Saturday, May 29, 2010

A garland of songs...add one or two of your own to this please...!

After a long time, I am doing a musical post and all of you please come and join!

Both sides of my family are music lovers. When we have a get-together or a function at home we play 'anthaakshari'. Sometimes, one of us will just hum a song and others will join with another song which comes to their mind after hearing that we continue in this way and it will become a chain or garland of songs of similar tune - raaga.

As many of you know by now, I am a great fan of Jagjit Singh and this song is one of my favourite. Whenever I play this cd, I hear this song in the 'repeat' mode! I never get bored of hearing this song! Now, let me start this chain with this song:

This soulful song from the movie 'Leader', is picturized on Vyjayanthimaala and Dilip Kumar. Music is by our famous Naushad saab:

This Kannada song by Rajkumar, from the movie 'Hosa Belaku', is my favourite one. The tune is the exact replica of the above two! Rajkumar's voice is so expressive, here:

This is also a melodious song. You can watch MGR and Jayalalitha (younger Ammmaa!) in this song. MGR's movies were famous for melodious songs. I could not get the video of the whole song, this one runs for just 3 mts., sorry. Now, watch this song:

This song is from my favourite film, 'Unnaal mudiyum thambi'. The storyline of this Tamil movie was very good. I love this song picturized on Seetha and our Kamal:

Sharmila Tagore is one of my favourite actress and I loved the movie 'Amar Prem'. As soon as I got married (1974!), we were invited to our relatives' places for dinner and everyone 'thought' I was a good singer, that too, of Hindi songs, which was new to them! If anyone asked me to sing a song, I used to start with this song! I remember the lyrics of very few songs - 2 stanzas of songs! I can sing along with many songs, though! Whenever my husband hears this song now, he will start laughing and recite the old story to my sons! So, this song has got a special place in my heart!

Now, please hear the songs and if you remember anyother song after hearing this, please jot down! If you don't get it in 'you tube', it is OK! Let us enjoy music together!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nagercoil bids adieu to plastic - District Collector explains how they did it!

I received this comment for my post 'Nagercoil bids adieu to plastic, shall we try to follow them?' today, from the District Collector of Kanyakumari @ Nagercoil. He has explained the step by step method of how he was able to implement this ban, which each and every State of our country and people can follow as an example. Now, to the comment:

Rajendra Ratnoo has left a new comment on your post "Nagercoil bids adieu to plastic, shall we try to f...":

Thanks to the author and all those who contributed here in discussion, on behalf of District Administration and the People of Kanyakumari District! Its really encouraging for me, my team and the people of this district to hear such nice feedback! One little correction, the plastics carry bags and cups are banned in the entire District, consisting of 1057 rural habitations, 56 Town Panchayats and 4 Municipalities (Nagercoil is one among the 4 municipalities) and not in Nagercoil alone! What made us to succeed is that we did almost a six months long campaign and this campaign had some specific strategies, such as

1.Campaign had three components- Awareness generation, Training for behavioral Change of all stakeholders and Enforcement from a preannounced date i.e. 1st April

2.Focus in the trainings beyond knowledge i.e. on change in attitude and behaviour

3. Leading by example before preaching i.e. before launching the campaign in Public Domain, First Collector and his family stopped using plastics, then entire Collector Office Staff and District Level Officers said NO to it, then we targeted the Leaders and opinion makers, including Honourable Minister for Tourism, MLAs, Municipal and Town Pt Chairpersons and gradually we went down upto ward members, SHG leaders, Traders, and sanitary workers!

4. Multiple Channels of Communication, including vernacular media, Schools, Colleges, FM Radio, SMS,Voice calls from District Collector to all citizens, through religious leaders i.e. both mass media, and interpersonal communication strategies were used!

The results of our team work are very encouraging and we are following and monitoring the Enforcement! Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board provided good support in the campaign.

We have now launched the next Campaign for waste segregation and decentralised composting wherever possible and stopping pollution of water bodies that will be liable for criminal action from 1st July! We finally dream for a Zero Garbage Kanyakumari District! Solicit support and encouragement of responsible civil society members like you!

