Friday, August 26, 2011

Kaun Banega Crorepati - 5...Want To Have A Good Laugh? Watch This!

Our whole family adores Amitabh Bachchan, whether it is his movies or his kavita or speeches, we sit glued to the screen! Now, the screening of the next series of KBC has made us sit in front of the TV from 8.30 to 10.15 pm. We have to finish dinner by 8.30 then clean the kitchen, sometimes during the break or after the serial is over! Our sleep time has changed to nearly 11, instead of the usual 10 pm! I had done a post on KBC from the earlier series and in that I wrote about one Rahat Taslim, a house maker, who won Rs. 1 crore.

The current series had started from 15th Aug.'11. We enjoyed all the episodes but this one is the best until now! The contestant, Velani Dhaval Kumar, is a young man of 24 years, from Gujarat. He speaks Hindi with heavy Gujarathi accent which is nice to the ears. He says he is a stand up comedian, though works as a clerk in the grain mandi in his village. He made Amitabh and all of us, audiences laugh throughout the episode! I thought I will share this with you so that if you have missed this, you can always watch and laugh! Dhaval Kumar will change your mood! He made us laugh in between every question, so don't FF! The last one is the top comedy!

As Amitabh said, Dhaval will be a household name. He might get chances to do comedy shows in TV or comedy roles in movies too (he is quite good looking and funny with always a smiley face). Now, enjoy the videos:


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Blue Mug...Down Memory Lane!


Today morning when I opened my blog, I saw on the right side of the page, under 'Popular Post', a series of posts, mostly about temples, festivals etc.! It was funny. It looked as if I am very religious and write about only temples and rituals/festivals! No, I am not very religious but follow some minimum customs, give importance to festivals, play shlokas in the morning etc. I believe in god/or some super power and strongly believe that if we hurt somebody knowingly, in any way, we will get it back twice. Otherwise, as my nieces often say, I am a 'modern maami'! They treat me as their friend...they are young girls, you know! I am so happy about it!

My son asked me, the other day, if I was interested in attending a play (drama, we call it, here!), The Blue Mug...a play by a Bombay director, Atul Kumar and the actors sounded familiar too. I always wanted to see Hindi/English plays by Bombay productions (now, many of them are coming here, to Chennai too!). I said 'yes' to my son, happily! Then he said it was on Sunday, the Janmaashtami day...! Phooof, my happy bubble burst, 'tuppp'! Then he said it started at 7.30 pm...the bubble of hope began to bloat again! Then I said I will do the pooja as early as possible and we can rush to the theatre! My son and husband started much love and respect for Lord Krishna! My sister in law doesn't know even now, in what way I did the pooja...poor Krishna! It was jet speed! I got up early in the morning, did murukku (chakli), Uppu cheedai, vella cheedai etc., drew rangloli with a long line of Krishna's feet from the gate to the pooja room, without talking to anybody! And we made it to the theatre 'on time'!

The venue was an auditorium of Lady Andal school, which is a very old school, in a spacious area, with a beautiful, huge banyan tree (the picture is displayed at the end). I hadn't read any review of the play before. Then it started. One by one, the characters started narrating their childhood, adolescent memories, with slightly dim light focusing on them.

The main story had Ranvir Shorey as an amnesia patient being treated/questioned by his doctor, Shirpa Singh! Ranvir remembers only until he was 20 years old, about what happened at his home in Punjab with his brother, father etc. during the terrorist attack period. The doctor asks him to look at the mirror, which he reluctantly does and shouts that what was visible there was his father, not him. He refuses to come to terms with the present times. He even forgets to recognise the doctor after his narration was over! The language was Hindi with heavy Punjabi accent, but his narration was superb. Though, it was difficult for us to follow the fast Punjabi Hindi, we laughed for whatever we understood! Except Shirpa Singh, I am familiar with others from TV serials and films. The other characters spoke in Hinglish, thank god! Vinay Patakh's (Beja Fry fame) adolescent narration was superb, he is a good actor, we know! Rajath Kapoor had done a good job and made us laugh a lot. I admired Sheeba Chadha who narrated how she dreamed of drinking milk from a bottle with a rubber nipple and tried it too in her was a laugh riot in the theatre! I had seen her in a TV serial 'Antaraal' with Om Puri in the main role. It was a very good serial, but was stopped abruptly. I still remember the story!
Does anyone else remember?

