Monday, December 14, 2009

Updates as on 14th December,2009

I was watching a program about Tiger Woods yesterday. Felt sorry about the fallen iconhood. But the fact that he is a golf genius does not change and I respect him for that.


Tunga's school activities have been keeping me busy. I have been so engaged in them that I have forgot to make plans for myself.:) yet absolutely no regrets. After all, this is why I turned into a full time mom.:)


Discovered a library near by. Yippeeeeeeee! will be able to resume my reading habit soon.:)


Bro will be leaving to states soon. Definitely gonna miss him but I know that he will find his happiness in the fulfilment of his dreams. Gud luck to him.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tweet! Tweet!

It has been a month since I was introduced to the twitter world. It has been an interesting journey so far except that I really don't have anything interesting to tweet everyday. But I have been following lot of celebrity twitters and that has been interesting so far, especially Chetan Bhagat's tweets.

This thing called twitter is definitely a powerful tool if used in the right way. Somewhere I feel it is more effective than a blog. Why do I say so? Not many of them would have the patience to sit and read the whole post in a blog but a well thought short tweet can capture lots of attention ( ask Shashi Tharoor!) Who knows, tomorrow the tweets may become the basic code of communication!

But for me,I still need to tweet more and for that I need to make my life interesting. Oops! my daughter almost jumped on the laptop and now she is busy jumping on me( ah! the life of a toddler's mom) and here I was thinking of becoming a famous intellectual twitter!!!!May be I can kick off a new application for all moms and what shall I call it???? Did you say toddler???

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When my friend gifted me "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini, I was not very sure if I would read that book. It looked like very serious stuff and did not interest me enough to actually open the book. After some days, I was looking around for a new book to read and found this orphaned on my book shelf. I finally decided to give a try and started reading it. And trust me, I just could not keep it down until I finished it. It was a very different story. I had not read anything like it before. Anyway, I would wanna talk about it in a different post altogether.

A couple of weeks back, I had heard that Khaled Hosseini's new book "A Thousand Splendid Suns" had arrived.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nodi Swamy Naavirode Heege

I remember watching him in "Nodi Swami Naaveerode Heege" and I liked him so much, especially in the title song. Even today I can sit and watch that song again and again. There was something special about him. He did not belong to the intense actors' calibre like his elder brother yet he captured the masses so well that he is remembered the most by the common man. Most of you must have guessed his name already. yep, I am talking about THE "Shankar Nag".

I have been a movie freak since my early childhood. So I was and am very knowledgable when it comes to movies.;) Anyways, I was in higher primary school when I heard of his accidental death. I felt so bad that I almost cried. That incident lingered in mind for a long time. I would watch all his movies on TV with more interest. At that age, I could just relate myself with his acting. But as I grew up, I started appreciating his directorial ventures too, especially Malgudi Days. I think that was one of his ambitious projects and I must say that he really brought R.K.Narayan's characters into life once again.

Why did think of him once again? The photo of Arundati Nag and Manjunath inaugarating the stamp of R.K.Narayan pushed me onto the memory lane. Both of them have been associated closely with Shankar Nag.

Arundhati Nag and Shankar Nag were one of the ideal couples of the industry. Both of them had the background of theatre and they probably had similar ambitions. It was a pleasure to watch them together. I have always admired Arundhati Nag for her courage and determination. This I saw when she went ahead in spite of difficulties and built "Ranga Shankara". Her efforts have paid off very well as Ranga Shankara is almost a synonym for theatre in Bangalore now a days.Kudos to the brave lady.

Manjunath, better known as Master Manjunath or Swamy from Malgudi Days, was an integral part of Shankar Nag's movies. They brought so much life to the movie whenever they starred together and they almost looked like a real father son duo. After Shankar Nag's demise, I don't think Manjunath regained the glory.

Shankar Nag has always been missed by the masses. Even today, once can see his photos on most of the autorickshaws in Bangalore. Even today, when the name of Sangliana is mentioned, the face of Shankar Nag appears first as he played the reel life hero onscreen. The songs from his movies, especially the ones from "Geetha" are played again and again in the request sections. Well, that is the greatness of art, isn't it? It defies the law of mortality very easily.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Now a days, there is one thing that I really enjoy doing. And that is - watching my daughter, Tunga, eat an ice cream.:) It has been almost one year now since she discovered ice cream. Every time we go to a restaurant, she looks forward to eating it. And probably it is the only thing that she expects to eat outside.

As we enter the restaurant, she gets restless and keeps uttering "ice ceam" in her own accent. And then as the ice cream arrives, she is ready with the spoon and the bib around her. With immense concentration, she starts gulping down the ice cream. She does not respond to any of our queries as she is busy getting the spoonfuls of that delicious ice cream.

It is interesting to note that she rarely spills any of that ice cream. I feel very surprised abt that coz she is a budding eater yet.( ;) ) Usually whenever she eats anything by herself, it is such a big mess. But, in case of ice cream, it is just the opposite. I think she eats it beautifully without spilling a drop.:) Her nose and lips are smeared with ice cream and then she utters one word inaudibly " YUMMMMYYYYYYY". :) And that makes my day.:)

And by the way, if you are feeling very depressed and if there is no child at your place, just go to an ice cream parlour and watch a child relish it. It is such an YUMMY sight and if possible why don't you try to do the same?:)

Monday, September 21, 2009

To al those nameless faces

Do you remember all your classmates and friends from your primary school, high school, college days? Do you have remember all your ex-colleagues? Do you remember your neighbours who lived in your old neighbourhoods? Do you remember those people whom we came across in our journey of life all this time? And even if you do remember all of them, do you recollect all their names?

