Sunday, June 30, 2013
పర్యావరణం తల్లిలాంటిది. మనజీవితంలో ప్రతీ విషయానికీ పర్యావరణానికీ అతి దగ్గరి సంబంధం వుంది. హాయి అనిపించే చెట్టుగాలి దగ్గర్నుంచి, ఆహారం, పళ్లు, పుష్పాలు, కలప, ఔషదాలు- ఏదయినా, ఏమయినా మనిషి తన ధర్మానికి కట్టుబడి ప్రవర్తిస్తే ప్రకృతి అతనికి బాసట అవుతుంది, తోడయి నిలుస్తుంది.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
ఉద్యోగాలకోసం చదువులుసాగి, డిగ్రీలకు ఉద్యోగాలిచ్చే వ్యాపారం బ్రిటిష్ వారి ధర్మమాఅని ఆ రోజుల్లోనే మన దేశంలో ప్రారంభమయింది.. మనవాళ్లు మేధావులు. ఇప్పుడు చదువుల్నే వ్యాపారం చేసే బజార్లని విరివిగా, విశృంఖలంగా కొనసాగిస్తున్నారు.
Friday, June 21, 2013
It all started some 400 years back when a company of merchants from Britain- East India Company as they were later christened-landed in India to do trade in cotton, silk, indigo, dye, salt, saltpeter, tea and opium. In 1610 they built a factory at Machilipatnam and established a fort at Chennapattanam and thus the earliest influence of their language and reign started percolating on the Southern India. And slowly the reins of administration changed hands and an alien rule started prevailing in the country.
Literature always reflect history perfunctorily and the authentic, logical traces of its influence can be seen in that great masterpiece of Telugu- Kanyasulkam which was published in 1897. When Girisam, the anti-hero of the play arrives along with venkatesam, his student at Krishnarayapura Agraharam, his native village -Venkamma, an uneducated housewife of Agnihotravadhanlu becomes fanciful and requests Girisam to talk with her son in English. This is not a mere curiosity or intrigue. Her instinct tells her that the vedic scholarship has already lost or loosing its face value and English education is slowly becoming the order of the day. Her husband groans complaining about the cost involved in making him study in the town, saying that he had learnt his vedic knowledge without spending a single paisa. Education was never a barter then nor was it a source for earning livelihood. The entire village was a macro family- each doing his chores as per the family tradition of each community. Agnihotravadhanlu agrees to host Gireesam, only because he is conversant in English and he can get all the court papers translated into Telugu which are written English.
Yet another youngster who was a witness to the awesome performance of Girisam and his ward was Karataka Sastry’s student. He is learning vedic literature from his teacher and presently gets floored by English language. He abhors the archaic form of education and yearns to learn English. Already elsewhere the yearing to start learning as a source of earning started in all earnest. This is a very important breakthrough in a society where the language was always a medium of communication, not of transaction. Venkamma instinctively sensed- as early as 1897- her son’s scholarship as a veritable means of livelihood while Agnihotravadhanlu was cleverly finding a functional use of the language. This trend was 116 years old.
In those days- all the court proceedings were invariably in English and anybody having any knowledge of English had a field day. The entire play was about the lawyers, courts, witnesses and small Brahmin families mortgaging their properties in the mire of court cases. Only two characters- significantly- were in a different focus because of their virtuosity of English language. One: pseudo-intellectual Girisam and the other: real scholar Saujanya raopantulu.
That was a time when a marked transition was taking place when a foreign language and its need was becoming imperative in the day-to-day life. It was the beginning of the end of vernacular, that was losing its sheen and application. In the changed circumstances- Telugu had no place to earn a job and consequently one’s livelihood. In fact, a ‘job’ and a qualificatioin to earn one was unthinkable until then. There was a rudimentary shift in the administrative set up, hitherto unheard of, wherein an employer-employee relationship, education aimed at careers, delivering work for a monetary return etc. came into vogue- It has all the trappings of a glorified slavery. Somebody will tell you what you should do. That somebody will decide your worth.He will decide your conduct rules. He will regulate your living conditions for a finanacial return and assured living. Your job is to serve. Sounds more like bourgeois? It has more acceptable, and respectable label called ‘service’. An altogether different and totally foreign culture started prevailing on the society.
