05 December, 2006

Language problem

One day we had been to a museum in London and while we were inside the art gallery deeply involved in looking at the displays, my daughter vanished and suddenly appeared with a mask (must be easy to identify whose mask it is)which was funny and made us to laugh. The kids are very creative, and one day while I was helping her with her breakfast, she suddenly said "Dad if Jesus and Lord Krishna meet now, they will not speak with each other. Do you know why?". Inquisitively I asked "Why?" and she said "Language problem. Jesus cannot speak Hindi or Tamil and Krishna cannot speak English. So I think they will have communication problem."
I am sure my neighbour would have heard my laugh. I was wondering how this got into her mind. I guessed probably with all the Christmas celebrations going in their school, she must have had this thought. I did not want to probe much into her chain of thought. But started thinking about Language problems.
The first time I had Language problem was when I travelled out of Madras to Hyderabad. I felt very bad for not knowing the language what others were speaking. Then when my cousins visited from Bombay and other states, they used to speak in Hindi. I thought I should learn Hindi too to understand what they speak, and enjoy more.

Now being in London, and travelling around I hear many languages. It is interesting to learn few words. I think languages will be there always with few modifications now and then. My children do not know Hindi and everyday they are bringing in new words. They are curious to learn Hindi too. There are plenty of children in their school whose mother tongue is Hindi and Urdu. It is nice to know many languages and great to speak them. We were deprived of those opportunities during our school days in Madras.

I think it is high time we should have a common language in India and should be taught to every one in every state and no fanaticism should be allowed. Because we live in abroad, our interest towards our mother tongue has not decreased. When we learn other languages we widen our knowledge about our language too, and try to know the relevant word in our mother tongue and thus improve our mother tongue too.

Our great politicians should realise this and bring changes in our education system to encourage our future generations (than their kith and kin only) to learn more languages in Tamil Nadu rather sticking to only one language.

23 November, 2006

Green thought

Every child will have a favourite toy. Certain qualities of children are peculiar. A child should have a memorable life. If asked to rate, I would rate my childhood as the best part in my life. The other day I was laughing to my daughter’s innocent comments.

I had a great opportunity to participate in open meeting in her school. The parents are invited to school and can spend the time in the school, and know the way how their children are taught. I was surprised to see very few parents and more surprised to know that I was the only Dad. But still I started enjoying. My daughter was not conscious of my presence. It was a wonderful experience to watch each child behaving in their own way. Within one hour, I made good friends in my daughter’s class. Oh…how innocent they were! During the play time, I observed that each child had their favourite toy to play with. After the morning session, I returned home with sweet memories and the children happily waved at me saying “See you tomorrow”.

I was trying to recollect my favourite toy. My favourite toy was a small London bus which my Dad got me when I was small. Whenever I see the bus in London it reminds me of my childhood. I had the toy for many years. I wanted to click the famous London bus. Finally I made it one day. The picture you see in this post is the one I clicked when I was roaming in the city. The traffic is very busy.
Looking at the Traffic it reminded me of Prince Charles’s recent statements. He is being called as Green Prince. Recently he was on the headlines for his thought on Global warming. Prince Charles has told some of his staff to use bicycles in the fight against global warming. He is even prepared to travel to London by commuter train from a station near High grove. Charles will stop using royal helicopters and private jets on official engagements whenever possible. Charles has also told aides to find a more environmentally friendly fuel for his fleet of cars.

What are our ‘Manbumigus’ (Ministers) planning to do? Will they set an example or ask who cares?

I have bought a cycle just few weeks before, how about you?

18 November, 2006

Towards a bright future

I have been regularly watching this programme “Achamillai Achamillai” in Jaya TV. The meaning of the title is “Fearless Fearless”. This line reminds me of the great poet Subramani Bharathiar. Mrs Lakshmi, Film actress hosts this program very well. She involves herself so deeply with the participants and questions them with great love and passion. She could put herself in the participant’s shoes, and delivers the message very clearly. I am sure that this program should be reaching the mass in the South India, since this covers success stories, struggles and the real situations of many families and people.

I was very moved by one of the recent program. The highlight was that today’s parents are giving their best to give good education to their children, for their good future irrespective of their present income.

Mr X is a pavement dweller. He has not studied school after 5th standard. He has been working from then and he must be in his 40’s now. He loved a girl and married her in his late 20’s. She was not educated too because of poverty. Mr X works as a security in a private firm, and Mrs X is a rag picker. That is how they earn their livelihood. They do not have a house to live and they dwell in the streets with their two little children. Their daughter is studying 7th standard in Church Park School, Tamil Medium, and son in 4th standard. Mr X explained that his aim is to give good education to his children, since he could not study well. Their daughter was also interviewed and she said that her aim was to become a policewoman. When questioned why so, she said that she wanted to punish those who are bad in the society. Their son said that he wanted to become a doctor. Mrs Lakshmi asked whether it is not difficult to live in the streets with school going children. Mr X replied that the children start studying after 8.00p.m, in the night since the traffic calms down, and the noise lessens. He said that his daughter wakes up around 11.00p.m in the night and does homework and studies until midnight. He came to know this through few auto rickshaw drivers who are in the nearby auto rickshaw stand, since the parents used to be half asleep after their day’s hard work.

The children were looking cheerful and confident. Suddenly there were tears in the girl’s eyes and Mrs Lakshmi too was almost in tears. Probably the girl who is growing up realised the difficulties with which they are growing up. During rainy days, they run towards the nearby bridge for shelter. This really brought me tears. The daughter also teaches her mother to read and write in the evenings. Mrs X said proudly about this. I am sure that these parents will definitely succeed in bringing up their children.

It made me to feel guilty about the way we live. Those children are studying in Street lights. There are hundreds of families living like this in metropolitan cities in India. There are one sector of people who are running their Air conditioners with nobody inside the rooms.

We have been proudly boasting about so many schemes to eradicate poverty. What are our so called Munnetra kazhagams doing? Are they only worrying about their power and wealth? Is there no scheme to help those who are in real need? I honestly feel that they should cut down expenses on all pomp and show and concentrate on those people who do not even have their basic facilities rather than boasting about their Government’s achievements.

14 November, 2006

Sweet life

Today is World Diabetes day. I think that there is no better day, than today to know a bit about Diabetes. If you feel this is boring then I do not blame you. The reason is you may think that you are too young to worry about, or this is for someone who is very obese, or who eats lots of sugar. Please…Please….do not ignore. I was just like you until last December. On one fine day in the month of January, I volunteered to my Doctor to test my blood and was shocked to know that I am diabetic.

We all know Diabetic means sugar related disease. But after I was affected I realised many facts about Diabetics.

It is irrelevant of any age. My doctor said that he has patients who have diabetics even in their teens. A recent study has revealed that 73.8 per cent obese children in Chennai are from upper middle class.Doctors say that childhood obesity should be addressed seriously as it will lead to many diseases including diabetes. Moms please stop over feeding your children.India has the maximum number of diabetic patients and the number will touch 57 million by the year 2025.The prevalence of diabetes has increased from 5.2 percent in 1983 to 8.2 per cent in 1989 and rose to 11.6 in the year 1995.

It could be controlled well with diet and regular exercise.

It is purely a life style related disease. Simple exercises such as walking daily, dietary control and following medicines if required can keep it under control.

Every diabetic patient should check their eye and feet frequently. They should be checked immediately of damage it has caused in us. The nerves leading to eyes and feet are very minute. Especially the nerves leading to eyes are so minute they look like a hair, when eyes are blown to the size of a 17 inch computer monitor. If there is any blockage or burst there will not be any pain to reveal this. Only a proper eye screening test will reveal this and doctor will prescribe the necessary care and medicines.

Feet should be taken care of very well. In fact every diabetic patient should treat his feet like face, and give care. Trimming of nails should be done cautiously. A check up with Chiropodist will be perfect.

Another wrong idea that prevails in a common man is borderline diabetes. According to the Doctors, there is nothing called as borderline diabetes nowadays. It is just either diabetic or non-diabetic.

Diabetic is nothing but a chronic health condition where the body is unable to produce insulin and properly break down sugar (glucose) in the blood. Symptoms include hunger, thirst, excessive urination, dehydration and weight loss. The treatment of diabetes requires daily insulin injections, proper nutrition and regular exercise.

There are two types of diabetes.
In type 1, the body's unable to produce any insulin. This usually starts in childhood or young adulthood. It's treated with diet control and insulin injections. Type 1 diabetes used to be called 'insulin-dependent diabetes'.
In type 2 diabetes, not enough insulin is produced or the insulin that is made doesn't work properly. This tends to affect people as they get older, and usually appears after the age of 40. It used to be known as maturity-onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes.

