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Youth movies – Azhiyadha Kolangal (#atozapril 2013 challenge)

When i saw Youth movies with Tossing it out’s explanation that these are movies about being young /coming out of age,  I knew Y is still an easy bet for AtoZ challenge.

My first thought is Azhiyadha Kolangal  –  It is a 1979 movie in Tamil regional language and directed by one of those intelligent directors, Balu Mahendra.  It had leading actors in the main roles, though the movie focussed on the life of three teenage boys and their adolescent days –  their first love, witnessing a death, emotional excitements, small village..etc.

I still remember the day i forced myself with my father and his friends to watch this movie.   It was a rainy afternoon, where we had to take up the strong showers, get wet and still made sure that the movie was watched.


Yuvraj! – Yes, You can!

When I follow cricket as a news and live my life with two ardent cricket fans, it is inevitable I know Yuvraj to some extent  – I identify his name with these adjectives –  young, energetic, loving son to his parents, raring to make more of life and cricket………… and ofcourse, he is known in the Bollywood circuits also!

It was such a shocking piece of news when I heard  it   – ” Yuvraj has Cancer”

Knowing as much (actually, as little) as I know about Yuvraj and  his family with my as much knowledge about the “big C” disease, I can certainly empathize with what he and his family are going through.   While it makes it challenging for anyone to go through the deadly big ‘C’, it is even more challenging to be in the prime of your life and being knocked down by this big C for no fault of his!   Especially, knowing how his mother will be feeling now…………….I was really sad.  While I completely appreciate the philosophical “Life is just a journey”, this news still left me with an uncomfortable feeling.

And today morning, I was looking into Yahoo news and this is the link I got…………….the Cricket Vs Cancer ………made me  feel positive and hope that for Yuvraj,  the ONLY big C in his life will be the C in Cricket    –   if all the cricket fans and their family across the world can wish him and support him with their prayers for a minute   –  there definitely will be a miracle.

So, here is the wishing from me  and the sincere hopes –  “Yuvraj, Yes! You Can!” !!    The Big C in your life is ONLY the  BIG Cricket!

Join me in taking this HOPE statement (Yuvraj, Yes You Can!) across the globe to Boston!

Related Posts:  Sean Maloney –  Inspiring  ||  What is Right?


Anitha’s short story got the first prize in Unisun Reliance Timeout writing competition 2011  –   I was very happy happy !!……Can’t stop posting this……….check her interesting blogposts  here.   One more women who multitasks, manages work and family and still keeps her passion for life, and continues to strive for the best  keeping her feet firm on the ground!!   🙂 🙂

Congratulations, Anitha!!!  God bless!!

Capacity Leakage?? – Youth in India!

Being in a profession where people are the investments, I am lucky that I love to interact with people  –  I always feel that the people I meet are the ones who have shaped me to a better human being than what I was in the past……

It was one such meeting yesterday  –  he is in his early thirties and has been in IT industry for twelve years now and is moving out to purse his management education in IIM C  –   relocating with his wife and two little kids to a new city, leaving the plum IT job he had!!   Knowing his background,  I was so happy for him….Happy that he is making the right decision and moving towards his goal in life!!

He shared that his greatest concern about people are about the CAPACITY LEAKAGE they are going through and not even aware of that  –  CAPACITY LEAKAGE is a new word!!  When I was looking puzzled….he explained – everyone in this world gets only 24 hours a day, but then….how we are using it makes the difference.  He said in the IT industry, there are millions of youngsters who are spending loads of time on things which are not a priority –  they have so much capacity to do so many things, but because of their mindset, they merely exist !!  The enormous amount of capacity which gets leaked from each individual is un imaginable and if used well can help this society! I can not disagree with him…how many times we have heard the young IT crowd talking about being stressed, not having enough time, etc…  How many times do we think that we can improve every day on our time management skills, while most of the time we end up giving excuses like  “am so busy…i hardly have time!”

He left me with a thought  –  if it is possible for him….why not for all?  –   what is that I can do to influence my circle to ensure that they are aware of their capacity?   Lot to think and implement!!  …….

