Sunday, June 27, 2010

OM Chira Sancharam, A visit to Ochira temple

If you wish to go for an adventurous ride then you should try Kerala’s private bus, especially the one in the villages. F1 races are not popular in the village but the bus drivers are no less than any Michael Schumacher. My mother was here in Kerala in lieu of my sister’s vacation. She asked me to accompany them for visiting a temple and I accepted it. We managed somehow to get into the bus that had no seats, free for us. I could not find anything written as “only for men” but there were wordings in red “only for women”, “disabled”, “old citizens”. I had to stand straight holding my hands on the iron rods above me. The bus started and I was dragged from left to right, then right to left making my compete body swing in all the directions possible. This is idle for a person who wishes for a daily workout. Finally, after a one-hour workout we reached the temple Ochira.

Ochira previously known as “om chira” (the land of parabhrama) is located on the borders of Alapuzha and Kollam district of Kerala. Ochira does not hold significance for a particular god but here the belief is “one god” that is within everyone and they can discover it through their service towards others. Most parts of the temple are open area with banyan trees and beneath them the pujas and prayers take place. I will not say much about Ochira rather you can read it through the website

We reached Ochira by 12 Pm and luckily, we got the chance to eat the popular Ochira kanji (plain rice porridge/ thick water on overcooked rice). The temple authorities serve kanji everyday and the rich and the poor consume it as a prasadam. Devotees offer the rice and the moong dal required for the kanji as a service towards god.

We purchased a plastic can and spoon to drink the kanji. There were visitors who forget to bring vessels and they shared a part of our meal. My mother say to share prasadam with everyone and you get the real benefit after that.
While worshiping we could see some ox in the temple, they are called Ochira kaala (ochira’s Ox). Ox was decorated with clothes and flowers and people used to worship them as a vahana(means of transport) of Lord shiva.

People also dropped coins on the cloth at the forehead of the ox, worship it while the man holding the ox would pick these coins, and put them into his bag. There are many beggars and handicaps seen on the path from the start to the end and the passengers drop coins in front of them. It appears as a charity but for some it is a means of income. People say that these handicaps and beggars now hold large cash sources.

There were shops selling toys on the roadsides to attract the children. I heard my Aunts child crying for a “ben-10” watch. Ben 10 is a cartoon character and children are mad about him and the watch he hold. They say the watch holds several Aliens and on pressing it, they would turn into the corresponding alien selected. Kids are always interesting whatever they say; they always have some logic behind it.

There were several photographers and videographers seen in the temple premises and later I came to know that they were for shooting the marriage. We moved to the last temple and I was astonished to see the marriage invitation on the way. It says “Renjini weds Abilash” and the kids and Aunt’s were in search for such an incident to shower their teasing on me. The only difference was that there was an “H” missing in this groom. I was satisfied that it was no marriage arranged for me without my knowledge. My mother hinted me that it is time for me and I understand it is also a time for “hide and seek”. Let us see who wins this game.

I enjoyed the time spent with my Mother and sister and that’s sufficient for me to live until December when I plan to Visit them.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Singham is back to the Jungle, the return of Abhi

Washed away in the floods, thrown away by the storm, crashed in several accidents, and ultimately the Singham (South Indian usage for lion) is back to the jungles. Almost an interval of one month that was what I had with blogging and my friends. I have a lot to write and the coming days will not be sufficient. I have made many mistakes during the previous month and it will take me long to correct them. My routine is completely changed; my behaviour is reported to be obscure, my friends avoid me, family criticises, colleagues react, and this happened in one month though the symptoms were noticed after January and shifting of the house.

I was completely depressed, my brain almost stopped working, I could not remember anything, and I was not ready to listen to friends and colleagues. This post is a confession for all the mistakes I made during this period. I hope my friends, colleagues, relatives and family will forgive me.

I started reacting severely for comments, long phone calls and then kept cursing myself for the wrong behaviour I had shown towards the receiver of my message. I planned to correct myself each day and then the things would again go the same way. I was not able to track the cause until recently, when I started to test with a cure. It took me long to understand that each human being has a heart that pains and reacts; the one that has equal value as I have for myself.