There have been many people who might not have occupied specific spaces in our lives. They might be the ones whose faces you recollect but not their names. Yet, they leave long lasting impressions on your minds somewhere.

This has happened with me many a times. I remember many faces whose small kind gestures, infectious smiles, hilarious acts, exceptional talents and unique characters have lasted in my mind forever. My java class mates, my neighbours in Tumkur, the auto grandpa, my school aayah, the nurses in the hospital, the not-so-naughty classmate- I try hard to recall all their names in vain. But yes, I do remember the faces very well. I am sure my life's journey would not be the same without those faces. I have wondered some times if I should have stayed in contact with many of them. But then, probably they were destined to be short-term visitors in my life.

If I happened to meet them in future sometime, then I am sure I would be elated. But I am not sure if all of them would remember me. Anyways, as mentioned before I am glad that they were all part of my life. I have definitely learnt something or the other from them. And I have always wanted to dedicate a post to all those faces with no names and thank them. This is it.:)

Friday, September 04, 2009

You have mail

I open my mail box eagerly to see if I have any new mail. Yep, there are many new mails in my inbox. I am ecstatic but all my exhilaration comes down when I see that those new mails are either ads or from mailing lists. Well, my inbox was not like this before. One would see plenty of mails from the huge network of friends of mine in my inbox, even though most of them were forwarded mails.:) and in turn, I would enjoy forwarding them to others.

So I sit to analyse the situation. Of course, the main change that has come about now is that I am a full-time stay-at-home mom and my whole day is centred around my kid. Obviously , I have not kept in touch with lot of my pals. And even if I am in touch with them, it is mainly through phone calls. Well, there goes my analysis. Hmmm, so I need to get in touch with all my pals and request them to flood my inbox with their mails ( ok, atleast forwards). So here I go, to begin working for the "YOU HAVE MAIL" message.:)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Today I had been to a grocery shop with my daughter. Of course, the terror of "H1N1" has been spreading at a rapid pace. So I have been receiving lot of advice about trying to avoid all possible public places. But somehow, I feel very guilty if I do not take Tunga on her regular trips to her favorite park. So no matter what, we usually make our evening trip to the park.

Sorry for that diversion in the topic. So both of us had been to a grocery store near the park. Because of "H1N1", now a days it is not unusual to see people in masks. I noticed a couple of kids in masks in the store. From their tone, I recognized them to be a bro and a sis duo. They had their masks on and they also wore gloves. And then, I saw their mother. The sight somewhat shocked me. The "mother" did not seem to be from a well off family. Her blouse was torn and she had draped a saree with half-faded design. Her hands were not the cleanest and her hair was ruffled. She kept checking on her kids' masks and ensured now and then that they had them on correctly. She did not have a mask or a pair of gloves herself.

No, I donno if those masks and gloves were given to those kids by the school or if she spent her savings on them. But I found the whole scenario very touching.

There were two points in that whole situation that got my attention.

- When it comes to selflessness, no one can reach the zenith of a "mother".

- The panic and the terror "H1N1" has been creating everywhere. Lot of credit for this should go to our news channels. Thank God, these channels were not there when plague was around. Else the whole of the population would have fallen sick not because of plague itself but by panic. I really wish our journalists, especially TV journalists would focus on the number of people who are getting cured and going home safe.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Come, let us go to school:)

The tiny tot slept peacefully on my hands. She fitted in there perfectly. And at that moment, I thought that time had stood still. But obviously that did not happen. Today it was her first day at play school.:)

My tiny tot turned two a couple of months ago. At that time, I managed to read an ad about a play group. When I inquired about it, I found out that it was actually a playschool and that the kids were supposed to be in the school for two and a half hours. Somehow we could not convince ourselves that Tunga was ready for it. So we decided to postpone her school life.

But as days passed, I observed her wanting to meet kids of her age. I also observed that she grew restless especially during mornings. The fact was that she was ready for the school but we parents weren't ready yet.:)

So after a lot of thinking and talking, we finally decided to put her into a playschool. And guess what? She refused to come back home on the first day of the school. :) All of us expected her to cry on leaving her in the school. Instead she waved "tata" happily while I put on a sad face.:)

It has been a week now and she has been enjoying her school life thoroughly. Glad that we took the right decision at the right time.:)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Book Time -2

Well, I have finished reading "Paths of glory" by Jeffrey Archer. I found it interesting even though it may not be called a typical Jeffrey Archer's book. But the insight to the life of a mountaineer definitely forms a good plot and keeps you hooked to the book. I think you will like it more if mountaineering interests you.

I have started reading "Every Second Counts" by Lance Armstrong. This man never ceases to inspire me. As I am reading through the book, his life seems extraordinary. Of course, I brought this book mainly because i had like his first book "Its not about my bike" a lot. I think the sequel to it is also worth reading. I have to acknowledge that his books and of course his life transmits lot of positive energy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It is book time now!

Every now and then , as life becomes very routine-like, I start craving for new books, new hobbies and new songs. Since a long time, I had been reading the reviews of "Paths of Glory" by Jeffrey Archer. I have always been a great fan of his books. So I wanted to get my hands on his latest book.

Finally, yesterday I got an opportunity to buy it. And while I was there, two more books caught my attention - " The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga and "Every Second Counts" by Lance Armstrong. I could not resist myself from buying them.