2 states – Chetan Bhagat

  • Author –  Chetan Bhagat
  • Category – Fiction
  • My rating – 3 on 5

It took me three unfruitful visits to the nearest book shop – “stocks are over, please come after two days!”.  While I was getting disillusioned and decided to make the visit to the largest city book store, my colleague lent the book. 

Given that all Chetan’s books had been easy reads, i started reading this.   Ok, now you can skip the next paragraph, as I just copy and pasted the  previous book’s review as it suited this book review (i am getting influenced about taking easy routes!!)

As always, the typical Typical Chetan Bhagat story – starts with a scene where he gives a first hand narration – brings the feel that the author is sharing his experiences with us – immediately makes us feel that we are part of it….well used technique! And of course, he has the right mixture of the popular ingredients –  love, family, corporate world, sentiments and finally, the established well accepted climax of “they lived happily ever after”!!…………what else you need for connecting to the mass of India!! I got connected!! It was an easy read – not much of a challenge for an average English reader, simple vocabulary 

But, should i say “Chetan did it again!! 🙂 Recommended!!”……………….but i want to take a minute…..

There was something in this book which did make me feel that it could have been handled better  – 

Having read all his published books, i strongly felt that Chetan probably is much more intelligent than just to handle this subject by taking a dig at particular community and their ways of life….sure, he did apologize mentioning that he loves south Indian, but i closed the book with a feeling that he took an easy route…he did not put enough efforts to bring out the best of both communities and highlight the cultural gaps!!!  Not sure if it is the expectation which was built within me after his previous books OR the repeated “stock over, come 2 days later” inputs from the book store OR the fact that this book already went into multiple reprints OR the fact that this book is rated as ‘No 1 fiction’  in the book seller’s stand  –  BUT, THERE DEFINITELY IS A DISAPPOINTMENT!

Nevertheless, a good read!   We expect more from you, Chetan!!

Intentions and Actions

I continue to have this challenge  –  converting my good intentions to actions!   While it can be called as procrastination, i know it is more of my habit to get carried away by my  ‘ doing bigger things in life’  and ignoring the small immediate actions.   I came across this tweet this morning  TTrangarajan says “Intentions are nothing unless backed by actions. God will judge your intention, while man will only judge your actions”

While i was mulling over it through the day, I saw this  in my inbox from Indiblogger promoting the school meal program.  My first reaction was  –  “ok, one more mass philanthropy movement and a good marketing idea!”.   I honestly did not think much when i read it  –  but then, when i saw the details that one blog post will end up feeding 50 children, it struck to me why not i also write about it… –   So here I am making my little effort by willfully getting over my “doing big things” attitude…

Akshaya Patra Foundation was inspired by one of the ISKON gurus (while I am not much of a knowledgeable person when it comes to religious organizations like ISKON, I sure know that the ISKON temple in Bangalore is a must visit for his architectural beauty).  They started ten years back as an independent movement, but later gathered momentum in 2003 with the support of Ministry of Human Resources Development, India.

Today, they feed around 1.2 million children everyday  – what is unique about the whole program is the vision of the program  –  the program is just not a simple focus on feeding hungry children, but the vision is to “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.”

What is surprising is that for feeding one child for the entire school year it costs only  Rs.525 (approx $11.2)      .  You can donate online also here   –  Akshaya Patra donations.

Let me close my day with a satisfaction of doing a small deed!


Actions become involuntary when you do it so many times – our body operates just with our subconscious brain control – like driving a car.

For me, raising the car windows when the car stops in the cross road signals, is almost an involuntary action.  Reason:  – to avoid the group of transgender who are seeking alms.  While I am not against giving some small amounts to the beggars on the road, I had valid reasons to avoid these transgender (atleast, I thought so!)

I pass through this cross road signal on my way to work, every day. Having the luxury of a chauffeur driven car, I normally start on my work the moment I get into the car. Laptop is on, connected to the network through the broadband (thanks to Reliance Netconnect) and I start clearing my mails and plan the day at work. It was one of those days where I was very intently composing a response to a critical email, unaware of the car stopping in the signal.

