Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kandhasamy

I am upset, irritated, confused, and angry after watching Susi Ganesan's movie, Kandhasamy. That said, I would not say the movie does not have plus points at all.

Plus point : The Concept
One segment of the Indian population is rich and is getting richer each minute, whereas the poor remain poor. A brilliant group of youngsters decide to swindle all the fraudulent cash that is floating around among the extra-ordinarily rich people to the poorest of the poor. The way they have plotted the story is interesting and is definitely worth an applause. The hero clicked well as a CBI officer.

Minus point : The heroine's role
There is absolutely no need to bring the girl in such a vulgar character portrayal. Whatever be the reason - circumstantial, psychological or analytical - anyone gives me for this kind of a role (a role where there is really no respect for womanhood) I dont think it was required for this storyline.

Sad state : Women's costumes
I can make a very rude remark; but considering that the movie unit has spent a lot of time,effort, money and energy in the making, with due respect to everyone's sincerity in getting the movie out successfully, I must say that the costumes for the lead lady in the movie were BAD. She is a pretty woman, a lovely doll, but the costumes and scenes cover up her beauty (!!!!!!) with vulgarity. All, for a subject that does not require this effect.

Bad idea : Lead characters with no real essence in their roles.
I am talking about Vadivel and Y.G.Mahendran. If there is a comedy required, then its nice to enjoy. The comedy track can be a separate track, but it has to run till the end of the movie. It seems like Vadivel's comedy track of two scenes has been plugged into the movie randomly, for no rhyme or reason. And Y.G.Mahendran could have been given a stronger character to play.

The lyrics of one of the songs was so bad that I still cant bring myself to think that such thoughts can even occur to people. I never said, Worship a Woman; but atleast there has to be some respect to womanhood when songs are written. Its not that I am noticing this for the first time in Tamil filmdom, but today, I just said it. This comment will fit most pathetic lyrics. What film makers do not understand is that these are the songs that get played in road side shops, Fm channels and local transport buses. When you hear the words outside of a theatre in a common man's every day set up, it sounds worser than worst can get. Also, the highlight is when all the dance shows in all the TV channels start dancing to the tunes of the lyrics in such 'so-called' popular movies. Remember, there is a censor board for movies and you can choose not to take children to some movies, but rarely there is a censor board for stage shows and TV dance shows. You cannot argue with the team of young dancers when they say that they have chosen the song for the music. Can you?

One word : Nice concept sans respect for womanhood.
In the name of showing the reality, this movie would have surely given wrong ideas to atleast one person.

Last word : Kandhasamy - a good time pass with bad memories of the inappropriately dressed barbie doll heroine.

Catchy and Touchy

It was a fantastic evening for a lot of reasons - children, children, children every where. It was so much of fun for the children in the apartment complex this evening, as they were to take part in the Ganesh Chathurthi special programme. There were plays, songs and dances by the children and the amazing cheer there was so contagious. I enjoyed myself thoroughly with the decked up Gujju dolls, King, Lord Shiva, Godess Parvathi, Lord Ganesha, the Moon, the Old grandma, the toddlers and tiny tots in angelic attires, the Raman of Tenali, the guards and the parents running here and there with papers, lipsticks, eye brow pencils and costume change requests!!!!

I was visiting my cousin's family today and decided to be around when all the character artists were getting ready for their stage performance, this evening. My neice was playing Lord Shiva's role in a dance-drama. I loved the costume for all the careful details it took care of. With a little bit of make-up, my little niece was quite a beautiful picture of Lord Shiva. I have only seen pictures of Lord Shiva and never really named how the picture looked, but today, I can say Lord Shiva looks very cute. With all praises for the event and the child's interest, patience and enthusiasm for this role, I was very proud to take her downstairs to where the stage was set for the show.

Then, I took a picture of her on my mobile phone camera. She smiled, but never really showed the enthusiasm that I've always known her to express. I was wondering what in the wide world went wrong. I was busy double-checking her half-a-dozen peice costume and a dozen accessories, just to be sure that nothing was making her feel uncomfortable and was trying hard to change that look on her face, which said 'nothing at all'.