Now that I have all these interesting books in front of me, it is hard to do anything else. So catch you all soon after I finish atleast one of them.:)

Friday, June 26, 2009

A farewell to the king

Honestly, I was actually looking forward to the world tour that Michael Jackson was about to begin. So today's news that MJ is no more, came as a shock.

I have always been a fan of MJ's talent. As a person, I always thought that he was a very insecure, eccentric and weird. But as an artist, I think he was the greatest performer ever. His music and dance never ceased to amaze me. His music was very lively and foot tapping. Even though he was known for his fast numbers, I always liked his slow ones more. His " You are not alone", "Dangerous", "Thriller", "Beat it" and so many other hits of his are evergreen numbers and I am sure our future generations too will enjoy his performance.

Of course, his dance has been a great inspiration to lot of artists- be it the performing singers and dancers. The concept of stage performance by singers probably was initiated by MJ. He nurtured his talent amidst all the controversies. Donno how many of them were true and how many were actually created to make him famous.

Whatever it is, MJ was a and is always the king of pop. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest artists that the world ever saw.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Whom does your baby look like?

For all you to-be mums, I wanted to share something with you.

There is gonna be one important debate once your baby is born. No, no, it will not be about the name. I am sure you or your hubby or both of you would have decided about it. The main topic for the debate will be " Whom does your baby look like?". :)

The discussion on this never-ending topic is gonna start from the day one. Even before the baby gets accustomed to the outside light, the guessing and the assessing game begins. Some will say - "She looks like her father (or mother which depends)". Some will say -"She looks like her father only ( or mother only- again that depends)." And after every such assessment, they will look at you- no, no, not for approval but for your reaction. Nah, nah, never join them in this debate. You are better off as audience in this debate. So just nod your head and smile.:)

Believe it or not, I never knew that this issue could actually be debated upon. Even today I do not know whom do I exactly look like. Some say I look like my dad and some say I look like my mom. I think I have both their features in me. And I really don't care about it.:)

Anyways, after listening to all the debate around me, I look at my daughter and silently wish for her to have all the positive points from all of us. I wish for her to be just like herself- just her.:))

Monday, May 11, 2009

Where are they?

Do u remember the refreshing songs of "Tere Mere Sapne" or the chart busters of "Gupt"? Of course, can u ever forget the famous number "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast"? For your information, all these hit songs were given by the talented music director - Viju Shah. After all those hits, one would think that he is a very busy man. But I have not heard his music at all in the recent times. Where has he disappeared?


He is good at music direction as well as singing. His music in films like " Kaante", "Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hai", "Masti", "Pardesi Babu" nad the recent " Dus Kahaniyan" rocked the charts for some time. His rendition of "Dil De Diya Hai" from "Masti" is a treat to music lovers. Being such talented musician, I don't think he has been given due credit for the talent he has. Definitely I would like to hear more of him.


The creators of "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak", "Vansh", " Hero No.1", "Beta" and "Dil" - Anand Milind- are nowhere to be seen.


The one film wonder guys- Sanjeev Darshan - who gave music to "Mann" do not appear even on Page 3.


The creator of the soul touching music in "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" and "Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya" and of course "Devdas" - Ismail Darbar- seems to be busy in judging music competitions now a days. Is he also planning to take up acting like his buddy "Himmesh Reshammiya"? I really wish Himmesh would get back to directing music because that is what he knows the best.


For some, fame is so short lived. The above music directors are so talented and creative but their popularity periods have been so small or broken. Rahman definitely needs more competition, especially after the Oscar ( I am a big Rahman fan too). So come on, guys, blow off that dust and tune yourselves so that we music lovers get to enjoy a wide variety of music.:)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Notes from home

Finally we are back to "Namma Bengaluru". Ah, home, sweet home! Nothing can beat that feeling of coming home.:)

I have been very busy since I came here. Lot of "to-do" things on my list. Donno if I can complete all the tasks on my list. On the blog front, I still have to write a post on our stay at Sydney.

Sometimes, the commitments made to ourselves are tougher than those made to others. Sometimes, it is difficult to live upto one's own expectations. Hmmm, lot of work to be done. But, this time I will not disappear from the blogging world coz I have made a commitment to blog as frequently as possible.:) Let us wait and see.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wise words

There are times in our lives when too many voices seem to be pulling us this way and that. Our very confusion in such situations is a reminder to seek silence and centering within. Only then are we able to hear our truth.

Zen, or meditation, is the method which will help you to go through the chaos, through the dark night of the soul, balanced, disciplined, alert. The dawn is not far away, but before you can reach the dawn, the dark night has to be passed through. And as the dawn comes closer, the night will become darker.



Many times I have been in the jaws of death, starving, footsore, and weary; for days and days I had no food, and often could walk no further; I would sink down under a tree, and life would seem to be ebbing away. I could not speak, I could scarcely think, but at last the mind reverted to the idea: "I have no fear nor death; never was I born, never did I die; I never hunger or thirst. I am It! I am It! The whole of nature cannot crush me; it is my servant. Assert thy strength, thou Lord of lords and God of gods! Regain thy lost empire! Arise and walk and stop not!" And I would rise up, reinvigorated; and here I am today, living! Thus, whenever darkness comes, assert the reality and everything adverse must vanish. For after all, it is but a dream. Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Maya. Fear not, and it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Friday, April 03, 2009

My Stay in Australia - Melbourne

A month ago, we shifted from Melbourne to Sydney. And next week, we are going back home i.e. Namma Bengaluru.:)

The experience of visiting this country has been awesome. I might not have been able to put all of that in writing yet, but at least I wanna draw an outline of the cities where we stayed.

