Saturday, 4 July 2015

My shadow

You were my shadow.
Always following.
But, I didn’t give enough attention
For the sun shone brightly
Spreading warmth and happiness
Igniting love and blissfulness.

And, when the sunset
Slowly, darkness evaded
I realized my loneliness
I missed my shadow.
I looked around for a tiny ray of hope;

But, there was nothing around – only darkness!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

What is LOVE?

I
f you have watched Indian movies, most of them would have the same clichéd ending. The hero would be heartily loving the heroine. He would try to make the heroine understand his love. For that he would go to all the possible extremes – following her relentlessly and talking sweetly.... Showering her with love and son on.
But, the heroine would remain stubborn. She would never accept the proposal. Days would pass by. Most of the times, several months and years would also pass. The hero’s love would pass the test of time and the heroine continues to remain stubborn. Although, the hero’s determination and love would have won the heroine’s heart, she would never admit it – call it ego, uncertainty or even immaturity.

Then, either of the two scenarios would follow:
Scenario 1:
Heroine’s parents find a nice boy for the heroine. Or the heroine herself would fall in love with some other nicer boy. Their weddings will be fixed. On the day of wedding, heroine would realize that she is in love with the hero and breaks the wedding! Then, the hero and the heroine would live happily ever after; at least we assume so!

Scenario 2:
Hero would succumb to the parental pressure, friend’s advice and his own loneliness. He would finally decide to get married to another girl. It would have been a tough decision, yet he would have taken it for the sake of his “other” loved ones. The heroine would come to know about this and breaks into several figments. She would plead the hero to break the wedding and would also promise that she would never hurt him again - NEVER. Both of them cry in joy. They decide to marry. Then, the hero and the heroine would live happily ever after; at least we hope so!

Now tell me dear readers, what is this fuss all about? Why does the heroine (it can also be hero depending on the situations) not realize the love when there was ample time. Why did they want to complicate everything?  I fail to imagine how the “other” person to whom the hero/heroine is formally engaged would feel. What about his/her dreams and future? His/her family?

I always wonder what LOVE is.
Is it just an over-hyped four lettered word, I ask you.
Why does it complicate life? Kill the happiness and burn you in the fire of uncertainty?
On the other hand, why does it gift you with unbound happiness and make you feel blessed?

When love for parents, family and friends are a way of life – which adds colors to the canvas called life… the quest for the soul mate and falling in love with the right person in a romantic way… Commit to that person and build several branches of relationship calls for courage and much more.

When there are loving people, we take them for granted. We assume that they would stay like that forever. We believe that they would be there for us, no matter what! We never think about a possibility of that loved one leaving us, do we?

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

சூரியனே…

என் சூரியனே…

இப்பூமியை போல
நான் உன்னை சுற்றுகிறேன்!

இளவேனலாய்
என் வாழ்வில்
வண்ணங்களால் அலங்கறிக்கிறாய்.

முதுவெனலாய்
உன் நினைவுகளில்
காய்ந்துக் கரயச்செய்கிறாய்

கார்மேகமாய்
கனவுகள் ஊற்றி
மழையாய் நெஞ்சில் பொழிகிறாய்

குளிர்க்காற்றாய்
என் தேகமெங்கும்
முத்ததால் வருடுகிறாய்

பனித்துளியாய்
என் இதழ்களைத் தழுவி
செல்லறிக்கச் செய்கிறாய்
***
Translation
My Sunshine…

Like the Earth,
My life revolves around you.

Like the Spring
You decorate my life
With vibrant colors

Like the Summer
Your memories
Torments me all the time

Like the Monsoon
You shower many dreams
And drench me heart

Like the Autumn
You caress my body
With many-many kisses

Like the Winter
You brush my lips like the mist
And make me feel ecstatic!
***
PS: I really don’t know how much justice I have done to the translation though L



Sunday, 28 June 2015

Think Different!


