Native Religious Practises: Keda Vettu

(A word of caution: this blog post, adopted from an old blog post of mine, is about animal sacrifice as practiced in the villages of Tamil Nadu, India. If it is not your thing, give it a miss.) What do you think they do in villages if their cattle fell sick one after the other…

Madras Moment

Chennai is a city, Madras is an emotion. Or so goes the popular refrain. But what does it mean? How does a significant geographical area of 8 million diverse people goes from a city to an emotion? It is not for me—an outsider—to define what Madras is (if at all that is possible), but by…

Leave It To Professionals

(This was written two days ago on Ayudha Poojai.) Today is Ayudha Poojai. In our enterprising small town of forty thousand—full of SMEs giving employment to diverse set of professionals like turners, welders, plumbers, electricians, automobile mechanics, auto/taxi drivers, doctors, nurses, load men, civil engineers, masons, charted accountants etc., not to mention a whole lot…

Maha Sivarathiri at the Village

“மேன்மைகொள் சைவநீதி விளங்குக உலகமெல்லாம்,” the priest implores at this tiny temple in a remote corner of India.

Service Culture

“I’m not going to complain about Britain’s “lack of a service culture”—it’s one of the things I cherish about the place. I don’t think any nation should elevate service to the status of culture. At best, it’s a practicality, to be enacted politely and decently by both parties, but no one should be asked to…