Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hair Offering Custom...Do You Believe In It Now?

Picture is from The Hindu.

When I read the news in The Hindu, the caption, 'Tale of a hairy sale', which said that 'Trumala temple has got a huge stock of 471 tonnes of hair, offered by devotees, for disposal, profitably (!)', I remembered taking my sons to Tirumala long back for their hair tonsure!

As per our family custom, we had to tonsure my sons' heads, first at Gunaseelam temple, Trichy and then at Tirumala, Tirupati. This god (Gunaseelam temple) is supposed to be the elder brother of Tirumala's Venkateshwara. Read the rest of the details in the above link.  We were supposed to do the first one, in the 3rd year for the first baby .  Only 'odd' years! Until this was done, we could not visit the temple, both temples, Gunaseelam and Tirumala, for any reason...even for attending a wedding or for darshan! My first son had long hair (double plaited) when we went to Gunaseelam! The second son was some 8 months old. The babies were made to sit on their father's lap while tonsuring.  I remember my husband telling me that both of them cried a lot! In those days, there were only male barbers for doing this job.  Women/mothers were not allowed inside the room.  Now, we can see women also doing the job (Picture above). After tonsuring, the babies should be bathed and some priest would apply sandal paste on their heads.  Some devotee would apply the 'naamam' on their forehead Lord Venkateshwara wears, like this:

I have got their pictures with shaven head and naamam on their forehead...I laugh and they glare at me, whenever they see it!

I was just wondering what our wikipedia says about this and yes, I got the story and only now I know why I offered my sons' hair to the god!

When Lord Balaji was hit on his head by a shepherd, a small portion of his scalp became bald. This is noticed by Neela Devi, a Gandharva princess. She feels "such an attractive face should not have a flaw". Immediately she cuts a portion of her hair and with her magical power she implants it on his scalp. Lord Balaji notices her sacrifice. As hair is a beautiful aspect of the female, he promises her that all his devotees who come to his abode should render their hair to him, and she would be the recipient of all the hair received. Hence it is believed that hair offered by the devotees is accepted by Neela Devi. The hill Neeladri, one among seven hills is named after her.

Some of my relatives (husband's side - Tamilians) offer their babys' hair at Vaidheeshwaran temple. But as far as I know, every child's first hair was offered to some temple, mostly Tirupati. My Maharashtrian friend said that they don't have this custom. My mother's side (Udupi) too, don't have this custom! Is it just the custom of the Tamilians?

I don't know if I would ask my son to do this ritual and the ear-piercing ritual for his children. The babies are too small while doing this and I can't bear the crying of small babies.  Or as an elder, I might like them to do so...I might think it as the family custom and might be good for their well being! I think the younger generation would abhor this custom. They say that the hair will grow thicker if it is tonsured completely in the early years, do you think so?

What is your opinion?

Edited to add on 26.5.13: Profit for Thirumala from selling of hair!

Picture courtesy of Lord Venkateshwara: Google

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Be Happy Always!


This song, based on raag Ananda Bhairavi, was composed by music director A.R. Rahman.  He won the National Best Music director Award, Tamil Nadu State Award and Filmfare award for the songs in this movie, 'Minsara Kanavu' (Tamil). It was directed by Rajeev Menon.  Vairamuthu was the lyricist. Kajol,  Prabhu Deva and Arvind Swamy were the main actors.

I love this song by Anuradha Sriram, for the softness in her voice and the soulful melody of Rahman.  The orchestra is with very less instruments. The picturization also blends with the softness of the song.  And Kajol's eyes...expression in her face...great! Kannada actor Shankar Nag's wife, Arundhati Nag acted like a typical, devoted nun, here.

Hindi version of the song is equally good.  Anuradha herself has sung this song and lyrics by Javed Akhtar:

They always say when they mention about Christmas, 'Merry Christmas' and 'Happy Christmas'.  I like it very much.  I noticed that everybody whether they are Hindus or others, wholeheartedly greet everybody with this greeting, here, in our blogosphere too! Let me also join in!




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Japanese Wife - An Unusual Love Story!


I am a big fan of Aparna Sen, both as an actress and a film maker.  I remember admiring her first movie as a director, '36, Chowrangee Lane', in which Shashi Kapoor's wife, Jennifer Kendal played the main character.  It was a serious movie.  Most of you must have seen her 'Mr. & and Mrs. Iyer', a beautiful movie, in which her daughter, Konkona Sen acted as a heroine (opp. Rahul Bose, who is the hero of 'The Japanese wife'). I was interested to watch this movie just because it was Aparna Sen's movie.

