Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ponniyin Selvan (It's not about the Film) !

Know what's the trend in South Indian social media right now? It's Ponniyin Selvan. In short, PS-1. 

When I first saw the PS-1 commercial on social media, I immediately thought of anything similar to India's PSLV (The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle). 

Ponniyin Selvan is a well-known classic historical novel in Tamil authored by Kalki that requires no introduction if you are from Tamil Nadu, India's southernmost state. It is a timeless novel that was serialized for three and a half years before being published in five volumes in 1955; now, after many attempts, the book has been adapted into a film by acclaimed filmmaker Manirathnam! 

It is impossible to shrink a five-series novel (a storyline that lasts 8 months) into a three-hour film, so the production team opted to divide the movie into two parts, with PS-1 being the first.   

I have never read such an inspiring and suspenseful historical novel. As captivating fiction, the book tells the story of the greatest king of Tamil Nadu, Raja Raja Chozan, also known as Ponniyin Selvan, and Aruilmozi Varman. I loved reading this book, or more precisely, I enjoyed traveling through it, and it takes us to numerous locations within the Chola kingdom a thousand years ago. 

I had wanted to read this book for a long time. However, I made it in 2022, and I picked the English translation of this mammoth work over the original in Tamil, which I am convinced is more emotional. I  like to read Ponniyin Selvan in Tamil to get that experience again. I've been fascinated by this story for a few months and have become familiar with the characters and wish it could go on forever since I was eager to know what happened next; the novel never lags because the scene varies. 

Even though the book is about Ponniyin Selvan (whose regime the Chozha Empire reached lands beyond the high seas), my favorite character is Vandhiya Devan, the true protagonist who carries the story on his shoulders. Mostly, it was through him we glimpse the beauty of the great Chozha country, and his role in missions was adventurous and exhilarating, adding to the fantastic visions I had throughout the subject. The narration and facts of the Chozha Empire and its clan are fascinating to read and convey the magnificence of the Chozha dynasty. However, pride comes from knocking down a country for revenge, and fighting against other kingdoms only highlights an empire's valor unless the country is in the hold of grief or oppressive rule. 

I am more engaged in this book than in any other book I have read so far, and I was obliged to reread a lot of phrases, paragraphs,  chapters, or scenarios to experience the feel or feel of the content. When I was in the latter half of the series, news about PS 1 started circulating in the media; I strictly avoided everything relevant to the film from entering my consciousness (at least until I finished reading the book) to avoid distractions from the air-drawn imagination I drew. 

Some of the places I visited in Chozha country, such as Thanjavur (the capital of Chozhas at the time of the story), Kumbakonam, Nagapattinam, and Kodikkarai, influenced my imagination. I fantasize about erasing all forms of development and replacing them with wilderness and greenery dotted with small towns and villages and contrasting them with palaces. Every time the story centers on Thanjavur, the fortification and the gateways to the Big Temple and the moat and the river that runs beside it make a magnificent mixture of fort and palaces.

The version (of Ponniyin Selvan) I read was rendered in English by Varalotti Rengasamy; I chose him because when I looked for the book, only he had the entire series of five, so I could read the novel without stopping. I truly enjoy the author Kalki's simple and direct narrative and approach to constructing a plot about the bravest and most powerful kingdom ever known in Tamil Nadu. And crowning it all is the sacrifices of Ponniyin Selvan, according to the author, are the essential component of the story that inspired him to write this magnum work. 

I'm so invested in the book that I believe I could visualize and recall every aspect of it if I decided to sit back and draw scenes without reading it, which is the novel's strength. Please read the book if you haven't already. If you don't want to read, you can watch the upcoming film (releases on Sep 30) instead. But, whether you watch the movie or not, I wish everyone read Ponniyin Selvan. 


Friday, September 23, 2022

Cloudy Eyes

My sky

I look into his eyes 

The cloudy eyes say something 

A query that emits fire in words

Yet an intensity hides behind those eyes.

It's a question of concern or contempt 

I tempt, but I keep my emotions in check.

In a pacified tone, I explained 

What he expects is impossible  

But time will implement everything.


Linking this post with Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Signs2: Nurse


The sign of a nurse was captured in front of a medical shop (in a village called Markayankottai in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu) and the sign also indicates the same in a metal cut out in the shape of a standing nurse. 

When I was watching the Tamil film Viruman on Prime Video recently, I saw the same nurse sign in one of the scenes when the villain rests his arm on the metal sign while observing the area. I was so excited to see the sign I paused it and scrolled through the photos on my phone to make sure I wasn't mistaken. Yes, it was the same, and I almost forgot it until I saw the movie.