So lemme start with Melbourne.

When we came to Melbourne from India, I was both excited and nervous. This would be my first stay abroad. Before this, I had been to San Francisco for about three weeks. So I felt like a novice when we landed at Melbourne. I had travelled with my 1year old daughter and that travel itself had taught me a lot.

We found a small, furnished apartment at South Yarra. Furnished because we did not intend to stay here permanently. But then if you want a furnished apartment, you will have to shell out more for the rent. So with that high rent, we could afford a small place.

Initially, I had to keep my eyes and ears open all the time. I felt so raw and inexperienced. I felt as if I was almost in the same stage as my daughter in learning new things.:) I struggled to open the lock of the main door, struggled with the cooking on electric stove, and so on. But as days progressed, I got very comfortable with everything around me. Just to familiarize myself with the area and the people, I would put Tunga on the pram and roam alone. I would go to different streets everyday and window shop. I became
so familiar with my surroundings that I was actually able to give directions to others on how to go about in that area.:)

My daughter and myself made friends with the park and library respectively. Everyday we would visit them atleast once. I think I made the best use of the library. I borrowed lot of books and DVDs of english movies. I watched one English movie daily and I must honestly admit that I had never seen so many of them in India.:) My daughter, Tunga, learned to slide and swing in the park. It was here that her personality was initiated. It was here that she made her first friend.:) There used to be a possum that visited our compound after dark very night. Since we don't get to see it in India, we found it very fascinating. My daughter especially used to wait eagerly for the possum's visit.:)

Every weekend, we would set out to explore a new place ( besides visiting Safeway, Coles and Indian stores:)). We must say that we covered a lot of places because of our weekend explorations.

Hmm, lemme try to put some of the places that we explored in a list. It might help you if you are visiting Melbourne some time.

- Philip Island
- Melbourne Aquarium
- Werribee Open Range Zoo
- Bucchan Caves
- Mornington Peninsula
- Arthur Seat
- Cardinia Reservoir
- Great Ocean Road
- Ballarat
- Dandenong Ranges
- Melbourne CBD
- Chapell Street
- St.Kilda Beach
- Brighton Beach

Of course, except the aquarium, the rest of them are in the surrounding areas of Melbourne. It definitely helps if you have your own vehicle. We enjoyed a lot visiting all those places. Definitely, Australia is a beautiful country and there is no doubt about that.:)

After seven months of our stay at Melbourne, we had to shift to Sydney. We had made very good friends at Melbourne. So that included and our attachment to the place where we stayed and the library and the park, our hearts were a bit heavy when we left Melbourne. But then, we were happy and grateful for the opportunity given for being able to stay in such a beautiful place for some time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where do I get inspiration from?

I just wanted to try listing out some things that inspire me always:

* Great comebacks: They never cease to inspire me. Kumar Gandharva, Lance Armstrong
or all those sportstars who come back and win the game - these are just a
few names. There are lots of them out there who have emerged as
winners in spite of huge setbacks in life. They are may real life heroes.

*Great piece of music: Any calibre of music (be it western, classical, filmi or pop)
that appeals to me is always a great source of inspiration. That can vary from
Bhimsen Joshi's Lalit Bhatiyaar to R.Kelly's I BELIEVE I CAN FLY to
Kal Ho Na Ho title song to Shaan's BHOOL JA to Anup Jalota's
AISI LAAGI LAGAN.:) Sometimes the lyrics and the other times,
the tunes continue to brighten up my life.

*Books: Autobiographies or biographies, some self help books and spiritual books have
inspired me many a times. When I mean self help books, they are not all of them
that are available in the market. For me, authors like Norman Vincent Peale,
Robert Schuller, gurus from Ramakrishna Ashram, Osho, Robin Sharma have been
effective. And of course, any book of Swami Vivekananda is an energy booster for me.

*Movies: Well, not all of them:) But there have been some movies that have inspired me so much. To name a few - Life is Beautiful, Jerry Maguire, The Legend of Bhagat Singh,Taare Zameen Par, Sarfarosh, Bangarada Manushya and so on.

*Physically or mentally challenged people: Man, they rock! What determination and
enthusiasm these people have! I am amazed!
Hats off to them!

*Our jawans: They spend their precious moments protecting their country. They sacrifice their lives so selflessly for those people whom they do not even know. Their bravery never ceases to inspire me. Salute to all those bravehearts.:)

*Our National Anthem: I feel so awakened and alive whenever it is played. A dash of patriotism rushes through my veins wherever I hear it. Stupendous feeling!

*A prayer: Sitting in front of an idol/photo of my favorite deity and reciting a shloka inspires and encourages me on all bad days especially.:)

*A cup of tea: Ah! the joy of sipping hot cup of tea! I feel so refreshed and active with my cup of tea and I just can't do without it.:)

*My near and dear ones who always continue to inspire me with their day-to-day activities and of course, their selfless love for me.:)

*Nature: Of course, the nature around me is one of the greatest sources of inspiration to me. It brings in lot of energy into my life.

That might not be all but I think I have listed the main ones. Hmm...that helps.:)

Monday, March 09, 2009


I had borrowed "Agastya", written by Prof. K.S.Narayanacharya in Kannada, from a cousin of mine. I wanted to read it out of sheer curiosity. I had not heard about this book from anyone. I had read an Amar Chitra Katha about Agastya long back. I had really liked it then. So probably that inspired me to start reading "Agastya".