Suddenly a transgender puts her hand through the window and places it on my head (blessings is what I gather later!).  I was so startled with this suddenness, I almost dropped my laptop. While the person is waiting for me to give some money and here I was so startled, that I froze. After a minute, I took a 2 rupee coin and gave it – but then, it was so vehemently refused and all I could make out with my knowledge of local language is that I am being miserly and bad. Seeing that I am lost and confused – with a considerate tone, the transgender says that minimum is ten rupees.  I still continue to be in my dazed state and pick a ten rupee note, so that I can get off from this situation.   Once the money is paid (it is actually 2+10), the person is off to the next car. I felt that I was being extorted – though it was 12 rupees, the way it was requested (!) for and the suddenness of someone extending their hand into the car with such ease, made me cringe.  It registered in my mind as an unpleasant experience and next day onwards, I am so conscious that I open my laptop only after this signal and keep the windows up.

It is more than six months since I had been into this routine of being ‘careful’ in the signal.   I keep seeing them every day; they cajole/bully the vehicle drivers/passengers, confirming the fact that there are others also in the general public who are uncomfortable with this.  While there are beggars galore in the streets, these transgender are bit different – they are so well decked up (nice clothes, makeup and flowers!) and they demand the money (not beg!).

To be precise, I almost have forgotten about their existence during my growing up years, though when I was a kid – back in my hometown – we had a specific festival celebrated in the village temple which attracts all the transgender to our small sleepy village(it is actually the developing Annamalai University campus in mid 70s). It is the local temple festival (Pasupadeshwarar temple) during summer vacation every year – the transgender come there for two days from all over the state – they spend two days in and around the temple – I remember it is called ‘ARAVAN’ festival.

I vaguely remember the story goes like this (as told by locals) – In Mahabharata (one of the great Indian EPIC), Arjuna’s (one of the pandava princes) demon son –  Aravan is to be sacrificed to Goddess Kali.  This is done to please Goddess Kali so that the Pandavas can win the battle of Gurusekhthra against their cousins Kowravas (100 princes who were brothers).  The precondition is that Aravaan wanted to be married before he was offered to Kali.

As no women wanted to marry a person who is to be sacrificed to God the very next day of their marriage, Lord Krishna took the form of a lady (so, this should be the transgender connection) and married Aravan.

The festival captures this spirit – it is a ten day festival and on the last two days the transgender folks from the nearby towns throng into the temple – day 1: they all are beautifully dressed as the bride to Aravan  Day 2:  their husband is sacrificed to God and they are turned to the hindu widow attire.

With summer holidays underway and the campus so sleepy, this festival was a major timepass – almost all the kids were in and around the temple those ten days  –  watching every small happenings.

I was no exception – used to be always out with my friends………..and that is the time I have observed these transgenders when I was a kid – parents were obviously skeptical that we kids spend so much time watching them and coming up with curious questions on whether they are girls or boys?

Many parents have put in the fear with their children that these transgenders may kidnap them –  but then, I was undeterred – I always sneaked out to watch them, wondering about their way of life!  I got an image that they are nomadic – enjoying their life!  When they arrive at the temple during this festival, they are so well dressed up, laughing all the time, handling the teasing of local thugs, dancing and singing………even for a kid of my age at that time, I could clearly remember that I felt that they were enjoying their life

Over few years when I grew up, I slowly started realizing the challenges the transgenders face – how lowly they are treated by society at large  –  I also started focusing more on my other interests and my festival visits to temple were very limited  –  with family for an hour or two on the festival day.

I almost forgot about the existence of transgender in the years between, till I came across a senior in my classical dance training classes. It happened that the famous guru thanjavur kittappa pillai was our neighbor and there were no excuses resuming my classical dance training with him  –  While the Guru was a very soft and nice person, he was very strict when it came to the discipline and practice sessions  –  he never let one wrong step pass through.  During those strenuous training was when I started noticing the senior in the dance class  – very keen on the classes and was so focused  –  I figured out it was Nataraj ( I have to mention that I am so happy to see the progress Narthaki Natarj had made in these years  –  I just googled his name and was amazed to read about the acheivements! narthaki natarajl)  –   a transgender and a dedicated disciple to the Guru.  I was again inquisitive and use to observe if there is anything I need to notice – apparently, all I saw was complete dedication to the art.


