Wednesday, November 24, 2010


25 11 2010

My Dearest Girija

I am sitting here in my room, looking at your picture.
Wondering why you couldn't be a part of my future.

Uncontrollable tears stream down my face,
while my heart beat starts to race.

Asking God why he took you from my life,
it was more painful than stabbing me in the heart with a knife.

I still needed you here
you were the one to make everything so clear.

You needed to be here to play with your wonderful grand kids.
They would have been happier getting the warm hugs from you

you are a part of me and I am a part of you
when you died a part of me died too.

I never knew how hard it was to loose someone you love
until the day you went to heaven above.

Even though I can't see,
I know you are up there watching over us
I miss you more and more everyday
and all I can do is pray.

In my heart you shall forever remain.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Maharashtra and Vinayagar- Part 6 ( concluding part )

22 9 10

Today being the Chaturdasi day, it is the day of Visarjan ( Immersion ). The Ganesh utsav which starts on Chaturthi day ends on Chaturdasi when the Lord is immersed in water.

The reason for immersion is a way of saying goodbye to the Lord who descends down on earth from Ganesh Lok to partake in the festivities. We invoke Him and He willingly comes and stays with us. So when the time comes, He returns to His abode. This is marked by the ritual of immersion.

In Pune the main immersion procession concludes at the banks of the river Mula near the junction of Lakshmi Road/Tilak Road.

The immersion procession of the five important Ganapatis, known as the manache Ganapati is a visual treat in itself. These five Ganapatis which are among the oldest in Pune, get precedence over hundreds of other Ganapati idols in the procession/immersion function. The first of these five Ganapatis, The Kasba Ganapati leads the procession in Pune and is the first Ganapati to be immersed.

*The Kasba Ganapati immersion procession is unique in many ways. The procession of this Ganapati alone is more than half a Km long and there are series of bands, Silambaattam, folk dances, and what not. It is a treat to hear and watch more than 60 persons beating the huge drums in a highly rythemic fashion .

* The Tambadi Jogeshwari Ganapati comes second after Kasba Ganapati. This is amongst one of the Ganapatis that Tilak had started for the cause of social uprisement. Now the mandal is 107 years old. The idol of this Ganapati is unique that resembles the elephants of Africa and is always kept in a silver palkhi.

* The Guruji Taalim Mandal established in 1887 is the third manacha Ganapati. This was the first mandal in Pune to celebrate its 100 years even before Tilak started Ganesh festival for social awakening.

* The Tulshibaug Ganpati was installed in 1901. As Tulshibaug was the biggest market place in Pune at that time, traders from various places used to come here. It was thought that the message of independence movement could be spread by word of mouth through these traders at that time. This was the first mandal to present a moving tableau way back in 1952.

* The Kesari Wada Ganapati is the fifth Ganapati of honour in Pune. Lokmanya Tilak had established the idol of Ganesh for this mandal in the year 1893.

* While the above 5 ganapatis are immersed in the daytime itself, Sriman Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati procession takes place after 8 pm as the chariot in which the Ganapati is taken will have beautiful decoration with jewellary which will glitter under thousands of serial bulbs in the night.

The immersion function was initially over by midnight in the earlier years . Now a days with more and more Ganesh pandals coming up every year, it takes two full days for the function to get over. This is inspite of the fact that many pandals choose to have immersion from the 5th day of festival itself( to avoid the rush on the Visarjan day )

Elaborate arrangements are made by the city police for ensuring a smooth procession and many roads are closed for traffic for the whole day today.

We, I, Magesh, Suba, Sughosh and Mahathi had a wonderful view of the procession of the five important Ganapatis today. We left our home at 1030 am and after parking our car about 1 km before Lakshmi Road walked to Lakshmi Road .

As the procession had just started at the other end of Lakshmi Road ( about 3 Km's away ), we decided to walk the stretch to meet the procession on the way.

What we saw then was unbelievable. We have heard of Red Carpet welcome when a VIP visits. Here on Lakshmi Road it was also a Red Carpet Welcome for the Ganapatis coming in that route for immersion , but it was a different kind of Red Carpet .Yes, it was Red Carpet of Rangoli.

In the middle of the road, Red Carpet Rangoli was put for a width of about 3 feet and on both the sides and inside the Carpet area, various excellent designs of flowers etc were drawn in white Rangoli. At junctions of four roads, very big round Rangoli Kolam were drawn ( each Kolam would be about 30 feet diameter and more than 10 different colors had been used in each kolam ).

