Category Archives: 2 Minute Thoughts

Soul Time

Sit

sit down

quiet

be very quiet

close

close your eyes

breath

breath deeply

see

see yourself

at close quarters

thank

thank the universe

thank your wonderful servant

the body at your service

thank each of your struggling limbs

wallowing in neglect

show

show some love

to yourself, your each limb

gentle

gentle

shed

shed expectations

it’s a good day, today

live it well.

PS: A friend of mine is suffering from Tinnitus but perhaps more from exhaustion, over thinking and running around. Sit down sometimes, just sit.

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divine Item

“These are the two, no three items left here. Earlier we had a variety of items”, the man was insistent on calling the gods in his family temple items, and I tried to look for reverence but did not find any, not surprisingly, though.

He was casual in his conversation,his attitude relaxed as if he was talking about some of his eccentric , some times unwieldy neighbors or friends.

“In the honor of these’items’, the man continued.” we conduct 3 annual celebrations in the temple”, his family temple, run by the family trust.

“Women,” he smiled, ” no, no, we only handle everything, of course they all support even the youngsters, not all, but there are some who are keen to help. So we kind of manage and the locals also come. So for so good.”

“The family astrologer looks up the horoscope and every now and then he finds a loop hole, a planned revenge by one of these”, no this time he didn’t say items?!. “Of course, the relatives, even those from far have started to believe and now every year, we have at least 3 major festivals. more like a get- together.”

One of the items,” he added “is Bhagavathy, but she is pretty docile, that is how she is in our temple. Otherwise it is not going to be easy, you see”.

Search, Research

Last week has been hectic. Time for continuous relentless travel. But it has also been ever so rewarding. While research was my reason to travel, what I received in return fills me with gratitude and joy.

A friend traveled straight from her work to meet me and as we talked we realized how much we miss each other and we parted on a happy note of a promise of more meetings with more friends. Maya, can’t thank you enough.

My quiet aunt who is a devotee and does not look beyond her home, keeping the treasures, the family property in tact for her children and visiting temples, donned her investigative hat as she joined me in my search for research. Valliamma, you are the best.

My sister and her husband who willing joined me in my trips to the unknown and helped me gather some valuable information as I am just about beginning with my field work were fantastic. I loved how much my sister and her husband talked to each other, needling one another, sharing anecdotes, they were the best of friends to each other, what a beautiful relationship you share! Bindu chechi and Ravi chetan,you are superb.

Then there is my dear Sofi. How does one describe walking into a home for the first time and feeling as if one belonged here. Sofi is a terrific ball of energy, ever enthusiastic, always positive and looking out for innovative ways to channel her stupendous energy to benefit those around her.As the day unwound, apart from devouring delicious food cooked by my friend in earthen ware! yeah! really! she has a dozen beautifully stacked earthen ware at home, I was lucky to be introduced to different individuals in the vicinity in the hope of collecting some valuable information. It was a collective effort at research, truly!

I thought I could have stayed over, when Sofi expressed the same. We sat together talking and joking and reliving past, discussing how life has changed all of us for better or worse.

I looked at the home so lovingly built by this wonderful girl and her loving husband and closed my eyes in prayer for their happiness and well being.

But of course, there are 2 kind souls whose sincerity I am at cross with sometimes, my dearest amma and achan, who do sometimes forget I am not a kid any more.

And amma was smart enough to get me to clean some grass, plant some yam, pick some greens in her efforts to keep me engaged and shed some weight.

Faraway in Auroville, my darling daughter picked up some skills in Film making while keeping a track of my day, it suddenly seemed to me that all is good, and that I should be able to do a good job at my research.

I have always wondered at the kindness of the universe, her ability to bring right people into my life at the right time, this week just sort of reaffirmed my faith.

Life is indeed beautiful. And I for sure have put on a few happy pounds….

A Dialogue Cafe on Wheels!!!

It has sort of caught my fancy. It has been so for some time actually, the idea of driving around the city,while having great conversations… like a dialogue cafe on wheels.

I think that way I should be able to do many things at one go.Travel which has long been on my hit list, ah, the wish list, meeting up and having interesting conversations and well, doing my bit to run my home.

Perhaps the cab could have a few eatables, some magazines, no drinks!,and a theme for each drive.

Is that such a bad idea, its like a caravan of sorts?

I have been toying with the idea of debuting as a part time cabbie, it is part of my long term plan.

Does not every one like a good conversation, some good company, great food while on wheels?

Wonder if such a thing is in place already?

