Friday, February 12, 2016

Jungle bells, jungle bells, leopard on the way...


News: A leopard was spotted inside Vibgyor high school campus in Bangalore through CCTV by a security guard on Sunday. Forest officials were immediately informed. After hours of hide and seek, the animal was tranquilized and taken away. In the process, a wildlife conservationist was attacked by the animal who was rushed to a nearby hospital and is recovering now.

2 days later...

I stay in an apartment pretty close to Vibgyor high where the notorious leopard incident took place. The second night after the incident, we could hear cracker bursting, people shouting and see fire lit up near the open fields . Rumor of three or more leopards sighted in the vicinity was spread which sent shivers down our spine. We locked ourselves inside from all sides. After a few minutes, my whatsapp was flooded with messages saying the feline was spotted just behind our compound wall. I couldnot sleep that day and for a couple of days thereafter. Although it was reported to be gossip mongering, I still wake up at the slightest disturbance outside our house during night time.

On a lighter note, we could not think of an alternative to a closer coexistence with nature than here. If only I had realized what people meant when they found our new community akin to a resort :(

Typical advertisements in the days to come could be on similar lines...

The 'Urban Woods' apartment - Relax yourself in your true abode with birds chirping, leopards visiting and snakes hissing around you....






The 'Universal' school - We provide holistic education to our children by not taking them closer to nature, but by bringing nature closer to them for a hands-on learning experience. Note: Our free snacks and sibling quota is a hit among animals as well, as observed in the video where a leopard was seen entering the kitchen while its family members were found staring at the classrooms with prying eyes.


The park - We offer jungle safari to our esteemed tourists who can venture out on an adventure walk during nights to spot some exquisite wildlife if you are lucky enough. Thrilling games such as 'sedate challenge' with a tranquilizer, ' catch me if you can' and 'Identify -  leopard ya cheetah' can be played.

The ' TRACK IT' Contest - With many Information Technology companies round the corner, an IT contest will be conducted where technology has to be used to track 'It' using any technology such as GPS, where 'It' could be anything from a cute cheetah cub to a lost lion king.

MAARathon - As we emphasize on physical health, the shift from hackathons to marathons is inevitable. To make the run interesting, leopards will be placed at the start line for a memorable "MAARathon" experience.

Shopping - Heavy discounts on animal print dress will be available to celebrate wildlife conservation week. On the other hand, prices of pepper sprays, lathis, whistles are expected to increase following a surge in demand.


Let's learn to live in harmony with nature and thrive alongside wildlings watching over your window...


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Salute Thee Blogger!

When I started blogging in 2009, I was desperately seeking some form of communication with the outer world. After my first blog, there were a few technical glitches that dissuaded me from blogging. I returned after a couple of years in 2011 and took to this medium with passion. The more I explored reading fellow bloggers, the smaller I felt in stature in comparison with them. Nevertheless, I continued though at a snail's pace. Participating in contests, commenting on other blogs, it was an exciting journey. When I read inspiring stories of bloggers who had turned into sought after columnists in noted newspapers and magazines, I was motivated to try harder. I admit my ability to spontaneously spin out suitable articles is limited owing to minimal, irregular reading of books and magazines. But I managed to make a start.

Rosie the Blogger | by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com 

Image Courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/

After almost 6 years, I have transformed from a part time trainer to a freelance content writer. Interestingly, my last content writing job was through a friend who had read my blog. Over the years, I have evolved more as a person partly due to the exposure availed through blogs.  People like Alka Gurha and Purba Ray are my inspirations as they stand out of the crowd through their quality driven content and unique individuality. At times, I had felt my presence at blogosphere was unwarranted for with brilliant writers like them. I had even taken a sabbatical and sat back to simply soak in the pleasure of reading their posts. Politics, Parenting, Homecare; I had everything on my platter whenever required.


Thankyou blogger for this wonderful platform. If not for you, I would have lost in the pages of a book seeking thumbs up for selfies and fake friendships. Looking forward to learn much more from you...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Art of Giving

As I walk back home with my vegetable bag, I see many green tomatoes waiting to ripen in their balcony pots. Pigeons that once used to fly away at the slightest change in status quo, now boldly fight with one another to sit on the grill window. The crowded departmental store seems to seriously think of dedicating an exclusive row for organic cereals and pulses. Something is changing.

When I open Rediff news, all that captures my attention is this: 'X quits high paying corporate job to teach under privileged children'; 'Meet Y who is the reason behind the smile of tribal women in Assam'; 'Z returns to India to train youngsters of his village in entrepreneurship skills'. The Hindu daily features articles on people who have taken to reviving traditional art forms and engaging skilled local craftsmen. Something is changing.

