Memories of a dead bird

Once... I felt your memories like torn cotton strewn everywhere... I wished for them to make a warm blanket to enwrap me through the cold, cruel nights... But, now... Your memories are like scattered feathers of a dead bird flying in the sky Will a blanket made of them keep my heart warm? ******* The only puzzle, My dearest, is this: Did I blow a bubble In your dreams And burst it before You saw it for a bubble? Was it a bubble, Or was it real? ****** Do you see the tsunami waiting to rise up inside me? Don't you ever come to my world again, even by mistake... The waves trying to escape from me will spell doom for us, drowning both of us

An odyssey of exploration—of the self and the world

"We are going to Tirupati in June," announced my co-sister, sometime in March. And I was elated— not because I'm a believer, but this was my chance to trek the 11-km climb to the Tirumala temple from Alipiri. The next few weeks were spent with zero preparation for the trek, and the D-day arrived in no time. On a hot Saturday afternoon, we were standing at the foot of the hill, while I stared at the steep steps and told myself, "no, I can't do this." But then, this happens each time, and I know I can march on and reach the top. Armed with a water bottle, a towel and glucose tablets, and no slippers on our feet, we start climbing up. The stone steps scorch the feet, forcing us to climb faster. Three minutes into the climb, my heart starts beating rapidly, and sweat starts inundating my body, when not even a few hundred metres of the trek are covered. The next 10+ kms seem impossible, and I just want to give up and start resting on the side platforms meant

An infected branch and the tree that needs to survive

The floodgate of  #MeToo cases has me thinking deeply. While I too have a few #MeToo moments, I don't want to share them right now. They are not as serious as the ones that I'm hearing, and I don't want to trivialise the movement by adding to frivolous stories. May be I will try and explain one of the incidents someday - but I don't even remember the name of the person. The question that's haunting me now is, h ow to treat these cases in a fair and just manner? How to do course-correction? ***** A tree has an infected branch. What do you do? Do you not eat fruits from the unaffected branches, which are perfectly fine? The infected branch might have contributed to those fruits, but does that make the fruit inedible? What's the solution? Shall we disown the tree and its fruits totally? Shall we just cut off the branch and save the tree from infection? Or, shall we check for symptoms and cure the infection so that the branch becomes healthy? The last

Tumbbad: A cinema to take you on a trip to dark corners hidden inside you

All reviews have said so much about the visually stunning quality of the movie, Tumbbad . The rain shots, the dark and gloomy scenes and the visual effects... A less bollywoodish movie, way different from the visually loaded movies made in bollywood with extravagant graphics. It sure has graphics, which is just apt, not luxurious at all. It's a story that says greed breeds sorrow and destruction. Remember the story of goose that laid golden eggs? Never cut the goose, you will lose everything. A lot of effort has gone into making the movie suit the time period it is set in - right from the metal pipe used in kitchen to blow air into fireplace, to the old jeep-like BMW. But the scenes haunt even after you come out - after all, you just went into a dark, magnificent and magnanimous womb of the sacred feminine that protects the world from a darkest hidden secret... a cave of greed and bloodshed... and above all, you came out unhurt! Whether you will be able to come

This cinema explores a characterless city and its people

Gurgaon is a characterless, scary city that is expanding with no respect to the indigenous character of the topography and land. (Perhaps all cities are, but I got scared in Gurgaon for no reason!) I had been there in February 2017. I had attended a workshop that focused on how to restore water table in Gurgaon's residential and farming areas. A rich farmer who came in a Bolero to the workshop struck a conversation with me, and I got a hint of what they are made of. He went to the extent of inviting me to his hotel, which I declined, and after a week he even called me. When I came to know it was him I didn't want to continue the conversation. The Metro line cutting through the now-developing city had an eerie character to it in the area I was staying, with only malls and high-end buildings, no dhaba or no public transport - basically meant for only those who had cars and who could afford to go to restaurants in malls. DLF wanted Metro connectivity to CyberCity

Weaving dreams and eternal optimism: Cinder-ella

There is hope, there is light. And it isn't elsewhere. It's in our hearts. And minds. I waited for two days to see whether this novel stays in my mind, before writing anything on it. It did, so I thought I should write. You know the first thing I did after reading this? I went to the first page of the novel on kindle, and gave a search for the word 'secular'. And the search returned with zero results. I am a fan of TN Seetharam's serials, though he doesn't do them anymore. What was it that made me wait for TN Seetharam's serials? It was the script /dialogue, and the story I was looking forward to. The twists and turns, political and legal thriller drama - different from other soap operas adhering to ready TRP formulae. The satisfaction of watching a TNS serial is what I got when I finished reading Soumya Aji's Cinder-ella. When I started off, I didn't know what to expect. As I proceeded, it looked like a triangular love story, a

