Friday, December 14, 2012

A Good Read



After several months, today I finished reading a very interesting book called ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell. This is a very interesting book on how to better in life and the reason behind success of an individual. This will definitely help me in guiding my kids and shaping them as well. The crux of the book is- circumstances, upbringing, surrounding, sect the person belongs to matters a lot in the success of an individual.   



The book begins with the roseto mystery. The author describes, how a community of people came from Italy to setup a town in America. And in that particular place the percentage of death by cardiac attacks were more, which was not anywhere else in America. And the reason for this was found that they followed the same lifestyle that they had in Italy. Then the author says about a new theory called the Mathew effect, it talks about advantage of age cut-offs for school admission. He shows the example of the ice hockey leagues in Canada, football leagues in Europe where the cut off age forms an advantage. So, the date of birth helps some. To prove the phrase ‘Practice makes a person perfect’ the author says that to achieve something great an individual needs 10000 hrs of practice.

 Being Genius is good, but after a certain level on the IQ score, there is not much difference. Right parental guidance and good upbringing also matters a lot.

The book also deals with great men and the secret of their success.

After reading this book, I was very sure about one thing. Nothing comes free in life. Hard work is the result of an individual’s success.
Overall, It was an interesting read for me and it makes me think how to use this for me and for my kids.



 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Certificates


During my school days receiving a certificate either in competition, sports or in academics was celebratory news. The certificates were considered as real honour and only the best would receive it.

I remember the first certificate I received when I was in the Fifth grade for being part of the M.B.Srinivisan’s troupe for an audition at A.I.R., Chennai. For me, then, it was a great possession.

Nowadays, children are given certificates even for trivial achievements. My six year old daughter bagged her first certificate when she was 2.5 yrs old from her play home during a sports event. Though she has merit certificates in literary fest and chess tournaments still her school recently awarded a certificate for passing U.K.G !!
I feel the child, going forward, will not understand the real value of certificates.

Couple of days before, I was arranging the cup-board and was going through my certificates which I received during the school and college days. My little one sat beside and asked that how many I have – I said ‘30
certificates’.
Immediately she brought her certificates and counted and said ‘amma I have only eleven certificates. You have more’.
Poor girl was unaware of the fact that her mom has received only 30 certificates throughout her student life!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

First Chess Tournament

My 5.5 year Old Daughter won four matches out of five she played and bagged the sixth place in the chess tournament (under eight category). Totally there were 33 participants.


Her school has acknowledged her victory. Thanks, DPS East, for the encouragement given to the little one.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Summer vacations in the eighties

The summer vacations are approaching and everyday I come across a new list of names of camps that are with mixed package of “learning with fun for the kids.”


I always think that how our parents managed when we were kids. I still remember that not even a single summer vacation was spent without visiting our athai’s and mama’s houses. We used to play from morning till night with our cousins. It was like a camp with no time limit.


But nowadays relatives do not stay in the same city, in fact in my daughter’s case her cousins stay in a different country. So, it becomes totally impossible to meet during every vacation.


Moreover, In today’s nuclear family it is really difficult to manage the children at home, especially during summer vacations. The children are so active that they need to be engaged throughout the day. Hence, summer camps take the place of the relative’s houses and teachers play the role of aunts and uncles.


But I personally feel that the summer vacations in the eighties were more enjoyable with lots of fun filled games invented by children themselves when compared to the summer camps which are similar to the monotonous routine of schooling.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Endhiran…. ‘engeyo poyittan’

'Endhiran' is the third rajini movie I watched in the big screen. The other two were 'annai or aalayam' and 'sri raaghavendra'.(rajini fans please forgive). I entered the movie hall with a pre-conceived thought that the film will be boring.


But I admit that this man has got some charisma that no Indian actor has. Especially the last forty minutes was really a celebration for the rajini fans when the spark like rajini in the role of chitti, version 2.0 appears. enna acting? I could visualize all the characters that rajini acted in his earlier days. Infact, when chitti uttered the word ‘adaan robot’ , I felt like clapping.


No other actor will be suitable to play the role of chitti other than our super star. Shankar made a correct decision of offering the role to superstar which made this film a hit.Though the film did not have a lengthy story to narrate or punch dialogues like other rajini movies , still the three hours was really exciting.


Monday, October 18, 2010

A cat at the concert

Yesterday my husband, daughter and I went for T.M.Krishna’s concert held at sankar mutt, maleswaram. There was a huge crowd and each one of us were finding a seat for ourselves. The main artist along with the accompanist entered the premises on time. Suddenly, a group of people raised their voices saying, ‘it will disturb the concert please send it out’. We, sitting at the back row could not understand the reason for the commotion. Finally, T.M.Krishna jumped out of the dais and pulled the distressed ‘kitten’ and there was instantaneous applause from the audience.


