Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Chickenpox Tale

I don't know how it is in other countries, but to get Chickenpox in India is really a bad thing to happen to just anyone. I'll tell you why. In the first place, this disease has no cure what so ever and that is more than a reason good enough for the people here to associate it with myths, religion, legends and God knows what else?

Before going into anything further, I me-self, on a personal note wonders why such a funny name for a disease? 'CHICKENPOX'. Now, what does that mean? Chicken + Pox? Everyone knows what a 'Chicken' is and mind you, I've checked and cross checked and couldn't find any other meaning for this. But 'Pox'! Ah! There you are - the MerriamWebster's Online Dictionary says 'Pox' means "a disastrous evil". Aha! Aha! Now I know why people associate 'Chickenpox' with superstitions... Anyways...

Since I had rather a serious infection, I fell very weak and tired from day one. Worse even, I soon got blisters in my throat and that made it almost impossible for me to talk, let alone 'voice my opinion'! As far as I can remember, it was one of my cousins who first took me to a doctor. And on the way to the clinic, he said, "you're lucky dear. You got the infection during the brighter side of the lunar month and that means the Goddess has showered her blessings on you",  so much as to console me. "Blessing?", I shouted back in shock! Nevertheless, I couldn't blame him 'coz that was the same treatment that he got when he had chickenpox years before. Anyways, he took me to the best doctor in town for this and after consultation the doctor prescribed me some medicines for the rashes and the itching that I was soon going to experience. He advised me to take a bath in warm water everyday and keep myself clean. "Nothing much to be done son. You'll have to go through this. The medicines will only save you the trouble of itching. Eat well least you want to feel tired", said the doctor.

The first night was ok since I dropped dead asleep as soon as I returned from the clinic. I woke up the next day to find more blisters on my face and chest and shoulders and this really freaked me out. Also I fond out that I had accidentally scratched open some of them and they were all burning on my skin. I raised the alarm and requested me to be taken to a hospital. But as luck would have it, none of the hospitals in my town would take in a patient with chickenpox as none of them except one had an isolation ward to take care of such highly contagious infections. And the one which had an isolation ward scared us away with their service charges. And so, one of my uncles arranged for a home nurse to take care of me. A home nurse? Wow! That sounded exciting! But all my excitement was short lived when I saw a lady well above her 50s at my service the next morning.

And now starts the argument for about which line of medicine is best for me - AllopathicHomoeopathic or Ayurvedic? The fact is that all these are very popular and effectively tried out lines of medication in India and each one has it's advantages as well as disadvantages. When Allopathy gives you fast recovery you'll have to live with some side effects because of its strong medicines. The other two are comparatively medications that wouldn't have any side effects but which will take a longer time to cure. This is the most elementary difference between the three different lines of medications and I know this 'coz my dad was an Ayurvedic doctor who also favoured Homoeopathy and did prescribe Allopathic medicines in cases of emergencies. And these are times when I really miss him. Life would've been much easier with him around to take charge of situations. Ah! Anyways...

The unanimous declaration was that Allopathy was bad for me. So as a first step, I was stopped from taking bath and having food that was anything remotely tasty to me. No more taking bath and only bland and very bland food - no salt, no spice, no... nothing. Just boiled rice and vegetable salad without even a pinch of salt or spice in it. I felt as if I was feeding on some stable food! But the argument didn't end there. Now it was Homoeopathy Vs Ayurveda with my home nurse vehemently vouching for the former and my mom who came down to take care of me defending the later. Finally my mom won and she brings home a new set of Ayurvedic medicines and throws away all the medicines that I was having till then. It was day 6 by then and my blisters were at its worst, all bursting open and itching like hell. The home nurse came to my rescue. She came up with the best remedy for it - neem leaves! She spread neem leaves all over my bed and made me a hand-fan with neem leaves. And what more? She did sit beside me and kept rubbing my blisters with the neem leaves. It couldn't have been better!

And after all these stunts, here I'm with my blisters drying off fast. But I'm still not allowed to take bath or eat normal food! The treatment had been equally good and bad and I don't know how far I'm justified in making complaints about things. I mean, it could've been worse without these people... Or would it have been better?

Anyways, the infection period lasts for 10 to 21 days and in my case it has crossed 15 days and I think I can bet on 21 days in my case. Hope to be back in action soon. I'm longing to have something spicy to eat and besides all, my body - every inch of my skin - is dying for a bath. I mean, it has gone all dry and scaly! But frankly, I'm surprised that I still don't have any body odour! How? Why? Can't say? Is this truly the Goddess's blessing or something? Even if that is so, this truly is the weirdest way to do so!!!

But I do have one complaint to make and mind you this is a serious one. I let my PYT know about my illness and she couldn't be so much bothered to send me a message asking me how am I fairing? I mean, I got "Get well soon" wishes from total strangers in this blogging world and my PYT??? This is truly heart breaking! Forget about all the funny things between us. She could've acted at least as a good friend. But... Oh my PYT, you did break my heart this time and very badly too! I proposed to you twice and never bothered you with it, did I? I acted the most gentle way and only wished to have you as a friend at the least. But... Ah! These are times when I realise how truly lonely I'm! But that's ok... Let it all be so. I'm still alive and that's all that matters, isn't it?