We were caught in the middle of a group of people and my niece quickly asked me, Where is Appa? [ Appa is the tamil word for Dad ]. In a flash of a second, the whole puzzle fell in place... The child was only interested in her father's comment. Suddenly the whole scene became familiar. It was always Dad's opinion that mattered for children, when it came to dressing up for an occassion - More so, with girls. With a smile that was a sign of a fond recall of my childhood, I turned to search for my cousin's husband and I saw him walking towards the Lord Shiva. :) One appreciative smile, and a hand shake from the Dad and the kid bounced back to her usual enthusiastic self.

This catchy scene of the evening brought back a touchy thought to recall. I think, some things never change. 'What Dad thinks about my dress?' has been there in the past, is there in the present and will be there in the future generations too. :-) And it is a great feeling to get that appreciative smile from Appa, marking 'Approval' of what you are wearing, any day.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Out-of-the-herd

It is quite common to see scenes in Bangalore that make you look away, for the ethical sense and sensitivity that you have in you. I have no count of the number of times I have had to look away at the sight of some explicitly expressive love scenes - Malls, Parks, Movie Theatres, Train Stations are quotable. While it is a matter of totally personal opinion and freedom of life to exercise, I still hate the idea of having to look away, just because people dont mind their limits in public.


With that prologue in my mind, I saw two people who made me smile and I can believe that some people are truly 'Out-of-the-herd'.


Early this week, in a Volvo bus, I spotted a guy and girl listening to music from one mobile phone. The girl had the left ear phone plugged and the guy, the right. They seemed to be enjoying the music with an occassional smile and a nod once in a while. After about twenty minutes, she took off her ear phone and plugged it into his ear, wore her scarf, nodded a bye ( mostly a smile) and walked over to the door. Both of us had to get down at the same bus stop.


In all the forty minute travel, no words were exchanged. I liked the thought that these people were friends with music as the common thread in their friendship. But friends can't stop talking right? They can, but then I saw this nice pleasant journey the next day and the day after.I noticed that after she got off, she smiled from the pavement and he returned the smile - neither of them had anything to say all the three days for the forty long minutes. There was a comfortable silence.


Somewhere, deep down I was sure, that this was more than friendship. [ If you say, I am imagining, so be it...but that is not the point, so let's leave it at that]. I cannot term their relationship, but I must say, I didnt have to look away and it surely was very gentle and a comfortable feeling, if you know, what it means to travel or walk on Bangalore roads with a conservative mind set [Less of the 'I don't care attitude'].


What ever be the term for the relationship, it was by far the best portrayal , I have ever spotted in Bangalore.


Well, I am not against going public with your love affair, but I do believe there is a certain sense and sensitivity you should exercise anytime and anywhere outside your own space. All is not always fair in love and war - People call this a conservative mind set, but surely has proven records of keeping relationships stronger and going ahead.


Disclaimer ( I read about it here and thought this post warrants one )
I do not know the concerned people and hence the relationship. My blog usually never discusses any such delicate threads because, I believe words can easily be misinterpreted and can end up hurting some of my readers. This one, I wrote because, I think, it is rare to see such a sight in Bangalore, as far as my experience goes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wash your hands often...

I am sure you would have received a lot of emails stating hand wash is the most brilliant thing you can do to save yourself from the dreaded, deadly Swine flu attack. I also received a lot of emails stating the same. After a major NDTV report, my office facilities department had been nice enough to install dispensers with liquid hand sanitizers just outside the main door. We could use it to keep our hands free of germs, more specifically, the Swine viruses. The alochol-based agent works for four hours, after which you need you cleanse your hands once again. [ I can't help recalling how a friend commented: "If we get to drink some of these it probably will keep the interiors anti-viral and anti-microbial too :) Why rub our hands so often with a little of the gel?"]