Monday, September 19, 2022

RGB Monday

Kavin, my nephew, is having fun with his colorful toys!


I purchased this beach toy set since he is fascinated by the winnow, mug, and other home-cleaning items. Kavin is already 11 months old and will celebrate his first birthday on October 26th. We are excited to hold the event in some venue close to home that is also handy for me to attend. 

I bought a xylophone for my other nephew, Jeswanth, a year ago. But it serves the purpose only now; Kavin understands how the instrument works and knocks the metal bars with the sticks, but he still puts the wood stick (shaped like a Lolipop) in his mouth (as shown in the image) and hits the note with another. He occasionally knocks with both sticks. He's intelligent and patiently listens and watches things before going ahead. I'm also working on a birthday video for him, using photos I've shot so far and doing my best to make it look good. 


Friday, September 16, 2022

Skywatch from the Balcony


Here are some sky-watching shots on September 5th and 7th from outside the balcony. The sky resembled children's artwork, with puffy clouds patching the sky and woven together in blue lace. At the same time, the sun was sinking, illuminating the cotton clouds, causing them to gleam white, while the western part of the sky resembled a soiled shirt washed in an unknown detergent rather than the one represented by the advertisement. 

The contrail above is from an aircraft that should have just passed, but it appears I was a little late to come out to look at the sky. Consequently, the contrail began to wear out.

Linking this post with Skywatch Friday

Friday, September 09, 2022

Stormwater Drain Reconstruction and Mosquito Menace!

Stormwater drain reconstruction was the worst project the Greater Chennai Corporation had ever carried on. The idiots who accepted contracts are inexperienced, and the people they hired are from north India. They were nothing more than random laborers; they had no concept of their worth, and executing others was also a flaw. Their labor has degraded the charm of our street, and the stormwater drain does not form a clean line, instead winding up and down like ghats. 

They started on June 3rd and have completed 80% of the project, which isn't very pleasant because it opens the door to mosquitoes. The most significant impact of this initiative was that it transformed the city into a mosquito breeding ground! We never had a mosquito problem in the summer. The time we slept with open windows for fresh air at night was quite spoiled, and every day has become a nightmare, as we only get to sleep late at night after killing countless mosquitoes. 

The breaking down of sewage pipes that cross stormwater drains to reach the main line that runs under the middle of the road was the cause of the mosquito problem. Unless we insist, when they excavate or build the concrete walls, they break the pipe and go, leaving the sewage water to do their job, and the sewage water fills the stormwater drain and breeds mosquitoes. It is not sure that they will repair the sewage line, and it may continue to flow into the stormwater drain that may not get into their concern, and there won't be an end to mosquitoes. 

Thinking along these lines, I purchased a mosquito-killing machine or lamp, as described, but the mosquitoes didn't seem to care and appeared to want just flesh and blood! The device emits ultraviolet light, which seems to lure mosquitos, and when they get close to the light, the powerful fan within sucks the mosquitos to kill with its blades or at the least traps them till they die. I wasn't impressed with the machine, but I kept it running at night to see how much it could hold to keep us asleep. 

I really wish the stormwater drain contractors would work with sense and responsibility because it is a public service, and they paid with people's tax money. Local authorities must thoroughly inspect them and severely punish them for their mistakes. I feel sorry for the Corporation commissioner, G Singh,  an honest man, to be caught between these corrupted things—a political affair—of selecting contractors who do not deserve professionalism. The local administration's chief is someone the city has never seen before, and she has no idea what she's doing rather than being a show doll!  

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

துடிக்கும் இதயம் / A beating heart

துடிக்கும் நெஞ்சு,  துயர் துடைக்க யாரும் இன்றி;

சில சமயம், இறுக்கத்தில், இலகுவாக அணைக்க யாரும் இன்றி; 

இரவெல்லாம் வெறுமையை நோக்கி, விழிபிதிங்கி நிற்க 

நம்பிக்கை எனும் கயிறு தளந்துகொண்டே செல்ல 

எவற்றை சாட, எவற்றை நாட என மனம் தடுமாற  

விதியே என மௌனமாய் செல்கிறேன் . 

கண்ணீர் விட்டு அழ கூட த்ராணியாற்று 

என் துயர் துடைக்க மற்றவர் துயர் அடைய விருப்பம்மின்றி

சிதைந்து கொண்டிக்குகிறது மனது, தசைசிதைவோடு! 


A throbbing chest, with no one to wipe away the sorrow;

Sometimes tightens, with no one to embrace lightheartedly;

To stay awake all night  in search of emptiness

The rope of faith gets unfasten; 

The mind is confused as to what to curse and what to seek

I go silently as it is my destiny.

