The intention of this blog is only to share the collections. Inadvertently if any file is under copyright, please intimate me so that it can be removed forthwith.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Concert - Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavather

....that intimacy means more than sex, as you know. Tell
others that for you it is about the connection of souls.

It is the true union of two beings. It is about walking 
through all moments, both good and bad, and never
leaving the other's side.

You are intimate when you are fully with another, no
matter what. In fact, this has very little to do with that
which is physical.

Simple Truths - We Hope You Enjoyed the movie!

Concert - Sudha Raghunathan

Courtesy :
....that obstacles are not opposing you, but merely and
gently re-routing you.

It is important not to view that which stands in your
way as your 'enemy.' It can often be your best friend,
sending you on a detour that takes you around what
could have been your biggest stumbling block.

Send a word of gratitude, then, for anything that seems
to be 'opposing' you now. All things in life happen for

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ladies ! Please enjoy this

After  posting "Ladies ! Please excuse me " and appealed to send jokes on men. One of the few received is below.

For all those men who say, Why buy a cow when you can get milk for free. Here's an update for you: Nowadays, 80% of women are against marriage, WHY? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage. 

1. Men are like Laxatives. They irritate the crap out of you.  

2 Men are like Bananas. The older they get, the less firm they are. 

3.Men are like Weather. Nothing can be done to change them.   

4. Men are like Blenders. You need One, but you're not quite sure why.  

5. Men are like Chocolate Bars .. Sweet, smooth, & they usually head right for your hips. 

6. Men are like Commercials. You can't believe a word they say.

7. Men are like Department Stores ... Their clothes are always 1/2 off! 

8.Men are like ..Government Bonds ..... They take soooooooo long to mature.

9. Men are like ..Mascara . They usually run at the first sign of emotion. 

10.Men are like Popcorn. They satisfy you, but only for a little while.     

11. Men are like Snowstorms. You never know when they're coming, how many inches you'll get or how long it will last. 

12. Men are like Lava Lamps . Fun to look at, but not very bright.     

13. Men are like Parking Spots All the good ones are taken, the rest are handicapped. 

Concert - Gayathri Venkatraghavan

Download 01_sItApate_nA_manasunA_khamAs_thyAgarAja.mp3
Download 02_chidambaam_kalyANi_pApanAsam_Shivan.mp3
Download 03_mIna_lOcani_Amba_dhanyAsi_M.cApu_shyAma_shAstri.mp3
Download 04_pArvathi_kumAram_bhAvaye_naTTakuranji_rUpaka_muttuswAmi_dhIkshitar.mp3
Download 05_AlApane_kIravANi.mp3
Download 06_kaligiyuNTe_gadA_kIravAni_Adhi_thyAgarAja.mp3
Download 07_auDum_chidambaramo_bEhAg_gOpAlakrishna_bhArathi.mp3

Courtesy :

....that progress is not measured in miles, it is measured
in inches.

Do not wonder why things are "taking so long." In fact,
everything is rolling out exactly as it needs to, using
not a minute more than Perfection requires.

Rest easy and be at peace. Life is working its magic
even as you take your very next breath.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Caution for all working in Kitchen

I was talking to someone I know, a person who is normally quite lively and chirpy but who sounded rather down and depressed this morning. This is the story that I heard, the reason behind the depression... A family friend had died due to burns sustained in the kitchen.
The gas stove was on, cooking under process. The lady observed some cockroaches near the sink and grabbed a can of insect repellent and sprayed it..Near the gas stove, which was on/burning. There was an explosion and in no time the poor woman was covered in flames, sustained 65% burns. Her husband rushed in, tried to douse the flames and his clothes too caught fire. The husband is still in hospital, in the burns ward, still unaware that his wife has succumbed, dead on arrival.

I've been trying to gather some information on the insect repellents such as "Hit", "Mortein" etc. Are they inflammable? I guess they are, and the nano-particles spread extremely rapid .
Did the poor lady realize the hazard involved? Apparently not!

Spread the word around.... who knows?

Of course these insecticides are inflammable - BEWARE OF THE SAME ! Don't use them while the burner is on in the kitchen

Sent by Ms. Mathangi 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Concert - T.V. Gopalakrishnan (TVG)

Contibuted by Mr. Varadarajan Raju 
    ...that illness is not a sign of spiritual weakness, but of
    spiritual strength.

