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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Desire, Action, Results and Inaction

After a long long time, I decided to put this out here. There is a reason other than logging it here that I wrote this piece. Just wanted to have a log here too.


We live in a society that values success, extra-ordinary results and great accomplishments. I am not against any of those. But are we happy. Because all that we try to attain by being successful or over-achieve is to be happy. And I believe our Bhagavad Gita teaches us to be happy with just one sloka. I can even be audacious enough to say that it summarizes Gita in that one sloka. The one core value that Gita teaches us and is the need of the hour today is this 47th Verse in Chapter 2:

कर्मणये वाधिकारस्ते मां फलेषु कदाचन ।
मां कर्मफलहेतुर्भू: मांते संङगोस्त्वकर्मणि ॥

Karman-ye vadhikaras-te ma phalesu kadachana
ma karma-phala-hetur bhur ma-te sango ’stv akarmani

You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action.
Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities,
and never be attached to not doing your duty.

The whole of Gita according to me can be capsuled around this single verse. If we could teach our kids to give their best performance without thinking what your score is going to be, wouldn’t that make the children be happy and perform with ease. We as a society are very result oriented. And if we can understand the thought process of karma the way Krishna explains in Gita, the fruits of the karma that was performed yesterday is what we enjoy today and the fruits of the karma of today is what we will enjoy tomorrow. The past holds the key for the present and the present has the key to the future. At any given point of time, we can only be in the present. That is the only space given to us. If you are going to stay focused in the past and dwell on it, or if you are going to be more interested in the future and in the fruits of your present actions that you are performing, you will never give your best. The more you are attached to the past and future, you cease to live in the present.

Not only does Krishna tells us that we do not have a right to the fruits of our actions, He also says just because you do not have rights over the fruits of your action doesn’t mean that you can take the course of inaction either. This particular verse teaches us detachment. Do not get attached to your results, to all the material things that life can both give you and take away without even a moment’s notice.

If we can look at just this verse and the thought behind it deeply, we can understand the ways in which depression and anxiety works. In today’s world, many have at one time or other been depressed and there are so many different medications in the market for depression and anxiety. Depression majority of the times is initiated from some past activity, which the mind keeps recalling and anxiety is stemmed out of fear of the unknown, in many cases the future. If only we learn to stay in the present life becomes very easy. Not always is it easy to stay in present and not wander. If Arjuna, the greatest warrior of all times, the one who had won the same opponents just sometime back single-handedly can put his bow and arrows down and stall and linger in self-sympathy and prefers inaction instead of action and wants to not attach himself to duty anyone can.

But how do we get over this and go in the path of action and perform our duty? That is what the Gita speaks in detail. The crux is to stay in the present. Do your action, without any expectation. If we look at the teachings of the Buddha, we know that desire is the root cause of misery. And desire stems out of expectation. And expectation is nothing but wanting the fruits of your action. We all know expectations not always gives us the desired results. There are many times when expectations end up in disappointments. And such disappointments at times can lead us to misery. If we could just live in the present and do whatever our duty is at that moment and not dwell in inaction, that would lead us to supreme pleasure in life.

When we renounce the fruits of our action, or when we renounce the expectations, we are not attached to our actions anymore. We are not bound by those actions anymore. Take the example of Arjuna again, he was so worried about killing his extended family, thinking that he was doing it for his personal benefits. Arjuna was so unclear about the actions that he was bound to perform. The anxiety of over-thinking about the action that Arjuna had not committed yet, the future that he visualized, or rather wanting to take responsibility for the actions that he was going to commit kind of paralyzed him. In today’s world, we see so many suffer due to this anxiety. And Gita already has given us the answer, as to how to handle it. Stay detached from the action that you commit.

When Krishna talks about the importance of action and how action with no expectation is superior to action with expectations he also speaks about how to perform actions in a detached manner. Verse 10 of Chapter 5 says, “One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water”. That is how you should be attached to your actions. The way in which the lotus leaf in spite of holding water in it, is still untouched by the water. Every droplet of water leaves it when the water is poured out of it. That the way to be detached and still perform your action.  If only we could renounce the fruits of our actions we could all have bliss in our daily life. No more depression and no more anxiety. Give in yourself completely to the present. No excursions into past memories or no more jay walking into the unknown future. Just live in your present moment and enjoy the action that you are currently performing. Do not have any attachment towards the action that is being performed nor have any attachment to any kind of inaction either.

This single thought that I take from the Gita, if I could follow on a daily basis, my day is blessed. And the humble human that I am, I try to still stick on to some result from some action. Why can I not just be?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

their part in your story is over

Always REMEMBER when people walk away from you let them go, because your destiny is never tied to anybody who leaves you. It doesn’t mean that they are bad people, it just means that their part in your story is over.

-- Anon

I read this somewhere. Some thoughts are really so profound and true. Just not easy accepting them.

My baby started day care. Has been sick every week. Fourth week, this one and is down with ear infection. Where is everyone when you need them. Granny, Mom and even some good friends. Life really is harsh at many times.

Just mulling over random things not necessarily in any order.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Serenity Prayer

Been repeating this repeatedly. Wish God blesses me with Serenity, Courage and Wisdom.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another Year Goes By Without You Amma.....

Funny how time flies. Yet another year goes by with me standing and watching it go by. Its officially 2 years since I started this blog on that morning of September 14 2006. And this year I am posting a post a few days later after 14th of September 2008 on the 18th of September. I still have dated this "Sunday, September 14, 2008" for the obvious reason. Its been more than 6 months since I wrote something here. I haven't even replied to the comments of some of my fellow blog friends. I cannot say I had been busy that I couldn't acknowledge comments. I do value their comments and their friendships. Guess I lost the drive and had been too engrossed in myself. But this was a day that I did not want to let go like all the others.

I like the poems of Emily Dickinson. One notable thing about her poems is brevity. There is one poem in particular that I love a lot. You can find the poem here -- http://www.bartleby.com/113/4085.html

I am going to reproduce the words for my own sake. Its such a small one, and is just 8 lines. This particular one has always fascinated me right from the first time I have read it. This was something I have always heard from my granny. She would just say, as time goes by things will fall in place. As as kid I never really understood. But of late, I can relate so much to the poem. I was one person who really resented growing up and I still do in many ways. Which always takes me to what my brother would say... "Insecurity and pain is inherent in growth!" Many times I think though he is younger than me, he really is way too wiser than me.

THEY say that “time assuages”,—
Time never did assuage;
An actual suffering strengthens,
As sinews do, with age.
Time is a test of trouble,
But not a remedy.
If such it prove, it prove too
There was no malady.

Time sure plays a lot of tricks in one's mind. The way you go through something makes you so strong that after a particular time when you look back you can really laugh at yourself. The only thing that matters for me is, I don't want to be laughing alone when laughing at myself and I don't want anyone laughing at me when I am not laughing either. But thank god, luckily I am not alone and I do have someone who can laugh with me at myself and at my idiosyncrasies and do it only when I laugh at myself.

