Friday, December 09, 2016

Dal Powder || Paruppu Podi

"Paruppu Podi" or "Dal Powder" is a South Indian Instant Rice Mix powder.

Here's how you make it:

  • Toor Dal : Moong Dal = 3:1 ratio.
  • Spices are Pepper, Red Chillies, and Asafoetida (Change Spice Intensity to your taste)
  • Salt to taste.

Dry roast all the items one after the other in a pan. After the roasted ingredients are cooled down to room temperature, use your mixer and grind them into powder form. Some people like it coarse and some like to keep it fine. The Moderately fine consistency is my choice.

Now, you must be wondering whatever is this powder used for and how it could be used and why you need it at all!!

A popular staple in Andhra based cuisine, this powder is not alien to most South Indian Dining tables.

Here is how you use it :

  1. Spread steaming hot rice on a plate and add a little ghee or oil ( Gingelly oil is best) to it.
  2. After a while, while the rice is still warm, add one or two spoons of Paruppu Podi to the plate of rice.
  3. Mix with a spoon to ensure even spread and non-sticky consistency of the mixed rice.

Ready to eat with just about any side dish, Raitha or plain curd being my favorite.

Why Dal Powder??
Toor Dal, Moong Dal is a good protein source.
Spice is adjustable according to your taste.
Zero Fat content if you don't add the ghee or oil to the rice mix.

Best on a rainy or cold night for dinner or every day just before any main course at lunch. This rice item will ensure that you eat light and is a great companion for the kitchen queens on a busy day, especially if you have a travel to do soon after lunch, or you got back from work late or you are unwell and cannot cook much that day!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Navarathri - A very different Idea of Dolls exhibit

Can you believe that people have the patience and the artistic sense in them to actually dedicate a whole room and the portico for Dusherra Dolls exhibit??

I had a chance to attend one such Golu invite in Coimbatore this year. This post is going to be a phot post of the exhibit.

As you enter the house, an old timer independent house if you can imagine with a portico ( Has a neat little dolls set up telling you, you are in for a grand Golu exhibit inside!!!)  leading to a closed lobby also called as Rezhi in Tamil. You see M.S Subhulakshmi first. There is a note that says they are celebrating her, which also explains the love for music in the family.

The Rezhi leads to the living room which was full of dolls..  All the dolls cannot be covered in one single frame!!!

Dolls of all sizes - tiny to huge; Dolls of all times -  Age old scupltures in clay to today's plaster of paris and fibre dolls.  They have theme based, varnam based, usual golu, story based exhibits, all arranged in the same room.

And there was a group of ladies singing bhajan as I entered the place. I quickly took permission from the music teacher in whose house this golu is being exhibited and clicked all the pictures I could manage to and sat watching the dolls for the next thirty minutes or so.

I could not help wonder the patience, the love for art, and the hard work that the whole show takes to make it look as lovely as it is!!!

The usual Golu in most houses looks like this:

Apart from all these, the walls had a number of paintings and floors had rangoli done with pearls and stones and sequins.. Excellent job. I do have the pictures but those may make the blog post bulky. So, I only posted a few of the forty pictures I clicked!!!

Applause to the family who worked together to get this done!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Are you there??

Are you in?

If the answer to these questions is "Yes" from the other side, then the next question will be:

Can I come over?

If it is a "Yes" again,  then the next question will be:

What time would be convenient for you?

If you are beginning to wonder if this is an official meeting precedence, then stop right there. This is what happens on casual visits to friends' /relatives places too.

Implies... that we are beginning to formalize everything and every relationship too. We are beginning to see the other person as an intrusion in our lives because that's why the doubt comes up if it would be the right time to visit someone." What if I go in when they are busy getting ready to step out? What if they are not at home when I travel all the way to their place? What if they are unwell and are not in a position to answer the door-bell at all?? What if I disturb them or their plans??"

Agreed, these formalities are important and essential for today's kind of busy lifestyle but we also need to remember that we have come up to the point in life where we cannot take NO for an answer, cannot see a Closed Door, and cannot accept a plan going for a toss!!!

More than the Can, the CanNOTs rule us and define our lives!!!

So what if you go all the way to see a friend and it turns out that the family has stepped out for dinner. You could leave a Hello note and plan something else for yourself that evening. Why don't we take it that way?? When phones were not there, people did visit each other without prior information. Bonds seemed more real and straight out of heart back then.

 Just an observation and warning for self!!!! It is not that tomorrow morning I am going to try changing the formality myself, but it is definitely worth taking a step back to check if we are really bonding with people or faking it!!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

One Indian Girl !!!! - Chetan Bhagat

With due respect to the author of the  book, One Indian Girl, I have strong questions to all the women who had given inputs to the author + the author himself as he wrote the book.

What is the idea of the book?? Is it one of these ?:

  • -Women can't be intelligent enough to judge a man.
  • -Women who study well, are intelligent and make it to the top of a career cannot have self-control
  • -Women can be easily bought with a few nice words, lots of drinks, and great food.
  • -A "Please come in" invite to a man from a woman is more than just the living room.
  • -A woman who is career-minded can never be a good wife, mother, and daughter
  • -Appreciate a woman's look and she will definitely fall for a man.

