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Friday, December 18, 2009

Love, the timeless music!

"You know
when you listen to music
playing from another room?
And you're singing along
because it's a tune that you really love?
When a door closes
or a train passes by
so you can't hear the music anymore,
but you sing along anyway...
then,
no matter how much time passes,
when you hear the music again,
you're still in the exact same time with it.
That's what love is like."
-Anonymous

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wedding Wishes!

Coming together is a beginning;
keeping together is progress;
working together is success.


God bless you and yours,
And surround you ever with his blessing.
May the joy you share on your wedding day
Be the kind you'll share all along life's way.


Seek a happy marriage with wholeness of heart,
But do not expect to reach the Promised Land without going through some wilderness together.

May you two always be in love!
May happiness increase with age!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why share?

It is a good habit to share with others... Love spreads that way, they say! But do we need to share everything? Is there nothing special in this world that longs for individual ownership?

A gift to someone being used by someone else... A gift intended for someone given to someone else! How does it feel to be asked to use someone else's gift? How does it feel to share your own gift from that special someone with a not-so-special someone else?


It hurts!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

***Balloon Fighting***

While I rummage into my cupboard trying to find a missing scrap of cloth for my latest patchwork bag, I stumble upon a dusty bag. When I open it I find it having some balloons; the balloons so old that some of them were fully stuck to each other and some others were stuck to the polythene bag. Mind you! All of them were unblown balloons looking so limp and frail with no air! Why not get them pumped up?

I start blowing balloons and tying them up. A couple of them burst on my face due to lack of elasticity… or did I blow too much of air into them? ;-)

While the number of fully-pumped balloons increase, my eyes fall on my sisters who are busily doing their tasks… I catch hold of a balloon and aim it on them. Thump! Thump! Thump! A shower of balloons hit them gently and they pick them back and aim at me. Thus starts our balloon fighting… it’s so much fun; more so, because the balloons are very light, so they can not travel long distances… We duck and bend and aim back… a good exercise after a whole day of sitting at the computer!

We recollect our childhood days when we would play outside our house for long hours and return home with more energy and fresh mind. That’s what is lacking with us now. Wish we all could go out for a long vacation and re-live those childhood days. Are you both ready for it, Gangs and Yams? :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

England...

It’s been more than three weeks since my return, but it’s better late than never to recall my impressions of the place...

Day-1: Sunday

  • Realized that Extended-Stay America was much better than Premier-Inn. Missing Vikranth!
  • Telephone calls are expensive… 5GBP gone in one call to Siva and one call to Vikram (Appa’s phone was busy). I must have spoken for hardly 5 minutes.
  • Walking to Sainsbury from hotel was eerie. Almost lost my way and the Alleyway was too dangerous. I could easily get mugged by a bunch of cyclists! Cannot travel to office on foot even though the office was less than half a kilometer away.
  • Eatables are reasonably priced; got close to 8 apples, 10 huge carrots and one enormous loaf of bread for 3GBP. Luckily no extra service charges.
  • Not much to see… No great architecture to watch… no trees blooming… it’s just plain… hasn’t rained yet… But threatening to! The sky may fascinate me!
  • TV dint work initially… no video, no sound… then noticed that it was in AV mode. Fell asleep watching FRIENDS. Dint sleep properly… woke up many times during night to check the time..
  • The bed was too inviting… feather soft pillows and cozy duvet… yet sweated many times in the night… no dreams!

