I picked up the latest `National Geographic’ Magazine, and was utterly shocked and deeply sad to read that ..last year.. 25,000 elephants were killed by poachers for the sake of their Tusks / ivory.
For example, in Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjidah National Park, poachers armed with grenades and AK-47 riffles had killed over 300 elephants this year – the largest mass elephant slaughter in decades. This is also reported by the WWF (World Wilde Fund).
In Thailand, one of the Monks who keeps elephants at his temple, was accused of starving one elephant to use its ivory for amulets (a charge he rejected).
What can we do? For my part, I did one of those `Elephant adopting’ with WWF ..last year, and get regular updates on what `my’ elephant is doing… I’ve written a children’s story book, that features the plight of the elephant (“Elephantom Origins”)..and now have resolved that ALL sales of that book, when it is published will be put towards the cause of keeping elephants as safe as possible. Not sure what else I can do? As a Hindu, I worship the god Ganesh, who is an elephant headed god.. So I have a special vested spiritual interest in the welfare of Elephants..What about you readers? Any serious thoughts?
Navarathri (meaning `nine nights’ ) is an annual Hindu Festival that takes place in late Autumn. I wrote the following feature article in Issue#2 of Gaian Times eco-magazine last year (Sept’11). Here’s the full article again.. reproduced to mark this special Hindu festival.. -Mani
Navarathri celebrates and worships three of the many aspects of the Hindu goddess `Shakthi’, which means quite simply `Power’. She is the power and energy that permeates and moves the planets, stars, moon and all the worlds within and without. Navarathri means, `nine’ (nava) `nights’ (rathri) in Tamil language of the Indian continent. The dates are determined according to the lunar calendar. It begins on the new ( Libran) moon, often at the end of September and continues for nine nights and ten days. It is a period of purification and introspection, as well as spiritual depth. Devotees seek the divine gifts of protection, health, wealth and wisdom from the Goddesses. Navarathri is traditionally an auspicious time for starting new ventures for many Hindus.
Kolu – the stepped altar
This an altar construction of 3 or more steps, either specially created with wood, or in most households formed by placing varying sizes of boxes. A cloth is covered over them, and the whole steps then highly decorated with ritual and artistic implements – such as statues of deities, lights, small lamps, small plants and other items of special religious significance. It is a display of divinity and beauty. This `Kolu’ is kept in the altar room for the duration of the `Navarthri’ and special prayers (poojas) are conducted infront of it every night for the worship of the triple deities Durga, Lakshmin & Saraswathi. Names have power and important, especially when they are used to invoke energies and qualities, and as such the deity names of these should be properly pronounce as `Do-r-ga’, `Luck-sh-me’ and `Sa-ras-wha-thee’.
This is where the goddess Durga is worshipped. She is power and the spiritual force or energy that animates all of life. In a more darker aspect, she is also known as Kali, a naked Goddess of sheer ferocity who destroys our impurities. In the western world, people seem to treat Kali as a force they can just call upon, refer to and such. However a devote Hindu would take extreme preparations prior to working with Kali-energy, keeping body & mind pure, fasting or only eating vegetabls and fruits, meditating, vanquishing all personal thoughts of ill- before een beginning any sort of Kali `pooja’ (prayer). Kali is often shown with 10 or more heads, having 20 or more arms, each carrying tools and weapons, wearing a garland of severed demon-heads, with blood dripping from her mouth, and riding a Lion. In these aspects, she is seen to have similarities with the Egyptian lion-headed war Goddess Sakhmet, who was also supposed to have drunk the blood of many she had slain.
The divine force Shakthi is seen as giver of wealth and love, in her Goddess form Lakshmi. She is the consort of the protector God Vishnu, and is often seen seated on a red lotus flower, flanked by elephants in the same pond, showering her with gold. Gold coins are also seen emanating from Lakshmi’s hands. Symbolically, it is best to have an imagery where the coins coming from her hands fall and collect in a plate at her feet. Thus wealth is said to be held, rather than just disappear. Lakshmi originated from the froth of the divine sea that was churned by Demons (Ashuras) and Devas (souls who inhabit Heaven) when they used a mountain and a giant serpent as churner, in search of the elixiar of life. Many weapons were said to have spring from the sea which various deities procured, and Vishnu (protector God) married Lakshmi. In this respect, Lakshmi has close similatrities with the western deity Venus / Aphrodite.
