Monday, July 21, 2014

                               JUVENILE JOY

Rubber trees testimony to the etched annals of herald
Staying lost in flight, looking back at 
Souvenirs saved, unleashed at free will
Turning pages of memories captured in mind

Endless giggles, games and gossip
Tucked away, the tricks, teases and truants
Tomfoolery complementing pedantic times
Chronicles from epic pages of book lore

A panoramic view of poems, prose and plays
Kindling adventure, glee and rhapsody
Sprints to arts class with hot pursuits
A regatta of patterns riot by young Picassos

Resonating sounds with sticks of hockey
Reverberating in tandem with bugles and drums
Solutions, dilute and concentrated in test tubes and beakers
Sophomores trembling at master with properties of substance

Living organisms in petri dishes with a genius guru
Dates with Mughals, Cholas and Colonial Raj
History brought alive by luminaries
Mapping the world, exploring Stalagtites and Aurora Borealis

Meter rules, energy and motion thrust upon stupid blocks of wood
Instilling Civic sense and a method in madness
Figures, lines, tangents ,solids and planes
Numbers and symbols, precise and accurate with our Pythagoras

Alter ego, buddy, sidekick, all with sobriquets and epithets
Outstanding companions of fun and frolic romping with mirth
Clowning and merry making in sheer nonsense
Pals and cronies dancing and singing to hearts content....

Oh....Take me there again , I do reminisce the juvenile joy!

                                Dedicated to the class of '85 of Udyogamandal school,FACT township 
                                                                                       Kochi, Kerala




Monday, June 23, 2014

                                               Ad nauseam

It was a lazy day that came my way , on a Sunday- the twitterati, facebookers and whatsappers had shut themselves out after the nocturnal ‘carniball’ over the Rio cup and my word feud friends had also vanished without a trace. Adding insult to injury was the lacklustre lunch , the monotony of the mundane was simply unbearable. And to make matters worse, I hit the button on the remote and the LCD crackled to life. After several inglorious minutes of channel hunting akin to scavengers rummaging the garbage, I settled on the match highlights – after all I had to keep up with the Joneses on the greatest show on the planet , at least to engage myself in conversation with the rest of the football frenzy household.
But the deluge of commercials before the Latin wizardry and tiki taka,  took the wind out of my sails. What perfect timing to air the advertisement on toilet cleaning agents, here I was looking for some masala to pep up the food on the platter, but what I got was the nauseating looming visuals of the lady in white coat bending down to the deplorable level of touching the toilet basin to prove her point and do justice to the crores she was earning for endorsing the product. All I could do was take my eyes away and say “yuck” aloud which was grossly misunderstood for the food , by my loving critics!
I have seen shoes being hurled at prominent politicians, and this celebrated list includes our very own Chiddu saar, by frustrated citizens but it was sickening to see a man throwing his shoe at the hapless yet formidable insect , the cockroach ! The well aimed throw, putting many an Olympian to shame did find the target and creature flipped over. The people for ethical treatment to insects would have gone for the thrower’s throat for this dastardly act but for the humane act of the husband and wife duo who were trying to revive the creature by sprinkling drops of water on it. But the insect activists’ joy was short lived as the voice over in the commercial says “now how can the dead cockroach which had eaten the poison product kill other scores of its friends when they come in contact with it?” Genocide” cried the people , anyway the product is living upto its name ‘hit’!!
I am still trying to figure out the connection between a chewing gum and the sequence of slides showing a ugly man transforming into a toothless blond with a Lasith Malinga hairdo. If only my eyes were “zip locked” instead of the mouth .....to avoid the trauma of watching such a ludicrous ad!
Next in the line of repulsive ones, is the plethora of commercials for  deodorant sprays , well this goes on to prove that the skunks pervading our planet is only directly proportional! Scantily clad models heading towards the water hole to party all night are enticed by the odour and they swarm, slither and self indulge much to the discomfort of the custodians of moral rights who squirm in their couches and are left “axed”!
The obsession with us Indians, on the fair skin will never wane and so will the ads on fair skin creams, each one of them guaranteeing whitest shades of skin colour! The obvious choice of prefix for these bleaching agents is “fair” and only the suffix changes to suit the gender – ‘lovely’ for women and ‘handsome’ for men. These are gentle reminders of the dark ages of apartheid that we still live in!
My grocery purchases have never been influenced by these oft repeated and reinforced repulsive ads but always held a standard – a hurriedly prepared list with half the requirements given a glorious miss, I head towards the supermarket ( oops! it is the hypermarket store , these days)and end up buying the “most wanted” along with the “unwanted”  the latter  far out numbering the former ! The end result would be the bazaar running out on printing stationery due to the ultra long bill and a gaping hole in the wallet!!!

ASIDE.....But all the same I do stand and gape at the huge billboards of amul ads on busy traffic junctions oblivious of honking and polluting vehicles, to admire the creative caricature and the wonderful play of words...then it is “AD”diction and not “AD” nauseam!!!
          

