Why So Serious?

Ah! The right time to stir this up.

It is almost a day since the debate on Newshour on the snapchat that Tanmay Bhat had made on Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar Ji. I just got off YouTube, with my ears paining. Although I did put in the maximum efforts that I could at this juncture, there is alwasy this risk of me missing out on something when it comes to visual media.

Anyway, now to the point.

Tanmay Bhat had made a snapchat clip, talking abusive stuff about Sachin and Lata Ji. I also saw a bunch of panelists from different backgrounds taking sides and trying to put their views on the board ( Ofcourse, Arnab lives the Thuglife there 😉 ). What annoyed me the most are the stupid reasons that people said against the video.

One gentleman had this huge issue with Tanmay pulling in Lata Ji. He goes on to say that talking about Sachin was still okay, but Lata Ji?? Noooo. Also, he had the brilliance to add that they aren’t doing blue films or any other similar thing that is disrespected in the society.

I have an issue with this notion.

  • Why is it okay if Sachin is teased and why does his blood boil when Lata Ji is teased? Isn’t Sachin worthy enough ? Why such bias between genders? A mistake is a mistake irrespective of the person against whom it is committed.
  • So doing blue films is so disrespectful, that the society has the absolute right to tease the people who do it. Is that what he was trying to say? Are those people not human enough? We all know what Sunny Leone said about kids working in her sets and how people like Kareena Kapoor dance on Item Numbers with kids dancing behind them. We all know how dignified Sunny Leone is and how Katrina Kaif treated a flight stewardess some time back.

Another lady, pitches in, saying people’s sentiments are hurt. So, in such case, one must never talk at all. Apparently one cannot please everybody in a country of 1.2 billion people.

The debate was worth a watch and thought provoking.

I have a few things to say on this topic.

  • Blowing trivial things out of proportion, is actually inviting attention to silly things. The snapchat would have gone unnoticed, but by making it a national issue, they made sure that everybody watches it and knows of the issue.
  • Seriously stop worshipping human beings. They have done their job. nobody did it for charity. Let me be very clear on this. Be it Sachin, or Lata Ji or celebrity for that matter. They are there to earn and live a life like all of us. They just excelled in their chosen field. Simple. There is no need to go gaga over it.
  • Stop attaching your sentiments on things like religion, caste, celebrities, games etc. These are the same bunch of people who throw stones at Dhoni’s house when India loses to Bangladesh. Learn to give importance to things that deserve it.

Wasting one’s own energy and sensibility in the name of culture, religion, sentiments etc is not going to lead us anywhere. Lets just grow up.

 

Advertisements

Book Review- Between Now and Forever

images

When I heard about calls for reviews for this book, I was skeptical. I never really could stand romance genre and was more into non-fiction. Then, if not now, when else would I get the liberty to try, right? So I just took a chance in doing this.

This book is about Love, life, hope, acceptance and forgiveness. It is about how important it is to forgive and move forward. The lost love, resulting guilt, new love, unexpected affection and boundless innocence is what await the one who decides to read this book.

Abhimanyu Singh is a little cliched in the beginning, but the way he grows on me all along is miraculous. The description about his physique and his little quirks and demeanor is brilliant and aids in awesome visualization of the guy ( Girls, you are free to imagine that crush of yours *winks*) . He starts out like a spoilt brat but ends up being the man. The way how he forgives himself and plays along to set things right, the way he trusts in the woman and her words and the determination to clean up a mess is excellent.

Abhimanyu Singh gives me hope.

Megha Rai is a woman of steel. She is essentially a One Woman Army and her character speaks volumes about her nerves. Her name, which I claim too, is one of the most crucial things that got me curious about this book. She is forgiving, practical, open-minded and the best of all, independent. She is a woman of her own. She accepts life as it comes and does not shy away from anything that comes her way.

Megha Rai, you are my Woman!

The Sens, are the loving and sweet old couple who give and give in abundance. They sprinkle a copious amount of affection and selflessness. They open their arms wide to a person who had caused the death of their own child. That needs courage. For some reason, I can see The Sens being immortal through another couple in the book 🙂

Shakuntala Devi, Ranvir and even Cheng Lee are well crafted and add that touch to the story.

Ms. Meera Shiva, the author has done a great job in giving this feel-good book that gets over too soon ( although I would support brevity in this genre 😉 ). This will be my go-to book when I feel hopeless about life. This book promises sunshine after a dark night and is a lovely copy to own.

 

 

Dear Child!

