Kissaa Kahaani

July 23, 2014

Hindu Mythology: Why do Babies Suck Thumb

In Mahabharata there is a reference to King Mandhata, the child of the Golden Age.  There is an interesting story about how he was born.

There was a king, King Yuvanshva of Ikshvaku Clan. He had several wives and concubines but sadly he was not blessed with a child. He requested the sages to prepare magical nectar which would enable his wives to bear his children. The sages invited him to the Ashram, after travelling many days the king reached the ashram. He was weak due to thirst and hunger and upon reaching the ashram he saw a pot of water and drank it, unaware that the water was actually the magic potion created for his wives by the sages. He ended up being pregnant and upon the completion of gestation period he experienced labor pain.

Due to lack of female organs, there was no way he could give birth to the baby. He invoked The Ashwini Kumars- the divine physicians. They cut open his thighs and Yuvanshva gave birth to Mandhata. Now the problem arose of nursing the child as the king was incapable of breastfeeding. Indra, the king of Devas, came to his rescue. The Deva King, cut open his thumb and out flew the milk, as in the veins of Devas flow milk and not blood as unlike humans. The infant Mandhata sucked on to the thumb and sought comfort. That is why babies suck on to their thumbs as it is considered in Hindu Mythology and Legends that babies, until they understand and speak human languages, are  reflections of Gods and hence their thumb has milk.

The King Mandhata was called as one who belonged to the Golden Age, as he was born of a man; his midwives were divine physicians and his wet-nurse was the King of Devas.

Reference: The Story of Mandhata was retold in Mahabharata twice. In genealogical lists of Puranas, Mandhata was ancestor of Rama- both belonging to Ikshvaku clan.

special thanks to Devdatta Patnaik’s Shikhandi.


August 16, 2011

Are we sure of our Stands: Lokpal and Anna

Do you know what’s happening? All these Hunger strikes and all these Act 144 and all these allegations… I don’t claim to be an expert; no I am just not knowledgeable enough to be an expert. I don’t know the nitty gritty of The Jan Lokpal Bill, I don’t understand the difference between Anna’s version and the Cabinet’s Version; I don’t understand how will this remove corruption. But, if this actually does something to reduce the level of corruption, I am all for it. I will support any ABC who is fighting for this bill and Anna is way above any ABC, any common Indian.

Yesterday was 15th August, after so many years of independence, I considered us, as a nation to be mature enough to handle situations gracefully. I did not think, even for a moment that Anna will actually be arrested; I did not realize that Acts like 144, an emergency provision shall be applied on a peaceful protest. Are we in Egypt? Or Syria? But I would like to ask, if this is not Egypt or Syria, why are we fighting as if we are in such a country? I respect Anna, I respect the demand for a just Lokpal Bill, and I don’t understand why it has to be Anna’s way only, his drafts only, his version only? Why can’t we let it happen in Parliament, why can’t both the versions and drafts be discussed in there and the best points from both be selects- after all in parliament are our representatives. DO we have to degrade UPA as “goras” or “angrez”? And this NDA, are they so pure? Are they totally just and uncorrupt? I have this much faith in Anna that I know that he would have protested against corruption and for Lokpal had it been NDA there and not UPA. So why these BJP and RSS are are making this an election platform to propagate themselves? This is much more that ‘chair’ isn’t it? This is about building a nation, And that is why it is such a shame that central government is acting the way it is acting- arresting a 79 year old man who is preaching non- violence and anti-corruption. What are they thinking? What are they going to achieve? This is not at all democratic, this is dictatorial. UPA, Congress are digging their own graves- for what? the accumulated money in their Swiss accounts??

