Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

Mother's day wishes everywhere reminds me of the very first time I celebrated this day with my mom. If I remember right I was nine or ten then.  It was a period when hardly anybody in our part of the world had heard about it. She was resting on her bed reading the weekly and pointed out to an article and said "Do you know tomorrow is mother's day. And kids celebrate it by hiding greeting cards in cupboards/shelves or any place to surprise their mom. So what are u going to do?" And  I said "OK. ..let me see" and went away quietly.
That night before going to bed, I went to my table, tore a piece of ruled paper from a rough book, grabbed a ball point pen and scribbled "Happy Mother's Day" and quickly drew a flower. You know am pretty bad at art. I sneaked into the dining hall and put the paper on the vessel of idli batter in the refrigerator.
Next morning (it was a holiday), I was waiting to see her reaction, but to my anxiety, she didn't seem to have found it. I gave up and continued with my daily work. It was around 10 AM, I was writing my homework sitting at the dining table with my back facing the kitchen. I turned around to ask her something and found her dancing with the paper pinned to her dress. We hugged & kissed; it was such a bliss.

Twenty plus years pass by and my daughter surprises me with her little card and sweet words 'Happy mother's day'. It was such a bliss.

Today social media runs the show. Facebook is loaded with selfies and posts to celebrate mother's day. Be it for passion or fashion mom's are always happy to know that you love her too. Just words will fulfil, but ensure that she hears you say 'I love you too'

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Power of Siblings

A friend in need is a friend indeed. But a brother doesn't need a 'need' to support you. He's always by your side whether you are doing right or wrong, good or bad.

My memory fades when I try to recollect your babyhood (I was too little) though I remember the night you were born, the first ever night I stayed without mom. But she gave me a companion for life time.

Your school days, those pranks you played to get rid of study time, those powerful stories you built on the go to manage any situation are vividly registered in my mind. Little did I realize then that those stories and pranks were your first step to creativity and instincts.

I am a loser when it comes to debating, arguments, discussions or for that matter any activity the requires rigorous talking. You have been my saviour and voice when I was in trouble talking.
I have sat beside you in every concert and hid my voice under yours. But I knew all the applause belonged to you.

You gained me a lot of respect from people I never even met. Am not sure what you talk about me, but I am overwhelmed.

If we get a chance let's re-live those days when we played in the backyard drinking our evening glass of milk, when we swung together singing our favourite numbers, when we played backyard cricket, when we 'dubsmashed' the comedy dialogues, when we fought for the TV remote (swatcats vs movies), when we did pillow fighting, when we played business, when we were at the theatres together, when we fought for the plate of maggi and the list goes never ending.

Have a blasting year and life ahead!!!Happy Birthday Dear Bro!!!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Give Way!!!!



Pretty long time, since I even visited my blog. My 2 year old is keeping me busy for the little time I spend at home.  Glad to write (or shall I say scribble) something again. What got me here to write is a couple of taxi drivers. I don’t know why, but it just got to my head that I have to write this. This post may seem to be like one boring lecture. Forgive and forget please.

Recently, I had many a chance to use a taxi to reach office. It was one such sunny morning, after a great effort, I found one taxi driver, who was ready to drop me at office for a little more than the normal fare. It was when I got to the back seat that I realized how untidy and unclean the car was. The A/C wasn’t working either, considering the 48’C temperature. To top it all the radio was singing loud a song in a language I don’t understand.  When I got settled there, he asked me directions. Once answered, the volume of the car radio was raised higher.

This was one of the incidents that made me think about how much concern one has for his fellow beings. Yes, we do come across such incidents every day. 

Two days later, I had to take a taxi again. This time, when I got in I got a feeling the driver was a friendly kind, for he talked a few words. But then, in few minutes, he switched on the radio. And I had to bear with it for the next half an hour.