Image Courtesy: www.behappy-2.com


We have Chotta Bheem and Hanuman for cartoon watching (despite the poor spoken English with mother tongue influence) in the place of Dora and Superman. Bookstores have more of Indian writing on mythological characters instead of Harry Potter and the like. Awareness on the need to construct houses with local sustainable green materials has increased. We segregate waste based on biodegradability.  Handmade terra cotta or paper quilled jewellery is a fashion statement. Something is changing.

Our fast paced consumption pattern has slowed down as indicated by the vacant shops in empty malls. A sense of guilt has struck the masses. It's time to learn the art of giving to live peacefully. I know this is just the beginning and a long journey awaits us. Nevertheless, we have decided to start. Giving back to nature, country and mankind at large is a responsibility bestowed upon us. Learn to give so that your children live to give it back to theirs.




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The month that passed by


April-May seems to be a tough time for mothers. Those 60 days that were our childhood desires throughout the year turned out to be dreadful dreams. I had to agree on a few honest attempts made to spend quality time with the girl initially. She too was excited. Interest waned for the two of us as time passed. Nevertheless, we lazied around and now are waiting for the academic schedule to keep us on our feet in the coming months. To the more serious segment of the post, here goes my 'points to ponder' from these days.


  • I was browsing through the Internet on April 25th as usual when I saw a birthday doodle. Least interested, I continued. Minutes before exiting, my pointer indicated to the doodle and guess what?! It read 'happy birthday Vaishnavi'. I was more perplexed than pleased as Google was the last person (?) I expected to wish me on my birthday. When I returned from my visit to Madurai, home town, Google+  mailed, " Vaishnavi, you have a story to share". The entire journey pictures were chronologically arranged and displayed in slides.  Now, I am not a very public person wanting to tell the world all I do. My Facebook account deletion 2 years ago justifies this (not considering the occasional logins through spouse account :). Are we becoming way too visible even without wanting to? Today's article in The Hindu titled 'The big data conundrum' throws more light on the topic. Right from the government's policies such as Aadhar card to internet requirements of personal details for every single transaction, validates the fact that  'you are being watched'. Beware folks, it's not just your dubsmash video that you upload in Fb that is seen, but also the secret birthday bash you celebrated in the pub with your chosen few.

  • "Whatsappening ?" I yelled of late.  Yes, too much of whatsapping left me laughing over a few funny things. Too many groups and you lose account of the conversation loop. 'Congrats SI, You have lost weight' messaged AA. ' Thanks dear' came the reply. I was wondering why SI didnot look so to me when I met her yesterday. Later did I realize that it was SI from college group who had lost weight and AAs were numerous to rememember. The prompt commentor no matter what is posted ( I wonder if she ever reads , for the emoticons appear nanoseconds after the post), the benign wellwisher ( happy bday to A's cousin's daughter who is my Fb friend), the reposter ( copy paste copy paste, oops that was not meant for this group), the who-knows-who non-participant ( dude, who the hell added me here), the gracious greeter (today is the day, gm; if not today tomorrow, gn), the list goes on. 
Not happy: Paula Cochrane has been hit with a staggering £1,200 phone bill after texting hundreds of smiley face emoticon symbols that weren't included in her 'unlimited' £31-a-month contract. Read full message from website.
Picture message from dailymail.co.uk

    • The power of advertising was seen again at home. An exclusive tamil message for those who understand.
            ஐந்து வயது மகள் இரண்டு ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்பு நேச்சர் பவர் சோப்பு விளம்பரம் பார்த்து வாங்க சொன்னாள்; சிரித்தேன். ஒரு வருடம் முன்பு டேபிள் மேட் விளம்பரம் பார்த்து வாங்க சொன்னாள்; சிந்தித்தேன். இந்த வருடம் சென்னை அமிர்தா காலேஜ் ஆப் ஹோட்டல் மேனேஜ்மென்ட் விளம்பரம் பார்த்துக் கொண்டிருக்கிறாள். ஷாக் ஆயிட்டேன் அவ்வ்வ்வ்வ்....

    Happy digital living, readers!


    Friday, March 27, 2015

    Way to go, deary!


