December 31, 2011

[Reflections] Musings on the Wall 2011

Presenting a collection of some of my musings on Facebook in 2011. A metaphoric mural with the shades of my world within and without!


Eyes that see beauty, ears that hear peace, tongues that speak kindness, legs that stand up with courage and arms that reach out with love - A wish for all humanity to be truly able.
" - December 4 at 12:10am


Is the pressure of your burdens becoming unbearable? Is the heat of your problems scorching your very core? Do you find time taking a snail-back journey? Do you find yourself crying, "This is way beyond my calling"? Behold! 'Tis just a piece of carbon, getting a makeover; Know! 'Tis just for the diamond in you, to discover!" - November 8 at 10:29pm


Most minds are trees that go skyward, sprouting branches, leaves and flowers and never looking back. Special is the one, like the banyan, going back again and again to where it came from - A symbol of daring to re-live the darkness of birth, honoring the past and always learning... to love and live." - October 9 at 11:23pm


On a train by the window, there flashing past a young couple in conversation, here vanishing by an old man deep in thought, there an uncared dustbin, here a lush green tree - Hey life, how fleeting you are, leaving just the memory of the savored moment past. "
 - October 2 at 1:20am


Purity of the snow flake, Passion of the candle flame, Poetry of the tear drop, Comfort of the prayer bead, Caress of the mountain breeze - Many languages of touch." 
- September 19 at 11:42pm


As I placed Haiku's baby feet on mine and walked him around the room, a drop of precious memory trickled through me... Of me, doing the exact same action on my father's feet, as a little girl. Just realized then that no matter how zig-zag it seems, life comes around to a very neat circle in the end. Dot.
" - September 12 at 11:33pm


Does it seem like a tunnel, a prison, a well, a forest - Those dark and dangerous places of the mind? A ray of light, a pinch of freedom, the last step, the first human - Just a vision of these to get out of those mazes of the mind!" - August 31 at 12:54am


When the ape walked upright, there was a human; When the human walked ahead, there were new lands; When humanity walked together, there were revolutions; - A talk to take a walk, to dust one's head and best oneself." 
- August 23 at 11:43pm


Should the tongue feel sad that the eyes can speak a million words in a moment? Should the eyes feel low that the mind can see beyond those walls? Should the mind feel glum that the soul is not scared of death? ..... Should one be jealous of another?
" - August 13 at 12:38am


The breeze that hugs you tight when you're low on a high place; The waves that keep coming back to you again and again; The earth that holds you up whether you rise or fall; The flame that shows how you look up to the skies with unfaltering eyes - An ode to both the elements of nature and the nature of people!" - August 9 at 12:40am

"Why revenge and hatred? Is it easier to rage and ravage? Why keep proving that we have descended from the impulsive animals? Why not the thinking race that has conquered space and sea? Why an eye for an eye? Why not a mind's eye? Here's to a world that sees and survives!
" - July 15 at 12:03am


People from high places; Families at airports; Moments of montage songs; Eyes of strangers; Lines from moving movies; Faces of faraway lands; - The splendid shades of humanity!
"- July 10 at 9:27am


Distant lands, exotic foods, strange faces, difficult accents, reordered routines, unfamiliar dwellings - Journeying to know just a bit more about me and the third rock from the sun." - May 11 at 11:31pm

"Once swimming in a fluid world, now walking, running, climbing in a solid one; Once content with the rumbling gurgles, now wanting the latest tunes; Once a speck within me, now in a world of your own; - In awe of your journey, my son!
"- May 6 at 12:39am


Just a combination of rhythmic words, Just a permutation of musical notes - Where from, that power ... to paint a smile, to wipe some tears, to raise sky high, to sow dreams and love? An ode to the waltz of lyrics and music!
"- April 26 at 12:27am


Some are like the patient pasture, some are like the gentle breeze, some are like the bubbling brook, some are like the sparkling flame - Textures vary, flavors vary but this half of the world holds the rope and hope of life in them!
" - March 9 at 11:25pm

