Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'What do you want of me, Lokpal?!'

Some of us believe we can initiate a change and some of us believe that no matter what we do, this country isn’t going to change. Though clearly, both these stands seem to be diametrical opposites, they have something in common … both stands DO NOT DENY THE NEED FOR CHANGE. So in other words, it looks like, that though we all BELIEVE things need to change, but we might not BELIEVE our collective efforts might be powerful enough to initiate or sustain a change.
“This movement believes in making a change. “ -  Nope, this movement is only a stage , a platform to EXPRESS THE NEED FOR CHANGE. Remember that no matter whether we believe this will bring about change or not, we all DO NOT DENY THE NEED FOR IT. In effect, ‘making a change’ is a consequence the movement is working towards – we might succeed or fail in doing so.  All that this movement asks of us, is to EXPRESS our belief that change is necessary. Let us not judge the consequence without putting some effort towards expressing ourselves.
Any stage/platform needs audience and performers… this movement has set the stage, it has a well-defined audience - the politicians and bureaucrats, now it’s left to us, the performers, the citizens of this country to stand together and use this stage to express our beliefs about ‘change’ despite our disagreements on the ‘consequence’. Remember, the last few months are witness that the audience is paying attention. It has brought them to bringing about a change that they have been putting off for almost half a century.
Passing of  a bill only acknowledges the fact that we have been heard, but does it mean that the audience has been listening? Only the contents of the bill can confirm that. Go through the details of the Lokpal Bill the government is proposing to pass, make your own opinion of its effectiveness and inadequacies. Decide for yourself if what the government is offering can result in sustainable change. Are you satisfied with their offering?
If you feel its not good enough, go ahead and let the decision makers know we want sustainable change. And a strong law, devoid of accommodations and loop holes is the only true path towards sustainable change.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Walk tonight

Today had been to meet a friend over dinner. When it was time to get into my car and head home at 1030 I felt this familiar wish resurface ... a wish to take a walk in the night, alone. Wide empty roads in a residential area, wet from the drizzles, gentle breeze rustling the leaves... a full moon would have made it perfect. I so wanted to do it, I took my phone and keys (including one with a tiny blade) put them in the pocket and stood outside the car looking at the road, wide and mostly empty. Then the same old familiar voice spoke. " crazy?!  10:30. Alone. Get in! " Stood facing the door, hesitant, key in hand. Voice spoke,  "Now! ". Just as always, I obeyed. Again. Opened the car and sat for a few minutes with my legs dangling out, dipped in the breeze, feeling it against my skin, listening to the rustling, the laughters coming from the restaurant behind me... the voice interrupts, "Enough." I sigh. Lock myself safely in the car, strap myself safely to it and drove away. Drove away, again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

LYRICS: Games People play - by Alan Parsons Project

A very unusual subject for a song. Depressingly real. But this doesn’t need to be the way life has to turn out. We might have to plan for that time, strengthen ourselves, adapt and adopt new interests that will accommodate our limitations. Companionship might take the centre stage in that phase. There is no age to broaden our intellect and horizons, we still will be growing up and we still will be learning, till the end.



Games People play - by Alan Parsons Project


Where do we go from here now that all other children are growin' up
And how do we spend our lives if there's noone to lend us a hand

I don't wanna live here no more, i don't wanna stay
Ain't gonna spend the rest of my life, quietly fading away

Games people play, you take it or you leave it
Things that they say, honor brite
If i promise you the moon and the stars, would you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Where do we go from here now that all of the children have grown up
And how do we spend our lives knowin' nobody gives us a damn

I don't wanna live here no more, i don't wanna stay
Ain't gonna spend the rest of my life, quietly fading away

Games people play, you take it or you leave it
Things that they say, just don't make it right
If i'm telling you the truth right now, do you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Games people play, you take it or you leave it
Things that they say, honor brite
If i promise you the moon and the stars, would you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Games people play, you take it or you leave it
Things that they say, just don't make it right
If i'm telling you the truth right now, do you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Monday, October 10, 2011

Aaromale - my beloved! Lyrics Translation

Aaromale – means Beloved in my mother-tongue, Malayalam.

