Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rakta Charitra

A deadly Indian movie in the recent time. When I first saw the movie teaser I knew for sure that I am not the one who's going to take the trouble watching that blood shed. But somehow I did and to my surprise I loved it. I am sure some of you must have heard about it by now, if not try watching it. It's worth taking that plunge.

It's based on a real life incidence which prolonged for more than a decade in India with huge conspiracy theories. Only a film maker like Mr. Ram Gopal Varma can make it happen on big screen. Trust me, it's very difficult to bring the truth or reality to light in India. Though the people can ensure that it's a Democratic Country where people play a prominent role in this country, unfortunately the truth seems very different here. Sadly people end up being a puppet in the hands of wrong people. A media is one which should reach out to as many people as possible. But painfully here in India everything is controlled either by politicians or by some kind of support group. Mind you, it's not like America where you can see an television anchor making fun of President Obama or about a celebrity in a talk show. You can't dare imagine that in India. Not even in your wildest dreams.

Even worse there is a big hole in the Indian law system where the most wanted criminals might be walking freely with you by now. Many a times even justice was denied and the law didn't helped the deserving people. Example being Satyam Inc (now Mahandira Satyam) scam Ramalinga Raju can walk out on bail, Former telecommunication minister Raja can deny the multi-billion dollar scandal, a terrorist like Kasab in the Mumbai attack case can say that he was not even present there on that night, Common wealth games organizer can deny the allegations...The list will go on and on.

Only a media could reach out to public to certain level. Having said that, a movie like Rakta Charitra can happen only once in a blue moon in India. After watching this movie, I felt haunted by the way it was narrated. Seriously it takes a lot of courage, determination, boldness, patience and efforts to create a story like Rakta Charitra. I can dare admit it's not that simple to bring such kind of story to the Indian public. I read that Mr.Varma has done lot of work for this project to bring it on screen that includes convincing both the groups (this story is a rivalry between two groups), collecting every bit of information and also facing huge controversies. I am sure he must have risked his own life for this one movie. Hats off to him.

Please watch the two parts of the movie, not that I wanted you to do so but because you need to know what has happened around you in the past decade. It's worth the watch. Kudos to Mr. Varma. People like Mr. Varma should be given red carpet welcome for his boldness.

One thing is for sure, after watching this movie you will end up googling the character in real life, like I did. Paritala Ravindra it is!

P.S. Gangula Suryanarayana Reddy alias Maddelacheruvu Suri, the prime accused in the murder of former Minister and Telugu Desam MLA Paritala Ravi, was shot dead in his car, allegedly by his own associate, Bhanu Kiran, at Navodaya Colony, Banjara Hills, here on Monday evening (Jan 3rd, 2011).

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone

December is the month which will always remain close to my heart. I have very fond memories of this particular month and I am so grateful to God for that. Every year I could feel how excited I am when December approaches. Always a nice feeling with Christmas tree decorations, memories of meeting cousins, having so much fun and Santa times...

Here is something I came across recently from popular Brazilian author Paulo Coelho's blog which I have felt myself long back honestly.

There are three stages of a man’s life:
He believes in Santa Claus.
He doesn’t believe in Santa Claus
He is Santa Claus.


Never mind if you don't believe in Santa but consider being a Santa and try to help few needful kids on this special day. Let's bring some difference in their lives and let them come out, have a sneak peek of this wonderful world and may they believe in Santa.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

P.S. Thanks to the kids Architha and Aleisha for making this Christmas a very special to us.  Had a sweet opportunity of seeing them unwrapping the gifts on the Christmas morning in our home. Nice fun it was. Thank you Santa.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Layoff and lessons from it.

Before I begin I want to make it clear that my husband was not laid off (Thank God) but unfortunately he was pushed very close to that situation. Though we all expected some kind of change from his employer, something beyond the expected happened on one fine morning and all at once we were all suddenly thrown to the verge of circumstances.

One fine morning he was informed from his employer that very soon they are going to shut down the entire unit in the current location and planned to move to another location. Many were given notice to leave and few were given the option of relocation to another place. Lot of chaos, uncertainty, confusion and silence prevailed for a while. We both went through a lot of stress all through this period. Though my hubby was given the option to relocate, we understood it would not do any good sticking with the same employer and go ahead with them as the company is not competitive enough in the recent time. The remarkable "change" is not happening with them and also we could not able to see that coming in the near future too. For our own good and future prospects we have to turn down the offer of relocation. It would always be nice if everything we dream, we wish happens just like that, but as the saying goes "Nothing comes easy". Especially when you are in a foreign country, you have to be well aware of the rules and regulations otherwise you will end up leaving the country all at once.

Lots of twists, turns happened for more than a month, a very bumpy ride indeed. We both were more certain that we would not inform anything to anyone as we don't want to alarm anyone of the situation. As I always believe everything is for some good, we both understood the trends of job market at present. It turned out to be an greatest opportunity to know what will work for him in the future. After a lot of discussions, sleepless nights, silence and confusion we finally made a good decision of settling with another employer with good prospects. In the end, It's really worth the trouble and worth taking that leap.

I want to share few thoughts on this as we both went through a very rough time.

* You have to expect some unexpected situations at anytime. You have to be very careful with your finances. Make sure you set aside some money for such circumstances. Please don't ever touch that money at any cause. That will be your emergency fund.

* Especially If you are in a foreign country where your presence is numbered through your visa status, you have to be well aware of that. You have to have touch base with it at regular intervals.

* I have heard and seen people who go crazy visiting popular places, being a spend thrift, enjoying to the core in a foreign nation than in their own nation without realizing the consequences of uncertain situations. The sad part is that they would have never even thought the most amazing places in their own country but the urge to visit many places and spending comes right at once when they land in a foreign nation. For those of you, it's high time you realize your mistakes and be sensible.

* IT professionals no matter how much you earn you need to have proper discipline in spending and saving which unfortunately many lack at present.

* If you are so loyal to your company, I am sure your employer will appreciate that but make sure you see what your company's peer group is doing in the same business. You have to see where your employer stands in this competitive environment, In this fast race make sure at least your employer competes with others. Loyalty sometimes will misguide you.

* If you ever think that your employer is the most admired company in the world and that you have a very good job position with them and that they would never fail. Think again!

* In this competitive world, you have to learn and adopt to new technologies. Read as many articles or books as you can, remain updated on daily basis.

* If you are ever worried about "change", change happens all the time, only thing is that we notice it only fewer times. People who do not want to change are the ones who face the consequences in life. Change is always good.

* Please don't panic and don't make some hasty decisions at this time. Never rush up things. You should know your limitations and should know what will work and what will not work for you. Sometimes it's easy to be in a job which might pay you well enough but that mightn't be your passion. You should have the ability to differentiate between your needs and your passion.

* It's very much advisable not to let your family know about the situation (May be later, when the dust settles down). It will be like a ripple effect so better avoid it for your own good.

* Make sure you take advise from people who could understand your work and your job situation, with whom you could able to discuss about your job rather than talking with someone (even if that's from your own family or friends) who would not have any idea of your work related activities. It's very difficult to make them understand if they are unaware of your job profile. Trust me, we had that trouble.

* Slightly off the scenario, but very important to all of us. You will come across some very nice people and worst people during this time. In simple term, you will know who is your real friend! With more competition ahead, it will be like a rat race so expect some selfish people on the track.

 * To the family members, this person needs your support during this difficult time. Please don't see this issue with the magnifying glass. Encouragement and patience are highly appreciated at this hour.

To my reader, If you are ever faced with such a situation (heaven forbid), may you have the courage to fight back and may you have the strength to pass this phase as it is is not the end but a new beginning. Never ever try to settle down for less than your dreams. Follow your heart. May your passion drive you to become what you want to be. My best wishes to you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

An ardent Apple fan

Couple of years before I woke up in the morning and was glancing the daily newspaper (trust me, in a remote place in this globe) and there was a small column in the front page showing a photograph of people queuing from midnight to buy an Apple product (iPhone I guess). I wondered what's the big fuss is all about it. Have I known on that morning at least that someday I would be one among those fanatics in future? Certainly not. And here I am wishing for an update from Apple Inc or any technology news column to know about the upcoming and most anticipated second generation iPad. Only this topic interest me nowadays.