    When we fall ill there are some who will say, "Why
    did you create that for yourself?" They might convince
    you to see it as a sign of spiritual weakness or failure.
    It is not. It is a sign of spiritual strength.

    All challenges are a sign a spiritual strength, and of
    the readiness of the Soul to move on; to evolve even
    Blogger Varadarajan.R said...
    sir, why the name abaswaram ramji ??
    June 23, 2011 7:56 AM
    Blogger hvaidya said...
    Ramji, S/o Director K. Subramaniam was our close friend. He one day announced that he is going to start a music troupe. He told us"Oru nalla per sollungadaa" We shouted in chorus "Nee music troupe aarambikkaraya? Abaswarama illa irukkum !" He was always sportive and wanted to do something different. He said "Idhe nalla irukkudaa. Appadiye vaichudaren" and he was running a troup in this name. Subsequently he is the pioneer of creating many child geniuses in carnatic music as Ramji's Mazhalai chelvangal is history
    June 23, 2011 8:33 AM
    Blogger Varadarajan.R said...
    thanks for sharing the story sir.
    June 23, 2011 7:58 PM

    Why now is the right time to bring home the black money from tax havens abroad

    Thanks to Baba Ramdev, concern about vast quantities of black 
    money and illegal wealth of Indians stashed in tax havens abroad 
    has spread far and wide among the public in our country. 
    Suddenly Switzerland has become a suspect destination and tax 
    authorities have said they will monitor Indians travelling to that 
    country and other tax havens.

    The current rulers claim that they have done more than any 
    previous regime to deal with the issue of black money and 
    tax havens. They question the credibility of earlier governments 
    of V.P. Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and others, and say that 
    they did not do anything.

    However, to set the record straight, there has been a sea 
    change in the international attitudes to the role of tax havens 
    prior to global financial meltdown of 2008 and after. While 
    earlier, there was a certain global indulgence towards them 
    as “innovative” financial centers, they have since 2008 come 
    under pressure from powerful Western countries such as USA 
    and Germany to cooperate in the investigation of money 
    laundering, tax evasion, and recovery of illegal wealth earned 
    through criminal and corrupt dealings. There is no more a climate 
    of tolerance towards illegal financial transactions, and due to 
    pressure from OECD and international agreements such as the 
    UN Convention Against Corruption, Switzerland and other tax 
    havens stand ready to share information and cooperate in the 
    repatriation of illegal wealth; this has already happened in the 
    case of Philippines, Peru and Nigeria, and only recently Swiss 
    banks froze the wealth in the accounts of Tunisia’s ousted 
    president and forty leading figures in his government.

    Also, we need to remember that whatever action being taken 
    by the present Government is due to prodding by the Supreme 
    Court based on a case filed by Ram Jethmalani and other 
    senior citizens and not out of its own volition.

    What has happened now?

    After the twin towers attack on 9/11 in the USA in 2001, 
    attention turned to the financing of international terrorism. 
    Around 2006 many countries in the West realized that 
    terrorists are using the tax havens for funding of arms 
    smuggling and terror financing. Because of the secrecy 
    provided by the banking system in these off-shore 
    jurisdictions, the terrorists were finding it easier to route 
    their funds through these locations. 
    Hence the functioning of the tax havens came under the radar 
    screen of the US and other Western countries.

    Then came the financial meltdown in US and Europe in the year 
    2008, from which these countries are yet to fully recover. The 
    meltdown impacted US after their sub-prime crisis wherein a 
    significant number of banks and other financial institutions had to 
    be saved by the Government. Later it spread to Europe with one 
    country after another facing severe economic crisis. This is 
    primarily due to lack of savings by households and consumption 
    in excess of savings. Crisis of such magnitude with significant 
    unemployment, made these countries look closely at the tax havens 
    since their rich citizens were evading taxes by stashing funds in 
    these locations. It is like a severe crisis in a family wherein members 
    desperately try to find some money under the rice box or inside 
    some old books!

    France and Germany were in the forefront of the fight against tax 
    havens. UK is a reluctant follower since UK has good number of 
    tax havens under its own protection. USA is also against its citizens 
    hiding money in these tax havens.

