Friday, December 2, 2016

Count Your Blessings!!

Recently, I came across a Facebook post titled ‘count your blessings’. It shared a very painful story of a beautiful young vibrant soul, who had passed away too soon, by her dear husband. The amount of love and care he had shared with his wife was very much visible in his long post.
The post made me think hard of our flimsy existence on this beautiful planet and it has also made me live life as if it were my last day. Gone are frustrations of endless wait in the traffic and replaced with the memories our little princess and her smile. The disappointments of life and office are hidden under the awesome hug and kiss of my beautiful amazing wife who works overtime to take care of our life. The care and encouragement of my parents and in-laws are enough to push through all difficulties in life.
This post is dedicated to Navin and his beloved wife, Merlyn. I sometimes wish life would be bed of roses with no thorns, which, however it isn’t. May her soul rest in peace!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

White Fairy!!


Friday evenings usually brings a cheer to everybody and my life is no different. I reached the Denver main bus terminal also called the “Denver Civic Center” last Fridayand stood in the long queue for my bus with my I-Phone blaring ARR music right into my system. As I casually checked the monitor for the status of my bus, I noticed a news flash right above the bus’s status on the LED board.

“Indian Gang Rape Victim dies in Singapore”

The news sent shook waves through my body and I felt an icy dagger drill right into my heart. I swallowed saliva locked in my upper throat and removed the headphones and just closed my eyes to pray for the departed soul. An African-American lady in her mid-fifties touched my shoulder and asked me the age of the victim. I replied that she was 23 years old. She just spoke “May her soul rest in Peace”, wiped a drop of tear that glistened in her eyes and walked away to her bus which had just hit the terminal.

As I dragged myself into the bus, I just could not take my mind of the news. I had followed all the news surrounding the horrible nature of the crime but had wished, prayed and hoped that the victim would make through her excruciating painful situation. I guess God had not wanted her to sufferany more and took her to be with himThe news had disturbed me as badly as the Aarushi murder case (which is still unresolved). It has been over a week since victim died at Mt Elizebeth hospital. The news has really shaken the nation and protests on the streets on the Capital have made the government sit-up and take notice.

However, there has been another silent campaign which has been running for sometime now on Facebook. Apparently it speaks about “teaching men to respect women”. It is little unfortunate that the horrifying death of girl should be used to run a campaign which points a finger at all men when in fact it should be used to amend laws to make it stricter for rapists and molesters and give more teeth to the establishment to guard the rights of women.

It could be argued that by teaching men to treat women as equal this ghastly crime along with many other crimes on women could have been prevented. However, the ghastly crime was done by perpetrators who were present on the fringe of the normal society without proper education or family to take care off. Such exceptions have taken place in the past and unfortunately and regretfully would take place in the future.

To understand the nature of these horrific crimes, it might be necessary to revisit India about 20 years ago, when men worked and brought home enough income to run the family and women ran the family efficiently. The Information Technology industry helped India leapfrog towards becoming a power to reckon with in Asia but also brought with it the opportunity for women to earn on par with men, if not more, thereby creating a discrepancy in the existing society.

However, men in India have always respected women and their rights to actively express their freedom as can be seen in women competing actively with men in all the spheres of life right from the early ages where Kings would activelyconsult the Queen on important matters of national and international issues concerning their kingdom. In some of the cases, the crimes against women are perpetuated by women themselves. So would it be fair to call for a “teaching women to respect women” campaign? Of course not, would be more of an obvious answer.

Coming back to the topic of gruesome incident, some of my observations have been recorded below.

Will the government amend laws to protect rights of women? – May be.
Will the perpetrators of the ghastly crime be hanged? – Yes
Will the News channel effectively cover other women related crime cases without jumping onto something more interesting? – No
Will such ghastly incidents not happen in future? – May be.
Will the public forget this horrific incident and move on in their life? – Yes

All said and done, this incident has caused an irreparable damage to girl’s family and to the confidence of all the girls in our country. The government must act quickly andthoughtfully, which however seems doubtful given the way so many scams keep tumbling out of its closet every now and then. So is there another solution for this problem?

In my discussion with my office colleague on this incident, she showed me an arsenal of protective stuff like pepper spray, a small knife and even a small hammer in her bag. She told me that she caries all these with her all the time wherever she goes especially during late hours. This information surprised me as Denver is supposed to be safest city in US for women. It also led to me think that in a nation supposedly where “women and men are treated as equals”; many women need such protective strategy.

In conclusion, I believe that the human race should demand stringent laws for protection of women and their freedomoutside their home but not drown it in a cacophony of equal rights which the women already have and exercise it to full extent. It is my humble appeal to all the women folk to take measures in whichever way possible to protect themselves,even if it means curtailing hours to go out of home for it isgood to be safe, rather than sorry.

It was predicted that the world would end on 21st of December. I sorely wished it had, for we would not have to hear such cruelty meted out to our fellow citizen.