Dear Child,

letter

You may be wondering as to what this letter is doing in the envelope that you have got as a gift for your birthday. This is my gift to you, on a rather important day in your life. 16, is such a magical number. Happy birthday, my baby. You will always me my baby, no matter how old you grow up to be. 

It is astonishing to see you as an adult. Time flies. It seemed like yesterday when I was apprehensive about keeping you comfortable in a cramped up space inside of me. I just hope it didn’t hurt much. If it did, it was totally unintentional dear. 

Your baby-steps and your sweet, messed up blabbers made my day very often. Not one day, even now, passes by without your thought. On this significant day, I would like to tell you a few things as your mother.

Firstly, you are an adult now and I believe you are slowly realizing that yourself too. Don’t worry about it too much, you will outgrow it very soon. It is normal to feel confused about it at this stage. 

This is the point where you set out to embark upon a journey of your own. You make and chase dreams, go out to discover yourself and know and understand the world better. You are slowly sprouting wings, my child. Fear not! This is an opportunity for you. A blessed opportunity to understand the world and in the process, understand yourself better. 

The whole world is your oyster and go get them! It is totally okay to chase your dreams. It is absolutely fine to be in the race, for time stops for nobody. It is fine to be you. The unabashed and daring you. I mean it. Smile and wear your confidence like the dress that you put on yourself everyday. 

Although, it is my duty to warn you. The world is not a fair place, my child. It has its own traps and pits which is open for you to get stuck and sucked in. Fear not! Be cautious, yet be kind to people around you. They deserve as much compassion as you do too. Keep your eyes open and be attentive to your surroundings. Trust your guts. If something makes you uncomfortable, leave the place. Stand up for what you think is right. 

Baby, the world judges. It does. Do not spare a thought about it. Always remember, you are your biggest strength and your worst enemy too. Use it wisely. It is not wrong to follow your passion. It is not wrong to do something as a profession and also something for your passion. Remember, Passion is overrated. Survival is more crucial. 

Be honest to yourself, kid. That stays on for a long time. Pick your friends wisely. At the end of the day, nobody cares about the number of friends you have. There is nothing wrong in being choosy. 

Remember, you will meet people, who will end up betraying your trust. You will end up feeling heart broken and helpless. Your heart is your own. Seize it and move on. Some people are just not meant to stay in your life. Accept that fact and walk on. Someday you will reach the place you desire to be in. 

There will be times in your life when you will yearn for companionship. It is not bad. It does not mean that you are weak. It shows that you are human too and that you are magnanimous enough to share your space with someone. It shows that you are capable of love and trust. Do not be ashamed of it. You are absolutely normal.

It is totally okay to not have everything sorted. Yes, Amma had this from a friend of mine and it is totally true. It is completely alright to feel messed up. It is fine to feel directionless. Fear not! Some things take time and when it happens, you will understand why it took so long. 

I know you will have lots to celebrate about today and hence I am cutting this short. You were born to win, my child. You were born to live too. Raise your head high and step out. The day is yours.

With all the love that I could give you,

Amma.

Trippy Steps

She walked faster, for the rain drops were getting heavy. She had loads of work to get done with and was really not pleased with the mental state that she was in. Still, she had held her head high and got on with the day. It was just 22 hours back that she had put an end to everything. Tired she was.

Tired of being led on. Tired of being played with. Tired of having hopes and tired of building castles in the air. Hope is a good thing, someone had told her. She was desperately looking for that soul so that she can strangle him with a rope and make him breathe his last.

She had wanted respect. She had wanted him to treat her with respect. She had wanted clarity from his side. None of it she got. She hoped for it. She waited, in vain. It was time to end it, for her own good, she had thought. She did it.

Weeping her heart out after that, she had picked herself up. She was not the one who quits. She was the one who the world looked up to and exclaimed, “What a woman”!. She was one of such kind, who would take on a storm, head on and still come out unscathed. She was brave, or courage was her. She had slept at peace. It had been an amazing feeling, to finally come to terms that nothing was ever going to happen. She was sad, yet boundlessly happy.

The rains became heavier. She was practically midway between walking and jogging. Her bags were weighing her down. She stopped by the shop on the way to stock up on her supplies. As she turned to go, she bumped into him.

Shell shocked and slightly suspicious, she looked at him. He was all wet. He looked as if he was waiting for her to cross him that night. It was as if he knew she was coming this way. She didn’t want to see him. It was too much to take, she felt. In a gap of 24 hours, it was just too much to handle. She walked on. He called her. She slowed down.

