Friday, August 29, 2008

My Friend S.Shanthi Lal



I heard a story of a friend from the middle east , when I was but a child. It runs as follows:-

There was a young man who one day boasted to his father that he had millions of friends. Then his father told him, he had only a half friend. The son laughed at this. The father egged the son o test his friends. Then the father filled up a big Gunny bag with saw dust .He poured lot of red ink on the gunny bad. The son carried this bag to his closest friend’s house. When the door opened , he told his friend, “Sam, I have killed a bad character. Now I do not know what to do. Can you help me?.” The friend slammed the door on him and shouted from behind the door, “Go away from here. I am sure the police would come in search of you. I do not want to have anything with you from now onwards.” The same thing happened in the houses of all the million friends of the son. He returned home and told his father, “Now , I have understood that they are not my friends.” Then father told his son to go to Father’s half friend’s house and tell the same thing. When it was done , the scene was very much different. His father’s friend, took him inside , gave a cup of coffee. Then he helped him clean himself. He then asked him to return to his home without the bag. After the sin left his house, the friend, surrendered to the police saying that he has killed somebody. Then the father told him , “this is but half my friend.”

Somehow right from my childhood I was in search of such a friend. In these 68 years , I do have large number of acquaintances but very few friend. I have decided to write about these few friends, in these blogs.

The first of them is Sri .S.Shanthikumar , who was my friend in my high school days at Secunderabad , Andhra Pradesh.. A few words about myself at that time. In 1950 , I was studying 6th standard in a Malayalam school at Chelakkara, Kerala. My father was running a hotel in Secunderabad. He decided to put me in an English medium school there. I was taught slight English by a young lodger in our hotel called Omana . I appeared for an interview in a St.Mary’s school. This was a very poor school those days with Father Fernandez as the principal. The medium was English and my second language was Tamil. I just knew how to read Tamil and did not know how to write it. I did not know how to speak English. I joined the seventh standard there in 1951. It was a real struggle to learn. All my class mated used to look at me with pity and wonder. But one of them had more pity on me. He was Sri. S.Shanthilal son of Sri Saranga Pani a railway employee. Unlike me he was not a Brahmin. But a real friendship flowered between us. This continued till 1955 , when I was forced to leave to Kerala for pursuing my college education. We both cried a lot at that time. We did manage to write letters to each other for another 5 years. Shanthi , my friend, had to discontinue his education. He worked in a tea factory , near Secunderabad . In 1961, I was a student in a statistical Institute in New Delhi. At that time, I undertook a study tour and visited Secunderabad. I met my friend Shanthi and stayed in his poor house. We had a f great time. After this I never had any contact with my friend. Several times, I had gone to secunderabad in search of him but I could never trace him.

My friend Shanthi, It is so painful that I lost you. You were the first friend I ever had and your memory is still green in my heart. . Ra

Friday, August 8, 2008

A call for my community

Awake , Brahmanas, Awake !!

P.R.Ramachander

Modern day Brahmanas whose role was to learn the Vedas and tenets of religion and explain it to those who are not capable of understanding them, are in the present day a very confused lot. The main reason is that they have left the vocation of their forefathers and have taken up all and sundry job just to eke out a living. Most of them only understand the label which is allotted to them as Smarthas, Vaishnavas and Madhwas. Some of them are a step higher and tell you that they worship only Shiva and their Guru is Sankaracharya; that they worship Vishnu and their Guru is Ramanujacharya and that they worship Krishna and Rama and their Guru is Madhwacharya. The real difference between them which is based on the philosophical interpretation of the great books of Sanathana Dharma is left to a few Acharyas and Pundits who live in some isolated Mutts. Rarely do these Acharyas talk to their followers of the philosophical interpretation but prefer to keep them in the Bhakthi filled world of an ordinary man, Ask a religious Brahmana and he will tell you that it is important to wear Vibhuthi/Thiruman/ Gopi and perform the Nithya Karmas .They also will tell that you have to observe several Vrithas as dictated by priests and go to several temples

.I am an ignoramus but would like to give a very small notes on the three thought processes and request all of you to further read , try to understand the glorious interpretations given by their respective Acharyas and explain to every one they know that their religion is a very glorious thought process and not a set of orthodox beliefs.

