21 October, 2005

Life as we live

Do you know which is the best Camera in the world? It is your mind. It is more powerful than any cameras. I always keep looking at the old pictures taken through my mind which helps me to smoothen down my life. In one way the reason I like photography is because of the link between Mind and Camera. When I saw this scene in Kew Gardens ( picture),London I wanted to keep gazing at it for hours. But I could not do so because of time. That is where the Camera comes in hand. In those days, I used to just click it with 'Mind', so that we can rewind it later. But nowadays I use my camera (not because mind is getting old, mind is always young). Just keep looking at this picture. Imagine you enter a hall with Glass roof and suddenly come across a small pond full of this kind of plant. Oh........ it was spectacular. Keep thinking about few drops of water on these leaves and they appear as dews on the leaves but it keeps rolling. The water drop is on the leaf but is not attached to leaf.

The life is like that. We need to be attached but also should know how to be detached. It is scary when you think that nothing is yours. Even breathing and walking is not by us. We cannot take pride of anything. The subject is very deep. I do not want to 'scare' anyone. Sometimes we never want to know the truth. Because Truth is scary and frightens us. Most of us want to live life just as it is. Never want to explore. If we do it, then we can find the meaning. Think...Think...Think. Watch your action. Your thoughts will change you. Do not live a meaning less life.

By the way the picture above was judged as one of the best 5 pictures in a photo competition held at my work. When a rating was done, for the best picture this did not get a chance. The well captioned picture got the prize. Still, I was happy with that.

I am taking a break from routine and leaving on holidays to Chennai. Hope to meet some bloggers in Chennai. My next post will be from Chennai.

17 October, 2005

Life is like a giant wheel and roller-coaster . Sometimes you go up, and sometimes you go down. Certain moments lift you up and certain moments pull you down. We need to learn to live with both. As of today, I turn back to see those wonderful moments I have had in my life. Most of the good ones were during Diwali. As we talk about it each one start having their sweet memories. I have had wonderful years of Deepavali. (Let me call in our own style)

Just few days before the arrival of Deepavali boys used to talk about it in the school.
"Dey.... They are buying crackers for Rs200/- in Kumar's house...da."
"Dey... I am going to my uncle's house. My uncle is coming from Dubai. We will be having crackers for Rs1,000/-". Nobody had uncles in US in those days.(atleast among my friends). Being in a middle class family, I knew the budget and never used to utter about anything to my friends. After coming home, used to ask my mom, about our family budget. It used to be very meagre, when compared to my friends. I never talked about the budget to them. The amount spent on crackers were estimated with the related rubbish in front of the houses.
"Dey.... did you see the rubbish in front of Sankar's house? I think they have burst a lot da..."
" Come to our street...... Uppili has lots of cousins who have come from Bombay.They all have burst crackers so much it is going to take days to clean the rubbish.".
The best joke among boys was some of them used to collect those rubbish lying in front of somebody's house and after putting them in front of their house used to boast that they only burst all those crackers. Clever ones (like me) used to say that we took all our crackers and burst it in front of their house, because of the cattles in the neighbourhood.
Among girls, dress and ornaments were the talk. All the elderly women used to gossip about the latest design sarees available in Nalli, Rangachary, Kumaran and all the shops in Ranganathan Street. It is really nice to think about this festival which brought so much of happiness to everyone.
I do remember also, the few years when we happened to have no celebrations due to deaths among relatives. I really wonder whether those kind of mourning is followed by people today. In those years, we never used to celebrate even for the demise of Grandparent's cousins. Nowadays it is different. Unless there is a very close relative's death, the traditions are not followed.
I always liked the morning of Deepavali. My mother used to get up first in the street and burst the first cracker of the street and wake up everyone in the street. There was our traditional Nadhaswaram musician called 'Raghavan' who used to come along with his troup. Though Raghavan's main profession was hair styling, his part time job was playing Nadhaswaram. All his accompanice used to be half sleeping (especially the boy who used to put Jalra.It is an art to put Jalra rhythmically and as well as sleep). The length of the music was according to the wealth of the people's house they visited. One of my neighbour was a very stingy man, and they played only for few minutes always in their house. Every house owner used to give them money with Betel leaves, and nuts. I used to wonder what they will do with so many betel leaves.

