Monday, December 31, 2012

NATURE STILL ATTRACTIVE AFTER DEATH





The snap above is what I took near a place in Anna Nagar, Chennai. The part of the dead tree still looks great, but not the clumsy formation on its left side. When humans create individual things for themselves they forget the overall perspective. It is mostly a selfish move and selfish moves never tend to see how the overall perspective gets affected. That is why the great appearance of this dead tree is not getting complimented by the intervention that is there on the left side, that man has made.



That is where Nature is so superior. Whatever it brings in has its own beauty. Even after its death it continues to fit into a part of the overall beautiful appearance of the natural earth. How it is able to do this is a mystery.


If you compare the two pictures you can see some difference. I actually dabbled with the first snap and spread some more of nature's creation over the buildings, transformer,etc on the left and so it looks so nice and soothing to the eyes.
 
 
 

RELAXED IN HER OWN KINGDOM



 

NATURE'S WORK OF ART @ DUSK



FELINE GRACE ON A CONCRETE MAZE




 
 

MELODIES AND BUTTERFLIES

Last December I got an opportunity to sing on stage for Christmas.  Of all the performances I have done so far, I believe this one was the best. The previous stint was almost a year earlier.



I have to agree that I did experience almost a factory of butterflies inside me in the last five hours prior to singing. But still I feel I was able to manage it well. Singing is best done when we are able to breath normally and when we are at complete ease with the surroundings. I really felt that happen this time.

I remember the first time when I performed on stage in college. I had truck loads of butterflies inside me for almost days before the singing. I had not practised the spots where I had to breathe and the whole song came to stop in the middle and I exhaled heavily into the mike. It was like the sound of some mini typhoon for the audience, when I finally exhaled :)) It took several months for me to come to terms with that fiasco :))



Singing comes best when we are casual and at ease. But I think I am rarely in that state and that is why I believe it is always a challenge for me :)) In fact singing is a great way to destress.



The funniest part is that someone had to tell me that I could sing. I am thankful to my college mates S.V.Gopal, Arul Daniel and Giridhar for pushing me to sing on stage the first time and to go beyond my diffidence.




Once when I was working out of Kolkata, I memorised a few Hindi song scripts written in English and went for a Hindi song audition. I did well and the judges rated me high. Ankur my roommate at Kolkata was the one who helped me get there. That performance gave me a lot of confidence. But the real mishap happened when the judge started to talk to me in Hindi after the song and all I could do was to blink in response :)) There are many other friends who always wanted me to sing in gatherings, small or large and all these little stints have had feedbacks and has helped me to dive deeper with much more interest and enthusiasm to sing.

Being part of the choir singing group at Church gives me a lot more confidence to take the pretty high and low pitches and to control my breath. Our choir leader Vinod has been a great observer and trainer. Team singing though, is a different cup of tea.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

WRITINGS ON THE WEB - NASKA - OCT 2012

Its my pleasure to share that a poem of mine "Destiny's Creation" has got published in a magazine promoted by an Indian Association in the United States named NASKA.


Please visit

http://www.naska.org/news.php

and click on Dowload Souvenir 2012  to download the magazine in pdf format. The poem is in there on Page 29.

In case you find it difficult to dowload, please read this poem at the link below:

http://cherryspace.blogspot.in/2010/03/destinys-creation.html

Have a good time..

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

JOY AND PEACE SHALL PREVAIL

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. May joy and peace surround you in the days to come.

This year the Christmas was different. We had the tree setup, there was lot of food that was made, and lots of friends and relatives called up and we exchanged greetings. But what was more significant for me and my wife was to join our senile and extremely sick parents to the church and to break bread with them.



We had to exhibit a lot of patience as they are heading into an age where we need that patience that is required to take care of a child. Old age has lots in common with the very young age that we have come through. And to find joy in this patience is where my focus was in this year's Christmas.



When our children see this patience in us being exhibited, I believe they too will learn and exhibit the same in the long run.

 

Friday, December 21, 2012

LESSONS FROM A CALL CENTRE SUPPORT STAFF

The last few days had been abnormally hectic at office. My sleeping hours had also become pretty less as we were clocking late nights at work. I was irritable to almost everyone around and stress levels were on the high, not because of the workload, but because of the situations churning up created by individuals. I did end up eating biriyani and chocolates and sometimes eat like a glutton, all these being the side effects of stress.

