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Mikki and her Crows!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

These incidents are true---my younger sister Mikki swears they are---and I believe her for I know that the Crows are a very intelligent species of Birds.In India we believe that the Crows have a special place in God's Scheme of things.Therefore we need these Crows to help in the Funeral Rites-----in fact the Rites performed on the 10th.,11th. and 12th. day after a person's death the Crows are most sought after.It is believed that the Soul enters a Crow's body---and by pecking at the various Food offerings presented to them the Crows signify a person's transit from the Physical to the Spiritual World.This may seem far fetched but many times the Crows just hover around---not touching the Food offered to them---and all the Relatives around make certain Promises to fulfill certain things--one at a time---and when whatever that person wanted or needed done is promised---the Crows gather around and the Food is finished fast and furious when they start pecking.
My brother-in-law Kiran--Mikki's husband---dreamt one night that his father asked to be fed for he was hungry.The very next day Kiran put tiny bits of all the Food cooked in the home that day on a Plate and left it on the window sill.Within minutes the Crows had pecked it all up!!!That did it---this became a regular feature of their daily routine--each item cooked in the house would be placed on the Plate and offered to the Crows each morning.A special table was constructed and steel plates,bowls and glasses bought to facillitate serving the Food---for Kiran noticed that the Crows would be miffed if the items got mixed up!!!Also he'd feed them by taking the names of all those people who'd passed away.Unfortunately Kiran himself passed away on 9th.January 2009---and this task fell to Mikki.A year later her mother-in-law too died and it became a daily ritual for Mikki to feed the Crows.
By now a relationship between Mikki and the Crows had sprung up---to the extent that Mikki began talking to them.She says that she'd sometimes ask them to wait while she added some Goodies to their plate---and they would.Not just that---if she forgot to add it they'd fly in and perch on her chair at the Dining Table and just wait there patiently---till she realised what she'd forgotten.The moment she'd fetch it the Crows would all march along the parapet of the Balcony to their Table in an orderly file!!!After the death of her mother-in-law they stopped drinking the Water poured into their glass which puzzled Mikki---till she realised that her mother-in-law was fond of a particular Mango drink called "Mangola"!!!After that she began filling their glass with Mangola--and they signify the need for refills by lifting up the Glass to the surface of the table after it's empty by their claws!!!
Sounds far fetched doesn't it?However it's true---for that is why Mikki doesn't leave for work every morning till after the Crows have been fed---and her domestic help Shankar refills the Mangola each time the glass is lifted up to the table all day-----makes one believe in Souls and After Life existing in the scheme of things---of God's Giant Canvas!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 2/14/2012 9:36PM

    That is interesting to me too, Komal; despite my being Indian. We only gave them (rice balls) "pinda" on the funeral rites ritual day and on (death anniversary)'Shraddha' day. I bet the action gave Mikki, your sister a lot of comfort, which is what matters the most!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/14/2012 9:37:03 PM

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    I recently saw a news segment where crows had imitated some speech. The scientists were discussing the intelligence of the birds and how they had much more "intuitive action" thoughts than previously determined. They were very impressed with them. We have may crows here, I live near farms. I think they are pretty darned smart.
As to their association with our spirits, I have heard this mentioned by several friends as well as read how they are mentioned by Native American tribes as having special association with the dead.
I believe your sister!

Comment edited on: 2/14/2012 5:47:50 PM

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XXMILAXX 2/14/2012 4:46AM

    That's really interesting! Kinda creepy that someone has to keep feeding them..and with specific foods!

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BOVEY63 2/12/2012 1:03PM

    How fascinating!

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Pictures of Old Delhi

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Qutub Minar--built by the first Muslim Slave Sultan--Qutb-ud-Din Aibak---vassal of Mohammad Ghori

The Purana Quila or Old Fort---the Fort from where the first Moghul Emperor Babur ruled.

Ruins of Siri (Head) Fort--so called because Allauddin Khilji,Sultan of Delhi built it over the severed heads of marauding Huns.

The Fort Sultan Mohammad-bin Tighalaq built---called Tughalaqabad today.

The Tomb where Sudhir played his Prank!!!

Another View of the Tomb

The beautiful Red Fort built by the fifth Emperor Shah Jahan.He also built the Taj Mahal.

Another View of the famous Red Fort.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAIN454 2/15/2012 11:45AM

    I love Delhi! I spent so many summers there as a kid and your pix just brought back a lot of memories! Thanks, Komal! :)

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    I can't believe my father was stationed outside the gates of the red fort and never went in!!!!!!Boys and their youth!
Beautiful I want to see them all.

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PUDLECRAZY 2/12/2012 10:47AM

    Oh, my! Thank you for posting. I would really love to go to India, there is so much beauty and ancient history there. I love your photos.

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LAURAKS555 2/11/2012 10:53PM

    Thank you for sharing! They're such amazing works of art and engineering. :)

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XXMILAXX 2/11/2012 2:54PM


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DRASADAF 2/11/2012 12:52PM

    Really thx for posting....visited Delhi so many times but never thought of visiting anythg apart from the halt at the airport and the change of flight ...this time i will try to have a visit to these beautiful monuments ...thx to u ofcourse for showing me these pics....

