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Archive for December, 2010

 

Countdown to fly home

Did my eyes read it right??? Are my eyes deceiving me???

I just can’t seem to believe it. All along everyone in my family have been counting down for various reasons – Birthdays, New Years, Anniversaries, House Warming dates, Holidays etc. More recently a countdown for our trip more so than the New Year.

Lost in the gazillion countdowns that we have had, and having been so used to it, the days left didn’t seem to matter much because I kept telling myself – ‘Don’ t get too excited! You’ve got 2-3 more weeks to go. So pipe down’. So pipe down I did. Squashed all my excitement and childish fantasies so I did not become hyper excited and behave like a kid with a sugar rush.

And here came the weekend, I checked the calendar just now to see the number of days to go…and my eyes very nearly popped out….I tell you, it was such a strain to my optical nerves!!!

Wonder of wonders I am onto single digit days without me even realising it!!! Time flies…..Only 7 more days to go, and I’ll be ‘Home Sweet Home’.

As usual I still have one week of counting down, wishing that the Calendar pages would fly as fast as a bullet train.

Come on slow poke, MOVE!!!

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Tamil script - Photo source - http://www.southindianassociation.org

Here I was on a mundane Wednesday, twiddling my thumbs thinking what I should do next. I settled down with my laptop, decided that I will listen to Rahman and Ilayaraja hits.

The moment I started listening to the songs, I was awash in a sea of nostalgia. The mesmeric quality of the music and honeyed lyrics filled my spirit with a longing so fierce, I wanted to possess the beauty and the harmony, the music and lyrics evoked in me, yet I also wanted to release it free and wild so it can soar to even greater heights.

But what made this music even more special than it already was, is the language I heard it in. The familiar intonations and emphasis on syllables, stress and roll of the tongue on these words brought about the realisation that it was such a joy to hear my own mother tongue. To hear Tamil in its grandeur, lounging in the abode of literary heaven, in the form of poetry or in this case lyrics was most beautiful.

My awe for the lyricists and poets has amplified ten fold. I was struck by their power to give each word and sentence new meaning, creating new levels of understanding and interpretation, heighten imagination in ways a common man couldn’t possibly envision. These are the people who by the play of words could exaggerate and magnify the beauty of a simple flower and make it look like an exotic orchid.

I do speak in my mother tongue at home, which is colloquial and makes it sound so drab. But there is a difference when heard in poetic form which gives me a sense of contentment. Its simply inspiring! To explain the difference between colloquial Tamil and poetic Tamil would be challenging. But here goes… If I speak Tamil, its like a danseuse practising in her track pants. But hearing Tamil in lyrical form is something akin to a danseuse in a splendid costume giving the performance of her lifetime.

There are so many songs with great lyrics. But listed below are the lyrics that set off this deluge of appreciation.

Tamil lyrics –
“Veerapaandi kottaiyilae,
Minnal adikkum vaellaiyilae,
Oorum aarum thoongumbodhu,
Poovum nilavum saayumbodhu,
Kolusu sattham manasa thirudiyathae”

English Translation –
“In the fortress of warrior Veerapaandi,
At the time that the lightning was striking,
When the whole town and river was sleeping,
When the flowers and moon were resting,
The sound of anklets stole my heart”

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Besant Nagar Beach

It’s all about my upcoming trip to India. A myriad of emotions that are buzzing in my head. Excitement, Happiness, Apprehension, Worry, Anxiety, Eagerness, Impatience and few emotions that I cannot even begin to describe.

I have become so used to doing things in my own pace and set in my ways, kind of like being ‘institutionalised’ like Morgan Freeman says in The Shawshank Redemption. It is going to be quite a challenge to be able to adapt quickly to change in time zones, food, water, climate, people etc albeit only for 5 weeks.

When one of my colleagues asked me if I was excited to be going back home, I replied – “Yes I was!” And said to her that I had a very strong feeling that I was going to be viewing my own home town with different eyes. She replied with her own reflection of life experience that I would indeed. She said – It’s going to be a new experience and that I was going to invariably end up comparing lifestyles no matter what. I must say that I agree with her. After all we are all human. People keep telling me that it is not fair to compare. But having lived in India for a good 20+ years, living now in NZ for 3+ years and returning back to India for a short period, the comparison is all but inevitable. One thing I have decided though is that I will not be judgemental about my observations and comparison.

With 3 weeks to go, I can hardly wait for the calendar pages to fly. What is this trip going to hold? I wonder if I would be able to handle my own home town the way I did back then. I had this ‘take-the- bull- by-its-horns’ attitude back then which has now mellowed down so much, it makes me ponder if I still have a bit of that fire to handle Madras this time round. My family members back home keep telling me of the ever mushrooming malls, numerous eateries, restaurants and boutiques. That Madras has changed so much and become the hub for an urbane lifestyle down south. Café & Pub culture, shopping extravaganza, Multiplexes and what not. I was there at the beginning of it all three years back. But to see it post fruition with the city pulsing with vivacity is an experience I am really looking forward to.

I also want to recapture some of my happy memories by visiting spots and doing things that I still reminisce with a fondness and smile. Be it a morning breakfast at Murugan Idli after watching the sunrise at Elliott’s Beach, or be it indulging in Masala Poli and Mysorepa bought by dad from Sri Krishna Sweets, or be it jamming sessions or endless conversations way into the night with my darling  mother and sister and much much more. I want to do at least some of it, if not all.

My thirst for challenges still remains unquenched. So bring it on Madras. Hit me with your best!!!

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