Monday, June 27, 2011

The yellow car

About a naughty yellow car

There is a nip in the air. Mornings in Bangalore are special.
Here at Brigade Vista I walk into the balcony to breathe the cool 6 am air. And a bright YELLOW CAR  interrupts its chat with the bike and winks at me. Today after the regular morning Hi to it, I wonder whose car it is??
I mean someone has invested in a bright YELLOW CAR…

a chatty yellow car

Maybe it takes a sporty young man (and his girl friend) to pubs and parties?
Perhaps it sparkles at an MNC courtyard dropping a lady to her plush office?
Could it sizzle with gossip as it hauls socialites to a kittie party?
Orrr… it shuttles a jeans-Grampa to the tennis court?
Does it whisper to the guy who washes it everyday?
And laugh with the kids who clamber into it?

I swear it winks at me……….
A YELLOW CAR can’t be a quiet staid regular guy…can it? It must be bold and different like the person who bought it


Monday, June 20, 2011

Edward De Bono

The spacious well equipped library at Sri Aurobindo Memorial school introduced me to my first Bono Book. We left our footwear outside and stepped into the carpeted area.
Softly we slide open the book shelf door and reach for the prized book. A few chairs are available but most of us squat on the floor. Or sit and lean against the wooden cupboards. I have not heard of Edward De Bono. But the name of the book catches my attention.
Lateral Thinking.
Bono introduced me to the concept of Thinking.... not to solve problems...but to make life more interesting!!
Then I reached for
6 Thinking Hats
And I have often applied his theories and suggestions to make my everyday life more interesting. His concepts assist me in problem solving, in understanding perspectives, in making sense of people and in conversation.

I have been able to apply his concepts:
in Classrooms with students
at Home with family
at Office for project completion
for Painting, writing etc

Do invest in atleast one of his books. Each one opens new dimensions to the world around you.

At present I am reading one called
Think! Before it's too late.

I don't know why he has added that warning. I am about to discover. I plan to tell you more about the book later.

happy week

Friday, June 17, 2011

The SEARCH button

We look before and after and pine for what is not
said Percy B Shelley ....

Do you think, like me, he had some half remembered phrase troubling him? or may be a song that came to his throat but not to his lips?

That was because he had no Search Engines to help him out.
GOOGLE is my favourite search engine. I need to type in anything and it dives into the ocean of online material and finds it for me.
When I type in the wrong spelling, it is forgiving and suggests you mean???
When I am in doubt, it is so supportive, guiding me to essays that discuss similar issues
When I am bored it surfaces with games, articles and even things to do...
I know the actors I dont know the movie name
I recall half a line in a poem
I know the story but can't place the title of the book...err I dont know the author too
A historical fact...but I get the city wrong
A shop I am nostalgic about
A small waterfall in the western ghats
A bird with blue feathers and yellow beak
GOOGLE SEARCH helps locate them all for me.
I find it offers to do the same in my BLOG!!
I have added a search engine inside my blog.
I tried it. I typed the word together and believe me...I was shocked! I never knew I used that word so often...
Do try it. and tell me
which word did you try?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tipu and some curves

About Tipu Sultan's summer palace

Tipu’s Summer Palace in the Fort High School area of Bangalore is in a large enclosure right adjacent to the National Heritage Site of Sri Venkataramana Temple. The soothing chants of the temple weave in and out of the summer palace, as we wander through it. He must have heard them too?
sri venkataramana temple - bangalore
The land available is vast yet Tipu’s summer palace is very small.
Tipu Sultan's summer palace
A little hall has four flights of steps leading to rooms. The rooms open out to the central area that has two tiny balconies. Tipu Sultan must have stood there as he gazed upon subjects who came to speak with him. The rooms are actually very small, while the garden is huge and lovely. Today we cram a 15 square house into a 30x40 plot! All this makes this small palace so beautiful and so beautifully frugal… considering that Tipu was an emperor.

Do you think he had a thing with curves?

I mean look at his handsome moustache!
tipu sultan - painting
His empire stretched from the curves of the Malabar coast to the undulations of the Bellary plains…. (too much? OK read the rest..)

His library had more than 2000 books so he must be a lover of Arabic, Urdu and Persian writing. This inscription at his summer palace declares it as: Abode of Happiness and Envy of Heaven. (Arabic writing is curvy…OK not as much as Malayalam… but still)
abode of happiness & envy of heaven
Teak flute-pillars contrast with white designs, arches catch the light,

exquisite painted patterns nestle on walls, calligraphic writings adorn windows…(this is definitely curvy)

arches that catch the light
He invented and fired rockets from canons and reached a target 2 km away, this was a record even by French and British standards of that time. (imagine the trajectory…gotcha)

The sword of Tipu … that was brought back by Vijay Mallya

The sharp dagger that he used to kill a tiger that attacked him… he was called The Tiger

Are just more curves

... And Tipu had four wives.

