யாரோ யாரோ யாரோ அவள்!

“யார் நீ?”, என்றேன்
“உன் பசிக்கு உணவாய் ,
நோய்க்கு மருந்தாய் ,
வலிக்கு வழியாய் ,
கற்பனைக்கு ஊற்றாய் ,
வாழ்க்கைக்கு துணையாய்
இருந்தேன்”, என்றாள்

“எங்கு இருப்பாய்?”, என்றேன்
“அலை கடலின் ஒலியாய்  ,
மக்களின் மழலையாய் ,
நல் மாதின் தீங்குரலாய் ,
இளவேனில் காற்றின் அசைவாய் ,
சப்தமாய், நிசப்தமாய்
இருப்பேன்”, என்றாள்

“எப்பொழுது பிறந்தாய் ?”, என்றேன்
“உன் பாட்டனின் பாட்டன் காலத்திற்கும் முன்,
இவ்வுலகம் உருவாகும் முன்,
மொழி என்னும் வடிவம் பிறக்கும் முன்,
மானிடா , நீ உருவாக்கிய பிரிவுகளிற்கும் முன்,
நேரம் என்னவென்று உணர்வதற்கும் முன்,
நான் இருந்தேன்”, என்றாள்

“ஏன் பிறந்தாய் ?”, என்றேன்
“நொந்து போன உனக்கு ஊக்கமாய்,
சோர்ந்து போன உனக்கு ஊட்டமாய்,
வரவேண்டியவர் வராத நேரத்தில் உறவாய்,
சுக துக்கங்களை பகிர்ந்த உயிர்த்தோழியாய்,
உன்னுள், உன் உடலாய், உயிராய்”
இருக்கவே வந்தேன்” என்றாள்

“இறை என்று அறிந்தேன்!  தொழுதேன்.”, என்றேன் ,
லேசான புன்னகையுடன், “நீ ரசித்த இசையே !”, என்றாள்
என் தோழி ! என் காதலி!

Come Tamizh new year and a poetry contest was announced at my workplace. Actually, the best part about my  workplace is not the work itself, but these niceties that kick my creativity real hard. When the left half of the brain is left to be idle, it is the right half that comes to my rescue. A huge thanks to the “TZRejuvenators” for really being the reason for rejuvenation.

The sheer unadulterated beauty of the Tamizh language  can never be compensated when written out in English font. However, for the benefit of my friends who cannot read the language, but can follow the language, I’ll write this up in English and also provide a brief explanation.

Yaro Yaro Yaro Aval

“Yaar Nee?”, Endren
“Un pasikku unavaai,
Noikku marundaai,
Valikku vazhiyaai,
Karpanaikku ootraai,
Vaazhkaikku thunayaai
irunden”, endraal

“Engu Iruppaai?”, Endren
“Alai kadalin Oliyaai,
Makkalin mazhalayaai,
Nal maadhin theenkuralaai,
Ilavenil kaatrin asaivaai,
sabthamaai, nisabthamaai
iruppen”, endraal

“Eppozhudhu Pirandhaai?”, Endren
“Un paatanin paatan kaalathirkum mun,
Ivvulagam uruvaagum mun,
Mozhi ennum vadivam pirakkum mun,
Maanida, nee uruvaakiya pirivugalirkum mun,
Neram enna vendru unarvadharkum mun,
naan irunden”, endraal

“En Pirandhaai?”, endren
“Nondhu pona unakku ookkamaai,
Sorndhu pona unakku ootamaai,
Varavendiyavar varaadha neratthil uravaai,
suga dhukkangalai pagirndha uyirtthozhiyaai,
unnul, un udalaaai, uyiraai”
irukkave vanden”, endraal

“Irai endru arinden! Thozhuden.”, endren,
lesaana punnagayudan, “Nee rasittha isaiye!”, endraal
en thozhi! en kaadhali!

The whole poem was written in a question – answer pattern. The answers to the questions provide clues to guess the protagonist of the poem. Although, the answer and the theme behind the poem is reasonably obvious, the poem ends on a note , where the author’s guess is told to be wrong and the subject unravels herself with a slight smirk.

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A salute to the City!

As nature decided to end her wrath

Having wrecked havoc measurable by no math

Obstructing all prime commutable paths

The glorious city prepares to face the aftermath

 

To relieve the city from this unexpected shock

Volunteers relentlessly working round the clock

Bringing in supplies, abundant in stock

Not too long, before the city is all set to rock

 

Chennai becoming the Nation’s pride

As the world witnesses the city swimming against the tide

Despite oblivious government officials going in to hide

Young volunteers swarming in to the city’s aid

 

Adequately equipped with technical prowess,

A huge heart to help those at distress

Able arms and agile legs ever ready to reach any address,

Our youth, the noble, unassuming souls, stand selfless

 

Dr.A.P.J could’ve lived till this day

He’d be the happiest man I must say

To see his dreams being realized everyday

Religion, Caste, Creed , discrimination at bay

Unabashed they stand together, unperturbed, all joyous and gay

Sun shine or not, making loads of hay

 

The city’s plight was a sad sight

But the city arose with all its might

By the people, Of the people, For the people, we fight

Tirelessly we try, every day and night

Until the city gets to sit back upright

This day, I stand proud to be a Chennaiite!