Amma, I did remember you ... not that I remember you only on the 14th of Sep... its just that around this time you really trouble me a lot. You still puzzle me a lot. With every passing day, I seem to understand you more. I cannot say, I can accept all that I understand, but understand I guess I do. Its the third year without you. I did talk to appa ... but this year we did not talk about you today. This year was a lot better than last year.. Guess time really does assuage or is that I have learnt to handle it and get stronger. Whatever time really is a test of trouble.

One more significant thing about this post is its my 50th post. Funny... I wanted to write something substantial for a long time and was postponing posting something here and I end up posting now to register a date.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Another Year Gone!

  • Yet another year gone.
  • I grew old another year.
  • Lost my father-in-law in February.
  • Made some new friends this year.
  • Did not let my blog die.
  • Did spend some good time reading. Did not blog much about them.
  • Did not lose any weight as planned. But then, did not gain any pounds either, which by itself is an achievement :)
  • Watched some good movies; did not do justice to them in my blog.
  • Attended 2 concerts, my first being ARR's this year and then a Unni Krishnan's. Both were great. I had blogged on the former, but not the latter.
  • Spent some great quality time with my Dad after a long time. :D
  • Gave some tough times to R (life is no fun without that)
  • In all its been an okay year with both its pluses and minuses.
Though the year started with a shock, its ending pretty pleasantly. Happy New Year 2008 to everyone!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Getting Nostalgic

I currently work for a company that has its own proprietary messaging tool, something like the yahoo messenger, where the smiley icons are way cooler than the ones we have on yahoo. But that’s besides the point. Most of my buddies at work have a cheeky/witty presence message (that’s what we call our status messages here) next to their display names on the messenger board.

One of my colleagues here today had this message:
Explain not...Friends don't expect it and enemies won't believe it. -- Old Irish Proverb

That made me smile and get nostalgic. How many times have we come across friends to whom we need to explain why we did something some way? And no matter how much we try to explain something there are people who never accept it. Ironically right now I am in that mode of not accepting an explanation that a ‘someone’ gave me recently. I am digressing again. That is a different story all together to which I should dedicate a post by itself. This one is about friends and how they do not expect any explanation from us.

Over the weekend, I had some time to talk to a friend of mine, whom I invariably never call as much as I would like to call. What with all these oceans between us, we don’t get to meet as much as we would like to meet each other. We are not the kind that can exchange long e-mails either. So it’s just that we end up being happy with those few moments that we try and steal from our lives occasionally to catch up over the phone.

With the world shrinking and with so much of new gadgets to keep in touch with people, it’s getting increasingly difficult to have a good conversation. During my school and college days before the cell phones and e-mails made their entry, chatting with my friends used to be over a cup of coffee and some junk food. Life used to be more cozy and warm without all these gadgets then. Now with each of us having a cell phone and an e-mail account, all we end up doing is exchange a cryptic sms message once a while. How I miss all those frivolous talks.

In my case, we had a terrace around which our whole lives revolved. Most of the evenings the terrace was our haven. We were a bunch of school kids that consisted of some 9 fixed members and some 10 odd people chipping in every now and then. Of the 9, 4 were guys and 5 were gals. And like every gang, there were groups within the gang. This gang of 9 was made up of kids that belonged to different age groups; the youngest, a boy, was in his 2nd grade and the eldest, a girl, was in her 12th grade.

The friend to whom I made my weekend call after a long time is one among this gang. When we start talking both of us never feel like it had been so many weeks or months since we have spoken to each other. We just pick it up where we left, and we pick it up like we had left it just yesterday, and just go on and on. It had never mattered when we spoke last, be it 6 days earlier, or 6 weeks earlier, or even 6 months earlier.

There has been a time when we hadn’t spoken to each other for more than a year. Both of us (I especially had been the culprit--had been too busy with my life) that I even forgot to go and invite my friend for my wedding. Trust me, this friend does not need an invitation. But at the very least should know where it is happening and the date. The useless me, hadn’t called and even when called did not have time to talk in a detailed fashion. And eventually realized what I had done, a day before wedding.

Frantic calls were made and realized the numbers had changed. Worst is yet to come, I still do not give up and try to hunt this friend of mine for dear life feeling really miserable and catch hold somehow to realize that my friend was out of town on business. But did my friend feel bad? Must have, but did not tell me that day. Did my friend ask for an explanation? No, so much so, I wasn’t even aware that my friend was not in town until much after the wedding when I asked my brother how come I did not see this friend during any of the functions.

When I had spoken earlier, my friend did not want to upset me and enquired all about how things were going and in the end said, ‘No problem, will be there, go ahead give the phone to your brother so that I can ask him the directions.’ I gave the phone to my brother and with that forget all about my friend again. It was my brother who was updated on the out-of-town-on-business status that I came to know of later, which I had not bothered again to enquire in the wedding frenzy.

Then there was this instance, when I called on my friend’s birthday after nearly 13-14 months; both of us had missed the previous ones; this friend did not have my contacts updated, for I had not given; and the minute my voice is heard, my friend goes, ‘WOW, how have you been? Tell me all that has happened, so how is married life treating you, how is your brother .. etc., etc., how is life treating you?’ and so on and so forth. Now tell me, am I not blessed to have a person like that for a friend. Not one word of me not calling. And to top it all, my friend ends that call saying, ‘It’s been a long time since I had been on phone this long, and it still feels like we just started our conversation.’ We had spoken for more than an hour :)

Sometimes, I wonder if I deserve such a friend. But then, there are times that make me thank who ever that’s up there, for having given me such people in life. There are a couple of friends like this friend of mine whom I treasure and who are always there for me no matter what not expecting any explanations—just letting me be. Then there are people to whom no amount of explanations can suffice. That whole gang from terrace were friends who never needed any explanations. And when the other one did not explain we just understood. Could it be because we all grew up together and we knew each other so well that there was no need for explanations?

One of them called me after some 5 years and said the most sweetest thing I ever heard in my life. ‘All I wanted was to hear was your voice and know that you and your family are doing well. I am doing well and so is everyone else here in my family.’ There had been so many reasons that this friend was out of touch. I was in constant touch with my friend’s family and knew how my friend was doing.

I many times wonder what my world would be if not for friends like them. Primary reason why I would like to turn back time. :-) Would love to go back and live that time again, with my granny and mom in the house, and me, my brother and my dad in the terrace where our whole world then was. If only I could turn back time... If only I could...

Update on NOV-26-2007: Its that friend's birthday today. I had a happy long chat :) Happy Birthday my friend! Have an awesome year ahead!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

To be Attached or Detached?

Long ago I read Vi’s Of Sylvia, Echoes, and Empty Rooms. That post made me get too nostalgic and I wanted to write so much in that comment space of hers that I realized I need to write them down as a post than a comment.

Eventually, I did start writing this one, the very day that I made that comment (18 September 2007 at 3:49 pm), but then, some how I got digressed in my daily rush of activities that it lay forgotten amidst all my files. Guess today is a day to get nostalgic. When I was clearing up my folders, I stumbled upon this incomplete write-up and said, let me make some logical conclusion to the fragment idea of mine.