He caught up with her, armed with the strength of her slow steps. He wanted answers. He wanted to know things. Rather, he wanted her to know things. He had also dreamt of a perfect life. Her presence in it, though, was not what he wanted to remember then.

Time was ticking and so was the sky growing dark. The forlorn path that they were walking together on, seemed to go nowhere.

I never wanted you to leave, trust me” , He said.

She stopped for a second and looked at him. A faint smile playing on her lips and her eyes glistening with the freshly made tear drops, she opened her mouth to say something. He saw a shadow falling across her face and she started to walk again.

This time he ran and stopped her. Grabbing her hand, somehow hoping his touch would convey his thoughts, he reiterated, “I never wanted you to leave.”

“You didn’t want me to stay, either”, She replied.

trippy steps

He was struck by the brevity of the line. It was probably the shortest collection of words that had made him sad. He saw her silhouette fade away in the distance, oblivious to the hurricane raging in him.

Alone he stood, with his thoughts and his helplessness,for company.

Thamizh Mania

This post is long overdue and has been in my drafts folder for a very long time now.

Choosing one’s life partner oneself has been a sticky subject since times immemorial. Although times have changed and parents these days are open to an extent, still there are situations where the couple need to fight it out, figuratively, to win in their love. I don’t blame either of them for this, for I totally understand the sentiments of both the parties quite decently. What amazes me is that, this practice of love, eloping etc existed since the days when human beings were created. I hadn’t thought that deep, to be honest.

The thought struck me when I got to listen to a wonderful piece of literature. This one is a part of the Kalithogai. One of my friends, who is a Tamil Literature enthusiast had taken the pains to choose and explain this to a sizable group of 20-somethings.

It goes like this-

செவிலி கூற்றும், முக்கோல் பகவர் மாற்றமும்

எறித்தரு கதிர் தாங்கி ஏந்திய குடை நீழல்,

உறித் தாழ்ந்த கரகமும், உரை சான்ற முக்கோலும்,

நெறிப்படச் சுவல் அசைஇ, வேறு ஓரா நெஞ்சத்துக்

குறிப்பு ஏவல் செயல் மாலைக் கொளை நடை அந்தணீர்!

வெவ் இடைச் செலல் மாலை ஒழுக்கத்தீர்; இவ் இடை,

என் மகள் ஒருத்தியும், பிறள் மகன் ஒருவனும்,

தம்முளே புணர்ந்த தாம் அறி புணர்ச்சியர்;

அன்னார் இருவரைக் காணிரோ? பெரும!’

‘காணேம் அல்லேம்; கண்டனம், கடத்திடை;

ஆண் எழில் அண்ணலோடு அருஞ் சுரம் முன்னிய

மாண் இழை மடவரல் தாயிர் நீர் போறிர்

பல உறு நறுஞ் சாந்தம் படுப்பவர்க்கு அல்லதை,

மலையுளே பிறப்பினும், மலைக்கு அவைதாம் என் செய்யும்?

நினையுங்கால், நும் மகள் நுமக்கும் ஆங்கு அனையளே

சீர் கெழு வெண் முத்தம் அணிபவர்க்கு அல்லதை,

நீருளே பிறப்பினும், நீர்க்கு அவைதாம் என் செய்யும்?

தேருங்கால், நும் மகள் நுமக்கும் ஆங்கு அனையளே

ஏழ் புணர் இன் இசை முரல்பவர்க்கு அல்லதை,

யாழுளே பிறப்பினும், யாழ்க்கு அவைதாம் என் செய்யும்?

சூழுங்கால், நும் மகள் நுமக்கும் ஆங்கு அனையளே

என ஆங்கு

இறந்த கற்பினாட்கு எவ்வம் படரன்மின்;

சிறந்தானை வழிபடீஇச் சென்றனள்;

அறம் தலைபிரியா ஆறும் மற்று அதுவே

A caretaker of a young girl, goes in search of her missing girl. She comes across a saint, to whom she asks, ” Oh respectful soul, did you, by any chance, happen to see a girl and a boy,who have apparently fallen in love with each other, go this way”? 

The saint replies- ” I cannot lie that I have not seen them. There was a boy who was very handsome. Although, I would tell you that, the ever fragrant sandalwood that grows atop the mighty mountains does not belong to the mountain. The radiant pearl that lies in the seabed does not belong to the ocean and neither does the notes that take birth in the strings of an instrument belong to the instrument. In the same manner, you might have given birth to her and raised her, but she does not belong to you.”