And the Chickenpox tale... Well, the mystery continues...

And ye, I got one more song in my other blog - Ekan learns to sing...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hi! I'm back!!!

Hi all,

I'm back. Can't feel better, I should say. No. Not that I'm completely all right. In fact, I'm still home bound and not too well with funny speckles all over my face, quite irritating rashes on my butt and midriff and above all, still feeding on very bland food! But the worst is over. I'm happier that I could be back among you. It's been rather a long, long break or so it seems! Have a lot to share with you all, but I'm not allowed much 'monitor-hours' as it'd strain my eyes (the nurse says so!). So, as a comeback post, I sang a song and posted it in my other blog - Ekan learns to sing... 

Friends, please do visit that blog and put down your comments there. Will be back with much interesting things in the days to come...

Friday, September 18, 2009

See you soon

I never thought Chickenpox was this bad. I'm having blisters even in my throat and that makes it too difficult to swallow... let alone anything solid, not even my own saliva. And there's this almost killing back pain and an altogether funny pain in my tummy that makes it almost impossible for me to sit upright and do just anything. The doctor has asked me to get hospitalised 'coz that way they can get some food in me through tubes and stuff. Ah! I think I'm gon'a get a hundred things to talk about in my blog. So, dear friends, I bid you all a goodbye till I'm back. I'll miss you all...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

33 and still counting!!!

33 and still counting? But what? Any good guesses? No. Never. You'd not guess what I'm talking about even if you tried a million times.

Ok. So let me tell you what 33 refers to. Those are the little mustard-shaped-watery bubbles that have started appearing on my skin. You got it? Yes. I contrived Chickenpox from one of my friends. Remember my first post of this month - 'An extraordinary experience' - about going for a ride with a friend and how the trip got interrupted because she got chickenpox?

Since I didn't see any symptoms for all these days, I presumed I was safe. But no. Yesterday night I found funny little bubbles appearing on my shoulders. I thought it was due to the heat (the weather has become quite hot here now). I didn't get too bothered about them till today afternoon though I was feeling very weak and tired since morning. And when I finally found those cute little bubbles appearing on my tummy and... ahem... and on my butt... I got alarmed! I realised why I felt uncomfortable while riding on my bike to the office today morning - imagine bubbles on your but! That's scary, isn't it so? I immediately consulted a doctor and the test result confirmed that I have got Chickenpox! Factually, there wasn't any test that happened. I just had a nurse sticking a thermometer in my armpits and when she was not satisfied with that she stuck it in my mouth! How dare she!!! But frankly, I didn't mind it 'coz she was a SYT (Sweet Young Thing), probably just out of her nursing school and she was smiling at me all the while! Now, come on, who can resist a smile so sweet and that too from a young unassuming girl like her? Anyways... The doctor has prescribed two weeks of bed rest and that means I'm gon'a be home-bound and bored for the next two weeks! I don't know what to do with all that time. Maybe, I'll catchup with my reading and some good movies!

Aha! And about the number "33". I lied! Actually there are more of those cute little bubbles all over my body and on my scalp too. I got tired after counting up to 33 and besides, that's my lucky number. 33 was my role number in school from my 7th grade to the time I completed schooling and those were my best school years.

Anyways... I'd like to share with you all two songs I've been repeatedly hearing since I returned home. These are two of my all time fav. songs and I'm sure you'd like it too.

Song 1: "Yuhi chala, chal rahi..." composed by A.R Rahman and sung by Hariharan, Udit Narayan & Kailash Kher (three of my fav. singers). The icy voice is of Hariharan, the nasal one of Udit and the raw-rustic one of Kailash. Of the three, I like Kailash the best 'coz the guy sings from his heart - unsophisticated and no nonsense. Now, I don't want to discredit the other two for their singing prowess. They are un-arguably among the best-test of the singers in the country. Kailash is only my very personal choice.

This song is from a movie called 'Swadesh' which won many critical accolades 'coz it dealt with many social issues in India. And here's the song for all of you to enjoy:

Song 2: "Allah ke bandhe..." composed by Vishal Dadlani and rendered so heartfully by Kailash.

Have a nice day...

And I'd like you all to visit my other blog - Ekan learns to sing if you'd like to listen to me sing!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Looser - Looser!!!

"I know, I shouldn't be but this what I am".

Now, did I sound like making a statement there? Being assertive? Believe me, that's not me. But I really wish I could do that. It could've saved my face a couple of times if I could sound so arrogant. But both the times all I did was just unzip that really wide grin on my face and sat there like a dumb duck!

Which are these two situations? Hm... Both the situations involved a girl and that's all I can say for now. Read on to know more...

Before going into explaining those situations, I'd tell you about an incident that happened last Sunday which would stand a testimony for how absent minded I'm. After visiting the beach for the 'Sunday in my city' photo shoot, and on my way to my home, I was suddenly reminded of one of my old family friends who lived on the way. I remembered someone mentioning that their daughter was going to get married and I completely forgot when I heard that. "Why not pay them a visit? This would be a nice occasion to go meet them", I says to me-self. So I turn my bike and head for their home. Luckily all of them were home and were very excited to see me. Their daughter came out of her room all looking good and sporting a very pleasant smile on her face. I always knew her to be a very skinny girl but now she looked a bit plump and rosy cheeked and all. "So do every girl, days before their marriage. Play of some hormones, I guess!", I tell myself.