    Around late 2007 Germany obtained from an informant data stolen 
    from the LGT Bank of Liechtenstein and got information about 
    thousands of names having illegal money in that bank. The chief of 
    German Post had to resign since his name was there in that list. 
    The German foreign minister announced that he would share the 
    data with any other country interested. US, UK, Australia, and 
    many other countries showed interest and collected the data. 
    India was not interested. After much prodding by the leader 
    of opposition in Parliament that time namely, L.K. Advani, the 
    government approached German authorities and has been able 
    to obtain data on accounts held by Indians.

    Even after getting it the Government has not shown interest in 
    releasing the names. Presumably there are nearly 100 Indian 
    names. Government hides behind the double taxation treaty with 
    Germany when this data has nothing to do with that treaty since 
    it is about Indians illegally holding money in a third country bank 
    namely that of Liechtenstein.

    Thus, the global situation is conducive now compared to ten or 
    twenty years ago to deal with these tax havens. The main reasons 
    are concern about terror financing in USA and Europe and the 
    economic meltdown in developed economies which have made 
    these countries decide not to show any forbearance towards illegal 
    money stashed in these jurisdictions.

    So the contention that nothing was done by V.P. Singh, or by 
    P.V. Narasimha Rao or by Vajpayee is not meaningful since 
    in those days the global situation was not conducive to raise 
    issues about tax havens. Actually USA and Europe were praising 
    these tax havens and even calling them “innovative” financial 
    centers. Post 2008 the entire situation has changed.

    Hence the present is the most appropriate time to deal with this 
    issue and India should take a lead in the campaign to close all 
    these tax havens and create a new global financial architecture 
    based on transparency and integrity rather than on privacy and 

    R. Vaidyanathan is Professor of Finance in IIM-Bangalore


    Concert No 226 - Aruna Sairam

    1. Homagiridhanaye - Sudhdhadhanyaasi 
    2. Aanandhamruths - Amruthavarshini 
    3. Dasaradha raama - Yadukulakambodhi 
    4. Piravaa varam - Lathaangi  
    5. Madhura madhura - Ataanaa 
    6. Kaanbadheppo - Bilahari  
    7. RTP - Subapanthuvaraali  
    8. Sri sathyanaarayanam - Suba panthuvaraali 
    9. Kaakkai chiraginile - Brindhavana saaranga 
    10. Raagi thandheera - Punnaagavaraali 
    11. Muralidhara mohana - Desh  
    12. Abhang - Sunaadhavinodhini
    Courtesy: Sangeethapriya org.

    ..that enthusiasm is half of the journey to success, and
    all of the journey to joy.

    If you're going to do something, do it with gusto. Don't
    do anything half-heartedly. That dishonors the doing
    and the doer. So go for it. Hold nothing back. In life.
    Or love. Or anything at all.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Concert - Chembai Vaidyanatha bhagavather

    It happens only in India

    You can also smile or laugh on their plight !
    Anonymous Holy Quran online said...
    Well these kind of things happened any where... I think not just in India..
    June 22, 2011 12:09 PM
    Blogger hvaidya said...
    I do not think, in any other country, they hide themselves with umbrella.
    June 23, 2011 8:54 AM

    Concert - Raajkumar Bharathi

    1. Varnam - Ninnukori - Vasantha 
    2. Sidhdhivinaayakam - Mohanakalyaani 
    3. Thulasidhala - Maayaamaalavagowlai 
    4. Aalaapanai - Kaambodhi  
    5. Igamadano - Kaambodhi  
    6. Bantureethi - Hamsanaadham 
    7. Aalaapanai - Karaharapriya  
    8. Violin  
    9. Pakkala nilapadi - Karaharapriya 
    10. Sharanu sharanu  
    11. Aaduvome
    12. Laali govinda - Neelaambari 
    13. Thillaana - Brindhavani and Mangalam

    ...that how bad things may look right now means nothing.
    It's how good you know they can look with God's help
    that counts. 

    Life has a habit of changing itself completely around in
    24 hours. Heck, in 24 minutes sometimes.

    Don't you dare give up on Tomorrow because of the
    way things look Today. Don't even think about it...