I heard very good news related to insurances for Diabetic patients. Earlier there were no medical claim insurances for Diabetic patients in India. But recently certain companies have made policies available for those suffering with diabetics.
It seems that they cover to such extent as Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Expenses towards regular visits which used to be major expenses for that lesser income group. Also if the disease is in control, the premium is maintained the same. I knew personally few who died since they could not afford to spend for such medical expenses and suffered with this disease until their death.
If any of you have relatives, or friends affected by Diabetics, please let them know about this and let them make use of it.
After seeing many people succeeding in controlling the disease, I remember the following which I have read somewhere.
There is nothing in this world as impossible. Even the word impossible if read carefully says I (a)M POSSIBLE.

11 November, 2006

Accidents and aftermath

In my last but previous post I had mentioned about carelessness and accidents. I missed to write about another problem that exists during accidents. The reaction of public during such accidents is very emotional and leads to further killings. The crowd sympathy is more towards the one who is badly injured than the one on who committed mistake. This is a stupid reaction and this should be stopped. I came across the following incident which was published in one of the Tamil weekly magazine.

An auto driver was on his usual trip in Chennai and suddenly saw a huge crowd in front of a lorry and a child lying underneath the front tyres badly injured. He also saw a man bleeding profusely being hit madly by the crowd and the injured man escaped from the crowd and rushed towards the auto for lift. The auto driver gave him lift and asked

“Do you guys think that you are driving a plane on sitting in the driver’s seat? Why can’t you be sensible? See you have run over an innocent child.”

The injured man replied “ Sir… looks like you have also mistaken me like the crowd. Please try to understand me. I am the father of the victim. The lorry driver sped away once he dashed on me and my child. I got into the Lorry and reversed the lorry to relieve my child who was caught underneath the tyres. The mad crowd thought that I am the lorry driver and have hit me so badly. I think if I had not escaped from them, they would have killed me. Please drop me in this hospital and bring my badly injured child quickly. Please bring the child soon… I shall wait here.”

This is the plight of those who are injured. The crowd behaves so madly and they hardly realise of the happenings. Even I have witnessed such mad crowds in the past.

My previous post about carelessness and accidents has received attention of few.
I am glad to let you know that there was a comment from someone by name Harman who has let me know about this organisation called Arrivesafe in India.

ArriveSafe is a project to preserve human life to make people get back home safe because we know roads can kill. Please visit http://www.arrivesafe.org/ for more useful information.

03 November, 2006


Man is a perverted animal. I have experienced that suppression leads to perversion. Thoughts disturbing a human mind are common. If we deeply think about it, we do realise that everyone gets perverted thoughts. Perversion can happen due to many reasons like bad company, books, videos, movies, psychological happenings, etc. But due to one’s self discipline, and their self realisation they can overcome this. There may be a lot of humans who never develop perverted thoughts. If a human could think well, he/she can overcome perversion.

I was shocked to hear in today’s Television news, about the latest perversion among youth in Chennai. There had been a report about the latest mobile technology, which is being used to express their perversion. Some youths are using their mobile phone to click women rushing in public and using it in web, as well as distributing in web for their own perversion. I could imagine the millions of innocent women being embarrassed about this. Every technology goes from west. I have never seen any one taking a picture of group of women walking in the railway station or bus station. I do not deny that there is no perversion. But in general I have felt that there is more perversion in our places.

Kudos to Railway protection force, for acting swiftly to these general complaints by the affected women in major Railway stations. In the modern world, many things have changed. We keep boasting that we are racing to be one of the super powers in the future. Are we not supposed to improve our thoughts? Needless to say of the already on going harassments those are happening to women in public, especially bus, train this new behaviour of certain section of society is definitely going to be a nuisance. In the past I have experienced my family members being harassed in public by many silly minded men or youth. They exploit the absence of a male member in the group and enact their perversion.

Dear gentlemen please think about your Mothers, Wives, Sisters and Daughters. Will you be happy to see their faces among obscene postures in the web? There are many more things in life to do than such silly acts. Please think before in hand. Keep your thoughts as tall as this building. (The picture in this post is one of the landmarks in Central London and I have tried to look at it from the ground floor and have sprained my neck in the past).

01 November, 2006

Carelessness and Accidents

Believe it or not! First time after coming to UK, we spent Diwali in a nice way. All these years, we never knew that the next day was Diwali unless we received any phone call /mail from relatives and friends. It was a great surprise to see the sky illuminated with fireworks on the night of the Diwali day. We could hear the and see the fireworks for three nights even till 11:30 p.m. To be honest, I did not see this much of pomp and show even in Chennai when I was there last year. Normally in places like Chennai, it does not last for more than a day after Diwali. But here this coincides with Haloween and so keeps continuing. I was bit surprised to see them being done till Midnight, though there is a rule in this country too about the timings. But still the place I live consists of plenty of desis and no wonder about the ways rules are broken. I was just wondering, how people of other beliefs could tolerate, when it was a nuisance for a person like me who celebrate the festival. In fact during a brief chat with one of my English neighbour, who was already irritated by one of her Asian neighbour who frequently parks his car on her driveway, said that these kinds of behaviour and attitude increase the racial differences. I totally agreed with her.
Yesterday, I saw an Asian youth, stopping his car in the middle of a major road, and angrily getting out of the car, and rushed towards the car behind him and abused the driver in the most aggressive manner. The gentleman who was abused was quite old and was worried whether he will be hit. I wondered at the young man’s anger. Whatever would have been that was not the right way to behave. This kindled my thought and took me back to the careless way our people travel and the ‘don’t care attitude’. The picture in this post shows few careless men travelling in a van. They are vegetable vendors and they buy vegetables from wholesale market and return back to sell them in their shops. This is a common sight in the morning. None of them seem to be caring about their safety. This was the first shot I took when I was out of the Airport during my last trip in June.

One of my friends was a good musician and used to play keyboard for familiar troops. One night he was returning back after having played music in a neighbouring town. He had his lovely young daughter on his motorcycle, in the front and his wife as a pillion rider with the keyboard. This cannot be considered safety according to international rules. But this is a common condition in India. Unfortunately, there was a Lorry on the highway, without any hazard lights on. He hit the stationed lorry, and his poor little daughter collapsed on the spot. He died on the way to hospital after hearing about his daughter’s fate. His wife escaped with minor injuries and is living with her son now.

I used to get on my nerves, when I used to see couple riding on motorcycles, with their baby fast asleep and hanging on them. I know few families who lost their breadwinners due to accidents which would have been avoided if a bit care was shown.

Also, some of the parents never used to bother about the way children communicate to their school. Lot of hue and cry had been made in newspapers regarding the way children are transported to school in rickshaws and autorickshaws. I still remember one of those ghastly accidents that happened on the Chetput Bridge. One of my friend’s wives was having her bag hanging on her shoulder and travelling along with my friend. He never wanted to learn riding a two wheeler fearing for the safety. He used to accompany with me everyday to work. Finally, he had his Kinetic Honda. On the fateful day, a water lorry, with its iron plate body protruding pulled her bag while on road, and she was under the wheels. It is needless to say, the aftermath. Again, if proper care had been taken to see the condition of the lorry, this would not have happened.

We live carelessly and blame the fate later. Life is not that cheap and a bit care and safety shown can avoid such things.

18 October, 2006

Festivals and Childhood

Festivals bring in lots of happiness and unity among the community. The advantage of having grown up in a country like India is we cultivate the habit of understanding the festivals of different religions. Having grown up, I realise how we have celebrated so many festivals in India, without any communal violence. We develop tolerance in admitting the festivals of other religions and observing them too.

Most of us would have studied in Christian schools, and we come to know about Christ and Christmas from our young age. Though Muslims are a minority in India, we know the importance of Ramadhan. I still remember celebrating it in my muslim friend's house. Hindus have numerous festivals. When I look back, I wonder how we have celebrated various festivals with equal tolerance for every religion. I think it is a great experience to grow in a multi lingual and muti cultured place. Though we had only a few Muslim families near my home town, everyone regarded their festivals and showed equal respect. Even today every festival of different religions are celebrated in their own and unique way in a grand manner in India.

