Last March of the Elephantom

Elephantom Yesterday at The March for Elephants & Rhinos (London). This is the 4th annual March I have been to … (since the very first one in 2013). And it’s the 3rd one my sister Vathani Navasothy has actively been involved.. alongside `Action for Elephants Uk’ group that was set up (by Maria Mossman, Denise Dresner & friends) after the first March was so successful. My sister has consistently involved in it…promotions, publicity, sales, and every year doing the sponsored 10K run ..raising literally several thousands of pounds. I should know..I’ve video’ed it. 🙂 This year she took up the role of marshalling the March.

It has been an absolute thrill, privilege and an honour to have stood shoulder to shoulder with my fellow eco-activists (saving Elephants, Rhinos, Whales, Dolphins).. 🙂 Nothing will take away that…or the camaraderie & friendships I have formed with fellow activists.

Elephantom & Vathani at march for Elephants & Rhinos 2016 London.jpg

And.. each year, my old creation Elephantom the Eco-hero has been involved in `his’ many guises.. at these marches 🙂 ( I wrote a children’s graphic novel of that character originally created by me in 1994. It’s published in Amazon as ebook & print book).

But ..sometimes all good things must end.. and this will be the `final’ appearance for me & Elephantom at these great `March for Elephants & Rhinos’.

Why? Well.. as the war-Doctor would say, `It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.. and others to carry that on..’ .

Many of us have lent our passions and energies to bringing these to public awareness…turning up, doing huge amounts of blogging, videos (filming/ editing), promoting..etc.. I see now..that the Marches are huge…thousands are turning up.. Signatures are being taken and delivered into 10, Downing Street.. It’s going to be okay.. 🙂

And so.. (me and my sister) will be peeling off… to get on with other causes that are dear to our hearts..other matters that deeply need our energies and attentions..

I often say… nothing matters more than solving the heart-wrenching (for me) tragedy of 25,000 children dying *every day*. If humans can’t even save their own future..their own off-springs…then what good is saving the world or wild life?

The earth will carry on…none of us are in any doubt.. but it just won’t be habitable for us humans..and that’s fine.. Earth has done that many times over the Aeons.. Dinosaurs have come and sadly gone.. and I just hope humans who have come don’t go like the dinos! So.. there has to be a balance of causes.. for both humans, animals and the natural world.. !

As for me.. I have `Gaian Times’ to re-focus on.. A non-profit eco-company & magazine I started legally 5 years ago.. I will carry on working physically, spiritually and eco-magically in all my pagan / witchy rituals with people…to keep putting the energy of protection & peace for all living thing. (In fact, our Hern’s Tribe were out in woods last night doing just that eco-magic for peace & empowerment last night) 🙂

I also have my own ventures and earnings and life to worry about.. (and one of them is settling down in life..and having Children of my own.. though when finances are secure..I am more likely to adopt.. IfI can save just one of those 25,000 children dying every day in the world.. my life would have been fulfilled..

Best wishes
-Mani Navasothy

http://www.elephantom.co.uk/
https://quantumphoenix.net/
http://www.maninavasothy.com/

Press Release: Elephantom Origins (Birth of an eco-hero)

 

 

Elephantom:  Eco-Hero

Introducing an old symbol to a New Era….!

 

Elephantom the Eco-HeroAdventures 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.

 

Elephantom Origins -by Mani Navasothy 2012

 

 

 

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.

-Mani Navasothy

 

 

 

 

Walking with Elephants – my temple experience

At Play. Scene from `Elephantom Origins’ (children’s book) (c) Mani Navasothy. 2012.

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.

-Mani

Vinayahar Sathurthi: Birthday of Ganesh the Elephant headed Hindu God

Elephant-headed Hindu God Ganesh

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.

Lord Ganesh is said to be the remover of obstacles, and giving first prayers to him is a reason for all to wish that whatever initiatives they are beginning should go well.

-Manivannan Navasothy

related link. Elephantom Origins – new story by Mani Navasothy

Odipponavan- Tamil Novel for Children by K.Navasothy.M.A

“Odipponavan” (Runaway Boy)- Children’s novel by Kanapathippillai Navasothy. pub Dec’1968, Sri Lankan.

`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!

Books & Magazines by Kanapathippillai Navasothy- (Tamil list translated into English by Mani Navasothy).

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..

-Mani Navasothy

——————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)

Our father who art in Heaven

Broken Vows

An Artist’s Tale

Cover for my first Children’s book

Torn pieces of my canvas (auto-bio)

Broken Vows to my father Kanapathippillai Navasothy

Navasothy Kanapathippillai. M.A (Tamil Scholar)
in Australia 1984.  (c)MNavasothy

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.

-Manivannan Navasothy

Other related post:   K.navasothy – Our father who art in Heaven

Cover art for my first Children’s Book

Here is a `Cover design’ for a book that I have been working on. Work stopped last year on the art work, but the narrative & story lines/ blocking of each page are all done.  It is in fact a Children’s book! 🙂   (well, my father the late Mr.K.Navasothy’s first book `Odipponavan’ (Runaway boy) was a fiction for children, that became used in Tamil Schools back in Sri Lanka all those decades ago.. long before I was even born (pre-1969!). So it seems that his creativity and derive flow in me…and it was inevitable that I was going to write children’s books..

MALH-composite_for_book (c)Mani Navasothy.2010

This is a composite graphics, using many photographs I have taken myself.   But of course the boy (when he is drawn) is going to be all art done by my hand..  He is very special..  and this book is more important than anything I will ever write.  (more another time).

No less than 8 separate photos were used in creating this `scenary’ of the little `boy’ playing hide & seek in the woods, with wild life. Key symbols relating to his `mythology’ have been placed in. Some photos were taken in Kent, Richmond park & Windsor Great Park.

Can anyone guess what it’s about? 🙂

-Mani