Yes!
You can fill the Kolam with the Kolam powder itself…
No more need to wait for Rangoli!!!!

Think different! J

PS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.


Friday, 26 June 2015

In My Reveries!

Droplets of rain
Caress my heart

The smell of first rain
Soothes my mind

My flip-flop gets wet
And drenches my soul

My umbrella shields me from rain
Yet I dance in the rain – in my reveries!

PS: This poem is shared with Poets United

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Black & White Pictures






There is something magical about the black and white photos.
They let us paint the picture with the color of our choice in the back of our mind!
They give wings to our creativity and makes a painter out of us.



Monday, 22 June 2015

Theru Kolam Reloaded


Presenting yet another Theru Kolam..
By my ammaji J

PS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Tu Tu Mein Mein - 23

Heart  : I need time.
Mind    : Okay.
Heart  : Okay? Don’t even what to know for what?
Mind    : For what?
Heart  : See, you don’t even care for me. I can’t keep going on like this. You think that I am dumb. Insane. A crying-walking-complaining baby!
Mind    : I don’t understand what is it with you? What is suddenly wrong now?
Heart  : SUDDENLY WRONG? Everything is wrong. You don’t have time. And I want your time!
Mind    : What? I don’t have time? Am I not talking to you now? Or do you think that it is my ghost!
Heart  : You will never get it my boy!
Mind    : Same to you… Thank you and now **** you!
Heart  : (Weeping)
Mind    : (Sighing)

Saturday, 13 June 2015

#ComeCloser to Radiant Skin

Our mothers and grandparents are always a rich storehouse of information. They know everything from space, mythology, and politics to cooking and beauty tips. They are always well-informed and most of the times awe us.

As a teenager, when I was facing various skin problems like acne and pimples and later when I battled with tanning and dark circles, my mother always had natural tips for them. Most of the tips would contain ingredients that would be readily available in the kitchen.

Here are a few ingredients that could find in the kitchen… which also helps in natural skin care!

Honey
It acts as a natural antiseptic and antifungal. It also helps in preserving skin’s moisture. Dab a bit over broken facial acne to speed the repair process.  Apply honey on burns as soon as possible. It will prevent the creation of burn marks.

Gram Flour
The most famous ingredient in traditional beauty care. It helps in deep cleansing and exfoliation of the skin.  It also helps in removing tans.
ü  Mix it with yogurt, lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric or mix ground almonds with gram flour, milk and lemon juice. Apply it on the face and wash off after 20 to 30 minutes. It helps to remove tan and lighten skin color.
ü  For oily skin, mix it with yogurt and apply. Wash it off after 20 minutes.

ü  For pimple prone skin, mix it with sandalwood paste, turmeric and milk to make it into a paste. Apply on the face and wash it off after 20 minutes.

Curd
Curd acts as a moisturizer. It fights acne, reduces discoloration of skin, prevents premature aging and provides relief from sun burns.

Mix gram flour and turmeric with curd and apply on face for a naturally glowing skin!

Turmeric
A natural anti-septic. It reduces discoloration of skin and post-acne scarring. It also helps in fighting facial hair!

Mix it with just enough lime juice to make a medium-thickness paste, and dab onto discoloured skin only. Leave on for about 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. The area treated may take on a temporary yellow tint that should fade with another washing or two.

Salt/Sugar
Both salt and sugar are a great healing agents.
ü  Make a thick paste out of sea salt and honey, and place it on stubborn acne. Though it stings a little, it works really well to get rid of those unwanted spots.
ü  Mix it with some gram flour and rose water and use it as a scrub on your face to get rid of dead and dry skin.

ü  Another way to use it is to mix honey and sugar together to use as a great (and yummy) lip exfoliator.

So, get-set-go to the kitchen and start treating your skin with natural products for a naturally glowing skin!