Why you should watch Bahubali-II

I'm a student of cinema, and will remain one forever. What I write below is my experience of watching the cinema Bahubali-2 on a big multiplex screen, a result of my own learnings, experiences and world view. I don't expect anyone else to feel the same, and recommend not reading this if you have always differed with me on political and social issues. Also, do not read my review if you feel cinema has no social responsibility. ***************** First things first - as many have already said, this is a movie made for multiplex big screen viewing. Don't go to ordinary theaters because you may miss the dialogues that will be lost in the cheering of the crowd, and the sound effects may be better on a big screen. You may not be able to feel the graphics to the fullest effect on a low quality screen. The graphics, animations, the editing that beautifully weaves in a magical story together... Everything technical is magnanimous. To have something like this in an

Dummies' guide to countering whataboutery on Bakrid animal slaughter during Deepavali

Haven’t you started hearing / seeing arguments equalising animal slaughter and crackers, and asking why animal sacrifice in Islam is not banned, but cracker bursting in Hindus is? Supreme Court became anti-Hindu recently, with its ban on crackers and green cracker advocacy. Finally they had to clarify that it was applicable only for Delhi. Every time Deepavali comes, crackers burst outside my home, my kid curious to watch it all but scared because she is sensitive to polluted air, my kittens terrified and sitting next to us. Let me tell you, I have a huge list of things to be avoided, and things to be done — crackers are only one small part in the list. I avoid it because my kid is allergic to cracker fumes and had to be hospitalised once after getting exposed to Deepavali celebrations. While a lot of people agree that chemicals in crackers are actually bad, some people feel crackers are not as bad as they are projected to be. Some of them think ban on crackers is an attack on

Take my eyes...

Dedicated to the new generation smart phones and social media that have made content creation and sharing so easy and compelling, at the cost of caring for the fellow human beings. Penned as a reaction to the news broadcast on television, and to the fact that the victim donated his eyes before he died. This is not intended to pass judgement on the onlookers, but each one of us is free to judge ourselves. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ His body ripped apart into two, With both the parts still alive, Every moment life changing its hue, He screams, 'help, I want to live!' Was it a cinema — with all Pale-eyed viewers around He cannot trust it, was it his, The blood spilling on the ground...? Did anyone see the number Of the monster that mowed him down? He has no idea, but they are all mum Their faces bland, with not even a frown Then the fallen man sees Him - The man with the funky gadget There he is, standing, with A good view of the dying body and spirit Capturing his

Ola launches boats in flooded Chennai area

Do you know what it means to "take the stones they throw at you and use them to build your castle?" Here's a great example of this. When Chennai was flooded with incessant rains, people started joking on twitter - they said Ola will launch boat services soon. And Voila! Ola sensed the opportunity, caught the idea and actually went on with boat service! Local fishermen and Sports Authorities helped Ola with the numbers of boat owners. The company has provided raincoats and Ola stickers for the boats. The boats are used to transport food and water to people as well as ferry stranded people to safety. This is also a great example of taking business ideas from social media. Read the Times of India report here . Whatt an idea, Sirji!!

The story of peanuts and monkeys

This article has an incident - a small proof of why the media is in such a mess today with no unity among themselves, and no integrity or truth in the content that comes out - be it television or online or print. Paid Media is a deep-rooted problem - deeper menace than any of us can imagine. Earlier, in 2000s, it was one person, one reporter here and there, demanding 500 rupees for a TV byte of 20-25 seconds or more, and more for a story. It was also the live telecasts in favour of political parties for some favour to the reporter unknown to the rest. Cash, laptops, car, even flats and other stuff. There are tales of reporters cashing on scandals of politicians -crores of rupees. The colour of reporting changed in accordance with the gains. Clicked by me during one of the trips to my hometown. Symbolises the situation. Then came tele-programmes, soft in nature (cookery, fashion, astrology, cinema, health) but the guests had to pay to appear in such programmes. The probl

A visual feast: that is what RangiTharanga is

RangiTaranga. I thought it was an art film of sorts, then came to know it was a suspense thriller. But before going to the movie I seriously didn't expect such a commercial drama with a psychopath killer! Hats off to the director Anup Bhandari and the team for pulling it off! The movie is full of visual glory, including the colourful dressings of the characters. That, along with the cinematography and music, in my view, is the hero. The actors did their bit too. I loved the look and acting of Radhika Chetan, who plays the main heroine. For some reason I loved the song KeLe Cheluve too. The capturing of the bhootharadhane, yakshagana and the landscape - all beautiful. The plot doesn't let anyone to guess what is coming up next - that also is the hero in this cinema. In many scenes, particularly two murder scenes, the black screen leaves the viewers to imagine the goriness of the scene, though no blood is shown. That in my view makes it all more sinister. All you se

Outgrowing the Greed

Got to share this seemingly unimportant yet touching event that I experienced today, and many a times before. I have a strange habit of forgetting things. My purse is something I usually forget - in terms of frequency, it stands next to forgetting writing. It usually contains a credit card, a debit card, my office access card, canteen coupons and some loose change. Earlier my mobile also used to be in it, then after losing my purse for a couple of times I realised that keeping everything together doesn't work for my good. So I started keeping mobile separately. Yesterday I had again forgotten my purse on my work table, along with the pile of papers. Usually I clean up all the papers so purse safely gets tucked inside my handbag, but yesterday was a strange bad day for me, so I forgot to do it. I went home, kept my bag aside, and slept with my little one. This morning I did not care to check my bag, and when it was 4.15, I just left home with the handbag. Sat in an auto as