I am not for UPA or NDA, if anything I am totally apolitical. However, I don’t approve, however much I respect Anna, I don’t approve of this way to protest. This is not an India pre-1947. This movement is not self sustainable. This fire which has been lit today is not going to remain aflame for long- it’s not an independence war and we should not give it a form of one. It’s not like if Gandhi ji is arrested, then Nehru would lead, if Lala Lajpat Rai dies, Bhagat Singh would rise. This protest, this “Revolution” is on a move only because of Anna and now Anna is arrested, he will be out soon; and people will keep on pouring on roads for marches and “Jail Bharo Andolans” but for how long? I ask you- people who are protesting this- for how long will you take leave and go to the “Dharana Sthal”, how many of you will taint your clean records by going to jail? How many of you would tolerate a scuffle between you and police? How many of you will spend endless nights on the roads and parks and Jantar Mantar? Tell me truthfully for how long are you ready for all this? Its easier said than done.

What is happening that we are not clear anymore what we are fighting for- is it for Jan Lokpal Bill? Or is it for Anna? As far as Lokpal is concerned- Government is ready for it, it’s just that they want it on their terms- and Anna and team are rigid. We cannot blame the government that they do not want Lokpal- we should be glad- we won the first battle- yes the war remains- but we cannot have all we want now and here, can we?

Anna says this is the second freedom struggle- we are blowing things out of proportion- I have a feeling that this is now no more about Lokpal- this is now more about ego war. It’s all about no I don’t was to be submissive, how can I? Its UPA vs. Anna. Sadly, the priorities are getting merged, the line of differentiation is now getting obliterated and we are now not sure what are we fighting for…

April 4, 2011

My take on Cricket World Cup Victory

I was reading this note by Maheen Sadiq, i was in tears. For South Asians, Cricket is not a mere sports, its a cult.

With all the scams doing rounds, and the crime rate going up, rape rates doing high, all the negativity around, and a disappointment we faced due to the actions of our chosen ones, Men in Blue brought in a refreshing breeze. All was forgotten, India came to a standstill- people rejoiced like never before. Everyone celebrated, be it a ‘lowly’ laborer or a ‘high class’ Page 3 personality; be it a lawyer or a convict; be is Hindu, be it Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jew; be it a man, a woman or a child; Be it India, be it Pakistan. It was Sport’s Victory. I Can’t say about 1983, I didn’t even exist, but my heart says 2011 is bigger than 1983 in many ways.

I am not an expert, I dont even follow cricket,, I dont understand the rules other than those basic ones- but I know what is anxiety, I know what is expectation, I know how emotions run high. I connect with the game of cricket because I understand thrill, nail biting experience, because I understand the feel of exhilaration and extreme sense of relief when victory come knocking or when we are on the verge of defeat, I understand the sense of desolation and frustration. I connect with team India.

Cricket unites us- over facebook, over twitter, over orkut (may be), or on the streets, in the stadium. We watch the match as Indians- not as a Bihari, a Punjabi, a Tamil, a Malyali, a Bengali etc etc etc.

I wept yesterday, many did, in their homes; people hugged their loved ones and wept with joy. I jumped up and down and I screamed, I shouted. Me and my sister did a victory jig. I was not among those who were out on the roads celebrating, I was still having as much fun as any one out they did. I loved the moment, I will cherish it always.

All those people playing on the field showed an exemplary behavior- they were one. We should borrow a page out of their book. And the coach.:) I dont understand the nuances, nor the techniques, I just appreciate what the Team did. I may not see it again, or when I do – it may be another 28 years (or just 4 years, I dont know), I am proud. Do they deserve hero worshipping? Yes- every bit of it. Are they worthy of being labeled as Gods? Yes they are worthy of much more- they bring the whole nation together. They Instill such pride, such patriotism (you may cal it jingoism, I dont care).

Long live Cricket!Long live the passion of Indians for Cricket! Long Live the members of Indian Cricket team, past and present! Salute! Bow!

