Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Continuing on Rainbows ;)

I had been to The Netherlands over the long weekend and had a whale of a time. We were a group of 12 chaps on the Invasion of Holland Mission ;). Explored the country side as well as the urban areas of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Delft. Was not able to access the internet [hence netheir could blog nor bloghop], got voluntarily cut off from the world [didnt even care abt the Ashes score.]. Let me put a seperate post for that.

Now, I found the comment from Sundaresan in my earlier post, pointing to details on double rainbows. On going through this, i found the 'half circle' rainbow.

And voila, i have seen a perfect semi circle rainbow[horizon to horizon], and that too standing right under the Eiffel Tower. :)

Hmm.. this rainbow shooting seems to be a very nice hobby, but very much dependent on the climate.

Enjoy them! Sorry i couldnt capture the whole half circle, so have taken it in two quarter circles. [Photos taken on The Maundy Thursday evening, 2005]

The eastern side of the tower

The southern side of the tower

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Double Rainbows

Yesterday when it had just rained, i spotted a nice double rainbow from my 21st floor window, one end at Canaraywharf and the other over the Tower bridge.
Very unfortunately i dint carry my camera then. [Sorry i dont have the mobile camera as well].
But i had earlier caputured a couple of double rainbows. Enjoy them.

This one taken on 2004 Gandhi Jayanthi. I was at the Greenwich Royal Observatory, standing exactly over the 0 degree longitude facing north. The millennium dome and Thames are visible.

This foto taken on 17-Jul-2004 is very related to my earlier post. This was taken from the Tenkasi-kutralam town bus. In Kutralam, rainbows are like mottai thalai in tirupathi. Double rainbows tend to disappear very fast. Unfortunately, i was in a moving bus. By the time i took the camera from my bag, the rainbow faded and the bus took a turn to come into a nasty angle :(. If you can locate a broad thin spectrum to the left of the tree touching the bund, you have a good eye sight :)

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Monday, August 22, 2005

குற்றாலம் - Kutraalam – Courtallam – Coutrallam

The above names bring with them, freshness, energy, fun, spirituality, adventure and lots and lots of exciting meanings! One will have to land there to experience what it means.

Aani-Aadi [Jun 15 – Aug 15] is the peak season in Kutraalam, a foot hill spot in south Tamil Nadu known for its natural water falls.

For 16 years, I was a regular for the season. This year an excellent season has just come to an end and I have missed it, for the first time.

Kutralam is the foot hills of the podhigai mountains [an easterly extension of western ghats]. It, is abt 5 km from Tenkasi and Shencottah railway stations in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. It is also very well connected with the rest of the state and bordering towns in Kerala.

MainFalls photo courtesy TamilnaduTourism

The very name of that place is enough to take people through the nostalgic expressway.
While travelling towards K, we can start feeling the temperature reducing, the breeze strengthening, the clouds gathering, the On and Off 5-minute-drizzling cycle, the green fields, the vaaikaals [irrigatation canals] like the one in the opening scene of Roja.[ btw, Sundarapandipuram is close to Kutralam], from abt 40 kms distance. All of them transporting us from the routine to a tryst-with-nature holiday, instantly.

Entering the town is marked by the distinct mundri oodu smell [cashew shell], used as the fuel in the mess and hotels around the town, and the shenbagam flower fragrance pleasing through every sq. inch of the town.

As any busy location, this place also has very good places to stay and equally lousy places. I remember when we sometime in 89/90, we took a buggy place [literally] and had vowed never to comeback to this town again.[But prasava vairagyam took us back next year]. Then after a couple of trials, we zeroed in on an excellent, friendly lodge. It is like a private guest house, lots of freedom.:)

Next thing after checking in at the lodge is to change to Kutralam Uniform. For men, it is either naalu muzham veshti/lungi with thundu, or shorts with thundu. Women stuff themselves all day into the nighties, and a thundu. [Aruvi Thundu is a towel, which is light and holds very less water. It is easy to squeeze and light to carry. These are sometimes referred as Kutralam Thundu].

When the season in Kutralam is good, there is always a drizzle and sometimes a heavy pour. The best part is that, apart from the locals, nobody cares about it. All of us who are on the leisurely stroll towards the Aruvi, enjoy getting drenched in the rain. The child inside pops out. The falling droplets remove the fatigue and strain from every muscle and bone of the body.

