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Nithyasri – God bless!

It was always in the back of my mind  –  a small throbbing of uncomfortable feeling!   From the time when I heard about Nithyasri’s personal incident, I was more concerned on when she will come back  –  I never had any doubt about her coming back, but was not sure of the period she is going to take to get back with confidence.

When I came to know that she was back on music academy with the support of her dear friend musician Sowmya, I had stop my work and google to get more inputs on her comeback.  It indeed was so heartening to see her back in her normal avatar..

 Courtesy -
Courtesy –

While we will never know the real reasons of why and what caused this talented woman to face such an incident in her life, I only want to say that it is extremely important for many women to know that Nithya came back to get on with her life and her life’s purpose!  Her comeback exhibits the courage of an individual, a woman who wants to put the trauma behind her!   She indeed will be a role model not just for the budding musicians but also for those scores of South Indian Women!

WELCOME BACK, NithyaSri  –  God Bless!

Koyambedu Bus Stop (CMBT) – Chennai

Last weekend, I was in Chennai Koyambedu Bus Stop (Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus).  It is more than a decade since I travelled long distances in buses  –   most of the time we end up in trains or air.  Obviously I never had the opportunity to see the Koyambedu Bus Stop so far, though I have heard about it many times in the past.   It was an unplanned trip to Chennai (to support my relatives in their sudden bereavement) and I was returning to Bangalore and  the state transport bus seem to be the most viable option for unplanned travel.

My first impression when I stepped into the Koyambedu bus stop was “WOW, it is huge”.  I was even more impressed when I saw a nice central welcome hall which gave lot of space for passengers and public to wait.  I was completely sold on the CMBT when I saw the excellent direction boards which clearly listed the platforms and the corresponding places where buses ply.   I saw few wandering foreigners who were looking at the direction boards and making notes.

I was thrilled that I  got easy directions from sign boards and started walking towards the platform bay where Bangalore buses start.  I was so relaxed that I spent good time on the way in a small shop getting magazines and newspapers.   When I reached the bay, I was in for a shock  –  as I saw buses travelling to some Tamilnadu cities were in the bay.   I again went and checked on the sign board which clearly said –  platform 5, bay 23.  I enquired with couple of bus drivers who were standing and chatting –  they were very helpful.  Here is the conversation

me:  sir, where is Bangalore bus?

conductor 1 : Bangalore busa?  antha pakkam sutthi ponga (Bangalore bus? go around to the other side)

me (confused!): board said 5th platform…this is 5th platform

conductor 2 (looking at me as though I am from another planet): idatha mathidanga –  board appidiye irruku!  (changed the place, but the direction board is not changed!).

Now, I just ran around to find the right platform ……..God, you made my happiness short-lived!!  And if you think that the story stops here……it continues  ………….

Having used to making advance bookings on trains and air using net (especially, I have mastered the Tatkal booking scheme of Indian railways!!),  I fell into the prey of booking the bus travel ticket over net (  As it was a hurried trip and it was a sunday morning, I did not get a print out assuming that the handheld I carry can display the ticket to the conductor.  I also had my ID card listed in the ticket and thought it should suffice.

When I found the right place of Bangalore buses, I was into the second shock. There was no unique number for the bus which I was supposed to go (may be, I am still not very sure if I have missed it).  There were three buses waiting to start to Bangalore and all the three had the same route number.  Again, I reach out to the conductor standing near one of the buses

me: I have  booking for the bus which starts at 10.45.  which bus is that?

conductor 3 (looks very vaguely at me – again it is the look of  “which planet did you come from?”): “intha busu pathinoru manniku pogum.  eeri seatla okkarunga (this bus will go at 11. get in and sit).

me: (puzzled!): I do not have a print out of the ticket, it is in this phone and you can see it in this. is it ok?”

conductor 3 (completely convinced that I am in no way a passenger who can go by bus): “illa illa, print out venum. (no-no, need print out)”

me (not lost confidence yet!):   I have my id card –  voters card (with too much of a confidence!) also.  you can compare it with your list.

