For the last 600 years, the Sankethis, a community of Brahmins that migrated from Kerala, have been living together and leading an insular way of life. Daily life revolves around Sanskrit. Aham Gacchami (I am going) and other expressions in the ancient language can be heard on the street. Since the language is spoken by people wearing jeans and t-shirts or while talking over a cell phone or riding a motorbike, Mattur has become a quaint metaphor for ancient India in modern times.
Most residents of the village are happy that the Narendra Modi government plans to replace German with Sanskrit in CBSE schools. “Of course, children in India must necessarily study Sanskrit. The Vedas can help children lead fuller lives as they teach about how to lead a better family life, to understand the metaphysical aspect of life and so on,” says Madhukar, who resigned from his job at Cisco as a software engineer and returned to the village to set up a garments business.
Almost every house in this Brahmin village has an IT professional and many of them are working abroad. The Sankethis are proud of their culture and almost every NRI makes it a point to attend rituals and festivals back home.
The crime rate is extremely low, given that the village by itself is one extended family. “There is not a single property dispute pending before courts from this village. We have a culture of cohesion that has been around for generations and we have managed to keep it going,” says Yadu, who, like Madhukar, goes by one name and is a software professional.Not All Are Welcome
It was only last year that, for the first time, a boy from one of the families here married a girl from north India. Until then, the community thrived on marrying within and, at the most, into Brahmin families from nearby areas. The local attitude towards the marriage to the ‘outsider’ is predictable: Many of the local residents are yet to come to terms with the marriage and have stopped visiting their home.
“This family is rich and that is why they dared to break tradition. If any of us commoners were to break tradition, there would be hell to pay,” says a teacher at the school. There is also a sense of fear at the prospect of getting cut off from the rest of the society and many of the youngsters want the castebarriers lifted at the least.
In Mattur, there is a huge gap between the elders and the younger lot in terms of the ideal way of life to be pursued. The elders of this patriarchal society want a strict enforcement of caste norms and it is acknowledged that even today bringing a guest from another caste could be frowned upon.
“I have had to face many embarrassing moments after I brought friends from other castes home. My mother would not like it. I understand we need to change but the elders need time. They cannot change so fast,” says a young software professional from the village who did not wish to be identified. “The community is too rigid. We cannot afford to be cut off for so long,” says Prafulla MS, a Sanskrit teacher at the local school. She adds that the growing inequality between the rich and poor was also causing some consternation.
Holding on to Traditions
“A wedding in the community lasts seven days and there are a number of other rituals and festivals that have to be observed. The rich and landed families can afford all this. What about the poor? But then many of the ceremonies are tied to spiritual beliefs that centre on the afterlife. If there is no money to conduct the rituals, this leads to strife at home,” explains Prafulla. Despite continuing frictions, both the young as well as the old believe that learning the Vedas can help people lead a better way of life.
The Mattur school has one of the best records in the district and boasts of toppers year after year. The teachers at the school say that learning Vedas and the chanting have helped children with their memory and focus. The software engineers here say their training in chanting has helped them with their academics.
Yadu, who works with Hewlett Packard, says that the daily practice of chanting was the reason for the village boasting of hundreds of software engineers. “We naturally developed an aptitude for maths and logic as well,” he said.
But while the village is clearly in awe of Sanskrit and the Vedic way of life, it appears to have no answers for the disconnect between modernity and the ancient language. Despite all the glory that the people here associate with the ancient language, there does not appear to be much of a context for its application. The elders of the village, especially, are against breaking from the tradition of any sort and frown upon “Western values”.
28 May 2016
We all are well aware of the fact that India is a land of contradictions. Last time we shared with you some superstitions that still exist in India.
So, this time we decided to bring to some of the ironies that you may see only in India.
Indian society is unique in itself,
With diversity in every house, street and corner!
And with so many ironic situations all around,
How our society survives is a wonder!!
We have the best malls now,
With the best brands lined up wonderfully inside!
And copies of the same brand are available,
At throw away prices at the adjacent roadside!!
To see how the poor and wealthy co-exist,
Imagine when we drive in an air-conditioned car!
It is not at all strange to witness outside,
Beggars and slum dwellers barefoot on burning tar!!
Still if they beg for money or try to sell some toys,
Standing outside in weather as hot as a furnace!
Why do we sitting inside the AC cooled car,
Get red hot angry and treat them like they are from outer space!!
“Ganga jaisi pavitra” has been used many a times in Indian cinema,
As Ganga is worshipped as a symbol of purity!
Yet 2 million daily holy bathes and tons of industrial waste,
Make it one of the most polluted rivers in the country!!