I pray for the departed girl’s soul to rest in Peace!!”

Friday, December 28, 2012

So whom do you really TRUST??


“Kuthinathu nanbana irunthalum, sethalum sollakuudathu”
(If it is your friend who has stabbed you, you should NOT reveal it to anyone even if you die)

The above dialogue is the most impressive one which I have heard in recent times. It occurs in the climax of the movie Sundarapandian. The movie revolves around three best friends who turn into worst enemies because of a girl whom they all love, where the two friends back-stab their best friend for his close proximity to the female lead.

This dialogue opened my thoughts on issue of trust among various relationships in this confusing world. The best relationship in this world is that of friends, as we personally choose them to be a part of our wonderful lives. But as it often occurs, these chosen friends of ours do back-stab us sometimes.

The world is an ever changing place where the fortunes of individuals keep varying over time. Unfortunately, the basic nature of an individual also changes with time which results in them looking at relationships in a different light at different points of time. Another factor in the change in the relationship could be addition of another person in the straight-line relationship between two people as more people always spoil the broth.

With so much negative information, could there still be the light at the end of the tunnel?Definitely, would be an eventual or more an ideal answer. Friendship is based on trust which can be maintained by the following rules.

  • Money is just a tool to lead our lives. It should never cause any friction between two good friends.
  • Share your concern directly with your friend if you have any issues with him/her. Sharing any critical information with a third person will only spoil the relationship as we never know how the third person would use the information.
  • “Bad people can never turn into good one while the corollary may not be entirely untrue”. If we have made a wrong choice in our selection of friends, it just best to leave and carry on with our lives. However, if we do know that our chosen friend is good at heart and may have said or done something in jest, we should definitely wait for them to come back to us.

All said and done, every minute of our golden life in precious and it is important for us to choose the people who understand us completely. With the song “Mustafa.. Mustafa..” still ringing in my ears, I truly wish all my best friends stay with me in my journey of LIFE!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

DENVER!!

We humans usually end up missing something long after the incident or the related people have crossed our life. But for the first time in my life I plan to do the opposite; to post a write-up about my second home, Denver!!

There are some people or places which have a karmic attraction to us even though we may not have reciprocated in the same manner. So many times in the past I have felt that today would be my last day in the beautiful city of Denver, but every time I have been proved wrong and somehow my life has continued marching in this amazing city.

As I saw the bright lights of Chennai shinning below as the flight took off the tarmac four years ago, I pretty much knew that a long journey awaited me. I missed my parents and my sister, best friends and my bike. I slowly started understanding how much I missed Chennai itself. I had roamed through the beaches, temples, theatres and eateries and missed them dearly as I landed in a dry deserted land, Tucson. Though I would soon come to miss the mildly pleasant Tucson winter is another topic of discussion.

As my journey progressed to Mexico, for my internship and to Houston, for a short stay with a great set of friends, it was Denver, which eventually was to become my second home. It was end of summer when I landed in Denver and I was completely unaware of the extremely harsh winter that was in store for me. I somehow weathered the first winter, ice-skied in the second and am eagerly looking forward to my third snowy winter in as many years.

I am lucky enough to have my office in downtown which is unlike any of the other downtowns’ in US. I reside close to the 16th Street Mall, which bustles with people even during the harshest of winter weather. The street mall is a mile long road, with about 100 food joints making their presence felt on both sides of the street. The 10 to 15 Starbucks shops lined up on the various corners of the mall street quench your thirst for a morning cuppa hot chocolate or Frappuccino. The united artists’ theatre had provided a perfect getaway on many a Friday evenings for movie buffs like me.

Denver is nicknamed ‘Mile High’ coz it’s a mile above sea level, which makes it an even colder place in winter due to its altitude. But the beauty of a place lies in the people that we meet and I have been really lucky to meet great office colleagues like Ojas, Nachiket and Nikhil with whom I have shared the most memorable times at my office. I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to my first room-mate in Denver, Chaitanya, who provided a roof over my head when I first landed here. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my roomie, my good friend and my younger brother, Arun Kalyan, for without  him, life would not even be half as interesting in Denver. Our Safeway and Gym sessions will definitely be missed wherever I go. A big thank is also in store for my amazing client, Xcel Energy, who have helped me grow immensely in my professional career and have provided me with a very friendly and cordial team to work with. A big thank you to my team-mates Abhishek and Alok also for memorable pleasant hardships we crossed together at work.

However, this post would not end unless I thank the absolutely amazing public transportation system that has brought me safe and sound during the freezing winter nights or from the many trips from the airport to my home and helped me survive without a car in US, as odd as it may sound. As I finish this post I do remember that it time for me to catch my free mall ride and my 83L bus back home with a beautiful ARR melody playing on my I-Phone.

What more can you ask of life? Oh ya, there is lots more to ask but this is one hell of a good start as ‘King Leonidas’ had said in the movie ‘300’.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rainbow People!!