Recently we had Dassera and Krishna Jayanthi. Just few days are left for Diwali. This year it is a unique experience for us since this is our first year in London. My children are equally excited in celebrating them. As children we have enjoyed a lot celebrating those festivals. I remember just before the arrival of Diwali, there used to be talk about the estimates of purchase of crackers among boys. I bet every boy would have talked about the amount that is being spent. Even yesterday one of my Sikh friend was talking about the money he spent during childhood. Childhood memories are great. They live with us. I hated to buy a toy gun, and the roll cap. That was the last preference and I have never used it unless it was gifted. In most of the houses, they are the last ones to be used. There were few girls in our street, who had all the guts to burst Lakshmi Vedi and Atom Bomb. It was great fun in seeing everyone holding their big silk skirts (Pattu pavadai) and running here and there to burst crackers. I still cannot forget one of the guest in my neighbours house, fired a rocket without keeping the bottle on the ground firmly, and the rocket hit him on his forehead and came into the front side of my house. My friends used to tell stories about parachute crackers, which used to go up in the air burst with colours, and then a parachute coming out of it. One of my classmate, added his imagination and told us that he saw a real man coming out of it. He was meant to tell exaggerated stories (Peela). His grandfather was a devotee of Lord Muruga and punished my friend for his mischief by putting him in a garage. My friend was hungry and it seems he said 'Muruga' and then couple of banana fell from the roof. This was his degree of exaggeration (Peela). Indeed it is a pleasure to think about those incidents now. Everyone of us were allowed to come in our 'Diwali dress' and the whole school used to be in the new dress on the next day to Diwali. Someboys used to be too naughty and try to ignite those powders of unburst crackers and burn their hand. After a certain age, we were interested in the collection (Vasool). The relative who gave us more was liked by all children and it was fun to count those money and keep them in our kiddy bank. Festivals, like Dassera, Krishna Jayanthi (Janmastami), Saraswathi Pooja, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Pongal all were unique in their own way. Who could forget Dassera (Kolu) for the different dolls displayed, and the park accompanying the Kolu? Each one of us had our own way of keeping the park. I remember a relative of mine who was very creative and used to keep their park according to the latest trend. One of my friend's father was very creative and he used to design fountains, and hills in those parks beautifully. The small treats Sundal cannot be forgotten. They were distributed to everyone who visited the house and used to be of different varieties for those ten days.

We thought it is not good to deprive our children of those joy and celebrate the festivals as far as we could. Recently we celebrated Krishna Jayanthi. My daughter was very thrilled to know about the festival and we drew little steps of the Lord Krishna in front of our house (See the photo). It drew attention of everyone who walked in front of our house. My neighbour who is British, noticed it when she returned from work and was wondering at it. Later when we gave her sweets and seedai she was excited to know about it and appreciated our culture.

In London, the schools are aware about the different festivals. My children are encouraged to talk about the festival and come in their special dress to school. Parents are invited to come and talk about their culture and festivals at school to children. I have volunteered to read and tell Tamil Stories, as well as talk about Festivals with Videos to the children of different languages, and religion. I could see plenty of shops selling fireworks in their shops. My neighbour was saying that Diwali celebrations in London is great. We are going to witness this year. Until then wish you all a Happy Diwali.

02 October, 2006


I have never liked to be tagged. Something which I felt was kiddish (probably since outgrown). I am now tagged by Chandrika to write about meme. I was thinking about it all these days whether to write or personally apologize to Chandrika and stay away. But thinking otherway, to be in the group with fellow bloggers , I decided to go ahead without tagging anyone.

I am an ordinary person, married, and responsible for two kids who are in the pictures in school uniform and then with me.

I said that I will visit only one girl's house for seeing bride and will marry her. I am happy that I kept it.

I want the world to live peacefully without any war, and shower more love and care among fellow human beings.

I wish to be of some help in creating a good society.

I regret for not being next to those loved ones who long for our company back home.

I hear good music from Carnatic to Rap and Hip-hop to keep myself in good mood and happy.

I dance to make my children happy.

I am with my hands when I take my Nikon FM2 camera. I have seen many people through my lenses.

I sing when my family closes their ears and when my neighbours are away on holidays.

I cry deep in my heart when I see poor and sick children. I melt when I see orphans and innocent children wounded and die during wars.

I am not deaf to hear sorrows, dumb to talk about sufferings, and blind to see beautiful things.

I write about the things which affect me in order to remember after ages.

I confuse rarely.

I need more place in my heart to have more love and affection to shower on those who need.

I value my parents, elders, good friends, good books and good thoughts.

I think the world still has a lot of good people. Blogging is helping me to be in touch with like minded people.

I hope poverty will be out one day, and life on earth will be a life on heaven.

I laugh at jokes, comedy shows, and comedians of any languages.

Chandrika, thank you for tagging me. Marutham I shall write about your tag shortly.

17 September, 2006

Anxiously waiting

Everyone would have had anxious moments of waiting in their life. Last week I was just thinking about how we wait for something in our life to happen. Sometimes it is a pleasure and sometimes it is a pain.

I had always felt it as a pain to wait for someone in a bus stop or in public place when the person for whom you have been waiting does not turn up. The times of pleasure are waiting for some dear one in the Airport or Railway station. I had a Periappa (Uncle), who was very good in receiving people at the Central Station. He used to take me along with him, to receive my relatives at Madras Central Station. It was a great pleasure in accompanying him. Since he retired as a Headmaster of a popular school in T Nagar, he was very familiar. His students grew up to occupy good positions. It was a great experience to walk with him anywhere in Chennai. Whenever there was a relative’s marriage, he volunteered the job of receiving people. He used to wave at everyone right from the Higginbotham book stall in the Central station, to someone working as a Ticket Collector. They would have been his old student. Then while waiting at the station, he used to get me involved with different characters. He was so brilliant, and admired each and every activity in life. He used to take me around the big gunny bags, near the parcel room. I used to wonder why he used to take me through those gunny bags. Later I realised it was for those great smell of Cardamoms in those gunny bags. He used to show me those betel leaves in basket near the parcel office, and talk about farmers. It used to be a great adventure in the early morning and wonderful to watch people waiting at the station. If we could enjoy those, it used to be more fun to watch people coming out of the compartments, and greeting their relatives, hugging them and crying out of joy. It was great waiting in those days in Central station. I always liked when the trains arrived late because I could spend more time at the station, going around and seeing more people.

Later, this helped me to develop interest in sending and receiving people at the Airports. Waiting at the airports for your loved ones is another pleasure. Imagining, how they would have changed in appearance, and what they will be talking on seeing us after long time was a great fun. It is a pleasure to receive, and pain to send off.

Waiting for the post at Post office is something which everyone would have done. During our childhood days, we had waited promptly at the Post office to check whether we had mails. One of our Post Man had such a great memory power, that he used to say whether we have mails, just on seeing us. He would have been in-charge of sorting and he was so brilliant to remember the houses which had mails and express the same to those who were anxiously waiting. Many of those pensioners and old aged people will turn glad, when they hear from the Postman that they have received Money Orders. All their pains of waiting will be forgotten.

Waiting for bus or train is a great ordeal. It used to frustrate everyone if we had something to do urgently and the train or bus is delayed. Another one, which everyone will be waiting and find it a great pleasure is waiting for the power supply to resume. There were days when we used to clap after the power resumes. The joy used to be more when the power comes back during a good Cricket Match, or a good Television program.

The most embarrassing time for a man is to wait before the Ladies College or office where more women work. I have cursed my sister for coming late, when I used to wait for her in front of her office, which was closer to some export companies where lots of ladies worked. Those moments gave me the experience of how ladies would feel in front of hundreds of men.

As an eligible bachelor and spinster the days of waiting for the right partner is another time of testing. Luckily I did not have to wait for long. But I understood the feelings from a girl side through my sister. It is another stressful time to wait for the groom’s side to arrive, during engagement and Marriage.

Waiting for the paper boy to deliver the daily newspaper, on the days when you were eager to read interesting news is another restless waiting. Waiting for results, waiting for job interviews, waiting for admission, and etc.. is all interesting and thrilling. This list will go endless. After marriage, the women waiting for the delivery is very anxious and stressful too. Especially waiting for the arrival of new one, after partner getting admitted with a false pain is unexplainable. When I had to experience at the Hospital's reception, it gave me a real feeling of what I had seen in movies before. I would say that is one of the most, thrilling waiting.

In the present days, waiting for a reply of your e-mail from a known person, or friend is exciting.

Of all waiting for those comments after publishing every post in the blog is another exciting time.

05 September, 2006

Then and Now

Nature reminds us many things. Fall of neem flowers and arrival of Water melons, Tender coconuts used to remind us of the arrival of summer. All children walking with the pads, with ‘Vibuthi’ on the forehead promptly put, will signal the arrival of annual exams. Normally History and Geography used to be the last exam. Most of us used to score less marks in those subjects because of that reason. Though Geography was interesting, History used to be a bit boring and dry. As children we used to return with a great happiness swinging the exam pads home with great plans of Summer holidays.