I am sure you are wondering what this is all about. The story line of the famous Author, Chetan Bhagat's latest book "One Indian Girl" is quite easy to understand.

A moderately pretty looking young woman Radhika makes it to the world's most prestigious jobs outside India and climbs up the ladder, travels places, with success ticks wherever she goes, because she is smart at work. Blame it on the inferiority complex she grew up with or the loneliness that comes with being successful and being on the highest rung of the ladder, she has two "taken for granted" love affairs and is left alone for many typical reasons-reasons typical of any romantic relationship that doesn't get as far as marriage. At this point in time, the parents decide to find a suitor for Radhika and a destination wedding is arranged in Goa with Brijesh, another successful techie working in America. Whether they get married or not is for you to find out at the end of read. For all the efforts Chetan has taken to write this book am not telling the complete story.

Now, for the plus :

  • Chetan's arrangement of the cards of events in the story is good. A flashback, a reality, a flash back, and a reality in order was a grand move.
  • This book can help anyone who wants to get out of a complicated relationship.
  • He has advocated for women in some places and stood by for their strength, courage, and achievements etc.
  • The girl Radhika made a smart move, or so it seems. I don't know really because the story doesn't seem suggestive.

Sadly there is a major minus in the book that curbs all the plus points:

Anyone in this world should know the importance of a closed door and a curtain. These things exist dear women, who gave inputs to the author. If it is all an imagination, then I have more serious questions like why isn't there a censor board sometimes for publications!!!!

  • A beauty parlor has a closed doors means please stay outside in every sense!!!! 
  • A bedroom has a closed door means just the same!!!! 
  • Please run a search for banned words in your book. Mark all the censored words with stars please!!!!

Why give entries to these places?? What happens inside is strictly none of any one's business except the involved parties! There is so much talk about privacy today and where did it all vanish in describing the life of a successful lady working in one of the top investment banks in the world??!!!!

As an aside, any commoner, a man especially may take it serious and never think of marrying someone working in a top position in any organization. If your name is Radhika, and you have a job offer in the said company, please consider changing your name in the gazette, because people are not going to give you decent greetings!!!! As much as I liked the character Radhika Mehta in the book, I wished every time, she thought clearly, more clearly!!!! It is lonely at the top does not mean the top floor is empty or the brain has gone for a vacation!!! Books like this reassure that women who are successful are not even anywhere close to character!!!! That is plain disgusting, dear people!!!!

I know a lot of successful women in my circle who are doing a lot for their family, the society, for self and stay within the protocol and limits that each woman has been brought up with!!!! Every single woman you know of, knows that there are protocols in life that she would have to abide by if she is serious about any relationship, romantic or platonic!!! And please for heaven's sake, do not judge woman by her career, her money, her looks just because you cannot handle smart women!!!!! Agreed they need to think about how to maintain a balance between home and work, spouse and boss, and many more contra-indications that any job comes with!!!! But that is for them to figure out and they will.

WE WOMEN WILL KNOW TO HANDLE IT BETTER. Definitely this author could have given a lot of importance to Radhika as a person handling situations more wise and nice.. Goof ups happen but not every time!!!!! This book to me seemed to suggest that women are incapable of handling men!!! On a lighter note, yes, men are difficult and ridiculous, but what makes anyone think that we women are useless in dealing with life?!!!!

Dearest author Chetan Baghat, I respect you, your thoughts and your writing, which is why I bought the book. It may be a fun read for a college goer, but not for the wider audience. And the story is NOT FUNNY when it comes to love and marriage!!! At least in India. So, please write for Indian Audience and teach them to be broad minded alright but sane in every way!!!! THANKS a BUNCH!!!

I am looking forward to the next book of yours, hoping it will be a decent read with a very good message. Thank you. If this book is going to be made into a movie, it will click but remember to tell the director about the closed doors and to draw up the curtains wherever necessary to get a U rating!!!

Thursday, October 06, 2016

PINK - Viewpoints

Everybody has an opinion on everything. That's what makes me write this post. I have an opinion too.

This review is based on normal instances and excludes all the untoward incidents happening to women even if they are keeping their best of safety. I leave the judgment of such cases to God's court which definitely is fair!! God Bless All of Us Women to stay safe!!

This movie PINK has been on my mind since the date of release. All the reviews I read spoke about the boldness of the movie and of course, an Amitabh movie means " A must watch" for a lot of his fans. I liked the idea of seeing him as a lawyer on screen. That means dialogue intrinsic, so naturally there is going to be a message.

The story line is very simple : Three girls Falak, Meenal, and Andrea working in Delhi get into a hassled fight with guys that ends up in a police case. The girls were too modern, yet innocent to have trusted the guys just because they knew one person in the group. The guys tried to misbehave with them and they struck in self-defense. The ego battle started in the guys' minds and they made life hell for the girls.Advocate Deepak Shegal takes up the case and wins the trial.