Confession 1:

I will start my confession with my friend Atul Sadhu who is in contact with me from fifth standard. He is a very great human being and has been a true friend in times, whenever I required his help. Things started changing from the day when he called me to attend his marriage.
I visited Nagpur in April to see my mother and father and to take them for a trip to Tirupati Balaji. The trip was small and I got limited time to spend with my family due to the busy work schedule at office. I was told that I could take a leave from December 10 until Jan first week, if I be regular until then.

I made plans to visit Nagpur on December 10 and then suddenly Atul called me one day and asked to attend his marriage with Aditi on November 29, 2009. I was in a confused state because if I take a leave on 29th I won’t be allowed to take one after 10th. I finally decided to attend Atul’s marriage as he was equally important to me as my family. I called me parents and informed that I had to change my decisions and I will be there for a day and will spend more time with them the next year.

Atul asked me to come on 28th, a day before his wedding as this would be the time when all his friends will be with him. He further added that the next day won’t be too important. I reached the station where my parents came to receive me. I gave my luggage to them and went to Atul’s wedding hall where friends were gathered to celebrate and enjoy.

(Photo credits:

I was meeting Atul and all my friends after a long gap of 2-3 years. I thought Atul will react the same way as he did during the college days but the reaction was quiet different where he smiled, asking me to take a seat and engaged in talks with other people. I was feeling bored and there was nothing to engage in. Mayank engaged me in thoughts avoiding most of his priorities so I feel comfortable. Mayank has been a good friend to me and Atul and was with us from Schools.

By 1 Am Atul was free and friends started a chat. Most of the conversations were on the happenings that took place during the years where I was absent and I almost had nothing to speak. My expectations and experiences were not matching each other and I felt as if I wasted my time avoiding my family for that day. Next day started with Atul’s marriage and I went home happily. I was with my parents for a day and I returned back to Cochin.

It was not possible for me to spend more time with Atul, so I tried calling him after duration of two weeks. He attended the call and said he would give me a call later. I tried after some days when I did not receive any of his calls. He was again busy and I started waiting for his calls. I started thinking that I had done something great compromising my family for him and he did not give me a consideration.

Days passed and finally one day he called. Until now my mind was full of negative thoughts, coupled with the tensions from office and the accident I had riding the bike. I decided not to take his call.
He tried me several days, with a gap of hours, sending SMS messages when they were not answered, trying from different mobiles but I was arrogant to react and avoided every call.

Now I started recognizing my faults after I found a solution to my depression. I tried calling him but now he does not pick my calls. I understand that he is rude on my behaviour towards him and that causes him to react.

I was always under the impression that I did something great attending his marriage and he did not receive me, the way I expected. I never thought that all the friends who attended the marriage were compromising the same in their life and that’s friendship. It also took me long to understand that Atul might have been tensed with the marriage functions and busy due to his after marriage life, and that he was no longer a bachelor.

I hope he will forgive me for my mistakes and we will be again the old friends we used to be.

Confession 2:

Confession 2 is towards my blogger friends.

I started blogging as a thought to record the daily happenings and then it moved to another track where I expected more and more friends to be connected and respond to my Articles. I saw that a reaction to ones articles only leads to some comments back on mine.

It was like a give and take show where you receive some comments and get readers if you comment on their blogs.

I started reading food blogs as I was interested in cooking and soon tried and tested many recipes in my kitchen. It contributed too many friends including Nithya who responds even if they notice my absence through blog articles.

I then started feeling it a wrong act; as I never feel people should visit ones blog only because he comments on theirs and not because they like his blog articles.

I avoided writing blogs due to this thought and started finding reasons as inadequate time. The truth is that I used to watch movies after I was back from office though I had time to write and topics to write.

I forgot that I started blogging not because I expected people to read but I should be able to read what happened with me and my children and grandchildren should read as what happened in Life at Abhi.
It took me time to realise that it is necessary to respond to the blogs of friends even if we are not very much interested in their articles. This response will give them an inspiration to write better and is always an expectation and excitement for them.

