The Fires Within..

18 05 2008

When Was The Last Time That I Did Something For the First Time?

I attended a dance performance by Natyalakshana, called ‘The Fires Within’ which was sponsored by Bosch Cultural Events at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall this Friday. For those who were wondering about my new found interest in traditional art forms, I have to ascribe due credit to those unconventional inspirations that result from boredom.

And how glad I was that my whim took me there. How I thanked my friends for their exotic and audacious suggestion to take me there! The show was a beautiful symphony of music, dance and art, where flying feet gave voice to age old legends. The legendary poems represented are selected verses from Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Gitanjali’, Bharathiyar’s ‘Dikku Theriyada Katil’ and a few selection of Mirza Ghalib’s poetry in Kathak. I loved the ‘Dikku Theriyada Katil’ and Ghalib’s poetry representation, where I felt that the dancers delivered a magnificent justice to the poems.

Shama and Sanjay’s ‘Dikku Theriyada Katil’ and Hari and Chandana’s ‘Mirza Ghalib piece’ had a delicate balance of perfection and expression and they held me in rapture through out. The dance drama that followed, called Tagore’s ‘Tasher Desh’ was a little bit disappointing, but the blame rests with my expectations which reached the sky by the end of the first two performances. If I have to define the experience, words would surely fail me as I am running short of superlatives. I could never realize that poetry could be so brilliantly enticing and soul wrenching. I was swaying in a world, so out of myself and the feeling is liberating. I believe that the credit of those beautiful moments goes to those on back stage as well. A special mention for Usha Venkateshwaran, the director of Natyalakshana who choreographed and produced the dances. Simone for the wonderful sway of lights and Sri Gurumurthy and Ustad Faizal Khan for their mellifluous music.

This event did make me reflect on my opinions towards conventional art forms. For to achieve perfection in blending, a music so divine, a dance that lent life to poetry and expressions that tugged heart, it must either have been Divine’s grace or years’ practice. It did teach me a thing or two about the immense beauty that’s submerged in Indian tradition and art. Like a welcome summer rain, my heart kissed the joy and danced along enticed in the magical world of dance, music and poetry. A worthy life long memory that’s for me for keeps.

Here are the translations in English for the Ghalib’s poetry that’s recited in the Event.

“O God Thy blessings on the soul
Whose name just came to my lips.
And as I willed that it be sung,
My speech rained kisses on my tongue.

These images drawn by Thee to make
Thine grand image, this world
Stand there like supplicants bowed in prayer:
Their burden they can’t bear.

The Fire in me, it rages high,
Though I be bound in chains.
The chain rings bounce,for they are light
Like hair all curled by flame

No simile matches her playfulness
And her quick-silver, passionate ways,
For, lighting lacks, by far, her play
And her temper is hotter than a blaze.

It is the nature of love, no doubt:
A kind of freak fire, which
You cannot start just when you wish,
Nor can you put it out.

A fire is raging in my heart
On this lonely night
My own shadow doth run from me
A smoke from fire takes flight.

It is ages since my beloved’s feet
Did cross this poor threshold.
So let her, with her twinkling cups,
Light up my dark abode.

My bustling crowd of desires
Each took my breath away!
Though I could quench many, many of them,
Yet millions remain un-slaked.

A Cruise to Heaven..

4 08 2007

Yesterday is one such day which would be tucked in my memory lane forever under contentment! It always happens with me when am surrounded by plush rustic beauty, luscious greenery, serene waters, cool breeze and slight drizzle.. Top it off with the company of loved ones, life felt never so better! Hmm.. Didn’t realize I typed this much without any details! God, Am Verbose for sure! I took a one day boat ride to Papi Kondalu from Rajahmundry along with my family and friends. Its a trip that’s long pending, and guess anticipation made it sweeter.

We booked Punnami travels for a packaged tour which promises pickup from Rajahmundry and boat ride from Pattuseema to Papikondalu and back. The itinerary included Posamma Temple, Devipatnam, Perantalapalli, and Papikondalu. The travels car picked us from home at around 6:30 AM and we headed to Pattuseema on road. Weather is exceptionally pleasant and the chilled breeze and the cozy riverside drive set the tone of the day. We reached the Pattuseema coast by 8:00 AM. There are around 4 boats which are awaiting for passengers by the shores and are scheduled to start by 9:00 AM. Well, an hour is just perfect for a short visit to the Pattisam Island which houses a Shiva and Venkateswara Temple. We boarded a small ferry boat which runs from the shore to island and did the darshana.

