Saturday, December 6, 2008
is there such a thing?
Minority complex is something that is always tag along with my kind of people. I very well know what it is and what it feels like, being a Tamil from Jaffna. Suspicious looks; piercing questions; tearing comments. More than anything, something that makes me feel so so smaller than a mustard seed and incapable of even an act like moving the same mustard seed, is the over flowing, readily given, effortlessly shown sympathy. It is the ‘Aney Poor little darling’ thing. But there are blessings in disguise. Some of my experiences with the majority community assured that there are blessings in disguise for sure.
“Could you hear the sound of Anuradhapura blast?” A colleague of mine asked me over the phone while I was on field trip in Batticaloa. I tried my best not to sound annoyed at her over flowing knowledge on SriLankan geography and explained to her that AP was very far from Batticaloa and there was no possibility I could hear it. “Even we couldn’t hear it” she said and fired her next question with so much love and concern on her tone “are you going to visit your father this time?” I couldn’t get her, so asked her what she was talking about. “No, you are in a Tamil area no, North and East no, so I thought good chance for you to go and see your father.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You need little bit of history here before I could continue further.
My father lives in Jaffna and I haven’t visited him in ages. I was missing him terribly and was sharing it with this colleague of mine just a day before I left for Batticaloa and the Anuradhapura blast that killed an ex military general and his wife. You might want to have a look at a SriLankan map for the locations of Jaffna, Colombo, Anuradhapura and Batticaloa.
This was not the first time Jaffna got shifted from its location on the map. I got tired of explaining to my class mates who would ask me every time they saw me on a weekend class “Are you coming straight from Jaffna?” as if Jaffna is right next to Fort railway station. I am so happy that the course I was doing is finally over for this matter.Further info for confused readers:1. Fort railway station is the central train station in Colombo.2. Jaffna got cut off from rest of the SriLanka for more than 20 years. The last train that entered Jaffna or left from Jaffna was in 1989. Rail tracks had been removed and the materials were used in construction of LTTE buildings. Even the road that connected Jaffna peninsula to the main land had been closed for many years, but got reopened after the cease fire agreement in 2002. It took at least 12 hours to reach Jaffna in buses (had to change 5-6 busses); in addition there were security checks of govt. military and the LTTE, military security clearance, LTTE entry pass and so many other things to be taken care of. The A9 road was only opened at six in the morning and was closed at 6 in the evening, so the journey actually took two days. There was no way I could show up in class at 8 in the morning fresh as a flower ;) not humanly possible.
A couple of years ago in another incident, a fellow SriLankan citizen made me ask myself “Rakshi, are you sure you are SriLankan?”I was waiting out side the Indian Embassy on Galle road for my sister who went in to collect her Indian student visa. There were so many other sisters, brothers, friends and parents waiting for more students to emerge from the visa office gate. An aunt walked up to me and smiled. She looked to me as if she was bored and was looking for someone to talk. I pushed the book I was reading in my bag and smiled back at her. We exchanged hellos and exchanged names and courses and universities of my sister with her daughter’s. “Where are you from?” I said “Jaffna”. “That is why your sister got scholarship. It is very difficult for SriLankans to get Indian scholarships you know”. I thought she didn’t hear me saying I was from Jaffna and repeated it for her. “You are Tamil?” I nodded my head. “That is what I am saying darling. For SriLankans, they don’t easily give scholarships. They would anyways give preference to their people no”; she sounded very sure and confident about what she was talking. I really had to ask my self, “are you sure you are SriLankan? May be my parents were lying about Jaffna being part of SriLanka”. I have had long and irritating arguments with my Indian friends defending my SriLankan identity and trying to establish the fact that being Tamil and being SriLankan at the same time is not a mission impossible. But now, I didn’t feel like explaining anything to her. It was too annoying and irritating to cook up the effort for anything at all.