When we were walking in the Lakshmi Road , we could see this Rangoli taking shape in the last stretch of the road. Hundreds of girls and boys were engaged in this marvellous hand work and it was a visual treat to watch the Rangoli being put with such expertise and precision that when somebody sees this from a distance, he/she will easily take it to be a real Red Carpet with beautiful borders and designs inside it . ஆயிரம் கண் போதாது இதை கண்டுகளிக்க.,

Then came the procession in the order mentioned above. We had excellent darshan of these Ganapatis and enjoyed the drums and other dances. After seeing these five Ganapatis, we walked back for some distance and then took an Auto to our Carpark by another road ( Lakshmi Road was full of people) and returned home by 4 30 pm ( after having lunch in a hotel ).

Today was a very satisfying day as we could see a number of our beloved God Vinayagar idols in eyecatching procession. One must see atleast once in his/her life time , the Visarjan procession in Pune .

During the procession, the following are chanted by the devotees.

(This chanting is to be said in the same manner as we say -
Namah Paarvatipathaye..... HaraHara Mahaadeva )

Ganapati Bappa ...... Moriya ( Oh father / Lord Ganesha.... Moriya* )

MangalMurthy......... Moriya* ( That which purifies both internally as well as externally is auspicious (mangal). An image bringing auspiciousness is thus Mangalmurti )

Pudhchya Varshi ...... Lavkar yaa ( come again speedily next year ).

* Moriya Gosavi was a 14th century saint of the Ganapatya sect. He was a great devotee of Ganesha. The word Moriya in "Ganapati Bappa Moriya" is attributed to him. This depicts the inseparable relationship between God and a devotee."

Ganapati Bappa ........ Moriya
MangalMurthy......... Moriya
Pudhchya Varshi ..... Lavkar yaa


Monday, September 20, 2010

Maharashtra and Vinayagar- Part 5

20 9 10

There are many important Ganesh temples in Maharashtra. Among them, the AshtaVinayagar temples around Pune have a special place.

Ashtavinayaga temples are eight popular Lord Ganesha temples. The term ‘Ashtavinayaga Yatra’ refers to the pilgrimage or yatra to these eight ancient holy Ganapati temples around Pune. These Ashtavinayaga temples have eight distinct forms of Ganesh idols. The form of trunk of each Ganesha idol is different from one another. Some of the Ashtavinayaka are Swayambhu Ganpati murtis (self-existent).

There is a tradition or ritual of visiting these eight Ganesh temples in serial order mentioned in the Shastra. The Yatra starts with Moreshwar of Moregaon, and goes on through Siddhitek, Pali, Mahad, Theur, Lenyadri, Ozar, Ranjangoan, and then again Moregaon. Visiting Moregaon for second time concludes the Yatra.

Brief details of Ashtavinayaga temples:

Mayureshwar or Moreshwar Temple: Located along the banks of Karha River in Morgaon village in Pune District, Lord Ganesh is known as Mayureshwar or Moreshwar. Ganesha is here depicted as riding a peacock. It is believed that Lord Ganesha appeared in this form to destroy a demon named Sindhu. Morgaon village is located in Baramati Taluk and is around 55 km southeast of Pune city.

Siddhivinayak Temple: The idol of Ganesha at Siddhivinayak Temple is unique as it has a right turned trunk. This famous temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh is located at Siddhatek. It is believed that Lord Vishnu prayed to Ganesha before fighting demons Madhu and Kaitab. Ganesh is named Siddhivinayak here because it is believed that Lord Vishnu achieved success because he prayed here. Siddhatek Village is located on the banks of Bhima River near Karjat in Ahmadnagar District. It is south east of Pune city.

Ballaleshwar Temple: Lord Ganesha shrine at Pali in Raigad District known as Ballaleshwar Ganesh Temple is named after Ballal, a staunch devotee of Vinayaka. It is believed that Ganesha appeared here to save his devotee from irate villagers. Pali is around 115 km west of Pune city.

Varad Vinayak or Mahadcha Shri Varadavinayak Temple: Located in Mahad in Raigarh District, Lord Ganesha is believed to have given darshan to Gruthsmadh here who performed penance to get rid of sins. He was granted what he wished and therefore the Varad Vinayak here is known as one who fulfills wishes. A lamp named Nandadeep at the temple is burning constantly since 1892. Mahad is around 25 km southwest of Karjat.