"So. When is the marriage?", I ask the girl and waited for her to blush and act very shy.

But to my surprise all eyes turned on me and there was an air of bleak silence about that moment. All their smiles faded and the girl looked at me rather shocked, all the colours draining off her cheeks, as if I uttered something damned! I got startled at this response and the silence was broken by a baby crying from the adjacent room. In a flash, the utter ridiculousness of the situation dawned on me. The marriage happened an year and a half back and I remember dropping my mom at the wedding reception in the evening. I didn't attend the marriage or the reception 'coz I just returned home town after my break-up and was allergic to such social gatherings. And about 10 months back I did get introduced to her husband in a departmental store. By then she was already carrying. How could I've missed all these details? OMG! I don't have words to explain my embarrassement! And what did I do? Any guesses??? No prize for it, anyways... I sat there wearing the best of my stupidest grins on my face...

Ah! Now maybe you have a better idea of what I really am!!!

The other two situations I wanted to talk about is nothing when compared to this.

Situation 1 - This happened an year back when I was working with a P.R (Public Relations) firm in Bangalore. There was this PYT who was my colleague. We shared a friendship that was so full of teasing each other and having a lot of fun together. One fine Monday morning she walks to my table wearing a burgundy with an odd shade, ethnic dress and with a proud smile on her face. It was her b'day and I wished her a "Happy B'day" and surprised her by presenting her with the pink vanity bag that she had been eyeing in the shopping mall a couple of days before.

"Oh my God. I can't believe this! Did you really get me this bag? I mean...", she was all in the air, shrieking hysterically and all (you know how young girls act when they get excited).

And then I ask her, "But why are you wearing this old, greyed dress when you should be wearing your new b'day suite?".

All her hysteria stops in a second. She stares down at me and screams at the top of her voice, "you... you idiot... This is my new b'day suite that I've been telling you about. My mom made it especially for me and God knows how much it cost her..."

Cut scene

Situation 2 - There is this CCT (Chubby Cute Thing) who joined my office a couple of weeks back (I returned to my native town - Trivandrum, soon after my break-up and took up a job with a Web-Content providing agency and later moved into my current job with an ad agency as a Copy Writer). K. Now the day before, I walked into my office to see this CCT at her desk looking all transformed into a gorgeous maid. I did notice something different about her looks. Ah yes! She had not braided her hair. Maybe that she took a shower just before coming to the office and has left her hair loose to dry. Anyways, she looked good and a little matured unlike her usual cute childish self. Later I noticed that every other person at the office was commenting on her new look and even the ladies, for that reason!

"Is it all that simple to look your best? Just let your hair loose? Aha! And the best of my female friends always had an argument with me when I tell them, the best way to look good is to look your natural self and not to dabble on expensive cosmetics. Look at her! All she did was to let her hair loose and the whole world is talking about her!", I was saying all this to myself when a senior lady colleague sitting next to me asked, "Did you notice her new hair-do?".

"New hair what? New what? But...."

I know I'm the dumbest plain ass when it comes to complementing a girl on her looks. I'm so candid about my stupid observations of such female allurements. Now I know what it takes to win a woman's heart - appeal to her vanity! All my romantic songs and such stuff are not going to win me my girl, I guess!!!

"Looser... You loooosssseeeerrrr"

Anyways, I'm not gon'a stop singing as long as love is in the air. So, you can listen to me sing another one of those love songs @ Ekan learns to sing...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Seeking your suggestions

Here I'm with another one of my posts. First of all, a BIG FAT "THANK YOU" for all those who listened to me singing and left their comments. That was a real encouragement. I now wonder, why don't I start another blog with just me singing all my favs.? Let my voice be heard, appreciated and criticised. What do you think? Would that be too much? In fact, I already recorded a few songs and thought of giving it a shot. But I say myself "wait dude, some of your followers religiously follow your other blogs too - My Photoblog & Where The Roads Take Me... So should you be really starting another one more blog and make it difficult for your friends to keep track of it?". So here friends, I leave it to you to tell me what to do. Think about it and please don't be nice with me. Be very frank with me. Do not mince your words.

I'll be waiting for your responses.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday In My City - Beach Life

Ok! So here I go. This is my this week's post for 'Sunday In My City'. First of all, thanks to Unknown Mami who introduced such a wonderful concept to me. For people like me who are interested in photography this is a celebration.

I have chosen my favourite weekend spot in my place - the Shangumugham Beach. I have many pleasant memories of this place. This was a regular weekend hangout for my family when my Dad was alive. I still remember playing in the sands with my sister when we were little kids. Anyways... Let me not go into that story now.

To begin with, let me take excuse for my rather long post this is going to be. There are around 34 pics. that I'd posting in this. I thought  of getting only around 10 pics. but ended up taking 40 + pics. Couldn't decide which not to include. So after much thought and re-thoughts here I'm, presenting to you all my favourite weekend hangout in 29 pics.