Steaming glass of filter coffee now, brings heaven on earth. That is what the co-operative milk stalls do. Co-Op milk societies from Rajapalayam, Shencottah, Srivilliputtur open their shops in all strategic locations and serve the best of filter coffees and hot milk for astonishingly cheap prices. Pick up a glass, stand in the drizzles wearing just a shorts and an aruvi thundu, have a sip. Sorry, this is where words end…

I will be mentioning lots of eateries and shops in this post. We had been regulars at these places for abt 15 years. Got close with them as friends, that we invite each other even for domestic functions. The Tirunelvei halwa shop Velu, gifted a big silver vilakku for my sister’s wedding.

On walking through the sannidhi theru [street] towards the main falls, lots of halwa shops line up both sides, and we stop by our Velu’s stall. He offers a complimentary welcome 50g for each of us. The hot sweet put in a piece of banana leaf floats in ghee more like a nazhuvara meen [slippery fish], always tending to run out of the palm on to the floor if not attended properly. The moment the first piece slides through the throat, would one realize how true is all the hype abt Tirunelveli halwa. Slurp Slurpp. Mind u all of these are happening while the semi naked body is basking in the drizzle.

Next destination is the Main falls. We have walked through this lots and lots of time. But the excitement is always on the raise. The thrill brought by the sound of water cracking on the rock tickles every nerve ending.

To be contd….

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Done for this year..

The ritual for the year, accomplished. Avani avittam, and yagnyopavetha dharanam done.

Woke up at 4.30, had Vapanam done.[3 finger thickness ;)]followed by all regulars.

Reached the temple by 7.00[as scheduled].

Very surprised to see abt 50 people assembled today! Reiterated that the world is small.
"Naa Trichy, neenga?" "Naanum dhaan"
"Naa Andar veedhi!" "Naanum dhaan!"
"Naa Tiruvanikovil Ayyan Theru" "Wow!, Enakku poorvegham Thekku theru"
" Naa RECT", "Mee too!!"

Lot of mobile number, email id, business card xchangings happend ;).

According to IST[S-Stretchable], the proceedings started only by 8.00am. [supposedly the gurukkal had later agreed on a grahapravesam assginment till 7.45 am].I knew this would happen, and had told the client and my managers that i will be working from home ;) today. Aadi asanju poonal pottundu, aathuku varumbodhu 10.15.

Namba oora irundha, it wud be abt 13.00 hrs that we come home. Vaasallaye harathi karachu vechundu ppl will be waiting. Ullae nozhanju ellorukku namaskaram panni, one round of collection will happen. Pakkathathu aedhuthathu maama, ellor kitteyum colleksion kodi katti parakkum. Appuram vadai payasathoda oru kattu kattitu sogamma arattai adichundu.. hmm.. adhu vaazhkai..

Today, i came home, nobody there to receive, naane kadhava thirandha, mailbox la 10 junk letters. Apporam, nothing to eat :(, The only feasible option was to order pizza, but Oh-no-not-again feeling was overwhelming. So decided to cook and eat.
Before that logged into the office network to see if anything urgent was pending. Thankfully, as usual and typical of a friday, everything was calm.

Suddenly got great enthu and went in to the kitchen at 10.30 started experimenting with my culinary skills. Finished by 11.30. I was surprised with my creations and took a snap of it.

Clockwise from left. Kathrikai Ennai Curry, Vendaikai saambar, thakkali rasam, saadam, paruppu+paal payasam, thayir, vendaikkai thayir pachadi, Ghee, thanni. [No vadai ]

Aasai theera saaptutu, ippo dhaan logging back to start working.

Now you are asking me was the food tasty? rite?.
My dad used to say, that food is always tasty on avani avittam and sraadham days. According to that thumb rule the food was very tasty. slurp slurp... [The logic behind is that, on those days we have a late brunch and the hunger makes the food appear tasty :p]

Till I wake up, sorry work up, please enjoy the food!!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Avani Avittam - Yajur Upakarma 2005

Friday, 3rd of Aavani, is the Sravana Yajur upakarma day for the Parthiva year. [19-Aug-2005].