The same evening, we used start climbing the lofts to take the hidden play things. Those days we had treasures like Pallankuzhi, Thayam. Girls used to be busy playing indoor games. As boys we used to plan about hosting cricket matches, tournaments and cycling. The wealthier people used to go to far off places. In those days we had so much of pleasure in many little things. We have developed stomach pain, by eating too much of ‘Korukapali’. It used to be green and kind of fruit. It was available in abundance in country side. I cannot still forget those ‘Kalakka’. Once we decided to climb a nearby hill (the so called Vandalur malai), and started as a group of 7 boys. We have heard stories about a Iyanar Koil at the foot hill. Our seniors had told stories about Iyanar. They were bit exaggerated. We heard that Iyanar walks out of the temple to take bath in the near by tank right exactly around 12.00 mid noon. So, we decided start climbing the hill after 12.00 to avoid Iyanar. The trekking was adventurous. We never knew the location of the Iyanar temple until we reached there. It was among tall grown palm trees and bushes. We saw the statue of Iyanar. It was fearful. We slowly passed the temple and were keen to hear ‘Chal…Chal..’ sound. We heard a weird sound. One of the inquisitive bloke, tried to reason it out. I never had the guts to look back. Later my friends said, that it was the sound of palm leaves, dancing to the wind. After a great ordeal, we reached the top of the hill, to see giant reflectors. Suddenly we heard someone screaming “Cut…Cut…Cut..”. We realised that we had interrupted a film shooting. Probably the crew did not expect a group of boys coming behind from no where. We realised it was a Telugu movie shooting with a popular actress of yester years.

Tomorrow my son’s school is being re-opened and we were busy shopping this whole week for the kids stuff. According to my daughter my son’s school is reopening after they wake up from bed tonight and her school is being reopened after we go to bed tomorrow and wake up the next morning. They are glad with their new uniforms, shoes, school bags, PE dress, PE shoes and what not. Probably they may ask me the cost when their kids go to school. I look back at their holidays. They have spent their major time on Play station, Computer games, Cricket coaching, and few weekends out with the family. Of course they are familiar with bit of small screens and big screens.

We had pleasures in little things. Collectively we would have learnt many things. We would have had new friends, learnt new game, read books, met relatives and spent a bit of holidays in villages and towns. We would have tasted Nungu, Tamarind, had a bath in the pump set daily, walked on the lake shore, and seen more nearby places, cycled at least 150 Kilometres by cycle, all at little expenses for our parents.

What do the children nowadays have except those electronic games? Being away from home, it is difficult to have social gatherings. At the same time I pity the kids at home. Many of my relative’s kids are being pressurised with so many classes in their holidays too. I know that kids are kept busy with Mridangam class, Carnatic Vocal, Drawing, Oil painting, Sketching, Swimming, Skating, Cricket, and after all this coaching for their next year. Where are they heading to? I feel guilty for the new generation.

Already I am seeing a new generation who have come from professional colleges and are less experienced in other general matters. One of my young colleagues was spoon fed so much by his parents; he lacked in confidence and struggled hard to survive. Some of them are struggling to cope up with life, in every day’s affairs. I am ashamed to say, that majority of younger ones are more worried about only increasing their bank balance and not anything else.

At least I wish the younger parents will realise the importance of our olden days values, and find innovative things or bring back the forgotten customs, traditions and blend old and new to their offspring.

31 August, 2006

Sense of Humour

We all know that humour is essential for daily healthy life. But honestly speaking many of us do not live with sense of humour. Couple of weeks before came a rude shock that my current assignment was over. I was told that my last day was the Friday before on a Wednesday. Though it was not liked by me, I took it lightly. When I came back home and informed, that I had to look out for a different job, my family did not believe it. They thought I was joking. Being a Jovial person, sometimes is difficult to communicate serious stuff. I am happy in one way that I could get a good break and spend few days with children. So decided to give a break for blogging too and hence could not post any.

Our daily routine is to go for a 5K walk in the morning and a 3K walk in the evening and enjoy life to the best. My son noticed that hardly people laugh in the parks and during walking. We try to share jokes and laugh. I have read that laughing out loudly helps in production of good hormones and reduces stress. We all know that laughing itself is a good therapy for many diseases.

In UK, I do not see many happy faces while travelling in train, bus and public places. In India the scene is opposite. Our life pattern changes and in the process we forget to laugh or live with sense of humour. Many of us try to mistake others for their sense of humour. As long as we are young our jokes are not mistaken. Even during some serious lessons in school, I have joked and my class teacher as well as my class mates has laughed. One of my class teachers had regards for my humour. When I look back, I remember all my old friends who were humorous and also few elders who had a very good sense of humour.

It is a different story when our jokes are not understood. I have experienced it. At the same time, we feel really lucky when we meet some humorous people while travelling long distance by train especially during long journeys. Our journeys become memorable.

Recently while my son and myself were jogging we saw two English ladies conversing with huge size dogs. I signed my son to stop running, and we started walking when we were near those ladies with their pets. On seeing us, one of the ladies was trying to check whether her pet was there and looked around.

I said “We were scared whether the dogs would chase and hence started walking”.

The lady immediately replied “No too… old for that…” and

I shot back “Did you mean me”

She replied “No.. I meant my dog…” All of us burst into laughter.

If you are a humorous person you can start conversation anywhere. Sense of humour helps a lot. Though years have rolled, we still remember our teachers who were very humorous.

I still remember a friend of mine who shared this with us. He was admitted into a hospital for a surgery. The nurse came and asked him to be ready for ‘Inima’. He immediately opened his mouth and said “I am keeping my mouth opened. Bring Inima soon.” He never knew that inima was not a oral medicine. We could not control our laughter on hearing this.

Another friend of mine was a talkative cricketer. When somebody asked him how much he had scored on that day’s match, he replied “17 ma…. 4 x 4’s and one single…”

On hearing this everyone laughed, because normally it is understood if there were 4 x 4’s, the remaining will be a single run. But still when another friend asked humorously “Why no sixes…”

The other guy replied “There were lots of grasses in the pitch ma...” We all burst into laughter because a sixer in cricket means a ball hit by the batsman without touching the ground should fall after the boundary line.

I cannot control my laughter even today when I think about another friend of mine who was a good music listener. He had so many varieties of cassettes in those days early 80’s and had a good music system. We asked him whether he had any solo songs sung by Kishore kumar. He replied “Yes… I have got one sung by Kishore Kumar along with Lata Mangeshkar ”

One of my relative who had a slight hearing problem went for an expensive imported hearing aid. After sometime he was not using it. I asked him “Why are you not using the imported one…”.
He said humorously “ It is too sensitive. I could even hear all the conversations happening in the street corner which is a nuisance for me.”

But we also have people around us who mistake us for our sense of humour. We could only pity them. Especially relatives will be finding fault with our humour always. They never understand our light heartedness. Friends are the best for any exchange of humour.

It will be nice if you could share any recent experience in the comments section.

15 August, 2006

Superstition and technology

We come across stupid superstitions in every day’s life. People do not realize how much it affects the other person. Everyone needs to put themselves in other’s shoes and see things. In South India, there is a general superstition about widows that they should not come opposite when a person leaves home for good deeds. Many times in my life, I have seen my Mom being a widow humiliated because of these. Our street was quite long and there had been many occasions of people getting back into their house when they saw my mom walking on the road. This has irritated me a lot. Why cannot people think in the right sense? Most of such things were carried again by women folks. Also, widows are not supposed to be present when good things are happening. I was too young when my elder sisters got married. But during my marriage, I made it a point to have my mother on the dais at the time when I tied thali (mangalsutra). Poor woman, she has raised us with all the hopes of giving us a good future. She has sacrificed so much in her life, to bring up the children. Why should the society deprive her from such moments? Is it their fault of becoming widow? What sparked me this post was last night TV program.

There is a very good program in Jaya TV called ‘Achamillai Achamillai’ hosted by cine actress Lakshmi. She conducts it in such a nice way. It is something unique. They bring into light many women who have struggled in their life with difficulties. Few weeks before, I saw a fire victim in this program who had her face totally burnt. She was interviewed and she contributed her success to the surgeon who operated on her. The surprising factor was the surgeon too had met a fire accident at the age of 9 and had major surgeries during her school days. She had to forego her studies for 2 years. Her mother decided to bring her up in Medicine, and she took a vow to study well and get into medicine to become a Doctor. She explained the amount of difficulties she had to overcome and today she is the head of the plastic surgery department in CMC vellore and has dedicated her life to help fire accident victims. She has not married and remains single to sacrifice her life towards the field. I bow my head to her courage, determination and service to the society.

There was another interview of mothers of test tube babies and the program helped those mothers to explain their decision for undergoing this treatment.