The final 3 nights of worship and adoration belong to Saraswathi, goddess of wisdom, arts and education. She is seen dressed in white, seated upon a white lotus, with a peacock or Swan as her vehicle, and holding a musical instrument `Veena’ (similar to the Indian `Sitar’). She is the wife and consort of the creator God Brahma. Ninth night is dedicated to `Saraswathi pooja’ (prayer for Saraswathi).
Hinduism has many hundreds of deities, and so many of them are aspects or incarnations of one another. But Durga, Lakshi & Saraswathi are worshiped as a divine trinity of feminine energies, when devotees seek the blessings of power, protection, wealth and wisdom. Navarathri is dedicated to the worship of these deities.
10th Day: Vijayathasami & Weapons Pooja.
The 10th day is the day of victory, and culmination of all the prayers and festivities. Such deeply significant religious festivities have variations of purpose and underlying mythology, as India is a vast land with many religious sects (even within Hinduism – which is a collective name, and not a specific one).
Myth of Ramayana: As such, some celebrate the return of mythical Hero Rama (crown Prince) who was exiled with his wife Sita into the forest for 14 years, by some trickery of his step-mother. In his time in the forest, Rama’s wife Sita is abducted by a demon (Ravanan) and taken to an island and kept in prison. Rama gathers an army of forest beings – monkeys, apes, wild boars and even squirrels, constricts a mighty bridge to travel to the island of Lanka (now known as Sri Lanka) to wage war, defeat the demon and rescue his wife from her prison. By this time the 14 years have passed (supposed terms of the exile) and Rama returns to his father’s Kingdon, and takes up his rightful place on the throne. `Vijayathasami’ (great tenth day) symbolises this day of Victory and return to power.
Either on the ninth night or 10th day (morning) a special prayer / pooja called `Ayutha Pooja’ (Prayer for weapons) is conducted. This is when tools of the trade for all those of a household – pens, books, pencils, cheque books, house keys, financial ledgers, as well as the mote traditional items of agricultural equipments, machinery are symbolically decorated, placed on the foot of the stepped altar and worshipped. The idea is to seek the blessings of the Goddess Shakthi upon those tools of trade and life. Then those are taken and used. Many teachers/Schools in India / Sri Lanka (southern Indian nations) start teaching Kindergarten children on that day- first by taking them to the temple, and having the priest guide their fingers in writing the alphabets on a plate of rice grains!
This is a Tamil / sanskri name meaning Prayer. Hindu formal poojas in temples and homes take on highly ritualistic procedures. The statues / idols or pictures of Hindu deities –kept on the Altar (some simple tables, others highly elaborate) are decorated with fabric, fresh flowers and garlands, and flanked by oil lamps and incense sticks. During Pooja, a small bell is continuously rung to dispel any and all negative/ evil energies from the space. The conducting Priest or person(s) recite powerful chants and power words in the Sanskrit language. Observers stand in prayer positions, with palms touching to the chest (heart) and occasionally at key moments of Pooja, raise hands to their foreheads or over their heads in reverence and adoration, saying `Arohara’. In extensive festive poojas at temples, the statues of deities in the various central and sub-altars are given a ritual wash (called `Maha-abishekam’) with water, honey, milk and fruit juices. The idols are then dried, dressed in fine fabric, jewellery of gold, gems and garlands. Then the main pooja commences. The used milk, honey and fruits are then carefully collected with reverence, and shared amongst devotees as a token elixir/ blessings of the gods!