We boarded the Nandini boat for the Papikondalu visit. The boat has an A.C. fitted lower deck with wooden interiors. Its quite comfortable with cusioned chairs, a huge bed, a small podium, a canteen and can comfortably accommodate 40 people. The upper deck has an open terrace covered by a metal roof and can seat 20 people. The boat has to cruise its way through around three districts to reach Ppikondalu. After a sumptuous breakfast at boat, me and my sister rushed to the tip of the boat after coaxing the driver. Slowly, my family members joined us surreptitiously. We were mesmerized by the soothing comfort of the chilled breeze, numbed by the shimmery sand dunes, engrossed in the silent rhythm of the Godavari and the serene sanctity of the mountains. And now am at loss for those nice sounding expressions which can mimic the serene sanctity that enveloped me there! We touched upon a village called Tadivada (end of East Godavari District), Seenivaka (End of West Godavari District), and entered Khammam district to head to Perantalapalli to visit a small waterfall and the famous Shiva temple out there. There are a lot of tribals women trying to sell us beautiful bamboo flowers and minature bamboo houses. We bought some and then headed to the temple. This temple is little different in the terms of rules that they observe. One has to observe absolute silence in the temple and there is no official Puja in the Mandir. Its just God, You and Yourself.. That had a calming and soothing experience on me.

The whole route is blessed by lots of temples, local Gods and Godesses and we chanced upon an ancient temple where this popular song called ‘Na Gontu Sruti lona, Na Gunde Layalona’ from JanakiRamudu movie is picturized. That place is even more lovely in reality. Well, the local faith is that there is a golden temple thats underground to that actual temple on top and is visible to the Sadhus in their meditation. Also, the Pujari vehemently endorsed that there is a underground route to Kasi from the temple. Well, now no debates are encouraged on the veracity of this beliefs. The bottom line is that I loved that place, trip and am hoping to visit it again! 🙂


24 07 2007

In the Last of the Potter Series… Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the best of all.. I cant wait to turn the last page! I must say that the book ties up the loose ends quite nicely. Also, this has a sentimental value for me. My career with TCS started with ‘Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince’ and is ending with ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’. A tempting reason for me to rush to finish this before my last date in TCS, which is this 27th! 🙂

I loved this book, though I felt that Rowling has rushed it to ending! I was expecting a more detailed light on the founders of Hogwarts.. Yet, this book is indeed a delight as it resolves itself in a pleasant fashion! Snape turned out to be good, and the friends trio is alive.. I couldn’t ask for more… Though, I would say this.. Its tough to read it when you are in midst of goodbyes and when heart is heavy..

Rain is Beautiful…

21 06 2007

My day started off with this lovely forward SMS that I have received today..

“Its Monsoon and I’m sure u must be very happy. U must feel like going out, drench urself, singing songs, splash water and find sum1 spl. right?

Every Frog feels d same!” 🙂

It surely set the tone of the day and complemented the weather nicely!!

Its raining in Chennai! When I wake up from the plush comfort of my bed, the weather warms up my spirit as cool breeze envelops me in crisp silence and the little drizzle forms tiny droplets on my forehead.. Rain makes everything beautiful.. Roads, flowers, trees, and me.. I was feeling like Maggie while riding her bicycle towards the end in ‘City Of Angels’.. I donned my sweater and umbrella and blissfully shut the noises of the world with soothing music flowing from my N70.. I sang with Bangles, and Belinda, acted like a original composer and must have looked a Sight on the roads of chennai.. Yet, who cares!!!

Savoring the moment, soaking the fresh rain, dancing in vain and living it up…

This is Life!!!

A Perfect Weekend..

18 06 2007

Hey! I had a perfect weekend and I truly madly deeply wanted to etch that beautiful day in my frame.. Guess am waiting for a perfect moment to write about it.. I had a lovely south indian lunch from Abhiruchi, catched up with Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and went for a long drive on ECR Road.. Weather is on our side and we soared like a wind as the road is so clear and free.. We stopped by ‘Food Village’ on ECR for my favorite Mulagatavani Soup and headed to KFC in Ascendas to seal the day with a nice Dinner..

