Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Long Awaited Journey

Blogging from the airport has now become a tradition for me :).

This has been a year of very few trips or journeys.
  • Jakarta in January
  • India in Jan / Feb
  • Malacca and Mt Ophir (Malaysia) in September
  • India again now in December.
I am now going to India(chennai) after almost 10 months, my longest strech away from home. Hopefully the next year brings a lot of good change !!
Till then Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!

As usual a verse to end it all, based on a real experience today.

I shook my hands with an old neglected gentleman and he felt happy.
I wished him good luck and seasons greetings and he felt elated.
He came towards me and embraced me and I was almost in tears!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Forgotten Face - Aasai Mugam Marandhu

Excerpts from one of the many gems of Bharathiyar. I heard this song recently in a concert and was totally moved by it. Apparently Bharathi had written this song when he lost his mother's photograph (the only photograph and memory he had of her).

ஆசைமுகம் மறந்து போச்சே - இதை யாரிடம் சொல்வேனடி தோழி?
I have forgotten that lovely face, whom shall I share this grief with ?
நேசம் மறக்கவில்லை நெஞ்சம் - எனில் நினைவு முகம் மறக்கலாமோ?
The heart has still not forgotten the love, alas how can I forget that memorable face?

தேனை மறந்திருக்கும் வண்டும் - ஒளிச் சிறப்பை மறந்துவிட்ட பூவும்
வானை மறந்திருக்கும் பயிறும் - இந்த வையம் முழுதுமில்லை தோழி
One cannot find in this whole world :
Bees that have forgotten honey
Flowers that forgotten the splendor of light
Crops that have forgotten the sky

கண்ணன் முகம் மறந்துபோனால் - இந்த கண்களிருந்து பயனுண்டோ?
If I forget the face of krishna, then what is the use of my eyes? (Krishna is a placeholder for his mother here).
வண்ணப் படமுமில்லை கண்டாய் - இனி வாழும் வழியென்னடி தோழி?
I no longer have your photograph, now what is left in life,tell me my dear friend ?

Saturday, November 01, 2008


17:28 VK: arz kiya hai.....
17:28 VK: Tairna hai to samundar Mein tairo,
17:28 VK: Nadi naalo Mein kya rakha hai,
17:28 VK: Mohabbat karni hai to apne watan se karo,
17:28 VK: In bewafa hASino Mein kya rakha hai......
(If you want to swim, do so in the ocean. What is there in the ponds and rivers. If you want to Love someone, find someone from your own country. What do you see or what is there in these disloyal damsels?).

17:32 Me: wah wah...may i kindly ASk you to qualify these bewafa hASinAS..
17:33 AS: this shair is for the NRI
17:33 VK: indeed

17:37 Me: in continuation with VK's effort with my rusty hindi :
17:38 AS: best of luck to us
17:38 Me: here you go..
17:38 Me: tairna aata to samundar kya aASman Mein tairunga
17:38 Me: pyar karna aata to ek nahi hazaaron hASinon se karunga
(If I could swim then i would do so in the skies. And if I was capable of love, I would love not one but a thousand damsels.)
17:38 AS: aaage?
17:39 Me: this is like kabir ke dohe...2 liners
17:39 AS: dohe still follow a format
17:39 AS: a reply to a shair should be a shair
17:39 AS: 4 liner on 4 liner

17:41 Pak Poet: Gul hui jaati hai afsurda sulagti hui shaam
17:41 Pak Poet: Dhul ke niklay gi abhi chAShma-e-mahtab se raat
17:41 Pak Poet: Aur mushtaaq nigaahon ki suni jaaye gi
17:41 Pak Poet: Aur un hathon se mAS: hongay yeh tarse huay haath

17:42 Me: translate plz
17:42 Pak Poet: Translation

17:42 Pak Poet: The morose evening is lost in the silhouette of a fading sun
17:42 Pak Poet: But soon, it will coMe out bathed in the moonlit night
17:43 Pak Poet: And those eager eyes will be heard to, one more tiMe
17:43 Pak Poet: and these longing fingers will be entwined with those fingers again

17:43 Me: whoa ur verse is it?
17:43 Me: awesoMe
17:43 Pak Poet: no... faiz ahmed faiz
17:43 Pak Poet: Pak Poet:
17:43 Pak Poet: winner of Lenin prize, 1985
17:43 Me: nice
17:45 Pak Poet: correction: Lenin Peace Prize, awarded in

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Amazed at how some things that never bore you, such as

1. Midnight maggi (from the old ANC times)
2. Godavari (still to figure out my fixation with this movie)
3. Sunday morning Top 10 movies (with dosa substituted by bread-omlette and coffee)
4. RK Narayan and PG Wodehouse (doing a revisit now)
5. Friends

Pudhu Kavidhai - Mini Verse
The markets may be bearish
But never lose the bull within you
Feed him with some positive thinking
And reap profits lifelong!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Oxygenic Verse

Lines from Tamizh MA

Exchanging our stories
We blended into the air
Even if our conversations end
I am content and happy in the shadows of your silence

P.S. : Tried my hand at tamizh after a long long time. I still enjoy writing in Tamizh.

