Tuesday, May 28, 2013

F for - Fun

Mokka podaatha naala oru naalavay consider pannapdaaathungarathu I the very strongly feel about. Eppo paaru seriousa irunthaalum bore aaiduthula. Letting go of ones inhibitions and konjam kooda kavala padama oru naaliku oru anju nimisham iruka mudinjalum..those 5 minutes would worth living for I guess.  So...here is to a day filled with mokkais and fun and laughter :) Have a blast :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

E for -Ennna koduma saaar ithu

"Arangetra velai" padam paathirukeengala?

Athula Sakthi Nadaga Sabha owner VK Ramasamykku adikadi wrong calls varum. Each time he would answer the phone only to get pissed off.

Same thing with our landline number. Ours and enga area Oriental Bank of Commerce number differ just by the last digit. On an average we will get atleast half a dozen calls per day. And when we tell them that they've the wrong number, at times people refuse to believe and would argue how can the number they dialled be wrong when they are so sure of it!!! Adai...thappa dial pannathu nee...enna kaetta enaku epdi theriyum nu badil solli maalaathu. Oru stageku mela ivanunga imsai thaangaama..the moment they say Oriental we used to cut the call saying wrong number.

Ipdithaan one day, we got a call for the bank.

"Hello..OBC yaa?"
"huh? ileenga naanga MBC"
This time the line got disconnected from the other end.

Annilenthu eppo call vanthaalum ithaan response. Namma oorula caste nameka panjam. Each time a different category. And ipolaam avlo frequenta call varathilla :D

Sunday, May 19, 2013

D- for Dream

Abdulkalam sir sonna rangekulaam ilaanaalum..adikadi oru dream varum.

I used to read lot of comics. Lot is less infact. Avlo comics used to read. Athula Lion comics na romba ishtam. I forgot which story it was but it went something on the lines of "I am legend" movie by Will Smith. Some deadly disease wipes out half the planet and only those with a weird blood group only survives the apocalyptic scenario. Athuku mela how the story unfolds I've no clue. But that theme of a few people surviving doomsday got stuck on mind and I used to have my own version of it running as a recurring dream. In all those dreams I would be standing on top of a jagged cliff, with the entire landscape down below surrounded by a greyish hue, smoke emanating from burnt down places and no sign of any life form on the horizon. No birds, no clouds, no moisture in air and the sky would be having an orangish kind of color. It would be so realistic that half the time I wouldn't even realise I had been dreaming. When the Will Smith movie trailer came, I was surprised to say the least and the dreams started again :)

It stopped after a while. Later when I got to read "Prelude to Foundation" by Assimov, the dreams started again. This time, I am the lone survivor from an erstwhile era, with the knowledge of the entire course of human history of that time. The people of the future would be querying me about the ways of life of the bygone era and would be calling me as the database. There was a character with ditto similarity on the story, on search of whom, Harry Sheldon (??) goes on a quest across planets. This novel especially had a deep impact on me. Will do a separate post on it later :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

C- for Crush :D

 Azhagendra sollukkku Albava Andreava!!
 My first crush ever...Rachel Green  :) (Jennifer Anistona pudikathu..but Rachel is avvvvv)
 Thirteen is unlucky number for many...but not for HOUSE MD series...Olivia Wilde..really wild!!
 And current crush...Coby Smoulders (no pun :D ) from How I Met Your Mother...Hot she is!!!

P.S: Intha postkaana hit count thania track panni paakren :D

Saturday, May 11, 2013

B- for bulbu

Vaazhkkaina bulbu vaangaama iruka mudiathu.
Aaaana....bulbu vaangarathaiye vazhkkaiyaai kondavarum irukaa thaan seiyaranga. Ithula gils entha categorynu u the know.

Thavam irunthu kadavul kitta varam kooda vaangidalam..tatkalla irctcla ticket kedaikarathu atha vida kushtam. First namma stationkaana codelenthay keragam start aaidum. Entha code karumam poataalum kaundamaniya paatha senthil mathirye bekka bekka nu irukkum. Aprum arai manasa accept pannikitu train listlam kaattum. Ithu varaikum..oru thadava kooda nenacha dateku ticket vanthathilla. Panjaangam paathu payanikkarathu poitu ipolam irctc paathu thaan, amma naal kurikarathay. Whichever day we get tickets, automatically becomes the auspicious of dates, for its blessed by the divine irctc server itself!!

Ipidi Thamaai thavam irunthu, vetri kodi katti, oru Porkaalathula book pannina ticketa Pokkishama paadhukaathu, took it without forgetting on the day of travel. Usuala will forget the ticket or book it on some day and would miss travelling that day..ithelaam thaandi will forget ID card. Apdi ethuvum ilaama intha vaati triple checked everything and was pakka confident that nothing can go wrong.


It did went wrong.