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Concert - S.P. Ramh

    1. Varnam - Neeve gathi - Nalinakanthi 
    2. Gajavadhanaa - Shriranjani  
    3. Kanjadhalaaya - Kamalamanohari 
    4. Bantureethi - Hamsaanandhi 
    5. Saamajavaragamana - Hindholam 
    6. Smarane ondhe - Malayamarutham 
    7. Naadha thanum - Chiththaranjani 
    8. Aalaapana - Sankarabaranam 
    9. Endhuku peddaala - Sankarabaranam 
    10. Thani  
    11. Ohm Shaanthi - Bhajan 
    12. Venkatachala nilayam - Sindhubairavi 
    13. Sloka - Raagamalika  
    14. Maadhava maamava - Neelaambari 
    15. Thillaana - Maand  
    16. Thillaanaa - Brindhaavana saaranga 
    17. Mangalam
    Courtesy: Sangeethapriya
      ....that your thoughts create your reality. Your mind is
      more powerful than you know.

      Are you worried about something right now? Are you
      feeling unsure about something these days? God invites
      you to change your thinking. Miracles seldom occur in
      the lives of those who do not consider them possible. 

      There could be a miracle waiting for you this minute.
      Please make room for it in your thinking. Thanks.

      Ladies ! Please excuse me

      Why are wives more dangerous than the Mafia? The mafia wants either ur
      money or life... The wives want both!

      Marriage is like a public toilet Those waiting outside are desperate to
      get in & Those inside are desperate to come out.


      No Man Can Ever Be Satisfied
      with 4 things in life.
      (1) Mobile
      (2) A utomobile
      (3) TV
      (4) Wife
      Because there is always a better model in neighborhood.


      Searching these keywords on Google `How to tackle wife?`
      Google search result, `Good day sir, Even we are searching`.


      Compromising does not mean you are wrong and your wife is right. It
      only means that the safety of your head is much more important than
      your ego!


      Imagine living with 3 wives in one compound and never leaving the house
      for 5 years.Osama Bin Laden must have called the US Navy Seals himself!


      Whisky is a brilliant invention. One double and you start feeling
      single again.


      A friend recently explained why he refuses to get to married.
      He says the wedding rings look like miniature handcuffs.


      It takes thousand workers to build a castle, Million soldiers to protect
      a country, but just One woman to make a Happy Home --------- A Good


      Funny quote on a husband`s T-Shirt:
      All girls are devils,
      but my wife is the queen
      of them

      "Jokes on MEN are welcomed from ladies 
      I rarely find jokes on men and husbands. I know these jokes are created by men. Why not ladies crack more jokes on men? " I will be glad to post them.

      Blogger Harisankar said...
      they keep it in their minds. Coz if you let it out in a joke you lose laughing at it for the rest of your life. Why kill the golden duck?
      June 19, 2011 11:21 AM
      Anonymous Anonymous said...
      Dear Sir Sri vaithinathan Hariharan I had a hearty laugh. Definitely no offence. Just a relaxation definitely not at the cost of women. I want to send the following which I was able to find during browsing. A Woman's Prayer: I pray for Wisdom, to understand a man. I pray for Love, to forgive him and I pray for Patience, for his moods. This is because if I pray for Strength I'll just beat him to death. Unusual Funeral A woman was leaving a convenience store with her morning coffee when she noticed a most unusual funeral procession approaching the nearby cemetery. A long black hearse was followed by a second long black hearse about 50 feet behind the first one. Behind the second hearse was a solitary woman walking with a heavy dog on a leash. Behind her, a short distance back, were about 200 women walking single file. The woman was so curious that she respectfully approached the woman walking the dog and said, "I am so sorry for your loss, and I know now is a bad time to disturb you, but I have never seen a funeral like this. Whose funeral is it?". Pat came the reply, "My husband's." "What happened to him?" The woman replied, "My dog attacked and killed him." She inquired further, "Well, who is in the second hearse?" The woman answered, "My mother-in-law. She was trying to help my husband when the dog turned on her." A poignant and thoughtful moment of silence passed between the two women. "Can I borrow the dog?" "Get in the line." With warm regards ravi
      June 19, 2011 4:20 PM

      Saturday, June 18, 2011

      A complaint letter

      I am arrive by passenger train Ahmedpur station and my belly is too much swelling with jackfruit. I am therefore went to privy. Just I doing the nuisance that guard making whistle blow for train to go off and I am running with lotaah in one hand and dhoti in the next when I am fall over and expose all my shocking to man and female women on platform. I am got leaved at Ahmedpur station. This too much bad, if passenger go to make dung that dam guard not wait train five minutes for him. I am therefore pray your honour to make big fine on that guard for public sake. Otherwise I am making big report to papers.

