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Graduate in Maths, Postgraduate in English literature. Worked as a medical transcriptionist, also as a teacher.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My inner reflections

Hi friends,
                 This time I do not have a particular topic in my mind to write. But I still feel like penning a few lines. It is said that writing acts as a catharsis to a troubled and a lonely mind.   My mind is troubled at times for multitude of reasons that may seem trivial to others. I am not a fan of the thing called loneliness, but it has been my 'companion' throughout my life.  I do not want to be a lonely animal but at times, this 'companion' helps me to introspect who I am, what I want to be, whether I would have been a more efficient person if I had not been limited by circumstances around me.  It is not that I grew up in pathetic surroundings struggling to live each day for the want of food or clothes. I have been well off since my childhood thanks to my dad's profession as an engineer. I did my schooling in a prestigious convent and later on in 'All Women's' Colleges.

      But did those alma maters help me finding my own identity? That is a question I ask myself everyday. My school life is nothing much to talk about and throughout those years I did not have friends in the school or in my neighborhood except for 1 or 2 with whom I still keep in contact through facebook. I was an average student throughout and did not win prizes in any competitions. I did not come across any teachers whom I can call mentors who would have helped me find my true self. This might sound like whining but when I think about those days, I do not feel that those were the best days of my life which I would like to revisit. If  I want to rewind my school days, I would like to script it in a different way. My college days were better but uneventful and not flooded with unforgettable excursion trips and various events.  I was trained in Carnatic music during my childhood and though I did not sing in competitions much, it helped me develop the love for music in general. I do have good voice, but for the lack of practise, I could not become a great singer ( though the wish is still there in my heart!!). I enjoy Carnatic music, Hindustani music, movie songs (namely Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi), western songs, instrumental music and almost anything related to those 7 notes. Music IS part of my life and I cannot live without it. It always interests me to find out the raaga of a carnatic song, nuances of a raaga, similarity and differences between similar sounding raagas etc. The knowledge in carnatic music helped me develop some interest in listening to Hindustani classical music.
                          Some years back I discovered that I have an inclination towards drawing and painting and I want to pursue that seriously. I cannot be termed as a voracious reader, but these days I see that I do read something or other to broaden my mind. I am open to reading good books by authors of any age. My entry into the world of blogging was unplanned and I do my best to keep it alive to this day and it is one thing which has been fulfilling  and I would like to keep it going as long as I can. As some of you might have observed, my blog does not stick to one subject like cooking, travel, politics..... If I post an article on a social issue, the next one can be art or travel. This way, I feel it is not restrictive to be read by one group of people.

                                                              



                                                 I am not a career-minded person but recently when my birthday passed, I keep thinking whether I want to remain this way or to pursue my passions and interests with more emphasis so that when I look back, I will feel happy and satisfied. But how should I go about it?
                                      My life is not fast-paced and I do not wish to be like that, but I want my life to be more eventful. Each visit to my hometown to spend time with my parents is relaxing and rejuvenating, but with the passage of time priorities do change. Some places and things around remain same while lot of things would have changed. Though some things remain same, I happen to see them in a different perspective. That is what I felt when I visited my house in my hometown. Many relatives and friends who were prominent during my childhood seem to be less relevant now. Of course, I do visit them to keep in touch, but the feelings are different. I experienced both attachment and detachment.
                                 Knock, knock, where am I heading now? I think I am at a crossroads. I am still finding a suitable path to take and go forward ( right may not be the word), and I introspect a lot. I keep talking a lot to my inner self and I listen to its voice. By doing this, I feel I discover more of myself and improve upon my personality in the long run. One is the architect of one's own destiny for most part and I truly believe in that adage. One may be born with a moon-like face with perfect features and be proud of it during the teenage years, but later on, the thoughts and the mindset does reshape the face. This is quoted by Abraham Lincoln, 'I don't like that man...(his face)'. It might sound arrogant, but what he really meant was his mind was not good and hence that was reflected in his face. Yes, face is the mirror of the mind. So it is very important to keep one's thoughts uncomplicated which will make life easier to live.
                                          Let me talk a little more about my entry into the world of drawing and painting. I started to go for pot painting classes after my wedding and the interest developed from there to diversify into sand painting, nib painting, free-hand drawing, sketching with charcoal pencils, watercolor painting, oil painting. For reasons not known to me, I have been interested in painting different kinds of birds on this earth and I would like to do more in that area. My wish is to capture more pictures of birds in the natural surroundings and bird sanctuaries.
                                                        And of course, I have to post some birdie paintings!!!