The movie crew has done a very good job in every way. All compliments to the artistes and the director for making the story line an interesting watch. Best and the winning scene is the Defense counsel summary that Amitabh gave : A NO means a NO and a Man should understand that!!! Special thanks to that piece of script!!! Everyone should actually!!

All said, the movie failed to create the impact in my mind!

The first thought after I got out of the theater was to sincerely appreciate my men friends for the standard of decency and manners they maintain in the friendship we share. The next one was to thank my parents for all the effort they had taken to teach me the lines between modernity and ultra modernity, friendship and a little more than friendship, freedom and recklessness, and also to be conservative when required.

Although the movie ended up saying its the man's fault and the women are not guilty, a lot of the fault in my albeit conservative opinion is that of the girls.

To all the girls who read this post:

Why would you go out for a late evening party with guys who are just acquaintances?
Why cant you cover yourself a little more?
Why cant you opt for a soft drink?
When will you understand that you must leave the place if there are men drinking?

We all know that rationale doesn't exist when it comes to getting attracted to the opposite gender.No commoner, just no one has escaped it unless you are someone who lives in a forest among trees and animals or have landed straight from the God's abode and not from a mother's womb!! Give it a chance and you won't have a second chance to mend the damage. Then, why take a chance??

How do you expect men to keep their senses right when a girl seated close wears revealing clothes? How can you expect decency when you don't look like you care for decent looks? 

I am not saying, " Go back to the old times and cover up from head to toe even on a hot summer day", but consider wearing clothes that do not provoke the guy around you. He may share any relationship with you, but dress decent!!! Who defines that?? We girls have to find a definition that works for us - Something that does not display our precious figure and its dimensions to the public would do. Save yourself for the guy who shares his lifetime with you!!!There are so many western, modern, ultra-modern outfits and fashions that cover up too!!! Choose one of them.

Next is about going out late night. Now, nights do not have anything to do with safety or decency is true. A lot can happen in the day time too.. Still, when the whole community is sleeping not knowing what is happening to you, chances are you wont get much help. Go out during the day. Friends understand that your safety is important and wont ask you out for late night dinners. And no friend can claim that he can take care of your safety. Not all of us have wrestler or boxer friends to hang out with!!

Next is the drinks. Always ensure that you have your own policy in life!!. Don't take stuff that is harmful for your health. Don't take stuff that knock you out of your senses. That's the only way to stay safe. Just one alcoholic drink during a social gathering can mean nothing in today's times but think!!! Why do you need it?? A glass of a soft drink would do right??

Lastly, no matter what Men are MEN, All caps!!!. Lets stop saying Men are equal to Women!!!! In what quotient?? We are far far better than them in every way but thanks to the MAKER's choice of fine features ( yes, every woman is attractive in her own way!!!!) and strong emotions ( Oh yes, we say I love you more than Men do!!!) and river of sentiments ( yes, we can shed a tear or two easily!!!), we are in a nutshell WEAK - physically and emotionally. Mentally we may be strong but we definitely need the emotional support for it as well.

So that said, lets keep all the men around us informed and educated of our policies of eating, drinking, partying and trusting our complete selves with them. Have a policy that works for you and stick to it.

A man's life is tough these days.. He has to walk like a saint amidst all the scantily clad women with wax polished bodies and beautified face and lustrous hair flowing over her bare shoulders, and eyes that wear make up which is way too beautiful that he cant take his eyes off the girl!! How is that possible??!!!

Never blame MEN!!!! Its your right to dress beautiful. Agreed!!! But please accept that men WILL look at you, thanks to their properties as a Man - To like beautiful women is number one!!!, WILL touch you if you allow, thanks to the law of attraction in life, and WILL blame you for everything that happened, thanks to their Make!! No point in arguing that men are wrong and women are right.. In the end its the WOMAN who miserably loses emotionally!!!

The movie had an ending that proves the man wrong, but the girl went through all the verbal pricks and pokes in an open court room which ended up spoiling her peace entirely. When the older generation said " Girls should know how to behave" I used to fight for women. Now I know why they said that : Just to avoid hassles that our emotional selves can't handle easily.

You should be made of rock to excuse an unsolicited touch from a man!!! We are NOT. None of us is!!! So why get into trouble with men?? They are great as fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, colleagues, friends, uncles and they ARE trust worthy. You need to draw a line around yourself and stay within the limits for each of these relationships with men to be healthy and happy.

PINK definitely is a must watch for all the girls to gain their own lessons from it. The court room questions were bold and hopefully doesn't send a message to today's teens that at eighteen they can choose to do whatever they wish to with a boy, for the movie failed to highlight that such a relationship didn't last longer. The verdict proved the boys wrong but didn't warn the girls actions. This may send a wrong message to the teen clubs. As a mother of two, I understand the movie and its message as calling a SPADE a SPADE. Wonder if the kids of today will read it right!

PINK - Good Job!!!Bold Portrayal!!! Great Acting!!! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Newton's law of reaction!!!

On a chirpy summer morning, in the streets of a serene South-Indian village, an old man sat outside his house on the sit-out also called as 'Thinnai' or 'Veranda' locally. Not once his gaze  averted from the road that seemed to have no traffic at all except the cycle bearing milk cans and vegetable baskets.