Temple Altar arrangements:
Hinduism is an ancient form of pagan religion found in the eastern world, originating from the Indus valley, and dated to over 12,000 years ago. It pre-dates pagan religions and civilisations of ancient Incas & Mayas, Egyptians and other such.
The Hindu Temple designs vary enormously, but have an underlying esoteric principle with which they are based on. Most large temples have 3 layers or boundaries. The outer walls & gates, middle temple space & sub-altar rooms, and a main altar room that is granite or painted black, where the dedicated deity statue of that temple resides. The layers represent the pathways to the Womb! And Hindu temple designs manage and lead the attention of the devotees from the outer world into the womb of the Great Divine. Only the Priest may enter the inner sanctum of the temple and conduct temple poojas. But during poojas, a screen covering it is removed so that devotees may witness and worship the deity in the altar.
Animals & Hindu processions:
Most temples with grounds will have a sacred animal living freely and taken care of by the temple priests or devotes. These can be Cows, Goats to Swans, Peacocks or as large as an Elephant! Many Hindu deities have an associated animal, some poets, or defeated forms of demons, and so their particular animal is seen as a sacred link to that deity, honoured, fed and even worshiped. At special festivals, these animals are decorated with luxurious cloths, and taken on a parade around temple grounds or indeed the village or town roads where the temple is located. Often these animals `carry’ a small altar and an idol of that deity on their back during festive processions.
– Manivannan Navasothy
More astrological good news!
In my previous astrology post, I mentioned the following:
Good news: On 9th October, Sun trines Jupiter, and, Venus trines Pluto. The energy of those two are superb, and should start to transform and resolve the situations that exist. Jupiter rules horizons, religion and justice. Sun is one for energy (and ego). Venus will be a governing social interactions, love etc…and Pluto is all about intensity, power, control..death and rebirth..and ultimately…transformation. (see full post: Neptune wars with Mars).
Well, I forgot to say, in the midst of some personal trials & triumphs, there are some another brilliant aspects going on too.
Mercury-semisextile-Pluto (yesterday 10th Oct’12) – is one of these good aspects. Someone mentioned the word `argument’ in reply to one of my astrology posts, and I had to point out – that time- as mercury was not part of those aspects, it’s not about arguments…but about `confusions’ (as Neptune was adversely involved). Well, here Mercury is involved…but positively ..and with Pluto. So communications may be going through some sort of positive break-through, or mental processes may be leading people to decisions.
(I for one had reached certain major decisions on some of my old ventures. At the same time, I was also busy outdoors …shooting a few videos for some upcoming Enterprises & ventures.. So yeap, I made use of this aspect in the last few days! 🙂
Saturn-trine-Neptune (today 11th Oct’12) – this is a brilliant one, as it’s a trine…the most positive astrological aspect possible (short of a double or grand trine!). As you’ll probably know, Saturn governs stability and structures…as well as authority. And Neptune is a distant planet that has associations to dreams, psychology, intuition, the human collective…amongst tangible but fluidic things like gases, petrol, liquids (ocean). Idealism is also linked to this (Knight of Cups).
So this aspect between Saturn & Neptune is a highly positive one…for crsytallising ideals and dreams into definite forms, structure…putting in foundations…if you like.. There’s more of course…but I have been tuning into that part of it…especially for the new Esoteric Enterprises venture that I just announced.
It’s all good.. if we go with the stellar winds, when sailing our ships to new horizons. 🙂 The Hindus have been doing that for thousands of years…others too. I;ll say more in coming blogs about using astrology for working out potentially powerful dates to do business.
Introducing an old symbol to a New Era….!
Adventures of Elephantom are fully illustrated graphics style stories for children, full of fun & adventure, but also teaching them eco-awareness in a gentle way. And this one takes the readers through themes such as spirituality, death of a family group, healing, learning, duty to ancestors and personal transformation.
I created `Elephantom’ way back in 1994, for an eco-newsletter called `Unity’ that my friend Harmony was publishing for young eco-campaigners. (I met Harmony while doing lots of fundraising for an Eco-organisation called `Environmental Investigation Agency- EIA).
