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.