Kanayi Kunjiraman's 'Nude'
This is one of the first thing anyone would notice on reaching the Shangumugham beach. The sculpture of this 'Nude' women caused quite a controversy in my pretty conservative little town. There were social groups and moral cops who wanted to remove this. But after much heated debates and arguments, the lady was left alone to proudly display her voluptuous nudity to the public.
A few meters away from the 'Nude' you'd find this abstract sculpture of a pair of human legs. Thank God! No objection to this one from any social groups or moral cops! I wonder why no one noticed that this is also a sculpture exposing human nudity.
Indian Coffee House
This was previously a beach resort of the Royalty and was later turned into a restaurant. This has been there since the 1960's I guess and is still a favourite place to get some food in Shangumugham.

To the right is a mobile book exhibition.

Tea and snack stalls.

Pony ride on the beach for Rs. 10.

I was drawn to this singing performance by a group of blind people. The lady's voice was... Aha! I've no words to describe it!

Sand sculpture

And that's the completed work. Cool, isn't it?

A boy selling nylon bags which can be used to put laundry.

Wind pipes and other toys for kids to play around in the beach.

Angel Dolls for sale...

Now, let's move on to the beach. No much descriptions. The pics. are good enough to speak for itself, I guess!
Pic. Above - I got inspired by the sand sculptre and made this. I know, this is just BRILLIANT :) :):)

Now I'll take you to a few things outside the beach.

Yamaha motorcycle promotion.

A Lady selling bangles and stuff.

Plastic flowers for sale.
The Starfish Restaurant

A happy kid and dad in the Children's Park.

Skating classes for kids.
The Trivandrum Central Aerodrome which you can see on climbing a little hillock on the beach side.

A group of friends. (I don't know these people. But they happily posed for me when I asked them whether I can take a snap for a photo feature).
And last but not the least, the Goddess temple by the beach side. I was a regular visitor to this temple when my Dad was alive. We never missed to offer our prayers at this temple when we used to come to this beach.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Listen to me sing!!!

Hi All,

I'm trying to make this post look like a personal mail to you all. This has been one of the most happiest days of all and since I cannot be sending a mail to all of you personally, I'd rather revert to this space where I can get you all together. I was feeling very blue today and decided to spend my evening at a bar where I can see real human beings around me. Now I don't mean to discredit the support that any of you have rendered me. But... Hope you can understand. I mean, how long can a person be happy with just virtual companions?

So with the soul purpose of seeing real-life human beings, I walked into a bar and ordered a Haywards 5000 beer. That's my personal favourite since it is a strong one. I don't take any hard drinks unless the occasion is such. And I don't like to get drunk at any moment in my life. It really scares me to get drunk. I'd shamelessly confess this to you all. A couple of beers is enough to make me feel high and anything more would knock me off my senses. My capacity for drinks is nothing that'd bring a smile to anyone's face :(. But that's ok. After all I shouldn't be ashamed of what I'm, right?

Anyways, my capacity for liquor is not what I wanted to share with you all...

I saw this group of boys sitting right opposite to me and they were having the day of their lives - getting drunk, bitching about the girls in their lives and so on (Ahem! I know that's not something that many of you might have heard off. But we men, do bitch about the women in their lives. Just that we are too proud to admit it! Guys, don't take any offence 'coz I'm exposing you and women, please take it cool. If you can bitch about us, so can we. It's just a square deal!). Anyways... I enjoyed watching their boyish pranks and stuff and when I got bored looking at all that I started playing music in my MP3 player. Since I forgot to take my earphone with me, I had to switch on my loud speaker. I was discreet enough to keep the volume low so that only I could listen to the songs. And then it so happened that one of the guys sitting at the opposite table requested me to play the music louder. I did. The good old melodies played one after the other for everyone to listen. And when they got over with their drinks, the same guy got up, walked to my table and hugged me. JUST LIKE THAT!!! I was shocked at this. I looked rather quizzically at his face and he said, "My God! Your sense for music is... Excellent!!! You just transported me to another world with the collection of songs you have!".

Now, now... I was enthralled at this response which I least expected! I didn't have words to thank him for what he just did to me! I sat there wearing the best of my smiles on my face. "Thank you" is all I could say.

"Do you sing?", he asked me.

"Yes. But..."

He didn't let me complete.

"Come on. I can see that you sing. I did hear you humming to the tunes in your MP3 player. Can you just sing a song for me?"

Can you believe this? A total stranger and he's asking me to sing for him. Even I couldn't miss the chance to make someone happy and so I sang a song for him. When I finished singing, there I saw him looking at me rather intensely. He looked at me... I couldn't say what was going through his mind. But he just hugged me a second time and patted me and said, "You're gifted, dear friend! Really!".

My God! Do I deserve all this? No. I'm not being any modest here. I'm just... Excited... Enthralled... Happy... Ah yes. HAPPY as happiness could ever be!

And let me share with you all the song I sang at the bar today. This is a song in Malayalam (my mother tongue) and I know you'll make no sense of it. Yet... I don't know how better I can share my happiness with you all...

