Saturday, 11 January 2014

GRANNY'S LAMENT

I wrote this last year when my granddaughters came for a holiday with their parents, and left.
This year  my other grandchildren came and stayed, and left a couple of days ago.
Deja vu.

No screams
No tears.
No shouts,
No laughs.
No giggles,
No joy.
Granddaughters have left,
How empty is the nest

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

MOTIVATION........


Nothing works as well as flattery.

I fall for it, flatly, each time. 
Some weeks ago I had this lovely comment on my latest (then) blog.
 Aparna K.S. said...
"I enjoy your pics and words alike. Thought I will express it this way..."

Pleased with this remark, I took a peek at the link and was delighted to see that Aparna had seen fit to pass
on to me an award, which had been passed on to her from a blogger, in turn to be shared with ten other bloggers.
The award is the Liebster award, and  I quote from her post.

 “The Liebster Blog Award: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, and
lovely. Started in Germany (probably) & is used to highlight new/recent/lesser known blogs or let say blogs
with less than 200 followers.(Though the original rules have changed a bit, the purpose is same - highlight
fellow bloggers' works and appreciate each other's works)

Here's a brief on how this award works:

*   Link back to the persons blog that have nominated you
*   Nominate 10 bloggers whom you feel are deserving of more subscribers & pass the award on to them.
*   Answer all questions posted by the nominator
*   Create 10 questions for the nominees
*   Contact the nominees and let them know that they have been nominated for the Liebster”


First things first. My nominator
Thank you, Aparna.

And now my turn to nominate -  I am nominating the following bloggers  to pass the award on to. No, there are no ribbons or medals
or pretty tokens, sorry,  just the award.


 Next come the questions I have to answer. My answers in italics.
                1. If God gave you another chance to live your life all over again, which one thing would you like to
change?
                Occasions when I have been unintentionally rude to people.
               
                2 One act of kindness that you encountered.
                When a co-blogger chose me for an award and kick started me into blogging again.
               
                3One moment that you felt indebted to your creator…
                Always, for what He has given me.
               
                4 Is variety confusing?
                Only enough to make it interesting.
               
                5. One ingredient that makes a good listener…
                Silence (non-interruption) when the other person is talking
               
                6 Which one of these two you do faster: thanking people or apologising?
                Equally quick.
               
                7,. Ageing gracefully’ – What does this mean to you?
                Accepting not just myself as I am, but others as they are, without trying to change them
               
                8. If you are allowed to make one change to the ways of the world, what would you   like to change?
                Eradication of illness of any kind.
               
.               9. What constitutes a balanced life?
.               Happiness through good health and sufficient wealth.
               
                10. Has the internet globalised the world or polarised it?
                Definitely made it a smaller place.

My ten questions have been reduced to five for lack of imagination on my part. Pardon me if you find the
questions dull.
.
             1. What would you do to improve the condition of women in India?
             2. An opportunity you regret missing?
            3. If you were asked to choose one book as your companion for life?
            4. If you were asked to control prices of foodstuff where would you begin?
            5. If you were asked to set 10 questions, what would you feel like doing first? (I screamed in anguish)


 Now this is the reason I wanted to write for my blog again. A recognition , a small pat on the back, and I have
already posted one.

Let me see if I am able to maintain the pace.

Thanks



Monday, 9 December 2013

MY GRANDDAUGHTER WRITES

My granddaughter Samyukta, all of four-and-a-half, has a story to tell. She drew the illustrations, and her mother wrote down the words as she narrated them. Proud me wants to share it with you .

2013-12-08


Sunday, 17 November 2013

"Now, if this had been Chennai……."

It was a lovely black cardigan with little pearl buttons down the front, and I liked it a lot. My daughter-in-law Jaisri had given it to me when we went to Seattle for the first time in 1998. And it has seen me through our many visits. Soft to the touch and warm to the skin, it was ideal for a mild winter day.

And now I had lost it. I had taken it with me to Bangalore in January earlier this year, when we visited our son Sankar who was there with Jaisri and the children on a work related trip. It was a brief stay of about three days, but a very happy, fun-filled one. The weather stayed fine, and I did not need to use my black cardigan. We stayed in the guest apartment that they stayed in, and spent all our time with the two little girls, as happy and carefree as they.

