Friday, December 24, 2010

Unworded-A Sun-rise and a Moon-set

And 'Hi' said the Sun to the Moon
Montage using Gimp. Photos taken within minutes of each other at opposite horizons
Camera: Nokia N73 (alas!, the quality does suffer here)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Aural nourishment

How many FM radio stations are there in your city? Chances are that you'll know the 'non-stop prattle' entertainment channels. Namma Bengaluru hosts Radio City, Radio One, Radio Mirchi, Radio Indigo, Big FM, Red FM, Fever, of course Vividh Bharati (it doesn't seem to have changed from eons. You can hear the distinct 'coooo' tone when an ad segment begins or ends :-D), AIR FM Rainbow and the lesser known Amritavarshini (AIR classical music). There is one hidden gem, Gyan Vani (or Gyaan Vaani to be phonetically right) which is usually skipped over by the majority or never tuned into. (Disclaimer: depends on how you look at it. It is a gem to me, at least)

Gyan Vani is an educational FM radio station transmitting at 106.4 MHz (the frequencies have changed multiple times in the past few years, but looks like the transmit frequency is being rationalized throughout the country) under the aegis of the IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University) and programmes developed by its Electronic Media Production Centre. Almost all the Indian metros have this station active. The broadcast programs are an eclectic potpourri !!!. Collegiate lessons across different majors, PUC lessons and preps for exams, history, current events, spiritual talks, classical and semi-classical music, scientific talks, health awareness programs, sociology, radio programs from other countries (at times) and vernacular programming.

These days, I am jogging my memory lane on my morning/evening commutes on the war of Indian Independence like Cripps mission, Quit India movement et al and also brushing up on DNA/RNA, nucleotides, Watson-Crick model etc. Some programs are brilliant and some so-so, but the aim is to educate and most of it is definitely worth a hear.

Tune in, if you haven't and have a good time if it interests you. :-D

(the title is taken off a Tamizh saying, 'செவிக்குணவில்லாத போழ்து சிறிது வயிற்றுக்கும் ஈயப்படும்', which translates to 'Nourishment for the tum is when you aren't aurally nourished for your soul')

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chinnanchiru Kiliyae - சின்னஞ் சிறு கிளியே

Today, Dec 11, being the birth anniversary of Bharathi (born Dec 11, 1882), here is a translation of another of his well known poems.

Kannamma is seen in multiple forms by Bharathi, as a diety, as a lover and as a child. This poem's premise is that of Bharathi seeing Goddess Parāshakthi as a small child. He goes into a rapturous vent at the child with an outpour of emotions; happiness, longing, respect, love, joy, pride, pain, restraint, submission!

Bharathiar and Chellamma- Image courtesy - The Web
Montage courtesy - self, using Gimp :-)

கண்ணம்மா-என் குழந்தை

பராசக்தியைக் குழந்தையாகக் கண்டு சொல்லிய பாட்டு

சின்னஞ் சிறு கிளியே-கண்ணம்மா!
செல்வக் களஞ்சியமே!
என்னைக் கலிதீர்த்தே-உலகில்
ஏற்றம் புரிய வந்தாய்!

பிள்ளைக் கனியமுதே-கண்ணம்மா!
பேசும்பொற் சித்திரமே!
அள்ளி யணைத்திடவே-என் முன்னே
ஆடி வருந் தேனே!

ஓடி வருகையிலே-கண்ணம்மா!
உள்ளங் குளிரு தடீ!
ஆடித்திரிதல் கண்டால்-உன்னைப்போய்
ஆவி தழுவு தடீ!

உச்சி தனை முகந்தால்-கருவம்
ஓங்கி வளரு தடீ!
மெச்சி யுனையூரார்-புகழ்ந்தால்
மேனி சிலிர்க்கு தடீ!

கன்னத்தில் முத்தமிட்டால்-உள்ளந்தான்
கள்வெறி கொள்ளு தடீ!
உன்னைத் தழுவிடிலோ,-கண்ணம்மா!
உன்மத்த மாகு தடீ!

சற்றுன் முகஞ் சிவந்தால்-மனது
சஞ்சல மாகு தடீ!
நெற்றி சுருங்கக் கண்டால்-எனக்கு
நெஞ்சம் பதைக்கு தடீ!

உன்கண்ணில் நீர்வழிந்தால்-என்னெஞ்சில்
உதிரங் கொட்டு தடீ!
என்கண்ணிற் பாவையன்றோ?-கண்ணம்மா!
என்னுயிர் நின்ன தன்றோ?

சொல்லு மழலையிலே-கண்ணம்மா!
துன்பங்கள் தீர்ந்திடு வாய்;
முல்லைச் சிரிப்பாலே-எனது
மூர்க்கந் தவிர்த்திடு வாய்.

இன்பக் கதைக ளெல்லாம்-உன்னைப்போல்
ஏடுகள் சொல்வ துண்டோ?
அன்பு தருவதிலே -உனைநேர்
ஆகுமோர் தெய்வ முண்டோ?

மார்பில் அணிவதற்கே-உன்னைப்போல்
வைர மணிக ளுண்டோ?
சீர்பெற்று வாழ்வதற்கே-உன்னைப்போல்
செல்வம் பிறிது முண்டோ?

and the translation ... Any translation will struggle to match this original and may never will, and this one too is no exception.

