Apr 28, 2018

Baahubali - The third epic.

When I started this blog, one principle I wanted to follow was no movie reviews.  I remember writing about Myna, though not in review point of view but it did touch upon a few scenes from the movie.  Now, I chose to do a comeback (Blog was in sleep mode for couple of years and I wrote this post in December last year but did not publish it) with a note on Baahubali, a movie of its own kind.  This is not going to be a review - almost every Indian or every fan of Baahubali-1 would have watched the 2nd Part released in April this year but I wanted to list why Baahubali is most admired and appreciated and those parts in the movie that are my favourites.

I was in India with family when Baahubali - 1 was released.  Unlike movies like Kabali, Mersel etc I did not have any idea about making of such a movie and its release dates.  After I got back to the States, a friend mentioned that Baahubali - a new movie was released and the graphics work was commendable.  Looked at some reviews (not the youtube videos) and they were favoring the decision.  So, I booked my tickets for Tamil version and it was almost a month after its release and hence there were less # of showtimes and the one I got was for 10.20 PM.  The cinema was about 20 miles away and I was thinking that I would sleep as soon as I reach there. The film opened (though I read the reviews I did not visualize a lot of things) and even the very first scene of the map of magizhmathi to kunthalargal maraividam to the waterfalls and with the BGM was stunning.  I sat straight and started paying attention and did not have to worry about falling asleep.  The waterfalls was incredible and could not keep my eyes off the screen, and not just eyes but ears too, what a support that the music and the background score gave to the movie!!

The Siva Siva song was so mesmerizing.  I have always loved carnatic based film songs and this one is no exception. (There cannot be a woman in the world who did not admire Prabhas in and around this song's picturization)  Even a child would say it would be impossible to lift the Lingam but who cares.  Baahubali outsmarted Rajinikanth. There was not a single thing that was impossible for him.  Then on the journey was smooth.  Frame after frame, there was a neat flow of the story.  While the story/screenplay was progressing background score always made its presence felt and appreciated. Honestly there could not be a better composition than this for this kind of a movie.  If Rajamouli was the father of the movie, Keeravani was indeed the mother!!!

Shivu trying to understand the who Avantika was, and in turn trying to know her mission and the introduction of the bad king Balla were all simply wonderful, the flow of the screenplay was flawless.  Though the story looked very very similar to that of the rivelry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, the hatred of the bad brother towards the good brother was well captured.  Well conceived one was the statue scene; the people working to erupt the statue, those artists who perform various kinds of art- all showed a sullen face - doing their work with utmost disinterest, the BGM was reflecting the same emotion.  The moment they heard the magical word, everyone got the momentum and that made the difference in the output.  And Balla imagining Baahu's image deeply carved in the hearts of the citizens of Magizhmathi.  And there was the intermission right at this point. It was the "Yes Yes Rajamouli" moment.

I was so impressed by the war scenes.  The battlefield simulation, the way the vyooga is formed were really stunning.  Reminded me of Abhimanyu knowing only to break the padma vyooga in the Kurukshetra war.  Amerendra's war techniques were also good.  And what level of confidence would a director have to end the movie like the way Part 1 ended.  It appeared like a lot of scenes of Part 2 were shot alongside Part 1.  

When Part 1 was telecast on the television I urged my father to watch the movie as he always used to talk about the Old hit Chandralekha.  I was waiting for Part 2 to be released.  Baahubali is the one and only movie which I watched on the second day of release and the first show in the AM.  There were only 4 people for the show - we did not want to take the kids, so sent them to school and took the day off and went in the AM.   The second part had huge expectations as to how SSR was going to answer the most asked question of 2015/16 - "Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali?".  And yes, justice was served by the director.  

Devasana stood second after Mayabazaar's Vatsala - what a beautiful princess.  The romance was well depicted as well.  Again another raaga based song - endearing to the ears.  The costumes of Devasena and Amerendra were colorful and pleasing.  I have huge respect for people who stick to their principles and there is no wonder I became a fan of Amerendra for his justifications to being on the side of Devasena and opposing his own mother.  And the intermission scene for Part 2 was no less than that of Part 1.  Balla taking the oath under the name of God while Baahu taking it under Sivagami.  And the fear shown in the eyes of Sivagami when the citizens opposed the decision and when Amerendra saved the "Venn kotra kudai" from falling thereby showing his dedication to his post were some highlights.  The scene where the Kunthala kingdom's flag was bent and chopped off by the sculpture at the Magizhmathi fort, kind of indicated the ending of the Kunthala dynasty - another good thought and reminded of Silappathikaaram where decorative hangings (thoranam) signaled Kovalan and Kannagi not to enter the ill fated city of Madurai.  Beyond that everything was falling in place to conclude part 2. 

Were there no flaws?  There were - plenty in fact, but who cares!!  Baahubali was a visual treat and a great drama to enjoy a lot of nuances.  What else is needed.

The characterization of the Rajamatha Sivagami Devi - Ramya Krishnan was the basement for Baahubali - how strongly laid!!!  There was a news that Sridevi was approached to play the role; thank God it did not materialize.  None other than Ramya Krishnan could have done it better.  Every actor did 100% justice to his/her character.  Prabhas - what a handsome man he is.  And he and Anushka made the best pair.

Madhan Karky's work too was totally commendable.  Thoroughly enjoyed the lyrics of 'Siva Siva'. 'Thalaimagal un kaithiye' - nice thought.

Music was the soul of Baahubali - glad it all worked and we had a wholesome treat from the team.  I hope SSR makes many much movies and bring glory to Indian Cinema.  I'm hoping to see Ponniyin Selvan on the big screen.  Fingers crossed.

PS: Posting now on the first anniversary of BB-2.  

Mar 30, 2018


ரஜினியா, கமலா? (சாரி, நோ பாலிடிக்ஸ்!!), விஜயா,  அஜித்தா?...யாரா இருந்தா என்ன, பொழுதுபோக்கா இருந்தா முனீஸ்காந்த் படம் கூடப் பார்ப்பேன்.  தோனியா.. டெண்டுல்கரா...யாராஇருந்தா என்ன, இந்தியா விளையாடினாலே பார்ப்பேன்.  ராஜாவா ரஹ்மானா...நேரா மூளை நரம்பைத் தொடும்னா, அனிருத் கூட கேப்பேன்.  இப்படி பொதுவா எல்லா விஷயத்திலும் இரட்டை நிலையே பெரும்பாலும் இருந்தாலும் அதிலெல்லாம் "ராமன் ஆண்டாலும் ராவணன் ஆண்டாலும் எனக்கு என்ன" ன்னு இருக்கும் என் போன்றோருக்கு பெரிய decision making  challenge என்ன சமைக்கலாம் என்பதில் தான்.

அதிலும் நமக்கு மிகவும் பிடித்த ஒரு பதார்த்தம் என்று இருந்தால் ரொம்ப கஷ்டம். சரி உடனிருப்பவர்களைக் கேட்கலாம் என்றால் அதை விட முட்டாள்தனம் வேறேதும் இல்லை. "எதுவா இருந்தாலும் ஓகே" அல்லது "ஐயோ அது வேண்டாம்" (அந்த 'அது' தான் நமக்கு மிகவும் பிடித்ததாக இருக்கும்) என்ற இரு விடைகளைத் தவிர வேறு எந்த கருத்தும் நம்மிடம் வந்து சேர்ந்ததில்லை.  

இப்படிப்பட்ட கஷ்டமான சூழ்நிலையில், குழந்தைகளுக்குப் பிடித்ததையும் மனதில் வைத்துக்கொள்ள வேண்டும், காரமோ, புளிப்போ அவர்கள் விரும்பும் அளவிற்கு மேல் இல்லாதவரை பார்த்துக்கொள்ள வேண்டும், and so on.  

