Monday, May 28, 2007

A sumptuous tali

"Indian nationalism - It is not the language or race or ethnicity or religion or geography that binds us together as a nation. It has always been the nationalism of an idea - an idea rooted in the spirit of diversity."

A nice article by Shashi Tharoor Do read it..

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Smell of Rain



It was a crazy week.. Getting busier in office with the new project and the desperate attempts to build up a team.. Also had lots of personal work, so much so that I just couldn't do justice to either :( Days were long, getting up early and sleeping past midnight - got totally exhausted.. Couldn't find time even to think of blogging.. But no I haven't abandoned this space and here I am :)

Apart from the tight schedule, there were lots of pleasant things as well.. Two days back, rains started in Bangalore bringing down the scorching heat that city was reeling under all these days.. Now the air is cold, it smells fresh, like it’s been washed clean of the day’s smoke and dust.. But more than the temperature factor, it is a nostalgic feeling.. It brings the child in you out and gives you freedom to break free of all the traditions and just feel the rain pour all around you..

Yes I have always loved rains.. I love the first rain of the season, the smell of virgin soil, the sound of rain drops hitting the window panel.. Sometimes I just lie in my bed listening to the rain.. I even tend to open the window a crack, so that I can hear it better.. I love standing by my window when it rains and reach out to feel the raindrops on my fingertips..Or I just sit in the balcony watching the different patterns that wind tend to draw in the air using these drops.. I have gone outside when it's raining just to be in the rain.. The fun of walking in it without an umbrella and getting drenched, and then you just burst into a smile, like the pouring rain.. The rain makes you sing, dance, cry.. Something about it seems to excite a multitude of emotions or should I say it is a silent witness to the play of emotions.. For me it holds a promise; the bubbling joy, a silent tear, a hope, a promise that yes, at the end of every hot and weary summer, the raindrops will come down pitter-patter and life around us will wear a new look...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Not in the Frame

Today a friend was asking me why I can't upload a decent self portrait in my orkut profile. According to him all of them are "deformed" :( Reason why he asked this is coz most of the snaps that I upload there will be cropped from some group snaps and so it won't be a proper portrait.. Also whenever I share snaps after a trip, I face lot of questions on why I'm not there in any of them..

The answers for these questions are
1) Cameras don't lie. So what u see is what you get and I can't do much about that :D
2) I don't like myself to be photographed, especially solos. This aversion came right from childhood and I think I should blame my parents for that ;)

The story goes as follows: Think I was 2 or 3 years then. My parents took me to a studio to take some family photographs. I should have posed well that time. But immediately after that they took me to a nearby hospital and gave me some vaccination and poor me was crying in pain. From then onwards I always associated photos with the pricking pain and my parents never got a chance to photograph me after that. The moment I hear the word "photo" I would be petrified and would vanish to infinity and they won't see me for a couple of hours. Result - I absolutely don't have any childhood snaps of mine (which I slightly regret now). It took quite some years(not until I reached college) for me to get over this camera shyness(or should I say camera ache). Even now If I search the thousands of photo's that I have, there will be less than 10 solo's !! And I'm in no position to publish those coz most of them are the "caught unaware" series by my friends ;) So people now u know the side effects of a vaccination ;)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Intuitions

I'm getting used to the regular "power failures" in Bangalore and usually during these times I prefer to read. So today I lighted a candle and was reading holding the candle stand in one hand (I know it is a little dangerous). Although I used to do it often, today something in my mind told me that it's going to be disastrous. I had a feeling I'm going to get burned. I get such gut feelings often and experience have taught me not to ignore these warnings. So I decided to keep the candle stand down and while keeping it down all the melted wax flowed down my hand burning them !!! I'm happy that it didn't become too grievous. But as I told this is not the first time that I'm having such experiences.. I remember in Rome, I had a feeling that I'll be pick pocketed and coz of that I was extra careful and was checking my purse every 5 mins. In spite of that I got pick pocketed! Again during the early days of my career, I used to work in a very jolly gang. But whenever we used to have fun, I got this funny feeling that it's not going to last long and I'll be separated from the team. There was no logic behind that as I was supposedly handling a critical component and though I had asked for a component change, the answer given was I had to wait at least for 1-1.5 years. But within 2 weeks I was moved to a different component and out of that department. Similarly I was not interested in pursuing engineering and so though I had got a decent rank, I joined a degree college and even attended classes. But later I ended up taking engineering that too a stream which I was not very keen on and the interesting part is all through I knew I had to do that!! There have been so many such instances most of them I can't remember now.. I don't know how to explain this.. Articles, especially about positive thinking, ESP, holistic or meditation, will tell you that it is the power of your mind. What ever you are imagining , your mind has the power to make it happen and you can even develop these instincts!! But what I don't understand is it's not that we are imagining these things deliberately(who will imagine all these unpleasant things?) nor is it that all things that we are imagining is happening this way (if that was the case, we could have imagined all nice things and made our life much much easier)..