Before, I had no idea what an Apple product is all about. In fact when few people mistakenly introduced a "music player" saying that as an "iPod" I used that term until my hubby corrected me few years back. No technology news interested me, not that I know of. Only cellphones interested me much and that too for a while. But now I have been following few technology news, everyday I wanted to know more about them. It's kind of fun when it gets into your dreams too. And yes I saw iPad 2 in my dream ;-)

I don't mind being an "apple fan boy" (a fan girl as a matter of fact), as long as Steve Jobs comes with more and more wonderful products I am totally fine with it. You should see few videos of him explaining about his products, you will realize what an amazing talent hub he has got. The way he introduce his products and the way he comes up with some incredible ideas, it's just amazing to watch. And true that sometimes he goes little further and seems little arrogant though.

The whole universe awaits every time for at least to know a small hint about his products and they just go crazy for his new technology. No matter how much some try to "copy" his technology unfortunately few fail while some excel in his own route and gain the customer base.

Its so nice to go every time to an apple store and have a look at all the products. And I am already saving money to get that recent addiction of mine, iPad 2. Hopefully it will not disappoint me. My love and addiction has gone to a level that only last evening I checked out a book from the library, " iPad for Dummies"! Crazy isn't? I know, will sure get to know more about it pretty soon.

My hubby is the person I should thank for introducing me to new technologies especially mobile platforms. Now that he has changed his job very lately, I would be the happiest person in the world if he works for "Apple Inc" someday. Apple Inc hold on that seat for him please, he sure is less interested for it now though :-(  I believe it will change.

"An Apple a day keeps Everything Away! " Can't wait to see the iPad 2 (that would be my first Apple product. It's about time). Steve Jobs, may you have a very good health especially a beautiful brain to come up with new ideas, may you have an awesome team to revolutionize innovative products (but no arrogance please). Bring it on Apple. Let's create magic.

P.S - Between, I have made up mind not to buy the recent iPod touch or the first generation iPad as I can "manage" to wait for the latest one as it could be out very soon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My absence

A lot has happened in the past month and I preferred to remain silent. And no, I didn't stop blogging and hopefully I won't stop it in the near future too. Yes, fewer times I looked at my own blog myself which lied lifeless and I only wished to give a soul but could not help it. Few kind people asked me for not blogging while few wondered to themselves and never stopped looking for an update. Thank you guys for that. And that comes from the bottom of my heart.

It's been a real turnaround for us, a whirlwind I should say. So much has happened so fast and now by looking back I realize it all happened in a short span of life. We only wished we could have the same level of heart and brain to react to it. For some reason I don't want to blog about "other things" just to make this space filled with "stuffs" to make it interesting. I don't want to fool myself. This space has become my mirror and a diary and someday I would love to read this to know how far I walked in life. And exactly at that time I have to realize this empty space of not blogging and a reason for that. A serious lesson of life for me and to all others is "No matter how high we all go, we have to be aware of the depth of falling and the consequences following it and if we have fallen we have to have the incredible courage to rise up all over again." May you all have the amazing strength to rise, walk or even better 'run' in life for a good cause.

There was one time I was going through a very bad phase and someone I value much in my life assured me that I will be alright soon which seemed ridiculous for me. She assured and told me these beautiful words  "This too shall pass" which I doubted then but by looking back now, she was unbelievably correct about that. Thank you Nihila Ka, you really don't know how much change that has brought in me.

This is for you, my readers and to me as well, when was the last time you felt "that's it" about life? yesterday? a day before? or a year before? Now see for yourself how far you have come (even if it was only a day). Life is too short people, we really don't know what's ahead for us the very next day. All I wanted to say now is, we all deserve to give a tough fight against any hurdle that we are drawn into life. And lets face it. And if life mishandles you, do remember "This too shall pass". Everything has some reason and is for some good.

All is well with you and with me always and always... And now do I have to say like a celebrity style,"I am Back"? (to blogging) ;-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mobile application for my blog

I am glad to inform you all that my blog is now available in Nokia's Ovi store. With the help of my hubby I created the application and now my blog is easily accessible through any Nokia smart phones.

Anyone has similar interest in creating an app? Here are few points for you guys...

It's very simple and easy to create an application. In fact it took us only few minutes to create one for me.

Make sure you have your web content feed, logo and icon ready with you and then you are good to go with your application process.

Once you are ready with the above, Ovi application wizard takes you through step by step process and helps you create your own application. There is no registration fee and no programming skills needed.

It took only 24 hours to publish my blog application in Ovi store. It's as simple as that. Try your hand. Good luck.

Now you can download my blog application to your phone (banner on the right corner). My mobile app is just a click away. Cool isn't? Technology simply rocks and I am truly loving it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Savings is a virtue

A good saving habit helps you build a nice cushion for your future needs. Especially if you are able to start saving early in life, the financial risk minimizes in future. Savings and investments should be an integral part of anyone's life. You should have a proper discipline and set certain goals while starting investments. Savings over time helps getting your financial plans in shape.

As a kid I had an opportunity to start saving early in life. Thanks to my Grand Ma who insisted me the saving habits early in my life. She used to lecture me the importance of money and saving habits and I could no way deny her facts. Soon she became my banker, a weird banker where deposits alone are approved quickly and withdrawals can never even be considered. And If I ask for a withdrawal she would take me to a guilty ride of not saving and teach me the value of money and would explain the downside of being a spend thrift. So I indeed left the savings part with her to take care of it all by herself. As a matter of fact my needs were very much limited, I never indulged myself into desperately getting something at that time. And then there was not any "Apple" products or any gadgets lined up like nowadays. My desires were very much low and my grand ma fulfilled all of it out of her pocket rather than touching my money.

Interestingly, my family members have this nice habit of giving money to all the kids when it comes to birthdays or any occasions rather than gifting toys. So I earned certain amount each year. It reminds me how I used to count the money and love to feel all of it. When I had accumulated enough money at some point , one of my aunt stepped forward and said she would borrow the money and would provide interest for that amount. I am pretty sure she never needed my savings as she's always good with her finances. Just to encourage my saving habits and wanted to help my money grow still further, she throwed down the idea. Who would not love the idea? As she is a perfect finance person, I agreed. My money grew year after year and my aunt took care of my money for certain time and then passed to my brother. And now its still with my brother.

I would not have thought about savings without these people in my life. And when I did I thoroughly enjoyed each moment of saving every penny. I am not sure whether I noticed the value of the currencies as a kid but I loved the fact that my money is growing every year. Especially gifting someone you value, from your savings is an amazing feeling. It's such a fulfilling moment as it is bundled with both your love and your money for that person.

All credit goes to my grand ma, aunt and my brother who encouraged my saving habits which really helps me to continue even now. Like me, may you all have a strict banker, a genuine borrower and a safe holder of your hard earned money and savings. Few points to have in mind on savings :

Start saving early in life. Teach your kids about the value of money and the importance of savings.

Don't hesitate to start with the little amount of money. Always remember money grows over a period of time.

Set your financial goals and plan accordingly. According to your risk appetite, you can invest in stocks and in mutual funds.

Like the Walmart caption goes "Save Money. Live Better", treat your money with more love.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Paulo Coelho's quotes

Nothing wrong in creating a blacklist with people who put you down. Just don't include people who challenge you.

Spirituality is not only praying and meditating. You need to act.

Avoiding problems you need to face is avoiding the life you need to live.
   
We never learn important things by being told. We have to find out for ourselves.
   
 If you want to say "no", say it. "Maybe" is for people who are afraid to commit.
   
 If you're brave to say "goodbye", life will reward you with a new "hello".
    
Pray and pray, and understand that even if we can't understand God's will, there is always a reason.
 
Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.
   
 You may not know your path, but you must know what you don't want in life.
   
 Enjoy life but be attentive. Don't think there are no beasts just because the forest is silent.
   