The original story was just a 4-panel cartoon, but Elephantom has been living in Greeting cards (my brand) that I have sent to many family & friends. It was only last year (2011) that Elephantom was fully brought back into public eye, as part of our `Gaian Times eco-magazine’. Many cartoons were created showing Elephantom’s adventures. And then I got thinking – he needs a proper origin story. That work started in September 2011, and is now complete. Over 25+ A3 sized black & white panels. It started off as a simple story-telling but as it evolved in its own way, I realised so much of my own trials and tribulations, ideals and beliefs were seeping into it as symbolism.
Coming from a Hindu background, I honour and worship the elephant-headed god Ganesh. And I grew up reading comic books- where heroes fight villains. Well for the modern era, the biggest villainy that the world faces are ecological & environmental disasters. And so that becomes Elephantom’s main cause. I say `main’, because there is a whole lot of fun to be had with a character such as him. He’s already met Einstein, Mr Spock, put out fires of London Riots, gone for a police post interview and hosted the `Zebra’ meeting – amongst other things!
So join me in welcoming Elephantom. He’s here to stay..and he will grow.Coming soon.
FREE pre-launch OFFER to all readers!
I am giving away free download e-copies of the ‘Elephantom Origins’ to every one…This offer ends on 29th Sept’12. So hurry.
Visit the website www,Elephantom.co.uk to read about the full offer.
After writing my blog this morning on the birthday & mythology of the Hindu (elephant headed) God Ganesh, I went to attend a training course – on interview techniques. Nothing I don’t know already (must write about that!) but this is one I had to attend. It was in Wimbledon. So afterwards I tried going to the Ganesh temple. It was packed, and no parking space anywhere!
So I was driving back with disappointment, and memories of my own personal experiences came back to me – which I thought I’d share here, as part of the festive celebrations (in my own way). After all, a temple is where you make it, and Hindu Priests have been known in ancient times to build `inner temples’ meditatively – efforts that had taken them years. It is known that Hindu gods had favoured such inner temples. (another blog to write!)
Back to Elephants – one of the sacred animals in Hinduism – an eastern pagan religion.
The Ride on Elephant
My earliest memory of Elephants, like for most people, was at a Zoo, and it was back in Sri Lanka. I do recall one occasion where my parents paid for me to go for a ride on a Zoo Elephant. They are big creatures, and once you mount them, on one of those people-carrier basket things that can hold about 5-6 people at a time, it’s incredible – especially when the Elephant starts walking – away from any tall stands. It gentle wobbles of course and walks slowly. I don’t remember much more, but that is a precious experience to have had. These days people who visit 3rd world countries and nature reserves (africa?) can quite easily have one of these elephant rides. If you get a chance, do have a go. I mean, how often can one say he or she had a ride on the largest mammal on the planet? !
The Temple Elephant
My second Elephant experience was at a Temple – and it was with a Temple Elephant, back in Sri Lanka. It was a sacred special temple, one that my grandmother & family had to hire a coach and drive a day to get to – as part of a pilgrimage. I remember then getting to the booked accommodation (large room, where all of us slept ..with just sheets on the floor). The part that still stays in my mind is the bathing in the nearby river in the evening. It was expected, and there were no other facilities anyway. And straight afterwards, while still wet, we had to make our way up the mountain paths to the temple – for worship.
It was the temple in Kathirkama, where Priests do not speak. They have their mouths covered by a piece of cloth! There is a similar temple in Wales, UK that I have been to, where they do this.
Well, after the Pooja, I was guided to the area where the temple elephant resided. As was tradition, I was `blessed by the Elephant’ (on the nudge of the Keeper, the Elephant places its trunk in a blessing manner on my head!) I was a very young boy and what came next was even more previous now to remember. My relatives told me to circle around the Elephant and pray, and also walk under it. So I did – went in from one side, walked under the Elephant, came out the other side from it’s body!
I don’t think it ever occurred to me that if the beast had decided to move in haste or upset, or anything of the sort, I would have been splatted in a second! At the time, I was focused on it as a spiritual experience- and still do.
