Saturday, January 31, 2009

Red earth - coloured Bus

The red earth coloured Bus

Written by
Thanjavur Kavi Rayar
Kalki, 25th January, 2009

Translated by

The village bus goes,
Is of the colour of the red earth.

Like the life of the villagers,
It is a broken and full of holes.

The driver is as aged as the bus,
And drives it with no urgency,
Towards the world which is fast and urgent,

The conductor does not shave,
For possibly that face is Ok for the villagers.

The women with blowing hair,
With no touch of oil,
And their legs tinged by the red earth,
Which makes it look like the red hibiscus,
And the men with unkempt hair,
Get in to the bus below a tree,
and get out of it below another tree.

In the market street of the village,
without bothering about the red dust,
Created by the starting of the Bus,
The tailor anxiously looks up,
With a hope that the customer,
Who has not paid his bill?
Would at least come in the next bus.

With a thatched roof,
With outside walls pasted by the poster,
Of the new print of an age old cinema,
Is the shop busying with make up of the hair.

With knife in the hand, the barber waves,
\Bye to the conductor of the bus.

The red earth coloured bus,
Goes in between the trees,
As if it is another being of the village.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Matricapped Iyer Grooms (Some reactions)

Given below are the reactions of some iyers on what I wrote, Ramachander

I read your analysis of "Matri capped Iyer Grooms" and found it most interesting.

"There are two more major problems standing in their way. One of them is the fact that the iyer girls are extremely intelligent and are able to get themselves not only highly qualified but also well employed and the other is the fact that most of the parents of the present generation insist on horoscope matching".

The first part on Iyer girls being intelligent does boost the morale of Iyer girls no end (me included, although the appellation 'girl' applied to me so many years ago!).
I am amazed at the number of parents who prefer to match horoscopes before proceeding further, among Iyers as well as Iyengars.

"6. Boys who are above the age of 35.
Most of the girls get married(about 80%) of them between the age of 25-28. All of them insist that the age difference between them and their husbands should not be more than 4. So any boy who due to some reasons is not able to get married before the age of 32, finds it extremely difficult to get married. If they cross the age of 35, the chances of them getting married is about 10%".

This is actually the case with a close family friend, they are looking for their oldest son without much success, though he is well qualified and in a good job. As you mention, age is the biggest hurdle. The girls are between 25 and 28 and want someone around 30 or 32..

One of the suggestions to solve this problem is to stop the custom of matching horoscopes, instead have a casual meeting between the boy and girl meet in a neutral venue alnog with the parents and take it from there...

I am sure there will be many suggestions from other ILites ...

with Pranams to you,

Ramachander Ji,
Every word you said is so true...These days I believe it takes atleast 3 yrs for a bride to find a bride groom and vice versa...And even after waiting there is no guarantee that all their demands are fulfilled!!!

The main reason for the skewed sex ration between boys and girls is the "female infanticide" which was prevalent 30-40 yrs ago....Every family wanted a male child and if they found out that they were pregnant with a female child then most of them got aborted...I am not saying that this happened in one particular caste or community...But it was prevalent in India and to some extent I think even today it exists in most of the rural parts of India.....This current generation is definitely paying the price of female infanticide which happened couple of years ago...It is very schocking but it is true...

I think the main step has to come from within the society...India has a major problem in discriminating white and blue collared jobs....There is no diginity of labor shown by the society...Most of the indians believe that people mostly in IT only can make good money so every parent wants a prospective bride-groom from IT background for their daughter...This is just a sad state...

Like "Padmasrinivas" mentioned, we need to stop the custom of matching horoscopes and let the boy and girl decide if they want to marry or not...I have seen so many couples who have been married because their horoscopes matched 100%...But neither of the couples are happy and some of them are even divorced...So I don't see any point in matching the horoscopes when clearly things are not working!!!!
Other thing is people need to respect every profession...There should be awareness among people that diginity of labor should be there and every profession demands respect...

The other sad part you mentioned is "One son -Old parents group"...
Once upon a time India used to be the land of respect and culture...Indians have always respected our elders and taken care of them...It's so sad that this current generation is not ready to take care of their parents....I am not too old...I am just 32 yrs but I have always supported by husband to take care of his parents and so as my husband agreed to take care of my parents, if need arises....It's so sad to hear that girls who are about to get married do not think this way....May be those girls are filled with such thoughts by her parents/relatives/friends???? I don't know!!!

Hopefully all the brides and grooms find their life partners ASAP...
Dear Sirs,
One of my very intelligent and capable friends wrote:-
I have a slightly different take...