Now, to 'The Japanese Wife'! Snehomoy Chatterjee (Rahul Bose), is a school teacher, in a small West Bengal village. The village is like an island.  Only boats connect it to other surrounding towns.  He is fascinated by English and comes across the 'Pen Pal's section in a magazine and starts writing letters to a Japanese friend Miyagi (This girl's sweet English accent is interesting and has acted well). This goes on for a few years and without meeting one another, they plan to get married.  He sends her the white bangles, which the married Bengal women wear, to her.  He wears a wedding band sent by her. They continue to send gifts and mails to each other for many years.  His aunt wants him to marry her friend's daughter, Sandhya, but he continues his friendship with his Japanese wife.  Then the friend's daughter comes and stays with them with her son, as a widow, after her mother's death.  As per the local custom, she wears a white saree and never comes face to face with Snehomoy.  Slowly after sometime, they come to talking terms and even though he becomes slightly attracted to her, he goes back to writing letters to his Japanese wife.  Her son comes closer to him.  That boy also acted very well. Then Miyagi gets ill and Snehomoy goes to all types of doctors and sends herbs and golis to his wife and talks to her over phone to console her, with his broken English. His expression while searching for doctors for his wife's illness is superb.  He is so much in love with his wife that he takes 6 months' unpaid leave to search for doctors to cure her illness. Such devotion! The love and concern for his unseen wife is visible in his face, so well.  Then one allopathy doctor asks him to bring his wife to him for treatment, he gets very upset.  On the way back, he is caught in a storm and then dies of pneumonia.  In the end, they show his white saree clad Miyagi, with shaved head, coming to his/her home.

Moushumi Chatterjee who has acted as his aunt (mausi), was a famous actress in her hay days and here, she has done her job superbly. Raima Sen (Moon Moon Sen's daughter) as Sandhya was a surprise.  I know her as an average actress - sort of 'item girl' actress. Her acting is superb, here, in this movie. She must be a director's actress.  If the director is good, she is good! She has got huge, expressive eyes! Rahul Bose, is a good actor.  Here, the subdued acting as a villager, takes him to a higher level. His body language is just like a villager's. His slow English with typical Bengali accent is very endearing! He keeps on saying, "my English while writing is better than while talking"! Miyagi's (Japanese actress, Chigusa Takaku) English also matched with his English! Her soft voice and expression is very interesting.  Oh, I have to mention about the kite competition, which is very interesting! Snehamoy sends the kites his wife sent him, to the sky, as if he is connecting with his wife. I liked the way the villagers' and Sandhya's son's interaction here. The movie is like our normal movie in this portion! The picturization of the movie is superb!

The first half of the movie is tooooo slow.  You need lot of patience to continue watching! The next half of the movie speeds up a bit.  But in the end, you feel that you have watched a good movie! Rahul Bose and Aparna Sen give us that feeling! I watched the movie without sub-titles for the first half an hour, thinking that I will just follow it with Hindi words with an 'o' accent! But no, it was difficult! Well, did I tell you? This is a Bengali movie!

Let me show a small video clip, so that you can have a taste of the movie. The way Rahul Bose grows up from a young man to middle aged man...his hesitation in body movement in the middle age...well, he is superb, thanks to Aparna Sen. A clean movie to item songs or dances! No songs at all! Still, I had a good feeling after the movie was over!

Picture courtesy: Google

Edited to add on 21.12.11: Though I have given the wikipedia link to the movie, I thought I should mention that the movie is based on the novel of the same name by the Bengali writer, Mr. Kunal Basu.

Edited to add on 22.12.11!: Please read my friend Kavita's comment in the comment section! It is interesting!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Award for me!

Thank you, Ashok for the 'Versatile Blogger' Award! I am honoured!

Ashok himself writes about different subjects and he is interested in architecture a lot, which you can find from his posts. He seems to be a good photographer plus a poet.  His sketches also are interesting, one is here, which I liked a lot.

Nice to know you, thank you, once again, Ashok!

P.S.: It is very difficult for me to select and present this award to my friends now. Will take my time, Ashok! I was thinking about the names for a long time and then decided to postpone upto my 300th post?! Forgot in the end to mention, this! (Edited to add at 4 AM, 20.12.11!).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Govind Nihalani's Classic Movie - VIJETA (1982)!


