Sep 26, 2005

We owe a thanks....

We owe a sincere thanks to so many people in the world. Can you guess who they are. The milkman, newspaper vendor, carpenter, plumber, auto driver and the very important maid servant.

She completes a lot of work in no time, far less time than the so-called "upper class" indolent women could ever imagine. But how many of us treat her with respect and deference?

This kind of supercilious thinking is existing in our society from time immemorial. If they come late, what do we do? Scorn at them. We never spare a thought regarding the problems faced by such people. The maid might have a moribund spouse or a 3 year old kid down with viral fever. We can definitely figure out if she is lying or is genuine with her reasons of coming late. The culpable ancestors treated her with disrespect and the family tradition continues. How many of our parents permitted us to play with the maid's kid? Was the kid even allowed into our respective rooms? Did we share our eatables with him/her? As a kid, when we had asked why the maid's child was not supposed to come into our room, did we get a perspicuous reply? Definitely not. As a teenager, when we had elucidated our view points to our parents about the treatment of the maid servant, what were we asked to do? Curtail our thoughts and go back to our books. When we were busy studying in our room, all that we could hear was the elders affronting the poor old lady.

If the parents have an insolent attitude, it automatically affects their children. They tend to assume that an arrogant response is natural and there is nothing wrong about it.

There are few maid servants who would like to pilfer, given a chance. In such cases, instead of blaming her wholeheartedly, we should also take responsibility for being careless. If we catch her red-handed, we should make it a point to talk to her in an assertive manner, find out what made her commit such an act and try to help her in the best possible way we can.

Some of you might contravene my view points. I'm not generalizing here that this is how the maid servant is treated in every house. I have seen women who treat their maid as a sister, chat with them and provide support. This attitude is shown by very few people in the society. If not respect them, atleast we must treat them as a fellow human being.

Sep 22, 2005

Recent favorites

My taste of songs keep varying but the bottomline is melody. After listening to a song, I shouldn't get a headache, that's the main criterion.

"Kumari...." song in Anniyan is one of the nice melodies I have been listening to quite often these days. My mother used to say that Tamil sounds best when it is stressed and spoken. It shouldn't be spoken from the tip of the tongue. You can really get the poetic feel of the language only when you twist and twirl your tongue. This statement proves to be perfect in this song. Shankar Mahadevan's pronounciation is awesome. "En Nenju vimmi vimmi pammi nikkudu", just listen to this one line and you can understand what I'm trying to say. The song is well picturised and the costumes look very apt for Vikram and Co. This is the best song in Anniyan according to me. Unfortunately, Sun Music plays this song very rarely. Often I hear "Andakakka", "Remo remo" and "Kannum Kannum Nokia" which are good songs but not palatable to me.

Thanks to Raaga.com, I get to hear new songs even before the movie gets released. One such new song which didn't impress me in the beginning but totally flabbergasted me now is the "Mayilirage" song from Ah Aah. It always happens with Thalaivar's music, his best songs never sound good when you hear for the first time but they slowly grow upon you. This song begins with a soothing Nadaswaram tune. Whatever be the latest technology developments in music, it can never beat the traditional veena, flute and nadaswaram. I started liking Madushree's voice from her song "Hum Hain Is Pal Yahaan" from Kisna. Her voice sounds similar to that of Sadhna Sargam. This song is a mellifluous masterpiece by the master.

Harris Jeyaraj's songs are always unique, though some songs have a slight tint of Rahman flavour. His recent movies have atleast one nice melody which is impressive. "Totti Jaya" is one such movie where the melody "Uyire en uyire" is just superb. It gives you a feel-good feeling. The voices of three talented singers Karthik, Anuradha Sriram and Carnatic singer Bombay Jayashree have blended in a perfect mixture. A slow, breezy, romantic song that can put you to sleep. A perfect song to listen before slumber.