After almost thirty minutes that seemed like eternity to the city-bred onlooker, a young lad crossed the old man's house with a 'Namaste'. The old man asked the boy, "No newspaper today?" and the boy said "No Thaatha". Thaatha is the tamil equivalent of grandpa. He rushed out of sight soon after and the old man quietly walked back inside the house.

In his world and age, the newspaper apparently is the only source of entertainment, world knowledge or a window to the outside world - whatever else you may want to term it as!! And there was no paper is definitely a cause of concern. The old man never had a question. He simply accepted the fact, concealed the disappointment if any, and moved on with the day!!

A good lesson from this simple and seemingly common observation is that too much of questioning causes stress. If we cannot do much about something, its best to leave it at that!!!

That it didn't happen is a fact and that we have to take it at the moment is also a fact.

Often, the fight and yell and stress and distress is on the things that happened and those we could not control and mostly the reaction to things that makes matters worse!!!

Every Action has an equal and opposite Reaction is a great find!!!!

Its best to save the reaction for a minute or two later as the gap will ensure that there is some rationale in the way we react and just may be we will start responding to the situation than react and make life terrible for us and the others!!!

The old man responded with an acceptance in contrast to the onlooker's expectation of at least a question on why the paper was not delivered that day?

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Shrimath Yoga - Nelmangala - Bangalore

Ours is a very conservative family where the concept of get-together meant family functions, weddings and other gatherings where relatives met. One of our cousins just expressed that its been a very long time since we all met and another cousin of ours offered to host the gathering in his place. So, that's for the prologue,very much a synopsis of the Whatsapp discussion that happened few months ago.

One August Sunday Morning, a group of 25 of us, from different locations in Bangalore, managed to get to Nelmangala which was well away from the city.

What was waiting for us was a real wonder!! A mini yoga school - Shrimath Yoga run efficiently by Mrs. and Mr.Krishna Prakash.

Here are a few pictures of the place where we spent the whole day.


Nature teaches us many things that words in books cannot. So many trees and a beautiful landscape in a non-commercial set up, maintained and managed by two young people who chose to devote their time and effort to Yoga, is not something that's easy to explain or imagine. The place remains unpolluted as of now. God Bless!! There are villagers who help with gardening and cooking.

I figured out that we all must make time to find where our real interest lies ( Calling) and work towards it to be happy. Materialistic needs are never-ending and deviate mind from happiness. Spirituality can be practiced in many ways, but we hardly devote any time to it regularly. We are all aware of the power of spirituality but have not bothered to work on it as regularly as we would on work or fun.

After spending a whole day close to nature, which has never happened in a long time, on my way back I wondered what it will be like to enroll for a Yoga course in this place! The guests spend a good few days so close to nature learning yoga,having home-cooked balanced meal, and get to really refresh  their minds and reshuffle their life's priorities a bit.

I just clicked a few pictures to post here, simply because I felt completely awed at the sight of the greenery and the joyful serenity of the place!!! You may want to get in touch with Shrimath Yoga too, if you are looking to learn Yoga. Please google "Shrimath Yoga" for more information.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Middle Class Syndrome!!

On a casual Whatsapp conversation thread I received a message with a picture of a man taking both his children to school on a bicycle. It was a rainy morning. He had covered his head with a plastic cover to shield only his head from getting drenched. Both the kids were covered completely with a huge plastic cover.

Not because I had nothing better to do, but it was a really stirring picture!!! There was no rain coat, no umbrella. Thoughts went rattling off in my head as usual.

May be they didn't expect the rain and the plastic cover idea was  just the best idea at that moment.
May be they didn't have the money to afford a rain coat for three.
May be they forgot the rain coat at home.
May be they are used to umbrellas and it was not practical to hold an umbrella this day especially with the many school things that they were carrying..
On a parallel track, my mind went on to these questions too :

What if the man skids off his cycle given that it was raining heavily that morning?
What if one of the children fell off the cycle as there was very less space for two children to sit in the carrier?
What if the man loses his balance with two huge back packs plus two not so little children plus the cycle weight itself?
Why, he could have just decided to write a leave application stating the heavy rain as reason and kept the children indoors?!
What if the children fall sick?

At this last question, I stopped -

For a rich man, home schooling is possible - Car drive to school is possible - Rain coat and an umbrella is possible - Not a drop of water on the children and no risk of a soiled uniform - A simple email to the school asking for leave is also possible with no loss to marks in the exam or no questions asked later. Rich doesn't worry about rains too much!! As much as they don't worry about tomorrow!!

For a poor man, none of the above is possible, so there are not many options. So the poor man does all he can and sends the child to school. He believes in the unknown power to shield his life. Its either a hit or a miss in everything, especially on a rainy day. Either he gets wet or pats dry. Poor man lives for the day. His dictionary does not have a tomorrow to worry about!!

Then comes the middle class :

Some identities :

I don't have enough money. ( What will you do if you suddenly inherit hundred thousand crores from a will that you had no idea of till date??!!! Would you be able to spend it right?)