I heard this classical raaga based song of Asha Bhosle in the radio programme, Sangeet Sarita, a couple of days back.  The song is based on raaga Aahir Bhairav, a morning raaga and Asha's voice was impeccably melodious.  Rekha is, as usual, superb in the song video.  Then I saw the name of the movie, 'Vijeta'.  I remembered that I had been planning to watch the movie for a long time and I did, today! And it is a Govind Nihalani, my favourite director's movie! I have watched, Ardh Sathya, Party, Aakrosh etc. and if I mention 'Tamas', the TV serial, it is enough to know of his calibre...I remember its impact on us when it was transmitted in Doordarshan, in the 80's.  He was the cinematographer for the movie 'Gandhi' and he has done this job for this movie, Vijeta, too. Now, hear the song first and you will know why I got hooked to the song and the movie. This is the only song in this whole movie and this is a Hindi movie!

This is the story of how Nihal Singh's (Shashi Kapoor) son, Angadh (Shashi's real son, Kunal Kapoor), matures in his life from a confused teenager to a fighter pilot.  Neelima (Rekha), as Angadh's protective mother, has done her job, superbly.  I had never thought that Kunal Kapoor could act so well amongst the talented actors like Shashi and Rekha.  He did his role very well. 
The story begins with the India-Pakistan partition scene (though they don't show it, but just hints) where Shashi loses most of his family members and so, often gets nightmares.  His mother, Dina Pathak offers her first grandson to the Sikh religion, as is the practice in many Punjabi families as a 'mannath'. So, Angdh is brought up as a Sikh boy. This is not a partition story or war story, but revolves around the emotions of the parents, Shashi, Rekha and their son.    Shashi is shown as a sort of weak personality.  Because of a short extra-marital affair, his wife Neelima is emotionally detached from him and the friction reflects on their son Angadh.  He is restless and is not able to concentrate in his studies.  So he was sent to a boarding school but he leaves it halfway and comes home.  So, there is fiction between father and son and Rekha is very protective of her only son.  Then, her brother, Om Puri (this superb actor comes in a short role, in this movie) suggests to Angadh to join Air Force so that he becomes focused in his life with the discipline he has to go through over there. Here, again, the father is against it.  But Angadh joins the Air Force. 
Then the story develops to show how Angadh gets accustomed to the atmosphere at the Air force, their training, his friends and how he changes into a self confident person as a fighter pilot and comes closer to his father.  The training of the fighter pilot and later, the war scene (Indo-Pakistan war scenes are not shown in detail, but just the scenes where Angadh's personality is developed) are shown superbly.  Govind Nihalani is a good cinematographer and it is visible in these scenes. Wikipedia says: 

The film is notable for some rarely seen aerial photography of combat aircraft active with the IAF in 1980's.  The central character of Angadh himself, is a MiG-21 pilot and is shown flying the aircraft in ground attack role in the 1971 India-Pakistan war.  Much of the movie, including the climax involving MiG-21bis, was shot at Pune.  The IAF No.4 squadron (the Oorials), provided the pilots and planes for the film's aerial sequences.  The movie included good colour footage of the Oorials aircraft in fight and in operations.
I am a great admirer of Shashi Kapoor's movies (well, some of them!), like Junoon, Kalyug, Kabhie Kabhie etc. People who know/have seen Rekha's movies, will always be her fan.  I can't mention her movies because it is a looooong list! She is one of my favourite actors.  Khubsoorat, Kalyug, Silsila,, I will stop here!  

Let me post some good scenes from the movie, so that you will definitely watch this movie after reading this review.  I am very much impressed by it, you know!

The dialogue by Shafi Inamdar of 'Yeh jo hai Zindagi' fame, is superb, here.  You can see KK Raina also here.  Amrish Puri as Angadh's Fighter pilot instructor, has done a very good job in this movie.  Supriya Patak is a stage actress (Angadh's girl friend) and so naturally, has done very well. Now, to the videos:

Poster courtesy: Google

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Noiseless, Pollutionless Holiday Story, Part II - Weaver Bird!