The song under discussion is ‘Aaromale’ from the Tamil movie “Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa”.  A Malayalam song in a Tamil movie - Interesting! You should watch the movie. It is perhaps one of the best romantic movies I have seen. I rarely ever like one. For years my brother and I have discussed the failed attempts to westernize commercial music in Malayalam. I actually had come to the conclusion that it perhaps might have something to do with the language’s capacity to adapt to new sounds. All attempts that we had heard till recently, tried too hard that it would sound over the edge or sound like a skewed interpretation of Western music by someone who didn’t believe in it. My brother and I gave such music in our mother-tongue a name – “Wannabe Music”. They try too hard but, not just fail miserably but can sound sadly tacky. I had heard of a lot of promising individual artists who proved to me that my language had no constraints like I had believed it to have. But will someone come up with a successful commercial proof? This, my dears, is that song. I have no doubt that there will be more new sounds to hear in my mother-tongue.

I loved this song ever since I heard it the first time and that was when I watched the movie. At times, it gives me goose bumps. The rock version I mean! ( Some of you might be just thinking the way I was till today, “What?! There was another version?!!!” Yep there is a female humming version ). My brother and I would rock to it, sing it in the car. Like any song, it’s fun to sing it with people who enjoy it, no matter how out of tune it might sound to the rest of the world. Ok, back to the point.

Listen to them here.

Alphonse is a great music director, but I did not know that he could sing with such soul. The feel of both the versions are so diverse. Alphonse’s version has got a haunting feel to it, you can feel the yearning of an insatiable soul, demanding or may be begging answers from his beloved, while in Shreya’s version, she romantically playfully teases the beloved. Alphonse’s version starts slow, with a country string work, and then it slowly and steadily picks up momentum both in tempo and expression ... sounding like, rock music riding on the back of Hindustani. Shreya’s version speaks to you using only one word, ‘Aromale’,  but sensually toys around with Carnatic music to perfection and reaches out to the beloved in you,... gently holds your hand and tugs you,  teases you, beckons you ... drawing you, her beloved's attention back to where it belongs.

Any way this post was long pending. I wanted to share the translation for the haunting rock version of this song and this is the best I could find online : (special thanks to Wersp), I have taken the liberty to make a few changes to the translation though. Oh, before you get to the translation, the song was composed, lyrics was written and the song was sung ... all in 4 hours. Wersp, once again thank you for the translation!

Vocal: Alphonse

Mamalayeri Varum Thennal
(The breeze comes, riding the mountains.)
Puthu Manavalan Thennal, ...
( The breeze, the bridegroom,... )
Palli Medayae Thottu Thalodi Kurushil Thozhuthu Varumbol,
arrives after praying at the alter,
Varavelpinu MalayalaKara Manasammatham Choriyum,
And Kerala welcomes him by showering him, with her consent.

Aaromalae, Aaromalae, Aaromalae, Aaromalae....
(O Beloved....O Beloved...O Beloved.....O Beloved...)

Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham,
(On this auspicious occasion ... )
Sumungali Bhava, Manavatti
(O Bride, may you be blessed with a long wedded life)
Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham,
(On this auspicious occasion ...)
Sumungali Bhava Manavatti
(O Bride..,May you be blessed with a long wedded life)

Shyama Rathri Than Aramanayil,
( In the inner sanctum of the dark night )
Mari Nilkayo Tharakame,
(O Star..why are you keeping away ? )
Pulari Manjillae Kathiroliyay,
(Like a ray of light in the morning mist,)
Akalae Nilkayo Penmaname,
( Are you standing afar, my lady ? )

Chanju Nilkuma Chillayil Nee, Chila Chilambiyo Poonkuyilae
(Perched on the bent bough, O cuckoo, did you sing sweetly ? )
Manchiragile, Marayoliyae Thediyathiyo Poorangal
(Did the festivities come in search of the everlasting flame in the earthern lamp ?)

Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham,
(On this auspicious occasion ... )
Sumungali Bhava, Manavatti
(O Bride, may you be blessed with a long wedded life)

Aaromalae... Aaromalae....
(O Beloved....O Beloved....)

Kadalinae, Karayodiniyum Padan Sneham Undo ?
(Does the sea still possess the love to serenade the shore?)
Mezhukuthurikalayi Urukan Iniyum Pranayam Manasil Undo ?
(Do we still have love, enough to melt away like a candle?)

Aaromalae.. Aaromalaeee.. Aaromalaee
(O Beloved....O Beloved...O Beloved.....O Beloved...)
Aaromalae.. Ohh.. Ho ! -
(O Beloved....)

Monday, October 03, 2011

Truli Rndm Joy

I hate forgetting passwords. I hate having to click ‘Forgot password’...a symbol of me admitting defeat.

Most password generators produce a random senseless mix of alphabets and numbers, but there is this one place where the first half are alphabets and the second half are numbers. One of the times I forgot my password here, the password I got started with ‘chrmd’. I was ‘chrmd’ and it remained my favourite password till I forgot the second half. I love forgetting my password here, it feels like hitting a slot machine. You just wait and see what your password will turn out to be. If I am not impressed with the password I hit it till I get something that makes me happy. And I did get something that made me happy – the first half of the password reads ‘aNut’.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sufi Poetry and translation.

The new MTV Unplugged ads are driving me mad. They are playing ‘Bullah Ki Jaana Mein Kaun’... a song I love love love. And its stuck in my head. So, I gave in today and have been playing the song again and again and again. I wanted to sing along... went lookin for the lyrics and stumbled upon this beeeautiful blog. For those of you have some interest in poetry, you will love this place too.

I am watching out for ‘The Dewarists’ too. The ads look too interesting.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

To all my friends who are Married or about to be or are hoping to.

I read this article and found it to be nice. May be you might like it too:


And the married ones are welcome to share what they think about this article.



Boys deserve life saving surgeries than girls do(!!!)

I had read this article last week:

About how families wouldn't wait too long to have their boys go thru a life saving operation.... That when it comes to girls a lot of things come in the way - What will people say, what will we do about the scar, her 'marketability' as a bride.

I had never thought people would think this way, it never crossed my mind, up till about a month ago. When a very close friend of mine fell ill and needed an operation. No, I did not see this kind of thinking coming from her family, but in fact, it came from one of our friends. (!!!! I know). He said this not once, but twice. The second time was when it was clear that she just had to have the operation immediately and that too a key-hole on the abdomen mostly. That contrast... that despite a clear understanding of the dire need for this operation, the thought still remained his head, " If it was possible it would have been very good if they could avoid this operation and tried some non-invasive way. She is an unmarried girl. Marks might cause a problem." The second time, I lost my mind over the mindlessness of the logic and retorted, "Its mark vs. her life. You just need money and plastic surgery to cover that mark up!". His intent was clearly not to stop the operation, but that thought.. that a woman or her family would have to think twice about what the guy she chooses to live with for the rest of her life has to say or think of a post-operation scar ... a scar she might have needed to be alive to meet him in the future... seems so ... I am not getting the word!

So this line of thought isn't very remote as I would have imagined.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My 5-min GoGreen speech

My friend is in the HR dept at my office. She had wanted to make some Go Green clips to encourage people in our office to participate in the tree planting event. So she came in the afternoon and asked if we would like to help her on the project sometime in the evening. Typical of me... I said yes and again typical of me, I had got lost in work and forgotten about it.
Come evening and my friend pings me to inform that shes coming down to our floor and I realise... oops I forgot. So she comes down with a colleague-turned-camera man and starts rounding up people for the clips. So now I had to come up with something ... and Maatha did... in some 5 minutes... here it is:
Do you believe in the genius in your child?
Do you have faith in his/her talent?
So invest in your child's future.
Plant a tree.
Remember if it there were no apple trees
There would be no apple to bring out the genius in Newton
You never know which tree can do that for your child
Why take the risk? Make an investment for your little one's tomorrow
Plant A TREE


Felt a little nervous... but was fun. Reminded me of college days.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Interesting Wedding invitation

For my friends who are on the road to getting married, here is a link to some wedding photographers and an interesting wedding invitation you might want to take some inspiration from.