Day-2: Monday

  • First Day in STAR
  • ---- Forgot my watch. Reached office by 8:10AM
  • ---- Forgot to cut my nails. Yuck!
  • ---- Realized Shift+3 does not give a #. So, could not log into my own Sierra Mail-ID. The keyboard itself is so different :(
  • ---- Got my laptop! :)
  • ---- Everyone ends their conversation with ‘Cheers!’
  • ---- Found a new friend Adam here. We go out everyday to Sainsbury Super Market during lunch time just for a stroll. That’s the only time that I get to talk with someone unofficially.
  • Got a cheering-up mail from Jayne inviting me to her place and tempting me with an invitation to Autumn Festival in Bishop’s Castle. I would also have a chance to get acquainted with a French student who is staying with them.
  • As the cab I had asked for left after waiting for me for more than an hour, I was forced to take the Sainsbury route back to hotel! Very scary! Almost ran half the distance! :(
Day-3: Tuesday
  • Thought of going to office on foot, but eventually took a cab. Cab fellow was very friendly; he explained me the route so that I could walk back to the hotel in the evening
  • House-keeping is real good in the hotel… The person who tidied up the bed for me, had even positioned the pillows in the way I liked them to be! :)
  • Weather was very pleasant. I was in a mood to take pics. Took my cam out and shot a couple of pics of the hotel and the surrounding places. I saw a green apple tree in full bloom.
  • Tried making some coffee with the coffee maker in the room.
  • Found out about internet cards: one hour costs 3GBP. Such a shame!
Day-4: Wednesday
  • Walked to office! :)
  • The vehicles on the road are too fast and I had to cross a hude junction where around 5 to 6 roads converged! Phew!
  • Office work is cool! Weather also is chill!
  • Jayne said she would pick me up from my hotel on Friday evening by around 6PM.
  • Felt very homesick… no one to talk to… no phone.. no net connection! Dint even feel like opening the laptop!
  • Indulged in watching TV all through the evening and till late night. The same two episodes of FRIENDS are broadcast in three different channels during different timings and I watched the same two episodes thrice… imagine how bored to death I must have been!
Day-5: Thursday
  • With the week almost coming to an end, I was eagerly waiting for my return date and also to meet Jayne.
  • By evening I got to know that the assignment will not get extended by another week… had to make the most of the one weekend in England! :)
  • After going back to hotel, I packed up most of my things… put my hand luggage case into the bigger check-in baggage, as there were any things to fill the cases.
  • Slept in anticipation of meeting Jayne and her family! :)
Day-6: Friday
  • The last day to UK office… filled with sweet pleasant memories of Rhett and Adam and their warm friendly attitude to a stranger like me.
  • Adam even took me into the Gloucester town when he went for bank work. We got some coffee back from a shop there… I takes butter cookies… they are very soft and sweet and yummy! :)
  • Ate too much and to the extent that I started feeling sick!
  • Rushed back home (nice way to call a hotel room)… packed all the remaining stuff and watched TV while waiting for Jayne.
  • Met Jayne and the first words from her were: “I must ask you if you are Arathi, before I end up hugging someone else!” :) Such a warm and lovely person…. Who could make me feel at ease in the alien country. Judith was also along with her…
  • Checked out of the hotel and into her car. A long ride to her home through countryside! Loved it! :)
  • Her home is amazing… an old grandfather clock… A wooden staircase leading to bedrooms that had a glass on the roof to get in the moonlight… Living room with a fireplace… lots of books… lots of toys… homely kitchen… the best of all, her two children, Jamie and Tommy… I love the way Jamie speaks and Tommy is all gol-gol like a laddu. I love to carry him around… Tony is a comparatively reserved person… but I loved his calm and soothing manner of speaking…
  • I slept in Jamie’s room.. I remember Jayne’s words before I went to bed… She hugged me and said, “You are in safe hands… Sleep peacefully… And give us a shout in case you need anything…” :)
  • Slept like a log!
Day-7: Saturday
  • Woke up very late (10:00AM)! Felt awkward to get down so late… L Yet everyone made me feel homely.
  • Had milk and bread for breakfast. Had bread with homemade honey. The honey was white in color. Why? In tony’s own words: “'The colour of the honey depends on what pollens the bees take in. This honey seems to be developed from the nectar of oilseed and hence it is crystalline in nature. It hardens fast!” They even sent a bottle of the honey to Amma-Appa.
  • Helped a little in cooking and then dressed up like a farmer… :) wore knee-high boots where the pyjama was stuffed inside the hose of the boots… I forget what such footwear is called! We traveled in a land-rover! :)
  • Then I was out chasing calves in the farm…! I was supposed to chase them, but when a cow started running towards us, I became very frightened! Why did the pregnant cow come near us? In Howard’s words: “She thinks that the calf is hers and because we are taking away the calf, she’s running towards us!”
  • The cows were black and white and so were the calves. I even went to the place where they milk the cows. All the cows stand in a ling with their backs facing a tunnel. We stand in the tunnel (that is at a lower level than the ones the cows are standing. So we may be covered by their shit if we are unlucky!) and connect the cows udder to some tubes that collect milk and store them. The machine is programmed to create a vacuum initially to suck the udder so that milk start flowing into the tubes. Once the milk start flowing, the suction stops and the tubes keep collecting milk. If there is no milk for from the tube for more than a minute or so, then automatically the tubes get released from the udder. Depending upon the quantity of milk the cows give, the fodder is calculated and placed in the trough in front of the cow.
  • How do the calves get fed? The place, where the calves were kept, was a cute little place. As soon as we entered all the calves started mooing. The male calves are kept separate from the female calves. Each calf is given a bucket of milk and the calves learn to lap up the milk from the bucket. How do we teach them to drink? We place a bucket of milk in front of the calf… we put two fingers into the bucket of milk and then move the fingers towards the calf’s mouth… and repeat it over and over again till the calf bends on its own and starts lapping up milk from the bucket. Jayne and Appa were too much interested in making me do this exercise; however I cleverly escaped it! :) Why is it so difficult to teach the calf? Good question! Unlike human beings, calves are born with teeth… hence, there is always a fear that they bite our fingers off while we train them! :)
  • Took a shower in a bathroom overlooking a bunch of sunflower plants in full bloom! Loved it! :)
  • We went to the Bishop’s castle fair with Jayne and kids… Loved the long walk from the place where we parked the car to the fair! The path was covered with lots of greenery and we passed a lot of beautiful houses :) A lot of antique steam engines and steam road rollers were whistling a welcome for me! Saw a caravan and an organ :)
  • Witnessed a performance by an old man who had all the musical instruments strapped to his body and he sang while playing all of them…. Everything in perfect melody!
  • In the evening, saw a lantern procession that was lead by the Scottish bagpiper with its melodious music.
  • Tony brought all of us some cool drinks…Sat down on the pavement while sipping lemonade… :)
  • Wondered if time could stand still for me! :)
Day-8: Sunday
  • Packup time! Tony and Jayne presented (wedding gift) me with an Alligator; not the real one! J It’s a vegetable chopper. That should help me impress my mother-in-law! (In case she’s not already impressed!) :)
  • I wish I could spend some more days with them in the calm and peaceful atmosphere of the countryside! :(
  • Tony and Jayne packed up so many gifts for my family; I felt a little sad that I could not get many more gifts for them! Next time I can send something to UK, I am sure to send a box of Tamarind for Jayne!
  • Started after breakfast for a long journey to the airport… Jayne accompanied me… We traveled through long winding roads and had glimpses of chapel towers and castles that we on the way! What an amazing landscape! Wish I could capture all that in my small little camera!
  • She came with me into the airport… we checked-in my luggage and then sat at the coffee shop munching sandwiches and chatting about this and that! Gave a long farewell hug to her! We meet so many people; but some of them touch our hearts… Jayne is one of them! Sometimes I feel: Why do we need to part ways with our closed ones? I guess the answer would be: “… so that we can meet them again!” :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Eloping?

We both are late. We stand in the long winding queue at the ticket counter. Luckily for us, we got seats in the bus. We both drag our heavy luggage into the bus and try to find a better seat to sit. The bus has 3-seaters on right and 2-seaters on the left. There are no vacant rows in the 2-seaters. Hence, we take our seats in a 3-seater row. He sits at the window and I place my heavy bag to the seat next to him. I squeeze into the aisle seat. While we are wondering whether we will reach our destination in time, a middle-aged person (from now on, we will call him MAP, short for Middle-Aged Person) interrupts us.


“Could I sit here please?” he asks, pointing to the seat that is occupied by my fully-stuffed black bag. I look around the bus to see if there are any vacant seats available so as to be able to shoo away this guy. But no, there ain’t any! I get up to lift the bag and place it onto the passage between the seats. This MAP sits beside me. The conductor shouts as the baggage is obstructing the passage. While I struggle to lift the bag to place it on my lap, the MAP comes to my rescue by placing it on his lap. I smile back a ‘thanks’ to him.


My friend and I exchange looks. He whispers into my ear, “May be he’s interested in you!” “No way!” I shout back frowning. My friend takes out two buns that he bought at the bus station and we both start munching. He even offers one to the MAP. We observe the MAP appraising us.


“Where are you traveling to?” MAP asks me.

“Hyderabad”

“Oh”

“Got to catch a train at 8”

“No problem. The bus stop is not that far to the station”

A thought occurs to me. As my friend and I do not know the city, if I continue to chat with this MAP for some more time; we are bound to extract more information from him. MAP and I chat along, while my friend gives me those teasing looks.


“Do you think w will reach in time?” I ask.

“Of course!”

“What is the best way to go to railway station?”

“No problem. You will find plenty of autos,” he replies and pointing to the luggage is says, “There is more luggage, so it is better to take an auto.”

While I was gathering all these details, even my friend starts talking with MAP. “How do we go to airport from the bus station?” he enquires. Now the MAP looks a little confused. However, he responds, “The airport is out of the city… around 20kms or so. You can go by auto.”


When the bus reaches Coimbatore, we got down. The MAP helps us carry our luggage and comes all the way till the auto-stand to see us off.


“So, where have you decided to go?” he asks. And looking at our confused looks, he adds, “railway station? Or Airport?”

“Both,” I reply, “He will drop me at the railway station and go to the airport.”

The reply seems to have shocked him.