When the fire of anger burns inside and hurting flames are waiting to scorch the person before, won't a cool breeze flow from the corners of the brain, whispering images, painting words of a past kindness?
" - February 17 at 11:16pm


Nandini Karky
 was engrossed in watching a religious procession, today. Ladies decked in their best & men in silk dhotis as though welcoming their favorite son-in-law, an old man whose back was bent in a deep question mark, busy vendors, bustling priests and most of all, the god in question, in a florally decorated chariot, shining in his silence." - 
February 15 at 10:41am

Heartfelt wishes to be all that you want to be and do all that you want to do, in an awesome 2011.
" - January 1 at 1:46am

December 25, 2011

[Lyrics] AskLaska: SetSquare-Stethoscope Heart-to-Heart

Perhaps, if all the words in all the love songs, written by earthlings, are placed one on top of the other, it will reach the beings on the earth-like planet, discovered some galaxies away! Love, a feeling, in spite of being probed by microscopes and telescopes, still seems to gift something fresh to the one who seeks truly. AskLaska, the latest love sensation from Nanban, a spell-binding case in point. Here's looking at it with my eyes...

[Image composed from multiple sources]

அஸ்க் லஸ்கா ஏமோ ஏமோ - ஐ
அஸ்த் அஸ்த் லைபே -
அஹாவா போலிங்கோ சிந்தா சிந்தா
இஷ்க் இஷ்க் மைலே - லவ்
இஷ்ட பிரேம பியாரோ பியாரோ - ஒரு
காதல் உந்தன் மேலே

In these few words, the elation of being in love, that binds human race as one, is experienced. Here is love, the ultimate unifier, as spoken in various corners of the world! In spite of being unseen strangers, these words hold hands with the music and walk like a couple, smiling at each other. Although this is undoubtedly, the most unique dimension of this song, something else beyond these lines seem to call out to me, joyfully... 

Lines below, talk of love in the language of engineering. Here is an intelligent engineer, whose love for a girl, is spoken with the implicit love for his education. 

முக்கோணங்கள் படிப்பேன்/ உன் மூக்கின் மேலே
(Triangles, I study on your nose)
விட்டம் மட்டம் படிப்பேன்/ உன் நெஞ்சின் மேலே
(Width and depth I understand, from your heart)
மெல்லிடையோடு வளைகோடு / நான் ஆய்கிறேன்!

(Curve line, I explore on your waistline)

The girl is second to none either, which she proves with her apt reply. Ah, the incomparable delight I feel, to see women portrayed intelligently in our movies!

ப்ளாட்டோவின் மகனாய் உன் வேடமா?
ஆராய்ச்சி நடத்த நான் கூடமா?

(Is Plato's son, your disguise?
And me, your research lab?)

At the same time, the charming doctor reveals how perfect she is to love this genius of an engineer, by the equivalent passion for her education. In her 'therapeutic' words... 

பாழும் நோயில் விழுந்தாய்/ உன் கண்ணில் கண்டேன்
(See you fall into the depths of illness)
நாளும் உண்ணும் மருந்தாய் / என் முத்தம் தந்தேன்
(Prescribed my kisses as your medicine)
உன் நெஞ்சில் நாடிமானி வைக்க/ காதல் காதல் என்றே கேட்க..

(As I place my stethoscope on your heart, it's 'love love', I hear!)

All this leaves me wistfully wondering, how many love what they are doing, and when they do... how magical would love and life be!

December 18, 2011

[Movies] A Separation / Iranian 2011

Once again, I am jolted from my months-long literary slumber by a magical journey. Here you are, on a theatre seat one moment and vanishing into thin air, the next. It is very rare that you take the entire theatre with you, and in perfect 'zen' silence, that too. That is to be seen to be heard! Introducing 'A Separation' at the International Film Festival, in Chennai.