Grooms who are not graduates - this is a tribe that better stay single and first sustain themselves rather than mess up another girl's life. In these times of dial-a-M.S and Ph.D, if someone can't academically raise themselves to the primal level of even a graduation, he cannot sustain himself until he gets self-built or distinguishes himself in an enterprise of his choice like that of a priest, caterer or even a small time vendor. This is not to say under-graduates can't make it big in life, but they are clearly at the bottom of the league and should focus more on their own sustenance than hurrying to procreate.

Priests, cooks and hoteliers - These are off-bounds in case if they remain naive and don't work on their external appeal. Which girl can tolerate a smelly guy (the cook and hotelier) coming home every night only to sleep and wake up? Over time, they should lay down processes and learn to delegate the grimey stuff. That's smart. Now don't tell me Ratan Tata (who owns Taj group of Hotels) didn't get a girl despite being always smart and well turned out

Priests can get girls certainly if they change their conduct (avoiding tasteless banter with yajaman / his relatives, asking for `vandi kooly' over and above Dakshina a la like a chennai rickshawalla who asks `saar, meterukku mele ethavathu kuduthuttu po' while offering their services.) I know quite a few smart young good looking priests that mind their own business that girls drool over.

So they clearly need to work on their external appeal. Because perception is reality.

Business people : There are different categories. Even an LIC agent calls himself a business man as does the owner of a billion $ software major. The question is one of credentials. Normally the those who adorn the top of the league tables don't bother circulating horoscopes amongst seedy brokers /astrologers - they find their match from amongst the scions of other wealthy industrialists while schmoozing at a CII / Chambers of Commerce cocktail do. To my knowledge, there is no unmarried kin in TVS family despite all of them being in business. It's a myth that Brahmins give preference to employed grooms - entrepreneurs have their place too except that it's slightly above the eye-level of the ordinary.

Handicapped - This depends on the categoy of challenge. If someone is short by a limb or an eye or an ear and still copes well with life and is capable of conjugal bliss, I am sure there are other similarly challenged (if not those that are healthy) that are available, provided the net is cast wide enough. Now that there are matrimonial websites that have separate categories for physically challenged, social networks, email groups and other social media like blogs, it's easier to network and connect. (S)he just needs to be smart enough to track them down than just doing 1001 pradakshinams around banyan trees or doing rounds of astrologers.

Only son of parents - I think you're generalizing here. Recognize that people are of different makes. If you don't want a girl if she feels it's a little too much to ask her to be a home nurse besides being a wife, go find another one that clearly doesn't mind. All of us have a right to be different, aren't we? Times are changin'

Boys who are 35 plus - Well, this is clearly one of preference. If girls desire young boys, you just can't blame the girls. I am sure there are quite a few unmarried girls around the same age except if the boy is still insistent on a younger bride. There certainly could be a fair share of widows, divorcees or even intellectuals or just plain `never-felt-like-marriage-till-now-but-now-want-to' types. The smarts among the lot will hunt them down.

NRI grooms - It's again a matter of choice. If the girl chooses to live among her folks back home and dislikes to live amidst a majority that looks down upon her because of her ethnicity, color of skin or eyes or just loves to be a first grade citizen in the country of her birth, well - give it to her. And then the history of ill-treatment, domestic violence and culture gap also tells. But then there are so many that dream of making it big as an NRI consort. Cast the net wide.

Astrological reasons - They need to choose. Whether they want a girl as a consort or wait like a wimp - for `the right one' that brings with her the mythical security and good fortune promised by horoscopes. Girls are better off with boys that like to dare and face life as it comes, especially in these turbulent times when even the big wall street banks (and some Hyderabad companies too) fail over the weekend.

And Finally to that sulking boy that asked his old man `father, can't you find a girl for me' - this guy is a clear loser. He is on a self-pity if not guilt trip. He has higher propensity to mess up post-marital life. Girls must be right in blacking him out. Don't even touch this guy with a barge pole unless he redeems himself, searches his soul and recognizes the needs to fix life on his own rather than leaning on his old man.


The person who has written this modern girl's frank reaction is a male, With best wishes, Ramachander

Hats of to Mr. Ramachander.

Eventhough the mail is Candid, No nonsense and touched the bottom of the problem today's grooms are facing. As i was a groom and gone through the same phase of difficulty todays grooms are facing, i wish to add few more.

Groom's Parents are not understanding the following:

1. Brides are in demand. Brides rarely advertise. Even if they do, they prefer the best of the best grooms from the lot they receive through their advt. After all, they spent for their daughter.

