Oct 28, 2005

Doom Doom Diwali....

Lights everywhere,
Diwali is here.
Make your hair oily,
Says the old granny.

Bright happy faces,
Wearing colourful dresses.
Lip smacking sweets,
Eat them with ease.

Friends and cousins coming home,
Don't be reading a tome.
Fight them for crackers,
Come out with flying colours.

Zooming bomb rockets,
Don't put them in your pockets.
Flower pots blooming high,
Conveying Naragasura bye bye.

Happiness everywhere,
Sadness nowhere
Asking for this wish,
along with a sweet dish.

Wishing you all a happy, safe and bright Diwali :-)

PS : am taking a short break from blogging for the next one week.

Oct 24, 2005

A head-start

I don't know from where to start. Ok, flashback, turn your calendar pages to August 2005, to be precise, 14th August 2005. That was the first time when I visited Ananya, a school for under privileged kids as part of my first volunteering activity with Dream a Dream. I was feeling very scared. How am I going to interact with the kids? How am I going to be playful throughout the day with a new set of people? I was pondering over lots of questions on my way to Ananya. Finally we reached a place, almost like a resort in Kerala with lots of trees all around the place and small tents here and there. Needless to say, little kids like the fresh flowers in the morning were playing in that place. As soon as we got down the car, the kids swarmed around us, asking for names and other details. They were so open to newcomers like me. Holding my hands with their soft, little palms, they took me on a site visit around their school and showed all kinds of plants and trees, giving a translation of names in Telugu, Kannada and Hindi. So knowledgeable were these kids about their garden that I felt like a toddler among these experts.

While waiting for a walk to Jerry's farm (that's where we would spend the entire day playing treasure hunt), Durga and Sowmya taught me "Mana Manakka One........." . It is a very interesting "girls" game where you clap your hands and make expressions as per the lyrics. Then it was my turn to teach them a couple of games. "Categories" and "Concentration" had stuck my mind all of a sudden. I remembered the days when Preeti, Ramya and I would play these games in our apartment terrace (Guess I was in 8th std then!!!). The kids liked these games very much and we played many rounds. The day went on with treasure hunt and other games. Overall, a nice beginning for my stint with Dream a Dream.

Flashforward. October 2005. As part of my organization's volunteering activity, we decided to spend a day at Ananya. I felt glad that a good number of volunteers turned up for the pre-activities like planning, games selection and gift wrapping. The day dawned and we boarded the bus. Will the kids remember me? Will they interact with our volunteers in the same way they interact with Dream a Dream volunteers? Will they participate actively in all the games? Again, I was pondering over questions on my way.

Having stepped down the bus, I walked towards the place where the kids were playing. Some of them instantly recognised me while a few came close, asking for my name and whether I had met them before. Durga immediately said "Aunty, let's play categories". I can't express how much I was surprised. This little kid recognised in a flash that it was me who taught them this game and on top of that, she remembered the lyrics so well. We started playing and the other kids also joined us.

A round of Mana Manakka, Mary-Mary and two of my games - a perfect start for the day. We had arranged for a first-aid camp. It was pretty interesting, though a few kids (including my hubby) slept during the session. It was good to see many of our volunteers playing the games while waiting for lunch. I got to know some interesting facts while serving lunch.

1) Kids don't like salads. I had to force them to eat atleast one piece of tomato, cucumber and onion.
2) Many kids prefer to mix salt with water and drink it. This kid named Suresh was playing with me asking for more and more salt. Whenever I cross him to serve dishes for other kids, he would shout "Aunty, salt!!!".
3) 95% of the kids like to eat curds as such without mixing it with rice. And yes, sugar is a must. Also, a spoon of sugar is very less. They were demanding more and more sugar from Skely that he got a nick name "Sugar uncle".

It was our turn to have lunch. I don't know how the food tasted much better though it was the same food and the same caterer who serves us lunch everyday at office. Probably, we were too tired and hungry playing with the kids.

The afternoon session was packed with games like passing the parcel (I organized this game :-) . Though I stumbled initially with seven-up rules, I guess kids enjoyed the game) , the ever-green musical chair , the funny lemon and spoon and the fierce baloon bursting. Prizes were distributed to the winners and to all the kids as a small token of appreciation.

After snacks and tea, it was time to leave. It is unbelievable that the entire day passed so quickly. The kids gave us hand-made greeting cards and bid good bye to us. Sowmya, my good friend asked me when I would come again. I said "Very soon". Thayamma always full of smiles said in Kannada "Aunty, when you come next time, I'll get the first prize." She came second in lemon and spoon game. But look at her spirit. "Kids are the best teachers", echoed my mind. Ajay and Jayanthi, cute little kids and darling of everyone, Sharat, the talented kid who can twist and roll his entire body using his right hand, Arun , a nice boy always full of smiles, the two young boys who had sung a Tamil song and danced in front of me - wish I could remember all their names. It was an emotional bye-bye. When the bus started to leave, they shouted "Come again, uncle. Come again, aunty".