All the artists did well in their role, but still, for us, something was missing. The quality was there, no doubt about it. No stage decoration, just focusing lights. The characters were not connected to each other till the end.

In the end, the cast and audience interaction was there in front of the auditorium. The artists looked very tired and interesting questions were not asked by anyone, so it was sort of boring. But, somehow, we enjoyed the evening and laughed a lot!

I forgot to mention one interesting thing...3 or 4 best songs of Hemant Kumar were played in the beginning and I was very very happy about it. I love his voice. And one of his song, Zindagi Pyar ki do char ghadi hoti hai' which was very apt for the 'down memory lane' story theme, was played in between, during the play as sort of background music!

We took this picture during the 'interaction between audience and artists' time. They said that the story is based on a novel called, 'The man who mistook his wife for a hat' (funny title, isn't it?!).

Now, have a look at the beautiful banyan tree at the auditorium:

Edited in the evening: Just shifted the first half of the sentence to the second half and the meaning looks better!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Janmaashtamiya Haardika Shubhaashayagalu! Happy Janmaashtami and Krishna Jayanthi to all of you, friends!

Yashoda and Balakrishna

I was playing this song of Smt.M.S.Subbulakshmi today morning. She is so expressive and enjoys singing! I had been hearing her songs from my childhood. During Navrathri and December season, we used to attend all the concerts with all my cousins. They were free concerts mostly. They used to be held in huge playgrounds or open grounds. If the concert started at 6.30 pm, the whole ground used to be full by 6 pm! We used to go at 5 pm itself to reserve the front chairs, just plain ground with sand! I still remember MS singing with the jasmine flower string on her hair...if we watched from far away, we could see the flower moving up and down, that is all! Vikku Vinayakram (Ghatam), was a young man and mostly accompanied her wherever she sang. Her daughter Radha Vishwanathan was a small girl in those days! I am talking about my school days (late '60s!). MS, MLV (Smt. ML Vasantha kumari) and Smt. DK Pattammal were the famous trio of those days! People didn't have anyother diversion like the present TV serials, so the carnatic music concerts were attended by all people.

Now, to my favourite song:


Hope you enjoyed the song!

Picture courtesy: here.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Independence Day To All Of Us, Indians!

I saw this video, titled, 'KHADI, The Fabric of Freedom', some 10 days back in the National Television. Bharatbala Productions, who has produced many patriotic short films, has produced this. You can see how passionately our ancestors followed Gandhiji's instructions and started making Khadi clothes for their own use. You can enjoy the scenes of the village life, in those days (Independence struggle days), here:

I remember making cotton thread using a 'takli' (drop spindle) in my school, I think when I was in the 4th or 5th Std. in Udupi. I looked for an image of 'takli' and I got this video! A foreign lady is teaching here how takli is used in India! She teaches very well! You will understand what a Takli is and how to use it, if you wish so! We used to sit on the floor and make the thread! The takli was like the one in the video! We were given homework too and I used to take back to school, the ready thread, which was rolled in a stick! I don't remember what happened to the thread later! I remember buying soft cotton which looked like candles from shops! You can also notice the ladies in the earlier video cleaning the cotton, very fast and getting it ready for spinning. You can enjoy watching a Tamilnadu village lifestyle! They look like Chettinad people.

Now, to know how Takli was used for spinning yarn:

Now, to one of my favourite song, 'Bharat humko jaan se pyaara hai'! Beautiful song from Manirathnam's film, Roja! Music is by A.R. Rahman. Hariharan is the singer. Lyrics by P.K. Mishra.