I hit home and then hit bed pretty late and woke up up pretty late too. I had to work out of home and while in the middle of it, I received a call from an insurance company where I had a policy for my vehicle. I think it was the voice of a very young support staff...probably a young girl. She had called up to verify my personal data and also to fill up the missing areas in that database.  In fact I had fully completed the form, but the company did not collect all the required data through that form. I was so impatient with her and kept asking her in a very angry tone as to why this data was not fully captured when I had filled up the original insurance policy form. I did not even allow her to speak freely and every time she started talking, I kept interrupting, pouring out all my accumulated frustration for which she was not the actual person responsible.

The young girl was so patient and matured in her response. She still continued to politely request me for the data and I finally gave her all the data what she wanted, inspite of the frustration that I demonstrated. She then thanked me and closed the call. An hour slipped by and I realized how immature a person I had been in front of a little girl, who was pretty younger to me. She had in fact demonstrated much more patience and maturity.

An hour later, I related this incident to my sister, as I was feeling bad about it. She told me that the little girl was only doing her duty, and was undergoing the treatment I gave her with patience, because she like many others very badly needed to hang on to their jobs. This is something that I actually know, but I wonder how I still am so very impatient and immature. How blessed I am when compared to so many such individuals going through such difficult jobs facing their rude customers.



Monday, December 17, 2012

THANKS FOR DROPPING BY

Over the years a lot of individuals from across the world have dropped by.

There have been visitors from countries not listed here too like Nigeria, Pakistan, Iraq, Lativia, Oman,Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway,Slovenia, Belarus, Switzerland, Israel, Taiwan,Hong Kong, Australia, Serbia, Colombia and Chile. Welcome to each of you from all these places !!!

It would be great to connect with each of you and know about your life and interests.

Listed below are the statistics All Time, Monthly, Weekly





Monday, December 10, 2012

MY DAUGHTER'S GIFT FOR MY BIRTHDAY


Happy to share this card with all my friends. I believe she spent a few days before the birthday getting this ready.



Kindly skip the adjectives like "Awesomest", " Greatest" and the words "Entire Universe" :))).




We spent a long time together going through this creation. This gives me much more happiness that anything that happens in my workplace.

I still believe that our entire time is our family's time in which we as parents are the main entities. It is a part of that time that we are committed to do the work at our workplaces that we are responsible for, with all diligence. The more we focus on managing that time well, so as to find time everyday for our family especially our kids, the more joy we will experience.

Friday, December 7, 2012

WHEN I COMPLAINED THAT I HAD NO SHOES....

Last weekend I drove to my friend's house. We have been friends since childhood and we keep sharing a lot of things between us. I was happy to see him. We talked and talked on many subjects. The evening was great and though a lot of children were around playing and creating a cacophony of sorts, we still enjoyed the ambience of the park with the fresh flowers and greenery.

Long conversations always brings out something about my profession too into it. I happened to share with him that these days my job has a large chunk of activities that don't really contribute to my competence, but still they are activities that have to be done as part of the organization's need. I was telling him how I feel really sad about it. When I slowly moved from a sad state into a cribbing state, my good friend told me that he was actually without a job and that he was desperately hunting for one. He was fine to take up any kind of work.

The best part of that conversation with him was that he never even once advised me not to crib, or to be happy with what I have. Instead he just told me he was prepared to take up any kind of work. His tone and his body language conveyed a lot. I believe that the message to me was that atleast I have a job to crib about. It was a funny situation where I was not prepared to do any job dumped on my head, but only nice and juicy ones with competence, whereas he was prepared to take up anything as he had no choice.

It is true that beggars can never be choosers. I believe that I who is cribbing today would with a smile take up the same work and do it if I did not have a job in hand.

I was actually complaining that I had no shoes to someone who had no feet!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

OUR OPENING PERFORMANCE THIS YULETIDE - SANGEEDHADHARA



We had put in several weeks of preparation before this first performance. But still we had lots of hard lessons to take back with us. It was very clear that competition was almost biting us at all corners.



There was a speech by one of the guests, that was really apt for the occasion. He brought out the significance of choir singing attaining a spiritual level when harmony sets in through the voices of all the performers in a team. That harmony that comes in when individuals place the group's objective as primary in their mind according to him, is a great lesson in team work. That is where he said that, each of us need to transcend beyond our self to perform together with others in the team, for acheiving the team's goal.