Vi’s said post made me rewind and go back in life to the times when I was at high school. That was the time when I was starting to understand the world around me. I was kid who had been very reluctant to grow up. Even now, when I think of high school, I still think of myself as a kid. I was a kid for most part of my school life, and in fact got out of the cocoon to spread my wings very late in life. But then, even now, I haven’t grown in the real worldly sense, I doubt if I would ever grow up.

The idea of not getting attached to things that Vi talks about in her post, did sound too close to me. For with or without my knowledge for a long time in my life, I had lived a life that way, except that I had been attached to a person way too much and it did hurt real bad when that person had to leave me and go. But this person had been my real life example who taught me with her life, not to get attached to anything in life. I was learning to comprehend the world around me. Like how every kid first comprehends the one that’s closest to him/her, (mostly the mother) I started looking at and asking questions of whatever my granny did.

She never had anything to her, when I say anything I really mean it. All she left for us, when she died were 2 worn out sarees which actually is a treasure beyond measure for us. She never collected anything in life. Not that she had a great cushioned life where she can go collecting stuff. But even when she did have a cushioned life towards the last 2 decades of her life, she never collected and discouraged us from adding stuff too. Whatever I am today or I have made of myself as of today, is all because of her. Not that I have done anything great; but what little has been possible, has become possible because of her. She is the reason and the person who is mostly responsible for whatever I am today.

Everything I have today, right from my values, to my knowledge in cooking, to my attitude in life, to my attitude towards anything in life, the basics were learnt from her. She instilled pride in me. She instilled the attitude to aim at perfection in what little work I do. She instilled in me that there is pride in washing utensils and washing clothes and in mopping the floor. No work is less or no work is great. She laid the foundation in me and my brother when we were kids and made us get to wherever we are today. I cannot say that we have achieved anything great, but I do know she was proud of the human beings that she created in us. She taught us to be ourselves and most important to be comfortable of who we are. Above all, she taught us how to be both ambitious and contented.

All she had was another nine yards saree that she would need the next day to wear. She lived a life with nothing else to call hers. She did have a lot of people around her. She had her son, her daughter and 7 grandkids. But things, she had none. As we started growing up, me and my brother realized that she did need a 3rd saree and she was denying herself. Sometimes, during rainy days when we used retunr from school and hug her, we would feel that her clothes were damp. The few days that it rains in Madras, can many times leave a 9 yards saree remain damp even after the 20 odd hours it had had to dry.

Oh, I still remember how much we had to force her to have a 3rd saree. Even then she complied more for our sake than her own. She did not want us hugging her in that dampness for fear of getting us sick. As I said earlier, there were days when clothes would not dry in Madras because of rains; of course they are just a few days in a year, but with just 2 sarees in place and they being 9 yards, you can imagine, how difficult it would be to find a dry one in rains.

I can easily visualize the color of her saree and feel the smell of her in that saree. It always used to be the same colors with the replacement happening in the very same colors again. One of them would be a dark green, one a dark blue and the other a dark maroon and all would have some kind of thread work done for 1/4 inch as a border on both ends of the saree. Every year she would replace them and discard the old ones. For that, dad would pay the money to my aunt to get them, for then dad did not know much about sarees. But even way after, that became a habit and it was aunt who always got granny her sarees, but mind you, dad has to pay for it. Grannies and their idiosyncrasies :-)

I remember asking her many times, 'why do you always wear the same color and why is it that athai should buy it to you?' She would give that beautiful smile of hers and say ‘Oh, it started because, your appa did not know what to look for in a saree when buying and athai did not have that kind of money to spare then, but now that it has become a habit, I don’t want to change it. Plus, it is your dad who pays for it anyway. And I enjoy it that my daughter gets it for me from the shop. So both of them together take care of their mother’s need. Moreover, all you need is some clothing to cover yourself up. What is there in a color? It should be clean; that’s all there is to it. Why give it too much of importance. Get too much attached to such mundane things they will start ruling you.’

Many times, I wish I learned to live a life like her. She knew to find joy in simple small things around her. Unlike many granny’s whom I have seen, she knew how to laugh. For a woman who was widowed in her late 20s she sure knew how to be happy. I am still learning and I know I have a long long way to go ahead of me, not that I am a collector of things, but still :-)

I still feel this is incomplete, but in part this is complete, in a whole sense incomplete though. Writing about her will always be incomplete for I can never get words to express what I feel for her to my satisfaction. I am named after her, though that name is not my official name, in my family circle, I am known to carry her name. Hope she blesses me to carry on her attitude towards life too. Is it this that they call detached attachment?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Of This & That

This and that and that and oh that too.

I have been noticing a trend in me of late that I don’t seem to like it a wee bit.

  1. I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like to. I do have a lot to say, rave and rant about, but am scared seeing them written. Some of my real life folks read this space and do not want to shock them. That is taking my mind off blogging any little stuff that I want to write by itself.
  2. I attended a Unnikrishnan’s light-music concert in Dallas recently, as recent as the 5th of October. Had a great evening, thanks to a friend who was part of the Vibha group which organized the show, getting the tickets was a breeze. I am yet to write about that. I really want to and intended to write about it, but something keeps me away from typing it down.

  3. Its officially 2 years since mom’s demise. It hurts real bad at times; I hate to acknowledge it. I guess, its going to haunt me my whole life. So many things attached with itself that revolves around the year 2005 eats me terribly inside. Wish I grow out of it.

  4. I hate myself for being what I am, where I have ended up myself today, but guess there is no way getting out of it in any near future. So no point brooding over it.

  5. When I was younger It used to be easy to believe in God. God knows what happened to me and that belief of mine as I started growing older. Of late I find it very difficult to believe in God. Funny how I feel that, if I could set that right, it could help me feel better.

  6. My patience of putting up with nonsense that I used to earlier is growing weak as days go by. Guess I am growing old.

  7. I very recently read all the 7 potter books at one go and just finished the 7 one. I had already read them all earlier. But now, it was all the 7 in quick succession. That was indeed good. Enjoyed doing that.

  8. After nearly 7 years I got to spend some 3 months with dad without any break in-between. Miss him bad after having all those good times with him so very recently. Felt really bad seeing him grown old. Felt even worse realizing that the hero of my life can at times falter.

  9. Having spent that time with dad, I miss being with my brother more. More so, when I know he is with dad at home to perform mom's ceremony.

  10. I just realized that its been a real long time since I made any new friends which at tomes makes me feel sad. Sadder still, I have lost touch with almost all my old ones too, the ones who do mean a lot to me. So much so, I do not have a friend whom I can just call up and talk to and meet for dinner. And that makes me realize I do not have a single friend to whom I can talk in the city that I live :-( Another sign that I am growing old.

  11. When I was young and even now, I thought and still think marriage is all about companionship. Oh how very naïve and wrong I am and had been all along. With all due respect to R, if at all, marriage has taught me something, its made me realize very clearly, that I am alone and really alone in this world. More so than when I was unmarried. Am I getting cynical?

  12. I have never felt as alone as I have been feeling of late, my entire life. Hope this is something I will come to terms with pretty quick. That way, I wouldnt spend my precious time in being in the dumps. I know this is a passing phase, but this time, this has stayed in place longer than I would like to.