Thanks and regards

Rajendra Ratnoo, IAS

District Collector, Kanyakumari @ Nagercoil, TN

Thank you Sir, for your valuable comment to my post and this will help everyone who wants to follow your steps to ban plastics in our day-to-day usage.

I made this comment of the District Collector into a post because I would like everyone to know that if there is a will, there is a way. There is no meaning in just complaining that the government is not doing anything for banning plastics or in any other matter. We can all come together with the help of leaders like Mr.Rajendra Ratnoo. We really admire him and we need more people like him.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mumbai Meri Jaan - a movie which hails the spirit of Mumbaikars!

Long back I had read the review of this movie 'Mumbai Meri Jaan' written by one of my blog friends, sorry, I have forgotten the name. The review said that the movie was very good. I always like to go to the theatres and watch movies. If watch at home, in TV, I must go through the boring ad breaks, which will disrupt the flow of the movie. Watching funny light movies in TV is OK with me. So, I watched this movie at home reluctantly - in dvd. But, after watching the movie at home, I didn't regret much because it was very good and waiting to go to the theatres means, I would have missed this superb movie!

I had reviewed 'Firaaq' earlier, the storyline of which is nearly similar but the way both the films are picturized, is entirely different. In Firaaq, in the after effects of a terrorist attack, some violence is shown. Here, except the burning compartment scene of a First class compartment, they don't show anyother violence.

This movie, Mumbai Meri Jaan, is made on the impact of six people from different strata/lifestyles, after the July 2006 serial bombing of suburban trains of Mumbai.

Soha Ali Khan
plays as Rupali, a TV journalist who is to be married in two months, loses her fiance in the bomb blast. Her colleague compels her to face the camera for an interview, like she was doing all these time. I have never seen her movie earlier and it was a surprise to watch her superb acting.

, as Nikhil Agarwal, who acts as a corporate officer, is a patriotic man and doesn't want to leave the mother country even when he is offered better jobs abroad. After the bomb blast, he has got second thoughts about staying in India. Madhavan, as everyone knows, is a versatile actor.

Irfan Khan, as Thomas, is a roadside coffee vendor, a happy man with a wife and daughter. Though he is not affected directly by the bomb blasts, he watches the effects of them and tries to use them. Irfan is at his best, as usual.

Kay Kay Menon, as Suresh, is a computer tech, who is not a responsible person, just spends time blindly criticizing muslims, blaming them for the blasts. His acting is always memorable in each and every movie.

Paresh Rawal, as Tukaram Patil, is the typical policeman who is to retire in a couple of days. He is used to the system and whether he likes it or not, blends with it. Rawal is a versatile actor, who can do his best in any role ... villain or comedian or father or grand father!

Vijay Mourya, as Kadam, his deputy, who dreams to be a good cop, struggles to adjust with the corrupt police world.

The story depicts the worst and best sides of these characters, after the devastating incident and shows how the people of Mumbai come together, which brings hope in a corner of our heart.

This film is directed by Nishikant Kamat and like Firaaq was Nandita Das's first directorial venture, this one is Nishikant's first Bollywood film! He had directed a Tamil movie called 'Evano Oruvan', with Madhavan and it got rave reviews too. This is really unbelievable, these are born directors. Waiting to see his next movie.

This is a scene which I loved, where Paresh Rawal gives a speech on the day of his retirement, shows a sample of the quality of the movie, though many many more scenes are there to remember about this movie:

This is a 'must watch' movie.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Good bye, USHA! 27 years of sweet memories...


Sometimes we never know that we are so much attached to ordinary things, until it goes out of our lives. We take it for granted when it is in front of our eyes. We think that it is occupying the extra space and cleaning/dusting it, is an extra work. Once it is removed from that space and when we look at the empty floor with scratch mark, our heart becomes, sort of, heavy, maybe for the first few days - I feel so now, I might be wrong, only time will tell.

I learnt to pedal a sewing machine as soon as I finished school. I went to some free classes for a few days, in the school holidays and learnt to stitch the corners of kerchief-like squares! When I was pregnant with my first child, I stitched napkins for the baby - again squares and triangles! No 'Huggies' were available in those days (1976!)! I used my neighbour's machine for stitching them.