March 29, 2011

And She Ran Away

She kept knocking at the door of the room, pleading. She was a prisoner in her own home. They wanted her to give birth to a child, a son. To continue the vamsa parampara. She didn’t want to do this. She didn’t want to. Its not that she didnt want to be a mother, she did. She simply didnt want to be the mother of the child of her husband…

There was a time when she loved her husband, she did his laundry, fed him good food, appeared as a good and dutiful escort whenever he needed her, she fulfilled her duty on bed. She really loved her husband. After all who was there for her! She had no one in her own family except for a brother who was ruled by his wife and the wife of the brother did not want to have to do anything with her for that matter. So she just had her in-laws, her husband, parents in-law and brother in-law. True, she was never treated like a princess, but she was never mistreated as well. Well you cannot call occasional taunts and criticism and demeaning comparisons as mistreatment and torture, will you! No one raised a finger on her… may be once or twice when her husband was drunk, he hit her, but only when he was drunk, never otherwise. And since he used to go around with big league people, he had to drink, to maintain a status quo and the PR, you know these things are so necessary when you are a budding entrepreneur. She was an educated girl, she understood and once sobered, her husband apologized, so she knew he didnt mean it. She was if not happy, quite content with what she had. She was no different than others in these matters. However things started changing for her when last month her husband was down with high fever.

When we have simple fever, what’s the best remedy? Go to a chemist, take some antipyretic drug, pop it in and sleep. Most probably its some kind of virus, it will go down in maximum three days, and it will also ensure at least three to four days of relaxation, guaranteed attention from people at home. And of course it will also mean a good break from the daily junk intake and result in healthy food for 3 days. A fever is a respite. But in the case f her husband, the fever remained for a week and temperature kept fluctuating between 100 to 105. It started bothering her. She begged and begged but he didnt want to go to the doctor. It was a waste of time and money. She approached her brother in-law, who rarely talked to her. She requested him to take her husband to some doctor. The brother in-law was so surprised by her initiative to talk that he simply said yes and then realised what a time wasting activity he put himself upto. Well there was no backing up now.

The brother in-law and the husband went to the doctor at the local medical centre to meet their local doctor. However they were surprised to see a young fellow instead of the regular doctor. The new doctor informed that the older one chose to retire and the government appointed him here. This out-of-the-woods-babe was so enthusiastic about his first appointment as a doctor and his first patient that he wanted a thorough investigation of the cause of the fever. The husband was fully scrutinized and was made to undergo numerous tests. Medicines were given. Finally they came home, thinking all is over.

The all was not over yet. It just started.

The young doctor at the clinic was so eager with his new job that he run all the tests he could on all the liquid and solid matter he received from the poor husband’s body. The result was stunning. He wanted to deliver such a big and drastic and life changing diagnosis himself. He also was curious to see the reaction. Yes, it was sadistic if you want to think so. But it also gave him the opportunity to learn to deal with the ways people handle such news, it will help him in future. Who was to know that he will land with such a big case on his first day.

The two story house showed that the family was rich and opulent enough. He approached the house. He was welcomed in with warmth. After all, it was not unusual for the ‘people with post’ coming to the house and paying the visit. They were well networked and respected people. The heads of the family, that is all three males were present and laughing. The Mother-in-law, doctor guessed her to be the mother in-law, bellowed for her to come to the kitchen and prepare some snacks for the young doctor. After fifteen minutes of formal talking points she came with a few plates laden with sweets and snacks for his endeavor. She gave a shy smile and the doctor was struck with beauty in her simplicity. He suddenly felt inadequate and wanted to protect her from the blow he was about to give her. He wanted to hug and sympathize with her. He wanted to just hold her. He rebuked himself for his constant rubbish thoughts. And spoke out to her to stay. He then turned to her husband. Saying that he wanted to say something about his falling health. He has run all the tests and now has a concrete result, of course if he wanted he can go for a second opinion in a better private hospital, but the result will remain unchanged. He has AIDS.

She was puzzled. AIDS. She knew what is AIDS. She learned about it from her first year in the medical college before she quit it to get married, before her parents left her in this sad world and died in a road mishap, before her brother decided that he cannot take the burden of her education anymore. She was still reminiscing about her first year at medical college when she realized she was not on her feet but lying on the floor. The young doctor’s face swam before her eyes. This doctor was too young and good looking. Would she had had this confidence which he has now if she were a doctor. She smiled at the doctor suggestively. And she realized with horror that her husband was dying. The Doctor helped her to her feet, all the while her family sat there looking like zombies. The husband suddenly rose from his shock and rebuked the doctor, saying it was mean way of stealing money. Suddenly things started changing before her eyes. She suddenly swayed and realized that the doctor who was still holding her was hit by a force which was her brother in-law. The mother in law was screaming things which she never said, about her and the young doctor she just met! She smiled on her own, she keeps referring to him as the young doctor. Se suddenly felt someone calling her and looked up to see the person of her thoughts on the doorway, exiting. He turned and asked her to get a full check up.