My daughter was busy with her drawing and was totally unperturbed by the turn of events around her. We decided to leave the concert hall after the rendition of subaraya sastri’s ‘sankari neeve ..’ in raga begada. While we were discussing the intricacies of the concert my daughter interrupted us with a pertinent question-‘amma what happened to the cat?’.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

In praise of mother

We have heard many songs in the tamil movies in praise of mother and motherhood. But the first song that everybody has in mind is ‘amma enrazhaikaadha’ sung by yesudass from the movie ‘mannan’ starring super star rajini kanth.


But there are many songs that are equally melodious and sung by great singers. The list goes-


1 chinna thai aval


2 naanaga naanillai taaye


3 kaalayil dinamum kanvizhithu


My all time favourite song is ‘Uyirum neeye’ from the film ‘pavithra’ sung by unnikrishnan.


You can hear the song here


belated mother's day wishes to all..


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mein aisa kyon hoon………

I have recently ventured into the weight reduction bandwagon. And joined the gym by name ‘inch by inch’… whether I lose in inches or not but at least my confidence level increases by doing the cardios and the weights. The trainers will always be behind us to see whether we dodge and their never ending counts and speed will really boost the morale. We can see men and women of different shapes and sizes, standing in different corners facing the mirror. And the only song that comes in everybody’s mind is ‘mein aisa kyon hoon…….’

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Radio mirchi contest

Radio mirchi bangalore team were in my apartment for a small contest/program.the sponsors were Tvs scooty streak,sobha builders and kotak mahidra bank.They had conducted many contests for the kids and their mothers.My daughter actively participated in the drawing,dancing and singing competitions. She also bagged a prize for the dance.Yours truly was adjudged as the 'super mom' of the event for having participated in almost all the events and won a couple of them. You can hear me shortly on radio mirchi.... keep it tuned....

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Grand master in the making

My six year old nephew played four hours of game of chess and in the process defeated fifteen contestants to bag the gold medal. Congrats M kutty...


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A rare recording of esoteric T.Brinda

Iam mad about the song and with the voice of the singer.Listening to this as a continuous loop.
video

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Who needs a break?

I have never stayed away from my daughter for 24 hours in the past three and a quarter of years. I always thought that she will never stay without me. But last week I had to visit Chennai for a personal work. Hence, I had to leave my daughter here in Bangalore with her father. But to my great surprise she accompanied her father to the railway station to drop me and said ‘bye amma jaagaradaya po’ (have a safe trip). And whenever I called her she was talking with full enthu and I could get it from her tone that she has a wonderful time with her father.
All these years I thought that I need a break from the baby care but now I realize that she felt the need much more than I…..

Monday, August 24, 2009

Engal veetu varalakshmi


Among the festivals 'Varalakshmi vratam' is one that I celeberate with full enthusiasm. Here is the amman alankaaram that I have done this year.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Birthdays + Schools = Trouble with teeth

My three year old daughter brings a chocolate bar almost everyday from school, since the day she joined. We have been telling her on the bad effects of chocolates. At home we strictly say no for chocolates and the good part is, she brings the chocolate home and only with our permission she eats it.

But why can’t the school ban chocolates like they have banned coke, pepsi and maggi in their canteen. Two weeks before, during the orientation session, a psychologist addressed the parents about the bad effects of children consuming chocolates and sugar. Even after that I do not understand why the school is still encouraging chocolates.

On the other hand the parents should also be aware of the fact that sending chocolates during birthdays not only spoil their own children but also the other wards in the school. Instead of chocolates why can’t they send small gifts like pencil or crayons which is useful but not harmful.

Not sure if Cadbury refers to this aspect as their “khaas baath” ...

Monday, June 22, 2009

என்னைப்பற்றி நான் Tag.

ப்ளாகேஸ்வரி அவர்களால் டேக் செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளேன்.

1) உங்களுக்கு ஏன் இந்தப் பெயர் வந்தது? உங்களுக்கு உங்க பெயர் பிடிக்குமா?

பாமினி என்றால் பெண் என்று பொருள். இந்தப் பெயர் பிடித்ததினால் ப்ளாக்குக்கு இந்தப் பெயரை வைத்தேன்.

2) கடைசியா அழுதது எப்போது?

ஞாபகமில்லை... .

3) உங்களுக்கு உங்க கையெழுத்து பிடிக்குமா?

சில சமயங்களில் பிடிக்கும்.

4) பிடித்த மதிய உணவு?

வத்தக்குழம்பு பருப்பு உசிலி.

5) நீங்க வேற யாருடனாவது நட்பு வெச்சுக்குவீங்களா?

எல்லோருடனும் சகஜமாக பேசுவேன். ஆனால் சிலருடன் தான் நட்பு.