He looks stunned and that is when realization dawns on us. All the while, he must have thought that we both were eloping! More so, because of us being at marriageable age, but not married yet, having so much baggage for traveling, eating cream-buns in buses and asking for others for directions! We both clutch our tummies laughing and it was now the turn of the auto driver to give confused looks at us! J

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Quoting Thatha...

In Thatha's own words:
"Appa Satrigal ponna irundhu... Kuppa satrigal maatuponna irundhu... 'Lavanam' na enna nu theriyaadhaa? nu solli... Yerumai Shaani ya konduvandhu vechchaalaam!!"

Translated to Telugu:
"Appa Satrigal kuthuruga undhi... Kuppa satrigal Kodaluga undi.. 'Lavanam' ante enti ani naaku theliyadhaa? ani cheppi... Gedha peda thechchi pettindhanta!!"

Translation in English (my best try!):
"Being the daughter of Appa priest and daughter-in-law of Kuppa priest, how will I not know what 'Lavanam' means?, said she and brought buffalo dung"

By the way, Lavanam is a Sanskrit word taht means "Salt"!!! :-)

Thatha...

It's a day to remember Thatha today... His Birthday...

He was the one to teach me a lot of things in life.... He was the one to learn Telugu alphabet just for the sake of teaching me.... He was the one who took care of me when my mother was busy with my newborn sisters....

He shared his deepest secrets with me... And told me the way of life...

I was his pet... Even on his death bed, he called me and advised me on what kind of a life I should lead and the best ways to improve myself...

He was very good at using idioms during his conversations like "Yaane Kutti podum nu paatha, oru mootai ladhdhi potudhu" (While we were eagerly waiting for the elephant to give us a baby, it gave us a heap of shit!)... :-)

He also would use a lot of sanskrit analogies to life... His favorite was Bhaja Govindham... He would read Vishnu Sahasranamam every evening and wanted me to learn it also. I remember sitting with him on many days and reading the slokam...

It has a very peculiar way of smiling... Whenever he would smile his lips would droop down, rather than spreading up (The way we draw a smiley).. My mother has inherited the same smile and I remember thatha in her smile...

He was very methodical... I have learnt making to-do list from him. He would also always carry a shoulder bag while going out. Even I do the same... He led a very simple life and probably resting in heaven now! :-)

Thatha, I miss you a lot!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Daughter like me!

During my assignment in Chennai, there were many times when I had to be very curt and strict with the trainees there. In fact, I even complained against some of the top level managers for not attending the training sessions regularly. Every time we would meet our MD, he would take the opportunity to remark on me saying that I was the one to make them take the Oracle project seriously. I would go all red on face and feel very embarrassed about it. During one such day, the MD introduced me to his wife and said: “If at all I had a daughter, she would be like you!” This remark also made go red, because it was very unexpected and later when I pondered over the conversation, I felt great. That was one of the best compliments that I ever got. They are childless and he took care of me like a godfather all through my stay in Chennai.

I got a similar compliment from the Controller of Finance on the last day of my assignment. I went to his desk to wish him good bye and he remarked, “I have a daughter who is in her teens now. When she grows up, I would want her to be like you, all independent and hard-working; simple and straightforward!”

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Windy Pizza Luncheon

“Blink” goes the shutter of my “eye”-camera and captures some loving moments. Now when I open my minds-eye, what do I see?

Boxes containing pizzas and garlic bread spread on the platform of the Atrium and all of us squatting on the floor around those boxes…

We somehow managing to gobble up the wedges while the tomato and capsicum toppings were getting uprooted from the pizza and flying away!

Our hair getting disheveled in the force of the wind and making us look as though we have just had hair-pulling fight with someone!

Many of us had to hold our dresses and dupattas from fluttering around us….

The best part of the luncheon was the ambience that took us back to the school days. It reminded us of the times when we had our lunch under the trees in the lap of nature.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Data Load

Data Load is a convenient tool used for loading data into Oracle Apps forms. It has a look of a spreadsheet where we can put in commands or data and that data will get pasted into the selected Window (Oracle Apps Window etc.) and the commands will get executed in that window.

Data loader commands:
TAB: Tab
ENT: Enter
*UP: Up Arrow

*DN: Down Arrow

*LT: Left Arrow

*RT: Right Arrow

*SP: Save & Proceed

*FE: Field Editor
*PB: Previous Block
*NB: Next Block
*PF: Previous Field
*NF: Next Field
*PR: Previous Record
*NR: Next Record
*ER: Erase Record
*DR: Delete Record
*FR: First Record
*LR: Last Record
*SAVE: Save Record

*SB: Send a single space character
*ST: Select entire field text.
*SLN or *SL(N): Pause for N seconds.

*BM: Block Menu
*AX: Alt + X where X is a single letter (A-Z).
*FI: Find
*FA: Find All
*QE: Query Enter
*QR: Query Run
*CL: Clear Field
*IR: Insert record
*CW(window): Change to window window.
*ML(coordinates): Position the mouse at coordinates and press the left button.
*MR(coordinates): Position the mouse at coordinates and press the right button.
*CW(window): Make window the new target window for DataLoad.
*DL(coordinates): Position the mouse at coordinates and double click the left button.
PROMPT(message): Prompt the user with message and wait for a response.

Auto Tab

The auto tab check box enables automatic tabbing while working in Copy & Paste mode. When Auto Tab is used the "TAB" command can be omitted from the grid and DataLoad will automatically send a TAB command after each data cell has been sent.



Exercises:
  • Though dataload is used for inputting or updating the data in Oracle, the first two exercises are used to deal with querying the data. It is just to familiarize the user how F11 and Ctrl+F11 are done in Data Load
  • Exercise-3 deals with creating a new item based on an existing item
  • Exercise-4 is an attempt to use dataload on an OA page that performs Move Immediate functionality



Exercise-1: To query for ‘57ER%’ in “OPM Item Master” using dataload file
In Oracle Apps,
  • we open “OPM Item Master”,
  • do ‘F11’ and
  • then type “57ER%’ in Item field and
  • then do ‘Ctrl+F11’

In Data Load file,

  • *QE is for “Query Enter” or F11
  • *QR is for “Query Run” or ‘Ctrl+F11’
  • In case we need to sleep, use *SL(N) where N is number of seconds. For example, to sleep for 5 secs, we use *SL(5)

Exercise-2: To query for all FGLM items in “OPM Item Master” using dataload file
In Oracle Apps,
  • we open “OPM Item Master”,
  • do ‘F11’ and
  • then type ‘FGLM’ in Warehouse Item field and
  • then do ‘Ctrl+F11’

In Data Load file,

  • *QE is for “Query Enter” or F11
  • *QR is for “Query Run” or ‘Ctrl+F11’
  • In case we need to sleep, use *SL(N) where N is number of seconds. For example, to sleep for 5 secs, we use *SL(5)
  • TAB is used for going to the next field