Advaitha of Adi Sankara

The seeker of truth of the sanathana dharma understands easily the difference between individual souls(Antharathma) and the great power that is every where(Paramathma).Sankara interpreted the the books of religion and concluded that these two are no different, whether you realize it or not. He told that they are same and your understanding or not is not going to change this fact.

Visishtadvaitha of Saint Ramanujacharya

Saint Ramanuja who was being taught Advaitha by a teacher could not digest this fact. He interpreted the same books as Sankara and concluded that unless you understand and realize that they are same, they are not the same .It is the inner light of realization within oneself, which could make you realize that they are not different. He also evolved the Saranagathi Thattwa (Principle of absolute surrender) through which the Antharathma can merge with the Paramathma. Two schools of thought differentiated later on the Saranagathi. One school believed that the Saranagathi does not need an effort on your part and is a passive surrender (Marjara Saranagathi-kitten like surrender) and the other school believed that your effort is very much needed even after the surrender and is an active surrender (Markata Saranagathi- the surrender of baby monkey)

Dwaitha

Saint Madhwacharya interpreted the same books and found that there is no evidence of Paramathma and Antharathma being the same. They according to him are different. The Antharathma after many cycles of birth and deaths ultimately merges with the paramathma.

Unless we start doing introspection of these royal thought processes, here and now the future generation of Brahmanas who are extremely intelligent will break the ties imposed on them by a religion that they do not understand and which appears to them like a very orthodox cult rather than a magnificent thought process.

Let us all awake and let us all think so that this cherished magnificent heritage of ours burns for ever and illuminates all the world.

Some forgotten Kerala Iyer recipes

Old but forgotten Kerala Iyer Recipes
P.R.Ramachander

Over the years some of the very special dishes have gone out of fashion from the Kerala Iyer family. It is not because they are not good nor because they are difficult to prepare but because of the migration of families to different areas and their adopting to the recipes of the new area, that these are not prepared. Some of these are given here.

1.Arachu Kalakki

Normally these are prepared using mangoes or Nellikais preserved in salt in Kerala Iyer homes and used to be prepared in off seasons for vegetables. The only exception is Chenai. The method of preparation is given below: -

1.Take sufficient quantity of Kanni Mangai or Nellikkai preserved in salt or Chenai (Thoroughly washed tender mango pickles can be used instead of Kanni Mangai)

2.Grind it in Mixie with coconut and green chillies

3.Pour the ground mixture in sour buttermilk and mix thoroughly.

4.Season it with mustard, red chillies and fenugreek (Menthiyam) and garnish with curry leaf.

5.Add small amount of salt in case of salt preserved pickles and sufficient quantity in case of Chenai.

2.Manga Kadi

This can be prepared only in the mango season. The method is extremely simple: -

1.Boil cut pieces of green mango (with skin removed) in water.

2.Add salt and small amount of chilly powder and boil till mamgo pieces are cooked well.

3.Season it with mustard, red chillies and fenugreek.

3.Mezhukku Peratti

This is another very simple side dish, which was extremely popular in Kerala Iyer homes. The method of preparation is: -

1.Cut into small pieces Plantains (cooking type banana) and chenai. (In places where Chenai is not available we have found that carrot can be used) Jack fruit seeds if available or Koorkan Kizhangu during seasons are also added

2.If available at cut pieces of jack fruit seed and/or Koorkan Kizhangu

3.Boil with salt and turmeric powder in pressure cooker.

4.Take coconut oil and heat it. When sufficiently hot, put the boiled vegetables and mix well.

The kari tastes good even if other oils are used

4.Puliyitta Keerai

This is another very simple dish prepared using either amaranth leaves or tender non-itchy type of colacasia (Chembu) leaves. The method of preparation is as follows:-

1.Cut the leaf into very small pieces.

2.Boil the leaves in tamarind water, turmeric and salt , till the leaves are cooked well. Add also green chillies while boiling.

3.Take out the green chillies and grind them and mix with the boiled leaves

4.Season with mustard, red chillies and fenugreek.