6) கடல்ல குளிக்கப் பிடிக்குமா? அருவியில குளிக்கப் பிடிக்குமா?

நீச்சல் குளத்துல.

7) ஒருவரைப் பார்க்கும்போது முதலில் எதைக் கவனிப்பீர்கள்?

அவர்கள் கண்களை.

8) உங்க கிட்ட உங்களுக்குப் பிடிச்ச விஷயம் என்ன? பிடிக்காத விஷயம் என்ன?

பிடிச்சது : ஞாபகசக்தி
.
பிடிக்காத விஷயம் : ரொம்ப வெளிப்படையாக பேசுவது. இதனால் பலரின் வெறுப்புக்கு பாத்திரமாவது.

9)உங்கள் துணைவர்/துணைவி கிட்டே உங்களுக்குப் பிடிச்ச/பிடிக்காத விஷயம்?

ப்ளாக்கில் என்னைப் பற்றி யோசித்து எழுதுவதே கக்ஷ்டமாக உள்ளது. இதில் அவரைப்பற்றி எழுதவேண்டுமா....


10) இப்போ யார் பக்கத்துல இல்லாம போனதுக்கு வருந்துகிறீர்கள்?

அப்படி யாருமே இல்லை

11) இதை எழுதும்போது என்ன நிறத்தில் ஆடை அணிந்துள்ளீர்கள்?

கறுப்பு + சிகப்புநிற சல்வார் கமீஸ்.

12) என்ன பார்த்து/கேட்டுக்கொண்டு இருக்கிறீர்கள்?

கண்ணே என் கண்மணியே என்ற பாபநாசம் சிவன் பாடலை பம்பாய் ஜயஸ்ரி குரலில் கேட்டுக்கொண்டிருக்கிறேன்.

13) வர்ணப் பேனாவாக உங்களை மாற்றினால், என்ன நிறப் பேனாவாக மாற ஆசை?

கறுப்புத்தான் எனக்குப் புடிச்சக் கலர்.

14) பிடித்த மணம்?

பூக்களின் வாசம் பிடிக்கும்.

15) நீங்கள் அழைக்கப்போகும் பதிவரிடம் உங்களுக்குப் பிடித்த விஷயம்? அவரை நீங்கள் அழைக்கக் காரணம் என்ன?

என் தோழி : இந்த காரணம் போதாதா !!!!!

16)உங்களுக்கு இதை அனுப்பிய பதிவரின் பதிவுகளில் உங்களுக்குப் பிடித்த பதிவு?

டெலி வெட்டிகள்.


17) பிடித்த விளையாட்டு?

Cards.

18) கண்ணாடி அணிபவரா?

இல்லை.

19) எந்த மாதிரியான திரைப்படம் பிடிக்கும்?

1. காமெடி படங்கள்.
2. ரொமான்ஸ் படங்கள்.

20) கடைசியாகப் பார்த்த படம்?

பசங்க

21) பிடித்த பருவ காலம் எது?

பங்களூரில் ஒரு பனிக்காலம்.

22) என்ன புத்தகம் படித்துக்கொண்டு இருக்கிறீர்கள்?

கல்கியின் பார்த்திபன் கனவு.

23) உங்கள் டெஸ்க்டாப்பில் இருக்கும் படத்தை எத்தனை நாளைக்கு ஒருமுறை மாற்றுவீர்கள்?

நான்கைந்து மாதங்களுக்கு ஒரு முறை.

24) பிடித்த சத்தம்? பிடிக்காத சத்தம்?

பிடிச்சது - எல்லா இசை கருவியின் சத்தம்.
பிடிக்காதது: எரிச்சலை உண்டாக்கும் சத்தம்.

25) வீட்டை விட்டு நீங்கள் சென்ற அதிக தொலைவு?

இந்தப் பக்கம் துபாய். அந்தப்பக்கம் தாய்லாந்து.

26) உங்களிடம் ஏதாவது தனித்திறமை இருக்கிறதா?

மற்றவர்கள் தான் சொல்ல வேண்டும்.

27) உங்களால் ஏற்றுக்கொள்ள முடியாத ஒரு விஷயம்?

பொய் சொல்வது.
திருடுவது.

28) உங்களுக்கு உள்ளே இருக்கும் சாத்தான்?

கோபம்.

29) உங்களுக்குப் பிடித்த சுற்றுலாத் தலம்?

வயனாட்.

30) எப்படி இருக்கணும்னு ஆசை?

இம்மியளவு இன்ச் குறையாமல் இப்படியே

31) கணவர்/மனைவி இல்லாமல் செய்ய விரும்பும் காரியம்?

எதுவுமில்லை.

32) வாழ்வு பற்றி ஒரு வரியில் சொல்லுங்க

நாளை இருப்போமா இல்லையா என்பதை நினைவு கொள்ளாமல் எவ்வளவு மனக்கோட்டைகள்.





Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What to cook?

“Is there anything in this world other than satisfying the stomach from morning till night?” She thinks every time while entering the kitchen.
More than cooking deciding the menu takes her time. There are lots of rules in the house regarding the menu. There should not be any repetition of the menu in the same week. The side dish should suite the main menu. There is constant danger of the menu being decided by ‘others’ in the house if the frustration was expressed, explicitly. Cooking is the only thing where she has complete freedom over and she will fight to retain that domain…at any cost
.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tagged again!!!!

I have been tagged by blogeswari and I am supposed to pick a blog that really impressed me, but it can't be someone I know. Not even virtually. It has to be a blog you stumbled upon or walked into through links. It can't be a blogger I have built an online relationship with.

And the award goes to
sriram.v, who is not only a blogger but also writes for hindu, madras musings and he has also authored a book on bangalore nagarathamma. This blog is an informative one on madras and music.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NRIs (Not Rich Indeed)

We have a notion that NRIs are richer than people living in India. It is true to some extent. The NRIs are rich in India but we do not know their status in the place they live. I had stayed in the middle east for one and a half years. I had seen many people who literally struggle to run their family. If they have kids it is more difficult to maintain the expenses within the budget.

On the other hand there are many people here in India who are ignorant about the status of the NRIs and demand things from them. In fact these people forget that the NRIs also run a family with kids.
One kg of toor daal is 62 rupees in India it is double/triple the rate in US/UK and in other countries. Working abroad is not just a cake walk for them they too slog for every penny they earn.

Moreover, whatever that is available in the western countries are available now in India. So, next time spare a thought for your poor country cousin before mailing your shopping list.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Three already !!

How wonderful life is when you are with us


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Happy birthday, ananu kutty

Saturday, May 2, 2009

‘ kasmaalam’ (origin a guess)

I have come across many sites on the tamil slang.
‘Kasmaalam’ is a word used in tamil. I am not sure of the meaning of the word. But for sure it is used in an abusing sense. In many tamil movies this word is spoken as a madras slang. There are many words used in tamil slang that are meaningless. But I think this word has taken its origin from the Sanskrit word ‘kashmalam’ which means dirty, disgraceful or foul. There are many tamilians who are anti- Sanskrit have accepted to use the Sanskrit word at least as a jargon. (albeit unknowingly)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lakshmana the cockroach killer

Those who do not know about Lakshman rekha – rekha means line which was drawn by lakshmana for the protection of sita, when he went in search of Raama.

But later on this word lost its original significance and was used to put a line in order to keep the cockroaches away. In fact I have heard people asking in the shops for lakshman rekha, instead of cockroach hit. The other day when I was cleaning the house I saw cockroaches moving around my maid immediately told me to put lakshman rekha. If Lakshmana were to hear this may be he would also see the funny side of it and would justify by comparing the cockroach with raavana
.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A colour blind world

The first thing people noticed about her, when she came out of her mother’s womb, was her colour. From that day ‘complexion’ became a source of torment for her. ‘She will get the colour once she grows older’ said the senior member of the family. ‘who will marry her’ a tyrannical tone came. Her mother, docile by nature, tolerated all the comments.
She was bright and excelled in everything and was second to none, while others in the family pale in comparison with what she did. Probably that is why they were pale!!
At one point of time she started losing her confidence and was really troubled by the remark of her complexion. She was reaching high level in her career but the old memories taunted her.

But she always thought that it is the almighty who created a colourful world and also created a colour which is not liked by all. Oh! lord what colour are you....... why don't you create a colour blind world?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Around the world – a tag


I was tagged by Ammani to write a few lines I love about being a mother. Here are my five……

1 On the 9th of May 2004 the world turned into utter darkness for me and my husband when we lost our baby in my pregnancy. But on the same month after two years, when I delivered my little one that day was an unforgettable day in our life. And now we could not imagine a life without her.

2 The numerous names we call her…Thangapushpam, amshu paali, pakshi raaj…..actually a big list.. I think these words of endearment only a mother will know.


3 My knowledge of things like names of flowers, animals, birds grew multifold probably after a hiatus of 20 years. The last time was my Biology class during my 8th standard.

4 My Lunch and Dinners have changed from a sedentary position to a running buffet.

5 When I see her in her sleep the feeling of innocence makes me wonder is she the same one doing all the ‘dushtu’ stuff during the day.