Info for Londoners/SouthEasterners:
This year Yajur upakarma is scheduled at
London Sri Murugan Temple [sorry abt the cached link, the site seems to be down :(], in two batches on 19-Aug. One at 7.00am and other 1.00pm.

General Info:

<Update-1200GMT-18Aug05> smartha yajur sampradaya at Kandamangalam.com </Update>

<Update-0745GMT-18Aug05> Vaishnava Sampradaya details are available at Ahobilam.com and prapatti.com

ChennaiOnline has posted audio clip and text of the mantras. This contains the Mahasankalpam part also.

Panchangam.com has come up with the mantrams in our 'Notice' format. Though this doesnot contain the mahasankalpam part.

The ideal process of upakarma is as follows

1. Vapanam - Shaving.[including broadening the forehead, for a prescribed width of 4 finger thickness, which is nowadays adjusted with just a couple of hairs.]
2. Snanam - Bathing and purification

3. Sandhyavandhanam - Daily dawn prayer.
4. Samithadhanam - [for brahmacharis only]
The above are a part of Nitya karma and are supposed to be done twice daily. This is at the dawn.

5. Kamokarishith japam - This is for self-purification.[Not for first time Avani avittam chaps.]

The following are then supposed to be performed in the noon.[These are also a part of Nitya karma]
6. Maadhyanyakam - Noon prayer
7. Brahmayagnayam - Daily Rememberances and Offering to Gods,Rishis,Vedas and for some, Forefathers.

8. Mahasankalpam [Taking Resolve before the academic year]
9. Yagyopaveetha dharanam [Changing of yagyopaveetham. formal induction]
10. Kandarishi Tharpanam [Prayer to the Vedas]
11. Vedaramabam [Intial lessons](Some traditions do Vedarambam before Kandarishi Tharpanam)
12. Sravana homam [This homam is not performed by everybody. The guru performs it and we are just witnesses to the prayers.]

13. Evening Sandhyavandhanam
14. Evening Samithadhanam

Next day Gayathri Japam
1. Sandhyavandhanam
2. Samithadhanam
3. Sahasra gayathri Homam/Japam

Out of the above, all mantrams are in the audio clip or in the document, except the Vedarambam. This will have to be repeated only when instructed by a Guru, and he makes corrections, if we go wrong. This is because, it is belived that Vedas can be counter productive if they are mispronounced.

Update: Note: Please feel free to refer or forward this to anybody who might need this. Also, if you have related info, for other vedas or sects, please drop a comment, so that it will be helpful for all.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Independence Day - The Rising

Iniya Swathanthra dina nal vaazhthukkal.
Let us remember all the sacrifices made and the price paid by our ancestors to secure this freedom for us.

Happend to watch the Aamir khan movie 'The Rising - Ballad of Mangal Pandey', over the weekend. First of all, my friends who had been there on friday told, that most of the movie is in English and the Hindi dialogues have subtitles. So, i thought i will watch it.

*No Spoilers ahead*

I had not read any reviews, nor heard any part of the script from my friends. Went with the open mind and liked the movie.

Was expecting a default jingoistic storyline, surprised not to find any. No one-man-killing-thousands, long lectures in the court, fiercly patriotic songs, betrayal by a greedy sepoy, or artificial villianising. Had these been there, i would have sighed 'pst, one more to the pack'. But, this was different and i liked that.

Reviews for the artists or the technicians have already been done elaborately in the mainstream. So lemme not get in there.

There is nothing in the script, which would kick our adrenalin, make us stand behind Mangal, raise the inner spirit.. tch tch.. sorry. You donot have the go-kill-them spirit aroused.

It was exactly what it was said to be, a Ballad. Taken so un-bollywood like, mebbe primarily targetting the academy awards jury.

The script is not very gripping. It allows distraction and parallel thoughts while the movie is still running!
I couldnt help but started thinking about the spirit of Mangal, JhansiRani, NanaSaheb, TantyaTope, Bahadur shah. The brave deaths of all of them, the blinding and execution of the moghul emperor's sons in front of his eyes, deporting him to Rangoon prison, the selflessness displayed by them, the vision they possesed, the sacrifice made by them, the value of our freedom and the price we paid for it.

