Friday, November 1, 2013

Trilochana_mohineem - Dikshitar

Shravanam of a rare song!

Trilochna mohineem by Dikshitar

Kum Srirangam Gopalaratnam - Bhairavi







త్రిలోచన మోహినీమ్ - రాగం భైరవి - తాళం ఆది

పల్లవి
.
త్రిలోచన మోహినీం త్రిపురాణీం
త్రిపుర సుందరీం సదా భజేऽహమ్

సమష్టి చరణమ్

త్రిలోక జననీం త్ర్యంబక రమణీం
త్రి-తాప హారిణీం త్రి-పద రూపిణీం
సాలోక్యాది ముక్తి దాయినీం
సద్గురు గుహ సంతోష కారిణీమ్


பல்லவி

த்ரிலோசன மோஹினீம் த்ரிபுராணீம்
த்ரிபுர ஸுந்த3ரீம் ஸதா3 ப4ஜேऽஹம்

ஸமஷ்டி சரணம்

த்ரிலோக ஜனனீம் த்ரயம்ப3க ரமணீம்
த்ரி-தாப ஹாரிணீம் த்ரி-பத3 ரூபிணீம்
ஸாலோக்யாதி3 முக்தி தா3யினீம்
ஸத்3கு3ரு கு3ஹ ஸந்தோஷ காரிணீம்


pallavi

trilOcana mOhinIM tripurANIM
tripura sundarIM sadA bhajE(a)ham

samashTi caraNam

trilOka jananIM tryambaka ramaNIM
tri-tApa hAriNIM tri-pada rUpiNIM
sAlOkyAdi mukti dAyinIM
sadguru guha santOsha kAriNIm



Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mangalambayai - Dikshitar

Shravanam of Muttuswamy Dikshitar's rare song

Mangalambayai - Malavasri - Aruna Sairam
(Mangalabika at Srivanchiyam)



పల్లవి

మంగళాంబాయై నమస్తే
శ్రీ వాంఛ లింగ నిజ శక్తే
విలీన చిచ్ఛక్తే శ్రీ

అనుపల్లవి

సంగీత సాహిత్య సారజ్ఞ సన్నుతే
మంగళాలయ గుప్త గంగాతట స్థితే
అనంగాద్యుపాసితే శృంగారాది యుతే

చరణమ్

మంద స్మితాననే మాళవ శ్రీ జనే
ఇందిరాలోకనే ఈశ్వరారాధనే
ఇందీవరాసనాదీడిత శివాంగనే
సిందూర కస్తూరి చందనాలేపనే
కుంద ముకుళ రదనే గురుగుహ హృత్సదనే
సుందరి మృదుసదనే సుఖతర కర మదనే



பல்லவி
மங்க3ளாம்பா3யை நமஸ்தே
ஸ்ரீ வாஞ்ச2 லிங்க3 நிஜ ஸ1க்தே
விலீன சிச்ச2க்தே ஸ்ரீ

அனுபல்லவி
ஸங்கீ3த ஸாஹித்ய ஸாரக்3ஞ ஸன்னுதே
மங்க3ளாலய கு3ப்த க3ங்கா3 தட ஸ்தி2தே
அனங்கா3த்3யுபாஸிதே
ஸ்1ரு2ங்கா3ராதி3 யுதே

சரணம்
மந்த3 ஸ்மிதானனே மாளவ ஸ்ரீ ஜனே
இந்தி3ராலோகனே ஈஸ்1வராராத4னே
இந்தீ3வராஸனாதீ3டித ஸி1வாங்க3னே
ஸிந்தூ3ர கஸ்தூரி சந்த3னாலேபனே
கு3ந்த முகுள ரத3னே
கு3ரு கு3ஹ ஹ்ரு2த்-ஸத3னே
ஸுந்த3ரி ம்ரு2து3 ஸத3னே
ஸுக2-தர கர மத3னே



pallavi
mangaLAmbAyai namastE
SrI vAncha linga nija SaktE
vilIna cicchaktE SrI

anupallavi
sangIta sAhitya sArajna sannutE
mangaLAlaya gupta gangA taTa sthitE
(madhyama kAla sAhityam)
anangAdyupAsitE SRngArAdi yutE

caraNam
manda smitAnanE mALava SrI janE
indirAlOkanE ISvarArAdhanE
indIvarAsanAdIDita SivAnganE
sindUra kastUri candanAlEpanE
(madhyama kAla sAhityam)
kunda mukuLa radanE guru guha hRtsadanE
sundari mRdu sadanE sukha-tara kara madanE