                                                   





                                          One thing in my wishlist is to teach children with learning disabilities. It is more challenging, but rewarding. I would also like to travel more as I am interested in visiting different places and also I feel it expands my horizon.
                                I feel lightheaded and I will pause here for now. Will be back soon!!!!

Deepa.

                                           
                                 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Masala chai- A lot can happen over a cup of tea!

Hi pals,  
             I promised in my last article 'My inner reflections', that I will be back soon!! And of course, I wanted to be back sooner than now, but  when there are no deadlines set, anybody including myself will take one's own sweet time. I should have written this post  a little bit earlier, but there I go about this now.
                                  May was the month of sweeping change in our political arena, the change that everybody was waiting to see and it favored Narendra Modi heavily in the form of anti-incumbency factor. NDA alliance (or BJP??) swept the congress-led UPA so heavily that they could not grab enough seats to form the opposition party. Even Rahul Gandhi won against Smrithi Irani in Amethi constituency by hair's breadth. The swearing-in ceremony was most watched as it was made more special with the attendance of leaders from SAARC countries and also with various film personals, industrialists. The expectations and positive vibes were so much felt everywhere. It is the first time in our history that a non-congress party won the majority seats without the help of other parties.
                                           As the euphoria over the new party comes down and time for the real work begins, many of us couldn't help noticing that chai or tea also played an important part in this elections. A chaiwala becoming a prime minister is no small joke. Narendra Modi, who hails from Gujarat, belongs to backward caste used to help his father and brother run the tea stalls. Though he was an average student, he was a good theatre person & a debater which helped him enter the politics and the rest, they say, is history. But the chaiwala image seems to have stuck with him. Mani Shankar Iyer uttered during the campaign that Narendra Modi will never become a Prime Minister and he can as well go back to sell chai. And of course, it created furore as expected. There was a lot of outcry and blog articles attacking Mani Shankar Iyer. Though he lost in elections, he was successful in creating a storm in a tea cup. Now, if there is tea powder sold under the brand name 'NaMo', I am sure it will sell like hot cakes and will win all the votes. That is the kind of charisma our new Prime Minister was able to create.
                            For reasons good or bad, bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into 2 separate states Telangana  and Andhra Pradesh took place. Governor E S L Narasimhan discussed issues that may arise post-bifurcation. I believe tea had some influence on him when he told that he will invite Mr Chandrababu Naidu and K C Chandrasekhara Rao to discuss various issues that can be resolved over a cup of tea (or dissolved IN a cup of tea??).
                              Last Sunday, an article 'A train journey and two names to remember' appeared in 'The Hindu's Open Page. It was a poignant and moving article written by Leena Sharma. The link is:

                                    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/a-train-journey-and-two-names-to-remember/article6070562.ece
   
                   Former Gujarat Chief Minister Mr Shankersinh Vaghela, who was one of those names in the article was pleasantly surprised that he expressed his desire to invite the author for  'a cup of tea' to relive the nostalgia. So much for a humble cup of tea!
                              


                                  Yes, a lot can happen over a cup of tea! Tea comes in different avatars like the normal one (milk tea), ginger tea, masala tea, lemon tea, green tea, tulsi tea, black tea etc.
                                      We have bought the 'chai' because of the charisma i.e, we have voted Modi to power! Now, the proof of the chai is in good governance, law and order, economic growth!  To chalo, chai pe  charcha ho jaye??? Long live, chai!

Deepa.