Saturday, May 09, 2015
Sunday, March 22, 2015
My last name is the name of the village. Since I hadn't been to the village in twenty years and it is too long to spell, I offered him to find a new last name that he can start using. Adyar was an option. But he didn't like it as the old style initials would read ASS. So, he decided to use my first name as his last name. This has been a standard in many south Indian families.
After the topic of my boss' last name, I offered that we can coin a new unique last name that is easy to spell and neutral. We rejected a few options.
- No place name, as we carry no special trait of people from a place. So, no Tiruchendurai, Adyar, Longawal, Bindaranwale, Semmangudi, Ariyakkudi etc.
- No animal names as we can't identify with any animals.
- No caste names. So, Iyer spelled in hundred different ways is out.
- No family names based on Gothram - too old style.
- Last name by profession is possible. The west has the Cooks, Bakers, Smiths and Archers. Closer home, the Zoroastrians had Contractor, Engineer, Kelawala, Daruwala, Tadiwala and Kagalwala.
But wait. What if he wants to be an investment banker? My son is only in the first year of college and committing to such a last name at this stage appears too rash a decision.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
An ABCD asked his father - why should I pray to a stone? I thought the father's answer wouldn't convince the kid. So, here is my help.
"When you were a toddler, you played with toys. The toys were miniature version of real-life objects, simplified to some extent. The toys helped to introduce you to handling real-life objects.
Grown up people have to deal with complex relationships - with parents, spouse, children, bosses, peers, vendors, customers etc. Idols help in preparing to deal with the relationships. They are forms of humans with some minor variations to address the sub-conscious - just like the brightly colored toys cheer the children. Toys are designed by a few engineers over a few months, idol designs are evolved by societies over generations.
Unlike real humans, idols do not react. That makes them an ideal sink to express your frustration and grievences. You can be totally honest with the idols, for they won't misuse the information about you. You can go back to your favorite idol to confide and be happy.
Temples give the comfort feeling with their structures and the deity. It is getting a bit difficult due to crowding and changes to the structure. But you can always observe that comforting feeling when there is no crowd, even in a small temple. Go to a temple for this comforting feeling, not for a "God" who marks attendence. It is ok to be a bit selfish and focus on this comfort. You can deal with people properly only when you are comfortable."