PST: This is the same song I sang to my PYT the other day. And there is a line in the song that says "lasyavathiyayi deevi varumo, ekaantha dhyanam theerkkan..." which means "will you present yourself in front of me coyly enough to end my lonely penance". This song is in Hamsadhwani raga and is supposed to have the power to win a woman's heart!!! OMG! Why couldn't my PYT ever understand how madly I'm in love with her?

Ah! Anyways... Listen to me singing. Here I go - 

And here is the original song - This is one of my favourite songs composed by M. Raveendran. I know, I couldn't sing as good as the gifted K.J Yesudas. It'd take me a few more births (If there is something like re-births!) to have a voice as good as his!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Black and White (Poem)

Today happened to be a very gloomy day for me just like yesterday. Yesterday, I visited my college in the night. If you ask me why, I'm afraid I've no answer to that. I thought a lot about my past years and about the person who filled my thoughts, my dreams and my every wakeful moments in those days. Maybe this is 'coz I said "Goodbye" to my PYT and my mind became empty again. Anyways... I came back and penned down my thoughts in my diary and which appeared to me as some sort... er... ahem... poetry. I've posted that in my other blog and I request you all to take a look at it and tell me whether it really sounds like a poetry or something else?

Anyways... Here's the link to my other blog -

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Good bye PYT! I'll miss you...

Some of you might be aware of my fascination for one particular PYT. To correct myself and you, it's not a passing fancy I have (I have and not 'had' 'coz I still have it. Can't help it) for her. I thought so in the beginning only to realise that it isn't so. I'm serious about this girl... dead serious. But my predicament is that she's not. She never took me seriously though I proposed to her twice! Now, am I being shameless? Does shame has a place in the game of love? Whatever...

I tried thinking from her shoe. I assumed that she was too young to respond to a proposal from me. I assumed she needs to be given more time. I assumed that she was helpless in a way I never knew. I assumed that she thinks I'm trying to play around with her... "You'd have known me better my dear pretty one, only if you had bothered to take a good look at me". But her shoe is too small for my feet, I guess! I found it impossible to convince my mind with all this. So, what did I do? I thought of the next best thing to be done. Forward a formal proposal through her parents! Do I sound ridiculous? Well, I might be. But remember, there are no rules in love and war.

But to do this, I needed the help of an elder person from my side. And with the purpose in mind, I went and met an uncle of mine with whom I can discuss such matters in open. And what turned out of that discussion was... Ah! After listening to all that I had to say - that I proposed to her twice, that I've been carrying this burden in my heart for the past three months and all that shit, he asked me to "forget her"! Yes. That's exactly what he said!!

Forget her? Oh! My heart aches at the thought... Not that I'm so madly in love with her. Not that I'd not be able to do it. But it's not that easy a thing to do. It's her, the reason for me to get out of the trauma of my past broken relationship. It's her, who made me realise that the lover-boy in me is still alive. It's her, who made me realise that there are better women left in this world. It's her, who was the reason for me to wear my pink glasses again. It's her... It's her... It's her... Oh! My PYT!!

But after talking to him, I could see the reasons and mind you, the reasons are good enough ones. He said he'd have readily met her parents with my proposal only if she had shown some interest in me. Also, he did point out the difference in our domestic backgrounds. I saw, for the first time that there are a few stumbling blocks even if our relationship had materialised. Not that they are major ones. But they sure are little ones which'd make all the difference. And to get over that, we need to work things out together. And for that to happen, she needs to be serious about getting involved with me. But I see that none of this is going to happen. I saw the reality of the situation and that my dreams would stay as just sweet dreams... Bo hooo... I wish I could break down and cry. Now, please don't tell me, "Come on, be a man!". It takes a Man to cry and you know that.

And please don't mistake all this to be of her fault. No. She did absolutely nothing to encourage me. But her mere presence was... Ah! Why cry over spilled milk, right? In fact she even showed her annoyance at my advances. Her slate is clean and I've nothing against her. The "romantic little booher" (that's what SupahMommy calls me) that I'm... That's the whole trouble...

And with a bleeding heart I tell this to myself - "Good bye PYT, my dear pretty little girl... Only if you had..."

"Only if you had..." What wishful thinking??? Grrr... Bo Hoooo...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New face of Hiduism

This instrument called the Electrical Musical Instrument (I'd agree that this sounds totally funny) is a combination of bells, chimes and drums and has become a common place in our temples (Hidu temples in South India) recently. While I wish to give the due credit to whomever who came up with such an innovative idea, I must confess, I feel so totally ashamed at the very purpose it serves. I'll tell you why.

To begin with, for people who are unfamiliar with the religion of Hinduism and it's culture and tradition, let me give you a very short brief. Hinduism is one of the oldest religion in the world and the date of origin of it is not yet authenticated. As I'm not a scholar in this subject let me relay on other sources:

"Hinduism is a term for a wide variety of related religious traditions native to India. Historically, it encompasses the development of Religion in India since the Iron Age traditions, which in turn hark back to prehistoric religions such as that of the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilization followed by the Vedic religion.