The day had a perfect ending with this special good news from my closest buddy on earth.. She got placed in the company that she longed for and she is in a rocking celebratory zig.. Her happiness filled my night as I was counting stars waiting for the verdict until her call came through.. A great weekend it was.. I am glad that it happened!

Splash Of Yellow!

17 06 2007

I noticed this magnificent beauty on Besant Nagar roads yesterday. Its such a visual treat to watch such a splendid display of yellow, as if it stood to rain energy and warmth on the inviting land assuring one of the alluring things that are going to come. As Chennai gears up to receive monsoon, I hope there will be more such lovely dash of colors to come. Guess I did an OK job in capturing it, for the ethereal experience I had watching this couldn’t be represented in this paler photograph. Still I tried! By the way, does anyone know the name of this tree?

Moments of Quiet Laughter..

4 06 2007

Well, on an impulsive moment (guess must be some divine insight!), my dad has decided that I need a makeover! He picked up a comb and went into business!

I thought that’s an incredibly sweet moment,
Especially when my dad is at his creative best, concocting some utterly comic coiffures..
Especially when mom is trying to be politely encouraging when all she wanted to do is roll in gales of laughter,
Especially when I was confused in deciding the expression: do I laugh at the outcome or be indignant that my hairstyle is commented upon..
Especially when the mirror is reflecting this affectionate domestic scenery where two people are dying in quiet laughter watching the touching concentration and crinkled expression on the face of my dad!

Revisiting Childhood!

14 05 2007

My entire weekend can be termed under one phrase: “Sheer Bliss”! I spent the best part of my weekend at Kuppa Metta Kandriga, which is located at the Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu border, almost 14 kilometers away from a small village called Nagari. This trip is a impromptu one, and I went in as a willing companion to my mother who wanted to visit her childhood friends and relatives located over there.

We caught a bus (#201) at CMBT in Chennai to go to Nagari which is some 2 hours journey and then boarded an auto arranged by my uncle to go to his Farm House. Thankfully, there is a decent cement road laid to connect those remote areas.. My childhood impressions prepared me for horse carts and I am delighted to trade it for an Auto rickshaw. I still remember those insensitive days when the cart driver used pepper powder on the eyes of the horse to make it carry heavy load in 1990s. 😦 Already, there is nostalgia setting in my mind and I longed for an escape into the simplistic life of the villages!

Well, how to you feel if you land up in an isolated place where you see greenery everywhere and there isn’t a single man made concrete building around for miles? I got more than I bargained for. I got joy, contentment, elation, solitude and peace! This farmhouse is set in sugarcane plantations and is filled with sunlight, fresh air and space. Their house is surrounded by lavish opulence of dangling beauties like jasmines, cosmos, frangipanis, periwinkles and firecrackers (kanakambaram) basking in glorious sunshine only to be competed by those Mango, Coconut, Guava and Pomegranate trees offering ripe temptations.. I had innocent elation at discovering the livestock. There were cattle, and pet dogs. I had a dewy-eyed pleasure in feeding cattle, taking calves for walk, and playing with dogs.

The beauty of the place is enhanced by the sounds of silence: rustling of the trees, buzzing of the leaves, soft cooing of the birds and the faint tinging of the bells. I wandered like a spoilt child, discovering delight everywhere, uncared for the hot sun.. I just loved those ornate cement floors, archaic concrete bath tubs, that gushing pump set by the old well, and that black and white television at their home.. I loved the night even more. Ensconced in natural air conditioning, admiring the star-lit skies and the shimmering glow worms, all I could think of is ‘Contentment’. It kind of transported me back into childhood and I was fourteen again!


7 02 2007

Let me share with you my favorite song. I love the depth of the thoughts and the pleasant melody that touches soul like a gentle breeze.