What is happening in these 12 decades? In 2013, a family whose bread earner is qualified to sell his educational abilities for a price in America, established himself with sizable returns, carefully planned to have children born only in America so that they become natural American citizens by birth and since these children cannot communicate in their native tongue-Telugu- their grandmother, who is in her early fifties is learning English nowadays to be able to converse with them! And this lady belong to yet another traditional Brahmin Agraharam- Gangalakurru. The metomorphasis is now total and irreversible. And what is more, they don’t regret. And they don’t even know that this is a matter of regret!
What was an intrigue a century back has become a way of life- fine tuned, perfected and has become a money-earning vehicle. Why? Nobody bothered to develop the technical or professional knowhow and the functional application of regional languages in independent India in all these years. What was a need to adapt themselves to an alien way of life then, became a perfected nomenclature. Small countries like Korea and Palestine could do it successfully with foresight. There are not many Koreans in America as there are Indians.
The first generation families who nervously groped for their livelihoods and ended in United States have by now developed roots that cannot be uprooted and the second generation is totally lost to American ethos. My own wife’s brother, who had three girls married black people and settled there. Their lives are irreversible, relationships totally severed. There is a total dislocation of cultural bonds and the parents are helplessly caught in the changed juxtaposition.
Yesterday- only yesterday- a five year old boy – my younger brother’s grandson -born and brought up in America was asking me as to how I happened to know his mother!
This is the ‘cultural shock’ of the worst kind, but significantly only one side of the coin.
(to be continued….)
Sunday, June 16, 2013
వ్యక్తిగతమైన, కేవలం కులం ప్రాతిపదికగా గల వృత్తుల నుంచి ఉద్యోగ వ్యవస్థవేపు క్రమంగా భారతదేశపు సమాజం పరిణామం చెందింది. ఉద్యోగం ద్వారా సంపాదించుకునే ఆదాయం, తద్వారా కుటుంబ నిర్వహ ణ, భవిష్యత్తులో కుటుంబ భద్రత -ఈ దిశగా ప్రయాణం చేసింది.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Wisdom is the filtered genius of the empirical truths in a given period of time. Bhagavad Geetha is the epitome of wisdom, not of a community, of a religion, of a nation- but of a civilization. It is a time tested treasure trove of knowledge - malleable, plastic and yet resilient and importantly yields to interpretation of each period. Every scholar and religious head of every period interpreted the great text in each generation because of its time tested adaptability.
Here is one edicts propounded by the great text. Yadyadacharati shresta tattadevetarojanaha, Sayat pramanamkurute lokastadanuvathate. Whatever the outstanding of the community does, the rest will follow. Whatever standard he sets, the world pursues.
The 68th Pontiff of Kanchi Peetham Sri Chandrasekharendra Mahaswami was a recluse, sanyasi- a seer who relinquished everything in life and yet he religiously used to observe all the rituals prescribed to the commonest of common man. Because he was the Shrestha and Jagadguru- the Supreme teacher of the community and he always led his community by precept.
The common man looks up to his elders to get guided by what he is supposed to do or not supposed to do. The guru’s action is the unwritten law to him and a silent prescription to imbibe and follow. This is true of any rituals, chores, habits, fancies and even his way of thinking. Now, let us see the interesting flip side of this with regard to Christian Papacy.