Strange enough, all the people I have spoken about in the above three incidents (amongst many other similar ones) are form the majority community i.e. Sinhalaese. I am forced to break SriLanka into majority and minority as for the demands of this post’s subject. The majority Sinhala speaking population of SriLanka has more access to information, any information that is available in this country. No one can deny it. Sinhala being the most spoken language is not the only reason, many sources of information themselves, be it public or private are Sinhala medium sources. Especially Colombo and the districts around it have the best access to information and the technologies that facilitate information sharing. But it looks to me that many of my Sinhala friends never care to learn about what is going around them and update themselves on the current events of SriLanka or the international arena per say. They are particularly very indifferent to events and information that involves the North and East and war and terrorism, as if these will only have the least impact on their lives. Yes right. It is in a way true. It is the Tamil speaking SriLankan population that is affected by every single bullet that is been fired from any riffle, be it LTTE’s or the govt. military’s.This sheer factor has kept the Tamils at their feet, always updated on security information. Tamils in North and East, though had been cut off from modern technology and the world news, still prove to have better knowledge about where each district sits on the SriLankan map. Being the minority and being a species of people who were always looked upon with suspicious eyes where ever they are, where ever they go, have made the Tamils to be awake all the time and to gather some general knowledge when ever and where ever possible. Constant vulnerability has demanded great amount of common sense and presence of mind from us as a minority group of people. We were, in Jaffna, burning lamps on a thin layer of coconut oil that floated on a bottle of water as there was very little or no supply of oil coming into the peninsula, while the rest of the nation burnt tires on streets protesting against a few rupees increase in oil prices. The fear of being out of place or being the odd person out has made us master all the places and situations. You see more bilinguals in the minority communities than the majority community.
To see it through a harsh metaphor, it is the deer being chased that should have more presence of mind and not the tiger that is chasing the deer. A blessing in disguise!!!!!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This is the poem I was talking about in one of my previous posts titled “SriLankan-ness”. Here I have got the whole poem for us to read and relish. Let us not just stop with reading and enjoying the eloquence and the efficiency of the poet, but answer the call of Lanka :)
I climbed o’er the crags of Lanka
And gazed on the golden sea
When out from her ancient places,
Her soul came forth to me;
Give me a brad,” said Lanka,
“A bard of the thing to be.”
“My cities are laid in ruins,
Their courts through the jungle the jungle spread,
My scepter is long departed
And the stranger Gods instead.
Yet, give me a bard,” said Lanka.
“I am living, I am not dead.”
“For high in my highland valleys,
And low in my lowland plains,
The pride of the past is pulsing
Hot in a people’s veins.
Give me a bard,” said Lanka,
“A bard for my joys and pains.”
I offer a voice O Lanka,
I, child of an alien Isle;
For my hear has heard thee and kindled,
Mine eyes have seen thee and smiled;
Take, foster mother, and use it,
‘Tis but for a little while.
For, surely of thine own children,
Born of thy womb, shall rise
The bard of the moonlit jungle,
The bard of the tropic skies,
Warm from his mother’s bosom,
Bright from his mother’s eyes.
He shall hymn thee of hoar Sri Pada,
The peak that is lone and tall.
He shall sing with her crags, Dunhinda,
The smoking waterfall.
Whatsoever is fair in Lanka,
He shall know it and love it all.
He shall sing thee of sheer Sigiriya,
Of Minneria’s wandering kine;
He shall sing of the lake and the lotus,
He shall sing of the rock-hewn shrine,
Whatsoever is old in Lanka,
Shall live in his Lordly line.
But most shall he sing of Lanka
In the bright new days that come.
When the races all have blended
And the voice of strife is dumb
When we leap to a single bugle,
March to a single drum.
March to a mighty purpose,
One man from shore to shore;
The stranger, becomes a brother,
The task of the tutor o’er,
When the ruined city rises
And the palace gleams once more.
Hark! Bard of the fateful future,
Hark! Bard of the bright to be;
A voice on the verdant mountains,
A voice by the golden sea.
Rise, child of Lanka, and answer
Thy mother hath called to thee.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Seeing this, I decided to fill my blog with few of my 10s; started squeezing my brain on brainstorming for 10s; realized it was not very easy; made it 8; made it 6; made it five. Five worked, five was not a big number, not small either.