From the word go, one feels pulled into a mesmerizing painting and one is the artist, the colors and the subject, all rolled into a perfect whole that one forgets what one is. Each actor, acted not, but lived. Each emotion was not out there, it was within. Every element of the movie had one unifying element - economy. Not a single scene, a single word, a single expression was unnecessary. Sculpting precisely, ego, honesty, loyalty, love, as real as it can be!

Ever thought about what would you do if you had to choose between a dying old man and an unborn child? A moral dilemma indeed, specially to those concerned. Many philosophers theorize about man's morality. One such theory describes it as stages with the first layer akin to the simple reasoning of a child who thinks "it's all right to do anything as long as one doesn't get caught". The next one being the phase when we do things "to keep the others around pleased or things that are right according to law". Then again, the final level, the highest and most difficult level founded on the "universal principles of an ideal humanity". This movie touches on every one of these layers and from multiple angles. Life as it is, seems to be the most interesting story of all.

Into the homes, in the streets, you walk following an enigmatic stranger - the story. You see unfolding the multiple realities of every character - their faith, their conflict, their honor, their life, in fine detail. Not all that different from you and me. In all, a perfectly woven persian carpet, magically flying you through the hills and vales of the human mind!

July 24, 2011

[Experiences] The Bridge Between...

Life's jigsaws are pretty quirky. Here a piece, there a piece but at moments when you discover the connects, something magical happens. This is about all those interwoven web of connections that I could see in a momentous moment.

The event was the confluence of women from the polar ends of the world. On the one hand, you have Hillary Clinton - First Lady, Senator, Presidential Runner-up and now, Secretary of State of a very powerful nation. A dynamic symbol of power and fortune. On the other hand, you have 400 women, who don't have a list of posts or power. But they have taken the mantle of their families in their hands. From dire poverty and helplessness, they have empowered themselves to be working women. Moving symbols of hope and courage. Although languages differ, cultures differ, both the speaker and the audience, were connected by the fact that they were both women and working women, at that.

From July 2011

An entrepreneur came on stage to tell her story to Ms. Hillary Clinton. She spoke on the many facets of the working woman - Leaving their young children at home, opposition from family and the benefits of belonging in a group. Her words illustrated the power of independence, the possibilities of a woman who takes charge of her family. She dwelled on the fact of how there was vehement opposition from her husband when starting out on this initiative and now she does not depend on him, be it to marry off her daughters or give them a full education. Just made me think about husbands, on one end, blocking and preventing a woman's growth and of husbands, as in my case, who encourage, push them forward, make them reach for things that even the woman can't see.

The Secretary spoke on the power of self-help movements that has changed the lives of women all around the world. She promised 'more help' for 'self-help'. Marketing training programmes, political management course for Panchayat leaders were some of the many weapons, she sold to these women. The powerful weapons of education, that can change the lives of many. She also spoke about the problems faced by women cooking on unclean stoves and ways of converting the sale of clean cookstoves as a business opportunity for these women. She praised them, applauded them for the great example they were setting for their sons and daughters. It was a true honor to capture the essence of her words and relay to the audience. I was truly touched when after the Secretary had long gone, these women continued to come to me and say they loved the way I relayed the message to them. My education, my skills have truly found a purpose if I succeeded in touching the hearts of these struggling women with the message of one truly empowered woman.

From July 2011

My personal weapon of education, I received from my father, who wrote my school oratorical speeches from the age of 5. He planted the seed of communicating well, beyond barriers and without concern for the status of the listener. When growing up, I have seen him speak both to people in high positions and to people working on the fields, with the same ease and clarity. It is only because of this something that he left in me, I was able to face this stressful situation with a simple philosophy, "However powerful, Madame Clinton is also a woman and a human being, sharing this planet with me". My father who taught me to speak was there, but a brief time in my life, having passed away when I was 11. But he changed it forever with the many skills and attitudes he gave me. I wish every father in India and the world believes in the greatness of his daughter and gives the most beautiful gift of all, not jewels, not money but a meaningful education.