I refrain from tagging as my contacts in the blogger world is far and few.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A year has gone by

I still remember the day I dropped my daughter at Podar Jumbo kids and returned home with tears. That was the first day I was at home without her. I even had a guilt feeling that I sent her to school when she was only two. Today almost a year has gone by and it is really a nostalgic memory for us. At the age of two she started singing the national anthem. Her first stage experience was on the independence day. She danced for the song ‘nanna munna raahin hoon…..’ that is followed by her reciting the totakaashtakam, in the attire of ‘Adi sankara’. Then she participated in the monkey dance. It was really a wonderful experience both for the child and the parent. Thanks to the podar team for taking care of my little one.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

A for amma…………….

When I was a child I remember my mother tongue was first taught to me. I do not remember when I first started speaking in English. But nowadays children start learning English first, and then their mother tongue. The reason could be the place they stay, where it becomes compulsory for them to learn English so that they can interact with others. The other day I was teaching tamil to my daughter. She was able to remember “squirrel” in English and I taught her it is ‘anil’ in tamil. She said goat and I translated it as ‘aadu’ and similarly for ‘camel’ ‘ottagam’.
Though my daughter speaks tamil fluently still she is able to say the names of animals, fruits or vegetables only in english……. I guess the trend in a couple of years will be A for Amma
.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gamakas

The various shakes and embellishments done to a human voice is collectively termed as gamaka in Indian Music. A Human voice can be modulated with proper training and tremendous effort.
Recently I came across a story on gamakas……..
‘Tirugnaana Sambandar was an eighth century poet and was one among the saivite saints. He was the father of carnatic music as he devised the gamaka. The instrument that accompanied the saint in his concert was yaazh or the kind of harp with one string for each note. The popular yaazh player of the time was Tiruneela kantan, who was sambandar’s regular accompanist. Once the people in the village gossiped that the voice of the singer has a magic spell that attracts the mass. This really hurt the yaazh player. He in return asked the vocalist to sing in a style that overpowers the instrument. The saint sang with lot of gamakas, for which the yaazh player could not keep pace and in a frustrated temperament he wanted to break the instrument into pieces. Then, Sambandar told him that devices like yaazh were after all human made and the human voice was gifted by the supreme god”. Thus, stressing the prominence of human voice over everything, gamaka became the soul of carnatic music

I personally feel that if gamaka is the test of skill for the singer and the instrumentalist then it is a delight for the listeners, and a raaga without gamaka can be compared to a flower without fragrance.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friend’s Day out…….

We are habituated to visit far off places whenever we plan a trip, whether it is pilgrimage or a picnic spot. We might not have seen the places that are close by. Especially when it comes to planning a pilgrimage trip we often visit the far off temples eventhough we might not have visited the temples next door.
When my friends and I planned for an outing each one of us came with a different idea. One said Mysore the other one said golden temple at Vellore and the third one said Chaamundi Hills. None of us were interested to go for a movie.


Many malls have been opened in Bangalore in the recent years. But, we never had the time to visit the malls with family. So we arrived at a conclusion that we will visit the malls and enjoy the day. We visited Forum mall, had the lunch at food court and the ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Altogether it was really a memorable day. Thanks to my friends for giving me a good company. Hope to have many more outings in future.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Eat out/in

Going to restaurants is something I like the most, particularly when I was working. Nowadays I feel it is better to enjoy home made rasam and saadam. Running behind my kid is something I really don’t find entertaining in restaurants. I guess I had to strike a balance and that happened when we found “Jowar Roti Shop’.
The shop has the uttar karnatak dishes like akki roti, raagi roti, jowar roti with suitable side dishes at a very reasonable cost of rupees 3 per roti and the side dish comes for 15 rupees per 250 grams. Other than this the shop has chappathis and stuffed chappathis The Proprietor prepares three varities of side dishes per day. Preparing jowar roti at home is very difficult. I tried it out during one of those off-days and the end result was awful.
Nowadays, we make a parcel and enjoy the food at home leisurely. This is better than eating out.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

For a Cup of milk!!!

Everyday it almost takes forty five minutes for me to make my daughter drink her cup of milk. Sometimes it is really irritating for me and I loose my patience and give her a slap. But, giving her a slap early in the morning spoils the day’s routine. Moreover, she tells everyone that she drank milk after getting a slap from amma. (adi vaanginapparum paal kudicchen).
During weekends I was putting the onus on my husband by keeping the cup near him and kept myself busy in the kitchen. Then, we tried the following methods that are suggested by friends and well-wishers.

1 Tried milk with different flavours like complan, milk maid, milk shake etc.

2 Pink milk (strawberry essence added to the milk)

3 Gave her milk in a fancy cup.

4 Milk served in a paper cup (the outer portion of the cup coloured by her)

I tried all these combinations but nothing worked and my fight continues……………..

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Duo in Carnatic Music.