Find Me by David Gates

The skies are not as blue, when you’re not with me
The stars, they never seem to shine as bright
And the hours crack like days across the ages
And a year or two pass by with every night.
It makes me know if i should ever leave this world before you do
When you follow you must promise, cross your heart and promise to

Find me…look hard, and dont stop, I’ll be waiting ’till then
Dont sleep, and dont eat ’till I’m back, back in your arms again
I dont wanna have to spend all my forever without you.
Just knowing that your out there somewhere too.
So darlin…please I’m begging you on bended knee…
Find me…

I’ve tried to tell this world how much i love you.
But they dont understand how deep it goes.
And i can’t even find the words to tell you
So I’m the only one who really knows.
And though we have our times together, I am always wanting more
So if we get separated wont you do just like before and

Find me…look hard and dont stop, I’ll be waiting ’till then
Dont sleep, and dont eat ’till I’m back, back in your arms again
Through a hundred million faces you will see me shinning through.
‘Cause I’ll glow when you come close , I always do.
So darlin’ please im begging you on bended knee..
We can share our love through all eternity
‘Cause with you is all i ever wanna be……
Find me

Lyrics Courtesy :

Together Everyone Achieves More!

27 04 2006

Well, that just sums up our programme team at TCS! Imagine a bunch of young guys with passion, enthusiasm, drive, innocence and take-charge attitude and throw in fun and party, thats the way the work goes!

All this jubiliation is because I am just back from a team outing for Thekkedy and Munnar for three days. Can’t even recount how the visit went. It was just too good!

Periyar tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s splendour, with great scenic charm, and rich bio diversity. We took the one and half hour boat ride along the periyar lake which takes you through the secrets of the forest. We could spot plenty of elephants, wild boars, deers and birds. Here is a glimpse into the scenic beauty.

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We went cycling the town in the evening and reached our hotel exhausted! And the next day its time for Munnar. We boarded the tempo by 6AM and managed to reach Munnar by 12 PM after having fun all the way. But the raid in tempo is quite a challenge as the roads are quite sinuous. It can make your stomach do funny things!

Munnar is a fabulous place though! It may be sunny alright, but reach a shade and you will feel cool again. A natural A.C.! Here is the Munnar info for the tourist!

We visited Rajmala and could sneak a peak at loads of Nilgiri Tahrs. Half the world’s population of the rare mountain goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here. Later we left for Echo Point and screamed at the top of our lungs! This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenomenon here. For those interested in boating, a ride in speed boat at the Mattupetty lake and dam is just the thing. The boat drivers are quite cooperative and can give a thrilling experience.

Devikulam lake and the tea gardens are the added attraction! We managed to get permission from Tata Tea for the Devikulam lake as their private road connects to the lake. Leeches gaves us quite a scare, yet we had quite fun at the private lake, consuming the idyllic surroundings! This trip gave us the much needed break and everyone is brought back from dead and all excited to get to work after the fun filled adventure!

A trip to Mamallapuram..

13 10 2005

Yesterday we went to Mamallapuram, also known as Mahabalipuram from Chennai was a trip based on just a whim and was planned on the spot. The climate added to the temptation too. The soft breeze and the cool winds beckoned us for a long drive. It took us an hour to reach Mamallapuram from Adyar Chennai and I would say that the drive was fabulous. The road connecting Mamallapuram and Chennai is parallel to the sea coast.. U can imagine the luxury of watching the sea breeze soothe your mood while driving! It was wonderful. After reaching Mamallapuram, the rain started pouring down, challenging our expectations of the sightseeing. Yet, we could cover the beach, the Shore temple and the Pancha Radhas. I have seen some of the marvelous carvings on the black rock and the stone carvings are beyond any praise. We stopped at E.C.R. Dhabha to have a quick lunch. The landscaping of the restaurant was simply superb with seating overlooking a miniature pond complete with swans! The food was a downer though. Finally, after getting deluged both by the experience and by the rain, we came back looking like drowned rats! Quite an experience indeed! Hope it stays tucked away in the memory lane forever..

Visionary Leadership in Aravind Hospitals..

27 09 2005

I never heard about Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy until yesterday. He is the man behind the renowned Aravind Hospitals. In this commercialized healthcare world, he comes out shining like a knight. What impresses me is his grit and persistence in his abilities even when he is suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. His principles of altruism, independence and leadership are awe-inspiring. Its good to read about such a selfless personality these days!


13 09 2005

Friends give a reason to smile! They are like a mild refreshing breeze over the boredom of life. What else can I say about them? They spice up life!