Case 1: The parents had a wonderful and naughty boy who was studious too. Everything was going well and he was doing his Engineering. The boy met with an accident while going for a picnic and the parents were devastated. They felt their life has darkened suddenly. Since they were too old to have a child, they decided to adapt a child. But according to the funny rules for adoption, they were denied. It seems that the parents should be lesser to particular age, since it may be difficult for them to help the child due to old age. The couple were even denied houses for rent because they were considered to be unlucky. They wanted to rent their own house, since the thoughts of their son was haunting them. But none came forward to occupy the house, since they felt it was unlucky. Later the couple heard about the test tube technology and went for it and they were beaming with joy, with their kid next to them in the show. They feel that their son is reborn to them. Hell with other’s superstition.

Case 2: A lady who was disliked by her husband, wanted to live on her own after undergoing lots of difficulties. She suddenly felt that she should have a child to shower her affection. She thought she may not be affectionate with a adopted child. So she asked her old mom’s opinion about having a test tube baby. Her old mom agreed to her thought. The lady decided to bear a child with the help of a donor. I could not believe this. This is no where than in Chennai. She even told her ex-husband about it, but he did not respond. She was legally divorced. Inspite of this, she proudly said that she had kept her ex-husband’s name as initial for the child since she feels that he was her only husband. I just thought whether it was right! Who are we to decide this? What a revolutionary thought? I am speechless.

Case 3: A young couple who married against their parents wishes. But after 2 years, the boys parents agree and they live together. The new daughter-in-law could not bear the insults in her new house since she was not able to conceive. She was abused a lot by her own sisters-in-law. She decided to have a test tube baby.

Most of these innovative techniques were carried out by Dr.Kamala Selvaraj a renowned Gynaecologist in Chennai, India.

I am proud of these people and the technology.

14 August, 2006


As usual this morning, I left home to work, with Monday blues. Since there was already a backlog of newspapers at home I decided not to buy a newspaper today. I do not know whether anyone of you has observed this. When you wait for a particular bus in a bus stand, it may not come immediately. When you start walking off you will find rows of buses going on the road. The same way, when I buy Newspaper everyday at the station the train comes immediately not allowing me to browse the paper at the station. Today having not bought the paper, I noticed that the next train was only after 20 minutes. Cursing for my decision of not buying the paper, I was looking around for something interesting. On such occasions I miss Madras. You cannot expect anything interesting to happen in London stations when compared to Madras. Listening to two Vegetable vendors or a group of workers talking something interesting about their workplace or young boys talking about their future and etc will be interesting in Madras stations. Somehow I managed to spend my waiting time, by observing the fashions of dresses. Within minutes of getting into train I found a daily ‘Metro’ lying uncared. I picked it up to read and finished reading and passed it to another passenger. While stepping down from the Tube (underground trains are so called here) I noticed a daily newspaper lying on the platform. Cursing the irresponsible citizen about his littering habits, I started walking. Suddenly I felt that it was not right on my part, and walked towards the paper to pick it up. I knew few eyes will be on me when I do it. I was just bothered that someone old should not fall on placing their foot on the paper. When I enquired the station staff, about a closest bin he looked at me strangely. I had to inform him about the way the paper was found on the platform. He laughed and said that I should have been an hour before and showed a heap of papers lying in the corner.

I used to wonder at these people who throw litter. What do they think? Even in place like London, do such people live? I have also heard that Newyork is also dirty in few places. If someone says that you cannot see such things in Singapore again it is because you will be fined. When will people get self discipline in such things?

I do not wonder about my relatives in Nanganallur who asked me throw the litter in front of the house, because there was no bin in their street when people in London are behaving like this inspite of the bins around everywhere.

I do have some wonderful friends who mind about pollution and always carry a bag when we go for hill walks, to throw the litter. They do not allow their kids to throw away even their choclate wraps around in the forests.

Should not people think that it is one of their responsibilities to keep their surroundings neat and clean?

There had been a debate always with the way men’s toilets are maintained at work. In my previous workplace internal mails were sent to all employees (male) to keep the toilets clean.
Yesterday I went to watch a cricket match in the local ground, and found a lot of plastic bottles and crisp wrappers lying around. The guard came in her vehicle and asked the gentlemen around to mind the litter flying around, for which the gentlemen replied that it was her duty to keep the place clean.

I could only wonder at these people’s attitude.

11 August, 2006

Dads are wonderful

August 8th 1974.

A ten year old boy was so happy that his Dad was there to play Cricket with him. His Dad started bowling, and the boy wanted to hit every ball. Dad advised him to keep an eye on the ball and play carefully. The boy was very happy and content on the evening. The next day he wanted to continue the same game. His Dad did spent some time. On the third day since few relatives had visited, the Dad could not spend much of his time and the boy was a bit sad about it. He never knew that he was heading towards the worst night of his life. Around 8:45 p.m. the Dad started sweating a lot and could feel a bit difference in his health. Kind neighbours rushed to his help. The whole family was worried. Somebody rushed to call the family doctor. Doctor arrived and diagnosed heart attack and advised to get admitted to a hospital. The village did not have the facilities of a big hospital and the family had to depend on a car to rush to a big hospital. Again the kind neighbours arranged a car, and the Dad was rushed to the hospital. The boy was totally shocked along with his sisters. He could not swallow the food provided by his elder sister. Within minutes of their departure, he saw his mom crying and coming back to the room of worship. He and his sisters could understand that something was going out of control. The neighbours lifted the Dad and the boy innocently spread a mat on the floor to help his Dad lie. Neighbours removed it, saying it was not required anymore. The Boy could not understand why his Dad had to sleep on the floor? Within few minutes, the family Doctor arrived and announced that the Dad his dead.

The young boy is nobody else than me. Yes… I realised last night that it is 32 years since my Dad died. Years have rolled by and the deep scar left is still remaining in my mind. In general Dads are the role models for boys. I started developing few qualities from my Dad. He was my role model. Alas… I lost him at a tender age. The next day was horrible. It was totally a different experience. I cannot still forget those good neighbours who were remaining with us until our relatives arrived. There were few ladies who were constantly pacifying my mom. Dad was just 47 years old at his death. It was a great shock for everyone.

He was a social person. He is still remembered for the way he used to hold the trains until everyone arrived to get into the train. He was very friendly with the drivers and used to give pep talk to them to hold the train for extra minutes. Many of the office goers used to rush. He used to get into the Train only after seeing everyone getting in. Since it was a village, the next train was scheduled only at 9:30 a.m. It was called as ‘Sambar’ Passenger. I still do not know the reason for the name. So missing 8:45 A.M. train was a costly miss for the office goers. My Dad was fondly called as ‘Girudha Rajan’ for his famous side locks though his name was K.R.Soundararajan. He taught me and my sisters the basic discipline and morals of life. We always had guests for Sunday morning breakfast. The guests were from Cobblers to Vegetable Vendors. He was so kind to everyone and loved everyone. Probably that was the reason for a huge attendance of people from different walks of life in his funeral.

My feelings were unexplainable. After lighting the pyre, I was asked not to turn back for which I do not understand the reason till today. The next day was horrible. I had to go with my relatives to collect the ashes. This had a great impact in my life totally. Only on that morning, I understood what life all about was. It is not a kind of thing every boy of that age should experience. But I understood the philosophy. Until then I was thinking life is eternal. Too many thoughts occupied the mind. It is difficult to narrate or put in writing. But I started missing my Dad.

I see many young bloggers having different opinions about their dad. I know many of the young boys do not get along with their dad. But try to understand your Dad. Probably the reason of being fatherless, made me to be closer to my friends fathers. Even today when I visit my native place, I go around to see my Dad’s friends. I see my Dad in them. Some of them are still alive. During last year, I saw one of my Dad’s friend walking on the road. I knew that he may not be able to recognize me. So, I went and introduced myself and took his blessings. He was moved so much that tears started rolling on his cheeks. His happiness was boundless and he started talking about those old good days. I saw great happiness on his face.

Many times in my life, during many occasions I have missed my Dad. I still remember all the good days I had with him. I wish I never forget them in my life. Dear Appa, you are still living in my heart.

The intention of this post is if any of you have any misunderstanding with your Dad please ignore it. Try to understand your Dad and express your love. Dads are wonderful. The drawback with them is they never express their feelings, just like you boys. Life is too short, let us live happily.

10 August, 2006

God please answer me

I am very disturbed on reading the following news in the internet today.

Salem, Aug 10 - In a gruesome incident, a mentally deranged person stabbed to death his five-year-old daughter before attempting suicide last night, police said.

Saraswathy was asleep when her father Madhu (28) attacked her with a sharp-edged weapon. Her mother Rajammal told police that she was sleeping outside the room when the incident took place.

Later, the man slit his throat. He was admitted to the government hospital here where his condition was stated to be critical.

He had undergone treatment for psychological disorders before, police added.

My questions:-

How could the mother allow such a person to get closer to the child?