Exercise-3: To create a new record in “OPM Item Master” by copying from “57ER%A” record
In Oracle Apps,
  • we open “OPM Item Master”,
  • do ‘F11’ and
  • then type ‘57ER%A’ in Item field and
  • then do ‘Ctrl+F11’
  • then File->New or click on the green plus button on the Buttons Bar
  • Go to Edit->Duplicate->Record Above
  • Change the item number and its description
  • And finally Save it
  • The UOM conversions page automatically opens and we close that window

In Data Load file,

  • *QE is for “Query Enter” or F11
  • *QR is for “Query Run” or ‘Ctrl+F11’
  • In case we need to sleep, use *SL(N) where N is number of seconds. For example, to sleep for 5 secs, we use *SL(5)
  • TAB is used for going to the next field
  • *IR is to insert a new record
  • *DN is for pressing DOWN Arrow
  • *UP is for pressing UP Arrow
  • *RT is for pressing RIGHT arrow
  • ENT is for hitting the ENTER key
  • *SAVE is for saving. (*SP is for SAVE and PROCEED. This command saves the record and clear all the fields for entering new record)
  • *AE is for Alt+E, *AF is for Alt+F
  • TAB is for tabbing to the nest field

Exercise-4: To move the sublots in QCH to SCL using Inspection Disposition form (Tempel Steel Project) through Data Loader

In Inspection Disposition OA page,

  • By default, the cursor is in the “Scan Sublot” field
  • The “ADD” button has shortcut “Alt+A”
  • The “SUBMIT” button has shortcut “Alt+S”
  • When we enter sublot and do “Alt+A”, the sublot gets added to the table region
  • Now we need to change the Location to SCL, lot status to GOOD and let the quantity remain as it is and remove the reason code. To delete the reason code, we simply enter a single-space and tab out
  • Finally, we need to hit “Alt+S” or SUBMIT button to do the Move Immediate
In Data Load File,
  • *AA is for “Alt+A”
  • *AS is for “Alt+S”
  • *SP is for single space
  • TAB is for tabbing out to the next field
  • *SL(7) is to sleep for 7secs

More exercises are in the making...! Happy Data Loading! :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Banner for my blog

Wonder why a banner is called a banner when it does not ban anything?! May be initially the banners were used to display slogans that urged people/readers to ban something...

Liked the new banner of my blog? I am not banning anything though! ;-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hi!

Suddenly some words keep ringing in the air.

“She was sitting right there, and when I greeted her with a ‘Hi!’, she responded back with another ‘Hi!’… just another ‘Hi’… no smile.. nothing! What a typical candidate was what I thought!”

Those were the words from one of my best friends. He was narrating how we both had met for the first time and what he thought of me then. When I think about my past, I realize many at times that I have not genuinely smiled or heartily laughed in ages. Have I forgotten how to laugh… How to take things lightly and make fun of all my flaws and short-comings and do things that I always love to do? Why do I keep taking up others’ things and keep cribbing that I have lots to do?

Am I myself making my life hectic and tiring? Have I forgotten how to live life? I keep jotting the points in the To-DO list and keep striking them off as soon as I am done with them. Is life just this?

What’s on the mind shows on the face! Why I do brood over things so much? I sometimes feel like taking my brain off my body and relax. If I don’t take a break soon, I am bound to join a mental asylum.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ayomayam Jagannaatham

The very first look at the pink little gajam(Elephant) reminds us of the saying in Telugu: "Ayomayam Jagannaatham!" which can be translated as "Everywhere everything is a confusion!"
There are some people in this world who always have a confused look on their face. You ask them something and immediately they are all confused and it takes some seconds for our question to sink into their mud-heads and it takes some more long moments for their head to decode the question and process it and spew out the response... Well, many of my friends think that I am one such person and one such friend gifted me with this gajam. He says that the moment he saw the expression on this elephant, he was reminded of me!

Does the gajam look like me?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lost, but Found!

As I enter our cabin, I see my colleague sifting through a pile of things on our desks, pulling out the chest of drawers, looking under the desks and scrutinizing every nook and corner of the room. As soon as he sees me enter the cabin, he asks at once, “Did you see the network port for this label printer?” and continues, “I remember keeping it right here on this modem, but I am unable to find it.” His words come out like a flood gushing out of his voice-box. He looks very anxious and is thinking aloud trying to recollect where he had put the external network port. “I should have locked it up in my cupboard. There are many rats that roam around during the nights… May be one of them took it away. But what will a rat do with it? It’s not an eatable. Did someone else take it for safe-guarding? Let me go ask at the reception.” All this sentences are incoherent and inconsistent. Poor thing! He can’t help it. The network port was indeed expensive.

His frantic search reminded me of another incident narrated by my maternal grandfather. My thatha would have been in his teens then. He would wear veshti(dhoti) during those days. One day he washed and hanged his veshti out for drying. When he returned home, he realized his veshti was nowhere to be seen. He felt bad because he had only two or three veshtis that he would wear in rotation. He searched everywhere and asked everyone about it. He thought may be one of his family members would have taken it and kept it in his shelf, or may be it just fell off the clothesline due to a gush of wind and might have drifted farther away from his house. He searched whole of his backyard and neighboring houses too.

All the time while he was searching, he continuously chanted a mantra. This mantra is supposed to get back anything that was lost. It goes like this:
Karthaveeryaarjuno naama (A person by name Karthaveerayarjuna)
Raaja Baahu Sahasravaan (he has thousand strong arms)
Thasya smarana maathrena (if we think of him for a moment)
Gatham Nashtancha Labhyathe! (whatever we have lost, will be found)

My thatha was sincerely urging Karthaveerayarjuna to search and get back his veshti. Like a miracle, he found his veshti, but it was of no use to him.

But why so?

That evening their curd-vendor came home to sell them curd. And what did my thatha see on him? His own vesthi! The vendor was wearing my thatha’s veshti. He might have flicked it from their backyard. Generally all vesthis are white in color. So the vendor might have thought that no one will discover his theft. However every veshti also has a border or some stains that are uniquely identifiable to the owner of the veshti. My thata found his veshti because of Karthaveerayarjuna, but what was the use? He could not take it back nor use it!

Sometimes even when we find our own things, they may be rendered useless to us.

Coming back to the Karthaveerayarjuna slokam… This slokam has helped me many times in finding my misplaced things. I do not know whether Karthaveerayarjuna himself searches them for me, or chanting of this mantra makes my brain to concentrate more and to recollect where I had placed those things. Whatever be the reason, thatha’s Karthaveerayarjuna works wonders!
What happened to my colleague's network port? Well, he never found it. May be because I did not teach him this mantra. You see... he seems to be too modern for it! ;-)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bull’s Eye becomes Scarecrow

As we enter the manufacturing plant, a lot of colored plates catch our attention. These plates have been hung from the ceiling of the factory. These plates have concentric circles painted on them in catchy colors. Is there some target practice going on in the plant? Or is anyone playing Bull’s eye (game of darts) here? No. Not at all!
These plates serve an entirely different purpose. They are used as scarecrows, or rather as scare-pigeons!