Thursday, February 27, 2014

  YENNES INFOTECH – A bestseller in the making.
When I stepped into the posh interiors of # 1 , Gokul arcade, a smart front officer warmly welcomed me assuming to be a prospective client. I stammered, stuttered and mumbled “Bharati”. She was a little taken aback at a stranger addressing her boss by the first name and that too without the customary prefix. Soon, I realised and said a little bit more boldly “I want to meet your director”.
    “Do you  have an appointment ma’am?” she asked me, gently flipping through the appointment ledger and scanning her eyes over the system
   I said – “She’s expecting me, tell her it’s Sunita.”
   In a jiffy, the tall vivacious director of Yennes Infotec (P) ltd , Bharati Saravanan strode into the reception lobby and I was mesmerized for a moment – here she was, my childhood buddy, in flesh and blood, reunited after so many years... ‘tomboy’ lass of yesteryears with whom I have spent the maximum time of my growing up years.
  I stifled a shout of excitement as scores of employees were neck deep in work. We hugged and she escorted me to her well kept, neat cubicle and I sat snugly admiring her directorial skills – orders flying, crisp and clear to her well groomed staff keeping a tab on the updates, pleasantly answering her clients for support, sales and service. I felt immensely proud of her and watched the lady in action as my mind traversed to the years of struggle she might have encountered on her way to stardom. Working shoulder to shoulder with her enterprising husband Mr.N.Saravanan, putting her resources of commerce, communication and class to excellent use, they toiled night and day. I am reminded of Sir Winston Churchill’s famous words “ Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” and the Yennes family never waned in their devotion and passion.
   As Yennes Infotec (P) Ltd celebrates two decades of business in Tally, I deem it a proud privilege to bask in their glory. Overcoming hurdles, barriers, obstacles are indeed part and parcel of growing up for an enterprise and patience, persistence and perseverance is an unbeatable combination for success.
  There are many yardsticks for measuring success, the prosperous termination of objectives and desires and undoubtedly topping the indices is a rosy balance sheet. The availability and quality of products and services, years of putting in valuable service, the number of employees on the roll call, their satisfaction and rewards, and so on, but prime among them is customer goodwill and appeasement! Yennes , over the years has committed itself to this motto and scaled every peak to make their customers “kings”! Innovation is the modern day mantra for success while at the same time retaining its originality and purpose . To prosper and flourish , in a highly competitive environment , one has to keep repositioning and reorienting itself to the ever changing world and its demands. Success is therefore an offshoot of adaptability and customising by conforming to set standards leading to change and metamorphosis! The key to staying alive and keeping the head well above the water is without doubt “customising solutions” in accordance with the clientele requirements and Yennes has done just that and each time raised its bar to unmatched levels.

      As Yennes Infotec (P) ltd strives towards excellence, moving from one milestone to another, achieving more laurels and accolades and expanding their business territory, I extend my hearty good wishes to the enterprising couple Saravanan and Bharati and the entire cast and crew to thrive and triumph and become a “bestseller”!

                                         Sunita Ramaswamy

Thursday, February 13, 2014

                     
This is an entry for 

 "WINNING for India Today Conclave 2014" please see the full details at 

http://conclave.intoday.in/


                  Veni, vidi, vici

The conqueror and the vanquished
                                   Powerful and meek
                                      Master and subordinate
                                             Leader and follower
Yes, a winner and a loser!

Winning is awe inspiring, a way of life for others to emulate, overtake and become numero uno . Testimony to this theory are the numerous triumphant achievers in every walk of life, across a huge spectrum giving joy to themselves as well as pride to a nation.
The Indian Army ‘capturing’ the Drass peak
-    A moment of glory for the proud patriotic soul
The Indian cricket team ‘holding aloft’ the world cup
-    A dream come true for the cricket crazy nation
The brilliant odyssey to the red planet
-    Scientists at ISRO attain eminence
The World’s richest man  is an Indian ‘earning’ a net worth of over...
-    An Indian businessman at the very top makes us go gaga
The sensex breaching the ........ index mark
-    It’s a bull run and ‘sweeping the boards’’ are the investors
Sir C.V. Raman having a Noble ‘effect’
-    An accomplishment that is unparalleled
Mozart of Madras treating us at the Grammy’s
           -it is indeed music to the ears!
Oscar nights dominated by Bollywood
          -‘accomplishing’ the impossible are our actors
Mary Kom’s knock out punch
-    An Olympic medal ‘catch’
Arundhati Roy , the Booker prize awardee
-    ‘coming away’ with top honours
And so the list goes on and on.....umpteen instances of heroes and heroines who emerged victorious with sheer grit, determination and perseverance.“Winning” , undoubtedly is a conquest , an accomplishment of the best in any field  , a first in this mad race for supremacy , so how about  venturing into another dimension with a human touch, a competition where there are only winners and no losers?

          Love, friendship and relationship that bonds us eternally with no greed, avarice or heartburn, a triumph that does not pip anyone at the post or beat anyone hollow ,but on the contrary makes us, the mortal beings richer ,satisfied and contented.


      Ours was an arranged marriage , the traditional one routed through horoscopes and boy meeting girl sequence . A heart to heart talk followed in the midst of anxious and peering parents . In a matter of few palpable minutes, we had “won” each other’s hearts and the candid conversation led to the opening of a profound partnership , in progress , for life, accompanied by joys and sorrows like in an orchestra! Days and nights of sharing, giving and taking was a game on a level playing field with no vendetta or vengeance , supremacy or one upmanship. When my mother in law to be, patted my hand, I had “conquered” a sense of belongingness in the new family and she had “earned” another daughter! Along with this, came a plethora of relatives in the form of sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas, each one of them unique in their own sweet way, the package was one heaven of a deal and worth every magical moment. Functions within the extended family were filled with gaiety and exuberance unmatched in any field or activity!

    My colleague at the work place was an epitome of composure, timidity and sensitivity , paradoxical to the bold, flamboyant and extrovert me , proving beyond doubt the postulate that opposite poles attract! We were in perfect harmony , never crossing swords, working in tandem , helpful and appreciative of each other’s successes. A rapport that grew by leaps and bounds ,fetching enormous levels of profitability and productivity that no blue chip can boast of!