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VALERIEMAHA 2/11/2012 12:14PM

    Just...WOW (I'm speechless and in awe)!!!

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NANCYRUBIO 2/11/2012 12:09PM

    I really enjoyed the pictures, thanks for allowing us to see them.

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BOVEY63 2/11/2012 12:07PM

    You have so much beauty around you. Would love to see it in person some day.

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God---and Me

Friday, February 10, 2012

Indians are a greatly religiously ritualistic People---by this I mean that we spend our lives trying to live following certain rules---specially the women.For us performing the daily "Pooja" or Worship is a must and lighting the Oil and Clarified Butter Lamps and burning fragrant Incense in our home Altars or "Mandirs" as we call them after the daily "Pooja" is imperative too.I for one don't follow the Rituals--never have and never will.That was one thing that made me stand apart---and still does.
I believe in a more personalised way of Worship.If God is everywhere then why confine Him to just a tiny place---in the home Mandir or His Temple??For me what always has mattered is that I just have to close my eyes and concentrate on His Name for me to reach out to him.I have always talked to God---as one person to another.He has been the recipient of my Confidences,my Fears and my Joy---He is the one I've instinctively turned to in time of need----and He has always given me the strength to cope.That does not mean that I don't perform Pooja---I do---but only when I feel like indulging in all those Rituals.I don't believe in paying just lip service to anyone---and definitely not to God!!
Today I'm fighting with Him for having broken His pact with me---it was supposed to be me and not Sudhir to go----for there was only that favour that I'd asked for myself from Him---to leave this World decked like a Bride------complete with Flowers and Jewellery and yes that beautiful,Red Sindoor adorning my forehead!!!He has cheated me out of the one thing I prayed for and desperately wanted and so I'm miffed with Him---but being the Ideal Friend he has forgiven me my trespasses-----and is showing me in tiny ways every day how much He cares for me!!!
I love you Dearest God---just help me to come to terms with the situation and learn to survive without my Sudhir and I'll be eternally grateful!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 2/14/2012 9:22PM

    Take care Komal. I too beleive the same way you do....meditation and concentration on God/Goddess versus ritualistic worship, except when I feel like it, at times. but, this is your time with Him, that we are talking about and I pray that He take care of you better than you yourself will, as only He knows what is best for both good self and Sudhir. I hope you find answers to your questions soon! I myself, recently was given the answer as to why I was blessed with more years and what my Mission on earth in this body is. I am working on fulfilling this Mission now....knowing this was all His Grace. emoticon

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BOVEY63 2/11/2012 11:34AM

    Keep praying and the answers will come.

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*MADHU* 2/11/2012 10:46AM

    emoticon emoticon

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    You WILL come to terms.
I agree with your practice of Faith. To me it is also within my head and heart. Rituals do have a comfort, they bring familiar routine. But when I need to seek peace, it ends up me and myself on the inside of my head.

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VALERIEMAHA 2/10/2012 12:05PM

    Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi.

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BONDMANUS2002 2/10/2012 11:47AM


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A Sense of Humour???

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

These days even a tiny thing can set up a flood of Memories---and these are both a Solace for my Soul and a Pain too--for these accentuate my loss very clearly to me once again!!Sudhir had a very dry sense of Humour---and at times was a very childish prankster too---in that one aspect he never really grew up!!
We used to travel by Train for we both loved Train journeys.After our marriage mostly we'd buy the tickets for a Coupe and with a very young Lotta we'd sit back and enjoy the Train journey as it travelled over the colourful Indian landscape.Every Indian Station has it's specialities---specially Foodwise.For instance the Ice Apples or "Taad Golaas" of Palghar,the "Naan Khataee" and "Khaaree" biscuits of Surat,the Masala Milk at Baroda---there was a long list of haves on the way to New Delhi or Ambala.Sudhir was in the habit of getting down to buy these at every Station and just to irritate me he wouldn't climb back on the Train till it started moving---something that panicked me a lot---and amused him immensely!!Once he didn't realise that the Train had started till a few minutes had passed.He climbed on in another Compartment and because these Compartments were all interlinked, he managed to come back to our Coupe in 7-10 minutes.By now the Train had picked up speed and I was hyper ventillating with panic and helplessness---almost about to pull the Chain to stop the Train!!!The state I was in brought home to him the stress I went through each time he did that---and these Platform Pranks stopped.
In 1979 we took the girls to Delhi for the Christmas Vacation and decided to do a Sightseeing Tour there with them.We booked a Taxi from the Hotel we stayed in the previous day and set forth as planned on the next.The weather that day was typically North Indian Plains weather----grey Skies and chilly Wind blowing in fits and starts.I'd dressed the Girls up warmly and both Sudhir and I had layered up too---all of us with warm headgear and gloves for it was extremely cold.As we moved around the Sights I kept giving the three of them a quick sketch about the History of each place and so we moved on from the Qutub Minaar,the Red Fort to Humayun's Tomb----a beautiful Red Sandstone Monument built as a Memorial to the second Moghul Emperor.While giving the three of them a short update of this place I mentioned that this also had been the Site of a gruesome murder in 1857 by the British troops----members of the Moghul Royal family had tried to hide here after the fall of Delhi and had been massacred there in the Ante Rooms below the raised platform of the Tomb.
This was like waving a Red Flag to a Bull--Sudhir--- perhaps bored with this process and my narratives of History decided to give all three of us a jolt.He began by telling us that someone was calling out to him piteously for help and that the urge to rush to help that person was overwhelming him---till finally he started calling out "I'm coming--I'm coming" and began running towards the edge of the Platform!!Initially we treated this action of his as a Joke---but he continued to rush forward towards the edge and that scared me tremendously.We were the only people up there and the Girls both started whimpering in fear while I tried to pull him back from the edge---an effort he kept resisting!!!Finally some other Tourists climbed up and we had company----as I had turned towards them to call for help, Sudhir burst out laughing---gleefully enjoying our predicament!! That's when we realised that he'd played a Prank on us---I can tell you we were all three hopping mad at him!!!
Everybody in the Family knew that he loved teasing me---he could get a rise out of me anytime he wanted---till the very end I never learnt to keep my cool!!My daughters could never understand why I could never see through his Pranks but he caught me every time.There are many such Videos that Sayali has taken of us bickering---and me getting the worst of it for I could never fight logically!!!It kept us occupied and needless to say that it provided plenty of Fodder to feed our constant arguments!!!Maybe it was this constant sparring that kept the spark alive in our marriage---but I do know that I miss it badly!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 2/14/2012 9:29PM