This is an ode to all the volunteers and relief workers who have been putting in enormous efforts in terms of time, money and energy. A big cheer to all of you and kudos to every single man and woman involved.

This is a proud moment to all the Chennaiites. It has been a hard month. A big Thanks to the volunteers and all the workers, relief personnel, et all working day in and day out to restore normalcy throughout the city.

For those of you who cannot physically volunteer, do chip in a penny. Every penny counts! Most private NGO’s are doing genuine service to this shattered society. Your money will be valued and will definitely reach the right hands.Contribute.

Teach for India is an organization trying to impart education to the people from socially backward sections studying in government schools. Their efforts to reform India has been tremendous. They are also working on the Chennai Flood Relief. This source is definitely genuine. Please donate. Link below –

http://teachforindia.ketto.org/TFIchennaifloodsupport

I for one, couldn’t volunteer physically this once. I’ve done my bit. Isn’t it time you do yours? Let us contribute and restore our magnificent city!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Career – A Mirage

Bags packed for a twelve hour day,

Aimlessly traveling long long away,

Yearning for a break everyday,

Hopes pouring in each Friday

 

Emails being the elixir of life,

Mobiles taking priority over one’s wife

As meetings closely follow,

Life had indeed become quite hollow.

 

Paper and pen were put to rest

Until nature decided to throw a surprise test

Fingers that typed unending threads,

Were forced to hunt desperately for milk and bread

 

To relieve man from the incorrigible stress,

Nature forced on him a compulsory rest

She said, “Dear foolish child, rejuvenate in your own small nest,

While the city crawls back to its pristine best”

 

As nature blessed with the much yearned break

Routine tasted much better than cake

Sony, Motorola what be the make

All devices slept while we lay awake

 

Stagnant waters inviting mosquito bites

Boredom killing kicking creative heights

Long lost pass-times finding its way past night

Poetry galore, music encore, quality family time, what a delight!

Disaster, not definitely a delight, but not too bad, quite alright!

 

These few days were like reliving the good old days. I felt like going back to 1995, with no mobiles/computers/air conditioners/internet (not even a dial-up)/cable television. All you can do is chat with your family members, without looking at your phone, write letters with a paper/pen, read a book (with an actual book on your hand). Humans easily get addicted and attracted. Internet became a craving. We were talking about bare essentials, and one of my friends said internet was one of them. This is a sad reality.  People are stranded in neck deep water and desperately dying for food and water, and we see internet to be a basic ammenity! Life is indeed not easy without communication, gadgets and technology, but it is not impossible to live without them. Technology should help man be a better human. Refrain from misuse of technology!

 

Man in the Wild

Staring blankly through the single open window,

Barely bringing in a slight beam of light

All I see is water in all glory

Oh my, Nature is at its highest fury

 

Having spent all my life under cozy conditions

Hardship and turmoil is not an easy sight

As I see an unprepared city’s plight

My heart doesn’t feel very light

 

On one hand, naive children sailing paper boats with sheer joy

On the other, mighty men, mustering courage, rescuing on boats, Oh Boy!

Students rejoicing and celebrating their extended vacation, all merry and gay

Teachers and universities weighed down by the herculean task ahead, in complete dismay

 

For a city that has seen nothing but drought

Where, to bring rain, penances were sought

Kunnakudy’s Amrithavarshini had no rain brought

Nature decided to have a lesson taught

 

Man decided to use the technology flourish,

Slowly depleting mother nature off her nourish,

To satiate his unending desires he most cherished

He decided to let the lakes perish

 

Having built magnificent towers for his pleasure,

Destroying nature’s wonderful treasure

Here he sits with immense pride,

While she decides to let her weapon, opening the sky

 

Man struggling against mother Nature’s fury

Cursing her, repenting his deeds, yet failing miserably

With all his gadget-gizmos a hair’s breadth away

Yet, in a useless state, they all stand as good as being at bay

 

Water Water everywhere, not a drop to drink,

Water water everywhere, not a light can blink,

Water water everywhere, all the roads to sink,

Water water everywhere, no communication link,

Water water everywhere, the beautiful city stinks,

Oh dear child, she calls, “Isn’t it time you think!”

THINK!  ACT! NOW OR NEVER!