இதாகப்பட்ட சூழ்நிலையில் வீட்டில் இருந்தது பூசணிக்காய். எலிக்கு மசால் வடை மாதிரி, பூனைக்குப் பால் மாதிரி எனக்கு பூசணிக்காய்.  பூஷணி என்றால் 'நிறைந்த' என்று அர்த்தம். (சர்வாலங்கார பூஷணி) அதனால் தான் இந்த காய்க்கு இப்படி ஒரு பேரோ என்று தோன்றும்.  மணமும் குணமும் நிறைந்த பூசணிக்காயைப் பார்த்ததும் என்னுள் இருக்கும் 'multi-taste-mania' வியாதி விஸ்வரூபம் எடுக்க ஆரம்பித்தது.  சாம்பாரா, மோர்க்குழம்பா? இல்லையில்லை, மோர்க்குழம்பா, சாம்பாரா? என்று எனக்குள் ஒரு நீயா நானா சூடு பிடிக்கத் துவங்கியது.  ஒரு முடிவுக்கு வர முடியாத நிலையில், விடுமுறை நாள் இல்லையென்பதால், சீக்கிரம் வேறு சமைக்க வேண்டிய சூழ்நிலை.  என்னை உணவு விஷயத்தில் உரித்து வைத்திருக்கும் (எங்கள் இருவருக்கும் வாழ்க்கையே ருசித்து சாப்பிடத்தான்.) என் மூத்த மகனைக் கேட்டேன்.  அவன் சட்டென்று 'சாம்பார்' என்று சொல்லிவிட்டு பள்ளிக்குச் சென்று விட்டான்.

ஆகையால் எங்கள் மடப்பள்ளியில் இன்று பூசணிக்காய் சாம்பார்.  வயிறும் மனமும் நிறைந்தது.  எத்தனை கோடி இன்பம் வைத்தாய் எங்கள் இறைவா?

ஆனாலும் அந்த மோர்க்குழம்பு...சீக்கிரம் காய் வாங்கச் செல்ல வேண்டும்.

பின் குறிப்பு: Blogம் உயிர்த்தெழுந்து இருக்கிறது...Easter around the corner.

Jul 4, 2015

The ultimate bliss

What is the ultimate blissful moment in life? For some, it is sipping a coffee, for others it is watching a thalaivar film.  For few others, drenching in rain and for certain others it could be making a delicious meal. Holding a new born's fingers, dancing for a tune, playing an instrument, watching a train cross, recording the nature's colors, observing fishes swim, writing, reading, having a perfect date, watch Dhoni's winning shot etc etc etc.  The list is endless and so are the taste and satisfaction levels of a human being.

But there is something else that makes you feel full.  The "pErinbam" item;  when you see your child accomplishing something.  It could even be as trivial as him/her saying their "abc's" for the first time.  Each kid is different and the pace at which they learn something new is different.  There is nothing under the sun that can supersede the happiness felt when the children exhibit an outstanding show. 

Really?  Are the parents the most blessed when they see their children go places? There is just another thing that can actually surpass this pleasure i.e. the happiness that the children undergo when they make their parents proud!!

Unfortunately God is not so kind, he does not want everyone to be a parent; however he is so kind that everyone of us has a parent.  We sure can attain that blissful moment!  

The poet Thiruvalluvar says

மகன்தந்தைக் காற்றும் உதவி இவன்தந்தை 
எந்நோற்றான் கொல்லெனும் சொல் 

Magan thanthaikAtrum uthavi ivanthanthai
ennOtrAnkol enum sol.

The greatest help a son(daughter) could do to his/her parent is that he should let everyone ask "How blessed is this man to have such an offspring?"

A big bow to him and to all the parents and children who have undergone that blissful moment.

Apr 19, 2015

Heart + Soul = Success

I did not earn a Star of the year award at work; not a medal in sports; not reached any great milestone in personal life.  Yet, I was on cloud nine and feeling as though I conquered this whole world!  A moment of complacency.  You have to experience to feel!
Chinnu turned 6 in March.  It was winter and we had not been hosting a party for his birthday for last two years for reasons 1) he did not like to eat cakes 2) we had been shifting houses around this time and did not know kids of his age in the new place.  This year, when he turned 6, he wanted a party! He has good friends in the neighborhood and at the after-school care. Hence a party was planned.
Planes, Ninja Turtles, Spider man and other super heroes...What kind of a themed party should we have? He was not crazy about anything until a few months ago.  Of late, he had been into maps and flags and could spent hours at the computer trying to map flags to countries. Just a thought developed in my mind that I should go for the cake to have something around this.  Then I looked at the party city website and found that there was indeed an "International Flags" theme which probably is chosen by patriotic people to celebrate 4th of July or Veteran's day.  This fuelled the spark inside at this point.  I surfed the internet for cake designs with flags and maps and found a few.  They were not so appealing.  But sent them to the super-cool SUGAR CODE for guidance and was having an idea to get the cake made at Pittsburgh and get it transported to NJ as a friend was travelling to here.  Sugar code gave her valuable suggestions and we finally decided that it is safe to get the cake here for the fear of keeping it safe during the 6 hour road travel. 
In the meantime I came up with another design and took it to a nearby bakery and they told me it would not fit in a quarter sheet.  I did not want a big cake as the number of kids were less and I was going to spend the rest of the weekend in Boston and did not want to waste stuff.  When I updated Sugar code about what they told me, she mentioned that there was an option called edible image.  Pictures could be imaged on an edible sheet and special printers at the bakeries could do this.  Fell at the feet of internet again and found that Walmart bakeries could get them printed out. 
Well, thanking Sugar Code, I started finishing my design.  As I chose to write "Let this year be as colorful as these flags" on the cake, I wanted to pick flags of different shades to be on the image.  I chose Brazil and South Africa (they both have green shades) and sure wanted India (appreciate my patriotism) and USA as he is an American by birth.  Phew! they looked so awful when I put them on the computer.  Started the design all over again. Thank God, there were few flags which looked so similar.  I took Brazil and SA off my list and came up with a decent design.  It looked good and just had to be printed out.
In the meantime, there were chores at home; Wasn't taking any day off from work; and just 2 days left for the party.  I had placed the order with the bakery (with a design they suggested of course with flags but a completely different one from what was in my mind).  
Could not do much the following day.  It was around closing time of the bakery, when I called them up to get their email address to forward the flags' image. That was then I asked if they would just have the image on the cake if I were to get it to them.  The one who I spoke with, was the store manager.  She listened to the whole story and was surprised to know Wal Mart was printing them.  It was decided that way and I was to get the image to them the next morning. 
In the evening, I called up a nearby Wal Mart store and ran to the shop with the image in my jump drive.  By the time, the bakery personnel left and some Govindasamy was there and was giving a smile for every question I had. I wasted 45 minutes of my time. It was a working day and I still had to get some party favors.  I ran from here to there and came back home at 8.30 pm.  You know how evenings are on a working day and we ended up going to bed late.
The next morning, I went to the bakery en route work.  Met the manager and told her I wasn't able to get the sheet printed.  She told me that they themselves could print.  Ah!!!  And she showed me the pack of the imaging sheet.  I thanked her and emailed the image I came up with and picked up the cake next morning.
When I looked at it, I felt soooooooooooooo happy as though I myself made it from scratch.  I just can't explain the satisfaction I had. That's when I realized how these friend's of mine would feel when they see their brain child in front of their eyes.  That's such a wonderful feeling which words can not describe.  They are the blessed souls for they follow their passion!!!
And the lesson learnt from this party episode is the title of this post :))))

Aug 13, 2014

பெண்மையைப் போற்றுதும்

December 16, 2012 க்குப் பின் பாலியல் வன்புணர்வுக்கு என்னென்ன காரணிகள் என்று பல கருத்து கந்தசாமிகள் பேசிவிட்டார்கள்.  அந்த செய்தியை அறிந்தபோது எவ்வளவு வலித்ததோ அதே அளவு இவர்களுடைய கருத்துக்களைக் கேட்டபோதும் வலித்தது.  அவ்வப்போது கோபம் கொண்டாலும் எதுவும் மாறப்போவது இல்லை என்று எண்ணிக்கொள்வேன்.  சில நேரம் கோபம் சிரிப்பாய் கூட மாறும். (முக்கியமாக அசரம் பாபு அவர்களின் கருத்து பற்றி படித்த போது.)