The next week was whirl wind. Doctors, hospitals, tests. Not hers. Her husbands. Everything was confirmed. The fears were testified. It felt as if someone already died. His immune system was beyond repairs. It was settled that he would die. When, no one knew. It could be today, tomorrow or after a year. He was now in a hurry to settle away the remnants of his life. The will. Of course, he would get a life insurance but wont wont tell about his condition and jeopardize his chance of getting one. And the nominee will be his mother. The business will go to his brother. The house and land, his share of it shall go to his father and he shall decide whom to allot it to in his will whenever he wants. All the loans have to be paid. Everything has to be done. In all this stuff he forgot one thing. He was childless, by his own choice, in the three years of this matrimony.

And thus he forced himself upon her, blaming that she gave him AIDS, that she was a slut, and therefore she shall suffer- either she will give him a child, a son. Or She will die with him. Sati Prata was not dead as many claim. And here she was, locked in this room, given meal only at night just before her husband came in to our all his fear and all his frustration into her since last three days.

Tonight. She resolved to end the drama tonight. She will run away. She will go to some Ashram or to that NGO that police lady was running. She will be free. Just a few more hours. Whole say she waited in that locked room. Night fell. She decided to prepare. But she had nothing with her! No she had nithing to take with her, just the saree she is wearing will do fine and let her husband come, she will sneak some money from his pocket and may be his gold cufflink and chain. That should suffice. She waited for her husband to come.

All the while he was inside her, her mind was outside her- formulating what she would do once she is once she is free, where to go, what to do… her brother would send her back, and she was out of touch from her friends. She decided to run away to the doctor, she would get herself checked. And then she would ask him for his advise about continuing her education, if she has a chance of becoming a doctor. After three years of solitude, she knew she has chances none to next to become a doctor, but she can certainly become a nurse, and sustain herself. But from where will she bring the money for education.

Her husband yanked himself out and fell on her. He shivered with repulsion which her husband took as a tremor of pleasure, typical husband. He taunted her and rolled off. She waited. One hour passed by, then another. She stole her way towards the bathroom, draped her sarree properly, took her purse- saw she has around three hundred rupees and then she took a shawl- her husbands black shawl, this shall help her hide in the dark. She took from the night stand, her husband’s wallet, his watch and slowly unhooked the gold chain from his neck. He didnt even stir- it was a drunken sleep.

She opened the door of her bedroom, came out and ran away. She had no idea where she will be going, what kind of world she will meet outside, she just ran. Towards her freedom….

March 7, 2011

Jaane Kaha Gaye Wo Din…

What a craze it was!!!! at least 10-15 or more years back! todays kids thrive on Superman, He-man, SpiderMan, X-Men and all the other western heroes, while Indian Super Heroes are suffering due to the ever increasing fame of Western Super Heroes, here comes a time to revive the memories of long forgotten our own Indian Heroes, the legacies of Diamond and Raj Comics.

First and foremost in mind can be no other than Nagraj; the green skinned man,with a lock of hair shaped like a snake’s hood and snakes flowing out of his wrist as and when he wishes!