Hindu philosophy had six branches, evolving from about the 2nd century BCE to the 6th century CE, viz. Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa, and Vedanta. Monotheistic religions like Shaivism and Vaishnavism developed during this same period through the Bhakti movement.

Classical Pauranic Hinduism is established in the Middle Ages, as was Adi Shankara's Advaita Vedanta which reconciled the Vaishna and Shaiva sects, and gave rise to Smartism, while initiating the decline of the non-Vedantic schools of philosophy.

Hinduism under the Islamic Rulers saw the increasing prominence of the Bhakti movement, which remains influential today. The colonial period saw the emergence of various Hindu reform movements partly inspired by western culture, such as spiritism (Theosophy)".

Courtesy: Article on Hinduism in Wikipedia

Now, as you can see, Hinduism was never a religion, per say. It was a way of life, a particular culture that man followed in one particular period and in one particular part of this globe but which was forced to be called as a religion due to external factors. Though Bagavad Gita has been officially declared as the sacred scripture of Hinduism, I must say, there are other texts and scriptures that are equally as important as the Gita. And this is a religion of idol worships and umpteen religious rituals. And because of the different ways in which the Hindu religious fanatics try to project this religion to the outside world by showcasing our traditions and rituals as something very amusing and as shrouded in mystery, magic and stuff, it is not surprising that a common Westerner and even the Christians and Muslims in our own country tend to perceive this religion as something pageant and un-organised.

Now, now... coming back to the original topic of discussion. As I said, Hinduism is a religion of many rituals and as is evident from the Wikipedia extract, there are many ways in which this religion is pursued by different people. We, in Kerala (the South of India), follow a particular systematic approach. That is, we have a time schedule for the different ritualistic activities followed in our temples. The temple usually opens at 3.30 or 4 in the morning. There happens a set of rituals of cleaning up the temple premise, offerings to the residing deity etc. which we have been following since ages. And some these rituals happen with people playing drums, chimes and other percussion instruments and also some others ringing the temple gongs. This is the best time to visit a temple because the acoustic effect caused by the playing of all these instruments in harmony creates an atmosphere of personal seclusion where you are not distracted by any other sound from the outside world and you can easily channelise your concentration in your chantings and prayers. I, me-self, though not a regular visitor of temples, have always cherished and loved these things about a temple. I also observe that this was an excellent way to make people participate in unison in a single activity, just like the Sunday Mass in a Church but on a daily basis. Besides, the people who are assigned to play these instruments are usually from the lower economical strata of our society and this is a source of regular income for them. Plus, they will also be served with a one time meal from the temple. I should say "wow"! And who says Hinduism is un-organised?

But now, in the recent past, all that I mentioned is fast disappearing from our temples. I no longer find these people with their drums and chimes, music and prayers in their hearts and a stomach hungry for a one time meal in our temples. Why? 'coz someone thought about making life easier and came out with this brilliant innovation - Electrical Musical Instrument. This does the work of all those poor people put together and all one has to do is just plug it and play when needed! Has it made life easier? Really? Come on, what about those poor people? What about their regular income though very meager, I agree? What about their one time meals? Has this made life easier for them? Whose life are you talking about? Besides, let me tell you, this instrument produces such a monotonous rumble and make me feel (this could be a personal experience) as though I'm amidst some tribal ceremony. This is awful! Not a better word to describe it - This is very much awful! When a human hand plays a drum, it's not just his hands that play the music. There's the music of his heart that comes out in the rhythm. A plug-and-play machine can never produce the music of one's heart! It cannot produce the acoustic ambiance that used to be.

***I'm not against science. I'm not against technical advancements. I'm not against digitalisation. I very well recognise how a mobile phone, how a computer, how a digital camera etc. etc. etc. have made my life easier. But this!!! Please shut it off! You better keep this in a Science exhibition and call it The New Wonder of Human Innovation. I'd visit the stall, take photographs of it, blog it and do everything to popularise itMake any other use of this instrument but save the temples and its sanctified human presence. I don't want to walk into a temple and feel it is nothing but a religious museum!***

How, would you Christians feel, if you walk into your church on a Sunday morning and find a tape recorder or an MP3 player playing the choir song in the place of those lovely kids and young men and women? I'm unaware of what happens in a mosque. Yet how would you Islams feel if your daily prayers are sung by an electrical instrument rather than the Mullah. How would you Buddhists feel if all those lovely temple chimes and gongs in your temple is replaced by a Dolby-digital-surround-sound music system that can produce the same noise?

Temples, Churches, Mosques and all religious places has a greater purpose than religion. It's about God and worship, I agree. But it is more about humanity, social interactions and community living. It is a place of human to human interaction and not a place for human to machine interaction...

I don't know whether I've said enough. But a blog should not be too long and tiring. Hence I conclude my eloquence here...

Am I talking like a hard core traditionalist? Am I making any sense? I'd like you all to comment on this and clear my head of this monotonous rumble that has been bothering me for a while now.

Swami says...

Hold to the idea, “I am not the mind, I see that I am thinking, I am watching my mind act,” and each day the identification of yourself with thoughts and feelings will grow less, until at last you can entirely separate yourself from the mind and actually know it to be apart from yourself.