Leaving them was a wrench, and it was sad to get into the train and seeing them getting smaller and smaller, waving as the super fast Shatabdi moved out of the platform.

The air conditioned coach remained comfortable and we relaxed in our seats, enjoying the coffee and snacks served en route. When it began to become a little too cool for comfort, I pulled out my cardigan and wore it. However when we reached Madras Central station, I found it was too warm, and I took off the cardigan and held on to it, while we waited our turn at the Fast Track cab counter. This is a cab facility where the customer tells the person at the counter where he wants to go and pays the fare in advance. We paid and rode home comfortably. Our driver was a quiet and friendly person, and we reached home quite quickly with not much traffic on the roads because of the late hour.

The famous cardigan
Then I realised I could not find my cardigan. I remembered I had been holding on to it, but could not clearly think what I had done with it. My best guess was that I must have left it in the car. I was ready to say a sad farewell to it, but not without making an attempt to locate it.

My husband had the receipt for the cab fare, and I called the number on it, and told the person at the other end the story of my lost cardigan. He was very polite and asked me to contact the person at the Central station counter, and gave me a number. The person at Central said he was sorry, but he was not on duty earlier, but if I told him the cab registration number he would see if he could do something. Since that was on the receipt, I was able to give it to him and he said I should call a number where I could get the number of the driver of the taxi.

By now I began to feel I was on a Mission Impossible, but decided to continue with the chase, even though it was quite late. After some attempts, I was able to connect to that number, and that person told me to go right back to the Central number since that was where we had picked up the cab. It required a lot of effort to keep my cool while I told him that the people at Central had given me the number, and could he please help. He told me he would see, and after much dilly dallying, gave me the number of the person who drove the car.

With a sigh of relief I called the number, but not with much hope of getting the cardigan back. In a previous instance I had left an expensive umbrella in a cab, and forgot to pick it up when we finished our trip, and that was the last I heard of it. The driver had claimed there was nothing in the car.

The person who now answered the phone said, yes he was the owner driver of the car with that registration number, but that somebody else was driving the car that day, but he would give me his number. And he gave me that number. I called the number, and got the driver. He remembered us clearly since we were his last fare, but said he could not check the cab then, as he had already parked it in the shed for the night. But he said he would look at it first thing in the morning, and if it was there he would bring it back to us at our place. I guessed that the shed must be somewhere distant from his home, and hence his reluctance to check then. But I did not have any hope of seeing that cardigan again. My husband who had been dissuading me from all the to-ing and fro-ing on the phone for he thought it was a lost cause, told me to forget it.

The following morning was Pongal, and we were up early. I heard the doorbell ring and wondered who it could be at 7 am. I opened the door and there was the driver from last night, with that cardigan. “Madam,” he said, “It had fallen on the floor, and that is why you did not see it.”

I was bowled over by his honesty and sincerity.

Courtesy Internet
Now I want to eat my words from the penultimate line of this post http://rajirules.blogspot.in/2012/07/stroller-in-park.html

"Now, if this had been Chennai……."






Tuesday, 25 June 2013

One Magical Evening

It was supposed to be the best view we could have of the midsummer night's moon as it rose, closest to the earth than any other day this year.
 
It was a pleasant day, and we packed a picnic dinner, and off we went to Magnuson Park to catch the moon.
 
There were too many clouds, however, and we missed the moon, but in the west was a glorious kaleidoscope of shifting clouds, catching the brilliant hues of the evening sun at nine o'clock.

All set to dine....


Where we should have seen the moon.......


This and the following pictures were just a few of the sights that evening









On our way back, we caught this view of the moon, over the cottage.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

"ACHU ASAL" - DOPPELGANGER?


For once, I was going to a play without knowing anything about the storyline. When our friend, writer-director Augusto, called to invite us to his new play being staged at Narada Gana Sabha, I was happy to accept, and asked him the name of the play. ‘Achu Asal’, he said, which literally means ‘perfectly identical.’ And that was all I knew about it.

A scene from the play
It was a change to sit back and await developments in the story, which were really quite interesting. At no stage could I guess what was coming next.  The story line is briefly this  - a dead ringer for a famous actor wins a big amount in a TV show dedicated to spitting images of personalities. This person Ravinder, an MBA from IIM A, uses the money wisely and generously, and unintentionally upstages the star Jitendra, much to the annoyance of the star’s father, a film director of yester years. The father loses no chance to pull down the MBA, but has to give in when he needs Ravinder’s help at a critical stage. He thanks Ravinder for his help and asks him how he can thank him. The scene/play ends crisply with Ravinder requesting him to make movies which carry positive messages to youngsters, showing them the right path. He points out that the goal is the same, but there is a correct path, as against the short cut of crooked path to reach the goal.