Chintamani Vinayak Temple: Chintamani Ganesh Temple is located in Theur in Pune District. It is believed that Lord Ganesha took the form of Chintamani to get back the precious Chintamani jewel of Sage Kaptila from demon Guna. Another legend has it that Brahma’s mind once underwent turbulence and he called upon Ganesha at Theur to help in keeping his mind in calm. Theur or Theyoor is located 20 km south east of Pune city.

Girijatmaja or Girijatmak or Girijatmaj Temple: Located in Lekhan Hills or Lenaya Parvat or Lenyadri, it is believed that Girija (Goddess Parvati) performed intense austerities for 12 years at the present Girijatmaj Lenyadri Temple to beget Ganesha as her son. One has to climb 283 steps to reach this shrine, which is surrounded by beautiful hills. The Ganesh temple is part of a Buddhist Cave temple. It is located around 150 km north-east of Pune city on the Pune-Nasik Highway

Vighneshwar or Vighnahara or Vighneshwara Temple: Located on the banks of the Kukdeshwar River in Ojhar or Ozhar in Pune District, Vighneshwar Temple represents the form of Ganesha taken to destroy demon Vighnasura. This beautiful temple is located on Pune – Nasik Highway (NH 50) near Junnar and is around 80 km north east of Pune city.

Mahaganapati Temple: Located at Ranjangaon, Mahaganapati Temple is believed to be the spot where Lord Shiva worshipped Ganesha before fighting demon Tripurasura. This is also the most powerful idol of Ganesha as it is depicted having several arms. Ranjangaon is located on the Pune-Ahmadnagar highway and is around 55 km east of Pune City.

All these eight temples can be covered in 2/3 days. Try to spare time to visit these temples during your next visit.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Maharashtra and Vinayagar- Part 4

19 9 10

Lalbaugcharaja Ganpati is the most famous Ganesh Pandal in Mumbai.
“LALBAUGCHA RAJA (The Emperor of Lalbaug)” is the name of the popular Ganesh Idol of “LALBAUGCHA RAJA SARVAJANIK GANESHOTSAV MANDAL”. The Mandal, formerly known as “SARVAJANIK GANESHOTSAV MANDAL, LALBAUG” was founded in the year 1934, at its existing place.

This Mandal will celebrate cool Ganeshotsav in 2010. The Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal has built an air-conditioned waiting enclosure for devotees who throng the mandal to get the darshan of the Lord and wait for hours. This is the first of its kind in Mumbai. This will be a great help for lakhs of devotees who wait for hours in queues stretching up to kilometers.

Lalbaugcharaja Ganpati, will have its replica for Ganesh Chaturthi 2010 in Pune. It is the great news for Pune devotees who throng Mumbai to have darshan of Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh every year.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Maharashtra and Vinayagar- Part 3

18 9 10

I am today writing about one of the famous Ganesh temples in Maharashtra

Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple in Pune, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu God Ganesh. It is the most famous Ganapati Temple in Pune.The temple is located a short distance from the historical Shaniwar Wada fort, which was administrative headquarters of Peshwas of Maratha Empire. The temple is very popular in Maharashtra and is visited by lakhs of pilgrims every year.

Devotees of the temple include celebrities and Chief Ministers of Maharashtra who visit during the annual ten day Ganeshotsav festival.The main Ganesh idol is insured for a sum of Rs 1 crore .

This temple was founded in 1893 by Dagadusheth Halwai, a sweetmeat seller who became a wealthy businessman. Halwai had lost his son the previous year, and at the request of his guru built this temple.

The Halwai Ganapati Trust carries out philanthropic work from the donations received, and is one of the richest in Maharashtra. The trust operates an old age home called Pitashree at Kondhwa in Pune. The home was built at a cost of 1.5 crore and opened in May 2003. In the same building the trust provides housing and education for 40 destitute children. Other services provided by the trust include ambulance service for poor and health clinics in tribal belts of Pune Dist.

Every year during Ganes Festival, this Temple trust erects a a very big Pandal of various themes, many a times a replica of famous temples and forts, and in this pandal( generally called Mandal here ), the Lord Ganesh is worshipped for ten days. Laks of people make it a point to visit this Mandal to seek the blessings of Vinayagar.

This richest Ganapati mandal in Pune is leaving no stone unturned to ensure maximum security for its devotees. Of the Rs 31.50 crore income, they are spending a sizeable sum on security of the several lakhs of devotees visiting every year .