Practically, it is not possible to keep your hands germ free all the time unless you wear disposable gloves. If you imagine everyone in a software company wearing paper gloves, you'll begin to wonder if you are in a hospital or an IT work desk. That thought aside, I also started using the sanitizer every day- morning, noon and evening.

Yesterday morning, on my way to work, I saw a garbage truck and wanted to keep off it. Afterall, there is no point in sanitizing your hands every chance you get, and then walking very close to the garbage truck, is what my mind said. Then, I remembered how my nose was covered with the scarf ( Thanks to the dust in Old Madras Road, Bangalore, I started this practice six months ago..) and I can stop worrying about the truck. Now, that self is safe ( I agree, we are all involuntarily selfish) I continued walking. On an impulse, I turned to look at the worker who was taking the garbage from a pile with his bare hands and loading it on to the truck. His companion was using an iron holder to take away heavy, leafy, papery categories of the garbage.( !!!!!! There are many more categories probably, but this is what I saw...). When whatever he tried to pick up, fell off the holder, he used his bare hands to pick them up and load into the truck.

Look at the contrast : The corporates provide sanitizers for its employees on account of health care. The employees in these closed air-conditioned offices spend all their time in front of a computer. 

On the roads, the workers who help to keep the city clean, amidst all the risks of germs and potential illnesses, are not even provided gloves and masks. Very strange!!!! Coming to think of it, these people may not even be able to afford the medical cost incurred today for illnesses as simple as the common cold. Medicines are so expensive. Don't you think, it is more of a pressing need to keep these  workers healthy and happy? They are the ones who spend long hours on the road, are subjected to the harsh pollution hazards, and strive so hard for the benefit of the community.

Whether these cleaning services are privatized or managed by the government, their employers clearly didnt care about their employees' health. If, for an argument you say, the employer would have given them all these accessories to protect themselves and the workers didnt use it probably, I would say, the employer didnt ensure that the workers took care. 

Either they follow rules or they are sacked at the blow of a whistle. That should be the rule for people who cannot follow rules when the risk involved is a Life or Death question.

Leaves me with a 'But Why???' question, anyways.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Splash on You

This flashed suddenly in my mind, when I was reading something:

For the world around you, most often:

- 'You' become paramount in all problems.

- Its at least partially,'your' fault.

- There is a 'You' could have done scene.

- If there is something that is to be done, 'you' must do it to avert another 'You' could have done scene.

- If 'you' are not taking responsibility, then no one else will.

- 'You' must learn to handle it.

- 'You' should change.

- 'You' do not know.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

An award after a long time......My first blog recognition

Hi People,

All thanks to Nishita at http://nishitak.wordpress.com/. She has nominated my blog for the zombie chicken award that you just read about.

Am super-thrilled about this award because it is the first award after a very long time in my life, and also the first-ever online recognition for my blog space in the last 3+ years of its life.

Few blogs that I would pass on this award to are :
Clearing the Clutter in the attic by Sowmya Gopal for the enthusiasm and positive attitude showered all over her writing.

Casey's Korner by Krupa for the chances to laugh, smile, and grin throughout the reading experience.

I love Nishita's Rants and Raves for the straight-forwardness in her writing. You don't award some one who has just given you an award.. Do you? :-) If I could, I would any day nominate her posts for book reviews, movie reviews and shopping reviews.

In Singapore: A Local [Af] Fare by Shobha for her 'full-of-life' writing.
If you want to read the most casual and welcoming tone and you want to know all about Singapore, you'll find it all here in her posts.

Tranquil Reverie by Shalini Satish for her travel posts that actually take you to the place as you start reading her posts. Most of her travel writings have been published in The Deccan Herald, Bangalore.

Discovered Feelings by Videhi Visali for her clear and crispy language, yet very graceful way of
expressing her discovered feelings.

Vizhiyan Pakkam by Umanath for his excellent proficient expressions in my mother tongue, Tamil. Whenever I want to read something different and something that is easy to connect to, I hop to Vizhiyan's blog. I am a strong believer of the verse: Thamizhukku Amudhendru Per.

Being a Mom - Re-discovering myself by Sowmya Ravindran for her excellent posts on her cute little prankster as she calls.