சமீபத்தில் ஒரு நண்பர் பாலியல் விழிப்புணர்வு பற்றி எழுதி இருந்தார்.  அதில் ஒரு விஷயம் என்னை ஈர்த்தது.  பெண்களின் உடை தான் வன்புணர்வுக்கு தூண்டுகிறது என்ற கருத்தில் அவருக்கு உடன்பாடில்லை என்றும் அப்படி இருந்தால் மேலை நாடுகளில் இந்த குற்றம் அதிக அளவில் நடந்திருக்கும் என்றும் தெரிவித்திருந்தார்.  

என் குரங்கு மனம் அவ்வப்போது இதைப்பற்றியெல்லாம் யோசிக்கும்.   மேலை நாடுகளிலும் பெண்களைப் பார்த்து கிளர்ச்சியடைகிறார்கள், ஆனால் அது அங்கேயே நிற்கிறது. 3 காரணங்களை வரிசைப்படுத்தத் தோன்றுகிறது. 1.  இது இயற்கை என்பதை உணர்கிறார்கள்  (பாலியல் கல்வி உதவுகிறதோ என்னமோ?) 2. பெண்களை பெண்களாக, சக மனிதர்களாக மதிக்கிறார்கள், 3. இது குற்றம், சிக்கிக்கொண்டால் விளைவுகள் பெரிய அளவில் இருக்கும் (அங்கே இருக்கிறது) என்பதை அறிந்திருக்கிறார்கள். 

நம் நாட்டில் பெண் இரண்டாம் நிலையிலேயே நிறுத்தப்படுகிறாள்.  "கேவலம் ஒரு பெண்..." என்று நினைக்காதவர் மிகச்சிலரே. இன்று ஒரு பெண் குட்டைப்பாவாடை அணிந்து சென்றால், அதைப்பார்க்கும் பத்து பேர்களில் எட்டு பேர் (அவளுக்கு சம்பந்தமே இல்லாதவராய் இருந்ததாலும்) "எதுக்கு இவ்வளவு அலட்டல்" என நினைக்கிறார்கள்.  சிலர் அவளிடம் சொல்லவும் செய்கிறார்கள், கிண்டலாய் கேலியாய், Eve Teasers என்ற ஆங்கில ஆடை மொழியோடு.   

எனக்குத் தெரிந்த ஒருவர் இப்படி ஒரு முறை நடந்துகொண்டார்.  அப்போது மாருதி 800 வைத்திருந்த அவர், சான்ட்ரோவில் சர்ரென்று கிளம்பிய ஒரு மேல் தட்டுப் பெண்ணைப் பார்த்துவிட்டு ஏதோ கமெண்ட் அடித்தார்.  அவருக்கும் அவளுக்கும் எந்த சம்பந்தமுமில்லை. இந்த சூழலில் ஒன்றுக்கு மேற்பட்ட ஆண்கள் இருந்தது, அவர்கள் குடி போதையிலும் இருந்து அந்தப் பெண் கொஞ்சம் ரியாக்ட் செய்தால் ஏதோ ஒரு விதத்தில் அவளை பந்தாடுவார்கள்.   அவரவருடைய தன்மையைப் பொருத்து அது groping, molesting etc விலிருந்து வன்புணர்வு வரை போகிறது.  

இளைஞர்களின் இல்லையில்லை ஆண்களின் இந்த மனப்போக்கிற்கு வளர்ப்பு முறை, நட்பு மற்றும் சினிமா பெரிதளவில் காரணமாக இருக்கின்றன. இப்போதைய திரைப்படங்களில் பெண்களை கேலி செய்யும் வசனங்களும், அவர்களின் உடலமைப்பை குறிக்கும் படியான பாடல்களும் அப்படிப்பட்ட பாடல்கள் படமாக்கப்படும் விதமும் பாமர மனிதனை, அவற்றைத் தனக்குத் தெரிந்த பெண்ணிடம் உபயோகப்படுத்த உந்துகின்றன.  

எல்லாவற்றிற்கும் மேலாக "விச்வாமித்ரரின் தவத்தைக் கலைக்க இந்திரன் மேனகையை அனுப்பினான்" என்று அங்கும் பெண்ணை ஒரு போதைப்பொருளாகவே பார்த்திருக்கிறார்கள்.   இதை அறிபவன், இது காவியம் என்றோ வரலாறு என்றோ பாராமல் "பெண் ஒரு போதைப்பொருள்" என்று மட்டும் எடுத்துக்கொள்கிறான்.

சரி - இதை சரி செய்ய முடியுமா?  மதுவிலக்கு, ஆண் பிள்ளைகளுக்கு பெண்களிடம் எப்படி நடந்து கொள்ளவேண்டும் என்று தன் சிந்தனை, சொல், செயல் வழியாக போதிக்கும் பெற்றோர், பெண்ணை பெண்ணாக, சக மனிதப் பிறவியாக பார்த்தல், தவறான கருத்தையோ, சொல்லையோ பேசமாட்டேன்/எழுதமாட்டேன்/பாடமாட்டேன்  என்ற கொள்கையைக் கடைப்பிடித்தல், குற்றம் புரிபவருக்கு வயது வரம்பின்றி மரண தண்டனை அளித்தல்.

எண்ணிப்பார்த்தாலே இனிக்கிறது. கலியும் முற்றிக்கொண்டிருக்கிறது.   

பி.கு: பாரதியாருக்கு ஒரு நமஸ்காரம்.

Dec 21, 2013


The first thing that amused me when I stepped out of the Pittsburgh Int'l Airport on the night of July 12th 2004 was the shining sun who did not want to retire for the day.  It was around 7.20 PM - I was so tired due to the 30+ hours air travel and the then-not-diagnosed motion/air sickness.  The short time destination became a second homeland outside of India 3 years later.

Pittsburgh, the city of bridges as it is being called, is also my amma veedu in America; my closest relatives by blood and by acquaintance are here.  I Have made some good friends and have known some lovely people. My driving skills flourished in the single lane roads (or streets!!) of Pittsburgh. 6 years and 7 months in the same city is quite enough to be attached to the place, is it not? There was a time I wanted to move out of this place but not now. It seems to be a mix of emotions at this point.

Though I lived in Pitt for quite some years, I have never been to the farms to do apple/strawberry/flower picking, never been to Wheeling ISKON temple and Baba temple which are some of the usual destinations of visitors and residents. Kept them as places to see when I become a visitor to Pitt in the next few months.

I am excited for the change of place but will surely miss the quiet living, quicker commute to work, my kids’ school and the wonderful teachers there. I had been to the Niagara Falls 6 times out of the 7 summers I spent here in Pitt – that will surely be missed. I just made sure there are eggless cakes available in my destination too else Tamarind’s cakes will also feature in this list.

What I am looking forward to? India like living (excluding chaotic roads, traffic yet no honks), more music and drama, easy travel to Chennai, close proximity to long-time friends, beaches, lots of places to eat South Indian food.

Yes, excited that I will be residing at the Indian hub of America - N E W J E R S Y. Here I come, in about a week's time!!!

PS: Interesting things happen in my life in December - this is a sure thing to count as per this..

