Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pondicherry: Day 2 Musings

Walking along the beach early this morning, I couldn't help think that it is the same sea that took away my friend Jalal Alamgir exactly one month ago. Waves crashed against the rocks but beyond that a sense of calm prevailed, as far as the eyes could see. How deceptive the sea can be!

We gave our afternoon to EFEO where Tamil and Sanskrit linguists talked about the need for preservation of the languages and an understanding of the traditions. They talked about how art, for example, is intertwined with religion, philosophy, myths, contexts, history, and require sensitivity in interpretation. Is there such a thing as a correct interpretation? Is interpretation always subjective? You tell us (in comments)!

By evening, the entire group of 27 (G-27 as a friend calls us) was tired and yet, the women donned their newly-acquired kurtas, churidars, and dupattas and showed up for the lecture on Auroville. I admit I felt brain-dead at that point. Nevertheless, three things stuck with me, all of which have to do with herbs. I will not even try to write the names of the herbs, and will use the pet names I have given them.

1) The Friday Night Herb: Gives you hallucination and promises you a relaxing time with no after-effects. You will be fresh in the morning.

2) Monday Morning Herb: Provides clarity and focus on any project you are working on

3) Labor Herb: Makes normal-delivery of babies very easy – baby will come out in four hours and the mother will be ready to go and work in the field then and there. [Note: such herbs are only available in Tamil Nadu.]


  1. #2 sounds better than coffee. So does #1. #3 – not-so-much.

  2. i need the name of the monday morning herb...

  3. Some interpretations have a greater sense of gravitas when delivered by "experts" or academics who have a deep and fact-based understanding of that which is being interpreted. That being said, the saying "out of the mouths of babes" comes to mind, as there have been personal journeys enriched by naive interpretations grounded merely by personal experience. The trick is to embrace each interpretation as valid depending upon the situation!