  13. There are so many questions that I would like to ask with reference to my very existence, but will I get answers. When I know I am not going to get any answers why am I asking them in the first place? Beats me!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Movies with Dad

Sometime back during March/April, R sold the idea successfully this time that we need a big screen TV and eventually we bought it. And we switched over to a 50 inch plasma TV. Dad was visiting us in January and we did not have it then. So when we bought later, myself and R were mighty confused if we should tell him or let him discover it himself when he visits again. For we were planning right from March, to make him visit in June. And I had to beg my brother to not tell dad, for I had to tell him that we had gone for the big one at home.

God, how much we roamed around dallas to get a shelf for the TV, or is it a stand that would go the way I wanted it to go. Really tough time we had I tell you. Finding shelving units to match the rest of the furniture that we had in place. But in the end, all went well, not without some solid roaming of close to 2 weeks and some assembling and dismantling and some returns back to the store.

But anyways the end result was great. Dad has been freaking out on it since he came, and I cannot have enough words for R for having successfully made me purchase the idea of buying a big screen TV. And we have been enjoying it tremendously since then.

Dad being a movie buff that he is, when he came in July was way too excited seeing the TV. Moreover, dad hates doing movies in the theatres for they are too loud for him. And it’s been really years since appa seen a movie in the theatre. He would wait for it to come on the TV or a DVD to watch the same for watching them at home suits him the best. So all the more fun seeing him watch.

So with him at home with us the last couple of months I have been making my poor dad watch so many movies. Most of them my favorites. I do do a brief of the movie to him and let him do the choice of course. And we have watched quite some old ones too. Luckily, he is pretty quick with the sub-titles and so I have been able to make him watch so many and hopefully he enjoyed them as much as he says he enjoyed them.

I have been making him watch so many movies.. many of them the anthology kind of movies right from Harry Potter 1 to the 5th in IMAX (his first IMAX movie) to Die Hard, to Rush Hour 1, 2 and 3, Spidey 1 and 2 (haven’t gone to the theatre yet to watch the 3rd) Indiana Jones 1 – Riders of the Ark, Lord of the Rings, all the 3 of them (he just loved it) Sixth Sense, Poltergeist, Von Ryan’s Express, The Bourne Series (the one and two in DVD and the third in the movie hall)--he just loved it the best--, The Witness for Prosecution, Akeelah and the Bee and many more. I cannot remember the names of many movies that I made him watch.

Oh yes, we did watch Sivaji together too which actually was my second time. Of course that was in a movie hall. And I did make him watch some of the English ones in movie halls too. But still somehow, he is happy seeing them at home rather than the movie halls. Beats me. I go to the movie halls because I like the loud noise of the theatres. He hates it. Guess it has to do with age. For I remember my granny asking us to reduce the volume of our stereos when we growing up.

Apart from these, we did do a re-do of some Rajini movies. Add to it, the visit to Sea World in San Antonio and various other small time outings. What fun filled days the last few weeks were. I got to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with Dad in Dallas.

The first cricket series in our big screen TV was the India tour of England and we all got to see it together. Watching Cricket with appa is really great. Felt like I had gone to my 6th grade or 7th grade for a few fleeting moments. Except that those were the times when I missed my brother and the whole gang. Anyways the last few weeks have been a blast after a long time in my life :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

September 14 2007

I complete a year today on Blogpost! Not bad, I did not let this blog die like all those journals that I maintained all along in my life. May not be as regular as I would like to be. But a lot better than not writing at all. Also made a couple of friends in the process (woo hoo)

Here’s for me for completing a year and this year on this 14th of September of 2007, I have dad visiting me in Dallas here. Another year goes by with me just watching it go.

Funny, appa remembered the day today, when all those years you had fought with him for forgetting the day. It’s the second year without you around and it sometime hurts to think, that I understand you more as I grow up.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Deathly Hallows

The last weekend, it was the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Being a potter maniac myself, I got the book around mid-day on Saturday and sat down to read it late that night. I somehow did not like the idea that with this book it is all over. So decided to take it slow but after sometime, the fever caught me and in spite of being busy with so many things to get done, I ended up finishing it late on Tuesday. Every time, I had to get up from reading it, I would curse myself and the person who made me get up which would either be my dad or R.

R and dad came up with this mighty idea that they would take care of the cooking on Sunday with R telling me that he was going to make lettuce kootu and dad with okra curry. Of late, R has been spending a lot of his weekend time in the kitchen, doing a lot of different things and everytime he had done that, we have had some great lunch and dinners during weekends. So I am really happy with the idea and I go find a nice cozy place to read with my book, a water jug and some snacks to eat when reading.

But guess, last Sunday was not my day. The lettuce kootu ends up in a fiasco, and for the okra curry I would have gotten up some 4 times. But luckily, that did not need replacement as it came out well. Add to that the times, I got up to get stuff around for the lettuce kootu. The lettuce is abandoned and we got to look for something else to do in its place. Luckily R hadn’t added the paruppu to it yet. So I still had the daal to use. With a lot of cursings and yellings and what not, I rummage the fridge and find out that we had pumpkin.

The cutting session for the pumpkin begins with some more abuses directed towards R’s side. He did not want to get into the kitchen anymore saying that its not a good day for him for he has been goofing up too many things. So me and dad get the pumpkin ready and I put it to cook, getting many other things done around the kitchen in a speed that’s totally new to me and get the kootu eventually ready. I go have my bath and we have the food, and there I go back to the book. And of course I keep getting disturbed thoroughly through out the day, with R threatening me when I leave the book behind that he is going to read the last chapter and spill it out.

It indeed was an awesome experience that I had reading it. Being a bit sick with allergy and sinus, I decided to take the Monday off from work with R saying that I am taking the day off to read Deathly Hallows and my brother seconding him when I called him later that day. Little do I care. I do nothing for the whole day, let my dad make just some rice and end up feeling as weird as I could with the sinus pressure really hitting me hard. But I had to read the book, and so read as much as my eyes and head would allow me to, and eventually finished it late on Tuesday with R again pitching in to do the dinner which ended up pretty good this time.

All good things have to come to an end. No matter how much I hate that sentence, I have to accept the fact that its over. Anyways, I had never expected it to go on and on in the first place. Did want to know what happens to Harry, Ron, Hermione, Vol- eh, You-know-who and the whole bunch. And for that it has to come to a end. Its just that I cannot come to terms that its over. I am going to read the whole thing from book one, guess that might make me be at peace with myself and accept the fact that the Potter series is actually complete.

All in all I loved the book. All my favorite characters are there, may not exactly be the way I like them to be, but they are there and in the end, some of them die. The dead ones come back and since it is a wizard’s world that I am in, I don’t question them when they come back, but then, JKR does say they are not real. The dead that are dead are indeed dead. Even when they come back, they are happy and are not real. All the ends were tied up pretty neatly, except for a few which I guess could be filled up as after thoughts to the series. I remember reading somewhere, guess it was
mugglenet, that JKR is coming up sometime later with an encyclopedia on the characters of the Harry Potter series or something like that, where she is going to talk about many other stuff that were left open or not closed, in detail. Just cannot wait to lay my hands on it. I read some lovely reviews and articles on HP in the last few days that I at times did feel too over whelmed with Harry Potter. Some of them, I couldn't read for I hadn't read the book yet. But feasted myself on Wednesday over those articles.