So, here is ‘MY 5s’ for you.
These are not in any particular order, as that was another strenuous task I found out.
5 things that make me sing
2. hearing my favorite songs
5. being home
5 things that make me feel happy (other than family and friends :)
2. spotting an elephant on a journey
5 things that make me go mad
2. phone calls early in the morning (early for me starts at 2 am and extends till 9 am)
3. being told to eat or sleep (who ever, when ever, where ever)
4. littering on streets
5. miss pronouncing my name
5 things that boost my spirit
2. black tea
3. surprise call or message from a friend
4. a lovely movie
5. being alone
5 things that make me nervous
5 words I use very often
5. yes/no :)
5 religious/spiritual places I want to visit
4. Pinnawala elephants' orphange (it is my religion!!!!)
5. Amritsar (once more)
5 things I want to write about
1. my biography
2. ‘teaching’ as I see it
3. the men I met online –‘online’ men ;)
4. my cousin Chooty
5 things I want to learn
2. playing the guitar
3. Japanese/Arab calligraphy
4. making the softest chapatti
5. to sit in one place for a considerable time (starts from 10 min)
Rakshi’s foot note 1:
Author of “A cause untrue”
I started working in this sector as a translator. I had to translate from Tamil to English and vise versa. I was tested and trialed with different groups of people for my ‘psychosocial sensitivity’, and during the process of being tested and trialed, I became psychosocially sensitive enough. I’m still in the same sector, still am unable to explain what is psychosocial in one single page, let alone one single sentence. For my dear friends who have been wondering what I’m trying to do here……… I’m just thinking aloud, thinking aloud for a definition for psychosocial- a definition that is defining enough, and a definition that makes sense, that makes sense to me.
Why is it so important to define psychosocial? Why is it bothering me so much? Not because I don’t know what is psychosocial (comm’n, I told you I am in this field for the last 5 years didn’t I? ;), but because I don’t want to drive any of my friends crazy by giving a long boring lecture when being asked “What EXACTLY do you do for your life?” I have a trillion chat friends. It is difficult to explain things over Yahoo! Or Gtalk chat. It is extremely difficult to explain ‘psychosocial’ on chat.
Following are some very interesting online conversations that happened between me and my friends.
Friend: So tell me about ur work
Rakshi: very interesting. I get to meet lot of people. And I travel a lot for my work.
Friend: where do u work?
Rakshi: I work for an INGO
Rakshi: International Non Govt. Organization
Friend: what is your job profile? (this friend of mine had no clue why I didn’t give a straight answer to his question though I was pretty sure this is what he wanted to know)
Rakshi: Psychosocial capacity building trainer
Friend: do you work for NASA?
Friend: hey r u thr?
Friend: wt’s up?
Rakshi: sorry I was away from the comp
Rakshi: psychosocial is something like…..psycho and social part of people put together.
Friend: hey, I need to leave. c ya tk sd
Rakshi: ok. Take care and have fun
Friend: hey….. u r a psychosocial worker. Very pleased to meet you. I have heard a lot about this sector, but I think I should hear from you as well. Tell me about your work
Rakshi: hi, nice to meet you too. PS is just about a person’s wellbeing. Our role is to make sure, development projects ensure PS wellbeing of persons involved.
Friend: u don’t work with mentally ill people?
Rakshi: I think u r confusing a psychiatrist with a psychosocial worker
Friend: oh I never realized these two were different
Friend: hey Doc, can you treat me?
Friend: u r a doc nedha?
Rakshi: no I’m not. I think u r confusing psychiatrist with psychosocial worker
Friend: what is the difference?
Rakshi: I don’t treat people.
Friend: what do ya do then? Counseling?
Rakshi: no. we just ensure that development projects are sensitive to both the psychological and social needs of people. People tend to look at only one side of development, either psychological or social
Friend: complicated. But u r doing great service. Helping the poor and all
Rakshi: helping the poor?
Friend: don’t u work for an NGO?
