Monday, February 27, 2012

Tough Elevens!

My dear friend and one of the persons whom I admire most, Usha Pisharody, has tagged me here! I am not very good at doing tags, a bit lazy too! But for Usha, let me try! Then Bikram's is waitng!

The Rules come first:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged. (That’s a toughie :) copied this too because I agree with you, more ,here! My imagination is very poor!)
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Usha has asked 11 people these 11 questions. I am  one of them! Looking for 11 people and churning my mind for 11 questions....both are tough, esp. the second one!

Usha's is very interesting... both questions and answers!

Let me try....hmmmm...

1. In one word, what have you gained, in life, that you hold most precious? (there, that rules out “weight” :P :P )

I could have used that answer but no, I am not on the heavier side! I have matured a lot! I used to be a scarecrow...never spoke my mind easily!

2. In three words, a pet peeve?

Dislike false praise (I know my weakness which are a mile long!).

3. A word you think you use a lot, unconsciously :D ?

I have this habit of calling god when I am fed up....Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Nayamana (it is Narayana but my son used to say Nayamana when he was a kid and I continue it all the time!), before sleeping, while getting up in the goes on! (I use the maximum Rama, Krishna when the situation is worst!)

4. What is it that you love to do, most, and would rather spend your time doing it?

Nowadays, it is, sitting here, in front of my laptop!

5. What do you think others think of you?

A very ordinary, middle aged, a bit soft natured woman...most of my 'relatives' too say so!

6. Who would you say made you who you are today (other than your parents, if that is what you would answer :) )

My future changed when my school headmistress, Miss. Subbulakshmi, refused to give me admission in Tamil medium class in my sixth standard school entrance instead insisted on admitting me in English medium class, which has helped/changed me a lot later...well even now, here! Studying in English medium was 'great' in my circle, then! Though it is still in 'improving' stage!

7. What gives you joy?

Good music!  Good book too...though reading is slowing down now!

9. If you could go back to one moment in your past, which moment would it be?

When my kid son said that I should have been his teacher! (I used to explain their lessons in my own way, in the evenings!).

10. Do you believe in alternate lifetimes? If so, what is the you there doing now? (It’s actually one question, with two parts :D )

I would have been roaming in Leh! Love to watch nature! I feel fine being a woman but for roaming wherever I want to, I would like to be a man!

11. What makes you you?

I don't sincerity? I don't lie that easily, even for fun! So, less sense of humour, I was told!

My set of 11 questions for 11 others…

1. Do you remember your first day in school?

2. Your favourite song which you hum often.

3. Which was your favourite subject in school?

4. Are you happy with yourself always, well... most of the time, for what you are today?

5. Role model in your life? 

6. Have you got the habit of cursing often?!

7. What do you do when you are very happy?

8. Do you believe in God or destiny or luck?

9. Any regrets in life?

10. A sweet memory which you talk about often?

11. Do you think you are a good son, daughter, brother, sister, spouse, parent? Mark yourself, if you can!

Thank god, this is over! Now, will happily trouble others!

1. Destination Infinity

2. K.Parthasarathy

3. Kavita

4. Saritha

5. Rahul Bhatia

6. Ashok

7. Swaram

8. Bikram

9. Vaish

10. Renu

11. R.Ramakrishnan

I will be happy if you do the tag, friends! It is OK if you don't feel like doing it too...sometimes I too don't feel like doing it! My questions are quite simple, aren't they?! So it must be easy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Our Andrew Ruled Us For 11 Years! Part - I


I had been thinking of writing about our Andrew for a long time now.  A Facebook message by Usha Pisharody triggered my brain and I am doing this post at last, now! I was afraid that I might write a lot and yes, I am going to!