Have you sometimes wondered why people behave the way they do – either good or bad or sometimes, both? I have and so I thought I would write a post on some very interesting people I have met so far.
 
As mom and I watched a Tamil serial “Ethanai Nirangalin Manitharkal” (How many shades of humans), I used to wonder why people do good and bad things to others and sometimes to themselves. Many of these characteristics are transmitted from parents, friends and people we meet in the professional and non-professional world, but some of them exist in our genes by birth.
 
Over the short span of my life, I have met good-hearted, selfless people who would never do harm to anybody like my mother, father and my best friend, Narendra and many others. These people make me believe that if you do good things to others, somebody down the line will return that favor. I have learnt a lot from these people and try to follow their footsteps.
 
To compensate for these good people, I have met certain curious characters, whose main purpose in life is to keep disturbing people, to plot against others and make sure that they create an environment of distrust. In trying to understand these people, I happened to read a few books and also had spoken to some of them. I understood that some of them thought they were doing well to others while others knew that really manipulated people to their advantage. I certainly would not forget two dark shaded characters who have crossed my life for they made me understand the importance of meeting good people.
 
The third group of people are the most amusing ones. They are neither bad nor manipulative, but get manipulated easily. A classic example is a person I know who thinks he has a very good childhood friend but does not understand how his friend uses him to get his work done.
 
So finally I tried analyzing how many people from these groups I may have met and kind of ball-parked on a percentage of 60% good people, 5-10% curious characters and the rest in the easily manipulated state group.
 
All these three groups of people with different shades of characteristics form the different colors of the rainbow. I hope that, as I traverse through many different places and situations in future, I get to meet the only good people. Not all wishes come true or do they?
 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rest In Peace!!


Early morning when my Chitappa broke the news of my grandma’s demise, a sense of shock overtook me. Even though, we all knew it was going to happen sometime in future, the real news perhaps delivered a sucker punch to my normal life.

My earliest memories of my paati were about twenty-five years back when I first went to my native place. She would smile on seeing me, invite me into our ancestral home and give me some sweets to eat. She was ever-smiling and so resilient in life. I have never seen her say that she is hungry or thirsty on any of our long temple trips. She could walk faster and longer than any of us.

She was always beautiful and ever youthful. The last six months were quite cruel to her as she suffered second degree burns when her sari pallu caught fire in the karthigai deepam. Perhaps now, she was at peace with herself. I don’t know how or what I would feel while entering our ancestral home the next time I visit Inida without my paati being there to welcome me. As I begin to choke with emotion on finishing this post, I hope that my Paati’s soul would rest in peace!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What are you doing, Maddy?

As I patiently stood outside a small internet shop about 9 years ago in Tirunelveli, wondering what my cousin would be doing, she came out happily with a printout in her hand. One look at the printout left me in awe. For the first time I had seen somebody take a printout of an actor and it was none other than R.Madhavan or famously called Maddy after his very successful blockbuster movie Alaipayuthey.


I happened to watch the movie long after its Hindi version released on a lazy Sunday night on KTV and instantly I recognized why he was the guy to bet all your money on. Charming, sweet, remarkable acting skills and all girls labeled him ‘CUTE’. I quickly remembered Maddy from the one of the previous serials called Sea Hawks where he essayed the role of a navy officer fighting against drugs and mafia and added a lot of color to his character portraying his funny side more often in it.

His next movie, Minnale instantly became a cult movie and was also re-made in hindi called Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein. But my favorite movie of his is ‘Dum Dum Dum’ in which he essays the role of a young lawyer who is forced to marry a village belle against his wishes. This is one movie which I would have watched over 50 times with my mother (not an avid movie watcher like me), for she likes the movie too.

Movies like Run changed his image into an action hero and his last major solo hit Thambi gave him an extended lease of life. However, his career took a wrong direction after Anbe Sivam(his role was praised in the movie), and he has seen his career plummeting like the Nasdaq during the recent recession.

I read his recent interview where he said he had no idea where he got the chocolate boy image from. Oh, com’on Maddy, your that's your USP mate. Not everyone is a Kamal Hasan to be able to do anything and everything they want and even he did it only after 25 years of acting in chocolate boy roles. I believe Maddy should look closely at the career of SRK who was praised for his roles in Bazigar and Darr but it was the next door lover boy roles in DDLJ, KKHH and Dil to Pagal hai that has helpd rise to dizzying heights.

I was very upset to see a great actor like him just stand behind Aamir khan in most of the scenes doing literally nothing in 3 idiots and perhaps even worse was his acting in comical negative shade character in his latest flop Manmadhan Ambu. His next flop ‘Tanu weds Manu’ has only strengthened my opinion that he should leave off his fixation over Bollywood movies and get back to a superb lover boy role with perhaps… Mani Ratnam.

A romantic movie with you, Asin and Mani sir would be the perfect platform for your re-entry into Kollywood back again. I hope you can enthrall us all again with your million dollar smile and some fabulous acting back again. Hoping to see you in a good movie soon..