Kannamma - My child

An ode to Parāshakthi seen as a child

My little parakeet, dear Kannamma,
    My store of immense wealth you are!
To rid me of vice, you descend,
    And elevate the world you care!

Ambrosial darling, you are, Kannamma,
    An expressive painting of gilt!
For me to sweep you up and hug;
    Honey, You dance before me and flit!

As you rush to me, Kannamma,
    The heart of mine tingles!
Looking at you, play and drift,
    Embraces you my soul and mingles!

As I take a breath off you, up and close,
    Swells high my pride!
Extol the folks on you, when they;
    Shudders my body inside!

A kiss planted on the cheek;
    Intoxicated, is my heart!
An embrace of you, Kannamma;
    Rips me delirious, apart!

Your face turning crimson, I behold;
    Grieves my heart, dear!
A frown, I notice on your brow;
    Stirs my soul, with fear!

Pearls of tears in your eyes, shed,
    Bleeds red my heart!
You are the apple of my eye, Kannamma;
    Isn't my life yours, to part?

Child-speak, of yours, Kannamma,
    Away drains my pain;
Pearly laughter of yours, I hear,
    From rage I abstain!

Your tales of joy, recounted,
    Would the books ever near?
Your flow of love, shared,
    Would the Divine ever peer?

In my bosom to wear, like you,
    Are there diamonds to strand?
To live a life, straight,
    Is there wealth beyond you, as grand?

Here is a pointer to a rendition by Sudha Raghunathan. [You may need to click twice] I have not heard any rendition that includes the last 3 stanzas, which are beautiful too.

Another lovely mellifluent rendition by Unnikrishnan in his "Mellifluous Melodies" album

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Why is it so hard to let go?

Years of gradual accumulation of things makes it so hard to let go; they range from small to large, toys and games that are long worn-out or discoloured, old books, papers and electronics junk, boxes and bags, clothes and furniture. Making it miserable is the fact that memories cling on to a few of them.

Learning it the hard, difficult way, as we are in the middle of a home shift. A filtering of what we feel are not really useful further and needs to be dumped, is in progress. Makes me realize painfully (it is not sorrow, however), how things are squirreled away slowly, unbeknownst of the fact they need to be discarded one day as they are past utilizability.

Just letting the unrest pass before it settles down to an equilibrium of acceptance ... :-)

Monday, December 06, 2010


A short review (or is it?) of a movie after a long lapse. Was sitting in my Drafts folder for close to two weeks and any later posting of it may not make any sense. :-D

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
First time in my life, I have gone to a movie on the second day of its release. :-D This is strictly a movie for the fans, and not for the generalist who doesn't have an intro into Harry Potter (HP). Still if you insist on going, it is like seeing a portion of a narration, which seems out of context and with no clue of what is happening or what happened or why and the plethora of characters that come and go and the gobbledegook that permeates it.

There is always a 'coolness' about waving wands for tricks and special effects which radiate light from the wands as they are used and charms/spells that spell doom or otherwise, being uttered with all fury on the opponent. I love the HP movies for some of their special effects, wit and charm of the leads and most of the time for having you lose yourself in their world. My reading of the books stopped after book 2, but Señora has run through all of them at least twice.

Voldemort is stronger than ever and with more screen presence this time, takes over Hogwarts and installs his cronies, and in the meanwhile continuing his quest to finish off Harry Potter. This is a dark movie, with no smiles from any of the lead faces except for maybe a short 2 minute duration in a 2.5 hour movie. There is humour in a few scenes, few in-between, some subtle and the rest are all simmering with ominous dread. There is no familiar environment of Hogwarts and the story takes place fully outside its precincts. Harry, Hermione and Ron, pull the movie forward with sufficient chemistry between them. Reminds to an extent of the Eclipse movie saga. Some of the scenery where the characters apparate to, is mindblowingly gorgeous (England/Scotland?) and seems like a painting right out of a Wordsworth poem.

One more horcrux of Voldemort is destroyed and Voldemort vandalizes the tomb of Dumbledore to steal his wand which is one of the three deathly hallows (the meaning and story of which is flashed back as puppet type imagery), and the movie ends for its sequel, I couldn't help wondering, how much knots still need to be uncovered, how many wands would clash, how the revenges would be taken in the good vs. evil fight and how many deaths including the most awaited one of Voldemort, can be crammed into 2.5 to 3 hours when the final movie races out in July next year. Till that time, I need to read the books again.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, this one leaves you somewhat unsatiated and looking forward for the finale as sufficient tension has been built up and it is freeze-frame for another 8 months. If you are not, nothing to miss, I mean, you miss nothing.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The cattle class

Was standing yesterday at a zebra crossing with three cute calves close by. Crossed over to the median in the middle of the road once the traffic thinned on my side and was waiting there to get to the other as the traffic was persistent. I was suddenly nudged at my back and I turned back startled to see that it was one of the calves. All the three were lined up behind me (though there was enough space beside), also doing the road crossing maneuver. One of the calves mooed and it sounded to me as if it was asking me to 'move'. Hopped aside and they crossed the road without a fuss (blocking the oncoming traffic, ha!), with me piggybacking along to the other side.

Couldn't help a chuckle with a disbelieving shake of the head. :-D Street smart, they are, I've to acknowledge!