I need a job security.( What if you stop breathing at work while your job is super secure?)

I don't know why these things happen to me. (What do you think you can do or could have done if you knew that you were going to be thrown out of the train at the next station?)

I don't know why wrong things happen to me at the right times in life? ( Do you prefer right things to happen at the wrong time, like finding a lost bank card after you cancelled the card.?)

I prefer to be careful especially on a rainy morning like this with two small children travelling by cycle is a strict no - no!! ( Just how careful can you be about the oncoming drunken motorcycle guy or a bus driver on a reckless drive??)

So there goes : For the middle class - the class of people that are always thinking they don't have enough;are always working hard to make more to have a secure tomorrow forgetting the simple joys of today; are scared to take calculated risks of today that give life more thrill than anything -  small things like rainy morning causes more worry.  Their life gets spent in working up the ladder and never really being able to enjoy their earning in most household.

If you give a newspaper to a rich man, he hands it over to his secretary who reads out only the headlines to him. If you give it to a poor man, he gives it back to you probably because he cant read or doesn't have the time to spend in nano sized fonts. You know you are facing a middle class man if you hear remarks like " What did the PM do so far? He claims so much or How poorly the Indian railways operate.. You should see in Europe or You should see in Arctic!!! And this man has only read about Europe and probably doesn't even know where Arctic is in the Globe!!! And that's middle class also called as complaint box!!!!

I corrected my mind that day a little and ever since been trying to practise this : Its just okay. Too many questions, too many doubts only take too much  disk space in the mind. Half of what we worry about in life never happens and we should stop to think when did we last get drenched in rain than think about protecting from the rain itself!!We must simply get down to earth enough to understand that We are just human beings and are limited to that level of powers!!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Five Hundred!!!!!

Ten years into blogging, it struck me that I must dedicate the five hundredth post to all of you readers and the little wisdom that has dawned on me ( or so I want to believe!!!).

If you have been a regular reader of my blog, you would know by now that my thoughts have improved and my words sound less loud. It may be that I am getting older and wiser, or older and stronger, or older and quiet.

Whatever it is, it makes me feel thankful

- For all the knots it has helped remove in my head;
- For all the connections it has helped me make;
- For all the experiences it has helped me register;

I intended to close this blog and work on a new one, but I guess I will continue to keep this site on for it has helped me big time in my highs and lows over the last ten years.

I have not had too much time and mind to blog for sometime now and I am working hard to improve on my time management skills. I will share what I learn from my experience for sure and will continue writing.

Thanks to one and all of you readers for keeping my cheer on!!!

THANKS A BUNCH and KEEP WATCHING this page once in a while for some interesting slices of life's tour.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Twelve Angry Men

All thanks to my friend who suggested  very old English movie called 12 Angry Men. The movie is dated 1957.

It is a short movie about twelve people talking about a case inside a small room around a discussion table. Liked it for many reasons, the primary one being I have not watched too many English movies over the years plus Never seen a very dialog-packed movie in a very long time.

You can find it online, so I am not talking further about the movie really. Here is what it taught me:

  1. Think different. 
  2. Just believe goodness always.
  3. Question the assertively negative sentences u hear. 
  4. Every human being is definitely what he is based on a hidden something deep within him. Never hate.
  5. Be nice in any argument.
  6. Observe emotions. They are hidden all the time.They rule a human being at any point in time.
  7. Two people can never have the same opinion unless they take time to reason out and be open to the subject. Always forget whom you are talking to and focus just on the point at the discussion table if your meaning is to solve the problem than win your side of the argument.
  8. You may be wrong.Its good to be assertive but not stern.
That's what I gathered immediately after the movie. A second watch may be required to really gather more lessons. Surely a good watch.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Siddhartha Gautama's wife

On one of the Facebook posts someone had shared a story about Siddhartha Gautama who later shined as Gautama Buddha and presently is being worshiped as Lord Gautama Buddha.

The life and story of Gautama Buddha like many other great people's life is for us to learn from. There is no right and wrong in all the stories. All stories, real-life incidents, gossips etc., are always opined for or against by many . This post is just a response that I wanted to share based on a small snippet in Siddhartha's life.

It is said that "Siddhartha left his home at the middle of night, the night when his wife gave birth to their son". Years later, when they met again, his wife had no complaints about it. She had lived all her life alone for the son and did all her duties right. Gautama became popular and his wife did not, for she did what was asked of her and Buddha did what his calling to the earth was!!!

It was just this that makes me write this post.

The fact that a woman is courageous does.not mean she doesn't need emotional support. Unfortunately this world has misunderstood confidence, independence, and courage - the three qualities hidden in every woman u see but those will need love of her man to feel complete... Even if its the Good Lord Buddha, mistakes like walking away from someone who believed in you, cannot be justified. Destiny could be the masking word. 

I know the Gita has a different explanation for this and probably Lord Gautama's wife had the best emotional quotient like all Great Folk's family members, but I am just a common woman who writes just what I think I must!! 

Readers, this is definitely not meant to offend believers. I believe in Buddha's ideology too.