I couldnt control my tears, yes after watching this simple ballad, i couldnt do it. Had it been a expected jingoistic drama, i would have started thinking abt the dinner ;) but it was not to be.

That is the success of the movie!

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

தோட்டம் வளர்த்தேன் தோட்டம் வளர்ப்பேன் ;)

அடியேன் தோட்டம் வளர்த்த கதையின்[இங்க, இங்க, அப்புறம் இங்க] நிறைவை எழுதுவதர்க்கு முன், தோட்டம் கொஞ்சமாவது வளர்ந்துவிடாதா என்ற நப்பசையில் சில நாட்க்கள் கடத்திய பின், சரி நமக்கு விதித்தது, நாம் விதைத்தது எல்லமே இவ்வளவு தான் என்று இறைவனை வேண்டி துவங்குறேனப்பா..

நார்தன் லைன் ஓடவில்லயே,
நட்ட ரோஜா, பூக்க வில்லயே.
பிக்கடிலியோ லேட்,
போட்ட விதையோ வேஸ்ட்.

பக்கத்து ஸீட்டு ஜென்னி
எதிர் ஸீட்டு ஜூலி
நீங்கள் எல்லாமே போலி,

உங்களை நினைத்து வைத்த
செடி எல்லாம் காலி.

என்று, காதல் தோல்வி அடைந்தவன் போல, [தாடி எல்லம் இல்லை, ரொம்ப யோசிக்கதீங்க], தத்துவ கவிதை எல்லாம் பாட ஆரம்பிச்சசு.

“அடுத்த கட்டம் என்ன??”

க.வி.கை.நி. கடையில் கொடுத்த பூத்தொட்டி உள்ளது, இதில் ஏதாவது செய்வோம் என்று சிந்தித்து, யோசித் போது...

ஆஹா, போன வருஷம் ஊருக்கு போன போது, துளசி விதை கொணர்ந்தோமே, எம்பெருமான் பெயரில் அதை விதைப்போம் என்ற ஞானோதயம் கிட்டிற்று.
சரியா சொன்னீங்க.. தத்துவத்துக்கு அப்புறம் இறை அர்ப்பணம் தான்.

இந்த கட்டத்தில் தான் வாசக அன்பர்கள்(!) சிந்திக்க வேண்டும், எப்படி, தோட்டம் வளர்ப்பது, ஒருவனை இறை மார்கத்தில் இழுக்கிறது என்று.

“உடல் வளர்த்தேன், உயிர் வளர்த்தேன்“ – திருமூலர் கூற்று
“தோட்டம் வளர்த்தேன், தெய்வம் வளர்த்தேன்”-அடியேன் கூற்று.

நல்ல ஒரு சனிக்கிழமை, இறைவனை வேண்டி, துளசி விதைதாயிற்று. தினமும் காலை மாலை, ஸந்த்யாவந்தன அர்க்யம் மற்றும் கூடுதல் நீர் ஊற்றி, மூன்று வாரம் பேணியாயிற்று.

இதோ, அதற்கான பலன், கண்கூடாக!! துளசி துளிர் விட்டிருக்கிறது. மாமனின் அருகே மருமகனின் அருகம் புல்லும் அரும்பு விடுகிறது. இணைத்துள்ள புகை படத்தில் காணவும். [சரி சரி, றெம்ப பாராட்டாதீங்க]

ஹ்ம்ம், தோட்டம் போட துவங்கி, துளிர் விடுவதர்க்குள், வசந்த ருது, க்ரீஷ்ம ருது, கடந்து, வர்ஷ ருதுவே வந்து விட்டது. ;) இன்னும் சில நாட்களில், இங்கு குளிர் காலம் துவங்கிய பின், அடுத்த வசந்த ருது வரை, தோட்டத்தின் பக்கமே போக முடியாது.
அதனால இந்த வருஷத்துக்கான தோட்ட வேலையை இத்தோட முடிச்சுக்கறேன்பா!!

எல்லாரும் நிழற்ப்படத்துல இருக்கர துளசிய வணங்கிக்கோங்கப்பா...

அப்புறம், இந்த வார கல்கியில், அமரர் கல்கி கத்திரிக்காய் பயிரிட்ட கதை வந்துள்ளது. அவரும் நம்மள(!) மாதிரி தான் போல, படிச்சு ரசிச்சுக்கோங்கோ!!