 Instead of preaching the importance of happiness, be happy and people will follow your example.
   
 Look for the strength in others. You gain nothing by criticizing their imperfections.
   
 You may try, but you can’t build a wall between yourself and your dream.
   
 On your journey to your dream, be ready to face oasis and deserts. In both cases, don't stop.
   

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tennessee

We took a road trip to Tennessee and it was a nice getaway for almost a week. Tennessee, truly an awesome place surrounded by mountains. Have a look at the video.



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vinayagar Chathurthi

Happy Vinanayagar Chathurthi everyone. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha who is widely worshiped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Hope you all had a good pooja and ate some yummy kozhukattais. May Lord Ganesha shower all his blessings to you and to your family.

Happy birthday Vinayaga/Ganesha.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gilmore Girls

It is an American comedy drama series centering around the relationship between a thirty something single mother and her teen daughter living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut. This TV series has seven seasons (each season has 22 episodes) and the first season went on air during October 2000, followed by six more in the consecutive years and eventually the seventh season ended during May 2007. In 2007 it was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-Time."

I enjoyed watching this program everyday (all the seven seasons telecasted again), especially the bonding between the mother Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory Gilmore is just incredible. Each episode is brilliant, funny and irresistibly adorable. The relationship between Lorelai and Rory seemed like more of a sister relationship rather than a mom and a daughter, more friendly and attached. As a single mother the way Lorelai nurtures, respects her daughter's decisions, allows her all the possible freedom to go ahead in life and the way she settles their disagreement at certain time, Ladies and Gentle men, here goes the mind blowing series on a mother and a daughter relationship. You just can't simply categorize this one as "Chick Flick" and then you don't have to worry about having a box of tissues handy always while watching this series (Only fewer times, Yes!). Trust me, this is a brilliant script with lots of sarcastic comments and timely wits. I had a blast watching this show. Particularly Lorelai's sense of humor, I loved it. Apart from that every other character involved in this series is admirable. Guess what? I better know I am not going to miss this one so I already got the whole series. This is one of my favorite TV show. Best Mom & Daughter show ever.

This show brought me back the memories of watching a Tamil TV serial "Sahana" by K. Balachander in 2003. Oh God, how much I miss this one. One of the best and beautiful creation by Mr. KB Sir. I remember how much I loved watching it every night especially the beautiful acting by the mother Indhu and her daughter Sahana (Performed by Mrs. Anuradha Krishnamoorthy and Kavya Sekar respectively) Case in point: it is not between a biological mother and a daughter but between a woman and her adopted daughter. It's such a unique, touching and an excellent script which excelled in every episode (Yes! You need loads of tissues for this one). No matter how much ever I try to buy this "Sahana" series, my luck seems very bad as it is practically unavailable anywhere (Not even in the 'www', too bad). Please Mr. KB Sir, if you are ever listening to this, try to release it in a DVD and I am sure there are so many people out there who are waiting to watch it all over again. We all love your "Sahana". And if any of you have any idea of getting this series, please let me know. Pretty Please!

Oops! Sorry about the diversion and now I am back with Gilmore Girls. I could not possibly compare this one with "Sahana", both are way too different. Here in Gilmore Girls the kind of dating things and switch over from one person to another happens just like that, trust me that has never happened with the later one. The story, place, life and culture is way different from one another. And if at any time I happen to show this to my family and say that it brought me back the memories of Sahana series, I am sure they would get a heart break. So let me be sweet and save few people's heart ;-)

But instead, I would like to take it in a positive note that no matter where it's in the world or in any culture, a mother and a daughter relationship is just the same, very sweet indeed. The love, understanding and bonding with each other will remain natural and can't be replaced. Here in a particular episode in the sixth season when Rory realizes that she messed up with everything, be it from her education to being rude to her ever caring mother by leaving her alone, she comes back running to her mom one night and apologizes for all her mistakes. And as always a mother will always be a mother, sweet, lovable and unconditional. What-else could make her happy other than her kid's happiness?

Here in a particular sequence (which I love most), when Lorelai finds that she caused a rift between her boyfriend (Luke) and his ex-girlfriend (Anna) regarding their daughter(April), she meets Anna and tries to explain to her that she would not hurt their daughter anytime. Here goes the conversation...

"Anna - April is a thirteen year old girl and I always have something to worry about. I am a single mom here. I can't play fast and loose with the people in my kids life.

Lorelai - I completely understand. I am a single mom myself.

Anna - OK then you get it. I mean what if I decide she likes you, what if she becomes attached to you, and what if you become her best friend in the entire world and then one day you just disappear?

Lorelai - Well, that's not gonna happen.

Anna - You don't know that. You can't guarantee that and I can't take that chance. And when it comes to my daughter I have to have rules. Hard and fast rules.

Lorelai - And I would never dream of violating any of those rules. Believe me.

Anna - April never meets any man I date unless I dated him for years.

Lorelai - I totally get that.

Anna - I want her to have stability. April is my world..."

What can I say? I wish I was loved, cared and protected like this way as a kid (a long sigh). Somethings are just never meant to be, no matter how much we wish it could be. There will always be a part of mine which will long for maternal love all my life. Only very few knew how much I miss my mom and then only I know how much I suffer without a mother. For all of you my readers, better understand the blessing you have got. Love and listen to your mom.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dinosaur valley state park

Interested in seeing few dinosaur tracks, anyone? Here is a place in Glen Rose, Texas. It has some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. But Nah, we didn't like this place, there is absolutely nothing interesting in this area. And the only satisfying thing is we saw few deers around this place.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sri Krishna Jayanthi

This is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. I remember my family performing pooja, preparing sweets on this day and especially the cute drawing patterns of little children's footprints outside the house with rice-flour paste, walking towards the house. This symbolizes the entry of the infant Krishna into their homes.

Yesterday happened to be this festival and I enjoyed performing this pooja in my home, first time. I know some people might even faint at the thought that I did this pooja (as I never even showed any interest on this kind before). Credit goes entirely to my cousin sister for inspiring me to take this little step. This is for you Shanthi Ka and to my Grand Ma. I know nothing can make you guys happy other than this. Love you so much.

I am so glad I did this pooja and to you all, may you have a wonderful, peaceful and memorable Sri Krishna Jayanthi/Gokulashtami.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Galaxy Drive-In

My first drive-in theater experience happened last weekend at "Galaxy Drive-In" in Ennis, Texas. Had a good time playing mini golf (first time too) and then watching "Takers" movie. You will have a good time here if you have a good company, especially kids will love it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A sweetest love letter


"Leland, do you like me or love me? Circle one. I love you. Write back please. Love Jana. I love you Jana but don't tell anybody or they will tease me. Love Lee. The Great".

Fourth graders Jana Glasgow and Leland Elliott (circled at left) shared this exchange in 1973. “He was my first love,” Jana says. “Whenever we watched a film in school, we held hands under the desk in the dark!”


Courtesy: Readers Digest.

This I consider is the most sweetest, cutest and an adorable love letter I have ever come across in my life. I fell in love with it the moment I saw that in the book. Cutest puppy love.

For those million Janas and Lees out there, love can't be better without such sweetness so be chweet and make sure you circle "love".

Friday, August 20, 2010

A moment of surprise

Last year this day seemed more fun, thrill driven, happy, emotional and also a surprise moment. It was as though everything bundled into one package and delivered perfectly. I visited my native place on this day after more than a year and surprised everyone. It was a sweet surprise for everyone back there. It's nice to think of all that moment right now. Kind of funny and weird as well.

Last year, just two days before I called my Grand Ma (before my flight time) to inform her that I am going for a trip to a nearby place and I wont be calling her for couple of days (well, my day begins by talking with her no matter what) she was like damn sweet (as always) on that day wishing me to have a safe trip not knowing that she would be seeing me within two days time. For me it was like first of kind and the adventure started. Oops! I forgot to include another person in this adventure, my brother (someone who's so used to all these things, all his life). For many a time I thought I can't make it happen and felt I am not doing this and I wanted to break the surprise but it was my brother who convinced me to make it happen. And yes, it was worth it.