      Okhil Chandra Sen wrote this letter to the Sahibganj divisional railway office in 1909. It is on display at the Railway Museum in New Delhi. It was also reproduced under the caption Travellers Tales in the Far Eastern Economic Review.

      Any guesses why this letter is of historic value?

        So please don't think any idea is stupid and discard it.  Always Speak up. 

      Blogger Harisankar said...
      such a thing had to happen for the idea of toilets in train!? the raj was retard or something!.
      June 18, 2011 10:57 PM
      Blogger BHASKARAN19 said...
      But the fact remains even after 12 years of introduction - the toilets are badly maintained, stinking, no water. This was highlighted in ANNIYAN also, but we see movies only for entertainment and we do not take the real message. regards bhaskaran
      June 19, 2011 7:03 AM

      Wednesday, June 15, 2011

      Do you know ?
      I was making a presentation of holidays for my office  and while doing that I noticed Govt of India's National and Public Holidays list 2011,i.e compulsory national government declared holidays  are only 14 and surprisingly the maximum number of holidays are for ISLAM [4] followed by INDIAN GOVERNMENT [3] followed by Christians and HINDUS [2] each ,followed by JAINS,BUDDHISTS AND SIKHS [1] EACH 
      Date of HolidayName of HolidayDay
      26- 1-2011Republic DayWednesday
      16-4-2011Mahavir JayantiSaturday
      22-4-2011Good FridayFriday
      17-5-2011Buddha PurnimaTuesday
      15-8-2011Independence dayMonday
      31-8-2011Ramzan id(Idu'l Fitr)Wednesday
      2-10-2011Gandhi JayanthiSunday
      6-10-2011Dussera(Vijay Dashmi)Thursday
      26-10-2011Diwali(Deepavali) Lakshmi PoojaWednesday
      7-11-2011Bakri id(Idu'l Zuha)Monday
      10-11-2011Gurunanak jayantiThursday

      Above 14 holidays for the year 2011 is compulsory for all states, announced by Government of India as National Holidays. Addition to the above list as mentioned above, three days shall be decided from the below table by the Central Government Employees Welfare Co-ordination Committee in the State Capitals with consulting of state coordination committees.

      Additional holidays for states to local celebrations
      Date of HolidayName of HolidayDay
      14- 1-2011Makara SankrantiFriday
      15- 1-2011PongalSaturday
      8- 2-2011Panchami/Basanta PanchamiTuesday
      12-4-2011SriRama NavamiTuesday
      3- 7-2011Rath YathraSunday
      1-9-2011Ganesh/Vinayak chaturthiThursday
      Sent by Mr. Balayogi
      Blogger Harisankar said...
      great we have so many holidays.
      June 15, 2011 11:24 PM
      Blogger BHASKARAN19 said...
      Who knows that THE HINDU may ask the Govt of India to declare M.F.Hussain's birthday/deathday to be declared as national holiday and hence it may become 6 days for ISLAM from now on wards regards bhaskaran
      June 16, 2011 6:50 AM
      Anonymous Anonymous said...
      Dear Sir Sri Vaithinathan Hariharan On Holidays I want to state that during the period of myself in service( now retired)I was happy to sit at home and enjoy the holiday as I found it a break from exhaustive work schedule. Most of the employees do so. No attention is paid whether the holiday is due to this religion or that religion. I do not understand why people are not abvle digest the employees' holidays and I find that it is not charitable to attach religion and some other hidden apathy even to declaraton of holidays. How can one expect that the mere declaration that INDIA is a Hindu state will solve all the problems. I am remembered of the following story: An elderly man by accident enters a small island and he installs a sign of his choice and starts worshiping. People of the island asks him what was he doing.Hesimply said "I am Praying". He was asked "why" and for "what" He then informs that he prays to save the people of the island from treachery, infidelity, immmoral activities, thieving, telling lies, cheating, murder and many more evils. The people asked him the meaning of what he tabulated. He went on to give all the details about the evils he has tabulated. From that day the whole island started to practise the tabulate items. Here who is the cause. Through compromises evil has been spread and the very fundamental dictum of tolerance, simplicity, not to be peevish, not to accumulate arrogance, desist from proclaimig Hindus and Hidu Gods are to be saved and still continue to think that we are the best. Let us be more generous and accommodative. With warm regards ravi
      June 17, 2011 10:15 PM