LEISURE - Excerpts from the famous poem Leisure by W.H. Davies

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

P.S. : Shot that sunset picture from the house, on one pleasant evening.

Lines from A Song in Jab We Met

Ham Jo Chalne Lage Yeh Raasthe
The route that we have treaded
Kho Jaye Hum Kho Jaye Hum yun la pata
We are lost and are clueless where we are
Janaa Kahaan Na ho pata
Neither do we know where we are heading to
Par Manzil Se Behether Lagne Lage yeh raasthe
But yet this journey seems to better than the final destinations themselves!

P.S. : Lights outside Capital Tower Tanjong Pagar, Singapore

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bullet Points

Health Survey

A recent health survey in India by Nielsen Company consisting of 20,000 respondents revealed that among various conditions:

  • 54.4% (~11000) of the respondents had a household member affected by High BP.
  • 45.7% (~9000) of the respondents had a household member affected by Diabetes.
  • 12.2% (~2400) of the respondents had a household member affected by Depression.

I believe that among the various conditions, depression is the most sinister, as it has a significant impact on the home ecology. It is the combined responsibility of the entire family to rescue the affected person out of the condition.
Source : Reader's Digest

Mittal Trivia

  • Richest man in UK and 4th richest in the world
  • Vanisha Mittal (Mittal's daughter) had the world's most expensive wedding in France.
  • Mittal built his first plant outside India in Surabaya Indonesia at the age of 26.

Source : Wikipedia

Spirit-ed Women
A recent article I read in a magazine (Outlook) states the following about women and drinking:

  • Women are more likely to get addicted to alchohol even with casual drinking.
  • Women get intoxicated with even lesser amounts of alchohol.
  • Women account for the annual 25% increase in alchohol consumption in India. (this does shadow the fact that Males are causing the rest 75% )

Did you also know that:

  • Alchohol dehydrogenase is the enzyme that digests (metabolises) alchohol and this is secreted (by the liver which is the largest human internal organ) in lesser quantities in Women.
  • 1 gm of Protein or Carbohydrate contains 1 Calorie. Whereas 1gm of Alchohol contains 7 Calories. (1 gm Fat contains 9 Calories)

Disclaimer: I am not being judgemental nor in advisory mode here. It is just a reminder to all us spirited individuals that we are one hell of a live-r (deliberate malaproprism) and while living life to the fullest we should use our judgement while revelling in high spirits.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Life is Like That

Scene 1 : Nationality

A guy talking to a girl.
Guy: Are you Indian ?
The girl replied back.
Girl: Yes of course I am Indian.
I was flabbergasted. It was like they show in the movies. The trees stopped swaying, the birds stopped in mid air, the waves in the sea froze for a second and the whole world came to a stand still.
Do you ask why?
This whole scene took place in the Indian High commission in Singapore.

Scene 2 : SMS Eavesdrop Monday Morning

( I happened to eavesdrop (of course accidentally) on a lady messaging her boy friend on the train.)
Janice: Oh am so sleepy this morning. It was a tiring night yesterday and it got pretty late ;)
Peter: Yes it was tiring but good fun.
Janice: Thanks for organizing the friday gathering.
Peter: Hope you enjoyed my friends on friday.
Janice: I did. But I enjoyed you better yesterday!
Sometimes Singlish is too short to convey the meaning. Just remember to change "you" to "your company" in the above conversation to get the right meaning. :D

Scene 3 : S-Team Boat

(Conversation in a office meeting to organize an event. Of course the names have been changed but are indicative of their place of origin.)

Irodov Vadapava: Let us think of some idea to organize the company yearly event for team building
Pierre Fries : I had thought about it. How about a cruise on a ship and a boat party?
Jollygood Steak: That seems to be a nice idea,
Akram Kebab: Company Compliancy Policy IPC Section 666A does not allow this stating this as Employee Loss risk. What if the ship sinks drowning more than half our employees!
Jollygood Steak: Is that bad after all ;)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Life, A Riddle and Ten Questions

"I asked of life what have you to give me?
Life answered back : What you have to offer!"

(This was a poster in our bedroom which has always been there since as far as I can remember)


When you utter my name I disappear. Who am I or What am I?
This riddle was from the movie "Life is Beautiful" (Italian movie).

