Saturday, 15 March 2014

Raks and Dasavatharam

It began on that day when my husband and I wanted to check out the new pub that has opened in the neighbourhood. The idea was to reclaim the carefree moments of pre raks days when I didn't say 'no' to an impromptu trip to Pondicherry citing school. With raks at my mother's house, we went 'pubbing'. Music was great, drinks were good and the atmosphere was electrifying and we soaked in, barring a few phone calls to my mom to check whether she ate or not.

Reminiscing about the past, we spent an odd hour, until a teenage girl wearing micro mini came and sat at the next table. Following her was a teenage boy, who sat next to her 'coochicooing'. And alarm bells started ringing for both of us.

'We need to bring up raks in a devout manner.'


'Let us put her in a sloka class. Carnatic music class, Kolam class, Cooking class...'

Now I had to say something. 'First of all I don't think there is a 'kolam' class in the area. '

'Ok. What I mean to say is that, we need to make sure she learns our heritage and culture.'

The couple next to us had gone on to the dance floor and were vigorously dancing.

'We need to teach her about our culture.'

Hmmm. How to teach culture to raks? So I got her Amar Chitra Katha editions of Dasavataram, Hanuman, Stories of Rama etc.

The first in line was Dasavataram. Ever since Raks recited all the names of the avatars accurately and chronologically (passing the pop quiz test that every kid is put to in a tambrahm family) I had been meaning to get it for her.

And we started on Matsya avatar...

Brahma loses the vedas and it escapes from his mouth because he is fast asleep.

Raks: Why did Brahma yawn so big? That's why it escaped. Does he snore as loud as grandfather?

Me: Do you want to hear the story or not?

So we continued... she was enamoured by the fact that Maha Vishnu took the shape of a fish and grew as big as a whale within no time. Though she was put out when I mentioned that the secret of his growth was milk. (I had my own agenda along with imparting culture too.)

Next was Kurma Avatara.

Raks: This Indra is one waste guy.

I was inclined to agree. And the Devas and Asuras could not lift Mount Mandara because they both didn't have any strength, coz they too hid under the bed, sofa and the dining table when their mothers brought out the milk.

When Vishnu makes an appearance as Kurma avatara, Raks was busy tying my dupatta on the arm of the sofa and pulling at it while the other end was with her grandfather churning the nectar. Thankfully he didn't realize that he represented the asuras.

They churned and churned, until Raks's friend from downstairs came to whisk her away to play.

More updates on her cultural education later...