I am going to take some time off, read each one back to back in peace again and see if there are still any loose ends that I cannot connect. Its been a long time since I read the last ones and I do not remember Half-Blood Prince well let alone Chamber of Secrets or Prisoner of Azkaban.

After seeing the movies or what is I am not sure, I can hear the actors speaking for the characters when I was reading Deathly Hallows. Could it be that I had just seen the Order of Phoenix and this was an after effect of that?

**********SPOILERS AHEAD**********

Harry, Ron and Hermione roam all around England and eventually realize that one of the horcruxes could be Regalus Black’s-Sirius’s brother-locket. And somehow gain the confidence of Kreacher and he decides to help Harry with his tale on the locket. The legend of Hallows is good too. I like the way these 3 teen-ers actually go around thinking they can do stuff and how they struggle around, have arguments, fight with each other, how Ron quits and regrets quitting and eventually joins them again. I like the Doe thing.. Like Baradwaj Rangan says that reminded me too of the deer in Ramayana. But didn’t guess that it could be Snape’s patronus though. (One more reason, I need to read all the 7 at one go). Guess I liked that Snape was a good guy (could be the crush that I have for Alan Rickman makes me say that) but he is not all that good either. The shades of dark are still there in him. Making Dumbledore have dark shades also made sense. The way Harry says, ‘…but then he was our age’ was really good. The King’s Cross chapter I guess was JKR’s way of explaining why she let Dumbledore go free.

And above all, the battle scenes in Hogwarts does indeed fulfill the absence of Hogwarts in the initial chapters and it does so immensely. (Would love to see that in big screen. But then, none of the movies gave me the satisfaction that I get from reading the books.) Would have loved to see Umbridge getting kicked more. I really felt too sad when Bellatrix was hurting Hermione that it was so good to see Mrs. Weasely taking over Bellatrix and in what a fashion? Just too good. I could see the actors in my mind doing the duel against each other. (Another after effect of seeing Order of Phoenix). Felt bad that Lupin and Tonks had to go, after their brief time being married, but then with Harry being the godfather of little Teddy Lupin that was sure thing to happen. The kid has someone right. Still a bit sad. The worst was Dobby and Fred. I liked Dobby when I read the Chambers and more after seeing the movie. And I loved Fred and George right from Sorcerer’s Stone. Instead of Percy turning good and coming back, he could have died for Fred, if a Weasely has to die.

I liked the way Harry decides to go after the horcruxes and not hallows. The way he feels that for the first time that he has decided to not do something. That was indeed good. And after all that roaming around the way they were at Bill’s and Fleur’s made it feel like there were free in a house while they were in a sort of prison out in the wild. I liked that metaphor.

I just loved it when Neville drew the sword from the hat. That was one my favorite lines in the book. It was great to see Neville heading it at Hogwarts when Harry goes out to meet You-know-who all alone. I loved the way Neville's grandmom got involved and the way she was proud of her grandson. And one very favorite scene was the one where Ron pulls Harry out of the lake. And the way Harry is so happy to see Ron. A very poignant moment. I loved the way Hermione screams at Ron when he comes back and how Harry conjures a shield between them to protect Ron. Another one was when after Fred's death if I am sure, when Neville, Luna and Seamus (not sure if its Seamus or someone else) conjures up the patronus for them when the dementors come. That was another emotional moment for me.

The way, it an all out war was just too good. It was not some of them were huddled up home or caught somewhere. Everyone were out there trying to help Harry. That was one thing that I just revelled in when reading the book.

I enjoyed the epilogue. Kind of ended the whole thing where it started. Not actually, but sort of in a way. If there is one thing that was eeeks, Albus Serverus.. that was a bit hard to take. But I liked the way Harry tells him, 'You were named after 2 Hogwarts head masters and one of them was the bravest man I ever knew, and he was in Slytherin, so dont worry.' I really liked that. That's the reason we like Harry. Of course, I had to re-read the few lines to know who Hugo, Rose, James, Lily and Albus were. The best is Draco’s son Scorpius. What a name? Laughed a bit at reading that. And the animosity is still there where Hermione has to scream at Ron. I liked it where he says to Rose, ‘grandfather Weasely may not like it if you get married to a pureblood.’ Hilarious.

But in the end, there are so many questions that go unanswered. The Epilogue was indeed a long one, and anyways the book was close to 750 pages, a few more wouldn't have hurt. Some that are nagging me are:

  1. How come Ron or Ginny missed giving Fred’s name to any of their kids?
  2. George may have done that. And what is George doing?
  3. Whatever happened to the Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes?
  4. What happened to the map?
  5. What are the death-eaters doing now?
  6. What is Lucius and Narcissa doing now?
  7. What is Draco doing for a living?
  8. Who is in the Ministry?

There are still many more that I would like to ask. But then, Fred and George are my favorites. There were real darlings who gave such laughter when reading the book. I loved the way they give the map to Harry, the way they create those toffees and was not happy by the way they were cut off in the Goblet of Fire movie. (One more reason why the movies were not as satisfying as the books).

All said, I just loved reading it and am sure to do a reading of the whole series very soon. Thank you Rowling for an awesome read!

ps. I think, this has been my longest post ever to date :-)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Summa Adhiruthilla?

I am not the kind that wastes a post on just giving a link to another post. My ego is not satisfied if I cannot have something written by myself on some junk. I know, thats madness, or being egoistical or you name whatever you want. But this link deserves a post all by itself.

I came across this post and followed what she says on her page. I suggest you do the same. I re-iterate, its a must do—what she says on her page.

Simply awesome.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sivaji—Second Time

I had been away from my blog for sometime again. But this time, I was not being lazy. Was really occupied with so many things, added to which I had a lot to write too, that I couldn’t put them all down without my brain (assuming I have one) not getting jammed. So had to take a short break before keying in my thoughts.

As said earlier, I did get to see Sivaji, and saw it twice I did. Yes, yes, and an emphatic yes. I did see it twice. Do I regret it? Nah, no way. I am too much a Rajni fan to regret it. Which actually means, I can enjoy any dabba movie churned out with Rajni in it on the TV, I did tolerate even Baba. Some of those dabba movies, even re-runs, but not Baba though. I cannot do that for any other actor. I can hear people saying I am being too biased… but what do I care. IMO, I think no other south Indian actor so much so, I could even say no other Indian actor has the charisma and screen presence that Rajni has.

Being a Rajni fan, enjoyed every bit of my experience of watching it for the first time, which was I think the 2 or the 3 show here in Dallas, and was thrilled watching it again with my dad last weekend. I was so excited when a re-run of the Tamil version came back very quickly (for they did do a re-run of the Telugu version earlier) and booked my tickets in advance for the 3 of us. (You can never take a chance with Rajni movie.) And man, I was right. Though it was screened in a smaller theater which could hold some 200 people, the hall was full. And there were still people, like who I think are watching it for at least their second time, like me and R.