As a precautionary measure against the threat of a bomb in a coconut, the Mandal will have a conveyer belt to move the traditional offerings of coconuts out of the Pandal in just 11 seconds. This way they hope to avert major disaster if bombs are planted in coconuts. For your information, over 70 lakh coconuts were offered last year to Dagdusheth Ganpati by devotees during the 10 days of the festival. About a lakh coconuts were returned to the devotees in the form of prashad,while the rest were sent for auction.Dagdusheth Ganapati's income last year from coconuts alone was Rs 28.03 lakh!

A bagging cone will be placed at the end of the 50-feet-long belt to fill the coconuts in a jute bag for faster disposal.

"Next year we will prepare a portable coconut conveyer so that the coconuts can be directly carried to the tempo parked outside," the designer of the conveyor belt, Savgaonkar, said.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Maharashtra and Vinayagar- Part 2

16 9 10

The 10 day Ganapati festival in Maharashtra starts on the Vinayaga Chaturthi Day when the public welcome the Lord in a grand manner. Here is a report on how Ganapati was welcomed in Pune.

The foot-tapping rhythm of drums, tasha' and cymbals and chants of Ganapati Bappa Morya resounded throughout the city on Saturday the 11th Sep 2010 as Puneites welcomed Lord Ganapati into their homes, societies and mandals on the first day of the Ganesh festival.

The festivities started in the morning with the processions and consecration of the five important Ganapatis, Kasba Ganapati, Tambdi Jogeshwari, Guruji Talim, Tulshibaug and Kesariwada. Students from 20 countries, giving the message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is one family), participated in the procession of Kasba Ganapati, which was also accompanied by the Prabhat brass band and a team of drummers of the Samartha Pratishthan.

The Tambdi Jogeshwari procession was accompanied by Nagara players, New Gandharva brass band and drummers of Shivmudra. The drummers of Shivgarjana, attired in white salwar-kurtas and red bandhani phetas, accompanying Guruji Talim mandal, caught the eye with their performance.

When the procession reached Bajirao road, there was an impromptu jugalbandi' between the Shivgarjana team and the Samartha Pratishthan team accompanying the Jilbya Maruti mandal. This interesting duel continued for about 20 minutes before both the mandals moved ahead, mindful of the traffic jam on Bajirao road and Laxmi road.

The consecration of the famous Dagdusheth Ganapati took place at 11 am and devotees thronged the pandal for the darshan' of the jewellery-decked idol.

As the day progressed and consecration of household Ganapatis was completed, members of other public Ganesh mandals started preparations for their processions in the respective areas. trucks decorated with flowers were kept ready along with brass band teams and drummers to welcome the god of wisdom.

Children and adults alike were dressed in finery and flocking to buy the best Ganesh idol. Women in colourful sarees were busy minding the durva,' aarti thaali' and all the accessories required to welcome the deity home.

The city streets wore a crowded look till late in the evening as the processions of smaller mandals continued. Areas near the Pune municipal corporation and Sarasbaug were particularly crowded as many idol makers had put up their stalls at these places.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Maharashtra and Vinayagar- Part 1

15 9 10

We all know that Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated in a grand manner in Maharashtra. Some details on how it all started ....

n 1894, as a protest to a law passed by the British that prohibited Indians from gathering in public places, noted leader of the Indian Freedom struggle, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, initiated a drive to convert the worship of Lord Ganesha as a large scale public event.

What began as an endeavor to propagate a feeling of unity among citizens has now transformed itself into a massive cultural and social affair. Ganesh Chaturthi is singularly the most important religious festival for the whole of Maharashtra. Meticulously decorated pandals with mock ups of places of historical importance, or depicting religious themes or contemporary events mushroom all over the city where devotees throng to pay homage to the Elephant God.

The more mellowed down version of the same involves the head of the family doing a puja within the premises of the residence itself, with other family members in attendance. A popular food preparation during the time of Ganesha Chaturthi is Modak — rice dumpling stuffed with coconut, dry fruits, jaggery, etc. A number of cultural events involving song and dance, dramas, are organized alongside events with a social cause, such as blood donation camps, free medical check ups, etc. On the eleventh day, serpentine processions carry the idol for immersion—a ceremony known as ‘Visarjan’—chanting the name of the Lord and inviting him to arrive early the next year.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Chennai Airport Improvements

9 9 10

I came to Pune on 6th Sep night by air.