2. Grooms parents have not realised the society is changed. Even a prospectus of an university cost more than Rs.1000. But, the parents of grooms rarely spend for their son. Just browse through the advt of brides and apply. Even though they knew, it may not fetch a desired result, still they dont want to spend a rupee for their son. Only god knows what they will do with the money without a proper life for their son. (I too got annoyed when my father approached every small time mami's who give horoscopes free of cost. Most of the brides either married or married with two kids.). Grooms parents also do not understand that they need not have to spend more than few thousand for the marriage, but the brides, its goes in lakhs. So, i plead the parents of the groom to go all out and dont leave any stone unturned. After all, you are going to spend only for advt. but parents of the bride needs to spend for the entire marriage.

3. All put together, there are more than 1 lakh bride but only 2000 are advertising in all matrimony put together. The rest 98000 brides are just browsing through ads. Its more than sufficient for them. Most of the bride's parents do not know internet. Hence, we need to take our son's profile thorough print medium too. Here comes an another matrimony service which not only publish the profile in the website, but takes the grooms profile to each and every brides home by way of free distribution of charts. They ask the groom to share a part of the expenses and the balance being shared by them. It can help all grooms incl. middle and lower middle class grooms. They are doing what google is doing in the internet search, (searching every home where a bride reside) but not so fast as google but in a phased manner.


V Radha Krishnan

Conclusion: Then i realised, the main problem for most of the groom is neither their age nor their education or salary, but the laxity in the approach of parents and their unwillingness to spend even a single rupee for their son.


V Radha Krishnan.

nr ramachandran,
there is one more pl add to this list some girls and boys are too obese and are unable to find a partner because of this and they are at no fault as it is in some genes in the family, my daughter who works in oracle with a good salary is yet to be married because of her well built stature do tell me if you come across some one who would understand this as not a handicap but to take in stride otherwise a lovely person and very versatile personality is my daughter ...regards

Oh, that is a pity that it comes from a male. There are enough women who will dare to write this and would have held a bigger punch. I for one would have loved to hear this from a girl, nevertheless, I do agree completely with this.

From a girl, that part which says there are enough priests, whom girls drool over would have really opened up eyes of many who still live in the old-age.

I do think horoscopes are to be looked at for a completely different reason, however other things like personal grooming and creating that wining mindset are very important. At the end of the day the winning mindset is what cuts thru life's challenges. Every girl will want her man atleast to brave the uncertainties of life with a smile and put a smile on her lovely face too ;-)

Well articulated, Thanks.

Namaskaram to all the members of this august Yahoo group.

while the predicament of Brahmin youth who are not sought after by prospective brides,
there are whole class of deprived families who do not have a wherewithal to get a days meal to survive.They do not certainly have money to conduct the marriage of their sons and daughters.
It will be better to identify such families in everybody's neighbourhood and post it a common platform with the financial background clearly explained.Most of the prospective bridegroom s can get their better half from such a group of people who cannot advertise in matrimony sites and other marriage bureaus.

There is another class of women who are divorced or widowed due to forces of nature or Karmas.They become prey to manipulators and some of them are forced to become the second family(in Tamil0 to the manipulators.I know of a Tamil Brahmin girl (35 yrs)who has an aged mother and financially bad state.She is forced to live as as second wife to a non Brahmin Policeman because of economic compulsions and social security.

Why not we take an effort to identify such cases and examine if we can arrange for a marriage with the types of people who do not get brides under normal circumstances?

Let us join together and actively support the remarriage of widows and divorced brahmin women in a large scale.This requires that we have to stretch more to get data on such people and conduct periodic meet among the needy.Such an effort requires couselling too in alarge scale.

This can prove to be the partial solution to the mismatch in the male /female ratio which can jeopardise the Brahmin gene pool in our country.


While these appear intellectually very fair opinion, one must
as the wisdom has always prevailed, that our (specifically Hindu)
elders(not over the recent past, but several hundreds or even
thousands years back) have meticulously planned and laid ground rules
with nothing but ONLY best wishes and intentions for their future
generations with regard to marriages. I understand most reliably that
it is only over the recent past that the courts in India have
received large numbers of cases seeking divorce. One can also see
many such advertisements claiming innocent divorcees seeking life
partner. One can not attribute any other reason other than the fact
that we seem to get away from the ground rules laid by our elders.
Beyond all these, if one would have belief in our Sastra, these are
the attributes of Kali Yuga.