There are many auspicious days pooja (prayers), fasting & festivals in the Hindu (religious) calendar. Today is one of them.
It is called `Vinayahar Sathurthi’ where Vonayagar is one of the names for the Elephant-headed Hindu God, also known as Ganesh and Pillayar. Sathurthi’s are special days that happen every month, but the one on this month is the most sacred of all, and belongs to God Ganesh.
Myth of the Elephant-headed God Ganesh.
Ganesh, son of Parvathi (Shakthi) and Shiva (in a manner of speaking) was not born with the elephant head! That came later. He was originally born as a human. Born is the wrong word, as he was `made’ or created by his mother – the great Goddess Shakthi (which means `power’ amongst other things).
The mythology goes that Shakthi was fed up of being intruded by her husband the God Shiva, whenever Shakthi was taking her bath (and he would just walk in). So she set a guard outside. But when the Lord Shiva came through, the guard was hesitant and did not stop him. How could he stop Shiva, who was not only the husband of Parvathi, but also the god of all gods?
Realising that she needs a guard who will not falter, Parvathi set about creating a statue of a boy, using her own skin fragments as clay! She brought this to life (she is Goddess!) and asked him to guard her privacy, and let none through. And so that is what the boy did – when Shiva tried to enter the Chambers.
Initially Shiva’s attempts to talk his way through failed, so he escalated his efforts with force. But the boy was powerful enough to stand against that. Eventually Shiva had to call in all the other gods.. Brahma (the Creator god), Vishnu (the protector God) and more. All joined forces and the conflict became a big battle of magic. The boy defeated all their efforts, and still stood firm. In the end, using diverting tactics, the gods cut the boy’s head off! And rejoiced!
When Parvathi heard this, she was intensely angered. Out of her anger came two fierce war goddesses – Durga and Kali, and they began to destroy not only the gods, but the worlds!
The other gods pleaded with Parvathi for mercy. And she request that her Son be brought back to life! (and Shiva realised who the boy must have been..!) But as the head was missing, Shiva told the others to go in a direction, and bring back the head of the first animal they see. So the other gods travel, and find an elephant, ad brought its head – which Lord Shiva fixed to the headless boy, and brought him back to life. (It often bothers me that the Gods would go kill an innocent animal, but wold mythologies are full of all sorts of such violent acts by the gods!)
Shiva then takes the resurrected boy to his wife Parvathi, and she was semi-pleased. Shiva then proclaimed to all the worlds – that the first prayer in any ceremony or ritual should always go towards the boy, named Ganesh,
This is seen in any hindu ritual to date. People spend the first few minutes or seconds praying to God Ganesh. Sometimes they have images, in other cases, they use `Saani’ (the dung of a sacred cow!) or Tumeric powder-paste to make a small cone, and stick a sacred grass in it. This is treated as a divine symbol of Ganesh, and first prayers and respects are given, before proceeding with the main purpose of any pooja or festivities.
related link. Elephantom Origins – new story by Mani Navasothy
What were you doing.. Eleven years ago ..on 11th of September 2001? That was the morning when 2 hijacked passenger airplanes were crashed into the World Trading Centre in America, and another 1 was crashed into the Pentagon – America’s military HQ.
I was at work, as an Administrative Officer in the Immigration & Nationality Department. It was just after lunch time, when the news had spread through our very small unit (about 8-10 of us max. It’s a big department now ). At first I wasn’t entirely sure what had had happened. And then we all realised that America had been attacked. As we worked in a Home Office, a sort of unofficial panic spread – that what if the terrorists would attack the government buildings in UK…ie us?!! Well, thankfully that did not happen (well, not for some years! And sadly it did happen to London in the other now well abbreviated `7/7′ event).
