My m-in-law and vaikunta ekadasi 17/12/2010

Memories  of my m-in-law  keep coming back on every  vaikunta ekadasi, a day of great significance  in the Hindu calendar. She would go on a total fast on every ekadasi, having a cup of strong coffee  both in the morning and afternoon. However  much we children  persuaded  her to have some ‘palaharam’ or fruits, she would  vehemently refuse to touch any. She observed Vaikunta ekadasi  to the letter and spirit, going to the Parthsarathy temple  along with her like minded  relatives, stand  in the long queue  during early hours  to witness the spectacle of  the opening of Swarga vaasal (entrance to Heaven)  and have a darshan of the  utsava murthi.

With the advent  of  this  Tamil month margazhi  (mid December-January)  the music  season   in Chennai  commences  and    budding as well as seasoned artistes  eagerly look forward to perform in the various sabhas in the city.  My cousin Arundhati Sarkar was a regular  visitor for the season  ,both to perform and  attend  music concerts.

One of those years  she was here to perform at the Music Academy  where she  was allotted an afternoon slot. The day happened to be, dwadasi  (when people who fast break it  with an early lunch ). My m-in-law  woke up around  four o clock as usual , prepared food  and  after an early lunch, about half a dozen of us, including  my cousin’s husband   headed to the venue and   chose to sit in the front row.  My m-in-law took the vantage point bang opposite the artiste  seated in the  centre of the stage.

Arundhati began with  the song ‘vaathapi ganapathim’ and  proceeded to sing the kirtanas when  I heard someone snoring away  to glory. I  involuntarily turned to  the row at my rear to locate its origin but found some ladies sitting there  smiling to themselves and talking in hushed tones.   The sound  of snoring  was not only getting louder and louder but also taking a tune of its own which was   not only distracting but also  attracting the attention of people around us as  well. I realized, to my embarressment  the ‘culprit’ was sitting  right next to me and  all my efforts to wake her proved futile.  I didn’t dare to   look at  the person  who happened to sit on the  other side.The reason was  obvious!

n.meera raghavendra rao



2 thoughts on “My m-in-law and vaikunta ekadasi 17/12/2010

  1. V Raghavan

    Very funny indeed! As usual, you leave a few things to the readers’ imagination. I presume your m-i-l was making up at lunch time for the previous day’s fast. I also presume that the person on the other side was Arundathi’s hubby. Correct me if I am wrong. Enjoyed reading this.

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