Monday, November 16, 2009

Astro Nuts

Hi!In this post I would like to discuss about Astrology,a subject which invariably raises curiosity in a normal person's mind.
I have a decent knowledge about Indian Astrology which I learnt from my mami,so I think that I am eligible to talk about the pros and cons of it.
Whenever some distressing events happen in life,We have the tendency to run to an astrologer with our horoscopes.I always wonder why Muslims and christians never give much importance to Astrology whereas Hindus give more importance to it.Is it due to the stress on immense faith which those religions propagate?In simple words,do they follow the principle"Surrendering to God completely will help us overcome our problems rather following astrological directions"?I am not sure.
But if you study the technical details in astrology and compare it with today's science ,some interesting facts are revealed.Indian astrology is said to be formulated by our reverred rishis and munis before 3000 years.
First to understand Indian Astrology(IA-I will use this abbrev.),You should study it with respect to the earth,Our planet.
First let me start with sun,The energy giver to this planet.We all know that Earth revolves round the Sun in 12 months.In our Indian Astrology too,Sun stays in one Rashi for one month and thus covers all 12 rashis in an year.
Second is Mars,(Mangal or Sevvai) takes 686.98 days to orbit around the Sun,when divided by 12,it is 57.24 days and in IA mars stays approx.1 1/2 months to 2 months in one rashi.
Third is Jupiter,(guru) takes 11.86 years to orbit around the Sun and in IA ,Guru stays in one Rashi for an year thus covering 12 rashis in 12 years.
Fourth is Saturn(shani) the much feared planet,takes 29.46 yrs ,when divided by 12,it is 2.455 years and in IA,shani planet stays in one rashi for 2 1/2 years.
Fifth,the moon revolves the earth in 28 to 29 days and In IA,it stays in one nakshatra or star for day and altogether there are 27 stars and thus makes up.
An interesting term ,Vakra is used in IA.i.e.,travelling backwards or reverse .
May be that is a sort of matching it with the real planetary movements like what we have done with leap year system.
While comparing real science and IA,I was amazed to see this calculations and could only silently appreciate our ancestors for their calculations in those days where there were no telescopes and other precision Instruments.
But,2 planets dont match with our scientific calculation.
Mercury(budha) and venus(Shukra).
Mercury takes 88 days,7.33 days when divided by 12,but in IA,it stays around 17 days in one rashi,which is 10 days more than actual,and Venus takes 224.7 days to revolve round the Sun,18.7 days when divided by 12,but in IA,it stays around 24 days in one rashi which is 6 days more than actual.
And I am not sure about Rahu and Ketu because there are no equivalent planets in reality.
When I was discussing this in our house,My dad objected to my observation and told me that We should not question about the formulations of Rishis.
It is not the question of going against our own rishis..It is the nature of our brain to analyse any subject with rational thinking.
IA is completely based on precision of time and place (longitude and latitude). Apart from these planetary positions and their houses there are lots of other complicate calculations,Permutations and Combinations in IA. I can very well say that no Astrologer can master all these combinations thoroughly.So,no astrologer can be 100% perfect.
While discussing these negative points,I can never deny that I have experienced amazing predictions in my life.Quite confusing and mind boggling too.Certainly I have immense respect for our own Indian Astrology.
But,why don't we leave it at the hands of destiny or fate or for believers why don't we surrender to the Supreme like other religionists instead of running to Astrologers.
Did this post confuse you?Didn't you see the label before reading.."Padmaism"?:-)
It has to be in next post..

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cinema-India's Curse

Hi!Keeping up my promise after a break :-)
Cine Lovers! u may get angry with my post so better skip this post ;-) to avoid BP shoot ups and emotional outbursts :-)))
In the title,I ve specified India because no other country has seen abhishekams with milk,honey etc on a lifeless mammoth cutout of a cine star on the eve of the release;-))) of a film.
(sorry!Rajinikanth fans! even I love Rajini movies a lot and I love to whistle on super stunt sequences of Rajini but I cannot imagine myself pouring milk over his huge cutout when hundreds of kids die of malnutrion in India everyday)
Iam not blaming Rajinikanth,each and every budding and chitput actor wants a cutout ,serial lights etc in South India.They love to call themselves as Future CM even before the release of their first film;-) I wonder who pays for such stupid banners and other useless decorations.
Thank God!Bollywood is spared in this abhishekam issue,but bollywood has a different problem altogether.Many bollywood producers love to produce for NRIs or rich Indians who are fed with golden spoons,but sadly their impractical designer costumes and richness in the movies don't gel with India's true real self.
One funny thing about Indian cinema is,on one hand films are extremely real aiming for an oscar(because highlighting India's poverty,slum issues,beggars can lead the film to a cannes festival or can win an oscar if poverty and lawlessness is shown in maximum possible heights,because foreigners love to see such Indian movies ;-))) and on other hand they are highly impractical & rich where even a servant maid dons a rich costume;-)) in the movie.But heroine is always poor in one aspect,her costumes;-))) and producer tries to save money as much as possible and she is allowed to wear only 1/2 metre of cloth in total;-))))
There is a limit to show real issues in a film,I was shocked to see 'Paruthi veeran' in Tamil which was so violent ,I had to switch off with disgust,believe me!it was a super hit film there in TN.Or I could'nt imagine wasting money on a Hindi 'Dostana' which throws light on gays ,I still wonder why KJ wanted to take this movie which tries to educate indian mass on unnecessary things when India is unable to cope up with outburst of AIDS,knowing that Indian public blindly follows their films and try to implement all things in their life.
For eg.,after the release of 'Hum Aapke he kaun' ,Indian marriage expenses have shot up and are still in the upward spiral and organising a marriage has become a big show business.Designer costumes and Jewels have burnt the pockets of middleclass families which tries to ape rich class by all ways.
Gone are the days of a normal middle class comedy with ordinary costumes and sets. Even today I can happily watch the simple Amol palekar in 'Golmaal' or heartily laugh at 'Bhama Vijayam'(I think in Hindi it is Teen deviyaan or something like that) dialogues.But wonder whether such films will be taken in future.In hindi Priyadarshan movies are based on middle class issues,but Iam planning to watch his original movie only ;-))) because all his movies are remade from South Films.
I am not planning to end up this post with lots of pessimism,I would like to give a huge Thumbs Up to Indian regional cinema(all languages except Hindi) which has experimented with normal themes and different plots.
Hope that Indian film Industry wakes up to show the real, real India.Cu in next post..

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Extra Curricular Excitement

Hi!Finally resumed my blogging activity after a long break.
In my previous post,I had promised to write on Cinema,But I take some liberty to break my promise and in this post I would like to discuss about extra curricular activities...
Since my school days,I am more interested in Music,Dance,Drama etc and less inclined towards my studies.Even today I feel that I could have enjoyed more if I would have joined Arts stream instead of my;-)))

But when I compare the activities of today's children I really feel pity for them because they are not aware how much they are missing in their life :-( because of academic pressure.