The duo singing started from the time of Mukta and Brinda (hope I am correct) and was popularized by the Bombay sisters. After them the successful pairs are the Priya sisters, Hyderabad brothers, violinist Kumaresh and Ganesh, flautist sikkil sisters and the most popular ones in the recent years, Ranjani and Gayathri.
Singing the kritis together is easy to some extent. Even in that singing different sangatis with uniformity is quite difficult. Though the aalapanas are sung seperately, I always wonder that how do they make it with the kalpana swarams. Is that easy to have a similar ‘Manodharma’ which is said to be the vital part of a concert? Even if they sing the kalpana swarams separately, but at one point they have to sing it together. Is that not a difficult task to coordinate?
Personally, I have observed many a times that my sister and me have convergent and coincidental thoughts. May be this is what is genetic advantage that the siblings have. But still I Wonder, How Carnatica brothers do it?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Children and Chaos

I live in an apartment that has more than 200 flats. At least everyday we can see 20-30 children playing in the park, parking area and wherever they find an open place. If boys play cricket then the girls come with the shuttle and we can see the tiny tots moving around without the fear of on coming vehicles. This is the regular scene we have.

The noise and cacophony reached its peak during the holiday season, which lead to objections from the residents saying that they cannot rest during afternoons or students appearing for board exams are unable to concentrate ….. etc..etc..etc….

This problem was taken by the Association and a notice was put up that children should not play in the corridor. This rule came to practice for few weeks then again the uncontrollable shouting in odd hours started. Then again a notice came up saying that children can play in the corridor but without any chaos. Will this be possible? It is like shouting without making noise.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

APF

Azim Premji Foundation (APF) has given computers and educational CDs to the government schools and to the under privileged students. I was part of their team in preparing report on the benefits and the improvements that can be made in these schools. I traveled to the rural schools in villages where I saw children who were bright enough and second to none. Things that are basic need for the city born children are a luxury for those village children. In one of these schools, the Principal, was so excited to meet us, that he arranged for some cultural activities for us. A student there, whose parents cannot even afford to get him a pencil box, had a charismatic voice. If he is in the city probably he would have become an ‘Airtel super singer’ or ‘An Indian Idol’. It is difficult to say that Money only decides one’s destiny. I did not know what to do for those needy children. But I decided to donate my remuneration from APF to the needy children…my 2 pennies worth for a great cause.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Goodness in blogging

Ever since my daughter was born my personal time is also given to her. The books were decorating the cupboards. At least once in a while I was reading English or tamil novels and I completed kalki’s ‘ponniyin selvan’ in three months. But I was not touching any of my Sanskrit books. Now as I am writing a blog in Sanskrit I have to spend time for reading, and I allot at least an hour a day for this. By which I am able to brush up the topics that I read during my college days. I find this refreshing and a break from the regular routine. I could see that I contribute more to my Sanskrit blog as it is subject (my) oriented.

CDAC

For the past 1.5 years I am working for CDAC as part of their Sanskrit team. CDAC prepares software tools almost in 22 Indian languages. It is not just writing a translation for a sloka or a verse. It is like framing Sanskrit equivalent words for computer terminologies. An interesting part about this is we have to translate and transliterate depending on the context. For example the technical terms like ‘windows’and ‘mouse’ need only transliteration but not a translation. Altogether working for CDAC is a new experience. Thanks to my friend V because of whom I am into this project.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Portrait of MS



The above Portrait was drawn specially for the book “MS - A Life on Music” authored by T.J.S. George. The specialty of this portrait is that it was drawn by Manohar Devadoss who is totally blind.
Excerpts from the book........

“Manohar was given a pair of specially made Australian glasses by Dr. S.S. Badrinath of Shankara Nethrlaya. They allowed him a narrow, if rather dim, beam of sight over a tiny dot of space if the paper was held close to his eyes. But he had to remove the glasses every other minute to let the moisture from the eyes evaporate. He was putting on and taking off the glasses hundreds of times, taking the paper right up to his eyes for every stroke of the pen, seeing only three or four square millimeters at a time, he accomplished this portrait of his “MS Amma”.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Learn or Leave

The number of times I used the public transport in Bangalore is almost negligible. The first reason I can say for not commuting by buses is that I do not travel long distances. The second reason is that the name boards are written only in the local language. I can manage Kannada in the spoken level but I am totally unaware of the scripts. At the same time being in Bangalore I cannot object that the name boards should not be in the local language. But to make it more people friendly the boards can be put up in English also, as they do in other cities. People from different states have settled here. So for everyone to learn the local language is quite impossible. Particularly, for those who are in a transferable job.

I am neither against kannada nor a fanatic of my own mother-tongue. I understand the sentiments of people who are paranoid about their language. But the language will not be enhanced just by penalizing the shop keepers, if the name boards are not in the local language.
If such things continue, undoubtedly the new rule will be - ‘Learn kannada or Leave Karnataka’
.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

All are Winners ………………


Though competitions motivate a child, sometimes it has a psychological impact especially when they ‘lose’. This could very much dent the child’s confidence the very purpose the competition was supposed to enhance.

