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

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Chennai political events and......

Hello everybody,
                                                                 Feb 13, 2017
                       Happy spring season or 'Basant Panchami'. Like Arab spring which happened about 4 years ago, the spring movement is going on in Tamil Nadu. For the past one year, Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, has been one of the most happening places 'nature-lly' and politically. Nature has not been very kind to the people of Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai-ites, in the last 2 Decembers. The incessant rains during December 2015 drowned Chennai and it was brought back to its feet by the goodwill of the ordinary citizens who rose up to become extraordinary to save Chennai. Politicians were frowned upon for not coming forward, the ordinary man became hero!

                                                                  Feb 24, 2017

                   I started this article when Chennai was politically burning and the events which would beat even the best movie scripts all over the world. But some commitments kept me away from this space and I could not complete this during that time. Now that it looks passe, it makes less sense to write about it. It is like cold coffee. But when we look back, the drama started to unfold rapidly towards the end of January when Sasikala, Jayalalitha's longtime friend and confidante, announced her decision to take over the reins of the state by pushing the interim Chief minister O. Panneerselvam down. The dramatic move of Panneerselvam, who decided to come out of Sasikala's hold, after meditating in front of Amma's memorial took the whole of Tamil Nadu by storm. Panneerslevam, on whom endless jokes and trolls were circulated in the social media, became a hero overnight. Sasikala is seen as a schemer, bad woman, worse than a witch, the lady who 'killed' amma, is everybody's nightmare. She belongs to the Thevar community and brought in her family members to control the reins of existing/non-existing business firms and pull the strings of the party. Panneerselvam, who fought with the center to bring the Jallikkattu back, was seen as the most favoured man. Though Sasikala tried all the theatrics which included packing off the MLAs to a resort, she could not become the Chief Minister, as the case of disproportionate assets verdict went against her. Panneerselvam's hopes were dashed when the MLAs decided to stick to Sasikala's camp. Though she is in Bangalore jail, she remote controls the State through E Palaniswami, much to the chagrin of the general public. I was expecting a general uprising and protests similar to the Jallikattu movement, but nothing much seems to be on the move. Are the people just tired or resigned to the fate hanging over their heads? Where is the passion, anger, unity that was visible a few days back? There was even the talk of amending the constitution, when the crisis like this shows up! And then, nothing happened. Panneerselvam is left with nothing, though he won the hearts of Tamilians. And then there is Deepa Jayakumar, whose appearance very much resembles her departed aunt, but has to prove her mettle to go up the political ladder. What will happen in the next four years of EPS's rule/Sasikala's rule? Will the fire which is burning inside the hearts of Tamilians come out again? We are all forced to wait and watch.
                                                  On the personal front, I finished 11 KM in Bangalore Runners Unity Run (BRUR). My husband is a marathon runner, and it was only a 'long matter of time' that I got into the groove. I did not compete with anybody, but with myself. There were no medals, certificates, but that did not matter. It was a personal up gradation for me. Something which looked mightily impossible to me a week before the run, now looks possible. If I can finish 11K, then why not half marathon or 21K. That is next on my bucket list. I feel more confident, a renewed self , possibility of exploring new horizons. Many things are possible if one has determination. And with this renewed confidence and determination, I sign off for now.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New year with 'Parker pen'!!!!

Hello everybody,
                          Did not think myself I will be back this soon. Wish you all a very happy and a prosperous new year. And why this strange title 'Happy New Year with Parker pen'? Did I go to a gift store to buy a set of greeting cards and then write in them the new year messages personally? Sounds so outdated right? In this era of FB, whatsapp, twitter, Snapchat when we still don't have the patience of sending the New Year 'GIF' photos or slides to thousands of 'friends' across the globe, who still goes and buys those set of attractive New Year greeting cards? But if you have grown up during 80s and 90s, I am sure many of us would have done that. I remember that I used to wait for each New Year to arrive to feel the fresh smell and the beauty of the new cards. Actually, we were spoilt for choices when it was about buying cards. Later on, my sister used to make greeting cards painstakingly, and I was good more with words. It was just an awesome combination which our grandparents used to wait to receive from us. This would be followed by my grandpa's letter praising my sis' greeting cards and my hand-written letters. The arrival of the internet revolution and smart phones have made the paper greeting cards totally redundant.
                                                 Now I am coming to this bizarre title. On the New Year's eve, we had a party in our apartment complex and there was prize distribution for the winners of the annual Sports' Day event. My husband and his friends were awarded Parker Pens for winning in the Lawn tennis games. When you own a Parker pen, you feel you own something which has royal value attached to it. We never bought or owned one, and my husband was naturally thrilled when he saw it. The pens look sleek and they are more expensive than the other brands. But, these pens did set me thinking. How many times and how much will my husband or his friends really use those pens? The practice of writing on hard paper is long gone after we left the school/college. Except to put signatures, note down phone numbers hurriedly, write the names on gifts wrapped, or to note down certain things while attending workshops when one works in an organization, this practice has reduced a lot. This has to do with the advent of internet, computers, smart phones where everything is as simple as copy/paste. And, how many of us will give Parker pens to our school-going kids? We will fear that they will be careless and lose them easily! My husband said that the chances that he will use it is less than 2%.
                                        I used to write so much when during my school/college days not just in English, but also in Malayalam and Hindi. I was fond of writing letters and essays. But that has reduced a lot over a period of time, and as I have passed typing exams, I find typing on the keyboard easier than sitting and writing. I also keep editing my own articles repeatedly and with lot of ease. When I try to actually write in paper, my hand trembles and is inhibitive, more so when it comes to writing in Malayalam. My dad, father-in-law,   96-year-old grandpa who are less acquainted with computers, still find writing in paper/books more comfortable. Their handwriting is still crisp and neat which does indicate the sharpness of their minds, touch wood! When I type on a keyboard, I feel my fingers are more mechanical. Writing on paper always has benefits. When we write, the whole of the mind and the body is focused at a particular point, and it helps us to keep our mental faculties alert and sharp and also help to some extent in warding off memory-related ailments as we age. Which is why I find good reasons to use that expensive pen, rather than watch it gathering dust. I teach and learn music and it requires writing of lot of lessons to understand more and I have decided to use it for a good purpose. Now, does that sound like a resolution? I would like to sign off this article by writing 'Happy New Year' with the new pen.

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