Friend: hey miss psycho. Tell me about psychosocial
Rakshi: it is just common sense (I am being called psycho ggggggggrrrrrrr I hate this field)
Friend: hey like that. So u teach people common sense?
Rakshi: not exactly, I don’t teach them. We just facilitate their thinking. Sometimes u need an external person to question about something for u to start thinking in that direction no
Friend: so u make a living by making people think. Why don’t u have some prog for your govt yaarr? They have no sense at all
Rakshi: I’m just waiting for their call (gggggrrrrrrrr….. why am I still talking to him????)
Friend: hey seriously yarr, u can’t do much there. They wont appreciate it. Come here. We need your service. U’ll be safe and happy here.
Rakshi: u mean to say there’s more need for common sense in India than in SL? I can kind of guess it
But this final conversation was something different, an eye opener!!!!!!! Psychosocial is just common sense!!!!!! Wow, wasn’t this the hilarious phrase I was hunting for with much difficulty and loss of sweat and pages and pages of online chat????!!!!!
Rakshi's foot note 1: google or wikipedia ;)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
“Arthur Clarke had to find his way here and discover SriLanka. I was born and bred a SriLankan but it took me long years for me to realize what it meant. Truth is really strange than fiction. It required a foreigner and his poem to draw out the SriLankan genie in me (he is actually talking about the poem by W.S.Senior “The call of lanka”…………..) My mother and Father made me a human being; mother Lanka made me a SriLankan being.
“.....my cities are laid in ruins
What touched my heart so much was Rev. Fr.’s following words.
In news papers we read, ‘Muslim youth murdered’, ‘two Tamil sailors missing’, ‘a Sinhala youth kidnapped’. Why is it we never identify ourselves as SriLankans, not at birth, not even at death?
No doubt we have 'ethnic' conflict and identity crisis in SriLanka these days.
What happened to all the SriLankan traditions and customs my grand mother used to boast about?
Areaconuts and beatle leaves, white flowers at the entrance, sweet meats that were exchanged over the fence, new year visits, worshiping parents and elders in the morning, greeting a stranger with a smile….. were all these Ceylonese ways and not SriLankan? It looks to me as we have changed a lot with the name :)
These days, when we meet a friend, we say ‘hello’ and shake hands. We greet people saying good morning/afternoon/evening (we used to have a wonderful tradition of holding our hands against the chest in a worshipping position and greeting friends with a musical ayubowan, vanakkam, or slamalaikkum). Many of my international friends tell me that SriLankans are very flexible, they are not culturally rigid and they adapt to any cultural set up. But I never could take these as compliments. These comments always leave me more confused and alarmed; ‘Are we too flexible to forget the SriLankan-ness?’; ‘Is it because we don’t know our own culture and traditions that we easily adapt well to a foreign set up?’
And I never found answers.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
pollonnaruwa awanhala (rest house) a ceylong hotels cooperation branch, one of my favorite places in SriLanka. the building u seen in the picture was built to welcome queen elizabeth when she visited SriLanka. i got to stay a night all alone in this beautiful hotel once. (ofcourse there were two care takers :)
it was a dream come true!!!! i never knew much about the religion or the people. just the idea of a golden temple in the middle of a tank made me dream about it, and my spirits were higher than the highest point they could ever reach when we finally planned for the trip.
the moment i saw the temple from top of the road, i felt peaceful and relaxed. it was so magical. our Indian friend bought me an iron bangle (i chose the heaviest for no particular reason) from a shop near the temple and i'm wearing it from that very day. it helps me to get into the 'light' mood when ever i wish. it feels like i'm carrying a bit of Golden temple with me always :)
i could also visit a few Hindu temples in Amritsar which were very different from the temples in SriLanka. all in all, Amritsar brough me back my spirituality which was on hybernation for quite some time.