5.Puliya Kuthi Upperi

This is a peculiar dish prepared only in Kerala iyer homes. In some homes , it is directly mixed with rice and in some others it is used as a side dish for Mulagootal.The method of preparation is as follows:-

1.Cut plantains, brinjal . ash gourd (Or Chowchow) and red pumpkin into thin long pieces similar to aviyal.Traditionally bundled non-itchy colacasia leaves used to be added in Kerala.

2.Boil in tamarind with turmeric and salt. Till well cooked. The tamarind water should be just sufficient to soak the cut pieces. And after boiling, very little watery portion should be there.

4.Fry without oil, rice, red chilies and fenugreek and powder.

5.Take some oil . splutter mustard and Uzhuttan Parippu..Put mixture of the boiled vegetables and the powder and stir till it becomes semi solid.

6.Mulagooshyam

This is possibly one of the very simple Kerala recipes. It is also called Karingalan by some Here is the method:-

1.Choose either plantains and Chenai(Where Chenai is not available choose carrot instead).Cut into small pieces.

2.Boil till coked with turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt with medium water.

3.Season it either with raw coconut oil or mustard and uzhuttam parippu

7.Mulagu Vellam

This needs very sour buttermilk to prepare. Here is the method

1 Cook pepper powder in water for some time.

2,Add sour butter milk , salt and turmeric powder and boil till it is reduced to half the quantity,

3.Season it with mustard, red chillies and fenugreek.

8.Moru Charu

This is an instant recipe when you don’t have time and nothing else except sour buttermilk. Here is the recipe.

1.Heat Oil , splutter mustard , red chillies, uzhuttam parippu and fenugreek

2.Pour buttermilk and add salt.

3.Remove from the stow before buttermilk comes to boil.

9.Podi Podicha Pulungari

This is possibly the Kerala substitute for Tamil Nadu Sambhar.Here is the recipe:-

1.Cut into long thin pieces, Brinjal, red Pumpkin, ash gourd or Chow Chow.

2.Cook in pressure cooker in tamarind water.

3.Fry in a dry pan rice and red chillies.The colour of the rice should turn ivory.

4.Powder the rice , chillie mixture.

5.Add to the vegetables and boil.

6.Season with mustard and garnish with curry leaf.

a. The interesting variant is prepared by using only Jack fruit instead of all the above vegetables.

b. A super variant is the Puducode Pulungari prepared only on all days of Navarathri in the temple at Palakkad. The recipe of this is given below: -

Needs:

Pumpkin 150 g, Yam 150 g, Ash gourd 150 g, Plantains 50 g,

Raw rice 10 g, tur dhal 25 g, dried chillies 3, Fenugreek (Mentha) 5 g, Tamarind 50 g, Coconut (shredded) 25 g, Mustard 2 g, green chillies 5 g, Jaggery 20 g, curry leaves, Coconut oil 25 g and some quantity of curry leaves and salt to taste.

Method:

1.Cut and cook Ah gourd and yam together in a cooker

2.Also cook Tur dal in the cooker

3. Cut and boil pumpkin and plantains

4. fry rice till they pop and powder it

5.fry fenugreek (Mentha) to golden brown and powder it

6.Grind coconut and green chillies together

7 Extract Tamarind juice and boil it for 5 minutes

8. Add all vegetables, jaggery, and cooked dhal for 10 minutes

9.Add rice powder and boil for 5 minutes

10. Take out from stove and immediately add coconut paste, mentha powder, coconut oil and curry leaves and stir.

11. Season it with mustard and dry chilies in coconut oil.

10.Murunga ilai Adai

This was a popular Tiffin item of yester years. Here is the method:-

1.Soak parboiled rice for more than 6 hours

2.Grind in to smooth paste adding sufficient salt

3.Add cut drumstick leaves to this mixture

4.Prepare thick adais from this batter

11.Chakkai Adai

This used to be prepared in jack fruit season in yester years.Here is the recipe

1.Soak parboiled rice for more than 6 hours

2.Grind in to smooth paste adding sufficient salt

3.Add also cut pieces of jackfruit and small quantity of jaggery half way while grinding.

4.Prepare Adais with this batter

12.Koozhu.

This is normally prepared only when batter prepared for Verumarisi adai becomes sour. Being very tasty many families used to prepare the batter and allow it to become sour to make Koozhu.The method is as follows:-

1.Soak and grind par boiled rice and allow the batter to become very sour.