Two alternative answers
1. Gratitude
2. Silence


1. Why are we selfish at times (or most times)?
2. Why can't we put others' needs before ours?
3. Why do seek recognition from others? (for e.g. why do I feel happy when others leave comments on my blog)?
4. Is there a purpose to life and if so are we doing our duty?
5. Why is money so important inspite of not being important?
6 Why can't we speak our minds?
7. Why is the mind so devious at times?
8. Is there a good and bad side to our brain/thinking?
9. How do I know that I am intelligent? Is it by proving that I can solve a difficult mathematical
problem or by cracking difficult exams or scoring high on an IQ Test?
10 It is 3 AM in the morning and am I crazy to be blogging at this hour?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pollen Moments

The school bell rang at exactly 3 PM. Raghu came rushing out of his biology class. Raghu belonged to class 5 in Wesley High School. He was a very bright and inquisitive student. He located his red "BSA StreetCat" cycle in the stands and enthusiastically cycled back home. He parked the cycle by the window and locked. He inspected the reflector at the rear of the cycle. It looked a bit dusty. He kneeled down and started polishing itwith his saliva. It was now gleaming in the evening sun. Beaming and satisfied with his effort,he rushed to find his grandmother in the kitchen.

Grandma: What is up Laddu(sweetums)? Why are you brimming with so much excitement?
Raghu: Grandma, we had a very interesting lesson today in Biology. It was about osmosis. I am going to do some experiments at home with raisins and grapes. Can you give me some?
Grandma: Sure you can take it, but tell me what you are going to do with them?
Raghu: I am going to put the raisins in water. The raisins should absorb the water due to osmosis and bloat in size. When ripe full grapes are kept in water they lose water due to reverse osmosis. When grapes are preserved in sugar water they will retain shape and water.
Grandma: For this you need to experiment? I know this more from my kitchen experience than from my Class II education. Do you see those big array of jars there. Those are all different fruits and vegetables preserved in Salt and sugar water for pickling later. I don't know anything about "aash-maashish" though.
Raghu: Hmm. Not bad, Grandma, I think I can put your practical experience to some use later. I am off to do my homework now.

Some days later, Raghu is just back from school and finds his grandmother in the garden behind the house, planting some saplings.

Raghu: Excellent grandma I found you at the right place.
Grandma: Little Rascal! What weird question do you have for me today?
Raghu: Let me put you test. Can you tell me how trees come to existence and grow?
Grandma: How else, but from seeds sown in the soil?
Raghu: But tell me where seeds come from?
Grandma: Seeds come from the trees themselves my dear!
Raghu: Aiyoh! Patti(Grandma)! You don't know anything. Dont you know anything about pollination? Flowers are pollinated with pollen grains and they become fruits. Seeds come from the fruits which grow into trees later.

Raghu goes near the hibiscus shrub, carefully picks the stamens from the flower and crushes them so that he has a thin layer of pollen in his hand and carefully blows air over his hand so that the pollen fly above the flowers.

Grandma (amused at his antics) : Little Doctor, what are you upto?
Raghu: (Indicating at the two Guava fruits hanging from the guava tree with great pride and his head high up)Grandma do you know who created those fruits? It is me!
Grandma: What are you blabbering? What do you mean you created those fruits?
Raghu: Did you not see what I just did? I pollinated the flowers myself by blowing the pollens. In a weeks' time you should see some kind of fruit in the hibiscus tree too!
Grandma: This is all going way above my head now. And don't try any more of your artificial stuff in my garden. I will preserve it in my own natural way.
Raghu: Don't worry patti I know everything! Next week they are starting Human Physiology and I will learn how babies are born at school. I shall put you to test on subject quite soon!
Grandma: WHAAAT!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Have You ... ?

Have you tried blowing whistles with the petals of a flower
Have you ever tasted sweet nectar from the flower's nectary

Have you streched yourself flat on dew filled grass and tried rolling down a slope
Have you tried climbing trees and swinging on its branches

Have you dug the soft earth with your hands and planted any saplings
Have you drawn water out of a well using a pulley and pail and watered the plants

Have you tasted fresh honey drops from a beehive
Have you quenched your thirst with the cold water from an earthen pot?

Have you inscribed or etched some insignia on the barks of trees
Have you tried cooing back at Mynahs and Cuckoos and listened for their response

Have you been to the terrace on a dark starry night and wondered about the universe beyond
Have you stared at your reflection in ponds and tried making faces at yourself

Have you opened your mouth to the rainy skies to taste pure rain drops
And cycled in knee deep water and observed the wonderful patterns that the tyres leave on the water surface

Have you spent hours on the beach bathing and collecting sea shells
And building Sand castles, only to jump on them in the end and destroy them.

For If you haven't till now it is never too late
And You are never too old!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dog's Day

I am not particularly fond of owning dogs and for that matter any pet purely from a laziness perspective. It is quite a dog's work (no offence meant for the dogs) to take care of them, keep them clean and to keep the house clean.

