We Indians are blessed with many Gods and Goddesses but I think I can safely say that the cutest and most adorable of them is the Elephant-headed pot bellied four armed single tusked Lord Ganesha. Although on second thoughts Krishna in his childhood avatar is probably equally adored and cute 🙂
Lord Ganesha is also the Lord of beginnings and the Remover of all obstacles. This Ganesha Chathurthi I wish you all new auspicious beginnings and share a beautiful mosaic of the God made by our own dear friend and artist Ferdi (Ilfordian). She appears to a bit underweather d these days but I would like to request her to share some details about her artwork and thank her for allowing me to share it with you all 🙂
Don’t miss the tiny mouse at the bottom – never fails to amaze (and amuse) me how Lord Ganesha manages to sit on the mouse (although some believe it is a rat or a shrew) without squashing it 😀 But then legend has it that there was a celestial musician Krauncha who accidentally stepped on the foot of Muni Vamadeva who was infuriated enough to curse Krauncha to become a mouse. The curse turned Krauncha into a massive mouse who ended up damaging everything and anything. Once he made the mistake of destroying the ashram of Maharishi Parashar where Lord Ganesha was also staying. To teach the destructive Krauncha a lesson, Lord Ganesha looped a noose around his neck and subdued him. Krauncha begged pardon and requested salvation. Lord Ganesha forgave him and accepted him as his vehicle which Krauncha gratefully accepted. But then the Lord was too heavy for Krauncha so taking pity on him, the Lord became lighter so that Krauncha could easily support him.
The other angle is that as the Destroyer of all obstacles with a mouse as His vehicle, Ganesha is able to enter into all nooks and crannies with ease and gives Him Omnipresence. Alternatively, the mouse is the destroyer of a farmer’s crop and by subduing it, the Lord removes their obstacle. There are many other stories of Ganesha like this one here which explains why Ganesha has a single tusk. Well one of the versions anyway!
I have always wondered what the chant “Ganpati Bappa Morya” meant and this time I exerted myself to google it. Ganpati is a combination of two words – Gan is group and pati is ruler or lord (Like really? Oh well I guess I better not go there...) and Bappa is Father or Lord. Morya is a bit tricky with two explanations. The more popular one is the one which speaks about a 14th Century saint Morya Gosavi who was a crazed devotee of Ganpati and did severe penance to please his Lord. Pleased, Ganesh asked him to choose his boon and all he wanted was to be forever associated with him and hence the chant Ganpati Bapppa Morya.
The other explanation is that Morya is a combination of two words – Mhora ya which means come ahead and bless us. I personally prefer this explanation as it makes more sense but then again, both explanations could be right!
“Don’t you dare shout at me Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada!” ASR’s face was black as thunder.
“Why should I not? Are you the only one with daring?”
“Shut up Khushi.”
“Why should I? You shut up. Besides you started it!” Khushi’s voice was hoarse from the slanging match.
“I did not!” ASR denied.
“You did,” Khushi insisted, “God! You are really high maintenance.”
“I am high….huh?! That’s rich, coming from you.” ASR stomped into the kitchen.
“What are you looking for?” Khushi followed him.
Ignoring her, he banged drawers.
“What?” She insisted.
“You tell me.” He snapped. “You know me so well.”
Khushi pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes as she accepted his challenge. She bent down and extracted a box of lemon teabags and banged it on the counter.
Arnav’s eyes flickered and steadied. He raised an eyebrow. “Clearly you don’t know me at all.”
“Oh but I do.” Khushi said mournfully. “I was just hoping I was wrong.” She opened a cupboard. “This is what you were looking for weren’t you?” She held a large kitchen knife.
Arnav smothered a laugh and flicked away the knife from her. “Where’s the kettle?”
“Right under your nose.” She rolled her eyes. “What’ll you do when I die?”
His eyes strayed to the knife.
Khushi rolled her eyes and snitched it back. She dropped it among the pots and pans and dusted her hands while shutting the drawer with a trademark swing of her shapely hips.
Arnav’s lips twitched.
Khushi plugged in the kettle and asked gently. “Shall we come to the crux of the matter?”
His eyes flickered.
Khushi sighed. “Arnav let Guddu go. He really wants to, besides it’s just for a couple of years….”
“Couple of years!” Arnav was up in arms. “How can you say just for a couple of years? Do you know how long that is?”