After we shifted to Hosur (I remember Smitha's words saying that I write a lot about Hosur which must be my favourite place, yes, Smitha, you are right!) and settled with the school routine of my children, I joined a tailoring class. A Maharashtrian lady taught me and I and my friend used to go to her house thrice a week for 2 hours. I got very much interested and wanted to buy a machine. Got this USHA machine for around Rs.2000 (27 years back!) and paid in instalments of Rs.200 a month! I stitched so much that though it was a 'table top' model, I never folded it and used it as a table until some years back, no, I should not lie (!), say 10-12 years back.

I remember going to the local textile shops and buying for pittance, the last pieces of blouse and dress materials, design and make frocks and skirts out of them. Since I don't have daughters, I used to gift them to my nieces, friends' daughters, etc. I remember stitching umbrella cut skirts, frocks etc. with garden dress materials (one type was called china silk and it never faded for a long long time). Did smocking, applique work, mirror work etc. on frocks. Stitched pinafore school uniform dress for my friend's daughter, full-arm shirts and full pants for my sons (though not many!)too.

I had many many good friends there and once three of us planned to do an exhibition of baby dresses. We stitched nice cotton jablas and small frocks etc. with embroideries. Small small dresses with smocking...all were of pastel shades. Tied some ropes on the walls of my friend's house and hanged them with clips. The price was very nominal. Because it was a housing colony, news spread very fast and people visited our exhibition and everything was sold within two days. I remember stitching small small flowers (french knot, chain stitch etc.) at night after finishing all the house work, on frocks and kerchiefs. I learnt many new things from my talented friends, when I was in Hosur. One friend was an expert in cutting and designing, one was good in embroidery, I was good in stitching and to some extent, in some embroidery too......hmmm...those were the busy busy happy happy days!

I used to stitch my own blouses until nearly 15 years back. Mostly high necked blouses with short sleeves, sometimes round necked with long sleeves. Then when we had a function at home, I started giving my silk blouses for stitching with lining material to a tailor and lo, that was a wrong decision! I stopped stitching blouses! Later on, the machine was used only for stitching pillow cases and other ordinary things. Then, most of the time, it was used as a table!

We had been thinking of disposing it off, for sometime now, because it was lying unused and occupying space. When my servant maid said that she was looking for a second hand machine for her father-in-law, I decided to give it off for a nominal amount. Nothing is valuable if it comes for free, my husband always says. So, my machine was sent off and after it left my house, I feel bad now. I was consoled by my friends, saying that they had sold their machines long back!

'My pyjama is torn near the ankle and no machine to stitch it now', my husband was grieving, today morning!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nagercoil bids adieu to plastic, shall we try to follow them?

Yesterday my husband was talking about his friend who was from Nagercoil (Tamilnadu).  The friend was praising his home town so much that my husband wants to visit that place instead of visiting  Coimbatore, which was our original plan.

I have read that Nagercoil city is  an interesting place to visit, though not very popular like Kanyakumari and has got a pleasant climate throughout the year.  Now, a revolution is happening there.  

Recently, 'The Municipal Council has decided not to allow use of plastic items under 20 microns and those violating this decision will be slapped a fine of Rs.5,000.'

Normally, we think that these types of orders will not work in India, but it does, which is unbelievable.  The people of Nagercoil have stopped using plastic in shops, hotels, hospitals, everywhere, it seems.  Please read this article:  

The writer, Lallu Joseph writes:

'A delightful surprise was in store for me a few weeks back when I went to Nagercoil to see my parents and also drop my children at their grandparent’s house for the summer vacation. On the way to a relative’s place, I stopped at a fruit shop. The shopkeeper packed the grapes in paper with lotus leaf and handed it over to me as such without putting it in the customary plastic bag. When I asked for a plastic carry bag, the shopkeeper told me that the use of plastic is banned in Nagercoil.

I was still sceptical as to how the ban would work. Maybe, because the shop was bang outside the collector’s office, the man was adhering to the order, I thought. But all my subsequent shopping expeditions revealed that plastic covers have indeed been banished from the town. Even more surprising was the fact that my mother and all my aunts had cloth bags in their cars, and no one was complaining about the ban or on the need to carry their own bags for shopping.