The nests of the Weaver Birds! I took this snap from the verandah of the cottage!
Recently, we had visited Aathoor, a small town near Dindigul (Tamilnadu) and stayed in a cottage which was surrounded by greenery, facing a beautiful lake. I wrote an article/post about that.  I am continuing this post from that one which is here!  I had written there:
'We stayed in the veranda most of the time!  Watched a variety of birds flying here and there  and then, the Weaver birds, which had their nests just in front of the veranda, caught our eye!  We were hooked to the chirping sounds of these birds! They were really busy birds, building their nests.  Let me dedicate a separate post for them, who made our stay, memorable!
This post is just for the lovely birds!

As soon as we checked in and came to the verandah, we were surprised to see so much greenery and the lake at a short distance.  The whole surrounding made us very happy. We saw colourful butterflies and birds, flying here and there. The Dutch couple had many cats, some dogs too and they were roaming everywhere! Mrs.Ge said that the cats were very useful to keep the rats away! The dogs were very friendly with the visitors!  As all of you know, our whole family loves dogs and cats and birds and butterflies!  This was heaven for us! After sometime, our eyes caught the nests at some distance, from where we sat in the veranda. The loud sounds of birds flying here and there, were very interesting! All the three of us (husband, son and I!) started watching them and clicking them, sometimes fighting for the two cameras!

The birds were busy with their building work until nearly 6.15 to 6.30pm! They flew away together, collected the twigs (a lady visitor at the cottage said that the material was mostly leaf fibers!) and came back together to fix the nest with loud chirping sounds.  The male bird builds the nest and the female, if she likes, stays in the nest!  I have seen the inside of the nest long back.  They have one or two layers like rooms inside the nest.  If the female doesn't approve, the male starts building a fresh one.  The old one turns into brown colour and the new one is green! You can notice it in the picture! Most of the trees were Neem trees.  After the weaver birds left, suddenly pigeon like big birds were coming out in droves from the hollow, you see below the nests in the above picture!  Their sound was deafening but we enjoyed watching them! These activities started from very early in the morning till dusk!

I took this picture from the terrace of the cottage!
I noticed many purple rumped sunbirds flying here and there.  

It was not easy to capture them in the camera! This one is just a bit OK, I think!

I tried to google for some more cross-section pictures of the nest and a clear picture of the bird and came across Dr.Manoj's blog. He seems to be a professional photographer. He has got a beautiful picture of the weaver bird and other birds. Have a look! Very interesting blog, he has!

If you are a bird enthusiast and interested in knowing more about birds, here is a link from 'The Guardian', which explains about one bird a day! Very interesting link. Whenever you are bored, you can just watch them!

Now, to the video we took, which is quite interesting to watch. You can know why I talk so much about these birds.  The sound of the birds is heavenly:

Choosing 1080p in the above video will allow you to see the details with great clarity.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Noiseless, Pollutionless Holiday Story, Part I - Kamarajar Saagar Dam!

We had been planning to visit Munnar and other exotic places with natural wealth in Kerala, for many years now! A couple of days before Deepawali, we decided to do it!  We booked for our stays at Munnar and then my son said that we would visit a green valley like place with a Dutch cottage on our way, a lake at Aathoor, near Dindigul. Since we had planned to go by car, it was easy to divert a bit and visit this beautiful lake. I had read an article about this cottage in The Hindu, long back and wanted to visit the place!

Nobody would believe that after crossing the dusty, crowded Dindigul town, we would find this green patch with an old cottage, which was very homely to spend a couple of days (we stayed overnight, though!) peacefully.  We reached there in the afternoon after having our Deepawali oil bath, wearing our new clothes!  The road itself goes through the village and very narrow too!  No vehicles, so no noise or pollution!  First, we saw the lake which was looking beautiful and serene, with lots of colourful butterflies and moths! They were too fast and so couldn't capture them in my camera!

Kamarajar Saagar Dam, Aathoor...a small reservoir.
The GPS was finding it difficult to locate the Double Dutch cottage, which we had booked for our stay.  We asked some people for directions and reached there!
The Double Dutch Cottage, where we stayed!

Double Dutch Resort is located in the Kamaraj Valley in a small agricultural village, Aathoor, near Didigul.  This place is 300m above sea level, so the weather is quite cool, throughout the year, the owners of the cottage said. Click on the name of the cottage and you can have more details of the place, how to reach etc.  Because of our short stay, we couldn't go for scenic walks and view the greenery spread over the whole place.  Some more cottages which are run by Britishers and other foreigners, nearby, seem to be good too. The cottage looks very ordinary from outside, but is beautifully decorated inside!