Sep 22, 2013

A Jolly 'Parenthood' ride

What's the time now?
It is 8.20 now.
No...There is no 20 in the clock.
                                                        ***            ***             ***
Do you want me to tell you a story about Krishna Umachi?
Ok, how about a story of a boy called Prahlada?
No, I want story of a girl.
                                                        ***            ***             ***
Oh cutie Amma....
I like your hair Amma
Your hair is really long...
                                                        ***            ***             ***
Are we going to school today?
No.  We are not.
Why? School is closed?
No, I'm staying home and so you stay home too.
Ohhhh School is closed and home is open.
                                                        ***            ***             ***
What's the opposite of hot?
you tell me.
Cold.  What's the opposite of big?
you tell me.
Small.  What's the opposite of shirt?
What's the opposite of shirt?
I don't know.  You tell me.
Is it?  Then what's the opposite of Appa?
:)) Then what's the opposite of you?
                                                        ***            ***             ***
I like Camry, Amma.  Which one do you like?
Hmm I like Subaru.
Subaru? - I will buy you one.
Thank you.  Who will drive the Subaru?
Me.  But we need a Subaru saavi(key) Amma.
                                                        ***            ***             ***
Appa, we will go on the Odyssey today.
No, we go on the Accord.
No Amma, Appa is really big, he needs to go on the Odyssey.
                                                        ***            ***             ***
Amma, I dont want to go to the pool park.
Because I dont want to swim.
Because I can't swim.
                                                        ***            ***             ***
Come on, lets get ready.  Today's Krishna Umachi's birthday.
Are we going to the party?
                                                        ***            ***             ***
Amma, you really have to grow big to be a 4 years old.
(If only I could !!!)
                                                        ***            ***             ***

Apr 30, 2013

Changing perceptions

She was my tenth standard class teacher.  She must have been in her early fifties then but still looked three to five years older than her original age perhaps due to her size.  I remember her wearing glass bangles and nail enamels that matched her saree colour.  I would not call her a beautiful woman as such so these embellishments did not suit her.  I always thought she dressed herself up too much that did not match her age/look.

Another middle aged woman I knew was also very keen on makeup.  She ensured she had at least a lip gloss when she stepped out. She went to beauty salon regularly and used to prepare/use many natural face-packs to keep her beauty intact.  She is certainly a good looking woman and these little steps she did to keep her presentable did not fail to add to her beauty.  But still I thought it was too much for her age.

After a while it became a habit for me to watch any 50+ woman’s face to have a statistics on threading and about 80 % of the women of the age group I saw had shaped eye brows whether or not their profession needed it  and whether or not they were pretty.  

Women here are seldom without makeup and my thought was no different when I came across a lady who is a widow and is in her late forties.  When I met her she was wearing a turquoise blue jacket and wore two rings on her finger that had some stone in the same colour.   I wondered how Western people view life in complete opposite sense.  I am told people here think that you are so arrogant if you don’t wear makeup (you think that you don’t need it and beautiful without it!)

But I seem to have started changing my idea.  First when my mom died;  a few months later I wanted to dress myself up well to divert my mind.  And most recently, when I saw Nithyasree on Super Singer 4 again. For a moment  I thought and regretted that her career came to an end may be because we had not seen (at least I) any woman artist who lost her spouse, performing in concerts in the world of Carnatic music.  Though I wanted her to continue with her profession I was skeptical if the sabhas would want her to perform in their programmes.   It was a pleasant surprise when she sang again and she was the same old her.  What's wrong in looking good whether or not you are young, whether or not you look good and whether or not there is a personal agony.  Spending time on being presentable lets one develop an attachment towards this materialistic world and sometimes we need it.  It is one route to keep oneself happy and confident come what may. 

Better late than never!

PS: All said, I would always want to stick to "Do what suits you and stay away from what does not".

Nov 25, 2012

அனுபவப் பாடங்கள்

அனுபவம் என்ற போதி மரத்தின் கீழ் தோன்றிய எண்ணங்கள் சில:

**  தன் கோபத்திற்கு வடிகாலாக குழந்தையை அடிப்பதை விட கோழைத்தனம் வேறெதுவுமில்லை

**  தன்னிடம் இல்லாத ஒன்று பிறரிடம் இருப்பதைக் கண்டு பொறாமைப் படாத மனம் யாரிடம் இருக்கிறதோ அவருக்கு எப்போதும் சந்தோஷம் நிலைத்திருக்கும்

** யாரிடமும் உதவி என்று போய் நிற்காமல் இருப்பதும், தன்னால் முடிந்ததைப் பிறருக்கு செய்வதும் உறவுகளை பலப்படுத்தும்
** எப்போது தேவையோ அப்போது நமக்கு நெருங்கியவரிடம் உதவி கேட்பதில் தவறேதும் இல்லை
** நம் குழந்தையை வளர்க்கும் போது தான் நம் பெற்றோர் நம்மை எவ்வளவு 'அரும்பாடு' பட்டு வளர்த்திருப்பர் என்று உணர்கிறோம்.   இன்னுமொரு குழந்தையை பெற்ற பிறகு தான் அவர்கள் நம் சகோதர, சகோதரிகளை ஒரே கண்ணோட்டத்தில் தான் பார்த்தார்கள் என்றும் உணர்கிறோம்.  நாம் உணரும் போது பெரும்பாலும் அவர்கள் நம்முடன் இருப்பதில்லை என்பதே வேதனையான விஷயம்
** ஒருவன் எல்லோருக்கும் நல்லவனாக இருக்க முடியாது, ஆனால் அதிகம் விரோதிகளை சம்பாதிக்காமல் இருப்பது அவ்வளவு கடினம் அல்ல
** உறவுகள் மிக முக்கியம்.   உறவுகளை பாதுகாக்க பல நேரங்களில் மன்னிப்பு அவசியமான ஒன்றாகிறது,   "குற்றம் பார்க்கின் சுற்றம் இல்லை"   

Nov 17, 2012

Q & A (unconnected)

My father addresses my husband as "Sir" who is less than half of his age.  But he addresses my sisters-in-law who are older than my husband as "nee vaa po".

My MIL addresses my elder brothers as "vaango/pongo" and when she talks to my oldest sister she says "eppadi ma irukke?
Ain't we too far from 33%?
When I was pregant with Chinnu, I got pampered by my own self from the moment I saw two pink lines on the HPT kit.  Healthy diet, protein rich food, fruits and vegetables, almonds and milk with saffron, was careful with every activity - walking, sitting and changing positions.   Sometimes enjoyed only eating and not concerned about making meals.
With Chinchu's pregancy, not even an extra cup of milk;  Any left over saffron bought during the first pregnancy was continued to be ignored. I had completely normal diet.  No precaution such as avoiding heavy lifting (I used to lift Chinnu even when I was close to 40 weeks).  And the top of all was to start working again.
Perhaps that is why parents always have a soft corner for the younger ones.

Aug 24, 2012

Thank God I am NOT an atheist

There is always a question within me about the existence of God - especially during tough times. I asked my pious father "When a man is leading a happy life, when he acts as per his conscience, when he does not indulge himself in immoral activities what is the need for him to pray to the Almighty everyday?". He responded "Man does not have the privilege to choose to be born as a human, he could have been a cockroach that lives happily in a toilet or could have been a bird that eats what is spilt out by humans. He, for the very reason of having been born as a human must offer his prayers and express gratitude to the super power". I remembered Avvayyar's (personified by KB Sundarambal) "Koon, Kurudu, Sevidu, Pedu neengi pirathal arithu".

With Chinchu's addition to the family, every moment is spent appreciating the greatness of the Lord. Be it the fetus growing in the womb - its development, ultimate safety and nourishment or the technical advancements to see the growing baby in the uterus or the way the baby plans to come to the world - what an architect He is - everything He designed is flawless!!

The wonders do not stop here. A newborn who can not say a word gives different cries for different needs. "I am hungry", " I peed / pooped", "I am feeling hot / cold" - each requirement is associated with a designated cry. And how does a mother depict it accordingly - God only knows! And the body clocks of the mother and baby are so much synchronised that when the baby feels the need for assistance, the mother comes to the rescue even when she is deep asleep. A slightest move or a very mild grunt of the baby often awakens the mother almost immediately.