Monday, August 8, 2011

School Memories Of A 59 Year Old Mother! (Part - I)

I feel funny thinking about writing about my 'school days'! My sons have finished their education and are working now, I am writing about my school days! I feel, at any age, school memories will be there, hidden in a corner of our mind! I have noticed the happy faces of my sons', my nieces', when they talk about their school days...their whole faces lighten up and voices raise!

I didn't study in the same school throughout...I studied in an Udupi (Karnataka) school up to V Std., in Kannada medium and then our family shifted to Chennai. Learnt Tamil within an year and joined V again in Tamil medium (can never think of this happening to my children, but in those days, people with 5 children, did not have much choices...the children must go to school, that is all!). Then joined VI in English medium. It is not a convent though! We had sections from A to K. A section, Telugu medium, F Section, English medium (It changed to B section after 9th!). All others were Tamil medium classes. One subject was Tamil. We had Hindi from IX but due to Hindi agitation, it was abolished totally from the curriculum(1966-67) in the middle of the year. I learnt Hindi privately.

We had music classes, weekly one period, P.T. classes, twice a week, I think. Needle work and craft, one period (about which I am going to write more here!). The class rooms were quite big. I remember the class strength as 33 - 35 (I can imagine the classroom board - date, the strength and no. of pupil present were written on the top right side corner!). We had prayers in a huge hall, special prayers in a small temple inside the school where Krishna Jayanthi, Ganesh Chaturti etc. were celebrated with special songs (I was always there in the music team!). We had a huge playground. A canteen too, where poori-masal was 15p. per set! I don't remember paying any fees (maybe I have forgotten), but paid Rs.10/- as SSLC exam fee (XI Std.), which I remember clearly!

Though the medium of teaching was in English, we mostly conversed in Tamil in our class...except a select no. of students who must have come from houses where English speaking was common. So, even now, my English has got regional language influence, unlike my sons'! It can never be 'flawless' English, I know! They 'think' in English, I think in Tamil or Kannada, according to the situation (this old post of mine discusses about 'the languages in which we think'!).

Well, now, to the treasures I have stored all these years, through many transfers and shifting of houses! I had more, but they were torn and so I remember throwing them out...otherwise a series of posts would have been made to read by all my escaped!

I thought it might be interesting to know, how our needle work class was taught in those years...starts from the album cover! All the patterns were stitched by hand from blouse to petticoat!

This is my Needle Work album! Std. VIII 'F' (1966!)

1. Top Sewing and
Whipping! (this word in stitching, is new to me, now!)

2.Pleating and Gathering!

3. Petticoat!

4. Full Skirt! (Looks like English lady's skirt with 18" waist - 'Gone with the wind' Scarlett's waist!)
5. Blouse!
6. Girl's knicker!
7. Bodice with paper cutting! (my spelling here was 'bodies'!)

8. Smocking! (don't laugh, I had written 'smoking'!)

9. Aplique work? (My spelling was Aplit work!)

10. Kerchief - Rolling hemming!

11. Patching, Dawning and Button hole (Don't check my spelling!) stitch!

12. Different types of is a long list! I remember my son doing this in his school and he enjoyed doing embroidery!

13. Holly hocks (this name is new to me, now!) and Short & long stitch!

14. Blanket stitch, One line stitch and Laisy Daisy!

15. Cushion cover!

16. I thought I will show how the models were stitched at the backside of the pages!

I don't write in long hand now as I was writing in those days! I think I must conclude this part of my school story with this:

I distinctly remember this incident: English was not a common language in middle class homes in those days. So whatever we learnt from school was new for us. After I finished V in a Tamil medium school, I wrote the entrance exam in the new school. In the question paper, a question asked us to translate Tamil words into English words. The Tamil word was 'Janaadhipathi' (President) and I just translated it and wrote 'Head of People'!

Continues to my teenage years...

Edited to add on 9.8.11: Caption for full skirt (4)!

Read the second part here

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!


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