The flight journey seemed endless and it was unacceptably tiring for me. Eventually, I landed, met my brother and talked endlessly all night. When we headed home, we both were so excited to see our grand ma's reaction who least expected me on that morning. And when I stood in front of her with all smiles like a mischievous kid, I hugged and kissed her and that was the moment I will always cherish in my life. She was so happy and thrilled to see me on that day. Few were worried about this whole surprise thing that it might shock her because of her old age but she seemed undisturbed. Well, surprisingly that kind of shock didn't come from my granny but instead it came from my cousin sister who's just thirty plus lady. The moment she saw me she was shocked, cried, gasped, hugged me and was uncontrollable for a moment. I was bit scared to watch her and then we all made her to relax a little bit. She's the most innocent person ever on earth. My sweetest sister.

With a tiring flight journey and also Swine flu threat around the world at that time, this surprise visit was well planned, executed and was a huge success in my family. Everyone were thrilled and I am so happy about it. All credit goes to my hubby and my brother. And to all others thanks a lot for the love and care which means a lot to me. Those surprise faces are kind of funny, sweet and emotional to think about it now and forever.

Someday I would love to see such surprise faces yet again!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dreams, Aspiration and a Vision

Here is an example of all the three. Rohan Shravan, Founder and CEO of Notion Ink. He came from a middle class Indian family and graduated in Mechanical Engineering in Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. As a kid he always dreamed of becoming a person of high caliber and achieving things, be it dreaming of becoming an Astronaut to becoming a Prime Minister of India, his dreams evolved day by day. Eventually he landed in his own world of creating a Tablet Computer (which he developed for the past three years) and is now considered a close competitor to Apple ipad. At the age of 25, he is now the CEO of Notion Ink, which is a start up company that designs tablet computers. And Rohan Shravan is the creator of Adam Tablet, an Android powered Tablet PC.

Here is a video of him explaining about the specifications of his Adam tablet:



The Adam PC was first introduced to the public in Barcelona at the Consumer Electronics Show and at the Mobile World Congress and is now believed to be hitting the market during November 2010. Here is Mr. Rohan's answer to a question asked in Economic Times in March 2010:

"Your product has not only put Notion Ink on the world map, but has also made people recognize India as a innovation destination. What are your views?
Frankly speaking I never looked at Notion Ink as an Indian firm until people made me realize this. I wanted to create a global entity and I believe we have achieved that a little bit. It's time we think beyond our boundaries. It's time we beat the West and let the East rise."

Have a look at his Adam tablet:



I wish Mr. Rohan and his team a great success. Lets hope his Adam gives a tough fight against all the tablet PCs (which is a new trend in gadget world). Kudos to his innovation. May the world see lots and lots of talent in the years to come.

To you my readers, if you have a dream don't ignore it for whatever reason it could be. Keep working on it. And remember Paulo Coelho's words, "when you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it." I am sure the road is not too far to achieve what you deserve. Never settle down for less than your dreams. May you have a dream, aspiration and a vision to achieve great things in life. Good luck.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Last lecture

Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, was a person who not only believed in his own dreams but also inspired many students to have a dream and a vision of their own. Unfortunately with the cruel fate of life, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and with minimum days to survive, he believed he wanted to let go of his and his family's agony for one moment and wanted to deliver his last lecture in front of his college audience. He decided that the title of his last lecture would be "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". On September 18, 2007 he stepped in front of his audience and gave a stunning lecture with such fascination and humor, which later became a popular video on the Internet. And on July 25, 2008 he passed away losing his battle to his disease saddening every one around him but inspiring many to fight against the disease.

I happen to watch his last lecture lately and I felt his high level of courage despite his life in jeopardy. I am not sure how many people would be willing to throw their agony given this kind of situation and come out with the courage to fight against fate. People like Randy are going to be very rare ones. I also read his book "The last lecture" based on his speech. Here is a man who's literally dying and he plans meticulously for himself, for his wife and for their three children. As in his last lecture and in his book, he explains about his parents who showed the path to dream and make it happen in real life. He had an exceptionally wonderful parents who believed in his ability and molded him into a right person. He explains how he dreamed of big things as a kid and how he fulfilled one after another when he grew older. He was blessed with a wonderful family and he made sure his kids will get to know about their dad through this last lecture in future. His last lecture is going to be an admiring, inspiring, super positive and emotional lecture of the modern time. It reminds me of a popular saying, "Love as if you want to be loved by someone and live as if you are going to die tomorrow."

If you haven't heard about him, may be you should get to know who he was. You will be pleased for that. I always believe that there is something you could learn from every single person you encounter with. I am sure with Mr. Randy you will realize the importance of dreaming big. His courage, energy, positive attitude and passion to thrive will boost your morality.

Would love to quote few words from his last lecture:

"A Parent's job is to encourage kids to develop a joy for life and a great urge to follow their own dreams. The best we can do is to help them develop a personal set of tools for the task."

And for his own kids he continues "And given that I won't be there, I want to make this clear : Kids, don't try to figure out what I wanted you to become. I want you to become what 'you' want to become."

Though he is no more today, I am pretty sure his legacy will continue to inspire us forever. May his soul rest in peace.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eat Pray Love

A book written by Elizabeth Gilbert. The first time I heard about her was through her wonderful speech in Ted.com. She spoke on the topic "Nurturing Creativity". Realizing her amazing speech on that topic I kind of searched her profile and ended up knowing that her book Eat Pray Love is going to be made as a movie and the lead actor is going to be Julia Roberts (Wow! This was exactly my reaction at first place. My all time favorite actress). Thanks to Google wherein I could search everything and then I happened to watch the teaser of this upcoming movie. I fell in love with it and wanted desperately to read the book before the movie got released on thirteenth of this month. But it was so unfortunate that I could not able to get the book from the library right away, so I waited. Now that I got the book, already read, I would love to share about it here.

Eat Pray Love, One woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia. This journey which she's going to narrate is her real life travel experience in these three countries. Before her story begins, she quotes Sheryl Louise Moller's words "Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth"(which I believe in modern time is a Crime). From then, She narrates her hard time of solving her failed marriage and also a broken relationship with another person. She then gets the courage to fight and makes up her mind to travel to her most destined lands which not only does her healing process, but also throws light on various aspects of her life by finding peace, finding herself, resolving her unanswered prayers and questions and also the courage to fall in love all over again. Her unforgettable journey (in a particular year) to Italy for pleasure, India for devotion and Indonesia for balancing both pleasure and devotion.

This is one among the rare books, where the author is ready to break all the cliches of not dramatizing any bit any time. Her narration was so simple and honest process which she went through during her journey. I really really loved her sense of humor, which was very nicely placed at times and that will surely induce the reader to enjoy her narration. I was bowled over by her honesty and truth of narrating every bit she went through in her journey. From a person of a most heart breaking emotion turmoil to an amazingly new person of peace and love, a kind of transformation she was shown by some beautiful souls through her journey, I feel extremely envious on her. The kind of people she get to know, kind of advises they shower upon her, kind of love and care she gets which are so pure and unconditional, only those rare immaculate people makes this world a beautiful place.

Needless to say there are also innumerable monsters who will try to engage you in a worldly game, and before you realize they would have ran into you and ripped open your heart, crushed it, tare down the last beat of it and before you could avoid, they must have disappeared into their world leaving you behind an uncontrollable pain and despair. Beware of those monsters in your life. All I wish forever would be love and peace and these are the two words often misused in modern times. To you my readers, remember one thing in life, You need to be with a person who really deserves you and your love.

As put down by Elizabeth Gilbert herself, "Don't be afraid, Don't be daunted, Just do your job. Continue to show up your peace of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. Let your destiny take care of the rest."

I really loved this book and all I am so excited now is about the forthcoming movie Eat Pray Love which is going to be released by next week. And I am looking forward to watch Julia Robert's performance in this role. Have a look at the teaser below.