    A sea of humanity as I entered the portals of the University, in a flash, breaking the ice ,were two birds but of different feathers  flocking together  as if they knew each other for ages. Only that they were total strangers a couple of minutes ago, yes , strangers are indeed  friends whom we are yet to meet!  We became ruthless friends for life and the adhesive of bonhomie brought us joy, happiness and a host of other emotions that energized our college days. Together, we voyaged across unchartered seas, saw new horizons , nurtured new hopes and explored the labyrinths of the education maze emerging victorious . The time spent in the corridors of knowledge was sacred and sacrosanct and more valuable than the graduation degree , was the friendship which is a prized possession!

  School , our second home, frothing with bubbles of innocence , days of fun and frolic, learning the first lessons of life , fresh and presumptuous among the affable lot, is a bosom buddy with whom I learnt to pedal, to swim, to sing, to dance, to play and to treasure hunt. A sidekick who is akin to a thrilling trophy adorning and embellishing the showcase of camaraderie.
These are classic examples of  a win-win situation  for all, there are no losers and hence no regrets or heartburns. A connect that breaks all shackles of greed, desire for power and insatiability. Vendetta, hatred , disappointments, voids, challenges have no place in this spectacular win. It leaves the players contented ,gratified and appeased. The delightful years of donning different roles of spouse, friend, peer is a master catch that prevails over all trophies, medals, cups, scrolls, badges, awards and accolades! All of us are winners, always first in the race of life , reaping rich rewards and dividends.

   

Monday, December 16, 2013

                                     This and that....mundane matters...

                    I am forced to come out of my blogging hiatus for two extraordinary reasons – the first one being the wonderful privilege to read the samples of my nine year nephew Dhruv’s daily diary (DD) – it was indeed a treat to the eyes, for the content and style of his daily adventures not to mention the impeccable spellings and grammar. Yes , my digital diary (DD too!) had to come out of hibernation for this very sake! The other reason is the least expected, literally a bolt from the blue when my elder son put this question across “ why are you not blogging these days?” I was taken aback at this from somebody who had scant regard for articles , least of all for my blah blah! This question intrigued me until it was put to rest by the younger one after much cajoling, coercing and blackmailing into spilling the beans ...his teachers at school were hounding him for essays for the school magazine and he had this brilliant brain wave to cut, copy and paste from my blog...just as I was rejoicing on the fact that my blog was finally being put to use, came the rejoinder...”you know amma, nobody would know that this is lifted from the internet as there are no readers for your posts”..my spirits fell ..the truth is a bitter pill , no doubt..
                      I gave the Bangalore edition of the blogger meet a go by , on two valid counts– firstly, I had not contributed at all to the new posts category in recent times and felt guilty to be part of  a gathering which boasted of writers setting new records in blogs. Also, wanted sweet revenge on Indiblogger and the jury of the contests for denying me the pleasure of an award or at least a consolation . This elusive reward haunted me more , when I found my concept plagiarised by a fellow blogger who smartly converted it into a poem and adding insult to injury was that she won a prize too while I took solace in free gift hampers! I know this second reason of mine in not attending the meet ,hardly bothered anyone and nobody missed me, but it did give a sense of satisfaction to my alter ego!
            Moving on from the disastrous blogger world which was akin to Carlson showing his supremacy over our Anand and AB(c)D V..and team trouncing the men in blue, some nice things did happen , courtesy the darling devils..the elder one “earned” a coveted Math Olympiad trophy in an interschool event and was richer by ₹9500/- My dad graciously announced that a crisp ₹500 would be added to the sum to make it a round figure – what a fine liberal gesture from a seasoned Chartered Accountant! The next nice thing that left me open mouthed was the sight of my six footer second son straddling across to breast the tape at his school sports relay race. He galloped like a gazelle as I wondered whether one of the species had escaped from the Bannerghata National Park! My eyes were lustrous with joy and surprise  and I felt like Usain Bolt’s mom!!
                     I reframed  ABCD again  to read as ABCR for anybody can run and then again to ABCP for anybody can become Pradhan manthri ,after all the sole criterion was the magical age of 43 and I too became the most eligible to occupy the gaddi! I too like millions of foolish Delhiites fell hook , line and sinker for the AAP mania with its ‘sweeping’ reforms to cleanse the country but was utterly ‘bitterly’ disappointed with its idiosyncrasies and lust for power – the moment the sane people join the political bandwagon, they are turned into members of the glass menagerie – it is a circus out there , albeit not with jokers but with ‘joke pals’
                 Continuing with jokes, I also had the good fortune of reading an array of articles in different newspapers and couple ( sorry two again, only pure coincidence)of them were simply outstanding - C K Meena ji’s take on neighbours , but Meena ji , I beg to diasagree with you – one doesn’t need hands to count the good and friendly neighbours , fingers would suffice, on the contrary  I would rather put the fingers to good use , that of manoeuvring my smart phone! The other read was the American sojourns by Ms.Saraswati Narayan – I could see a mirror image of the tales of my mother in law’s American odyssey to baby sit !
          While a small percentage of the days gone by were spent on work, the major chunk of time was spent in endless queues in numerous agencies especially the LPG providers, for submitting the Aadhar card( for the un ordained , it is the Unique Identity Card adding to the myriad identity cards like passport ,as for me it has only so far been a card for identity, the ration card, the voter’s card to name  a few among them!) The already dwindling bank balances would see further reduction in the form of ever inflatory maintenance and gas bills as payments are linked to bank accounts. A portion of time was also spent in the addictive scrabble game on the web where I bonded well with a grey-haired English woman . We shared a lot on the chat facility and felt miserably sucked to read of her long partnership with her husband falling apart – Hrithik definitely has company and that club is no longer exclusive...