The saint then continues to say, ” She has gone with the Man whom she loves with all her life, you may trust her and abandon your search now. She will be safe with her man.”

I found this absolutely beautiful. The analogies drawn to explain the predicament to the girl’s guardian are lovely and exceptional. While I type this, I get reminded about one particular quote that I adore.

Kadaikkan Paarvai kanniyar kaativittaal,

Mannil kumararku Maamalayum Or kadugaam

It means – The moment a glance from the corner of Her eye falls on Him, even the toughest task becomes so much as dust for Him

love

So much for love, eh? 😉

Tamil real text source: http://www.tamilvu.org/library/libindexen.htm

 

The ‘TamBrahm’ Code

One of my repeat-reads this week 🙂 Read and enjoy

SpecterSurmises

‘Madrasi’

‘Dark-skinned’

‘Lungi-clad’ & 

‘Conservative Pricks’

Yeah so this is pretty much how most of the people describe us. Not that we care. Most of it is true. But there is a lot more to a ‘Madrasi’ than what meets the eye. I am not someone who is really a ‘Tamil’ or a ‘Brahmin’ fanatic. But then lets just say that this post is a guide for some of you on how to unravel these ‘unique’ humans and perhaps help you understand them better.

  • Let’s start with the name. Okay so you know that the guy you loved all your life had his name as ‘Ashwin Sadasivam’. But as you sit on the dais during your wedding, the priest cites your name along with the a name that sounds like ‘Neelakanta Sharma’.Before you start doubting the true identity of your partner, let me clarify that. We are also given a…

View original post 898 more words

Down the Memory Lane

There would have been a time in most of the Tambrahm kondhai’s lives that we had a paatu mami. ( Yes, learning music or any instruments is mandatory as per the Code of Conduct of Tambrahminism )

This post is my tribute to my paatu mami, who, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated vocalists I have known.

I remeber throwing tantrums from a very young age, to not go for classes. When we had lived in Kerala, there was a bhagavathar who used to come home to teach me music when I was all of four or five years of age. I never liked him. ( Okay, I was a kiddo who, like many others, could be attracted only with colorful candies and toys, and vintage didn’t appeal to me then). I used to say some rubbish reason to escape from the torturous time of singing. Oh! We still have that iconic harmonium in our house,by the way.

So yes, when we shifted to Madurai, I was happy. Happy that I have to go through no more of those music lessons and yaay! What more could I ask for? That was when my neighbors changed and Lo! Guess who moved in?? A new Paatu mami. I swear I had no idea even in the wildest of my dreams. I was caught again, in the never ending cycles of swarams and saadhakams.

My dad, being the over-enthusiastic appa, was only too happy to send me and bask in the glory of having a pon kondhai who knew to sing properly. Days went by and I progressed with some good credits to my name and two new friends ( Paatu mami’s sons).

Mami was very liberal when it came to classes. With the perfect mix of tradition, she infused the classes with a lot of cool factor, like taking turns to sing one part each in the Varnam charanam portion, playing us the cassettes of legends and asking us to identify the raagam, slotting classes early in the morning, especially during Maargazhi so that we could sing Thiruppaavai etc. She had us all try our hands at Kalpana swarams from such young age itself and also the niravals and alapanais. We, the shishyas, used to sit in a semi-circle around her and used to gape at her expertise in doling out the swarams. We also used to squabble for a particular spot to sit. :/ ( Such fight to be the Sheldon Cooper of Paatu Class) She also had both her sons take out their mridangam and violin to practice along with us. It was kind of Katcheri, every day.

maxresdefault

Seating Arrangement

spot

Spartaaaaa Moment

Not one word she chided us when we took the liberty to play cricket inside the house during the “Before class” and “After class” grace time. Moreover, she kept a check on me if I was doing saadhakam every day ( Being the neighbor helps, you know). I still remember my excitement when my periappa gifted me a Radel Shruti Box and I ran taking it to mami to tune it. I still have the Shruti Box.

Years went by and studies happened and relocation happened. Now all I want is to go back to those days where one could drown in such divinity without any other thought to steal our own time and focus.

Though online tutoring works well these days, nothing beats that traditional form of music classes. 🙂

Oh My! Such strong memories and I so miss her and those days now. 😦 I was truly blessed to have such a person in my picture of Music and I am loving it to bits.