But if you think of all the famous characters in cartoons, books or movies you are fond of, most likely some of them will own dogs. Some of my favorite dogs are below.

Hotdog - Jughead

Hutch Dog - Hutch Ads (The Network follows where you go)

Ruff - Dennis The Menace

Pluto - Disney Cartoons

Snowy - Tintin

Timothy (George's dog) - Famous Five (Enid Blyton)

My dream house definitely has a cosy kennel under a tree with the name board of my dog "Einstein" (not as an offence, but more out of great respect for the great guy).

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Sthitha-Prajna - Part 3

The Story so far:



Part 3

Vipra emerged from the cold water wrapped in his saffron dhoti. The world around him was slowly stirring. The early morning fishermen were spreading their nets from the banks of the Bhagirathi. The flow of the river in this season was too rapid for their battered boats.

Vipra could see sevaks (disciples) were already heading towards the assembly hall. Guruji would soon emerge from his hut and take his seat on the elevated platform of the hall. Vipra rushed to his quarters, quickly changed into dry clothes and spread some holy ash on his bare torso and forehead. He flattened his hair with his hands and tidied his beard by combing them with fingers. He was surprised at the length of his beard which came down upto his collar bones now. He remembered his old barber's jocular remarks and laughed at himself.

The Hare might have been slow
But the Hair are here to grow
And we are at your service to do the mow!

Vipra eventually made his way to the assembly hall and found a place on the floor by the window. He was never a classroom person, and his attention span was quite poor. By choosing to sit near the window he could at least stare at the Red flowers on the Gulmohar tree.

There she was again, dancing in his memories again. Sarojini had indeed turned up in the College canteen the day after Republic day. She had had the courage to come all the way till the entrance of the canteen. When he walked in on her from behind, she had still been contemplating whether to enter the canteen or not. It was quite funny and complex about women he thought. When she had had no doubts about coming to the canteen all the way from her hostel, why would she think twice about going inside. A little bit of cajoling was required and soon they were sipping hot tea (chai) and munching hot sams (samosas) and chatting away.

One meeting led to another and soon they used to meet everyday in the evenings under the Gulmohar tree in the back side of the college canteen. They were like two enthusiastic children, exploring their likes and dislikes, passion, fashion and everything under the sun that picked their interests. Eventually in the eyes of the college they were officially in love though nothing was explicitly expressed between them in words or writing.

Time passed by. The equations were gradually changing. Many say that men love the hunt and the chase more than anything else afterwards. Maybe the same was true with Vipra. He was beginning to take Sarojini for granted. He did not wait for hours behind the canteen, nor outside the Girl's hostel with his cycle as he used to before.

Sarojini was a very simple girl with minimum expectations. She did not expect any sweet-nothings from him in the form of e-mails, gifts or regular SMSes. She was an epitome of patience and continued to care for him even if his attention and concentration were on other things.

A Loud "OM" chanting brought back Vipra to his senses. Guruji was seated in a "Padmasana" pose on the platform. Guruji spoke: " Today we will be looking at Jagadguru Adi Sankara's Bhaja Govindam".

Nari-Sthana Bhara nabhi desham
Drishtva Maga Moha Vesham
Ethan Mamsa va saadhi vikaaram
Manasi vichinthaya varam varam

Seeing the full bosom of young maidens and their navel, do not fall prey to the maddening delusion. This is but a modification of flesh and fat. Think well thus in your mind again and again.

Nalini'dalagatajalam ati-taralam
tadvaj-jèevitam atis'ayacapalam,
viddhi vyádhy-abhimána-grastam
lokam s'okahatam ca samastam
The water drop playing on a lotus petal has an extremely uncertain existence. So also is life ever unstable. Understand that this world is consumed by disease and conceitand is riddled with pangs and grief.

Vipra listened in rapt attention and recited the verses with the others. The hall was resonating with the holy chanting creating a unique metaphysical experience for the audience. Vipra had found some peace after all.

To be continued...


Adi Sankara - (Teacher, Philosopher) The founder of Advaita Hindu Philosophy and author of many hymns and scriptures including Bhaja Govindam.

Guruji - Teacher
Gulmohar Tree: Peacock Flower or Flame of the Forest Tree commonly found in India.

Padmasana - A yoga pose in a legs folded squatting position on the floor.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Rajappa (Gairvani's father[Appa]) and Gairvani have just returned from Riverdale to Rajappa's ancestral home in Malgudi,(Rajappa's hometown).

Rajappa standing besides the ancient loft in his house.
Appa: "Gairvaaaani"! Can you please come here a minute and help me hold this stool?

Gairvaani: In a jiffy daddykins, just give me a moment.