Way to go Liz! May you find more places, people, peace, love, courage and reasons to write.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nostradamus

This is the man who comes into limelight whenever there is a big news happening or happened in the world. Be it September 11th catastrophe, Iraq war, Afghan war or news related to world's highly acclaimed people, or even the news of when the world is going to end. There are lot of books circling around time to time telling us about the predictions for the future written by this person. Well, yes I remember once (more than a decade back) reading a book about him but I hardly understood the way it was written, eventually I gave up reading it at that time.

Just like a spark I got interest in reading about him and the first thing I did was hit the library. Seriously I love the way I get books on anything and everything under the sun here. I took some six books written about him by various authors (Just a random pick by me) and here I am reading about this man, but to my surprise I found each one describing different predictions. Believe it or not most of the predictions are for some insane publicity. Most of which are created just in the spur of the moment and those are nothing to do with Nostradamus.

Nostradamus was a medical professional, astrologer and also a highly talented person who had an incredible talent of foreseeing the future. It was by his own interest and also encouraged by his grand dad, he became an astrologer. Later he started writing quatrains (a stanza consists of four lines). It was through this quatrains he started producing Almanacs (detailed events or predictions). He published these almanacs every year, sometimes twice or thrice each year, until he passed in 1566 at the age of 62.

During his time, many people tried to seek information through him for their life or about the place or for their kingdom and there were some royal people who kept him in high esteem for his predictions. And there were also few who badly criticized him for his predictions and called him names as they thought he's manipulating with his future predictions.

Here is a book named "The Further Prophecies Of Nostradamus 1985 and Beyond" by Erika Cheetham. The author was an Oxford scholar who had researched Nostradamus's life and work for many years. In her book she lets us know her research on his quatrains and almost comes up with every single important event he predicted that had happened in the past. Be it from Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Hiroshima and Nagasaki disaster, World war II, death of John Paul I, assassination of John .F. Kennedy, Freedom of India and partition, etc. Interestingly, many of these were never predicted by Nostradamus. Mrs. Cheetham misread his quatrains and delivered it in her book.

"Fueling the September 11 frenzy, which was intensified by the mostly uncritical media attention, was of course an outright lie, in the form of the undoubtedly deliberate adulterations of verses of the prophecies by persons unknown."

The above words are taken from the book "Nostradamus - The Man Behind the Prophecies" a biography by Ian Wilson. In his book Mr. Wilson quotes verses from English Jesuit scholar Father Herbert Thurston as some of Nostradamus's predictions didn't materialize and turned out to be plain wrong. In Thurston's words:

"Nostradamus provided an ingenious system of divination in which the misses can never be recorded and only the hits come to the surface."

Mr. Wilson ends his books by these words: Nostradamus in his final verses of the prophecies, he solemnly predicted: "As time elapses after my death, my writings will have more weight than during my lifetime." No one, whatever their views on Nostradamus, can deny that he was right on that one.

Here is an example of double predictions explained in the book "The Secrets Of Nostradamus" by David Ovason.

"Beast, wild with hunger, swim across rivers,
The greater part of the field will be against the Hister,
The great one will be dragged in an iron cage,
When the German child will see the Rhine."

Many predicted the above verse to be the fate of Adolf Hitler but Nostradamus referred the word "Hister" to the longest river in European union, River Danube. Similarly there are various examples such as Royal divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Facts about UFO (Unidentified Objects) and so many other misinterpreted verses which are explained by Mr. Ovason. He also added that Nostradamus himself admitted that he wrote his quatrains in a strange language, a Scabreux language, as he called it, which is now called as Green language. This is the language which teaches the mystery of things and unveils the most hidden truths, and it is also known as Language of Birds. Even for those who are efficient in the research of this language find it hard to understand the quatrains of Nostradamus. So beware of the innumerable books which carry his modern day predictions, most of it are untrue.

"The walls will be reduced from brick to marble,
Seven and fifty peaceful years,
Joy to humans, renewed the aqueduct,
Health, great fruit, joy and sweet times."

by this above quatrain Mr. Ovason admits that "it is notoriously difficult to interpret a Nostradamus Quatrain which deals with futurity, yet we feel on secure ground in this interpretation of Quatrain X.89 as referring to a period of peace, lasting 57 years and starting in 2020."

May the world be in peace for now and forever. God bless.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Paulo Coelho's quotes

If everybody loves you, something is wrong. Find at least one enemy to keep you alert.

You may try to please everybody, but at the end you will not be in peace with yourself.

Don't beg, don't ask. Just thank God in silence for all the blessings in your life.

The way you see yourself will often determine how people see you.

Love cannot be held prisoner because it is a river and will overflow its banks.

Changes happen when we go against everything we're used to doing.

You have two choices in life: a] to find a way, b] to make one.

Everything in your life can change, except ONE: your passion.

Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.

The strongest love is love that can demonstrate its fragility.

Intense life is not complete without a touch of madness.

No one is going to love you if you don’t love yourself.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Raavanan video clip

I hope you all like it :-)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Titanic

For the past four days, I loved doing an extensive reading about this grand ship. I never imagined this kind of real story she once carried on her maiden voyage, followed by her final plunge into the Atlantic. It was a surprise package with loads and loads of emotions prevailed with her. I was so fortunate to read some fabulous books on her and now I am so glad that I knew few good information about her. What a voyage she had taken in the year 1912! There was so much character, human emotions, courage as well as cowardice that happened on just one night. Reading about her was like stepping my feet onto the ship myself. And yes, I traveled with her and felt such a heart wrenching experience.

It was so intense reading for me and this luxurious ship was all I carried in my mind for the past few days. Even in my dreams I could see her images and those few brave hearts who gave a courageous fight against nature and also against fate. What if I and you all were on the ship on that night? Have we put such an unselfish act which eventually could have caused our lives? Those men and women who dealt with the cruel fate of being on the ship on that night really needs a big salute. And there certainly remains so many unanswered questions on her which will remain for each one us to wonder and only God could answer that. After all these years for being in the highlight on and off, what she's doing right now is sleeping in the heart of Atlantic, her remains barely showing the elegance she once carried, poor old lady.

Must read books on her:

Titanic - An Illustrated History by Don Lynch,

Titanic - A Journey Through Time by John P. Eaton and Charles A. Haas,

Titanic - The Last Great Images by Robert Ballard,

Ghosts of the Abyss - A Journey Into The Heart Of Titanic by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall.

Beautiful words put down by Robert Ballard in his book Titanic -The Last Great Images are given below:

"The interesting thing about Titanic is that you can study the story for years, learn all the facts,have it down cold, and yet still find that, every once in a while, it's hitting you all over again. Why weren't there enough lifeboats? Why didn't they slow down? What did they feel? That isn't going to go away, and people will continue to be led to the story. On a rainy afternoon, someone is going to find a decaying copy of Walter Lord's "A night to remember" on the shelves and start reading. In a hotel room somewhere, a man who can't sleep is going to flick the television at one in the morning and be drawn into the James Cameron's epic. After singing about it around the campfire, a little girl is going to start wondering why, exactly, husbands and wives and children lost their lives. Books and films may come and go; even wrecks can disappear. They just get us started. What we seek is the human story at the heart of Titanic. That will never perish."

It was indeed an incredible journey which I put forth after more than a decade of knowing her through a movie and my love for her has now deepened for better reasons. May I wish you all a very good journey which awaits in front of you and please don't miss a chance of traveling with it. May you experience a remarkable journey which broadens your vision and may you profit the wisdom from it. It could possibly happen through a short travel or a book or a new place or with new people. At the end of the day, all you prosper from it is an experience. Bon voyage!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The world's most successful dropouts

Bill Gates - dropped out of Harvard University in 1975, he was the founder of Microsoft and he is currently the Chairman of Microsoft.

Larry Ellison - is a two-time dropout. He went to both the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. But he never got a degree. He is now the CEO of Oracle corporation.

James Cameron - He studied physics in Fullerton College not for a long time. He dropout to become a film director and he created some of the late 20th-Century's most stunning and expensive science-fiction movies like Aliens, Titanic, Avatar.

