Monday 31 October 2011

Importing Indian nectar - Article by S. Balachandra Rao of Bharatheeya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore


Importing Indian nectar
By S. Balachandra Rao
We have read that the much valued Indian cotton was exported, by force or stealth, to Britain during the Raj governance. That exported cotton was woven into fine cloth – hundred percent cotton – in the Manchester textile mills, of course by our own Indian laborers employed there. The ready cotton cloth was then packaged back to India. This “imported” from Britain stuff was bought and worn at a high cost by the affluent Indian natives.
The hymns of the highly revered Rigveda, claimed to be the world’s most ancient composition, are the divine outpourings of my own (human) ancestors sitting in deep meditation on the banks of the haloed Saraswati river, now a “gupta-gaamini”, in the remote past.
The manuscripts of this holy text were “exported” – again by force or stealth – by the European indologists under the blessings/connivance of the British Raj. Some of these manuscripts were commissioned to converge at Goteertha(Oxford) to be handled by Moksha-mulara-bhatta (Maxmueller) of Sharmanyadesha (Germany), the unforgettable Orientalist scholar highly revered by some and equally reviled by the incorrigible domestic fanatics! Either way the (Indian) Rigveda, duly edited, was “imported” from the West back to our sacred homeland.
Now, coming to the present, I am speculating, right in the middle of sleepless night, three white-skinned damsels converging in NZ, the land of Kiwis, for amrita-manthana, the churning of nectar, Indian nectar at that. Imagine the famous biblical cauldron scene in which the all-merciful God brewed the divine concoction in the form of this world. Reportedly that large cauldron had its circular rim with circumference 30 cubits and diameter10 cubits. My sleepless dream proceeds further with the damsel-trio (“gori teen deviyan” in Hindi) circumambulating a modern platinum cauldron chanting “om!”, “om!” to churn out the Indian nectar. How about the ingredients to cook the ambrosian concoction? Given that the covert trio comprises awesome number-crunchers (did you say how drab?), the ingredients poured into the cauldron are a variety of numerical tables, erstwhile secretly owned by our tufted almanac-makers. To add to the grandeur and sanctity of the resulting brew, the numerical tables are in Sanskrit, the “devabhasha”, the language of gods. Here and there you may find some number-chains (saarinis) in Kannada too, exported by some patriotic Kannadiga! Well, the damsels conspire in hushed voice, “When shall we three meet next?” (with apologies to Shakespeare!). They decide on commencing the sacred churning (manthama) during the festival of lights, Deepavali.
I am waiting to “import” potfulls of own Indian nectar from the kiwiland. If it is denied to pagans like us, let us not hesitate to sneak, even as Simhika’s son Rahu did, into the world of the privileged and blessed, to snatch away as much as possible that Indian nectar back into our native land. Of course, our own Kannada component might in the process gain some occidental flavour sprinkled with some scents of Arabia by the irrestible teen deviyan.
Even as my somnambulistic detour is getting cut short by the chirping birds, I overhear our occidental damsels shouting with triumph, “We know the ratio of the periphery of the cauldron rim to its diameter more accurately than our primitive God whose knowledge of the circle was equally primitive in taking the much abhorred “pi” as just 3. This indeed explains all the defects of this world! The number crunching Indian ambrosia we have brewed in this alien land is bound to be everlasting with no defects.”
Address: Dr. S.Balachandra Rao
#2388, Jnana Deep,
13th Main, A-Block,
Rajajinagar 2nd stage,
Bangalore-560 010.
Ph.-9741411480
Importing Indian nectar
Article by S. Balachandra Rao of Bharatheeya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore

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