Sachi R

Obiter dicta on music, men and matters

Archive for December, 2009

Travels of a Pierre Cardin Belt

Posted by rsachi on December 20, 2009

Once upon a time, there lived a farmer called John Smith. His cattle farm was famous all over Jersey,  and he frequently won prizes in cattle shows in English Fairs. Time went by, and his handsome young son Peter broached the subject of his own future. He had heard good things about the grasslands, snow mountains and sunny beaches of  New Zealand. Soon, with his father’s blessings, a dozen cows and a couple of bulls, Peter sailed to New Zealand.

Father Time now makes a fast forward  and we come to this century. There is no doubt Japan faces economic troubles, but every dinner table is still laden with Kobe Corn Beef or Peter’s Angus. So it turns out that around the Lunar New Year, a worthy successor to the Jersey ancestry tickles Japanese taste buds and also lends her hide to the flourishing sea trade between Matsumoto of  Kobe and Shin Tsui of Sichun. The ship itself is owned and run by Park of  South Korea.

Tsui’s nephew started a belt and shoe factory recently, and has won laurels from famous labels like Pierre Cardin. He makes lovely belts, with good grained cow hide, and it fetches him a princely sum of $2.50 per belt. He doesn’t have to buckle up, as the Cardin brand gets the buckles from Italy itself.

Soon after being buckled, a 115cm long gleaming formal black men’s belt makes its trip to Missassuaga in Canada. Just in tiime for the stimulus-driven Christmas season.

And what happens next? A handsome young statistician is shopping around in Toronto’s biggest mall with his lovely wife. And he happens to see s sweaty fat salesman at the Men’s Accessories counter! Voila! The statistician thinks of his brother in law (or Co-brother as Indians specify more exactly) with his vast girth crying for better upholstery.

The Pierre Cardin is taken and paid for, and thrown into the suitcase in a hurry since this B-in-L can’t get a visa to cross over from Buffalo. The statistician makes some fast math and concludes he should drive his Hybrid Camry all at once to catch the distressed man. So they meet, hug and the statistician calculates in his mind that the bell curve for men’s bulging torsos needs to be recast quickly to accommodate the muffin top like his B-in-L. But then, his estimation skills have served him right and 115 cm looks rather a good fit for the bulge losing its battle.

Bingo! After a lovely Indian temple orbit weekend tour, the US of A’s international conclave bringing together a B1 Indian passport holder from Australia and a statistician from Canada concludes. And the B-in-L flies back on a reluctant United who do their best to lose his bag and delay his flight. But he is an intrepid B1 you see and so does make it back to Parramatta. The very next weekend, he wants to get his belt on. He finds that the holes are not right as his torso has shrunk a bit after the United experience. So he goes to the Westfield mall, gets some extra holes punched by a Czech and Fiji partnership shoe repair team, and is all set to shine in his new upholstery, the Jersey-Angus-Peter-NZ-Kobe-Japan-Korea-SiChun-Milano-Toronto-Statistician- Aussie- Czech-Fiji-Indian B-in-L-Buffalo belt!!!!!

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An NRI Tree

Posted by rsachi on December 19, 2009

My good friend Vishwa led me to this astonishing story of a Mysore Fig tree holding its sway in far-away Florida, USA. This tree is over 113 years old, and has a care-taker who is 93 years old himself. The entire family is proud of this Ficus Mysorensis, which rises over 90 feet in height and declares its majesty as well as its sweetness through its fig berries that are made into a jelly by the doting family!

We talk of NRI Indians and awards that they receive. Look at this unique NRI. He stands tall and proud and healthy, and is not bothered about dual citizenship or double taxation. A model for all of us indeed.

The Holy Fig tree, called Ashwattha, is sacred for all Hindus. In Bhagavadgita as well as in Vishnusahasranama, this tree is said to be a form of Vishnu himself. My mother used to say that an Ashwattha tree inside one’s home garden could outlast the building itself and drive its roots even into the foundation.

I used to play under an Ashwattha tree as a boy. I was happy to see the same tree all over South East Asia and it may be here even in the botanical gardens in Australia.

Chaitanya compares the forbearance of a devotee to the patience and uncomplaining acceptance of a tree. What a noble thought indeed. Jagdish Chandra Bose showed how the tree could express dread at the arrival of the wood cutter with his axe.  Osho talks of how he used to talk to the Gulmohur tree in his college campus and how it would always welcome him.

Read this fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen about the Christmas Tree. It is a fairy tale that imagines how a tree feels and aspires much like us. In this case the tree seems to have learnt to feel all the thoughts of the ever vulnerable man!

In closing, let me give an image of Bala Krishna, lying on a vatapatra (=Ashwattha leaf), sucking his own big toe!

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Shaantaakaaram

Posted by rsachi on December 10, 2009

Last weekend I was with four close companions in USA who took me to two Vishnu temples and made me recite Vishnusahasranama. They recite it daily and are devotees whose life exemplifies good values.

I came home and lit the lamp and played the wonderful Sahasranama record of Kishori Amonkar (Music Today). The way she has sung the dhyana shloka  Shaantaakaaram is so evocative. Listen to it here:
Today, after my companions’ treat to me, and amidst thoughts of all that we discussed, my mind says:
I am stressed out so much by things and happenings, but my deity Narayana is the very embodiment of peace, eventhough he is lying down on a mighty serpent! He is not dependent on anyone else or anything else for bringing him beauty, as he has created the lotus flower himself from his navel and is verily immersing himself in its beauty. No wonder even the gods run to him for succour, he is their absolute master.  Not only that, he is the lord of all creation, and as expansive as the sky. His colour of the rain cloud informs of his grace that pours down on all. His very form is so auspicious for me to contemplate.
One so much at peace with himself, so creative and expansive, supporting the universe and showering grace, no doubt is the beloved of all prosperity. He seeks nothing, and yet all prosperity comes and woos him. He is full of love, and his eyes show it like two beautiful lotuses. This form is the ideal that yogis envision in their meditation.
By bowing down to him, I have no more fear of what transpires in my silly world. He is after all my sole refuge.

Posted in Vishnusahasranama Shantakaram dhyana shloka sloka Kishori Amonkar peace prosperity deity prayer refuge of all | 1 Comment »