No Rain, No Relief

Hi friends, back again to my blog backyard, for some random ramblings. Well, where to start? ABCD of Rangoli Today I officially started learning how to draw Rangoli. I drew a few strands, and a few designs in front of the Tulsi vrindavan, that's there in front of our house. Know what, it looked exactly like what my two-year-old daughter draws! I learnt how to draw 8-petl flower, and Shankha (counch), and couple of other designs. Don't laugh... I'm still a learner yaaa. We the people in South Canara don't cherish such things much usually, but when in Bangalore, act like a Bangalorean. That too, when married to a Madhwa family to head that family, you have to be well-versed in all these! :-) Gardening Mania There are currently around 12 pots in front of my home, four of them just waiting for right plants to be planted. All those pots were kept by our aunty by the side of the house while the construction of new house was going on. It all caught cement, all

Rain is Raining All Around!

I feel like running into the rain lashing around now... and letting the rain wash my soul, too. How therapeutic it is to open my mouth and hands to catch those falling pure drops of life... To get drenched in pureness and fill my soul with pureness... My poor soul needs a lot of healing... the disrupted and devastated state it is in is never imaginable - it has shattered into pieces! They say time heals. But does it, really? Maybe it's all consolation in action. Or maybe it's all psychological. But we should give it a chance... In my experience, Rain, too, heals. It melts away the disjoint pieces of soul and forms a new mixture out of which a phoenix is born again. Words fail me when I start describing rain and its beauty... The happiness and peace I get in the presence of rain... It's beyond all descriptions... it's just ethereal. To me, rain means a lot. Rain is the outcome when the foul-mood cloud, loaded with worries, breaks down and clears itself, catapult

Great Indian Blunders

I was going through the emails of Rana / Headley revealed during Chicago trial - It was interesting to check these mails from one Mr. Rajaram Rege, known to Headley as PRO for Bala Thakre. See how well he has narrated the process of government and private tenders in India... It was all well-known, or at least we had doubts - he has just openly unfolded it. These are the very people who rob our nation, heap up black money and become richer themselves, by making the poor poorer. These people don't have any party - they are all-pervasive. Considering that this fellow is in the business for minimum 6 years, just imagine how much he might have robbed from India. And how many people like him India might have? What might be the amount robbed by all these? Just think, imagine - your heart is sure to stop for a while. So nothing can be done to stop this nonsense? Yes of course, a few major things can be done by the central and state governments, and from the corporates.

Stories of My Cutie-Pie - 1

One day my little princess was playing inside the home, near the pram. I was in the kitchen. After a while I noted that she became silent all of a sudden. I came out to check the reason. I saw that she was chewing something. I thought it must be a piece of paper or something. She had already had her breakfast; there was nothing else I gave her to eat. As I went near her, I could smell the pleasing fragrance of mint - I placed my finger in her mouth and dragged the thing out of her mouth - tried to figure out what it was - yes, it was a Chewing Gum! I wondered who gave it to her... Everybody at home is aware of my reaction if at all they make her eat some junk. So it is unlikely that someone gave her that to eat. I searched all over the home. Finally found the culprit - a pink piece of  half-eaten chewing gum, know where? Firmly gummed on the little wheels of the pram, on which we take her on the road for a round in the evenings... !!! :-( These days we carry her out ourselves

Water Wisdom

Ever wondered what is this water filter all about? Do you still think the need to have it in your home? Then there are some insights for you here. Water is one precious resource on earth that doesn’t have any replacement. Though our planet is filled with 2/3 of water, most of the water is saline and not potable. Rain, ground water and rivers fulfill most of our drinking water needs. Water has never been created by man so far, but it has easily be polluted everywhere in the world by human activities. Rivers and ground water can be contaminated through chemicals from industries. Negligent discharge of drainage or household waste to water sources also pollutes water. The spilled oil in your kitchen which you poured to the wash basin, chemicals in the detergent powder that reached your drainage from the washing machine, and all organic and inorganic waste pollutes water. Inorganic substances add various metals to the water, while organic things cause various bacteria to grow. When there is

People from nowhere

It was suggested by someone to create awareness in our program, on the roadside sellers who put a tent and sell "Ayurvedic" medicines, and promise to cure all diseases. Topic seemed quite interesting, and we started off. The moment we got into the topic, all tent-sellers seemed like villains who indulge in anti-social activities. For the first two days we sneaked around their tents and took lot of video. Then many of their customers were interviewed. There was mixed response on the effectiveness of their medicine. There were doubts too, on their activities. Finally we got to interview the sellers themselves. To our surprise, they faced the camera boldly, and told everything about themselves. Most of them come from Haridwara, Hrushikesh and parts of UP. Their forefathers used to practise native medicine, and these people have learnt that by default. They get to know about what makes a person suffer, by checking the pulse. There are people who come to them, and get their small