Don't even dare to cry; 

I don't want others to suffer to wipe away my pain

Mind degenerates along with muscular dystrophy!


Thursday, September 01, 2022

Ganesh Chaturthi 2022

Ganesh Chaturthi, a renowned Indian festival, was celebrated yesterday by Hindus all around the world. The festival is celebrated based on Lord Ganesha's birth anniversary. Similar to that of Lord Krishna's that fell two weeks ago, parents conducted the event at home. 

Two days before the festival, our street had tube lights on one side, and a colorful sequence of Ganesha portraits was installed opposite our home, facing the backstreet, and a large one on the street corner, which I couldn't see from the balcony. So I have the one above, opposite us, and it was all arranged by the backstreet men. 

The Ganesh temple is on the backstreet, and every year the guys over there collect money from the residents to run the festival, which they have been doing for the past two weeks; the decorations, special prayer arrangements, and night procession were all done with that money. What they have spent is a partial amount, with the remainder going into their pockets, as I am sure this happens with most of the temples where the local boys administer the festival. 

My father bought a medium-sized clay idol of Ganesha, from temporary roadside stalls, for worship, and I find the clay idol to be beautiful in shape with drawn eyes (and other elements) rather than a standard red-black pod jutting out of the face and festooned with crown flowers adorning Ganesh's neck. Mom then embellished the idol with jewels and other flowers and performed puja while preparing meals and other ingredients. 

After the worship, the clay idol was immersed in a pail of water to dissolve in the water later that evening. Typically, clay idols will be dissolved in adjacent water bodies; we used to do the same around 13 years ago, or until we adapted the idea of dissolving the clay idol in a bucket of water and using the muddy water for gardening. Some have recently proposed the novel notion of creating idols with a seed inside and then burying the idol to help grow trees. 

After a long wait, the Ganesh procession from the backstreet temple arrived at our house at 11 p.m., after going around all the streets in our neighborhood. Because we are at one end of the road, the procession too terminates there and returns to the temple. I was in bed by the time the promenade arrived at our house, so dad took a few photos from the balcony while mum went down to worship the Ganesha in the procession. And the day ends. 


Monday, August 29, 2022

Friday, August 26, 2022

Confining!


Stretch your arms,

Embrace as much as you can, 

When you can stretch your arms 

Why do you restrain yourself?

Loving oneself isn't wrong

But rejecting someone who longs!

I try to embrace 

You, slipping out of my grip 

Thinking as I'm imprisoning you

And squeeze you to death.

I know, over-gripping makes breathlessness 

But running away makes you feel the same.

I'm not to hurt anybody 

But trying to live and let others do the same.


Monday, August 22, 2022

The Fogg!

I don't follow cricket!

Someone could find my statement amusing, especially when it comes from someone from a cricket-loving country. But that isn't the point here. It's Fogg! 

My father is a huge cricket fan, and now he's obsessed with the India-Zimbabwe match. I have no choice but to look at the TV now and then because I spend most of my time in the living room either reading or working on a laptop, checking my phone, or simply relaxing. I look at the screen and see if someone hit 4 or 6, and I am always neutral when it comes to sports because winning and losing are common for every team or nation. 

My issue, though, is not with cricket, but with the advertising that appears between overs or at key moments, particularly the Fogg commercial (link for one of the ADs). Though most of the commercials are meaningless, and I don't want to dig into them, the Fogg commercial disturbs me, possibly because it creates an incorrect perception of attractive men. 

The advertisements (there are three on the same concept) depict two girls flirting with a man (their faces aren't displayed) and conversing between themselves, with one expressing a desire for him while the other saying something in Hindi, their expressions and the word "perfume" reveals that he didn't wear perfume and the other showing a disappointed face. 

The ad clearly and incorrectly implies that males who do not apply perfume are not attractive to look at or perceived to be handsome. It could be a business strategy, but consider people who do not wear perfume, such as myself. I agree that we need some elements to smell good, but it cannot be mandatory, and not everyone needs it. 

Adults can comprehend the business behind the commercial ad, but the younger generation may misinterpret the notion and begin thinking about or placing value on perfume. For boys, many believe that only if they use perfume will girls notice them or look after perfumed boys. 

Perfumes are already harmful to one's health, and if one doesn't really need them, they shouldn't wear them at all, but these commercials reinforce that if you're either smart or handsome, you need to smell good to take into account! I've had problems with perfume before, but not with myself. Someone's carelessness once harmed me, and when they realized what was wrong, they restricted its use solely in front of me. 

