September 17, 2012

A Separation

For the first time in my 6 years of blogging, I am blogging about a movie I watched. Last night, I watched an Iranian film 'A Separation'. I refrain from reviewing the movie. It is best in its own rights. It is an intricate, complex, intimate and non-simplified/simplistic film. One thing (IMO) that stands out in the movie is the poignant Termeh (played by Sarina Farhadi), a 11-year old daughter of the lead characters of the film.  Termeh excellently displayed the mental trauma, grave pain when her parents separate. I recommend this movie to everyone, especially, to the people who are filing divorce.  

வியம் பேசேல்.
Meaning - Never speak with jealousy and envy

September 13, 2012

Nelliyampathy (நெல்லியம்பதி)

In continuation with my previous blog I continue here - it was my plan to visit Nelliyampathy, a hill settlement - 75km south of Palakkad, after the marriage. I boarded into a hourly bus to Nelliyampathy from the KSRTC bus stand, Palakkad. First 50 kms till Nemara is surrounded by calm paddy fields. Cloudy day it was and refreshing to enjoy the freshness and aroma of the paddy fields. After reaching Nemara, the mountain roads started. Green dense teak forests were welcoming with flowery bushes, scented seasonal blossoms of the trees, tea and cardamom plantations. Sitting near the window of the bus, catching  the sight of numerous waterfalls by the sides of road and listening its crumbing sounds is different from the bus trips  to my office (bus trips to and from C2B Janakpuri is of course unparalleled for me :-)). It was getting colder. That said, Nelliyampathy, spread over undulating terrain at an attitude of a little above 1500m, is set amid some magnificent scenery, and the journey to get there, winding up a succession of spurs above the Pothundi Dam and reservoir, ranks among the most spectacular in the state. It was approximately a 3 hour bus journey when I reached Nelliyampathy.

I and Mr Manu, driver of the jeep ferry, reached the view point. Listening to the perky sounds of Myna, we walked half a kilometer. It was THE view! I can say. The magnificent panoramic view of mosaics of paddy fields in the Palakkad and other towns was breathtaking. (Most views that I have seen from mountains such as Palani, Ajmer Fort, Thirupathi, Mysore were dominated by the buildings, thanks to urbanization).

Just a word of caution: We were just a few foot away from the unmarked exposed ridges encircling the plateau may be lethal in poor visibility. Thought Nelliyampathy is a popular escape yet the forest is neat. Hope it is not exploited in future. 

Manu and I continued to walk towards the Pothundi mountain. God!! it is a beautiful view of the waterfalls amid dense forests (which you will find in the below photograph). It is an excellent place to listen and rejoice with the music of the water fall (while I write this the "Songs of the River" (Album: Music of Rivers) by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia comes to my mind). In front of the waterfalls I could spend 20 minutes because I had to catch the last return bus of the day. As we returned to the ferry it was drizzling - a romantic end to this trip (wish she was with me). Various grey and black shades of mountains and Pothundi Dam made a resplendent foreground to silvery sunset. That was another beautiful Kerala Trip.

Note: I hardly had 2 hours to spend there. But if we reach Nelliyampathy by 8am it is a wonderful place to spend entire day and it has lots of others places around to visit for a complete day. But it lacks decent accommodations.

P.S: First time I missed my lover (obsessive when I am with her), my camera Canon S5 IS. I got to repair her soon.

Nelliyampathy - Recommended.

Few photos here, thanks to my mobile phone.


On a walk to catch the glimpse of the waterfalls
Bird's eye view of the Palakkad town

One more snap of the Bird's eye view of the Palakkad Town
Rajesh Mottai :-)

On way to Nelliyampathy from Palakkad


Meaning - Analysis, research and then act

September 08, 2012

Indian Wedding

Yesterday I went to Palakkad to attend a marriage of my good friend (who was my Violin classmate in Delhi under our Guruji Sri Durga Prasad). Palakkad can be said as a gateway to the western ghats from Tamil Nadu. This was the first time I attended a Keralian wedding. It was a pleasant gloomy day with cool breeze. I straightaway went to the marriage hall and fresh'd up. The Muhurtham was between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. By the time I got ready it was 9 a.m. I was thinking how to pass the time till Muhurtham because I went alone and didn't know anyone there. To not to look as an odd person in the hall I chose not to put my headsets but observe. Thanks to Arun, who was from Cochin, who kept me engaged for a while with him.

