Thursday, 30 September 2010

A Thousand Years And A Thousand Dancers

It was a tight squeeze for the thousand dancers, they barely had small squares of four feet to themselves. But how organised and disciplined they were, not moving out at all from their limited zones, but skilfully performing within their ambits. More here

A party for four

I had planned a homely little party for four...

For starters I made potato-cheese balls shown on a Marathi cookery show called 'Aamhi Saare Khavayye'. I also deep-fried baby corns in the same pepper-cornflour batter used for potato wada. Strawberry jam squeezed on Monaco biscuits topped with cheese gave a namkin* touch.

Read more on Life Rules

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Train Kills Elephants in Moraghat Tea Estate

24th September 2010 : Seven elephants, including babies, were knocked down and killed by a speeding train at Moraghat Tea Estate. We live on the estate, which my husband manages. All of India heard the news over television, and it spread over the world in no time.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

My Cousin The Writer

My cousin Sekar’s book, The Goat, the Sofa and Mr. Swami, has been published by Hachette recently. There was a book launch to mark the event More here......

Monday, 27 September 2010

Malayalam cinema: Signs of revival?

Last month Anjali published a post titled Ritu. It is about a Malayalam cinema by that name. The writer is annoyed and angry about the movie mainly because the story is an old tale and the script writer has not bothered study the subject and background well enough. I haven’t seen the picture but can understand why Anjali is upset. Many of the new Malayalam cinemas are like that.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Kings of the Road

The mob blocked the road using a favourite shield in the area-- school students. Their 'demand' was for a new 'request bus stop' on the National Highway. The children had to walk to the regular bus stop from their school because the bus drivers wouldn't stop when they waved them down. Most of the buses on the highway run long distances, and surely the passengers wouldn't want random additional stops.

A peculiar feature of these roadblocks is that once the mob stops your vehicle, it doesn't allow you to reverse or retreat. The idea is to cause as much nuisance as possible to members of the public. The mob is quick to feed on the mood and is on a power high. Youngsters - little boys who must be in Class 5 or 6- slap the rumps of vehicles and strut around.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Speak up and we will label you a slut

When all else failed to stop her, the most powerful weapon in the men's armory came out. And what is that you may wonder. And that is …calling her a “physically frustrated woman”. This is pretty common in Kerala. If a woman even raises her hand to stop a man beating her or defends herself in anyway and a man cannot do anything about it, then the ultimate weapon i.e. sexual innuendos are used against her to control her and make her act in a manner that is acceptable to men. My aunt has had more than her share. Her husband, a highly supportive man is called “henpecked” which is the weapon of choice against men who do not “control” their wives and treat their wives as equals...more

Monday, 20 September 2010

A cartoon = a million essays

This has been said before, and I repeat it here. "If a picture = 1000 words, this cartoon = million essays".

Cartoon courtesy: The Hindu

Who do they write for – readers or peers ?

Newspaper editors in my generation - Frank Mores, M Chalapathi Rau, and E Narayanan of ‘Patriot’ – were not particularly known for self- discipline in their work life. It is unlikely that they had heard of ‘progressive discipline‘ . Their idiocyncracies were a factor of their work style...More. .

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

So What If The Danube Is Not Blue

I have realised that you see a place the best when you seek out the people there and simply go with the flow of the few precious hours one has to spend there. Just as though you lived there and the day on hand was just another day in your life. No expectations; step out and let the day take charge, and enjoy the bounty that followed. More here

Ecotourism – The Call Of The Day

Ecotourism – A concept that every government of the world should seriously consider

Make no mistake. Ecotourism (aka Sustainable or Responsible Tourism) is an effective means to make this world far better.  More

I Wish I Could Die

I wish I could die, as I am tired of waiting for a better future
And so now I seek a completely new life through a rebirth, which I hope to be at least a bit better. More

Monday, 13 September 2010

Kerala: Roads are meant for…?

In the beginning there was no road. Adam and Eve didn’t require pathways to roam around in their Garden. Move anywhere and it was Paradise. The first specific road was perhaps the one the original couple treaded when they were banished from the Garden of Eden.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Iran’s Suspension Of Stoning Of Sakineh Ashtiani – Respite For A Beleaguered Religion, viz. Islam

However, the actual respite was for Islam, the beleaguered religion which finds its hand soaked with the blood of thousands of innocent people thanks to the flawed sense of piety of some of its fanatical followers. More

Shenzhen Shenanigans

A newbie South Asia city I thought nevertheless , a thirty years new/ old modern urban statement ; one of those special economic zones that just grew up to be a shinning conglomerate of business like Lego blocks dressed in chrome –glass –steel reaching out its metallic talons into the blue and white sky. More here....