Tipu Sultan was a brave and tactful commander.....taught me my daughetrs as they struggled to learn the longest answer in the socials book in class 2

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flowers Collage

About Something I had promised

I know
I know
You have been waiting for the rest of the flower pictures
and for the collage I promised
you haven't....
whaaaat? you dont remember I promised a collage
never mind...
Let me post it for you.

I specially like the branch against the cloudy sky.
The tree with pink flowers is right at the entrance. I should have gone outside and clicked it from the road. It looks best from there. But I dint do that...though I do claim to be a dont-care what-u-think type!!
The cluster of white flowers is in a discreet corner. You miss it if you are not looking for it.
Palm fruits hanging from a branch look so nice. I had to take a picture. Wish I had Sunlight shining over it.
Spiky red flowers line the walkway. They dont catch your eye. But then..many a flower is born to blush unseen...
As for the blue ipomea, they grow so rapidly and flower so profusely...a gardener's delight.

We talk about curves tomorrow
See...I knew you would like them.
We always KNOW what you want... But rarely know what WE want.
How come???

Monday, June 13, 2011

The water bearer - loves change

About things constant, and things that change

Year 1965
You cannot step twice into the same riverThese lines played in my young mind as I returned home after school. How is it possible? I thought? That evening Anna (my father) took us to the beach. This was a weekly ritual we always went to the beach on Wednesdays. I told myself, Heraclitus is silly, see I can step into the same sea again and again.
Nature is wont to hide itself... Not all is as unchanging as it seems. We are spinning even while we sit still…. Aren’t we? My doctor tells me that in 7 years every part of the body has replaced itself. And we never realise do we? We think new thoughts and adapt strange ways. Until after some time, the strangeness wears off. Old habits are replaced by new ones. In effect... we have changed, haven’t we?

Nothing endures but change... Why then must I assume that my daughters who hate upittu when I make it…should hate it too when we go visiting others?
Why then must I assume that Srini who enjoyed loud humour and noisy banter will continue to do so after 3 years?
Or that Veena will always be super woman
Or that Pradeep will always have nuts on his ice-cream
Or that Chiru will always be serious and strict

Everything flows, nothing stands still... And while we live out our moments, while we make new habits we build our character.

And Character is destiny... AND DO YOU KNOW who said all this? Heraclitus said it way back … he lived 535 BC to 475 BC
and they tell me….nothing endures but change.
What he said THEN is true NOW!!! What change??

The inspiration for this blog and this painting came from Anu

thank you anu
Confused me…. they knew when Christ would be born??

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Buds we have

There was this family on a scooter. The little boy stood in front. The papa was in a helmet. Mom struggled. She sat with both legs on the same side, her pallu tucked safely at her waist, one hand staddled round her hubby's tummy and the other held a large orange plastic tub. In the tub was a foldable metal cloth stand.
In her eyes was the sparkle of happy spending and satisfaction of a successful life.

Half opened bud
Smiling baby
Unused notebook
Freshly painted room
Appointment letter
New set of kitchen stuff

It is these small everyday joys that bring us HOPE and ENERGY for a fresh start.

What does it take to bring a smile to your eyes?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What can you let yourself off the hook for

Every woman in India – except one – thinks that the saree must mirror the blouse. Generally a blue saree goes with a blue blouse and a red S with a red B.
Now I for one do not subscribe to this. I …
Match orange saree with a dark green blouse,
Or purple with a blue – even if it has no dots almost the same colour.

My friends, family, neighbours, the lady who sits next to me in the metro, plus one, … all tell me, ’the blouse doesn’t match.’ So finally after years of battling against the current, I decide to wear what others consider matching. Now look at the hazards
I need to locate both…blue saree and blue blouse
Ensure both are washed
and ironed
And finally it needs to match the occasion
and the weather

But guess what. The industry has caught up with me. I bought a coffee-coloured saree and found yellow material as the attached blouse!
So that is what I let myself off the hook for
I match blouse and saree as I please….thank you
This bottle green goes with the beige saree……..I swear it does.

You think I should switch to jeans??

Friday, June 10, 2011

It is amazing how many you find

About the smiles that flowers bring

It's amazing how many you find when you go looking for them.