As in his other plays, Augusto’s stories are strong, and show a good imagination at work. The suspense is maintained, ensuring the audience’s desire to know more. He uses to full effect his awareness of current affairs, trends in  televison programmes, and his knowledge of world cinema.

A scene at the Library
The acting was good, and mention must be made of the part-owner of the library where many of the characters meet. K. S. Pazhani  raised quite a few laughs with his delivery of the comic lines. The backdrop of the library was pleasing to the eye, and the scenes changed quickly. The muted music was soothing, and unobtrusive. Augusto chose the recorded music himself. S. K. Jayakumaran, the mainstay of most of Augusto’s plays, gave a strong performance as the headstrong and arrogant director. A light and artistic touch was provided by a brief dance (Bharatanayam) by the only actress.

Augusto is a qualified oculist and runs his optical shop in Mylapore. It is sheer passion, without thought of commercial profit, that makes him write and direct a new play every year. “All of us are in it because of our love for the theatre,” he says. The plays are staged first at the Summer drama festival of Kartik Fine Arts. Invariably he picks up a couple of prizes there every year. This one got him the Best Director award, and his son-in-law K. Raja, who acted as Ravinder, the best actor award. His son-in-law is an engineer, and runs his own industry.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

RAVI'S RAMA



 Ravi Venugopal is an entrepreneur based in the USA, and is currently in Chennai, taking care of his business from here, while working on the promotion of his book, I, Rama. 

It is a story we all know, learnt at our parents and grandparents’ feet, and love - a story that never loses its freshness no matter how often we hear it or read it. My eight year old granddaughter loves the story and Rama with equal fervour.

There are reportedly about 300 version of the Ramayana, originally written by Valmiki. Ravi’s book, 
I, Rama, looks at this story from a different perspective. As the story unfolds we realise that it is the Lord himself narrating, in the evening of his life, the incidents of his youth and adolescence, to his brothers and sons, without losing his objectivity.

While Rama himself relates the main story, the tales of Dasaratha, his father, and the great sage Viswamithra, one of his gurus, are also in the first person as narrated to Rama.  The first person narrative brings the characters alive to the readers, and a little closer to them. We feel the impact the two seniors had in moulding the character of Rama.

I was impressed by the brisk style and strong characterisation, and the acuity that could see beyond legends. There are new dimensions to the characters of the two women. Kaikeyi is not at all the evil stepmother, but a warrior princess, who plans and wins battles. Her admirable foresight is the cause of Rama’s expulsion to the forest, which sets off the chain of events for the eventual destruction of Ravana. Sita is not just a demure maiden, as we have always thought of her. She is a bright person, well-versed in domestic affairs as well as the craft of warfare, and a visionary who thinks of welfare programmes. We get a glimpse of the strong-minded woman who would in the future hold her own against Ravana in Asoka vana.

As I went through the pages, I was amazed at the futuristic tone of the book. The powers of the rishis and asuras are supernatural indeed. (Do Viswamithra’s feet ever touch the ground, or does he just glide above it?) I felt convinced that they must have come from another world, to which there are portals allowing movement to and fro.  Ravi’s narration makes it all so plausible and simple. The power of the weapons used in the battles is little short of nuclear - surely there must have been knowledge gained from outside our world, I felt.

It is obvious that a lot of research has gone into the writing of the book. It has always been a mystery to me how these busy young men, working full time, find time to write. And write not at random, but with due research. Ravi says that he bought many books, and also read up from the Internet. “I also have some senior gurus who guide me.”

Ravi has been in the USA for the last fifteen years, where he lives with wife Sri Lakshmi and daughter Ananya.  When asked “Why Ramayana?” he says, “I feel the whole picture is not clear yet. Who is Rama? Why is he important? He is living proof that there are celestials….and lots more”. His daughter Ananya is his inspiration for the book, he says.

Well done, Ravi. We look forward to the next volumes.

Ravi has his say here.  

  

Sociable