Friday, March 10, 2023

Kaattumalli, The Best - Viduthalai Part 1

Raja has once again proved that he is the raja (king) of music.

After a long wait, Ilaiyaraaja has composed a song at his best for the Tamil film Viduthalai (liberation) called Kaattumalli. It's not that he hasn't recorded songs in a long time, but those weren't relieving up to this point. My first listen made me fall in love with this composition, and I feel nostalgic about it, and the visuals match the track tracing through the forest.  

The song, along with the lyrics, in visual form on YouTube, makes it simple to understand and perceive. Not to mention, the song was written by Ilaiyaraja, and he has also sung the song along with Ananya Bhat. 

From the trailer, I think Viduthalai to be a different movie and sure to make an impact since it comes from  Vetrimaaran, a director for transformation. The film will give a break to Soori, who has only done comedy scenes so far, and he looks perfect for a police jeep driver-turned-constable. However, the song is the most enjoyable to listen to! 

Saturday, March 04, 2023

Fighting with Anxiety

Anxiety and panic attacks have been bothering me for a while now, and I'm finding it difficult to ignore the unwanted thoughts and concentrate on my regular work. I couldn't pinpoint the source of my anxiety because it was a thought or distraction related to my overall existence. I remember how clear my mind was a few weeks ago and how being alone and doing nothing didn't bother me, unlike now, when I wanted to be around someone or watch something active, like street activities or television, to distract myself from distracting thoughts. 

I almost believe it was because I slept less or frequently awoke at night. Until a few days ago, I felt sheepish as I approached midday, and a cup of coffee or tea would perk me up. Yes, I believe it's the reason—my sleepiness was disturbed—that drew me to drowsiness during the day, which may have paved the way for abnormal thoughts, distraction, and anxiety. 

I realized how I was losing sleep, and it was my attendant, who showed up early in the morning to assist my parents in putting me in the bath that was disrupting my sleep. My attendant works in an ortho clinic and has to be there by 9 a.m., so he has to put me to bathe before that, and my usual time of waking up is never less than 8 a.m., and mostly I get deep sleep nearly close to waking up; I have to force myself awake so that he is on time for his primary job. In this condition, I made a night trip while returning from Kodaikanal on February 1. It was a nightmare that took me a few days to become stable. Perhaps this was the source of my confusion.

I checked with the doctor, and he prescribed me a tablet to take at night for sleeping and relaxation (explored on google to know its purpose) for 30 days, but I haven't taken it yet because I'm feeling better now, but I decided to take it if I feel need it. I'm confident I will come out of this dilemma with much-needed sleep (to get clear without taking medicine) and concentrate on my regular activities. Let's see 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

NH 45

NH 45 is a famous National Highway in Tamil Nadu that begins in Chennai and ends at Kumuli in Kerala. It is also called the GST (Grand Southern Trunk) Road or the Chennai-Trichy Highway, a vital road to connect the southern districts of Tamil Nadu and a highway that I have traveled a lot.
(Batlagundu bypass)

Since we travel to Kodaikanal frequently, NH 45 is the shortest and easiest route for us to take. It is a single-long stretch of road from Chennai and up to Batlagundu or Sempatty, where we turn left to drive up the mountains. This road has become familiar to us, and we also got bored seeing the same landscape, locations, and bare highway. However, NH 45 has the smoothest road compared to the Chennai-Bangalore highway, and the double lane from Dindigul to Kumuli is also fantastic.

(A scenic drive toward Cumbum valley, and this is one of my favorite spots)

Actually, Dindigul to Kumuli is my favorite route, and I enjoy traveling on it for scenic views at any time because the road travels along the western ghats and fertile lands and becomes generous as we enter the Cumbum valley with its three sides of mountains. During our nighttime travels on this road, we could see the lights of Kodaikanal blinking like a bunch of stars dumped in one place.

(Chennai-Trichy highway, during a winter foggy morning.)

I saw NH 45 signs on the same road, but Google Maps assigns different numbers to this road at various points. When I search Google Maps for NH 45 Tamil Nadu, it only shows a short stretch of road across Dindigul town and another across Madhya Pradesh state. And NH 44 denotes the road from Kanyakumari to Agra, which was earlier designated as NH 7. On Google Maps, there is a lot of variation and confusion with highway numbers that refer to early numbers. 

Whatever the number, this NH 45 is unavoidable and easier to access in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. 

Friday, February 24, 2023

Nephews Time

It's been ten days since my nephew Kavin went to his maternal grandparents' home; life seems void, and I feel like I'm missing him, which I haven't shown anybody. I know he needs this break, and we can't always hold him because his maternal side has the right to spend time with him, and he hasn't visited them in two months. 

Even though he causes trouble and is sometimes stubborn, his sweetness, tenderness, and care move me to my core in ways I haven't felt before. He was on video call last night and started crying when he saw my mom and a worried expression on my and my father's faces. He's so attached to my mother that he could spend an entire day with her without his parents, which is difficult for her now, no matter how much she relaxes these days. 

Kavin has the ability to enchant anyone with his intellect, and these days we miss the booster for life in his absence. I'm glad he got to play with other little kids (from Kavin's maternal aunt) at his grandparents' house because he has to play alone here or with adults like us who can't meet their needs unless my other nephew Jeswanth arrives. However, putting the two nephews together causes a commotion because they both want to do the same things. 

There's nothing as challenging as watching these kids play together without pulling or pushing each other and playing tug of war for the same thing because we could not scold one while leaving the other, which may cause embarrassment within the relationship between adults. Even though we know it's a random thing that happens when two kids meet, I want their relationship to remain one of the friends despite their disparate attitudes.   

These are casual images taken last month when the kids spent time together, and Kavin, who is easily prone to cold, was packed in a woolen monkey cap to keep the winter cold at bay, and he wore the same one on the trip to Kodaikanal last month. 

My contribution to Skywatch Friday: A beautiful sky from Kodaikanal

Monday, February 20, 2023

RGB Monday

 Colorful kolams from the neighborhood that was drawn for Pongal.

These are kolams drawn by my childhood friend Karthi's wife! She is a talented woman who does well in the arts. I have shared her Pongal kolams already here in 2021. Last year she didn't draw anything, and when I think about why I remember that she was pregnant then and now a mother of a 7- or 8-month-old cute baby girl. I met the baby a couple of times when I went for an evening walk on Sundays; the baby was so delicate and small compared with other kids her age to bear at hand.

During the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, she makes the Ganesh idol out of clay with her own hands.