      Tuesday, June 14, 2011

      One more angle on Tambrahms

                                                                  My maternal Grandfather

      Some time back, I posted here an article on Tamil Brahmins under the label "Tambrams" which was very well received by readers and receiving comments,even after two years. Here is another article which is equally interesting. This was sent to me by Mr. Seshadri Srinivasan. Please read this which is interesting.

      Tamil Brahmins: The best second-rate men in the world
      by N S Jagannathan

      This piece, it must be explained at the outset, is not a history of the Tamil Brahmins, or a gratulatory account of the community's famous achievers. It is more in the nature of a portraiture of the "average or the median" member of the species.

      In an endeavour of this kind seeking to crystallize the unique qualities of a whole people, it would be misleading to talk of the "tall poppies", the all-time greats, such as Sir T Muthuswami Iyer, G Subramania Iyer, Subramania Bharati, Rajaji, Satyamurti, Sir C V Raman, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Madurai Mani Iyer or Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar.

      It would be more appropriate to use (or misuse?) the well known statistical concept of the "Bell Curve": a graph showing the distribution of the range of any characteristic within a population — say, height, weight, intelligence etc. This is typically a bell-shaped figure with a single well-defined maximum, an initial steep slope and a gradual tapering further down. Since such a distribution is common in nature, it is also known as "normal distribution". The maximum number in the frequency distribution, also called the "mode", occurs roughly in the middle. It would be permissible to take persons in this range as authentic representatives, warts and all, of the whole community. What follows is one man's perception, necessarily subjective, of the defining qualities of this "representative" Tamil Brahmin.

      Those who have seen the 1971 Satyajit Ray classic Seemabaddha (Company Limited) would recall a cameo in it of a conversation between the yuppie Bengali hero of the film and his personal secretary, a middle-aged Tamil Brahmin. The young man "on the make" is a "covenanted officer" in one of those once-famous British Merchant Houses of Calcutta. The two have forged a relationship of extraordinary mutuality based on trust and admiration for each other's contrasting qualities. Tormented by the neurosis of upward mobility, particularly by his frustration over a decisive promotion still eluding him, the young executive asks his elderly secretary the secret of his sangfroid, his total imperviousness to tension and worry. The secretary sagely replies: "Sir, it is quite simple. On a cold day, when the hearth-fire is on, the best position to occupy is the place that is neither too near the fire nor too far. If you are too near, you might get singed. If you are too far, you would not get the necessary warmth."

      Here, if you like, is the metaphor of the working philosophy of the archetypal Tamil Brahmin. What this illustrates is that the Tamil Brahmin prefers to function (and function efficiently) from behind the scene, rather than thrust himself to the front, with all the hassles and hazards of overexposure and too public a presence. His preferred position is the row behind the throne (as when the pompous minister briefs the Press). His passion for anonymity is notorious. His real successes are private ones secretly to be gloated over by himself or at the most in the intimacy of chosen friends. Even his jokes are private, with his cynical wit much in evidence when among intimates. His forte is wit rather than humour, unlike, say, the Punjabi's. He is a master of the double entendre and is an inveterate punster, often bilingual and sometimes even trilingual. A random example: At the height of Japanese commercial expansionism in Europe and America in the seventies, an envious joke was that the Japanese multinational Sony had bought up-the Leaning Tower of Pisa and re-erected it in Tokyo. The Tamil Brahmin tourist in Japan watching the operation is supposed to have made the deadpan observation: "Nikkumo Nikkado" which is Tamil for "God knows whether it will stand or fall."