It is a popular belief that the pigeons do not stay in places where shootings go on. Wherever shootings go on there are dart boards or target plates around. It seems that the pigeons do recognize the dart boards as symbols of death and stay away from them. The clever factory workers/management have dangled these plates near to the ceiling all over the plant to scare the pigeons.


From what I could gather from the workers, the number of pigeons has drastically decreased. The bull’s eye scares the pigeons indeed!

House Hunt

Man proposes, God disposes...

Appa proposed that we will find and shift into a new house by the end of the weekend and God did everything to dispose off my dad’s plan. After traveling on foot all around our locality for more than 4 hours each day, what did Appa get in return? A well worn out pair of chappals! Going around with Appa, I realized how difficult it is to find a suitable house, in good locality, in good neighborhood, within our budget and big enough for us.

Of course, we did find a lot of brokers who were willing to search for us if only we were ready to shell out half the rent to them. I somehow feel, it’s too much money to the broker and at this point of time, none of us in our family could afford it.

By the end of the weekend, we are were extremely disappointed and wondered why God was so partial to Appa.

Anyway, I am not writing this post to crib or complain about the failure of the house hunt. I wanted to list out some tips to find a house for TO-LET, without a broker.

  1. Look for the TO-LET board hung on the gate or the balcony (this point is too obvious)
  2. Go through classifieds in Deccan Chronicle (this point is also a very obvious one)
  3. Start early. That is when we get to meet the newspaper boys and milk delivery boys. They are the right ones to know which house is empty (nice idea na?!)
  4. Enquire the dhobi or the isthriwala or the radhdhiwala in that locality for details of available houses (most of them may have turned into rental brokers, beware!)
  5. If you are searching during twilight or dark, look for portions of the buildings/apartments that do not have any lights on. They are most likely to be available for rent. (This one really helps. We found close to 5 portions using this technique.)
  6. If all the windows of a building are shut or if the building is getting newly painted, we can stop there and enquire!

I learnt all this by observing the way Appa was progressing towards finding a home for us. In spite of all our efforts, we failed miserably. Better luck next time!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reverse Gear...

A huge aircraft with a tiny jeep in front of it... Seems a familiar scene for some but a strange sight for others like me ... There is a chain that connects the aircraft’s nose with the bonnet of the jeep. What is a tiny jeep doing? Are the two vehicles playing tug-of-war! Of course not! :)


Though an aeroplane may be one of the largest vehicles, yet it lacks an important control. The reverse gear! I was extremely surprised when I found this out. Why should an aircraft not need a reverse gear? Or is it unnecessary for it to go in reverse direction in the air? I am not sure.

Can anyone help me understand this?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

That's me!

In Braille (Blind) Alphabet :


In Sign Language :


In Morse Code :
.-.-..--......


In Marine Flag Language :


My Unique Barcode:


Courtesy: PokeMyName

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kosu Killing!

Killing a kosu is not merely a task; it is an art.
“Why so?” you may ask.
That’s why we have this post here!

We are sitting and working at our desk and we feel a sharp itching sensation on one of our feet. We are standing under a street light in the night and can feel a hundred of them circling over our head. We are cozily snuggling in our bed and getting ready for entering the world of dreams, when an irritating buzz pierces our ears and shatters our sleep. What is common in all these situations? Who is the nuisance here? The mosquitoes... the kosus.. who not only suck our blood but also drive us crazy with those buzzing sounds... They are also the carriers of innumerable diseases!

Swatting mosquitoes is not an easy task as it may seem to appear. When a kosu is perched on our arm, or it’s much better to imagine the kosu being on someone else’s arm, we need to cautiously move our palm closer to the kosu without shooing it away. Even when we reach very near to the kosu, we should not be in haste; else one or both of the two things may happen. The kosu will fly away and/or we will hit our friend’s arm and not the kosu. If the latter happens, we are sure to get a black eye or a bruised face depending on where we get the punch!

So, now our palm is very close to the kosu, almost touching it. With a very swift movement we should hit the kosu and with enough force that the kosu gets knocked off. However, we should not hit with too much force else the kosu will get squashed and it will stain the arm.

Just imagine if the kosu is on the wall, squashing it with too much strength will permanently stain the wall. It may stain our clothes too! It’s amazing that a teeny-weeny kosu can have so much blood that it oozes out like a fountain and sometimes dribbles too!

These kosus do not seem to be hindered even by mosquito repellents. We generously apply odomos cream to our entire body, yet the kosus hover over our ears and buzz. The odomos cream only gives us an added sweat, there is no relief from these pests!

How about using some tortoise? The spiral of kachchua is lighted and it glows red in the dark. We are gagged by the strong fumes and are almost choking. Yet why does not the kosu choke to death? I guess it’s become immune to all this!

You may be thinking that I will talk/write about All-Outs and Good Knights now. Well, you are wrong. When the pungent smoke of tortoise itself cannot destroy the mighty mosquitoes, what can the odorless fluids plugged to the electricity do?

I am reminded of my childhood days, when we used to consider these kosus as our enemies. Every day during twilight we would shut all the doors and windows of our house. We would switch on Jet mat or Good Knight mat. But it would never have any affect on the powerful kosus. So, we would light the jet mat and it would spew out fumes. We would hold it with an iduki (pattakarra in Telugu) and carry it around the house. We would sometimes burn neem leaves instead of those mats. (And they were equally effective way to ward off those pests.) We would ensure that the smoke gets spread to every nook and corner of the house. Soon a shower of kosus would fall onto the floor. The powerful fumes would make the kosus unconsicious. However, within a short period of time, they would regain their senses and start their nuisance. So, we would be ready to sweep the falling kosus into a heap and then swat them all with a single smack with our chappal. Yes, it was a very ruthless operation, but it was a survival of the fittest.

Guys, so at least now, do you accept that kosu killing is an art?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On Public Demand...

Everyone wants to know whom I am referring to in my post "Selflessness"...
And... shall we let the cat is out of the bag now?
Do I really need to mention the selfless person's name?
Okay... Okay.... Enough of beating around the bush!
The person I was referring to in "Selflessness" is none other than our own good-for-nothing fellow... Just Kidding... It is Mr. Suresh Hari..!

Now the little secret is out! :)
Go Suresh, go and bask in the glory of fame! You are famous now! :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dhanyavaad!

We all have heard of cakes for Birthdays, Anniversaries and Farewells... But has anyone of you ever heard of cutting a cake for hard work? It may sound familiar to some of you; however, it seems to be a very unusual gesture for me.

I have received many awards, merit certificates and praisewalls for my contribution to my project; but no one had ever done anything like this for me. I never knew that a simple and sweet gesture can mean so much to me!

What an creative way to encourage the team by sending cakes to our homes! It has added a personal touch to the appreciation and has motivated me tremendously... I am very fortunate to work with such a thoughtful person like you. Thank you very much for the cake and for your moral support that has helped us jump over hurdles, break through the barriers and find resolutions to our issues.