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brihadeeswareem - Rama Ravi

Shravanam with Dikshitar song


Brihadeeswareem - Lalitapanchamam - Dikshitar 







బృహదీశ్వరీం భజ - లలిత పంచమమ్ 

పల్లవి

బృహదీశ్వరీం భజ రే చిత్త
బ్రహ్మేంద్రాది నుత జగజ్జననీమ్

అనుపల్లవి

బృహదీశ మనోల్లాస కారిణీం
బ్రహ్మాండ స్వరూపాకారిణీం
మహా త్రిపుర సుందరీం శ్రీ-కరీం
లలిత పంచమ రాగోదయ-కరీమ్

చరణమ్
నీరజ దళ నయనీం మృదు చరణీం
నిరంజనీం తంజపురి విహారిణీం
నిరతిశయ సుఖ ప్రదాయినీం
నిత్యానంద గురు గుహ రూపిణీమ్



பல்லவி
ப்3ரு2ஹதீ3ஸ்1வரீம் ப4ஜ ரே சித்த
ப்3ரஹ்மேந்த்3ராதி3 நுத ஜகஜ்ஜனனீம்

அனுபல்லவி
ப்3ரு2ஹதீ3ஸ1 மனோல்லாஸ காரிணீம்
ப்3ரஹ்மாண்ட3 ஸ்வரூபாகாரிணீம்
மஹா த்ரிபுர ஸுந்த3ரீம் ஸ்ரீ-கரீம்
லலித பஞ்சம ராகோ3த3ய-கரீம்

சரணம்
நீரஜ த3ள நயனீம் ம்ரு2து3 சரணீம்
நிரஞ்ஜனீம் தஞ்ஜபுரி விஹாரிணீம்
நிரதிஸ1ய ஸுக2 ப்ரதா3யினீம்
நித்யானந்த3 கு3ரு கு3ஹ ரூபிணீம்



pallavi
bRhadISvarIM bhaja rE citta
brahmEndrAdi nuta jagajjananIm

anupallavi
bRhadISa manOllAsa kAriNIM
brahmANDa svarUpAkAriNIM
mahA tripura sundarIM SrI-karIM
lalita pancama rAgOdaya-karIm

caraNam
nIraja daLa nayanIM mRdu caraNIM
niranjanIM tanjapuri vihAriNIM
niratiSaya sukha pradAyinIM
nityAnanda guru guha rUpiNIm

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lalgudi Jayaraman - Vocal

Shravanam with unusual item!

Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman sings Hamsanandi.

Srinivasa - Hamsanandi by Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman




Sri S P Ramh joins his master in singing.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mati_matiki - Mohanam - Flute

Shravanam of a rare gem!

Dr N Ramani presents a rare Mohanam composition of Saint Tyagabrahmam



Mati matiki - Mohanam - Dr N Ramani




pallavi

mATi mATiki delpavalEnA muni mAnasArcita caraNa (rAmayya nItO)

anupallavi

sUri kokkaTE mATa cAladA nATi modalukoni sATilEni nItO

caraNam 1

pankaja vadana sarasa vinOda sankaTamula vEgamE dIrparAdA 
shankarapriya sarvAntaryAmivi gAdA inka nAmadi nIku teliyaga lEdA


caraNam 2

karuNA sAgara paripUrNa nIku sari vElpulu lEranucu nIvaraku 
morabeTTina nApai Ela parAku varulu jUturu bhANDamuna kokka melaku


caraNam 3

shrngAra shEkhara suravairi rAjabhanga sujana hrt-kumudAbdha rAja 
mangaLAkAra rUpa jita ratirAja gangA janaka pAlita tyAgarAja

Monday, October 21, 2013

More Oxygen!

Companies selling bottled water claim that there is more oxygen in their product!
If there is more oxygen it cannot be water at all!
In a particular amount of water there can be only a certain amount of oxygen.
How can there be 3 times more oxygen in normal water?
How does more of oxygen in water makes it more desirable?


Friday, October 18, 2013

You are Responsible!

M is frustrated. She's trying to solve a problem with an order, but the person on the other side isn't helping.

"It was another team's fault. I can't do anything about that," he says.

M talks to be another agent, who handles the situation very differently.

"I'm sorry to hear about this problem," he says. "I'll find out what's happened and send the order by express delivery. It will be with you tomorrow."

M feels less stressed straight away. This is more like it. The first agent shirked his responsibilities, but the second made him personally accountable for fixing the problem. He not only took ownership of the situation, but also apologized, and found a solution. He did not do anything earth shattering. At worst he lost a little time, perhaps. He must have bought a little extra work in the bargain. But, that all would be good work and would add to his and the company’s reputation. He was accountable to the hilt. That is the word! Passing the buck is an old game. People must have heard about the story of the seven fish laid out to be dried!!