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Update on - A R Rahman Live in Concert – 3D(?) Tour

As an update to my earlier post, please visit here, for the video clippings of the concert.

This site suddenly became the top referrer to my blog, after they linked my review at their site.

The videos shud have been taken at the Birmingham Concert, which was on day next to that of London concert. Though the videos are for just about a minute, it is enjoyable.

Enjoy them!!

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Arasiyal - contd...

As a continuation to the NAP-NAK discussion, i wanted to share the below mail. The context is that two of my NAK friends are apprehensive about getting married to a NAP, thinking that their life would be caught between adherence of strict rituals and the demands of the moden world.
I happend to know of their apprehension, and conveyed them that, their being carefree today, doesnt make them out of sync of marrying a NAP. And told them, after marriage, they would infact tend to be adhereing to those traditional practices more than their men. [of course, it is an observation which is made based on my little expereince, hence there will be exceptions.]

Ennala mudinjadhu, rendu NAKs oda NAPphobia va pokkaradhuku chinna muyarchi.. :P
Read from the bottom.


I remember to have talked to u about, not providing enuf fundamentals to NAKs. Our way of life is prescribed assuming that NAKs are at home, so the idea of imparting values and subjecting them to a system early in life,have not been given appropriate attention. [like for boys, we have upanayanam(poonal), brahmacharyam, sandhyavandham.... Et al. That is, anytime if a guys goes weird in life, and later wants to return, he can fall back to his fundamentals,].

So it is time that we tailor our parenting strategies to impart enuf values and spiritual thots both into boys and gals alike, after all, tomorrow they are going to meet the world almost the same way.

Now coming to your apprehensions, they are true only to a very small extent. It is the fear factor that is blowing things out of proportion in your minds.

What I am trying to convey is, what you are now, and what u will be five years after marriage, will be completely different, and take my word, most of u will be the pivots around whom the whole spirituality and value building of the family will revolve.

The convictions to substantiate are..[of course there are obvious exceptions.]
1. Most families today are jus the man and wife, and with very less parental intervention.
2. Most guys today are very adjusting and practical, mind u.. even the guy who says I am conservative, doesn't impose it on his wife.
3. In the world where both the partners work alike, the only thing that is expected early in the marriage is love and sincerity, not madisaar kattindu samaikaradhu.. ;)
4. Guys have turned out to be astonishingly sacrificial, driving a sense of reciprocation among the so called "broadminded" and "modern" girls around.
5. With the responsibilities of the family descending on the girls, most of them tend to adapt and lead THE life, this may not be "kulichuttu, madisar kattinduthan samayal panannradhu " daily, but understanding and appreciating that doing it is the proper way of living, and raising to special occasions and enjoying doing it.

Take my word..
If u have got good fundamentals, then u r going to reflect it later in ur life, irrespective of how u r today.
Let me rephrase, you will be a Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, of your mom with 'Find and Replace' of the corresponding time parameters to point to 2-3 decades later.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2004 5:12 PM
Subject: RE: hi

u r correct..
but theres no way out .. u have to choose among the available..
orthovo.. ennavo.. poi than adjust pannikanum..
naan kovil pakkame poga mattenn.. athala vilakku kooda etha mattenn.. ( seyanum nu thonathu)
ennakku bayangara orthovo vandhu amaya porathu..
kulichuttu, madisar kattinduthan samayal panannumnu sonna enna panrathu..

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2004 5:09 PM
Subject: RE: hi

2 weeks back oru group vanndanga, some ortho gumbal ..payan kitta sonen, me not ortho types nu, he said, am more ortho than modern :) . and avanga paakave some tradi yaa irundaanga..no way i'd suit them.so mutual No.
namba konjam ulagata paathutom ..adaan expectations jaasti ya irukku..we want some body broadminded...and not the narrow thinking conservative iyengar gumbal.wht say? :)

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Monday, August 08, 2005

Arasiyalla Idhellam Sagajamappa

Robbie's post triggered me to share a mail.