Your unique way of honoring us will be a cherished memory in my heart for a very long time. This "award" will always remain special to me. This little gesture of yours has triggered an extra vigor in me to continue my work with more enthusiasm. Dhanyavaad!

(Please pardon me for the incoherent sentences. My mind and my heart are bursting out with so much happiness and gratitude that they seem to cloud my sense of writing.)

For readers who cannot make head or tail of the post. Here's the background:
Last Friday, when I was at the airport waiting to board the Hyderabad flight, I got a call from a aunt saying a parcel had been delivered on my name. What was inside the box? It was a yummy cake from our boss in recognition to our efforts. I cannot say if I was happy or sad at that point of time. There were mixed feelings. I was extremely happy and excited to receive something like that. At the same time I was a little upset that I would not be able to taste it until I got back to Chennai. Luckily for me, my 6yr old nieces, Anthika and Anvitha were at home and who can be more apt to represent me and cut the cake? :)

They have saved a large portion for me in the fridge! I am eagerly waiting to see the picture of it and to taste it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Secrets Revealed!

Thanks to Renu... I did a little self-introspection and identified some of my weird traits!

Eight things about me that hardly anyone knows: (you may ask why eight and why not ten… 8th is the day on which I was born…)
  1. I kiss the pillow before I put my head onto it every night I go to bed. It’s like saying: thanks for cushioning my head all night!
  2. I read anything that is readable. I even read from the newspaper covers that we put over school text books. Once I even found a very interesting article that I removed the cover and straightened the folds and read the whole thing!
  3. I remember and recognize the distinct smell of all my family members. It is not the smell of the lotion or deodorant they use; it is the smell (rather stench!) of their sweat.
  4. I suffer from morning sickness on almost all days of winter. Hey don’t come to any wrong conclusions! ;-)
  5. If someone calls me when I am fast asleep, I can chat with them sensibly for hours together. And on the next day morning, I can’t recollect even a single word of what I spoke. In fact on some days, I end up checking up my received calls list to verify if the conversation happened in reality or in my dreams!
  6. I don’t wait for special occasions to give gifts to my closed ones… Whenever I feel like, there will a little gift from me to all my special ones… Who knows you may be the next one to see a gift wrapped box on your desk!
  7. I prefer to sleep on the floor, rather than on the cot.
  8. I hate doing any of the household chores! God knows, what will happen to my husband if at all I get married! ;-)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Comprehension

Gentle whispers… Sweet nothings…
Cuddling… Snuggling… Nuzzling…
Cozy Talks… Soothing murmurings…
Tinkling laughs… Contented Sighs…
Playful pranks… Naughty teasers…
Mischievous Flirting… Declarations of love…
Friendly admonitions… Sincere Praisings…
Unrestricted by time…
Unhampered by distance…
Unhindered by the entire world…

Does this bring a glow onto my face?
Does this spread a mysterious smile onto my lips?
Does this add an extra bounce to my gait?
Does this add chirpiness to my tone?
Does this envelope me with warmth
And give me a sense of security?

No!
Not at all!
But why?
Because all these were never meant for me
They belong to another soul…
To another being who is all the more different from me…

No one can replace that soul…
Not even me!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Sriram!


Sriram, Wish you a Fun-tastic Birthday! :-)

Let’s hop and skip
And swing and sway
For it’s Sriram’s birthday today!


Let’s twist and turn
And rock and roll
For it’s Sriram’s Birthday today!


Let’s jump and leap
And somersault in the air
For it’s Sriram’s Birthday today!


Let’s sing and dance
And yell and scream
For it’s Sriram’s Birthday today!

Let’s slide and glide
And do a jiggety jig
For it’s Sriram’s Birthday today!


Let’s run and catch
And play non-stop
For it’s Sriram’s Birthday today!


Let’s blow the candles
And cut the cake
And smear cream on all faces
For it’s Sriram’s Birthday today!



Sriram, Wish you a Fun-tastic Birthday! :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What is love?

"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it?
It makes you so vulnerable.
It opens your chest and it opens up your heart
and it means that
someone can get inside you and mess you up.
You build up all these defenses,
you build up a whole suit of armor,
so that nothing can hurt you,
then one stupid person,
no different from any other stupid person,
wanders into your stupid life...
You give them a piece of you.
They didn't ask for it.
They did something dumb one day,
like smile at you,
and then your life isn't your own anymore.
Love takes hostages.
It gets inside you.
It eats you out
and leaves you crying in the darkness,
so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends'
turns into a glass splinter
working its way into your heart.
It hurts.
Not just in the imagination.
Not just in the mind.
It's a soul-hurt,
a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain.
I hate love"
-Neil Gaiman

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Selflessness

Can you imagine yourself giving away your new T-shirt for someone who needs it during fancy dress competition? Can you imagine yourself lending your favorite bag to your friend for three whole months? Can you imagine yourself staying back late for giving moral support to someone who is neck-deep in project work?

Well, I am proud to say that I am very fortunate to have such friends… friends whom I can trust… and friends who trust me!

This post is about one such buddy of mine. The first time I got a glimpse of his benevolence, was when my sister needed a digital camera for her college project. She had been given an assignment of taking pictures of extraordinary posters and hoardings in the city. She also needed some pictures for her own posters related to her project on Water Conservation. This buddy of mine was just an acquaintance then and I had not even asked him, but he was willing to lend his camera to me. I was very much surprised and was wondering how he could trust me with his couple-of-months-new cam! In fact when I took the camera from him, it slipped off my hands and fell on the pavement. But he did not even scold me. He gave me a warm smile and picked up the camera and gave it back to me. The camera was in its case, so nothing has happened to it. “Thanks” was all that I could give back for his warm gesture!

Of course, after that day, he never loses any opportunity to describe the kind of pics my sister had taken… upturned bucket… a bucket with a broom etc.. etc… :-)

He understands me to the core and most of my thoughts match with him and we confide in each other. He never showcases his generosity publicly; it’s just there inside him and he is ready to extend a helping hand for anyone who needs it. We never need to ask. He has sixth sense to understand and empathize with our situation and assist us.

When I was to be sent to Chicago on project work, he was the one to explain me things… to counsel me and make me prepared for the whole new world. He lent me many of his things (some of those are yet to be returned to him!), but I was not able to give him anything in return! Not even a gift from Chicago! I really feel very bad about it and I don’t know how to rectify the situation.

I appreciate the way he rides his bike. He never breaks any traffic signals, not even when the roads are empty. He is the only one whom I trust to drop me home safely when I am wearing a saree!