The place is surrounded by trees and plants which reaches the beautiful lake with the background of the mountains!  We just sat in the veranda of the cottage and watched this beautiful view and kept on clicking the nature's beautiful gift to us:

The relaxing veranda (pic. from their brochure!)
We noticed some colourful butterflies flying here and there, here!

2-3 varieties of pigeons are found here, it seems!

I love this picture the most! Click on the pictures to have a better view!
This was taken after our walk up to the lake through the trees and bushes!

Solar lamp!

The green mountain...clouds...isn't the place beautiful?
We came across some heavy rains on the way from Chennai, but here, it was drizzling and so even some ordinary flowers were looking exotic like this:

This looks so beautiful...I remember eating this flower and seeds, when we were small! They were all over fences!

Beautiful colour combination!
You have already seen this flower and the beautiful spiders in my earlier post, here.  That picture also was taken here!  I have got more pictures of flowers which you will see in my later posts on the title, 'Wordless Wednesday' or 'Foto Friday'!

Now, I must say how we felt staying in the Dutch cottage!  The owners, Ge and Gemma, a very friendly couple, made our stay very comfortable. Read more about them here, which is very interesting! We stayed in the veranda most of the time!  Watched a variety of birds flying here and there  and then, the Weaver birds which had their nests just in front of the veranda, caught our eye!  We were hooked to the chirping sounds of these birds! They were really busy birds, building their nests.  Let me dedicate a separate post for them, who made our stay, memorable!

We had vegetarian food, which was just below average.  If it was good, then we, vegetarians can stay for long! We liked the ambiance  of the place more than anything.  The dining table was also kept in the veranda, which was the best place in the artistically decorated cottage with Indian/Netherlands' touch! Because it was Deepawali night, lots of diyas were kept in the veranda  and on the dining table too, which looked more beautiful because of the open surroundings! The hosts had arranged for a show of fireworks for the staff who stay there at the cottage. Ge said that the mosquito time in the veranda was from 5 - 7 pm.  Nobody knew where they went at other times!  Our room had a mosquito bat too! But we caught only a couple of mosquitoes because we had left the door ajar after 5 pm. for sometime!  The rooms were neat and we slept well without A/C, with the windows open to the woods! No TV in the room and we were not getting signals most of the time for our cell phones!  So, it is more peaceful to stay here and the family will come closer giving enough time to each other without the TV, cell phone distractions! Sometimes we used to get some signal in our cell phones in the veranda and used it to talk to our relatives - well, briefly!

There were only a couple of more guests when we were staying.  So it was calm without much human sounds!  We also were chatting in soft tones, which was unlike us! The Dutch guests also were very nice people and we had a happy atmosphere all the time.  The hosts, Ge and Gemma are very familiar with our India and they love our country like they love their country, Netherlands.  They help in a local school physically and monetarily too.  A lady had come from Netherlands, to teach in that school and had been staying in this cottage for more than 5 weeks, it seems.   We really felt at home there.  We must make one more visit sometime in the future and explore the other surrounding areas of the place.

We left for Munnar, the next day morning.  Ge and Gemma got up early to send us off with a happy feeling, which was a rare gesture with commercialised hotels we see everywhere! Thank you, Ge and Gemma!

P.S.: Click on the picture to have a good view!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Foto Friday!


P.S. Please click on the picture to have a better view!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011






Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Non-cricket Lover's Review of the CL T20 Final!

This skinny boy was the hero of the crowd on our side of the stadium!  He was continuously waving our Indian flag which was quite big and honking the conch in-between, throughout the nearly 3 hour match! Everybody missed Sachin 'in action', here!

(This boy is in wikipedia, read here Aragorn gave this interesting information on 17.10.11)

I used to like watching cricket when so many matches were not played...World Cup matches once in four years (!), then our team visiting other countries and others visiting us to play was interesting because the gap was more between matches and the match was between different countries playing against each other! Everybody's patriotism went to the hilt and the game was more emotional.  Then one-dayers came...OK, even they were interesting! Now, these commercial matches don't fancy me!  One more thing is, my husband and son seem to be glued to these 'tok tok' matches, whenever they are home! I am made to sit alone in front of another TV (they got me one to shut me up from complaining!) and watch my reality musical shows...before these 'too much' cricket matches, all of us, well, my husband and I, were watching these shows together chatting and discussing and praising the new talents.