Earlier I have seen this happen in my pick up bus, people getting in to the bus play loud music on their mobile phones. It never annoyed me (though I felt bad for it), probably because it was my kind of songs. 
Frankly, it’s not a great thing to be arguing about. It’s the driver’s car, his radio and he has all the right in the world to turn it on loud. Probably he would have switched it off if I had asked him to do so. Coming to the point, in this mechanical world, do we really consider doing things without hurting/annoying others? Leave alone helping!!!

As I thought along, am putting up a list of small acts to show human consideration at times.

      
  1. When travelling using public/common transport, use head phones to listen to your favourite music
  2. When searching for stuff at the super market, put your trolley aside, not to block other people from looking out for their stuff.
  3. When you get your chance after waiting in a queue (at an ATM or a ticket counter or elsewhere), try to make it quick. There are other people waiting. (Of course you got to finish your job, but avoid spending unnecessary time.)
  4. When you are on the lookout for vacant parking space, make sure your hunt does not lead to traffic jam behind. May be someone is in a hurry.
  5. When boarding a train/bus/flight, try to settle on your seats as soon as possible. There might be an elderly/sick passenger waiting behind.
  6. When you do not get a table at a restaurant, wait patiently. It’s annoying if you signal to other diners to quit. 
  7. Finally, wipe off the toilet seat after using the toilet at your work place/any public place.

Additions to the list are welcome.

Having said all this, no one is perfect. This post is not about self sacrifice. It’s about giving way to others with a little human consideration.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Navarathri

Since the day I started writing in this blog, I wanted to write about Navarathri celebrations. I had put it away as I was looking for old pics which I wanted to post along with. Now that Navarathri is here, I decided to write it anyway though I still didn't succeed in getting the pics scanned. After the long break I took from blogging, I am dedicating this post to my mother .

Navarathri is the festival I have enjoyed the most during my childhood. The credit goes to my mom. She always made all festive occasions fun-filled and interesting. Her favorite was Krishna Jayanthi, followed by Navarathri and Diwali.

Today being the first day of Navarathri 2012, I was pondering about what would have been the origin of the custom of doll arrangement known as 'Golu', which is the highlight of occasion  in the South. Clay dolls of gods and goddesses are arranged in nine steps and decorated. Normally a 'Rangoli' is painted in front of the arrangement and an oil lamp is lighted every evening and a delicious snack is offered as ‘prasadam’. I googled for some time and I came across two interesting facts.

  1.  Golu was started as a custom to promote business of clay idols and generate revenue when the crops failed. I am impressed by this kind of thinking.
  2.  The way the dolls are arranged in nine steps has a concept behind. The top most steps is normally reserved for idols of Gods and Goddesses, the next is for saints and divine people, and then the next for great men like freedom fighters and social workers. Then comes the space for business men followed by common people. The last few steps are reserved for animals, birds and insects. The hierarchy is self explanatory.
The second point reminded me about the way my mother used to arrange the dolls. Perhaps she was following the hierarchy to an extent.

Apart from the above facts, I have the following positive points that make Navarathri a very special occasion. 

.      Activity:
Navarathri is a festival that is buzzing with activity. The fun starts a day or two before the festival begins, when we get into the attic to un-wrap the idols and pass it carefully to the people. Then a day or two passes in carpentry to build the steps, arranging the dolls, decorating the whole space and other activities. Once we get into the nine day span, there is more fun. Visiting other houses, buying and packing gifts along with ‘manjal-kumkum’ are amusing activities that take place for all the nine days.

.       Art and Creativity:
The festival provides an opportunity and space to showcase talent and creativity. Right from decorating the steps and space with color paper, there is much scope for art and creativity. One of the dolls showcased in the Golu is ‘Chettiar bommai’, as a representation of businessmen. Every year we used think about new ideas to showcase shops for him. One year it would be provision store, the next year it would be vegetable market, mechanic shop, sports shop or even a museum. Also as an addition we used to create a miniature model of a garden, park, recreation center, dam, cricket ground or so.