I still remember December '86 ..just 3 months before my +2 exams.I used to return home at 8 pm after my rehearsals for the Drama on Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.I was playing the lead role and had lots of dialogues.Many times I used to forget some lines and used to stub them with my own creative dialogues ;-))) which were funny and entertaining for my teachers and for my dear friend Fatima who was the prompter.I always enjoy the rehearsals more than the actual performance.Rehearsals are always loaded with fun and we can take liberty on our dialogues and actions.In spite of so many rehearsals,on the day of performance I was so engrossed in my acting;-)) I forgot the next scene and curtains had to be pulled down :-)))
But I cherish that moment with happiness even today.:-)))
Just studying for last 3 months I could squeeze into of technology with a B.E admission.I am not writing this to declare my intelligence.I feel that 3 months study is enough for board exams...Even in my college I was known for my stage performances ;-)) than my studies :-)))..
But compare it with today's scenario...
Show me a single kid who will volunteer for extra curricular activities just 3 months before their board exams...!Children are made to study from 9 th std for their tenth and again have to start for their +2 from 11 th std itself..Coaching classes..IIT foundation courses ...Is it not a torture?...Their prime time(9 th std to 12 th std) of enjoying the beautiful moments of life are grabbed from them.No extra curricular activities,No social functions during that period...Are we on the path of creating just scientists and mathematicians of rote learning?
Are we killing the creative abilities of our kid?Will they have any funny moments to cherish in the future?
As a parent ,even I feel guilty about my son's tight schedule.He is in 7 th std.Can he afford to be carefree and fun loving as we were in our younger days?Peer pressure on their academic performance is so high on todays' kids that they are not able to concentrate on other activities.
Only consoling moment for me is the skit performed by my son and his friends 2 years back.I was the script writer and director;-))) and literally we had a gala time during the rehearsals in our house.Kids and their mothers assembling in our house,having samosas,biscuits and patties amidst the rehearsals ,hunting shops for the wigs (all were boys and 3 of them played female roles;-))),sarees, readymade blouses and suitable accessories(My MIL was equally excited and collected many accessories).It was real fun for us and kids.I could feel the excitement and happiness in them when dialogues were forgotten or missed sequences.Even dress rehearsals were held with great fun.

Extra curricular activities doesnt mean participating in super singer competion or meaningless dance competions on TV.These are individual activities .Activities should involve more kids so that children can derive more pleasure and they should be away from all these cameras and studio lights to have real fun.They should not be taught to be funny,it should be naturally inspired.
It can be a Drama or Dance dramas ,debates anything...which involve more number of kids which are very exciting and funny.

Hope the kids of today will allot more time for some interesting activities and have more interesting extra curricular moments in future to cherish in next post.....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cricket -India's Curse

Even before writing a single word of this post ,I know that I will be receiving lots of brickbats than bouquets for this post.But I would like to put forth my views on this subject inspite of having cricket obsessed members in our family.
Olympics,a global ceremony which occurs once in four years has always displeased Indians with its horrific Medal Tally which shows India in a poor ranking position.A country of more than 100 crores people just fetch a medal or two.After all the Athletes bashing and discussions our News media go to hyberanation and wake up after four years to again bash up our coaches,sports persons,facilities etc.All the other time they are more interested in discussing cricket,cricket player's love affairs,their liasons and what not.Even burps and farts of Cricketers become Breaking News in India.Indians love such information about their beloved cricketers.
Cricket which is treated as a money minting machine in India has already started to be a lucrative business for Politicians and Cine stars.
IPL is the vulgar display of this cash rich cricketing associations and related persons.IPL has literally turned cricket into a business.Players nowadays get crores and crores for this willowing game and cricket frenzy nation is wallowing in the hot dust to watch this disgusting display of wealth.
Just compare the situation in which some Hockey team players had to stay in Railway yards and they had to take bath with the pipe fitted near Rails(This was shown in NDTV few years back) and our posh cricketers are immersed in richness,stay in five star hotels etc.
How can we demand medals from them after we have treated the players of other sports in such a nasty manner.
Abhinav Bindra could get gold medal because his father could arrange a AC shooting field and a german coach for his son to practice.what about others who dont have money?
Why discuss about National level,Look at the grassroot level of Indian sports.
Archery ground where my son was practicing is in a horrible condition.I had to just watch helplessly the sportspersons who were practicing fencing,basket ball with minimum facilities .If that is the situation in a city like pune which has lots of enthusiasts for alternate sports,then imagine the plight in other cities!
Here I would like to appreciate the steps taken by L.N Mittal's Trust and Prakash Padukone's Gold Quest trust which has brought some talented sports persons to limelight.
But why cricketers are not interested in supporting other sports?Why dont they spend a percent of their crores in developing alternate sports in our country.Why politicians show least interest in other sports?Why our Bollywood stars are not sponsoring talented sports persons of other fields and provide them with good facilities?I think they don't find any reaping prospects or rich dividends in those fields.
One more chunk to blame is our cricket maniac Indians who just celebrate cricket like mad people.Our Indians don't have any respect for other sports.Did they watch the olympic games with the same interest with which they are watching the silly cheer girls of IPL?DD was telecasting olympics and the TRP ratings were not even equal to a so-so serial.Such is the support we are giving to other sports.
Only advice which I would like to give our Indians is,If you are more obsessed in this money minting game and not interested in other sports, then just shut up and watch the pathetic medals tally of India because you dont have any right to comment on our hard working sports persons who sweat more than our Crorepathi cricketers.When you have not given them anything ,dont expect anything from them!Not even peanuts!
CU in next post ,Cinema-India's Curse!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Latest Trend-Footwear Missiles

Two days back in TOI, I saw a classic cartoon by our R.K.Lakshman which showed a politician with a bandaged forehead and Common man commenting on him ”He wants everyone to think he is a VIP and saying that he was hit by a shoe in the meeting. That is a lie-he was hit with a stone at the meeting” :-))) what a superb timing?
This cartoon has triggered me to drive my imagination cells to frenzy and result is- this post.
First let me narrate the flashback…
The shoe hurling bug has bitten the people after a journalist hurled shoe at ex Dubya.
The first Indian to get this award was our own PC.These first two cases were done as a mark of protest against authority.
But these protestors have completely mistaken our Indian Janta which is always craving for publicity and its related stunts.:-))
After these hurls, Indians are so excited about this hurling ceremony. And their love for cricket helps them throw the footwear perfectly with lots of variations like spins and swings.;-) Recently BJP’s LKA was hit by a slipper in an election rally. Congress’s Navin was hit with a sandal by a retired teacher. Yesterday was actor Jeetendra’s turn to receive the blessings. Cautioned Modi addressed a rally with a protective net .;-) .If he would have read this post before he wouldn't have opted for the net.He would have happily accepted one footwear missile.

While reading these news bits my brain also overworked to invent some ideas and suggestions for our wannabe celebrities who would like to get immediate media coverage. So,what follows is my complete wild imagination...
This is election time man! No body wants to lag behind. Even our seasoned politicians desperately pray for a footwear hit. They have promised huge offerings in Temples and to their favorite deities if they get a footwear hit. Paparazzi is just waiting impatiently to cover every single throw.If you are lucky enough to get hit by a shoe,instant photos will be flashed and you will hog the limelight for a day. Who will miss this opportunity in such a crucial time?
Not to get disappointed if nobody hurls shoe on them, many intelligent politicians have made arrangements on their own.
Aaluji has ordered his party men to throw a chappal in a shape of a train, so it will remain in people’s mind permanently and remind them of his seva to janta when he was in Railways ministry.