 

A sudden disaster in Chennai has wrecked a lot of havoc to people and property. Chennai is struggling to recover from this disaster. Most of the prime roads were blocked as transportation became a huge problem. The city has been brought to a stand still with absolutely no communication. My office is situated on OMR on one of the most flooded roads and had to be closed considering the safety of the employees. Having had to sit at home, with no power, mobiles drained out, internet shut down, Life was like the good old times. In a way, it was good. With just a paper and pen, my creativity kicked in. This poem that I penned, is a by product of having a lot of time and scarce resources. My thoughts manifested itself in the form of something I love writing; Poetry!

 

 

 

Running All the Way to Glory!

After a really long break, I decided to get back to writing. Writing has always been something I enjoyed and I was passionate about. Can’t say that about fitness. Unlike writing, I was not a fitness junkie until 2012. I casually strolled into the gym in 2012 and realized that fitness did mean a lot. I always feared hitting the gym, for I thought, going to the gym builds your muscles, making you look masculine. However, to my total surprise, I was able to make a lot of friends, build new bonds along with some muscle 😉 For the best of 2.5 years, I ardently worked out at the gym next door. Needless to say the results were amazing!

However, as everyone says, “All good things come to an end”, I did not renew my membership after the third year, partly because I was lazy and bored, and also because of my changed work timings that did not gel well with the gym’s operational hours. To my surprise, a lot of my friends from college had also taken fitness very seriously and had done really well. A lot of people had changed from “FAT” to “FIT”.

Oops, I did digress a little (Intentionally though :P). Stopping exercise and getting back to your regular food routine doesn’t keep you fit you see! The eventuality occurred. Ever since, I have been trying to get back in shape and unlike before, I quite turned into a fitness junkie. I started counting calories as I ate, I started counting the number of steps I took. Not running on the treadmill made me guilty. I ordered a yoga mat, a pair of dumb bells, downloaded a bunch of videos ranging from Yoga to Ab-challenges to dance, so I could find a suitable one and build my own fitness routine. Well begun is half done is not even half as true because I always began well. The only thing was I couldn’t make it a habit.

That was when I realized that any fitness regime needs to be cherished and enjoyed. There shouldn’t be a feeling of guilt or worry when you don’t or when you can’t exercise. Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to mean weight loss. As long as it brings about a feel good factor, you have succeeded. Any fitness routine needs to be taken slowly. You can’t get Bipasha’s abs in a day nor can you run like Hussain Bolt in a month, however you can get better everyday.

Although I knew about dream runners, the group that runs passionately, I didn’t join in, mainly because of their timings. They are early birds, a tad too early for a late riser like me. They start at 4:55 AM. However, after talking to my cousin about the Bessie dream runners, I decided to try.

I joined dream runners on Aug 1. It has been 23 days since I joined. I have not done much in the last twenty days, but I have been consistent. That is important and necessary to make a difference. What really is motivating is, unlike most of the fitness groups, this group comprises a lot more older people. It is quite inspiring to see, people twice as old as me, running as much or even more. If they can do it, why not me? After all, my muscles are younger! Exercising in the gym was good, but exercising outdoors is even better.

Today, I ran my first event run, “The Terry Fox Run”, inside the lush IIT Madras campus. It was not a long run, just about a 6K and the roads were packed, making it extremely difficult to run. The humid Chennai making it worse . Despite these, the run was for a cause. There was no competition involved. The funds raised from the run will be used for cancer research. We could see people from different age groups, different walks of life. We were even able to see special children skating away to glory! Such is the unity running brings.

With the onset of the machine age, with more machines making humans more lazy, where most of us pursue a sedentary life style, it is extremely important to eat healthy and stay fit. So what are you waiting for? Get on your shoes and start running, for any form of activity relieves you of stress, keeps you calm, active and refreshed.

I dream and I run! Do you?

The December Music Season extends to a wider audience!

It has been really long since this page had some activity. What better time than the new year to kick start some writing and add some color to my rather idle blog.

As the famous Chennai Music Season is coming to a close and all the artists are planning for their yearly retreats after a demanding season, there was one late concert that I could fortunately attend.

What was special about the concert? To put it in one word, everything. One of the popular artists in the carnatic clan, Shri T.M.Krishna, who is known for his exceptional style and courageous efforts, pioneered this festival called “Ooroor Olcott Margazhi Vizha”, that is now viral on Facebook and made it on the first page of all the dailies. This link has a short description of this event.

http://www.thehindu.com/chennai-margazhi-season/margazhi-at-the-kuppam/article6686201.ece?ref=sliderNews

In Chennai, despite a lot of growth and change, the Carnatic music festival is still restricted to the Sabhas and the Elite. Carnatic music is still an art form, restricted to the Brahmin society. The Sabhas are also located around the Brahmin dominated areas (predominantly in West Mambalam and Mylapore), making it all the more inaccessible for the other groups in the society.