    Incident #1: I was busy helping my sister-in-law in Chennai to choreograph (if I can call that one) for a tamil song to be performed by the apartment boys on the occasion of new year's eve. There was a rap portion by Hard Kaur, and we were wondering who could be the right fit. I asked my daughter and she refused instantly. It's not easy to persuade her and I gave in. We kept practicing and my daughter kept watching. We decided to delete the rap portion but forgot to do so. The previous day I asked my daughter again and she agreed half-heartedly. The next evening, she took the stage by storm as she did it with much ease and natural style. I told her father who was in Bangalore. He asked her why she said no initially. Her answer stunned me. "Had I told mom that I would be doing it, she would have made me practice too hard and I didn't want to ruin my holidays dancing monotonously".

    Incident #2: Daughter got selected for Spell Bee contest and I was rummaging through all relevant materials to practice. She would also have to talk for a given topic on the spot. I thought of a few expected ones and asked her what she would say on those. The answer was an immediate "I don't know". Patience mommy, I told myself. " Well, let me see what I would have told if I were you" I said. She listened without questioning and fell asleep in a few minutes. The day before her competition, I told her father to help her with some common topics as he was putting her to bed. "Daddy, don't listen to mommy. If you are going to talk about it, I am not going to listen, OK?" She said firmly. He threw a helpless glance at me as I stared at her. Next day after the contest, we got to know that the topic was one I had discussed. " Hey, did you tell about R, your close friend as we discussed the other day?", I jumped. "No.I talked about M " came the reply. She was not going to tell me what she had said.



    Incident #3: Dance competition announced in school. I wanted to try. I downloaded 'Let it go' from the movie Frozen for it's inspiring lyrics. Although it was not a peppy dance number, I knew it suited my daughter best (I-me-myself type). As expected, she didn't like the song and the fact that she had to use props throughout the song made her frown. "Let's make a deal. You dance each line after I show you how to do it two times. Deal?" I asked. She nodded. As I danced, she lied down on the couch, legs stretched. I was getting irritated but had to do it. I dance twice, she does once and this was how it went on everyday. D-day arrived and she did it pretty well. Though she loves dancing, I know she isn't great. Surprisingly she won the first prize, more so because of the appropriate usage of props, song choice and timing, I felt.

    During these incidents, she disliked one thing a lot. It was the word 'competition'. Whenever I said it, she showed disinterest. One day, she spelled out her fear. "Mom, what if I lose? Wont I get anything? They wont clap for me?" she asked. And the question "what if I lose?" reappeared several times. I found it a little too much for I had thought kids never feared failure. I had to reassure her and make her understand that trying with all might mattered, nothing else. And she did.

    I know she isn't like me when I was young, trying to impress the one in the front. She does what she likes and never pretends. Many a times, I have felt sad for her carefree attitude. But sometimes I feel this is a better way to be happy. I wish she grows up with the right spirit and leads a life of her dreams. By the way, my daughter is 5 years now and is finishing her Jr.Kg.


    Picture courtesy: marandarussell.com

    Sunday, February 8, 2015

    What a comedy!


    To relax and refresh from the mundane routine, human beings could have resorted to comedy in the olden days. Irony, satire, self-deprecating humor, stand-up and now it has taken the form of a roast.
    The recent AIB knockout live show broadcast on YouTube featured Karan Johar as the roast master with a panel of stand-up comedians attempting to roast Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor. It was known as insult comedy wherein the humor intended at the roastees was absolutely outrageous and outright adult insult. There were controversies and discussions as to the language used and overall decency of the content. As I had watched a few live stand-up comedies and this had a prior warning, it did not irk me as much as my initial tryst with such genres. In fact, I found some interesting details that needs to be shared.




    FOR AN INSULT TO BE CONSIDERED AS COMEDY, ITS GOTTA BE MUTUAL
     Yes. That is a prerequisite and the show did complete justice to it. Not only did the panelists make fun of each other, but also the roasters were given the opportunity to mock at the panelists and the roast master. I insult you, you call me names and we laugh together like a .... well, that's it.

    FUN IN THE FRONT
    Criticize one in the front and praise him/her at the back goes an old adage. AIB Knockout ensured that most of the individuals who might get roasted along with the roastees like Deepika Padugone, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, occupied the front seats and were ridiculed generously. In doing so, you avoid being branded as backbiters.

    One of the panelists, Aditi Mittal has to be congratulated for being in the panel itself as the single lady and for trying out some serious humor. To know why it is so, you can see my post here. Having said that, a few that didn't go too well needs a mention too. Though one appreciates humor intended at oneself, none ROFL. Ranveer's overreacting with not-so-funny facial expressions and gestures accompanied by Arjun Kapoor copying him seriously acted as spoilers. And Ranveer, didn't you learn from your panelists that you are not supposed to laugh at your own jokes though you might, at jokes on you? A little less of humor on racism, appearance substituted with more on personality sans cussing and gestures might have lessened the trouble the show had to undergo. Nevertheless, it was a trial in a traditional Indian context and it was pretty well executed. As to the controversies, I second Karan's tweet. You always have a choice dude.