    Glad you are finding comfort from your fond memories of Sudhir. I hope you would seriously consider putting all these blogs into a book, if not for publishing after ghost writers have cleaned it up, for your grand children and their children to enjoy! Everyone needs roots and would love to read such personalized tit bits about ancestors. Stay well Komal. emoticon

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MILLISMA 2/9/2012 8:35PM

    Komal, this is bitter sweet. Hold on to those memories. It is almost 4 years since Jay passed and the emotions still go up and down. But I am finding that we can share memories more often with more laughter and less tears. I think of you every day and wish I could give you a hug in person.

emoticonMary Anne

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BOVEY63 2/9/2012 4:15PM

    I am so glad you have so many memories to help you through the difficult times.

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PUDLECRAZY 2/9/2012 6:54AM

    Those are the memories to cherish. But I also know that these memories are bitter-sweet still. It must be hard not to have Sudhir there on the train with you. It is a wonderful story. I have to say, I got very hungry reading about stopping along the way for the local delicacies.

Sending you love and looking forward to your next blog,


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    I think there must be a prankster in every man. My own does similar things which annoy and humor me at the same time. Though these memories make you sad I hope they also make you smile. Keep writing so we can keep supporting!

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XXMILAXX 2/9/2012 2:36AM

    Memories are somewhat good therapy. :-)

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DRASADAF 2/9/2012 12:29AM

    so sweet of him......nice u wrote this blog ....good for u .....take care dear...

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Finally---Some Balm for my Troubled Soul!!!

Monday, February 06, 2012

This is the Cottage at Marve---pronounced "Maarway" a beautiful and peaceful coastal suburb of Mumbai.We spent the last Weekend there.

Two views of the Sunset from the Verandah.

The Cottage Garden--my sister Mikki and me.

Beating up Mikki at the Beach---long cherished desire of mine!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    How wonderful to have a sister to beat up! emoticon
I have a brother who I rarely see, usually when Dad is ill. Oh do we love to cut up and play like kids, remembering chidhood fun. It does make you feel good again. There is so much life left to enjoy.
The sunset is very pretty.

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NITAINMN 2/6/2012 10:01PM

    Beautiful view of the sunset with palm trees. Thanks for sharing glimses of your life wtih snap shots, dear Komal. Glad you feel a little peaceful with this outing in the company of your loving sister. God bless! emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 2/6/2012 5:36PM

    Being in a place of great beauty and being with people you love can both be the perfect balms for the troubled soul. It looks so lovely and peaceful in Marve! I am glad you are finding a bit if relief and recovery in a difficult time.

Thank you for including the photos. They are beautiful!

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LAURAKS555 2/6/2012 2:19PM

    How lovely! Thank you for sharing!

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BOVEY63 2/6/2012 12:21PM

    Lovely pictures. Looks likes a wonderful place to spend time.

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DRASADAF 2/6/2012 11:44AM

    so sweet.....nice to c u happy ...keep it up.... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAIN454 2/6/2012 11:02AM

    lol...u and Mikki are too cute. These are beautiful shots. "Tranquil" comes to mind automatically when I see those "palm trees at dusk" shots. Simply beautiful. Glad you had a good time.

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*MADHU* 2/6/2012 10:55AM

    Beautiful pictures... emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 2/6/2012 10:53AM


I'm so happy to hear that. It looks divine! Amazing that the above story came to me from my "good news" source this very morning of seeing your lovely blog.

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