“You also went off abroad…”
“I didn’t have my parents waiting worrying…”
“Di and Nani were there…”
“Damn.” He turned away and smashed his fist on the wall. “It’s all your fault!” He accused, rubbing his hand.
“If that sorts your problem,” Khushi shrugged, “I accept.” She bowed. “It’s my fault. Happy?” She switched off the rumbling kettle.
“I’ll be happy if you rectify your fault.”
“Rectify my fault? How?” Khushi handed him his tea. (Side note: Yeah along the way, ASR had switched over to tea– coffee caused too much acidity and dhak dhak 😛 )
“Deva never listens to me. You convince him not to go.” He urged. “If you insist, he will definitely change his plans…”
“He listens to me only because I insist on things I know he will listen to…”
“Exactly!” Khushi pounced. “And I have to do that thrice over.” She paused to tick them off her finger, “Guddu, Chotti, and of course ASR.”
“Deny all you like.” Khushi shrugged. “All three of you are stubborn and self-opinionated egoistic…”
“Okay okay fine fine.” Arnav raised his hands in surrender. “Don’t drag me into this,” he paused. “Where will he stay? What will he eat?” He fretted. He brightened. “Maybe you could go along with him?”
“As if he would allow his Mamma to tag along with him! He’s a full grown man.” Khushi prayed for patience. “Besides who would manage things here?”
“What’s there to manage here?” Arnav was blasé. “Angel and I will have a blast with you out of our hair.”
“Mamma!” Chotti called from the living room. “I’m going!”
“Going?” Khushi poked her head out of the kitchen. “Where?”
“I told you!?” Chotti sashayed up to her looking hip in a figure hugging little black dress, “Sammy’s birthday party. I’ll be late. Don’t wait for me.” She twirled around. “How do I look?” she looked at them expectantly.
“Beautiful.” Khushi said extra brightly.
“Bye Mom!” she blew them a kiss. “Bye Daddy.”
“What the…!” Arnav breathed fire into her ears.
“Now what?” Khushi was at her tethers end. Hey Devi Maiyya please! Sambhal lena!
“What the hell is she wearing?!!!”
“Much more than what you wanted me to wear.” Khushi replied tartly.
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Oh how I envy you your convenient memory.” Khushi gritted her teeth.
“That’s neither here nor there.” Arnav brushed her aside impatiently. “Why didn’t you say anything to her?” He was agitated.
“Because I have already had that battle with her and lost.” She raised a hand as Arnav opened his mouth to blast her. “And better you admit defeat too,” she advised kindly, “before she also decides to look for accommodation elsewhere.”
Khushi watched with interest and intense amusement the play of myriad emotions on Arnav’s face, which could perhaps be best described as oops-dammit-left-with-no-option-but-to-allow-Khushi-to-have-the-last-word—–again.
Cough cough waise Arnav ko toh aap bhi achche se jaante honge? Toh aapko kya lagta hai, unka expression kaisa raha hoga?
Look forward your reactions to this retrospective look at Arshi and their livesand if you are interested enough, I may just have another one – soon 😉
“Khushiiii!” Heart in his mouth Arnav ran towards the edge.
Sweating and panting, bit-by-bit, he pulled her back and into his arms, for an infinitesimal second, before going on a verbal rampage. “What the hell Khushi! Can’t you do anything right? What if something had happened dammit?”
“But nothing happened!” Khushi inspected her scraped arms. “In any case, it’s all Devi Maiyya’s* wish. If She wants me who am I to fight Her?”
Arnav’s face grew blacker.
Khushi held out her hand. “Help me.”
“Ask your precious Devi Maiyya.” He snapped.
“I did.” Khushi twinkled. “She told me to ask you.”
*Devi Maiyya: Mother Goddess
Side note: Just a snapshot of my favorite couple Khushi and Arnav. I didn’t mean to write about them (100 words is not enough) but they have a habit of inveigling themselves and not letting go – apologies if it didn’t make much sense.
Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Jan Wayne Fields for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.
This week for Becca’s Sunday Trees I bring one that has probably witnessed history that continues to hold significance today – from the precincts of the famous Chittor fort. I have previously shared several visuals from this place earlier as well but this particular tree overlooks the Sati sthal on one side and Jauhar kund on the other. I could not bear to take photos of the place where women burnt themselves along with the dead bodies of their husbands or jumped into it for fear of rape and slavery by plunderers and victors of wars.