Another new song from Harris which I keep hearing often in the past 2 weeks is "Oru Malai" from Ghajini. It cannot be rated as a true melody. But the beats are mesmerizing. Sung beautifully by Karthik, this song is the typical hero-describing-heroine song. I would rate this song as a true evening one. Just imagine you are taking a stroll on the seashore with the sunset in the background and listening to this song. You would feel much better.

I couldn't stop writing more about Harris. Another feel-good song from the disciple. "Ennai Pandhada Pirandhavale" from Ullam Ketkume. My husband and I are crazy about this song. After a long time, we get to hear Srinivas' voice. He is such a talented singer, am not sure why he is not given enough opportunities. Competition is so intense in Tamil film music these days. Young singers like Karthik,Tippu and Harish Raghavendra are the most sought out singers. It's good for music lovers like me. We get to hear voices of different people. This trend was started by Rahman, experimenting with new singers and it has worked well.

Tamil film music has always been great and with newcomers portraying their talents, it is going in a perfect direction.

If you are a melody lover, make sure you listen to the above mentioned songs. I can guarantee that you would rejoice while hearing to them.

Sep 21, 2005

Why ????

I'm writing this article after a heavy dinner. A friends get-together. Had a nice, sumptuous Thai food with the usual giggling, cracking jokes and pulling each other's legs. When I just felt everything is going fine around me, this incident happened.

The auto driver was driving swiftly so that he doesn't get caught in the traffic signal. But to his utter disappointment, he couldn't make it. He had to stop for the signal. There I was, wondering how so many vehicles were there in the road at 10:30 pm when an old man came upto me, carrying a bunch of earbuds. He was muttering in Hindi "Khana nayi kaya, aap ek packet karedenge to mein jaakar kaoonga" (haven't had my food yet, if you purchase a packet of earbuds, I can go and have my food). I purchased a packet from him, it was worth 10 rupees. The signal turned green and our auto left. Questions started pouring in all directions into my mind.

An old man aged more than 60 years hasn't had his dinner till 10:30 pm. He is still selling earbuds to earn his daily bread. I feel deep reverence for him. He doesn't beg but he earns through a proper job. But what affects me is the vast difference between the lifestyle of people in this society.

Many a times, whenever I get stuck in traffic signal, the beggars throng the vehicles, asking for alms. I drop a coin only to children or old people. The one rupee I drop is a small amount for me but it makes a big difference to them.

When I talk about such issues to elders, they say it's all fate. Is it already written in my fate that I would be blessed with such good parents, friends and family? What is written in that old man's fate? Run around in traffic signals at such a senile age? Thinking about the patience those 4 wheeler drivers have, honking continuously when the signal count reaches 3,2,1..., I'm scared what's going to happen to that old man.

Bangalore is going rich,it's the silicon valley of India, all the best brains in the country live in this city - all these sound meaningless to me now. I feel ashamed, I wish everyone in this world can have a decent living. By decent, I mean they should be provided the basic amenities like food,shelter and clothing. Many of us go to posh restaurants, order food and then waste a portion of it. At that
moment, we should think there are so many people suffering from poverty. A full course meal is a distant dream for them.

In addition to thinking how blessed/lucky we are, we should also try our best to make sure that we can eradicate poverty in atleast a few people's lives. In this fast paced world, let's stop for a while and think where we are heading to. Instead of asking what the country has done to us, let's ask ourselves what we have done to this country, to our fellow countrymen. Let's make a sincere effort to bring light into a few people's lives. God has sent us to this world for a purpose, so let's not focus only on our family, our friends, our job and our lives. Let's give our time and effort to make this earth a better place for everyone.

Sep 20, 2005

Special Seven..........

No one tagged me.......... So tagging myself :-(

Seven things you plan (wish I could) to do before you die

1) Own a independent house with a biiiiiiiiig garden , a tree top play house, a small Ganesha temple at the centre of the garden, a lush green pasture for me to lay down and watch the twinkling stars in the night and a swing on the pasture (so even if I fall down, I don't get hurt)
2) Learn singing and sing a song for A.R.Rahman's music in a Tamil movie
3) Start a chain of book stores all over India
4) Visit Australia, New Zealand. Take a Europe tour
5) Spend a month in the Himalayas
6) Learn to play violin, flute and piano
7) Write a novel (maybe autobiography !!!)