      An apocryphal quip describes the Tamil Brahmins as "the best second-rate men in the world." Rude as this remark is on the face of it, it is in many ways perceptive and could well be considered a compliment. (It is certainly better than being considered the worst first-rate men.) The sneer latches on to the central characteristic of a Tamil Brahmin — his instinctive preference for anonymous functionality behind the scene rather than high profile highfalutin from centre-stage. A Tamil Brahmin would readily endorse E M Foster's famous prayer: "Let no achievement on an imposing scale ever be mine."

      This ineradicable modesty coexisting with proven competence is the reason why his preferred professions are the great anonymous ones, such as the Civil Service, where it is easy — indeed the required trait — to be "the faceless bureaucrat." He lets his nominal boss, the publicity-hungry politician, boast about policies whose details his ingenious mind has given legal and formal shape to, with all the ambiguities and obfuscations safely hidden in the fine print. Give him a brief of your intention, and he will give it a shape that would pass muster with a trusting public. Like the prestidigitator, he gloats in secret not over the illusion that the public laps up but over his real skill of sleight of hand that had made the illusion possible. An extreme example of this is the Tamil Brahmin folklore to the effect that some of the brilliant judgments of the English judges in pre-Independence Madras High Court were really written by their Tamil Brahmin bench clerks.

      In the public sphere, the representative Tamil Brahmin is an apolitical pragmatist rather than a passionate ideologue, a trait that makes him an ideal public servant rather than a political leader. Temperamentally, he is a natural Tory, or at best, a "Fabian", believing in the art of the possible rather than in the impossible dream. A British Conservative of the 1960s famously said once: "Let the socialists dream their dreams and scheme their schemes: we Conservatives have a job to do." This sums up admirably the Working philosophy of the Tamil Brahmin administrator. Grand gestures and conspicuous posturing are not in his blood. Risk averse by temperament and playing for safety, he is rarely given to extreme positions or assertive stances in public. A pugnacious Tamil Brahmin is a contradiction in terms, though high profile T N Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner, might seem to disprove this assessment. (In any case, he is a "Palghat Tamil Brahmin", a sub (?) species that deserves a special study in itself!)

      Intellect rather than imagination is the Tamil Brahmin's forte. (Harsher judges might even say that intelligence rather than intellect is a Tamil Brahmin's strength.) Typically, a Tamil Brahmin is a professional executive or administrator rather than a professional politician or entrepreneur or a labour leader. It can even be argued that this is a throw-forward of the ancient Varna taxonomy: of the Brahmin — the purohit and the counsellor, in contrast to the Kshatria (the forerunner of the modern-day politician), Vaisya (the prototype of today's entrepreneur) and the Labour leader, (the champion of the working class, the modern-day shudras.) Thus it is that you find that some of the greatest Diwans of Indian States of yore such as Seshadri Iyer, C P Ramaswami Iyer, T T Krishnamachari, and T Vijayaraghavachari were vintage Tamil Brahmins.

      The Tamil Brahmin is by instinct a Rajabhakta, putting his ingenious mind at the disposal of the ruler of the moment for any purpose the latter chooses. But it is not a passive role of the flunkey, doing the bidding of his master. His manifest intellectual superiority makes him an ideal Amaathya, or Counsellor. Many a ruler of the former princely States had the good sense to listen to their Tamil Brahmin Diwans: this was true even when the advice was to quietly quit the scene collecting their privy purses when Sardar Patel ran a coach and four through their puny sovereignties. Quite often, some of these princelings have been saved from the extreme consequences of their rather lurid private lives by the sagacious intervention of their counsellors.

      Ostentatious wealth is rare in this community, testifying once again that a representatve Tamil Brahmin abhors extremes. Though poverty and privation are not unknown in the community the median Tamil Brahmin has a reasonable competence that meets his un-extravagant needs. Thrift comes naturally to him to the point of stinginess.

      A famous story used to go round the Indian Express editorial anterooms in the days of Ramnath Goenka. A Marwari friend asked RNG why he paid his Punjabi editors fabulous salaries while his Tamil Brahmin editors were paid a pittance. Ramnathji is supposed to have replied: "Arre Bhai! My Punjabi editor gargles his mouth with rose water after brushing his teeth. My Tamil Brahmin editor is content with rasam sadam. To everyone according to his needs. Pure Communism!"