When I entered the Chennai Airport on that day to take the flight to Pune, I could not believe my eyes. Though I was a frequent flyer before my retirement in 2004, I would have gone to Chennai airport only on a few occasions after 2004.Everytime I went there, I could see some developments taking place. This time however, there was a marked improvement and the airport has become very big ( compared to what it was six years back )

In those days,I remember that after getting out of the car just at the entrance gate, I had to walk only a few meters to the check in counter. On Monday, I had to walk for more than 5 mins to reach the check in counter! The waiting lounge has also undergone a vast change and I was wondering whether it was the same airport that I used to visit in those days.

The other improvement I could notice was in the operations side. Effective 1st Sep.,various steps for ontime departure of the flights have been introduced at Chennai airport- like passengers should report two hours prior to the sch dep time., the check in counter should be closed half an hour before the dep time,boarding should be completed before 15 mins etc- so that the flight can take off on time. Earlier, there used to be no discipline in adhering to the time schedules, as a result almost all the flights used to take off 10/15 mins behind schedule ,thus affecting the subsequent flights at the departing as well as at the destination airport.

The new initiative is a welcome one.In the 90 mins that I was at the airport, I could see that almost all the flights ( 7/8 ) took off on time. My flight in fact took off 5 mins earlier to the scheduled dep time !

On the minus side, earlier I used to take a cup of steaming coffee for Rs 5/- inside the airport.Now it has gone up by 5 times. May be a part of the cost of development is recovered this way !!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

சந்தோஷம் என்பது என்ன ?

8 8 2010

சந்தோஷம் என்பது என்ன ?

1. குழந்தையை மடியில் வைத்திருக்கும் போது அது தன் பிஞ்சு கால்களை அப்படி இப்படி ஆட்டும் போது, அதன் மென்மையான மலர் பாதங்கள் நம் மீது படும் போது ஏற்படும் சிலிர்ப்பா ?

2. 2 (அ) 3 செ. மீ நீளமே உள்ள அதன் பூ விரல்களால் நம் விரல்களை பிடித்துக்கொள்ளும் போது ஏற்படும் உவகையா ?

3. Vijai TV Super Singer 3 ன் selection round ன் முதல் சுற்றிலேயே qualify ஆக முடியாத நம் பாட்டை கேட்டு சொக்கி (!) நம் மடியிலேயே அழகாக தூங்குகிறதே அந்த ஆனந்தமா ?

4. தனக்கு தெரிந்த மொழியில் ஆ, இ, உ என பேசி, தன் தேவையை ( பசியா, தூக்கமா, Jatti ஐ மாற்ற வேண்டுமா ) தெரிவிக்கும் அதன் அறிவை கண்டு வியக்கும் போதா ?

5. குழந்தையை மடியில் வைத்திருக்கும் போது அது நம் மேல் urine போய் விட்டு, ஒரு சிரிப்பு சிரிக்குமே, அந்த கள்ளமில்லா சிரிப்பை காணும் போதா ?

6. அழுது கொண்டிருக்கும் குழந்தையை நாம் தூக்கி கொண்டதும் அதன் அழுகை மறைந்து, நம் support கிடைத்து விட்டது என்ற நிம்மதியில் நம்மை பார்த்து சிரிக்குமே அந்த சிரிப்பிலா ?

7. சமயத்தில் நமக்கு சமமாக பேசி நம்மை திக்குமுக்காட வைக்கும் அதன் திறமையை
காணும் போதா ?

என்னை கேட்டால் , இந்த ஏழுமே மிக பெரிய சந்தோஷம் தான்.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Garib Rath Chennai to Delhi

19 7 10

When I decided to book my ticket to Delhi, I had a lot of choices. To fly, to travel by the popular Tamilnadu or GT Express, or to choose the prestigious Rajdhani Exp ( R in short) or the Duronto Exp( D in short ) the new train introduced by Mamta or the Garib rath( G in short )

As the airfare was over Rs 4000 one way, I decided to travel by train. Since I have already travelled by all other trains ( in same sector or in some other sector ), this time I decided to check out the G .

G is a service introduced by Laloo Prasad in 2005 , mainly for the middle class to enable them travel in AC comfort on long journeys. It was a very good idea and became a very popular train in no time.