It is dreamy and cloudy here in Bangalore.

The cool breeze makes you nostalgic or romantic...depends on how old you think you are...

We are playing a losing game of hide and seek with the Sun.

pink kanagle
He hides behind clouds and rarely shows up to call D-E-N!!

But yesterday he did! and I went down to to click some pictures of flowers that are blooming in the driveway to the apartment.
the red flower tree
We stay at Brigade Vista at Chikkalasandra, Bangalore.

white karankondla
I share some of the lovely ones with you.

O there are so many more. I will post a collage tomorrow

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Star shaped idlis

About not having idli stands in the kitchen sink

Can you smell it? The aroma of steaming idlis fills the room. We have raw-mango chatni on the side and a dollop of ghee melting over the idlis. Now I am not particularly fond of idlis. I am Dosa person. Making Idlis also means a lot more things in the kitchen sink …. a lot more things to be washed, dried and kept away. Still … here in my vacation home I decide to make idlis.
Idli recipe... I use. One cup udad dal is soaked and ground. 3 cups idli rawa is added and ground. Ya, I like to grind that too. I add some salt and leave it in a warm place overnight. This morning, I see, the idli batter has lived up to expectation and risen well.
Now I hunt for the idli stand. OOps! Horror!! I have no idli stand. Yes, yes, I know…I should have thought of this before I soaked the dal……..
Now what?
I pour 6 laddles…yes you read that right six laddles… of idli batter into a flat chapatti-dabba. I place the dabba in a large vessel of water. And steam it for 20 minutes on low flame.

I scoop out the flat round idli and cut out pizza slices! My MIL gives the two slices on her plate a funny look. Takes a bite and says…mmm this tastes good too. Give me one more.
I did not make star shaped idlis. Another time maybe?
 Does the shape of food add to its taste?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

All good, pick one

I get this call from Rupa. She is at the library and wants me to suggest a book she can borrow. Rupa is a new entrant into the world of English fiction. This is a long distance call and I am on roaming!! So I waste no time and quickly tell her, select any book by Arthur Hailey, Jeffrey Archer, Michael Crichton or Robin Cook. She selects one by JA.
Come to think of it…………WOW! These men live up to expectation every time. Dependability is a fabulous thing.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films
Bagchi’s columns
Shylaja’s cooking
Delhi metro
Chand's parties
Vidyarthi Bhavan
MS Subbalakshmi’s CDs

I could go for them blindly………they always leave me waiting for the next time. When skill, dedication and love come together wonders are created. And when someone can bring them together every time……..wah! that is pure joy for all in that world.
There was this great mathematician who as a student was asked to attempt any 10 questions out of 14. He answered all and requested the teacher to mark any 10 out of 14. Call that confidence or audacity?
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Manali caps for sale

Thank you Shami ... yes, there is a guru round every corner. The student needs to be willing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I am fine, till I brag

About what i do in the gym
Switch on the TV and surf. Someone is walking into a gym or talking about it. Shower gel and cellphone ads feature gyms, kids brag about it, film stars swear by it, and my knee doctor urges me to try it. But I have resolutely stayed clear of the gym. I can think of many things I can do with the unbelievable fees they charge.
10 days back…all this changed.
Here in this apartment (where we are staying for a month) gym is free. So I venture into it. Now what? I stare around helplessly. I don’t know how these things work!
Uncle comes to my rescue. He tugs at the pulley, races on the static cycle, twists on the lazy-susan….and lifts weights. If he can, I can…I think….you see I have an advantage of two decades.

I tug at the pulley….errrr can we make this thing lighter?
I ride on the cycle……wheee this is fun. Uncle comes by and turns the knob….the tension was at zero! Now I puff along for a few minutes and say au revoir. Will come back! The French say O-Hu-Vvaa … I really don’t know why! I generally say that...when a kid with a basket of jasmine strings comes to my car window at 4th block.
Comeback I did. To the gym that is...And how!
I now cycle for FIFTEEN minutes. I pull the pulley FIFTEEN times. I twist and turn till my sides hurt.

Hey. I did it. Ain’t I cool? I have to brag about it. So over lunch with friends I casually mention between bites of rice-rajma, I have started going to the gym. Nanda tells me. I also go. My trainer is very nice.

Ya? I ask…munch-munch…what do you do? Munch-munch
We have a warm up session. Then 15 minutes of gym.
That’s all? I think feeling quite proud of myself. I ask her, What is warm up?
TEN minutes on the treadmill, FIFTEEN minutes on the cycle and TWENTY push-ups she tells me.