I became curious and started making enquiries. Everyone had good things to say about the efforts of the district administration. I was told that the district collector went in person to the business houses and convinced them on the need for banning plastic. The administration sent short messages on mobile phones highlighting the ban on non-degradable plastic items. Once the ban came into force, the administration formed 94 flying squads and raided shops, hotels and other commercial establishments to check on the use of non-biodegradable items.'

Even the famous tourist place Kanyakumari beach, which was normally used to be full of plastic bags, was looking very clean without a single plastic bag, he says.

I have read so many negative news about plastics - cows swallowing plastic bags from the garbage bins and dying, elephants in the forests en-route to Guruvayoor temple, dying after swallowing left over foods thrown by the devotees in plastic bags, etc.    Plastics floating on water in roadside swamps...along with some birds, maybe fish, turtle, frogs etc....used to feel sorry for them.  This news gives hope for the future.  Maybe, if the government along with people, sincerely work together, our whole country might become a better place to live - for animals, birds and humans.

Our next trip is definitely, Nagercoil.  I really admire the people over there.

I came across this article about non-toxic plastic, which looks like a dream.  We are so used to using plastic for packing liquid things like chutney, saambaar etc. from hotels or covering things to keep them away from moisture etc., plastic has become an important material in our day-to-day life,  nowadays.  This non-toxic plastic sounds interesting. 

Proper disposal and segregation of plastics would be better, I feel.  Now, plastic is re-used for road-laying along with bitumin and I remember reading that some stretch of roads have already been laid in some university complexes and seem to be good.

Still, we can try to reduce the usage of plastic carry bags. The first step to be taken by us,  is keeping a cloth bag in our handbags when we go to super markets or vegetable shops.  Shall we start doing that?

This is a bit shocking but we have to know how we are polluting our forests and other parts of our mother earth (Thank you Cichus B):

Edited to add on 25th May, '10: The District Collector's comment

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Getting old ... HAPPILY...!

I received an email from my niece today.

It was about a 'Friends' Meet' which had some middle aged women and an 80 year old lady. All of them order for their food - the middle aged ladies ordering carefully, food without much calories like salads, sandwiches etc. They were aghast when the 80 year old lady ordered for '2 scoops of chocolate ice cream' and heated ' apple pie'!

The middle aged ladies swallowed down the bland food, watching the old lady gulping down the ice cream and apple pie! When asked if she was not worried about her health, the lady replies...

"I'm tasting all that is Possible. I try to eat the food I need and do the things I should. But life's so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I was.. (She grinned) I haven't been this old before. So, before I die, I've got to try those things that for years I had ignored.

I have started getting this feeling already! When thinking back, I feel, I had been too strict with myself. I got married quite early, though it was the norm in those days! I continued working for 3 years after marriage i.e. doing the household work, run to the office, work, come back, cook and sleep...again morning cooking..., the routine. Then had two children with 2 years gap. Though life was hectic, I enjoyed this period of life...the school going years of children, the best. I learnt music for 2 years (my passion!) and had good friends to enjoy along with their children. Once the children finished their education and settled down, OK, nearly...I have started feeling bored! Now, I want to change myself!

When we get bored with routine, we tend to forget things...had a good laugh on this subject in the latest post of Deeps and children say that we are repeating things, like in Radha's current post. When I repeat the same news, my son will immediately say 'Maaaa' and I stop in mid-sentence, laughingly...that is a warning that I am repeating myself for the time! I don't think I can change this nature now, planning to just try to think before talking, is it possible?!

I never had much changes in my life. I was always wearing won't believe, I started wearing dresses after my second son was born! I had looong thick hair. Wanted to have a short ponytail! One of my close friend cut my hair to one third, saying that I have to do it before I turned 40 and I agreed! It was the talk of the town/family and relatives, in those days!

My husband has placed some plywood piece as partition (net!) on our dining table and plays table tennis with me and my son, after he comes home from office. He was playing with the children till some years back. I have started playing now and enjoying it! Good exercise!

I am not very fond of food, jewellery or too much clothes too! Love travelling and visiting different places, which I hope I will be doing in the future. My husband seems to like travelling and touring nowadays. Son too wants me to go out of the house often and enjoy! Wonder how my life would be after another 5 years! Unpredictable!

So it will be fun even if I am to see myself to my 80's - a long long way to go, though!

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