it was a time of mixed emotions. i neither felt Indian nor Pakistani, but still....there was something strange going in my mind through out the evening. i was excited to be there fianlly to witness the event, confused as i couldn't identify myself with the people around me, and there was something else stiring within me, something reminded me of home. i was seeing my country with gates inbetween!!!!! at that moment, i couldn't deal with this fear, i couldn't stop it from tormenting me. i was dreaming of going to Waga for so many days, but felt a great relief as we fianlly left the place and got back to the hotel.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I have known, seen and heard of the family and social pressure on single women. ‘Single’ in my society refers to anyone who has not signed on the dotted line, said ‘I do’ in church or got the triple knots/thaali around the neck. I haven’t heard much about the pressure on boys, and I don’t know of many men who are single at their late twenties or thirties. But I’m sure there are single men who face the same “So when are you going to get married?” questions.
I have heard people talking to my mom “you have pretty daughters…..THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THEM, but God has not opened his eyes on them”. At hearing this, my mother who was all these days proud of her pretty, independent, well accomplished girls, would have tears in her eyes.
I’ve noticed something interesting, it is only the ladies who are so very bothered about who and who is ‘single’, not a single gentleman I know, walks to my father or mother to enlighten them on certain child rearing tips “it is high time you get your daughters married. Three daughters in a house, you should get rid of one at least”. What makes women so inclined to this ‘mission’ of getting everyone on earth ‘happily’ married? Nature or nurture?
An old aunty visited us on New Year’s Day. As she entered the door she said “on the next new year I should see you girls in ‘doubles’, I’m sure there are boys waiting for each of you somewhere in SriLanka. May be Sinhalese, may be Tamil; good boys for sure”. I melted inside at seeing her being so concerned about us, the girls. And I also liked the way she mentioned the possibility for an interethnic marriage which my mother rarely liked to talk about. But, aunty is yet to finish her dialog. “Good marriages come at right times for good girls, unless of course you didn’t break other people’s marriages in your previous birth”. At hearing this, my melting mind caught fire and started burning flames of rage. I looked at akka, she was seated next to me, looking so passive, with a smile across her face (!!!!!) as if she didn’t hear what the old lady was saying. I turned to look at amma for any traces of empathy on her face. I was disappointed again. Aunt left happily since her new year mission was over. As she left, I decided to do something about ‘this’ before the next new year comes.
Marriage is something very special, even something so divine I would say. Marriage is a personal choice. It is not a choice someone can opt for another person. Marriage is an agreement between to souls. It is not a matter for social chat in a temple festival.
If people can think of million reasons why one should get married, why can’t that person have another million reasons why he or she should not get married? And, being single doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t WANT get married at all, does it? May be they just don’t NEED to get married right now. Why on earth it is assumed every single person on this earth is unhappy? If one can be so unhappy about being single, that person would have got married long ago. Will someone choose to be unhappy?
I’m just thinking aloud. Please do help me with my thoughts. Help me to put them in order. I’m on a mission to create a stage drama script on this subject. I may even be able to invite some of my friends together and stage this drama (if at all I succeed in making a good script), which can be a birthday gift for my sister’s 35th birthday. Who knows, we may even play it on her wedding day!!!!!! I humbly request all of you, from different parts of the world, from different cultures, religions etc to help me understand how things work in your society. Share your ideas on ‘single-hood’. Oh common, you don’t need to be ‘single’ to talk about it, do you??? (“,)
leave your comments, or mail me your comments (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Recollections of the article – facts are interpreted in my style with slight coats of metaphors and similes here and there to help you visualize things as I see them.
There are two types of personalities in the world; the perfectionists and the sloppy.
Sloppy people still hold onto the greeting cards they received on their 1st birthday and collect every faded, softened, yellow, or grey page of letters that look older than the person that sent it, while perfectionists only believe in reading letters and keeping their desk clean. They don’t have to dig into a pile of wonderfully smelling pages to find an old college friend’s address for two reasons.
1. They don’t have such a pile of papers.
2. They have the address clearly written down on their address pad along with the telephone number.
You know that the house has a sloppy mother the moment you step into her house. You see drawings on chairs, pastels on the floor and pens in pastel boxes. Perfectionists send their children to boarding school and have clean carpets at home.