Monday, April 25, 2016

I don't know you but I am someone just like you

Its been an interesting morning today. I visited Sri Sathya Sai Hospital, Whitefield, Bangalore. I was an attendant to my ailing relative. Little did I know when I set out from home this morning, that today is going to be a very important milestone in my journey of life. All the spiritual meetings and books keep telling that every day of life is one step ahead in the Journey of life that actually is very short. This has been too philosophical to me until today.

I asked the person at the security desk about the procedure to go for a consultation in the hospital. They gave me a quick procedure which I followed. At every desk, I saw old men and women or middle-aged ladies who were volunteers working through the day at the hospital, doing whatever little they can for the community, which is for "People they don't even know".

I looked at the token given to me. It read 563. I took it to the reception desk and they directed me to another calm lady seated at the corner of the hall. I saw many patients waiting for the consultation. I concluded in my mind that today, nothing is going to work unless we decide to sit all day at the Medical College Hospital. But it turned out that the people there are so accommodating that we were seen almost immediately as the medical condition demanded. There was a lady who distributed butter milk to all the people waiting to see the doctor. Good idea on a summer morning. Bangalore Summer has never been this hot and humid ever, they say! Distributing butter milk to " People they don't even know".

Next, the doctor. Not every day you come across a 30 something guy who can keep such a calm, humble, and composed manner around him. There is a psychology about liking your doctor first before you start explaining your issue to him. I liked this person's quiet and directed attention. I put about a hundred sheets of reports, films and prescriptions in the name of medical reports in front of him. I did have so many! He quietly asked for exactly what he wanted and we both sorted the reports per the questions he had in mind. We correlated the queries with the reports and he answered me super efficiently. Then he called the patient in, listened to her as attentively as he did to my talk and then carefully wrote out the report per the institute norms. We took about twenty odd minutes inside the consultation room. He had seen the 70th patient for the day. He steps out and asks the lady outside " Aunty, Do you think I can take a ten minute break before the next patient comes in or is there anyone with an unmanageable difficulty??". I looked up at him once, because he stood very tall in my mind that minute.. Is he a common man or did he land from some strange land of nicety?

We met some really nice and helpful people every where - at the lobby, at the gate, at the reception, at the physiotheraphy counter, on the way inside the campus... It made me wonder if I suddenly landed in a different world - a world where people never yelled, a world where there was no cash transaction, a world where everyone greets everyone, a world where people lend a helping hand without passing on the responsibility, a world where people followed up on your progress without being bossed by a superior, a world where people were perfect in their duty without being ruled visibly by anyone, a world where people served each other without any salary!!!!!

It was just so unbelievable!!!

Mind wont keep quiet, would it?? On my way back, I silently fought all the past of mine that came as a trailer :
where I have expected something from work, friends, managers, relatives....
where I have felt awful if my demands had not been met...
where I have complained of many things....
where I have felt elated about things that made  me happy..
where I have felt devastated about things that made me sad...
where I had blown up small mistakes into big massacres..
where I had thought I was important.....

many many things... In ten minutes travel time that's all one can think of..

Effectively, I stepped out of the car with a better confidence of facing life ahead because I just learnt that the greatest joy is in selflessness. The more we think of ourselves the more we are pained and the more we expect. We are no great souls. There are people better than us in every way... The smallest act of kindness and little compassion and a quick empathy is all you need to be happy. No amount of riches gives you the same feel as having given a helping hand to someone in need. Somewhere along my way, I seemed to have not realized or forgotten these things and got lost in my own world that I thought was Everything!!!!

 An old school thought came back to my head :

Do all the Good you can, to all the people you can, at all places you can, at all times you can, in all the ways you can, as long as you can...

My school report card used to carry this thought on its cover. I think I finally Got It!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fashion Mislead

I thought she forgot to wear her dress over her super neatly done white cotton slip. Then the sling bag, a pre-teen xerox copy beside her and her careless seeming careful make-up confirmed that she was 'dressed' up. I waved off my usual questions like.... why white?? how do u manage to walk like no one's looking at you? won't your daughter mimic you someday too?... and the like....because I had my son running around and my daughter sprinting to catch him and I obviously had to park the cotton slip lady aside in my mind.

I was busy minding my own business which is ensuring my kids were in my line of sight anytime, in the Sunday- crowded mall today. What is about Sunday crowds? people come over to just spend time... and its quite true. Nice place to window shoppe, bird watch, meet n greet, and also spend a lot of such shopaholic comes out of a shop. Nothing unnatural about it.. until u look at her dress..dress again!!!. She forgot to put on her jeans!!. Trust me... in the name of cool summer fashion people just take out a shirt from the cupboard and wear it off...!!!!.She looked well groomed.....but then i don't understand why she couldn't have chosen to wear something with the shirt. I looked carefully again just to make sure I am not missing the skin colored leggings that according to me are not required for some skin colors. They make u look again to really see if u r fully clothed!!