R and D are also basically AC trains and these three trains are the fastest between Chennai and Delhi, covering the distance of 2176 KM's in 28 hrs and 10 mins. ( TN Exp takes about 33 hrs and GT about 36 hrs.). But the difference lies in the Fare. For R and D, you will have to pay Rs 2000 for Chennai- Delhi for 3 tier AC sleeper whereas it is only Rs 892 in Garib Rath. Same distance, Same comfort ,but less than half the fare. Isn't it a good deal ?

What are the differences ?

In R & D , the breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee/tea , snacks and water are served free. The bedding is free. You get a newspaper free . In G the bedding is provided at Rs 25 extra. ( I found many people carried their own bedding and did not avail of this facility). You will have to pay extra for the meals, water, paper etc. But you get all the items sitting in your seat.

For a person like me who prefers home food always, it did not matter whether the food is served free or on cost. So, all I had to spend extra was Rs 25 for the bedding ( I did not want to carry too many luggages ), Rs 6 for the newspaper and Rs 15 for three cups of coffee.

The journey ( left Chennai on 17th mor at 6 10 am reaching Delhi yesterday mor at 10 30 am. ) was quite comfortable.The temp was maintained well and it was pleasantly cool all thro. The train was running to time from Chennai to Delhi and arrived at Delhi just 10 mins behind sch ( waited in the outer for the platform to become ready ). There were no unwanted visitiors in the compartment, water for the toilet was availble from the beginning to the end of the journey.

The minus points were - the maintenance of the toilets were very poor and in many toilets, the latches were not working properly. The compartment was not cleaned anywhere enroute. ( Usually in TN or GT, small boys will wipe the floor clean and get a few rupees given voluntarily by the passengers).

But overall, it was a comfortable journey at a much reduced fare.

P.S The senoir citizens do not get the 30% concession in G ( since the fare itself is low )

Next time you have an opportunity, travel by G . It is time saving and money saving.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Sports in school.

I go to Hindu Sr Sec school Adyar everyday in the evening to bring Dhanush home.

The school has over 2000 students studying from LKG to Plus 2. This school is one of the very few schools in Chennai with a big playing ground. It has two big Cricket nets, one basket ball court , one throw ball court and one volleyball court, apart from a huge open ground for athletes sports and which can be doubled up for a football or Cricket ground.

I generally stay there for about 45 mins till Dhanush says Ok to leave after playing with his friends and I observe that not many students are keen in utilising the excellent facility of playing. Within 10 mins of school closing, more than 1600 students will leave for their home. About 200/250 students will be whiling away sometime eating snacks and chitchatting with their friends before they also return home. There will be about 25/30 students practising Basketball, about 10/15 girls practising throw ball and about 100 students of smaller classes ( including Dhanush ) running around the ground and playing merrily with their friends.

I do not know why the majority of students skip the opportunity of some physical exercise. Is it because of the study load or general lack of interest or lack of encouragement from school / parents?

This again throws some light on why India is not shining in most of the sports inspite of more than 120 cr population.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Wrapping the school notes

2nd June 2010

Recently, Sudha was busy wrapping the notebooks and books of Dhanush. As I was seeing the act, my memories went back to my school days.

In those days, the newspaper used to be the main source of wrapper. The earlier year's calender papers( and many times the same year's calender papers also !) served the purpose.After wrapping, we used சாதம் for pasting the edges ! Then we used to cut white papers with scissors into shapes of rectangle, diamond etc to use them as labels.

Now a days, the children get laminated brown sheets for wrappers and cello tape is very handy for pasting the edges. Transparent plastic sheets are also available which are used for covering the text books. And you get self sticking labels with attractive cartoons or simply with the school name printed . All of these make the job of wrapping very easy and once the work is over, the books and notebooks present an excellent look and highly tempting to use them !

I understand that some schools supply ready cut wrappers to suit a notebook. All you have to do is to wrap it and remove the paper covering the gummed edges and stick the wrapper to the notebook. The job is over in less than a minute !!

Some people take the part time job of wrapping the books and notebooks (in the month of May ) at Rs 5/ per notebook or book. With both the parents going for jobs in many families, naturally there is a heavy demand for such persons . A thriving business indeed .

In my days, We had to go to shops and buy the note books and books ourselves. Many a times, a shop will not have stock and we may have to visit a no of shops or a no of times to get a book. Sometimes we might have to request our relatives at Chennai to buy the book and send it to us. Now a days, the school takes the responsibility and all you have to do is to remit the cost to the school and take delivery of the notebooks and books on the appointed day.