The child is of my daughter’s age. What she would have thought before going to bed? I bet that the child would have definitely hugged her father and kissed him during the day or at least played with him, giggled and smiled at him. How could he do this?

Why did the man slit his throat. Did he feel guilty? Did he realize later?

The child must have been there with so many dreams. Shameless father don’t you realize that life is wonderful and she was your own child. How could you get the thought of killing that wonderful flower which was blossoming? People like you should not be pardoned. Men like you are a curse for the society.

O! God what are you going to do with him?

09 August, 2006

Keep it up guys!!!

“We celebrate the diversity in our Country, get strength from the cultures and races that go to make up Britain today ” – Prime Minister Tony blair said on 2nd October 2001.

For the past few days, there has been good news about the multi-ethnic and multi-races in Britain. The government is demanding most of its contractors for the Olympic 2012 works, to have equal resources from African and Asian communities.

The same has been showing up on the sports arena too. People from all culture and races are making it up in sports. If Amir Khan could bring the gold medal in boxing for UK, it is Monty Panesar, a sikh in the cricket headlines recently. Monty born to parents of Indian origin, has been making headlines with his bowling.

Yesterday in Headingley, the two 24-year-old English-born sons of Asian parents, Mahmood from Bolton and Panesar from Luton, took seven of the ten wickets . Apart from bowling at about 90mph, Mahmood showed good cricket basics says a sports magazine. Inspite of few Pakistani supporters abusing him as ‘traitor’ he did not worry but gestured to them back when he took wicket.

Be a Roman when you are in Rome. Spectators should realise this and encourage the sport and hail the performers. In fact everyone should feel proud of them. Monty Panesar is the first sikh to play for England in Cricket.

One of the book-makers have predicted a high chance for Monty Panesar to become BBC
Sports Personality of the year.

Let me wish good luck to them, and more such things to happen in future.

08 August, 2006

Leaders gift and gifted leaders

Last week there was an article in The Times. It carried a list of gifts received by top political leaders of UK. It was amazing to see that leaders like Tony Blair have received only gifts to the value of 1000 pounds (roughly INR 80000) and most of them are not retained by him. It goes the same for other leaders.

Also few months before there was a report published about the expenditure incurred by the local MP's from which we could make out the least spending MP. Our MP used to travel by public train to attend parliament sessions. I have seen him once self driving on road. He was so simple, that I could chat with him and he posed for a photo.

After reading that article, I thought about situation back home, and folded the paper with a big sigh. When are our leaders going to become so transparent, and serve honestly to the society without any selfish thoughts?

We did have great leaders in the past like Gandhiji, Rajaji, Kamaraj. I remember having read an article about a former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who was straight forward to such an extent that he demanded a signature from a doctor who had come to attend when he had an heart attack to sign a agreement first stating that he will not come back for any obligation in return for the emergency help. It is a shame that I do not remember such a great Chief Minister. It will be great if someone could remember his name and let me know.

Will we ever get leaders like those in the past, atleast for the future generation? Let us only hope.

04 August, 2006

No more half trousers

Everyone has different passion. During my early 20’s riding motorcycle was a passion for me. I have tried to maintain my bike well. I hated repairs and punctures with my motor cycles. It was not because of my purse going thin, but for the pathetic condition that prevails at the Mechanic’s shed. Any mechanic in Chennai would have engaged at least one boy of less than 10 year old in his shop. I have felt very pity for those boys. Just because they were born poor, lack of facilities at home and economic situations, they were forced to forget their studies, and take up jobs at a very young age. When children of their age, were carrying Cricket bats and School bags, these kids used to carry Screw drivers and spanners. I used to feel helpless.

Many times, I have seen some of the boys abused at their workplaces. I have even seen some of the bosses physically assaulting those helpless child labourers. I have avoided going to such workshops because they were handling the child labourers. If at all I went again to those workshops, it was only to help those boys by giving few advices and tips for their good work. Some of the owners have not liked me giving them money. I could not do anything more than that during that stage. The boys were not able to hide their smile, when they saw me stopping in front of their sheds. The same way, whenever we had been to hotels, the first person to attract our eyes will be the boys who will come and clean our tables. Just after cleaning they used to go to a corner and look at our table, and our plate. I have seen hunger in their face. Again, we have left those places helplessly. The best we could do was to avoid having food again at such a place.

In railway stations, these kids sell peanuts. Road side they sit with their shoe polishing talents. They also work in most of the provision stores. If that is so with the boys, the girls go for house hold works.

Majority of them work in Beedi, and fireworks factories. Once when a child was born to me and started raising him, these sights of children working started haunting me and my family more than before. My son came with a great idea of sacrificing the joy of bursting crackers. We did not buy crackers for few years unless there was a declaration from some of the popular brands, that they were not engaging child labour.

These children were prone to many hazards, abuse, bullying, mental illness, and at times even sexual abuse. I have seen these kids working 12 hours a day and working for 6 days a week too.

We were hoping for an end to all these, and my joy was boundless when I read the news last evening in the newspaper while going home by train. I was overjoyed and looked around to share the news.

The new legislation bans children under the age of 14 from working as domestic servants
or at hotels, teashops, restaurants and resorts. I also understand that this may not be good news for those families who depend solely on these children earnings. I could only feel for those mothers, who have ailing husband, or drunkards and had to depend on those children additional earnings.

There may be critics talking about the effectiveness of the ban. There may be big wigs who may try to find loop holes, and engage them illegally. If the new law has to do any good then the government should look into the proper enforcement of the ban. Also they should concentrate on bringing compulsory education and a little allowance for those economically backward families to uplift them.

I read somewhere that Kerala has virtually no child labour. This was possible because the Governments improved the quality of education and parents were more willing to send their children to school.

The great consolation for us should be that the fact India is also undergoing sweeping economic change. According to some experts, the GDP of India is expected to rise from 6 per cent to 11 per cent by 2025, outranking the U.S. — making India the third pole in the global economy after the U.S. and China. As India prepares to become an economic superpower, it must expedite socio-economic reforms and take steps for overcoming institutional bottlenecks inherent in the system, say analysts at Economy Watch.

The great hope is these laws will at least give moral support to those organisations who are fighting against child slavery.

03 August, 2006

Today's Tamil Cinema

There are many fields in which we are ignorant, but we learn to be masters as we deal with them. One of such is parenting. I was impressed by two kids in a function. The elder was quite big to lift the second one and was handling the younger one for more than half an hour, while the parents were involved seriously in the baptising function of their relative child. At that time I was a parent of only one child. The thought of having a gap between two children gained strength. Though there are so many advantages of this, there are few disadvantages too. The elder is in his early teens, and the second one is just nearing five. One of the disadvantages is watching Tamil movies. We have to be very choosy before we could think of seeing a recent Tamil movie.

It is not a big deal to choose English movies. They have a good rating system. If we decide to buy a new movie (DVD) we go according to the rating about the movie. Even minute details about nude scenes and vulgarity of words are clearly mentioned on the DVD. So, it is easy to choose English movies.

Our regional films do not have good rating system. It is still a mystery to know about the way they rate our movies. What is the standard adapted to rate the movies as ‘U’ and ‘A’?.

Recent Tamil movies are so violent, you need a strong heart and mind to see those ones. In the name of reality, head rolling, knife piercing the body and blood oozing out has become a common scene in our movies. I really doubt whether anyone gives thought to such things.

Will they not consider the range of audience?

Is it a bad taste to expect a movie without any such scenes?

Why are they constantly showing such scenes?

Do they not have any children at home? If it is that violent, why can’t it be mentioned on the movies?

I understand that some could ask me “Why all this moaning? If you do not like, do not watch”. But how do we know about the movies in advance? For example, when we go to the shop, we had to depend on the salesman to know about the minute details of the movie. Once a friend of mine lent me a Tamil movie and I was shocked with the first few minutes viewing of the movie. The first few minutes were so shocking. From then, I have made it a point not to see a Tamil movie without asking anyone in advance about it.

The sad part is again we have multi channels in our language. Even the trailers show a bit of violence which is heart breaking. Leaving alone the violence, let us think about the sensational dances. Even the adult rated English movies do not have so much of sexual sensations than our Tamil movies. I happened to see couple of recent Hindi movies and they seem to be pretty decent.

The style of screen play is also slowly changing. Again in the name of reality certain words which were taboo once are being used fluently. Nowadays they are showing funerals to the minute details. Nobody understands how much it could affect a young child. In those days, even if they wanted to show that the girl was raped, it was shown by a flower falling down, or a candle light being blown off and etc. Just compare the same with today’s scenes.