In that way I am happy with my daughter’s play home -‘Podar Jumbo Kids’ totally subscribe to the topic heading.

During the sports day they encouraged the participation from all children and as an appreciation they were given certificates and a medallion. That was really a very nice gesture. My daughter was wearing the medal for the whole day………...............

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My exposure to Carnatic Music

I had been to two concerts during the music season. One was Ranjani -Gayathri and.the other one was Sanjay Subrahmanyam. I enjoyed both the concerts with my SIL- B. Brilliant performances by them.
I am unable to accept musicians who sing without much ‘Gamakam’s’. I am not sure if I am moving from an average-carnatic-joe to a connoisseur. I sincerely feel that a true artist should spend a lot more time on singing the ragas than just the plain ‘text’ format.
I do agree that performance is for a varied audience with different degrees of exposure to Carnatic music. The balance the Professional Artists is able to establish during a 2-3 hr concert is more like walking on a tight rope. Overindulgence on Gamakas or Neraval might spurn the novice and the other way around would anger the purists.
Over the years the established artists have attained an impression which works well with audience. When a rasika chooses to attend (or to avoid) a concert, he or she knows what he is paying for…more like choosing between a Thalaivar film and other films :): )
Personally, I am able to relate the artist to a pre-conceived notion.

Sanjay Subrahmanyam- Traditionalist, Creativity within a set boundry.
Ranjani - Gayathri - A blend of Hindustani and Carnatic, Fast paced.
Aruna Sairam - Good in sahitya rendition.

p.s Check
this wonderful data collection during the 2003-04 season. I liked the pie-charts on composers and songs.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy new Year

Another year has gone by .... and my best wishes to all for the year ahead.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My sanskrit blog

Iam also writing a blog in sanskrit. To view the entries visit http://www.samskrute.blogspot.com/ .

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday

The First place that my better half and I like to go for a holiday is our home town ‘singaara Chennai’ .Our daughter is in full enthu to meet her grand parents and this time her second athai is also coming from Mumbai. Hope to have a great time with family and friends.

The Unplanned City

Have you ever seen the City Railway station and the bus stop in the same area?
If not, Welcome to Bangalore!!!. The place is called “Majestic”, nothing about it justifies its name.

I am staying in Bangalore for the past seven years. Population here has grown by leaps and bounds and now the city is proudly named as cosmopolitan city. Families like us have come from other states and settled in.
The infrastructure and the basic amenities capability have stagnated though. How long can the authorities hide behind the defense of ‘unexpected increase in population’. What measures have been taken to improve the city’s infrastructure? Road is the only mode of transport and it is always the ubiquitous traffic jam. In cities like Mumbai everyday is a journey but the distance they cover is huge and the countless options available for transport. Here, in Bangalore, it takes 2 hrs during peak time just to cover 15 kms.
Politicians show interest in expanding the city and IT companies open their branches in different areas. A Person will be posted according to the projects he/she has been given. If one project is in ITPL, Whitefield then the other one will be on the other end in Electronic City. Hence, time is spent more on commuting than computing. And all these happen in a city where there are not even the basic amenities like good roads, transports etc. The prestigious metro rail project is off-track by a year and expected to complete its 1st phase by 2011 (a meager 6 kms).

Definitely there will be increase in population by three times in the next twenty years, going by past trends. The Political and Bureaucrat establishment can no longer hide behind the ‘unexpected increase in population’...perhaps they will invent a new theory for not doing things and I will, hopefully blog my way into that too ……..

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is the noble enough?

The salary of a Teacher in the begining of his/her career is probably Rs.3000/ a month and maximum can go upto Rs.15000/month in the next 10 years, what probably an IT fresher would make in his 1st month 1st Job !!!
If ever there was an award for 'The Grossly Underpaid Professional', there shouldn't be any doubt for whom it should be awarded. What is puzzling at times is where does all the exorbitant fees and donations an Institution collects go?
The increase in the fee structure makes the educational institutions profitable but not the teachers. Whether it is inflation or recession there will be neither hike nor lay-offs. The status of the teachers continue to remain the same. I guess this scenario has continued for years which can be seen in the number of people who really opt for teaching as a profession. This is more by default than design. This has already affected the quality of education which will have its effect in the society. So, It is left to the educational institutions to decide whether to compromise on the quality of education or to maintain the “nobility” of the “noble”.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Schoolonomics

The current recession has brought the markets down, layoffs, restaurants are empty, footfalls down on shopping malls,…

But with regards to the school fee structure, all you can see is only an increase. And some schools have also mentioned in their application form that there will be an increase every year by 10- 15%.
Can we imagine how much the fees will be for a baby nursery? It starts from 50k and goes upto1.5 lakhs in the “reputed” schools. I do not know whether they are going to provide each child with a laptop or the class rooms are going to be Air conditioned or a student-teacher ratio of 1:1.
Is this not ludicrous to collect exorbitant amount as fees? But are they any takers in such schools? Yes of course. People check well in advance application issue and submission dates and their activities are centered around it.

