Sunday, March 09, 2008

Do we need weddings?

It was quite thrilling to get up in the morning in anticipation of hearing tamil in all it's glory. Having roped in my uncle to give us [VS, TSL and me] some tamil lessons, I was already making a wish list on all the things I wanted to cover.

The first morning my uncle [Mr. V Srinivasan] treated us to a lovely poem from kurunthogai. But that is a separate blog. To give us the background he talked about the main characters of the love poems - the hero, the heroine, the friend, the mother, the nurse - etc. It boggles my mind these poems from hundreds of years ago don't talk about great kings or great religious figures or even gods. But they talk about nameless, average people with their everyday emotions.

We digressed to the institution of marriage and my uncle commented on how the really ancient poems don't seem to give much importance to weddings. And then he proceeded to recite this -

"Poyyum Vazhuvum Thondriya Pinnar Aiyyar Yaathanar Karanam Enba"

பொய்யும் வழுவும் தோன்றிய் பின்னர் அய்யர் யாத்தனர் கரணம் என்ப

Here is an answer to a very twentieth century question why do we need an institution called matrimony - 'after lies and mistakes and deceit there were ministers and ceremonies'.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Happy Bithday

I was in the middle of an irritating meeting when the phone rang. I did not recognize the overseas number and I picked it up with an abrupt 'hello'.

'Are you busy?', asked the familiar voice. RR calls me whenever the mood strikes him, sometimes once in six months or so. And we pick up the conversation where we left off seamlessly. But it was an odd time for him to call.

'Are you busy?', he asked again. Some wheels cranked in my brain and I asked somewhat frantically - 'What day is it today?'

His voice laced with laughter he said, 'March 6'.

For more than a decade plus now, RR has never once forgotten my birthday. He would call me from wherever he was and wish me. And in the decade plus years I have known him I think I have always managed to miss wishing him on his B'day.

I don't know what I did to deserve a friend who called me on his birthday so that I could wish him and not feel bad later for missing it.

Happy Birthday, Best friend.