Another similar experience is when you are in a situation, you feel the event has occurred in the past. You can recollect the scene as if from a movie or a drama. All the characters exactly in the same place and doing exactly the same things as if in a replay. My friend's dad who is a psychiatrist once explained to us that this is because of hormonal imbalance during teen years and it is more prominent in girls. He assured us that as we cross the teenage the frequency of such occurrences will be reduced which is actually true in my case(tho it hasn't gone completely). But again what I can't understand is how can the hormones know what is going to happen in future? Or is it that the feeling is only an illusion? But then why is it happening only for some scenes?

Whether it's the power of mind or trick of hormones, I feel it's little creepy. Also I guess most of you would have experienced it(unless there is something terribly wrong with me). Is there any other convincing explanation? Or is this really a sixth sense?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Kannathil Muthamittal


(This picture is downloaded from internet and is not copyrighted by me)

I watched this Mani Ratnam movie (It's an old movie released in 2002) yesterday and I have to say it is one of the finest I have seen in a long time. It does more than just "A Peck on the Cheek" - the characters are well etched, the tale is narrated with lot of feeling and maturity and some of the scenes would bring a lump to your throat or even wet your cheeks. Maniratnam yet again proves that he is at his best when tackling human emotions and relationships. His visual language, his high standard in movie techniques, the way he leads his actors and most of all, the way he tells his stories are all simply outstanding..

The film explores the emotional turmoil of a little girl in search of her biological
mother amidst social and political hurdles, and the effects it brings upon her foster
parents. If you would like to know the story read it here or here,but I have to say it is no substitute for watching the movie..

All the actors have given their best performance but the show stealer is undoubtedly the child artist P.S. Keerthana who portrays Amudha, the nine year old girl. The way in which she responds with a multitude of emotions when she realises that she is adopted unlike her brothers, her determination to search out for her biological mother, the way she yearns to see her mother and get a kiss from her,.. She evokes so much sympathy and her expressions so natural and spontaneous that she leaves you bewildered. She has delivered a convincing and exceptional performance and it's hard to believe that this is her first film.

In short, this is a breathtaking cinematic achievement that takes the viewer on a sensual and emotional journey. So if you haven't yet seen the movie, it's worth a watch. You will easily fall in love with the characters..

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Miles to Go Before I Sleep..

Yes I know it's sometime since I have posted anything.. Got busy with work, but will be back soon :)

In the mean time check this snap. I took it in Rabdentse Ruins,Pelling (Sikkim). I liked the stone pavements and the colored leaves that fell on it.. You can't see anything beyond the curve which reminds me of life's little turning points.. Tell me whether you liked it and what it means to you..

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Starting Anew


Now a days, my evenings are very dull and lack luster.. Ambili has taken up a job and so our routine voice chat that used to consume my entire time has come to an abrupt end (probably that explains why I'm more verbal these days). As a rule I don't initiate a chat/call with my other friends.. I have a feeling that they will be busy with their life and I shouldn't unnecessarily intrude into their time. Cooking has also come to a standstill after my cousin moved out. It's too boring to cook and eat all alone.. I'm not that much of a TV enthusiast either.. But there are so many things that I like to do. I love to sketch, I like to do handicrafts, I like to read, I like to go out for walks, I love to talk to people, I like to shop, I like to keep my house clean, but the problem is I have lost the zeal to do things that I once loved to do.. It's ages since I have sharpened my pencils, my paints are all dried up, there are so many raw materials(for craft works) lying in my house unattended, I have a pile of books that I want to read, it's long since I have bought a dress for myself, it's years since I have gone for my morning walks(and it shows),my house is cluttered (coz of the numerous things that piled up over the years).. The list is endless.. Result - I have started to feel that "Life is boring" which is a little dangerous.