I wish we sincerely seek wisdom from our elders and the invaluable
knowledge available with our Sashtras and win over the effects of the

Sunday, January 11, 2009

matri capped Iyer Grooms

This time I want to write about the very large of young men being not able to find a suitable girl, who is willing to marry them. One of the reasons for this is the skewed sex ratio. Possibly there are only 90 girls for every 100 boys in the community. This would automatically mean that ten boys out of hundred would not be able to find a wife. This is further complicated by the fact that more Iyer girls enter in to love marriages than boys, which further depletes the number of available girls. There are two more major problems standing in their way. One of them is the fact that the iyer girls are extremely intelligent and are able to get themselves not only highly qualified but also well employed and the other is the fact that most of the parents of the present generation insist on horoscope matching. In some cases (possibly one or two percent), there is a distinct possibility of not getting horoscopes match with yours.
I am coining the word matri capped individuals as those who find the problem of getting a suitable partner extremely difficult. The following are some of the matri capped groups of boys:-

1. Grooms who are not graduates.
In the iyer community most of the boys and girls become graduates without much trouble. Some of them, for reason not known to me, find it very hard to pursue their studies. Most of them some how complete matriculation and a few of them complete the pre University course. There is a small percentage who stop their education here.
This group of people find it very hard to get suitable partners. Even if they locate a girl who has completed only matriculation or pre university, she reuses to marry any one who is not a graduate. Very many parents of this type of matricapped boys approach me and tell me, “ We do not have any demands. Even if the girl is from a poor family, it does not matter.” But I am not able to help them because these very poor families are very rare and their girls are at least graduates and try their best to raise the standard of their family. How can we help such boys?

2.Priests , cooks and hoteliers
Even one generation back , these were the chosen profession of many of the Brahmins. These professions are considered as untouchable grooms by the parents of the girls. Priests in cities earn nowadays lot of money but they spend their life alone. Some of them are nudged to take up bad habits like drinking , gambling etc due to this. Ofcourse the priests of villages especially the priests who do worship in temples are extremely poor. They struggle to get married. This is because not only should the girl agree to marry them but she should choose a very religious life. Very few girls agree to this.
Cooks and hoteliers is a fading profession of Brahmins. The few who are in this profession are sufficiently rich but the community in general looks down upon them. They find it extremely difficult o get brides.

3.Business people
Iyers essentially prefer white collared jobs.. They further prefer government servants. This is because , they are all from a poor background and are not willing to take any risk. This generation of Brahmins are trying their hand in business. Many of them succeed and some of them fail. This big class of people who earn lot of money and manage to live like princes , are another group of untouchable grooms. (I understand exactly the opposite is true among Nattu Kottai Chettiars , who do not prefer to marry employed people.). I have a friend who is running a very successful business. He has two sons , both of whom are M.B.A graduates. Both of them joined the father in his business. It is a real truth that both of them are not getting married.)

4.Handicapped people
It is but natural to expect a small percentage of the population to be handicapped. When people who are sufficiently rich and not handicapped are finding it difficult o get brides, it is not strange to note that these people do not get brides. A few days back , father of a doctor practicing in Delhi, who has a slight handicap contacted me. Ofcourse except pitying him, I could not help him.

5. One son-old parents group
Here is another strange group of matri capped boys. No girl is prepared to marry the son who does not have siblings and whose parents are old. They too are untouchable grooms. A generation ago all girls’ parents would have preferred him , because he would inherit all the wealth of his parents and the parents would be of great help in running the family. One girl , asked one of these boys recently, “Will the old people intend o live with you? If so , I am not interested.”

6. Boys who are above the age of 35.
Most of the girls get married(about 80%) of them between the age of 25-28. All of them insist that the age difference between them and their husbands should not be more than 4. So any boy who due to some reasons is not able to get married before the age of 32, finds it extremely difficult to get married. If they cross the age of 35, the chances of them getting married is about 10%

7.NRI grooms
About 10-15 years back NRI grooms were in heavy demand. But over years, girls have realized that life is not that rosy in those places. Most of them after marriage find it difficult to get jobs. Large number of them hate the lonely existence in their American homes, for most of the time. Apart from this is the fact that many cases of martial cruelty has been reported from grooms settled abroad.