Antha solla marantha kathaiya thaan ippo telling (idhukku mela cheran padam link panna mudiyala :D)

TTR came. I proudly gave my ticket. He asked for ID proof and while I was rummaging for my renewed voter id, he started checking tickets of saga prayaanis. When he saw my ID he chuckled and asked if I've any other valid IDs. Since I was so sure (aka vidhi) i asked him "ennna kutram kandeer...sol kutrama illai porul kutrama??" nu thirvilaiyaadal sivaji rangeku asked. "Boss...mrs.vidhya nu poaatu unga foto potruku..idhu entha category kutramnu neengalay sollunga" nu that nakeerar replied.

Vaazhkkaila bulbu vaangaalaam....
Aaaana....bulbu vaangarathaiye vazhkkaiyaana..... avvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Thursday, May 09, 2013

A- for avatharam

What is the meaning of the word Avatharam - was a question I read somewhere, but couldn't quite reach to the answer section. While reading the Meluhan trilogy the question again came to mind. Do you guys know that the real meaning of the word "Avatharam" is "descent"?!!! While we worship most of the avatharams as Gods, originally they are a step down from their own divine self. Of course if you take a whole lot of stuff from infinity what remains is still infinitely more. Still why the avatharams are a step down from the divinity called god?!!

To start with, the reason why the avatharams had to be taken by god in first place. Myth, story, fiction or imagination whatever the case maybe,  the mistakes made by gods more often than not are the reason for them to "descend" down to earth. Apart from the first 2, the rest of the cast of the dasavatharam would've been to destroy evil. In other words, the avatars side with the good to root out the evil. This I felt could be another reason why an avatar is never given the due respect as the original divine form, for god never takes sides. Be it good or evil, god grants them their wishes for their penance. When the use of boon becomes abuse, he has to kick himself for being so naïve and takes a different form each time to root out the evil. Such a costly price for being naïve :)

Read somewhere that the dasavatharam actually resonates the life cycle evolution. Machavataram represents that life started in water in aquatic form, koorma-amphibious, varaga-terrestrial and for narasimma I couldn't find any description. Wonder if it would've referred to the first mutant human? half primate half human? and then pygmies in vaamana representation and rest of the series have more than enough explanation. Interestingly the concept of proverbial flooding of the world and a sample of every living thing being taken aboard a mighty ship finds occurrence in both the Bible and here as well!!

Trying this as a part of the a-z series :) not sure how many alphabets I can cover as posts :D lets see :D

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Meluhan trilogy

Finally completed the third book of the Meluhan trilogy - The oath of  Vayuputras. I actually wanted to write a review on the second once it was done. But since the final part of the series was also launched by then decided to club it together. There is another reason to it. Its the way the trilogy has been structured.

When I first heard of the book, the name was very catchy - Meluha. And the cover had a picture of muscular Shiva. Infact all the 3 books have Shiva on their covers. But interestingly none has his face visible. Another thing that irked my curiosity was the way the trilogy had been structured. By now every one knows that its based on Shivapuranam. But what I didn't like was they way it was split into 3. The author might've weaved a wonderful imaginative story but at its heart its still the Puranam in its original form. He might've given his interpretative twist to it, but anyone who has read the original know the story and how it ends. Its for this very reason I felt the way in which he tries to dramatise the ending of the first two books, was unnecessary. This is definitely not pulp fiction or some mystery series. The first part ends in a cliff hanger and the hapless readers have to wait an year to get to the second part. Which again leaves readers in quandary over the return of a character supposedly dead some 500 pages before the ending. Both the endings, were very cinematic and the follow up sections to those endings are a huge let down. Its at these junctures, phirangi English authors scores over our local ones. Take for example the second of the series, The Story of Nagas. The plot involving Nagas comes so late into the book, you would almost wonder why the book was titled on them. It continues right from the next line where the story ended in first part. Same goes for the third book. Though named on the Vayuputras, their story comes almost 400 plus pages into the book. It gives a feeling that all the 3 books were written in one shot and just to make them appear like a trilogy they did a physical cut on the story into three parts of about 600 pages each.

Another complaint I've is on the third part again. Sati gets killed and Shiva wants vengeance. Though the Meluhans had nothing to do with her killing, for the sake of their motherland, they decide to get themselves destroyed along with their country. Just for the sake of sticking to the original, in which Shiva goes on a Rudra thandava spree and threatens to destroy the world, after killing Daksha and destroying his yagna, the author, needn't have resorted to this way of an ending to Meluha. Felt it reduced the dignity of otherwise peerless Shiva.