2. Mix the sour batter in more water and make it of thinner consistency.

3.Heat gingelly oil (sufficiently more) , splutter mustard, uzhtham Parippu, Milagai Vettal. Perungayam, and thairu milagai in the oil.

4.Pour the semi liquid batter in to this and keep on stirring till , the colour changes and the batter does not stick to the vessel

5.Keep ready an oil-coated plate(Olden times oil smeared banana leaves were used)

6.Pour the hot Koozhu in to this and allow it to cool.

7,Cut in to small pieces and serve

13.Koozhu dosai

For dosai normally par boiled rice is being used. In the olden times for Vritha days, it was felt that it was Vetthu. So it was necessary to eat some thing prepared of wheat or Pachaarisi(ordinary rice).But tiffins prepared by Pacharisi were not tastey.The following is the recipe for making tasty dosas out of Pacharisi.

1.Soak Pacharaisi and grind into smooth paste,Add salt

2.Take out a small portion and mix it with water

3,Put little oil and heat it. In this pour the liquefied batter and keep on stirring, till the colour changes and it does not stick.

4.Remove from the stove and mix thoroughly with the main batter,

5.Prepare very soft dosas now.

14. Aracha Kozhakattai

Normally on Amavasya days , at night Kozhakattai used to be prepared in olden days.The method is as follows:-

1.Soak Parboiled rice and grind it to coarse consistency.When the grinding is about to be over add shredded coconut (about quarter of the dough) and grind for a few minutes further.

2.Heat oil splutter mustard, Uzhutham Parippu , Milagai Vettal and Perungayam

3.Add the batter in to this and keep on stirring till it becomes solid

4.Make small balls using this batter

5.Put it in boiling water gently and cook for more than 15 minutes (Other alternative is steam cooking)

6,Remove and serve with Sambhar or Chutney.

15,Mooda Kozhakkattai

This can be prepared only in jack fruit season.Method is as follows:-

1.Heat water and bring it to boil

2.Add jaggery and jackfruit pieces and boil till jackfruit is cooked

3.Add the rice powder gently and keep on stirring till it becomes solid

4.Make it in to small balls, roll these balls in banana leaves and tie them

5.Steam cook these balls.

There are possibly many other very special dishes of a Kerala Iyer household which , I may not even know. If you know any please contribute .So that we keep living the culture of tasty food of Kerala Iyer households.

I am adding the recipe for Kalan’

1.Prepare sour butter milk

2.Take little water , add pepper powder and turmeric powder and boil for some time

3.Gently add the churned butter milk to this mixture

4.When it comes to boil add well cooked plantain pieces also(normally Chenai is used.)

5.Allow to boil.after adding salt

6.Unless the vessel is a deep one , it will boil and spill out.To avoid this keep on removing the froth

7.Reduce to half the quantity

8.Grind coconut and green chillies without adding much water

9.Add it to the boiled buttermilk

10 Heat for some time

11.Remove from tava and add curry leaves

12.Season it with mustard red chillies and mentha

(If buttermilk is not sour enogh , the boiled mixture will curdle. Put the entire mixture without vegetables and blend)

Slaves to some one!

Slaves we prefer to some one foreign

P.R.Ramachander

Slaves to someone foreign we were,

To the moguls from the Persian coast,

To the merchants who came from a tiny island next.

And then some one led us to what some call freedom,

But our leaders great led us to ideology that killed men in cold,

Imported from a country which told that all are one,

And we never thought a second to become its slave.

Leaders changed but again another ideology came,

From the land which was a universal police,

Calling it freedom and slaves to it we are almost now,

Of this ideology which some one foreign calls great..

To the lady from Italy we can easily be slaves,

For we are tired of ideas and search of persons foreign.

But that great lady thought in a different tune,

And preferred to be our master through a bearded man.

I only wonder which country we will choose next?

Tips for a Iyer Home

Dear Friends,

Here are a few tips from a book called “Live with Grace” in Tamil. May be what Kerala iyers believe and follow may be slightly different.Possibly each of you know several dos and donts as well as several tips which makes life easy .Why don’t you please share it with the group.

