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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Akila G

Naming Ceremony

The path to the volcano at Bandung in Indonesia winds up and down through dense vegetation. Shrubs, moss laden, uneven stepping-stones interspersed with rustling leaves.

Dad recalls his father’s childhood story. Grandpa used to walk miles through a dense forest to his school in the next town. Those days, forests were infested with robbers. The village buzzed with stories of victims, especially Brahmin pundits who would be robbed of rice grains, lentils, vegetables, and sometimes, the few annas received by them for performing religious ceremonies and holy chanting.

Karuthuvaavan, Cheengannan, Veeru – Grandpa never encountered these rogues in the forest but their description from villagers was vivid enough for his memory to nickname his three sons.

night duty –
the watchman has a name
for every star