairband On my head Checking on my frock

Then it went all blank

Daddy I cried aloud!!!

Where are you?

Here I am, lil dolly And lo, I came…. Thirteen years older

Clad in a pink cotton Sari

Tears welled in those eyes

As he saw his daughter in a Sari

For the first time

Then again- it went blank

I cried aloud Daddy…please come back!!

A curtain of dark dropped

And I saw him…

All bundled in white

Sleeping on the floor

I was crying… Daddy please come back!! Now it was clear

As he lay there peacefully

That he would never Come back!!!

I got up with a jerk

And realised…

Pain of losing a parent never

Healed in the recesses of time

Written by Anita Jayaram

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