Time to change the topic
How do you make a line shorter without rubbing it, touching it or hiding it?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Drawing water with a sieve

If every blog of mine had a hundred hits
If every joke of mine had you in splits
If my every story launched blockbusters
Wah! Then you should see how tall I could be.
If my cheques had a lot more zero
If corrupt told Baba ‘mujjhe maaf karo’
If Bangalore weather made it to Delhi
Wah! Then you should see how happy I could be.
If this, if that, if only, ...what if 
In sorrow or joy, in tomorrow we live
Like the top that spins on the tip of a nail
Our fine world moves on the point of IF.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What the Mom couldn't say

A distraught mom had brought her 12 year old to the parlour. - a confident young thing in short hair.

Her hair frames her face in fabulous wavy hair. The short bangs fall stylishly over her forehead and rest just above her long fluttering lashes!!
Distraught mom: Teacher at school says...use a hair clip. You cannot have hair falling over to your eyes.
The girl looks teary eyed at the 'parlour aunty'. I will never use a hair clip. I look like a kid...
Distraught mom: Can you cut it?
More teary eyed girl: Mom...I will look silly
The parlour Aunty....suggested a few solutions
comb it back
tuck it behind the ear
wear a clip
use a nice black hairband

The girl said No No NO for every suggestion.
I admire the Parlour Aunty
She put down her comb, placed her hands into her apron pocket and said firmly
Then leave school.
The girl was absolutely shocked.
The lady put it to her plainly....Look if you want to stay in school you follow the rules. Dont waste your time in such silly matters.

This sound advice came from a lady who made her living styling hair and improving looks!

The girl considered the suggestions seriously, accepted the hair band idea. Learnt how to wear it too.

Then the 'parlour Aunty' said, I will trim it just a cm. It will grow back in 20 days. Come every 20 days to get it trimmed. That way..... You look good...and Your teacher is happy.

Wah! I thought. Keen business sense. Straight thinking. And straight talk.
Maybe that's why this is a very popular parlour in 4th block Jayanagar.

Sometimes we Moms are too concerned about not hurting feelings and tie ourselves up in knots. Straight talking can simplify issues.
A guru round every corner.

Friday, June 3, 2011

the grass is green and the rose is red up at 6.00 to turn off the alarm on my cell phone.
got out of bed at 6.15
zhhh...zzzhhh....brush etc done, light coffee heated for MIL, steaming tea brewed for us
some newspaper glancing
some grumbles at the political pranks
hot bath...for bangalore is pleasantly cool
chhoooin.....crisp doseis on the tava .... raw mango chatni on the side
clothes go into the washing machine. rhoiiin...rhoiiin...rhoiin goes the washing machine
wheeee.........the cooker whistles at me

predictable normal daily routine can be quite soothing...

and hey
thanks everyone for the suggestions. No, Ayn Rand is too heavy, but I am considering Chicken Soup. I called it chocolate chips...for all said and done
rogi bayasiddu halu-anna, vaidya heliddu halu-anna
I love going to the bookshop!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A pile on the counter

Yet I donno what to give

My BIL's nephew has scored an admirable 97.4% in his 10th boards. So we decided to buy him a gift. Now I am partial to books so we went book hunting. I barged into Nagasri in 4th block, received a big Hi in recognition from Mr Venkatesh and dissolved into the shelves of the bookshop.
Soon piled in the counter were four books. A short story collection by Jeffrey Archer, Chicken soup, Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell, Change somebody.

I came home and started reading Jeffrey Archer. I dont think I can gift him this one.
Chicken Soup I learn he already has
Tipping Point is maybe too tough a read for him.
Change anything proved to be quite adult.

So I returned to Nagasri and selected more books. You see I ...just have to give him books.
This time Think by Edward de Bono, a collection of Ratnana Padagalu, and something on Cricket came home with me.

Now I have fallen in love with Ratnana Padagalu. I am going to keep that.
Raju feels Think is more teacher oriented and less of an energetic 16 year old read
That book on Cricket has only statistics. I found it soooo boring. U think he will like it?

May be I will go to Nagasri again this evening. what say you?

bayasidd saman bekaadange
irali illaden irli
thapathreyanakk thapiddalla
sullantha announ barali.

GP Rajaratnam says in this poem
Things that we crave for
if there...or not there
always trouble us
Let someone who thinks I lie, come face me!

Like the drinbk in the bottle, he says,
it troubles him when something remains in the bottle
and troubles him when the bottle is empty too!!