Appa: Call me Appa(father) ok! And not daddykins!

Gairvani: Then you call me Vanessa and not Gairvaani, how about that?

Appa: Don't be ridiculous. Dont you know what your name means? "Gairvani" represents the "Sanskrit" Langugage which is one of the most ancient languages in the world and is supposed to be the language of the Gods.

Gairvani: Ya; But imagine what I had to put up in school. They shortened my name to Vani first, then "Vain" and they used to sing

Vain Vain Go away
Come again another day
Little Arthur wants to play
In the meadow by the hay!

I used to feel so ashamed to go to school. That's why I named myself Vanessa!

Appa: Silly excuses! Where was your sense of humor? You should have just laughed your way through this.By the way who is this Arthur?

(Giggly gairvani)
Gairvani: You really don't wanna know! He was big time courting me. I dated him a couple of times, but really not my type you know.

(Annoyed at his ignorance of such situations)
Appa: Hmph! Enough of unnecessary talk, let us get to business. Get into the loft and remember to wear your face mask.

Garivani: Yuck. Why is this loft so dirty?

Appa: Of course it will be dirty. It is so old. It used to be used for storing coconuts from the house. Every three months conconuts were plucked from the trees,counted and stacked here. It used to be infested with Rats.
We used to joke about it:

Let us make some coconut rice
Oh no! first we would have to kill the mice.
Let us make some sweets for the mouse-trap
Oh no! we would have to kills the ants, this is total crap.
Let us get some gammexane
Oh no!, This rhyme is turning me totally insane.

Gairvaani: Did you just make that up? It was pathetic!By the way Appa, what is in that big chest at the back there?

Appa: That contains my father's old typewriter. You know he was a famous writer. He used to take great care of the typewriter. I think it should still be in working condition.

Gairvani: Can you get that down for me. I am quite fascinated by old gadgets. I can use it for preparing my term paper based on our India visit.

Appa: Sure! Here hold it carefully. Let me find the manual for you that will help you set it up.

Gairvani: Daddy! Do you think that I am that dumb? I should be able to figure it out myself.

Appa: Your wish is my command my dear whiz Kid! It is all yours now!

Gairvani: Great! Leave me alone to do my work now.

Appa: Ok Ok ! Don't order me!

[Four hours later. Gairvani has been working on her report industriously.]
Appa: My darling daughter how is your report coming along! As my professor used to tell me you should do : constant consistent hard industrious meticulous work and not last minute work.

Gairvani: You always underestimate me don't you! I am done with this report finally. If you could just tell me how to print this out I shall do that and mail this report to the university.

Appa: WHAAAT! (Breaks out into loud laughter)Let me pass the manual to you at least now. It would probably take you 5 minutes to go through it.
*(and to himself chuckling : And another four hours typing your entire report again with paper in the tray).

[Inspired by an episode of "My Wife and Kids" on Star World)

Riverdale = A fictional town in Archies *(set in the US)
Malgudi = A fictonal town in RK Narayan's novels (set in India)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Insurance Thea-tricks

Agent Smith is an insurance agent for Neo Beyond Life Services Ltd.

Rocket Ramanujam is a Middle-Class Millionare Moron (sorry ;) Oxy-Moron) from Chennai.

Agent Smith: Have you thought about your future sir?
Rocket Ramanujam: Most definitely. Tommorow I am going out on a date with Abirami.
Agent Smith: Not just tommorow sir, the further future.
Rocket Ramanujam: Oh yes. I am meeting Albert my friend in Amsterdam in 2 months.
Agent Smith: I am talking long term Sir
Rocket Ramanujam: Long term I want to be a Pilot!
Agent Smith: No kidding?
Rocket Ramanujam: "Sathyam"-aa solren baa! (Saying nothing but the truth)
Agent Smith: That is a very risky job sir. Jokes apart, life is like a "Casino" Sir. You can win and lose money very quickly.So you should plan well ahead. Take my advise and dont have any "Ega" .
Rocket Ramanujam: I have "Devi"'s blessings and I want to live in "Shanthi" (peace)in this "Paradise" like world.
Agent Smith: Life is a mystic "Mayajaal" (mirage / maze) and there could be testing times. Don't you want a "Grand" life for your future generation.
Rocket Ramanujam: I belong to Generation Next. So I am already my future generation. Don't waste my time anymore. Were you born during the Autumnal Equ-"Inox" ? Your head seems to be as barren as the trees during fall. Go take a holiday in the cool "Woodlands" listening to soothing "Melody".
Agent Smith: Right ho! But just before I leave I want you to have a look at this "Take it easy Policy" !

Rocket Ramanujam: What, are you selling Windows to Microsoft? I created that policy! Now buzz off or you will be terminated.