Life in Chennai would be a big BORE if not for a few good friends that I have. Life has become so comfortable as I have people around me who would lend an ear whenever I need someone to talk to. My job has become pretty routine and since I am still in training, I get good amount of leisure time which I chat my way through. If not for my friends, I would have gone half insane with the mechanical interaction that I have with my desktop in the office. How many times do I wish that this dumb computer can talk and write. Let me tell you guys, even if you have unlimited internet access and a computer dedicated to you, its quite boring to spend your time looking at the screen. I feel drained out in the end of the day, even if I did exactly nothing! I just can’t wait to get into the real work.

I am happy as I have a few good friends around. Some are working in the same company, so they can understand the situation in a much better manner. But then, the conversations during official hours is much much different than what you can have during evenings. Well, thanks to the so called corporate professionalism! I just shudder to this world devoid of friends.. Hope that day never comes in life! Long live friendship!!

In Companionship with Nature!

31 01 2005

Today is one of the most beautiful days of life. Though I say that happiness is a state of mind, the day went in quite well.. I have no words to express the exquisite joy I felt in experiencing the day. Morning I had a lovely walk in the Kamala Nehru Park and had a nice tea with my daily Daily. The day was picture perfect and quite pleasant. I experimented with Rajma and was just about to doze off when a friend of mine rang me up. We went to the Osho Theerth Park, which is otherwise known as the Naala Park. Wow! I have no words to describe the eternal bliss I felt being at the park. The songs of birds, the mild rumbling of trees and the flowing water…Never knew that a park could be so beautiful. It looked so natural and perfect. I just wondered how would the world look like if I find such scenic beauty everywhere instead of concrete jungles. How to describe the surreal experience of joy and love? Words fail me!

A Poem with a Soul!

29 01 2005

Just read about Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning’s love story and got to understand the meaning and sense in this poem.. I read it aloud and felt the experience of love! Really its a poem with a Soul..

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

By Elizabeth Barret Browning

Tea with Girish Karnad..

8 10 2004

I have been fortunate enough to meet Girish Karnad and listen to his first hand experience of making Samskara and writing Hayavadana, which are my all time favorites.. He presented a different perspective to my understanding of Indian drama and arts and it had be a thoroughly exhilarating experience for me!

Some of his opinions..

Girish Karnad said that what differentiates Bollywood and Hollywood is our music which is distinctly different from other parts of the world. He talked about the difference between Bhava and Rasa saying that Bhava is the base emotion and rasa is an aesthetic experience, all these so intimately ingrained in our culture. He spoke about the western, particularly British influence in Indian Drama during our freedom struggle period and how he has used Indian drama to express his views on freedom movement subtly. Being interested in Indian Mythology, he gave his story about the creation of drama by Brahma as fifth Veda.

Karnad gave his opinions on Hayavadana, a story of transposed heads of two persons where in the woman has to choose one from the transposed heads of two persons, one being her husband and another her husband’s friend. The play he wrote explores different dimensions to identity with a humorous undertow. Oh! How I love that play!

It was truly an amazing experience to know him as a person and his opinions on Indian Drama. Those are the moments of my meeting with a great Indian Playwright which I would treasure for life..

Life at IMDR!

20 09 2004


This is our insti as depicted by one of our seniors! IMDR stands for Institute of Management Development and Research, its the first management institute in Pune, India. Now why am I talking about it? I am a student of IMDR pursuing my Post Graduate Diploma in Management out here.. Its an institute where people can express themselves openly and getaway with it. A place where you can be yourself and still learn and grow. A place which believes in humility, simplicity and the power of thoughts. I simply love this place as it stands for the values it espouses. A home for me indeed!

A glimpse of Lijjat Papad!

11 08 2004

I started a project with LIJJAT Papad, an all-women organization. Its where I got a glimpse of what can happen if a pool of people get together to assert themselves.. It was wonderful to see this micro enterprise which turned out into a 300 crore company in India using a traditional Indian family type management style.

Every woman working there is an owner of the organization and I could see that they are working with love and enthusiasm which springs from their sense of ownership. They are called Bhaginis (sisters) and each one has a say in the management of the organization. The organization is managed the way these women manage their family… Nothing called branding or organized marketing, here product sells through word of mouth indeed…

In this raging world of theory, business, ROI and procedures, it was refreshing to see this particular organization which is creating value and profit by adding value to the life the poor women and providing them an opportunity to assert their independence. Hats off to Lijjat!