Mumbai is the financial and entertainment capital of India,
Yet it continues to have pathetic infrastructure!
It is one of the most populous cities in the world,
But 60% of them living in slums doesn’t make for a good picture!!
We have our very own moral protectors of the society,
How they suddenly appear on Valentines Day is pure magic!
Isn’t it strange that even after 60 years of independence,
It is OK to Piss in public but not to Kiss in public!!
Via Indian Express
To be fair, Bhogle has been one of the most recognisable voices in Indian cricket from his days with All India Radio to rise with TV commentary. And he has the knack of using apt metaphors and witty one-liners to put his point across.
Harsha to Geoffrey Boycott on Sachin Tendulkar’s Lord’s record
During the lunch time show after Sachin’s last Test innings at Lord’s.
Geoffrey Boycott : “Sachin maybe a great batsmen but he has never been on the Lords honours boards!”
Harsha Bhogle : “So whose loss is it more, Sachin’s or the honours board’s?”
India vs England at the Champions Trophy at Edgebaston in 2013
Michael Atherton: It is England but India has more support in the stadium, and the pitch is completely assisting your spinners. Says a lot about our hospitality, right?
Harsha Bhogle: Well, we let you rule our nation for so many years. Says a lot about our hospitality, right?
Harsha Bhogle on Chris Gayle’s style of play during the IPL
Harsha Bhogle: “6 and 4 seems to have become the new binary code for this man (Chris Gayle).”
After Sachin Tendulkar played a trademark, glorious drive off Ishant Sharma in the IPL
Harsha Bhogle: “Open the textbook, turn to page 32!”
March 25, 2016, ICC World T20, India.
Srinivas Nyapathy Writes,
See how close the bat is to the ball…This is how close Bangladesh came to beat India that night. If the batsman had gotten even a faint edge, the ball would have raced to the boundry.
March 24, 2016, ICC World T20, India, Srinivas Nyapathy Writes,
“Dont give up before you win. Dont celebrate before u finish”
How Dhoni strategised the last wicket off the last ball and executed the runout is just amazing, shows he still has his coolness intact. Unbelievable victory from the jaws of defeat for india, sends B’desh crashing out of the Worldcup 2016.
Wonder how and when Mushfiqur Rahim’s tsunami passion for bdesh translates to victories for them, instead of being their undoing. In a scenario, needing to score 3 runs, in 1 ball, no excuse if they lose, when u hv someone as experienced ss Rahim at the crease, in present day T20s. But it was just 2 runs to win in 3 balls…! Still they lost ..!!
When you have a Sachin playing for your country, the Virats emerge. When you have a Rahim, may be, only impatient Mahmadullahs emerge. This Bangladesh team has to learn to win crunch games quickly to make world cricket more interesting. Definitely, we dont want another team with a chokers tag !
November 27, 2015
Aamir khan, as an Indian citizen has every right to air his opinion and feelings about the atmosphere around him. The public who reacted to it also had a right to comment on what he said and air their feelings. Having said that, being a celebrity, an Ambassador of Incredible India Campaign, the face of “Athithi Devo Bhava” Campaign, Aamir khan should have been more responsible and careful, saying on a public platform,that his wife is feeling insecure because of the intolerance in the country and that she wants to leave india for good. Aamir adding that this a disastrous statement from his wife did not save him from a huge uproar against the comment.
What seemed like, Aamir trying to shoot the comment from his wife’s shoulders did not go too well with many, in bollywood and political circles. If his wife, or someone in his family says something to him in private, where is the need for him to tell the whole world about it, Unless he himself endorses it and wants to tell the world , but, has no guts to do so. If he feels just like Kiran does, then , they should pack their bags and leave the country, no one is going to stop them. If he thinks she is only reacting to some stray incidents of intolerance, then he should talk to her and give her confidence, who best to do it than the Ambassador of Incredible India himself. No point going public.We all know Aamir is smart enough to know where he is doing what and why. Why Aamir created such a controversary dragging his family into it, seems quite obvious for the lack any other sane reason. We know Aamir as a far better “actor” than this.
November 20, 2015 Srinivas Nyapathy Writes
The ALLSTARS T20 Series that concluded recently in USA was interesting to watch . It was more like those veteran Tennis matches, we get to see ffrom time to time. It is very nostalgic and exciting to see our old Tennis stars weilding racquets all over again and smashing the ball. Though there’s hardly any seriousness in these exhibition tennis matches, its surely pure fun.
I first thought, ALLSTARS T20 series is also something similar and is being played for some Cause/ Charity. But was surprised to read Sachin Tendulkar saying that he’s picking up the bat again to globalise cricket through ALLSTARS CRICKET T20 Series. I thought, If it was “”Cricket for Veterans”” that he wants to promote, it might work but, regular Cricket, No.