    Image courtesy: www.india.com

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    ரசிகன்


    போத்தீஸில் பர்ச்சேஸ் பண்ணேன் என்பதை காட்ட கட்டப்பை வைத்திருப்பது போல, ஜாக்கி ஜட்டி அணிந்திருப்பதை காட்ட ஜீன்ஸை இடுப்புக்கு கீழ் அணிந்துகொள்வதை போல, ரஜினி படம் ரிலீஸானவுடன் பார்த்தேன் என்பதை சொல்லிக்கொள்ள எல்லோரும், (அடியேனும் அடக்கம்) லிங்கா படம் பார்க்கின்றனர்.

    தமிழ்நாட்டில் இருந்திருந்தால் ரஜினி படம் பார்க்க தியேட்டருக்கு 2 வாரங்கள் கழித்துதான் போக முடியும். மல்ட்டிப்பிளெக்ஸ் மெட்ரொ நகரங்ளில் முதல் நாள் முதல் ஷோ சாத்தியமான ஒன்றாகிவிட்டது. ரஜினியின் பிறந்த நாளன்று வெளியானதால், திரை விமர்சனத்தைவிட வாழ்த்துக்களையே தொலைக்காட்சி நிறுவனங்கள் ஒளிபரப்பின. லண்டனில் வசிக்கும் தோழி வாட்ஸ்ஸாப்பில் செய்தி அனுப்பினாள். "நான் தலைவரை வாழ்த்துவது டிவியில் வரும். மறக்காம பாருங்க". படம் எப்படி என்று கேட்டால், "அதை விடு, இதை பாரு" என பதில் வந்தது.


     
    இன்னுமாடா இந்த உலகம் நம்மள  நம்புது?? 


    அந்த நிகழ்ச்சியில் உலகெங்கும் உள்ள தமிழ் மக்கள் ரஜினிக்கு பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்து தெரிவித்தனர். ஒரு குடும்பம் அமெரிக்காவில் அவருக்காக சிறப்பு பூஜை செய்கிறது. மற்றொரு பக்கம் நாசா விஞ்ஞானிகள் ரஜினியின் பக்தர்கள் என்கிறார்கள். இயக்குநர் அமீர், "உங்களை நம்பிட்டோம், எதாவது பண்ணுங்க" என்று கேட்கிறார். பாரதிய ஜனதா கட்சி, இதுதான் சரியான சந்தர்ப்பம் என அரசியலுக்கு அழைக்கிறது.


    சாதாரண பேருந்து நடத்துநராக வாழ்க்கையைத் தொடங்கி, வில்லனாக நடித்து, கதாநாயகனாக உருவெடுத்து, சூப்பர்ஸ்டாரான ரஜினி, தன் வாழ்நாள் முழுவதும் பெரிதாக எதையும் திட்டமிட்டு செய்யவில்லை. அவரது இளவயது நண்பர்களே இன்றும் அவரின் நண்பர்கள். சின்ன சின்ன குறும்புகள், சேட்டைகள், அவ்வப்போது பார்ட்டி என மிக சாதாரண சந்தோஷங்களில் சிரிக்கிறார். படத்தில் மட்டுமே பன்ச் வசனங்கள் பேசிய தன்னை நம்பி இத்தனை பேரா என குழம்பி, இமயமலை செல்கிறார்; இறைவனை வழிபடுகிறார். அமைதியை காத்தால் அனைத்தையும் மறந்துவிடுவார்கள் என முயற்சி செய்கிறார். ஊஹும். மக்கள் விடுவதாயில்லை.அவர்களை ஏமாற்றவும் மனமில்லாமல் "கண்டிப்பா ஏதாவது பண்ணுவேன்" என உறுதியளித்து மீண்டும் எதிப்பார்ப்புக்களை எகிறவிடுகிறார். இன்னொரு பக்கம் பாரதிராஜா , "20 வருஷமாவா ஒருத்தரை அரசியலுக்கு கூப்பிடுவீங்க ?" என கொந்தழிக்கிறார். சீமான் "அரசியலுக்கு ரஜினி அவசியம் இல்லை" என்று சீறுகிறார். அந்த பாசமுள்ள மனிதன், மீசை வச்ச குழந்தை என்ன தான் செய்யும் ?!



     
    "இவன் ரொம்ப நல்லவன்னு " சொல்லிட்டாடா !!