But,as they say, a problem recognized is a problem half solved. So I intend to do something regarding this. I've even taken a few first steps. I went for my morning walk today. It was a nice feeling and I hope to continue the same. I would even try to go to the badminton courts again.. I want to re-start my cooking so that I will eat properly and avoid the junk foods (hopefully that will improve my health as well). I plan to resume my sketching and craft works.. I have cut the papers already and the stitching kit has come out.. I intend to finish at least one book per week.. In my one room house, there is very less that I can do to reduce the clutter. But I still want to give it a try and have decided to keep all the "not-so-essentials" in the overhead rack. I now need to sort out which all needs to go there..This weekend I'm planning to go and shop for some dresses so that there is something new to look forward to.. I don't know how much I'm going to succeed in these endeavours. With my new work commitments which will start soon, I might even end up with absolutely no time for myself. But whatever it is I would like to give it a try..At least I should be convinced that I have done my best.. Wish Me Luck, Please..

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mangoes, Mangoes and Mangoes


Summer is here and the first thing that comes to my mind apart from the oppressive heat is the sumptuous, succulent MANGOES, aptly named The king of fruits. No other fruit is as delicious and magnificent as mango. There are, I assume, very few who wouldn’t love mangoes. I should say I'm an ardent fan of mangoes (although next only
to Jack fruit) and the sight of juicy, yellow-gold mangoes makes my mouth water. And
the heavenly aroma! No amount of words can describe that…

Mangoes in any form is tasty ,whether it is raw , ripe or in the form of pickles. The
raw ones are used in various curries. The use of tamarind will be replaced by the sour mangoes during this season.. The parippu curry with mango and jack fruit
seeds is one of my favourite. There are different dishes made out of ripe ones as well.. One such is mambazha pulissery which my roomies were very fond of.. My friends granny used to send me dried mango pulp from Andra. Amma used to make manga varattiyathu in a desperate effort to check those ripe mangoes from decaying. There are lots and lots of other dishes as well..

But nothing can beat the smell and flavour of a warm freshly picked mango. It always takes me to my childhood days (I think most of us will have fond memories related to it). There was a giant mango tree in the backyard of our old house which had the sweetest mangoes ever. The branches were so high up that no one could climb it, and we hired someone to harvest the mangoes. One of my favourite pass time was to watch the squirrels and birds that come in as visitors to savour the fruit. Early in the morning, the entire ground will be filled with fallen mangoes.. They were still unbruised and had escaped the birds. The skin was dark green and inside it was golden yellow and pulpy.. ( I was upset for days when I heard that the current occupants had cut down this mango tree. It was as if I had lost someone so close to me..)

My grand mom's place also had many mango trees and one of my earliest memories of my
vacations there, is sitting with my cousins in front of a huge pile to slurp those
juicy delights. First I didn't know how to eat them since it was very juicy and eating them was little tricky. Then one of my cousins showed me the technique and I soon mastered the art. The technique is to squeeze the mango from all sides till it is softened. Then make an incision at the top and suck the juice out before peeling and eating the rest. The experience is nothing short of pure bliss.. By the end of it, juices will be flowing all though our hands, chins, laps and dresses fully stained, and all that's left of those mangoes would be their well licked seeds.. A very messy way of eating, but I guess that's what is different about childhood..

My house also has 4-5 different varieties of mango trees but all of them started bearing fruits after I came to Bangalore. But whenever I go there amma make sure that I get enough and more from each variety to the extend that I skip meals n gulp only mangoes..I can easily eat 3-4 at a time.. ;)

These mangoes become a part of our lives, so much so that the usage of other fruits is next to nil in this season. But the sad part is they will rule the palate only for a few months and then vanish into oblivion.. After that we have to wait again until next summer for a taste of this blissful fruit. So relish when it's here..
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