Most of the children never stopped with the crackers they had. They used to collect the half burnt crackers and flower pots and collect those chemicals in a paper and later used to burst them and get injured very badly. One of my friend Sankar in childhood, got his fingers burnt very badly. I wonder whether his kids do the same now. I had some seniors in my street who used to have the rockets in their hand and light them. One of my friend's uncle called 'Thambi Mama' came from Coimbatore and I still remember the rocket he launched. It came back to him. I always wondered why the rockets fell after certain distance. I wish I was born before Newton. The most dangerous of all was 'The Train'. One of my neighbour was working in Standard Motors Factory. They had a staff society and used to get crackers for cheaper rate. He used to bring all new varieties of Crackers. During one of those years, when we did not have Deepavali (due to my father's demise), my sister and myself got up early morning and started looking through the windows at the entire street who were celebrating merrily. We felt sad for our Dad. I had a doubt whether my father will come back alive the next year and was pestering my mother whether we will never have Deepavali in the future. After the dawn, visiting friends houses was another thrill. Everyone in their Deepavali dress, and walking to show their friends was a common sight.
"Ganga snanam Aacha....sir...." was the usual question among elders.
" Yennanga indha pudavai thaan vanginneengala.........yennakku kooda indha colourla .... vanganumnu aasai........ Yenna jananga.....Gumbalana ...Gumbal...Seri po...nammakku kuduthu vaikalainu...vandhutenga..." was the woman folks grumble.
Some vivid readers will be with their Deepavali malar. The best was 'Kalki' and 'Ananda Vikatan' malars. I still remember one of Madan's ( My favourite) cartoon.
Two boys lighting a Rocket on the road was the first scene.
The second scene will be a gentleman reading newspaper on the open terrace, and the rocket landing.
The third scene will be the gentleman looking surprisingly at the rocket where two astronauts will be walking out of it in a cool manner.

Oh.....god.......those were wonderful days. Later we started questioning about Deepavali in our early 20's. The charm started dying. Again picked up the enthusiasm during our first Diwali after marriage. Normally for most of the new Maapillais it is yet another skill to show before their in-laws. Now after becoming parents, celebrate it for the children. My son on hearing about the childless labour did not want to burst crackers for few years, until he was definite that those companies were not using any child labour. I am proud to have a son like him. Nowdays after the evolution of private Channels, Solomon Pappaiyan and Dindigul Leoni is seen in everyone's house on the Diwali day.

Now that we are in UK, we are missing all these happenings (though not the TV's). But I never like to miss Deepavali. I keep visiting Chennai every year. Yes........... I am leaving to Chennai on 23rd October and hope to see some bloggers when I visit there.

Hi Bloggers of Chennai........... Hope to see as many as I can.


I dedicate this posting to all those wonderful people who make Deepavali a memorable one by working behind the screen like Taylors, Crackers Factory Workers, Chefs in Sweet shops, Tradesmen and many more who work tirelessly to make others happy.


11 October, 2005


One,Two, Three... go...
were the first three words which meant that I should run during my early days. There was a huge playground called as "Appollo Ground" in front of my house in Perungalathur. It was neither a village nor a town and was called as suburb or semi-urban. Boys of different ages playing Cricket was a common sight in the evenings. Non-availability of players due to exams, Handles of the bat being broken, or Cork balls being broken were the reasons for not playing cricket some days. During those time running around the ground came in handy. Most of us used to run bare feet which I cannot imagine of doing it even while walking from my bed to toilet nowadays. Just before running if I had glasses of water, I used to hear strange sounds from my belly. One of my friend told that his father advised not to drink water before running. After few rounds, the sound used to settle down. Delhi Iyengar an aged gentleman walking along with his pocket transistor and waving at us was a usual routine. We were told by him that running will make our legs stronger.

After few years, on knowing the effects of running we started it in the morning during summer. The lakes used to be dried and it was pleasant during the morning to run across the mild wind blowing on our chest and face. Some of my friends used to promise the previous night that they will join us too, but they hardly joined us. Running in the morning made us to experience few things. Most of the early risers used to walk towards the common tap to fetch Palar water (which is drinkable and tasty water from the Palar River near Chingleput). Energetic stray dogs chasing us was a usual scene. Some of the lazy ones used to just lift their head and put it down back after making a bark or two. Newspaper delivery boys cycling fast, with one of their hand on the handlebar, and the other one on the paper was also usual sight. We never missed their style of throwing papers from the road towards the balcony shouting 'Paper'. I wish they all could play basket ball. Also, the milk man walking half-sleep, road sweepers discussing something were usual. I still remember few names of Milk vendors like Murugesan, Elumalai, Kaveri Amma, Sakunthala, Lakshmi and so on... They used to wonder why these boys are running in the early morning. During winter and foggy days some of them used to be scared on seeing us jogging as a group. Again due to so many reasons my running stopped.

