Saturday, March 24, 2012

Many advices and one base question

Advices galore.. That's on what I must eat, how well I must take care of myself, what foods are healthy, what foods are a strict 'No'.. all keep coming my way, over the last few months. I am perfectly okay taking it all and following what I can to the best of my ability..

Day before yesterday, as I was enjoying the last of the oranges in my refrigerator, I could not help thinking about many other mothers-to-be in this world who would not be able to afford the cost of high priced fruits and vegetables.

Who would advice a poor farmer's wife to have nuts every day and fruits every day and milk every day?? If at all someone does, would he or she also pay for these things, which are almost luxuries in a poor man's hut?

Women have given birth to children even before the stream of medicine called Obstetrics was disciplined into Medical studies. May be many things in the past were not right, many facilities that we have today are not there, lot of awareness that is around today was missing before, still there was some thing else that governed the whole child birth episode that lasts for a little over nine months.

I calmed down reasonably after this realization and learnt to take it easy when I came across more advices than I can handle at any point of time. I am grateful for all the nice things that people tell me, because they care for me, and am totally thankful to the Good God for getting me close to such people. I understand that mothers of yester years were much bolder, stronger and strong willed that the women of today; and fully acknowledge and understand that today's woman needs more nutrition and care to tide through pregnancy reasonably well. Still, I think, its best to take it easy and do what we can without stressing too much about the food part..

Food and comforts are really gifts that God has given us. We must use them well and also not create too much of a scene about it as there are many others who are not as privileged as us to live life the way we do.

Let's be grateful and always ask this base question to ourselves at any point in time: Surely there are others who don't have this in their life?? So why fuss about this??

This question or these thoughts should help us to be happy with life's gifts, small and big!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Great Soul

We have heard this word often. Today, I felt the essence of it truly. It is a practice in Indian families to host a ritual called Shrardham in remembrance of close people who have reached God's abode.
Ten years ago, the same day, we lost our grandmother. After all the initial mourning and intermediate outbursts that happen when ever we think of her, life kept us busy... I was away every year when my parents conducted the Shrardham for my grandma. This year, fortunately, I am in India and had a chance to see the proceedings and generally participate when required. The grandchildren have a small role to play in the whole ritual and it was nice to be a part of it, especially when my mind was all lost in the thoughts of the past when my grandma was around.
After ten years, I mean ten long years, even as I write this post, I am unable to stop the flowing tears.. and I don't intend to... It was like that in the morning as well when the priests were at home. I walked over to the kitchen and was wondering what I can do to take my mind off the feeling that was over pouring on me causing the tears... And I learnt that my mother  had a tear drop that of course kept to its limits within her eyes only when she said: Your grand mother was a great soul. The confidence and concern she had is extra ordinary. We are missing her deeply. I guess the only mother-in-law in the world to be missed by the daughter-in-law years after she left the world.
And then we spoke for a while and it was easy to recall the many nice things that she would have said if she were around on a given subject or topic or confusion... Later Amma was telling me how almost everyone of her acquaintances and Appa's colleagues, and the friends of ours who had come for my wedding also came to send her off on her last journey ten years ago. And all of them had this one word to say : Great Soul.
I am wondering how much of a difference she would have made to people around her during her lifetime. I have had many good times with her. I cant deny the fact that I am missing her around and more so when I am carrying her great grand child. All said, I am thankful that I had a chance to know her, to be with her, to learn from her and to love her, the way I do. If you know my family and have had a chance to see her once, I am sure, you will know what I mean.
One thought from my grandma's book of life:

Confidence is everything in life. நம்பிக்கையே வாழ்க்கை. அதுவே துணை கை.

Somehow it is easy to forget this many times, but today, it seemed right to recall and try to keep this thought close to my head and of course share it to the outside world. Probably the first post in six years, I am really writing about personal feelings, still, it is worth my time and your read if you can relate to what I just said.

And for people who have lead ordinary lives, to be remembered fondly, years after we leave this world is not an ordinary thing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mega Serials

Now, for those who are new to this term, here is the definition and few notable characteristics!!!

