Friday, May 18, 2007

With Apologies to Nike

So. In my mother’s endless quest for more grandchildren than she knows what to do with, I have been instructed to buy a panchang. For those of you in the dark (from me, who has had an occasional glimpse of light and winced) a panchang is a Vedic calendar based largely on the phases of the moon with an occasional nod to the sun, the nine* real planets in our solar system and two mythical ones (Yes, we have mythical planets. Don’t you?).

The panchang is pretty much the how-to-live-every-day-of-your-life guide for all good, religious, Hindus (I score exactly zero out of three). It has every single day of (however remote) religious significance marked out on it and if you’re even borderline familiar with Hinduism, that is a LOT of days. There is ekadashi, which happens once every month – I know some people fast on this day, there is amavas, which is essentially a moonless night, so I’m assuming people switch on the street-lights this day, and a whole plethora of other days which I have no clue about. All I know is that some involve fasting, some involve feasting and some involve wearing yellow clothes and feeding cows (unless this one of my mother’s twisted little ways of getting a laugh off her children).

’What does this have to do with my mother’s potential grandchildren?’, you might ask.
‘Apparently, lots’, I will say.

You see, since my mother has realised that mere badgering has done nothing to increase her tribe, she has switched to plan B i.e. tempt your daughter with the promise of “super” offspring. Apparently, doing the deed on days specifically earmarked for er…such activity will ensure that the resultant bundle of joy will be the kind of bundle of joy that is the very epitome of joyousness. As they were wont to say in shady seventies Hindi movies, “Heera hoga, heera!!" (He will be a diamond, a diamond!).

But it’s not as simple as it sounds. You can’t ‘just do it’ (sorry nike) on the days circled in red marker. There is A Process. The two parties involved must first have gone though a period of celibacy (ten days, I think). On the designated day, when the clock strikes the magic hour, both parties must bathe, wear clean clothes and light a diya in front of bhagwaan-jis of their choosing. They must then invoke their individual ancestors, inform them of their intentions to further (deepen?) their gene pools, seek their blessings and then get down and do the dirty.

Because of course, *nothing* gets you in the mood like the mental image of an audience of stern-faced gods and grey-beard ancestors watching you as you get it on.

*or is that eight now?


Tabula Rasa said...

"plan b" hahahahahahaha

Brown Magic said...

Not to nitpick, but there are 7 planets (including the sun and the moon) and then Rahu and Ketu as the mythical ones.

basically, nothing past Saturn exists in our world and if it does, it does not impact the joyousness of your bundle of joy.

Mwah ha ha.I am the hindu-est of the hindus. y'all are suckas.

Ph said...

Is aghast at the evilness of Tabula Rasa. Evil, evil man.

Tabula Rasa said...

i love you too :-D

CuriousCat said...

I come from a family that lives and breathes by the panchang and I thought it could not be any worse for anybody else. But you open my eyes. This is the first I hear about linar time tables for the excersice at procreation!

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

You could sell tickets.
Make it clear there will be no refund if the performance is rained out. Or something.


Chronicus Skepticus said...

Tabula Rasa: Professor, you are *very* lucky that my mommy does not read blogs.

Brown Magic: Woman, you are seriously scary sometimes.

As for the bundles - joyous or otherwise - there are none in the near future so the planets (mythical or real) will have to do their impacting elsewhere.

But seriously, 'mythical planets'? Makes you wonder what they were smoking, no?

Ph: Join the ranks, let us all be aghast together!

Curious Cat: The panchang doesn't actually mention any such time-tables. I think there are other err...'technologies' at work here. :D

J.A.P: Now there's an idea. But do you know a lot of people who'd pay to watch nodding flowers?

Revealed said...

*displays her aghast card proudly and wanders around looking for the circle of aghastees holding hands and exchanging looks of aghastness*

Doesn't rahu eat up like other planets? Always thought he was a fascinating one.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Rahu eats up other planets?? MAN hinduism is trippy!

Kya tumhare paas bhi aghast card hai?? Bhaiyyaaaaa!! :D

Somebody get us a movie already!

Tabula Rasa said...

you do realise it has to be a hindu-mythological type pitcher, don't you?


Chronicus Skepticus said...

Tabula Rasa urf Aghastya: Oooh! Those are the *best*! I've always wanted to turn people into little piles of ash with the twin rays of righteous wrath that I shoot from my eyes (or third eye, as the case may be).

And @ aghastya, heh! and ha ha!

Tabula Rasa said...


you guys supply the funding i'll bring the arrow and cellophane :-D

Revealed said...

Oooh oooh! Can I also turn people to ashes? Pretty please?

Also, I'm informed (reliably) that Rahu does no such thing. I apparently just made it up out of the top of my head. Very disappointing.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Tabula Rasa: I get the arrow, but cellophane? What does one do with *cellophane*??

Revealed: This is a hindu-mythological pikchur, yes? We will *always* need people-into-ash-turners. Hell, bring a friend. Or a hundred!

But you know, that Eater-of-Planets story sorta rang a bell...I *vaguely* remember an Amar Chitra Katha in which he (Rahu), with his mouth wide open, was chasing the sun.

But then, my memory's not the most reliable thing around. *sigh*

The Mad Momma said...

wow..youlearn something everyday. never heard of the panchang before today and am most impressed. have two babies i can rent out the next time ur mom visits... only hitch - they're in delhi.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Mad Momma:
Delhi, you say? Well, my mom's IN delhi so...?

But I think it would have to be the bean. My mother, as grandchildren-greedy as she is, is unlikely to believe that the brat is my newborn child. :D

Tabula Rasa said...

why, cellophane to wrap the arrow in, of course. with a little bit trailing out the back.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Tabula Rasa: Stupid Question Alert: *WHY* do arrows need to be wrapped in cellophane (with a little bit trailing)? So that they can be re-used??

*is taking feeling ignorant to a whole new level*

Tabula Rasa said...

oh i thought that's the way they're generally done. ramanand sagar school of thought -- i haven't kept up with the later trends.

Saugata said...

where can I get a panchang (i presume it's in Hindi?)...this is real education!

the mad momma said...

we have a deal. you can rent her.again - you need them where you are - not in delhi, right?! ok.. nonsense conversation beginning.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Saugata: Umm...are you the Saugata whose beer I inadvertently pinched? Or the one I've never met?

Either way, the panchang on its own, is not really interesting. Just a bunch of tithis on a calender. For the education, you're better off calling up my mom. :D

(and yes, it *is* in hindi)

Mad Momma: Err...okay! Is she available in the third week of July? (this conversation is getting *very* surreal)

Roshan said...

lol. that is so funny

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Roshan: Well, hello! And hey, thank you. :)