Groundhog Day in Tiruvannamalai…

Groundhog_Day_(movie_poster)Groundhog Day—a great movie on the magic of transforming one’s personal karma—was released in America in 1993. The plot is simple: for the fourth year in a row, Phil Connors (Bill Murray)—a narcissistic meteorologist who works for a make-believe Pittsburgh TV station—travels with his lovely news producer Rita Hanson (Andie MacDowell) to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Phil is pissed off to be wasting his talents on this weather forecasting “rat”; unpleasant job done, he’s impatient to get back to the big city.

But a blizzard forces Phil and his crew to return for the night to dreadful Punxsutawney—and when he awakens next morning, the clock radio on his nightstand is playing the same classic it played the morning before—”I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher. Other events repeat just as the day before…and when the phenomenon persists the following day, Phil realizes he is trapped in a time loop: Is he doomed to spend eternity in this awful town covering the goddamned “rat”? If so, his life has turned into a living hell!

But soon, with no fear of long-term consequences, Phil begins to take advantage of the situation: he charms secrets out of Punxsutawney’s innocent denizens, seduces unwary women, turns to petty crime, drives recklessly, and gets thrown in jail. Oddly enough, his attempts to get closer to lovely Rita bear no fruit. Continue reading

The Ego Is Not Your Amigo – Part 1 of 2

Arunachala

Arunachala

One twilit Sunday evening, a friend and I embarked on the 14-kilometre Giripradakshina trek. In  this specific case, Giripradakshina refers to the ancient practice of circumambulating the sacred hill Arunachala—which rises majestic from the center of the intriguing ancient temple town of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, south India.

Taking off from Ramana Ashram, we made our way through a segment of crazy busy highway until we reached the serpentine tree-shaded mountain path (Girivalam) road populated with varying types of sadhu—from the often belligerent itinerant hoping to escape a tricky mundane situation by donning the orange robe that bestows instant spiritual status and garners support from many quarters—to the true renunciate of radiant countenance. Continue reading