Rangoli is another form of art that is displayed during these nine days.  Also it’s a great opportunity for singers, be it professional or amateurs. Singing bhajans and devotional songs in front of the Golu is a custom when we visit friends during the nine days. Also there are a number of concerts arranged specially during this festival time. This provided opportunity to many budding artists.

.       Prasadam:
Every day there is a delicious and healthy snack prepared and offered to God. The specialty is that this snack is normally made from grams and sprouts and is called 'Sundal'. This makes it protein rich and is loved by kids the most. This prasadam is offered to all the guests who come to see the golu, thus providing the chance to taste different kind of snacks everyday. Most of the days, dinner comprises different sundals.

.       Social Activity:
In this busy world, we hardly have time to visit friends and relatives. As this is a festival that lasts for nine days, visits can be planned and executed. This is one time in a year we take the pain to visit a friend in the outskirts of the city.

Though the festival is of Hindu origin, there is no bar on religion/caste when it comes to inviting friends. During the nine days we used to have about a hundred people walk in to our house just to have a look at the ‘Golu

In this modern era of busy schedule and mechanical life, celebrating this nine day fest with full spirit can make way to  recoup social life and relationships, kindle creativity in kids and serve as a refreshment. But it is notable that like other festivals, this nine day fest is losing it's significance and value.

Now having said all this, I am awaiting the day when I can re-create the good old days of Navarathri and have my daughter enjoy the spirit of the festival as I did in my childhood days.

Below is a picture of golu that was arranged by my aunt in Coimbatore. 



Saturday, July 2, 2011

Think And You Have Received

As a normal tiresome day at college came to an end, I got into the college bus waiting to get back home. The one thing different that day was that I had a lot of friendship bands tied on my wrist. As I sat down chit-chatting with my fellow travellers, there came up a conversation about rakshabandan occuring the next day. As the conversation continued, I was in my own world thinking about asking mom to get me few rakhis that evening, so that I can celebrate Rakshabandan for the first time. Rakshabandan normally coincides with Avaniaavittam and that meant all my brothers meet up in one place to perform the thread changing rituals.


As I reached home, I found the house full of students. Admist them was my mother, glancing at a book through her reading glasses. I refreshed myself and ran to the kitchen shouting for my evening coffee. She came in a second later and started preparing my coffee. Then came in one the kids asking something. I shouted at her, asking her to get back to her seat and wait for two minutes. I hate it when someone gets between when she prepares my evening coffee and snacks.

Ten minutes and I was off to accompany my mother with my scheduled job of teaching. One hour had gone and mom reminded me that it was time to go for our dance rehearsal. She was already kick-starting the 'sunny'. After assigning them work, We left the stundents under my bro's supervision and proceeded to the choreographer's house.


Being known for her punctuality, we were at the spot on time to find no one else there. In the hall, we sat facing each other on the sofa. She looked at my wrist and suddenly something flashed across her mind. She spoke slowly, "I have got 9 rakhis at home. Tomorrow is Rakshabandan. All of them will be present at our place for avaniavittam. You can tie the rakhis then. Also I got 10 pieces of Diary milk. When you tie a rakhi you need to give a sweet also" I smiled. I wanted to ask how she knew what I thought hours ago and had already forgotten. But then I knew she did the shopping in the early hours of the day, long before I thought about it. Then I said, "for whom is that extra diary milk?" She said "That is for your uncle's helper boy, Murugan. Poor boy, he will feel left alone. So give him one too."

It might be apt to say 'Ask and you shall receive' when you talk about GOD. When it comes to her,
it's 'Think and you have received already.'

Nine years pass by since you bid adieu. But what I am today is what you did to me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Rakshabandan

Rakshabandan, the very word reminds us of brothers all-round the world. Being a south Indian, it’s not part of tradition. But I got to the habit of wishing my brothers and tie a Rakhi on their hands if possible.