Advertisers should be socially conscious and consider the public because ads cannot be seen only by their intended customers. Is it ethical to dismiss a performance because he(she) does not smell good or used perfume? Please, advertisers, exercise your common sense! huh 


Friday, August 19, 2022

Krishna Jayanthi and Kids!

Krishna Jayanthi is a Hindu festival celebrated in India and wherever Indians live around the world to mark the anniversary of Lord Krishna's birth. Krishna is worshipped in the guise of a child on this day because it is his birthday, and thus young mothers easily associate the celebration with their child. The festival is held today. 

Every family with a child enthusiastically celebrates the occasion. Beyond a religious celebration, it has evolved into a children's festival, with families that have children under the age of five taking advantage of the opportunity to dress their children as Krishna (if a boy) or (for girls) his wife Ratha. 

Schools, like homes, celebrate the occasion by requesting kids to come to school dressed as Krishna or Ratha on this day or the day before or following the festival. I sense a compulsion forming during the festival; a compulsion from one's friends and family circle compel  (asking haven't you dressed your child) one not to miss the event, even if they aren't interested. 

Every child raised in a Hindu family seems to dress up as Krishna, and I, like my cousins, was no exception. I don't remember dressing as Krishna, but I have the photographs to prove it. Back then, we dressed as Krishna from a piece cut down of dad's Dothi and mom's jewels as ornaments. Today, however, they sell a ready-made Krishna costume for children. 

Though every festival and day has become commercial these days, Krishna Jayanthi also joined the eve; aside from the sales/buying of ready-made sweets and refreshments, which were previously homemade, the Dothi and other ornaments (as a set) have also added to relieve parents. I wasn't surprised to see a television commercial promoting the special Dothi intended for kids to tie on Krishna Jayanthi; my sister-in-law is concerned that she missed the ad because she purchased a set locally and early to dress my little nephew Kavin!  

Kavin as Krishna

My nephews, Kavin and Jeswanth, dressed up as Krishna. Jeswanth dressed as Krishna for the second time; he was 4 months old last year and cooperated well, but this year he refused to participate, and we could only put a Dothi and a flower band on him. Kavin's brows were decorated while he slept, and he had no idea how to remove the ornaments. Though they were ready to come out on their own, we managed to hold things on him sometimes and took photos. Below were the two in their respective costumes.

Jeswanth in his simple look with a peacock feather on his flower band and pearl-like chain.

A screenshot of Kavin from my facebook story.

Jeswanth in his costume from the side.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Diamond Jubilee of Independant India and Ambedkar's India!


The people of India are getting ready to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of India's Independence on August 15. The Indian government is launching several plans to enthusiastically celebrate the 75th Independence Day, with one of its primary goals being to encourage people to raise the Indian flag at their homes, and workplaces, and change the photos on their social media accounts to the three-colored flag. 

PM Modi requested everyone to clap (when COVID outbreak) in recognition of the selfless efforts of frontline workers, doctors, and nurses who dealt with the worst of situations; the people went on a rally, beating drums! Later, he told them to light lamps in honor of their service and the lives lost in the pandemic; people set off fireworks and celebrated Diwali! Now he pleads people to hoist flags, and the ruling party is advancing, not even leaving the sea, where they have rallies in boats and employ force to sell flags in some places. 

I usually hoist the flag on Independence Day and Republic Day, showcasing my patriotism for the past 20 years, but this time the Prime Minister requested that flags be hoisted for three days in a row, from August 13–15, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India's Independence. So far, nobody has told me to hoist the flag, and I'm doing it in my interests, so I don't need to follow this pattern.

I will stop here, I don't like to enter politics. Patriotism is something we all have in our hearts and are taught to be from childhood, as it is natural for anyone to feel a connection to their nation. Even though I don't speak Hindi, I love my country! Sorry, but the political shadow seemed to be following me. Because I am interested in both patriotism and politics, I couldn't separate the two; I am particularly drawn to the political leaders of the time who put the country ahead of their own lives and families. 

My latest read of B.R. Ambedkar, who created the Indian Constitution, impressed me with his insight, and his book, Ambedkar's India, was an eye opener for me in terms of caste and politics. 

Ambedkar's India gives a great perspective on caste and its root causes and why it needs to be slaughtered. Beyond that, and through various examples and concepts, he delivers worldly knowledge. I don't want to go into the subjects of the speeches of Ambedkar; the lawmaker of India has all the reasons to oppose the existence of caste and the importance of being independent; his consideration of all sorts of people and belief in constructing the constitution is remarkable to read. A must-read for Indians who anticipate changes within and outside of society. It's a book that reveals that he is not associated with any organization or set of beliefs for those who honor him for what he believed.