Initially I thought that I might not complete the whole book coz it looked like there were lot of Sanskrit verses that probably I would not be able to follow. So I began reading it half heartedly. And then, I just could not keep the book down till I finished it. It took a couple of days for me to finish it. The book kept me so interested that I visualized the characters of the books and dreamt about them too for two days.:)

For those of you who do not know, Agastya was a renowned Hindu rishi (sage). He is known for the creation of some of the famous shlokas like Aditya Hrudayam ( Agastya taught this to Rama during his war with Ravana). Stopping the growth of the Vindya mountains, drinking the entire ocean were some of his famous feats.

During the time of Vishnusharma Agastya who is popularly known as Agastya, the demons had started torturing the sages and their families. There were no strong kings at that time to protect these sages. So from the time of Agastya's father, their ashram not only taught vedas but also self defence techniques like horse riding, use of weapons, organization of the army and so on. ( I absolutely did not know that all these were taught at the ashram.)

The main threat to peace was Ilvala, one of the demon kings of the dravidian region. He had a brother -Vathapi. Ilvala had become more powerful after learning "mritasanjeevani" from his guru, Shukracharya.

Lopamudra, princess of Vidharbha, married Agastya as per the wish of Agastya's father. She had to wait for a long time for Agastya as he was busy integrating the kingdoms in India against the rakshasas. He travelled all over India trying to induce confidence and strength among the kings.

At this time, Vindhya wanted to be as famous and taller than Himavanta ( Himalaya). So he started growing indefinitely. To stop this, Agastya requested Vindhya to give way to him to travel the southern India. He asked Vindhya to lie down till he came back. Assuming that Agastya would come back, Vindhya did as told. But Agastya never went back. he settled on the banks of Kaveri river.

One day, Ilvala invited Agastya for a lunch at his place. He transformed his brother into goat and used his flesh to serve Agastya for lunch. Ilvala had planned this so he could use his Mritasanjeevani technique. According to his plan, after Agastya would finish his lunch, he would chant a mantra and Vatapi would come out thus killing Agastya. Agastya knew Ilvala's plan. He first converted everything that was served into vegetarian. And as soon as he finished his lunch, he uttered " Vathapi jeerno bhava" that meant Vathapi should be digested completely. Hence Ilvala's magic did not work and Vathapi died. Agastya then killed Ilvala, thus putting an end to the reign of a powerful Asura ( demon).

After Ilvala's death, lot of rakshasa took refuge in the ocean. Hence Agastya drank the whole ocean so that they could be brought out and punished by the Devathas ( angels). Before Rama slayed Ravana in the battlefield, Agastya appeared there and taught "Aditya Hrudaya "stotra.

All those above stories take us into a different world, don't they? :) The beauty with which the respected author has narrated the tale of Agastya ensures that you are not bored at any point of time. In fact, when you finish the book, you would have learnt some new things about the Vedic Age. I am absolutely thankful that I got to read this epic.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Spirituality in music

She is singing with her eyes closed. She is singing a devotional piece in Raag Bhairav. There is a very scarce crowd but an attentive one, in front of her. She sings as she if she does not care a damn about the world. She sings as if her music is only for her God and no one else. Her voice oozes with lot of confidence and dedication. Her music has captivated the audience and they all seem to be transported to another world. They are not thinking about any technicality of music or they are not reviewing her voice. The devotion in her voice is such that they are only able to listen to her and surrender to music, to the feeling of oneness. For a moment, they all have forgotten about their lives and sit in a trance.

Wonderful feeling, isn't it? It is a feeling that is beyond words. And when you feel that way, all your problems and tensions become so irrevelant. In fact, they all appear so silly and you feel a sense of serenity prevails over you. That happens to me when I listen to some of the raags sung by our eminent classical musicians. That is why I find myself retiring to classical music at some point of the day, no matter how much pop or filmi music I listen to.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jai ho

I almost jumped with joy when I saw A.R.Rehman accepting Oscars not once but twice.:) I definitely felt so proud to see him on that stage as a winner. Now, let me be honest and say that I have not yet heard the songs of Slumdong Millionaire. But I have always been a great fan of A.R.Rehman music. His music has always been soul stirring and beyond boundaries. The way he brings out the best from his musicians and the way he introduces new talent is absolutely commendable. A man of few words, he lets his music speak most of the time.

Kudos to the absolute true genius of music.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The three books that touched me - 4

The last book ( but not the least) that I shall be talking about is IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE: MY JOURNEY BACK TO LIFE by LANCE ARMSTRONG along with SALLY JENKINS. For those of you who do not know about Lance Armstrong, he is one of the world's best cyclists. He has won Tour De France ( that is supposed to be the Wimbeldon for the cyclists) seven times consecutively. He is also famous for his "Lance Armstrong Foundation" that brought out the yellow LIVESTRONG bands in support of the fight against cancer.

The book is mainly about Lance's fight against cancer and how he emerged to be a winner. He also speaks about the cycling races especially the ones that he went for after he was diagnosed with cancer.

He was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 25. But instead of resigning to fate, he fought back with strong will and determination. Along with that fight, he got back to cycling and makes history.

I must tell you that this book really swept me off my feet. The fact that it was a real story and autobiographical made me borrow this book. As I started reading, it opened up a new world to me. Before I read the book, I had very little idea about cycling as a sport. The book revealed so many facts about cycling that I began to understand that this is one of the most challenging sports. What amazed me was that even a normal person finds cycling physically demanding; and imagine how a person with cancer would have dealt with it! What stupendous determination Lance Armstrong must have had to do so! And it is just not that; he emerges as a champion! What a comeback he makes! Even before you read the end, you conclude him as a winner by looking at the way he handles the whole thing. This man inspires you with his feats as you read the book.

