Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Midsummer Morning's Dream

The pictures speak for themselves for contrast. Last Wednesday (25-May-11), woke up in the morning to see a blanket fog that had engulfed the whole place.

Couldn't believe it was mid-summer and I am seeing fog with a mild drizzle with a wind-chill making you feel as if you are at some hill station in winter.   :-)

Bangalore does have its Wow! surprises ...

Granted that I live at the fringes of Bengaluru to savour these for whatever time it lasts.

With due apologies to William Shakespeare for punning his title

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Aasai Mugam Marandhu Pochchae - ஆசை முகம் மறந்து போச்சே

And here comes another translation after a long lull from 'Kannan Paattu' from Bharathi.

The inspiration for this translation was a brilliant amalgam of fact and fiction on Bharathi by Suchi in the post "The forgotten face of the beloved" with a poignant background that Bharathi may have based this poem in despair on being not able to find a picture of his mother who had long passed on.

There is a pointer to a rendition of this poem at the aforementioned link by Sikkil Gurucharan.

கண்ணன் பாட்டு - பாரதியார்
கண்ணன்-என் காதலன்


ஆசை முகமறந்து போச்சே-இதை
ஆரிடம் சொல்வேனடி தோழி?
நேச மறக்கவில்லை நெஞ்சம்-எனில்
நினைவு முகமறக்க லாமோ?

கண்ணில் தெரியுதொரு தோற்றம்-அதில்
கண்ண னழகுமுழு தில்லை;
நண்ணு முகவடிவு காணில்-அந்த
நல்ல மலர்ச்சிரிப்பைக் காணோம்

ஓய்வு மொழிதலுமில்லாமல்-அவன்
உறவை நினைத்திருக்கும் உள்ளம்
வாயு முரைப்பதுண்டு கண்டாய்-அந்த
மாயன் புகழினையெய் போதும்.

கண்ணன் புரிந்துவிட்ட பாவம்-உயிர்க்
கண்ண னுருமறக்க லாச்சு;
பெண்க ளினத்திலிது போல-ஒரு
பேதையை முன்புகண்ட துண்டோ?

தேனை மறந்திருக்கும் வண்டும்-ஒளிச்
சிறப்பை மறந்துவிட்ட பூவும்
வானை மறந்திருக்கும் பயிரும்-இந்த
வைய முழுதுமில்லை தோழி!

கண்ணன் முகமறந்து போனால்-இந்தக்
கண்க ளிருந்துபய னுண்டோ?
வண்ணப் படமுமில்லை கண்டாய்-இனி
வாழும் வழியென்னடி தோழி?

And with the usual disclaimer that the translation may not hold a candle to the original, but here is the translation.

Separation Angst

Thy face beloved, envisions not my mind,
Lament this, dearest, to whom should I?
The heart forgets not the love, yet
Recalls not your visage and why?

The eyes behold a form, where
The beauty of Kanna effuses not
Looking hard at the face close
To find the blossom smile naught

Without a respite, expressed
Remembers the heart, of the connect
And see the lips utter ever
Praises of the charmer, direct

Sins of yours Kanna, hath
Made me forget thy lively form
Womanhood, virtuous they are
Seen ye, with their impeccant charm?

Nectar drunk not by bees,
Blooms that know not of glorious light,
Crops that look not to the sky,
Exist not in this world, dear!

The face of Kanna having faded out,
 Do they have a use of - these eyes?
Have not a portrait to behold,
To live on, dear, how do I?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gifted, she is

I watch the Airtel Super Singer 3 irregularly on Vijay TV. Yesterday and the day before, there was a guest performance by last year's Super Singer Junior winner, Alka Ajith. What a voice! Could blow the current Airtel Super Singer 3 competitors away, by a mile. She is maybe around 15 years of age and already a playback singer in Malayalam and hear her sing 'Chiragengu' from the yet to be released movie 'The Train'. Lovely and gooseflesh inducing rendition! She sang that song day before on the show and 'Thohda Thohda Malarndhadhenna' from the movie 'Indira' and a snippet of 'Udhaya Udhaya Virumbugiraen' from the movie 'Udhaya' yesterday. Mindblowingly silken voice!

God (or Nature) gifts some with extraordinary capability and Alka is one such gifted person. It is so soothing to hear her and the clarity and range in her voice are astounding.

May she be blessed always and this child is one who will definitely scale heights. Thanks Alka for those moments of divinity on hearing you sing.


People are dumb (Disclaimer: I don't claim to be an intellectual of any kind.). How else can you explain this? Was having blogger posting problems and was looking if it was reported by others and came across the following.

A box at the top says some status information about maintenance, which people generally don't read and which is excusable.

But how on earth can one find a cryptic answer like "bX-d7hq04" be helpful to anyone and which is actually an error code thrown by the Webpage to be shared in the forums to see if someone has a similar issue and potentially a solution. Maybe people thought it was similar to the 'Like' button of FaceBook / Google Reader and then clicked on it.

Speak about 'click conditioning'! Hmmph!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The world's costliest curd rice

Rs.10000 for 5 spoons of curd rice. Yes, it is true!

The parents like their curds/buttermilk and their offspring vanish at the sight of it. The milk derivative is scorned at, if it is present at the dining table. It is not as if that the kids haven't tasted them. It was not condemned when they were younger, but one fine day they developed a dis-taste to it all of a sudden and then stopped abruptly. No amount of pleadings, inducements, coercion and threats could make their children ingest curd in any fashion.

This continued for a few years and the parents persisted in their attempts to induce the habit into their children. One day, they struck a deal with their son of giving him Rs.10000 in cold cash, if he takes a few spoonfuls of curd rice. Eyes bright at the prospect of a quick buck, the son accepted the challenge and the parents thought it was all verbal daredevilry. Their daughter was made of sterner stuff. She flatly refused in spite of promising what she considers her ultimate gift, a pet cat.