This takes me back to some 25+ years ago, when back in Sri Lanka, my family & I were fleeing for our lives, as racism & racial violence against Tamil people was sweeping my native island (I was about 13 yrs). It takes me back to those panic stricken days, fears, terror and confusion. We did not know if we would survive or not then, so it doesn’t take me much to empathise with the people of America who on that fateful day of 11th September 2011, would have had confusion and fear…as their City was being attacked from air by not 1 or 2 but 4 airplanes!
And on that fateful day, myself and my family here in UK were fearing for the safety and lives of our own relatives who lived in New York, USA. We waited for ages to hear from them and were relieved to hear that they were well and safe.
I am sure some will argue that the lives lost on that day are nothing compared to the number of deaths that still occur every day in other parts of the world – even today. But, on this day, 11 years on, as the people of America remember what they had lived through, my thoughts are with them. And in loss and pain, numbers do not matter – for every life lost matters.
One death does not equate to another death…or does it? Here in lies the whole debate of the causes of terrorism, and justifications of terrorist acts by those who employ it. No one is born evil, and I do not believe neither do those who become terrorists. But despair, conflicts, oppression, ongoing persecutions by other over-powering entities and authorities – can over time create the stimuli that pushes individuals to take up arms and rebel. And such rebellions do become extreme. We have only to look at the world at large now to realise it.
Sometimes, such rebellion is welcomed and even encouraged by other countries. Examples are how the USA and UK and much of the western nations were in support of the Egyptian, Iraqi and other middle-eastern world rebellions last year. It is only when some rebellions turn extreme, and attack us, that we suddenly condemn it, attack it back with all our might.
Coming from a race of people who have been persecuted in my native land, and having fled that land and sought asylum in the UK some 25+ years ago, I have perhaps some grey-ish ways of looking at these social issues. As I said, one death does not justify another. But I can understand on an emotive level, why some people take up arms. After all, don’t many of us look to Robin Hood..the ultimate Rebel?! Social and political issues remain. Only bows, arrows and spears have changed…to missiles, bullets and aircrafts that fly into Buildings!
Nearly 3,000 people ( including all 227 civilians and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes) had died on that day ..11th September 2011. (At that time, the population of America was about 283 Million, and the approx number of births was 4 million!). I am not trying to say that 3,000 deaths is nothing! But in other war torn countries, deaths can be more than 3,000.
- For example, Casualties of the conflict in Iraq between 2003 to 2006 has a lowest estimate of 151,000 according to a wikipedia page).
- Sri Lanka’s decisive 2008-09 military offensive against the country’s separatist Tamil Tigers may have resulted in the deaths of as many as 40,000 civilians, most of them victims of indiscriminate shelling by Sri Lankan forces, according to a U.N. panel established by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. (That is just between 2008-09. I can only imagine the loss before and after that period. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/un-sri-lankas-crushing-of-tamil-tigers-may-have-killed-40000-civilians/2011/04/21/AFU14hJE_story.html) )
I bring this up to give perspective. And let me reiterate I am not at all in favor of any sort of terrorism that is killing innocent civilians. In some cases. it’s the entities that purport to be fighting terrorists who are the `hidden real terrorists’ – and it is their killing actions hat reveal why others too up arms against them in the first place!
The 2,980 people who died in 9-11 attack were innocent victims – someone’s parents, siblings, teachers, mentors, lovers, partners, sons & daughters. That human loss can not be replaced or justified. But then, neither can all the other deaths in all the other wars around the world! And the rest don’t get a `9-11′ or a 7-7′ or some other fancy historical naming! That is what enrages me! In fairness, we should be marking every day of the year for that! The 1-1, 1-2, 1-3.. and onwards for every single of the 365 days!
What we perhaps need is a `World human-death day’ to mark all those other nameless deaths.
`Odipponavan’ means (male) who ran away! It is a novel written for children, by my late father K.Navasothy, published back in 1968 in Sri Lanka. It has been used as part of reading lists in Tamil Schools a long time ago, in a land far far away. The story is the sad and troubled life of a boy, and the end is tearful.
