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Meeting Mani in Madras

From: R.Balaji (
Date: Sat May 30 1998 - 02:52:42 PDT

Dear friends,

Mani was so good to get in touch with me as soon as he landed here in
Chennai for his wedding.

Unfortunately, due to official chores which took me away to Hyd'bad I
could not attend his wedding. But I was glad we both took some respite
from our respective engagements on 25th May to spend a pleasant hour
chatting with each other.

Meeting in 'flesh and blood', so to say, is definitely so much different
than corresponding through the Net! 

Although I'd been aware Mani was a very young man I was nonetheless
surprised by how spright the lad looked. Equally so, I guess, my greying
temple and rapidly vanishing hair-line might have taken Mani by

He'd just had his "samAsrayanam", Mani told me, from his 'AchAryan' a
few days ago. Also he'd just returned from worship at "tirumanjana-
sevai" at Parthasarathi temple!

I felt quite ashamed as I found myself immediately wondering if, at
Mani's age, I'd ever possessed as much piety or "bhagavath-preeti" !! 

Mani introduces me to his other family members, his mother and his
brother who is well-known in music circles in the USA and Madras.

"Bhakti-members quite enjoy your views on the list", says Mani. I should
continue to contribute as much and as frequently as I can; occasional
aberrations and tantrums notwithstanding, I suppose!!

I laugh. I congratulate him for the great cyber-concept and cyber-forum
that the Bhakti-list truly is. I have never come across a SriVaishnava
forum that is as open and as liberal as his is. I enjoy it thoroughly
since quite a few members pump and pepper with me a lot of questions!
It's a great educative experience for me at least, if not for them!

I present Mani with a copy of "kurai-onrum-illai", the book written by
Sriman U.Ve. Mukkur Lakshminarasimhachariar. "It's my little gift for
your wedding and wish you many years of happy married life".

Mani is keen to pay him a visit and wants to know if I can fix it.
Mukkur Swamy is away in Vijayawada and won't return before June first
week. Mani leaves for home on the 30th itself. The next time you're in
Madras, I tell him, we'll try and call on the Swamy.

We talk of Desikan's poetry, of Ramanuja's personality and then of this
& that and suddenly I find a whole hour has passed and I'm in the way of
Mani and his lunch. His mother, poor lady, I can see is silently
fretting in the kitchen!

The lad is such a charmer! We could've carried on talking but then Mani,
I tell myself silently, has a wedding ahead of him... his own... and he
better start learning to be on time in life... 

I wish him good luck and good cheer in wedded life and then take leave.

It's nice to see how bhakti brings us all together.