1.Lighting of lamp

a. If Gingelly oil is used then all the sufferings of family will disappear

b. If castor oil is used family life in the house would become sweeter

c. If groundnut oil is used family will run into credit problems

d. If lamp faces east then sorry and bad luck will disappear

e. If lamp faces west credit problems, sufferings due to Saturn, and quarrels between siblings will disappear.

f. If lamp faces west problems in fixing marriage, problems for education, would disappear. Wealth will accumulate.

g. Lamp should never face the south.

2.What should be seen as soon as one awakes from sleep:-

Lotus, Gold, Lamp, Sun, Sandalwood, Sivalinga, sea, Cow with calf, right hand, Sumangalis, Mridangam, Mirror, King, Forest elephant, Black monkey. Etc

3.What should not be done at night.

Washing cloths, Taking curds,Eating Nellikkai, Sweeping floor and throwing it out, Sleeping below a tree, Scraping of soil, Ploughing, etc

4.What should not be crossed while walking:-

Goat, Space in between cows, Fire, Space between two Brahmins, Space between husband and wife, Space between teacher and student,

5.Where people should not wait:-

Places where good people quarrel, Place where alcohol is consumed, Place frequented by prostitutes, Places where people quarrel with each other, Public place where water is collected

6.Things that will give longer life:-

Evening Sun, Smoke from Homa, Clear and Pure water, Eating milk with rice at night, Helping the sick, Bowing before elders etc.

7.Places where Goddess Lakshmi lives

Lotus, Elephants face, Back of a cow, Vilva plant, The Seemantha Reka of virtuous women,

8.Things that should not be done by women

Breaking Ash Gourd for Drishti, Breaking coconut while pregnant, Charity without the knowledge of husband,

9.Number of Pradakshinams

Siva temple: Any odd number of rounds above 3. When Only Siva Linga without his consort is there in the temple, We should not make complete rounds of the temple.

Vishnu Temple :4 times

Ganesha temple:once

Sun temple :once

While doing Pradakshina, we are supposed to walk slowly and gently and concentrating our mind on God. When Abisheka is being performed we should not do Pradakshina.

10.Namaskarams in a temple

Sashtanga namaskaram in a temple should be done in such a way that there is no prathishta of God in the side pointed by our feet.So it is recommended that this type of Namaskara is done outside the Dwajasthaba.. Women should not do Namaskarams with their chest touching the floor. They also should not do angapradakshinams.

11.Places where one can meditate:

River bank, Where Agni Kunda is there, Temples, Cowshed and Garden where holy flowering trees are planted. f these are not available then one can do meditation in ones own house. Meditating sitting on a tiger skin, fulfills all desires, On a skin of deer one gets Gnana , On cloth cures disease and on Woolen removes sorrow.

Chains for Japa should be made of sangumani, Silver beads, Neem seed. Coral beads, Spatika, Rudraksha or lotus seed.

P.R.Ramachander

Oh, our Soft ware lady

Oh, Our dear Software lady

By

C.S.Chithra

Mangayar Malar, February 2008

Translation from tamil attempted by

P.R.Ramachander*

Even though you arrive in a latest model car of your company,

Dressed to kill in the latest dress from a boutique,

Even though your Id card hangs on your neck like a garland,

You are but a pitiable mouse caught inside your lap top,

You are a pitiable deer jailed in the glass cabin.

Even though you can open several windows on your computer screen,

You would not find time to open the windows of your home.

Even though you have a pretty house with lot many pretty things,

You live in a boring four by four cage made of glass.

Whether it is day or night, you will have more work to do,

Your heart will beat bug bug , Lap top, bug bug, lap top,

And the only food that you ever will take would be Pizza and Cutlet,

And a good meals that you like , will be an unfulfilled dream.

Even the colorful dreams of yours would be full of projects and releases,

The week end outing for you would be only the mindless body moving out ,

Festivals , birthdays and anniversaries would be only in the calendar,

And friendships and mutual relations would be in your sachet.

For you ,all greetings are through SMS from your mobile,

And sweet little loving murmurs through e-mail and chats.

Oh young software lady, when will this chase of the endless mirage end,

And when will you live your life ,

Is it after your youth becomes a dream?

