Jul 23, 2005

Half Blood Prince - Simply Unputdownable

Yes,finally I have completed Half Blood Prince, the latest in my precious collection of Harry Potter Series.You can get to know how I got my copy of HBP from my hubby's latest update here. I read the fifth book "Order of the Phoenix" little less than 2 years back. Although I remembered the crux, I wanted my mind to get refreshed of every event happening in OOP. So as soon as I got hold of HBP, I started reading OOP. Weird muggle, eh? On Monday, to my surprise, there were many people all over the world who has completed HBP and started writing spoilers. I was very cautious and made sure my eyes didn't get a glimpse of those stupid spoilers.

On Tuesday, I couldn't resist my temptation to start off HBP, as the whole of Muggle world has been talking about it. Moreover my OOP revision wasn't moving at a brisk rate as most of you would know that OOP was indeed slow paced. "What the heck? Go ahead and open HBP", my mind tempted me even more. There I go, Dived into HBP with a feeling of just Hogwarts and me. From the very first chapter, the novel proved to be gripping. As the story unfolded, I could hardly put down the book. I even planned to take a day off from work and complete it. Such was the pace in HBP, you could imagine. Every situation had a purpose and was linked to each other. There is suspense, humour(couldn't stop laughing in many places especially in "The Burrow"!!), romance and ofcourse, action. Harry was the sole hero, although it is hard to believe that Ron and Hermione didn't have a very big role to play in this book. I'm not going to reveal any further happenings.Hmm...I felt very emotional towards the end, took some time to realize what happened, couldn't easily digest the death of ________.The biggest plus point in this book was how things fell in place for the grand finale. I can't wait to read the final part in this epic series.

Definitely HBP is in the same league as POA and GOF.

When will the master make a come-back?

After a long time, I was listening to songs from Duet,the Tamil movie which had one of the best music compositions I have ever heard. Rahman was at his best, aptly supported by the famous saxophone player Kadri Gopalnath. I couldn't pick one particular song as my favourite. All of them were excellent in their own ways, be it the mellifluous "Anjali, Anjali", the soothing "O Kadale", the peppy "Mettu Podu", the folk lore "Kulicha Kuttralam" and ofcourse, foot tapping number "Kundu Kathrika". The piano, flute and sax blended in such a beautiful manner that it created magic in most of Rahman's fans.

Right from "Roja" days, I have been a very big fan of Mr.Rahman. Everyone appreciated his western style of music but I adore him for his melodies, rather. Illayaraja had given wonderful melodies in the late 1980s, which I had written about it earlier here. Rahman's melodies were totally different than Illayaraja's. I'm unable to put down in words, the exact difference. Nevertheless, both these individual contributors have given their best to melody lovers like me.

I'm very emotionally attached to songs of Roja and Pudiya Mugam. When I listen to "Kadhal Rojave","Netru Illada matram" or "Kannuku Mai Azagu", my eyes get wet sometimes. I'm not exagerating here, these songs take me to such a beautiful place in this planet where I'm all alone and dancing to the tunes along with nature. Then came a movie named "En Swasa Katre". Mind blowing melodies, namely the title track. Wah....even the thought of this very song makes my blood to rush through my arteries and veins.

Some songs are bound to your heart, whenever you hear to them, they make you feel happy, no matter what mood are you in. My list includes , apart from the above mentioned songs, "Sonnalum" from Kaadhal Virus, "Anbe" from Kaadhal Desam, "Narumugaiye" from Iruvar, "Enmel Vizhunda","Minnale","Margazhi Poove" from May Madham,"Thoda Thoda" from Indra, "Ennavale" from Kadhalan, "Vellai Pookal" from Kannathil Muthamittal.Ooof....this is just a very small list. My complete favorite list is a much bigger one.

Currently my comp is playing "Kannuku Mai Azagu". I can feel the melody caressing my hair and putting me to sleep, just like a mother does to her child. OK, Before I go to sleep, I should complete the link between the subject and the body.Off late, Rahman's focus has drifted from Tamil to Hindi to English. I'm very glad that he is going places. But my only request is

Rahman, Please come back with your soothing Tamil melodies.......

Jul 19, 2005

Amidst a terrible desert..... Episode 2

"Let me think about it, Ma !!", Ravi said in a thoughtful tone. Kavitha climbed the stairs with a grim look on her face and in deep contemplation, stepped inside her room. Uma returned to her solace, the one and only kitchen and started preparing coffee. Without uttering any word to her husband, she took a tumbler of coffee and an ocean of positive words for her daughter.

Uma looked at Kavi's moist eyes and lips from which thousands of words are ready to explode. "Why granny wants to preclude me from achieving my dreams? Why does she always try to obtrude her non-sense beliefs on me? Will she ever come out of her benighted age of superstitions?". Uma listened to Kavi's strong words calmly and waited for the moment to talk. "Kavi, what are your dreams? What do you want to do in life? Are you clear about it? Will you stick with your goals, no matter what the magnitude of obstacles you might face in life?", Uma asked in an unusual, assertive tone.