Seven things you can do

I can..

1) sleep on an afternoon
2) cook palatable food ( Couple of years back, I thought it's a tough task for me, but now I'm an improved cook )
3) eat cheese, paneer and still be slim
4) watch Sun Music all day (mad about music , especially Tamil film music)
5) sing whenever I can
6) play hide and seek, police and thief, country, cards etc
7) watch any Maniratnam movie n number of times

Seven things you say/write the most

I say..

1) yeah
2) oh
3) kaduppa irukku
4) arukkadhey
5) seruppu
6) okay
7) fine

Seven things you can't do

I can't..

1) eat non-Indian food (except Pizzas)
2) interact with scene parties (one who boasts too much about themselves)
3) watch action movies
4) play computer games
5) be a back bencher (always a first bench pazham and I'm proud of it !!!)
6) watch TV serials
7) walk in a crowded place (feels very irritating)


Seven things that attract you to the opposite sex

1) Smile
2) A clean shave
3) Innocent eyes
4) Soft voice (can't handle the rough, scary voice)
5) Honesty
6) Respect for women
7) Romantic in nature

Seven celebrity crushes

(1) Sachin Tendulkar
(2) Michael Schumacher
(3) Madhavan
(4) Shaam
(5) Shahrukh Khan
(6) Hrithik Roshan
(7) Ronald Weasley (Harry Potter's friend) :-)

and now I tag....

Chells
Skely
DD
Nitin

Sep 5, 2005

Ladders of my life

A ladder helps you to climb up a certain height. To climb up a particular stage of life, God has made the divine teacher. A teacher helps a young toddler to move to an achiever stage while he/she stands there and observe the results of their noble profession. On this very special day, Dr. Radhakrishnan's birthday, Teachers day, I would like to thank all my ladders for what they have given to me.

I still remember how Mrs.Ruby used to teach me the alphabets in my English classes with so much of enthusiasm in my L.K.G and U.K.G and how Mrs.Hemalatha used to narrate the rhymes full of action. I can never forget this particular rhyme "One Two, Buckle my shoe......" when all of us, hardly 2 feet in height would dance to the tunes and express the words.

The headmistress of the school, popularly called as "Madam" had the looks of strict and punishing teacher, yet you could feel her kindness once you become her favourite student. Yes, I was one of her favourite students from 3rd std to 5th std. My primary school was not one of the best in my neighbourhood. So my mother wanted to put me in a best school from class 6 onwards. I didn't have even the slightest inkling that the next 3 years were going to be the best in my school days.

St.Marys Girls Hr.Sec School, Chengalpattu. I met some very good teachers and sisters in this school. This wonderful environment instilled in me the competitive spirit. Every teacher I met in this school was very unique, be it Mrs.Sonia ,my Science teacher who taught me a bit of ballet for our annual day , Mrs.Jacintha ,my English teacher whose classes were always full of fun, Mrs.Vijayalakshmi ,my Tamil Teacher , a very soft person by nature. My sixth class teacher was also a nice person (forgot her name :( , though). She inculcated the importance of savings. I can still recollect the Sanjayika scheme(a post office scheme for encouraging school kids to save) when I used to collect 2 Rs every Monday from Amma and put it in my account.

I can't miss out on a very important person in St.Marys. Our headmistress sister. A very disciplined, kind-hearted person. I remember once giving a Christmas card to her where I had written "Sister, I love you". She asked me how much I love her. I stretched my hands to the fullest and said "This much, sister". She replied calmly, "My love for you is as big as the sky, my child". I was taken aback by her words. Kids of my age always perceive headmistress as one who punishes , one who never smiles etc etc. But there she was, giving so much of love and affection for the kids, at the same time, making sure they do well in their studies. From this point onwards, I always had the urge (call it a "veri" in Tamil) to come first in my exams.