OMG, it was still an exciting experience watching it for a second time. First of all, this was the second time, I see a Rajni movie within days of its release, with Chandramukhi being the first one but this is the first time I see it for a second time in a movie hall. It was very different kind of experience watching it with all those whistles and papers flying in the air. WOW. All my previous experiences of watching a Rajni movie was seeing it in a theatre in Madras, after some 2-3 months of it release, for only then, the crowd would have subsided. But being in Dallas, it felt okay to go for I know the crowd cannot get unruly for sure.

It really was an awesome experience. And as for my favorite song Adhiradee, it indeed was an adhiradee watching it on the big screen. But some how the first time when I watched the movie nothing got registered in me, except Rajni. Watching the movie the first time for me was more of watching Rajni on the big screen and hearing some jokes of Vivek. And nothing else. After being to the ARR concert, even now, when I think of Adhiradee song, I can visualize ARR in his white suit, doing a small jump on his heels yelling on top of his voice ‘Adhiradee Kaaran Machaan ga’. It really was euphoric. I still keep laughing over the way ARR was singing it. May be he was conscious of the crowd in front of him or what I cannot know, but it was like he was swaying to the music and the rhythm of the song in a very peculiar fashion. It was like he had these springs attached to the heel of his shoe or something and was getting a little lift from it. He kept repeating that particular action rhythmically for the whole song, and for any song that he sang for that matter. That’s the scene combined with his facial expressions that I can visualize when I hear the song. I still cannot remember the visuals of that song from the movie. It is ARR's picture that comes to my mind. There was this girl who was crooning to the female part of the lyrics and its her face I get when I listen to the songs even on the screen. Isn’t that funny?

Anyways, am not much of a movie fanatic, but would like not to miss any good ones. I am not a great fan of Shankar either. He keeps churning out the same stuff with very slight variations and keeps doing things in a grand scale and it sells. Otherwise I don’t see much in his movies. And the same holds good in this one too. There is absolutely no story. If you have seen one movie of Shankar, you can sort of guess the storyline for the rest of his movies. The object that can be projected grandly here for Shankar is Rajni and he has showcased it in all grandeur possible and Rajni is indeed awesome. It really is a treat for fans like me. Then you can imagine for the die-hard fans. And then there is Vivek. He is just brilliant. Guess this is the best of him that I have seen so far.

Actually when Shankar and Rajni teamed up and when I came to know that Rajni is an NRI from US, I was slightly worried for the way he can talk English. I did not want to spoil a Rajni movie watching experience because of yucky accent. Luckily, he talks less of English and what little he talks, he seems to have worked diligently on the accent. Added to that Shankar is not that great with his stories. So was a bit skeptical what if one of what could be Rajni’s last movie tanks. Luckily the whole team has helped us there and come up in giving us an experience that we never had before.

But whatever, it was joyous experience watching the movie the first time and the second time. Looks like I can still watch the movie again. Whatever, with no story nothing big like his old movies, Rajni can still evoke that Rajni charm and charisma and pull crowds. The movie is aptly named Sivaji, for its just Rajni, Rajni, Rajni all the way. One has to mention the ‘mottai’ Rajni. The walk he does coupled with his expression after getting down from the helicopter is absolutely fabulous.

An excellent treat for Rajni fans like me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

ARR in Dallas

On Friday, it was the first event of the weekend — ARR’s Concert.

The show started 8.30 PM, though the tickets said, the show would start at 8.00 PM, to a huge collection of audience, with all the screams, whistles, clapping and to the various kinds of noises that they were capable of making. It started with Chitra singing Jaage Hain from Guru with the next one being KhalBali from Rang De. It was a treat, a neat one well packaged with a mix of both Hindi and Tamil songs, with a solo Telugu song being the Telugu version of Kurukku Siruthavalae from Mudhalvan.

It was an awesome ride, with some 4 songs from Sivaji The Boss with 2 being my favorites, Adhiradee and Save the Fight Da with Blaaze there singing his own Rap. It was total treat and the crowd went berserk in joy. Drums Shivamani another favorite of mine, gave a solo treat of his music for some 10 minutes. The team consisted of Blaaze who did the job of anchoring the show, with Chitra, Tanvi, Hariharan, ARR himself, Sadhana Sargam, Sukwinder Singh, a Rajasthani Folk Singer—whose name I don’t remember, Naresh Iyer, Madhushree, Vijay Yesudas and many others crooning away to the applause of a fully packed hall here in Dallas.

There were songs from Dilse, Rang De Basanti, Guru, Sapnay, Taal, Yuva, Lagaan and some more. The improvisations on Lagaan was really good. An improvisation by Sadhana Sargam was equally good. Somehow, I did not like the Sukwinder Singh on his Dilse improvisation. But I like the way he sang Ramta Jogi and its improvisation from Taal. That was really good. Then there were four songs from Sivaji, which I already mentioned. Guru came up next with some 4 and so did Rang De Basanti, with the secret of success from Boys and many more of which I lost count. This is what happens when you try to remember after a couple of days with another mega event happening in-between. Sivaji was the highlight of the evening, with every song making the audience scream in ecstasy.

But the last and the second last again were in my list of all time favorites which made me leave the show on a real high. The second last was Andha Arabi Kadaloram from Bombay and we all screamed our hearts out in that song, the whole hall came up alive, my god how we screamed, Humma Humma, that was really good. And the last was Vandemataram. It was rendered by everyone of the whole team to a hall that was standing in full ovation and screaming Vandemataram right along with the singers. One of my best moments ever.

All in all an awesome evening and being my first ARR concert it indeed was one of my evenings that I may not forget that easily.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Woooo Hoooo

Am all set to go to two mega events... one today and another on Sunday.

  1. I am going for my first music concert in a stadium. I have been music concerts before, the ones that happen inside halls, but this would my first one in a Open Air Theatre and its going to be the concert of AR Rahman. I have no words to say how mightily thrilled I am. I have been looking forward for this from late April, so this evening is one that I am going to remember for a long time.
  2. I am going to see Sivaji - The Boss on Sunday with R and a couple of my friends. Too much to take in one weekend.

With two such events in quick succession, I just cannot contain myself. Its like, I have been literally on cloud 9 the whole of this week. In fact, I have postponed Pirates yet again (a story by itself for which I shall come up with a write-up in its whole entirety later) to next weekend. The weekend, it got released, I had to postpone seeing it, as I wanted to see 1 and 2 before seeing World's End. Then at last found the time to see both in one session last weekend. But then with this weekend being so filled up, I did not want to lose the joy of seeing Pirates. So it has gotten postponed again.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Post Script to Jaane Do Na

My husband, the Illayaraja fanatic that he is did not get that mightily impressed as myself on Cheeni Kum and to my favorite Jaane Do Na, he said not only was it an imitation of the Tamil version as I had identified, but was actually from a Kannada song of which he had forgotten the lyrics. He said, that Illayaraja initially came up with that composition for Kannada and then used it for a tamil movie.

And last Friday when I did some blog jumping I read somewhere – as usual lost the source – that it was a song named Jotheyali Jothe Jotheyali from a Kannada movie named Geetha. As usual, I got to musicindiaonline.com and I now prefer that one. The orchestration in that is even better, especially the violin and the voices of both Janaki and SPB. But I still do like the Hindi version better to the Tamil one.