What is Personal Accountability?

Management consultant Todd Herman defined personal accountability as "being willing to answer ... for the outcomes resulting from your choices, behaviors, and actions."

When you're personally accountable, you take ownership of situations that you're involved in. You see them through, and you take responsibility for what happens - good or bad. You don't blame others if things go wrong. Instead, you do your best to make things right.

In the workplace, most of the times, accountability can go beyond your own tasks. For example, you may be held accountable for the actions of your team or even the organization on the whole.

How Personal Accountability Helps

It can be challenging to be accountable at times, but it offers many advantages.

First, you're likely to have healthier relationships with your friends, family, and colleagues. Studies found that children who were encouraged to take personal responsibility for their actions also had more positive social interactions.

Accountability also builds trust within teams and organizations, because people know that they can depend on each other. Leaders who are accountable are more likely to be trusted and respected, because people know that they will keep their word.

Personal accountability can save time and money, too. People who take responsibility for their actions speak up, and they look for solutions when there's a problem. This not only prevents the situation getting worse, but it stops costs and delays from escalating.

Last, personal accountability can boost your chances of promotion. When you show senior colleagues that you're dependable, you mark yourself out as someone with leadership potential.

How to Be More Accountable

Personal accountability isn't a trait that people are born with, it's a way of living that you can learn. Use the strategies below to become more accountable.

Know Your Role

It's hard to be personally accountable if you are not clear about what you're responsible for.

If this is the case for you, ask your boss to provide a job description that sets out your tasks clearly. If responsibilities are unclear within the team, ask your manager to outline who is responsible for different team tasks, and to share this information with everyone involved.

Be Honest

Success in life only comes when you're completely honest with yourself, and with others. This means setting aside your pride, and admitting when you've made a mistake.

So, tune into your "gut feelings" when things are difficult, and learn to ask for help if you're struggling, so that you don't let others down.

Tip:
Honesty is always the best policy, but don't use it to blame others, or to make excuses. Instead, focus on your own role in a situation, and think about how you can resolve the problem.

Say Sorry

Accountability doesn't stop with honesty. If something has gone wrong and you were responsible, then you need to apologize.

Focus on making amends when you apologize - show what you'll do to make the situation right. This allows everyone involved to move on, and helps them focus on the end goal, rather than the problem.

Note:
Be aware of the legal implications of saying sorry: in some countries and states, this can be taken as an admission of liability.

Take advice from your boss or a legal professional if you need to apologize on behalf of your organization.

Use Time Wisely

Procrastination is a common way to avoid responsibility, as it delays dealing with a problem, meaning that someone else may solve it instead. Your colleagues may feel that they can't rely on you, and this will affect your professional reputation.

You can overcome procrastination by identifying why you do it. Is the task dull? Do you lack information or resources? Or is there some other cause? Once you understand why you put things off, you can take steps to fix the problem.

Next, practice good time management, so that you make time for what's important. Use tools such as the Urgent/Important Matrix or Action Programs to manage your time more efficiently.

Don't Over-Commit

When you take on too much, something will eventually fall through the cracks. That means that you've let someone down.

So, before you agree to a new task, think carefully about your schedule and whether you'll be able to fulfill the task to the best of your ability.

If you're not sure that you can complete this task, say "yes" to the person and "no" to the task so that you maintain a strong relationship and a good reputation.

Make Changes

Accountability can open up powerful learning opportunities. When something hasn't gone to plan, ask for feedback, and look for ways to do things differently in the future.

Reflect on your actions, too: spend some time at the end of each day running through these simple questions:

What could I have done differently today? How can I build this change into my job from now on?
In time, you'll build new skills and better ways to deal with difficult situations.

Tip:
In some failing organizations, managers who avoid being accountable can get ahead, while those who take responsibility may be ejected if some small thing goes wrong. 

If your organization has this type of culture, then it may be time to behave accountably, and find a new role, in a better organization.


Key Points

When you're personally accountable, you take ownership of what happens as a result of your choices and actions. You don't blame others or make excuses, and you do what you can to make amends when things go wrong.

To become more accountable, make sure that you're clear about your roles and responsibilities. Be honest with yourself and others, so you can admit when you're wrong, apologize, and move on.

Make the most of your time, and manage it carefully so that you don't take on too much.