* Apologies for minor modifications

Pradheep, IV standard, B section

By

Surya Suresh

(Aval Vikatan, October 27, 2006)

Translated By

P.R.Ramachander

Oh mummy dear, unfortunately your Bus,

Always daily comes before my auto.

When I return from school,

To an empty home, mummy dear,

It appears to me as if there is nothing there.

Mummy, you who return home at nine P.M daily,

And daddy who will try to come by eleven,

Appear as some hazy shadows to me,

When I dream of you both at my school.

Nowadays I am bored stiff

With Tom and Jerry and POGO TV,

I am tired of the snacks in the Fridge

And your endearing voice in cell phone, Mummy

Why is it that you who are an ace,

In setting up the drawing room, Mummy,

Are not able to understand me

Who thirsts for your loving touch?

Like you who know how to postpone

Household work to Sundays,

I have also become an expert

In postponing my hankerings for your love.

The house maid who looks after me,

Becomes a temporary Mummy to me,

During those times I feel that

It would be better, if I am born to her.

To make people understand

That I am your son, Mummy

You always brag about

How well I do in my class,

What are you going to do,

To make me understand that ,

You are my Mummy, dear?

Grinding stone, Arundathi and she.

Grinding stone, Arundathi and she.
By
Madurai Baba raj
Mangayar Malar, August 2008,
Translation attempt,
By
P.R.Ramachander

With burden of a big family,
I am being ground like ,
The masala on a grinding stone.
Even my small and tine wishes ,
Are really far , far and far away,
Like the Arundathi star in the sky.
Perhaps we all enter the married life,
Only because of these facts,
After stepping on the grinding stone,
And seeing the far off star , Arundathi.

Hubby, lend me your ears!

Hubby, lend me your ears!
By
Muthu.Shanthi, Vizhuppuram,
Mangayar Malar, pp16, August 2008
Translation attempt by,
P.R.Ramachander


You would very often gulp,
The tasty food that I cook,
Prepared with lots of thought and care.
You would sit erect and silent,
Without even seeing me,
Who am going round and round,
Expecting the words, “That was super, darling.”

When I say I am sick,
You would without interest ask,
In a short, swift and single line,
“Can’t you go to the doctor?”

Do all men become deaf,
When they become husbands, darling?

I do not want any thing great from you,
But hubby, please lend me your ears,
What I need are just a few caring words,
A little smile to console me,
A little touch with friendliness,
A little gift on festive occasions,
A caress of my hair with care,
Few little words to ask me how I am,
And few words praising me,
But not only dresses and Jewels as you seem to think,
Please lend me your ears, hubby.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A mile stone in My translation efforts.

I retired from service as a scientist in a national institute in the year 2000. My research life spanning 36 years was very productive and fruitful. Once I retired I decided that I should do some thing which is entirely different from what I was doing till then . I started with very many activities. Of them, one was the translation of stotras in to English verse. I wanted to do this because I thought that we should give a chance to our youngsters not well versed in their mother toungue or Sanskrit, to understand the meaning of the majestic Hindu prayers. I started the work in the year 2002. By 2005 I had completed translation of 41 great books which included Sundara Kandam, Devi Mahatmyam, and Abhirami Andathi and so on. Sri Bhagyam Ramaswami who is running a web site called www.appuswami.com agreed to publish my translation of Abhirami Andathi in his web site. Since it attracted lot of attention, I wanted to have a web site of my own. My daughter in law Sangeetha taught me rudiments of web site building and also a template. Sri Achalam of Mumbai, whom I consulted, encouraged me to upload all my translations. Thus in 2005, I uploaded my translations (41 in number) in my web site www.geocities.com/ramya475 . This was an instant hit. But once the initial enthusiasm faded, the number of new visitors per day was about 10-20.It was at this time that I decided to set apart a considerable time per day for translations of stotras. As of today, I have translated 300 stotra rathnas. The break up is as follows:-