Swami Vivekananda

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dedication to SupahMommy, Kelly Wood & Steve

This is absolutely a fantastic feeling. To know that I'm accepted, that I'm loved for what I'm. Ever since I started blogging seriously, I found new friends. I found people who share my thoughts and ideas. Let me not forget the first one to have ever accepted me in this blogger's world - Steven Anthony. He has been most generous with his comments on my posts and that did make me feel that I'm heard, no matter what ever stupidity I wanted to blurt out. Thanks a lot Steven. The man, I found out from his blogs, had a tragic childhood but braved it all and is now leading the life of an independent and free citizen of this globe. I admire him for his play with words and conviction to his beliefs. Learned a bit about being an adult male from him. Thanks again.

To my utter surprise, apart from him, all my other followers are women in their middle ages and women past that age. The amount of encouragement that I've got from them has been substantial in changing the way I thought about women in general. Going through their blogs, I've been unconsciously learning a lot about women psychology, the way they think and act, what freedom means to them, what life means to them. This might be coincidental, but I observe that I've always found acceptance among elder women than men. They younger of the lot are either afraid of me or they are too cautious around me. I never knew why? I still don't know why? But my desire of a life time (I know, I'm too young to be using a word like "life time". Yet...) to have an elder sister is now being fulfilled with all these generous women who take a moment of their life to see what's happening with me. I must admit, if there's a God, he has been the most generous with me. Among all of them, SupahMommy and Kelly Muys Wood have been the most attentive towards me. If the former spare her time to look into my heart and try to understand the person that I'm, the latter takes interest in my interest for photography. They don't just pass through my posts but do take the pains to go through and read in between my lines. I'd ever and forever be grateful for their caring ways.

And I dedicate this song for the three of them :-


This is one of my favourites. And to the ones that I've dedicated this song to, I know it's a love song. But to me love has only one meaning and that is to be "On the top the world", which is exactly what you people make me feel.

And visitors, do visit their blogs. They have one of the best posts you'd ever find in a blogger's world.

I also thank all of you who have taken the pain to go through my posts and comment on them. Every comment counts in making my blog a better place to visit and bringing a smile to my face. Thank you all once again for sparing your valuable time with me.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Contemplation, realisation... happenings at a Devil's workshop!

Idling at home for the past two days made me think about a lot of things - my future, career, family and besides all this, the thing about love and relationships. It just occurred to me that I've grown up a little as a person. I mean, I no longer have confusions about what I want in my life. I seem to have fallen in track with life. I did think a lot about my PYT today. I tried to reason out with things in me. I thought a lot about my past relationship too. And I now understand the difference between love and attraction.

To put this thought in simple terms - attraction is the first thing that you feel towards a desirable person in your life. Attraction has many reasons - could be the looks, the attitude, the character etc. etc. etc. But can you call it love? Absolutely not. Are you attracted to your sister/brother, your mother/father? You could be. But is that the over-riding emotion that you share with those people? No. You love them most probably than not. Then why do we use terms like "Love at first sight" when it comes to someone outside your family? It's just 'coz you don't know better. As simple as that!

Then what is this thing called love? Can attraction turn into love? Yes. It can. If you take the time to know that person better, get to understand her/his needs and appreciate it, get to accept her/him, have a 360 degree view of the person and not just one aspect of him/her etc. etc. etc. And this exercise takes time. Most often than not what we do is we feel attracted to a person, call it "love at first sight" and keep deluding ourselves that we love that person until one fine morning we wake up to realise that all that was nothing but a big sham (exactly what happened to my X girl friend). And then you fall into another track of a constant mind game of telling yourself that "No. No. I do love him/her" and being ruthlessly honest with yourself about your feelings for the same person. Am I not true? People who had to part ways in a love relationship would relate with my thought better. The others... well, they're just lucky enough to have been spared this most torturous learning experience.

And among the two girls (my X and the PYT) who occupy the most of mind, the person, I can say, that I love is my X. Yes. I still love her or perhaps it is that, I still cherish the relationship though it was one of the most tumultuous and trouble filled one. I say this 'coz in spite of all that happened I tried a lot to understand the person. Tried to know her needs, her dreams, her ambitions... I'd also agree that it was never done in the right way. The young and confused person that I was then, I never could really understand any of those though I made very sincere efforts to do so. I was too young then. Knew nothing about this world or the life around me. I was always in a shell which I thought was life. Can't deny the fact that the comfort of that shell was too enticing for me to ever get out of it. And finally we had to part ways after a very happening, eventful, troublesome relationship that lasted for 4 and half years. I was angry at her for throwing me away. I was angry at the whole world. But now, the light of realisation has dawned on me. Looking back, I can now understand what she was. What her needs were. What her ambitions were. And besides all, that she was even younger than me and much more confused than I was then. I also realise that she was too immature to be not as selfish as she was.