A perfectionist’s desk is organized, very well organized in fact. Organized in such a way you see a well designed city market with big parking slots. A sloppy’s desk is an unplanned city market with sky scrapers cramming into each other. This is the only place you can see Pisa, Eiffel, London Bridge, Sydney stadium, the Pyramids and the Sigiriya rock all in one place. There aren’t any parking slots as such, but you may find spaces to push your car through by the side of the pavements or under a tree.
Ask the later for a copy of something your company published 10 years ago. It is there, as there’s nothing a sloppy person doesn’t have. He or she just needs some time to figure out where exactly it is right now. Ask the same from a perfectionist, he or she knows for sure it went through the shredder on Dec 31st ten years ago.
Perfectionists discard things after sometime, the things they think won’t be needed anymore. Sloppy people collect everything from nuts and bolts to biscuit rappers and gift rappers. It takes the same time for the perfectionist, to go to a hardware shop to by nuts and bolts to fix a door that has come off, as it takes for a sloppy person to dive in to the precious collection of knick knacks.
There are different arguments on what exactly is ‘perfectionism’. When I Googled for definitions of perfectionism and sloppiness, I found a few for the earlier and none for the later. (May be that is why I love being sloppy. It is much easier as you are not complicated, just simply SLOPPY).
These are few words and phrases I saw on the Google search results:
There are three types of perfectionists and none of them are conducive to healthy………..
Virgo: overcritical and harsh perfectionists and conservative. Dislikes: sloppy workers, being uncertain, anything sordid.
Unhappy? You may be just a perfectionist
It is interesting to me that out of the ten personality types; perfectionists have the highest rate of depression. Sloppy people are sometimes happier………..
I also found few pages advocating on striking a balance and being neither this nor that. If I collected all the tips available on internet for achieving this neither this nor that balance state, it would count up to more than a million I guess. I didn’t do it, because, I would rather be a perfectionist than putting myself on a strenuous task of putting some million tips together where not even a single one managed to impress me.
As I see it, there are only two types of people; the perfectionists and the sloppy. Perfectionists are perfectionists and all others are sloppy. I am sloppy and I am proud of it.
I admire and respect perfectionists as I see the hard work they are putting up, to keep the discipline going. I admire their notebooks and address pads. I just love their houses and their bookshelves. I admire and adore the whole concept of perfectionism. My admiration for perfectionism is like the admiration of a snail in Srilanka for the Mount Everest. It will never finish climbing the mount; wont even get coser. I don’t believe in ‘try, try one day you can fly’ theory here.
Coming back to the titling business….. may be I should just title it as “I’m sloppy and I’m proud of it” !!!!!!!!!!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Slumber in the eyes,
Music in the soul,
Rain in the night,
A curve of smile
Lights up the sky
Puddle by the rain
Melancholy of the rain,
My indecisive heart
Last drop of water
Still clinks to the leaf
Dream as it rains
Sound of rain,
Smell of dust,
Of a free little heart
Dancing under the open sky
First drops off the black clouds
Washes the gloom in my mind
As they splash on my lifted face
I see a million rainbows
Saturday, July 5, 2008
What could have kept me away from writing anything and everything that went passed, dropped by, stayed for a while or even has got permanent residence in my little mind? Or should it be called the brain? Anyways, it has always been mind over brain for me. Getting back to the issues of writing and not writing, I didn’t have a computer, not even a typewriter then, on the day I wanted to write for the first time. But, if I say I didn’t write because I dreaded the hard labor a page of loosely knit letters required, it won’t fit well. Because, I have written pages and pages of chemistry notes, without understanding a single word that the teacher narrated in a sing song fashion. If you never got a chance of studying chemistry form a lady teacher in the Jaffna district of SriLanka, u may want to know more about this ‘sing song narration’ of chemistry notes. It is more or less monotones, with every other two syllables raised by ½ a note, without full stops, commas, question marks or exclamation marks. I know u can never have exclamation marks in chemistry notes, unless your teacher wants to dictate about an experiment that terribly went wrong and resulted in a big BHOOOM!!! Getting back again to writing and not writing, to be frank, it was me, simply ‘Rakshi’ that was stopping me from writing. I never tried hard enough to find the ‘mood’ and the ‘mind’ in me to sit and work on something that may win me a Booker Prize or a Gratiaen Prize. The Gratiaen Prize is awarded annually to the best work of literary writing in English by a resident Sri Lankan. See, this is what I don’t like about myself. I get into explaining things like chemistry and Gratiaen Prize and loose track of what I was actually meaning to write. From here on, I’m introducing you to a very helpful (it is meant to be helpful, may not serve its purpose at times), trouble free, simple (!!!) feature of my writing –“Rakshi’s foot note”. These foot notes will be something different from the usual foot notes. They will speak more of what I want to tell you as opposed to what you may want to know. After all, it is MY piece of work. Keep looking for RFNs (RFN1) at the bottom of every page. Hoping this fascinating intervention of mine is going to make both of our lives much easier and uncomplicated.