I remember my younger days when we used to go as a family to watch Tamil movies. By the time we return home we remembered the good moral we learnt from the movies. There were no scenes that could stir any violence or bad thoughts in our mind. Any film was viewable by a family in those days. I have stopped watching Tamil movies in Theatres since ages. We watched an old Rajini movie couple of days before. It was pretty decent. I was able to freely sit with my family and watch it. It was a real entertainer. I remember many olden goldies. We used to return home with wet eyes after seeing them. The films like ‘Thangaikaga’, ‘Pasamalar’, ‘Deivamagan’, ‘Vietnam Veedu’, ‘Gouravam’,’Thangapathakam’, ‘Yenga Mama’, ‘Nalla neram’ and many more. I remember more of Sivaji’s film, because my Dad preferred us watching them. Those were the days when Devar films, came with movies involving animals. He had a greater vision towards entertaining the viewers especially the children. Our Tamil cinema industry has produced great directors and producers. There had been very good movies with different stories.

But what is happening today? Why has the standard deteriorated? No doubt, the music has reached great heights. It is not so in the quality of films. Are our directors lacking in thoughts and subjects? Why everyone is revolving again and again on love stories, a wicked brother, a politician father, and a widow sister. Why there are no movies to show self motivation, confidence for youth, and entertainment for children, with a good moral? Though the usual formula is broken in films like ‘Kannathil Muthamittal’ ‘Anjali’, ‘Chippikul Muthu’ ‘Salangai Oli’ ‘Thavamai Thavamirunthu’ ‘Autograph’ why there are not many films of different subjects?

We cannot blame the Tamil Cinema Industry for this. Cinema is a Industry and every Industry is there to make money. They produce according to the taste of the public. I would blame the audience for the sad plight of Tamil Cinema. If we shun watching movies of bad quality, then the Tamil Cine world will change. Let us improve our taste of watching movies.

There are wonderful directors in our language too. Let us encourage them and try to bring in more good talents and taste.

Guess what

Could anybody guess what this place could be?

01 August, 2006

Madam... Sir... Please

Sometimes we have parties, with our team and colleagues, after our busy day of work. Mostly such parties happen on a Friday evening or when a colleague leaves, or sometime just to celebrate the birthdays. Normally, we have a social chat. Many times, my colleagues (British) discuss about our country and places interest to visit in India, with me. The topics used to be about the hot sunny climate, population, Taj Mahal, Goa, Temples of South India, other places of interest to visit and etc. Once a colleague of mine, asked me the translation for a swear word in English. I expressed my ignorance, and wanted to know why he wanted to know the exact hindi translation for such a phrase in English. He said that he is irritated by the beggars in India when he is on Holiday, and wanted to tell them the next time when he goes on tour. I felt very bad, thinking of the situation that prevails in our place.

We do have growing millionaires and as well as the beggars in our country. During my visit to Chennai last month, I saw that begging has increased a lot in our place. There are more beggars than last year. It has slowly started as an Industry. I have heard that there are thugs, who force young children to beg in big cities. The most common sight in Chennai was young mothers with toddlers in their hand and begging in traffic signals. It is really pathetic to see them. They are quite healthy, but harm the infant and expose the child to the pollution and risk their life too. They are a hazard for the traffic and I do not find any government taking action on this.

There are beggars in Chennai, who are in finance business. A lady beggar who crawls in Saidapet Railway Station is famous for her finance lendings.

During my visit to Tiruchanur temple, I was shocked to see the priest giving the ‘Perumal theertham’ (holy water) in one hand and stretching another hand with money inside. The priest with ‘Chadari’ (the deity’s crown) also did the same. Then a group of temple staff approached me and said politely to go and accept prasadams. When I started going towards the prasadam queue, they openly admitted that they are temple staff and asked whether I could help them with money. If that was inside the temple, I came across a dozen of beggars outside the temple who were constantly following me wherever I walked in the street without allowing me to have a tender coconut. I was irritated by their cries, and got back into my bus. I realised why my British colleague wanted to swear at them.

India is not that poor. We have wonderful resources, huge wealth. The only problem is it is not equally distributed. Many beggars are healthy. They are physically sound. If they are not encouraged they may stop begging. Some educated people, keep it a routine to drop alms to beggars who are healthy. I have seen this in public. Irrespective of their abilities are we not supposed to discourage them? In my life time in India, I would have spoken to atleast hundreds of beggars and discouraged them. Whenever there was a lady with a child in front of my house, I have talked to her and said that we are against helping beggars, and she should go forward to take up work. I have seen few ladies stopping begging at least in our street. Some of them, nod their head and start after few houses. Where does the problem lie? It is a big network.

There are beggars quoting some religious functions to happen and beg. Just because they show faith in certain gods, they beg with a receipt book, saying that they want to celebrate a festival. They come in groups to make us believe. For example, for a festival that is likely to happen in some corner place(mostly unknown) they will be begging in another district.

On one evening thinking about this while travelling in the local suburban train, I got down at Egmore railway station. I was surprised at a scene. A blind lady was settling down on the stair cases. She was spreading lots of small items, and children toys. It was so beautiful to see her spreading the sheet, and displaying the articles. By the way she was working, nobody will believe that she was blind. While spreading the articles, another blind man who had already settled with his small sell outs, was enquiring about the welfare of this lady. I stood there to watch her doing the business. Within minutes she was ready for her sale and started selling out. She was neatly dressed and so all the other blind people. Whenever they were free, they were involved in talking about their other blind friends and their groups and their future meetings. It was a pleasure to watch them selling, handling cash and returning back the exact balance to the customers.

These people who are really disabled, still want to live with principles. If they want they can switch over to begging. But I could not leave that place, without appreciating their thoughts and their will to survive in a prestigious way.

I will be glad if anybody would let me know of any organisations, who talk with beggars and rehabilitate them to live on their own. I am looking forward to help such organisations.

21 July, 2006

Fear in life

In everyday's life, it is difficult to pass a day without having seen someone with somekind of fear. Most of us are imbibed with fear from our early days of life. Just to ease out their job, parents cultivate this fear when we are children. 'Boochandi' comes into our life very soon. In my childhood days I have heard women talking about 'Gudu Gudu Pandi'. ( A terrorising look beggar with long beard and turban). I was always afraid of this man. I wondered why he came early morning. My friends used to say that he visits graveyard in the mornings and comes with magical powers of Sattan. If we do not give him clothes, he will curse us and do harm to us. It took long time for me to get rid of this fear. People have fear of different kinds. It is because our mind is conditioned so much. Let me share my recent experience. Very suddenly, there was a need for me to visit home land, for few weeks. I had to chose a 'Desi' airlines, hoping a new experience. True to my expectations it was a strange experience. Just fifteen minutes was left for the departure and there was no announcement of the delay. Public were left to their own guessing. After we boarded the flight, there was no apology or reason for delay. The pilot explained the reason only when we were about to land in Mumbai. Again, the connection flight was delayed, and landed late in Chennai. No explanations. After a toil of two and half hours, it was learnt that my baggage had not arrived along with few more passenger's baggage. There were 20 of us left to be attended by two of the airlines staff. A supervisor was sitting next to them, gossipping family matters, than attending to the other staff. I lost patience and had to crib and complaint loudly. Everyone else had so much of fear, to complaint. Every other passenger were undergoing the similar experience, but did not want to talk about it . The reason being fear. Because I was not afraid, I made a loud appeal and was later taken to the Manager for some interim allowance. I did not have a single cloth to wear and have to rush to a quick shopping after a traumatic air travel.

The public awareness is very less in our country. Even in those days whenever there was a loudspeaker menace near my residence, and I complained, I was looked down by many of the neighbours for raising my voice. The basic reason was fear. We have great tolerance. I agree... but what is the compensation. Why do we need to be afraid? The other day, I was standing in a queue for buying a train ticket to travel by suburban train in Tambaram railway station. A group of youth went straight to the counter, without having consideration about the long queue of people waiting. Nobody wanted to ask them to get back to line. I had to call the leader and asked him to get back to the queue, for which he passed a circastic comment, and said that he did not mind to buy after me. He bought the tickets after me, but still the public allowed him. I could not do anything after my job was done since it was the responsibility of others who were waiting after me. Incidents like this followed everywhere. At times, even walking on the road was so tough. It was more of a 'do what you can' attitude.

I had been to Tirupathi on a pilgrimage trip. It was a day full of similar experiences. Somewhere I read as Bombay was rated as a rudest city. Chennai was not in the list at all. If this kind of fear exists among the public, then we can never progress. In today's world, everyone is talking about the technological development that has been happening in our land. I do not find any great differences, if we could not improve our public awareness and discipline.

The picture in this post was shot in front of Buckingham palace. There was a huge crowd waiting to watch the change of guard and this creature was not afraid of anyone. When I approached to take a picture of her unique pose of standing on a leg, she was not bothered and did not shy away, and posed fearlessly.