Maybe I am reinventing the wheel!

Unishe April and more

All my interest in Bengali comes from my love for my sweet friend Oditi, I mean Aditi Ghatak.

While I had been reading a lot of Tagore and a few other writers its not until recently that I felt drawn to Bengali music and cinema.

Unishe April was an experience. A beautiful narrative scripted around a simple story of love, angst and the complexities in the relationship of a mother and daughter who discover each other.

Then I watched Punashca 2014. An elderly writer develops a relationship with his college mate, an old flame and the unexpected and complicated events this leads to is what the film is all about . With some great acting by the beautiful Rupa Ganguly, Soumitra Chatterjee and Sayani Ghosh, the film is a treat to watch.

Regional literature, music, films in India are a hidden wealth, unexplored by most Indians due to the language barrier, which I believe only adds to their beauty.

While there is the constant agony of being subsumed by the more powerful, techno-savvy and rich Hindi Cinema, regional cinema hold on its own self and is constantly improving in terms of regular and loyal followers.

But I am afraid we can’t say the same for music because as we were working with students for the Independence day celebrations, we realized that singers are unable to sing in their own mother tongue with confidence.

Hindi songs, we know a plenty, they said. So any Marathi, patriotic song.. ‘no mam’, ‘Bengali, can’t remember mam’.. so on and so forth came the excuses.

It is important that every educational institution, works with the youngsters instilling a pride in them for the place of their origin.

Watching films from across the country could be a good way to learn other Indian languages!

CTR for Benne Dose

If you are in Bangalore and if you do not visit CTR and have their classic ‘Benne Dose’ well, you have missed an experience of a life time.

Tucked in the busy corners of Malleshwaram, a corner of old Bangalore that is always abuzz, like my friend Suma would travel to Malleshwaram in search of stuff like the bindis, the bangles, saris, ready made blouses and what not. It was Suma who over repeated narrations instilled into me a certain respect and awe for ‘Malleshwaram’.

So me and my daughter visit the very famous CTR after a stroll at the Sankey Tank presumably to regain whatever calories we lost in the ‘good for health morning walk’!

The space is crammed and has an old world feel about it. People are jostling in and out busily in search of the best dose in the world. There is a rush!

The rush is an everyday event though, what with the popularity and awards that this place has been winning over the years with the ‘apps’ furthering the appetite of the city.

We tuck into our own Benne dose with glee and seal the deal with a cup of filter coffee.

We go back again greedy for another round many days later and guess what after a belly full of benne dose, I go tumbling down the narrow, buttery staircase and end up looking like a fool with blood gushing down my chin and bruised lips, pain in unspeakable places and what not.

A few stitches later, the doctor making small talk, so you are from, but you speak good Hindi and stuff and a very frightened look on my daughter’s face, I try to bring about a broken smile through it all, no choice right!

But yes, benne dose wins the day, and I get stitched all over, nevertheless, I might just go again, stitches or no stitches, the dose calls can’t be resisted.

Benne Dose

But if you are planning a visit, be there like real early, grab your chair and hold on to it, because a few others are eyeing your chair and waiting for you to get up for their share of Benne Doses.

So good luck for your visit to CTR!

Kannada Baruthe

Been in Bangalore, Karnataka for almost a decade, yet all I know is rudimentary Kannada. Why did it never occur to me to put myself to the task of learning a new language, when supposedly I love languages?

It must be sheer laziness and the fact that in Bangalore, you can speak any language you know and still get the work done. Bangaloreans in general are conversant with Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and more and that is a deterrent.

With the desire to interact more with youngsters at college, talk to colleagues and feel more at home here in Bangalore, I am trying my best to get a hold over Kannada.

Well, reading and writing can wait, speaking Kannada decently enough would do for now.

I used to speak Telugu fluently way back in my primary school when I studied in Vijayawada but soon forgot all of it after moving back to Kerala.

If I manage to convince myself of having learnt to speak good Kannada, I definitely want to brush up my Telugu.

Then comes, Tamil, which I being a Malayali, tend to think that I know already. In reality, it is definitely not so. It is only my good friend, Sudha who taught me a smattering of Tamil heavily laced with Malayalam.

When this much is done, well, it already looks like a 10 year plan, I am keen to pick up some Sanskrit and then maybe a foreign language.

If all this happens before I kick the bucket, I would be somewhat proud of myself.

Looks like a lot of work.

I did read somewhere that learning a new language is the best way to keep one smart… so that be the goal… a smart polyglot! Sounds good!