I am finding no words to express my deepest sense of gratitude (the way Karthik would put it!) to this invaluable friend of mine. All I can say is I dedicate this post to you, my dear and I am thankful to God to present me with a friend like you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lori

This post is dedicated to the joker of our group, Mr. KT. No.. No.. Please do not hit me for calling you a joker. I just wanted to say that just by looking at your face, anybody will feel cheered up! :-)

We all were on our Kerala-Kanyakumari trip, traveling by car. All of us had been on the road for the past several hours and everybody was too much exhausted. Some of them dozed off, while others were playing some game or the other to keep themselves occupied. I was looking out the window taking in each and every change of landscape and humming to myself. Karthik was complaining that he was trying to best to sleep but could not. That was when I sang the Lori from Mission Kashmir.

Soja Chanda Raja Soja.... Chal Sapnon Mein Chal...
Neend Ki Pariyan Pehen Ke Aayi Pairon Main Payal...
Thujhko Apni Narm Paron Par Lekar Jaayegi...
Sone Ka Ek Des Hai Jiski Sair Karaagegi…

I went on humming this song continuously as if the player was put in a single-song-repeat-loop. Magically, Karthik fell asleep and so were some of the other friends who were busy playing! From then on whenever I feel restless in the night and am not able to fall asleep, I hum this song to myself and sure enough I start snoring at once (I can’t confirm about the snoring part! Ha ha ha)

Possessed!

Why do we sometimes become so possessive of our possessions? Even if someone uses our pen or hair-band, we really get annoyed with them. I never like sharing my comb with anyone, not with even my own sisters. The same goes for my towel and my blanket! That does not mean that I am very possessive of them. I am just being very over-cautious about cleanliness.

I don’t mind others using anything of mine as long as they ask me and then use it. I hate it when people take my things for granted and use them freely as if they are their own.

I remember an incident where I had lent a college book of mine to my friend. And she never bothered to return. Whenever I would ask about the book, she would say it’s at home and ask me to rummage her shelf and take it back. One fine day, I went to her place and was shocked to see the state of the book. The book was dog-eared and the very first page of it had her name in block letters. Just imagine someone writing his/her name on your book. I was furious and asked her why she had done that. She said she could not help it. How dare she do something like that! At that very moment, I took an oath that I would never lend her any of my books again.

Now when I think about this incident again, I feel that I had over-reacted to the situation. After all she was one of my closest friends and it was just a book. Was that book more important to me than her? Well, we never know!

Not just with things, we even become over possessive about people.

Why do we have this possessive feeling? When someone talks ill of our family members we defend them and would not think for a second time before severing our ties with them forever!

I am very possessive about my friends too. I stopped talking with one of my friends just because he forgot to inform me before he went to collect his degree certificate.

I also fought with another friend of mine for a very silly reason. He works in another branch of our office and every evening he travels to our branch to play TT. And every day he firsts meets me at my desk and keeps his bag and helmet and then goes and meets everyone else. One day he met someone else and then came to my desk. I became very furious. I felt unwanted. I felt he did not care for me anymore. What a foolish feeling I had!

Even when my best friend got engaged and started spending more time with her fiancé, I had a similar kind of a feeling. And I was really mad at her fiancé and wished he would not come between us. And now when I think about it, I feel like laughing! But as long as the feeling lasted, I really felt miserable.

Is possessiveness a positive trait or a negative one? Got to ponder more on it! Got any thoughts on this?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Unsaid Truth

The moon dreams to be with the earth
And the earth dreams to be with the moon…
Their endless courtship continues…

The moon tries to pull the earth towards itself
But only manages to tickle the waves in the ocean…
The earth reaches out to the moon
And that’s when we have high tides in the ocean…

The earth and moon meet twice during the day at the horizon...
First time at the moonrise and the second when the moon sets...

When the hour of rendezvous nears,
The moon becomes bigger and brighter in anticipation of the meeting
And the earth blushes in its milky white glow…


And when it’s Amaavaasya, the earth becomes dull and sad...
It drapes itself in black and mourns through the night.

During one such nights,
The wind moves in to be a new neighbor to the earth
When the wind peeks out of the mountains,
It sees the earth in sorrow.
The wind blows its gentle breeze
Trying to cheer up the earth…
The wind whispers into its ears and soothes the earth
The earth wraps up itself in the wind
And falls into a dreamless sleep

As time goes on…
The wind becomes very possessive of the earth
It can’t bear to see the earth with anyone else…

The D-day arrives…
The wind showers the earth with its sweet fragrance
And sends the clouds to spray the earth with water
The earth welcomes the drizzle with greenery
And waltzes in the rain

The wind swooshes around the earth in excitement
And confesses its love to the earth
The earth does not know what to do
But tells wind that they will never to able to bind together for life!

The wind stands transfixed in shock
And hides itself in the mountains…
The earth lays barren with no rain
And the hot sun makes the life worse for it…


Meanwhile the moon is suffering the curse of amaavaasya
It stands all alone with no earth for its company
The Polestar sees its plight and comes closer,
And gives the moon a twinkling smile.

The moon smiles back at its childhood friend
And the saptha rishis dance around them
The polestar twinkles and sparkles for the moon.

The moon finds its solace in the space…
In the vast emptiness and in the vacuum...
The moon realizes that this is what it’s destined for.
This is its home!
And when it pours out these feelings to Polestar,
The pole-star talks about its destiny.
“You are my destiny!”
The moon is dumbstruck,
To know that its childhood friend has been having such notions in mind.


But there is no time for any more thoughts,
For it’s the moonrise time…
The earth waits at the horizon with out stretched arms
And the moon lingers at the horizon for longer time.

During its transit across the sky,
The moon broods over its life…
About the earth… the pole-star… and their destinies…

When it nears the earth at the moonset time,
The moon realizes that they can only dream to be together,
But its home is amongst the stars.
It tells the earth about pole-star’s proposal.
“I am going to accept the pole-star as my better-half,” the moon says.

The earth is devastated… It trembles and shakes
Innumerable earthquakes and tsunamis occur within itself
It tears itself apart and grieves to oblivion.

The wind longs to see the earth
And so, it returns to blow threw the veins of the earth
Bringing back the lost shine onto the earth
The earth realizes that its fate has been bonded with the wind
And so, accepts to unite with the wind for life.

The wind floats on cloud nine
Its joy has no bounds
And it hops and skips around the earth
And wags its tail like a contented puppy!

The wind takes an oath,
“No matter what, I will always keep the earth happy!”


The moon, oblivious to the condition of the earth,
Spends its time with its honey.
It enjoys the tranquility of the space with its sweetheart.
The polestar is overjoyed
To see the affection that is showered on it…

Only when the moon has to traverse the sky,
It becomes very uneasy …
But the earth makes the moon feel comfortable
It shares the good news
And keeps talking more and more about the wind…
And the moon quietly listens
At the surface, both of them seem to be deeply involved in this conversation,
Yet they both know that it is all superficial.
It’s just a compromise they both had to make
They will never want to give words to their thoughts
Some things are best left unsaid!