Take this post with a lot of salt, and see this as a humour post!
Some NAPs [Namba Aathu Pullayandan]are there, who want to fall in love(!). But their values doesnt allow them to date any x or y. They are so conscious that, they would want to know the gothram of a girl, before going and initiating a conversation with a new NAK[Namba Aathu Kuzhandai], who has joined his company or project or his class.

By the time, they finish the gothram,sub sect research, get to know her nakshatram, go to trsiyengar.com and find the star match, the NAK would already have been picked up by the Remos around leaving our Ambis kicking the sand and to wait for the next NAK to appear in their RADAR.

The following is a mail chain among such poor despo NAPs. Read it from the bottom and have a hearty laugh!!

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 3:12 PM
Subject: RE: Best Strategy..

Mavane. Let us be prepared to face everything daa.. :(

* Jaadhi madham ellam andha kaalathu kattu potti thanam. America la jaadhi irukka? Appadenu kekkanum..
* Oruthar oruthar manasa purinjunda appuram [! Adhu aenna nu aenakku innum puriyave illai maapla], indha ulagathla yaarumae adhai thadukka mudiyadhu appadeenu padam podanum.
* Beer, thanni ellam vaanghi oothi koduthu, ulagathla ivvalavu sugatha nee brahmana ponna poradhu izhandhutta appadeenu aedhuthu sollanum.

Thinkin what to add.. :(

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 2:04 PM
Subject: RE: Best Strategy..

soaka sonna ....
* Engootula enaku yarumee mukiyam iille...needhan ellameenu sollanum..
* Dependent visala onsite kootindu poreenu sollanum.ok*l*v$l%..amma appava kootindu poovana????
* emmadhamum sammadhamnu sollanum...(avanuku enna..brahmna ponnungaladhan bracket poduvaanunga... ivaluga ipadi alanja..yara korai solradhu...)
* nalla ensai pannittu.....namba rendu perum pirinjidalam..kadaluku mariyadhi pannnidlaam...Nee ungootuku poidu..nan engootuku poidareen...


> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 1:22 PM
> To:
> Subject: Best Strategy..
> Machchi,
> The best strategy to find a nice good,NAK, has been deviced by me daaa, after lot of experience..
> First thing.
> 1. Cut the kudumi.[if at all u have. ;) ]
> 2. Poonala kazhatti kaveri la veesu,
> 3. Start eating Panni kari, maattu kari, kozhi kari salad.
> 4. Do lot of pachcha porukki thanam.
> 5. Throw all culture, and values into trash.
> 6. Do what ur d*&k says and donot think and act.
> Machchi. add to the list daa. Let us make a BOK and distribute it among the poor NAPs like us, who would never be able to get a nice good NAK.


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Friday, August 05, 2005

Time to Get Back to Work…

Yes, Aadi 18 is over and it is time to get back to work.
Wondering what I mean??
According to our calendar, the year is split into two halves, Uttarayanam and Dakshinayanam. Uttara-ayanam [Northern Path] is when the relative position of the sun moves towards the north[mid jan to mid jul]. Dakshina refers to south. Dakshinayana is from mid jul to mid jan.

As discussed here, the agriculture and productive season is the Dakshinayanam. This is because the rivers in TN have their catchment in Western ghats and have water from the monsoon, starting from Aadi. The farmers get busy in sowing and till January are busy with the crops.

The aadi ammavasai, the new moon day of aadi, is considered auspicious for prayers to forefathers. Though this day is common to everybody, the kshatriyas, and the defence community pay homage and respect to all those who lost their lives earlier and start a fresh round of weapon making, culminating with aayudha pooja.

This is followed by Aavani avittam, where the vaishya and brahmana people get themselves rejuvenated for a new work cycle. The brahmanas have this ritual called Vedarambam. [veda aarambam], when they change the sacred thread[Rethreading and Multithreading ;)]. Learning of new Vedic lessons start from aavani avittam and continues to start of Uttarayanam in January. From then on it is just the revision, till the next dakshinayanam.

So, this half of the year is when highly productive specialized functions are accomplished. The conditions are also conducive for this work. Unlike uttarayanam, the climate in TN during this time, is moderate. Rain and shine compete with each other. The extreme temperatures are gone.

The festivals of this period are fully domestic in nature. Starting from aadi, the jenmashtami, chaturthi, navaratri, deepavali, karthikai, all are domestic festivals, unlike uttarayanam, where public festivals like, brahmotsavams, teppams, poochoridhals fall. [of course exceptions are there..]