** - The ones in the Blue above are famous Cinema halls in Chennai.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Fernvale Reverie

Lying on my bed by the window sill
I keep gazing at the moon
And often wonder that it is not here i belong
I need a place where time stands still !

For I need to listen to that sparrow chirping
I want to walk in the gardens and revel in the hibiscus blooms
For I want to stop by the river and listen to the croaking frogs
And spend hours throwing pebbles into the water
Watching in child-like amazement at the ripples formed.

But the moon is so far away
And so is my dream.
But that will not stop me from dreaming
There will be a day,
Dear sparrow hold your song for me until then!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Sthitha Prajna - Part 2

Immersed in water,his mind was racing back to those imprinted memories.
It was almost seven years ago. It was the Republic Day celebrations happening in National Engineering College, Panchavati. Vipra was a Senior Cadet in the NCC (National Cadet Corps) Panchavati division and he was leading the march past.He was clad in crisply ironed khakis, with shining metal boots that made a majestic resonating sound during the march past. All cadets wore big black belts with bronze metal links which were at their shining best, after all the "Brasso" polishing. The "Beret" on their heads with the bright red "Pom-Poms" worn at a tilting 45 degrees added to the colors of the fest.
The march past had ended with the contingent leading the College Principal to the flag hoisting. After the flag hoisting and the National Anthem, the college choir group started singing loudly, the National Flag Song:

Jhanda Ooncha Rahen Hamara
Let the National Flag always fly high.
Vijayi Vishwa Thiranga Pyaara
Let Our beloved tricolor be universally victorious!

A bright face in the first row of stage captured Vipra's full attention. It was the first time Vipra saw Sarojini. He was fascinated by the way she had held her head high up in the air, and singing with complete conviction. She was wearing a white Salwar with Green dupatta. Her hair was neatly braided and held together by Orange (saffron) ribbons. A sharp observer would also have noticed the blue ear drops and the blue Bindi on her forehead. In totality she seemed to symbolise the Indian National Flag.
Following this there were a number of National integration dances performed by various groups and patriotic plays of the likes of "Lala Lajpat Rai", "Bhagat Singh" etc. Eventually the events came to and end and the distribution of sweets started. Vipra anxiously scanned the crowd looking for her. He spotted her at one of the booths distributing sweets to students of first year. He decided to join the queue which was really long, but well worth the effort for him. Several of his friends dropped by and mocked at him for queueing with the first years being a 3rd year student. He retorted back saying that as a Senior Cadet he had to mingle with the first years to recruit fresh cadets.

Narrator's BGM: If I had to give a background music for this situation I would use the song from Guna :
Paartha Vizhi Paartha Padi Poothu Irruka
His eyes bloomed like a flower and were affixed on her
Kaathirundha Kaatchi Ingu Kaana Kidaikka
Finally after the long wait he could catch sight of her.

When he finally got to the front of the queue all the sweets were over by then. Sarojini made a sad face and indicated the empty sweet box.
Vipra spoke to her: "You have made me wait so long and you can't send me back empty handed"!
Sarojini remarked :" Hello Officer Sir! if you were here for the sweets then why din't you go and stand in the queue of your own year, which was much shorter."
Vipra: The Indian National Flag at this booth seemed to be calling out to me!
(Blushing a bit, but trying not to react)
Sarojini: What nonsense! nobody called for anybody!
Vipra: Let me give you another chance, you can buy me sweets at the college canteen tommorow evening 5 PM. How about that?
Sarojini: What me buying you sweets ! Why on earth would I do that? Do you even know my name?
Vipra: Ok then I will buy you, and you can buy me the next time! And I know your name Sarojini; I looked up in the performers list. And I am "Vipra" pleased to meet you, though I guess you might already know mine.
Sarojini: Wait a minute Big-headed officer!. I did not even ask for it. And how can you assume I will come!
Vipra: I know that the Indian Flag is compassionate and kind. It cannot refuse the requests of a humble citizen who adores the flag. Bye and see you tommorow!
To Be Continued....
Beret : A Military Cap
Pom-Pom: A furry ball that is pinned on to the Beret
(NCC) National Cadet Corps : An India Military Cadet Corps open to Youth. (school and college students)
Brasso: Polishing liquid for Brass

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Sthitha-Prajna - A Short Story

The sparrow was chirping at his window. With great weariness Vipra opened his eyes.That morning was especially cold. It was earlier than usual, or at least it felt like that for Vipra. He had had a disturbed sleep. He quickly checked his watch. It was 5.30 AM. Indeed the sparrow was earlier by half an hour that morning. He examined his watch with greater attention.It was a shiny gold HMT watch with an India flag engraved in the centre of the dial. It flooded him with memories. Deep emotions engulfed him. He attempted to regain composure by meditating and diverting attention. He was ashamed of himself and this was not appropriate of him. But yes with time he could overcome everything and every day he repeated this to himself. He made a mental note to change the watch that day.