I still remember the 1983 Kapil match! We were living in a colony in a small town, Hosur and nearly 20-30 friends of my husband were sitting together and watching the match! I was running a tea-shop for all! Whenever there was a '4' or '6', the whole crowd used to clap and shout and our Andy, the Pomeranian dog, used to stand up on two of his hind legs and jump, twirling around in the same position and keep on barking at people! It was fun! 

We had watched a Ranji Trophy match in Bangalore when the kids were small.  The players were in whites and were just distant objects moving, running here and there...we could see only that much! Then TV came and the addiction to the game grew!

The day before yesterday (9th Oct.'11), my husband and son suddenly decided to watch the CLT 20 match, between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers (Finals) and insisted on taking me also to the match! First, I thought it might be boring because I don't follow these matches and am not familiar with the current players too! Still, I went and enjoyed watching, not the match, but the atmosphere at the stadium and the 'SPIDER CAM' (click this wikipedia link to see how it works!).  It was fascinating to watch the camera hanging from four rope-like cables and capturing the game from all angles!   Mumbai Indians won the game and the Cup!  Now, to the pictures which interested me most, than the match!

We were not allowed to take even a water bottle inside! We had to 'buy' everything here! One Rs.10 Bingo/Lays pack costed Rs.30, here! But, they should also make money!
Rs.40/- per pack popcorn never fell down from the cones even when they were hanging out from the tray, how?!

These birds were flying in the sky, from one side to the other side of the stadium area, often, maybe, because of the bright lights! I watched them until nearly 10 pm!
Now, to my favourite, Spider Cam! From our seat, on a higher level,  the camera looked as if it was sitting down on the ground here and waiting for the play to start! It resembles our lantern, a bit!
If you click on the picture, you can see Ravi Shastri (in a suit), busy with the toss and the Spider Cam, waiting on the left side of the picture!
The Camera is hanging closer to the Mumbai Indians, here!  Peeping Tom?!
I could recognise our Bajji, Ravi Shastri, Malinga (his designer hair makes him stand out in any crowd!) and Vettori!  I know the game(!), so, was able to watch the match as a distraction from other more interesting happenings! I noticed small children with parents, also enjoying the game!  The crowd loved Malinga and was always clapping and shouting his name whenever he started bowling! The boy who sat behind me, must be speaking in sign language now as he was screaming his lungs out! Bajji was addressed as 'Thalaivaa', meaning 'leader', whenever he was in action! Yes, I will remember this match always, I think!

This is the entrance to the M.A. Chidambaram Cricket Stadium! We were allowed to take our cell phone inside but had to throw away the battery of our camera and take just the camera inside!  When we came came out after the game, we found the battery, where we had thrown it, fixed the camera and clicked this picture!
I took this picture before entering the stadium.  I asked this boy, who was selling this flag, 'Yevloda vele?' (What is the price?)..his reply, 'Nooru rooba' (100 rupees)! Smart fellow, na?
Cricket lovers are going to hate this review!

Edited to add (12.10.11): I am trying the new Blogger Interface for this post! It was difficult for me to adjust the spaces between the captions and the photos and so it was looking horrible, which I found after publishing, yesterday! So, I had to hit the 'unpublish' button, correct all the mistakes and publish again now!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wish You All A Very Happy Navaraathri!

Navaraathri & Vijayadashami wishes to all my readers here! Let the Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati bless all of us with wisdom, wealth and vidhya!

This song on Goddess Saraswati is a beautiful composition by the famous music director, Jaidev for film, 'Alaap'. The singers are Latha, Yesudoss and others. You will have goose bumps like I have, when you hear this song, I am sure! When you start hearing the sound of the flute itself, you will know, then comes santoor, veena etc.! Latha starts singing after which there is a small pause and then Yesudoss, Latha and others start singing!