Let me start from the day he joined our family! It was in Hosur! We had just then shifted from Bangalore to Hosur.  My neighbour from Bangalore had a Pomeranian dog, Pinky, who had delivered 5 puppies and she offered me one.  But we had to wait for the pup to grow up.  So, he, whom we named Andrew, came home, by car to my husband's office and he sent him via his office boy who came by a bicycle holding him to his chest!  Andrew was shivering when I took hold of him for the first time...he was looking like a tiny white soft woollen bundle with 3 black rounds for 2 eyes and a tiny nose, maybe the nose was pink! He was just 40days' old! Though we had a dog in my grandmother's place and then cats in my mother's place, Andrew aka Andy was new to us. My sons were in 2nd and LKG classes! So, three children to look after for me in a new place! And I didn't have a servant maid too! Imagine! After he slept, I ran to the shop, asking my neighbour to be with him, in case he woke up, to buy a small chain, a teething ring(!) and some marie biscuits.  I feel as if I did all these things recently! We lived in a Housing board colony of independent houses.  We had small garden areas in the front and the back but no fences! I had to keep an eye on Andy all the time! Because of Andy, all the colony children started coming home to play  with him! If I closed the door, he was behind me playing with my saree and then just like that, sleep on my foot! I was cooking without moving my foot for a long time, I still remember!

One day, no, one night, we couldn't find him for quite some time.  The year was 1983...TV was still new.  It was a Friday and 8 O' clock Tamil film song programme 'Oliyum oliyum' was going on in the TV.  The whole colony was deserted.  Nobody wanted to move out because of the TV programme.  Still many children joined us in the search. We just roamed here and there calling him! All of us were very upset...then we found him sleeping behind the gas cylinder when the whole group of adults and children had left the TV programme in search of him!

He had this habit of running to the neighbouring house and bringing home their child's toys!  So, whenever some toy was missing, my friend used to come and complain 'unga Andy thookkindu vandiruppan' (your Andy must have brought it home!). Sometimes she was angry too! But Andy is a baby...a loving baby! Shail knows best!

I didn't know what to feed him in the beginning, so like I used to feed my babies, I fed Andy paruppu saadam (dhaal rice) with salt and ghee! Later on I was told that ghee and salt are banned for dogs!  But in later years, he was fed saambaar rice by my servant maid along with her 4 children and this fellow was happily gobbling it up from her hand! She used to work in 4 houses, collect all the rice from those houses, mix them up and feed her children (making balls out of the mixture and dropping in the children's hands and then one ball for Andy!She used to feed him holding rice in her hand!) who came from a nearby school for lunch. 

Andy used to play 'hide and seek' with the colony children.  We women used to play tennikoit in the open space in front of our house.  This fellow used to intervene and run away with the ring!  We, women, children used to run after him! It WAS real fun!

When he was tiny, we made him to sleep on a small jute bag with a cotton cloth on it.  Andy used to sleep on that, come out, urinate outside his bed, in small round puddles, go back and sleep! His bed was never wet for months together!

Ours was the only house which had a Pomeranian dog in those days.  So it was called 'naai veedu' (dog house).  Andy used to run away from home often for one or two days. Sometimes we used to find him in some homes.  He was an over friendly dog! Once he was missing for a few hours and we found him sitting near a small plant...his chain was caught in a branch...he was a 100% budhdhoo and darpok!

I had already written here how he used to bring auto rickshaws by himself! Whenever we were out of station, we used to send the children and Andy to our friend's place.  When we have a dog, we should have some friends who would be happy to take care of them in our absence.  My friend's husband was crazy about Andy.  He used to give oil bath on Sundays to my sons and his children and Andy too used to have shampoo bath with the children near their well in the open space! He really enjoyed life!

If I was not in station, my husband used to take him to his shop (he had an electrical shop then) and Andy used to sleep there! My husband had to coax him a lot to eat! Andy loved chapaathis and curd rice too!  Sometimes we used to feed him eggs.  He loved warm breads from the SHOULD be warm, otherwise he refused to eat!  He used to be very fussy for eating if I was not home!  He never liked me going out.  Whenever I tried to change my saree for going out he used to sit on it and make it difficult for me to wear it and then would start barking until I turned the street corner!

