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Showing posts from March, 2011

Dubai - Am Back after 15 years

When I was born, my father said, "This is my dream girl." The best part about my childhood was in knowing that.
The second best part was that my dad used to travel a lot and always took us with him. While most people dream of visiting the top league touristy destinations, my dad looked for any place that caught his fancy. If there was any place where he couldn't take us to, he would ask what we wanted and even when he didn't have enough money, he'd get it for me and my sister. We looked forward to those trips more because it meant we got lots of stuff as gifts from him!!!
A doctor by profession, there was no real scope for him to travel but he used to save money to travel and within the limited means, he used to take us with him. He visited South Africa, Swaziland and Namibia even when those with Indian passports were not permitted to visit the country at the time due to apartheid. 
Every year, we visited at least two countries on a shoe string budget and a constant…

Cochin twestival 2011: Why it Rocked!

Cochin twestival 2011 turned out as special as the spellbinding effect of the city called Kochi. People scoff at times, asking me why its so special a place to me in comparison with other metros that, according to them, are better developed today. 

The city itself has a magical appeal
You know, the city of Kochi is special to my heart. It is not where i grew up, in the literal sense. Even when I was living in Africa with my parents, Kochi held the key to my dreams and devotion. I constantly dreamed of this city, with its narrow lanes, bright as button red buses that look like long moving buttons and its cosmopolitan clutter of people constantly on the move as though they will miss a bus or a ferry in case they lost a minute.  

Generosity of Spirit & Love
For me, meeting tweeples I knew only through Twitter and getting to know them in person was a real highlight, more than the terrific rock band or anythingelse. It gave me a real feel into the generosity of spirit and love that stream…

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

This post on Kerala's caste system has not been written with an intention to ridicule or glorify any caste as such. I do not ever judge or like to be judged on the basis of my caste. I do not support any form of caste discrimination because I know exactly how it feels to be treated differently because of one's caste. It isn't a great feeling.  

First Question is always "What is your Caste?" In Kerala, one of the first things you are bound to be asked by even new people you've just met is, "What is your caste?"  This is not a tirade against any caste but my experience, personally. And just for information, I have never used my caste name 'Menon' to this day. That is something I have learned from my father - who has never used 'Menon' in his name because he believes his destiny is shaped by values, vision and actions, not  by his caste.
As some one who is a Menon by birth, I can also tell you frankly that it often feels like a curse to be…

Why does it hurt?

A very close friend of mine got married.  That's great news. I am happy for the couple and sad about how we have begun to communicate to our friends and loved ones.  

If we are angry, we use Facebook to send out angry messages rather than just sit down like normal people do and talk common sense. Or maybe common sense isn't so common anymore. I don't know how communication works these days.

Call this sentimental bullshit. Call it old fashioned values, which I am usually guilty of. But it hurt like hell to be hearing this piece of important, good news first through Facebook.  

If you were me, you would probably be more balanced than upset about it, right? That's what I am thinking right now to console myself.

Thank you Twitter and Facebook

Thank you, my dear friends, for the overwhelming support and encouragement that you gave me in promoting and discussing my post "While Jyotiraditya Sleeps" - both on Facebook and Twitter. The responses, the feedback and the feelings that came through were so overwhelming.

I wish i could capture it all but i don't want to take up a lot of your mindspace and time. But among the many responses that I got on Twitter and Facebook, one comes to immediate recall with this message from Ashwin Issac, a fine young writer in the making whom I 've been fortunate to know through Twitter. 

He stated, "The post tells me a lot more of a mother's emotion to her son. Whatever I missed to see in Mom, I saw after reading this. Thanks a lot!"
As a writer, this comment is every writer's secret dream. To be heard by a wide cross section of people across the world, to be able to transform our thoughts into their action sphere and in the process, to be able to inspire them to …

While Jyotiraditya Sleeps

In an interview to a famous magazine, Indira Gandhi had once stated that no matter how turbulent or busy her day was, she had always peeped in to watch her sons sleep because just looking at their innocent faces told her that her world was this and not the political dramas that constantly swept her life apart - she said that she could never resist the temptation to kiss her sons while they slept because they looked like angels...too good to be real. 