Many volunteers are visiting them, spending a day with them, giving them gifts etc etc. It's fine but how are we going to help these kids in the future? Dr.Shashi Rao is doing a great job in giving affection and support to these children. We should support her in the upliftment of these kids. Let's not just show them dreams, let's help them to achieve their dreams. Definitely, this Sunday was one of the most meaningful Sundays of my life and has provided the much needed head start in achieving my goals.

Oct 14, 2005

My take on Bollywood

Watched a superb movie, Iqbal yesterday. Amazing. Good to see a Hindi movie of this caliber after a long time. Frankly speaking, I'm fed up of watching the same old "Soni kudi", "Mahi ve", "Bada-baap-bada bijiness", "karva chouth" kinda movies. I can't bear them anymore.

Iqbal starts off with a beautiful village background and the introduction of the protogonist. I'm not going to put down a set of best scenes here because each and every scene is well crafted in the movie. The story is about how a deaf and dumb person goes all out to achieve his ambitions and how people around him are supporting him in his endeavours. After watching the movie, you get this feel-good feeling and also a strong fire within you to achieve something.

Young directors with good scripts have to be motivated by experienced people in the industry and that's exactly what Subash Ghai had done. The Indian Film Industry always clings to the so-called brand names and believes firmly that only those brands can pull masses to the theatres. To prove it, find out who won most of the awards last year - Mr.Yash Chopra. No doubt he is a great stalwart and biggie in the industry. But a crap movie like Veer Zaara getting all awards is ridiculous. On top of that , people claim that this movie emphasises on Indo-Pak relations. The same old Swiss snow clad mountains, the heroine(oops, Lata Mangeshkar) singing la-la, same kind of song picturisation etc etc - What's so special in this movie to get all such awards?

I was totally disappointed that Swades didn't get the best movie or best director award. A movie, so well taken was ignored. The biggest jokes were Paheli being nominated for Oscars ahead of movies like Black and Swades and Saif Ali Khan getting the national award for Hum Tum. Needless to say, how these industry big shots influence such decisions.

People argue that we go to movies for fun. I can understand very well why movies like Murder and Kya Kool Hai Hum run into packed houses. Films provide a powerful medium not just for entertainment but also play an important role in the transformation of the society. I got positively influenced by watching Swades and Iqbal. In the same manner, people get influenced by crap, dirty movies where women are portrayed as glam dolls.

Only if directors like Ashutosh and Nagesh Kukunoor are encouraged, they would love to make such positive impact movies in the future. But the industry is not welcoming such talented people. I will not be surprised if Bunty Aur Babli wins the best movie of this year.

Oct 7, 2005

Cricket making headlines for wrong reasons.

The recent controversy between Ganguly and Chapell has hit the headlines of all the newspapers across the country. The manner in which this news has reached the public is simply ridiculous. Why did Ganguly discuss about the happenings between him and the coach with the media? Doesn't it sound so immature and childish, very similar to how a kindergarden kid would complain to his mother about how his school teacher had shouted at him? If he has problems with the coach, he should have contacted the BCCI directly. Why does he have to take the coach's viewpoints personally? All these incidents doesn't auger well for the Indian cricket team.

Policies similar to that of Australian cricket team have to be implemented in Indian team as well. If a player doesn't perform well for say, 10 consecutive one dayers or 5 test matches, he should be chucked out of the team, irrespective of whether he is a captain or a favourite of BCCI president or whether he belongs to selectors' favorite states such as Karnataka or Bengal or Maharashtra. Our country's huge talents go unheard of because of such differences. Why do people from North East states never enter the foray of cricket? Is it because they are not skilled in the sport? NO.....They are not given enough opportunities. In a country having the second highest population in the world, possessing such a huge man power, Is it very difficult to find atleast 50 talented, hardworking cricketers?

Many players are being treated as permanent members of the team, no matter how worse they perform. Do I have to mention these names? Ganguly, our very own captain, it's high time for him to just retire and get off the team. He claims that he has brought in many victories for the team under his captaincy. How many matches were his contribution significant in the last few years? India was successful in many matches due to the contribution made by youngsters like Sehwag, Yuvraj and Kaif. At a point of time when our whole country's expectations were carried by the shoulders of Sachin, these players proved that India can win even if Sachin gets out. This is a positive sign for Indian cricket. But such players are not given good chance to prove themselves in test cricket. The same old Laxman and Ganguly are part of the test team for ages. Com'on, selectors, Laxman is not going to repeat the Kolkata innings every time he goes out to bat in a test match. Why is he part of the test squad always? I couldn't recall a good test innings from Ganguly apart from the recent slowest, boring century he made against Zimbabwe, to prove a point that he can bat.