People may have different opinions on independence, but we cannot deny the truth that thousands of lives were lost fighting against slavery and tyranny under British rule to drive them away. In today's society, independence has many varied connotations, and most of the time it has been limited to one's function and terms and conditions. 

At 75 years of independence, we are still in a position to fight for our basic rights, needs, and issues; fighting (not just physically) appears to have no end until we fight for our last breath. There is no doubt we have tremendously grown as an independent nation, and it has not been an overnight development. We must never forget those who paved the way for us and laid the foundation for our country, allowing us to be ourselves and choose our careers. Though there are still barriers to certain people's development, I think education and rationality will remove those, and everybody will breathe true freedom. Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Following a two-month hiatus and the stormwater drain!

On Sunday, after a two-month hiatus, I emerged from the house or was hoisted down through the elevator for an evening stroll. As you may or may not be aware, the work of rebuilding the stormwater drain in our street, a project initiated by the Chennai Corporation to restore all waterways that carry rainwater by September, when the northeast monsoon begins, has kept me at home since June 3rd; even though the stretch in front of the house has built, it is still incomplete without slabs to cover the gaps left by them, and we were to do some mason work for me to access it through the wheelchair. 

I am dissatisfied with the work done on the stormwater drain by the Chennai Corporation on a contract basis. At least in our neighborhood, it appears that the contractors were non-professionals who lacked even the most fundamental sensibility. I'm furious at how they lay the stormwater drain in our backstreet, which was almost done but unevenly! It was narrow in some places, wider in others, and took many curves where there should have been a straight line; all of this illustrates their carelessness and unprofessionalism in creating a channel. The worst is happening on our street, where only 10% of the work has been finished. 

Coming to our street, the construction lags so much, and we're thankful that we fall within the 150-foot length they've done, but there are still a few holes to be filled with concrete blocks. I expected them to finish the work in less than a month based on the speed with which they excavated, but two months had passed, and they had only completed the length I described. Some housefronts have difficulty crossing the ditch with stretched steel bars, and no vehicle can enter or exit the houses. 

Worst of all was the mosquito infestation. We usually don't have mosquitoes during the summer, and only if it rains do one or two emerge but now that it's dry, the dug-up ditches holding sewage water from some residents' leaky pipes have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, forcing us to stay inside after 6 p.m., closing all the doors and windows. Nonetheless, they find their way into our houses and make our nights a nightmare! We wake up several times during the night to use the electric bats to kill the mosquitos. It irritates us when they arrive, singing in our ears. 

I got a bladder infection last month, as you are all aware. I couldn't go to the doctor or leave the house to have a medical test to determine the severity of my ailment. Fortunately, the doctor treated me without seeing me and also arranged for the scan to be done at home. I'm doing well today, but I'm still on medication, which I have to take for another week. The local officials never pay attention to our complaints and are incredibly deaf and stupid, however, the councilor enjoyed standing in front of a section of the completed stormwater drain and then vanished, never to be seen again. Huh 

Saturday, August 06, 2022

The Sky

My sky

The sky looks beautiful in uniform blue 

The clouds float in to acquire diverse shapes 

Keep the skywatching interesting;   

The birds fly into the sky like decorations

Of silhouettes against the expanse of sky;

Different hues tune the twilight sky 

To date, betwixt day and night; 

In addition to the morning, the midday sun

shines as bright as ever to wink eyes.

The night sky is a mystical splendor; 

The starry night beautifully enthralls  

Until the moon started stealing 

All eyes turned to its marble face. 

I dream of waking up to sunrise 

I haven't been a morning person, though.

Behind blocks of buildings, the sun sets.

I was left to watch its tail colors! 


Monday, August 01, 2022

Jeevan 37

Yes, you are correct if you are. It's my birthday, but it was just another day for me, except for this cake-my favorite black forest.


And what better gift could I ask for on my birthday, July 31st? 


A sweet kiss from my cute little nephew, Kavin. He was really eager to eat the cake, but we just gave him a small sample of the cream. hehe... 


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

44th Chess Olympiad (Signs)


The 44th Chess Olympiad is taking place at Mamallapuram, near Chennai, on the ECR. The chess tournament will be officially inaugurated tomorrow (28 July) in the presence of Prime Minister Mr. Modi and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr. MK Stalin in Chennai Nehru Stadium. The preparations for the tournament began weeks ago, and the Tamil Nadu government is doing everything possible to ensure the success of the Chess Olympiad. 

The event is actually taking place in a village called Poonjeri on the outskirts of Mamallapuram; the government has erected a large stadium/auditorium to host the event, and all the participants from 187 countries have been housed in several resorts in Mamallapuram. To put it simply, the stretch from Chennai to Mamallapuram has been in a celebratory mood, and it is expected that many people will visit during the chess tournament or at least to view the preparations for the event. 