And now, when the Cupid send the first arrow when my eyes fell on my PYT, he got me quite off guard. The lethal love weapon went into my heart without even me realising it. But no. I'm not that 20 year old to be fooled again. I don't want this to be called "love at first sight", simply because I know it is not. I'm smarter enough than the smart Cupid to know that his arrow has only kindled a sense of attraction in me. To love her, we need to be closer and I need my chance to know her better and she too need be given her chance to know me. As it is, there are no such opportunities for us and the sad part of the story is that she is not a bit interested in me. In fact, she gets annoyed at my advances. But the better part of the story is that I'm least offended by it. She's young, young enough not to understand a person like me. After all, I've never been an easy nut to crack in spite of me wearing my heart at my sleeves!

PST: Now I really understand the meaning of the phrase "an empty mind is a devil's workshop".

My last day of Onam vacation

This is the last day of my Onam vacation.

I had my comp-off days from last Tuesday. I had my friend visiting and hence made a plan to visit a wild life sanctuary and a hill station which I always wanted to visit. But owing to her falling sick on the way, the trip was interrupted and had to return home on Friday. I was too tired after the long ride and was in no condition to get my tired bones off the comfort of my home (Hi! I started calling it my home. Before I always used to call it just a house. This was just a four walled enclosure with a roof over my head that sheltered me from the onslaught of the weather. But ever since I brought Tasha in, this concrete building started becoming a home to me. Feel as though I've someone in here for me.)

And the best thing I could do sitting here is to share my experiences and thoughts with you friends. I really thank you all for being a constant support and of course for your comments. Ever since I started blogging, a new world of friends and companionship has opened its door for me. I no longer feel that lonely. THANK YOU ALL.

And before I sign off, I'd like to share with you what Onam is. Please click here to find out. Also here is the pic. of flower arrangement made at my office and the Onam meal (rice not included) as a part of the celebration.

My little nephew

This is the pic. of my little nephew whom I visited yesterday. Apart from macro shots of nature, animal photography and playing with light and shades, kids are always a favourite subject for my photography experiments. You can find another one of my experiments here.

I was focusing the lens through the chair opposite me and the idea of such a pic. occurred to me. It wasn't easy getting him on the other side of the chair though! But when I finally took it... Ah!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Giving my blog a new look

Hi all!

I just discovered that you can change the looks of your already existing blogs. I just gave mine a new look.


An extra ordinary experience

First of all, let me excuse myself for my un-announced absence for a few days. I was in the craziest bike trip of my life time and hence my absence.

Now to begin with, I had befriended this lady, 31 year old, a year and a half back through a social networking site. That was the time of my break-up and with none of my friends around, I was desperately looking for someone to share my heart's pain with. And like an angel from the heaven's open doors, I found her. I don't clearly remember how it all began, but we became friends from day one and with the passing of time our relationship grew stronger and deeper. We exchanged our phone numbers and we started sharing our secrets and in time we became great friends. There weren't too many days in this last one and half year when we didn't call up and shared our daily events. Now, we're like the soul keepers of one another. I know this wouldn't last for too long. She being a lady and still unmarried, is soon going to get married and get settled with her own domestic miseries. And me, a 26 year old stag, still in the look out for the right person to accompany in my lives journey, would go my own way.

Ah! What I wanted to tell you was not all this. She came down to meet me last Tuesday. It was our first meeting and how eventful it all turned out to be! I still feel it was all but a dream. I showed her around in my little town and the next day, at 3.30 in the morning we packed our bags and set off to explore our way to a wild life sanctuary where I had booked a tent for us. We rode steadily for 9 hours with the much needed pit stops and on reaching a particular spot I had this most craziest idea to take a detour. The place we had reserved a tent was only another couple of hours drive. But I proposed to follow a "road less trodden by" through the woods and across the mountainous Ghats. And it did make "all the difference". The lonely treacherous roads of Ghats was enchanting and we saw things which we might have missed for a life time. The scenery was stunning and with a light drizzle all through the ride, it became an experience the both of us would treasure forever. I'll write in detail about the ride in my other blog.

What I do want to share with you all in this space is my experience of the ride. Because of my crazy plan we were still riding through the woods even when the sun was going down. We dropped the idea of beating against the time to reach the place where we had booked our accommodation. Instead we were thrilled with the sheer joy of the ride through the woods. And finally at half past 10 at night we reach a place in another state where we had our dinner. It was only then that we realised that we were riding for almost 19 and odd hours! Also I noticed odd blisters on her face. I thought it was due to the heat. But no. The weather was not at all hot. All the while we were riding through the mist and rain. I got alarmed and we rode for another hour and half to find a decent accommodation. We were dead tired and we nearly passed out soon as we hit the bed. The next day I woke up to find more blisters all over her face and chest and I realised that it was nothing but Chickenpox. OMG! This can't be happening! But it did.

I really appreciate the good spirit of the lady 'coz she was least flustered by all this. She still smiled at me and said she'll be all right and that we'd ride back home. But no. It was still raining and I didn't want to take any risks. I arranged for a cab and escorted her on my bike all the 350 km back to my home town. It was 2.30 at night when we reached. And the next day I saw her off to where she belong and where she'll have people to take care of her. There ends the story of a 21 hour bike ride.

And here I'm, sitting all tired and drained, keeping you all posted of a weired but an extra ordinary experience of my life.

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