Lastly, think carefully about situations where you didn't take responsibility but should have. These mistakes and failures can be valuable teaching tools, if you have the courage to learn from them.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Time and tide

Lee Child a crime fiction writer created a character named Reacher. This Reacher is a very peculiar individual. He busts many a crime even though it is not his duty. Films are being made based on the novels written around this character. At one point, in one of those novels, this Reacher wants to sleep. He bluffs and to support that he wants to impress the other fellow that he is always in tandem with a satellite. He wants to sleep exactly for 1 hour fifty five minutes. He says the satellite would wake him up at the appointed time. There is no such arrangement. But, he gets up exactly after that much time. He says elsewhere that it is his training that helps him keep time even when asleep. Is it possible? For you and me? Did you ever try getting up when you want to/ looks it is possible for some people. Do we know how much time elapsed even when awake without looking at a watch? Forget about knowing time when asleep! It is all about the movement of time. And us being conscious about its movement.

We are used to saying much water flew under the bridge, that is to say a lot of time passed from a particular moment. We know that now here, now gone, is a much experienced fact. The moment itself does not exist after that so called moment. Every moment, that moment gets into what is called the past. With that we get a feeling that time has moved or elapsed. But what is it that moved? How did it move? Time is not any material or thing. It can stay here this moment and in another place a little later. Then what is it that moved when we say time has moved. How did it move? From where and to where did it move?

Unless we know what moved and how it moved the speed of that movement can never be calculated. If you are waiting for or with one dearer to heart even in hot sun the heat would not be known neither the time. With a heavy heart, waiting for one turns really gruesome and each second feels like eons. While on an up journey, it appears time moves slowly and on the way back home it moves faster. If this is real, is there no particular speed for the movement of time?

As per science earth goes round the Sun once in 365 and a quarter of a day. It spins around itself every 24 hours. Based on this movement the clocks are designed splitting the day into 24 parts called hours. Each of these hours is further divided into minutes. Thinking that they even designed atomic clocks with uncalled for precision. Once in a while they say a second has to be added to the clock. After all said and done, what is it that the clocks are trying to measure? Is the time moving according to the clocks? Or the clocks follow the time?

Time is after all an experience according to our experience. Even its movement is an experience. Then would it have a speed? Would the clock measure hat speed and movement? It is far from possibility. Clocks have movements. We perceive that as the movement of time.

There are myriad things in this world. There is a correlation between some of these things. That correlation keeps changing. When you look at the clocks the hands would be in a particular position. We think that is the time at that moment. We look away and look back at the clock after a while. Time would have changed by then. Let us assume that four minutes elapsed in that interval. How do we say that? Because the minutes hand moved that much! What exactly is this time lapse called four minutes? How much is that? You cannot really perceive any movement in the smaller or the hour’s hand of the clock in such a short interval. If at all there is a hand showing seconds, it creates confusion because of its movement. How many rounds did it make in that interval? On the whole, we see some change in the positions of the hands there. If the change of these positions indicates five minutes, we come to a conclusion and start feeling that five minutes elapsed between our two glances at the clock. But, meanwhile our mind would have gone a thousand miles and come back! After all, in that interval, all the things in the world would also have moved like that with immense speeds! Even then is it only five minutes that lapsed between the glances? Or, perhaps the world would have gone a little slower, for that matter! Alas! The clock does not know about all that! Did you notice that no two clocks show the same time ever! They dot know what exactly the time is! Even the atomic clock that they say is perfect to the T! Then what exactly they are showing? Not time anyway! We have fixed them to move according to some principle. We are assuming the movement of time in their movement.

Close your eyes and for a moment, imagine that there is nothing in this world. Neither us the humans, nor any other living or non-living things. It is just an empty world. Imagine, would the time move in that world? We thought there is no relation between the clock’s progress and time’s. We also saw that the time moves on its own. Then, even in that blank world time must be moving. Remember, there is nothing in that world. No material at all. No occurrences, happenings and movements. Then where is any movement? Where does and how does the time move?


Even now, we are not exactly aware of time’s progress. Interestingly, they say the time always moves forward only, never backwards. My ideas are going in all the directions. Are you happy with that? I am happy if you are. If you are bored and unhappy with all this, I am happier! When happy my time moves faster. With headache your time gets slower. It may even stop. But, the clocks and watches, both yours and mine keep moving with the same old speed. Then tell me if the time is moving. Think and think. Then tell me what you think.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Marungapuri Gopalakrishna Iyer - Violin

Here is a rare gem!

Sangeethakalanidhi Marungapuri Gopalakrishna Iyer plays Violin.
This is a 78 rpm record from yesteryears!

Bantureeti - Hamsanadam - M G Iyer.