In few words I will say that this marriage was well organised. The stage was well-decorated and set for the nuptials. Lots of people - Oldies; chit-chats, nalam-visaaripps; recently wedded people introducing their wife's to their relatives (on the day of marriage thousands turn up hence the married people do not remember all the relatives/friends who come for the marriage); few couples carry their just born's to their relatives for their blessings- people cheer up the groovy yawn of the just born and do a drishiti; kids playing and roaming around with their cousins, some of them are new friends; [in my opinion] the hot property of this marriage was the bride's brother - he was, in a typical fashion, clean shaven in glittering long red silk kurtha and Mundu dhoti running on his toes, looking after everyone and coordinating the events and the people; parents with lots of smiles for their ward's marriage and a great sense of satisfaction in their eyes that their ward is gonna be in safe hands and warm family - a sign of successful positive upbringing; relatives flaunting their silk sarees and accessories (artwork blouses, necklaces, pendants, bangles) bought with great care; obviously girls and boys; inevitable gossips; some oral marriage suggestions (there is a saying many marriage engagements happen in marriages); some grannies carried their sleeping grand children in their shoulders; and with a background music of mangala Naadhaswaram-Thavil-Jalra (one purpose of this music is to cut down the evil things especially gossips and rumors). 

Now it was 10:30 a.m, the groom arrived and was staged. Around 10:45 a.m the bride arrived. Both of them, carrying million hopes dreams (wish each comes true) in their heart and best dressed, exchanged  garlands and the marriage happened with the blessings of parents, elders, relatives and friends. Parents and relatives congratulate each other. Now its time to receive blessings from the elders individually. People throng the stage to bless the just weds', to gift and to pose in group with entire family for photographs. The group photo of the immediate families of the nuptials will be framed and finally decorate the walls. And another important aspect of the weddings is the grand lunch. One side of the leaf had 15 side dishes which include two paayasams, porriyals, paruppu, two pickles - sweet and spicy, chips, applams, kootu etc. Other side of the leaf had rice, sambar, rasam and pappad. At the end they provided a delicious paaysam Adapradhaman.

I can safely say, one place where most people keep smiling would be marriages. It is really nice to be part of such well "organised" marriages. I am glad to have been part of this marriage. Aparna Anupkumar (formerly Aparna Menon): you thanked me for coming for the marriage but the pleasure was mine. Hence I thank you and your family for inviting me to witness the occasion. 

P.S: It is not that I attended a marriage after a long time or for the first time that led to write a post about it. This time, I was almost lonely and had a good amount of time to observe and cherish, but not the first time. It would go on to be one of the memorable weddings, perhaps due to the timing of it. Few dreams does not come true but it is great to be part of similar such dreams of others. :-)

P.S: Recently I read that "We marry not the individual but the families too" - Courtesy Chinmayee

P.S: Next post would be on Nelliyampathy (coming soon)

Muhurtham - auspicious time for marriage
kurtha - shirt like
nalam-visaaripps - abouts and whereabouts
drishiti - safeguarding and throwing away all the jealous of the people that are surrounding the kid
Mundu dhoti - White Dhoti with Jariga/silk-thread borders
mangala - auspicious
paaysam - a dessert 
Adapradhaman -  ada and jaggery in highly condensed milk


Meaning - Helps others and live

September 07, 2012

My Egyptian Lotus

மண்ணோடு மழை கொண்ட சொந்தம்
காய்ந்தாலும் அதில் ஈரம் எஞ்சும்
- வைரமுத்து