We could apply this concept to any team activity pursuing a common goal. That is why individuals who are keen on strong individual performances many times may not be able to fit into a group performance.
 
 

A FIRE ENGINE EASTWARD AND AN AMBULANCE WESTWARD

Happy Diwali to you. It was about 7.00 pm yesterday, when I reached the main road close to my home. I thought it would be good to buy some fireworks on my way to home. I spotted a shop close to the main junction and stood in the long bee line. In a few minutes I could hear the horn of a fire engine making its way towards the east. Five minutes later I heard the horn of an ambulance go in the opposite direction. I am not sure if either of the two were in any way connected to an accidental burn injury caused by fireworks. But it was a very peculiar thing to see on the eve of Diwali. Almost everyone waiting there in the line also shared the same thought.

We should all have a blast this Diwali, but we should also ensure that we and our dear ones last and remain in good shape.

I have to admit that I am always really scared while walking on the road on the days around Diwali time, always wary of the cracker that would take you unawares at some corner of the road. In fact yesterday evening, I took the road that had mostly shops lined up on both sides, so that I could avoid the areas where children danced around with crackers.

Again on the flip side, it's not that we should be too scared and lose all the fun. But we shoud take good care to be in good shape in the days that follow Diwali.

 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

HOTEL BASERA - A GREAT GREEN SPOT

The Basera Hotel on the ECR Road in Chennai is a nice spot for spending some time. More than the food, I liked the natural ambience. It is a great place to hang out with family.


For corporate teams on the OMR or ECR roads looking for a three hour break over lunch, this is the right spot. I spent a long time in the greenery. I also consciously kept looking at distant objects up in the trees to soothen my eyes, as IT professionals are more used to giving their eyes a laptop or personal computer treatment most of the time.



Food is also really good. The only incovenience I felt was that the charcoal burners kept on each table were too close to the seats and it radiated heat.



Food is also served outside in the green or even atop the thatched houses.

 


You don't have to worry about the rains as the seats and tables are well arranged under huge beach umbrellas.



I spent a lot of time around this pond cooling my strained eyes.







Sitting in a well managed hut within the city's boundaries gives a good feel with greenery around.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

SEEING A CHILD TAKE ITS FIRST STEPS

Weeks back I had the opportunity to see a child take its first attempt at taking its first steps. God's creation is amazing. The child was trying out something it has never done before, something unknown and today most of us are not able to take big leaps and big risks because of the fear of the unknown that looms large in front of us. But as a child we somehow took bigger risks.

A baby for sometime crawls and then moves around on its hands and knees. When it tries to stand up, many times it falls flat on its belly, face down. Seeing that happen to my daughter years back was indeed spine chilling. I almost had a feeling that she would break herself. But even after the fall it rises and tries again. That is something I felt is a great lesson for an adult like me to rise up and try again even after a fall.

With every fall that we have comes additional fears, insults and a drain of self esteem. If little babes were to have all these with each fall, they would never have ventured to stand up and walk at all. How amazing is God's creation.

Monday, October 29, 2012

IF WE HAVE NOT LEARNT OUR SUBJECTS PROPERLY

It is an interesting situation that crops up when we have not studied our subjects properly in school. The most obvious impact is that money has to be shelled out by our parents to get a seat in a college for a professional course that is supposed to open a green channel towards employment. For those students who have been lucky of getting into courses leading to jobs without having to take this impact, there is another impact lurking in the corner.

When they grow up and have a family, the kids approach them with questions on concepts in academic subjects. If they are not in a position to guide them, sending them to tuition centres is the only option. And today it is a big expenditure to get our kids coached through these centres.

Getting great marks is one thing. It can many times be the result of a one sided peripheral study without depth, where the retention can be pretty ephemeral. But studying a subject properly is a totally different aspect. If the latter happens, then once the concept goes inside a person, it never evaporates.

I am not sure how long I will keep sustaining that magical impression in my daughter that I am the expert in all subjects. So far so good :))

Sunday, September 30, 2012

WHEN WE SAW A PLANE

Last Saturday my daugther and I were on a long walk. A plane flew past and my daugther kept seeing it till it disappeared into oblivion. When it was gone she asked me, "Dad, will you end up inventing something like the plane for the world to use through your job what you are doing now?". I did not know what to answer here. Several years of being a part of good universities and organizations in the field of engineering, have not got me anywhere near to making even a small invention.