Now to the positives. They are aplenty. Firstly kudos to the wonderful imagination. In a country that is fanatically devoted to idol worship, both literally and figuratively, the author has done a tight rope walk of humanising the all powerful shiva and has taken the right amount of literary freedom while telling the story, never going overboard. His amazingly simple explanation for "har har mahadev" (every one is a mahadev)and the way he describes the reason for each name, be it person or place is awesome. I loved the portion where he reveals Ganesh's name, lord of the people and the lead up to the revelation. The way he ties up every single thread from start to finish is again an amazing aspect across the trilogy. The war scenes have been described to the minutest detail possible and one could almost visualise the battles.

Shiva, as a god has been someone I revere. More out of a fear inducing respect or vice versa, i really don't know. But there is definitely a mysticism about the lord. He comes across as a more silent and reserved persona with infinite power and wisdom simmering underneath the calm exterior. Though Vishnu comes across as a playful god across his many avatars, with his prema leelais, to me Shiva is the ultimate loverboy /man. Especially the one involving Sati in the original purana. He is so smitten with love for her, her loss makes him loose his cool and he goes ballistically human only to be stopped by Vishnu. His place of stay is also harsh and inhospitable and makes it difficult for his followers to reach him. But once they do overcome the hardships, its eternal bliss. This trilogy, dilutes the bliss factor to a maximum possible effect, maybe because of the interest shown by Karan Johar to make it into a movie. But is still an indisputable page turner of a novel. Wishing for more such books :)

(Thanks to vid for sharing the third part..u r a real chum :))

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Its all in the name - icebreaker

After coming back to Chennai, I've re-joined Toastmasters. In a span of 11 months, the people who were my "batch mates", have improved leaps and bounds and it feels so happy to see them sauntering on the stage, as if they own the place. The kind of confidence that they exude is amazing and having seen both ends of their performances I am Live witness to their growth story. I wanted to start afresh and was pestering the folks to give me a chance to get back into the groove. It took a whole 6 weeks for them to even consider my "petty-shun" and finally they told me, if I could find a mentor I can start giving my prepared speeches. Luckily the best speaker of the lot was available on the very day I was searching for my guru and he willingly agreed. Another victim unknown of the proverb "look before you leap".

Ice breaker is the first topic in the Competent Communicator manual, per which one has to talk about themselves for close to 7 minutes. Somehow the people who have designed the categories have decided that, for nascent speakers, talking about themselves. Year after year when it comes to the self appraisal time, how much of a struggle it is, is something most of us would've felt and undergone. And since I had already spoken once on the same topic, its doubly tougher. So, here goes nothing. Another attempt to win the coveted ribbon :)

Chennai and month of May are synonymous with 2 things.

Its little wonder you would hardly find many Chennai born Gemini's. 3 decades back, it was no less cooler. On a tar melting Thursday afternoon, a lady was struggling on the labour ward of a leading hospital to deliver her first born. And yeah. That was me. I wasn't told whether they were present in the hospital or not at the time of my delivery, but it seems like most grand parents, mine too was very eager about my time of birth. Right on dot I was born at 2.45 PM, at peak rahukalam, a not so auspicious time of the day. Rahukalam became my name call for my granddad, much to the chagrin of my mom.

At my naming ceremony, my mom had wanted me to be named Shankar. Somehow the elders of the family always want to thrust their spear of importance on such occasions. My uncle, decided to use his veto at that very moment and he wanted to include his guru's name in mine. So what would've been just Shankar got a Vidhya prefixed to it and so were scores of embarrassing situations, Vidya being a common name amongst girls. Just to give an oneliner on those situations, there were 3 vidhya's on my class, me being the only guy and to add to misery there were a couple of Nithya's and Divya's as well. Till today, whenever someone says YEAH loudly, I would turn in that direction, wondering if it could've been me, they are addressing. And since I was studying in a CBSE school, the demography was a mix and match of kids from all over India. So naturally, vidhya went through many transformations and finally settled on Bidda. I seriously doubt if anyone from my school would know me by my real name or full name.

After a dozen years, having been addressed by a variety of spelling, I entered into my UG course, with hopes of making a "name" for myself. Preferably my original one. Fate had different plans for me. To put it mildly, the nick name I was rechristened, stuck with me forever and it has almost became an alter ego of mine.

Then I moved on to my office life. And had forgotten about my name related issues for a while. All throughout I had always thought mine is an unique name with an even unique spelling. And contrary to the saying that lightening never strikes the same place twice, I am now in a team where my manager is also a vidyashankar. Almost every single day, atleast one mail per day gets addressed wrongly to us and after a lot of debating and arguing and wrangling, we have finally decided that I would be addressed by my full name and he would be called as vidya. As they say, life has come a full circle.

For the very first time, in my conscious life, an official decree has been passed on my name and everyone is addressing me by my full name. For my manager though, its still not redemption time, yet. Until, another vidya enters the scene, I guess I will enjoy the ownership. So long folks. Will try to catch up with you soon. (This is what I've planned to say coming Tuesday, if things go well and I do get a chance to speak)