Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lessons from my car

While it is true I am smitten with my car, today I learnt an important lesson.
In a span of two hours, it took two hits - one from a bus and another from a two wheeler. Both were the respective parties' faults, but I could have avoided both incidents if I weren't playing rule-police. Anyway, the car wasn't complaining. It still was doing its best job in what it knows best. No regrets, no feelings of being ill-treated and no righteous feelings.
Perhaps, if all humans learned this, we would put all past regrets and hurts behind and just focus on what is needed.
Again, perhaps, this is what the following quote tries to say: "No matter how you feel, dress up, show up and do your best!"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tweetposts - 26th Aug 2010, Thursday

Was visiting a doctor's place recently. They had a few photographs all over the clinic which changed the mood (*my* mood) of the visit totally. At the main waiting hall was the huge photograph of Ramana sitting on a hillock with his stick. Inside was the photograph of Ram Surat Kumar (so Radha says) and another portrait of Ramana. Inside the doctor's office was again another photograph of Ramana and Vallalar.

Finally, these verses from Bharathi were framed on the side of a wall.
" தேடிச் சோறுநிதந் தின்று
பல சின்னஞ் சிறுகதைகள் பேசி
மனம் வாடித் துன்பமிக உழன்று
பிறர் வாடப் பல செயல்கள் செய்து
நரை கூடிப் கிழப்பருவம் எய்தி
கொடுங் கூற்றுக் கிரையெனப்பின் மாயும்
பல வேடிக்கை மனிதரைப் போலே
நான் வீழ்வே னென்று நினைத்தாயோ? "

I am not sure if these divinely inspired verses can do with a human translation, but for the benefit of those who don't read Tamil:
"Hunting for scraps of food daily,
And gossiping on meaningless trivia,
Suffering within and spreading it around,
Finally falling old grey haired and 
Becoming fodder for maggots -
Did you really think I will fall like many of these funny men?"

Bharathi was a man who had a Utopian vision sadly lacking in practicality. He had the heart of a lion that growled with fierceness when those around tried to snuff the life force out of him (and with respect to the outside world - succeeded!). Here he is talking to the Divine challenging It to give him a situation where he would fall from his vision. And It tried - hard! and failed. I know he made It proud with his life!

There was one weak moment I was thinking about these verses and then broke down crying - not exactly sure why. But these verses hit so hard, that if they keep playing over and over it will inspire one to do great things! I don't belong to Bharathi's tribe, but I want to - badly!

Back to the doctor's office - the setup is obviously a reflection of the minds of the people who set it up, and it made me happy sitting in that place for a long time. Later, another door opened and I saw the photograph of Shirdi Sai Baba holding his hands up in blessing.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tweetposts - 19th Aug 2010, Thursday

When the life path becomes a bedrock of stones and the journey becomes bouncy and tiresome, it is normal (not natural - we can split hairs on the distinction) to lose balance and take shortcuts. I think this test separates the conscious human from the sleepwalking human. With all respect and empathies to the people in duress (everybody goes through these moments), I think these opportunities must be used as an acid test. Actually, this thought keeps ringing after I watched maRupadiyum (Revathi's character).
Sadhguru Spot is beautiful :). It actually feels like an anachronism! He may be the first mystic-blogger in planet history! :)
The life story of Shri Raghavendra is so beautiful. He was an exalted Human being. Unfortunately, the movie was only made so-so! It details the life events but the contexts are not clarified properly. Also, the depth of understanding of the life-situations by the screen-team are also questionable. For example, there is a sea change in His abilities (Siddhis) after his initiation into Sannyas but it doesn't say how. Needless to say, it must be His Guru's work. But the Guru Himself isn't shown in such stature. Rajnikanth just keeps coming with folded hands in every screen and emotes without emotion (oxymoron ting!). But it's nice his 100th movie was this and that this movie flopped reflects on the audience taste and level. Despite the screenplay shortcomings, I am grateful for having known more about this soul. Also makes me want to visit Mantralayam.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tweetposts - 15th Aug 2010, Sunday

Dropped off my vehicle for service yesterday. Instead of returning back home by bus, thought of taking a walk. Was close to 5-6 kms. Felt really tired in the end. Body is in bad shape! One extenuating factor was that it was from 12:30pm to 2:00pm and it was really warm.

Saw an ad for Sony Vaio. Kareena Kapoor in scanty clothes in blowout size holding the laptop. Guess that rules out Vaio if I need to purchase a laptop in the future.

Mostly with corporations becoming so large, one easily replicates another's creation with their financial clout. Is it really easy to stay continuously innovative and a step ahead?
CIP1 - Parle came out with a drink called LMN. Coca Cola and Pepsi were quick to follow suit with their own drinks quickly.
CIP2 - Flip HD - now we have Vado HD, versions from Sony et al
I think it is possible to be original and innovative continuously. But you have to be on your toes all the time. Microsoft tried to beat Quicken with its clout but Quicken was always on top eventually causing Microsoft to withdraw the product (after years of fight!)
Apple also comes to mind. MS is struggling to keep pace with its tablet offerings while iPad sells millions of units in a matter of months. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friends (the TV serial!)

Finally finished watching all 10 seasons of Friends. I remember how this relationship started. Then later awed at the realization of the amount of work that must have gone in to creating one episode of goods-train like laughs!