Recently I saw the images uploaded by Nithya from the blog named “fourth sense Samayal” on their Chennai blogger meet. She spoke to me two days ago and she was very much excited about the meeting. It was a small gathering for a mere observer, but it means a lot to the people who do it from heart.

(photo credits: Facebook, Nithya's Album)

I recognise that I should let the positive thoughts make their way into my mind. I plan to be back to the blogging and back as the old Abhi, and that is the reason I said Singham is back to the jungles.
I am sure the bloggers will forgive me for my wrong assumptions and I will be able to contribute my thoughts in the way I did always.

Confession 3:

My third confession is towards my roommates (Janardhanan, Noufal, Aneesh, Sharique, and Avinash) who are with me since January.

Before to joining this group, I was living with Jk and Biga in a house, where the neighbours were mostly Brahmin and Royal families. The atmosphere was cool and energetic with morning bells from temples, birds singing melodious songs and children playing in the verandas. We used to cook at home and used to chitchat and do mischief.

One pleasant day Janardhanan , Noufal and Avinash were shifted to our house. The house was capable of accommodating maximum of 5 people and the others started feeling uncomfortable. The final decision was to purchase a house big enough to accommodate 10-15 people and that has separate rooms for privacy with most modern amenities.

Thus we shifted to the new house that matched our expectations. This house had more rooms and tough walls. It took no longer for the walls to turn into partitions in our relations. I was always angry as the new comers were responsible to leave the old house which I never thought would be left. I had to invest some amount on the shifting of my internet and bills.

This resulted in taking things in a wrong manner and reacting to all the practices of the roommates. I was living earlier with a group that was always laughing and the new team never used to laugh. I was almost disappointed and this turned into depression and finally problems.

I had issues with Avinash for a long time due to his ignorance on the importance and priority on friends that rose with a hotel incident. It was finally sorted when Avinash left us and then I felt really sorry for not letting him know it earlier.

Most of the room members never used to say jokes or laugh and this was not the life I planned. I stopped cooking in house and staying longer. I would enter the house and lock myself with the four walls of my room. I did not know how to spend time so I started watching movies. Coupled with clients meetings and late night work resulted in mental issues and loss of memory.

I slept only 3-4 hours a day and that is not sufficient for a normal man. Things started changing in life and I become an opposite character than I was always. I forgot how to laugh and everything appeared to me as an irritation.
It took me long to understand that all the people in this world cannot be the same and all cannot exchange my expectations. It is me who should change them to become the ones I expect. I should be open enough to accept their behaviour and understand their nature. I should try to find happiness in the way they are and break the virtual barriers.

I hope my roommates will forgive me for my indecent behaviour.

Confession 4:

My fourth confession is towards my work that had suffered a lot due to my change in behaviour. Depression, coupled with lack of satisfaction, personal tensions and work pressures made me react unexpected to several team members and to compromise my work.

I had meetings with clients to discuss projects and most of the calls abroad were scheduled during US times. After discussing I would be given for the day and then the next morning won’t be the normal due to the tiredness from the night hours. I started spending time watching movies at homes to avoid unexpected sleeps and be available for the meeting.

This becomes a regular practice and I was addicted to short sleeping times and long wake up procedures even though the meetings were occasional. Lack of sleeping made me less concentrated on the work and slowly made me feel forgetting things that were very important.

I would like to confess and would like to correct my mistakes, compensating the efforts that I wasted in this time.

It took me time to understand that sleep is necessary for human beings and lack of the normal activities results in imbalance.

Confession 5:

My last confession is towards my family, my parents. I understand what I have lost with respect to them and I would try correcting my mistakes. I am sure they will forgive me.

My boss told me that mistakes can happen in life but people should learn from them and never repeat it again.

I will continue my efforts in “Life at Abhi” and will try to include my experiences, time to time so that younger generation takes it as a moral and never repeats the mistakes.
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