Sunday, September 24, 2006

Jhoot boley kauwa kaate

Duty of the son: Shraddh must be performed with faith, devotion and reverence. According to Hindu scriptures, a son who does not perform Shraddh for his ancestors is an ungrateful son. The scriptures condemn such a person to a life of misery and poverty.
(Quoted from nyaw).

According to the scriptures you have to perform rituals on the 10th day after a person dies. One of the rituals is to make offerings of rice cakes to the crows.

R: Why crows?
F: Crows serve as an instant messaging system between the dead and the living.

R: Whoa, whoa, whoa. How would you know that?
F: Everybody knows that. Here, I even made a neat little diagram to show how it works.



F: In the first drawing you have a dead guy and his soul flying up in the air. Then the soul communicates its last wishes to the crow (indicated as blah).

R: And why would the soul communicate with a crow instead of a human?
F: Humans can be very conniving and distort the message from the dead to their own advantage.
R: Good point.

F: Okay so the soul communicates its wishes to Mr. Crow.
R: Wait are those red undies that the crow is wearing?
F: Yes. Since he has psychic superpowers it is only fitting that he be deemed a superhero, hence the undies.
R: Nice touch.

F: Thank you. So once the message is relayed, the crow goes to the dead person’s house and waits for the humans to make the rice offerings. The crow does not immediately touch the rice cakes once the offerings are made. It waits for the human to utter the magic words (a.k.a. promises to fulfill dead man’s wish). The crow then pecks on the rice cake designated to the dead person.
R: Ri-ight.
F: You don’t seem convinced.
R: Well I was just wondering if there were any controls to validate this hypothesis.
F: The crow pecked on the rice cake assigned to the dead guy. How do you explain that?
R: Coincidence?
F: You skeptics are never satisfied.
R: I would be if you show me some controls and statistical significance.
F: What?
R: We should do some experiment. Enroll some volunteers. When they die, we put 100 rice cakes with one assigned to a dead guy. The crow has inside information so it should be able to pick the right rice cake. Then to validate the result, we run this test some 10-20 times. What do you think?
F: Science is limited by its tools. You can’t understand the supernatural by conducting scientific experiments. Besides, there must have been some good reasons for our ancestors to follow such practices. Our ancestors have come up with rituals after a lot of contemplation and deep thinking.
R: Science was never meant for answering all the questions. But it certainly can answer some of the questions. It shouldn’t be difficult to test the crow’s superpowers. As far as our ancestors go, they also believed the earth was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. They were limited by their technology or the lack of it. I would not discredit all the rituals. For example, the Egyptians had been using copper vessels to store water decades before they understood how copper helped in keeping the water pure. Now we know that copper has antimicrobial properties. However, I want to reason with the traditions and not follow them blindly.
F: Suit yourself.

16 comments:

Fleiger said...

Red undies? Nice one...

And we do have some reason to believe that the Crow (capitalized due to superpowers, can't show red undies here) knows the wishes of the dead person. How else would you explain the fact that the Crow does not touch the rice cake way late in the ritual, when all other wishful wishes uttered by conniving relatives are finished and they are forced to say the magic words.

To quote a great Marathi writer, no "shraddha" story finishes in three sentences: They offered the rice cakes. Crow pecked the rice cakes. They came back home.

Fleiger said...

Oh, and btw, pliss to notice I comment on all your blog posts now. So be quick with that next episode of Mahabharata...

Rockus said...

Great explanation and an awesome sketch!
Red undies??? LMAO!

Sameer said...

was this hilarious drawing done on a white board by any chance?
you have an amazing sense of humor btw!

cheti said...

Crys,

As funny as it is, I like the way you touch upon serious stuff in a sarcastic way !

way to !

Indian Curry said...

love the way you write... you are a best seller in the making... keep going...

dodo said...

Supercrow with red undies.. LMAO :))
Awesome drawing! I used to think that my handwriting is quite "unique", but it matches yours to a very great extent.