How can I not mention about nursing, the most wonderful part of motherhood. It brings such a bonding between the baby and the mom for sure apart from the other health benefits. Who is going to explain why a mother's breast feels full and how does she gets a tingling sensation in her breasts exactly at the same time when the baby is hungry?

How did the big brother accept the sibling? Chinnu is so possessive of us - he would not let us cuddle other kids in front of him. I was much surprised to see him looking at the bassinet where his tiny brother was sleeping in the hospital room while still holding a smile on his face. It was such an emotional moment when he said "It's okay thambi, it's okay" when his little brother cried. Should not one keep thanking God for giving us a family?

Jun 5, 2012

தாய்க்கு ஒன்று சேய்க்கு ஒன்று

மெலிந்த உருவமில்லை
மயக்கும் பருவமில்லை
தக தக தங்க நிறமில்லை
பூனைக்கண் இல்லை
போலியாய்ப் பொருந்தும் மேக்கப் இல்லை
நீ தான் என் உலக அழகி -
உன் நிழற்படம் காணும் போதெல்லாம் உணர்கிறேன்.

அம்மா -
என் பெயரை விடவும் இனிமையாய் இருக்கிறது
இந்த வார்த்தை
நீ என்னை விளிக்கின்ற போது.

Apr 22, 2012

தந்தை தாய் இருந்தால்

ஆங்கிலத்தில் oxymoron என்று ஒரு சொல் இருக்கிறது. இதற்கு "முரண்பட்ட கருத்து" என்று பொருள் கொள்ளலாம்.  சமீபத்தில் என்னைக் கவர்ந்த அப்படிப்பட்ட ஒரு விஷயம் திருமதி அருணா சாய்ராமின் இந்த பாடல்.

இப்போதெல்லாம் கச்சேரிகளில் தமிழ்ப்பாட்டு பாடும் முன் அந்த பாடல் கருவை ஒட்டி ஏதாவது ஒரு விருத்தம் பாடுவது கடைப்பிடிக்கப்படுகிறது.  
பெரும்பாலும் அருணா சாய்ராம் மற்றும் ரஞ்சனி-காயத்ரி சகோதரிகள் இந்த ஸ்டைலைக் கடைப்பிடிக்கிறார்கள்.  (கன்னடப் பாடல்கள் பாடும் வித்யாபூஷணா அவர்கள் பல காலமாக இந்த முறையில் பாடுகிறார்) 

இதில் முதலில் பாடிய விருத்தம் வள்ளலார் இயற்றியது.  பின்னால் வரும் பாடல் யாருடையது என்று எனக்குத் தெரியவில்லை. இரண்டையும் இணைத்துப் பாடிய அருணாவிற்கு ஒரு சபாஷ்! 

"உலகில் தாயன்பிற்கு இணையானது என்று ஒன்றும் இல்லை.  அப்படிப்பட்ட தாயே தன் குழந்தையை மறந்தாலும் கூட  சிவனே நான் உன்னை மறக்க மாட்டேன்"  என்று சொல்லிவிட்டு, அந்த சிவனைப் பார்த்து "உனக்கு ஒரு தாய் தந்தை இருந்தால் இப்படி எல்லாம் அல்லல் நேர்ந்திருக்குமா? எனக் கேட்பது, தெய்வத்தைக் காட்டிலும் பெற்றோரே முதன்மையானவர் என்பதை ரசமாகத் தெரிவிக்கிறது. 

ஒரு விஷயத்தை நேரடியாக சொல்வதைக் காட்டிலும் இப்படி ஒரு நயமாக, சுவையாக சொன்னால் நன்றாகத் தான் இருக்கிறது!

Apr 6, 2012

What a way to get connected to my hometown?

Well,  I am down with conjunctivitis better known amongst locals as Madras-eye.  It started with my left eye last week and after 5 days it was passed on to the right eye also at the time when I was thinking about "oru kannil konjam vali vanda pothu maru kannum thoongiduma??".  Now, after a week, left eye is getting better and I have to wait and see how soon the right eye recovers. 

I am not quite sure how I got it; about 3/4 weeks ago, saw a notice on Chinnu's school that a child was infected with this bacterial infection not having any other hint as to where was it going on.  Thank God, so far it is only me in this household - the father, son duo are safe.

After seeing myself in the mirror I am thinking should we start to term it as "Captain-Eye" than "Madras-Eye"?

PS: Happy 2nd Anniversary my blog.  I hope I keep you alive for the years to come!!!

Mar 3, 2012

An American inspiration

"Nil nisi bonum", a famous Latin phrase translates to "Do not speak ill of the dead".  While not talking bad about the deceased is a good act, is it not noble to count on the positives and take time to think of the good moments spent with the deceased?  Especially of the one who is not from the same bloodline but just a co-worker.

I came to know that one of the (American) colleagues of us was battling with cancer for a couple of months and he passed away 2 weeks ago.  His boss sent an email conveying his departure and subsequently he wanted to spend some time to talk about the good nature of the person.  Really moved by this nature of the Western.

We are learning and implementing a variety of western culture - from Spaghetti to Macaroni, from capri to leggings, from free hair to artificial nails, from Metallica to flash mobs, don't we miss the humanity, honesty and integrity that exist in abundance here?  I guess West is not just GMT-5 hrs, it is still in the Thretha Yuga phase; kali is yet to hit this place.  Long live America, just this way!!!

Dec 5, 2011

Childhood fantasies

My brother used to watch hindi films and  he used to say Shashi Kapoor was the most handsome guy from Bollywood.  Those were the days we got to see a commercial based on the song "Pyar hua ekraar hua" from a famous Raj Kapoor movie. When I got to understand that Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor were siblings I really appreciated their parents for choosing such rhyming names.

I had literally kept 'not getting prickly heat' in my prayers! The reason was because I believed that prickly heat was nothing but thorny structures on the back. Courtesy: Nycil prickly heat powder commercial. Do we have such commercials to this date, too?

When I was taken to the bank along with someone from the family, as a curious little girl I got to understand what a 'deposit' or a 'withdrawal' was.  You dont know how much I was upset when there was a disastrous earthquake somewhere (in Gujarat??) then!  I felt too sorry for those who had kept their hard earned money in their savings accounts.  What if they were ransacked after the calamity?

Even now I do not understand the last name/family name/surname concept.  If I were to do a research ever in my life, this would be the subject I tell you!  

Though I have a sensitive skin I had never gotten prickly heat (touch wood).  Until I witnessed it personally I was not sure of how it looked though I was convinced that there would not be thorny branches on the back :))

I do not remember when I figured out that our savings with a bank were not kept as money per se. But working for a financial division for a considerable number of years gave a very good exposure to financial transactions.

Dec 4, 2011

கனிமொழி தந்த கவிமொழி

'அடக்கம் அமரருள் உய்க்கும்'
சொன்னவரை நிற்க வைத்தார்கள் கரையில்.
அவர் சொன்னதை எல்லாம்
பறக்க விட்டார்கள் காற்றில்.

ஒரு கூட்டத்திற்கு 'கொலை வெறி' மீது மோகம்
ஒரு கூட்டத்திற்கு 'எப்போது நூறு' என தாகம்
பாமரன் நிலையோ அந்தோ பரிதாபம்
எப்போது அரங்கேறும் 'சம்பவாமி யுகே யுகே' பாகம்?