In my little capacity as the interpreter, I was fortunate, very fortunate to be in this gathering, linking this great woman on stage to that great woman on ground. One, making a difference to her home called world and another making a difference to her world called home!

May 24, 2011

[Travelogue] Mom's-eye View of Cape Town

I am seriously doubting the truth of the old saying "Well begun is half done". Our journey to Cape town, South Africa was anything but well begun! Imagine hours of trying to calm an infant, who has been disturbed from his sweet dreams to take the red-eye flight and then onward to travel another 14 hours in a confined space with specific rules to tie the child and yourself to the seat. If you ask me, that's the perfect recipe for disaster. Haiku had a lot of company in the first flight with his little peers, all joining in the musical(?) chorus. I seriously wonder how many other sleep deprived passengers wanted to break the glass and jump out with a chute. But to my surprise, the world is indeed a kinder place when it comes to kids. This I kept discovering, thanks to Haiku.

After that long flight with your hands and arms screaming such colorful words at you for having to hold a sleeping baby for continuous hours, you finally land and think all's going to be well, now that we are in the safe hands of mother earth. That's when the temper tantrums start. Baby wants to be let down to explore mother earth too. Only, you are not yet feeling centered enough to give him free reins. So, you collect him in your hands and he gives you a hard bang on the head that you literally see stars, exclamation marks and @ signs, in assorted combinations! At that moment, with all that sleep deprivation, I just wanted to take the flight back home and mark it as a complete failure. Go back home to peace and calm. Well, sometimes we all need someone to say that quitting is no option. My fellow sailor, although exhausted and weakened by the events above, had the calm conviction that we are doing this, no matter how difficult. Once you are ready for anything, then the universe smiles at you with special favor, for passing it's litmus tests.
Our days rolled on, as smooth as a roller coaster! We simply took on the role of being each other's cheerleader. Having known the joys of being a lonely traveler or in the company of like-minded adults, who can feed and take care of themselves, the journey does get difficult at times! But there is no comparison. The joys of being a parent in an alien land is of a totally different nature. You simply become famous among all the tourists. "Hey, we saw you and your husband with the baby on the boat", "Cute kid", "Beautiful smile" are just some of the phrases I remember. Your heart just melts with pride. The aches seem to melt away too, just until the next episode of the "moods". The whole world just wants to hug you along with your baby and you bask in the shared glory. To watch the world with a child's eyes literally, to give him your undivided attention, to teach him that "Oh, it's a beautiful world", that's indeed some priceless moments that justified undertaking this journey.

As the days progressed and we had a new life every day, I saw myself changing too. From losing my cool over mere trifles, back home to handling serious problems with poise, there I was growing as an individual. Sometimes it takes a new situation to teach you how precious the ones you take for granted are. A mom was maturing and being open to the new wonders that every day comes with!

Whether it was watching the fish, corals and giant turtles indoors or basking in the beauty of flowers, greens and sculptures outside; Whether it was playing hide and seek in the presence of Nobel Peace winners or feeding food to the goats ; Whether it was watching a South African TV serial on a city woman adjusting to country life or looking at the dancing women exhibits in the museum ; Whether it was listening to an impersonal audio tour giving accurate information of the places that fell on our eyes along the way or it was understanding the depth of knowledge of our tour guide, presenting the history, geography and culture of the region with timely humor; Whether it was watching the nation's future in it's election booths or knowing the past in it's castles and paintings; Whether it was having high tea with high society in the Mount Nelson Hotel or it was sharing a laugh with the underprivileged children of Khayelitsha; The flavors were so many and so varied, but just perfect. Words bow humbly before the magnificence of those individual moments!

As we travelled with people from other countries sharing the joy of discovery, we were pleasantly surprised to see that it's not just about another culture or another place we were learning. At a deep level, it was all about us and what it means to be human. In the end, you just come back with what in Africa is called "Ubuntu"! (No, not the operating system as my tech-savvy husband answered when queried on the meaning) In a simple sense, it means "brotherhood". I feel it is described succinctly in the words of the Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee - "I am what I am because of who we all are." (Source:
I am glad I started and finished this journey. I smile with happiness at the memory of Haiku calling the Africans we met as "akka, anna and maama" - Just simply our son's slice of ubuntu!