He never liked to take bath! I had to carry him in my hip like a baby, even after he was quite grown up, for giving him a bath! He would run here and there and hide beneath the  low double cot and it was very difficult to pull him out. Sometimes my husband used to bathe him.  Andy hated it more because my husband would apply soap on his body and rub him so hard that his whole body used to move from one end of the bathroom to the other! Then he started acting smart!  Whenever my husband said 'Innikku naa Andyei kulippaattureen' (I will bath Andy today), this fellow would run and hide in his usual place - beneath the cot.  My husband would coax him, plead, he won't come out! Then my husband will curse him, go and bathe himself and come near the God to, Andy would come and stand beside him with his tail wagging!

My friend, whenever we met used to ask me 'Un moonaavathu paiyan yeppadi irukkaan? (How is your third son?)'  He was like one.

I remember one more incident.  Andy had the/took the freedom to go anywhere in the house.  On the Ganesh Chaturthi day, he loved to sit near Ganesha among all the flowers and diyas, sometime sleep, keeping his chin on the cold flowers (this was in Chennai!).  After the haarthi, I used to recite some shlokas and my sons used to repeat them.

Gajaananam bhoota...sons used to repeat and then Andy, 'Wow Wow'
Ganaadhi sevitam...after sons' repetition, Andy, 'Wow Wow'
or is it 'wok wok'?! The Pomeranian dogs have a unique small voice and our Andy had that!

Imagine Andy sleeping, keeping his chin on the flowers in front of the Ganesha!

I think I will continue in the next post!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday!


Monday, February 20, 2012

'Karnan', The 1963 Tamil Classic Movie - Unforgettable Movie!

Karnan, Tamil Classic Movie

When my children admired English movies and discussed about how they were made, what class they have got, etc. I went defending our regional movies, saying that we don't have that much funds or technical facilities, world viewers, etc.  But after reading about the movie, Vijeta (1982), I did a post on it here), wherein I came to know that some of our films were made with great effort.  I take a passage from my review:

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.

But even before that, in 1963 Tamil movie 'Karnan'  a lot of effort was taken for the authenticity of the war scenes.  It was not given much light until now, or I have never read anything about it.  The Hindu article about the Centenary celebration of the Director of that movie, Shri B.R.Panthulu, his son said this:

“The money involved was on a mind-boggling scale. For the first time, a story from an epic was shot in opulent locations such as the palaces of Jaipur. Huge moving chariots were made in Chennai and transported to Kurukshetra, where the war sequences were filmed.Government permission was sought, and cavalry and infantry from the Indian Army were brought to the locations at Kurukshetra and the first rows of the charging armies on horses and elephants had soldiers from the Indian Army” 

I still remember the war scene where in Karnan speaks to Krishna...Bheeshma in the arrow-bed etc.  We keep seeing the movie at home too, often.  Shivaji is a great actor and the Andhra super star of those days, N.T.Rama Rao acted as Krishna in that movie.  As everybody knows, Karna is a story in Mahabharata, our Hindu classic epic. Karna is the son of Kunti from Surya Deva...wikipedia gives a short summary here!

The music for the movie is by the famous M.S. Viswanathan and Ramamurthy duo.  They used Hindustani ragas for all the songs and rare instruments which were never used earlier in Tamil films like sarangi, dilruba, Santoor, Shehnai etc. Each and every song is a gem of its own.  Now, let me show some videos of the songs.  You can see the grandeur of the picturization here:

The above song is in raaga Hameer Kalyan.  Savithri looks so beautiful...lyrics is interesting! Shivaji is best for historical movies...his features, his accent suit them very well.

You can see the Beluru (Karnataka) architecture as the backdrop in the above song. Raag Saaranga, I think.

The next one is sung in the war field.  Krishna says that the whole world is acting according to his wish, whether good or bad.  Seergaazhi Govindarajan is singing:

I searched for other beautiful songs from this movie, but couldn't get them.  I love the song 'aayiram karangal neetti' a lot.  But couldn't get it.  Anyway, the above songs show the calibre of the music in this movie.

Edited to add (21.2.12) a scene where Karnan and Duryodana's wife (Savithri) are playing chess.  As you know, Karna and Duryodana are very close friends.  Still, when Karnan took the liberty to pull his friend's wife's waist chain, he feels awkward, she too. But Duryodana ignores it and discusses about the game.  This story is often quoted for true friendship.  I wanted to include some war scenes but no, I couldn't get any in you tube.  So this scene will show the people who have not seen the movie, a glimpse of how it will be.  This movie was made in Telugu(Karna) and Hindi (Daanveer Karna) too!

