Sunday, March 21, 2010

Where can I find my family panda?

For Hindus, the ancient city of Haridwar is a place of pilgrimage and a traditional site for death rites. Brahmin priests at Haridwar maintain genealogy registers of Hindu families, sometimes stretching back twenty generations or more.

A pilgrim who visits Haridwar approaches his designated family-priest, who records his visit and any births, marriages and deaths that may have occurred since the last visit by a family member. But before that, he must find his family-priest. So a very common question at Haridwar, translated into English, goes: “Where can I find my family panda?”

Myshkin thinks this would be a good name for a backpacker’s account of travels in India, and I think he’s right.


Anushka said...

When I first read the word panda, I thought of big furry patch-eyed creature. But I theenk you might have intended that :P

Tommy said...

Reminds me of when I told my brother I'd gone hiking with a lama, and he (understandably) thought I meant llama.

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

Hehe, Tommy's comment reminds me of the Nash poem :)

WV: handgun.

Pratiti said...

@Takai: Hehe, me too. Did you know that one of Sujaan's many cool teachers said in class that Ogden Nash is one of the two modern poets who have quotability?

And panda is somehow very could be a conceit for so many things. Sigh. I'll never recover from this English exam.

Who is Myshkin? Other than Dostoyevsky's one. And did you know that Raja once told us that there are only three surviving copies of The Idiot in all of India? He was so strange.

My comment is almost as long as your post. I should make shorter comments. But you should also write a longish post one of these days. You should travel. And then proceed to do so.


Sroyon said...

@Anushka: Pandas seem to inspire puns, don't they?

@Tommy: Reminds me of when we went for a quiz competition in class six, and my teammate answered "Llama" but he pronounced it [lə'lɑmə]. The answer was correct, but everyone laughed.

@Shrabasti: The Lord in His wisdom made Takai,
And then forgot to tell us why.

@Pratiti: How on earth is family panda suggestive? Myshkin will be mentioned in this blog from time to time. Let's see how soon you figure out his identity.

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

Amar favourite is Purity is Obscurity. :D Joo-tey dhokar por Sujaan ekdin amaye bolchilo how he was at the receiving end of all corrupting influence, tokhon eta bole diyechilam :D

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

@Tiyas: who's ze second one?

Pratiti said...

Okay, is it Sujaan? Because Priyanka once commented about Myshkim not getting a special blue link in a post and he was the only one without one in that post.
If it is, is the reference to the prince?

Pratiti said...

@Takai: And I like the one about the turtle and Hillaire Belloc.
And the when I consider sonnet-wala one, although that's probably because the sonnet was in the madhyamik syllabus and I just love people making fun of things in the syllabus. And I can completely mentally envision you saying that to Sujaan. The yellow Yahoo smileys before and after, everything. And did you also ask him to "be a man" during this talk, like you did once before?

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

Haha yes I lurve those too. And the line drawings :D. Ar na, the "be a man" was probably back in the days he sought "wise counsel" from time to time :D.