Mata Saraswati Sharda
Mata Saraswati Sharda
Hey, Mata Saraswati Sharda

Vidyadani Dayani Dukh-harini
Jagat Janani Jwalamukhi Mata
Saraswati Sharda
Hey Mata Saraswati Sharda

Vidyadani Dayani Dukh-harini
Jagat Janani Jwalamukhi Mata
Saraswati Sharda
Hey Mata Saraswati Sharda

Keeje Sudrishti - 2
Sewak Jaan Apna
Itna Vardaan Dije
Taan Taan Aur Alaap Budhdhi Alankaar
Hey Mata Saraswati Sharda

Vidyadani Dayani Dukh-harini
Jagat Janani Jwalamukhi Mata
Saraswati Sharda
Hey Mata Saraswati Sharda
Hey Mata Saraswati Sharda

(lyrics link)

This song is sung and directed by the famous music director, Ilayaraja on Devi Mookaambika (Goddess Durga)...soulful rendition. This is one of my favourite song by the Maestro! The first few lines in Sanskrit are from Soundarya lahari shloka. The raaga seems to be Kalyaani. The above song also sounds in the same raaga, any idea? Raag Yaman?

Ilayaraja is a great devotee of Devi Mookambika and today morning I heard one more song which started with 'Amma Janani' which was also very good. I couldn't get it from our You Tube! Now, hear this beautiful song:

Shivah shakthya yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum
Na chedevam devo na khalu kushalah spanditumapi;
Atas tvaam aaradhyaam Hari-Hara-Virinchadibhirapi
Pranantum stotum vaa katham akrta-punyah prabhati

janani janani jagam nee agam nee

janani janani jagam nee agam nee
jagat kaarani nee paripoorani nee
jagat kaarani nee paripoorani nee

oru maan maruvum siru poondhiraiyum
sadai vaar kuzhalum idai vaaganamum
konda naayaganin kulir dhaegaththilae
ninra naayagiyae ida vaagaththilae
jagan moahini nee simma vaahini nee (2)


chathur vaedhangalum panja boodhangalum
shan maarggangalum saptha theerththangalum
ashta yoagangalum nava yaagangalum
thozhum poongadalae malai maamagalae
alai maamagalae kalai maamagalae (2)


svarna raegaiyudan svayamaagi vandha
linga roopiniyae mookambigaiyae
pala thoaththirangal dharma saaththirangal
panindhae thuvazhum mani naeththirangal
sakthi peedamum nee sarva moatchamum nee (3)


This song on Goddess Lakshmi is by Pt.Bheemsen Joshi! I had already did a post on Pandit Joshi and included this song and repeating it again, here! Please click on Pandit Joshi and hear the beautiful song, 'Bhaagyada Lakshmi Baaramma' in his booming voice!

Shubh Navaraathri!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pets N Kids!

Whether you are an animal lover or not, you will like these!

1. Posing for photograph! How will the baby feel, when he sees this when he is grown up?!

2. Mobile Stool! The dog must be used to acting like a stool! Looks comfortable!

3. The baby is reading stories to make the cat sleep?! The cat looks so happy!

4. Who is the baby here? My niece used to lie down, keeping her head on Jerry, the lab, and watch TV!

5. Chin rest?! The dog is drowsy!

6. Eye to eye contact?! The cat looks matured and the baby is astonished and happy!

7. Our Koyla (black cat) used to sleep on my husband like this, but on his chest! He used to talk like lullaby to her...'neethaan inda veettu Queen Elizabeth, neethaan inda veettu Aishwarya Rai...etc.etc.' She used to enjoy the vibration of his chest when he talked, I think! She used to give back a small guttural happy sound for every sentence!

8. Who is enjoying, the girl or the dogs?!

9. The boy has finished reading one book and has taken another! The dog seems to be happy!

10. Both the faces resemble each other, don't you think so?!

11. I do this neck exercise, keeping my hand on the window grill! Both are turning and looking back with the same expression! Lovely picture!

12. One more chin rest! Both look happy and comfortable!

13. Amen!

Do you feel like running and getting a pet for your baby now? Our Andy, the Pomeranian dog, was with us for 11 years and entertained the whole family. It is 16 years, since he is gone but even now I have got tears in my eyes, when I think of him! He was a very very affectionate dog!

Thank you, Partha Sir, for the beautiful forward! I am sure every body will enjoy seeing the pictures. Let me remind you...only the captions are mine, here!

All are welcome to give alternate captions please!

Edited to add (in the evening): This says it all: The innocence of the child, the guileless nature of the pet and the total trust between them are truly reflected in these enchanting pictures. (K.Parthasarathy's comment!)

Edited to add the next day! You can have a look at our own pet stories, mostly about cats, here

Friday, September 16, 2011

Foto Friday!


Tails' Tale!

(My friend Kavita's caption!)

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!
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