I, too, would like to see the event advertisements and the Thambi, The Knight, the official mascot of the 44th Chess Olympiad, who is touring Tamil Nadu, particularly Chennai. But, due to the unfinished rainwater storm project and health difficulties, I couldn't get out of the house. 

The Thambi, which meant "Little Brother," was designed to emphasize Tamil Nadu culture. The knight wears the traditional garb of dhoti and shirt, and perhaps the brown horse accentuates the South Indian tone (dusky or brown), and the mascot's general dressing style mimics the Chief Minister's, which may have derived from his appearance. 

The Napier Bridge, also known as the Iron Bridge, is another landmark in Chennai that has been completely painted as a chess board (to commemorate the 44th Chess Olympiad); it has also become a shooting spot, with people taking selfies and videos on the bridge.

I hope the event was a huge success and India won the battle so that history will remember it. Images courtesy Google.

Something to know about the Chess Olympiad: The first Olympiad was unofficial! An attempt was made to incorporate chess into the Olympic Games for the 1924 Games, yet, this failed due to difficulties distinguishing between amateur and professional players. The first unofficial Chess Olympiad took place in Paris at the same time as the 1924 Summer Olympics. 

Every two years, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) organizes the tournament and chooses the host nation. This time their choice was India!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

A dream!


I was expecting things to change.

The gloomy weather will pass eventually.

As a positive sign, to make way for the sunshine; 

Things only went worse. 

The weather quickly turned into a storm.

Destroying the dream 

that I got for someone I care about;

I realize this isn't the end, and life must continue.

Perhaps, like the cycle of the seasons.

The consumer may change his mind.

And get out of the trance 

before it turns life into the trash.


Thursday, July 21, 2022

Bye Bye Bye...


I noticed something with the younger generation that I find insulting. While on taking leave, the young people got into the habit of saying "bye bye bye..." rapidly (without seeing the faces) instead of saying just "bye"!  This is a habit I've noticed more with relatives' girls when they leave home after a visit. I'm someone who doesn't give much importance to formalities, and I don't mind someone taking leave without saying goodbye to me, and I feel distanced when someone from our close family circle says bye. Sometimes I don't say bye for the same reason when I think of them as a family. The younger generation must change their mindset, and I see no reason to believe this generation will be any different. It's an attitude of indifference. 

Even if it's merely a formality, there should be some intention to say goodbye, yet they sound like they're fleeing as if imprisoned. The 2K kids prioritize friends over biological relatives, forgetting that it was they who surrounded them before they went out to find pals. I think of family and friends as having two eyes, and the younger generation should learn to see both equally to have a thorough understanding of life.  We all have various experiences and paradoxes that lead us to like or despise one another, but on the whole, I think our relationships need to be balanced. Respect can only develop in a relationship that is valued. Otherwise, it'd be bye bye bye... 

Monday, July 18, 2022

RGB Monday (& Little Monk Video)

Hanging underwear! Lol 


Once again, back with my nephew Kavin's colorful underwear (I couldn't get an apt picture to share for RGB Monday) found his undies hung to dry on the balcony railings. It reminds me of nothing but the Tibetan prayer flags; the colorful rectangular cloths hung along the paths and peaks in the Himalayas. 

Recently, we dressed him as a little monk and did a mobile photoshoot. As we got him to Tonsure, a custom of shaving all the hair on the head as a rite before the child turns one, he looked almost like a little monk, so we dressed him in an orange shawl and took some photos and videos. I composed a photo/video slideshow using those, and I hope you watch the slideshow/video embedded below. 


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Signs on ECR (& health update)

The ECR is a scenic coastal road in Chennai that leads to Puducherry, and I generally traveled on it up to Mamallapuram, my ancestor's hometown. Aside from being a historically significant location for 5th-century rock-cut sculptures, I always look forward to its road trips and photo opportunities. Here are a few signs I shot from one of the trips. 

ECR Enclave 

Seawoods Cafe



P.s. My UTI (urinary tract infection) is still bothering me despite the medication I've been taking for the past few weeks. I knew it was a severe infection, but I didn't think it would linger this long. I had an abdominal scan at home today. I couldn't move out of my house because of the stormwater drain work, and even though the pit was encased by concrete, they hadn't completely covered it; I couldn't ascend down in a wheelchair. 

Our doctor assisted us in obtaining an ultrasound scan at home via a diagnosis center. I was examined by the doctor who had arrived in his car with the scanning equipment. He was a senior radiologist who was very attentive and patient with me as he inquired about my urinary problems. As he walked away, he assured me that there was nothing to worry about. His remarks were courageous, and I felt relieved. 