Caruna wants his kazhagam brethren to throw a chappal of Yellow color which will bring him luck. Not only that ,he has given strict orders to them to recite some of his poems while throwing ,so that people will understand his fondness to literature.

Java(All names changed to protect their identity!!!;-)) doesn’t want to be left far behind. She has given permission to her cadres to buy a pair of new sandals, wash it with bisleri water, soak it well in Rosewater and throw it on her along with some flowers and after that thrower should do a sashtanga namaskar.

Saniyaji who is hell-bent on improving her HAND’s Fortune also has expressed her wish to get hit by footwear but has insisted on a Pizza Topping/Pasta as a covering for the Footwear.

Everybody wants to get hit with footwear to boost their social status. It has become a status symbol.
So actors and actresses are also trying very hard to get at least a single hit.
Our Bollywood bimbette Rakhi Sawant is very keen on using this technique to boost her waning career. She has asked one of her boyfriends ;-)to hurl footwear wrapped with a bikini;-) That will be great for our news starved news channels. Whole day they will zoom the same scene thousand times and irritate pathetic viewers like me. :-(

In a village, when a farmer bent to mend his Hawaii slipper strings and got up after pinning them,he was shocked to see a big queue of politicians and celebrities waiting for him to hurl his slipper on them. They thought that farmer was taking his slippers to hurl it at somebody.Poor chap who was unaware of this latest trend hurried back disappointing the whole crowd.:-(

Seeing this demand for footwear throwers a shrewd politician is planning to introduce a branch in Engineering “Footwear Throwing Technology” in one of his educational institutions for crazy and desperate parents who are keen in putting their wards in an Engineering course even if they get 50%.
Two IT employees who were laid off by their companies due to recession have started a company “Anonymous Footwear Throwing Company” Which takes Contract to throw all types of footwear ranging from designer to dirty shoes, price range vary accordingly. Already number of party hopping socialites have registered their names in this company to get a hit so that they can elevate their status ranking as a VIP.;-)))
Don’t be surprised if this company beats the recession and posts a high profit..
Huh.. Full stop to my imagination now;-)) ! CU in next post!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Love to buy Everything!

Let me first confess that, I was inspired to write this post after reading Prasanna’s shopping passion .
It was the year 1994, December last week, just 1 and half months after our marriage. So Rajendra used to take me wherever he went on tour. At that time we were in Chembur, Mumbai staying in Rajendra’s Uncle’s place .In spite of my little knowledge of Marathi, I used to enjoy there.

One day, he came early from his office and told me,”Let us go out for Dinner!”! My preference was Chembur because of its South Indian Restaurants, so we went to Chembur Market Area which had lots of shops. Both sides of the road were overflowing with shops. We were newly married so Rajendra was in a state in which he could never refuse anything :-) Shops were so colourful.Articles displayed in the shops were very attractive. First I stumbled upon a hawker under a tree selling lots of magazines. I could sense the excitement flowing in me on seeing Tamil weeklies Kumudham, Ananda Vikatan, Thuglaq etc.I grabbed them with lots of happiness and Rajendra also paid for them with a great sense of pride ;-) Poor thing! He was unaware of what was going to happen in the next hour ;-))

Some boards were in Marathi so I had to carefully inspect the shop everytime before entering into it. My interpreter (Rajendra) also helped me a lot ;-) ,Bitten by the Shopping Bug, I went on a Shopping spree. In front of each shop I spent a minute to analyse the articles displayed , and pulled Rajendra’s hands towards the shop with a dialogue “Enakku vandhu .. aasayaa irukku (meaning I would love to..)..I want to buy this X article” .I request the readers to repeat this dialogue in their mind in front of every shop in which I purchased so that I can save the pain of repeated typing.:-)).Initially Rajendra was very happy. I stood in front of a footwear shop, Handbags shop ,Dresses ,Hairclips, so on and on, I entered each shop and with little bargain bought some articles and dumped in our bag.

Rajendra started becoming impatient; already his shoulders had started paining with the load.
“Padma! I think we should have something! I am feeling Hungry”.
I had forgotten hunger in my shopping excitement!”Oh! That’s a great Idea! Let us have something”.
We entered a south Indian Hotel, had nice idlis, dosas and an extra utthappa for the additional energy required for further shopping ;-)) .We rearranged the items in the bags so that we could accommodate many more items and ventured out of the hotel with newly gained energy:-).

Again with the same dialogue followed by my brief analysis in front of every shop, I entered each shop to add some more to the cart. As shops passed by, our baggage increased exponentially and value of Rajendra’s purse was diminishing with the same proportion. ;-) Now we decided to buy a big bag for future expansions;-) and bought it.

Additional bag opened up for new scopes and we proceeded further. Smile in Rajendra’s face had vanished , because his back had already bent like a slight arc ;-) with the heavy-duty bags. Taking pity on him I offered to share his load. In spite of my generosity he started voicing mild protests like “Oh! No! Padma! It’s enough”.

Not minding his protests, I continued my Shopping. Now his protests became stronger and his face became more serious. Ignoring all signs, I was happily immersed in Shoppo Mania.
Only few shops were remaining in that row, I stood in front of a shop with a Marathi board. As usual, before analyzing I uttered the same dialogue and started looking at the display window.
Rajendra’s face suddenly lit up. His eyes started shining with happiness. Silently I appreciated his regained enthusiasm. He volunteered “Padma! Shall I buy anything for you from this shop?”
Wow! How generous! I just stepped on the entrance, but looked back with a doubt “But I am not able to make out what they are selling”.
Rajendra gave a villainous smile and replied “They sell Veterinary Medicines in this shop!”
I leave the rest to the Reader’s imagination :-) ) CU in next post!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

HiraBen's Confusion.

On seeing the title, if you think that this post is in the likes of Big Ben of London, Sorry! This is not about any Clock tower. This post is about Hiraben.
I will first clarify your doubt which is sprouting in your mind;-).

In Gujarat, all ladies are addressed with a suffix Ben, for e.g., padmaben, prasannaben etc.In short, any lady is addressed as ladyben. OK?
Before proceeding I would like to introduce 2 main characters of my post.

1. Hiraben-Servant maid of our neighbor in Ahmedabad.
2. Buriben-My Servant maid in Ahmedabad.(Age 26)

Hiraben was around 75 years old with minimum number of teeth, tall but slightly bent figure, and her ghagra choli reflecting the rustic look of rural Rajasthan. During my 6 years stay in Ahmedabad, I never understood a single word of hers. But we were cordial with each other exchanging lovely smiles and she used to help me when Buriben went on leave with silly excuses;). Now enough of Hiraben’s description .I will start with the main story.