He arose from his straw-mat and did his surya-namaskara. Guruji would begin his morning session in an hour's time. He walked towards the towards the river with his change clothes. The sky was still dark and the River Bhagirathi still was at its glistening silvery best. Vipra took a deep breath of the fresh morning air and paused for a moment to enjoy the soothing gurgling sound of flowing water.

He tried to recall guruji's teachings of the previous day on "Sthitha-Prajna" Lakshanam.(Qualities of an Equanimous Mind).

Yada' sam-harathe chayam
Kurmo-ngaani-va sarvashah
Tasya Prajna Prathishtithah

"When a person can withdraw his senses from worldly objects and desires just like the tortoise withdraws its limbs and head into it shell, his wisdom is firmly set and he achieves an equanimous mind. "

Practicing what he learnt everyday was proving to be an arduous task for him. "Vipra" his name meant "The Inspired One". It was hardly so now. He realised that he had to gather himself up soon from this rotten state. Reflecting on this he entered the water. It was freezing cold at that time. Deeply engrossed in thought he had hardly noticed the coldness.

Stones thrown into water
Sink fast and settle down at the bottom
But the ripples on the surface last longer.

Ripples extend outward
From the Point of disturbance
But soon there would be no more ripples
Just the stand still calm water once again!

To be continued ...


River Bhagirathi - Tributary of River Ganga

Sthitha - Prajna Lakshanam - Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2

Vipra - Sanskrit name for "The Inspired One"

HMT - Hindustan Machine Tools (old Indian watch brand)

Surya - Namaskara - Tribute to the Sun God. A Form of Yoga Exercise.

Sublime Verse

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time"

"There will be time to wonder
Do I dare, Do I dare?
Time to turn back and descend the stair...
Do I dare
Disturb the universe? "

--------------- Lines by T.S. Eliot

Pookal Udhirum Saalai Vazhiye Pesi Selgiren
I walk talking to myself on roads sprinkled with flowers

Marangal kooda nadapathu pole ninaithu kolgiren.
I console myself thinking that I am walking with the trees

These lines symbolize loneliness and solitude but in a positive way. It implies that even though one is cruising along in good times there is a need to share their happiness with others. (not just in times of sorrow and misery).

-------------Lines for title song Kadhalikka Neramillai

Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass’d the door of Darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.
-------------The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam - By Edward Fitzegrald

Monday, January 28, 2008

Boat of Life - Quotes

Amazing lines from the first few chapters of the book "Three Men In a Boat"

  • Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat, enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing!
  • It is not that I object to work; I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.
  • Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for funeral expenses.

"Up up and away in IX 661 to Chennai shortly"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Assorted Flavors

Useless Funda No. 1
Relationships and ropes are complements of each other. If the two ends of a rope are pulled too far apart, there is great tension and high chances that the rope might break.If the two entities in a relationship are too far apart, there is too much slack and high chances of a failed relationship.If the two ends of a rope are very close to each other there is too much slack and no harmonic vibrations. If the two entities of a relationship are too close to each other, there is very high tension and no harmony in the relationship. The key is the right distance, right space!

Scott Adams Advise for Atheists (modified version)
In his books Scott adams postulates an interesting theory as to why atheists should reconsider their position.
  • Assume atheists believe that God does not exist with a 99.9999999999 % confidence level.
  • Probability that Christianity is "THE TRUE" religion of the world = 1/6 (Set : Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Paganism, Hinduism and offshoots, Rest of religions)
  • Calculating expectations of atheists spending eternity in hell (since non-believers go to hell for eternity):
    1/6 * (1 - 99.9999999999%) * Eternity = Eternity = Infinity

Mathematically atheists are in a losing position.

At work

Rapunzel: You know "Adams Apple" is getting married on 07/07/07 (7/7/2007)

Thumbelina: Ah! Nice. It is the Jackpot day of this millenium!

Peter Pan: It is quite funny isn't it. In gambling you spend money on the Slot machine. When you win a Jackpot 777 you get a hell a lot of more money. Whereas when you spend a lot of money and get married on a 777 date, you are eventually going to blow even more money.I would rather gamble.
Wendy: You are so mean!!

sulk sulk! I am going out with Hulk!

Little Red Riding Hood: Jokes apart, are you superstitious?