Anyways, so much over a song. And Cheeni Kum is still the ones that I am listening to. :)

ps. Yet to see the movie though.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Planting Flowers

Last weekend, I had bought some beautiful Mexican flower pots from a local store here in Dallas. I found some time last evening to put them to use. It’s a lovely experience planting flowers. I had some bought from the home depot the previous weekend and I was going to put them all together.

So I set out with my potting mix, liquid fertilizer, the pots, the plants that need to be repotted and eventually, fill the two huge pots with the potting mix. I take the plants out from their small plastic make shift pots that were used at the store. Seeing the way the roots were circled around in a knot all cramped up in that small pot struggling to grow, made me feel sad for those plants. I tried prying into them to loosen up the roots and in the process, cutting a few here and there. Initially I felt sad that I was hurting them. Then I realized that they anyways need to be cut back, which actually would help them grow more in their bigger new pots.

I was basically preparing them to get adapted quickly into their new environment. I knew they were ready for the new pot. But were they sure about that themselves. That I was not sure about. Were they ready for that drastic change? That’s what made me think how we retaliate at times to the way things happen to us. When we undergo a change or cutting back on what we were used to, we always react to any situation by retaliating. But why can we just not think and accept that some one above us knows what He is doing and is doing something that actually prepares us for the next new something. It was a serene experience, getting those plants re-potted and watering them.

Thinking that I would be seeing them in their new pots today when I go home, makes me feel so happy and enthusiastic. Such small things makes me realize the greatness of the Almighty and yet at times the rational side of my brain makes me question His very existence. Why can I not just submit with no questions asked? I have been asking this question repeatedly and the answer is still eluding me.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Back in Action

After a long time, I found time for my blog again. I feel like I have been away from this place for eons. With so many things happening around me, I had totally stayed away from this place. Let alone writing, I had no time to even visit my favorite ones.

The last week and this week had been a little better or may be, I had learnt to juggle things better or may be, I had become less lazy. I am not sure. But then I also realized that me being busy did not stop me from watching the favorite movies that I wanted to, from my usual hours of sleep, or from whiling away my time in front of the television. But it make me get away from doing some elaborate cooking, from walking and exercise, from feeling guilty when I end up eating junk food in the process of eating outside, postpone doing laundry, postpone getting things done around the house, postpone or miss calling on friends, postpone from even getting up from the bed every morning.


  • I was in a new job, which means I had to drive a distance of around 30 miles one way on a daily basis
  • I had to learn a lot of new stuff in this new place and
  • They had and still have a weird way of functioning as a team

But all that, I thought in a sudden burst of enlightenment, was an excuse to get away from chores that I had to do on a regular basis. Or to be more exact, for my laziness to happily creep on me. So I made up my mind that I am not going to be lazy anymore. I have decided to do some experimentation with myself.

  • Let me see if I can get more done in that short time.
  • Do a change of work when I feel exhausted with what I am doing.
  • Try to make and stick to the commitment that I do with exercising regularly – this is one thing that has been haunting me day in and day out.
  • Blog more regularly.

Blogging does make me feel nice. So why I am not doing it more… beats me.. But then, that’s me… the moron that I am :) Let me see how successful I am this time to get away from the clutches of lethargy.

Jaane Do Na

Got to talk to a friend of mine yesterday after some 4-5 weeks. Actually, felt like talking after ages. Some people have that way to make you feel. Unfortunately, this one has that uncanny nature to make me feel that way at times. That’s besides the point of what I started to say.

Anyways, this friend of mine and I share very similar taste with reference to film music and we both like Illayaraja. Of late, I had been way too busy with so many things that I had missed doing so many things that I should be doing leave alone listening to the music of Cheeni Kum. When starting the conversation, my friend was like ‘Did you listen to the songs of Cheeni Kum, did you? Oh God, its way too good. You have to listen to Cheeni Kum. It does sound very familiar, but is awesome. Illayaraja is brilliant’ in a very exuberant fashion. Hearing that exuberance was when I realized what I had been missing all these weeks that made me feel like the weeks were ages. Now you know that you should be calling more often you moron… I am digressing again.

That’s when it struck me that the music was done by Illayaraja and that I had missed listening to it. I did know it was Illayaraja who composed for Chenni Kum for I remembered reading it long ago some where. So I went to musicindiaonline.com--my usual haunt for any kind of Indian music--and listened to the songs of Cheeni Kum today. Hmm, the music was not just good, I am so glad that I am listening to it at least today.

Funny, those songs were my favorites in Tamil and now, I have fallen in love with Jaane Do Na. It is an old tamil song composed with different instrumentation with Shreya Goshal singing it and with Sameer's lyrics, it is heavenly to listen to that number. Its been in my loop for the whole day.

I did remember that Baatein Hawa was Koozhal Oothum Kannanukku from Mella Thirandhadhu Kadhavu and Cheeni Kum and Sooni Sooni were both Mandram Vandha Thendralukku from Mouna Raagam, but some how I am not able to get the right tamil lyrics right for Jaane Do Na… but whatever, they might be repeats, but they do sound fresh and are lovely to hear. As always, Illayaraja is lovely and with Shreya Goshal its even more enjoyable in spite of the melodies being old numbers. Baatein Hawa in Shreya Goshal's voice with Amitabh talking a few words in-between is just too good.

Have not seen the movie yet.

ps. I just realized that Jaane Do Na is Vizhiyilae Mani Vizhiyil Mouna Mozhi Paesum Annam from Nooravadhu Naal but I feel that Jaane Do Na is way too good than the original. After listening to Shreya, I like the new version more than the old one. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Getting Disillusioned

Long time ago, I had spoken about how expectation leads to disappointments. But some how after understanding the way disappointment is directly related to expectation, what is it in me that makes me expect? I do make a conscious effort not to expect. But eventually, end up expecting more.
  1. I expect to be appreciated when I do something appreciable
  2. I expect to be recognized when I do something recognizable
  3. I expect a smile when I smile at someone
  4. I expect a thank you when I do something for someone
  5. I expect a please when someone wants me do something for them

What is it in me that makes me ask for these things? Am I expecting too much in life and in humans around me that I deserve the disappointments that I get when I do not receive them. Is it the ego in me wanting acceptance and appreciation at every walk of life?

But why is that some people just demand a lot from you, like it’s their birth right, but forget to even say a thanks in return, let alone returning the same demands that they have made? Beats me! I thought these were basic manners a person is supposed to have. Correct me if I am wrong. Being informal never meant, giving up being well mannered.

All this makes me realize one thing. Do not expect a human being to act like one, and if you act like a human being yourself, do not expect to be treated like one. Guess its one more lesson in my class of ‘Getting Disillusioned’. But am still not sure, if I have learnt it well this time :)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Senior Moments in Everyday Life

I went back thrice inside the house after having locked the door to start to work the other day. My poor husband who generally gives me a ride to the station where I pick up my train to work was really exasperated. He is one person, who generally doesn’t forget the daily trivial things. And I am the kind who forgets those. I would be used to doing something daily and baam, one fine day, just forget doing it. Wouldn’t have even realized that I had forgotten it.