If you think that you are looking at the greatest obstacle of your life, then just grab a copy of this book. I am sure that by the time you finish it, you will feel that your obstacle is nothing at all and even if it exists, it can be easily conquered. :)

One of my favourite quotes of Lance Armstrong is :

"Without cancer, I never would have won a single Tour de France. Cancer taught me a plan for more purposeful living, and that in turn taught me how to train and to win more purposefully. It taught me that pain has a reason, and that sometimes the experience of losing things–whether health or a car or an old sense of self–has its own value in the scheme of life. Pain and loss are great enhancers."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The three books that touched me - 3

The second book that I really enjoyed reading in the recent times is "THE ZAHIR" by Paulo Coelho. Okay, I had heard about Paul Coelho, but I think more than him, I had heard about his book "The Alchemist".:) Recommended by my friends, I purchased a copy of " The Alchemist". But I could not go further than the first few pages of the book. Ya, ya, I know that you might find it ridiculous, but honestly I was not inspired by "The Alchemist".

So this time, when I saw " The Zahir" at the library, I wasn't sure if I had to pick that up. But I thought I would give it a try. And believe me, once I started reading it, I was hooked to the book till the end. And I ended up recommending it to my friends.:)

In Paul Coelho's words - "Zahir means visible , incapable of being unnoticed. It can refer to an object or a person that takes over every thought of ours until we are unable to think about anyone or anything else. It slowly becomes our obsession."

The book is mainly about a famous author's search for his missing wife. The thought of his missing wife becomes the "zahir". I think the book turns out to be interesting as we can connect ourselves and people around us with the characters in the book. Even if you are not convinced with the plot, you might be tempted for some soul searching. For me, the journey to the missing wife was very fascinating rather than the end part of meeting her. Somewhere I thought it was on par with "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari".

I definitely think the book is worth atleast one reading and if you connect with it, you might wanna read it again and again.:)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The three books that touched me - 2

The first book that I will be writing about is "PSYCHIC DETECTIVE". It is a book based on the experiences of one of the famous psychics of Australia- Scott Russell Hill.

When I picked up this book from the library, I had nil knowledge about psychics. Hence I was curious and decided to read it through.

"Sensing Murder" was one of the famous serials that was aired in few countries. The main theme of the programme was that some unsolved cases were given to the chosen psychics. Based on their psychic abilities, they gave clues which were assembled by the private detectives.

In this book, Scott narrates his experiences of him being a psychic detective on the "Sensing Murder" show. It maps his victories, failures, his pain and anguish as he goes ahead with each case. Many a times, he would not be given any clue about the case. He would go ahead guided by his intuition and psychic ability. He would provide clues to who the murderer could be and the whereabouts of the body of the victim ( in case the body of the victim was not found before). Then the clues were put together by the private investigators.

The book is definitely a fascinating read. It opens up a new world of psychic ability, a world of mystery. The fact that there is more than what you see kinda knocks you down. I enjoyed reading it immensely as it was gripping from the beginning to the end. There is lot of sincerity in the author's narration. I think it is a good book for a starter who wants to know about psychics.

I have believed that there are things that are beyond logic, beyond reasoning. There are mysteries for which science has no answers. There are people around us with exceptional abilities. All these might be labelled as fake and nonsense. But the mysteries continue to persist and exist.

No, I am not getting into any debate. It is just that if you get to read this book, do read it with an open mind, without any inhibitions. Then you will enjoy it more. Who knows, it might open a door for you to explore a different world or to explore yourself and you might stumble on some exceptional ability of yours!!!!:)))))

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The three books that touched me - 1

As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I have been doing lot of reading after coming to Melbourne - thanks to the excellent library next door! I have been reading a lot of fiction and most of them are from not-very-famous authors. Yet, I must say I enjoy them a lot. I have been choosing diverse types of books to read. Many of them can be passed off as a one time read. But I believe that reading definitely adds on to your life, no matter what you read.

I don't remember the name of the movie that had this dialogue- "You do not choose the book. On the contrary, the book chooses you."

I loved the dialogue a lot when I heard. But I was not very convinced about the statement until I started paying attention to the type of books I read.:)

Most of the times, I go to the library with my toddler. She runs all around the library pulling those books and DVDs down. So sometimes I do have a very hard time selecting the books as I am busy running behind her. So usually I pick my books very fast. The criteria for this quick selection is the eye-catching title or the author's name or an impulse.:) This process has sometimes ended up with books that I just stopped reading after 5 pages.:) But at the same time, this process has got me some books of lifetime.

In my next three posts, I will be talking about the three books that touched me and I read these books in about three weeks, one after another.:)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Great Ocean Road - 3

At the end of the second day on the Great Ocean Road, we were totally exhausted. Yet we were in high spirits ( including Tunga) maybe because of the beautiful places that we had seen.

Next day, we started off back to Melbourne. We decided that we would stop impromptu at a couple of beaches on the way and head back home. We stopped at an isolated, stony beach before Lorne. All the three of us got busy looking out for sea shells on that beach.:) Tunga collected her first sea shell there and we were so proud of that.:) We found very artistic, different types of sea shells on that beach. So after some photography, we headed further.

After the lunch at Anglesea, we took a break again at the Point Roadknight Beach. We had not heard about this place but we just decided to have a look. It turned out to be a sandy beach and a beautiful place. We wanted to spend more time there but as Tunga looked a bit weary, we decided to drive home early.

