Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ee Varsham Saakshiga...

How strange can it get...You are bored with your city...so you decide to take a vacation cross country to this city you have never seen...its pouring cats and dogs all weekend and still you manage to have a vacation...wet and soaked...you get back to your city and its pouring cats and dogs there too...and it doesnt seem to stop...its like you are taking Rain along with ya whereever you go...

but anyways...i love rain...rain reminds me of india...of chennai...of thirunelveli...'mann vaasanai'...makes me happy...makes me sad...

i used to think of
'vaan megam poo poo-vaai thoovum' song everytime it rains...

and recently i think of
"ee varsham saakshiga telepani nuvvu naake sondham...'

but even more recently...after reading the following words...rain has made me philosophical

"Coming toward you is a young woman with an umbrella. Shoulders bunched, she tiptoes through puddles, trying hard to stay dry. But a gust snaps the umbrella back and soaks her. She is shocked for a moment, angry. Then she begins to laugh. And you are laughing too, because you know just how it feels...You watch as she stops in the middle of the sidewalk and tosses her ruined umbrella into the garbage can...She spreads her arms and lets the rain take her...its goin to be quite a storm...You remember the monsoons of your childhood...There are no people in this memory, only the sky ripping with exhilirating light"
- Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni in "The Word Love", a short story from her collection "Arranged Marriage"

I found this simply amazing...how true...we keep running away from problems..but cant run for long...your problems will catch you sometime...jus embrace it...instead of running, whining...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What the Right Kind of Music at the Right Place can do you...

It was 7.45am on a busy Monday Morning and I had to get to work by 8am. Soon after I started driving...me realized that me had to pick up a b'day card for my friend. There is a Walgreens on my way to work and me decides to stop there for a couple of minutes and pick up the first b'day card I see and head out...

So what happens when the busy Ansh with a pre-occupied mind enters the store....she hears one of her favorite love songs play...

"I feel it in my fingers...
I feel it in my toes...
Love is all around me...
So let it snow..." (if you guys have seen "love actually"...they have a remix of this songs)

so immidiately my busy life slows down...i could feel my body and mind moving in slow motion...the song brings a smile almost instantly...what a nice way to begin my week...i decide its ok if I am 30-45mins late...I spend 20 minutes selecting the card and then I decide my friend deserves a gift too...then I get myself some gifts too...a perfume...couple of hair bands and clips...and I manage to get to work by 9am:)

This incident set me thinking...I have noticed when I go shopping...when stores play songs I like ...I end up shopping more...and also stores tend to play pleasant and slow songs....its a strategy to slow down their customers and make them spend more time in the store...and as the rule goes...the amount of time spend in a store is directly proportional to how much to shop.

Similarly Gyms play fast songs which motivate people to work out more....I read an article which said that restaurants play faster music during busy hours so that people eat faster and the others dont have to wait long...

Has music ever taken over you guys?

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Unknown Errors of Our Lives

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the latest addition to my favorite author's list. She is an amazing writer, infact one of the very few authors ( who I have come across ) with the gift to express complicated human emotions (those which the heart has reasons, but reason does not recognize) in simple prose.

"The Unkown Errors of Our Lives" is a collection of nine stort stories by the author and the book which had me in tears, laughter, confusion, anxiety, and lot more complex emotions. I rarely get that involved with a book. I call a book 'fantabulous' only if it leaves me thinking about it even hours after I have stopped reading it. This book is definitely one of those!
The first story in the collection "Mrs Dutta writes a letter", (selected for Best American Short Stories, 1999) is about this widow who moved to the US after her husband's death to live with her son and his family in California. Its about how Mrs. Dutta tries to adjust herself to the American Way of living and how her son and daughter in law dont understand the fact that she is this person who has lived all her life in India and she needs time to adjust or she may not be able to adjust at all.

This story really set me thinking as to how I treated my mom when she was visiting me. 'Mom dont do that...mom dont do this...what will people think...americans dont like it....why do you want indian food all the time....you are not supposed to ask this and that when you talk to people....mom you stress me out...y cant you jus sit without doin anything". I feel really guilty now. I wanted my mom to rest and not do anything, but I did not understand that MOMs who have lived all their life in India can sit without doing anything. Why did I not understand that then? How long did it take me to try something other that Indian Cuisine...couple of years may be...then how did I expect my mom like Chinese or Mexican cuisine during her 3 month visit. Well anyways, I have decided next time my parents visit they get to do what they want...others are out of the picture!