PS: Written as a part of #ComeCloser to Radiant Skin hosted by VICCO Turmeric J

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Dil Dhadakne Do

Cast
:
Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah
Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh
Anushka Sharma, Rahul Bose
Director
:
Zoya Akhtar
Music
:
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Producer
:
Junglee Pictures
Excel Entertainment
Release Date
:
June 05, 2015
Length
:
2 Hours & 50 Minutes
Language
:
Hindi

My Thoughts
Human beings live to please others. They fake their emotions and hide their feelings. In the process, they forget what they are. Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do is all about this – how we fake and try to please others!

The story is narrated from the viewpoint of Pluto (voice rendered by Aamir Khan) – Mehra family’s pet dog. Mehra family comprises of Kamal Mehra (Anil Kapoor) who is proud about his rags to riches story… Neelam (Shefali Shah) who is socialite and projects herself as an ideal life, although she is suffering in the marriage… Ayesha (Priyanka Chopra), a self-made entrepreneur who longs for an identity free from her father and husband… Kabir (Ranveer Singh) who knows is a misfit in the corporate world and has dreams about flying planes. The Mehra’s decide to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary with their extended family and friends in a cruise. What happens when they come together is nicely packed in a 170 minutes movie.

Ayesha is self-made and ambitious. Yet, she submits herself to male domination. She struggles with dual personality – one which is bold and independent, the other very submissive and insecure. She depicts the state of today’s women, where they are free and independent of course, but only to the extent granted by her family. Priyanka Chopra subtly enacts Ayesha’s plights and uncertainties.

Kabir is not a spoilt brat. Instead he has a dream and wishes to chase it. But, he is tied by the parental bondage and forced to take up something in which he is not interested. Ranveer Singh, as always, steals the show with his mannerisms and expressions. He proves that he is an actor par excellence.

Anil Kapoor plays his part as an authoritative and dominating father. Shefali Shah, on the other hand, scores with her silence and attitude. Anushka Sharma as Farah Ali, a carefree dancer, doesn’t enjoy scene space. But, she indeed comes across as a self-assured and no-nonsense girl. Farhan Akhtar as Sunny is rational and matured. Rahul Bose as Ayesha’s husband has typical Indian male’s mindset.

The story might be about rich people who decide to tour across countries in a cruise. But, the essence it conveys is the need for communication, understanding, sharing, love and care. It says that once you are face to face with people you love, always try to communicate and never hide your feelings. The dialogs written by Farhan Akhtar depicts the mindset of people and the way we think. Javed Akhtar (who has penned the Pluto’s dialogs) hints the paradox. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s background music blends with the scenes; their peppy songs are nicely choreographed. Cinematography adds to the richness and makes the cruise, places and people look royal.

In short, the movie is a treat. The dialogs makes you nod and think. The characters clad in designer clothes are very relatable. The only mismatch is the climax which is very dramatic.

Let the heartbeat. Don’t miss it!

Rating
4/5


Friday, 5 June 2015

Dear News Channels

Dear News channels,

Our office cafeteria has a huge LED television and they dutifully play English news in it. So, throughout my luncheon and later during snacks, my hungry eyes would be looking at it to know what is making the news. Most of my colleagues would be discussing the news as well. However, the ardent observer within me and the keen eyes has also noticed something else. You always broadcast the same news over and over. You don’t care if something is really relevant or not. You also don’t care if they make any sense. If you think that one piece of news could create ripples, you will tirelessly (read mindlessly) play it again and again. You start testing our patience level. It would reach to such heights that there would be only one option left – either to switch off the idiot box or just walk away from it.

Some days before, you covered a news where a traffic cop was throwing stone at some woman. The news informed that the woman was innocent and the cop was unnecessarily hitting that woman. There was no background to the news or no effort to state the facts. The same video continued to be played and the same news bulletins flashed. Thank God that we can’t hear the news due to crowd. Else, I would have to endure that too.

