Char Dham

Char Dham (literally: ‘the four abodes/seats’) are the names of four pilgrimage sites in India that are widely revered by Hindus. It comprises Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram. It is considered highly sacred by Hindus to visit Char Dham during one’s lifetime. The Char Dham defined by Adi Shankaracharya consists of four Vaishnavite pilgrimages

The Four Shankaracharya Peeth (Seats) at the Chaar Dham school of Hinduism, created at least four Hindu monastic institutions. He organised the Hindu monks under four Maṭhas (Sanskrit: मठ) (monasteries), with the headquarters at Dvārakā in the West, Jagannatha Puri in the East, Sringeri Sharada Peetham in the South and Badrikashrama in the North.


My new baby

Kawasaki Versys 650. Been long time coming. Closest to what I was looking for. Bit heavy for my age. But I can handle with some care. Hope I can make Iran ride. Bandar Abbas, Kerman, Isfahan, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas.


Dad had a small fall and broke his hip bone. Yesterday was his hip replacement surgery. Kind of runs in the family, Mom, aunt all had hips replaced before they passed away. St.Peter would have had some problem screening and letting them into heaven. Back to Dad. Before the operation Dad was telling my brother about funeral arrangements. Must have been a precaution taken in his usual meticulous way.

Successful surgery done by able young doctors. Not even blood needed. Must have been top precision operation. Dad was more surprised than anyone else to have come out of it so smoothly. Only a day ago he was asking for painkiller.  Under similar circumstances Mom was screaming with pain. She was one who could put up with anything.

He seems to be on top of the world just to be alive. Today, just one day after the surgery they made him walk, The doc said its a morale booster dose to make them walk soon as possible.

Dad was so happy to be alive, he started opening up to my brother things we never knew. Kind of 103 year old secrets coming out crystal clear. Kind of Mrs.Cleo Threadgoode in Fanny Flagg’s ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the whistle Stop Cafe’ relating her story precisely to anyone willing to listen.

He was born in a shack like hospital which was behind present day eye hospital within General Hospital complex. It was the only maternity hospital  103 years ago. For a moment I was envious of my brother. I wanted to be the listener.

He was pointing out the irony that the distance between his birth and death would have been very short, the cemetery being just opposite the road. Just 103 years squeezed in between.

He said his childhood was worse than that of sub-Saharan African and yet here he is still around at 103.

He must have been 2 or 3 when first world war broke out. Famine like situation followed.

Aunt Irene nearly died of Typhoid. It was so bad they nearly gave her up for dead. It was some miracle that saved her. He even remembered the first thing she said after she recovered. Her condition was so bad that he went and begged the parish priest to come and give her last rites and the priest, whose name he still remembers, ignored him.

Reminded me of my friend whose dog was sick. There was no vet anywhere close by in the provinces. She has no money to take it far nor for any medicine. Poverty was such that birthdays were happy with a coke and a cupcake with a candle. She just hugged the dog and prayed for death to come fast.

When time came for his first communion everybody was as usual to be dressed in white. But he didn’t have a white dress. Somebody promised him one but did not turn up at the last moment. There was a black jacket at home and he was forced to wear that. So he is asking to imagine the humiliation of this sole guy in black among the sea of white clad children.

There was no food during first world war. So you had to go and wait in a queue to collect the pith of palm trees. This his dad used to do. One had to bring it home and get it ground to flour and make something out of it to eat.

Grandpa died when Dad was 7.  The burden of 2 sisters and his mom on his shoulder.

Tony my brother: I was reading somewhere that all Indians have genetic modifications caused by famine during olden days so their pattern of diseases is completely different from those of other people. Even eating good diet cannot change that. Ravages of famine is still visible on some faces.


My Dreiko

12 years of companionship gone in two hours. He is in every corner of this house. I look back to say bye to him when I open the door to leave. Look for him behind the glass window where he peeps when I open the gate. How can he be not there? House is full of him. But he is nowhere. Not on his corner of the sofas. Not there to wake me up with his yawns. Not there to come to me for a bit of massage. His bowl of water is no more in the corner.

Every corner of this house he was present. Can’t walk past the supermarket shelves where I used to pick up his stuff. Mutton kababs, fresh beef, brown kubus, wheat/oats flour.

Sometimes I feel he left me intentionally. To give me my freedom. No need to rush back home. No need to come back home at all. No one is waiting. Wonder what was going on in his mind while he was staring at me for long stretches while I am working.

There is no one to give sponge bathe to. No one to rub almond oil on, no one to feed medicine hidden in a kabab.

How long this void would last. Hope it never ends. I need that pain to remember him every minute.

Missing his hair on the floor, missing his poo & pee outside, missing even his sometimes bad smell!


New idea budding!

Travel By bike the holy triangle of India. Rameshwaram to Puri (1848 km). Puri to Badrinath (1921 km). Badrinath to Dwarka (1958 km). The distances and locations are intriguing . Almost same. There must be something to it. Something holi. Need some planning and a good bike. God give me the health to do it!


After nations, the second great disease is religion, because they have been fighting, they have been killing, and for reasons in which nobody is interested.

Christianity is the first religion to create in people’s mind the idea that war too can be religious.. And Mohammedanism and other religions have followed, slaughtering each other in the name of God.

I say, war as such is irreligious . There cannot be anything like a crusade, a jihad, a holy war! If you call “holy” then what is left to be called unholy?

Who is interested in God except the Priests?

i have never come across a man who is really interested in God. If you offer him five dollars in one hand and God in another, he will take the five dollars and he will say “God is eternal, we will see later on. For the moment five dollars will be helpful”.

But the priests are interested, because God is their business, and they want their business to spread.