Gopalakrishna Iyer was born at Madurai and took to music at a very early age. He decided to specialize in the art of violin playing at the age of twelve and accordingly trained under Karur Venkatarama Iyer, a senior violin vidwan. With his dedication and hard work, he flowered into one of the top violinists of the day. He acquired a phonoviolin and popularised it. He used to conduct special aradhanas for Tyagaraja. He was chosen as the Asthana Vidwan in the Marungapuri Zamindari. 


"Next came the Tyagaraja festival conducted by violin maestro Marungapuri Gopalakrishna Iyer at Srirangam. The event lasted for four days, from January 16 to 19 and on the last day, Gopalakrishna Iyer felicitated Mani Iyer on his receiving the ‘Kalanidhi.’ A gold-bordered lace shawl was gifted to Mani Iyer who replied thanking Gopalakrishna Iyer for all the support he had given him over the years. The Hindu (January 24) noted that a ‘large gathering of musicians and music-lovers was present."

- From Sri Sriram V's blog (This is a part of write-up about Sri Madurai Mani Iyer)

"Imagine being honoured as "Gayanapatu" by Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, and "Kirtanapatu" by Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak! Harikatha is an obsolescent genre now, but in its heyday Saraswati Bai's eloquence, multilingual wit and ripe music made her an unrivalled exponent. First woman to be honoured with a Merit Certificate by the Music Academy, Bai is the stuff of legends. Sriram mentions the rare `phono violin', a violin with a speaker attached, that she gifted to Marungapuri Gopalakrishna Iyer. The curio was described by Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar as "bandmaster's baby"."

-from Mrs Gowri Ramnarayan's article in The Hindu.

(Thanks to the net sources for the text and the image)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam - Bhairavi Song

Here is a song from the great work of Tyagaraja.
The song Nijamaite in Bhairavi is sung by Sri Madurai Somasundaram.

Nijamaite - Bhairavi - Madurai Somasundaram




pallavi
nijamaitE mundara niluvu mIvELa

anupallavi
ajuDaina harihayuDaina nA bhaktiyu

caraNam 1
gAsi jenducu nEnu garbhamulO nuNDa dEshika varudupadEshincinadella
caraNam 2
unnatamuna nuNDi pada drOsina vELa urvi dEvi nannetti brOcinadella
caraNam 3
nAganAgamulu nanu bAdhincaga tyAgarAja nutuDu nannu gAcinadella

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Nauka Charitram Song

Sringarinchukoni from Tyagaraja's Nauka Charitram.
This is a vintage gramophone record.
The artist's name is given as Kannamma.
More information about her is welcome.

Sringarinchukoni - Old Record

(Members of the Anjali Dance Company, in a scene from Thyagaraja's 'Nauka Charitram')



Pallavi
శృంగారించుకొని వెడలిరి శ్రీ కృష్ణునితోను
Anupallavi
అంగ-రంగ వైభోగముతో
గోపాంగనా మణులెంతో సొగసుగ (శృంగారించుకొని)

Charanams
1.నవ్వుచు1 కులుకుచునొకతె కొప్పున2
పువ్వుల 1ముడుచుచునొకతె
దువ్వుచు కురులనునొకతె కృష్ణుని
రవ్వ జేయుచునొకతె వేడ్కగ (శృంగారించుకొని)

2.మగడు వీడనుచునొకతె
రవికయు3 బిగువున జేర్చుచునొకతె
తగును4 తనకనుచునొకతె పాద
యుగములనొత్తుచునొకతె వేడ్కగ (శృ)

3.5సొక్కుచు సోలుచునొకతె కృష్ణుని
గ్రక్కున ముద్దిడునొకతె
పక్కగు రమ్మనుచు-నొకతె మడుపుల-
నక్కర-నొసగుచు-నొకతె వేడ్కగ (శృ)

4.పరిమళము-లందుచు-నొకతె శ్రీ
హరి హరియనుచునునొకతె
ఉరమున6 జేర్చుచునొకతె పయ్యెద
జరిపి వేడుకొనుచునొకతె వేడ్కగ (శృ)

5.సారసాక్ష యనుచును-నొకతె కను
సైగను పిలుచుచునొకతె
రారా యనుచును-నొకతె త్యాగ-
రాజ సఖుడనుచు నొకతె వేడ్కగ (శృ)

Pallavi

ச்ருங்கா3ரிஞ்சுகொனி வெட3லிரி ஸ்ரீ க்ருஷ்ணுனிதோனு
Anupallavi
அங்க3-ரங்க3 வைபோ4க3முதோ
கோ3பாங்க3னா மணுலெந்தோ ஸொக3ஸுக3 (ச்ருங்கா3ரிஞ்சுகொனி)