I can never forget that day when everyone (read as news channels) awaited for actor Salman Khan’s verdict for the hit and run case. Since morning, there were news only about that. Salman Khan has reached the court. Judge has reached. Tweets of celebrities. As a cherry on the cake, you welcomed our thoughts too. There were some rich spoiled celebrities saying that such accident happened not because Salman Khan was drunk but because the poor people slept on the road! My smart phone always popped up news updates (only Salman Khan News though) throughout the day. I sighed with relief when a bulletin in my smart phone flashed announcing that Salman Khan has got the bail and left to his home!

Soon came news of Amma aka Ms Jayalalitha getting bail… Honorable Prime Minister’s achievements over the past 365 days and so on.

This week, you are obsessed with the Maggi Muddle. You are more worried about the celebrities who endorsed it than the trouble per se. Courts are seeking explanations from them and have declared that Maggi is neither safe nor good for health.

Okay, now you would be wondering what I am blabbering? What point am I trying to drive? You might also wonder if I have become like you, aimless news channels, who care only about TRP, because about such topics would attract more viewers and comments.

Before, such questions fog your thoughts, let me clear the air.

I want to know where we are heading. What happened to the moral responsibility and ethical values of news channels? Do you care only about TRP? Are you politically skewed? If yes, then why do you lie that you are the voice of general public?

I want to know what is the big deal about the movie stars. I am not against them and you have no clue what a movie buff I am. I respect them and thank them for entertaining us. I also like to know what is happening in their lives, who is dating who and stuffs. I like to also see who wore what to Cannes and who won Filmfare. And, it ends there. They are not God. They are human beings. They can also err. They should be treated as normal human beings.

In the Maggi case, emphasis must be given to what made Maggi unsafe. How they discovered it. What are the other food items that are not safe anymore? You must try to bring awareness among the general public. Blaming the celebrities for endorsing that product or repeatedly showing the same ad is not going to solve the issue. It would only tempt me to take a 2 minutes break and have Maggi.

Similarly, I don’t care if Salman Khan has reached his home safely or not after hearing the verdict. I don’t want to know if he broke down or how the producers of his forthcoming movies reacted. Rather, I would like to know what steps can be taken to ensure that every Indian has a shelter to rest at the end of the day. I would like to know ONLY that.

I also don’t want to know if a cop hit a woman or if it was the other way round. But, I would love to know the rights duties and responsibilities of both the police officers and general public. I would like to be told that we must co-exist.

To conclude, my dear news channels, please broadcast quality news. Awaken the nation. Create awareness. Educate and empower. It would bring more TRP than you could ever imagine.

Yours faithfully,

Common Man

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Cast
:
R. Madhavan, Kangana Ranaut
Jimmy Shergill, Swara Bhaskar
Deepak Dobriyal
Director
:
Anand L Rai
Music
:
Krsna Solo, Tanishk-Vayu
Producer
:
Colour Yellow Pictures
Release Date
:
May 22, 2015
Length
:
2 Hours
Language
:
Hindi

My Thoughts
Before booking my tickets to watch Tanu Weds Manu Returns, I watched Tanu Weds Manu (Part I) again. As that movie ended in a happy note where a matured and normal natured Manu marries a confused and full of life Tanu. I wondered how their life would be after marriage. I wanted to know if they could get along well. In fact, this question always comes into my mind when I see happy endings where hero and heroine either get married or fall in mutual love at the end of the movie. For example, an illiterate/rowdy hero and a good looking/well-educated heroine unite. When Tanu Weds Manu Returns promised to deliver their post-marriage life, I was excited like never before.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns starts with the wedding of Tanu and Manu, as a continuation to where its prequel ended. We see happiness and smiles. Soon, four years later, we see that they have fallen out of their initial excitement. The fairy tale has ended, we realize. Soon, counselling sessions and the final break-up follow. Will Tanu and Manu mend with each other or do they decide to live their rest of their lives in their way forms part of the sequel.