  • Mega Serials are defined as the television plays that have to last at least till your grand daughter's graduation day in business school.
  • Mega Serials are divided into episodes, each one lasting thirty minutes with twenty minutes taken away by the advertisements of the sponsoring companies.
  • Mega Serials usually have good or moderately rated stories to begin with, but the director and the script writer's job is to make sure that the once nice story is twisted and twirled and confused and flopped big time by the end of the fourth year!!!!
  • Mega Serials usually begin with one story and every character in the family will each have a story line, each line with many sub stories. This is the only formula used to gear up interest in the audience.
  • It is possible to wrap up a mega serial as abruptly as you close the door on the face of a less friendly storm. There would be so much happening in the story line ( Okay, that is to say, many parallel stories would be each trying to resolve a twist on its own ) and the director would close the story suddenly. All those years of wait to see what happened to each of the sub stories would turn into utter disappointment.
  • It takes a lot of patience to watch the lady villain either very devilishly dressed or neatly dressed for all occasions at all times of the day per the story.
  • It is not possible to ignore the fact that a character who starts acting in the serial as a college girl, in her real world, graduates from college, falls in love with someone, get married, has two children; and in the serial story still is trying to resolve the hopelessly complicated love story in her serial life!!! We must not mind how she has changed over the years in her looks. What matters is she is still in college second year caught up in the same love story complication that was given to her when the serial began.
  • It is perfectly okay to miss a whole month or may be even a whole year of a mega serial, since the story would not have moved more than two pages in the real story line if it were a book. You can always start following the story immediately.
  • When there is a change of artist for a role for some business or personal reason, they put it upfront saying : This person will, henceforth play the role of Mr. A. And it would take a while to get used to the new face in the old role with the same voice!!!
  • And almost always, there is no joy in the mega serial scripts and nothing correct or at least dreamy is shown in any of the serials.
It is okay to dream of a perfect world at least in a TV serial. It is possible to encourage people to think positively just by showing nicest model lives that we must have and ways to achieve that... How many story writers think about it? How many directors think about it?

Now, it is easy to say that all the stories have morals and it is up to the viewers to decide what they want to learn from a story. Agreed. But do you think the people who don't have the privilege of education and exposure to the world to the extent of analysing what is right and wrong, will understand that a serial is just a story and that they have to take the hidden good sense in it?? Almost always No.

As mega serial directors, it is possible to direct a very positive story, with less focus on violence, with more focus on the social issues, and more focus on how we want our lives to be rather than stories that seem to exaggerate the already existing issues in a common man's world.

We all know that the world is a challenge to be living in, but why don't we also try to paint the possible beautiful things, wonderful opportunities and excellent chances of survival through the most accepted medium today, the Mega Serials???

And finally why so the serials have to be Mega Serials?? Why not short stories, that run for say a few months?? or say maximum a year's time if they must prolong the serials for a reason I wont want to understand?

Finally, at the end of a serial ask someone who has been watching it from day one, She will say, it was good in the beginning, but later, with so many sub stories there was a tiring need for the director to twist the story here and there.. I didn't enjoy it much, but watched it as I wanted to know what happened to the main story line!!! Amazing answer, but so true!!! Curiosity takes the better of boredom as well!!!

Will the serial directors and script makers think??

Biggest yet Simplest Truth!!!

I met someone whose name has been on the gossip rounds in the neighbourhood. I knew a little about the gossip and never really had a chance to think about it. Only point I was sure of is that, most people are taking time off from their own idle or seemingly busy lives to talk ill about others just for a change.

I stopped on my track when this lady extended flowers to me. I thanked her. Some gestures, no matter what time of the day, from anyone would make you smile at the first thought. I thanked her for being thoughtful.

Our talks were on varied subjects initially and then slowly turned towards the essence of the gossip... and it was the first time I had to face such a situation where the subject at least ten years elder to me, knew that she was being talked about and I was being chosen as her confidante. I knew she was talking the truth because there was no defensive tone to her voice and words. At the end of our talk, I noticed that she had tears in her eyes and it totally showed how hurt she was with the gossip talk and how the world around her made it seem true.

Now, after this talk, I concurred with her thoughts and listened to her as much as I could and finally made an attempt to lighten her mood with a less emotional or may be non emotional subject. Someone else joined us and I decided it was time to get back to my tracks again and waved a Bye to the duo.

When I resumed my walking, it suddenly struck me as a lightning blow that every one in this world has a reason behind why they are doing what they are doing and the world does not have any right to really comment on it to the extent of disturbing one's peace of mind. I must say that this lady has been bold enough to face the world, letting the turbulence inside her go to the lower most rack in her head, but still the hurt remained where it was until she finally spilled it out.

I am not sure I could have taken such a blow from the gossiping world... but I surely learnt never to believe anything that should not really concern me. Isn't that simple to follow?? I guess so!!!! Let's try.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I have never understood how people spend a lot of time, in fact some spend the whole of their time reading news papers. With nothing better to do yesterday evening, I was sitting in the veranda of my house, fighting the excess heat and battling with the emotions ( political stunts, useless department and other such thoughts come up!!!) that power cuts usually bring on an especially humid afternoon-evening time shift. I was holding a newspaper as a fan for self help with the heat of the summer that is just beginning in South India.