Next came an important phase in my life. I had to move out of St.Marys because we had shifted our house to Tambaram. All my relatives tried to convince me to move to a school in Tambaram. But I was adamant and decided to travel everyday to Chengalpattu. My class 8 ranks went down - 2nd, 3rd and once , I got a 4th rank. Travel was taking its toil on me. With no other choice, I reluctantly moved to Jaigopal Garodia National Hr.Sec School, Tambaram. Although I felt the pinch initially, soon I got adjusted to new place, new teachers and new classmates.

Mrs.Wergin, Social Sciences teacher in 9th and 10th std was an inspiration to me. She handled her class with a well planned approach. Her meticulous way of revision had ensured that I was thorough in all the chapters of History and Geography. World maps and India maps were my dearest stationary those days. Can you believe that my past-time activity was looking over the Atlas during those days? Such was the influence Mrs.Wergin had on me.

You might be wondering why Anu hasn't mentioned any male teacher so far. Wait a min....there were a couple (or should I say three?) of male teachers who were my favourites in 11th and 12th std. Mr.Lakshminarayanan, my Biology teacher in 11th std and Mr.Sambandan, my Physics teacher in 12th std. I'll mention the third name (very important person) in a little while. Biology was always my favourite subject. It made more sense to me. Bio sir had handled the subject so interestingly that I felt I should be doing medicine after 12th.

What can I say about my Physics sir? A man of values. He is an M.Phil in Physics, M.C.A and an NCC head. During my 12th std, I had joined Maths, Chemistry and Biology private tuitions. I was a bit hesitant about joining classes for Physics. I wasn't sure how it would fit in my schedule. Thanks to Subha, my best friend who had joined Sambandan sir's tuitions for Physics. She attended the first class and was very impressed with the way sir takes the classes. I had joined the classes from next day. The classes for girls are from 6 am to 7.30 am. Such a late riser, I was. I still am. I would get up at 5.45, brush my teeth, wash my face and rush to the class. Thank God, his house was just a 2-min walk. Most of the days, I would be the last entry to the class. Rarely, I used to go at 5.50-5.55 am. The chantings of Om Nama Shivaya being played from his room, a perfect way to begin a day. Our sir would come at sharp 6, perfectly dressed. Sometimes I would feel like saluting him. Apart from teaching Physics, he also used to give us tips on tackling exam pressures, writing answers in such a way that we get full marks etc. One such tip that is permanently fixed in my mind is whenever you feel depressed and unable to do something, just say these 4 lines to yourself "I'm a confident person. I'm an achiever. I can do it. I will do it".

The third and a very important person, Mr.Raman , a Ph.D in Maths. So far, you have read how teachers have made a positive impact on me. Mr. Raman indirectly made that impact. Fortunately or unfortunately he was my Maths teacher in the crucial years of 11th and 12th std. Just after a week of our 11th std classes, he gave us a surprise test on Vector Algebra. I failed miserably. I had never failed in any of the tests so far. Out of a class of 75, only 5 students had managed to pass the test. Those 5 having private tuitions with Mr.Raman is a different story. The 70 odd students including me were asked to stand. "No hope for you people. Go and join some art classes. Professional courses are not for you fools", these were his words. I came home that evening and cried so much. Appa tried to console me but he couldn't. I decided to join Maths tuitions from 11th std instead of 12th std. Mrs.Rajeswari (we call her mami) came to my rescue. A nice person, very knowledgeable in Maths, most importantly, a very patient lady. She was one of the most important factors due to which I was able to score a centum in Maths. My brother also took tuitions from her and he scored a centum as well.

I might have missed many teachers in this list. But all my teachers had made some difference or the other to me. I thank everyone of you. My ambition is to make a difference to atleast a few children and be a ladder to them.....

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