Jack on the Bean-Stalk: I don't believe in superstitions because I believe they bring bad luck to me ;)

Pinnochio: You are a twisted man. Paradoxtor we should call you!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Taking off to Jakarta

Itz one of the flight blogs again. Flying to Jakarta for the weekend today. Just had my breakfast at Kaveri in Terminal 2 Changi. "3 Mini onion and tomato Oothapams with Strong coffee". Impressive food, though a bit expensive.
Everytime I fly Changi re-asserts itself as a "Kick-Ass" airport. They now have a High Definition Lounge with a number of HD-TVs showing different channels. It has a mammoth high definition tv screen (approx 4m X 3m). They also have provided couches to rest and enjoy. To add to this, each of the couches are fitted with personal speakers to listen to the audio.
Just adjoining this is the gaming area where one can play FIFA 2007 on XBox. Adjacent to this is the Free Internet area with "Panasonic Toughbook" laptops from where I am posting this blog.
Time to board.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Rain in my Room

Summers in Pilani are extremely and unbearably hot. It is pretty much dry and you don't sweat. Hence the heat really gets to your head. Post-lunch sessions and afternoon classes have considerably low attendance. The Redi-Wallah's (Small mobile shops) make good profits in their sales of "Shikhanjis" (Lemon Juice).

In the hostels, people who had rooms on the ground floors were quite lucky and they didn't experience that much heat. But the students in the first floor, who had the terrace above their rooms, had to bear the extreme heat.

The old stained fans in the rooms used to run 24x7 circulating hot air. But people did have ways of improving situations. There were people who sprinkled water and slept on the floor while it was cool.

I did have my own ways to cool off. I had a clothes line going across inside my room. I used to hang a porous wet dripping towel on it and tie it to the wall.
The hot air from the fan used to pass through this curtain of wet cloth and be cooled before it reached me.

Given my luck, I got a really ancient good-for-nothing fan in my room. The poor fan too used to feel the heat too, and used to stop when it got over-heated. One could make nice omlettes or dosas if the fan had rotated upside-down.
(you dont even have to spread the dough as they will automatically take shape due to the rotation of the fan).

To cope with this situation, I tried the "Sama" (Mild way) approach first.
I registered a complaint with the hostel chowki (watchman) to no avail.
When it did not help I devised my own way to cool myself and the fan. When the fan used to stop, I had a bucket of water ready. I used to splash water on the ceiling fan with a mug. The fan would slowly start rotating again, and I would enjoy the sensation of "Rain within my own room".

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pouring my 'Art Out

Taare Zameen Par

Painted it the day after watching the movie. Hence the name

Raktha-akshi - Bloody Eyes

Rabbit Dreams

I seldom have dreams and am quite a deep sleeper. Last night however I had a weird dream which I have narrated below. This being the first dream of the year (probably after a long long time) definitely deserves a blog entry.

The dream was as follows:
It was quite late in the night. Someone (I think my uncle) was trying to close the door of the loft. It did not close in spite of repeated trials.We decided that it must be a rat. (Don't ask me how.) A rat-trap adorned with some food item is summoned and placed in the gap between the wall and the loft-door.We hear the trap shutting almost immediately, and a big squeal. When we open the door, we see a huge grey - rabbit stuck in the trap with half its body outside the trap.The rabbit resembles a huge rat or a bandicoot (grey fur color)and is quite ugly. I have never seen a rabbit of such size and color in real life. Hiding behind the rear of the huge rabbit is its small frightened child.We planned to get rid of the rabbits from the house. I suggested quite rashly that we just throw the rabbits down from the balcony.This is immediately executed. Later I get this huge pang of guilt and am quite concerned about the child rabbit. I stare at the dark expanse below. The rabbits seem to have disappeared into thin air.I have a sleepless night in my dream, with a prolonged sense of guilt.

There my dream ended as I woke up to drink some water and made a mental note to follow up on this later. I subsequently did some research on Rabbits in dreams this morning. Apparently they appearing in your dreams are meant to signify something.(source:

Rabbits in dreams

Rabbits in dreams can be symbols of luck, quickness, fertility or pregnancy. Fertility can, in dreams, also be seen as personal growth. Some say that to dream of a rabbit means you will experience faithfulness in love and a great friendship, or good business ventures. Rabbits can also symbolize the dreamer's lack of consciousness orawareness. Seeing a rabbit in your dream may signify that you sometimesreact too quickly to life's situations. More thought and planning may be needed.

Hmm.. tried interepreting the above with respect to myself.
  • Luck (maybe itz time after all to buy that one winning toto ticket meant for me at Singapore Pools)
  • Quickness (N.A.): Interesting that a Hare (rabbit all the same) should signify quickness when it lost the race to the tortoise.
  • Fertility or Pregnancy (reserved for later use ;)

I sort of agree with the last part with respect to reacting quickly to life's situations. I had been thinking all this while that reacting quickly would be a positive thing. But sometimes taking such rash and hasty decisions as throwing rabbits out of balconies in the middle of the night, could give you sleepless nights. Hence more thought and planning is definitely required.

Anyways Happy New Year to All and blogging days are back!!!!