      Competent, conventional and conformist, the median Tamil Brahmin is rarely adventurous or conspicuously unorthodox. Resilient and quickly adaptive, he would never wish "to stand out" as too heterodox or for that matter excessively orthodox either, despite the fact that until recent times, the "caste mark" on his forehead was a give-away.

      A favourite expression of approbation in the community is "God-fearing." But his conformity is a convenience rather than conviction, arising partly from his reluctance to be the "odd man out". Ancient taboos atavistically present in him are observed in letter rather than in spirit as in the obligatory rituals regularly performed. His house has its sacred and secular spaces clearly demarcated. Even today, in villages and small towns where the "flat culture" has not yet found its way, a traditional Tamil Brahmin house has the ancient layout of increasingly "sacred" space as one goes inwards with the right of admission to each strictly caste-graded. In cities, where the "drawing-cum-dining room" layout has insinuated itself into domestic architecture, the Pooja room is inviolable.

      A Tamil Brahmin's modernity is equally skin-deep, readily discarded in the privacy of his home. He eagerly sheds his trousers and shirt the moment he is back home and gets back to his comfortable lungi and bare chest. Until recently, alcohol was not a domestic amenity even among the more affluent and "modern" Tamil Brahmins and was meant mostly for others who might visit. Though for professional reasons and for compulsions of livelihood, he will go to the end of the earth, he is by no means as cosmopolitan, readily jettisoning his cultural baggage and merging with homogenized non-descript new environment. His domestic pieties are preserved whether in New Delhi or New Jersey and his twin-passion of temple worship and Carnatic music are never ever abandoned wherever he is.

      Like the Jew to whom he is often compared, he is a great survivor. One of the earliest communities to have eagerly embraced the exhilarating new opportunities offered by English education in the early 19th century, the Tamil Brahmins had acquired a near monopoly of the much coveted Government employment of the times. This had naturally led to upper caste non-brahmin resentment, which effectively politicised itself in the first decades of the last century. When this self-consciousness captured political power and formed governments in the 1920s in the Madras Presidency, it pursued vigorously a policy of reservation that ended the Brahmin's earlier monopoly of government jobs. This was the signal for the great Tamil Brahmin Diaspora that still continues.

      Denied opportunities at home, the Tamil Brahmin sought and found newer pastures in Bombay, Delhi and Calcutta. Caste-neutral professions such as accountancy and journalism became the alternatives. Still later, newer professional opportunities abroad, notably in the United States, became the magnet. And with the ascendancy in recent years of the new information technology where brainpower is more important than capital investment, this dispersal has become a flood. Almost every English-educated middle class Tamil Brahmin family has a younger member abroad.

      Like much else in the world and in this country, the Tamil Brahmin profile is no doubt changing. The younger generations are conspicuously deracinated and some of the unique qualities of this community are getting blurred and homogenized with the rest of the world. Older generations still around are often disconcerted by the fact that the young Yuppies are losing their unique traits such as the love of their mother tongue and routine absorption of domestic pieties in an ambience of soft Hinduism.

      Sanskrit slokas and Tamil Prabandam verses that used to reverberate in the house in the stillness of the evening are being heard less and less. Raucous rock music is displacing the softer Carnatic melodies and ancient civilities are being replaced by modern brusqueness in the attitude of the young towards the elders. But deep down, not much has changed. They are still the world's best second-rate men.

      The author, a former Editor of The Indian Express, is a distinguished scholar in English and Tamil. An English version of Kamba Ramayana edited by him was published last year.

      Blogger Varadarajan.R said...
      nice read.
      June 14, 2011 11:33 PM
      Blogger manikandan said...
      very well written. Must read for all the Tambrahms.
      June 15, 2011 10:43 AM
      Blogger Harisankar said...
      long read
      June 16, 2011 8:28 PM
      Harisankar said

      Behind every great iyer is another iyer and infront of both of them is the greater iyer woman. :))
      June 16

      hvaidaya said

      long reading inspired you to write another comment. So do not ignore anything.
      June 16