16 June, 2006

Party for a good cause

The following article in NDTV(26th March 2006) created a spark in Premalatha Balan, our UK blogger.

A hostel in Madurai has been forcing students to maintain a public register of their menstrual cycle. This is to prevent premarital sex and to ensure that teenage girls do not go astray. The invasion of privacy has been taking place for years at the government hostel for poor and backward class students in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district. The register has columns for the exact dates of their cycle. Even slightly irregular dates invite snide remarks and harsh reprimands by the hostel warden. "Making them write down their menstrual cycle dates creates mental torture. They are not even able to tell their parents about these things. It is creating a lot of tension," said Jeeva, Regional Convenor, TN Child Rights Protection Network.Defending the outrageous measure, the hostel warden says it is the best way to keep the girls under check and prevent possible premarital sex."I've only been continuing what my predecessors started. I am doing it with students' interest at heart," said Selvarani, warden, Adi Dravidar Students Hostel.Sanitation woesThe girls revealed that the policing is done by the cook under the overall supervision of the warden. But while their records may be strictly monitored, their sanitation is not. The girls claim their hostel has just one bathroom but that is exclusively for the warden. The girls can enter it but only to clean it and not use it. Ironically the moral brigade is unconcerned about the fact that the girls have to bathe out in the open after dusk.

Premalatha Balan wanted to do something for these girls hostel. She spoke to me over phone about the hardships faced by these girls. I felt very bad for those young girls. We really wanted to do something. We also knew that our summer party was due. So Premalatha struck with the idea of meeting for a cause. We gathered at a country side near Hemel Hemstead. A small collection fee was charged for the party and thus we were able to raise a small amount for the cause. All the arrangements for the party were excellent. Though we met for few hours and had good fun, we went home with content that we could do something for someone on that day. Lots of bloggers had participated and had done a great help for the party. The familiar bloggers like Dubukku, Ammani ( She has run London marathon to raise fund for a charity), Dadoji, and few more were there. Premalatha had sought help from social minded film actress, and sent letters to the highest office of State.

Balan and blogger Dubukku were instrumental, in making good arrangements for the party. They had shown so much care and concern, to such a great extent, no fizzy drinks were available for the children to mess around and get hyper. Dubukku had taken such a herculean task of bringing the food for the entire party in his own car in order to save the delivery charge.

I do not have words for such people. There was a brief coverage by the local press. On reading the article, a generous English lady, has sent a small donation to Premalatha for the cause. I salute such people who could understand the sufferings of innocent girls in a corner of the world. I wish many more of us become more aware about such things happening back at home, and do something to give a good life for the people who are suffering. I know that there could be hundreds of hostels and schools like that, in many parts of the world. We have just started a small begining. We strongly believe that a seed can make the whole earth green.

30 May, 2006


My daughter's favourite play is to hold a small box in her hand and start conversing, imagining the small box as a mobile phone. It is interesting to watch her laughing and talking, giving enough time to allow her imaginary friend to talk and scream. If a child could get fascinated so much at this small box(mobile phone), imagine the influence it is creating on the younger generations. I try to remember about my childhood days. Talking over telephone was very expensive affair. Only those who were very affluent had telephones in their house. But over years, technology has taken over.

Last couple of years, I have been watching the technology changes happening back home. Few years before, when I had been to India, I had to refurbish my house. The painter was getting a call from another friend of him, who was painting in a house few yards away from my house. His friend wanted him to join for a cup of tea, in the neighbouring Tea shop in the street corner. He was getting more than a dozen calls in few hours. I gave him a pep talk to know about the economics. His joy was that he does not need to wait for phone connection and this is instantaneous. It helps him in his business and he need not bother about moving home. His phone charges must be the major expense for his family. This is in a developing country. I remember a cartoon by Mathan in Ananda Vikatan many years before when Rajiv Gandhi the then Prime Minister announced that communication will become easy even in villages by 2000. The cartoon was a farmer during a break while ploughing, gets hold of a phone in a public booth near a big banyan tree and informs his wife that he will be at home for lunch. This was many years before.

Sometimes it is scary to travel in the late hours in London. The other night I was really scared when I saw someone gigantic and laughing and walking opposite to me in a subway. He asked how are you doing and I was about to answer that I am fine. I was bit scared whether he is going knive me. I had a sigh of relief, when I heard him saying "Darling, I miss you...". The little gadget is taking the world by storm. Some behave so awkwardly in public, by talking loudly. They need to understand that they spoil the privacy of others by talking loud. I have seen others raising their eyebrows on seeing such people. The most irritating of all, is when they laugh and discuss their personal stuff. Also, the ring tones are so irritating. Most of the desis have the latest hit Hindi songs as ring tones. Especially during work, some of them do not have the courtesy to put it on silent mode. The best part is when they leave the phone on desk while they are away from the desk. I hate to hear the ring tones.

Few years before people were crazy in having a music when they were reversing the cars in India. I used to get wild when they use music like baby crying, that too while reversing their car in Hospitals. On observing all these, I am afraid whether we are back to old civilisation. We may be advancing by technology, but going back by civilisation. Last but not the least, many times I forget to switch back from silent mode and some of my friends may mistake for not attending their phone calls. Please pardon me.... No... it is not sign of ageing...

The picture in this post is Loh Catherine in Scotland. Lake is called as Loh in Scotland. Close your eyes and imagine the silence that could be found in such places.... Wonderful!!!

06 May, 2006

The new life

Life always has its own twist and turn. Though I do not have time to sit before the computer, the city life is keeping me active by many thoughts. I am getting used to the life in London.

Travelling by tubes (underground trains) and looking around people is really exciting. Having been in a sleepy town so far and moving to a big city has its own life. I pick up the newspaper 'METRO' daily from station. I meet new faces daily. London is really a great cosmopolitan city. Great city of multi-culture, multi-language and multi-ethnic people. Before you finish your daily journey you can hear many languages. I enjoy, hearing people talk. Sometimes I wonder at their language it is. There are many Europeans. It is fun to watch people talk loudly in their mobiles. Ofcourse, the mobile does not work when you travel in tubes. I come across so many topics when I travel by train. Last week there was a Tamil Couple discussing about the life in London and at Chennai. Probably they thought I do not know Tamil and were discussing loudly about each one of their friend.

Every weekend I visit home which is more than 3 hours journey by train from London. Last weekend I had to catch only the last train. Having travelled by last trains in Madras suburbs, I felt funny when I travelled by the last train to my home town. I could reach only around 1.00 A.M on saturday. The kids had gone to sleep. The next day goes in setting right things back at home and spending time with kids. Again, Sunday I get ready for the big journey. I have come across many things when I travel in the train. I shall be exchanging them with you all shortly.

My house move is planned for the next week and I may be without computer connection for few days. Kindly bear with me and I shall get back to my routine shortly. My idea of bringing up a Tamil blog is very much there. I have articles ready for few posts. But still too many things are going around with me at the same time.

One of these days while going through the metro newspaper I came across few interesting stuff.

*** I saw a picture of Tony Blair in the parliament. The photo had specifically mentioned about a red thread on his hand. The part of the article goes like this...."Tony Blair has turned to a new ally- the Mother Goddess Shakti. The Prime Minister sported a red thread around his wrist at yesterday's rowdy question time session. The thread or nadachedi, is a Hindu symbol which signifies attachment to the Goddess - who brings strength, good luck or protection. It was a gift of friendship presented to Mr. Blair when he visited a Hindu temple last week." Whether he accepted it as a gesture or to respect other's feeling, it looks like he realises the benefit of it. Rest of it I leave it to you.

***The whole country is hoping for Wayne Rooney to be fit before the World cup.

***Chaos as Tube is crippled by heat. Thousands of commuters were delayed yesterday as the Tube network was crippled by the sweltering heat. Trains were forced to crawl at just 20mph rather than their usual speed of 45 mph to 50mph as tracks expanded in the 27 degrees Celsius heat. It makes me to laugh. We have a great network system back home. At times when we realise the volume of network our Indian railways handle, it is amazing. The major difference is here it is not easy to travel without ticket. There is no first class or Ladies compartment in the local trains.

***Seeing couples locking lips in parks and public places can be off-putting. But now they have got an excuse- it can cure the misery of hay fever. A 30-minute kissing session can reduce the body's allergic reaction to pollen, a study has found. Kissing relaxes the body and reduces the production of histamine- a chemical pumped out in response to an allergies. Britain has more than 13 million hay fever sufferers, whose symptoms range from a runny nose and itchy eyes to severe reactions such as asthma attacks. Nowadays I feel like I have hay fever. Anyhow should check with my Doctor.

Enjoy the pictures of Clouds over Thames river, and the great London Eye. Let me know how they are.