              Folks, it is that time of the year where forgotten resolutions reappear in brand new avatars , mine among scores of them is to keep my DD active and be a challenger to my nephew’s DD – well it is worth the effort!
    Happy Yuletide and season’s greetings....  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

(This is an entry for the “Ambi pur” contest, please read about it at:   http://www.facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia)

                            The Nostril Nostalgia

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and the years you have lived”- how true are these words of Helen Keller...
                  The wanderlust took me far and wide, understanding the alien lands with its distinct smells but the infatuating odour of my motherland lured me back and here I embark on the nostalgia of the nostrils....
                      I stepped out of the air conditioned coach swathed in “ambi”ent “ambrosia of the “pur”e air, now out in the open, nature’s earthy fragrance took over , the smell of the dancing rain and the feel of the wind revived the glorious past and brought back vivid pictures .
“Smell has an impact on memory and cognitive functioning. It brings back pictures as sharp as real photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind”-Thalassa cruso
         I walked down the pathway, leading to my home , lined with roses and lilies drenched with dew drops, the air magical and the butterflies in symphony with myriad colours of nature sucking nectar to my infinite delight.
“As you walk down the fairway of life, you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round”- Ben Hogan
Amma, hugged me and the crisp starchy scent of her sari tingled my olfactory senses , she, as always had arranged the lovely flowers in the brass ‘urali’- truly sublime..Yes, appa very much with his newspaper on the old cane chair , my nose caught a dash of cologne mixed with the fresh paper print and cane.
“Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.”-Vladimir Nabokov
          But, stronger was the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee emanating from the kitchen and the longing heart ached for the morning cuppa to invigorate my soul.
To me the smell of fresh made coffee is one of the greatest inventions”- Hugh Jackman
         To pamper and repair my curly tresses, amma put some coconut oil to heat and added some rice with camphor and pepper to it , applying it on the hair was simply divine- one is on a high, so intoxicating..the water of periyar and the sandal soap cleansed  and soothed my nerves.
           I savoured the lip smacking breakfast of idli, vada dunked in sambhar and chutney washed down with pristine filter coffee- the olfactory sense prevails first and succeeds in making the eyes appreciate, messaging the brain “common try it out , it is tempting” and then tickling the taste buds!
“Senses are quicker to react than reason and the nose remembers more than the eyes!”
     The bookshelves in the home library beckoned me with open arms , the rustic wooden smell with the bewitching old book charm – classic to say the least.
“A book has got smell. A new book smells great. An old book smells even better. It smells like ancient Egypt.”- Ray Bradbury
Mesmerized in the world of pharaohs and pyramids, I rose like a phoenix to venture into the serene garden where the ripe jackfruit was ready to be plucked, the luscious mangoes , reminiscent of the bygone era . After a hectic spade and hose work, I smelled like the Earth itself.
“In the spring , at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”- Margaret Atwood.
          It was time for some shopping and appa loaded his wallet with wads of the Indian rupee to splurge on his daughter’s whims and fancies as I stood transfixed taking in the redolence of the material paper money!
“Money does not smell of the mire whence it came , it has the glorious scent of what will be”- Catulle Mendes.
Meanwhile , the motley crowd of the spiritual and the religious had gathered for the “Narayaneeyam” session with amma as the spiritual head. The puja room blissfully decorated in strings of colourful flowers and the air quickly changing to that of whimsical incense sticks, camphor and ‘sambrani’. The sweet aroma of concoction of ‘pal payasam’ offered as ‘neivedyam’ to the lord was reason enough for the creator of the universe to step into our humble abode to taste our own manna!
    The lunch spread on the green plantain leaf was a connoisseur’s delight- each item distinct on the palette, unique in sight and smell!
     Afternoon siesta was a welcome one for two wholesome reasons- one being the fully loaded tummy and the other, the alluring perfumed freshly laundered bed linen- snuggled cosily in the cool comforts with the mystical rain in the background.
      The magnificent aroma of hot tea with banana fritters aroused me from my deep slumber and I did justice to the maxim ‘live to eat’. As the Sun set , the lavender air wick hypnotized and kept me spellbound! All the perfumes around my house have sweetened these wonderful thoughts of my dear and near! Every home has its identity by its characteristic unmistakable smell that is indeed balmy to the tired soul!
“A good fragrance is really a powerful cocktail of memories and emotion.”- Jeffrey Stepakoff
  Notes:
Urali- the round flat vessel made of brass
Idli,vada, sambar and chutney- south Indian dishes
Narayaneeyam- verses for Lord Vishnu
Neivedyam- Prasad or offering to God