The next shock was a beautiful dark colored kurti on a dark-skinned beauty. black shoes and kurtis!!!. cool fashion indeed!! but why, it could have been a frock right?  or may be its just my out of trendy opinion!!. I let it pass... life got busy as my children were beginning to show signs of boredom... so I decided to leave.... on the way out i saw many fashion stores and wondered for the hundredth time why would people want to spend thousands of rupees on few items that expose more than they cover up!....

I was looking at a nice jewel piece and telling my daughter that someone has handcrafted it...was too busy explaining and watching my son run all over that I almost bumped into this lady who shocked me the most!. She was beautiful, well groomed, but definitely out of place in terms of western fashion prevalent in Bangalore. At least I have not had a chance to see someone wearing strapless dress, the length of which didn't cover anything at all beyond the basics.. and anytime her strapless could fail her fashion!!! looks. She kept adjusting it so much that I felt like handing over my dupatta to cover herself up. I was wearing a long and wide one today.

I stop blaming men for all the comments they may have on women's fashion - both for or against. Women must know that dresses are meant to cover up!! If summer is too hot, stay home!!. Don't venture out and spoil the real meaning of fashion!!.

- A very upset ME.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Board Exams!!!!! Breathe Easy!!!!!!

Board Exams have begun for the Class X and Class XII students. How does it matter to me? Nothing until I saw an advertisement today on one of the lamp posts. It read:


I actually stopped on my tracks, read the board again and went on my way. 

What are they trying to say? The class 10 exams are a joke and no longer need to be seriously taken as they used to be?? And what makes people believe that class 12 syllabus of today can be covered in two months?? 

What is the intention of a crash course anyway? Why are we rushing the kids in an already racing society? Anyway, that is what they will also be doing in life.. running after a bus, train, jumping signals to work, chasing deadlines at office, racing against or with the clock never being able to understand the Present and the need for emotional quotient in life...So why is the mad rush at 17, early on in life???????

Are we teaching the kids to Race or Ace?

Are we educating or stressing the children?

Why do we want things to be done fast, faster and fastest all the time?

Why don't we try to take life a little slow and practise "Breathe Easy" in everything we do??

Why dont we help ourselves by recalling Slow and Steady wins the race!!! Is winning important all the time??? is a total tangential discussion altogether, but had to come up here in context.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Going Blank!!!

Of late, I have been thinking about this phrase : Going Blank!

  • A ''Fill in the Blank'' question in school..
  • A blank white paper..
  • A blank greeting card..
  • A blank cheque..
  • A blank Word Document..
  • A blank Compose page on an email window..
  • A blank canvas..

All these blanks have definitely posed as a "scare" or a "feel of void" or "don't know what to say feeling" to each of us more than once in life.

More scary is the feeling of going completely blank in the mind!!!!

From a recent read, I learned that : friends, books, movies, television, games, hobbies, cooking, travel, spiritual and emotional quests, children, work, and even crossword puzzles or Sudoku keep your head from going blank and insane!!!

Lets devote time for things totally out of our tangent in life at least once a week to remain sane.


Charity - Only needs a thought

Cart full of groceries, Bag of money, Cashless benefits, Wallet full of rich cards, Plentiful eats, Endless shopping sprees, Exotic vacations... These are normal in moderately luxurious households....

I recently met a middle aged lady who is into home nursing service.. I got to know that she is part of the management team of a Home for the desolates and destitute. She and sixteen of her friends run the place with their salaries. Each nurse sends all or most of her salary towards funding this place.  These home nurses talk about their initiative to their contacts and funds come in.

The lady I met earns 10000 per month and sends all of her salary to the cause. When asked if she needed money what she would do, she quickly says "Why would I need money? I live and eat in the place where I work as a home nurse. My travel is taken care of by the house where I live or the Agency. In the rarest of rare situations, when I may need money, my children will spare some cash or my benefactors will appear as God-sends from somewhere. Why worry about tomorrow when I can give today??"

Amazing... isn't this?. Can we all stop to think?

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Inside Vayu Vajra 1

Vayu Vajra, the air-conditioned buses that ply in Bangalore.

It was a moderately sunny day in Bangalore, last week. I decided to step out on a long journey. Journey from Whitefield to Koramangala by bus is definitely a long one especially if it has to be two hops in between.

A Vayu Vajra came by and I decided to just take the bus. I knew it was a longer route but I always prefer taking the first available bus than waiting for long hours in the bus stand. If I do, my patience battery generally goes low and I am known to invariably take an auto. This day, I didn't want to take an auto soon enough.

The best thing about this bus is its very spacious, or so it mostly seems. Less crowded in the off peak hours as it is quite expensive. Students and working professionals are the usual passengers in this bus. This also means a lot of things : You get to see fashion, trends, technology trends, styles, and books.

I took an aisle seat which I never do if I get a window seat during any of my travels - airplane, train, car, bus, or auto. Today, all window seats in the bus were occupied leaving all the aisle seats free for me. Just randomly took a seat next to an office-goer. It is usually very easy to find out, if you have seen the stereotypes in Bangalore buses - A hand bag which is mostly a hold-all, a laptop, a mobile phone, head phones, lunch box in a Tupperware bag, a head scarf to ward off dust on the "just then" moisturized face. I like it when people take time out for themselves, for it amazes me a lot. It is just so wonderful to be able to take care of yourself very well.