Charanams
1.நவ்வுசு1 குலுகுசுனொகதெ கொப்புன2
புவ்வுல 1முடு3சுசுனொகதெ
து3வ்வுசு குருலனுனொகதெ க்ருஷ்ணுனி
ரவ்வ ஜேயுசுனொகதெ வேட்3கக3 (ச்ருங்கா3ரிஞ்சுகொனி)

2.மக3டு3 வீட3னுசுனொகதெ
ரவிகயு3 பி3கு3வுன ஜேர்சுசுனொகதெ
தகு3னு4 தனகனுசுனொகதெ பாத3
யுக3முலனொத்துசுனொகதெ வேட்3கக3 (ச்ரு)

3.5ஸொக்குசு ஸோலுசுனொகதெ க்ருஷ்ணுனி
க்3ரக்குன முத்3தி3டு3னொகதெ
பக்ககு3 ரம்மனுசு-நொகதெ மடு3புல-
நக்கர-நொஸகு3சு-நொகதெ வேட்3கக3 (ச்ரு)

4.பரிமளமு-லந்து3சு-நொகதெ ஸ்ரீ
ஹரி ஹரியனுசுனுனொகதெ
உரமுன6 ஜேர்சுசுனொகதெ பய்யெத3
ஜரிபி வேடு3கொனுசுனொகதெ வேட்3கக3 (ச்ரு)

5.ஸாரஸாக்ஷ யனுசுனு-நொகதெ கனு
ஸைக3னு பிலுசுசுனொகதெ
ராரா யனுசுனு-நொகதெ த்யாக3-
ராஜ ஸகு2ட3னுசு நொகதெ வேட்3கக3 (ச்ரு)

(Thanks to the web sources for the text and the image)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

India as seen by others

This is an extract from a book written in 1921

MYSTERIOUS INDIA
Its Rajahs - Its Brahmans - Its Fakirs

BY
ROBERT CHAUVELOT
ILLUSTRATED WITH
SIXTY PHOTOGRAPHS

TRANSLATED BY
ELEANOR STIMSON BROOKS



This French man was in awe of this country and toured the length and breadth of it not once but twice.
It is interesting to read what he says.

Here is a sampler.
This is about Indian weddings.

They do not consist, these wedding gifts, as they do with us, of modest cases of jewels, silver, lace, furs, pianos, automobiles, etc. . . . The Hindu wedding boasts of more royal presents. Would you care to know, for example, what was the wedding gift of His Highness the Maharajah of Kashmir to the young couple of Kapurthala? An elephant,six horses, fifteen thousand rupees. The other princes, less rich than he, contented themselves with offering the betrothed: one, three camels, two horses, a dozen falcons ; another, some Bokhara rugs, a collar of pearls, draperies embroidered with gold; others made their appearance preceded by a herald bearing sacks of precious stones in their matrix, or rough-hewn nuggets of gold. The exhibition of the gifts takes place, as in France, a few days before the marriage ceremony, but in the morning, from ten o'clock till noon, in a special room, guarded by two armed attendants. The groom, who alone is visible before the day of the marriage the young girl being strictly secluded in the zenana of the ranees does the honors generally of the inspection of the gifts, many of which are reserved for him personally: arms, jewels, saddles, tennis rackets, polo sticks,etc.

There is something melancholy and saddening in the persistent and mysterious absence of the bride, who ought to be the queen, feted, petted, complimented, of all these festivities. But the Hindu wedding custom permits no relaxation of this stringent system. Even if, like the Princess Brinda of Jubbal, the bride were strongly imbued with European civilization, this preventive sequestration would none the less take place. It is, in a sense, a preparatory novenna which she accomplishes now. Surrounded by the dowager queen, that is to say by the maharanee, the other ranees and their intimates, she trains herself and accustoms herself in advance to the double role of sovereign and wife which must soon be hers. The priests visit her and instruct her thoroughly in her duties there is no question of her rights, which do not exist and in certain obligations which the Law of Manu imposes on her.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Walk!

I walk. I walk a lot. Of course, not these days.
I always walked to my school from the village.
I remember I walked in hot summer sun in the noon all the way back home from the school.
By the time I reach home eyes would be burning!
Mother used to put cotton soaked in buttermilk over them.
I walked miles together when I could.
Now I walk whenever necessary.
I used to walk because that is the only way I know to move from one place to the other. At sixty also I am only dependent on my legs to go places.
I do not drive any vehicle.
I always make the same old stale joke about driving.
If at all I am capable of driving something, it is the other people whom I can drive mad.
I am not even doing that these days. I hardly meet people.
Some people can go mad because I don’t meet them. But, in that I can never be the reason directly driving them mad.
Indirectly though I am responsible for their madness, but I don’t have the fun of driving them mad.

