Showing posts from March, 2008

Our 'young' Gurus speak on Shastras

I did not anticipate that I would be listening to Neema speak on our scriptures, 'shastras' as she terms them, just a month after writing my blog 'pilgrimage thoughts'. Neema and Surya are both 'young' scholars who took a break from their working lives to learn 'Vedanta' and Sanskrit in India.

Neema has a Master's degree in Economics from Columbia University and Surya has a Ph.D in Pharma from Paris. Neema Majmudar & Surya Tahora have studied with Swami Dayananda Saraswati, renowned scholar of Vedanta. Both have gone through intensive course of Vedanta studying texts such as Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, etc with the commentaries of Sankara, and the Panini system of Sanskrit grammar. They have been teaching Vedanta in India and abroad for several years.

It is fortunate for us that Neema and Surya have returned to Bangkok. She is working as a Social Affairs Officer, Gender and Development Section at the UNESCAP in Bangkok and Surya continues to devote…

Tobacco company garden 'Re-incarnated' as Benjakiti Park

I write again about my 'remembered garden'. It is now called the Benjakiti Park. The transformation that altered my favourite ‘Tobacco company’ garden, began a few years ago. One morning, I saw a group of Farangs and Thais walking around the garden with drawings in hand. My heart sank as I feared that the garden would be converted to yet an other high rise building complex. However the news later in the papers made me a very happy man. It said that the factory would be moved in phases and a park would come in its place, thus honouring a royal wish.
A number of months later after returning to Bangkok from a trip, I went for my walk as usual. Could not enter the park as my shortcut to the park was blocked! It was fenced with green sheets and from the gaps one could see heavy earth-moving machines creating small hills, trees being uprooted and the place swarming with men in their fatigues. The area resembled a war zone! The number of machines working and the amount of concrete st…

Sashank's Story

We can never anticipate the cards that are dealt to us in life. This came to my mind when I saw Viji walking past Soi 15 Sukumvit and thought I should talk to her about the 'Challenge' life had presented to them.

On my return from India, I met Murthy at a function and spoke to him about my idea to write a blog about their different experience in bringing up Sashank. Murthy said he would be happy to share their experiences and would also talk to Viji about it. He added that Viji has worked with Sashank for the last fifteen years. Murthy suggested that we see the movie Taare Zameen Par, as this movie is also on the same lines and might interest us. I told him we had seen the movie and it was very good.

We have known Murthy and Viji from almost since we came to Bangkok. We were always happy to meet them. Murthy has a good mannered and pleasant disposition. Viji is equally friendly and is a person who exudes energy and enthusiasm.

Finally we met them a fortnight back to set a date to…

My walks in the Tobacco Company garden........6

The title of the blog could also be 'a remembered garden'. It has now changed dramatically and it would be interesting to compare the present park with the older one. It is a pity that there are not many pictures from my earlier walks. The pictures would have been memorable. Sad that you cannot be a part of the old scene.

It was in Jan 1, some years ago an event occurred and was reported in all the papers. The story would be in their archives. Anyway it is easier to write about the incident than look for it in the newspaper office. Not even certain whether it is possible for me.

Anyway as I stepped in to the park on that morning, it felt different. It appeared as though someone had strewn a lot of white flowers on the lake. They were spread all over the lake, but more were in the middle of the lake. Strange as it was not the time for 'Loi Krathong' when Thais float small baskets decorated with flowers in the water. It is a very colorful festvial.

Inexplicabally as I turne…

The lessons I learnt.

I was at the pool yesterday for my morning swim. I have added this to my routine recently. Meghana, a national swimming champ, can be proud of her uncle! I know how to swim now!

Suddenly, I heard a splash and saw two Thai preteen girls jump into the water and were soon swimming with an abandon only kids can have. After their burst of activity they noticed me. They seemed surprised that I was at the middle level of the pool and not at the deep end like them. One of them asked me in Thai 'Pen Mai' (can you swim?) pointing to the deep end. I knew they were amused by a grown man sticking to shoulder depth water. This reaction would have been upsetting for me earlier, but not anymore.

This is my story of how I conquered, not my fear of water, but the dread of people laughing at me for being scared.

I have been looking at the swimming pool in Rishi court for the last twenty years. I think I swam only once with Rohini when she was here in Bangkok. She can swim well and I think felt sill…