That is when it struck me that the transgender are individuals like me, but they have an enormous challenge of establishing themselves as normal human beings – and it kind of settled on me that if not helpful, we got to be empathetic towards them!

All my noble thoughts on being empathetic towards trangender were never once tried and tested in the years in-between till the recent episode  – and I did not even remember about my past noble thoughts, but ended up being averse to the poor ‘alm seeking’ transgender in the cross road signal!

Recently, on one of those busy mornings, I am at the cross roads (Default the car windows are up) and was looking out.  There was a guy sitting in a motor bike just next to the car – I could not see his faceas he wore a helmet  –  but could make out that he should be a guy in his late twenties and probably working for a IT company (he had the Targus Dell laptop backpack).

As the routine goes, the transgender were all around asking for alms  –  one of them came to this guy and asked money  – this guy took a ten rupee note (so, he knows the minimum amount!!) and started talking –  as his demure was too cool and the transgender was smiling and responding, I became curious on what they can be conversing.  I slightly lowered the window to overhear the conversation –  the conversation went this way – this guy enquired about how they are making a livelihood  – I can hear the transgender sharing that it is a tough life as they are not accepted for regular jobs and their families do not accept them  –  the guy listened, but still closed the conversation suggesting that they should reach out to NGOs and find a decent livelihood and not beg on the streets  – he still gave the 10 rupees and said he will not give any more in the coming days –  the transgender again thanked and went away  –  this guy picked up his mobile and started coversing……

It just hit me  –  how natural this guy is  – probably he is  10-15 years younger to me –  probably he never had any so-called ‘noble’ thoughts of being empathetic towards the transgender, but then  –  he treated them as his equal –  as part of the society  – neither was he angry nor was he looking down (sympathetic) with them  –  but I felt he was empathetic!!

He was treating them ‘matter-of-fact’  with such a maturity of the mind.  I felt at that time that there are people who are human and it comes so natural to them to be a human  – they do not have to have noble thoughts and then translate them into action  – they just act!!

I  wished in that beautiful morning that this guy should protect his humanness in the years to come –  he should have a good life and I felt that somewhere in between the growing years, I have more and more noble thoughts, but not real opportunities to test whether they are implementable!

It is the feeling of being blessed to witness something so natural  –  showing me that being noble does not just end in thoughts, but live in these simple actions!

I learnt something new again that day!

Next Gen India! Thumbs Up!!

I continue to go through my own share of doubts  –  what is next Gen India going to do?  As part of parenting a teenager, there are times where I continue to compare my teenage days with the current teenagers  –   current Gen X has a lot of options and they have more access to anything they want  –  INTERNET is a big power……!  I sometimes have detested their ‘know-all’ attitude, but I also acknowledge that they know more than what I knew at their age  – but, still there are doubts on how they are going to fair in life!

When I listened to the two presentations by startup entrepreneurs, I was pretty convinced to give a Thumps up to Next Gen India!!

I was in the NASSCOM Product Conclave  and they had selected the top 8 emerging product companies in India.  Two of them are run by 2009 engineering grads

1. INNOZ –   When i saw Deepak waiting near the dais, i ignored him as one of the mike boys………..and bingo, he starts on his SMSGYAN…

2. INTERVIEW STREET – while I was pleasantly surprised with Deepak, it became a double ‘damaka’ with Vivek .

Thumbs Up!!!   🙂 🙂 🙂

Review – made easy!!

After a looong  time, when the family watched a movie  in a theatre, i was more thrilled about being together than what was going on the screen…….

Ofcourse, I did watch the movie and noticed that i was not as thrilled as many others…..(i already knew pencil and moon smart answer, i did not like the mockery on being poor, i could not stand the melodramatic technical usage of vaccum cleaner on an emergency!)………but then, i was anyways ok with what others liked in it…especially the teenagers where more than happy to quote this movie as an example to their parents…and then by force of habit of going with the flow, i did decide this is a good movie……….  !!

Then, out of the blue, zap comes up this  review on three idiots…on a blog…just could not stop smiling…….that someone took the pain of putting some of my thoughts……..


though i did not feel as  strongly antagonistic as in this review , i felt traces of similar feeling about the movie …….!

Review  –  MADE EASY !!  🙂 🙂

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