Steve Jobs - In 1972, he dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He's the founder and CEO of Apple Inc.

Henry Ford - he was a dropout at the age of 16, who later became the founder of Ford Motor Company.

Steven Spielberg - Spielberg attended California State University, where he majored in English; however, he left school in 1968. He's the director of legendary films like E.T.-The Extra-Terrestrial and Jurassic Park.

Mark Zuckerberg - dropped out of Harvard University. He is an American entrepreneur best known for Co-founding the popular social networking site Facebook.

Michael Dell - He dropped out of the University of Texas, Austin to become the CEO and Founder of Dell Inc. In 1992 at the age of 27, Dell became the youngest CEO to have his company ranked in Fortune Magazine’s list of the top 500 corporations.

Dhirubhai Ambhani - dropped out of school to become a business tycoon in India, Founder of Reliance Industries.

Subhash Chandra Goel - is an Indian who dropped out after twelfth grade, is the Chairman of Essel Group. His pioneering channel is Zee TV.

Wai-wai-wai-wai-Wait a second. Is this post misleading? I have no intention of encouraging any people to drop out either from school or from college. My underlying statement is, although millions quit completing studies before completing them, very few of them go on to become rich. What the above list of the super-rich dropouts signifies is that in business, a top degree is not as important as having the right aptitude, attitude, determination and vision.

This certainly proves that skill, good ideas and passion are sometimes more important than a university degree.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Titanic Museum

A decade back, I was totally moved by a movie which portrayed a passionate love story, which recreated the Romeo and Juliet magic in an enormous ship. A movie which won all the possible awards and also became the most acclaimed movie of that year. I must have watched that movie countless number of times and I could still recollect some of the beautiful dialogues in that movie. A movie which stole some million hearts around the world and to umpteen number of lovers it was their moment in a ship and they also promised each other to be "Jack and Rose" in their lifetime. It was purely a James Cameron's incredible craft and the movie was Titanic. And here I am, after more than a decade standing in front of the grand ship, a replica of Titanic in Branson, Missouri.

It was a beautiful long drive from Texas to Branson, which we took last weekend. This world largest Titanic museum was a massive and half scale version of the original ship. Water sprayed from her bow, realistic looking iceberg at her side are well depicted here. We were greeted by the costumed crew members and was given a boarding pass written in the name of an original passenger who traveled in the ship in 1912. Only at the end of our voyage, in the memorial room gallery we came to understand that whether the person in the boarding pass survived or not on the night of the disaster.

The whole place was so realistically recreated and it was like walking in the real Titanic and hearing its entire story. The exhibits showcased some of the finest moments in the ship, some of them are letters written during her maiden voyage, her passenger's belongings, deck chair, life jacket, photographs, dinner menu card, the grand staircase, the luxurious first class room, the simple third class cabin, abundance information about the ship, so on. Going through the exhibit was very touching moment and we felt like we stepped back in time. This museum has the pride to own the most accurate model of Titanic, which is 18 feet long and took two years to built by an Englishman.

The Grand staircase in the museum was a magnificent replica which definitely showed the luxurious ambiance the Titanic carried on water. It brought back the memory of Rose meeting Jack at the clock in the movie. It was such a splendid staircase and walking on it was really a 'Jack and Rose' moment for us. It was such a breath taking structure and it will never wind up from my memory anytime.

Just by going through the artifacts in this fabulous museum, I realized the incredible work put down by the director Mr. James Cameron in the movie. He really is an master craftsman. He had done a perfect job in recreating the enormous ship with all the minute details. And to my surprise most of the incidents he showed in that movie were all really happened on that night when the ship went down under water. Let me list the few below.

On April 14, 1912 at 12:45 AM, Titanic's first starboard lifeboat was lowered into the water. Sadly, it held barely half its capacity of sixty four passengers.

When everyone in the ship realized that their final hours is approaching, the Titanic's bandmaster Wallace Hartley along with few brave musicians played songs to calm the passengers until the final plunge.

When ordered to get into a lifeboat, a woman named Ida refused and stepped aside, holding her husband's hand tightly.

The first preference of getting into a lifeboat was given only to woman and children but the President of White Star Line, J. Bruce Ismay sneaked into one of these life boats, which forever earned him a bad name, "J. Brute Ismay".

The two survivors Lucy and Sir Cosmo were the only two passengers who were called to testify for the accusations of bribery on that crucial night. They promised five pounds sterling to every lifeboat passenger to prevent its return to the site of the disaster.

A woman named Margaret Brown who was in the lifeboat no. 6 fought with the commander, even threatened to throw him overboard, for refusing to go back to seek survivors.

When the ship went down, nearing death from hypothermia, a man named Fitzpatrick blew his scout whistle and attracted lifeboat 12 and he survived.

It was all a scattered real life incidents and Mr. Cameron was brilliant to put together and came up with a wonderful script. Hats off to him.

It was such a memorable moment for me to go through the exhibit and I felt emotional by visualizing such an enormous, luxurious and thought to be unsinkable ship went down under water in her maiden voyage claiming thousand lives. Fate had cruelly sealed the lives of so many people and also the grand ship.

I am going to learn more about Titanic, her passengers and their final hours soon, through books written on her. Will keep you posted on that. Please take a look at the video below to have a glimpse of the museum. No photography was allowed inside the museum and these pictures are taken from the museum website.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stock Market

I first heard this term through my curriculum. I had no idea what it would be like in spite of learning it. I always wanted to graduate in English Literature to explore the Shakespearean world but somehow fate had other plans for me. I have graduated and also did my master's in Economics and I never felt happy about it. Couple of years back I got an opportunity to try my hand in stock market trading along with my brother. We were like two crazy little kids trying to enjoy with it rather than learning it in first place. Result of it was we both were severely, badly hurt by the too much of fun. Then we both have decided to stay out of it anytime, all our life.

After coming to US, I happened to hear about some of the great legends in stock market investing and the first thing I did was started to read their books. Although I was not sure at that time whether I would be either trading or investing in stock market, I read some of the wonderful books and was amazed by the interesting facts from the legends in this business. All my life from what I heard I was in a notion that stock market is only about gambling until I came across few amazing people in this business like Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, Benjamin Graham and so on.

Now I can tell that I know little about this industry and can advice people to learn about it rather than have fun with the numbers. And for the first time in my life I feel that I am so happy that I am an economic student. Now it really makes sense (my love will always remain with the Shakespearean world though). Stock market is not a gambling business if you handle it properly. Its an wonderful investment opportunity for the people who can learn and be patient. Think about long term investment and please think about stock market. The best advices on stock market that I could sum up for you are laid below...

Learn more about some of the legends in this business and start investing early in life, don't trade stocks.

Pick some quality stocks and invest for a longer period of time. Own some good long term growth stocks. Longer your time horizon, lower is your risk.

Diversify your investment. You should not invest in one particular stock. You should pick few quality stocks instead. Consider holding few dividend paying stocks in your portfolio.

Don't invest in stocks all at once. Invest over a period of time. Invest when the stock market falls and don't when it is so high. Buy low, sell high.

Be patient. Be an investor, not a speculator. You should never be greedy in this business.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Citi Forward credit card advantage

Credit cards are definitely not a pain if used properly. I am so glad to use this particular card, Citi Forward which serves our purpose quiet well. The reward which the card gives us is a bonus for every single dollar we spend (So we kind of earn something for we spend. Cool right?. Wish I have used this card all my life). This particular card earns us five points for every one dollar we spend on dining out, movies, books and music. Since we dine out often, this card is perfect for us to earn those bonus points (We earn while we drool ;-)) There is no annual fee for this card and also we get hundred bonus points if we pay the bill on time every month (This card encourages you to pay on time which is a very nice gesture)

We accumulated the points for over an year and just recently redeemed the points for a gift card and got a "Sony Cyber-shot Digital Camera H55" which is worth some $ 220. Both the Citi credit card and the Sony camera looks perfect for us. :-)

Similarly there are various credit cards with different kinds of rewards. Some cards are specific for travel purposes and if you are a frequent flier, you can apply and enjoy its rewards by accumulating miles. So when you have accumulated enough miles to take a domestic or international flight, you can very well use those miles. And there are also cards as students cards, small business cards, low interest credit cards and so on.