It was the usual scorching summer of Ahmedabad in the year 2003.Last loksabha elections were held during May month. As usual I tried to educate Buriben with electoral process of our country and explained to her why voting is important. She also participated in the discussions with lots of interest and gave some unique suggestions (!!!), had tea with me and escaped with minimum chores;-) Buriben was a good outlet for me in Ahmedabad .I love talking to somebody or other in spite of linguistic barriers. ;-)
Our language of communication was a mixture of Hindi, Gujarati and sometimes Marathi and Tamil when I lost patience with her;) .But communication with her was far better than hiraben.
Everyday she used to narrate to me how different party people came to their locality and showered gifts on them .Three days before election, one major party had distributed plastic buckets in their locality. I advised her to accept all the gifts from parties because after elections no one will be bothered to give anything to them .But I warned her not to get attracted by these silly gifts and again gave her complete gyan of effect of sincere voting and asked her to stick to her conscience while voting in spite of accepting gifts.

On the Election Day, before Rajendra left to office we went to cast our votes and I returned home. Aditya was very small to share my excitement. But Buriben fuelled my excitement with hot news. Previous night at 2 am, opposition party men had distributed steel tapelis (vessel in Gujarati) in their locality.
Immediately I gave her a warning look. She immediately understood and said that she is going to vote according to her conscience and will not be lured by gifts. Good! I appreciated her. “What about Hiraben?” I asked her with curiosity.
“Arre! Hiraben is not going to vote this time!”
I was shocked. My passion for democracy :-) was too high to accept this.
“But Why?” I asked her. ”Bring Hiraben here” I ordered Buriben.
As usual Hiraben came flashing her teethless innocent smile .
“Are you not voting this time?” I asked Hiraben.
Our interpreter Buri did a good job on that day.
“No! I don’t want to vote! How can I cheat?”Hiraben quipped.
“What cheating? Whom you are going to cheat”
She replied”Three days back I had decided to vote for that plastic bucket party. But yesterday night the opposition party people gave us tapelis. Now whom should I vote for? If I vote for one party it is like cheating the other party. I have received gifts from both of them .See! I am poor! I cannot refuse these gifts. But I have to be sincere and honest too. Those party people have warned us that they have spies in polling booth and will get back the articles from us if we do the cross voting.”
Again I had a tough time in explaining her secrecy of voting process and not to bother about those party men and better stick to her conscience. She was not convinced.
Whole day I was after her and was showing the black dot in my forefinger and at last started pleading;-) with her to go and vote. She started taking pity on me and decided to vote. I asked Buriben (My spy ;-)) to accompany her to polling booth and immediately rushed to our neighbour’s balcony from where I could have a better view of polling Booth's gate to confirm that both of them entered the polling booth which was in our adjacent compound. I gave a huge sigh of relief ,ignored my neighbour’s quizzical look;-) came back home.
On hearing the calling bell, I opened the door to see the victorious duo showing the black dots on their respective fore fingers .I flashed a thankful smile and made them to sit ,switched on the Fan,and rushed to prepare a cool lemon drink for them. I added more sugar in their glasses as an act of Thanksgiving . Hiraben gave a typical smile and enjoyed the cool drink on that sunny day.
“So, finally did you vote with your conscience or was your decision based on the gifts? Bucket party or tapeli party?” I asked both of them.
Before Buriben gave her answer , Hiraben was quick in replying me. ”Let both the parties go to hell. I voted for some independent candidate. I don’t know his name ;-)
Whoever comes to power there will not be any progress in our what big difference it is going to make. Any way thanks for your sharbat. It was nice.”
Her knowledge in Indian politics made her appear like a great psephologist;-) to me ,but anyway wondering the luck of that independent candidate who got a vote because of my pestering, I bid adieu to them and switched on TV for the latest Breaking News on Elections ;-).
CU in next post!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Entertaining Times Ahead

As the general elections 2009 dates were announced last week by CEC, I could feel a typical sense of thrill and excitement in me. I always get excited on executing my basic democratic right, casting my vote. :-)

Another cause for my excitement is the post poll scenario which is always spicy and sensational. ;-)

Before Electronic voting machines came into picture, it took at least 3 days for the result of final constituency to be out .So, Doordarshan used to telecast lots of films when Minu and Gitanjali Iyer were collecting latest results behind the screen .Film crazy Indians(includes me also;-)) had a wonderful time gluing to the TV screens , munching some snacks ,sipping hot coffee while watching the swings in results.

But now, EVMs have made things so easy, results are out before noon. So gone are the days of doordarshan movies :( , easy chairs, snacks and coffees. But Thanks to the post poll Hungama, Indians are not deprived of the fun they used to have in pre EVM era...

These days it is even more funnier, because of the results which lead to hung parliament. Poll pundits have already predicted a mixed verdict from Indian voters. So commotion is imminent. Now, with the formation of Third front the chaos is bound to happen. :-) Power puff girls of Indian politics ;-) [Maya, jaya] have enrolled themselves in third front and want to fulfill their dream of becoming prime minister of India.As of now ,the only person in Indian politics who doesn't want to become PM is Dr.Manmohan Singh ;-) ...May be he is tired:( of accomodating all whims and fancies of his coalition partners.:-) Even before a single vote is cast Jaya skipped the party thrown by Maya stating that PM candidate will be decided after Poll results are announced. This is just a trailer of the great blockbuster movie “Thaandav of Democracy” (Dance is very mild word .Thaandav is apt ;-)

After the election results are declared, parties and their leaders will decide how sekkoolar (this is how secular is pronounced by Indian politicians:-) ) they are, whether to join hands with secular UPA or Nationalistic (?!) NDA. If both UPA and NDA fail to make the mark, then pandemonium will reach its peak;-). Psephologists of TV News channels will have a great gala time interviewing the eloquent leaders displaying their gift of gab, further confusing their ideologies;-) ,leaders accusing each other of pseudo secularism :-o and minority appeasement(favourite words of News channels ;-)), lots of horse trading ( another favorite word of news channels ;-)) ,kidnapping the MPs to safer places till the confidence motion takes place…Oh! God! Lots of thrilling and interesting things are going to happen…Now, Tell me ! Don’t you find these events more entertaining than Doordarshan movies of yester years?:-). Expect more posts in this subject till my election fever subsides ;-) .CU in next post.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Naivedyam-Scrumptious Problem for Gods

Before proceeding with this post ,I would like to pose one question to you..When a puja is performed in your house,which is the most attractive and appealing part to you?
option 1:Religious part of it.
option 2:Naivedyam-food offered to Gods.
option 3:Naam smaran of God or remembering God's Name.
I am not going to ask for ur answer..because I know it ;-) and I am not going to reveal it to anybody ;-) ok? Now continue reading.. .

India,being a land of colourful festivals,different regions celebrate festivals in different ways..But One common thing I noticed in all these festivals or pujas is the Naivedyam part of it..It is a compulsory ingredient in all pujas because we love to offer food to our beloved deity..But I feel that this has created lots of problems for God..;-)..

Our ancestors were real gastronomic experts,they spent all their intelligence in inventing delicious sweets, pickles,papads,appalams,and many more..I doubt whether any other country has researched and developed such a wonderful variety of delicacies;-) ..According to convenience and availability of raw materials they allotted each delicacy for each puja/deity..