After marriage, the great researcher that R is, he said that I may be running low on sugar when I get into these bouts of forgetfulness. But with the sweet tooth that I have, I can never possibly be running low on sugar to have my senior moments. I have been having them from my school days. When I told him a couple of too standing out instances, he gave up on me. These days, I can see that he has learned to live with this woman, who at times can even forget her name if she is deeply lost somewhere in her thoughts.

Once during my 7th grade, I ended up going to the exam hall thinking I was taking English II. It was the half-yearly exam. And to my surprise, I receive a Math question paper to be answered. I ask my teacher, isn’t it English II today and she says, ‘no my dear it’s on the next day or the very next day.’ (I don’t remember what she said). The shock of receiving the Math paper to answer was indeed too much. What I cannot still believe is, there must have been people outside the hall with some math book or paper with trying to memorize formulae’s and stuff. How did I possibly miss it. I have no clue. But I get into answering and eventually gave the answer sheet and went home.

Now comes the part of answering my dad. He was indeed shocked. Until, now, it used to be forgetting home works, losing pens, slippers, and umbrellas. But this was like, having the exam time-table right in my school dairy, but still forgetting it and going prepared for another exam. That got him worried as to what was happening to the kid and waited till I received my mark sheet. The mark sheet had no change. The marks were in the usual 70s. May be one or two up or down.

Another similar instance in grade 10. For my public exam of 10th and 12th my dad followed my time-table. I did goof up again in my 11th grade. The best was when I goofed up in college. I went for my 3rd semester exams a day early, thinking we start our exams that day. I see a couple of my friends and ask them for the others, wondering why they are not around yet for the exam was going to start in another 20 minutes or so. I still remember the way, a friend of mine named Priya yelled at me. She was like, ‘what the hell are you doing here.’ And I go, that I am here for blah blah blah (the name of the paper that I think that was). At which she says, ‘why on earth do you want to insult us in front of juniors? We (as in the second years) do not start our 3rd semester exams until next week. It’s the arrears of our first semester that we (as in those who have arrears—no wonder most of my classmates are not around—) have come to attend today. So just go home.’

I had a very perplexed look still and went to the hall to check the time-table again. Look at the confidence in the goofing up that I do. She stopped talking to me for a month because of that. And when I go home early and tell this to my granny, she is totally perplexed. The whole family is perplexed as to how I can repeatedly do this. Thank goodness, I didn’t go a day or two later for my exams. If I had done that, I would ended up writing it as an arrear paper in my 5th semester.

It didn’t end there. My friends then started following the time table to me. And during my M.Phil days, my professors called me up to tell me to remind classes for we used to have classes some 2 or 3 days a week and I did forget to go to class once and they had shelved that class. It’s the arguments that I generate were interesting for the HOD that they did not want to have a class without me. Can you believe that. That did make my day. Ofcourse she did scream at me when I said that I had forgotten we had a class that day. I still remember the way a friend of mine cursed me for that. Later, she made it a practice to come home and pick me up before going. I have been really upset and tried a lot to keep myself aware. But have never succeeded.

It continues till this day, and with dad at home I forget to take the house keys too. That’s what I did the other day. The first time it was the keys, the second time it was my cell phone and the third time, it was my work card key. Luckily, dad was there to open the door. If not, I would have locked myself out with me locking and getting out of the house without the house keys one me. Not believing my story of forgetting the exam time-table, R got it confirmed from dad. And ever since, he has given up on me and my forgetfulness. Atleast he has stopped getting exasperated when I forget things.

Funny, how I do remember a lot of stuff. Everyone in the family trusts me for recipes. It just comes out of my head. But then, I do forget to switch off the stove at times which ends up in getting the food burnt. But only some days are that way. There are days when I am totally on my toes. I would end up remembering things that I would feel really weird about myself for remembering.

I have so much of post-its and reminders set at work. And somehow its funny that I have never forgotten anything crucial at work yet.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nalladhor Veenai

This has been a favorite of mine from my 6th or 7th grade. That was a time when I never seem to understand the song. But loved the way, it was rendered by SPB in K.B’s Varumaiyin Niram Sigappu. The combination of music and the voice were really catchy. Being one of the popular songs of Barathi, this one has been rendered by almost all of the leading singers. But some how, I like this one and the one rendered by Rajkumar Barathi in Ezhavadhu Manidhan the best.

You can also listen to many others if you do a search on Music India Online under S on this page. They have some 3 entries with different spellings for Barathi.

But as years passed and as I started seeing life as it was, some of Barathi’s songs did make me feel better at those moments, when I had felt really down in life. They have taken care to help me bounce back to enthusiasm. They have made me believe that things can be achieved. Helped me to believe in God.

In this particular song the poet portrays a mood where he is very depressed. He is not seeing things go the way he wants it. He has been trying hard and the world does not seem to allow him to go the way he wants. As usual he does the same thing that he does always. Turns to his only solace Sivasakthi or Sakthi as he sometimes calls her. His Mother, God, the Life Giver, his Goddess. He believes in this all pervading energy called Sakthi and is happy at her feet, wanting to keep singing her praises always.

But with so many needs in this life to just make an ordinary living, we get to feel defeated so many times. It’s the soul’s lament not to feel defeated. That’s how I look at this song.

The poet is asking his Sakthi, if she will let him to rot, after having given him everything in the form of raw material. Is it not her duty to take care of the seed sown? That’s crux of this song.

Note: I have transliterated the Tamil lyrics. They are bold and
with the translation being followed in regular font.It is a crude translation
and is my humble attempt in translating my favorite poet.

Nalladhor Veenai Seidhey Adhai Nalan Keda Puzhudhiyil Erivadhundo?
Solladi Sivasakthi, Ennai Sudar migum arivudan Padaithu Vittai.
Vallamai Thaarayo, indha maanilam payanura vaazhvadharke?
Solladi Sivasakthi, Nila sumaiyena vaazhndhida puriguvaiyo?

Tell me O’ Sivasakthi, will one throw away into trash—a perfectly crafted musical instrument?

You have created me excellently well with a great wisdom.
Tell me O’ Sivasakthi, will You not give me the strength and power—
To be of any value to Mother Earth or will You let me be a burden on this land?

Visaiyuru bandhinai pol ullam vendiya padi sellum udal ketten
Nasaiaru manam ketten, Nitham navam ena sudar tharum uyir ketten
Dhasaiyinai Thee Sudinum, Sivasakthiyai paadum naal Agam Ketten
Asaivaru Madhi Ketten, Ivai Arulvadhil unnkkedhum thadai ulladho?

All I ask for is—
A body that would obey the commands of my heart—with the swiftness of a thrown ball;
A clean enthusiastic spirit;

A life that springs anew into being daily: bright and energetic;
A pure soul—to sing Your praises even when the skin is scorched by fire;
An unshakable mind—

Do You have any issues in granting me these?

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Happiness is a state of mind. It's not dictated by outward circumstances -- really. Learning to see a situation as it is, not as you hoped or feared it would be, is one of the keys to being content. -- Unknown