I am also happy to say that some of my friends have started blogging for the simple idea that blogging is fun and gives a chance to step out of your life and re-look at yourself from a different plane.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stop, Halt and Wait

If you had been among the few thousands of commuters in Bangalore's Outer ring road this morning, you'll already be able to relate to what I mean.

The bus that I was commuting in, stopped somewhere on the ring road. With a lovely song playing on my Ipod, I failed to realize that this stop was more of a halt. Then, there came a bright green T-shirt whose expressions made me realize that it was a heavy traffic jam. I did not know of policemen dressed in casuals especially when they regulated traffic. A close look indicated a corporate identity card. With the intention of directing the traffic, this software engineer had taken up the traffic policeman role temporarily. Felt good that there was a sensible engineer in town.

Then, I noticed that the traffic was too heavy and my office building seemed closer to where my bus waited in the traffic. So, I stepped out and started walking on the right lane of the road. There were practically no vehicles on that side. When I saw a police van I was 90% sure that it was an accident that caused the whole traffic jam, but hoped silently that the scene was not all that serious. Finally, I reached office after a twenty minute walk. I did not wait.


The office's gossip waves confirmed that two young guys were hit by a brake-failed truck in a head-on collision and were declared dead on the spot. Suddenly, the feeling inside was and is still difficult to bear. Just like most of us, these people would have started to office this morning and the next thing their people know is they are no more.


When I went upstairs to the cafe with a friend for coffee soon after, I saw that the office's caterers have sent a word that the breakfast will be delayed. Most people were there for breakfast but munched away sandwiches and had some coffee over the NDTV flash news. They did not wait. The NDTV news channel was reeling off so much of news cast from all over the world. Nothing stopped in the world. Its amazing how much of variety happens in the world at any given time. Time does not stop and same with happenings, every moment.


Bangalore residents probably know that the outer ring road is corporate home to at least five software complexes, each housing a number of software companies. From the glass wall, we could see the complete line of traffic deadlocked till as far as we could see, on both sides. [ From Marathahalli to Kadubaisanahalli junction, and from Kadubaisanahalli junction to Bellandur on the other side. ] There were vehicles trying to explore work-around routes to reach their offices. There were people who walked their way to office, like I did. No one waited.

The talk of the morning was all about the traffic and the accident. Back at my desk, I said hello to someone, picked up an irritating phone call, booked a conference room for a meeting I have tomorrow, spoke to my folks at home, teased a friend about something.... Nothing stopped because of the accident and the loss of two precious lives.

The police van came and went, the ambulance probably came and went too... people who had seen the accident felt very deeply for it, people who heard about it felt bad for it, someone probably is blogging about it, just like me, or preparing a news clipping for this afternoon's news paper, but then that is all happens. Nothing more, Nothing less.

This could sound philosophical, but I must say it here.. Nothing stops, halts or waits in the world, because everything is driven by the fast ticking time. All you can probably do is Stop, Halt and Wait as and when needed to value life for what it is - treasure yourself and your loved ones, enjoy beauty, appreciate intellect, applaud something well done, return a smile, work as much as you need to, dream as much as you can, embrace love as long as you live, and thank God each day, for the very idea that you have lived through the day - to be able to wade through all the highs and lows.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quick Rasam - A South Indian Soup

Name : Rasam
Type : Soup
Effort : Quick and Simple
Nativity : South India
Recipe for : People who can cook.
Time required : Ten minutes in all.

You might want to read about Rasam here :
http://dewdropdeepa.blogspot.com/2008/04/rasam.html

Quick Recipe:

Thadka :

In a sauce pan or cooking pan, splitter mustard seeds, Cumin seeds in a spoonful of Ghee. Add one sliced green chilli ( not finely chopped) and a pinch of Asafoetida powder.

Boil :
To the contents of the pan, add Water, Turmeric powder, Tomato, Tamarind, Sambar powder, or rasam powder and salt to taste. Boil for about five to seven minutes till the contents threaten to ebb out of the pan.