Pal payasam- kheer made of milk and rice

Monday, July 29, 2013

                                     Manic Monday

I am rudely awakened from my sleep , the alarm singing “wake up , wake up, for its  a brand new day...”wishing vehemently that I could shut it and go back to deep slumber but no..not today...it was Monday and we are back to the grind after a well earned day’s sabbatical! To start is difficult but to restart is Herculean...and that was precisely the mode I was in at this moment...
         A bigger task awaited me , the ordeal of waking up two teenage boys ,who had spent three fourths of the previous night chatting, fighting, gaming , listening to music, though not necessarily in this order...Repeated ventures into their bedroom with vocal chords exercise starting from the mild tone “hey boys please get up , its time” to the high octaves finally yields results and they are up and about caring little to make the bed ,suddenly realizing that a mountain of unfinished tasks lay before them – activities, assignments, presentations  which had kissed the weekend goodbye and the Monday deadline stared at their faces!
         I enter the washroom with utmost trepidation, fervently praying to Almighty for the water to flow through the pipes , yes the requests to God  may sound trivial but not in my predicament. God is merciful , the security staff had not forgotten to switch on the motor, I know Iam  at the mercy of his memory!
          Soon , at my own Adda juggling milk satchets on one hand , bread loaves on the other, wish I had half a dozen more which would work in tandem to complete the morning chores, I hand the respective beverages to the boys with a reminder set every couple of minutes to drink it. Suddenly, there is a shrill call from the boy’s domain- “Amma, where on Earth is the scrap book?” Thanking the stars that it not a sledge hammer strike between the two and only a verbal assault, I answer in a tone to boot his “It is in the wooden almirah” . There is a pregnant silence  for the next 60 seconds and the shrill voice gets back , this time accompanied with swear words. Before it exceeded the limit, I rush to their territory and frantically search for the multi hued craft paper and “presto” like a magician pull them out from under a rubble of near nonsense! A sense of David defeating Goliath inundates me and the over wrought situation is brought under control. In a jiffy , Iam back where I more fully belonged- the clock strikes six and it is time to wake up the master , who by now is already out of the bed, thanks to the decibel duel that had preceeded.  Even , my loving neighbours are not spared and are jolted out of their sleep.
    Now, it is the turn of the elder, he cannot find his Math note book #2 , as he vociferously argues that he had labelled #2 the book is there right in front of our eyes albeit without the marking. I gave him a solid glare which said it all ,as there was no time for foul mouthing!
        Meanwhile the chappatis on the tava turned a wee bit more brown  and the lunch boxes were in total disarray but somehow the dextrous hands managed to pack the four boxes of the crew who were heading in different directions-  yes, different strokes for different people ....
         “Oh no!”  I uttered to myself – the uniforms for the brigade were not ironed .... I cursed myself for watching the Sunday evening movie , thereby postponing the inevitable ironing chore to the morrow, now my conscience hurt but of little use, as the kids have their bath, the uniforms are pressed  with the speed that would do a F1 driver proud. One of the blazer buttons is missing “never mind” I tell myself, nobody is going to notice. The shoes are sparkling clean due to the wizard of Oz and thankfully no white shoes on Monday!
    The spouse’s tie and socks are missing and ever so famous dialogue comes out popping “ how many times have I told you to put them where it belonged”but the oft repeated verses have little impact on the ears as my mind is on another plane... the question paper proof is not ready for the next day’s test, I quickly scribble the questions on a sheet to hand them over to the office staff , who I was sure would make a mess of it , thanks to my unbeatable calligraphy! To hell with the printer’s devil, I could always get the corrections done.
       And then comes the final straw that breaks the camel’s back... the younger one has to read the morning news in the assembly- the newspaper vendor is nowhere in sight and he searches his smart phone for the latest updates but the internet lets him down , couple of unfathomable swear words in the offing and is he finally done? God only knows!
      The all too familiar honk of the school bus and the two are off much to the maker’s relief , me and my better half start the ignition of the cold engine of the car, even it feels the blues of the Monday morning, finally we are off munching our sandwiches , I have forgotten to add salt in the coriander chutney in the sandwich, we yell , though for different reasons, one for the saltless diet and the other at the chaos on the roads....

   The famous Bangles song “It’s a manic Monday, Wish it was Sunday”...comes to life on the FM radio and I close my eyes for a fleeting moment and hope against hope that it is indeed Sunday!!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

                      ABSTRACT
Clouds in a hurry traversing the blue canvas
Myriad shapes appear from nature’s brush
Horses, polar bears, elephants and carriages
Transporting our gazes into mystical froths

Shaking our thoughts is the mirage
A blur of heat and trembling images
Leading to an oasis of new horizons
And dreams of life beyond

Mighty waves head with an unknown fury
Shores soothing the splurge to mellow
Taming yellow of the supreme power
Orbiting to dull orange of mellifluous melody

Dew drops pattern on green foliage
Palm trees swaying to rhapsody enriching us
Avenue of firs on Snow capped mountains
Glassy bubbles of prism hues bursting logic

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The twisting ringlets and springrolls

The TWISTING RINGLETS and SPRINGROLLS
         
“My experiments with curly locks “had to come out of exile and see the light of the day to liberate the million thoughts of women and girls who swear by their straight hair!
    
        A 3 old holding her mother’s hands tightly , standing on the 12 th floor of Sheraton towers in Bombay,gleefully unaware of the attention that she was grabbing ....couple of European tourists were in total awe at my jet black ringlets and exclaimed “wow what luvly hair”, they ruffled my springs and gave a bear hug....how do you expect me to recall this event had it not been passed down as a legacy like the epic Mahabharat of Vyas albeit with frills and laces!!
            The next few months was a stand off between my prized possession and my mom , a virtual show down between the two challenging each other as to who would be the winner . I vividly remember the round shaped hair brush whose bristles could even wash off the stubborn mud from that of an elephant, used ,to delve deep into my hair and the result would be two nicely braided plaits with ribbons- this is the scene at 8 in the morning but a few hours down the day, as I returned from my kindergarten school, all hell broken loose ,the scene would be chaotic with hair all undone and let loose to flutter in the breeze ,all in tangles and knots with a remark from the class teacher ”what nice curly hair to be hidden in braids” and my mom’s face would be in twitches!
        Even birds, insects and micro organisms had a field day with the black nest! A crow flying high had a bird’s eye view of what it thought to be its partner and swooped down on my curls ,scraping a tuft in the process and left me in agonising pain for a few hours. The lice too made its home in my tuft thinking it to be the dense African jungle where even a ray of light will not penetrate! A feud ensued between the lice and the anti lice potion and I could have easily earned a few bucks for promoting a particular brand!!
           The twisting ringlets and spring rolls became a household name and bagged me a coveted role as the king Mahabali  in a school play much to the envy of wannabe dancers and dramatists. As we grew up listening to Whitney Houston, my friends and cousins saw an uncanny resemblance in me and the name stuck to me forever ,if only my voice had matched to her’s a wee bit !
              The photograph on the driving license said it all , my sons shred it to pieces as they felt “the looks had the license to kill”, a devil incarnate saying it with hair instead of flowers! And I woefully miss uploading that one in a million image of a “hairess”!!!
               As the girls go gaga over their straight hair and look up to Bollywood stars like Kareena and Katrina  for inspiration and run their hands through their ship shaped neatly aligned locks a thousand times per minute like the engine rpm , they simply ‘get into my hair ‘ ....right now I am in contemplation mode whether to use the Sunsilk perfect straight hair shampoo and conditioner and join the straight hair bandwagon  or be different as always and rejoice in nature’s gift of bountiful black springs , well my grandma’s words of wisdom echo in my ears” a girl with curly hair will always have her life bountiful!”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Life and times of a secretary


                        Life and Times of a Secretary....