I think I understand what she meant now. Because I am a mother and in a way, like her, a pretty lousy one at that.  When I was recently asked how it feels to be a mother, I went blank and with that blankness came the realization that I have never never looked after my baby. Not in the real sense of the word. 

That realization struck worse than anything I've ever felt in my life. That guilt boomerangs into my conscience, making me feel that I'm worse than I can imagine being. Nothing was worth it.

Or, is this the trauma that working w…

International Women's Day: All's not well

Kusum Lata Sawhney did a fantastic write up in the Hindu Magazine, Sunday, March 6 2011, weekly edition, to celebrate the 100 years of celebrating womanhood on International Women's day. She wrote about what makes the mother-daughter relationship a truly special one. It evokes memories, brings to light how Indian moms are changing so as to sync with their own pressures, perceived failures and disappointments. She talks about how the values of life have changed. She reveals that today's women want things faster because they are more ambitious for themselves and not necessarily for their family's happiness. Let's face it - our problems as women have more to do with our values and ambitions and less to do with male domination, that we so commonly hear of.
The same author  says, "The issue is not whether we are spoilt or not, but in fact, to understand that we are spoilt and we have to rein it in. ...It was very different before. A generation that was grateful for what…

Facebook Request: What Not to Write to Me

Energy, in today's world, is a creative force with superior outcome (my definition of it) and when we come across negative messages or interactions, whether in real time or in our direct communications with others, it leads to unnecessary and uncomfortable emotions that can destroy the basic foundation of relationships. 

A lot of energy is thus wasted and generated based on mistaken perceptions that we assume or presume from what other people say or perceive about us.


The reason I am writing this is because I believe that many things that I write, tweet or say openly should be construed in a positive spirit by those who spend time to read it. I have faced several recent situations where something I have written or said is misinterpreted.

Please consider this a genuine request that is not written with arrogance but with helplessness when some people send me unacceptable Facebook requests, among others as given below:


1. This is a request to all my Facebook friends and blog readers. 

Pl…

Thank you Baba

Past midnight, we went out for some black tea to stay awake, and Hubby and I snatched some moments together, having tea, taking a stroll, & just talking abt our best moments in our life's journey together. Everything has been Sai's grace because the two of us never planned to be where we are today.Thank you, Baba.

Mahashivrathri 2011 - Unforgettable

When I was growing up, the Mahashivrathri Bhajans were conducted in our house, or in the homes of family friends. In those days, bhajans were conducted at homes. For the same reason, I know the intensity of hard work that goes into demonstrating it successfully. After a break of eight years, I took part in the Mahashivrathri bhajans till 6 am in the morning.

The bhajans always start at 6pm and continues till 6 am in the morning. For those hosting it, every little detail has to be anticipated - 

will there be enough space for hundreds of people to sit, 
will there be batches of singers to fit into the timeslots per one and a half hours, 
will the refreshments be given every two hours, 
will flower garlands wilt and need to be replaced in five hours, 
will oil need to be refilled in lamps at x frequency, 
will prasad if prepared early get spoilt by morning, 
will devotees need soft cushions and temporary arrangements to lie down, in case there are older devotees, 
should water be served more fre…

Jyotiraditya makes a Birthday Card for Ma'am

Today was Adi’s classteacher’s birthday. Yesterday evening, he was excited about it and wanted to make her a card. He had homework to do and preparations for his class test so we couldn’t help him to make the card.
Guess what? In the morning, he realizes this and begins to cry and rave and rant about wanting to give his ma’am a card. So, we quickly make our own B’day Card for Ma’am. It turned out pretty.
We cut out a small patch of pink glossy paper, the kind that is durable and one that you can use for projects and stuff. From a magazine recipe that was part of a write up on Valentine’s  day, we cut out the beautifully designed words ‘I Love You’ in 3D cube like image. We cut it small and stuck it on the pink glossy paper. We wrote nicely beneath, “Happy Birthday, Ma’am.” It didn’t even take five minutes to complete.
Then, inside, I wrote a happy birthday message for Ma’am, also thanking her for teaching so many valuable lessons during the year and for giving so much support and encoura…