To popularise present day Indian Cinema/ Bollywood, you do not tour the World with Raj Kapoor’s B & W Hits of the 60s. If you do, its not Indian Cinema/ Bollywood of today that you are trying to globalise or popularise. You will be giving the global crowds a wrong picture. That’s precisely what ALLSTARS T20 Series is doing by promoting “Old” Stars Cricket as present day International Cricket. This is where ALLSTARS T20 Series fails, if their intention is to globalise Cricket.
If really globalisation is their intention, Sachin and Warne should select teams from the top international stars playing cricket actively now, to showcase Cricket globally. A B De Villiers, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Miller, McCullum, Stuart Broad, Dale Steyn, Bolt, Chris Gayle and the likes. ..But they chose what is similar to the Raj Kapoor example, by taking old “hits”.
If this present concept of ALLSTARS T20 Series is used to promote Cricket globally, its a very sad way to do it. Cricket deserves something better than an “OLD”STARS T20 Circus to promote it globally.
Ideally players get into their national sides in their 20s. To play at the International level, you need to be agile, raring to go..but these ALLSTARS matches, comprised players who have all retired, most of them years ago, 29 players in all, averaging about 43 years of age. Cricket is a lot about strength and stamina. That has not come though at all in this concept of globalizing Cricket. For the global audience, to whom this series is supposed to introduce Cricket, the sport being played by aged people seems to convey that Cricket is for people in their 40s.
If i want to introduce my kids to football in 2015, I will travel miles to show them Messi playing football, not an aged Pele. With ALLSTARS T20 Series, you get Pele , not Messi.
Trying to popularise the game globally, taking the game to a completely new audience, is no laughing matter. But there was hardly any seriousness on some faces in this series. Do you expect the American/global crowds to take this promotonal series seriously, when they see a batsman singing Bollywood songs loudly over the wireless mic, while facing upto a fast bowler. Yes, we all know Viru used to hum songs while batting, but, to do it when he is presenting the sport globally, seemed shocking. While playing regular matches may be Viru used to hum to himself, to calm his nerves. Though we read about it later, We never ever really heard him singing. But now, in this Series, to see him and hear him singing loudly over the mic while facing a fast bowler, seemed very silly. It makes a mockery of someone’s intentions, to globalise the game.
Is the ALLSTARS T20 Series trying to convey globally that this is the seriousness with which cricket is being played World over presently ?
Is this the Circus they want to showcase as “International Cricket”, globally ?
Oh please, someone stop them.
Cricket is a gentleman’s game. Of strategy, skill, endurance, teamwork and glorious uncertainities. Its much more than just a duel between a 5.50 Oz ball and a piece of Willow. We should not forget the fervour with which the game is followed by fans worldwide. It’s a Religion in the Subcontinent, that has a GOD, who is worshipped worldwide.
Seriousness, intensity, youthful agility, that’s so evident in present day World Cricket should come through in the ALLSTARS T20 Series, to make Cricket popular globally and to showcase the game in the right way.
I feel, these Stars should play ALLSTARS T20 Series just to enjoy and entertain the fans. But If they still tour the World (with the same concept), in the name of globalising the game, they are insulting the way International cricket is played today.
Too much of cricket humour has come to be intertwined with sledging these days. While the latter has undoubtedly had its high moments (who can resist a chuckle at the image of the portly chicken farmer Eddo Brandes giving it back to Glenn McGrath?) there has to be a place for mirth outside the aggro and competitiveness of the cricket field. In this brief foray I recollect a few of the funnier moments from cricketing lore – and invite others to share their own. One of my favourites dates back to the 1974-75 West Indies tour of India. When the series got to Chennai, West Indies led 2-1 but were on the back foot both because of a spirited Indian fightback in the third Test (and, in their view, some indifferent umpiring by the local talent). Satyaji Rao, in particular, was seen by them as a serial offender. As the West Indies team bus wound its way down Mount Road to get to the Chepauk stadium one day, it came to a halt at a famous landmark – the statue of the late chief minister and Tamil politician CN Annadurai. It so happened that this statue showed Annadurai with one arm upraised and his index finger upright – resembling nothing more than an umpire sending a batsman on his way. Cue Alvin Kallicharran, who promptly jumped to his feet inside the bus and intoned, “Good morning, Umpire Rao.” One can just imagine the mirth that must have followed. (I must confess that I have been unable to track the story down on the internet, but have a vivid recollection of reading about the episode in the media coverage at the time.)