Does economics really has a place in kindergarten education? I guess it is more behavioural and herd mentality than demand and supply

Monday, December 15, 2008

Apartment living – save or safe

In today’s nuclear family life; staying in an apartment is always safer and has its advantages like socializing, safe children play areas and security.
But on the flip side, children are never satisfied with what they have……
It is always the comparison that happens among them. If one buys a playstation the other should have the one that is superior than that. The social peer-to-peer pressure is what shapes the thoughts and actions of young minds.
The other day a five year old girl was standing in a corner, looking a bit down. I went near her and asked that why she was standing alone. The reply was “I am sad”. Then I asked her the reason – the reply was “My friend is happy because she has got a new cycle and I am sad because I am using the old one”. I was really surprised to hear this from her.
Apartment life is a community living. So, the parents can neither lock the child inside and not sending him/her out to play nor they can explain the five year old kid about the financial status of the family.
Apartment living is “safe”. But to “save” the children from falling into such thoughts is a difficult task for the parents.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Off with Cable – anniversary of sorts

It is almost a year since we disconnected the cable connection at home. Ever since our child was born we hardly had time to talk. Cooking , cleaning, spending time with the kid ……. It was a mundane routine. Our Quality of life was becoming worser day by day.
My better half used to sit in front of the television to watch either match or news in BBC/CNN. And me on the other hand watching all inane TV Shows and most importantly would like to surf which took most of my available time.

So after much contemplation we decided to cut the cable off. Its almost a year now and do we regret it. It has been a mixed bag. Yeah for sure, for one, all the ‘breaking news’ comes by phone through our relatives. We do miss some of the TV shows that we got habituated to sit together and watch.

Though, there is not a great change in our quality of life now ;But still, we are proud enough to proclaim that our daughter doesn’t sing even a single ‘Mega Serial’ song :)….till now

Saturday, December 13, 2008

writing is an art

I have many thoughts in my mind but to put it all in writing is really a skill which I would aspire to have more. Hours together I can discuss a topic but when it comes to putting them as words on paper is always a challenge. I am always conscious that the sentences should not be too short, same words should not be repeated, precise in narrating etc.

Even while reading a book; more than the content I appreciate the way it has been narrated; probably that is the reason why it takes time for me to complete reading a book.
I have read many novels and short stories of R.K. Narayan. In that, some are really boring but still I could appreciate the descriptive writing skill of the author.
I know that “content is better than communication” but still the content is embellished by the way it is communicated. The skill of the author is appreciated even if the matter is trivial (like this article J)

With these thoughts in mind I have started this blog.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Admissions……… Fate or Failure

Getting an admission into a ‘good’ school nowadays is something unpredictable. We were looking for admissions for our 2 .5 year old kid. It is really hard to comprehend this situation. One particular school started issuing applications in the month of August; just two months after the academic session of the current year. And the cost of the application ranges from Rupees 100- 600.And there is no guarantee of getting an admission just by submitting the application (even at nursery level).
And secondly, no one could reason out that on what basis they select a candidate and reject the rest. What is the criteria behind it? Obviously for a nursery admission written tests are not conducted. So, if it is on the basis of age, like born before June or August then it is fine. But if a candidate is selected based on the Qualification of the parents and the income then it doesn’t sound really fair…but it is the most pragmatic approach.
May be from the school’s point of view, it is a process of elimination rather than selection. Obviously ‘capacity’ of the parents would be the “The” criteria for the selection panel. Capacity, I meant both at the intellectual and economic levels.
Thankfully my ward is ready to join a good school, but not sure of the criteria for her selection and rejection of my neighbour’s child . Perhaps it is the four letter word…now before you imagine anything…… I meant FATE :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tea in a Storm 'Cup'

I always tried
to please everyone..........

I stopped wearing 'skirts'
when someone said......
I look 'stout'.

I never had short hair
'cos someone said ........
'untraditional'.

I started using cycle
'cos someone said........
I have 'manly walk'.

Then,
one day suddenly.............
I thought .........
what for I live ?
only to please others ?
I lose the rarest moment of my life.

I have a life to live, learn and enjoy.........
But,
I involve in pleasing others
and
bothered about their views and comments

Ultimately ............
I live a life only to please others.
But........ did i succeed?
Are they really pleased?
certainly not.............
'cos views and comments persist for ever.

The above writeup may be a storm in a tea cup for many.
But for me ........ It is the reverse.