Bottom line here is use your little brain and apply for a credit card which best suits you and enjoy those rewards. Citi forward card points are redeemable through its Thank You Network and here comes a heartfelt "Thank you" from us to Citi card :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ramayana

An epic most read, heard and seen in every home in India. Thanks to the media channels which telecasted this wonderful epic since my childhood days. I grew up watching this epic every weekend along with my Grand Ma. An epic which tells you a tale of Good and Evil or Good versus Evil. Just like any kid fond of hearing any kind of stories, I saw and heard this epic through curriculum, television and from my Grand Ma. An epic which throws light on many characters and incidents and also draws certain morals at frequent intervals. It's a story about kingdom, family, love, envy, struggle, courage, patience and victory of course.

I believe the epic Ramayana dates back around 11th century. Though many characters are involved in this wonderful epic, most popular ones happen to be Rama (The Good), his wife Sita and Raavana (The Evil). This story prevails around these characters and no wonder why people praise, pray and fall in love with Rama and Sita and curse the evil soul, Raavana.

Here comes a Tamil movie "Raavanan" in this 21st century, I should say a modern day Ramayana, a movie directed by my most favorite director Mr. Manirathinam. Anyone could easily relate the characters in the movie to the epic Ramayana. The story is nothing new but there was this slight line which takes a bend and leaves us a question about the evil soul (at least that's how it's portrayed always). What if there happen to be a beautiful, soul inspiring quality with the so called evil person? This slight touch is what Raavanan movie is all about.

And the portrayal of Rama and Raavana in this movie is just a reverse to the original epic Ramayana. Just like a coin has both the sides, Rama (Dev) has a Grey side (Not a black side though) while Raavana (Veera) has a "Pink" side (as he's good and lures towards Raagini ;-) )

Let me leave the story for now, there was something about a particular scene I really felt haunting. Many a times I heard and seen elders who usually love to bless any young girls by wishing her a husband like Rama. I was neither excited or felt sad about it. But now after watching this movie (Probably, I didn't understand and realize this sort of question as a kid) in one particular scene when Dev suspects her wife Raagini's fidelity (like in the epic, Ramayana) I felt extremely odd. That's the most disgusting question that any husband could ask a wife (especially to a woman like Sita). What an awful way to hurt a woman.

Rama, a person (or a God) of such caliber as shown in that epic could ask such a question, then he's definitely not the ultimate husband as our elders think (sorry, it's no more a blessing!). Honestly, it's not right. I am so sorry to say this statement and I don't mean to hurt any one's sentiments or religious beliefs. And here I get a prompt reply from someone saying that it so happened because of the fear of society then. No wonder the shame still continues as most live and fear for others than for themselves. Whatever could be the reason, that's something beyond any repair and I am not buying it either.

Who knows? There could be a Rama in a Raavana and vice versa. No one is perfect. It not only applies to us but to God himself (If only you assume Rama to be). And I am in love with Mr. Manirathinam's version of Raavanan (a movie) and definitely not with Kambar's Rama (an epic).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mathematics

Here is an interesting real life story I came across. No fiction guys.

Two girls met at work and after some time they get to know each other. And they started to share their funny memories from their childhood days. And in one of these days they came across this big word "Mathematics", One said "You know, it's very funny to think how we used to copy in school exams, especially Math. I used to help my friend a lot on that". Another said, "Oh yeah, me too. It was so much fun at college. Passing papers, tricking the examiners, kind of nostalgic to think about it now". One continued, "There is one particular friend of mine, who's so terrible in math and she will go nuts whenever we have a math test". Another was so quick to reply, "Hey, that happened with my friend too, poor girl she used to be so silent only in Math classes otherwise very mischievous".

One stated further, "In fact there was one time, she copied from me in our eleventh grade exam and the funny thing is that she scored better than me. Hilarious. I still used to make a prank on her whenever I get to talk with her", she giggled and thought about the school days for a moment. While the second girl smiled and said, 'That's interesting. Thank god, nothing that sort happened with us. But I used to help her a lot both in classes and in the class tests'.

Suddenly some weird thought appeared and the first one said to the other, 'Please, don't tell me we are talking about the same person'. The second person was quick to reply, 'Nope, that's not possible. my friend is in US right now'. Before she ended the statement, the first got so excited, 'Hey, my friend is in US too' Then the other said, 'This is crazy, so are you going to tell me that your friend's name is Akila?'. The first one almost laughed out, " Yes, It is indeed!" And it was 'me', who played that best actor role in their leisure time. When I heard this from both of them during my visit to my native few months back, I chuckled and looked up the sky to the 'Good Guy' who directed this wonderful episode with my friends. What a way to unite my two friends! There I saw a twinkle which meant a big smile to me.

Brought a smile guys? I know, it's always so much fun to pull some one's legs. Not enough? Well, let me try one more! No fiction! Truly My Story!!! Keep reading......

When I was in tenth grade, "as planned" I sat beside my friend for a Math test. My friend's so good in Math, she could work on it so quick and will finish off just fine. It's always me who felt very difficult to cope up with her to quickly copy that before she switches to the next page. There was one particular problem she was working and wanted to push off real quick to submit the paper on time. And in one particular step she wrote 5 x 5 = 15. I saw that and signaled her to turn towards me to ask her to correct that step. She was so sweet, even in her busy calculation she managed to turn towards me. But by that time there was this "Great Mathematical Brain" of mine which from no where appeared so suddenly and all I thought was I have to be wrong while she should be right always! So I signaled nothing and asked her to continue working on her paper. That's it. We were caught when our Math Mam corrected our paper. And I admitted that I was the culprit. I should have told our Mam that I was right for the first time while my friend was wrong for the first time ;-)

Seriously, even the word "Mathematics" terrifies me. It's always been my demon in life. I truly belong to the "I hate Math club". I know what you all must be thinking by now, "So, this is how you passed all your exams?" Come on guys, this is insulting. Not always you know. You don't trust me? Give me a simple addition and I am sure I will leave my fingers to work on it like a kid, thrice the time it takes for you!

Jokes apart, those of you who are so good at it, I salute you, I envy you and I really want that ability from you. You guys simply rock. Hey Dhivya, Gayathri and Kaleesh, it was all fun, thank you and I love you all so much. I will make sure my kid sits beside your kids for the math test in the future too ;-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

America

Just two years back, this was exactly the same day I landed on this beautiful country. My dream destination. Without any person's influence or I should say very less knowledge about it, I always dreamed of being in this country. I don't know why I loved so much about this country then. It was my dream, my wish, my joy and my love for wanting to be in this country one day. And I am so glad it happened on this day. Now I realize this is the land which makes life worth living each day. Its no wonder my love for this land has gone more farther now.

It could possibly only me who can still feel the first moment of being in this country on this day. I am sure that will never wind up in my memory, never in my lifetime. A day where my long lasted dream and my wish came true. And I am not exaggerating any bit of it. This is a place where not only dreams evolve but it also shapes up well to form a life out of it. Anything and everything is possible here. If you ever have a dream and a passion, bring it here and I am sure you will win in this land. The kind of creativity in people living here is something which makes me mesmerized often. Truly a land of beautiful ideas.

Do I have to talk about love and life on this land? You will never realize what real life is all about until you set your foot on this land. Wherever I go I see people just live their life and also enjoy every bit of it. They simply make sure they are living their life rather than living some one's life or dream. I really fall short of words to describe their love and appreciation. I honestly accept that some of the most romantic ideas can only happen in this land and I wonder how they come up with such sweet things in life. Best romantic place ever on earth. Never seen or heard so much appreciation in any form until I came to this country.