It is true that we do see a lot of youngsters coming to the concerts these days, which is a change by itself, because during the early days, it was only the senior citizens who occupied the not so comfortable chairs in the Sabhas. However, the art is still very Brahmin-centric.

But, today times are slowly changing. We do see a lot of children from other social groups being sent to music classes to learn the art. Lot of parents have developed a taste for Carnatic Music and are exposing their posterity to this magnificient art, rich and soaked in tradition.

What was this Ooroor Olcott Margazhi Vizha about? Can you imagine, listening to a breezy concert? Literally breezy! Yes, Ooroor Olcott Margazhi Vizha happened in the Ooroor Kuppam (In Besant Nagar) , on the shores of the Eliots beach as it is popularly known. All of us have been to concerts with large colorful banners, decorated backdrops pinned with the sponsor’s tags, but have we been to a concert in a natural surrounding? Ooroor Margazhi Vizha gave us that pleasure in addition to the wonderful sea breeze. Seated on the sands of the beach, the artist facing the Ellaiamman temple, and the audience facing the infinite waters, the lovely sky and waters providing a pleasant blue sheet as a backdrop, was the setting this extravaganza offered.

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10930869_10152666720935975_4168931893792792581_nKudos to T.M. Krishna and team for having pulled off such a huge event. It was a mammoth effort with a week long beach clean-up activity, followed by a cultural feast with traditional concerts from Shri T.M.Krishna, Shri P. Unnikrishnan and a dance recital by Anita Guha and team. In addition to these events, traditional folk dances like Parayattam, Villupaatu by the members of Ooroor Kuppam were also featured.

Recalling a famous movie SindhuBhairavi, by the Iyakkunar Sigaram, K.B. Sir, we see Audience Enthralled   Sivakumar(in the voice of the maestro Dr.K.J.Yesudas)  seated on the shore, singing a Bharathiyar composition in Tamizh (Manadil Urudi Vendum), that is greatly appreciated by a fisherman who probably has no idea about Carnatic music. In the same movie, we also see a driver highlighting the differences between two close ragas (Arabhi and Devagandhari) and pointing them out to his boss who possesses deep knowledge in the field of Carnatic Music.

Breaking the tradition, thanks to T.M.Krishna and team for bringing this to reality. Although, these concerts were still predominantly occupied by the elite, we still did see some folks from the Ooroor Kuppam community ardently listening to whatever was being sung with due respect for the musicians.

I was unable to attend the entire series, however the one day that I went, I thoroughly enjoyed Shri.P.Unnikrishnan’s concert and the cheerful witty compiring by the girls from the Kuppam. Very thoughtful of Unniji to have chosen popular compositions, predominantly in Tamizh, yet s10931194_10152668381130975_4444930350029312449_ntrictly adhering to the tradition. He started off with a Varnam and gave the audience an idea of all the elements of Manodharma, adorned and garnished with brisk paced kalpana swaras. He concluded the concert with popular compositions that featured in films (like DheenaKaruna karane and Chinnanchiru Kiliye). As an icing on the cake, he also sang a few lines from his top charts, without disappointing the enthusiastic kids from the Kuppam.

When Carnatic Music is brought to the laymen in simple forms to start with, I am sure they will slowly begin to understand its magnificence. We do see a lot of classical raga based compositions featuring in movies, which will also help in educating people from all grounds, as film music definitely has a greater reach.This will not happen over night, but I am sure that we will  slowly start seeing people from all classes of society, occupying the front rows of popular sabhas in the long run. It is a hope and dream that this greatest form of music reaches all classes of people, irrespective of socio-economic differences.  With the efforts of these great musicians and philanthropists, that day is not far off.

Once again, a big round of applause to T.M. Krishna and team, Shri.P.Unnikrishnan and Anita Guha, on this bold effort and let us hope that this effort will not end with a debut, but will continue for many more years to come.

After all, who doesn’t enjoy a lovely cultural extravaganza on the shores, as the breeze softly caresses your cheeks and the music caresses your ears!

 

Horns of Dilemma!

Do I run repairs on the lute?
Do I let nature take her course?
For I am on the horns of dilemma!

Do I swim against the flow and fight?
Do I swim with the current and keep the scars at bay?
For I am on the horns of dilemma!

Time is a healer, as time moves on
True, she seems to be moving on
Time and Tide waitteth for none
But I’ve been waiting for thee!
Doing what I can, not failing my duty
Yet, thou’ art burrying my every hope

Outside I shine like a bright star,
Mustering courage from within
But deep down I am burning
With fear, worry and consternation
For I am on the horns of dilemma!

Yet, here I stand audacious, facing the tide
Like it were a jolly ride
Waiting for the time to commeth!
Hoping for the change to happeneth!

~Maithreyi~