For those of us who are not in the process of getting married... just enjoy this couple’s Invitation.

Here is friend of mine who responded with another interesting invite.
Check it out!

Thanks Vivek!

From: Vivek
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:12 PM
To: Vallyeadath, Nita A
Subject: Re: Interesting Wedding invitation

Here is an interesting wedding invite of my ex-colleague -

Thanks for the share matha :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


A story a friend sent.

Which one will you feed more today?


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

"One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

"The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."


Monday, September 05, 2011

'Everyday' Lyrics

Had heard this on an episode of ‘Bones’.
We all have been in this position before ... sometime in our lives.

Toby Lightman - Everyday Lyrics Album: Little Things

Every day is a struggle
Between what I want to say and what I want to keep to myself
And the words that manage to leave my lips
Don't hurt me, but they hurt everyone else

So I find myself in need of a part
I'm not sure why, but I think that it's because
Of this desire to be what others want me to be
Which is nothing close to me

But I'll see better when the smoke clears
The smoke clears inside my head
And I can listen when the screaming doesn't repeat everything I've said
And all that remains me and who I am at the end of the day
And this happens every day ... yeah...

Every day is a battle
Between what I want to know and what I don't want to figure out
And everything in between in these thoughts of mine that you know I can't live with out

So I find myself in need of a part
I'm not sure why, but I think that it's because
Of this desire to be what others want me to be
Which is nothing close to me

But I'll see better when the smoke clears
The smoke clears inside my head
And I can listen when the screaming doesn't repeat everything I've said
All that remains me and who I am at the end of the day
And this happens every day ... yeah... oooh...

But I'll see better when the smoke clears
The smoke clears inside my head
And I can listen when the screaming doesn't repeat everything I've said
All that remains me and who I am at the end of the day
And this happens every day ... this happens every day
This happens every day... yeah...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Harrisburg Reports - The sons of Italy

I was in Cantones, a Italian restaurant, yesterday with some friends for dinner. And there was this beautiful, may be 3-3.5 ft wide black and white picture of a gorgeous lady walking down a street in Italy, lined up with men on either sides. May be the mood in the restaurant created by a bunch of vibrant old men was a direct reflection of the feel in the picture... or may be its just that the picture was so simply beautiful, we couldn’t take our eyes of it. I loved it so much that I took a picture of it in my cell phone and we all had some fun discussing the expressions in the picture.

Cut to today morning, we come into work and the friend who took us to Cantones reads this piece online ...
It happens to be the 60th anniversary of this pic. The article is interesting. You get to see how gracefully that pretty woman in that picture has aged. And when you imagine what these both women (subject and photographer) did that day, 60 years ago, we can understand why the men reacted the way they did. It is possible this was a shot from the second walk. Don’t you think? Or its just Italian men – they would give you that kind of reception no matter how many times you walked that road. Their expression is what makes her the star in the pic. Without them, her grace and beauty wouldn’t have shone through the way it did.

It’s interesting how these two women made this iconic picture. Who would have expected it would turn out like this!

To see more of Ruth Orkins work:

Friday, April 08, 2011

Day 3/30

11:04 am

Had been to the Freedom Park(Bangalore) to show my support for the ‘India Against Corruption’ movement. This is in favour of getting the Lokpal bill passed. Was there at 8:30 am, for about an hour. Plan on going there everyday till the bill is passed.

Day 2/30

its past midnight. So technically its day 3/30. I will be going to the freedom park to support the India Against Corruption movement.
I have lots to say on this topic, but I need to wake up early to go there. Plan to be there for an hour or so before getting to work.
I will share the experiance in the next write up.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

30 Day Journal Starts. Day1/30

1:15 pm

So far so good. Peaceful morning. Just happy that it was just that.

3:10 pm

My friend lost her aunt yest. Though I had never met her and her family, it feels like I had known her. In recent she was in a lot of pain thinking about her daughter. Lately she had been discovering things about her daughter … or she wanted to do something about what she already knew but was in denial for all these years.