After reviewing the results, our doctor advised me to continue the medication for the next month because the infection in the bladder takes time to resolve. Except it's time to piss, I feel normal. I hope it passes off fast. 

Friday, July 08, 2022

One morning in Uncle's woodhouse


Several unidentified birds chirp, 

Woke me up earlier than usual. 

The natural alarm of the woods pleased the ears.

I was still drowsy and perplexed by my state of existence. 

Is it that I awoke or that I am still dreaming?

The dark shadow of night removed 

As the early light enters the room,

As beams that support a structure 

It glows as it reflects off the pine woodhouse. 

I couldn't sleep any longer when nature called. 

Because we are not bestowed on a daily basis

With beautiful tones of birds tweeting. 

Excitement pulls me out of bed.

The night cold had left me with a parched throat 

To talk in a hushed tone 

I opened the backdoor.

The song of birds fills the backyard with joy.

It gives the eyes work to spot 

Birds playing hide and seek in the wild undergrowth. 

It was a busy morning with birds. 

Before they take off on their daily foraging, 

I would try my best to capture them 

Before I have my part of breakfast. 


P.s. It's been three years since I visited my uncle's woodhouse in the Kodaikanal half-mountains, surrounded by coffee, pepper, and orange plantations. According to Facebook memories, I left for Kodaikanal today in 2019 and couldn't stop thinking about my past visits. The poem was inspired by waking up one morning to birds singing.

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Relationship


I feel the distance.

When you couldn't look into my eyes,

I became a stranger.

When you are reluctant to utter a word,

I moved away.

When your silence breaks my heart,

I turned back to see 

You slipped out of my sight.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

What a week!

I haven't blogged in exactly a week. Even though it hasn't been a long time, the last week has been hell for me, and even though I'm feeling a little better now, I'll need to stay on meds for a few more days to treat my UTI. 

It starts with a mild cold and progresses to a nightmare on the 21st night. The next day, it gradually turned into a slight fever, followed by urinary irritation and frequent urination. It was unmistakably a sign of a UTI (urinary tract infection). I had already taken an antibiotic for a cold, thinking it would help, but as it worsened, my father went to the doctor and was prescribed medication. 

Perhaps I should have caught a cold from my 8-month-old nephew, Kavin, who was sneezing around, and the UTI has boarded along. In 2020, during the COVID period, I experienced a similar effect that lasted more than a week and required five injections to get rid of the infection. 

Our doctor wasn't in the city this time, but dad called him and got me medicine on his advice and took a urine culture test to determine the infection. The lab test took three days to complete, and the doctor arrived on the same day to prescribe different medications and three injections. I finished one today and have two more on hold. The injection location on my waist has gotten uncomfortable, and the other two have made me nervous. 

The previous week has been indescribable. When my urine became purple in a few instances, I knew it was a severe infection, and I knew it wasn't an easy pass like the urine itself. I'm hoping to feel better soon, and I couldn't concentrate on anything because my thoughts were preoccupied with the difficulties of pissing. My frequent urination has also produced challenges for my parents, who are my primary source of assistance in my daily life. For both, life becomes stressful. I hope things return to normalcy soon. 

I will check the blogs sooner.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Dragging Stormwater Drain Work

On June 3rd, they shut off the access to the road from our house, allowing only a plank to pass through the hole excavated for the replacement stormwater drain. For about 3 weeks, I couldn't leave the house, and the construction work has been moving at a snail's pace, with the sidewalls of the drain still not poured with concrete. 

Our row of residences has commercial shops, including my cousin's bike service station and uncle's garage, that are inaccessible by cars due to rotten planks. The pit extends to the bottom of our elevator. Thankfully, they didn't touch its earth, and we had a keen eye on it the entire time the excavator dug the hole. 

It is a project taken up by the Chennai corporation to line up stormwater drains throughout the city before the start of the northeast monsoon in October. Although it would be a long-term solution and crucial for flood prevention, many of the neighborhood's roads are currently in this phase, and the residents are experiencing the same difficulty. 


They had only just begun work on our street, and they hadn't even completed a 100-foot section of the drain in the previous three weeks. Based on the rate at which they work, it must take at least two months to fix our street's stormwater drain, which was installed 35 years ago. My mother used to say that when I was a kid, I yearned to step foot into the hole they excavated for the first time. I don't remember, but we used to walk back from school on the platform over the stormwater drain. 