பின்குறிப்பு: இந்த கவிதை(???)யை கனிமொழிக்கு டெடிகேட் செய்கிறேன்.  http://www.savukku.net/home1/1396-----2.html

Oct 26, 2011

The driving ordeal

I want to know why we, the south Indian women are so scared of driving on the roads of US.  I thought it was only me (I mean the age factor) but most of the girls who are younger than me also feel the same way.
While owning a car is a luxury in India, it is a must for those that live in the States, particularly in cities like Pittsburgh where public transport is not so great. I got my learner's permit along with DH.  Once we have the learner's permit we do not have to wait for appearing for the road test if we are 18+.  So DH got his license within a fortnight.  I went for driving class.  I have seen people who went for the road test after 3 classes while I had not got the control of the wheel even after 3 classes.  And perhaps I would be the only one who got homework sessions for driving!!! Each class was costing around $55 and I seem to have not progressing at all - I could not turn the indicator on, look at the blind spot and change lanes - all within a few seconds. I decided to learn from DH himself.

"chattunnu brake podatha...gradualla halt pannanum, gradualla accelarate pannanum....kaiya eduthuttu indicator podatha, steeringlaye kaiya vechundu podanum...na eppadi ottarennu observe pannu..." lectures, lectures and lectures!  "inime inda driver seat-la na ukkaarave matten!" - I retracted with many such mangamma sabathams.

After 3 months I got my license in the very first road test (all credit goes to the tutor though).  It does not end there.  I started driving by myself nearly a year later.  I drove to the nearby Indian shop, Walmart which is slightly farther and had a steadily growing driving experience then on.  Sooner I drove on freeways too but at times I would feel the tension.  My first drive to the SV temple was with no hassle at all but the journey back home was not determined to be so.  It was just 50 feet for me to park the car in the car port - a white boy aged roughly between 10-12 sped from a hidden path and he dashed his bi-cycle on my front wheel near the passenger seat.   He knew he was at fault and waited for DH to get his bi-cycle off the ground and he vanished the next second saying "I am alright, I am alright, I am alright".  Guess he lives in the same community and I have seen him a few times after this incident (or accident?) and he tried to avoid me even though I was not on my car!!

Yesterday, I had an appointment which was around 18 miles away from my place.  I did not want to disturb DH for this.  I was thinking of getting the help of a friend but he was busy too. I was not concerned about the onward journey but was skeptical about the return ride if I would be able to manage crossing two bridges with very frequent lane changes within a short distance.  DH ascertained "You would cross the bridge when it comes" and I did indeed. The good part is that the adrenal glands were not put into use at all :))

But still...I do not have an answer for the question at the outset.

Oct 6, 2011


Pattu pavadai, rettai jadai, mullaippoo, vethalai-pakku-kunkumam, sundal, akanda deepam, maa vilakku and last but not the least, kolu - you know what I am talking about.   

This festival has so many benefits - some dedicated time for the God(desse)s, a great opportunity for socializing, eating different kinds of proteins, fund raising for craftsmen, fun for kids and so on. I am 100% sure that this generation is missing all the fun that we had during our childhood days around this event. 

Interestingly Halloween day(Oct 31st) is observed in somewhat similar manner - kids dress up and get to visit neighbors and friends and collect candies.  For more details wikipedia can help.(after all there was a mention of marappachi bommai when I read about kolu!)

Back in India, when we get to visit friends and relatives for kolu, we would be asked to sing.  And songs on Lakshmi / Parvathi / Saraswathi would be sung commemorating the worship of these Goddesses for the nine days.  Just found out the best song for Kolu - it praises all of these Supremos - "Om Sakthi Om" of Mahakavi.  

This year's new addition is my sakala-kala-valli friend's gift. Her creativity of making the flowers from pista shells is amazing. The rangoli in front of the house is the pinnacle of her meticulous work, I would say.

Now, the fun part - a friend's son asked "amma Devi enge, Andal enge?" when she showed him Rama and Krishna idols.  The message is passed on.  Hope Devi and Andal will make it for next year's kolu :))

Sep 21, 2011

Once upon a time

I generally send "forward" emails to trash but dont know why I opened the particular email and it sure sent me down the memory lane.

OLiyum Oliyum, Tuesday drama, Rangoli, Vannakkolangal, ethiroli, least-liked vayalum vazhvum, sunday movie time et al flashed in the memory indeed.

Aug 26, 2011


I did not like a bit of Dhanyasree's voice all through her super singer journey.  It seemed too childish and I was thinking that her voice would not suit playback singing.  I was proved wrong.  She stole the show with her "paathi kaadal paathi mutham".  OMG! what a song and what a singing!  She brought the silkiness in Bombay Jayashree's voice on the stage.  Good luck Dhanyasree.

I have been playing the song over and over again ever since I heard it for the first time (through Dhanya though). Ultimate composition - evvalavu kettalum pothathu pothathu!!!

Aug 24, 2011

Oothukkadu, Aruna Sairam and Krishna Bhakthi

While I bite a piece of thenkuzhal and cheedai made for the occasion of Krishna Jayanthi, I am also reminded of some of the great compositions of Oothukkadu Venkata Subbaiyar who was an ardent devotee of lord Krishna and a few mind blowing renditions of Aruna Sairam.

Be it AlaipAyuthE or pAl vadiyum mugam or asaindAdum mayil ondru or thAyE yasOdA, the compositions are so simple and realistic and full of bhakthi and connects one with Krishna for sure.  I do not completely understand the sanskrit compositions of him like kalyAna rAma, mani nUpura dhAri, neeraja sama neela krishna etc. but certainly enjoy the songs.

Bombay sisters and Sudha Raghunathan have given many albums but Aruna's songs are more soulful.  Listen to Aruna's kAlinga narthana thillAnA, according to me, this is the best composition that I have ever heard.  And she preludes it with a viruttam describing the scene of Krishna playing the flute sitting on a rock surrounded by a few gopikas. This gathering is compared to that of an emperor and his ministers sitting in a durbar.  And the lyricist pays his pranams to a calf (signifying adiyaar vazhipaadu) that is blessed to be a part of this crowd.  What an imagination? It goes like this -

manamayakkum isaikkOlE senkOlAi 
thamAlathu mara nizhalE arakkudayAi
mAmayilin siragonrE makutamAi
vanam kidantha perum pArai ariyanaiyAi
mAnira andhi siru malargal padavinayAi
valathu amarnda nappinnai arasiyAi 
manam kasindu kAdal uru mangaiyargaL pEravaiyAi
danam perutha pasum kanathin manigalellam gana ganathu dharmathin pEroliyAi olithuvara
punal karutha yamunai nadhi thuraivan ivan amarndirukkum koluvinilE
anavaradam ammE ammE ammE endru azhaithu pala kattiyam sol azhagu siru pasum kandrE 
unakku Ayiram namaskAram

Aruna sings this virutham with full of bhavam.  When she sings manigal ellAm gana ganathu, you get a feeling that the bells actually ring.

VishamakkAra kannan and mAdu mEikkum kannE are two other cheerful songs composed by OVS and popularized by Aruna.  Though the songs appear to have been written for the youngsters, the elders like them more than the kiddos. I am no exception :))

mAdu meikkum kannE is a conversation between Yashoda and Krishna and the way Aruna finishes the song is just wonderful - with a mother's strict No and a son's pleading; kudos to her!

Chinnu will stand still and converge all his attention towards the song when he hears either of them. Look at how focused he is (must be around 7 months then), upon listening to vishamakkara kannan!

Aug 17, 2011

A Prayer

God, give me an open mind!

If he does not want to brush his teeth, it is okay, that yellow tint will not be persistent.
If he precipitates that little milk everyday, it is okay, it is better than wasting a a litre by overheating
If he does not prefer to eat, it is okay, let him skip one meal, not a big deal.

God, give me an open mind!

If he does not get into the pool, it is okay, he will get over his fears
If he does not nap, it is okay, let him play for that extra hour
If he does not listen to me, it is okay, I had not been (always) obedient either

God, give me an open mind! 

Jul 23, 2011

அமுதே தமிழே அழகிய மொழியே

இயற்கையாகவே நான் ஒரு நல்ல கவிதை ரசிகை.  நான் ரசித்த ஒரு சில பாடல் வரிகள் இங்கே...