Kavi thought deeply , "Ma, I want to study law. I want to be a lawyer and do my best for society. That's not the end, but a beginning. I don't want to get married and settle as a housewife, doing the same household work for the rest of my life, consecrating myself for my husband and in-laws. I would never want to do that. I want to make a difference, set an example. I don't want to be one among the herd". Uma could easily sense the determination and attitude in Kavi's words. "My dear child, go ahead and do what you feel is best for you. I'm there for you. I can handle your father as well as your grandmother", said Uma with a cheerful smile. Kavi felt delighted with her mother's support. "Hey, your coffee has gone tepid. Do you want me to reheat it?", Uma remembered about the coffee she has brought for Kavitha. "I can feel the warmth in your love for me,Ma. I don't mind if my coffee has gone tepid", said Kavi, giving a hug to her mother.

Shanti park in Velapatty, though not well maintained is the usual hangout spot for Kavitha and her friends. It is the best place to spend the summer afternoons. The park had myriad varieties of tamarind, neem and eucalyptus trees. At the centre of the park, there is a small library, spotting an about-to-fall look. Yet, one can find people thronging this place to read newspapers and novels. The librarian, although projecting a moribund look, is very regular and sincere in his duties. Many college-goers have tried their best to loot a novel or a magazine but it's impossible to escape from the eyes of this 60 year old.

Kavi, having finished eating a sumptuous lunch was all set to go to her favourite hangout. Sundaramma aptly guessed that Kavi is going to Shanti park. "Why do you want to go to that park at this time of the hour? There will be spirits wandering around those neem trees at noon. Go in the evening after 4", muttered Sundaramma. Without giving any attention to her grandmother's words, Kavi stepped onto her bicycle, joyfully singing her favourite song. A bird has indeed started to fly on it's own wings........

Jul 18, 2005

I've changed !!!!

Back from a refreshing Art of Living - Part I course. I feel energetic, yet relaxed. I feel peace, yet alert. I feel fresh, yet not anxious. I'm not exaggerating, dear readers. It's the fact. The past 6 days have made a tremendous difference in me. The knowledge that has been imparted precludes me from explaining about this course. But I assure you it was a delightful experience. Some people might argue that these courses are only for the senile. An absolutely wrong thought, I say. The earlier you do this course, it's better.

I got to understand a lot about myself. Many of my inhibitions are being washed out, many of my assumptions are proven wrong. Now I look at the world in a broader view. I look at each and every human being differently. Changes have started happening in me. The most essential part is I need to sustain this effect for my lifetime.

I might sound unnatural or even funny. But I accept you as you are and moving ahead with my journey of celebration. Hope I have given a prelude to this wonderful course. I urge all you readers to give a thought to attend this course, whether you believe or not that this course will make a change in your lives as well. Just think of it as a change from your mundane routine of home-work-home.

Jul 13, 2005

Amidst a terrible desert......

"Kavi, Come fast and have your breakfast. It's already 8.15. You are getting late for your bus" shouted Uma on top of her voice.
Kavitha in her light green long skirt and a creamy white shirt, came rushing from her room. Today was her Social Science exam. She was glad that her 10th std exams are coming to an end this day. Uma, her mother placed a couple of idlis and sambar in a small plate and gave it to Kavi. "Done with your revision? Read each question carefully and then answer. Don't be in a hurry to finish the paper", Kavi got bored of Uma's usual advices.

Sundaramma , with half her concentration on her prayer books was listening keenly to what Uma and Kavi are talking. Aged 70 years, yet she had sharp senses. Having gulped her final sip of coffee, Kavi waved good-bye to Uma and rushed to the bus stand. Her school was about 5 kms from Velappatty, a small town in the southern part of Tamilnadu. Kavitha was born and brought up in this little town.

"My brother, Kannan has brought a good alliance for Kavitha. I'm going to talk to Ravi about this when he comes back from Coimbatore", stressed Sundaramma. Uma quietly went to the kitchen, without replying to her mother-in-law. Washing the dishes, she stared out of the window. Her garden was blooming with jasmine, chrysanthemum and balsam whose fragrance was engulfing the entire backyard. Flashes of the day when she stepped into the house as wife of Ravi came to her mind. She was hardly 14 years old then. A naive, soft-spoken girl who was unable to convince her father not to get her married at such an early stage of her life.

Ravi was a hardworker. He was looking after the sugar mill, inherited from his father. Though the financial status of the family was reasonable, Uma had always felt a sense of incompleteness. She had vowed to herself "My only daughter Kavitha will get all that she wants in life. I will not allow the society's superstitions and wrong beliefs towards women affect her. She will be educated just like a boy. There will not be any discrimination shown to her just because she is a woman". But things were not going as expected for Uma because of Sundaramma. She kept on insisting that a girl should get married at the age of 15 years and become a home maker. She was a firm believer that getting a degree and going to a job only pertains to men.

With jubilance on her face, Kavitha returned home. Her dad has come back from Coimbatore. "Kavi, my dear! How was your exams? I'm sure you would have performed well", expressed Ravi. Entered Sundaramma from her room, saying "Your uncle has got a good alliance for Kavitha. The bridegroom is having a provisions shop. The dowry they are expecting also seems to be quite ok. Somehow we should finalize this alliance" said Sundaramma with a broad smile. Kavitha was shocked. She couldn't understand what her grandmother was telling her father. She turned towards Uma. Uma was looking helpless but a stern determination radiated from her eyes.

End of episode 1........

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