Yes, our ancestors had very limited technical capabilities, and everything that they didn't understand was attributed to god(s). But isn't it a bad thing to do that even now, especially by people who have advanced degrees in science and engineering? Millions of people in India suffer with hunger, and desis with excess money in the US build huge temples for stones.

Crystal blur said...

fleiger,
Faith is affirmed by coincidences but not shattered by exceptions.

Am keeping a log of comments don't worry ;)

rockus,
Thanks!

sameer,
I used corel and I have a wacom tablet. Glad you had fun reading :)

cheti,
This blog was inspired by a recent conversation I had with a friend. Fun times.

pranay,
Thanks buddy, hope to become best seller some day too.

dodo,
Yay, I found my handwriting twin (like Joey's hand twin).I also fluctuate between writing R as cursive or not. Do you do that?

As far as temple building goes, I would rather have them donate that money to me. It just so happens that I am a (insert amount raised for temple building)dollars short and that can't be a coincidence. God wants me to have the money.

Nobody said...

hmmm .. nice work on ancient traditions ..
red undies look funny .. try 2 visualize a real crow with red undies ..
anyway, waiting for krish ... and most of all the next Mahabharata chapter.

dodo said...

I'm not sure about R, my writing used to fluctuate a lot, sometimes even on the same page! But I'm fast forgetting handwriting, I barely must've written a hundred words over the last year :(. Damn you computers!

I'm pretty sure god wants you to have the money. The best way to get it is to start your own religion. You can even use your Mahabharata series as the 'Holy Book'. If you want I'll help you do some viral marketing.
It'll be tough to convince the dogmatic assholes that somebody can be the 'Daughter of God', but we can try :).

Cruel Intentions said...

Red Underwear??? Why do I have a feeling I have read this one somewhere before?

Kozhi said...

hi Crys, awesome work again. does ur profession involve writing a lot? if not then it definitely needs to.

as someone said earlier u have the makings of a best-seller. and good to know that u too are a FRIENDS fan :)

Fleiger said...

Err... I guess there is a "not" extra in my comment in the second sentence in second para, which has completely changed the meaning.
Anyways, you are right, exceptions prove the rule, right?

Crystal blur said...

nobody,
Thanks buddy. Right now I am trying hard to work on my thesis so the MB and Krish stuff (which needs a lot of time and creative juices) will be on a hold for now. Right now all I am good for is whimsical blogs about whatever fancies my mind.

Dodo,
If we make our organisation exclusive and collect enough money we should be able to convince people of anything...look at scientology. I have already started setting up sonation boxes.

Cruel intentions,
The only thing I found in common between your blog and mine was the usage of the word undies.

Kozhi,
Thanks! My work (biology grad student) does require a lot of writing but it is technical writing (not so much fun). As far as Friends go, I use to like that show but the last couple of seasons bombed. They Joey-Rachel and Rachel-Ross stuff was ultra boring.

Fleiger,
Exceptions challenge the rule, except faith based ones b'coz there is always a made-up explanation for exceptions. Eg. The most kind-hearted person gets afflicted with some horrible disease. How do you explain that...karma of the last life ofcourse. No fact checking required.

Cruel Intentions said...

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! Its not just the undies, Its the RED UNDIES!!! ;-)

Numbskull said...

mebbe the WISE ancestors did have a good reason for following the ritual (the ritual might have been to just offer some rice to crows), but down the line some WISER wiseguys started attributing magical powers to crows and their abilities to detect the dead persons rice Cake.
i dont want to reason with rituals and find out if they are scientifically proven to be of any benefit.. I'll just take their word cuz given the quality of most products (ramayana,mahabharata, vedas etc.) from 'em i'm pretty sure i can trust 'em Superwise ancestors. plus rituals are so much fun too :p

You guys better repent before ur souls are black-listed by the crow community.