I wish my daughter did something like that sometime for the benefit of the world. May be I should work with her to set some great goals for her to pursue.

MY DAUGHTER'S ATTEMPTS

My daughter has taken these snaps while at home in my absence. I like these pictures, not that they are great ones, but that they have been shot independently. Again it is not to sing eulogies on what she is able to do. But just that taking risk sometimes pays dividends. The risk I take to get her to do this, is to give her the freedom to use the digicam in my absence.


Yes, it is a costly risk, but many times the sweet results of taking a risk comes only with such an outer costly impact wrapper, that we don't see any risk involving minimal impact these days.




I have to see my character on how my mental balance will be, when she accidentally drops the camera down one day, in the middle of doing this. Will I still appreciate her pictures? :))


Saturday, August 25, 2012

A RUSTIC FEEL FOR SOMETIME AT HOME



We had sporadic rainfall in the past few days. We happened to call a person to cut off dry coconut leaves and twigs. And what you see below is what came down. I wanted these to remain in our house forever. It gives a feeling of being in Kerala. When rain splashes on these it is awesome to watch. But somehow it had to be disposed it in a day's time.



I love the smell of wet earth and the sight of all these lying on it when rain dresses the earth. But somehow we got almost the whole place covered with concrete and granite. Now we have lots of smooth space for our feet to comfortably walk around. There are no stones that hurt our feet neither do we have mud or small water puddles. But I still miss the beauty and smell of wet earth and the natural feeling that it offers.

Nature is so beautiful when it is random and left random. We humans tend to organize constructing things on it. But we lose the rustic beauty of nature in the process.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

NUTTY EGG BHURJI

Egg Bhurji is one thing that my daughter loves having once a while. It’s that way with any food. Too much is bad. I do this for her on Saturday morning immediately after I sleep like a log till 9 am. Saturday is the only day I get to sleep so. My wife also makes egg burji for her, but my daughter prefers mine as I am liberal in frying it up more and getting a fried tan on it. That makes it crispier. That is what many children prefer. Nutty egg bhurji is a variation of the normal egg bhurji. Here’s how I went about.


Place the pan on a medium flame on the stove. When the pan is dried of all water, pour very little oil…well that’s my approach as am very conscious on using excess oil. You could be a little more liberal with oil if you are fine with well fried food. Do not use mustard. Instead break 5 cashew nut halves into small pieces and put them in. Leave them in the low flame and keep sautéing, by shaking and tossing the contents with a wooden spoon, so as to evenly spread and avoid burning. Once the cashew pieces turn a little brown, drop in about 10 dried grapes and keep sautéing for 3 minutes. Grab a bunch of corn flakes and put them in. If you can find the Kellogs cornflakes with the mix of nuts in them, that will be the best. Do not use any other corn flakes mixtures. Sauté the contents for 3 minutes and remove the contents into a separate plate.

Place the pan again on a medium flame on the stove. Pour oil as per your preference, but limit to a maximum of 2 and half teaspoons. Drop in a pinch of mustard seeds and wait for them to burst and settle. Break two hen eggs and pour them in. Do not allow the egg to settle and start mixing and shredding immediately. A fried tan layer may get created on the bottom of the pan. Please do not hesitate to scrape the fried tan that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Getting the plan clear of the egg tan is a good approach as that approach fries the egg pretty well. Spray half a teaspoon of pepper and sprinkle salt in small amounts so that we could progressively taste and see if the right amount of salt has set in. Continue sautéing until most of the egg shreds have the brownish coat.

Drop in the fried cashew nut, grape and corn flake mix into the pan and sauté well again. Empty the contents into a bowl. The Nutty Egg Bhurji is ready for you. Relish it with roti or toasted bread and a cup of hot coffee. If it is raining outside, don’t hesitate to sit close to a window at home and have this watching the pitter patter. You will love it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

THE NIRANAM ORTHODOX CHURCH












 






You should ensure that you don't miss this piece of still water below. I liked the green plankton coverage over the water and the trees lining up the water on both sides. I wish I took a boat and slowly went down that bend right at the far end. But I did not see any boat this time. May be I will do it next time.



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