    I Sunita Sriram , do swear in the name of God, that I will faithfully serve the people of PSS and discharge strictly the lofty duties bestowed upon me....the words of an oath of office were ringing in my ears as I signed the minutes register on the Annual General Meeting assuming the role of the office of the Secretary of the welfare association, however there was neither a solemn oath nor a rapt and enlightened attendance as I was handed over the charge along with the list of a mammoth 27 member jumbo cabinet...even as the grocery like list stared at me, with mouth agape, I brushed it under the carpet and drew inspiration from motivational speeches like “I had a dream.. a dream to bring back the lost glory and shine to our serene...”well, Martin Luther King Jr’s words had to be tweaked to suit my motto..
      With fire in my belly, I embarked on my secretarial duties on a feverish pitch, throwing caution to the winds, aspiring to turn things around, I acted on impulse and  instincts , service and welfare the catalyst and the enzyme .
       I put the gear on high throttle and drove out of our stately mansion in my very own “Lincoln Limousine” expecting a crisp salute from the security, but heaven only knew what lay before me... the huge iron gates’ roller pins gave way and the gate came crashing down missing the guard on duty by a proverbial hair’s breadth... and there I was lifting him to the nearby hospital for medical aid... yes , my roller coaster ride had indeed started with a bang...and I was seriously down to business studying the layout of sumps, motors, electric panels and all and sundry gaining a first hand knowledge to face any eventuality...for intuition told me to be wary of the days to come and somehow the wrongs seemed to lead the way...
      I did the community proud, leading from the front on Independence day and as the tricolour fluttered in the air, vigorously , the  micro India, from the seven stately sister states to the coal bowels to the sun n sand beaches paradise and from Kashmiri Pundits to Malabar mallus to Reddy gaarus munched in tandem, on their sweets and savouries to their stomachs’ content!
         While I went about my duty without much hullabaloo , the electro mechanical devices installed in the premises thought otherwise and wanted to work demanding all the attention and seemed to have a natural repulsion towards the new incumbants! All the fresh and fiery ideas carefully crafted in the brain, to give a new lease of life to the arid land went for a toss as I was in utter distress to attend to emergencies and bailing me out of these crisis one after another were a few good Samaritans , not to forget the faithful Man Friday of Robinson Crusoe!
       But lurking in the shadows ,readying themselves for the Guerilla warfare were my nemesis, waiting with bated breath to retribute and to extract their pound of flesh, they were slowing pushing me to the wall but each time, I endured and fought back emerging braver and stronger to be my own saviour( atleast Adele’s booming voice in my headphones seemed to suggest that..)Always shooting on someone’s shoulders the detractors were constantly training their guns on me , talking about procedural and process lapses and not taking the committee into confidence on any matter, the charges and accusations flew like bullets fired from a machine gun . While I was in their firing line, my target was the pot bellied, grey moustacheod seasoned Estate manager who played games matching to the decades of service behind him. As my whistleblowing on his bad deeds fell on deaf ears, a trap was laid to catch him redhanded and he walked into it blissfully unaware, his game was up and given the marching orders.
           Then came the “No confidence motion “ against the “high handed” secretary which was defeated leading to further wrath on the parallel Government to move to the next gaming level..meanwhile I earned more brownie points in the form of pseudonyms like “Adolf hitler”,Sonia Gandhi and no prizes for guessing who Dr. Manmohan Singh would be! My family also did not want to be left behind in the naming game and my hubby addressed me as “Madam secretary”, the two ads had more in store as always and came up with “security”, “servant”, “secret ary”and the rest I just blurred it out!

    Then came the “real” shocker, literally in every sense of the word , one of the elevators had a malfunctioning circuit breaker which resulted in a fortunately non fatal standing of hairs erect on the head of a security guard and all I could mutter was “shock laga kya???”The shameful thought of cooling my heels behind bars emerged for a brief moment which was mercifully saved by the Lord!
  One rainy night, as the residents peacefully slept in the cosy comforts of their homes, a gang of robbers were stealthily tiptoeing their way into the corridors, picking on the choicest shoes and scores of the good branded ones disappeared and it was a manic morning for the office goers  reporting to work barefooted, a la M.F. Hussain style....
and their much ado secretary went about filing an FIR with the nearest law protector’s office . A few days later the findings from the inspector went something like this.. the shoes had found their way into the flea market and those who had lost their beloved pair could re purchase from them and this piece of ‘crucial ‘ information came with a whopping fee!
  The Sundays were spent in marathon meetings and the elder Ad who is appearing for the boards was glad that the obsolete gramophone was no longer playing the favourite ”poyi padi da” song( roughly translated as ‘go and study’ ) as against ‘why this kolaveri di’!!! The never ending agenda and deliberations yielded no result and slowly my momentum was slipping, the fire had vanished and now only smoke was billowing, long gone was the service motto, quickly replaced by slogan of ‘ charity begins at home ‘ theory and as my enthusiasm waned , the unkindest cut came from the honourable“Brutus and Cassius” clan who did the fellow men proud by hatching an impeachment motion, I did not wait for the brutal stabbing and the rest as they say is history.....
   Hindsight is a very good teacher and I learnt a few unforgettable lessons :
1)Numbers matter...be it staking a claim to form the Government or in a welfare association!
2) We all wear the hats of ego which are firmly glued to our heads like adhesive!
3)We should know the “other ugly” side of our fellow members and understand the games people play
4)Go for a crash course in “Guerilla warfare”!
5)Introspect so that we will be able to write a blog post!!!
I am no longer rolling in the deep and some words such as welfare, service, community ....are deleted from the dictionary of my mind!
But I know my dad is disappointed with this outcome and he never underestimates the abilities of his daughter as a firebrand fighter  who is like a bull in a China shop and the following lines are dedicated to my inspiration...
          