The wind perceives the surge of love that the earth feels for the moon…
It knows that their rendezvous everyday is something beyond mere friendship.
Yet it shows no surprise nor gets angry with the earth.
It calmly backs off at the very sight of the moon

And then we can hear…
…the wind howling in the caves of the mountains all through the night!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Heavenly Deities

They may be merely statues for some, fine pieces of art for the others or gods for some others; But no one can deny the fact that during the time they hold our attention, we forget not only ourselves but also the whole world! Such is the influence of the deity on us.

One of the most mesmerizing moments in my life was the time when I got to see the goddess Kanyakumari. She is probably the only goddess who is still a maiden. According to the Hindu mythology, Kanyakumari is an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi. She is born on the earth to kill a demon. But she has to kill him only as a maiden. This goddess falls in love with Lord Shiva and then they decide to get married. An auspicious day is decided and wedding planned at midnight of that day. According to their horoscopes, it is found out that only on that particular day/time they both can get married. If the time is past then they can never ever get married.

But the whole purpose of her birth will be ruined if she gets married. She has to slay the demon as a virgin/maiden. So, Lord Narada, who is famous for poking his nose in other people’s affairs, transforms himself into a rooster and crows. Lord Shiva thinks that it is dawn and it is past the auspicious wedding time, returns back to his native place. All the presents and other necessary items for the wedding rituals are simply thrown on the sand at the seashore. They say this is the reason for having multi-colored sand in the beaches of Kanyakumari (Cape-comorin) and so the goddess Kanyakumari remained a maiden. Read more of the story at
http://www.templenet.com/Tamilnadu/kumari.html

I had waited for a long time in the queue that led to the sacred room where the goddess Kanyakumari’s idol was placed. When my turn came I stood mesmerized by the sight that was before my eyes. The room was dark yet brightly lit with lamps. The goddess was in the standing posture, draped in a half-sari. I could see some lamp glittering just below her nose and also at one side of her nose. It took me some long moments to realize that the lamps at her nose were actually reflections of the lamps on her diamond nose ring. I can never forget the sight. Even now I just have to shut my eyes and in my mind’s eye, I can see the dazzling lamps shining on her diamond nose ring.

It is said that during the olden days, the diamond nose ring was used like the light on the light-house to aid the ships sailing towards the coast. I guess even a small piece of coal can do wonders!

* * *

Have you ever seen a God with moustache?
Well, I have seen one at the Paarthasaarathi Temple in Chennai.

“Paarthan” is another name of “Arjun” of Mahabharatha and “Saarathi” means Charioteer. During the war of Mahabharatha, Krishna took the role of charioteer for Arjun. That’s how the name Parthasaarathi was bestowed on him. The idol of this God is made of a dark stone and it has surely a pointed moustache carved in the stone. It seems very strange to me how we generally always imagine the God as cleanly shaven with no beard or moustache.

That is not the only thing that was different from other idols. At the heart of Lord Paarthasaarathi, there was a carving of Goddess Lakshmi. This depicted that Goddess Lakshmi resides in the heart of the Lord. And the idol of the goddess was decorated with jasmine flowers.

* * *

Generally when I read, I have the habit of lying down to one side and holding my book in one hand and supporting my head with the other hand. When my grandma sees me like that she asks: “Enna Ananthasayanamaa?”

It is said that Lord Vishnu lies in that posture on a bed of snake (Aadhisesham) that has severals heads. These heads raise their hoods to shade the Lord’s head. The Lord has goddess Lakshmi at his feet pressing his legs. He is said to float on the milk of ocean like this.

The Lord Vishnu is in this posture (Ananthasayanam posture) at the Padmanabhaswami temple in Chennai. From the naabhi (navel) of the Lord, there is a stem at the tip of which is a lotus. And inside the lotus is Lord Brahma.

I stood in awe for a long time gazing at the idol, until my cousin shook me up to get me back to reality. There is a kind of tranquility that spreads into our veins when one visits a temple.

* * *

Sometimes... Even our two eyes are not to enough to take in the beauty and workmanship of an idol.

At the Ashtalakshmi Temple in Basant Nagar beach, the Yoga Narasimhar and Sudharshanar shrines are right behind each other. The reason for this is: Both of the deities have been sculpted on a single stone. On one side of it, we see the Sudharshan and the other side of it is Yoga Narasimhar. Along with good skills, one requires loads of patience to carve such a magnificent piece of art! Even if one side of it goes wrong then the whole rock has to be abandoned and then the work must start again on a new rock.

It is at the same temple, we have shrines of all eight Lakshmis (Dhana Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi, Vijaya Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Adhi Lakshmi, Santaana Lakshmi, Dhairya Lakshmi, Vidhya Lakshmi) at a single place.

The architecture of the temple is marvelous. The temple is a four storey structure and the shrines are built one top of the other. The stairs lead us from one shrine to another and from one level to another. Unfortunately the paintwork of the temple has deteriorated and it may gradually go into ruins if we do not take care of this heritage.

What makes this temple even more beautiful?
It’s its location! The temple stands right next to the Bay of Bengal and one can have a breath-taking view of the beach from the top of the temple. That is what the goddess Dhana Lakshmi does. Her shrine is in the top storey and she sits facing to the east, probably enjoying herself and bestowing her blessings to us!

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Very near to Ashtalakshmi temple, there is a Murugan temple called Arupadai Veedu (Six Abodes of Lord Muruga). Incidentally, Lord Murugan has six heads.

This temple has six different shrines of Lord Murugan similar to those in other parts of Tamil Nadu. It is said that if one has prayed for visiting any of the shrines down south of India and they do not have the capability to travel so much, they can visit Arupadai Veedu. It is equivalent to visiting the actual shrines. To know more please click on this link:
http://www.ganesh.us/gods/lord_muruga.html

What caught my attention at this temple was the Elephant incarnation of Lord Ganesha. As we know Lord Ganesha has an elephant head. But I never know that he took the incarnation of an elephant. According to mythology, Lord Murugan, disguised as an old man, was asking Goddess Valli to marry him. When she did not agree, he pleaded his brother Lord Ganesha for help. He took the incarnation of a wild elephant and accosted Goddess Valli. Then the goddess begged the old man (Lord Murugan) to help her. He said, “I will agree to save you only if you will marry me.” In her helplessness, she agreed and when the Lord came in his true form, she was overjoyed. To read more on this story please open this link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valli

I realize there are so many legends in our Hindu Mythology that I don’t know. Time to bury my head into our epics and feel the Godliness around me! :)

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There a little more to write, before I end this post…

This post will be incomplete without Rammappa Temple. The architecture of the temple is awesome. From the aerial view, it looks like a lotus flower. Each inch of the temple is full of intricately designed sculptures. The Shrine of Shiva inside the temple is pitch dark. Even though the shrine is in darkness, at any time of the day, the Shiva Linga will always be visible. This is due to the position of the pillars in front of the shrine. The angle and the direction of the pillars ensure that the light from outside gets reflected and falls onto the Shiva Linga.
I do not think I will be doing any justice to the Ramappa Temple, if I do not write a separate post for it. We will have the post shortly in our blog! :)