Addressed to
Sanskrit
Tamil
Malayalam
Hindi
Total
Vishnu
41
1
4
1
47
Rama
11



11
Krishna
22

3

25
Shiva
34
1

1
36
Goddess
60
3

6
69
Ganesa
9



9
Subrahmanya
6
3


9
Ayyappa
3

1

4
Planets
17



18
Rivers
6



6
Hanuman
8


1
9
Philosophy
17



17
Daily prayer
1



1
Other Gods
23

1

24
Vedic Hymns
9



9
Puranas
6



6
Total
274
8
9
9
300

In this collection there are stotras from Vedas like the Rudram and Purusha Suktham to the composition called Janaki Panchakam by my young friend Sri.Animesh. Translations of very many stotras like Shyamala Dandakam, Abhirami Andathi, Mariamman Thalattu, Kamakshi Suprabatham etc have been for the first time in English. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to translate the whole Bhagwad Gita in to English and add to this web site. Having just reached the mile stone of 300, I would like to thank all the people who directly and indirectly supported my venture. I firmly believe that all this is not my contribution but that of God, who has blessed me and using me as his instrument. I really do not know how to thank him for his grace except doing pranams to him.
I had depended for my translation efforts on legendary Anna’s Tamil translations published by Sri Ramakrishna Mutt, Chennai, Sri Bapu Rao’s great compendium in Malayalam called Stotra Rathnakaram, The great Hindi publication called Stotra rathnavali by Gita press Gorakhpur, Sri Animesh’s translations in his web site www.stutimandal.com, translations by Dr.Sadagopan and Sri Anbil Ramaswamy in the oppiliappan archives as well as the great collection of e-books appearing in the web site www.sundarasimham.org, consultations through e-mail with Dr.Saroja Ramanujam, Dr.S.N.Shastri, Dr Sundar Hattangadi , Dr.Sadagopan and several others. I want to thank each and every one of them .
I would like to thank my daughter in law Smt.Sangeetha for the initial web site construction as well as guiding me in the preliminary stages. I would like to Thank Sri Achalam, who was the first one to instill confidence in me for undertaking this great venture. My daughter Smt Meera Venkatesan has been a great source of inspiration in whatever I do and when I felt weak or wavering she used to tell me , that I can do it and I want to express my gratefulness to her. Being dissatisfied by my web site she has constructed a new one to host all my translations and essays viz http://stotraratna.awardspace.com , in which all the translations are stored in the easily downloadable PDF form.
I want to thank the members of Pattars Group, Iyer123 group and 4-brahmins group for the constant encouragement by publication of several of my translations and also for extending helping hand in terms of crisis.
. I want to thank Sri Lakshmanan of the www.celextel.org for encouraging me by publishing all my translations in his great and popular web site. I would like to thank www.chennaitimes.com for reproducing some of my translations in their popular web site. Several web sites including that of Ramana Ashram, Sathya Sai foundation, Karunamayee foundation, www.kaumaram.com, etc have used few of my translations and this has helped me a lot in gaining confidence in the work that I am doing .My thanks to all of them. One young gentleman called Sri Vinay Yadav has started a web site called www.stothrarathnas.com exclusively for my translation efforts. My thanks to this young man.
My friends of the Rajaji Nagar Bhaktha Sabha, Bangalore, brought 254 of my translations in a CD form and distributed it at a very nominal cost to all their members. I wish to thank, this great organization.
Sometimes a pat on the back, whether you deserve it or not becomes a great source of inspiration. Many people have just done that several times among them is Sri Vaidyanathan Pushpagiri an inveterate blogger in Sulekha, who has told several good things about what I have been doing . Though I know that, I do not deserve such praises, my thanks to him.
All this would not have been possible but for my wife who was my major source of Inspiration in what all I do. A simple word of thanks would not do for her at all.

THe misery of being old in India!

When I was young, the old people were respected citizens, possibly because they had money and the youngsters were dependent on that. Times have changed now.The serior citizens , both man and women, do have money now but it is much , much less than their son and daughter.
In my young age, all youngsters thaought that it is their responsibility to look after their parents. I know how much suffering and sacrifice is involved in such a decision.. But they did it. Young people are more busy and more self centered nowadays. They think, their responsibility is over , if , they can appoint a nurse to look after their ailing parents and give them money o live an old age home. When a woman or man becomes sick, the first , thought that comes to his mind is helplessness, insecurity, and fear. Sons and daughters do come , admit them in the hospital, give the best treament possible. But beyond a few days, they cannot stay. Their poor mother or father is left alone to look after their respective partners. I do not find any solution.Do you? Ramachander