This post is to celebrate this year’s Rakshabandan and to wish all my brothers. Fortunately enough, I have always been surrounded by brothers from the time I can recall my memory. They are the best bunch – be it fun, talent or anything else. All the more I always was the only sis they had for a long time. Likewise my uncle always used to call me ‘Princess’. Being the only girl in a large family definitely has it’s own advantages. But the disadvantage was that you would be left alone at times. But this never was an issue, as I used to join these chaps in all their activities. I even remember playing street cricket with them at times or roam around the colony riding bicycles.

Rakshabandan normally falls on the same day as ‘avaniavittam’, a small festival celebrated by ‘Brahmins’. On this day, normally all the boys gather at one place to perform a rituals and change their ‘Poonal’ (the sacred thread). Also this day they get small gifts mostly in the form of money from the elders in the family. The first time I celebrated Rakshabandan was on of those days when all the boys had gathered in my uncle’s place. I can recollect the excitement I had that day to Rakhi. My mother had got the bands ready along with some chocolates. Since morning I waited for the arrival of each one of them and thrust the dairy milk into their hands and tied the rakhi. Then at the time of lunch, it was my little sis’s (the youngest) turn. She got the boys’s lined up and tied the rakhi. I bet that she being the youngest won the collection that day.

Here are a few photographs of this wonderful bunch.

Navin(Navdoz) and Kiran (Kichoo)
Neeraj(Neeju), Sriraj(Chiju) and me

Karan (Chicoo), Rajiv anna, Keerthi (Nikki)

Srikanth(Cheeka), Srinath (Cheens), Chiju and me

Dear Bro’s
Wishing u a very Happy Rakshabandan. Pray and wish you all success in all your endeavours!!!



Friday, July 2, 2010

A Letter after Eight Years

Dated Forever

Dear Mom
Today I sit here thinking about the drama that was executed this day, this time, exactly eight years back when you bid adieu. Since then, there has been too many things happening around. So I just thought of letting you know what all you have missed to witness in this world till date.


If you could have postponed your journey by one year and a half, you could have witnessed your daughter’s convocation ceremony. All I could do is visualize you distributing sweets to your pals to celebrate your daughter becoming a graduate engineer. Also you would have seen your son passing out his board exams with flying colours, which I am sure was most awaited by you. Very soon did I get through my job interview. I did move out to a new phase of my life, while my sweet bro got into his engineering course with ease. Things happened so in such quick succession, but without your physical presence. All I could do was visualize the happiness on your passionate face.


Soon I got going with my job and I started realizing how much you missed the small milestones I reached. My first salary, the first gift I could get you, the first ever business card I got printed for myself, the scooty pep I bought, the weekend trips I made to CBE, the appreciation letters I received, the first promotion and so the list is endless. All I could do is shed a few tears for you before I got to bed every night.


As you taught me, Time waits for no man. Soon it was my brother’s turn to get through three job interviews consecutively even before he was certified as an engineer. Soon he passed through all the good things that happened to me as mentioned earlier. He didn’t stop there, for he got through his fourth one also with ease. By this time, I had already left the country to get my bread faster and better. All I could do was to visualize how you would have felt when you saw him in his formal shirts and pants, riding his bike to office every day.


Thus seven years passed and now it was time for me to tie my knots and move into another phase of life. I know you missed this a lifetime. But all I could do was to place your portrait on the dais.


All this time, I told you about the good things that took place. I don’t want to take you through the little unfortunate things we got through. All I would say is that I know you wanted to guide us through the bad phase of life as well. All I could do was watch your portrait for a minute whenever I felt your guidance was required.


Now here are a couple of points that you will be glad to know. Your son is very much like you. That is very much enough to get thoughts about you to flash across the mind of any soul. Also of late we had a chance to meet many of your friends. Every time I meet someone, my heart beats faster when they talk about you or shed a tear for you.


Now as I complete this short letter, I realized that you are omnipresent and probably you would have witnessed all the incidents that I narrated from the other world. It’s just that you are invisible to us. Though your voice is not audible to the world, it is being heard deep by our minds. The fact is that I have been missing you all this time!!!

Eight years pass by since you bid adieu. But what I am today is what you did to me.


With Tons of luv,
Your beloved child