 

Miseries of Education

The much awaited Class 12 results are out in Tamilnadu and its that time of the year when newspapers are filled with pictures and claims and bragging and what-nots.

I can really visualize the newspapers the next few days. Every school submitting that the topper is from their school and this and that. Every year, the pass percentage seems increasing and the total marks also seem to be on an upward trend. It makes me ponder on a few things. Painful, yet crucial. There is a reason why educational centers seem more like an Industrial Establishment than an  Institution.

Having been from the State Board curriculum I can, with all assurance, say that it is no big deal to pass the Higher Secondary board exams. You have the question paper pattern with you, you have the mark allocation- chapter-wise and question-wise with you. What more does a student need? The education system has come to such a state that scoring a 99% or even a 100% in language papers have become easy these days. ( I am not saying anything bad about it, but then it is language paper for God’s sake and there is an age old adage that nobody can be perfect in language )

So what after scoring an aggregate of 95%+ in such exams? The students with all their hope, step into the temples of specialized education of engineering or whatever they choose to pursue. They aim to come off as toppers there too, given the compulsion that they need to maintain their standards. That done, what next? Placements and all the hooplah that surrounds it.

I have one serious question to ask all these “mark Manufacturers”. Are you even bothered about how employable you are? What have you done to develop your skills that you would require in your work-space. Mind you, I am talking about the general skills which have become a necessity these days, like a decent working knowledge of Microsoft word and Excel. ( By “Decent” I mean the efficient and effective use of features like mail merge and formulae)

I am of the opinion that more than knowledge it is one’s skills that pays off. Knowledge can be gathered from books and the internet but skills can be acquired only through years of practice. How many of us really care if our siblings and cousins have these skills?

Education is misleading people. Marks and certificate have usurped the place which was once ruled by skills and hard work. The entire system is flawed. Students are judged based on a piece of paper that reflects their performance during a three hour period, in an alien environment with all restrictions. That is flawed big time. 

We all are responsible for this mess. We never missed a chance to drag in Sharma ji ka beta or Padma akka’s daughter when it came to marks and rank. We didn’t  care about the guy who walked into our office with confidence, seeking an interview. Heck, we shortlist candidates based on marks! Could it BE anymore sad?

Give the youngsters a chance. Everybody makes mistakes in their lives, all of us slip at least once in our lifetime. Who knows, you might discover a diamond beneath all those layers of dirt. A diamond that was waiting to be unearthed so that it can shine in all its glory and sparkle.

 

 

 

The Quest of the Pochemuchka

The story continues from here. https://viddev.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/unwarp-the-induction/

Priya walked alongside Gop, lead by Vas. She was led to a huge area decorated with sparkling drapes and fragrant flowers. It seemed to her as if it was the courtroom of someone royal, just like she had read in those fairy tales, growing up.

She looked around with wide eyes and her mouth slightly open out of amazement. She couldn’t believe the luxury and the grandeur that the place held. Lost in her own thoughts, she noticed that Gop had walked a few steps ahead. She rushed to catch up with him, filled with an unending curiosity. She wanted answers. She was impatient. She wanted them at that very instant.

After what seemed like an eternity of walking, she found them slowing down. She perked up a little to catch glimpse of what was in front of her, for there were a sea of people. She started getting alarmed but still held herself up with poise and walked on. Cutting through the crowd, she found herself in front of a throne. A throne made of crystal. She gaped at it like a child facing something magnificent. The empty throne had on it, a crown. “What an  exquisite piece of work”, she thought.

 

She looked at Vas, eyeing her to explain what was going on. Vas, with her radiant smile, started talking.

The throne and the crown belongs to you, Priya.”

Priya stared at Vas with disbelief. She wanted to know more. “Go on…” ,she said.

Vas continued.

“Centuries ago, we also lived on the Earth, where you now live. Remember when Gop and I said that Men looked after Trade? Yes, we coexisted peacefully along with you all. Our lives were filled with abundance, prosperity and contentment. Nothing could bring despair to us. No force could stop us from being the way we were. “

Priya noticed the wistful and dreamy gaze of Vas, that focused somewhere far out at the horizon. She got a waft of what might have happened. She didn’t want to know that, for she knew it would make her feel miserable. She wanted to stop Vas right there, but in vain.

Vas continued the story…

I would like to ask Sahithya to continue the story 🙂 Check out her creations here. http://sahisridhar.blogspot.in/2016/05/lord-shiva-cosmic-dancer.html

This post is a part of the “Tagged” contest organised by the ChennaiBloggers.in