I reached Chennai on Saturday morning. Relaxed and spent good time with my cousins and others from the extended family. My cousin got married - yaaayyy!
It was fun and went well. It was a bit emotional for me because this was the first major event in our family after our grandfather (paternal) passed away in 2013. I’m sure he’d have been in tears if he were alive. Luckily, he witnessed the wedding of his grandson (a cousin of mine) before he passed away.
I have been spiritually inclined for many years and dabbled in philosophy for a while before I realized it was interfering with my thought process and messing with my brain. Looking back, I feel I need a certain level of intelligence to distinguish between what I choose to believe and what I don’t. Also, I’ve made my peace with the concept of god, life, death and truth and I do not wish to pursue anything until I’m much older, maybe retired. From a point where I was constantly battling ideas in my head to the point when I had dialectic conversations to enhance my knowledge while still not changing my beliefs, I’ve realized - philosophy can be an impediment to living. However, I still lookup to both my grandfathers’ piousness. I mention this plainly to state an experience.
This picture is a rare one. We are the grandsons of V. S. Sivaramakrishnan. We’ve never really gotten along very well with each other but it was very different this time. As we’ve grown older we seem to have unknowingly come closer to respect and understand each other. In that tiny little space, fate brought us together in one spot at the wedding only to be capitalized by the candid photographer who captured the moment. Interestingly, this is our first picture together. As some might state it, it’s a coincidence but I felt differently. My intuitions made me feel my grandfather’s presence. If Spock were to analyze this, the logical conclusion he’d come upon would be, my grandfather was on my mind and hence the thought. I choose to believe differently.
My mother believes in such acts of fate bound by intuition and you could say she was happy as I mentioned this to her. Here’s a picture that was taken during our conversation –
With the good comes the ugly and this time it was protests against the ban of Jalikattu (definitely politically motivated). It caused a lot of disruption to some of our relatives. An aunt of mine, missed her train. Another uncle and aunt had to walk for an hour as they barely made it in time to catch their train. My cousin and his wife didn’t get a cab to the airport for a while before they made it. My brother, my cousin, an uncle and his friend got stranded at the airport as they left early to avoid violence and their flight got delayed due to bad weather.
I, for one, do not understand the logical explanation behind a practice which harms animals and it’s relevance to culture. The pictures and videos showcase machismo and my opinion is - you don’t need to torture animals to show it. Silence, patience are also signs of wisdom and bravery (when employed at the right moments of course). Besides, violence leads to financial damage to the government and all reparations are budgeted out of that.
Anyway, you can reason with people who are ready to listen else you choose silence.
Edit – Ajay Kumar has well articulated the irrationality behind Jalikattu in this post.