If it is Ganesh chaturthi,then it should be Modak(marathi) /Kolukkattai(tamil) ..
Ghee laden shira (modified version of kesari)for Satya narayan puja...
In South, Krishna janmashtami is celebrated with ;-) variety of delicacies... list is very big...

Actually naivedyam is prepared as an offering to God and as a token of our devotion..and we are supposed to sincerely concentrate on God during the pujas..and offer food to him with utmost love ,thank him for his grace....but in reality it never happens ;-)..

I still remember Janmashtami of our child hood days..a variety of delicacies were prepared..mouth watering cheedais,murukkus,appam..mmm ..My elder brother never moved away from puja room...not because of his devotion;-) He used to cordon off that area ,so that he could be the first one to grab the prasad ;-)Every year he used to succeed in his mission leaving my younger brother and myself in despair(!!) ;-) Krishna and his puja were the last preference for us..Temptation to all these wonderful,lipsmacking savouries were so high,poor Krishna had to wait for our attention..;-)

Why childhood days?Even now,during Ganesh Chaturthi,when Modaks are arranged for naivedyam and till all the procedure of naivedyam is over ,our eyes remain glued to the yummy white modaks,waiting for the naivedyam to get transformed into prasad after the water sprinkling procedure;-).. (sorry! for my horrible translation;-)))

Normally an elderly male member of the family sits to perform puja.. He is supposed to do puja sincerely ..observe the procedures like aachaman,sankalpa,.with lots of devotion and fervour... He starts uttering mantra..Om mahaganpatye namah..Om ekadantaya namah..his mind suddenly jumps to the previous year flop vada which was hard like a stone..;-) ,mmm,,Om vakrathunadaya namah.."Ae!Try to make vadas crispier...and little spicier...Do you remember last year's vada..I lost my tooth because of it" This instruction to his wife may give a sudden shock;-) to our lovely ganesha who was just enjoying the mantras praising him..;-) and not only that may serve as a pathetic remainder of last year's naivedyam to him and he may get tensed about this year's new adventurous recipes;-)..

The appetizing aroma emanating from the kitchen when preparing another major worry for Gods;-) because it causes complete distraction to devotees'(!!!) attention and lead them to a state called devotion deficiency :-D and ultimately Gods end up with utmost attention deficiency;-) ..To top it all,Once the naivedyam procedure is over ,both devotees and the prasad may do a vanishing act from the puja scene...;-) leaving the Gods alone ...
What worries me a lot is if the same situation continues and if Gods lose patience with our inattentiveness and impose a ban on naivedyam for an year or will be very difficult for us to celebrate festivals without modaks and cheedais :(....
Cu in next post...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Direction sense of my Mom

After writing my previous post,my brain started analysing my driving and its associated skills ;-)..As a result of that analysis I ve come to a conclusion that I would have ended up as a pathetic driver,not only because of my poor driving skills,but my worst direction sense which is a major reason behind this conclusion..

Sometimes I blame the creator for blessing me ;-) with such a horrible direction sense,but poor chap !what can he do?as I have inherited this quality(!) from my mom....So blame it on our genes!..
Both of us are fitted with non working poor quality magnetic needles in our brain...either they show wrong directions or don't indicate at all;-)..May be ,If I start driving to Bangalore, I will reach Baroda safely... :(
I ve studied that one particular part in our brain ' Hippocampus' is responsible for our navigational skills..I doubt that our Hippocampus is camping away from our brain;-)

My mother could never reach the starting point without any confusion..Height of her confusion was ,once she had to take guidance of some strangers for returning back to our own house,that too not from a faraway place ,from a 2 km distance..(Believe me! This is true story! not a concocted one!) but she confessed to us that she was feeling awkward to ask the directions to her own house,so she asked route to our neighbour's house...;-)...but I am still puzzled about this technique of her's..what difference it made to that stranger?!! He was not knowing whose house she was asking for,,may be she herself was feeling funny about asking route to her own house;)

In one more incidence,she had gone for shopping to nearby local market with my aunt who was not familiar to our city ,and on their way back home(!!!) they were going in opposite direction,,,,My aunt's brain alerted her for wrong land marks (may be she doubted some kidnapping mission from her sister in law;-))) and she brought back my mom safely..;-) and ofcourse she could spice up the entire incident and entertain us with her narration skills... and interestingly, it was entertaining to my mother also :-)..

Naturally my father was worried about these frequent adventures of my mother...;-)but couldn't help it..

But ,during those days,I was not aware that I was also sailing in the same boat..So I could enjoy all this fun...I discovered my poor direction skills when I got married and came to pune..atleast in pune I had my mother-in-law to guide me..once we shifted to Baroda and Ahmedabad I landed up in more trouble ,In Baroda I promptly took guidance from our family friends..In spite of that many times I ended walking up in opposite directions;-) so the only solution I had was to carry Aditya ,my son along with me(he was just 8 months old!!)...because I believed that kids have great direction sense and hoping that he has not inherited my direction genes ,I ventured out taking him as my guide..;-)..Even in Ahmedabad's mazy network of narrow streets ,I could dare to go because of the confidence I had in my little companion..:-) Till today I ve relied upon his navigation skills,May be, if he reads this post one day he will come to know why his mother was so keen in taking him along with her wherever she went;-) in next post...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Story of my 2-wheeler license.

After shifting to Pune,I realized that skill of riding two wheeler was more than a necessity. Pune being a city of two wheelers,lots of women with dacoit like masks riding two wheelers ;-) on roads was a common sight.:-) and I think this also inspired me to learn 2 wheeler ;-) ..

Don't mistake me as a novice in 2 wheeler driving ..I know a little bit of balancing act from cycling during my schooldays and after that ,my brothers encouraged(?!) me to learn moped .After gaining little confidence,I started practicing in our street where traffic was minimum ;-) learning session came to an abrupt halt when one of my adventurous cousins suddenly bumped on the pillion seat without my knowledge and I kissed the road with a thud..obviously my cousin escaped unhurt :-(...This event induced a deep vehicle phobia in my mind ,...

But again , after coming to Pune, due to necessity,I tried to overcome the fear and decided to learn ...when I expressed my wish to Rajendra, he was happy ( he always encourages me in my new ventures ;-)..) and offered his motorbike for practice..this suggestion sent shudders in me ..falling down from a bike can cause severe damage to my bones...;-) I strictly said a 'NO' to motorbike..(but it was very nice imagining myself as speedy John Abraham of film 'Dhoom',that's a different story..) ..

I decided to learn from a driving school trainer to avoid any other mishap which may further deepen my phobia..My driving classes also started and in 10 days I went to RTO with my mother in law for getting Learning license..I carefully memorized the traffic signals ;) ,appeared for the test and came out happily with the laminated learners license ,my mother in law hugged me with great pride as if congratulating a merit list student of board exams;)....