This is a win win situation for both the students and the school. The student gets the notebooks and books at a reasonable rate and without having to runaround for purchasing the same. The school is benefited that it will get commission for all the purchases from the notebook printers and the book publishers. And this is classic example of how we can benefit by avoiding the middleman.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Telephone contact/ Personal Visit

2nd June 2010

"If everyone goes through the log on their mobile, I am sure everyone must be speaking for about a minimum of 30 min a day (I am using my mobile for about 120 min a day !!!). But still we are feeling that there is lack of communication within family"

This is an excerpt from Vasu's recent mail. It is true that most of us do not talk to others in the family as frequently as we would like . You ask anybody why they are not talking , inspite of telephone tariff coming down so steeply, the ready answer we would get is that " I don't have time ". Everybody , including the person making that excuse knows fully well that it is a lame excuse.

The real reason is that everybody has his/her own priorities and they stick to it. A person may talk 100 times with person X in the family but not even once with person Y. Because he thinks that Y is not important enough to talk to.

Same is the case with persons visiting a place. "A" may visit a place "B" but he/she will not meet / talk to others living in the city. It is definitely not the question of time since during the visit, "A" might have visited a no of persons and might have gone to a no of places. Only that the person does not have time to visit the family members. What does that mean ? The person simply thinks that the persons he is not visiting are not important enough to visit.

And so how do we take it ? I follow this policy . பேசினால் / வந்தால் சந்தோஷம், பேசவில்லையா / வரவில்லையா OK., என்ன நான் சொல்றது? Correct தானே ?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Nostalgia trip to Coimbatore

When I planned my trip to Coimbatore on 10th Mar 2010 to sell off my land there, little did I realise that it would be a memorable trip. Thank God, I decided to travel in day time by Kovai Exp ( Leaves Chennai at 615 am. )

As I was sitting and enjoying the view thro the window while I was travelling to Coimbatore, a lot of memories flashed across my mind. As the train sped past Ambattur, my thoughts went back to 1971 when Padma and athimber purchased the ground and built a house there. Earlier they were in a rented house. Here on an evening, a few of Vijaya manni's family and a few of our family had a sort of gettogether after Rajappa had 'seen' Vijaya manni at Avadi. That was in 1970. A lot of happy gettogethers - Prakash's Poonal, Padma/ athimber's Shastiapthapoorthy, Srividya's marriage, Prakash's marriage and many other functions had taken place at their old and the new Ram Nagar house. Then a few tears rolled down my cheeks when 20th Nov 2008 came to my mind.

After sometime , the train went past Tiruppathur. I remember going there and spending a few days with Sundaresan's family in 1972. Yes, Sundaresan was working there at that time. I had an unusual long holiday as our factory was on lock out at that time due to workers strike. The lock out was lifted when I was there and I rushed back to Chennai.

The train then slowly crawled into the Salem platform after more than an hour's nonstop run. On seeing that platform, my memories took me to the night of 12th Dec 1977. Our full family was on the way to Erode ( from Cuddalore ) for the marriage of Jayaraman. As the train from Cuddalore reached Salem in the evening of 12th Dec 1977 and since the connecting train to Erode was in the early morning of the next day, we had to spend the whole night at Salem Jn platform. I and Girija celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary at Cuddalore, and then in the train and finally at the platform! It was a pretty cold night and I remember taking four /five cups of coffee to keep me warm. Sudha was just one year old then.She was in the arms of our anna for most part of that night. While the gents were roaming in the platform, all the ladies were comfortably seated in the waiting room where they spent the night with a lot of ஊர் கதை !!

After an hour, the Kovai Exp reached Erode. Yes, this was the place where we had a nice time on 13th and 14th Dec 1977 when Jayaram got married to Kalyani. The marriage hall was a big one and there was a huge lawn in front of the hall. We had our group photo in the lawn. The marriage was celebrated in a grand manner.

When the train left Erode and picked up speed, my memories went to Perunthurai where Sundaresan was posted for a few years. Perunthurai does not have a Railway station but was on the main road between Erode and Coimbatore- about 15 Km's from Erode. We had visited their house at Perunthurai in the late seventies.

Kovai Exp then passed thro Coimbatore North when I had a glimpse of the street where Sundaresan was living before he moved into his own house. When we all went to the grahapravesam of their new house, we stayed in this house only. This house is very near to the railway track.