Finally, on a hot and happening (RFN2) Saturday afternoon, I found the right mood and the right mind in me to sit and type this piece of writing, literary work, stuff, whatever u may want to call it. I am going to start off by giving you a quick insight of my beloved family, that is, the people I can call ‘mine’ anytime at any place; My Appa, Amma, Akka and Janani (RFN3). I am unable to provide you with a description of myself, though I also belong to this family of Thambaiah’s, for two reasons. I don’t know what to write and even if I knew, I’m not in the ‘mood’ to write about myself.
Rakshi’s foot notes:
1. abbreviation for Rakshi’s foot note
2. There’s so much happening around me at home. Each character is busy doing her/his own thing
3. Appa-father, Amma- mother, Akka-elder sister, Janani- a name
Here we go. I’m giving only a very short description of each Thambaiah as I need to keep something in reserve to write in future. Incase I run out of topics to write about, I can always count on my family which I can call ‘mine’ always.
Appa and amma
I need to write about them both under the same title as they are inseparable. And it is very easy to put them both together as I find more similarities in them and very few differences. These few differences stand them both on the extreme ends of a single stick. When you tie a twine right in the middle of the stick and lift it up, the stick stays horizontal to any flat surface bellow. These differences are like black and white, dark and light, sun and moon, day and night, amma and appa. What I’m trying to say is, without these differences, the world won’t be as interesting as it is now to live in.
Appa and amma, both were teachers, both were English teachers (RFN1), and both were government teachers. When I reflect back into my childhood, I never remember a time I missed my parents. They were always present, physically, morally and literally. I do remember days when both or one of them got ‘out of mood’. This is when both of them went wild and shouted at each other, gave us their children a terrible time. They always got back into their moods though. I used to spend hours and days trying to figure out the whole pattern of these ‘bad days’ and never got answers. Of course, now, many thanks to all the ‘societal exposure’ and a million pages I have read in the relevant subject, I do understand the total ‘thing’ about short lived hostile periods between husband and wife/Appa and Amma.
She is the very first produce of the alliance of my parents. She is short tempered yet lovable, strangely complicated yet very simple. If there’s a person I missed the most among my family, which should be Akka. She grew up faster than all of us, the fact that she is 8 years older can’t be the only reason, and she just grew up faster for some reason. She grew up to a certain extend that permitted her leave home and live alone, which she did when I was only thirteen. I miss her when she is not physically around. I even miss her at times when she is physically present. Akka is someone who inspired me in many ways and at many times. I won’t call her my role model. We are very different. Still, she is a big influence in my life, in a good angle.
She is the youngest and the cutest. Janani and I are like the flowers off the same tree. We always have a thread running between us that keeps us close to each other even if we are in two different worlds. Janani used to be like ice-cream. She was very sweet and she melted when she was taken away from ‘home-temperature’. She started growing up very late, but very rapid. No matter how fast she grows up, her roots are always around the family and her leaves always fall into the family fence.
Rakshi’s foot note:
1. Teachers of English