அத்திக்காய் காய் காய் - விவரம் தெரியாத வயதில் கேட்ட போது பிடிக்கவேயில்லை.  இப்போது கவிஞரின் திறமையை மெச்சுகிறேன்.

முருகன் என்றால் அழகன் என்று தமிழ் மொழி கூறும்
அழகன் எந்தன் குமரன் என்று மனமொழி கூறும்

தன் குழந்தை அழகாக இருக்கிறதே என்று மனதுக்குள் மட்டும் வியக்கும் வார்த்தைகள்.

பொன்னொன்று கண்டேன் பெண்ணங்கு இல்லை -  அண்ணனின் நிலையையும் தம்பியின் நிலையையும் நன்றாக விளக்கியிருப்பார் கவிஞர்.

உடலுக்குள் எங்கே உயிருள்ளதென்பதும் உயிருக்குள் காதல் எங்குள்ளதென்பதும்  - காதல் மட்டுமல்ல, உண்மை, நேர்மை, கருணை, கோபம், பொறாமை இதெல்லாம் கலந்த attitude எங்குள்ளது என்று நாம் எல்லாருமே அதிசயித்திருப்போம்.

கண்ணாடிக்கு விளக்கம் தரும் (புதுப்) பொண்டாட்டியின் "அதில் என்னைக் காண்கிறேன், அது உன்னைக் காட்டுதே"

ஒவ்வொரு பற்களிலும் சிரித்தேன்.  இலக்கணப்பிழை இருந்தாலும் இதைவிட சந்தோஷத்தை எப்படி வெளிப்படுத்துவது?

விடியல் வந்த பின்னாலும் விடியாத இரவு எது?  பூ வாசம் வீசும் உந்தன் கூந்தலடி
இவ்வுலகம் இருண்ட பின்னும் இருளாத வானம் எது? கதிர் வந்து பாயும் உந்தன் கண்களடி

இரு எதிர்மறையான விஷயங்களை ஒரே பொருளுக்காகக் கையாண்டதற்காக கவிஞருக்கு ஒரு "ஓ".

இதே வரிசையில் இன்னொன்று -

சித்திரை மாதத்தை நான் நனைத்து கோடையில் உனக்கொரு குளிர் கொடுப்பேன்
மார்கழி மாதத்தை நான் எரித்து முன்பனிக் காலத்தில் அனல் கொடுப்பேன்

வானமகள் நாணுகிறாள், வேறு உடை பூணுகிறாள் - என்ன ஒரு உவமை? ரஜினி பாணியில் சொல்ல வேண்டுமென்றால் "ஹாட்ஸ் ஆஃப்"

கவிதைக்கு பொய் அழகு - உண்மை உண்மை.  கவிதையே அழகு.

இது குழந்தை பாடும் தாலாட்டு - இதை மாதிரி பாடல் எனக்கு தெரிந்து இது ஒன்று தான்.

வளையாத மூங்கிலில் ராகம் வளைஞ்சு ஓடுதே - அற்புதமான கையாளல்.

இது தவிர இரு ஹைக்கூ கவிதைகள் எங்கோ படித்தது, இன்னும் நினைவில் -

கதவைத் திறந்து வை
யார் வருகிறார்களோ இல்லையோ
காற்று வரும்

எதைக் கேட்டாலும் வெட்கத்தையே தருகிறாயே
வெட்கத்தைக் கேட்டால் என்ன தருவாய்?

இன்னும் சில, இன்னொரு இடுகையில்...

Jul 9, 2011

Mommy Blues

I sense an adrenaline rush when I wake up in the morning, I am not able to eat my breakfast, I feel I would throw up and I am able to decipher what my grand-aunt used to say on those days- "sankata aagathe" which means "there is an unexplainable trouble".  Do you think it is morning sickness?  It feels exactly like it but it is not so.  This is called "leaving your child with another caregiver" sickness.  Perhaps I must add "for the first time".

Chinnu goes to a daycare for a few hours in a week.  Now, after 2/3 visits, he starts whimpering from the moment he puts his shoes on.  And he screams when I get out of the place.  My heart stops pounding every time I leave the place and I forcibly exit myself from there not to see him cry.  Ultimately he settles down after 10 minutes and enjoys his stay but those 10 minutes have to PASS THROUGH; not for him but for me.

I felt too disturbed yesterday when he shed tears and I wanted to tell my mom how troubled I was.  For the umpteenth time I felt the void created by her and with a heavy heart I went to the fitness center to engage myself.  I met a friend who is a mother of two kids.  She heard from me about my worry and told me "after 3 years from now, he is not going to turn back to you...thats what happened to me...it is finally me who was upset and they were happy to go to school".

I was thinking that my communication with my amma was one-way but it was not.

On the lighter side of it, here is a sample of what he has been doing there.  And a post class conversation between us goes like this -

Me: What did you do at *** place today?
He:  A FOL Apple
Me: B For?
He: B FOL Dog
Me: C For?
He: C FOL Ball

Jun 29, 2011

எங்கிருந்தோ வந்தான்...

         "எங்கிருந்தோ வந்தான் இடைச்சாதி நான் என்றான்
         இங்கிவனை யான் பெறவே என்ன தவம் செய்துவிட்டேன்"
         - பாரதியார்.

ஒரு மூதாட்டி பால பருவத்திலிருக்கும் தன் பேரனுடன் வசித்து வருகிறாள். அவளுக்கு இறை பக்தி அதிகம்.  பேரனுக்கு உரிய வயது வந்ததும் குரு குலத்திற்கு அனுப்புகிறாள். சிறுவன் குருவின் இல்லம் செல்ல காட்டுப்பகுதியைக் கடக்கவேண்டும். "எனக்கு பயமாய் இருக்கு பாட்டி" என்ற அவனிடம் "கவலைப்படாதே, நீ போகும்போது ரங்கனைக் கூப்பிடு, துணைக்கு வருவான்" என்றாள்.

காலை புலர்ந்தது. சிறுவன் புறப்பட்டான்.  காட்டின் தொடக்கத்தில் "ரங்கா!" என்றான்.  "இதோ வந்தேன்" என்று அவன் வயதொத்த ஒரு சிறுவன் வந்தான்.  இருவரும் சேர்ந்தே போனர். காட்டின் எல்லையில் ரங்கன் விடை பெற்றான்.

"மாலையும் வருவாயா ரங்கா?"

"நிச்சயம் வருவேன்"

தினமும் இது தொடர்ந்தது.  குருகுலம் முடியும் நேரமும் வந்தது.  எல்லா மாணவர்களும் குரு தட்சணை பற்றி பேச சிறுவனை கவலை தொற்றிக் கொண்டது.

"பாட்டி! என் குருவிற்கு காணிக்கையாக என்ன கொடுப்பது?"

"ரங்கனைக் கேள் கண்ணா, அவன் உதவுவான்" என்றாள்.

"அட! இவ்வளவு தானா? நான் கொண்டு வருகிறேன்"  என்றான் ரங்கன். 

மறுநாள் ஒரு சொம்பில் பால் கொண்டு வந்து தருகிறான். சிறுவன் குருவின் இல்லம் சென்று தன் காணிக்கையை சமர்ப்பித்தான்.  குரு பூஜையை ஆரம்பித்து, மாணவர்கள் எடுத்து வந்தவைகளைக் கொண்டு அபிஷேகம் செய்கிறார். பாலாபிஷேகம் செய்யும்போது எல்லா சொம்புகளும் காலியான நிலையில் ஒரு சொம்பில் மட்டும் பால் அப்படியே இருக்க, அதை எடுத்து அபிஷேகம் செய்ய, மீண்டும் மீண்டும் சொம்பு பாலால் நிறைந்தது.  ஆச்சரியம் மேலிட, "இது யார் கொண்டு வந்தது?" என வினவினார்.