P.S.: Second part of this post is here

Top still courtesy: Google

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Very Rare Successful Pair Of Father And Son In The Music World!

R.D. Burman and his father, S.D.Burman or should I say S.D.Burman and his son, R.D.Burman!

Sometime back, I came across this article in 'The Hindu' which was a tribute to R.D.Burman, the Hindi Film music director. His father, Sachin Dev Burman comes from a royal family (mother, Princess of Manipur and father, Prince of Tripura!) who was a trained Hindustani Classical Singer.  The son, Rahul Dev Burman also had learnt classical music. His mother also was a music student when his father married her!

My son is an ardent fan of S.D.Burman, the singer and I wanted to make a list of his songs but after reading the Hindu article and the biographies of his and his son's, I thought I should write about both of them, though one post will not be enough for listing their delightful, melodious cum rhythmic songs.

S.D. Burman is famous for music based on folk music mostly, one is here and this one is sung by himself for the film, Sujatha (I love Nutan!), 'mere saajan hai us paar':

This song is from Aradhana...S.D.Burman's voice is very apt for this folk type song.

The music is slow and haunting. Now, to one of his great evergreen song
from the film, 'Aradhana':


His son, R.D. Burman is famous for rhythm based songs. He changed the
Indian Film music by introducing Middle East tunes which became a
craze in those days. But he has rendered very good melodious music
too. Here are two examples. This song is from the movie Sholay. RD
Burman is singing for the famous Helen's dance and the song is, one of his best!

This song is from the movie 'Amar Prem'. Kishore Kumar is singing for
Rajesh Khanna. All the songs of this movie are hit songs which are melodious and soft type.

This song is from Film 'Padosan'. Latha is singing for the young and beautiful, Saira Banu. Slow and melodious song. Her voice is so young and beautiful (again!) and it suits Saira well.  I used to sing this song when I was newly married.  My husband used to listen with a happy face.  You know why? The lyrics go like this: Sharm aathi hai magar aaj ye kehana hoga...ab hume aapke kadmoan hi me rehana hoga... (Saira sits near Sunil dutt's feet and sing this line!).  Will I do it now? I wonder!

It was very difficult to select songs of this father son duo. Both of them have given so many melodious songs of different types. Normally if the father is very famous, the son is shadowed by his fame. It is very difficult to come out of it. But here, RD Burman also bloomed well under his father's guidance/taunting (read the Hindu article!). The father was proud to be called 'RD Burman's father'!
Now, one more song of the father, which is my favourite. I think I must make separate posts for listing more of the songs of this duo!

This is S.D.Burman singing for the movie 'Guide'. And Rafi singing for the same movie.

This is R.D. Burman's song for the film 'Pyar ka mausam'.  Another song for the film 'Rocky' and this is one of my favourites by Kishore Kumar.

This song is by S.D. Burman for 'Yaadon ki baaraat'. The movie and the songs made history in those days. This one is for the famous Amitabh, Jaya film, 'Abhimaan'. Kishore and Latha are singing this song.

This song made history in those days.  We used to hear this song in every street.  Zeenat Aman became famous because of this song which is by R.D. Burman, for the film, 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna'. And his father gave a superhit song for the film Aradhana.

Can you believe this? These are R.D.Burman's song.  One is from the film, Aandhi and the other is from the film, '1942, Love Story'. Both are melodious songs! S.D.Burman is right.  He should be proud of his son!

I think I will stop here! Now, will you mention some songs of these father and son duo, which you admire? It will be fun knowing about more songs of these music maestros..


Saturday, February 4, 2012

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

First, I thought, I will skip the second part of my earlier post, School Memories of a 59 year old mother! might be boring.   Then, I thought, I had committed (!) and I have to write now! So, here are some more memories!