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Ganesh Chaturthi 2010 and delicious Olan

Today is Ganesh Chaturthi and I bow down to Ganapati with all humility and hope. My grandmother decorates the little family idols very aesthetically each day, but special occasions call for special tribute.

Ganapati is also the official foodie of all Gods, so the huge tummy. Therefore the name Lambodar... Talking about food, I made Olan today, following Maiji's recipe given in a beautifully written nostalgic post.

This is an excerpt. To read the entire post and for more photos, you are welcome to Life Rules

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

I happened to see a cyclist speed through. Suddenly I heard a man shouting ‘catch him’, sprinting towards me for help because he saw me 'on the blocks' of my scooter. By the time he could explain, gasping, the ‘cyclist’ had vanished in darkness (.....continue reading)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Persistent Attacks On The Shias – Intra-religious Fissures In Pakistan

Actually the wide rift between the Sunni and Shia communities is a perennial problem of Pakistan (actually, it is a perennial problem of the global Muslim society as a whole). It is a feeling of mutual disliking and disrespect that is found even among the common Pakistanis who have no link with terrorism. It is only that the feeling is not that acute among them. But that does not mean that the feeling does not exist at all. It does. And this has resulted in the constant harassment of the minority Shia community in the hands of the Sunni majority, from the very birth of Pakistan. More

Why I Decided To Be A Blogger

Today I am so proud that I am a small player in the global blogosphere
It is a status so thrilling to me, a status that I consider to be so dear. More

Monday, 6 September 2010

Love in the times of prejudice

They walked in hand in hand, and looked around in wonderment. The opulence of the mall seemed to overwhelm them. They looked like kids from the lower middle class. Their clothes tailored and out of place. They clung together, a little intimidated by the mall. They were in their teens I could make out. They walked in hand in hand. Their trust and reliance in each other was heartwarming. This was no ordinary romance. They looked so comfortable in the silence that enveloped them as they gazed around...more.

Saturday, 4 September 2010


The Stag and his two girlfriends (Chitals) were also nearby. I'm not sure what happened next, my reverie was broken. The dominant male monkey shouted out a warning and climbed the nearest tree faster than I could say tree. All the monkeys went up various trees. My tiger guide whispered that it could be a tiger lurking around. The stag got agitated and thumped his foot a few times on the ground and then took off running a short distance followed by the girls.

NottuSwara – Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s European airs

Now some of you must have heard that Baluswamy Diskshitar - Muthuswamy’s brother introduced the Violin to Carnatic music as I mentioned some months ago while writing about Ettayapuram in the article Cat (Kattabomman) Etappa & Dumby.

Well, the British rule in India has to be thanked again for without the violin, there is no way a Carnatic recital gets complete today. How Baluswamy learnt violin is also a matter of contention. Some opine that he learnt it in Manali thanks to the Mudaliar sponsorship; others say it was at the courts of Ettayapuram and a third faction states this happened at Tanjore with the help of Vadivelu.

Anyway it is difficult to figure out how that happened, but Baluswamy learnt Violin and bits of Celtic music. He practiced it at home in Manali and the master composer and elder brother Muthuswamy took note. Later Muthuswamy set Sanskrit shlokas to the tunes and we know it today as the Nottu Swara Sahitya. There are some 36-40 of these works set around the Raaga Sankarabharanam. The song you heard was one of Dikshitar’s compositions.

Mysore school kids on Internet safari

Many middle-class parents are dismissive of the Internet because of the mistaken belief that it is mostly about video games and porn photos. They wouldn’t want their children exposed to the Internet...More...

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Improving well-being needn’t cost the earth

He suggests we focus on bettering our well-being . Nic Marks is not a spiritual guru. He is a statistician. Stating that Costa Rico is rated a nation with happier people than Canada, Western Europe or the US, Nic says personal well-being is not related to one’s material possessions; nor does it cost the earth to accomplish it.. .More...