Lets call this aunty’s daughter Prathibha. My friend Shilpi happens to be Prathibha’s cousin from her paternal side. Though Prathibha has an elder brother, she always would find comfort in connecting with Shilpi. And Shilpi being an only child always loved having a little sis.

Last year Shilpi was all worried about Prathibha. Prathibha, an outstanding student, had just lost her father the previous year and could not appear for her engineering exams because of a migraine attack and therefore lost a year of college. To top it there were a host of other problems. She had just discovered that her boyfriend was lying to her about everything he was, including his name. She was not getting along with her brother – he used to say some nasty things to her(my friend has been witness to this). The poor girl understandably was under a lot of pressure. My friend was beginning to worry if Prathibha would buckle. We discussed various options and thought it was better if she could visit a councelor. And so, Prathibha started seeing the councelor. Lets call her Triveni.

Triveni helped Prathibha a lot. She even helped her get a job at an NGO till it was time for her to get back to college, hoping this will keep her mind off all the pain. Then her brother’s wedding was arranged. She couldn’t get along with the would-be-sis-in-law. A few weeks before his wedding could take place, aunty fell ill. She was always asthmatic, but this was a bad asthmatic attack.

Unfortunate for aunty, this was to be only the beginning of a series of hospital visits to mend her failing lungs. In the midst of these visits, she saw her son’s wedding, the rift between her daughter and son increase, rapport between her daughter and daughter in law going from terrible to manageable, her daughter-in-law getting pregnant, her son amass a massive debt of Rs.1,500,000 because of these hospital visits, Prathibha got back in college. The last time she was in the hospital she had prayed that if she ever was to come back to the hospital, she didn’t want to go back home. And sadly this time she had her way.

This is a bitter truth that we all will come to bear, that just like us, our parents are not here for too long. What makes her story particularly sad, are the discoveries she made between her last two hospital visits.

A couple of months ago Prathibha came home to tell her brother that she didn’t know that she couldn’t join an academic year mid way. So, now she needs to pay her annual fee(50,000) again and join from the start. Shilpi was devastated at why God would be so mean to her lil sis. When she shared this, it somehow didn’t add up. Her brother said, he would pay but he would need some time to arrange the money. She said that was fine for her, but he needed to go to her college and talk to her principal. Her brother took the day off but for some reason could not go to her college that day. When she came back all hell broke loose. He was blamed for not caring enough, that she is dependent on him so he has taken her for granted, she wanted her share of the property, she insulted him for never knowing about how it was cos he never studied to be an engineer. Now, this is a terrible thing for a mother to hear. Her brother tried explaining and then went and locked himself up in a room. Aunty tried to console her daughter who swore to not eat, that she need not think that the food was comin from his money. Aunty tried explaining to her to take it that both she and her daughter were using her late husband’s pension.

From the way she was behaving, aunty got worried and asked Shilpi at 11 in the night to come over and stay to diffuse the situation. Both aunty and the sis-in-law were worried Prathibha might do something to her self and hid all the knives and scissors in the house. Now we had thought that it was the hasty impatient mind of a young girl that caused all the problem. Her brother needed a chance to explain himself. But this was the night Shilpi would start to suspect that her sister was more than just what meets the eye. She learnt with that stay that her sister would not miss an opportunity to make sure that Sands and her mother or Sis in law talk. She even tried talking to them after it had seemed that Prathibha was asleep… but there Prathibha would be, shouting that people were talking behind her back.

(Think my journal is turning into a story. Rest tomorrow)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

In the Rearview

Doesn't feel that long now.

Was in denial about my abilities to take care of everyone and everything.
Was under the impression that I will learn to deal with it.
Was on the search for a solution.
Was determined to get it.
Was told that there is not solution.
Was in dispair.
Was lost
Was brought to understand that that is my solution, my answer

The lack of an answer was my answer. It took time, but it set me free.

I feel interested in my life once again.

I now can put to rest a nagging issue I had for years.

From existance to living.

Welcome dear. Life has been waiting :)