Another favorite story in the collection was "The Unknown Errors of Our Lives", which is the story of this artist who learns about her fiance's past a week before their wedding and has to decide if their wedding is a 'go or no go'. Well there is no suspense...she ends up marrying him...you know that when you start reading the story...but whats intriguing is the philosophy and pyschology that goes behind her reasoning...sometimes we simply "re-cycle those unknown errors of our lives"! Now thats something!

This book definitely gets 4 out of 5 stars!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Back in Action - I Hope

I have been wondering what made me 'not blog' for over a month...
-sudden lack of interest
-did I get very busy all of a sudden
-was is a dearth of topics to write about
-did I blame it on lack of time

I really dont know the reason...

but I should thanks all my blogger buddies who emailed me to find out if things were OK with me or if I was doing fine and why my blog has been sleeping...
'THANK YOU'!

But what made me blog today...Thanks to a email I received this morning from one of my fellow blogger buddies...

...the email said "maybe it is a motivation for ya to b2b (back to blog)" had the following links
"http://vyaasr.blogspot.com/
http://www.bubbleysri.blogspot.com/ "

well thanks buddy...its surely was a motivation....the 6 and 10 year old bloggers jus amazed me...
a kid's words can always bring a smile on your face...

so hope alls well in the blog world...bye for now!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

RK Narayan - The Legend

I have been reading books written by R.K Narayan offlate and am amazed by the simplicity in narration and the stories itself. R.K Narayan is indeed a master story teller. The stories are based on day to day events and are set in the imaginary village of Malgudi in South India making it easy for any Indian (especially south indian) to relate.

His prologues are very interesting where sometimes R.K Narayan gives the reason why he wrote the story. This master story teller gets inspiration for his stories and his characters from day to day events and people he comes across everyday.

It was reading the prologue for his book 'A Tiger for Malgudi' where he gives the reason and inspiration behind witing that book. It all started when he noticed a newpaper article which talked about a sanyasi and his Tiger friend at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. The sanyasi claimed that the tiger was harmless and that he was his friend. Our author found this concept very intriguing. But he still did not pick up his pen to write 'The Tiger for Malgudi' till he came across a 4 inch bookmark with the picture of tiger which said "I need to get into a good book". R.K Narayan took this as a hint and decided it was high time he wrote a book for and about a Tiger. Quoting him "I looked at the tiger in bookmark and said, 'I will get you into my book, but the goodness of the book itself, that I cant guarantee'. " The book itself is about a Tiger and his sanyasi friend and is narrated by the Tiger. Very interesting indeed!

I was fascinated by R.K Narayan's short stories in 'A Horse and Two Goats'. They were small incidents which could happen with you, in your house, in your neighbor's house or somewhere down the street. Such down to earth stories.

'Under the Banyan Tree' is another collection of short stories by R.K Narayan. I was impressed by all the stories in this book. Every story had a very simple thought behind it. The first story in this book, 'Nitya' is also the last story R.K Narayan wrote, before he retired as a writer. This story is about an adamant teenager who wouldnt allow his parents to shave his head as an offering to their deity. This is was R.K Narayan had to tell about his last story,"...to place 'Nitya' which is the story of a sparkling young mind, with a rebellion at heart, at the head of the collection and at the end of the story of an old story-teller who concludes his career by taking a wow of silence for the rest of his life, realizing that a story-teller must have the sense to know when to stop, and not wait for others to tell him". My respect for this great writer increased multi-fold when I read this. I think it must have taken a lot of courage and determination for a master story teller to 'stop' !

Folks who have never read R.K Narayan, I think his short stories are a must read!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

the smile that makes my day!

I see her in the mornings
I see her in the evenings
She smiles- I like it
She is too shy to smile - I like it even more

Those immaculate eyes
That smile I adore
Oh did I tell ya
She is the cute 4 year old next door!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Movie Buddy

Come Friday he would call her
'Movie?' he would ask
They would dine at her favorite places
And ignore curious looks on their friends' faces.

He said he liked the way she smiled
Admired the way she talked
Friday after Friday they watched all the movies in town
She hoped he would never let her down.

Then came a time when no more movies were left
No movie may be just a special dinner she thought
Came friday, came no call
She was just his movie buddy after all!

p.s: me listening to 'chinna chinna sikarangal kaati...chella kolaigal seiyadhe'....'undhan oru mugam oru mugam arivain adi maru mugam sovkiyamaa'.....this song is driving me nuts!