7, Astrological matri cap
Boys with shuddha Jadagam according to astrology should marry only girls with shuddha Jadagam. The percentage of girls with shuddha jadagam is just half of the percentage of boys with shuddha jadagam . Apart from this is the fact that a girl with shuddha Jadagam can marry a boy with slight dosham. Just imagine a boy not able to get married because, he is not getting a bride , whose horoscope matches with him.
There are many more such matri capped grooms. As a society , it is high time that we all discuss and find some method for finding suitable girls to our sons. Recently an old man told me, “My son is asking me “Father , can you not find a girl for me?” and I am not in a position to answer him.
Many of us are not in a poison to answer our sons. Ramachander

LIfe at Vittal, South Kanara

First appointment was as a gazetted officer at the very young age of 23. Not only I was the youngest officer of Central Areca nut Research station at Vittal, South Kanara but I was the youngest staff member there when I joined. I was in real financial straits then. At that time I could not afford a good shirt or a new pair of slippers. Sri Mohan Rao who was the Director of the Institute took an instant liking to me and asked me to stay with him in his house(He was staying alone at that time). Slowly I got many friends there. The most important was Sri Ahmed Bavappa who was a plant Breeder and Sri E.Velappan who was a research assistant. I worked day and night which lead to many great research findings regarding Arecanut. I was so much recognized that no one in the institute did any research without consulting me.
Since we could not afford to maintain two families, my parents chose to live with me. This was the time when my younger brother completed his M.Sc and joined as a tutor is some college in Belgaum. This was also the time when my sister was finding life extremely difficult because of lack of money. There was also a large debt incurred by my family to celebrate my sister’s marriage .Life was tough but pleasant. Most of the time in these seven years my nephews were with me and I took a lot of interest in bringing them up. Today both of them are great and sterling people. Since I was a young gazetted officer many matrimonial offers came searching me in that God forsaken village. But I was steadfast in my determination to educate my brother before getting married. My younger brother completed his post graduation some time in 1968 and got employment as a tutor in a college in Belgaum. I could help him get a job in Central Coffee Research Station, Balehonnur. By this time, I had completely repaid the debt of the family taken to get my sister married. Also by this time my sister gave birth to two very intelligent sons. One or other of her son lived with me at Vittal most of the time.
I did lot of meaningful research during this time. I became as one of the well known biometricians working on tree crops. I had to leave Vittal for moving to a better job. In June 1969 I left vital and moved to Coimbatore.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thank you God

Thank you god for making me take birth in a poor family in Kerala. Had I not been born in such a family, I would not be what I am today.

Thank you God for being to my parents, who though not educated in the modern sense, were intelligent, inquisitive, caring and wise people. I inherited some of these qualities from them and me and my siblings, care for others, because of this.

Thank you God for giving me an opportunity for becoming a post graduate in mathematics and becoming an applied Statistician. Because of this, I was proud to be associated with many of the findings which have indirectly helped the farmers of India.

Thank you god for being born with a younger brother, who is a remarkable genius who cares not only for his fellow beings but to me as his elder brother. Thank you God for giving me a younger sister, who in spite of everything has chosen a life to do service to Cancer patients.

Thank you God for making me marry a girl, who has sacrificed all her wishes and wants to keep me happy. But for her I would not be what I am.

Thank you God for giving me two sterling children, who like me and my siblings care for all those who suffer. I am sure that when they get older and more secure, they will spend all their energy and wealth to wipe the tears of every one in the world. They too are extremely intelligent and inquisitive. Due to all this when the time comes for me to bid farewell to this world, I will do it without any care cheerfully.
Thank you God for giving me a very efficient and a very concerned son in law and a very caring and concerned Daughter in law.

Thank you God for the very naturally intelligent and inquisitive grand daughters and grand son. I am sure you would look after them well

Thank you God for my scientific contributions and the great recognition that I got from my peers. I know with my qualification and my subject of specialization, it is you who have done it.

Thank you God for my ability to write poems in English and my deep sense of humour. Without these, I would have considered me as incomplete.

Thank you God for making me choose astrology as a hobby after retirement. Due to this, I lead a very satisfied life as I am able to help thousands of people all over the world.

Thank you God for making me do research on Kerala Iyers and launching the web site. This has now grown in to a banyan tree providing knowledge and help to the needy of my community.

Thank you God for making me translate Stotras in to English. As on today, by your blessings and grace I have translated more than 350 stotras written in 4 languages. When unknown people from all over the globe phone to me, I always thank you for choosing me as an instrument to do your job.

Thank you God for my innate nature of a story teller to blossom in to a great web site for Indian children.
Thank you God for whatever I am. Because of your grace and blessing I would be 69 within a few days. You have made me healthy and wealthy (without any wants) and a great human being.