My course was about to end and my instructor gave me some tips,'Dos ' and 'Dont's to be followed when appearing for permanent license test.Hesitatingly ,I threw on her a silly question,"Can we balance with our feet on the ground while taking U turns during the test?",she got annoyed by my Q and quipped,"They may fail you! U have to ride in an 8 shaped track without touching the feet on the ground,Don't worry! Practice well and get the license..CU" This statement was enough to send me into high tension mode;)...
It was difficult for me to drive even in 1 shaped track .Riding in 8 track was just unimaginable..All day and night I started thinking about number 8..I decided to practice all types of turns and one of my dearest friends offered her scooty for practice,I started practicing in noons under hot sun to avoid traffic and accidents..;), I was driving around our residential complex some thousand times ,when security guards and others started seeing me bewilderingly ,obviously with this Q in their mind"Why this mad lady is doing pradakshina (circumambulation) of our society daily in hot noons?", I stopped this sunny ventures and decided to practice in early mornings and asked Rajendra to help me..He sacrificed his morning sleep ;) and accompanied me for my U turn practices..

We chose a particular stretch of 100 metres in the road where repetitive U turns was possible..Tough taskmaster he is..he made me drive sharp U turns so many number of times and at the end of each session I started feeling like a Stunt biker of Indian Circus who rides inside a huge metal sphere criss-crossing several times...Rajendra was very strict with me and (of course that irritated me ;-)..) he tried to make me an expert but in vain ;-)..I started getting nightmares of falling down on RTO 8 track and this made me even more nervous...Because of this infinite 8 track practices,I was afraid that my legs will take an imaginary 8 shaped track even in normal roads due to inertia..;) and we decided the date for the test and Rajendra decided to take half day off but added to my woes by saying that his colleague and his wife will be there for her test..How silly it would be to fall in front of office colleagues?..

On the D day we reached RTO well before time , many license aspirants were practicing in 8 track,Rajendra tried very hard to get the coordination of my hand signals and driving properly but every time I made a silly mistake and finally I got it right..Now I was thrilled to appear for the test and waiting for my moment to come..I was becoming impatient and excited to display my skills in 8 that time driving school agent called my name and took us to nearby place ,( I was unaware that driving school students are tested separately ) asked me to stand in the queue,due to over excitement I stood first in the 'Q' near the ground and started searching for 8 track..there was no was just a muddy ground..perplexed on the sight,a slight disappointment started seeping in my mind,,one of the assistants waved his hands towards me and I moved forward ,stopped near the RTO Inspector who was chewing pan casually and sitting in a slanting position making a 60 degree with the ground..First of all that pose irritated me and next major disappointment was absence of 8 track,assistant signaled me to start ..before I could ask him..he asked me to drive a big circle on that stupid..after so much of practice of 8s and U turns anger cells started activating ,but hid my disappointment and rode that circle, I purposely made it as a big circle by extending the radius, ignoring the assistant's yell towards me to make it a smaller circle .Seething anger inside me was waiting to erupt like volcano..while riding back I could see beaming Rajendra's face(he was unaware of my disappointment) admiring my victory showing a Thumbs Up sign.. ..he was looking like an Olympic coach waiting for his athlete to touch the victory line..after finishing the silly circular ride I stopped in front of the inspector ,his pose had further dipped to a 58 degree angle which added to my anger..lazily he waved his hands signalling me to move and make way to next entrant..I moved and stopped the scooty in front of Rajendra ..He congratulated me..I was in complete tizzy state..,I was fuming with anger and insult about this silly drive and started " How many days I practiced for this 8 track drive,under hot sun and cold mornings like a mad person,but these silly fellows didn't even give me a chance to drive in 8 track.." I was continuing red hot..Rajendra's face also became serious for a moment ,but next moment he burst into roaring laughter on seeing my plight..his thunderous, teasing,laughter made him look like multiple villains (amrish puri,pran,nambiar sorts..) merged together and it seemed that he was enjoying every moment of my fiasco and helplessly I also had to join him in the laughter....For the next few days I stopped writing 8 even in paper...License ? I got it! in next post!

Recent Update :- Recently I visited RTO. All license aspirants are asked to ride on 8 track for the test.No circular track :-) :-) Great! ;-) :-)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Evolution and Dasavataram

As the world celebrates 200th birthday of Charles Darwin on Feb12 ,I take a chance to analyse his theory with my field of interest ,Hinduism.Read the warning ;-) before u proceed...
Warning  : On seeing the label if u think that I ve chosen 'Padmaism' out of self obsession...sorry! The content of this post is a mixture of science,hindu legends,spiritual faith..I was confused to choose a correct label..I tried sci-spi,sci-hi ;-) in the lines of sci-fi,but didn't sound so good...ok suggestions for new label is welcome from readers .Till then padmaism continues.
This post will deal with incarnations of Mahavishnu and compare it with Darwin's Evolution theory..

Even though Bhagavatpuran quotes around 22 avatars, very prominent incarnations described in garuda puran and other texts are I will deal only with them..
Similarly there are many theories revolving around evolution ..In this post, I will consider only the chronological order of evolutionary theory..researchers say that species to inherit the earth in the initial stages were amoebic and first well defined species is Fish (includes other forms of fish also).
Interesting thing to note is first incarnation of Mahavishnu is 'Matsyavatara' in which lower part of body is fish .Isn't it a striking coincidence? or a reason for believers like me to feel happy?..May be God has always associated with the species of earth in their contemporary form to make them feel at ease .for eg. if he descends now he may take a form of modern ,cool guy to make us feel comfortable..;)

Next descent is 'Kurmavatara' which was in the form of turtle/tortoise, as we go up the evolution tree we see turtles which can live both in land and water,may be that's when transition of water species to land species was taking place.

Third incarnation 'Varahavatara' which was in the form of boar which is a complete land species.As we go up above the evolutionary tree we see wild animals,pigmies, apes and human beings.yes! u got it.

Forth incarnation which was 'Narsimhavatara' , God took the form of half Lion.By this time wild animals had completely inherited the earth..

Fifth one which was 'Vamanavatara' in which God took the form of a dwarf , now my mind associates with pigmies..

From 'Parshuramavatara' human form becoming more prominent.
One among the most famous incarnation and revered form is 'Ramavatara' in which he descended as complete human .May be this was the transition period from apes in which human species just started to appear on earth and this descent was to teach them the correct ideals and principles of way of life.

Those who worry about missing out apes can be satisfied with another interesting fact in 'Hanuman' another revered God in Hinduism..Ape men appear in the famous kishkinda kandam of 'ramayana' .

Eyewitness encyclopedia version 200 describes a certain species 'Homo erectus' which evolved in the transition period.Interesting point to note is that this species were not normal apes which grab eatables from our us ;-)..These species had a brain of 2/3 size of modern humans,but still retained apelike features ,such as receding forehead ,projecting jaws and thick bones. Fossils of Homo erectus species have been found in Asia and Europe as well as in Africa... this species had good brain activity too...