No. I am not interested in driving anymore.


I am walking.
Recently I have even talked my reluctant daughter into walking. She drives a scooter.
Even if the place of work is just a few yards away, she goes on the scooter.
I was thinking that I walk, because I don’t have an alternative.
Those who do not have to walk also are stuck to only one way of moving around.
That is their vehicle.
I think they forget that there are legs and they could be put to use to move forward.
I had to talk my daughter into walking.
She used to go for walking on her scooter when her cousin was around. That girl went away to the Promised Land in search of greener grass.
So, that made my daughter to give up walking.
You need some place and your feet walk, I thought.
My daughter thinks that you need company to walk.

Youngsters think too many things. That is as good as it gets.
They also defy the natural biological rhythms.
They keep awake in the nights, either working or playing fool.
Partying and spending time on the net is hardly of any use.
Youngsters also sleep during the day!
My daughter sleeps much after the day break.
Because the poor thing was either listening to music or watching a video till late, you see!
It is enough if one is up a little before leaving home.
Brush your teeth, take bath and perhaps eat a morsel.
There are many who prefer a sub to homemade food!
I wanted my daughter to break this habit.
I wanted her to walk with me to keep company!
Hardly interesting but also boring company, I knew1
She agreed! We got up early and went the park nearby. That is an apology of one.
Neither trees nor plants there.
We were alone one day.
There were a bunch of old people sitting on another!
There were a couple incessantly talking while they kept walking!

I always thought talking while walking is not the right thing to do.
I was under the impression that a serious walker does not talk and not even open the mouth.
Regular breathing is necessary in walking I thought.
Otherwise walking turns into strolling according to me.

Who cares about what you think?
Particularly about walking that you never do seriously.
Going along the road for passing time is hardly walking!
I shall walk seriously one day.
Neither I nor my daughter is walking after a four day trial.
I developed knee problem.
My bones, I know are worn out!
Not because I am very old.
It is a genetic problem, we know.

Still, I want to walk!
Think while walking!
Notice people along while walking.

Walking all the way into the evening!
Like many others who cannot run.
People, who can run, do that in a totally different way!

Do you run or walk?

Or sit at the table growing that paunch day after day?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Voleti Venkateswarlu – a remembrance


I never knew who Narendra Menon is till recently. Now, I know even his father Sri Haridas Menon and we are close friends. The father and son duo are music mad people. Narendran arranged a remembrance day for Voleti on the 85th birth anniversary of the genius. Interestingly this took place at Chennai. Naren came there from Mumbai, his father from Palghat. I joined them from Hyderabad, Narayanan from Calicut, Latha from Pune, someone else from Bangalore! And of course there were enough serious music enthusiasts of Chennai in the hall much before the appointed time. Vidwan Sri P S Narayana Swamy graced the occasion, not exactly on invitation! How graceful of him to sit through the concert till the end! Most of the audience remained glued to their seats till the end. That is Chennai! Hats off to its music culture!!


No big banners, no publicity, just an insertion in the local engagements column of a daily did the entire trick.

No big speeches either. I think I was the only big mouth contained in time by intelligent management.

I was stunned to find the kind of adulation that is there for Voleti around. I remember only ridicule from people whenever he is mentioned around where I lived and worked! I am of course thrilled by his music and musical presentations. I am stunned by one or two of those light songs he sang. I was digitizing the cassettes containing recordings of a radio play and a feature on Meera just before leaving for Chennai. The Hindustani tunes he set for the songs in them are still ringing in my ears! Did he learn Hindustani? Let us not go into all that now!

What does one do to remember a genius like Voleti Venkateswarlu Garu? Listen to some good music, of course. We did just that on that appointed day! There was Sri Mavelikkara Subramanyam from Kerala to sing. He was assisted on the violin by Sri S Varadarajan and on the Mridangam by Trichur Narendran. Our Vaikkom was there on Ghatam. I met the main artist just that morning. He is a real humble man of whom I never heard. I know his disciple Jaychandran. I keep surprising such people with their details even in the first encounter. Like music, I also collect the details of artists connected to music. But, I swear, I never knew who this singer was!