Garnish :
Reduce the flame to minimum and add Coriander, Curry leaves.
Add Sugar to ease the complete tartaric taste of the tamarind.

Ten min later:

Sqeeze lime - few drops of juice.

Thats the quick rasam.

Variations :

You can add soup of Dal as a last step at the boiling stage. Then, you need to increase the lime juice and reduce the tamarind in your rasam.
You can add pepper when you boil. Do not add tomato in this kind.
You can add ginger when you boil. Do not add Green Chilli in the Tadka for Ginger Rasam.
You can add a few pieces of pineapple ( finely chopped) when you boil water. Do not add tomato and reduce Sambar powder.
For lemon rasam, you will not add tamarind and sambar powder when you boil. Use one whole lime to make it perfect rasam.

Web References: Use Google for the terms that are alien to you.
Native references: Sambar powder and Rasam powder are available in all Indian Retail stores. Google for their recipes if you want to make them at home.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Think Tradition - Jasmine flowers

This afternoon, I saw a beautiful bunch of closely-threaded, jasmine flower string adorning my friend's jet black, curly hair. You cannot see the thread that twines the flowers. This kind of stringing flowers is an art that is prevalent and popular only in the town of Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
The fragrance of these flowers cannot be explained - with these flowers on, you can literally make your presence felt; the world knows you are in. That's how I turned to look at my friend and learnt that these flowers were also brought from Madurai. Another friend asked if people wore flowers everyday in Madurai and 'Yes' came the answer promptly from a Madurai girl. The words took me back to my childhood when I learnt to make such floral strings too.

It is quite an art to tie up flowers uniformly on thread string. It takes time, energy, and tactic to tie the flowers uniformly on the string. For town-bred tamilians, it was a very important lesson in home-making. Every Tamilian girl has to learn to make a floral string.

I have heard from my folks that in some places, these floral strings were an integral part of the every day life of a woman. Every back yard had Jasmine shrubs; the women pluck the flowers from these shrubs every day; tie them uniformly into floral strings; decorate their home's Pooja ( A home worship set-up where the family gathers to pray every day) with the same; add a little more beauty to their already beautifully plaited long hair with these floral string clipped fashionably; and distribute these flowers to every lady who visits their house in the evenings.

All these practices are still prevalent in some parts of Tamil Nadu, while in most places, people buy floral strings - may be over time people left the art to the professionals. Makes me wonder, how much of real essence of tradition that we are missing in cities today. It is a rare phenomenon to see flowers adorning a long, beautifully plaited, thick, jet-black hair. I agree that short hair is more about the convenience and personal choice, I fail to get the idea that some people have in mind: Short hair styles and flowers do not go together!!!

When you mention things like this in cities, people ask, 'Why take the pains??' or 'What is the need?' or 'Where is the style?' or 'Who's got the time?'...

Modernity is not wrong.... but once in a while, it is nice to embrace and enjoy the traditional air around you. Think tradition once in a while to enjoy life in a different angle.

Thanks to my colleague who gave me a chance to think tradition this afternoon, although be it for a short while.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Connecting people

No.. I am not referring to Nokia... I am just referring to the Internet world today. I had lost touch with a friend for the last seven years. Today, we got back in touch. It was interesting to know the updates. We also updated each other about the other common friends we knew and exchanged some contacts. All of these was unthinkable in the pre-net-savvy years [ early 90s so to speak ].

Now, given that we have a host of email service providers, chat services, professional networking sites, social networking sites, Voice Over Internet Protocol calls, and of course blogs, it is sad to note that people cant find the time to stay in touch. You don't have to be hooked on to all of these, but at least one of these must be possible right??

Amazing mind though - without a second question on why we were not in touch till date, we went on and on about 'catching up' with the happenings of the last seven years... even before we knew it, it was time for the 'nice catching up, catch you later online'.. She is running to 'catch up' with her next agenda of the day....

Too much of the catching up in our lives is what makes it difficult to 'catch up' with an old friend. I don't have a solution, yet, but then this is quite a point to ponder about.

