I *heart* Bombay (and well..Boston)

I'm urban..in the way other people are mountain-people or tunafish junkies. I love city life...something about dreary concrete blocks and grumpy people totally gets my juices flowing. Ergo, this will be a blog about me, my two favourite cities (Bombay and Boston), my addiction to Vietnamese coffee and my views on Gregorian chant and it's efficacy in curing some types of tympannic membrane rupture. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Hymn for Her

ayi raNadurmadashatruvadhodita durdharanirjara shaktibhrute
chaturavicharadhuriiNamahasiva dutakrita pramathaadhipate
duritaduriihaduraashayadurmati daanavaduta krutaantamate
jaya jaya he mahishaasuramardhini ramyakapardini shailasute

Mastering the tounge twisting verse number 5 of the Mahishasuramardhini hymn, I am now 20 for 20 ! Tonight is going to ROCK at Puja at the Ramakrishna Mission...must get there early so I don't end up sitting away from a ceiling fan!

I stumbled my way through this verse at Saptami puja yesterday...I could feel the disapproval from some busybody uncleji for my Sanskrit mispronunciation. "duritaduriihaduraashayadurmati" totally got me. Then again, he should be glad I came. Just by showing up, I lowered the average age at the bhajan to 65.

I'm absolutely loving the aartis at Puja as usual. I show up early by 6.45 pm so I get a good seat up close so I can watch all the rituals and not be scolded by the docent.."Brother, zaraa aage please". I think I was spotted by a couple of great-aunts of mine and had to beat a hasty retreat after the Mahishasuramardini. The last year, they questioned me for 30 minutes about what I was looking for in a girl! I think I earned their approval when I said "religious". Hah! That impressed them enough to not hear the part where I mentioned an 8-inch dick also being a requirement. Or a dream. Whatever.

So, it's MahaAshtami tonight..and a Saturday. Which means I have to debate between wearing my FabIndia kurta (and look very Bong while I'm doing that) or wear something clubby so I can just head to Hawaiian Shack right after. Decisions, Decisions...Well, so far, I've been in jeans and a tight tshirt for Sashti, capris and a vest for Saptami. Maybe kurta is the way to go. I should start looking festive too while celebrating the festival I suppose.

Going through my old blog post, I realized about this time last year I was pining away for someone who probably didn't feel the same for me. This year, I'm single, footloose and fancy free and LOVING it. One year is more than enough time to get over someone looks like.

And yeah, in case you were wondering what Verse number 5 that I keep stumbling on means, here's an English translation.

Oh, it is You Who possesses the invinceable force that vanquishes hard-to subdue
enemies in battle
Who promoted Pramatha, the great attendant of Shiva, a master of subtle
thinking, to be Her general in battle,
Who destroyed the messengers of the demons, who were sinful, with evil
intention in their thoughts and minds,
Victory, victory to You, Oh Slayer of the Buffalo Demon!
Victory, Daughter of the Himalayas, with beautifully braided hair!

Oh! How I love being Hindu! You can keep your "Lord is my shepherd" and "God the merciful". I gots me a "Slayer of the Buffalo Demon"!



  • At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    lol @ slayer of the buffalo demon. that is pretty funky.

  • At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well not only verse no.5, there are quite a few tonguetwisters in the hymn.I guess the composer has deliberately included them to avoid us from digressing into other interesting things around.

    Saw you for the first time @ the pujo on Saptami.You actually look much better than what I was told or than what you look like in your pictures.

    Happy Bijoydashami!!!


  • At 11:18 PM, Anonymous kindred spirit said…

    happy dussehra!...and yes mahishasuramardhini is a killer to pronounce...especially when you have mylapore aunties and uncles breathing down your neck with the smug i-told-you-non-brahmins-cant-chant look...:) (Its been a while hasnt it?..i'm home so i finally have a comp to post comments!!)

  • At 11:31 AM, Anonymous IGC said…

    Well, you told the great-auntie a 1/4 truth, you definitely want someone religious, the religion just happens to be Judaism.


  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger jedi said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger jedi said…

    Stating the obvious (then why do that..someone says), u keep hooking ur readers with tht signature style. Delightful read.

    PS: hope u settled for fabindia. en conséquence, got another bout of proposals from the auntiejys.. fodder for another post.

  • At 6:38 AM, Blogger Meenakshi said…

    Dude, you are the only person that can recite shlokas and say eight inch D*** in the same blog.

    Here's to Vikster!


  • At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey vikster!!

    i meant to go to pujo with a couple of friends, but couldnt make it on account of sudden plans cropping up from nowhere on the work front...

    I wonder how you failed to mention the yummm bhog, and the awesome mutton chops and the cutlets,etc!! Thats all my friends have been talking about for a while...hehehe

    Finally, i've been meaning to say this for a looooong long time - you make me feel like i'm intellectually challenged. Kudos to you - for being so impressively well read :) - amazes me, totally!!


    PS: Think i saw u at the bandra barista a couple of weeks ago, with the new piercings in both ears...bragged to my friends who, like me, are shallow enuf to be deriving pleasure out of spotting a known face, and still have the depth to understand and apprecite your awesome blog!!!

  • At 11:26 PM, Blogger Vikster said…

    Anony1: Yeah! That's actually what "Mahishasuramardhini" means!

    Diya: Well, I know the meaning to about 85% of the hymn..the other 15% seems to make no sense..So I suppose your explanation seems right.
    Why didn't you come say Hi at the Pujo?

    Kindred: It is a tongue twister. I start practising it a week before Pujo begins..

    IGC: You know it! I'm off to recite the S'hma Yisrael now!

    Jedi: I settled for a post-pujo club look. All black. Looked quite hot I must say!

    Meenu: You can't even say dick? What happened to you post-marriage? You've become an auntieji!

    Rishi: Come say hi! That was me at the Barista..I hang out there most nights during the week catching up on my reading.
    As for the food, I can't eat mutton after going to the temple! Sacrilicious!

  • At 7:35 AM, Blogger Meenakshi said…

    I can say dick, i can walk dick, i can talk dick, because dick is a very punny language.

    Post auntie-ji, which you always accused me of anyways, I still shudder to say it with holy verses. Call me square.

    PS: Can you contact me re: your sis coming to Boston?


  • At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hmmmn - so thats what part of the pujo tongue twister means - i agree - start practicing it days before i get there on navami. Been there for as far as i can remember (actually even stole "For Chanting Hall Purposes Only" pamphlet so that the practising happens-oooh the eye rolling when the bongs check ur FCUK Tees proclaiming "I Would FCUK Me" ...love it. and ya- as far as those pseuds are concerned - mahishasuramardhini to them i say...


  • At 1:52 PM, Anonymous riggs said…

    heh - i enjoyed reading that!

  • At 9:38 AM, Blogger s said…

    very fresh perspective u got there. i'm off to add ya to my blogroll...

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