The uttarayanam on the other hand is when all public events like building of temples, fairs, public festivities, travelling to nearby towns and cities are undertaken. The temperatures and climate reach extremities. And it is when people are out vacationing, since concentrating on the job is difficult.

Is this the similar reason, why Christmas is celebrated in the western world, when climate reaches extremities and productivity falls to the lowest!!

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

ஆடிப்பதினெட்டு – ஆடிப்பெருக்கு

Today is aadippadhinettu [18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi]. This is the second most important day in the lives of the Kaveri delta people, after the harvest festival of Pongal.
The relevance of this date and its impact on the society has been waning for the past 3-4 decades, from when the dominance of agriculture on the economy started declining.

Aadi padhinettu, is traditionally the day when sowing begins for the annual crop of paddy. It is when the monsoon on the western ghats have peaked, and in the “pre-karnataka” times, it was when Kaveri was in full spate.

Hopes, dreams, et al gets converted into prayers, on this day. Mother Kaveri is the deciding parameter in whatever decision is taken later in the year, be it buying a cow, or getting a bigger piece of land, making some jewellery, sending children to school, getting daughters married, and what not! If she fails, or if she overflows, it is end of story for us.

I remember, early in 90s we flock to Chinthamani Padithurai or Amma Mandapam, and some of us adorn Her with manjal, kumkumam, new bangles and flowers. It would be a great sight to stand over the Kaveri paalam, and look down on the west. She would look like a huge golden saree[thanks to the setting sun] with red double side border[thanks to vermilion from CP and AM]!! The newly wedded of that year, preserve their marriage garlands and offer it to Kaveri to keep it in safe custody and bless them with success prosperity and peace throughout their lives.

Kalandha saadham is the neivedhyam for her that day. Akkaravadisal, Puliyanjadham, thengaisadham, elumichambazha saadham, with karuvadam, poricha appalam, more molagai, all in Her name.

Baloon, peepee, kalar kannadi, pori kadalai, all are default in the shopping basket!! By abt 6.25 all of us go on the kaveri paalam and turn eastwards facing the railway line. Brave youths board the 6.30pm office train at TiruchyTown Station and climb to the roofs of the compartments and as the train passes over the river, they keep diving one by one from that height, and the one with a clean dive will get a huge round of applause from us. ;)

What great days they were!!

The last Adi18 I was at home was in 2001. I cannot forget that day, it fell on Aadi Vellikizhamai, I went to Tiruvanaikovil to have Akilandeshwari darshan. While returning, on the bridge, what I had was the most painful sight.

The mother, after feeding her children for thousands of years, got all her milk dried up. I parked my vehicle, got out on to the bridge, cried aloud. [I don’t know how and why I did that, I hadn’t done for a long long time then].
Was it because
she lay bare, like a desert, without a drop of water or
she lay bare watching her children cry around her or
she lay bare hoping to show some water to those who were digging deep to see some water to offer the manjal, kumkumam. [All those less hopefuls just strewed then on the sand] or
I am going away from here in a couple of weeks, to go out and look for greener pastures or
the thought that I am abandoning my mother when she is no more productive?

This year, after a long time, we have had a nice monsoon, but still there seems to be no water from Mettur on Aadi perukku. Though late, let us pray for the water to reach in time for the crop raising this season. Hoping for better rains thorugh the years to follow, and the Mother to get back to form and feed her children like usual.

Flash news: Updated on Aadi 18, 2005, 16:45 GMT
Report from Trichy says, there has been water flowing through Kaveri, after a gap of abt 5 years. The chaps who used to jump from trains have got old now, and the young chaps dont know how to do it, so that part was missing. But they were jumping from the bridge on to the river. And more importantly, there has been a huuuuge crowd visiting the river today, and trafic remained blocked for hours around the area. People flocked in thousands of cars[yes, the automobile cars, not the carts], this being the first real aadi 18 since the neo-economy-driven-propsperity hit Trichy.
சுடச்சுட மாலைமலர் ரிபோர்ட்

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Monday, August 01, 2005

A R Rahman Live in Concert – 3D(?) Tour

The evening of Saturday, July 30 2005, Wembely Arena Pavilion, witnessed the premiere of A R Rahman’s 3D tour.