Is this why, we were once taught to play the game, 'Running and Catching'. I dont know what it is called in the modern world and if the children ever play this, but I guess, it is about how we constantly have to 'catch up' with the ever ticking time and people.

It is tough to stay connected, though the Mind and the Internet ( not to forget Nokia) supports Connecting People....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Splash on News

Just about anything and everything is news.

If you want to be famous, do something to make it to the news headlines.

You need not be popular for the accepted reasons always.

Swine Flu, Typhoon, and Lost Monkeys all can have equal importance rating in a newscast.
[ This is particularly from the NDTV Noon news on August 11th 2009 ]

News is a refined form of essential gossip to take you through life.

Even if you do not want to hear the news, you will still hear it from your circle.

News is usually a mix of fact and fiction, salted with view points, and garnished with hype.

If it is not in the news, then it has to be locked away as a secret.

No news is good news - Often heard saying, sounds true as I write this post.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rakhi - take it a little close to your heart

Everyone in India has heard of Raksha Bandhan - A festival that celebrates the bond between a brother and sister, to put it in the simplest of terms possible. A beautiful band, crafted using color papers, glitter papers, colorful silk or cotton threads, called Rakhi is of immense significance on Rakhsha Bandhan day.

I like the entire idea of Rakhsha Bandhan and it dates back to my college days. This is the only day that all the guys really behaved like very responsible folks and it was surely a nice feeling to believe that your class mates ( boys especially) were the nicest in the planet..... Most Rakhsha Bandhan moments of my friends in the ladies hostel confirmed the fact that 'its nice to have a brother'. For the first time I saw the sentiment behind it and really started noticing that this festival was indeed very special to brothers and sisters.Till then Raksha Bandhan was totally unknown in my world.

Ever since, I have continued to give respect for this festival and held my best regards to the brother-sister relationship. Every fancy store and card shop in Bangalore was in celebration mode for the last one month - Friendship Day, Raksha Bandhan spirits were seen in the form of Friendship Bands and Rakhis. Schools and Colleges celebrated these two festivals better than the real world.

August 5th - Rakhsha Bandan. The general feeling in the air was good at work. There were a lot of brothers who were quite happy about the Rakhis they received and the sisters seemed happier because they received blessings and cash or gifts from their brothers. As I shut shop that evening, while I was still smiling and enjoying every minute of the cheer that this festival brought to life, I chanced to see a Rakhi lying on the road.

A bright red silk Rakhi, with a lot of yellow flowers on the face of the band gave it a lovely grand look. So, with the silica background on the road, the contrast could not be missed. Before the beauty of the Rakhi sank in, my temper blew out of proportion.

I was very annoyed at this unknown brother first for being so ridiculously careless with the precious Rakhi. Then it occurred,may be he missed it in a hurry to board the bus or didn't notice the thread was not tied tightly enough on his wrist. I could not forgive somehow. May be this brother would have felt worse than I did, but then the fact remains that he missed his precious Rakhi. I hate to think that he could have had a row with his sister and dropped the Rakhi purposely, though I must be honest enough to say that it did occur to my monkey mind. [ If you are scoring me bad here, I must take it!!!]

The other side of the coin also came into picture, when I cribbed about this to a very rationale minded friend. It could be that the girl dropped a new Rakhi on her way to give it to her brother. If that was the case, I am okay with that because she would have bought another Rakhi ( may not be the same kind and choice) and made her brother's day.

May be I am too sentimental and taking it more serious than the concerned parties, but then I guess it is okay when it comes to traditional values being held high. I am a very strong advocate of keeping up the pride that each country values.

To whomsoever it may concern::

Accept a Rakhi relationship and practice the tradition only if you can handle it with care, treat it with respect and keep it up.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Shilpa and Spoorthi

Shilpa is the name of this wonderful girl I met in WARDS, Indra Nagar last week. I did not think that there could be a case where a child just CANNOT react to anything at all. So, that was the problem with Shilpa when her parents brought her to WARDS, a school for differently-abled children.