This whole trip to the Great Ocean Road was very refreshing and unforgettable. The images of the vast ocean have stayed with me since then. As mentioned in many of my posts, there is no better destresser than the nature itself.:)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Great Ocean Road - 2

Motel Marengo- that was the name of the hotel where we stayed for 2 nights. This hotel is situated at Apollo Bay. If you are looking out for a simple, comfortable, homely place, then this is the right stop for you. There are rooms with beach view in this hotel, but we did not get one. We did not mind it because we knew that during the whole of the day, we would be with the sea anyways.:)

So after the rest and the refreshment, we thought we could explore a bit of Apollo Bay. As we reached the end of this small town, we noticed a sign board that mentioned "Mariners Lookout". Now this was not in our list of "to-see" places. But as we had some time on hand, we drove to this place. We had to park our car at one point and trek a bit. The path lead us to the top of a range of hills. And the view from there was awesome. We could see the whole of Apollo Bay from the top. As we savored the beautiful sight, our daughter, Tunga, was happy to see the grazing sheep on those hills.:) Needless to say, we were one happy lot for having explored this lookout.

One thing that you should know is that the Great Ocean Road is full of scenic places. So you really need to prioritize the places. We had this list of places ( that we had researched on the net) but we decided to take it easy as we did not want to stress out Tunga.

Next day, we set off to Cape Otway. This place is at the southern most tip of the Great Ocean Road. It is mainly famous for the lighthouse. On the way, we got very close views of the koala bears perched onto the trees. I really love them for their don't care attitudes as they slumber on those trees.:)

This time, we thought that we would climb the staircase to the top of the lighthouse at Cape Otway. But it would prove to be tough with Tunga so we decided to take turns. The view from the top was amazing. It was so windy out there that even a not-so-fragile person like me thought that I would be blown away.:) I held onto the railings tightly.

After lunch, we drove to the most famous place in the Great Ocean Drive- the Twelve Apostles. As I mentioned that it is a very popular destination, the place was overcrowded. But then the crowd will not bother you because you will be so busy looking at these tall, magnificient rocks. There is a boardwalk on one of the apostles and I must admit that it is always gonna an unforgettable experience for me. Of course, it is a little perturbing to see people falling all over to get photographed with the apostles. But as I said before, the majestic structures and the roaring ocean below them compensate for all those petty disturbances. We spent a quite a lot of time there amidst the apostles.

After this, we wanted to make it to the famous "tree-top walk". But we were delayed and could not make it in time for it. At a petrol station, we were told about the Triplet Falls. So we decided to go there instead.

So we set out on a two kms trek to the falls in the Great Otway National Park. This trek gives one a real feel of a walk through the dense forest. The huge, towering trees allow only a sparse amount of sunlight through them. We knew we were near the falls as we heard the roaring sound. One glance of the falls took away all my weariness. It is definitely one of the best waterfalls I have ever seen.

After spending some time there, we started our return trek to the car park. The return path was a different one that had lot of steps. But at one point, the path came to a dead end. We could hear the cars so we knew we were somewhere nearby to the car park. But we did not know the way out. I confess that I was a bit scared at that point, wondering what to do if we got lost in the forest. Then somehow we went through the bushes, made way through the trees and managed to reach the mud road that led to the car park. You can imagine how relieved I was when we reached that road. What an adventure that was for us, especially with our one and a half year old daughter hanging on with us!!:)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Great Ocean Road - 1

Just before Christmas, we decided to go on a vacation to one of our dream trips to the Great Ocean Road. Prior to the trip, we made reservations at Hotel Marrengo at Apollo Bay for 2 nights. We decided to drive all the way. We were told that the drive may take upto 4 hours from Melbourne especially if we stopped in between. Our main concern was if our one and a half year old daughter would be able to sit through the journey.

So we set off on our journey on the sunday morning. The drive upto Geelong was like any other drive with the glimpses of the city life. The real Great Ocean Road drive begins from Torquay. Torquay is the most wanted destination for surfing. Bells Beach in Torquay is supposed to be the surfers' paradise. As we drove along, we caught the first glimpse of the ocean. It was surely breath taking! We stopped at every possible place where we could get the view of the ocean.:)

As we went further, on one side we could see the roaring ocean and on the other side stood the rugged cliffs. What surpised us was the abundant green vegetation so close to the sea! I had never seen that in India. There is a particular sea-side vegetation in India ( usually the palm trees and the coconut trees) and the forests are never so close to the sea. On the way, with some exceptions , most of the seashore is covered with rocks. And you can always stop anytime to get a feel of the beach.

Between the towns Anglesea and Lorne, there is a lighthouse known as Split Point Lighthouse. For every 30 minutes, there is a guided tour in this lighthouse. But we decided to just walk arond and get a feel of the surroundings. I got to know that this lighthouse is referred to as "The White Queen"(cute, isn't it?).

There is this famous Eagle Rock just behind the lighthouse.

Our next major stop was at Lorne. It is one of the poular destinations because it has some of the finest beachs and the thick rainforests. It is also a town with a diverse range of eateries. We found a pizza and a pasta place and our growling stomachs were finally at peace.

After peeping into some local shops there, we went to Erskine Falls nearby. If you are an avid trekker, then you will be able to visit lot of waterfalls in these rainforests. Well, as we much as we loved trekking, we were also concerned about doing it with Tunga. Hence we had decided upon places where it would be easy to carry her. So you can almost park your vehicle very near to Erskine Falls. There are steps that lead to the base of the waterfalls. But we preferred to have an overview from the top. I must say that Erskine Falls reminded me of Abbey Falls in Coorg.

