Sunday, August 30, 2009

Remembered and forgotten!!

Trying hard to recollect a poem I read long ago -cannot recall the writer or the poem exactly.....hopefully my rusty brain will catch up sometime...

I am no Mary
to sit quietly at your feet and dream,

I am she ,
who runs wild and fleet,
I am the Magdalene

How do I then love you lord?
Supreme.
To the extreme-
like the Magdalene!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's Christ alone!

It's Christ alone in majesty,
It's Christ alone in purity,
It's Christ alone in righteousness,
In Christ alone ,I clearly see,
It begins with Him to eternity...
It flows from Him,the grace gently,
It's Christ and Christ and Christ only,
The measure,the scale-
and the Christ in me!.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hello Kalimpong!

Travelled to Kalimpong for the week-end.I remember visiting the place when I was six.Had been there for an interview in SJC and to meet up with my sibling who was in the boarding school then.Allthough a stone's throw away from my state, never got around to climbing the hill to visit the place again.
There was a surpressed air of anticipation and excitement as we climbed and did the rounds of the multiple hills-it almost felt like Mandrake's xanadu.The town on the hill-top seemed to be a meek town caught somewhere in a time warp.It had it's old world charm in parts-very much Kalimpongish!!-nothing new or shiny about the place-the baker's shop selling the gigantic buns,little wooden houses with tiny gardens,dirty-market place,the famous mela ground where the 15th august celebration is supposed to be second to none in India and ofcourse the very old Gompus and their momos.A typically company humour doing the rounds during the gorkhaland agitation went something like this-,during the struggle, tourism was one of the main casualties.Apparently Gompus had to stow away a lot of pork momos due to lack of customers-some live porks, when sniffing through the bins ,apparently saw the momos in the bin and wondered aloud-'It looks like our demand for the free state has been agreed upon!'
That's Kalimpong for you!
Didn't regret the visit.
It's onwards to Darjeeling next-it's been even longer!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Digging through the rituals of Sikkim for the principles of 'THE WORD'.

I remember one of my friends commenting breezily-Sikkimese people are ritualistic .Born in a christian family and being brought up away from most of these rituals I wondered if he was right.
Going through several works of research done by contemparary journalists on the origin and the rituals of Sikkim ,I realised he had got it right and yet there were several admirable things to be learnt from this land of rituals.
1) Budhism was brought to Sikkim by Guru Padhmasambhava(budhists believe him to be a reincarnation of Gautama Budha, born in a lotus ).He is said to have addressed Sikkim as 'Bayul Demazong'-'a hidden land of sacred treasures'.(a hidden life of sacred treasures!-blessing people and the land !-if internalised how powerfull!)
2)There is this common act of offering traditional scarves as a mark of respect on different occasions-this white scarf known as khada is supposed to be a mark of intent which says I honour you with the purity of flower and yet with the permanence which goes beyond the flower which is but to wilt.When someone accepts the khada it is a mark of acceptance of the genuineness of the person who is offering it.(An act of restoration).
3)Kanchendzonga,the gaurdian deity of the Sikkimese budhists is worshipped because it is supposed to be that, literally, a guardian of the land.Apparently one of the lama incarnates from Tibet was on his way to Sikkim when he came across considerable opposition to his journey in the form of snow-storms,etc-he is said to have sat on a hill of snow and meditated following which a white duck is said to have approached him asking him why he wanted across-he is said to have been allowed entry into Sikkim .The mountain was to be a guardian which was to keep out all untoward elements from the sacred land of hidden treasures.(Protection of all that is sacred,holy and pure).
4)There is the saga dawa-a month long period of( Prayer,fasting and devotion).
5)Tendong Lho rhum faat-falls on a third lunar month each year is a festival of thanksgiving and prayers are offered for peace,protection and long-life for all beings.The prayer is offered to the Mt.Tendong(Reminds one of the golden calf of the Exodus days!!!)(Looking at the brighter side-An act of cooperate thanksgiving and prayers).
Intent in these cases look to me like a trove of treasures but how far has an average Sikkimese really owned the treasures that were to be a part of their inheritance from the days of the yore or are they lost somewhere in the rituals of the day as my friend has aptly put.