The screenplay shuttles between Tanu’s and Manu’s life after their break-up. It also closely shows how their family and friends respond to this estrangement. The dialogs are witty and Pappi’s (Deepak Dobriyal) reactions will take you to a laugh riot.  Kangana Ranaut plays a dual role – as the exuberant, careless and immature Tanu who dresses up impeccably and as Kusum aka Dutto, a state level athlete who is matured, rational and knows what she is doing. They are two contrasts and Kangana has managed to deliver it with perfection. Both the characters shines – thanks to her realistic acting. Madhavan as Manu continues to talk less. The assertiveness we saw in the prequel is missing and he comes across as a 40 years old confused and uncertain person.
The songs are rightly placed and the cinematography infuses realism. Background music blends with the story. With a length of just 2 hours, the movie never bores you. If Kangana’s acting strikes you with realism, Deepak’s amazing coming timing would make you laugh even long after the movie is over.

Don’t miss to attend the wedding!

Rating
4/5


PS: My dear Madhavan, are you really 45 years old? You still carry that Alaipayuthe charm man! And I still love you J

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A Butterfly Kolam


My mother never fails to awe me.
This Kolam is one of the many reasons.
So…
Ammaji, I feel jealous of you.
I still struggle to put dots in a straight line L

PS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

A Perfect Round Kolam


Nope!
I didn’t draw this…
This was made by my neighbors for the New Year – In front of our temple.
Hope you like it J
I know… Its April already. But, my blog hardly gives me slots on time.
It’s like actor Ranbeer Kapoor: P

PS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.


Saturday, 30 May 2015

Family Bonds...

T
oday’s generation grows up with an unspoken craving; longing for a big fat family. Most of us are born and brought up in a nuclear family. We lead in such a micro atmosphere that even a sibling becomes luxury. Generally, it is always parents and the child. The single child is born alone and continues to live as a loner.

On the other hand, most of our parents have siblings and are in constant contact with cousins. We have several aunts and uncles. Also, many-many cousins and extended families. While we remain closer to the aunts and uncles, it is a rarity to be closer with cousins. The vacuum of not having a sibling and the inability to build relationship with extended family is the biggest turmoil of today’s generation.

Being an ardent observer myself, I have noted that blood relationships are magical. They bind people with an invisible chord and keep them hooked forever. They have childhood stories to share and never feel embarrass in each other’s presence. They might not meet often or talk often. But, the way they think remain the same. They might be physically separated and geographically scattered, but they will be connected at heart.

My father and his sister are miles away, meets and talks occasionally. But, they react and respond in the same way. A friend and his brother who have lived separately since childhood because the older one was away for studies, talks in the same tone. Same is the case with another friend and his sister. They like the same songs and respond in the same way although they have not been together for a long time.

When I see my parents or friends who have siblings, I feel very jealous. Those are the times when the reality hits me – I am alone! I feel sad that I have no one and there will be no one for my children. Unless I try to build some relationship with my cousins, there will be no extended family for my children and no one to share fun stories with in my old-age!

A couple of years ago, a family get together was planned. A cousin was returning from the USA after a good five years. In the interim, he missed several family weddings and functions. We also equally missed him in those occasions. So, everyone was excited about this rare occasion.

But, I was skeptical. I was worried. I have always met them on family functions and it had been easy to kill time – watching the rituals and participating in it. But, such a get together sounded strange. I wondered what I would. I was scared that I would be left alone and would be bored. I didn’t know what to talk and with whom.

However, when I met them all, I felt like we have been together forever. We talked as if there has been no gap. I knew that I was thinking rubbish and worrying unnecessarily. I have a big family too, I realized. I understood that they will stick with me in my thick and thin and I felt less lonely thereafter!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Join the Dots!


When lines are joined together
They make turns into brilliant forms.
It sounds simple, isn’t it? Although they look complicated?
Isn’t life similar to it?
Life as such looks complicated.
But, living is so easy. Its only breathing!

PS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.