As I told you earlier, we had one period of drawing class.  This scrap book is from my VI Std. We used to take colour pencil box and water colour paint box to school on the day of the drawing class.  I had done better drawings, but somehow only this book survived! I had some science record books also! Thank god, I was not able to trace them in my old are saved!

Even now, this is my favourite rangoli! I draw this in front of my house during festival days!

I remember seeing these types of drawings in my grand niece's books also, now!

Water colour! The butterflies look funny!

This is not good, but I remember carrying coloured, polish papers to my class! The green coloured paper is inserted inside the pink one!

My children had beautiful labels with the pictures of cricket players etc.  These labels were got from the shops free of cost, while buying note books!

My parents had 5 children! My mother didn't have time to monitor our school work.  Most of the time, we were on our own! We, brothers and sisters were close to each other and we were in our own world.  Somehow, it was fun! We used to play many indoor games like pallanguzhi, 5 stones, daayam etc.  Then, card games like ass, 'gor kaththe' etc. This 'gor kaththe' game (kaththe means donkey in my language, Tulu! Collecting cards to become a donkey, will be the close meaning!) is interesting! For 4 or more players, we use 2 packs.  Distribute 10 cards each. Place the rest of the card pack in the middle. Start the play with A Spade.  If nobody has that card, then start with A arts or A clubs or A dice.  If you don't have the spade, then pull cards from the pack one by one until you get a is fun watching people collecting cards! Whoever has the highest denomination card, starts the rounds.  If you have two same denomination cards, whoever drops the first card, should start the next round. After all the cards in the pack are over, then the game is just like our 'Ass' game. In our game, the player who gave the 'cut' plays first after giving the cut! We call it 'Ramesh Kaththe' too because this cousin of mine taught this game to us when we were very small! Now, all my relatives play this game during get-togethers!

I had this habit of drawing faces everywhere...

This is an old cutting of the players of the 1971 India-England match - I had this cutting in my scrap book! I had written the names of the players too! One more link of the players of the same match is here
People were crazy about cricket in those days too but they had to go to the stadium to watch the match or hear the commentary in the radio! The radio commentators were very famous.  I remember watching some clips in the theatre, before the movie started, before the 'Indian Films Division' documentaries! We used to admire Ian Botham - he was a jovial person and interacted with the spectators while standing near the fence during the match! I think we started seeing foreigners in these clips, otherwise we never came across them earlier, no TV and except in Hataari and one or two other English films, we never came across seeing white people! I got familiarised with the rules of the game from a Tamil magazine, 'Tuglaq' - yes, Cho Ramaswamy's magazine (now, he is famous for his role as a 'think tank/adviser' for Jayalalitha!).  The game was explained with drawings!

I remember while watching the matches in theatres, as soon as the match was over, the spectators used to rush in to the playground and hug the players! If any player makes a hundred, some people would come in and hug the player! Now, the spectators are fenced off!  The players too, as soon as they hit a hundred used to lift their bat, first to the sun/god and then to all the 4 sides - to the spectators and pavilion.  Now, it is to the sun/god and then to just to the pavilion.  They don't seem to acknowledge the spectators...well, most of them.

My teenage hero! He is really very handsome, hmmm?!
Like any young girl, I also hero worshipped a film hero...Dharmendra! I don't know why I admired, he is an ordinary hero for me...better actors were there and are there now (I think so, now!). He is good in comedy than serious acting, I feel so, now! I remember watching his 'Satyakam' (Hrishikesh Mukherji's) and started admiring him! The story was a serious one and a good one! My mother used to take us to movies in those days!  I had a collection of 10-15 pictures of Dharmendra but only a couple of them survived! This one is from an old, famous magazine of those days, 'Picture Post'! I remember getting angry with my mother because she didn't take me to 'Anupama', a Dharmendra movie! That was actually a good movie, I saw it in the TV, may years later, with my mother! My favourite is 'Chupke Chupke'! My sister was a Rajesh Khanna fan! We used to have arguments about our heroes! It sounds silly now!

I had this picture in my collection! The lady on the right looks like Bharathi, but it says Mala Sinha! I don't know why I had Dara Singh's picture ad.!

This is the end of Sandhya's story, for now!

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