The next day, around noon, the father was called up at his office by his wife with the news that their son ate five spoonfuls of curd rice, whilst making contorted faces. And he liked it. :)

A promise is a promise and to be honorable, the parents have decided to keep their word.

Now it is up to you to decide if it was the costliest curd rice ever. Maybe! And the quest would continue with the daughter. And you know who the cast in this anecdote are. :-D

Friday, May 06, 2011

Unworded - Gubbachchi

Bangalore's Paradise lost - As happy as a lark - Rare visitor at home - Wake up to chirps

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Agni Nakshathram

No, it is not a review on the sibling confrontation movie from Maniratnam that came more than two decades back.

Visited Madras (aka Chennai) over the last weekend and here is some unsolicited advice for those headed to Madras from Bangalore (aka Bengaluru), this month. Of course, this doesn't apply to those who live there. They are demi-gods and hence super-natural. They can tolerate even Fukushima. :-D
  • Never under-estimate the weather at Madras even if you have snow or hail falling at you on the way. We were greeted by blinding rain at Krishnagiri which we hoped would extend all the way to the coast. Alas!, 10 kms out of Krishnagiri and the clouds wore out to beat us blue and whack.
  • Madras has only 3 swings of temperature across the day/night - warmish hot, sweaty hot, 'sap the hell out of you and blow your head' gory hot. Any other weather is God's gift.
  • Of course, the night is hot, unless you catch a short warm draft of the sea-breeze close to the shore. You can wake up in the morning at 6:30 am to see your sweatfest begin.
  • God forbid if the power goes off (which seems to be the case routinely there) and you are out of inverter power (you'll be roasted to die without power in Madras). Of course, the 220V voltage dips down to 180V and so a fan at speed-5 is the same as a fan at speed-1.
  • This is one city where the bathrooms need to have fans (not just exhaust, but inlet and ceiling ones) and the minute you are out of the bath, you would have taken a bath of sweat unless the room you go into is air-conditioned.
  • Venture into T-Nagar, only to go into the air-conditioned showrooms that do not have the swarming crowds (find out if there are really any!)
  • Of course, there are good things that you can do over the week/weekends to escape the heat. Loiter around in huge centrally air-conditioned newbie malls like Express Avenue. Going by the crowd that seems to be there on weekends, you can scramble into a theater near you. The tickets are less than half the price that of the ones that the Bangalorean multiplexes rip you of. Of course, we got ripped off at the 'Polar Express' at Express Avenue mall like a doofus to go to what was nothing but shredded ice sprayed as snow in an enclosure with a few ice sculptures. Boy!, there was a crowd there too to try to beat the heat, no wonder.
  • Marina is potentially a no-no. In the evenings, there is a tsunami of floating population out there waiting for the poor-man's cooler, the sea. 
  • There are confusing fly-overs and watch out for the spoils of war of your vehicle (dents and scratches) with the Chennai roads.
  • Traffic is sparsely better than in Bangalore in most parts. Madras is building a metro and its effects can be seen in the Anna Nagar area in the evenings where the Bangalorean crawl seemed like a jackrabbit sprint. But nothing to beat us in this department.
  • In the hum of a spinning fan, dream that a foggy mist awaits you in the morning, and dream only (It is really true that in Bangalore, especially the fringes, have fog and mist in the mornings this time of the year too :-D) Ask your host to get an Almonard industrial strength fan which could propel one standing before it to fly. :-)
Or, look at the benefits; foodie places like Sangeetha's, Saravana Bhavan, Murugan Idly Shop, Adyar Grand Sweets etc for an eat-out binge (which are typically more expensive than a movie ticket), no dearth of shopping haunts and bazaars, hear a new dialect of Tamizh - the Madras Baashai, be in a natural sauna to get rid of your fat via sweat. Move to Madras, condition yourself for a month or two and then declare to one and all proudly that you can survive Al'Aziziyah!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Eatopia - Maiya's

Pedigree does show, especially with Maiya's. This is a vegetarian restaurant in 4th block of Jayanagar, Bengaluru, opposite to the police station and has a nice foodie aspect to it. This restaurant is from the MTR family and I have been here a few times for lunch/dinner and their Bisi-Bélé Bhath and Rava Idlis are stand-outs. They come with a very small cup of ghee (The metal cup is only as large as a small cap on your thumb, so chūntaani, to say). Spread over 4 floors, with the ground floor being a sweets and savouries section, the first for South Indian meals/tiffin and the floors above for special cuisine (Gujarati / North Indian)

South Indian meals are heavy there, and I am already tired of it. Starts with an appetizer (usually a juice or some digestive) in a silver tumbler (Señora disagrees that they are indeed silver), then comes a soup, vegetable curries, poori-saagu, bisi-bélé bhath, vadaam/sandigé, appalam, rice, dhal, sambar, kozhambu, rasam and curd, payasam/sweet and fruit-salad with ice-cream that reminds me of Crocin syrup with its taste and smell. The meal is Rs 110. The plates remind me of the cafeteria of my previous company. :) :)

Have not gone to the North Indian or Gujarati restaurants as of now; probably may not.

The restaurant is clean and large, the ambience decent. The only hiccup is that it is always crowded. You have to wait outside (cramped seating area) before being seated. The entrance to the dining floors is like a shanty fair and the passage is narrow.

Whenever you are in the Jayanagar 4th block area and feel like having a decent meal/evening snacks, drop by at Maiya's. It is worth an eat there. I was surprised that on my last visit, the person who took my order took it on an iPod Touch. Aha!