April 10, 2011

[Reflections] Hazar Hazares, please!

Once in a while, someone comes along and does something to pull me out of a coma. Right now, it is a 73 year young man, one who captured the hearts of a million youth in this country. Delighted to talk about Anna Hazare, a true avatar of Mahatma Gandhi.

[Img Src -]

I feel India's greatest claim to fame is that it gave the world a Gandhi. Throughout history, there has been countless struggles for freedom from tyranny, known and unknown, written and forgotten. But ours was the first struggle for the basic human right of freedom, by offering the other cheek. Mahatma inspired nations, people and individuals by his message of non-violence and showing that it can work, even in this war-crazy world. The sad story is that we have made Gandhi a God, a saint and not invited him personally into our lives. We look at his greatness and think we can never do all that he did. But in little ways, he can make a huge difference to our personal and social lives. Anna Hazare, case in point!

We, the new age lovers of statistics and charts of every shape imaginable are presented with an interesting one here - a cartographic view of corruption! It is technically referred to as the Corruption Perception index, created by Transparency International. They have taken upon themselves the sweet job of quantifying the depravity of this world. While critics argue about the validity of this ranking of countries, it makes a pretty picture, only visually. The least corrupt to the most corrupt are marked on the spectrum, moving from the calming blues to the fiery reds. Sad to say, the map is aglow with red. The true azures are few and the merry cherries are many! If we turn our focus to our own picturesque country, it is glowing redder than our reddest chillies. Quite a bite, indeed!

[Img Src -]

I naively wonder why is there so much corruption, here and far? Why should men amass wealth that they have no means of spending in their lifetime? These mile-long numbers attached before the humble currency, as in so may thousands of hundreds of crores of whatever, boggles my mind completely! Why haven't they learnt from the pharaohs of Egypt? All their precious treasures are now just to be admired in museums or looted by daring thiefs. Why look far, when have our very own Maharajas in their resplendent rubies and diamonds, who had every whim and wish fulfilled. All their treasures are left generously for the world's keeping. Why doesn't that thought of death make all this, one hilarious joke? I wish more people laugh!

My dearest India, you could be so much! Just wish Hazares are born every minute and live a hundred years, to put you in the right colors on every map of the world.

February 7, 2011

[Random] A Priceless(!) Pleasure

A gentle warning to all readers of this blog article. Avoid reading this when about to operate heavy machinery! It is definitely better viewed close to bedtime, when sleep is gently nudging you, this will surely deliver the final kick into snoredom.

Here I am about to describe the pleasure of having a pedicure done. A Pedicure, as defined in 'dettol' fashion , is a 'cosmetic treatment for the feet and toe-nails'. Anyone who has had it done in the hands of a professional, will stare with disbelief at this understatement. Here I am trying my hands at doing that, a bit of justice. No, this article is not sponsored by any salon!

As the feet enter the doors of their heaven, the sins of dirt and grime, the pains of cracks and callouses melt away in a few minutes. Watch out, here come the ZZZs in the following description: The tiny dirt particles hiding in the crevices of your nails are removed with surgical precision. Then they are neatly trimmed and the serious business of removing the deposits on your feet are underway. The lines and cracks are explored with Columbusian efficiency. The icing on the cake is definitely the few minutes of massaging the feet, when all the tensions seem to vaporize like ice on summers' day! This systematic process of scrubbing, filing and massaging is one of those human inventions that deserve a Nobel. Ok, that's going a bit far. Well let's say that if all the terrorists got more of these done, we'd have less hijacking and bombing on our hands!

After every session, I have a burning desire to write to Oxford Dictionary - To add this word to the English lexicon - Pedicurean , adjective with the meaning, 'I-can't-wait-for-this-to-happen-again' !