By the time the train finally came to a halt at Coimbatore after 7 1/2 hours journey, I had already lived thro a lot of memories , but on setting my feet at Coimbatore , a fresh set of sweet memories occupied my mind. This place is no doubt the home pitch of Sundaresan, I would say. The first function that I attended at Coimbatore was his marriage with Pattu manni in 1965. Then between 1985 and 1996, I had attended a no of functions at Coimbatore, starting from the grahapravesam of Sundaresan's Kurichi house. Uma's marriage,Bala and Satya's Poonal, Suresh's marriage ( pre marriage functions were held at Coimbatore ), Sudhakar's marriage, Rajappa's new house's Boomi pooja function,etc were some of the important functions I attended.

When Jayaraman was posted there, I had visited his house also. I remember, I and Ramamurthy Athimber once rushed to Coimbatore in Oct 2001 when Vijay met with an accident.

In addition, we had been there on vacations too. Girija was with me in almost all the visits to Coimbatore after our marriage . Oh ! they were some of the finest moments of our life.

When I and Rajappa bought the adjacent plots in the suburbs of Coimbatore in 1989 at the initiative of Sundaresan, we had all planned to have our life at Coimbatore after retirement. But as the saying goes, man proposes but God disposes.

This time, I visited Kovai Pudur where my plot was and then prayed at Marudhamalai and Perur Patteswaran Temple. Though I wished to visit some more places, due to paucity of time, I could not . While returning to Chennai on 12th Mar, I felt sorry that I had to severe the last one connection that I had with this beautiful city ( with excellent weather ). I wish I get some chances to visit this city in future also. In any case, I cannot forget this City.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mind Control

It was Feb 28th 1989. That was the day I said goodbye to a 24 year habit- of smoking

The habit started in 1965 , as a fun. From 1 or 2 cigarettes a day, it slowly went up to 40 a day in late eighties. This was a practice I found very difficult to stop , even after numerous requests from Girija , Sudha and Suba. It is not that I did not know the health hazard it posed, but somehow I could not stop it. I once tried to stop it in 1978 and was not smoking for about 15 days , but it started once again in Nov 1978, when my father in law expired and I had to be awake all thro the night.

Girija used many arguments, like health problems, economic reasons, the bad name it brings in the society, and the adverse effect that it may have on her and the children (by inhaling the smoke). After all these arguments, the only concession I gave her was that I would not smoke in front of children. This I think I could follow to a very great extent.

Then, how could I stop it in 1989 ? 28th Feb 1989 was the budget day. In those days, there used to be heavy taxation on Tobacco products in every budget and consequently, there used to be heavy price increase of Cigarettes immediately after the budget. So, in order to make quick money, the wholesalers and Retailers used to hoard the stock of Cigarettes they have just before the budget. And the customers will find it difficult to get Cigarettes till the fresh price is announced by the manufacturers.

Normally, I used to purchase the cigarettes from a particular shop on the way to the office. Being a regular customer, that shopowner ensured that I got my quota even if the hoarding takes place. But unfortunately ( or fortunately for me in hindsight ), that day he had run out of stock and I went to office with a plan to send the office boy to try in the nearby shops. Again unfortunately ( or fortunately,) the office boy did not come to office that day.

I then had the only option of myself going out to get the cigarettes. But early morning routene jobs at the office prevented me from going out immediately. When I became a bit free , it was 1100 am. I had not smoked for over two hours !! At that moment, I thought that If I could remain without cigarettes for over two hours, why not I try for the whole day ? So I refrained from purchasing cigarettes and spent the whole day in concentrating on work or going around the warehouse ( where smoking is prohibited ).

By the time I came back from office, I had more or less overcome the urge for smoking. So, I decided to continue my decision not to smoke and it continues till this day !!

Initially, I used to get the urge occasionally , esp after a cup of coffee, but I diverted my attention to some other activity and the urge will go away. Fortunately, I did not get into another bad habit like supari in trying to come out from smoking .

Needless to say, Girija and the children were extremely happy on this unexpected development. Incidentally, on a conservative estimate, I would have saved more than Rs 7 lacs in these 20 years,by not smoking.

While I left home for the office that day, I had one cigarette at home. I had it preserved as a momento in my show case for many years. ( I hope it is there somewhere in my house even today )

Coming out of a bad habit is after all the control of the mind.Luckily I got in 1989.
Where there is a will, there is a way.