conductor 3 (irritated now!):   “print irrunthathan vandilla eeralam (only if you have print out, you can get into the bus)”

me (bit tensed now!):   Is there any office where they can print out here?

conductor 3 (totally lost interest):   poi keetu paarunga anga  – (go and ask in office)

Now, considering I have less time, I run into the office and ask them if they can print the tickets out (as there were no shops inside the entire CMBT bus stop which can print).  While there were two computers and two folks operating it, they were least interested to even hear about my problem.  I came back to the bus again and this time there was another conductor 4 who felt it was ok to get into the bus. I just got in and sat  –  yes, I did come to Bangalore.

So, if you are a first timer in CMBT,  remember two basic lessons  –  ensure you validate the platform numbers with conductors and not just go by those direction boards. And avoid net booking and get the tickets directly from the conductors  – considering there are so many buses plying it should be ok to just go and get the tickets on a normal day (may be, the reservation may help on some holidays or festival days where the crowd is too high).

Koyambedu  –   I know how to handle you now!   🙂 🙂 🙂

How to get from Rome to Rio

How to get from Rome to Rio  is an interesting site  –  try it as an alternate for google map and you will see multiple options for the mode of transport and it makes it very interesting……

Whenever I try to track the train track between Bangalore and Chennai in Google Maps, the option does not come up………Rome2Rio gives the train route also!!!

This site is established by a technology startup based out of Melbourne, Australia.  The current version searches worldwide flight schedules, European, North American, Indian and Chinese trains, North American inter-city buses, driving and ferry routes.  The public beta version was launched in April 2011.


Count your blessings!

The nuances and intricacies of Carnatic music are many, it may need multiple lives to master the art. This tamil month of “Margazhi”  (mid December to mid January) in Chennai  is a great time for the Carnatic music lovers –  people in and around Chennai , people from other states in India and even people from abroad flock Chennai during this time to enjoy the music season  – veterans in the field and the budding artists perform in various ‘sabhas’ (theatres) in the city.

While witnessing a live event is the best way to enjoy any performance, viewing the performance telecast in a television has its own advantage –  we can continue with our daily schedules and catch up these telecast in our own living room.  Jaya TV , a regional TV in Tamilnadu has made it possible for lakhs of viewers across the country to listen and view the performances of many great Carnatic music artists.  Every day during this month, they have a telecast of one hour of these concerts titled as a program called “Marghazhi Maha Utsavam”.  To make it more interesting, there is a short interview with the performing artists of the day – the questions are pretty much standard  –  your best moment, worst moment, etc.

Last week (having taken a vacation from work), I was watching the performance of Aruna Sairam. For beginners, Aruna Sairam is one of the greatest Carnatic musician – what makes her unique is that she started her career very late (After she married off her kids and completed her so called “parental duties”) and made it to the top in no time.  She was completely involved in her singing which catches up on the viewers also.   She looked so cheerful and happy!

Towards the end of the program, there was the short interview session – one of the questions was “What is that one important blessing you have got without asking?” and “What is that one blessing in your life which you are still awaiting to happen to you?”….She did not even wink a moment before she answered – she said “there was this sportsperson who won the highest order of the country and later in his life became bedridden at his young age.  One of the reporters asked him “do you feel bad that you have ended up in this situation after all your successes in life?”  The sportsperson said “No, I never questioned when I was the best sportsperson and how can i question now?.  I can never question now and no rights to complain”.   I also feel the same way.  I think whatever I have got so far in my life are all blessings – you as the carnatic music fans are the best gift andthere is nothing like which I can ask for more.”  –  She reinforced that we can only COUNT OUR BLESSINGS!!!

note  – this video is in the regional language ‘Tamil’

Though it is a well established fact to celebrate the blessings, it is always nice to hear it again – proved that her smartness reflects in things outside her art also!!  God bless!!  🙂 🙂

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