Pope Benedict XVI Supreme Pontiff emeritus, the only Pope to step down in the history of Vatican in the last 600 years- had some peculiar things to readjust soon after his retirement, as it never happened before in its long chain of events. Besides many things, the Pope has a tradition of using red shoes during the time of his exalted position of his office. But what about a Pope when he has retired? It never happened before. This is the first and only time. Hence, there is no precedent. So the Vatican asked him as to what he would wear? The signature red shoes of the papacy? For Pope Benedict also, this is an intriguing question, because he never knew the answer. He had to create one. He said, however that he would manage with the handcrafted brown loafers gifted to him during his trip to Leon, Mexico in 2012. A loafer is a shoe shaped like moccasin with a flat heel. A person with humility and frugal living, his choice was very logical yet simple. But what he does not anticipate or foresee was a big avalanche that befell consequently.
Since Pope chose to prefer the particular Mexican leatherware in his retirement, the business of Ackermans, a shoe company owned by Armando Martin Duefias- of Leon, Mexico jumped up by 30 percent! Martin Duefias is the third generation cobbler whose family made shoes and who gifted the loafers to the Pope, was thrilled at the endorsement of the great Pontiff for a small gesture he had done during his visit. Now the demand for brown loafers soured. He is receiving calls and emails from all over the world for shoes. Leon is virtually the shoe capital of Mexico with 70 per cent of shoes made here since 400 years. The city is known for mining, emigration and strong Roman Catholicism. They have been doing this business for hundreds of years. The town- Leon does not simply make shoes, but worships them. Shoes are a way of life for Leonese. Martin says that people in Leon may not have more money, but they will surely have quality shoes. Even his wife gets the first pair of every shoe he makes.
His mother, Demis Duefias took a master’s degree in theology and the family is very religious minded. His business- though with 56 employees, is still a family affair. His mother occupies the chair next to him on the floor just above the production line. She came up with this idea of delivering an appropriate gift to the visiting Pope of the highest quality footwear. And since Martin was then the president of the local shoe industry association, he had little competition. They took six months of trial and error to arrive at a right design and colour. They didn’t want to compromise their character nor the signature of their company- but wanted to make a comfortable and elegant pair of shoes.
When the retired Pope chose the particular moccasins, the entire Catholic church made a beeline ordering a pair or two of different colours of shoes. Every parishioner, every pastor is asking for the variety- which has now become a symbol and style.
Now Martin is anxiously reaching the Vatican to study the shoe size and choices of Pope Francis, the reigning Pontiff. How much does he charge for this choicest variety? Normally his most popular shoe costs $230, but this particular shoe? This is taking up with God. This is priceless.
Monday, June 10, 2013
విద్యా వ్యాపారం ఒక విషవృక్షం. దీనికి మూలాలు ఎక్కడో ఎప్పుడో పడ్డాయి. ఈ తరంలో ఉపాధికీ, మంచి జీవనానికీ, సంపాదనకీ, కులాల వికాసానికీ, భాష సర్వ నాశనం కావడానికీ, అన్నిటికీ మించి చదువులు కార్పొరేట్ వ్యాపారం కావడానికీ -అన్నిటికీ పునాదులు ఏర్పడి తేలికగా నూటపాతిక సంవత్సరాలయింది. ''అన్నీ మన వేదాల్లోనే ఉన్నాయిష!'' అని అనుకోవలసిన రోజులు. నాకు తెలిసింది, తెలిసినంత మట్టుకు విన్నవిస్తాను.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
మన దేశంలో చట్టానికి కళ్లు లేవు. కాని కాళ్లున్నాయి. కళ్ల ముందు జరిగిన సంఘటన ఆయినా ఎవరూ నోరెత్తరు. రాజధాని నగరం నడిబొడ్డులో ఒకాయన యిద్దర్ని రోడ్డు మధ్య నిలబెట్టి కారు ఆపి, తన మనుషుల్ని పిలిపించి చావగొట్టించడాన్ని- ఎంత లేదన్నా వందమంది చూసి వుండాలి. కాని మన పోలీసులకి ఫిర్యాదు కావాలి. దాని గురించి రిపోర్టు కావాలి. ఆ తర్వాత చర్య. ఈ ఆకృత్యాన్నిజరిపింది ఓ సినీ కధానాయకుడు.