Shilpa is six years old and looks no more than two years of age. She does not respond to a hello or to a chocolate or to a noise or to anything else that a normal child would react to. When we met her, there was no reaction/expression. The teacher told us her health background and that we can expect a rare streak of emotion from her sometime during the day...

I was wearing a copper-sulphate blue dress that day. I think the color attracted her, otherwise there was no other explanation any one could give for the constant look she had towards me... and I must say, this was almost always throughout the day. I even remember the attendant asking me, "its interesting that she has not taken her eyes off you all this while...:-) ". And only then I took it serious and started observing. I wanted to see some mark of emotion on this child's face....

It was post-lunch play time when the children were enjoying their time and space. I was occupied with something and suddenly stopped when I saw Shilpa looking at me. I said a Hello and there was no response... Her mother gave me a warm smile. She put out her hand and thought it might be a hand-shake and tried to shake hands with her.. Then she waved her hand up in the air and I thought it must be a high-five that she is trying to give me.. Then she took her hand to her lips, kissed and put out her hand again. Her face showed a faint smile... ( did I imagine? I don't know... ) It was a great feeling to receive a kiss from a child like Shilpa... I must have scared her with my expression I am sure.... Her mother was very happy.. when asked, she said, "it is very rare that Shilpa expresses herself this way..She knows it is a pleasant and means that she is really happy... or at least that is what I can gather."

For me, the whole experience with this Shilpa kid was definitely an eye-opener.... It is sad that we take life's big gifts (temper, fear, smile, touch, and emotions) for granted, so easily. I did not realize it so much until I met Shilpa last week. The next time I see a child throwing tantrums, I should probably smile and be thankful....

Women and driving ............

If we have spent sometime chatting, you would have known that I mostly advocate women and their extra-ordinary capabilities... I think women are fantastic and most of them can handle everything other than emotions very well. [I must admit, a woman's Emotional Quotient is not as good as it should be, but I guess that has also got its plus points...]

Now, I didn't really think this EQ was a problem till I heard a discussion day before yesterday between two women and a little alarmed-looking gentleman. Why wouldn't he be? This is the statement one of the women made: I absolutely lost control and for a few seconds forgot that I can actually apply brake!!! Then, in a while, I regained composure and just swerved off the track and saved myself....

May be what happened was totally possible and there may be situations when you are totally dis-oriented with the scene on the road... and this could have been a genuine case..

Still, I must say women should not drive when they cannot handle the situation on the road... I had once seen a lady still on the signal even after the lights turned 'Green'. Then she and the long trail of vehicles had to wait till the next green signal to move on. I know of some of my friends who complain about Women drivers, and every time I had defended women... although I do not drive.

The idea that you can forget to apply brakes is a little scary and I think I may not really defend a woman driver again. What I can think of right now is, women should not drive :

When in a bad mood
When in sky-rocketing temper
When there is a truck load of work to do
When in hurry
When in not-so-good health

Well, out of ten drives, there are at least five times when women are in one of these situations..I have not mentioned rainy nights and foggy mornings... :-) So, while convenience and necessity drives the need to drive on Bangalore roads ( I live in Bangalore, so can talk only about Bangalore roads here) it is also prudent to think if you are really ready to drive, on a given day.

They say, Practise makes a man perfect.... So when you are not in any of the above situations, try driving and gain some confidence.... so some day when you are in a hurry/worry, you can still find the brakes.. and drive safe....

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Spoorthi Team

The Spoorthi team is a group of loving, caring, joyful, thankful and vibrant youngsters in Bangalore. Some of them are friends from the same college or same class in their school days. Over the last few years of their association these friends inspired their own circles and Spoorthi team gained people strength.

I met this Stellar girl from the Spoorthi gang sometime last year. During one of our casual conversations, I got to know more about Spoorthi.