Good for me! I deserve some shocks too! He started the concert with a Varnam and a Ganesha stuti as usual. When he picked up Pantuvarali for the sub-main I was wondering what he would sing! Shock for me, and it was Ennaganu Ramabhajana of Ramadasu. With the right diction all through! When he picked up Bahudari of course I wanted and there was Brova Bharama. Shock for me, him singing the song including the word Gopikalakai with the correct lengths and intonations of syllables. Even seasoned singers draw a long kaa making it gopikaalakai making it sound odd. The sound of ‘ra’ is a big problem with friends from Kerala! You can tell their place of origin when they utter that sound for even the first time. There would be a tilt in that sound invariably! Where is it? Did I listen correctly that this Mr. Subranayam is from Mavelikkara and not Manuguru! Whatever song he picked up, he did a decent job1 why is he so very unknown among even keen followers of music, I started thinking. He started a Bhairavi alapanam. I went into my hobby of tracing the hints of a particular song that is going on in the artist’s mind! I was seeing more than half a dozen songs. Ruling out all of them, I arrived at a zero! Shock for me, he picks up “Ika nannu brovakunna” which I never heard in a concert in the recent years. Varadarajan excelled in his version of the ragam! Radio concert like short tani was really mathematical. A small Ashtapadi and then Mangalam.

It may, perhaps, not have been a superlative concert by the standards that some people have set for themselves. It was pleasing and did not lack anything, in fact it was rich in tonal quality, his rhythm sense was impeccable, and syncing with the accompanists was at its expected best. What else do you look for in a concert apart from making you sit enjoying it! Sukham am I right!

When the artists came down from the stage I made it a point to tell Sri Subramanyam that I would have thought he is from Andhra, if the name was not announced! Not a trace of the effect of mother tongue when uttering Telugu words. And, it was a Telugu concert! I told him, “Voleti must be blessing you from above!”

Voleti was known as a serious man. He rarely laughed, I am told. He did not do that when I saw him too.


But, I felt the small picture that was kept on the stage developed a little smile by the end of the tribute! Voleti was sure happy with whatever happened there that day! Almost everyone was happy too!

There were so many personal friends like Vallabhan, TVG Sir, Vijayakumar, Sridharan, Jayapraksh and many more who met me personally there. Though I knew her for long, it was the first time I saw Ms Sandhya face to face! It was indeed a happy day for me too!

(Thanks to the web source for Voleti's picture)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dr Rat

The image is self explanatory!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Human Relations

I was travelling.
That is unusual, I accept.
I have boarded a train at Chennai.
The train came onto the platform at the time it was supposed leave! Then for an hour it was making all kinds of jerks and jolts but never moved.
I was hurrying towards my seat which was incidentally by the window.
The young man sitting there asked me whether I would like to sit by the window.
I said, that was the seat allotted to me and that I had no preferences. He generously gave me my seat. The third man also came. But without even thinking for a while he climbed up to the top berth and hit the sack, immaterial of the fact whether the train started or not.
Then this young man, who I gathered is a senior officer with one of the retail market chain, stretched himself because it was not time for making the middle berths available. He stretched with his feet towards me. He almost touched me with them. Then he snuggled a little.
I also gathered that he is with Human Relations department of the said chain.
It perhaps, why perhaps, in all reality means that looking after recruitments and postings etc. of manpower in the company.
I always wonder if that is the only human activity in the company, what all the other activity they take up is!
Procuring goods and selling goods is after all better human related activity according to me.
This expert in human relations wanted to have some good chat with me.
He said “Hi” I reciprocated though I am not of the generation for such a greeting.
Did he say a thing or two? I don’t recall, but all of a sudden eh asked “How was the Eid!”
I did not say a thing in answer.
I think the boy was shocked and asked my name.
I told.
He said, I almost asked how was the Eid. That does not shatter the earth.
Eid or Idd or Ramzan was like as usual.
This time I did not greet any friends and none brought me the Sheer Khurma though!

I told the boy that appearances could be deceptive.

There was a family of three sitting in the opposite side. A mother, her daughter and that daughter’s husband. They were talking some good Hindi with some typical Hyderabadi words like Nakko in between. This executive asked them about their place. The young man on the other side said beyond Charminar. Our great executive opened his eyes as if he cannot believe what he heard and asked all kinds of questions about the place. He added some uncharitable remarks about the place including the stench there. He said he went there during Ramzaan time and found the place utterly chaotic.
For the boy who was born and brought up there, the comments naturally came as shock!

I intervened and said “That is the real Hyderabad!”
I also said other parts that came up later could be there in nay city!

Enough with the human relations!
There is much more that I can tell about that evening but would like to reserve it.
I am not a typical old timer always complaining, “Children these days….”

I vibe with very old people as easily as I do with youngsters including school going ones.