    ரஜினிக்கு வேண்டுகோள் விடுக்கும் ரசிகனே, உனக்கு ஒரு வேண்டுகோள். அவரை அரசியலுக்கு அழைக்காமல், அவர் போக்கில் விட்டுவிடு. அவர் நமக்கானவர் அல்ல; நம்மில் ஒருவர். ரஜினிக்கும் ஒரு வேண்டுகோள். உன் எளிமைதான் எல்லோரையும் ஈர்த்திருக்கிறது. என்றாலும், மக்கள் உன்னை நம்பியதற்க்காக நற்காரியங்கள் சில பல செய்துவிடு. மதுபானங்களுக்கு எதிராக குரல் கொடு. பெண்களின் பாதுகாப்புக்கான போராட்டங்களில் பங்கெடு. முக்கியமாக உன் ரசிகர்களை தங்கள் தொழில்களில் கவனம் செலுத்தச்சொல்லு. உன் சொற்களும் செயல்களும் அவர்களுக்கு உற்சாகமும் நம்பிக்கையும் அளிக்கட்டும். நீயும் நிம்மதியாக நித்திரை கொள்.  இப்படிக்கு, உன் நலம் விரும்பி.

    படம் 1 உபயம் : andhrawishesh.com
    படம் 2 உபயம்: funny-pictures.picphotos.net

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    INTEResting Story TELLAR


    When I intend to watch a movie, I avoid reading reviews, as they tend to give away the entire story sans climax. When Interstellar was released, I was told to read a few reviews as the director is known for handling multiple complex concepts in his movies, and understanding them completely, without the initial preparation would be tough. So, I did. Interestingly, none of the reviews dealt with the story in-depth but dwelt more on the director's personality, his style of narration and the emotional part of the film. After watching the movie yesterday, I realized that it was not the discretion of the review writers to hold back the complete story but just that it simply CANNOT BE RETOLD THE NOLAN WAY. Except for the elaborate detailing of the pilot's sojourn to the space (much of it was seen in the movie Gravity three dimensionally), Interstellar is worth the watch.So what am I going to write about? Only my takeaways from the movie.

    Picture Courtesy: sciencefiction.com

    THE HINDU dated November 16, 2014, published an interview of Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and other bestselling novels. Here is an excerpt from it.

    It is a way to live that he imbibed early in his life from his organist mother. His father was a mathematician. He recalls living with two different streams under one roof. “Science and religion always coexisted at home. It was like having two cars in my garage — one of the church with all the attendant beliefs; the other of logic, reason and maths. I had to balance the two. Initially, I was very close to my mother but, as I grew up, I started to question Noah’s Ark, the Adam and Eve story. I kind of started understanding my father more. However, the more questions I asked of science, the more religious it seemed to become. As a result, I ended up where I started!”


    This describes exactly how I felt after watching the movie. Theoretical physics seems only like ratification of religious beliefs through mathematical models. For instance, the protagonist Cooper, in the movie names his daughter Murph, after the Murphy's law which states that 'Anything that can go wrong will go wrong'. Isn't that what we call FATE precisely?

    When the movie suggests of the possibility of aliens initially but later brings it down to future beings of our own species who exist defying gravity if not time, I cannot control but think of REBIRTH AND THE SURVIVAL OF SOUL AFTER DEATH. If it will be possible for explorers to hibernate for decades without food and water, then it must have been possible for sages and saints to meditate for years.



    Picture Courtesy:quotesvalley.com

    Cooper desperately tries through a black hole,to push his daughter to stop him from letting her father, himself, go on his mission to the space.TARS, the robot reminds him that they were not there to alter the past. And that is KARMA, past actions of an individual influencing his/her future. Also, when he firmly believes in the reciprocation of his daughter's love to decode his communications and his daughter trusting his father to keep up his promise of returning, it melts down to the Biblical saying 'FAITH MOVES MOUNTAINS'.

    I am not a very religious person but of late I have come to believe that our customs and practices did have a meaning in them. Sadly, that meaning was not passed over resulting in the questioning of its relevance in the modern contexts.

    As for the true message of the movie, there was only one man who understood and even demonstrated it, to the audience in the movie theatre, and that was MY MAN! The movie lacked dance numbers, romantic music, overreacting expressive actors, all those elements that could have interested my four-and-a-half year-old daughter. So she had to pee to escape the boredom, not once or twice but four times during the two-and-a-half hour show. The father, an ardent lover of astrophysics, accompanied her. Message from the movie? The prime responsibility of a parent is to provide a secure environment for the child without fears of the future.