This group of friends had started Spoorthi as a social service initiative funded from their own pockets few years ago. This is their website : http://groups.google.co.in/group/spoorthi_wecare
The web page speaks about their work and service. So obviously I am not writing about their activities. Thanks to the Good God, I chanced to be a part of the team in the thirteenth activity at WARDS, Jeevan Bhima Nagar ( Safal Daily Fresh at Jeevan Bhima Nagar is the landmark). To read about it, click http://spoorthi-wecare.blogspot.com/2009/08/written-by-deepa-new-spoorthi-member.html


Yesterday, I was waiting with another friend (who is also new to the whole idea of spending a day in a school for the differently-abled) on the 80 Ft. Road, Indra Nagar, Bangalore. The early morning( ofcourse 10:30 A.M is very early by Bangalore weekend standards, if you didn't know) cool weather, the nice pavement, the Gulmohar tree and its flowers, the hustle and bustle in the BSNL office, the ever-busy traffic gave a very special feel-good factor. From somewhere, a very cheerful voice greeted us with a Good morning...:-) If you know, there are some people's wishes that really make your day. This was one such wish. She was a smart and friendly girl, who knew both our names and before we knew we had started talking non-stop. It was easy to make friends with this Spoorthi girl. So it was with the rest of the gang we met in a few minutes time.

Success mantra 1 : To be in a team, learn to meet, greet and smile. - SAY HELLO

At the WARDS, we were talking to the teachers and the coordinator of the whole programme for the differently-abled children. I noticed the interest with which the Spoorthi team listened to what was being said. Every minute of the listening half-hour was spent trying to figure out where can Spoorthi help further.

Success mantra 2 : Listen and ask the right questions without worrying about what is right and what can go wrong. - ASK QUESTIONS

While we were talking, we lost sense of time and one of the team members came over to tell us that we ought to get started with the day's activities. Everyone else, had nothing else to say and with the grace that only Spoorthi could have managed, the team excused themselves out of the coordinator's room. One of the team members continued to talk to the coordinator and assured him that the team will talk to him soon. That was important. The conversation did not get interrupted but the call to action was heeded to almost immediately.

Success mantra 3 : To keep a watch of time is important and to ensure that you don't sound like you walked away in the middle of a session in progress is even more important. - BE AWARE

When the activities started, everyone in the team was equally interested to contribute. No one waited to be told what is to be done. People picked up any task they could find and continued working. When in doubt, they asked the team mates. There was no annoyance in the whole day for anything. Now, in any group activity that involves more than 2 people ( remember, they say, three is a crowd generally!!!!) there is bound to be disagreements and annoyance. In a group of ten, there was never an instance when there was any argument. No one was a boss there. Everyone was focused only on the end result and that made life easy.

Success mantra 4 : To be a successful team, participate without waiting for orders. When in doubt, ask the first team member you meet, stepping down from that ego dias of yours. - PARTICIPATE and SEEK HELP

Success mantra 5 : If you are annoyed, ensure that no one else other than your team knows. A loud annoyance can bring down the team strength in the eyes of the outsider and generally reduce the overall dedication levels in the team. - HANDLE WITH CARE

These are the first thoughts that came to my mind when I think of the WARDS day and the Spoorthi group. I can spend time on more observations, but then let's just say, if we can follow these five points in any group activity, event management, project team or just about anywhere where people are working for a common cause, life would be a lot easier and in the end, everybody gets to Smile..!!! :-)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Words are all I have........

Had I been a poet, I would have surely written a lovely poem about today's experience with the differently-abled children at WARDS, Jeevan Bhima Nagar, Bangalore....
Had I been a movie director, I would probably be scripting for a movie right now, detailing all that I saw today...

Only these two artists have the real reach to the audience and can create the effect of the emotion that crosses the minds of people often.

Words are all I have :-) and I can express what I felt in the next few posts, in small segments ( hopefully ).

I think, one of the best gifts that we all have in life is to express... and express well :-)

That is my first lesson of the day, I had. All thanks to this team of friends called Spoorthi.... more about them in the next post.

What is permanent??

Permanent is one word in English Dictionary that probably needs a revision. The Pink Frock, The Sapphire stash, The athlete win, The m...