Don't we find an amazing resemblance with our own vanar sena depicted in Ramayana..May be since Hanuman is God by himself,he was far more superior than his clan in terms of knowledge and valour.
Next is 'Krishnavatara' which completely dealt with human species in an intelligent manner ,describing the advanced warfare of that time showing that human species was continuously evolving..
One more interesting fact  Inoticed in encyclopedia was about 'Hominid' species,the neanderthals who had a stocky build,large brain and could use many tools and fire etc ,they are known to have disappeared around 30000 years ago from europe-possibly edged out by competition from 'Homosapiens' that is human beings .Do demons and rakshasas belong to this category?quite interesting to scratch my head in such matters..;)

The total Mahayuga which comprises of all 4 yugas spans around 4,320,000(appr.) years.In first yuga ,average human life span was around 10,000 years (?!!),may be that's why they could undertake lots of tapasyas spanning for 1000 years ??..First 4 avatars took place in this satya yuga ..Hindu puranas gives details of cycles of such Mahayugas where creations and destructions took place..encyclopedia also describes the mass extinctions at the end of 'permean era','jurassic era' and 'cretacious ' periods where large catastrophes took place..

So far so good ,but the confusing and contradictory part arises from calculation of eras or time period mentioned in both puranas and encyclopedia...permian era starts with 350mya to 200mya ..and so on..
Lots of mathematics is involved in both this calculation and comparison of both eras and yugas..Limited capacity of my brain doesn't permit me to do so.. :( I give all freedom to the readers to further get confused in this topic and I sincerely thank u for sharing my confusions and interesting findings;-)..

But one thing to be noted is Darwin was humiliated by the then churches for going against christianity's Creation theory..If Darwin got to study this post then ,he would have felt happy that Hindu scriptures supported and agreed with his idea..;) atleast in some aspects. in next post...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Murky Indian Politics

A Recent apology from a politician Mr.K of U.P has triggered me to write this post.I am not against any apologies and confessions.It is the right of every human being to cleanse himself from his sins, amend his ways and adopt more human way of living.. If he had sincerely apologised for demolition of Babri Masjid, We r ready to pardon him aiding in his moral cleansing...bcos now i feel that the demolition of babri masjid has caused more damage to Hindus than favouring them, giving rise to more terror incidents and fanning mutual hatred.
Coming to the point,the timing of the apology has sent me into a tizzy state,he has chosen to apologise ,when general elections are just 2 months away,why didn't he apologise 2 years back or immediately after previous loksabha elections..If he would have apologised then, what is the use of that apology?He couldn't have reaped rich dividends..So he has chosen this time.
Not only this particularMr.K , A to Z of Indian political clan is trying to woo Indian voters on various issues..wait!..Not about development issues...these politicians try to woo the voters by playing caste cards, by nurturing regional fanaticism and deepening the rift among various religions.They take Indian voters for granted, take advantage of emotionally highly combustible Indians who can be easily incited by fiery fanatic speeches and pamphlets..,Educated Indian mass don't even go for voting and elect an able representative..and the remaining population don't vote for candidate's character, his previous achievements...They decide their vote on seeing the caste,subsect,gotra etc of the candidate ...
In this case they have tried to woo the already disgruntled muslim population of India,Do these politicians think that muslims are vote vending machines?..Have these politicians ever tried to visit poor muslim mohallas ,where basic amenities are not provided?Why don't they take a development plank before them..They will not...They will never allow Hindus and muslims to bury the hatchet over babri masjid demolition..They will dig for the skeletons forever and see to that there is no unity.These r the super secular(!!!) politicians of India ..
In India any Tom,Dick and Harry uses the word secularism,,without knowing the meaning..
The word 'Secularism' was first used in Britain to assert that the administration of state is free from any religious rules and insulated from the influences of religious beliefs and state will not give any privilege or subsidies to any religion ,in short,Separation of state and church in Britain.
In India the meaning is entirely twisted and used for minority appeasement.
I know that Indians are not proactive,We have stopped reacting also,but still worse,we have become numb to all these statements,apologies.. may be we r used to the century old techniques of britisher's divide and rule policy and we still love to be the slaves of the situation...God! Save the Nation!Ok !cu in next post ...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Picnic Curd Rice

As I had promised in my firstever post "A Typical Indian Road Trip/Picnic" ,I am posting the recipe of Picnic Curd rice,in simple words Curd Rice which can be packed for long distance journeys.Some cynics(?!) can question me ,what big difference is there between ordinary curd rice and picnic curd rice?,But the difference is big enough to dedicate a post in a blog folks! ;-)
One more confession before starting the recipe,just bcos I am posting a recipe in a blog ,don't think that I have tremendous culinary skills ;-) ,Sorry! I am not an expert cook..I am a good foodie :-)
In India,Yoghurt of western countries is known as Curd,but renaming Curd rice into Yoghurt rice will not only hurt me ,but entire South Indian Brahmin Community which swears by Curd Rice ;-),So I am sparing the name ,even though technically it is incorrect ;-).
Normally Curd rice which is to be consumed at home is prepared by mixing curds with cooked rice,a pinch of salt and little seasoning.But if u try to pack this rice for a trip ,then u will end up opening a lunch box which sends a tangy smell of century old fermented wine;-) ,which will make the co passengers run away for cover.;-) and a thick white clumpy ball of rice which will require a jug of water to force it into oesophagus,the reason being rice absorbs all the liquid and leaves it very dry,.Here comes the tips for wonderful lip smacking curd rice from a person who has traveled umpteen number of times in long distance trains and whose appetite cannot be satiated without curd rice. Lots of research was done before arriving at this final recipe ;-).
First step is to cook the rice with more water than normal proportion ,so that cooked rice can be slightly mashed when it is hot,and leave it to cool down to room temperature.
Add salt ,milk (approx..for 1 cup of cooked rice,half litre of milk),if malai is formed on the milk don't forget to add that,it just adds to the taste and result will be yummy(of course bad for tummy ;-) more the milk,more the taste.I ll add some more points at the end of the post so that u can vary the qty of milk accordingly.
Next add 1 to 2 tbsp of good quality curd ,and for heaven's sake leave aside all ur sophisticated ways of cooking and mix the rice mixture with ur clean hands,reason being, natural yeast present in our hands aids the fermentation process quickly.Add some more milk if needed , so that the qty of milk above the rice forms about 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick layer,i.e., u let the milk remain above the top layer of rice,so that during the fermentation process rice fluffs and curd rice doesn't dries up.
Letting ( 1 to 2 inches)layer of milk remain over the rice mix is the major difference between ordinary curd rice and picnic curd rice,,and this makes a huge difference.Fermentation takes place along with the mixed rice,so tastes good.
Next is seasoning,in 2 tsps of oil(i prefer oil to ghee),add
1. mustard seeds,
2.asafoetida(hing/perungayam), chillies pieces of 1 to 1 1/2 inch,if chillies are finely chopped and if any child gets to taste it then the entire environment may become red hot due to the high decibal sound produced by the child . ;-)
4. dried masala chillies..mmm..this is the most difficult thing to explain..these chillies are known as 'kutachi mirchi' in Marathi ,meaning masala stuffed dried chillies ,'majjiga mirapakailu' in Telugu and 'Mor Milagaai' in Tamil , meaning dried buttermilk chillies?! (this is the worst ever & horrible translation i ve tried ;-)...if these chillies are not available ,don't worry !add whole red chillies..
5.curry leaves.
Add this seasoning ,and again mix the curd rice well.
Important things to note ,
1. Temperature of the region in which curd rice is prepared,fermentation process requires optimum heat, if enough heat is not provided ,u will end up eating milk rice ;-) In cold days u are allowed to add 2 more tbsps of curd in the rice,and pack it in a thermos bag or use a thick blanket to cover the box.
2.Time duration between preparation and consumption ..if it is more, then add more milk on the top layer,(believe me ! ive prepared curd rice for 18 hrs to 20 hrs duration and was successful in the attempt).before consuming it, just stir it well again.
And last but not the least, packing part of it,since u r going to pack food which is almost in liquid state,there is every chance of milk spilling out of the container,,so pack it in an airtight container or seal the lid well with small plastic covers otherwise messy bag with spilt milk can make u give a sorry look or leave u red faced ;-) in the picnic..ok .Have a nice trip! in next post..

