Tidbits of Damu Bhagiyam - 5
Damu and Bhagiyam had just completed their dinner. Bhagiyam began to prepare fresh Badam Kheer in a traditional manner. She had already soaked a couple of Badams (Almonds) and pealed them. Bhagiyam crushed the Badam and made the Kheer for her husband. She dropped a few raisins into the same and moved to the diwan in the living room. Damu was meanwhile reading , ‘The Life of Dadichi'.
Bhagiyam placed the tumbler of Badam Kheer in front of Damu and began to speak with him. “I see you reading different books every night. It is surprising to see you reading, for the rest of the world is busy watching tv or messaging.”
Damu places the tiny book on Dadichi on the teapoy and began to talk while partaking the Badam Kheer offered to him. “This book has been published by Bharati Pustaka Sampada. The publishers had created hundreds of such stories and these stories cover every mood and situation. Some books are on personalities connected with science and some are based on Indian Mythology. I find these books to be soulful and they give me good sleep.”
Damu had grown up listening to such stories from his great grandmother, Alamelu. His father had observed the interest of Damu and began getting him books connected with the lives of inspiring personalities and events. The young lad had got into the habit of reading these stories and began to feel inspired. This habit continued and Damu continued to read one story every night. This habit was akin to meditation and it energised him.
The loving wife, Bhagiyam had understood that this good habit was adding to the quality of their lives. She wanted to further understand the crux of this and had therefore queried her husband. “You see Bhagiyam, religion is full of strictures and education is made up of sets of formulae. While the mind is capable of understanding all this, the heart and the soul find this format to be dreary therefore our elders had cooked the quintessential wisdom and presented it to us in the form of stories. These stories are not only interesting but they offer guidance and practical solutions. You see, badams, raisins, native sugar and the milk are good for health. However, you have been kind enough to make the consumption of these items easier by preparing this Badam Kheer for me. Similarly, realized souls like Suka muni have taken out the essence of the Purushartha-s (Goals of life) and offered it to the needy souls in the form of Purana-s and ITIHASA-s (It thus happened).”
Suka muni is the only sage who is illustrated with the head of a parrot. The parrot is perhaps the only bird which is capable of transmitting information heard by it in an undiluted manner. Suka muni has conveyed a numerous stories in the sweetest manner possible and his audience got enriched during each of his storytelling sessions.
Naimishaaranyam in North India had been the place for such sessions. The forest and the Chakratheertham had offered perfect setting. “You see Bhagiyam, my Naimishaaranyam is our living room, these books are my Suka muni-s. The Badam Kheer is the metaphor for this representation and the perfect setting is completed with your loving company,” smiled Damu while tapping the bottom of the silver tumbler in order to release the raisins stuck at the bottom.
ITIHASA was created by inspiring personalities who had lived in the past. ITIHASA is heard and read by people who wish to be a part or create ITIHASA. The habit of Damu is beginning to create ITIHASA.