People might argue about Sachin's contributions in the past 2 years. If Sachin failed to make good scores, he had come up with a good performance in his bowling. Although he had been in and out of the team due to his back injury and tennis elbow, he had always strived hard to get more runs. It is evident from the effort he puts in, unlike Ganguly who only knows to show-off and who can't run fast and take 2 runs instead of singles. Ranatunga would have easily taken 2 runs in such a situation. He can easily judge whether a particular stroke would fetch him a single or a two and run/walk accordingly. But Sourav mostly prefers to walk and at other times, he gets his partner run-out.

To be frank, I was also a fan of Ganguly during 1997 Sahara Cup matches between India and Pakistan in Toronto. But I feel, after he took over the captaincy, his attitude towards the game has undergone a drastic change. John Wright was able to adjust with Ganguly's shortcomings but Chapell may not do so. If our selectors and BCCI sincerely wish that India should do well in the coming world cup, they should let Chapell take over the job of tuning our team's performance and groom the youngsters with potential to perform in high pressure situations. How many finals have we lost? Something is terribly wrong here.

Chapell, Wishing you good luck and pleaaaaaaaase help our team to bring home the coveted World Cup from the mighty Aussies.

Oct 4, 2005

What an evolution !!!

I'm not going to elaborate on Darwin's theory of evolution and how homosapiens had evolved from chimpanzees. I want to write about how my personal space has evolved from my childhood.

Personal space - one that I always crave for. It's not just the freedom to do what I believe. It also means the actual physical space in my house, which I can say it's mine. I'm always very possessive about my little kingdom. My brother's belongings can never enter my fort.

I'm not sure when this started in my life. My toys were usually the kitchen set (choppu saaman in Tamil) in different sizes and shapes - from the plastic model (the tiny blue coloured pressure cooker, cute red coloured pot - Oh, I miss them) , to the eversilver one to the wood variety to the one made of clay. Such beautiful and precious collections they were !!! When I was in class 2 or 3 (not sure!!!), during my weekends, I used to carry my books, all my toys, a cream coloured water bag and a straw mat to a verandah adjacent to my house. Arranging all these things neatly and then doing my homework sitting on the mat on a sultry Saturday afternoon amidst the almond, guava and eucalyptus trees was such a pleasant feeling. That place was mine alone.

My mother was a Tamil Pandit. I used to see her preparing for her M.A. exams, sitting on the wooden chair with her Tamil literature books on a desk that my grandfather had given us. The last shelf of a wooden rack was allocated to me adjacent to my mother's study table. I used to clean my shelf every week and arrange all my books and notes in an order. The shelf also served me as a desk so that I can sit down on the floor and write, keeping my books on it.

I can never sell my books to the second hand book store. I always like to keep them with me for future reference (???) , although I never referred to them later. My brother is the exact opposite character of mine. As soon as the final exams are over, he would want to sell his books. He can't even wait for the results to come. On top of that, he would force me to sell my books as well. Somehow, I managed to save my Maths and Science texts from him.

As years passed by, I started to use my mother's study table. I decorated it with love and care. Additional two shelfs were placed on top of my table which served as my book shelves. A tiny Ganesha idol was sitting beautifully at the centre of my desk. Ink bottles, blue and black coloured with separate fillers, a pen stand with my favourite Hero pen and elegant Camel ink pen standing erectly, a date changing calendar and a small clock were the other proud subjects of my kingdom.

Since my father is into business, he makes use of a lot of cardboard files to file his receipts, bills and vouchers. He maintains them yearly and at the end of the year, I get those old files. I file my question papers, notes and other essential papers subjectwise. While revising for an exam, I had the entire set in a single file. This habit did continue till my college days.

My study desk used to be so well organized that the moment I go there, my concentration levels would be very high. When I came to Bangalore, I had a whole house to arrange things as I wish. But the motivation to keep things organized was never the same as it used to be in the 3*2 square feet area of our 12*12 single bedroom house in Chennai. This is what I had been thinking so far.

Hurray.......We had brought a study desk recently at home. I could feel the motivation to keep MY books and papers organized creeping on me. Yesterday, I found a couple of Karthi's books on my desk and I put them on his computer table. :-)

Back to my form, I guess. Karthi's books, BEWARE. I'm coming......

Blog Archive

All contents copyrighted by Anuradha Sridharan, 2023. Don't copy without giving credits. Powered by Blogger.