A committee is like a commode,
                   Both starts with C
        People sit on it,
               There’s a lot of deliberation
       and a loud report
          And finally the matter is dropped....

this makes sense to me.....finally!  
The title  for the post is inspired from the movie ‘Life of Pi’ ...for it is a jungle out there....

Wednesday, January 23, 2013



       All rights reserved

Legitimacy of a birth gives us the utmost sense of belonging and how often has the swear word “bast****” been used to show disregard for somebody sham.
In every walk of life right from the birth of a child ,the word “original “ and not “cloned” has embryonic meaning.
Entering your favourite restaurant , how enticing it is to see the words “authentic” prefixed to the cuisine giving a gastronomical delight. As I evaluate a work of dissertation to earn my daily bread, the phrase” bonafide record”  elates me to an unknown level. I feel accountable and responsible to sign a declaration that says “whatever is stated is true to the best of my knowledge and belief”.The sedan named Verito assumes the product to be “veritable” more than anything else. There is always a pristine glory in a  genuine work of art.
  But on the other end of the spectrum is the constant fear of living in a world of duplicates. Spurious drugs, pirated DVDs,Copyright violation, blatant plagiarization , the list is seemingly endless.
  Man , in his pursuit of the legal tender has no qualms to replicate  it and produce counterfeit ,even playing with human lives by spurious drugs and adulterated food- we are a gullible prey in the clone world.
 The mad hunt for facsimile reproduction has culminated in the cloning of the human being himself as we are unsatisfied with the “original “ version by the creator.
Hypocricy. Double standards, treachery and fraud are part and parcel of our grind to survival and  “ORIGINAL” was indeed a welcome theme to the Indiblogger meet with the one and only HP and Harper Collins.

        All roads , on Sunday the 20th of January 2013, led to the hospitable environs of Fortune JP Celestial and when the bloke in French beard shook my hands warmly and said” Sunita , where have you been after the Surf meet?”I knew where I “belonged”....yes to the “true to life” Indiblogger family where no one is forgotten even after a 4 month hiatus.
The first few minutes were palpable as I entered into a maze of QR codes, I had downloaded the app in my smartie but as usual it failed me with the message that read”auto focus function”disabled!!!So there I was the uncivilized barbarian in total ruins amidst the galaxy of tech saavy dudes.
with trepidation, I chose a table normally preferred by the backbenchers while the QR codes made a mockery of me. Sipping on a drink, I was anxiously waiting for a familiar wave of hand and within minutes of my wish I was joined by this gregarious person with a headphone around his neck and soon A and me were in colloquial powwow.
  Karun and Nihal had the vivacious animated crowd letting their down in style to the rocking Deep purple song we were all going gaga joining in the chorus of “smoke on the water”.
 Anoop, in his ingenious fashion had the audience in a fervent disposition and set the ball rolling with the 30 secs of fame.
 There were no “Mark Anthonys” among the 200 odd and it was proved beyond doubt that accomplished writers are poor orators and adding insult to injury were the blogger heads idolizing cartoon characters! And to top it all , I paid the price for the late registration and missed out on my 30 secs and thus remained anonymous! My desperate show of arms, without being partial to both the sides went unnoticed and I sulked. We had moved on and this time to the dreadful black and white squares. The quizzical QR game was all fun and frolic as a good Samaritan with his smart device helped me in cracking the code of quotable quotes. The frantic search for the latter half of the quote ended in a nought and the brisk and nippy romped away with the beautiful books and useful USB drives.
The event was juxtaposed with freebies thrown every now and then , an amazing shining plated Suresh won a pendrive , I cursed my receding hairline, for the very first time , and wondered why it had not ended in a “moon rise”!
  Next, we transported ourselves to a make believe world of ‘Narnias’, ‘Harry Porters’ and the like , forming into groups of 15 we mimed the characters and the audience were in splits with sheer slapstick comedy.
    The high tea accompanied by savoury chaats and cookies was a welcome break to recharge for the “fertile” presentation by the 
 Hp crew. The power of persuasive account ignited the spark in us to do our valiant bit to prevent bogus, phony,pirated, spurious duplicates taking over our lives.
   The diadem of the spectacular event was the photo op session , the bloggers had a unique opportunity to have a free run and showcase original poses , the  un imitable  back side of a blogger winning the prize. The just a minute made us all feel small and belittled  by the eloquence of a 10 year old blogger who made mythical Ravan , a hero and Ram the villain.
  The celestial show ended with each one of us richer by the experience , carrying home  a strong conviction and a load of unforgettable memories.

...and here is my trademark intro which did not see the light of the day...

Me and Indiblogger
The power of two
In a celestial world
Among the stars
We envy the original
A class by itself  
 Collin
A simple tap, bright an crisp
Versatile, mindblowing with cool sense
A spectre that Harps a spell
The ultimate ultra....
Envy x 2...
  
And this post comes to you from my Hp laptop!!!