Some things to really like:

1) In Hollywood land - to keep these six people together for 10 long years is nothing short of a miracle! A similar TV show called ER ran for 15 years - and except one artist every one else was written out of the show.

2) Chandler and Monica - it was pretty great that they allowed their relationship to develop without introducing any stupid "twists" like divorces or breaking the relationship half way. It is one of the high points of the show.

3) The non stop laughs - that is why the show flourished in the first place.

But sadly, the last 2-3 seasons, the jokes and the situations were really crass at times. The Joey-Rachel episode was the low point. I know the producers were feeling the waters and dropped it off after audience feedback. But did they have to draw out Ross-Rachel for 10 long years? It was so utterly needless. Anyway, glad it all ended well there!

My favorite characters were Ross and Monica. I also like Chandler's goofiness. Phoebe was developed way too erratically and is shown vacillating on values way to often. Rachel is too - hmmm, slutty? Ditto with Joey - they carried on with his sleeping-around tendency way too far. Eventually he is the only guy who hasn't settled down.

Ironically, if Rachel didn't have to travel to Paris and all folks were at NY still, the episodes could have technically continued. But it is a logical conclusion of 10 long years - nice!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What I am listening to now...

prejudice/bias warning ahead!

1Athi Muthal...iLaiyarAjAKeralaVarma

I had listened to this song a couple of times when the movie came out. But when I watched IR’s speech on how this song was composed, it gave an additional perspective and depth to the song. iTunes has an interesting statistic – number of times the song has been played. In no time this song became the most listened to song in my music collection because I was listening to this over and over again.

Pain, patriotism and fervor all commingle beautifully in this piece. Also, listening to both the Malayalam and Tamil versions gives some interesting tidbits. In one place, the lyrics go like this:

“யாவரிங்கே கொம்புத்தேன் கூடுகள் செய்தார்” (who made the bee hives on top of the mountains)

The repeat lyrics:

“யாவரிங்கே கொம்புத்தேன் கூடுகள் கொய்தார்” (who destroyed the bee hives on top of the mountains)
Only the last word has been changed, it rhymes and entirely changes the meaning on the sentence.

In Malayalam, the meaning of this phrase comes as “who stirred the hornet’s nest”.

Three interesting perspectives: Awe for the creation, pain for the destruction and call for battle!
1Rhim Jhim...iLaiyarAjAMahaadevHa! My lost treasure found after long long!

My heart balloons with joy on listening to this. Nothing more to say!

Note: Sadly, YSR copied this note to note in the movie Bala! He stripped down the orchestration and just kept the tune as it is. But MJ is looking incredibly pretty in the song!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 02, 2010

Trek to Velliyangiri 2nd stream

On Saturday, 31st Jul 2010, we went on a trek to Velliyangiri hills, 2nd stream. While this is an oft-repeated trek, this was a first for me. It’s a two hour trek one way and crosses the Dhanikandi village. Somehow, all of my treks are accompanied by rain! (CIP1, CIP2). No complaints though! On Velliyangiri, except for the path open to public to trek to the 7th hill, I think most others are protected and public cannot trek through. And am I glad for that! The forests are pristine! The rain made it all the more beautiful. The recent trek I made helped. The trail was moderately easy – I think it’s about 6kms one way. The 2nd stream is close to 550m high above sea level.

Well, our party was quite large – close to 120 folks. Unlike my previous trek, I had no shoulder burden and was walking freely. A chatterbox lady was walking with me and apart from bird sounds, for half the way, I was also hearing blah blah. (I don’t remember anything else anyway). Our first stop comes @ Dhanikandi which is about 2 kms from the starting point. It’s a small village – I presume about 50 to 75 homes were there. It’s nestled deep inside – no buses or easy access to the outside world. The villagers will have to walk nearly 8-9 kms to get their bus.

After that, it is all walking over undulating gradient and thick forest green chiseled with rain and bird sounds. Looking at towering trees clustering and trying to hide away the sky from sight was awe inspiring. What a magnificent creation! At one point, when the group made a small pause, I was leaning against a tree and noticed a medium sized spider that camouflaged its legs invisibly with the bark color. That was scary and beautiful. Its body had red spots. The fauna in the forest was quite interesting. Later in the trek, I saw dragon flies with red and black spots and another dragon fly which actually looked like a cross between a butterfly and a dragon fly!

When we finally reached 2nd stream (man is that hidden deep inside the mountain!), we were greeted by a gushing stream sound first. It’s quite large! I did not have change of dress and the weather was quite cold! I didn’t bathe, but was watching all other frolic! It was here that the dragon flies where aplenty. One tried to sit on my shoulder insistently despite pushing it away. I tried a cute little dance jump across stones on the stream and promptly fell down, hurting my thumb badly. It still hurts! But seeing this gushing, clean, abundant water stream inside the mountain womb was refreshing. I hope it stays this way – if required at the cost of human absence!

After like an hour of this frolic, the group gathered and had bajji, hot chocolate, chips and laddu. The bajji and hot chocolate were made on site. All the vessels and ingredients were trekked up! The waste papers and cups were collected separately in a plastic bag to be trekked down!

The return trek was slightly tiring. My left foot was aching, but the path and the ambience was great! The chatterbox lady returned as well. We had started by about 11am and returned back to base by 5:30pm or so.

Note: Happily, no camera this time!
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