We continued our journey on the Great Ocean Road again. As we had stopped at so many places in between, all the three of us were a bit tired. So we drove down to our hotel at Apollo Bay. The drive from Lorne to Apollo Bay was amazing. It is one of the beautiful sights I have ever seen.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Are you a feminist?

A friend asked me if I were a feminist. And this question popped up because I demanded a recognition for myself as an independent individual and not just as someone's daughter or a wife or a mother.

I came home later and started looking for the real meaning of feminism. I got some definitions from the web:

- Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

- A doctrine that advocates the equality of women and men.

- Feminist theory aims to understand the nature of gender inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations and sexuality. Feminism is also based on experiences of gender roles and relations. Feminist political activism commonly campaign on issues such as reproductive rights, violence within a domestic partnership, maternity leave, equal pay, sexual harassment, discrimination, and sexual violence. Themes explored in feminism include patriarchy, stereotyping, objectification, sexual objectification, and oppression. ( Taken from

Well, let me summarize what my thoughts are:

* Today there is no field where women are not a part of. You will not be able to find any type of job where women are not involved.

* But I also understand that by nature the physical strength of a man and a woman are very different. I have always felt that though men are physically stronger, women are mentally tough. We go through periods, PMS, pregnancy, post-pregnancy times, menopause and endure so much pain that makes us tougher all the way.

* Today a woman contributes financially by being a career person and also looks after family and home. It is definitely an applaudable feat. At the same time, it does not take away the credit from the home makers who have dedicated themselves to look after their family and home. I always look upon them as super human beings because they are capable of handling everything alone.

* Many a times, we would not mind being in the shadow of our loved ones. We would be the happiest when our men take the limelight.

So with all these thoughts, sometimes if I ask for an individual identity for myself, does that make me a feminist? If I say that I am proud to be a woman and I should not be looked down upon, does that make me a feminist? Then maybe I am one.:) I am also glad that I have a daughter who would earn an identity for herself and become proud of being a woman.:)

I found this beautiful quote on

"I have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat." - Rebecca West, 1913.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Raag - Anuraag

"Raag - Anuraag" is a music CD brought out by Parameshwar Hegde Music Academy.

Before I go into the details of the CD, I would like to give a short intro about Pandit Parameshwar Hegde.

Pt. Parameshwar Hegde hails from a small village in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. The musical environment in his family initiated his study and interest in music. He learnt Hindustani classical music under the guidance of Sri.S.M.Bhat and Sri Pt.Chandrashekar Puranika Math. Later he pursued studying music under the tutelage of one of the masters of Hindustani classical music- Pandit Basavraj Rajguru.

Today Pandit Parameshwar Hegde is one of the known faces and one of the famous voices in the arena of Hindustani classical music. He is an A grade All India Radio artist and has given numerous national and international concerts. His mellifluous unblemished voice, his tans and his strong hold over the raag through his versatile sargams have always enthralled the classical music lovers.

He is also contributing to the promotion of Hindustani classical music through "Rajguru Smriti"- a foundation that he has set up in the memory of his guru, Pandit Basavaraj Rajguru. Rajguru Smriti holds concerts of well-known and upcoming artists from all over India on various occasions every year. Pandit Parameshwar Hegde has also been instrumental in training and promoting the young talent through the "Parameshwar Hegde Music Academy".

Okay, now let me come back to the inroduction of the "Raag - Anuraag" music CD. As mentioned before, this CD is a product of Parameshwar Hegde Music Academy. This set of 2 CDs consists of khayals and semi-classical compositions in 24 ragas sung by the disciples of Pandit Parameshwar Hegde. The semi-classical compositions include devotional songs, natyageet and film songs. An introduction to every raag precedes the composition.

Why was I impressed by this CD?

- If you are a novice or a student of Hindustani classical music, then this would be an ideal CD. The introduction about each raag educates you while the simple compositions help you to get into the characteristic and the mood of the raag.

- The disciples of Pandit Parameshwar Hegde have done a very fine job. In fact, some of them have rendered classical masterpieces.

- As it contains semi-classical compositions too, it appeals to a wide range of music lovers.

- Even if you are not familiar with classical music, this CD would be entertaining and probably would open a door to listen and enjoy classical music.

For me personally, the CD has been worth buying.:)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gurudev

Let us make our hearts as big as an ocean, to go beyond all the trifles of the world and see it only as a picture. We can then enjoy the world without being in any way affected by it.

Never mind failures; they are quite natural, they are the beauty of life, these failures. What would life be without them? It would not be worth having if it were not for struggles. Where would be the poetry of life? Never mind the struggles, the mistakes. I never heard a cow tell a lie, but it is only a cow -- never a man. So never mind these failures, these little backslidings; hold the ideal a thousand times, and if you fail a thousand times, make the attempt once more.

The world is ready to give up its secrets if we only know how to knock, how to give it the necessary blow. The strength and force of the blow come through concentration.

Watch people do their most common actions; these are indeed the things that will tell you the real character of a great person.

Who makes us ignorant? We ourselves. We put our hands over our eyes and weep that it is dark.

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.

Yep, these are some of the quotes of Swami Vivekananda. I am remembering him specially today because it is his birthday ( 12 Jan, 1863). Every word he uttered has always been inspiring quote. Every time my confidence went down, his teachings, his books have pulled me through.

I really think that we need him to be reborn again, especially during this testing time for our country. Probably he would say that all of us need to find the strength within ourselves to face and eradicate terrorism and to restore peace and prosperity in our motherland.