Sunita Sriram

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The Extract....
                        Melbourne to Madras

The Qantas flight was coming to a screeching halt on the dry arid runway of Meenambakkam and the sweet highly accented voice of the air hostess announced the arrival , rudely awakening me to harsh reality away from the lovely thoughts of my daughter , a replica of me,her Dravidian father , i cannot see her now! let alone talk to her...I slipped back the photograph into the wallet for the N th time...
A few thousand miles east, Valerine was rushing to the East India Club , she was glad that she had found her moorings back after wandering in oblivion for a decade, her mind was preoccupied with the calculation of the alimony while her heavily patterned knee length skirt fluttered in the breeze , wearing minimal makeup as always highlighting her attractive pulled eyes and cheeks , her hair brown and wavy styled to perfection , her prized possessions of two lovely daughters in tow .. yes she had discarded the garb of her dravidian avatar , finally....
On the left of the Australian coast, at her suburbian Mylapore home, Vidya was on her yearly vacation from Singapore working in a MNC bank..her amma preparing the alltime favourite Puliodare
The house was reverberating with the sound of Mridangam and Tampura, the aroma of freshly brewed filter coffee and hot idlis with sambar...
Bowing his head in reverence to his Guru as always Karthik was seen off at the door by his amma and he did his trademark salutation to the creator as he rushed to his Tennis classes at the Madurai Cosmopolitan Club...

The central theme...

Different backgrounds, cultures did not matter a bit , it was only love , a fatal attraction , blind to the world ...


A real story in flesh and blood...


  
This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.



Friday, August 31, 2012

                                                                Emotion

A gurgling stream from a glacier
  Bringing outbursts of plentiful joy
Happiness , smiles and abundant cheer
  For children, teddy , cars and toy

In the midst, a barren desert
  Deep sorrow, grief and sadness
Things taken away, a broken heart
  Dunes of tears , leaving us in a mess

Stillness like the air everywhere
   Utmost serene, solitude and bliss
Alone in a crowd, no one to share
   Solitary moments, never a miss

Life, full of feelings ,mixed reaction
Joy and sorrow, a cycle of emotion...


( Tried to write a sonnet which is a 14 line poem with rhyming verses.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

        When the...
                                       Ballroom beckoned bloggers...

Prelude
          Kids sprayed water on us from the hoses out of the huge ad boards inside the glittering ballroom and we were drenched from head to toe and this was just the beginning....

          Like the #tag of 'soak no more ' , I tagged my first follower in life as well as in Indiblogger and he looked extremely pleased and delighted as he simply had to live up to the prefix 'tag' and play second fiddle! The all too familiar purple hued boxes of surf excelmatic popped out of the billboards ready to be grabbed and the moderator and crew had purple T shirts to boot! The ambience was spectacular and my first Indiblogger meet had indeed started off with a bang!!!
          As always , we were on time , the eager hostess happy to help to log us in and we snuggly settled in the comfortable chairs nursing a drink of fruit punch. The attendees trickled in and the funny and not so funny names came up on the giant screen too, much to the amusement of the audience.

Baptism

           Kick starting the gala event was Anoop , of Indiblogger who captivated and enthralled us and how I wished I belonged to the zodiac sign "leo"as bean bags and 6 months of detergent flowed like wine. The prelude was followed by baptism and  we got to know each other . My debut , was with what I thought Iam best at and that was reading this impromptu poem scribbled as I sipped on my fruit punch!
                                            
WRITERS' BOULEVARD


               A cocktail of poetry, technology and fiction
                     with a zeal, many on a mission

                Indiblogger, a phoenix standing tall
                      Minds meeting on a platform in Capitol

                 A writers' boulevard at a hub in Bangalore
                      Elite and celeb scribe with a folklore

                 Serenading in a sea of literati
                      Wordsmiths enticing with gravity

                 A haven showcasing eloquence
                    penning thoughts , feelings and emotions so dense

                   Reading, browsing,surfing till we soak no more
                           blogging fun, frolic, fervour and heart to pour

                   Leading from front, moderator Zombie
                                          Made larger than life by founder Renie!!!
There were no droolings of ooh, aah,and shouts of encore but a thunderous applause  made my day!
          Now it was time to let our hair down and we did it in style .Obviously there had to be a ball game in the ball room and all of us were divided into 4 colourful teams - blue, green, red and orange- red I chose with the team aptly named as "washed out" and we marinated in the hour long whoopee.
          Ravenous , after the gaming session, the counters of cakes, cookies and sandwiches was a treat ,washed down with aromatic coffee! The bloggers linked up with each other and I was on cloud nine when a few of them came up to me and appreciated my poetry- I had managed to market my blog or atleast I thought so!!
          It was then the turn of Mr.Girish of HUL to take centre stage and he rolled out the red carpet for us to enter the "excel"lent world of 'surf'. His presentation on 'surf excel matic' was interspersed with questions and plenty of spoils to be won for the correct answer. He implored us to be 'creative' , 'naughty' and 'plain right' and the suave audience was treated with bean bags, gift hampers, DVD players and so on. The Piece de resistance was the announcement of a new blog contest and the booty was a washing machine - the greatest invention of the century as mutually agreed upon by the debonair participants!
              The Bangalore extravaganza culminated with the organizers and sponsors digging out deep purple T shirts and surf excel matic detergent for all and the bunch of blissful bloggers romped off home richer by the experience . On the way back, the heavens opened up and the already "soaked" could literally take "no more" as the #surf excel matic Indiblogger event had bathed, imbued, sogged and saturated us!!!


ASIDE ........in a lighter vein...
Tips for the next blogger meet
1) You have to be bold not brash
2) You have to flatter the sponsors to no end and then say "I did nit say all these just because I am here"
3)To win freebies, you need to have a loud voice....

And my greatest moment is coming when I win this contest......