The lady seated opposite me seemed an office-goer too with all the aforementioned accessories of an office-goer. She also had a hair style that didn't suit her the least bit, but she seemed comfortable with it. That stubborn air about her style is easy to like. The details like manicured nails and matching
slip-ons are hard to miss. She had her ear phones on. Her eyes were on her mobile phone. Do what you think makes you happy as long as it doesn't bother the other person.

Her neighbor, looked 'fairer than fair can mean' and stood out among the rest of us in the bus. She was looking out of the window with her ear phones on as well. From their looks and the distance that their eyes maintained from each other, you could guess easily that they are strangers. I did notice that they had similar mobile phones, but that could just be a coincidence, I told myself. In two minutes the fairy told the high-airy something showing her phone's screen. The other girl acknowledged with a blank side look and immediately looked away. I would definitely have given a better expression to a stranger, was my first thought. And in five minutes, the airy leaned on the fairy's shoulder, the fairy's hands touched airy's head briefly with eyes off course looking out of the window still and the ear phones still on. You could see that there was a beautiful silence between them that definitely can only come up when you are with close friends.

"Next stop : Videhi Hospital" came the announcement.

Our ladies got off at this stop and a very beautiful girl took the seat right opposite me. Her dress was what caught my eyes first. A beautifully embroidered peacock blue semi-cotton kurti with a lemon yellow Patiala and a crepe dupattah to complete the suit added to her beautifully groomed looks. It takes time for SELF. I decided never to forget this statement, but that was just a decision on the fly.
She opened her bag and took out a huge, voluminous, nano-fonted text book with lots of images that looked medical to me and started reading through. I asked her if she studied in Videhi Medical college and she said, she works there. We went on to talk further and I learnt that she is a practicing doctor at Videhi Hospital. How easy it was to get someone's age all wrong!!! I got some information I needed from her regarding the hospital and felt fortunate to have met this doctor in person.

I left the doctor to continue studying while another beautiful woolen top caught my attention. A pale yellow colored woolen top with designs of baby pink and sandal over a formal black trousers made a perfect office outfit, or so I presumed. The girl with this outfit had a sling bag which didn't suggest much on where she could be going; there was a laptop beside her; again, I couldn't tell if it was hers. She had the most blank look. Its when I landed on her look that I noticed the careful accessories she had chosen for the sweater. Her ear rings had pearls and the neck chain had tiniest of tiny white stones.. My next halt was on the bracelet and the watch.. white metal or silver or something mimicking it; I couldn't tell, but they did fit the picture perfectly well. I couldn't stop wondering for the umpteenth time how people had so much time for themselves and it sure is a feel-good to take time out for yourself. Isn't it? The blank look and the very carefully chosen attire do not match. Do they?

Next Stop announcement deviated my attention and I saw a very casually dressed young man standing up from his seat, supposedly to get off the bus. This carefully dressed girl also stood up, picked up her sling back, the laptop bag and a lunch box which appeared from where I didn't bother to recall... This man stood transfixed looking at her and she was busy collecting her belongings to get off.. The bus came to a gentle halt.. Both the young people got off and walked off in two different directions. The transfixed look suggested that they had known each other, but they didn't even meet at the bus stop. Not all that easy to tell anything from what you observe .

The bus moved on and a lovely girl dressed in black casual wear stepped in. She had a purse and the usual smart phone with her. Found a seat and bought her tickets. I looked around and thought I should have brought a book with me to kill time in the bus.. So much of internal gossip is happening in my head, I thought. Just then, my phone buzzed and as I was talking I casually looked up and found this girl weeping silently. After quite sometime, when I finished my call I looked at her hoping she will have finished the talk too but the call was on. She was talking so quietly ( amazes me time and again how people can talk so softly and still be heard) and was shedding tears and I just wished someone is beside her to comfort her. I hoped she would be okay soon. She got off the bus at the next stop which was a college. The last sentence that was loud and clear was, "I will come over for lunch and we'll sort this out. I promise." So, it was a friend and the tears were about a misunderstanding which looked like it was close to resolution at lunch,. Friends are easier to deal with than the rest of the relationships. I agreed like you just did!!!.

I looked at the watch . It was Noon. Which means I get off in the next few minutes..

Six people, Six thought lanes, Six attitudes, Six types - multitude of angles to write a story. Wanted to try short story writing someday. If ever I do it, this bus journey would be my inspiration.

In what I would call a very short journey, I realized that

  • Often we have no idea of the unspoken words in one's heart, unexpected twists in one's story, unheard dreams in one's mind, and untold miseries in one's life.
  • Often we are totally incorrect in judging people, understanding people, knowing people and advising people.
  • Often we are all about ourselves; may not be our fault, but let's stop complaining that people are the way they are.
In an extremely complex maze that we are travelling through, the least we can do is say a word of prayer, flash a smile of gratitude, give a nod of understanding, and feel a sense of empathy towards the other. Lets live easy with less of the pointless EGO wherever we go. Easier said, but that's what I learnt.


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