He is the creation of Parshuram Sharma, Nagraj is the Ichhadhari Naag (A snake which can take the form of a Man at wish) . He is the protector of the Metro City-Mahanagar and is the enemyof evil, of terrorism. His perennial enemies are Nagpasha-his uncle, Prof. Nagmani, Thodanga, Nagina, Vishandhar,Nagpasha, Gurudev. he remains victorious because of the guidance of his mentor Guru Gorakhnath, blessing of his deity- Dev Kalajayi, devotion of his wives Visarpi and Bharti, and all the snakes which residein his body. his powers include his ability to become invisible, ability to blow the poisonous breath and kill the enemies, lots of snakes coming in and out of his body, his yoga power and much more! he is one of the most most admired and loved super heroes of India

And then if Nagraj is the top name in Indian Heroes then Anupam Sinha’s creation Super Commando Dhruv is the epitopme of a Human Being without naturally bestowed power, who proved that you dont have to have a spider bite you, or to be born on another planet, to be a super hero! you just need to have passion and compassion! you just need determination! this is what Dhruv is!

this orphan, born and brought up in Jupiter Circus is nimble and a master in Martial Arts, a great and unmatched Trapeze artist; since he lived with animals and birds for most of his young life, he can understand and converse in their language! the various skills he learned in the circus, he nurtured and developed! plus is great common sense! he was adopted by a Inspector General Rajan and his family, Rajan’s daughter is also a Super Heroin (Chandika) and she puts her life at risk for her brother often! He comes often in comic books with Nagraj, and saves the world from the attack of Terror. in the latest series, which is almost a depiction of Ramayana (Varan Kand, Grahan Kand, Haran Kand etc), Nagraj has a character similar to that of the Rama and Dhruv depicts Lakshamana. He also trains his neighbor hood kids to combat, top utilize resources, to use common sense and to be the Commando force! He is in love with Commander Natasha, daughter of his arch enemy Grand Master Robo, and got separated from her father voluntarily to marry Dhruv, they have son named Rishi. Another great ally of Dhruv is Dhananjaya, an Aqua-Human character who helps Dhruv in most difficult of circumstances. this character of Dhruv has stolen many a heart and is part of many fantasies! 🙂

If all super heroes are good and pure, there are few who defy law, who believe in eye for an eye and who don’t think twice before taking an action! this description best suits Doga. this Angry Young Man of the Streets is the savior of those unfortunates, who cant save them selves. And he has an army of dogs, who would die at one signal of Doga, without hesitating!
first time a well known Indian Super Hero is going to be on Silver Screen, and Doga is going to be the one to get the credit! Kunal Kapoor is going to act as Doga in Anurag Kashyap’s would-be flick.
Doga was originally Suraj, an orphan, who was brought up by a Daku Halkan Singh, who treated him as a Dog, hence Doga. he left the Daku to be with Adrak Chacha, his mentor and guide and his brothers. the four brothers trained Doga in Gym, Marksmanship, Boxing and Martial Arts. Suraj became Doga when these brothers were killed mercilessly by Killota. This fighter of the streets is misunderstood by the law and police for his ruthless behavior but he is admired and feared as well. his secret identity is known by a few of his trusted- inspector Cheetah, and Monika who is his long lost love Sonu, whom he takes to be dead. he also has a sister Kiran.

and then comes Bhokal! the warrior, the male pari or tha Protector of Fairies, king of Parilok! This ancient age super hero is the protector and defender of Vikasnagar. in Parilok, his parents are killed by Fuchang, whom he kills with the help of his friends Shootan, Atikrur and Turee, whom he loves and finally marries. this Hero invokes the name of the his Guru Mahabali Bhokal to gain super strength when he needs it, and he can fly, gets the most powerful shield and sword. he also had a pair of wings, but that was destroyed by the enemies. Bhokal had three wives, Tureen Rupsi and Saloni.

Other famous super heroes are Parmanu, Shakti, Tiranga, Inspector Steel, Agniputrs Abhaya, Shaktiman, Captain Vyom and many more.

We as kids used to thrive on these comics and series, they used to transport us to the unknown lads of adventure and fun. they made us feel the importance of good and bad, of winning the inner devil in order to conquer the world. they taught us that we don’t need super humane power to be a super hero; it just takes determination and compassion. Now a days television sets and computer games take over the lives of the kids, how unfortunate is the life of an average kid today! No more nurturing of fantasy the way we used to do through books and comics. the fun associated and the enigma hidden in the next page was used to be so scintillating! i still read those comics and remember those long lost glories of these characters.

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