I remember reading it when I was a small boy. I don’t remember what I said to my father afterwards. I wonder what he expected? Writers have a funny habit- they like to know what someone thought of their writing. And for a man who wrote a novel about a boy (long before he had a son), and for that to be read by his son a decade later- the comments I could have given must have been the most important one ever! And I have yet to give mine! And I will, when I have read the novel again.
But life has already mirrored fiction, and I am aware – that I have been the boy who has been running away.. from so many things – family, friends, culture, native land, and even religion! As I now live through (astrology says so) my mid-life years (crisis of all sorts), and burn my self out with my own creative fires- night after night, trying to finish so much of my own writing (fiction & non-fiction), I look back at my father’s children’s novel `Odipponavan’ and am startled. Startled by the agonies of friendships & loyalties of the boy in the book that at times reflect in my own life. I have no doubt reflected my father’s own inner turmoils are in there somewhere too, for no Writers write without putting their own heart in their works!
Perhaps now, I do begin to understand my late father Navasothy..and his life as an Author, Artist, Public Speaker, Radio Personality and all around Cultural Servant to Tamil. Like him, I seem to be living that kind of life..
I shall write more about his other works, in due course..
——————A word on my 100th blog—————–
For almost a week or so, I waited and wondered…about the 100th post. What type of blog entry can take such a special mile stone? And then it struck me – it will be about my father, the late K.Navasothy. More specifically it is about his works.. the books he had written and magazines he had published.
Well, it is easier to make a decision, but harder to follow it through – (as you can see from my 99th post `Broken Vows to my father’). In this case, the difficulty was in tracking own the actual books – as we have a rare copy or so, and even then some are just photocopies.. originals are somewhere in Sri Lanka, or lost for ever! Then came the difficulty of working out publication details and translating the Tamil into English – a task I could have without thought 20 years ago, but now requires remembering and even checking Tamil-English Dictionary (for exact grammatical meaning etc). Now that I have begun, I hope the path will aid me, as I walk upon it.
other related posts (on my father, my arty & writing)
Way back in January1990, as I stood alone in a semi-dark room in the funeral parlor – with my father’s body in an open coffin, I made a silent vow to him. A promise that I doubt I can keep, as it involved me finishing the Ph.D that he was working on, when my father – Kanapathipillai Navasothy had passed away in a sudden street accident. (yes some times people do get hit by a vehicle ..and it’s true, sometimes crossing the road is the most dangerous and last thing people do!)
His Ph.D research work still occupies shelves in a cupboard in our sitting room. But it’s all in Tamil, and is all about tamil (language) culture. Now I can speak Tamil, and write. After all, I lived in Sri Lanka till age of 15, living, breathing, speaking, studying and thinking..in Tamil. But the last 25 years have been a time when the use of Tamil language has been fading from me.. Not everyone can just pick up a Ph.D level research and finish it. People need a life time of their passions, beliefs, creativity and knowledge – to undertake such a thing. Perhaps if I had started back in 1990, I may have got partially there by now- and perhaps if I start now, I may get there still… But my passions, creativity and directions lie elsewhere (in the exploration of Sciences, psychology & Spirituality).
Drowning in sorrows of his death, it was emotive of me to have made a promise to my father to finish his lief time’s work. Though that is not possible, my sister Vathani & I still plan to remember our father Navasothy (for that is his actual first name..which by some quirk in filling forms at Immigration back in 1985 has become our surname. So his `name’ lives on already every time someone calls me, reads or writes my name!). We may one day build a memorial of some sort. But with the advancement of internet and online worlds that are now possible, we have new possibilities – and my private work continues to create a website for my father, and put important works by him online.
My research shows that Amazon/e-books have not yet started publishing in Tamil. (Now there’s an entrepreneurial idea!). So I’ll wait and then upload my father’s books in e-format, for the world to read it once more.
But for now, this blog entry is my first attempt to honour a promise I made to my father K.Navasothy- Tamil Scholar (`Navalar Navasothy’ they honoured him in his later years in London, for the power of poetic words he possessed).. that his works will live again.