I'm hoping they built at least the piece of us that was dug in a week, and we, too, need to work on masonry and modify the elevator before I'm hoisted down and moved out. Until it's home, and this hasn't caused any difference in my life, it's almost homebound. COVID has already cut two years off our lives, and this month isn't going to be any different. 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

பட்டம் விடு/ Flying Kite


வெறுமையான வானம்

வெண்மேகம் தவிர்த்து.

கோடை விடுமுறை கடந்து

திங்கள் முதல் பள்ளிகள்...

சிறுவர்கள் மறந்தே போன

வாழ்வை வண்ணமாக்கிய பட்டம் (காத்தாடி).


மாஞ்சா எனும் அரக்கன்

கழுத்தை அறுத்ததால்

பட்டம் விடும் பழக்கம்

பறந்தே சென்றது நம்மை விட்டு.

அண்ணாந்து பார்த்த காலம்

பல வண்ண பட்டம்

வானில்  இட்ட வட்டம்.


சூரியன் பல்லை இளித்தாலும்

வெக்கை பொருட்படுத்தாமல்

மொட்டைமாடியில் நின்று விட்ட பட்டம்

ஒரு கனவு போல் இன்று

குறை கூற இயலாது

காலத்தின் மாற்றம்,  

இருந்தாலும் ஏமாற்றம். 


The sky is empty 

except for the white cloud.

Summer break has come to an end 

On Monday, classes began 

The boys had forgotten 

Kites in vibrant colors. 


A demon named Manja.

Because of the neck slit

Kite-flying customs

fled away from us.

The time spent looking up

Kites with multiple colors

circled the sky.


Even with the sun shining on its teeth,

Regardless of how hot it is,

standing on the terrace to leave a kite.

Today feels like a dream.

It is impossible to criticize the situation.

Change of time

It was, however, a letdown. 


FYI, flying kites is prohibited in most of the cities in our state following many incidents of neck slits by the special thread used for flying the kite. The thread goes through treatment of strengthening, which uses glass and iron particles so that it can cut off other kites. When such kites float in the air or the thread comes off, it slits the necks of those who ride bikes. So the government has banned flying or selling kites in order to stop those incidents. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

RGB Monday

Jeswanth's colorful birthday party


Last month my nephew Jeswanth (cousin's sister's son) celebrated his first birthday in open parking within a hotel in Mamallapuram. I didn't take many photos of the event, and thus I couldn't share them with you, and I also forgot to write about it. While scrolling through my iPhone photos for RGB Monday images, I came across a few pics from his birthday and decided to include them here. 


They got a large remote control Jeep for his birthday, and he was invited to the venue by putting him in the seat. To our surprise, he remained quiet and pleasant during the event, but he was ecstatic when everyone fed him cake after his parents assisted him in cutting the cake. 

They bought a double-layered cake with his name written on a chocolate bar facing the guest and a candle in the shape of a lotus that blooms when lit. I'm glad the event was held on the ground floor since it made it easier for me to attend. I went close to the stage to see what was happening, and it was a modest and pleasant gathering. We had mutton biriyani and veg-biryani for dinner, but it was too spicy, and I limited myself. 

You can see Kavin (bro's son) in a red hat, watching the happening. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Jack and Black!


Jack and black as my bodyguards,

Accompanies me on my evening walks; 

Jack took the stairs while I elevated down; 

He became my chief escort, walking alongside me. 

Even though we protect him 

From his main adversary, Puppy,

A stray dog who frequently attacks him.  


Black is a daring bitch; 

A clever dog that survives amid crafty wolves 

She only comes home when she's hungry. 

Regardless of that, she comes with us. 

I'm about halfway through the backstreets.

Jack and Black have a good time together. 


Jack has many friends in the neighborhood, 

One of them greets him as if he were a guest.

Every time we pass by their house, we smile.

They open the gate for him and feed him biscuits. 

The entire family enjoys his presence.

Similarly, the Black isn't left alone. 


Jack has a down-to-earth demeanor. 

Despite its massive size and intimidating appearance,

He is, at heart, benign.

Seeing Jack, the kids run toward him.

Pat him, and he, too, stay up to his breed-

A descend of Himalayan Sheepdog-

A livestock guardian canine. 


Jack is the one who is lying, and Black is standing behind him.

P.S. Jack and Black are our puppy-adopted street dogs. When we lived at our previous home on the backstreet, one of our street dogs gave birth to puppies. We just fed them, but they refused to leave, and when we moved to our current home, they followed us. Jack was adopted by my cousin's sister. And when she married, we had to look after him as well. Because they were born and raised in the backstreets, the dogs roam the backstreets and return home to sleep and eat. Only Jack stays at home all day, owing to that one dog named Puppy, who blocks and sometimes hurts him when he enters their street, so he only joins us for an evening walk.