After few years, when we were in mid 20's we started it again. This time few girls in our colonies too joined us. We used to enjoy wonderful scenes, like Sunrise, hear chirping of birds while walking back home. I have never run great distance though I always wished.

Later the habit of running stopped and started when one of my friend Nataraj's elder brother Ramji who was working in a Shipping company returned back to land, on holidays. We used to start running by 4:30 a.m and he used to exchange few of his experiences. It was wonderful to know the outside world from him.

Days rolled by and running became history. After marriage running was one of many things which became history. Now since three years, when the cholesterol level shot up, and after I felt that I could not see my feet because of my big belly, I decided to cut down on my fat, and started running. So, it is the same running, but different land, and people. I always like running for the reason that it is cheap, does not require any equipment to carry with except a pair of good shoes. You can do this cheapest exercise, wherever you go. Running helps you to know more places, meet people, and gives a great feeling. The muscles can be really felt after a run. It is a great experience to walk with those tired muscles. You should experience to know it.

There is a beautiful park near my house now and I run most of the days around the park. One day, I was surprised to know that there was going to be a race. The unique feature of the race I learnt was for raising money for Cancer Relief Fund and only Ladies were allowed to participate. I took my family to see the race. Grandmothers, Mothers, daughters, grand daughters and great grand daughters were there. Some of them working together, participated in same colour track suits. When the whistle blew, and the race started tears started rolling down my cheek. My wife noticed it and I wiped them off before my children could see it. It was very emotional to see some ladies wearing T-shirts with wordings on their back like
" In remembrance of my dearest Mom....."
"Dedicated to my dearest sister...."
"I miss you my friend...."
"Grand ma ..I...Miss you..."

and so on.

It made me to think. Death is inevitable irrespective of Caste, Creed or religion. People are same all over the world. Everyone wants to live. There could have been someone affected by cancer, or lost one of their friend/relative due to cancer, among the participants. Why do they run? To bring awareness among other public, and to raise money for the Cancer Research organisation to help them eradicate Cancer, atleast for the future generation. World is humane. There are still people who live for others, who love others. I explained this to my wife who is very understanding......YES..... YOU GUESSED IT RIGHT..... She is running in this race next year.

We need to carry the torch and give it to the next generation.

I dedicate this post to those millions of people who are fighting with the disease CANCER.

I am sure one day we can live peacefully without the threat of this diesease. Last week I read that they have found a jab for Cervical cancer.

CANCER! Sorry you need to get lost soon.....

05 October, 2005

04 October, 2005

Is the world going faster..... Sometimes.... I have stood in a corner and watched the world go. It is funny. You see everyone going faster as if there is no tomorrow. After sometime I join the same stream.... The same now with this blogging world..... First day I started reading blogs and went through some of my friends (No it was not Narayanan Venkitu) blogs until the next early morning. Realised that this is a new world..........I am now ready for all the newness...... New friends, New thoughts,New happenings, New humour, New pictures...... and a NEW WORLD. Yes...........

One seed can make the whole earth green.......

I love children. Childhood is the best part in human's life. You realize it only when you have outgrown it. How far are we allowing the children to enjoy. Though one way you envy at the children, for the kind of electronic games they could play with, another way we could only pity at them.

I remember a scene few years ago when I took a day off, to let the world go. I was standing in a corner of a busy road and watching all the children going to school. Most of the parents were walking along with their children and terrorising them by asking questions from their memorised homeworks and lessons.

This was the worst scene.....

A mother was walking along with her son who was so tiny and I followed them. The child was often pulling his trousers which was bit loose. The shoes were too heavy for the child to walk. Mother was asking numbers from 1 to 10 and the spellings. Then she questioned the child to recite the rhymes. Later she asked the child to recite Rhymes in Tamil and shocked me further by asking the child to recite Sanskrit slogas.

Parents...stop! .....stop!.....stop!.... Please do not pressurise your children at a tender age. Let them enjoy this world. Teach them to walk, sing, laugh and feel. Tell them plenty of stories. Give food for their thoughts first. Please leave them. Do not try to achieve through them what you could not achieve. Let them be kids. They will come up brighter than you. Do not worry. Give them your best time and encouragement.

Please be happy with children. They need not be your own children. Smile at children whom you come across every day and make their day happy. Wave at Children School bus ( Not when it is empty or when the teachers take it for a picnic trip) when it is full of children. See how many children wave back at you. It will spread like infection.... Please do it.

I dedicate this post to countless children of this world.