America, a land of life, love, joy, appreciation, creativity, dreams, parenting, sense of humor, smiling faces, privacy, courtesy, real freedom, spectacular movies, amazing ideas above all this is where you can be real 'You'. I am so happy for being in this country. And the hardest part is the thought of leaving this place one day. Hopefully not sooner. Fingers crossed. Its not about the money, infrastructure and sophisticated life which makes me fall in love with this land again and again, its mainly because I learnt so many things from it. Of all the beautiful things I have come across this is what I love and learnt from this country, 'how to be myself and live my own life'! Yippee! I am living my dream. I love America and God bless America!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DeGray Lake Resort

We went to this beautiful resort in Arkansas last weekend. It was super fun as we tried the boating for the first time. Had a wonderful time there. Have a look at the video of this place.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

TED

Here is an interesting website which delivers beautiful ideas. I have been following this website for quite sometime and I thoroughly enjoy some of the most incredible ideas. Most of the time, I enjoyed and overwhelmed with such fascinating presentation and information by some of the individuals. I really insist and appreciate your valued time looking in this website. Here are some of my favorite TED talks and I suppose the list is endless...

Steve Jobs - How to live before you die,

Ken Robinson - Schools kill creativity,

Adora Svitak - What adults can learn from kids,

Anil Gupta - India's hidden hotbeds,

James Cameron - Before Avatar, a curious boy,

Elizabeth Gilbert - On nurturing creativity.


Check out the website, www.ted.com - "Ideas worth spreading", truly it is!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Matters of the Heart

A book from my most favorite author, Danielle Steel. I have been reading her books from my college days, like hers there are so many other authors whose stories are so good but somehow I sticked only to her books. Its mainly because of her amazing narrating style, her stories, her characters which makes me every time to fall in love with her books. I have a good collection of her books and always enjoyed accumulating it. I didn't try any of her book in the recent time and started reading this story Matters of the heart, after a long gap. And this book happened to be her one hundredth book. That's a wonderful milestone.

'Some of the greatest crimes against humanity have been committed in the name of love'

This is how the book starts. This story is about a sociopath who holds a person in the name of love. Though I finished off real quick, this story is very disturbing at times and all I thought several times is that I should not continue reading it any further. But still I completed reading this book clenching my teeth thinking about one particular character in the story. Recently someone wanted me to debate about the difference between true love and blind love. This book is a perfect example for blind love. I know its pretty foolish to take a fiction to this level but still I believe there are certainly people if not very many, at least few who just fall prey to a sociopath at times, just like this character (Hope Dunne) in the story. This story is about her who's so foolish in life to give so much love to a person and the consequences is that she gets ripped off and almost touches the edge of death and escapes in a matter of seconds. Eventually she ends up in an ashram in Rishikesh, India for the real healing of her life. Here is the best advice she ever received from her stay in the ashram...

'We are always better than before when those we love inflict wounds on us. They make us stronger, and when you forgive them, you will no longer feel the scar'

Hopefully the next book which I am going to start right away has to be something interesting from my Dany.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Club di Giulietta (The Juliet Club)

Here is an interesting club for people who want to talk about their love or for those who seek an advice for their love. Named after the legendary lovers Romeo and Juliet, 'The Juliet Club' is in the city of Verona, Italy. Every year some thousand letters all around the world flock into the club either requesting for an advice or telling their wonderful tales about love.

The first letter was addressed to 'Juliet, Verona' arrived in 1937 sparked by the first Hollywood movie released about her. The then curator of the Juliet tomb replied to it. But letters kept coming from then on and by 1990 the Juliet club was organized by the City of Verona which took over by answering all the mails of its most famous daughter, Juliet. The city pays the postage and the volunteer work for free. Every year on Valentines day the club awards the 'Cara Giulietta' ('Dear Juliet') prize to the best love letter received that year.

"Dear Juliet," the letters all begin.

"Dear Juliet ... You are my last hope. The woman I love more than anything in the world has left me. ..."

"Dear Juliet, I live on the third floor. My parents don't allow my boyfriend to come to my house. So I have to sneak him in. ..."

"Help me! Save me!" wrote an Italian woman whose husband had left her. "I feel suspended on a precipice. I am afraid of going mad. "Her answer came from Ettore Solimani, who was the custodian of Juliet's tomb for nearly 20 years, beginning in the 1930's. "Men have moments when they are unable to control themselves," he wrote. "Have faith ...," Mr. Solimani added later in the letter. "The day of humiliation will come for the intruder, and your husband will come back to you."

Just in case any of you need the address...

CLUB DI GIULIETTA - THE JULIET CLUB
via Galilei 3 - 37100 Verona,
Italy.

info@julietclub.com

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet’s love story may have been fictional but many believe it happened in Verona. This city is the perfect place for this story to take place, for its middle age ambient. There are also some real references in Verona. There is a myth that the house you’re seeing is believed to be the real home of Juliet’s family and the balcony of Juliet is also for real. The building dates from the thirteenth century with the house of Capulet's, Juliet's family and it’s a major tourist attraction. If you are fortunate to visit the place, you can pretend to be Juliet and step out on the famous balcony of Juliet's house to talk to your Romeo!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paulo Coelho's nice thoughts

Here are some beautiful thoughts from the Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho. Some of which I really like to read it over and over again and here is it for you, my sweet people...


Don't let anyone ever make you feel like you don't deserve what you want.

Every time you judge yourself, you hurt your own heart.

It is easier to love than to be loved. Accept love: it will not wait at your doorstep forever.

The only power you have on this planet is the power of your decisions.

Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come.

Our angel often uses someone’s lips to talk to us. Be attentive.

The only power you have on this planet is the power of your decisions.

Important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other.

Join those who walk with tears in their eyes. Avoid those who have never shed a tear.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Motherhood: 'All love begins and ends there' - Robert Browning.

My heartiest wishes to all the Mom out there on this Mother's day and thank you for being everything to your kids. I love you all so much. Mom rules the world.

"We only have One Mom, One Mommy, One Mother in this World, One life. Don't wait for the Tomorrow's to tell Mom, you love her."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Love Story album song

Here is a wonderful song, 'Love story' by Taylor Swift from her album "Fearless". I edited this video which includes the subtitle. I love the song. Check this out guys.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Films - Are we real Fans or just caught in the Fad?

I watched the most crappiest movie of all time in this weekend. My goodness, seriously the guy who directed the movie and the actors who acted in that movie, do they have a brain to work on it? You might ask me why do I so much care, I could have stopped watching it to make it simple. Well, I continued watching it simply because I wanted to know how far this insanity will go. The height of madness is that the actor has a huge fan base and they went insane every time the actor just rolled on the floor or jumped in the air in some crappy sequences in the movie.

Honestly, what's the big deal about a movie? What is a clean film by the way? Who are the real audience? A clean and a good film has to be something which has to entertain you in some way. Either it can be a love story wherein you need to feel the love or an out and out action packed story which just shows the physical power or the mental toughness. There are way too many genres in which a film can be categorized. And an actor is someone who emulates the character from the script and delivers perfectly in front of the camera. A perfect actor is someone who could carry any kind of roles in his/her sleeve with ease. He's required to deliver what is being needed in the script rather than what he wanted to add to himself which is unnecessary.

I think its high time for us to realize that we are fooling ourselves by justifying our favorite actor's lack of performance, height of stupidity in a film. Are we so dumb to encourage such kind of films in the future too? Seriously, you could be a die hard fan to some actor but that doesn't mean you have to be so loyal to his crappiest movie of all time. This is absurd. Just look at the way the world movies are evolving. Fortunately, I have been watching some good movies in different languages and I could see the wide varieties.

Look at the world cinema, look at the world's finest creators of films, their characters, their world, their dreams, their passion which just reflects in big screen. Look at movies like Gladiator, Titanic, Avatar, Taare Zaamen par, Three Idiots, Paa, Naayagan, Anjali, Bombay, Alaipayuthey, etc. Some of them are big dreams, best technology involved, beautiful inspirations, wonderful creations and also simple real life stories.

Let us be sensible and intelligent admirers to encourage great creators to come up with beautiful films with some fine actors. Please don't allow anyone to mislead you in any way. Please don't get carried away in the name of a fan.