Let me first do the short Crib.[to ward off kaN drushti]

The minor one was to reach Wembely that evening, as Jubilee line was closed from West hampsted, and the rail replacement bus took abt 1 hr [thanks to the rain and traffic snarls] to cover that distance which is normally done in 8-10 mins. So had to enter the show late by 10 mins.:(

The man behind the camera was pathetic. He made sure, the camera is always not on the right person. It was damn glaring during the half time break, when ARR was introducing the accompanying artisits.

The real one was the absence of 3D glasses as described in the webpage. There were no glasses available and we saw nobody wearing it.:( When asked one of the crowd control persons [though I knew he was not the right person to ask, but thought he migt have hade have a briefing on this], he did not have any idea of what I was asking. Wondering, was there an announcement or anything, just before we entered? Still in the dark!! There was a huge screen behind the stage, and something like the 3D screen savers were running there! Is this what the 3D thing was??

The show is effectively a 2D show. Now enuf of cribs, the fun and partying started !!

But before that, first a round of applause for the commitment these guys displayed. It was said on stage that, the show was abt to be cancelled, first because of security concerns in london, and then due to the incessant rains and flight cancellations in Mumbai, that would have made it impossible for the artists to come to London. Mumbai was floating and most of the artisits, shankar mahadevan said, had to wade their way in hip and neck deep waters to reach the airport.!! Thanks guys for making this show after so much 'personal trauma'[in ARR's words].

Rahman was at his best!! Hamma Hamma[Tamil paattu] was the pick of it, along with ‘yeh to des hai tera’,[again tamil mixed in the second stanza.]

Daler, for the large Punjabi crowd, did his Hindi ‘thaniye thannan thaniye’ with the usual pep, and the Chinnama Chilakamma from Minaxi.

Alka yagnik’s Taal, Sadhana Sargam’s hindi ‘snehidhane..’ along with madhushree’s yuva piece did justice for the female voice.

Some songs, I heard there for the first time. Like this one from Zubeida [hearing this for the first time as well, forgive my not following bollywood ], were the dampers for me, to relax and get seated for sometime,. :p

In comes the great Hariharan, packed with tons of energy. His asking ‘Tamillu paatu padalaamaa??’ in a proper ghazalic tone, and the roaring response to it, followed by Vennilave vennilave.. Super..
Then came the solo Nila kaigiradhu + Uyire Uyire..
izhachchu izhachchu padaradhunu periya solluvale…adhaampa adhu.
Apporam, andha 'pachai nirame, pachai nirame' paatu…
sorry adhe solradhukku andha vaarthai.. varthai dhaan vara mattengaradhu.. abirami abirami..

‘Sandhana Thendralai..’nu namba prodigy Shankar mahadevan pudicha pudila yengayo poittaru. His best was the Lagaan ‘ghanana ghanana..’. At the end of the song he said, ‘the story goes that the clouds disperse after this song, but had the story been such that, it rained heavily after this song, Rehman would have composed the following piece’. Then started raining in voice, in combination with our one and only Sivamani, and got Mumbai in Wembely! Real breathless.!!

A 10 minute solo was just the tip of the percussion maestro Sivamani. When he got the crowd clapping and them drumming alternating to the claps, it was so involving.

Kailash Kher’s voice was new and fresh. The Yuhi Chala chala and the Rising song – Mangala mangala were testimonials.

There was this youth Aslam, who was humming in the background and took Sukhwinder and Udit’s voices, and did it to perfection. Though chaiyya chaiyya looked out of place sans Sukhwi, Aslam did a great job.

A solo from Bombay dreams, and the 'Bombay theme' flute were stopgaps in the middle.

After abt 3.5 hrs, which flew like just 3 mins, the VandeMatam summed it up!!

The journey back home, which was longer and tiring than the To journey, didn’t seem tedious. The concert was a recharging experience. I forgot myself so much so that only after thumping the feet and dancing for a long while, did I realize that, I am recovering from multiple fractures in my feet and needed to play it cool :P

I would recommend people to hop on the 3D tour, if it comes to ur city. Worth a visit, but don’t have expectations on the 3D part. :)

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