January 23, 2011

[Experiences] BIL Bodhi.Insight.Life

An entire day at BIL "Un-conference", Chennai. Many interesting moments. One life-changing one. To me, speakers are maze-makers. They draw you into unknown territory and dynamically gauging your interest, guide you through the intricacies of their experiences. End-result - a satisfying mental workout. There are always other case-points as in "lost in the maze", "too simple a maze", "too convoluted a maze" and "don't want to be in this maze" scenarios. Luckily, most of the mazes here were on the bright end of the spectrum and here's one such that impacted like a meaningful meteorite on my conscience!

In the course of our lives, haven't we all whined about being "too fat", "too thin", "too fair", "too dark", "long nosed", "stub nosed", "small eyed", "huge eyed", and worse still , moaned about microscopic matters such as "my left foot is slighter larger than my right foot", "I have elephant ears", "my eyelashes are so small" and perpetually compared ourselves against our parents, siblings, neighbors, friends and film-stars! Hold that thought for a moment and look at this guy moving onto the dias, his arms flying out in all directions, his legs stumbling on themselves, his face pulled in different directions at the fate of a cerebral condition. But he walked with aura of confidence that not even a perfectly chiseled modern-day-Apollo has. Meet GJ Siddharth, a differently abled man, deeply "unaffected" by a serious condition called cerebral palsy.

Sid bowled us over by asking us a simple favor - to not to call him challenged. He is not physically challenged, he bravely said. Made me think that the ones who are truly physically challenged are us, the whiners I described above. He shared simple everyday experiences, that we take so much for granted and his momentous task in dealing with the same. A small interlude and his best friend walked on stage and shared nuggets of their friendship, how they have fun in spite of everything and everyone around them. Here's my salute to this friend! "You are able to see the dynamic, humorous man that is not visible to the common eyes. You brave others' opinion to be there for him, to give him a chance at normal life. With someone like you to believe and be there, no obstacle is hard crossing."

[Photos by : Karthick Sundar]

At the end of his talk, we all stood there, giving a standing ovation, with tears in some eyes, and a soft glow in most hearts. Made me think of all the moments , I have wasted over inconsequential things; Of the times, when I felt down and depressed for mere trifles. I hope every time a mood swing swings by, my inner voice reminds me of this moment, clapping for this man.

Just here, realized a deep but simple truth about strength and beauty - that being a Goddess Venus/ Venus Williams is more about the contours of the mind rather than the curves of the body!

January 20, 2011

[Lyrics] Kuviamilaa - Lens in Love!

Kuviamilaa from Ko, is pure word magic splashed with the colors and blends, a photograher sees the world from. My little critique on some of the exceptional lines of the song:

[Photo (also) by : Karky]

ஏனோ குவியமில்லா...குவியமில்லா ஒரு காட்சிப் பேழை!
ஏனோ உருவமில்லா...உருவமில்லா நாளை!

Picture-perfect imagery of the distorted world of love. An accurate metaphor for a visualizer falling in love - About life going out-of-focus and out-of-shape! A seemingly self-invited tragedy for the person who thrives on form.

எண்ணம் திரளுது கனவில்/ வண்ணம் பிறழுது நினைவில்/ கண்கள் இருளுது நனவில்

Exquisite interplay of shade and light in the dimensions of dreams, thoughts and reality respectively.

சத்த சத்த நெரிசலில் உன் சொல்/ செவிகள் அறியும் அதிசயம் ஏனோ?

Neat version of the million dollar questions on the exclusivity of love! The placement of words, about the clear perception of the words of a lover even in the midst of noise overload, is verbal brilliance.

நிழலை திருடும்/ மழலை நானோ?

Deeply philosophical reflections on looking inward with indulgence, at the naughty child playing with illusions.

Kuviamilaa is one of those songs that any one in any tense of love would relate to, with an empathetic smile. Refreshed myself with quaint words and evergreen thoughts. An intense, delicate and extremely focused capture of a lensman in love!