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Li'l Champs of Zee SaReGaMaPa -Winning Hearts

I am an addict of News channels.A recent programme(not related to news) which has gained my attention is SaReGaMaPa -Little champs telecast by Zee Marathi channel.(I am not writing this for marketing this prog ;-)..

It is wonderful to see 5 little music prodigies competing for the title.All of them aged below 14,youngest being 8.They all look very innocent,but when they take the mic in hand and sing the compositions of Hridayanath mangeshkar or Shrinivas kale ,they leave me speechless.(those songs are real toughnut compostions,any aspiring singer can give it a try for voice culturing) .

I ve seen lots of music competitions in TV,Few years back,in SUN TV ,S.V.Ramanan was engaging the audience well,participants were also talented. When Ramanan was replaced by some Mr.X, I stopped watching that program.

Again ,Few years back,Hrishikesh Ranade and one Mr.Shrinivas( i've forgotten his surname) gave an impressive performance,When Mr.Shrinivas was eliminated by regional chauvinism of judges,i stopped watching such porgrammes,cursing the fragile regional unity of India.

I ve learnt Carnatic music for many years,and still learning Hindustani light music,( In one of my upcoming post , i would luv to deal with these genres of music)and I am blessed with ears and brain which can enjoy any type of music without any prejudice,this particular quality of mine helped me in watching this programme,bcos many of the songs sung in this programme are very new to me ,i ve not heard them before and marathi lyrics used in these songs are very poetic ,and beyond the scope of my understanding ;).In spite of these shortcomings these little monsters have made me addicted to their scintillating performance.The names of this future stars are

1.Prathmesh laghate (13)-Born genius who breathes music & he is my favourite.specialist in classical music.Book ur tickets for his future programmes now.

2.Arya Ambekar(must be 12/13)-great voice,great hardwork.

3.Rohit Raut-great performer ,versatile singer .

4.karthiki gaekwad(9)-voice with a rural touch .Will excel in thumris/folk.

5.Mugdha vaishampayan(8)-Innocence and mastery together.

I am not writing this post to promote these kids or this programme.This post is an humble tribute to those amazing kids by a music buff who understands the difficulties in singing and who can appreciate the intricacies of music,and ofcourse still struggling to master this magnificient art.(and will try forever).

I am aware that still there are thousands of prodigies scattered all over the world whose talent is latent waiting to be tapped.As saint Tyagaraja's famous kirtanai
'Endaro mahanubhavulu ,andhariki vandanamu' says"This world has given birth to numerous great persons,My humble Salutations to all of them",I can only salute & admire these great musicians and thank the creator for bestowing such wonderful gifts to us! See U in next post!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Typical Indian Road Trip/Picnic

I start my first post with an Indian flavour..
Indians are always comfortable in groups( iam talking abt normal indians).It can be a group of friends or group of relatives. 
Picnic enthusiasm starts from the day u book ur tickets/resort and the fever increases and reaches the highest peak when there r only 2 days to go ,purchasing for the is the moment i enjoy the can be a faltu item like a comb,,,but sends a thrill in my nerves and if the group consists of enthusiastic members..then it is just go around the markets,buying disposable plates,cups,kurkures,wafers,cakes and ofcourse planning for yummy lunch packets .This phase is pre picnic fever.
My favourite travel food is Picnic Curd rice,my next post will deal with that recipe,bcos it requires a special skill to prepare Curd rice with such an interesting prefix.
If it is a big group ,naturally a vehicle will be hired to accomodate all the members,as no member or subgroup wishes to travel in his/their own vehicle., just for the happiness of travelling together.This paves the way for harrowing experiences of the picnic,mostly all such tourist vehicles have worst silencers which can damage a peacefully (?!) sleeping tourist's ears or a worst driver who can make all the passengers inside feel like riding in roller coaster while travelling on curvy,bumpy roads.Anyway a picnic needs a thrill quotient,so we can use this vehicle experience for that, right?..

Each group normally consists of various types of members..
1.Subtle-they just keep on smiling throughout the picnic observing various gala proceedings and they r solitude lovers.
2.Gossip mongers-love to gossip about persons who r absent in that gang(so give frequent visits to that area to avoid ur head being rolled)
3.Enthusiastic-these r the members who hold the spirit of picnic high throughout.
4.leave me alone type.
5.Non stop eaters- who start munching from the starting point to destination,munching can be stopped only if their bowel movements become mischievous.;)
Normally the tour starts with a loud chant from an enthusiast like "ganpati bappa moraya" or 'sainath maharaj ki jai"which echoes and reverberates in the air causing the atmosphere so electric.
As the vehicle zooms on the long roads with beautiful trees on the side,breeze blows on our face caressing us,settling down takes a little bit of time ,adjusting to the seats arrangement,..
after 2 hours a wayside dhaba is chosen for tea and smokers have a puff.,;) (sorry! health minister!),and again jumping into the bus,counting heads to ensure all r present, and the accelerator is on..
By this time ,some kid would have spilt one cup of water making atleast 2 seats messy :)..
mats,satranji/jamakkaalams r carried along and a beautiful location with lots of shade is a must for having lunch,Spreading the mats,having yummy food and just strolling around some alien land,where we may never return again gives a different feeling,bidding adieu to those trees,,again we jump into the bus..
One group starts playing cards,kids start jumping from one seat to another running amock in the bus,members like me prefer to have mobile siesta amidst chaos,jerks and bumps.
Evenings are beautiful while travelling,watching sunset through the windows when crimson sun plays hide and seek behind mountains and trees,watching the hue of distant sky changing ,
darkness creeps in,mountains and trees start appearing like big monsters,kids who were busy all the day start sleeping,One sudden voice( normally it is a besur(abhaswaram) voice ) disturbs the peace lovers by starting antakshari..of film connoiseurs !pl.keep away from this gang bcos there will be no music here but mixed sounds..;)..we should understand that the person who starts antkashari is terribly afraid on seeing this dark monsters outside and to hide their fear they ve started this ,but better don't reveal;-)this to them ,it may spoil the picnic spirit..
Now we have reached our destination ,band of 206 bones dancing for different types of rhythmic
jerks in travel lead to varieties of aches and body longs to throw itself on a cosy bed and pulling over the blanket ,body pains,,but heart starts longing for next trip...