பயந்து போன சிறுவன், "ரங்கன் தான் கொடுத்தான், என்க்கொன்றும் தெரியாது" என்றான்.  

"யார் அந்த ரங்கன்?"  என்றார் குரு.

"என் பாட்டி தான் சொன்னாள், அவன் தினமும் எனக்கு துணையாக வருவான் என்று", சொன்னான் சிறுவன்.

"சரி வா, அவனைப் பார்ப்போம்" என்ற குருவுடன் எல்லோரும் கிளம்பினர்.

காட்டின் எல்லையில் சிறுவன் எவ்வளவு கூப்பிட்டும் ரங்கன் வரவில்லை.  அந்த நேரம் அசரீரி ஒலித்தது.  "மூதாட்டியின் பக்தியை மெச்சவே இந்த நாடகம், எல்லோருக்கும் நான் தெரிவதில்லை".

கடவுள் இருக்கிறாரா என்ற கேள்வி என்னுள்ளும் அவ்வப்போது எழும். இருக்கிறாரோ இல்லையோ, இருக்கிறார் என்று நம்பினால் நன்மைகளே அதிகம் (போலி சாமியார்களிடம் செல்லாத வரையில்).  தர்மத்தின் பாதையில் செல்லவும், தீய வழியில் செல்லாமலிருக்கவும் இறை உணர்வு உதவும்.  நான் சொல்ல வருவது ஒரு நாத்திகன் அதர்மவாதி என்றோ தீயவன் என்றோ அல்ல.   "God fearing" என்று தானே சொல்கிறோம்? அதை நான் புரிந்து கொண்ட வரையில் சொல்ல முற்பட்டேன்.

இந்த கதை என் அம்மா எனக்கு சிறு வயதில் சொன்னது.  அந்த வயதில் கதை கேட்டபோது, ரங்கனையும், சிறுவனையும் நான் மனக்கண்ணால் பார்த்தது இன்றும் நினைவிருக்கிறது.  இது போன்ற பல கதைகளை சொல்லி ஒரு குழந்தையின் மனதில் இறை நாட்டத்தை ஏற்படுத்த முற்படுவது, பெற்றோரின் கடமைகளில் ஒன்று என்பது என் தாழ்மையான கருத்து.

Jun 16, 2011

Aacharya Devo Bhava (Consider your teacher as God)

Chinnu loves "amma inge vaa vaa".  I learnt the song for him and I got to understand that it is in "Aathisoodi" form.  And remembered reading "pudiya aathisoodi" in Bharathiyar kavithaigal and also remembered Avvaiyaar's aathisoodi.  I still can not correlate why such compositions are termed "aathisoodi" but it was a sad fact that I learnt what an aathisoodi is at a very later stage, not when I first got to learn Avvaiyaar's.  This is not the only thing.  Did you ever know that Valluvar's first name is not Valluvar?  And nobody knows what it is...same is the case of Tholkaappiyar.  

I think we had probability and statistics in our syllabus from class 8.  I pretty well remember that I did not quite understand what a 'standard deviation' is until a few years later, perhaps I only learnt the formula from the sessions and books.  There was a time I detested the very thinking of "History" and was waiting to get rid of the subject; but today it is one of my favourite areas;  There are many many things to cite as examples like these....

While I do not want to point my finger at someone for the delayed learning I honestly and vehemently feel that teachers do play a part in this.  They spend more time with the children than anybody else and they have the responsibility and the opportunity to mould someone into a better person in all aspects. Today's teachers do not think beyond the books and syllabus and do not impart the 'basic' knowledge that one needs to get.  First of all, no one wants to take up the profession; everybody wants to plunge into software and become Crorepati's in a few years and settle down abroad.  A few of my classmates who are teachers today were forced to these jobs by external factors; they did not take the profession out of passion.  "Aacharya Devo Bhava" says an upanishad (Philosophical texts from the Hindu religion).  Where do we find such Godly teachers?

May 31, 2011

And we lived happily ever after...

This is what I want to say about us after this India trip.  Well, Chinnu and I joined the head of the family(?) last wednesday.  Chinnu's birthday and our wedding anniversary day have to be celebrated during the time we were miles apart. And I prayed to the God on those days that let this be the last year that we are away from each other.  However, Chinnu's grannies were on cloud nine when they got to hear about our proposed trip and they made his bday party a grand success.

On the whole, it was an awesome trip ended with a tiresome journey.  I did not know how the 3 months time passed by.  Chinnu cooperated very well; he let me attend my niece's wedding at Bangalore as soon as we stepped on the Indian soil.  I was happy to see all of the family members.

Chinnu liked to roam around the house.  Lot of things for him to explore.  The park in the community was a great place to meet with his friends.  Manaswini, Surya, Karthik, Vivek, Sriram, Sairam, Aishwarya were his new friends.  His vocabulary had a great rise;  "manni, cheetha, hayi, gaagav, fazi, duduja, visa" became "manasuwini, sreenathu, hari, gaalav (raghav), mahati, sindhuja, vidhaa(vidhya)" one day.

Riding on an auto was his favourite thing.  He also enjoyed car rides.  While his thatha moves out of the driver seat he loved to occupy the same and tried his hands at the wheel.  He was thrilled to see "amba pachu" and doggy on the roads.

Until April the heat was manageable but May was horrible.  We needed A/C during day time as well.  Chinnu became his thatha's pet and used to say "thatha pattu" quite often.  He did not enjoy the visit to beach perhaps it was dark when we reached there.

My niece's wedding and the travel to B'lore, keeping in touch and meeting with with friends whom I met 17 years ago, dining with family, passport renewal after a lot of hiccups (if you are abroad never try to do it in India), attending mom's annual ceremony were memorable events in this trip.

May 9, 2011

வாழ்க தமிழ்!

மூன்று  மாத சென்னை வாசம்.  அங்கும் இங்கும் சுற்றியதில் பார்த்த  சில பெயர்ப்பலகைகள் இதோ - 

ரம்யா அடுமனை (Bakery-ஆம்)

பல் உணவு முற்றம் (multi-cuisine food court-ஆம், தலை சுத்துது இல்ல?) 

கணினி & மடிணி சேவை மையம் (அதாங்க laptop!) 

ரிச் 'என்' க்ரீமி (Rich 'n' Creamy -யின் அற்புதமான தமிழாக்கம்)

எங்கோ ஒரு கடையில் தமிழ்ப்பெயர் இருக்க வேண்டுமாம் , ஊரெங்கும் ஒலிக்கும் திரைப்பாடலில் பிறமொழிக்கலப்பு இருந்துவிட்டுப்போகலாமாம்.  ஐயோ பாவம், செம்மொழி.

Apr 22, 2011

2011 Chennai trip - so far so good

  • Makkal TV started telecasting movies, however with (useful) messages such as "inda padathin nayakan periyaar puththagangalai padippaar"
  • There are commercials for diapers, baby wet wipes and ellipticals which I had not seen last year
  • TV commercials also need a (good-for-nothing) censor board.  Some of them solely depend upon the model(woman)'s level of exposure
  • There are apartments everywhere, every family owns a car and every road is flooded with them
  • It is either upper middle class family or poor family, there is no "Middle class family"
  • Velachery and Chromepet will soon be substitutes of TNagar
  • There are overbridges in almost every major junction
  • There was enough space between vehicles at Panagal park on India-Pakistan quarterfinals of world cup 2011; I wish I were there to witness the situation on the day of finals :)
  • Most women wear Capri perhaps to beat the heat
  • Saw at least 5 obese people in the last 10 days
  • Extravaganza in shows like super singer makes it unworthy to watch.  Contestants wear clothes that are worn by only the heroines of kollywood; dont quite understand how the parents give a nod
  • It is just mid-April and could not sustain the heat waves
  • Indian markets have everything that is available outside India