The Smell of the Ground

Today, my thoughts are about “munn vasanai” (In English: the smell of the ground)

Home.

What does the word mean to you?
Is it a place? A house…..4 walls….nice roof? A mountain perhaps? A country? A town? A sweetheart’s arms?

Home.
Is it a thing? Is it a feeling?
What is it?
What does home mean to you?

Home.
Not house.
Home.

It means so many things to me. I have moved so much…that the material world meaning of house doesn’t mean anything to me anymore.

I still remember Thatha’s house. His fields. The tamarind tree in the back. The swing on the tamarind tree.

I still remember Appa and Amma’s house. My favorite spot there to hangout….where I spent 1000 hours of reading, studying, chatting with Amma or Appa. My favorite spot there to eat.

I still remember my dorm rooms. Filled with cheer and fun. Filled with so much studying.

I still remember the first apartment that Kumar and I were together in as a couple.

I still remember the first house that we moved into. All the lil things. All the plants we planted. The house that the boys were born in.

I still remember all my friend’s places where I felt like I home.

I still remember all that. Yet, I don’t.
Those “homes” have passed me by.

There is a term called “munn vasanai” in Tamil. It literally means, the “smell of the ground”. Figuratively, it means a place that you remember and cherish. As the first rain drops fall, the ground gives out a fragrance. That is “munn vasanai”.

Today, as it rains, here is Austin, I can smell the same “munn vasanai” of Thatha’s fields. I can smell the backyard in Appa and Amma’s house.

I think, home is where you are.
The rest of the mumbo jumbo about home is just biochemicals in your brain.

I am home. I am happy wherever I am.

I hope you are home and happy wherever you are too.

The Mindset to Enjoy the Little Things in Life

When I was very young, Thatha (Granpda TVS) told me that if a man is free of 3 greeds, he can live a happy live:

  1. poon (love for gold – also means love for money and other good things in life)
  2. pen (lust for a woman or man, in the case of a woman)
  3. maan (greed for land)

He told me that if I live a greed-less life…then, I’ll have the time and mindset to enjoy the things that life actually has to offer.

Lil things…like the intricate and delicate cobweb on a tree, a ray of sunlight, the laughter of a child….or the beautiful blue skies.

As the days pass me by, my adoration for Thatha steadily increases.

He was such a wise old man. I bet your Grandpa was a wise old man too.

I know he is watching me from those beautiful blue skies and saying “Atta Girl!”

On Blue

This is a story about the color blue, and like blue, there’s nothing true about it.

‘True blue’ is a ruse, a rhyme; it’s there, then it’s not.

Blue is glory and power, a wave, a particle, a vibration, a resonance, a spirit, a passion, a memory, a vanity, a metaphor, a dream.

Blue is a simile.

Blue, she is like a woman…And, as a woman, she is deadly.

― Christopher Moore, Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art