After about fifteen minutes of continuous fanning, I got tired of just sitting doing nothing, so decided to glance through the paper. I had just pulled two sheets from yesterday's paper for the purpose, but the idea of reading through that much of text was alarming.. Anyways went on to see the headlines.

Not one.. Not even a single news item was pleasant, positive, worth reading, and knowledge driven!!!! Wondering if people are committing crimes and mistakes, staging demonstrations and fasts, criticising and ill treating each other just to get on the news item!!! Is it a popularity stunt or an information medium or a warning note or just a time pass for the job-less or a set of gossip leaflets for the very busy people??

Still wondering........ I always thought that Current Affairs and General Knowledge were useless to me... and later thought may be it was important to get involved or interested in conversations where the topics were politics, news, celebrities, movies and happenings of life... but now again, I am quite convinced that I do not need to know the news at all. I am much happier without the knowledge of some of the unbelievably drastic, dramatic and unexplainable crimes in the world!!!!

So what are these old people and interested others reading in the news every day?? How does an inappropriate behavior, a road side robbery, a fall of a company, a fraudulent police officer, a school examination copying issue, or a political stage talk, or a demonstration matter to someone who has run past all these over the years??

I don't understand.. Do you?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Power cut and Pournami

Pournami in Tamil means Full Moon Day. I was coming back from the temple and the power went out as usual.

These days, the power cuts in Tamil Nadu is hitting the newspapers every day, so I wont waste my energy on it trying to tell you how I detest the idea of power cuts in the name of power saving when all it takes is just a little effort from whomsoever it concerns to set it right... Anyways... this is too much by itself.. Lots of energy drain...

The full moon day was fast approaching.. Or was it the same evening, am not sure. The moon shone bright and beautiful as I started walking back homeward from the temple. It had been quite a while since I took this route.. but never in so many years on a full moon night when there was no light at all.

Cool evening breeze( Early summer evenings are always breezy and nice in my town.. and I guess so in many tropical places..) and the moon lit night sky made the evening a wonderful experience. The roads were not new to me, but those moments of wonder were surely new and nice. In a world of lights and fans and Air conditioners that we get into when we enter a house, it feels simply amazing to realize that the nature has the best of lights and air to aid us.

I had just then finished reading this Tamil history classic called Paarthiban Kanavu where many natural sceneries were painted wonderfully in the sweetest of Tamil language as was possible. I enjoyed the reading partly because of the language and mostly because of the scenes that were so beautifully verb painted. It was easy to believe the novel's setting when I was walking on the road that breezy evening under the cover of the moon-lit night sky.

The houses on both sides were dim and grey painted, the roads shone bright white and the people here and there seemed silhouettes of mercuric grey. The whole scene was out of a picture and suddenly it occurred to me that God is the best artist!!!

An afterthought : He doesn't participate in any painting contest!!! :-)

That night sky and the moon lit road and the grey painting around me surely made me smile... It took a power cut in the town for me to realize that there are some wonderful things in this world that we miss to recall and recollect and reconsider just because we are held up with the trivia of life that we often misunderstand as trifles and tiffs!!!

Lets just take time to see the light in the dark.. and remember that it is a beautiful world really... just that we don't have time to cherish what we have.. or is it that we don't make time for life really?? :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My way, Your way, and the Right way issues

Of late I have begun to notice that there is always a 'My Way' and 'Your Way' of doing things..
And almost always there are people who claim that their way is the 'Right Way'.

It is easy to get into big arguments just because of this simple truth : Forcing your way as the right way and interfering into my way.

Will people understand??!!!??

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Heights of procedural instruction!!!

There was this cookery show on TV sometime last week. The lady was just summarizing what she just made and the supporting video showed the procedure in parallel to the voice track.. It was easy to understand how to make the dish, this way. Less text and more understanding.. My mind was just  beginning to applaud the sensible framing of the show... but I was quick to take back my views as one of the instructions was too much to take!!!!

here it goes :

Now, Open the mixer jar like this and add coconut this way.....

Don't you think this is too much of a procedural instruction?? And this show was supposed to  be teaching regional specialities.. Now, to cook regional specialities, you definitely need some basic cooking knowledge of dishes of your own region first, is my take.. That aside, even if you are a zero in cooking, you still would know that to grind something in a mixer you need to open the mixer's jar!!!

Heights of procedural instruction!!!! Dear TV folks, please be informed that most of your viewers have some sense still left. Please don't wipe it off completely with instructions like this.


With new opportunities also comes to fear and self-doubt. How can we navigate these very strong forces in order to reach our fulfillment...